Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE VOICE OF REASON

Over time, many odd
choices
and opinions
coalesce into one chorus

transforming
raw advice—
into the pure voice
of reason:

abandon your virtues;
when all chained
together, even
they constrain you.

Don't push this
load, pull it—slowly,
as old
Issa's young snail would,

take the levelest
possible road
to the
top of the tallest mountain.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WILL

August is a bloated apathetic animal—
having killed
and blood-let and feasted and
sucked

on the meat
of a tender young June
and a huge July's utters
and fat tangles of rib marrow.

Moist dust from the scuttle
clings to the air, subtly
darkening the sun.

Weary now, even of the
sheen of cherries
and the insistent musk of a
honey dew melon,

it lies still, breathes
shallow,
sleeps, dreaming—in circles
of a dimly

apprehended tomorrow:
the cool prevalence
of inevitable
September—and its plums.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ELEMENTAL, AS IT WERE

Experience may be haunted
with the ghosts of inclination,

but the literal is (really)
the strangest caprice of all.

After all,
I'm not a crow,

I am not
some bumbling bee

I am rooms and spires
filled with old spores;

I am blue mold,
hungry and stubborn.

I might have been outlawed
but I am also sheriff

and game warden
of this space on the page.

Right now, I'm all of the
dark feelings you could mention

which stand for themselves
and don't require poems

to get attention.
Nothing in these lines

is levitating. Even the most
fantastic books

don't just magically
fly off the shelves.

The most prolific words
describe lack,

a crying need
for help.

I am long past giving
up

writing
about myself.

Monday, August 13, 2018

CATHEDRAL TUNES

Everywhere I look,
every small thing has got
a piece of the whole
infinity in it,

every translucent amber window
oozes doleful music—

then there's
the awed hush of limestone
and the shadows
of low-bowing arches

unspooling into garden hedges
to darken wild thoughts—

until I'm so weary
and oppressed, I can barely

believe I don't
believe it

when, high above
and far
away, the bells toll—no, no, no, no

and in the
spaces between, I hear what
impossible sounds like.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

HIERARCHY OF A SATURDAY AFTERNOON

At the edge of the
park, swollen
pigeons bully finches

away from the provident spoils—
six monolithic
hewed husks of hard sourdough,

until the gargantuan Ford Explorer
toiling past
with the windows down

shatters at last the holy war
with its peace
accord—of reggaeton bass.

Friday, August 10, 2018

GOOD AFTERNOON

Slow and sure,
but without
determination

a low lump
of cloud
obscures Trump Tower.

CATHOLIC WITH A LOWERCASE C

congregated
on a moldy pear core

forsaken
in the alley—

a hundred flies, or
maybe more—

lord, hear our
rotten prayer

for a scrap
of their rapport.