Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Unequal Things

Three-fifths is not two-thirds, my friends,
by eye the difference almost blends,
and by grace of estimation mends,
but by the fractious law not quite;
to three-fifth's point six, one must lend
a score of sixes without end:
infinite decimal dividend,
for one pie slice's absent bite.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Untitled Seasonal Worry

This one turns wine into water,
he walks on the ground, changes
his money respectfully and tells
everyone how much to put in
for the fish sandwiches.

His donkey is himself, or so
he proves he is able to say,
he eases Lazarus' suffering
with death and helps Mary
understand the ethics of pain.

Above all, his wisdom is in knowing
that the poor victims need
someone to throw the first stone for them.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Elemental Triangle

Water has three sides,
they are shape-shifting,
self-leveling and

Three-sided things
come with three points,

they are the sharp
of the slapping wave,

the cloth-piercing soak
of the gentle droplet

and the stinging sight
of the merest puddle's
self-healing surface.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Shiny Idol Void

Darkness needs no proselytizers,
she keeps no preachers.

Still, she is full of followers,
dark-handed lanterns all.

No anguish intensified for her
nourishes her, or earns return.

No depth claimed for her
is not already her own.

Still the seedlings dig back in,
greens refusing to believe
they are not roots.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Beside the Frame

Surrounding her picture are:
a coin, numismatic carpet-bomb of detail,
minted intricacies and all its dings particular,
a flashlight black and standing upside-down,
like an inverted, reverse values lighthouse,
a mug shouting in capital letters
each time in the same color,
the native contingent of indigent wires
and a desk full of workspace the home game.

In her picture is:
a background motion-blurred,
the world's proper place as an indistinct filler
surrounding her eyes focused so crisply open
on the camera standing in for the viewer,
smile unnecessary to mention,
hair seeably soft as the squiggles halo,
ending blending out into the rushing world.

Instead of her picture,
there she is, herself,
over on the couch, the real her in real time,
sitting there unobserved, perhaps unobservable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wordy Gurdy

When choosing a conjunction,
he prefers but over and.

When choosing a preposition,
he puts under before over.

After all,
his habitually dependent clauses
are caused by his reverence
for the exceptional nevertheless,

modality minces all possible
moments for trays of meat-pie
slapstick face-plants
for every choicy maybe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lost and Frost

Some say their days will end in darkness,
some say in light.
With a physically honest starkness
I await the plausible darkness.
But if the truth were less uptight,
I think two pennies could be tossed
in for my casket's freight, for light
is worth the cost
and no less trite.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Possibilities

Fairies having long failed their appointed observation,
the only moral of those reports must be starvation,
a horror proper to the responsible human failings:
deforestation and poor domestic box office.

Dire need should and would preclude flute and fiddling,
forcing an uptick in baby-snatching, milk-filching,
waylaying of disillusioned business-class travelers.
Lacking such statistics, we prudently conclude
the poor, good people have outlived their immortality.

They must eat something, that's just good science;
our hunger crunches multitudes, due to the small
percentage our guts can make use of.

Barring some unexpected exception,
like fairies evolving as more efficient omnivores
than us, capable of consuming gross distortions,
sandwich crusts, fictions, editorial content -

Then the lowest slaves of their race
would own mansions, castles, hotel-casinos galore,
estates of riches safe from human digestion,
with hedgewalls taller than mere Beverly Hills houses,
security hired from a pool of illegal alien nightmares,
toasting our toil for their majority stake,
they thank us, and with the respect due to servants,
forget we're there.

Monday, December 15, 2008

While the Gray Keeps the Rain

Wet has dripped transparency over everything,
a drape of sheen puddled in each low,
holding down what glisten there is.

Wet has drooped the roses, stems near
to snapping under heavily tinged heads,
some thorns getting a lesson in limpness,
some pointed now at their own kind.

Cushions have their plumpness trimmed
with water-weight and ornamented
with moist stick-on leaves,

hammock ropes pooch with a baby's weight,
the underside of the water-proofed green cotton
umbrella is still that boring store-bought color,
instead of the topside's emerald wet.

The bricks sport tidemark lines,
beach-long curves across their grid,
where the run-off swamped bits of yard.

Wet has also licked two sandals,
laid claim to the top-side's purpose,
like the mat they were left out on,
functional things now as
wet as the rest of the glory-drenched mess.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

There is No Angel of Irony

My friend announces
his dreams are assignments.

I wrote that in a story,
since I once wished it.

I'd ask for an introduction,
but I know that agency,

they hate me. In fact,
he may be best placed

to defeat the demon
they know I dream I am.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Poured Through Ice, No Ice

Cold is good for rushing,
warm water is too slow.

