Parable of the jack pot

Nose running, he rifles through piles of unfolded clothes looking not for the library books which are due today but for everyday handkerchiefs you say you are lonely and wish you had someone to talk to the trick is to stay amicable strangers he finds nasal-remedy-counter-wiping-dish-cleaning-spill-absorbing bits of cut-up-cotton beneath the burnished sink exclaiming I hit the jackpot! As if he had–the neon casino, the human animals trained on slot machine monotonies and the tall handsome kid who just needs a piece of something to blow his nose hitting jackpot with a cascade of washcloths emerging from whatever machine or game or apparatus you might win them from

You might win them and not know you had won because you don’t expect things you win to be old, worn, ordinary

Hoping instead for quarters, bright metonymical poker chips things of value in the gambling sense of course bright bits of new, new noses, running, treasury things, hit-or-miss, a gamble,

Stranger.

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He speaks to us in parables

I leave the shower curtain on the living room floor and the little boy who does and does not resemble us takes it up, exclaiming, the periodic table! with the remains of his little boy voice.

Later, after forgetting and days of heavy gravity, I lift the curtain and pierce each hole again, arms growing heavy-diagonally, the way trees grow.

Admire the way they have been ordered each in their brightly colored boxes. Iron, gold, carbon, oxygen, and the exotic ones we seem to have conjured to fill up the empty places.

  • There whether we see or not.
  • Unchanged by our indifference.
  • Three or more dimensional even if we only see them flat.
  • Elements and symbols for when full words seem to be not enough

He speaks to us in parables.

Our Savage Selves

I don’t own a gun but I am grateful the barefoot neighbor in Sutherland Springs did.

Every time we face the devastation of a mass shooting in this country I want to say things like:

We cannot monetize an entertainment culture of violence and not expect it to sway the unhinged.

If we want “better” gun laws we have to enforce the ones we already have.

Andhow many of us know there will be a fatal gap between when 911 is dialed and when help arises?

Without civil accountability in public safety

There is no safety at all.

How to clean a toilet

When I tell you I found the old mushroom-colored sweatshirt which saw us through thick and thin you will know I am talking about the way the Romans used to have it done, long pole, wad of cloth, vinegar soaked as we raise it to the real hero, his naked pain, the way he eschews ordinary safety for a stretched-to-the-limits agony

I take the brush, add the cleanser, wipe it all down with an uneasy litany

Drab for color

Old for young

Plain for beautiful

Forgotten for remembered

He says

Me for you

Death for life

Life, everlasting.

Baby Jane Doe

I had not expected you to be

Consumed in a blast of politicized mambo-jumbo

Then just as suddenly

Reduced to silence

when the wolves got what they came for

You–downy layer of protective hair

Beating heart, the ability to grasp and suck and distinguish

Light and the way things taste

Orange-sized child

If I could have pressed my face close

To your mother’s belly

You could have picked out my voice

Telling you how much I wanted you

To live.

Me n’ Hillary down by the schoolyard

I have been pro-life, pro-woman, pro-child my whole life. So to be accosted by strangers and friends as somehow anti-woman and anti-feminist for not voting for Hillary Clinton for anything is astounding to me.

Why would I vote for militant anti-child women?

If I am a feminist it is my job to speak out about the brutal forced abortions reflected in worldwide abortion statistics as well as the now incontrovertibly evidence of anti-female fetal termination.

Which in lay-woman’s terms is killing baby girls.

No. Hillary Rodham Clinton was never the feminist choice. This is us, gone missing.