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.