Old enough to know
rest is for the young,

rain pelts a winter day awake.
Hibernation has been bred out

by hyperactivity, the caves
are full of things to do,

even the paintings move now.
Blue sky takes her break,

in her cumulative dressing rooms
she thunders on and on that

no-one is really watching her
anymore. Yet her costume

and costumier, the clouds,
still reinvent themselves,

as unique as their own signature
snowflakes, while our collage

of accidents fascinate us
into speeding even when we're still.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Selection of Unused Watchwords

Blokeism: the philosophical cultivation of the everyday
Blockism: a more simplistic form of reductionism
Blackism: a cinematic movement eschewing blue-for-night
Blakeism: a sociopathic affinity for flaky names
Blickism: a milder, but chronic, form of Bluckism
Blechism: inability to stomach vegetables or opera
Bleakism: a culture-wide preference for news parodies

Thursday, December 11, 2008


There is a spell
for making things the same as they are,
it's any words, in any order,
spoken by someone who seems
like they know.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hypothetically Tragic Parameters

For every brain, a colon.

For each sense, a sensitivity,
for each skill, a set of expensive tools,
to each trick, the fools who use it,
to each spirit, these same three dimensions.

For every love-red heart
a blood full of stop.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flowers Aging in the Kitchen

Remaining on the table,
a two-weekend old arrangement
reminds the eye of when
they were fresh, and to be fair,

they need not bear close looks,
standing in for their previous selves,
color suffices that peripheral purpose,

color which they still retain.
Crinkled is the word, not dead,
themselves decapitations,
and yet uninterred,

color sustained in that murky tea
the vase makes from stems.

The glass is also borrowed,
clarity suspended in brittle
memory of heat burning out

the history of sand and branding
in the highlights that tell
you transparency's there

both cup and contents on loan
then, from that original of banks,
the patient and only earth.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Original Rescinded

What if god got a day behind
during the creation?

Eight would be our lucky number,
our day of rest,
months thirty-two days long at least,
the moon that much farther away,

and since the ends can only number two,
a six-day workweek between them.

In the middle, a day of penance,
where we all have to make up
the hole in time,
the worthless hours charging renewal,
redemption every single
once and again there is -

- a burden drawn into the blueprint,
a bottomless depth of beginnings,
the gift of being seeds
but never trees.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pods Unswept, Maculate Concrete or Detritus Bound

Crippled seeds, dry-socket horrors
wrinkle-dead-faced beginnings

folded back in, right-to-work
rescinded, viral dreams of burgeoning
denied their burial, racked

by the winds, a century-long
cremation by dry-tongues,
baked by incremental exposures,
days upon an earth drained,
moisture replaced with structure.

Poor salvo unexplodable,
triggers wiggling like tails
rattling a measure repeated
in endless decrescendo

I know I can
I could have beens

lose their last tragic hint of beauty's
purchase and just become litter.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

If At First You Do

The toes would know first
what the nose knows too late
if the shoe didn't step in it for you.

Red is the flag of rage and result,
blue waves the same trough,
a swell banner for pity-tattered-tales.

Senselessness is such a hog,
insensitivity lives in sugar-glass houses,
and incense smells like smoke.

The present is an itch
the future can't stop scratching -
the past is a snitch
worth the risk of killing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bird Bath

Clay bird, feathers unfoldable,
molded into a fat dollop,
happy-scalloped, a baby-round icon,

sat on her legless flat spot
on the chopped off upswell center
of an artificial penthouse pond,
a fifteen inch diameter chicken-fryer
sized pool on a concrete pedestal,

water stagnant enough to look natural,
rust-brown and lichen green and three
types of spicy leaves complete the soup,

tan quarter-penny floaters,
yellow dead-slug sinkers
and one half-foot
of stick and greens fresh
from above, straight
down, plop,

but no birds. They prefer
the plastic dog dish.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Orange looks wrong on a December rose,
a hot, jaunty tone, a too-juicy variant,
a shade too tart for the shallowed out air,
a hue too sweet for the dried out light,
bright sherbet ice less apt to melt but
unappetizing in this bitter, lost-yellow
where are the

Cocoa roses, comfort-food brown, tips
dipped creamish, marshmallow-frosted,

wooly roses, blanket-hairy-thick,
flop-eared petals all pilly,

fire roses, candle buds and flagrant -

- wait, those would be orange.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Two Kinds of Clean

Some outside had gotten in,
clumped like scar tissue,
branchlets complete with green leaflings,
as dead as the couch they reposed on,
as dead as their own wick-dry middens.

