Friday, January 27, 2023

PROVISIONAL

After the true shape 
of a thing 
is disclosed, 

it becomes trivially 
easy to expose its 
rough seams. 

The past, for instance, 
is now fixed—a living death— 
in memory,

and we quickly grow 
nostalgic 

for present tense's old
unpredictability. 

And so, 
we get busy—

we plot 
charts, invent 
astrologies—conferring 

purpose 
on the fleeing stars, 

after failing 
to remember any.



Thursday, January 26, 2023

DENOUEMENT

When we think of ourselves
as critical viewers, 

nothing that's 
out there can 
shock us anymore. 

Fingering apocalypse, 
sniffing fresh
collapse, 

watching lurid
bombs fall—we'll thumb our lip 
and wonder 

is this serious 
film a real 
Oscar contender? 

And we'll wait 
(we've learned
how by now) 

for that lull 
before the credits roll 

to skillfully allow 
our drawn appearance 
to unbound, 

hoping—
now that the danger 
of hurt is averted, 

now that this crisis 
of faith is resolved—

the usual combination 
of darkness 
and music 

will swirl up around us 
as a few chosen 
names scroll, 

leaving us 
safe, and quite 
anonymous enough, 

as soon as we're 
recomposed, to get up
and go.



Wednesday, January 25, 2023

TRIVIAL PURSUIT

It used to be true 
that there was solace 
in the vacuum;

that emptiness 
which, on all sides, 
enveloped us, 

ready to crush 
us to pieces  
should we breach it,

would insulate us 
quite nicely from the pain 
of conviction 

and give credence 
to all of our panicked 
misgivings.

But blank space, 
we now think, is filled 
to the brim—not only 

with the dark matter 
of our carelessness
and enthrallment, 

but with the energy 
of our worst fears
all colliding in the dark,  

creating new shapes 
and relationships 
amongst the ruined drifting stars 

for some future 
night gazer's most 
trifling entertainment.



Tuesday, January 24, 2023

TRAUMA

Are we just 
the sum of our 
everyday actions, or 

is there more—by which 
I mean 
less? I mean: 

is our whole purpose 
just those behaviors 

which we repeat 
without thinking 

like automatic 
crying, or some 
nest-building instinct? Or

is it better expressed 
the other way around:

those tics, fits,
and movements 

ordained to us 
by elsewhere—

by a past whose 
unwanted touch
we all share, but which 

still is no more real to us 
than the worst shit 
on Netflix—are those 

our blessed and 
mandated missions? 
Shall they choose 

our occupations? 
Comprise our 
life's work?



Monday, January 23, 2023

HALF-EMPTY LOTUS

We've been learning how to sit 
and subdue
our own thoughts—

because we've been so-
instructed. 

But it's disconcerting 
to hear melody 
sung without lyrics—

and lonelier 
than one would care 
to admit

to be caught 
in such a glamorous close-up. 

At least when there's bickering, 
we know that 
all parties care enough—

we know that 
more than one 

distractedly fast-moving,
cool, detached 
stranger to us 

finds this hole 
where someone's head was 

too interesting 
to pass up.


 

Friday, January 20, 2023

DISCURSIVE FORMATIONS

In the beginning 
were the words, 

and the words were—
because I say so.

Since then, the gossip 
has only gotten

hotter 
here on Earth, and
the discourse 

has taken a turn
towards 

the interrogative.

*

Who here 
doesn't want to 
live forever, 

cross-examine the essence 
of nebulae, 

ride upon
your anger 

in the solar wind 
of deep 
acceptance?

*

As usual, the question, 
as worded, 

makes the whole thing sound 
sordid and crude. 

And the answer 
has not been to affirm, 
or to defer;

it's really, 
all along, just been 
a question 

of your attitude.



Thursday, January 19, 2023

INTENTS AND PURPOSES

They tell me: for all 
intents and purposes, 

it's perfectly safe 
to disregard 
all information 

which appears 
more than once

or is not  
in the foreground.

*

They say: by the time 
we're through 
with you, 

you will buy-in 
to the ordeal 
of your life 

as a set of scales
of Justice, perfectly 
balanced

by involvement 
and forbearance. 

*

But maybe that's only 
trivially true. 

Maybe 
the more our words 
accrue, 

the less room 
there is for the content 
of experience.

*

Maybe these bodies 
we've shunned 
and abused 

shall finally be 
returned to us—

as opposed to
the limitless 

ones we were 
promised.