Thursday, August 31, 2023


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

just stop
and consider 

how, right now, 
ageless light 

from the edge 
of the visible universe—
that is:

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

are somehow
still irrevocably 
on their way "here"

through the cold 
endless vacuum 

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

still, every day, 
how distracted 
I remained 

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

by words 
just like these, 

which, after all,
were just ads 

for things
which I knew

but could never

for feelings
I never even dreamed 
I had.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023


You don't understand 
any of it, but 

all you need 
to know 

is the brute fact 
of voices 

rolling higher  
and faster 

toward this ever-

shore of 
low slowness—

until at last,
they crash, and then 

burst, and stream 

and farther 
apart, as 

your grasp 
of the concept

of divergence 
itself starts 

to melt 
and to merge 

into one self-
contained and yet 


a firework, 

out through 
a black sky 

and clinging 
to the spacious, 

sacred emptiness 
of night 

which exists 
beneath the lid 

of the single 
closed eye 

which sleeps 
inside the wise 

mind of every 
unborn child.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Nature herself 
must sit back 
in stunned wonder 

at the matchless 
abundance of her own 
careless laughter,

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

and growling, 
distended stomach 
that's out there

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

for the gambler 
in her who feels
most free to be 

both cocksure 
and so very 

as an unswerving 
driver playing chicken,

as a giddily-
obscure jazz 
musician might be—

for how much 
security must she 
lust to forsake 

in order to keep 
fumbling, yet feeling 
the full breadth  

of all that abandon 
as creativity, 
as freedom?

Monday, August 28, 2023


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

each unruly curve 
in her light-
ly mussed hair, 

and every hard-earned 
crease in her rightly 
rumpled shirt

would seem to create 
its own brief, 
arcane world—

each one distinctly 
present, and yet starkly

each one imperceptible, 
and yet obvious, 

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

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

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

in their desperate, 
definite, and 
paralyzing need of her 

and singular

Friday, August 25, 2023


I am sure 
there are galaxies 
locked away inside me, 

so I guess 
there must be 
at least one or two 

socked away inside 
you too—
and although 

it must sound as if 
the opposite 
is true, 

that's exactly why 
it feels so 

either one of us 
tries to win a fight.

Those little 
hot flashes, those tiny 
realistic stings

are hapless 
of planets colliding 

and quasars 
playing chicken til they 
silently annihilate—

and all 
for the designless, 
inevitable sake 

of huge forces' 
compulsion to 
merge with each other,

and thereby, 
to fill a 
compliant universe 

with whole lot less 
of themselves 
as they were 

in exchange for new 
dominion over 
just a little more.

Thursday, August 24, 2023


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

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

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

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

But ever since 
the day when we first 
became entangled, 

I can still sense 
the spin of my 
stablest particles

all cartwheeling off 
to the rhythm
of your heart. 

In this whole vast 
and radiant 
theater of rapport, 

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

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

yawning concurrently
at the very 
same ballet.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


How is it 
we should ever 
come by the right 

to posthumously 
call someone an
extraordinary individual

The measure 
cannot be 
whether or not 

their heart 
was pure
or indivisible,

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

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

How instructive—
moreover, how edifying
a sermon 

was the sound 
which we heard in its 
barbarous blasting?

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

and how beautifully 
pointless was their
pitiable pattern?

Tuesday, August 22, 2023


whether you get 
or miss the gist 

of the pliant, hospitable  

proffered to you 
by the gentlest lapping 

of a dock-
bound collection 

of moon-kissed 
night waves, 

thank your lucky 
stars—or say 

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

the subtlest 

to the most 
precious question, 

whose phrasing 
could not, in ten 

thousand lives 
come to you

(despite your worst 
impulse toward 

and interference)

is not merely 
still uninjured, but 


Monday, August 21, 2023


At this point, I'd 
probably be happily 

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

But all I can cram 
in the mouth 
of your attention 

is a recombination 
of the bits 
I have stolen 

in hopes 
of acceptance, relief, 
or purgation.

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

it's a knotted-
up fist 

which persists 
where my heart did;

a little, 
clenched core 

around which 
my devotion 

with the verve 

of a galaxy 

it's a nexus—
where the future 

and past 
smashed together, 

and broke open, spilling 

of all my favorite 

Friday, August 18, 2023


As late afternoon 
into night, 

the far-off and measured 
toll of large

invites, with its 
bronzed imitation 
of brightness,

this soothing
refusal to comply 
with the gloom:

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

over who can remain 
a little longer 
in the light.

Thursday, August 17, 2023


As time goes, 
each smooth 
virgin edge 

of the glassy 
lagoon that is
this soul—

much like 
its best watery 
playact, my face—

slowly fills 
with distortions 
and ripples. 

