The Grind

A stumpy old molar lives alone in the back of some mouth, like a tombstone at the grave site of all the missing teeth. He reaches up, searching for his mate above, to press against, eager for contact, ready to grind and mash together like crazy young lovers, but alas, she’s long gone. She got the rot and they came and took her.

He thinks they might as well come take him too. Lone molar, a widower with nothing much to do but keep that cheek from caving in. They give him a good flossing now and then, but really, he’s just biding his time, a mockery of function, like a gate with no fence. He can’t even go put in with the smile up there, back of the line his whole life. Front teeth were always so well cared for, weren’t they? Vain sons of bitches.

Well, at least he wasn’t a wisdom tooth. Butt of every dental joke he’d ever heard.

Conveyor

thank you for the telling
all these things I didn’t know
how like the wind it ever is
to blow and blow and blow

the mind, so like a cup, is filled
with things to know and do
the brim of it is never reached
the murky depths, so too

so on we go, we never quite
see how this knowing queue
takes up the flow of intellect
exchanging old for new

that knowledge is impermanent
is one more thing to know
it really is no problem, friend
—relax and let it go

Delicacy

Tonic

we shouldn’t be surprised
when, sometimes things
they fall together

since fall is how they
came apart, in season
cycles, moult and feather

adopt a tune, sing
rain or shine, what is it
after all, but weather

A Slice of Longevity

pyre of the moment
denies all these lingering traces
and the fireproof memories
are breaking and entering
we weep for the dead
and gone, weep for ourselves

the death certificate
rendered into thin strips, gathered
ignited, burned, lanky curled effigies
prostrate their ashen bodies
in offering, an act complete in itself
without forethought, intent
or memory, like a barfly
tossing back a shot of whiskey
at the funeral pyre of this particular
slice of longevity

Shoe Leather

Breathe us | fragile lives
Scholars of immortality
Shoe leather knows
A thing or two about walking

For each | a day bubbles
Up Like a fountain of youth
Under the climbing sun’s
Ambling summons

How did Shakespeare
Put it | whilst this machine
Is to him | cuffed
By law to this

Holding cell of
Flesh | straight jacket
Of bodily sensation
Interrogated there | outpaced
By thoughts

Damn Smart Hamster

Dizzy on the roundabout
We busy bodies raise a cheer
Tomorrow always comes, but never
Comes precisely in the way
We thought it would, now let us pray

When the next thing beckons
Say you wait a tick, hold on
The thing that came before has yet
Been done, or even well begun
So up again and at it, son

This time it won’t be at all
Like all the other times
You’ll see, the glory’s mine
Before I die I’ll make my mark
Get on it soon, the falling dark

Too much on your hands this
Stuff, this passing thing
This time, this beating wing
Not enough at hand, but wait
More coming, knocking at the gate

Footfall one upon the other
Look about, what do you see
No minister of fate, a
Damn smart hamster on a wheel
Keep it spinning, that’s the deal