Crew boys and the heartland’s
daughters, underdressed for April
on the Church St. Mall, are envied
by the park bench whisker man,
bundled in his daily news, Starbucked,
a little ratty but tattooless as ever,
even after all these years,
like his mother told him he should be.
And everyone’s got change in their pocket
when the clock in the steeple chimes
and the panhandling’s over;
but his head wounds never heal,
and whisker man prays for peace.

When the night creeps in
over Maiden City, the increasing eve
is more than merely dark,
more than merely a hide-and-seek,
or the seek-and-destroy in the jungle
that whisker man, daily, remembers
and remembers and remembers.


Let’s ALL Sing

The war will not be over
until we all start singing
maybe All You Need Is Love
or Give Peace A Chance
or any old happy song
—but not a National Anthem.

Something hopeful would be
nice, like The Itsy Bitsy Spider
climbing back up that spout,
prevailing, after all that rain.

A Common Misconception

Photo: Matthew Brady

Photo: Matthew Brady

No War Is Civil

And no disrespect to those who let themselves kill and be killed fighting in the innumerable conflicts that appear to be endemic to our species, but…it doesn’t have to be that way. Does not.

Six Word Saturday


I Must Have Been In Hiding…

…or wandering some nameless wasteland, or in the Witness Protection Program, or, or, um…something.  I’m not sure.  Or maybe I’m not at liberty to say. Suddenly it’s Saturday and I realize I haven’t shown my face here for a full week.

Maybe my natural laziness has kicked in, or it’s a case of Spring Fever. Maybe the doctors were right.  Maybe My Beloved Sandra’s exhortations to SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY  have finally been heard and heeded.

I dunno; it’s hard to say, exactly.

Apparently, almost anything’s hard to say.  I’ll try to get over it.  I’ll be back.


Need more?  Go see Call Me Cate at: SHOW MY FACE


Six Word Saturday

deep water

Eurydice Has Finally Found Her Home

Finally, after years of rejection & revision & more rejection, my poem Eurydice will find a home in an upcoming issue of Deep Water Literary Journal, available online soon.  

Although the poem’s imagery has its roots in the mythological Orpheus / Eurydice story, it’s really the product of my (sadly) several years living with a blackout Cuervo tequila drinker just before I met My Beloved Sandra. I’d been shopping it around without success for years, trying not to think evil thoughts about the many editors  who passed up the opportunity to publish it.  I’m both pleased and honored that it’s finally found a home. I’ll keep you posted.

This will be my 2nd appearance in DWLJ.  My poem Seeing Margot was in their August 2014 issue. You can read Seeing Margot (and lots of other fine work) HERE.


Six Words?  Tell them to Call Me Cate at SHOW MY FACE



I’d like to live upstairs from a candy store.
Over the years, I’ve read a few great poems
about life amid candy:
………………………….Just this morning,
on my reluctant drive to work, I stopped
at the rest area and read all about how
Pinsky wakes up with his new love, looks down
at the sweetshop’s wrinkled awning, watches
an early fog lifting to reveal pigeons pecking
at rainbowed gutters; and the venerable old
Ferlinghetti, ages ago, wrote how he fell in
love with unreality amid licorice and glowing
jellybeans on a gloomy September afternoon
in the pennycandy store beyond the El.
later, sometime in my early twenties, a baby
poet, I vowed that I’d pitch a tent outside
Munson’s Kandy Kitchen, and live on chocolate
and peanut butter eggs.
…………………………….I’m not so old, nor
blind, now, looking back, to see I should have
kept that vow.