Drama never dies a natural death,
but resuscitates at the drop,
rising again to eat the scenery on-stage,
in woodchipper expediency
like some theatrical Lady Lazarus
and throwing up
in the audience’s faces all of the
paint chips and other
she has devoured,
having poisoned herself with
and sprawling out to her own dirge,
flailing arms and legs and shouting wild
accusations and rapid-fire monologue gossip
about her own murder,
about her own resurrection,
never happy with life
and never settling down to a
The only way to properly kill drama
is to ignore her
and walk out from the theater.
Do not even ask for a refund.
Much Ado About Nothing
should always be a play
and never a way of life
It is tooth upon the teat
of a cannibal mother,
vengeful for sake of the meat
she has had from your brother,
yet wanting more milk to eat
as she consumes another
so you may, too, feed replete
from your cannibal mother,
but you hope she will not treat
you as every other.
I would not flinch at sullen light
should we meet on a darkened street
nor would I dare to bark or bite
and run like dogs, on hands and feet,
to gain favor with one clever
as to prefer dogs to Mankind,
for I know he would not ever
be but of a contrary mind.
In the halo of his candle
I would try to be quite honest—
honest of whatever scandal
weighed heavy upon my own chest
and invite him to see the soul
of one who knows his share of shames
and ask to be judged as a whole
and not only by his bynames.
Perhaps we could reflect in turns
with a mirror that truly sees
so by glass and by light that burns
he might judge, too, Diogenes
and come away enlightened
to see himself so much clearer,
both of our souls thereby brightened
in the candle and the mirror.
Come away with me— let us ride
far from this withered, cold countryside
upon our fleet-flown phantom steeds
unknown among all earthy breeds
with flowing manes of tidal froth
and hide as soft as pillow cloth
and come away on floating hoofs
over moors and valleys and roofs,
and let us journey on, yonder,
from the mundane to so wander
where the mists of dreams may dawn—
to the isle of lost Avalon.
Away we go, to farthest shore
that borders truth and love and lore;
where a moonlit wave never breaks
except for when a dreamer wakes
to rub the sand from groggy eyes
and dispel dreams with woeful sighs,
but not us, oh not so, not we
as we gallop most silently
over a coast of broken glass
where all the hourglasses amass
and spill in vain their futile sand
on the coast of that timeless land
known and unknown as Never-Not
where still there stands grand Camelot
as a dream within a glass globe
beneath a wizard’s twilit robe,
protected, apart, kept away
from the forces that rust and fray;
a refuge where when we are old
we may yet live in youthful mold
as children in Spring’s fresh ascent
without wondering where youth went;
when spine was not so crooked yet
and mind did not so soon forget,
but kept its joys and loves and sense
like a flower its fresh fragrance,
and eyes could see as keen the hawk
and heart leapt at each other’s talk,
whereas now we wilt, growing frail
with later years that wound and ail,
waking life but nightmare itself
conjured by Time, that witchy elf
who delights in dissolving lives
in her cauldron, which naught survives,
so let us go where Merlin waits:
that Isle of Apples, lest the Fates
destine us for mortal sorrows
that take all our hopeful morrows.
Play the victim card,
but fold it with rage into
a paper tiger.
Chittering on and on like cicadas at dusk,
yet empty on the inside, like a molted husk.
Bitter And Sweet
Failing to grow any tantalizing fruits
the eldest girl settled for some bitter roots.
“Don’t you worry yourself none,” her mother said,
“Roots are good for your eyes, your heart, and your head.”
“But, momma, the bitterness!” the young girl cried,
to which the mother patted her head and sighed.
“As you age, girl, it’ll be all you can taste,
so you might as well learn now,” she said, stern-faced.
The girl wept. “None’s gonna take me as a wife!
What’s the point of this damn fruitless, lonely life?!”
The mother snorted and thought long and hard, then.
“I guess to diversify God’s great garden
and to make grateful those who’re better blessed.”
The daughter screamed out loud and beat her breast.
“I’d rather be a goddamned chokeweed!” she wailed,
“than be that what’s never loved or touched or held!
I’d rather be what tangles up in their roots
and withers ‘em all: their blooms and leaves and shoots!”
Her mother listened, quiet, to her cussing,
then said, “Weeds are also to His purposing!”
Salt The Earth
Below a baleful Summer’s light
she kneels and works the stubborn soil,
sweat like hot tears, salty and bright,
on her forehead while her hard toil
lines dirt beneath her fingernails
and hair gray beneath her straw hat,
halfway deaf while her sight, too, fails;
her voice is coarse and dull and flat.
“Grow, you goddamn brats, or I’ll salt
this heathen soil like Gomorrah.”
She scowls and wonders who’s at fault
for her barren patch of flora.
Long ago she bloomed with a smile
and was a flower all her own,
but now she must plant seeds erstwhile
she wilts and sags upon the bone.
“Nothin’ pretty ever lasts long,
nor the happiness of it much.”
She tries to sing a happy song
of when she fancied such and such,
but the song withers in the air
like a garden of stillborn seeds,
so she wrings the sweat from her hair
to salt the garden and its weeds.
There are cockroaches scurrying
in the jumbled salad bowl
of the midnight special,
unashamed within the neon light
of this downtown diner.
Do not try to persuade me
that they are almonds
as the other patrons praise the chef
and vomit profusely on the counter.