Wednesday, December 28, 2016

STRIKE ANYWHERE

For a while there
it seems like
anything goes, but then

you learn it's because—
the past
is a matchbox,

is a glorious
hot little head-full
of zillions

of identical
perfect hair-triggers—
and the future

is pure sandpaper,
is grainy
brick mortar,

is your greasy itchy
shaking serious
perfect reverent

nicotine fingers
tingling below your
sulfur-tinged nostrils;

and every time
one single thing
happens—lookit

how quick
and hot
and lusciously

two others—
just get
annihilated.

Friday, December 23, 2016

ORIGINAL SCORE

In the quick thaw—
so many

incipient little brooks
and gullies

babble
independently—

their dirty
prosaic

motifs
and non sequiturs

all layering
together

to weave
the impossible

unified
roar

of this
ancient,

this distant—but
madly

believed-in
ocean.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NEEDLES IN THE CAMEL'S EYE

A little siren sleighbell shrieking
outside the Jewel-Osco,
binds together all hypnotized
wayfarers passing,

by parting one and all
from a little pocket money
with the following
incessant incantation:

Even in your most perfect
earthly dream, passing stranger,
your picture of recompense
might rig the whole game,

such that—by the time
you finally stagger
sunburned and blistered,
hardened but tenderized,

and with terrible headaches
in each of your heels
into your private-beach-
notion of heaven,

your homecoming'll be dread-
fully anticlimactic.
No one to talk to
about any of this;

none to compare,
contrast,
to rejoice
with, concerning

the everlasting-
ness of your bliss—since
of course,
the whole place

is literally
all yours—is
completely
deserted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

SOLSTICE

On a dark winter's day,
a sudden mysterious
breeze'll go 

wheezing through blue bristles
of spruce branches,
and in a snap

you think how—those trees 
back in Eden 
must have sounded 

exactly like these—explicit,
equally 
misunderstood,

underutilized,
never listened-to,
and so on. 

Only, in Adam 
and Eve's defense, you figure—
they had a good excuse.

Since that mighty 
wind rending those bleak, 
original branches 

likely didn't 
scare out such perfect
English as these do—

probably more like
some of that ugly Church
Latin, or something.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

EXAMINATION

A white head glowing on the other side
of a heavy wide
desk
from me (I feel

like there
ought to be
a Newton's Cradle
clacking as it goes on)

talking,
pausing severely
to hear,
then instructing
the same fingers,

which have mapped
and confidently
criticized thousands of pasty
quivering bodies
before mine,

to type away capriciously
on an antique computer
next to the typewriter.

Gradually, I fearfully gather
I'm being hunted
out here
in the gap:

Is that you?
or me? The voice asks
incongruously
at the second sounding
of a ring tone,

before those giant hands envelop,
unclasp
and then quickly
and loudly
snap shut a shiny flip-phone—

Thursday, December 15, 2016

SINGLE DIGITS

I feel, in this freezing
wind, my oneness—
drawn and haphazardly
pushed around,

scribbled, spit,
scratch-tallied, and
X-ed out—as if this
ponderous, senile planet

is struggling
to teach a piss-ant sky
how to do basic
math with me. And he

(the smarmy idiot)
keeps making
a blustery show
of his trying—but really

doesn't understand—nor does he
see, if the whole world gets it
already, why he should also
have to be bothered.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT

At first, there's these
four pretty
poor and unpopular
schoolboys—

formerly sick
with measles
and colic, they stutter
and stammer a lot.

Uncoordinated skippers,
petrified out-loud readers,
domestic animal killers, closeted
floral painting-lovers—

each taking turns of equal duration
hating and resenting and resisting
just how similar he is
to the others.

*

After a few repetitions, they're now
four anxious and fiercely
nationalistic countries—
all running with equal swiftness

toward the mountain of glory
and its crater of oblivion—
but all four
packing so incredibly

close to its precarious rim
as to prevent any
of the others
from daring to jump in, shouting:

Germany! Italy!
Russia! Japan!
Germany! Italy!
Russia! Japan!

and so on,
systematically, but with
no endgame planned.
Until—that first weary note

of dissatisfaction kicks in,
puts a pretty
constipated-looking
human face on everything.

Then suddenly,
it's more like:
Hello, hello, hello, hello—
everyone's cool

just letting it play-out,
even going so far as
to label the whole
scene—a denial.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

BACKSPACE ODE

At last—
can you imagine
how anything
halfway decently enduring
ever got written

before this
latest, au courant, up-to-
the-minute
master creator
was given

his benevolent druthers, his
capricious dominion—
to whoosh back
and obliterate all offenders
to the missive

with quick
cataclysmic bolts
of sterilizing lightning
waggled from the
merest tip of his

fat itchy
pink and bald trigger pinky—

two, three—wait,
half

a dozen times now, at
least?

Friday, December 9, 2016

PSST

The poem you want
is over there—
off to your right. It's
the way
the coffee sits
so still
in your cup,
so calm
on the roiled table,
so black and
so warm-
looking
next to the white high-gloss
cover of this
wretched little book.
Doesn't it? Um,
I mean—
isn't it?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WHAT'S THE FUTURE GOT TO DO WITH ME?

Walking around
any big bomb-
gray city
is

a great way
to re-
assure oneself—that

at least
God's creation

is both

way
too
lumbering-huge

and
far too
unsure of itself

to ever really be changed all that quickly.

Still,
considering such

a gross
timescale,

one then
imagines

He—
would have
vastly preferred

dealing with
trees—
to all these

unstable motherfucking

megatons

of people.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

IT'S YOU

Fight it, if you like.
It's still going to happen.

It's not
that it's meaningless. Meaningless—

you could do
easily. Unfortunately,

it's you—
staring down another faultless

surface every morning,
watching it

defy you, with that indomitable
prestige, called

The Way Things Are,
to improve somehow upon

its chaste perfection
with your prejudiced

and hypothetical burdens,
to somehow

trade places
with an uninjured rectangle.

It's you—
you

verses art.
But—just the thought of that

and it's like you've
already set to the task.

No greater pressure.
How can you lose?

Perhaps only ever
by endeavoring not to.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ORWELL MISSED THE POINT

There in the fire-pale
sapphire eyes

of some sloppy younger kin's
digital photos online,

you can see
perfectly quick—why

doublethink
must exist.

Not that two
plus two equals five;

that trick's too obvious. It's
a much weirder glitch,

perpetrated by this
slick algorithmic arrangement

of dovetailed generations
who still share the same space

but no longer
the same geography.

In this far-less everlasting
new infinity of capacity,

two things really are
true at once. For instance—

to those kids, staring
up down in Texas,

there's actually
no such things as lone stars,

but you, here? Turns out, no matter
which books you look in,

you still only own
those old few; and likewise, wherever

you choose to gaze
up in this big city, you can see

there's really
properly—only

such lonely things
as those.

