my lady gaga

I just realized
that my troubles
come in doubles,
but yours come in triples;
so I am extending to you
my condolences
on your most recent tragedies,
the shit that happened to you
that won't be seen as comedies
on the small screen;
the stuff that really could get you
loosened, even if on a binge:
the sort of maladies
that discard all those vanities:
like you ever needed a mask,
you just needed a task.

December 30, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


guess who?

there's this dude:
he doesn't "show it"
(as Lord Byron would say,
if this were still his day,
following general rules)
and still, and here's the kill --
he's a 'hattanite,
way far from a luddite,
or even a hittite --
but with all your wit
dark or half-lit,
can you figure it:
who should be granted
this title,
master of all entitled,
crafter of all manner
of pomes?

December 29, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


First Church of Ned's Point

the ocean is angry
on this last Sunday morning of 2009,
with two-foot seas
kissing the fog, roughly,
as the tide charges the shore,
heading straight for me,
the lone scribbler,
once again pining for You;
my love cannot plumb
these surly waters,
it can only seek refuge
in the pavilion here
at the First Church of Ned's Point,
which You christened
on a sunny, more hospitable day
last August,
when Your eyes lit my way,
and Your laughter was my soundtrack;
this stormy day does nothing
to erase the mind's images,
caught and kept,
wrestling and surging,
floating out of my eyes,
surrounding me.

December 27, 2009, for the Wifey. Only four days!

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


chickadee symphony

(your favorite poet is a bit low on the lively scale, and offers the following, written last month, as something for you to enjoy while he tries valiantly to find a reason to go on; well, okay, maybe I am not your favorite poet, but still, humor me, please)

outside my window today,
the chickadee symphony
plays away the day,
as my November soul
feels so old and grey:
wishing that it were
another day in May;
anything to remove this ring
from around my neck;
cast off the weight of repose,
and throw myself
at the feet of all those
who wish me well:
aw, what the hell,
I have done it,
just as I chose.

November 22, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


Merry Christmas, Baby

the clouds have clamped a tight lid
on the whole of the harbor
and all of the bay that can be seen
from Ned's Point
this Christmas Morning,
as I sit, pensive, praying
to some god, somewhere,
thanking her for the gift of You;
I am, all told, not much of a man,
surely not one to be remembered
in history books
or nursery rhymes,
but I have had a few looks,
and more than a few times
that may be worth recounting,
the sum total of which
might be something amounting
to something;
but the best, for sure,
has been saved for last,
time with You, loved, and passed.

December 25, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


O Christmas!

I remember the birth
of the mirth, of the joy,
though I was only a small boy:
I remember Christmas,
untouched, unblemished,
a simple time, one to relish,
enjoying the ordinary pleasures
as if they were new-found treasures;

now it all seems so stale,
so old and forgotten,
so much a sad tale
of times misbegotten;

maybe it's just me,
maybe I have lost all my
silly carefree serendipity;

in any event, I do not want
to dampen, or otherwise tamper
your merriment this night,
or to even temper your joy
with some of my sad employ;

go on, and you make the most of it,
and I will watch, from farther off,
and see the best of which
your good heart makes of such,
and cheer you on,
and cheer you on;

I am here with you, always,
just sometimes a bit further on,
just sometimes a bit further on.

December 24, 2009. To all my friends, Merry Christmas.

Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Christmas priceless

I did an inventory
a few minutes ago,
okay maybe an hour ago, sue me;
and I figured out that
there are, I think, four people
out of the billions on this planet,
who love me
without condition;
which is a big deal,
if you know anything about
and tonight, Christmas Eve,
will be the first time in all their lives,
those three,
each one,
that I will not be with them,
reading "A Visit from Saint Nicholas,"
and tucking them in;
too expensive, with too little income,
and if I don't work, I don't get paid,
just like all the working poor;
but the fourth one,
who loves me unconditionally,
I will get to see her
in seven days;
and part of the beauty is
that those three, my girls,
continue to merely want Daddy
to be happy;
and in seven days, I will be, again,
thanks to a woman beyond compare,
and three girls who unconditionally
love their daddy.

December 24, 2009, for my daughters and for the Wifey. I love you all four, with every ounce of me, including all the so-called legendary brain cells. Whatever. I'm just your dad, and I'm just your chubby hubby.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


The Best Christmas Gift of All Time

Mom stared at me, like she had never laid eyes on me before in her life: "You have a special gift for me, but I have to close my eyes? I'm sorry, but I don't trust you. I haven't trusted you since you were in your late forties. No, late thirties. Eh, scratch that, late twenties. Eh, screw it, late teens. Okay, fine, not even then. Whatever. I am not closing my eyes when you are in the room. Got it?"

"Yes, mom, I got it. So fine, you won't close your eyes. Okay. Stick out your hand."

"Stick out my hand? What, are you fuckin nuts? I am not going to close my eyes, and yet somehow, you think that I will then, nonetheless, stick out my naked hand for you to drop some perverted shit into it? Do you think that I fell with the fuckin rain last night?"

"No, mom, I am fairly sure that you did not fall with the rain last night. I would have heard the gigantic thump, thump, thump, bump, bump, badadadada, bang bang whump, if you had."

"Wait a minute, mister, are you sayin something about the size of my butt or something?"

"No, mom, I am fairly sure that even with the available twenty-six letters, and all of their possible combinations, that it is not possible, in the English language, to say something about the size of your butt. That would require several more languages, a whole lot of vowels, a few major consonants, and probably a little K-Y."

"You are mocking me, aren't you? You think that I can't figure out what you are sayin, and so you are sayin cruel, spiteful things to me, about me, when you think that I can't tell that you are, aren't you?"

"No, mom, I know that you can tell when I am considering you as a mouth-breathing, totally dysfunctional moron, incapable of much more than tying your shoes. And I also know that, notwithstanding all of the immediately available evidence that I think you are a complete waste of oxygen, that you will smile, nod, and agree that I have your best interests at heart. Ain't familial love grand?"

"Famiminalial whatevah. What is this gift that you have for me, you misbegotten total failure of a man, what is it?"

"Now, mom, don't be waxin sentimental on me, or even mental, or for that matter, metal; no Gene Simmons moves, ok, mom?"

"No worries, regrettable spawn of my loins. Not even one Ozzy move, no Iggy Stooge replays, nothing. Lay it on me, you major league disappointment, put it right over the plate."

"Okay, mom, as you have asked, so it will be done. Hey, I sound like a priest!"

"Calmate, niño, you are no priest, believe me. So show me the freakin gift, already!"

"Okay, here it is, mom. It's a petrified turd of mine from when I was two years old. I saved it, because I knew that many years later, you would find it precious."

"A what? You are kidding me, right? You are giving me a gift which is a turd from when you were just off my tit? Am I getting that right?"

"Yes, mom, that brown, dusty little bit of crusty nastiness is your present. I feel like it is a secret bond that only you and I share."

She stared at me, like she usually does, a cross between a coyote sizing up dinner and an old lady who can barely see. I could tell that she was formulating a response, as I saw the steam start seeping out of her ears.

"What kind of a goddamn Christmas present is that, you worthless moron? You are giving me a piece of your own shit for a Christmas present?"

"Yes, I am, mom. Because it is a lot less injurious to my future."

"Injurious to your future? I can't believe that you were able to use "injurious" correctly in a sentence, you mouthbreathing cretin."

"Yes, and thank you, mom. If I had given you what I really wanted to give you, it could have resulted in a felony arrest and prosecution. So I settled on the turd instead."

"What were you planning on giving me before, nitwit?"

"I was planning on giving you that carving knife, the one that you don't let anyone use. I was planning on giving it to you between your third and fourth ribs, mom."

"Oh, I get it. You are too cheap to give me a gift that you selected, that you purchased, you just were going to give me something that I own. You are so worthless, it makes me laugh. Here, keep your petrified turd, you dopey sonovabitch."

"Well I don't want to disappoint you, mom. So here, here's the carving knife. I hope you enjoy it."

The look on her face was priceless, as the blade sunk in. Not just shock, but a strange maniacal look, like she had been waiting for it for a long time, but never expected it to arrive.