Chunky like a wing, not just the feather,
sections of tree, collected by soft scraping,
armrest olive against sweatshirt black,
where fleecy friction or magical static
glued sticks thread thin and berry-small
leaves once properly scattered,

now deposited along the cushion's crevice
where keys, coins and dog-hair
have vainly attempted re-inventing soil,
now a proper material has arrived,
slumped in the crack's corner
like rakings wind-kicked
into the old hard-to-sweep places,
a foothold soon enough for roots.

But no.

Scooped up like food waste,
innards, skins, shells or seeds,
cupped in a clean hand, dumped in a bucket,
now with the plastic-wrapped trash
destined for the black bin,
no longer awaiting the gardener's blower,
the broom, and the compost's green-bin.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Yeats made poor Red Hanrahan to wander
a whole poet's history of aimlessness,

for an omission mistook for a blunder:
a wish he failed to make or miss
for the four card-faced mouthpieces,
or their words or who spoke them before.

Since a share of fairy doom never decreases,
theirs is despair to spare and more,
delight in those who guess wrong their demands
justice carried on from their creator's care,

with ignorance both created and damned,
defects deserving punishment, not repair.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What the Cipher Said

redactile disfriction,
stopper lozenge
tripletathon scoopular
deepsteeped decoction
blocker-ade with slippery-
elm-slope-disease and insist
upon tifferent right-choice difficolt
saving, time saving,
efficisenseless than if
wishes were boondoggie moon
shiner conventible headhunterless
baby bunting in to first running
offistle, offencing, indefreezible

oh mad weird wideness
if I could describble you
before I die
you'll still prescribe
my proscription as scraps:
just another thingamawhoevermore
or less.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Fairy Boat

Spider bark-brown, fingernail-moon wide,
lets an ant shuttle past her,
then-quick-then-still, no gears between
across brick and patio, both too bright,
what is she hunting for?

On a green leaf's belly-upside
she idles her legs down, as if it floats
cold on all that hot concrete sea -
- or mistaking synecdoche for honesty
believes she's found the fabled tree

One of eight off-edge, testing the perimeter,
she stops atop her own shadow, becomes dirt.

A fly lights an inch away, no reaction,
a yellow jacket bumble-strafes and is gone,
no flinching, so eyes that want to follow
find other motion to move them while she
meditates, a boiling abdomen, a compound focus
on stillness.

Her frozen purpose remains her own,
as all observers flutter in their chorus, away.

Then leaf and metaphors abandoned,
she disappears into shade and her own ends.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sweaters draped on a dowel rack,
stretched like skins to stay off shrinking:

asparagus green and hairy brown
and two plain, but incommensurable grays.

What if the wool grew colored,
sized and sewn upon the sheep?

Farmers become tailors, careful to cut
the cuffs off right, keeping the feed

high-protein for shiny buttons,
designers breeding next years lines,

twisting the genes together for cable-knit,
splicing in zippers, embroidered logos,

a boon for all sizes of sheep,
since fat and skinny both stock shelves,

plus the bones like crochet hooks,
skeins of yarns milked like magician's scarves,

and the fields full of velveteen patties,
wardrobe and craft store in one,

just sew on the tags and charge.

Friday, November 28, 2008


earth is not four things,
it is the fourth.

the fourth thing
insisting on making
a square and calling
the shape itself.

earth may be third,
only if the sun
counts for zero.

third thing,
the joke,
mercury quick,
venus beautiful,
and then there's earth,
just covered with life.

earth has a
stillborn twin,
moon and her
makes two.

also day and night
had a baby
called duality.

there is only one earth.

the universe may
have no center
but it is a world
just as all encompassing
and only.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

not another day, today

rain, please rage,
i have a candle
and want to be proud of it

wind, please shove
the clouds back to their corral
and cold-fistedly
squeeze them

cold, please breathe
on my mug of tea
so our fogs mingle

rain, please roar
down with a mouth
wider than thanks or wishes

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Red-Leaf Knowledge

Autumn is our peak,
we endure the leaning light,
the weaning heat, to harvest,
to master other's deaths.

Spring is for insects,
summer a season of green warpaths,
winter the biding time,
old man cold, the first muse
laughing ugly over his
burnable wood, his
edible meat, his
newest invention,

Fall constructed us,
temperature correcting,
moisture resistant
opportunistic scourers
of the hope of seeds,
the needs of rut.

Smell the apples,
soon full of our teeth,
that was our beginning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Untitlular Subject

you need a less homy name

won't fly with the purists

belongs to some cousins

is a rubbish coinage

is the name of a pie

too close to damselfly

too on the nose

prone to mishearing

too esoteric

probably too positive

a dot com reserved for kiters

sends the wrong message

implies you hunt rustbuckets

even your name is a bother

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three Dots, or Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Three is the loneliest number.
One is an infinity, the universe
and the center the same.
The second there's a second,
why there's world that isn't one,
but the other's, and there
are things to compare you and I to,
but no other you.
Once there is,
then there it is.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Abstraction Without Participation

Dido at the parapets,
poor queen tossed by throes
resounding through all the future
allusions her name will be used for.

