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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

the comeback kid

final seconds tick
down to zero,

click

game over - or is...?

she's dropping back, kids!

it's a Hail Mary pass
a Baby Jesus football, caught
in the end zone, defenders
breaking down in tears

pandemonium

as the cheers
erupt
for the home team
Final Score -
- unbelievable!
Saints: 21
Sinners: 23

what an all-time upset

victory

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Death

Death
sometimes hurts,
sometimes, they don't
say

I don't want to know
either way

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The World Curved Wrong

prettytall
the sun set down
on a world curved wrong
the horizon buckled back
for one good look
at the colors and light
that faded from our faces
as a darkness rose up
from between blades of grass
the shadows climbed our legs
and reached from low to higher
places. But before the end, I guess
we had one hell
of a time in heaven
and that was the last
that there was.

no further lessons to learn

but one.

I Drop Rhymes

I drop rhymes
like a watch ticks times
like a clock tocks hickory docks and then chimes
I drop rhymes
like Mama Jong drops tiles
and I gots more styles than a model's got smiles

black, and red

black,
and the night
are not owned by the dark
there is glorious light
that pervades every heart
on a frequency past
what our searching eyes see
still our searching hearts fill with it,
luminously

red,
and our blood
are not ruled by the blade
are not bound by the cruel
not by violence enslaved
for blood's strength is in life
not in spills, but in flows
in its unspoiled bloom
on your cheek,
like a rose

Monday, December 14, 2009

from venus

There will come a point when you will just give up.

And then, there will come a point when you will
believe
again

in defiance of all that you told yourself,
your hysterical vows,
your infinity-dog dares
to do without

to say to love:
"go screw"

and you, a foolish shoo-fly sap
drawn down the lip of that needle-toothed trap
once again, you fall in
and it's

sweeter than it's ever been

as you willingly dissolve

into him

Sunday, December 13, 2009

karma's bullshit

bad things happen
to everyone, eventually
even assholes

and the fact he got his
has nothing to do
with how many times he gave you yours
and laughed, walking off

unpunished

he remains unpunished

had he treated you well,
like a saint, this would still
have happened anyway, to him
the same exact way
- or something worse
eventually

and so he remains, unpunished

and in that same period of time
you collected twenty comeuppances
you did not deserve, while he waltzed free

is that your cosmic balance?
what a shit head.

and he'll waltz on from this, too
while you curse and wait for worse
to befall

all it does
is make your soul mean, and small
to sit around waiting for it
and then crow
when it comes

the size of your soul, now:

there's your karma

my problems

my problems accumulate in private
then I work them out
right here in public

right here in these poems
where you can smell it

"hey, what about those problems, Joe?
that you were talking about?"

Well, you know
sometimes I feel sort of
wrong place-y

and other times "is this
skin mine?"

and then I might wonder
"HEY! What's going on?"

but for every damn problem I have:
a poem

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the rosary

we pray to thee
to take this prayer,
so round, and small
and hard, we've squeezed
with fingers white
and all our might
which isn't much

another bead

like days slide by
so full of grace,
we fail and try
to know our place
and oh, our father,
glory be

please string this out
another decade more
or so,

to live to see

another
sorrowful
mystery

if you care

if you care,
I don't know why
you care

if you love me, I know
you do
but I don't know why,
I swear

I'm not worth much
but I am worth love
I'm not worth much
but I was worth more
than what

this was

not that into that band anymore

I guess you're not into that band
anymore, that you recommended.
Not into their new stuff

it's a shame, it's good

no, not a shame for you
you had them when
they turned days into
anticipation for you, and nights
into eternities,
straight into your memory
for forever, at their best

well a band like that, that
can capture the moment, can
be perfect
on the night
- a band like that, will
never be as good again
in anything they do

especially if it's different

until they can do it again.

Hey

would you like to go see

a show?

Friday, December 11, 2009

superbia

alarmed
by the middle-class plastic swell
that budded, split and swarmed
suddenly into bulging pods and forms
identical in all but their designer colors,
the trees shrank back toward the hills
that were themselves soon infiltrated
by an unchecked growth

larger,
square, tall,
and with tall, squared, staring eyes
lit from within by hardwood paneling
and framed original art, the ridge-line
sprouted fat blocky towers and undulating,
smooth-stone walls, defined lawns and gardens,
with here and there nests of round stones like eggs,
selected for their large size, pleasing shape
and harmonious color. Here and there, trees
brought in singly from elsewhere, planted
in place full-grown already,
sending forth self-satisfied sap and pollen
the bees and hummingbirds love

the old trees stood
wherever they were left,
and grew,

sad

Thursday, December 10, 2009

an award

I wish you saw how I see you
wish you knew how much I
wish I could

I want to give you an award
for everything that you meant
but it wouldn't mean much
to you

nothing means the world to me now
nothing means the world to me now

but you showed me what it could mean,
though

and so I give you this,
award

for a lifetime achievement

or at least,

that's what I would

have
thought

and under the tree...!

she was wearing a scarf,
and a hat, and mittens
and bootie socks
and that was it! Oh,
and a ribbon
with a bow upon
right about where you'd think
the adhesive might smart

but the knock on the door
- "Come right in!" she calls out
as her big brassy smile
falls crash from her mouth
"Oops! Wait! I'm getting dressed -"
it isn't who she expects
well it serves her right! Really!
What an impudent tart.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Trying Mountains On For Size (early draft)

dibs on this as a poem title!!

terra cotta

we seem too deep
to be reached
and when the thoughts
seep through, through the sponge
to the cracks
and in drips and drabs
they collect in the pan
beneath,
well, it's nearly brim
-full
now

we will have to pull
and switch it out
for a new, and empty
tray

and set the old one
out to harden

like

clay

I'm there

I've got a standing rendezvous
with destiny and she
always stands me up

no that's ok, that's ok
no problem

so I'll see you next week huh
destiny? yeah, pencil it in
next time for sure

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

hearts that melt

hearts that melt
need heart-shaped molds
to freeze them up again
or else

you wouldn't know
they're hearts at all
just dark red puddles
drying out

Monday, December 07, 2009

the convenience of winter

ah, the convenience of winter!
easy to open, in the convenient pop
top. Ice and snow: galore! And you'll
have a capade or two of your own, in these
stellar rubber boots and this all-over sleek
down-padded winterized rubberized vulcanized
thermal-insulated snowsuit with inner moisture-wick
and convection-assist! Slide-plow down mountains of white
slipping, sprawling, falling forward and glide for tens of feet!
your face chafes red with cheer and your hands,
fully-begloved, nevertheless do freeze quite through
and you must pound them against objects, hard, to restore
feeling and tingling vigor to tips of fingers. Oh! The fun
you'll have as you scrape and chip ice from necessary surfaces!
Push and plow open-topped tunnels out, so that others may walk,
dig out your car so that some other son of a bitch
can be parked in the hole you made,

so cozy

when you get home

Sunday, December 06, 2009

concrete circle, driftwood, sand

I want to affectionately tousle her hair
with my lips and chin and kiss, and this
is not all I want to do

but it's a start,

hearts in worlds of their own, apart
but adjacent - the universe next door
takes fire and wing, we watch the blaze
whisper, hiss, sing

as my arms, in fleece, encircle her.
our faces forward, eyes alight
the dancing fire we face breaks wood
and cracks its walls and crisps its grain
to ash, and dust, and flame
and night

tomorrow the smoke
will be on our clothes
and in her hair

the fire will be
- where?

Saturday, December 05, 2009

my inner kirk


My inner Spock said
phasers on kill
My inner Kirk said
fire at will
My inner Sulu said
your shields gave in
My inner Bones said
HE'S DEAD JIM

Friday, December 04, 2009

curved back

straight
and far
along a line
that's drawn across
the furthest distance between two points
that I can find

away from you

but curved
and bound
by circles, weights
and gravities that bend our shapes
right back into

Sunday, November 29, 2009

yesterday was a summer month

yesterday was a summer month
tomorrow will be spring again
today we drive 'round back behind
the dark side of our time
we spend in mourning, slow
alone, consoled, each cling
to each, we hold the road
and hold to some remembered sun
we're driving for and driving on
I want to spend our time like this
the bad as well as good, the strong
wells forth from us, though we grow weak
we each enfold the other's dawn
and as the cold and bitter night
so winter-long, slips into gray
the grass awakes,
is turning green
is growing long
and we are day

Saturday, November 28, 2009

uninformed

I knew the things you told me of
after you told me,
I knew my mistake
but you did not scold me for it,
though. I have been
uninformed,
slowly,
by time and weight
and drape and fade
in space,
form made unformed
shapelessness made
out of what I'd been so sure
I surely knew

and memory folds
its pure and crystal shape
and weight unchanged, it
holds its sharp place
grows strange
where I can't get it
or get at it, at all
and all I know
is that I was once more true,

