Monday, July 22, 2024


Is your hobby 
to take 
note of things?—

is that phosphorescent sheen 
of night clouds rimming 
city skies 

or bluer than the evening 

If the time it takes 
for the furniture 
to grimace, or 

for every flower 
to earn its
own word—

and each word, 
all the time 

it requires 
to mean

then, you might qualify 
as a key change, 
as a modulator,

as a flat sixth 
which transmogrifies the mode 
of the day;

of all 

status quos, recoverer 
of songbirds—

and over again, but always
in some new way.

Friday, July 19, 2024


We all like 
to think we've 

closed the book 
on such studies, but 

could it be 
that, evolutionarily, 

the "purpose" of these 
tongues was 

not so much 
to speak 

as to 
tunnel themselves

into our cheeks

as we 
effortfully cultivated 

a relationship 
with our melancholy 

which allowed us 
as a species 

to never mean 
what we feel,

to feel only
what we know,

and worst (read: most 

of all—to never know 
what that means?

Thursday, July 18, 2024


It's just as I thought: 
this evening's 
dim tide,

mauve-gold and 
gradually before me, 

at last reveals 
not bewitched bliss
but tranquility—

to be just one term
of a sprawling 

to humbly read 
proofs until 
glumly convinced

that absolute 
does not exist.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024


As the distance
increases, all images 
dissolve themselves—

all objects, 
in the big 
bang, white hot 

of their expansion, 

are spun into the beatific 
clichés of dime-
store mysteries. 

Take that distant 

of pigeons, for instance;
to witness it 
toward cheap abstraction, 

like a cut-rate 
cigarette, is  
still my small pleasure—although

to not comprehend 
what the purpose 
or goal is 

still my great 

Tuesday, July 16, 2024


One by one, but soon
in multiplying 

our words 
grab experiences, 
hold them down, 

crack them wide
open, and feast upon their 

No one had told us 
they were so strong.

Yet we fail 
to connect this 

to the zombie 
apocalypse we'd 
read about; 

so we go right 
on talking, 

doomed, like 
nothing's even wrong. 

Monday, July 15, 2024


Now, as then, 
we write essays—op-eds.

Only, now 
that we aren't being 
graded on them, we must 

cash-out our paychecks 
and get numb 
to feel correct.

worse than 
"not working," 

we no longer find it


What's left 
when the symbols 
we once held 

refuse to validate us,

other than a sense 
of satisfaction 

which our children 
find embarrassing?


One electron, 
it's been shown,

will emit  
its own photons. 

Another electron 
swallows them 
up again.

The world is 
the world; we have had 
no effect. 

Friday, July 12, 2024


I have held forth 
before, of course, 

about my clambering 
into the car—

the weapon 
on wheels—
the metal machine—

the loud suit 
of armor—called language 

and imperiously putting 
the pedal to the floor. 

what I hadn't 
mentioned earlier 

was that I
never learned 
to steer, 

so that renegade DeLorean  
just excursions 
where it wants, 

and I'm frightened 
a little 

to be its servant 
from inside it—

less like a storyteller 
mowing down his readers, 

and more like 
a hapless country squire 

who used to dream always 
of becoming a knight 

but never 
of having to go 
to war.

Thursday, July 11, 2024


The way the light 
by which I

write is 

but in no sense 

The way the wind 
wends through birch trees 

to buffet me in 
short sleeves 

at this spot 
on the planet

on this particular instant, 
but never 

can be said to have 
properly had a beginning. 

Perhaps this 
is what we mean 

by essential:
a thing like hunger

which never was 
invented, yet

comes to us unbidden,
grabs hold 

of the void in us firmly 
by the handle, 
and fills it 
to the brim.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024


After everyone who smiles 
when they say your name 
has died—

after every insincere 
prophet out there

after the government 
files are 

and you learn, 
as the tide 
turns, that God 

was never 
on your side—then 

you may know 
how the horror film 
heroine feels: 

like the black hole 
at the center 
of the universe,

or the last one 
which vicissitude has 
deigned to leave alive—

not out of grace 
or compassion, 

but as a plot line,
as test 
of her capacity 

to look head-on
at the epiphany 
as it dawns in her mind 

that, this whole time, 
the calls have been 
coming from inside. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024


Cool morning, 
for July;
white dew intensifying 

scent off the pines.
No more 

tapped mines as 
relationship metaphors;

is general—freedom 
is mine. 

Monday, July 8, 2024


Just know this: 
a certain chill 
is essential.

An iciness, 
wherever it's 

will act as a signal 
to bring blood 
to that place.

In just the same 
way, you can't 

or ramble; 
you must write 
with restraint 

before your 
will assemble

or any latent 
meaning can begin 
to radiate. 

Friday, July 5, 2024


How cruel 
that the futile, over time, 
becomes the natural—

that barbarism, 
give or take a few 
millennia, grows canonical. 

Temples burn 
and cave paintings fade, 

something harsh 
and unusual 
remains in their material—

some residue in the ash 
of our past inhumanity
yearns to be discovered.

And when, at last, 
that savagery's 

and placed under glass 
on display, 

we pay 
in cash, and we form 
a neat queue 

to view for ourselves 
how little 
has changed. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2024


It's a thrill we feel 
deep in our bones, this 

For once, we are
at one. For once, 
we are part of something—

we are part of 
the problem; 
we are wolves

in wolves' clothing, 
and we hunt our own

with a fury, 
or even 
as a joke, but 

because we're so 
engrossed by vulnerability 

that we long to catch 
up with our goldbricking

and hold them so close
that they choke.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024


Relax, dear 
reader, you don't 
have to stick 'em up; 

this poem's not 
fully-loaded like 
Leaves of Grass was

this poem (compared 
to that one) is more like 
a cap gun.