A symbol is doomed to recommit its sin
its error is the whole of its usefulness

Guinevere lounging in the nunnery,
meditating on perfected memories,
one proper each to love and lust,
happy to know and no longer have to be.

Some ideas dream their own provenance
dwindling personal or waxing prominent

Goody Proctor and Abigail evil,
playing for the alternating jurors
the same circumstances executed for
all the judges who have come before.

Representatives of power held in absentia
for the truant human demographic

Laura, a name that means me to her
and her to the men touring her showroom,
only sees the sign of herself saying,
if you loved me, you'd know where my home is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rubbing It In

To take off your shoes
or to take off
that is the question.

Whether or not it's noble,
nobody cares,
you enslave yourself
to the right master
or go found your own
fucking country.

In the mindfields,
nobody minds if you explode.
Honestly, it's better
for everyone involved
if you suffer that one
for the team.

There are fortunes,
although luck, destiny
and fate are all fickle
enough to be fictions,
but there's no opposing them,
and there are endings, sure,
everything you want
or need or love will end,
but everything else
no amount of rage
can burn out.

I, too, can sleep, Ophelia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Sequin Out of Costume

Flat as any glimmer is,
one brassy sequin lies alone,
a full circle punctured,
a deflated gold,
one quarter-inch of artificial
object among the leaves,
joining the backyard table's surface,
sharp circumference wedded
to the wood, where no wind
can lever him to flinging.

Having a hole in his center
and his own absolute zero
he attempts to project
across the patio furniture's


the motes won't properly orbit,
the yellowish leaves won't stand
in the proper constellation,
the dust refuses to play at nebulae
and the galactic blackfly fleet
won't respect his gravity well.

So the sequin sheds his hubris,
in the shadow of old titan umbrella
he awaits the actual sun,
succumbs to his appropriate
level of self-esteem,
aware he is a miniature,
not to mention perforated,
reflection. He prostrates
himself with the wish to be hit
directly with the full spectrum,
hoping to be transmuted
into pure glint.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I believe mother nature
has an unfair monopoly
in the emerging green market.
She owns all the cycles.

Also, sky-father has cornered
all four corners of the earth.

They've choked off supply,
no new planets at all,
which is so unfair since
it's their destiny we're manifesting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three Lessons

Wisdom is knowing what
parts to leave in the trap
without bleeding out.

Faith is knowing that
God's dictum is this:
if you can be defeated,
you deserve it.

But love is something
angels sing but cannot touch.
It is yours alone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There Is No Stopping

Red candle,
when burned you bail
blood away from your wick,

made a stick
by hand of man
a tall taper
whose purpose is to stoop
down into a puddle.

Unlit you do not await

burnt black but unburning,
a coma between stints of life.

Lightless stretches
grant only blank time, lapses

stagnant, denying even the hunger
to shorten yourself.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rules of Engagement

Speak of the man in the world,
but do not say horizon.
Speak of people among people,
but do not say power.

Speak of life without mouthing
heart, love, moon-soul-please.
Speak the truth without shouting
faith, pain, brain, god-lonely.

Of lust say nothing
except praise of hunger.
Of spirit tell only
of the suffering exemplar.

When death is mentioned,
never describe a bird.
If light is requested,
silently flip the switch.

You are forbidden knowledge;
your report is due by day's end.
Show me only what you see,
that trick is our legal tender.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Better Than Two Pills

Seated beside his beverage,
his daily cup of therapeutic black,
ceramic mug holding his hand down,
caffeine holding his skeleton in,
thumb kept from excavating his temple,
hooked by the handle's smooth loop,
bitterness drugging a flopping tongue,
as hot dollops patrol the voicebox,
chords told to keep to their sides,
no freedom to speak of that constant sensation.

There is dignity in pain, just not headaches.
Humility is their educational mandate.

Coffee is not the only soldier
he drafts to police the assembled protesting
neck and shoulders, nose and forehead,
pillows arrange for vertebrae to stage
a quiet sit-in, a book arrests his self-attendance,
a sweater heats the blood for steam release.
He would commission her hands,
but they seem too busy to lay
on nape or brow until she says:
"Come here, there's something
I want to get off your face."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Pastoral Misses The Past

From a certain tree to a famous stone
lays fieldgrass trampled to a row of mats
put down by foot after foot of homegrown
wandering heart, the hungry ghosts of past
songs become their own absent singer,
bootless, rootless, dirty, spectral minstrel,
carrying an unwashed mouth of poems, bringer
of the wishing sickness, a proper wastrel.

