but aren't they all random?



A Pocketful of Poesy was a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog* up until the great derail of 2013. The impossibly-high standard of quality proved impractical to keep up, without a book deal. But don't take my word for it: click RANDOM and judge for yourself! And feel free to offer your critique.
*based on poem rate for calendar years 2009-2012. Also, kidding about the book deal.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Loyalties torn

A dun-coloured falcon just soared
thru here, three feet off the yard.

A yard high and half the yard across,
then out of sight past the corner hedge
of the screened-in porch. I didn't hear

her paralyzing cry, so
maybe she wasn't bun-hunting. If she was,

of course I wish her luck.

usual beautiful clarity

The mind is a brilliant, dizzying
gem made of lens upon lens upon
lens upon lens in a dazzling,
interlocked play of arrays.
Thought is capable of clarity,
but light loves to play. It takes discipline,
practice, desire and will
to learn how to focus in. It's more habit
than skill, and it does take work.
It's a conscious task,
but it's so much more rewarding
when the question is asked, and it's all
within grasp, because you can see now.
And you can say why, and you can show
how. It's as if the saying's true,
that it's all in your mind - except
for all the ways out
you're beginning to find.

A note on online poetry

Online poetry must be read

and understood by the light
of a differing standard. Not
different - just differing.

These people can't write!

And they don't have the benefit
of editorship, to read and
suggest, and send kind declines.

So you can see, as a result,
as a form, a differing standard
has evolved. Online poetry
must be judged within the tradition
and conventions

of online poetry. Besides,

have you seen some of the offline poetry
these days? Maybe the problem is

you just don't like poetry! Or maybe
people have never been very good
at it. Well,

take your philistine critical acumen

elsewhere, bub. Or else - GO

Write some of your own.

I bet it's awful

Saturday, August 12, 2017

done up neatly

In the drawing room, assembled
all the suspects lounged, arrayed
upon the chaise, the love seat,
sundry comfy chairs, or
leaning rakishly against
the paneled wall, hard by
the mantelpiece and cupboards strewn
with china boats and goats, and maudlin
figurines of shepherds,
ballerinas,

astronauts

(incongruously enough),

in the silence of the consciousness
of some impending awful guilt,

awaiting the detective,

who has as much as insinuated
that all will be made crystal,
just as soon as he's divested
self and disabused all present of
all and any smoked red herrings, and
deceptive, miscast leads, in one big
tour de force performance/
slash fishing expedition,

hoping the one that got away
is right here in this room,
at this moment. If not, well

perhaps we'll try another game.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

waking dreamlike state

i wasn't asleep

I was in a waking dreamlike state

I was aware of you calling me

but I couldn't answer

or actually I could have answered

but to try would have been irrevocable

and I wanted to stay where I was

and I wasn't really sure
you were calling me

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

get along somehow

if I could only manage it, to die

right now

my life would be
complete. I know

that every moment on, from here

I'll bask in this
diminished glow.

If I

could only manage it, to stop

to keep

forever, just
for now

the world -

gone on without me
would be fine, I know. They'd get along

somehow. But

since I stayed, delayed
in hesitation, lingered,
lost -

convince myself, oh would you please?

This moment, slipped to memory,
is not the only one like this

that there could ever be, for me.

And I will find the cost

Sunday, August 06, 2017

alone in the feels room

alone with my feels
in my feels room at home
it feels safe here, and bad
because nobody knows
how it feels in this room
where the feels get so
close, and there's nobody
here. So I beep my own
nose

Monday, July 31, 2017

better then

Better to slip once, fall, get
back up again recover your place and
go on, then to be caught, bit,
crushed and snarled in the

implacable teeth

of fate's mechanism, or

trod under, made a meal
of bones in a blood / mud
sauce by the implacable

wheels

of your mechanism's fate. If
by sheer luck, you

get to share your dream

with the implacable bitch, or
jerk
of your thoughts, dominating
therefore the rest of your

life, it is better to win

big, then die trying not to admit

to loss.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I keep reading this.

I keep reading this.

Later I come
back and read it
more. And with
never a thing

I can meaningfully
add. It is

strange and frustrating to
me, given how
the image shocks like a
deja vu, like
a recurring,
but always straightaway awake-and-fade
dream. I

know I never actually had
this dream.

