Bird Watcher

He wants to see every bird
Or die trying
If it takes Madagascar
Let it be so
To brave unimaginable hardships
Perhaps death
But for the island's pochard
The small, odd, brown duck
Just to check the box
And move on
Never mind his own rarities
The sightings no one will see
Hides from himself in plain sight
Beautiful human plumage
Never acknowledged


New York Rain

He toughs out the rain but eventually surrenders, ducking into a drug store to search for a plastic umbrella. Resigned, he chooses one that may barely last the storm, sliding his credit card through the reader, paying the enemy, then out into the torrent, sheltered from the water, satisfied, moist socks, wet phone, somehow more alert and alive than ever.


The Mayor of Castinea

The mayor of Castinea worries
He paces behind turrets
Casts edicts upon the wind
Waits for neighbors to encroach
Tries to recall which lover will be his tonight
Whether the wine will be enough
If his advisers will be less attentive, dishonest, fawning
He heads down a passageway
Ignores staring house servants
Pushes through the library
Into his private office where
Ensconced and purloined
He applies his seal
And wonders how it came to this

© Poem Fix 2013  

Photo by Darrin Antrobus


On Hold

Plane delayed two hours
Snowing back east
Settle into a chair to wait
Among grumpy people
Travel plans disrupted
Reality turned helter skelter
Stuck in this way station
Relying on each other for misery
Frustration heaped on attendant behind desk
Waiting for that middle seat of death
Jostling elbows
Fighting for armrest
Five hours of life on hold


Morning Coffee

The first cup of coffee in the morning gives me a feeling of calm and assurance that everything is going to work out. It's a false sense of euphoria, but it is nevertheless welcoming, musical, delicious. The rain keeps coming and the cold fingers its way under the door, but it's all good because the French roast is fogging up the kitchen and I'm fully committed to being in the commercial.


Young Harold Ashton

Young Harold Ashton brings his lunch to school
A lunchbox that once belonged to his father, The Jetsons
Peanut butter and jelly
Small carton of milk
Apple slices
Wrapped brownie
One caramel chew
At nap time he rolls out his rug
Buries his head in his hands
Pretends the quiet time is his alone
Eyeing the teacher, his love, as she sits at her desk
The length of her leg
Perhaps five minutes then up again
Rugs away
Blocks on the table
Story time with Miss Jordonson
Snack of crackers and milk
Thompson picks him up at 3 sharp
Bringing him into the back of the limousine
Seat belt buckled
Speeding away into his immensely bright future

© Poem Fix 2013



When Heisenberg says you're a blowfish, then you're a blowfish and make no mistake about that, that you should get up off the floor, shake yourself off, say it like you mean it and reach for the pipe. You know it's false motivation and that being a blowfish means being used and manipulated, but no matter--you're a blowfish dammit, and that makes you unique, needed, desired, a crucial cog, or at least someone who can be pushed. Accept the designation with the prideful humiliation of an imbecile.



The last time I saw him was a sodden image in the mirror, stunned to see that stranger in the world, who looked at me with accusation, as if say wake up, will you? He's a sad figure of sorts, still filled with hope and promises, but now mostly just promises as the clock ticks and time bleeds and other people speed by in a blur, a fascinating cultured critter, renaissance pretender, who can't tear himself away from the disturbing reflection.



Birds think they are above us, which they are at times.  They look down at funny stick figures laden with gravity and unable to rise up, to free themselves from weighted chains, forced within sloth-like motions to exist in only two dimensions.  Birds know only unfettered freedom, superior, laughing with conceit and pride at their ability to stay out of reach but for those rumored tubes of fire spoken about in nests.  If you can see shiny slivers of light, stay away, fly high and fast and anywhere, just away, as far as the wind can carry your wings, to live, to tell, to find power and safety among the flock.

© Poem Fix 2013 


Petri Dish

Someone once made a toast
That everything you want
Should be the least you get
We raised glasses high
Voiced hearty agreement
Then promptly went home
On with our own lives of
Regret, disappointment
Unfulfilled dreams
Wondering why others should be blessed with high hopes
And other lies
When here, within our suburban Petri dishes
We can't get past fallen idols and
Today's meal ticket
The toast should be inverted
That we're guaranteed nothing
That we're pushed to the limit
To breaking
To losing it on a train
In public
Dropping eggs and barking for others to clean them up
Then going home to coagulated desperation
Hoping only for slivers of song
Which would be nice

© Poem Fix 2013 



Suffocation begins slowly
Chest rises slowly
Diaphragm pulls deep for oxygen
Face goes flush
Illness muscles in for attention
Specter in the bright nightgown
Hovers at edge of consciousness
Saying don't forget me
Sooner or later we have an appointment
How is your calendar looking?


Turtle Birthday

The tired turtle turns
Turned and terribly touchy
He tumbles toward turnstiles in town
Telling teenagers and toasty tourists
To test the tortured tortoise tomorrow


Urgent Care

Young X-ray technician
Struggles to grow a meaningful mustache
Positions me for pictures of my lungs
Jokes about my birthday
Knowing chuckle
Risky gambit
I smile
Give him comfort
But we didn't call it that back then
He's genuinely puzzled
What'd ya call it?
It doesn't seem to satisfy him
Quaint, corny
Accents our age difference
He laughs anyway
I struggle for breath

© Poem Fix 2013 


Dead Animals

Upside down, Shell Oil is 71,077,345 on the calculator, which is how may gallons Americans use in six hours.  That oil comes from long dead animals.  A lot of them.  What did they use for fuel?


