Scratch Space

You said I was to imagine a great thirst,
and then to slake it.
But I think “back at ya!” –
instead why don’t YOU imagine
you are the sea itself
with salt in your throat,
waves rolling off your tongue
tasting the brine of last night’s sleep –
the great deep trenches
deep as the pathways
of your lungs, as if we could name
your breaths Mariana, Tonga, Aleutian –

And you cannot imagine thirst
because you are nothing but thirst,
the way a fish cannot imagine water.
And you cannot imagine drinking,
because you are nothing but drink,
the way a glass cannot imagine empty
or full –

In this way you, the reader, and I
break the fourth wall of the sea –
the stone jetties and dikes,
the levees and breakwaters,
give way. Our tsunami comes then,
beyond imagination.

Miz Quickly

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Blue Horse Thing

“blue hoof ice –
the kick of frozen air –
stepping outside
breathtaking me
for a ride”
                                      – qbit

bobbleheaded blue breaker
                            bray into the blue blue blue blue
blue maker, blue taker
                        haymaker, rain slaker, name saker
cawing like a horse-crow
                            yawing like this raven knows to
saddle up your win, for the
                                 floor fight raven-ation and its 
food biters, Foo Fighters
                             flightline sighttime nightrhyme
signal towers, wedding bowers, Croesus flowers
                                          slow rolled into morning
in barney stones, blarney homes
                                     floors were made for falling 
there goes the topple-ganger neighborhood
                                      arch-top flat-top baby baby
fabled barking nonstop harking into blue
into blue
                          into starkly raving madly craving 
rinny tin tin tin tin tin tin tin
                                                          saving into blue
into blue
into blue

The Sunday Muse & Quickly


Subject isPrecarious
Subject isPredicated on beginnings
Without end 
Subject isContemplating **-a-cide, you
Fill in the blanks 
Subject isBeyond repair, beyond
The pale 
Subject isExcruciating
Subject isSubject to further revision
Subject isWM, 6’3″, no prior record
Subject isExhausted, the horse is still dead
Subject isTrigonometry, you pale, OK, fine
Subject isHistory, 3rd period
PeriodWithout recourse
SubjectTo indifference
SubjectTo theorems of poems
ProvingLove by first solving Poe’s
TintinnabulationOf the bells bells bells bells bells bells
Plotting like the grave 
Sub plotsSub sub-terranean
Sub sub-woofer Is a dog under the
Sub voce temperamentsFrayed as old socks
Subject toThe Queensbury rules
 Subject of the Queen
SubjectOf the Queen, essay of no more than
500 wordsSubject to
Sub-liminalUnderneath limes and lemons, covered
With citrusSubject to
WeatherHay Fever
SubmissionThe mission
To wend it allTo begin under
A cloudTo begin no matter
WhatFinally begin
BeforeAll is said
And Done 

What the hell.

Subjects for Quickly and Quickly

TSM 132

 writing my friend's
 eulogy dead man dead man
 his body double shot 
 of bourbon casket strength
 in AZ asks 
 are the leaves here
 where I am 
 all high
 in the treetops 
 in skin tight red 
 and yellow camo 
 like floozies like 
 his groupies like light 
 line dancing 
 as they fall baby 
 baby baby 
 hit me one more time
 death in the air Halloween 
 in the bag man
 he said
 it was hard to die
 the music hard 
 rock pulverized to grit 
 like chips
 off the old block his skin
 lost to grindstone 
 the sky's wheel 
 towards granite and gypsum 
 the hard times ahead 
 hard in the ground 

The Sunday Muse

Miz Quickly

TSM 117

now I think the instructions to perform a
CAT Scan
didn't mean I wave a cat over you while
you slept
as I looked to your body for poems my
love, not
scratch and struggle and Howl in shamanic pain or
the dog
doggerel barking frenzied free verse
waking you
my dear I'm sorry for the caterwaul, the catafalque
of poems
I've scrawled, their jagged arrhythmia ECG monitor
boop boop
hooked up to arterial dreams scanning and probing for

The Sunday Muse

Quickly Now

stfu ode #12: to my morning coffee

oblivious my coffee speaking to me
too early while I am bleary as cold cream
no I don't want to hear your stupid story again
about the mezcalero and the jumping bean
playing poker all night in the back of the truck
on the way from the Yucatán you
so poor nothing to wear but sackcloth
the men in the fields stripping sugar cane
with their machetes toothless from sucking
cane all day rotting their teeth and no
I don't buy the beautiful girl in the factory
had eyes only for you picked you only you
your anguished parting your torment like an oven
from hell I want only lightning or silence
between words the way I want only lightning
or silence between buttered slices of toast lightning or
silence in the interstices of morning storm and wind
to wake to the smell of ozone the smell of burnt
air zapped alive and cupped
in the rain

Quickly Now

Atomic Dog w/ Whitman

every day, second or third hand, the dog gets a new name:
"Bismarck" say, or "Windham", or whenever I peel a clementine –
the skin fragrant and loose as a nom du plume –
my lingering mind confuses the prerogatives
of gods and poets
right now she's "Walt" because someone said
to sniff the grass and that is for sure her dominion,
the adoration and open door of scent, and what she assumes
I too will assume, breathing atoms of the restless
and faceless tide
then checking her for ticks and tocks, and time's re-reading
of the leaves before they curl and fall and blow and I forget
what I most needed to say, what was meant as song now
more like the growl of a lawn-mower, the madness of wild seeds
cut down to size

Quickly Now


You sniff and snuff for me
next to your pillow
like a sleepy truffle pig
rooting for your prize
even in dreams
Maybe love
grows best in darkness –
loamy, unseen –
a carrot say, or turnip
tapping our longing
In the morning, all
we can eat is before us
among vases of daylilies, begonias,
the table set
for two

Quickly Now

TSM 112

waking again with hair sticking up
like antlers,
my COVID doo and don't,
pillow wet where dreamwater
leaked from the corner
of my mouth
now the grass-fed belly of clouds
and thinking to gut them –
slice them open with the
knife edge of my palm,
hang them to bleed out
then salt and dry
or better my hair
is a field of antennae
scanning for life, where
Heaven plays its Top 10 hits
on the radio telescope 
in my skull

Quickly Now & The Sunday Muse

Ode til Torsk

3AM lying in the bottom of our boat
drunk as fishwives
strung on hooks of Everclear
we'd brewed with midnight sun
brighter in our eyes than any
singing hymns to the cod
in Norwegian 

Gunstig fisk!
Utgaven av havet
Eldste sønn av havet
Flott fisk av havet!
(Beneficent Fish!
Issue of the Ocean
Eldest son of the Ocean
Great fish of the Ocean!)

and the fish would rise
to our voices, to
our lures on ropes
barely tied to the oarlocks 

Dde rolige og rene herlighetene
Av havets dusør gitt
Omrøring gjennom vår dødelige ramme
Vend jorden selv til himmelen!
(The calm and pure delights
By ocean's bounty given
Stirring through our mortal frame
Turn Earth itself to Heaven!)

Which we thought was hysterical
as the fish would hammer the line
2-3 hits at a time
and we'd haul them in
I'd remove each hook
pinched between thumb and forefinger
laughing too at the blood
from steel stuck in my palm
I'm grateful to be the man
Jesus taught to fish,
grateful for the smell of fried cod
with a pinch of salt and pepper

Quickly Now