Thursday, November 30, 2017

A DUSK CHORUS

When the sunlight slants
and turns

a grim gray,
sobering the buildings—

and the city traffic
begins to make its music—I walk

and try
to keep a cool head

about my own ego.
Sighing

must be a lot less impressive
than singing,

though—they're
kind of the same thing.

And yet, I can't seem to stop
or ignore

the fascinating patterns
my own shoes make

on the concrete—
their consistent tempo

like a backbeat
to some contrapuntal fabric

which refuses
not to use me.

And that's how I know,
in my

innermost soul,
I am still

a beginner,
a student, just a kid—

who believes
what he was taught

to believe
about those.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING

This is another
device of mine—keeping pace
without regard

to direction.
Each new but
remarkably self-

similar pulse of breath,
like the drafty words
to a memorized prayer—

gently serving
to push
the poor

and the sick
and the lonely—further

and further
away.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

ORION

Sometimes at night, I
hunt but just cannot find
my own mind

(or else, can't afford to)—

my nose exposing
only traces—ghostly
scented trails mingled
over snowy footsteps;

my eyes detecting its
faintest glimmers, which hover
like damaged signal patterns
in the sky—

ancient constellations
all but obliterated
by the modern landscape.

All that I can apprehend is—

so much of this
is way
beyond me.

This intelligence
is too far complex
to be my doing.

And besides that—no one symbol
no single thing,

no matter how pure
and simple,

could ever be the work of
one person.

Monday, November 27, 2017

MEANTIMES

This is what 
those small days feel like 

after Thanksgiving 
but before December—

the intensest pressure 
is the necessity of waiting,

the secret force that exists 
in the intervals, 

lurking 
in the cracks, 

between 
two realities inescapable.

Out in the street now,
every single structure braces—

inhales, quits its motion, 
and prepares beautifully.

This mute yet substantial 
sensation of blankness, 

of no-longer autumn but 
not yet winter,

keeps seeping into everything—
saps all color and feeling,

leaves each pale vampiric body 
on the landscape 

strangely hyper-vivid, 
clearly defined, sharpened,

tense and rigid
as if—frozen in ardent anticipation 

of proximately 
being—actually frozen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

REACTION

Where this is going,
the way things are
moving, how it's all
looking—it's like

nuclear fusion.
No, it's like some
weirdly clear confusion.
It's so faint and light,

I might
be dreaming—but so
heavy, I'm sure
I must be thinking

at something
approaching light-speed;

thinking—the ending
might make
a dazzling beginning,

thinking
this might be
one of those
live-giving suicides,

the way
two rogue particles
collide and annihilate
to illuminate a stark landscape—

the way
I do not willfully seek

but still always expect
to find you—

like silence,
like stillness,

like heat,
like home.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NOT YET FATHOMED

This is it. It's almost
evening. And I'm lost

at the outermost edge of a huge
secret city.

And here, on its
wind-ravaged,

shore—I'm still hypnotized,
watching

the waves on the lake
gnaw

like the endless and formidable ways
I don't love you;

like this inglorious,
knife-silver chorus of crass laughter,

nodding and bobbing and frothing away at
the mutable surface

of the huge and immovable
way—that I do.

Monday, November 20, 2017

REAL FEALTY

Even though I believe
the truth
must necessarily be

constantly evolving;
I still think
simplicity must exist.

Sometimes,
words get used
to describe pictures, and

sometimes
the words themselves
are the figures.

Usually,
I'll reproduce those simple ones
deliberately

to show you—and those
become the tokens 
of my affection.

Really, though, it's
the opposite—
it's

those one or two huge pieces
I choose
never to give you—it's

those things—
which
are my gift.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

THE REAL WIND

Sweeping
down from the frozen,
unreachable peaks

of some ancient, sibylline
range of mountains

to meander, invisible
and chill
the plains of the earth,

the true wind—
the real kind,

the perfect wind—
whispers;

but never in words,

much to the chagrin of
several philosophers,
but

mostly to
the tremendous relief
of the sinning multitudes

who don't mind
the thought of
being prayed for

but are desperate
not to imagine

ever
being prayed-
over.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SUCH A POEM OUT OF EVERYTHING?

