Fit Snugly the Wood Together, as Was Done in and around Paris, Circa 1700 CE

Marquetry was born during a 
dearth of chessboards, chest 
hatches, and ornamental tabletops.

That's entirely untrue—more 
likely, parquetry fertilized the
chess-board vogue, as they abide

by squared precepts. Modern 
interpretations of the game
would imply a male monarch who

limps sciatic, eluding all potential
suitors out of impotent fear. He, a 
wayward dudicle in regaled polka

dot fur collars, ejects his prearranged
queen outward to force all significant
maneuvers alone, unaided—she

wrestles existential and unrealized
desires:  earning her PhD in bio-
chemistry, for instance. The rooks,

once firm, their flanking parapets
have long collapsed—grown green
over with the hyper-sensitive moss

of cultural gravitation. Cardinals, per-
functorily dutiful, approach only obliquely,
bedecked in ordained blue jeans, and

purposefully diminish whichever 
unarticulated innuendos might be
inferred by the appearance of their

blush phallic caps, full crimson and 
stiffly starched. All the pawns got
lost in a digital booze mist of virtually

realized pixels, and today march
directly from their slaughtering fields
into haphazard columns toward white

beanbag cubicles, dark rubber gogg-
les dangling below their sockets. So,
questioning the aptness of current

gender roles, all previously plumed,
pleat-pantalooned knights have,
in protest, declared themselves

voluptuous court ladies and ceased
further horseback and/or sword-
brandishing acts in favor of  burlesque

theater, rouge red, and sequins, 
relinquishing their brushed felt
bases for courageous stiletto heels.

The French-branded art of fitting bits
of animal carcass like tortoiseshell into
slots of beech wood remains omni-relevant.
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Don’t Slump down Despondent and Cross-Legged onto Our Kitchen’s Speckled Linoleum

		Consider this swelling loaf,
		browning on our oven's steel
		grate:  it expands under yeast
		power, all its continents
		skating apart, bidding brief
		adieus tectonically, like
		night trains scudding absently
		toward opposing suburbs.

	I can unfold—by the solipsistic streaks
	rappelling from your lashes—your inward crease.

		Not intoxicated by
		baking, but by the tent pins
		that stake down a widening
		morass of neural umbrae
		into the loose, damp loam of
		your conscious; your tin fingers
		yawn limply—thin, unshut jaws
		like two vagrant pitcher plants.

	You depart my platform, a dusky engine
	dissipating into muffled remoteness.

 

A minor experiment in syllabic structure, this poem has been kicking around my keyboard just a bit too long for comfort. It’s a made-up form consisting of eight seven-syllable lines, followed by two eleven-syllable lines, repeating. Visionary, right? It helps if you have a penchant for locomotives and/or a flair for the act of kneading dough.

 

Hashes over Lath

There are no circles on the Wall,
no trapezoids, icosa- or dodecahedra
either on the Wall, because the
Wall has achieved Nirvana. Owing

no apology, and professing no dialectic
or dogma, the Wall lacks all significant
tattoos. Nail holes plugged by globs of
drywall mud are the sheared tops of

desert rock plateaus, viewed closely,
sideways, and at a ninety or two-
seventy degree turn from rightwise
up. I have marked time on it, the Wall.

Somebody’s mother or grandmother
has marked the heights of the tops of
children’s skulls on the Wall—in hash
scars deep and bold, and in light

scratches from dull, disinterested
hands. Michael grew one point five
inches in nineteen ninety-five. The
Wall is the perimeter of a gift box inside

which I perspire away from viscid looks.
It’s bound with a wide, flat ribbon bow
and will remain obscured until arrives
the red-marked date on an uncatalogued

calendar. No measure of time exists but
Wall time, and is naturally incompre-
hensible to all and any non-walls.
I rest the dimple between my cheek

and jawbone against it, sanding the
fibers of my stubble into its skin with
shuttered eyes. The Wall is my numb
horror and my unrequiting lover—it

precedes and proceeds all felt things
that rattle like stray sewing pins trailing
with my bloat and wheeze. I am undone
against the Wall’s stiff, inconstant pavise.

I have only ball-tipped pens, no pencil
to etch a leaning line at the top of my own
head.  I chip with a jaundiced right thumb-
nail, but my height remains unchanged.

Nurse Me Impermeable

Float me a platter of ampules
in place of breakfast. 

		                Please do
brush the grime from your feet
ahead of time:
	                       the old carpet is
starting to struggle under the
dark of permanent wear from
the hallway to the bed,
		                     since
we set this same metronome
each morning.

	                         My covers are
crusted to my dewlaps,
	                 	                      and I
could use a cool shot from your
cocktail tray—
	                       it might muffle
the bleat and peal of my soured
conscience—
	                     to chip me loose
from my still December puddle.

I will be blown-in insulated by
cottony palliatives;
	                               the oculus
stalk craned to focus into the
cavernous geode of colored blips
which compose habitats in my
shifting imaginings.

		           "I want to
be a real boy,"
	                  I say in the quiet
of my soundproofed skull,
		                      the
deadened place where no jeer
nor laughter of the mob can
penetrate—
	              those crowds of we
who mock the dying man for
his dying,
	         we who milk stimulus
through pert voyeurism at the sad
throes of human wretchedness.

                                                                   No,
                     with a favorable mixture
of your silvered anesthetics I'll
log-roll from my sleep,
             		                out of
my dermis,
	                 and into a pasture
thronged by formerly unhappy
icons who have attained high
enlightenment by synergistic
mood enhancers.

	                      Can I now eat
my first meal from within the com-
forting capsule of my caterpillar
suit,
                     where I will outmaneuver
all the insufferable raindrops?

I generally weep in foul weather.

 

Laundering the Beach

I pull apart a contracture in the snarl of my drab cargo
shorts; the washing machine’s fat bottomed steel colander
anticipates—a reverse doughnut hole array of shark finned
water paddles designed to beat the stale from the mesh

of old garments. Veldt grass Velcro is twined like a jungle
eyebrow to the affixing threads of smooth UFO buttons
which moon over fabric plains and stitched superhighways
in search of experimental life signs. My humid thighs had

knocked around like clappers in cloth bells along the soft
crust of the Atlantic, where a blue crab lofted its pincers
in a brace against the infinite conflagration of surf:  broad
panoplies of tongues which lick away each child’s sandcastle.

Tight daubs of bathing suited bodies upright in loose furrows—
soft synonyms to my unaided eyes; mislaid voices are hues in
a mixing bucket, amalgams in a memory of threads that fray
beneath the blue of detergent, erased from time after the cycle

concludes.

 


I’ve been away for a time. Still writing, still dreaming, just not posting. I keep up with things in the Reader and occasionally “like” some posts. I’m not gone. I’m quite here, should you be interested.

Drones Don’t Need Space Suits

Wearing a 37-inch television crown, I
stand proximal enough for the static

thrum of its

pull-away kiss

to erect strands

across half my dome’s oblong equator.
Army men slither on folded chicken

wing elbows

under spiral

brambles of

spooled wire, past the glob of lime
discoloration that creeps through

the bottom-

left corner of

our upstairs

cathode ray tube. I want to germinate
a space shuttle jumpsuit—unravel the

arts of stick,

rudder, and

astrophysics;

but some ships sparkled and burst like
backyard bottle rockets, and the vast-

ness of space

proffered no

short-term

gains, so I wrapped the universe in
packaging tape and rifled it down the

open end of

the pillowcase

I howl into at

night before I

drag myself

to dreaming.