Friday, December 4, 2020

FOR BEGINNERS

Perhaps it's too late now 
to turn around in failure;

perhaps no providence 
but the one we make in words.

So we run on 
like proverbs,

like a newspaper horoscope, 
like Ecclesiastes did— 

each last breath, 
which once was all life, 

presently a memory—
eventually abandoned.

What do you think of 
when someone says repetition

Exercise regimens. 
(You can't sprint a marathon.)

Amateur hour. 
No big loss. 

A knock at the door.
A lack.


Thursday, December 3, 2020

MUST BE DECEMBER

Between row homes' 
little cold 
sigh of a railing
decked with green wire

and that curious 
"city version" of dirt
which collects near the road verge
made of bare concrete, 

three robins—
former rakes, to be sure, 
now all uptight
and pointed and sticky—

darting absurdly 
back and forth

and squawking nonstop
about Easter.



Wednesday, December 2, 2020

CONTROVERSIAL THOUGHTS

Without trying, you'll look out 
and see the sun shining 
down on your city, 

knowing—but unable 
to bring yourself to believe 

that it truly has no 
alternative.

You won't even have to search 
in order to find 

that which seems 
to want to define itself 
as beauty—

the amber light 
on antique heaps of brick, 
the streaks of dried dog piss 

that mottle the street, 
each nearby 
grass blade in high relief.

An unwilling witness—
amid depression, 
amid poverty, 

despite sickness, 
despite depravity.

Perhaps, then you'll say
there's something 

to not fighting 
for our consonance 

when every scrap of this 
wretchedness 
is compulsory 

and every stitch of love,
unearned. 



Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CASTLE IN THE AIR

You swear 
what keeps you going is 
the prospect 

of tomorrow:
a contemplation 
of the rosy 

taste of clover honey, 
the mouthfeel 
of good milk. 

But what is hope, really, 
but a certain kind 
of fear 

that's been perverted 
and turned 
on its ear? 

When you leave here, 
how will you know you were 
free in this moment—

this moment of sorrow  
which must precede creation—
regardless 

of that thing 
which was destined 
to happen?


Monday, November 30, 2020

POETRY

From the white 
obvious sky, 
the white obvious wind 

blowing all 
the big feelings out of me; 
blowing me 
to a cold smolder.

When the 
tips of us numb 
a little, they move easier—

harder to cease 
than it is 
to continue.

It must have been 
an hour now—unspecified 
and serene.

Right now, 
I'd put treasure down; 
I mean,
I'd wager dollars—

there's nobody out there
saying my name.


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

CASHABLE

Spate of birds 
in a white sky—

dark curling signs.
An endorsement 

on the slip 
of the universe 

that I might be here 
to verify.




 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

KNELL

In cold wet late 
November, everything says—you too 
must end.

But our bodies, stiff 
and soggy though they are, 
keep on

lurching 
to the mailbox, slouching toward 
the grocery store. 

The grim cadaverous 
limbs of trees, the bloated wreck 
of leaves 

clotting each gutter,
the bleak iron 
fences, the toneless concrete;

the souls of everything here
keep whispering— 
like us, soon, you too shall be

Yet we go about our tedious business; 
we have duties 
to attend. We may be 

frightened, but we, the living 
shall heed no injunction 
from any thing which is dead.