Wednesday, March 22, 2023


The most extraordinary thing 
that our eyes 
will every see 

has got to be 
plain old 
rotational symmetry. 

For it's practically unimaginable 
how our
faulty geometries

could bolster so much
swagger to a
negligible point. 

And in the end, isn't it 
nothing short 
of heartrending 

to watch, from 
the boundaries, how much
everything's changing 

so precisely on the premise 
that there's one thing 
that can't?

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


I know you 
think you're made 
of parts, 

but really, there is just 
this body. Trust me:



as you earn 
each gold blip of 
bewildering world, 

these shall be 
your duties. 

And I don't mean 
irksome obligations;
I mean

taxes you must pay 
on the beauty.

Monday, March 20, 2023



Ten minutes 
from now (or possibly 

the large language model 
chatbot will speak 

it can conjure you 
haiku in the original, 
if you ask it to—

and you don't 
even have to say please.

But what does it mean 
to extrapolate 
from this?

And how 
do you repay a small
favor to a computer? Perhaps 

just by pondering 
the possibilities.

Friday, March 17, 2023


Even in the hands 
of such a 
parsimonious doctor, 

form will still 

and meaning 
must concentrate—

if only due to time's 
vigorous erosion.

Such mutable things
as wheelbarrows 
and chickens 

might likely seem 
a chastened century later, 

and will never escape 
the omnipotence 
of erasure.

If he somehow 
knew then

all that we've
forgotten now, 

his most profound 
work, from beginning 
to end, 

might take up 
one line 

and read: 
"so much depends."

Thursday, March 16, 2023


It seems almost 
ridiculous how 
all of life's particulars 

stubbornly refuse, 
over time, to refine—

how blood 
and saliva don't distill 
like a wine—

how frangible 
stem cells don't 
collapse, they multiply. 

But at least we catch 
a break when all the dots 
start to connect, 

and all of those 
stubborn, hard knots 
where life's events 

soon will get 
fused to our biased 
remembrances of them 

eventually combine, 
and then cement 
into a spine—

from which long, 
nervy pipes unspool 
and start winding

with generous 
thickness through all 
we now are 

to structure and 
nourish and, eventually, 
to animate 

some overlaid 
insouciant part, which 
didn't used to be there 

into a piece of 
appreciable art.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023


The way in which darkness 
will twice
bookend day—I suppose you 

could call that haiku 
if you chose to. 
But haiku itself 

would never 
give away 
the name

of streetlamps 
which cast creeping 
shadows through park grass,

or the blueness 
of evergreens 
against skies' rising bruises—

least of all, 
of deftly transposing 

as one mug of tea  
warms the countertop
and cools.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023


On one hand—
just a slight series 
of deftly pitched words, 

flung with 
just the right spin to affect 
a sly curve 

could, irrevocably, 
destabilize the world. 

Then again—
on the other, it's probably 
safer by a long shot, 

to haul off and 
send discourse 
running in all directions 

than it would be 
to ever risk coming- 
off as lazy 

or too slow, or late 
to the party, 
or cagey—or worse, 

some deceptively 
benign word 


Monday, March 13, 2023


        (for Hammerhands.)

So you no longer want to 
play music anyhow—

for what music 
could coax renewed 
substance from shadow,

or transcribe absent echos  
to original score,

or soundtrack 
winter's deaf, blank 
finality of snow? 

But somewhere deep
in the twitching 
of muscles;

in the shadows 
where capillaries drum 
along bones;

in the labyrinthine swirls (as 
a seashell 
by the ocean) 

of the exquisite folds 
of the inner 
ear, you notice:

that as long as 
you're able, by 
definition, to persist,

you can never 
bear witness to such 
suitable silence—

through each triumph 
and each stillness, 

in greatest 
gratitude and grief, 

your delirious, 
lunatic heart 
will keep repeating 

the only note 
it knows.

