You spew a gob of toothpaste
and force yourself to shower
with hope to rinse the sour salt
of three poor souls in love with you
and all your multiplicity.

This is where you lost your ring.
This is how you hone your horns.
Some would say, sans battlefield
this is when you died.


Cowgirl Cramp

Head against bone;
a self-bitten lip;
expert thrusts
into the intangible
while caught
between calf pain
and seraphic loins

she rides
to let the devil out
making her lion
sleep lamblike.

Currently reading:
"The Devil's Doctors" by Mark Felton.


Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet, and Watch

I'd been saving it for rain.
It hadn't been in stock for months.
I'd like to blame the absence
on a vineyard strike in Portugal
but could such a feat exist?
It was probably a shipping glitch.
The truth could bore to death
and does.
You see it in their gaits.

Tonight seemed like the time.
There'd been friends
though they were gone.
There'd even been a woman
two nights prior
though the verdict
was still out.
There was a week of work ahead
and a head to clear to face it.
My favorite brand of red
seemed the only sound solution.

The cork felt weak when pulled.
I poured a quiet glass.
The first sip broke my heart.
The second sealed its fate.
Buy enough wine
and it's bound to happen.
A "Friday after lunch"
that leads to a loose bottle.
Somewhere in Iberia
a drunk had done me wrong.
It swirled down the drain
like quite expensive vinegar.

Sometimes wines, like women
sour second times around.
Sometimes men are stubborn
and crack a beer instead.



I am a federal employee.
I've taken a civil service exam.
I fund my own wage with the taxes I pay
contradicting myself as much as the next.

I know when they put their mail on hold.
I know when their boxes are full of bills.
I know when they're away on vacation
and I burglarize their homes with friends for fun.

I am a federal employee
and I've got one hell of a pension accrued.


Potshot in the Dark

The bed's been a pyre
its occupant dreaming
of counterfeit cash
found on floors of department stores--
the meaning of which as certain
as the broken gifts given
to wayward accomplices.

By the time the bourbon takes hold
it's too late to evict the devil.
How many times
do our saints pass us by
like sneakers dangling from power lines?

Down to your fightin' weight.
Down for the count.
Down for a drink
or what have you.

Short of screaming her name
it's the closest.
The neighbors are tired
of hearing the smoke.


Backslidden Ginny

"Sorry about your sheets,"
she lies
cheap red hair dye
screaming from the pillowcase:
"Look at what you've done!
Look at what you've carelessly
allowed to happen again!"

She slithers back into her summer dress--
no undergarment in, no undergarment out--
excusing herself down your stairwell
for the first and last
in a lifetime
playing out a farmer's phrase
that splits you like a plow:
"If you're born to be shot
you'll never be hanged."

The sour smell of gunpowder
sticks to the surrounding air.
No wonder you're the way you are.
No wonder you're away.



[radio silence.]


It takes several days
for intestines to settle
whenever someone does it--
whether or not
the divers
find their sad quarry.

"Once there was a child..."
should never mothers say.

To live next to a gallows;
To pray they build a net;
Squandered taxes, politicians;
Decades left to change.


A Different Type of Minuteman

What's hardest to confess
[so I'll tell you here and now]
is that no matter the place
[nor the poor girl's Heart of Gold]
I'd pull the intravenous tube
[regardless of her protest]
to come
and grateful
[and as stubborn as you are].

Currently reading:
"Apologize, Apologize!" by Elizabeth Kelly.