day at the park
spotted fire dog tall and long
chase chase NIP the muzzle
BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK
voice girl treat.
water thirst tongue water SPLASH paddle paddle paddle padd--
voice girl treat.
green bounce fuzz.
green bounce fuzz green bounce fuzz green bounce fuzz FLY
faster than black and white run dog faster than wiggle cream bark dog faster than skinny red needle dog
green bounce fuzz BOUNCE dirt BOUNCE dirt snap tumble BALL!
voice girl treat green fuzz ball.
FLYING FLYING brown curly tail dog got green fuzz ball water big water
splash splash voice girl
rub dirt rub dirt rub dirt
up ground far away
gate harness gate shake mud
shake mud mud
gate tug gate car?
Morning in the Woods,
a poem in the Tang style
The sun rises slow and soft
touching my body aloft
In my hammock in a tree
a sweet breeze toward me wafts
Too soon, I begin to cough
clearing my lungs of the frost
that chilled every breath last night
but this view is worth the cost
birthday girl turns 22
1. eyes open. turn. eyes close. dog rattles her cage. birthday girl gets out of bed.
2. dog does 1 pee, 1 poo within the first block of walk. morning is warm, so dog and birthday girl do another block before breakfast.
3. kibble portioned, poured. birthday girl goes back to bed.
4. dog leapt on birthday girl on bed. ow. dog's nails need trimming.
5. birthday girl is in her underwear and nothing else in front of full-length mirror. research paper is due at midnight, but birthday girl wants to go back to bed. black mesh two-piece, a little sliver of skin; birthday girl dresses for success.
6. starbucks for free coffee. birthday girl pulls up research paper and reads the news in another tab for an hour.
7. coffee makes birthday girl poop.
8. birthday girl packs up and walks home. this is a private toilet kind of poop.
9. roommate wonders why bathroom smells bad.
10. birthday girl flips on fan.
11. sigh. only half a page of text at half past noon. bake a big cookie in a pan to cope.
12. wonder if friends remembered?
13. drives to boyfriend's.
14. boyfriend plays local indie band music; birthday girl hunches over her laptop.
15. birthday girl is 3 pages in when time to leave for dinner function. hope it doesn't run long.
16. dinner function is delayed because attendees are watching final minutes of basketball game on lobby flatscreen. birthday girl is too short to see over tops of heads. no idea who's winning.
17. birthday girl pretends everyone is there to celebrate her birthday.
18. drops hints. some people catch on and ask about plans. research paper, birthday girl says. oh, they say.
19. game is over. someone won. conversely, someone lost.
20. finally, dinner.
21. birthday girl turns in paper at 12:05 am. birthday girl now ex-birthday girl. go home.
22. big cookie comes out of oven. roommate, seeing this, produces candles. other roommates emerge from rooms. boyfriend lights candles. surprise.
A fork tilts, clatters
tuning my audience in to the rising pitch of me
busting free from patience caging soundbites from the day
My plate untouched, spoon in air, conducting bits of NPR and
NYT and comments section
of Fox News
I ooze from class to class to meeting across the quad and up the stairs and
the guns won’t stop firing; kids keep waiting for parents who won’t come; the aid is a weapon; lobsters feel themselves boiling; the survivors keep dying; too cold for potatoes; the border buckles
My insides are plastered with headlines and hot takes
banged out with abandon like a tantrum’s fists against keys
I am hemmorhaging this uncooked mess of compassion and distress
as dinner sits untouched
tablemates politely nod
and the world spins madly on
Caracas can see every star tonight,
black sky an oily mirror gazing
back at a burning capital;
the people's anger is the only light.
Tear gas fingerprints dot a pattern on the streets
squint awhile and perhaps, see
among the United States' tangled puppet strings:
aid forgotten, stones tossed, human pawns reset
The sun dreads the hour of return
to the mistakes yesterday left
master, maker, marathoner
of money feeding hungry geniuses
restless in Crenshaw residential
Wish-granter, flower and pollinator after the rain
he walks, shadow giant,
past low-rises calling
heat in business incubator
down the street from the rink where
black kids roll to oldie records
Hip-hop, big culture,
futures in young ears
transforming all those dreams
in heads of engineers
lapping victors, finish line forgotten
he's going further, model for all of the others