Poetry

Those Who Wronged You

  You mere scarecrow again and again in my youth You, bully, your shotgun in my face I found a way to back down, with grace Oh you wise men said this as such would happen again and again, a safe bet and you bet on it and the bookie called all the clever fellows

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A Walk Among The Bones

The museum is climate controlled with inch-thick glass between the dioramas and me.This hushes the history. Sobers all the miniature people frozen in time, hand-painted. A birds-eye view, I observe the modeled activity, the huts, the plains. Look: the hunters have killed a deer. I cannot see the women waiting inside the smoky hut, the

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A Painless Way to See Ourselves

This man, if man he was a devil we were insulted when he finished his painting of evil deeds, attributed. Corpses piled like firewood bodies hacked to bits burned to cinders their dead mouths in open rebuke His certain voice explained it was only a puzzle. Oh, how we hated him We surged and gnashed

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Anything Wet Or Dry

She loved the city cloaked in rain and fog. The wet gray mist seemed to her romantic. To me it was funereal, from the back of the cab watching the wipers smear the rain but she was almost giddy sitting on the edge of the seat craning her neck to see the building-tops wreathed in

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Waiting

In June of 1999 I was traveling back to Portland after visiting my father in Tucson with my three-year-old daughter in tow. We missed a connection and wound up in the Las Vegas Airport. It was my first time in that city, and in the late hour the airport was almost empty An island of garish casino machines

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Structure

I. American students usually do not know the average age of a soldier which is 15, nor how many mines tear off legs in so many countries where these very young and ignorant and emotional young men fire their machineguns II. The young women will believe anyone who offers anything different than what other women

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The Real

Kids together, we come up on the West Side corners, never knowing the clock. Never showing care Way I remember it was mostly summer B-Mo heat hanging on you like a jacket city stink of piss and spilled beer garbage strewn on corners  swarmed with flies a cold orange pop was all we want or

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Leaving One’s Back to the Sea

She of course was dying to tell anyone the danger of leaving one’s back to the sea, an element she said with knifing lips, too dangerous, too vast for trust. The proof, she said was etched beneath its mystery if one could see every comma traced in the surf by dancing lovers’ feet, every vanished

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House to House

He wants it easy, leaning insinuating a natural                         progression. Beyond reason,             he might say anything a personal holocaust served house                to house a purpose  found          at

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Ballroom

I. now it’s a barn, a ballroom really if I close an eye II. the posts wait in shafts of light swirling with dust III. once she pushed me up against the wall entirely IV. on the phone our faces hang, talking mouths open V. the shadow of me pushes hard against my shoes no

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