You know how, 
sometimes, you feel braver holding
something in your hand, 

more for the look 
and the feeling 
than anything?

But it's safer
if you practice with 
something more synthetic 

as you toy 
with the idea
of hauling-off eventually 

and holding-up 
your audience with
something that's authentic. 

Monday, July 1, 2024


I think I 
get it now: these bodies
aren't temples—

they are small
locked rooms, which 

we're doomed 
to get to know 
too well

after pacing them
in circles 
for forty years or more. 

Before long, we know
the placement 
to the millimeter
and relish 
the smell 

of every stained 
stick and nicked-
up corner of their furniture.

And soon, 
we become so at-one 
with all the clutter 

that we don't think 
to to clean 

or run a quick 
underneath it anymore,

even though we 
can't function without it, 

we don't even know 
it's there.

Friday, June 28, 2024


Relationships are gambles, 
and gamblers are unstable. 

But still, we covet 
the loose bits of one another 

and are greedy to collect them,
like the chips around a blackjack table. 

We think that we're entitled,
when really, we're impaired— 

like a judge who's only privy 
to one half of a conversation

between that love which is stable 
and that love which longs to flee—

between an insubstantial ghost 
and his ponderous machine—

between matter's gauche 

and the beautiful 

of its conversion 
into energy.

Thursday, June 27, 2024


Blooming as you do
from black to pale 
robin's egg blue, 

every new 
morning, you 
slide into view 

with the inevitable gravitas 
of the next boxcar 
at the crossing. 

And so enmeshed, 
so lost
are we dare who behold you 

within the ageless 
center of your 
unblemished perimeter, 

that we never even stop 
to wonder
what it is you're made of—

but it must be one 
single, solid, and exquisitely
machined material 

so easeful and 
that it cannot be mishandled; 

it can never be 
dropped, melted, frozen, 
thrown away—

and it's always 
the same (although 
continually replaced)—

and what's more, 
it must be 

for never does it seem to 
tarnish, achromatize,  
or rust. And of course, 

it could never be 
shaken off 
or lost, 

and parceled-out, rejected
or explained. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024


Many feel called 
to their families 
or occupations, 

but it's precious 
few, who, bereft 
of all certitude, 

will accept the fullest 

of leaving their home 
in the middle 
of a storm 

and wandering into 
a wide open field 
in search of their salvation. 

And it's there, 
amid the white- 
noise-hiss of rain 

and the terrible maw 
of a violent sky, 

that these precious few 
may find themselves 
compelled to count the seconds

between the quick 
and dead-silent forked 
tongue of lightning 

and thunder's 
booming rejoinder—
as if 

growing, by increments, 
closer to an answer

by getting farther away 
from their need
for explanations. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024


We're too fond 
of saying "rhyme 
or reason," 

as if 
those were the 
only two options,

when in truth, 
most feelings don't push 
either of those buttons. 

Most of the time, 
our deepest 
thoughts are not catchy; 

they neither instruct 
nor arrange themselves 
like seasons. 

We simply hear 
a mad blitz of phrases 

or helplessly watch 
as each image 
swims away—

another iridescent fish 
gliding deep 

through our mind's 
silent trenches, 
out of reach—

barely even 

that a third 
and more gripping kind 
of mattering is happening—

that perhaps
feeling, at its purest, 
neither needs 

to entertain
nor teach. 

Monday, June 24, 2024


Remember that old riddle 
of Mick Jones 
and Joe Strummer—

should I stay, or 
should I go? 

Well, when I looked right 
in your eyes 

and posed it, imagine 
my bewildered 

upon seeing my own 
reflected back at me 
in your whites 

as you carefully, 
charitably ruined me 
with the answer: 

Has no one 
ever told you? 
Don't you know? 

Our lives are not 
storylines; you 
can do both. 

Friday, June 21, 2024


Somewhere inside, 
you knew it 
from the start of this: 

buttered bread is
buttered bread;

someone's just
charged you double 

for the gauche 
decadence of 
all those extra vowels—

charged you 
triple, perhaps

for a charred, 
pockmarked carb 

and a fat source
that won't flow—

charged you 
quadruple, in fact

simply as a test, 
not of hunger, but 

of credulousness. 
And, due 

to the sunk cost 
of this one small 
indiscretion, you

have paid them. 
Now, looking back

from a certain, 
well-fed viewpoint, 

one could 
rightly ask: 

which one of you 
is the asshole?

Thursday, June 20, 2024


Back when we
were firmer
and smoother, and 

more than a little 

we didn't think
that we were lovely. 
We thought 

that so much 
malicious under-

was a burden 
to be spurned, 

and we longed to invest 
in maturity's soft- 
and sweetness . 

But now, looking back 
with greater 
poise—but also 

we realize 

that the bruises 
of maturity come 
with a cost: 

we must have first broadcast 
our desire
to be consumed

the instant we found 
we were finished 
being green. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024


After the last distant 
and longing clang 

of churchbell vesper 
song is diminished 
and fades, 

the able, charmed silence 
of twilight descends 

to swathe, in its 
shadow, half this gently-
tilting planet.

And then—out 
come the rats 

from the west 
to the east, 

from their dark wombs 
of nests underneath 
the parkways 

to raze our grand empire 
of Day to the street 

by reclaiming 
all our most thoughtless-
ly tossed 

post-dinner bags 
of warm trash 
as their feast. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Beware words 
which at first appear 
open as the air, 

for even they 
must be mounted 
in some very particular frame, 

and are only meant 
to offer 
one particular point of view. 

It's hard to notice 
how subtly 
and slowly they accrue, 

until they're assumed 
to be ancient 
as the mountains

and self-evident 
as the sediment which 
constitutes our planet—but 

recall from past litanies 
of mistakes you've 
been engaged in

how a wall made of glass 
was still a wall 
nonetheless—and so, 

virtually any thought 
you might presume to be 
transparent as well

is potentially false—
and cruel—
and vindictive 

as a window 
in a prison cell. 

