Wednesday, December 27, 2023


What became 
of our youth is 

too difficult 
to prove. Besides which, 

we who've grown
slower, smaller, colder

riding out the sleepless 
nights of answer in our rooms

now prefer 
the insular argot 

(and the comforting 
muteness which is 

sure to follow)
of riddles 

posed—then deferred—
to the truth. 

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


As we go out 
to corral, in the nightfall 
of the year,

those actions we have taken 
to reduce the span from 
there to here,

those designs 
become spooked 
and careen away, rudderless 

as verbs 
without their
formal subjects—and so,

the last thing 
we see in 

is our do's 
and be's and say's 
and repair's

revert back 
to frightened and 
feral infinitives 

and hook out beyond 
our dim, might-
obscured sightlines, til they're

in the hugeness of 

Friday, December 22, 2023


Given your movement 
at constant velocity 

with zero acceleration 
through a frictionless environment, 

how long would it take 
for your circumstance to change,

expressed in the units 
of vision-times-horizons? 

If this problem's too 

and you cannot 
do the math 

with just the pencil 
of your breathing and 

the paper 
of your death, 

please turn your slender 
attention instead 

to the width that 
you must travel 

in one year 
inside your head  

to get from the distance of lack
of forgiveness 

for every past 
clandestine sin 

to the point where all 
the judgements end

and allowance 
can begin. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023


Forget about 
the mountains and the sun 

sometimes, just the fact that 
a morning 

could follow at all
from the depths 
of last night 

already feels like  
a pretty huge stretch. 

and why fleshy 
orange crests horizons 

is a posture 
these bodies aren't built 
to know,  

though we practice 
like a guru possessed.

But who among us, 
all the while, 
isn't posed 

as a child—lying 
doubled-over prone 

in pursuit 
of what wisdom is held 
in our breath

from our 
birth until our death?  

Wednesday, December 20, 2023


It is time 
to admit we've gone broke
on the asking.

The intervals between "How 
could this happen?" 
are collapsing. 

Now that we know 
these pains to be ours, 

what shall we 
go out and do 
with the recognition? 

Instead of 
false lights, could we turn on 
the darkness? 

Should we lean 
on this hardness? Commemorate 
the solstice? 

On the longest night possible, 
it's a luxury to ponder, 

to walk through our own 
well-lit darkness, 
and to notice 

how much we will cherish 
all the outrage,
the awkwardness—

even the cruelty  
and callousness of lovers

after the last 
lovers' quarrel is 

Tuesday, December 19, 2023


On Earth, the bare facts 
are about as scarce 
as moon rocks:

disinterest—all exist;

runneth over; rage and horror 
are the grist. 

So, with far too much
to pray for and not enough 
worth saving, 

let us hold off 
on salvation, and instead 
solicit grace. 

For, though we don't 
deserve a pardon, 
we may 

get a salve 
against our self-

We may not 
transcend this world 
"body and soul," 

but we might walk 
around in it 
"body and clothing."

Monday, December 18, 2023


pure tedium, or all 

Always this thought-
provoking admixture 
of both. 

by evening,
corridor by room, 

like a cunning set
of chess moves—
like the light 

is stalked by gloom— 
I can see that I 
must castle 

at the border 
of uncertainty—

truth be told, 
I have no 
exit strategy

should confusion
or mistrust choose to 
dispense with all the subtleties 

and tunnel 
right under 
the fortress of me. 

Friday, December 15, 2023


Too much 
beauty, when viewed 
all at once 

is perturbing 
to the eye—and to the brain, it 
makes no sense. 

In order to survive, we must 
believe it's 

that, really 
all along, it's just 
the ether versus us. 

