one thriller wouldn't kill you

Three Poems

Measuring Myself

One Stanley
FATMAX tape measure
with BladeArmor® (model 33-730)
tells me blazing yellow tales:**

– from eye to
fulcrum of ocular rivalry,
I am 7/8” (give or take)

ear to brain
cannot be more
than 1” and yet
I over estimate

and then, the distance from
to mouth
(more or less):

to mind
measured on the plumb
(yet heart to mouth, only 9”—to sleeve, 2 feet)

the feet:
walkers–where me meets Earth
57”  and 71”
ground to heart, ground to mind, respectively

foot to mouth is 0”
or, 70,”
leg fully extended

hand to mouth is 36”
or 0”
when I can amount to
these things
within all that is 6’6”.

** all dimensions are approximate, to be
verified in the field, and are not the
responsibility of The Architect




Carpenters don’t negotiate with splinters:
frameworks’ curious fiber-split
malicious, subcutaneous twerps.

At first, it seems, I point a finger,
examine recalcitrant hackles: wood-

grains spread
by the water part of me.

Surrounded by woodknockers
through the button-mouthed threads of days,
silently I
know again that small boy’s single terror:

drifted father’s voice:
“hold still”

I do, sliding utility knife-blade between
limb-bit and derma
quick slice eases wood-tip,
between the edge and my thick thumbnail,

a ruthless pull, and
wince that near hinges my
but delivers this wanderer from my flesh.

In my sinus-soft spaces encamps tears’ battalion
so suddenly, I think
these deep and thorough sufferings
should serve
trials more us than me

in the world’s larger parts:
a speck on polished steel
a log, in my eye
wet by light

I recognize: smallness almost had me,
breathing: it’s gone

with the father,
and the son,
the travail

all gone

except this lumbering old soul
coming back from another way
who knows from festerings,

feeble in fear for the blink of it
now, wiping my eyes,
to the thud, thum, blam of fastenings,

some say I minimize
yet with all that shot through me
how could I minimize a sliver?

A piece of the Tree we all have carried.


The Sistine Cleaner

There remains that spring
in Rome
I went to see
the Sistine Chapel

when a janitor made a friend of me
the man who cleans the Chapel floor, on each day’s end.
And he told me about degrees
he had earned at the Sorbonne, Perugia, and Columbia

but then returned to family lands
not far outside the Eternal City
for the honor
these surfaces demand in tracks

left after tourists
when he told me about his memory.
How it grips every stroke and pigment that colors the dome
– even that finger thing
Michelangelo painted,

that space between the digits
of God

and his own image –

– separated by mere degrees,

until that nightly event,
(the janitor told me it’s the reason he took on this important work)
with the place swept,
broom stowed,
before leaving to join family in the evening meal,

he switches off the lights,
and then above where Pilgrims amble, crane their necks, and gape –

– this janitor trains his eyes on where that gap lives,

and watches the spark jump across.


  Tara E wrote @

Thanks for this bloog post

  tplukas wrote @

Thank you, Tara E! You are absolutely welcome!

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