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the smile collector

22 Nov

I told the name of this poem to a co-worker.
He thought it was something sinister,
like a horror movie with clowns or something,
but I promised him it was really just about smiles.
specifically when i’m walking to work.
i see these two kids
first there’s this girl.
then there’s this boy.
we smile at each other.
we’ve made it a habit.
it feels like an electric jolt every time.


the clouds disappear one day

20 May

grandma and grandpa evergreen
wave to the magnolia’s flash of pedals.
they are crumpled up newspapers,
but some events need no clocks and calendars.
they are magnetic.
we humble upon one another.

the fountain of pasta youth

22 Oct

my uncle tried to learn one new word every day.
he said it was the little university he imposed on himself,
to keep his brain cylinders spinning,
maybe to offset the onset of a stroke?

unfortunately, he didn’t live forever.
he didn’t even make it to 85 and the last few years, he couldn’t do much.
most of his mental faculties broke down.

i looked up the word catenary yesterday.
I thought of my uncle as I did it.
catenary – “a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape.”
i thought about a horseshoe and then at dinner,
i shaped a pasta strand into a U-shape and felt younger.

autumn blues

13 Oct

no one tags leaves to know when they fall,
but sometimes i get lucky and
there i am,
walking among the bombardment and swirl of sudden leaves
as our yesterdays die,
with only snow and its golden blanket of sleep to follow,
like a drunk, face-first on the cement, sound asleep,
a toddler doing the same, atop his stroller throne.

what if…

15 Sep

children learned at least one native american language.

making love in 10,000 ways

10 Sep

he wasn’t the kind of guy to say “her eyes were a compass.” and he didn’t really talk about sex so he never said “the air conditioner went primal up my pant leg and the bed springs squeaked a symphony.” But he did ride bikes, dirt bikes and motor cross and he could do more than wheelies. He raced. I think one of his bikes was called a mongoose. He served some time in prison. When things were done with a certain oooomph, he said the person was GETTING RAD. I was doing the dishes at the time he told me this. I asked him if I was GETTING RAD. He took a look at the way i was drying a plate and said “absolutely.”

he’s not sunshine

7 Sep

Under methods to diminish stress,
he wrote,
“scribble all the screams inside you onto paper;
get all the fed up-i’ve had enoughs out of your mind,
get ’em like cave painting onto the page with all the beasts as words and letters
and maybe,
just maybe,
balloons will escape a kid’s fingers and soar;
a school of fish will dart in unison and
a pack of birds will do the same as
another moon phase nears completion….

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