Lori is so Beautiful

Lori is so beautiful.

Waist length strait brown hair.
Hand bell.

Out of the shower wearing nothing.

Unabashedly speaks on Facetime.

Little black dress for dining out.

Stares out the car door’s window.

A curl of ground fog cloaks her.

She growls the word Hunger.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Gourd Pouring Out Sky

Rituals of mumbling.
Retrieval from numbness.

Word hoard.
A pile of unassembled sentences.

Flaunted flesh.
Ill-defined gods.

Washed and air dried.
Patted like a good dog.

Malice stained.
Paper doll.

Mosquito cloud.
Smokey fire defense.

Pushed too far.

Gods. Made things
for moments like this.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney


Paul does not like poetry.
Paul does not like other people’s poetry.
Paul does not like some people’s poetry.
Paul does not like incoherent rambling poems.
Paul does not like thinly stretched rhyming poems.
Paul does not like overly green nature poems with yarrow.
Paul does not like putting green poems.
Paul does not like new mother changing soiled diapers poems.

Paul does not like apple pie poems
unless the poet provides slices of apple pie to all attendants.

Paul does not like Spanish grandmother
making tortillas by hand poems.

Paul liked those poem categories the first twenty times
he heard them, but has grown weary of them
over the poetry slam seasons.

Paul likes hot meals better than poems about hot meals.
Paul likes sex better than poems about sex.
Paul likes walking in nature better than hearing nature poems.
Paul likes playing baseball better than hearing
Mighty Casey at the Bat or Tinkers to Evers to Chance.

Paul supports his independent book shop
by purchasing copious amounts of small press
and university press poetry books.

Paul reads each poetry book once
then places them in a sidewalk poetry edition little library box.

Paul keeps one out of every one hundred
poetry books he purchases to collect dust on a bookshelf.

Paul has become his own get off my lawn poem
when it comes to poetry.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives matter.
Asian Lives matter.

Indigenous women’s lives matter.
Irish lives matter especially on St. Patrick’s Day.

Psych ward patient lives matter.
Abused children lives matter

New York Bleacher Creature lives matter.
Cleveland Dog Pound lives matter.

White nationalist lives struggle to matter more than other lives.
Pardoned lynching victim lives matter finally.

Chance encounter lives matter.
Poet lives matter.

Jail Bird lives should have mattered more during Covid.
John and Jane Doe lives matter.

Palestinian & Israeli lives matter under rockets’ red glare.
Collateral damage lives matter.

Pro Life lives matter a trimester earlier.
Pro Choice lives matter.

Steph Currie’s life matters beyond the arc.
Homeless card board sign holder lives matter.

Asperger lives matter.
Clueless lives matter.

Asian Lives matter.
Black Lives matter.

copyright © 2021 Kenneth P. Gurney

Late Night

Such a garish red.
Your interior mind.
Deceptions work deceptions.
A horizontal fall.
A bed soaked passage.
You brush your interrupted tongue.
You depart to the compass points.
A pattern of edges.
A storied composition.
A bright objection.

Altogether we smooth rough spots.
We detect desire’s divergence.
Strike the red paint like a tent.
An exuberant room.
A collapsed wreckage.
Aggressive tears turn hurt to anger.
Sweat beaded upon skin.
Unmovable dirty windows.
Our hungers compete.

A headless pillow.
A dripping faucet.
Midair water droplets.
Perfect circles float.
A breeze created by breath.
A jagged calm.
You reveal yourself.
Everything I need to know.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

Tumbleweed Hairbrush

Tumbleweed hairbrush.
Goat rodeo harmonics.
Sepia toned memories.
Wineglass stems bloom.
Tongue kiss twister.
Kidnapped sunlight shadows.
Ballot circle filled and erased.
Top forty tipping point.
Contention tossed into the recycle bin.
Bootstrap bankers go bust.
Arbitrary sound bite delicious.
Andy’s fifteen minute count down.
Youtube contentment.
Prosthetic leg theft.
A bitter itch goes unscratched.
Near death experiments.
Origami sidewalks.
Jellyfish astrology.
Executioners’ masked ball.
Carbon dating birthday celebrant.
Whitewashed didgeridoo legacy.
Justifiable hominids.
Sunburned adobe wall.
Orange rind rag doll rindstone.
Fly in ointment swatter.
Splat gurgle.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

