Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Breaks

The abating rain 
stained the wasted blacktop

humidity encroaches
young shoots to pry
and widen each blushing
crack—still coolly

by each sprite schoolkid

the sake of
mamma's back—

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Harried woman
vaults another
rote imperative
from the lobby
counter—bids me
have a blessed day.
I wonder—are we
really building
the kingdom
here together?
or merely

—jazzing-up the vestibule?


Shuffling past mumbling
lawnmowers—the smell

of freshcut grass drifting 
thick on humid wind 

floods my nose and 
smears me out in 

space and time to
every lazy lawn I've sat on—

brushing spiny 
blades, I'm itchy,

blushing water-
melon red for picnics 
parties concerts backyard 
football fireworks—all

while walking straight 
ahead but plainly lost 
in the best of all possible 
worlds—fertilized as such 
by the actual mulch 
of nothing much.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fluid Dynamics

windswept clot of greywhite 
teeming clouds 

cram the sky and gird
to burst—

and pelt 
wet heavy essence down 

on so many 
mudslicked grey-
green surfaces 

that currently—
seem anything
but thirsty.

Not for You, Just at You

Peeking sweetly over 
the patches of low 
clover that swept to meet 
the edge of the road,

a few taller slender necks 
of green stood bobbing in 
the breeze—each blind
gust casually animating 
their lazy pretty heads.

Part of me lept 
and thought he wanted
to seize and give them all to you—

but the rest just 
enjoyed allowing 
the simple white 
and yellow shock

of coy daisies to go on peeking
bobbing waving wagging

like you do,
just like 
you do, just 
yes sir, thank
you, right 
do, you do, 
you do.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Perfect Balance

Between hard
rains—the easy
paddle of
a few mallard
caucused near the drainpipe;
stark against
the loose greenapple
moss and muddy
brown ripples of a shallow noonday
pond—the crescendo
oily silent
grey to shock of deep
falls and hits

my bobbing retina upsidedown.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Real Feel

Bracing contrast of crisp
morning makes things 
more immediate—

first the trees—
green in empty
light—the sky
air-clear and
as unobstructed wind—
then the smell—lilac
colored bushes reeking cleanly
of pure lilac—
then myself—seeming
to nose
and notice each 
with ripe proximity—exhilarating
pangs of deep
hunger—not in my
stomach but deeper
down—deeply all over
deep and crying
out sharp and
hot from each
quivering ligament—

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pomp and Circumstances

At 10:15 the clock-
work pretty
pair of pastel boxes
splays and cramps the countertop—
persuading aimless
crowds to pause and
populate the dark kitchen.
The airy celebration invited—gaudy
cheer of polka-
dots in pink and
orange adorning glossy windowed
cardboard streaked
translucent and snug with sticky
favors—seems rivaled
only by the stark
solemnity of its participants—most
of whom can't help
begrudging—as they stuff
their willingness to be—handcuffed
by simple rings

of pure fried cake.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


and far spiraled barbs

of gooseflesh swept
out when my 

took a large
bite of that ice cube—


Though something deep
inside me quaked, I somehow stopped
along the storm-
flushed path to work to wonder
for a minute whether

the first man sitting 
in the right chair working 
at the best time pouring 
over clean paper gleaming 
in a bright room musing could ever 
come out with the preeminent thing concerning  

blithe beauty of birdsongs, or about the spaces inter-
rupting fence posts, or maybe
some stony analogy regarding our 
selves and lonesome desiccated pine cones—

but just as quick, I dropped 
the thought and figured 
I'd just as soon find out and hurried, somewhat 
sweaty, toward my building
to find the nearest, cleanest, brightest
public toilet to perch on.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Tenterhooks

Outside—the stale 
tulips drooping, peeling 
by flaccid 
beneath the supple arms 
of maples 
shedding reams of 
whirlybirds that auto-
gently on the humid breezes 
each new bout of scattered-t-storms-likely.

