The Trouble

The Trouble with Trouble is•

We start in a parking lot, between two white lines.

Car radio sounds are heard: music to talk to music to talk…

Raw aluminum-alloy lamp posts, tall as prison towers, uniformly point toward the sky.

Women and men with bags and babies. Big mess. Obeisant, humanoid-faced cars wait, some humming mechanical lullabies.


(As if watching someone do voiceover for a Disney animated movie we cannot see.)

I am at home between the loving arms, these white lines. These silent boundaries.

The trouble with Tacoma, there’s a sleepy veil of depression billowing up and drifting back down, daily. Never quite enough to keep the crows and jays from flying, or the people from driving, but stellar association isn’t ever what it might be elsewhere.

Second strange plane flying overhead. So low and quiet, so flat and colorless, most folks don’t even look up. Don’t smile.

K. Shawn Edgar | Bad Actor | Man Flake 


The Lesser of Two Meanings

Levee: the second can resemble the first.

Along the river Futurity,
its lips licked by tongues of fresh snow melt,
sediment builds a ridge like the assembly of men
around a monarch’s morning wakefulness.

Sentinels pile up behind the gnarred current
bleating grains of what’s to come.
Farther down the river
the ridges are already forming.

Janus, the guardian we get when two rivals are one in the same, back-to-back, and we linger under the falsehood of choice.

K. Shawn Edgar | 8787453 | 97823#4 | Jar109Tar3

Monsters and Machines

It’s a curious thing.
What makes a man begin to hate everyone,
And everything?
Is it an insurmountable sadness,
That drives him to madness,
That makes him not a man,
But a monster filled with rage?
Or rather a machine,
With no empathy or anything,
That makes one a human being.
Was he really a monster?
Was he really a machine?
Did he really hate those people?
How could he go through it?
Was it God that made him do it?
We can really only speculate.
What filled him with so much hate.
So much hatred.
So much death.
So many people willing,
To be the monsters and machines,
To do the hurting and the killing.

Broken Blade

I used to be a teacher,

As sharp as a well-made knife,

That was meant to be used roughly,

Every day to take a little punishment.

Tempered and sharpened over the years,

Hardened and indestructible,

But at the same time, flexible.

Slicing through problems,

So gently and delicately.

Like they were almost nothing.

I used to be a teacher,

Able withstand the abuse from students.

That’s part of a teacher’s job description.

You take it and if it wears you down,

You sharpen yourself,

And go back to work again.

But long have they been,

Desiring my absence.

All their efforts,

Focused on this task.

They missed no opportunity,

To sabotage.



To wear down my former sharpness.

They’ve done it.

They win.

I’m nothing but a useless dull blade,

That finally broke in half,

But I used to be a teacher.

Les gens de la ville

Il pleut maintinent.
Il pleut dans mon coeur,
Pour les gens de la ville,
Dans la ville de la lumière,
Vivre dans la lumière de l’amour,
Avec l’amour de l’art,
L’art de la musique,
La musique du gens,
Les gens de la ville,
La ville de la culture,
La culture de l’égalité,
Fraternité et liberté.
Mais aussi la culture,
De la haine,
La violence qui pleut,
Dans les gens de la ville.

(With apologies for my bad French. Je suis désolée.)

Bicycle dreams

I wish I had learned to be

One of those lonely

Lovely poets

Who found love in their mothers 

And the children they adopted

When their wombs 

Had past their date

Not yet another woman

Living in a man’s house

Hoping her hands

Her breasts

The sway of her hips

Are enough

To bring him back from oblivion

(When really she knows

Oblivion is a place 

You visit and leave 

Without some girl’s prompting)

I wish I had learned

Before I stopped being a bicycle

And became a cable car instead

But here I am

Wed to these wires

Following the paths I’m allowed

Yearning for the mountains

Problem Areas

It’s summertime, ladies.
When the living is uneasy,
For those of us with,
Problem Areas.
Those imperfect parts of us,
Endlessly discussed,
How they offend and they disgust,
And should be always hidden.
Away from view, forbidden.
Cover up your Problem Areas,
For they only want to see,
Bodies flawless and magnificent,
Smoothly plastic, prepubescent.
Wear a minimizer, for the girls.
(That’s a bra that shrinks your assets)
For nobody wants to see them,
Particularly, the men.
Who, as we know, cannot stand,
To look at women’s breasts.
So before someone arrests you,
Cover up those Problem Areas.
Contain yourself in lots of shape wear.
Suck everything in everywhere.
And never ever remind anyone,
That you’re an actual woman.