Sunday, February 11, 2007


Once on the lips and once on my cheek
That's how your kisses greet me
When we've been apart
When we haven't had the chance to know the details
Days and weeks and months between
Cold and windy in thinsulate gear today
Hot and muggy in thin shorts and tanks tomorrow
but still
that's how your kisses greet me

Smiling lips part when you call me "sweets"
That's the first thing you say
When we finally get to sit down
When we've exhaled and relaxed
And everything we carry with us from day to day
Melts away
Till the only thing left at the table is you
And me
And you call me "sweets."

Hours and hours pass like the years of a friendship
Your moments and our moments fly through my head
Not that I'm not paying attention
You always have my attention
But there are always, also, those moments
When I realize how much richer
how much stronger
how much more human I am
because of your moments that you've shared.
Moments like this one today.

All too fast, today's moment is done
Moderated by less wine
and a healthier lunch
Than we would have eaten ten years ago
And we smile at each other again
As you call me "sweets"
Like we've done a thousand times before
and you kiss me good bye
Once on the lips and once on my cheek.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Now listen, because I'm only going to say this once.
You have to pay attention.
It's important to understand.
Are you ready?


Freeze the glass for at least an hour
Swirl the vermouth around, just a drop.
If it doesn't stick to the sides, there's too much
You can get rid of it down the sink.
Pour the chilled gin
Over unblemished uniform ice cubes
And stir gently with a clean metal chopstick
Once, twice...
Maybe three times if you're feeling adventurous
Or it's a hot day.
Strain that into your frozen glass
Leave all the ice behind.
One olive or three
Never two, it's bad luck
On a pick resting gently.

Did you get that?

Now off to bed.
I'll be up to tuck you in.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


"Y'all come vist!" she called out.
We were gettin all packed up.
Three kids and me and Jesse
Coaxing that old pickup to turn over
Coughin' and sputterin'
And sweet-jezus complainin'
Like it was Grandma's hundredth again.

We'd been there for a spell and a half
And it was time to move on.
Back home to where the bugs were smaller
And the trees were shorter.
Where iced tea was made from powder.
And nobody wanted to leave, no-sir
Not us nor the kids.
'Specially when we heard "y'all come visit!"
Ringin' through that warm Tennessee night
From a smile that was whiter than an Elvis jumpsuit.

Monday, February 5, 2007


Fifteen minutes of fame, that's what it felt like
When you took my hand
Took a stand
Called me your man
And fanned that forest fire in my heart
It burned for you, baby.
Snap! Crackle! Pop!

You're unique
And you freak like nobody's business

At least you did that one time.

Fifteen minutes of fame:
June twenty-seven two thousand and four
You showed me the door
And hit the floor running.Baby.

How'd you get back into my soul?
All these minutes, months, years in tow.
It took your city to lose a Superbowl.
But, baby, I still got some flow.


Sunday, February 4, 2007


Here's the first one.

Feed the page feed the page feed the page they said
So then here we are
Just you and me
And you and you and you and you
And so many others
Or maybe just you and me
And this fishbowl of a page
Which isn't even a page any more
No quills and no vellum and no poetic romance
I won't say the word pixel


So the writer will write
And the singer will sing
And the images will keep crashing against the late night shoreline
Crashing and exploding through my head
Into so many pixels

My Theory of Poetics

One of my problems with being a slow adopter of new technology is that I often find myself feeling like a virgin sacrifice.

Welcome to my blog.

You can be the volcano.

When I was studying English Literature so many years ago, one of the things that I got a serious kick from was the concept of "The Theory of Poetics." I had a textbook that has long since been either given away, lost in a move, or relegated to cold storage called 20th Century Poetry and Poetics. In it, clever Canadian poets (and maybe some others, I don't recall recall recall), offered their particular theories of how poems are created... how they dream them up.

The theories are mostly very long.

Luckily, the one I came up with is short. And it has stayed with me ever since I read that book for the first time almost 20 years ago.

And this is it (it's really simple):

Inside every person (not just every poet, but every single person everywhere) there is a core of passionate, wondrous, poetry waiting to be released. And every day, we all accumulate lines of bad poetry that cover that core and make it harder to extract. The poet's job is to write out that bad poetry at a rate which is greater than the rate it accumulates.

Simple, yes? So if living a day of my life generates 5 lines of bad poetry, and I have, in my lifetime, written 7500 poetic lines, then the calculation would look something like this:

5 (lines of poetry)

x 13,362 (days in my life so far)

- 7,500 (already written lines)

= 59,310

Today, there are 59,310 lines of bad poetry remaining to be extracted. Assuming I write none of it out today, tomorrow's line-sum will rise to 59,315, and so on.

If you know me, you might be inclined to attribute this theory to an early Purgatory fetish from one or more of the Catholic schools in my past. Maybe that's true. Maybe not.

At any rate, now that you know the theory, I hope that you'll have, if nothing else, a very clear understanding that you're under no obligation to actually read the bad poetry. At times I expect it'll seem pretty random. At the same time, however, you'll appreciate that I have to write it. I would like to see what's under all these lines some day, and time's a wastin'.

I'll keep a running count, but this might take a while.