"Well, shithead," she gasped, "I guess you have just injured your future."

"Not really, mom, this is just a story. You know that I would never do such a foolish thing. You're fine. You haven't been murdered. You are just overtired. You ought to get some rest, maybe lie down for a while."

"I can't believe my ears," she gurgled with her last breath, "but I actually agree with you, you imbecile. I think I do need to take a little rest."

Her eyes closed, and the blood began to turn brown, and I knew that I had given her the best. The Christmas gift of all time. I was proud of myself, and I knew, that somewhere around the seventh circle of Hell, she was proud of me too.

December 22, 2009, just in time for Christmas.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Baby Jesús

millions of music notes
and that many more
words wrote
as adoration;
please, tell us,
that it was not just

that Paul was not just
the ancient equivalent
of the modern-day
shopping mall salesman;

that Gethsemane was not
just an event for you to be
available for the cameras,
a failing of us, for which
you could hammer us;

that when the cock crowed
for Peter that morning,
that it was not just another
myth to ensure your adoring;

that when the stone was found
rolled back quite a way,
that it was not just your plan
for added media play;

oh, and happy birthday:
Feliz Navidad, Jesús.

hey, wait, weren't you
a Palestinian?

December 22, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

no surplus

you can never get
too many hugs,
or too much relief
from things that bug you;

there's no such thing
as too much wishin',
and if you have cancer,
you're always up for
a little more remission;

ah, too cutesy, you say,
and you turn your head away;
too many rhymes,
and not nearly enough time,
spent on things that are
Oh So Important To Say;

eh, with all the death and
destruction around,
and all the lives in need of
we ought to declare a special
holiday, when everyone gets
to say what they want to say
in their own special way,
without having a goddamned
election or some such other
opportunity for the majority
to stick it to us one more time,
whether or not they've a
decent rhyme, or the sense of
meter to make the rhythm shine;

no such thing as a silly song
to sing, if all you have left is
one simple melody, even off-key,
if a song helps you along, it's your
own serendipity, your own picking
of the lock for which there is no key;

you never can receive too much
unconditional love; it's what makes
falling down make us reach up above;
nor is there a proper quota on fun,
try it, have some, and you will have
won; maybe not the war, but certainly
the battle at hand; and then sing your
off-key song, sing it to beat the band;

oh no, there goes another cliché:
will he spout them until he is carried away?

maybe I will, and maybe I won't, and
I will not say, save only that I never let
naysayers stand in my way; I am here to
preach love, and to ensure that you do not
forget that I hope that all that is wonderful
is all that you get, and then some;

and then some more.

December 22, 2009, for all of you.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


we are together

outside, baby, the storm rages,
dropping all that white all over,
while I flip through care-worn pages,
and realize that You are like no other;
I may need You to save me,
from all that accumulating nieve;

blessing me, every day, with Your love,
such a silly fool that I remain, still,
no showers of frozen water from above,
will ever let me complain,
while I enjoy all the charms that
You employ, as You take us down
that primrose path, past all the bad,
past all the past, past the wrath
visited so unfairly on You, and
by extension, on me;

now, just the capture of what we wrought,
a souvenir of all that we bought,
lock, stock, and barrel:
You and I, cemented in the middle,
maybe a new life to seek,
maybe not so very meek as to say,
today is the first day
of forever, whatever, and ever
shall be: me for You,
and You for me;

as I have You, here, the distance
makes my love for You everclear:
part, momentarily, my dear,
as we always must,
but for always, we are together.

December 20, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


to never leave you

this night, especially,
the sound of You sleeping,
inches away,
comforts me more than my silly words
can say;

comfort now is found,
but reality always rebounds,
as I realize that I almost lost me,
but more importantly, You,
earlier today, when
something seized me,
held me tight in a grip,
and yet somehow,
there was a small click,
a switch switched, and I continued
on my zigzag trip
to somewhere,
at least to now,
and tomorrow, but somehow,
the elation of survival
is the second cousin of sorrow;

another day to love You,
more chances to show my true self
a little bit more than just words,
my arms holding You tighter,
this life, feeling just a little righter
than when I started this day,
unaware that something might conspire
to take me away from You, again,
like those lives before, way back when,
when the way was lit with smoky torches,
and all I could see were Your eyes,
and That Smile, through the haze,
those days, dimly lit now,
but burned in my eyes so clear, and
yet somehow, for a time today,
I did not remember You,
and lost my focus, lost my bearings,
and I was adrift;

I cannot measure my determination,
my will, my strength, my ardor for You
in any useful way, but I hope that it will
suffice to say, that I am now dedicated
in more ways than I can say,
come what may,
to never leave You.

December 19, 2009, for the Wifey, my beacon, always.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


blind success, so temporary

I still manage to put one foot in front of the other,
and generally get to where I need to go,
even though you constantly push me aside,
your eyes on the prize of the day,
as you let nothing get in your way;

I breathe pretty well most of the time,
even with your foot pressing down on my neck;
I still smile when I see something beautiful,
even though your grimace looms over the landscape;

I believe in the innate goodness of people,
even though you manage to make malice seem
like the order of the day, in every way;
While you worry about whether your latte will be freshly brewed,
I wonder what I will do tomorrow about food;

You laugh at those whose frailties show, you snicker,
but what will come to you, in time, will make you sicker
than you seem to me now, all attitude and eyebrow;

I used to be on the top of the pile, like you are now,
and I learned how easy it is to fall, and how fast it can come;
I can see that in your eyes today, that simple slip
when misfortune takes everything, and makes you run for cover;
one day, you will be down here, though you will likely not see,
you will probably not discover that having nothing to lose,
means that you are really, really free;

Of course, in your mindset, you will never have a regret,
you will never appreciate all that fate and pure luck gave you,
even when you hit the bottom, and there is no one left who cares,
no one who will even try to save you, even yourself,
and all your accumulation will amount to nothing,
rotting and corroding on some too-high-to-reach shelf;

Every time I feel especially low, I take a moment, like now,
to feel really sorry for those like you, who would not know
what to do, or where to turn, if you were in my shoes,
and I wind up, oddly, having so much pity for you.

December 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


facets of You

tonight, yet another in a long line
of nights that I wish that I was there,
with my hands full of You,
juggling nothing but Your voluptuousness,
seeking nothing but a little more,
willing to take the boat of romance
quite a ways off the shore --
discoverers and lovers
share something important:
the willingness to explore --
and I never tire of turning over
one more time,
and finding another facet of You,
a surprise not quite plainly viewed,
but one that widens my eyes,
gives me a view that is new,
reminds me of how complex You are,
a lover quite simple,
but a lover beyond compare,
a thousand million things,
and all right there.

December 14, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

act later!

okay, let's be brutally honest:
candid, frank --
hey, we could even shoot for truthful --
there are no "operators standing by",
and if you do not "act now"
it simply means that someone will
finish their crossword book
sooner than they otherwise
might have,
and pull out a new one,
or reach for the latest issue of
The Star;
so relax,
don't worry about the doubled offer:
someone will be "sitting by"
on their big fat ass
anytime tomorrow.

December 14, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



I wore your leather jacket,
the one from years ago,
out in the rain today,
but the pain was not good enough
without you around to grimace
as the big raindrops left their
dark splotches
right about where I would place
a bodyshot, if I was not so
enamored of headshots;
and then I ripped a photo of you
into two
or three
million pieces,
sprinkling them on the ground
as the rain beat down,
turning your jacket
into trash;
and I hoped that forever
you moan and thrash,
and know no peace,
and die a slow, painful death,

December 13, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

holding secrets forever

the Huey glides by,
inches above the far horizon,
close enough of a speck to see,
but barely close enough to hear;
something rises from these distant hills,
some magic, sent
to inspire with thrills
or certain death,
beneath icy, salty barriers
to immortality;
and so the search
for the wayward vessel,
caught in some lurch of the sea,
until at last, every inch has been
mapped, studied, frozen in the eye,
and there is nothing,
just nothing to be found,
not more time,
nor more hope,
only waters
holding secrets forever.

