Summer Bummer, 29 (181.)

When I think of my favorite words,
I think of
minarets spindling,
cards riffling,
delicious and pernicious loaves
of bread dwindling,
cloves and gloves that don’t fit perfect,
something etched in twisting strokes
upon a parapet,
anxious jetpack blues,
multitudinous hues,
revelations to lose,
coffee, pizza,




Summer Bummer, 28 (180.)

Those still, small hours
when the future sits impotent
and the past beckons,
a sweet smile on her face
and lies on her lips,
the shadows thrown by her murmuring
“It’s better here,”
so I lean into her
soft embrace
and her arms are so smooth,
so clean in forgetfulness that I
don’t feel it when they
tighten and begin to strangle me.


Summer Bummer, 27 (179.)

Last minute, again
a pro procrastinator right here,
jamming fingers into keys
like a hyped-up piano player
(though he pauses too much to make any lasting melody)
and frowning at himself,
Beethoven in the dark of night,
agog at the silent panel of judges
sitting in a circle above and around his head,
peering down and scowling,
visages darker than the shadows in his nightmares,
type away, play away, write away,
but next time do it RIGHT AWAY,
for midnight comes too soon
and the hours stretch long
to morning,
when the waiting star
falls at last.


Summer Bummer, 26 (178.)

Grains of sand wind away from a metal stalagmite
in swirls of double-helical iridescence
and somewhere,
in another plane of existence, perhaps,
an hourglass loses time.
It will be turned over, eventually,
and the sand will swirl
in the other direction,
counter to its former self,
which was counter to a prior self,
and this
is our frame for progress.
Learn to love thy beach of spent minutes,
for naught is yours
but sand and water,
and sunshine when you find it,
and these must turn to castles
or stay piles of lazy hassles.
If time be but a construct,
then surely,
on its shores,
we may construct with it.


Summer Bummer, 25 (177.)

All the words
come tumbling out of my
feverish fingers
like candies from a just-shattered jar,
no substance, all sugar rush,
and it’s easy to see
this conversation won’t go far.
There is no action,
only reaction,
and the total lack of time
I devote to online discussions
shows like a welt.
What happened to nuance?
When did I abandon consideration?
I’ve been rushing around,
dashing mad from point to point,
forgetting to nail in boards
and build a bridge.
The river will rush by later,
faster and stronger than I can ever be,
and I’ll just have time to wonder
how I drowned myself in negligence.


Summer Bummer, 24 (176.)

Oh, that’s why the AC is important.
One ten-minute trip to a grocery store,
maybe a three-minute drive there
and another three-minute drive home,
and I’m sweating like a stuck pig who’s
afraid of blood and public speaking
and is standing behind a podium
before a crowd
for some absurd reason.
We’ve all been there, I’m sure.
Anyway, I didn’t bleed before, during, or
after my trip to the store,
but I did
walk through the aisle labeled “Hand Soap”
more than once
because I couldn’t spot the hand soap.
It was also the aisle
containing hair dye and shampoo “for women,”
so I felt
anxious and creepy.
I was only looking for hand soap,
but it might have looked like
I was looking for a date
in the worse possible place
at the worst possible time
during a terrible pandemic.
Don’t panic, hand soap is here.
It was moved into a weird standing display
in the middle of the walkway
between the grocery section
and the pharmacy,
and I just don’t look hard enough for stuff, I suppose.
Stepfatherly admonitions bubble up from
my far past,
but I push them down,
grab a bottle of soap,
Tetris it into the crook of my arm
with the two cartons of Silk vanilla coffee creamer
and the box of Q-tips, er, cotton swabs,
and make for the fastest self check-out time
I’ve ever accomplished.
Mask and gloves on, dodging fellow shoppers,
doing a poor job of it and muttering “Sorry”
from behind my shield,
get into the car
and at last,
I am free.
Sweaty, but free.
The caress of that sweet AC
felt like manna from fucking Heaven.


Summer Bummer, 23 (175.)

The AC hums frequently,
seemingly continuously,
and it is very cold.

Inside, the closet door slides open,
and a hoodie covers frigid arms and torso.
Outside, even the short walk to check the mail
blasts sun rays like a cosmic oven,
and the difference is stark.

Methinks the AC was invented
to give us a brief respite from heat that swelters
on the little walks to and from interior spaces,
but in the time of remote work,
inside is all the time.
Stillness becomes the norm,
and the body
becomes an icicle.

Could be time to take a nature break,
to feel the sun
reach for my face.
I don’t like freezing.
But it’s better than sneezing.


Summer Bummer, 22 (174.)

what does that sound like?
Does poppy seed ever make a popping sound?
I know it’s harvested from the poppy,
but I’m not sure how that happens.

What can be done with all these leaves?
Is there a distinction between good and bad trees?
Do all weeds look thin and sickly,
or are there killers hiding
among the bougainvilleas?
Bougainvillains, more like –
or bougainvilleans, if you’re into melodrama.
The term bougaincharlatan crosses my mind,
and I enshrine it here for the nonce.

Who’s to say these humorous creations
will live on in memory?
There’s a good chance they get locked away
in the back of my brain somewhere,
and to recall them
would require an oceanic effort.
The moon will be involved,
it will be a beautiful horrorshow,
but a horrowshow nonetheless.

Memory is a trap for the ill-prepared.
If it isn’t written down,
it may be gone forever.
Or perhaps
the act of writing it
weakens the memory’s muscles
and it shrivels to stringy inefficacy.

Pump up the moments,
let the roots twine deeper
so the plants grow stronger;
now might live longer
and shine in the mind.


Summer Bummer, 21 (173.)

Whoops, the night came on
so suddenly,
and words eked out
’til they were poetry,
and though they be a little late,
the count remains on track,
so please forgive this minor setback.

We shall resume normal programming
on the morrow,
so feel no sorrow –
the words will keep appearing,
and the summoner
will continue to grin.


Summer Bummer, 20 (172.)

Rusted, gutted, overall emptied,
barren and dilapidated,
forlorn, lonely,
lacking, incomplete,
holes to be filled,
void stopped up
with a tanker of swill,
the soul, the will,
dirty, unclean,
viper-tongued maw
spitting words too mean,
brain just a stopgap
on the mad rush to feeling,
overtaken by emotions,
frantic, reeling,
kneeling on the altar of a whim,
fancies wheeling
through ceiling and roof,
thoughts training for dreaming,
the thinker sits aloof
in a shack, beaming,
stealing grandeur from visions,
delusions take over,
so taken by imagination,
really not sober,
reality comprised of more than
words, words, the words are all wrong,
flourish the quill in daylight,
catch a sunbeam, and
compose a new song.