But of course, 
that's wrong; it's 
this whole outlandish 

phantom of a place—
this concussed and chaotic 
fever dream of a vast

expanding universe— 
which endures and is truly 

while the poor 
human actor who 
fritters and struts 

is, at best, unimportant, 
and at worst, 
gratuitous—born to 

gross, uncertain 
luck, then disappeared 
just as mysterious. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023


Though at times
it seems equally piercing 
and impressive, 

the mind 
is concurrently 
dull and elusive. It works less 

like a diamond 
than a bolt 
of jagged coal—or maybe 

less a rock 
in general than some livid
rusty nail

to right angles 
by the reoccurring thought 

that not only is it 
all too true that 
nobody is perfect, but it's 

also a murky 
yet terrible fact that nobody's 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023


Just then, when you notice 
your capricious mind 
has drifted 

from the loud, laborious  
task at hand 

to that sullen 
land where all 
is pointless,

it might help 
to think of some 
ponderous objects—

gas planets, for instance, 
and their dozen frozen moons;

mountain ranges, off 
in the distance; 

even, perhaps, the huge 
side-by-side fridge 

which buzzes like a
hive inside your 
fourteenth floor apartment—

you should try to see each one
as now effectually 

since, without a little 
practice, it might never 
cross your mind 

that every immutable 
thing which exists, 

at some point 
or another, first needed
to be lifted.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023


while I wait 
for fate or 

to restart 
and update my 
operating system, 

I keep looping 
to comb through the 
honed decay 

of all the same old
fossilized streets—

at this point, 
I'm no longer 
searching for something; 

I'm just strictly 
rehearsing (in hopes 
I can memorize)

the feeling 
of finding precisely 
what I need there.

That way, if I ever
came across 
the motivation 

to stop repeating 
hurts and claim the 
mercy I'm so hungry for, 

I would find myself 
so nimble and 

that I could blithely 
walk right by it, like I 
didn't even care.

Monday, December 11, 2023


Between bungalows' little 
cold sighs
of front yards

each strangled with wires
and tinsel 
and lights,

and the street curb, 
all caked with 
December's take on dirt, 

a few robins—great rakes 
in the long days 
gone by,

now gaunt,
pale, and desperately 
pointed and sticky—

are darting ever faster 
back and forth 
between the pines

and squawking nonstop 
about the good times 
come next Easter.

Friday, December 8, 2023


Under the severe 
and age-old discipline 
of winter,  

it grows more 
and more difficult to recall 
the eager colors 

or the deftly 
phrased but simply stated 
songs of lost companions 

like the iridescent starling 
and the ardent, 
chatty cardinal. Now, 

under headstone-
heavy (and just as gray)
skies, it's become a lot simpler 

to fall in line
and recite, in 
alphabetical order,

strict lists 
of their names in 
binomial Latin—

preferably from 
memory, and quick 
as we can—lest we 

get a cold rap 
on the knuckles

Thursday, December 7, 2023


How fast the day goes 
now that no leaves trap 
and hold the light close. 

Darkness falls, dense 
and cold as snow, 

chokes off 
the sparrows' song, 
covers up the roads—

as if some motor 
in the center of the planet 
were broken 

and the whole thing
quit spinning; 

some weight, 
once imbued with the lightness 
of motion 

has been loosed upon
our souls, and it now threatens 
never to leave.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023


In short, it's because 
of the strong 
and weak forces

which have carried 
the light (if not 
the word) forward—

those sticky 
invisible prefixes 
to oceans; then

land bridges, city states, 
world wars, and 
gas shortages; 

and finally, the 
galaxy of dense fiber-

which has criss-
crossed the cold-
shoulder 21st century—

that I should be 
nothing but the voice 
in your mind 

who speaks to you 
as you while you read
down these lines. Yet,

for all of that 
progress, we 
still cannot talk 

about where we'll end 
up together, or how 
we're combined 

without spilling all 
the milk inside 
the universe's circuit board, 

and, faster than light 
can move, splitting 
back in two.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


In the beginning 
was a boundless (read: 
impersonal) world. 

Only, soon it was 
realized that 
nobody wanted this,

and so, quick 
as a cracked 
whip, infinities 

were blunted—then 
screaming, and 

were invented. 
But once things 

had a shape to them, 
they could then be 

And though changing 
one's direction seemed
judicious as a strategy, 

all were ill 
prepared to know the
death of isolation—

the suffocating
weight of conservation 
of momentum. 

Monday, December 4, 2023


goes something 
like this:
in our race 

to forever, 
I tend 
towards a city—

but you
place your bets 
on wending 

like a river. 
The significance 
of this is, 

as yet, 
still unclear, but 
suffice it 

to say: I persist;
you defer. 
I am 

whereas you
are not sure. 

