Poem 98

You wouldn’t need me, if you felt comfortable saying it yourself
The megaphone, the mouth of chattering chattering chattering teeth
You could say it in nuances, in peaks and valleys, in the accent necessary to
Portray fortune and lux; in charming palatable verbs,
You could sand down the syntax and surrender to symbolism and similes
Break through barriers and breathe fresh breezes into these baroque soliloquies.
I digress.
You could pen it all, intro to epilogue in crisp-cornered cacophony.
In round sounds bound to spur the foremost of fortitudes.
It’s yours after all, not mime… and who am I, but an above average scrivener,
A mere secretary of statements, thumbing through my thesaurus pondering the perfect
Adverb for this very instance.
I’ve never visited, never held it in my palms…
I am a tourist writing your guidebook on the sidewalk with a scrap of chalk.
It’s not real.
I lack passion. drive. gumption. vehemence. sagacity.
You require adjectives. I am thumbing through my thesaurus
Weighing the options on an invisible scale at the tip of my tongue.
Reading aloud, this way then that, article no article, pronoun or noun…
The human vocabulary grows thin.
I am thumbing through my thesaurus…

Poem 97

on evolution in the workplace
I am human error waiting to happen
from the moment I join the heavily caffeinated
at a quarter till nine. Soaking, boiling, burrowing,
Click click swhip. Click click swhip
Catastrophe strikes at nine-fifty-seven
Pause to tip the chilling coffee, trash-bun, sigh
Begin Message Here. Spell Check. Submit.
Sloth sounds, humming birds. Dormant we make jungle noises,
Click click swhip. Click click swhip
Click click spurr. Click click spurr.
AH BLAST! Miscommunication, ugly flanges ugly verbs.
Digits widgets, fidgets, crickets strum keyboard tongues,
Speak sweetly to me your professional pillow talk,
How lovely your syntax, black on white like a bumble-bee
Yellow my disappointment.
Click click spurr. Click click spurr.
Predator, razor teeth, consider carefully your reply,
Hold still your snarling saber, we are watching you with
Cookie-cameras, ISN ISN isn’t it better we have the
Word wide webbing to calm your canines?
Ahhh yes, yes indeed. 

Poem 96

a poem for the nine to five… 
i want someone to say go for it
to say do what you feel in your heart is yourself
instead they say  don’t quit your day job, try your hardest, make the most of it
i am teetering — tip toe on the tinderbox of truth, treading train tracks until i tumble
but no one says JUMP!
they only say land on your feet, shoulders square, like an athlete
make it look simple they say make it look planned
make it feel graceful, make it seem seamless
don’t give it up they say you know not what you have
plastic bag with a hole and I’m sucking the air out
climbed up the window but I can’t get my hips through
peering through the doorway, but I’ve misplaced my glasses
halfway through a hallway; at the end sits an hourglass,
my body won’t long host the curve of an hour glass.
but they tell me sit still, be quiet, listen listen listen….
don’t speak, just listen…
you’ll never learn never learn never learn
                                                                                                                                                                   until i try. 


Poem 95

to the boy who lives outside Target on the new side of town. I really do hope you make it all the way to Arizona.

I’m traveling
He said, when asked, adjusting the dog on his hip.
I’ll be taking the I-95 – 4 – no 5 –
I thought of the desert.
I thought of the cubicle with my folders,
the contraband space heaters,
the letterhead envelopes,
purchase orders and felt tipped pens.
Imagined the files flapping their folds
like moths in the evenings
when the sun sets,
when the work is held until morning.
When the sun sets…
I sleep in that empty lot when the sun sets –
he said. The dog looked satisfied with that answer.
If you know anyone – he pointed,
into the desert – that be headin’ that direction,
I seem to need a ride…
Closing fists upon the wheel I apologized frankly.
Not headed any direction, I am headed back to
A cubicle with a rolling chair, an open email
With no recipient, an unsigned proposal,
The lingering to-do list
My father told me – be who you are, be who you want,
 be comfortable in your finances,
In an air conditioned cubicle with a white wall,
white papers, white expressions,
white words on a white subject,
spinning over and over the monthly
merry-go-round, until you retire
and watch cinema about voyages through deserts.
I thought of the desert.
I envy that dog, no need for ballpoints or highlighters,
No worries of 401K notices or cascading spreadsheets.
I envy the boy, with his dog, easily 21, or 18, or 27.
I’m easily 23, or 25, or 19, or 47.
On the monthly money merry-go-round,
Turning hours into dollars, turning dollars into hours,
In this moment I am still,
covetous of the desert,
sunburnt and starving,
A boy and his dog – he and I – separated only by
decimal points, dollar signs, ampersands,
Reach into my purse and hand him a Jackson.
– I hope someday, I’m traveling too.