Boot by Boot

The Man:The Boot:
I hurled what was left of thembig boys tongue tied, slap flap soles, soul
shredded waffle rubber, duct tapecombat stomp Mongol hurl
broken laces, sweat-stained leatherwall wall wall wall
off the topclimbing on the wall wall wall
of the Great Wall of Chinadeath of the sole
deep in the back-country, 4 days of steep climbingpounded into saying goodbye
up and down, the wall mostly rubblegiving up the ghost
walking and climbingfeet are swords pulled from stone
treading stone needing stonekingmakers, empire
a thousand years to carry rock up the mountainblisters like signal fires
then a thousand years to cool the stone with windredemption of the tongue
villagers carried water to us up the mountainshe said gweilo ghost people foreign devils
on their backsgweilo
they called us gweilogweilo
tied together, the boots whirledKamakazi toes that’s Japanese
ecstasy of footwear released, absolutionmachine gun boots army boots
RIP for the next two thousand yearsno quit
an archeologist will dig them upboot boot boot
declare evidence of Bigfootyearning of the boot the tulip faced foot
carry on, rock time, rock timenothing but time on the wall
nothing but time on the wallstone, step, stone, step

For Desperate Poets OLN

TSM 260

What is this picture? Half-man, half-horse, half-dead – a rodeo centaur as played out as an Oklahoma oil field flat on its back, nap-time on the prairies of Mythos singing Home on the Range in Ancient Greek: Οἶκος, οἶκος ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ.
I only see geese by the river, standing in water up to their knobby black knees.
And this – A flower whose red has exploded like a grenade blindsiding us with color. The war of the roses now in full swing. Quick, don a gas-mask of thorns or be paralyzed with beauty.
I avoid stepping on a nightcrawler. It shuffles across the sidewalk, basking in rainwater. Did you know, they are not drowning?
Surely I must understand that a body cast in clear resin will leave its last breath as solidified bubbles. And that if we are lucky, we will watch the sun’s final nova refracted through trees and snow. Our last grace the instant before immolation.
“Can you say ‘Wickaboxet?’” The dogs, out early with me, do not respond or even look at me with curiosity.
That we must come to terms with the tragedy of our faces, mechanized from staring too long at clocks. Or how our louche desire was spiked by a lover we will never see again, black and white all the color we will ever need for that story.
You are sleeping late this morning. Light in our apartment slowly recovers from drizzle. Words recede, my eyes follow barges heading towards the landfill.

For Desperate Poets OLN and The Sunday Muse

Glyph Dwelling

I want to scrimshaw love poems  
onto your bones. 
Scratch the itch of Rumi 
in endless scrawl 
knotting our ribs. 

No, I meant –  
carve totem poles 
of beastings, godheads, 
flying from one place in our story 
to another. 

No. I want to begin. 
and burnt offerings, 
cinders and spark,
painting cave walls 
red and black with our ashes. 

Desperate Poets OLN

First published at Euphemism, Spring 2019

Cough Gogh

Yessir milk is my North Star 
after all it is the Milky Way right 

poured into the galaxy’s whirling 
blender blades of light 

and dark chocolate frappé 
we sing “Say Say Say” 

until gravity is udderly teated 
open your mouth in awe 

to catch a squirt of falling star 
warm and liquid on a spring night 

let us say say say this is in 
Nebraska the State of Art 

because its picture frame shape its 
texture thick with pallet knife waves 

of corn green like Van Gogh‘s 
starry night with a million trillion 

points of mooing black and white

For Desperate Poets

Eat Your P’s & Q’s

Of course like all simulacra 
no mater how hard I rowed
the rowing machine its
wind noise its pull chain
fighting my grip
we did not cross the river
but sank steel and grease
under the waves

no matter how many lights
I turned on then off then on again
we did not find the sun
but sank in darkness no
matter I cannot find your hand
only the sinking feeling
of falling from the sky
pulling the ripcord

of words but the shrouds
snap only shreds
of I’s and O’s and U’s
what I owe you my love not
poems torn into fortune
cookie scrip counterfeit
screed with “Be here now”
written on one side

and “You are here”
on the other
a big red arrow pointing
like a laser gunsight
right between my eyes
down to my heart and
click of the ersatz trigger

a pacemaker hunting
big game Hemingway
exhorts us ‘Write the truest
sentence that you know’
so you look out
the window and say
“It‘s as cold as frozen peas”
for this I will love you forever.

For Desperate Poets