Not doing much but composing a poem in my head—which might be somethingif the poem is consummated,turning out to be good. Sunlight steps easy on the waterall the way to Quay Bercyand a new first line—that’s better.Lush, green leaves on the trees, a cat chases plump birds,a couple on the roof of a houseboatkiss and […]Read more "Along the Seine"
Tuna Meow Meow 10¢ Off Checkout behind befuddled womanwho places one can Turkey & Giblets Cat Foodon counter, watches the scan,selects a Price Chopper couponthumbing through a stack in her fist.Cashier shakes her head: “Coupon’s forthe small size, honey, you’ve got the large,”tosses the can in a reject bag white plasticwhile Ms. Befuddle lifts a […]Read more "Tuna Meow Meow 10¢ Off"
Bill of Delights …bosun wharf. That corduroy anorak molded you… * …al dente. Gash eggplant. Trickle… * …kite-flying matinee idol. The accessory… * …gravel rash. We zigzagged in fairyground… Christmas 2001, The Northern Cultural Skills Partnership sponsored Christopher Barnes to be mentored by Andy Croft in conjunction with New Writing North. […]Read more "Bill of Delights"
Ocean City I’m on a fifth-storyhotel balconyat the crack of dawn staring past a row of rental propertiestoward vast waters beyond, as I wonderwhat ghosts lieon the hungover streets below. What sort of jukebox jiveor inebriated highdid that last breeze carry through? It’s a mid-summer den,a damn hotbed,of debauchery and sin on this morning after […]Read more "Ocean City"
Grasping at Straws “The thing is, unless you change, nothing changes.”— Jose Mujica Cordano “It’s easy,” you tell your niece, showing her how to managethe simplest task, baby steps and all that, perhaps how to formher first question, her first double-u, perhaps how to maintainthe fire in the grate, perhaps later to count out her […]Read more "Grasping at Straws"
The Field Guide to Nothing The Field Guide to Nothing, kepton a nightstand never gets read, too muchof every thing in life still in need of getting done. No day goes by without the hope ofdigging in, imagining what it might be liketo finally be finished with it all — and certainly, there have been […]Read more "The Field Guide to Nothing"
Witch Who said a witch need beas tall as me? I met a witchthinner than my fingerwho flew on moth wings. I asked her one or two things.She said her task was findingseeds to replant trees after wildfires I asked what is your name?She said she could not tellthose two words in her spell.She said I could […]Read more "Witch"
After The Party I do my rounds,collect the glasses,some emptied to the last drop,others with anything froma finger of whiskey,a solitary olive,to half a tumbler of flat beer. A couple are rimmedwith lipstickwhile others may bearthe weight of aftershaveor float a littleon a schooner of perfume. I’m no forensic scientist.I can’t identifythe individual drinkers.But I […]Read more "After The Party"
Grant’s Tomb From its roof, pigeons explode, their wingsthrumming like playing cards, clothespinnedto our bike spokes when we were kids. A jogger briskly thuds through growingpiles of leaves. One snags on a straywisp of her hair before it zag- zigs through the air. Sword-crossing spans,one dappled pair soar out beyondthe traffic’s flow. Through clouds of […]Read more "Grant’s Tomb"
I would rather put a chainsaw to my legs Tips of branches turn yellow;needles float down as from heaven.My heaven is a redwood forest. I clear duff from the roof with a leaf blower,from the deck with a snow shovel,mounds upon mounds rumpling earthlike rough blankets and then always comes rain,a season of rot. Seems […]Read more "I would rather put a chainsaw to my legs"