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Mostly Coal

God gives with both hands

–to some–

a select fewer than you’d think

and if you’re reading this

I’m guessing you missed that

blue light special

(God isn’t on WordPress; you can tell by the lack of hands-on help)


To others He throws a bone

–a coupla’ bones, sometimes


if you’re lucky

–and tenacious—

–and well-heeled to start–

can add up

(by 7’s)

to a Big Win


Still others

the gifting

(to put it politically delicately)

is delegated

to his crew of elves

–equipped w wings

but less then He–



this close

to flying monkeys


the rest of the Lot

He consigns

to his Doppelganger


–a helluva lot of stairs—

and Shades away from Krampus,

He lets that Yang

dole out the goodies

–or would that be baddies?


a little too cute, I suppose,

and those recipients are

anything but

–a lot more than you’d think–

and if you’re reading this

–you have to wonder…

Tics (Men Say)

Smith is good with words

and Art—with conversation

Gabby’s gift is mainly

discourse and oration


Cathy likes to chat so much

that Miles keeps the minutes

Abel likes

debate & bull


doctors as they spin it


But Washington is lily white

–a lie he cannot tell

while Simon gives directives

endorsed—& not—as well


a little birdy told me so

and turkey talk impressed me

so opened up a can of worms

just by saying ses’me…

Tells that Show

never show

your hand

when playing cards
–particularly suits

–especially face cards

and certainly not the suicide king. . .

best to keep those gloves on



the flower queen instead. . .

forfeit deuces

on demand,

but hold onto one-eyed jacks

& up the ante

by sporting shades

–crowns have no visors–



color-blind eyes


that might mistake

a spade

(that digs)


a heart

(that doesn’t)

–and if you do

don’t tell.

roll over


w roll on

–when available–

Dialing in


–and my advice is that you check this often, double-check this even–

since dewy

(but it’s your call)

is what the

dead give away.

Thinker’s Breath

I was

addicted to thinking

and at first

–it was manageable

a wee think

to get through

the wee hours

found me

fresh and untested

the morning after

but it blossomed

in the manner of gin


staining knows


–and timidity—


and before I knew it

–and dissected the knowing—

I was

way over



–up all nights, thinking, too

–channeling verse

as sincere as stumpin’ politicians


chewing mints

those hard mornings after


breath foul

w self-talk unspoken

–litany & lists

berate & beseech–

that marched like elephants

through my

thunk-drunk mind

–cirrhosis of the brain

half a dozen steps away.




5 & 50

draw a picture of





prolly the first time,

just remember, you can never really erase


make sure there is a

strip of blue up top

–tempura blue–

and a greening, yellow sun on top of that

(shades of Van No)

and maybe a temporally questionable moon opposite

(and a patch of stars if you’re lucky)

and leave a big white space

between blue & bottom

a bottom spiked w grass

(spikes that are to scale monocots the size of palms)

–since it’s in the white space

life is written

in big looping careful script

–sans emoji–

script that runs slanted, and gets

cramped when you


life is shown

(not told)

and you’ve run out of

space-time realizing this

–and have yet so much to say–
(stick figures looking for a bumper)

that the too big ladybug atop the spikes below, and now so dangerously near

will block out of you

before dessert

imaginary friends

of childhood

–audience, scapegoat, and


morph. . .

don capes & mask,

posture and swagger,

and bullet-proof vests, too

(without phone booth, or even a nearby Verizon store)

on salad days

(the first order, anyway)

and disrobe

into invisibility

(perceptible to reflections only, and completely un-vampire like)

in mid-age,

as Zeitgeists don’t wear sheets

and come every day lately,

(surprise besties, and hard to pin down)

We visit,

these geists and I,

(butterfly-shaped dust motes subject to atmosphere)

as I smooth

cowl neck sweaters

in every size imaginable

–life falling away

in time-worn bits–

(that’s only fitting)

since drop-in visitors

are proven to be so predictably unexpected.

Know Thyself


got us


(the me, self, and eye—us)



for animals

since they’re cuter

than the homeless. . .

since camels keep their

toes 2

to a foot,

and pigs DO

eat like pigs

–without consideration–

and fish


never drink.

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