Friday, April 28, 2023


the sun rose (again)
in the sky—

by way of its core 
of burnt orange 

and a momentary 
burst of that 
born-again magenta—

and, for the forth 
or fifth time now, 

it shined on Earth warmly; 
the same perfect circle 
of flame as before. Only,

presently, little things 
about that disc 
began to nag Him: 

the worshipful ardor 
it seemed to inspire 
in the populace,

and the over-simplistic 
inanity of its shape. 

And then, of course, 
the height, and the 
prodigious weight 

of the very idea 
of "day after day"

began its true dawn 
in the sky 
of His mind, 

and He suddenly kind-
of wished 
He had drawn 

the whole stupid thing 
in a much 
different way.

Thursday, April 27, 2023


Even after 
having lived here 
for years, 

there's only one 
truth I can claim: 

the walls may 
not change, but I'm
never the same. 

Like some incipient 
larva—like a pupa 
I climb, 

blind, toward 
the guileless spire
of modulation:

a feeling with no corners,
never known, 
only felt-for.

Until one day, I'm up here 
on the roof 
of this place, 

with the feeling 
I could love everything 
in the space:

all the carbon 
and oxygen; 
every lump, every groove.

But not too much—
I'd only love it 
just enough,

because that way, 
there'll always be 
some stuff 

left in the 
tank when I make 
my next move.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


I know I'm 

and that this 
is an attack—

but I hate it 
when people say things 
are "like crack."

It's like—everything 
in the kitchen, 

on the menu,
on the planet  
is like that; 

it's repellent 
and degrading 

to addicts,  
and I've had it. 
In fact, 

it's doubly dismaying 
when I track 
my despondence, 

because I've never before
found my attention
so absorbed. 

I mean, even 
the specific 

way in which I 
just can't stand it 

is a feeling I 
seem to want 

and more and 
more of.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


Seeking much more 
than some artistic
license, it's 

always the young 
who are zealous 
and wanton 

and so frantic 
to stoop down and 
scrape away the letters—

not to mention 
reshuffle, tweak, and 
goose the hallowed numbers—

which are written 
even now, in the eye 
of the mind,

on the definite surface 
of some melancholy stone.

It's not that they don't know 
the chaos 
that awaits them; 

it's just that their default 
is to fill the world 
with noise;

to keep the story going;
to modulate thin air;

to keep the all-night 
party raging 

on both sides 
of that innocuous, 
horizontal dash

which is so 
sandwiched by the finite, 

but which seems 
to bloom
without its referents

and, itself, wants
only silence.

Monday, April 24, 2023


It might really be true 
that the landscape
of your life 

is much less 
well-defined, much grander 
than you realize;

that the mind, 
for instance
is a territory so vast, 

you can always close 
your eyes and just 
go where you like—

but what good is 
such talk 
when all your exploration 

is suggested, pre-planned, 
and confined 
to the sidewalks? 

For all you know, your brain 
is a rip-roaring,
interstellar band

of wise and benevolent 
space aliens;

and your body, 
perhaps, is a 
harmonized tangle

of vibrating, 
intergalactic superclusters—

but such grandeur 
hardly matters when 
everything you are 

is sent fissuring
off on its 
limitless way

to a vastness so 
definitive, allowable, 

Friday, April 21, 2023


In a city so neutral 
and so starved
for space, 

it's incredible 
to chance upon 
one redolent rectangle—

perhaps tucked away 
beneath a magnolia 
or crabapple—

in which breezes 
spread their wings between 
a company of tulips,

arranged there
like a jazz score—that is,
meticulously scattered; 

some pink, some white, 
others plum, a few 

And it's still-more 
outlandish to hear 
their swaying stems whisper 

as they nod 
their strange advice 
from that rarefied glade:

it likely doesn't matter 
which odd words 
you use to capture us,
as long as their presence 
is adequate 
to decorate 

and perfume 
some expressionless, 
barren page.

Thursday, April 20, 2023


It doesn't matter 
how smart, how 
famous your are—

the beguiling (if 
a little bit awkward) thought 

that time doesn't pass 
unless there's some 
consciousness there to measure it 

still doesn't give you 
what you actually want―

which has always been, 
namely, to make it 
run backwards. 

In order to do that, 
you must do a lot more 
than streamline your postulate; 

you have to 
dismantle it—

refine your hypothesis 
our of existence. 

And the only way 
to do that is 
to embarrass the turmoil 

and lawlessness 
of the present 

by performing 
a series of 
disciplined actions. Yes,

undo the future's 
holy mess 

by unbinding your definite

make it your mission 
to impoverish chaos:

make your bed 
and wash your dishes. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


As you probably know 
just from living 

a life so 
flush with 
perfect strangers,

isolation needs little 
by way of space 
and distance,

and it won't require desert 
conditions to grow. 

But to explain it 
in their midst invites 
the pain of contradiction:

as much disdain 
and jeering laughter 
as silence and seclusion. 

And yet, to ride it 
out alone is 

to the same 

like trying to plant 
a minuscule seed 

and somehow 
an ocean.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


At the cellular level, 
the fact of 
our discreteness 

looks a 
whole lot less

and a lot more
Deep down,

its exactly 
our opposites
which attract, 

but it's also 
that indiscriminate 
mishmash of uniqueness 

which makes us 
so buoyant- and 
exquisitely alike—

in so far as 
it keeps 
each of us 

and miscellaneous.

Monday, April 17, 2023


In deep tunnels 
of piled comforter 
she would burrow at night 

and sigh—as if 
all of the love 
which had ever existed 

could abide its 
tacit prison 

and would continue to live 
where the greatest 
heat was. 

Now, when I'm 
oftentimes chilled
and alone 

as I slip 
between considerably 
thinner sheets, I think

maybe her misapplied 
instinct was right:
maybe it could—

and maybe 
it does.