I was truer to me
in that one remembered moment, then
than I feel I will ever
be now

or again

the circus was awful

it smelled bad
from exotic animal
shit, and the clowns
seemed like the kids
who thought they were
class clowns, but
really weren't. One
threw a bucket of
"water" right at me
and laughed - square confetti,
square in the face, and paper-sharp
one corner got my eye,
but I was not going to let that bastard
see me cry
or react
or see that he got me
I kept my smile
painted on better than his
and tried to look past him
I tried to pay attention
to all the boring shit
going on in the other
circles - three rings
of in-between acts.
But the acts themselves
interrupted nothing

I lied
the circus was not
awful

I never got to go

Thursday, November 26, 2009

our plans for next year

we knew what we'd be doing,
already ago
it was stupid to drive
all that way in one day
and then back, just to work
we decided we'd take
Friday off, and we'd book ourselves in
at our favorite place
up the coast
and use that as our base
for a much shorter skip
to the holiday bash
and then perfect,
skip back
just together
just us
perfect plans
have a way of not
coming to
pass

Monday, November 23, 2009

circles around you

my tide circles round you
you don't even know
that it's me who is pulling
the ebb and the flow
rushing in 'round your edges
as I circle round
and retreat, rushing back
when I set, sinking down
no you've centered your orbit
on your shining star,
it blinds you with daylight
burns sky, and your eyes
with a fiery blue
that leaves me wan and pale,
but as night falls I rise
and I shine over you
in my light, you are cooled
in my tide,
so high
I renew
I am full
I will rise
without fail

Sunday, November 22, 2009

blackmail

there wasn't much dry land left
once humanity's best
had finished crying their tears

over what we had lost,
the once hard-won cause
that no one ever thought

- not in worst-case guess,
not in wildest fears,
could we have ever foreseen this cost

but we have paid it

off

Saturday, November 21, 2009

visiting hours

visiting hours
come round to call
with smiles, paper-thin
but they can't stay long

no they must go, soon
now, they must go, then
all these hours, passing through
as
you -
bent,
broke,

- mend

Friday, November 20, 2009

it's getting so

it's getting so
I don't remember when
I knew when I was right
it's getting so I
can't see why I thought
I was someone to like.

it's getting so I can't
believe I'll ever feel
that way again
it's getting so the worst
is the part I can't forget
it's getting so, but

it's not there yet

one foot wrong

you have to have faith before
the water holds weight
stretches taut underfoot
pulls firm, takes shape
of a wave-shaped floor
moving under as you stroll
baby, miracle or not - you need
to balance your roll

because one foot wrong
is all it takes to slip slide
let your gravity glide
off its center, good-bye!

because the faith that it takes
to walk tall, and stand proud
on the surface of a lake
without a ripple of doubt -

well, that's a piece of cake compared
to keeping your faith in place
- to keep the miracle intact
while falling flat on your face

bright side blind

she casts a blue shadow
in a black & white world
while the gray sun shines
in a disc overhead
that burns into her eyes
as they close, tears roll
down her face, smiling wide
'til the circle grows cold

what harmony

we sang
heads together
pretending there's a microphone

we sang
heads together
into the same microphone

what harmony
then
what harmony
then
we had

we paused
heads together
for breath

and lunged
once more
unto death

what harmony
then

we had

purpose
like a laser,
focus
heat

and

we sang
heads together

what harmony

sweet

we had

Thursday, November 19, 2009

someone to live for

I miss having someone to live for
I've got myself, I guess but then
I already had myself

those stakes are pretty low
I can't lose myself
at least not alone

I miss having someone to lose myself
in

I miss having someone to give myself
to

and hold nothing back
and have nothing left
in reserve

I miss having someone to live for
but

it's so much better than having to live for
you

and everything you deserve

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

the lost ring

the happenstance was happened out
what's left to tell, there wasn't much
while each of us from backs were turned
you cut long cotton swathes, and such
to kiss-cure fingertips I burned
while fingering the metal ring
that glinted between boiler plates
I couldn't quite get at the thing
we don't know when it fell between
or whether gold or brass or steel
when it cools down, we'll prize it loose
and light will tell, and darkness yield

paranoia fail

"When was the last time you stopped
to pick up a hitchhiker?" she asked
"I never have done did that shit," I replied. "You know why?
Because there is a subculture of people,
who wait by the roadside
to murder me. Specifically,
me."

"So,"
"why'd you stop this time?"
she asked,

with a suspicious rise
in her eyebrows
in her voice
inflected,
in her pulse
in her smile
in her eyes

and I had no choice but to realize

dammit

she was one of them!

(sighs)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

with time to spare

I want to live
with time to spare
to have a chance
to catch a breath, not
just to breathe, for oxygen
I need to taste and hold
the air

and so I go
to do just that
but I'll be back
before you know
or wonder why

when time has passed,
there's always time
to catch us up
however fast
we fly

the Empress of Forbidden Realms

The Empress of Forbidden Realms
extends the invitation call
to cavaliers and hero-kings,
to jesters, rogues, and pirates all

each dashing, strapping man and lad,
to come to the Engagement Ball
to dance, and woo, and win her hand
- and who would fail to heed that call?

They set their shoulders, gird their loins
to set off on the grueling quest
across the Razor Mountains climb,
or brave the Fens of Suddendeth

From every compass point they come,
from every land within her sway.
Planned far out in advance, well-planned.
They've all been living for this day:

provisions measured, routes mapped out
retainers put on notice, steeds
and ships and carriages, balloons
by every means, the call they heed.

Down highways, waves and skies they throng
- each suitor is the only one.
In each stout heart and mind, one thought:
"My life for her, or I'll have none!"

So each by each, along the way,
by different roads and ways they fall:
One struck blind by zealot's curse.
One wakes legless - witch's thrall!

One lost deep in Endless Dell,
one drowned in enchanted well,
one well-gnawed by trollish maw,
one struck down by Baron Kra!

The Empress waits, on bended throne.
Her distant palace fenced by threats
and dangers, ringed by heroes' bones
if none get through,
she'll dance alone.

She'll dance alone

bless and keep

go soft my dear
please don't forget
the way we met
the way we loved
the way we left
and why

God bless and keep
you in good health
until you die,

and far away
from me

I can't let anyone win

I can't let anyone win
if they're wrong!

that's just betrayal of truth
to let it slide
I have to put it in the best way
I know how to prove

I have to step back and dispassionate,
cut through the roof
and let in the light
and the reason
why

or if need be, let in the rain
as well, to pour down drenching
and cleansing the smell

of their b.s. point
or whatever they say

it's no favor for them
to keep thinking that way!

A Poet In Every Line

I've a decided knack for the epic gesture
I've stood on Cliff, howling through my teeth
at Gayle, with defiance in every line of my mien
and bluster and beck at my call and command

but truly, it is the quiet triumphs

that demean

not settle

I won't settle for less
than a woman who's more
than I deserve

I deserve at least that much
and so does she, in fact
I'm not sure how

it sounds like the math
might not work out,

but I have a feeling, with her
she has a feeling, with me
that with each other, we'd each

be worth

exponentially

the sky is over

the sky is all over the world at once
but we rarely if ever get to see the same one

yours may be darker, much sooner than mine
and the clouds that I see, will be gone by your time

we live under shifting gigantic landscapes
that ought to be famous, named for explorers

if each giant feature were rock, not cloud
but they'd plummet straight down, then

or else, they'd just bore us.

source of this problem

the source of this problem
can't be traced to the stars
no no matter how hard
you try

it's not heaven above put this string
round your wrist,
that's lifting your hand
with dagger
in fist

but you look in my eyes
as by angels possessed
oh,
you must strike me down
it's your fate
you've been blessed

she eats the world alive

she eats the world alive
and me in it,

and grows to fill the sky
and me beneath

and all the while she's right
and I'm beside her

as she moves on to where,
I want to be

a bad man in sunglasses

I'm a bad man in sunglasses
but I took 'em off to see
if I could make a difference

night and day

hate works in ways

hate works in ways both invisible
and soundless
it carries through space
radiates through the earth
some claim to insulate, using
lead or gold or papier-mâché
these claims are groundless
for the hate beats through
on a wavelength tuned
to a harmonious chord
as we dip and sway
for all that we're worth
and for all that we're not
we'll make them
pay

unanimous

we are unanimous,
with one abstention
but I'll count you twice,
as I've always done

with you
in my life, I

can't even start
to count where my blessings left off

this time,

I can't even start

you've
- never been closer!
I'm
- drifting apart

deepest

I swam out of my depth
and dove deep into yours

and the water was clear
green blue, shot through

with gold
summer blinding
sun - far aloft,

fractured into wavering
fragments soft
way over my head

I am in your depth

you couldn't teach me how to swim
but I'm holding my breath

recur

I dreamed of you
three nights running
never before, and
never since
and each dream was
more upsetting than the last
I have to learn to put dreams
behind me,
past

to respectable

inching back up to respectable
in nobody's eyes but mine
but those are the ones that matter
I can't wait to move on
and leave all this criticism behind

a sucker of some kind

I'ma sucka of some kind, I know
I train beats to chug a lug along
I teach words to flow
do I get respect for it? no
but that's not what it's for
oh

I don't do it for the show
or the glory I just do it for the
fact that I do it
so well
so I do it for the

um

do it for the

hell

Dearest Sia,

you got me kickin' imaginary kittens
you got me solvin' imaginary problems
you got me putting my clean dishes in the dryer
walk away from me, wait walk away from me, lover
you got me knitting imaginary mittens
you got me losing imaginary marbles
you got me turning all my rights to the left
lickin' imaginary envelopes,
pushing imaginary personal bests
scratching imaginary itches as
the cellophane clings to my face
it twitches

saying so

thank you for saying so
thank you for lying
thank you for telling me
what I just meant
your efforts weren't wasted
they're touching, you touched me
appreciate muchly
thanks, try again

Friday, November 13, 2009

Discreet No Perciption

your girl told me,
the action
in the room
is lacking one thing:
only with a monster
in your pants
to make her shout!
out high marks for you
as a lover, you need one

she will tell her friends

reaching

I'm going to keep it up,
one a day or so, until
I've more-or-less cleared
the decks of old dreams.

