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midwestern death song

last night

shots rang out

slicing August’s midnight miasma

a quivering queen city listened

as Cherokee bells

echoed over cobblestones

black swan feathers topping lost hopes

filling horse-drawn funeral carriages

eighteen shot

four dead

blood pooling at the base

seven screaming hills

four shootings in Cincinnati

ninety fatal minutes

national news coverage

backlit red images

of our violent infection

suffer do we

these slings & arrows

whispering sacred prayers

to a god unlistening

please make

every bullet fired

explode into a spray

of evening primroses


with perfect nonchalance

when Andy Warhol

was shot with a gun

i’d like to think he fell to the ground

with perfect nonchalance


…as American as apple pie…

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends writing

white shoulders

to him
every hole
in a woman’s body
is an invitation to violence

ears are for filling with bile
the mouth is for gagging
the tongue will scream until it is cut out

lips for splitting with fists

the sex organ and anus
meant only for acts of desecration
in the temple

the stench of his sickness
mixing with old lady perfume
filling your nose

as he guts you

his final act
waxing romantic
about telling his mother
“I hope you get cancer of the eyes”

as your bride of frankenstein flesh dies

left to rot in the square
for all the pitch fork and torch bearing
townspeople to behold

yet he is overjoyed
with his trophies left behind
some red nail polish
a few lipsticks
and our clothing
hanging carcasses
in his meat locker closet
as he made sure all of us wore
his perfect dress size

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

the battle of clifton

there is a place
just behind my hairline

an indention in my skull
only reachable by a loving hand’s touch

made by the steel flying jump boot
of a shamed airborne soldier
i tried to play house with
when i was a freshly liberated
ingénue of age sixteen

i don’t remember what i said to elicit that well thrown response

he knocked the memory right out of me

but i’m sure it was the proper military stratagem
for defeating a mouthy bitch

he was an expert marksman who hit his target

certainly a custer decision

from time to time i still rub it
and think of him sobbing
begging me to be okay
as my head swelled with the fluid of his remorse
drifting in and out of consciousness
on the couch

the only thing i know now
is how tragically little
i knew then

i’ve since forgiven him
but he taught me a lesson i’ll never forget

and have since used to survive

a reminder in the form of a permanent crack
in my young, impressionable head

Jazz Music poetry Short Stories Uncategorized Urban Legends

the eyes

she drives down ludlow
past buildings with graceful names
into the moment at an intersection
in the gaslight
when someone knocks on the window twice expecting the third knock to be a bullet coming through the glass
aimed at forever changing her mind
before the light turns green
just a man who needed directions
she looks up having survived
only to see the city staring back at her