Daily Archives: November 29, 2016

Pushcart nominations…

Every year, journals in the US nominate work they’ve published for potential inclusion in annual collections of the best of the small press called the Pushcart Prize anthologies.  

I’ve been nominated twice this year: for “2001 CR-V,”  published in Drunk In A Midnight Choir; AND for “Song Fragments From The Brokenhearted Chorus,” a composite poem to which I was thrilled to contribute, published in Radius. (Go there to look at the impressive list of names who were involved in that stunning poem.)  

These mark my fifth and sixth nominations, although I’ve never won.  Fingers crossed for this year…

Thanks to the editorial staff of those fine journals.

What You Are Asking

You are asking me
not to wince when I am cut.
You are asking me 
not to curse in blinding pain.
You demand of me
the bow and scrape of etiquette
as I am blasted.
You suggest that this genocide
should be politely borne — no.

No, because

sometimes hope
is a broken storefront,
a glass storm, a fire
in a public street. 

No, because

sometimes survival
is strongest
when it is taken,
not requested.

No, because

asking me to fold my hands
and wait to die,

shunting me
to one side
instead of facing me directly
as I have always faced your knives,

patting my head
and sweetly speaking
that poison suggestion
that I compromise
in the face of an apocalypse 
that has been tailored for me alone,

are not things to be borne politely.

No, because
you cannot make me die
unnoticed.  No, because
if you kill me off,
at the very least
my loud extinction
will echo in your ears forever
and you will never

know peace 

A Diamond Till The End

If this brain softens
any more than it already has
I might have to open my head,
pull it out and lay it out
to dry and re-harden in full sun.

But how to put it back in after
once it’s cooked right?
That’s the kicker.
It would surely take

a shotgun or a hard fall
to get this big bean open
and putting it all back together
and locking it back up after
looks like it would be 
its own special hell.

So maybe
as my brain softens
and it becomes 
harder for me
to concentrate and recall
and speak, I should just accept

this process as inevitable? I don’t
want to. I’m not ready yet.
Some remaining bit of firmware
locked up in the mush is protesting
on my behalf even as I begin
to sink into that plush forgetting.

Mostly, I don’t want to lose
how I feel when I see 
your face.  

Please — let that
be the last thing to go.  

Let that
remain a diamond till the end.