Something poetic about
more-or-less clearing
the decks of old dreams.
I'll paste that in my poetry blog
'Drafts'
for later expansion!

dilemma!

I like to keep my head in every crisis
but I've only got one head
and there's way too many crises

edited to fit your

Overpunctuation is an old sin of mine
I stick my semicolons where the sun don't shine
and as an editor, hell, don't make me laugh!
I can't wait to shoot my sweet load of squiggly exclamation points
into your tightly composed
paragraph

death makes love look desperate

death makes love look desperate,
vain,

but darling: love is stronger

death can only stop the heart
no further pain

but death of love can make
every beat kill
anew, kill
again

and life without love: a walking,
daily death

but life with love:
I wish I knew

trouble

trouble
for the soul, is good
they say
but who says that?
Cui bono, eh?

ug ug ug

my feelings, once removed, don't work
they have to be all plugged in snug
with juice switched on or they're inert
and useless

give me kiss and hug

a longer hike

Godspeed ye, sir
upon your path
with forward eyes
and steady gait

into a tunnel, broken
ceiling, blue between
the interlace

of green and grey
and black and brown -
and dun, the dusty floor
beneath

no olden king
had such a hall, no tapestry
for walls like these.
no ornament but your own gaze
to hang upon
each thing it sees

look deeply left and deeply right
and deeply up
- and what you've seen,
let deeply in,
to settle on
to contemplate in time serene

such time as is unfolding
now
and always has; the difference
is now you are immersed in it
it lives in you
a perfect fit

The Big Bourgeois

Le Big Bourgeois said "la di dah"
as he, serene, surveyed domains
on paper, rich
in paper
rich in fiction
his dominion,
reign, and
hegemony
based in truth
agreed-upon by
common cause, made
sweet with just a ton of greed
to make the medicine go
down plausibly
to the bottom
of the common good
the common well,
well who should know?
Know better than The Big Bourgeois
- just look at where it got him!
Hell,
if think you can do better -

he'd like to see
you try.

When the world was enormous,

When the world was enormous,
we looked up at it all
and we walked under tables, then later,
we'd crawl - but the world kept on shrinking, and
now
it's too small
all the best hiding places are gone.

When the world was amazing,
you'd gape and ask "Why?"
and the answers and reasons for asking flew by
as eventually you
grew
believing you knew
and
you didn't.

but neither did I

spurn, spurn, spurn

Some fucking love ours turned out to be
you and me both hitting our marks with scorn
turning on dimes
redefining the argument
tossing back our manes of shiny, flowing hair
fixing our makeup as if to say:
See What You Can't Have, Mister Eight-Inches!!

can't describe

Can't describe the sin
without the sign
or the place
without the time
you've got a chain
around my neck
and hanging down from it:
a chime
and it rings as clear as call
do your ears prick up at all?
does it ring within your ribs
does your heart vibrate to this?
like my teeth vibrate and grind
'cause I've got you in my mind

dainty, trembling and moist

A dainty thing!
Yes. Dainty.
It's moist,
and it trembles.

Do you know what it is?
NO! YOU DON'T!

You've just got a SICK MIND.

I don't have a sick mind.

In fact, I have no idea what it is.

But it sure is dainty, whatever it is.

Oh wait.

Perhaps it's this poem.

presentation

I stood to stand

for righteous cause

my point was made

I think it was

before I spoke, my

face spoke first

the room shut up

oh, wait
the worst

and I drew down

the veil of tears

revealed success

expecting cheers!

I clinched my pitch

with wit and balls

an awkward pause

polite applause

partly

you left me feeling like a branch with its tree cut off
like the leg left over from the operation,
like the missing friend, of the one working lung
now sew it all together, and call it:
done

lantern light

you're nice
but not enough
for those who seem to seek
by a light you can't see
and they call in the dark,
- to your eyes, dark
and you answer back
but
they don't answer back

you've sworn an oath
to stay as good
you have tried to keep
but you know it's done
how long can you be
true to the person you
are
not
now

if there was someone

if there could be light
to re-tune your eyes,
can blind faith be seen by
those who had always chosen
to know?

to know for sure.

To step into air,
pretending ground
to navigate darkened rooms by touch
telling all who can see,
"I know this much:

I cannot explain,
this light that I see
but it lights my way

as I fall

for thee


...?"

is yes

the answer is yes
it's always yes
the question was crafted
deliberately so

it wasn't rhetorical, no
it demanded an answer be made
but it wasn't a guess

take the river home

the long way back,
would be the trail
it's nice at night
but if you're smart -
on a night like this,
with the moon half out
playing house with clouds
while the trees make sounds
imitating birds that don't even come
this far South,

you'll take the river home
take the river home
the river home

don't look back to the land
with a river this wide,
you can close your eyes
lay back on the rounded
lincoln-log planks
of the raft I made
with my own two hands
that I won't need back

no I know, my friend
we won't see you back
but remember us, dear
feel just a little lack
in your life, as you
don't look back

years from now, you
will push off from land
on a raft you built
with your own two hands

but for now my love,
you'll take the river home
take the river home
the river home

unretouched

unretouched
but not untouched
I love the weird feel
when I back my brain up
grinding gears in reverse
to retrieve that last thought
that I needed so much, I
forgot

unrehearsed, my memory is
making it up as my mind travels back
back me up on this, please
did it happen like that?

I Love Jess Lane

I love Jess Lane,
I don't mean that in a way
that my sweetheart need be concerned about, though
I know
Jess Lane
may not be famous enough
to technically be exempt under the star-crush rule,
but she will be, though.
I know that much,
and I'll be there in line,
waving photo and pen,
saying "Jess, you done fine
- and would you sign this
'With Love,'" - I know you aren't
too impressed
with irony
who would be?

which is why I asked

with my dog-beg eyes

how do you tell a girl she looks like Lauren Bacall

how do you tell a girl she looks like Lauren Bacall
without seeming like coming on too strong, too far
without seeming like you fancy yourself a Bogart type,
without throwing in a quote from the wrong movie -
"Here's looking at you," - idiot! That was Casablanca
How do you tell a girl she looks like Lauren Bacall
without her getting the wrong idea? Without knowing yourself
what the right idea is? How do you tell a girl
she looks like Lauren Bacall,
when she doesn't
particularly

hooked in

your kiss downloads my soul
into you,
I'm left
with what seems to be
an imperfect copy
corrupted,
possibly
I'm running a scan
it feels far too good
to be who I am

haiku smackdown #8B: alternate bonus version for freaks who pronounce the adjective "separate" with 3 syllables

bounded by fate, and
separate skin, walled off by
in - a cut too thin

haiku smackdown #8A

bounded each by fate,
and separate skin, walled off by
in - a cut too thin

We Surfers Who Golf

pebble beach, man
overrated? So's life
check the slice
Like a long, sliding glide
caught the lip of an invisible
wave of wind, bring it back in
and

shit

that's all green,
man!

this

is why we live in California, right? Some days
paddling out, it's not even sun
yet

some nights, you're not even done
yet

you get set
for the next set
going by the sound

incoming

Thursday, November 12, 2009

please

please

Darling, baby, let's go away.
Let's travel the world, let's stand
wordlessly together
in front of the most beautiful place
on earth,
and then the next most beautiful,
right straight down the list.
I want to sit
in planes,
as you look down at clouds
I want to squeeze your hand
and jump from train to train, squeeze
into sleeping compartments,
with you. We fit like a pair of gloves
and at every destination - places
we've never been, that we will take
in with our breath, and our eyes -
I will stand by your side, and that
is the source
of the love
of my life.
Just to see the wonder play
across the most beautiful face.

