Friday, May 29, 2015


loves cars, loves t’tinker –
loves th’t-bird convert’ble, ‘n’ t’cruise
th’mich’gan countryside

ludington downpour –
wonder if th’badger ferry
will lift her spirits

quebec - l.a. run,
stranded in ypsi - huron's
fish seek shaded pools

summer in th’cool pines –
looks across th’lake ‘t chicago,
alas, still seething

corktown remod’ller –
old truck, fresh wood and supplies,
practical vision

the all-star diner
cold sundae on a hot day
instead of dinner

off th’road at jackson,
can’t b’lieve an ice cream sundae
can be th’whole dinner


blames th’zebra mussels –
fishing near saint jo, ‘n’ haunted
by th’clearness ‘f th’water

kid rock ‘t th’stadium
brings drums, lights ‘n’ hard politics,
wants t’run for senate

she likes th’jazz fiddle –
‘minds her ‘f summers ‘n black bottom,
th’harlem of detroit

from th’shore ‘f his town ‘n th’thumb,
he’d watch th’ships – but joined th’navy,
‘n’ now he’s coming home

detroit parking lot -
monarch shows weary hiker
dance of the moment


th’old cadillac’s parked
somewhere outside ann arbor
vines’ve enveloped th’fins

reb flag ‘t th’tigers game
surely you don’t mean we should
secede from th’union?


th’lass sells all kinds ‘f fruit
in th’cool lake michigan breeze –
th’cherries are th’ripest

worked in th’car plants ‘n flint,
just f’r spite, dropped bolts ‘n th’panels ‘f cars –
spits th’rage on th’hot road

monarch’s erratic dance –
his stage, th’detroit parking lot
where th’two guys were killed

traverse city lunch –
peanut butter, fig bars, cheese,
wood basket ‘f cherries

spent th’summer fishing,
found th’laughing whitefish river
‘bout didn’t come home

lansing tailgater
shows odyssean journey
pointing to his hand

ninety four ‘n ypsi
not fleeing th’motor city,
going t’ th’buckeye game

down ‘n th’cut river gorge,
th’leaves’ve turned, th’water’s fresh and cold –
from th’bridge, th’whole wide north

says 'tiger stadium'
twice - gives the old man chills, just
t'hear it 'n october

big night for arson -
these days, much less 'f detroit t'care,
much more of it t'burn

lots ‘f empty houses –
what th’angry detroit kids do,
set th’devil’s night fires

takes th’shotgun on th’roof –
still r’members how devil’s night
took much ‘f west detroit

no work in car plants
so slowly leaves turn, fall on
foggy streets of flint

lion cornerback,
another torn ligament -
please pass th'damn gravy

stuffing, gravy, th’bird
done so well – th’dad watches th’lions,
so he’ll be angry

after th’turkey, th’nap –
seems t’be more beer than ever,
after th’lions lose

fried trout, black coffee
cold bath in the mastinique
frost on a tree stump

woodward avenue
q – line riders argue ‘bout
th’trolley’s heat system

saginaw drifter
came home for th'holidays, but
thinks there's work 'n texas

facebook sock puppets –
lansing barista wonders
why th’hol’day crowds’re mean

go’n t’texas f’r th’winter,
saginaw fellow, down ‘n’ out,
thought he’d take some car

arctic snowy owl
come south t’detroit ‘n january
less snow, ‘n’ plenty t’eat

down from th’north country –
even kalamazoo’s ramp,
th’iced slope t’chicago

muskegon lad’s hand –
cold as it is, good enough
t’show how he got here

mackinac bridge wish -
more coins t'pay th'toll, melt th'ice, fill
these empty pockets

reaches for th’coins t’throw
off th’frozen mackinac bridge
a tingle ‘n th’fingers

old ‘n’ scratchy radio,
blizzards, ‘n’ th’windsor bridge, ‘n’ dozens
‘f michael jackson songs


won’t go back t’yemen –
dearborn, ‘n’ its gray slushy snow
‘s what he’ll learn t’call home

iced freeway, detroit
rush hour – they seem not t’notice
all th’abandoned cars


foam cups, icy road –
they all hurry t’get t’detroit,
‘cept th’abandoned cars

used t’kalamazoo
as th’junction – from th’frozen north,
he turns t’chicago

ruins of detroit -
a thin vaneer of ice cracks,
th'man grips th'shopping cart

ypsi musician
thawing out in diner - once
moved to hell and back

small lake huron town -
kid uses cold mangled thumb,
points out where he's from

'nother house burned down,
't's either meth, 'r stealing copper -
winter 'n towns like hell

frozen u.p. roads -
an old car's heating system,
a vast wilderness

up ‘n th’peninsula
t’see th’place, even th’twin cities
kids, impressed by th’snow

wixom kid with skates
goes straight to th’rink after school,
dreaming of his wings

detroit's abandoned
cars, styrofoam coffee cups -
icy highway wind

benton harbor winds –
th’lake’s gray ‘n’ choppy, ‘n’ he spends march
thinking ‘bout th’city

‘cross th’mackinac bridge,
he throws th’change – a long trip south,
‘n’ th’irish luck’ll melt th’ice

tales ‘f huron’s fury –
in th’grove ‘f blooming cherries,
find ‘em hard t’believe

old mission winery,
lake's lapping waves - haiku for
the cherry blossoms

cherry blossoms ‘n’ th’lake –
he slips into nostalgia
‘t th’old mission win’ry

‘long th’dequindre cut,
th’budding trees – th’bicyclist feels
th’city’s will t’survive


snow lets up, he says,
manistique’ll get some tourists –
it’s only april

flint city water –
april and th’snow is melting
‘n’ they’d rather drink that

field ‘f blue-eyed mary
fort’nately th’russ forest lass,
no problem camping

russ forest sunrise –
they realize they’re sleeping in
th’field ‘f blue-eyed mary

saginaw plumber –
cousins’re like th’rest, into th’drugs,
no cash for th’may rent

three days, mich’gan woods –
now she’s at th’drugstore, ‘cause she
has t’have th’calamine

they call it "a squared" -
chalk dust edges window panes,
willow buds outside

abstract algebra,
hyperbole – a-squared lass
feels th’pull of th’spring breeze

ann arbor t’austin,
temptation ‘f spring, or career
‘n abstract algebra?

beach ‘t benton harbor,
th’gulls, th’late spring, th’anger he’s kept
over th’way th’vote went

t’saint joe then ‘round th’lake,
‘nough supplies for th’trip out west,
bag ‘f fresh-picked cherries

picking petals from
th’gallup daisy, says we can’t
divide by zero

e pluribus haiku


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