Monday, September 23, 2019

WHAT'S ONE MORE

Outside my window, a lone
crow's desiccated
rasp of a caw,
first of autumn—like

bugle Taps for the bygone
season; like a callus
that's thickening. Well, what's one
more, I guess

in the grand scheme
of this jointly tender
and excoriating world—or do I
mean, one less?

Sunday, September 22, 2019

EARLY MORNING PRAYER

          One day, we will put it all behind. We'll 
          say, that was just another day on Earth.
                    —Brian Eno
 

Dear God—please, fuck this
tyrannical math of the
thirteenth Pope Gregory.
Here I am, deigning again
to wake in good faith;
and again, I see a traitorous
digital calendar display
has slithered and shape-
shifted and clawed its way
forward another day
to the dearth of my consent,
belief, and understanding.
This is the last straw—so
help me, I will not accept
one more of these abstract
numerical premises on
behalf of your allegedly
esteemed representative.
With You as my witness, I
hereby no longer agree
to shave the graying beard
of my finite existence
off like this: for all intents
and purposes blind, with
the needle-sharp point of
an Italian stiletto, and one
uncountable hair at a time.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

DECOMPOSITION

How are we expected
to square the fact
that a good romantic novel
makes a piss poor history book
written in reverse?
Any way you choose
to look at it, fractal and confused
is the spot where the juiciest
plots merely start,
while their rectangular ends
are so neat and Newtonian
that it's more than a little perverse.
In the threads I've somehow
managed to pick up
and follow, the characters
bend and the situations alter,
but divergence is the longer-
term rule of thumb.
In as many of the world's
pages as I've fumbled
through so far, loose ends
never wind any tighter, monuments
and gravestones only
crumble in one direction,
and it's not like anyone
down there ever ends up
more in love
than they were.

Friday, September 20, 2019

END OF THE SIDEWALK

          Past the pits where the asphalt
               flowers grow
          We shall walk with a walk that is
               measured and slow
          And watch where the chalk-white
               arrows go
          To the place where the sidewalk
               ends.
                    —Shel Silverstein


I don't know,
Silverstein—mostly it seems,
hours after I've dreamed them,
my desires, hopes, and
fears are still sleeping
measured and slowly in tight
neighborhood flowerbeds, while I
blow right by them
distracted and daily
on these neverending conveyor
belts of milk gray concrete.
My mind might be
an intergalactic band
of time-traveling space aliens;
my body, perhaps
a harmonized tangle
of vibrating proto-conscious superclusters—
but in any case, everyone in here's just
fissuring on
in his limitless way
to someplace definitive,
allowable,
uninteresting.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

THE INCIDENT OVER BRUNCH

Those first hateful days
that follow are more obliterated
than they are recognizable—let alone
believed-in—and so
can hardly be
counted as such. Then

for a month—
and the bleary compendium
of months after that one—it's just
too hard
to talk about much. But
curiously

once years pass, it becomes
so difficult
to rekindle any sentiment
or recall really any
details at all—it feels trivial, if not positive-
ly dull to discuss.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

SUSPICIOUS

O September—the boughs
are getting heavy now,
and the stalks are growing
brittle. There is a meanness in
the flowers' faces. The yellows
are bronzing more than a little,
and white pillows of clouds
are flattening out. Though
all around the tall dry grasses
lie softened nectarines, plums
glossy with rain, and faintly
rotting melons; the bees
have grown listless, the song-
birds strangely terse, while
invisible cicadas whisper
more and more anxiously—
this secret of yours can't be
kept for much longer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

HOW LONG CAN THIS GO ON

Like a gladiator, the late
September sun returns
a little more battered each morning,
bestowing

a little less warmth
and a little more color.
But which spectator among us pauses
to consider—each time

our own voice rises
in anger, lowers again
in despair—how many Olympians
are summoned and spent,

how many golden days
ransacked, rarest hours
blitzed from the air—how much summer
do we really think we have left?