Friday, May 20, 2022

COUNSEL

Possibly because a poet's 
always there
to witness,

invariably, this
mid-morning caucus
of grackles 

will swoop down 
from the humid sky 
in irridescent ripples,

then spread their 
long tails, puff their 
black bodies, 

and all at once begin
to castigate him
from the park lawn:

there's a song 
even more 
uncongenial than ours, 

which, for obvious 
reasons, you have 
long-since given up on;

but the pull 
to be complete is ever
too sweet to resist,

and so—
before you even 
notice,

you will
feel the need
to finish it.



Thursday, May 19, 2022

EXPOSED

You can count it 
and take it 

and save it 
all you want, but 

time 
will never quite 
add up to anything;

its hands
cannot satisfy—

its fabric,
is not flattering.

In fact, it's basically 
a spool 
of super-sheer organza

which you'll cut-up 
and drape

and make your tasteless 
clothes from—

then parade in
up and down your skinny 
life, like it's a catwalk—

pretending 
you look great;

pretending 
that it fits right;

pretending 
it conceals 
one single 

inch of all 
you're wrong about.



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

OBSCURITY REVISITED

For the millionth time, 
the hungry, lupine 
fog of Lake Michigan

roves inland, 
like some insatiable, 
blank horde of ghosts, 

where it climbs up
and bites off the tops
of our towers, 

making the whole 
bloodless landscape 
of work—

strange monoliths
of commerce, strange pride
in its permenance—

look not merely
grotesque, 
but manmade 

and self-
conscious.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

UNDERSTANDING COMES WITH TIME

How many drafts 
does it take 
for a poem 

to wither 
into abiding truth? 

How many differing 
slight iterations 

before its bright, pliant lines 
start to stiffen 
and darken? 

How long before 
all of its slick words 
start to dry

and its stark, solid images 
soften up enough

such that any future reader, 
no matter how doubtful 
or artistically-uninclined, 

could read the instructions 
and easily reproduce them?

I have lost count 
of the nights it has taken 

for the full moon 
to change 

from bloodless—
to dovewhite 

in the lowest-pitched hope
that, in the mind of a person 
I don't even know yet, 

it may hang everlastingly 
in the heart 
of their cosmos 

and never start 
to wane.




Monday, May 16, 2022

ALL AT ONCE

The truly secuctive thing 
about Spring 

is the way she doesn't choose 
to dazzle anything 
gradually. 

One day—abruptly, 
like a fist 
which is opening—

on the bright-kite breeze
surfs the balmy smell 
of lilacs 

already relieved 
to find themselves
decomposing—

not to mention
every speckled starling 

who immediately begins,
when he lands 
in the green, 

to contribute his insights
to the raw mind of nature.

It's as if, 
all at once, dolor 

begins holding 
its breath

as the distance 
that exists beween heaven 
and earth 

collapses
from the width—

to the depth 
of one leaf.



Friday, May 13, 2022

SOVERIGN

Ironically, 
on any paricularly 
warm day in May, 

lurking in the shade 
makes me feel 
so much braver—

as if 
this great rolling 
penumbra of shadows

cast off by rooftops, 
tall fences,
and branches 

had lept forth expressly 
to anoint my forehead 
as it passes.

Perhaps, 
if every last thing 
the light touches 

with its inquisitive 
fingers and 
unblemished eyes

is the kingly dominion 
of some fierce, 
noble lion,

then everything it doesn't 
might as well 
be mine.



Thursday, May 12, 2022

DOUBTING THOMAS

They insist—
any line,
and each sovereign part,

and every act 
of speech 
is virgin;

there's 
no such thing 
as repetition—

And that this 
isn't tyranny, 

but rather, 
salvation—

an unerring religion 
for the already-chosen

who succeed 
by teaching the truth 
they've been taught.

But it's nothing for me 
to prove 
a truth wrong:

first, I say 
maybe—and then,
maybe not.