“seating arrangements”

in memoriam of Mike Brown a 18 year old from Ferguson, MO.  murdered by police
to his mother Lesley McSpadden

Hard the heart of force fed
encampments of darkness
the night sky conspires

the first rock the protesters threw
hit home
the tear gas canister tossed
over head
thrown back

gun shots

freedom hasn’t know these shores
in so long
the slow song
makes more sense
than the dance music

his mother’s bloodseating arrangements
thick in her veins
Men in suits
come to her door
begging her forgiveness
lying to her lost eyes
searching the entrance
for her boy’s arrival

“he won’t be back, Mother
they kept him
filled him with holes
you can bury him
now they are finished
Men in different suits
subdued him with bullets
took him
into the custody of angels
he won’t be home for dinner
ever again”
no need to set a place
for him
at your table
more important Men
who work for more important Men
will be sitting in his chair
they said the neighbor boys
are marching and looting
no need to set them a place either, Mother
they are busy
collecting names, and cadences
Jessie arrived yesterday, Mother
they said they didn’t need him
sent him home
no need to take out a plate for him
though he said he had been with you
all day
I doubt if you would have noticed
waiting on your son
he said he would help
they all lie
you must have figured this out by now, Mother

take solace

if there is any in this time
a place is being set for you
at a different table
the servers pour the best wines and the feast last forever
your son will be there waiting,
I am sure he will save you a seat.


“OrnaMENTAL affections”

Around her collar there are bite marks
his iron clad heart pumps dust
she trembles
holding back the elephant sized sword slashes
laying bridled in her throat
he takes time putting together houses of cards

broken beer bottles
scorched documents
the frightened looks
of unsure bomb threats
between lovers

she surrendered her hidden ecstasy
in his fingers
sunk her lips into the lawn mower blade
of his false promisesorniMENTAL affections
now covered in blood
she awakens
safe alone in her bed
searching for her phone
to call him
words beneath her station
one last time
the alarm halts the marching band firing squad
consorting with her lips
she is reminded that enough time has been wasted
playing house and carriage
with this Texas Chainsaw Massacre
she once held at the neck giving out secrets
a Pirate found where she kept her treasures
she held him by the hand in the dark place
where she keeps secrets
he took everything
now alone,
with her remorseful emptiness
the past two years
8 months
7 days
and 42 minutes
seem like thumbtacked body wash
with a scouring pad loffa
and so much poured out sand.
Be simple sweet princess
you had lost your way
the road ahead will be easier
unfettered by the CROSS you lugged around
unceremoniously laid down with
blame only your naivete
the terrorist playing tricks
in the empty spaces of your imagination and bed sheets
has moved on to another battle
pack up all you can salvage of your wings
and come home.

“stairs, lobby & then out into the night”

but I love you
he says
his yellowed smile jaundiced eyes
the crimson hue of his dehydrated skin
unexplained night time adventures & cheating
his heavy voice lightening
almost begging, pleading

“Man over board!”

he repeats his surrender louder than before

can’t you see that.”

he smells of whiskey,
“bath and body works” mixed with bold faced lies
shirt inside out
swaying on the linoleum
like each word propels him forward
into the next
her eyes are ice chests
muzzle flashes
and less pity than
the 4 times this had
been the occasion
before this

fire, shredded love notes
with all the clichés you would expect
from a man who never got to be a man
ignored the changing leaves
left home but never finished anything
that he started and stopped
he stopped caring about his appearance
about anything
that you couldn’t pour over ice cubes
or stuff into a cat suit
twerk to market

“these hoes ain’t loyal”
but who was looking for hoes
this late after the changing of the guard
and relocation to addresses of strangers

he was a mess
this was a mess
she had a solution
it was neatly packed in boxes
marked with his government name
sitting on the steps
waiting for him to go
it was time
he knew it
still in his pleading tone,

“I am sorry”

she nodded
no words
for what seemed like switch blades
gashing the infection from his heart attack
handle on the world
he had already alienated

this was his last advocate resigning

to punctuate her exodus
she said slowly
in a dry moaning tone
a song that would play in his subconscious
all night in the shelter
for the 6 months before his arrest
his parole revocation hearing
lingering the 8 years
of his remaining sentence

“let me go, I have let you go. Be a man for once and just leave…”

A poem…”untitled”

It is often
I languish in this poet’s soul
making lines where there ought be circles
trying to make sense out of the infernal madness
God, I wish you had made me simple
for carpentry or metallurgy
angles and mixing things
for in these words
these contemptuous words
we are more often paupers and laughing stocks
but sweet this addiction to writing
it’s calling like sailors to post,
man of war to killing
God to confounding

I think I was always this “thing”
under strong drink and loose women
trying to hide
be something else
but I know nothing, can do nothing
except what you attend
if this be my cross
let me bare it
My Great Grandmother’s God
I wonder if I ever really knew you
If anyone can
but in this writing may I find you
if you are as she said
show me mercy
full of melancholy, violence and tears
is my worried heart
the people suffer in their own ignorance
sit under my window and sing me sleep
lest my heart explode
for it is full of your lesser blessings
and knows not which way is home…