Monday, August 31, 2020


How long have I been here? 
Have I been here before? Presently,
I find the distinction itself
confusing—the ontological trick 
between coming and going. 

I attempt zen—to sit noiseless and still, 
indistinct as the wallpaper.
But my mind will not relax; 
it waxes, as a moon does, to engulf 
in blue scorn, this slim pretense of a room.

Yet for all of this righteous aggression,
I do not know (and cannot fathom)
why each minute slips past me
as slowly as an open 
parachute descending,

nor would I even begin to suspect
the hostile nature
of the territory below, to which 
each precious one of them is now
prayerlessly falling.

Friday, August 28, 2020


Because words 
are dull, 

old as stones—

but stone 
can be cut 
and formed 

and used 
to make bridges. 

And those bridges 
which connect us, 

our best instructors 
taught us 
to call metaphor.


Because there, 
in the shadow, 

in the shade 
of our doubt, 

the carrot
we will follow 

through another day's 


the light which bathes the world 

comes in curves 
tens of millions of years long,
so complex 

and absurd
it'd ruin us
to perceive it. 

the derivative of light 
is heat, 

and heat's 
is scent, 

and scent's, capricious
taste in melody; 

for instance,
the accelerating velocity 
of birdsong.


Because all the great music 
that exists 
in the world 

to us, still isn't nearly 
as good
(or as much) 
as the music 
that, as of yet, 

Thursday, August 27, 2020


Early in the morning, and
the sun's begun singing,
her rays, tangled up in 
coagulant clouds;

and the breeze by the river 
feels to me more like 
bad breath than mere air

as I walk along the wrinkled planks 
repeating without speaking 
old bits of conversation—

and thinking how words 
are too small, or too dense, 
or too disjointed;
they are like calcified fossils 
of the feelings 
which once walked,
and talked, and pointed.

But still I lope, greedy 
and shameless as a convict,
keeping those words both 
intimately close 
and deviously hidden 

like contraband 
underneath my tongue 
on my way back in 
to some solitary prison. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020


Mere words 
on the air—what 
could be frailer? 

just to have 
such thoughts as this 
must be proof 
of your existence.

Maybe, poems
say things, 
and maybe prayers
are things; for here

your sentence 
becomes my jail,
your sin, my penance—
isn't that a coincidence? 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Heavy—presently almost too heavy  
with every enviable 
kite-soaring memory 

and each tiny rain spatter from
tenderest June through this 
blessedly pregnant pause of a moment—

a bloated, swollen, 
torpid finality;
its attendant musk mantle

settles and clings
to the drooping tomatoes—
all roped to their stakes now, like 

crucified deities 
on the brown mounded Golgothas 
of neighbors' back lawns.

Monday, August 24, 2020


Thinking back on it, 
the being 
in the moment—

the movement 
of the breath 
on the face of the water;

the double-helixed ecstasy 
and terror of no tomorrow, 

the pure synchronic 
collapse of infinity, 

and the man 
with no head left 
smoldering on the alter;

no swirling fragment, 
no rainbow-colored 
shard of that fantastic incident—

in fact, no such trial 
or encounter whatsoever—
ever truly mattered 

nearly as much as 
the story
to told about it later 

Friday, August 21, 2020


If you could ask 
the great monk 
at the top on the hill
who won't speak, 
who's stick-thin;
the one
with the serious-
ly mutilated skin—
so pure, it 
bleeds steam—
why he thinks it's 
so fundamental
to yolk one's life to rigor 
and masochistic exactness; 
you might be pleasantly 
taken aback 
by the logic, direct-
ness, and banality
of the answer:
the best reason 
to come 
so fully committed 
to the cuffs, 
he insists,
is because it makes it 
so much more fun 
to covet skinny wrists 
and fetishize keys.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


into those
fuzzy cardboard plats of 

the blueberries—
the very last of the season 
lying on the table,
shrunken and bloodied

like promises I have neither kept 
nor broken yet,

like the people among us out here
who have already come through 
too much 
this summer.

I long to take them home;
get them out of the sun, 

to plunge them deep 
into the back of the freezer

and halt their decomposing.
I would pay anything—

but no,
I should keep walking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Just think, 
out of all the billions 
which have ever existed, 

I wrote these words 
only for you.
The consequences of this

are swift
and automatic;
right now, you 

are not you;
You are a vestibule, 
a gateway, an antechamber;

and I 
am in love 
with the whites of your eyes

for receiving, 
and holding, 
and reflecting these letters.

For it's true—
when our souls flutter out 
past their parts, past their matter

is the only reaction 
that is possible.

