Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who are you?

Her cars talked to one another
Threw parties
Traded complements
Argued and
Were really dolls with wheels
She was clearly a girl
His cars act the very same way
He must be gay
I painstakingly invent little miniature people
Who drive the cars out of the parking garage
Across the railroad tracks
To the park to meet friends for a for a picnic
To the outskirts of town at night for a clandestine exchange of money for something less than legal
To the police station to engage in a confrontation with the police chief over the allotment of resources and the pace of the evacuation in the face of a hurricane scheduled for landfall in less than twenty four hours and
To the drag strip on the outskirts of town where the drivers get into groups based on the age and make of their car, play their music loud, try hard to impress the ladies, and haggle over who will race tonight and whether they will be racing for pinks
I’m not a girl
I’m not gay
I am clearly a stay at home dad with a law degree who has published his own book of poetry and grew up in a loving home in Flint, the birthplace of GM

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


No sheets or covers
Open windows but no breeze
Still in the darkness

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The sky is growing darker
More quickly than it should at eight o’clock
At the end of May
The wind is picking up too
I am raking gobs of smelly dirt and seedlings
Out from the gutters
As fast as I can
Without really falling off of the ladder
It has rained a lot over the last few weeks and
The trees in the gutter didn’t just appear but
This rain on the horizon
Is one rain too many
I have to clean the gutters
Inside I can hear my son
Demanding the phone
He lost three months ago
I feel water drop on my arms
But it is only my own sweat

Monday, May 28, 2012


A picture of Shasta daisies hangs above my toilet
Purchased for two dollars at the thrift shop

Now they are in my garden too
Purchased for three dollars from the discount rack at Lowes

I bought the picture because
It made me think of Mount Shasta and
The first real camping trip I ever took  
With you

I bought the flower because they were on sale and
Not dead and
I like daisies

I wrote this poem
Shortly after midnight
Shortly after I realized that the daisies in the picture
Were the daisies in my garden and
Twelve years after our first date
Because I needed to write a poem on Monday and

I can’t go to the thrift store
Lowes or
To bed

Without thinking about you

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Of culture and perspective

There is a silly band in the shape of a princess on my desk
It’s pink
Of course and
Every way I turn it
It is still pink and
It still looks like a princess
Even upside down
If I put it on its side
Head on the left
Dress bottom on the right and
Stare at it
With one eye closed and
My head tilted to the right
Then it looks like a hippopotamus
Wearing a princess dress

Monday, May 21, 2012

No Coaching Through The Glass

The sign says
No coaching through the glass
The sign that I ignore since
Ambition is not reality
I’m not Bela Karolyi and
It’s not a police interrogation room
At least not for me or
No one is watching
For weaknesses to exploit
No one is waiting
At least not her or
Even if there is
No coaching through the glass

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Shall Overcome

Hand in hand
Is how we used to sing
The ‘hand In hand’ verse of
We Shall Overcome
Under the artificial stars
Generated by the battery powered turtle night light
In blue
Always blue
We would join our hands
For the whole verse
After which he would continue to hold my hand
While he asked whether this was indeed what hand in hand meant
He still asks the same question
Yesterday he asked
After he took my hand back in his
After having dripped it
In order to make a diamond shape
With both of his hands
Today he just asked
We’ll still sing the song
But maybe we’ll go with the
I am not afraid verse

Monday, May 14, 2012


Clean clothing needs to be folded
Every bit as much as
Movies need to be made and
Diseases conquered
Says the person
Whose day revolves around folding clothing

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Buckle Up for Safety

In order to keep her clothes clean at lunch time
She favors layers
Pulling on one of my shirts over top of her own
He takes his off and
Talks about dropping yogurt on his belly
He’s all talk
For once
Normally you can tell what flavor yogurt he ate just by looking at it
She has peanut butter on her forehead and
I’m just there
Wondering if
Helmets and
Are really worthwhile

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Two Minutes

Two minutes
That’s how long before I should be in bed
That’s how long I have to spin out some profound statement
On life
Love and
The space in between
Oh it will take me ten or twenty minutes to do it and
I’ll be out some precious sleep
Without much to show for it but
For two minutes after writing it
 I won’t acknowledge any of that and
That’s the two minutes I want
To be in
That’s why
I stay up too long
To write this poem

Where are you now

Right now
Childhood is shivering under a table
Asking whether the dinosaur
You have just
Invented and
In a clearing between the bed and the dresser
Eats vegetables
He's looking right at you and
Wondering the same thing

Monday, May 07, 2012

Where are you ...

Childhood is shivering under a table
Asking whether the dinosaur
Dad has just identified over by the bed
Is a vegetarian
Or not
Where are you

Saturday, May 05, 2012

There's Nothing Like The Smell of Failure in The Morning

I didn’t smile
Ask if he was OK
Tell him everything would be fine and
Reassure him that it was no big deal
 At least not right away
Faced with
Seeping out of his shorts
Onto his sheets
His hands and
The floor
Shit he had woken up with and tried to pull off of his irritated rear
Shit I had unknowingly rubbed into the carpet
In the pitch black of this early May morning
When I laid him down to change his diaper
Faced with shit
I asked him why
I moaned
I gritted my teeth
I sighed
I sighed a lot
I implored him never to do this to me again and
I didn’t smile

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Only Two More Days

Only two more days of five
Two more bowls of cereal
One of which will be the frosted mini-wheats I bought her today as a special treat
Two more drop offs at school
Two more opportunities to run late
Forget her backpack
Yell at her and her brother for leaving the house
Two more pick ups
Two more opportunities to ask her what she did today at music class or art class
While her brother sings or gets upset because she won’t listen to him
Two more lunches
Yogurt and
Something with peanut butter
Two more naps
Two more chances to listen to her read through the baby monitor
Two more homework sessions
Lasting ten seconds a piece
Too more days of games on
Teaching the cat about adverbs
Eating dinner
And only one more nighttime reading of Mouse and the Motorcycle
One more performance of Aldi
Known to you as The Boxer
One more time to say
I love you
See you in the morning
And goodbye
Ten or twelve times
Amidst a smattering of kisses and
A lot of door closing
And then
It will be Friday
And there will be
Only three hundred and sixty four more days of six