Tuesday, September 26, 2023


The invisible wind
wends through yellowing 
leaves again, stirring 

dim memories, which you 
may or may not 
have lived-through. 

But it's the sunset 
pall of quiet, and attendant 
strange equivalence 

of motion to stillness 
which really seem
to thrill you.

From here, eternity 
seems to meander 
out past red horizons 

in either direction, 
while the smells 
and the textures 

of creatures you're 
not sure you knew
(though you seemed to)

rush wildly through 
your core on their way 
toward oblivion.

And of course, you're 
neither willing 
nor able to explain 

the peace that such 
an onrush of ephemeral 
truth can give you, 

for you've stood here 
and breathed this air
often enough before 

to know that the bliss 
of remembrance is
its solitude.  

Monday, September 25, 2023


For a short, blissful while 
in our lives, 
we are able 

to rely upon 
a limitless supply
of inspiration; 

from our bountiful 
dreams, we pluck
copious reminders 

that one plus one 
is not always 

and that fair and fowl 
sometimes don't 
cancel out each other. 

But sooner or later, 
the hard times 
must hit, 

and we're ordered 
to ration and restrict 
away the abstract. 

Little by little, 
our belts 
grow tighter, 

our skins, red 
and thinner, 
and our vision, 

dimmed and tired—
until, at last, 
all we're left with 

is the discourse
of arithmetic—
an accounting 

of our worth 
using dry, 
brittle sticks. 

Only now, 
stick plus stick 
seems to always yield 

two sticks
whereas back 
when we could dream,

stick plus stick 
might mean

Friday, September 22, 2023


Lately, I am fine 
with being provoked  
into a song—

solitary as a mollusk, 
I might require 
a disturbance; 

I long, perhaps, 
for intrusion—
something wrong, 

over which 
merely palliative 
sentiments may swarm 
and accrete 
their invaluable nacre 
of brilliance—

some pretty pearl 
of lyric that I never 
meant to form. 


Thursday, September 21, 2023


For some things, 
a middle
may not exist.

The center 
of a universe 
cannot be measured; 

the heart of a process 
has a process 
for a heart, 

and no matter how hard 
you click "zoom in" 
and "enhance,"

all you see are 
and smaller 

strands of self-
similar actions.

rather than declare 
with any kind 
of certainty, 

I'd much rather 
speculate often
and wildly 

that the farther out 
from innocence I seem 
to spin, 

the more I must
give in to some 
tiny grain of mystery—

some talisman 
of confidence 
bounded by its absence, 

like the gaps
between lips in 
true love's first kiss—

my exact but 
center of mass, 

wherever that
is, or whoever 
it was.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023


The reason 
it's always 
so scarce 

and at a premium 
is that Truth (with 
a capital T) 

always hits 
like this: 
first, there's 

a burst—a young 
of fascination—

followed by 
the pubescent flair 
of self-

righteous ardor
and its blush
of fascination—

after which, 
the giddy flame 
of advancement starts 

to wildly dance,
and then spread,
and ignite,

and vaporize 
not only 

Itself, but the whole 
observation deck 
too badly 

for the singed 
and now-
traumatized victim

to willingly 
(or otherwise)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023


There is no reason 
to worry, I am told—

no need 
to feel shame 
or guilt after all, since

every time we 
bulldoze over 
something that was beautiful, 

we know 
that something useful 
is bound to be created—

a need in the abstract 
is concretely filled. 

And honestly, 
it's a sentiment with which
I'm prone to resonate, 

as I've known
the same premise to be true 
in reverse:

I have grieved 
for every second 

which I haven't spent 
in daydreams,

since I've sensed 
that something 

but equally 

has probably just been 
staunched and stripped 
of every bit of lifeblood, 

flattened and paved-
over—too jovially  

Monday, September 18, 2023


All our lives, we're 

well, read 
close, and pay 

of creeds and 

of bells is 
to consecration. 

But then, 
one day, 
we may slump 

in the pew—
and, nodding-
off, dream 

our revelation:
that through the raw 

of awe 
and of terror 
may sluice 

rarer knowledge 
of the vulgar
and the workaday; 

through gaps 
in the soothing, 
child-like echolalia 

of the mass, 
may pour forth 
both the infinite river 

and infinitesimal 
vessel of salvation.

whether the next 
great abyss 
we fall into

be our hell 
or our heaven—
who really cares? 

As long as it 
takes us somewhere 

Friday, September 15, 2023


In the weakening 
light, as summer turns 
to autumn, 

it gets harder 
to find what is right—
what is good. 

Thankfully, from each 
slight edge, in
towards the heart, 

all that is pure 
and alive starts 
to blur

and flush bright 
with blushes of well-
deserved death
to make it 
more perfectly 
well understood.

Thursday, September 14, 2023


What in the world 
are these black, 
grotesque creatures—

these odd gargoyle 
statues we're all 
turning into? 

Which ashen, 
raided town square 

(and from where) 
do we slouch toward? 
After birth, 

every woman 
and man seems 
to fade, 

little by
little, to some 
rumpled up object,

or clubfooted 
symbol, or hoarse-
whispered proverb.

Unlike what we'd 
heard, things do not
fall apart; 

instead, they just 
harden, contract, 
and conserve—until 

all our lives 
are worth is their lines, 
curves, and serifs,

and everyone 
on Earth who has ever 
loved and laughed—

from Abraham 
and Sarah, down to 
Peaches and Herb—

sooner or later—
gets collapsed  
into a word.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


Perhaps, the world has 
had enough 
big thinkers—

great minds who 
confine their correctness 
to paper. 

