I read a book on spiritual discipline
sitting in the cigar store
but I didn’t inhale.

Going home the pleasing aroma
was a whiff of tomorrow’s day-old
sacrificial stench. I showered,

practiced a song about
relationships that need to end,
proud of hitting the right strings,

Continue reading “Bedeviled”

The Dream of my Father

One month to the day
is when I finally dream of him alive
not counting half-awake forgetfulness
I should tell Dad about

We are both in hospital sharing a room
perhaps it is another accident
my reasons are vague, the mild, hopeful complaints
of hospital dramas where the patient goes home

And I cannot remember our conversations
In the dream, I can’t remember how I got there
which sounds like something serious, actually

Continue reading “The Dream of my Father”


I washed up from sleep with it,
tears in my eyes.
Something about my children,
about wasted time (I have never been away from them)
about regret (nothing on the day)
about loss (they all slept peacefully in the same house).

I asked what my dreams accused me of,
they crept back into forgetfulness,
having won their point.

Dream Sequences

So – another dream. Always a theme
of a plot of a moral, always something
that comes up from the ooze with me,
the MacGuffin in the comic book stories,
the dripping knife the wife holds
behind her back, just when you thought it was safe.


The Dream of the Strange Tradition

I’m on a skyscraper floor
(town I live in only has one 20-story building)
attending to one of my consistent dream themes
I have to pee
looking around the corner of the huge men’s room
the row of stalls is dark I find the light
A man is hanging by the neck in one of them
the logistics of setting up a noose
from an acoustical tile ceiling
are outside the scope of this dream
I am trying to scream
(ever notice in dreams you can never
quite do anything?)

Continue reading “The Dream of the Strange Tradition”

The Dream of Going Through Boxes of my Dead Friend’s Stuff

for B.W.

My primordial mind has transposed you
with my father’s preacher friend
who died about ten years younger than you
on a bike, wearing no helmet
so it eventually dawns on me that the
helmets, ranging from an ’80s  Vetta Italy
to a Giro Prolight with the Roc Loc retention system
and the Shimano cycling shoes, with Look-compatible cleats
(with the patented 9 degrees of float)

are yours; I think (I am very close to waking)
of the short story Content of the Dead Man’s Pockets
by Jack Finney, and I think that your pockets
are garages, the fourth bedroom,
and perhaps the third.

Continue reading “The Dream of Going Through Boxes of my Dead Friend’s Stuff”

The Dream of Tartness

Often after a trauma
there is the mundane revery
if I could only
mine was a dream of an unbearable tartness
in a drink of volcanic coldness
I sipped metallic hospital crushed ice water
tried not to vomit up the simplest of soups

normally there is the gift of not desiring
the smell of nausea clings to things
that can’t be kept down but

I conjured up something like limeade
as a nuclear bomb is something like a firecracker
while the tubes of lukewarm glucose, morphine
and hot piss kept me alive.

written in response to a dVerse prompt

Awakening Beauty

She woke up choking on it
the seed still stuck in her throat
hungover from drugged sleep
and a dream of seven mad kings.
An apple martini, a song beat cue,
everything leading to a man.

She found her dress on the floor
and her purse missing $20
but the keys intact.

From a dverse prompt

The Dream of Walking

Without preamble
as to why I haven’t been doing it
I begin to wonder if I can walk again.
The details come back to me in retrospect:
an accident, perhaps a wheelchair,
perhaps an eternal afternoon on a couch.

But I can stand,
I reason to myself, and
the memory is equally clear
standing up to shave, or speak.
The mundane reality of the afterworld,
of life after the thing that happened.

When I was in the hospital I dreamed simply
of walking, waking to find myself on fire
with pain, tied down with tubes.

I wake needing to urinate.
I stumble to the bathroom
before realizing the mundane reality.

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