The spruce and the boulder, the patch between,
all three need that path and that animal,
however phantom, to see what is seen
of needles, flints and blades and sing no dismal
modern imagery over them, instead
merry, simple cadences voiced alone,
as the first patron of man's art intended,
the march of the tree, the grass and the stone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Soundings Unbound

sandals and vandals
are nothing alike
unless a beach bum
is stealing a bike

candles and handles
share no common grounds
except wax is to flames
as leashes to hounds

and petals and metals
may make roses worth posing,
yet fake for the nosing,
and portals and mortals
are both open for closing,
but what's that worth supposing?

for peddling and meddling
on your doorstep both stoop
while piddling and middling
are worth each other's whoop

but muddying and modeling
are clearly near-opposites
and puddle-ing and poddle-ing
are unliscened composites

when pedals and medals
can keep the same pace
if the bicycle borrower
also takes the race

then candelabras
and handlebars
soon appear to be similar
if that thief is Prometheus,
famed fire-criminal

pumping hard the pedals
to bring heaven down
testing his mettle
against the widest of crowns

oh word and your world
one hot, sacred syllable
that brings the beginning,
of time burned up billable
or sulphur-dipped in sinning

oh word and your world
of opposing great works

where poems and clocks
may seem like rivals
except rhyming and timing
both end in arrivals.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Bottomless Box

No drama screened on this machine can call the deus
from exile, no comedy can surprise the trickster
to laugh long enough to tell us the joke.

Channels dredging each other for world-coiling
corpses, cameras kidnapping candidate idols,
as the macguffins punch and judy each other.

In the land of the one shining, blind eye,
the regurgitating pupil's constant pressure
of fleeting flotsam is horizon and crown.

So the sword nips ear and holds down shoulder,
since in the thinking lands to fight is to knight
the enemy, to submit to playing loyal opposition.

The library reprints itself, in electromagnetic
spectrum burning fractal expansions of synapses,
experience become mere mirror to the hall of mirrors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Wood Wouldn't Do

No two tables the same,
factory fit, mortised and glued,
interchangeable surfaces
with unmatchable faces.

Count the grains like ribs,
planks starving ever since
cut and stained in their places

like a skinless man made
to play on the beach, leaves
fall on exposed cellulose

naked where the saw and sandpaper
touched, there is now soft air
rough with dust, heavy, relaxing
feet, cups without coasters
mocking the wood with new rings.

That it withstands standing
is strength I call moot.
The table should either
take a walk or take root.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

... Fall Back

Daylight-Wasting-Time, now,
afternoon already long in the shadow,
evening oddly rough to the rush,
night such a gloating landlord.

The gloaming comes too early, now,
the blue hour gone red with deadlines.
That magic angle of scattering,
of light without the point-source,
of reflections free of original image,
a celestial, musical hour scored
over with last-minute business
and the bonus chore of going home.

Dawn gloats over the morning, now,
floating the promise of heat,
but keeping it, the yellow sun
mocking every clockface since
no round circle can compete
with her exacting schedule,
no numbers able to remain
upon the furnace of her face.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Trading Today

Sex is so old it shouldn't still sell,
such crude mechanics, so indelicately sketched,
an image so ancient it invented hell,
a rough draft rushed into production, now stretched
to fit wireless mannequin-made proprieties;

supplies are prone to inflation and overstock,
subject to rent-control, while the wisest societies
embargo all fresh produce, kept alone on the dock
until over-ripe, left to stew in it's youth

the rest of it's life, inventing happiness
and other substitutions for the truth
that our futures have been marked down for less

than we can buy our bodies' daily allowance for,
unless we learn to market out inner, golden-hearted whore.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Never Directly At It

I was afraid to look at you, until I did.
Apologies are private things and honestly
frankness is blunted by the ironic stance.
Authenticity is shameless between strangers.

Sorry, I could not stop looking once I did.
Bodies have forgotten how to know another
without the efficiency of lust and no,
four senses plastered over with visions.

I have learned to look away, and then back.
Naked is the default feeling of the real,
the original color of every discovery
is guilt. Instinct is a poor teacher.

I am looking for your format.
And love is a contract for landlords,
I'm an amateur librarian. Does a book
feel so exposed, flat open?

You look back, not for, not toward, but at.
Skimming, scanning or sounding out, you'll
see I print myself on translucencies.
Our false fronts keep the black-market open.

Then two lookers unhook, drag anchors up.
The longform confessional requires hiding
in a shared dark until the ears adjust
to hearing another human being being,

and we have not contrived time or space
tonight for such unshielded core reactions.
Questions sort back into the tackleboxes,
and we become who we looked like.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Morning Breath, Morning Bite

Some of her sleep is still in my neck.
Second-string muscles so slack
the bones will play.

