Archive: 2005.2

Spring-loadedThe Minister’s WifeAfter A Second Time ThroughGiven Half A Chance...Let “X” Equal HerHummingbirdUntitled #153Air GuitarUntitled #154


Route 17 and
Interstate 81
from small town Virginia
back to New York and
Raymond Carver is pulling
words from my mouth,
things I didn’t know I was
going to say, words about
my family and the woman
next to me, about friends
I haven’t seen in far too
long and friends I’ve yet
to make.  Words, apparently,
spring-loaded and waiting
for a trigger.


The Minister’s Wife

The wedding of a friend and I’ve
got my eye on the minister’s wife.
She’s a handsome woman, striking
and tall, worth my every second
look.  We could never be together,
though, never more than strangers
in a foreign church, never more
than a handshake closer to the
twining of limbs and souls.  But
in some alternate universe, in some
opposite world, I’ve got my eye
on the minister’s wife and she,
in turn, has her hand on me.


After A Second Time Through

Morning after a wedding,
the boy’s away for a sleepover,
the rum & coke headache is
ever so slight and the early
hours are spent the way
they seldom are anymore.

After a second time through,
she looks at me and laughs
about my uselessness for
the day.  With my eyes half
closed and a stupid grin,
I have no choice but to


Given Half A Chance...

Given half a chance, I like to think
that I’d break every rule that I’ve
taught my son and go on with a shot
to the president’s jaw.  It might even
be worth what the Secret Service
would offer as a reward.

But it would only be a temporary fix,
a fleeting answer to a workbook of questions.

Given an even better chance, though,
I’d suffocate him with a rag full of
chloroform and re-locate him to the
dank solitude of my unfinished basement,
sustaining him with government cheese
and week-old bread, sour milk and soup
from dented rusty cans.

I would like to say that I wouldn’t
torture him, wouldn’t try to break
his out-sized spirit, would rise
above my baser instincts.  I would
like to say these things but I reserve
the right all the same.


Let “X” Equal Her

Let “x” equal her and
Let “y” be me, put the
rulers to use and assume
the arrows are all in place.

Give me paper and a
formula, enough to graph
out the spire of our
twin ascents.

Give me the where and
the when and let me
chart the points of our
intersections along an
infinite axis.

Let “x” equal her pulse
and let “y” be mine,
the shape of her hips
the parenthetical curves
containing the worth
of our ever-bound sets.



A warm, damp summer night,
my friend and I take our turns
bitching about typical things
like work and family (me,
the former and he, the latter)
when we’re interrupted by
the motorized sound of a
hummingbird’s wings as it
dices up our mostly meaningless
words with such incidental
efficiency, catching us some
where between open mouth
awe at the random beauty of
it and open hostility at all
of the horrible ways some
second-rate poet could bleed
the moment dry.


Untitled #153

Who knew that we’d miss each other
so much after four days apart?
Well, now the walls know and the
bed knows and the floor knows too.
And after last night, I’m wondering
if maybe a few of the neighbors
may have figured it out as well.


Air Guitar

He’s unaware, headphones
turned up high as his
fingers manipulate
invisible strings on
invisible frets,
a non-existent pick used
to strum the imaginary
Strat or the ever-cool
Flying V.
He’s unaware and on a
stage somewhere, plugged
in and amplified, a
universe away from the
back seat of his parents


Untitled #154

I must have scared him a little
with all that talk about intensity
and fierceness but he has to
know what’s coming, has to know
how much everything will change,
with or without his consent – I
owe him at least that much.

I’m sure that I rattled him a
bit with the mentions of panic
and fear, of the inability at
times to believe what grows
before you, even with a roomful
of proof and its shifting weight
resting in your awkward hands.

But I trust that I heartened him
as well, that I gave him hope
and courage and the slightest
sense of where it all can lead.
He’s about to enter a world
within a world and the things
that happen there sometimes
just can’t be explained.