Digital Shunning

Am I dead to(o)

you now?  If you saw me


standing naked right

in front of you, would you imagine


a rotting corpse held up

by meat hooks?  Often I do just feel


like a piece of meat which makes me

uneasy.  Are uncomfortable realities good


reason to forget a human exists?  Is this

Old Country logic?  Rural ways to show indifference


to someone’s life because some made up god is said to

find offense to a person being human.  Is that


how shunning supposed to seem?  Or does

that say more about you than it does me?


We Will All Fall Down

When hands grow

from your face, love rains


like flesh ripped, sinew through skin

scaling layers of muscle fiber, nerve


from bone with a corrupted force.  Fingers

rub so eye lids flay from friction.  The only way


to conceal what the world is doing is worse

than being barefoot, walking blindfolded


through the beach of dirty hypodermic needles

littering the shoreline around Misery Bay.  Blind


is so much worse than red rawness.  Imagine

only blackness while something scurrying


over your feet lets its weight swipe on your shin. Pray

you at least know which gutter you are heading for.

The Garbage Man

The poster board in the window

across the street fades fast.  It’s only

been three months, since

the woman in the tan brick ranch

put the number of her son’s jersey

in the bay window with white Christmas

lights blinking on and off as synapses of thoughts

snap on and off.  Her son was crushed

by a garbage truck.  His blood washed clean

away.  His number is up, but still continues to fade.

Derailed on 18th and Cranberry

I’ve been wounded so the animal

tethered to me snarls and licks


my wounds.  All I see

is the reflection of everything that’s broken

made blurry by my failing


eyes too red to see anything


really.  I lined

the tracks with all

the change I possess


just to watch how meaningless dead

men’s faces are when facing the pounding of each

car, the last train for Night—that nasty


bitch.  If you stand close

enough to the speed of the train, the velocity of it

feels like flying.

advisory sidebar for future martyrs…


Read Between the Minds

advisory sidebar for future martyrs

you must understand
from the beginning
they will
let you die
by the sword
by systemic attrition
it really
doesn’t matter
you die
as long as
you’re dead
will be given
the old
corporate spin
by an army
of press agents
you failed
when you chose
how you refused
to face
the future
fight the good
to be a martyr
of course
they may be

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No matter how much

you try, you can’t swallow that

lump in the throat.  The shivering

starts deep in the spine, till synapses

terrify the mind as a Parkinson’s person

sentenced to chronic

shake at the world witnessed.

Obstruction by Some Other

The irony of a woman invisible to her

keeper, yet studied by the man


down the street.  She wraps herself

in scarves and swaddling fabric to hide


her tiny frame, heads out for a stroll

of quiet contemplation.  Questions manifest


from balmy air: a boulder of answers

forbidden to be asked for is found in her


path.  The woman, slight in stature,

with eyes that engulf all things around her,


stands at its edge.  Her hand timid with a terrifying

tremble to feel the cold touch of stone.  A reach


with shaking fingers.  But the stone is a marble that guides

the hands to embrace.  Then she sits, pulls out her notepad


and begins to scratch pen to pad. I have to reach for you

with the resistance of fiber, the viscosity of liquid because my journey


is obstructed by these questions that will not move.  Under

all of her hiding, every layer of cashmere and silk


peeled away, she has skin smooth as butter.  Slick and soft,

she leans on the cool surface of the object


in her path.  She imagines how she’d melt if touched

by the man forbidden from her by the ritual of ceremony.


Her skin takes the temperature of the stone she leans on.

She wonders if her name were to appear in ink, does it


wash off like smudges on his left hand.  In the waves and bodies

of the surrounding universe there is no wrong, only she worries


she’s mistaken.  Using her legs, she pushes all her weight

against the boulder.  No use.  Yet, the pull of her path


cannot stay blocked because it’s gravity pulling her in

the direction she’s going.  So she writes more, I feel


the infinite meaning of these questions that halt me. 

Every answer is lost.  I am the only dying animal


 I know.  My body feels the draw of your lines. 

So far from my reach, yet you’re so close


I could reach out to touch you.  I can only embrace

these questions.  I hope you do the same.


Sand slides forming scales over her shoulders.