Wednesday, October 17, 2018

NOWHERE TO HIDE

     I am lonely, lonely.
     I was born to be lonely,
     I am best so!
     -William Carlos Williams 
 
                   ***

Since I no longer remember 
being created, I eventually decide
I must always have 

been here already—a shambles 
and alone 
and content as such

to be: less 
than I might be, more than 
I wasand I suppose it's high time 

to make for myself a nest 
of this useless 
old beggar's hat. 

I try my best to sit back 
and pine 
at my new writing desk 

over some perfect-
ly inscrutable
personal experience—

but almost immediately, I begin 
to feel 
stirring within me 

the faintest thump, a pang 
of something wider,
a feeling buried deeper 

than hunger;
the redoubtable 
little kick of new life—not mine, 

the whispered beginning 
of a brand new line,
a strangely 

consonant pain: the desires 
and strife—of all of my 
neighbors.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

NO LOIS LANE

Remember how
Clark Kent would always
change his clothes instantly
and publicly—say,

in a revolving door,
in the back of a yellow
cab stuck in traffic, etc?
Well, I do it differently—

by slowly
and morosely drinking
cup after cup
of hot black coffee.

I do this all alone
in a skinny strange apartment somewhere;
there no Lois Lane,
no primary colors.

And when I do it, I go slowly;
it takes me several hours.
But eventually (and I mean,
like half the time, maybe),

Superman emerges.
I only know this
transformation has taken place because
he—feels free

enough to leave
the house for a while,
boldly forgetting
that all walks are circles;

he also believes
he's super strong, as if
he could conceivably change—what is
already the case.

Monday, October 15, 2018

NECESSARY HALO

Give this poem
a break—just like

you: it had to wake
up in the morning,

find pants, and
piss—while still so

foggy in the mind—
of its beholder.

Friday, October 12, 2018

HUNGRY GHOSTS

Sobering to remember: that same
bright carafe of starlight, as it
tilts and starts to pour

a softer and sweeter slow amber
from its bewitching procession
of lower and lower angles

also makes
the shadows grow—
longer and thinner, somehow

increasingly ravenous and unstable
the more of geometry's logic
they devour;

but then, once the whole pitcher
is empty—less enigmatic, and more
realistic.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

WIND CHIME

After the rain storm,
some curious bird—likely still hidden

beneath the pulpy
hood of a

neighboring porch—
is singing

such an impressive melody!—
I immediately

begin making-
believe—I created it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

DUDE THE OBSCURE

The trick I perform best
goes like this—

the list of things I don't believe
grows ever longer,

while the words I use
keep shrinking down.

Some nights, my performance dress
is a bodysuit which consists of

the shredded pages
of a homemade thesaurus;

other nights, a DIY tux
made of dollar bills and ticker tape.

And the tight rope lines
I stumble over,

while sideshows of scientists
blow on their slide whistles

and cavalcades of doctors
and lawyers beat drums,

keep wobbling dramatically back
and forth between

the perilously careful
and the trivially absurd:

I don't know;
but I'm sure.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

COOL POEM

Feeling both 
divided and fully- 
realized by the Autumn wind

gusting neither 
warmly
nor cold across my rough-haired limbs—

I first become small 
and afraid 
and thin as the under-fed 

mouse on the garden path—and then,
bold as the high speck of red-
shouldered hawk slowly whirling 

and finally—unruffled
as that nameless twinge of tender 
firmness in the same wind 

that allows the latent purposes 
of both of those things 
to be right.

Monday, October 8, 2018

IMPASSIBLE

Pain is a strange flower
whose truth
is its color—

its fierce petals
are languages—always
and already

unfurled before us
in sheer space—but only
picked up

in time—and never
purely in terms of themselves
discussed.

Friday, October 5, 2018

ALLELUIA ALLELUIA ALLELUIA

Slotted spoon—
unbeknownst
to you,

all those savage wounds!
lend themselves
so decorously

to—some much more specific
definition
of sufficiency.


Thursday, October 4, 2018

THE SEERSUCKER SUIT

This is
his high gloss
quarter inch

american flag lapel pin—
a smart

sort of poem,
thirteen skinny lines—laid out

precise,
in the upper left
corner of a milkwhite page, so they

say it right—but don't
leave room to
explain anything.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

LUCY

Stooping as usual,
to ruffle your fugitive

salt-pepper-turmeric
summertime coat—

I start to think (as I often do): 
Lucy, I suppose

if I'm lucky,
I'll outlive you

by a pretty huge
and consequential stretch—but then,

the sure drift
of those soft hairs

down their invisible cross-
breezes reminds me—it's not really

like that; I'm not some puzzle.
And you're not

a little piece of me
liable to go missing.

The truth is—I am a tall
and a lukewarm tap-

water glass. And you're a small
ornery ice cube;

and after you've finished
imbuing me

with your best attributes—
I shall continue

to bear the full weight of you
as we sweat here together

on the surface of this huge table,
awaiting evacuation:

down the hatch—of whatever
parched throat

flippantly motions
to swallow us both.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

RADAR LOVE

To the man on the street in front of
my house, idling

in a white Chevy
Silverado—revving it

a few times
while

listening to Golden Earring—
I want to shout

a few things
from the sidewalk:

science
is observation!

art is just
a specific arrangement!

information is only
estranged experience!

the next Buddha—will be
all the people!

But what good would it do?
The only things

he'd be able
to home in on

would be—the ends
of my sentences,

the raising and lowering
of my hands

and my eyebrows
in narrow and offbeat patterns

before their inevitable return
to stasis—as if

the goal of all sound
was just: the location

of our own bodies
in endless

waves of blind ocean;
as if

the goal of all our music
was silence.

Monday, October 1, 2018

INGATHERING

The blushing russet cheek
of harvest time nearing, the main street bakery
loosely maintains its outdoor seating—like an idea yielding,
dusty and dimmed as the all-day afternoon light
diffused through its incorporeal uniform of clouds,
and searching for shelter,

perching on an interior
limb of a largely abandoned mind. Only the fatted
white crowned sparrows
and maybe a few gaunt finches still hop, a little
manic, around the entrenched feet
of cheap imitation wrought-iron, willing to eat anything.

Friday, September 28, 2018

UPON CLOSER INSPECTION

Like morning's light,
the singing of the muses
is surprisingly astute
and unromantic—ranging

from the thin swivel
of coffee steam
and unshorn texture
of good book paper

to the mangy treetops and pink
shingles and ivy-
laden brick edifices
just outside the window—

then, like the translucent
morning glory folding, all
receding through interior
hallways of the mind—

doors behind doors
behind doors behind
doors—until deep
in the dark operating theater

and undivided by shadow
from what they once were
and whatever else they could,
with the dawn of a new sun, become

my eye pierces nothing
but—nets of things, tangled in
undogmatic rays—or is it
the other way around?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

THE BENEFACTORS

In the gold and
ruby orchestra hall,

a small solo
violin—henna

tattoos and the
whole thing—

adroitly melting
all the calcium

off the opulent
walls—of their arteries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

EXCERPT

Every morning,
before things begin,
invariably, to get their
own ideas—this workable

excerpt, this gloss of an unshaven
face reflects upward

on a perfectly circle-cropped
veneer of black coffee.
I gaze back down
at the hole in the mug carefully,

without reservations, abiding in
the unrealistic shape

and feel ever so slightly
unnerved
by my confidence—that there's
really nothing

unusual
to worry about anymore.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

OR SO IT WOULD SEEM

It's inevitable. Every time
I try to
do a New Thing, I 
wind up
remembering some Old Thing—

cold grapes, perhaps
to chill the mouth and mind—first,
so-arranged on a plastic-
wrapped disposable 
plate by some invisible hand,

then—warm, caterpillar-
yellow, on the vine 
across the alley from mom's 
girlhood backyard, brown hens in noon
sun carousing nearby;

thus, I transcend 
space and time. But only 
in a way that's useless and benign: only 
inadvertently, only in reverse
and backwards.

