December 31, 2009


The smell of rotting fishguts
curls up from filthy hulls
like old humiliations.

Spilled menstrual blood.
Sour vomit-stink on carpet.
Take-out gone rancid
in a stuffy single room.
Flop sweats
after the flop.

Leave it all behind, honey,

leave it all behind, this
roadkill unraveling
from spinning tires,

painting a ragged red routeline
to future destinations
and fresher fish.

November, 2009. Portland, ME.

La Manche

Where mermaids gathered once to sing
for kings on rocky thrones,

past trees that grow up tall and strong
from the roots of dead men's homes

and a bloodless battlefield
where everybody lost -

there hangs a shivering bridge, alone,
above its brother's ghost.

To hear the mermaids, there, to sing,
their kings to sleep upon their thrones,

I slipped and blushed there, among the rushes
and the slippery stepping stones.

In the atomic cotton candy sky, the stars
may smirk and turn away, and roll their eyes
until they're cross'd.

Bugger the stars. There's nothing can be found
that hasn't first been lost.

September, 2009.