December 13, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

just right

the "good girls," of course,
are really boring, until
hopefully, you have the luck,
or the good sense,
or even the skill,
to bring out the inner "bad girl" in them:
that's when life gets interesting,
when you spend at least half the time,
covering up, dodging flying shoes,
guarding the bottle,
sleeping with one eye open,
as you lie on a bed of nails;
luckily for me,
You only play a good girl on TV
(I know it's not my skill,
it's at best serendipity),
and so life is just one long
hold-your-breath-and-hang-on-tight thrill,
from the first thing in the day
until way into the tomb of night,
rockin', rollin',
feelin', knowin',
that everything here is
just right.

December 13, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

solitude on sunday morning

this morning, after a week of winds
strong enough to turn your head around,
there is no breeze at all at Ned's Point,
only clear blue sky,
some distant nimbus clouds,
and the water in the harbor
looks like Nana just finished ironing it;
hardly any people here either,
as if they were all led away in the night,
last night, the night that
I most recently waited patiently for You,
and You never arrived;
this stillness, broken only by a couple
of somber cackles of gulls,
gives me a concrete sense
of what my world would be like
if You were no longer in it,
and the feeling, that feeling,
starts to sicken me,
and so I decide that I must write it
all down in order to remember it, as I
have high hopes to never know it again.

December 13, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



framed in doorways,
some looking mournful,
others glaring right through me;
and those in repose,
with the same downward cant
of the hips,
trapped in the motionless sea
of twisted sheets,
rumpled bedclothes,
some sneering,
others, with full lips,
always the curves,
every one of them
deadly, ready to take a man
and toss him over the embankment,
for crimes done,
or simply for fun;
short and tall,
dark and fair,
all in all,
they remain frozen there:
captured beneath my eyelids,
as I seek what is hidden,
unwritten, underscored,
as I stare, mesmerized;
this begins all,
and ends with a fall,
a stumble, a misstep,
and suddenly,
all that is left
are silhouettes.

December 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


simply meant to be

our friend says that she doesn't condone
our relationship, which of course comes
as no surprise, since few people would;
most anyone would see nothing but bad,
their view clouded, blocking out the good;
but we never sought this love, it
came as a bolt to hit the mark, and we were
both caught flat-footed, stunned by
what sprang up before us, consumed us;
and we chose,
yes, we chose,
not to deny it, which seemed a sin,
and probing deeper, we both came to believe
that we had been lovers before,
many, many times over millennia --
too much that fit so well, soulmates --
not in some pop-psych sort of way,
but in ways that are hard to put into words,
and we knew,
we just knew,
that we had been each other's before,
and pure chance had brought us together again,
after who knows how many lifetimes;
in this life, the most unlikely of couples,
but yet, such a perfect fit
in a world filled with imperfect puzzles;
we cannot explain the inexplicable,
nor can we apologize for this bond,
this love that runs so deep, so true --
who apologizes for real love, true devotion?
who turns their back on something so
magnificent, so rare, an unending pledge
to always be there?
we do not know where this path leads,
only that we must follow it,
embrace each other, and know, in the quiet,
still moments, that we were always
simply meant to be.

December 10, 2009, for the Wifey. Only you know, and I know.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


better number 2

I adore You:
You are better than any sunrise,
better than Ned's Point,
or chocolate,
The Beatles,
apple pie,
Cajun seared catfish,
fresh fruit,
ham and eggs,
smoked oysters,
fig newtons,
ribeye steak,
buttermilk biscuits,
down comforters,
scallops wrapped in bacon,
linguica and chorizo,
pastrami on rye,
all nine symphonies,
salsa picante,
free drinks,
smoked Gouda,
every known songbird,pot roast,
Billy Collins,
jumbo shrimp,
ice cold beer,
William Blake,
grilled cheese sandwiches,
rock 'n' roll,
hot showers,
oysters on the half shell,
sleeping in,
Adrienne Rich,
Vidalia onions,
bologna sandwiches,
any pome I have ever written,
better than any of the things that I enjoy,
and all of them combined;
all of the women that I have ever known,
laid end to end,
would never measure up to You;
it's true, every bit:
I am so lucky to have You,
that it is a wonder that I am not
black and blue from pinching myself.

December 8, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


his belt
was used mostly
to hold up his pants;

your cat-o'-nine-tails
had only one purpose;

funeral arrangements:
"paper or plastic?"

December 8, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

disconsolate as I depart

my fingers struggle mightily with these keys
as the petrification begins,
but still, there might someday be something useful
to be gleaned from this, some glimmer of something;
and as always, I am dutiful,
I am the last one to leave the scene of the crime,
absorbing every detail, my mental vacuum
sucking up every bit,
testing one two three

he pushed,
and I pulled,
and between us, we now have four empty hands,
having managed to do not much but tear You apart;
who could live with this?
who could go another day,
with Your blood on their hands?

over millennia, You and I, playing cat and mouse, playfully
playing house, challenging each other to love's brightly-colored games,
all tried-and-true, even though I forget all their names;
one lifetime together, and two apart, yet
each time we found each other, it was never a new start:
we knew each other like the moccasin knows the foot,
like the glove knows the hand,
like the hourglass feels each tumbling grain of sand;

and yet, this time, this time it hurts like never before,
like the window keeps slamming shut,
in perfect syncopation with the heavy door,
and I sit here, my mind on fire and my heart on the floor,
and I wish it were not so,
that You felt that You had to go,
I wish that it were not so,
wish that it were not so;

of course, this life has been just another in such a long string,
appropriate for much and yet apropos of nothing;
another testing ground for philosophy,
another set of challenges for You and for me:
charting the hidden paths of love's deepest courses,
holding each other so close in spite of wild horses,
living in each other's hearts and arms so comfortably,
seeing everything at once, knowing just what to be,
to be the alpha and the omega of two beating hearts,
the sine qua non of passion's endless starts and stops,
actors enabled by fevered pitches without any need of props;

and I told You, even as I begged you to stay,
I vowed that if You left, that I would follow,
that today melts into tomorrow's sorrow, and yet even so,
if You left, that then I too would go,
and so I will, I am leaving tonight,
hot on Your trail, following the wisp of vapor that is Your tail,
taking in Your scent, as You make your descent,
breathing in once again, as You breathe out,
and it being fresh this time, I know I will catch up to You,
if it is the last immortal thing that I ever do;

then there is the matter of our six orphans left behind,
what is to become of them?
they are left in capable hands, You told me,
and although I could not accept such glibly,
I acceded to Your assertions, and pray only that You were,
once again, entirely correct, flawless in Your estimation
of cause and effect, of how things turn out, century after century;

I shall be with You again soon, mi amor,
Loving you True, siempre.

December 7, 2009, for the Wifey. False alarm, but the path lies waiting.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



the oriole, the robin, and the wren
are engaged in a lively conversation
this Sunday morning
about how rapidly the tide
is going out, creating
one-foot swells as it races out to sea;
the oriole wonders
if the harbor might be emptied,
leaving lots of food exposed
to the winter sun;
the robin cackles a laugh,
as she spits out a chokeberry,
mistaken for bittersweet,
and the wren keeps her opinions
on the end of the harbor to herself;
the dripping of the melting snow
provides the only rhythm
for this sun-drenched conversation,
and I imagine you and I
as birds, flitting from branch to branch,
singing, laughing, loving,
and certain that at some point,
the tide will stop going out,
and return.

December 6, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Facebook | Edit Album - FarmVille Photos

Facebook | Edit Album - FarmVille Photos


yuletide greeting

snuffed out candles,
black wreaths,
moldy food on display,
and the winter cold
escapes your bitter heart
and appears in shadows
that seem as determined
to gleam as they seem
certain to stay;
your winter's death,
a cause for much
dark celebration:
no more your vile bile
cast out upon Creation;
your last rattle of a breath,
a welcome hello,
as home now
can once again
really be one,
oh monster mine.

December 3, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


live through this

live through this,
live through this:

at the end,
on the other side,
is You;

live through this,
live through this;


live through this,
live through this:

get to You,
get to You.

December 3, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

time served

every day
the bleak
looks bleaker
the meek
look weaker,
as this stone rolls
back down the hill again;

I'd ask for the time,
if I thought you might
spare some,
or maybe a dime,
if there was something
that I could do with one;

when I make that
long, slow march
into Hell,
I am asking for credit for
time served.

