Rain Smell

Standard

Overcast skies,

mourning doves crooning,

cars gliding slowly

across soaked asphalt.

Wisps of steam

rise from your teacup,

raindrops streak

down the half-open windows

of the screened-in porch —

pooling on the sills and

trickling from the gutters.

The world grinds to a halt,

just for this moment.

Breezes blow in

through the insect screens,

rustling branches

and carrying

wafts of petrichor

that connect you

to the world you swore

you’ve escaped from.

A few more minutes

out here

couldn’t hurt.

Still Life

Standard

Arranged meticulously,

posed purposefully,

captured faithfully —

life not as it happened,

but a skillful composition.

Sliced pomegranate,

with a few loose jewels nearby,

a vase full of poppies,

wine glasses half full,

a fresh loaf of bread

a steak knife flanking

an empty plate.

We stand on the outside

looking in,

a window to a moment,

forever undisturbed —

not life as it once was,

just an arrangement.

Take this with you,

only in memory,

no flash photography.

Toxoplasma Gondii

Standard

Stay with me, please.

You’re always on my mind.

I don’t care

when you go hide,

or wander far and wide,

scratch the curtains

or knock my glasses

off the table.

Take your time,

I know you’ll be back.

I feel you with me always,

When you’re nuzzled with me

I am stable

once again.

Stay with me please,

because you’re my friend.

I am tamed once I see you–

how little you do for me,

my favorite freeloader.

To every need, I will tend;

you can feed yourself,

bathe,

and live your life without me,

but I’ll do it all — all for you,

that’s what I choose.

Please stay,

you’re always on my mind.

Fission

Standard

Chack

Goes the cue ball,

as it breaks

the tenuous structure

at the start of the game.

We collected these balls,

and set them here

for specifically this purpose.

The purposive percussion,

can have unforeseen side effects,

such as scratches,

shouting matches

or, at worst,

the 8-ball finds a way

to lose you the whole affair.

But with precision and care,

the collisions

and chain reactions you hope for,

carry you through.

A game of pool revitalizes the night.

It brings joy and energy,

that escalates,

as each ball finds its way to a pocket,

out of sight

but not out of mind.

All from the predictable instability

at its outset.

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Pianissimo

Standard

A light touch,

can really pluck

the heart strings.

My heart sings,

at the opportunity,

to practice with you.

But I, at times, am Icarus

too ambitious-

too inconsistent

with the placement of my fingers.

But vigorous no doubt,

My hope is that practice makes me perfect,

I can fine-tune this

day by day,

I just hope the neightbors

have nothing to say.

As they have their privacy,

so do we,

we’ll keep our sour notes

and symphonies,

all to ourselves.

A Limited-Time Offer

Standard

Black and white montages

of your every day

average Joe

miserably failing

at mundane tasks.

Cut to open,

blinding white,

well-lit

studio space-

a prophet enters

to offer liberation.

His promises are grand,

his obligations are reasonable,

he tells you

salvation is yours for the taking;

he shows you

the sacred code

to speak with one of his disciples.

They beckon you

to pay your indulgences,

and enter the promised land

of Convenience.

Judgement day is upon us,

the prophet sweetens the deal,

if you are among the first 200

to accept him,

he will give unto you

a sacred chalice

that is impossible to spill

because of its NASA-inspired design,

but the clock is ticking.

You dial the phone,

but the line is busy.

You cannot live a life

of fear and ignorance

anymore.

When the words of the prophet are with you,

who stands against you?

Once more you dial,

and it rings for 3 minutes,

limbo.

Evil will not prevail today,

you tell yourself,

but you’re not so sure.

You walk in the shadow

of the valley of death,

into the kitchen,

where the reception is better.

One ring begets two,

which begets three

and on the fourth,

Hallelujah!

You have been welcomed

to the pearly gates of Convenience,

where every widget

is yours to order,

for 5 easy payments

of $19.99.

The angel on the other side

Is pleased to inform you,

that you are the 156th caller,

you have earned a sacred chalice

of your own,

what a steal!

Through the Micrometer

Standard

Bit,

by agonizing

bit.

Every tooth will fit

neatly into its

corresponding groove,

so that all

goes smoothly along,

without a drop of oil,

or so help me

God.

I will breathe life into this machine,

by the sweat of my brow,

the skill in my heart

and every tool on my belt.

There is no room for interpretation in my work,

it is so,

or it does not function.

I consult my micrometer,

and make my judgement calls,

which bits can serve,

and which

must be filed down,

beaten flush,

or discarded.

I am the Stradivari

of player pianos,

my creations will help themselves,

play their parts

and serve their needs

with or without you.