Washing my Hands Under an Assumed Name

featured in the poetry forum July 17, 2012  :: 0 comments

The pressing matters of the day
are as important as potato salad;
get the mayonnaise right
and the rest falls into place.
You’d think my water bill would be
a little lower
washing my hands under an assumed name.
You’re only as clean
as your dirtiest member.
Relay teams and shipwrights
with quadriplegic anchors.
I left my mind somewhere between psychosis
and Santa Rosa.

Leveled thumbs line the interstate
like track lighting for the soul.

editors note:

Now I understand! Cleanliness is next to Santa Rosa; just follow that track lighting. – mh

Best Actress
in a Supporting Role

October 13, 2011  :: 0 comments

She’s crying
in the parking lot
outside the Movie Time,
and I wonder if she is just practising
for the tear jerker she has rented
for tonight,
starring Hollywood’s finest,
which is not saying
much.

Vanity Plates

featured in the poetry forum October 13, 2011  :: 0 comments

The pretty boy in cheap blazer
just back from the bathroom,
parts his hair to the left
with Herculean effort
and gets lost in his own reflection.

While the ceiling fan
looks down on the world
and I follow two girls
with hand held mirrors
and little else

out into a parking lot
full of vanity plates
and power steering:

K8 4 EVR
UNCL TOM
#1 MOM
DIVA 22
LOADED
SUPR GRL
BIG DOG
THE MAN…

The sun is self-absorbed.
The summer birds are preening.

Even the freshly paved asphalt
cannot stop admiring
itself.

editors note:

You gotta be impressed with yourself, even if no else is. NOPLT4ME. – mh

Have You Seen the Fireworks in Singapore?

August 6, 2011  :: 0 comments

Things are happening
in Nagoya, Japan
I know it.

Have you seen the fireworks
in Singapore;
the size of the sausage
in Bavaria?

I throw a cherry bomb
down my own toilet
and call the front
desk.

When the cops arrive
I get to give a general description
of the assailant.

I make it look
just like me
and see if they’re
smart enough
to figure it
out.

The First One into Space is Often the Last to Say Please

featured in the poetry forum August 6, 2011  :: 0 comments

Addition and subtraction
could never prepare me for the ovens
of the world.

Black and white
is how Bogart picked up girls
with screenwriters’ lines
piano side,

while Elvis swivelled his Graceland hips
and Eisenhower spied on the Russians.

The first one into space
is often the last to say:

please.

Ever since kindergarten
I’ve been trying for maternity leave.

Compulsion

featured in the poetry forum January 22, 2011  :: 0 comments

I have no idea why,
but each night I get drunk
I feel the need to go out
and roam the streets.
This is something I have done
for years,
only now I carry less weapons
and more quarters.
I dial local calls at random
on the payphone a few blocks away
and recite the poems I have just written
to the stranger on the other end.
I usually only get a few words in
before dial tone loneliness
returns
and I begin dialling at random
again.
When I am out of quarters
I walk in a single direction
until I tire of it
and then begin heading in another.
One night I traversed half the city
and would have taken the morning bus back home
but I was out of quarters.

I have no idea why I do
what I do;
only that I must.

I feel compelled
to roam the streets each night.
In much the same way
man eating tigers
alter their diet
without warning
and expressions never leave
the face.

Metamorphosis Rex

featured in the poetry forum November 27, 2010  :: 0 comments

Everything must change;
true enough,
but not frivolously so.
Not just for the sake of change.
The tree does not grow bored
with treedom
and turn into a pound cake
while the water can
and a ukulele
switch places
on a dare.

Everything is in the process of becoming.
Hell, even Ovid
and the caterpillar
know this.
Evolving
devolving
living
dying,
whatever the case
may be,
everything this side of immortality
must change,
but not just for the sake
of change.

Sometimes I’ll wear the same clothes
for a week
or more
just to prove what I’m saying.

Sometimes I’ll do it for no reason
at all.

306 Lorraine

August 16, 2010  :: 0 comments

Sorry
Mr. Bailey
but your bra strap
got in the way
of my Reformation
eyes

and now I can’t go
five minutes
without mother’s mascara
and raindrops upon the slanting
summer shingles
the paid professional
installed
just last week

as the boys on their bikes
did pop-o-wheelies with skinned knee bravado,
the girls in the street
ran absent-minded
through a wilted patch of forget-me-nots,

and I confessed to a rowboat
in sink the Bismarck
dry dock
for the first time
that I used to bake beans
in my maternal grandmother’s
torn pantyhose
and gaudy brass
rings

and haven’t had a dream
since the good reverend
in a Memphis motel
packed his ideals away
with his toothbrush
in an overnight bag
made of lead

and checked out
unexpectedly.

The Exploding Chair

August 6, 2010  :: 0 comments

The dinner guests had
nothing bad to say
about the food
and drink
and congenial conversation
of an ever gracious host,
but the exploding chair
in the corner
was a little unsettling.

One woman screamed,
another choked on a broccoli
head,
most everyone else sat in uneasy silence
wondering if the exploding chair
in the corner
and the chair they now sat upon
had come as a
set.

Don’t worry, it always does that,
said the gracious host
with a casual raise of the glass
I will rebuild it again tomorrow
good as new
and set it out in the garage
where it can explode all it
wants to

in the company
of my imploding
car.

Cross Dressing with Heidegger

June 2, 2010  :: 0 comments

Don’t tell me you have nothing
to wear.
With all the socks,
shirts,
pants,
dresses,
shoes,
dainties,
accessories,
and other
fashion accoutrement
out there
I’m sure we can find you’
something.

Maybe a green cocktail dress
to bring out your eyes
or something slimming
and fun
to go with this pink fedora
I just know you’d love

as I pull up
my pantyhose
put on some strapless heels
and help Heidegger
with his hair
and makeup.