December 2, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


evermore number 2

I look down at the floor:
Your two tiny lime-green slippers
sit next to my size 9 waterproof boots;
they may seem disparate,
but they have more in common
than can be readily seen,
and are more than comfortable
next to each other,
like You and I:
down through millennia,
each of us, catching the other's eye;
our reunion, now nine months old,
is our ageless story,
only once again retold:
a love of all lifetimes,
a love so bold,
that it ventures to places
both new and old;
You were mine once,
and hence, evermore.

November 29, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


most beautiful

in Your cute Christmas pajamas,
fresh as a daisy
from Your shower,
hair damp,
a million-and-one ringlets of brown,
Your former frown
replaced with That Smile,
and not a speck yet
of makeup:
and I tell You
that this is when
You are most beautiful,
and You give me
a p'shaw,
and blush,
and I remind myself
that I am a most fortunate man,
to have Your love:
You amaze me,
and You honor me with such.

November 28, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Great Phone Conversations 17

"Hello. How have you been?"

"I was fine until about five seconds ago. What do you want, you sick pervert?"

"I was hoping, in the spirit of the season, that we could let go of the past -- start fresh -- so I called to tell you how to spread cheer at the holidays, sort of a peace offering."


"Well, you grab cheer's right thigh with your left hand,"


December 1, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I await You

the sea oats dance
as the nor'easter's presence
gets cranked up,
and I await You;

the clouds fly by,
hastily heading out to sea,
blocking the winter sun,
sending me inside,
and I await You.

November 27, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the author is

sometimes saddened,
when along comes someone,
who thinks that they are the next Hemingway,
and yet cannot describe how to catch,
and properly throw back, a rainbow trout;

sometimes saddened,
when along comes someone,
who thinks that they are the next Faulkner,
and yet cannot tell the reader one damned trait
of a rounder;

sometimes maddened
when along comes someone,
who thinks that they are the next Bukowski,
and yet cannot tell the reader,
who was Chinaski, or who was the leader;

sometimes saddened
when along comes someone,
who thinks that they are the next Updike,
who cannot tell one teen-age bathing suit,
from another;

then reminded, in an etymological epiphany,
that all that follows
is borne of what preceded thee.

November 26, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I peer around the corner:
is that you? it's raining so hard,
I can barely see;

You look out the car window:
is that him? it's raining so hard,
I can barely see;

I walk out into the downpour,
not quite nonchalant,
that all the times I that I have
gotten soaked,
eventually, I always got dry;

my heart skips beats,
and I cannot find my feet,
as I approach,
and see Your smile;

You alight,
and my heart takes flight:
oh, baby, it's been quite a while.

November 25, 2009, for the Wifey. I am pretty excited.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



by definition
always an eye-catcher,
a brand new rendition
of a least a pair of images,
intended to really
sink in,
and be absorbed;

so the other day,
on the streets,
perhaps an unintended

"New 2010 Mercedes S-Class
starting at only


next door:
"Free tote bag
with every
pint of blood sold."

November 25, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



you sit there,
you yammering, stammering,
well-heeled, well-oiled asses,
arguing about whether people
should receive adequate health-care
as a civil right,
while meanwhile I sit here,
slowly disintegrating,
day by day approaching
a vapor, that the next winter wind
will casually blow away;
while millions, yes read it again,
millions, face certain early doom,
demise that they will realize
in the stark darkness of some lonely
room, where no one cares, nor is
aware, that a person is about to depart;
unscrew you, you self-satisfied henchmen,
you well-fed, well-cared, benchmen:
as you debate our fate,
we will come to press your face
to the red-hot grate,
and see what then you think
is worthy of mention.

November 23, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

just like Ferlinghetti

and always on the fucking margins, man,
always playing it a little safe,
like even Buk, although I adore
that sonovabitch every day of my life,
never crossed some lines,
never sometimes cast down a few stones,
worried over some rhymes,
or pissed on the dress shoes of a few real pomes;
goddammit had a little fucking fun
at the expense of nearly everyone
and said fuck you to the guy next door
and laid my dick in wet sawdust
on a bar-room floor covered with wet whores
and stayed up all night long
just to see if I still fucking could
and watched with fascination
as I goddamned well got wood,
thinking about you,
thinking about you.

November 23, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

mightier still

while I was starving,
lying in the middle of your orchard,
you, and your compatriots
destined me for the kill,
and yet, I write these words,
lessening your thrill;
and so I stand,
and I thereby constitute
your most avoided nightmare:
I am now what you wished
that I might never be:
I am now where you always hoped
that time would never find me;
Your Master,
your disaster,
your undoing,
and all of your machinations,
but never willing to forget,
will not declaim me:
I am of you,
and your protests
reaffirm me,
and Yes, I will live past
all the derision
to which you have
consigned me,
because I am more
than what you foolishly
had sought to design for me,
and yet,
I live on,
as your tremors overtake you,
and your bladder empties
on your feet of clay.

November 22, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

never forget

your blood stains my shirt,
and I am supremely unimpressed;
I look at your body
with the same disdain
as when you were alive,
moments ago;
you are gone now,
no longer a waste of oxygen,
no more a brute,
no more a monster;
you now seem so small,
so incapable of horrific deeds,
and maybe that smallness
is just what my soul needs;
you now go, wherever it is
that we all go,
to nothing,
or to everything
for which your putrid life
qualifies you;
and I sit, quite unconcerned,
as the bloodstains go from
to brown,
and as life is now righted,
having been turned
upside down;
not even a question,
as your obituary
will never mention
your whippings,
your derision
of all that I ever sought,
not to mention
all of your machinations
to gain more attention
of an ego so overwrought;
you miserable, wretched,
bitter old person,
now you have learned
the ultimate lesson:
an abuser always meets
the fate that they set,
and what they receive
is that the abused
never forget.

November 22, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the prayer to Grampa

time recedes,
and memory bleeds
too-short memories of you;
I was only 13 when you died,
and I remember,
forty-two years hence,
how I convulsed,
how I cried,
when the sirens were quieted,
and Dr. Baxter came out
from your room,
and said the obligatory
"I'm sorry" and then trudged
down the hall of the hospital,
to the next aggrieved family;
Oh, Grampa,
I need you now more than ever,
as life throws one curveball after another;
please be here with me,
sharing an apple,
or some fish drenched in molé,
as I unload all my uncertainties,
to you, a man always so certain:
"measure twice, and cut once,"
you taught me,
and now I need you to help me
measure the second time,
because She is too precious
to lose because of an inaccurate
She is the world, and I am merely
a distant moon;
and I swear, on the heads of your
that She is the One,
whom, down through time,
I have chased, and sometimes
gained, the One that was always
my aim;
so please, Grampa,
help me to claim
what I seek:
contemplating any loss of whom,
makes me weak.

November 16, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


morning comes forever

my lust is transparent,
and Her satisfaction,
as morning comes forever;
and somewhere,
in the many mysteries
hidden under rented bedclothes,
hands find warm flesh,
and hearts pound out
a salsa beat,
as tender mercies
give a home to restless loins,
and Saturday night fantasies;
and morning comes forever,
as sleep is left aside
for the times of separation,
which are treacherous and wide;
and want becomes need,
and we are like sucklings,
ready to feed,
heated but not sated,
and morning comes forever,
even as we waited.

November 15, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

the beckoning

She floats, in that white dress,
just slightly above the ground,
Her head back, at times,
with the music of Her laughter
echoing off the lighthouse,
off these rocks, born when
the Earth was an orb slowly
he hears the sound of Her,
and he runs barefoot
through fields of broken glass,
while snipers, heavily armed,
take aim;
and She softly calls his name,
and Her smile lights every
dark corner of the nighttime world,
and even the dark places
in his soul;
he runs, undaunted, determined,
and She beckons,
with that trademark crooked index finger,
and he runs and runs;
one day, he will catch Her,
and bring Her into his arms.

