Friday, March 1, 2024

A REASONABLE FACSIMILE

Are there thoughts 
we can't think? 
Are there 

elevated spaces 
where the likes of us 
are not invited? 

Or dispositions 
so base—winged, fork-
tongued emotions 

with scales 
for skin and garish 
horns on their faces—

that to sanction their 
attainment would 
be tantamount 

to damnation? 
Such a blanket blockade 
is itself hard 

to imagine.
(Hard, yes—but not 
impossible. 

We are permitted, 
it would seem, 
to conjure—if not 

dragons—then at least 
their descriptions 
and pictures.)


Thursday, February 29, 2024

CHORES

This is not 
a request. And it's 
not a proposition. 

A duty 
is not 

transferable, 
or open 
to negotiation—only you 

can do 
what has got to 
get done. You must 

grab a hold 
of this man
whom you've become,

this person 
whose life you've 
tramped upon,

whose corners 
you've frayed and seams 
you've rent—

take it 
and string it up fast 
like a rug 

to that razor-
thin line in the sky 
of tough love—take it 

and beat it 
clean again. 






Wednesday, February 28, 2024

SECOND WIND

The instant 
our ship finally 
grinds to rest 

on the rocky beach-
head of true
hopelessness, 

we're more than a little 
nonplussed 
to discover it's 

far less depleting 
than we'd been led 
to suspect.

Turns out, 
even despair 
feels like 

arriving somewhere;
and, tired 
and filthy 

and hungry 
though we are,
we still eagerly 

throw the ship
in park and 
go explore. 


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

180

Everyone wants 
their own 
sudden epiphany,

but often, 
what's required first 

is something more like 
a revelation 
in reverse. 

That is: not 
in a flash, 
but something more

like a dirge, 
some judgement 
or conviction 

about which we 
used to be so sure 

gradually loses all its 
upward momentum 

and lazily, 
inexorably falls 
back to Earth;

like a very nearly- 
grand slam crack

that drops 
an inch before 
the centerfield wall, 

some suspicion 
or assumption 

that we used to call 
a fact

gets softened 
and lightened into 
just another fiction  

before it can 
smother us all.


Monday, February 26, 2024

CRUX OF THE MATTER

It's astounding for an eye 
at the boundary 
to behold

such majestic, 
relentless rotational 
symmetry. Unimaginable,

yet ravishing 
how much faith 
gets bestowed 

from one's perch 
at the edge on one point 
in the middle. 

It's more than a little 
unnerving, in fact, 
how over-

enthusiastically 
all we know is turning
around the black 

hole of a premise that 
there's one thing 
that won't. 


Friday, February 23, 2024

DEAR COMPULSIONS

What would my life be like 
without you? 
(It's actually

hard to imagine 
without being 
forced to.)

I wonder: 
are you always 
so sure of yourself? Or

is it just that, when compared 
with my thoughts, yours
know better? (At least,

so you somehow manage 
to assert 
without a word.)

And how do you 
sleep at night, o 
monkey on my back? (I mean,

aren't you afraid 
I might, some day, 
roll over?) More importantly, 

how do I sleep either 
without those
ceaseless reminders

for six or seven dark hours
who I am—why 
I matter?


Thursday, February 22, 2024

SOMETHING

There is always something 
indescribable 

in the need you 
feel to write things down—

something unsayable 
in the sounds

your mouth must 
use to say so.

It's something about a raven 
(or a crow, 
more likely)

always pecking 
the peripheral, always 
needling away 

at the corners 
of your temples; 

something about 
your penchant 
for holding your breath 

well past 
the point of discomfort, 
to distress

just to sharpen 
to the point of exhilaration

the pleasure of setting it 
free once again; 

something 
about finding divine-
ly comic inspiration 

traced out by wandering 
motes of dust 

in the window-
stretched light of a 
tapioca sun—the same sun 

that has lulled you 
into happy, ochre 
thoughts of love—

the same sun 
that must burn until 
it swells 

up and 
kills everyone.