The swingset

Unable to resist
the crunch of the mulch
the slinky whisper of stones
or the coughing of sand
beneath my feet.

Unable to resist
the chapped lips and chafed hands
the rusted stink and slivers of wear
the chain link of swing and rubberband seat

Unable to resist
the reach of shoes to sun
the ignorance of gravity and gloat
watching the uncemented posts of the swingset float

Unable to resist
the back and forth
the universe showing me off like a yo-yo
practicing me to go “around the world”
but stuck on “walk the dog”
and “you are getting very sleepy”

When I was swinging at 7
I used to wonder about someone else
swinging just like me
at just this moment
at just this point in the world reversed

I now walk to each pair of swings
and look for the holes in the mulch where the set would come apart
and wake the world to my knowledge
that it was me I was wondering
me who would be swinging just like me
at just this moment

unable to resist
that the world reversed
was just a reflection
of time.


Construction Zone

soothing the sound barrier
like a screaming robot.

shovels dig and splay the broken street
right in front of others
the loaded cars breathing ragged
on all sides.

road signs
threaten with the menace of a mouse
in a lion’s mouth.

orange orange
black messages
slow, be prepared to stop,
rough road ahead.


I wrote once about the flutter of the birds.

The uncanny itching at the back of my neck
when I see them amassed on the power lines
or spread out like fallen leaves on the pavement

just before they go.

I wonder when they leap in unison
silent but for the flap of freedom

whether they were spooked
sentient of what’s to come
and jumping ship before
the pulling of our world apart

or merciful
easing their flock into flux
their combined weight lifting the world

at once

and showing the safety in brethren.

To the Wind

The moment I arrived here
your movement was inevitable
your insistence to know me palpable
your crash into me sound.

There are some
who find the music of our conversation

our tinker and tanker loud
pushing matter around, shrill and

There are some who surrender
who hear our adventure
who marvel the volumes between our song.

The evening sends you faster
brings more of my laughter
but I prefer the morning.

The brisk of you early
quiet murmurs, careful swinging
I am knowing your patterns by knowing.

They could watch us every day
but instead we fade
into their landscape background.

I am fine without lines
without center of eyes
I am alive when you are around me.

I Can Hear My Sleep

Twitching in the legs of the bug outside
fluttering in the fluorescent-drenched moth
tickling in the wind on my cheek

I can hear my sleep.

Soft breaths pulled in like the evening tide
counting the blackness and make-believe stars
washing your face off my cooling mind

I can hear my sleep.

Picturing the clothes I’ve torn off the night
putting to bed the id and her playmate
walking the dog who barks in my head

I can hear my sleep.

A Thank You Note to Bartolomeo Cristofori

I used to be another instrument,
pinched and plucked, full of one voice
one dynamic, no matter how hard or soft I was played
waiting for the movement.

Until you came along
and added one piece to my purpose
and set me free.

I became a rainbow of sound
sensations offered to the fingers of my fellow man
those who touched me poorly or soundly could finally hear my song

and theirs.


I don’t care
what you tell me to increase my mood
to influence the brood
in my brow
to caress my heart when it bleeds.
You need to show me.

I don’t care
what your biggest fan sells to my soul
what your best friend’s face looks like
when you are particularly woeful
what your pain sounds like
in another’s voice.
You need to show me.

Show me you want to hear my laughter
Show me you want my eyes to squeal
Show me you aren’t the you in my head
Show me the you I see is real.

Swallow of Sip

The sway to the sound of sway
Each muscle milks a muscle
The color of each freckle shows
What skin I want to wear.

Chew on your words, like soft lips
Swallow saliva of my
Sip. And bring me back for more.

Power of Plenty

The wind scatters the snow, wispy white comets
swirling in the air alongside the ever present saltshaker,
encasing the world in a snowglobe.
I watch the drifts swell on the ground, aching with the agony
of the impending shovel.
I think about letting the pathways cover, making a bet with the weather
to see if accumulation can match the power of plenty on either side of my driveway,
hard and crusted over with ice and road dust.

I can’t see the dirt in the drifts any longer,
the waving snow smiling at me as it works its magic
I can’t see the ice either, singing with danger below,
but I know it’s there.