November 15, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


it is November 15,
and there is one sailboat
still resolutely moored in the harbor,
and I wonder:
is the owner
merely an optimist,
who firmly believes
that Winter's sting
will not come,
or is he a wild-eyed fool,
who will sail in any weather,
so enamored of the salty spray,
that he would risk his life
in dark, icy waters,
heaving his craft up and down,
side to side, threatening
to swallow boat and sailor,
or maybe he is dead, and no longer
has need of his jib;
or maybe his wife's ass
has enough allure
to keep his boat moored,
while he is otherwise engaged.

November 15, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


mostly whole again

You credit me,
with having helped you through
a time most difficult,
most fraught with anguish;
and You tell me that not once
did I let you languish
in self-deprecation,
in unspeakable despair;
that, time after time,
moment after moment,
day after day,
that I was there,
there for You in a way
that held a flashlight forward
to help You find a way
back into the life of today;
and I blush inwardly,
and remind You that I am
all in, committed to whatever
it takes for You to regain
Yourself, Your health,
Your sense of worth,
sense of purpose,
Your innate raison d'etre:
and how I manage to get You there
does not matter,
and any small, silly sacrifice
that I make in the course of things,
is not worth noting,
if I am able to send You back,
mostly whole again.

November 13, 2009, for the Wifey, and in honor of our nine months together.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the hospital

the dull hum of the air handler
creates enough white noise
that you could easily fall asleep,
if not for the fact that
you sit in the foyer of the
house of death,
watching as all the wounded
and afflicted in the world
wander by, seeking aid,
searching for cures,
for hope in a hopeless world,
scrubbed daily for all that it's worth,
bleached and sterilized
by the terrified,
the keepers of empty whiteness
and blank minds,
that have never savored sonnets,
or gently kissed nipples of elegance,
nor drunk deeply a fine Port,
while the taste of a good brie lingers:
kept clean,
and so left barren.

November 12, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



easy, it isn't,
peeling off layers,
"waxing poetic"
about love and life,
following the critics'
acceptable aesthetic;
as I once wrote,
"unscrew you with a hatful of bananas"
like what you think
really fucking matters:
if I move my readers,
and as a writer, grow,
wtf is your opinion worth,
win, place, or show?
I rhyme too much,
that was long ago leveled,
but as Byron long ago knew,
such a corner, finely beveled,
would be lost on the likes of you:
"Sir, I will agree with your general rule,
That every poet is a fool;
But you, yourself, may serve to show it:
Every fool is not a poet."

November 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


more than a few times

when You sleep
(dormirse bien, mi ciela),
and I listen,
something flies
right through me:
Your spirit, or
maybe Your majesty,
or maybe just an echo
of the ecstasy
that we have known;
either way,
what is shown to me
is spectacular,
in its particularity:
it is, at once,
fondly kept,
and a reason why
I have wept for joy,
more than a few times, baby,
more than a few times.

November 11, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

more than a little good

"nice ass,"
I say, each time
she runs past the pavilion;
she has her ear buds in, though,
and hears nothing
on this quiet morning,
with fish racing,
gulls hovering,
leaves rustling,
time playing out
its last bit of string,
as the sun continues
to bleach these rocks,
and an older man
tries to record it all,
but dammit
someone needs to
pull those ear buds out,
and tell her that all that running
has done
more than a little good.

November 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



the cries of gulls
and the drone of Cessnas
interrupt the tinkling
of wind chimes,
as I look upon the millions
of dead bodies
strewn across the face of the turf,
as the tide rushes for the shore,
and the church bells
all proclaim salvation;
most of the sailboats
are gone now,
off to their winter berths,
and the squirrels nervously
gather and scramble
to their oak leaf nests;
this is the season of dying,
and the way we meet --
like the sky and the gull,
beautiful, but gone too soon --
till the next gliding arc
of the rising bird,
like the days coming up
when I will be with You again;
each morning now passed
is one more closer to You,
and amidst all this mortality,
I suddenly feel very alive.

November 8 and 11, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Sunday morning

the sun is bright and the wind steady,
out of the northeast,
as I watch the tri-mast schooner,
in full sail, crossing the harbor,
the cut of its jib,
like the Tip of the Spear,
like a proud young man
before his blushing virgin;
the gulls sleep,
as the flag flapping
stands erect over
the ants marching;
I watch her drive to the water's edge,
idling, palms sweating,
heart racing,
as she stifles a sob or two,
tears cascading down
powdered cheeks;
and then, resolve restored,
she guns the engine,
and sails into yesterday,
momentarily triumphant.

November 8, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


poets die

at last, he was not sure
if he had consumed the drinks,
or if the drinks had consumed him,
but either way,
the work got better
and better,
the wetter he got,
sinuses filled with snot;
and yet he soldiered on,
until most of him
was gone:
one more to be admired
long after he was gone:
a bunch of silly lines,
left to linger on.

November 7, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

sunset at Ned's Point

I hopped out,
and trotted
about fifteen feet,
and shot it
just at the right moment,
and I got it:

one sunset
from Ned's Point,
for a woman
like no other.

November 6, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



he asked me,
the smartass little prick,
when I thought that
I might stop swingin' at pitches;
and I looked at him,
dead in the eye,
and said:
"when you're dead,"
and he let out a big laugh,
damned near big enough
to split himself in half,
and that's when I shot him.

never brandish scissors
in front of someone
who is at the end
of their rope.

November 6, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


encircling me:
wrapping yourself
around me;
as if of one mind;
as if caressed
into submission,
we melt together
in a muffin-warm heap,
a divine delirium.

November 5, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Great Phone Conversations 16

"Well, I had my day in court."

"And this should interest me, how? You managed to get acquitted. You and I both know that you were guilty, you pervert."

"Well, mebbe. Wanna do best two out of three?"


November 6, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

soon enough

the kid's harmonica
ever since Grandma
turned him on to
who he thinks
he can be,
Lord willin';
I reflect on
the impossibility
of him
manning the watchtower,
while these times
keep changin',
and I figure,
what the hell,
let the kid dream,
he will know,
soon enough;
maybe he can be
Popper instead.

November 5, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



he fought on,
to the end --
swords clanging,
blood spewing,
limbs left
dangling --
and still,
in such a witches' brew,
he thought only
of You:
what he sacrificed
life and limb for:
a time eternal,
You, evermore.

November 5, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

poetic license #2

fingers hold pen,
or punch keys:
feelings register,
images appear,
crystalline --
words convey
what I missed
as much as
what I have seen --
and maybe
some of the murky
becomes clear;
or maybe some of
the long lost
once again
become dear.

November 4, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

I missed you

dormirse, bien,
mi ciela;
it is beyond wonderful
to have the musical,
sounds of you
back in my ears:
toils, soils,
tears, fears,
trails, travails;
all fall silent,
become distant,
as I listen to the constant
rise and fall of your
wreathing all of this love
that we catch,
only union,
unanimously elected
by a wide margin
of only two;
the best of choices,
only the two voices
that matter in the matter
at hand, at all.

November 3, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



I noticed in the mirror
as I was shaving,
that the scar
where your fingernail
removed a small chunk
of skin from my left cheek
when I was thirteen
is getting easier to notice
as I age;

I'm guessing
that when I bury you,
there won't be any tears
running down through
that divot.

November 1, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the green, the blue, and the grey,
all well-lit,
as I am astray,
when the cloudburst arrives,
how many lives
it has taken me
to find You again;
this time of broken glass,
shards piercing
the bubbles of time passed,
and once again,
I remember now as then,
I am better than I was,
since I have loved You
when the Earth was young,
and when it explodes,
and there is nothing left but

November 1, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

on reading Buk's "an empire of coins"

I sit, pensive,
not quite warm
nor cold,
as gulls disturb
the peaceful quiet,
assisted by a noisy Cessna above,
and I read:

"a woman's a woman, I say,
and I put my binoculars
kneecaps and I can see where
empires have fallen."

and I want to
put down the pen

November 1, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


amidst all this

November begins today,
as I sit at our picnic table
at Ned's Point,
eating the three Lindt truffles
that you gave me for Halloween,
looking out at the harbor --
a Jerry Schurr rendering
of sun, clouds, sea and
the islands, set out in a long row --
a gull spots my candy,
and lets out a loud cry:
"No," I say, "not for you.
They are mine, a gift
from Her. Go find a mackerel."
and off he goes,
but not happily;
the wind swells
for a moment,
as I decide that
there might be a poem
amidst all this.

