Daily Archives: October 4, 2014

He Defends His Family From Insult

Originally posted 2/13/2013.

Son, don’t even try
to clown here: not when
your wife’s made of cuckoo feathers
and talks in porcupine quills.
Not when you’ve got
two poison-dart kids
with grouch bag eyes that match
their limb-licking attitudes — 
son, you carry your relations,
and I will carry mine.
At least when I am with my wife
(the one you’re daring to smear)
and I lower my mouth to hers
I know I won’t come up
choking on the taste
of anyone else.  Can you
say the same?  This bar’s
mad full of lips whose flavor
you might recognize
with a little research,
but I digress.  
Just stop clowning, son; 
you’re under the big top now
and not even close
to being top banana.

 


The Short Story Writer

Originally posted on 11/09/2012.

Open your story with

shrunken tap dancer,
resting camel,
unstable carousel,
parched fingers, shellfish, 
bored gardeners,
a longhouse converted 
from dwelling to storage
and filled to the ceiling 
with duck feathers.

Where is this happening?
Write in a map
of the small roads
somewhere near Barrington, Rhode Island.

Enter now the central conflict
between a socialite and a meteor.
In a subplot that tap dancer
shall struggle to understand her fate,
her sudden and strange deficiency.

A real woman you love enters the room
shaking her dark hair out from under a hat
after coming in from a storm.
She looks at you staring at the laptop
and says, “Are you done playing?”

Are you done playing?
You set the dancer
on the camel
in the longhouse
before closing the computer lid.

Yes,
you say.  
Yes, I am done playing,
though this felt so serious 
while you were raising it to life
that the words feel like a betrayal.
You swear to come back to it later 
to see if it has continued on its own
and if so, to write in some hope
if the story will have it:

all the threads knit together under a night sky
with the meteor as wish-star
and the miniature dancer stretching her hand
to seize it.