A Triad of Koans

Koan 1: I observed, “The candle in the narthex is leaning.” I replied, “Better a crooked candle than one that is not lit.” Koan 2: I said, “The squirrel sits on the apex of the roof and speaks loudly to the world.” I replied, “He is not silent.” Koan 3: I said, “I smiled so…

When You Are Away I Am Lost

When you are away I am lost. It is a strange thing this feeling. I was single for so long and you would think after five years with you I would be used to your absences. Yet the opposite is true. I stay busy so I do not worry when you are in the air….

Prisoner of Birth

When the night is anxious and her hard cloak weighs heavy on me, I am a man whose desires swell in the belly, who is not privy to the time or place of their birthing. Body weak, mind made useless by moving down reluctant paths to places where I do not wish to go, thoughts…

The Antithesis To The Train Bleu

Upstairs in the bathroom, after I have dressed and left the laptop on the dining room table, I hear the lonesome call of the 4am and the tell-tale rumbling through the open window. I think I must have heard it coming in my sleep. I woke up to hitch a ride like some drowsy hobo….

Twister

Twister January 6, 1997 I’m sitting here in the hall with my other best friend. Boots’ Mama came and took him home as if their wooden house beside the Kerr-Magee plant on the outskirts of town can protect them from a tornado better than this big brick elementary school and these cold blue concrete blocks…

Fear Is What Keeps Me From You

I do not really understand what I am afraid of. Fear is what keeps me from you. My lack of mercy is in direct correlation to the rain-gauge of my terror. We. You and I. We are the terror(ists). The others are convenient scapegoats for us to drape our unicolor fear-coats on. There is nothing…

Two Days Later

Two days later, I’m on the tractor, talking to the wind about you, wishing that this crop of doubts that has grown up in my mind would disappear like the grass I’m mowing down. The bushog bangs and I am listening to the echo of Daddy’s gunshot in my brain. I stand beside him under…

Evie

The cat arrives the moment after she leaves the table, assuring us that she is okay, but coughing, the fibers growing in her lungs like moon flower vines squeezing the breath from her chest. He, the cat, has always been this way, sensing the pain of people and coming round to be a comforting presence….

Road Toad

The toad in the road looms luminous in the lights of my Chevy Cavalier as I careen precariously around the copperhead curves of Mission mountain. Amphibian eyes gleam in the glare of halogen globes, reptilian reason revealed in their shiny sheen before the sharp shadow of the car covers all in a blur of bleeding…