Monday, September 24, 2018

THE ALARM

Huge and hot and
engorged
as the sun is—

so showy
in its own violent ruination,
it is also

fiercely and
completely silent.
Can you just imagine

consuming your own raging actuality
in such a spectacular quarantine
as that?

No fate
could be worse, no vanity lonelier,
no lamentation more pathetic—to have

not even the forlorn moan
of the solar wind
to soundtrack your misery, not even

the terra firma 
of embarrassment to fall
back on—really nothing

you can do after that
but get out of bed
and put a clean-ish t-shirt on.

Friday, September 21, 2018

DEMANDING COMPLACENCY

Less than an hour
after the Farmers'
Market is over—gaunt finches

inhabit the park—
without prestige
or heed, they hack

the beige dirt
and scour each
stiff patch of matted clover

which swells cheerily
around the pre-
fab path,

at once both
systematic
and desperate—for just one grain

of our collective stab
at self-
satisfaction.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

EVERYBODY STALFOS

You think
you're scared now—just wait

til the grimacing silver-
hooded

moon disappears—and I'm
still here,

undetectably
feeding these dewy blank

fields—
from beneath.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

SAPPED

Huge resolute spears
of leaves—that grew over
where we walked

together—are shriveling now
and liable
to drop from these

palpitating branches.
Next year, I struggle
to wonder—

what weird
new shapes? they could
possibly bear.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

PARTY'S OVER

Oblique strategist, it’s apparent now,
the whole point of what you are
was never very sharp.

At the eleventh hour, made flat
and dizzy by the increasing slipperiness 
of sound and image, 

you stumble stoned from the mise en scène
and approach at last—the solidity
of things, 

the imperishability of one certain object: 
with your whole soul, you grasp
the handle, crank the handle, and see—

how patiently the white porcelain 
bowl—newly pregnant with her gleaming
water—always gazes back.

Monday, September 17, 2018

NOPLACE

When cool nights arrive, I'm
finally free

of the self-
assured afternoon's harsh

loneliness
and gloom—together we sigh

and crouch,
hang out high and munch

peanuts, and slink
like cowards

across the blue-
and-yellow-checkered couch—

for now,
I share this shitty apartment

with the irresolute
halfmoon—

and if I'm lucky at all,
when morning

comes, I
still do.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

IN THE TIME OF THE RESISTANCE

Stubborn old
rain puddle—abetted
by these 

untamed weeds, it never
seems to leave—many days later,
gaunt autumn bees 

still pause
and nose around the rust-
sweet water.

Friday, September 14, 2018

THE UNREASONABLE WILL

Autumn blossoms—
blithe mum

and nimble
morning glory—

speak a crisp "yes, hi"
to No; anything

goes—nothing
abides.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

ELLIE UNCOMBED, WITH INSIGHT

Even solid gold
hair appears
messy with unknowing

when she sleeps,
without caring—

not so much dreaming
as floating
just below

or above
an idea—you
and I

likely
would have discarded.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I NEED THE CHANGE I FEAR THE MOST

The birds, the sparse
park grass, those meager
city tress—

all possess
the mentality—to teach

not of other things, but
only (finally)
of themselves—

without words
or lessons;
no translators, zero traitors

hiding from stinging bees
in the zinnias, or hanging
dead from the catalpa branches.

Why can I not seem
to do that?

Why shouldn't
the music
of this very

rhythm? rattle
swiftly on without me.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

THE SLIDING SCALE

Heaven's
sake, I would like
to have said

to my old
friend the raven,
before he took off
for the upper
peninsula—

these forehead demarcations
are growing
both

keener—and somehow
ever
ghostlier, don't
you think? Its as if

the farther apart
a hard-hammered wish seems
to have been beaten
from its antecedent,

the finer and neater
are the filaments needed
to connect them,

and that's all;
until

the distance
between—

the ridiculous despair
which haunts
a dislocated

brain such as
this one—and its
favorite

quiet spot
at the neighborhood
coffee shop

is never
very great.

Monday, September 10, 2018

LOOSE

Whenever—and to the absolute
extent that it
can

the sun's speedy
dissipated
light will touch everything;

not only
is that
the truth—it lands nice

and flat—upon what
the truth
is.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Friday, September 7, 2018

VULGAR DISPLAY OF POWER

Small consolation
for the dark
horses—born of a billion

furnaces' hysterical burning

and after taking
so many
strange alternative

years to finally arrive here,

the tardy afternoon
light can still
plausibly appear to fall

so cold—

and impersonal—
against the back neighbors'
brick wall.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

REALISM IS THE DIVIDEND

The Real, in these hands—
divided by several
floozy ideals

from that intangible
pink and cream
palace of somewhere—

always yields
(in black
and white ciphers)

the same petite quotient
and its
hideous remainder

which seems
to keep on
divising forever

and repeating
the equation, like the
purr of a mantra:

words
over
the sounds of those words 

might
help you to live a less 
frangible life.

Thus, I become
emperor
of leftover numbers;

here,
I have complete
and unlimited power—

to stand back
and let—the next thing
occur.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

THEORY OF HISTORY

Think about it:
even the lonely executioner—who,

with all his
might, must press—and split
some kid in half;

then sift around the slag
until he finds

the soft white music,
the subcutaneous stuff, the
timeless kind;

then, taking his guileless
knife by its handle,
cleanly trim and toss it—

must sometimes find,
washing his face and hands
a long half an hour later,

he cannot keep his lips
from whistling—
having

instinctively
picked-up from somewhere,

some moribund self-

indulgent tune.

Friday, August 31, 2018

A STRETCH

Maybe
Einstein, sleeping
back in the
last century, dreamed me

in 2018,
abandoned—out here,
where the
woods meet the city.

Though they seemed perfect-
ly detached
and helpful, each of his small metal
ovals of thought

over time, formed these
linked chains of facts,
which now constrain my head,
holding me back

from bowing low
to drink
at the moss-shielded fountain
form which

nonsense is gushing,
in endless flourishes
of formlessness
and lazy adherence to relativity

which moisten and
glisten across these
terrible rings of metal—
giving me the shivers

and keeping me
from sleep,
despite the deep
night riding

in on the the cool starry wind—
and accelerating
out into the strangely
ill-defined distance.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

OUT OF ORDER

Maybe, a heart
doesn't break—it falls in mid-flight 
and punches 
another small hole 
out of midnight;

pure darkness 
falters, and the temperature 
inside our sleeping 
skulls goes 
up a little;

the next day—there's a new crow 
on the power line 
coughing and razzing 
slightly shorter
bluegray snakes
of traffic 
in dull rain.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

NATURAL CALM

If you really need
an authentic sleep

and really need it
fast—try counting

not blessings or sheep, but
the billions

and billions
of other people's

exquisite
crepe paper eye lids—

which, by now,
have already crumpled closed—

so peaceably,
and tasteful

as a runner-up rose—for the

very last time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

THE STAKES ONLY GET HIGHER

Would dancing
ourselves to death
be a pleasure

it it were under-
taken purely
by instinct?