Her rest is paid by the hour,
so she punches the time
when it wakes her.

Once up,
there's so much slumber to dump
off the sides of her once submerged
now newly floating, barging boat
that the house tilts under
the oncoming tide of her
unsunk tired until it subsides
into carpet, coffee and

Outside with the dogs
she kicks herself in the propeller,
breathes fuel and makes a list,
soon inside it's food and TV news
and of course, one kiss.

She tightens her wires
and springs on her day,
teeth out.

My backbone waggles from
left-hand relaxed to
right-hand wound and waits
for her teeth to come home.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Gifts

Upon the mouths shouting
this door is only theirs
to close and open,
my gift is so much
happiness in your hallway
that you never learn to leave it;

upon the wailing claimers
that history is only theirs
to inherit,
my gift is perfect title
to your traditions
so the debts stay tallied to you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Once More Around the Block Song

shall I leave to go walking
to beg with a song
for food or for tenure
tell me is it wrong

for a grown man to wander
and suffer and dream
while the workers all
boil themselves at full steam

to keep high the engines
they all race against
to trade timecards for tickets
inside the good fence

is it too late for poets
to beg with a verse
for love or for fairyland
tell me is it worse

for a modern man's habit
to mourn magic's dead
or proudly do his part
for the tragic instead.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Pound of Faith

There is no sky today.
No gap from ground to space,
the frontiers touch our face
like gods we lost, now close,
soon enough all heaven's host
will at her customary infinity stay,
and yet there is no sky today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two Pictures and a Prayer

Rain clips the city's first hour and clops on
bordering the morning with wet glossies
until the executive jet-stream drags the grayscale
waterfront eastward off the frames of gutters and
traffic toward the proper setting for weather,
croplands wide with open-handed earth.

The dog-eaters shake off the nuisance of nature's
self-promotions, claiming she's still in the race,
her noisy pitter-patter advertisements
like clouds and showers, scheduling herself
without consulting the economic forecasts
for billable hours, part-time double shifts --

-- oh, water falling by the grace of science
formed before knowledge had either heads or apples
to hide in, please abandon those parameters
of pressure and density and carve from this dry sky
a door, I will, I promise, walk through the deluge
into whatever garden or desert you fall upon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Other Side of the Mountain Goes Down

I have made of my shelter a tempest
as years stretch tenuous from modern hurtling
back to the anchors of history, "Changeling!"
my forebears cry, "Traitor! Heir to our best,
born on the mountain's crest, only to rest,
lamenting we left you no cliff to test
our gift of arms on!" Excusing my mewling
as hothouse, workhorse lungs unused to cooling,
airless air, I entertain myself with
tantrums, manufacturing my one-use myths
and making a general mess of the nest,
since I cannot breath space with a human breast
I have made of my shelter a tempest.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Frontier Interior

The house is evolving a habitat,
like a brand new cooling earth,
like paradise built perfectly empty
the house is going wild.

Under the bed, lustbunnies breed.
In the microwave, a new biological
niche awaits the salamanders
who abandon the old world of flame
for an electromagnetic heritage.
On top of the fridge, conquistador-
sherpa-pygmy-yetis plant flags
and keep their promise never to
speak of the great defrosting famine.

The seasons of dishstacks, burgeoning
Piletime and scarce, dry Racking,
make half-years for the Sinkling race,
flotsam scavengers, nomads playing
thimblerig hotel in coffee cups
while their plumbing-flung, porcelain
ensconced cousins knit hammocks
and tunnel-web-nests of hair
behind the disinfectants, strands
harvested at heroic risk
in the drainstorms.

Couch crumb collectors trade
each other unidentifiable fragments
in hopes of owning their own penny
someday, while in unused sockets,
goat-horny boys play pirate-hole
and king of the alternating
head-butt under the plastic tree,
with her naked dolly dryad,
as changeless as each other
and as curious about thirst.

The high country between the books
and the shelf-backs sport new
colonies of prospecting gnomes
scratching the paper edges for
magic words as they retell
stolen bits of stories, mining
what was for what could be,
like every culture laying down
its layer of cave paintings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stich-ripper to the Storm

The rain also stops,
clouds done gutting themselves,
childish, many-fingered sun
pokes the thread-wet holes through,
burning storehouses of deep gray
down flat to that cheap, old sky.

Friday, October 31, 2008

costume AND contest NOT context

I have been a bad boy,
squeals the bloody,
both mouth and hand up
pick me oh please oh I'm
so awful nasty wrong.

