Failing

Necessary evil, failure.  
Learning from mistakes
Like lying and broken bones
The body breaks down
And cries for more.
In this case tears
Hung high inside a bag
Delivered through a tube
Poking into my chest
Plugged in with a needle.
Giggling to myself
“Not a nipple”
Laughters ripple effect
Spans out amongst the others
And now everyone’s
Going to get in trouble.

But it’s my fault
No one but me
Got me in this mess,
Or have they? Because
It’s an art:
Learning recreational
Cursing, lying and
Running away from home.
My growling hunger
Turns to fear.
That’s where
Boredom hides.
As we seek home again
The place one cannot return.
Like a library book
With a Dewey decimal card
I’m no longer on file.
Suppose I stole the title.

Before dark I’m matchless
With no anger left to burn
So I return.
But it’s never the same
New people new names.
Strangers turn me away
That crazy woman’s back
She doesn’t live here
Not anymore.
The address I remember:
Only my own body.
Dirty gray cumulus clouds
Reach the places where
Shame grows. Right there
On the test not surprisingly
Cirrus streaking
Shocking the dusk
Into color of embarrassment and
Of cheeks slapped pink
For blue words
We try on for fit
But they fall off of our
Small bones too big
To not know
To small to talk shit.

Instead of daisies
In my mind the
Fertile soil hardened
Into my imagination now
Rusty colored clay.
Growing up worthy of
A head, once
Covered in hair
Jumping on a trampoline
Without a net
Be cautious of curls.
Now straight as
a cactus prickly as
a crown of new cowlicks
The color of
shock and shame.
Green and indigo
But not what I thought
Just a day ago.

Everyday failure:
Unthreaded needles
Stocking runs unearned
Continue up the thigh
Showing the quality
Of bare legs
With purple webs
Becoming ugly
And weak.
Sometimes my mistakes
Weigh like
Lead sinks, an umpire
Metal but not much ore
Certainly no gold or platinum.
My pick axe and
Shovel, sieve ad
Headlight
Mocking the brave
Fish that live in
Darkness so ink black
They willed themselves
A headlamp on
Their hard hats. Darwin
Had his way of
Plumbing the breaches of
My Grace in the name
Of the father who
Died with experience
My tribe hid
It’s treasure in
Broken Russian birds.
My genes unzipped
Finally to reveal
The ladder had fallen
Apart at the rung
Where I slipped.

Principally, I deserve
No less than
Expulsion from the school
Of this life and
Of the race of humans.
I have lost.

Soul Drunk

“Don’t wait” the first 
Invitation*, states.
Subject and verb meant
What I heard: it’s my turn.
These wasted times,
My healthy days numbered
Counting crows in a line.
Life and death married
And birthed you together
So don’t wait for
Tonight or for daylight
When winds kick up a mess
Of better yesterdays.
Sour mash in a dirty glass
Ice diluting the burning
Hoarse throats from thirst
So deserted, beyond quenching.
Straddling my legs up to the bar
And wild wet eyes find
You outside of the frames
pictures -you took them, too.
Stored in musty boxes
In basements and attics
All dressed up, obnoxious
When glasses obscured by
Bottle blondes divorced and lonely.
Time in the mind only reminds
Us of what no longer stabs at
Our hearts. Funny things:
Gene’s helixes and a pine’s cones
All the sacred plans for galaxies
Spun Nautilus shells and
The ringing bells in my ears.
Yet some refuse any sound
Like the dying refuse food.

Outside nature awaits and what sings
Of life alone in the flutter.
Nudging the willow tree’s long locks
A hummingbird wings create unrest.
Crying tiny drops of firelight
Candles leave wax rings
Worn into wood, married by ownership
And warning our bodies
in the dusk’s lazy sun adrift the sea
Winking goodbye as it hides for the night.
At home we take the complaints of stuttering billy goats
Where clamorous hens kick
At the roosters who forgot a nest
Or two. What about me?

It’s the way we all feel
Have they no idea
our children fled the nest -
Leaving their rooms full
Of their trophies
While we wait to sleep
In fitted sheets
Dug in graveyards with
Names like Star of David.
Smoothed over blue grass grown
Watching the dead proves
Equally as boring.
It doesn’t mean a thing
I mean that nothing was meant by it:
To say that at birth
We become life and death, as one
Intertwined together.
Growing taller, spinning
Until we grow dizzy and
Giggling in the know
Of moment we will fall
Carefully goes the innocence
Spiraling, radiating out
Of our mouths the
breath of love itself.
Rejoiced in our screams and cries.

A call to our guilty conscience
That wears heavy on our bones
Asking again to what ever we’ve
Said no. Must we unpack and
Put their guilt in the pantry
Set the table with the China
The sheets hang out in the
Golden dusty fields
Collecting the scent of
Late sunlight in baskets
After hanging up on the lines
With the rest of the whites
Faded and drying we remain
Dying in the sky tidally locked
Like the moon to the earth
And never once asking
For more than a simple goodbye
“One day we will meet again”
Though I never have
Known you in your own skin
Only under layered pelts
Like laundry hanging from your deserted bones.

Dare we share the bond
That darkness cannot control?
Isn’t that a woman’s fate:
to allow men to drink
Until they drain our souls?

*from Frank Ostaseski’s The Five Invitations, highly recommended on audio book as read by the Author.
“Don’t wait,” is the first invitation. One cannot live their entire life or tell all those they love how they feel, or forgive even yourself of any pain; it’s never too late, however.
Quote

Buying Time

Impossible: 
To find the cash
For buying time.
Oranges, sweet crude
Coffee, corn,
Commodities traders
Delisted love and friendship
Health and fathers.
The buying chits line
The exchange floor
Like clothing once
In the bedroom.
Proof money can’t
Buy love.

In department stores
Perfumed and made up
Clerks compartmentalize
Stuffed emotions and
Big wide-eyed bears
Into shopping bags.
Leaving through
A glass revolving door
Tumbling onto the gray
Segments of sidewalk
Blowing like leaves
I chase down sealed
Dented cans of hope.

With one pair of eyes
Inevitably you’ll find yourself in a single view someday.
Walking alone without another Pair, your hands empty
Except for your
Pocketbook and calling cards.
Blistered heels and skinned knees -
No one else to help watch the bumps in the road.
Holding up one hand
Hailing any empty cab while
The sun waits on the horizon
For me to return to
No one in particular
Loneliness casts
A long shadow.

With a single pair of eyes
The myopic make few plans.