Thursday, January 18, 2018

BY DEFINITION

a house
is not a home,

just like—a magnificent monument
is still a poor

substitute
for a gravestone,

just like—this little
actual poem

must not be a legitimate thing,
because things

that are real
aren't possible anymore.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

CRUSHING

Little by little,
the past

keeps accreting,

squeezing
and shrinking—

perfecting the future.

A black speck of sand
blown by

destitute wind—

concludes upon a fallow hill.
Gradually

a mountain is fashioned,

force arrows
pulverizing

dust to a diamond.

Possibilities—
and all eye-

brows—narrow.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

FOR INSTANCE—

Compared to the pitiless pits of space
that reign after,
knotted

and exhausted
and opaque with the traces—
the silences

weakly abiding
before words are spoken—
are innocent and noble;

perfect riddles
to be
solved only by ordinary time,

virginal vistas: fresh breeze and
seascape panorama,
small and soft pools, clear—but quavering,

alien, uninhabitable—
because
doomed

to last only
in those dampest
delicate folds of our memory.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CHARACTER

A colored jumble of scratches—fixed
fast to my refrigerator
still menaces me daily
with its jagged uncertainties.

A shape without a form, the blue shadow
of no object,
some monochrome poem, a hungry ghost: gnawing
teeth and a brittle
whirlwind—a portrait of the artist
as a dead man.

Still, when I was small
like the hand
that drew this, I bet I
was blue, too.

But back then—solitude
felt huge.
Loneliness flowed cool. Alienation
was new.

Crude moods loomed,
thick and inarticulate,
less rich and complex;

but at least words like alien
only referred
to what I meant.

Friday, January 12, 2018

BAGGY POEM

I know there's a place
where there isn't any war

but there isn't any warmth
and nothing's for dinner. 

Everything is deep blue—
do you really want to go there?

It's so clear; you can see 
it all—which is more 

than a little
like not seeing at all. Once upon

you, it refuses to remember 
what you really wanted—

you don't care
you cannot argue

can't feel your shape-
less tongue to name things

out of the gray—that's where most of
them come from;

into the blue 
is the place they return to.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SINCE YOU MENTIONED IT,

how many colors could
possible be

out there in this world
of wind—

of it fire and its
feathers,

its seeds
and its flowers—what animation,

what valor
left to be dreamed?

and is it really
the dullards

or their governors
who say

have it your way—
the world is ugly

and the people
still confusing

what's true
with what is beautiful,

still arguing back and
forth until black-

and blue in the
face—which

anyway, are just two more
shades of gray.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Monday, January 8, 2018

THRUM NATION

Sure as the imperious sunlit sky
obscures vast astronomical networks,

this waking life is
merely
obfuscating my illimitable dreaming. sure
let's have another loud

mournful celebration—sure, of the death
of the night, of the life of the world we could
still walk around dead in. sure.

I'm humming, I'm joking, I'm not
humming, I'm scrolling, tearing,
                             improvising through pages—people,
years, projects, dollars. millions of
billions of them out there, but who's counting,
just listen—
even the word "billions" sounds like the coins

getting yanked out of some digital
slot machines' mouths
and hitting the ground sure—just
make up your mind or don't I
don't care just let me make up mine...

in the even audible spaces between breathing, I hear
a kind of existential silence
emanating from all these smart devices.
                                          all trash
compacted news, rude
teenage poltergeists of photographs, clever
ticker tape commentary—

it doesn't matter where. sure,
                          everywhere
the white space tingles. the black
pulses thrash and hum.

Gradually—nothing
has begun 
to crease and to fold and compound itself

out of thin air. out of existence. in a minute 
suffocating it’s own capacity to happen.

Friday, January 5, 2018

APPROACHING 0

As winter's cruel late 
afternoon light 
floods each poorly curtained window, 

fills and 
somehow
dims the kitchen—a gradual void 

of value, 
pace, and direction 

leaves you 
with not even your 
own distinct shadow.

Darkness.
This must be how planets come together. 
This is your cue 

to simplify feeling, 
consolidate meaning,
and wrap your core up tight in their patinas.

You have layers now. You're still you—but
encrusted.

Gradually you are moved 
to boil water,

to light imaginary cosmic cigarettes 
straight off the finicky gas burner,

to start practicing 
smaller 
smaller, 
ever-smaller

reorientations toward perfection.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

CAPABILITY

So deep in the grip of it, Bewilderment
suddenly wrenches the corners
of slack Inexperience

into a dopey smiling curl—
a cute little ligature
used to tie nonsequiturs together

which Authority
leaps to misconstrue
as devious, collusive, up to no good—

failing to notice, this self-
righeous Batman—is about to slap Robin
Hood.