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.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

HAIL

Brazen
citizen of the world,
your flag

must be the sun—
everyday

salutation,
hymn-
less allegiance,

guiding
light and purpose—
regardless

of how
proud high

or limp
on its
ever-inconspicuous

pole it
gets hung.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

OPPRESSION

Somehow, that profound darkness
which crushes in upon our silent
lonely tin can houses

after we turn all
the lightbulbs off—

so heavy and dense
with the done day's
glut of nontransferable memories,

so much more difficult to breathe,
and far more deterring to grope our way
down long halls toward
our toilets in—

looks exactly the same
as that impish, stealthy,
superfluous kind

which first compelled us
to absent-mindedly

give their white
switches a flick
in the first place.

Monday, March 19, 2018

DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH

Figuring—the truth
must really
be still

and simple—and
the soul
must be nothing

if not a rarer kind
of air—I finally
decided

to stop
fleeing death
completely,

not realizing—life,
seconds after
the aspiration,

would still
feel compelled—to keep
fleeing me.

Friday, March 16, 2018

CHALK

I've existed here
so long,

I feel I'm no longer subordinate
meat

and bone;
I'm a burnt coal

a hunk
of old
recalcitrant fossil—coming off

in my own hands. Coming off
desperate

for the symbols,
frenzied
for the right words

to press and scrawl and
decorate
this primitive space. But

every time
I etch a "yes"—crumbling

a little,
stepping back

to observe, it
always looks a lot

more like—"not yet."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

DECISION FATIGUE

By now, I should have learned
this: how every sorely
needed spring precipitates

a necessary fall. Exhausted
in thought, piss-poor
in action, the weight of all

time seems to gather
and pool at the center
of each obsidian pupil

and disobedient black
hole ear canal—expressing itself finally
in formless light, colorless sound.

The pathways, overgrown
with it now and dissappearing
as the plot slowly thickens,

curdled with stiffness of
wind, clotted with silence
of still floodwater,

crippled by inertia; surely, the obstacle
becomes the way—but also
vice versa.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

THE LAST CRUSADE

The old priest never told me—
try to feel this
not as words,

but rocks—
not the bare facts
but the hard ones,

and not the ones
out there anchoring
the land, either

but like that one pithy hard
pit in the dark
fortress of your stomach:

Ambivalence—exists.
Incertitude, perplexity,
insignificance—runneth over.

Bewilderment
covers the earth.
And your resolve

your young
tender confidence
composure, dedication—these things

are like His skin:
when pummeled with stones, each
bruises easily.

Forget about salvation,
what you seek
is protection. What you need

is a barrier.
Body and soul?
No—the true analogy

fits together
much more like: clothing
and body.

Monday, March 12, 2018

EVENSONG

Icicles gleaming
translucent
bluewhite

under
the rooftop
LED lights—

like
martyrs'
holy fingers—

like left-
over
star parts.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

ENJOY YOUR MEMORY

Little
smile—you
flash

for
just an instant—
but I'll

continue—
to regard my
having

seen
you—for a
long while.

Friday, March 9, 2018

HAND IN HAND

I know how the stories go,
mythic recurrences,
biblical endeavors—

me, stoic. resolute
in my impermanence.
I am that city.

You—are that river,
hither and thithering, undecided
forever.

I desire commerce. trade.
I cannot move. Yet I yearn to
bend forward.

you—senselessly, you facilitate. yet,
you seek nothing but return
to the father.

Take any given late-
winter afternoon
on these scrupulous historical records:

the sun and wind playing
on metal, on bricks,
and across the chittering water

both necessarily make their music,
both play a plainchant,
monophonic, but overlapping

both existing, sacred and gently,
in the spaces between letters
in the name of the other

both standing there
on the beguiling fringe wilderness
of one another,

side by side, a pair moving
through history for all time—but never going
together.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

CITY OF NEIGHBORHOODS

Despite near-
constant quibbling
and torpedoing of birds,

amid sirens,
rants of nearby buzzsaws
and rap
of distant hammers,

the fat pink man is asleep on the stoop—

slumped
with old joy,

stinking
a bit,

a warped chest of crumbs,
pulsing

constellation,
divining proof:

simplicity—
subsists.

Adulteration and
virginity
can yet—coexist.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

WALKING PAST MIKE'S FURNITURE STORE AT NIGHT,

its lavish tall bay windows
swimming
with moonlight,

sends a pale sliver
of relief
to an overcharged heart

just glancing over left
shoulder to notice—row after row
after row after

row—of ingenious affordable
snow-
white home appliances

all in the dark,
and each
one—turned off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

EQUANIMITY

Sailing. 
Seasick

heaving
on the slick

deck of some
swollen

little vessel—
groaning nauseous

gripping
the seat. Pathetic, but this

is somehow
vast-

ly preferable
to what's underneath.

Anxious—
doesn't really 

do the feeling
justice. Any minute 

now I 
might be—hurled

blindly 
from the warped ship

into a freezing midnight 
sea.

Monday, March 5, 2018

NOTHING BUT

You—are a perfect
public
restroom;

one by
one people
come to you

they need you more
than they really
choose you

they fill you
up and (if you're
lucky) empty you.

Weird thing mostly
is how—
what's left

in your guts
in your soul
in your middle

still keeps refilling—though
somehow just
a little

emptier
each
time.

Friday, March 2, 2018

EXEGESIS

Full moon,
gleaming milk-
white—

glistening cold
hard-
boiled egg
protein-white!
Must be—

past
your dinner time.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

IMPROMPTU FOR MARCH 1

Swooping down
fast

and
thick as cold fog

on a trash-clogged
mudbrown juniper,

the industrious finches

perch—
a minute

here a minute
there—furiously

rehearsing their choirs

ad hoc
between cloudbursts.