Monday, November 28, 2016

THE SNOW GLOBE

Sometimes, my gift is just
the stark purity of reassurance—that no, 
you're not alone;

that yes, it's okay—that all of those ways
you suppose you've invented
to torment yourself

are actually shared, are culturally
predestined. That, in fact, all of the omnipotent 
possessors who came before you 

have clutched the very same 
small world in their hands 
and offhandedly declared,

oh well, to hell with any such 
hard-earned and 
terminal serenity—

before bathing their dominion
in the antiseptic chaos 
of another controlled calamity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CORNER OF REINDEER LN. & MULHOLLAND DR.

Crossing this balding and broad-
shouldered city alone in early winter—

still tasting faintly those bitter endnotes
of a very aggressive autumn

which still linger like burnt toast on the
thin morning air—and knowing

it's still just a little too soon
for those peppermint-soothing

diversions of fiber-optic barber-
pole holiday fare—this is the moment

when there's really no forest
toward which this street's column-collated

trees can aspire; when the strange projections
of daily life, caught between such frivolous

and complex preoccupations, feels like they
might as well be broadcast from Mars.

Suddenly, summer was a laughable theory.
Everything is cold and small and concrete—and yet,

still a little soft, too roomy, and strangely light
for its size—like a movie set

that's all held together with spit
and little bits of insulation, with

gaffers' black tape, union electricians' chewing gum
and craft services' leftover peanut butter, where

everything's only temporary, all is
just for show—intended by the higher-ups

and executive producers, only to give
the casual impression—not of a cast and crew

fused in commercial cooperation,
but of an entire civilization

all having agreed—that this distracted nexus
between the past and the future tense

will be believable, was
wanted, and is doable.

Monday, November 21, 2016

INTERDEPENDENCE OF LIVING THINGS

As if inspired by
talk—of those
locked and edgeless oceans,

swimming imaginary
inside the
factually tangible

hearts of so many
frozen, disavowed
former planets—

just by one glance
in her small dog's
bottomless black eye, she

swears she would
bet a million dollars—
it contains a wet

secret or two
that could (depending) either
rend or sire,

either drown
or inspire
countless trillion billions

of future civilizations,
all those competing gravities
of their fleeting

generational theories,
all of their valiant
hopeless pretensions toward forging

any artifice that tries to last,
and the one mundane thing
common to all creatures

which grants them
any validation for having
lasted this long at all—

that simple
comfort of feeling—you're being
looked-after.

Friday, November 18, 2016

WICHITA VORTEX SUTRA

Outside, a murdering rain
and lashing wind—threaten
to disturb the last remaining

fig leaf of our tacit
and fragile
national dignity;

but meanwhile,
somewhere in Kansas,

emerges alone
from a dim leaky basement

some fretful punchy
spawn of Ginsberg

who cannot be distracted
from his or her gleefully
impossible mission—

not to ride out this storm,
but instead, to ride
inside it more deeply;

to understand both
its forces
and counter-forces,

to willingly become
both the end-product
and the engine—and then finally,

to speak, if only
to coax out of silence,
the dry and complacent tongues

of all those survivors
still locked-up
in their shelters.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

SUPERFLUOUS

All the lonely insignificant supermen
marooned on
the planet must

feel, each time
earth's chromeyellow sun
stumbles down, flickers

of the sheer power-
lessness inherent
to such a cosmic and

ungodly bravery.
Where are all those 
good helpless 

bright-eyed and light-brimming 
old flames 
of ours? they must wonder.

We can no longer 
see them. Why won't they
wave? 

But what good? would
all the flints
and the wicks

and the matchsticks
in the universe be, any-
way—when

there's no
day
to save.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

I AM THE TYRANNY OF EVIL MEN

The tale's as
old as time, because
in the

grand scheme—
no sin
is original.

No imagination has ever
considered whether—it was locked
inside Beauty

or the Beast;
just like, no pair of eyes
ever stopped to notice

that the young man
strung-up on a
Jerusalem lawn

was actually
the one
who needed—us,

each mind
suspiciously failing
to realize simultaneously

that there's only one
perfect and
bottomless love—a wellspring

from which all other
ideas are dredged-up
and diluted.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

INTERNAL COMBUSTION

One day—from earth, it was observed
that the indisputably wrong thing had happened.

A gleaming incandescent star,

the mysterious diamond they'd all wished
upon—exploded.

The showers of shrapnel were savage,
and toxic, and horrible;

and the subsequent darkness was total.

But then—the day after,
by the weird chilly light emitted

from some kind
of hack, forgotten back-up generator,

each survivor rose to wrote a poem.

And though no one felt an iota better,
everyone felt this

at last, simultaneously. And that, it turned out,
was the whole miracle—

the only and most certain epistolary angel,

the obscure, unsolicited message,
born in the blazing hearts of billions,

the spark of conscious imagination—finally
perched and glowing with intention,

at home at last atop the withered wick of the soul.

Monday, November 14, 2016

KIDDO

Riding home
in our parents' cars together,

sometimes
the silence would feel impenetrable.

But now—in ours,
it more just feels unanimous

and terrific.
It's like how, back then—

some kinds of beauty
were deemed too true to be useful:

steely, indomitable,
and about as expensive

as a mono-
chromatic necklace of pearls;

whereas
many now are simply too good

to be true: like
that invaluable, polysyllabic jewel

which presently,
I'll give you—and which contains

too many facets
of fierce, simple elegance

to ever resemble
your regular name.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

GENERAL ELECTION

All over America
in November, the dead
leaves fall incessant—

expressing there
upon the bare land,
a quiet, even pressure

so generic
and
so mutual—that

no one man
or woman living
could ever dare—to realize

how utterly
all other men
and women feel it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

VERSES (AFTER WHITMAN)

When, in the incongruously broad
brimming Wednesday
morning daylight,

dozens or hundreds or
thousands or more
of disparate pairs

of the puffy solicitous
eyes you'll encounter
might start to beleaguer—

Is it possible the song 
that America is singing 
is wrong? 

What good are so many verses
which don't rhyme 
and lack a chorus?

Can it be that the whole world
is such a less kind place
than it was yesterday?—

may these few short lines exist here
so that you never squander
a moment before responding:

such a deficit
of energy is
impossible.

Mildness on earth will never
lessen, for I alone
shall make up the difference.

Day after day,
as before
I'll keep singing,

articulating, albeit with a
melancholy tongue,
the great mystery

of—how it can be
that even melancholia
is a warm feeling,

since—to be truly
sad, or angry,
or afraid

posits, at its
center, an illimitable
relation to all others.

