Saturday, February 28, 2009


Worthy, of course,
meaningful, sure,
but what's emptiness except
a chance to rent,
right-so brilliant, yes,
inventive, good,
but you don't sell intelligent,
answers end markets,
smart is the trawling promise,
not the rod and reel,
and we only deal in the real,
if you get what I'm
gutting you with,
so back to the positives,
provocative, pure genius,
and no sarcasm, electrifying,
and that word's still juicy
after generations of jolts,
and uplifting, I love it,
hammering onwards
and up the upscale
like my pronouncements
make waves into rungs and
the higher the climb,
the higher the climber,
none of this atmosphere
full of rebreathed
rocket fumes,
so moving, absolutely,
emotional, obviously,
deeply disturbing,
I can use that,
(beautiful is too easy)
funny, that's standard,
true, well true
is just a way of saying
free and
ready to be adapted.

The hook is good,
I'm glad you caught me,
love it, love you,
really, listen,
let me get back to you,
it's time to set fire
to the building I'm in
so I can hire some new
talent, like you.

Friday, February 27, 2009


The sweater knows best,
cardigan graymantle,
purls of wisdom twixt each knit;
scratch the surface
and find a snag
to hide a needle in.

Warmth spun out of one long line,
like a book explaining just one life,
gray doctor of philosophy's coat,
wooly badge of office hours,
long-waisted, floppy lapel,
hung on a hat-rack of a man
exposing his barkless bones,
dowel-rounded spine,
sanded-down truth
spoken so smooth by the tophook,

and under it, collar unbuttoned,
so he can swallow the impossible
into that ribless, flat-hanging
sweater stretched
down by the weight of his pockets,
filled with gilded symbols
or just his fists.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


How deep the slippage plumbed
by the free-falling reporter
going down with the story;
how red the shrinkage skimmed
by paper-handed managers
faking lemon-scented cuts?

How loud the sounds of bubble's dooms
as happy to pop as balloons on the moon;

how soon the new solution
since we could use a boom by noon?

How thick the goodly manual
for the newly invented class
(by appointment only)
of inspectors of the watches
made for the wrists of the
watchmaker watchers?

How empty the helpers
regurgitating wormy hope;
how laid bare the fear of the lonely bull;
how flood-loving hearts and banks
trust the brain-backed, economically viable
top-shelf sewage;
how drunk on saltwater potions
must be the anointed mutineers
to abuse their boatless, confused rescuers?
How no-one can find honor
in going down with a grounded hull.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meat and Cheese

Complexity, thy name is cheeseburger!
Witness this infinite list of ingredients
ranked by palates with partisan fervor,
whether in a bag for drive-thru expedience
or homegrown heavy from grillmaster's hands,
variables favored by chompers fraught
with flag-waving, gut-shot-sure taste taught
by the loudest tongues of everyman gourmands
unable to agree on your pedigree,
how many passports can one sandwich own?
The cheesesteak side of your family tree
sports an old feud, but the sides are well-known.
Yours is a war of individuals,
where no honest mouth ever buys or sells.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

On the Bench, the Bench

lowboy or like one, but unliked,
a sideboard peggery with maybeworks,
with steadyreadies for slungelow
apehands, whatever implements
are necessary to the task:
deep instead of high,
short to avoid teetering,
shallow in hopes of lowering
everythingleton to hand,
handled eco-econ-ergonomically,
ready to plunge for your profits,
oh derivative,
unprintable paper idol,
straight into the sharphearted
soft goods called consumers,
whatever tool is hiring hands,
whatever weapon is racking up
balls to get rolling,
whatever all-you-can-eat
you can get for the low price
of all-you-can-beat,
whatever stainless steel troughs
are set out upon the lowboy,
or his equally bent brothers,
oh lowboy,
all he is, is back.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Sometimes I see you when you are not here.
Your dress is, I confess, more nebulous
than your chin and cheeks, hair and eyes appear.
I rarely seem to dream of your feet. Less
odd is how your new body often robs
colors from walls and chairs as if built of
physically present bits and bobs
of an otherwise empty room, not love.

