Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Pissed off and in-
transigent, my shoulders are stiff

as a pair
of antediluvian boulders,

the coffee
in the little blue

cup is scabbing over,
the room has turned a blank

gray, and even
the nonsense words are refusing

to come
together over me.

But the moment I relent
and delete

everything I've written,
the sun swaggers

out, its inarticulate light
pouring down to bury me

alive—in the most

thing of all: a warm

Monday, July 30, 2018


Ground mists
of Olympic
National forest

and bright spume of Puget
Sound seafoam
and the thick piebald clouds

housing an over-
polluted mid-
western freight town—are one,

are all present
here in the
sound of the voice that's speaking,

are all simultaneous-
ly something
and nothing,

are all really only
made from electricity
and a few numbers—and are all,

like us, simply longing
to prove to the west wind
they exist.

And this breath—which is nothing
but the animation of a feeling, exists
in relation to none of them.

But still
the oneness persists, the oneness
resists, is pushed west

by that same wind;
the very same oneness
which was

when the first lone globule
started speaking,
and which now, at the ending

still is. Because there can never
be an end
to a thing—that's one thing.

Friday, July 27, 2018


This is not
an idea

or even a feeling,
but only just

a thought—that smallest speck
of dirt

around which
the great pearl of all

personhood is built:
no matter

what, I will
never be enough.

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Muggy out
of focus
dim July mornings—

urge to write
lines about
one's inner life rises—

poems come out
and badly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


I'm a sick and indentured
entertainer, always

coughing blank paper
and spewing

about freedom—vapor
into more vapor.

The hit song of the season's
called Out of Control,

and its really dumb
chorus goes—later, baby, later;

but if I'm not a musician
without any instruments, then

don't want to be one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Frozen in shadow
on the row of sharp flatscreens

which borders the outdoor seating,
the right fielder—

a lone, somber,
perfectly pitched-

forward alphabet letter—
manifesting perfectly

the very first word
known to the world;

while in the sunlit foreground,
we—the sea

of floundering artless spectators,

in our unspeakable
wishing to be known

as right fielders, and only
right fielders—

each do our despondent best
never to speak it.

Monday, July 23, 2018


The scariest thing about
pale floating ghosts—those hollow mute phantoms
of old malignant religions

is their tacit admonition
for not stopping to contemplate
the difficult questions,

for always touching, but never really meeting
or summoning
the ground,

for always being too afraid to scream
in your own voice,
for never loving

the rare and precious
dark parts of your body—that no one else living
ever gets to see.

Friday, July 20, 2018


Like an abhorrent larva, I crawl 
and I climb—

blind, toward modulation; 
a feeling with no corners, not known,

only felt after.
Does anybody even know 

that I'm up here
on the roof of this house now?

I don't have to prove it;
I know I'll soon love

everything inside it
(the hard carbon and cold calcium,

the warm blood and soft spit)
only barely—

that way
there'll always be enough left 

over for my
next move.

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Sunbleached and drooping,
the whispering ancient
treetops insist—earth's air grows

heavier with vapor
nearer to where
the truth is;

even the brash
light racing
from a cataclysmic old star

will center the still
and nurture the starving—until,
one day, under their prodigious shade,

insect travelers—tired,
from far reaches of outer space—

alight and find
temporary safety—in the jaws
of a shaded lily.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


The exact moment I try
to get relaxed—sitting cross-
legged in this
wide open glen

I sense—the tickle
of the expeditious green bottle fly

who, upon landing—spits,
rubs his stick-
hands together methodically,

then whips-
out a serviceable,
practiced proboscis—and commences

every dingy
apartment he finds

in the poor tenement
cracks of my
derelict shin skin.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


I guess most people still think
a boy can never
be named for a flower.

I guess. But I
am not some lion tamer—I am a meat-eater
who's also a gardener.

I guess most people still think that art
and science and religion
can all reconcile, can meet in the middle.

I guess. But I tried hard once
to make them curve toward one another
through lenses of words—and they didn't.

And I guess most people
still think that this is some sort of
glamorous process.

I guess. But it's not. For instance,
the voice in this poem—is the voice come
from nowhere. Sure, with a cup-

shaped fist, it seems
to reach up and pluck
from thin air, all sorts of

humid invisible fruit—
and yes, it then willingly
hands this to you; but still

it says nothing
about whether
it's edible—or forbidden.

Monday, July 16, 2018


Somewhere, outside

each fluorescing ER—you might spy

pink zinnias.

Friday, July 13, 2018


Under the drowsy eye
of noon sun,

gold and complex aquamarine
planets—of eccentric green
bottle flies

the near-perfect
outlines of cylinders—pirouetted around

an abstract center,
the action-paint splatter

of forest-
green and titanium-
white bird shit.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Cedar wood—gets to

smelling good, after the dogs

come and piss on it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Just like that—some grimy cookies 
and cream-colored pigeons 
are gobbling down the sidewalk shade, 

leaving droppings in their wake 
like greasy clues 
to secret undiscovered neighborhood 

places—storm drains stuffed 
with leaves and cigarette 
packs and old beetle shells, 

erased bus stops, and the smelled 
tang of dog shit and some 
nearby dead rat—all linking 

like keys to locks, with these
nauseous and 
depressing spells; how dare we care

for one another? Does every book 
need a cover? How do I say I don't care
in a way that still matters?

Then, something warmish 
and sudden: a flap. The littlest 
ripple, and they are gone—with 

or without the wind—on wings 
they could only have 
stolen from me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


amorphous, and

far away
as abstract concepts—the clouds

have nothing

to say
about my affairs.

Monday, July 9, 2018


The terra cotta
pot—which underlies

and engenders the flowers—
does not

challenge; it does not
object, but

applies its
clay-dull concentration

to the task—
breathing in,

then exhaling, bulging
outward again—

it touches
the bare earth

at all times,
no matter what—leaving

no space in between

(it is an expert at that).
It knows

it is
a miracle—a revelation

to grow
and to change

and to stay
and to leave—but

it is a discipline
to remain

to play the same bit part

in every
consecutive moment.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Jocund, the noble

goldfinch—takes his Sunday baths

where he can get them.

Friday, July 6, 2018


but achingly
ly, a changeling's

breach the quivering
red flesh
of their
first nectarine.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Going out
my front door each morning,
I bow

to you, slight
callow sapling—who meekly haunts
the cusp

of a tainted
stump—and whose obdurate shade,
when my bones

are loam, may fall
toward the shoulder of my great-

Monday, July 2, 2018


You do not have to
make up your mind, because I've

made mine up for you.
Like a stubborn old mollusk—who's

been dredged up
from the stony dark ocean bottom

and disabused
of all hope and ambition

because he's never
seen the starlight—this is

my only gift, my greatest
lasting favor:

I swear not to wonder
where I am going? I'll just pose

the question: where did I come from? 
Everyone walks around knowing

so very little, but they pretend like
that's a lot.

My body is closed; I will not
debate that. Perfectly,

I'll maintain this ebony silence.
I'm not your

salvation. I am not your hell.
I don't exist

to make the feeling of existence
any easier to take.

I simply exist
to make the feeling of existence

a little less hard
to illustrate.