You never thought I’d leave in summer

I’ll have a bourbon, a double,

and you, a stem of wine, white and dry,

an excellent choice, the sommelier will say.


I’ll cough and wheeze, and wheeze again,

grasp the white linen table cloth,

stare at my empty plate, also white, like my face.


Your muscles will tighten, your heartbeat

steepen, and you’ll say my name.

You’ll ask desperate questions, like—


What’s happening? Are you okay?

Is there something I can do?

Do I need to call a doctor?


I’ll say, “I’m fine,” and “I’ll be fine,”

and, “I’m going be fine,” and you will tell

this story one day and it will be a fine story.














Title adapted from Jackson Browne’s song, “I never thought you’d leave in summer.”


The last tattoo

The mother of the man with the tattooed face asked,

Life is hard. Why would you want to make it harder?


He furrowed  black satanic signs on his brow and said,

I wish you had told me this before I did: What I did.


     Tito Titus, represented by Pleasure Boat Studio








Smoking grass


Who by fire?

                  –Leonard Cohen



The grass, amazing green leaves, how fast they grabbed the early Spring hillsides, only a winter past the fire that scrambled over those hills like Hell-in-a-hurry, thousand acre fistfuls of fire that burst into town, burned businesses, torched twenty-four  homes, and scorched warehouses with flames that rode the wind like blazing Valkyries.. Now a new Summer nears, grass fades early, blades turn brown and brittle, ready to burn again when a shot of white lightening cracks open the sky, hot energy splits dry air, ignites fresh fuel,  throws flaming tumbleweeds across fields verdant only yesterday.

Tito Titus at Pleasure Boat Studio