Friday, March 29, 2013

Reckless Records

Never mind all
this bullocks wax;
there's better fidelity 
today in trunks 
of trees

And better production
notes wrung from
cawing gulls-

Lets take morning
from the top again, lads;

A little 
more hysterical,

And a little less 
historic.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Outside Chance

Buzzed by 
chai, I dashed outside with 
an artistic eye to write a bunch 
of fresh words before 
lunch

But my 
intentions soon 
jammed when I quickly got slammed 
by a weird mix of bright tangy 
hunger and sun

Pained and hazy,
I suddenly acutely lusted to feast 
on buckets of sugared spring breezes and 
forests by-the-fistful of sun-
buttered branches 

When I turned
to retreat, I grimaced to
see, from a distance, a smart, nappy 
squirrel nosing noiselessly for 
seeds on the dry lawn

Finding a prize
pick, he plucked it up and 
turned it quickly between his skilled little 
fingers, nibbling just the edges 
before tossing it back--

meanwhile, my artistic 
eyes were turning 
avocado-green.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Ideas But in Spring

Is it just me, or 
did a stouter sun try 
searing through the clouds this morning?

Am I wrong, or
did a sweeter smell of 
mud float by on fresher air?

If it seems I'm 
dreaming spring, if the 
thaw is just a thought I'm having,

Just leave me
be and let my everbearing 
adverbs cast their shams of shadows--

My concept
may be sleepy, but
it's hard work building strawberries.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Grain of Salt Sutra

Oh sure,
those cotton 
clouds look
published,
backlit by 
attentive light

Oh sure,
that bird-
song scans 
rhapsodic,
veining through
the thawed-
out woods

Oh sure,
that same
girl spells
"fantastic"
better 
with her 
lipstick on--

But thus I've heard:
that winter doesn't really 
turn to spring

any more than empty 
words on spring stand-in 
for things.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"This is Chicago"

Perched 
on a stalled 
El, I saw

all the 
unkempt alleys 
littered

with garbage cans.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Depth Perception

Far from home, relentless
heaven of utter Iowa
looks empty

But if emptiness is more 
than nothing, then far seems nothing less than close

Thursday, March 21, 2013

On Tour (After Brighton MA)

Lusting for leg 
room, fresher 
air, better words,

and flanked by 
unmoved herds of freighters, 
progress plucks nowhere 
special on a lengthless sting.

But If rhythm is itself an instrument, 
then these medians form forgiving double bar lines,
inviting repetitions of the same scenery
with each fresh beat of time-

because miles, like measures, aren't crossed to be gained;
we were born to be moved, 
and it's death to arrive.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Idées Fixes

The sky 
this morning was so 
clear and clean and cold 
that, gazing up, I could hardly 
keep my balance walking.
 
Fixed on the vast band 
of bare blue, and terrified 
by unobstructed vacancy,
presently, a body stumbled, 
unindividualed,
dumb for names 
and numb to numbers-
through weather's 
uncreated vision
of itself.

Eventually came shelter
in some euclidean shape or other,
and, feeling a little warmer,
I felt a svelter face reforming 
and it felt a little smarter 
when, melted, it remembered
a thought intensely new 
it had when wedded to the blue-

that something so unanimous
is always a little disorienting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Srry to wrt

sorry to write-
nothing to say...
wrecked by the weather-
no poem today.

woke and saw sun-
felt lusty for words-
brushed, gulped, got dressed-
rushed out to search...

breathless, unbuttoned-
wasn't prepared-
straightaway decked
by bales of cold air!

back inside quick!
bussed by rude wind-
never had time
to write down a thing.

Monday, March 18, 2013

How Come Chicago

In the 
inexhaustible space 
between a tick and its tock,
rude monday asserts itself.

An instant 
made various,
quickly turns monotonous:

Clocks clang.
Watchers err.
Cars whir.
Radios blare.