Red Pen

Red Pen resting lonely on
Orange Post-It Notes
Speaking to ninja editor


Day Three

Pathetic descent
Into vile virus
A bowl of oatmeal becomes
The world goes on merrily
Without you
Pretending to be concerned
Doesn't matter
Who cares if there is fake sympathy?
Find a way to an even temperature
And exult in its terrible face



Fog settles in
Nests behind eyes
Building pressure
Clouding memory, reason, temper
Pounding out an SOS
Just try to sleep or function
Enjoy your day

© Poem Fix 2013



Fever blocks out the world, changes it, forces you inside your skull, to lower your head to a pillow to shut everything out and so it won't fall off, the pumping of blood and wind rattling, echoing, an army of ants crawling on your spine, the pain building up behind your eyes to expel itself from the body, when all you want is rest, to sleep long and hard and wake up on the other side where fever has leached from the body and into a puddle.

© Poem Fix 2013


Illness Arrives

Illness arrives with a thundering herd
Splattered mud
Heaviness and molecules.
Illness arrives in secret
Hiding, gliding on air currents
Looking for entry with conniving passwords.
Illness arrives with full broadcast
Warnings from media and needles
Weeks of seclusion and promises.
Illness arrives with delicious irony
Chicken soup and warm cups of tea
Midnight arias of insight and the fallen.

© Poem Fix 2013


Measuring Regret

Jimmy peers from the cover of the magazine, his freshly manicured bottom winking, showing just enough secrets, perched above the point of slipping down, asking the photographer to hurry up because I can't hold this pose, should I pull 'em down more?  Would that be funnier?  Hasn't this been done before? Wrench held aloft, arm going soft, he fights back gas, smirks, is already measuring regret.

© Poem Fix 2013
Image: © RollingStone 2013


Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery isn't plastic. It is less than plastic, pulled skin, flayed neck, strips of flesh, cauterized, stretched, woven, offered and opened. Beautiful.


The Songs of Leaves

The tree bows before the fallen wind and asks for forgiveness, pardon from the sun, excused and condemned for its sins and impertinence. I'm in no rush, each leaf sings, and the branches reach for the sky to hold on.


Twin Vodkas

Evenly tired 
Overly eclipsed 
Falling heavily into
Linens of angel hair
Coffee beans spread across the floor
Like dense pebbles on a beach
And thinking
Always thinking
Of that first twin vodka 



The train is on time
Waiting for track
Standing trees
Space between us
Trash can opens its mouth
Police dog says get the F away from me
Woman hides behind newspaper 
Balancing coffee and luggage and bag
Urgency, tension


My Mermaid

I caught a tiny elfin mermaid when I was fishing at the quiet pond in the woods behind my house.  The hook caught her through the arm. She was limp and pleading with open mouth, gasping and lost in the palm of my hand. I took her home, clipped off the hook and touched the wound with iodine.  She smelled like a warm chestnut. Then I set her gently into my fish tank where she sunk in a spiral to the bottom and hid inside a ceramic pirate ship, avoiding the guppies that looked curiously upon her. In the morning I found her much improved.  She was flitting about the tank, playing with the bubbles and fishes, waving at me when I pressed my hand against the glass. I dropped in some fish pellets but she crossed her arms and turned away from them. I scooped her out with a net that afternoon and took her back to the pond, returning her to freedom.  She splashed me with her tail then disappeared under the surface, leaving me with a wounded heart and a bitter desire for sushi.

 © Poem Fix 2013 
Image: Trounce, Clonfert Cathedral, Clonfert, County Galway, Ireland


Stranger, Betrayer, Surveyor

It takes minutes every morning, head on pillow, awareness dodging, to get a sense of place.  Checking in with touchstones, city, hotel, activities. Opening the drapes to see alien landscapes, darkness, weather, dropping coffee in the machine, searching for toothpaste, cold, plugging in the iron to warm it in time for pressing, looking in the mirror for solace from the one true known person that stranger, betrayer, surveyor. Calculating time zones, meeting times, quick bite, coffee on the corner, then off to kick the shit out of whatever comes next.

© Poem Fix 2013


A Man From Seville

There once was a man from Seville
Who cooked all his food on the grill
His wife was so rude
And he needed some food
So he seared her with parsley and dill

© Poem Fix 2013


Inheriting Antiquity

And so it begins
The way all things start
Just a little push
Momentum to move forward
The rest simply happens
Try to control it and get run over
Embrace it and be swallowed by the
Sweeping hands of time
Lean into it
Bough against the wind
Sunburn on one side of your face
Inheriting antiquity

© Poem Fix 2013


Toaster of Spice

Falling in love. Falling in love with the idea of falling in love. With the concept of being connected with someone who can give you what you want at the same time they obtain what they want. Selfish. Hated. Lusted. Desired. A feeling of completion, of longing, of needing something so much you forget why you wanted it in the first place. Falling in love is not falling. It is a messy toaster of spice, intense with cutting onions and watery eyes and barely able to function or think of anything but getting it again and finding different ways to get it, falling in chaos, landing in glue.

© Poem Fix 2013


Second Hand

The day is gone
Like that
Clock spins
Like a windmill defeating
Don Quixote
She takes people away
Empties rooms
Forces phone calls to explain absence
I'll be home late, you say
And when you are
When time is no longer your friend
You embrace the quiet moments once taken for granted
And fall from grace

© Poem Fix 2013


Today's Poem

Today's poem is dead on arrival
It rests heavily on the page
Glowing from the screen
Earnestly trying to find a single small truth
But today's poem is a glutton
Looking back at everything insufferable
Anticipating struggles
Speaking to a generation lost to attention
Pushing, screaming, navel gazing
Today's poem wants to reflect, prepare
Perform a hundred tasks but
One thing well
Opening a portal to a moment of profound honesty
A half-second of epiphany

© Poem Fix 2013
Image: Ondrejk