Monday, June 17, 2024


Howling down 
from the frozen and
desolate peaks 

of some ancient, sibylline   
mountain range, 
a proper wind—

by the time it meanders 
through the amber waves,
and cools,

for an instant
or two, all the impotent 
plains of the Earth—

to a whisper,
much to the relief 

of its workaday 
fools and sinners. But 
much to the chagrin 

of its politicians 
and philosophers, 
who can't abide 

a whisper,
unless it's made
of words.

Friday, June 14, 2024


Sometimes, saying "sorry" 
after the fact

is worse than 
not at all;
it can never correct 

the full extent
of the injustice,

and tends to leave
the aggrieved 

of a most-pleasant 
fantasy of sweet 
revenge exacted. 

such expungings are, 
at best, sacrilegious 

to the autocratic
enterprises of history 
and physics, 

both of which contend 
that every action, once taken, 
casts with a firmness 

the faultless exactitude 
of the world we live in, 

and it'd be a fate, 
not just worse, but  
more impossible than death 

if we ever endeavored 
to go back. 

Thursday, June 13, 2024


Most of the time, 
whenever I'm 

I find myself resisting 
an urge to slip away 

from whatever I'd 
begun to say. Although 

I know the art
of conversation 
is crucial, 

the sentence I'm dispensing 
feels more 
like a party favor—

like a school child's 
crafted out of paper—

an amusement flitted 
deftly from the pocket 
of my pants, 

first flapping, 
then unfolding before 
the eyes of my supporter 

as beguilement 
and suspense begin 
to mount in equal measure

toward the flimsy crescendo 
of one of several 

points of order. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


To not act 
on passion would 
seem like a sin, but 

not about that—it's 

all your offhand 
choices and 
run-of-the-mill opinions 

which, at long last, 
coalesce into 
the voice of pure reason: 

every last advantage you have
will have to be abandoned, 

for, when all 
chained together, even they 
will constrain you. 

And you can't use a chain 
to pull your 
virtue, anyway; 

you must 
get behind and push it;

grow through sin—
slow as old Issa's 
young snail did;

take the levelest 
possible road 

to the top of this world's
tallest mountain. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024


Don't be too eager 
for the love you'll
be craving, but 

don't take what comes 
either, or you'll 
take it to your grave. 

It's just as important 
to speak your mind 
as it is to speak politely, 

but never say excuse me 
when I'm sorry's what 
you mean to say. 

And when the ones in charge 
begin to spurn you—
when they assure you 

you're dust,
and to dust you 
shall return,

only to then 
turn around and ask you
for your sympathy—

try not to laugh in their 
mortuary faces; 
just say 

I'm sorry 
before you turn 
and walk away. 

Monday, June 10, 2024


You probably don't 
have to cling 
to spontaneity; 

is easier 
than it looks.

how the buckthorn slings 
its tendrils through the garden rocks. 

Every inch, 
every moment 
is a trim, haiku-like stanza 

about how 
boundaries, memory, 
money, love, family—

beauty, truth, 
and even death—all 
shall one day come 

to fail us,
not just suddenly, 
but thrillingly. 

Friday, June 7, 2024


You would think 
it would take an 
ayahuasca trip

or delirious 
vision on day six 
of a fast, but 

more often, you're 
drying dishes 

when you finally 
it's the 

tiniest of objects 
which really 
weigh a ton. 

The seed 
of a Riesling grape 

is the prototype 
for heaven; 
and God—just like 

was condemned
to roam his maze—

God is that figure 
which never 
can be drawn: 

the pinprick 
of light

where all space 
and time 
came from—

the unphotographable 
inside of 
an electron. 

Thursday, June 6, 2024


Funny how 
the things we most 
want to know 

are the things we know 
we never can: 

when (and if) 
the universe began,

what made 
contrary Mary's
garden grow, and 

how long it will take 
our spectacular castles 

to crumble 
into sand. 
It's as if 

our brains 
think they can 
construct the answers  

from haphazard 
hints, red herrings, 
and coincidences.  

But perhaps this drive 
to aggrandize our ability 

reflects better 
on the doggedness 
of our hearts, which, 

even as blind batters 
before the pitcher 
of fate, still 

tap the plate and swing 
for the fences. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


The great war 
of our selves

is fought 
against part.

Of our 
high marks 
and our base fears, 

we like to think 
it's night 
and day;

the contrast 
always seems clear, 
we say. Yet, 

if our souls 
know confederates 

on both sides 
of the line—

and lives 
must be lived 
in real time—then

when exactly 
does day end 
and night start?

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


If the one thing which 
Nature can't abide 
is a vacuum, then 

how is it possible 
that we abhor 

Shouldn't we too 
embrace life's 
many multiplicities

which provide 
such good insurance 
for obliqueness 

and endurance? Instead, 
we fear variety
of experience 

because we think 
it might blur 
the unique;

we're convinced 
that bounty 
and strict repetition 

might obscure 
the one lonely 
and mythical angle 

from which Truth
can be glimpsed 
instead of just wrangled. 

Monday, June 3, 2024


Intellectually, we do not 
take issue
with finitude, 

but you'd have to be lonelier 
than a genius
ever could be 

to see how 
you're no longer doing 

constitutes an ending—
and every ending 
is a fortifying thread 

in the terminal shroud 
of death. But 
for what it's worth

to these truly 
godforsaken, ironically—

no longer reads
like the opposite 
of life, but rather

like the inverse 
of a messy and difficult 

Friday, May 31, 2024


To the robin 
pecking furiously 
at all the shriveled 

you're the only one who was 
naive enough to swoop 
into this adolescent bush

and tap the last 
of your crazed energy 
to rob it 
of this meager feast.

