marseillaises

Little windows framing lives
endless boxes piled sky high
Rosey hopes wilt
to dusty pink
etched with rusted
forlorn dreams
The sidewalk teeming
with discarded traces

of love displaced
for a quick fix
parked in the dark corners
of feigned smiles
that barely beguile
enough coins
for cab ride home

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little things

I don’t like you tonight
It may be the stars
Or the ceiling light
that’s too bright
Or my skin that’s too thin
and drawn dry and tight
But your very breath
sticks my hair on end
And my empathy won’t extend
round the bend of the bathroom door
past the socks on the floor
and the bills ignored
and all I cannot mend
as quickly as I defend lost causes
to fill up pauses
that may reveal
more emptiness
than intended

mindfulness (I’m trying)

I worry
About the car that didn’t fit
And is parked in the no parking zone
(Ticket me but please don’t tow)
That article is due tomorrow
The application for a job I can’t take
is due two days later
One hundred and three corrections the week after
With a day long course to prepare
What can I make for supper
Sunday’s laundry still in the machine
A husband waiting to be loved
Latch onto a verb and follow her words
Damn you
Five years of work being explained
So why not at least align those graphics to the left?

Her nervous tick is showing
I smile (no, not at you, creepy guy)
Perhaps she’ll pick up on my support
I’m drawn by the colours of the banners behind her
Reflecting off her face
Purple on the left
Orange on the right
Her dark grey dress
And pale grey tired face
Keep the clash at bay
I exhale
There’s nothing I can do about any of it now.

snagged again

smiling in pictures
(you said, as if to console me)
doesn’t mean you love your life
so now I sit
sifting through all
it could mean instead

meating 

At the high end of the market
the meat is pricier
but under the cologne
and expensive wrapping
these portions are still meat
meeting up to grind
hoping to find
a reflection sweeter
than the acute inspection
that awaits them at home

And I can sway like the others
under the light of late summer
Make like it matters
that my wine is as chilled
and light as the chatter
of birds with no need for words
to spell out the signs
held up by time
ticking ornately by

Night is coming on strong
as cologne mixed with sweat
set in air
conditioned to keep
the numbers aloft
But there is nothing soft
in desperation
or the blaring pink strobes
that probe transparent fabrics
for a hint of low cost hope
to make up for the price
already paid

seasonless

Look at the ends
to which we’ve gone
to run from our end
so much duller
than our beginning
At the end of the earth we sit
with fork and knife
each on the right side
still waiting to be served
We play parlour games
we’ve always played
to pass the time
as though nothing has changed
I wonder if this is how
one lives without seasons
with no change for which
to wait or plan
and if that changes
what one dreams of
or how one plays out
their last hand

midsummer night snack

I stand in a place
where I’ll never again be
I’m looking at you
as I’ll never again see you

Boisterous and swaggering
in your natural habitat
A menu of quick standards
by a filled-in ditch of a lake

I’m trying to build a story
of fractured memories

You’re bellowing clichés
serving up platitudes
with a side order of smirks
Breaking no ice, nor sweat
Playing the role as expected
to everyone’s content

You own this moment
You own this place
You let in those you choose
A feigned sly smile
punctuated with a wink
seals the unspoken deal
I’ve been here before
And then too I tripped
on your flimsy sincerity
slipped on your strewn lines

Finding footing in doorways
I wait between lies
for you to fumble
humbly to my side
gasping as the narrative fails

And you’ll be gone when I wake
just like yesterday
and again I’ll have made
all the same old mistakes
And I will still miss you

snack

poor timing 

jotNrot

I step in too close
and feel my nose crush
against the revolving doors
I was never much good
at double Dutch
or skipping rope
nor holding out
against all hope
My coffee has spilt
over me like guilt
and leaves a stain
on what remains of my dignity
as I fumble to efface
the disgrace of once again
being out of line
and out of time

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birthday, again

The forecast said sunny
it wasn’t
still, at least it didn’t rain
and it wasn’t cold
but it wasn’t warm either
When at last the sun seeped
through the blanketed sky
the cake had been sliced and shared
wishes dished and smiles dispersed
and the remaining work
set aside for tomorrow
In all, the day was duly pleasant
if not dull
mostly, it was done
And but for the sound
growing louder
of doors not too distant
creaking shut
everything was the same
despite the birthday wish

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