Daily Archives: July 28, 2018

Next Steps

Revised. First published, March 2018. Original title, “Requirements.” 

Start by reimagining 
the American flag
as a door anytime 
you see it.

See it as a locked door
with a complex code
you’ll need
if you want to enter. 

Then picture an eagle in tears,
starving, exhausted; 
the eagle on the Seal,
the one that has not been able to feed

with its wings up
and its talons full
for all these years.
Start wondering

what’s under 
your Uncle Sam’s 
hat, why he
looks so pissed 

as he points at you.
You thought you were tight.
After all, you’re family, or
so you were told.

Start wondering where that dollar bill
has been, where
they’ve all been. Start
thinking about them

in your pocket, your hand,
resting across your bare skin;
who paid for what with them
before they came to you.

Start imagining how hard 
you will have to kick
to take down that door.
Think about what might be on

the other side.  Soon,
your foot will start twitching,
longing to act 
even before you start willing it.

Trivial Note

Just a trivial note to all:  I recently pointed this blog to a domain that doesn’t indicate it’s on WordPress.com. 

No reason, really; just an option that became available and I said “why not?”

It is now at “http://radioactiveart.blog” for those of you who notice such things.  I don’t think it requires you to change any bookmarks you might have as the old domain works as well.

I told you it was a trivial note.

Carry on.



The poems often start
with an anchor to time:

dusk, midnight,
eclipse twilight,


It’s never two fifteen PM,
you may note. 
Never suppertime,

never late morning
coffee break. 

Why do you suppose so many
of these poems begin

at liminal moments?

Asking for a friend.

Why do you suppose
there was never a full length manuscript
from this poet? Why do you think
they never got there? 

Asking for a friend,
a friend afraid to admit
that they want that answer.

Afraid to say that answers, 
whether given freely 
or puzzled through,

are often the graves 
of minute reasons to remain alive.
In those times when the quest
is more invigorating than the arrival,
accepting answers
feels like moving closer to death. 

Asking for
a friend, as always,
one seeking

to understand

thick, stagnant truths
like the one about how
no one wants to touch
this old body of mine,
not even me. The one
that pushes out
another question:

why is that? 

Asking for a friend, one
tired and purely
disappointed friend.

How is it that one can be
so terrified of uncertainty freezing solid
one trivial answer
at a time?

Asking, you know, as always, for a friend.
Asking for one curiously ignorant friend.

Asking for a friend,
one like a shadow
who won’t step out
and be seen as solid —

say at two fifteen PM
or late morning coffee break — 

one who prefers the blur
of in between moments.

A friend who ghosts away
into the surrounding dark
once they’ve heard the answer.