Monday, November 7, 2016

KINTSUGI

Little by little, all of our 
small supple hours 
will go leaping 

and whirling cocksure 
into heaps, which are, at first 
gently shaped into silent 

resilient days—but then
become compacted and glazed 
by the stiffening hands of discipline

into ruthlessly strong and 
stubborn vessels called decades—
until eventually,

even the slightest changes 
in temperature, moisture 
and atmospheric pressure

act as needles 
to breach their integrity, causing
every splendid old one of them 

to crumble 
into an indefensible waste 
of clipped shards and pieces.

But curiously, it's not the opposite, 
but the inverse 
of Time—a thing called Endurance,

which soldiers on quiet 
and selfless in the dark,
soothing each jagged corner

with its golden balm of tolerance
and gluing the fractures
back together in more resilient combinations.

But Endurance also bears its own signature,
an ultimatum—that any product 
born of such a reconciliation

shall never again posit the desire 
to be flawless; nor can it ever again 
aspire to resemble 

the same design
for which it was 
formerly celebrated—since it knows

the only vessels strong enough 
to withstand ongoing ravages, 
are those which bear the most proudly 

the thick cracks 
and fissures
of each former surrender.

Friday, November 4, 2016

CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE

I pledge my allegiance to
metaphor

and so freely touch to cross
my heart

when I swear—
that my only religion

is art
and its functional

intersection with commerce.
I don't desire

the tearing
down of churches; much better

to use them—for
killer

loft apartments, un-
conventional live music

venues, free
parking, electrical infrastructure

and elemental
protection for local farmers

markets' continued operation
in winter.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

DETAILS, DETAILS

Incredulously, life's stupid
little particulars

refuse to refine; legions of cells
don't distill themselves,

reduce to savory sauces, fine
wine, concentrated

juices. Instead,
they mindlessly multiply,

calcify and pile-
up incessantly.

But what's kind of nice is—
those hard white ugly stubborn knots,

where all events
get fused to your biased

remembrances of them,
eventually combine

to make
a spine—

a sturdy column
of rocks and mortar,

whose steady bands
of nervy pipes then start

to shunt fluids,
and, over time,

grow—winding thickly
through all that is you,

to support and to nourish
and eventually—

to animate,
reshaping into the finest

art—everything
which first shaped it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

MISE EN SCÉNE

Street after street, on increasingly
swollen porches,
glowing clusters

of figures
jockey
for position—beckon you

with incongruously
mock-mirthful
grins,

not to admit them
as harmless aspects
of experience,

but to lie-
down your own
wintry substance entirely—

to die and come
back again—exactly
as them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

LOOKIT, A DOGGIE

Old wisest friend,
although daily
we saunter together 

down these shabby cotton-
brown sidewalks, past 
the most

woebegone of stroller-
bound children,
I still can't 

help but laugh a bit,
since you never quite 
seem to realize

it's you—who invariably 
precipitates, in each one of 
these little novices,

the earth-shattering realization 
of that certain 
prelapsarian premise—

that man,
with the sheer pacifying 
power of words 

alone, can 
control his 
whole universe.

Monday, October 31, 2016

COURAGE

As a young lion, he loved to follow mountains
of instructions to the letter,

but absolutely hated
being told what to do.

Now, he wakes up howling about how—
every day is leg day

and scowls in his sleep,
mumbling—each drawer's the bottom one.

But this, we're all very quick to assure him,
simply prefigures

a thing
that's much bigger,

like a crumble
of rangy yellow—in an emerald city.

Friday, October 28, 2016

CLEARING

Happening alone
at dusk upon
a hollow,

illumined
by this mangy
inter-generational grove

of flameyellow trees
which rings
its ragged perimeter, I see

in an instant,
the impossible mystery
of my own continuity—

that thought
which still remains abstract,
once in a picture

is crystal—precious as it is
pathetic,
solemn, but breezily irreligious:

like these, I die
to watch my way of life
survive;

and life-after-death
snaps
to sheer certainty,

as long as there's
no future outside
of—today.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

REGIMES

Every morning now—kingly skeleton mouths
grin out from camouflaged

graveyards—and pluck, as if from
these hot capillaries passing by, oddly

exuberant dissonant chords;
raising and reanimating giddy phantoms

inside me, of spooky gossamer agents
I can never put my finger on—

some terrible, witlessly merry pulse
and its catchy unutterable melody line.

I only know it's something
along the lines of—how death must start

as a ponderous mountain of potential pleasure
whose sheer gravity causes it

to implode
the longer and harder we try to conserve it.

Maybe that's why—what I've been
hankering for all these mornings

has been the taste of
hunger itself. And maybe that's why

I've never been able
to bring myself to sit and watch

the sand in my hourglass
gracefully run out,

without growing so sick
and tired of waiting—that I

positively have to—get up
and go running.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

LEARNING HOW TO BE COOL

Kate, if one day
you no longer recognize me,

it'll be
'cause I've grown so chill

as to look
almost standoffishly blue

and translucent,
from praying

'til I'm pale
that all those other

dudes my head grow—not
dimmer, just

more shallow
in their criticism;

and if I'm no longer plucking
the million-pound

moon from its heaven
to drop it

all-sly in your
shoe as a present (or even

fishing it out
from my casual place

sprawled on a manmade
suburban lake,

where I smoke candy
cigarettes and chug

Gatorade),
it'll be

'cause you
had said—that's okay,

you didn't
really want it—and I finally

remembered
to listen.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

LITTLE TROUBLE

Beheld by the mirthful 
eye of the mind,
the autumn breeze 

always seems 
to be laughing
at these certain small

disheveled lessors
it periodically sees—fevered
and glistening, fit to 

sneeze—flurrying back
to work
again sweeping 

newly strewn crumbs 
of dirt and scratchy 
bits of leaves 

out from the thusly- 
tickled elbows 
of concrete curbs 

underneath
the smirking 
windowfaces

of bloated
obsolescent
brownstones—as if 

somehow, those!
were the motes
that caused all the itching.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NO MORE SYNONYMS

There are so many zeros
in a million

that sometimes, you just long to say
and do nothing,

to let those last gold glowing 
tokens fall 

with their familiar little rings—until, at last 
you have 

absolutely none 
of everything. Then you'd feel 

clean, you'd feel 
in control, 

feel free,
since

the fortunes 
you would care about now

could only be as small as
your thoughts made them out to be.

But still 
always, there's the gleam

of subconscious
knowing underneath—wordless

and silent, 
impoverished

and unspoken—such close pairs as these
mean far 

from the 
same thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WRETCH LIKE ME

So deep in thick wilderness,
I feared I could no longer 

make out the old song;
but it was then, 

with the melody missing 
and absolutely no sound, 

that I finally heard 
the words crystal clearly—

I once was lost, 
but now 

I'm 
just a 
bit curious;

was blind, 
but now, 

I guess 
I can kind 
of understand.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

RE-ELECT MAYOR GOLDIE WILSON

Is there a single brave soul out there?
a weary nation of individuals
wonders, who's like us? A man

who's far less smarmy
than a hero, but less like a crook
than a witless bystander?

