Violent Reflections

These jagged shards of broken glass
deeply stuck in the bleeding head,
each shard reflecting times that pass
in confrontation and bloodshed
from collisions of headlong wills
amidst the fog of war and wrath,
crashing together, the gas spills—
we emerge from the aftermath
like beasts born and baptized in spite,
seeing red yet, and soon to brawl,
scowling, growling, fists knotted tight
as broken glass embeds us all.

(I work Security and have to deal with entitled man-children every single day as the Coronavirus spreads throughout the Divided States of America. This is dedicated to them. The dumb fucks.)

Blind Rage

No one knew who was truly at fault
when the truck and the car came to a halt,
bumping like bulls in the parking lot
in front of the grocery store, the spot
near the flock-cluttered cart drop-off pen,
a blind spot for the irritated men
sweating in the hot-as-hell weather,
backing out at the same time, together.
Whoever was at fault—no matter;
old man, young man, each mad as a Hatter
and balling their fists for brutal blows—
a contused chin, black eyes, a broken nose.
Their women begged them to let it go,
but the blindness doubled, blow after blow,
and each man saw nothing except red,
wanting nothing else but the other dead
till the old man got the upper hand—
that is to say, a fist packed like sand
which struck like lightning from a clear sky
so he fell to the ground, clutching his eye.
The young man had won, but still he fumed,
and his girlfriend screamed, and he just assumed
she was telling him to stop fighting,
but then came a bang, the world igniting
with a flash and smoke and a deep pain
centered in his chest, a crimson stain
spreading along his shirt, like the bloom
of a too-young carnation by a tomb.
The old man gawped, staring past the gun
with which he shot in his foe’s direction
and, as the blind rage cleared, dropped his jaw
for he had shot and killed his son-in-law.

New Beginnings, Day To Day

In the lightening East the sun rises
and roseate blushes the virgin bride,
Dawn peering past all groom guile and guises
until there is no shadow he may hide.

Her bridal veil is fog, and yet
she sees clearly in the new day’s light,
his black tux a shade she cannot forget,
nor forgive the thrills of his bachelor night.

The veil of fog lifts from the bride,
her heated glare beneath waxing wild
with conjecture which she cannot abide
until the twilight comes, reconciled.

Then the proposal once more is given
and plans made for the morning rites
as light and shadow are ever riven—
never quite finished with their fights.

Knockout Blow

A fulgurous fighter
with flashy techniques and
raw, elemental power
as his rains pummel the earth.
He punches both down and up the scale,
unconcerned with weight class, sex,
or age, being a brawler by region,
which is to say, by
He is literally a
street fighter,
bombarding the streets with a salvo
that leaves bleeding pot holes,
hemorrhaging ditches,
and gushing, gut-punched gutters.
He is a meteorological pugilist
engaged in atmospheric fisticuffs
and taking a break only
to catch his second wind before
doubling down with a shower of
jabs. He is a dirty fighter
even as he washes the world clean
with his torrential sweat.
His fancy footwork
cascades as rivulets athwart the roads,
tripping up the cars with
hydroplaning leg sweeps,
every fender rattling
with oceanic waves of churning water.
Like a ringside announcer
the Emergency Broadcast System
touts his size and speed and
KO count.
As if to justify his weight class he
delivers a series of ice-fisted
hail storms, each one harder than the last,
the barrage cracking windows and
windshields, his winds snapping trees and
telephone poles as he playfully
jump-ropes power lines.
Soon, he bellows taunts
with galeforce winds,
roaring like a train as he
spirals round with his special
twister coup de grace,
the preceding silence but a
before the knockout blow
that crumbles his opponents
to their foundations.
Only after the fight, when he has
trotted his victory lap and
thundered his last victory speech
and the limpid stillness
of the aftermath morning
claims the next day as it own
does the hardest fight come—
the fight of telephone calls and
answering machines,
of jaunty, ironic Muzak while
we wait on hold;
of a claim agent
boxing our ears with
clockwork courtesy and patronizing
politeness, smirking and knowing
with the deadly certainty of a professional killer
that we have already lost this
high stakes prize fight
to the true knockout blow
waiting silently, and serenely,
in the fine print.