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.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

out of unbelonging

You won't belong
where you've never been,
where nobody knows you,
where you're

not wanted

- how could you be?
When nobody knows
before you show up,
what to want you
for?

But if
you show up,
the people will see

you've arrived. And decide
how they feel
about that.

You are useful, you know
- but only so far
as you put yourself out,
as you give yourself back

where you go yourself forth.

For wherever you stray,
and wherever you stay,

you won't belong, unless
you have given yourself
to it.

So easy. Find a place -
It accepts your breath, and
it gives you air, and everything else

you can find that's good, and best,
and blessed,
and available, too

You belong to it all, but only if

you have given it you.

thought balloon festival

people who think in thought balloons,
clouds in the sky, or the corridor
- wherever they find themselves. They think,

and balloons go up, in white puffy shapes
trailing smaller puff shapes like a kite
trailing bows, and their thoughts within.

I don't understand
why the shapes their thoughts make
are so uniform. Like a white, fluffy cloud:

semicircled around, and resembling
nothing. Just abstract form.

What does a "cloud-shaped cloud"
even mean? I want thought balloons
that resemble

cows,
or cars,
or dragons - and everything else
that people say they see
when they look at clouds.
Any wild form that a cloud can take.
Why put your thoughts in a

boring shape?

skillset

I'm

my job is to...

analytics basically. In the job industry
that can be huge.

I consult

with people for their own good. Sometimes
people do something totally else, based on some stuff
I found out about? For them

Stuff only I might have noticed, basically. Or maybe

I notice a certain angle in my advice, and
I focus in, and emphasize that. People

can tell, sometimes. It comes across, word of mouth
gets around. A lot of people

come to me for exactly that. It's a nice feeling

when it happens.

to be respected

bee guru haiku

I teach shy bees how
to approach pretty flowers
without bumbling.

Wrong time

time out of joint
like a phantom limb sprain

I am used to these moments
occurring

by now. But you're not asleep
now,

and you won't be
for hours.

And I get up,
set to sit down

to the wrong meal, washed down
by incongruous beverage choices

and then go out, wondering why

it all seems too late

Thursday, September 14, 2017

outbound

The world turns over under you,
sleeping as it speeds its way and you
with wings, at cruising speeds and altitudes
lie hovering, for all intents and purposes,
a stationary bird in flight, asleep on solitary wing
and waiting to awake from night. Restless, lightly,
you'll touch down and make your way
to waiting dawn, migrating days
and nights to come, on paths planned out
or chanced upon. The world turns over
under you, as you walk on above its
sprawl and bring new landscapes
into view, to frame with eye,
and drink with heart,
and sign them all.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

validation, lately

So
I've been trying to get into
validation, lately.

It's just plain lazy
of me not to
try, to sit around
my whole life

wondering in anguish "why?
why other people need it
so? Die deaths of deprivation
over lack thereof?" Instead,

time for me to SEEK
VALIDATION and see

whether I can identify it

when any comes. Look out,

world. Validation
time!!

Please accompany any validation with
I don't know, a stamp or something?

so I know what it is. Cut me a pair of slacks
or something alright I'm

new here.

the pact

my friends and I
avoid each other out of consideration
for each other's
respectful difference, and
preference - we go
to lunch, kind of

at places that have lunch counters

with stained-glass
windows

in different parts of the city, and

we order dishes
that seem to speak to us. It's

okay. It's okay to be

seen, in seeming isolation
in knit hats and clunky
glasses, speaking word jazz

extemporizing life

explaining your point of view
to statues

in the middle of all this wondrousness,

surrounded by cartoon touches
and dressed like an anticliche cliche,
it's okay. Go now,
forth.

Make yourself a list: and strike

off

every

one

from

it.

counting time

There are times
- and this is one -
that come only once
in your life.

At least, once in mine.
And I don't expect to see luck again
like what landed me here.
I don't want to think twice

before losing this chance.
I don't want to think once
that I could be so dull.
I don't want to think

this

Is about to be gone.

I just want to take time
- just this one -

and hold on

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

low morning

a city carved from rose and soap
rises from the morning sky
that sinks away to background grey
as foreground marsh recedes to bay
and panes of glass gleam wet like suns,
just barely up from morning swims
- one eye, not even open yet
no coffee for the likes of him

Sunday, September 03, 2017

to choose again

It's a fear
many of us have. Once we've made a choice,
we've committed ourselves
- even if not irrevocably,
we've committed ourselves to
having once, in that moment, decided,
believed. Been for that choice, as
the choice that should be made
- that we needed to make. There's
no taking that back.

No taking it back. Once it's on record,
it's irrevocable. If ever again
we choose against it, we are

take your choice:

hypocrites.
Wishy-washers.
Wafflers.
Indecisives.
Milquetoasts. Morally lax,
whether because of
lacking moral fiber
or having taken too many moral
laxatives, we're

lax,
lapsed,
lost, we've
gone

back

against the choice

we made, back when we used to know.

