Happiness Sold Separately

21 Jan

Back, when we were grownups,
on any given day …

A twist of lemon-
a secret kept-
a multitude of sins.

The husband’s secret:
faking it.
Neither here, nor there.
A rare breed of love, with
happiness sold separately.


A found poem from among the titles of books in our library’s book sale section.

It Was

13 Jan

It was a book, but
not a book. Words really,
a life actually, ready
to be devoured. I hoped
for epiphanies, maybe
a spark of recognition
yet, nothing was said
unless you wanted
to hear. You didn’t,
I surmised, and so there
it was, lost in translation.


Written for Dverse Poets Pub on this Tuesday in January. The theme is secrets. I could write a book about that. Sometimes, its better just to be direct.


12 Jan

Two friends set sail for adventure on the sea,
no chart and no compass, they let the wind lead.
The weather was balmy, the companionship keen,
on thrills and passion both their spirits did feed.

The friends took turns at the wheel, in the spray,
and they could still see land, they would not go astray.
Each moment exhilarating, they rode atop the waves,
’til the sun stopped shining on the deep, pleasant bay.

When the horizon looked looming, with no apparent end,
one sailor turned, and declared to his friend,
“Let’s sail back to land, our adventure must end,”
and the other was content, for the time they did spend.

So, they navigated back with no chart, a light breeze,
and felt their sea legs when they reached Reality.
The friends both agreed that it was a fun fantasy,
and they would not forget how it felt to be free.

I marveled this morning, when I awoke from that dream,
for you were that sailor, and the other was me.



Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 – American Sentences

30 Dec

No one can hold the slippery fish of time, until it starts to gasp.

And then, don’t behold it for too long, or it will expire in your hands.

When the first morning bird sings her triumphant tune, all worms better hide.

I’ve shed romantic notions on purpose, but still believe in romance.

Wait for dawn, to let the sunrise of love chase the cold out of our bones.

Anything can happen: perform due diligence, be ready for amazing.

Far sighting.

Far sighting.

American Sentences is a form of haiku created by Allen Ginsburg. Each sentence has 17 syllables like a haiku. You can really write about anything, not just nature. I think they are more interesting than traditional haikus because they can be about everyday life and the here and now. As I have mentioned many times, I like challenging myself in lots of ways, especially with form. I find that it helps me focus my thoughts and economize with words. I found this website about American Sentences by Paul Nelson which inspired me to practice American Sentences more often. According to Nelson, “I find it an amazing way to sharpen my perception and learn how to eliminate unnecessary syllables. It aids in a sort of pre-editing that supports my spontaneous writing practice.”

All of these sentences are sort of random, except for sentence #2, which was written to follow #1, however I am still rearranging them to see if a different order might have a better impact.

2014: More Poetry than Ever Before!

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Re: Gifts

25 Dec

Dear Santa,

This Christmas I would like
a thorough investigation of
your retirement fund
investment portfolio.

I have always suspected
that you’ve been operating
under false pretenses, so
a little transparency
would be nice, this year.

Very sincerely,


P.S. Red is not your color.

Lumps of coal all around.

Lumps of coal all around.

Lessons My Mother Taught Me

17 Dec

dear mother
you taught me well
to pay close attention
to all the details
especially around you
and so i do
which is the reason
I am left, wondering
why fears twist you in knots
and you indulge anxious thoughts
as your years stack up?

I love you dearly,
but my patience wears thin
when I am at the wheel
yet you anxiously feel
the need to read every sign
out loud, as if I were blind
remember, you taught me
to drive, as well.

I promise you:

But, if I miss one, don’t worry,
I’ll do something else you taught me:
we’ll call it an adventure.


Lo Que Te Quise Dar

10 Dec

Algo sin tiempo
porque los años
pasan lentos, pasan rápidos,
y no pasan.

Algo profundo
y a la vez, no muy hondo
para no ahogarte
de emoción, ni mojarte
en un charco transitorio.

Algo viejo y nuevo
con palabras ardientes
que te acarician por dentro

Algo tuyo y algo mío
que no se lleva con el viento
para tocarte sin huellas,
y cubrirte, pie a cabeza
con puro sentimiento.


Originalmente escrito en Abril 2014. Lo encontré en mi cuaderno hoy, y decidí publicarlo.

Recipe for Vitriol

9 Dec

You will need water, which means
you can let off some steam
about all those specific things
that fill you up with rage.

Then, four parts Oxygen to two parts
Hydrogen, because along with
the letting off of steam
most feel an intense need
for expending volumes of hot air.

Finally, one part Sulfur, that’s the kicker
you can pull some from the pit
of your stomach, from that deep
special place where you store
all of your brimstone to hurl.

Just one part sulfur, which is
precisely enough to pour
bitter acid over their heads
all it takes to make them
writhe in pain from your
caustic words.

(And, you do want them to burn-
otherwise, what is the point
of vitriol?)

For best results:
While serving vitriol
stay away from mirrors and
any other reflective surfaces.



As a culture, we Americans have become too accustomed to uncivil discourse these days. I remember back in the early 80’s when a man named Morton Downey Jr. had a television talk show where people would scream at each other. It was really horrible! He was a precursor to Jerry Springer and all those other shows. It has gotten so bad, that I have opted get my news through print and online because of the great distaste I have for the vitriol that has permeated news sources. Unfortunately, I experience enough vitriol in my daily life that I really don’t want to expose myself to any more of it, neither for entertainment or informational purposes. Vitriol is actually the common name for Sulfuric Acid, or H2SO4. It will burn your skin off pretty quickly and painfully.

Big Picture

2 Dec

I don’t need anything
from your trip across town
though I always rack my brain
thinking of that elusive thing
that will complete the task,
the day, and perhaps my life.

I don’t need anything
from the store, at least nothing
that can be bought or sold
and definitely not another thing
to add to the tower of things
I have filling up my closets now.

I don’t need anything, really
except a moment of your time
to look at this picture of a duck.
It’s not a great picture of a duck
I admit, but that’s not the point,
because I am the duck, you see.

If you’d bear with me a moment longer
and look at the duck in a different way
you will see something new in the picture.
It’s actually also a picture of a rabbit.
I am the rabbit; yes I can be a rabbit, too.
And you know what they say about rabbits.

I don’t need anything, nothing
that can be bought or sold, but
thanks, for taking time to look at my picture
which is really what I want the most.
But please, don’t get stuck on the rabbit
because I am still, and also always will be, the duck.

rabbit and duck

“Kaninchen und Ente” (“Rabbit and Duck”) from the 23 October 1892 issue of Fliegende Blätter. Public Domain.

This is a riff off of Billy Collins’ poem “Duck/Rabbit,” but only because when I heard him read it I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea that once you see the rabbit, you can no longer see the duck. And here’s the thing, to see the big picture you need to will yourself to see both. Once the rabbit is revealed, you have to choose to still see the duck. Please.


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