Easy Money

Rain ran down the window like water in a car wash. I was sitting at my desk in the gloom, working my way through a deck of Luckies when my brother walked in.

He gave me the phony grin.

“I’ve got a job for you,” he said.

“In a pig’s eye.”

My brother is family. He’s blood of my blood. He’s a good-looking guy with a cesspool for a brain. I promised our mother I’d look after him. I promised her I’d straighten him out. I lied.

“Beat it,” I said.

I sucked on my cigarette, drawing the burning tip down to my fingers with a hiss. The smoke torched my throat on its way into my lungs.

“You need a payday,” my brother said. “I’ve got one for you.”

“Whatever you’ve got, I’d rather not catch. Scram.”

“There’s a rich guy over in Greencrest thinks his wife is cheating. He’ll pay good for proof. Trail her around, take some pictures. Collect your money.”

He dropped a scrap of paper on my desk.

“The guy’s mansion,” he said. “Stake it out. You can’t miss the wife. She’s the real thing.”

“I’ll let you know,” I said. “Now get lost.”

He knew I’d do it, because of my promise to Ma. And because I was dead broke.

I sat and waited for the hate to die down. Then I got tired of waiting. I pulled on my trench coat, slapped on my hat, and left the office.

I staked out the mansion and followed the dame into the city. She met a guy in the lobby of the Stratford and they rode together up to the twenty-fifth floor. She had a body that was built to keep a guy busy long after she was ready to take a shower. She had the face of an angel, probably fallen.

Five hundred to the house dick got me their door unlocked. I stepped in and took snaps of the action. They weren’t missionaries, that’s for sure.

I called my brother and told him I was ready to present my bill. He told me to wait an hour, which I spent drinking.

An evil-looking yellow moon hung behind ragged clouds in the east. The temperature had dropped and my cigarette was the only warm thing in the car. At the cuckold’s gate, I spoke into the squawk box.

“I’m here about the missus,” I said.

The gate swung open.

I drove up to the mansion through thick pines. The front door stood ajar.

I stepped inside. A light was on in a room to the right. I went in, doffing my hat. An old bird with white hair stood behind a large mahogany desk at the far end of the room.

“You’re here about my wife?” he said. His voice quavered.

“That’s right,” I said.

“You expect money?”

“You said it.”

He produced a gun and pointed it in my general direction. Looked like a .25.

“What’s that for?” I said.

“To kill you with,” the geezer said, coming around the desk. “You think I’ll just pay you to go away?”

“Hold on, partner,” I said. He was going to kill me if he could hold the gun still.

Reluctantly, I pulled my .38 and shot him through his wrinkled old heart. No fee for me. I put my gun away.

The blond slid into the room. She glanced at me and then crossed to the corpse and picked up the .25. She stepped over the body and centered the gun on my face.

She read my expression.

“I needed my husband dead,” she said. “Thanks.”

I wouldn’t be shooting this babe in that big chest of hers.

My brother joined us, grinning.

“Nice, huh?” he said. “She inherits and you get the blame for the shootout with Pops here. He thought you were the lover coming over for a payoff. You shoot each other.”

“The guy in the hotel room?”

“Some yegg we hired.” His grin became a smirk.

“You think she’ll let you live?” I said.

The smirk held.

“She loves me,” he said.

I smiled, imaging the look on his face when he arrived in Hell right behind me.

Coming This September: The Antichrist

Mark your calendar. This September 15th, the Worldwide Christian Family Missions Network presents “Antichrist: The Reality Show.”

Six contestants will compete over six weeks and complete six projects. They’ll use every underhanded, dastardly, sneaky trick in the book (not the Good Book, of course) to succeed.

We all know that the world is going to hell, that the Apocalypse is due with Armageddon right behind it. The Rapture might be complete by this fall and some of us are going to be left behind. We’ll need our TV programs more than ever then.  Good news. The Antichrist will be in the house!

We’ve lined up six Antichrist candidates. It wasn’t hard. They’re all over the place. Google “Antichrist.” Recognize any of the images?

Our contestants aren’t crazy, except like a fox. They’re smooth. Slick. They’ve fallen but they can get up; they just don’t want to.

The winner’s prize: a superchurch built to his or her specs. (Yes, the Antichrist might look like a woman. Except for those cloven hooves!). When we announced this prize, it brought many true devotees of The Horned One out of their holes to audition.

First week: The Flock.  All six candidate Antichrists are sent out to gather their flocks of believers. There should be plenty of babes and hunks in each flock. There should be some rich folks in each flock. Actually, it would be best if everybody in the flocks were rich. Let’s avoid the 99%. They’re you.

Flock members must be demonstrably in their master’s thrall. Yet they shouldn’t be nuts. It’s a fine line.

Every week,  one Antichrist will be voted off the show by a jury of Catholic and Protestant clergy, Evangelical ministers, and members of churches you’ve never heard of. Everyone on the jury will have been accused, at least once, of crimes the Antichrist would be proud of.

Second Week: Money. The six flocks head out to spend the week gathering money. The personal wealth of flock members does not count. We assume that the Antichrist will have already taken control of all such assets on his own, during the enthrallment process. The flocks can steal money, grift it, embezzle it, print it, employ blackmail, pocket-picking, heists, strong-arm extortion, loan sharking and other forms of usury, protection rackets, bookmaking, you name it, just rake in the lucre. Pile up the scratch. Of course, each Antichrist is apt to fall back on his or her special talents and experience here.

Low flock is voted off. The producers will take charge of that pile of loot.

Third Week: Sex. Each Antichrist will spend Week 3 involving his or her flock in a series of bizarre, acrobatic, and crowd-pleasing sexual shenanigans beyond anything you’re likely to dream up in anticipation. Points for activities that Jesus wouldn’t do, crimes against nature, and behavior that causes you to say “Now that’s just going too far!”

Group sensitivity sessions should be interjected, so that flock members can relive what they’ve done, over and over again, to their delight or everlasting shame, depending upon that cup half empty/cup half full thing. Points deducted for police raids, disease, and defections from the flock of those who unaccountably come to their senses.

A third would-be Antichrist and his or her flock are dismissed this week. The producers will snag those among his or her followers who made them the most horny as they previewed the show. Deleted scenes will be sold to a porno company secretly connected to the network.

Fourth Week: Good Works. Hey, Antichrists. What can you do for the show’s producers? Last week’s good ratings, earned by your hour of wall-to-wall sex, aren’t going to count for anything this week. In fact, forget ratings. The time has come to step up and make us happy on a personal level.

What will it take? A cut of the money pie? Yard work and house cleaning for our wives? Or should you Antichrists turn your skills and the skills of your flock to the seduction of us producers ourselves? Whatever it is, it better be good.

Fourth contestant and flock are voted off. If the producers are insufficiently satisfied with this Antichrist’s offering this week – if the producers are plain pissed off by it – he or she will be consigned to the pit where the wolves are kept. To be filmed, of course.

Fifth Week: Politics. With all the fun out of the way, the show takes a serious turn in Week 5. The Antichrists must achieve dominion over the peoples of the world. The two remaining contestants have one week to do that.  How far can they go? How successful can they be? Control over Staten Island? Enslavement of the Teamsters? Dictatorship of the Mexican cartels?  Now is the time for our Evil Ones to really show us what they’ve got.

Sixth Week: The Final Battle. In Week Six, the surviving Antichrist takes on Jesus Christ Himself. Christ is not going to just show up and flash his SAG card. Instead, we’ll put out a casting call and a bunch of nondescript guys will audition. He’ll come like a thief in the night. We’ll pick Him because that’s how religion works.

The final battle will take place in our special iron-cage Pentagon. Both parties will be armed. Only one will walk away, but don’t worry about injuries. These are supernatural entities, or ought to be.

You might figure that Christ is bound to win. It’s in the Bible. However, the Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Jesus might have to wait for the sequel.

The Mathematics of Future Paradox

“Can we watch Michelangelo work today?” my wife said, at the breakfast table.

“I have to go into the future today,” I said.

“The future? You said that you would never go into the future. You said going into the future is like a man opening his girlfriend’s mail. Ignorance is bliss, you said.”

“I’m only going ten minutes forward, max. To test and prove my theories.”

“Your equipment works,” my wife said. “Isn’t that proof enough?”

“We now know that we can observe the past. We can’t interact with it. We can’t change it. We can only watch it, like a movie. My calculations tell me that the same is true for the future, but I haven’t tested that yet.”

“The universe does not permit paradox, you always say.”

“My calculations prove this. Yet I must test the theory.”

“Will it be dangerous?”

“I don’t think so, but…”

“I want to be there.”

“This won’t be like our travels into the past. Nothing exciting will happen.”

“Nevertheless, I want to be there.”

I nodded.

“OK,” I said.

After breakfast, we cleaned up and dressed. Angela followed my out to my lab behind the house. The day was clear and warm.

In the lab, we sat down side-by-side, facing the counter that held my setup. I ran through my startup procedures and calibrated the central nexus. We put on our helmets.

I switched on the apparatus.

“I don’t see any change,” Angela said.

I moved the mouse and as we sat, we seemed to float backwards, so that we were watching ourselves from behind.

“I’m fast-forwarding,” I said. “Ten minutes into the future should take us only two.”

We sat quietly for two minutes. In front of us, we sat quietly for ten minutes.

I watched the timer and clicked the apparatus off after one hundred and twenty seconds.

“Now what?” Angela said.

“You saw us. For the next eight minutes, we sit here.”

“So?”

“Neither of us stands up during that time. We can test this. Do you understand?”

“Not exactly,” Angela said.

