Under Construction


I built them myself

these walls

that circumscribe me

\hem my hagridden heart\

‘round me

safe and alone

bricked with mortal mortar

\angst echo chamber\

impervious to pounding pestle.

fingertips mangle

in the raucous


to breach

a bloody gap.


I just wish I hadn’t

scrawled such grotesque



riding the crest of a moment of power

I crash facefirst into the trough

choking on salt-water spray


I scrabble upon the shore


scraped upon the grit

resurgent in pounding grief

tonight will not be the night

I control the storm

pulse lightening from my fingertips

I survey the shipwreck

knowing I was

not the captain

tonight survival is power




I feel your touch

tender and tickly

tracing your permanence

under my skin

forever engraved



through all my



I stifle the shriek

wounded cattle


torn from the leeching

of your departure

blenching the face

of tomorrow



Resurfacing the Return

it must be Mt Everest

she is climbing

barefoot bikini’d


in the howling

of the coldest wind

peak unscalable

blizzard obscured

she only knows

ascend she must

it is undeniably the Sahara

across which she trudges

camel-packed and overloaded


in the relentless

beating scorch

destination miraged

shimmering oblivion

on and on and on

she slogs, determined

unquestionably it is the Trench

from which she arises

crawling and kicking


under lightless pressure

fighting the crippling bends

surface the faintest

hint of a glimmer

near to bursting

she strokes on

exhausted in endless effort

desolated in the solitary sojourn

she pauses

contemplates inverted

mysteries of the universe

wonders if peace arrives

in standing still

(photographer: unknown)


Invisible, I Watch You

I am lint on the carpet

beneath notice

trod upon, of necessity

from this vantage point

I study you

(I can, because you don’t see me)

the dark haunting your eyes

shadowing your orbs

of warmest brown


I am the dust motes

swirling around you

invisible in sun’s absent rays

sighing past your soul

this close, I read you

(I can, since you won’t feel me)

the layered stories

sorrow etched upon

your beloved face


I am rainbow of future rain

hanging evanescent

over your shoulders

armor stiff in self protection

right here, I watch you

(I can, as I’m not real)

the well-clutched anger

sketched in new hardness

along your jaw, clenched


I was the balm that soothed you

until I was the pebble in your shoe

before I became the hurricane

that swept you away


Now you are the stone wall

holding back oceans

as if you can contain them

relegating us both

to the depths





I alone must

stand my ground

dig my tattered toes

into the gravely mound

that shifts

and lacerates

tender feet and heart

time and time again

bend my knees

loosen hips and sway

in hurricanic gales

imbibe frigid sips

of now

swallow down

seasick of futures past

release ghastly

ghostly fearful hoping

from hands


shrug off despair

in shoulders


as the weight

of the world

sloughs off

raise fatigued

triumphant arms


the tempest


tearstained earnest face


the deluge



Photographer: unknown


Take me on a tour of your memories

those hallowed and haunted halls


in the spacing of the photos

lie the glimmers and scratches

floored in your storied soul

I absorb heart’s nooks and crannies

in lightest finger trailing

the tingling of your history

seated within my feelings


among the shadows neglected

dusty framed and absent mats

scrapes and dents and aches

hidden there from yourself

in empathic gazing

I hold your moldy pain

with firm and tender grace


far back in cobwebbed corners

seethe the roaring poisons

wounds packed of soiled gauze

corridors you pass on tiptoe

psyches wrapped, inoculated

we taste bittered embers together

de-ghosting haunts of ghosts

Clean Up on Aisle 6

I grocery shop

Friday nights after work

from habit

rather than necessity

in the full days

demands of kids’ schedules

house, garden and partner

episodic social life

weekly menu

planned and posted

efficient and organized

chore checked off

as weekend begins

tonight my list

is sparse


endeavor a farce

it’s allergy season

vigorous nose-blow


upstart tears

I summon the smile

chat with the cashier

repay Trader Joe’s

perpetual friendliness

in kind

small-talk, check

gracious smile

he encourages me

to pick out

a fresh bouquet

on him

Do my eyes

scream wounded doe?

Cuts of Silence

Your silence is serrated.

Blunt, it saws

jagged at my soul’s bones.

It tears through

clumsily knitted over

compound fractures.

Past is severed from

its moorings

while future

is mercilessly maimed.

The muteness

brutally hacks,

dismembering hope.


I am taking correspondence courses

to become a poet-surgeon.

I’m afraid

I’m bleeding out.


scented candles

impersonate lilac’s trademark

perfumed bouquet

dead fish flop

flounder amidships

threadbare, enshrouding

pulsating stench

of her loneliness

lambent flickers

masquerade Joker

maniacal flame

smog bitter

lacerate tented

curtain over the abyss

perfunctory trappings

no more

comfort create

than floorboards blocked

thunderous tell-tale thumping

of guilty heart

*Footnote to self: Phantosmia is indicative of brain lesions