Walpurgisnacht it is not,
while the faceplay is for
wearing, no other invoked
within the circle of skin
we sport our spirits on

The safety of charades
without the masquerade's
intrigue; the release
of pent-up social grease
being this not-not-this
without the catharsis
of becoming; a ritual
made mere and menial,
another occasion
for the celebration
of what we do not know,
attended, as if an appointment
has been accomplished

I put in an appearance
in this appearance
in the appropriate genre or period
I not only played along, I played
and won my status once again

when I could have been instead
something else

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Days of the Walls

Around the ecliptic of her interior decoration
the sun hangs blue or bluish-green.
I count six symbols of nuclear-fused gravitation,
not quite a planetary alignment's worth.

There's one kiln-glazed shiner, navy hue,
he's a hexagram with such an abstract, fat-cheeked
happy that he must be the ancient.

One astronomical distance under the cabinets,
defined by the width of one steel kitchen sink,
is a texmexicali, landscape-faced sol, providing
twelve auspicious cerulean rays surrounding
the yellow and green and white of earth.

The compass of months is attested by two other orbs,
one fake-turquoise mock-Aztec demanding sarcasm
be sacrificed to his smile, and opposite him
periwinkle fairy-grandmother sun above the key-rings.

The greenest one has twenty-four frozen flames,
appropriate to his summery girth. The last
has seventeen, which they say is the least
random number, and true, here it is,


the seventh appears on a cross. I missed him
before, rust-brown, bent-wire metal in four
fleur-de-lys suggesting endings, and in his
center, the sun like a saw blade,
meant to cut free of his shape and mine,
into the blood, to burn where he belongs.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chaff is for Testing the Wind

butterflies are no longer grist
proper to poems, maybe a grisly,
sanguine image of pile-high wings,
hand-plucked, hand-shredded into
a flat hash of flakes for a dash
of spicy color on oatmeal or potatoes,
that might sparkle sharp enough
to slip through the crowded rib-cages
of heard-it-thought-it-didn't help
to score a hit for the heart there
begging for one more tickle-pain
to mimic intimacy or maybe bees
in their hive of metaphorical labors
ground into a bitter pepper,
good on cucumber sandwiches,
no upper or lower crust just
a hint of biological slavery,
but that's the same comparison,
so back to butterflies and their
undiscovered publishable uses,
like keeping a bag of their beauty
full on hand for instant getaways,
toss cloud of dead symbols
in the eyes of editors and run
or confuse psychopompic sparrows
from delivering their singing
obituary notice or pin them all
above your bed to test who
only notices and who knows
why you flocked the ceiling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rule of Thumb

Roughly forty-five degrees
from eyes to treetop means
you're where the trunk will
meet the tangent. Less than
that angle's number says you're
safe from falling lumber but not
from all of father sky's descendants.

Monday, October 27, 2008

business aspect

today I checked my diary
against all the copyrighted diaries
optioned by the studios
so I could delete any similarities
as directed by court-order
and the advice of my lawyer
and my agent, who keeps
encouraging me to live
like no one else.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Easy Autumn; California

egg-brigades of ants are moving out
from their loamy summer crevice
to winter under concrete grout

fall is when the treetops fall
though not these robinson-crusoe roof-tile fronds
they crack and yellow is all

the hedges keeps their leaves on
like lumps of furniture they fray with age
having a year but not a season

for a yard without a pine or spruce
every green goes round both solstices

no wonder all the natives here
end up going grasshopper

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unlimited is a Another Word for Emptiness

Meditation is an ancient method
for discovering how much garbage
you're made of.

I've dredged the channels
for that sacred silence,
but there's no bedrock,
only bedlam all the way down.

Matter receives no absolute rest,
electrons draw no stately orbit,
why should a soul be more than static?

Underneath each stupid thought
are uncountable half-thought
stupid thoughts massaging
each other like proteins
trying to reinvent the cell.

Like irrational numbers each
examined emptiness is full
of pretty and prettier symbols
to describe the deepening.

Stillness is a higher function.
Silence is the sound of
sentences choking each other.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Inside Card

Strength depends on lust,
I see the old fraud's equation clearly,
and despair.

I might sum it up as
be careful who you conquer.
If you have become death,
behold, you are but fit
to destroy worlds.

I walk this earth
(ramble rhymes with gamble)
unable to choose a table
because I can only wish
I had a fiat lux
up my sleeve.