Deja vu
is a memory-sensory malfunction. It is not
a combination of precognition and amnesia.

I'm afraid, in the falsely-recovered memory of this place.

Yet deeper than the memory, I know that
in the dream, I am not afraid. Never

afraid. My waking mind

knows it's all just tricks
of brain-lightning. I insist
I've never been there. I insist
I won't go back. The former

is just fact. The latter

is (I think) what scares me.

tailor's elves

needle
stitch, missed
a seam

between
a time or two
and we

have seen
what comes of that:
a suit

of clothes
that fit

like leprosy, that fits
like epileptic teeth
fit into tongues
til pried apart

so stuff a rag in it,
my love. I've heard enough

to beat
my heart

to sleep.

Each night, our needlework
undoes what dawn does to the day,
and leaves
us
stretched,

exhausted.
Worn.
Cast off, we close the wound
and weep. But in the dreamforsaken dark,
some pitter-patter feet dance in
like storybook ex machinas -

they make the bed we wake up in,
and dawn does what it does to day.
And you see what you saw in me.

Tonight, let's stay up past our time
and catch them in the act!

Shall we?

word for word

I'll return for you,
word for word, what you said - and you make
it mean something

new each time,
like a magic trick.
From an altered priest
turning water to wine
to fine allegory, and I know

what you mean. What you say, just
so. So precise, so exact, without
shade or spin. Every time, word for word -
I return them to you, and you tell
me what else you had slipped

right in

haystack

Grasping at straws
from a camel's back, I had never
intended to break the spine
of the book of our love,
with its pages
blank. I had given
to you what was never mine.

Now it's tossed
on a jumbled-up pile, in smoke
growing up like a column
of ghosts and snakes
from what once was a stack
of orderly thoughts
and ideals, shelved in lines,
perfect-pressed in space
with no spaces. Between
what one meant and the next,
it was all of a piece. One thing,
all arranged

for the best.
What a loss. What a mess
we have made

of the stately arrays
we browsed through and into,
and strayed,
and stayed.
Truths borrowed and used, and
New. Thrown away,
well

I thought you were through? Each thought

that the other was already
through

Saturday, July 29, 2017

le assignation

By the sea, unspecified
salt tang, orange and bitters
in the air, hot

like a cotton shirt wrapped
roast, reddening and flushed,
with emotion, mostly: check

time, check - place, yes,

a melt-beaded glass, tall
and so close to cold, held
to sweat-daubed skull,
breathing hot, shallow
air, simultaneously panicked
and comfortable.

There. Perfect. Napkin folded, newspaper,
pen - table in the corner, by the creeping
vine thing,

All to plan. Here.
Halfway to China from the West, past
France, keep going
where Buda meets Pest,
just a little down and left -
turn around three times, blindfolded,
and dance -
there you are.
We are right on time. Wherever
this is, Mediterranean blue? - otherwise,
could be Aegean, or - no, it is probably one
of those two.

Just as planned, long in secret
signal, cipher and plot.
We knew that it would come
from alone, to together
to apart,

like a million to one.
It couldn't probably succeed. But
we picked, carefully
time and place,
and we purchased all the ways, and
that's all of the luck we could buy,
or find,
or will need. Job done.

Aced. I am here and high

on life.

On time. Now
- wait for it! - sigh.

Now a little bit past.

You'll be sneaking up behind,

any minute now

fast

the vestige of dignity

if you've lied to yourself,
who catches you out? Will you notice
yourself? Can you trust you to? Were you
trying to save your feelings? Why?
Were you going to be mean?
Like you always do
To yourself,
I mean.

To everyone else,
you could not hurt a fly,
could you? So you'd say. So
you tell yourself. This is how
it begins. You always have run
yourself down this way.

The lie -
was it little and white? Or big?
Was it fat? No, I know - you'd never
say so.

But was it? This lie,
you've been feeding it years.
You've been stuffing it full,
of sweet reasons why it was true

and this lie

is finally fed up.

It is no longer willing
to screen your fears. It is no longer willing
to make you look good, to only
yourself,

with the rest of us here.

