Wednesday, March 31, 2021


Extraterrestrials in a sleek silver vessel
slowly flew over the town of landlocked Ridgedale, Illinois,
and hovered over the subdivision of Bayside Lakes,
which was built around a small retention pond
next to a clubhouse for homeowners’ association meetings.
All of the streets were named after nautical concepts,
like Anchor, Regatta, Hightide, and Surf,
and all of the townhouses were identical,
with beige vinyl siding and uniform mailboxes at the curb.
It was 3:35 on a Tuesday morning,
and all the residents were asleep,
except for April Jenkins,
who had just let out her corgi, Dennis.
And only Dennis, while relieving his bladder,
was aware of these outsiders,
who floated noiselessly above his home,
their motives unknown.
And so Dennis barked
and barked,
full-throated, deep barks,
punctuated by protective growls.
But Dennis barked like that all the time
for no good reason,
and so April, half-asleep, 
opened the door and shouted,
“Dennis! Be quiet! Come inside!”
Dennis reluctantly retreated into his home,
and the ship vanished,
on its way to its home world,
faster than light,
to report its findings about the lush Planet Earth
and its complex civilization of carbon-based canine life.


I held his heart in my bloody gloved hand,
my face drawn closer to it,
this strange cut of meat you’d get at the butcher shop,
pumping like an obedient machine just outside of his body.
It had an aorta and veins and arteries,
atria and ventricles, all in the right places.
The inner walls of this muscle were, however,
studded with sharp white teeth, hundreds of them.
It was where his soul resided.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

What I Remember from Math Class

Pi is that 3.14 number, and it just goes on and on.

You use pi to find the area of a circle. 
In eighth grade Sister Rose made us memorize the quadratic formula.


(this image is fuzzy like my memory)

I have no idea when one would use the quadratic formula.
In geometry class, we had to write out a bunch of proofs,
to make sure that shit that mathematicians have known
since the days of the ancient Greeks is still true.
Sine and Cosine and Tangent…they are ratios of some sort.
You use them for trigonometry.
You do derivatives in calculus, but I don’t remember why.

In real life I can do basic arithmetic to balance my checkbook
and proportions to figure out how many minutes 
it takes me to jog a mile.
I calculate percentages for tips,
but I zone out when it’s time to split the bill at a restaurant.
Most important of all, I use fractions for baking,
like when I can’t find the 1/4 cup,
so I scoop out 2/8 of a cup of flour instead.

Life Diamante

Power, strength, energy, life
A freedom you don’t appreciate until it’s gone
A divine gift—you don’t get to choose the where, when, or how
Painful separation, inevitable, the unhappy ending
Peaceful rest, the new beginning

Discontinued: A Found Poem of Lost Crayon Colors

Celestial century
Pewter shadow
Polished pine
Sea serpent liberty
Sunken Sahara tumbleweed
Axle grease
Mummy’s tomb
Muscle shell
Freshly squeezed Grandma’s perfume
Hedgehog bubble bath
Atomic tulip jellybean
Ravenous deep space
Cosmic midnight gloom
Ocean floor peace dove
Peacock circuit board
Sunshiny seahorse
Sizzling mercury milky way

Savage Joy

With a savage joy,
he showed me his freshly painted scars,
and I said, whoa, man,
you’ve got problems,
you really should talk to somebody,
it’s not 1998 anymore.
Put some pants on.
Maybe try to get a job.

Work Week

Monday I forgot that project was due
Tuesday I got some negative feedback too
Wednesday was the team meeting where I burst into tears
I went to a TGI Friday’s and had a few beers
Thursday I was hungover and came to work tired
Friday afternoon I was told I was fired
Saturday night, I erased the company’s hard drive
Sunday morning I drank a mimosa and never felt so alive.


The tomb has long since been plundered,
only dusty cavities now 
where gold and jewels once adorned
the statues of discarded gods.
Crunching beneath your boots 
as you slowly, cautiously trod the cool stone floor,
the ground littered with shards of clay jars.
Although the sarcophagus is empty,
the wrapped body having been stolen and sold,
you are not alone here.
On every wall, you are surrounded
by pharaohs and servants,
farmers, sailors, hunters, merchants,
scarabs, ibises and falcons,
the piercing eye of Horus,
Anubis with his black jackal head,
busy with his mortician’s work.
Not far behind you,
something that has been sleeping
for thousands of years
suddenly opens and then narrows its eyes.

Shaky Verb Tenses

My future self will travel to the past,
about three years before now,
so that I could leave myself a note,
that I would only find just today.
It reads,
“It all depends on this.
Leave that Pomeranian alone.”
But my future self will miscalculate
the date when this fatal encounter would occur
and had given it to me two years too early.
At the appropriate time the confusing message
will be disregarded and forgotten.
The disturbed Pomeranian
will exact its revenge upon me,
leading to a domino-effect catastrophe
that will overthrow the U.S. government
and decimate the city of Omaha, Nebraska.
My future self, 
ten years after the apocalypse,
will realize that nothing had changed,
and my plan had failed
and wondered if perhaps 
I had planted the seeds of destruction
in the note I had hastily written to my past self.
I will then decide that the past is inevitable,
(or is it the future that is inevitable?)
and to live more meaningfully 
in the smoldering ruins of the present.
The traffic won’t be so bad then, after all,
and wooly mammoths will have made a real comeback.