What it lacks 
are choreographers

whose largest ideas 
of rightness 
or truth 

must be contoured 
to fit the cramped beauty 
of space

like a pair of lace 
slippers in their slight
cardboard box—

whose only escape 
from the toxified actual 

is regimentation 
of the bottomless possible—

who communicate
their gospels in 
ordinal numbers, 

since they know 
that all letters are 
profligate ciphers 

which leave 
not enough (or 

too many) rooms 
for error.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023


From the atom 
to the galaxy, 

this world 
has its form, 
and form

in itself is more 
than pleasing, 

as we, too, 
have been formed 
to rejoice in structure.

To come upon 
the merest thing—

among boxelders, 
the web 
of a spider 

in early morning, swirled 
with droplets of water—

I am only guessing, 
yet somehow I know 
the commotion 

that startles my self
as I thrill 

in all perfect disproportion 
to my interest 
in naming

or possessing 
a moment 

which cannot be 
but nonetheless 

must be 
participated in.

And the morpheme 
for all this, 
base though it is, 

has got to be beauty—
not mere prettiness;

that is to say: 
an instant, perfect 
in its own way,

until that instant 

Monday, September 11, 2023


Which is why I 
don't so much 

as oscillate—

but pain-
fully slowly,

as the tide 
makes basalt shine, 
as the moon 

moves through its phases.
If only 

any one 
of you could 

also bear 
to move this slowly—
then, at last, 

you'd be able to 
see me, 

comfort me, 
my intractable praises.

Friday, September 8, 2023


So many nights, I 
can't fight 
the feeling—

the feeling that 
feelings might be 

something I'm only 
or leaving. 

Why, for the life 
of me, I can't quite seem 
to screen 

this incoming 
transmission of cavalcading 

and desires for their 
use cases, 
or (at least) reasons 
is a mystery;

the only thing 
I'm willing to clearly 
perceive is 

the awareness 
of suspicions—

suspicions which hit 
me precisely 
as needles—

hot threads 
of affection, disinterest,
and hate,
impulses borne 
on electrical signals 

from an engine 
in my body 
which is 

out of light.

Thursday, September 7, 2023


After all of the vehement 
work I've done 

to steer 
well away from the 
hazards inside, 

I've begun to feel 
I'm on a video call 

with the business-
like man 
in the mirror. 

It's the way everything 
he displays to me

looks exactly 
the same as it 
ought to, only 

And always, 

how there's 
weird bits 
of distortion

and delay 

every kind 
word that I think 
I am speaking—

and all that I 
hear myself say.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023


All of my life, I've 
made things 
for no occasion, 

with zero designs
on their practical 
use. You might think 

that such idle ideation 
sounds perverse—
that no stanza 

or melody could 
ever move the Earth, 
but could only hope 

to subtly shift 
a few odd friends' 
faintest perceptions of it. 

But as usual, as I 
move to conclude 
this short verse, 

I refuse to engage 
with the 
actionable question 

of whether or 
not any meaningful 

could even be 
said to exist 
between the two. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2023


Alone and, so 
I think, unseen 
on another gray
and derelict street,

I suddenly sense 
my body gently 
swaying in the 
humid breeze

like an insect, trapped 
in invisibly intricate 
webs of a sticky,
avaricious city—

its forgotten nooks 
and disdained diagonals 
all stealthily criss-
crossing over and under 

as I faithlessly wait
in its centerless center 
for someone or something 
so hungry but subtle

to return home and claim 
what warm core still persists
inside of this petrified 
shell as its own.

Friday, September 1, 2023


Midwest September 
as hot flies, 

to cannibalize 
the carcasses of grayed cicadas.

The bleached earth 
still thrums 

with insouciant 
warmth; the sky remains 

a bucolic lake—
it's just some slight 

of light which has changed
from breathtaking-
ly predictable 

to predictably 

Thursday, August 31, 2023


When I'm dead, 
in lieu 
of flowers, please 

just stop
and consider 

how, right now, 
ageless light 

from the edge 
of the visible universe—
that is:

weightless wave-
particles, for whom it's 
always now

are somehow
still irrevocably 
on their way "here"

through the cold 
endless vacuum 

of indifference 
that's "there." 
And yet, 

still, every day, 
how distracted 
I remained 

(and if you're still 
skimming this, clearly
so did you)

by words 
just like these, 

which, after all,
were just ads 

for things
which I knew

but could never

for feelings
I never even dreamed 
I had.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


You don't understand 
any of it, but 

all you need 
to know 

is the brute fact 
of voices 

rolling higher  
and faster 

toward this ever-

shore of 
low slowness—

until at last,
they crash, and then 

burst, and stream 

and farther 
apart, as 

your grasp 
of the concept

of divergence 
itself starts 

to melt 
and to merge 

into one self-
contained and yet 


a firework, 

out through 
a black sky 

and clinging 
to the spacious, 

sacred emptiness 
of night 

which exists 
beneath the lid 

of the single 
closed eye 

which sleeps 
inside the wise 

mind of every 
unborn child.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Nature herself 
must sit back 
in stunned wonder 

at the matchless 
abundance of her own 
careless laughter,

for what, then, 
is each cankered 
stem, denuded flower, 

and growling, 
distended stomach 
that's out there

but a perfect-
pitch, no-expense-
spared advertisement 

for the gambler 
in her who feels
most free to be 

both cocksure 
and so very 

as an unswerving 
driver playing chicken,

as a giddily-
obscure jazz 
musician might be—

for how much 
security must she 
lust to forsake 

in order to keep 
fumbling, yet feeling 
the full breadth  

of all that abandon 
as creativity, 
as freedom?

