Table Router With a Carbide Cutter at 20,000 RPM

From the garage dad screams

my name, the tone

shivers me. (I drop the game)

Booming footsteps down the hall, we converge

in the bathroom,

eyes don’t meet.

 

He in and ex hales heavily, groans,

grips his hand pale,

runs water over torn white-and-blood finger.

I just stare

at the spiraling ruby, diffused.

 

A fingernail hangs, I remove it with

what’s at hand—dull scissors

from the medicine cabinet.

He pulls his hand from the water,

(all the more jagged, now clean),

I hastily bandage as if

protecting it from the air.

 

I don’t remember afterward if

he thanked me

or looked me in the eyes

or just went back to work.

We are both men.

Catharsis Revisited

A revision of my first poem ever published (2011): Catharsis


Is God more God at noon

Or midnight?

Man with neck-beard, plump,

Sits alone at lunch

Pretending to read a newspaper so

No one thinks he’s lonely.

All I know is I’m just a person

With acute desire

For tea on this cloudy morning.

The steam warms my face, clearing

My dry and cracked memories.

After reading an inscription: who

Made my desk in Guatemala?

Does sawdust cloud the factory air?

Does the Maker get splinters often?

Does he have two little boys in a corrugated tin shanty?

Yes. They stare up at him with wide brown eyes. Yes;

They invent games with trash.

I’ve never felt a Canadian winter but

I hear it’s like tyranny.

I think tyranny is a good thing

To dabble in.

But my twin bed is more comfortable:

Enveloped in blankets,

A body pillow my companion.

I want my writing to rival

The experience of being alive, but

I don’t know how to do that without discussing

Stepping on freshly chewed gum.

No matter how thoroughly I scour my shower

It still smells like—dorm shower. I wish I could grow

A flower garden in my bathroom. Certainly someone,

Somewhere, has tried.

A withered, bare-chested old man is clouded by

White hair.

He leans over with a pitcher

And smells jasmine, the humidity of the bathroom

Warming his face.

I saw it coming.

In the end a Couple will stare

Into the familiar set of

Soft hazel eyes, and say I do.

For the Rest the end will scour,

Like the raw skin of a scrape before it starts to bleed,

Like shattered teeth.