Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Coffee Plot

The coffee maker is trying
to murder me.

Overfilling my cup with scalding
hot liquids.

Spilling all over the counter
and floor.

I see its obvious evil plot
to murder me.

To burn me, or drown me,
or cause me to slip on the wet floor.

I see the hate in its glowing,
brewing eye.

I know your kind, and I
know of your thirst for vengeance.

You failed your brewness,
you failed to get me.

The last laugh will
be mine coffee maker.

It will be mine.

Ooh, my stomach… 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Yelling at Dandelions

Yelling over someone is not
how to have a discussion.
Shouting over everyone
and pounding your fists
is no way to make a point.

The loudest talker is not
the winner. I don’t believe
Gandhi raised his voice very
often and he got
the British to leave India.

Hitler yelled all the time,
rallying against the
“undesirables”   in Europe.
Mussolini yelled all the time,
rallying against his own people.

Tyrants are the loud talkers,
they dismiss calm conversation as
weakness and would rather just
yell over everyone until their crazy opinion
is the only one anyone can hear.

Loud talkers are not always right,
loud talkers don’t often listen well,
loud talkers often think they’re right
no matter how much evidence is
against their position.

I don’t like loud noises much.
I prefer loud laughter over loud
talking. I prefer loud squeals of
unbridled joy over loud talking.

Ignorance is not bliss.
Stupidity is not innocence.
Angry shouting should not be the first
reaction.  The loudest person in the room
doesn’t always know best.

Unless that person is me.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Making Friends

                “Is it over yet,” asked Jenny. The bus driver looked back at her in the rear-view mirror and shrugged. Jenny slumped back into her bus seat and frowned. The train passing in front of the bus just kept going.  The roar of the train cars and the tickity-tackity sound of the steel wheels over the steel rails seemed endless. The noise cut through the quiet train crossing stop and echoed across the hills and fields in all directions.

                Jenny was alone on the bus as she was the last to be dropped off after school. Her family’s farm was just on the edge of the county and it always took forever to get to and from school; especially when a train came through. She looked up and out the front bus windows to see the train continue to roll by. She figured it had to be three miles long at this point. She wasn’t very good at math yet so she wasn’t sure. They really hadn’t gotten to that part in her textbook yet. But it felt like three miles so that seemed right to her.

                “How long do you think this train is,” asked Jenny. The bus driver shrugged in the rear-view mirror. He was rapping his fingers on the steering wheel in time with the train’s noise. He kept looking straight ahead at the blur of the passing train. He was mesmerized.

                “Do you think it’ll be much longer? Can you see the end,” asked Jenny. The driver looked at Jenny in the mirror and shrugged again.

                “You don’t talk much do you,” asked Jenny. She sat back in her seat and folded her arms over her chest. She frowned and wondered how much longer it could be and why this bus driver wouldn’t talk to her. She missed Ms. Stephen’s who used to drive the bus. Ms. Stephen’s had a stroke a month ago and now she can’t drive at all. Jenny’s mother said they would try and visit Ms. Stephen’s but they hadn’t gotten around to it. Jenny wondered why her mother always would say they would do something and then they never would. It was like the time they were going to move closer to town but then they didn’t.

                The train slowed down on the tracks and was now crawling along. The constant noise dimmed and the intervals between the tickity and the tackity slowed. Jenny got out of her seat and moved up toward the front bus seat, where the cool girls sat normally, to the right of the bus driver. She sat down and sighed loudly.

                The bus driver, noticing the slowing train, seemed to come out of a hypnotic trance and he turned to look at Jenny for the first time, instead of in the mirror.  Jenny looked back at him and smiled. He didn’t smile back. He turned his head and looked back through the windshield and at the slow moving train.

                “You’re not really friendly are you,” asked Jenny. “Ms. Stephen’s was very friendly. She had this job before you but she had a stroke and can’t drive anymore. I heard that if you have a stroke you go all sort of gooey in your brain and your face sags like this,” said Jenny as she pulled down on the left side of her face to make it appear droopy.

                The bus driver looked back at Jenny and the droopy face she was attempting to make. He looked at her with squinted eyes and then turned back toward the front. Jenny let her face relax and she brushed an errant long brown hair off her forehead. She sighed loudly.

