(no subject)

cold equations cover crumpled looseleaf like
cancer. like asylum art.
proving themselves
at the center of the room standing
patient of the wasted time

(no subject)

she never says how my
windowsill's dirty (the one
at the sink)
but she scrubs it when she comes --
talking past her shoulder, it's just an
itch she's absently scratching with
a sudsy sponge
tongue between teeth on the tough spots
watering gardenias while she's
there anyway
I'm no slob but it's only a rental
ceilings stained as though with
years of grit along the baseboards, still,
she glides her fingers
on the white soapy sill

(no subject)

there once lived a boy
in a normal house
with a normal mom
and her normal spouse

just a normal boy
with normal plans
but one thing was different:
Vincent walked on his hands

“it’s for attention” said his mother
“it’s a phase” said his dad
so they kept on ignoring
what they hoped was a fad

and each year on his birthday
(though they never got used)
his parents bought Vincent
a brand new pair of shoes

even so, he was happy
in his warm attic room
with the squirrels and bats
his dad chased with a broom

with his crayons he drew pictures
from his most favorite dreams
he felt right at home
as he hung from the beams

there were problems of course
that hurt Vincent’s pride
his head was too low
for a rollercoaster ride

and the coaches told Vincent
politely to shoo
when he won a soccer game
by a hundred and two

still his schoolmates were nice
as schoolmates can be
they just couldn’t help laughing
when vincent would pee

art class was his favorite
Mrs. Sturm loved his work:
his spaceships, his squirrels,
and the caves where monsters lurk

then one day, family friends
(to his parents’ great terror)
for their wedding asked Vincent
to be the ring-bearer

his father told Vincent
not to put on a show
“keep your hands on the ring
and your feet where they go”

he tried hard to obey
but it felt fake and vile
so he hopped on his fingers
and marched down the aisle

for the rest of the wedding
no one looked at the bride
they kept staring at Vincent
who was trying to hide

his parents were troubled
they discussed it all day,
it was clearly a problem
to keep walking this way

they said “Vincent, we love you
and your wonderful variety,
but it’s our duty to make sure
you get along with society”

so they shackled his ankles
with twenty pounds of lead
which they never took off
except when he went to bed

and each morning he cried
when his mom locked them tight.
she cried too -- “dear, I’m sorry,
but someday you’ll walk right”

then he trudged through the days
half-dead heart, empty eyes,
the rightside-up world
he began to despise

but one secret he kept:
he lived for the night
when unchained he was free
and his feet were so light

and he talked to the bats
and he pointed out stars
“up there, things are weightless
like fireflies in jars”

“and in space there’s no rightside
and no upside-down
everything is everyway
that’s where I belong”

all night long he would listen
to the stars overhead
as he danced on the roof
and drew pictures in bed

thus a normal boy
with the normal plans
escaped every night
to the strangest lands