Your simulacrum is always welcome,
flickering in her skin or picture-still.
She seems to enjoy herself well enough,
at my imagination’s expense. Some
hours she hides in the bathroom until
I promise not to call her bluff.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Intermittent Symptoms

Something abstract wafted on the aether,
a rough-sketched contagion of fantastic,
although legal, dreams, sneezed itself hither
in hope of open, healthily pragmatic
spinal cords, well-fed by scientific,
economically sound exercise,
to inject, infect and induce idiotic
copies of newly proudly pregnant lies.

As backs bent to the freshest of toil,
for hot novelty or nostalgia keen
depending on their decade, as all seeds hate
to boil slower than their native soil,
one idea wrote itself in protein,
a fungus soon to reinvent the brain it ate.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Broken Bird of Paradise

A frond,
a sail in surfboard shape,
lays headlong on the table,
collapsed like a green drunk,
face planted to something stable,
stalk snapped at the tree,
watery blood smelling of celery,
all that strength become
bent threads.

Edges sunburned to papyrus
and ash, like a pirate map,
yellow spreading as fast
as age along the splits
sweeping out from the center
like a feather.

Whether the wind or it's own weight,
it's down.

Twisted under a forest green
cotton umbrella, there's no
chance at a second life
as a roofing shingle.

A week-long hangover it's had,
a slump worse than detention.
The owners also own a saw,
but they're waiting
on the gardener's arms.

This brotherless leaf,
this whole branch of leathery
self has been shed.
That's how the tree grows,
its new heart
has grown higher.

Perhaps it's still collecting
some sun, perhaps the wound
still accepts deliveries
from banished limbs.
Perhaps death feels
like sleeping it off.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Two Observe The Work

From two angles the honeybees are seen,
one pair of eyes bobs up from a coffee cup,
the other's compounded peripheral visions
just catch the motion above
their horizon of dog poop.

The former wonders if there is solace
in knowing the next task by rote,
gathering the same taste from each bloom,
and him to them some insane, unnatural
giant that consumes whole fruits,
knows smoke's secret and uses their livelihood
to sweeten tea; the latter a homeless housefly
whose amnesiac haphazard hubris
has gifted her six feet
with some uselessly green leaf,
as she wonders what all the buzzing fuss is,
like a raven amused by the interstate, she asks:
what profits such a headlong drive to harvest,
when there is so much death and shit to eat?

Another black-chassis, swept-wing chaote
alights on a tight, pink-tinged bud beside
two aggressively organized laborers;
unlike the waggle the workers impart
to their openly limp submissives,
the weightless pests impart nothing equal
or opposite by their unscheduled arrivals,
as if beneath the notice of physical law.

On the ground, the other observer
removes an ant from his banana,
from peel to fingernail,
from fingernail to brick,
then he opens it and now he has to hold it.

Ripeness sprays like spittle
as he tears the peel.
The dog comes to beg for some,
but the bees do not break rank.
The fly begins to circle.

The two observers regard
or disregard the other.
The bees continue unsupervised.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scraping the Detritus

Have you ever seen a bee searching
dead petals for fallen pollen?

Ever heard one low-rank worker
skimming the wilted, skin-soft flakes
for gold not yet ground to dust?

In the camellia tree above,
life hunts life as it has
and cannot escape continuing to,
while on the brick below
one bee sorts the scents of shucked,
once-used blooms, careful
to waste no yellow,
to hound out flecks of needfulness.

The white flesh she forgets
like any other part of the floor.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pattern Need Not Apply

Destiny is too light a counterweight
to history. Rootless head presently
upended in the hydroponic now,
buried neck deep in the current cellar
whose foundations erode every moment
in service of an ocean's wish for filling,
toes splayed from each flat-fated foot
claiming unfinished countries for old thrones,
dreamers demanding copyright to dreams,
builders plotting to righteously implode
structures they built for money, not purpose.

