My Poetry

Reply To Personal Ad

SOLD! to the tall man Image
in the back row
with the ugly brown hat.
I’m here to say:
I liked your ad;
You were the one
“looking for a guy
with teeth,” right?
Seeing that I have some
(teeth, that is), I’ll reply.
I’m dying to know about
the combat sports and
prestructuralist semantics,
not to mention the tattoos.

My Poetry Photo I Like

The Only God I’ve Seen

129045703_9e61fee243_oSince you asked,
the only god
I’ve seen rolled reckless
from a red, cardboard
Cracker-Jack box, elusive
from lips to lap
and mad as hell, no decoder
ring to metaphrase the sharp
sting of copper on tongue
coated in caramel
candy coating loaded
with peanuts, good,
sweet, and salty.


Pluto Shits on the Universe By Fatimah Asghar

tn-p_lorri_fullframe_bw_custom-1c3fd83c90aa01f369f2ddb1f8060347b655fb62-s800-c85fatiheadshotPluto Shits on the Universe
By Fatimah Asghar

On February 7, 1979, Pluto crossed over Neptune’s orbit and became the eighth planet from the sun for twenty years. A study in 1988 determined that Pluto’s path of orbit could never be accurately predicted. Labeled as “chaotic,” Pluto was later discredited from planet status in 2006.

Today, I broke your solar system. Oops.
My bad. Your graph said I was supposed
to make a nice little loop around the sun.


I chaos like a motherfucker. Ain’t no one can
chart me. All the other planets, they think
I’m annoying. They think I’m an escaped
moon, running free.

Fuck your moon. Fuck your solar system.
Fuck your time. Your year? Your year ain’t
shit but a day to me. I could spend your
whole year turning the winds in my bed. Thinking
about rings and how Jupiter should just pussy
on up and marry me by now. Your day?

That’s an asswipe. A sniffle. Your whole day
is barely the start of my sunset.

My name means hell, bitch. I am hell, bitch. All the cold
you have yet to feel. Chaos like a motherfucker.
And you tried to order me. Called me ninth.
Somewhere in the mess of graphs and math and compass
you tried to make me follow rules. Rules? Fuck your
rules. Neptune, that bitch slow. And I deserve all the sun
I can get, and all the blue-gold sky I want around me.

It is February 7th, 1979 and my skin is more
copper than any sky will ever be. More metal.
Neptune is bitch-sobbing in my rearview,
and I got my running shoes on and all this sky that’s all mine.

Fuck your order. Fuck your time. I realigned the cosmos.
I chaosed all the hell you have yet to feel. Now all your kids
in the classrooms, they confused. All their clocks:
wrong. They don’t even know what the fuck to do.
They gotta memorize new songs and shit. And the other
planets, I fucked their orbits. I shook the sky. Chaos like
a motherfucker.

My Poetry Poetry

Svarog’s Hymn

Svarog’s Hymn

One true Church,
he grinned mischievously.
It is mine, obviously.
The Church of Me—
I, mine and me,
now that’s a trinity!

My Poetry


She likes bright colors set
against stark striking white;
he is partial to browns
and ruddy greens. You know:
earth tones or, as she calls them,
“moldy shades of decay.”

My Poetry

Sugar Season Haiku Cycle

Spontaneous, no-revision haiku scrawled in a fit of boredom….

bmlthayerT1067Snow concedes, contracts
Shadows shorten with each dawn
Totems bleed sweetness




OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElectric drill whirs
Thirteen miles of plastic hose
Grandpa had a bucket




maplesyrupGood dry wood burns clean
A grey squirrel tail, smoke and steam
Sweet in the hollow.

art Commentary Poetry video

Lowell Blues

kerouacThinking about things Beat after yesterday’s Shakespeare & Company post.  Seems like a good time to share this cool film, found on the equally cool Allen Ginsberg Project blog.

Henry Ferrini’s impressionistic evocative Lowell Blues (2000) is a honeyed melancholic visual poem (somewhat imposed upon in this version by Journeyman Pictures intrusive logo!), with home-town boy Jack Kerouac’s words always at the center, featuring Lee Konitz’s mournful alto sax, and distinctive readings of Kerouac’s distinctive prose, by such distinctive voices as (those clearly belonging to) Robert Creeley, Gregory Corso, Carolyn Cassady, Johnny Depp, David Amram.. We even catch isolated fragments of Kerouac himself.”


