Stanton Heights [Dave Gingrich/CC BY-SA 2.0]
Stanton Heights [Dave Gingrich/CC BY-SA 2.0]


When we talk about money what we are really saying is I am so afraid
the retired ladies at the bar talk about Medicaid and the election
there’s been another shooting and that abandoned house finally burned down for good
it’s easy to believe that every day death is winning

just because we drink a six-pack together in the neighbor’s yard
it doesn’t mean we know each other
watching a baby take her awkward steps feels less like a triumph when she hauls off and
kicks the dog laughing

but at night sometimes we say the word love and it isn’t something abstract
down along the hillside there are deer standing in the road
in the morning we’ll know if they survived


dinkus trio



Is the sound of our one-eyed cat claws plucking at the screen door
contrary as a fur-coated John Cage at his prepared piano

as cooing pigeons pucker and crimp their filthy wings
and explode from the breadcrumbed stoop in gales of shrieks

and white stinking shit spooked by toothless leonine yowls,
the sound of my one and only fist-fight as two

supremely uncoordinated boys in coke-bottle glasses
swung and whiffed, swung and whiffed

then pushed and kicked the big soft belly
of the loser writhing in the Sunnyside School parking lot

loose gravel spraying from under him
with every pendulous exertion of my angry flying limbs,

the sound of city buses expectorating in the rush hour heap,
and wild Ruthie at the pharmacy punching in your digits first straight, then boxed,

and the way the bartender pounds a bottle of Iron so hard suds slide down the neck
soaking the want ads and is this the sound of the ocean too

and your expectations sinking in the indecent gurgling tide


dinkus trio


My Mother Looked Like Stevie Nicks

My mother looked like Stevie Nicks when we were all so much younger
and she wore a tan bathrobe fuzzed softly as sunlight filtered
through the crocheted sieve of kitchen curtains orange and floating
over a full sink of suds and gravy-stained dishes and embossed silverware

and she wore a t-shirt in the yard off Negley Ave. powdered green and plush
serving up the Bee Gees’ Main Course across her chest as she ran after the dogs
and I sat on the step my hair white and wild the way it was then with this same expression
my face has carried like a favorite tune into my forties freckled then and mostly free from worry

this hastening distance can only traffic in the barely audible echoes of our voices
some pale and sorry excuse for the true music bound lovingly by black hands
forever circling and forever entrenched I see my mother when she looked like Stevie Nicks
and hear that music sweetly tattooed upon time graceful and tragic and still the best song I’ve ever heard