Monday, August 28, 2023


There's really 
no such thing as a mother-
to-be. For truly

each unruly curve 
in her light-
ly mussed hair, 

and every hard-earned 
crease in her rightly 
rumpled shirt

would seem to create 
its own brief, 
arcane world—

each one distinctly 
present, and yet starkly

each one imperceptible, 
and yet obvious, 

And all of these artful, 
furtive planets, spinning away 
as she bustles on past,

are crying all at once, 
with the poise 
of a chorus 

(in a voice I can't 
name, but can 
still hear, no question)

in their desperate, 
definite, and 
paralyzing need of her 

and singular

Friday, August 25, 2023


I am sure 
there are galaxies 
locked away inside me, 

so I guess 
there must be 
at least one or two 

socked away inside 
you too—
and although 

it must sound as if 
the opposite 
is true, 

that's exactly why 
it feels so 

either one of us 
tries to win a fight.

Those little 
hot flashes, those tiny 
realistic stings

are hapless 
of planets colliding 

and quasars 
playing chicken til they 
silently annihilate—

and all 
for the designless, 
inevitable sake 

of huge forces' 
compulsion to 
merge with each other,

and thereby, 
to fill a 
compliant universe 

with whole lot less 
of themselves 
as they were 

in exchange for new 
dominion over 
just a little more.

Thursday, August 24, 2023


All these years 
at arm's length—
I wish I could say 

we're still on
the same page, 
but the truth is 

less sonorous (yet 
more rigorous) 
than that: in fact, 

we aren't just
light years, but 
parsecs apart.

But ever since 
the day when we first 
became entangled, 

I can still sense 
the spin of my 
stablest particles

all cartwheeling off 
to the rhythm
of your heart. 

In this whole vast 
and radiant 
theater of rapport, 

I should never again 
want to perform 
with you on stage,

but my guess is
we'll always be 
two distant spectators

yawning concurrently
at the very 
same ballet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


How is it 
we should ever 
come by the right 

to posthumously 
call someone an
extraordinary individual

The measure 
cannot be 
whether or not 

their heart 
was pure
or indivisible,

for the question 
is not that it came
to be broken—

or when, or how
often—but rather, 
how uniquely

How instructive—
moreover, how edifying
a sermon 

was the sound 
which we heard in its 
barbarous blasting?

How seen did we feel 
as we sifted 
through the shatters, 

and how beautifully 
pointless was their
pitiable pattern?

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


whether you get 
or miss the gist 

of the pliant, hospitable  

proffered to you 
by the gentlest lapping 

of a dock-
bound collection 

of moon-kissed 
night waves, 

thank your lucky 
stars—or say 

an indebted prayer 
to the Lord—doesn't matter: 

the subtlest 

to the most 
precious question, 

whose phrasing 
could not, in ten 

thousand lives 
come to you

(despite your worst 
impulse toward 

and interference)

is not merely 
still uninjured, but 


Monday, August 21, 2023


At this point, I'd 
probably be happily 

to perform for my life 
in the name 
of human sacrifice. 

But all I can cram 
in the mouth 
of your attention 

is a recombination 
of the bits 
I have stolen 

in hopes 
of acceptance, relief, 
or purgation.

In any case, 
please take it—incomplete
though it is:

it's a knotted-
up fist 

which persists 
where my heart did;

a little, 
clenched core 

around which 
my devotion 

with the verve 

of a galaxy 

it's a nexus—
where the future 

and past 
smashed together, 

and broke open, spilling 

of all my favorite 

Friday, August 18, 2023


As late afternoon 
into night, 

the far-off and measured 
toll of large

invites, with its 
bronzed imitation 
of brightness,

this soothing
refusal to comply 
with the gloom:

for a breath's
length or two, I don't 
fight my weariness

over who can remain 
a little longer 
in the light.

Thursday, August 17, 2023


As time goes, 
each smooth 
virgin edge 

of the glassy 
lagoon that is
this soul—

much like 
its best watery 
playact, my face—

slowly fills 
with distortions 
and ripples. 

How soon serene 
stillness and selfless 

may return to these 
places is not 
to be known—

much like the truth 
of who first 
threw the stone.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


Each morning, 
without fail, all 
proverbial hairs 

are lined up 
by order of their
lengths to be split—

and each 
of our mandatory 
dominoes is counted 

and spread out 
into rows, in gleeful

of the ruinously 
dire chain 
reaction to follow. 

And then—in the streets
and the homes 
where we live,

one by one, at the halls
and the rooms we 
do business in—

the processes 
begin: insidious 
synonyms are secreted 

which leach into our 
speech and change each
"every" to an "only."

Once enacted, 
of course, this vile but 
daily transmutation

cannot be redacted. 
No wonder, by evening, 
everyone's exhausted. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


Believe me, 
I think it'd be pretty 

if the words which 
have already passed 
in-between us 

thus far in our time here
on Earth would do
the trick. But 

I'm afraid when it 
comes to seeing 
one another clearly, 

it's like we're kept 
separate by the thinnest
bolt of fabric. 

And this endless,
flimsy, sort of 
see-through stuff—

which spools out
between us
every time we talk—

is a color 
we'll never be able 
to name and 

a shape whose 
dimensions our minds 
can't explain. 

In fact, the best thing
I could do with this 
problematic sentence  

is: wrap it with love
in that strange 
train of chiffon,

enact a silent, 
large, swooping 
gesture with my hands 

to indicate a problem 
"the size of our lives," 
blow you a kiss, hope 

that you catch it, and 
leave my account 
at that.