“If we can see into the future and then act to change it, we can create a paradox, just as we could if we could change the past. We know we can’t change the past. We can only observe it, observe the universe’s stored hologram of spacetime. Now, however, we’ve observed future events in that same hologram. Suppose I stand up?”

“I don’t think you should,” Angela said. “I don’t think you will. We neither of us did. We just sat there.”

I stood up. I stepped away from the chair and looked back. I was still sitting there.

“What the…,” I said, or thought I said. No sound came out.

“Perhaps you’re right,” said the me sitting in the chair, to Angela.

“No!” I said, soundlessly.

I stepped back to the chair and reached out. I couldn’t see my arm. I looked down. I couldn’t see myself. My hand passed through the me in the chair.

“My math is clear,” said the me in the chair. “The universe does not permit paradox.”

Bad Dreams

Todd Smith woke to find a raccoon biting his chin.

“I was at camp, dreaming that my mom wanted me to shave. Christ, I’ve only got about four hairs.”

Aaron Goldberg woke to discover that all his teeth had fallen out.

“I’ve had the same dream a hundred times. Out come the teeth. My therapist told me I was worried about losing my job, or maybe I was keeping a secret from someone. Turns out, she didn’t know bubkes about gum disease.”

Arvis Portlander was taken into custody at Microphonics, Inc., his place of work, nude in his cubicle.

“It was a lot more fun in my dream,” he said.

Matty Logan, seventh grader, came down to breakfast on a Wednesday-morning school day.

“My mom was in tears. I asked her what was wrong. She told me she had had a dream. In the dream I grew up and moved to the West Coast. I didn’t call. I didn’t write. I ate fast food and got thin. Not fat. Thin. I married a girl who was all wrong for me. The grandchildren were born and never knew my mom existed. At least she could have helped out at the time of their births, but no, my wife’s mother was a complete tyrant. She forbade my mom from flying out when the deliveries occurred. What did I do when this mother-in-law behaved like a Hitler? Nothing. I was under her thumb. At that point my mother contracted cancer but did I come home and visit her in the hospital? I came home, yes, but only to collect my childhood toys, which she had kept for me, dusted, all those long years. I wanted the toys for my children. Me, Matty Logan, monster. I tore out her heart, but still I should eat my oatmeal because the school bus was not going to hang around waiting for me to show up five minutes late.”

Bradford Simmons opened his eyes in the morning and thanked God that it had only been a dream.

“You know when you’re in a situation  where you’re totally screwed, but then you wake up and it’s only a dream? That just happened to me, in spades. I was back with my ex, only this time she understood me.  You know what I mean? Understood where I was really coming from, and she was going to make me pay for it.”

Fredrico Pascareli lives in Chicago.

“I’m a Cubs fan. I don’t have bad dreams. I don’t need them.”

The President left the White House suddenly on Friday afternoon. Reporters followed him to a psychic’s  home on U Street NW in Le Droit Park. He went into the residence and stayed for an hour, with Secret Service agents circling the building and pacing on the porch. When the President emerged, he held an impromptu press conference next to his limo.

“I had a dream last night so intense that I shared it with my Cabinet this morning. The members present were unable to shed light on the meaning of the dream. I convened the NSC and then the Joint Chiefs. No help from either, although members of both used the occasion to push their agendas in a transparent fashion that I found rather pathetic.

“I deemed the matter of sufficient importance to obtain an appointment with Madame Rose… Yes, she provided me with the answers that I required… No, I cannot share those answers… No, I cannot share the dream. It has been classified… No, I cannot share the actions that I will now take, but I can assure you that they will be significant… There are those who will be held responsible for their actions in my dream. There are those who will suffer consequences most grievous… It was just a dream but Jesus it seemed so real!”

1,001 Haikus

Typetrigger

Mostly not real haikus in the sense of “using imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition,” but the syllable count 5-7-5 is (usually) correct.

moon down prairie dark
as a trucker signals a
turn at the crossroads – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/trigger/trucker%20signals#sthash.GS29Gpbl.dpuf
moon down prairie dark
as a trucker signals a
turn at the crossroads – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/trigger/trucker%20signals#sthash.GS29Gpbl.dpuf
moon down prairie dark
as a trucker signals a
turn at the crossroads – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/trigger/trucker%20signals#sthash.GS29Gpbl.dpuf

humans have switchblades
and such nature’s version might
be the shark or snake – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/#sthash.CxMdIBHB.dpuf

 

humans have switchblades
and such nature’s version might
be the shark or snake – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/#sthash.CxMdIBHB.dpuf
humans have switchblades
and such nature’s version might
be the shark or snake – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/#sthash.CxMdIBHB.dpufwatchtower

pale yellow sky with
two moons but in his breast his
heart beat normally

must survive by the
skin of his teeth only to
discover no skin

pretty eyes nose mouth
not a beautiful face but
pretty close to it

cheap walls arguments
in the night tears passion all
on the other side

the rabbit sadly
lovable seems to wear a
sign that says come eat

simple choice is not
the same thing as the easy
or best or right choice

adjust angle of
spear for refraction of light
in fishing water

it was ok when
there weren’t so many of us
but now not so much

some consider the
gentle sounds of nature at
dawn to be free song

a virus doesn’t learn
fast but rapid mutation
is about the same

nature’s sea pantry
also serves as a garbage
can and septic tank

they don’t care who they
hurt even if it happens
to be they themselves

brainless animals
may do well in coming days
except for humans

send my regards to
civilization and say
i’m not coming back

take a chance they said
and he did because he thought
he’d live forever

noontime sun drowsy
day the future forgotten
but past still in mind

sounds upstairs but in
the cellar with the dirt floor
only final silence

scissors invented
fifteen hundred b. c. in
egypt thank goodness

thirsty sun dazed foot
sore bitten pack straps cutting
smiling triumphant

day after divorce
cold coffee tough toast silence
and one confused dog

if someone tells you
to fear not it is best to
fear a little anyway

dry heat tracks of small
paws in hot sand empty blue
sky above the dunes

i don’t cherry pick
the facts i’m just a gosh-darned
optimistic type

it’s harder to rise
than to sink a problem that
animals don’t face

a cat can be as
dutiful as a dog but
not in the same way

the cyclops vision
consisted of a dream that
featured perspective

words are less useful
than tone of voice when dealing
with a two-year-old

he felt bad about
the act even though he won
a medal for it

just suck it through a
flavor straw bud wait do they
still make flavor straws

the peach seems more like
forbidden fruit to me than
a crispy apple

imagination
the invisible demons
that remind of death

most end of the world
scenarios begin with
small things that get worse

aluminium
makes the perfect hat to block
alien thought rays

discontent among
the circus animals caused
show business problems

i’m not so good on
the past and the future but
i’m all over now

he always wanted
to be a card shark but he
couldn’t learn to shuffle

one eyebrow lifted
slowly as my mom sniffed my
smoky coat and shirt

the kids in this small
town are all ready to jump
at any chance to leave

not so much booming
in nature until humans
arrived on the scene

if someone sometime
does not want to let you push
forward then push back

i said it because
i love her but it came out
sounding different

here tiger tiger
he said regressing in fear
at the sight of it

the hens did not like
the foxy young thing who came
down and got their eggs

a watchtower isn’t
needed to see what’s coming
toward us right now

a tiger with a
full stomach may choose to kill
a human anyway

the mountain unchanged
expedition flag now cloth
strands of red and white

benevolent rain
fell gently ending the drought
followed by flooding

when he entered the
roundabout he was in a
good mood which didn’t last

he seemed completely
broken-hearted but he was
just a hangdog type

i first saw those eyes
outside my tent in the night
then often in dreams

a dead cat will bounce
but the same can’t be said for
an extinct feline

i keep my inner
child under control but my
outer child acts up

life just went by so
suddenly that i need one
more to get it right

lizard tracks on the
dunes ending abruptly where
the peregrine lands

cockatoos exist
in the wild unlike the small
canine cockapoo

his woes made me smile
but it was just schadenfreude
after he left me

tweeting has hit the
art of old-fashioned gossip
right in the sweet spot

the grass wasn’t enough
to hide the war’s carnage for
a couple of years

why does mannah fall
only from heaven when hell
would like to give too

these days my mind’s eye
is seeing things a little
too clearly for me

we turn away from
many disgusting things when
facing them is best

the cat lady was
a woman but no lady
she would cat around

the sun was high the
night animals sleeping when
the bulldozers came

many of nature’s
small cogs are going extinct
around us these days

even if odd or
uneven or unequal
it will even out

it wasn’t my mind but
only a devil that made
me do the bad thing

burdened and weighed down
with age yet despite the years
its crown still bright green

horny young boy dreams
of being an underwire
or a small gusset

tired hearts but hearts are
pumps they don’t get tired it’s minds
that get sick and tired

open up those clenched thighs
and that closed mind that has left
you cold and dried out

