The ego is greedy,

it clings like a viper expelled from the garden

screaming aloud

like a split atom.

Prancing on my belly,

another color begging me

to perform, to memorize,

my drama,

bleeding inside

like mountains of

tongues slapping in the dark.


The nerve at the center of the bone,

blooming in my skin.

My threads of indecision,

as I hang by my fingernails.

A voice screaming for me to jump,

a stagger

in my eyes.


Something shaky and terrible,

the sour reality that rolls over and over

in my throat

dreaming myself afraid so

I can save myself.

Only the bone-deep children echo

the bloated words that drift and drift

in a razor sky.

The ghosts of old lovers

who smile from the jukebox,

with eyes

that can never close.


You have choked me,

But I gave you the leash.


And now I want it back.

The skeleton’s meat and blood

wringing from me,

graves of soft earth that rise from the rain.

I can see you now,


So you, hated twin,

you are a radio fading out,

the old bones of lava beds,

a thousand miles away,

a dead language,

a tomb.


I finally woke up

and turned on the light.

RM Nov 2018

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa


I was first in line to gaze at you in a crowd,

and then I read your life story and gazed at you anew,

and finally saw you as a real woman,

yet not of this world.

It isn’t that strange really,

you married at 15 to an older cloth merchant,

and gave birth to six children (two you lost),

yet those are details.

Your face, your eyes

hold a clairvoyant ether,

like a moon expelling her dharma.

That mysterious smile,

a biologic drift seeking interpretation

from a haze that doesn’t obscure the view,

but makes it palpable.


You are an opera without music,

that holds a stain of smiles centuries old.

Would champagne spill from your fragrant mouth?

Articulation and pleasure to follow?

Or are you modeled on the cadavers of Davinci

A yawp of slender neck and jowl

as he systematically carved every curve of you perfectly?

Caught in an unchanging instant.

a silhouette sex,

a woman from the center of the universe

who just wants to left alone.


I see you holding wings in your smile

your surface a shy demurring;

thoughts dividing underneath

that try to hide themselves

but glow in private.

A mystery even to yourself.


I see plentitude and patience,

and a fierce conundrum of the soul

in the tempest that was Florence

of wars, and more wars

and lingering animosity

that doesn’t touch you.

You, an intricate ambiguity,

as life roils on

around your feet.


Finally I see you

reinvent yourself with flair,

hear your cadence as a prayer.

A slow fade,

a breathing wind

of gateless air.

The custody of knowing

you are never going anywhere,

not in this life,

or on the other side.


RM July 2019

Fear of The Ocean

Fear of the Ocean


The day is pushed inside out

as the sea waves claw at me,

I prance and hop through the flushing,

a dummy stiffness overtaking me.

as the foam breathes me in.

The green

undertinge of my face deepen,

while the upswells of pink

in my cheeks,

compel me to keep going.


But I can’t stop

the lapping in my brain

trying to suck me over the edge.

The deep bruise of pinpricked

jelly fish scraping against my thighs.

My fear is a ghost eating her shadow,

a tapeworm of the psyche,

a hallucinating fever.

the click of Russian roulette.


How can I redeem my gamble?

The whole cornucopia

of barnacles and seaweed

trying to float into me.

I will be remade,

I will transmute

the chilled wind and suck

that long drawl between land

and pulse, a becalming

of holy water,

as the waves dance and sing.


I will swim finally,

and join a thousand lives.

I will sluice through what was once

a terror,

leaving a fraying ribbon

through the sand dunes.

I will reach in and grab my beating soul,

and be healed.


RM Sept. 2019

At the Movies

As I walk into the dim room,

a movie is playing

and my mom is watching intently.

I am there but I am not there,

an ephemeral planet in the making.

A spectral vision.

A light and dark murky chiaroscuro.

An envelope.


Where is this place, this mansion, this spaceship?

Who are these people really in

this other reality?

Drowning in the refuse,

morphed back into pulp.

I can’t see for instance:

my mother’s searing invectives

my father’s unraveling tongue

This is not my home.

A breeze falls from a nearby tower and has no place to go,

I strain under the awkward weight of

a branch swarming with worms and bird droppings.

A bowl of foreign coins.


Then I walk into another room

and my sister,

a desert away,

is watching the moving images intently,

like a mirage.

Again I see my obscure picture on the screen,

holding forth in animation

Only someone else is talking.

Falling stacks of mismatched dinnerware

with nowhere to go.


Both rooms then divide and multiply

And all are foreign and cold.

Every director imbuing the action with a silver tongue.

Space is like an accordion,

but I can’t dance.

Palm trees where there should be pine.

An Undertow.

The sweet air that cant ride the curve

Or it will be killed.

Night that floats away.

Their own private paradise,

as my heart drains like sand from a shoe.

I can’t get out of there fast enough.


Until I walk another room,

And see my own movie playing,

and finally it all makes sense.

Awake to warmth and singing cells of slickness,

my skin tingles with meaning.

Everything that ever happened to me

hanging in the air.

At last time keeps its promise to itself

as my shadow slips under the threshold,

and all the little citizens of me burn.

Here I am free,

For awhile.

Until I get another hat,

Unill I find my way out of the current.


Until I realize

I can go for popcorn at any time.

And never come back.


RM Jun 2019