And my 
raison d'etre is 
to exist. But 

yours is 
to adjust—
to endure. 

Friday, December 1, 2023


Once you 
are dead, the living 

will be retrofitted 

with only those 
parts of you they can 

The monster you were 

will be buried 
in the backyard—

which is to say 
planted there 

to grow its own 

by afterthought, 

until all concerned are 
well inured. 
So I guess 

it's true 
what they say: in nature, 

every poison 
comes paired 

with its cure.

Thursday, November 30, 2023


Year after year, 
a poet's complexion
seem to worsen: 

each new pockmark 
or pimple 

is a line we
should have written;

every blemish, some 
vague image unexpanded, 
gone to waste;

every wrinkle, a metaphor 
we've failed 
to expand on—

or abandoned 
for the sake of some fetish  
with concision. Yes, 

little by little, 
our skin dries out 
and starts to tighten, 

as we feel 
entire stanzas—open spaces
deep inside us

closing their shutters, 
locking their doors, 

growing dusty 
as our cheeks fall 

and our jaws 
become rusty, 

until one day, 
we're left 
with no expression 

but the blank 
verse of rueful 
confusion on our faces. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


The faithless 
are those who survive 
long enough 

to watch their once-ripe 
goals become 
fermented into mush 

which they scoop up 
and store in a mason jar 
with the label hopes and dreams.

The sour stuff seems 
to work great 
as an offering 

to those featureless 
angels who'll watch 
over their graves.

It's not 
that they believe 
that these magical creatures 

will come 
and alight and 
eat the stuff—

it's just that 
they know 
from bitter experience 

that nothing 
in the universe works 
without pay.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Difficult as it is 
to be understood, 

it seems it's 
harder still 
just to be seen. 

We point to 
the sky and say 
azure blue 

or sage green 
for the sea, as if 
it were true.

Worse still, we 
look inside 

and describe things 
we find there as

or cunning

or disciplined
or young—but then 

hoard away those attributes 
like the balance 
on a gift card 

stored safe  
inside our wallets 

with no intention
to redeem.

Monday, November 27, 2023


On the big screen, explosions 
and flames hit us 

strikes us as 
so much more pliable. 

It's as if, watching, 
we're passively 
excited to remember

how suffering 
cannot be 
visited upon us

or until 
it's invited. 

We are too entranced
to notice, but we 
might as well be thinking:

if only 
this body 
was as tractable as fire—

if only 
this mind was 
that reliable. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


In brief: it would seem 
that my 

has a mind 
all its own. 

When I try 
to pin it down 

light cone,

it slips past 
the confines of all 

and taunts me 
from the dark— 

like some 
suave super 
villain who's just 

busted out 
of prison—

simply by 
not paying 
any attention. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


After what feels 
like weeks, you'd think 
it would be 

such a relief 
to see the sun—except that 

the tiny kiss of heat 
that you feel 
in your cheeks 

feels so much more loaned 
than deserved. 

This small grace, here 
and then gone 
in a heartbeat, 

feels like the hours 
you forfeited to sleep 

last night, now 
to fortify your bones.

From ligaments 
to fingertips, you once again 
feel whole

as you know, 
for a moment 

you don't face the day 

Monday, November 20, 2023


It's a pity 
how often 
God gets trapped 

inside his 
own creation; his unconscionable 
moods, his pure 

and ethereal 
mastery over all ideas—
all of that 

gets tugged back inexorably 
to the dirt, 
weighed down 

by the animal concept 
of drag, which he invented.
And yet, 

never on his way 
to the ground does he 

with ineffable intent 
to wound and 
scar the planet—even as 

its worship turns 
to love and desire 
for distraction—

for namelessness 
still sits above 
all need to harness a crisis, 

and that which is 
clever would
never prescribe 

its own divorce 
from that 
which is kind.

Friday, November 17, 2023


Lately, I think 
there are too many ways 
to be open—

too many agreeable sounds 
I can make 

which burst from my 
throat in a flame 
in between us, and 

would seem 
to irradiate 
my plain and cold reticence 

in pulled-tooth 
display of ingratiating 

Privately, I may worry 
about the cost 
of these displays—

worry how many words 
from my finite supply 

I can frack 
from my insides, 
pipe away, and set ablaze 

before my polite, hollow
body collapses—but

how could I possibly 
not agree with 
what you say,

whatever the inward 
price I must pay?

