A 'Sub-Urban' Landscape

Upon the backs of horses
across oceans these houseflies sailed.

Not native to this clover,
honeybees ambush the toes of infants.

The creek vaporized:
tadpoles no longer blossom into frogs.

On bedroom walls roaches scamper
to the smell of burnt pasta.

Amid the sky—blue as a robin's egg—
gnats gyrate like eee-leccc-tronnns

Mucous Wheezing…

Piled deep in the throat of filing cabinets,
mucous forms are coughed up
and regenerate when typed
upon a solution of red algae agar.

The pages sneeze phlegm
surreptitiously once mildewed
by the soothing breezes
of an air-conditioned draft...

Yet even before the orders are stamped,
toy soldiers (not made of clay)
voluntarily march forth to battle
swelling erubescent …

The computer screen goes haywire:
The Generals order virus-loaded virilia—
equipped with earth penetration aides—
to be launched from hardened silos...

Count down:



(For Isabel)

Blackberries scamper like caterpillars across the pavement as I enter this Foggy Bottom brownstone. Interpreter between two warring factions, I am to pronounce... cautiously... graciously... the implied threats muttered beneath the cocktail breath of diplomats.

Caught in the crossfire, I must raise a white flag. I stand accused of rekindling the flames: my choice of words too acerbic, not chosen subtly enough to please the wakeful ears of those who pretend to hear nothing but who are yet everywhere listening [to the slightest twist of the wrist, twitch of the eye]—and who spy out each tidbit of fraud trapped beneath a forked tongue.

I must speak of [Armageddon] with a clever wit as if I am reporting some sporting event... detailing the sides... the batting average... the coaching tactics... the pitcher's skill... the win-loss record... the ratio of kill to over-kill.

Here blackberries lie [squashed] where these diplomats once stood. The winds allowed no escape. I rejoice for those who remain whole, those whose fat bellies roll free beneath the willow lashing blindly in the night sky alit by the Molotov and B-52 flames of cocktail promises.

Aftertaste of the Town

Not a smorgasbord
of international delicacies,
nor a buffet
of intricate delights.

Not a swimming pool
of fantasies,
nor jazz beneath
a cool September night.


Is, in fact, the titanium
of slaughtering knives,
the toxic gravy sizzling
upon the reactor's core.

Is the gristle and sinews
severed from a human filet,
the pinpoint accuracy
of a vampire's stealthy sonar.

Is a taste of the town—
the noxious aftertaste
of Trump's Washington.