“Landscape With a Pond,” oil on canvas, by Jules Dupré, circa 1850s.


I’d tell you our plan for breakfast tomorrow
but our legs have worn out our welcome.

Alexa tells me she is glad we are here.
I sat on a Space Needle for hours

stretching my ears to hear the sound
it could make as it dragged across the sky.

Seattle is attractive from a mile in the air.
I mean that in a platonic way, so don’t get

jealous if you happen to be Los Angeles.
You’re our number one. We just like to

see other cities from time to time. Keeps
things interesting. Maybe tomorrow we’ll

have all the coffee. Get that out of the way.
I hear there are doughnuts and paintings.

Maybe I’ll tell you about them after I
give way to my heavy eyes.

They just want to close and dream of
an evening in which the mountain

never blows.


Honey! “BaconTits” I shout to Addie
walking down a sidewalk in Fremont

because there is a brick with the word
“BaconTits” written on it.

I am immediately forbidden from calling
this book “BaconTits.”

In an unrelated note, later that night
back in the center of Seattle proper

I shout to the topless silver mannequin
in the storefront Get a shirt Silver Tits!

This outburst was sponsored by the
bourbon I’d just finished atop Pike Place.

Addie wants to know if Silver Tits and
BaconTits know each other.

Oh, they’re breast friends I tell her
having now accomplished everything

I’ve set out to do with language.

Swimming with Sins

When the synagogue told me
we’d be going to the duck pond to
cast away our sins

I thought, that’s not fair to the ducks.
When the synagogue told me
we’d be going anywhere to

cast away our sins, I wondered
does U-Haul have a van big enough
to transport all of mine.

Probably not. I need an acre
of bread crumbs just to cover
what I did in the spring.

I need ancient Jewish lawyers
to negotiate my forgiveness.
I need to go to the duck pond.

I want to wade in the water and
eat what you toss in. But only
because I think it will be easier.

They should set up a permanent
residence for me—right next to the ducks.
I’ll learn to speak their language.

I’ll learn what it’s like to be responsible
for consuming the sins of others.
My only sin will be

running away from all my sins.
I’m casting everything I have into
the water. I don’t want it.

I wish I never had it.
Please make it like it was
before I knew anything.

I’m willing to learn it all again.
Even Algebra. I’m sorry for everything
I’ve ever said about Algebra.

Oh God, my God—I hope
the way I strung these words together
lands gently in Your ears.

all forgiving


Rick Lupert is a recipient of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center’s Distinguished Service Award. He created the Poetry Super Highway website and hosted the Cobalt Cafe reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 21 collections of poetry, including God Wrestler and Making Love to the 50 Ft. Woman, and edited the anthologies A Poet’s Sidur, Ekphrastia Gone Wild, and others. He is regularly featured at venues throughout Southern California. “Alexa” and “BaconTits” are forthcoming in Lupert’s new collection Beautiful Mistakes.