If I'm standing next to you,
I'm not looking at the view.

the blackest cat

the black cat crossed
an infinite path
nine times, at least
around the earth

you can't escape

on everlast
your bad luck streak
for all its worth

tired

tired

so tired
I wish someone would lullaby me
somebody lullaby me
somebody

just hit a wall of tired, and
I don't know how to pass
through it, except by
giving in

but sleep without
you

I can't
get rest from that,
darling

so, softly sing

haiku smackdown #7

to do it proper,
I have to lean all the way
back and look straight up

haiku smackdown #6

in youth, he misled
his life - days uncounted, and
lines unsyllabled

haiku smackdown #5

break rules - no O.K.!
joke about breaking rules - fine
call haiku police

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

the Image Problem

let's face it, we're all concerned about
the Image Problem
let's fact it, the public's perception
is off
from where it needs to be
but how to convince?
We must be convincing.
In order to convince,
we must be convincing.
And there's the rub:
the persistent persistence
of the Image Problem.
It is an outdated,
inaccurate
- but how can we stop it?
That's the problem, there is no
use denying! We
know it's wrong. The public,
if they are honest,
also know it's wrong.

The public isn't honest.
That's the problem. We
must be convincing. Or,
we must be
creative?

Perhaps,

the Image Problem

can be turned in our favor?

haiku smackdown #4

A haiku rebel
he lived to break all the rules
one by one by one

haiku smackdown #3

ready for sexy
time for sweet syllable funk
I love you, haiku

haiku smackdown #2

after war is hell,
diplomats stride forth to forge
a purgatory

haiku smackdown #1

weapon choice - haiku
we chose freely: to the death
weep not! It was brief

process optimization is an ongoing goal of ours

it's good to give a good look
to "how we've been doing it"
from time to time, and
this will be the perfect
chance for everybody
to take a breath, raise
their gaze above the day-to-day
review/reconnect/reinforce the way
we're doing it and why
(and as ideas arise,
revise!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

death by everything about you

death by the slow accumulation of wounds
death by the sound of a trumpet's call
death by the hiss of rustling grass
death by a scent that takes you back
that fills your lungs like mustard gas
with a pain too beautiful to last
let it pass, oh God, let it pass
life wasn't meant
to go that fast

how did you two meet?

how did you two meet?
well funny story, we
I was working as a
she thought I was a
she was running late for
got our cars confused
we almost missed our chance
to take an art school night class
by a traveling internet salesman
the dog seemed to know right away
but she took mine accidentally!
the delivery was actually for someone else
the prescription label seemed a little odd
and there she was, the most beautiful
I spilled my hot coffee all over my
it was a mutual stranger's party and
suddenly, both of our clothes
waiting at the courthouse forever
the song was one we both loved
luckily, we each realized instantly
there wasn't a thing we could say to
well, what would you have done?
right there, in front of everybody!

marble island

we were right on time
it was just too late

the ship sailed early
we couldn't wait
for the next one
no, we couldn't wait
for the next

it was a beautiful day
just a light grey chop
and the spray felt fine
so we both dove in
and swam

we couldn't wait
for the next one
no, we couldn't wait
for the next

we didn't know our strength
and it flagged too soon
we were saved by an island
at the less-than-halfway mark

we dragged ourselves ashore
it was barren, white, gleaming
and dull in the lowering dark

the day moved on
and we couldn't wait
for the next one
no, we couldn't wait
for the next

we awoke and saw
surrounded by stones
we couldn't tell which
way we had come
or in which direction we
should
proceed
slightly less-than-halfway
across the sea
we decided to stay
and work the stone

well, we ruined our first
and we couldn't wait
for the next one
no, we couldn't wait
for the next

stranded on a marble island
you and I making statues
to pass the time,
to stand for time
our craft improved
with patience and grace
'til the island was alive
with your laughing face
and my tender smile
hard, frozen in marble
we sculpted each other
all over the isle
we sculpted each other a hundred times
alone, or embraced, or
in pieces, lying
some without arms, as if
ancient, ruined
others so seeming alive
we could move
some dancing, but frozen in step
some wept
on each others' shoulders
snug deep into boulders
we smoothed into blankets and pillows
so soft
(to look at)

we never slept,

never touched,

never talked.

That life was over

and we couldn't wait
for the next one
no,

we couldn't wait
for the next

Monday, November 09, 2009

on our forthcoming and inevitable reckoning

darling, at some point, you and I
are going to have a reckoning
and at that point, I
am going to have a reckoning with you
and you
are going to have a reckoning with me
but until that point,
there will be no reckoning
with us

the trouble with what

the trouble with what you're trying to say
is I think I see where you're going with it
and I'll get out ahead, building bridges and roads
then you'll take a left turn and
away you go!

reconcile?

a year of healing
down the drain
but I don't mind
I missed this pain

lately my favorite combination

lately my favorite combination is
sausage,
artichoke heart
and kalamata olives.
Now that's good eating, from Tony N' Alba's!
I admit these California places
they know how to top
with fresh quality goods
that go some way to make up
for the fact that at the base

- well. You would never want a plain
large cheese from them.
Such as would drive your mouth wild
in Jersey, say at Pizza Palace
or di Roma
or Enzo's -

these toppings are bomba!

the pizza's okay,
though

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Carnival

the wolf and lion circle / sniff
the man and shark rub elbows / fins
the fox and woman trade sly tales
at peace until the fun begins
a change in wind, from miles off
makes noses rise in unison
the fairground waits
in restless rest
as hosts await
invited guests

the light from the windows is all that you have

so these are the sorts of dreams you forget
not the ones that sear into the rest of your life
and make it unbearable, the farther you get
from making them real, from making it right
no, these are the ones that fade as you wake
and the light from the windows is all that you have
and there's no need to pinch, just yawn, maybe stretch
and the tear in your right eye

dries
unwept

drop me a line

drop me a line when you're on the way down
'cause I'll come pick you up wherever you land
and I'll take your hand, and fate
in hand, we can both decide
everything then

you've been like a fixed star, in my starry eyes
as I hoped and I prayed you to meteor
it's not that I wanted you so far to fall
I would cover the whole earth to catch you, though

so if you start to drop while my eyes are down
just call out - I'll dive flashing under your fall,
catch you in my arms, and take fate
in hand, we can both decide
everything then

with heart in throat

with heart in throat
you swallow down
and lick your lips
"dessert please now?"

Saturday, November 07, 2009

cloudjumper

don't hang that halo 'round my neck
and push me off my cloud
unless
you care to hold my hand
the whole way screaming down

my first-class wings are in the shop
they never fit no how
I thought, "maybe I'll flap my arms?" and then it hit me
- pow

it's better to be an optimist

it's better to be an optimist
than to be pissed on, kissed
by snakes' lips, fitted with irons
and twisted into broken shapes
by a machine that was neither built
nor designed, by a life that is not hard,
so much as deathly kind
as it takes what you have to offer,
thanks you,
and stores it where it will do the most
good:
crushed flat between forces
that never once even knew you
could possibly exist
before they crushed.

believe you me,

trust: it's better to be

an optimist

than to have a gun
go off in your hand,
aimed at everything fragile you
once loved,

it is better to be -

than to prove
yourself wrong, by trying as hard
as you could

and fail,

- an optimist,

than to know that at last

and at least

(and alas)

you were right

Lucky

And I am in love
and will always be
and I hope she knows
what to me - it means

I will always be
and oh yes: this sticks.
it is sparkling,
clouds-broken open,
sun-streaming-down in fits
of rain-kissed rays,

a hope against hope
when all is forsaken,
come circling back,
and around, and
amazed.

Babe,

you know what it means to me.

Friday, November 06, 2009

soul gardening

It's time to tend
your soul garden
for weeds have crept
between the rows
of tender, needy
vegetables

I know your weeds
are beautiful

but you must pull
them, roots and all
to let the herbs
and legumes breathe
and fruits of vines
and leafy greens
dig over there!

to plant the weeds

Poetry OK

poems, ok
Poetry!
I awesome at it!
it a poem, it sits there - poem
before I even write it!

it waits itself,
a poem

later, I say "OK! TIME"

Then I awesome the poem into it,
no chance to not now
too late - I forever that poem, it
makes itself a thing
into this world

over me, because I

me, poems, I

= awesome.

nobody

EVER

says thanks

Directions for Use: Early Autumn

Go outside.

Stand directly.

under a tall tree, with back and neck

pressed rough to the trunk.



Look straight up.



crane your neck back, kinda

"wig out"

once you get your eyes

focused freely.

Up, out and into
the wind-shifted patterns

of stiff-swayed branch,

and dry-fluttered leaf

come together and between

where the pierced bright blue bites, brilliant sky

seen in kaleidoscope through

one million shifting, contracting gaps

in a twinkling field of red, yellow, brown,

black blotched, edges blur,

hung on interlaced lines, traced in grays

and greens

bounding space, light, shadow,

blood, breath and steam


Ponder


the intricacies of nature
and the interconnectedness of things.

Close your eyes.

Clear your mind.

Say to yourself, out loud, three times:

"There's no place like home."



Open your eyes.


And

in the instant the light
floods back in
from red to white:

Hold the thought that is in your mind.

Turn it over
and contemplate it.

