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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

so close to free

my body is
an increasingly frail
cage.

But the thing within
knows not what it is
outside of the bars
and the bounds
where it lives

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

flaring

"Your nostrils are flaring," she gasped,

We stood close. Far too close for anyone
or two, who had just met
expectation - well, yes.

They are.

My skin
is palpitating as well. My eyes
are hyperventilating.
my vision
has become, and
the hair on the back of my neck
is desperately reaching
for air. In short, I
am a good foot taller than I was
just eight inches ago, but
I'm not really the slightest bit
self-conscious now, now should I be?

Oh.

You
are
substance

to this recurring dream
that I've been
having

to lie to myself about, saying:
no, no,
no.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

becoming un-

the surge has turned into inertia
we could be unstoppable, now at our best

I'd like to see something or somebody try
to get in our way - just to put up a test

we started up slow
but we've steadily gained
every moment momentum increases
no strain

we are straight on creating an infinite line
and there's more force that's building up
hard, from behind

Any person or thing that comes crossing our path -
the direction we're heading is getting the wrath
the immovable object - there is one, they say! -
better
hurry
its
ass
to
come
stand
in our way.

shit for brains

shit for brains
is a good exchange
if you find someone willing to
take your shit

but a person like that -
their brain is apt
to be worth less than what
you paid for it.

sealed

our dreams have turned to dust,
my love.
so sprinkle them
upon these forms of ours. So still,
so pale we lie now side-by-side,
our lives struck down by bites
of apples known to us: forbidden fruit
of knowledge, life, and sudden death
with candy coat - enticed to stick
in lovers' throats

Enticed by love, we bit. Enticed
by sweet, our lips and corpses lie
in state - so still, so pale! In rich,
brocaded robes
we wait.

we die

since your kiss is the only one
true kiss, true love, to break my spell -
and since my kiss is your spell's key,
I'll lie here helpless, next to thee

our dreams have turned to fairy dust
so sprinkle them my love, dear ghost -
and think of wonderful, good things
struck down by fate,
we'll wait in love
on hope

toast

let's drink to all the reasons
that we absolutely "can't"
let's drink to all the reasons
that we're never going to work
let's drink to all the reasons
that we'd be fools, or that we
will be fools.

Let's drink to all the reasons
that we're such a bad idea,
until the shadows overcome themselves
in your glow, in your glow
well we're never going to work

- we'll be millionaires, as well
our prenuptial agreement shall state:
that each will get the other's.
And the mansion that they build for us
in hell, will be technically heaven
due to something involved, with zoning
laws - an error on the devil's part. Oh,

but we won't
move in.

We'll be gone - over
open seas, far gone.
We'll tie three sheets
together for a sail,
and you'll lie out naked
on the deck
in the sun.

Now let's drink
to all the reasons
that we can't
fail.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

splashsplashsplash

I never mind you skimming me
to find the places to delve deep
my surfaces are there for you
to skip across with sidearm toss
until your smooth flat stone finds cause
to slow its path, some eddy swirls
and fascinates with gravity -
I'll pull you in with something,
girl

Monday, December 20, 2010

trouble

When I am in trouble, I am invisible
because
I am trouble.

lady miss monstress

she ate the girl next door
and moved in the week before
and then prior to that I saw her
more and more around downtown
she kept trying to catch my eye
and when she did, the shiver ran
straight up my spine, into my mouth
I coughed, and spat it out
it shook, and
died.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

seasonal affective disorder blues

my body does that stupid thing
where it gets sad without the sun
I'm waiting on the solstice, now
dot dot dot dot
...days, get long

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

kit

I would have put you together
oh,
just exactly like this:
how you fit
where your lines and your curves converge
and your opposite surfaces merge
sliding up and down together into
this pretty little
urge

why,
if I had assembled you from a kit
that I myself had ordered out of a catalog
you could not possibly be any better a fit
for what I need
or for
my eyes, or
my fates and destinies, for
what I would have envisioned
if I tried.

Unfortunately - I didn't.
You came complete, as-is
straight off the line
and into my life. And I
had no part
in putting you together
so perfect, such art
I must concede
your virtues and faults
though they are just as I'd have chosen - had
I chosen - they
are not due to me.

I can't take credit for you

who I only managed to stumble onto
absolutely by chance
and snare

and I don't know why
but I kind of care

because you
are so perfect
for me, and I never knew it. You came true
where I never wished.
When you deserve
a lifetime of me wishing
and picturing, waiting for you -

to lead up to this

a girl named E

her name was an Epiphany
in fact, that was her name
that's what her mother named her.
She said that it just came to her
and no one could explain

supply

you
are
an
endless supply
of the best
there is.

