Archive for the ‘Poems’ Category

America First

America First

Dismembered, one stroke of the pen,

One dollar at a time—


The arsonists are in charge of the fire station.


Destruction plumes, forcing fumes

To an indifferent, hazy sky.

Books and art in the sulphur flames

Crackle and snap alongside

Food scraps for the aged and

Melting plastic eyes of children’s puppets—

The radio hisses its last static,

Then silence.


The water leeches its lead,

Flowing down the strip mine scar.

A fiery freight car carries the lost

To the pyre on the River of the Dead.


In this deconstruction of the administrative state,

We’re all going to be deconstructed, destructed and

Tossed into the mass grave of alternative facts.


What did you expect?

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First, there’s a bag, then a box—

And another, then many more.


You fill a rusted dumpster with

Mismatched chipped dishes,

Shoes that gave you blisters.


Those stiff taffeta dresses from 1959,

Still smelling of your aunt’s verbena cologne—

You keep those.

Breathing in the memory, recalling all.


The detritus of experience builds its curious momentum.

Memories trapped in the stone dust basement,

Hurled outward in a mushroom plume.


How do you wipe clean a half-century?


Quickly, an impartial executioner—

Rinsing the blood from your knife.


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She Persisted


“She was warned.

She was given an explanation.

Nevertheless, she persisted.”


-U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell


She persisted.


Binders full of women—

Latina, African American, white, transgender, gay.

Hole-punched all of us,

Paraded for your agenda,

Served up for your pleasure.


Scold bridled in an iron mask—

Padlocked, depressing our tongues.

Crazy emotions and shrill voices,

Bite at the bridle.


Sweetie, you’d be much prettier if you smiled.


Silence need not equal silence.

We have choices.


Oh, we nasty women,

Centuries of us—

The smell of us in our words,

Our sex, our power, our voices.


Strapped and dunked and sunk we rise.

We nasty.  We trashy.




We persisted.


Those words,

May well be my first tattoo.

After the scars heal,

It will be pink and perfect.

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Belltown Drugs


I remember the variety store
Where Daddy bought his
New York Daily News

and how he tucked
the Necco wafers in his pocket
for me
always in a different place:
the hip pocket of his pleated best,
up his sleeve, behind his ear.

But always for me…


The comic books cost 12 cents –

same as a Hostess cupcake.
I always got both.

I peeled away,
the sticky chocolate layer,
its curled white icing lace,
smearing messy fingers
on my pink Sunday bestdress.

Daddy, he lit a Kent Gold,
and babygirl climbed into
the baby blue Chevy BelAire,

You, daddy, and me.
we partners in crime.


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Day One


We pull on our pink caps,

Hand-made woolen symbols of our flesh.

Armor for the storm.


We take to the streets,

A powerful sea, defending our right to be.


This is not about women,

Immigration, religion.

It is about our humanity.


You will not tell me who

I will love, or not.


My health will not be legislated

My body will not be legislated.

My beliefs will not be legislated.


My right to be

Will not be legislated by dark men in stiff navy suits.


What I hear and see,

Is not my country—


If I am angry,

Then so be it.


I have words,

I have breath—

My sisters and brothers stand with me.


You will not

Make America hate again.




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Enola Gay


Put the dark goggles on.

If we fail, there is a pill to take.

Six minutes, and you will be gone.

You won’t know anything.

You won’t talk to the enemy.

The sun’s red hull invades the horizon.

It is time to deliver the physicist’s nightmare—

The brightest and hottest thing since creation.

Do not look at the source of fierce light.


Cold math is our new co-pilot.


Then, a lead taste in the mouth,

A crackling of the jaw—

Quantum artifacts embed in my fillings,

Pass through flesh.

They could be seen, felt, tasted.

Micro-clots of seared blood in my veins.


My god, look at that son of a bitch go.


A thousand suns bleaching the sky, the earth white,

The sun coming from the earth to explode.


Our legacy is history, but we never learn from our mistakes.

Do we regret the taking of life, or the change we brought

From that fierce atomic beauty in the warm August sun?

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Waiting for the Wreck


Everything about her was a lie.


The pink glove on the ground,

Obscured by dried crimson leaves.

The blank gaze, masking her need.


She suddenly realized she might be alone

For the rest of her life.

She did a poor job hiding the damage.


He sat her down and held her close,

Handed over the key,

Before telling her the terrible news, reluctantly.


She clung to the scrap of driftwood,

Splintered and bobbing in a black sea—

Praying for daylight,

For union with the god.

For the sacred water

To sweep her away

To the depths,

Then back to the shimmering surface.


Reborn, in the red morning.




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