New Traditions

The special one. You are two.
Three is a thrill the-like-of-which
we’ll not see soon. You see saw
past tents into grammatical cabins
syntactical picnic tables. Math matters
math ticks, sinks relationships
people click attraction creates
addition impervious to division.

Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of subtraction
negatives multiply into positives. Integers compound
and grammar officiates a union that inspires equal
with confounds. I have found magic in words.
Learned the alchemical origins of communication.
Rules are worms for premature birds.
Conditions are by nature conditional.
Make up new traditions.
Nothing’s more traditional.

We Don’t

I have a purse full of thoughts and comments
ridiculously well-worded criticisms I clutch
tight while you walk too close to me for comfort
past me on the sidewalk side-piece cheating
on the street. I bite my tongue then swallow the meat.
I have nothing else to eat. Oftentimes I pray a little curse
to the one true God I keep, to stuff you in a sack tied tight
with all the mistakes you’ve ever given me.
Stitched on the bag: fixed.
Says it on my bag too. Full of bitten words
aimed at a taste of you. I’ve eaten a ton of tongue.
Penned a hundred letters I’ll never send
explaining the way the world works
because we don’t.

Forever Children

Peeling pines, slicing sap, raw chicken under that, turning trees into fence posts, hands into tape, reshape sticks so they can be stuck eight feet apart along a property line older than I am. The land is the oldest member of the family. With some grandchildren pushing half a century. We could build a barn from a thinning, a clear cutting would only be the beginning of paying the bills and paving the fields that stretch pasture horizons. So I’m building fences the way Noah did his boat. Like a crazy person. Doing more work to pay into a belief than some do to pay their bills. Building to fulfill a future billing. One only I can see through the trees, which are thick and stifling, and create long winding hallways like the labyrinth planted by dead grandpa Dedalus, his one and only son couldn’t help but fly so close to the other one, forty years spent self-exiled from his own inheritance. So his wings melted. Feathers scattered. Wax splattered. 

When I got here, a Minotaur was running the farm milking swollen titans and twisting venomous serpents striped the stumps, Medusa did no chores but loved to hump, hissing valkyries laid their eggs but no one came to collect them, no one cut the grass, no one shut the gate. When I got here, the land was farmed by fate. I showed up ten years too late. Like some kind of agricultural Theseus. Still trying and almost dying to prove our selves to parents who don’t belong to us, and who we never belonged to in the first place. 

Humanity, forever children, just, children of the Gods.

The Bait

Take and plant this seed. Be patient,
soon we’ll eat. For now,
give it to darkness. Same place all else
grows rotten. And see this seed will grow.
But change is not soon stopping. With water,
sunlight, and timing, this seed soon will be vining.
Then take and eat these beans.
Months ago you held as seeds.
Think how we had nothing,
we still planted the seed.

Now deep inside yourself,
highest on the shelf,
buried in soil spelled soul.
Look hard within your self, and know.
You were once this seed. Seeds still there
inside you. The bitter and tooth-breaking.
Least sweet, and least worth tasting.

Here comes the farmer now.
One who respells soil soul.
The one who gathers seeds.
Not food or fruit, seeds alone.
Be bitter, or be sweet.
We are not judged by how we taste.
But instead by what we wasted,
because we never tasted.
Sweetness isn’t the destination.
It was only ever the bait.

Morning poem

Sincerely seven AM. Hard to lie once you’re up in the morning.
The animals make noise. The kid climbs into bed, again.
Sporadic drips tap the rain gutter on the bottom.
A little blue-gray daylight weakly fingers the blinds.
The mind’s eye only opens wide. Until two lackeys
on the front of your face pop the lid.
There’s a smile on the face of the kid,
though his eyes are still closed behind blonde eyelids.

Once one of the three of us passes gas and all conscious chuckle.
The quiet buckles. By seven thirty four feet hit the floor
and we’re all upright individuals after a long night of telling lies.
We brake fast for breakfast but it only takes the first bite to fill us.
The rain has plans changed and the temptation in the word wait
increases like puddles in the yard. Someone will tend to the farm.
The other will straighten up house. And the kid. He’s a lucky
one. But even water grows tired of heaven. Woke up at seven.
To the sound of it going back to bed.

All-Questions

All the thoughts in my head are formatted
with question marks chasing after them.
I would know nothing if not for confusion..
Questions made me who I am. Like who am I?
What is I. Eyes can’t see. Ice on the grass.
For the first time since seven months ago.
Seems so long. So any questions answered since.
Makes my head spin. Questions turn the earth.
For many reasons. For at least four seasons.

Sticky Note Poetry

How is this man my
teacher, stretched out
and lost meaning-reacher,
whose mind fell out
through the bleachers
lost thought-blood
to the leechers.

I’ve reached the end
of my rhyme but I
still have time
lines left to right
and slowly down
icky sticky stuck on
itchy notary
sticky note poetry.
Wow.
I see how
he is my teacher.
Now.
Though I think
he’d prefer
to play preacher.

The Window

could be cleaned
should
would
in another house
squeaking beneath a different hand
window-broken wall in this house
above this hand
not under it
revealing blurred movement
through a dingy window.

The light
it splashes
across the page
broken by shadows
intersecting lines
zagging dull trails
where moisture
streaked
dripped
leaves a white trail
beside white swipes
of misplaced paint
brushes missing marks by miles
in the center of the pane
shadow most solid on the page.

The window won’t ever be cleaned
yet tells more than the impenetrable tale
of a backyard. Jotted over with notes
off the nose of a dog
a strained prose on the topic
curiosity, poetry of lazy painters
paid hourly and more
fingerprints than detectives dust
proof irrefutable and close to clear
that here
this dingy window
I am closest to the world.

Just Because

Is the first cell
that splintered into fusion
following the black path of the atom
still inside me?

Like rings in a tree
are there layers laced
beneath my surface
that formed during the social drought
of my teens?

Are my last good credit score twenties
still swiping cards for bills inside me or beside me
is the kid I once was hiding
waiting
for some impossible seeker to find.

When thirty-five year old
tired and self described wise
lets eyes wander and retire
does that ring on my index finger
pierced through the brow
or the split lip of my former self
see an opportunity?

A take-over.
And thirty-five year old I
deny and declare some crack up
like I don’t know what that was
where that came from
I might even say
it wasn’t me.

Albeit was.
When I was thirteen
and mean
just because.

Oh you life

Oh you life, pompous and loud, loopy yet proud. Lightning crashing parties in heaven.
At the entrance telling lies that barrel down deep like thunder, a second too late, truth debates shaking ground from sound, flustered, rippled air. The clouds hoisted rain withheld,
dangled, above head, just out of reach, beyond, water in aerated ascended ponds
casting shade and crooked lines so thin you can see through them, translucent,
as rain rapidly sinking, the ferocious storms of real, devoted thinking, consideration. Uncompromising. Life, oh, how there are those who paint you anywhere
other than in raging weather, wind leaves trees giant rustled chickens
flashing pale upturned feathers, branches falling crashed lightning but closer, nearer,
thunder felt under feet, in ankles, before there is time to even hear.
There are those who do not know the meaning of awe.
Most feel only frightened, tired, ducking heads, cowering out of the rain,
cursing an unknown creator seed-planting our pain. Oh my life.

When I was a child, how I loved the sunny dispositions of my parents.
And vilified heir strifes. The complex truth of their lives.
The disparate realities of parents.

Oh life, like parents, your love, your presence, is one of many forms.
But it wasn’t until I was grown and worn, that I found comfort in storms.