My mood to you may seem quite vile
But listen to me, stay a while
I’m nothing like that crocodile
A villain, though he wears a smile

(A pair of alligators at Anahuac National Wildlife Reserve, March 2018.)


Enough is a Color

lodged in the carefree heart
is a coin-sized complaint
about the food, the traffic

vining the trellis
bench dew drops domed under
the same moon, another night
enough is a color
not yet struck by light

something distant
too far to assess
the worthiness of it
kin to shape, even kindness

a dream, waking
at the precise moment
the air was to settle
our dust, once and for all


When I said I was ready
I didn’t mean ready for anything
I’m not the standing army
Ready for incoming missiles
Or enemy troops swarming our borders.

I’m more the steady green light
On the battery charger, after I’ve
Had my afternoon nap, I’m more
The copy machine LCD status display
Or the now-silent drip coffee maker
After it’s done gurgling the juice
Of life. I’m more the beagle
Fixated on a leash hanging by the door
Ready for a walk in the park.

I’m ready for this elevator door
To ding open, more than ready for the
Credits to roll, completely ready for this book
To sputter out one more dull, mind-numbing
Paragraph so I can snap it shut
And go to sleep because, by golly
I’m ready for bed.

—thin gruel of an attempt to mimic Billy Collins :-/

Peace, Break Thee Off

The Texas live oak sheds in the Spring
In June you’ll hear me raking in the street
The rot underneath the mat already composting
Awakened by a metallic scraping, but now

A crew with weed-eaters, whining like
Perfectionists, lawn mowers taming the wild
A chainsaw loath to start, sputters
Undoing the hackneyed silence

Oh, prattle on about how great
Back in the day, the silence used to be
By the house cat’s vacated sun-trap
In the porches of our once-napping ears

Pay to Play

a little of this self pity
it sure goes a long, long way
so, she didn’t love you back
oh man, you feel all betrayed
feeling sore and hurting
on your little feet of clay
man up dude, and let it go
and hear what Zappa say*
broken hearts are for chumps, boy
you has got to pay to play


* paraphrasing, for your delicate ears.

Godspeed, Little Poem

my little poem
isn’t much to look at
but maybe something nice
will happen when
you read it

or if not
maybe the next person
will have better luck
with it

or maybe
in an effort to please
more people it will become
more expansive or even

or maybe
in a flash of dawning
insecurity, it will start coming on
too strong, overcompensating
for its imagined lack of

or maybe
with this creeping paranoia
it will start rambling incoherently
like it invariably does
when it gets

or maybe
it should just relax
and try not to worry, like the people
who never seem to worry are always
advising, like that’s so
easy to do

or maybe…
maybe it starts to see
its readers as the unreasonable ones
maybe they’re the ones who don’t get it
maybe they’re like powerful literati sneering
at the little poem that doesn’t seem to say much
intellectuals who over-think everything and
miss the shear beauty of its
simplicity and its

or, maybe it
should just quietly
see itself out, before it’s
too late, before it breaks an expensive
vase, or spills red wine on something white
absorbent, and valuable and completely
ruins what little remains
of its rapidly diminishing