June 23, 2016

ambulance sirens

i made the mistake
of telling the tale
bout my mothers penchant
for perking up
and packing us up
in our grocery-getter
to follow the low howl sounds
of emergency vehicles
move in their small packs
across the packed suburban streets.

now every time you hear one
you shout

its not for me!
get in the car dammit
were gonna go see some action!

i try to revise history
and say my mom wasnt that excited.

during the warm months
the early ones
it was a sinch to get you
in the sedan

and wed ride to some innocuous
part of the neighborhood
only to see that it was an old lady
or man or couple
who had fallen and couldnt get up

after you came home with portable
cancer killing hardware
we made attempts to shove it all
with you perched up in your
robe and favorite band shirt
in the backseat

but you stopped me

were too slow for the chase

you said

fuck it
lets highjack our own ambulance
you put me in the back
like farrah faucett
in that one movie you watch all the time
and well chase them fuckers down
and you offer help
and when they try to stick someone
back here ill shout

all aboard the soul train!

June 20, 2014

Last Rights/Writes/Rites?

You dropped pages
of legal lined legal paper
high yellow
on my lap

and said


Won't lie...I didn't know

if you meant "write"

as in
I know I'm on my way out
and want an epitaph
that immortalizes my smile
my eyes
the chaotic way my hair looks
in the morning
medusa would be proud
say a few good things
never mention that one bad thing
the "I'm re-cleaning all your dishes" thing
the "I almost called you tiger woods" thing
the "I don't really recall the one bad thing because I've been with you the whole way" thing...

so I scribble and scramble to piece together
the verbage and syntax appropriate
for the tax on your sin, the verbs about your age.

Yet, I feel like

you meant "right"

as in
that time I showed you sponge
was better than cloth
when cleaning grit and grease off
dishes left for days
folding clothes clockwise
proves more wise
than the "Gap" way
which gives you a plastic mat
that maps the folds you need to crease
when I'm sitting getting therapy
and you try to cheer me up with jokes
you don't realize how sad I am and need
desperately to convey to you may abeyance
toward your dispositions of glee
so I throw my hospital muffin at you
and watch the blue berries drip down your face
crumbs across your chest...

so I scribble laws
the rules and regs you followed
and other should follow
that rights their ship down the right path
even if the path is a series of all rights.

And still, I feel like
in my most reasonable state
you meant "rite"

as in

these days are done
the nights fade into a dark blue
cold to all clouds
and marooning the rock white satellite
all by itself

because that's how you feel

when I left that one day

to grab you a candy bar

a 5th Avenue

'cause that's all the machine

would spin out its mortal coil.

March 19, 2014

Day Walker

I asked if
you binge watching
The Walking Dead
was a snippy
ironic gesture
during chemo.

Nah, it's 'cause
your cable sucks.

I asked if that was
snippy and ironic

You shook your head
readjusted a tube
then looked out the window.

To prove your lack of laziness
you dared/threatened/requested
a walk to the children's museum
and aquarium on the pier.

Weather's nice
and your mom got me
that knit cap
in Packer colors.

You hate the packers
and are lukewarm to my mom
but your gusto was convincing
so down through Juneau
past some frisbee players
we walked.

         turned gears
         molded play-do buildings
         cut out sandpaper shapes
         and wanted to pet the sting-rays.

Steve Irwin died this way.

Too much TV?

Not enough;
but he was asking for it

you pointed at the sting-ray
doing back flips
and side-swimming

that one's a showoff
he totally killed Steve.

You moved closer.

March 05, 2014

Mr. Fix-It

You called me that
when I told the tale of using
electrical tape and a thumbtack
to repair a doorknob
my landlord refused.

It sounded awkward
like all the times you called me

Mr. B______

which made me sound
like just a friend
or like my dad.

Getting older or friend-zoned
doesn’t bother me
just like
          according to your daily reminders
having a life eating disease
doesn’t bother you.

But I realized
          as I signed hospital bills
          and talked with an insurance company rep
          named “Steve”
that no one goes into a problem
wanting to embody fixing
or wanting to be categorized
as a fixer

but we do want to fix daily
annoyances and ongoing

You think duct tape
and a thumbtack
will help here?

you point to your
hairless skull
and its circular
scar, stapled.

At least you don’t
point to your heart

or some other part
like your deviated septum

I, or others,
are ill-equipped to repair

and you're obtuse
to having repaired.

March 01, 2014


On our third date
the one that lead to sex
you candidly shared

I fucking hate that I'm older
I like being a kid
it's not a shallow thing
I really like being a kid
and now I do all this adult stuff

I mean, I like some of the adult stuff

you elbowed me

but you get what I'm saying?

Day planners.
Taking the bus to work.
Trying to meet people online.

You winked at me.

I just want to age
like cheddar.

Despite your penchant
for all things vine related
and fermentation
you chose cheddar
over your other friends

pinot, riesling, moscato.

In the second phase of treatment
you scaled back make-up
and when the late afternoon
lake sun hit you through the window
you became older.

When I said like cheddar
you said

Cheese makes you fat.