We should be so lucky
to know. We should be so afraid

to know better.

to fix the past

If we're going to fix the past, we need
to go in hard
and study what it is,
that actually was,
that happened, then
argue over whether it
should have and why. Was what those people wanted, or
a subterfuge, a sabotage - a failure to
achieve what could have been, or some deliberate
thwart job? And if so by whom,

That, plus the implications and permutations.
What could have been, if only either/or
times the nth degree, and on from there
in orders of descending consequence cascade - if we are serious,

we have to think about these things.

About this task, which we've undertaken
or may be about to: to fix the past, or
at least fix our understanding of it,
perhaps that's a prudent place to start; we need
to get together now

and make plans first, fast,
built to last, and most especially

determined along definite and pre-argued lines,
so we know what the past should be. Then, get
a radical element within the group to construct a time machine

- like we always figured was bound to happen, once you involve
radical elements in these things - into the future, travel to the age
when they'll know whether it's possible to do so, and if so,

probably lose the plot at that point, since
once you've got a time machine, other things seem
proportionally less
important. Next thing
you know you've got to create
some kind of restrictive body of guards
to guard the timestream from major perversions
and watch out for damage done, zero in on where and when
and send a team back

to fix the past.

That's probably our best chance. Now

enough talk.

the wishing hook

Hung on a wishing hook, dangled as if
from the unsteady firmament, stars
falling left, right
around you, you
hang

there so
steady, as if

none of this

is to do with you. And it isn't.

I wish
and I wish,
I could lift you down, but
I cannot reach, and

you do not fall

for any of it. Yourself pierced through,
you've concerns of your own to occupy you.

It would be
so easy, or

easy enough, but

this isn't a dignified way to go, love.

I wish that it was.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Away, by Fate

Thou hast not knowing
within which thou art known,
Nor strength to discover that
within which thou art not.
For within that in which thou art is thee!
How canst thou deny thyself to me?
Abnegation, away with thine empty peace.
Let us build a pyre, and burn immortality upon it.
For oil, empty words, and vain glories for twigs.
In the morning, from the smoke we will build a comet.
The sign of disaster, we'll Christen her,
And take off in broad day, for Heathen lands.
You will look with sad eyes upon panic below,
Knowing not how we came to understand.

charity case

Maybe we should walk around all day
with wishes ready, set in place.
Think how many shooting stars we waste,
burning up in skies of blue,
never to be wished upon,
rained in vain - should've stayed
in outer space. Maybe you,
with wishes fixed like fishing nets,
could catch a few as they blaze by
invisibly. To grant one wish -
that's all that any shooting star
aspires to, and so - to die
unmiserably.

Monday, August 28, 2017

winged moments

I forgot what I was waiting for, and then you came in
making me come up excused for being there, which wasn't
very easily, but which I pulled quite neatly off, along
with some objections I'd been saving for a drier day,
still soaked from memories of pride. You've now since
stripped those from us both, despite I was the wandering
one, out in the storm of darkest nights without the sense
to come in from. As usual, you, adopted tones as if you'd
rescued something lost, that couldn't fend itself a way,
despite how many times it has, despite how many ways it's
made to find its way at smallest cost, to you: that pride,
again. It fucks
with you. Don't let it.
Just be cool. Just settle in
and down, and up. And wish your
falling stars for luck, and lose your
mind in what the hell are we doing. Don't ask

Friday, August 25, 2017

education, Pt.2

We must educate adults
to know better than to bring up things
we can't explain to children. To explain,

"Don't ask. It's rude," or "That's gross!" or
"What if a child had heard you? Don't you feel
ashamed?" I'll tell you when you grow up

you won't ask questions like those,
bring up things like that, you'll have learned

we don't. You'll have learned
not to.

The benefits
to an adult society
are enormous. It is rude

to talk politics, religion, right
or wrong or anything else
people might be embarrassed about
not being able to explain
what they themselves strongly believe,
or, the lack thereof. This makes

it easy

to avoid scrutiny of wrong
and thought about what's right,
concerned about the difference
between yours and mine, we can simply agree

everyone's idea of it is good, and
no one has to have one! Saves us all

bringing it up.

and/or else

When a child is learning to count - there's nothing
you can do about it. Just like

when a child is learning to read,
there's nothing you can do.