Better
come back
to the

same old oak
tree in the park—
where we

once swung
and laughed
easy, picnic-

lunching,
with sticky red
jam around

our mouths—
and ask
those same

bees again
at the brisk end
of September.

Monday, August 27, 2018

LEISURE-READING TOLSTOY

Take a good look
at this
ad hoc bird's nest—see it's
just scraps

of the little things
nestled neatly
inside the big abstract one
they create.

Here's a large cavity
which seems to resemble
an ancient fish's
skeletal signature,

impressionistically
swimming beneath
the verminous John F.
Kennedy overpass,

all the vomit, piss, and
diarrhea—neatly organized
into a new form
of orgasm.

And right over here
is another
small pocket
stitched out of how it's

still possible—
to eat M&Ms
while you
read War and Peace

and discreetly
check the Cubs score
from the anti-gun rally
(just try not to

think about
how much larger
and louder
that other crowd is,

or abstraction
might crumble
back into
garbage again.)

Friday, August 24, 2018

THE POEM OF THE MIND

Gradually, I will learn
to set aside blackbirds,

one by one, shut each
obsidian eye,

leave every bead
of humid dawn water

hanging suspended
in redolent cedar branches,

let the moon and the sun
collide and trade places

allow those tiger lilies to go on
purring in the dark—locked

away, one inside each of my
four heart chamber drawers.

The poem of the mind
is pure steady light;

no snow-
storms, zero love affairs.

The one undying gaze—which beholds
the source of the situation,

looks without urgency, sees
without interest.

Still, though—even about that, I have
to wonder.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A HAIKU TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

Here is a fresh poem—
it's pure and spontaneous
as a late May snow

only—
way more complicated.

PARABLE OF THE TWO FICTIONS

Day after day,
season
after season—hour
after hour,

that same familiar
changeling, her intelligence,
would bid her—
look, think, remember.

Remembering things 
brings them back to life;

The early and eager-
to-bloom glories of today 

may simply be 
the dream of last night.

But wait, she thought,
last night, the moon
that hung up in the sky
was bright

yellow, three
dimensional—and full
with all our collective
memories of morning;

another invisible
thing made visible.

Meanwhile, the one which was still
reflected in her eye
was full—of black and white
photos of flowers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

AFTER FACT AND REASON

Eventually,
it must be alright.
It's got to be

possible—
to call it a night, 
to lift up

and kiss
each majestic peak
of these blisters,

to tan
for ten to twenty
in front of the television,

to give
each bulbous blue
moon of a brain lobe

an honest-
to-goodness
epsom salt soak.

At last, it must be
the right thing
because it's

the same thing,
the real thing,
the honest thing.

A little light
music—or perhaps
no sound

would be more
appropriate—
to accompany

empty feeling drifting,
knots of gray
wet rope untying.

God knows—
even J.S. Bach,
for all his leaping,

kept falling
back on
the same dozen notes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

SONG OF THE INDEPENDENT SURVEYOR

In the wild west 
known as
plain ordinary Tuesday, 

the myriad 
looks coming at me—from the mirrors 
and the glazed windows of closed 

shops—are all shady.
If even this gray rain 
is not just the gray rain, 

then surely 
there must be something 
that I could symbolize.

I keep joking
like pacing wet tennis shoe
laps around 

the dark formidable 
landmass 
of what I knew,

until I've got a few more 
of the landmarks
sorted out—the blank silent looks

are a meditation, a prayer 
for less dependence 
on supplication;

the laughter 
is a chattering river—cutting deep
enduring canyons.

Monday, August 20, 2018

DANTE'S LUNCHEONETTE

Beatrice!—the white
dress,

red cherries
printed on it—coolly

palming egg
salad.

Friday, August 17, 2018

REFRACTIONS OF THE HONEYMOON

Isn't it odd—the first six
or seven colors were
given to us

there in the ooze puddling
underneath Grandpa
Joe’s red F-150—

the rest, we have been left
on our own ever
since to dream about

through dilated mind's eyes
gauging candlestick strangers on
Edward Hopper nights

to pick-up piecemeal from the street-
side markets of Florence
and France

to taste in the igneous curry sauce
the boss's wife coaxed us
into trying

or, to listen for, driving home
from the two-bedroomburial place
of a memory

dewy and alone, in the midst of
static night, after all the stations
have signed off—or died out.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

THE VOICE OF REASON

Over time, many odd
choices
and opinions
coalesce into one chorus

transforming
raw advice—
into the pure voice
of reason:

abandon your virtues;
when all chained
together, even
they constrain you.

Don't push this
load, pull it—slowly,
as old
Issa's young snail would,

take the levelest
possible road
to the
top of the tallest mountain.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WILL

August is a bloated apathetic animal—
having killed
and blood-let and feasted and
sucked

on the meat
of a tender young June
and a huge July's utters
and fat tangles of rib marrow.

Moist dust from the scuttle
clings to the air, subtly
darkening the sun.

Weary now, even of the
sheen of cherries
and the insistent musk of a
honey dew melon,

it lies still, breathes
shallow,
sleeps, dreaming—in circles
of a dimly

apprehended tomorrow:
the cool prevalence
of inevitable
September—and its plums.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ELEMENTAL, AS IT WERE

Experience may be haunted
with the ghosts of inclination,

but the literal is (really)
the strangest caprice of all.

After all,
I'm not a crow,

I am not
some bumbling bee

I am rooms and spires
filled with old spores;

I am blue mold,
hungry and stubborn.

I might have been outlawed
but I am also sheriff

and game warden
of this space on the page.

Right now, I'm all of the
dark feelings you could mention

which stand for themselves
and don't require poems

to get attention.
Nothing in these lines

is levitating. Even the most
fantastic books

don't just magically
fly off the shelves.

The most prolific words
describe lack,

a crying need
for help.

I am long past giving
up

writing
about myself.

Monday, August 13, 2018

CATHEDRAL TUNES

Everywhere I look,
every small thing has got
a piece of the whole
infinity in it,

every translucent amber window
oozes doleful music—

then there's
the awed hush of limestone
and the shadows
of low-bowing arches

unspooling into garden hedges
to darken wild thoughts—

until I'm so weary
and oppressed, I can barely

believe I don't
believe it

when, high above
and far
away, the bells toll—no, no, no, no

and in the
spaces between, I hear what
impossible sounds like.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

HIERARCHY OF A SATURDAY AFTERNOON

At the edge of the
park, swollen
pigeons bully finches

away from the provident spoils—
six monolithic
hewed husks of hard sourdough,

until the gargantuan Ford Explorer
toiling past
with the windows down

shatters at last the holy war
with its peace
accord—of reggaeton bass.

Friday, August 10, 2018

GOOD AFTERNOON

Slow and sure,
but without
determination

a low lump
of cloud
obscures Trump Tower.

