What it is

June 2010: In a desperate attempt to stave off senility, the monkey began writing a poem a day. By summer's end he'd begun to run out of versified political rants and philosophical bloviations. Then he hit on the improbable idea of writing micro fiction in the form of Elizabethan sonnets. Eureka. The birth of the "Sonnets From Other Lives" series. Two hundred plus lives later, he's still at it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: Smoke

Some nights Smoke will walk along the levee.
There on the Moonwalk ‘cross from Jackson Square
where the Mississippi fog hangs gray & heavy,
he’ll stop at random intervals & stare
through the murk. Just watch the river flow
then final hundred miles.
He listens for that
sound he swears he heard five years ago.
Gospel son. Back on the night before
Katrina hit I come up to this spot.
Had some things I had to tell the river.
I heard a trumpet blow so bright & hot…
It weren’t human—so sir--He says with a shiver.
I heard it I swear son-sure as you’re born--
it was the ghost of Buddy Bolton’s horn.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: de Marco

Saw two young dudes sitting in the back
of the bus. Dressed in their best mall punk attire.
Now kids wear Hot Topic in Iraq,
they’re stoned to death & maybe set on fire.
Three tours, a metal leg, a TBI,
I catch myself now & then thinking, Damn!
4000 something U.S. dudes just died
so Iraq can get nostalgic for Saddam?
Had another interview today.
Don’t think I was quite what they expected.
They weren’t hiring machine gunners anyway,
so I expect my application was rejected.
Army strong, right? As in how much can you take
of this shit before you finally break?
Sonnets From Other Lives: Trail Notes

first there is a raven’s wooden plonk
followed by the rattle of a crow.
spring has turned the trail into a swamp
& the northern slopes still hold swatches of snow—
frozen slush dark stained by needle mulch
that drip downslope swelling angel creek
into cacophony in the dark gulch
below. the trail’s determined oblique
rises upridge toward a mountain col
& the alpine fairyland of peaks
above the forest’s conifer cathedrals.
a field of talus—switchbacks & we rise
to meet in intersection with the sky.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: Les

--What say you & me step outside &
discuss our business without all this crowd.
--Sure, Les
—Dumbass answers with a side-
long glance around the room. –Am I allowed
to finish my drink first?
Les gives him one
of his fisheye looks—the one that shrivels
guy’s nuts nearly as deftly as a gun
in the face. –Alright Dumbass, your drivel
& worthless bullshit is worth waiting for.
I’ve waited weeks to have this conversation.
Now I don’t have to look for you no more,
I intend to resolve this situation
once and for all. Dumbass I know you know
what happens when you don’t pay what you owe.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: Dan

Wake me when it’s over. I don’t think
this can be happening unless I am
asleep, but if I’m not, I’ll take that drink
you mentioned earlier.
For guys like Dan
the pure unvarnished truth should always be
administered with liquid anesthesia.
He’s wagered everything thinking that he
might get a break. Selective amnesia
blocked the déjà vu that should have warned him.
He’s been here too many times—right on the edge
of a good thing… Well it came up craps again.
Climb out a window? Stand out on a ledge?
Not to worry. Over time I’ve found
there’s always a way out. I call it: Down.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: Jen & Jeri

Face it girl, the dude’s a total ‘bag.
This time you gotta finally face the facts.
These things happen--I know—it’s a drag,
but when has that guy ever made eye contact
with your actual eyes & not your tits?

Jeri blows her nose as Jen rants on.
Then the bastard turns around & hits
on me! Your BFF! That is SO wrong!

Jen flags the waitress, orders margaritas,
Two more Grandes --pronto por favor!
Gotta pee—Jeri says rising from her seat— a
bit unsteadily, Just this one more
& then I gotta get myself back home
& start getting used to being there alone.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sonnets From Other Lives: Ruth

Boys will be boys, my husband used to say
but that was while the boys were still alive.
He isn’t saying anything these days.
He was the one who taught them how to drive.
When the call came from the State Patrol,
& everything was shattered into shards,
& each of us was left with half a soul,
our continents began their drift apart.
The silence. The assessing of the blame.
We left our haunted house, moved to Carmel,
& changed everything except our names.
It’s such a pretty place, our little hell,
where I take some small comfort in knowing
I could walk into that ocean & keep going.