a place to talk so talk I'll talk we'll talk




My neighbors have the touch

I don’t


College plate on the car

Bumper stickers back of the van:

Honor students ride here

Gymnast and ball player

Two girls I know

Boys, too


Existential crises don’t rate

Stickers (until maybe they do—

Do you brake for existential crises?)


My place rests in piles

They don’t match

Books have melding themes

No organic particles (the

food stays in the fridge)

But nothing else set right


Aesthetes inattentive

To theory or approach

To dissertation on the better handling

Of things


They do it with unconscious serenity

Of their own way, my

My friends who live original rites


Small-town perfection

East Main Street


C L Couch


Solstice 3

Solstice 3


Because something smacked the Earth

Billions of years ago,

We lost our axis to ninety degrees

And gained the seasons


Everything we sing about

All the agriculture,

The seasons of our labor

The romance of tilting under windmills

(axis upon axis)


We have what we have because an alien thing struck



Sometimes intrusion

As cosmic intervention

(how would life be without its turns)

Can be wonderful


C L Couch


Land of Treats and Water

Land of Treats and Water


Old Dachshund and Old Poodle

Will one day find this

They look for it all the time

I hope in the kairotic way of keeping divine time

We will be there to meet them

To walk on grass that rolls just right

Up to the edge of heaven


C L Couch


Before the Formal Feeling

Before the Formal Feeling


When there’s pain,

Everything enwrapped that might be good

‘Til sight is pushed down toward the ground

And placing arms around

Takes nothing but

Dust and air


And ashes that rise to sting the face

And render bitter tasting in the mouth

What then is left

That’s hale or promising

The hope of life for

Tomorrow or even in time that remains today


I think I’ll have the drink that bites

And chew on some bread that’s burnt:

Salt and ashes

Herbs that sting,

Spells of ordinary stuff

Quotidian magic


The miracle in the day might be a breeze;

Some of the dust of flesh


Might rise off the nightmare,

Lets gazing up to see some yellow light


Falling on new leaves

Caught in early spring

First breaths upon the earth


C L Couch





Where, reportedly,

Our sons are murdered

They will not sin anymore

Or commit the crimes

The states say are capital

They will not bring

Us down with them in shame

And loss of standing

Though we are prostrate in

Outrage and


In grief


C L Couch


Crime Scene

Crime Scene


She was asleep

And it fell upon her

Trapped from life

That left her never

To wake again


It is a still scene, now

Xes on the trees

Still riddled with disease

But will not

Fall now except to mortality


Her home crushed

She will not live there again

The roof is gone, and

The better home will not have her


Unless haunted in memory


The bitterness in life

That will go on

If in arrhythmia

A halting step to pace

The life that will persist

That must


C L Couch




I shouldn’t write when sick

I shouldn’t do much of anything

I shouldn’t commit myself to what

Might need defending

From ignorance, later on



When I write some truer part of me leaks out


And that seems good

Maybe healthy—I don’t know

Because I am not whole


Because I breathe in parts


C L Couch





I know the children

And I know the children die

It happens every day

All the time

In real fires and in our strategies

Denying food

Denying safety

Denying home


Do we turn away to say

Not mine

Or do we look at it

To say

All ours


C L Couch





I open the cupboard

It smells like meat and spice in there

Does the bread turn into meat and bone

Flesh of my God?


God under the sink

It is dark with known and unknown faces

On cartons and bottles

Pipes that traipse and current on

To who knows where

A filtration plant

So that water might return someday


Water, wine, and blood

The earth weeps I know in

Native sadness

Lands bleeds into water

Ocean’s tears and sadness of

The distance from creation


When molecules

Were shiny and new

And compounds yawned themselves

Into existence


The car is outside

Waiting to carry me temporarily


There is a crease in back

Over which “forgiveness” in a decal

Declares pardon for the small

Collision that nonetheless

Threw me into the intersection

With enough brake force

Applied so that

Only I, my car, was hit


Where is God in this?

God is in the civil conversation

That we had after

In the gears and fluids of the car

That still work and convey me

Thence and whence

In the shadows of the house

Whose objects I don’t

Know so well


God is in the corners

And the spotlights

Of our lives


C L Couch


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