CATHOLIC WITH A LOWERCASE C

congregated
on a moldy pear core

forsaken
in the alley—

a hundred flies, or
maybe more—

lord, hear our
rotten prayer

for a scrap
of their rapport.



CONSTITUTION

That uniform sky,
that distant blister

for a raw sore planet
you're supposedly under—is it

gray?
Or is it silver?

Does the rain have a point?
Or does each drop

have the perfect caliber?
Depends.

How many grounds
in your coffee cup this morning?

How much like a circus
does the word "fickle" still sound?

And what is the current
starting lineup?

of those slippery ticklish
bacteria in your guts

which have never seen the sun
in their fugitive lives?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

IT DIDN'T HAPPEN

Day after day,
I'm ashamed

of that
most derelict of affluences
I call—my austerity.

With care, I turn
on the old boombox
and a little
Frigidaire window unit,

then leave the apartment
to go out for fresh air;

I log on the the pubic
library's free WiFi—
and just sit there;

do any of you know
what I'm
talking about here?

If so, maybe we could get together
and compare
the delicate grain of our
solemn wooden innocence

or else x-rays
of our lungs, so black
with the tar of
the unsure.

You know what they say:
pictures, or it didn't happen.

What good is our privacy
if it cannot be demonstrated?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

NIRVANA

Blue blades
of sprats

arrayed neck- 
to-neck 

in neat gold-
plated beds—

do you even 
miss your heads? 

I don't think
I would.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

FUTURE IMPERFECT

Granted, life without a sabbath
is an unbroken
series of weekdays

a melody
decomposed
into—just notes;

but inchoate ears
hear old music
in new and fictive ways

and immature voices
proclaim old truths
in new and fantastic tenses.

It makes their under-
ripe throats feel soothed
to proclaim

not that which is,
or will come—but that
which ought to be;

theirs is an impervious god
who must
never be addressed

but instead
is—sometimes
listened to.

Monday, August 6, 2018

WATER WORKS

After the dawn, moon-
white foaming, the lake mist
rolls in—
to power-scrub the skyscrapers

and cleanse the roiled
attitudes of
a million forsaken weekenders.

And soon, gently quickening
through the new
monochrome downtown—here
a mint green

rain boot—there,
the jocular nonchalance
of a miniature pink umbrella,

lifting soiled tensions,
sweetening
the savory
tang of wet asphalt,

making, in the vague
mind of the multitude, a Monday
morning possible.

Friday, August 3, 2018

USELESS

That blue
with the perfect baked
white that
curdles through it

can't you just
see it?

couldn't you just
about take a
mouthful?

It's a cute yellow
breakfast plate
sun. baby

it's a
real eggs
and bacon kind
of sky.

How about
that? seven grains—
all at once

what'll they think of next?
soak
it in. sop it
up.

Buzz buzz—another
espresso
from the bar

buzz buzz
a small puffed-
up stinger scar

its owner, remember
died immediately
upon the impact.

Last night's aggravations
somehow now
both—bittersweet
and untasteable.

HUBBLE'S LAW

1.

On the
plus side, all the old
wishing stars

are still up there.
it's just that—
at this

very moment,
they've never been
farther.


2.

Far from
being useless,

thoughts and prayers
do exactly
what they're

supposed to do—magically
keeping the weak
and the wounded

at arm's length.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

PIONEER

Dreamed I lived out
in a bucolic village
on the fringe of a bigger
and even
more bucolic village—
inside of a still-
larger and much
prettier one—which functioned
as some sort of an ad-
hoc spacecraft.

My concerns, though, were still
quite provincial—coffee, walk
the dog, grip her leash a little
harder rounding the corner
apartment with the
two keyed-up corgis, feel
the rough old nylon
chafing my skin, causing
me to wonder how each
of your freckles is doing—are they
still migrating? and where
in the universe yours
and my fingerprints might
be mirrored in the geography of
a galactic super-cluster. And then

look down again and realize
that, in this particular universe, I don't
have a dog, you do; and I have
that exotic new-world
disease—which causes me
to stay indoors half-asleep
all day in front of a muted TV
or laptop computer,
putting all I remember
of a dream I had
on mock-paper.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

POMP + CIRCUMSTANCE

Dazzling august mid-
morning sun—

boiling the sweet cream 
skin under-

neath—all that 
baggy funeral black.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

FIGURES

Pissed off and in-
transigent, my shoulders are stiff

as a pair
of antediluvian boulders,

the coffee
in the little blue

cup is scabbing over,
the room has turned a blank

gray, and even
the nonsense words are refusing

to come
together over me.

But the moment I relent
and delete

everything I've written,
the sun swaggers

out, its inarticulate light
pouring down to bury me

alive—in the most
inexplicable

thing of all: a warm
feeling.

Monday, July 30, 2018

ANIMATION

Ground mists
of Olympic
National forest

and bright spume of Puget
Sound seafoam
and the thick piebald clouds

housing an over-
polluted mid-
western freight town—are one,

are all present
here in the
sound of the voice that's speaking,

are all simultaneous-
ly something
and nothing,

are all really only
made from electricity
and a few numbers—and are all,

like us, simply longing
to prove to the west wind
they exist.

And this breath—which is nothing
but the animation of a feeling, exists
in relation to none of them.

But still
the oneness persists, the oneness
resists, is pushed west

by that same wind;
the very same oneness
which was

when the first lone globule
started speaking,
and which now, at the ending

still is. Because there can never
be an end
to a thing—that's one thing.

Friday, July 27, 2018

IRRITATION

This is not
an idea

or even a feeling,
but only just

a thought—that smallest speck
of dirt

around which
the great pearl of all

personhood is built:
no matter

what, I will
never be enough.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

EXPOSITION

Muggy out
of focus
dim July mornings—

urge to write
lines about
one's inner life rises—

poems come out
long—
and badly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

SONG LYRICS TRANSCRIPTION

I'm a sick and indentured
entertainer, always

coughing blank paper
and spewing

about freedom—vapor
into more vapor.

The hit song of the season's
called Out of Control,

and its really dumb
chorus goes—later, baby, later;

but if I'm not a musician
without any instruments, then

maybe—I
don't want to be one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

THE GREAT I AM

Frozen in shadow
on the row of sharp flatscreens

which borders the outdoor seating,
the right fielder—

a lone, somber,
perfectly pitched-

forward alphabet letter—
manifesting perfectly

the very first word
known to the world;

while in the sunlit foreground,
we—the sea

of floundering artless spectators,
transfixed

in our unspeakable
wishing to be known

as right fielders, and only
right fielders—

each do our despondent best
never to speak it.

Monday, July 23, 2018

WORRIED SICK

The scariest thing about
pale floating ghosts—those hollow mute phantoms
of old malignant religions

is their tacit admonition
for not stopping to contemplate
the difficult questions,

for always touching, but never really meeting
or summoning
the ground,

for always being too afraid to scream
in your own voice,
for never loving

the rare and precious
dark parts of your body—that no one else living
ever gets to see.

Friday, July 20, 2018

KEY CHANGE

Like an abhorrent larva, I crawl 
and I climb—

blind, toward modulation; 
a feeling with no corners, not known,

only felt after.
Does anybody even know 

that I'm up here
on the roof of this house now?