loose lips let it slip
and it sank ships and airplanes
to ruin a metaphor

who’s afraid of the
future when we’re all stuck in
the past and present

nature is not built
to unravel but it can
simplify itself

hi welcome to hell
a place we’re creating by
ourselves for ourselves

sunlight bright on the
rolling sea but the waters
are dark and lifeless

group hug was thought to
be a human thing until
gorillas did it

he had money to
burn and spent it all on those
most in need of help

a shark in the rain
puddle is good hollywood
more sharks is better

a fire started and
several buckets full from
the stream for a bath

mountain goats chew their
cud on a crag and regard
a billy stumble

works downtown hangs out
midtown lives uptown girlfriend
out in the suburbs

it sucks to be right
when the news is bad and you
alone know it’s bad

tequila salt lime
pistols adobe rice beans
tarantulas sand

never say never
say because the gods surely
will make you say it

looks familiar but
experience has stolen
her belief and trust

it’s a sad boy who
listens to the big kids and
their advice on girls

the air was cleaner
than the water but not clean
enough to see through

a scene perfectly
captured perfectly framed a
tragic reminder

four roses in a shot
glass a pack of camels and
the badlands outside

false teeth in a glass
by the bed and outside bright
lights in the night sky

wide war smile not grim
or frenzied or mad just a
predator’s instinct

the planet’s surface
a shell paved over with white
concrete hard as rock

it’s not your feelings
about me that hurt it’s your
feelings about her

wind machines are great
if migratory birds can
learn diverted flight

black feather riding
on the stream spinning soaking
banished from the air

shafts of sunlight through
dusty blinds the air outside
full of grit and death

nationalism will
have to do until we can
attack other worlds

while her lover kept
her busy her husband was
a neglected loss

she said i told you
so and i said next time please
make me believe it

she looks at him and
smiles and his cold heart warms up
immediately

warm dry blissful day
the storm past the angry men
dead or gone in peace

deer watch from the woods
as dad puts venison steak
on the barbecue

colonies live on
us we’re continents to all
sorts of tiny bugs

angels are of the
earth seen here and there mostly
statues in graveyards

my conception was
a happy mistake and my
wedding a mistake

my spouse speaks but how
much of what he says to me
is advertisements

already living
past sustainability
we just double down

the club or the club
join others as friends or start
bopping all their heads

the matchmaker now
lives in the cloud not down the
street or in the stars

a cheerful friend is
good a cheerful enemy
rather worrisome

controversy can
my house rabbit poop safely
on cedar woodchips

what is the best way
to convert the crumbs and crumb
bums into good guys

we need a bit more
heaven-sent rather than so
much of the hell-sent

his gravity was
a  mask for his major lack
of intelligence

she took him to be
an impostor because she
didn’t really know him

the planet is not
yet an oven but when so
it will be dirty

typecast by my spouse
in a role that is not me
which i can’t escape

if you want to be
one hundred percent honest
best keep your mouth shut

blood moon marriage as
the shadow of another
man fell upon her

tiny tools for work
on atoms discover that
tiny is quite huge

it felt like a big
step forward but by then most
of the floor was gone

popularity
in high school does not always
predict the future

we all were guilty
of the usual small sins
but we didn’t all pay

i was afraid to
touch her with good reason as
i got a bad bruise

tourists from other
planets notice the spread of
a single species

miles away little
feet step inches into big
yards to read meters

just to note that the
landlord’s wife was a woman
as was the landlord

the gas station you
stop in and fill up and leave
to burn a tankful

the lemming sibling
is a lousy influence
on all the others

a problem bigger
than you but don’t ignore it
you can help solve it

the children were in
perpetual motion or
so it seemed to mom

in denial he
picked out an island to buy
risky investment

the war hero had
dreams of death and so did his
friend the peace hero

thank god for one more
day then one more hour then one
more minute lights out

behind the cellar
door the stairs are steep and dark
the cat won’t go down

the motion sensors
detected nothing moving
on this hot planet

with no one to care
for he came in the end to
care for everyone

the magic machine
burned coal and was it seems a
black magic machine

daggers don’t kill folks
folks kill folks with daggers but
do not sit on one

inside the planet’s
atmospheric envelope
but not inside me

the carillon is
still in its tower we
mourn the dead ringer

asteraceae
cosmos twenty-some species
of flowering plant

peace is easily
had when you are all too weak
to fight each other

once they destroyed the
land they could not restore it
could not recall it

a calm guy he did
not fly off the handle more
like mosied off it

the forest spirit
resisted strip logging but
warming brought beetles

there was never a
fall from grace because we didn’t
have grace at the start

the noisy fan was
silenced by three big swings that
accomplished nothing

one urban dream is
to get out of the urb past
the suburbs to woods

god’s clouded vision
created man and woman
and we did the rest

his just desserts came
metaphorically as
a gooey tar pit

corns bunions and a
nasty disposition can
lead to foul outbursts

a simple desire
often disguises itself
as inspiration

we’re out of water
what in the name of heaven
becomes of my lawn

my regrets gathered
dust in the back of my head
then it was too late

over where secrets
go unappreciated
by the zen masters

black beetle settled
on antler velvet in dead
leaves its little bed

her husband in her
mind by default had to be
the culprit not her

the child lies the lies
no more than a pane of clear
glass into his mind

first annoyance and
then when it’s too late comes the
long-predicted pain

you could see the cats
tighten up when the big dog
ambled by their yard

her first job was in
reception but she worked her
way up to the top

refugees from gym
class can often be found in
band or orchestra

a dead thing before
it’s dead is a living thing
and before that nil

walking barefoot in
the surf can be a great help
to your blistered feet

the winner’s circle
for dinosaurs slowly shrank
away to nothing

man has taken the
planet’s landscaping out of
god’s hands for a while

she got mad at me
and used bread knife and fork but
it felt like daggers

the worst underserved
often get undercooked meals
unmade beds and mice

using the latest
info technology i
found he was a jerk

the fog of war was
exacerbated by an
actual fog on the ground

a coffee machine
today  is necessary
in every business

she frequently wore
silk which just made me focus
on her bumpy skin

everyone can own
a home here even if only
a big cardboard box

a land of convicts
in time can be counted on
to become normal

if two love then one
unfortunately will lose
since one will die first

our long journey from
cave to high rise may end with
us underwater

i stripped off the black
funeral suit leaving his
body bare in its box

tell me a story
about the planet before
so many were here

we’re in space but still
pretty close to home up there
all things considered

kisses that go with
hugs should include lips that stay
tight shut with no tongue

the vicious cycle
is a vicious spiral that
often ends badly

she wore a girdle
on her slim form and it made
our date difficult

i thought he was close
to me until  i saw him
much closer to her

when you’re always game
and never the predator
it can spoil dating

coming out of the
cave brilliance dazzled him then
his eyes adjusted

wait for the flies to
land on your palm then grab them
as an exercise

recycling cyber
junk can be tricky as it’s
mixed treasures and trash

violet’s cheeks were
violet a product of
her high blood pressure

whose words count the most
parent sibling child god squad
pol star talk show host

the mud flaps on the
truck are so weighted with mud
that the flaps don’t flap

humans have switchblades
and such nature’s version might
be the shark or snake

this is crazy but
i keep doing it and then
paying the next day

falling off a cliff
the stock market two lovers
and lots of lemmings

he didn’t recall it
on purpose the memory
arrived on its own

not too much sun but
rather it turned out to be
too many people

control yourself  they
said meaning don’t do what you
want but what you should

talk to me about
me and i’ll talk about me
too it will be great

wilderness without
large animals empty house
but still called a home

blame the brain’s weakness
evolution dna
god’s sense of humor

now i see what he
meant and i wish he were here
so i could tell him

the pitch was not to
the heart of the plate but more
like to its liver

the favored few seem
less favored when seen standing
at death’s door alone

the pavement ends and
beyond it run footpaths through
unexplored country

the sun comes up in
the east a sight missed daily
by most everyone

the saddle buckled
under the horse’s belly
where the big ticks live

today’s witch is not
in touch with the old dark ways
but can cast a spell

the man with a gun
in his hand is pathetic
but he can still shoot

only i could save
the day by thinking of her
instead of myself

these days the unknown
does not stay unknown but shows
up on tmz

at the deli cured
meat pickled salads pasta
italians shouting

rapper on corner
mockingbird calls in spring night
voices pushing hard

get up early and
watch the sky turn pale white then
pale blue every day

mojave desert
grit scrub sage jumping cholla
owl glass bottle tire

after the hike he
was too tired for anything
but going to sleep

relativism on
a micro scale means my mom
can’t tell me what’s what

actions speak sometimes
louder than words but not than
some inactions do

is no exit the
most famous play that almost
nobody has seen

he was always the
busy bee but now CCD
had removed all bees

the best is always
also the worst but not in
an ironic way

mankind looking to
rent the planet for a while
not hoping to stay

if you’re a bug splat
is an epitaph for man
use another word

the wild gang once out
in the real wilds for a while
wasn’t so wild anymore

i always type too
fast making mistakes composing
email in traffic

the ballerina’s
slippers kept her feet hidden
while she was onstage

night in camp under
the stars while on the radio
a distant ballgame

the iron’s hot too
hot for my silk skirt like my
love for my boyfriend

humidity was
not a problem once the coast
was under water

the baby turned and
went back in and so had to
suffer a rebirth

far below the line
that signifies poverty
we lived a pure life

the small things in the
world are apt to last a lot
longer than the big

the gardener to
the planet will focus on
tropical species

they could have saved us
but they didn’t and now they won’t
because it’s too late