Friday, March 10, 2023


When we 
can't kiss, but can still 
quietly walk 

around the perimeter 
of this indescribable 
feeling and listen—

when it seems certain 
that no room is left 
in the inn

for the bigness of the 
thought we've been 
trying to hold in, 

but still, there 
are a few 
rickety windows

we can reach and fling 
open to let in 
some air—

when we can’t find words 
for the despair 
which devours us, 

and yet, it doesn't feel 
all that capricious 
to sing 

with some friends in 
a bar about 
frivolous things—

that's when 
we're finally ready 
to admit 

that there's no 
rationale, but 
it must 

stand to reason:
we can probably live 
without the touch 

of true meaning,
as long as there‘s 
the feeling.

Thursday, March 9, 2023


When I close my 
eyes, do I still 

in Plato's sense 
that a shadow exists:

in the absence 
and because of 
the light? And

in my diminished state, 
will I fear 
the brave sun, who, 

the benevolent 
look on his face, 

shall not be denied, 
or obscured? 

In the dark, I can 
feel the right and 
ruinous effulgence 

of the voice of that star, 
which is above 
all admonition,

like a thunderbolt—
cracking huge blocks 
of form and matter 

extant in my mind 
into slivers of 
this essence, 

which I, 
thus accosted, must
open my eyes 

if I ever hope 
to measure. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023


We have it 
on good, if somewhat 
tacit authority—

we can even taste it 
in the fear (which comes 
drizzled in lust)

constantly secreted 
by the tips of 
our tongues—

that some perilous, 
inky, imperious 

should inexorably appear 
at the end 
of every sentence.

Life's labor, then, consists
in approaching 
this limit,

as doomed stuntmen 
who ride for the edge, 
but don't hit it—

until we crash 
and wreck 
that babble tower, 

with silence 
as our penance.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


Art may 
instruct us

in so far as 
it doesn't. 

The most striking

or words 
of a poem 

are, at best, crumbs 
of dust

which the weakest shaft 
of errant light 

that meanders 
though a window 

may seem, for one 
bright moment, 

to transpose
into a road—

but the end of that line 
is a cul-de-sac  

where we loop
through the circle 

of knowing 
what we knew 

as the marvelous friction  
of that fraught recollection 

warms some frozen
feeling back.

Monday, March 6, 2023


If your cares won't 
collapse, and 
you can't 
get to sleep,

instead of 
the cheap stuff 
like blessings 
or sheep,  

try counting 
the billions 
of other people's 

those delicate, 
crepe paper-
textured things, 

but dignified 
as a second-
prize rose—

which, up to
this minute, have 
and closed—

not reflexive- 
or self-possessedly, 
not in brief or 
by design, 

but both helpless- 
and definitively:
for the very 
last time.

Friday, March 3, 2023


Roots that dig deep
enough to feel 
the heat of hell,

and tips that reach 
to scrape the diamonds 
undergirding heaven;

appendages which shake, 
bend, and 
quiver themselves to pieces 
with the littlest hint
of oncoming wind, 

yet which always resolve 
to remain spread 
wide open 

and stiff 
in the pose of 
perpetual giving;

but above all, 
a fierce and 
obstinate reluctance 

to admit 
when you've been killed
and abandon your position, 

and just as fierce 
a willingness  

to come back 
to life in six months 
and forgive.

All of this—
and nothing less, 

and all of the time, 
and all of your life—

is what it will take 
if you ever expect,

in spite 
of the callous 
vicissitudes of seasons,

to stand in the dirt—
and the light—
and to live.

Thursday, March 2, 2023


I guess this is progress—
finally, I've begun 
to wonder 

what I'm supposed to do 
with your pictures.

After all 
these years, your face 
still looks the same to me, 

whereas I'd swear 
up and down, I'm so 
very much older 

even than I appear 
in the mirror 
at this moment—

old enough, at any 
rate, at least 
to understand 

how the pieces of us 
which might still interact 
are far 

from the proper or 
obvious suspects. 
It's a bit like 

how the instrument 
which is responsible 
for singing 

is itself, in practice, 
mysteriously silent—

and the similar 
mechanism by which 
the song's witness 

is compelled to linger 
there and listen, 

while equally 
primitive, is completely 
invisible—or at least 

remains very
ingeniously hidden. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023


When I make a point
to say it, does the pathos
of a half-moon 

made of crinkled-
but-unblemished paper 

in a sky 
of ink make 
sense to you? 