The others wouldn't bother; 
they're so keen to queue 
at the neighborhood feeders. 

But though your 
payload pales to theirs, 
I bet the nectar's 
sweeter, since 

their great 
salvation was delivered 
and is shared—whereas 

your indiscretion 
is yours 

Thursday, May 30, 2024


That scratch 
inside your cornea; 

those pimples 
you deplore; 

the stiffness in your hips 
which you 
stoically ignore—it's like, 

long ago, 
your whole life
was a sweepstakes, 

a grand prize 
which you casually 
entered into the drawing for 

and were 
ceremoniously awarded;
but now, 

all the glamour 
and excitement 
have subsided, 

and you realize 
to your horror, 

just how hard 
you have to toil 

day after 
onerous day, just 
to afford it. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2024


Just for a minute, 
upon our first 

when we are still 

and the world is 
all light 
and mist and innocence—

that is the time 
when we know 
without knowing

the most profligate 
meaning of confidence

For what in the world 
is each as-yet-
untrodden morning 

but a bright, 
and an earnestly
spontaneous conversation? 

And somehow,
we think—

without the 
least hint 
or embarrassment:

if I just play it cool, 
I could 
easily insinuate 

this unsuitable 
body right-
smack in the middle of it. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2024


Is it too strange to wonder 
which one
is worse: 

my vague dread of rain, 
or getting 
caught in the real thing? 

True, of the two, only 
one front comes 

oblivious to my designs 
and my lack 
of protection—

only one poisons me 
with stings and slaps 
of ruthless cold

which seeps
from clammy clothes 
to bones. 

But still, of the two 
my apprehension
costs the larger fee, 

since, for all of its 
and savage machinations, 

at least the rain 
never rains 
inside me.

Friday, May 24, 2024


Ironically, it's only 
the uncertainty 
which never changes; 

it keeps perfect 
pace with us, like horizons do
while driving:

never even swerving 
from our center 
of attention, 

but never for 
one second conceding 
to be caught. 

Does this conceit
intrigue you, 

or does it only leave you 
more distraught? 

the next thought you think 
could be your last,

and the answer 
that comes through 

may be 
addressed to you, 

but of course, 
it may not. 

Thursday, May 23, 2024


the contact high 
is temporary. 

Unfortunately, supplies 
are, by their very definition, 

When we're born, 
so much light 

and pressure come 
flooding in, 

we cannot think
to grasp for the handle 
of anything.

But soon, we have 
no recollection 
of the bottomless; 

the infinitude of stars 
fits into our mouths 
like a fist.

Perfect darkness 
gets abstracted 

by the forceps 
of their language,

dissected with tweezers 
into the absence 
of our genius—as if 

learning to use 
a word 
such as fathomless 

was same as 
comprehending it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


It would seem by the time 
we become who we are,

we will be old enough 
that we might 
be no one—or worse 

and more 
accurately: nothing 
much to anyone. 

There may finally be 
questions we are
old enough to answer, 

but the young 
will not yet know enough 
to ask them, or care.

There'll be proverbs 
we've finally had time 
enough to memorize, 

or antics we'll dispense 
like ladle-fulls of vinegar 
from the trusty but 
shriveled-up cask 
of experience, 

but the days will pass 
in silence, uninspired by 
our crimes. Yes, 

the very day we realize 
we have brought 
about life's goal, 

if we are lucky 
enough to be recognized 
at all, 

it'll be by the puzzling-
yet-illustrative way 

in which we've managed 
to ignore the admonitions 
of a lifetime 

for something which 
looks, from a distance, 
like a lifetime.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


How hard 
and long we are 
willing to practice 

the art of our own 

With great, shiny ranks 
of equations and 

and quantum 
computers that chew through 
the syllabus, 

we are reckless-
ly determined 
as that crab they call Cancer 

to see things as they 
really are: devoid of all color, 
smell, taste, and texture—

genotypic, quantized, 
and molecular—in other words, 

as perfect-
ly endurable 
without us. 

Monday, May 20, 2024


We think that life
is a melody, 

but rhythm's 
more the gist of it: 

we sweeten in time 
with the rate of years' increasing;

we soften 
and fill out, 

while dying 
every minute. 

In pursuit of our truth, we lose 
touch with where we come from.

In pursuit of our freedom, 
we are innocent as apples 

destined to fall 
from their tree in autumn;

as they ripen 

to their own 

Friday, May 17, 2024


Do you see 
how there's always 
a veil over things— 

a protective film 
on the touchscreen;

a haze of steam 
on our feelings;
a windshield 

between the joyriding 
brain and the landscape 
of reality?

Try as we might to believe
in our memory

and cry out 
to our contemporaries 
that we understand their pain,

the truth is 
we don't so much 
"state the case"

as pray; 
the truth is

what the truth is 
makes as much sense 

as recounting 
last night's dream 
in the stark light of day.

Thursday, May 16, 2024


At some point, 
it's alright to call it 
a night—

to tan 
for ten-to-twenty 
in front of the TV, 

to give those ropy 
muscles an 
Epsom salt soak, 

to raise your palms 
and kiss 
each majestic, 

and mountainous peak 
of their blisters. 
It's no joke 

to do the easy thing 
and cue up some music 
you already know, 

light a few candles 
and keep repeating 
as they glow 

that greatness 
is transient, 
and sometimes 

genius is 
ad-hoc—that even 
the illimitable 

Johann Sebastian Bach, 
despite all his leaps 
toward the glory 

of God, still would fall
back on the same 
dozen notes. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024


When you come, 
we will always call you 

when you leave, 
it seems we 

are the ones 
who have changed. 

if your darkness 
and your light

and your warmth 
were so variable—
if your winds 

were so 

and your rains
were so terrible—
then why 

aren't the incipient 
flowers more afraid? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


In the beginning, you 
were the word 

and the silence. 
You were 

light but 
also darkness.
You gave us names 

for you. You 
gave us 

stories, too 
many stories: 

how the world began, 
where the dead 

what the unheard 
soul should sing.