November 1, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

ebb and flow

outside, the wind bellows,
as if it has some particular purpose,
and I recall that You are
on the other side of the map,
and yet when my thoughts
curl up, fetch their slippers,
and smoking jacket,
I remember that I am
the whole man that I am,
despite the lack
of You, warming me,
disarming me,
making me just so,
your ebb, a counter
to my breathing out,
a stop to my flow.

October 31, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


when You quiver,
I feel a shiver
right down the middle of me;
when you glow,
I know,
and I can find You
in the dark;
when You feel me,
I know You,
I feel Your spark --
it energizes me,
exercises me,
opens me up
to stark reality,
You and I --
You and me,
finding, exploring,

October 31, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

serendipity #2

though I am no Prince:
lovin' hearts
and secret wishes,
and I appear before you:
three thousand miles apart,
and at once
we both think of
stolen kisses,
and how much, my love,
the mind wanders,
when the hand
misses the glove;
that we met (again),
the beauty of fate
is that no matter
how great one perceives
oneself to be,
most of life is

October 31, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I was panicked,
and she was stagnant;
then one day,
she packed it all up,
told me once again
to shut up, and
she left;
and I sat, and
longed for some trigger
to pull,
but there was only silence,
by heavy footsteps
on hardwood floors,
as hundreds of windows
with hundreds of doors,

October 30, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


no one

losing light,
he takes a chance,
and hurls one up high,
way above the lights:
a last chance at a
little romance;
and who knew,
but that little scamp
took flight,
into the night,
and now there is
nothing around,
but what was found:
which is perfect;
and what it is inside,
is quite the sight:
who gets to call an end
to this one?
no one.

October 24, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

forgive me

it just wouldn't do, merely
sexing you; it would be great,
of course, no regret, no remorse,
since you are da best, number one
on any man's list of requests,
but no, no, that shit is just not
gonna go, no way that it is gonna
flow; demeaning the gleaming
of you removes all the meaning
from what we have for all of our
teaming; so we have to find a bit
more space to retrace to the place
where we started, find out where
it was that our intentions parted,
look for what there was between
you and I that soared, that touched
the sky, and flowed, and glowed,
and let us both know that this love
was timeless, flawless, perfect:
something inevitable, quiet,
hidden, even circumspect;
a condition not subject to any
rendition, merely a state of being,
that gives us both the meaning,
of an all consuming love.

October 29, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



from within
and without:
take me, but
only if you leave
no doubt
that my daughters,
and Her,
will be spared this,
so they may live and love
long, without further disaster;
and if you will agree,
then seize me,
if however, you disagree,
prepare to meet me
at the Gates of Hell,
to do battle,
my hands strangling
your slimy, slippery throat,
until at last,
you succumb
to your sharp-eyed
student, your latest
of ill intent.

October 24, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


eco echo ohce oce

the winds come,
this night,
deciding what will be
and what will have us
in the morning;
how much will be gone
and how little left
for us to live on,
move on,
be on,
be in,
pretend to win
against Nature's might,
cast down here,
through the night;
fools, we are,
to cast our hopes
on a distant star,
which next minute
could simply fade,
and leave life as we know it,
big time in the shade:
the mightiest forest,
laid flat,
no longer a glade,
a haven,
a respite,
but merely a blade
or two, of what originally
kept it;
we dance around the campfire,
and sing,
"we are those, who brought death
to everything."

October 24, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


only yours

the liquid heat:
the silky, wet,
that is you,
is not enough, really;
it is only with
those chocolate-brown eyes,
los ojos café,
looking inside me,
where the dream
is realized:
and I am
all at once,
only yours.

October 24, 2009, for the Wifey, who is magnifico!

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


a cast character actor,
you were only following
the script,
what the writer was really
what would be otherwise
nondescript, lost,
tossed, forsaken:
love left bleeding, broken,
never taken,
something that you puzzle over
when you awaken,
long overwhelmed,
by what it was that left you
what had passed this way,
worrying about
what you would say,
to everyone who came
this way, today:
"it just overcame me,
it was a singularity,
taken flight, and I hope never
again to see it this night,"
as you paused, in repose,
but as everyone knows,
you left as you had arrived,
with your choices
already chose.

October 24, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


"see you later"

the parting,
made no easier
by its repetition,
as we two return
to our respective conditions:
I turn left,
as she turns right,
both of us feeling the loss,
feeling bereft;
eyes locked,
hands clasped,
lips trembling,
we both wish
for some other ending,
even, perhaps one that is
with neither of us having
to bow to the relentless
flow of such a strong
as responsibility,
invading the cocoon
of two lovers' heated
those stolen hours
like pressed-flat flowers
in our memories,
in our multicolored stories,
of just over one day passed,
but one that will long last,
until union is reunion
and again our die is cast:
yet immutable,
fixed on some vernal point
on time's horizon,
one that only we two
will recognize
when it comes again;
when it comes again.

I go north,
as she goes south,
yet this love remains
so solidly in the center;
two lives, so disparate,
but two souls sent down
through time,
me to be hers,
and she to be mine;
some might laugh,
and cast it off as some cruel
trick that star-crossed minds play,
but they would be wrong
by more than half,
as we know, this day, that
this love of ours has tumbled
and tossed,
has been won and lost,
in more ways than
there have been days;
measures of treasures passed,
lost, ruptured, broken, cast
down long shadows of time,
when rocks were still young;
all of the many songs
that our hearts have sung,
cascade down upon us,
neither of us ever equipped
to say good-bye,
trapped in the valley that is
love's vast crater,
we can only wave,
and mutter,
"see you later."

October 23, 2009, for the Wifey. What a grand 26 hours!

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


another day no. 2

another day, where
I have successfully
resisted that urge
to gun it, and
cross the double-yellow
meeting a Mack
at 65 miles per hour;

another day, where
I have successfully
resisted the compulsion
to bitch-slap the old lady
ahead of me in the check-out line,
who insists on counting out
the exact change
for her small purchase;

another day, as I find myself
lodged in the line at the drive-up ATM,
where I managed to keep myself
from hurling a brick
through the window of
the car ahead of me,
who is taking forever;

another day, where
I manage to not throw
a shoe at the tv
when she puts on Fox News;

oh well,
there's always tomorrow.

October 20, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



on cold, wet, grey,
miserable days
like this one,
as you sip your tea
and browse
the Sunday Times,
and sit snug,
you should think of me,

because I will be thinking of you,

with each soggy footstep,
past each fetid dumpster,
down every forsaken alley,
for now and ever after.

October 18, 2009. From the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the writing surface I am using right now
is a first edition paperback
of The Roominghouse Madrigals;
if you want one now,
they go for about sixty dollars online,
when you can find one;
sad, maybe, that Buk did
in 24 short years, what
I haven't done in 39,
give fruit.
Although, I did just talk
to my oldest daughter,
who is both beautiful and brilliant,
heart and soul where they should be,
and she turned 22 about 22 minutes ago,
and she is an example
of my very best work;
so no sixty-buck books,
but still,

October 18, 2009, for Carinda Elizabeth Pursley.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


wrong day for the fall picnic,
as the sky empties its bladder
on everything and everyone,
and the gale-force wind
gives flight to the previously flightless:
yes, today, penguins and pigs
are set loose to soar
along with the fast food wrappers
and Dunkin Donuts cups;
the flotsam and jetsam
of the brave new century,
as we worry ourselves into cocoons,
hiding, hiding, hiding,
lest we be discovered by the wolf,
who looks very much like us;
in here, we are safe,
from this nasty weather
and that nasty wolf,
even though we find it increasingly
hard to move, to breathe,
and slowly, imperceptibly,
we simply atrophy.