Inside—clean faces growing
restless at grubby 
classroom windows, 
a couple dozen 
supple necks look craned 
to crave those outdoor 
days undying—their cheeks are 
and greedy to be 
smeared red, starved
and blazing
to slurp the flimsy flesh of 
cool melons in thick shade
Chicago's All-News Station
comingled in the background 
with distant
low-harmony of lawnmowers,
and other rumors 
of responsibilities which are not theirs.

Monday, May 20, 2013


On a Monday, the horde 
of greasy flatbeds rumbles 
through the another suburb, converging 
on the early 
vacant lot—packed 

to capacity with fiber-
glass, filthy 
wood, painted metal oxidized 
purple greens you've never seen
with bulbs 
affixed and wires streaming,
bulging big under tarps—they've 

again this year with prizes
to build a new light city for laughing, 
a fraud
we can all believe in, teetering 
atop the glitzy ripoff carnival slide so unreal,
so wonderful, so dizzy- 
strange, your gassed kid
will never even ask you how it all got there.


If the bible's 
right and the 
first idea was light 

and the rest of things 
kind of streamed out 
from there—then 

it sure stands
to reason (especially
in so Edenic a 
season) that the 

very first ideology 
wasn't very heavy either.

Friday, May 17, 2013

God of Bosworth

From a veiled 
stoop with skinny cigarette
drooping—the crazy old man

bids good morning
and ignites a silver lighter, kick-
starting the idle neighborhood.
At once there are
the sounds
of motors turning, birds alighted on
poplars singing glory to the power-
washers lambasting the brown-
stone—and all around, the scrappy
choir resounds
his scrawny hymn for him:
let there be
doubleparking!—and sympathy 
for steep embankments!
wireless home phones to the busy-
bodies framed by dark picture

lids to the late-to-work stout-
hearted; and strolling

to the pastel silk-shirted!

Guess Who Has Two Thumbs And...

sort of



and doubled-

pained imitation



on proximate

to whomever 

first possessed these dumb 
prehensile things!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

To Get to the Other Side

For an infinite 
minute this ageless 
morning, the itchy old
thoroughfare yawned and waited—chafing 
to abide the callow premise 

of listless geese 
crossing easy through the soft 
shade flung down by young birch trees 
on their way to leisurely late 
breakfast, latent 

an adjacent 
hot lawn, sumptuously 
buttered with dandelions.


let's see—

first is all 
the things you
aren't doing;

all the ways 
you're not okay;

third is 
all the words 
you've got left 


up the 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

At Present

The small flowering dogwood raining
its petals—perfumed
white confetti 

falling noiseless and lightly 
topping the tall turquoise-
shaded lawn and so

and so on—a mild panoply of 
blank spangles turning
in simple wind 

in patterned angles—covers all 
I've ever meant to say 
about Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pas de deux

A pair of languid geese 
and slender in grassy sun

seem to know this blessed
game of breakfast best

and chide me gently with 
mellow trumpets 
as I walk 
unbuffered down the path 
this hungry morning—

someone to eat with
trumps nothing 
to eat.

Iced Tea Weather

Hey I
mean it—quit tickling 

all you itchy 
blossom breezes warm

of bees darting lawn-
mowers sunny 

I really
have to 
go to the bathroom!


Make a song
that's long
enough and rain
might come
and fix your lawn
and green
your garden
plants and swell
the proud retention
pond with its loud and
tall-talking fountain.
But first
things first—you can't
to water

the watering can.

Monday, May 13, 2013


There must be
someone out there making money
off this peachy 
currency of green leaves, sweeping
broadcasts on the popular

Surely, verdant 
makes a nifty buzz-
word for new keenness of 
grassblades growing ever greener—sharper 
fodder for higher

Even dirt-
anointed clumps of 
rebel clover seem to swell
for want of snappy slogans—one nation 
under oaks—and each exploits 
in me a lightness,
too unsubtle to have come unbottled,
too unbridled
not to flow—a rushing 

cache of advertisements,
brought to you by 
everywhere—oh can't you just
smell it 

in the fair-
traded pearblossom air?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Three Cheers

Here's to 
love allowed
by spaces 
within thin
deep thick you—

here's to 
life reaching
from all your 
reaches to hail 
the power 
of a pretty
passive vessel—

here's to those
who nourish without 
striving, who flow
without going, who
wrote this 
without trying;

from those 
who swore 
they'd drive 
back home 
to you today.