I don't have to prove it;
I know I'll soon love

everything inside it
(the hard carbon and cold calcium,

the warm blood and soft spit)
only barely—

that way
there'll always be enough left 

over for my
next move.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

ACCORDING TO PLAN

Sunbleached and drooping,
the whispering ancient
treetops insist—earth's air grows

heavier with vapor
nearer to where
the truth is;

even the brash
light racing
from a cataclysmic old star

will center the still
and nurture the starving—until,
one day, under their prodigious shade,

insect travelers—tired,
myriad-eyed,
from far reaches of outer space—

alight and find
temporary safety—in the jaws
of a shaded lily.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

DEEP THOUGHT

The exact moment I try
to get relaxed—sitting cross-
legged in this
wide open glen

I sense—the tickle
of the expeditious green bottle fly

who, upon landing—spits,
rubs his stick-
hands together methodically,

then whips-
out a serviceable,
practiced proboscis—and commences
vacuuming

every dingy
apartment he finds

in the poor tenement
cracks of my
derelict shin skin.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

GOD IS MY JUDGE

I guess most people still think
a boy can never
be named for a flower.

I guess. But I
am not some lion tamer—I am a meat-eater
who's also a gardener.

I guess most people still think that art
and science and religion
can all reconcile, can meet in the middle.

I guess. But I tried hard once
to make them curve toward one another
through lenses of words—and they didn't.

And I guess most people
still think that this is some sort of
glamorous process.

I guess. But it's not. For instance,
the voice in this poem—is the voice come
from nowhere. Sure, with a cup-

shaped fist, it seems
to reach up and pluck
from thin air, all sorts of

humid invisible fruit—
and yes, it then willingly
hands this to you; but still

it says nothing
about whether
it's edible—or forbidden.

Monday, July 16, 2018

HUNT

Somewhere, outside

each fluorescing ER—you might spy

pink zinnias.


Friday, July 13, 2018

SIDEWALK SALE

Under the drowsy eye
of noon sun,

gleaming
gold and complex aquamarine
planets—of eccentric green
bottle flies

describe
the near-perfect
outlines of cylinders—pirouetted around

an abstract center,
the action-paint splatter

of forest-
green and titanium-
white bird shit.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

AMITY

Cedar wood—gets to

smelling good, after the dogs

come and piss on it.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

GONE WITHOUT THE WIND

Just like that—some grimy cookies 
and cream-colored pigeons 
are gobbling down the sidewalk shade, 

leaving droppings in their wake 
like greasy clues 
to secret undiscovered neighborhood 

places—storm drains stuffed 
with leaves and cigarette 
packs and old beetle shells, 

erased bus stops, and the smelled 
tang of dog shit and some 
nearby dead rat—all linking 

like keys to locks, with these
nauseous and 
depressing spells; how dare we care

for one another? Does every book 
need a cover? How do I say I don't care
in a way that still matters?

Then, something warmish 
and sudden: a flap. The littlest 
ripple, and they are gone—with 

or without the wind—on wings 
they could only have 
stolen from me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DAY TO DAY

Faint,
amorphous, and

far away
as abstract concepts—the clouds

have nothing
important

to say
about my affairs.

Monday, July 9, 2018

REMAIN

The terra cotta
pot—which underlies

and engenders the flowers—
does not

challenge; it does not
object, but

applies its
clay-dull concentration

to the task—
breathing in,

then exhaling, bulging
outward again—

it touches
the bare earth

at all times,
no matter what—leaving

absolutely
no space in between

(it is an expert at that).
It knows

it is
a miracle—a revelation

to grow
and to change

and to stay
and to leave—but

it is a discipline
to remain

content
to play the same bit part

in every
consecutive moment.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

GUTTER

Jocund, the noble

goldfinch—takes his Sunday baths

where he can get them.

Friday, July 6, 2018

GIRL, YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON

Violent,
but achingly
sweet-
ly, a changeling's
eye-

teeth
breach the quivering
red flesh
of their
first nectarine.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

GENERATIONS

Going out
my front door each morning,
I bow

to you, slight
callow sapling—who meekly haunts
the cusp

of a tainted
stump—and whose obdurate shade,
when my bones

are loam, may fall
toward the shoulder of my great-
grandson.

Monday, July 2, 2018

SHELL

You do not have to
make up your mind, because I've

made mine up for you.
Like a stubborn old mollusk—who's

been dredged up
from the stony dark ocean bottom

and disabused
of all hope and ambition

because he's never
seen the starlight—this is

my only gift, my greatest
lasting favor:

I swear not to wonder
where I am going? I'll just pose

the question: where did I come from? 
Everyone walks around knowing

so very little, but they pretend like
that's a lot.

My body is closed; I will not
debate that. Perfectly,

I'll maintain this ebony silence.
I'm not your

salvation. I am not your hell.
I don't exist

to make the feeling of existence
any easier to take.

I simply exist
to make the feeling of existence

a little less hard
to illustrate.

Friday, June 29, 2018

NEW

These days
after long rains—fecund smells

on the humid breeze,
and between

the sagging trees dart
yellow finches—wings beating

a few
soft ripples

across the face—of the
parking lot lake.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

TETHER YOUR HOPES

Say a little prayer
that—

furious, the feral cat
keeps

napping
in those daffodils.

INCIDENTAL

Brisk chains of eighth notes

chiming down the treble staff—brown finches

on the power line.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

SCHOOL'S OUT!

Still-vibrating
with the smoldering
residual energy

of a brash profusion
of high
summer night fireworks—a plangent constellation

of residual translucent
rainbow-

colored
gummy bears—now stains

the blue-
black
void of playground asphalt—

attracting
rats.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

REFLECTION

Little sun-
silver mirrors

hung—all along
the out-
stretched length

of this
waxy palm

leaf—what do you
have
to teach?

Monday, June 25, 2018

NONESSENTIAL GOODS

In the cool of the
evening,
after the last day

of the
yard sale, God walks

the back
garden patio,
ringed round

with nascent
venereal blossoms

and hailed by ancient star-
burst candy-
colored flowers—

and gazes out
and down

with dismay
at all
the stuff that didn't sell.

Friday, June 22, 2018

CHICAGO BUT NOT BY CARL SANDBURG

Hog butcher, wheat stacker,
freight handler—doesn't matter

how far
you've fallen,
what sort of miserable

scoundrel you are,
there's always a weathered neighborhood
stoop around here somewhere—

that's warped
and sunken just low-
down enough to suit your posture—

with lots of peeling paint
designs, to hallucinate

their
disappointed faces in—
and a nice red white and silver

Pabst can
for the butts and ashes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

INCUMBENT

After repeated
late season
bouts of raging

rains and
antagonistic sun-
shining—

vacant
lot-kingdoms
of toppled old stone

are veined—
with such thick
moss, sweet

grass, and
opportunistic clover—
as to

reanimate
the king
of butterflies.

Monday, June 18, 2018

HELLSTRIP

How fierce-
ly! the blood-mawed
streak of tiger

lillies—stands guard
at the tree-
shaded verge's perimeter;

each, a lithe formidable
snarl of angles merging—
and perfect-

ly sharpened—
to frighten
witless goslings

from wandering
thickly
out into traffic.

