Thanks For Calling

I’m always disappointed when
computerized tele-thieves call.

I prefer the real-life hucksters,
the ones I can try to convince
we went to college together, or
pretend I’m having some real 
trouble hearing, ask them to tell
the hucksters in the background
to hold it down a bit, or get them to
endlessly repeat their questions.

Sometimes I just speak incessant
gibberish, or I tell them yes, I do
have a satellite connection because
I have sixty-seven television sets,
all of them always on, so that I never
have to bother changing channels.

Every once in a while, I like to
tell them, in my very best English,
that nobody at this number
speaks or understands English.

I know that they’re just trying to
make a living. 
                          I spent a summer,
many years ago, doing the same:
trying to make appointments for
our roofers and siding “experts” to
come out, to look them over and
provide a “no-obligation estimate.”

I got paid by the hour, earning only
a tiny bonus for each call. If I was
persuasive enough to book a visit
the bonus tripled, but paydays were
never more than merely meager.

So I know I should just hang up;
let them go about their business of
trying to sell their business.
I’m a geezer now, getting by on
only my pittance of a pension, my
monthly Social Insecurity; and
no one else ever calls, so I have to
stretch things out as best I can.

But I draw the line at robos.

This Morning’s Fog

This particular mist is more than merely
droplets of suspended water; more than
even the master-poet’s finest metaphor.

Today’s fog is the ultimate maze
from which there will be no escape;
a cloud which will never surrender to

alleged sunrises beyond invisible hills
or tentative breezes across landscapes
unencumbered by leaf, petal, or stem.

Movement through this morning’s air
requires more than simple force of will.
Nothing, truly trapped, can even tremble.

dVerse Poets pub
~ Open Link Night #279 ~


While you’re away I have a dream
about Debbie Hanley in her hockey bar,
her pierced tongue in some biker’s ear
but her eyes on me in the corner.

All day long the following day
I thought about the Grace I knew
in college, how I wrote for her
about crows on the phonelines,
and how Patty knew I was falling
but invited Grace and her friends
to come visit us at the beachfront
where we all sat around on the sand
and who loved whom was settled.

And yesterday I sat in the sunshine
up on Prospect Hill, thinking about
a Kathy I’ve never mentioned and
the Susie who took me to Canada
and red-haired Beth, and Linda.

This morning, awaiting your return
I sorted the mail and put out the trash.
The sky is the same blue sky, the grass
the same green green as when we met.

The ghosts that haunt me still, even
after all these years, are insubstantial
in the face of my longing for you.

Poets And Storytellers United
Weekly Scribble #47
Love Makes Love  ~


The Poetics challenge at the dVerse Poets Pub this week asks us to “create a poem using the PLEIADES FORM : Using a ONE-WORD TITLE, write a SEVEN-LINE poem of SEVEN SYLLABLES EACH, in which each line begins with the FIRST LETTER of your title.”

Hmmm… Not really my thing, but…



November’s almost over.
No matter. November has
never been my favorite.

Nights last forever. I have
no desire for that much sleep.
Near dawn, I do the Joy-dance.

Nocturnal rejoicing? No.

dVerse Poets
Tuesday Poetics Challenge
~ Stars That Count ~


Mid-Year Mirage

Mid-Year Mirage

I had a dream of September snow; awoke in time to see, instead, June at its midpoint: a crescent moon, blue, newly-risen in a hazy but hardly overheated sky, impending daylight, the rolling tide of hills from here to the horizon a deeper, wider sea of green than I —a solo sailor on this bluest ship— have ever had a whim to sail.

awaiting Autumn
arrival impossible
—only in dreams—

dVerse Poets Pub
Haibun Monday

Semi-Precious Memory

I think I might have dated
Amber, back in high school
about half a century ago.

I think it must have been
Amber, though I will admit:
my memory’s kinda shady.

I suppose it might have been
Opal or Pearl or maybe just
Crystal from down the block.

I wish I could remember;
(I was stoned a lot back then)
but one thing’s for certain:

whoever it was, I’m sure of this:
I’ve always been a cheapskate, and
I’d never have sprung for Ruby.

RDP Sunday ~ AMBER

Just Before The After

Before December could start
an icy rain fell,
a faltering staccato.

Even his desire for coffee,
sweet and hotly black,
for woodstove-warmed biscuits
and the smell of cedar smoke
provides no motivation. 
                                           He can only
shudder, remain prone, motionless,
listening to the sleety drumbeat.

November will end. 
—All Novembers always end—
Always. Always. All. 

Poets And Storytellers United
Writers’ Pantry #47

Stepping Into Shadorma


Stepping Into Shadorma

All steps are
M.C. Escher steps:
up is down
(or is it)?
Thanks a bunch, Mr. Escher;
my head is spinning.


The (3-5-3-3-7-5 syllable) Shadorma has been around almost forever. You can read about it Here.

RDP Saturday ~ STEPS

Six Word Saturday

I Used To Be A Stripper

I’m eagerly awaiting my Contributor Copy of 100 Lives, the latest anthology from Pure Slush Books, which includes my poem I Used To Be A Stripper.

It’s not what you might think, given only the title, but you’ll have to pick up either a print copy (available now) or any e-Pub platform (coming soon) to get the big picture.

Hint: I Used To Be A Stripper…


The anthology is Pure Slush’s Volume #20 & includes 50 poems and 50 prose pieces from 102 authors willing to share some part of their working-life realities.

I’m grateful to Founding Editor / Publisher Matt Potter for selecting and including my work. All of my (many!) previous experiences with Pure Slush Books have been incredibly positive, and I’m sure this will follow suit.

You can sample a taste of each life (including my own) here:
Pure Slush – 100 Lives Sampler


More Cool 6ers Here