A woman, who's willing to work overtime
at keeping her integrity nearest to zero,
so as not to call unnecessary
and ballistic attention to it?

That hardened-but-immaterial
sheep of the herd who goes first,
who strives boldly to improve
the whole world only subtly,

through ecumenical promotion
of the most empathetic self-interests
and nonchalant nods to the most
figure-flattering of scruples?

Deliver us, lord,
the private prayers shall go
sailing ever upward,
one we can trust—who's not afraid

of switching off the lights
when leaving the room,
even just for a minute,

but who still insists on sleeping
next to a jittery little Chinese
box fan every night, for the comforting
ambient drone of its motor.

Monday, October 17, 2016

SUPER NATURAL

This is how the wind blows most 
October afternoons, now

that you're old enough 
to really be properly 

scared of all of those creeping
things of this world 

which are neither 
scarce nor sacred, those shades

that cast nauseatingly 
typical shadows, 

those mundane wraiths
which are so 

overworked and
underfed they've grown stupid—

a thousand thousand thousand 
insistent iterations 

of the same unimportant
brown autumn leaf 

that go scuttling past your sneakers
like failed and abandoned 

kites in stilted currents;
the drowsy zombie

bumble bees 
tickling your hair like bats

rising blind from their cells 
in hell,

not to riot, but quietly
squeak of prosaic dangers

(not enough cash-flow, too much 
fat in your diet, et cetera);

and finally, from endless porches, 
the sallow leer 

of prototypical
jack o' lanterns penetrating, 

making you feel
hollow inside, 

guilty—for all the time 
you spend thinking 

about the immaterial 
words of dead poets, 

instead of trying
to picture—all your disgruntled still-

living
relatives' faces.

Friday, October 14, 2016

WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA

When you were little,
you never gazed

longingly off
in the distance—you only stared

at what was right
in front of you. Until,

eventually, you realized
literally everything

you could see
was really

made of something
smaller—loose locks,

wormy stocks,
and rusty pitted

barrels. But
now, even peering at

classic books
feels

claustrophobic—
all those panicky letters

bumping into
one another,

stampedes of words
collapsing

into shapes
made by the same mouth

and its
small monotonous voice.

And you're right
to feel nervous

because—
the one original

thought
you've got

left is:
what if

the Apocalypse
has already happened,

It just wasn't
a huge deal?

All those insignificant things—
tiny habits,

mute gestures,
the cute words in those books—

just took over
casually,

gradually, when
the colossal individuals

who made them
stopped looking.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

PLANS FOR AFTER GRADUATION

Most of the time
you'll wake up in the morning
drained and literally not
having dreamed

about anything,
every last trace of that once-
liquid-leaden uncreated
conscience of your

race having been siphoned,
cooled, and compacted to sustain
and buttress the the inexhaustible structure
of something preexisting.

You'll actually eulogize catching colds
and having those good old hunger
pangs all the time, bereft now
of any terror you could name

that hasn't yet been played
out in simulation, over and over
again. Yes, and I'm guessing
you'll still have never read

The Divine Comedy—but,
at any given time, you're likely
to have seen all three Jurassic 
Parks on TNT fairly recently.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

THE LAST BREAKFAST

After waking, blinking
lightning

yawning
thunder,

probably urinating
several

sturdy rain-
showers, he proceeded—

as ever
with gentle gratitude

to the light
of the father

for all
things presently

made soft-
ly visible—

to cradle
and raise

a steaming white
cup

piously
up,

tilting
to baptize

the agonized
waiting

and withered
congregation

of his
guts.

Monday, October 10, 2016

WORKS CITED

In a debate, both parties
do their best
to mean

the things
they say; it's just that
the definitions

are always
gradually changing.
For instance,

everyone's confident
in insisting—
the most shameful thing

a human can do
is choose
to love something

it's impossible
to get rich abusing—but
the humanity bit

tends to get a little
stuck between
their dictionaries' pages,

last seen—marooned
someplace
weirdly perfect

between
mundane—and eminently
despicable.

Friday, October 7, 2016

DOWN AND OUT

Once, in purest poverty, I tried
to compose a poem with no design—

but words, those little mottled black-
and-white vagabond things,

each one starving
despite being swollen near to bursting

with unkillable sound, and all of them
greasy and threadbare,

sheathed in rumpled suits of their
hand-me-down significance—

they all kept on creeping
and scrambling back into the construction

with a desperation so relentless, so
astoundingly unbreakable

that I lost my will to kill them at all
and collapsed instead on a strategy

of control—with ambitions presently
only to spin such thick patterns

of this slack spongy population,
that any discerning reader

should figure—the craftsmanship here
transcends the material.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

COGITO ERGO

You probably can't trust that you're 
fully awake yet, when—alone in this 

packed city rumbling, all the pinstriped
and pastel parcels containing 

cake donuts—and the steaming rain-
spattered lids on white take-it-

to-go coffee cups 
streaming past you in the hands its

carefully waterproofed commuters—
only make comfort

to you feel so frivolous, so
momentary—so fake.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

DISAPPOINTING DREAM

Breathless and dark, I wait smack
in the middle of a deranged plain

for the cool glowing words
of this mysterious angel

who has landed close-by and pale
in the tinder, my only real company for

centuries, here under night's growing
translucent veil of slow suffocating

cloudsmoke—until finally, tolled off, one by
one, like very old dense iron church bells,

she intones the words—Son, hey, you got,
like, a lighter I could borrow?

Monday, October 3, 2016

RHYTHM'S STILL THE INSTRUMENT

Why do you reek
of muses and luck, super-

stitions and such impalpable portents
as which fickle

way the wind blows?
Were you unwittingly raised to believe

in special inevitable
angels, who hover invisibly over

every timid little
spear of grass that's out there,

cooing and gesticulating
grandly—encouraging the poor thing to grow?

