Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Distance Shines

the star burns

in as many skies

as there are eyes

to see

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The cold coils up
like there's a nest
to protect, or a need
to rest rusting the very air,
a back that must hunch,
a hand that must curl,
but not close, a wind
so quick it's cut
her own legs off,
a wind become wisp,
dragging like a blanket
drooping from shoulders
just as hung as fabric,
as loose as the dull
sleep the spongy,
slurred world
promises with thudding
whispers, the cold,
as pristine as a lake
made a mirror
by a morning's happy
absenting of man,
like a librarian
admonishing the restless
mind to worship the silence,
the hands that keep
the books closed
raising a finger, oldest
symbol, simple reminder
that words are too restless
to bury anything in,
the pages don't want
to be turned and burned
by homesteading photons,
land-grabbing eyes,
their spines know
their natural state
is unopen, like the cold,
bending men around
their hearts, reminding
them to love something
close, something
they can hold.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes, Again

Absence lets itself in,
like a drink pouring itself
on the floor, saying
say when and never listening.

Absence introduces herself
to everyone, the perfect mixer,
she wants to be counted,
to set the record,
the most noticed.

Absence over-enunciates,
a clerk happy to demonstrate
her superior knowledge
of her routine.

Absence hammers
like a carpenter who doesn't
care how strong he looks,
it tickles like an uncle
unashamed of the chance
to tell his only joke.

Absence pitches up
like a toddler atop
the couch's summit,
announcing his intention
to have attention.

Absence drags the room
around like a bird worth
a batting and two fangs,
but not as tasty as can guts.

Absence leaves the box
unopened, the roof closed,
the present circumstances
unexamined. Absence likes
imagining who might be home.

Absence goes out and stays in,
she can do both, two time
the whole team, she even
goes on double dates with other

Absence tries on everything
in the store. Absence
promises the moon for the
price of wishing and waiting.

Absence reinforces himself
like a bureaucracy creating
a new department.

Absence's favorite relative
is memory. She always calls him.

Absence is tireless.
Absence likes the repetition.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The glass is always completely full.
You can't breathe water.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unexplored Fragment

Heaven is full of light,
and hell is full of fuel.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Century of Sundays

That's not a gate, it's his toenail.

All candles are his footmen,
as upright as his chorus,
singing their singeing,
trooping with their tongues
as tall as pikes and tipped
with the gift of one
ray of the center of light.

Those aren't doves, they're bubbles
he's blown in the phlogiston.

Soon and gone are close enough rhymes,
with a foot in each he speaks.

Those are pearls that were his cysts.

All angles are his managers,
every middle bent on both ends
so every horizon can hide
in the same foreground,
the same perfect now,
one disconnection performing
the same endless pirouette
upon every point.

Yes, in the kingdom of his
pockets he has
a banana for everyone.

God does not want promises,
that's why he built a world.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breaking Faster

We orbit like eggs being juggled,
yellow fusion centers boiling
each other in case we fall

because shells can be swept up
and wet protein soaks into the carpet

she splits her muffin
like a twist cap
and I warm the butter on the toaster
right in the wax paper
and drip it into the bready badland
like greasy rain sent to smooth
out the moon

the coffee contemplates
a career change -
maybe marketing since
it already has the network

but we dirty the same dishes
as we shake out of grimy dreams
and fill the hole sleep
burned us down to with a heap
of lumpy fuel and take turns
tossing matches over
the windy walls we've
spoken up this morning

we avoid each other like magnets
afraid their field is forever

an uneaten apple prays
for a snake to sell it to us
unable to lie down for its round
around, all belly, beside
a paring knife it pleads
to be cut open
to let the star out

we keep apart
like the owners of animals
scheduled to stud and catch,
afraid our little goblins
will rut while we're busy
planning a day and a life.

The coffee dregs arrange
themselves in deconstructed
but solemn imitation
of a shape they studied
in tea-leaf appreciation

she eats her muffin
as slowly as she can.
I stab the apple
because it wants me to,
although I'm not hungry
for mealy or sweet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

As Arch as the Ancient of Day's Compass

What ape has come to plumb-bob
himself from my tree, to test his tail
like a spider, dangling from branches
his slum-gummed mouth to snag sunbeams
before I can filter them for him?

What shark has swum up
the main artery of my commerce
with my lesser communion,
to test his teeth on the antibodies
policing the ferrymen's boats
for dreamers raiding the country
of the dead?

What centipede has molted here,
collected its legs from interns
and entry-level upward mobility donors
to test the curve of their beastly
layered back against the long
odds I've laid the best so far
out on, what chittering orifice
has opened so proudly to scoop up
the detritus of life beyond
its ken? I can so happily

squash, so easily harpoon,
so simply and painlessly and
joyously and effortlessly and
gleefully and carelessly
shoot him out of my tree
with a bullet made of my
tiniest word, with a barrel
turned from the bone
I left out of the first
of his forefathers, with a trigger
cut as fine as the hair of my first
creation, my sibling, my lover,
my seamstress and barber,
my daily bread baker and
the only butcher I trust,
the woman who holds
thread, scissors and the hands
of the sisters she budded
to serve her like
scabbards for herself,

go away, little sleeper.
The world is full enough
of fluttering.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Den with Dead Television and Dreamer

Cold jags into the room like a muscle cramp,
walls so stalwart compared to the imaginary
ones buckling like the outside is all deep sea,
the gathered rivers of history all chummy
and backslapping the backdoor, promising
to plummet the ostrich-feathered tenant
through sand and silt and trench, so deep
into the cold the rocks have rubbed
their fists together until they melted.

Except the floor holds up under all that
heavy metaphor, and the glass in the door
has equally bored air on both sides,
out back a lazy shoulder drunk with his brother
cardinal's spinning long-winded lies, inside,
a buffet of something as stale as a wish
kept in a mason jar in a hope chest
in the guest room at grandma's house
for twenty years, and the woman,
splayed out on the couch in hopes
that listless, naked abandon
often entices angels to make announcements,

she can't stop banishing her to-do list
with daydreams of how her house might
crush her, or winged messengers come
to escort her with a spear thrust
entrusted to judge the gordian knot
between her body and mind
with the rough cut it deserves,
blessed with the proper pressure
to collide with her flesh until
it vibrates fast enough to light,
and her spine stays behind,
a fallen flagpole for whatever
queen and country she should
have stood for, sang for, boiled
her heart in work for. She roils
in pillows and faux-fleece blankets

like a child dancing to keep her piss in,
like a cat that wants to bite the hand
it's afraid is about to stop petting it,
like a woman who would trade every happiness
she ever had only to know who it was
that was supposed to have loved her.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Morning's Game with Mug and Fall

Early enough for the hedgewall's shadow
to paint the same even shade of evening,
coffee braves the cold yard at his elbow,
proud to stand the forced labor of loving
men's mouths, heat in hope of a stomach's clutch,
the hot, glossy organs less alien
than her palisade of ceramic, much
the mercenary, letting heat escape
the smothering huddle of Brownian
motion for the wide, open world's lighter touch;

he limits his lips to one sip per wild
leaf to ripple her little-rimmed sea,
one by one, autumn's orphans steeped in coffee,
immigrants baptized by the grinder's child.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Pluck is not enough,
so said the string,
as tight as she should be,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lines to a Chainsaw

It is 7:34.
I suppose if I had to run my teeth
through sappy cellulose,
I wouldn't care either.

He's proud:
Nothing is as loud as the pain
I'm sharing.

You could wait until eight.
Tell the leaf-blower.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Gray thinks the pendulum is a myth.

Time can only know color by comparison
with numbers.

Matter has to hit things to know them.
Light has to poke to make its points.

Black and white have never met,
either in print or on board
the square-footed grid of the world.

A minute has just enough time
to think about how it will end.

A needle is mostly cylinder,
its own sharp a distant,
singular mystery.

All the consonants think the spectrum
is an old vowel's superstition.

The shape of things only folds,
never raises.

Tingles always wish they really felt something.

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Too, In Passing

The rain trumps the weekend with a deck-
soaking deluge of innumerable pips.

The pitter patter blathers on like a
television's background nattering
battering its way into an afternoon's
couch-cushion-fortified nap.

The rain gathers to welcome newcomers,
whole circles leaping up to receive new
members. Puddles overcome their edges
to paint the yard with the dullest
sparkles known to man.

The bland stink of unsalted water
carries itself across the threshold.

The wind gets tired of giving away
free tickets and closes the ride.

The gutters chortle at the dog
in the raincoat. Cars mow down
droplets in their prime.

The men bungle the day with
wishes. The weather goes on
with the show.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Mirrors, No Faces

Her punctuation is always late;
her implications arrive early,
without a bottle of wine.

His answers always go
out to sea first. The beach
dries out while he thinks.

She believes life is built
by knocking into things,
and the proteins seem to agree.

He starves out his options,
waits to crown the only head
his neck can still hold up.

Their orbits lose each other,
as they ask, would you rather
be unexpected or inevitable?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


she plays like a leaf in the street
as if a canyon could love like a blood vessel

as if fate was a wake proud to eddy after errands
she plays like a can escaping the trash

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

he wastes himself like breadcrumbs
leading his own flock of birds ouroboros

through a helix of hemlocks
happy to host another abduction

to the frosting-framed house,
whose pearl-sugared gate opens

as easily as any one-way door.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Costume Rental Policy

The world doffs her wolfskin,
slumps and huffs and
blows her own work down.
Pigs and sheeps and ducks
feather and line and grease
her gears, her purse
and her wingtips.
She slips in her friendly dentures,
molars for mouthing the round
elbow-locking tongues of
cud-chewers, while in a glass
jar of acid her fangs
stay sharp, etched with the right
inscriptions. The world
slowly backs her head
out of the trough
to sample the flesh
plumping behind. She
casts her peanuts before swine,
gives a fish a rabbit's foot
and teaches the mouths
to eat while they're closed.
The storehouse of seeds
and rain and sunlight
and time she sets herself
in a patrolling orbit around,
hackles up, howl looping
on the loudspeaker,
teeth rented out to the mercenaries
happy to have a place
to pay her for.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


a thorn sifts the wind for a gauzy thought,
rips it to strings so it can snake
into the primal socket, the threadneedle
thin mousehole the first word hibernates in.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hue and Cry

The race of roses happily segregates herself,
colors competing for their share of sunlight,
bee feet and appreciation, a combined score
of eyes and noses, bonus points for poems.

