Her Tell

Eyes squinting like a cat’s
she stares glistening
icy daggers

with a hint of curiosity
in my direction
– as if my nose
had a bull’s eye
painted on its tip

knees crossed
pinched
like the ends of clothes pins

her right foot flails nervously
a twitching tell
from right to left
from left to right

in fast-moving nervous micro-fits
as if her traitorous ankle

had no anatomic connection
to its long silent leg
semi-concealed
by the old wooden desk
she stares a dare
to cross her

Leaving me spooked

I avert her glance
with a dry
painful smile
stretched tight across my teeth

Managing to mask my focus
on her mesmerized state

I ask myself:

What long stormy hair

could possibly have
triggered
this unworldly eerie
hypnotic
trance ?

Lately I feel Lost in Space

when it comes to making a decision.
it’s become a dizzying prospect
choosing from the cyber space
supply of options
in this labyrinthine
flash-buzzing
LED, blue light
wired-in
robotic world
– makes my head spin,
like that tunneling
black & white
holy commercial
bat-break!
hypno spiral
on the 4 o’clock
pre-dinner episode of the
intrepid, but closeted
red-breasted
silky black & yellow
caped crusading dynamic duo,
or that spinning
psychedelic
pie-sliced
prize wheel
on the 7 o’clock
postprandial episode
of Vanna White
Pat Sajak and their

Wheel-of-Fortune!

Giddy for Beachside Storm Surge Fun

must be some kind of

initiation right,

a hazing ritual when

tropical-storm-covering-

tv-journalists

Seavees cemented in place

tethered to a cord

in category 5

hurricane winds

don’t blow away,

or at least sideways

like the violently

undulating background

hair-on-fire royal palms

howling ¡mayday!

the laws of physics

seem suspended when

the singular results of

cyclonic centrifugal force

are simply sopping-nylon-

clinging-jackets,

messy manes on talking heads

filled with hot air

and unintelligible news-

worthless babbling

like drunken beachside

wet t-shirt

contestants

Violet Crocus Uprising

Like a springtime uprising
tiny violet crocuses
forge their firm
brave cup-shaped petals
through the ice-crusted
crevices of glistening
jagged rock

thawing
from the long, dark
frozen winters of arrogance
aggression
oppression & fear
a culture of regression
hidden

hidden, deeply
in the eerie
mischievous sweetness
of Cheshire grins
firm manly hand shakes
clever adages & the everyday
civilities of conscienceless
cowardly kapos
from unsuspecting
fair-minded
peace-loving
men

brave women
and queer folk
wanting justice
tired of the boys’ll
be boys’ club status quo
blooming resplendent
restoring hope
in radical colors of truth
respect, loving-kindness
inalienable to all

to all
that is sacred
to this tiny, spinning, star-lit
blue-island-orb
snatched savagely
from its heavenly course
into the sweaty, greedy
clutch of fear
and the shock
of a red-headed
cyclops’
vengeance

Dishwashing & Sweaty-Mile Zen

Sitting hard, sitting tall,
sitting flat
on the carved wooden surface of the stiff oak kitchen arm chair
hitting the books from 5 to 5,
thinking I’m actually getting somewhere
– all the while
I’m chugging, chug, chugging cups & cups of hot black joe, plus too much inactivity’s the perfect mix for stiff old muscles to lock.

From the curve of my lower spine to the nape of my aching neck, muscle turns into long, tall, solid planks of cemented lower back pain.

Standing now, and feeling the stretch, the clear liquid soap drips slowly, downward
onto a blue ceramic plate, like honey from nylon bristles, swirling chocolate threads spiral ‘round its beveled edge to meet the bulging milky-blue center:

like the bulging flexed biceps of a beefy young man, or the silvery satellite image of a pitch-black, twinkling, Cape Cod night, or the inward curling conch shell of 20 Parisian arrondissements nestling tightly ‘round the Seine.

I push the suds out & ‘round to trace a circle ‘long the rim, ‘til a creamy white foam builds slippery & thick
then suddenly squeals like a happy pig indulged by the whiff of his wantonly whafting dinner, then’s if by chance the faucet trips,
– no such thing as accidents
a clear warm-water jet sprays the soapy surface, rinsing the pearly suds, while my middle finger brushes mindlessly, striking a piercing squeak from its porcelain edge, the steely white foam slips silently,
downward
into a swirling watery vortex draining the stiffness of my aching neck, I feel the purge of release climb my spine like an intoxicating endorphin rush, in the after glow of a 20 year-old self,
running a slow &
sweaty mile.

Blue-Eyed Scribe

my tanned,
pale-cobalt blue-eyed
scribe
peers dazèdly into
my ravenous eyes
while a rapturous three-
breasted african queen
hovers like a hungry ghost
over his high & tight
golden-brown
halo.

and a baby suckles,
at her perky third
breast
as he chugs, chugs, … chugging
cups and cups
of hot black joe

Practice for Living

The clock’s
tic-tock’s sometimes
louder
than a careening
cartoon bomb
One like
Wile E. Coyote’d launch
from a Looney Tunes’
cartoon cliff
Smack/Splat!
and lurching
toward the 8.23.58
bull’s eye
painted on my head
Some say: Congratulations!
I say: turn this tour around,
let’s start the clock
all over again
Then suddenly I realize
there’s NOTHING
to be done…
A calming whisper
urges gently:
“Release, be at peace.”
and the more & more yielding
I manage to become
brings a silence, then surrender
Tic-tock’s stopped
and NO implosion.
After all the anguish
said & done
the clock ticks on…

And life’s windingest
& lush & muddiest
expeditions
wet & churning
– infinite with grace
hardly ever, almost never
certainly never
seem to cease
In yet another calibration
of the endless
possibilities
of this zany, ever-looping
Looney Tunes’
parade