Double Dactyl

Rickety, nitpicky,
Lines are a pain but I'll
Give them a try.

Nonsense begins them,
Two stanzas, strict rhythm:
Easy, if I could just
End with a rhyme.

Seattle Smokers

You can't walk down a street in Seattle

with a cigarette in your mouth

and expect to have a pack left

by the time you get home.


It doesn’t happen like that.


Your cigarette

while a hazard light to non-smokers,

is a candle in a dark cave of tension

to the rest


and they will ask you

if you can spare one


they will ask you

if you’ve got a light


“Can I get one off you, man?”


It’s been a hard night.

They pat their pockets—

all out.

Run their hands through their hair—

They’ve got the craving

That you obviously understand.

They form one hand

into a gentle claw;

ready to grasp panic-relief.


By the time you reach your destination

you’ve talked to more strangers

and smoked fewer cigarettes

that you ever wanted to

on a dark city street.


The unwritten code

that if you smoke, you understand

and if you understand, you commiserate

and if you commiserate, you share

and share

and share


after all,

they’d give you one, too

if they had it.



I am currently sitting in my family room watching Wheel of Fortune

It rained outside today

I took the Dash bus to Fig and Adams and walked the rest of the way home

In the Rain

I called a bunch of people in Columbus

Progressively fewer people from Columbus are calling me

TV is a fortunate noise distraction masking loneliness

Masking an anxious sense that I am doing nothing

A great mind wasted

A youth spent toiling after nothing - a small paycheck.


The rain reminds me of home. It always rains in Columbus

There are numerous Ohioans dreaming of coming to California to accomplish

To create

To become

I am out here - I've been here for 5 years.

What have I created? What have I accomplished? What have I become?

Closed captioning is sponsored by Meineke Complete Car Care

God, please remind me that you are satisfied with me

Allow me to accept myself

And lead me to a peaceful and satisfied place

Where it only rains when I want it to

And TV programs are satisfying and fulfilling

And I'm surrounded at all times by friends and family

And life goes on and on and on, and every day has something new to look forward to

Pat, I'd like to solve the puzzle

I Read Between the Lines, It's True

Your cover

is creative

your acknowledgments


you tell your stories quickly

as I flip

right through

your life

you start to sound real distant

because I stopped to find a pen

if you wouldn’t mind

and have the time

could you start all over again?

I like this part

it's layered

and it's deep

and I want to know

what happened there

to make those thoughts


you leave a lot of space


passages of thought

do you need advice

or just an ear?

you told me

but I forgot.

I really want

to listen.

I mean it.

I do.

but I cannot stop to listen

while I’m