The pink wilts first, like the sun
loved it best and hardest, the orange bursting
from the bud as quick as ignition, from fist
to flimsy like a snapdragon. The white holds
her pose the longest, her delicate scent
kept so close it's absent, her center
pocked with golden purpose now gone,
her petals the perfect background
for the finest dust the day can precipitate,
stippling her pristine symbolism
with the honest, maculate truth.

In their pot across the yard,
the yellow roses believe their
utopia of equals is universal.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Biting Down

Cracked like a candy, butterscotch schism,
two halves of the same sweet circle,
now as sharp edged as they always hoped.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

To a Lady Seen for a Few Seconds in Westwood

My watch has long since called all clear, since your
book-long vigil cut down to my logline, this
careless seed of yours sowed my synopsis,
a script unwritten since the rights were more
than my company of one could afford.
That basket your assistant silence knew
I'd shortly pour my sorry morning into,
wicker thick with slots for swords pointed toward
central emptiness, my seat, straight on through
one eye and out the other, you a needle's
point oblivious to her train of thread,
and me the same specimen, some beetle's
business pinning himself in the case, as dead
as any time that needs accounting for.

Friday, November 20, 2009

fragment the first

happiness keeps her to the same old haunts
the pain lets her go wherever she wants

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Memory's Nest

The crows are off by a block, convened
to mock up today's editorial,
the same black letters with bylines preened,
facts scraped from earth's face, now arboreal,
as high as the king's whispers, green branch ends
as court benches, the countless shoulders of a god
as absent-seeming as his consort: ancient,
dissolved mother stone, who bore roots that have trod
upon her since their wandering father's
lack of presence inspired their star-high aims.
From two omniscient croakers descended
a gabbling pack of wisdom vendors, there's
no place unpaved by word-thieves and name-claims,
no magic left the alphabet's intended.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

fragment the second

impatience is the father of reinvention
and the world turned out man
to make the wheel in her image

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Burning Both Ends of Every Spoke

Dark by Doppler, receding by spiral,
she fritters her light away, rays and bits
lost to her purpose of looseness, she flits
from shoveling the love of her viral
gift of self to shedding one more aura.
She won't rest, she wants to waste her wattage,
divest her reserves, divulge her voltage,
to dim and feel the bright rise no more. A
blinding light makes a poor doorway, she
knows the white portal is just an effect.
She wants to be opened, not open, she
hopes to collapse closed, burn out, disconnect.
She knows her own happiness is the wrong key,
and the lock in the knob is not a defect.

Monday, November 16, 2009

fragment the third

she digs through her shellshock for a pearl
he stares down the monstrous clarity of the modern
two seeds cast on concrete

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shall I Sell Thee for a Sandwich?

Comparing sonnets to commodities,
the feet trading floor and hypertension,
buy sell, buy sell, the rowstroking bodies
counting their line-item quotas, henchmen
lug-limping under their master's title
the same stripe of plow-straight, unshared language,
dragging dart-sharp thornspeech dreaming vital
tongues will harrow their marrow with sanguine
seedlings of the lost garden's money tree.
Shall I assign each set of rhymes a fee?
Or does the happy, standard price of free
keep words from usurping the place of work?
A grindstone too fine a poem would be,
and the grind is a trope you can't shirk.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Those Aren't Damselflies

The sun reels up a line of flying termites.
A wet abutment of brick admits single-file
fliers into the only club under the sun.
The block of sky allotted this basement
apartment of yard between the hedge
and the stucco froths like champagne.
The sparrows pop in to catch
them like anti-gravity snowflakes,
each wing a uniquely flat splatter of veins,
each gray light-catcher straining to flutter
up faster than hot air buoys ash.
A nuthatch discovers a tasty splotch,
freshly too heavy with their beginning,
she lazily scoops them gulletwards
without wasting swoops and wingovers,
not like the showboat staking out the roses,
shouting come-and-get-it like he's
multiplied the fishes himself.

They keep rising, unaware of their numbers
before or after, the odds of an even
chance of finding the upper limit
of their body's ambition
or of beating the sun
back under the earth.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Both Sides of Night

The long line of light tugs
the eyelid upward.
The bait of emptiness
burns like a barb.
Stars stab as far as they can.
Under the deluge of the celestial,
life seeps out the pores
built into every skin,
the wounds they were created from,
right to the sleepline
and lower, into the down
falling is only a metaphor for.

In a wormhole fit for no ships,
a tunnel dug for the king's
annual escape from time's end,
some prehistoric beetle
rolls up a nebula
into a star.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Involuntary Perpetuity

Persistent green fly
my hand will flick
every time you land

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Time may measure man,
but the hours are not his metaphor.
The radius of delineations
tick-marked on the turn from one
to twelve does not shape his face.
That self-replicating hash
called a calendar, mesh wide
enough to net men, sieve so
open all the golden days go
out with the muck,
that body serves his work, not him.
The automatic numbers clambering up
their perpetual ribbon of an only-sided
ladder, those rungs rising underfoot
on their never teetering
repetition of higher and
those hand-rails made of hand-cuffs
pulling as straight to the track
as tin ducks on the target wheel,
that flat ruler of the real
cannot curve to the contours
consciousness inherits from
loops of brain, will never
bend itself around the bulging
cyst of a lonely minute, while
seconds refuse to let their fractions
count as voting members,
nor can it hitch a quick
left hook with the runaway
horses of happiness and desperation,
dragging man's clump of leftover
star round his inconstant horizon.

Time is where man lives,
but it is not him.
Once upon one of them,
he also learned to build houses.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We Have No Deluges Today

Proud of such a calm shoreline,
the puddle lets the facets
skate on her watertight face.

There is no emptiness without depth.
So smile.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Onward and Upward

Antiquity rhymes with iniquity.
Which proves progress
sounds like a good idea.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


His joke lands like a barrel
full of monkeywrenches.
She laughs like a life
preserver wound out of piano wire.

His hand makes a meal
of the string-thin meat
of her knee. She coughs enough
to lose weight.

He's as sharp
as cheese in a mousetrap.
She's as slick
as a worm full of hook.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Versions to Vary On

the prop box unfolds new dolls
for the mirror to model on her:

silk as tight to her thigh
as a sword handle or

feathers as open as naked arms,
she can't decide who to wear.

like a stone's throwing itself
to prove distance exists

her cross-legged,
wheel-hearted breath

asks emptiness to burn hotter.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maps Have No Up

Crow calls the four points
each distance echoes the same
long shock of gray

earth-soaked clouds cast
a green pine black
against the sky it strives through

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What Might I Learn Tomorrow?

The fly knows
the grip no flutter can spin out of,
the sudden slush of calm
since the pinch,
but the fly knows no spiders.

The bug knows
squash and crunch
but not shoes or sparrows.

The rat knows
the snap, the trap
is just furniture;
the rat knows the twist
in its organs but not
which false-feeding hand to bite.

The dog knows
the groomer's and the vet's office.
The car also goes to the park.

The ape might know
sign language, but that only
helps keep her in a good cage.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Unaired Sequel

On the concrete, pollen pounds itself
to dust, unable to seep in, dreaming
up a sweeping wind as fast as the fall
it flew down from the tree with.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Haiku: Shell

white molt of mantis
body weightless in the wind
a complete fragment

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Repetition Isn't Fast Enough

dull as water stuttering in slow motion,
she hauls and dumps the same bucket
down and out of a well as dry
as a skeleton's stab wound

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guide for the Dead, Demoted

Sparrow holds out his own variation,
a quarter notable lament for the job
he lost to Crow, a bird after his own
imagery. It's down to driving
the Veilway's Shuttlebus, standing
room only for the class of crawling
things, spirits as small as his wingspan
deserves to symbolically lift,

Sparrow sings his sadness in chirps,
unhearable mourning hung on a high pitch
he cannot descend from. Big, black Crow
laughs because his giggle gets the somber
treatment. Sparrow browns out of sight.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Momentum of Perfection

Bricks of broadleaf,
mortar of thorns,

I am hedging,
and the bush

beats a dull sword.
The garden never stops.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Craft Project

Ribbons round a wire,
a spate of blues
from pale, northern morning
to the deep patina of gloaming,
wound into speckles,
strands lapping each other
into sharp diamonds tight
as scales; one vein of violet,
one bare blush,
embarrassed to play the only
cameo of pink,
seventeen satin striplings
bent from their mother spool's
curve to serve a tight helix,
last legs made to dangle
from a knot for a knee
over some fall of hair,
pure color hired out
as highlights;

a circlet, lilacs bound
to crown some momentarily
pretty face, some woman
wearing the fairy
the adornment was meant for,
for the moment,

now a ring made of things,
waiting to be put away,
for a niche in the nothing
where the body it is missing
has lived out her long wait
for a need to believe in her.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

On the Couch

insecure blanket,
frozen billow, cold
without a body to conform to,

fabric blown off, coarsely
treated cloth, a comfort,
not a creature,

a bundle of continuity,
folded or bunched,
wrapped around a hand
fond of a bond
that's less pressing, now,
or crumpled under a head
to a concave torus,
better suited for a face
hiding its nose,

a yielding field
for a foot to play
tiller in, digging
the same yard or so
of rectangle made real,

and therefore floppy,
and soft and unable
to stretch itself ever
back to its beginning.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Into the West

Sunward on the one-oh-one
engines pedaled under

the limit of patience

radiators happy to tangent
that long radius of heat's home

visors unable to fold low enough
to properly blind the driver

radio jealous of cosmic rays

the sun's a tunnel

the sky a block of bedrock
no machine can downshift

the highway turns my car off
the yellow line

the sunset still happens
beyond my windshield

Friday, September 18, 2009

Particularly, We Fall

Look how thin that truth is.

