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.