Blackbird an online journal of literature and the arts Spring 2008 Vol. 7 No. 1




No easy choices or peripheral vision‚ really‚
conversations begin and end on a leer

cleft with trilled penny whistle‚ mule whips‚
a disembodied chorus chanting tee-yah

in cracked Italian. When I reach for milk
tumbleweeds skirr the kitchen’s gold linoleum‚

spurred west by some unholy sibilance
I fear isn’t wind or the late bus from Fresno.

Spare me the trash empiricism and keep your
paws off my Steinway baby grand.

Here comes sunset‚ rouge mantling Monterey‚
the bay freesia with crass halogen yacht-light.

Night‚ blue ether coils the spruce
cowering in my backyard like orphans

and I’m wordless‚ hogtied by muted
notes the botched player piano strides

only once‚ when the nefariously tan villain
drops a straight flush‚ pulls back his eye patch

and points to shadow‚ air between the ivories
my right hand can’t understand or chord.

Buck up‚ partner. I’m mayor of this city.
You mosey inside‚ practice Misty for me.  

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