But somewhere along the line, 
you let us 
do the talking. You stopped 

even telling us 
what to believe in. 
You decamped 

with our memories, 
our petitions,

our offerings. 
Because you do 
not listen, 

we feel we can
ask you anything.

Monday, May 13, 2024


Ever wondered: 
what does one 
blank space 

have to do 
with another?

Whether the air 
that hovers 
over the becalmed lake 

is anything like 
the empty sheet of paper 

before which 
you sit hunched, in pursuit 
of the answer?

If so, 

you might be called
a poet—that is 
to say, a tortured creature 

damned to confect 
the explanation

that every kind 
of absence might be 

of language. 

Friday, May 10, 2024


What we think of 
as joy 

is only 

What we take 
to mean peace 

is just love 
that's been frozen. 

But love 
is the tough one,

because it has no 

it never evolved, 
and it did not begin. 

It exists 
the way light does

as a pretext 
for seeing. Or 

as heat does 
for living. 

Or like gravity—only, 
the analogy to force 

is quite coarse 
and and confusing.

Because sheer love
is so absolute 

that doesn't make us 
do anything. 

Thursday, May 9, 2024


Perhaps it's 

to equate "peace" 
with "rest," since 

the best of our 
persuasions, beliefs, 

and opinions 
all seem 

to shrivel like 
leaves whenever 

some stress causes 
life to cleave, and it's 

much more like 
a reflex 

to frantically 
close that gap—lest we 

find ourselves 

in the uninhabitable 
space which 

now spontaneously 
seems to exist

the startling feeling 

of having been 

and that helplessness which is
so often confounded 

with the certainty 
of sleep. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2024


On my last day 
on Earth, you'll wish I wasn't 
such a coward 

who dreamed 
of sequences viewed 
out of order, 

and squandered your predecessors  
begging pieces 
of advice 

regarding things being 
other than they were—and 
how to get there. 

But you'll only have 
a moment, so 
you'll have to be concise: just say

I never learned to see 
the beauty 
in what's necessary—

which would have to be 
the first, if not the only 

of any 
life worth living 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024


When the spent stars 
at dawn, commence 
to their wavering—

long overdue 
in disappearing, but 
not yet gone—

who am I 
to keep my eyes fixed 
on their glimmering, 

wishing on their embers
(every wobbly 
last vapor)

only that they 
could keep their 
lucky arms unfurled? 

I am not the kind 
who would starve 
in a forest 

just to spare 
the wild and brilliant 
plumage of its birds;

so why would I impose 
such a stagnant thing 
as beauty 

on the strange 
and mercurial soul 
of this world? 

Monday, May 6, 2024


The evening light 
grows dim 
as my conviction 

that it's never too late 
to be taught. And still, 
I walk on, lost 

in thought, past 
slumping shoulders, 
weeping trees;

past slow-moving 
pigeons, just begging 
to be caught. But 

this malaise 
of imperfections, 
these defects 

are distractions; this world
I know
cannot be such a brittle star.

If anything, it's 
a mousetrap—a lazy 

all things appear 
weaker than 
they really are. 

Friday, May 3, 2024


There's a message for us—
written, perhaps, 

in the postures 
of gnarled and
prodigious old trees

who never grew guardian
limbs this sturdy 

to harbor 
the likes of these 
avian refugees; 

whose vigilant branches 
were never quite conscious 

of the hives in their 
midst, or their 
startling fragility;

whose thunderous trunks 
were never intended 

to shelter slender squirrels
in their winter
dens of rest—and yet? 

And yet, despite 
all of this, nevertheless...

Thursday, May 2, 2024


Lucky me—
so thrilled to be a penitent 

to such a rough, devious 
as poetry; 

understanding, I commit still
to her handcuffs 

for the masochistic privilege 
of coveting 
her keys.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024


The thought is never far 
from the top 
of my mind 

that I would do anything 
to stop myself 
from decomposing. 

And yet, 
there's something 
in experience  

which shows me 
this is wrong:

it's something about 
the comforting feeling 
of a lozenge on the tongue; 

the way I perceive 
the sweetness 
more clearly 

the more its clean edges 
seem to soften 
and dissolve;

the way I seem 
to love 

even the smallest 
bit of my understanding 

the instant 
before it's gone. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2024


There—in that 
green space 
where the freshest light 
goes streaking 

through the morning-
spangled branches 
of the still-trembling trees, 

past shabby fields 
of clover and weeds 
where the lawnmowers 
will not go, just to land 

with a gleam 
on the distant heaps
of pink blushing brick 

where even my 
vaguest interlocutors sleep—
that is the place 

where, one day, I 
may come 

to believe, 
without artifice, 

in life 
after death—that is,

in the life 
of this ardent reckless 
world to come 

long after mine 
is done. 

Monday, April 29, 2024


They say discord 
is the spark 

from which the bonfires 
of pure art start,

by which the smooth 
and cornerless light 
of perception

is permitted 
to scatter, our awareness 
to increase. 

But many are we 
who'd ride shotgun 
for the dark,

who would just as soon 
our own sentience 

if it meant we'd 
never have to hear 

we'd rather use 
and use 

to the point 
of abuse 

that which we already 
think of 
as "ours" 

than even show 

to our hatred 
of the new.

Friday, April 26, 2024


Let me say: words won't 
explain our relationship. 

In your presence, absence 
itself turns impossible—

turns over and under 
like the infinity symbol—until 

God himself 
could no longer tell 

who is under who's wing,
or if there's any 

difference between 
remembering and knowing.

