Tag Archives: love

Bubblegum (#347)

I met her finger first (her cruel, cruel finger)
At Table 12 at Meadowbrook Middle School
During lunch.

It was a Friday.

I know it was a Friday because that was the day
We had our bubble blowing contests.
I was the best.
I was a connoisseur of bubbles.
I knew all the brands of gum,
Bubblelicious, Bubble Yum,
And my favorite, Dubble Bubble.
You never used any other types of gum,
I never chewed any other types of gum.
(except Big League Chew cause it came in a roll)
Never that stick thing in baseball card packs
Or spearmint or peppermint or anything like the adults chewed.
I didn’t care about my breath
Or trying not to smoke.
Gotta go for true bubble gum.
And I was so good, I knew exactly the right pressure to put on the gum.
If I stretched too far, I could feel it.
So when it was too thin and going to pop,
I knew to inhale at the perfect moment so
When it did, it just fizzled down instead.
And when I had it just right,
Just the perfect stretchiness, but also stable,
I could take the gum out of my mouth,
Wad between my thumb and forefinger,
And hold it up to be measured.
It was like art, a sculpture, free floating.
And if you think that was gross to pull the gum out of my mouth,
Remember, I was a 12 year old boy.
There were only two things that were gross–
School bathrooms and girls.
Well, on that Friday I was going for my record.
I wanted to get a 6 incher.
No one had reached that.
It was a perfect day.
No wind so when I took it out of my mouth it wouldn’t warp
In the breeze.
I had three pieces of Dubble Bubble (six times the gum),
It had already lost its flavor so that was perfect.
You needed to find that perfect place with gum
Between flavor and basically, cement.
That was when the bubbles formed the best.
I had done a couple of practice bubbles,
Just to check the elasticity.
I was ready.
A perfect bubble.
Smooth expansion.
It felt strong.
And then just as I was reaching up to pull the wad
Out of my mouth, to get that measured,
In came her finger.
The finger of the devil.



And I wasn’t ready for it.
Couldn’t inhale. No fizzle.
When I imagine it now, again,
I see it like a slow motion film.
A perfect circle
Flattening out
Spreading wide.
Of course I saw none of this.
I just saw gum,
Vaguely pink.
It covered me from ear to ear,
Forehead to chin.
I didn’t even see her walking away.
She didn’t laugh, she didn’t taunt.

Just walking by, thought I would burst your bubble.

Yea, I remember that Friday.

Now this is when the poem changes, right?
That finger became part of a hand I eventually held
And then kissed.
The finger was next to one I put a ring on
In an outdoor ceremony where there was no wind.
I still hate that woman.
In fact, my wife wanted to name our first daughter Isabel
And I said,
You can’t do that.
She will grow up to be called Izzy
And will burst the perfect bubble
Of twelve year old boys
Just because.
Actually, I didn’t say that
Because I don’t want my wife to think I have issues.
I just said,
No, I don’t like how that sounds.
But I was thinking that, really strongly.
And Izzy loved being hated.

We never talked about it,
Frankly, we never really talked at all.
But even now,
Once a year,
I get a package in the mail
Of grape Dubble Bubble
With a sketch of a finger.

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Posted by on August 3, 2020 in new poetry


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Pew Secret (#345)

He looked.
He couldn’t see.

She looked.
He wasn’t looking.
She saw.

She smiled.
He was looking.
She saw.

He smiled.
She wasn’t looking.
He saw.

Others looked.
They weren’t looking.
They saw.

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Posted by on May 11, 2020 in new poetry


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Marilee (#339)

I was there when he brought you
Blue morning glories
Fresh lover
Confident in his kisses

I wanted to tell him
Of your fear of the sky on cloudless days
How you rub your hands religiously in the cold
To keep your fingertips pink
And how he needs to sing to you
In the language of yellows and greens

But I knew you loved him
And would forgive him
And would never tell him
About your perpetual sadness

As you thanked him
For those beautiful flowers
I quietly lowered my blue, blue eyes
As a gift to you

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Posted by on April 5, 2020 in new poetry, Uncategorized


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Deciduous (#326)

It is easy to love a tree in Spring
Budded and budding
Showing you colors you are expecting
Or in Summer
All shade and soft smells
Or in Autumn
When they age with dignity
With leaves dancing
Like couples who learned to waltz
50 years ago.

But in Winter?
Can you love a tree in Winter?
Overly thin
And awkwardly standing
Showing their skeleton
Like a hospital patient
With their gown unintentionally open.

The weather is cold.

The breath I have remaining
Fogs out of my mouth.

Will you love me
In this unforgiving Winter?

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Posted by on September 17, 2018 in new poetry


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Our First Night (#325)

You woke me from a dream about you
To tell me you had been dreaming about me

You would think this would make us soulmates
Or something
Already connected through the ether
Of the subconscious

And maybe we are

But I had been dreaming
Of you trapped in a black room

And you had been dreaming
Of my body separated
Into jagged pieces

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Posted by on September 14, 2018 in new poetry


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gargoyle (#320)

I will wait here for you
a statue
a gargoyle
cast in iron or stone
part of any architecture I can find.
This is how I will survive
all of the storms
I know
have destroyed your other loves.
I will watch
as days and nights chase each other
as water of unwanted devotion
falls away from your turned-away body.

I will be patient.
I will be iron or stone.
You will always know where I am.
I’m the quiet, still thing
in the corner of your life.
Waiting for you.

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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in new poetry


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an itch of you (#318)

my past loves
were palm-tree-bending-winds
invigorating and scary
types of loves

but I have always had an itch of you
middle of my back
can’t quite reach it
constantly there
itch of you

in the eye of a hurricane
or roaming a desert
or while a bomb was dropping
the itch was still there

I know I could have scratched it
if I really wanted to be rid of you
rubbed against a post
or bought one of those long-handled wooden claws
but part of me understood
your itch was important

and finally, now,
a wiser, surer man
I am ready to revel
in a full blown
body covering
rash of you

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Posted by on January 25, 2018 in new poetry


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July 22, 1991 (why Valentine’s Day is not February 14) (#308)

I traveled
beneath the shell
of the white chaos
of single life
searching inside for
color and
but finding neither

(the god of fate
and second chances)
took pity on me
and shot me with his arrow
that is

You spoke to me
in the language of kisses
and I found
the color inside
and the quiet inside

Now I feel no need
for Valentine’s Day
because the shell
that surrounds
is everyday
the voice of

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Posted by on April 6, 2016 in old discoveries


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Yesterday’s decision                     (new)

So I finally decided to go ahead
And decorate the wall
You’ve put up between us.
My mom recommended I place a ficus
Right in front of the wall
To cover it in shadow,
But, as you know,
I kill plants.
So instead I went to IKEA
And bought a couple of faux modern art prints,
Very colorful and obtuse,
To frame the corners
And I put up a couple of shelves
And filled them with knick-knacks
And pictures of our trips together
That I used to think were important.
As I was drilling in the screws
To attach the shelves
I was kind of hoping you would pound on the wall
And tell me to be quiet.
But maybe you weren’t there.
But the wall is pretty now.
It’s a focal point of my room.
I could stare at it for hours.

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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in new poetry


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A simple observation               (new)

The first time teenagers hold hands
On a school trip, say,
They just seem to accidentally
Be traveling the same way
Then they are somehow next to each other
A lot
And then closer and closer
Until their hands
Are coincidentally next to their sides
And they are too close not to touch
Then entwine

They never look at each other
And don’t talk
But in walking this way
They become a couple

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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in new poetry


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