Friday, April 14, 2023


The mercurial 
sun—at a quarter 

to summer—is less 
of a beacon 

than an orange 
flower blossom—

in skies 

the character 
of shallow water, 

and taking 
so awesomely 

slow it's 

as if 
every careless corner 

of its petals 
were laughing 

in the faces
of all 

those rigid,
meticulous clocks 

we've so ill-

in its honor. 

Thursday, April 13, 2023


On an April afternoon, 
the light gets so 
smooth and even 

that it seems to 
caress every
detail from the world. 

It's actually 
quite strange to see;

every grass blade, 
every toddler in the park, 
every old car's patina—

which should be
ringing out with its 
own special clarity—

takes the shape 
of a wave; a faint pattern 
in wood. 

No object is separate, 
and so, no thought
is possible.

But it's over in an instant 
as the sun 
changes angles, 

and the moment 
disappears, as it ought
(as it must) 

into the steady, 
fraught, and 
atomized sequence 

of my routine 
reflections and habitual
to-do lists.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023


Birth, crisis, 
catharsis, death—this 
is how 

happens to you. 

It may be true 
that our consequences, 

though unknown 
and intangible, still apprise, 
still linger. 

But what good are 

when none of them 
is free to use? 

It may also be true
that the universe 

is some beautiful, delicate, 
multiplistic lattice—

but a spiderweb 
viewed from an improper angle, 
is either invisible, 

or else 
nothing special. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023


Turns out, there's a 
wrong way 
of telling the truth. 

The truth is, truth 
is not meticulous, 
and is never 

The truth is,
there are always 

many different 
ways it could have 
gone between us—

and what you think 
is your construal 
of our stilted last kiss, say,

or my staunch refusal 
to wave as
you were leaving 

is not the full 
story, but a 
punch-up in revision.

In fact, it wouldn't be untrue 
to say 
that the facts, 

factitious as they are, 
cause the truth 
to withdraw—

and that, usually,
it would bring us much 
closer to veracity 

never to talk
at all.

Monday, April 10, 2023


I'm starting 
to think that infinity
is a hoax,

having certainly 
never seen it in this star-
deficient cosmos 

(where the precious 
few which we 
can still spot 

have long since 

all alone—and
in silence). 
And god knows 

there's no end to 
the obnoxious 
finitude of our bodies, 

where, once, we were told 
we'd find 
unlimited wisdom, 

but where the only enduring 
or unbroken thing 

is the shallowness 
of our need to be 
reborn once again 

to this mean, 
and this cramped 
and diminished situation, 

so that we can 
count up from scratch 
now and then 

all the loves lost
and the pain 
we can stand

using just 
our two hands.

Friday, April 7, 2023


Say what you will 
about the trickiness 
of algebra

or the tedium
of arithmetic—at least math
always works.

The signal's
always digital; calculation 
never hurts. 

One cannot, by 
contrast, say the same 
about words. 

Our metaphors 
are scabrous 
and charmed as quarks, 

and even pleasantries, though 
sugar sweet, can overheat 
and burn. 

At least our 
best equations can 
dissect these loaded terms

into disembodied
letters bent on 
formulaic certainty; 

our sloppy questions
of what is (or maybe isn't)
only serve 

to add duplicity
to this world—confabulation
leaves us lonely.

Thursday, April 6, 2023


Listen: mildness 
is not a deficiency; it's 
a resource. In fact,

if its concentration 
on Earth should ever start 
to lessen,

you must 
(gently) endeavor 
to make up the difference.

The most patient way 
is, day after day, to simply
keep singing—

emphatically articulating
(albeit with a lenient, 
compassionate tongue)

the great mystery
of how it can 
even be at all 

that even 
your despondency 
is a warm and tender thing,

since, to be truly
outraged, or vindictive,
or afraid

posits, at its 
center, a 
resonant relation—

a harmonic 
with every other feeling.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023


Sometimes, I think 
(with regret, yet 
not unhappily) how it's 

sheer omni-
presence that's the problem.

Take, for instance, 
in a city so big—

in an early 
spring so

on a morning 
so vague 
and lousy with rain 

that it's basically 
indistinct from 
yesterday evening—

the bleary soft 
comfort of 
battalions of emergency 

sirens' steady 
wails, abstractly far off 
in the distance.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023


they say, in time 
always blooms; 

and all evil 
has a root, 

so it must, 
in turn, have its
blossoms too—

but just how much more 
and exotic 

are those seldom-
acknowledged flowers 

of simply 
not caring much 
one way or the other?

How fresh 
is the fragrance
to the weary perceiver 

of that perennial 
which pops from a 
stem of no preference?  

After all, it's so common 
to grow savage 
and dishonest—

so garden 
to do the right thing 
in every single circumstance; 

but it's exquisitely 
rare (if not masterfully 

to grow past 
all inclinations 

and too fast 
for all opinions 

after years 
of cultivating, in the 
diffident sun,

the prize-winning art 
of neither 
offering assistance 

nor ever doing any 
specific harm 
to anyone.

Monday, April 3, 2023


Start listing state capitals.
Or better yet, 

go out at night 
and count 
the constellations 

whose names you 
used to know.

The assignment is done 
not when you've named 
the last one, but 
only after 
some kind of 
dawning comes.


Phone a friend; 
explain to them, 
in no uncertain terms, 

that it's no use—

that a poem 
can't fix anything 
that has happened—

that no music 
is pure enough to rival 
the blackbird's—

that delusion
is sometimes 
the truth. 

(From there, simply let 
the conversation 
rabbit hole.)


Just get 
the ball rolling: 

try confiding
to a virgin page 

how it can possibly 
be the case

that you know 
in your heart 

that there's 
no such thing

as a soul.