My guess is—the linguists 
were wrong 

about the world we interact in 
being really made 
of grammar. 

But perhaps, 
what there is 
is a pyramid 

of syntax—a chain 
of command 

in those words
which are good—

a hierarchy 
of all those
mysterious phrases

which swirl and tumble 
and jockey 
in our chests 

like still-
forming pearls for the 
chance to be expressed—

yet which 
cannot be grasped 

or appraised, just 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


True blankness 
isn't white, like a glass 
of cold milk is; 

it hits not a bit 
like snow, bleached 
paper, or crisp sheets. No, 

the blankness 
which crouches
inside of you now

isn't even part
of your bodily 

And in truth,
it's so good, 
so pure, and so right 

that it's not even 
like light,
so much as 

Einstein's densest,  
most compressed equation 
which describes it—or

maybe, it's more like 
the time 
that a cloud takes 

to rain itself cleanly right 
out of existence. 
The point is— 

what you're feeling 
is not even a feeling

the experience 
of whichever feeling 
you'd expected 

slowly dissipating—
as you come, with neither
malice or elation, 

to know: it was doing 
nothing for you.

Monday, February 27, 2023


Here, once 
again, comes the 
illimitable sun—

that titan, 
that dynamo, 

that protector, that
exalted one—

that scourge of all 
philanderers, hard 
criminals, and drunks—

that gutsy oligarch 
of planet Earth 

who knows 
how to 
get things done. 

And you watch him
from your window 

as he ferrets 
out the gloom 

and rides upon 
his chariot toward 

the palace 
of high noon—

and you  feel, 
as you do, the relief 
in your bones

as this honey- 
golden thought
first blooms, 

then, drizzles 
down, from your head 
to your toes, 

and spreads 
to suffuse your 
unlettered soul 

with all it could 
possibly know: 

you do not have to 
do this alone.

Friday, February 24, 2023


For a long time, it seems,
we've been looking 
for the source 

of the biggest ideas 
in the universe  
inside of things

but perhaps 
we've been putting all our 
eggs in the wrong basket, 

and we'd be so much 
the wiser to invert
our tired search.

Perhaps, in fact, 
all we can sense
is abstract, 

and only the stark-
ly analytic
is real. 

Arithmetic, identity, 
virtue, logic, etc—
what if 

all these are 
are the bricks 
and the mortar—

the internet, 
water, heat, garbage, 
and electric?

And the warmth
I can feel 
in the palm of a hand

is the only way I'll 
ever understand 
true acceptance—

or the sound of my 
boot soles on 
ground is 

or this city's sidewalks
are my church?

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Believe it or 
not, noon still comes 
to the square, 

where the footpath 
is once again clotted 
with pigeons—mottled gray 

and filthy 
with the greenish light 
of winter, 

a dozen or more 
swarm at my feet, and beg 
to be perceived. 

And who am I, 
I think, to resist

or expanding
and collapsing them 
into a poem—

lest this numb, 
and intransigent, 
and wholly uninteresting cold 

to rule that safe 
asylum in my mind, 

just as it will surely 
come to ruin
these city sidewalks 

long before one shabby 
glut of birds has 
had the chance to?