That whisper,
that's how the knives
sell themselves.

The discrete will stand up
where you stick it.

The spine is straight,
skulls are all
wobbly with weight.

Hear how unedited the world is.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


What do you miss about New York, she asks,
I answer which New York do you miss?

Some crossroads only fork, that was
the last thing I said to Seventh and Broadway,
where there is no darkness
under all that marquee and marketing,

John the stagedoor man, he agrees, now,
42nd street might as well be a moonbase,
a budgetary boondoggle he couldn't reconstruct
from any memory, they're too heavy, skullbound,
and his landscapes are dotted with the wrong rockets
for lifting such massy agglomerations
up to that silvery distance
people want to talk about the city with.

Susan the one-time, part-time student said
all tunnels lead to Times Square,
sidewalks just like gutters, runnels of people
funneled between the street and the feet
of buildings, with shops for shoes,
restaurants for boots, and offices above
that sold their view to men who presume
to sell the viewers to the viewed.

Desmond the human carrier pigeon
remembers his messenger bike,
feeling like a theme park employee
rushing the customers, a buzz-by to remember
us by, a near-miss to say
hey, you're really here. There's one more
story to slip into your trip blog, one more
complaint to relish, listen to yourself
list your litany like a native.

Lisa reminds me that you never
flash back on the grandeur,
there's the loudspeakers plugging themselves
into the alternating currents of tourists
and jaded theatre patrons,
flogging bags, watches, books, fruit, scarves,
your name made of fish or flower shapes,
your face made of exaggerations,
just enough of a massage to relax
your inhibitions against paying strangers
to rub you, pretzels twisted up like snails
under all that salt, hot dogs boiled longer
than it takes the kraut to get sour,
the smell of roast nuts as aggressive
as actresses shilling perfume on commission,
and the keeper of the local holy grail,
the cart with the coffee and bagels,
hey man, hey boss, what can I get you,
hey, you paying all with quarters today,
I love you, hey, I give you a free
refill if you come back, I remember you.

I'd go back, but I wouldn't
be able to find it. The blocks I knew have
have been stacked over, the names
are all one more number
uptown on the timeline.
I'd go back, but it's someone else's
to ford and ignore,
puffed up on a tight schedule,
or happy to get to swim it like
an Olympian, all of the everything
that happens to be passing through,

I'd describe that and how the skin around
his eyes tells me what he loves
of what he sees, but he's staring
at the oncoming traffic, not what's
passed. He sees his moment, and
crosses the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After the Appetizer

Soup cools the constriction,
the heat-waste of friction
lately filling his innards,

the stainless spoon shrinks
his mouth to an ear's width
of tunnel, the trap in the whorl

holding out for gift horses,

instead his least favorite
word, which is word, asks
to stop playing stand-in;

her finger hooks like a trigger,
he pulls, she shoots past
and the dancing overrides

the rest of dinner.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


That birdhouse is yellow,
facing the fence
as if her opening
is shameful.

Blue spruce roof paint,
hung under a proper green,

sent to be a bed
with no supper in her,
no temptation to call
a caller.

Since the squirrel
scoured her out,
the great hand has
never filled her.

She cannot grow
her own seeds.
She dreams of wings
come to announce an egg.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Surround of Shouting

The orange tree teaches us
the sun grew green first,

and jealous of the fire,
turned to bursting.

A stumbling beetle's
six-footed pedagogy shows

the worm knows it has
turned, but never why:

there's nothing a man
can do for a bug. Or a heart.

The stone preaches focus.
No imagination moves him.

The wind's lesson is leaving,
no touch holds her twice.

The falling leaf is a play
saying death has many stages.

Deep in the bud, the end
has begun. Still, it opens.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Before the scribes
reinvented memory

a wheel to rack
not ride

a head held onto
this much history
no more.

How many lines
did the masters
give back to the muse?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Up From the Book

Dropcloth as ornament,
sweatshirt draped over hair,
a loop she's lassoed herself into,
the hoodie holds her hope in,
porthole for her scowl,
as fabricated as the black
pressed between her pout.

Contrasting her parked gearbox,
boys gun themselves
like bullets in need of biting.

They flutter more than her heart
can marshal a muster against.
What a soft cage she is.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Lines Down

Some days I do not write poems.

Today should be one of those days.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why Waste Flight on Flies?

Black fly come to abut
the cap of an equally black
pen, plastic just as cheap
as the crap it usually lands on,

rubber-red eyes compounded
with the image of a pencil's end,
as if that fuzz of facets
can erase ink

or crack-veined wings
could lift and squiggle
a secret, or six legs
translate the buzz

down into dots and then
dashing off

to another insect's
memoir, lost or found,

the same.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Needle Hand

Apple green mantis
hunts the red brick's ragged edge
finally, a leaf

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


His voice cohabitates with empty space.

The delineations of eyes
draw nets they cannot knot.

His legs can stand infinity,
he curls a toe into every atomic
orifice. One Mobius millipede
balled like yarn about
an endless succession of centers.

His hands burn as hot
as his heart and his sword.

The purity after the fire is black.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Some surmise the moon was meant
as a mirror.

The sea shines like a bucket of glass.

The white of an eye glosses itself wet,
while it lives.

Modern surfaces gather sheen, grow their
own finish. The world waxes.

The plate itself is tasteless,
unless it's dirty.

A river stops in a pond only so long.

The moon proves history gives no prestige
to the pristine.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


That falcon says shrike,
a joke worth another again
or else he's counting
to one hundred, noble death
calling his prey into camps,
the timid and the gamblers;

daylight lets his eye into
every house, the hawk's head
as high as an exacting ancestor,
he heralds his mercy,
reminding the tired
there is a quicker death
than hunger.

His beak asks for an echo
of flesh. He promises them
"Run, and I'll come."

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fisher Queen

By sun's first strike
the orb-spinner has eaten her spiral.

An alchemy of silk and moth
innards end their alembic journey
in her spinneret.

By evening's last blue
she'll have a chasm chosen. She leaps.

Friday, September 4, 2009


a gift shedding wrappings
a yard of printed skins

more patterns molted
a yolk shrugging shells

so many ribbons
to name and unloop

open on the table
she's surprised

to have something
left to give

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Fullness breaks all containers.

Take that, Bishop Berkeley,

infinity fits in no mind.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Clockwork Oracle

Time travels all by itself.

The past is aimed
at the back of my head.

The power of an hour
is how many minutes
are in it.

Should be is shorthand
for never.

The end calls itself out.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Smolders

The sunlight cuts me,
a neck exposed to countless
beheadings by the leadfooted,
ray-sharp day, the sky
like a foot made of needles
pins me butterflywise
to the map of my territory.
At night, Earth's answer
to that distant, crushing
tyrant lets me float
from the grip she holds hard,
like a lone mother
in the wilderness,
while his hunting heat
flushes us toward thirst,
while his driving course
marks the hungers he gave
with the gift of plants
and neighbors. In my free
and therefore empty dreams
I forget these two parents,
tiny green female
playing giantess
to her infections and her
impossibly constant,
humongous husband
dumping her household
budget upon her, infinitesimal
splinter of his wealth,
his only love
an avalanche of seeds
she must make sons
and daughters of, or die
alone, but she, forced
to conciously sleepwalk
her same rotations,
she does not dream,
but wonders if there
were more necessity
upon her forcefully fertile
face, would her children
have been invented
with more endurance,
less dependence on breathing,
eating and being loved,
while the great god
of nuclear-furnace-physics,
furnishing the only
nectar his universal theory
can produce, stands
in his hellish center
knowing that perfection
cannot evolve
without iterations
of millennia.

Monday, August 31, 2009


Guilt is a tincture,
not a hue.

Paint any picture,
glint or rue

splinting your mixture,
casting your view,

fixing your affixture
in satin glue,

it's only gloss,
a surface slick
with tragic allure,

a facade of dross,
as deep as eyes are sure.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Slips the promise deeper
like water within water,
a sluice made of cold holds
a thread of warm
to its hemming
a flume of currents
buffeting their own heart
into compliance;

falls the old flower
as dead as scrap paper,
as soggy as words
without their bottle
to cast away in;
topples the fountain
as rusty as railways
as cheap as chipped gilding.

There it is;
there it isn't.
The promise was made so
long ago so that now
no one would keep him to it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Square Route

Four is sure,
but the fourth itself is poor,
last man on board the plane,
standing in for completion.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Smoke hung higher than noon,
air suffused with refracted burnish,
a tower built of billows
buffeting heavenward,
heat rising itself up to the cold
plateau of an earthly world
burning itself as a sacrifice.

On the highway, traffic
slows to notice the visual impact.
Somewhere, a house burns.
In a parking lot,
someone tries to remember
an unwritten grocery list.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Haiku

Noon opens pink blooms
past the horizon's threshold.
The white rose wilts, too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Proud Shrub

I am fond of fronds
but I'd as soon as lief
have leaves.

