Love is a battlefield (valley of the aging valley girls)

They seemed so cool

with their ragged clothing

artfully draped on anemic shoulders,

disaffected expressions even in the face of joy.

They may have been thinking of how good

it was back in the day, basking in sun

and boiling like lobsters – in a sexy way

and how with enough Aquanet and eyeliner,

they ruled a little part of the world

30 years ago.

Or they may have been wondering

what Camus meant by ‘I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world…’

They may have just been as blank as they looked.

I envied their lack of irony,

looking like refugees from a Pat Benatar video

while stuffing themselves

into their daughters’ pants, heralding the fall

of grace in a world that valued artifice over art.

I loathed them because now

I had that song stuck in my head,

complete with choreography.


Hungry Pavement

His dress reached just above the knee

and he wobbled in heels as though

the tide had gone out


The lush landscape

next to the highway

was a mocking tribute

to a youthful hope


He shifted his handbag

as his slip peeked out to brush

his oily, gnarled knees


Llamas and cows grazed

while passersby absently waved

as if in communion

with a lost nature


He wasn’t sure where he was going

but his lipstick was on point

and his wig blew gently in the breeze


It’s going to be ok,

the air seems to puff out

in a kind of morse code

and it’s nice, even if it’s a lie.

The night whenever possible

Between the Chagall and heaving breasts

were words about the moon,

replete with sparkly imagery and

notions of green hidden behind

summer shadows.

From just inside the door, I could see

both gauzey clouds over the hills

and shellacked parquet in the hall

and oh I wanted to dance…

It’s not a matter of choosing

but trying a little of everything

and blending with night when possible.

Consider me wrecked

When you’re driving home,

passing all the roadkill

and cracked fuel pipes,

watch how the sunset pulls

at trees and clouds

like they don’t want to let each other go.

Velvet 1973


Someone said it would be magnificent

but her knees had burns

from the faux-velvet sofa

and her hair smelled of smoke

with a twist of mimosa

that had seemed a sophisticated choice

at brunch hours before.


He plowed away

and she swatted at memories

of sea foam and molasses.


Lips smashed together,

full of pizza sauce and belligerence,

they were tossed about the cabin

in a thoughtless fever,

forgetting who they were

and where they thought they were going.