Friday, September 28, 2007

Portrait: Jazzy Old Man

He’s really creepy but I want to take him home
Every time we meet, he greets me with a little dance
The kind of dance that reminds us that he’s not all that old
I wait for him to pull coins out of my ear but he just slaps my fanny
Jesus . . . he’s really creepy
Sometimes he tells me how music was and how it turned out to be
Back in the day jazz was boss
And it didn’t cost you nothin’ to say hello to someone on the street
When he’s done, he’ll shuffle away
When he shuffles away, I miss him
When I miss him, I await his next creepy return
The next little dance and the next slap on the my ass
Damn jazzy old man


I snatched up a couple dozen forks from the cafeteria today. I was once again the girl from second grade saving sandwich bags. I’ve always had a thing with saving the pair of bottom of the deck. It’s doubled the weight of bag over the years. This need to horde and I make a demented duo. It makes me twice the afraid child I used to be.

25 cents

I apologize for not meeting your gaze when we crossed paths on the road to Shambala. I was busy looking for a quarter. You see, I only had 25 cents to buy a 50 cent ice cream sandwich. I thought my luck would satisfy me with a quarter in the road. I’m sorry I missed you, but ice cream beckoned me and I only had 25 cents.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Almost Late

I almost missed the bus today

There were some ducks that needed saving

I was locking my door, on my way

and six or seven birds waddled up to me

I sighed. they looked hungry.

I unlocked my door and shut it behind me

I rifled the cabinets for old bread,

I tore it up and threw it at them

they seemed happier with a little

split top wheat bread doing down their gullets

I felt happier for them.

I caught the bus just in time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Something's broken

So i went to the student health area on my campus and told them about an ankle i sprained in April. That's about six months ago. It's still giving me problems, i didn't go to the doctor because i don't want to pay people to tell me i should just "walk it off." I tell the nurse how long it had been since my injury. She gives me this look that suggests that i'm stupid. And i do feel ashamed to have to tell her the truth. I want to say that i did this stupid thing a week ago.

"what were you doing?" she asks.

"i was rollerblading."

she smiles and shakes her head. She knows i know what she's going to say about that. So she lets it slide. She asks me what my symptoms. I tell her:

"whenever i've had a long day of walking, it hurts. By the end of the day, it's usually swollen."

She asks me why i'm just now coming to the doctor. I don't have a decent answer. Sometimes i can put stuff off for so long, in the hopes that they just get better on their own. I tell her something to that effect. she shakes her head again.

Eventually, that day, i got x-rays and that was kinda fun.

When i get the call back to in and review those x-rays, i'm almost sure that it's good news. "With a few more months, of just walking, your ankles is going to heal itself quite nicely."

That's not what i got, i find out that i actually fractured it. This was told to me by a bemused doctor who examines my x-rays with a furrow in her brow. "You're going to want to go to an orthopedic surgeon." What!

And this is six months ago! i've been walking around on a fracture for half a year and i'm still calling it a sprain. i think i'm still going to call it a sprain. i just don't believe my luck. I peeved about the possibility of surgery, but somewhat relieved that this problem has a name. It's called a "Fracture of the Distal Fibula."

whatever, it's still a sprain to me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hold the Mayo

Sitting in the vestibule of Wal-Mart, i heard a man drop a jar of mayonnaise. "Shit!" he exploded. Savage was his oath. I looked away but looked back as he left. Cracked was his jar. People avoided stepping on the white dressing as they passed, without really looking. Nimble were their steps. It's hit or miss, i usually say. This time, the mayo hit the ground. Ironic was my reaction.

C.L. Halliburton

Monday, September 17, 2007

Old School

Have you ever heard Mozart?
I don’t like Mozart
Have you ever heard Mozart?
He’s a smart man, that Mozart.

We don’t listen to people like Mozart
Say who?
Say the kids
Kids don’t know Mozart?
Maybe, maybe not, but they don’t listen

Who do you like?
Pussycat Dolls.
Good Lord, who’s that? They make good music?
It’s not Mozart
I guess not

Have you ever heard Beethoven?
I don’t like Beethoven.

C.L. Halliburton


As a young man
I sacrificed my shoes
Upon an alter made
Of green felt for
A queen demi-goddess
Who claimed to rule
Our hearts. I’d give
My hands to her
If I had something
Else to hold my
Cards. So I didn't

C.L. Halliburton

Us and Them: Or Downtown Bloomington and Uptown Normal

All that separates us and them, is a package of tater-babies and 29¢ burritos
Jogging on nicely paved sidewalks and dog walking
El Caminos and 1987 Nissans
Walgreens with full parking lots across the street from Applebees
Hanging out on stoops and chewing the fat at the chicken joint
Subdivisions with Mexican groomed lawns and garages full of Sears tools
“First of the Month” folks and “Comin’ into town from the farm” folks
A slightly favored, a much cleaner Wal-Mart
Runny nosed Mullato bastards and coughing old ladies
Coach sunglasses and megaton “lady” Hummers to carry children and groceries
Speakers far too big and far too loud for gentry comfort
Girl scouts who still hump the pavement to make a sale
Beauty supply stores owned and run by quiet Koreans
Bagboys take sacks to the car and people pass gratuity
Drive thru liquor and cigarette shops
The neighborhood watch composed of a “neighborhood elected council”
Televisions that mysteriously fall off the backs of trucks
Cops immediately on the scene for a quarrel over hedge trimming
Oh god--- the difference between them and us is too great to mend
One of us will beg to ignore the other
The other will beg to be seen
But because of the great machine. . .
We’ll continue being “us” and “them”
One side on the illustrious MLK Blvd.
The other with it’s crowded Cracker Barrel

