The Sheeted Bed Did Squeak and Gibber


A face print on a
pillow, still-warm sheets

the craft-of-us, it blossoms
in our every scampering

thought, we will pester the
day’s frame maker for more

pinches and squeals, yet
draw from depths a love

that ever comes, even
as we sleep.


a dimpled morning light crawls
up the arm of another day, advancing
like a rash, and the bathroom mirror
scans my face, while my mind’s eye
scans yours

forgiveness, like a parade with floats
sure, but the slope of this patch
will drain and pool somewhere
a tepid steep of contrition
that’s what it reminds me of

when we pretend to agree
I zip my face closed and cough up a
smile, perfected in its shambles
and relaxed, like a prickly thing
warding off the bothers
with preemptive skin


the thread of these laundered sheets
that can’t retain the lay of her land

I pull the lint filter from the dryer
and mount it, framed, to the wall

bedposts still lean to the slant of her
repose, window-light leering, wants

are cooing and teasing in the heat
of breathing, I awaken to the elbows

of memory and cool wet spots
the small talk of exquisite missteps

a specter haunting the big tent
with its randy elephants and clowns


Stacks of plastic containers
and lids that don’t fit
I don’t quite fit her
containers agape, lidless.

Containers sitting open
she doesn’t love me
and what was contained is
open to the air and spoiling.


in root love, in fulfillment
sudo untether the world
and its conceptions of you, me, of places
we might withdraw, finally together
never apart, it will shake space and time
free of its dreamy, contrived bandwidth
of heartbreaking denials, and let us
download all the forevers that have
so beguiled us lovebirds

Too Cool

in all this heat, the memory of those
cold looks you used to give me
come packaged in a little comfort
but there’s a kind of cool that sidesteps
temperature, like a fever chill that only
makes the burning more unbearable

you used to really cook my oats in
that dazzling cool, that face of yours
an entire opera in there, the allure of
an unsolved codex, just waiting to
spill out a heart-rending aria
after enough of us have died

Grudge At First Sight

no, better: remembered

a charged beginning
the craving, the abyss of
gorgeous eyes and a
lifetime of memories
flash before me

(did we have children or not?)

in that moment: we are
born, and then blink
wink out, about the time
our grandchild would have
slipped into adulthood

but you snubbed me
at hello


close quarters, then
to halves, of a kind of whole
our defacto embrace

yet the math of one, and one
bristle as two, are brimming
as one, a rebuffed topology

pushing in


wobbling equators
stippled with queenly bees
in the leaf green light
pathogens and spermatozoa

fractal rabbits, weeds
to seeds: all that’s made is
in the making, thumbed index
to the book of life

every fold, every crevasse
swollen with ripeness
even the crossing signals
seem to urge us lovingly

Pay to Play

a little of this self pity
it sure goes a long, long way
so, she didn’t love you back
oh man, you feel all betrayed
feeling sore and hurting
on your little feet of clay
man up dude, and let it go
and hear what Zappa say*
broken hearts are for chumps, boy
you has got to pay to play


* paraphrasing, for your delicate ears.