Behind the 8 Ball

My phone beep beep boop boops –
Another missive from the muse:
“Wake up sleepyhead!”
What sort of being inhabits the hoodoo,
insisting on poems before coffee!?

Rude little rabbit, gnawing on word salads,
rooting up turnips au poivre,
carrots, not karats our reward –
punctuation like scat
across my screen.

My therapist – with his rabbit face –
asks "And how do you feel about that?"
I say I'm still stewing,
my skin turned inside out.
Does every cloud have a fur lining?

Spirit, what do you want to tell me?
The net has a quiz to find my spirit guide.
Without question this morning
it’s a

Miz Quickly

Slow Leak

Another morning, another set of questions
from a dubious muse,
questions that hold down strangers and interrogate their dreams,
questions left like the fingerprints of thought burglars
that intrude and steal away sacks of vocabulary, family memories, and TV’s –

Such as this: A stitch in time saves what, exactly?
Do they sew up small holes in the universe
where seconds, minutes, or eons were leaking?
Where radio telescopes were beaming sports news
from WROX in Andromeda?

Outside, starlings chamber, then fire chirped buckshot
at the fading night,
I tweeze lead shot out of the soft velvet wounds –
stars on paper towels next to the sink,
blood on the sparkles

In the unseasonal warmth,
windows rise and fall like dynasties,
Isabel Allende singing from her apartment's pulpit
before the soldiers take her away,
wait, wait, wrong Allende

Are these answers, or the hiss
of a leaky world, space-time just the dusky tires
we drive around on – worn treads
and bad valves, our souls losing pressure –
we have to refill at the next stop

Miz QuicklyTSMShay’s WG


You said I was to imagine a great thirst,
and then to slake it.
But I think “back at ya!” –
instead why don’t YOU imagine
you are the sea itself
with salt in your throat,
waves rolling off your tongue
tasting the brine of last night’s sleep –
the great deep trenches
deep as the pathways
of your lungs, as if we could name
your breaths Mariana, Tonga, Aleutian –

And you cannot imagine thirst
because you are nothing but thirst.
And you cannot imagine drink,
because you are nothing but drink.

In this way you, the reader, and I
break the fourth wall of the sea –
the stone jetties and dikes,
the levees and breakwaters,
give way. Our tsunami comes then,
beyond imagination.

Miz Quickly

Verb Me Baby One More Time

You asked me to splinter words –
the axe head of  “careful” swinging into
the “stairs,” a demolition derby
you said to renovate the basement
and I said “just say the word”
but you dumped out my poetry tool box
wrenched all the nouns and adjectives
into verbs like origami
so that dogs were dogging and
beans were beaning, conjugating 
the conjugal with efforting and 
oh my, Novembering turned on its head
and time reversing and even the hours
slip sliding away…

Miz Quickly

Crossing Guard

Crossing the I's (me) & dotting teas
Cross I'd (eyed) (eared) (nosed) (throated)
Cross my heart and hope to fly
Cross words cross bred with Corgis
mad dogs
Cross to bear, make it madder still with splinters
In its back from rubbing shoulders 
With Christ knows cross trees
Cross town we're mad as hell
And not going to take it anymore
Cross cut measure no more
Cross talk and that's what we've got going now,

Miz Quickly


I think are like Cheetos that say hi
and leave friendly residue on your fingertips
to lick when no-one is looking
but different flavors maybe
"Howdy!" could be pecan
air kisses taste like rubber balloons
"Top of the morning!" I think juniper berries
because we'll be making gin then
the brand identities explode can't
get enough shelf space at the grocery store
I miss the old days when it was just
Tide and All in the laundry isle and smelled
like soap and what does hello smell like
like that, like the promise of detergent,
like a fresh start

Miz Quickly