Lawns are mown to mock carpets,
for me grass tall enough
to weave.

Of colors curated,
sheltered exemplars,
I'd rather gather
daisies and dandelion weeds.

Trees are tall, but droop,
it's the low, reaching green,
I'd sooner follow
where those lead.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Gardeners do not grow,
they prune, they plant, they nurture,

they choose.

Death is the first, best tool of life,
if you haven't heard the news.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Third Thing

Pebbles have no depth,
their shape is sure,
but purposeless.

Still, a pair define a line.

Those two need no team
to make their circle. Only
one need believe it can orbit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tealights on Patio Furniture

Black wicks in white wax
in glass circles
in an undrawn octagon,

man-made shapes standing
sentry in the center
of slow motion spurts

of green. Candleflesh
moist and pliable
under a ham-handed afternoon

flame-brushed char unlit,
a perch awaiting
a seedling phoenix;

the properly stained table
sharing an eight-sidedness
hidden in a circle

while six chairs further
misdirect, but the umbrella
equally cut piewise

by her struts, above.
So much pattern,
no wonder the trees

heap so much upon it.
Slats of cellulose machined
parallel and flat,

perfect rungs for conversation,
climbed horizontally;
the shadows of branches

mere clouds of a lesser
hue, no lines sharp enough
to obscure the tabletop's order,

what secret eight corners
might keep, or their miniature
torches, no spider seems

to know. The points of light
await an evening's burning,
but even then,

the dots need squinting
to connect into crosshatched
stars. The trees cannot

forget, though. The smoke
smells like a ceremony
they are barred from.

That the flame also
forgets itself
does not help.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


What shall I say, he said;

he was answered

what will you answer?

Friday, August 21, 2009


Setzen Sie bitte,
ruhe, bitte,
die Geistesmadchen tanzen;
mach ruhe, bitte,
stille, bitte,
die Augenblicke sind ganzen;
schlaufen night, bitte,
achtung, bitte,
die Glaubendingen sprachen;
die traumen, bitte,
doch nachste, bitte,
ein kliene Welt bald machen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Labored Breath

Like a wizard put to fieldwork,
his bathrobe hangs at his waist
while he meditates,
his chest red and wet by the sun,
sleeves hung below the line
as if to fill in for missing leggings.
He stands still upon his sandals
as if their flats are pillars
higher than a story, his face
telling nothing, as abstract
as his task, which might mask
itself in any metaphor
as simply as seeds in rows,
as weeds pulling themselves
on command, as growth
chosen in increments of imagination,
plucked at the ripest part
of his inner picture.

He eats a vegetable
as motionless as he is.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I am not white.
I am not pure,
I am the color of sand,
a wan shade of tan,
no deep note of earth,
no honestly half-toned dirt,
just the dull color of grit,
pinheads without pins
beaten down by foam,
made to hold footprints
up to the naked slap
of the swirling blue
old man busy scrubbing
old continents down to bedrock;
I am not white.
My aura is no eggshell,
my heart is no yolk.
My fingernails are
rock-crystal, not white,
my eyes are mostly lid
and lash and pupil and brown
palisade to keep the red
beyond the pale, but
I am not white.
I am not comprised of a spectrum.
No prism can split me
into a toll bridge for heaven
or a breaker of confidentiality
between the sky and leprechauns
or an upper limit for bluebirds
or a sign saying
you must be this tall to dream
you are here,
I am not white.
I have no wings,
I do not always go first,
I do not leave dust enough
when I touch the dark
to make myself legible.
I have never been pristine,
when I was new I was
already nine months old,
and gift wrapped in mother
and blood, and on the
day of my majority
I was given permission
to purchase whiskey,
but no key to the cupboard,
no secret handshake,
no signet ring,
no bank account number,
no robe and no seat
upon the councils of the wise.
I am not white.
I do not shed my own light
on the way before me.
I am not cold by dint
of perfection,
neither am I unique,
microscopically or not.
I am not refined.
I don't know my place at table.
The history books never
chime when I open them,
announcing me their successor,
there is no sword handle
awaiting my hand to surround it,
crown it with flesh,
there is no kingdom
prepared for me by vikings
or principles
or missionaries.
I am not white.
I am not clean,
I am not diaphonous,
neither my slate not my pages
are blank enough,
I am not the ghost of men
longer dead than my life
lived amoung them,
I was bequeathed no spirit,
no fire, no brotherhood.
I am not white.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Two Winners

Banana and coffee,
green pear and tea,
two pairings, to me,
without compare.

In contrast, I suppose
two fruits and drinks,
when juxtaposed,
might highlight a merit

the one fare
does not share -
one partnership rose
above ambivalent enjoyment -

shall I hate a palate
wont to equivocate
between superlatives?
It is too late,

my mind has made his mate,
marriage to a tongue
too easy to satiate.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Leaf and Frond

There a man sits, a body
unencumbered by the weather
with a book for his brain's umbrella.

Beside him a fern, denied
passage in the cool hold of literature,
must suffer her sap to run errands
from roots to leaf-lobes
without even existentialism
to describe her consistently
inescapable place in the landscape of now.

Words shove him around the ether
like lightspeed snowplows
or hyperspace garbage trucks,
she cannot even say she is green,
much less lament or praise its easy
meal of sunlight.
She does not tremble,
she is not afraid of the wind,
or waiting to be seen,
she does not even wiggle,
implying she wants attention.
She cannot be said to wave,
she cannot even wish to flounder,
or flop. She is a thing,
and therefore she twists,
perhaps she bobs, it's possible
she droops, but that's pushing it,
the weight of the rain
she can sense but not feel.

Pain is the first step,
and her kind stopped there.

The man counts the dots
on her underside. They cluster
the way stars cannot, he thinks.
He wonders if she feels shame,
her spores so naked. She does not.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Soundings Taken

a plangent explanation of
a plaintive exclamation
followed shortly on
the shallow exhortation;

an exercise in licensing
an indoctrination for public
usage might possibly be
necessary for private
consulations to continue
earning returns on just
desserts and foregone
concubines. Such a din

the muses must live in.
All the ears they have
to box or tweak with only
the lips holding for
dear life to ears as
ignorant of their own
whorl as the rest of the
world of the hearing;

here is my prayer,
that I am possessed
of enough sail that
the wind feels confident
to perish in.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Oil Burner

Does an engine have to overheat
to feel uncomfortable?
My heavy foot on a hill
makes me feel guilty.
An overcast morning,
a wide-cast net of night,
those are cold enough
I can imagine the pistons
would rub themselves warm
without the explosions,
if they could.

No, I explained to the assembly
under the hood.
It's not like health insurance.
It'll only pay to fix
what you break,
not how you're broken.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


The wandering knight wants no title,
he is not to be found,
he is to find.
Too fine a point for some to say
there are more passable scabbards
than good swords.
In the modern lingo:
There are more shirts in the world
than men to stuff them.

We are outnumbered by what we own.

Someday the money will tell
how it was created all by itself.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Footpads Nearing Retirement

Her slippers' flipflopping cracks wise,
like a kneeslap, only flatter,
like a pun, only funnier.

Where the big toe digs the deepest,
that's the best hiding place,
not for easter eggs,
but something more colorful
than plastic shells,

a good secret. All that "more-than"
that she has in her pinkie finger
than most have in their whole bodies
hides there while she sleeps.
Anyone who wants that talent
just has to steal her blue
lambswool sandals and click
the nearly heelless backsides
together three times.

On the carpet, the rubber
actually does slide,
just like their title
advertises. Her feet also
come and go, and when they're
gone, the fabric worries
it's beginning to smell
like any other stretch of flooring.

Beside her sneakers,
they flaunt their sumptuous lifestyle.
They never confess to wondering
what it'd be like to be tied up.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Break Time

Like a zipper in a catsuit,
her teeth open with a plosive.

Deep in that overgrown knuckle
halfway between a leg,
above the plunging kneecap and
below the clasping gap,
in the center of the unevolved
elbow she's running in place upon,
a gnome that knows
how to work those angles
pumps the levers
like a man who has to
do his job another hour,
bend and release,
repeating the task of action,
a kick that hits
an empty bullseye,
a cubic foot of air happy
to have her ankle
scrape in and out,
defining its purpose;

a whistle blows out,
a ligament strikes itself,
the gnome remembers
imaginary creatures
don't have social security
and promptly dissolves
into a bond as easily
broken as whatever's let go
in her body. The departments
of bone and skin smirk
at the disorder, her brain
makes her face wince
on behalf of her middle
management, the meat.

Joy gives way to pain,
and then to need,
and then to the solace
that lets a need
stay self-important
long enough to die fulfilled.

Her lips close
like a plastic hatch
over a battery.

There's something in there,
doing something.

Monday, August 10, 2009

After Evening

The purple curdles,
the dark goes dark,
the colors run away,
and the black gathers.

A cricket requests
he be eaten forthwith.
A squirrel digs up
a leafy den of din.

The pooched lampglass
tries to caramelize
dust. In the dry dim
the palm leaves crisp.

Rags of hours make
a hoopskirt for a
minute. It asks
the legs wearing it

to dance. Inside,
the light stifles,
the cozy coddles.
The night inoculates.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Song Lost in Traffic

Sparrow in the road,
my muffler too tall to behead you,

the eddy boots you
like a railway dick.

Since death has collected
better metaphors,
has the sole employer
of nature laid you off?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Lines Suggested by a White Beard

I cross the street,
and an oncoming god
stepped aside and apologized.

He may have only been homeless,
but then his deference
is just as inexplicable.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Four Quarter Notes

Time is an etui of faultlines,
she stiches me, I quake.

