Friday, April 28, 2006

But Now...

How do you
fall in love with a photograph?
I don’t know,
never have,
but now…

I’ve always
preferred wood
to paint,
even graying and split,
but now…

The back of her head
could have snakes
on rotted skin,
but now…

I don’t care.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Front Lawn Flirt

The Sun is just a tease!
She twirls around
on the front lawn
enticing me to come out,
and dance on wet grass.
I pirouette
from mailbox to water meter cover,
do somersaults
over the hurricane fence.
A bucket full of pansies whispers
from petals to bees,
tiny wings grab
feathers full of air,
like rungs on a ladder
climbing for a safer view.
Dusk starts wiggling gray fingers
through the blond hair
of my dancing partner’s head;
she turns with
the flash of a smile,
then disappears
like never here.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Marked $2.50, obo

I read a poem
about people wearing
helicopter beanies, or
flashing lights on their heads,
if they made love
the night before.
I thought,
should I be so lucky, my
device of signification,
would’ve been sold
at a garage sale
in another life long ago.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Next Taste

She lived life
like a kid scraping fudge
from the sides a bowl,
one dark glob,
after sweet, dark glob,
lips and chin
smeared with the evidence
of the joy in her years.
Her bowl lost flavor, and
the rich, sugary stains
from the reflection
in cold, fixed eyes;
the next taste
was sweetest yet...

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Trading Up

I want to live
in my neighbor’s house,
eat his food,
kick his cat,
watch his grass grow,
drive his clunker of a car,
sleep with his wife,
listen to his kids
say I don’t know,
covet his neighbor’s life,
go back home
and start all over again.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Where Is Your Heart

Where is your heart,
day after the rain?
Is it wringing out wash
you left hanging
to catch night tears?
Is it wandering
a dirt road
with dust groupies
like scavengers,
tearing at your steps?
Did you throw it
on a night stand, like
quarters, dimes and keys,
while you wrapped around foreign words
under sheets you didn’t know?
It’s not here with me
sharing birdsong and petrichor;
where is your heart,
day after the rain?

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Spring Fever

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Thank you Aurora!

Brain Waders

I use hip waders
to wander around my brain.
Some people have cluttered attics
with cobwebs stretching
from lost memories,
to frenzied forays looking where.
Mine’s a swampy bog
with gray-beard moss and
slithering thoughts,
nestled in the tangled essence
of a miasmic fog.
It’s not so bad
being lost
in black-water silence,
as long as you know
to walk around the holes.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It’s A Living

“You’re drunk again!
Go get a job!”
were the words
she flung back on the floor
rolling up to my feet, as
the door slammed in its jamb!
Harsh I thought,
too harsh indeed!
After several beers of reflection
I showered off the insult,
put on the snakeskin boots
she gave me for Christmas,
clicked my heels
over to Wild Cat Willie’s,
and hustled rent
the best way I know.

(This is not autobiographical, by the way)

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Sleight Of Hand

It’s to the audience
we write,
we sing,
we slide a tap
across the sanded floor.
It’s their thoughts
we reach in and steal,
then clone them as our own.
They’re none the wiser
we pick them clean,
they applaud,
they cry,
they laugh for more.
Does that make us thieves?
Is there some primordial
intellectual property law
we’ll be charged with
on Judgment Day?
Who knows?
Who cares?
Is that my hand
in your ear?

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

An Autograph Of Sorts

A rainbow
is the license plate
of a hit and run storm.
It’s the signal—
if you’re around to see it,
the worst has passed.
All those promises
you made under the bed
can be left there,
like an inflatable Ark,
ready to slide in and out of
every time the clouds get dark, and
lightning autographs your fear.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Monday, April 17, 2006

No Goodbyes

The Sun
turned its back
to the wind, and
left like an old man
grumbling about
slither-tongue politicians, and
fat-smiling, oil executives.
He shuffled
over the edge of the world,
trailing orange expletives,
cursing Solaritis,
flaring headaches, and
nine adult offspring,
gravitating around
his means of support.
In the last flash
between essence and memory,
goodbye was never said.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

It’s Just A Chair

Oh, plastic,
preformed chair,
how many tales
have you held,
from back to behind?
Have they been sad?
So large
your arms stretched
in disbelief?
So small, your
synthetic polymerized molecules,
never realized
they were holding
the weight of the world?

