My end
shall not be
by their finish.
Photos or not
bodies thrown
spread out before you now
all within an arm’s reach
length, step
aside, footsie, footing
for the best purchase
until these rugged
places become plains.

It’s all fluff, nutter.
sandwiched in
aren’t ever
going to make this healthy
no matter how palatable
the lie you tell yourself.

Keeping the pace
of your own race
and again
(and again?)
sending shocks
through the system
malfunction chip
pry it loose
as it gnaws at you

try your best but you don’t succeed


pull yourself up by your trail shoes

because it’s not
place, PR, age category
but about time,
the shining glory
of your participation trophy
isn’t coming from it.

Side Hustle (the fake I do when I should be paying attention at library board)

Enthusiasm precedes you

and your empathy is like a force field

not to be contained, fizzing forward

by celebratory champagne

flutes of the sauce

bubbling over as they’re tossed


schnookered on the written word.


Drawing me in with your

easy speaking

debutante haunts

bouncing balls down the halls

fans with their chants

onlookers, inside trades

dropping hints

betting against the house

knowledge of the

game, thrown

from the truss, under the bus

forty feet to the street.


Bounce with the flounce

rolling to a stop

as the meeting begins

and the grafitti,

backboards, and hoops without nets

shoot your street game

and net you in.