But I think I've finally 
come to understand 

that remembering bears 
an inestimable cost:

whatever I think you are—
that's what you're not;

whenever i look, 
i can never find you; 

whatever I grasp, I pass 
through like a ghost.

But the act of my looking 
is the way that you tell me 

that it’s you 
who will teach me 

the value of searching—

who can never be 

Thursday, April 25, 2024


What are these 
yet fundamental ciphers;

too old to be 
cherished, and yet 
still considered treasures;

imperatively given 
by dead ends  
to unknown futures;

helplessly passed, in fact,
from one breath 
to the next;

holders of the keys 
to these perilous 

so charged full of 
significance that they 
themselves mean nothing;

hollow yet impervious 
as gem-encrusted 
coffins, but

comforting to recognize 
as stillness 
in the morning?

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


We like to assume 
such abiding 
designs, but 

the promises we make 
are just so many 
shiny dimes:

begged from 
the stern, old,
and affluent Actual 

by the curious,
bold, but impetuous 
Possible—and then 

flung with delectation 
to the depths 
of a well 

in great hopes 
that the latent return 
on investment 

will redeem the grim
fate of poor 
President Roosevelt.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Despite our patter
of protestations 
that we're 

all obsessed 
with novelty, 
it's pattern 

that we really seek 
and feel the most 
at home in. 

Rhythm still 
gets our motor going,
while rhyme 

feels like a cup of sugar 
our best words kindly 
lend to others. 

Is it right 
that we derive 
so much succor 

from design? 
If there were 
a difference

between right
and common,
would it matter?

Monday, April 22, 2024


Would it be 
more odd 
or less 

if the dead 
did not 
leave us? 

guess. But
my sense is:

a ghost 
at my disposal 
who always 

stayed the same; 
who always 

in the place 
I expected;
who never

changed clothes,
or the expression
on their face 

since the day
I watched them 

would be 
the last person 
on Earth 

I would ask 
for advice.

Friday, April 19, 2024


O, to just have faith 
enough to wake 

and stretch 
and dress and 

not with great 
exhilaration, but at least 

with nothing specific
to resist. 

How much of our 
art—how many poems 
have wished this? 

How many of their lines,
burning in their 

have yearned, 
like us, for this great 
and useless beauty—

for nothing like 
purpose, skill, or 

to be organized and cataloged 
by nothing but 
the date today,

and justified merely 
by declaring 
they exist?

Thursday, April 18, 2024


We like to think that 
matters are settled; 
we think we have the facts. 

But what we think of as truth
may only be 
the middle—or even 

the beginning—
and brief as 
dew on morning grass.

Can you picture the universe 
before it was set 
into motion? 

How about the Earth 
devoid of all creatures; 
before it even had its oceans? 

It's far simpler to hope 
in a dream 
to glimpse 

the ancient races 
and their poets: the joys 
and burdens they would carry;

the paths that they would trod. 
Next time you seek
a final answer, think first 

of all the wildly different 
names they must have had 
for god.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Once in a while, I 
grant you: revolution's 
a necessity. 

But most 
of the time, my 
tremendous sensitivity 

would like 
to argue: it's 
too messy. I'm turned off 

by the turmoil 
and the violence 
which is crucial 

to make a clean 
break with The Current
or The Senseless;

I don't want to long 
for the change 
I need to make 

with such passionate 
defiance that I'm 
swept up in some coup;

I'd much prefer to 
fall in love with 
what little I can do.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


The great rabbles
of clouds in your 
quicksilver sky—


one another—
are somehow 

less foreboding 
than the ominous way 

they loiter there
all day, holding on
to their rain.

Monday, April 15, 2024


If this were a movie, 
we'd think 

we've been shortchanged. 
And no wonder: 

the storyline's
meandering; the moral
won't cohere. But 

though we're alone in this 
cavernous theater,

and no one 
would be the wiser, 

the reason 
we haven't yet 
gotten up and left 

is simply because 
we can't—at least, 

not the we 
that we think of 
as us

See, somewhere between 
the start of the joint

and this particular 
maddening scene,

we've failed to notice 
the plot's 
beside the point.

As long as we're here 
to watch it progress, 

this life, 
by necessity, must 
be bereft 

not only of a happy 
or ambiguous ending—

but a proper 
ending all together. 

Friday, April 12, 2024


Your duress, though 
intangible, is a matter 
of fact. Yes, it's less 

material than, say, 
an egg which is 
made of Fabergé, 

and yet: there it 
sits, every bit
as intact 

and impeccably 
jeweled in the pearls 
and enamel 

which you forged 
with great care and 

in the just-as-
immaterial furnace 
of your stress—yes,

every bit 
as lavish and loving-
ly constructed—

perhaps not quite 
as elegant, but
every bit as frangible.

Thursday, April 11, 2024


What were the magic 
words that formed 
the world? 

For an instant
most mornings, I suspect 
that I just knew;

but soon, there's a tide 
in the ocean 
of my mind 

dragging out to sea 
all the things I think
are true—and then 

washing mixed-up bits 
and pieces of them 
right back in again—

until most 
of the detritus I can 
see along this beach 

is made up of stuff 
so self-
similar and small

that it's impossible 
for me to count 
each individual particle. 

The best I can do 
is try to put 
the view to use

and give 
one collective name 
to them all.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024


It's impossible
to know 
at the very beginning 

what you'll eventually 
or outgrow 

and what is worth 
clutching to your soul
just in case. 

It's like how 
you still think 
abnormally hard 

about whether 
to toss 
that pickle jar

which you haven't 
thought to open 
in over three months, 

or keep it there
for three 
or four more 

just because 
you have 
the fridge space.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024


Even solid gold 
comes off messy 
when it glows 

from its post as 
the trove of her hair—tangled 
in the bearing 

of all that she must know,
too highly regarded 
to be tamed by a comb— 

as she gazes 
out from underneath 
all that wealth without a care,

eyes less daydreaming 
than floating, just above, 
or possibly below 

some effortless truth
about the nature 
of allure 

which you or I, being 
cheap and human, would have 
foolishly discarded.

