four year old eyes meet my own
in the rear view mirror
scared eyes
dried vomit in his hair
on his shirt and under his eye
brave beyond his years
gently caressing his older brother's head
while his brother continues
to seize uncontrollably
and I race death to the hospital
Sprawled across the living room rug,
Dad listens to the voice of Herb Score
announcing the next Indian at bat.
Humidity hangs in the house
like a thick carpet on a sagging clothesline.
Only the rose-colored lamp illuminates
Dad’s face in an otherwise dark room.
“It’s too hot for lights,” he whispers to me.
Kneeling down, I join Dad on the floor
hoping to catch a breeze from the window
above his head.  Turning slowly,
he acknowledges me with a tired smile.
Side by side, we lie quietly,
lulled by the monotony of the play by play.
In our silence I want to tell him
about the baseball cards I stole this afternoon.
About the same time Tony Horton
steals home, I nearly do.

the sky
is black enough
to camouflage
ravens and crisp
enough to
frost the trees
in the yard
yet there
is not room
enough in its
cool indigo
to hide this
crucified soul
the truth is:
every night
is cold and dark
when you are married
to the void
I spent time in prison
For crimes I did commit
And learned to value
Duration, sitting still,
Brisket, anything roasted,
Rusk bread baked
Not once but twice,
Love wrapped in foils
Of forgiveness imbedded
In the coals of resentment,
Things incubated,
Simmered, not boiled,
Water, poison, sweated out,
Dross drained,
Life refined,
Life, I came to value
A second chance at life.
Say more with less.
Don’t tell me everything.
Be like a stone.
Talk with your fingers.
Bring me pamphlets
with no words in them.
I don’t want to speak.
I don’t want to think.
I look for the exit,
not the entrance.
Don’t despair.
I just want to be alone.
Just say no and
I will say the same.
I need silence.
I don’t seek conversation.
Sit like the stones
in ancient towns.
I don’t want to
return to my birthplace.
I don’t miss it.
I lost the connection.
I am sure it’s still beautiful
under the stars
and perpendicular rain.
Reason maintains many things, though not

the rings left on the dark wood table,

the torn label from bottles of India brew.

I got fat. She was sad

to be falling out of love with me.

Walking through Chicago winter, you can

only see your breath if you stop moving.

A taxi slowed to see if I was fare.

And that’s pretty much the whole story.


cosmic fist fulls of hair you
tear from me, my white lantern
stars fall from my eyes; I’ve
never known what you’ve ever
wanted, but all you’ve done is
steal moments from me, pulling
away the fine wine of my life
here, pouring it down your gullet
from my favorite chalice which
you consequently shattered in
a rage, I’m sick of remaining in
the shadows like a dusty relic --
you can take your things and
leave, nothing is worth this petty
anguish you’ve sung upon me;
I must rather be washed away by
the sad tears of a cold silver rain.


broken dreams litter
the lawn in moon silver,
they used to cling to me
with teeth tighter than the
coils of zephyr through hair;
I mourn their loss in rain,
white river stones mark
their sacred burial grounds --
I want to breathe life back
into them, resurrect them
like Jesus rose from the dead.

Hands embrace each other, slide through on another
Like raw, wet fish still shivering with death.
In unison they flop, up down, clinging mannerly apathetic,
Then separate, parted by the tide of time.  

A deer lies crushed under a fallen trunk in the empty forest,
Visible only as a bleeding hoof,
Blackened from the flames that consumed his home.
No one lives here now.
He must have been injured not to run with the rest,
Or penned in by the flames after sleeping too late.
I think he must have blessed the tree that fell and
Ended him quickly before he burned,
For I know I would have.
I place the daisy chain I made on the way across his tomb,
A splash of yellow and white on relentless black.
He was the only one in the forest when the tree fell.
I wonder if it made a sound.

She said put your hand in the flame.
She said your shadow will protect you.
I can’t recall her name now.
But in the morning, when the sun is
a broken blister, I can hear her
soft susurration. And I think of the way
she held me, like a prisoner,
like the man she could burn and/or love.