Time is a quiver of fishhooks,
such speed for a bent thing,
and only one way through the flesh.

Time is a gutter,
everything flows through it.

Time was the last god
to the summit, so late,
he was given the worst
of the watch.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sometimes It's Just a Yard

Black-lipped shade
promises a cool kiss,
but slips you the sweltering tongue.
Hot afternoon stoops
to selling the same swaddling clothes
yesterday's sun-baby was born in,
a mothering's worth of warm
at a fraction of winter's price.

Even the bricks practice hissing,
that new hotfoot danze craze
needs a soundtrack, a hint
of sizzle, enough static
to float the bobbing cork
of one note of music on,
that old song of summer, one beat.

The hammock threatens
The umbrella preaches

The concrete as white as clouds
whispers: "You should see the wet
my heavy is holding down. I'll
never let her past me, so she
can come back and slap my face,
oh no, I keep her down in the brown,
where the bugs and worms
can teach her worldly love."

An ice-cube appears in a glass
and does a strip-tease.
When she's down to herself,
the heat can't help
rushing her stage, and the
bouncer's gone to get another
drink. And thermodynamics
cannot decide whether
they crush her to a conforming
temperature or if she
wanted desperately to become
one of the family.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Gift You Cannot Give

Even love cannot breech sleep,
each merely cresting breath
fills a shallow moat as mere
as the usual walls of skin
two castles have to crash
together to share their thrones;
except here there is no stone,
there is nothing here to stand
over or fall under, a pantheon
of invisible planets,
a curtain of hunched heavens,
bending like horizons
and as infinite as paper dolls,
and the tuft of your eyelid shifts
like a mole imagining the whole
earth is his shell, the only sign
that blinkered horsemen joust
in a tournament held once every
half-second between the existence
and apocalypse of the images
you are living in, alone
in the burning of the light
none can ever share, nor
barely remember, every night
so much we have to block it out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Pile of Nice

What laundry list philosophy is this?
have you ticked off your mystic task,
today another soul-saved,
another earned,
underlined your name in the gift registry,
wrote bold your yes
with exclamation points,

what bleach you love the world with,
such a helpful host,
scouring the claw marks
the rest of us use for hand-holds,
such a wise pose, standing
arms open over your hard work
sanding down the treads
to a slippery slope,

my friend, my happily
happy-armored, happy-armed friend,
only easy is easy,
making the hard easy
is hard.

To flow forever
is to be always going down.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

He Do All His Own Voices

a one-man parabasis,
all parados and exodos,
a circumnambulation of misdirection
making an empty-pupil
eye-of-storm-wise, center stage,
where authority is used to
all that all-rise and be-seated,
where the throne floats,
where the word stabs forth
in fleeting grace
through the life-deep wall of flame,
that one sword speaking for all wounds
through a shield dog-piled up
from all the blunted, defeated swords,
the same-seeming blades as easy to see
as the cuts on the hands of the seekers
holding onto their faith in a gate;
such a hired host, hand-picked
half-wits reciting polish-splotches
from their rags,
poorly incubated clones,
decanted for the purpose of swirling,
having enough hot air to make
some weather in,
until their skin pops,
a deck of blanks fanned
for a game of go-fish-for-the-difference,
one marching band circling the same podium,
songs on the same rotation
as the wonderfully colored hats.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mask and Moreso

Him's a thorough beast,
teeth backed with meat,
that one, just as big
as him looks, he is.

Hollow without his artist?
That's an eye full of foolish, true,
him ain't shirt and pants,
howevermuch the crafty hand
was guided bull-straight
to his likeness on earth.
Him ain't a man flapping,
hooting, no, not a vessel
nor what's proud enough
to fill it,

him's an image, not a picture,
paint or ink or camera-theivings
fenced and framed, all them
you can touch, but him,

him draws himself up or in
or through, call it how you
feel it, him's a tattoo
on the blood's side, him.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Party Off

The beer buys me a moment,
I swig a second chance,
swallow my gut reaction,
and say something that
doesn't quite come to mind.

After I've said it,
I feel useless, but not stupid.
Some smarter part spoke
itself from outer rim
to central booking,

and now I've said it.
Whatever it was, it went,
and someone else is speaking.
The beer holds my hand
all the way to the bar.

She stays until she's
replaced, glass chin
as dry as a deserted
bone, marrow long since
done suckling maggots.

The room warms with
unspoken toasts,
a few zingers ricochet
the way jokes take
that drunkard's walk

through the office.
The new beer grafts
herself between thumb
and forefinger. She
stands in for a handle.

Whichever door or
suitcase she's divorced
stands outside with
a pistol in the parking lot.
Just walking out of the bar,
I'll be shot.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


On the empty shelf,
the unbought books
read their futures
to themselves,
in competition
to be quieter
than all the rest
of the not now
maybe next.

On the black screen,
the dust discovers
there was once
a pattern, and it
wasn't gray.

In the cabinet,
there was once
a dish that
didn't break
when it was dropped.
Now it's gone.

Under the sink,
the floor does
a rain dance.

The curtains
wonder who
they are bothering
to block out the sun for.

The freezer
keeps her cube of air
a rare, wet white.

The back of the closet
basks in its chance
at incandescence.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last Night in the Diner

A scar for a partner,
he sits in his inevitable
the same way he sits in a booth.
He swallows air like a hound
licking the mist for traces.

He drinks his tea
like a coffee-drinker.

The night rears up behind him
like all of time is coming next,
and it is.

He could be someone important.
Later he'll think of that
as consolation.

Like the tooth fairy, he
leaves a quarter on the table.
Like the Easter bunny, he
hides the sugar.
Like the big man with the loot,
he takes his bite
and disappears.
His long list of gifts
is all the names
he didn't write down
with his own.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Starting the Smoker at Evening

The beer froths in its bottle,
unable to stop opening once
the cap's long kiss goodbye is killed;
the coals flagrantly skip
the liquid step to rise as close
to the sun as burnt earth can.

The men slip the glass mouths
into their own, a sour dousing
for the syrupy silence;
the dogs stop cruising knees
and sniffing the concrete
for dropped bits of attention.

The sky times itself, proud
the smoke cannot smudge her purple;
the trees take the updraft
like a kid's fingers
in the car-window's marriage
of haste and sitting still.

The men discuss how to make
the next few minutes happy.
The dogs sleep through the joy
of laying around. The coals
go white with the wisdom
of dying for a purpose.

Monday, July 27, 2009


A slippery wind,
wet with a whole city's sweat,
tongues us like a dog.
You may know what today is.
The night requests forgetting.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Four Infinities

A dilated daydream,
wide-eyed past the points
of pupils retrograding
through the houses
of the form of the question,
mythological schoolboy
makes good;

a wish's eccentric orbit
dragged from a favorable
solar wind to a frosty
remove, a ring coded
by long dashes of distance,
dots as small as comets
with their wicks trimmed,
a homeless aristocrat
hoists his sail
with his own bootstraps;

a hope poked in the sky,
she says, to let the angels in,
pudgy knuckle, pinafore,
and a mother who never
saw the mirror's other side
either, the red-faced knight,
about to be overtaken
by the black, he trumps
the tip she imagines
she's smudging the sky with
with his fist, crying out,
"the dark looks faster
than the light, but only
because it's already there."

Late into the last stanza,
as the hour grows a long,
warty nose, and the seconds
broom all the unfinished
under the next day's plate,
some woman stares over
her roof at the moon.
Some man tells her,
don't love the moon,
it's drier than a glass eye,
colder than a spurning
shoulder, and as distant
as you are from me,
right now.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


he wears his scars
on the heart of his sleeve,
inside the elbow
where his arm pumps him
through his day

Friday, July 24, 2009


the tail does tattle,
a pigeon lying to the left
of the stool he says he is,
an accusation rattled
like a fluffball saber,
swung like a cape
dreaming of dying itself red,

an unshouldered boa,
a shard of coat sewn round
a dull meat needle,
a fuzzy slipper rubbing
itself into static,

he has feet and a head
and a hawk's stomach worth
of flight-fuel between them,

but the tail waves
hello, it spasms like
he's wiping his backtrail
or shaking the world
out of his aura,
but that wiggle picks him
out of the tree,

like a hand that wants
to burn, maybe he should
let it take its cut.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Inventory Is Busy Right Now, Please Buy Back Later

bag of heart, drum of pus,
microbes in the meatmarket,
that viral butcher carving
pounds of second-hand ligaments
out of the elbows forgotten
by the hands setting table,

a tripe wineskin full of bile,
all three medieval humors
stacked like a prism of neapolitan
ice cream, a capillary fishnet,
a fine mesh of nerves,
things scattered in the catching
across the slippery rink of knots
and holes for sinking into the sea
through, one sack of red velvet,
no presents, but a utility,
a building dumping strength
into the sewers to see
which subconciousness will mutate
into the new human condition,

taut flesh, you say balloon,
I say trampoline, let's call
the whole thing out of bounds,
the good doctor's leftover organs,
the blushless bride shocked
to wake up made to order,
now a pile of parcels, scooped
out, no children except a spleen
for a fanny pack, a kidney for
a handlebar grip, lungs for
leg warmers, when scrambled

by the right cyclone, they'd
make great cotton candy, all
those bones and no apple-tall
elves to live in the cabins
each dead man could make;

bag of heart, bucket of mucus,
the fabric soaks through so easy,
trying to keep that beating
fresh, where the thump insists
on describing itself again,
muscle refusing to hear
there's no job today,
like a cat in a sack
playing dead pig so the mark
will let it tear into the
market instead of shredding
for itself the thin
between the black in
and the big, blue out,
that red clencher
forgets its strength
and plods on, the body
proudly carting itself,
as naked an emperor as Adam.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

She Do the Dances in Different Legs

she knocks a cog off,
a precision bit of monkey-see
a gear set to slip
at just the right shifting
of the guards

the rails, she unplugged,
the third no threat
to hopeful dungeon-plunging
hobo warriors; or said
stanchions shaved
off their moorings
to stand as proud
as a wobble that's found
its footing,
ready to catch the accident
and go over with it

she charges up the windmill,
tilted skyward
like a spider, she fills
the four directions
with a circle's worth
of degrees

she burns her oil on both
ends, the slippery skin
and the hydrophobic, coal-dark
spark that lives in
the middle of each drip,

where that prism would live
if she were a raindrop,

that's where the scalpel
goes in again, exploring
the wound for why the knife

thought the red there
was yellow enough
to pan for heartless gold in.