Thursday, November 16, 2023


Some of us plainly 
cannot resist; 
we think 

that to speak a thing 
with passion 
and repeatedly 

is the most efficient 
way to feed our 
hunger for significance—

while others insist 
on that tack's 
exact opposite;

like hoarders, they 
the tiniest bits 

of fly-by-night 
language which chance 
to come near them. 

But of hunger 
of course, this is not
the reverse: their craving 

firstly, is 
to capture—and then 
after, to regurgitate. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Whenever I think 
back on all the 
totems I have worshiped—

the uncanny 
animals, precious 
found objects, 

and solid, vivid gods,
now gone translucent 
black and white

and sorted flat 
in stacks inside
the book of memory—

I do not lament 
the present 
loss of their quintessence, 

but rather—feel emboldened 
by the foolishness 
of hope, 

for their domicile there 
has made it 
too clear 

that it may still be 
possible, even under 
such attack, 

for a substance 
or a presence which is faded 
or invisible 

to live on in 
consciousness, disguised 
as its own lack.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


Shortly after dawn—
the way 
a rising sun 

causes the great 
hulking shadows 
of roofs 

to slide off old
fence posts and move 
along the lawn 

in the park across 
the street from the 
place where I sleep—

and all I can wish is 
that I might 
still live 

and find myself 
awake and walking 
out my door to witness this

so many more 
times that, 
before too long, 

I absolutely 
fail to even 
notice it.

Monday, November 13, 2023


In truth, the last 
time you perform 
a certain task 

doesn't feel 
very much at all 
like the first.

What it tends 
to resemble, almost 

much to your 
frustration—is just the next-

Which at least makes it 
easy to grasp 

the resentment 
and ennui you feel while 
stumbling through the work.

Sort of like 
coming again 

to judge 
the living 
and the dead: 

it feels somewhat 
or counterproductive 

in a kingdom 
which has 
no end.

Friday, November 10, 2023


Even with so much 
else to do, 

I still choose 
to walk around
in silence

and keep my eyes 
fixed on the 

And even if 
everything here
that I witness 

is an internal 
construct, that's not 
so bad; 

at worst, that just means 
that the whole thing's 

at best, 
that this city is 
entirely mine.

It's a solitary 
task and a
tall responsibility, 

but only an oyster 
can conjure a pearl. 

Each fleck
of thought is a first 
draft's first line;

so I touch one foot, 
then the next
to the earth, 

creating and abandoning 
possible worlds—

then colonize 
the realizable 
space with my mind, 

and watch 
as it organizes time.

Thursday, November 9, 2023


There are so many days 
when I don't speak 
to anyone; 

I see lawns and endless 
sidewalks, gruff local 
traffic, dogs.

And this is remarkably 
fine with me. 

these silent things 
and I, we get along 

as Adam 
and all of the 
creeping things in Eden. 

Then again, If I were him, 
humanity wouldn't have 
lasted too long.

I'd have balked 
at the thought 
of giving up 

an inch—
one single iota 
of lonesome perfection; 

I would never have consented
to the overnight 

of a smidgen 
of that which was 
given to me—let alone 

the indispensable 
of my rib cage—

just for the sake 
of a little 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023


Everything is clean 
and bright—

and wireless,
and paperless, and 
state of the art—

here in the new-built 
and practically 

Worldwide Arena 
of Free Information—where,

for the first time 
in history, all spectacles 
are equal, 

and everyone is always  
sitting in the best seat.

Though, of course, 
for some reason 
(which nobody remembers), 

only those court-side 
are privileged enough 
to know 

what really goes 
into the bratwurst 

which they bark for 
from our happy and eager 
herd of roving vendors.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


Though it sounds 
as if it is, compassion 
really isn't that big 

of a thing. In fact, 
it's so little, so muted 
and innocuous,

so easy 
to miss, that it's 
difficult to resist. 

