Monday, October 23, 2017

PARABOLIC

At the end
of the line, there aren't any lines.

at the edge of every 
demarcation on the graph, 

such a delineation 
does not exist 

and the once obdurate
frontier, as if curdled by fear 
of its own fixity 

will curve back 
on itself, like looking for comfort 
in some less ostentatious past

like the tail of some 
'fraidy cat.

Returning 
from your journey—you too, 
will likely find

there never was 
any such trip;

your life has not been 
some straightforward expedition, 
and it's not because

you didn't arrive anywhere 
(no one does that)—

but because
the very first step
mattered

so much more 
than every other step 
which proceeded it—that is, 

each step 
took you farther than the next—

and in turn, 
even that very first step
was always 

fated to be
much less significant 
to the picture

than 
the stopping.

Friday, October 20, 2017

WE HAVE LIFT OFF

Rust and rot, scum-
puddles and birdshit—

these things
never seem redundant. It's only

your humanity
that gets boring.

Whenever you
have no idea what to do—

move out
into a bustling street and

spread your wings
when that special,

end-of-the-day breeze is blowing,
and feel—

nothing happening
(as usual)

and just try to hang on
to the feeling

of not disliking yourself for it
anymore.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

SELF-HELP

Tense and fiercely
ignorant once,

and small—
like a miserable little koan

packed tight
in its obstinate hard shell;

eventually
I opened up

so much—I was like
a haiku

in reverse;
found myself getting

dumber—
blathering,

trying
to fill space.

Wondering—which was
the sliver

that was
worth something?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CHANGES

Treasury mounds—
dry fortunes of wood
chips and oak leaves
and cinders,

over which the drowsy worker
bees meander
and the hungry gray
squirrel scurries—

lie spread beneath
the palace of
the queenly robin
surveying her autumn province,

unhurried, perched on
a bony throne of
limbs—a sturdy,
open hand to hold her;

a sticky bare head, her majestic
crown—the trilling entirety of westerly
wind: now a royal
byzantium-colored cloak.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

EPITAPH AS EPIGRAM

I may have been
born
not paying attention,

but I've since
learned my lesson—and so, now

I vow to
die listening,

even if it's
to the wrong thing.

Poor old fucker,
my future
grandkids'll mumble, turning to go—

at his age,
should have known better:

RAWR
is not
what a tiger says;

RAWR—is just
what it
sounds like.

Monday, October 16, 2017

CREATIVITY'S GRAVEYARD

Stuck here, and still
you're fierce-
ly clinging to the
first idea—

I mean: the last
day idea—

by the skin
of your ugly, yellow,
tombstone-marble-shaped...
List, list, O, list!

lost, lost, so lost
in this Walt Disney stick
figure cemetery—crossbones
like the crossroads

betraying the crooked
way you grew up;

now, that old intersection
of creation and annihilation
is gridlocked for good reason.

the conjunction
which joins
and polices them

is no longer OR

(OR has gone
rotten, withered
away now, melted and sunk
into the silty sand—what
a nightmare!)

but AND.

ANDas in:
fact AND fiction;

make AND break.

So that's
how this works. Damn,
if only

you knew
that sooner, you could've

been gentler
to—and also, certainly would've

saved—all
your baby teeth.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ANTIPHON

With a creaky organ wheeze
these evenings—those old
buildings go
sighing

out though their stained
glass noses—
hoping to be inhaled
and infect the ones

walking past—
who certainly feel glum
as rusticated
brick in late afternoon sun,

who won't seem
to wake up,
but who refuse
to go back to sleep either.

But it's useless; mere sight
is anathema
when their mouths
remain shut

and their noses
and ears
are plugged up, have
grown used

to being forewarned
or soothed
by Nick Drake or
Daniel Johnston

instead
of Martin Luther.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

A LITTLE SELF-FLAGELLATION MUSIC

Evening is falling
messy and in-
distinctly throughout

the universe
now,

and according-
ly, Enie Kleine Nachtmusik 
is playing—

tiny floating membranes
and vibrating strings, all
twinkling

imperceptibly, all
transitioning
hastily

from Allegro
to Andante—but

not me.
I refuse
to move

that way.
I am not so rude
as the instruments

which, day
to day, comprise me—

I am so patient
they call me
Doctor Adagio—

that's how slow-
and pre-
cisely

I choose
to do—
everything.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

SQUIRREL

Post-rain October afternoon—
filled to bursting
with sharp green-
golden leaves and shimmering water,

you are so great and benign
to let him
dare try—to perforate
and prick

and drain you
wrinkled and dry—to steal away

your rusty treasures and
sweetest elixirs

for that dim dearth
of winter, when his throat
is parched,

and his
imagination dehydrated—and his little wife
and kids are starving.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CATCH AND RELEASE POEM