The norns never rhyme, they prefer to weep.

Destiny is an unstrung kite, no dredge
for plowing future waters good and deep.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Two and Twelve of Cups

Seeker, do not search the dark for the light.
If it were there, you could see it plainly,
as pin-bright as the far-set stars proudly
simpering in their role as proof of height.

What unreflective occlusions could stand
mazelike between eyes and their long-sought sight
admit no navigation because night
is an empty country, built of distance.

And leave untried the available bright,
contrast instead the multitude of dims,
unimportance is full of why eyes might
evolve neglect for well-dreamt spectrums.

Seeker, the dark is vast, the secret slight;
written not in riddles, but shades of white.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Ziptwiddling intentions,
puckersummits on a mercantile projection,
x-rayglow brainpanscanshow
here next and lean out
to catch what you can remember
this time around the ring
that passes the ring,
brasstacky, both glitterworth
and pragmatic gold certifiable,

alchemists trading time-shares,
another line to run down forever,

another answer
to swellsell the
rankings of professional

have another
dream up one more
good emotidoodle,

here, hold this bubble.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We Brook No Bookishness

What words still dream of sharpness,
aswim in the gristle-mill
we egg and bread our children in?
What words so proofed, bound,
closed and folded after using
still expect their right of recitation
to be honored?

Any term worth its election
to the keyring, that silken
index of sluglines,
knows that history is a compression.
Events disappear into the pressure
of the present progressing to step
upon the past it presently was.

As if atoms could pop
like soap bubbles,
time makes droplets
out of globes,
whole centuries
become puddles
the expensive shoes
should avoid.

The happily dull words
playing checkers
on the shelf
either tut or chuckle,
it sounds the same
in a paperback muffle,
old things,
with secondary
definitions in their crinkles,

those words have seen enough
to know that only
the master is permitted
the luxury
of memories

Still, a word can wish.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Do You Want That?

Lisa always wins at gin,
trampling statistics
with a queen-handed entitlement,
discouraging her luck from commentary,
whether inactive grumble
or dormant joy,
until the cards go flat and true
and her face permits the parade.

Sweatshirt Slick or Salsa Sue,
or Sweet Blinky Dimple,
if she played a higher proof than gin,
if the numbers ended in her pocket
rather than crumpled up with Scrabble tallies,
there'd be a snarky name to go with that smile.

Her only foible, hard to capitalize on,
is complaining if she gets the same cards.
Doing the math twice in her head
is a shark-trick.
She shuffles so hard she creases the cards,
demanding they come back to her random,
and if you're watching for a clue,
oh no, she never puts them in order
until she sets them in the order
they're going down in.

No dogs allowed
on her lap while she claps
colors, shapes and cardinals
into the three-legged shackles
of her plan
or grants them freedom
to drown in the rising pile of rejects;
only a sip of water
before the counting of mine, not-mine,
dead and not-yet slips off
with last hand's score.

She laughs when she wins,
she laughs when she loses.

Could be wisdom,
could be self-assurance,
or it could be a soul
happy to play.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Six Degrees In Economics

Buying requires money.
Selling requires owning,
owning requires either
buying, manufacturing,
laying claim or stealing.
Manufacturing requires
resources and labor,
resources require owning,
labor requires paying.

Paying also requires money.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

In the Shadow of the Work

If you're a pile of carpet,
born to the lowest strata,
the safest country for your class
lies in the lee of the couch,
where only four brave circles
have to bear the constant
economy of crushing.
The rest by family connections
to those properly compressed heroes
escape all the treading pressure
common to their lot,
the only trade-off:
having to stay filthy
longer than a week.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Speck of Small and Pretty on the Skids

