Friday, July 19, 2024

SELF-DEFENSE WEAPONS

We all like 
to think we've 

closed the book 
on such studies, but 

could it be 
that, evolutionarily, 

the "purpose" of these 
tongues was 

not so much 
to speak 

as to 
tunnel themselves

firmly 
into our cheeks

as we 
effortfully cultivated 

a relationship 
with our melancholy 

which allowed us 
as a species 

to never mean 
what we feel,

to feel only
what we know,

and worst (read: most 
advantageous)

of all—to never know 
what that means?


Thursday, July 18, 2024

DELIMITED

It's just as I thought: 
this evening's 
dim tide,

mauve-gold and 
unfolding
gradually before me, 

at last reveals 
not bewitched bliss
but tranquility—

to be just one term
of a sprawling 
equation—

to humbly read 
proofs until 
glumly convinced

that absolute 
anything 
does not exist.


Wednesday, July 17, 2024

QUICK HITS

As the distance
increases, all images 
dissolve themselves—

all objects, 
in the big 
bang, white hot 

mania 
of their expansion, 

are spun into the beatific 
clich├ęs of dime-
store mysteries. 

Take that distant 
undulating 

scramble 
of pigeons, for instance;
 
to witness it 
hurtle 
toward cheap abstraction, 

like a cut-rate 
cigarette, is  
still my small pleasure—although

to not comprehend 
what the purpose 
or goal is 

still my great 
privilege.


Tuesday, July 16, 2024

NIGHTMARE

One by one, but soon
in multiplying 
throngs,

our words 
grab experiences, 
hold them down, 

crack them wide
open, and feast upon their 
contents. 

No one had told us 
they were so strong.

Yet we fail 
to connect this 

to the zombie 
apocalypse we'd 
read about; 

so we go right 
on talking, 

doomed, like 
nothing's even wrong. 


Monday, July 15, 2024

LATE STYLE

Now, as then, 
we write essays—op-eds.

Only, now 
that we aren't being 
graded on them, we must 

cash-out our paychecks 
and get numb 
to feel correct.

But, 
worse than 
"not working," 

we no longer find it
necessary. 

*

What's left 
when the symbols 
we once held 

hostage 
refuse to validate us,

other than a sense 
of satisfaction 

which our children 
find embarrassing?

*

One electron, 
it's been shown,

will emit  
its own photons. 

Another electron 
swallows them 
up again.

The world is 
the world; we have had 
no effect. 


Friday, July 12, 2024

BUCKLE UP

I have held forth 
before, of course, 

about my clambering 
into the car—

the weapon 
on wheels—
the metal machine—

the loud suit 
of armor—called language 

and imperiously putting 
the pedal to the floor. 
But 

what I hadn't 
mentioned earlier 

was that I
never learned 
to steer, 

so that renegade DeLorean  
just excursions 
where it wants, 

and I'm frightened 
a little 

to be its servant 
from inside it—

less like a storyteller 
mowing down his readers, 

and more like 
a hapless country squire 

who used to dream always 
of becoming a knight 

but never 
of having to go 
to war.


Thursday, July 11, 2024

PERSONIFICATION

The way the light 
by which I

write is 
elemental—

but in no sense 
compulsory. 

The way the wind 
wends through birch trees 

to buffet me in 
short sleeves 

at this spot 
on the planet

on this particular instant, 
but never 

can be said to have 
properly had a beginning. 

Perhaps this 
is what we mean 

by essential:
a thing like hunger

which never was 
invented, yet

comes to us unbidden,
grabs hold 

of the void in us firmly 
by the handle, 
 
and fills it 
to the brim.