Here’s to Rainbows

Here’s mud in your eye and salt in your glass
Here’s to a six-foot-tall Tinkerbell with a halo of fire,
 a spoiled brat who pushed between me and the pinball machine
 and would not take “no” for an answer
Here’s to nervous dogs with tails curled under
 and skinny cats hiding in cupboards
Here’s to your music
 I’ll never listen to that vile stuff again
Here’s to whatever you were writing
 all the way to the margins
Here’s to bowling in a miniskirt;
 if I have ever been in love, it was then
Here’s to pictures of your mom that look just like you
Here’s to step-dads who stick it out
Here’s to bottles of vodka stashed in purses
Here’s to haircuts that turned into hostage situations
Here’s to getting run over by what you saw coming
Here’s to wanting you back:
 to wanting to touch your face
 like a leper wants to touch Jesus Christ
 like a fainting fan wants to touch John Lennon
 like a junkie wants a fix
Too soon?
Here’s to never falling in love with another addict
Here’s to knowing I will love whoever reminds me of you
Here’s to knowing I would do it all again, but differently
Here’s to nights we spent watching American Horror Story
 I hope you come back as a sexy ghost and scare the shit out of me
Here’s to the rest of us
Here’s to getting as old as possible
 to liver spots and flatulence
 false teeth and boner pills
Telling the same story every Christmas
Here’s to grandkids and great-grandkids waiting for their inheritance
And here’s to holding on one more year to spite them
Here’s to poems that are more pumice than polished quartz
And here’s to rainbows-
 they never last, but there’s no use crying about it.

No Comments

We’re all damaged here.
This room collects stories
like a city park
collects dirty needles,
like a hoarder keeps
old sandwich wrappers
in paleolithic heaps.

Trudy talks to the devil
and steps on sidewalk cracks
(hoping.) And last night
I saw Justin eat
a live mouse to impress
a girl who likes geeks.
It worked, but she’ll get bored,
so soon, Justin will need
to eat a bigger beast.
His pride
is not so big as a mouse,
but he’ll eat that, too.

The kids in this room all laugh,
but what’s a geek to do?

A wet cat walks by,
and here comes Saintly Sue,
arms full of blankets-
has touched no warm and vital
person in three years,
but holds the cat with love
so fierce it burns and shines
with clear white light
that parts the curtain of rain
falling around this house.

I love this awful place
and all the awful people
hiding in its rooms
like hermits waiting for God
and blessed are the hungry
for they shall be filled.

No Comments


When the Inquisition finds him
Talking with trees and calling the spirits of the air
They bind his hands and feet
And flog him in the public square

Assault him with scripture
And pile hot coals upon his chest
Beat him with branches
Until his sin is all confessed

And when he cries aloud
That there is one true God
They release his broken body
Bearing the wounds of Christ

But like their God, his gods
Dwell not in temples made with hands
And when the last grove is built into a church
The shrine within his heart still stands

No Comments

Life is as beautiful as death is beautiful
Bees are as beautiful as butterflies
 are as beautiful as beetles
Skin is as beautiful as fig leaves
Blood is as beautiful as blooming poppies
Worms are as beautiful as corpses
 are as beautiful as newly-planted seed

When I say that life is beautiful
I don’t mean my life is beautiful
Or living is pleasant

I mean the inevitable history of all life
 is beautiful
The single-celled sea frothing
Tendrils rising toward the surface
Through which fish swim
And follow the current upriver
To die in the mouths of bears
Hunted nearly to extinction
By a few chimpanzees
Who dared to drop out of the trees
And pick up a gun
Or a pen.

No Comments

For Kristine

You sent me a picture
Of a book
On a table

I closed my eyes
It was the best
Part of my day

The cool breeze
Passing over hands
Warmed by the sun

The smell of ink and paper
Mingling with steam
Rising from a cup of coffee

The sound of pages
Turning and people
Walking in the ped mall

I opened my eyes
All I could see was my cubicle
All I could hear was the distance

No Comments