I have made myself

an empty room.

[LSS, 7/20/21]


“It is happening,”

we say when we 

notice it happening.

We say, “What happened?”

the rest of the time.

[LSS, 8/3/21]


Found Poem

infection or inflammation is considered
the most common cause of the condition
particularly in patients over forty years of age

often a self-limiting condition
it may cause considerable distress
particularly in patients over forty years of age

an isolated episode is usually considered benign
and not likely to be associated with malignancy 
particularly in patients over forty years of age

[RK, 7/5/21]


did the Neolithic man or woman
think about teeth, bones, skin, blood
the growth and decay of the body
the mystery of reproduction or death

did the hunter-gatherer, the earliest
agronomist, animal husbandry practitioner
consider the effects of viruses or bacteria
the mystery of gesture and eyes, words and ears

did the archetypal hero or heroine
really want to return to tell the tale
repeatedly, until it became chant or drone
the mystery of oral tradition and books

did the storyteller consider future audiences
how discovery and invention clash or combine
how even bad habits become ingrained
the mystery of chewing, just to chew

“The cultural tradition of chewing gum seems to have developed through a convergent evolution process, as traces of this habit have arisen separately in many of the early civilizations. Each of the early precursors to chewing gum were derived from natural growths local to the region and were chewed purely out of the instinctual desire to masticate.”—Wikipedia. 

[RK, 7/5/21]

OCD #1

fastidious, picky, and after a fashion, autistic
fatuous, fatal, the archetypal femme fatale
faun and centaur, the lascivious myths

functioning limited to lately minted postures
found in how-to- and anatomy textbooks
flatly denied by the instigator and recipient

first one yields to the fine points of sex
foundering, falsifying, possibly fake
flim-flam one can never be certain of

forces beyond one’s control shape the
fool and faint-hearted alike, and you
fail to remember who you think you are

[RK, 7/5/21]

OCD #2

yes Eve was embarrassed by the fig leaf, and
the wheel of fortune that turned against her
in the patriarchal and canonical remembering

I don’t blame her daughters for battling
omniscient storytellers who hourly make it up
continually adjusting for place and fashion

that image of an Edenic snake is wrong
it was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, wringing
truth from knowledge, until it was dry

[RK, 7/2/21]

OCD #3

how far back did you intend to go
that creation myth leaves out T. rex
and spontaneous blue-green algae

Darwin coughs politely in his grave
whenever you push the envelope
to the edge of each orgasm

what invigorates, what cause and effect
what sanctioned copyright, what loss
what you see in the cracks in the ceiling

[RK, 7/2/21]



If anyone ever 

felt a martyr

to the past 

it was never 

this open door.

[LSS, 7/4/21]

Garden Journal

Here are my hands 

glistening with water 

and there is the garden 

free of weeds and full 

of intentions I will 

never fully understand.

[LSS, 7/4/21]


A Counting Out

Bear cub, cubbyhole,

a hole in the wall

the size of a fist.

[LSS, 7/1/21]




Maybe you are a prude if you dislike sex

talk, all the glory of communion hexed

by common language, the internal model

ruined by constant tinkering and thought.

Maybe the world was already vocal and foolish

before Adam came along, naming names; still,

Eve must have been embarrassed by the words

she had not chosen for herself. 

Yet, the world remains the world itself, feeding 

back each silent moment to the moment 

before Eden was not enough.

[LSS, 6/30/21]

Subject Matter

Trying to understand 

the shape of rising steam,

the mirror image

of an empty room,

where I might be able

to find you tomorrow.

[LSS, 6/30/21]


Where a Drunken Bee Drones a Holy Syllable

The six-syllable word 

has been reduced to one

orphan syllable that carries 

the memory of languages 

I have no need 

to translate or transmit.

[LSS, 6/28/21]

Jigsaw Echo Map

Acres of intentions

scrunched into a deciduous

hometown and paper maps

waiting, wondering when.

[LSS 6/28/21]

Plains State

Drought-stricken trees 

lifting their lighter-than-air 

limbs to sky, rooted to earth, 

souls never forgiven.

[LSS, 6/28/21]

Dark Sky 

Cumulus clouds weighing 

down our bodies so we 

won't float away just yet.

[LSS, 6/28/21]



staying in place
or placing one foot
behind the other

placating the confusion
or opting to remain
in the melee

recording the rearrangement
of dinner table placeholders
and dance cards

[RK, 6/26/21]

Passive-Aggressive Chess Set

The ploy, the plum.
The plumb, the play.
The geometric plane.

The punishment, the prayer.
The peach, the pendulum.
The praying mantis.

The pushcart, the platitude.
The panacea, the passenger.
The house plant.

[RK, 6/26/21]

The Jigsaw Puzzle

1. Analytic

every box is incomplete
I find missing pieces
in unlikely places
chewed, waterlogged, frayed
scientifically mutated
into straight-edged geometric shapes
unfit for original intentions

2. Creative

triangles, heptagons, rhomboids
the occasional dodecahedron
effortlessly arranged into
new ways of seeing
illuminating through
altered states of perception

[RK, 6/26/21]


shallow coastal waters, acres of sea grass
the horizon is a line on a scrim and clouds
remind me of textbook images from art school
en plein air Impressionism, the natural world
scrunched onto 30 by 40 centimeter canvases
elusive, attentive, alliterative
lazy clinging memories evaporate
above the Gulf of Mexico

[RK, 6/26/21]


I could not imagine your movements
through the flat Midwest
wheat and corn fields
weathered brick red barns
elusive prairie light
deciduous hometown trees and cattails

pastel and linear paper maps
scrolled through my mind, and
took the edge off waiting, wondering,
and why-ing

[RK, 6/26/21]

Potential I have made myself an empty room. [LSS, 7/20/21] Decline “It is happening,” we say when we  notice it happening. We say,...