i saw a pay phone
the other day by itself
probably broken

25 bucks will
get you a wife in my town
for 5 long minutes

too much rain for a
fire so cold turkey shot and
cooked the day before

not charity but
payment for work performed in
the distant future

the gun is feather
light its bullets bird-dropping
light vultures like it

actions speak louder
than words and hers shouted i’m
out of here you jerk

she wiped her brow with
a pale hand pale but not quite
pale enough to pass

=in this world all the
best in nature disappears
bit by bit by bit

hungry and sleepy
but lustful took precedence
in spite of the yawns

brightly should be a
good word not used  for those who
remain unaware

inescapable
truths are the parents of most
delusional thoughts

sweltering planet
currents changing in sea sky
and human affairs

humans are take one
when take two arrives we won’t
be around to see it

his father and his
girl were in the stands clapping
he missed by a mile

demanding it in
this house only works for the
youngest residents

their relationship
a frayed cord their arguments
the knife cutting through

right back pocket has
kleenex the other has my
window on the world

lying on my back
in the meadow orion’s
belt circling above

beltto break the cycle
in nature means to cause an
extinction event

the rock walls act as
an amplifier for the
canyon wren’s clear song

deep in the french cave
drawn on the wall with charcoal
a bear and sunburst

the hug was going
well till i mentioned marriage
and felt her pull back

eat sleep repeat through
your life and finally you
will end up sleeping

adder well hidden
waiting for a mouse not a
hand picking mushrooms

i want to stand up
for my rights in this marriage
but i always fold

he finally quit
drinking but most of his life
was already gone

one hour from safety
how strong is your body how
strong is your spirit

what a night can it
be i won’t have another
like it in my life

realization
that nevermore would he love
froze his heart and soul

i know that it’s wrong
and destructive nonetheless
i’ll keep doing it

when they finally
go they leave it behind all
of it for the rest

domestic flowers
are stuck in their flowerbeds
wildflowers can spread

gray day raw wind rain
breakers booming on the beach
cream soup in warm kitchen

the boys wanted a
neck hickey at least not brags
as my proof of kiss

six pockets on the
table and my balls manage
to avoid them all

long live the king he
hasn’t left the building he’s
living in georgia

if it was too big
to fit in the microwave
the dryer got it

orange juice with pulp
man beaten to pulp for fun
pulp’s light and dark sides

his lost train of thought
chugged off to his subconscious
never to return

their scales provide fish
with a smooth non-stick surface
as they swim around

it was great fun but
as i have parents i must
face the reckoning

is it that you don’t
care or that you’re mean or that
you’re just plain stupid

do not miss stuckey’s
free box of divinity
with your gas fill up

a rainy night with
wind to slant the falling drops
under his hat brim

he’s an old man but
his mind is clear which means his
life went by too quick

please read this notice
and not just that nice first line
with its please thank you

a necessary
evil is usually
merely annoying

let’s throw in with them
to throw down the gauntlet and
throw out the rascals

unexpected death
the ultimate life lesson
for those left behind

to good to be true
but i wanted to believe
i had to believe

focus on truth and
ignore the pain caused by your
exposure to it

cowboy tears caused not
so much by frontier romance
as by saddle sores

to stain wood grain is
good but to stain your honor
doesn’t require drying

our fantasies are
acted out not in public
or in private life

don’t do this if you’re
allergic to pecans or
can’t hold your water

sex isn’t exactly
overrated but more just
misrepresented

i see the light of
distant stars made long ago
but photons don’t age

richard lionheart
spent little time in england
and spoke no english

would you rather know
the truth right now or go on
living as you are

animals avoid
or find animals in the
wild by scent sound sight

she was in my arms
and in my head but sadly
not yet in my heart

all streets empty in
the silent city as the
army approaches

the modern chicken
wing can flutter but not fly
but ah those drumettes

a tile floor does not
differentiate between
water urine blood

off the coast on the
horizon many types of
seabird pass their lives

though just a canker
not a chancre down there it
spoiled the honeymoon

t’s not lying  it’s
laying only when putting
down something not you – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/trigger/it%27s%20not%20lying#sthash.UYQFBi0m.dpuf

it’s not lying it’s
laying only when putting
down something not you

out of the swift creek
onto a rock the stiff breeze
to blow dry my hair

after the outbreak
of disease the focus changed
from years to minutes

if humans were to
disappear from the planet
it would not regress

the elephant is
risky game if you hunt it
poachers will kill you

the seeds of being
human are found in canines
and cats equally

pediatricianpedia
pediatrician

my first memory
is of pediatrician
nostrils and nose hairs

right thing to do is
a 2d concept in a
3d universe

mostly gone from our
cotton fields are boll weevils
and cotton pickers

honeymoon chores were
handled with feeling and that
helped a lot later

the wild animal
is deft and sure out there or
are there clumsy ones

endless night suggests
a very significant
shortage of photons

independence makes
choosing easier but with
age the choices shrink

mercury’s dark side
like satan close to true light
never to see it

give me a break it’s
not my fault we’re in this mess
i don’t even vote

sorry this post won’t
rate so much as a gee whiz
or a holy cow

cup full of beer and
then because of all the foam
it ranneth over

i didn’t want to die
in the hospital so my
hubby snuck me out

little streams of stars
spun out of the galaxy
to travel alone

in the wilderness
a bad knee and journey home
one step at a time

the ranger got used
to beauty and solitude
which was hard on love

with global warming
many floodgates will become
underwater gates

the blade of the plow
sliced into soil undisturbed
for a million years

in the forest fire
some animals ran away
most did not survive

love is love but the
lovers will change and often
not for the better

just wanted to say
pretend i’m a frog croaking
or cricket chirping

we watch the wind toss
the treetops and swirl the mist
and then we dance too

only in humans
nowhere else the banal and
opposable thumbs

spring is coming or
what we call spring in spite of
blossoms in winter

at first glance all is
normal the change comes quickly
most will not adapt

major buzz kill when
the love potion recipe
calls for dragon tooth

flat land from rockies
to mississippi lots of
room for the great herds

i do not hate you
i’d just rather live alone
for a while in peace

out from the city
he looked upon our valley
and found it classy

turn icebox settings
higher borrowed time that the
planet will take back

saved dough from the holes
cut in doughnuts and fried then
sold as donut holes

it’s alive she said
red jello in an earthquake
jiggling on a plate

thinking about things
a wet road lots of traffic
spin out no one hurt

idiots online
help us understand why we
are in such trouble

spring wind with a cold
edge scatters blossom petals
from the blooming trees

commitment time came
she stared at me and i had
a panic attack

cottonwood roots find
the water beneath the stones
of the dry creek bed

it was meant to be
a goodbye kiss for the day
not for evermore

the typhoon seen  from
space an organized pinwheel
chaotic at sea

it will not be a
sucker punch because we’ve long
seen it on its way

the big mistake was
marriage but life and enough
time corrected it

love in the grass can
be quite itchy a blanket
is recommended

returned to the old
homestead or tried to but found
only a walmart

radio silence
everywhere i fly on am
i alone for good

the sandstorm fills the
horizon a dark brown wall
worst is the silence

staring out over
fall woods, red and oranges
bleeding together

nowadays when i
see a biker gang it’s most
likely some geezers

it’s not ironic
if there is no doubt that it’s
just coincidence

tom foolery on
a rock face eight hundred feet
up boys will be boys

there are greater life
truths in sickness than in health
but health is better

refresh yourself in
the mountain stream but do not
let your feet get soft

the moon was low on
the horizon and the brown
cow got over it

i’ve got my little
conspiracy theory but
no proof at all… yet

it’s all gone for good
i’m glad because i was dumb
wait what’s this website

to comfort him pooh
has the honey jar plus some
friends plus lack of wits

cool a fever to
love to make money to live
with meditation

bleary memories
less sharp less sad begin to
cure the bleary eye

some aqua velva
all that was needed for the
girls to swoon they said

first several bites
then multiple chews followed
by a single gulp

a proper twine ball
can be a cat favorite
store it in a creel

when does being proud
of something turn into that
before-the-fall pride

exactly what is
fairy dust? from whence comes it?
it’s fairy dandruff?

the life left behind
when the money arrived had
love but no health care

euphoric scuba
moment swimming beyond the
shelf over deep blue

the snake sinister
just because it can kill you
with a single bite

california meal
star fruit moon meat sun veggies
invisible spork

to make a bull’s eye
the bullseye would be mean and
just a little weird

denied self sits still
could move but that would shut the
mind now full open

edit settings for your
life when your experience
indicates the need

duck on gray water
a toy bobbing in lake chop
fishermen back home

with respect to the
unforgiving it’s mostly
that they can’t not won’t

when it can work it
will work when it can’t work it
will sit quietly

they could ignore the
sins of the world and still have
sensitivity

no parent training
of the ducklings needed by
the mama mallard

if it’s a truly
ridiculous idea
it may mask great hopes

the f word the c
word the other c word the
n word next letter?

city of delusion
the train running between los
vegas and l.a.

forget those lame cranes
cast your eyes on this awesome
paper warrior

i feel it i sniff
it i taste it but only
after some begging

i slept through my lack
of decorum mouth agape
by the open grave

she lived at the poles
depending on sunshine for
her true happiness

naturally i
expected a sharp needle
not many are dull

his moon eyes put me
off until they caught moonlight
with me in his arms

on a gray day with
rain, morning glory blossoms
heavy wet and dull blue

perspective in art
was discovered but in life
lost in emotion

milk and cookies but
lactose intolerant i
chose beer and cookies

the ten o’clock news
is now the anytime o’clock
news on your iphone

how you know there’s no
cure for it: despite all it
kills a billionaire

the modern human
way is more more more with the
result less less less

he discovered the
angel of death in his bowl
of warm mushroom soup

those i conquered did
not stay conquered but when i
was conquered i did

there she goes and i
open my mouth to speak but
then wisely shut it

nature in all ways
is barbaric excepting
man’s fatal culture

three free rock climbers
clinging in wind to the face
of el capitan

unfortunately
undying hope will end when
the hoper passes

trickery abounds
in the natural world but
only man tricks himself

ironically
global warming will increase
number of snow cones

history converts
facts of being into facts
of used to being

call me mutant not
for genetic mutation
but cause i’m a klutz

no tree too tall as
lightning keeps them pruned and the
new warmth spoils the mist

