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6.0k · Oct 2016
One day I will be blind
Doug Potter Oct 2016
I was never the type
of child that obeyed
much  of anything;
not even the many
times  I was told
not to stare into
the evening sun
when I felt
alone.
3.4k · Oct 2017
Ballingall Bus Stop Exit
Doug Potter Oct 2017
Hair mottled like
an aged mare

she descends
the steps

one withered leg
dangles from

a  purple dress like
a frost nipped

cornflower.
Doug Potter Sep 2016
I walk out the back door and see a doe
rise from bluegrass as two bucks
follow her into the timber,
she looks back and flags
her tail at the sound of
of my breath.
3.0k · Dec 2016
Peony
Doug Potter Dec 2016
You will not see me until
four full-moons circle earth

when I burst forth late
May with colors flush

red as *******,
ivory, and blush pink;

it is winter now
and I rest.
2.8k · Sep 2016
88 year old man on a ladder
Doug Potter Sep 2016
Don't talk to the old man
on the ladder he's likely
cleaning eavestroughs

end to end full of leaves
kite string & black
beetles

He may mumble
teetering on the rungs
but don’t interrupt work

he has enough to handle.
Doug Potter Oct 2016
Her first name did not fit
she wore cloddy shoes &
knees & elbows were

dead skin & lived
above a bar with
a pockmarked

brother & invisible mother,
she ate cardboard, chalk,
paper & paste;

Glory was her name.
Doug Potter Dec 2016
I learned of life’s fragility
as I left home for

fourth-grade class
one May morning

to find boots with
a body attached

under our tall
juniper
tree.
1.9k · Jan 2017
Raccoon
Doug Potter Jan 2017
It is five-thirty a.m.
I step outside for
the newspaper,

not four feet away
a raccoon sits on
its haunches like

a paunchy Buddha,
smiling as only liars
and sick animals

can; I toss a half
eaten piece of bacon
between  its  legs, pick

up the paper,
back away,
away.
Doug Potter Nov 2016
You probably think this poem is about
Lisbon, Portugal, where women
dangle your imagination like
a necklace of sun-dried
currants. No,

Lisbon, Iowa, a town twenty-two
miles removed from the 21st
century, where I stopped
for coffee, flipped eggs
and a place to ****
on my way home

from  god what  a day;
a man ordered a plate
of Rice Krispie bars
and tea—shuffled

his wallet for ten minutes,
made me nervous
like he was on
Thorazine;

it was the last
time I visited
Lisbon.
Doug Potter Sep 2016
I realize  that when you asked me to  feed your two calicos
while vacationing, I wasn’t given title to  pluck four large
tomatoes  from  your perfectly trained  vines.

The tomatoes were Christmas red, unbruised
and husky. It seemed criminal and unfair
to my palate not to devour them
by dusk the day I stole them;

in my shallow defense
both of your cats
repeatedly hissed
at me when fed.
1.7k · Oct 2017
Erogenous
Doug Potter Oct 2017
I encircled her waist
with my hands and
lifted her, not as
a trophy, but
to  kiss.
Doug Potter Jan 2017
She arched, and peeled
a red plum into my
mouth, including
the ragged pit;

though she had the charm
of a pumice stone, I did
not spit or complain.
Doug Potter Oct 2016
I can not find the letter mother left me four days
before her death. I read it once and then placed

it in a cardboard box like you might a dull
knife or a ******* tin. The letter is

a part me, like Van Gogh’s severed
ear was to him. I want the letter

like love or sight; the way bone
                               needs marrow.
1.3k · Jan 2017
Fact
Doug Potter Jan 2017
From a straight back wooden chair, I see
a cyan-blue ceramic bowl filled with
tangerines next to a desktop radio
tuned to NPR &

out the kitchen bay window
birds bicker over seeds
overflowing a feeder,
& a raccoon scours
the earth below --

I keep in mind the fact
all of these things will
be absent from my
sight one
day.
1.3k · Dec 2016
Equestrian
Doug Potter Dec 2016
Your hair falls
on my chest,

I call you
cowgirl,

you say giddy-
up horse,

hips
click.
1.3k · Jan 2017
The indelicate back booth
Doug Potter Jan 2017
The man sleeping in the diner’s back booth
will not care  if your mother suffers  from
plantar diabetic neuropathy or that your
children read **** and steal *****.  

No,  trivial matters will be of no worry
to him because he ****** himself while
dormant and leaving  without  others
knowing will be of primary concern.
Doug Potter Dec 2016
Mothers are drowning their
children and piercing
hearts with nails
because they
fear ISIS

and Jordanian
military will
eventually
slaughter
them like

goats.
1.3k · Oct 2016
Repression
Doug Potter Oct 2016
I was there the day the sun
was a ****** embryo & you
finally awoke under sick blue
                                                mist.  

Do you recall when Nell’s femur
fractured  and she cried the way a cow
bawls  when it is realized the calf will be
                                  someone’s veal dinner.  

