Monthly Archives: July 2012

Motorcycle Accident at Rush Hour

A woman panhandles on a traffic island
standing behind a cardboard sign
I bring my motorcycle alongside her
Something about her strikes me as odd

A green van in front of me
heads under the bridge
As I pass the woman, I notice
she is a double amputee
remounted now on aluminum
and rubber, maybe a vet

The green van stops suddenly
–metal on pavement
like a trash can full of gravel
thrown from a truck

The road stands up
and skids sideways
against my helmet
bees buzzing in my ears

A blond woman from the UK
with white glasses leans over me
her mouth moving kindly
but nothing coming out

Still Life with Instruments

Hard Lesson

salmon, artichokes,
scotch and Hydro-c: best friends
motorcycle down

–Burl Whitman

Walking Through Your Estate Sale

Mulvey called and told me to go. You would have enjoyed the people who came to paw through your stuff. Although I have to say it wasn’t selling like hot cakes. I loved your mirrored bedroom. Yea, that made sense. You were a player in your day.

The familiar smell of your living room hit me when I walked in. Brought it all back. Beer, basketball, TV on too loud, say anything, plan our next road trip. It was the place i could drop in anytime without calling ahead and know i was welcome.

I didn’t see anything I wanted until the pretty woman you sent handed me a gold lame jacket from the 50s and sad, “hey, I think you missed something.” That was a nice touch. I told her you were old school and you taught me how to be a real friend. Told her about you driving your car out to where my car broke down on my way to meet a woman I was excited about and you handing me your keys and walking home. That got her.


See you soon, pal.


“This is as close to heaven as I’m ever going to get. It’s life. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. ”

Bettye Lavette
The great lady of soul.