the mosquito had
to wait eighty million years
for man to show up

do those your mom vs
your moms vs yo momma jokes
vary on the street

days of wind, the air
full, its passage in the trees
lapsing then surging

the robin does not
get drunk on pyracantha
berries just quite stuffed

christmas shopping for
the unaccepting inlaws
takes zero minutes

law for all in love:
a commensurate decrease
in hate for others

a forest dead of
some tropic blight brought north by
the warming planet

sleeveless black dress on
the carpet its contents spread
naked on the bed

is there still a non-
metaphorical bitter
pill out there to take

curled up defense works
for armadillos and such
but not for people

coon sniffs the creek as
dirty dishwater washes
down from a campsite

oh why must my spouse
espouse in our house lies such
as i am a louse

folks came out to the
air show to watch those new loud
metal machines fly

the old farm now gone
new growth covering the fields
fence post stands alone

dinosaur will
leave the world as it finds it
but not vice versa

an expectation 
of the end actually 
is more like a dread

the night they arrived
they were welcomed and began
treating  the infected

we live in a world
a universe where i love
my ford galaxy

to act fast you need
to react fast not think fast
thinking slows you down

the milk in my rice
cereal made my cat prick
her ears at the snap

a million flies or
so over it and under
and worst inside it

high sonoran heat
canteen lip balm canvas hat
horny toad on rock

please do not touch the
icy flagpole with your tongue
if you do go haalllpp

please do not touch the
icy flagpole with your tongue
if you do go haallllp – See more at: http://typetrigger.com/trigger/do%20not%20touch#sthash.uFeIB8qY.dpuf

the hillside slid down
in heavy rain forming a
main street mud river

he wasn’t lingering
but actually fingered
for malingering

the broken guitar
of my rocker love his skull
impression in it

the charcoal used for
hookah smoking is very hard
and burns hot and long

reports indicate
contentious couples should not
keep steak knives handy

he rarely tastes it
first sniffs it yes but then just
proceeds to eat it

what lies beneath the
lies i lie when getting laid
i lie beneath him

gold sunset with lime
green spot and ray above it
known as the green flash

fresh haircut cheap shoes
well shined desperation he’s
got to get a job

wind bent and sculpted
cypress growing from split rock
by a turquoise sea

usually not
much slumbering for those at
a slumber party

if humanity
keeps this up you might blink and
miss the end of it

dude with gun: nice guy
he just got real upset there
for a little while

he never had a
breakthrough but did manage to
leap through a few hoops

edge between two worlds
silent shore where the moment
meets eternity

prairie formerly
covered with grass now made of
glass that glows at night

sunlight on the moon
gleams silver on the earth to
suggest a goddess

our parents thought we
were wrong for each other but
we were wrong for them

low clouds hung over
the valley but we climbed the
slope into sunlight

the sky turns to gold
only for a time at dawn
and then goes flat white

when your chance to be
heard arrives, don’t miss it. step
up and say something.

pull on your helmet
insert mouth guard, and roller
skate in a derby

questions are deadly
but no question is worse than
the answer to it

now available
with the old and new, the new
improved testament

they say ninety-nine
is sixty-six pregnant with
the devil’s own spawn

some necessary 
actions in life and romance 
just appear heartless

for the tall mountains
we usually find just
humans at the peak

when i eat a cream
puff time slows and i get a
warm fuzzy feeling

flashman attended
rugby school as also did
that wimpy tom brown

can’t get a date but
various churches and your
uncle sam want you

between snowbanks sky
white no shadow arm sinks deep
in to the elbow

he was too big to
fit in a normal box so
we could bury him

meteors began
to glow as they entered the
atmosphere’s outskirts

because he was risk
averse he did not marry
until desperate

price for light: coal dust
some pneumoconiosis
amongst the miners

he started slowly
i got my hopes up and he
had a strong finish

garnet southwest sky
at sunset purple maroon
silent as night falls

al capone died of
a bad case of syphilis
for what that might mean

for this he said she
said argument they also
had it all on tape

there is something strange
about that strange something that
sits there on all fives

will death from the sky
shatter this calm and turn the
night bloody for mice

my drag-queen debut
at the crown and anchor in
provincetown killed

if you’re alive you’re
truly living even if you
don’t realize it

the devil doesn’t want
the world to end because it
would spoil all his fun

the rain continued
and finally the hillside
mud began to move

the lights did flicker
and dim at just the moment
of execution

camera case dust-
covered, his android handling
picture duties now

early onset are
words you don’t want to hear nor
late onset neither

we met and fell in
love blah blah blah heading back
to the singles bar

bad love song lyrics
the love fire burning in my
heart got doused by tears

clear surface water
turquoise below then azure
still deeper lightless

trout leaps for black fly
a splash quiet circles spread
on a mirrored lake

moose stands on frozen
stream cloven hooves chipping grooves
in crusted white ice

all staff infections
invasive toxic remind
us that we are flesh

this sudden friendship
seems to be based on our
needs. is that ok?

hidden between us
all the thoughts we never share
and the damaged trust

bad love song lyrics
the red walls of my heart are
bleeding to love you

the chemicals i’ve
snorted are at war with my
natural hormones

sitting on a box
full of dynamite, shoes off,
thinking things over

our queen and your king
the parents of two countries
acted like children

a howling wind masked
the sound of howling wolves and
then of howling men

chlorophyll green and
sky blue, pleasing photons that
nature singles out

it’s fun to play with
but since it’s not quite human
they hide who it is

a timer for the
earth has gone off triggering
various alarms

typewriters, pay phones,
and adding machines, stacked on
shelves in dark storerooms

strong currents through the
brainpan as old sparky cooked
another texan

what’s wrong with a world
where ice is unknown and the
trunks of dead trees burn

eating a garden
burger with catsup and my
deer rifle ready

a hundred million
years evolving excellent
survival tactics

in new orleans a
guy approached me and asked me
to go to the zoo

full sunlight and most
animal on animal
feeding done for now

i sensed the aura
when she swept into the room.
one good sniff. garlic.

in california
i built my new home on firm
ground and yet it moves

endless forest and
shattered leg. plenty of wood
to use for a splint.

is she receptive
to my advances because
of me or my wealth

is beauty truly
in the eye of each of us
or an absolute

movie stars used to
be unblinking onscreen but
now they seem to blink

there’s more over the
wall going in than over
the wall going out

in a different
view the winding road is a
direct path instead

that stardust above
is carbonaceous chondrites
but romantic ones

saved us both a lot
of grief by divorcing my
guy ahead of time

rain rattles on the
tent. a short candle lights the
map. they’ll dig in mud.

in spring natural
events proceed like clockwork
unless the clock’s fast

if someone says here
be dragons and means it you’d
best stay on your toes

john’s touchstone, helping
him make his big decisions
was his pink iphone

some starfish live a
long time but they stay starfish
doing starfish stuff

instinct guides all but
one migratory beast and
that one needs a map

it’s a cruel world
but it could get a heck of
a lot crueler

sadly the word drugs
has fallen upon hard times
but i love my pills

a coincidence
that drugs rhymes with hugs or the
universe winking?

the water jug held
moonshine so the woodland hike
was short but happy

backpedaling is
always a good option to
have available

once a splinter group
homo sapiens has become
the majority

under the earth crawls
the worm. in fact, dirt is worm
poops. castings. humus.

after thirty years
of marriage, my sweety grew
fatty sugar lumps

the waking hour for
predators: evening sunset
twilight gloaming dusk

good for the raccoon
which will take the time to wash
before chowing down

clear murmuring creek
fresh susurant breeze
soughing in treetops

the instinct to suck
it is strong at birth and in
some doesn’t fade away

so far i haven’t tried
meditation but i plan
to give this much thought

red dog yellow field
birds fly up except for the
one being retrieved

he broke a string but
kept playing for her because
it was a heartstring

it’s time again to
remind you that you don’t have
forever to act

starlit gray bloodstains
glimmering on fur in the
silent night forest

fly sits on fresh meat
you ready with your swatter
fwap but you miss it

cheetah’s red nails drip
at the kill. lucy paints hers
before using them.

which causes more pain,
love or regret? which to dodge
with work and daydreams?

after so many
years of school rules for dress i
cannot dress my way

nature for every
metaphor also provides
anti-metaphors

double-edged is used
metaphorically but
is not double-edged

unconscious hellbent
for goals very different
than his conscious ones

why is it that why
i quit in the past tense is
not why i quitted

cost: mass destruction
benefit: better results
the next time around

at first unique, the
archetype becomes quite the
opposite of that

the roaring quiet now
zoo closed for the night lions fed
boredom put on hold

she was right there as
he eyed the passing girls and
prepared to whistle

he wore a crooked
smile when he said i do and
she knew she had goofed

the orchestra plays
on; the audience has stepped
out to check their feeds

she gasped and slapped him
but that was not quite the end
of his clumsy gropes

floating cheese crackers
ducks had to wait millions of
years for lakes in parks

though he was barely
living he tried to breathe life
into his writing

silence he shouted
quiet he roared be still i
can’t hear myself think

little girls play mom
to their dolls and later play
mom to their husbands

blood in water spreads
coloring the water pink
sunset before night

how long is long when
the universe is only
billions of years old

in this sex book i
guess the good parts and the bad
parts are the same parts

my dog freckles is
not freckled. he’s hair covered,
only nose and butt bare.

i’m in trouble when
a shot glass isn’t enough and  i
switch to a jam jar

mildewed zinnias
from the warm days and cold nights
winter is coming

gratification
via abstinence is a
two-for-one bargain

snow began to fall
as we walked in the forest
she wore my jacket

no appointment wait
with nature unless you count
the one at the end

moon down prairie dark
as a trucker signals a
turn at the crossroads

yum she said looking
at it then yum yum she said
after she ate it

valentine’s day is
hearts hearts hearts but how about
that ole pancreas

these days to rouse the
rabble the rabble-rouser
must post some great tweets

there is no safety
in safety pins when they’re all
open, points ready

don’t look back if god
tells you that you’ll turn into
a pillar of salt

breathless trembling the
doe stood still breeze in the leaves
the puma so close by

mister jone’s paddle
was infamous. they bronzed and
retired it with him.

