Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

detour through troy

“Time enough to make clear the fault-ridden
Is loved by a goddess, that Helen’s a gift
Only a goddess could have provided.
And who is he to deny a goddess
Even if her gifts only last a day.”

-Carl Dennis
there was a hellish car accident
in the northbound lanes
of the cocaine super highway
this blistering hot day

it blocked me from traversing
panoramic downhill gateway
leading from the bluegrass state
into cincinnati

i took the circle freeway
to avoid the back up
but it lead me to take a detour
my old stomping
to the eastern gate

i kept uttering aloud to my steering wheel
why the hell am i here?

passed my old high school
whose mascot was lamentably
the trojans

(i smile thinking of the bastard i later dated
who said
i was his helen of troy)

the house where i grew up its
new owners have nearly
paved the entire front year

green helicopter mounted oddly
in withamsville park
to honor vietnam veterans
where the vehement pro-life people stake up
morbid little anti-abortion crosses

the area
has taken on too many seedy storefronts
and check cashing places
though there has been big box progress
it looks like a small town dying
of retail jobs

the state bird of ohio
has become the strip mall

the statue of thomas more remained the same
but saints are unwavering that way

i was oddly relieved
to feel
like i no longer belong there

yet devastated
to lose a city
in a day

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

an oliver gets stoned film

i’m going to run out in my
’87 Camaro
to the video store

i want to rent a couple of tapes
perhaps an oliver gets stoned film

maybe i’ll stop by camelot and pick up the new prince and cure cassettes while i’m at it

i shouldn’t tempt myself
waldenbooks is right next door

i can’t forget to buy stamps and mail my letters

either way
i have to get back in time to watch
and thirtysomething

i’m turning my pager off
gonna get drunk on swing-top grolsch beer

i intend to fall asleep reading the new kurt vonnegut novel

my father’s family won’t believe my brother
is dying
of aids

i think the bengals are going all the way
to the superbowl this year


not for nuthin’

it will please you to know
each time i fry pork
i think of you

as far as legacies go
you could do worse

poetry Short Stories Uncategorized


a bakolite phone from the 40’s

the cherry telephone stand and cedar chest grandaddy made

a few quilts

her meerschaum letter opener

a grandiose turkey plate

christmas ornaments

a cake pan

the lace curtain revealing a doe she hung on the kitchen door window

her wallet
with drivers license

a lipstick

her bad hip

delicate ankles

engagement ring

these are all the things i have of hers

eight years gone now

the older i get
the more i listen
to her ghost


so that we may live within the art

my eyes had not found her
in a room
for nearly twenty years

corner of the bar seated
sipping a deep plum wine
waiting for me to arrive
from our shared past

upon spying me
she leapt from her
and we began to laugh
as we reached for each other

she is the same exotic beauty
i remembered
but it is the goodness of the light
in her eyes
i have always loved

it remains, but is now
tempered with the wisdom
of marriage, motherhood, business meeting, and mortgages

we agree van gogh painted this
warm bath night
for us to be outside
so the decision is made to scout out a patio table
where we may hold court

billie holiday is singing strange fruit
as we walk by

the trees along this main street
are wrapped in white lights

i smell jasmine and coffee dancing in the air

surrounded by a toy boutique,
haberdasher, a clockworks, and compounding herbalist
this quaint cobblestone village
has not forgotten its manners

we exchange notions and potions
regarding the decades elapsed

sad stories, triumphs, but we decidedly have more happiness to share than tears

we cheer for each others successes
cry for our losses

she sticks to bottled grapes, while i order intricate manhattans

our glow has become one

we share a forbidden cigarette

but in the midst of the we-don’t-want-this-night-to-end
an hour after last call

as we stand on the sidewalk
defiantly unwilling to part
still laughing too loudly
keeping the window box flowers awake

we agree
the universe is conspiring
to bring us together again

a friendship of enduring poetry

so that we may live within the art