Tuesday, November 20, 2018

PROTEST POEM FOR GENERAL PURPOSES

This poem
is like the air:

it's just
what was there—

when the first word
drew its next breath

and exhaled
the subsequent one

in consequence—and so
on, inexorably

for a
finite lifetime—unexceptional,

incorruptible—
and fair.

Monday, November 19, 2018

A STICKY NOTE

to write a fresh simple poem
using the leftover ring
of the coffee mug

on this
nicked up but otherwise stark wooden table
as its edgeless center

I jotted this morning
after the second cup
with hasty

notes toward indelibility
of seeming infinity plus
its remainder

a good reminder
of pure luck and a good
frame to focus

on how loss works.
Some telescopically deep
task for an image—now

how in the whole of hell
is this rumpled old secretary:
my afternoon self

supposed to go
about tidying up after
a boss like that?

Friday, November 16, 2018

NEXT LEVEL

Lost forever—in the dark
water temple, guzzling midsummer
droughts by the dram

and cordless phone riffing
the most spectacularly
ineffectual songs

while clad in those magically
discolored vestments—bet you
never thought

for a second: this kind
of a puzzle
may never come again.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

PERSONAL TRUTH

There's a silver heaven out there
just for you;
that's the one
you're going to.

No one else
is in there—swearing
and taking up two seats
on the bus and

fucking with your stuff;
it's just
for you. Pinky-
promise you: no one,

no more
worries, ‘cause
nobody else. Absolutely
no one—whosoever.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

PROCESS OF ELIMINATION

Rest assured, somewhere in the middle
of your poem—the search for perfection
will consume itself completely

and leave whatever burnt up
lump of your-
self that's left inside

feeling perfect-
ly insatiable
at the same time. Even though

this radical new rhythm,
which you can neither imagine
nor define, keeps ringing true;

either the impossibility of the sound
stops you dead—or else
the realness of it

keeps leading you on. As it must.
Until, finally you approach
the end of the last line,

still lacking in the love
you were desperate to find,
though all curiosity

has been extinguished
and each open end
has been punctuated.

But the lingering question
what was it all for?—blazes forth
brighter than it ever has before,

since now, it can only be answered:
whatever is left 
that it isn't.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

FAIT ACCOMPLI

Lately, the increasing-
ly lowering ceiling
of clouds

has pressured me
into something like
a lotus position,

having bequeathed its
most immoderate gift: time
to consider

how best to construct
one's life, beside
the sturdiest dam

of grief
one can find—without so much
as a thread

of hope
for recompense.
So I figure,

as long as I'm living
out of my mind—that means I
can't die. However,

to be still, to lie
supine—even with
all the bombs going

off all around—that's
not exactly
an unshakable feeling;

that's more like
me—unmistakably
moldering away.

Monday, November 12, 2018

THE SIMPLEST THING IN THE WORLD

The simplest thing in the world,
is the hardest

thing in the world—
flip your old ballcap

upside-down
and catch a little sunlight,

instead of only
blocking it out;

notice the plaintive
shuffling of your feet—against

the unstoppable stillness
of the ground;

look up—past the place
where pointed rooftops reach,

but don't ever touch 
the obdurate clouds—and feel

certain
(without having

to parse it in a sentence) that
help—is all around.

Friday, November 9, 2018

DON'T LISTEN TO THE WIND

Of course—
your soul

is a brimming bowl
of pure fruit juice;

just remember—a lemon
is a fruit too,
and so

is every
single
little green bean—

and so's a goddamn tomato.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

POLITICAL POEM

What is a man?
but a woman—on a stick

that's been
dipped in something.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

UNPROTECTED

Instead of a poem, maybe today 
I do a nice sort of swerve

so as not to hit this 
impetuous kid—

gray eyes on the 
gray street 

and pink cheeks
to illuminate 

a painted-on doll's frown—
which begs, I think

to brag 
of the secret 

splinters buried in their palms—
an obscure result

of too much casual
raising high the roof beams.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

EXPERIENCE IS UNAVOIDABLE

To think—this whole mess, it
might have happened just like 
Virginia Woolf said: time passes. 

Many many suns
traveling their predictable matter-
of fact paths—though each one 

is its own immeasurable dream 
blinding bright as 
untarnishing silver—

eventually blur, run 
together, are forgotten.
It's a mercy 

we are no longer 
astounded by Copernican theory, 
even a little disappointed 

to finally behold 
the Rhodes Colossus—and the 
many alternate possibilities 

which must invisibly ride along-
side every sunrise, 
are necessarily discarded 

if we're to ever to get 
the day started—except (perhaps) 
for the one exquisite fantasy

in whic—neither we 
nor the sun
ever bothered.

Monday, November 5, 2018

WANTS NOT MET, NEEDS NOT NEGLECTED

Soon
we'll be dead—we aren't

right now;
we are

solitary—we're all
connected;

the irregular sounds—
of rain

on my
windowpane—exhilarating!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

ITCH

Something keeps tickling me.
Something unhelpful, vestigial, no
longer living,

but nevertheless
beguiling, being so perfectly
preserved in time's mellow amber:

this frail ancient
wisp of me that never
stopped loving her. But it's

not so much the artifact
and how its becalming beauty is all
bound-up in its hopelessness

as the accompanying
sense in which—all life on earth, right
up to this moment,

might have unfolded
purely as a reaction—to the littlest
inopportune encounter.

Friday, November 2, 2018

OVERTURES

Dark dead of morning,
and already—before the bus brakes
squealing F#

and the trains peeling-
off in high C—there's the distant
rhythms of many

hungry engines, the heavy rattle
of a battery
of big trucks coming,

the uniform clandestine
clomp of filthy
work boots hustling—to get

the dissonant
language of the
streets all picked-up

quickly—before the heart-
beat in the
womb is detected,

before the ghoulish
neighborhood priest
and the squeaky-

clean politician
can hear it
and get started.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

INTEREST COMPOUNDED DAILY

Wearied as young
debutantes
leaving the grand ball,

all the trees—from
the smallest red dogwood,
to the shapeliest

catalpa—heave sighs
and shed their extravagantly
crumpled vintage coats,

draping the fall sidewalks
in such preposterous
and superabundant fortunes

of pure gold,
of sturdiest
rust and tart persimmon—

that the lowliest woman
and most distracted man
no longer know where

to look, or how
to feel poor—while just
enjoying the simple.