Friday, June 15, 2018

OMPHALOS

Gazing down long
at an empty home-
made mauve mug,
its enameled clay speckled

like so many nameless
galaxies smudged across
the Hubble Deep Field,
its shadow-

black mouth, like
god's, not talking but still
piercing my
guts with pure significance—

all those lofted
thoughts of yours,
where have they
brought you?

fierce-postured, on a low stoop
of warped rotting
wood in the morning, contemplating another
cup of coffee.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

NOCTURNE

Her
love, the lone faraway

dusk bird's
meager keening—reasonable

to parse,
not to figure.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MOTIVATION

A fresh airy silence,
stirring the stale gunmetal
vault of my memory

and stirring
in the gentle breeze—
old black holes

and new
spring leaves—
I feel a burning need

to move
with the mystery
of each of these

swirling—ringing
the edge
of the pool of my knowledge

just like
the fire burning deep
in the woods which surround it requires

each precious little infinity
of empty
space between its blazing arms.

Monday, June 11, 2018

SLEEP MASK

Black as pure thought,
and just
as uninteresting,
that silent interval—once it's passed

so irreversible—
between the deep and
generous inhale

and its shallow
exhalation, proves it's
far too dangerous

to use these
time-bomb imaginations we've got.

But neither
do we dare speak—even to the pitch dark,
of that most secret wish
to be rid of them,

afraid to take things any further,
and seeking instead for the
mushed and damp middle-ground

of sleep's calm shore, as if
groping in the dark
for the redundant explanation:

if that release into the silence
is really so total,

then why is the darkness
still always haunted

by those faint apprehensions
of the light?

Friday, June 8, 2018

AT ALL

Polished silvery
mirror of mid-
June

afternoon—the cool translucent

rain
drops
falling

so ginger-
ly down     
on the—irreducible

fact that I am

down
here under-
neath them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

PERSISTENCE ECONOMY

Wild-haired, the
greasy American

red-bellied woodpecker

pounds his
rapacious thick

face silly for bark beetles,

might think
he's really

fucking up that oak tree—

but only
barely.





Tuesday, June 5, 2018

END OF THE UNIVERSE IN REVERSE

Spontaneously, families
un-estrange,

don't speak,
can't fight. Like it

or not, everyone grows
closer, looks

cutely blue-
tinted—and everywhere

the idea grows simpler;
letters get wetter

and the math
a lot drier—all around,

the blue-
colored

birds land, dropping
huge mice,

which belly-
flop back into the hot water.

Nothing's
right. Nothing's

the matter;
time's liquefied

so nothing
is really sudden, but

nonetheless, in less
than an instant,

the little bit of
everything

that's left—just
goes white.

ANAEROBIC EXERCISE

If I'm

the torturer, who is the tortured?—Now write

the last line.

Monday, June 4, 2018

OPPRESSIVE

A few steps back
from the stale Milwaukee stop—

the severe
-ly dressed old woman,

in subtle defiance of the
crook in her back,

fords that sheer
abyss that exists between

12:59 and 1 pm—gazing up at
those succoring pictures

in the huge bold posters
(which waggle a little

from the air conditioner)
hung high on the

inside of the
Burger King's windows.

Friday, June 1, 2018

DOUBLE FUGUE

Crisp and busy

city morning—many quick long legs

commute right past



the gold-flecked starling

fastidious pecking—sidewalk cracks

for fresh black ants.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

MOVEMENT II.

Undulating vision
of "Moonlight" 

Sonata
ancient dark cliffs

of such
exquisite grief—

why must your
perfect country

heedlessly
keep rolling? past

its last and
sheerest rock face.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

SLICK

how the
ostentatious rustle

of overhead sun-
bleached silver leaves—

like thick rain somehow
thoroughly falling

on a calm and cloud-
less cobalt day—buffers so lovely

the dark
trill of me weeping—

like a
lost and a terribly

private child—sequestered
in the

middle of this
public street.

Friday, May 25, 2018

MEDITATION

Near enough to the
clamor
and hiss of civilization

to throb a little
with the rumbling
of each passing train, there's always

an ocean—
weathering
the occasional rain,

warm and
thin, which sooner or later is
sure to be falling

faint across its gray
waves
of headstones.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

SCHERZO

Nonchalant neighbor-
hood coffee

shop menu board—
lattes cost five dollars,

crescent rolls aren't even
listed—and you

squint and bite
your lip a bit and don't so much

hear it but
feel this strange hollow

bell tolling twelve noon twelve noon twelve 
noon in the

pit of your
stomach or soul—and just for a little

distraction, you wish
you could

tell this
to Frank O'hara.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A SHOT IN THE DARK

Sometimes I wonder
what—need
would look like

if you could
step back
and look at it sketched—

entire,
and bounded, and
all at once
across a single sheet of paper;

because all
it ever
sounds like is—
the strain of one line

necessarily inheriting
the
tune of another.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LOVE LETTER

Dear X, I can't stress
enough that I'm

no longer the same
person I used to be.

For one thing, I get off
to bed much earlier.

For another,
all night, the best I can do
is lie

flat awake and wonder
about you—
while the thunder

booms its consecutive
far-off
black mushroom
cloud epiphanies; only they're

speaking all at once, and their words
are so loud, and too close together,
and spouted far

too quickly
for me to catch many
of the nitty-gritty details.

But one
thing about this still strikes me
as being
more or less interchangeable:

my apprehension
of the falling rain,

might be
the same place
where the rain is falling.

I don't mean:
maybe internally,
I am actually the same
person I used to be;

I mean:
maybe it is—sincerely

raining
here, inside me.

Monday, May 21, 2018

AGENCY

When it says it's late
May but the cold morning mist off
the lake is so strong

and stiff—that it engulfs
every lonesome limestone tenement
tower on the horizon,

somebody somewhere
must have done something wrong.

A lone prisoner, perhaps
a scrawny and
dismal bespectacled man

in threadbare vestments,
who's breakfasting
out there in that distant dim shade

penitently on day-
old coffee and some green
thumbnail of a banana

by a filmy and barred window
that overlooks an endless
maze of alleyways—where,

apart from the low-swooping
gunmetal gray seagulls,

the few birds his failing
ears can still hear aren't singing

spontaneous songs—but blind-
ly rehearsing the day's
designated canticle.

Friday, May 18, 2018

EVERYWHERE

The bad news is
the situation
has escalated.

God himself
came down
among us—and he whispers

and walks
around town
in plainclothes now.

But don't worry; you
don't have to drop
what you're clutching

and put your filthy
red hands in
the air—any two-

bit scientist can
tell you: they're both always
already in there.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

ASYLUM

In the damp shade
of this overgrown off-
ramp triangle, thick clots of woodchips

brace a few stubborn hostas, wild
asters, and lots
of Leinenkugel bottles.

Nobody's clapped
their hands around
this place for a while;

all the fairies
look faint
and ugly,

like paperwhite moths
in that singular over-
wrought moment before dawn:

they exist—but just
so achingly
on the edge of almost

that it hardly seems like
a secret worth telling, let alone anything
magical.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

COLLAPSE

Go on. Say
the red tulips

melting in
the partial sun—

are not some
luscious alien

lollipops whose
days are numbered.

The reality
of the

situation then—
must be

unbearably lonely,
since there's

always only
one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

HUNGER

That little child
curled up and
asleep inside me—
who likes
to pick all the stiff
weeds from the curbsides,
the ones with stringy yellow
and purple-ish brambly flowers,
and then
pedal like crazy
back toward his mother,
who's sauntering
with that pretty listlessness of hers
down the same big road
at a comfortable
but gratifying distance behind—
is starting
to get heavy.