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Friday, April 14, 2006


Writers want
to be published,
generally have their egos
over inflated,
so when,
scaly-skinned editors,
coiled behind
P.O. Boxes,
sink viperous rejection
into the shins
of their
latest creations,
they’ll have enough left,
to send them out again.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Three Words I Know

I breathed in
morning’s cool air
then watched it tumble out,
disappearing where,
I don’t know.
A bird pecked
its breakfast,
up and down,
then flew away,
I don’t know.
The neighbors
backed their cars,
turned, and
headed down the street,
I don’t know.
It seems
I’m at a loss
for knowing much,
I don’t know.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Next In Line

A drop of dew
slides off
the down-turned,
shiny back
of a Holly leaf,
to the slick surface
of the one below.
It, too,
hangs at an incline,
so down it goes again.
There’s nothing
beneath the last,
it’ll be a fait accompli,
face first into the black,
grainy surface,
where a thousand generations
have gone before.
No whimpers,
nothing audible
as it kisses death’s door.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dirty Look

Bird out my window,
what kind are you?
the State bird?
the early bird?
the late bird?
bird, bird?
Don’t look at me
that way!

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tomato With PB and J

I eat soup for lunch,
not always,
but most days.
I love the stuff:
classic chicken noodle,
savory pot roast,
fajita steak with rice and beans,
thick and creamy clam chowder,
so forth,
and so on,
Monday through Friday.
I don’t have a favorite, but
I do miss the tomato
with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
when there was two to share.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

For Gold And Souls

We thrust our faith
through native skins
on the cutting edge
of European steel.
Disease was bartered
for gold and souls,
history was painted
with Crayola red.
“Sugar and spices”
and all things that
brought joys to the tongue,
were born in the
jawbone of an ass.
The bells ring, and
call the faithful to worship,
the flock is fleeced,
and the money changers
count the change.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Son’s Memory

She sits looking
with the same eyes,
and half-smile
that’s always been there for me.
I dust off the glass
she lives behind,
a portrait,
the only memory I know.
I’m older now
than she ever was,
one of two
who carry her blood.
Did she know
when she looked
in the camera lens,
our eyes would always touch?

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Free Offerings

The newspaper
lays still in its plastic jacket,
protecting it from dew
and hiked-legged expansionist.
There are living words
in its free pages, like
ants crawling in tunnels
looking for temples to build.
I’ll crack the locks
on the front door,
walk up the drive
to its freshly wetted form,
take it to Waste Management’s
depository for such things,
sit back down at my desk, and
listen to the birds sing.

(all rights reservd Pat Paulk 2006)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Table For One

She said she was
a liberated woman.
I replied
that was a good thing,
I guessed.
No man
would ever tell her what to do,
what to wear,
what to think,
do this,
do that,
ever again!
I looked back
over my shoulder
to see if someone
was standing behind me,
turned my maitre d’ eyes
to hers and asked
if that would be one for lunch.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Question Of The Day

I opened my blinds
to fourteen new Azalea blooms,
pink-skinned and curious;
the first in a litter of hundreds
nuzzling the breast of day.
A wind-weathered page of newsprint
clings to the trunk
of this nascent generation of petals,
trying to escape the inevitable.
I wonder
how long it can hold on?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Parts Left Over

I decided to write
a really good poem,
filch a few metaphors
from unsuspecting words,
pawn some letters and vowels
for a stake in a line.
After I’ve picked every pocket,
piled up my bag-lady trinkets,
I’ll take the jigsaw pieces, and
fit them into a verse.
Like putting together
a bicycle on Christmas eve,
I left out the damn simile!

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Market Report

alley entrepreneur
reads yesterday’s market report
with Sterno snores.
Herringbone and heels
crowd four-chair tables,
stabbing Romaine and Salmon
in the heart of house notes,
and higher learning.
They both drink Sun
on the back of their necks,
rain drips from the tip of a nose
whether its perfumed or bloody.
The DOW dropped 30 points...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

So Far Today...

Today I’m living
under a gray canopy
of fabric bare clouds.
The Sun is there, but
chooses to stay outside.
Airplanes circle like buzzards,
looking for a concrete carcass
to sink rubber talons in.
The neighbor’s dog
just pissed his autograph
on my front lawn of fans.
Heckle and Jeckle stopped over
for a quick bite of worm;
rain is on the way,
the weather man
is almost,
sometimes right.

(all rights reserved Pat Paulk 2006)