Verses of Desperation

January, 2014


Linda Ronsdatt has Parkinson’s.

Glenn Campbell has Alzheimer’s.

The third knuckle on my left hand jammed

a fourteen o’clock angle, due neither

to pity nor to love.


The orange eye of a peacock glares,

a weight equal to that of his brain.

The bird spreads, a silver moon-rain fountain,

albino cascades glorious as god’s bride.

Also stupid, no?


The doorknob on the bathroom

has broken fourteen times.

What does that tell you, Mr. Snowden,

about doorknobs, about privacy,

or the cryptography of Mexico?


On market day a vendor clutches in her fist

wild orchids, purple flowers whose roots hang

limp as chicken feet, dead with broken claws.

From her other fist a feathered corpse dangles,

its comb soft and intricate as orchids.


Why do I tell you this? To seek your pity.

Why seek your pity? Oh, the sun is hot.

Where’s the cooling sea? Seek it everywhere.

Bring home a crippled dragon I can slay

easily, because I’m weary and far from sleep.