You're an endless supply
of what life should have been
from the moment of born
and through each moment since.

You're exactly what we all lost faith in -
now, I'm re-convinced.

I was right all along! - kind of,
sort of, I was. Here you
come along now to prove
everything does have a purpose
and point

you won't ever deny
you won't run out on me -
you're an endless supply

wide

my increasingly-dizzy intellect
has been open
to poke, to engulf,
to inspect,
every perfect and imperfect
theory and thought -
I don't know, if I could
close it now,
or if I ought

Sunday, December 12, 2010

with fingers crossed

you and me is
a bet
I refuse to hedge.

If it comes in,
I am set for life

punch my ticket I am gone
like a lottery recipient

If it doesn't

then

there never was a chance
for me to be as happy

as I now

finally

know

I can be.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

by no stretch

this world is finite,
but, I'll bet -
we can fill it with the infinite.
- and it will fit

spout

The hand-soap dispenser
hair-trigger, spat out
a jet-force shot - splurt
off the palm of my hand
and now I've got an eyeful:
in the mirror, I can see my shirt and tie,
stained with a wet, pearly pink ribbon
of sanitizing, chemical-scented jism
curling and dripping. So: maybe
I pulled the lever too fast.

But come on.

They
really
need to look
at re-angling
that

spout.

Monday, December 06, 2010

the fist

from now on
anyone who fucks with me
gets this

(holds up fist)
from now on,
this is my answer.

People talk and talk about how
"violence doesn't solve anything," but
it is a fact that violence
has not solved much. In terms of problems. But
it is a fact that violence
is rarely given a chance
to solve a problem! Most problems -
violence is never given the chance
to solve them.

How is that fair? To judge violence
and to give it a poor grade
for problem-solving
on problems it was never given a chance to solve?

from now on,
this is my answer.

the fist

Sunday, December 05, 2010

my twin

If I was twins
then I would have something
that no one could take away
unless I died. Or he died.
Or she.

But where would my twin be?
would my twin be back there, or
here, where I've chosen to live?
I guess

my life would be totally different, if
I had a twin. Studies would show that we
would both have become firemen
by coincidence

or she would have become
a firewoman. Or I would have

but given all that
I guess I am glad that I was not born
a twin. Yet still

it sometimes seems unfair
that I was the one with the chance to live - that he
or she

wasn't given.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

forward

I want to write a book with you,
so we could have our way with words
and find new ways to keep the rules
improved by our exceptions, blurred
by lines so straight and clear, we'd draw
- then back, erase, and fill in black
with sketching chalk, and charcoal,
all chiaroscuro - bright as fact
and dark as fiction, intertwined
we'd work and weave our way
straight through.

'til story leaves the book behind
we've always had one plot
in mind

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

flexible plans

There wasn't much left when our train took off
we had two valid tickets, non-refundable, two cups
of hot, sweet coffee (black) and: two full bags
jammed cozy, snug covered by our jackets on hooks,
between your favorite magazines and my self-imposed books,
plus a couple of rags (like the Wall Street Journal, and
the free fun times weekly of the city we're about to leave)

- packed inside the tall narrow closet of our passenger compartment,
behind a flimsy lock on the inside of a sliding door,
set in a long drab-carpeted corridor
that was all pulling off,
accelerating away

You looked back to me, smiled and said:
"Let's stay!"

the memory of demons

my demons are strong,
and they've learned to live on
they have learned to move on,
and to live without me

they've gone out in the world
I will see them sometimes
but they're not in my life
the way you used to be

when we chased them for fun
and we caught every one
we wrung each one for every drop
of its juice

when we'll see one, sometimes -
it will shriek and fly off!

they remember us well,
from those years of abuse.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

indescribable (alternate version)

indescribable, you are
though I try,
though I keep falling short. Though I
will make a life's work of it,
if I have to: I will

capture you

in words, in a flow
like creeping amber, but
before you are drowned in that slow,
golden tongue of honeyed language, liquid
hardening to tomb, embraced, preserved, killed -
- every time I think I can cover you! You
keep bursting free: a faerie dragon,
from her chrysalis

Monday, November 29, 2010

a winner is you!

does anyone want to win
three whole weeks of happiness?
I'm thinking of putting together a contest
for people to enter and win - but guess
what the grand prize is! Yes, you know best -
your chance in a million, three whole weeks blessed!
by complete and uninterrupted happiness -
mine, that is.

