Tag Archives: queens

I Am a Patchwork Quilt

Suppose disintegrating into the soil
is the best next place to be,
surrounded by dirt and its worms chomping through.
It’s more there to me than it is to a student of suits.
Yet in an encompassed environment, stemming wood
from its fruit, we go laughing and brimming all cute.
Still disguise yourself, child.
The ecosystem is futile.

And all inside a wildebeest’s throat,
my all-time favorite sharpened toes
kick my own shins raw and tattered.
Who doesn’t know how that happens?
Who doesn’t play in the sand?
Who doesn’t want to ride into town on horseback,
all among the cowboys, dribbling.
Drooling at the sight of majestic hands clapping.
I am a patchwork quilt.
You are driven by fate.
We’re both late for work.

And speaking of work, my my.
Mine is somewhere inside
a place I never thought I’d be.
Seeing how the other half be.
Hearing all the garbage streets
wrapped in finer things.
To places I’m sure I’ll never see.
It frightens me.
But I giggle through grease
and match with a smile and pleasantries.
Caught with a neck pointed east,
dying to leave.

But to know there’s a fever to bear
makes me believe in a memory there
of a county fair,
where I saw tractor pulls,
ate fries
and drank beer.
I’m ready for planks to be planted.
I’m ready for trees and the like.
I’m searching for words, always.
And quietly.


It is irritating to recall my hometown.
Like a cause and effect puzzle–
Where were you when, and then
What happened?
Rural Ohio isn’t much to discuss.
It is open fields of soy and sod,
It is gamesmanship with guns.
It is a small child,
Who looks younger than his age,
Learning to shave at 12
And dance at 16.
My hometown remains unchanged
Through it all.
The skies reach far
But they can’t see the corpses.

Ohio is filled with the dead,
My dead.
It is my Father fast asleep
With his right hand resting in
The sign for I Love You.
It is my mother and her tears
And our laughter through it all.
Ohio is a fading memory,
An outline of a house
With captions on its lawn.

Chatham was and is a ghost
Of some shortened depiction of sawdust and grit.
It is people speaking with southern accents.
We have no accent,
It is studied.
It is true.
But talk like you want to.

Chatham is my classmates whispering.
Do not debase my struggle
Even if you can’t see it.
My struggle reaches back through Chatham, Ohio
And into infinity.
My struggle pulls me forward
Through clouds
Of pot smoke
Daily hits of
My struggle is the
Poles of the mind
Twisted from nights spent alone.
My struggle is a lasting faith
Forever left to be undone.

Ohio, you are cold and ancient.
Your politics resign
To be just a flickering of caustic wit
Breathless and benign.
Ohio, you make each return
A drift through the pathetic.
And yet with family still there,
Enriching Ohio’s present,
I visit,
And stare into Chippewa Lake
Until it quivers.

1858 Steinway Square Piano

I am an old piano
Born in Manhattan.
And with barely 70 keys, I still sit grand
But not a Grand Piano.

I’m ornate, it’s true,
And one-of-a-kind.
A gift for a wealthy child at first
But he never played me.
I just sat in the corner of his room and looked pretty.

Over the years I’ve had many homes.
I resided in an orchestra pit for a spell.
In a jazz club too.
Art Tadum played me
And so did Thelonious Monk, and Oscar Peterson.
I sounded lovely for each of them
And always stayed in tune.

Around 1990, I was taken from my home
And placed on the second floor of a school.
And now
I’m barely a piano anymore,
Encased in hard plastic or glass…
Look at me! Look at me!
Play me! Play me!