The Nebraskan

I remember that hospital--

How the nurses
brought me
paper-thin, open-backed
they watched me don
referring to them
as "modesty garments"
and I wondered to myself:

How can a woman
like me
ever be modest again?


A History With Backwater Nuns

When the gin works harder
than her Little Black Dress;
when 'my bed' turns to 'the bed'
turns to 'our bed';
when you realize that she hasn't
divulged her last name
since technically she still has two;
when you've both comprehended
that Tiffany's doesn't serve breakfast;
when bringing the severed heads of kings
to the altar of your Almighty
gains you nothing but a handful of hair

mayhaps it's time
to alter your routine
of sleeping with strangers
easy on the eyes;
of getting it wet
outside of the shower;
of wasting time with women
named for heroines in Hemingway novels.

Pardon any rust in this approach, young harlot.
The State of New York deems me
ready, willing, and able.

We all know
that the government never lies.

Gridlock Golgotha

Behind me is a Charger
white with black accents
and vanity plates
that say "SINNER".

The rusted sedan ahead
that's weaved its way forward
has a tattoo-emblazoned arm
hanging through the driver's side window
with an overgrown pinkie nail
for snorting cocaine.

A phantom limb twitches
in its sweat-beaded holster
and I wonder which of us three
will find Dante's deepest layer--
Foxes in the henhouse
beaten like driftwood
on a highway that's destined
to crumble.

Currently reading:
"Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami.


Modern Art(?)

I'm sorry, J
I'm sorr
I'm sorr
I'm sorr
I'm sorr
I'm sorr
I'm sorr
I'm sorry, Ja
I'm sor
I'm sor
I'm sor
I'm sor
I'm sorry, Jacklyn, for the words that sliced too deep.
I'm sor
I'm sor
I'm sor
I'm so
I'm s

[But the whiskey works wonders for putting kids to sleep.]

Pet Sounds

My father turns 64 this week
So the Beatles are stuck in my head
Though he wouldn't catch the reference.
The Stones weren't his bag either;
Too many drugs, too much blatant sex.

He listened to the Beach Boys
Back when he still listened;
Sometimes the Righteous Brothers--
Wholesome, soulful, safe.

My father turns 64 this week
But his head's still in the sand.
A man who's put down music
Is a man who's aged too soon.


A Starlet and a Harlot

That turn comes
as expected
though the radio throws
a curve of its own.
Some announcer who sounds
like he's high on cocaine
prattles off a promo
for a charity event.

I ease off the accelerator
as the hydrogen drops:
a tigress I bedded
three years ago
has her name announced
as part of the upcoming comedy show.
"A local gal," he specifies
while I fumble for the brake.

Life makes jokes of all of us.
Some laugh while others wince.
If I could stomach penance
I'd sit through her routine again.


Prayers Through Broken Teeth of a Cafeteria Catholic

"Don't be sad, mom," he pleads
through smoke exhaled
outside a fast food joint
on this call cut short
by lunch break
ideal for breaking news
of break-ups.
"We wanted different things."

Some would mistakenly tout
Reverse Parenting
though Freud be damned
it's no such beast.
At core it's saving loved ones
since we can't protect ourselves.

The Special Sauce
shifts in his stomach
staking claim of conquered land
from a meal too rushed for comfort.
He waits for affirmation
through the intermittent signal
part of him believing
the words he's said in haste.

The drive-thru girl walks by
to burn one in her car.
She leaves a trail of cheap perfume
that lingers as it shouldn't
though it beats the reek of onions--
Doused like the fire
that stubbornly won't leave.

It'll make for better memoirs
that every inch was won.

The din of midday traffic
drowns his mother's sigh
while his best friend
twice removed
swears off tertiary chances.


Luna in Vacuo

I've known her half my life.
We've woven in and out
of paths and arms and blankets.
Most communication
occurs when we need grounding.
It's not about the physical;
we know each other's souls.

"The moon is cool tonight,"
I told her down in Texas.
She traveled there for work last year
and never made it back.

"I can't see it
from the windows
of my place,"
she responded.

"It's time to move again," I typed.
My fingers hid my tone.

The conversation shifted
back to happiness and illness.
Those two can coexist.
That's more than most can say.