Monday, August 14, 2023


Come to think of it—
true genius 
can only be rare 

as genuine 
vacuity. Yes, 
of tremendous 

ability and expertise, 
only a precious
few can speak, but 

who among 
the rest of us plebes 
doesn't sleep—

and while we sleep, 
command the supple 
and prodigious guile 

of the genuine sophist? 
Granted, no napper
gets described as 

particular—let alone 
meticulous, witty, 
or discerning—but 

none the less, 
plainly, all are 
quite industrious. 

In their dreams, in 
other words, everyone's 
an artist.

Friday, August 11, 2023


Beneath a listless copse 
of beech trees,

this ambush 
of snarling 

and sharp 
angled tiger lilies—

all pennants  
of danger-

orange and blood 
spattered maws—

would seem 
to prowl hard 

before the
four-way-stop curbside—

but only
to keep 

every late 
summer hatchling

from wandering 

into traffic.

Thursday, August 10, 2023


If it weren't so
your soul 

would not look
for what on Earth is 

that presupposed 

but your 
sour grapes, mixed 
with denial 

of death? It's less 

than standoffishness—
made whole, 

and given 
carte blanche to go 
out on the prowl. 

If it perchance 
could corporeally 

the misanthropic look 
in its rude, 
aloof eyes would 

probably insist:
I'm too good for this 
charnel house. 

Or worse:
nothing you can 
lose here 

even matters 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023


Begrudgingly, we salute 
that most placid 
of icebergs

which shall ever 
come silently 
plowing through our lives: 

the somehow identically 
and dignified 

way in which 
our preferences 
of cut, fit, and style change 

at such a meticulously 
glacial pace 

no matter how 
we age, we always wear 
the same size.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Even a
pinch-dose is

as free jazz: 

all melody 
and desperate rhythm

the assimilative 

of chords;

in aggregate, 
you're positioned 

in the nosebleeds 
of a stadium 

whose girders 
and trusses groan

and strain
beneath the weight 

of an oversold 
audience, somehow 

and singing 

their own 
private anthems 

in disconcerting 

Monday, August 7, 2023


When I think of it, 
I'm delighted 

to analogize 
my mind 
to a diamond: 

sharp, clear, 
and multifaceted—

lustrous, the way it 
somehow elicits 

all of the breathless 
spectacle of living 

from within 
an array of 

yet multiple 
defectless planes 

But then, 
when I'm made 
to think of it further, 

only in the presence 
of light 

does that happen—
and only 
at the hands 

of a well-
trained artificer 

who plies 
every trick of his 
trade to these things

over and 
over again—

all day long—
for a living.

Friday, August 4, 2023


The secret answer 
to every riddle 
is time.

in the eye, 

while the wild 
imagination rages

and swirls, 
pouring buckets of "ifs"
an conjecture

which buffet 
you from 
dusk til dawn;

bear that inexorably 
slow oxidation 

of fickle 
bones and supple 

with patience—long after 
your patience 
is gone;

take a pass 
on action; 

never stifle 
one valuable yawn; 

simply outlast 
all the difficult questions—

and you'll never 
(in this life)
be wrong.

Thursday, August 3, 2023


After recounting 
all the loot in my 
empty open fist,

I'm starting to guess 
that there's no 
huge reward 

in chasing after treasures
which we didn't 
bury first. Though

of course, it's also 
much riskier, 

this dredging 
up of our past's 
cursed abundance, 

it's the only 
nest egg whose 

provenance we can trust. 
Yes, courage 
comes quick 

from the hits 
and the fixes 

and the tricks we 
impetuously lift 
off of others, 

but courage 
is still not the asset 
we're after;

courage is only 
the prick 

we require
to dig deep 

and far back 
in our body 
of debts,

and wonders, 
and regrets—

until we 
hit the chest.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023


As a stubborn 
old mollusk 

who's been 
dredged up from 
the ocean bottom— 

whose armor is 
his only home—

who's devoid 
of all earthly ambition 
or hope, since 

he's never once 
gazed up at starlight 
or sun—

I have but one 
scummy token to give,

my only 
lasting favor:

I promise not to wonder 
how did I get here?

or spiral out the question
where will I go?

On the surface, 
everyone knows 
precious little, 

yet they go 
around pretending to assess 
and debate.

I shall maintain this 
calcified silence; 
I won't 

belabor salvation 
or hell. 

From my shell, I don't 
claim to make this 
nebulous existence 

any easier to take. 
I simply exist 

to make the sheer 
weirdness of it 

a little less hard 
to illustrate. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


consider the caterpillar—
no longer 

in its skin-
tight chrysalis,

hallucinating absurdities
in cold black 
and white: 

sweet of nectar, 
technicolored flight.

Monday, July 31, 2023


Shoot straight, 

were we made to feel 
for one another 

no matter what
or not? 

You'd think 
that a grammar 

of love
would be simple;

would flow 
with the changes, 

as it does
in the hymnals—

but intuitions 
and affections flicker 

like the red walls 
of vestibules 
packed with votive candles.
All of which is to say 
that, focused 
as we are 

by a little sanctity  
and ritual, 

the picture's 
not okay; 

we're still getting 
mixed signals.

Friday, July 28, 2023


may be our most 
archetypal fear—

but it's also the most 
groundless, since 
there's so much more here 

than our fiercest 
combatants could hope 
to defend. For example,

hands are so numerous, 
there is always one 
to lend—

and time 
is so ample that it never 
quite advances. 

And the blue sky 
blushes out so wide that, 
what could be the chances 

that you ever would 
run out of vintage 
sermons to mistrust 

from the glut of ancient 
gods who still must 
float and make their homes there,

their vengeance 
too great to be blighted 
by death, yet

so infinite-
ly diffuse, it just feels
pleasant now instead?