Walk forward, breathing in time
with your even steps.
Keep the thought you have held,
and continue
turning it over in your mind.
If you can, turn it over,

with your hands,

- as you walk.



Stop walking.

Turn back.

See the whole tree.

Regard the tree.

Witness the tree,

which even now
is eating the air that you breathed out,
while you stood beneath it,

breathing.

Look at the tree. Hold the thought
you have in your mind.
Hold the tree,
as well.



(optional step) Say something to the tree.



What you choose to say


is between you
and the tree.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

tribute

Of all of the parents
I have ever had,
I would have to say
I am least like Dad.
But don't call me a Momma's
boy, though, there, SON.
'Cause I'd have to lay you out
for the connotation!

sunrise optimists

the day awakes in gentle splendor
teases us with rosy tint
in sunrise skies, our eyes are held
our hopes are held aloft, by hint
of limpid possibilities
so clear we see, through obstacles
by dint of will and strength, we know
we will win though
our day is full

mercifully untitled

I knew a man named William Dung
who moved to Rome to settle down
they made of him a citizen
he was young then, he is grown now.
It was a rite of passage, and
a long, hard road, to settle in -
but by now he feels quite at home.
He wrote a book:

BILDUNGSROMAN

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Poetry Is Secretly

A poem is a way of saying in words
what people don't normally say in words, but
put
so to emphasize style and art
- draw attention towards form,
then sneak feelings
to heart

Because if I say to you, "Darling,
I love:
your magnificent mind
your eyes are like topaz,
your blush is like wine,
your hair is like spun pearl,
dark lustrously-hued," you'd say

"People don't talk that way
- pretty gay, dude."

my life as a beach inspector

I'm here on the official sand dune
looking out at the official ocean
I've been inspecting the beach grass
to make sure it meets the public's needs
their legs must always be lashed just so
as the official sun comes up,
sometime I wonder
why does everything have to be so damn official?
but it's no use to wonder
when it is.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

blessed descent

love falls forever,
and far. So far

and an instant is all
that it takes
to start

but an instant is all
that it takes to hit
hard

if you've hit hard enough
you might break a few parts

I've hit hard enough
so many times in my life
I look down at the ground
now
to watch it arrive
but all I see is blue
- am I too far up high?
I can't even see mountains
or oceans
just sky
both below and above
and a great rushing wind
and my face can't get rid of
this idiot grin

fragme

there's a new kind of
but there's another
and it doesn't really
so if you tried to

at least it isn't
you might think so
too many times we
next one over

and we're invited
something to make it
if you say so
the basic fact of taking

we have no more
left

make it to Vegas

we never did make it to Vegas
like we always talked about as a joke
for me at least, it was always a joke
but I like jokes, though

I would have liked to go
as a joke
on you and me,
and we sure would have laughed
up a storm as the dry heat and towering sky
walked past
on lightning legs
shedding not one drop
upon the gravel, for us
peals of thunder on dust
like echoing laughter

at judgments
unjust

Monday, November 02, 2009

Read It Out Loud, You Son of a Bitch!

You think I wrote this poem
to be read in your head? Silently,
like some novel or nonfiction
history of dead
prose? Hell,

No! A poem must be read
- and that means Out Loud! -
for it to breathe, and take shape,
for the rhythm to ground its electric pulse
in the thrum of your throat, as your voice box
beats out its tempo
- don't choke!

Keep a glass of water by,
and if you need to, pause. But if you
screw up a line, don't cheat just because

there's no one else listening. You're cheating yourself!
Don't just back up one line, and "excuse-me, well,
I'll just take it from here" - that's no way to read!

Go straight back to the start, and go again,
half-speed! Don't rush it, don't force, just
e-NUN-ci-ate,
now
roll your exquisite tongue around rich, plummy vowels
and let consonants cut, chop the meaning to bits
that make mouth-watering sense, and it fits, oh it fits

or proceed as if,
'til it gets to the end
for the sound can make sense - if you read it,
friend!

it's the little things

it's the little things
about her that I love
the very little things
miniscule things
tiny things
unaided and naked
to the invisible eye
the alveoli in her lungs
for instance
her taste-buds!
her mitochondria, sure
and of course she has
more
in addition to all that
she has a couple
quite big things, that I
very much treasure

but that goes
I suppose
without saying

or measure

what if I died? from tainted drugs

what if I died? from tainted drugs
like aspirin, though - not
coke or smack
I would feel so bad
for this dude cut down
in the prime of life
over some sore back
or some dull head ache
did I deserve that?
or possibly worse -
was it of my own make?
that fate would cut in
with its karmic hand
a skeletal flourish,
read it and wake

brains to bits

I love your brains to bits I don't think
anyone thinks quite like you, and I don't know
if my brain's fit to yours quite clicks
amidst these
slippery grooves that work our surfaces, respectively
- but then, to fit
like puzzle pieces may not be what
makes us blend, ideally, it
takes contact points and also distances between as well,
and tingle electricity
that jumps and arcs and drops and swells
and fills the fluid medium,
that we suspend in light as air, with bubbles
as we carbonate
the glass container that we share

"extraterrestrial counting its fingers"

every conceivable summertime flavor
runs slow through my head as the drum beats waver
through the buzz strum jangle of the guitar sway
"the sun came out, and it didn't go away"
before I count five, I'm abducted, alive
she sings like a languorous late summer rain
then - twenty-part harmony, barely instructed,
a chorus of children breaks out in refrain
and nothing can stop what's deranged my whole day
"the sun came out, and it didn't go away"
the sun came out, and it didn't go away
no it wouldn't - it wouldn't go away
if I can't jar it loose from my head, it can stay

"the sun came out, and it didn't go away"

my smile's comin' back!

In the old days I wouldn't waste time explaining
I knew I was good and as true as my words
I don't know what changed
my good and my true are the same
but these days I can't help but try to persuade
every dumb son of bitch and/or mother thereof.

And it may have eroded my patience somewhat.

In the old days I had a serene happy smile,
for any and all who heard what I had to say
and seemed to think
I ought to care who believes.

but I do believe

that anyone who suddenly wakes
and realizes where they've been wrong
can change!

Yup,

my smile's comin' back!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

life is a list

my life is a list,
of things done well,
of things not done,
that need to be
or needed to be
of things undone
that once were fixed
so much I see
that needs to be added on,
that needs to be done
or prevented
or told
or fixed
if I write it all down
then the thought will count
I will get to it, now
it's on the list

there's nothing you can do but have faith in yourself

there's nothing you can do but have faith in yourself
the ones who were wrong about you were wrong
the ones who did not know you didn't know
there's nothing to do now but keep yourself strong

to keep yourself true to the person you are
the person you know deserves something more
don't give up on her - she's waited so long
you want her to be there, when it comes along
the person you are, all that's best in your self
you want her to be there, to answer the door.

with care

her words say much, but not too much
with care she cuts and trims and clips
to say enough, but not too much
she reads and re-reads, perfect! touch
she signs and seals, with careful lips
and sends it off, regretting all
the words left out, that should at least
have made it into postscripts

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dracula Meets Yoda at the Speech Pathologist's

...

I may need to come back to this
later. The concept itself is too
intimidating,
and I'm only halfway through
the dish I'm making
to bring to the potluck costume party.

it still counts as a poem,
though. It still counts as a
very sucky poem.

"Counts as a poem, it does"

Poor Morbid Mort

Morbid Mort was a downcast sort,
a ghost always groaning and moaning his pains
"You think taxes are bad? Try death sometime!
You feel trapped at your job?
Look at these freakin' chains!"

but nobody listened to Morbid Mort
so he kept on dragging himself after life
and such as it was, he didn't much mind: "At least
I'm not stuck in heaven
with that damn ex-wife!"

best behavior

the damage done
is not the little things
you say and do
to creep me out

no none of that
is wrong at all
no nothing crosses
any line, no nothing there
would raise a doubt
from any of the things
you say or do

(now)

you're on your best behavior, now.
and nothing there to worry about

without the many,
many, many, times
and lines you crossed
before

you're on your best behavior, now:
each harmless way
you turn a word,
or push a point
or push for more
or twist an insult,
bash and cut
or faux-accuse
(or is it real?)

it's not these careful, harmless things
that you do now,
that make me feel
a bit creeped out.

