I had an anxiety attack to the tune of “Dust in the Wind”

the sky is too open

with no confessor to be found;

the cravings multiply:

flannel on an autumn porch

mouths too busy to talk

silence with no judgement

boots or books pushing onward

to a darkened view of an angel

back-alley revelation

fragments of flesh that don’t fit

but want to be held together

and (oh god!) be loved

the feeling of generous friction

where stars used to be found –

don’t let the world awaken yet

quiet spaces in the forest

lists of things to remember

keep. pressing. buttons.

a lifetime of foolish choices

based on inward frenzy

and a faraway call for peace

Aisle 13

People were lined up at least seven deep.

They wanted red meat and kale

and deliverance from endless flossing.

I only wanted cookies.

The rain clouds were moving in.

Cookies were being baked in a corner.

A coffee display toppled over.

A woman with caterpillar lashes sold stamps.

A tabloid extolled the bravery of couture.

A baby cried.

I wonder how Gershwin would score this.

I know Man Ray would see a tragicomedy.

I would take tea from a chipped cup in Dresden

and imagine a garden of books

with some pages filled, some open and empty.

Degenerate trajectories

I wanted to be

a less caustic Kurt Vonnegut or

a less condescending Ray Bradbury

with a touch of Holly Hobbie

and maybe a smattering

of Dolly Parton.

I now drive a wagonload of Frank O’Hara

mixed with shredded Mrs. Roper,

though I’m not full-muumuu yet…

Artificial Intelligence tells me I look like

Kate Winslet or Nat King Cole

and while I wish for timeless elegance,

I rather think I’m a goldfish

not far from the final flush.

I may spend more time making shortbread

than poems, but I like to think

when you’re through with me,

you feel you’re reading spirograph art.

Bruised Benedictines

A song of a faraway river

carried through winding lanes

and complicated highway systems.

How could we know we’d find

we were coordinating puzzle pieces

across miles of moon-kissed clouds?

No counting moments, no looking

forward, no breath for remorse,

no worry of what has passed.

A touch of understanding,

one bruised child to another,

the song gains strength.