Archive for the '1' Category

One Enormous Question

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What if it turns out some of the guys I’m friends with
aren’t really “guys,” but placeholders of some ilk?
Gel-filled horse hide, sewn shut, striated
with leisure marks, handful of realistic teeth, “eyes,” maybe
some old bones submerged in the goo?
I shudder to think. Truthfully, a few of them don’t speak—
or tend to mumble. Some have such soft mouths
I want to plotz. I just want to lose it. The way moonlight
drips off New Orleans tree branches late on
a post-Victorian weeknight. You’ve seen
         it? That mellow glow?

• • •
 

My Truth

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Hey, I’m sorry if I’m from somewhere
and not everywhere. Sorry I’m me and not
everyone else. Sorry if I’m committal,
educated—unattractive. Sorry if me
being me means me being judgmental.
Sorry if I am, indeed, the All-Time Judge,
Arbiter of Truth. Sorry if I win, have won,
and will always win because of who I am.
Sorry if my winning means your losing.
I did try, in college, to be open-minded.
I tried to read a novel. To drink chai.
I tried to travel, I did, I did. I stopped me.
Me being me back then meant me being
stopped in my own shoes as though
those were the shoes I was born wearing.
Of course that wasn’t true: and it isn’t.
I can change but mustn’t—in a sense, can’t.
Am, in fact, encouraged not to. I’m me
and will “do me,” as I’ve been told. I will
obey. I will keep on calmly carrying on
as this mud-hearted book-badger, this
hater of other men’s lies, this distruster
of children and destroyer of dreams,
this distributer of jokes and wincing
sighs, this damp-boxered fleshling
ambling rubberily from corner to corner
and streetlight to streetlight wondering
what he might’ve lost along the way—
wondering but, honestly, not worrying.

• • •

Scales of Justice

Monday, January 8, 2018

“Scales of justice”
assumes a slightly different hue
if you believe justice to be a snake—
or when you, late in life, realize
justice is a mere schoolgirl
practicing piano early
in the morning.
Her scales, while perhaps
annoying, are necessary.
Someday she could shine.
Justice isn’t a snake, though.
If anything, justice scales
the walls of your prison
of self-definition
and then jumps awkwardly down.

• • • 
 

The Bar Code

Sunday, January 7, 2018

When dogs hear a phrase like, “Scan the bar code,”
they’re going to think you mean peruse the dog poem.
“Scan the bark ode.” That sort of thing. Dogs,
thank God, don’t fuss much except when it comes
to bones and unexpected visitors, so go ahead and use
your confusing phrases, human. Speak as though
your bipedal counterparts are the only ones listening,
but know that winter is coming. Know that the end
is, if not nigh, exactly, nearly nigh, and there
will be a reckoning. A “barkoning,” if you will?

• • •
 

Wintry Mix

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Search the internet for
Cool first line of poem.
Search for strong poem concept.
AllGreatQuotes. Writer’s Digest.

Meanwhile the wind brings down
the outdoor temps
into the lower teens, and we
keep noodling on our laptops.

We keep sponging our plates
with our tongues and making
little breathing noises
like trapped raccoons.

It’s why I love you
and why I don’t
all wrapped
up into one

bingeable second season
of clothes shopping, raw lust,
fast food, and diet drugs.
And baseball.

• • •
 

No “I” in “Blind”

Friday, December 15, 2017

There’s no “I” in “blind”
as far as I can see.

• • •
 

Secret Sauce

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

What’s the secret sauce of our group’s a-ha moment?
The difference-maker is teamwork but not just teamwork:
It’s about doing a gut-check with everyone around us.
It’s this philosophy that ideas are not just ideas,
they’re what we do every day—individually and as teams.
What do I mean by teams? You just have to figure out
where each project’s pain point is, and that tells us
who we are and what we’re about both as product managers
and brand owners and as brand managers and product owners.
You see, it isn’t just about the tipping point anymore.
We’re past that. It’s about circling back to regroup
for a deeper dive when we have more time to brainstorm.

• • •

Not Unreasonable

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It’s not unreasonable to think
that it might make sense for us
to embrace leadership principles
we can both leverage and implement
not only within our own team
but across the broader organization.

• • •
 

It’s a Wonderful Life, Alternate Ending

Thursday, December 7, 2017

In which a middle-aged Harry Bailey,
no longer a war hero and still depressed
about his older brother’s attempted suicide,
himself begins to consider jumping off a bridge
but is interrupted by an absent-minded angel
who compels him to walk through Bedford Falls
not as it would be if he’d never been born
but as it would be if he’d been born Mr. Potter’s son:
He never would have gone to war—never
would have won the Medal of Honor. Every man
on that transport would have died because he
wasn’t there to save them, but it wouldn’t
have mattered because he would have been
Harry Potter! Kid wizard, loved by all!!

• • •

[Originally published here and there in 2010]

The Transition

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I have gone from not being able to stop
finding measuring tape—sewing kit mini,
bulky orange construction grade, basic black
with belt clip, Disney souvenir, tailor’s cloth—
tucked in the junk drawer, left next to Fourth
of July sparklers on the outbuilding shelves,
or down on the workbench (two of them)—
to needing to see if one of my hallway walls
is at least 63 inches long and not being
able to locate even one. Not one. What
is going on, God? What is happening to me?

• • •