Napkin manifesto
memory dump
public therapy session
with green gel roller pen
does nothing
to improve
neon sign diner’s
antiseptic food
and apron wearing
blue haired waitresses
whose financial planners
were as savvy
as discarded beer bottles
along the narrow gauge
rusted train tracks
and all the Tupperware
leftovers becoming
biological science

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Proof Of Death

Clarinets were placed
on the endangered species list.

The government
should reverse that seventeen-ninety

bounty legislation
with payment in precious metal coin

for each mouth piece turned in
as proof of death.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


I spilled out of myself yesterday.
It was oral. I mean verbal.

A lot of words strung together,
sometimes coherently.

I made a mess of the cafe table top.
The Cin-O-Bun soaked up a few fragments.

It happened in front of a girl.
Name unknown. Braces tinned her smile.

I cannot determine if she was
a target of opportunity

or simply near the dumping zone,
hazarding collateral damage.

There were plenty of melodramatics
smeared on the table.

The girl flagged down a busboy.
He wiped the table clean as a whistle.

All my spontaneous confessions
now afloat in soapy water,

soon to go down the drain
to the treatment plant for purification.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Folk Festival

A butterfly flutters
one wing jammed
under the windshield wiper,
which eventually tears
and slides its body
over the safety glass
and the car roof
to become
a blotch of color
on the black asphalt
spotted by hitchhikers
traversing the shoulder
on their way
up the mountain
to consume
various nectars
and batted eyelashes.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Three Rounds In

Lori offered me mushrooms
to aid me on my vision quest.

She also offered me her reading glasses
in case she misunderstood my meaning.

Lori tried to convince me
that tequila in large enough quantities

would provide me a supernatural experience.
She swore her house cat

received a masters degree in Native American studies
with a minor in Greek mythology.

She paid for the first round at The Filling Station
and slid her seat around to my side of the table.

Lori offered to shutter time
so I might develop x-ray vision to view angels.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


On the flanks
of the Sandia mountains
a thousand steps
above the popular trails
only the breeze
and bird songs
bend my ear
as my eyes
watch a mountain bicyclist
silently hop
the natural moguls
then his chain rattles
his shocks squeak
and the frame
bangs his back side
for a fleeting.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney


I stopped meeting my friends for happy hour.
I stopped reading the news.

I ceased going to my cafe to write.
I ceased greeting people’s dogs on hiking trails.

I put an end to attending poetry readings.
I put an end to getting my palm read.

Placing book reviews on Amazon came to an end.
Knowing the future came to an end.

I swept the kitchen floor seven times today.
I washed every doorknob nine times.

I sterilized everything except for a batch of cookies.
I washed the empty beer bottles twice.

All my books are now my friends.
All my friends are yesterday’s pages in my diary.

I watched every Star Trek episode over again.
I studied an ant crawling up the shower curtain.

Hunger is disoriented and arrives at odd intervals.
Tragedy waits in the zeal of Sunday churchgoers.

My phone is painful to hold when it rings.
Uncontrollable shivers rattle my bones from time to time.

I attempt to learn the subtle meanings
of my dog’s various woofs.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney