An oak looms in the garden,

My effigy of pain,

I’ve not climbed since May’s rain,

When soaked hands slipped,           bones broke, skin ripped,

And I ran inside, alone.

Friends on the oak’s limbs beckon,

Enticing me outside.

In my kitchen, I’ll hide.

Wood can’t harass    me through paned glass,

Crouched, back to the door, alone.

If I could see the arm that reached to stand me up again

To climb the oak, to rest upon not ground, not under limbs;

If I could see the tree anew,

Not sharp as black but multihued,

With eyes not mine to recognize

Insects and birds, the clouds and sky.

The oak waits in the garden.

I climb its trunk again.

Scent of rain, shouting wind—

Rustling leaves          can’t hinder me

From escaping my prison.

How I Would Paint Success

Blackbeard in an Armani

His cross-bone skibbies ride over a sharkskin belt

A white-and-red mint hides his Gehenna breath

Clean-shaven scars swath his cheeks and chin

And his sword arm waves against the sky

That I would row! row! row!

Scurvy Dog in a suit




A ribeye of wagyu

Over applewood embers

On the grill of Hephaestus, himself

But under the char

Maggots burrow

And gnaw its rot

And smear their feces

Along its marbled halls




Gallumpher peaves upon his perch

He breathes harumphs with eyes alight

With haunches coiled to frackalurch

In holes of rabbits white


And once unleashed he prangs a-fro

Upon scents of his tarrid prey

Who’s fickened to its hides below

From my Gallumpher’s bray


A first door, third door, fifth door, tenth

His bearage folls on flanks of wrath

Into the welks, the Labyrinth

To flesh its bony path


Trophizing with his cartographs

He whimsies me under the world

Thence through the Fae with ember laughs

Ho! Nightwing! Be defurled!

Fettered Fett

Boba Fett

was chompchompchomped

he thundered

over ship and sky

by jetpack

he caught Chewy and Han and Lando and Luke and Leia

in chains and cables and carbonite

in silence


untethered by gadgets

kerfuffled by

a giant groundbound mouth

how does it taste

you thousand year old belch

you gastric juice of




you unflappable merc you


Fett ends up escaping the sarlacc in the wider Star Wars lore. I intended this poem to be read from an Episode V-VI perspective.

Three Forms, One Frame

This is a poem to Jon, my true friend,

To a vagrant like me, a road on which to end,

A beachfront retreat without fence or police.

Against my gusts and drops and shouting hail,

He stood, anchored, like a bastion, laughing—

Silent, shoulders bobbing, drool slathering his chin;

His stomach, eyes, face, and dignity all puckered.

And when my rains battered his laugh, he guffawed,

Until my winds died down and my own shoulders bobbed.

When, as it does, the tide pulled him to sea,

I wandered a year until home returned,

Not Jon but Jon infixed with an ‘h,’ with a different voice and face—

Perhaps different in form but with the same frame.

Wide windows replaced the self-portraits I hang

(I threw a few out because of mustaches he’d paint),

Adorning the air with pine forests, salt, and waves,

Until he left again, as before.

But a model had been made from his frame, which became

Mysti, my wife, my home until hospice,

Not the first Jon or the second John but the last.

Prior to this, I hadn’t attempted poetry in years. And unlike wine, my craft has not aged well. It’s more like this morning’s coffee. In an earlier draft, the succubuses (I have heard “subbubi” is outdated) Rhyme and Rhythm seduced me. But for lack of mastery, I sacrificed English to please them. Only after some pointed, but appropriate, criticism, did I realize my mistake. I have since removed those lines, which seems to have helped.