One Dozen or So From the Archives: Episode 8

Another installment of poems still waiting in the archives to be heard. Finishing up loose ends.

If you want more details, here’s the Big Long Explanation. Otherwise, just read as many or few of these poems as you’d like. And thank you, as always!

These poems are all from Rearrange, published 2018.

You Are Young and I Am Not

So you’re feeling worried about me
rehearsing in circles
what you’d like to say
Regain your balance
Need to slow down
Warning after warning
it’s not too late to make changes
You tell me what was my fault
and tell me again
a different way
Applause optional though hoped for
of course
you must know
it’s not going to come from me
You wonder
Are you worried or
are you


Fair Trade

My feet get so
to hurting me
Of course not
some aspirin
take a load off
glue the parts back together
keep moving
They do their work.
I bribe them with
expensive shoes
Epsom salts
nicer grade of lotion
red toenail polish
It all helps but
bottom line
I’ll give them
if they’ll give me
another day of steps.



Next stop is the metal filing cabinet
unfortunately a friend of yours
living inside a file
at the back of the bottom drawer
it being locked or maybe just stuck.
All the same there is
as good as nothing left
unless you suddenly start remembering.
all the fiction all the barefaced lies
what happened to the money
expensive lawyers
and out-of-focus ethics
Like I said, where’s the money
where’s your story?


Must Be Carefully Nurtured

A sure thing for yourself
though more expensive than usual
and what a racket
Do people need to understand?
purse your lips
bite your tongue
remember about public relations
steady as it goes
and take your seat in the front row.


No Dodge City,
That’s the Name of This Place

Guilty of low-calorie thinking
the whole gang
fallen into the river of perfume
currently passing through town
leaving a suitcase full of misdemeanors
on the dressing table
no time to change clothes
suitable for escape
having none that fit the occasion
I say we take revenge now
I know screaming guilt when I hear it
Smelling good does not pay the bills.


All in the Numbers

I did the bookkeeping and added up
the fingerprints and
we don’t have time to argue
get the suitcases out of the closet
hail a taxi
hope the traffic lights go our way
Some people would say
it’s the amphetamines talking
but science explains it
the rush you get
running out ahead of
a one-hundred percent sure thing
suddenly turned


These poems are all from Repairs, published 2017.

Waste No Words

There was no messenger.
There were two of them.
You wrote the letter
in blue ink. You wrote
no letter at all. The letter
was misaddressed and
returned to sender. You paid
the messenger
for special delivery
but your instructions
were not followed. The pen
ran out of ink. You refused
to use any but blue ink.
The bottle of blue ink
dried out in the drawer.
One of the messengers
fell ill. The ink stained
your fingers blue.
It all came to
in the end.


Can’t Kill It Now What

I decapitate that idea
Head gone one way
feet the other
I turn my back on it
I hear a noise
look around
Reconnected and lurching back at me
that idea.



Red and gold blooms
standing in metal buckets. She takes
one here one there
Snips their stems even. Fills the glass vase
each flower calling her to the next one
until there is
Rises to her toes
her hands held to each side
just shy of touching petals
Breathes out.



the grocery-store florist
arrange bouquets for sale.
Step forward
face showing
I want one.
They are beautiful.
I will buy this one
for my friend.

Go home.
Table with plenty of room
for a vase
of flowers


Backstage and the Play Goes On

Green apples
off-balance in their imperfect pyramid.
Frowsy onions
shedding papery skins onto the floor.
Russet potatoes
migrating into the tomato bin.
cannot be found at all.
The stock man
sitting on a crate of celery
behind the swinging door
eating a sandwich
dropping crumbs on the concrete floor.


Dandelion Season

Walking along the side of the road
where the dandelions
thrive in the mixed-size gravel
splotches of yellow that set themselves
inches from the asphalt
I’d step in the road so as not to
crush any one of them
if it weren’t so full of traffic
As it is I hop among the green islands
my feet pinching a spiky leaf here and there
but never the blossoms they surround
I reach the intersection
where the sidewalk begins
but I’m still walking
the yellow and green


2 thoughts on “One Dozen or So From the Archives: Episode 8

  1. Another great selection and so varied too. I really loved the humour in “Can’t Kill It Now What” and the sense of a longer, intriguing narrative in “All in the Numbers” and I really enjoyed all of the vivid and precise descriptions of produce in “Backstage and the Play Goes On”.

    • Thank you. As I revisit these poems from the past such a number of years after I wrote them I am struck by how much of today I feel in them. I guess things change and yet they don’t, to say something not so original! In all of these I see the thing I still think today – everything is interesting and there is a story everywhere!

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