October 18, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

making do

the lone gull eyes me carefully --
I am no starfish, that's for sure;
just a pobrecito in the rain,
some strange creature, lost,
out of place, as sheets of rain
pelt the soggy grass that is now
more than ready for winter's sleep --
another inconvenience to avoid
as he pecks the soil for the inevitable
drowning worms --
not exactly fresh mackerel,
but they will have to do for this morning,
as the gale is inhospitable
to flight over the grey water of the harbor --
land-bound, as am I,
he does as I do,
in a gull sort of way,
he makes do,
I make do,
and we both exist that way.

October 18, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


I've put them on ice,
so to speak,
since I am so in love with Her;
or at least I've tried:
they still work their
no matter where
I find myself --
the grocery store,
the drugstore,
at a meeting that I'm covering,
in a gift shop looking for
that perfect little thing
to tell Her that She means
everything to me,
walking down the street,
at the post office,
pumping gas,
loitering in front of
the Dollar Tree store,
sitting in the park
writing poems,
browsing the used books,
doing research at the library,
everywhere I go --
they work, without me even
and I glance up,
and see the smiles,
the guiles,
the wiles,
usually of the brown-eyed girls,
and I avert the killer electric blues
as quickly as I can,
since I am not theirs,
since I am Her man.

October 17, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


to be

there are certainly many,
who would criticize us,
ostracize us,
defile us,
ridicule us,
judge us,
demean us,
laugh at us,
do all sorts of awful things
to debase us:
standing in their troughs
of rugged, serial,
dogged, visceral,
fuck them all:
they know nothing
of what this Love
is inured,
how down through Time,
it has been insured,
held, holstered,
kept, bolstered;
saved, sacrosanct,
not just a trophy,
stuffed and planked,
but a Love tested,
One down through
Time: tried, tread,
lived, led, started,
left, spent, wanted,
worshipped, lent,
simply meant
to be.

October 14, 2009, for the Wifey, and for all you judgers out there.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


Sometimes, no hell, most of the times,
I wish that I had a name that I could put
on it, something that would tack it down,
take it more than just one turn around,
put me back to where I was, maybe even
on the ground, back when having You
around, just around, was the best thing
that there was that I had found, you and
me, bound to something that was bigger
and better than both of us, when all we
had to discuss was not all that much,
back when things were simpler, when
they were clearer, starker, and your
dimples were just dimples, and not the
parts that I hung my heart on, that made
me just speechless, that made me stop,
look, and listen, to what made my heart
stop, seek, flow, and glisten with the
discovery of you, what had been so
long part of us, what was true, even
eternal, down millennia, down all
time, You and me, and then I stop
myself, I put all those nameless, silly
worries back on the shelf, and I just
know, that what we know, that what
we show, well, it may be nameless,
but that is okay, because it is simply

October 14, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


the slap

the wind, last night,
delivering the sharp, cold
lover's rebuke
to my cheeks,
reminded me of
many pledges,
that I must keep,
vows serving
as hedges, that let me
sleep soundly
next to you,
knowing that
in motion,
and still,
I will always
be True,
as such is my Destiny:
with You.

October 13, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



a pound of bacon
for five bucks,

and the cashier tells me
"have a nice afternoon,"

and I think to myself,
"How? Your fucking bacon
cost me five bucks. I won't
be able to have a nice
afternoon for months"

and I didn't even buy
any fucking eggs

you see that little tiny speck of light,
way up there?

squint, if you have to,
I don't care
yeah, you see it,

dude, that's the bottom

and this little wonder here,
it's my pistol

I think I'm goin' back
for eggs.

October 11, 2009, from the forthcoming collection, Spoken Rage.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


when we had it out,
the other night,
I reminded you
of how you used to
whip me
with that
cat o' nine tails
when I was a boy

it was a rusty brown color

I will never forget it

and I learned much later
that you had inherited it
from my beloved
your mother;

and that changed
my memory of her:


and you denied it,
you looked me
right in the eye,
with your blind ones,
and lied about it

until I reminded you,
that one day,
when you came at me
with it in your hand,
I had grown bigger
than you,
and I snatched it away,
and ripped it into
useless little pieces

so no more revisions.

October 11, 2009.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

remembrance instead

this Sunday morning
finds Ned's Point
quiet: an oddity,
virtually no wind
(not a good day for sailors),
but bright and sunny,
as autumnal urges
beckon gulls to sleep
standing up,
and the schools of mackerel
take a breather;
I sit at the table,
set just as it was,
with you perched atop,
legs crossed,
your smile entering me,
your laugh, breaking
the silence;
and though the day begs
quiet reflection,
I stick to
remembrance instead.

October 11, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



Picasso, genius that he was,
immortalized it,
in a simple line drawing
that he called "Femme"
that I used to own:
the female backside.

hells bells:
the ass of a woman,
so perfectly sculpted,
that Michelangelo
would have been

and I have many times
the fascination,
with no conclusion;
maybe it is merely
some Euclidean
dream sequence,
long, soft, sloping
and a fullness,
a richness,
that is almost
agrarian in its
its eroticity --
a mystery,
likely lost to
some history --
but still, its oval,
its perfect ellipses,
have drawn many
to ecstasy
upon its view;

I know of one
such precise
posterior, and I
saw it again,
just last month:
as I lifted
the bedsheet,
there it was --
crafted by
antics --
no matter,
it is the fuel,
the lifeblood,
the brain food,
of romantics
like me,
and it is
burned into
my retinas.

October 9, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


on the morrow

outside, the wind rages,
carrying her swirling petticoats,
dancing far above me,
a speck on a small rock,
far below;
and all that I do not know,
falls and flies,
to and fro, like
seemingly without purpose,
in this crazy, mixed-up circus,
that we call Life;
but tonight,
there is a silence
inside this room,
as your voice,
your laughter,
will not incandesce
this mess, this by-product
of generations
of largesse:
as I will sit, silently,
alone, wishing that
you were on the phone,
always peeking
around a corner or two,
just being the "You"
of me and You,
the one meant,
and lived, as
the one with a clear view
of a misty tomorrow,
the one with a rearview,
of unspeakable sorrow,
that we walked,
and so tonight,
you must give due
to what is your duty,
and I know that this must
be so, this is the price
that I pay to be low,
downunder, below the
radar, but only to go so
pledges, promises, vows,
loom large,
and we discharge our
our obviations,
as mere eliminations
of what we wish were
not part of our emulations;

and so You go there,
while I wait here,
and we will meet again,
on the morrow.

October 7, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



I was out today,
feeling powerful,
driving the PT,
sunny, blue sky,
about 65 degrees,
windows down,
shades on,
sunroof open,
Fun 107 blasting
Best I Ever Had,
and I was feeling
immortal again,
totally fucking
(hell, I even
considered, briefly,
the seat belt
except I knew
how strongly
You would
and I thought,
this is one of the
best gifts that
have given me:
17 again,
but with
38 years
of experience;
yeah, okay,
a real
peacock moment,
fine, guilty
as charged;
but seeing as how
low I found my heart
could go only
recently, and now
watching it clip clouds
as it cruises
the atmosphere,
well that is awesome
(an overused word,
but awe is the emotion),
so I wanted to jot down
a few lines to relate it,
and to say thanks
for falling in love with
me, for probably the
one thousandth time,
for making the climb,
snagging the line
as I cruised by,
only another soul,
tumbling through
the sky, and for being
so true after so many
soft and strong,
fearless and panicky,
deep and hilarious:
the song that my heart
sang centuries ago,
the One I know
will always find me,
inspire me,
believe in me,
and on whom I cast
eyes of adoration,
as I see you next to me,
uttering a simple command:

October 6, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


a little bit more

the image, burned so deeply into
my retinas, quite simply the most
divine of such that I have ever
known: my hands, holding your
hips, tight, with all my might,
keeping you down on the bed,
as your back arched, nearly taking
flight, all night, as I took you
into multiple delights, so tight,
that I could feel you becoming
a full-fledged sprite, a faerie
filled with light, but not quite
aire-borne, but so close, so very
close that you knew that it was
me that had brought you, and
though it was your magical
curfew, you lingered long
enough to give me just enough
to keep me coming back for
more, back to the silken beaches
of your shore, back to have just
a little bit more.