How come, 
bleary commuters wonder,
Chicago never bothered 
to ask the real question:

Does anybody 
really not know 
what time it is?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Polyrhythm After Kate

Lemon wedges
cross cups of tea
while you and
I invent each other.
Dark wood table
and clockwork dinner
inviting lightness as one
rhythm incites another;
every minute in this space
is a rivet in an instrument,
and each instrument articulates
a tacit promise, reenacted-
to participate perpetually,
without the need for understanding-
like a key that weds a lock,

or a poem without and ending.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Circle Interchange

Cascades 
of filthy glass 
facades look cleaner than they really are 
in such well-tempered 
daylight

then again,

there's really no such thing 
as a dull pearl

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Parades

This morning
over clotted
highways moved
a mass of dappled
clouds—
nameless and never-
born they drifted—empty
rumors on the edgeless wind;
down below
in line, it dawned
on me
like a backfire—
my
commute is a
performance, whereas—theirs
is just

performed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Exactly This

Walking past piles 
of stale, old-news snow,
everything seems exact this morning.

Sharp-angled buildings, 
composed of so-many back-lit bricks,
quake in Fahrenheit temperatures,

while precisely three rumpled finches 
swoop in Euclidean circles, as if to advertise 
the depth of mild morning air.

Then, 
far-off, 
and measured, 
and dark,
an iron bell clangs
a calculated reminder-

I, and those birds,
and those dark bricks,
and even that stale snow;
we aren't exactly news and weather;
not exactly lines or measures,
but all exactly this together:

here and hungry
for today's soft light.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Breakfast Emptied Out

I thought I left
for work this morning
in one piece, but empty.

Ignoring hot hunger,
I just barreled on
through fog, past rust and wet rot.

But along the way,
the empty feeling 
had whole ideas of its own-

it turned itself
completely inside-out,
and spilled out all around me.

Suddenly, 
in sweat, I felt
that I was every car in traffic.

Salt and warm wet
eroded any former
thoughts I had of progress

as wills and cars all sloshed apart, 
evaporated, and just forgot  
what vapors ever formerly dreamed of hunger.

*** 

Sometime later, 
near some intended destination,
rain fell, indiscriminate and cold.

All it did was help things shine-
it was easy,
and things felt fine.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Thursday, March 7, 2013

In so far as I can talk about it (which isn't nearly as far as I can walk)

lost in familiar 
woods

no thought found 
me

only a distant warble

then 
a nearer caw-

all of space and time
momentarily defined.

without effort

or explanation

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Too Many Adjectives

The real trouble with snow
isn't the shoveling,
or the cold,
or even the grungy slop of roads.

It's that there's just too many adjectives in it
and not nearly enough nothing to behold.

When I see it boldly 
clung to boughs,
it makes me think:
Oh, white! 
Oh, wow!
Oh, soft! And oh, majestic! And oh, 
how ecumenically bestowed!

But all these words were used before,
the currency of countless packs 
of hokey Roberts Frost,
and each betrays the untrue gap
between what winter's really worth 
and what it seems to cost.

I've read that 
what I see is it;
the snow just signifies itself,
and I shouldn't take in any words
than I can't quickly spit.
But somehow I can't nip the feeling
that snow's cold beauty betrays meaning,
and I just can't stop salivating
to describe it all precipitating.

In a hurry, Frost called his woods "lovely,"
and then just "dark," and then just "deep."

Well, so are mine, apparently;
only I've got nowhere else to be.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nihil Ad Rem

There's snow
all over my poem
this morning—
I can hardly read the words—
I think
they were keen
and tactful and taut
and their logic cut clean
with quick heat—but now
just rows of sloppy
trees
columns of idle
cars
distant indiscriminate
architecture
awash in
faceless white—
what once stood,
perfectly
good—now just

perfect.

Monday, March 4, 2013

By March

Winter 
is a lame duck
squatting,

and I'm a motivated stalker.

Pained and narrowed
by responsibilities,
I just have to snatch
and bust 
and fry 
and wolf
her motley eggs for breakfast

with too much 
fresh green thyme.