C.L. Halliburton

Watch it! There's a Triolet in Your Silhouette

Oh, the birds did fly
The did so with flair
Up, they flitted across the sky
Oh, the birds did fly
Above the autumn trees that were dry
They darted between clouds with dare
Oh the birds did fly
They did so with flair

Water nymphs dive and play
In water so blue and clear
They glide deeper than the sun shines its ray
Water nymphs dive and play
Tricks and shenanigans during the day
And even at night, when fisherman leaves the pier
Water nymphs dive and play
In water so blue and clear

C.L. Halliburton

Portrait: Leather Captain

He was Ahab in a leather jacket
Shit kicking boots and silver earring
His lofty stature; like an aging oak
This comely gent did not wish to dally

He waited to use the copy machine
But there was a line to stand behind
“Sir, there’s another copy machine to use,”
I said, in awe, as I stared up at him

He smiled an nodded acknowledgment
In a deep rumbled voice, he said, “Thank you.”
My face turned red for a man twice my age
He walked to the machine with a purpose

Assuredly, his copies were produced
I watched him leave without preamble.

My Last Lover

My last lover will close my eyes tonight
My shallowest breaths will arrive and leave
He will come to my bedside, amidst the candle light

I won’t see his face, but his presence I will not fight
As he runs his icy fingers down my neck I believe
That my last lover will close my eyes tonight

His cold kisses will no longer be enough to excite
His pity will not arouse me from my final reprieve
But he will come to my bedside, amidst the candle light

My consciousness is about to take flight
The pallor of my skin is too noticeable to deceive
My last lover, who will close my eyes tonight

I barely notice how my chest grows tight
Soon enough, it will be over and I will not cleave
To he, who will come to my bedside, amidst the candle light

I’m not surprised by how he holds me so right
But when I am gone, I know he will not grieve
My last lover came to close my eyes tonight
He came to my bedside, amidst the candle light.

C.L. Halliburton

World's Oldest Dance

She didn’t know she’d break her shoe
while dancing the Cuban Boogalu.
Nor did he know how many martinis it took
to give him that loose intoxicated look.

I held her waist with innocent sweaty hands
I watched, on the verge of staring, the heart within my chest did dance.
As the music played, the rocking of her body undulated slower
My sweaty hands moved lower.

You don’t know a person until you’ve seen them dance
You’ve seen them at their freest, they’ve given you that chance
You’ve seen the movement that is their breath, their life,
The pounding that is their heart, their work and their strife.

The Samba is on, their faces are flushed
After a few stumbles, he doesn’t feel quite as rushed.
It will take a powerful wave to douse
this powerful fire they’ve stoked and aroused.

He smiled when I slipped my broken heels off my feet
He loosened his collar and popped another olive between his teeth.
He’s nervous as hell, he’s had far too much to drink
But I’m going to lead around by his necktie, barefooted, before he knows to blink.

You don’t know a person until you’ve seen their truest grace
Until you’ve seen that sheen of sweat on their face.
You know not your lover until you seen his smile during his final throes
His hips, his hands, his rhythm: it’s these things only you should know.

C.L. Halliburton

Tankas Keep Truckin'

“Planetary Alignment”

Sending messages
on winged heels to doom or
salvation at the
risk of mortal wound
such responsibility

Angered beyond kiss
Fiery hammer, shield and sword
Burning lust and dare
Alight his eyes with vengeance
An impatient one to fight

Brought forth from the foam
From the seed of her father
With delight she takes
Love from poor souls giving none
Dreamers lovers pray for glimpse

A mighty father
Such a thunderous temper
Quelled with lightening
Strength to devour all that’s
loved and created by him

Regent of all seas
From eels of forked tongues to
horses with curled tails
waves of tranquility rush
forth into whirlpools of deep

Underneath everything
Below the depths of hellfire
To the ghosts of nothings
Blinded with pennies to pass
This ferryman will not wait.


Cinquains are sooo shiny

“Common Senses”

Sound note
Fall in my ears
Curtailing small bones past
The spanning drum stretched to vibrate

Are the colors
Saffron, curry, turquoise
I can see them with my eyes closed

On my tongue’s tip
This ambrosial bliss
a sweet warmth spreads throughout my mouth
Bursts forth

And knowing are
Blurred with a fine sprawled line
Intuition moves the soul with

Is the scented
Emotion of rage and
Love, seething between the cracks it
Bursts forth

C.L. Halliburton

Haiku it, fool!


An isolation junk
subway jostles these people
This city is mine

Cool rolling hills wake
In the misty mornings still
With no sign of sun

Wait in crowded markets
Fresh dates for sale, lamps to rub
Old carpets to ride. . .

Drumming of the soul
Stirs the feathers of eagles
Peyote smoke flies

Ancestor’s first home
From Sahara to Cape Hope
We will be there soon

Old red dynasty
Bamboo reeds float down Yangtze
paddies soak my feet

C.L. Halliburton