wordling herds

the words you select
may like sugar confect
or like rain, bring an end to a drought

they may also inspire
indignation and ire
or weaken the knees of the stout

if a word feels right
as it slips past your bite
then that’s good enough, have no doubt

if your meaning got skewed
and it started a feud
you may just get boxed in the snout

but don’t second guess
at your word salad mess
if your audience won’t come about

at the end of the night
they will quibble and fight
so be even, there’s no need to shout

Starfish Enterprise

Star Trek: Reboot
Grudge. Against. The Federation.

Dear Hollywood,

Did you really just give us the same basic story three times in a row? Whiny, pathetic little galactic Bond villains lashing out at the Federation? You revived the crew of the original Enterprise, younger, shiny and beautiful, perfectly cast, and you give them nothing interesting to do but exchange body blows with bad guys on a blue screen of perfectly rendered CGI just like every other soul crushing superhero reboot?

Star Trek TOS was a formative thing in my young television watching life, so when I saw you flirting with the idea of returning to the spirit of the original show, with younger incarnations of the original cast, I did get a little excited. There was always a sense of awe and wonder in those old episodes, and they out-shone everything else on the tube in those days. The show’s startling originality is something I’m afraid that you will never have the guts to pursue, and the irony is bitter as you pick away at the bones of something truly original and use the scraps to produce shit. On behalf of Gene Roddenberry I just want to say, fuck you, Hollywood. Louis CK is right. You just make shit. You are a machine that spews shit.

In Lieu of Hours

radar loops of crawling showers
clouds seen through the window, look

I watch them as the daylight sours
and take a break to read a book

now drenching all tomorrow’s flowers
best to stay inside and cook

it comes as rain in lieu of hours
the time I freely gave, it took

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you like rope swings
and graham cracker brownies

can’t decide on a favorite color but
in the lavender of the jacaranda in bloom

a certain message seems to be hidden
signs that say open come in

cigar smoke a little bit, not too much
and gut laughs where you think

you’re never going to breath again or
a two-year-old picks you out of the crowd

and hits you with a big cheeky grin
catching yourself lost in thought

you can easily live with your regrets
the mail order shoes, they fit

right out of the box, the order
and safety of things in their containers

you mitigate with words when things get awkward
always a day late to get the joke

and oh the food, the meals, how we
measure the time by working, feeding

coffee, coffee like long wet kisses
and cold brick-hard stick butter

ripping gashes in warm toast
long lazy mornings and that spell

comes over you when the book you finish
ends strong and ends true

call it an honest living
but for the parts squandered in distraction

it’s all good, enough with the edits
these uncorrected proofs are ready to call it a day


I can’t keep a dollar
in my pocket
or a girlfriend happy
for a day and a half

and she was a keeper too
oh well, boo hoo

sign says keep out
and I go right in

sign says keep left
but it didn’t say when

warned to ‘keep it up’
I comply with a grin

that keepsake of yours
I have tossed in the bin

guns and fences under the sky

my campfire can be seen for miles
signal to prey and predator alike
and in the old days some Apaches would
come and take me if not the Comanche

what spoils of that raid
I have nothing but loose talk and
indelicate gossip from the fort
where I am no longer welcome

laconic sons of bitches don’t truck
with no chatterbox shirttail leaving
word-litter drifted on a fence and
out here, let me tell you, the sound carries

my indiscretions have become self-aware
wild things galloping away, like mustangs
and I think at last to be rid
of them, but no no no

further West, the canyon walls
will ape whatever you shout
and as they say when the pistols are drawn
choose your words carefully friend

the prairie’s not owned by a boot print
but there are guns and fences under the sky
where the Karankawa once speared turtle and fish
and I press pause at the eventide’s first cricket

in the morning I am up with the gallows maker
hammering a sun to the lip of dawn’s bowl
and the Rio Grande is but a trickle at Big Bend
still a good spot for lookie-loos and selfies


filling out a local business survey
I am asked to name my favorite bail bondsman
I imagine they are all pretty good
but I’m just not doing that much crime
these days, much less getting caught

I guess the best bail bondsman
would be the one who uses
a total rookie skip tracer
so if I have to bug out
I’m less likely to be found

then again, there are plenty of reasons
to want to run away and not be found
that have nothing to do with the law
I can think of about six right off the cuff
but the survey didn’t ask about that