Do You Recognize This Poem?

I found this in an file, dated 4/2014, along with a lot of potential edits, the full text Genesis: I 1-27, and A LOT of notes on those passages.  I have no memory of the how and the why, if I wrote this or I was just playing around with someone else’s stuff, but it sure looks like I was toying with trying to turn the creation myth into a love poem.  I’m feeling pretty old, finding something I’m not sure that I wrote or not. A google search doesn’t cause me to suspect it isn’t mine, but….anyone recognize it?

In The Beginning

move as a wind the heavens and the earth
set fires in the dome of the sky
to give light upon the earth
to gather together formless void and darkness:
morning, the second day
beneath the ark of the mists called Sky
yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind is flying creeping

make it good if there was light, make it you
fruitful and multiplying
the image of you.

Commentary Poetry

Two Poems Stuck In My Head

Forgive me, it’s been over 6 weeks since i sat down and tried to think in verse.  Forget about the actual work of putting it on paper and tinkering.  I could blame all the obligations–work, kid’s stuff, chores, a wedding, a vacation, fiction, and this damned blog–but I don’t do excuses with writing. It’s like Kermit says to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: do or do not.

I’ve been doing not…

But the weird thing is that whenever I think of poems, and my not making time for them, my mind plugs up with two fairly famous poems, one often replacing the other when I try to force the former from my consciousness.  Neither are pieces with particularly resounding significance to either my brain or my soul, but it’s as if they’ve infected me.  The Dickinson poem is a ubiquitous piece in high school English classes–or used to be before poetry was marginalized in order to make more room for standardized test prep, and I’ve seen the Oliver poem frequently anthologized as well–no idea why they’re colonized my brain, though.

Anyone ever experience anything like this?

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

from Dream Work by Mary Oliver published by Atlantic Monthly Press

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson.

Commentary Journal

500th Post

500-postsWay back in the dark days of early summer, in the year 2013, I set my mind to sustaining a blog for at least a year.  Dedicated readers who don’t have a lot else going for them might recall that the original impetus for Old Road Apples was as an outlet for some old and some not so old poetry.  That I named the blog as a pun on horse turds should not be taken as an indication of my regard for poetry–quite the opposite is true, in fact. I consider it to be the absolute highest form of art, available and accessible in one form or another to anyone who embraces it.

I haven’t posted that much poetry, sadly enough, as I quickly squandered all the usable material from my youth while simultaneously devoting the lion’s share of my attention to a novel that is turning out to be not half bad–it’s got killing and a timeless rite of passage theme, which are always good things to have in a story, but thus far my efforts to include a peppy teen heroine and a sexy but broody vampire have failed.

What I didn’t expect to do was to pummel the internet with all manner of images, videos, and other non-writing, off-point things.  (By the way, sorry about that.)  The daily blogging requirement, and the familiarity I’ve developed with a core group of readers/followers has awakened by insidious, inner entertainer.  I feel a little bad about that, like I’m shirking, or like I’ve become like that creepy co-worker who sends out 40 emails a day with dumb memes and bad jokes.  Wait! I actually feel good about that.  It’s a form of sharing and intimacy–just ask my wife, who is surely sick of me yelling, “Come in here, I’ve got to show you something.”

I’m cool with it, though.  Five hundred of anything is cool, right?  I’d write more, but above and beyond the novel, there are just so many damned good blogs out there to get lost in, so many interesting people to stalk  er  follow um get to know.  So if you want more from me, write less–or write worse.

That said, I want to thank anyone who ever visited this page–the handful of old friends who stop in here now and again as well as my new “electronic” friends.  I wrote 500 posts trying to make you laugh, or get pissed off, or whatever–and have got almost 17000 hits in the process, along with over 475 followers.  Man, do I make good use that sort of affirmation!  The question, of course, is whether or not I can improve on that for the upcoming year–it should be interesting to see.  I’ve never really aspired to something tangible, let alone quantifiable, before.