TSM 96

Can you wolf-whistle Dixie
with your fangs sunk deep
in the South?

A mouth full of fur and grits
stuffs my howl with mumbling
yes ma’am, no ma’am

as the house blew down
when my Grandfather’s heart
huffed and puffed its last,

my Grandmother
red riding hoodwinked
into the woods of East Tennessee,

Southern Gothic from before Grimm
hunts down the False Grandmother –
La Finta Nonna

where the wolf leaves
the Grandmother’s blood and meat
for the girl to eat

and says remove her clothing
and toss it into the fire,
but it’s a boy this time, it’s me

riding shotgun
where the dirt road narrowed
to two ruts by the bend in the river,

an animal stalking
the words for rage,
holding perfectly still

like morning mist
in the bottom
of the holler.

For The Sunday Muse

TSM 95

Boyo, you haven’t taken off your boots
in a week or brushed your teeth –
my son the Jack of Knives – you stutter Instagram
accounts of theft – how you cut blue
from black out of the night
and hid in the Dunkin Donuts until 3AM
when the police finally were gone,
the color drained from the face of the cashier
because he knew, he knew.

I heart you from safety
where I am not father to the chicken tenders
hardening under your bed –
can’t you manage *both* art and hygiene?
Do you have to put your camera
in my face, the shutter flicking open like the click
of a switchblade, mugging before the lens?
We scuffle about your overdrafts, my insistence
you return the stolen colors in your pocket.

For The Sunday Muse

Quadrille 97

Fill is to feeling
as Cossack is to Mars

Your gallop, flying over steppe,
riding into the air at escape velocity

To raid the stars,
the moon your scimitar –

braving the impossible sky,
an arc across cold space

From the heat of your horse –

Quadrille for dVerse

Quadrille 95

The Year slow-rolled to a stop,
at midnight the moon’s transmission
fell out with a clunk.

The poets were out of gas –
no roar in their coffee,
no boom-boom love in their pens.

The return of the sun and inspiration
a dreambillion lightyears

Quadrille for dVerse

Christmas Afternoon, Low Tide

Sea worms
litter the winter beach –
wriggling rings,
tiny Christmas wreaths
of bristling pink holly
and red berry ossicles.

their presents of clams,
seagulls feast
like it’s Saint Crispin’s day –
an all you can eat
martyrdom of bivalves.

The bluff has given back
fifty feet to storms
another house will soon fall,
calve it’s cinder blocks
and sticks in
miracle birth.

You hand me gifts of beach glass
but my pockets are full,
my store return slips them
back to the sand
when you bend down at the tide line –
magi of starfish, cockles and myrrh.

Quadrille 93

The hobnail feet of Winter
mash us into slush

as if to press iced wine
from our broken skins

a crush on spirits
of summer love

tasted, stripped
just off the vine

sleet’s sharp rhythm
in robes of immaculate white

on our graves

Quadrille for dVerse