It's less a flaming sword 
than the edge
of a knife 

where kinship meets 
up with and annihilates self-

it's that end point 
which knows—like a 
rain blade knows the river;

like the youngest
frail animal knows
where its nest is—

that there's somebody 
out there at this 
very minute

in need of more help 
than they're willing 
to ask for—

or maybe, more help 
than they realize 

Monday, November 6, 2023


or other, we are always 
so sure 

of those degenerate 
thoughts which we will not

that our cravings, 
our fears, and our doubts 

are itinerant 
drifters, stray hounds, 
and street walkers 

to be rounded-up 
and driven from our
nice, peaceful towns. 

But what of our 
convictions, our wild 
dreams, our hopes? 

For we know 
that they, too, must be 
roaming these grounds, 

singing on our 
corners and sleeping 
in our bus stations—

yet we hesitate 
to crack down on these 
sorts of riffraff,  

since we're so much less 
confident about
their motivations.

Friday, November 3, 2023


We think we can hide
the disconcerted grimace 

of disbelief 
from our erstwhile 
transcendent faces, 

and forestall our 

yet tremendous 

by attending 
to the this 
specious present. 

And we're good
and always 

getting better—at it. 
But we're wrong 

to posit what's next 
as perplexing; 

it's this life 
which is so 

and complex. And 

it's death 
which is so aching-
ly simple 

that it blends with the 
of every breath, 

even when 
we forget:

it's the nexus 
where all doubt 

and talent 
must cancel; 

the place 
where all our grieving 

Thursday, November 2, 2023


That there are incalculable 
between stars, 

where the blank 
that stares back at you 
benevolently regards 

the offenses 
you've carried outdoors 
in your head, 

ought to remind you 
of Catholic 
school confessions—

before screens of that black, 
muted fabric 

and waiting 
for some litany of 
rote interrogations 

to reach inside 
and soothe your seething 
reservoir of poison. 

Only, this time,
instead of that bid 
to confess, 

your hope is that 
this tapestry 
may yet 

disarm you 
with quite a different 
set of questions:

How have you been 
scarred, my friend? 

And how long 
has it been since then? 

And did you not 
invite that knife in?

And if so, 
for what reason?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023


It's a small consolation 
to the dark 
horses out there 

that late afternoon light—
so tardy 
and dull 

as it falls strangely 
cold upon a crumbled
old brick wall—

after churning 
through a vast and vacant 
vacuum full of waste

in a timeless 
yet infinite race 
against inflation—

being born 
of umpteen billion 
apocalyptic furnaces' 

compulsive and
hysterical urges
to keep burning—

and with no real
objective, save 
to surge until it fails— 

could ever have 
prevailed against 
the threat of ruination

and should plausibly 
appear to have
made it here at all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023


No Greek 
Republics got 

built on their 
wiles, true—but 

no Utopia 
or Paradise could 

do without them 
either. So 

hang your 

and jilt 
all your saints—

their self-

their rhetoric 
and pedigrees; 

and open 

the death 
row gates. Poems 

may not be 
harmless, but they are 

no one's 

Monday, October 30, 2023


After years 
and years of being 

in the stuff, 

has begun

to feel like 
an addiction. 

How could you even begin 
to revise 

these pitifully brief  
and rough 

of feelings? 

Where is that hand 

your hand 
was designed

(or at least 
had been counting on 

the vaguest 
plans) to touch?

Admit it: you're 

by the voice you've 
been using 

to posit all these questions—

on surprise, strung-out
on recognition—yet, 

you're helpless to resolve 
to dispense 

with these fictions, since 
you're trembling

even now, at the threat
of a decision. 

Friday, October 27, 2023


With respect to all 
the vampires, poltergeists,

bogeymen hiding 
underneath the bed—

the far more uncanny 
and terrifying prospect 

is just that 
the dead 

should forever 
remain dead.