Of Course

You're my right 
hand pointing
to the watch on my left

wrist, and I'm the heart
of you.
Like a good heart, I'll only 
die once, I 

minutes late;
on time. 

Friday, May 10, 2013


Stirred to start 
by living
wind motivating smell
of acrid-sweet wet

woodI leaped
from bed and left
and ran a mile
or more through mistno

records no coffee
no pullquotes or crosswords;
it felt like
a whole new kind of vocabulary—
but never moved
doing but never really


Here and
there I went longing 

for the forest—
up and down 
Division projecting finches hopping 
happy in the mulch.

There are no fresh 

out here—only ends 
of planes which are lined 
with more planes edged 
with shops dotted with 
plots planned for rows of eventual trees— 

but walking circles, every 
pull must be a push;
every breath, 
a rush.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


It sounds 
the same, but 
being alive

doesn't quite 
like living does—

take this 
bed of cockeyed 
tulips, craning

like crazy 
for a sip of today's 
arcane sun—

they may not know 
how to talk about it;

I may not know how 
to stop.

Lang Syne

Ascending heavy 
stairs this morning, Kate
and I started lifting
switches to dispel the hazy 
still-life of the empty kitchen.

Soon, the sweet humid 
fumes of last night's cooking 
oil—still clinging to the thick taupe
drapes and glazing 
the slumped hardwood—started mingling
with today's fresh promise 

of husky coffee brewing—impressing 
with their airy fading
kiss of former tastes (neither frivolous 
nor significant now) a timely 

reminder—of no past
but the one our present makes;
and no present that isn't wholly
invited by this space.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Putting on the Brakes

Car windows flung
open, I'm light

as a shadow—zooming
past flickering skyscraper 

patterns chucked in my 
path by new boldness 
of sun.

Then suddenly
stuck—by the 
circle, I'm struck,

inhaling deep May 
morning air in 

when a smile breaks marking 
mild re-apprehension—

as the weather 
warms up, the west side 
gets packed

—with the smell of burnt 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Before Blazon Days

Shrill crazy 
call of slaphappy 
geese—bouncing off 

blacktop, argent 
glass, sun-luminous brick

this must be what Taps 
sound like 
at mid-morning—

a giddy death 

of day's very 
first idea—of itself.

Anything Goes

Early-ish morning,
when the air is light and 
thoughtless and the widening 
sun still feels streaked 
through with faint 
filaments of night-air cool

and your senses start
to swell with caffeine and
the smell of cut grass 
and the wholly original sight 
of those waxy young hydrangea
leaves in sun outside your front door—

that's when you'll feel hungriest,
desparate and reckless
to yoke the woods and
moved to make the soft-lit brick
buildings and birds on your block
do pretty rhetorical tricks.

But eager as you are,
and quick and young
and seeing silver everywhere,
you have to remember that
today was always here before you;
so you have to be careful what you ask it for.

Even at this early hour—nature 
always always always
says yes.

Monday, May 6, 2013


slow greening of parking
lot trees in May 
makes the quick cardinal 
easier to see

but harder to look at 
en route to punch clocks—

is it really so 
much of a stretch to be 
spread on that distant buttery 
lawn instead—snoozing safe 

and lucky, loosely guarded by blushing 
company of tall 

and maybe 
a few bees skimming 
lazy through the swaying neighborhood?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Popular Digest

It's the same
old back and
forth with you, red onion—
when you're
cooked I can
look right through
you but you might
as well be
you're prettier raw
but hard

to hang out with.