Seventeen Cs

cracked clay sings cautiously
as calamine calls the crybaby
to clamber: using hands, feet
colliding with homegrown hangovers
and throbbing cuts ‘cross the ground
for collecting pills
does correlate with unforgiving gradients,
constellations dashing away
to conspire against invented laughter
and the clamor heard in kitchens
fraught with the craziness of
provincial, coincidental gossip.

Cat No. 75 of the 500 Cats Project

leap (of some finer faith)

it’s nothing but a waste of time
to stroll on the sidewalk, umbrella floating
and stilled.

walk by a brewery, and remind
oneself that no glass spills with
clear grace.

another boy’s pocket shelters
an iPod Classic while the bridge above
raggedly breathes.

I’m sorry, but I can’t claim
to properly believe
but you do look nice
in your Nordstrom sweater
or something I see
that doesn’t apologize
for holes, thin sleeves
or stains of fine little blackberries.

for rest
we roll across lively confetti
like seaweed on plates calmed by the best AC.

looking ahead
with nothing scrawled in our bullet planners,
soft corners rounded and stamping card stock palms.

wordlessly wild
and hunting for more than Lucky Charms, sugar
that wakes each star to leap just a foot’s worth further.

Cats No. 73 and 74 of the 500 Cats Project

the house often passed

left behind,
or home alone
with each foot planted
on the modest ramp
where plastic cars
hummed, crackling down
as droplets of dreamt confession
fell, agreed to release
themselves from a ceiling
stripped, painted indifferently
by the tips of sponges,
broomsticks’ spearheads
that don’t offer meat
the way skewers do, as seen on TV.

stretch and press
all draped plastic
and take a moment
holding breaths,
taming tensions,
catching pace,
though ducking under metal
lies null in the draft
that dances unabashedly
all the way
from thoughts’ openings.

Cat No. 72 of the 500 Cats Project

tic-tac-toe

four-sided panels.

tic-tac-toe
that claims your frustration
as you scratch the wrong symbol.

again, swerving into plastic bins
thanks to well-meaning migraines
while your brow line swells.

try again, grounded.

Cat No. 71 of the 500 Cats Project

keep on foraging

rummaging in the exhaust
of tires interrogated,

brought to deflate
when the alibi of “dinner party”
failed to beckon
the nods of swaying jurors.

to find the ring
already retrieved.

clanking down the garbage disposal
while Tim screamed, “Fuck,”
looking for a place to hide,
fork prongs bent between bluish teeth.

Cats No. 69 and 70 of the 500 Cats Project

outlook

the whistles are calling
children crossing streets
though school already started
a good while ago.

no squirrels today,
but another kid
who could very well
be one of my brothers
crawls under the fence, yawning.

the further we walk
towards what only seems
like the end of an old brick path,
the more forgivable resting becomes.

Cat No. 68 of the 500 Cats Project

the citrus patrol

the sign reads Sam Houston,
though it fails to disclose
the clementine identity
of the man who
raises his sunburnt head,
ears that twitch
to remind young drivers
that right is safe,
left is a risk,
and to pull the keys out
while placing a foot
on the beer bottle mosaic
set on the ground.

know that he can jump
like high school hurdlers,
and he’ll treat your sun roof
like an aquarium that houses
the world’s shiniest fish.

Cat No. 67 of the 500 Cats Project