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


First of all, 
they always talk 
about devotion 

as if it made a 
as if 

the distance 
between persons 
were just the same 

as the distance 
between objects—

and could thusly 
be bridged 

by some mass 

and then sumptuous 

of bland  


Next, they conflate 

with the state 
of immortality—

that sometimes we don't 
have a choice 

but to stand, for all 
intents and 

purposes, permanently 

at the prodigious depths  
of our own 


And last, but not 

they all rhapsodize 

as if this were 
desirable—as if it 


Tuesday, February 21, 2023


By late February, 
when winter 
is a thin and haggard ghost,

and streets are clogged 
with slow-going cars and

commuters going 
through their weary motions—

even the chalkwhite, 
supposedly empty 

treasure trove of 
bracing-cold sky is 
not so—even the notion, 

say, of barrenness,
or vacancy 

is choked 
with the desiccated 
caws of old crows, 

which ricochet
off surfaces too
salt-caked for snow, 

driving me further 
and further away

from recalling 
some sentimental snatch 
of a poem.

Monday, February 20, 2023


With each hard laugh, 
the hatred 
in our hearts

may be halved
(hatred cut slow- 

by our heroes,
as a babbling 
brook shaves a rock 

into canyon),
but that 
asymptotic curve 

shall never 
hit zero. 
Still, though 

we'll dolefully
open that scar. 

what choice do we have?
Our hurt
may be salved, 

but can never 
be spent—
such is 

the fantastic
of our reservoirs.

Friday, February 17, 2023


Those nights 
when we're contented 
enough with our 

discontent to notice, 
we may glimpse 
the eternities 

which are 
between moments—

like gleaming marrow 
in femur bones;

like a drawer 
full of long-expired
checks we cannot cash.

In fact, this may
explain why we're 
so often restless—

restless to the point, 
perhaps, of desperate 
and tense—

any time we 
find ourselves awake 
instead of dreaming

of the endless 
lives of 

burns to ash.

Thursday, February 16, 2023


You don't get older

it happens
overnight. Unlike

a good fruit, which 
will sweeten
as it softens,

the delicate, crisp 
silhouette you had bought

might jump, as you
from tight

and smooth—
right past rot 

and baggy
ruin, and straight 

to formless 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023


It's there, in the 
briefest downward 

of our eyelids—
when the unconscious 
works hardest

to perfect its 
most plausible 

and yet least grim 
denial of that 
absolute black;

and it's there, too,
in the invisible 
kiss against our lips 

we feel as each stubbornly 
fixed prior cause 

is wed 
to its capricious next
proximate effect, 

both smug 
in their insidiously 
universal perpetuity—

it's the one simple thing 
which even 
the Buddha 

could never quite manage 
to cross off 
his to-do list

and the very last bit 
of Newton's 
old physics 

which still resists 
all modern attempts
at interpretation;

it's god's 
damn machine;

the irreducible 

the little trouble we 
laypeople call:

Tuesday, February 14, 2023


In a season 
where hearts most resemble 
dead leaves, 

our offensive of indifference 
is concealed 
like the wind

as it permeates 
the skin and swiftly 
subjugates rejection. 

So what, we want to spit 
blindly at the seers,
if we choose to flirt 
a little bit with 

Is it not a fact 
that repeated gestures 
build significance?

So what 
if our love language 

turns out to be 

Is it not more empowering 
to perish the thought

that our wanderings
in the desert of another
were for nothing?

To still believe their slights 
may yet turn out to be 
that promise,

that errorless envoy
which renders angels 

Monday, February 13, 2023


This (and only this) 
is how things 
currently stand: 

the present is just 
the future's grave 
remembrance of the past.

As electrons fizz 
and fudge 
the black gap 

between dendrite 
trees and their
bygone axons, 

words whose constituent 
letters aren't clear 

cohere and steal silences 
which can't be 
stolen back. 

They say that 
no one's fully conscious 

until they feel
and disconcertingly 

that they don't belong

as close 
as they've come 
to the fulminant nothing 

from which 
all of their thoughts
have sprung. 

Friday, February 10, 2023


In the beginning 
there are

and number;

all is raw 
as we are 

and spectacularly 



Before long
we crave more 
provisional things 

such as color,
sound, taste,
smell, and touch—and then 

We get high 
on the high-resolution 
of pictures 

and objectify
subjects whose 
we most adore.