Monday, May 14, 2018

POEM OF WORMS

Wrong, wrong, wrong—caws
the cold
wet crow, swooping

slow
and broad-

winged
and low across the meadow—

complex situations
might arise

due to
simple unpredictable
changes in the weather.

Motion is the only purpose;
let this swift black
arrow of action

belie
the slipperiness
of its swift black purpose.

In the soup-
thick fog of morning, the truth

colludes
with opportunity,

reality
looks uncouth,

the signification is mine
for the taking,

and no kinds
of food—

are any
better or worse than others.

Friday, May 11, 2018

WAITING FOR EGGS

The tapwater 
in the black Teflon 
pot on the stove 
is about to reach 
a rolling boil;

irrepressible 
physical changes—more 
than just 
around the corner

(assuming 
we keep to the proper order),

certain processes under-
taken 

can't be meaningfully 
interrupted.

Time yet, to ponder 
the past, 
the future—while the proteins denature
and harden

(stiff kernels 
of a dozen birds that had neither).

Something is wrong. Somebody
blundered.

The purpose of time, 
isn't just

so that everything 
doesn't happen all at once;

it's also to ensure that nothing 
can ever go meaning-

fully 
back to the way it was.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

GRAY MATTER

This container
I've made—has few items
inside it

and every day
the inventory
procedure is the same.

Like fog
off the lake, the same
palpable blankness

moves inside
to slowly fill my heart—
each morning

I manage
to wend my
way again to the shore

where I stand,
declare I love it here—meaning
I would like it

to be true—
the surface stares,
unblinking,

unmoved,
gray. No such fact
of the matter

is entertained.
This universe
which owns everything

also
owes everything
nothing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

TURNING

Everywhere
along the fringes, secret
heart-
shaped leaves

unalarmed
and spinning white
sunlight
into blood sugar—

say what it is you
want to, poets—please
refresh
the language!

Monday, May 7, 2018

ALLEGRO MODERATO

Above the treetops, two tuckpointers—
brick-faced, in brave white
overalls and stained khaki
ball caps,

practicing their
careful avian acrobatics
on the skinny fourth
floor scaffolding—

start dropping
indecorous-sounding exchanges
in quick, clipped Ukrainian—but still,
it's quite easy

and a small pleasure
for me, sauntering underneath
and gawking—to feel sure they're
only joking.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

IDLE

Creamwhite, the
magnolias—

drooping...sleeping...dream

of me—pink
gazing,

writing this fluff.

Friday, May 4, 2018

ENDS OF THE EARTH

Having reached this clear over-
head but
mysterious spot, you stop, stand 
still and watch

strange boomerang birds—cutting
ribbons of cloud from the low-
hanging sky;

you exhale 
again,
and you feel 
the white wind 

begin to carry 
what might be
your last breath away—how far? 

This is a decent question, but it isn't 
the best one. 

Is this what you really
want? chides 
the breeze, To be 
free?—in that case, don't you see 

how you'll always 
be irrevocably 
bound to something?

You don't want to 
hear this; you insist you're not 
stuck—and neither
are you lost,

you've just gone
somewhere new 

and decided
not to move. 

There's a huge difference 
between the two;

no response
of course—but just look 

who 
you're arguing with.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

WEAK AS WATER

That's enough talk about
perfect concentration.

Too much hard truth
exists here already—

correct arguments, accruing
across the noisy centuries

like arid mountainous dunes
of sandy white scruples

all collected in one or two
preposterously heavy

reference books
that cannot leave the library.

But luckily,
poetry—is nothing like that.

Poetry is vague and weak
as water;

it flutters and oozes,
and the more it gets used, the more it diffuses.

So listen, don't talk,
and just try to picture

yourself nude—all alone
in the middle of the wide open ocean,

the only such place where
so much hugeness—combined with

all that nothing—actually makes a human feel
calmer.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

BODE

Dauntless black
crow, I studied
you for ages

every day clinging
to these
powerlines by the cement wall

which constantly
sway and moan
with the incessant rush of traffic

from a rude-
ly adjacent John F.
Kennedy Expressway.

Passing by this
same old way
today, it feels like it's been years

since I first came to suspect
what each
of your subtle

and practiced compensatory
movements was for—the littlest
flick, the large and slow

flap, the long and thick
shudder, like some brazenly deliberate 
challenge to the invisible—and yet,

I can still
only wish I understood—what each
movement meant.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

CALLING IN SICK

Because every direction I turn in
this morning, the quickening
green of virginal spring

is trilling
in through my nose and welling
up to my eyeballs

making my skin itchy—like sticky supple
tendrils, all brushing my bare forearms
with fresh pricks of envy.

And gradually, my head's gotten
so completely fogged over with jealously
mingled with the dullest ache of apprehension

likely from gazing too hard
at that slick bluehooded
tough gang of grackles diving

fast over the next hill in front of me—probably
after a fresh gaggle of young lady-
bugs.

TOLERANCE

Freedom

is a
backpack—

the heavier

the
better.

Monday, April 30, 2018

PEACE ACCORDS

Someone
who comes from somewhere
else just declared—

the emperor
isn't
divine anymore. Yet,

his dumb
little three-
letter name is still stuck

on the back
of every shattered citizen's
creased and useless currency—

which
is just as well, since god
is a lot

like a piece of paper
money—if you think he's really there,
he's there;

if you think
he's not—he isn't.
But good luck

not-believing
in even
the tiniest thing—

in the overstuffed
and crumbling
dominion

hence-
forth to be
known as—Everyone Else Does.

Friday, April 27, 2018

INTOLERANCE

After a while, I can't resist. So,
sheepish, I slink 
over, lift the cloche 
of reality, 

anxious to behold 
"pure theory."
Glancing around quick
I pick-

up this formidable word,
give it 
a squeeze, guiltily 
I feel its heft, 

inspect 
its girth—and find, 
with dumb-
founded fingers, that it isn't

the iron-
hard and heavy
thing I'd always 
imagined. 

It's just this thin 
and rutted alligator 
skin, conserving (having 
come this 

far, I pierce it 
with a pinky finger) 
some crumbly in-
consequential fuzz

wrapping, in turn—nothing 
but a tender 
and pitiable 
lack of imagination. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

INVOCATION

Dizzying—to look to horizons
and watch the brightest
eye itself gazing,

enthralled across
the still-
bald treetops—down

to alight
upon billions of
desperate mentalities

where, deeply inside
the seed of each, a private spark
might be awakened

to leap and catch
fire, realizing a billion 
different guises—each new shape

of licking flame, a tendril,
a nascent
arm extending,

as if in the purest
gesture of giving—offering-
up to the others

somehow—different pieces
of the same
one light.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HALLOWS

Night, wet
hoary moss
and mold grow blueblack

silent—fatally
covering the old;

morning, thick
with sun-
blanched mist—the stuff

new souls
are made of.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

Darling
you're so

ego-
centric, it ought to be

a breeze
not to think—
of all

the fat slimy
stone-
blind and
goal-haunted insects

writhing away—
underneath
your

perfect spring day.