As the lady rides her lion, ask
would you, could you
in a green dream be
the bit or the bitten,
bridle or pale horse,
the hand or the sword or
the word or the mouth
of the man that says quiet -

- back to work,
all together but the bonus only
for the bloodshot, sweaty best.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yard Ornaments

foot-wide nylon butterfly
no pretense to silk
daubed by factory hands
a garish monarch's orange
with an idiosyncratic
wing-tip schematic
no genetic sequence could draft

such sheafs of plans
tighter than microfiche
in the virus that built
me for a house

if I could bud cells
back down the tree, not up
halt the phylogeny's reciprocation
at any ontology I want
make an acorn or a bee
instead of investing in a half-breed me

I'd bleed in the yard an hour a day
to clone from my racial backlog
the closest match to that
fabricated insect decoration
so a pulpy mist of giant butterflies
can beat themselves against
that painted idol, dance and feed
the flocks of robins

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Citrus in the Garden

an orange goes drop
like a head to the brick
a plop that won't stop
the tree's next trick

of reselling the same misdirection,
juggling so many windward seeds aloft
the next missed out gets no attention

more oranges drop
like thoughts done thinking
an endless crop
of copies sinking

from floating ceiling to gravity's floor
where roots unfeeling throb through earth
for dregs of corpses of their own spoor

oh you orbs in your dying orbit

the fruit's the pod
in which to snare
the nature of the god

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bush in the Brickbox

Today the pink rose is open,
while yesterday's white petals
flutter down like a seagull
bloomed by buckshot.

The pink scent has the most affect,
suggesting themes in nature's pallette,
or so she knows while knowing
it's impolite to notice aloud.

She keeps count of buds now,
since roses proper last just
one sun-burned afternoon,
an opening that never closes,
only more open, so much
more open that it's apart.

She feels bad for the masses
of cane and leaf and sharp below
so she tears green applicants
for arranging her transmutation
from purpose to pretty,
chlorophyll workers become flower.

Also, she touches the thorns.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pretty and Pretty Big

blue sky misted whitish,
green tree-tops highlighted
gloss-bright hotspots
fluttering like everlasting
exploding glass

while lower, local green-stained
leaves wiggle their waxy sides
at the sun's height
all striving up and away
from the dark chemistry
of nutrients and need
toward the color washing
over, but never down

that baby-blanket periwinkle
giant iris sky whose pupil
never opens, that curtain
drawn between the stars
and work-hours so we
can stop looking up,
keep ourselves chin-level
steady to our earth-toned
spectrum of tasks

You can't go there.
That blue is only background,
it recedes, the product of scattered
white-hot, unstoppable day,
pretty, and pretty big
and as distant as any ending
you could wish for.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Untitled: "Oh, those reinforcing stories"

those reinforcing stories
on heavy rotation through
weddings and pregnancies,
when even science-fiction
demands doctorates and worse,
the spirit of conquest,
shouldn't I prefer fantasy,
running red-rover at the
clasped hands of physics,
so the world can be
about more than gravity,
entropy and profile-height,
magic is chaos
and silliness is unsafe
but the world churns itself,
I don't feel unfair
ignoring it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Branch and Limb

Over the hammock, between the trees
two root systems
have sent their slow battalions
to carve space
into smorgasbord and darkness.

Two fronds unfold their colors
in hopes of choking the other,

one splashy green,
wide and houseplant-plastic-sheened,
a googly shape for
rain-dancing while the rag-lobed fern
stretches each possibility out
like a mold taken of
perfect suburbian tunnel cul-de-sacs.

They have no weapons
except their investments
in more cells
and their understanding
of the astronomical epicycles
churning butter-yellow and thin shade.

The two trees might be above this,
but by that no means noble.
Sixty feet up their parallel,
stately friendliness blooms
into forays and strongholds,
a volume veined by interpenetrating
teams of solar prospectors
staking their claim with life and

while the trunk arranges
to mortgage his low countries
for a new high rise factory
of pure potential that only costs
a percentage of shade charged
in progressive, meaning increasing,
rates on all of past production, well -
the central, sucking heart of sweet
doesn't have to care for it's constituents,
it knows the health of the whole
is a matter of statistics

and he has to claim that golden,
free-for-the-taking heaven
before that other pollen-bloated
wind-waver gets their misshapen
leaves in it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Push to Talk

She stinks like clean,
we wrote that line together,
only dialogue could produce it,
only the scene where I
want her to sit still,
and she has a list of
twitchier time-fillers,
where I want silence
to describe to myself
her mishmashed scent
of shampoo and soap
and tee-shirt and neck,
half shower, half laundry
closet, and underneath,
the just-scrubbed-off
crust of girl left skin
barely able to bounce
back light and a smell
portmanteau words
wouldn't clamp shut on.

Which I can't say under
that heavy, white elephant,
the holy spirit we've made
room for between us sucks
the air into his trunk
so that messages are necessary
across this inch of distance
instead of just a
shared breath unsaid.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Untitled: "I dislike my dreamer"

I dislike my dreamer
so loose-fisted with
my slip-stream empire

I want to return
from my resting
with a return
on my investment

time is rent,
food is money,
so each sleep
is pay per view

any bible or other
self-help bestseller
will do,
or better yet
a myth
because those sell
the movie rights, too.