Latterly, though, 
we are goaded toward 

we grow wary 
of these sentences

and wearier
of stimuli; 

we're no 

but docile 
(though headstrong) 

hellbent on 
glimpsing things 
as they really are—

by which, 
of course, we 
finally mean:

with our never 
having been here.

Thursday, February 9, 2023


From crib 
to crypt, syllable 

by syllable, only 
a makeshift 

self is constructed—
a papier mâché 

in which 
similar sounds 

are bound 
with the starch 

of incessant 

to create, 
not a man

or a principle 
or a brand, but 

the one thing 
which no one can 

ever agree on: 
the heart 

of an in-
comprehensible story—

the "obvious"

in a true work 
of art.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023



and frightfully 
dull though it is, 
an eternity 

of tedium 
might have its upside—
which is 

namely, that it's difficult 
for its downside 
to exist.

if, after death, 
a fearless 
soul does not present itself—

if no reckoning 
or cessation, 

but only some dis-
embodied lack 

of interest 
in either one persists—

what is found 
shall quite obviously
mean very little, since

what might have been 
lost can no longer 
haunt us

or put its 

sounding words 
in our mouths.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023


Like invisible wind stirring 
phantom leaves 

on a dead-
to-the-world old 
elm tree in February, 

so you, too 
reshuffle reams 
of dull memories 

to which you still cling, though 
you never seemed
to live-through.

You see obscure eternities
meandering forever, 

while recalling 
with clarity, that it all started 

Just for now, all your fear 
can be turned 

to resemble 
what you'd called, in your 
foolish youth, "wonder,"

while the confusion, 
which looms in the darkness
at its center

both attracts and 
consumes you—

like a massive 
black hole in the middle 
of the universe

and a huge, heavy whetstone 
which your strength
will not move—even as 

you somehow use it 
to sharpen-up
your truth.

Monday, February 6, 2023


What are these statues 
we're all turning 

The slightest 
discrepancy—a pea
beneath the mattress— 

is all that's required 
to stilt integration, 

to pause "Good

to completely upend 
the conversation. 


Yeats misspoke in that 
things fall apart;

perhaps they just harden 
and reduce 
and conserve. Until 

all that we are 
is lines, arches 
and serifs—some dawn

just behind, 
some ahead 
of their curves. 

From Abraham and Sarah, 
to Peaches 
and Herb—

or later, everyone
is a word.

Friday, February 3, 2023


Spurred as they are 
by spectra 
past our kenning, 

hollow bodies aimed 
by the thrumming 

migrating birds 
have no feeling 
for our borders—

just as 
that sadness
which arises absurdly 

and flits among us 
damned to tread cement 
and dirt and grass

will alight and persist
long past its 
advantage, having no sense 

of terminus—
and no respect 
for facts.

Thursday, February 2, 2023


The will to live is 
a pendulum 

which swings 
from regret to 

The bottom 
of the carton;

a cold whisper 
of Spring;

the sound, on your 
end, of their cell phone
still ringing—

there's no fact 
of the matter 
that won't do-si-do 

because even they know: 
The Actual
is a stopped-clock 

which might 
suffice once 
or twice, but 

The Possible 
is the sun 

that keeps us gunning 
for horizons.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


For argument's sake, 
let's say you're
a sort of pioneer 

who casts-off for new
truths on each 
day of the week. 

One day, the sun soothes, 
and the moon's a wedge 
of cheese;

the next, the whole 
solar system's some 
godless conspiracy, 

and you're scared 
to look up, lest they see 
your unbelief. 

Would you still get 
the feeling of 
love at first sight 

each time that you hugged 
the next curve 
of your silo? 

On an exit-poll, would you 
rate yourself as more
or less contented 

than all of your 
dear fellow 
inmates who reside there 

never to be able 
to recall 
the first name—

or the face—
or the smell of the 
devil you know?

