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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


It’s filled with air and only
A few drops of the sparkling
Water that you bought it for.

It is now a container
With a misleading label,
But you could repurpose it.

Make it a planter. Fill it
With tap water to water
Other plants in their planters.

So much manufacturing
Went into producing it,
So much engineering and

Marketing preceded it.
Now it’s just air-filled plastic.
Maybe you’ll recycle it

And hope it gets recycled,
Which probably it will not.
It could bob in the ocean.

It could lie in a midden.
It could be an artifact
Of your civilization

Or food for a form of life
That doesn’t, as yet, exist.
It could rise with the mountains

Long after your bones are lost
And your species forgotten.
You’ll never know the ending.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Drawn Out

The last or latest
Baby tooth sits there
On the countertop

In a ziplock bag.
The Tooth Fairy now
Is just foolery,

Here’s my tooth. Oh wait,
Here’s a whole quarter.
Oh, wow, a quarter!

Laughter on both sides.
If you could outgrow
Other rituals

While still going on—
Oh look, more hair fell,
More wrinkles arrived,

Ha ha! You’re aging
So slowly, you’ve been
Old half forever,

And still you’ve got more.
When will you ever
Be done with the job?

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Let’s Get on With It

Exactly one marcescent leaf
Has made it through the winter whole
On the old tree trucks rattle past.

It’s like a last flake of dead skin
To be shed from a long-healed scar,
That last fleck of old nail polish,

The last yellow tip of dyed hair,
Anything like that, anything
About to be pushed out by growth,

Any crumpled ugly old scrap
That achieves a little pathos
In the eye of the beholder

Simply for being singular,
For hanging on long past its time,
But you’ll still appreciate spring.