Five-pointed sequin,
color the cheap, chromish side of silver,
a shallow cookie-cut of mirror,
a gussied-up gray
playing crown jewel
to the slag-bone concrete,
one gaudy bit of smooth, fickle shimmer
on the yard-wide fingerprint ridges
the trowel proudly slathered into the patio,

such pretense of depth,
this crumb of reflected cloud
floating so loudly atop
the doldrum slab, rough-casting
whatever sparkle it can catch
from out the crowds of dirt
balled up by impish
beetle-legged wind-gusts,

this star fallen
from some nebulous gift-bag,

now so small beside the sandals
and sneakers that orbit the laundry-door,
but bigger than any twinkle
to grace the unaided eye;

a thing easier to stand on
than a ball of dream-hot gas,
but as easy to ignore as any
fate-declaring constellation.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Dialogue Between Two Believers

One philosopher said:
"Faith is the opposite of purpose."
His opposite answered: "True,
self-reliance is best taught by neglect."

The first found this in his frown,
and asked: "Then is need
a lesson or a gift?"

The second picked this from
his grin: "Both are obligations."

"Hubris," coughed the philosopher.
"God gives no tests but lessons."

"True," said his opposite,
"There is no back of the book,
only the book."

The philosopher grunted and said:
"Answers admit no belief."
His opposite answered: "True,
but I only say so
because I like it that way."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Putting the Ew in the News

A country dark with barking,
both the repetitious selfsame sound
and the scabby shield in lieu of skin,

oh, happy shouters,
oh observers,
what can you do?

Eyes have learned to look
and report in proper format.
Eyes learned long ago
they are poor patter writers.

In speech we trust,
so we talk through how we talk,
so we talk about how we talk,
means unjustified
just become the end.

The self-yelp section
drowns out the harmony.
The mouths keep working
to beg the next word.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Four of a Morning

Cold is a stone in your shoe,
every movement touches it.

Warmth on coffee is a costume,
a defiant garment, a foggy hipsway
rising, refusing to drain
the way water should.

While sun and sky make their day,
strings of wind free to wander,
bars of breath and work
kept to the metric,

the man burns with his morning;
time always inexplicably equal
parts smoke, light, crackle and ash.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Searching for Blind Spots

Each morning this week,
as I sit in the yard
to scrape my shoes for secrets
some hummingbird ravages the camellia,
quaffing the same old nectar
like it deserves the name.

Loud chirps for such a breastless chest,
proud giant cutting ahead of the honeybees,

I could misappropriate her
for my morning metaphor,
a tiny seeker
someone watches and forgets,
except she is not distracted
by the need to see in each mirror and
her flutterjumping fills her stomach.

Then I see two bees
in the same bloom
and wonder if that is co-operation
or inefficiency.

The hummingbird returns
like she's the reason I sat there.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Market, To Market

At lightspeeding pace the spaces of life
stack and fillerup niches,
each available crannyhold leveraged
against the promise of earnestly earnable
happiness, now smoothgrid waxfull,
ownershipments uptodatepaid,
everyway shuttersigned
to the next everyman's trespassing.

Now explorationists require licensing,
prerequisitions of socioabiding purposes,
by grace and grant of ways-and-means
and corporate-sponsassured research teams.
Homesteaders is all already shovelswept
by rights at the ankles into the bygonebin,
deedholders soon to be titularly stripped,
shonuff bankermans gotta be rich
or no one is.

There's gotta be the guy
to beg from.

Like viruses flagellating in the race
to rent their own cell.

Like sharks paying the toll
on the lanes they're given to breath in.

Betwiddle the cliffhunger of
and the fordless draindle of
all the livelong things,
hawks all in hock
discounting their wherewithals,
suing for pieces
of peace largessenough to sleep on,
so they can dream up
a backnine for-to subdivide
to float them on the hovercharge.

Worlds gotta be worth something,
what's there to trade
except tickets for places
in line to go places?

From their holes taunt the peggies:
"you keep walking,
this is where I'm treading world."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Rope in the Knot

There is no way through
except the way through
so says the rope in the knot.

Untying's same as dying,
quoth the fibrous bindings.