Yes, she says,
there's my blatant story point,
now rough the color
in my indented outline,
or I'll get bored enough
to wonder if the subtle
is ever worth a sift.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Economy Class

youth is the free pair of shoes
you get before you buy one,
but you have to buy one,
so says your birth receipt;

life is a round-trip ticket
that costs the same one-way,
old age is having to come back:

we pay full price for halfway.
One day, the solstice will stay

on the blade, and now will weigh

as much as the thumbs on the pans
of plans bought on spec and payments

due the earnest. Nothing succeeds
like a bucket for keeping the holes
in other people's buckets in.

Death probably tastes like chicken.
Life's a bag of seedless grapes,
as far as the earth is concerned,
they all might as well be plastic.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Line's Proper Length is too Long

work lays on the gradient
like another shim underfoot
for to make the floor a working
hill, even standing still,
a slope is only fair,
the physical set the precedent,
inertia says that starting costs
should stop most legs
from leaving their place
in the caterpillar

like a used coat of office,
all the good will given with it
gone to pay for the administration

daily bread as dry as twice
roasted toast, the sweat of the
brow-beating the kow-towed
are proud to need to keep in line,
the pain of baring the hands
to whatever weight they'll bear

a stone full of blood
should be so lucky

to fill in for the succor
once caught in a carpenter's cup

the marrow mandates overtime,
the bones work unpaid days,
the nerves go on furlough

the fat cells outsource,
the brain is replaced
with interns earning credit

but the same production
of suffering. The numbers
have to keep us up.

The kings have to be rich
before they can afford
to pay all the peasants
their share;
that's what the good
say is fair.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Feast Your Eyes on the Wing

that humdiddle bird,
he don't stay put,

his red-eyed,
bull-chested throat

catching the crosshair
twitch of aimless


bones sinking gnome
deep into ignorant,

backyard monasticism,
nap-time epiphanies,

he floats, that flier,
that unhumdrum bird,

with an unhumble
buzz like a bug

too big for his
wish-thin wings,

these are thick
muscled enough

to oscillate faster
than a wheel

turning words
into a white circle -

and that gonzo
proboscis -

that humflummoxed head,
he drinks and diddles

the empties, dances
his random into a pattern,

he's a thimble-bit
of needle-nosed nimble

sewing a net of knots
wide mouthed enough

for flying double-wide
flap-happies through

he don't stay put,
that humdiddle bird.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pedestal; Peddle-Stall

sunset buckles her unused stomach,
skin bunched around an empty belly,
another nightfall crunching muscles
toward a strength only ever expended
in its own extenuation

round pool of fit-flat flesh
waiting for a hand to grapple
her up to the podium

beauty sleeping through her sit-ups
just another body
burning itself up for
what it's saving itself for

Friday, July 17, 2009

Made in Time

death does not number scenes,
it knows the breadth and depth
and length of every end
is the same indifferent dimension
the physicists begin their myth
of the universal ignition switch

the rushing whose speed is absolutely
unobservable, the arrow reading
one-way in the oldest god's
private language, the line
no one is allowed to walk
the wrong

so far back are the things
that made me, I cannot hope
to know those tools, recall
the passwords engraved like
the first forbidden image,
carved like the first rod
of wood to bear a word,
etched deep by a splash-acid
imagination leaving
wide, waxy lines in so many
proprietarily named colors,
those long-dead necessities
this brain was massaged
into place

places with me, be what you
became and let me sit quietly
in the backyard of reality,
blanket of the fading fabric
of memory over my knees,
smoking a pipe full of black
space as compact as flesh
crushed into coal,
you can war your way through
your brother events' trenches,
lust after and despise
the twin Marys of your sister
circumstances, you can
live alongside the long count,
but remember,
death does not number the scenes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

In Suits

The pool of women aside the pool,
one secretary to herself, phone voice as loud
as the children announcing their presently
successful endeavors,
one terribly modest cloth of white terry,
a wrap as flat around her curves as tortillas
keeping the sauce in the meat,
she dips herself in like a straw,
she will not swim but only swizzle,
or as if the whole pool should draw
through her thighs like all the eyes
that watched her towel drop,
two sun-babies browning breast down,
butt spread open for an even curve of color,
the mother in jeans,
the mother in one-piece and double-wide hat,
the two thirty-somethings cellulite deep,
chests open to treasure seekers,
the Asian girls who arrive to strip down,
swim their laps and leave before anyone
can notice they've tagged in and out,
the red-head with the coffee and the fat
boyfriend with the keys,
the blonde with her just plumped chunk
of raw hot-dog red-sexy sure-fire
devil-couldn't-care-less body,
it's really nice,
one of them says, all the fun
we can have surrounded by strangers
who seem to have the fun we think we're having too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Unwinding Cell

The pain suffers itself to extend.
The face affords itself an infrastructure,
new lines to bus the underclass to their overtime,
new lines of defense, the best protected secrets
are given away for free, are received as openly as refuse,
are given away to so many collectors,
no one notices they don't want to notice,
no one notices they hate what they can't see,
the pain draws on it's trust fund, kept full by our ancestors,
the pain draws on it's well of oily salesman truisms
to keep the pretty dresses on all the scarred mannequins,
to keep the pretty dresses on the naked, dead women
who stand in for the dreams of our cave-dwelling forebrains,
who stand in for the dreams of each youth shedding spinal cord,
the pain holds us to the course of our oldest star.
The pain holds us to the course of our first blood,
the pain holds us to our course,
the pain holds us to the coursing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


No song can be written fast enough
to keep up with what the angels
see and sing. That is why their
chorus was originally arranged
to repeat the one and only word.

Monday, July 13, 2009

As Fine as the Teeth of the Evening

Like cigarettes dreaming of a sardine's salad days,
like two sticks of gum unwrapping their foil
to rub together, like carrots dragging themselves
out of their bag to dangle before donkey nostrils,

she cuddles, swaddles, toe-taps him like she's
sharing headphones playing her underscore,

like two spoons disgusted to stir the same cup,
like bullets dreaming of reading the name
written on them, like eggs afraid to lose
themselves in an omelet,

he lays flat in the fringes of his twinges,
hoping the pain won't see him if he doesn't move,

like cardboard boxes full of fire, they wait
too long to open each other's gifts.

Sleep steals them like a thumb shelling peanuts.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In the Order They Appeared to Me

In the organic cafe,
the wireless is password protected.

Two pairs of women,
one mid-difficulty-yoga-aged,

the other pain-stakingly
eclectically draped youth

one brunette edits
with a mechanical pencil
and straw-shivered iced coffee

one reader dwindles as far
into chair, book and candle
as the background's surface
tension will let him

the piano and the amp
sit that idle way I like

the brunette stares
at Santa Monica like
a script will drive-by
and shoot itself

the post-yoga culatts
cross on the stool,
the knuckles as old
as the elbows holding
up the paper's end

a summery wool hat,
blue-grays and earthtones
spreading dead-of-winter cheer
for a white-shirted, white-
shoed sandwich scarfer

eight at a table, six
seems enough men
for two femmes
at the end, the sharp
head the red-haired,
mascara-eyed hand-jiver,

they sit in a pool
of their own loud
and need to leave
before their food is good
to go

and the poet has
fried sweet potatoe fries
with sauce with
organic mint green tea
and his society
forsaking laptop

the brunette leaves
the rest of her work
to smoke out some thought

it's the poet's luck
her temporary replacement
is paler, rounder-edged,
worth pretending to
look for a comparison

the two film talkers
replace the possible
with the marketable

another entrance presages
another exit and so

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Patio Vignette

Her heel shocks the honest mortar,
her unsung explanation sprays out,
cement crumble topping a square
of inedible brick.
Her foot rises up in anger,
but the shoe sticks to the wound.
The woman wobbles, but not her point.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Public Garbage

Topless concrete circle,
you've bagged so many details,
that some of them seem real.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stripped of Title

His story is housebroken,
flooring repaginated for flow,
doorways bowdlerized for show;

awaiting a new atrium,
the appendices pile up
like blue-collar blood cells
stopping for a heartbreak.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coupe, Coupe, Goose

An estate wagon says the placard
upon the flat swath of grain-faced formica,
topside bumper runner stripped of its
chrome sideburns, no good glint left,
just an eggy white plastic, flakes
off on all angles like fins
on a backwards swimming fish,

an old car in an old color,
crayola's fleshwax beige,
and a roofrack frayed into hackles
raised by the hot of the parking lot,
a sloppy second hand jalopy
plunked into such a swatch of perfect
paint jobs, each hood holding down
their own, affording their sun-drenched
depreciation in mass-happy style,
enjoying their fifteen minutes
of rest by breathing in one long
leather-seated lung of heat
so their supercharger has something
to exhaust,

even the wagon's flag's had its heyday fleeced,
nibbled by an engineered wind,
unheedful of miles of slapflap whine,
threads pulled for a peaceful rest
from pledging visually obvious allegiance,
old enough, certainly, so the owner can say

I don't change my faith like oil,
I don't play relays with my colors,
I run the long game.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Triple Axle

crow floats on the hot

born of brother black below

as that flat sea bakes grayer

she slakes her wanderlust in

unbruiseable blue

Monday, July 6, 2009

Around the Pointless

sideways is a wheel
reinvented for each rut

levels sell their leverage
cheap enough for every crevice
to ply themselves

a beat is a bit
with overbite

next is a mill with no windage
that isn't blowing it's own

yes, all circles are the same,

then again, all that darkness
must mean

most circuits don't close

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Get Your Slogan Toning Syrup

You do not want to be an antenna tuned
to the distraction of some niche:

how shall I waste my time today,
lets see, the list of options is too long.