Tuesday, January 31, 2023


When all in me is 

but the sound of that quietness 
and hums;

when this cursor 
is still

and the page is still 

but the inquest is over 
and the sentencing
is done—

let it be 

there is nothing 
I am seeking—

no salve 
or succor 

for holes 
bored-in deep by cold forceps 
of grief 

or bruises drained dry 
by their long search 
for a cause;

none who must see 
for themselves 
need come—

no one 
will know 

how perfected
I was.

Monday, January 30, 2023


Stop! What is the shape 
of pure, white 

"on its way" 

from nowhere 
to everything? Or

getting stumped

before he's allowed 
to complete the next transfer?

"This could take 
forever," we 
mutter (although,

strictly, that's not possible),
as if time 
were our material 

and could thusly 
get corrupted;  

As if truth—
or whatever 

the light is, 
for that matter—

could ever 
be grasped. 
But not grasped 

like held-up


Friday, January 27, 2023


After the true shape 
of a thing 
is disclosed, 

it becomes trivially 
easy to expose its 
rough seams. 

The past, for instance, 
is now fixed—a living death— 
in memory,

and we quickly grow 

for present tense's old

And so, 
we get busy—

we plot 
charts, invent 

on the fleeing stars, 

after failing 
to remember any.

Thursday, January 26, 2023


When we think of ourselves
as critical viewers, 

nothing that's 
out there can 
shock us anymore. 

Fingering apocalypse, 
sniffing fresh

watching lurid
bombs fall—we'll thumb our lip 
and wonder 

is this serious 
film a real 
Oscar contender? 

And we'll wait 
(we've learned
how by now) 

for that lull 
before the credits roll 

to skillfully allow 
our drawn appearance 
to unbound, 

now that the danger 
of hurt is averted, 

now that this crisis 
of faith is resolved—

the usual combination 
of darkness 
and music 

will swirl up around us 
as a few chosen 
names scroll, 

leaving us 
safe, and quite 
anonymous enough, 

as soon as we're 
recomposed, to get up
and go.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023


It used to be true 
that there was solace 
in the vacuum;

that emptiness 
which, on all sides, 
enveloped us, 

ready to crush 
us to pieces  
should we breach it,

would insulate us 
quite nicely from the pain 
of conviction 

and give credence 
to all of our panicked 

But blank space, 
we now think, is filled 
to the brim—not only 

with the dark matter 
of our carelessness
and enthrallment, 

but with the energy 
of our worst fears
all colliding in the dark,  

creating new shapes 
and relationships 
amongst the ruined drifting stars 

for some future 
night gazer's most 
trifling entertainment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Are we just 
the sum of our 
everyday actions, or 

is there more—by which 
I mean 
less? I mean: 

is our whole purpose 
just those behaviors 

which we repeat 
without thinking 

like automatic 
crying, or some 
nest-building instinct? Or

is it better expressed 
the other way around:

those tics, fits,
and movements 

ordained to us 
by elsewhere—

by a past whose 
unwanted touch
we all share, but which 

still is no more real to us 
than the worst shit 
on Netflix—are those 

our blessed and 
mandated missions? 
Shall they choose 

our occupations? 
Comprise our 
life's work?

Monday, January 23, 2023


We've been learning how to sit 
and subdue
our own thoughts—

because we've been so-

But it's disconcerting 
to hear melody 
sung without lyrics—

and lonelier 
than one would care 
to admit

to be caught 
in such a glamorous close-up. 

At least when there's bickering, 
we know that 
all parties care enough—

we know that 
more than one 

distractedly fast-moving,
cool, detached 
stranger to us 

finds this hole 
where someone's head was 

too interesting 
to pass up.


Friday, January 20, 2023


In the beginning 
were the words, 

and the words were—
because I say so.

Since then, the gossip 
has only gotten

here on Earth, and
the discourse 

has taken a turn

the interrogative.


Who here 
doesn't want to 
live forever, 

cross-examine the essence 
of nebulae, 

ride upon
your anger 

in the solar wind 
of deep 


As usual, the question, 
as worded, 

makes the whole thing sound 
sordid and crude. 

And the answer 
has not been to affirm, 
or to defer;

it's really, 
all along, just been 
a question 

of your attitude.

