Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Worded

30 Days
    (Dharun Ravi Sentenced In Rutgers Spying Case)

In a webcam version of justice
the living and the dead meet
to discuss how the clip
seemed so short

but the consequences drag on,
how the apology
will always be four minutes
too late, how the bridge

can’t be seen in the footage
but it’s there
sure as the unfathomable
water beneath it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekly Worded

Local Wisdom

    “Getting out of here once in awhile
             is like flossing the brain.”
              – Overheard by a neighbor

Things around here move so slow
sunrise takes an extra hour every spring.

When they roll up main street at five
somebody oughta give it a shake.

Both stoplights are coordinated so that
when one’s red the other one’s thinking about it.

I remember when there used to be
a building right where that building is.

The judge always gets re-elected,
it’s the strangers that go to jail.

I used to shop Wednesday mornings,
now I go in the afternoon.

Don’t call after seven:
I’m either sleeping or not interested.

That’s right,
A.M. or P.M.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Worded

Breakfast with Dead People

Hundreds of black and white movie stars
    sparkle as customers walk in the door.
        I’m staring in amazement as the cliffs

of hash browns shuffle past my booth.
    Strips of bacon pucker like Marilyn’s lips.
        A surf of black coffee washes over the rim
as cup by cup I glance up at Natalie Wood
    but nobody notices tombstones, not even when
        Audrey Hepburn flounces in and orders a shake,
then follows it with another shake of her own.
    I swear James Dean winked at me  but I don’t
        know why, or even how, his crash
so totally before my time.  Still, it’s early. 
    Waitresses bus tables before the seats get cold. 
        Ronald Reagan glances over his shoulder

from a director’s chair, still confused
    about who’s giving the orders. 
        John Wayne looks as if he’s ready to

remount a dead horse and ride off
    into a sunny-side up, which is why I chose
        the special, hold the toast.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekly Worded

Directions For Giving Directions


Assume you were chosen
because you appear wise.
The salt-and-pepper lightning
along your temples
or the way you stand
with your chin cupped
in the bowl of your hand.


Ask the stranger to
repeat the destination. 
Avoid initial eye contact
and stare at the horizon. 
Nod your head as if
you’ve heard all this before.


It’s common to use your hand
for pointing, but try occasionally
for the sweep, a general flourish
east or west, as if kingdoms
had been mapped in your ancestry.


Sprinkle a bit of specificity
into your explanation, citing, say,
a red barn or an old Texaco sign,
but put a few miles between them.
There has to be hope.


If they thank you and drive away,
it’s important to remember their vehicle,
in case you see it again
returning from the opposite direction.