October 5, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



dreams dashed, hope crashed, no
survivors found, nothing much
left around the center of the
implosion, just a notion, that it
could have turned out so much
better, talent wasted, something
sweet and spicy tasted, even if
for such a short time, even if
more ridiculous than sublime,
even if I could have fooled
myself one more time that I
was still immortal, that I walked
the halls of time, surveying all
that was once mine, thinking
that all I held was fine, only to
take that headfirst dive into a
mortality that consumes all that
is alive, including me, once
again, setting me free to float in
eternity, still seeking to find all
that inhabited my mind for
centuries, for millennia, yeah,
yeah, yeah, baby, whatevah
really rocks ya, takes the socks
off ya, gets your groove workin,
sets free that monster in the
background that's lurkin, lets
that creature be the whole double
feature, puts it all in perspective,
leaves nothing to the imagination,
leaves nothing to be elective,
all mandatory, all the same old
sad story, that none of us get out
of this life alive, that love down
through eons may thrive, but not
enough for any one of us to live,
to survive, and so I will die yet
again, and forever and ever seek
you out, amen.

October 4, 2009, and no, it is not for You, or you, or you. It is for me.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


since it is

the drained urns of all that I have
learned, all the sharp corners that
I have turned, do not have enough
volume to express my love for You,
my long-lost soulmate, tu, mujer:
my one-and-only certain fate
is to be forever in your arms,
immersed in your magnificent
charms, setting off smoke alarms,
up to my elbows in who
knows what, but all that you've
got, and then some; your
winsome looks, those quiet but
deadly hooks, and all that it
took to find you is more than
anything before, and anything
that I care to remind you of,
but let's just call it an eternal
love, since it is.

October 3, 2009, for the Wifey, who has me, lock, stock and barrel.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

meant to be

if you could stay
I know that
would get
better and better:
if we could have
now, and ever
and ever,
we would be
so complete,
you and me,
so totally,
the way we
meant to be.

October 1, 2009, for the Wifey, who holds my heart for eternity.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



Calmaté, mi amigo, I have never intended
to take anything, or anyone, away from
you, especially Her, on whom your whole
life has been built, to the hilt, and this is
true, es verdad, and you must know that
this flow, this thing that did pop up and
proceed to grow, well it was just as
unexpected as the fact that we elected a
black president, it was just sent to us, it
happened, dude, and to deny it would be
denying the servitude that lovers, real,
honest-to-God lovers, give to the love
that consumes them, that rules all that
they do, that makes them continue, move
along, live, and sing any old song, the
movement that separates them from the
dead and the dying, the quest, the vying,
the searching, the trying, the exploration,
the expiation, of a certain elation, of a
discovery of a recovery of a soul that I
loved so many thousands of years ago,
and for whom I have been searching all
this time, through the ridiculous and the
sublime, the One who was once mine, and
I must announce now that I have finally
found Her, and She is yours for most of
the time, but for a moment or two, She is
also mine; a difficult concept for anyone
to grasp, but believe me, my man, this
love has traveled so far down through
time, that I know that it is ours, Hers,
and mine; and it will be so until the end
of time.

September 30, 2009, for him.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.



She does not sweat,
She glistens;

She is not stinky,
She is aromatic;

She does not pee,
She tinkles;

She does not shit,
She poos;

She is not high maintenance,
She just needs affection;

She is not a gossip,
She just has information;

She is not unattainable,
She is just beyond your grasp;

She is not a diva,
She just has certain needs;

She is not your average woman,
She is magnificence.

September 29, 2009, for the Wifey, who is all of dat.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

Temper-Tantrum Tuesday Condensed Edition.

What do you call the 47 million uninsured people who are suffering without adequate health insurance?

People, living breathing human beings with a right to live a normal life!


the best

gripping hips
with quiet power
for an hour

finding lips
in order to shower

kissing nips
just to get a rise
going until sunrise

sliding tongue
to get it done
but so slowly

is the best.

September 27, 2009, for the Wifey, who can have me anytime.

Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

gale force

this is the sort of morning,
when even the gulls
want to be somewhere else:
wind at fifteen to twenty knots,
out of the northeast,
rain going sideways,
seas at two feet --
a classic play of Nature,
as She seeks to
wipe this place
off the map --

only poets and other fools
are out here today,
mumbling disconsolately
about victims and
prayers and dreams,
picked up by the gale,
and sent aloft,
or tipped sideways,
mast parallel to the water,

September 27, 2009.

Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


Aracelis and Nino: A Love Story

I don't usually post works-in-progress, but I was feeling lazy, and not inspired enough to carry this through to a conclusion. So maybe you will like it. Next installment? Who knows?

"Fuck you, you lyin' bitch."

"Forget it, Nino, you know there is no chance of that train passing your way ever again."

"Fuck you with a rusty pipe, then, whatever. You might have been the worst lay ever, but it is not worth the heartbeats to Google it to be sure."

"Look, you asshole, I am just asking you to do the right thing. Is that so hard for you to comprehend?"

"Fuck you again, Aracelis, but this time with a bigger rusty pipe. God knows there's got to be plenty of room in there, in that thing."

"You are impossible."

"And impassible, bitch. So hang up and leave me the fuck alone."

"Look, motherfucker, these taxes are your obligation. Yours. And if you don't pay them, you will fuck up my life big time."

"Yeah, okay, so what's the downside?"

"The downside is that I file a lawsuit against your ass, dickwad. And extract it from you in the most painful way possible."

"Sorry, you did that shit already when we were married. I still can't believe that I ever put my dick in there with all those rats crawlin' around."

"Fuck you, you micro-dick asshole."

"Oh right, you want to negotiate, and that worn out thing you call a pussy is now on the table? Hey, ya know what? I am fucking leavin' the table as long as that skanky shit is sitting there. Buh-bye."

"No fuckin' way 'buh-bye' shithead. Imma come up there and serve you with the fuckin' papers myself."

"Celi, know this, and know it well: as I have said before, if I ever see you again, I will be forced to kill you, on sight. I will not be able to do otherwise. It is a pledge that I made with myself when you deserted me, and it cannot be broken. So if you are stupid enough to come, then you are ready to die, bitch. Okay?"

[to be continued]

September 28, 2009. Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

see you later, again

how I didn't want to stick my hand
up through the sunroof of the PT
and sign "I love you"
just minutes ago;
it was just as hard
as ending a call,
and I unsuccessfully fought back tears,
as I successfully kept the car in my control;

and now I sit here, at Ned's Point,
reflecting, writing
on another glorious
36 hours with You,
happy that our actions
spoke to all our past words:
no hyperbole here;

and the sunlight on the waves
across the breadth of the harbor
vainly struggles
to match the illumination
that Your smile brings to my eyes,
who send it down
into my heart and soul;

what a gorgeous, melodious rapture
we two in this time did capture,
the concordance of timeless love,
captured in the knowing glance
of a well-orchestrated circumstance;

You back there, and me, back here,
until who knows when,
Oh My Love,
see you later, again.

September 26, 2009, for the Wifey, who is beyond compare.

Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.

yesterdays, passed

sleep came and went,
in and out, dreaming,
for both of us;
needing rest perhaps less
than not wanting
to sacrifice
any moments
to eyelids closed,
or voices not speaking,
or hands not entwined;
and then Your hand
found me,
as my hand found You,
and the rapture
that ensued
was imbued
with more than
simple ecstasy,
more than
You and me,
something that
will always
echo, long after
today's shadows
yesterdays, passed.

September 25, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © 2009, Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.


recast, at last

You scream when
Your boy surprises You,
and I imagine that it is instead
some kind of bug
that has arrived unannounced
to Your space;
and then,
as You sleep,
and I listen to the unique sounds
that are You,
at peace,
resting, nesting, testing
the limits of dreams,
the measure of schemes,
the way that Our Love gleams,
even hidden under those pillows,
the way time has a way of taking
all of the winnows to task,
seeking only what will last,
only what eternally matters,
and my resolve, and your desire,
are both left in tatters,
and Our Plan left disrobed,
is more than We can stand,
and We digress,
to a formalness,
that knows no past,
no history that can ever be cast,
as more than just two,
just Me and You,
at last.

September 23, 2009, for the Wifey.

Copyright © Ricky A. Pursley. All rights reserved.