Begin with a cordial greeting.
Name the victim, peacefully.
Call it out. Only once.
Yodel across the margins.
Ease in the word decline.
Like a broken leg skiing on a broken slope. Suddenly.
Leave it out of the letter.
Simply include it for the Submittable form.
Put forth your appreciation for the now, nameless.
Writer. Poet. Thinker. Doer. Submitter.
Keep it to a few sentences. Don’t overthink the obvious.
Sum it up briefly.
We appreciate you taking your time.
We wish you success.
Best of luck in placing your work elsewhere.
Don't sugarcoat, or over-butter it.
Keep it together. Peacefully end it.
Be generic. Email template.
With regards. Wishing you the best.
Drop a name or two if you wish.
Let it flow. Like an endless river.
Then build the dam.
Fifth And a Half Wheel
Blankets and throws
loud music from the other room
ringtones on smartphones
and cool shoes.
and keeping coffee bags
for the lingering scent in the kitchen.
Leave the back door open.
Faucets drip with a symphony of their own,
heat of the night swelters even
the birds, at this ungodly hour.
Trees cover cars,
and autumn fuzz.
We left keys under mats;
only moss outlines left.
In passing conversation;
standing, staring at the ceiling.
And garden gnomes stare.
You, the mentor
guide me up the center.
Myself, young guppy, messenger hat.
Coffee cup trigger arm,
accessory cemented to me.
Highways and lanes
pass over me. Cars under bridges.
Odd-patterned floor tiles attach to my feet.
I pass through doorframes,
unbeknownst to anyone.
Simply existing. An unused maze
at the back of a coloring book.
A bonus round, unknown.
A doorbell, hanging
with my commas to margins.
I have no compass, nor appendix;
a pen on the ear, my coin. Coffee cup.
Dents in paper from sorting.
I rattled on.
Faster than java entering porcelain.
Thank you, for your trust,
and for the hour of comic bubbles, non-stop.
Over and above everything.
Hang around the coffee shop.
Pawn change off cigarette smokers.
View all the value menu options.
Remember when music channels played videos?
Old Navy commercials featured
the jams; khakis even mannequins
were afraid to wear. Skeletons hobble for the exit.
The matchbox was used, number twenty.
Skaters knees scraped easily, kids played outside.
We are sinking. Carrying our stuffed animals
to the movies, voting for people
we wouldn’t be caught sitting next to at lunch.
Etching our initials into the desk with dull pencils.
Pushing our Trapper Keepers across the bottom of the well;
Gumby & Pokey movements.
Claymation me; when our eyes did not watch
the hours on the clock spin away
in eight hour figure-eights.
I’ll keep my shirt with shoulder pads.
Pull the sheet off of it. Those years
fading quicker than cap guns exploding.
Who cut the cheese? If you’re da bomb,
remove the air from the Sun Chips bag.
Nothing is free. Not even hugs.
Big sunglasses and stale thoughts.
Even the irony of rain on our wedding day
is now a dream.
Someone beam me up
green slime for the trip
game show host personality
and comic bubbles
to keep me away
from current entanglements.
The Waiting Room Conundrum
The Smiths told the weather forecast, with
messages of divorce lawyers and easy-made meals mixed in.
My eyes flooded with bright patterns of chivalry,
ten year warranty, no money down.
Operators are standing by
twirling a baton of their headset,
spinning in the chairs, and next commercial
blazes our heartstrings up a notch.
Dancing puppets at the amphitheater
clips roll with wipes and dissolves
like dirt filing off the dustpan
into the plastic stomach.
A lanky gentleman stands up,
masters the shirt-hand opening door technique
sits down, accompanied by headphone bliss,
same as me.
Salted peanut wrappers and Styrofoam cups
of hour-old coffee, our best friend, silently sitting.
An old lady glares, asks “Are you watching this?”
I shrug it off, reluctant to respond, only muttering
“No- background noise.”
I want to furiously plant banners and change
names of talk shows- An Awesome Hour of
The coffeemaker howls again,
can’t catch a break. The repeated
jabbing finger motion of when a
vending machine doesn’t live it up
I’ll be here at my office-for-the-day station,
tapping my foot, and sliding my pen across satin
colored paper sheets.