literature poetry sociology Southern Gothic

blades of grass

i long for the way

your stubble beard felt on my little girl skin

my fingers tracing stars on your sandpaper

how safe it was

to curl up on your chest

tucked beneath your chin

as we swayed gently

in your old leather rocker


dozing and certain god was in heaven


there are days now


when i’ve come to believe

jesus called in sick for the second coming

and my fingers running through

blades of grass on your grave

would do

literature relationship studied The British Royal Crown

god save the queen

this poem

just placed its fingers

to delicate collar bone

and looked at you in such a way

that only a woman who knows

her daddy was a well deposed king

may do

silently saying

were he not my father

i could love you


Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

holy man

he didn’t know
i could hear him praying

keeping quiet
a church mouse weeping

as i listened to him promise
god and my dead father

he would always love
and take care of me

how fortunate i am
to have my own saint

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

irreplaceable things

i wouldn’t call it an altar

it’s less official
merely a shelf of irreplaceable things

two garnets
the twins’ birth stones

a statue sculpted
by a local artist named mckeown
of me
holding the boys
right after they were born

a silver piece from my brother

a two dollar bill from my grandfather

memaw’s watch and engagement ring

a rosary i bought when i was 10 from a thrift store because it spoke to me

and a small framed photograph
of my mother and father
taken after a late night of playing rook
with friends

him standing behind her
when they were in love

my father eyes are full of whiskey
my mother sober as a baptist judge
and you can tell by the way
she cradles his hands
around her waist
that she is tired
and keenly aware
all things are fleeting

it wasn’t until this day i noticed
they are posed
by the back door of our long ago little house
in the picture

as if they are leaving

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

leather buttons

my father fred wore a sheepskin coat
with leather buttons adorning it
he had a pipe in his teeth
lucky strikes in his pocket
and a cowboy hat curled at the brim
he smelled like black suede cologne
and ginseng root
or musk if he’d been deer hunting

he carried a long bow slung over his shoulder
a knife and a zippo lighter in his pocket
i would scurry along in the woods behind him
my long brown hairs trailing through
the limbs

being a southern man
who had lost hope is what killed him
he’s thirty years gone now
mama still has his coleman lanterns
and i’ve wandered off too far in the trees
seeking the scent of him

poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends


there is an old reel to reel memory

burned onto my psyche’s screen

of my fallen god

the father

throwing a planet sized

console television set out the front door

off the porch

and into the yard

in a fit of rage


eventually replaced by a larger zenith console tv

to erase the damage done


the scene horrified me for years

as his vengeance that night

could not be contained

by the red brick of the house


but as i bashed a $3oo cell phone

with a hammer

into the floor of a deserving verizon store

a warming contentment wrapped it’s arms around me


i realized i truly am my father’s daughter

and i loved him all the more for

the genetic ability

to shatter minds and electronics


poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

red cross

i remember my father
alcoholic bellied
eating crackers stirred into milk
or peanut butter folded into syrup
so there would be enough food
for the children

how he did everything
exactly what he should have done
to take care of us


he suffered an earthquake of the mind
then died

leaving me forever writing personal ads

single white non smoking female seeks highly damaged male smoker to save
from oblivion

and i think of you on that rose stucco floor
vodka content

when you should be building
jazz cathedrals along the nile

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

el dia de los muertos

i remember my half sister crying

and my whole father triumphant


her kittens dug into the ground

mercilessly shot in the back of the head


and i think of that last bottle of whiskey

and the aunt’s pills, you sorry motherfucker


now it’s you in the hole


the only difference being…

you deserve to be dead

poetry Uncategorized

the filling station

i didn’t remember
the place
it held no special
in fact
upon stopping
i concluded it presented with
the patina of a general store
that hasn’t been patronized
since the civil war

a defunct garage
whose oil slicks
and greasy fingerprints
never quite faded
the filling station still attached
vestigial limbs
and all i need of the world
is a damned ginger ale

the olfactory sense

indeed smell

is most closely tied
and evocative of
long forgotten memories
upon crossing the ruin’s threshold
this dynamic enveloped me

time faded
to a sepia and cream
this is the autumn
of my second year on earth
yes two
because that’s how many fingers
i’m told to hold up

i am in his left arm
too little to walk here
black suede cologne
and blue shirt i cling to

candy cigarettes, circus peanuts,
loose tobacco, boston baked beans,
royal crown cola,
and ring pops
observed for sale

he bought me a much wanted moon pie

the color flooded over
back to now
and my cheeks are wet

but how good it was
to see him

to be carried again

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

the prince of pomade

pulaski potentate
bean counter
seed spreader
castle painter
son of a
renaissance artist king
who wore suits during the depression
and died for his penchant
for other men’s wives
your paterfamilias
your model of manhood
shot dead when you were only three
over 1943 chaos theories
yet he was still your roadmap
to the waiting world
little indian boy
you grew to be
a brilliant man born in a place
where it was not fashionable to be so
a man electric
deliberately reckless
driving a chevy
california king size
listening to johnny cash
gypsy eyes
white lightning charisma
how you swaggered
neon motel monarch
an inconstant king
too beautiful to be unforgiven
how you laid waste to yourself
in a canadian mist
bourbon breath
suited the curl on your forehead
you made the driest county wet
a pardon me miss may i smile
wing tips
and lucky strikes
the prince of pomade
aspiring saint
daddy do you know
your children
have lost the mineral rights
to their own bones