I must say, it seems
as much, by the way I could see you

swaying a little
in the veritable breeze you were making

as you prayed
in the same frenzy once again

last night, for fresh
fruit—instead of giving thanks

for the chance to labor
again tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2016

THE MESSAGE IS THE MEDIUM

Behold the perenially prodigious artist
and his

unassailable
arsenal of marvelous masterpieces—

uncountable 
catalogs 

of masterfully 
casual 

agreements—to always remain
in the business 

of making 
these

teency little
individually insignificant 

changes—
to his

workaday one and 
only canvas.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ARS POETICA

All the distracted
ladies on Bluetooth
while jogging unruly

dogs down these
streets, each
blithe kid biking

past you while hurling some
buoyant profanity,
every last hollow-

cheeked old man
yowling something
about Sports on each cozy

neighborhood bar's
crazy multiplicity
of flatscreens—for years they all

seem to mean
practically
nothing to you. Until the

great day when,
upon find yourself
tired of trying

to deliver
such respectful and
meticulous translations,

you first hit upon
the beautiful gimmick—
of heedlessly cramming

every word they say, wholesale
into your own
preexisting melody.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

TACIT

In the soft-pedal
piano of early morning
fog, just after

your car
pulled off, I saw
for a second—I could perceive

the gradually growing
space

between us
without the need to
understand it.

Like some
newborn child

whose presence is
his art,

I just stood
where I was, bereft

but content
to be a wordless

poem for you—
composed
of the same intertwined

billions of bands
of vibrating light
and matter as you were.

But soon
the tremulous idea
broke—it was dull

but loud as the throat-
clearing thunder—

and it dissipated that spell
in a flash,

and all the old
words and cold
symbols began raining,

until I was thoroughly
soaked

with the same
gray and dismal sentence,
which read—

I'll never be able to
show you anything

you haven't seen for your-
self already. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

LIGHTEN UP

This is a sunny autumn poem
in which

some dusty-ish
finches are happily thrashing

and chirping away
in curbsides

of old
gutterwater.

How many? What color?
I no longer

feel compelled to remember.
For no images

presented here
are facts; they're merely

encouraging interpretations.
Whatever

they conjure, these words
aren't the truth;

they're just it's swift little
messengers.

And I—I am just
a word too,

however useful
and inspiring to you—as some

swift little vagabond
birds were.

Monday, September 26, 2016

COMPACT

If everything is made of starlight,
what makes certain
things so heavy?

If everything we
know is starlight, how could
there be so many

words to learn? Speaking
of which—if everything we
do is starlight, how come

there's bad guys, and sometimes
even good ones, who fail
to state their cases right?

And further—if everything
we say is starlight,
who's to say we're still

the people we claimed (and they
assumed) we were
before we went to

bed last night? Then again—
if everything we imagine
is starlight,

nothing wrong—since
everything's alright. Do you not
agree?

Friday, September 23, 2016

IMAGINARY

The older I get, the more I find 
our arguments 

are far less

controversial 
than our actions are. So,

Slowly—surely 

I've been working 
more concretely 

on my invincibility—

by watching slideshows 
where pictures of me 

dawn and dissolve 

in grateful 
time to

mechanical funeral 

home music—
and by lying (supine)

down each day 

in one additional translucent 
grain at a time

of warm wet sand—
for just one 

grim and ponderously fictional

milli-
second longer.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

INTUITIVE EATING

Haulting to stare down into
another yellowish
one-third full
bowl of hasty food—

you'll grudgingly consider,
per instructions—
I'm probably not 
appreciating this stuff enough; 

until that slow fury of routine
hunger—which never fails to
rise up and flare hot again
into each dissatisfied cheek,

immolating any trace of this higher desire
before such an exemplary
sentence can even be completed—

reliably bullies you
instead into exonerating
the conciliatory impulse—to finish

something
by completely
destroying it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DEATH SENTENCE

Let this abject failure to imagine
my last words
serve as proof

of that which they
should have been—
remember to let

your kids
have pets

and hang
posters—and those

frivolous
glow in the dark

stars in their
bedrooms.

EKPHRASTIC HAIKU WITH QUIT-SMOKING-AID FOR MAGRITTE AFTER BATMAN

This is not a pipe

you could use—but it is the

one you need right now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

COMPETING STRING THEORIES

1.

Performing any
disciplined action

for any
amount of time (note—waking

up in the morning
doesn't count

unless you're doing it—to
spite the alternative)

has been shown to
strengthen the self-

control muscles,
mostly

by sapping
the ego.


2.

Sitting and thinking—perhaps
time doesn't pass

if nobody 
measures it—still doesn't

give you
what you actually want,

still won't make it run
backwards.

In order to do that,
you have to

impoverish
chaos; you have

to wash
dishes.


4.

As years pass, the strings
pull taut

but get
longer in the process.

Things get
streamlined, yet

simultaneously
more complicated. For

instance,
now, the old saying

actually goes
more like—

Damned
if you do.

Damned if
you don't.

Or
if some

cop—
or the

doctor—
says so.


5.

Man is
garbage. His

ideas
are the recycling bin.

What is
Justice? But the crusty old

ruins of
Revenge—with just enough

of the
blood power-washed off.

Monday, September 19, 2016

DAWN OF MAN

Stranger stumbling around downtown
somewhere, I see your glum reflection

just before it peers up at that glass tower,
wondering, incredibly—how can I best

fit my spirit to that structure? 
And then I catch it again afterwards, 

extending skyward—and somehow growing
just a little straighter, before sauntering

off in some subtle but unmistakable 
new sympathy for—sheer geometry.

Friday, September 16, 2016

LUNATIC MODE

For years now, I've been 
trying like 
hell to figure out
why my lips and the 

tips of my fingers and 
toes—are always 
going numb and tingling
with cold.

Turns out, I've been frozen 
for years now in the same lunatic mode
of trying to make
my whole day into a poem;

rich with its evocoative mix
of sensual rituals,
featuring loads of repetition and
paying too much attention,

each step heralding some auspicious 
new place.
In each hand,
a uniquely

unbearable perspective grasped. And
every last 
breath, a wild incantation. But goddamn—
how perfect-

ly pitifully translated 
here 
at the 
end of every evening, into mere 

words 
at my own overwhelmingly dull— 
and yet still unspeakable—
peril.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

INVOLUNTARY

High up specks of little
birds' wings'
reflexive beating

softly, efficiently 
trips some ancient 
circuit in me, 

repeating—like it or not, 
some invisible 

force is
always working;

an invincible 
nurse—who may 
not care, but whose duty 

it is nonetheless,
to wipe all our 
tears whenever we 

fall—if not 
our sorry 

incontinent
assholes later on.

Friday, September 9, 2016

POEM 2

Grim lines 
form some 

gaunt parade—

a slim
but determined

celebration

in public—
of having

had this

sparsely
attended 

thought today.

CHOSEN

Get up 
and wipe 

your bloody 

nose upon
the following

all-absorbing 

truth—
you were

literally

born to be 
proof—

such luck 

was always
incredibly 

risky.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

GUMBALL MACHINE

You can't help but
always eye-up

all the most
preposterous words,

juicy and
jumbled

in sensational
colors

expressing
exotic-

yet-
familiar flavors,

piled to full-
on bursting

in that lustrous
transparent

globe
over

there near the
exit door.

