Daily Archives: April 26, 2020


A painted clay flowerpot
broken, replaced by one of plain
red ceramic, replaced with 
a thick plastic one
that is then forgotten
or abandoned during a move
across town, which is then replaced with 
a discarded pickle bucket;
so goes the cycle.

Every year we plant the same small
selection of annuals
in this year’s pot of choice
or necessity. Every year’s 
a tradedown,
but we try to maintain 
the traditional facade,

which is why I’m drilling holes
in the bottom of this year’s pickle bucket
and picturing the flowers — petunias
or pansies or whatever looks good 
in the store when we go —
spilling over the sides in glory.
Maybe this year

we’ll measure up  — even after
downscaling, even after 
the shrunk-budgeting. Maybe 
this year, at last, it will look

like the pictures
on the seed packages.
Like all the pictures
we’ve ever seen.

3:30 PM

as a day getting away
from you

you look up and
it’s 3:30 PM

how did this happen
when there’s so much time available
just to watch the clock

it is possible that
the clock is dreaming you
and it’s the same time all the time

always 3:30 PM
and the day isn’t slippery at all
instead it sticks

is stuck and 
that means no one’s
getting away with anything

except for memory
which is sliding down
the road away from you

all you’re going to recall
of this is how 3:30 PM
keeps trying to kill you

staking you to a dull moment
and making you believe
there will be a tomorrow

different from today
less sticky 
you’ll seize that moment

and though it will wriggle
like an eel to escape
you will win and 3:30 PM

will do your bidding evermore
never again sneak up on you
never again offer such dread

you swear you will never be unproductive
at 3:30 PM ever again
once you get past today

Bipolar Nights

To sit up all night
crying because no one asked you 
what you meant by something you said
that was thrown away by the listeners
in the flow of conversation

is to lie down in a field knowing
that you may look like a corpse
but since no one sees you out there
no one comes to see
if you are still alive.

To sit up all night
wondering why no one gets
any of your subtlety
when you metaphorically
gesture at your temple with a finger gun

then laugh it off as a joke
is to live in a ghost town
and one day fall into an old well,
breaking your self against the rock walls,
screaming for anyone other than a ghost to come.

To sit up all night
pretending to love yourself no matter
what you are or have been in the hope
that anyone seeing your effort will offer
to love you without condition

is to rise to the surface sputtering and choking
ten feet from shore, already beginning to sink again
but telling yourself the rising will continue until you
are high above the water in full flight
toward the stars.