Poet, whom have you praised or cursed?
Storyteller, what heartshard
have you rescued from the ether?
Doctor of thoughts, have you studied
the work, or how to sell it?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two Faces for the Princess

an indirect planting, a fingerling root
capable of heedless thickening,
a shred of seed refusing to bleed
anything but a green leaf,
a scrap of shell ready to explode
like she's double-yolked,
a mindless dot as white-hot
as the big before the bang,

she could be full of creation,
pre-programmed to stampede

or fate could be as flat-handed
as an expanding universe's long tail,
an empty infinity's last and yet one more
gasp to fill itself, like

an unstranded protein trying to build
without blueprints or union workers,
the short half of a wishbone
boiling herself in hope of soup,
a fabric flower's colorful fancy
of fairies that grant steadfast patterns
that heavenly-sped day of bell-curving
bud, bloom and wreck,

she could be a whisper,
an answer drowning in all the swamping
square-waves of quiet
the ears keep stopping themselves
to ask for.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Through the Stomach

short strips of pork
death-grip on the bone,
smoke soon to stroke
the blood-wrung meat,
the heat to soothe
the habit-clung muscle
from fat-tight clench
to taste-wet ease

the man tends the temperature
the coals shake hands and
pass on the happy plague of flame,
repeat each other's
hot new jokes

wood cut to fit
a slow-so-good-torture,
a forced spirituality,
cells sublimated into wisps
for the pleasure
of noses full of
flesh's longest memories
of being fed
or an impressionable brain
watching grandpa
sharpen willow switches

the black housing,
manufactured womb for coal,
it takes in the homeless
protein and promises
the good news of sauce
and soon transubstantiation
in an organic forge

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tasting Clean

Desperate to be empty, like a barrel
preparing, she scrubs her center
to a spineless shine, a tunnel
dug exactly to plan, and only
ever used once. She's the escape,
not the escapist,
the pressure shoots the bullet through,
and she spins it straight
so it won't tumble off the trajectory
that came free with her, from her,
an ejection given direction
by a lifelong moment of devotion
to hot copper, exploding the way
beginnings are supposed to,
so loud it must be true and then gone,

she has to be ready, no rust of waiting
left unoiled, no residue of past
undone rushings,
no grit to come between the new and
the newly new; she is an oven refusing
to bake anymore, unless it's a cake,
she's a closet scoured out so there's
an excuse to buy shoes, she's a
television she broke to keep her
promise not to watch it, she's
a savings account devoted
to nesting her egg on the moon,
she's that bottle of wine more
expensive than any friend's occasion,
that carved, perfumed soap too pretty to use,

she is a floor in a room
that wants no furniture so
prospective tenants can see
how easy it is to walk through,
where they'd put the couch.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


A slush docked for watery content,
a slurry not up to snuff, such

an abundance of viscosities
deserving a separation into drainage
and sieve-worthy savings,

somewhere there slinks a slime,
quickest slipper of the sludge,
and she deserves to breed

the slickest slider, she needs
to fill the future, after all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Could Be Good

A hovering smothers,
the vibrant snuffed under
a floating no,
a suspended yes,

plans stacked like napkins,
wrapped like paper towels
around a column of hollow,

a keel for a sail,
a net for a paddle,
a heart for an engine,

a hesitant battery
charged with a salvo
meant to execute
all unfinished businessmen,

like the height a kite
cannot share even in a field
of wind-thieves,

as diaphanous as dust
receiving transmigration
into atmosphere,

there, there and there,
but never here,
fingerprints on the panes
displaying each maybe,

and the hand itself
replaced by a mannequin,
cheaper for management
to replace the head
with a figure

a palette spattered
by eyes hungrier than
the stomach for hard work,

oh ecstatic canvas,
bright beneficiary of wishes,
you are bold, but

these are bloodless colors.

Monday, June 29, 2009

And Outside, Sparrowhawks Call

The walls buckle toward an absent center,
the ceiling abandoned to white obscurity
soon to swing low in imitation of heaven
because the forlorn four walls
are breaking their feet to seek you.

One mug sobs, his chance to slip
coffee and his lip between yours, gone.
Spoons play war-dance rhythms
in hopes of hunting your soup soon.

The room's corners round off,
folding in to poke the blue, bruised air
just empty there.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What Brothers Are Left?

What is done is so easy to undo.
All there is, is owned. Even the unequalable
ice of the poles is held in trust,
and the hair of the sea cut to fit
the scalped coastlines of maps,
What is spoken is said once and gone.
What is written must be read,
what is committed to by camera
is bound by how it's viewed;
The promise of action is none,
and now, with so much stage
to act upon, the action's promise
closes before the speediest
critics rush to publish.

The workshop's beholden to the salesman's lot.
This place has not been built, but bought.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Three Protests

I do not sculpt.
Sculpture reveals with destruction.
What I end with, I make.

I do not paint.
Paintings are made of colors made
pure so they can be mixed.

I do not draw.
The watery world can be made math
but not made well by line or many.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Free to Count

Today also wakes, box shaped,
like a room or a frame,
corners unabashed to board
thier quarters in any home,
azimuth origin wide as a zero,
root along the umpteenth
fourth dimension unseen,
walls as close as a screen's
flat fall off to a famous face,

as untouchable as that cutoff is
to anyone running out of the camera's
angle to find the eye is quicker
than the living and thier legs
still treading the center.

What hope that clockwatch
boundary holds so close,
a horizon not of miles,
only moments, a heartbeat
at arm's length could be
a time out of mindless continuation,

a box whose contents
may be an unexpected present
or a disappointingly real
retread of reality for resale.

Except today is endless,
hours unbound by any dimension
a man can draw a line to cross,

time has no limitation,
that's just your share.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Scenes from a Stretch of Public Malibu

The blonde in her iPodsolation
lays flatter than her yoga
textcessory, paperback covering
the touchscreen from the ultrasun
pinburning through the quarterclouds

some humdrum brunette spritzes
sunscreen up her sunskirt,
rubs her bum on her own palm

the next blonde on, six-year-old model,
she chases a knock-knee trotting seagull,
obliging her with shorebound beeline,
hopstopping like he's capable of mocking
her and flying's too much effort, true,
she does just give up

all the observationists
trying not to need to see the sea

the well-keeping woman, jeans, purse,
bag, phone, keys, sandals in her hand,
toes gimblewet, happiness protected
under sunglasses, her husband's board
points his last crest-catch at her

some mother chasing a cheesepuff bag
like the gingerbread man
the gulls ante up for fox and geese

some other mundancer hoping the noonsharp
would burn the dreamfat keeping
his innerskin from feeling the sonar

a hollow full of flip flops
filled by a future garbageman
or installation artist

two blacked boots supporting
black jeans and black again shirt
sporting some saying in easily unseen
white, he seems to cast himself
along the shore to say
what am I doing here and he
stops looking around and leaves

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stepmothers of Invention

There was a lyric,
she wrote one once
and only sang it when alone.

One day in the dog park,
she heard someone else compose it.

Later she wrote an essay,
philosophically inclined,
about a woman who can see a color
no other woman can see;

breaking off an editing session,
she reads a story in the New
Yorker, with the added twist
that it's a color men have
always seen.

That night she hears
her song as background
to some tele-hack romance,
it's a half-kiss,
in the middle, where
everyone's still alone.

That morning her story's
older twin sister's won
an interview, a new idea,

worth asking what we think
about what we didn't know
we thought about this
thing no one knew we were

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Like Any Other

She wears her name
like a wick sports a flicker,
the shame of being
so brazenly called all balled up
brick red right to her
atmospherically split ends
while her cheeks heat up
past color into clear-eyed
white, two shades offset
by design like a scarf
playing as a halo;
she speaks her own name
alone like the room
is made of mirrors
showing the backwards
angles of her letters,
the commandments crumpled
into serifs, the
secrets ciphered
into swoops and cornice
sharps pregnant
as a good life should be;
she writes it
like a picture,
she types it
like a password,
she announces herself
like she's printed up a
piece of air to hand
over for inspection,
she uses her name
like any other part
of her, except
she doesn't like it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Breakfast In

Two tiles of toast
she spoonspreads,

each with our respective
jellies, sweetpurple

and orangeandtang,
residue on two

implements cross-sloppy
on an uncupped saucer,

while the bacon wallows
wet in melted self;

she plates the seven
grain fruitfrosted

daily bread and pours
my coffee pepper black.