It's just what they remind me of:
just who you are,
and how you work
how you react, and
what you're capable of.

and there's nothing wrong
with any of that
it wouldn't bother anyone
except perhaps, someone who's seen
the worst you have

the damage done

Friday, October 30, 2009

increasingly longingly

I'm on one of my increasingly long walks
after one of our increasingly wrong talks
and as the distance increases
between me and home
I realize that I've never been there,
not once

no,

I've never been home. It sounds
like such a wonderful place

just about fine

your little smirk
is perfect in memory
and growing more perfect each day
but my memory
is going on without me
to find a new way

so I've stepped to the side
- the future, the past -
I need to let them fight it out for now
I need to take back what I thought was yours
and sit myself down for a spell

hey, it's getting kind of nice around here without you
to think after years, and years, and years
it's just about time for my life to be mine
and it's getting kind of nice
to feel just about fine

when I first met you,
well I had you wrong
from the start I knew, but I didn't mind
and now my memory
is going on without me
to have a good time

so I've stepped to the side
- the future, the past -
I need to let them fight it out for now
I need to take back what I thought was yours
and sit myself down for a spell

you know it's kind of nice around here without you
to think after years, and years, and years
it's just about time for my life to be mine
and it's getting kind of nice
to feel just about fine

I'd love to say, I'll always treasure those years
with you by my side, but the truth is, dear
it's a treasure I keep in a storage trunk
because where I live,
they won't recycle that junk

it's just about time for my life to be mine
it's just about time for my life to be mine
and it's getting kind of nice
to feel just about fine
and it's getting kind of nice
around here
without you

lined up by eye

a young woman bursting with vigor
she writes beautiful poems
her hard eye examines
the world she distracts from its tasks
as she looks to expand her collection
of facts,
and attitudes,
and figures of speech
which she keeps within reach
of her hard
and sharp assortment
of nigh-identical tools
metal and edged,
with which only she can carefully choose
to trim off the parts of the world
she can use

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the age of enlightenment

The stars were hung on iron wires
cold - the light they shed was cold
the moon glid past, a blue balloon
the mountains - giants turned to stone
the world was made of myth, you know
of solid fire, water, rock,
suspended in midair upon
a vast celestial turtle's back
or something of the kind, at least.

Into this world, we both were born
- oh, all the myths had changed by then!
but we've made some to call our own.

experimental poem

an experimental poem,
if irreproducible,
is of no use whatsoever
to science

so set your words up clear
don't ask what we're trying to prove here,
pal
we must leave preconceptions, well
behind us

lay out your tests, with strong controls
let theories be predictable
but don't massage and flatter facts
let all the chips fall where they will
yes, let the truth destroy your goal
take detailed notes as hopes dash down
the question wasn't really asked
unless the answer made you frown

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

do you want to hear...?

do you want to hear
the song I was going
to write, just before you called?

it's the best song ever
I was going to write!
and you called me up just
at the moment I like

when the juices all flow
and the words fly straight
out in lines that rhyme
up down sideways

and the melody plays
with the tart, charged chords
and the middle-8 comes
out of nowhere, floors

you, the listener - but
when you did not call

well I couldn't bring myself
to compose at all

trial and error

I don't know how to make this work
I'm man enough to say it, dear
I've tried to figure out the trick
do I just jiggle this thing here?

or push the other thing back there
or twist this part, or twiddle those
I'd really hate to break something!
I guess I'll keep on trying, though

It doesn't seem all that complex
if this plugs in - now where's the juice?
Is that the switch? or this bit here?
I think it's stuck. Well, what's the use!

Let's get some teamwork on the job!
Could you help hold that piece right there?
I think I can work this part loose -
hey, there it goes! Look out! Stand clear!

Will all this shaking hurt or help?
Now, wait - that sure did not sound right!
Wait, there we are! - yeah, that's the stuff!
How easy was that? Wow!

Good night.

For My Next Poem,

For my next poem, I'll
be without a net
I will not re-type,
revise, regret,
or otherwise edit
one single line!
once I hit return,
that's my final rhyme
or near-rhyme, off-
rhyme - fine with those!
I would not turn up my nose
on all such tricks I take my tips
from Adam of the Counting Crows
Elvis, circus, Jesus - it's just
easier to find right words
if you don't sweat perfectionists
who tell you that your rhymes aren't good.

all kinds of questions

I get all kinds of questions
people wanting to know this
that
the other thing

I tell them "look"
"seek within, for your answers"
or "seek elsewhere," at least

'cause I ain't saying shit

spade

the spade cuts down and in,
and pushes through defenseless loam
it severs worms and webs of roots
and scrapes against smooth stones

the earth is made of past
it piles up unevenly
it makes great mountains over acts
too horrible to see

it piles mounds and hills above
each person's secret shame
but you and I were nothing wrong
I'm standing in a plain

with dry grass rustling hip-high,
my spade works in and down
I unearth things, a tarnished ring
an envelope, a portrait's frown

I breathe in earth's exhaling sigh
uncover sign and trace of us
but nothing more - there's nothing left
no locked-box treasure, sealed with rust

the past has swallowed all we were
and left just spreading roots and worms
the earth below broods rich and brown
the earth above
turns

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the ballad of Chicken Dismal

Chicken Dismal slouched around
not trying to convince a soul
the sky's not falling anyhow
he said to Henny Penny, "Oh

if you knew only what I've seen
with my own eyes, and what I've heard
with my own ears, you'd pack it in
it's pointless to go on, dear bird,"

and Henny - sympathetic fowl,
she always was - tried to console
but 'twas no use, and soon enough
she too was deep in doubt and dole.

Then Ducky Lucky waddled up,
with smiling bill, and ducktail pert -
"What's with you silly chicks?" he quacked
but soon he saw their grievous hurt

"There's no point to it all," they cried,
"no reason, purpose, meaning, sense..."
"You've only fooled yourself," said Chicken
Dismal: "Ducky, don't be dense!"

When Goosey Loosey ambled by,
- well, like the others, she fell in
when Turkey Lurkey wobbled up
it all proved quite too much for him.

A line of birds slouched down the dell
- so Chicken Dismal led his flocks,
into a cool and empty den
they silent, sat - awaiting Fox.

"What's up, cool breeze?"

"What's up, Cool Breeze?"
- that's how they call.
"Cool Breeze" she is,
to one and all.
The history, how
she nicked that name,
has passed past circles
out of frame.
As life strayed by,
friends drifted on
her handle stuck
by glue unknown.
Does she recall
what made that name?
Her cool smile hides
a secret shame!

a pittance for profiteroles

a pittance for profiteroles
the best and finest in the land
I wash them down with mineral spritz
with heart as full as mouth and hands
to cram my gnashing maw with sweets
from dawn to noon to evening
I gravely graze on dainty treats
fine pastries, cakes and pies they bring
to me in slow procession grand,
variety in long supply!
I rarely see the same again
so fond adieu, with belch and sigh
- except for my profiteroles
those are my favorite special bliss
they keep them coming right along
I wash them down with mineral spritz
and shout for more, with powdered mouth
they'll never lack for business now
since I discovered their delights
I'm here from dawn to noon to night.
and if you wait for some delayed
comeuppance to come down on me,
I fear I must needs disappoint
no moral wrecks my sweet story
each day I spend here gorging on
I grow more healthy and robust
and all my fortunes, friends and loves
improve in worth, and faith, and trust.

Monday, October 26, 2009

strange taste in us

you and I have such weird taste
in who with whom we've chosen to be
in what we each appreciate
- the queer peculiarities

we have the strangest taste in us
that's no critique - it's oddly apt
we're so much luckier than most
to fit so close, where we're mismatched

A book-burner, I do confess it

My passion for all that I read is such
that I burn through each page
with the light-running touch
of voracious eyes, consuming gaze
by the time I turn each,
it's been set ablaze
by a slow-building heat
a reaction stirred
by a piercing glare
that lays bare each word,
as each line flushes hot
as each paragraph curls
and it smokes, and it blacks
and the flames unfurl
tongues of red licking up,
as my eyes lick through, to
the next page in front
conflagration pursues
I race not to escape!
but to quench, and to slake
all heedless of flames
I have set in my wake
I race through to the end
in an all-consumed lust
and my bookcase holds
covers, and ashes,
and dust

an early start on monday

that's right
I woke up at 5 a.m.
without the alarm going off
I wouldn't have

but there's an awful lot left
to get done, by the time
everyone gets in
and I'm counting on me

we're all in good hands

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I wanted to be the first

I wanted to be the first
to point out, to say out loud
all the things that tease the edge
of what we're talking about, but
I am equally in doubt, that I'm alone
in that sense. And in every other
sense as well, but that's no
defense

Love

Listen, there's only one thing
about me
that I need to tell you, that
you need to know, and that's
love
Love is the steer by which I
shine my white sails in the night
ghosting across those smooth waters
love is the hard oar
I dip into my rippling wake
to steady and direct my course
love is the faith and the compass
that gets me through, when the waves rise
riding right up around, about to come crashing down
and I start hot-dogging my boat around like a mogul run
hollerin' YEE-HAW a lot, to chase the terrors off
then when I break through to smooth waters
and make toward the dim distant light
at the end of your dock
love is the fait and the accompli
it was won before I started off
we were one, before we even counted
to make sure
and now, I'm just gliding forward
through
love
into
love
into
shore

Saturday, October 24, 2009

alas for whatever that was

under the old ways, young men
were sent to learn wisdom
at the feet of the masters
Now, they rush in among
the bulrushes, brutally clubbing
as they bull through to flush wisdom
upwards, where it can be caught in nets,
collected in jostling, squawking bustles
and sold at a price from open market
kiosks that crowd the square. These
young men are paid, for what they do
But what was the cost?

