Three poems



On Baltic Avenue


A stew of junkies monopolize the corner.
Some argue they would make for lovely art
hung inside, on a museum wall.

Hobos thumb down cars
on a blistering asphalt
as a pack of bastard children
experiment with matches and spray-paint.

You finger the dice
and imagine the future
of a lot selling for only sixty dollars.

The One Where I Open the Door


No one thinks the day should begin with a spilled beverage, or a whiff of breath that takes the petals right off a flower, but too often it does. And looking up to notice the sky shouldn’t be awkward. But when I crane my neck I feel like the boxcar of a train concealing traveling hobos, all camped out and tucked away in dingy 3rd generation sleeping bags. My neighbors look and point, and drop
their mouths into O’s, and then I miss the birds when they decide to dash into a funny fishy shape over the treetops.

Today will be different. Today, I think I’ll walk into the ocean, maybe hang out at the corner bus stop, and learn how to tag a wall with yellow spray paint. So many afternoons are wasted looking at a clock, or daydreaming about the shape of her breasts. This afternoon I think I’ll plant a tree in the crack of a sidewalk, say hello to the police on their flashy mountain bikes, even if there are no mountains around. And when it is time for the sun to disappear, for her to find her way to my front door, I will practice the politics of fresh breath. I will not think about the phone bill, the gas prices, or Eddie Murphy’s deep, troubling laughter.

There is a reason she pressed the faded orange light of my doorbell and it has nothing to do with the moon being erased by the jigsaw puzzle of clouds using up the sky.

The Gods Look Like Patio Furniture, Especially When It Rains


During the trip,
hundreds of parachutes
dropped from the clouds
no one holstered within.

The trunk of the rent-a-car.
The sound of the sun on her shoes.
Rain falling across town
in the postman’s path.

Beneath the urban sky,
a northwestern wind wheezed.
Everyone’s emotions were like a bad haircut.
Air entered and exited
at an uneasy momentum.

A pretty girl had trouble
erasing the kiss marks
from between her legs,
now tingling in illumination.

The triangle television screen
featured The Pose of the Week,
which made her backbone
feel like the throat of a man
stabbed for wearing expensive shoes.

Outside tires dashed through puddles,
surrendering at the parking lot of a pub
where hairpieces hung like potted flowers
and Aspirin filled tiny bowls
scattered throughout the bar.

Over the loudspeaker
a voice sluggishly read passages
from the best-selling book
The Gods Look Like Patio Furniture,
Especially When It Rains.















Copyright � 2005