Wednesday, January 31, 2018

3

3 finches—is normally about where
I loose count, on my way
toward another conjectured infinity.

Strange: stability of 2s, so wrecked; each balanced
couple in the juniper branches put to death-
by-addition—of a flawless, self-sufficient 1.

Yet, how much more perfect?—all of the deepest
and most far-flung mysteries of the universe, must have
begun like this: manyness, oddness, indivisibility.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

V OF GEESE

You go.
I don't. 

You fly. 
I stay

here and watch—
like vague

twin subjects, 
converging upon 

one perfect
vanishing object—or maybe

the reverse: one ideal vision
of winter

now fraught with
two very dissonant consequences.


Monday, January 29, 2018

HAIKU (CAFFEINE)

Mad inks bomb bloodstreams,

keys all flood their locks—each edge

supercompensates.

Friday, January 26, 2018

MUSE

Little black orphan
left-hand mitten, pinned optimistic
to a bald branch—

feed my irresponsible hunger
for more easy selfsame
accidents of the imagination—

foist this reckless pressure
to create, then junk,
then surrender—

turn in that freezing rancid
wind, stimulate
then arrest in me another

unoriginal wonder: where is your
partner? you're so 
pointless without one.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

WATER TOWER EMERITUS

In the wintery distance, almost completely
obscured by the sand-
colored steppes of ivyless brick 

notched impressively, here and there,
with gaudier bullets
of gunsteel and glass—

a dogged shambles of a sentinel, 
the city's last 
tired and cantankerous protector

can yet be glimpsed
grieving 
that old world cataclysm.

Still new this 
sense of 
plain vanity, he hovers evenings

in his cloistered limbo—tearless 
and tilting
just a little bit, as if preparing slowly

to turn and go,
but 

still arrow-
headed, deadpan, pitch 
black—with resolve.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

SITUATION

I don't understand, but
after all this time spent
talking about it, I can just bet
how the sharp electric wavering
of your own belief in what you're saying
must continue to elude and to shock you;

I can picture, between the clouds
and mud inside you, how it must arc and fork, how it
curves in hot to kiss and hug, then
cuts cold and turns sharp as rude slag,
to stab your throat, dooming your capacity
to even change the subject.

In the midst of the torrent, whenever
the dog turns a little circle, or a distant siren wail
passes, I'm hit with fiercer and hotter
bolts of pure sympathy. I know this: not only
do I hate all of it, but I also desperately want to
hate it all for you.

I wish I could just resent
the force of friction itself—the aftermath
of its intrusion

so plain
in the purple-pink streaks
which decorate your milky neck

when, at last, it swings and curves open
to lay its wrecked head on another
dumb and uncomprehending shoulder.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

EGALITARIAN

I see your wheels
turning up there—proud hawk, or maybe
eagle, even—I'm not
sure. But I don't
have time to keep looking up, I'm swamped
down here as it is—where I work
as the night janitor
in this jumbled jail of earth and evening trees.

Where there's pipes and paths
that need constant clearing, more
and more cells to clean; where
love's labor needs an awful
lot more work (words are like plungers
and solvent and grease, they
won't tend to things which are already free);
where I only have to think
of unstopping sinks and won't be seduced
or distracted or made
dizzy by your majesty.

The evening sky
is clear, your movements are crisp circles,
my actions are furtive
and dark (and they must be); they don't
involve soaring free or flapping
away or getting too far ahead of myself or
anything like that, I won't
let them, I can't. So sure, go ahead—the kingdom
and the power and the glory
are yours, I'm not interested. I really don't
envy you them
anymore.

Monday, January 22, 2018

HAIKU (UNFAMILIAR MAPS)

Chessboard, kept blank, at

crowded table's center—much

more provocative.

Friday, January 19, 2018

ULTIMATE FANTASY

Hair swept
up and
back in a
dizzying cloud,

breasts newly freed, now
swinging limply

apart overhead
in the mouth-
watering lowlight

that's draping the Egyptian
cotton-sheeted bed,
and—

what happens next,

you'll take your time
honing, 

spend your nights
cleaning, protecting, and sharpening—
for use
as a weapon 

against the frittered
away to flat-
lining remainder of your life.

*

Implausibly—no time
really feels like
the first time
you experienced this.

And the last time 
you do,
from some
bed you don't own,

it'll only make sense to you

that once
you did, and now 
don't, and soon 
won't—but still do
your best

to enjoy lying 
back and 
reenacting the sen-
sation

of picturing yourself 
knowing
just how to
imagine having felt and acted

in that old dream-
purchased bed

from time
to time, when the

mood strikes, or else never
does again.

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.