Thursday, January 19, 2023


They tell me: for all 
intents and purposes, 

it's perfectly safe 
to disregard 
all information 

which appears 
more than once

or is not  
in the foreground.


They say: by the time 
we're through 
with you, 

you will buy-in 
to the ordeal 
of your life 

as a set of scales
of Justice, perfectly 

by involvement 
and forbearance. 


But maybe that's only 
trivially true. 

the more our words 

the less room 
there is for the content 
of experience.


Maybe these bodies 
we've shunned 
and abused 

shall finally be 
returned to us—

as opposed to
the limitless 

ones we were 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023


Think of all the second 
hands of clocks 

currently extant 
on the Earth

hurling forward, as if 
forced, with that sickening 

all at once,
while you stand without 
shoes on, 

in the middle of a 
small park 

that used to be 
a parking lot, 

and before that, perhaps, 
a hunting ground, 

a meeting place, a 
burial mound—

and try to say
with a straight face 
or dry eyes

that nothing 
of significance 
has ever happened to you;

that the present won't pollute 
our perception 
of the past;

that any 
love lost 

isn't changed 
by its absence, 

doesn't come 
back around—but


Tuesday, January 17, 2023


These days, even 
nuclear physicists
seem dubious 

about speaking 
in those tongues 
which some call

they know that 

have always 
been a gamble, 

and that gamblers 
who always remain 

however useful 
in the short term, 

are a danger to the system 
and need to be 

As such,  
they'll say things like:

even the physical
properties of matter 

may constitute only 
one half 
of a conversation 

which we were neither 
meant for, nor built 
to overhear—

not between the ghost 
and his compliant 
machine, mind you,

but the one 
who's still haunted 

by the perverse 

of the iconoclast heir
whom he wastes 
his nights haunting.

Monday, January 16, 2023


It figures we'd 
go looking—
like overeager, 

to soothsayers—

into every dingy
puddle we can find 
on the street, 

by our dark and 
anemic reflections 

that we just glimpsed, 
in our faces,
some terrifying truth.

Instead of such 
close scrutiny
of what we seem to be

perhaps we should focus 
on what we've just 
been doing: namely, 

closing our eyes 
to the violence
and tragedy—

to the doubt and self-deceit 
which turn curiosity 
to grief—

and hoping,
when we sneak 
up on the next wet,

warped reflection,
that we'll finally see

whatsoever staring 
from the water—

what a neat 
magic trick; what
a relief.

Friday, January 13, 2023


Some days, 
are alright; 
you really feel you 

are light—
that is,

wonderfully made 

out of clear, indivisible 
from old stars.

But then, of course, always 
must follow 
the nights

with their dour 
and far less
fastidious hours, 

in which only 
your outermost 
case feels transparent 

and glistens—
more like 

a pig's 
small intestines, stuffed 

with its own 
muscles, organs
and skin.

Thursday, January 12, 2023


Approaching life's 
midpoint, you more or less think 
you get it: 

not everything that shines reflects 
the guileless light 
of purpose;

and most of the things 
you can fit 
in your hands

were not placed there 
expressly for you to use 
to your benefit. 

But still, you find it difficult 
to prevent yourself 
from believing  

that the moon 
(which sometimes looks simply 
delicious from down here)

is the ripe fruit 
of heaven's prize 
infinity tree, 

hung in plain view 
for you to pluck 
with your fingers—or that 

the fathomless pain 
whose full textures and tastes 
were lost on you way back when

will someday
come back with its 
hat in its hand, 

as if it owes you an apology
for helping most of this
make sense.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023


Pleasure is sometimes 
operationally defined 

as the accumulation 
and release of that same 
stored-up tension—

of unpleasant sensations, 
fastidiously collected 

from the tenebrous bulk 
of this great, awful 
somewhere. As such, 

think of how much 
adolescent gratification 
must exist 

in a slap in the face 
on a bitter cold day, 

or an hour laid 
back in some 
renegade dentist's chair. 

