Death, O, Death!

A tightly structured poem that I wrote way back in 2016, when I was in the darkest, deepest recesses of my mind.

The Escritoire

Death, o, Death!

He is standing at the foot of my bed,

as fear’s pendulum swings above my head.

The hide lampshade sketches his legs of lead

that swishes the robes of black and chains of red.

He beckons at me. Glancing, I said,

“Why are you here, standing, at the foot of my bed?”

He smiles at me, “Why, did you forget?

T’was you who summoned me, my dearest friend.”

My soul is lured by his fragrance, outstretched,

and then I taste the last of mortal breath–

Death, o, Death…

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A Note to Courage

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A note to Courage.

A note to Bravery.


Please take this off–

This raggedy dress that I’m wearing.


It’s made of onion-skin fabric–

I want to wear something else.


Something bright and fiery–

Like a pulsar–


An eye and fire from afar–



A wardrobe overhaul

Is exactly what I need.


Frumpy as ever, I’m tired of this stupid closet.

It’s a moth’s kingdom: Nothing but yellow-belly rags!


Now, enough of that.

I want you to fit me like a glove.


May I wear you?

Like this heart on this scruffy sleeve?




Little Comet

For Sven, the little comet that keeps on blazing across my darkest skies.



Sent but not summoned;

Forever hurtling from

The hulking void towards me:

Warm blue, bright red–

Come here, little comet.



Little, little–

The unexpected fleck of light.

An answer to no question; an unbidden confession–

(No one uttered a thing, really).

The baby smell was smoke out of nowhere.



The purest

Brunt of passion.



The fruit of the

Restless womb.



My malignity’s end.



These arms were already occupied, child, but

You pushed your way through the knitting needles, the

Fancy bracelets, the wringing fingers and

The wedding ring–and chewed my head 

Off while you’re at it.



Stubborn doll!

You’re trenchant, young man and

A terrifying mosaic! 



But now you’re here, by my doorstep–

On the threshold of this run-down house with 

Your night fringe, button nose and 

Whimpers that raise and kill–



Bosoms of these creaking floorboards heave: 

They hope to survive your precious stomps–



And your heart-thumping madness.



Little comet, you’re quite harsh–



Confusing, blinding, sprinting–

The elbows and knees cannot keep up!

(Can life and death keep up?)

What are you, little comet? Tiny fireball?



Are you a rut? An unwanted critter?

Are you here to be loved?



(I think the last one is the right one).

The bones of chalk can feel it.

The heart of stone knows it.

(The last one is the right one).



Now little comet, now shooting star

Run, run, run!

Fly high, soar! Be weightless!

Flag this room with your bright tail, but



Don’t forget: the floor is lava and the

Sofa is your kingdom–

Fear and love laid it all out for you–

So dot my firmament–

This crepuscular face.

By the Death Bed

Inspired by Edvard Munch’s 1896 artwork By the Death Bed.


Loyal friend.
Skulking, waiting, embracing.
Ever steadfast and comforting–



The shroud was dirty white, 

like the pallid faces.

She fought hard just to die, 

and she lost the aces.

Women in the room wail’d, 

the cross shook on the shelf–

for how could prayers fail? 

How could no one here help?

So the downtrodden knelt, 

by the white wicker bed–

like a black leather belt, 

with the snow cupp’d and held.

They all murmured sweet words, 

as the night toll’d the bell–

to her cold ears unheard, 

to her dead heart unfelt.



There’s longing and wishing.
Tearing, heaving, praying.
Dark stalwart–

Red Nails


The edges are uneven: The

scarlet spilling on the

wet cliffs of skin–


Like puke or blood or

both–it’s absolutely 



The unshapely grin, taunting. A

tongue, poking out of the

bed where my nail lay asleep–


It vividly reminds me of the

scratches at my despair and

the salt in my wounds–


Quite a crimson mockery!


And so the acrylic smiles in all 

of its jagged glory, shimmering–and this

haunts me.






Lately, there was nothing but silence.

It’s as if their crooked mouths were shut all of a sudden–

Sewn tight and permanent.

I confess, sometimes I still call out to them–

A force of habit, perhaps?

Or maybe, I just miss them.

The torture and the tickles.

The tip-toeing feet and the clenching talons.

The fire and the flood.

The maze where I’ve lived for a while.




At first

it was folly.

Imagine a body–


with gums,

beet red

and eyes–the

uneven stars

of an

indigo night.



A summary

of little fictions:

a toe

quite heavy;

a finger

perfectly dense;

a soul

intensely loved–

a limitless

ceiling of

collected best

scrawled on

your belly.



I remember

I saw

the universe

peeking from

the swaddles–

curious and


each breath

a pound of

my heart;

each sound

a song of

life’s gavel.



By thought,

you’re a long-shot:

a rainbow gently

ending on this lap–

a skirt of patchwork

torn before–

empty and void.

This, your

cub’s nest

of gathered

twigs and hay,

I’ve spun

into gold.



I’ll house

your brightness,

your infinity,

your thunder.

You’re the

gorge and

the sky.

You’re eternal,

my little

heart-fed pebble.

My dream reel.

My machinery.


Image result for lake and night sky

I’ll chase you down

like one does for a setting sun,


and right here, right now,

as I foam with silence


at the murky mouth,

I can swear, “even if it’s


the last thing I do”.

Just so you know,


the unwanted red came in today–

the sweat unseen,


the reality of your unrealness.

I worshiped the idea of you


in my little noggin’

where you flew your kites;


where your burlap dress billowed;

where you were the womb’s fruit


these past few (prized) days,

but they dragged you away from me.


Those colorful things–

Wretched! Oh, how I hate them


for pulling us apart.

I’ll chase you still, though


just as I have promised

but for now, I’m a lake


quiet and steady, conversing

with the heavens ahead.


I’ll ask them to care for you

as I reflect these boiling stars–


your shadow, your body.

So hush my darling.


Rest your heart.

Dot the yonder Milky Way.








an empty vessel

aimlessly dancing

to the tune of

a tempest

knots undid

sails bared

gray and nothing

obituaries abound

waiting for its

gilded body and

tin foil anchor

to give up the fight

to tire and sleep

on the beds below

sand blankets and

black cushions

lulled by the sea

the barren bulk

keeps fighting its

fainting lids

and fading varnish

such a lovely eulogy

of deranged resilience

for a bosom

wooden and broken