Do you think of these times
or has a lardy mealworm crawled within
your nasal cavity & inched into your brain
                                             to erase memories?

Gathering atop our 100 year old
dogwood, blackbirds beckon you daily
to return  to your home  of devastating
                                                              trauma.
1.3k · Oct 2016
The other half
Doug Potter Oct 2016
Some are lissome, jowly,
blossomed or pocked,  teeth

of old horses—eyes white as flour,
a few clubfoot with sisters

pregnant as October gourds.  Not
Norman Rockwell’s Americans,

but they are us and live in lopsided
bungalows with leaky roofs,

heaved sidewalks, bare
refrigerators.
1.2k · Sep 2016
Farmer's Market Prayer
Doug Potter Sep 2016
I lean against a stucco building
that has a turquoise  whale painted
on the sidewalk in front and pop in
a piece  of Wrigley’s as vendors
unload eggplant and plump onions,
two women walk past, one isn’t
wearing a bra and the other
should be wearing two,
I see a neighbor listening as three
Jamaican bucket drummers argue over
cigars, my neighbor nods and flips his
Pall Mall into the street, a gal walking
a Lhasa Apso snuffs the cigarette with
her heel, the dog hikes on a crate of
cabbage sitting atop a guitar case;
bravo to you God, a better morning
I could not have lived.
1.2k · Sep 2016
Of an Iowa Boy
Doug Potter Sep 2016
As a boy growing up in rural Iowa
I thought love was curve of neck,
tone of voice, hang of breast,
thick of hair, length of step,
temperature of hand, hue
of skin, size of soul;
I still think so.
1.2k · Nov 2016
Torrid Laura
Doug Potter Nov 2016
In less than a year you digested
a Puerto Rican baseball player,
certified horse inseminator,
disc  jockey, your sister’s
father-in-law,  a woman
named  Genevieve
                 and me.

Not much left after the pan
is boiled dry; memories,
residue and grit.
1.2k · Jan 2017
Beautiful sleeping woman
Doug Potter Jan 2017
I know she does not dream of me
nor should she;   there are so
many beautiful things other
than whiskey *****.
1.2k · Aug 2016
22 words of woo
Doug Potter Aug 2016
I will bake you a raspberry creme cannoli
if you bite my earlobes nimbly;
I dream your skin tastes of
lemon.
1.2k · Aug 2016
Harold
Doug Potter Aug 2016
It is hard to say father;
the thought of you stumbles through me when I see
a Gerber baby food jar or a wooden pop crate.
Once you came to mind when I saw a Polish flag
on TV; that is humorous because
the only Pole I know is a pale man at the gym
whose left eye is shaped like a rotten pear.
Do you still burn your fingers when you
fall asleep smoking in a recliner?  I hope
you still do not trim your fingernails while
sitting on the toilet stool; that seems so un-American.
Today is your eighty-fourth birthday;
I hope wherever you are you do not think of me.
1.2k · Dec 2016
Thirty four words on desire
Doug Potter Dec 2016
Basil, paprika, cold Hungarian goulash,
bleu cheese and stale cinnamon
coffee cake dominate
the taste of  your
mouth and skin;

it’s not because you are
slovenly that pulls me
into you, I am alone.
1.1k · Sep 2016
I asked God to a debut
Doug Potter Sep 2016
I made a film last night about a man
who hates  neckties—silk, cotton,
and bow.  It is a documentary
of sorts,  that reveals  his
drawbacks, peccadillos,
discrepancies, lies,
and misdeeds.

I am the only character, me,
you can not watch it.
Never.   It is mine
to slowly edit,
and wallow
as I view.
1.1k · Dec 2016
Aspiration
Doug Potter Dec 2016
Tonight, I pray tomorrow
an orchestra brazenly
plays, and hounds

bay in tune, the sun
melts a path in the snow,
blue morning  stars glow;

all, so I can find my
sad and lonely
way.
1.1k · Oct 2016
Swept
Doug Potter Oct 2016
One dozen migratory Black-and-white Warblers lay
like fallen piano keys on the sidewalk in front
of a 14-story glass constructed building;
I watched as the janitor swept
them into the street.
1.1k · Nov 2016
Olfactory tightrope
Doug Potter Nov 2016
I  hated the scent  of Old Spice and Vick’s
VapoRub in the old couple’s home,
and the stench of ****** diapers

in poverty’s  bedroom, and the stink of
*** and bacon grease in my friend’s
house;  when I remember these

smells I want to throw steel
at glass and cry into
the sun.
1.0k · Oct 2016
10 minutes
Doug Potter Oct 2016
The scent of your breath across
the horizon of my sternum

