lutes of green luster

My father was both an painter and an accomplished classical guitarist …

my father’s art and music:

lutes of green luster playing
sounds of classical
strings as they wound around
paintings sketched with pen-and-ink and
laid in with watercolor wash through
medieval antiphons

with cats in the background

and peanut brittle on the table

with a half-finished crossword puzzle

near his family

across five schisms

the argument was fulsome, true,
but schisms were a way of life:
the enemies of enmity
were at the fifth of main and strife

but we ignored their feeble taunts,
and kept our place along the line:
across five schisms did we go,
acerbic, but still

combustible teeth

I hesitate to say such things…

your silver fillings called last night
to say they’d had enough
of your inconstant frippery
and acting like you’re tough

when everybody knows that you
wear salmon-colored shoes;
and now, a crown is calling you –
your mouth’s just full of news

these stencils for st. patrick’s day
are worth a pretty penny,
but i can’t buy a set right now,
for though my needs aren’t many

i need a stick of butter and
a cable car to go:
to win, in fact,
is just a place
to show

In the Mixolydian Mode

Questions, questions…

why do you write the way you do?
the words you rhythm don’t stand out;
and rhyme’s not what it’s all about –
just give us verses plain and true

i want to sing you songs of hope,
the hope i do not feel today;
i think it’s better, now, this way,
as for a type of link i grope

connection’s fine, but not for all –
for some are locked away, aside;
it isn’t yours to share this ride:
keep masking, pictures of the fall

but i would love you, if we met;
i could be maybe true a friend,
and secret sorrows yours attend
in fashions none are wearing yet

don’t try so hard, don’t even try:
the lasting touch, the warm embrace,
the fingers lightly brush the face
of those who’re really eye-to-eye

i won’t be held by your regard,
or quietly accept my fate:
it’s not too soon, it’s not too late –
to welcome you
to my

fourteen times

the story and the metastory

always, it’s about her
  and about her knowing it’s about her

so much kindness in her voice, arrogance
  only specious in intentional
  vacating of previously occupied
  territory ceded to the opposition

transactional analysis, used
  to good effect upon mountains of
  regret and underneath umbrellas of
  translucent rainbows

young life scrounged
  fourteen times by hotel maids
  who once served hot dogs to
  shy cabinetmakers and window-washers


lies, luscious lies –
  with the occasional truth
  thrown in for flavor

intersection of parabolic interests where
  cold indifference serves as a
  reliable guide

plain plastic platitudes sent
  seventy-six ways into
  walls of wanton