Tag Archives: the weather

Regular Poem: Unhealthy Air Quality for Sensitive Groups

4 Apr

and here i was thinking

the violet fog
hazing and blurring the edges of the twilight sky
filling in the space between breaths
with puffs of metal and magnolia blossom

was something romantic and
a harbinger of spring

rather than pollution and
a portent of doom

don’t know what caused the spike in particulates
this particular evening
but at least it’s pretty
in a fading bruise kind of way

Regular Poem: Biological Metallurgy

8 Apr

it’s metallic in the morning
gunsmoke fog
that smells like welding rods
wetness in the air shifting and balling up on the windshield like mercury

it’s metallic in the morning and it
sticks in my hair
adheres to my foundation

and i sweat it out later
fine iron filings

i oxidize and rust
and taste it in my mouth
smell it on my body

afternoon is molten and burnished
a smell of copper in the sunshine
i’m a shiny new penny in my hammock

and night
gunsmoke fog rolls in
smelling like slag again

Regular Poem: Liminal Spaces

8 Oct

it’s one of those


that means something
and you know it in jolts and spasms but not in


you have to look it up every time
before you use it for real

but you think it
feel it
all the time


a corner to turn
and you double check the street sign as you do it

a door to open
and you double check the address as you do it

a pond to jump in
and you double check the depth as you do it


certain spaces are heavy dense

of something not themselves
but what they’ve been before
and what a sense of them is
or might be
or could be

a hot car on a rainy night
fog and shadows and smears of reflection
thoughts jittering and skittering

a rainy night four years ago
drunk and upset
same car
different roads
same person
different different same same

a rainy day ten years ago
same car
same smell
a passenger who said
it smells like mocha
maybe it did
maybe it does
maybe that’s just cheap leather seats and smoke and

surreal encounters
a wet sheen over everything
hazy and hopeful faint and foreboding and on the cusp of something


she and i
talk about a lot of things
but it always
sooner or later
turns to murder
theoretical hypothetical intellectual

an exercise of wits
but still

she knows

my preference is
(would be)
physical intimate
rage and release

i know

her preference is
(would be)
tactical efficient
clean and clinical

we run on parallel tracks
but one of us is freight the other passenger
i don’t know which is which
but the coal is burned the same


she and i
talk about a lot of things
but it always
sooner or later
turns to how brains work
how we think what we think when we think
of certain things we think of

i pry into her mind pick apart question analyze
her mind is such a mine
coal copper silver gold
all stunning and worth so much

if i could live in someone else’s brain for a day
to experience the cogs
to calibrate the gear ratios
it would be difficult to choose
i’ve known so many bizarre individuals
but i would ultimately choose her

it wouldn’t be as much of an adventure
so much as an equal and opposite force
we come to the same conclusions different ways
love the same things for subtly different reasons

a dining car on a train
a mess hall on a battleship


i wouldn’t know how
to exact revenge

i am a woman bound to temporality
i know the now
and have vague feelings about the then

sharp pangs of acute memory
encased in murky impressions
and then
a lightning flash of something stupid

i read an article once
about a woman who
survived a lightning strike because of the underwires in her bra

of course i don’t remember the details
the how and why

i remember deciduous and coniferous trees
i remember adverbial objectives
i remember bogs and fens
i remember a certain kiss

but i don’t remember all the specific slights

i exist in a temporal plane


joke’s on you
she laughs

she uses my phrases

we’ve come to be

i’ve always thought
in spite of myself
her hands were sexy

and now
even though we were meant to hate each other
even though they wanted us to somehow balance each other

see each other
match each other
protect each other
care for each other
know each other

love each other

we exchange words that express this
but we also
and more offen and importantly
exchange actions

i wouldn’t care to spend time in her brain
she ought to have something that’s hers alone

i don’t wonder how she thinks

i know

she’s smart
and thinks things i think and things i don’t

i simply
love her for all of it


i’ve been trying
to tell people

i’ve been trying
to show people

i love you
you’re worth something

i say to him
you can share the gospel
without sharing The Gospel
if you don’t cultivate a relationship

you have to care for and love a person for that person
to wonder about
the care and love inside you
where does that love come from
why do you care so much

he likes it
but it’s platitudes

i wish i could be as good as i sounded


it’s one of those


it’s one of those


i heard you want to buy a houseboat
she says
but that’s not here
she also says

perhaps she would miss me if i moved away

but that’s so fake and fantastical

it’s just
one of those things
that engenders that sort of reaction

it’s just one of those



dictionary definitions

i have a lot of feelings about dictionaries
i have a lot of feelings

i have a lot of words

i have a lot and so little

Regular Poem: Blue Moon

30 Jan

is a full moon
a blue moon
a blood moon
a supermoon
a moon a moon
the same and different
the sane and insane
gertrude stein could do it better

i dress for you
and you don’t know
or maybe you do
surely you might

surely you might
but i don’t spend my time
thinking about that
i’m too selfish
or not selfish enough

i dress for you
a different you
than the first you
pronouns are wonky and ambiguous
that way
you inspire me
and i identify with you
and i want to touch you

oh shit that’s both yous
but different ways

first you
it’s physical chemical pheromonal
insinctual obsessive
ridiculous illogical
corner you
in the butterfly house at the botanical gardens
seduce you seduce you
incite you entice you

second you
it’s metaphysical intellectual
instinctual obsessive
corner you
tell you tell you

