Oct 21

Ziegfeld Girl

Ziegfeld girl
Don't be afraid to bob your hair and dance
Let the butter of the spotlight melt on your arms and pool in the curves and craters of your face
Paint yourself like a peacock with kohl and talc and pigment so they can't help but remember you
Ziegfeld girl
They will try to drag you down with hoots and hollers and whistles
And turned up brows and lips and noses and brooches that cost more than supper with the queen
But you are a star, Ziegfeld girl
As you wear through 2 pairs of shoes a night, the tattered remains left in the alley for cobblers
As you sweat through your garters and fishnets and stockings, leaving a mess for tomorrow morning
As you work under marquee lights and worn rigging for crowds of hundreds
As you pocket your 2 dollars for show in a broken pearl clutch and blot lipstick on calling cards
Ziegfeld girl
There are so many who would kill to be like you
Oct 19

Houses for haunting

Something is living in houses for haunting
No one knows if it is ghosts or it is vampires or it is memories or it is time 
Stopping to dance with the dust for a moment
Something is dying in houses for haunting
It may be hope, or foolishness, or innocence, or boredom, or squirrels, or maybe me
Something is singing in houses for haunting 
And the songs are deep and rich and echo throughout the hallowed hollow hallways
A grand piano creaks along to meandering music and someone is operetting a world away
In between tiles grow saplings and spruce
Up on the rooftop a dove makes a nest of straw and hair and baby teeth and flowers
There is restlessness in the walls and dreams in the attic
And though the Bills and Katherines and Marjories who owned the house have disappeared
Something is living in houses for haunting 
Oct 19

The princess and the witch

The witch hated the princess
And the princess hated the witch
The witch stewed foul-smelling brew 
And left it steaming through her beckoning window
The princess warbled songs about princes and frogs
And smiled in delight as the witch squirmed and groaned
The witch magicked her broom to fly into her chambers
And spook her awake when she was fast asleep
The princess shone light through her bright stained glass window
So the witch's room was lit with perpetual sun
The witch left bowls of lizards on the princess's doorstep
And the princess would eat them hiding under her bed
The princess wrote stories about rainbows and justice
And the witch would devour them each night by a candle
The witch would send handfuls of thyme and of bloodflower
And the princess would press them and hang them on her wall
The princess sent fabrics with holes and with cobwebs
Oct 19

Cracked Glasses

Cracked glasses
I would not survive the war
Cracked glasses
The world should shimmer and shake around me and seem like stars falling to struck eyes
Cracked glasses
And as the bronze rained down I shall never forget the sound of rain on tin rooftops to gather in hands of children
Cracked glasses
The neon orange life-boats on oceans leading to worlds away where they will rest under the sea and no one above will know
Cracked glasses
And as carpets stop wearing from feet and start from soot and mold I see the jungle in sidewalk cracks with blurred boundaries
Cracked glasses 
Day 44 of granola bars and as they crack in my hands I swear I hear melodies from wheat that knew sunlight once
Cracked glasses
The pharmacies have run dry and now the fish are decomposing but if expired insulin had graveyards I would know many a ghost
Cracked glasses
Oct 17

Dining Room

And I shall lay siege to your dining halls
With crossbows and axes and fierce bayonets
I shall quiver the jelly and thicken the gravy 
And I solemnly swear to stir the pot
No more "fashionably late" for we will all be violently early
I shall talk politics with the grandfathers
Throw peas with the children and chastise the parents like a young children's teacher
I shall slay all your manners with vicious delight
We will drink red with the fish and dessert will be served cold and promptly
The forks are on the left
All the better to scrape you with my dear
And I shall slurp with reckless abandon until your eardrums blister and burst
And I shall use the soup spoon for the appetizer course and the steak knife for the quail
Until your puffy cheeks are red and your greasy knuckles are clenched tight and bright
I'll pull my portion of the tablecloth until it's so much bigger and better than yours
Oct 16


The old theatre is haunted 
With worn velvets notes of melody
And in its tarnished brass door handles
Trombone ghosts can play
The lights flick on and off in hues only known by moonlight
And raining down like rose petals are the pattered chords of memory

Oct 12

The witching hour

It is the witching hour
All the good little children are tucked into their beds and only the crooked ones remain awake
The ones who stay up under the covers with flashlights
Whose lips are sewn shut or glued open 
Who warble like songbirds and screech like records and whisper like nails on cellophane
The little girls who don't comb their hair and who talk back to teachers and lead schoolyard attacks
The little boys who lend out all their hands and polish their spectacles and limp to and fro
It is the witching hour and magic creeps in through the open windowsills of odd children
They wait in beds wrapped in cotton or in kitchens surrounded by cookie crumbs or lying on hardwood floors
Breathing the soft song of lumber
Magic stirs their restless bones and licks their hair and prickles the soles of their feet
And then they are all swept up in the magic like a child with a toy and they cannot let go
Oct 10

Maria Rose

Salem, Massachusets
Maria Rose will hang today
Maria Rose is a witch and cohorts with black cats and runt pigs
And she will hang today
Maria Rose lives down the lane from me
In the twisted cobblehouse with a strange brother and a strange mother
And no father at all
Maria Rose steals butter from larders in the dead of night and curses girls to flirt devilishly
Maria Rose screams at the pastor and knows how to shoot a bow and has never shut her mouth in her life
Not once
Maria Rose smells like smoke and myrrh and sin and forbidden apples
Maria Rose will hang today and our village will rid the Arc of pestilence and we will Prevail
Maria Rose and her calloused hands and her sun-kissed hair
And the way she wasn't afraid of the moon and how she could swim
Andthe glint in her eye and the knife in her pocket and the poison on her lips
Maria Rose who's mouth tastes like honey and arms feel like feathers
Oct 08

Captain captain

My name is Captain captain
I'm the ruler of these seas
I'm a pirate and a scoundrel
And I have never said please
My name is Captain captain
And I raise a little hell
If anyone on my crew is good
I have to say farewell
My name is Captain captain
I'm a menace, a disgrace
I'm evil and I'm hopeless
And you'd not want my embrace
My name is Captain captain
And I learned when I was a lad
That is good as it feels to be sweet and nice
It feels gooder to be bad
Oct 08


I feel nothing except shame
Tail-tucked head-low damn-it shame
The books on by bed lay there 
Messages flooding my inbox
I have not yet parted the red sea
I cannot travel across my inability and pick myself up by the bootstraps
I am stuck
Straitjacketed with work and responsiblitlities and sorrow and filth
A puppet on my own strings, caught up on the riggings
I feel nothing but simmers of emotion today
And then a gyser of shame