Music: I know a girl named Olivia

I composed this tune for my 4-year-old cousin Olivia from three notes she chose on my Garage Band app piano: D sharp, C sharp, B flat. I tried to capture the lightness of her smile and the complexity of her personality and intellect (she’s one smart cookie!).

I hope you enjoy it!

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Down on the Farm

I wrote this when I was hungry. Just being honest. Best read quickly with a 2/4 beat.

Happy Halloween!

Down on the Farm

He likes to eat
the meat the meat
the fresher the meat
the stronger the beat
of the heart the heart
that the farmer stops
when he picks up his cleaver
and chops and chops
in the barn the barn
the secret barn
that he built in the woods
at the back of the farm
the farm the farm
where the animals played
til the farmer decided
they all must be slayed
and slayed and slayed
and now in the dark
he keeps only women
he steals from the park
the park where the boys
and the girls run around
and look for their mommies
who cannot be found
but wait the farmer
he hears a sound
the sound of feet
of feet on the ground
approaching the barn
the barn with the door
the door that if opened
reveals his chore
so he watches the door
as he picks up his knife
and the door when opened
reveals his wife
his wife his wife
who sees the knife
and the women who
beg and plead for life
and the knife the knife
it shines in the light
as the wife asks, “my dear,
which one’s for dinner tonight?”

Because…

She likes to eat
the meat the meat
the fresher the meat
the stronger the beat
of the heart the heart
that the two of them stop
when they pick up their cleavers
and chop and chop and chop

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Thank You, Clive Barker

It’s October and time to bring out the creepy. The Hellraiser movies inspired this poem. I haven’t seen them in decades but apparently Mr. Barker made an impression!

Thank You, Clive Barker

The Cenobites –
they live in my head.
At night they crawl out through my teeth
to play in my bed.

With meat hooks and razors,
cleavers and knives,
they peel off my skin
one thin strip at a time.

Strung up, I’m a tether ball
swinging ‘round ‘round a pole
’til they cut me down and kiss me
then dump me into a hole.

In the dark I sit
amidst blood, bone, and gore
as I patiently wait
for the one I adore.

Pale face crisscrossed
with scars and nails,
I hear him bludgeon his kin
and destroy their entrails.

He pulls me up from Hell’s depths,
reattaches my skin.
He sews up each hole
where a meat hook had been.

He wraps me in sheets
and returns me to bed,
then crawls back through my teeth
to sleep in my head.

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We’re all a bit nutty – or naughty. Your choice.

we’re all a bit nutty
some more than others
but if I had my druthers
and could choose between
a little
and a lot
I would choose to be
a bit more nutty
than not


I read this poem aloud to someone who thought I’d said it this way:

we’re all a bit naughty
some more than others
but if I had my druthers
and could choose between
a little
and a lot
I would choose to be
a bit more naughty
than not

Feel free to choose whichever version you prefer 🙂

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Free verse: Time Zones

I wrote this on a plane between Atlanta and Orange County CA airports after realizing I’d be back in Pacific Time but the person I most wanted to talk to would not be.

Time Zones

if you
are asleep
in my tomorrow
wherever you are
is much too far
from my
today

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From Found Words Rise the Tasks of Messengers (Part 3)

Originally, this series was to be based on one book. But as I sat down to write at PF Changs this evening (my usual poetry writing venue) I realized I didn’t have the book with me. So now the series includes words found in any book I happen to have handy! Tonight it is Shane Snow’s “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success”. Note to all y’all who don’t like business-y books: any book that begins with a guys-playing-Nintendo story must be awesome. Anyway, I followed my found words model by using primarily words near the end of sentences on the pages noted in the poem title. Unlike the previous poems that seem all wise and advisory, these have no relation to book subject matter. Here is the first Smartcuts-sourced poem:

Smartcuts p. 1-2

Idaho Dump

people emerged
the usual buildup
scrawny and rent-free
but odd
this day
this time
no game
no limit
they beat beat beat
their brothers countless
into the pit

my stopwatch
28 seconds
a world record I’d bet

See the first two parts of this series based on words from “Happiness is an Inside Job” by Dr. Sylvia Boorstein:
From Found Words Rise the Tasks of Messengers (Part 1)
From Found Words Rise the Tasks of Messengers (Part 2)

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From Found Words Rise the Tasks of Messengers (Part 2)

Two more poems inspired by words in the book “Happiness is an inside job” by Dr. Sylvia Boorstein. Read From Found Words Rise the Tasks of Messengers (Part 1) for the background and first three poems.

p. 12
in recognition of myself
I fall embittered
into accommodating
just to accommodate

this natural connection to suffering
is my declaration of life

p. 12-13
a possible peace
through wisdom learned
controls
inevitable contention

Creating these makes me feel very wise, even though I’m just rearranging words and adding others. Perhaps that’s just what poetry is: the moving of words. Like those little puzzles where you have to slide the tiles around to make a picture, I slide words around until I find the poem that was already there.

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