Thursday, July 27, 2023


        After James Wright

You might think, 
one day,
in passive time 

with the rhythm 
of a hammock swinging—

as you blink 
away the dispassionate 

and feel the raggedy  
tops of tall grass blades 

tickle the dangling
tips of your fingers—

the great poet 
was right: I have wasted 
my life. And yet,

standing between
a real feeling 
and the truth 

is the fact that 
you never decided 
or chose to.

And who knows—
that skinny divergence, 

that small act 
of defiance 

might alter the future 
as well as 
the past—

as you oscillate 
there in the breeze 
killing time—

from deep 
in the center of your story 
on out,

one bleary vowel, 
one rough syllable 
at a time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


I used to imagine—not 
unlike most—

that the gig was 
to simply keep 
playing our roles; 

we were heroic, 
dynamic characters 

whose roads through 
hard times led to 
changes for the better.

But now, the whole plot 
has gone on for so long 

that I've come 
to suspect that our job 
is much stranger 

and less glamorous 
than that. In fact, 

we're now working 
in those black times 
after the show,

swimming through oceans 
of slow-scrolling credits, 

and trying to determine 
for something 
like "certain" 

which strange collection 
of symbols we were. 

And meanwhile, 
our customers—an emotion-
purged audience—

grow restless and mumble  
their disparate ideas

when it's appropriate 
to get up and go.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Here's how I want you to think 
of things now: 

your job is
to fold and tear 

all your old 
strategies for coping 

along their suddenly-
obvious perforations.

You'll notice 
in doing so

that beliefs, feelings 
and sympathies 

are no longer things 
but processes; that is 

to say: modular affectations.
For instance, 

even your nascent-
ly blooming intention 

to follow these 

was much less 
a thought 

than a 

Monday, July 24, 2023


What on Earth 
did we think we
would do with 

all these vestigial 

With so many 
disabused-of thoughts 

and jealously hoarded
obsolete feelings 

still stacked
to the rafters in 
cordoned off spaces, 

it's a wonder we 
have room 
to breathe—let alone 

face the prospect 
of cleaning up 
or leaving.

Besides, in the shape 
they're in, 

how could we escape—
I mean,

how could we 
ever hope to
sell these old places 

and move to a newer, 
cleaner state 

of being—especially 
knowing, in our 
moth-eaten hearts,

that it wouldn't take long 
to cram a new one 
with bygones

and antique 
emotions from floor 
to ceiling?

Friday, July 21, 2023


In the maze 
of the mind, unlocked 
doors lead 

to questions—
some of which tend 
to dead-end 

at problems—problems 
which the burly

possibly in-league 
with his clever friend 
the engineer, 

work to a fever 
pitch of effort 
to resolve—til the poet,

ever floating 
in that bath which fills 
synaptic gaps,

to stir from his open-
ended nap 
to spill a few non 
sequiturs, which 
dissolves them.  

Thursday, July 20, 2023


Actually, it's a blind: 
hindsight is poor 
as the rest 
of your vision.
And with distance, 
failures sometimes wear 
smeared halos of affection.
Just as sheer darkness 
(all those lightyears 
of opacity and ignorance)
connects the stars, 
so too are your 
past fiascos, banes, 
defeats, and cataclysms 
subject to the cataract fog 
secreted by the intellect. 
In fact, the mind's eye 
can't envision
passing through such a 
miasmatic gap 
to behold up-close 
that which it cannot 
crawl back to. 
What sorts of distortions 
and smudges 
would be rendered? 
Much more importantly,
how much contempt, 
prolapse, and bewildered 
disgust with your past 
would you expect 
to see reflected 
in that sort of light?

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


True love 
is knowing 

that life's 
too short to 
change too much. 

It's both never 
saying never

and never 
getting clever. 

Yes, true love 
is so 

it'll rhyme 
the very same 
words together 

over and over 
and not feel 

And it isn't 
merely kind 
and patient—

it's a doormat 
and a sucker;

it'll spend the night
in a parking lot, 

or waiting up 
in a candle-

snuffed kitchen 

And even if 
true love thinks 
it saw something, 

true love won't
bring it up

true love is
knowing better.

It's an expert 
at passing you 
your jacket 

without sniffing it 
or first patting 
it's pockets, since

true love 
truly loves 
playing it cool—

when it thinks it 
hears truths 

which it doesn't 
truly love,

it doesn't raise 
a fuss; it's

"yeah, that's fine, 

Tuesday, July 18, 2023


From that very first 
catastrophe of dawn—

to the loud Lauds 
of galloping cars, 
wind, and rain; 

then, the chatter 
and nibbling, 
bit by bit 

in this or that 
room, until
all sacraments are gone—

to the gradual 
slouching, the slow 

with its penitent 
crawl towards 

between twilight's 
wine and slight

as they swim 
through your mind and
play out on television—

nothing and no one 
you'd shudder 
to mention 

as noiseless 
or voiceless 
ever seems to come.

The miracle, such 
as it even exists
to be witnessed, is

there never comes
a second's-worth 

of perfect 
blameless silence

all day long—no
not even one.

Monday, July 17, 2023


Turns out human 
evolution was a 
balancing act: 

winnowed instinct 
to a half-empty glass;

walking upright 
borrowed dignity 
from the quadruped class. 

But what no one ever mentioned
is that opposites 

that our fetish for abstractions 
which are stylish,
rich, and opulent 

could yet mesh with 
concrete weakness for the 
destitute and derelict—

that, at base, we are all
made up of a universe 
of specks, 

half of which possess 
what the other 
half lacks—and that 

some days, we are 
gobsmacked, others ruined 
by that fact.