Monday, April 8, 2024


For almost as long 
as there has been light, 
something has been there 

to get in the way of it—
casting its absence
as a twin left behind,

a piece of the dark 
in the shape 
of its essence,

in an instant, and yet built 
out of nothing 

and showing us—we 
who are filled
with such questions, 

we who blockade light 
ourselves with these 
bodies—even less 

than those 
selves, even less 
than the night. 

Friday, April 5, 2024


One would think 
that, with the rain clouds 
now parting

and the light drizzling down 
like honey 
from the sun 

on the wet city streets 
which are glistening 
like tongues, you too 

would get
sweetened, would be cleansed 
of what was wrong. 

But in truth, there's no 
asylum in a world that bests
its flaws;

it's a dirtying feeling 
when you sense you 
don't belong. 

Thursday, April 4, 2024


Is it possible 
for life to be both 
enjoyed and endured?— 

for the little you have left 
to be the most 
for which you hope? 

The preachers
say no—that our purpose 
shall be known—

while the politicians
split the vote by angling 
for an either/or; 

but the rest of us don't 
bother sending soldiers 
to that war, since 

we already know 
the answer is: sure, that's 
what music is for. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2024


We're bred 
to think ourselves slaves
to affection—

to assume what we seek 
above all is closeness. 

But in truth, what we 
crave is a strange 

of intimacy 
and remoteness. 

Perhaps that's why 
in centuries past, 
brave men 

would helm the sterns 
of great boats, 

and, spurning common sense, 
sail off the edge 
into seas unknown 

only to yearn 
for the first sight of land

and dream under bright stars 
of their dull
lives back home.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024


Like a musty old chess set 
whose knights were 
long lost 

and have since been 
replaced by two 
snatches of cloth, 

or the rusty stock pot 
with a frying pan 
for its cover 

that's too trusty 
to replace, even 
at trivial cost—so too 

can a heart 
still be 
jury-rigged to work 

even with a few 
of its parts 
snatched out, 

mislaid by 
the user, or 
accidentally tossed. 

Monday, April 1, 2024


One would think 
that understanding 

would look different 
than bewilderment—at least 
from the outside, 

but the truth is
but it doesn't. 

The truth is, it looks 
exactly like you: 

stopping short, 
in front of a shop window 

at the sight of 
not the twin—not even 
the shadow—

but the stranger 
who's depicted there, 

thick, cold, and 

It looks like you losing 
and gaining 
sight of the facts

that a gap 
can take up space
and mass—

that some reticence is 
plainly visible—

that certain lacks 
feel solid, vast, 

and, though slight, still
quite unbridgeable.

Friday, March 29, 2024


The "full implications"
of some things 
stubbornly persist, 

while others 
(however devout-
ly we wish 

would remain 
considerable) gradually 
diminish. But

this is just the way 
it works with 

there is no trick
on Earth you could pull
to arrange it.

As the known universe 
expands, and our quarks
grow stranger, 

the physicists 
only grow more 
and more certain—

the lay public, less 
of the opposite. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024


To the old scythe-
nosed crow, half-cackling, half-

who has lapsed 
in the flight which is his grim 
and ceaseless office  

to perch upon that 
street lamp in my vantage 
in broad daylight:

I am glad
to be reminded of 
the certitude of death 

in a manner which I can't 
laugh off—and yet, which I can 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024


In the all-hell-
busted wreck 
of late March, spring 

is no pleasing, 
no delicate thing—
in fact,

she looks more 
like a fiend, 
an addict, a mess. 

If figures: 
the enfant terrible 
of the seasons 

has once again 
confronted us with 
"difficult art."

All who dare look
upon the cold
fecond dross 

of her latest, most 
reasonless canvas
must wonder: am I looking 

at the end of something? 
Or is this just
the start?

Tuesday, March 26, 2024


There's a part of me 
whose only function 

is to keep two 
other parts from

It's clean, transparent 
and made 
out of something 

resembling light—only 

more gossamer, 
less well 

which is 
just what's required 

when you 
need to clear 
the air between 

the longings
of your heart 

and the worries 
on your mind. 

Monday, March 25, 2024


If the narrator 
of the this faded 
and arcane little book 

would deign 
to speak out, I'm quite 
sure they'd observe 

that every time 
you sniffed, I sneezed; 

that just after 
you itched, 
I scratched; and that 

as soon as you got the urge, 
I danced. 

Not in space, of course—
not with my limbs sculpting 
glutenous time 

into readymade 
vessels for
operative gestures—but

all through the pages 
of interior space 

which contain the long story 
of how we came to be 

Friday, March 22, 2024


Ever notice? 
The things we 
can't grasp

are the ones 
that we covet. 

dearths, sins 
of omission: these

fascinate more 
than plain 
interest might 

explain. Perhaps it's 
this obsession
with lack 

of satisfaction
which accounts 
for the way 

our hearts behave: 
always chasing 
after flashes 

of lust with 
significant underneath, 

rather than 
the blander guts 

of deep-
ly intelligent matches. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024


Oh if it only it were 
so simple 
for the rest of us 

to get going 
like the tough 

when the going 
gets rough, 

instead of 
loading-up the tragic 
events with extraneous 

words and acts 
to protract 
their significance. 

I, for one, wonder—
who on Earth 
are these supermen 

who press 
on in the face 

of impending 

in lieu of showing it off 
to their wearied 
fellow travelers

and/or feting it 
with their eloquence? 

Wednesday, March 20, 2024


It's said 
a shrimp's heart 

is in its head.
Sounds impressive—

but easy 
to pull off when

you're an arthropod, 
and all of your armor 

is a part 
of the facade. 

