dirt on the welcome mat

Monthly Archives: April 2011

Every spring

You grasp

Green dreams

By the fistful,

And I paint my blue ones

On ten toenails

Released from winter shoes.

We’re so silly,

You and I,

Covering ourselves

With last election’s bumper stickers

And next year’s fashions,

Knowing that hope’s colors


Fade into invisibility.

You shoot me a look in

Chinese calligraphy,

Insanity in perfect script.

Pupils dilate into


Dark ink strokes,

Flashing like

A samurai’s sword,

My rough

Fortune cookie translation

Just might be


We were
All toes yesterday.
Busy schedules and deadlines
Squished us together
In a pair of
Too-tight tennis shoes,
Covering us in
A hot layer
Of sweat and stress,
Each hunched over
By the common bond
Of forward movement and littleness,
Of chipped nail polish
And blisters.


Like a bride’s train

Like a train’s smoke

Trailing softly

With foggy footsteps,

The toilet paper square

Escaped its

Odorous home,

Guided, unknowing, by

A shuffling

Rubber shoe sole.

white window blinds,

thirty-some sideways prison bars,

cover his eyes and mouth

with slanted shadows,

see no evil, speak no evil

the dark spaces taunt

as the air rushing in

between each long plastic finger

stings his eyes

and makes him breathe

in gasps and mumbles

Is a memory

A pile of quilt squares,

Bright pieces of earth and sky

In flesh-like cloth,

Soft and familiar?

Or is it

The blanket’s stains and loose threads,

Pockmarked pieces

Fingered and worn,

Torn in places?


The doorjamb of utopia,

A knee scrape

Away from the deep end

Of the pool.

The great blue abyss

Turns cameras

Into philosophers,

Summing up the world

With a single click.

Penny post

To pony express

To parked cars

Halfway in the road.

Rain or shine,

Snow or sleet,

Safety’s never been

Priority mail.

When in a pickle

You’re entombed

In fluorescent snot.

Every limb is a funny bone

Every word is caught then poked

With sharp pickle seeds,

within the thick

Bumpy green skin,

It echoes and bounces

And then will begin to turn neon,

Which no one

Takes seriously.

Orthodontist’s molds
Of my straightened teeth
And x-rays from before,
School picture days
And Christmas parades
And happy masks in the store.
Silly crocodiles,
Colons and parentheses,
Stars and a waning moon.
The front of cars,
Barbie and her friends,
The promise of seeing you soon.