One Way to Make the Family Fall Apart

Even with the beige blinds drawn,
          I can still peek in to see you.
          Yes, through those tiny little holes,
          I can watch you change your skin.

And I know you expect privacy.
         (That’s why you closed the blinds.)
          But those itty bitty holes
          call like a million children’s screams.

Besides, what would you have me do?
          Let the little children suffer?
          Let you live with the illusion
          that when you change, you change alone?

One Way to Make the Family Fall Apart

The Elderly Magician Drinks Alone

They call the bar
The Broken Wand
but its real name
is Charlie P’s.

And on a stool
an old man sits
sipping rye
mixed with black tea.

And in his hands
a well-read letter,
and slightly worn;

A letter that’s
engaged the man
in a bitter,
mental war.

Is it a warning
from his enemies
or an overt

The words chill him
to his core
though its authorship
be a mystery.

He drinks, he thinks
of all the tricks
he’s played
on those he knows.

He thinks, he drinks
another round
’til he trembles
from his woes.

The old spell-spinner
then decides
from whom the letter
must have come.

He conjures up
an onyx blade
that shows he knows
what must be done.

A southern Rose
waits home in bed,
a Rose not
always his.

For his Rose was
once married to
the white warlock,
Finneaus Phibb.

Upon Phibb’s abode
does the man
descend with weapon
held so tight.

Where Finneaus Phibb
sleeps sweet and sound
under star-wove
cover of moonlight.

“Arise ye, Phibb,
you spurious knave!
Arise, to meet
your doom!”

“Arise, arise,
illiterate waif!
Your foul words
have come home to wound!”

Then in pale smoke
and bone white robes
comes the roguish,
Phinneaus Phibb.

“What noise, trouble,
what grief you bring
to that home
which you’re forbid?”

“‘Tis grief indeed
I wield, white one.
A greater grief
you’ll never find.

“Your letter’s stoked
my quiet ire.
Now only blood
will soothe my mind!”

White Phibb, he laughs
and turns his face
up to
the moonlit sky.

Then he speaks
an incantation
that brings lightening
to his eyes.

“The words that wound
your heart,” says Phibb,
“were not wrought
by mine hand.”

“The words that wound
your heart,” says Phibb,
“shall be your end
right where you stand!”

“Hold now, hold,
how can it be,
that these words
are not from you?”

“For they tell of
love – once had –
now lost to time’s
fathomless pool.”

The old man’s anger
falters then
and his voice
grows meek and mild.

Then White Phibb’s eyes
do rest and soften
before his soul
returns from wild.

The old man says,
“I am mistaken.”
White Phibb says,
“To be sure.”

The old man says,
“I am foresaken.”
White Phibb asks,
“Have you talked with her?”

Then interrupted
Phinneaus Phibb
into the night.

Leaving the
elderly magician
to contemplate
his wrongs and rights.

He reads the letter
once and then
once more
for fortune’s sake.

Then he tosses the letter
to the winds
to see which
direction to take.

The wind blows South
as he knew it would
to the lands where
sweet roses dwell.

But he instead heads West
to The Broken Wand –
the favorite bar
in his lonely cell.

*inspired by rachel lyon’s plot roulette

The Elderly Magician Drinks Alone

Michel de Nostredame Orders Carry-out From the Golden Wok

You will make many changes before settling down happily,
equal in favor to both sides.
The city is besieged and assaulted by night;
our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.

Who will celebrate Thursday as his holiday?
It will come to thunder very strongly in Burgundy.
At the well, lightning strikes;
never give up. You’re not a failure if you don’t give up.

After peace, war, famine, flooding,
before trying to please others, think of what makes you happy.
In a short time sacrifices will be resumed.
Swords fire, floods, then the noble Romans drowned.

Alas, how we will see a great nation sorely troubled?
Two will be burnt.
Two of them will die through anger, hatred and envy.
Fortune favors the brave.

Help is always needed but not always appreciated
while Princes and Lords are held captive in prisons.
Bad times approach you. No longer will you be enslaved.
There is no greater pleasure than seeing your loved ones prosper.

If you feel you are right, stand firmly by your convictions.
A very wonderful event will take place.
Plague, famine, death from military hands;
it will spread far, drowning great countries.

Never give up. Always find a reason to keep trying.
Changing laws that are barbaric and vain
by those who wish to learn nothing of them.
The days will drag out into weeks.

Killed or dead because of a weak brain,
the fatigued Leopard looks up to heaven.
Through anger and internal hatreds, the exiles
seek strangers, friends you have not spoken to yet.

Accompanied by the Libyan fleet,
wealth awaits you very soon.
Notwithstanding the signs of the palm branches
when hungry, order more Chinese food.

Through a slit in the belly, a creature will be born with two heads;
two wounds in one, then he dies a cruel death.
Carcassone, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Bayonne will be ruined.
Joys are often the shadows, cast by sorrows.

The century approaches its renewal.
The Italian lands near the mountains will tremble,
lamenting to see thus dead the fruit of their line,
arrived too late, the act has been done,
neither bugle nor shouts will stop the soldiers
when they wish to renew the massacre
in the south wind, covered with blood;
town and country will have greater struggle.

Before the cycle of the Moon is completed,
ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Michel de Nostredame Orders Carry-out From the Golden Wok

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

After one hundred twenty-two dead schoolchildren,
The only changing thing
Is that no things have changed.

They are of one mind,
Like a target
In which there is one silhouette.

Our bullets whistle in the winter winds.
What small shells do they leave behind.

A man and his God
Are one.
A man and and his God and his gun
Are one.

We do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of tension
Or the beauty of release,
The hands before pleading
Or just after.

Caskets line the green lawn
While we defend barbarism.
The shadow of the law
Wavers to and fro.
The intent
Of the shadow
Is our infinite cause.

O thin leaders of mortal men,
Why do you believe in possibility?
Do you not see how the base
Are swayed by the whims
Of the stories that surround them?

They speak the savior’s tongue
In unstoppable, rapid-fire rhythms;
But we see, now,
That the devil is involved
In everything they do.

We bury the bodies out of sight.
We mark their memories
With one of many grey stones.

In the face of reason
Like a banshee’s scream,
The green bonds of fraternity
Keep us all muffled, weeping.

We ride across America
In a silent ambulance.
Once, a fear shook us,
In that we took
The shadow of the law
As immutable.

The tide is rising.
The dead are rising.

It was all over the evening news.
We were dying
And we were going to die.
Another active shooter leaves
His mother’s loving arms.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Our Problem (After Wallace Stevens)

Are You There God? It’s Me, Volume, Reverb, & Resonance

in the shower,
I sing as though I’m
Peter Garrett from
Midnight Oil.

I sing pop rap songs
in Peter’s voice.

Try this:
First, sing “Beds
Are Burning” to
remind yourself
of Peter’s delivery.

Then, sing “Baby
Got Back.” Now,
don’t you feel good?

I sang “Don’t You
Forget About Me.”
It sounded awesome.

But, I was in the shower,
where acoustics
are much more friendly
and everybody
screams your name.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Volume, Reverb, & Resonance