those two boobs think of
nothing all the time but boobs
aka boobies

welcome to this vale
of tears and laughter for your
once-only visit

can you see it in
your heart to think of someone
but yourself for once?

expect hubris when
my husband opens his mouth
to defend himself

the future of love:
hard to fall in love when you’re
sweating heavily

best compliment i
ever received was about
the shape of my lids

she wants to stop but
on her back quiescent she
sinks into the depths

let me play devil’s
advocate: everything is
going to be fine

somewhere this fiction
is true and the facts of my
life, and me, are not

eat it up and i’ll
give you more but not enough
to damage your faith

the nonbeliever
is a true believer in
something else instead

sloppy thinking led
to the invention of the
sloppy joe sandwich

insomniac’s bed
constipatee’s toilet and
lover’s selfish heart

my conscience was right
about everything but i want
to do it again

a liquid sunset
every red-orange hue tint
and shade in the sky

hollow pineapple
vodka, orange liqueur, lime
and an umbrella

i know you are a
content teen but feel free to
carry on anyway

flying fish, trout catching
flies, salmon, visiting the
world above water

heroism is a
dog and human thing. you won’t
find heroic cats.

i have a secret
box and now i only need
one or two secrets

some canadian
geese do not entertain any
migratory thoughts

my drugs betrayed me
by keeping me alive for these
worst times of my life

in haikus there is
nothing mentioned that also
is aforementioned

fox caught red-handed
or red-pawed in the hen house
mouth stuffed with feathers

the room was crowded
with older honey bunches
presently widows

my mom always thought
that if i could, i’d… really
she knew me too well

empty hospital
all cured and at home again
or cold in the ground

a euphemism for
euphemism is let me put
it to you this way

i’m on a side street
do i park and walk or go
back to the main drag

feeling nostalgic
doesn’t mean it’s too late for you,
just that it seems to

blue sky, summer sun.
dry grass and poppies cover
a golden mountain.

a spiral horn is
good for butting and also
can look pretty cool

nature’s labyrinths
caverns hollowed out over
geologic time

what rule explains the
connection between “boring”
and “everlasting”?

is not rebellion
futile when facing death as
the adversary?

when words fail, rethink
the ideas behind them
and the ears in front

my dream prophesy
was quite simple. soon i would
be in the bathroom.

he behaved like a
virgin but it was because
he was slow to learn

drought clouds the farmer’s
mind, makes planning difficult,
water becoming dust

man’s instinct is to
domesticate and use, not
integrate and share

recite this chain-mail
haiku to ten others or
prepare for the worst

boy shakes wooden hand
of cigar-store indian
on a dusty street

lava, escaped from
the earth, at last running free
into the blue sea

two visitors meet
on an iao valley path,
a boar and a man

birds felt the ground shake
and flew up. the quake did not
harm the seeds they ate.

from a break in the
trees i can see the skyline
of a treeless city

in Delagate, i
deligated an injured
council delegate

since i blew up
at him my husband has been
startlingly human

in the back of the
refrigerator is a
private place for food

i forgot to peek
behind the veil. instead i
just proposed to her.

don’t trust your reason
or your desire or your luck.
trust is a mistake.

i made a mistake
with my marriage. it wasn’t love
but i’ll see it through.

red wine with body
head of red hair with body
zen mind with body

my dad told me i
would be skinned if i teased a
girl just one more time

a sunny morning
a foggy afternoon and
a night full of stars

today’s tragedy
involved me and my sick cat.
tomorrow’s, mankind.

spam and baloney
those noble meats now so ill-
used as mean slang terms

social change so slow
but fortunately there are
occasional  spurts

last in line at the
gates was man, all the other
lifeforms already dead

we all vowed to be
more careful, but not until
after it happened

worst diaspora?
rabbits? kudzu? starlings? rats?
mussels? cane toads? man?

her mom was waspish,
her date goatish, she sheepish,
her dad a guard dog.

deep in the closet,
at fifty he took a step,
reaching for the door

iphone imother
youtube youriver rapids
wiispeak corporate

was it a timewarp
that transformed her spouse into
a little baby?

the dragonfly, the
hummingbird, the albatross
do not walk very well

where do they keep their
memories? in drawers or
tales or just their heads?

they go to the creek
to drink one by one at dusk
a panther buffet

nature designates
nothing unlawful, even
crimes against nature

years later i went
back, but my old school was gone,
replaced by a store.

brush your teeth, make your
bed, floss, jog. after your loss
keep your days normal.

three inches of fuse
to go and this office, job,
and me will be gone

suddenly… but wait.
pull back for some perspective.
a lot of sudden isn’t.

lost love, self-respect,
the car keys. fortunately
later found the keys.

organized chaos:
greased pig competition with
multiple porkers

razors can convert
ragged into smooth whether
for better or worse

chickens  coming home
to roost – is that a common
occurrence or what?

sirens in the woods,
homes burning, cottages, burrows,
dens, split-levels, nests.

a professor, the
fox running through dense heather
chased by howling dogs

i will not trust you
ever after all your lies
about love and dogs

books tools pots and pans
and when i’m dead and gone it’s
all yours to deal with

were it so easy
to understand subjunctive
mood, more would use it.

some things are alive
some things were alive but now
are just things that are

a school of fish in
disorder as a shark cuts
through, mouth open wide

not dead earth, for the
life within it will evolve
to replace dead Man

my wife got mad at
me and called me a worm and,
worse, a molecule.

silence. no reply.
nothing. but it has meaning
if you can read it.

daddy’s due back home
fido’s not clock watching but
he knows the hour well

manly big white teeth
bulging slick muscles tensed
doggily panting

it never happens,
she said. promises or no
promises, we’re through.

clouds of mosquitoes,
gathering threatening storm
clouds, clouded wet eye

usually, to
hold an object lovingly
is to remember

now the young scholar
learns something new and useful
in bed not in class

an incredible
shot, they called him dead eyes
instead of dead eye

good news for today:
a blue streak appeared in the
smoggy sky above

the sky a little
lemon, a little orange, nice but
radioactive

wash of sunrise light
all this glory spoiled by the
fallen on the field

my mini mart is
the mini mart’s blue dumpster
shared with some big rats

a phony phony
is what? a super phony?
a meta-phony?

i share one little
theory with you and you
think that i’m crazy

noose around his neck,
the details of his life seem
of no consequence

are those murmurings
a product of my stomach
or of my conscience

in memory the
years may fall away but for
much too short a time

nature is aimless,
undirected, random, a
very good role model.

absolutely free
love arriving today from
countries overseas

left-handed warblers
turning out over wide seas
they can never cross

why doesn’t angst lead to
action more often instead
of just to more angst?

dim light between night
and morning when most hunting
and killing is done

was it a case of
mistaken identity
or desperate love?

what you have taken
you cannot return. some holes
cannot be refilled.

livid vivid bruise.
gravid, she’s livid avid
fervid perfervid.

how do you say that
which you have to say, in the
face of great anger?

we were men, now we’re
wolves. werewolves. no need to ‘ware.
we are not warewolves.

(“wer” means “man” in Old High German and Old English.)

nuclear option:
just take a gun and blow your
own brains out with it.

finally winter
long absent will become known
as the lost season

he was hypnotized.
she was intrigued. they stepped
off the cliff of love.

how do i carry
that weight? i never get up.
it imprisons me.

kate, nate’s late mate, showed
him the gate when she caught him
on a date with cate.

bad news in the air.
do you hear it? probably
not. most of us don’t.

truth, the light bringer
may arrive with pain as well
and fresh confusion

impressive silence
i stand alone in a field
no breeze and i sneeze

yes I forgive you
but do it just one more time
unforgivable

dance of shadows on
cave wall, thrown there jittering
by this new thing, fire

unfortunately
citizen science often
includes the bible

slow loris, coolist
of the animals on earth,
if not existence.

recreate the past
in memory, emotions
like ghosts in your head

i’m telling you for
the very last time that this is
not quite the last time

coincidences
good luck bad luck happenstance
all such things take time

is the darkling sky
at twilight the same as the
lightling sky at dawn

although monkey see,
etc., fortunately none live
near coal power plants

adam eyeballed eve
trying hard to see right through
that magical leaf

it’s never too late,
assuming that you’ve got a
first-class time machine.

when the game of life
is played the biggest losers
lose permanently

god loves you, pilgrim.
having said that, what’s up on
tv this evening?

let your counselor
choose your path. that can be your
excuse later on.

i prayed daily
then hourly but it turns out
god’s got a firewall

everyone gets the
the last moment but nobody
gets to describe it

if you think it’s just
that time again, you’ll just do
the same thing again.

endless love: two sinks
in the bathroom upstairs, both
used at the same time

man’s only hunger
isn’t food, which is why we’re in
the mess we’re in now.

speak the word three times,
they said. it’ll be yours for life.
murder, he said, thrice.

rooster soup, the king’s
favorite dish, his downfall
death by poisoned comb

beijing blue sky days
prompt rapturous poetry
widespread nostalgia

one breast slightly too
large, a tough operation,
a perfect evening

just go with it and
that means screaming at the top
of your lungs is fine

they all succeeded
except you, sir laid back. snooze
you lose. stop smiling.

in the animal
world if you’re a loser you’re
also somebody’s meal

the good old black and
gold my team back when i had
my life before me

fox in the hen house
party monster who does not
play well with others

man domesticates.
cats and dogs around the house,
numbers in bar codes.

like a box turtle
threatened he pulled his head down
when i kissed his lips

love broke my heart, fixed
it again, broke it, fixed it.
love, all-purpose tool.