Friday, July 14, 2023


how the littlest 
gash of white light 

which swims past the iris 
in the eyes 
of a friend—and, 

at the bedside, 
how the meagerest drip 
from a night light

will abate, in those 
great tracts of land 
deep inside us,

some vast and ever-
roving pestilence 
of black. Perhaps 

that's why the endless 
of stars 

has never 
done more than
the littlest bit 

to bore 
or discourage their
bewildered observers. 

Thursday, July 13, 2023


Your benevolence, 
forgiveness, and largesse

may someday 
transform you 

into less of a 
noble stump 
of the Giving Tree 

and more of a fixture 
in an old 
public restroom.

Abusive and abused, 
one by one, 
they will come; 

they will 
need you, not 
beseech you.

They will spill
all they reject 
from their guts, 

and then flush—
and expect 
you to simply 

and refill. 

And yes, 
by grace, somehow, 

no matter 
how many times 
you swallow, 

the well in the middle 
of your soul 
keeps refreshing.

You alone know
that the level 

draws lower  
and closer 

to the drain line 
each time. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023


The problem was never 

so much as 
revelation. Now,

after eons
worth of bait-

and desertion, 

every last 
gesture on Earth 
has been inverted—

instead of classic
dramedies, starring 
Tin Pan Alley carnage, 

is subversive, 

and feeling self-
righteous, a decisive 
plan of action.

And to think—
only yesterday, 
all of humanity 

(or so say the glyphs 
in an old book that's
tough to translate)

once was roundly 

for speaking 
one language.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023


Little innocuous 
wisp of cloud, 

in the time 
it would take to jot 
this down, you 

will have subtly 
rearranged. Why 

do you never 
stick around 

to demonstrate
how, even 
when I know, 

I don't really know
to help me
come around 

on how mighty it is, 
under sky

like ours, to change 
one's mind?

Friday, July 7, 2023


Given all the vastness, 
there must be 
a planet 

that's gentler 
and less thoroughly 

than this one. 

But wherever 
exists that more tender 
place to land, it's 

probably so distant 
it'd exhaust us 
just to get there. 

So perhaps 
we'd do better 

to work on getting 
less offended 

by the penchant 
of this world 

for the relentless 
and indefinite. 
In fact, perhaps 

the world's sadness 
is a special kind 
of balm;

an outgrowth 
of our gratitude 

for the time 
it has taken us
to get this lost

and the fortune
of time which is 
still on offer 

to pay 
off the interest on 
the opportunity cost.

Thursday, July 6, 2023


Sooner or later, 
we all try on 

those loaded 
clothes which 
the monist wears—

before its base parts, 
the chaste 
whole is paraded:

one Circle, 
from which wretched
arcs are created.

Surely, Unity
is a fabric

whose richness 
we can't fathom—
and yet 

such a fine habit 
fits tight, 
and it itches. Plus, 

with what 
will we pay 

when the time 
to tithe comes, 

our pockets 
now empty, even 
of atoms?

Wednesday, July 5, 2023


Lets pretend 
for a minute, o
severed head, 

that you exist—
not to be seen, 
but, in the limit, 

to speak to me—
defend me, 

befriend me when 
I'm stuck
for an ending. 

In the mirror, 
it seems that my 
own face's creases 

are multiplicative 
and deepening—
and yet, still 

I am reluctant 
as an apprentice 
to admit 

that fairy tales 
have endings,
and horse tails 

may have endings, 
but works of art 
(like knives) 

just have their 
and their ends. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2023


When I close 
my eyes and lie 
quiet at night, if I'm 

just right, I can finally 
hear my heart—

but I don't 
exactly mean 
the beating—it's

the rhythm 
of each tiny 
valve clicking open 

and closed again 
which speaks to me 

in a kind 
of Morse Code 
that's both 

and self-

everything you can't see
will be borne
witness to eventually, 

but though 
is all to the good, 

that won't necessarily 
mean it's 

Monday, July 3, 2023


Lately, I suspect I'm 
my insouciance  

and spates of obsessed 
for weightiness—forsaking 

all meaning 
to focus 
on timing—

in the hopes that 
this surfeit of 
vacancy and lack 

may yet 
amalgamate into 
a mallet—

a mallet which 
one day, I'll be able 
to swing 

and whack 
all those nonchalant moles 
of regret 

that keep popping 
up from these holes 
in my feelings. 

Friday, June 30, 2023


Instead of 
growing gradually 
slower and blinder, 

what if the years 
make me more 
and more sensitive 

to the ways in which
the wonder serves 
to compliment the horror 

of every pair 
of rising 
and setting suns? 

Or perhaps I'll hear sounds 
more intensely 
than the patience 

and time it would take 
to write down 
or describe them—or realize 

that the scent of loss, 
and tang of strong 

now feel like a mix 
of mundane 
and supernatural 

that's become 
second nature to my seasoned 
mouth and nose.

It's possible that, in return, 
a sense which is 
even more obscure 

might fail me 
as I summit the peak 
of my powers; 

but most likely, it won't 
matter, since I
don't rely on it any longer. 

In fact, I 
won't even know 
what to call it—

though, if pressed 
and harassed by the 
unpracticed young, 

I'll still smile and say 
something like: all my

Thursday, June 29, 2023


My silence 
isn't terminal—

my silence is 
my home.

Though it isn't
my address, it's 

the place 
where I came from. 

