Monday, July 11, 2011



We seem to be busy with the business of
throwing all our cards on the table
face up, of course
mostly hearts, a few clubs, a couple diamonds
and they're all spades because
we call things what they are
and there are a lot of them
enough to build a house I think
or I think
we could build a city an Empire!
complete with sewers and skyscrapers
with Japanese bridges and Georgian hotels
with stop signs and churches with parking lots
with laser light shows and skies full of stars
with seasons that swing one to the next
into years of how have you been

But I've seen these cards before
and the cities they can create
I've seen them balanced-ish
piled up lavish and extravagant
I've seen them
make into fantastical, impossible shapes of wonder and magic and awe
so many empires forged
by the hands we've played
and, like any game, these cities have ended
towers felled and bridges torn (though never burned)
temples tumbled and roads akimbo
trees uprooted and clouds collapsed
not carefully put away but
turned to simply cards now
splayed on a dusty table, sticky with
after party and two empty bottles of Boone's Farm
in the back corner of a room
that no one ever goes in to anymore

Or, at least it seems that way
I think sometimes I
dream there
little snippets of places
I'm sure we made before
and it falls out into my journal
from time to time
till I start to wonder if there aren't little trolls
building bridges back and forth from
your deck to mine

Or, maybe it's just that someone left the door open
because we seem to have found our way back to that game again
now standing, a bit awkward by the table,
as we always are at first
and when it's been so long
'do you remember how to play?
or which deck is whose?
or how we made that one cool thing, you remember...

and the city starts to build itself again
empirical regeneration takes place
ripples the table into asphalt undulation
almost without our attention a new
but familiar cityscape is constructed
and we, duly deposited in the middle

So we find ourselves here,
in this new place
made of old spaces
and it must be time to talk strategy
but I look over at you and I'm wondering
how to strategize my way out of the game
I no longer wish to rule an empire of play
and I notice you haven't picked up your deck yet either
and we're a little nervous standing
in this city we're supposed to be building
a city of this-is-what-this-looks-like
and I decide to walk away from the table

You ask me where I'm going and I tell you
I'm looking for the last bridge out
of this city
back into the world
and I walk away without asking
whether or not you're coming with me.


  1. Wow, you excel yourself. So beautiful, this calls me.

  2. Thank you! I like this one. I spent a lot of time on it off and on over the winter. It's a story poem so it went in a lot of different directions and I had to keep bringing it back to making sense-which is kinda weird in poetry. Glad you liked it!

  3. oo...this is really the end and what it carries...great story telling...quite the poetic jaunt...houses of cards...

  4. Thanks so much! I almost called it house of cards but bridges just screamed to be the title.