Exhilarating to hold
so momentarily
close on a string, beautiful

yet unfeeling—
another gleaming,
streamlined, well-muscled

teardrop configuration
of dovetailing scales goes
limp—inevitably slipping, quick

and slimy, through your under-
apprenticed fingers—and at once
is instinctually swimming mechanically

out toward imagination's deep and
freezing sea. But
it still appears just as legitimate

and perfect and precise
when you see it become
a sharp speck, a miniature part

of the grand and silent
bluesilver painting known as
Seascape w/ Horizon

as it did when you
first held it up
and counted, savoring

all its uncannily self-
similar parts. And sure,
it probably would've been

more nourishing
to cook and consume every
morsel, but—still, ad-

mittedly, is aw-
fully wholesome—just to look at, crude
and in the distance.

Monday, October 9, 2017

NO MATTER WHAT

Whenever opportunity knocks, it's
complexity who enters;

inertia who seizes, and it's me
who never fails

to wonder—
whether real immunity (the kind

of liberty worth persuing) follows
from a life which is really

one long and unfailingly arrow-
straight hall—made

of white
enamel-painted brick, with

not a single curve
or junction—and with

absolutely no windows, doors or
access vents?

Whether complete freedom,
however counterfactually,

necessitates a perfect
prison—pure exemption

from decision? Whether I prefer
complete immersion

in a perfectly incontrovertible space,
where only the actual is possible?

Or—if what I really crave
are the built-in excuses,

if what I really need
is a little more room

to wobble? An escape hatch
behind a loose

brick in the wall,
a secret trap

door in the floor?—and further,
whether

the very circuitous truth
of my wondering

hasn't, in fact, already
dissolved the whole problem.

Friday, October 6, 2017

SPECTRA

Sometimes, the notes all
the big guys
play are too high,

and I feel as though I
can never hope
to hear them;

but there are others—which
I'm also not professional
enough to hear, but

which sound so low
that only the littlest hairs on my
body must feel them.

So what—if
I'm not large,
I contain no multitudes?

If I don't dare
disturb the universe
because the future is determined?

If I don't feel all that
insignificant, either
at the train

station, or
beside the white chickens,
or wherever.

I don't care. I swear
I never thought—love
would last forever.

I'm stubbornly stuck
in the middle
of every endless spectrum.

When I die, I'm sure I
I won't fly
up, but—

if I'm
lucky—into
some other people.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

IDEAL MACHINE

This is it. The privilege
which lurks in the
margins of blind formality,

the slavish, but the easy
habits of morning—

yanking tight the same
manila
shoe laces, walking the dog

and picking
up the shit, smoking charily
by rented open windows,

boiling water
for more tea and the
eggs about to expire, and small-

talking your
way through the big proposal—introducing:
the next big thing.

This is life's
perfect, incognizant
self-writing poem;

blurred on the surface
and superficially metaphoric,

but, over time
and underneath, really
quite specific—

less like a rainbow, and more like
all its composite
rain drops.

Less like a momentary
spike
in adrenaline, and more like

the inane itch
of some days-old fury slowly
scabbing over.

This is the freest kind
of mechanism
you can hope for:

handcuffed by so much
repetition,

but turned-
on—by all the patterns.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

POLLYANNA

Due to circumstances beyond our control,
we never truly
believe

what we're told.
Have we all been
putting on a decent performance,

or just being performed?
Does the answer
to whether we're somebody's

expensive,
walnut-
carved marionettes

or a kid's simple handpuppets
made of old
knee socks

solely depend—
on whether
you'd rather

be pushed
or pulled
into admitting?—that

even if
all the lines have been scripted,
it's still up to us

with how much
aplomb—
we'll perform them.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

ELBOW ROOM

I choose
to believe,

for every hard problem,

there exists
a soft answer—

a balm, a sleeve
to salve
this raw funnybone,

my own
small brittle locus
of universe.

Every now
and again, I like to kick

my own ass, so that no one else
has to—

nap
with my clothes on,

so that it doesn't count
as napping—

insist
on a few

things, even though
I don't know how to;

like:

One—no value is intrinsic.

Two—any cage I feel fine in
is not a prison.

Two,
two and a half,

two and three
quarters—all our goodbyes are,

in an increasingly
finer and

finer
sense—gradual.

Monday, October 2, 2017

VIEW FULL POEMS FREE ONLINE

Some truths feel valuable 
even though 

they're trivial;
others, we're compelled 

to communicate 
even though they're unhelpful. 

To write—there are no words
 somehow feels, 

to these 
impossibly well-organized  

Turing machine-souls,
like both.

It's a perfect poem, and
a full-proof

device. It tends to work 
its rational Good

by nature 
of it's own outlandish falsehood. Or,

when it doesn't work—even better; 
that just means

it's working—
perfectly.