Friday, July 31, 2009

doggerel: In vino veritas

I used to believe in divination,
Search the skies
And others' eyes
for portents of the divine

But now I don't read tea leaves,
For saying of sooth
For honest truth
I search a bottle of wine

-cmby 09

Thursday, July 30, 2009

cherry jam

In your sleep you're younger,
Innocent almost.
Not the
Violet explosion you
Made in my
pastel life

I remember my 9th birthday
The first taste of layer cake,
The centre not frosting but
My mom's cherry jam

The surprise, the unexpected
Sweet and tart revealed
The way the line of red cut
Through the blond cake, making
It new, and more exciting.

I think I must have woken up
Because I'm hungry.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


this is a confection, a

melting on my tongue
even now

but even while it
will fade, is fading,
as we all cascade past fixed points in time

you will stay in my mind this way:
lithe, pale,
dark eyes,
hard muscles,
a surprise of soft skin and
gentle touch and
makes me

the edges of everything softened by the darkness,
the decadence of beer and late night and memory,
the outlined brilliance of drama and discovery.

Is there ever a present that
won't make me look
ahead to how I will remember it
with affection when it is done?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

country homage

momma don't let your babies
grow up to love cowboys
don't let em fall for bikers
and long-haired men in trucks
let em be lawyers and career gals and such

momma don't let your little girls
like pornos
make sure they read Ms. mag
and know what they should make
don't let em wear stilettos or
nails that are fake

momma don't let your babies
go talking to rock stars
make sure they value themselves any size
make sure their iq's more
important than their thighs

momma make sure your babies
grow up with this wisdom
when a man says 'my heart has a history'
make sure they tell him to go piss up a tree

momma don't let your babies grow up to be models
fashion is just a distraction you see, it's
all about making people unhappy.

Momma kiss your little girls good night with warm love,
Set em free smart little women you're proud of.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Above these clouds, bright sun
Warms a bed of wafting cotton,
Gilding it like the
Bedspread of a king.

But down here, grey ashes fall,
Soaking all of the scurrying
Rodents and dustbunnies, and
We never look up to wonder.

We stoically slog through puddles,
Muddy deep, sternly focused,
Relentlessly isolated and
All mildewing from inside out.

Sometimes I want to just lie
In the rain, let it pour down
Till, like Alice,
I float away on the dormouse's tears.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

This house

The supports are rotting,
I noticed in the basement.
The floor is sagging a bit and
Cracks run jagged inside the

Pretty sure the roof is in
Dire need of reshingling, and
The gutters are hanging on by
Only the soft grasp of duct tape.


we must paint the trim
And keep the lawn tidy.
Mustn't alarm the neighbors.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Why do we do it? Smile,
sweetly, slyly slicing a delicate
line down tender flesh

It separates, blood wells up, we
Feel alive. But I am not that,
not physical that way.

Slice deeper, into
The ectoplasmic envelope of emotion
I swim in, I cut a deep line,
With the sharpest kindest blade,
and all that wells up are
Quiet tears

Sunday, July 12, 2009

elements: not a love poem

Blood pulsing
Soil streaked
Touch, feel, revel

Belief from
the gut
Love from
the loins
from the messy
Laugh and eat and touch

Pure, thin
Rational, soaring
Invisible, yet
Everywhere, tangible
Think, reason, analyse

Proof from
the evidence
Love from the
head from the
cold, bright
Fly, stretch, soar

Sky touches ground at
the horizon line, the binding
One thin line of touch, 360 degrees
the binding
Fire mingles fuel of air, fuel of earth,
Water becomes part of earth,
Evaporates, mingles with air,
falls to reunite again with

The energy of each of us circulates,
In a closed system, we are
Water, we are fire,
we are earth, we
are air.

God and goddess,
Each bound to the other,
the binding infinite.

Bob Marley sang, we all are one.
I a part of you, the lake, the tree, the sun.
You a part of me,
The bird, the sparks, the sea.
The binding infinite, and ever will be.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What if it breaks?

Smashed to red pulp
Like a dropped tomato
Like a Pollock nosebleed
Like the ketchup packet my brother stomped
That time in the mall before he got kicked out;

Smashed and then scraped into a small pile and
Dried and then
Tucked sadly and carefully away

Like the rose from Nan's funeral or the
Corsage my first boyfriend gave me at the prom.

As long as you don't think about things
They don't hurt

nor can it fly

This is the bird I gave you because
Near you, it always sings
You love it, you say.
You feed it and tend it but you never let it out
You never hold its trembling tiny body
And feel its heart race.

I wonder if you have a room full of caged birds,
And love them all equally,
Platonically and

My heart is a triphammer,
My heart is shot silk,
My heart is
not a bird.