What Good is Green Grass?

What good is green grass if

your knee doesn’t work

and you can’t take off work

for the operation

and you can’t pay

for the operation

without the job

at which you are overworked

taxing the knee

to cover taxes and

your fifty dollar subsidised rent

in a slum

where you hobble to bed

then rise 

to hobble to work.

Everything between

is smooth cement

to ease the traffic.

You know who you are,

that once you loved

to lie in green grass

your long hippie hair

thrown back

and poked through by dandelions,

you could taste green

when you breathed

the fresh breeze-puffs

issuing from the fluffy clouds

you could watch for hours

even when you weren’t high.

Nature was what you loved most

but now, you don’t pause

to breathe in the green

or even go out to see

if there is any grass 

because you have no one

to lie down in the grass with

even if you could kneel

and bend

and touch the ground

Robert Shelton Wants to Chat

I hate google

trying to match me up,

improve my social standing, or life.

Accept the chat? Who the hell

is Robert Shelton?

The one of Ku Klux Klan born, Tuscaloosa, 1929?

or the Critic, Chicago, 1926, discoverer of Bob Dylan?

No – wait – he died… and so did the other…

Could it be Robert Shelton Associate Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies?

Or Robert Shelton former president, University of Arizona,

expert in condensed matter physics, now director

of the Fiesta Bowl?

He is at least living, and had a starting salary of $550,000

back in 2008, but, really now, what would we have to chat about?

And of all the images there is not one robert shelton

I recognize, no former Rio High School Viking,

or Oak Ridge alumni, just random variations:

robert shelton ownenergy, robert shelton newton,

robert shelton farmers insurance, robert shelton golf,

robert shelton photography, robert shelton pwc…

But look — on Results page 2 there is a dramatic turn — Fiesta Bowl

robert shelton abruptly resigned — he’s going back

“to the real love of my life”

“back to something I also feel passionate about”

Research Corporation for Science Advancement,

and for that step up from the Fiesta Bowl, I commend Robert Shelton,

but I still don’t want to chat with him, or any other

by that name, except — what’s this on page 3? Robert Shelton Tug,

MMSI 367057370, Callsign WD6515… yes, I would talk to a boat

named Robert Shelton — why not? We could discuss our various understandings

of Ocean as Metaphor for God and Self – hey Bob the Tug – if it was you,

chat me back — this time I just might accept.

Read all About It

On the day you will be born:

The U.S. eliminates 95% of H-

bomb fallout. Atom test rips

blockhouse 14 miles from blast

site. U.S. officers in Soviet radio-

TV accord. Law group head hits

high court. Free speech no

protection for obscenity high

court rules – and that is all

the news that’s fit to print,

or your mother has time to read,

in a taxi in Cincinnati, on her way

to meet you this fine morning

in June.

What Sounds Like Rain

small tapdancers

on a floor of water

a hundred leprechauns

finger snapping out of synch

hummingbirds hammering 

on plastic window panes

no – the sound of twenty one nineteen

year olds writing

five hour long

marathon mid-term

essay exams

 

And I get to sit here

and listen

 

Once We Were Sisters

Girl children

in matching sunsuits,

offering each other broken

Oreos, sand hidden

in the white cream

 

When I turned five

I would have to color inside

the lines, you said,

and watch my words

so they didn’t run out

 

The night our mother died

you tried to kill me

my child fled into the dark

 

Your name comes now

in dreams, shaped like a woman

parkbench sleeping

 

Then, we pricked our fingers,

crossed blood, touched tongues,

wound our hair together

into one brown silk braid