Sunday, February 23, 2014

Outside the Lines

Michael J. Cluff

—Michael Cluff, Corona, CA

I will easily admit
to slamming Eustace
smack in the head
with that thick
black, dented
frying pan,

Drina said,

no smile though
except in her voice,

over in the nice, clean
sink there.

It was
the only,
out of many
and untrue, ways
to get him
to finally pay
some attention
to me.

If he's bleeding bad
or messed up in his head,
it will learn him
to listen
to me
when I speak
real cozy-like to him.


—Michael Cluff

She left
an empty bottle,
of Vanilla Lace spray perfume

Just a sixteenth-inch
of light amber
almost a cream soda-colored puddle
knocking slowly
against the clear
cold glass sides.

No smell remained,

an oddity

either due to the time
between use and departure

or the sinus infection
I have suffered through
since last Sunday

her Sabbath
not mine,

and the new penny
from 2005—
who knows?


—Michael Cluff

Julia and her French toast
or with maple syrup
has sweetened my life up
without the stickiness of convention.

And her son Neal
and daughters Amber and Eileen
only add to it when
he, she, they, us and me
color inside the lines in blue and gravy
but outside in cyan and indigo.


—Medusa, with thanks to Michael Cluff for all the poems he sent to Medusa before his passing this week. Today's poems are some of the first of his posted here; they were part of the feature on him that was in the Kitchen on June 5, 2007. For updates about Michael and his passing, keep watching his Facebook page. Your words will live on, Mike! 

—Photo by Katy Brown, Davis