Americana analysis behavior bibliophilia books cemeteries childhood death destruction physics poetry Southern Gothic suicide Uncategorized

a leaf that lingered brown

i blame robert frost
his cold methodology
his need to fill disused graveyards with
death’s dazzling white snow glamour
a slow creep crystalline across
an already shattered windshield

i blame robert frost
as i cannot blame
my father
my friend
or an absent god
for them forgetting
they had promises to keep

affectation Americana analysis biology cemeteries childhood death family funerals geneology parenting psychology rituals self-care Southern Gothic suicide

you can’t get there from here

happy Father’s Day, dad

you were

art poetry

oh, sylvia

Sylvia Plath death scene photo

oh, sylvia

daddy and ted




epicuriosity forensics literature sociology thanatology

my oven has died

my oven has died

as my buoyant soul has no need for it


pulled to the middle of the kitchen floor

an asphyxia case in need of cpr


of a burned out ignitor


mr. repairman

is an hourn’half delinquent

of his 9 to noon service window


he made me miss my lunch date


i stand hand on hip

in a dress

from a November 1954 edition

of vogue magazine

my whimsy contained

by a tea length line of buttons


a cat on a hot tin roof southern slip

because i hold a firm belief

the maytag man should be met

with a combination of elizabeth taylor

and donna reed


sylvias’s ghost stands behind me

eyebrow raised commenting

“good thing you had no plans to make one of my dishes tonight”

i call her a tramp

we laugh like conspiring sisters



Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

suicide tourism

besides being a great name
for a punk band

suicide tourism

is a growing trend

in switzerland

and americans

flocking to the monstrance
of neutrality
and lax euthanasia legislation
with a penchant for hiding
nazi-looted art

to eat chocolates laced
with sodium phenobarbital

“going to switzerland”
has become a euphemism
for offing oneself in the UK

(God, how I adore my saucy British cousins.)

Isn’t it funny that in allegedly-civilized
free nations
their countrymen
don’t even have the liberty
of choosing a dignified death?

*elected officials take note

when the power grid fails
we’ll be coming
to eat you

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

hanging in that tree

it was a sunny summer afternoon
i don’t remember exactly when
but i must have been around 3
because we still lived in the little farmhouse
on ellison ridge
where uncle louis hung himself

the day felt the same way i feel
when i hear the cowboy junkies sing
sweet jane
lush and southern

dad was sitting with me
at the white picnic table
he built with his hands

i climbed on top of the table
to be closer to the large overhanging tree limbs
telling him i wanted to hang from them like a monkey

he hopped to his feet and i remember the jangle of keys and change coming from his pocket

his watch flashed in the sunlight when he picked me up and put me on his shoulders
then we walked to the lowest sturdy branch
within my reach and he said

“Grab on a-hold…”

i remember giggling with glee
as i latched on
he slowly crouched down and turned
to face me
freeing my swinging legs to dangle

he never took his hand off my shoe

“Daddy, let me swing!”

“I’m not lettin’ go-ah you, little girl…”

i held on for as long as i could but
my hands began to lose their grip
i clutched at him with my chubby legs
as he caught me in his arms

all i saw were his smiling dark eyes and glimmering green leaves

he was dead within three years
from kentucky fried booze and pills

and i’ve spent everyday thereafter reaching for him in various ways

uncle louis’ ghost isn’t the only one still hanging in that tree

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

suicide nets

isn’t it fun to think
someone may have snapped
the last widgets of your iPhone together
right before jumping to their death

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

in 1994

i just explained
to my 17 year old son
who kurt and courtney were
and how
in 1994
that meant everything

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

for the sake of our children

there are many things
we must forsake

for the sake of our children

the moment they are conceived
we must bid farewell to vice
the freedom of irresponsibility

we even give up
the luxury of suicide

my father taught me that

there is nothing that will drill a chasm
in the soul of a child
like your last act on earth
forever ringing

i didn’t love you enough to stay alive

thank you for that lesson
on behalf of my sons

if not
i would be just another dead thing
floating in the ohio river

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

this is not my beautiful house

we sew ourselves
to the expectations of others
with our bank accounts
towel racks
and arteries
faces melting
into an unreflecting pool
of lost identity
then spend our lives
doing the math
on the height of bridges
child support
the poundage of a squandered life
and how many refills remain