Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Unfulfilled Ambitions

You eat a small bag
Of potato chips,
And that’s all you do.

No music’s playing.
No one’s in the room.
No book is open.

No screens are glowing.
You’re just attending
To slowly eating

The potato chips,
Attempting to give
Them full attention,

Although, as soon as
You think of that word,
Attempting, your mind

Wanders off to things
Unattempted yet
In prose or rhyme. Tempt.

Attempt. Temptation.
To handle, test, try.

You stop noticing
The potato chips
Long before they’re gone.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Redirecting the Light

The binoculars
Rest so quietly
On the corner shelf

Accepting the dust
That settles skin cells,
Fine sand grains, dust mites,

It’s almost startling
To think the lenses
Are always working

No differently than
When held to your eyes.
Photons wander in,

Pass through, bounce back out.
If the shelf had eyes
They would see the world

As from the bottom
Of dolly zoom well.
Those lenses won’t quit.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

A House of Mute Rebuke

Two mops and a broom
Lean against the wall
Of a room that looks
In need of sweeping
And mopping but soon.

What, no closet? No
Utility room
To stash them? Or did
You plan to use them
And now leave them out

To remind yourself
You shouldn’t forget?
Your life is littered
With such reminders,
The DIY scolds

And nags of a soul
Who’s mostly alone
With no one to poke
At you to do chores.
House of mute rebukes

Is what you call home.
Well, not really home.
Roof over your head.
You’d prefer an inn,
Each day swept again.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Fabled Ghost Chair

White paint’s been flaking off the straight-backed chair.
No one living here remembers from where
Or when the chair first appeared. It’s just there,

Just a mass-manufactured wooden chair
That might have been bought with a set somewhere,
Maybe with a table once, but who cares?

It sits in a corner now, solitaire,
A match for the white and off-white wall there.
Careful! It will smudge whatever you wear.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Where’d You Go?

The beheaded stress-reliever
Squeezie toy sat in two pieces
By this window a month ago.

Where have the parts gotten to now?
You could still squeeze head or torso—
One in each hand. Still functional.

But there’s something about the torn.
Someone never wants that around.
There’s ugliness in the broken,

Even inanimate, even
Functional, and maybe more so
Toys. And do you really miss them?

No, maybe not. But by the time
You do or don’t, gone things are gone.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Interior with a View of Homework

There’s a sketchbook on the table,
Melusine drawn in pencil
As a symbiotic woman

Fish in mutualistic
Relation to fairy cleaner
Fish who feast on parasitic

Sea lice in her radiant scales.
It’s art for a science project
On interspecies relations

Drawn by a fairy-minded girl,
Practically an allegory,
Not so much ecological

As for how humans dream a world.
The sketch is elegant, detailed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023


The stuffed bird has a plastic eye.
That somehow stares out beadily,
Probably thanks to the crescent

Of dust settled on it, so that
It seems to be swiveled to look
At you slightly suspiciously.

What would you do, what would you be,
Without so much seeming of things?
Every time you look up at it,

Before you disabuse yourself
Of your pathetic fallacy,
That black plastic eye’s staring back.

That half-shell of black plastic bead,
No part of life, in you’s alive.