The rest of us knew.

multiple hot dogs

I had multiple hot dogs

walking around, trying to find my beer. Misplaced
at some point. From room to room, even rooms in
which I could not have set it down, not having
been through them during the time between
tossing the last can and popping
the current one, I refuse

to give up the chase
in a case like this,

I put on mustard, relish,
and, pausing Oxford-comma thoughtfully,
ketchup. Even though I know ketchup

is considered disgusting
on a hot dog. According to Dirty Harry Callahan,

most things are. And I refuse to give up

that sweet, vinegary tang, just because
some superstar devil-may-charming

quasifascist cop

who doesn't even exist
(some people don't)
(most people don't)

has elected to share his bigoted views
on condiments in a major motion picture

release!

My beer

Finally.

I can sit

Friday, July 28, 2017

like anything else, habit

A habit is only bad
to the extent that it is
a habit, and to the degree
that it's bad. But what

We call a habit - when there is some action
we continue unthinkingly - Some
take the attitude that

habit

intrinsically
is
bad; our actions shouldn't be undertaken
unthinkingly. Such people

cultivated the habit of thinking, prior
to taking action. Not

a bad habit!

but is it necessary? And if not,
is the opposite necessarily
bad? People

fall into a habit
of assuming that if a thing's bad, its opposite
must be good. A casual examination
of diarrhea and constipation refutes this easily, but
- is it necessary?

We must admit, not always.

We must also
admit even good habits
may not always be appropriate, in a given

context. But

- does that make the context bad? It could, but
it would be reckless to assume that it must
always be so in every case. Let's

look at it

foundationally the way

the key

to harnessing the power of habit

for good

is to determine in advance which actions,
undertaken regularly without any considerable
reflection, will yield the best mix of desired
and desirable results, and unexpectedly beneficial

or at least relatively harmless

unintended consequences. Are the latter
bad?

For someone who believes all consequences
should be intended, sure! Because for their intents
and purposes, unexpectedly beneficial

or at least relatively harmless

unintended consequences are a warning sign. It says:

"You didn't know what was going to happen
when you did that. That means
it could have been bad."

Now that's a cautious attitude, but
it carries with it the real risk
of reducing one's influence on one's
world

to only the relatively stunted effects
one can achieve by means whose mechanisms and impacts
one can thoroughly understand,

predict,

and manipulate. What if

instead, one made a habit
of thorough self-scrutiny? of motives
and a commitment to acting in good faith
and with good will, and then just go balls
-out nuts in all directions
using the best assortment of scattershot,
fire-and-forget, surface-to-air rumbling
-juggernaut-of-mercy techniques and
approaches one has

come across, or up with? Who wins Then?

I think we know who wins.
Like anything successful, it gets to be

habit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

At Being Told

You must be sick, at being told
you're beautiful. It's been too much,
it's far too done, you've heard it
all before, what's more

it makes
you feel
uncomfortable

for all those persons sadly left
without the awkward burden of
unwanted compliments that you
collect by bushel, dodging
peck, and shrugging

your acknowledgement

- but with a look that says
enough! I'm beautiful

I'm over it

Quit asking, If

Quit asking, if
it's ok, when you know
it's wrong, already. It's already wrong
by you, so
don't request an overrule.
Just
stop.

Or,
if you wish! keep going -
since you haven't asked me, since
you are ostensibly
in some doubt

As to whether it is or is
not ok "by me,"
Keep doing what you'd do
already
do, do what you must, if
you wish, if you wanted
to

maybe you
are the only one
who is troubled by what you've done.

And keep doing

Monday, July 24, 2017

waking

I'm quietly alive in a dream come true
where nothing makes sense,
but it thinks we do.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

light

Another one, pulled smooth and flipped
absently to lip, drawn in to the
sheltering hand, head bowed click
rasp incandescent catching

the intake of your breath, and
pull deep, let out

sigh. With regret

wishes grow

wishes grow on trees, another
reason to replenish the depletions
of environments
wrought by our lotteries

same hat

same hat. Fits
a bit
differently, I expect
just like thoughts
underneath
flow in orders various
as the variegated
inputs

into each,
respectively.

But -
two heads, they say
speaking not
simultaneously, but
overlapping,
"are better
than one"

and if it's true
that size matters not,
or that one size
fits all, looks

good.
To me

Friday, June 23, 2017

beyond count

Pinpricks in the sky,
Like budding cherry blossoms -
A lace made of light. Night pulls
covers over us, way way way out past
cities making wishes. A shooting star
hovers, one syllable over
in the otherwise straight line
of God's haiku

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easy truths, become cliches

Easy truths lend themselves
to overuse. And, become cliches,
offend the ear of those who
value novelty. It isn't that
they aren't true, or have no
true or real value, it's just
that we begin
the fifteenth time,
the fiftieth, the thousandth,
to suspect the one who hits us with
such easy truth - a baseball bat
held wrong-way up
- does not know how to hit,
to win.