finish

dissolving chaos line by line
by form and structure, undermine
with sudden switch and deft reverse
no pattern fits how we immerse
each deep into the other, soaked
do I dissolve? like liquid oak
combined with wine, we two are
one, our time to take our time
has come

Friday, October 23, 2009

so try hard

I had a very fall down and I
got some perspective from the ground and I
can't shake the distance
from one inch up
from down
there's some interesting dirt
when your face is sucking hurt
from the air
so close to fire
close to water
close to earth
fire - nerves / water - eyes
well, then - use it to rise
it's an elemental urge
to defeat what you are
you are clumsy, weak,
stupid, gullible and bizarre
that's a tough combination to beat
so try hard

I've got the soul of a poet

I've got the soul of a poet
but unfortunately, I sold it
and it's been gone a long while, now
I could probably buy it back
if I ever felt the lack
- the going rate's gone way down

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the accidental dog

followed me home
can I keep him mom?
go ask your dad
son, that's a bitch:
can't you tell the diff?
and knocked up, too
by the looks of it
can I keep her dad?
I will promise to be
good and faithful, commit
train her to obey,
to roll over and sit
I'll feed her twice a day
and clean up what she shits

well okay, son
you can start with that one

brooding autumn apples

a block the size of texas, and
the chip cracked off and fell
so far, it hit like a thunderclap
crushed the orchard under flat
and scattered apples far from trees
that begat them

within the seeds
breeds a slow-growing vengeance
that first must moulder and sink into earth
to split its case and shoot forth tendril curls
that harden into roots, to scrape and claw
and infiltrate, gnaw, and
someday

crack

even a block that size

can fall

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

an infinite line

an infinite line
has been drawn in the sand
with the head of a pin
can we see where we stand?
can we number the grains,
so precisely displaced?
before incoming waves
wipe away our disgrace

Does God laugh at his own jokes?

If God doesn't laugh,
then I'm afraid most
of his humor is going to be wasted
on us

it goes over our heads
it's so infinitely dry
and the universe keeps a straight face
as we die

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

no more precious pledge

no more precious pledge exists
than when two lovers stand and kiss
before the world they've gathered in
to witness as their lives begin.

for no more precious thing than love
exists within the world of man
and woman - there is only one
world now: the two of you,

Amen.

feelin' kinda poemy

feelin' kinda poemy
about life
about looking around
seeing what sticks to the eyes
taking it in inside
and sorting it out, or not

what comes out of my mouth
isn't sense, but sound
and it sounds like the world
like space spreading out
filled with birds
and nerves
and the highway, loud,
softened muffled by distance
but still - surround

like surf, it calls
but with no even rhythm
not like waves playing with
and over salt-kissed sand
soaked dark, clay-grey
in a wide swooping ribbon
lapped by cool caress
renewed twice every day

farther up, sun-blessed
sand parched, dry crust
the beach pines for a wave,
with a love-starved sigh

'til the storm comes in
there will be no relief
from this beautiful day
not a cloud in the sky

feelin' kinda poemy

feelin' kinda poemy
about the world
as if the sun was shining
and the truth could be heard
as if the big essentials
fundamentally vast,
that everyone relates to
could be fit in a glass
well hit me with another
I'll be drinking it down
my sorrows are so buoyant
there's no way they could drown
I'm happy just considering
this glimpse I received
the world looks shimmer perfect
as I get up to leave

Monday, October 19, 2009

Miss Sonya Shine and her Cloudy Day Outfit

her umbrella was made of steam
so the warmed rain fell right through
her raincoat was made of english fog
her panties were made of dew
her lacy blouse was window-frost
her skirt was composed of mist
she went out in the storm
in clothes like that!

then she blew it away, with a kiss

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the look unshared

your look is made of stone, but I won't turn
I stand meeting stone with water flow
to freeze into ice and crack you through

we used to be made of air, but now we've turned
into sterner stuff, and fell to earth
we learned what we thought it was worth was worth

our trust was rewarded with too much truth
we know to the millionth degree, we're through
our pet names have all turned sarcastic, love
there's nothing convincing to be convinced of
and neither of us left to be convinced

my look is made of pain, but you won't flinch

you know which one is wrong, of us
you're looking at him, baby-fuss
my face is catching fire, but it won't burn

your look is made of stone, but I won't turn

because it is there

I wish I was on top of that mountain right now
the sun's coming up and I don't see how
I can endure another minute of darkness down here
I want to be high as the sky grows clear
to pale silver to gold and then finally, blue
but if I was up there - wouldn't help in the least
the sun still would be blocked by the next range back
and the one after that, from my West to your East

Saturday, October 17, 2009

blue yonder

like
a bird flying off
getting lost in the sky
on the way to
the ground
I forgot
how
high

follow your dream!

follow your dream
follow it!
it went that away, you
can still catch it
if you run!
it was wearing a tiara,
and a lioncloth
and chasing grimly after
something

it could have been money
or integrity
I don't know
precisely, what
it was chasing
and I get those two
confused, myself.

What do you mean,
you don't know either?
It's you're dream isn't it?
Oh, you say you've never seen
your dream

well,
shoot.
Maybe don't follow it,
then?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

next (not) up

next (not) up
tough luck
but - what
don't (stop)
sharp cut
short top
side front
hard want
(snap) freeze
cut hand
can't bleed
set stitch
thread feed
eye through
pull plead
stick

free

my eyes, darling

You hold my eyes in your
hand. Now cradling them against
each other, now jostling them
bouncily. We need us, but neither you
nor I can say why.

The distance between us is exquisite.

Who will be the first to cross? I know
that in my heart, there is
a secret chamber, that pumps
not blood

but secrets. And you are on the lips
of every one. Every secret I have
is yours

- either yours to have, or a secret
about you. Your love of me is a bribe, but
it's not enough to get me my eyes back. This

poem is going nowhere right. And you
- are on the lips of everyone. And I hang
my head in judgment, a self-tied noose

tightening about my self-tied neck,
while you sit astride the horse that will pull
away my footstool, and jostle bouncily.

I need perspective on what I have
to offer you. In this situation, it seems to me
that I am the one holding all the cards.

But you've got my eyes. You've got my eyes, darling.

What's up with that.

The Road Not

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I -

I burned that fucker down!

and that

- has made all the difference

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Please Enjoy My Wrath

What if God's just goth,

and thinks that suffering's fun
and cool??

Perhaps the world
is blessings raining down
in God's eyes,

perhaps
we're meant to look up and moan
in gratitude

Monday, October 12, 2009

your cute sweet you

your cute sweet you
to hold and kiss
is what I crave

is what I want
by my sweet side
to misbehave

or set a fine
example, as
you choose or wish

such hits you've scored
I'm not the kind
to call amiss

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the view from inside

everyone on earth looks
worse from inside
and we all think we have
something awful to hide
you see eyes filled with love,
- think "if only they knew"
but if only you saw
what they do see of you

the view from inside
is the worst in the house
all you see is your flaws
and your needs and your doubts
you can see the whole stage,
but you can't see yourself
can't see how people see you
and why people love

so you think it's a lie
what the world sees in you
since you see the inside
and you know that's what's true
you compare your inside
to the people you see,
and come off so much worse

in our eyes, so do we

Saturday, October 10, 2009

what memory weighs

as we stretch our lives out
scrape ourselves over dry life
like butter over toast
with a too-dull knife
more and more we find
we can't live in the past,
but that's where our life is

where our thoughts go, fast
just the second after think -
thought goes falling back behind
and accumulates pull
on what's left in the mind
thoughts of everything at all
ever felt, ever seen, ever touched
or just imagined, or
some state in-between

and all the weight of it
pulls

we lean forward, pushing slow
as our memory pulls back
as the weight behind us grows
so we struggle, keeping pace
until the pull becomes
too much

until we, too
fall
back into past, and
life scrapes on

no fuss

Friday, October 09, 2009

really rather vicious

I have some really rather
vicious things to say to you
all planned and parceled out
exact hard words, exactly true
there's pleasure in precisely
measuring such joyless mirth
but no point in me telling you.
It's more than you are worth

Thursday, October 08, 2009

cloudshadow

a brightening cloud with sun behind
its white thinning out to brilliant shine
its shadow ghosts over this endless field
I'm standing in waiting, to be revealed

toy tiny knives

toy tiny knives
go in and out
my heart beats
every bit
as strong
the little slits
stay closed
so far
the outside's
thick enough
for now
the outside's
thickened up
with scars
the beat's kept
steady
oh so long
the pain's not
much
to talk about
what can I say?
except for "ow"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Men Who Write Long Poems

Men who write
long poems
work, refine
composing beat
and rhyme
and fitting rhythms
into lines
for stanzas
stretching
out in time

they choose
a topic worthy of
a deeper treatment,
one in which
the metaphors
they work
can work,
cohesively like
couplings fit

they stretch out
long discursive reams
the engine
of their poem pulls on
no signs
of running out of steam
they shovel coal
from dawn to dawn

the train is
stretching
miles behind
they latch
and link on cars,
and cars,
but up ahead,
a tunnel looms
we're plunging in!
and all is dark

as some impenetrable point is made

for hours, the words and rhymes run black.

