Ten Lines or Less:

Fragments and short poems of mine:


Sold my dining room furniture
At the pawn shop, Grandma forgive me.

I’ve seen the sunset in too many bedrooms
That weren’t my own,
Now I’m falling in love
With myself for the first time.

I’m gonna paint my pictures
Hang them in my living room
And pay lots of money
Just to have them framed.

Long Way Enough


Drinking Cokes out of the box
And eating Zeros and Chick-O-Stiks

And dragging my feet in the dust
Under roadside pecan trees
And remembering all the dead folk
From back when I was small
And they weren’t dead yet

All summer I will ride
Between the Baptist and the Klan
Talking to kids and old men
About God and race and fishing
Til I am ready to ride the hound

One More Time


Needles and dealers and dying on dirty bathroom floors.
sitting at the old oak table in the kitchen
in the one unbroken chair
where an innocent morning light travels through
the grimy glass of an un-curtained window,
he sits and writes about all the people Jesus didn’t save tonight.

He reads them to us in his clean white shirt.

We sit and listen as the words pour out like crystal
clear champagne on our glass tabletops.

In the One Unbroken Chair



The children play on the broken cement

Of the painted courtyard.

On three sides the walls are painted

With palm trees, a school house

And once happy children.


Though the painting has faded,

Leaving the children eerily faceless.

The real children seem oblivious of the painting

And are content collecting bugs

And weed flowers on the dry and shadeless ground.

The Painted Courtyard

I pry the cake of wax out

With my only slightly rusty jack knife

And stab a canned tomato

Removing it carefully with my lips

As I wipe the acid covered blade

On my dirty work pants

I think how the scars of my early years show

No matter how soft the inside of my fingers become

Stabbing the Rusty Blade

Trade all your hopes for a sure thing

Just to watch it get stolen

From under your mattress


Like the gold watch of retirement

That breaks before you leave the parking lot

Wasted dreams and lost hope


A police report tells you what is missing

A child’s face tells you what is lost

You are that child, and you are that lost

-from How to See Alabama

The shiny deathtrap

that is tomorrow

rattles by and wakes me from the gentle sleep

that is now

Go on glowing machine

of the coming day

take the future with you

I will sit here and listen to lullabies and nursery rhymes

and listen to nursery rhymes

Weeks passed, arm bands and tummy aches
Tired late night children
Crying to stay longer
Acrobats and clownsbBetween acts,
Smoking a little this, a little that,
Wishing the crying babies would take flight.

Today, the cranes are back
The fair is due somewhere else
And the shiny dreams and plastic cups
Are packed away

Selling ice cream in the cemetery
In the late September afternoon
The gaudy sound of “Pop Goes the Weasel”

Chasing heat tails across the green, green lawn
Where the immigrant children play
In lieu of the park that isn’t here
Hide and seek amongst the headstones

And the death of summer is, itself
Lingering in the air show less


2 Responses to Ten Lines or Less:

  1. jayati says:

    Very poignant.

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