poetry writing

two lumps

Sunday is the day

your old ghosts,


and crushing failures

drop in

for a spot of tea.

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

the price of admission

there’s a bar in the kitchen
where i sit alone most evenings
but not tonight
as sundays are for communing with the dead

the hour finds me sharing a scotch
with zevon’s vaporous ghost

he sits beside me strumming his immaculate gibson guitar
singing that his shit’s fucked up

i concur
explaining how i have acquired the sickening habit
of being unable to ignore the truth

in the door walks every bloody sacrifice i’ve carried in offering
to the goddess of being a lousy cunt

the heaviness you feel when your head is resting in your hands
is the weight of every choice you’ve ever made

i’ll never know your love

this will be the last thought
as my coins are handed to the ferryman

this is the price of admission

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

agreeing with an accordion

he strolls in
to the gray paged light
of kaldi’s coffee & books
seeking my table

it’s an old haunt of mine
down on main street
that’s no longer there

i nod to him
noticing he looks
hawaiian shirt out of place
this far inland

as he sits
the waitress materializes
liberating a beer from the table
that spent it’s time there
wishing it were a bourbon

promises are made about eggplant lasagna

we hear edith piaf
off somewhere in the distance
agreeing with an accordion

my lips have his eyes transfixed
as i tell him,

“You’ve turned me into your Yoko.”

he cackles up the side of bookshelves
laughter finally reaching the tin tile ceiling

“Why can’t you be happy with that, darling?”

“Because, when I arrived, it was already broken.”

“But you must pay…”

the yellow beeswax candle
the only fire on the table between us
extinguishes itself in the iron holder

“You should be grateful, all my characters die at the end. Besides, you’re more Idi Amin than Lennon…”

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

god lives in your mother’s kitchen

you are lovely
in your late morning robe

my ears have forgotten alarm clocks exist

invited to the table
by a red rosebush
i have tea with my closest ghosts


god lives in your mother’s kitchen

blueberry bagels are making the tangerines suspicious

i tell them julia child credited her longevity to red meat and gin

a cherry tree trial convenes beyond the window

the robin in the nest
just confessed
she was mae west
in another life

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

the casket elevator

being a working mother
takes on many odd forms
especially in the evening

there were nights when the twins were small
they would have to come to work with me

taken to the third floor playroom
of the victorian mansion funeral home

they would watch cartoons and play as knights storming castles

as i embalmed bodies in the catacombs

listening to lou reed and watching them on closed circuit tv

on occasion i would be focused on my sewing
when i would hear their screams running down the steps seeking me

my feet would fly to the casket elevator
it being faster than the grand staircase
and the surest way to my sons

my hands throwing open the brass gate
would lead my eyes to discover
i would not be alone for my ride upstairs

the ghost of whomever i was stitching
would apologize for causing all the shouting

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

breakfast with hemingway

i shared a meal
in a bombed out madrid hotel
with ernest this morning

he was grimy and blackened
from a night
of wandering through the plaza de la villa
amidst the sheep, soldiers, and ghosts

i ordered red wine and white cheese
he barked for whiskey and bread
all of which continuously slid to our right
down the half broken bar
to the east

under the swaying
provisional wartime bulbs

my pristine cream blouse
looked like sacrilege
stretching across my breasts
and his eyes

forcing my lips to move
i asked him what he would change
about his life

he said

“I would have fucked more.
I would have written less.”

poetry Short Stories Uncategorized


he comes to me
as he has for centuries

late in the night

after an evening
spent drinking on cloudy bar stools
propped against
the full of bourbon moon

heavy with a longing pocket watch
and the color of my eyes
he pours through
cement street corner shadows
until he arrives
at the side porch of my life

his finger urgently
finding the way
my doorbell sounds
at 2 am

i descend the
sleeping staircase
white night gown floating

and thus the ritual begins

coming to the door
i do not open it
nor does he intend to enter

preferring to remain a wish
rather than live as a regret

we place hands and lips together
kissing through an inch of steamy hour glass
in the doorway of time

mouthing i love you

as he fades into the street lamp light

poetry Short Stories Uncategorized

the day aunt lena jumped in the well

mausoleum chambers

fill my mother’s house


the lavender room

with grandmother luvenia’s bed

and soft pink crystal light fixture from the old house on fishing creek

is where the spaw and bates families are entombed


the bed spread woven from funeral ribbons and loss

cherry framed antique portraiture

hang as illuminated death masks of my ancestors

behind the old convex glass


shoe leather faces

whip stitched lines

and battle scars

their backs curved

from bending to god’s will


their great depression was their existence


i look into the women’s changed eyes

who lost children


they had faded to a barely living shade of gray

known only to battlefields

and beds sickened with scarlet fever


country life is a sort more merciless than most

particularly to the feminine persuasion


mother swears the cicadas were screaming in the june apple trees

that pot steam august day meant for sewing bicentennial dresses

the day aunt lena jumped in the well


i often walked by the sealed haunted thing as a little girl

lungs filling with fear

wondering why that day

she chose to turn potable water into tears


was it the four year old daughter

named venus

born and died in the month of april

buried beside the church


had the clocks her late husband made wound her tightly enough to do it


or was it simply senility

i’ll never know


when had she stopped hearing the piano music

what had she suffered

that an abyss seemed somehow more comforting

than another day lost in the valley of stones


i close the memory of her with a crystal doorknob


cousin leland went into the well after the body

but her soul

never resurfaced