for poetry

what you want is
nothing less
than everything

this is not uncommon

the history books are
filled with murdered tyrants
the ground with forgotten

i sit at this desk
too often
obsessing over unpaid bills

i lose sleep
i yell at the baby
i watch my right hand
chop off the left

there is the day job
and the night job
and my pocket full of change
for the pay phone

i am the voice my wife
hates to hear through
fifteen miles of wire

the man my friends
speak badly of

i have no use for poets
for poetry
or for the bones dug up by
beaten dogs

anger is a fuel
and self-pity a drug
but this you already knew

if there is money
to be made in selling
your fear
i will do it

nothing is so dirty it
can never be spent

further west

this is
further west

away from the drowning girl’s
blackened bones

away from my son’s
beautiful smile

a motel room in
a pointless town

afternoon sunlight through
half-open drapes
and a partial view of
the interstate

in the bathroom a young mother
twenty-two or -three
naked in the tub and with
her wrists cut
wide open

the postcards in
the nightstand drawer left

the bible stolen or
never there at all

every poem a man might
ever hope to write
hung unspoken and
just out of reach in
the shimmering


we are safe in
this cheap motel room

we are
approaching drunk
and we are mostly silent
mostly in love

i am still
in the early stages of being
a failed writer

your sister’s miscarriage
is still
four years away

with any luck
we will find other ways
to measure these weightless
spans of time

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud