Creative writing

I have had my work published in Third Wednesday (three times so far) and Chanterelle's Notebook, and have performed at the Music Hall Jazz Cafe, the Scarab Club in Detroit, and as part of the Day of Poetry events at Macomb Community College. The Audio page offers samples of my performance work; below are drafts and poems I've chosen to make available via Creative Commons.

Castoffs (also posted on the Audio page)

We call them cast-offs, things we put aside for others to
rummage and hold and treasure and own.
The lovers who had you and threw you away
mean nothing to me
unless they mean something to you.

You are here today, my treasure, my worth,
and you are with me as long as you can be
make a place in my home, my heart, my head
take my name if you wish. You are my friend, my dear;
I want you to be that way for always, and always for me.

I am not jealous of those who did not see you.
I am not jealous of those who could not need you.
I am not jealous.  And I am not afraid
that you will cast me off to seek my happiness elsewhere.
I am no longer looking for my matched pair.


The important things

You know, Edison made the phonograph
to immortalize the dead.  He believed that if we could
play their voices over and over, they would never leave.
We would know what they wanted and that they really loved us
enough to hang on.  And we would have them with us for always,
instead of guessing the important things.
And I responded Haven’t you always wanted to know
what Abraham Lincoln sounded like when reciting the
Gettysburg Address?  That really big guy had a voice
like a little girl, or so I read.  I think that’s important, don’t you?
She grasped my hand.  I think it’s always important to hear
when people appreciate you.


The daring adventures of me and you
(also posted on the Audio page)

It was a dark and stormy night, you know,
the kind all good adventures begin with.
We were in Paris with a woman you didn’t know
and I was your Judas while she slipped you the tongue.
We got out of there with nothing but a smile,
me with the long red hair and the bad eyesight
and you with the crooked fingers.
In the getaway car I stuck my head out the window
while you cackled and drove as fast as an Aston Martin could go.

They were the best of times and the time goes away
things fall apart, the memories go awry.
We fell in a heap in a haystack
and ditched the car in a ravine
I don’t know how we ever got back
and how we gathered up the courage to be normal again
holding day jobs, kissing spouses
haggling over prices and standing in line.
The daring adventures of me and you,
the ones we left behind.

When the time comes,
I don’t want to say the usual things –
he was a nice man who always dressed impeccably.
I want the better than true to be true for you. 
I want you to have had the life everyone wants.
And I want to say that I know it happened because I saw it.
At the end I will say I was your friend and I was never prouder
of you than on the day we did that something wonderful.

You speak French like a native.  I know a little Japanese.
I’ll buy you a new hat and a Savile Row suit
and a plane ticket to wherever you want to go –
there’s gotta be at least one more in you,
one more for the road or the books.  To friendship. 
To great escapes.
To the truth I want so much to be true.
Have my drink, I’ll drive for you.