Asphalt Playground

Asphalt Playground

The first lane was the street I grew up on

time to jump on the roof

look up from just before dawn at the house over the garage

and then fall back down to the trees.

lanes I couldn’t see painted but tracked

people live here.

people live over there.

this is my domain.

it was repaved and then so was everything.

that wasn’t my domain anymore.

too many cars

can’t lay in the street like in the pages of a novel

I wrote a lot.

Snow wasn’t as much fun as it should’ve been.

nothing is when you only have one lane.

The second lane came when I met the world

and i couldn’t drive

but I went everywhere

I was on the ends of the earth

to and from.

left and right.

everyone was in me and we were a circle.

big lines on the cracked pavement where only busses drove

and i didn’t want to get on that bus

I couldn’t drive.

separate paint strips into equal pieces

but they aren’t equal.

one always has a better destination

when you have two lanes.

The third lane was

so so so so busy.

I was just trying to find me one

the left turn, the right turn, no turn.

but whichever one turned under

in the big arches under the roads

in a clover pattern, that was where I wanted to be.

the feeling in the pit of my stomach

city streets had more lanes

and it was far away from home, just like I wanted to be.

more exits when you have three lanes.

The fourth lane came when i was already in the wrong lane

switch left

switch right


a permit to drive in those lanes

but so many lanes only hold so many people.

I want to know them

so they don’t know me first.

so many things move so fast

when there began one lane

and now there are four.




The distant pines, too prickly to brush,

the closest breeze that you can touch.

the sun is hot and round and yellow,

the coolest stream so dark and mellow.

Caw! Caw! the crows call, desperately weak;

bugs moths and beetles will soon be their treat.

the wind slashes by, stabbing each tree,

rushing on through, on path to the sea.

the ponds become chilled, the banks become dead,

the clouds are now thirsty, their last raindrops shed.

the kin of the fields have all gone away,

the birds flying south ’til the first dawn of May.

Now as I must go now, friends, remember

this poem I wrote in mid-December…

Electricity to a Jack-o-Lantern

Electricity to a Jack-o-Lantern

I have a silver spoon

and it lays upon the grass;

I’ve covered it with pumpkin guts,

and now it looks of brass.


The gourd that I have hollowed

has become a mild cadaver:

be it a pumpkin or a corpse,

now one might say the latter.


The skin that once was fresh

now has seen a shining blade,

and pictures make a tattooed mask

bearing faces of dismay.


But the body will not see

itself inside a coff’n of wicker;

no, no, inside its shell tonight

will rest a dancing flicker.


The candle that I light

up with a match and set within

the body of the deadened gourd,

protected from the wind,


will illuminate the shapes

that I have carved upon the side,

and passers-by will marvel

at the pumpkin I made die.



My name is scrawled in blue,

but it is written in pink.

The divots are small creases in the entirety of my name,

they are large in the entirety of me.

Most of the time, I am myself,

but sometimes I must be my name.

Because there is a small box to check,

it is checked, if for no sake it would seem than for itself.

On every form it’s there,

especially the applications, even the imaginary ones.

For university, employment, friendship, expectations, scenarios,

it is a single letter that denotes me

but it isn’t even a letter found in my name,

the name of my sister,

my grandmother,

my great-grandmother,

any of the surnames.

I am part of the entire congregation,

one I gladly take.

So my name may be scratched in blue

but it is spoken with surprise

in pink.

Ballad of the Bones

Ballad of the Bones

The downy snow and bitter swirling wind

this night in unison on cold ground cast

most eerie shadows; lifelessness rescinds

itself as yonder clocks mark midnight past.

The moonlight through the wispy balding oak

casts shimm’ring shadows round the whole estate.

Headstones weather’d seem this to invoke:

it is the time when spirits emulate.

They rise out from the solid frozen soil

and flex the joints which see no light of day;

they creep and patter through this yard, no toil

befalls them in their state of gross decay.

The skeletons and corpses freshly slain

do make a merry meet, for lack of breath;

they dance right through the chilly winter rain–

Lo! one to see them would not think of death.

For ’tis the night Viduus’ violin

(He who separates the spirit from decay)

will play a tune heard only here within

the graveyard trance, the dawn ’fore All Saints Day.

They nod their bony skulls and smile with teeth,

and make arrays one’d think were stranger yet

if the pasquinade were breathing, not deceased;

Still, nonetheless it’d make the living fret.

Then, at the strike of one upon the clock,

the gathering will cease as if it weren’t;

and for another year the corpses flock

within their coffins deep inside the earth.

But they rose and danced the lifeless steps of death

And their lovely, ’cabre, pallid bones impress.

If It Pleaseth

If It Pleaseth


I have held a pen almost every day,

why do I never finish?

Scream! well.

I have held a pen every day,

I have brought the papers, the surface, a notebook anywhere;

but it’s all there, in my head.

(why is it still there? why is it never on paper?)

Scream. well.

I am holding a pen every day,

the new idea from a dream, from anything,

a spoonful of words

but no one will ever know. I’m running out of time

scream; well.

I won’t forget it, I can’t if I wanted to, I don’t.

but neither will they.

they never knew, they don’t live in my ideas, in my mental computer files

I keep running out of breath to say it one last time

*c o n t i n u o u s   s c r e a m*

I just need more time, just need to figure it out, just need a little more air

but I can’t scream loud enough anymore

So If It Pleaseth the powers that be, please, let this work for me.


AABBA 8-8-5-5-8. It’s so easy to  make a bad one, and not that much harder to make an alright one. These come complete with a scenic view of Limerick, Ireland for simultaneous enjoyment.


The blandness of something we spake

is truly a hardness to make.

It comes and it goes,

like a river it flows,

and time is sweet something to take.


A Musical Man

There once was a man who played cello.

Some pieces were loud, some were mellow.

He’s called Yo Yo Ma,

he plays without flaw,

how good is that musical fellow!


The Old Lady

There once was a very old lady

who travelled Bermuda to Haiti.

But it got oh so hot

that she up and forgot

that her goal was to find someplace shady.



The Girl from Peru

There once was a girl from Peru

who everyday bought something new:

bracelets and charms

decorated her arms,

and non-bejewelled spaces were few.


The Geographer

There once was a scholarly man

who studied the globe, from Japan.

But when asked on a map

to find something, that chap

had not any clue of the land.