Archive for the '1' Category

Heaven Workshop

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

And above each eye, a strip of hair,
said God early in the design process.
To stanch the flow of sweat? an angel asked,
Yes, and for good looks, said God.
At that, the workshop laughed.
I’m serious, said God.
There has to be a horizontal rule
between the pair of peepers
and the forehead, right here at the bend
where socket rims to brow.
He pointed with his cane.
Hard brow, said God, about to drift
into one of his soliloquys – but
stopped himself. Time for a break?
asked God. Oh yes, he said to them.

• • •

Newberg Scene

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

for the Ottos

Just walked into the kitchen for a cookie.
Five poets were hunkered around the cookie jar,
apparently defending it. “This isn’t a poem,”
said one, rubbing his eyes from lack of sleep—
referring, somehow, to this very text.
“Ah, but it is,” said another. “It has line endings.”
“May I have a cookie?” I asked, expectantly.
“Only if you stop narrating yourself
into your own poem,” said one of them.
By now, however, I was nearly deaf
from the sound of poetry in my ears,
the stopping and starting, the lilting,
the framed sorrow, the personal burdens.
“Personal Burdens,” I told the cookie guardians.
“That’s what I’ll call my punk band.”
“No cookie for you,” announced one of them.
I left the kitchen disappointed—but inspired.

• • • 

Your Warpaint

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hi. Jealous? Haha, thought not.
In any case, the roses you bought
and stuck emotionlessly in a vase
and set indecorously in the center
of the dining room table have begun
to brown and flake a bit. Wilt,
I suppose you’d say. Fallen petals
as papery as your aging skin, tbh,
and that’s not meant to be a knock
against you personally, but against
aging. Whereas our heart pine
dining set, hand-made by artisans
somewhere in the vague farmland
north of us, is exactly as it was
when we bought it—if not more so.
“A well-wrought thing, though dumb,
takes only a lifetime to become
exactly what it already is.” Bizarre.
Whereas you, well, you’re always
just a bit less than what you are.
So I try to phrase everything
just a bit strangelier than you’re
used to. And you try to paint
your time-destroyed face just a bit
youngerly than I’m accustomed to.
Which makes us a perfect
couple of dopes, doesn’t it?
One insanely cute but angry.
One weathered and keeps dropping
puns. Isn’t this where we started?
It’s where we began. Love you.

• • •

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.

• • •