*

So as
usual,

you—quickly

procure yourself
a couple,

and each

dribbles
down

out of

order,
and they're

hard

and too
sweet

in your

mouth,
and the

whole plan

was
dumb.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DAILY PRACTICE

I started out
by

counting
the minutes

then
the hours

and now, the days
it seems

that I can
go

without
saying—

a single
original thing.

TRUMAN SHOW

Around noon,
as if through
a wilderness

I peer into
the Burger
King's windows—

where,
despite the ridiculous
mutated
shit you can get there,

fellows?

gals?

tykes (with those
crowns
on)?

perch—
greedy over
incomplex hamburgers.

Ketchup-red
ketchup

blotches
offwhite napkins,
pools (like

you'd think
it would) on unfurled
rectangles

of tissued wax-
paper, as I
compulsorily

imagine the sound
and the little
tactile satisfaction of its crinkle.

Have I fallen
asleep,

am I
being lampooned?

Nothing
could ever

be this simple.
I mean,

even
the tops

of their buns
are that

kind
of

cartoon-
shiny.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CHESS LESSONS

1.

Hang on—is this
a contest

to be won,
or a problem

that needs
solving? Wait—look

at how! All the words
you need

are here, each piece pre-
invented.


2.

This is not
black and white.

Ham and eggs
are black and white,

things—are black
and white, not this.

This
is something different.

Unless,
maybe you've just been

terribly impatient—with
the time it's been taking

the light
to get here.


3.

Your best defense has been
to grow

old, gradually
having come to depend

on a tremendous field
of specialists

to whom
you're worth more alive

than dead. Even
Better yet—despite this,

you still get
to keep

such secrets
beneath

your kingly cap: even
the baristas,

for instance—to think,
they'll never know

your pauper
origins,

your real
last name.

Monday, August 29, 2016

HASHTAG APHORISM

     "Everyone is in the best seat."
     -John Cage

Everything is state of
the art in this
twenty-

first
century stadium
of information—where even

the inexperienced
are
privileged

to know—
what
really goes

into
a bratwurst—
when they

bark for
one—
court-side.

Friday, August 26, 2016

AUGUST (HAIKU)

That buzzing noise! was

the sound—of wet flies fucking

in your garbage can.

WILL TO POWER

On a dust-
caked sidewalk across
the street

from a brave kinetic
hive of construction, I pause
to watch

the secret
saffron-
haired foreman—plunked

down and clutching
his own dare-
devilishly

yellow
Tonka truck,
with which he endeavors

to govern
by example,
masterfully affecting

with each
tacit demonstration,
positively massive

amounts
of sheer dumb
change

upon the landscape.
In my imagination, I briefly
become free

to simulate
halting this tutor
to ask a few questions—

but realistically,
I'm in such an awful
big hurry

to carry-
out a
prior commitment—

walking
and shouldering this
seething and senile

envy back
home,
where it

feels
the most
comfortable.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

DECENT POEM

Okay is
fifty-
one percent. 

Fine is (technically)
failing. 

Dandy is  
your doctor 
calling

to say you're 
alright 

despite 
a couple  
ailments. 

Pretty is 
almost

never exact
so it 
can be 

handy to 
remember—profane   

historically  
referred
to a thing 

that had 
recently 
become 

very
popular.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TIDBIT

The soft word—
meal

feathered
down from the

lips of this
penitent

stranger attending us
makes me feel—

not satisfied, but
focused—

gently tuned
to make a more

sonorous chord
with the

few philosophical
orbs of murmuring

light beyond our table
by the nourishing

signals I'm gently
lapping-

up off
of such

a clean
noun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

PIN PRICK

Even before starting, 
it feels faintly 
painful

and exhausting—the terrible
long shot 

that anything 
is ever really 

like anything 
else. But—

whatever.

So this poem has 
no magic

pebbles in it. No
majestic power

animals or extremely  
hot peppers. So what? 
Maybe that's 

just it. 

Maybe that's 
the whole premise—
maybe it's

last night 
or this 
morning, and we're at

the train stop, we're
on the internet, 
etc.

when—
the same thing happens.

I mean, the very 
exact same stupid 
old numb inane pin 
prick of a thing as usual—only 

this time, 
it feels 

just a little 
new.

Which isn't 
to say (don't worry)
there's really anything 

you're supposed to feel
or do about it
afterwards.

I'm mostly just trying 
to distract you

while I 
give you this 

little—
inoculation.

Monday, August 22, 2016

HEURISTICS

Because of a word
and its associated
number I heard,

my only real
concern when camera-
shopping is the megapixel.

*

Because of some cartoon
character's
casual expression,

honeydew
is 
the money-melon.

*

Because of a book
mom read
when we were six,

gluttony is a concern—
and chocolate's a
legitimate trigger. And

ever since
that movie my brother
made us all

watch once, Ancient
Egypt is forever
conflated with godless deep space.

*

I still want to show you the way I love you,
only these days, I don't
know how—guess

I never even noticed
all those
shortcuts I was taking

whenever I chose
to just—write you a song.
(But because of

a pact that we
made back in
college, we can never break-

up ever again anyway, so maybe
it doesn't matter?—how often
I hurt you.)

*

Because of—fuck,
I don't even
know

what—quick-and-
dirty has
lately become

some
sort of
virtue.

Friday, August 19, 2016

LATE DEVELOPMENTS

1.

I feel like
things used
to happen—in time.

Now, they
happen in
spite of it.

And things used to pass
between us
in space. 

Now 
things exist—
in its name. 


2.

I feel like it's 

fairly exotic

to talk

clever to you 

in tight 

and cropped

sorts of back

and forth

comments on the Internet. 

*

But I also feel like it's now

fairly logical

to intuit—that the opposite 

of distance isn't 

closeness, it's

height.


3.

I feel like—
the real

first rule 
of Fight Club 

should be—
wait stop right there you're fucking talking to nobody.


4.

I feel 

like you're always

already okay

with me

anticipating all the main speaking points.

*

But I also feel

like you

and I have

so much in 

common that it's

hardly necessary

to talk any-

more.


5.

I feel like
things used

to happen—
to me.
Now,

they all occur
inside,

and I'm
not sure whether
that's easier

or better,
but I'm positive

that 
nothing could 
be both.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

CLOSE UP

Cut to—me
feeling unsure
how I'm supposed to

respond—
when I hear
the news

that a casual
friend's pet has died,
the stubbornest way—old age.

