where’s the money shot

sunny with a real feel of 5
degrees Fahrenheit

another cruel moment in April
gets trapped under ice

no algae
nothing’s blooming

good or bad
here where the climate trickster

of our own making
never sleeps

Frankenstein’s monster drinks
from the fetid future

has not yet learned
how to lie

he won’t open his eyes underwater
he won’t tell us what he hears

in all that muffled blue
his silence is damaged

if he would declare his damage
it would spill then bleed

into the fibers
of a wrongly-folded map

someone has abandoned
on the frozen ground

remember those

pockets of jamais vu
dot the landscape

with crimson-tinted notes
in the minor key

no one asks to be
the hero image

that spans an iridescent bridge
to nowhere

Flash Memoir

“Anonymity is priceless.”
—Jay Farrar, Falling Cars and Junkyard Dogs

At the half
century mark, debris stops

falling long
enough for her

to see stars. Suddenly
she believes

in the power of the speed
of light to guide her

to a place
that needs

no name. Familiar
faces remain

intact. And another
song becomes

a homecoming

she didn’t realize
she was
craving in her sleep.

Another Lyric Skyway

A real concert
harpist plays beneath
a giant atrium
sculpture with strings

attached. I’ve lived
all these years
with a mannequin—
not a marionette. I have

a cousin who mistakes live
women for the ones without
strings. Someone’s father
worked in a plastics factory

where they manufacture
the ones frozen
in poses. I can’t
draw one—but I could place

a cutout replica
in a jar and wait
to be surprised.


A perfect sketch
of a porch rocker
drawn with one
continuous line will be
my inspiration
for this lyric
as it comes to its single
complete stop


Stories readying to be
created from a dollhouse’s freshly painted walls. I slept
in that beautiful, long-legged woman’s house
in Georgia in another life. A man who walks
with arms behind his back scares me
with silent questions. Why? When? Where?
Really just why. I don’t want
to wake from this dream to find no dollhouse
with secret cellar door
leading to where it all happened
in another underground. Lyric or narrative
dreamer—who can remember well enough to tell.

White Space

A dream with its middle erased, a phantom
limb—it unnerves her come that moment morning
coffee kicks in. Rain
that doesn’t happen
gets stored in those places no one mentions

in status reports. She’s about
to speak—her own laughter burns
her cheeks. Out of practice, she clears her throat
in a hurry. Still, lyric over
narrative breaks free.

Not a Thief/A Thief

A tiny stuffed brown
bear in the snow
in the city, she rescues it

even inanimate ones need
shelter. Or, because
she can’t erase the concrete
image of careless 

disregard, active
rejection.  She wants to build
a story from repurposed pieces
of lives she’ll never know. 

She’s willing
to make it up.
She accepts her shortcomings
with plot, character, 

continuity, a driving force.
She believes the tiny blue
eyes and red inverted umbrella
mouth stitched in 

will be enough
of a lyric to loop 

into a rhythm of how things
get dropped, picked up, and
passed along—or pocketed
for later use.