Friday, November 16, 2012

Moon Tracks

—Tom Goff, Carmichael

Sleepless, I ramble in bed, not wanting sleep
but telepathy to connect my restless mind
with my uneven heartbeat, hoping to find
wide open that trail both agents can trace and keep.
I imagine you dark of hair and pale of skin,
then conjure the sweetest things you’ve said in friendship.
Now your silent tears torment me to mend slips:
clumsy offenses I’ve taken—but meant no—part in.
I lie in bed, the white streetlight all around,
piercing my window while it disturbs birds’ rest.
And yet you, not it, the upset igniting the nest,
thoughts whirring without a sound, and hurting without a wound.
The light’s as bright as you, and like you a mist:
soft, silent and fine, it cuts me like amethyst.


—Dewell H. Byrd, Central Point, OR

sneakin crost my winder sill
quiet as you please
silverin hair on my arm
you aint got no rain
to still my ackin pain

g'wan atta here anyhow
taint no sleep left in me
do yer biziness sommers else
i got no growl with you

gonna be nother burnt corn day
feels it in my bones
hunert or more
taters turnin black 
tomader vines rattlin in dry wind

git on outna here now
cover yer tracks with rainin clouds
seasonin the groun
don't wanna see you gin till
pickin time
or spoonin.

—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

Herman would be one with the night
His shoes of very freshest leather
his eyes now Mephisto bright
can see through all fogbound weather
to bring his scalpel and some flesh together
amateur coroner, but classroom bound
he slices through avenues without a sound
students and corpses equal in all
to him are placed in a pyre mound
some false, some real, some spring, some fall.


Without the ambivalent noise
of an electrical appliance
humming away on the armoire
the sleepless night arrives
and the listing
of inanities begins:
the bill of less injury to be paid
the color of Aunt Sonya's hair
beef wellington vs. Swiss steak
bengal vs. tigers' striping
atoms blending into Adams
danios in an aquarium too near the outside reflectors
the dry cleaning Cousin Elgin leaves unclaimed
effigies on a southern campus——
on that
the circle I have always hated
returns to the place it started at
fifty-six years ago
rimmed with Rebels and magnolias

—Michael Cluff


—Caschwa, Sacramento
Oh how I miss you
the apple that never grew
that I never got to chew
grasshoppers came through
there was little we could do

An earthquake hit the town
toppling buildings down
from common to reknown
insulting to the crown
there was little we could do

I just wanted to holler
when I reached for a dollar
and it had gotten smaller
while the bills stacked up taller
there was little we could do

common grasshoppers
insulting a dollar that never grew
while the buildings stacked up taller
hit the apple, miss the town
oh there was little to chew



A doctor saw a drummer boy who said
his father beat him daily on the head
they waltzed on water like Saint Peter
each time he went to triple meter
the doctor said to get more rest in bed

I cannot sleep a wink with pillows pink
nor free myself from hearing creatures slink
will mother like the gift I bought her?
can we feel safe to drink this water?
what's dripping now in that old kitchen sink?

the drummer boy could not just go to sleep
beat square upon the head while counting sheep
a day that ends with Russian Roulette
the all night long percussion bullet
his hope for dreams was buried somewhere deep.


Today's LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove

Something just broke.
It think it was dawn.
Nope, it was just a glass.
They can sound an awful lot alike.