While the living, 
so helpless-

ly tied
to persistence 

should recoil 
at the brutal way

is conserved

and mindlessly 

to stagger on

Thursday, October 26, 2023


Try as it might, 
your consciousness 

is never 
bare. Pernicious 

or otherwise, you can 
always find

a mood there—
some preexisting 

some disposition 

must envelop it. 
Just as 

vagabond clouds, 
hung like whims 

in the sky,
appear so light 

and variable, 

and high—so soft, 
and yet 

so permanent 
that they themselves 

weren't built 
to notice

the barometric 

put upon them by 
this planet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


Could anything 
but an actual
slap in the face

really be 
equivalent to 
that provocation?

and deeds present 

to discuss—but 
is any action, 
vindictive or kind, 

truly tantamount 
to sensation
Could words, 

however tenderly 
or shrewdly 

ever stand-in as 
a double 
for feeling

I mean, take me 
for instance, 
taking the time 

to methodically, 
formally, earnestly 
write this—better yet,

take you, who just 
blew precious 
seconds reading?

Tuesday, October 24, 2023


Light, piercing yellow 
through the rowdy
kite-blue wind—

wind on which 
surfs the slightly 
succoring smell 

of fruits turning 
sour, and of leaves 

sensations which you 
see, hear, and breathe—

are more than 
a bit like the glut 
of spare change 

which clatters in your 
pocket as you 
saunter though the scene.

That is: 
they're not more 
than useless lumps 

which rattle their capacities
away in your brain; 
sooner or later, 

they must be 
extricated—passed around, 

for favors—
in order for them 
to matter.

Monday, October 23, 2023


Though it's late 
in October, 
and a chill rides the air 

like a blue note 
which flattens out 
the sonorant chord of sun—

and everywhere, 
mangy trees blush 
to have realized 

how long they've 
been slowly, but
before your eyes, undressing—

some afternoons, 
when the slanted light 
is strong, 

you still can hear 
the frazzled hum 
of bees in dry roses

and the high-pitched 
and quickly 
repeating melody 

of the sparrows 
who sing for the meals 
they're now missing. 

And on days 
such as these, you can 
grasp without guessing 

the meaning 
of the enigmatic 
song being sung 

from the bushes and trees 
without knowing 
the lyric: 

the world does not 
wait, and life 
is not long—but it is

still, somehow, quite 
and exhausting.

Friday, October 20, 2023


You may well 
and truly say 

that this world 
we're both trying 
to navigate, 

like a stallion 
who craves 

the staid strictness 
of the bridle,

is in pressing 
and desperate need 
of defining

that apt, potent arguments 
and well-
turned phrases 

shall one day tame 
the morass 
and the tumult 

that quixotic and two-
faced experience won't.

Why cast odd lots 
with promiscuous 

Why stitch a sentence 
with the thread 
of mixed-up feeling?

Why write down 
anything ambiguous 
at all? 

And in that case, 
I only 
can sympathize 

with the grit it must take
to paddle your mind 

down such a sinuous
rapid as this—and, 

in clear, direct answer 
to the question 
you posed 

in the preceding 
stanza a 
moment ago: don't. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023


Under these autumn 
trees, wishing 

(as they 
must be) 

that I could just 
reach up 

and touch 
the sun. 

What are 
the chances 

for anything 

of feeling 
any ardor again 

next April comes? 

Yet, this 
was the contract, 

the bargain, 
the job:

to respect 
the inevitable 

coming of dusk,
to laud it 

as much as we 
esteem the dawn—

for duty
is no more 

or no less than 
these branches 

jettisoning children 

on the lawn—

a whole lot less quickly 
than slow,
to grudgingly 

whatever feeling 
comes next

(even though 
they won't be here

to see it) get 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Even in circumstances 
beyond our control, 

we are able to do 
without believing 
what we're told.

Though we dance 
like marionettes 
who were 

to their poses, 

we nonetheless 
rise up and give 

the audience a
damn good show. 

You may yet ask—
ought we not 
be troubled 

at the thought 
of our mouths being 
opened and closed 

like hand puppets 
made of old 
athletic knee socks? 

But the answer 
depends upon whether 
or not 

you resist feeling 

and then pulled 
to admit

that, even if 
each line has been 
meticulously scripted, 

it's completely 
up to us 

which how much 
passion we'll 
perform it. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2023


All children come 
into this world 

but none maintain
the mantle of that

and though all 
become sinners, no one 
leaves original. 