wrinkle vanisher
i look years and years younger
with my clothes still on

let us dance while we still
can, and deny while we still
can, and then get drunk

as an icon i fear
iconoclasts, the bored,
and obscurity.

how could you eat those
twinkies in front of me when
i’m on this diet

can’t be deja vu
can’t be the same this time if
i’m about to die

ascending into
obscene riches, descending
into decadence

life is war said the kid
who spent his days at his wii
and didn’t have a life

the sands of time run
through the glass and once they’re through
my egg is boiled

when a dog is an
underdog in a fight with
a cat it’s just sad

i inspected her
for any aspect of virtue
before undressing

satan’s little imps
await instruction, faced
with this world of sin

daughter of a witch
her idiosyncratic
behavior suits her

once again, a fight
escalated rapidly,
turning into war.

rain clouds in the west
gray-white mountains in the air
turn black in their heart

do dogs and cats feel
nostalgic, or just sense some
good lost from the past

the fundraising drive
will drag on for weeks but he’s
never gonna give

give light room and it
scatters, spreading, thinning, and
the dark settles in

i am a liar
i have to be because there
is little hope here

mankind had a chance
knew better but didn’t take it
and then it was gone

the sun comes up once,
at the planet’s dawn start of
the revolution

gray morning headache
remnant of last night along
with this new tattoo

mallard ducks will eat
premium saltines as the
crackers float along

i’ll do it later,
he thought, and he thought, too late
now, when later came

steamy expression
she looks so so hot but she’s
got a cold shoulder

wood grain steering wheel
custom leather seats and a
full silvery moon

snake with a cold finds
a mousenest full of babies, this
reptile’s noodle soup

silent forest where
a trembling leaf foretells the
coming violence

i have not gargled
in years. should i be concerned
or leave my throat be?

please specify your
race so that we can judge you
appropriately

watching not doing,
speaking not thinking, we’re all
present not living

mother nature’s words
of wisdom in a language
we have forgotten

rich beyond measure
beware complacency lest
your income decline

name the love of your
life to define how happy
or sad that life was

around the campfire
at the dude ranch, buffalo
wings, smores, good red wine

a secret’s lie is
that somehow truth matters more
than its twin, fiction

mine has digital
display and “burst of steam.” i
win the iron battle.

owl, mouse’s hated
neighbor, invited himself
over for dinner.

a traffic snafu
killed him. then st. peter couldn’t
find his name listed.

west of the pillars
of hercules, a whirlpool
sucks down sailing ships

sand from sea to sea,
a column of gold in a
dune all that is left.

which animal might
drunk blunder into at night
a dry cactus patch?

ocean paradise.
warm sand, breakers thump, alone.
the world as it was.

he is the problem,
not his guns, money, pimples,
or bad recipes

in the house of night
stars filling the prairie sky
god remains silent

his caper is to
caper about while using
capers in a sauce

smallish meteor
dropped into the ocean. its
wave engulfed new york.

A real cutie. Before the accident.
(Six-word story)

well before sunrise
this nightmare child for certain
is up for the day

the cat rock steady
crouched and focused on the bird
well his ears do twitch

out of jail at last
back working in the cane fields
his sallow skin tanned

nature goes bankrupt
the sun doesn’t come up or some
sad equivalent

nature provides man
with insufficient instincts
about tomorrow

any southern comfort
other than whiskey for this
non-white visitor?

muggy morning sun
crossing to golden temple
a water taxi

more hate fate
than love it
(six-word poem)

down in the canyon
for afternoon tea we had
nuts and spring water

three deer standing on
the curb, waiting for a break
in heavy traffic.

sporadic bouts of
joy and terror smoothed to
a gray hum by pills

the revelations
end when enlightenment comes.
then it gets boring.

fear is a gift from
nature that man can mute. let’s
watch the tsunami.

winter past, now the
weather spurs new life, new growth,
but not for the old.

empty the garbage
we need to start some new dumps
in the countryside

see what man has done
to the planet and think oh
god please never this

we’re going down on
him, the god, to bring back the
summer, his good mood.

nature’s most caustic
substance: spousal vitriol
occasioned by rage.

she was dancing flame.
the red spotlights lit up each
time she hit the pole.

the exigent seen
from afar appears insane
when the race is gone

first time out  of the
city, first impressions: lots
of space, lots of trees.

first be remembered,
then you can worry about
being forgotten.

it comes from within,
hot, sulfurous, spreading, to
dissipate without.

wind from the northeast,
stiff, bitter, insistent, dry,
on a cloudless day.

lots of animals
eat crickets, including man,
but crickets sing on.

a ham is pressed best
with jeans not all the way down,
but framing the cheeks.

undercover in
the battle of the sexes,
he/she infiltrates.

hummingbirds, flighty,
don’t walk. neither do penguins,
who waddle. i pace.

taste it first. when you
swallow, it’s gone forever.
unless it repeats.

all matter in the
universe, multiplied by
time, and i pop out.

if i knew myself
like you know me, probably
i’d hate myself too.

dodos are extinct,
but what about me? before
long, i’ll be extinct.

owl eyes are about
prey. owlish eyes signify
you aren’t a birdbrain.

god doesn’t blame you to
your face. feel your guilt and hear
his silent assent.

for the ants, what is
an extravagance? it’s no
different for man.

terns migrating, pole
to pole, the distance between
my husband and me.

go ahead and blow
up the world. later, you can
blow up heaven too.

satin water warm
as her skin, let wilderness
wash the city off her.

regular dog eat
dog; vegetarian dog
eat meatless hot dog

caravan winds through
tall dunes, trade beginning to
shrink the world for us

complimentary
kisses from an angel or
some sort of large hawk

hire inspire admire
wire desire require perspire
tire mire misfire fire

three out of four of
my current wives tell me i’m
living a false life

sunrise, noon, sunset.
when it’s over, a day is
god’s small metaphor.

describe a color.
bore me with quantum mechanics.
thrill me with poetry.
or vice versa.

mary and the gas man
were doing great until her
spouse came home oily.

the brontosaurus,
sixteen metric tons. the ears?
nothing between them.

my phone ringing in
the woods sounds like a chainsaw
to scare off the bears

this appliance is
plastic, sir. the repair shop
for it is the dump.

so long as you both
shall live, anything could happen,
whatever your vows.

bedraggled birds on
stormy wire. rain and wind. men
waiting at the curb.

thinking hurts my head
talking doesn’t solve anything
crying makes it worse

the good ole days, when
the good ole boys could handle
the earth any ole way.

raspberry chiggers,
rose thorns, a handsome man with
fearsomely bad breath.

implosions collect.
explosions scatter. nature
casually sorts.

gentle winter rain
puddling in old snow. black birds,
slick feathers gleaming.

four beers and poor lighting,
i find my prince. morning sun,
in my bed, a frog.

strip mine the earth and
clear cut the forests and some
bruising will occur

mom is glad you stayed
but sad you were utterly
wasted the whole time

around the farm all
the fields and woods are gone and
they’re not coming back

at the heart of true
despair lies understanding,
which doesn’t cure the pain.

fergit it if it’s
legit. life’s too short to walk
a slow honest path.

it doesn’t hurt if i
don’t think about it. i think
about it a lot.

matter jitters slow
below freezing, with nature
pretending to die.

cats, dogs, and humans
exist in a room sparse in
nature’s furnishings.

pressure drop presages
storm, skies graying. Shoulders draw
up on field workers.

he writes these in third
person. he’s a really
awesomely great guy.

the kardashians.
kim il un. krispy kremes. it’s
a colorful world.

back again, back-to-
back back-outs, ever the same. he’s
in, he’s out, he’s through.

politicians make
sausage. nature too decides
by grinding all things.

pardon me, sir, but
you are standing on my throat,
and the sun has set.

forget “wet the bed.”
a popular, trendy sports phrase
now is “poop the bed.”

as we walk and the
bad dog charges, let it be
me he tries to bite.

a walk in the woods
or action movie? really,
dude, are you kidding?

extinct, stuck somewhere
in the tar pits, he’s a real
california star.

touching soft pink forms,
i’m floating, weightless, needy,
but still not divorced.

my kidneys have shut
down. no pain. long shadows stretch
across a strange land.

loving you is like
running across the freeway
naked at rush hour

we first thought they were
sky lanterns, not the poisoned
air itself, burning

want to thrive? learn to
live in the city, like deer,
fox, coon, coyote.

impatient behind
the wheel, he then ended up
behind the eight ball

complete darkness comes
to the spirit when it loses
all lightness of being

inflexible rule.
you can’t bend it, so break it.
it’s bound to be wrong.

come find me in the
woods, on the mountain, in the
sea, while i’m still there.

the bulletproof heart.
safe house or prison? humans
need to be human.

mighty tasty, say
the spider, vulture, human.
de gustibus, etc.

technology both
obscures and reveals the world
of nature to man

new holiday hours
now open for business
twenty-four seven

Open your eyes. Take a
breath. Settle. Feel the breeze and
the sun on your face.

cuddle up with your
new electronic device
and learn about life

nature’s wordless poems,
recited daily by wind,
sun, clouds, and shadow

out of beans, forced to
serve instant, my shame drove me
to poison my guests

the cliff edge won’t last
but it will outlast you if
you decide to jump

god won’t like me when
he finds me in heaven. the
hare hides from the wolf.

elementary
particles aren’t. nor are the
particles’ pieces.

that guy cut me off.
lightning splits a mountain tree.
fire burns the slope clean.

first on my list of
promises: before sunrise
i’ll face east and wait

coming soon, a long
summer. a longgggg  summer. both
hemispheres at once.

