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.