These pages always look like the blank stares
of vacant houses

waiting to be outfitted with furniture—
that expresses my taste

and my internal state, and just looks like
it's just always been there.

And I'm supposed to keep the impressive stuff
up front

where other people who come over
can see it.

But the truth is—some days, I'm sick of that.
The truth is,

I just want to sit around
on a mattress in my underwear.

The truth is—what I write
doesn't have to be fact

to feel comfortable or
be truthful.

In fact, I don't even want to sit around—
now I want to run

and meet you
standing on a snowy street corner

somewhere
in a similar but fictive universe.

So I write that down, and
Bam—there I am.

Boom—there's moody late afternoon
street lighting, there's music.

But then, even the paper and pen,
even the blinking computer

begin to feel constrictive
and expected.

So it's: quick—pick up that
hammer and thread,

go get a needle
and nails;

I'm off to make something stupid
and new.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UNTAPPED

Sometimes, when I am alone,
when I'm cold and at my most quiet,

I feel the faintest undulating—

an inscrutable deep sea pressure
shivering through my chest cavity

and I realize—
there are these frequencies in me

so deep
they barely move—

but whose
momentum can never be stopped. They go

so slowly
and carry

such protracted
bits of information,

such distant
and enduring longing

that I just know—
you'd have to be

standing pretty far away from me

on a perfect clear day
very far away from today

to receive even
one single second of it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

WORDS ON A PAGE

Picture—
distilled artesian
room temperature water

in a smooth
and smudgeless
blue-rimmed vase

packed tight
with severed stems, with limpid
bloodless vampires.

This is pure poetry;
idealized,
sacrificed—in advance

on your behalf,
without your
having asked.

You can reckon, I guess,
but you just can't

argue with a present like that.
Do you still want it?

Friday, November 10, 2017

SIGNIFICANCE

It's not really that
you get what it is—

it's that you understand
what it was,

and you know it
when it's over with.

It's
pure space,

weightless,
soundless rhythms playing

as ripples
across

the surface of gray water;
fortunes

which nobody owns,
decadent processions

of white
and yellow light,

pageants
which admit,

which accept,
which possess

us—and not
the other way around.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

LONGING AS ECHO

One by
one, the oak leaves

faintly falling—
on sheets

of flat,
obdurate concrete—

sometimes, we have no choice.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

VESTIGES

I might as well
tell you, I'm
a funereal flower.

I am beautiful—
and very proud
to be so

complicated on top,
oblivious
to having been

severed forever
from my simple,
mundane roots;

roots which were made,
in another place—
dark and wild as the permanent night,

fermented
from milder elements,
clean water, quiet starlight—

but also made
of something more
even less complicated—named mercy.

But over days
and many nights,
these particles drew together—

mercy hardened, deepened
in form and in color
into something meaner

which is no longer
useful—to me or to any beholder, yet it's
still there.

Monday, November 6, 2017

DAYLIGHT SAVING

On the street,
wan light beginning

to seep
through stained-
glass at evening vespers—

is enough
to de-confound the fogged
and profoundly
time-logged mind.

Where time unteathers, no longer
is measured,

all at once, cascading like water from a shower:
mounds of shimmering questions
linger,

remain unanswered;
and there, in the dark
and cornerless mind

of the newest
recruit of Quixote's—
the daylight fights proudly,

each old thought is new again, like
every single redundant moment,

heroically endeavoring
never to end.

Friday, November 3, 2017

INFERNO

Just now—all I crave is
muteness.  Or 
do I? 

Does it count 
still—as 
mute

if I spoil it 
by telling you? 
This must be hell.

To speak of silence, 
I emerge 
from silence—

but no, that's the right word 
for what I picture
when I hear it.

After all, the movement 
is not the problem; 
what I'm after 

is silence, 
not stillness. 
Things must still happen.

And for anything to have happened,
it must 
have happened to someone.

It's like how—even 
the god-damned
must still have one.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

TRIAL POEM

Neatly, I have been given
an entire

ocean to drink;
I've got

nothing to say,
but all I can do

is speak—but don't
go confusing

the lowly-
bowed head with

the naval gaze.
Yes, I think

poetry
is pretty great—

at confronting all the problems
it creates.