But wait—to what 
hopeless extent have we been, 
all along, creating 

and propagating, 
in our desperate bid 
for satisfaction,

a new slave mentality—
fierce dependence 
on cruel masters? 

And is such a phenomenon 
even likely to be measured 

by a ruling class so uninterested 
in consorting 
with the captured?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023


the very distinctly 

significance of a 
sunny day in January:

the same lone, ebullient, 
and protuberant hulk 
of a tree 

that once caught 
and contoured the briskest
summer breezes 

and shaded me 
so masterfully—

now looking heavy 
and old 
and careworn, 

and frozen to its 
chosen spot—

but also, 
the very same hale,
stubborn paragon 

whose huge afternoon shadow
I can stand right
inside of 

while its incommunicable soul 
subsumes to sooth 
my own.

Monday, January 9, 2023


In the end, I guess 
what I'll be 
is a list: 

was born 

worked for
such and such,

and died 
taking just about

the same 
amount of love
as he gave up...

But the question 
of who I'll be 

when the yield
of that harvest of words 
no longer matters

is infinitely 
more complex—

not to mention 
an entire 
ocean of ink messier, 

even though 
it's so neatly contained 

by three quite 
innocuous letters.

Friday, January 6, 2023


Sometimes, the drain 
is the only way out,

and any doubt—
any designs on ascendancy 
or flight 

are dreams far too large 
for that pipe. 

And sometimes, our
last and most 
desperate days 

are the ones that finally grant us 
our greatest chance
to escape. 

For when, if not 
in our last, darkest hour

does everything spurious 
begin to swoon 
and dance 

to that strange, 
muted music—not which 
is prettiest, 

as it may have 
in the past—

but which has staged
the best
gradual fade?

Thursday, January 5, 2023


Sure, the tortoise 
wins the race, but at 
what terrible price? 

Such slowness, 
when put on 
deliberate display 

in the face of feigned 
urgency, is tantamount 
to avarice—to say 

of the wrath which his 
steadiness elicits 

from believers 
in rabbits, aghast,
in the stands. 

For success, it turns 
out, means little 
(or less) 

when we flout divine
order and convention 
just to get there;

and victory, when eased
from the slack mouth
of complacency, 

is a cardinal
offense, not a 
finish line to strive for—

much more 
awful, at least, as far 
as can be gathered

from the dubious
jeers from the
jury of our peers,

than every remaining
deadly sin (including
sloth) all put together.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023


After tons of scrapped 
maxims, we're
finally onto one: 

too many true things 
tend to happen 
all at once.

But with so many components 
to what purport to be 
"the facts," 

it's no wonder 
we find ourselves
up to our necks 

in a deluge of fictions 
which suffocate 
our trust. And yet, 

as we sink 
deeper down in that 
speculative morass, 

just look at how 
filled, one by one, 
we become

with a feverish
resolve to start 
babbling afresh 

some new story 
all about what we had done 
to deserve this.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023


It isn't really 
very funny—

when stacked 
next to eons 

and light years' worth 
of nothing, 

the tiniest thing 
cannot help but be 

that minuscule cut 
on the tip 
of your tongue; 

those grace notes 
which tug a song blue 
as it's sung—

even the one 
little bruised spot  
you've got 

on that impressive suit 
of armor 

which used to be 
your heart. 

That's the part 
of you that proves,

despite the 
empty gloom 
and dark

parading through 
this universe, 

that you'll not 
pass through it 

you'll soften
and rot 
before you could do that,

like a true work 
of art—or a bad piece 
of fruit.

Monday, January 2, 2023


The way I 

and pretend

and pretend
not to need you—

even as I 
deplete you—no,

even as I
steal you;

and the way you're 
so pleased to show

nothing to me, 

even while you 
give me much 

more than your money—
it's like

each of us desperately 
needs to exist

in the very same space, 
yet persist 

on our own.

I guess that's what 
they mean 

by a 
malignant growth:

this mutual 

diminishes us both.