And every time 
I choose to speak,

that is me 

That's my soul

out the window 
after midnight, 

breaking curfew 
for a joyride 

and some 
fast food, 

and some bracing—
if a little bit 

and unwanted 

from a man 

whom even 
I know 

to be a 
bad influence.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2023


One day, I 
may learn 

to forget 
about blackbirds—

to one 
by one shut 
each obsidian eye

and just walk 

from that branch 
in my mind—

for all I care, let 
the brave sun 

and full moon 
and leave 

every furtive 
tiger lily 
purring in the dark,

locked away 
in a small 
musty drawer 

inside one 
of the four 

chambers of my 
silent heart. 

I don't know 
which day 

I may turn from 
that gaze, or 
which night 

the mind's poem 
turns to pure, 
steady light; 

so, until 
I can see it
without urgency 

or interest, 
best to keep

the days clear,
and continue 
to write.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023


When you first came, 
you came as 
a bang

a prop gun 
full of blanks. 
But then, 

you became 
a name—a little 
licking tongue 

of flame—
one flickering belief 
in search of 

its religion. 
But still, you were 
not done. 

A performance ensued 
by a svelte-
but-complex system—

a fireworks display 
without cause 
or explanation. 

After that, though, 
the problem 
soon moved

from "what do I 
do next?" to 
"how can I 

refuse?" as your 
point of interest 
gradually grew 

from "what 
have I become" 
to "how have I 

been used?"
And "how long 
has it been 

going on?" And, 
"by whom?"

Monday, June 26, 2023


Which one 
of the two 
do you 

want to hear more about? 
What do you 
really want 

to be told? 
Is it something 
you don't already know—

like the limits 
of trust, 

or which lusts you  
can't control? 

Or would you settle 
for any small
anecdote at all, 

as long as it comes 
with enough 
space around it 

to somehow both 
extend the bounded
outcome of the choice,

and, of course, 
to muffle the roar 
or clear voice 

which might 
dwell beyond the door?

Friday, June 23, 2023


Bold as you are,
you might hold
a few hands,

as it helps to 
distribute the load 
like a yoke.  

Within reason 
fall all of the labors 
you could mention,

and your neighbors 
don't know if you're 
making a joke—

but it's they 
who'll lay hands 

and lend 
shoulders to your body 

the day when
your tour 
of exhaustion is done; 

and you won't 
begrudge someone 
for carving in stone 

that backbone 
was your burden 

and your heart 
rolled into one.

Thursday, June 22, 2023


the patiently 
prodigious artist

as he sits 
amid his 
unerring arsenal 

of bold 
and marvelous 

this uncountable catalog
of masterfully

he's made with
his own higher purpose: 

to always remain
in the gold-
spinning business
of making one
change at a stretch—

to his 
humdrum, one-and-
only canvas.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


Living or dead, 
no one's ever turned 
invisible, since 

as far as we know, 
it's still quite 

to slip inside 
one of their dreamt 

Just like how, 
technically, none of us 
is beautiful

or can ever be considered 
hopeless yet

because, although not 
immortal, we've still
got a little time left—

and between those 
final iron doors 

which stand there unlocked
at the beginning 
and the end of things,

the little scrap of hall 
we all meander 
for a while, 

although less 
enthralling, is rightly
called the middle.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023


You already know 
how this is going 
to go—

it's another 
"I would do anything 

to stop me 
from dissolving" poem. 

Perhaps, though, we've
both got the premise 
all wrong; 

perhaps bliss
(if we're able 
to fractionally grow it)

is the feeling 
a throat lozenge feels 
when it's tossed 

off a boat 
in a tempest 

for being 
the wrong kind 
of soothing 

as it melts 
and melds 
completely with 

the force that is  
the sea.

Monday, June 19, 2023


There really is 
a book, in fact, 

in which everything 
is written. 

But the catch is 

don't get 
to read it 

while you are 
still living. 

For now, it's only 
the muteness 

of touch; 
the silence 

of voices calling 
and calling; 

and the doubt 
that rises, 

to follow  

and convince you that 
you're dreaming. 

For now, 
only this much 

of the text 
will be given; 

only this much is 
innocuous (but 

still intelligible) enough
to be understood—

to be underlined 
and annotated 

by any inmate 
in this prison—

as true 
beyond reason, 

beyond purpose, 
beyond question.

Friday, June 16, 2023


If we're being 
honest, there are 
constantly days—

grave days 
with ashes 
and rain;

engrossing ones, where 
cravings wash 
away in the flow;

even those 
harebrained and
frivolous days—

where we have 
nothing to say. But 

do we not always 
later draw some 
words out anyway?

It's as if 
there's one magical,
summarizing utterance 

we were custom-
made from birth 
to make

and our lives 
are just 
the prompts 

to which we 
must respond 
to iterate.

After all, 
though it may be 
formidably made,

a bell's not 
a bell 
unless you ring it—

and our fortunes 
don't quite 
sound like hell

until we can 
hear ourselves
explain them away.

Thursday, June 15, 2023


Why do you 
still reek of muses 
and luck, 

of such fraudulent 
portents as 
the way the wind is blowing? 

Were you so 
raised to believe 

in those inevitable angels 
who hover 

over each 
grass blade out there, 
encouraging it to grow? 

I must say that it seems so
from the way I 
could feel you 

in the veritable 
breeze you were making 

as you prayed 
again last night, in the 
usual frenzy 

for clarity's grace 
to be delivered 
through your window

instead of 
for the frivolous,
next opportunity 

to labor quixotically 
for a glimpse 
again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023


Memory is not
a history book;

it's a tarnished brass
instrument whose
stoppers got stuck.