There is no expression 
on the newborn's face,
no gesture

or posture which 
cannot be crowded 
into place—

like the rumpled flesh 
of a peach 
around its pit—

by the endless 
procession of weeks 
and semesters

and the made-pretty 
speech of old, crook-
backed instructors 

who never could
themselves imagine
any other way 

than to squeeze 
any artlessness 
or ignorance away

in those punishing 
vices called practice 
and habit.

Monday, October 16, 2023


There should be 
more room for 

Forget about 

what the world 
needs now is a little

from the letters

falling fast 
from the best 
of good books, 

not as words, but rocks—
not bare facts, 
but hard ones—

and not even 
big ones, which at least 
make good anchors, 

but pithy 
and dense things

like the pit 
in your stomach 

when you hear 
how the preacher 
pummels and bruises 

with his shibboleths 
the tenderest of truths 
to a powder:

that ambivalence 

and conviction 
blackens easily; 

that power 
and obscurity 

are tides 
which move the Earth;

our wavering, 

and doubt 
all runneth over. 

Friday, October 13, 2023


Good news: 
a fix 

for that hitch in your 
get along 
has been found: 

turns out,
someone had 
drawn the picture 

and upside down; 

turns out, 
the delirious, 
terrifying bliss 

of an omni-
benevolent heaven 

was not only 
under your skin 
all along, but 

nested, entrenched, 

in the protein strings, 

in the best and the 
shoddiest corpuscle. 

In light of this, 
perhaps it 
makes sense 

why you never felt 
the least bit at home 

in your thoughts—
perhaps all along, 
you never were 

not even once. 

you were living 
in your body. 

Thursday, October 12, 2023


There's only one moment
amid the sun's 
assent each morning 

when everything visible 
briefly shifts 

from inscrutable and dim 
to explicitly 

when the backlit 
bricks of old, sharp-
angled buildings 

blaze to relief in 
the quickening temperatures

and the recondite 
flight paths 
of a few sparrows' shadows

snap, in mid-air, 
to Euclidean circles

as, measured and lucid, 
a clean, far-off 
bell clangs 

and cracks, 
in the instant, that 
ambiguous illusion 

that I 
and those distant rows 
of smooth, ruddy buildings, 

and those birds, 
in their legible, 
uncomplicated flight

had ever 
been anything 

more than 
just this together: 

and so hungry 

for our share
of the light.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


To begin, close 
your greedy, 
ravenous eyes, 

and look 
for all the ways you've 
been abusing

the sky—taking it
for granted 

that light 
would always find 
your feelings, 

that your world 
would always 
have a ceiling. 

Now, in this
manufactured dark, 

there's no canopy, 
no witness, 
no stars—

none of those twinkling 
coins made of silver 

which you heretofore 
used to believe 
were yours 

to name, to mine, 
and to explore. 
And to think 

of it—this 
is just a quick 

of the way things 
really always were—

not reflective 
or generous, 

but not harsh 
or cruel or 
disparaging either. 

is the necessary 
pitch-dark you are,

the eyeless 
fear that compels you 
to care,

the posture 
of the universe 

you ever got here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023


Somewhere out there, 
intervening pained 
and delighted

lies the softest
landing, otherwise known 
as confused.

As a new infant 
furrows her brow at 
our humming

or the tabby cat cocks 
his head left 
and meows 

while we vent 
the day's frustrations, or try 
to say I love you

so too, do I
find myself, once 
in a while,

when I chance upon
some photo of a life 
long-left behind,

as a raft between two 
agnostic oceans—

marooned on that reef 
between anguished 
and amused.

Monday, October 9, 2023


Despite its likely 
somewhat puzzling 

lack of romance 
at the end, 

after fade-
to-black, I should 

like to 
have it said 

that my life 
was a flawed 

but ambitious 
action comedy:

full of plot 

and second-
rate songs, 

and excruciatingly 

but somehow 

and all that while
braced by its 

for quips 

and meticulous  

of hardship,

bad luck,

Friday, October 6, 2023


As the trees which stand
guard on each 
side of the street 

don't so much tarnish 
as burnish 
to flame-yellow, 

all of the neighborhood 
residents are invited 

to see, at one 
instant, the impossible 

paradoxically inherent 
in their own 

for, although the act 
of thought remains 
ruthlessly abstract, 

the picture, for once, is made
crystalline plain: 

like these, we may 
stand straight and 
stoically die 

in order to watch our 
way of life survive, 

knowing life-after-
sacrifice snaps 
to sheer certainty 

when the seed
of all futures 

is contained 
in today. 

