Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Fish-Mist Air

through the fog; faded red on
pale yellow stucco
chipped blue octopus-eyes wide
above murky letters.

old and small it sits, cracks,
on the boardwalk
seal barks echo off the steamed-smeared glass
then the heavy sloshing as white throats
turn in filmy water

through the night of the closed pier,
the fish-mist air,
blurred shapes glide, endlessly
between dull green light and
sea-weed shadows.

regan lee
march 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

long gone

kids aren't stupid
and the L.A. sun cracking on the clown face was
no surprise

inside, in the cool dim kitchen
our moms in sherbet dresses drank and smoked and laughed
tumblers of jewel colors in their hands,
raised to the warm glass of the kitchen window

outside, beneath the hard lime trees 
animals arose, twisted out of 
bright pinks and yellows
squeaky poodles and blue giraffes,
tinny music from the portable record player set on the
shaky tv table

faded diamonds, flat ruffles,
Dads long gone.

wrapping paper and rough ribbon on the
brown-green square of yard
bits of frosting stuck to fingers, shoes …

the moms leave the coppery kitchen, stumbling
just a little on the rocky dry grass
kids leave, Dads still long gone

later, cold chicken and spanish rice
in the coppery kitchen,
moms return to their jeweled tumblers 
and Dads
still long gone.

regan lee
march 2014
eugene oregon

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Big Duke

big hat
big man
five pointed star
Oklahoma way
Big Duke
dancer man
Stagecoach sheriff
Buffalo Bill
hat-sweat-band, snake oil man
selling on the bay
mayor's wife
train ride
meeting in the dark,
or maybe a hot afternoon
unannounced stops
carny barker, yep
rumored heritages
Indian mom; Cherokee, Lennape
unknown father
West Virginia
illegal soldier
out west
orange groves, empty lots
Tom Mix,
tricks with whips,
spinning women
spider tattoos
Erroll Flynn, John Ford
on set
drunken history, only murmured
affairs and age, ignored
repeated lore.

my memories, only five
Big Duke, white haired, so very long
cane by chair
annoyed, or a rough laugh
as i climbed up furniture
holding red and yellow,
purple 78s
to the sun through
tiny round windows,
squish green centered mints in
an aqua glass dish

death comes
five year olds hustled away
funerals, adults only
and gone.

regan lee
march 2014
eugene, oregon

Monday, March 17, 2014


dusk, goats
stuck in straw
big round bulbs of white light
shines down on the little one
covered in its mother’s birth slime
the squishy “pop” of its arrival from birth canal to asphalt
still loud in my ears.

i am startled by the throw back dress of the goat people:
suspenders holding up pants, 
small smashed-on-heads-hats,
shirtless, sweat, tattoos
cigarettes doing the dangle from the, yep,
heavily tooth-lessed owners

all seem to barely notice, this goat
just born
while we look on, some holding up 
their kids to look, their feet kicking
above the flimsy wire fence

i move on, disgusted not
by birth, or slime
or even dirt smudged and spitting goat people
but the families, oh so all-American, 
at this circus,
this carnival,
this tacky venue hawked
as wholesome,
an economy boon
educational opportunity
fun fucking outing.

tigers snarl, elephants slow-motion their moves,
the caged ones roar and trumpet behind the tents.

muck, sticky straw, stale oil, greasy lights, 
flaked thick paint once red, now brown,
sticks to our skin as
we make our way through 
the hot summer crowds
on this circus night.

regan lee
march 20014
eugene, or