broken boned

how can I fix you
broken boned on the road
everyone rolling over you as if you never lived
my heart drops to the ground at the sight of your matted flesh
your silenced limbs
how can I bring you back to the living
a return to your beginning
to our time
we did have one
one of us leaped from the car
one of us drove too recklessly
now this accident of ours
when your body evaporates into the endless asphalt
and cruel west winds blow your dried wounds at the sky
my eyes will look to the heavens and dream
renewing life into dead memories
my bones are breaking from the inside
now I know how broken, broken can be

Harem Eyes

Harem Eyes

did I ever tell you this story

did I ever tell you this story
she doesn’t actually ask
if she did, I’d lie anyway
why not
she often relives these moments
snared in an autobiographical time warp
when her smile bared genuine enamel
and her skin was fleshy seashell pink
she flashes through these moments
speaking with an age from back then

the crystal ball stops rolling
arthritis ceases its assault on her worn-down bones
her long gorgeous model’s legs take a catwalk
voted best legs in the class
did I tell you that
yes, but you don’t remember do you
lying for those legs
lying for this woman
she cartwheels back
memories are liquified Ponce de León
bottled water I would steal
she continues
regaling in moments of perfect laughter
with a doctor friend
sharing smokes, drinks
things I can’t share here
I’m driving the highway so I can’t keep looking her way
and nodding in the “newness” of this memory
I’ve heard this particular tale
many times
don’t know if someone will be around to listen
to my stories
I’m glad her beautiful legs aren’t causing her pain now
in this crystallized moment
studio
glossy from one of my mother-in-law’s modelling studio sessions
(can’t recall photographer’s name to give proper credit)

black magic shoes

The gargoyles were not broken on the small town church until the righteous storm of 1963 when everyone in that sleepy place believed they’d gravely sinned–dancing too stompy–at a raucous Knights of Columbus, New Year’s Eve celebration. Gabriel, the avenging angel arrived that woeful wet night to sort their small town souls into piles. His dispatching sword had sliced at will along the way, sparking small fires and cutting down church roof embellishments. As self-punishment, it was unanimously decided that the smashed Gothic heads must remain where they died. Humping along a back road path, she catches a sense of beast.

A bit of a girl with a penchant for black and white horror, is little Lisset. She proudly noticed King Kong had ping-pong-ball eyes way before Lenny, Alby and Byron ever did. She is passing the empty church yard where only the dead dare sleep this time of day. Fierce bulging eyes stare up at her. The outrageous weeds slither through flaring beastly nostrils. Lisset kicks a busted jaw. She thinks rattling old gargoyle canines is pretty funny and she wants to swing the steel-reinforced toes of her new black work boots. She’d menaced her mom until her two dainty feet were clad in tough leather construction. Claimed the all-weather boots were quite necessary for monster hunts. Lenny, Alby and Byron wore silly Toughskin boots. Hers are the ones she remembers on her father’s feet. Monsters had taken him away a long time ago when she was much smaller than she was now. Her father wasn’t wearing his steel-toes that gloomy day. Lisset still sometimes dreams of worn bluejeans and dark work boots with yellow laces. She stares at photos to remember his face, otherwise she can only picture Don Brown from the kneecaps down.

The sky is blackening, ominous grey and good–a perfect day for monster hunting. In the distance, rumbling ogre bellies echo over the mountain peaks. Lisset is to meet Lenny, Alby and Byron. Lenny and Alby are afraid of storms. Brother disease is what Lisset calls it. It seems whatever Lenny fears, his younger brother fears also. She also knows if Lenny and Alby are not coming, Byron won’t show either. Lisset calls this boy doofessness. With her black magic shoes laced to the top eyelets, Lisset marches on. She must make the treeline before late afternoon. Once there, she will sit and wait. Most monster hunting is done this way. It’s a waiting game. All the best pros know–the thrill is careful, observational patience but the payoff is priceless. Lisset must be patient and wait too. The legend says, “If you see Wampus and do not run, she might answer a single question if she decides not to kill you first.”

Behind Mount Whitman, electric bolts light up the sky. Lisset wonders if the gargoyles fear lightning since it sliced their heads clean off. There are to be no sidetracking thoughts, Lisset. Her steel-toes chat sense back into her wound-up mind. She will wait for Wampus Cat and pray for the best. She will hope its foul death breath is manageable. She will pray it does not kill her with its powerful claws and razor sharp teeth. If Wampus lets the young girl live she can ask one question. If Lisset is ever to find her father, she must find a monster first. And the odds aren’t too bad while she wears her black magic shoes.
wompusWampus Cat created with Tombow markers about two years ago for a special project-thank you

 

 

 