Thursday, October 5, 2023


To live life 
in the present 

sounds defensible 
enough, but 

in practice, 
there's really 
no such thing 

as that tense. 
Try as I might 

to gain purchase 
on the current—

by declaring, for instance,
that I am of the Earth, 

and always with 
the breath of its 
silty wind, I sing—

I still cannot help 
but wail 
about death 

with the loam in my 
throat from before 
I was born. 

Not to mention—
those glowing moments 

in which I hastened 
to make my nest

all dying too soon 
of their own 
poor confusion—

that carnage 
of each passing second 
only proving 

that existence 
was not 

but an artful 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Oftentimes, our finest
cannot be applied; 

the most crucial principle 
is also 

like traveling masslessly 
faster than light, 

or leaving a room 
before you arrived. 

As if we were selfish 
and self-
absorbed narcissists, 

some conclusions 
have peculiar habits

of suddenly, 
cruelly breaking 
it off with us.

And all we can do 
to rebound 
when this happens

is binge 
on such junk- 

thoughts as 
nothing is random,

and absence 
of evidence is evidence 
of absence.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023


has the talent 
to bankrupt success.

Many who are 
smart are struck 
dumb by their abilities'

prodigious proclivities 
to sidestep 
what they want.

They build cottage 
on their fondness 

for refining 
their own postulates 
out of existence—

forgetting in the process 
that the mess 
is the monument 

and that every 
best guess is 
a valuable precept:

an experiment 
is a failure 
if and only if 

if fails 
to adequately test 
a hypothesis. 

Monday, October 2, 2023


Those words 
echo loudest which 
alienate us most 

from what we 
refer to as "the world."

But it gets a little 
worse for the claim 
of this thesis, 

for "silence"
and "process" offer 
little succor, either:

Once I've got started, 
there is nowhere 
I can go with this—

and to "be where 
the action isjust means 
"stay the course."

And yet still, 
I might settle for 
a counterfeit slice 

from the imitation 
pie of vicarious 

if only I could 
say that I was 
genuinely sure

that its having 
been offered wasn't 
more than a little 

malicious, or 


Friday, September 29, 2023


It is hard 
to be both large 
and small 

enough to contain 
all the rubble
life rains. 

Not merely full
of old sour grapes 
and salt—and pelted, 

too, with hailstones 
of the intricate 
and sweet—

we are also 
each fated to somehow 
catch and hold 

absence, subtraction,
and loss. Indeed, 

we're so built
from strange debits 
and gains, 

it's impossible 
to measure the size 
of our souls—

which why 
we must caucus, 
regale, and compare:

without consultation 
from sisters 
and brothers, 

we cannot know
our radii—we lose 
all sense of scale.

Thursday, September 28, 2023


Each morning, so 
compelled, I 
strictly attend 

and genuflect 
in the First 
Church of No Sound. 

And each morning, 
while I'm deep in the well
of reflection, 

a large bowl for 
collections invariably 
comes around.

And I watch, as if 
from a lonely vista, high 
above the ground,

as, one tidy 
mound of ever-
smiling silver at a time, 

my own private 
stash of greedy thought
is tossed-off, 

too reluctant—yet
too piously—into 
that trough. 

But somehow, despite that 
drive to count and 
hoard up all that's mine,

each time I manage
the circumspect trick 
of giving a little bit more 

than I thought 
I could spare just 
one morning before.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


and outgunned,
I scoff 
at the odds 
of three million 
to one—cuz they 
can't know 
what I keep 
all locked up 
behind this face, 
and they can't 
hear the theme- 
song I wrote 
in a dream 
and am singing 
without moving 
these lips 
as I weave 
through the throng 
on a horse called 
The Wind 
toward the harbor 
of home, where 
I'll lie down
'til morning—then 
rise, spit, and roll 
up my sleeves 
with a grin, flip-
off this town, 
and then leave 
for an encore 
of the very 
same suicide 
mission: take it 
on again. 

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