I admit, there's 

a pit 
beneath my soft skin

and deep inside 
my rib cage, which,

if not quite 
obsessed, is

at the very least 

what it would be like
to stop

overthinking this
and, just for 

a bit, over-
feel it instead.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


Once you're alone 
for too long, it's even worse
to be disturbed. 

There you were: 
fathoms deep 
in your mind palace, 

set before 
a perceptual 
feast just for one

and raising 
a chalice to the lack
of observation

when along comes 
some beggar, knocking 
desperate at your door,

as if it were
conceivable—let alone 
simple—to share 

one's isolation. As if 
the desolate depths 
of pure loneliness 

could be plumbed 
and abated by a little 

Monday, March 18, 2024


Even though we 
know that we know 

how soon, how 
benignly, how inexorably 
you'll arrive, 

still we turn 
our faces to the sky 

to gawk in surprise 
at your arrival,

as though it were 
the very first time—as though 

we did not know 
that we know 

how long we have 
languished here, stymied 
by the poem

and pining for days 
when the world 
would receive us 

into more than 
just a waiting room; 

when nothing 
would seem necessary 

except (perhaps) 

when the language 
of flowers 
would not just inform,

but truly overwhelm 
the flowers 
of language. 

Friday, March 15, 2024


Have you not realized 
by now how your 
most fervent wish 

has always been 
to ditch this existence,
to become somehow 

different, to turn 
into someone else? 
Thousands upon thousands 

of spins around this Earth—
a conduit of translation, 
a passionate observer 

of births and 
of deaths—and yet, 
oblivious to these motions, 

your sights have been set 
not on the longing 
for contentment, 

or for happiness, but 
instead, on the hunger 
to be other than you are—as if 

the one with whom 
you've sat and borne
witness to these moments 

was not but an awkward 
and a sheer and total stranger, 
with whom you still find

yourself thrilled 
(as well as frightened)
to sit and share the dark. 

Thursday, March 14, 2024


By now, I've said 
[your name]
out loud 

so many times in a row, 
that it's done meaning 

which I seemed 
to seek salvation from,

gone long past 
the sound of the cooed 
gibberish whose 

infantile pleasures I 
barely recall—

and officially now 
has arrived 
as a stand-in 

for any 
thought I could think
at all. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


Your love: 
it's so much 
like a dream

that I'm never sure 
how long 
it lasted, 

or what it was 
to mean.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024


Finding I'm faced 
west at sunset 
and alone, I understand 

how the only 
things I've ever owned 

are the failures, mistakes, and 
which have plagued me—

how they all staggered 
after me, like the undead 
in a horror film, 

with hands stretched 
when I tried to ditch them;

each so sincere 
in its resolute faith 

that its clever machination
could spring me 
from the present jam;

and all of them 
correct (despite their 
grave miscalculations) that, 

despite my refusal 
to let them 
touch my skin, 

it has always been 
my running from them 

which has brought me 
where I am.

Monday, March 11, 2024


Even when I refuse to, 
it feels like I am still 
searching for you—

you, whom I'm sure 
I remember, 

though the last time 
we spoke, there was silence 
between us, 

and the last time we were together 
in the same room was 
long ago—

you, who never once tried to 
explain to me 
your identity, as if 

the inadmissibility 
of language 

was all you could need 
for evidence. 

whom I know beyond
the darkest  shadow 

of reason 
that I must love,
even though

your existence 
I will never be able 
to prove. 

Friday, March 8, 2024


At the end of the hall 
which is 
all that exists between us, 

there used to be 
an unlocked door 

through which we 
could pass 
on an errand or two 

to the stacks—
those dank archives of 
pitiful feeling 

we'd been hording  
on the off-chance 

an adventurer 
would come looking 

and discover there 
the treasure that would 
make them world-famous. 

And through that hall 
and the labyrinths 
which surround it 

have long since fallen 
into disrepair, 

I can tell from this distance 
that the door 
is still there—because 

every time you ask me 
where I've been or 
how it's going, 

I can faintly hear 
the quick pop 
of a lock—and the sound 

of it stubbornly  
creaking open.

Thursday, March 7, 2024


There are drawbacks 
to knowing what everything 
is for.

Around every corner, 
there used to be 
dangers, so 

we had to be 
cautious—but also 
much braver. 

Life itself 
was sacramental, 

so everyone on Earth 
was religious 
by nature.

But now we know 
that divinity 

was only eternity's 
loud and tacky 
costume—and worse: 

that the universe 
is really just 
a courtroom,

the most impassioned 

writes the headline 
and the nomenclature. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024


So, what then
is the difference 

and jealous? 

There the sparrows, 
all congregated 
naked in the still-
dead bushes, 

and the sound of their chirping has
unfastened me a little:

how recklessly 
happy—how delirious 
they sound,

and how foreign 
to my marrow 
it is to celebrate 

by subsisting here, 
at the tail-end of winter,

so cold, and so 
conscious, and so violent-
ly hungry. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2024


The softest pedal 
on the piano 
must be down, 

smearing those unhurried 
into clouds—

ly shaped formations, 
barely there, 

but half-occluded 
by devotion's 
hungry shadow 

my impatience 
and every expectation 

to have 
moments ago 
outgrown this fascination 

and snapped 
back off 
the radio. 

Monday, March 4, 2024


Have you noticed—
when it comes to being 
out of our depth, 

the harder-
up we get, the less 
help we'll accept? 

It's like: for over half 
of the film, we've been 
hanging from the cliff, 

fingers growing 
gradually wetter 
with sweat; 

but instead 
of either keeping 
our strength conserved  
or clamoring 
loud as we can 
for a savior,

we'd rather flail 
our legs until 
our grip has collapsed, 

then curse the long- 
gone villain to our 
very last breath.