Maybe transmission 
sparks enough 
for understanding;

this world 
isn't so awful.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


We've been taught 
never to make 
a simple thing complicated—

get to the bottom 
of it quickly, always 
praise the core.

But maybe,
time doesn't just accumulate 
like rain;

maybe time burrows 
and surfaces 
like a mute and blind earthworm.

And maybe
the way we love 

is contradictory 
and feeble 
as a skinny brown bird—

but patient,

(from the binoculared 
eyes of the beholder),

but cursed 
with a dinosaur's 

entrails inside—a rash 
compulsive carnivore. 

Monday, August 17, 2020


Last night, I awoke 
from the dream 
of a poem 

whose music was so 
and complete

there was no need 
to write it down.
I should have known 

this morning, 
when I bounded with
the all the speed of a mountain

to commit it;
it would simply come out 
as a jangling thanks

and straightforward 
that I now always have this

sweet, unblemished 
to recount.

Friday, August 14, 2020


By the time it's over, I hope
to have made of my life 
a painting, 

and tall and
hung at eye-level,

so as to be viewed immediately
upon entering through the doorway—
such that 

no one 
may come
to see what I've done, 

since I will be always 
in the midst of doing it 
suddenly, totally, all at once.

Thursday, August 13, 2020


Perhaps, this love 
we've so often demanded 

was never minted 
to sustain us.

Perhaps love is no form 
of currency at all;

but rather, a process,
like nuclear fusion—

that life-giving suicide 
which powers the sun—

in which two individuals, 
breathless and speeding, 

collide and expire,
in the name of creating 

not just a rarer element, 
but enough heat and light 

to make the lives 
of billions of others, 

however imperceptibly,
a little more survivable.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


One grain, one syllable, 
one breath at a time:
the dead become words—

and words, over 
centuries, change  
to information—

and information 
is the catalyst which
ferments questions 

into theories—
which congeal 
to prescriptions 

before eventually, 
under tremendous pressure, 
dissolving into legends.

the temporarily-alive  
are starving 

and cannot survive 
on the juice extracted 
from disaster,

or on the hopeful fumes 
of stories—even those of loaves 
and fishes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


First, you admonish them 

for having filthy hands, 
for crawling on their bellies, 
and never wearing shoes.

Then—after they learn to stand up, 

to clean up 
and suit up,
and say they believe you—

then, you sell them sanitizers, 
autonomous cars, 
and mink oil polishes—

all with no doubt 
as to the cleanliness 
of your conscience. 

Monday, August 10, 2020


Let us not, in the red face 
of the heat 
and our struggles, 

say nothing at all 
in the service 
of reverence;

let us instead quest
for the generousness  
to admit—

that beauty 
should exist 
far beyond its utility

in the hideous way 
our pangs are made manifest; 

is what they
would have meant
by grace.

Friday, August 7, 2020


Long ago—
the first time 

we were carried 
kicking inside—we should 
have realized

this cannot be right. 
That the truth 
was a sin,

and the sin 
is was truth.
That our bodies

were all weight 
and fat heat 
and fierce light.

While hell, 
on the contrary, 
felt like cold 

and listless rooms.
Like asthmatic organ tunes,

and that cruel 
and repetitious symmetry 
of hymns.

Thursday, August 6, 2020


Roots deep 
in hell,

branch tips 
scraping heaven;

with the littlest wind, 

stiff in the pose
of perpetual giving;

to kill,

but willing enough
to die 

that is what it will take,

as season blunders 
into season,

if you ever expect 
to keep living.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Day after day, 
rainstorm after rainstorm, 
after humid bluegray afternoon—

the avocado in the kitchen
(tough green, in memory, as 
the skin of an alligator) 
has been growing imperceptibly 

but the large pit 
ensconced away at its center is 
hard as ever
and poison to eat. 

Take note of this, I think
to my own aggrieved species—
keep your composure;

there is nothing we can do 
in time 
but yield 
to one another,

but never 
will they take 
our dark heart—that small enraged oval 
that none would dare conquer,

that is the part
which is ours.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


We did not want
to be the raindrops 

on the plain—

same color
as the background,

so amorphous,
too mundane.

So we made our lives

as the snowflakes—
delicate latticeworks

built around 
dirt specks; 

and now, none 
is like another—

just like 
every other.

Monday, August 3, 2020


Little drifter, 
you've been a stray
a long time—

why not keep still, 
trust the gravity
in laughter, 

curl up 
on my scale 
and see what you weigh?

You've made oceans
of byways; why not 
spend the night? 

It is not true 
that you don't know 
what you want;

what you want 
is to know 
what it is you require,

to ripen into love 
with this thought,
or that one—doesn't matter;

what you need
is to grow 
a heart pain can poison

before you can fertilize
that heart's