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Death Rattle

The pretend parishioners, slowly swallowed by their prey, walk past white steeples. Boa constrictors disguised as old women’s fashion statements steal their last breath. Crocodile cowboy boots, suddenly alive, feast on the remains. The absurdity of it all, not lost on the naked undertaker signing the cross with his missing fingers. Is this how the believers disappear from earth? Naked

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The Game

Mommy said I had to wear
the red turtleneck, Aunt Laura’s gift,
tarantula legs wrapping round my throat.
It was Davy’s second birthday,
and I was four. This is the game
I have to play. Fuzzy scarlet fingers
pressing into my pulse point…

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Child’s Play

The cabinet doors slide open: a stage — / red and blue ceramic mushrooms (they / don’t dance) / poodle-head perfume bottle (might dance) / glass deer chained to her babies (she can’t / stop to dance)…

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The Hairdresser

Everything in life has culminated to this moment. Sitting in a leather chair with long worn padding, grasping long thin fingers against the denim of your pocket, counting change, making sure; Hairdressers and farriers both only have three questions: how do you do? What do you do? And who do you do? All of which surprisingly could be logically answered

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I was admiring the aristocratic Grande Dame portrait on a Tuesday afternoon; a day when the Abruzzo Museum of Art History is hauntingly inactive and I’m free from the perturbed looks I get from the usual late-week crowd. I’m reluctant to admit, but somewhere along my embryonic development my Pavlovian wires got crossed and because of these ritual Tuesdays, I

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Pirate’s Breath

The graphic squawk of tattoos
ringing a bicep,
blue ink scrambling over ancient scars
Time for more pirate’s breath prose,
a hot sauce thick with
chunks of the unsayable and unacceptable…

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New Holland 1788

Sinner get ready / God will save my upper back & the / brick upon my knee / to soon ricochet, no hope no fear. / Sinner get ready— / there’s sanctum in a fragile void…

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in praise of my happy trail

my body is a hungry maw, bearskin
wired along the mound streaming to coarse
red and thick as my blood. overeager
swim upstream, dark—nearly black—on stark
pale, it is a beast within the flesh machine…

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The Gate

You’re halfway over Quincentennial Bridge when the music stops. Your perfect fantasy comes to a gunshot halt, and you look at your phone as the battery dies and the screen fades to black. The world you were living in crashes down around you in an unholy, cataclysmic, millisecond apocalypse, and now it’s just you and the things you’re left alone

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