But still,
the truth

is just as straight
and curved and hard and long
and fast, as many days
as it's proved true, the first
as true as last, the worst

that you can say of it
is: this. The human mind
can grasp

and use

a truth, poorly, even
wrongly - we may reach
for what we mean, try
to say just what we want, and maybe miss, or kiss
the pitch fair, pure luck - and so,
deserve no credit! But that truth, itself
has force. Even if

we only hold it out
to bunt,

take off and run

Monday, May 01, 2017

ominous flight

Listen while the rowers in the wind fly o'er
droves of solitary birds, ravens, crows -
all in one direction, in silence dipping oars
something coming after, maybe? Fuck it - who knows

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Message from a bottle

Hang in there, you. Take heart.
Be of brave, good cheer. Regard
the world with shining eye, and if
it won't meet your gaze, maybe
it's not lying. Maybe it's just shy.

I have learned from being here.

From birds, not how to sing but why,
from friends what enemies are laughing
at, from the mirror
that my sad face looks fake, and
from you, that you'll never help me practice it

but a lesson like that is a piece of cake
- you can eat it, too. Falling off a log
with you, a lot depends on who lands first,
but it's not a race. In ancient days,
I might have been mistaken, enslaved,
worshipped as A GOD - and you, my favorite sacrifice,
but more likely,

the science fiction ending: unstuck
in time, place, parts of speech drifting
away and on your face, as always,
facial features
- unreadable without the cereal box top
decoder ring. Send away,

I am receiving.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

strong coffee

I got the worst night of my life stuck in my throat
I need something to wash it down before I choke
Well I can't take heed of the warnings, I've tried
and I fear my old age will never take me alive
so I'm coming to a stop 'til it starts again
I know nothing's going to help me
in the state I'm in, but give me strong

coffee, ma'am
certified organic or petroleum-based, hey
I don't really give a good god damn
just so it's strong
coffee for me. Black, no
sugar, don't leave any room for cream

I can't prove one single thing I've ever done
and don't know who I am or what
I have become
It's like you wake up from a dream and can't remember your life
I know every stupid thing except why, why why?
Someone please turn down the light, I can't
focus my mind, I need something I can taste
'cause I've sure gone blind - just give me strong

coffee, ma'am
certified organic or petroleum-based, hey
I don't really give a good god damn
just so it's strong
coffee for me. Black, no
sugar, don't leave any room for cream

Sanity Check

Your vanity - any mirror you check,
can only reflect
your sanity.
In that
looking glass -
if you were not vain,
speaking rationally,
you'd be insane.

Monday, April 17, 2017

from the inside

To each their own
cell, no guard
except God if there is one,
no visitors
allowed inside, no fellow prisoners
for company - only a couple of windows
and these companionable walls,

through and over which you can stretch
your neck, strain your mind, sneak
a peek out. You can still catch a glimpse
of familiar space, in the dawning light
on a stranger's face. Well,

if anything's sacred, that must be it. If the piece
that you're holding won't ever fit, what if
somebody, somewhere, out in the cold has
a jigsaw gap, just the shape you hold...?
You can't fucking get it to them, though.
All you can do is describe it. And then they
can pretend they know
what it is to hold.

Ick.
Today's topic is
"Have you ever felt utterly alone?"
Yes, most always. Although
I am not the only one.

bookkeeping

Sometimes I am out of line,
and you let me off the hook.
But in that case, it's not my
call. Not my business, in your book
the entry's blank - it's not my place
to call you to accounts,
just to offer thanks. I owe nothing
- in generous amounts.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

tea ceremony

When you've plumbed and traced the shape of that ache,
you will find you can draw it forth as a blade
to cut paths through the phantoms of could
and should be, that are placed in your paths
by the enemy. Who,
disappointingly and undramatically enough,
is often you yourself, pulling
one of those subconsciousness snuggie cloaks
close around you and down over your eyes
in a sinister attempt at incognito,

but I know you

and you've been beginning to get wise
to that bastard's ways for a while or two
by now. Time to sit down together to a TEA AND CRUMPETS PARTY.