Just me, sitting
in my kitchen, poignantly not
sipping coffee, as if thinking—

you never really
beat these
sorts of things,

exactly. You only
become them, one
by one, your hairs gray, you take

on their features—
until gradually,
nobody asks

how you're
feeling anymore
(is the camera still zooming?)

because its so
painful-
ly obvious.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

HOMESICK ALIEN IN CONSTRUCTION SEASON

The lifeforms
down here must be obstinate

parasites,
and this harsh

frontier land, a
cancerous wheezing accordion,

each distinctly upended
precinct of skin

wounded,
collapsing, and

shiftlessly
regenerating—

the aggregate 
cacophony, so booming

and tuneless,
I'm afraid

there is little
use—and no

space—for a
sermon like this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

RAUSCHENBERG BLINKS

Wincing,
he thinks,
this is it—

it is
time to
speak

up—the
perfect
feeling

does
not
exist.

Unimaginable
hypotheses
can never

be tested.
The most 
extraordinary

thing he can 
picture still
demonstrating,

is an airport
of light
particles,

a scaffolding
for shadows,
a homely

receptacle
for pure
white silence—

none of
that black
variety, he

figures, since
every soul living
is already

going around
staring pretty
unconscionably

hard at that
kind, maybe
fifteen-to-

twenty
times a
minute.

Friday, August 12, 2016

BOOK SWAP

Near the northwest
corner of the crosswalk,

a navy green
box stands proudly

empty,
as if

to reiterate—
an experiment

is only a failure
if it fails

to adequately
test

some hypothesis.

*

On the dingy
snake-

skin gray
evening train, only the eyes

of Democrats
reading

Kindles
are smiling.

*

The latest in science 
and technology

has perfected
the art—

of wanting
what-

ever it is
you get, the billboard

hung
over the stuffed

expressway insinuates,
without

malice or
apology.

*

Self-care?
a Humbolt Park guru

paws the
magazine's
pages—

no 
self,

no—
cares.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

BREAKTHROUGHS

What if—
fear
and pressure

aren't
values, they're
vectors—

they don't
just have
magnitude,

they have
direction.

Good.
Let's 

go 
with 
that.

*

What if—none of this is your fault,
but only

because
you never did

anything at all.
Never invented,

neither caused
nor reacted

to whatever came
along and

destroyed
it.

*

What if—the problem you're having
now is

he doesn't seem to
mean you

when he
talks about

himself any-
more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

ET AL.

Aquamarine
panties

puckered
with secret
dawn-

pink seashells—oh I feel so
cartoonish-

ly
annoyed they're
on the bathroom floor.


2.

Blowing to sip (just a)
halfcup

of morning coffee,
I stop

conscientiously lending
a breath to

ask you
how your period is going.

*

The response—I'd call
sober,

but not at all
scientific.


3.

I feel vaguely satisfied

that a certain
but very nonspecific

goal has been achieved—

me having
said your name

so many times in a row now,

that it's done
meaning everything,

past meaning nothing,

and has officially
begun standing-in for

anything at all.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

ASTERISK

This could be huge—

where
huge 
refers to

a
feeling,

and
this
is taken to

mean—
nothing.


SIX-PACK

Useful
fact—

most things aren't 
true,

they're just quicker
and easier

than others
to

reach for.

*

What do you have 

to say 

for your-

self?

says one reluctant

helix 

to 

the other.

*

Honestly—I can't think of a
single thing

that's right,
can you? Like 

it or not, new points 
of view

always seem to come shrink-
wrapped 

or else shackled
together

in those convenience-
paks.


Yum. 
Thinking of 
ordering-up some 

FAQs—
fresh 
from this mobile

site's 
hamburger 
menu.

*

Only one straight line
can pass between two points,

and it keeps my eyes wide
open at night—to think

that I probably haven't thought
long or hard enough

about every last single-
minded 

melodramatic
rationalization 

this image
could imply. 

*

This isn't all there is.

Because there isn't

a last thing. 

When the final answer being given 
is bigger 
than its question 

the only 
choice you're 
offered—is
to somehow 

go backwards,

upside-down 
in spacetime,

to never

having
asked it.

Monday, August 8, 2016

CACHE

Closed-up
nice

and neat

and tight like
a fist,

a pursed
exotic

flower, perpetually
bent

toward
ideal morning—

silent,

you're so
proud.

Alone,

you're so
sharp.

Still,

you keep
hid.

Palm
of the hand—safe.

Bulb
of tomorrow—

sacred. Such
beauty

and utility
in

you, kid,
dovetail

perfectly—
so as to

completely

cancel
each other out.

Friday, August 5, 2016

PROCESSING

The sweet things in life, to you were just loaned
So how can you lose what you've never owned?

-"Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries"

*

Wondering—
if I eat

something
do I

own that thing?

*

So keep 
repeating it's 

the 
berries.

Okay, it's
the berries
it's the berries it's
the berries it's the
berries it's the berries
it's the berries it's the berries it's
the berries it's the berries it's the berries it's the

*

Wait. Maybe—

Life is not

a bowl

of cherries afterall. Maybe

It's more like

the rigmarole

of trying

to digest so many.

The sweet parts

get slurped-

and burnt-

up way too

quick, while

the rough stuff

does a little

menacing

manhandling

and such, but

ultimately

gets dropped—

unceremoniously,

but more

or less still

intact—

from the top of

your system's

proverbial Empire

State Building,

almost

comically fast—like a

cartoon cannonball.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NOT HOME

"I am lonely, lonely.
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"

-William Carlos Williams

1.

Gradually, you and I have grown 
to resemble

more and more the
grubby flies

that trespass against us here
whenever the 

heat in the alley runs 
high,

the way we 
keep stubbornly 

banging our heads 
to occupy 

one or another 
rented sets of rooms,

always condemned to eaves-
drop on 

groaning foreign
language histories of warm wood, 

always—only
coming

in
from the outside.

2.

Following several 
years of relentless shredding,

once in a while I'll
take a day

completely off
to try and

pull myself back
together,

but it's 
just so exhausting 

attempting to

make the splinters fit. 

3.

Goodness, gracious,
you say 

you wish
there was

something you could do 

to help me 
love you

the way 
I used 

to love you 
way back

then, 
which was, you

conclude—forever.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ON INFINITY

Last night, I found
some stars
on the

ground,
warily walked
across them, thought—

it's just as well;
these here
are

equally
real, both
only chalky rote re-

presentations
for all
present and

foreseeable
purposes—and
(nodding) yeah, if anything,

it's easier on the
head looking
down—

Friday, July 29, 2016

DESPERATE TO GENERALIZE

I'm writing this to you now,
early on,

at a time when I I still
refuse 

to revise, and I'm
furious 

that I 
hardly know anything, since

by the end, I'm sure 
I'll have 

learned—every lesson
only

applied
to me.

