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