Pareidolia

Standard

Lustrous flame dances

through the stagnant air

projecting an amber halo.

Bloody Mary, we’d like to have a word.

We’ve heard all about your exploits.

Do you hear me?

I can’t help

but get ahead of myself.

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.

The last one lingers

on the tip of my tongue.

The house creaks and settles.

You could be anywhere.

The shadows breathe yet all is still.

Beady eyes glint back at us

poor, naïve souls, I think.

I don’t know.

I hope not.

Do you hear me?

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.

An insistent knock

from outside the bathroom door,

but with no explanation.

Are you there?

I can put a name

to the face

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.


June, 2002

Standard

Friends of friends

gather around the table,

cardboard hats and confetti

strewn about.

One part restaurant,

one part gift shop.

It’s cold in here,

animatronic animals

dance unconvincingly,

vines wind around exposed

pipes.

This place has a great atmosphere.

Recordings of monsoon season

in the Amazon,

echo through unseen speakers.

A prix-fixe menu,

presents the illusion of choice

to people too young

to travel alone.

Kids I spend every day with,

whose names I will soon forget,

don’t talk to me.

A cheerful orangutan robot,

turns it’s head

and says “help me, I’m critically endangered,”

but that’s above my pay grade.

We don’t get to choose

the bricks

that line memory lane.

I wish I could tell you,

“the journey beats the destination”

but I haven’t

gotten there yet.


Apocryphal

Standard

Every one knew

that one kid in town

whose father worked at Nintendo,

so he was privy to everything.

Whose girlfriend went

to a different school,

but he swore

she looked just like Jennifer Aniston.

Who told you,

tearfully, to watch for crocodiles

lurking in the creek

behind your house,

although they are

not native to the region.

Did you think twice

when you dove in again?

Did you do a double-take

at every mossy piece of driftwood?

Is it worth the trouble

to move mountains of horseshit,

or is it better to just

drop the shovel?

Pastels

Standard

The brittle blocks,

Seemed alien first,

Until you pulled them from the box,

Rubbed them on and smeared them in.

With some care and consideration,

And some practice and precision,

Whatever you’re working on,

Will look fuzzy and faded in.

The color binds to the blank space,

In whatever shape you’ve traced,

Wherever it’s been placed.

The mark of a good artist,

Is not the figure on the paper,

But the dark marks on their fingertips,

And passion that sometimes tapers,

But never disappears.

Keep fingerpainting,

But keep from scribble-sniveling,

How easy it is to make drivel,

How easy it was to be Picasso,

Or Van Gogh,

Or Michelangelo,

When you were little.