Friday, January 18, 2019

LETTERS FROM A STOIC

Even
though it's
freezing cold, the look

on my face
in the window
of your home—is blank

as a page,
on which
has been written, over

and over again:
it's good to be alone 
it's good to 

be alone it's good 
to be alone it's 
good to be alone—now please won't

you let me
come back
in already.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

ARGUING WITH MAGRITTE

First of all, there's really no such thing
as the temporal significance of anything;
everything's just an accident, a downstream
coincidence of Gregorian circumstance.

And speaking of accidents—images
are not really treacherous; they just get weird-
ly slippery after a while. Let's take her
for example, slowly tripping

up the stairs from a pea-yellow
bedroom in the basement, mumbling
something like happy 
anniversary from the bathroom

an electric toothbrush buzzing in her mouth;
me in the kitchen, probably reciprocating,
me definitely
having some coffee ready.

Now, let's cut to—the sun
eventually lying down, bloody
and exhausted, to warm the earth
somewhat differently for a while.

Suddenly, nourishment is nothing
like what it looks like.
There's so much less to it
than we thought a little bit ago. Now,

it's basically the ambient temperature
on the surface of our skin
which shows us—invisibly
but substantially—how.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

THE SAUSAGE GRINDER

Some days,
it's alright—you
are light,

literally made
of invisible star parts;

but even
then, of course, there's
those hours

slightly less
factitious
in nature—you're a transparent case

full
of mismatched leftovers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FORGERY

Lumpy coffee
cup—made of clay
and grape

paint and enamel—from the
outside,
you look fake;

but on the inside, just
incredible—vacant, but like
nebulae are vacant,

like time
would look, all
looped and piled up—

like the expression
on the face
of the interstellar water

as it regards, by way
of reflection: an ape
standing straight

up in the morning,
stretching, walking, then
plunking down again—to hammer the bones

of a lyric
poem out
on a smartphone.

Monday, January 14, 2019

FICTIVE MUSIC

     "That music is intensest which proclaims
     The near, the clear, and vaunts the clearest bloom,
     And of all the vigils musing the obscure,
     That apprehends the most which sees and names"

     -Wallace Stevens 

Lying awake
at night, in a room with
no window

just thinking—somewhere
else, the bright
moon is showing

off her halo;
somewhere, the shadows
below tip their

black hats, or else
genuflect—somewhere,
the silence is not nearly

this shallow,
somewhere
or other, it must be still

snowing—
that deep and dream-
silent kind

of snow, those
feathery little piano
arpeggios—falling clean

and clinging,
to the surface of a glass
and steel city

with a much
more beautiful
name—than Chicago.

Friday, January 11, 2019

THE SHAPE OF YOUR CONTAINER

Before you believe what
you're told—
feel your feet

against the ground,
listen far
left, then

right to the sounds,
raise your eyes
and look

for the sky—and realize, you're
being gently
held.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

BAD BREATH

If I wasn't so tired and quiet
and conspicuous-
feeling—all goose pimples
and rumpled underwear,

I might stand and shout
out the chilly bay window—
take it all back!
at the exacting light,


which, with its usual knife-
edged insensitivity,
is presently quizzing
all the neighboring


brick walls, needling
the street beneath, and
splitting the precious hairs of these
blunt stone hours


into cheap and hurried-
feeling moments—like this, each
one a little too sharp for my
taste in the morning.