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.