You could cut your troubles
like Alexander's slicing sidestep
except the bight and bend
are all you are
so says the rope in the knot.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Howhandsoforth he scribblet,
meanings commendable,
or more plainly the mean
bridge-moments mendable,
mostly he clumberthumbs
with thatter ouldish of bone-tools,
half-made, half-making
mandible. Before the spittering
there's the spit-shiny tip
to fixative up to snuffsharp,
then the tooth-mixing cuppa
crunch, like making paper,
mishmuckled together,
fibers not spindled but
properly married,
mashed so flat there's edges.
Howeverso-on he cast forth,
barbless worms tied to thatchy twine,
like Laocoon he grapplehappily
scrunches, methodo-dologically,
from the tails-end, by gum,
foretowards the gapering
gap-fanged valvular,
(mouths is always wider than
dungholes, there's a clue
clubbed in the vernacular)
and out the in spews
the whole snake's innard-tubes,
goopgood for plasters, conjuctions,
white-pepper-washing speeches
and a whole second edition of things,
uses for users, help for the
helpings soon to heap or drizzle.
Howcanneegowon, says the signs
sick of sooth, sick of succor,
chronic-stopped-up with self-same
directions (first there was the word,
but first right there before the word
it says the word there), a local joint,
bending at the beers, capped
with yolks, runnyshell gabbletruth
passed round or hoardboarded up
in the shack back the eyes.
Thereupon the napkinbacks
therapugilistic whitespace
whence songs forgotten
and new songs forgettable
might by the monkeypaw appear,
him holding the pupils
awaits the reciting,
howhandsoforth he listens
with the wrong-organs wrongly pointed,
it speaks, it is saying,
or so it says, oh
we speak, oh we are always speaking.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Poet Who Asked the Point of Being Lost

The sometime poet Goosefeather Houston,
in black drawstring hood and blue, kneeless jeans,
claimed a parking space the perfect stage,
and cars the audience in truest form,
steel-cage ears, metaphors worn and driven
to fate-assigned seats, abandoned to stand in
for the anthropomorphized errands
breathing and buying inside. He began

by singing, “Supermarkets hear no songs,
so none are written for them, except this,
which I wrote on the back of a napkin
that Picasso once graced with a likeness.”

He marched the lengths of the asphalt lot,
Counting out hours, steps and scansion,
Sitting cross-legged in the handicapped spot,
Like a bard in his fairy-ring mansion,
an anachronism in living display,
an existence he'd say existed to say:

“I have wandered long away, away,
always away and not toward. To wander
to is not to wander, so says the muse,
but she pays me only in my own work.
Good counsel I am unable to use,
advice that better captains of my time
are free to take as masters.
Perhaps you know them,
the foremen of fear,
and their factory floors
manufacturing our daily insurance,
the nurses of nagging man-children
weaning them off milky accomplishment
to stand red-rover for the bottom line,
the great-souled teachers who praised
our best weaknesses,
the lovers who loved us
for our long-lost promise,
the salesmen living on commissions
for all of our rented selves.
They also want me to wander,
through their world,
but not beyond.
Of course, there might not be
anything there."

"Unless we wander together,” he once added,
although no one heard the invitation, for
that sometime poet, Goosefeather Houston,
never voices his words. He only mouths them.
It's been said someone almost asked him why,
except the song he'd just sold them told them
if they could have known, they already would.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Two Modes of Public Transportation

Subways reduce all journeys
to the same map of purpose,
a political platform in action.
Commuters standing, in perfect
understanding, with nothing
to watch except other commuters.

By the bus stop,
There might also be shops,
offices, windows, billboards, weather,
but the most common sight
are all the cars.
All the cars that are not the bus.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

To The Production

I have answered to utility,
followed the blind hand of bliss,
I have practiced worm-loose freedom,
and preached the safer love of logic firm.

Service to each master philosophy
paid me no patronage but this,
a tongue torn from a truth they need dumb:
the word good is an empty term.