a doll’s house


A doll’s house

gleaming copper downspouts and red tar shingles

a dream kitchen, smuckers, wonderbread and pringles

carpet, and padding. stretching from wall to pastel wall

new clothes, designer labels, clean empty tables

a cat and dog. the little girl spends her days in many ways

three square meals and a healthy snack

fruit and fiber, just what the food pyramid says

but an architecture that she lacks

one little white girl, and one little boy black

the parents long-ago lost to the family dog

dismembered,  buried and resting in pieces in the corner of the back

of the backyard, where lovely mah-jong tile headstones bear silent watch

every night, clean, damp, vinyl hair falls like finest floss

onto freshly washed and dried linen, still warm

dogs bark, and angry voices crow from somewhere down below

made reasonably unintelligible by the television’s blaring flow

muffled by the jungle-sounds cassette the girl plays nightly,

to ease hers into the netherworld, where no thing and no one can pass

No slights. No frights. Finally found, tightly gripped,


Strangers come and strangers go, laughter vapors from below

the mornings are always the most peaceful, but one can never know

In the eve, the girl locks her door and sleeps

waits for the signs, listens, the third step creaks

a pocket knife and a serving fork tucked beneath her pillow

her children smile and shine as the first day they were found

islands in the stream but she stretches and grows,

ever more perfect with each sunrise

she fears her little ones will still need her, want her

love her when she goes

every night, vinyl hair falls like finest floss

onto colored, cut-up tablecloths

scavenged and sewn from common dross

little cups and dishes, plastic,orange and green

from three square and a healthy snack

rubbed and polished until they’re clean

another nether evening falls, retire

a prayer for the lost in the corner of the back, sleep.

coyotes call, dogs conspire,

there’s  the creak of the third step

and it starts

road trip / vanishing point

road trip 6


Road Trip / Vanishing point

driving another junk car, leaving behind long, languorous shadows

traveling on gravel and on sand and on stone

over sagebrush and scores of unmarked graves

this is for fun or is this to atone

for sins still under consideration

We stop for trinkets in the sad ruins at casa grande

ask the waitress with cold, black-pool eyes

‘where’s the men’s room, she says, ‘when was the last time

you remember being happy’

she gets no fucking tip

from this place, from any place

the path of least resistance, is a turn to the south and cold warmth

on a graphical perspective, in a dimensional world

its where all the lines converge

color by numbers, fill in the blank

obituaries, horoscopes and crosswords

getting more lost, driving past unnamed mountains

without snow, and rivers without water

passing back and forth between the strange and the strangely familiar

footprints in the sand, assert, then disappear

who works the strings when bodies

with apparent motion, angst and vigor

appear and dance and jerk, then pass

a hole in the center where the jelly-soul used to be

I don’t know the moment when

the dust of our two spirits slipped

like light through haze into the space

where our bodies drift and hover

atoms, molecules, strong and weak forces

things with and without labels

mixed for a time, entwined, impressed

entangled and then fell away

how much water can you drink

from an oasis that’s ceased to trickle

my stern glaze, your indifference

the crest of a tide is fickle

maybe we will get it together

drift westward with the sun

slowly fading, extinguished by the blue to the west,

or north to the wind and to absence

romantic western narratives that will never happen

games the mind plays on itself

to occupy in void and absence, then into dust

shall pass, the wind will do what the wind chooses

it’s a little like a casual magic

idle amusement for beats and for slackers

an illusion without the pot-smoke and heavy mirrors

what transpires when destinies meet and merge

melt into the horizon, converge and disappear

the path of least resistance is a fall to the south and to the warmth

don’t wait, accelerate, drive on past the vanishing point

another milestone in an empty book of snaps

manufacture reason, method or motive

restless bodies become bodies lost in motion

once the momentum to leave is found

why would we ever want to stop