Biltmore 1946

the sun sets on the Tahoe Biltmore 

another hotel casino shuttered in Crystal Bay, Nevada

please look out for Mary 

the cabaret dancer from the Aspen Room who 

lost her life on Mount Rose Highway

her restless spirit wanders



barely time to daydream

like usual when you edged 

into my office out of sorts 

to betray logic and reason

the strangest thing

it was like someone was 

there… my blood raced 

to believe our dear comrade

she returned!




all patches leather sound and
symbol – Redding, California –
an entire crew of Mongols blasted past us
in pairs lone wolf edging the breakdown
lane.  i got so excited i
don’t know why?

 i guess them tēlecine ghosts
found a way to cross
over   #katyamills

the blinking ghosts

we float above stones

ready to be polished

in then out of view

now we are colorful neither shiny 

absent not faded

not simply a statistic

dreaming to be someone we

are more realistic



the ghosts of poets

arise from the marshes they
trudge to their post

abandoned cabins moored to the foggy

portraits peel off
the walls. unread books crestfallen
to the bare floor

how much life was lost

here? to honor the word

may i conjure you now
at your most glorious
to speak?

to help fight this

useless feeling


after all the candles shed their wicks and treats give in to tricks, after all the families tuck away the costumes, end of play, after lights out and halloween is set aside… then the true demons show, sanity takes flight… with ghosts over cobblestone they glide

ghost story

i had gone to the back of the room and left them telling their stories one by one with seldom an interruption. the voices gave warmth to a cool autumn morning while the delta breeze slid soundlessly across the train tracks and the torn upholstery of abandoned cars to the branches of the trees tapping on the glass all around us to get in.

i poured myself a mug of hot coffee and stirred in a bit of sugar, standing there with my back to them, listening half-heartedly and somewhere between consciousness and last night’s dream.

after a few hearty slugs of the black stuff my eyes woke up first and stared into a congregation of uneven framed black and white portraits from times before now. century old tired and long faces looked back at me and over my shoulder as if they were part of our gathering in this old meeting
hall, a former nondescript bar once with billiards for the truck drivers and laborers in the yards.

i felt a chill carry over the nape of my neck as i realized i had become some medium some conduit between my audience hung by nails alongside coffee mugs on the wall, and the living boisterous
true fellowship behind us. i stood perfectly still then

turned to see the speaker at the head of the table, an older gentleman with a way about him and expressions i would not forget to remember him by. as i turned slowly back my eyes getting larger to see, alighted on an old rusted peg, the visage of the living man! he was silent yearning to be free, framed right there before me… and in small white numerals in the corner of the photograph… i read in disbelief the year! it was 1923.

ghost trains again

ghost trains revisited.again

We were young and sought our pleasure in the world, for a measure of happiness. Maybe for a moment the chase could end. Up all night laughing. I held you like I meant it, really tight but not too hard. You were so gentle with me when you were happy. Walking the streets at 3am. The ghost trains passed by and we readied ourselves and jumped, leaping for the handrails. The world went from absolute stillness to perpetual motion. The rails went West to outline the Pacific Ocean. The sea salt filled our lungs. We sought our shadows on the trains… then came the rains.

ghost train

ghost train. revisited

Oh ghost train
what terrors do you hold
as you launch across the landscape
burning in the cold

Oh scarecrow
what terrors have you seen
hung up in a corn field
where the murders been

Oh October
harvest and the moon
colors of the

now I light a candle
remembering the lost

so when they come
to call

in the dark hours
in the frost

them by
their shadows

in the hall