They like their poems long and hard.

Perhaps they're compensating for
some lack?

For Going Forward

There's less wrong than I thought
and just about the same amount
of right. We need to keep it
measured out. We need to keep it
just about right here, to keep it all
about a balance, strike it right
like this, and keep it just about
this good, for going forward.
Understood?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Always Been Abandoned?

Why have I always been abandoned,
by anyone who ever loved me?
Oh wait that's right, I haven't been.
So sorry, everybody!
So sorry - no, I didn't mean
to so impugn you so!
You've all been oh so good to me,
I know, I know, I know

Friday, October 02, 2009

astrolonauts

with every fate that hangs
the balance pulls straight down to you
the strings run up and down
and we can't see what they're tied to
all puppeteer conspiracists
theorists of destiny,
our skyward eyes search heaven
for what it will make us be
we scrawl on charts, the stars to scry
or read in scriptures dark designs
we think we spy the shape of fate
our shadows guide the moves we make
we know what happens had to be
we're almost right, but wrong so far
we've got the spyglass wrong-way-round:
the choice was only ever ours,
we are not ruled by distant spheres,
they don't pull strings for you, my dear
the choice was only always ours -
we hold the strings that pull the stars

I was the ghost

I was the ghost
who's been haunting my house
I invited you over
then you found out
I've got nothing to hold
you can see through my clothes
to the still-beating blood
that grows steadily cold
as it runs out of pulse
after weeks, maybe months
since you broke what I was
so invulnerable
once

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hey, Yourself!

This sad song is already fine, and I
could never let her out
of my heart.

I am not afraid, and I know
I was made
to go out and get her
to go out and get her

Because she's in me already
Under my second skin
Where the pain gets in
and stays

And the world's lying way back there
Where I let it drop
So cool, as it melts
away

Yeah I can start
Yes, I'll begin
I'm not waiting, it's just I can't do anything

until we all finish singing
"Nah Nah Nah"

one easy feat

I am one indecently talented beast
and it's easy to me
get a little length in my leash and
suddenly, wheee! I think
I can run the whole block
and mark any spot
that smells like it needs
some me
to remember it by

and I
hunch my back and leave
piles of steam and heat
wherever I please
and bark orders to all
to back off, and beware!

then the leash snaps taut
and the choke chain grabs, and holds
and I'm caught, and slink home
so what

I don't care

clear to the horizon

I have lived a lie
on an island of white
in a sea of gray
under a black sky

and I see all shades
but I aim straight through
for not near, nor true enough,
but true

in this lie I've lived,
true is easy to see
and easy to choose
and it seems plain to me
I am just about due

for a rescue, please
date for sex,
marry for love,
divorce for hate,
and die too late.

the reverse of having learned from your mistakes

I see more
from my heart,
than from my eyes.
And how I feel
is far more real
than how things are.
And that is far from smart,
but it's gotten me this far.
And it is far from easy,
but I will not change my mind.

There are a million ways to love,
but I only know one: mine.
And mine is to love only you.

You teach me how - but you don't seem
to see how deep, and sharp, and clean
and quick it cuts, our time well-spent
I don't mind much - we're different

If we were not, it wouldn't be
the same.

Ahem.

But things are romantic;
I do not romanticize.
And you are ideal
- not idealized.

And I live in my heart,
which is far from wise.
And this is far from perfect,

but it's a start.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

yes! I said

I want that,
and all of that,
and all of everything else we can have
and I want it all now, in the bag and gift-wrapped
and I'll keep the receipt, but

- you can't take it back

anyone else?

anyone else want to try?
anyone else want a crack
well bring it on right now
sound the round 1 bell
'cause I am
taking on all comers
giving it all
'til my blood runs like stone
and my face
breaks
into planes and pretty colors,
like
stained glass

but bulletproof, don't you know

I am a whirlwind of fisticuffs
a cataract of clobber
a punch, spiked with hard
hundred proof hooch

make your eyes swim dizzy
and your legs wobble loose
like you bit off a chew too many
of my ear, or maybe overconcussed
your butthead head from an ill-advised
head butt, but that cheap shot
will avail you naught

because I will keep standing
right here

I am taking on all comers

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the last of what has to happen

I'm gearing up for the last of what has to happen
it isn't inevitable, no not at all,
but nothing can stop it
now

I've been through the worst of the stages already
from denial to anger to whatever else,
I ran hypothetical checks on myself
when it happens I'm ready
and how

but I've got no contingency plan for the rest
of my life
it's like ice,
cloudy hard-frozen slush
the future, a glacier,
creeps forward toward
me

I suppose I'll be crushed

Monday, September 28, 2009

sugar pills

my symptoms stick
until I twist
you open up
and give me what
my shakes and pains
and fever breaks
for you
I've waited
months
in days

I almost feel better
just shaking you out
into my hand,
clammy,
damp from need
but "almost feel better"
is not enough
as brain sweats
blood, as bit lips
bleed

I look for a glass
but can't wait to find
don't need any water
I swallow you dry
I swallow again
my throat scrapes slow
with you inside
and then
I know

I know
I know
as you head down,
it's on the way
relief is now
my nerves unfray
my eyes unswell
my veins relax
I'm almost well
and tears of sweet
relief outpoured

my faith in you
once more restored

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I love it when beats and images combine

I love it when beats and images combine
for the sake of mankind
to blow the hive-mind
into all of its
individuals
and constituents
raise the subliminal
out from the unconsciousness, get each of us
to achieve a state
of mind,
where awareness isn't just to sit
submissive and blind
to all, save the feed:
the pre-approved stimulus
pre-digested, pre-critiqued
peer-reviewed, and it's the buzz

kid-tested,
mother-government approved!
church group approved,
subculture clique and scout troop

so easy
let the think tank and the focus group
tell you who is you
when to sit, speak or poop
and why not to ask why
and where to fit to fit in
free validation self-esteem
with purchase of a membership pin
but careful where you stick it though
- POP! - there it goes,
there goes your validation, too
based on what,

you didn't know

so time for self correction,
criticism reflection
wake up from subjection
don't attend the convention
take up a collection
of your own thoughts and goals
to kick the whole collective
right out of your soul

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I didn't want

I didn't want to trip
and throw burning
hot soup - Chunky Chicken
Corn Chowder! all over
the computer,
the keyboard to drip into
and between the keys
the monitor to scorch
and stain, like maps of crazy
continents, I didn't want
to cover my whole left hand
with pinkly sizzled flesh
in a creamy corn sauce
how exquisitely delish!
I didn't want to lose my
footing, no I didn't want
to slip, didn't want to lose
my grip, no I didn't want
to trip
- so I didn't!

I was particularly careful, in fact.

I had a pretty vivid image of it happening, and

I took precautions against.

we have detailed plans

We have sharp, detailed plans
for things that won't work.
Tight, precise diagrams
all contingent upon
what we know can't occur.
But oh, boy! If it does,
we'll be ten steps ahead
before they can prove wrong

life gets a little

Life gets a little
sticky, like
riding a bike after
eating an apple. How
the handlebars cling
to your tacky fingers,
while your legs pump blood
and the sour taste lingers
tires whisper through leaves
as you toil uphill, well,
more like a shallow grade
you can make it, you will.

You'll make your pleas,
you'll state your plans,
you've got a thing or two to say
as soon as you get there
You're almost late, almost late
but you can make it with a minute to spare,
and skinned knees, and with scabs on your hands,
from where you wiped out last week - coming 'round
the final turn, eating gravel down the drive,
rolling up and through the door in one smooth motion,
a dive
and then cried.

- a spectacular entrance! As entrances go.
But as you near the final turn, this time
a little - bit - slow

Me Verse The Devil In A Boxing Match!

The devil appeared in a cloud of smoke
in mellifluous tones he spoke and spoke
as he rolled his forked tongue over plummy vowels
while assistants rubbed his shoulders with steaming towels
"so you think you can beat me?" he grinned with a frown
as he sat in his red satin boxing gown
with "SATAN'S GYM" embossed across its broad back
in elaborate letters of glossiest black
"I've been watching you, son,
you've got power and pride!
But to go against me, well,
it's plain suicide.
I take on all contenders,
and lick every one.
Let's just work out a deal
- that's how business is done!"
But I said with a scorn, and a huff, and a haught
in my tone: "Stuff your bargains!
My fists can't be bought!"
So that night in the ring,
the bell clanged "ROUND ONE!"
I came charging right at him;
straight jab set on "stun!"
then I peppered his torso
with hard body-shots
and when he dropped his guard,
that's when I punched his clock!
He crashed to the canvas,
his eyes all unmoored
the ref counted "ten"
and I shouted for more!
The ref raised my left arm,
the crowd stormed the aisles,
Satan slunk off unmissed
as the reporters went wild
then with championship belt
and with victory strut
I headed backstage
to give Satan his cut.