A half-mad letter was in my pocket all day.
All day it reminded me of disturbing things.
Things were not going well.
In the number of removed light,
it sent itself out, with distraught messages,
things no one wanted to hear,
least of all, me.
Its letters were moving around in my pocket,
how things should always be good,
but they never are.
It wanted the blueprint of memories.
He called often long after we divorced.
He wanted us to be friends.
It eased his guilt.
I shoved a cactus thorn under my thumbnail.
When he called next, I pressed on the red infected nail.
Venom ribboned as my thumb gave birth
Soon I allowed the machine to answer his calls.
The morning after my death, the light
comes up as usual, hungry flowers
gasp open to the sun, cardinals
rediscover the clever songs
of centuries past, you read this
and turn the page with a little shrug
(I see the birds’ red
bleed into the dirt, light hushes
the sky like wind on a puddle)
in the sky's dark-room
dressed in silver
of open windows
patiently they wait
for an audience.
[Insert random conversational text
is too monumental or arbitrary.
No cohesion is required. Tired
brain? Empty head? No worries,
just enter random words. Press
send when finished, then wait.
I process all prompts promptly. Shake
things up, turn them sideways. Dance
them on their heads through mine. Images
playing at wanting
to become concrete.
I regurgitate, recycle. Shiny fresh
ideas you never knew
you already had.
Had a date with my Sneaky Pete and the girls
last night at College Billiards,
the local dive joint where circuit Players
come to shoot pool on the Pro size tables,
making hustler type bets,
we're crummy so settled around a
Brunswick in the back top corner,
ordered up thick juicy grilled burgers
from a sweet Hispanic cocktail waitress,
and best onion rings on El Cajon Boulevard
washed down with Pacifico beer.
Cool Rat Pack tunes played in the background
Dean Martin boozy growling
and you could smell the cig smoke coming
out Sammy Davis Jr.'s mouth,
we shot eight ball and chill practice
while money was fast changing hands
down on the floor,
and charming slick-talker Minnesota Fats
who never lost a game
"when the cheese was on the table,"
in a frame on dingy green walls,
taking in all the action.
Struggling, searching, seeking
Strata’s rubble left behind