Ashes

So you broke down,

trying to find peace.

I know you don’t know

me. it happens you see,

you never see my yard,

weeds have taken over,

take cover I am dying.

Keep me somewhere in a pocket,

my family’s not on the docket

you say sardonic taste in my ears.

Go home little one, place my face

in a drawer, in an attic. I’ll see to it

you have part of me for Ash Wednesday.

Amen.

My Last Prom

I found you dead on page six

obituaries. I knew those eyes.

I stared longingly many times

as my breath caught in conflict.

I loved you but I didn’t, not really.

Eighteen, dumb, no grasp on aging,

maturing, war was waiting, and loving

you was a leisure I couldn’t pay so I left you

in a storm, dirty pool, wrong headed.

I’m sorry. You’re dead, I am spirituality

gone, stone drop from sanity. I am gone.

Arty’s Story

Each morning it’s “off to work love.”

Each time I am lost, never could live without you,

pity me Lord, my body now frail

without a will to continue this trip

across the Milky Way, it’s just too much.

I can’t bear this loneliness, lungs struggling,

this heart’s dragging me here and there.

“Doing good Arty,” the nurse says somberly.

“You’ll be running about in no time.”

Where too, I wonder and to whom or what,

a gurney maybe rolling slowly to man’s self built hell,

sifting sands of my time on earth?

A hole no doubt, a wooden box where it’s ‘off to work love.”

Farewell Toto

You gave nothing back in your departure.

I wanted, needed words of comfort, love, wisdom.

I wanted you to use the word “love” just once

in our seventeen years of war, violence, scatless romance.

What a flat rock we created through the winds of nihility.

We germinated from different plants, different cracks you see.

I left it all behind garnering dreams, wishes, hopes. I made my way

back to reality and the cold steel of truth, painful, unhealing.

So have a great afterthought, afterlife, or afterbirth. It’s your call.

Dinosaurs

Nothing crystal in Altoona’s

railroad shops, I tried

to grow a flower there

but the bud blossomed inward

for no one’s eyes

an implosion of beauty.

Just now in afterthought

do I see the petals

and from whence they came?

Locomotives came and went

black dinosaurs feeding

on strength only men could give.

I’ve often wondered

about man’s power,

the power of rivets and hot flesh

wrapped in greasy denim

where flowers dare to grow.

The caustic bites of railroaders

exploding in sweat and fumes

wounding comrades

but for just a moment you see

in retrospect no time was given

for healing balms,

just time for slinging spit and tales

of whores and pimps of yesteryear.

So how this flower grew

I’ll never know except

perhaps its roots ran deeper

than dust and acid smoke

down deep where dinosaurs

could never reach.

A silent part of me where maybe

not even I could reach.

Goodbye Daddy

Black night snow licking

at my toes,

daddy’s dead.

The trees bend in reverence

for his passing soul.

His corpse still haunts me

quiet and still like a Quaker’s prayer.

I watched six men labor at his coffin

tugging him to an empty mouth

of dirt and snow

I still cry today for my naiveté.

I did not know the man

my creator and chief.

I bow now in reverence of his dream

mine to keep like a flower

in an ancient bible.

Twenty Bullets

Welcome to the hemisphere

twenty bullets will take your cell phone

black twisted licorice as far as the eye can see

triple K brothers and sisters sit where they want

fuck where they want, and shit where they want

God bless each and every one.

“If you aint white you aint right,” comes the thunderous

Alabamian crowd tramping on the holiest bridge in the world.

“Aint nothin’ a good AR Fifteen can’t fix in seconds flat.”

The K boys don’t care about an Alabama minute or a dead boy

only took twenty bullets to drop his cell phone.

Washing Sheets

It’s hard to bear the memories,

those aqua crystal moments

time lapsed inside my mind.

Your suitcase packed, unpacked,

then packed again

you were never here for more than a breath.

I guess the sheets need washed,

folded to forget you,

to forget the exotic fragrance

you left behind.

Heartbreak Jive

Left arm jiving

motel swinging sign

fingers popcorn poppin’

feet sliding doors dancing

to a tune in my head.

Rhythm ruckus like mob love

sixth avenue never gave a hoot

about singing my heartache.

Shingles

In the cellar of my thoughts

you come creeping up the stairs

like nausea to surface

on my tongue, wagging farewells

behind you, those goodbyes

that hang like shingles

hinged to my lips

swinging frantically

each time you walk away.