your mind to my mind my mind to your mind

what could i learn from that
what would i not want to learn from that
caressing your brain
a third you

third you
if my mind and your mind
would we hate each other
surely you might
hate me
i could never hate you
you’d try not to hate me
save me
from myself

the three yous
are the maiden mother crone
but i can’t sort them
the three yous
are the different same full moons
and i can’t sort them

i can’t sort them
i can’t sort
at all anymore

i know
there is



tomorrow is a full moon

Regular Poem: Hammock Nap

11 Apr

a hammock nap
is the best nap
a sunshine nap
waking up to a soft breeze
looking up to see
a large bird veering toward you
then away
pretending it’s an eagle

a hammock nap
doesn’t do you dirty
like a couch nap
leave you bewildered and ten years older
like a bed nap

a hammock nap
can give you a sunburn
but that first sunburn of the year
is so revitalizing anyway

some waltz of a rain
can chase you out of your hammock
but you always run laughing

a hammock nap
is the best nap

Regular Poem: i always try

10 Apr

i always try
to see the full moon
catch its light
and mystery
memorize its rise and fall
note any weird thing
about it

jupiter is supposed to be close
but i’m so bad at astronomy
my naked eyes
are more naked than eyes
can discern only the most obvious
venus is usually easy
mars if he’s pointed out to me

it’s not dark enough
to find jupiter
just yet
i could probably
read another chapter of my book
in the dying light
but i’m not doing that

i’m peering
at the moon’s pink halo
in the still periwinkle sky
wishing i could cajole the telescope
in my possession
(it’s not mine but it’s at my house
and that counts for something)
into showing me things

i fantasize
about taking it onto my roof
knowing how to use it
telling myself stories
about the stars
piping maria callas
into the night
and dreaming in the dew

Regular Poem: There’s Plenty

23 Apr

there’s plenty
to be said about
a full moon

but a waxing gibbous
has its charms

a yearning
an expectation

and a waning gibbous
that hint
of loss and regret

and even a new moon
is sexy
with enough fog
on those nights
you can see an outline
a shadow of a shadow
a silhouette
of the moon dressing
behind her chinese curtain

and in a few days
there’ll be enough of a crescent
to call it a first quarter
and the name sounds too much like football
just like gibbous sounds too much like a monkey
the moon phases
ought to be called
by gemstones
or greek gods
or old movie stars
or even mathematical theories
sexy and mysterious
and flowing off the tongue
like an ancient language
mystical and gutteral and silky
a velvet evening
in soft rays and whispers and muted trumpet
or the sensual scratch
on the low strings of a violin
that never see much action
except in saint-saens concertos
and reverberate in your gut
and make your hair stand up
in excitement and longing
for something you wouldn’t even want to name
as the longing
is a restless desire
and exciting because it is unnamed and unknown

a full moon
is only
for a few minutes
after all

and it dances from waxing to waning
in a day or so
pulls veil after veil
aligns fan after fan
always hiding and revealing
a burlesque
a tease

even when it’s full
one hundred percent illumination
there’s always the side you can’t see
will never see
that’s her real ace

there’s plenty
to be said about the dark side
of the moon

but all of it
is supposition
rumor hearsay gossip myth
romantic notions
and grand tales
metaphor and magic
a few people
have been there
but none of them were me
i wouldn’t want to go
i prefer the intrigue
i refuse to even do the
tennis ball and lamp experiment
for fear of losing mystique
and wonder
don’t you just love wonder
a good mystery
is only as good as the investigation

there’s plenty
to be said about the moon
and there’s plenty
not to be said

Regular Poem: Blood Moon

4 Apr

the moon wasn’t even bloody
it wasn’t even
big just yellow
kinda bright i guess

tonight though
i watched it rise
from a huge orange slice
barely creeping over the edge
sinking its teeth into
a wheat field

it must’ve had
a gluten allergy

as it clawed its way up the
black blue sky
with no clouds to even tie a rope to
it became oranger and bigger

and then shriveled
as it got higher

venus knows how to use
an epi pen luckily

Regular Poem: She’s the kind

11 Apr

I promise I finished this poem on April 10.  My picture and caption took me longer than I’d hoped.

She’s the kind
of lady who likes
to make an entrance–
in furs and finery,
silver cloaked,
with shimmering smokey make-up (dark and decadent),
pearls glistening and teeth
glistening more.
She is mysterious and aggressive and cold and languid
and in charge.

She glides in
whenever she feels
by some ill wind
blowing gales of wet lace and cloudy diamonds
down and through and in and out and up.

She’s taken to being late
coasting into your place
at that hour when
the party’s over
but the melody lingers on,
and she wants to dance.
And you have to let her.

And so she dances,
does a frigid fandango,
a frosty foxtrot,
a glacial gavotte,
a polar pavane.
And you stand watching.
There’s something very elegant
about her,
but you still wonder
when she’ll leave.

And if she’ll show up on your doorstep
in a few weeks
expecting you to take her stole
and kiss her lovingly
and ask all about her life.

And when she does,
you won’t want to do any of those things,
but you will do all of those things.
Because she does as she pleases.
Because she’s that kind.

Ice Roses Spoiler Alert: This poem is about how winter is kind of a presumptuous witch. For example, it was 75 degrees yesterday, and this rose bush is still confused about why it’s encased in ice today.
Book 'Em, Jan O

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