& the pull & clench beneath,
is tectonic; white birds
rise & fly, die
& descend.
1.0k · Sep 2016
Mrs. Tovia Durkan
Doug Potter Sep 2016
The mailman dropped a letter in our box
for Mrs. Tovia Durkan who has not lived

at our address for forty four years
and is now buried in a small cemetery

surrounded by a black wrought
iron fence and glorious mums,

we are now the caretakers of
a letter sent to a Jewish widow

leaving us to feel responsible
to attend the Bat Mitzvah of

12-year-old Sophie Bravermann;
do we bring a gift?
1.0k · Oct 2016
A poem for the depressed
Doug Potter Oct 2016
Morning Sunlight keens like a mother
cries for her dying child & leaves
abandon their trees

while fall presumes winter
will glower like black
ice

hard from
preceding
months,

where the promise
of spring seems
unattainable.
Doug Potter Sep 2016
Don’t eat chicken noodle soup from a saucepan leaned back in a recliner
because your neighbor could hit his wife in the back of the head
with a cue ball and the cops might siren down your street
causing you to flinch and spill hot broth on your
chest;  I have a bone to pick with the coward.
1.0k · Mar 2017
South Dakota
Doug Potter Mar 2017
I am lost again
beyond the hills
where we made love

under the South Dakota
sun in the wide, wide
open as the wheat

lofted toward the bluest
of June skies and we
rolled and rolled

into an indifferent
world forever,
forever.
993 · Oct 2016
Phantom foot pain
Doug Potter Oct 2016
I do not know what become of
Frank’s biological right leg,

whether it was severed
and incinerated or he

was born with only one
and crutch bound until

fitted with his first
artificial leg.

I  do understand the look on
on his face after he unlocks

the prosthetic from his
femur and massages

the foot pain on
his stump.
985 · Dec 2016
Love, slow and sure
Doug Potter Dec 2016
is like cotton twine,
if you put a match

to string, it will
burn away,

but if dipped
in beeswax

the flame will be
slow and sure.
985 · Dec 2016
Lesser departure
Doug Potter Dec 2016
I remember as you stood bare feet
tiptoes on the red linoleum

reaching up to pull
the shade at dusk;

I left before the sun rose
you slept weeks

before realizing
there was no return.
980 · Aug 2016
Fall
Doug Potter Aug 2016
Atop a quilt
beneath  an oak

gauze dress
a pillow.

Hair a muss
Scent of rye;

no camera
only memory.
Doug Potter Jan 2017
Entangled in plastic
and  fishing line
eyes pecked by
crows; a new
America.
Doug Potter Dec 2016
My classmate Martha walked our school’s
halls for thirteen years, few students

talked to her because she drooled,
walked like a puppet, and had

greasy hair; there are  poems
I can not finish.
924 · Sep 2016
Summer and Eva
Doug Potter Sep 2016
Eva comes home from work to where there are many flies
and slaps my brother side-headed because he left the back
door open,  she is bovine heavy and limps to close it.  We eat

Chef Boyardee Spaghetti and it is soothing like peanut butter
fudge or Pepsi-Cola.  Eva says do the dishes up boys,  goes
to bed and cries.  Me and brother go to sleep and I dream

of a burning house.
923 · Jan 2017
Passing
Doug Potter Jan 2017
Every morning she awoke
as he fetched cups and bowls

from the cabinet, the sounds
were gentle awakenings, like

sparrows hopping across
a window sill; oh,  so, still

and quiet the home
became.
922 · Oct 2016
Nothing Remains Static
Doug Potter Oct 2016
Photograph an evening sunset
of a lake, wide and long,

one thousand times more
blue than the morning star,

and vulnerable, like a late
October Rose of Sharon

blossom, minutes before
fall’s first killing frost;

hold the picture close, as
it is your life, our lives.
Doug Potter Sep 2016
There are no ****** Rottweilers tethered to steel poles
outside  basement taverns.

No emaciated men  picking **** mites
on  their  faces or  women staring
blankly into the fog of their day.

Not a bad smell, a dead bird on a lawn,
an old person wearing a sweater too tight
or a poor kid with a cleft palate; not in Euphoria.
901 · Nov 2016
Wander
Doug Potter Nov 2016
The thought of loving

Brings me to you

Who I carry in my pocket

Like a needle

*** could be joyous

Or, anticlimactic   .
896 · Sep 2016
Twin Towers N.Y.C.
Doug Potter Sep 2016
Knelt not like candles
lit for celebration but
driven like needles
into pine by
hammer.
893 · Dec 2016
Ice
Doug Potter Dec 2016
Ice
The  babies sleep soft
as flour beneath
our sagging

roof and ice begs
deformed limbs
down

upon electrical lines while
we wait for the blizzard
to hold breath.
890 · Nov 2016
A picture worth 34 words
Doug Potter Nov 2016
We stand on the sidewalk
cousin Jamie and me, with

a bible in my right hand,
I drape my left arm

around her lopsided
shoulders and cold brace;

she seldom smiles,
even as the shutter clicks.
Doug Potter Oct 2016
On their third date,  Sue forgot
her diaphragm; the infant died at birth.  

Second child was touched,
she & the boy moved to town.

Dave got the house, Chrysler
& an unfinished chicken coop.
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