Who’s that Knocking at my Door?



A shadow slumps in the doorway, a darkness hollowed by blazing corners

where the light exhales, squeezing past the hulking figure that is my father.

“What are we having for breakfast?” Code for make me something to eat.

Desires, requests, pleas, all are puzzles to a man who knows no direct say.

“Sure, go ahead and eat without me. You don’t give a shit about me anyway.”

Read: I want to be loved, appreciated and acknowledged as a human being.

He knows no direct. His sentences scrape the underside of a mirror, inverted.

An uneducated master of language manipulates impulses, inherited relations

to move, respond, act, resist and surrender–a force of father-thinned twining.

Mother instilled the love of words in those of us who shone in penning letters.

She idled hours in solving crosswords, leafing magazines, and correcting him.

“‘Don’t got’ is a double negative and makes you sound like an illiterate moron.”

Her words sliding by as if unspoken, he ignored her, she, his virtual dictionary,

until Scrabble time, where strategy schooled the unwary wordsmith defensed.

A board game master, card player extraordinaire and pathological liar, he waits.

Convinced long ago she filled me with philologist love, I glance upon his notion;

my words form around the blankness in the doorway, the gamesman stares me

while the muse I wrestled to the ground, a slutty run-around, scampers past him.

credit: i2.wp.com

Mindful, Mindless Moment


Slow sipping coffee on a pre-work, getting-ready-for-it morning break, she looks out the window onto the busy street. The soft drizzle powders passersby with a glint but there is no sun to reflect the shine and create jewels of these busy movers, so they merely look dusty wet.

“I work at a mindless dead end job,” she thinks as she sits and stares out the window, the people now in bas-relief, mere objects of her unfocused gaze.

“The repetition of breaking down and building up the frozen yogurt machine, it’s the same mechanics every day of draining the yogurt, both bins of the machine, in plastic four-gallon buckets, lugging them full and heavy to the refrigerator, running water through to flush the yogurt from the moving parts inside, wiping down the yogurt bins with sanitizer, unscrewing the faceplate of the machine, pulling it out along with the mixing blades and the crank shaft, and then stripping each of those down to their basic components, washing them all methodically, drying them just as methodically, greasing them back up, putting all the pieces to the basics on again, re-assembling them into the machine and finally pouring in the yogurt and turning the machine back on. It’s mind-numbing.”

Two young girls, perhaps late teens, walk by animatedly close to the window, their pink, teased out hair bobbing before her at eye level as she sits high on a pine stool tucked in close to its matching table. She is momentarily re-focused on the street activity, removed from her reverie.

She senses she has five more minutes before she needs to hit the road and off to work, giving her enough time for prepping and opening up the shop for the day’s business. She looks at the tree trunk of a clock seemingly growing above the serving counter on the other side of the cafe to confirm her suspicion.

The decor is eco-earthen hippy with its unvarnished pine tables and chairs and natural, charcoal wood-beamed ceiling, autumn colored table cloths of deep rich dark chocolates, rusts and oranges, and leafy printed matching napkins. The coffee is organic and the pastries vegan. Los Angeles.

“But there must be a reason for me to continue working there. I could quit any time. I should quit,” she continues. “I have a Masters degree in Political Science. It’s humiliating. I could wait tables and make more.”

Approaching her table now is the smiling young waiter with the heartbreak haircut, romance and freedom spelled in its asymmetry, long locks below the left ear sweeping from short shaved up right side of his head. His eyes are rich deep espresso gleam, his smile a thin lemon peel twist.

Holding a mini coffee pot, he asks, “Do you need a re-heat?” as he smiles that twist to the corners, exposing pleasantly symmetrical square white teeth. His entire face smiles.

She cannot help but smile in rejoinder–slightly, the corners of her mouth marginally upturned while the rest of her lips remain in repose. “No thank you.”

He moves on past her after nodding faintly in her direction, the smile still installed in his face fitted out for it.

“I’m sure his job is mindless too. He seems intelligent, something in his face and eyes, his hipster clothes. I wonder if he is staying in it for money or because the schedule fits in with his school schedule, or a second job, or perhaps he’s in between careers, has criminal charges pending or is helping out a family member,” she muses. “No, those would all be me.”

Swiveling her head slowly toward the window again, her chin re-installed onto her folded up fist like a podium, she watches the people-wave rushing by. So many colors, shapes and pace of the life-passing-by street, a whir of stewed up cells, ions, protons, all the biospheric material.

“I think I have to learn something there, something about patience and process,” she ponders, immediately looking down on the three healing cuts, one deep and aggravated on her thumb and the other two older and more superficial on her index fingers.