You two are ON THE SAME SIDE!

But it all begins
in examination of that ache,
with an eye towards fashioning it
into a defensive mechanism and multi-purpose
instinct-guided and -guiding tool. It is the ache
that is in you, in the shape of what is not,
that teaches us what's missing,
and the negative space in us into which it will fit.

It is strange that we want
or need such a thing. But it is only by feeling the shape,
by knowing our ache that we can make our eyes wise
to its possible fix, every wherever we come across its shape
in this profuse and abundant world.

Meanwhile, sit
Have tea, and linger

in this moment of getting to know

'til it hurts.

'More Than Sum'

The product of two,
divided by none
and raised to the power
of equals, is
less than three
to infinity, and
they're already writing
the sequels.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

the witness

If a tree falls in a forest, it
was not sound. You didn't
hear a thing, you
were there, on the scene
- in the way, and
perfectly positioned
to say. "It didn't make
a sound! I'd have ducked, dodged,
run away otherwise," resolutely refusing
to blame your earbuds, maintaining a cracking,
groaning, giving-way tree ought to out-racket
anything on your playlist, therefore:

it didn't.

It was silent. You're perfectly confident
you are competent to swear
on the truth in the matter. The proverbial treefall

did not make a sound.

If a tree falls in a forest
and it kills the only witness,
is it any of our business?

Well. In memory of the thing,
now definitively settled,

Let us have one minute's silence.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

execution style

I'm always sneaking up, but
you never have once.
But we all have wants -
How can you be so cold?
No, not cold: direct.
You have never let me hang,
But I kind of wish you would.
Let me stretch out my neck

You

stabbed me in the heart, but at least
it's from the front. I will turn my back
on you, if that's what you want

if that's what you want.

Let's do this. Execution
-style, I'm sick of pleading
innocent. Not guilty,
'cause I might be insane, but

I'm not giving up on it.

post-op

You've sewed shut your lips, and you're waiting
for the stitches to melt.
You'll never once open your mouth
to tell how it felt.

Friday, January 27, 2017

exclusive committed

No tongues, no lips, no
pussies no clits no titties
no nips, no dicks - not even
just the tips! (no "practice
dips"), that's just
how it is.
These things, contact with,
each to each
is reserved. No, it didn't
need saying, but it's good

to observe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

hurry on, torchbearer

I'm not smoking, I'm just carrying a very small torch. I
took it up right when you gave me a ring, quite a small one

but grand! we both thought. Give or take
four more and, by the time I am though
with the added tax on every pack, beginning in April
then on 'til I quit, I am sure I'll have paid twice over
for it, and more. But it isn't for you,

that I go through the world like this. Shed my
light, passersby incensed,

And it isn't for you,
this world's smallest torch. Oh it's you
that I carry it for, I admit, but

it's more on behalf of my very last breath, and
the sake of enjoying my way to it

that I light this torch, and I hold it high

as if lost in the mist of its heavenly scent, or

what passes for it.

universe plans

the universe plans nearly all
of my moves, in the obstacles
waiting wherever I roam. They
make sense to me, at least one

sometimes three

So I'll see
or I'll feel, my way up
if that's where
I am trying
to go. And with taste,
I will find my way home,
if that's where

I am

or am trying to go.

They make sense
to me, so I know
what to do. Where it goes,
how to act, and:
accordingly. Is
how I act.
Is there any
way else that I've
missed? Accordingly works,
I have found. That it is
always evident,
always makes sense,
where I go. On the way
to wherever it goes.
It is always the plan,
so I've found.

So I ask: why bother with those?

Roads, so much easier read than their maps.
Obstacles, easily through or around, or
at worst, back the way that you came - which
is wide. Buildings,

so easy to read from inside.

Why bother with plans? You can plan
it all out, but the universe can,
and it has, all you need

to decide.

Monday, January 23, 2017

"Distress Damsel"

I don't mind a damsel
in distress, but if I can,
I'd rather get you out
of distress. Distress
is ugly, awful. Where?
did you get distress

Was it on sale? Did
you check all the
stitching? It may
have been a factory remainder, or
counterfeit

with a logo on it, but
you bought it. Well,

let's get you out

of distress,
now

Shall we?