MORE THAN IT HURTS YOU

This is not
a proposition.
A chore
is not

an argument
or some
sort of
opportunity
for dialogue—

I'm only
trying to
do what's
got to
get done.
I swear

I'm just
going to
string you
up fast and
beat you

clean again—like a

rug.
Fuck,

I'm so
worked

up, I
almost

said—
dog.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SEVERAL

I guess that this is 
more or 
less how "to be continued"
feels—

before,
the sound 
of your voice 
was less important 

to me than the 
sight of your body. 
But now, as my own

creases 
multiply 
and deepen, 

things tend 
to work better
the other way around.

Now, when I 
write this 
stuff down, 
I usually begin 

with the excellent
(but sensitive)
premise 
that you exist 

in order 
to speak
to me—at best,
a pretty 

severed 
head. I'm almost 
always 

stuck for a 
satisfying ending,
though, but let's 

face it—fairy tales 
have endings,
pony tails

have endings,
conversations—like knives,
just have ends.

And what's an end
really? but  
the latest 

in a series—
of severed 
connections.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

SOMETHING ABOUT SALMON

Re-reading cursive descriptions
of all the menu's items
so that I can dutifully rehearse the act
of eating each one,

while across from me, you tear
and fold
a clean white napkin,
methodically reincarnating the same

old paper crane. Floating in
on the gentle confident momentum
of so many repetitions, the prim
waitress performs for us both,

What is it? 
that you—like?

I'm muttering something
about salmon again,

but inside, I'm dumb
and alone

with indefinite
wordless wonderment—how can it be?

that tastes are acquired,
when our guts

are just so desperate
to keep enjoying—

whatever hasn't
deserted them yet.

Monday, July 25, 2016

CAR ACCIDENT

As ever, they keep on driving,
and with her graceful foot on the

gas, she keeps asking him what
the hell it is that he wants.

From deep within the passenger seat, he guesses
it seems to her like what he wants

more than anything—is just
to keep on talking forever. He doesn't

bother to gesture, because she would only
be able to see it peripherally.

He just keeps reiterating vaguely
the hugeness of his terrible feeling

and the futility that haunts his imagining that
anything he might say

could possibly contain it, let alone
begin to adequately describe it. Rounding

the curve now and accelerating
together in a fixed straight line, he doubts

out loud whether explaining this
to her will ever mean the same thing

as doing something about it.
And further, whether whatever he did

could really end up meaning
exactly the same thing

to both of them. A cumbrously air-
conditioned moment later,

he at last manages to imagine
being her, specifically, the exact physical feeling

of her dry lips cracking a little upon parting
to start, but not

finish, the following
sentence—Anything is possible.

Friday, July 22, 2016

PREMONITION

In this hot and 
wavy season of dearth,

when all seems  
as dust 

and the sticky smell 
of dill,

when
your brains have turned

to pure 
nectarines—

bruised
and lately kept artificial-

ly cold
to protect 

and to slow 
the spreading 

blush of
their bruises;

that's 
when

it's just starting to get 
so those 

aspects
you'd been hovering over,

greedy 
to protect,

livid to start
dying over—

are finally 
almost 

ready—
to open up 

into
symbols

worth
living for.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

FAMILIAR

Familiar tastes and tough times, sticky
situations and harmless crimes—

eventually, your goddamned toothless
memory mushes it all together. Until,

looking back at the end, this gummy mass has
no size, no shape, no duration.

And you try and you try to devour it or
something, but you can't, so you starve. 

At least, that's what I think
grandpa was struggling to tell me.

INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM

To not see, and yet
to know that
right now

sticky-
hot, the feral 
cat is roaming

nimble and 
feminine, though
endless catacombs 

of parallel-
parked undercarriages
is to excavate

that which cannot be built upon—
in the grand
scheme, promiscuity 

is camouflage.

Monday, July 18, 2016

EVERYTHING'S PROBABLY ALREADY ALRIGHT

Sour
grapes

when—there

in the gentle 
and general
island of rain, 

where—

a zillion
little miracles 

are all winking 
back at you 
from 

every 
last verdant 
and twilit square millimeter,

you think—
their

abundance

rather
makes them

cheap.

Monday, July 11, 2016

DAYS OF THE WEEK

Relentless
terrible
weird inky impositions

of will,
somehow go
on pressing their
desperate fingerprints—

thousands
and thousands
after thousands of iterations—so

stiffly
and
dumb into

a harrowing ghost-
white
paper back-
ground radiation

of everything
that
never was—

until, positively
clucking
with rapacious excitement,

even the tiny
tip
of the tongue
of the
dog knows

you eat those

slippery
buttered noodles
after
work every

Thursday.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

DENIAL

Since I'd seen you last, you said
you'd grown
gradually blinder 

and blinder
to the wonder 
of rising and 
setting suns. 

Then, you said you started
to smell things
a lot more intensely
than you heard them

(which was alright, since, 
on an absolute scale,
intensity was 
the same as pleasure)

and that 
the tang of renunciation—which tasted,
you said,
like sterilized metal,

both
mundane 
and super-
natural—

started feeling strange-
ly second
nature in your mouth.

Eventually, 
something 
even more obscure failed you,

but it didn't matter,
since you no longer 
depended upon it.
You said—

you couldn't
put your finger on it.
You said—
you could only 

call  it—
specificity.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

BRIEF CANDLE

Stark in profile
on the dank blue line
train car, 

the hunched 
woman—a tormented 
figure of evening,

joylessly
nagging a huge mutant 
nectarine 

to its terrible 
ochre 
pit and shreds—

though silent
and weary
with the dribbling 

juice, nevertheless 
bids you: 
call 

and 
check
on mom.

Friday, July 1, 2016

ELEGY

Peculiarly, the city 
you love

is dead already. 

Twenty-four seven,
all its streets are haunted.

Ghosts of whole neighborhoods 
(as you remember them

last time you were there) still
wriggle

you suppose—

like stanzas 
fuzzing their meaning

for each 
new observer, each 

new pair of shoes
moved

by the same 
unseen (absolute) forces. 

This time, 
It's all up 
to you

but only because it never was 

before. 
Can one side 
of one conversation

somehow
affect 
them all now? Oh

well, you tell
yourself, you
get it—this used to be called

spooky action—
at 

every 
proximity.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NONE OF THIS IS MADE UP

You don't
have to

pretend anymore.

Blink once,
twice,

whatever—boom.
You're in a

grocery store, you're in some
all-night

diner smoking and
bull-

shitting, you're
at the gym, sitting

in a movie
theater—it doesn't

matter. Everything
overlaps.

Music is being
piped in already—"It's a

long way
to the top

if you wanna rock
and roll." Everything is

measured,
labeled, neatly

chunked,
temperature-

controlled
and manageable.

And you're afraid
even to

cry—tears
so real

and so
artificial

as light
as flavored

CO2 bubbles,
but lacking

that fizzy
pizazz

and pressure

of the
real thing:

constant one-
upmanship.