Winter Commute




The engine turns over

But the belts whine

When its cold and wet.

Winter’s not over yet


Especially in the morning

But its only dew

On the windshield

Rather than frost.


The engine turns over

But the heat blows cold

And sometimes you don’t have patience

For this car, this job, this life.


The engine turns over.

But one day it won’t.

Tap tap tap. Click click click.

Or nothing at all.


Communicable Discourses


Where do you even begin

With half this shit  –

The precipice or the bucket?

We speak in clichés


As they’re easier to understand

Like the TV hanging on the wall.

(I crawled out that window once

And never came back)


Do you remember

When we weren’t so obscure

Back then? Our mothers laid

Our clothes out for us each morning


And we only knew the names of

The things we knew the names of

Like bread, blood, bone.

Now everything is a text


And I need an interpreter,

A dictionary, a health plan

And a bigger bucket.

A much bigger bucket.

Coco & Peanut


Usually the very thought, the nascent inkling, the inchoate conception of Latina Lesbians would stir his loins. But these two across the way with their Chihuahuas, Coco and Peanut,  just weren’t doing it for him. Not today. Not ever. Well at first. But now not ever. Here’s why.

Patterson was in the back seat. Sitting upright on the driver’s side. His left arm resting on the window sill. His one good eye bulging like a red water balloon being squeezed from back at the knot. His other eye…well it was starting to look like rotten fruit as much as smell like it. If that was what was causing the smell. The driver, our hero,  had the window down and had just started smoking Camels so his olfactory senses may have been on the blink. But his eyes were good and looking into the rear-view he saw Velasquez dab the receipt from Denny’s into the fetid, green-orange pulp. Here’s looking at you melonhead he said unceremoniously. The receipt was for three grand-slams. Patterson’s breakfast sat untouched in a to-go bag on his lap getting cold.

So then there were two. It started out as three. Went to five (seven if you counted the dogs). And would end up as one. The driver, Walsh, checked his pack for cigarettes and looked at the gas gauge. He’d have to time it just right to get smokes and gas. If he drove far enough, hard enough something would come to him. Something to erase the thoughts of those two women back there, those two yippy little rats and all that blacktop ahead. He counted his breath, trying to bring himself into the moment like they taught him down at the community center where he met Patterson. If life was a TV he would have turned it off before they met Velasquez.

Walsh thought If I make it out of here, then admonished himself for negativity, when I make it out of here, I’ll never use that taco joke again. In front of anyone. Didn’t matter if they were Mexicans or dykes whatever. He was done. It just didn’t pay going through life thinking everyone got your humor and fuck them if they didn’t.

Words hurt you motherfucker one of them said and swung the ball peen right past his nose as he drew back and it went flush into Patterson’s ocular region. Patterson who had been drinking Rumple Minze and Goldschlager all day like a boxer between round chugs water but swallows instead of spitting just kind of wobbled. Then he slumped against a fish tank. Walsh held his tongue about that but what did that account for now? No credit for keeping your mouth shut only a shit storm when you open it up. Life. Velasquez. By the time it was over they were slip sliding over the linoleum like city kids skating on a frozen pond.

Walsh thought about the bag in Patterson’s lap. Velasquez caught his eye in the rear-view. They smiled at one another. Easy, Walsh said to himself, keep your mouth shut.

​What We Talk About When We Talk About Confessional Poetry

You know what, Matt?

Who are you to think about anything

Beyond the trees and leaves,

The light & darkness?


Staple the poems together.

Look out the window.


Staple the stories together.


Always so full of questions,

Suppositions, imaginings,

Lists, calumnies, words…

Sometimes you’re all words!


Peace lies deeper than a platitude

So always remember and never forget  

To shave off the belly hair.

The first cut must be clean.