Today, I Am Godzilla

Today, I am Godzilla.
I step: the earth shakes.
Coffee shop customers steady
their mugs. Somewhere,
a small Japanese woman
shrieks in terror and flees,
arms flailing, for shelter.

Today, I am Godzilla,
hunting for a 52L sports coat,
blocked in the city street
that is the men’s wear
section of J.C. Penny’s
by a battalion of 48R’s.
I dash them aside,
lumber off, half-defeated
and half-conquering.

Today, I am Godzilla,
backtracking in the stacks
of the Hoover Public Library
because there is a young woman
browsing mystery novels in my way
and that aisle is too damn narrow
for the both of us.

Today, I am Godzilla,
writing poetry and thinking
of what to eat tonight.

World Cup

The World Cup is close
and someone asked me to
write a poem about soccer.
This is as close to the game
as I’ve ever come:
A girl kissed me in the center circle
of the campus soccer field,
thirteen minutes after midnight,
under a rainy summer sky
in my sophomore year,
and for the minutes
and seconds of that kiss
the world became a rush and a roar
as if there were
ten thousand flashbulbs
alive in my veins
and my heart couldn’t beat any faster
even if she’d asked it to.
And then,
and then….
she walked away
to let someone else hold her
and I learned what every
player on the field learns:
the World Cup is yours
and then it is not.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

Prometheus Appeals To Zeus

Isn’t the eagle a little
I mean,
Maui did it too,
and no one gnaws
his liver.

You know as well as I do
that my gift is more a curse
than anything.

So I gave them fire.
Yes, they can bake bread,
and that offends your
but they’ll burn their daughters
and soon, their smoking world
will smother them.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

The Leopard and the Moth

You’ve got snow leopard eyes.
I’m an oldwife underwing
perched on the last wheat stems,
sunning myself
before the cold world sleeps.

Frostbound tigress,
prowl under the bridge of trolls:
The toll is a knife in your mouth,
and I’d break my heart on your headstone
if I could just find the perfect
elegy to sing for you.

The ice on the reeds
at the river’s bank
melts beneath your breath.
I want that breath on my neck–
sandpaper tongue–
and teeth to reap
the red grains from it.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

The Boys of the 39th Come Home

The train is not far
    from the station now
    and finally
    we chug on home.

The sergeant says
    there will be pretty girls
    to hug our necks
    and kiss our cheeks,
    there will be old men in hats
    to slap our backs
    and say “Welcome home, son,
    good job, good job!”

There will be ticker tape
    and a big brass band
    and a parade right through
    the center of town

but this train is
    so much emptier than it was
    when we left for the trenches
    and none of this fanfare
    will fill it up again.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.

What Happens To Me When You Laugh

What happens to me when you laugh: my lips desire
your laughing lips; my hands desire your skin beneath them;
my mouth all of your playful mouth.

Your laughter unwinds the knots in my limbs,
it softens the hardness calcified on these poets’ bones,
your laughter shushes my nervous belly gnawing.

You laugh and all the worries of my world fall away.

Sevenling: Waterfalls

I want to take you to all my favorite waterfalls:
the two cascades of Multnomah, the trickle and basin
of Fall Hollow, Falling Rock’s downpour and cavern.

Let me love you with crush and spray,
with crayfish playing in shallows,
with sips of light filtered through limestone.

Climb with me; bathe with me; love me.