Gold & Yolk



I cannot claim to know about death,

but I have seen the way it makes a mother tremble

and a father crack the hard shell he had spent years perfecting.

I have seen it prolonged with the use of drugs

like with my Grandmother when she told me

Myles was lucky to go so young,

which makes me think of seeing him

with half of his skull removed

so his brain would have room to pulse and swell,

the way his body lunged forward to cough when irritated

by  the tube sucking tar liquid from his lungs

because of all those cigarettes we would smoked,

the other tubes collecting and injecting,

the way hope was gained when he squeezed our aching fingers

and the way it was lost when the doctors explained

it was likely a bodily reaction, not a conscious decision,

the way his face bloated,

the color he turned before his final expulsion

of carbon dioxide — outside the trees

bent closer to us, perhaps to listen

to the goodbye whispers we were to share,

perhaps to breathe in Myles’s last breath

knowing it contained the power to change lives.


No, I cannot claim to understand death,

only a misting of its effects

like how laughter never feels the same

until guilt can be shaved from its company,

how forgetting to remember is more comforting

than remembering that you forget

with things of distraction and interest,

how legs are heavier as they slunk down the sidewalk

because public wailing is too embarrassing,

how certain sounds spark memories

of the joyous hours

and smells the stronger,

how waking up  attempting to acknowledge

this day is the only this day ever granted to us

is as strong as the booze

we drank to forget,

how it is impossible to explain

how death excites life —

We were driving away from the visitation

when the grey slate sky of winter broke

into a sphere of gold and yolk

as if the setting sun’s sacred reminder

that there is yet beauty.


Framing on Liberty [the Journey of Dust]



Beginning from the saw teeth,

the wily bits skip pass the vents.


Fine particulates floating

like a plastic bag in the wind


catch draft from the motors

and blast into a grand journey.


With no ventilation, dust rapidly

drops only


if no bodies move or machine run,

if no boxes flop or forklift heave,


yet the softest breeze frees MDF

particulates to drift incredible distances,


the MDF held together by poisons,

the MDF compressed from sawdust —


the dust of dust is very fine.

Propelled from the saw’s fan


daring particles go airborne.

A pulling draft guides them


through the open door, they quicken

as the blowing duct twirls


them before landing upon her shoulder

from where her hair whip


throws them into her coworkers face.

Too small to see, he breathes deeply.


Into the lungs they go — often —

the dust of dust is very, very fine.


There is Humor



There is humor in the pimp

standing on 14th and Vine

with that giant iguana sunning

cautiously on his shoulder


Humor in electricity

that its illumination keeps us away

from our families

for the factory to keep running


Humor in the newest fashions

often flopping due to lack

of relevance needed to slather

the human body to keep a fabric


Humor in Art

for being such a slut

or conversely a virus

attaching itself to any word or cell


and Humor in Artists

for spreading their disease

into the young willing ones

teaching them addictions


Humor in the pain of birth

being a paradox of word

pain being something never felt

if not felt by birth


Humor in erections

rising everywhere on Earth

in pants and dirt

and dust and idea


Humor in multiple interests

a constant distraction upon wit

and concentration like skeet

shooting clay pigeons




Humor in single mothers

flashing leg and form

dressed in mini skirt and high heel

at the Senate Restaurant


in Cincinnati winter


Humor in Gays

not being allowed to marry

because American Culture

hasn’t acknowledged biology


Humor in Death

how we all get to have it

how Tibetans give bodies

for vultures to eat


[Humor in the drunk

red face] choke


Humor in kittens chasing a butterfly

through tulip gardens leaping

then tearing her wing

she never flew again


Humor in Cotton Mill

powered by waterfall

when women gained

right to work: no vex.


and that that iguana

prefers open air

and a Hawaiian shirt

and a nice view.

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