Estate Sale


Man and woman pictured with their dog in the garden of a home in Queensland


She will buy your shoes
and he, my blues
albums, the whole set.
It would amuse
you, their quips on our
decor. They cruise
the round two-toned couch—
a vacant ruse
to check out that vase,
softly abuse
my “quite kitschy” taste.
We will lose
what means the least now.
The dark bruise
of life fades gently out.
Our dues are
paid, our burdens light.




Because This Word Should Be In The Dictionary— The Ukulele and Kazoo Version


Newmarket Railway Kazoo Band, 1915


The ukulele and kazoo version

 /ˈthē/ /yü-kə-ˈlā-lē, ˌü-/ / ən(d)/ kə-ˈzü vər-zhən, -shən
n. phrase   An artwork that appears brilliant at first look, and middling-to-goshawful in retrospect:  Albert thought American Beauty was brilliant, until he saw All About Eve.  He then realized, to his horror, that American Beauty was the ukulele and kazoo version of a classic American film.  

{Orig.  Mod. Bluebirdian parlance, Texas-specific}


Library Appeal , 1973


Becoming Continental

Byrd Airport terminal

I never thought I’d arrive again
unsure in my black gloves, pigeon-toed,
uncertain: This transition akin to states of grace—
But I have arrived to this terminal,
cross-eyed and wobble-legged—
I tried to brace myself against the truth
of that snapped inner thread, that wicked confusion
of air, sky, planes and landings.

I have learned entire continents this way,
landing hard on black asphalt—
with my empty stomach; a silly souvenir,
to wait out the gate in slumbering cities.
or shift heel to heel, almost dancing,
tired, worn and endlessly hungry.
Baggage mashed. Destined in my wrinkled suit
to board again. I have lived

For those seconds the large wheels turn
the slight bump before the sky appears.
I read Shirley Jackson for the fifth time, sip
water, soothe the sobbing child across from me—
knowing we will land again, her broken toy
mended, but transformed. By distance.

You know how I said last week that I only plan to post poems rarely? Well, I try to keep my words sweet, so that when I have to eat them, I don’t cringe. One more poem is scheduled for this week. What can I say? You all are inspiring me to go from drafts to finished poems at a faster clip than normal, and I thank you for your kindnesses.

Because This Word Should Be In The Dictionary— Demi-Digital Hiatus

Fotograaf eet boerenkool met worst / Photographer eating hotchpot


Demi-Digital Hiatus  ˈ/de-mē-ˈdi-jə-təl/ /hī-ˈā-təs/ n. phrase  1. An intermittent break from all digital devices and communication.  {See:  Di•gi•tal Hi•a•tus}

Digital Hiatus  /ˈdi-jə-təl/ /hī-ˈā-təs/ n. phrase  1.  A break from all digital devices including, but not limited to: the internet, cell phones, and most especially, Facebook.  2.  A polite term for taking a respite from the World Wide Web, as a non-Luddite exploration of the non-internet world:  Ralph had to take a Digital Hiatus when he went camping last year.  The upshot was, when he got back, he forgot how his cellphone worked and had 3,000 emails with the header:  Do you have a sparse moustache?  Make it Tom Selleck-thick using this one weird old trick! {Orig. Luddite Holiday, prob. deriv. of Normal Life.} {See also:  De•mi-Di•gi•tal Hi•a•tus.}

Library Appeal , 1973