Continental Drift

Stage Direction

From here I can see Chicxulub:
Exit, species, that we might enter.
Now, to what eternal balance shall I squeak
if these, in turn, are curtain lines?

On Awakening Late at Night

If cats courted druthers,
there'd be druther less cats.

Rugged individualist
prefers parthenogenesis
if we must carry on.

Else nine lives
is species enough.


A child wails
as if a scraped knee,
or toy withheld,
ended love, life, hope,
civilization as we know it.
Growth is learning
to discount such things.

Meet Cute

I was out walking my dog—
I had a dog, once—
Good, but that’s not the story.

I was walking my dog one morning,
Roscoe, a big grey mastiff, wasn’t afraid of anything,
when we came across this drop-dead redhead
sitting on one of those scrolly wood and iron benches
holding a baby against her lap
so it could look out at the lake and ducks.
A little boy, it was,
waving its hands and staring like they do,
and Roscoe tried to eat it. So she shot him.
I mean her hand was in and out of her bag
like she’d been practicing.
Little chrome twenty-two,
silly pop like a penny cracker.
Set the kid off, but nobody else noticed,
joggers going by with tunes in their ears,
and Roscoe just sort of rolled over.

She sat there, trying to stroke the kid’s hair
with the gun still in that hand.
Half-rational, using the tips of her fingers
in case the gun was hot.
She hadn’t practiced that part.
I told her to put it away
and she gave me one of those AWOL looks,
but she put it away
and when she had collected herself,
and got done yelling at me,
she said she was real sorry she had to shoot Roscoe,
and I said: That’s all right,
he wasn’t a very obedient dog, anyway, 
which wasn’t true.

It didn’t last, of course; 
we really didn’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things—
I mean, she had mace. Women.
Good old Roscoe.
Best damn dog I ever had.

I had a dog once…


That's the end, Sarah said,
shaking dreams from her head,
of munching blancmanges at bed time.
That it goes best with 'orange' is
no reason, just varnish,
thin gloss for a tenuous snack rhyme...
Panna cotta's my coda, with red wine.

Six Impossible Things

#1. It's time to get up…


Poets deem it heartless,
yet, per Dante,
infinite account
is infinite Love.
There's an equation for you.


Emptiest of absence
is companionship all there,
mere displacement of the air.
When touch dislocates touch,
mutual's more despair.

Who Needs It?

In reality, love is seldom.
In reality, backs are turned.

In reality, we need strangers.
In reality, they're too strange.

In reality, we all matter.
In reality, who cares?

In reality, blood is cheap.
In reality, carbon's dear.

In reality, the world's a wallow.
In reality, it's our world.

Bleep reality...
At least that's one way to get laid.

Me, Perimiterred

Falstaffian girth
height of Napoleon.
A brain blown-apart
(to err is aeolean)
Full measure of mirth
and five parts petroleum
will sing for a lark,
(to air is melodian):
If such is my worth,
I prostrate linoleum.

You Should Have Been There

Jack's horn folded space and time out of sight.
Glances. This doesn't happen at Jack's.
We love the man dearly,
but really, he's a bit—
his Place never where
till this unexpected flight
when at once we all knew, this is
just not where "at" was, no not quite.
Some higher dimension of there and back
a Hobbit's tale rabbit hole journey
into unparalleled worlds of bluesy night.
Himself on the horn had never known grace
till by some blessed knack—
for once then something—
notes twirled a corner not there,
left a smile in the air like a Cheshire cat:
the night square Jack Horner riffed a tesseract!

Bottoms Up

There was a fat ocean of oil,
below that the fishermen toil.
We probed it for riches,
and now, like the fishes,
it's floating atop the sea's roil.

Prelude to a Wake

When I have drunk the English language dry,
Gaelic, Greek, and what beside,
and all is sand, save Finnegan:
Then, I may be worthy of it.
Till then, I have no time for it.

Emily's Way

Is Broad best—for Narrow—
street, needle, view?
Under heart-attack
how draw breath
to sing the bloody logging chains
endlessly dragging?
Bleeding throat
wants a brief line.


Arms are graces to the Fury;
the spinning kick, Terpsichore.
The smile more gleams
that bares more teeth—
'Tis daintiness to use the knife
without the peas.


The loveliest next door
must stand compare to Singapore,
though next door in Singapore
yet somewhere else contest.

The prophet we most know
is dim to so and so—
as thus and such foretold.

At some remove's a there
that overdoes our best—
though here, they say,
is over there's excess.


There was a young twitter, @ilyses,
so fond of a limerick's blisses,
she tweeted one night:
Could you feed my delight?
The answer to which, darling, this is.


Now the splinter-right think schism is a patriotic-ism.
They've seceded from their senses. What a bunch of Mensas.
Split, snots, and eat my


The dimpled spider in my sink
motionless is not trapped
until I loose the deluge;
then stainless slips the scramble
rough hewn nature would leg up.

Beyond its ken I see and close the tap,
coax it onto paper,
and carry it to a garden
loved by moths.

I grasp perplexities of providence
absent designing spider,
its limbs, its appetites.


Let a smile be your umbrella.
Let a chuckle be your tie tack.
Let a guffaw be your shoe tree.
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Contents by William M. Alam and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. Based on work at