I Was No One’s Servant But My Own



I go barefoot when I’m with you


When you’re away

I go to the closet

and consider my shoes



Let Her Dress Herself

She wears a moon on her vest

and a cockroach on her lapel


She’s into every­thing

She’s a hotel for traveling extremes


Her mother noticed early and

let her dress herself



Serious Work Play

I mixed some chocolate in your clay

while you were away


I was just trying to make your serious work





In December just before work I see a sparrow is the color of a tree and say,

“What am I the color of?”


“Anything I’d like!”


And storm off laughing at how simple I am



Pine Cones

Some pine cones scattered on the sidewalk

didn’t spring up as I approached


I really thought they were sparrows



snow bank

a snow bank drifted past my window this evening


i had read about this sort of thing in the movies

and seen it in books

but here?


there it went

right down Hamline Avenue

doing the strangest things


it picked up a mother

daughter and a mail truck



right to the end



A Good Mammal

A good mammal doesn’t play games

with the afterlife, a good mammal

says nothing


Walnuts and worms


A good mammal lets them all fall

thump on the ground

and mingle



Free Tibet

On a corner in Minneapolis there are two signs

across the street from each other


“Free Tibet” and “Free Firewood”


I like the idea that firewood should be freed, and not burned – but

liberated – take this wood home, please, but do not burn it!



The Rat’s Life

I am a rat that approves of the cat’s sedentary life

following sunbeams around on cool autumn days


Oh, to loll sleepily in my oozing pelt,

a hideous dirtball eager for petting


But the sun is the perfect distance from the earth

for the cat’s life we rats envision


One day purring under caresses



Work and Play

Work and Play were separated at birth, blindfolded

and driven in two black limousines with smoked glass windows

to the opposite ends of the earth


Where they were told by hard unscrupulous men

with a strategic plan that they were orphans

whom their mothers had abandoned


But the earth is round, and “opposite ends” means

they live in the same town, on the same street,

surely even in the same bedroom.


Their mother sees them walk past each other every day,

one coming, one going. She weeps, moans, and prays

that one day they will meet.