There's no way we can protect them
from these dangerous things. Just
grow up. And try to

The world
is a bad example. It takes
a long time to grow up, and seal
yourself off

so many things, uncomfortable
you don't know how
The children are vulnerable. Use them

to tell the world off when
it acts too adult. We will never be able to say
why. Uncomfortable facts, acts and ideas but

at least there is always
the children. We will do it for them,
and/or else if we don't, they might grow up knowing

and be able to say, and we
would look dumb, and scrunch up uncomfortable

unable to explain except don't ask it's rude
embarrassed by the only answer we were taught, looking
round for the children to rescue
us.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

love from who

stringless kite adrift
Wanting nothing in return,
and never to return,
like a freely-given gift

you've been secretly admired,
and so you trail along -
ever after under it, just
to spot some one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

the result

I love it when your lower legs are
suddenly itchy like bug bites despite
you've been wearing long pants
all day, and you'd been wearing shorts
all week before that with zero contact, and

the only place different you went was church

for your nephew's baptism, and
that

is not a buggy place. So

itching like crazy, you surreptitiously pull
your pants cuffs up to your knees and SCRATCH
SCRITCH SCRATCH, stymied by the seeming absence
of actual bites, and the more-or-less all-overness
of the itchiness, then

1 day later

there are what look like legit bug-bit welts, scattered all over,
and they end up with those tiny clear hard amberlike scabs.

I say I love it. I don't love all of it. I just love the scabs.
Those tiny clear hard amberlike scabs.

I love the end result.

Written instruction

A poem can be read
in many ways. Perfect
is only one of them.
I leave it to you,

the reader

to choose. Go back
to the start,
and try again

darkless

You brighten my life to such a degree
that I wonder sometimes how I used to see.

for reals

as the death toll mounts
on the internet, and around you
everyone in your social set
gets shares likes posts,
unfriends for keeps,

I can't believe you would say that
to me

your sheep

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

the spectacle

Poor thing. What a jolt
seeing this delivers.

Such a poignant moment
of piercing, heart-cut tragic
comeuppance – the slapdown we get

for trying to shine,

spotlit for our one too-brief moment
on a too-smooth stage. This

teaches each of us
everything we probably don’t want to know, about
ourselves and about each other. I applaud

the crowd at the end,
for applauding. It’s certain
that if I were there, I

would have burst into tears

the materials of vengeance

the materials of vengeance
are assembling within
you are ready
to take all
of the love you've ever given,
and repurpose it as grievance.
Which will clearly be your
right. Now,

bring down in fullest measure,

measured perfectly and fair,

an end to this fight.

to bear in mind

It's not my goal
as a poet to make your jaw
hang increasingly open,
your eyes sting from not
blinking and leave you after
fifty or so in a row
ready to chuck it in, shut
your machine down and turn
away, slouching off to lie
down crumpled up fetally
on the couch, never
to bother again.

Keep going!
Yours is as good as mine
on some scale, friend.

What you have to understand
is, people say everything's
relative. All values
are subjective, and
there are no absolutes. No
substitute for them,
either! - no reason
for you

to put value
judgments on yours, just
because of mine. However

you like it or don't,

that's totally fine.

so we've died

so we've died

and we never did do all that stuff
we would talk about for hours,

I guess

it was just too much, although

we could have done some of it,
at least

Life was full. Life was
sure full. And I can't
tell you that you, or you tell me
that I

failed, or I
wasted - or you did -

a moment, a year, a
lifetime of it. There

were all good ideas
and reasons and things
coming in and gone through, and we each
held the strings, and swung vines, and

grew wings -

so we've lived. And compared,
in a rush of what's new,
catching up since we last,

for as long as we do.

"Drink More Often"

There is a wall
between me, and what I feel
- it's high and it's wide
There's things about me
that you should know are real
- all on the other side
I could not break through or help you
climb over top
you thought I was uninvolved
but then, it just - dissolved

I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

I hate to think
of the opportunities
that I've let slip by
just because I could never
make you see
what was in my eyes
I know you're no mind-reader, and
hey, who is?
You thought I was a closed book
but now - it's open
take a look

I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

I know it isn't
the healthiest view on life
yeah, I'm aware of it
but darling if I lose you
'cause I can't speak up,
then life ain't worth
shit, I weave a curtain of words
to hide behind
- but they were just meaningless
until you unlocked my lips


I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

seven years

Met you seven years ago, today
we should've popped champagne
but how could we have known at the time?
who brings champagne to a thing

not normally commemorated by champagne. Such as
you know, meeting someone
soon-to-be very great, to be sure, but
you can't be sure
first-time meetings, you have no excuse

to be sure. Well, it's been
seven years, today since
you jumped
out of your seat,
seeing me looking confused
and removed all doubt.
And each year removes more
(as doubt does tend

to accumulate then,
and now). Seven years
such luck, still and soon
to be great - both of us should find
a broken mirror, and fix it

to celebrate

work bonsai

they say you should speak to a plant

and I try.
On phone calls, so no one
thinks of my sanity
too closely, and you know what
little tree? I think you help me
with my tone

I will turn my head, to you
breathe out

tiny tree,

set to the side of my desk, breathe in

frustration,
disbelief,
laughter that one doesn't cry,
and let

your little leaves exhale
as best they can,
given the light,

oxygen. And

I will turn you toward the sun,
give you water

I will turn you toward the sun,
give you water


each day I'm in
to take care of you.

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, if so

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?