four poems

she whispered me tales (stoner poem)

In my mind right now

I’m dancing w/Dusty Relix.
A homegrown harpie

from a book of mine

that sank before the dawn.
Dusty was the rector’s wife
who knew the dirt and 

whispered me tales

about my own. But I knew 

Cousin Barney

engineered the short train.

And Sally Muse, my sister, well,

she ran our negligent clan.
At a dollar-a-dance 
you know Dusty’s talking. 

So I’ll hear something 

less than eminent. Something that someone

holds over my head

in case they need a loan.
Isn’t that always the way?

Some verbal trinket 

causes a ruckus and

the money runs in

and the young run out

never to return.
But that’s my mother’s side

of the family. Here the breeze is warm,

the music smooth, and Dusty’s allure

makes my veneer quite thin.

So we kiss, dry hump, then run off 

into a clear high sky . . .
**

Late April, Next Fall

The Potemkin Village mailman delivers by noon 
grave, fetching fancies of no import.
“Vicki’s got the hiccups

 and I wish I had a pillow

 to put over her face,” he tells

Mrs. Aikens – a slight, anxious,widow

w/no drums or tenor – as they chat whitely

in the sun.
The Potemkin Village mailman

never cuts corners. Irons out

the creases. Takes dead letters

out of cold storage. Conveys the corporate uniform,

brings matching shoes and socks.
The Potemkin Village mailman

burns the evidence, or says he does. 

Harbors dynamite. Hides in plain sight. 

Brings letters from my sister 

whom I haven’t seen in years,

and her fervent hopes to visit

come late April or next fall.

**

today I had nothing better to do than write this poem

w/my face against the cloud
and my ass against the burner

I had a ten mile jump

on the right wing

before stopping 

to take a leak.
c’mon c’mon

I’m usually so fluid.

Ah. There goes. Back in the car

and down 209 to the Thruway

and God knows where.
They follow you everywhere,

the right wing. Their crazy-ass thoughts

of equality. Your rights versus mine.

Your skin versus mine.
Good thing I filled up the tank.

I gotta get far. Maybe Australia.

The Outback I’ve heard

has quite a view.
****

Pittsburg

I shit, shower, shave ‘n
shove off for Pittsburg.

Where everything beeps at me 

derisively: Gas pump. Smart phone.

Toothbrush. Vape pen.

Microwave kills the salmon!
If I had any balls at all

like Uncle Hank held his own

against the wheel,

I’d smash them with a rock.

But I wean on leisure and regret my vote. 

Like all inside Iron City and out, 

I have minor bouts of incubus 

and this dark is no deviation.

Pan-Am Ashtray 369

My meds weave a trail

back to Pickle Back Hill

where I’m auctioning gifts

from Murphy Brown.

Why Charlie’s little sister

I don’t know. But that’s not

the point right now. How much for

this Pan-Am ashtray, Item 369?

Why Candace, 

Queen of the Ehiopinians,

I don’t know. But my dreams have gotten

so strange and habitual,

that I fear we’re all vulnerable 

to their odd tectonics. Though none 

that would certainly

improve the world.

Dinner at Spillane’s

The Order of the Gray Mustache 
gathers at table four, 

Where we meet each month

like clockwork to toast Aleve

and the head achieved

mixing weed ‘n oxy.
Everyone’s had a cancer scare

and needs glasses. Has a parent

showing signs or is planning

a trip to France.
Our ladies lithely grace the room and

we’ve leveraged ourselves for fine wine.

We’ve tamped down our hyperbole

and take a pill, from time to time 

to tighten a muscle 

or lighten the load.
We binge watch now and read what we read.

Listen to Monk when the girls are out

and play the hits when they’re in.
We still hold some resemblance

to our past though we find our convictions flinty. 

Our prayers too small to touch the sky.