How soon serene 
stillness and selfless 

may return to these 
places is not 
to be known—

much like the truth 
of who first 
threw the stone.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


Each morning, 
without fail, all 
proverbial hairs 

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

and each 
of our mandatory 
dominoes is counted 

and spread out 
into rows, in gleeful

of the ruinously 
dire chain 
reaction to follow. 

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

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

the processes 
begin: insidious 
synonyms are secreted 

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

Once enacted, 
of course, this vile but 
daily transmutation

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2023


Believe me, 
I think it'd be pretty 

if the words which 
have already passed 
in-between us 

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

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

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

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

which spools out
between us
every time we talk—

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

a shape whose 
dimensions our minds 
can't explain. 

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

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

enact a silent, 
large, swooping 
gesture with my hands 

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

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

Monday, August 14, 2023


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

as genuine 
vacuity. Yes, 
of tremendous 

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

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

and while we sleep, 
command the supple 
and prodigious guile 

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

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

none the less, 
plainly, all are 
quite industrious. 

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

Friday, August 11, 2023


Beneath a listless copse 
of beech trees,

this ambush 
of snarling 

and sharp 
angled tiger lilies—

all pennants  
of danger-

orange and blood 
spattered maws—

would seem 
to prowl hard 

before the
four-way-stop curbside—

but only
to keep 

every late 
summer hatchling

from wandering 

into traffic.

Thursday, August 10, 2023


If it weren't so
your soul 

would not look
for what on Earth is 

that presupposed 

but your 
sour grapes, mixed 
with denial 

of death? It's less 

than standoffishness—
made whole, 

and given 
carte blanche to go 
out on the prowl. 

If it perchance 
could corporeally 

the misanthropic look 
in its rude, 
aloof eyes would 

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

Or worse:
nothing you can 
lose here 

even matters 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023


Begrudgingly, we salute 
that most placid 
of icebergs

which shall ever 
come silently 
plowing through our lives: 

the somehow identically 
and dignified 

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

at such a meticulously 
glacial pace 

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Even a
pinch-dose is

as free jazz: 

all melody 
and desperate rhythm

the assimilative 

of chords;

in aggregate, 
you're positioned 

in the nosebleeds 
of a stadium 

whose girders 
and trusses groan

and strain
beneath the weight 

of an oversold 
audience, somehow 

and singing 

their own 
private anthems 

in disconcerting 

Monday, August 7, 2023


When I think of it, 
I'm delighted 

to analogize 
my mind 
to a diamond: 

sharp, clear, 
and multifaceted—

lustrous, the way it 
somehow elicits 

all of the breathless 
spectacle of living 

from within 
an array of 

yet multiple 
defectless planes 

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

only in the presence 
of light 

does that happen—
and only 
at the hands 

of a well-
trained artificer 

who plies 
every trick of his 
trade to these things

over and 
over again—

all day long—
for a living.

Friday, August 4, 2023


The secret answer 
to every riddle 
is time.

in the eye, 

while the wild 
imagination rages

and swirls, 
pouring buckets of "ifs"
an conjecture

which buffet 
you from 
dusk til dawn;

bear that inexorably 
slow oxidation 

of fickle 
bones and supple 

with patience—long after 
your patience 
is gone;

take a pass 
on action; 

never stifle 
one valuable yawn; 

simply outlast 
all the difficult questions—

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

Thursday, August 3, 2023


After recounting 
all the loot in my 
empty open fist,

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

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

of course, it's also 
much riskier, 

this dredging 
up of our past's 
cursed abundance, 

it's the only 
nest egg whose 

provenance we can trust. 
Yes, courage 
comes quick 

from the hits 
and the fixes 

and the tricks we 
impetuously lift 
off of others, 

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

courage is only 
the prick 

we require
to dig deep 

and far back 
in our body 
of debts,

and wonders, 
and regrets—

until we 
hit the chest.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023


As a stubborn 
old mollusk 

who's been 
dredged up from 
the ocean bottom— 

whose armor is 
his only home—

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

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

I have but one 
scummy token to give,

my only 
lasting favor:

I promise not to wonder 
how did I get here?

or spiral out the question
where will I go?

On the surface, 
everyone knows 
precious little, 

yet they go 
around pretending to assess 
and debate.

I shall maintain this 
calcified silence; 
I won't 

belabor salvation 
or hell. 

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

any easier to take. 
I simply exist 

to make the sheer 
weirdness of it 

a little less hard 
to illustrate. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023


consider the caterpillar—
no longer 

in its skin-
tight chrysalis,

hallucinating absurdities
in cold black 
and white: 

sweet of nectar, 
technicolored flight.