These mops don’t smell too good no matter how many ways you soak
Them, frayed and rattled like the ends of torn tendons, spliced especially
So the silken ligatures slowly dissolve into flesh, absorbed like a child
Takes everything as possible until proven otherwise, stories that evoke
Senses of place in young imaginations are impatient seeds of epics, fully
Flowered when the sun burns the cultivated ground, a harvest reconciled
To our contentment, we can all agree on a balance, what should be is not
What shouldn’t, and should objections open another cavity into our chest,
Beasts will make this hole a home, leave bones of prey and lovers, drawings
Of hunts and conquests, ageless and ancient, no carbon dating will assign
The artist’s pigment a circa, an opus, a period, even a ballpark figure at best
Falls within limits of our ken, a language of thought that dances and sings
With each idea, each fresh soldier still, a weeping mother on his mind
Fading with every deflowering, solace turns to lunacy like an old friend
Both raising an instant brow acknowledging a reference too obvious
To leave ignored, their timing so perfectly coincident that laughter ensues
Unashamedly, bottles of the same vintage opened and turned on end
Until every residue distilled from the old country bears a serendipitous
Remorse at such behavior, the influence of teachers who scold and refuse
To hear excuses, each one a litany on parade, new majorettes in old uniforms
Twirling from the knob end against every other beat, dyed ostrich feathers
Blowing like a cool blue flame against a flat-bottom kettle, its steamy whistle
Begging for relief, searching for shelter from all soul-encircling maelstroms,
Exhausted, treading around and around a hub that is a hole, your wet hair:
A fiery whip and a golden veil, punishment and protection like this will
Mean your journey should continue, it must go on, never without incident,
But surely with no harm or indefinite delay, a lingering of legs entwined
For a season or two perhaps, not much longer before roots dig deep, tangled
In tight knots around our graves before we know it, days and weeks spent
Settling into the past like contents during shipping, new products left behind
When the heavy factory doors slammed for a final bolting, all the chain led
Workers having already moved their families into freshly painted suburbs,
Layered new sod so green and treeless where amber waves grew to heaven,
Where heaven held the hearts of generations, blessed the hallowed ground
With those they loved, toiled to excess, fed the world from what now are curbs,
Stylish hybrids idle in hidden driveways as soccer moms leave their children
At practice, errands and caffeine calling the fiber of their beings to new-found
Malls, especially more caffeine for the special cup, the special words spoken
On nearly every corner, summon blue tooth wanderers into wi-fi wilderness
And espresso breath, hopped up on social networking lest we forget voices
Speak most clearly from the heart when filtered through time’s sacred token,
Doubt measured against decisions we made before coming of age, accountable
To ourselves, mostly, and to those from whom we grew, we consciously caress
The flesh of our flesh and teach them our lives turn pale given all the choices
Of trampled paths, forks with which we cannot eat beneath our kitchen table

The Cleaning

Work continues the same everywhere
Beginning again in the early evenings
Into the nights and mornings as quietly
Changed into white clothes we wear
Surface layers of dust that air brings
Are wiped again until the cloth is slightly
Shaded where fingertips polished the hue
From flesh to cloth a mild vinegar scented
Astringent of sorts, the final mortal flavor
Held to thirsty lips, an ancient chiseled statue
Cleanses daily filth from pure and repented
Fixtures that furnish the house of our Savior

chicken went down

our wonderful household is wonderful in our wonderful house: two cats, a rabbit still living and thriving indoors only. A legion of expired pets are buried or somehow inaccessibly disposed within property lines of our sweet residence. And so, as my blessed wife left for a week’s fun in Florida, her final pleas to me before closing the back door upon leaving were these: take out the garbage because it stinks; please make sure the cats have an extra bowl of water and a heaping bowl of food; please change the paper in the rabbit cage and see that Cici (the rabbit) has plenty of water and food too.

But an hour before she left, my beloved apologized to me and begged that I cut the chicken, I didn’t necessary have to de-bone the thing, but I at least remove the remaining breast meat into separate bags and place them in the freezer. Would I please do it now because I’ll forget about it if I don’t.

I didn’t. And I did. (more…)

About Style Guides

Use them consistently. It makes your writing more betterer.
Consistency comes in as many flavors as different spellings for the same word and all variations of correctly punctuating the same sentence. Rules is rules. Adhering to them establishes credibility. Breaking them is okay if done consistently and to make a point. We call such consistency in writing style. Excellent writers have a style, call it a voice, identifiable as their own even though that voice follows rules the writer would rather not. Competent editors and publishers see to it. Compromise happens, sometimes. It’s a process. It’s credible and/or creditable. But go with one or the other. Make sure a word means what you want it to mean, and be consistent.

Babies are Gross

Birth. Our nephew’s daughter entered Earth’s atmosphere in the vicinity of San Antonio. Hardly a moment later photos came as email attachments, precious new yet-to-be-swaddled human, her waxy white and vernix coat softening the blushing red. Other than in emails, this image was spared social media exposure as far as we know. The parents are commended.
The joy of a new family member spread quickly to the other side of the world. Our daughter in Seoul quickly shot back her observation. “Babies are gross.” Such candor attests to her lineage, and the adage: she is her father’s daughter. I’m so proud.
She’s right, you know. She, at birth, was no exception. None of us are. Caesar’s entry into life and exit from his mother, the method of which bears his name, was probably more especially gross. And of course all the accompanying baggage, you know, that cord and a couple of square feet of amniotic membrane, the child’s weight in placenta, have got to go somewhere and aren’t going to dispose of themselves.
Even the immaculately conceived Jesus, vaginally birthed in circumstances so abjectly humble as to emphasize the glory of his virgin mother’s deliverance, halos all around, angels attending, afterbirth lost somewhere in the hay, not unusual for that kind of place.
Civilization removes the grossness of childbirth. But there’s no escaping the reality. I was born in my father’s absence as was the custom in those days. He was in the waiting room down the hall. One could argue that my mother wasn’t even there. I don’t know if she was anesthetized for the event, also an easy option of the times. As for me? I don’t remember. And no manner of hypnotic regression will change that. What would be the point. My mother tells me she thought I looked like a red rat when she saw me for the first time. And looking at the black-and-white of me as a newborn, I’ve got to agree.