About the jam, she
didn't ask, and scrambled

is how the pan handles
the eggs, that's how

she likes them. We
chew and eschew

each other's smallchange
offerings. We,

two churches in need
of priests to speak

in us, we eat. Later,
the dishes still sweat

in the sink, wishing
they were as stainless.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staying Up

Like a mystic correcting
an English professor's logic
that things like each other
cannot be each other

she brands the whole palette
as black as a scarlet letter
burned into a page of flesh,
every color of suffering

brushed the same brown,
a bruised, muck-raked,
mud-puddle, foundation
background brown,

an earthworm pie to plant
on dirt-dessert deserving
faces, or a gift to all
those cookie-cutter fish

in the sea, slapstick action
or chumming the kiddie pool
so she can say laughter
is the best facial

or dangle her legs in
and bring up toes ringed
with suckling, hopeful,
foolish goldfish

soon to be toothsome,
she believes in stomachs,
that anyone whose gut
feelings don't praise

the motherland of blood,
the monopolistic distributor
of life in the collective
of human cells

is already dying. And she
believes that every
death is the same, no
matter how long.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The timid are only sick
of what the brave die of.

Friday, June 19, 2009


the legs get out of the car
before the boyfriend

since my imagination shipped
with a cropping tool

his stocking-sandalled plod
cannot dissuade my appreciation

for a denim hem folded even
higher up her thigh

like ice asking for a glass
to be chilled

with a wide-set gyroscopic
wobble worth graphing out,

and then gone,

another form has filled out
a moment and then forgotten

like a note to remember
something buried under

all the notes to remember,
this passing nancy

slips this old record
under the skipping needle

of now: time is counted,
but never accumulates.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Skip the slow-breath flicker
drawn out, sip the growing sea-foam,
nip the amplitude in the floody
crest of crashing white,

clip the details from her picture,

there is your mother,
mask of green-weed-beard,
three-pronged misdirection,
a symbol barbed for stirring
a soup it can't spoon up,

and her children choke on,

there lies your abandoned
birth, your swaddling chaos
left to her sloshing cross-
continental-shelf waddling
self, there is your creator,
convex cup of all the water

ever to wet the world,

whether warmish yellow-
tinted blue or bruise-
cold black, slow and close-
holding, there is all of her open
to any light to pierce her,
to any self-plunging wreck,
to any cellar-delver

sent to recollect his first abyss,

the monster that set his quest,
to any object dreaming
of having a plum on their
thumb from a sky-wide
pie as virginal as any
corpse no archeologist
ever re-imagined flesh for,
there lies your perfection,

so huge no ripple can mar her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Flower Girl Blown By

Her arms had a way of holding
on after they were gone,

she hoped to teach that,
and showing someone how,

breaking it down, she broke it,
all hands and elbows and no

parts left to leave like the history
of touching she once weaved.

Her eyes mimicked the judgements
her brainpan withheld charging up,

a knife-juggling stare she
never had to practice, but

never bothered to unlearn.
Her hair held down the heaving

dreamscape she deemed needing
a beam-bright broadcast,

her throat kept her gifts
wrapped in other sounds,

her body tightened around
a light she wished would

loosen every molecule of her
from skin to sin to love,

from toenails up to crow's
feet squinting far above

the height any lung can
maintain a real, red heart.

Her soul was a heavy whole
that knew her body was a part.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Phone Call Is Over

The first time I heard her handle me,
it should have hurt. Like a needle
faster than a distraction, only a dot
remained, a footnote to a thought
already skimmed and folded over the wet
bending knees of the boy in the stream,
hands open to catch angles of inertia
he needs to properly careen from yet
to but to then and must or no more,

like mom saying be safe from far away safety,
like the proctor talking for the clock,
(look, the number's lips don't move),
like the overdrawn lilt of a woman's placation,
the sound a tilted head makes when it grins
in sympathy, when she can't help rushing
how much she loves you, exactly like that.

Then I too, had something else to do.
Instead of wincing I minced an old saying:
What is worth doing is so easily undone.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hard Pillow

Deep in the taunting quiet,
the bed whispers
sleep all you want,
there is no rest in it.

The jackal-headed dark
makes traces of his leash,
tugs the numbers to running
clockwise as quick as
the timestamp on the filmstrip
of the dreamscape.

Conquering alarms
herald the rebirth of the sun.
He rises high,
threatening never to burn out.

The hawk-headed day
collects the rays into nestwalls,
cross-hatched fencepost
perfection, another white line
until the canvas is ready.

Paint it again.

While the brushes soak,
the brain lays in waves
of just enough blood

And the world breathes
out yesterday's work.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Long Fall

The greedy seed relishes a roll in the rocks,
falling into a substantial tumble, a rambling,
rootless provoking of feet and breezes,
a promise to abide the order of bird beaks,
the way of the broom, if chance demands,
a promotion of the devotion to commotion
that fills the unfulfilled with a hill
to stand in for the missing mountain,
a protraction of one moment, one line
made a radius to encompass the same
drain-skirting circle, a satellite
ecstatic for another orbit of emptiness,
when his purpose is to fall to earth.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Plastic Travel Mug, Unwashed

To stare at a plastic mug's lineup,
map the radiating avenues crossing
residential commonplaces,
where it was, who held it, what it
held, as they widen from the pointlessly
thin extension that every direction
hosts in the end of its inertia
to the possibly all encompassing,

how the cup is half of everything,
how a handle means the world has hands,

the air insulation drafted inside,
playing blockade to the temperatures
sometimes rampant along the outer walls,
wind made to work a desk-job,
a task any half a glass of gas
could do, unpaid and easily replaceable
by the next waft rushing in
at the behest of the pressure
inherent in every wisp and whim
of atmosphere.

There it sits, unfilled, dry
crust of former contents don't count.

Friday, June 12, 2009

After the Poems

Young man feeling his middle
ring him with one more barkward
grain, it is time to learn


women do not love, they nurture.
It's their nature, and romanticizing
the similarity is an error


leads the deluge of deluded men
to look for and find a storyline
that she can act, but never write.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Sometimes the harmony on high
devolves to squawking a monotony
less uplifting, since even singers
tire of hefting their audience up,

sometimes the angels eulogize
the list of perfections no genious
ever bothered to get pregnant with

sometimes the orbit-wide chorus
opens their star-draped mouths
for a gaping, unspeakable praise
of all that has gone wrong

for they sing their hallelujah here,
in the slight end of the spectrum
god made their station, surely

unhearable but here and nowhere
else. They must sing forever
about everything, and so repeating
every wail and sarcasm of man

they await the day when we also
learn to sing well
about what seems less.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


She takes her lunch in her truck,
on the back seat she folds down
her daylong stance into a nap.

Standing behind that counter
must burn less food than sleep.

She returns the same, no less
helpful, no more inspired,

for whatever unfluorescent quiet
she had has stayed in the migrating
cave. Maybe she only stared

at the roof. Maybe she dreamed
someone struck her bumper,
so she could reasonably scream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strip Mall, Reseda

Not quite a colonnade,
stucco uprights, scratch-skinned,
square footed prisms
as thick as the wills
that bought their builders,

spread wider than their height,
so even doom cannot cross them,
joined only to father floor
and that fat-baby ceiling
sat up hot and coddled
with fresh sun, hogging
all the blue

and when their top-down business
plan has toppled in, and the
mini-mall's owners have outgrown it,
these long blocks will not lay
down to await rediscovery,
no nursemaid centuries
will pull a quiet burial
over their wide-eye-windowed
demise, no amount of dust
will occlude their garish vacancy
during the interim between
plain old and sexy ancient

they'll be razed, bulled over
with tractor blades and wrecker's
pendulum, scrap, rubble, flotsam,

without even the hope of thieves
to steal their parts for newly
necessary monuments

for what comes before
is only ever weeds

and deep in the foregone,
all the deconstruction
spreads out its lack
of evidence and laughs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Things Seen Before the Curtain

Four cats on a car,
two like wingless sphinxes,
caryatids for an absent roofrack,
two more translating the hood's
slope into some stand-in
for a stairway.

A bowl of yellow mustard,
cereal size and swirled
like soft serve beside
a similarly ceramic-hulled
hill of mayonnaise.

A sign over a urinal
requesting closeness
with a politely underlined
overture regarding
splashback and the floor
that has to catch it.

A fifty year old woman
walking northish on Westwood
with a see-through sandwich
baggie clearly swaddling
a pack's worth of shriveled,
re-fried hot-dogs hidden
like a trailer hitch,
clasped behind her back.

These four and no more,
nothing else of interest,
because the work began to whine,
and not to soothe it's
neediness is negligence.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


slick as a bit in a horse's froth

quick as a trick works in the plans

flickering as bright as the moth
would like to finally learn

sickening as the click of a man's
knucklebones landing their turn

ticking like a bomb that doesn't
know it's armed

picking like a surgeon from the
magnificently harmed

wicking like a string whose
fuse runs to the hold

kicking like a mule whose
hooves have grown out gold

thicker than the hole in heaven's needle
that sews closed inoculating pricks

and as thin as a camel hair coat
when it's raining swords and bricks

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kicking a Gift Song in the Teeth

that hammer she plucks the strings with
smells like wisdom when it hits,
a burnt-oil offering to an audience
paying to repeat her sayings
(like the faithful chorus they ignore
for having found the answer before
they were born); her hammering
claws a hole in with the dull side,
wide, flat mouth of pounding
diverting the earth until a hole
approaches - this guitar-implementation
specialist, this rainmaker shaking
her sweat off and naming it deluge,
monsoon, sacred, cleansing,
promise-breaking flood,

she sings up her love
like grease to ease the pressure,
she sings up her love
like a prescription to keep
the bubble level on every hard turn,
she sings up a list of
comically exaggerated aggravations
in informed multi-syllabic patter
so she can sell her custom-label
(but brand-name manufactured)
lease on an evening's good feelings
(here condensed for the reader's
she sings she is happy in crap
as long as he's trapped in the bathroom
with her,

and on the couch, watching the live
recording, sits some couple, each
at their own ends on their ends
on their end of this couch,
two who under this anthem of easy
must now ask why
sitting beside each other
doesn't fix the world for them.