These Line Break Interruptions

This ear ringing.
This hand bell of God’s voice begging.
This inaction guilt—full wallet fearful.
This kaleidoscopic penny whistle metamorphosis.
This biblical interpretation schism.
This gang sign throw down.
This saltwater soaked Rembrandt oil.
This papaya skin paper flaking dander.
This pumice-stoned calcium deposit sculpture.
This storm cloud added to the smoothie.
This blue-bottle fly’s contrail dissipating against the blue sky.
This international border crossing gestalt.
This white noise tinnitus caseworker.
This body electric borrowed from Walt.
This secret hidden in my gut lining.
This fascination with church mice nibbling seeds.
This obtuse reflection through Alice’s looking glass.
This casual adultery practiced in conservative corners.
This bullying called business.

These line break interruptions.

This twenty-k masterpiece.
This brutish home run trot.
This Darwinian desire to evolve past ignorance.
This assertive woman who yins to my yang.
This observing thrashers running addiction.
This emotional sucker punch.
This stunned mouth gaping pregnant pause.
This unspeaking what should not have been said.
This fanciful history rewriting.
This clandestine transformation of slavery into servitude.
This desperate white nationalist Little Big Horn fight.
This three point shot buzzer beater.
This origami fold between her legs.
This shaped charge tweet.
This paper-cut in c-minor.
This skull in search of an honest phrenologist.
This however seeking its proper grammatical and logistical place.
This straight jacket coin purse savings plan.
This minutes-old child booking passage on Charon’s boat.
This hand ringing.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


In one manner, a list poem can be a prayer, especially if the list is repeated over and over. Probably not this particular list poem. Is the Catholic Rosary prayer a list poem?

Also, a list can be a mnemonic device. Once you have learned the list, each line leads you into the next line.

This particular list poem is my brain proceeding forward making its own connections in a stream of consciousness manner. Imagine the wild fish you’d catch in my stream of consciousness. To remain true to the stream of consciousness, I wrote “These line break interruptions” when my thought was briefly interrupted at the cafe where I wrote this piece.

After reviewing this poem, I deduce my stream of consciousness contains a lot of rocks and rapids and falls. A Rocky Mountain variety stream of consciousness.

Love & Light


You Are

You are the stories you tell yourself.
You are the jokes you tell yourself.
You are the sandwich you eat for lunch.
You are the workout you do from the internet.
You are the memes you view from the internet.
You are the news you watch on television.
You are the dog you walk.
You are the sports team whose logo you wear.
You are the designer labels you don.
You are the no-name labels you slum in.
You are the craft beer you drink.
You are the church you sit in on Sunday morning.
You are the bible verses you can quote.
You are the constellations you can name.

You are the stories other people tell, if you believe them.

Listen to your dog, she tells the most gracious stories about you.

copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney


Lists show up in poetry all the time. “How do I love thee, let me count the ways,” then a list of ways. (Plug in your own example.)

List poems are a poetry form according to Writers Digest. An American Poetry form it says. I am sure other population groups make lists, so why the list poem is American, I do not know. Unless, American poets were the first with the audacity to get up to the mic and speak “Eggs. Milk. Butter. Loaf of Bread.” and claim the grocery list as a poem.

A list is an inventory. The first writing, Cuneiform, was designed to keep inventories. So the list has been with us for a long time.

The spreadsheet is the modern list. Or the data base. Or both.

Think of all the top 10 lists that are published regularly.

Actually, a list of list poem thoughts is above this line and includes this line. Argh!

Love & Light (& Lists)