Cheap Carnival (a poem)

in psych wards, they take your belt, shoelaces

anything you could use to hurt yourself

when I’m there, I fear the world will kill me

so, I give them my belt, tell ’em to take good care of it

& I talk to others there

& I feel damaged & I identify with compatriots –

Continue reading

God’s Polaroid Camera (a poem)

For my father

in the dining room, action figures were imprisoned in a green vase, and you returned from prison with my uncle, looking slimmer

from pushups in sunbaked yards

mustache and dazed look gone, down on one knee, arms open wide & smiling with teeth I learned were fakes

I thought you were fake, too

unrecognizable, a stranger from a blurred past we no longer spoke of, only at grandma’s house, when we opened letters decorated by your brother with cut-outs from Marvel comics

& were told you were away on business –

Continue reading

Seeking Shelter (a poem)

my family is not a dynasty

nor do we have any moguls among us –

just average folk stumbling

in supermarkets, falling in dirty

stadium parking lots

searching for Black Friday deals

to forget the darkest days

when the market crashed

& all the cash we had stashed

was seized by government thugs

with blood-shot eyes & sharp teeth,

who told us to run to gold hills

& seek shelter elsewhere

(Photo by Aperture Vintage on Unsplash)

Red Earth (a poem)

look what emerges from black mountains!

God help us all – the army marches

toward the town, big boots breaking

hard winter ground, a sound

so horrible we clasp our ears

our worst fears coming alive –

they call these men “peacekeepers,”

& i scoff – they don’t want peace,

but to tear us to pieces

bloody bits splattered on cabin walls

the end of our lives for sure,

we’re sure when the first machine gun

rattles like a diseased lung

we’ll melt into the red earth

(Photo by Beat Schuler on Unsplash)