To regurgitate
the repertoire

is no longer
an option;
one must screw-up

one's face, blow hard
and shake

jet of strangulated
sound one can manage

to make
into existence,

and then, after the fact,
just call that
the music.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023


It's like—every day, 
you must keep

that things 
have a fearsome 

and unnatural 

That is—everything
(from that crack 
in the cloudburst 

where the sun sneaks 
a kiss,

to the vodka fifth
which was left 
on the bus bench 

now half-filled 
with piss)

is formidably, 

just what it is.
And then—

you must squander 
the rest 
of the reverie 

to convince 

who will listen 

that not only 
were you surprised 
by this, 

you then found it 

Monday, June 12, 2023


It's true 
enough that 
life is long, but 

life isn't 
half as long 
as desire is.

How long 
can you sit there,
still as a parked car 

watching it thunder 
like a cavalcade 
of freight cars 

that scrolls on 
forever as you 
idle at the crossing?

And after that, 
are there really any 
words you can gasp

that could process 
the experience 
of burning in this fire

as the future you covet
proceeds to
outlast you—that is, 

without also 
not consuming it 

Friday, June 9, 2023


Rorschach test 
in a game 
of chess:

do you see before you 
a contest 
to be won, 

or a problem 
which intellect 

and patience 
may solve? 

Wait—do not give us 
your answer 
just yet; 

first, observe 
for yourself how 

all of the pieces 
and moves 
you could need 

are already present—
just like 

every word 
you could speak 

comes to mind pre-

This is not a matter 
of black 
verses white

Ham and eggs 
are black and white—things 

you can taste 
and touch 
and relate to. 

is a hitch 

which is 
altogether different.

Unless, of course, 
you've just been 
terribly impatient 

with the time it takes 
the light 

by which you might 
a self

to scream across 

of spacetime 
and hit you. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023


Starkly in profile
on a bench 
in the park, 

an old woman 
sitting hunched in the 
aggregating dark—

her gaunt, 
tortured fingers, the pallor 
of sunscreen,

knitting where she 
gnaws on an out-
of-season nectarine.

Though silent 
and wearied with her 
quest for its pit, 

a sticky voice 
cuts the glum 
dusk air to bid you—

do not forget:
in your life 
there is someone 

even now, whom you love
that you need to
call and check on.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Sooner or 
later, everyone 
muses: perhaps, if 
no one measures it, 
time refuses 
to pass. 
But of course,
a fat lot of good 
that would do.
All that flaccid
stasis would only 
confuse us—plus,
it still wouldn't 
give us what we 
actually want:
namely, the ability 
to make it 
run backwards.
But the only way 
to do that 
is to banish 
all this chaos—
to scour 
our regret and strip 
the now of all 
past decadence.  
We must 
demolish entropy 
and extirpate 
collapse. We have 
to do the laundry; 
we have to 
wash dishes.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023


Are you

to see 
rose bushes 

blooming to blot 
out the wrought iron fences—

by a pinkness 

like the underside
of clouds? 

Not to mention—by 
the sun-dried rush 

of dew-sweet 
petals riding 

on the warm breeze 

until their scent 
hits that secret spot  

behind your eyes 
that makes you ask:

from which particular 

agitation, again?

Reassured (by whom) 
about what? 

Monday, June 5, 2023


Now, the futile 
is essential,

and resistance is

We feel our most 

when we're

shocks us anymore. 


What if  the self
we selflessly love 

is the one we knew 
when we were four 

and now 
just don't remember? 

once quenched, 

leaves a sort of 
in experience.

A hunger, once satisfied, 
still persists 
in the mind

exactly as if 
it had never been 
satisfied. Now, 

I wonder—is that 
what they meant 

the life of the world 
to come?

Friday, June 2, 2023


When you talk 
of heaven, 

it makes me 
think: assisted living


Pan Am smiles;

for bitterness, 

abrasive edges, 

and last but 
not least, an orderly 

or two—
under authority

and paid out 
of pocket 

to profit 
by my insights 

and crucify 
my doubt.

Thursday, June 1, 2023


Our misery 
(god willing) 
may be a 
slender thing, 
but its looming 
casts a long
and a 
powerful shadow. 
In fact, when stooped 
underneath it, 
it's so dark 
and so cool, it puts 
the backbreaking blaze 
of halcyon days into 
startling relief.
So sue us 
if some of us 
choose to savor 
our grief
and recline 
in the dimness 
of its gloom 
where it's safe—
for, as far as 
we recall 
of that bright world 
of mistakes,
we've never even 
seen ourselves 
with a look of peace 
upon our face, since 
the only time 
it might possibly 
look that way is 
after we go to sleep.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


It's offensive
how we glamorize 
the groundlessly romantic; 

to find ourselves 
so swept up 

in the dangerously 
side of fascination. 

Though stilted
and miserly, how much 
wiser by far 

to stuff the soft 
caresses and 
intoxicating liquors—

to shun 
the perkiness  
of flowers 

and the amorous
light verse of
sentimental cards? 

For love is no 
warm feeling; it's 
an existential gesture—

a chagrined-but-willing 
yoking of your slender, 
feral welfare 

to the equally meager—
and no less unruly—
progress of another's.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023


As sure 
as the imperious, 
sunlit sky

obscures the vast 
networks of a 
needless astronomy, 

this waking life
too, is a mere 

of your groundless
but illimitable capacity 
to lack.

No tricks; it does 
not matter where
you have been, since, 

the black space of 
nothingness tingles,

white pulses throttle, 
and hum.

As all 
that you know 
is slowly dissolved, 

you grow to see 
the wide open 
vacuum behind: 

a possibility 
which seemed to exist 
at one time

was, all the while, 
a necessity