Lust of the Lush



My cheeks rubricate especially with red wine,

then turning purple if I also eat pecans,

and my eye feels pressure, itching around the lids.

I predict a mild nut allergy.  As the alcohol

opens my facial capillaries, so the nut elements

squeeze through the normally closed cells,

a reaction occurs.  Only with pecans and red wine.

The wine helps me unwind.  The beer too;

the booze.  My cheeks rubricate, really,

because like a tapeworm, alcoholism eats

at my insides.  My cheeks flush

like when receiving gentle brushes

of my wife’s breast against my lips,

my veins plump up when the blood rushes

as if hanging upside-down from a tree branch,

and my eyes bulge with the pulsating

lust of the lush.  The two weeks I stopped

was easy once I got there.  Those two weeks

topped my previous record of recent,

during which I swept and mopped,

cleaned the dishes, carpets and counters

as a metaphor for cleaning the poison

from my body.   It allowed my cheeks to smooth

their bumps and rehydrate, lessening the threat

of enlarged blood vessels looking like tiny

exploding galaxies along the curvatures

of my face.  Maybe I can make it through

“No Drink January,” maybe a bit more.


Angel Cloud



Running out of topics

I looked at the sky

brought up cartoons

we watched

where the baby chick

asked Mother Hen

why the sky was blue


It is that blue

which brings comfort

that familiar slate

bending behind

all the fields and buildings

the true big blue


Laughing at cloud shapes

like the ancients surely did

you pointed at one

looking like an alligator

I pointed at one

looking like Krishna


Then thought stumbled

into my childhood

how Jeff, Myles and I

would see demons

in the night sky

who descended

roaming our field


Shooting them

with our stick weapons

or stabbing them

or casting powerful spells

we successfully defended ourselves

the demons never harmed us


Saying a final goodbye

to our across-the-street neighbor

I wondered if Jeff

actually saw demons

or was just a good actor

then we moved cities


I didn’t see Jeff again

until the trauma wing

fifteen years later

when he came to offer Myles

his old battle-buddy

who had fallen

a final goodbye


You pointed at another cloud

looking like an angel


Under the Brush



On top the bridge, we were like Pooh

watching a leaf flow with the creek

out of view to the other side.

The empties were litter T.R. and I

found strewn under brush

near the rocks we used to smash them.

We didn’t care where the bottles

came from, or know why they were hidden

by a cautious public drinker.

We saw them as a target.


After filling my arms with heaving rocks,

T.R. grabbed the bottles and we trotted

to the top of the bridge, hiding

our ammo from the few cars which drove

past.  Taking turns in the manner of children,

one would carefully toss a bottle

into the muddy flooded brown creek.

Studying its trajectory, the other

would account for the lightly tossing rapids

before running to the other bridge side

where the rocks awaited and waited in position.

He would take his one shot

within the few seconds of opportunity

before the bottle sailed to the creek’s end.


The shards we left are like dust

crushed from years of water rushing

over them, dust carved down like a canyon.

Most revealing of this memory

is that I never imagined I would be the leaver

of empties somewhere under brush.

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