TSM 151

"I chalk my hands with Icarus ash,
the vault and rings of heaven
before me"  – qbit

                             "I saw you dip seagulls
                                            in blackest ink
                                          for crow words" 
                                                 – qbit's wife

I am spray can,
graffiti hearted
	                           shake shake shake
	                                          you awake, 
	         that metal ball in your chest
	  rattles and rolls, rocks and tolls,
	                                      mixes me up
I paint the dog 
fierce tiger stripes,
line the lion
with the lamb
	             your fizzy-fuzzy thoughts,
	                                 your vaporized 
	                                           fog of war 
                                        	    on words
krylon onomotopaint
liquitex rust-oleum, 
rust's proof of the rainbow
                                   godsend of snow,
	                                  a sleet primer

The Sunday Muse

TSM 150

Gentle reader – I walked again 
the beach this morning
for inspiration,
for the cold to cut off my nose
in spite of everything

Where the muttering sea
has deeded seals, deer, shoes, 
and an aviatrix or two –
winter provisions for me to thaw
and saw and see their way into poems

Today there was a piano –
seaweed in many keys and colors –
high and low tangled strings 
pitched overboard, vibrating 
in the felt hammer of wind

Fishing nets,
with notes caught up
from operatic sardines,
clams arpeggiated 
in scallop flats

You ask me how to get to Carnegie Hall 
and I say "Practice" 
but it is many miles to row 
and chase the whaled Manhattan
armed with harpoons of vaccine

Will we return to the abandonded city 
we fled with toilet paper flapping
out the windows of our car
like unspooled rolls from a player piano,
like flags of surrender?

The Sunday Muse

TSM 149

As she bent to answer 
the conch telephone –
hold it to her ear and take a call
from the bottom of the sea –
my wife found a sandal
washed ashore.
Green with algae and 
black with mold, 
the uppers were split, 
its sole flapping.
Some sturdy glue
holds together what remains,
stitching no shipwreck
could undo.
It is the color of broccoli, charred 
with oil, cracked pepper, and sea salt
that I learned to cook
in sheet pans this year.
A flapping soul –
how could it be otherwise?
Were we always these gulls
returning to land? 

The Sunday Muse

TSM 148

pawprints of feral cats
snowprance around 
the dead seal where 
winter licks its wounds –
hungry sex kittens 
doing lap dances,
their warm tongues 
in the bullet hole
that killed him –
strippers all, teeth 
ripping seal meat
into g-stringed ribbons
of fur
naughty muse, 
naughty muse,
you've caught me 
in your vice –
we are after all
but peeping Toms
and Thomasinas 
two bull-neck males
bark threats
from out in the waves –
warnings, grief, hunger – 
they keep watch 
over their own
like bouncers –
there will be no more 
grave robbing 
for me today

The Sunday Muse

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

An Aubade for Trilobites

This story, I’m walking deep in the moors
where even the deer become lost
and die of starvation
This story is an aubade for trilobites
their message in a bottle washed ashore
for lovers and horseshoe crabs
In this story, turkey vultures huddle
in their cage of wind and thicket
In this story, my hair
blows at right angles to my mind
In this story, you are at home,
still asleep
In this story, you are too long
gone from our bed. Trilobites
evolve when they are not observed.
Hello museOn s’amuse boucoup
The trilobite has crept
from your poem
into mine
You are welcome to it
they smell of the sea,
love, and dreams
triple bites
the hand that needs you
let the caged
ragged tagged
age old dream
split the difference,
split the tongue
let this
old bird sing
do vultures sing?
bill clacks
we are tasted
savored and
favored and
rawhide chewed
to undo you
your hair
dark-o-rama dark as Rama
bury buried buries
my eyes and nose and
of scent
of sense
cat got your tongue?
it wags, it shakes, it gets carried away,
a limp mouse
in grey fur
“A man’s character is his fate”“Nature likes to hide herself”

The Sunday Muse and Quickly

TSM 145

Snappish winds 
start a locker room towel fight,
welting my skin with pops of ice.

I don't see it coming, a left hook of cold 
blasts the side of my face 
and I'm seeing stars, no

It is snow,
the fisticuff air 
full of mirror shards

blown out of thin, tin air.
Color me gargantuan, 
color me snow blind,

the gloves are coming off 
you winter SOB! 
Wait no, the gloves go back on! Dammit!

a flurry, a blizzard
of blows]

"The first rule
of Fight Club…"]

[redacted: I am a mime
waving away rainbow gnats,
pestilent sparkles]

Back at the house,
the pipes are frozen, and when they thaw
they will burst.

January, by TKO. 

The Sunday Muse

TSM 144

With holes in their necks
where they might have last kissed 
or nuzzled,
not one, but two deer, frozen,
gently surface 
from a dune on the shore.

Their empty eye sockets
gaze upon each other –
bridal veil of sand pulled back 
by the sea –
ritual minister of joy
and last rites.

Were they driven from their families,
a hunted Romeo and Juliet?
Did they come down to this water
like you and I
to drink and die together from the beauty 
of sunrise?

My black jacket flapping
in the wind,
I join ravens
picking at the choice bits.

I hear your voice –
snow owl, prophetic wife, 
your scorn stiff with salt
and rime.

The Sunday Muse

TSM 143

A white-tail deer moons me, 
disappears behind clouds,
and I'm moon walking in the stumble-light
Tripping on potholes of moonman craters 
and astronaut seas 
mirrored in puddles
It is way past bedtime for stoats and voles,
they watch silent horror films of hawks, 
shadows that flicker on silver screen leaves
The taste of time on my tongue, 
my gloves soaked and cold 
from this morning's sleet
I trace a line to the Pole star, 
but is my filmy world a negative, I have it all 
backwards? Am I headed South, not North?
I walk in light, old and yellow as sticky tape,
peeled from b&w photos 
off the bottom of the sea

The Sunday Muse