repetition? sure,
to learn. but remember, you
can’t repeat your life.

duz preposteruz
blue fuzz make you nervuz, like
cuz wuz, or nonpluzd?

i pretend that i
get lost in her eyes and try
not to look lower

weekly marathons,
an emergency service
for some obsessives.

rose, holly, iris,
tansy, dahlia. forget
me not, buttercup.

my husbands fight me,
thinking they’re so big and tough,
but i’m the mantis.

they try to make it
rain but the rain never falls.
droughts have no rainbows.

homer’s wine dark sea
pristine aegean of the greeks
petroleumized

mob rule, unity
of intent, whatever, it’s
togetherness time

ordinarily
our homeostatic state
shields us from what’s real

surly snowman has
a right. his girl got climate-
changed into snowmelt.

may your soul live on
for all of eternity,
or half of it, say.

the toaster raises
his glass and speaks, hopes and wishes,
not facts, tumbling out.

the dream of a death
awakens me glad for this
quick death of a dream

everyone has an
accent and a skin color.
and a prejudice?

it was a struggle
but i made it, admired by
life’s rubberneckers.

he read it slowly,
the geologist, earth’s book
of fire, ice, and time.

i’m wounded, he said.
but not in your heart, she said.
lower, in your pants.

man, toxic, lies prone.
earth lies prone, its chemical
bright colors lying.

little victories,
big defeats. rainfall ceases,
the puddles dry up.

forest sounds on tape
playing high above the city
on the ninety-ninth floor

bereft, he laughs, daft,
and crafts a muffed raft, miffed, and
hefts his haft abaft.

you told me and told
me and i didn’t hear. then you
stopped, and that I heard.

swaybacked old mattress,
ticking stained by countless nights
of love’s wet result.

spread it out with care
because too thick or too spare
creates brown and bare

it was alcohol,
not my precious free will, that
made me self destruct.

eternal darkness,
eternal light, or god’s hit
one-time-only display?

return to the dust
your mind, body, transforming them
into the future.

angel lives on the street
in a tough neighborhood,
a lion on the veldt.

birds of prey fly in
balance on mother earth, while
mankind tips the scales.

the scar on the earth
signals our deep excisions,
to exploit, not heal.

age with grace, not rage,
for our sake, though the final
result cannot change.

try to understand
yourself, please, before you try
to understand me

Luke’s lewd lurid lust
lured Luna. Lupine, lying,
thus laying the lass.

alone, love, like you,
night ocean restless beneath
my rolling wood boat.

lin o’leum, my friend.
all the kids teased him most
abominably.

a pound of feathers
weighs the same as a pound of
iron, they say. no way.

my exquisite blood
hasn’t changed much since monkey times,
unlike my brain size.

if the gun goes off,
hold me accountable. it’s
my right to goof up.

she got the drop on
my heart but despite my hopes,
didn’t pull the trigger.

the human race, at
end times, still had never guessed
what that end would be.

no need to make time
for the end. death will cancel
all your appointments.

uh oh. crunching sounds
at the movie and not on
the screen. beside me.

make the guy love you?
save yourself the trouble cause
it don’t work that way.

if you like kinky
don’t wait till your honeymoon
to tell your new spouse

laundry detergent
or in other words a box
of scented clothes soap

frustrated attempts
frustrate human beings but
not bugs, time, or death.

sweat tears blood shine, yellow
metal fender fading to
gray as the sun sets.

the human race is
in disgrace for screwing up
the planet, our home.

thirty-three cents each
to mail postcards. used to be
only a penny.

most call it love but
with all the pain, it’s just a
bad heart condition

is it amnesia
when, aged, I forget so many
moments in my life?

i make clocks so i
named the kids tick & tock. now
it’s all digital.

borrow it. keep it.
the genii’s been gone ten years.
my three wishes? stunk!

make no bones about
it. he’s a bag of bones but
he has made his bones.

when hubby starts to
solemnly swear, it’s time to
kick him out of there.

marriage? no way jose.
he’s kissable, otherwise
quite dismissable.

the winners rewrite
history so don’t believe
what my ex-wife says

what would make a man
make a moue? perhaps a strong
pickle or a slight?

warning: shade eyes when
blast occurs, signaling man’s
end on this planet.

the opossum is
an opportunist. also,
it’ll play opossum.

the next time around,
knowing me, will be the same
as last time around

an alternative
to sex – eating too much, say -
can cause the same shape

one word more or less
can make a big difference
in a short poem glorp

yes neanderthals
made apple pie, fossils of
which have just been found

i’d love for someone
in here to be nice to me
just one goddamn time

unhappy childhood?
just live long enough and you’ll
get a second one.

within our bodies
unknown to us chemistry
invents consciousness

when an obsession
hides within a preference
free will disappears

fix this nix to tix
to view pix of six kix in
the mix at fort dix

bit of cigarette
tobacco stuck on the lip
seldom seen these days

my girlfriend’s name is
iunne. that predicted some
ennui right up front.

when disease arrived
my trusted body changed and is
now this battlefield

almost… almost there
so close don’t stop oh my god
did the earth just move

the brown and black bear
are not related, unlike
the brown and black man

obscure oracles
databases that predict
and hide in smartphones

a bare-bones approach
to humor: make a face, fart,
and fall on your prat.

the consequences
of our modern life now loom
perhaps to end all

cricket sounds as i
walk for miles and miles at night.
that’s how many bugs?

my illusion of
self control disappeared when
i bit his mustache

she said we were through
but what hurt most was that she
finished with a wink

the sister wives have
a rotating schedule for
all their many duties

lost. at sea with my
thoughts. what should i do with all
this vacation time?

i write to praise… what?
i knew a minute ago…
oh yes. yeah. right. weed!

when it’s too soon for
trust to have grown, a leap of
faith might be needed.

given enough rope,
failure ensues. it is the
human condition.

Sleepless, eyes shut in
the dark. Lying with eyes open
isn’t natural.

this is home improvement:
remodel four bedrooms and
get rid of husband

I do the laundry,
hang it with clothespins on the
line in the sunshine.

all my hopes blasted
by that blasted fire, now i’ll
just go get blasted.

in the forest, lost,
cold, the trees indifferent,
rooted, mute, waiting.

my new wife blows like
a welcome breeze through this house
so lately storm-wracked

i wanted to spill
the beans but not break a heart
so i bit my lip

i took a spill the
other day while cycling fast.
i flew free, birdlike.

my island fever
struck five years in. beautiful
beaches drive me nuts

anger is a shout,
a fist, a blow, a slammed door,
love turned upside down.

there’s no either or
nor no neither nor neither
here. just what is, is.

what’s the oldest thing
you can see? is it starlight
from the edge of space?

my father left me
a surfeit of gilt-edged bonds
but no memories

the taste of lettuce
can it call memory like
proust’s madeleine

do the one percent
carry a lunch box to work
full of food treasure?

such pain so much hurt
my heart holds a bitter love
only death can cure

WATCH: Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon

(CNN)

My cameraman set up wrong. One more mistake like that and he’s gone, even if he is my dad.

He’s got one job. Document the kick. Film it clearly. If the word “appears” appears in the headline, you have failed.

What am I supposed to do? Kick a second squirrel? “Man Appears To Kick Squirrel Into The Grand Canyon And Then Definitely Kicks A Second Squirrel Into The Canyon”? Makes me look like some kind of nut.

Get with it, Dad.

But credit where credit is due. When I kicked an alligator into the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Dad got it perfectly. My blood spurting into the water from the critter’s bite on my calf: red poetry.

I punted a opossum into the Old Faithful hole and Dad caught the animal on film going into the hole and then shooting back out again when the geyser went off. That one made the front page of Animal Rights Journal.

The Grand Canyon, though… You don’t want to mess that one up. I’ve got to go back. Not with a squirrel. I’m thinking a giraffe.

Then I’ll be ready for my magnum opus: a Cub Scout Pack, into Niagara Falls.

Sheriff: Victim’s Head Still Missing

(CNN)

We found a foot first. I think it was a right foot. I remember we found the foot and then found another right foot later and the coroner insisted that the second foot did not belong to the same body as the first foot. I remember I asked him if some individuals might not have two right feet or two left feet and he told me that no, they wouldn’t. I didn’t want to let it go even when he pointed out that the second right foot was from a female, whereas the first one was from a male. Don’t they say guys all have a little female in them, which explains why when you’re in the shower, you can’t help checking out another guy’s equipment?

Then we found a left foot that the corner said, due to its DNA, matched up with the first right foot. He also told me when I asked, that an individual with two male feet and one female foot would defy the laws of nature and would be ungodly. As a good Christian, I let the extra foot go at that point. We filed it away as Unidentified Body #2, Part #1.

Next we found the male individual’s coccyx. It wasn’t what it sounds like. At this point the coroner told me that this individual had experienced a grievous injury of some sort. You can lose both feet in a variety of ways. A train can run over them and chop them off. But then you go get some artificial feet and some crutches and life goes on. But if you lose your coccyx, it’s not like getting your boxer’s tail docked. You will be in a world of hurt. Hemorrhoids don’t compare.

This is the point at which we put that running checklist into the evening paper. This is the point at which Betty’s Doughnuts started offering $5 worth of crullers for each new body part found. And when the head became the only part left missing and unchecked in the list, Betty upped her award to $10 worth of glazed and House of Bamboo threw in an end table.

Lester Branchette the first-grade teacher contributed an artist’s sketch of the missing head – as seen from a rear view, hair color and curl based upon the found torso’s back hair.

Everyone in the community seems to agree that this thing – this search for the body parts and so on – has brought us all a little bit closer together and taught us all a little something about what the coroner likes to call “anatomy.”

 

 

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