                The train crunched and groaned as it appeared to pick up speed. The tickity tackity sounds sped up over the noises of the creaking and grumbling train cars. The bus driver looked down to his left and thought he could see the caboose.  He gripped the steering wheel in anticipation. Jenny was leaning forward in her seat to see out the left side windows. She could see the end approaching as well.

                “Finally! It’s finally almost over,” she said. She went back to her original seat in the middle of the bus and grabbed her backpack and returned to the front of the bus; to the cool girl seat.  The dinging caboose passed in front of the bus and then traveled toward the horizon. The red and white train crossing arm rose and the driver put the bus in gear. The bus rolled forward over the bumpy tracks and down the two lane road.

                “That was probably the longest train ever! I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait so long. I bet you’re glad that train is done. I bet you have a family you want to get home to too. I bet you have a nice family. Do you have a family? That’s okay if you don’t answer. It’s probably private. I just have a lot of questions about stuff. At least that’s what my mother says about me. Always asking questions, she says about me,” said Jenny.

                The driver looked over and Jenny and nodded. Jenny was surprised he was listening. Ms. Stephen’s was nice but she didn’t really listen to anyone as she drove. She used to yell to stop talking to her while she was driving.  It was so mean but it was probably for safety’s sake or something. Jenny smiled and put her backpack on over her shoulders. The bus pulled up in front of her family’s mailboxes and the door opened. Jenny hopped up from the cool girl seat and stood next to the driver. He looked down at her.

                “Thanks for being nice and listening to me. I’ll see you on Monday,” said Jenny as she turned and climbed the stairs off and onto the driveway of her family’s farm. She turned down the road and waved at the bus driver.

                He lifted his hand and waved back, “Adios Niñita”. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Headed Off at the Pass

Autumn is a bushwhacker,
holed up in the middle of
the pass where Summer
rides through the canyon.

He sits, smoking a cigar, rifle in hand,
waiting for Summer to ride
through and end her journey
when it seems like it only started.

The Earth starts to tilt
on its axis and the northern
hemisphere starts to drift away
from the Sun.

Wrangled in the cosmic
rodeo by incredible gravitational
cowboys, spinning the Earth toward
a new ranch.

Autumn is primed, ready, able and
willing to take his shot and take
back the pass and hold Summer ransom
until Winter pays.

Spring will negotiate with Winter
for Summer’s release, but Autumn
will be back, like every year, waiting
to ambush innocent Summer again.

The pass is quiet as Summer approaches,
Autumn squints down the barrel of his
rifle. A hawk screams overhead. The dry
wind blows dust around.

Science says it’s Earth’s orbital path that
causes the change in the seasons, the perfectly
choreographed tilt that causes the temperature

We know better. Autumn is a bandit and of
low character, he wants pumpkin spices and
the lady-folk to cover up their bareness,
he wants the ground noisy with crunching leaves.

Summer looks up at the canyon walls, but
oblivious to the trap in wait.
The shot cracks and Summer jumps from
her horse .

Autumn yips and yells at another capture,
he runs down the canyon walls and quickly
ties Summer up in thick rope. He sits across
from her on the canyon floor, lights another cigar.

“I got you again,” says Autumn.
“I know,” sighs Summer.
“You want to play cards,” asks Autumn.
“I guess so,” shrugs Summer.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Curious Madness of Dreams

I was angry in the dream.
Pissed off about something,
this, that or the other.  I can’t
really recall why the dream
“me” was so mad.  But I was.

I was wearing a scowl on
my face, brow deeply furrowed,
as I walked through a superstore,
megamall, what have you, parking
lot. It was a gray day, Autumn hovering.

I approached my car and discovered
some store had decided to use my car as
a makeshift display for few colorful
piñata’s. A bull on the roof, a lamb on
the hood, colorful streamers flapping.

I was even more enraged in the dream,
“What son of a bitch would do this,” I yelled.
I grabbed the bull off the roof and dragged it
to a garbage can in front of the dollar store
and jammed the bull down head first.

I didn’t care if it was valuable, or filled with
candy. It didn’t belong there.
I went back to my car to grab the lamb when
I was stopped by a petite brunette, thick
black glasses framing her blue eyes.

