Wednesday, May 25, 2022

IMPROMPTU

From the grubby 
alien ruins 

of another 
stalled-out new construction 

bursts the ceaseless 
and obdurately 
sunny song 

of some two dozen 
unseen sparrows. 

To us passing commuters, 
their elation 
sounds absrud, 

but their sureness 
proves a slender gift—

the blessing 
and curse of such
groundless motivation:

things could always 
get a little worse.



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

THE RETREAT

Most vacations are 
such ordeals, they're 
hardly worth the trip; 

let's face it: one bad meal, 
and Edens turn 
to nightmares, 

and wanderlust 
dies hard when it's 
mired in logistics.

And yet, somehow, 
the most excruciating 
trip I've ever taken

was the time I tried 
to stay in the
exact same position, 

forcing that old 
groove down 
as deep as I possibly could

while the rest 
of the world, 
despite my objections, 

rudely 
continued to move.


Monday, May 23, 2022

ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

As days grow long 
and warmer, it becomes 
easier to see 

how everything burns 
to take part 
in reality. 

As the sky of spring gradually 
grows less 
and less obscure, 

it reveals, perhaps
not the text of the song, 
but its birds. 

It's as if mere consciousness 
has taken the baton 
from creation, 

as all our vague 
daydreams 
and half-sure intimations 

suddenly flush with color 
and yearn 
to be expressed.



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.