 

what are you

you share things you’ll never say
you say things you’ll never do
you are a writer
you covet the people behind the lies
your hungry lips crave their nourishing minds
you are a reader
thoughts shove down your fingers like garbage disposals
you sadly acknowledge huge amounts of crap
you are a writer
you bulldoze the landfill to uncover their trash
you desire arousal sleeping in their dreams
you are a reader
you beg dark thoughts to channel sensual tongues
you choke wordless nightmares to asphyxiation
you are a writer
you fearlessly divulge intimate details
without pause, you breathlessly seek their approval

you are a –

what are you
do you have a choice

skeleton stallion

skeleton stallion

sketched this guy last year while on a school subbing lunch break

a white German Shepherd and a bite in the ass

A leisurely stroll on a cool morning. Anastasia Lane is tree-lined with bodacious curves like his wife’s. He is not quite sure where the road will take him. This is a new neighborhood. His heavy patrician brows, salt and peppered over time speak to old-school character. Harder working, forthright decades. Maybe. Broad shoulders once home to a leather holster a bit concave now. With a surgically fixed hip, he perseveres upright and true. A firmness beneath those size fourteens beats the pavement, nothing aged in that step. He’s thinking about life. He’s a thinker. His brain will never stop cycling. Unlike the right arm that sometimes gives him bother.

He is passing a grand home on Anastasia Lane, a compound with ornate gates around its perimeter. Behind the black iron rods–in stark contrast–a large, white German Shepherd paces. The walking man’s flecked grey eyes shift. Having owned several of the black and tan variety, he admires the GSD a moment then continues on. His mind wanders back in time–a bleaker part of NYC. Two murderers hiding out on the ninth floor. Blocking the hall’s entrance, a hulking Shepherd with raised fur and glistening canines. In the stairwell, two agents plan a regroup, when the grey-eyed agent comes up from behind. He moves to the front and simply growls more loudly than the dog. The next moments complete another story–one that becomes legendary at retiree gatherings.

Continuing along Anastasia, the grey-eyed man is passing the expansive lawn’s last wrought iron post when from behind, silent teeth sink into his upper thigh. He reacts immediately whacking the white GSD’s head with his good arm and his large hand. His trousers are torn and blood is trickling down the back of his leg. Charging across the monstrous lawn, the GSD’s owner bellows, “RELEASE, RELEASE!” The dog owner’s voice quickly turns contrite. Sweat trickles down his ample exposed chest onto his jogging suit. His combed back hair is shoe-polish black and his endlessly dark, Sicilian eyes remind the old agent of someone.

The bite only broke surface skin. Within minutes the two are sipping Sambuca together in a flamboyant Mediterranean room. Above the gilded mantel, looming larger than life hangs an oil portrait. The old agent stares through the intense frozen eyes. He’d remember that gaze anywhere. Decades ago, Enzo Rozzoni was painted into a nice jail cell with canvas bedding. The grey-eyed man helped put him there.

The old agent and the Sicilian empty their shot glasses. Then the grey-eyed man points to himself and states with a grin, “Franco Rozzoni, I knew your father. FBI–”

Smiling equally as wide, Franco Rozzoni parlays, “No wonder my dog bit you in the ass.”

The old world neighbors share a laugh over another round of Sambuca.

young dadNames were changed to protect the innocent and not so innocent;)

I’d like to extend a very Happy Birthday to my father, Vito, newly minted 85 today and by far, still the most intimidating man I’ve ever met.
In the photo above he was just entering the FBI.

how I escaped

can you glide across marble
with my big feet tripping you
will you dance across scuffed inlay
while soaking in a swing band
if you know me at all
you’ll know why horn sections and maroon socks are perfect
will you sneer if an errant hair strand sticks to my shiny mouth
my lips are glossed ’cause I’m trying to look pretty
as you twirl me left
I can’t twirl right–that’s the side I always drop things on
will you know I never lived above an Italian deli but wanted to
or worked as a librarian
or sketched ponies in a hot air balloon
or need my bed sheets striped, otherwise I put them on the wrong way
will you know I dream all the time
too much all the time

something I was supposed to be held back a grade for
teacher voices never entering an ear
and out the other, only opera wishes and flying unicorns
will you judge me for drinking hot cocoa after red wine

will you know how I escaped
the someone once called me

and that I don’t ever want her to catch me again
all I need in this life
all I want anymore

is to dance all night as the swing band plays
with someone who doesn’t mind getting their feet stepped on

swing dancer

swing dancer

originally published last year, now edited and changed up a bit, finally in a verse place it belongs
art also previously published, gosh, I gotta get cranking in all directions

8 minutes door to daughter

wishing them closer for awhile
now that while has arrived
in a few weeks time
8 minutes door to door
8 minutes door to daughter
in a new year
destined to be filled with surprises
rediscovering parents from a new perspective
geographically tighter
the wisdom of years they will bring
along with ailments
both still dogmatically independent
a beautiful thing
in a world they’ve watched
grow older too
more naked
more stripped of dignity
not always, but often

I hope to learn
I hope to help
as they have helped me
in more ways than
I will ever understand
in this reversal of life

five cent pump pencil

art previously published