Hansel & Gretal

Hansel and Gretal

Hunger breeds infanticide -
cast off children, lack of bread.
Bellies empty, strew a path -
Brother Grim and Sister Dread.

Winged angels devour the crumbs -
Poverty, a forest dense.
Paradise in a sweetbread house -
sugarsnare and baked men fence.

Flesh eater, the evil witch -
death head with a crooked nose.
Fattens boy like a suckling pig;
just a man, his belly grows.

Duplicity, the girl plays dumb;
makes witch act out the wrong from right.
Revenging pasts, she cooks the hag -
German ovens burn so bright.

- From Eating the Child Within,

Eating the Child Within Kindle Version

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There is a moment
in the life
of a hummingbird
where it feels that it’s heart
can beat no more.
His wings pinned back
in endless speed,
the swing again,

An endless flow of susurration,
close and to the shoulder.
That moment of submission,
when will expires
before the need,
when life conspires
to self-destruct.

But on it beats,
that devil heart,
to live
and live
and live.




Oh father,
what glib stories you did tell -
The Man Who Farted Songs!
The Penny Through a Skull
when dropped from the top
of Empire State -
where once you hung suspended
afraid to fall
from your father's grasp.

When I was your small child
there was
no pretense of the large mysteries -
no Santa Claus,
no Jesus Christ,
but smaller miracles:
The Birthday Puppies!
Green Lantern's Dashlight!
The Psychic Bullets!

The Rats Who Ate the Paint
and left bright turds
of rainbow hues -
viridian footballs,
alizarin crimson,

The Garden Which Grew
On Its Own Accord!
Baby corn, sugar peas,
Those childhood illusions
more cherished than
the Easter Bunny,
more precious than
the Burning Bush.

Twelve years until I realized
you planted those seeds -
the furrowed earth,
my mother's womb,
my own imagination.

Some gifts I would return:
the awkward gait,
the squinting eyes,
that gene for sloth,
but one I've kept

I hang suspended
from my father's grasp,
about to float free.
Unfettered by truth.
Open to
the world's illusions.





I worried the bridges
over my brows,
creased into darkness.
Does the crease have a name?
The valley of flesh
where shadow cleaves skin?

Here in my navel
three little wrinkles,
pinched balloon end.
Do the wrinkles have names?
The track of descent
where union's mark ends?

Across my palm there
lies a map of trails,
of tiny roads.
Are the path's names unknown?
A glimpse of our fate,
the shape of our prints?

My cheek gets furrowed,
is banded in sleep
from pillows and fist.
What do you call those
angry traces?
The name of that
painful kiss?



And I am wound

And I am wound
like turpentine
for stripping down veneers.
And we are bound
like fiberglass,
hearts swaddling our fears.

In this house
of love rebuilt
the hammer strokes the nail.
The blueprint calls
for wooden joists
but I am made of steel.

And you are shingled
to the past,
the roof for our renewal.
While I am walled away
from loss
by bricks of seed and suet.

And you can peck
at my front door
with rainspouts full of tears.
But I will glaze the windows shut
with paint over the sills.

For I am wound
of memories
that wrap around
the things unsaid,
and ivy-choke the years.