“When I drift, let my mind wander from the immediate task, the immediate step in the process, steps as unforgiving as instructions to fixing a computer software problem, unmerciful in its unwavering necessity for methodological exactitude, I get hurt.”

A skateboarder threads the lull in the ever-marching morning mania, only two groups of three people each to skirt around.

“I have to be present and faithful to each movement in this mindless operation. Otherwise, I miss something or do it inexactly, which causes something else down the line to malfunction. Or I try to rush bending the plastic blade coverings over the metal blades, so that when my fingers force them into the tuck of the fastener, I brush the top of my thumb over the blades and catch the sharp edges for a painful skin divot.”

The smiler returns and deliberately places the bill down beside her elbow planted atop the wood and ingratiatingly near-whispers, “When you’re ready,” and he’s off, leaving the suck of air that follows him from the heated room’s palpable atmosphere of coffee particles and central heat from shared street-lined shops dust.

She opens her purse and reaches in a pocket without looking, pulling out a few singles and a five in a grab fist of money. She looks at the singles, realizes it isn’t enough and lays the five down on the check, looking for brown eyes to meet hers in the unspoken code of near departure.

She lifts her thrift-store faux leopard skin lined trench coat as it drapes across the stool on the opposite side of the table, and fits her shoulders inside the arm holes, wearing it as a cape. She swings her purse strap over her left coat-covered shoulder as she walks to the door and opens it, looks out onto the busy street, first glancing left then right, as if she were expecting to cross traffic safely. Stepping out the door onto the sidewalk, she turns right, quickening her pace to meet that of the masses, even though no one is immediately nearby to keep pace with her.

“Back to the rock pile. There’s froyo to be served to sweet craving, self-deluded folks,” she sighs as she heads briskly down the now wetter sidewalk.

me and mrs. muse

Me and Mrs. Muse, we got a thing, a fight.
She comes to me with mighty nightly leer
But turns her bitch ass home come sunlight.

She seduces my daylight vision’s crafty trip
wets me up my wadded panties stuffed up
my jeans snugged up into jiz of jealous drip

Then she’s off to some other clit, slit or dick
leaving me in the kitchen’s neon buzz sink
dried up drizzle of crusted cum’d up slick.

Where ya been mutha fuckin’ cheater cunt?
Whose fake cock have you been riding lately?
Making your rounds of minds’ decrepit songs?

Oh won’t you come my mistress sweet, my love?
Snuggle me deep with mystery rhyme and weep?
Sleep in my words your breathful hymn, my dove?

For only the moment of you will deepen my deep
and face and force and forget you your denial
though frost and fire in others’ words you keep.

Mistress Muse Has Left the Building

Theater, theater everywhere and not a jot to spare.
I awake to coffee spill and news-ful cancer’d glare.
And fire drill call to hurry up let’s go I’m gonna be late.
Flinging my body to stand from sleep, I jerk my gait.

O where is my morning muse with her golden hair?
She is cleaning the sick of crusted plates from night.
She is driving the pouting glum of stare to school late.
She is plumbing pieces of despair picked from market.

Theater, theater in the air and none too soon to bear.
I lunch on steering wheel carousel toast with shmear.
From work to work I go changing shoes at red lights.
And home again to gaze into supper’s dull delights.

O where is my afternoon muse with her flesh of dun?
She is quilting the patches of place to place and back.
She is feeding the abysmal depths of teenage hunger.
She is bickering the truth of decaying parental mind.

Theater, theater nowhere near the pleasure palace be.
I sleep in hollow cavern deep with laundered sheets.
And trace the catatonic trail of deeds that light leads.
To bed alone with fantasy flee’d I sweep seams free.

O where is my night late muse with her sleeping brow?
She is unloosing strands tied tight in day’s do and do.
She is fallowed dark in forms of wisp and trollop sims.
She is aloft in costumed stages of trim repair of dreams.


Mistress Muse Where Are You?

When the thought I seek doesn’t come
I sit poised, fingers frozen in mid-type,
waiting for the words to percolate down
from my brain to my digits in wait, ready

But when sentences flow without stop
when they pour onto pad seamlessly
is when there is no thought, only flow
flying letters flipping up the paged screen

The stretch of linguistic limbs of mind
and the barren desert of heart desire
produces no cave gem of the delightful
just a wrenched out, eked out word squirt

Drenched in the sweat of sexless desire
it hurts to turn the cogs and wheels on
to keep the grooves oiled and tea hot
I am no longer the poet I was ever before.