I came of age in the era
of argyle socks
and plaid shirts
stolen from your father’s closet.

We stopped before school
to fill Super Big Gulp cups
with frothy Orange Bang!
which we kept in our lockers all day.

We didn’t realize
that MTV would soon cease
to be music television
and would peddle us “Jersey Shore”.

There was no comprehension
of intrawebs and internets,
and the smart phones
our children gobble up like Candy Crush.

I think about the pivotal moment
when he filled three pages of my yearbook
with a break-up message
that I didn’t fully comprehend until age 38.

I sometimes remember
the way he smelled like Play-Doh
and combed his hands
through my wet hair.

Then I wander to the artist
with the wire-framed glasses
who tasted like Budweiser
and smelled like paint thinner.

They tell us not to look back,
but they also say if you don’t examine the past
you’re doomed to repeat it.
So which is it, huh?


It was just locker room talk
Alternative facts
I have the best words
Sad! (Exclamation mark!)
American carnage
Mexico is gonna pay for that wall
I have the best people
He’s for the little guy
Forgotten men and women (x3)
Yuge Jyna
I don’t even have to ask, they just let me
We have to bring the jobs back!
Our country has a lot of problems
Repeal and replace Obama Care
It was a great speech
The world is a total mess
Extreme vetting
He’s gunna Make America Great Again


Recalling the time
You called me a dyke
As if that were
The worst thing to be like.
Sticks and stones
And broken bones,
I never wanted to see
You down on your knees,
Begging pretty please
Or forgiveness nonetheless.
Of course you were Mormon,
Sling arrows, then turn and run,
Light switch is off
Everything’s better thrown with a scoff.
Wanna-be punk —
But truly straight-edge junk,
Playing guitars in the attic
Never pragmatic.
You were upset we didn’t bring
The Polish exchange student queen.
She was foreign enough
not to be your fool,
Time to wipe the drool
Then lose your cool.
Direct it at me
Let the words fly,
Set them free.
I can take it.
And I did.
You’re nothing but an immature kid.
Draw your cartoons,
Play distorted tunes.
I will write this poem
And remind you, he who is without sin
Let him cast the first stone.


Mr. Brooks smells like love
on a Saturday morning.
Love and passion fruit,
sweet with juice to dribble
and dark seeds.

Spreading himself too thin
jam or preserves…
she doesn’t deserve
him at all.
He gets hot when she smiles.

He barks, she bites
and which is stronger?
This bond is broken,
taking with it…dreams

of California’s ocean side
and a thin-lipped smile
which is never wide enough
to drive you home,
Mr. Brooks.


Uncle Ted smokes a cigarette.
It’s cherried,
until tufts of smoke
flare from his nostrils.
He rides a motorcycle on weekends.

My dad kneels, solemnly
near his mother’s grave.
He places lilies and baby’s breath
directly behind the headstone.
The Salem Cemetery is generally
slow on Sunday.

The veterans have their crosses lined up
neatly in perfect rows.
The stars and stripes wave freedom
and stink of death.
My Grandpa fought in World War II.

My mother sighs
as she gets in the stifling hot car.
I prop my swollen knee
on a fluffy pillow
and close my eyes.


Once he struggled to find himself and he told me about it. He had always written poetry and love songs, but refrained from sharing them. He was usually toying with my mind and when I was in a good mood I let him toy with my heart too.

I never really told him how much I hated life or how I felt about him. He said I always looked happy. I knew I had decided to like chocolate brown eyes and humor, instead of long hair and science fiction. I swore myself to secrecy on that one.

Sometimes, I watched midnight movies and thought about him. Then I would stay awake listening to Abbey Road. He liked to go to bed early and always seemed drowsy if I called past 10:00. I tried to avoid late-night conversations for fear I might say something I didn’t truly mean.

So tonight I lie awake because when he dropped me off, I told him I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep. He said he’d go home and dream quickly. Then I wondered if he snores and if he would wear his navy blue slippers when he gets up in the morning.