Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Worded

Not Sleeping Together

    “Do you have any plans for the night?”
    “Ummmm, sleeping?  What did you have in mind?”
    “I’ll probably be up all night.”
    “Oh. Sounds tedious.”
    “I’m an insomniac, I have no choice.”
    “So you’re asking me to sit up and talk with you?”
    “Would you?”
    “Why not just lie down here next to me?”
    “How will that help?”
    “I talk in my sleep.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Worded

This Just In

On a nocturnal stretch of gravel
    two yellow headlights stab
through a thick plume of dust,
    a farmer rubbing his eyes tries
to stay alert, but he’s hauling the weight
    of his day in the bed of his truck.

On a nearby highway a chrome diesel
    ignites the horizon like a meteor,
tons of overnight freight packed
    into a semi trailer in boxes
no bigger than the bales the farmer
    just stacked away.

At the intersection where one life
    must yield to another
is a house with a television
    that is never turned off
and the news flickers through lifetimes
    like the stars.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekly Worded

Ninety-Nine Degrees and Then

Such relief
to step into the water
ankle deep,

to feel a cool pleasure surge
up the brain’s
tributaries and empty

into that
vast basin of memory
where you say

Ah, and the rippling waves
say the same
long syllable back to you.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekly Worded

One More American In Paris

    Paris felt like the perfect choice for a spring vacation.  He didn’t speak French, but he liked the sound of it. 
    When he booked airline tickets, he also made a reservation at an old hotel in the Latin quarter of the city.  He didn’t speak Latin either, but he’d always admired the Roman Empire. 
     Jim Morrison had supposedly stayed at the same hotel.  He liked Morrison’s music, especially “Light My Fire.”  He didn’t remember all the lyrics, but he related to the part about coming on to babes who got off on lighting fires. 
    The guidebook advised against driving in the city, but he arranged for a car rental at the airport, because he considered himself a good driver.  Out of deference to the guidebook, he paid for the extra insurance.
    For sure, he wanted to visit Notre Dame.  He wasn’t religious, but he’d seen that Hunchback movie quite a few times as a child and it was still one of his favorites.
    Pastries and cheeses and wine were on his dietary restrictions list, but he wasn’t terribly fond of those foods anyway.  Besides, the chance of finding a chef in Paris that had the same health problems as he did must be pretty good.
    All in all, a trip to a foreign country would, as his friends kept saying, expand his horizons.  He couldn’t imagine how the skyline in France could be any wider than what he was used to at home.  Still, he was sure it would fit on a postcard.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekly Worded

Decline of the Cottonwood Empire

One summer without water
and the cottonwood leaves yellow
long before autumn.

Two summers
and the cottonwood’s crown
turns bald.

Three summers and nothing
green comes back except grass
ringing its massive trunk.

Four summers and the bark
strips, peeling from the limbs
like shingles in a windstorm.

Five summers without water
and the cottonwood’s bones
bleach grey and white.

One chainsaw powders
half a century while a hawk
carves circles in the air.