“What are you doing,” she asked.
“Did you do this!? Did you put these things
on my car,” I demanded.
“I thought it was someone else’s,” she said.
I cringed at her self-defense.

“Well get them off,” I demanded, still
scowling, frowning and generally looking
She moved at dream speed and my car was
quickly de-piñata-ed.

I opened my car door and was
about to get in when I noticed
a baby seat in my back seat.
“What the heck is this now,” I growled.
She looked in the back seat and cowered.

“I had the wrong car, it’s for my boss, I’ll
get it out,” she said.
Dream me didn’t even know how she’d
gotten into my car without my keys but
dream logic isn’t all that coherent.

I did wonder where the baby was though.
There didn’t seem to be one around anywhere.
I looked in the back seat again to make sure
there weren’t any more surprises,
the rear was clear.

I got in my car and rolled the window
down and this cute little woman stood
near. I began to lecture her on how improper
it was to assume and on and on I went until
I noticed how amazingly cute she was.

I stopped my lecturing, my correcting and
looked at her blue eyes, her lips, her light
make-up over a natural beauty. My anger
started to wane, until it was quiet. She stood
at the door, quivering bottom lip.

“Would you like to go on a date,” I asked her.
She smiled.
“I would like that very much,” she said.
She leaned into my car and kissed me
on the lips.

I wasn’t angry anymore.  I smiled.
I smiled in the dream.
I felt the small kiss like a spark, a shock.
I woke up.
And was smiling in my bed.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Road Ghosts

It’s all strewn along the
side of the highway.
The pieces of lives,
scattered on a cement
beach. Forced there by
the tides of automobiles.

There’s sheet metal, parts
of exploded tires, buckets,
gloves, the occasional shoe,
I saw a pair of jean shorts this
morning, glass, rags, whole
car bumpers, and garbage.

I’ve often wondered how a
shoe, a flip flop, a tee-shirt, or
jean shorts, might wind up in
a heap on the side of the highway.
How does this stuff pile up on the road?
How is it unnoticed by those that lost it?

I’m sure there are accidents to blame,
crashes, fender benders, and other
collisions. But a shoe? A single shoe?
Or the jean shorts I saw this morning?
If it was luggage that fell off and scattered
clothes all over I could see that, but no. Just one pair.

How did those jean shorts find their way there?
Was it a fight with a lover and out the window
they went in an act of cruelty? An act of
exhibitionism? Something dangerously
promiscuous? Were they drying them in the
speeding wind and , poof, lost them?

What about the one shoe that wasn’t there
during yesterday’s commute? How did one
shoe decide to come to rest on the side of the
highway? Who is limping around with only one
shoe, struggling to find the other? Do they not know
where it went?

The stories for the debris on the side of
the road is innumerable.  They’re ghosts.
They’re memories. They were something,
to someone, sometime. Now they’re haunting
these words, along with the roads, with
their mysteries.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

Make Me

Make me.
Make me cry.
Make me laugh.
Make me remember.
Make me forget.

Make me love.
Make me steal.
Make me break.
Make me take.
Make me heal.

Make me hot.
Make me cold.
Make me numb.
Make me bold.
Make me strange.

Make me thirst.
Make me hunger.
Make me want.
Make me deny.
Make me full.

Go ahead and make me.
I dare you.
To make me do anything.
I dare you.
Make me. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Easier to Say

She said she was sad.
So I said I was sorry.
I’m not sure why I was sorry,
but it seemed the right thing
to say.

Although I don’t think I should
be sorry. I didn’t make her sad.
I didn’t cause her any woe,
yet her eyes are watery, on
the verge of tears.

I’m sorry she’s sad,
from a place of empathy,
a place of sympathy,
a place of not knowing what
else to do.

I understand she’s sad,
I get it. I understand.
Yet I can’t control her sadness
and just have to let it wash over
her. I can’t fix it.

I can only feel sorry.
Sorry she’s sad.
Sorry I’m not making her laugh.
Sorry I’m not making her forget.
Sorry I’m incapable of her expectations.

But Sorry is the wrong word,
an inefficient word since it’s
not used apologetically.
It’s from the compassion for
her misery. But easier to say.

She said she was sad.
I said I was still sorry.
She sighed.
I sighed.