Motel

Turning off the TV
so the ghosts can listen,

shivering inside you
as the bedside lamp flickers,

gasping into your ear
so the phantoms remember your name,

we rise
above the mattress,
joining the faceless,
becoming one more
vulgar memory
etched
into red walls.

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Sole Custody

My ex bought me
a plush clown fish
from a museum gift shop
and now he sits
beside my pillow,
whining.

Where’s Mama?

How could you
have screwed it all up?

I’m not sure what to tell him.

His glassy black eyes
look sad,
but he can’t cry,
no matter how much
he wants to,

so I’ll do it
for him.

Giver

I gave you my body,

you gave me an altar to weep on.

I gave you heat on a January night,

you gave me frosted lips

and an icicle tongue.

I gave you molten words

gasped into your hair at 1 AM,

you gave me silence

and the back of your head.

I gave you smiles,

laughter;

You gave me a scowl

that could extinguish the sun.

I gave you this poem;

You blew your nose into it,

crumpled it,

then sent it swirling

down the drain.

Thunderstorm

Rain falls
from a black sky,
slamming the pavement;
I can hear it
over the roar of the piano,
over the clicking
of my fingers
against the keyboard.

Thunder rumbles
somewhere
in the distance.

I hear the storm
pounding the earth
into submission.

The sun-scorched ground
gurgles,
sputters,
choking
on the deluge.

This is the first storm of
autumn,

and I guess that means something,

even though

inside,

the gray clouds
hanging above my head

have been pouring
on me
all year
long.

Tuesday Morning

Tilting the can forward,
pouring the caffeine
into
an eager mouth,

I feel energized,
electrified,

like someone hooked me up
to this laptop
with jumper cables
and switched the power on
High.

I could type
one million poems,

but why stop there?

Let’s double it –

Make it two million.

I’ve got a refrigerator
stocked with energy drinks,
a warm keyboard,

fingers like lightning rods,

and a full day to myself
where I can do
anything
and everything
I damn well
please.

Drunk On A Plane

Nothing else to do on this flight
from Oakland to St. Louis
but stare out the window
and drink.

25,000 feet below,
the ground is red,
rocky,
jagged.

My Chardonnay
is almost gone.

These cups
are too fucking small.

The flight attendant walked by,
collecting trash.

I ordered another booze.

It’s almost disappointing
how smooth this ride
is.

No turbulence?
No storms?
No 20,000-foot vertical drop
straight into the granite?

Gimme some excitement!
I paid good money.

Another sip.

That’s better.

Even if we plunged nose-first
into the earth,
I’d still be drinking,
howling,
ordering more beverages
the whole way
down.

That very nice flight attendant
just handed me
my second glass.

I am drinking wine
in the sky.

I don’t think we appreciate
technology
quite as much as we should.

This second Chardonnay
is smoother
than the first.

These cups are still
too damn small.

Where are we?

Somewhere over Utah?

Where’s the bathroom?

I’ll be right back.