Monday, April 23, 2018

OMEN

Clot-like, the old day's
overripe fire
spreads across
the deep pink water;

faraway, the oozing clouds
look lavender (though this
is quite impossible)—isn't there something?
You're supposed to remember.

Ghostly music
plays off
somewhere—a fantasy theme
blurred at each note's edges

by the increasing-
ly slow movement
of time—isn't there?
Something you're supposed to remember.

A lone seagull, high up crescent
of wheeling silver,
stabs in sharp relief against
the conjured scene

might be willfully mis-
taken to be
a dove—if not
for the distinct lack

of olive leaf—
might even
be taken
to be a raven—if not

for the
mostly just irritating
screeches it delivers:
Isn't there something you're supposed to remember?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

SUPER MARIO

Those borderless flowing Saturday
mornings, slowly drowning
my capacity to imagine

a faraway
world where eggs
and milk are hard to get.

Touch another star, why don't they?
Like he can;
just

shut up
and eat that
fire flower, or whatever.

Again and again, I bust my head
against bricks, see if
I can

snort up the dust, call it
a balanced
breakfast.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

PROBABLY

Even though it 
doesn't exist, there is still
this certain word
whose terrible weight is immeasurable—

it sits there on the page, like the derelict 
tufts of half-fermented leaves 
and stray cigarette 
packs, obscuring every storm drain,

it looks from far away 
like a languid ribbon of rising smoke—pretty
but useless 
in a windless sky, 

it sounds
like the unsought hysteric 
tack of hard rain 
against every midnight-blue windowsill,

not the sound 
of any one specific music—but rather, 
of all music put together's
bleary echo.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

FURLOUGH POEM

Almost contemptible,
if not so
preposterous—how that

gray squirrel (rival
mammal) wire
tail thrumming,

turning dizzy figure
eight
patterns in the park—routinely makes me

feel so green-
eyed in-
sufficient!

not for
working so much
less hard that he does

for liberties—like
work breaks,
monster lunches;

for not
more often capitalizing
on such

easy and abundant day-to-
day opportunities—to abuse
more legal stimulants.

Monday, April 16, 2018

GNOSIS

The galloping heart

is a crazy horse—it'll

have to be put down.

Friday, April 13, 2018

REUNITED

At last—
it is evening.

And Cause and Effect,
wearied

from the rat-
race

of counteracting all day, can
finally go strolling

together,
hand-in-hand—agreeably talking

shit
about everything.

Even the splashiest
sunsets

don't impress them—like:
why can't

the dumb 
clouds come 

in creamy peach colors 
all the time?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

SOMEHOW

Every night,
real as you like—an impossibly
round chunk of
white rock goes on hanging

completely uncontested
in the edgeless sky—
invisibly
bound, but free

of charge—
and clear
(for now)

of advertisements.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

RITE OF SPRING

How is it, Chicago—the sheer resonant beauty
sponsored by your early
April afternoons

must always be composed of
so many smaller and
unbeautiful pieces?

Or had we better ask
the trash-mad seagulls?—
boomeranging hard just now

about the bloated clouds,
seemingly hitting
all the wrong keys at once—as if charged

yet again this season
with the inglorious task—of
just making sure

this wheezy old organ
still works.

Monday, April 9, 2018

YIELD

Even the scrawny
disenfranchised 
flocks careening past

all seem to slow-up 
and cease their incessant 
honking for a moment—

acceding to this
puerile April
her quiet, cool quiescence

as a quite 
unhinged and lion-
headed 

March keeps 
raving 
in her girlish face.

Friday, April 6, 2018

PARISH

Sometimes I wish I was
a whole congregation;
then I'd have much
better excuses—like

this pied blue profusion
of fat waxy pigeons, messily
ranging the neighborhood:

one minute riding
high upon the majestic
voice of the April wind,

the next low-bowed, pecking
and scratching at every
crack in the asphalt
for a tidbit of breakfast—

never potent,
not concentrated enough
to wonder

whether anything
at all
is going to turn out fine;

knowing nothing
of god—only of vanishing
opportunity.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

SUSPICIOUS

Around
noon, these stiller

days, I
see you lying

dubious
on the ground—

my nearest
enemy,

my dear
equanimous shadow.

Silent, ponderous, you
invite me:

sit right down, stretch out
the immediate

until it becomes
the indefinite.

Every breath, unspeakably
useless,

all alarms—
pure sound.

All my love—now
sticky,

contracts down
into—pity and attachment.

Every move
I no longer make

is practice;
every itch

I refuse to
scratch is

a preparation—
for death.

Monday, April 2, 2018

FEELINGS

Sometimes, it's like I can
hear myself hearing
myself talking, and

all of a
sudden, I get this weird
hunch—prefab

and
storebought—words
are just shirts

and pants
for my thoughts—which, in
turn, must just

be so many
torsos fingers toes
arms legs crotches and butts—

all bumpy
and wrinkled and ashy
and ugly and what-

not—and not one of them
autonomous; each one
nothing but

a nervous
quivering slave, a soft
fleshy pink

robot—pressed tough
and eternally
into the electrically

controlled
neuro-muscular
service of—guess what?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

MENTAL JOGGING

If the secret
answer to every riddle
is time,

I'd take a pass
on action,
and just as soon sit and wait

around
for the
gift of pure vision—I'd coolly 

bear that slow, inevitable
oxidation of
bones and fickle muscle tissue

while imagination swirls
and rises, flooding past
un-grasped,

while shredded crowds of hours
rush down, dissolve, and leech out
the bottom of the noumenal

world like raindrops
soaking through parched clumps
of graveyard dirt—I'd willingly bear it

for the time to sit
and write a poem, or not to,
but whose

last perfect line
typed
on the page when I do

will typically go—
"as always, I remained pretty
noncommittal."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

PORTRAIT POSE

More unsure than 
ever in the shifting 
orange-ish evening light—

and framed by drifting 
chalk moon sky and glistening 
gritty parking lot—I totter

and resort, like a 
jerk, to the only 
game I'm sure I can master:

to gaze yet again 
upon her cagily—
as if she were ever

a piece of my 
chintzy property, as if 
she could still yet be

some practicable 
magic eye poster—now 
and then, a person 

emerging; but more often 
popping—pure 
personality. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

IDIOT PROOF

I believe
I understand everything

now, in its
raw elemental simplicity.

I've seen
the ocean—it really is

quite wide,
sometimes

churning,
salty, and bluegray;

And I know—
within each

one tiny seed!
is contained

the second apple
tree—

seriously
pretty

redundant,
isn't it?

Monday, March 26, 2018

THE LAST MOMENTS OF SOCRATES

A flat calm—both
floors
and buoys

like a dead
sea—but fuck
such sheer

dullness of uni-
formity—
no catches,

I guess: everyone
must die
his own death

(one
entrance, many
exits) and

anything left
behind—
wasn't yours.

DUH

Money is
no object;

money
is the subject.

Friday, March 23, 2018

INDEMNITY POEM

Leave it
to the white-
haired philosophers out there—

to hold out hope
for some ennobling soul

to come
flittering
along on wings of gold—

and lightly
reimburse the body.

God damn his finicky
black guts—the true poet
must

simply despise his
entire anatomy.

Cramped and manacled
by hunger and
weakness and lust, he must

make his living thus:
he works

with fiendish purpose
to correct one
deformity—such that, dependably, another

one—will
go funny.