Quiet Savage

I roll over in the night —

Under lonely, comfortless blankets —

my heart flopping gently against my lung,

wet and heavy.

It must be a sin

to feel this vital organ as if I were

tossing it, warm and rhythmic,

from hand to hand —





Knight of Dada (with apologies to Salvador Dalí)

Sometimes, as I walk around out in the world, I feel like I am the only sentient creature here. The lovers in the park are wind up dolls repeating the same embrace again and again. The cashier behind the register is a cleverly programed artificial intelligence with a great smile, glittery eyes, and glowing wit. The cars driving by on the narrow streets are merely battery powered playthings. Even the crows’ and mockingbirds’ and sparrows’ songs are canned, coming from somewhere outside a line that looks like a jet contrail across the too blue sky.

I’ve been set down here on this sidewalk, only gaining awareness as my feet settle onto the rippled concrete. The desert sun on my skin doesn’t even warm me yet, and I sense that if I could just turn around fast enough, I would see giant, childlike fingertips disappearing behind the perfectly white, wandering clouds cut out of cotton batting and then sprinkled stingily overhead.

I clutch my left arm with my right hand: flesh and bone, warmish to the touch.

Occasionally, the sense of surrealism becomes so strong that I can hardly wait to return to the weird waves of dream where at least I will see people I know and everything will be familiar, even the utterly unknown.

Last weekend I danced a salsa with a handsome man who laughed when I fell out of step, but never lost his own way. When I looked down, the ceramic floor beneath our feet had turned to ocean waves. Sometimes, surreal is sweet. Even if it means the timepiece is dripping, deliciously – like melting chocolate — over the edge of a barren landscape.