At your expense.

working towards

Because there is always hope.
Because there is always hope.

She still has time for this to come true.
She won't be waiting for it. She will keep
working. Towards, towards,

towards.

She will keep working towards,
For as long as there's Hope, and
there's always hope.
"While there's life, there's hope."

Whoever said that
is dead.

But if it was ever true, its truth
lives on. If

it was ever true.

And
she knows there's hope

because she has it. And
she still has time

because

it hasn't come true.

yet,

wine half-hangover beautiful

my head feels stuffed with wadded cotton
pleasantly full
and a big improvement
over that yellow, wet spongy thing
that generally sits in my skull, on its ass
thinking wonderful thoughts
as the world roars past

for me,
right now:
we can sit outside
in the sun, in the chill of a day going by

that we woke to, bright; too bright
too fast

now we're sharing the last of this one last glass

oh, this garden
needs its weeds.
And there's nothing
I'd rather do, but be.

Here with you,
we can slow this all down,

and see.

theory

God made the world, you know -
but science made it
round

deft, and adeptly

I've got a mind on me
like a ton of bricks
and I'm not afraid
to toss it around

do you want to play catch?
here it comes, all at once
hey, you're pretty damn good!

what a juggling stunt

indescribable

indescribable, you are
though I try,
though I keep falling short. Though I
will make a life's work of it,
if I have to: I will

capture you

in words, in a flow
like creeping amber, but
before you are drowned in that slow,
golden tongue of honeyed language, liquid
hardening to tomb, embraced, preserved, killed -
- every time I think I can cover you! You
keep bursting free: a faerie dragon,
from her chrysalis

GAY

he holds that thought

he holds that thought
of you
so tight
the thought has flesh,
and warmth, and skin, goose-bumped
between the palms and fingertips
(of mental hands,
I mean)

impasse

you and me,
or as you put it -
"you and I,"
- we agree,
we can see
that we've had our differences,
but we've always been on the same side.
But now,
I can see you yawning at me
from the opposite cliff of this yawning divide.
And for once - we can't meet half-way, this round
because there,
there's no ground.

Just a long way down

disillused

God damn it, you
hang the toilet paper
the wrong way!
I knew it
I knew you weren't
I knew you couldn't be
perfect

deception

sometimes I wish
I could not see auras
I hate the way
your whole head lights up
when you lie to me.

the worst part is,
you know that it does that.
you want me to see.
you keep protesting that you don't believe, but
the last time you said so,

your whole head lit up.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

plain pasta

Lately I've been craving plain pasta.
Cooked in water.
Store-bought,
with a boring sauce.
I don't know what it is,
or why.

It was the only thing
that you cooked for us.
I'm not craving the lovely
dinners out, or my
rather elaborate recipes
that I made up from scratch
with a pinch of doubt -

just a simple thing, hot
that we both could eat.

half a thing is a thing.

half a thing is a thing.
half a heart feels
full. It just won't beat
as well. It just can't hold
as much -
just as a glass cut in half,
is whole - and it
fills twice as fast,
but your lips will be cut

an easy fix?

she'll never change, no.
Except
you just bet your life that she would
why did you do that?

there are some leaps of faith
that just cannot create
the safe place to land on the other side,
no matter how hard you pretend
to try

and I wish you would ask your eyes
I wish you would have consulted your mind
because next time is already lost, you know
there isn't going to be a next time.

you'll be stuck with this time, till she breaks down
and cries
and tells you why. Another lie?

it'll be alright. Because people can change, well

- how can a might that might never occur
make up for a now that's as bad as her?

sweet as sweet

I just found out
what sweet is, sweet
as sugar on your tongue
learns for the first time
how it tastes

guardian

so despicable are we
that we see every lime-streaked,
liquified corpse
of our self,
that we've killed
and thrown down this well
as they soak in, and settle -
it isn't enough. There is worse on the way;
we need more.
No, the world is not safe
yet,
from what we hold in store.

Down this almost-bottomless well
where we live, carving sigils
in hard, rounded stone
that curves round us in circles
protection, protection
for you all, from me
we've perfected a method
to raise these walls higher
from down here,
you see that the top isn't high enough yet
to be safe, absolutely
we'll never forget
what we'll never forgive
and can never explain.

Encircled, alone,
we make bitter, pained,
desperate efforts to hold -
to enchain,
to imprison
this thing that we know.

For no one else can know
(though we try hard to tell)
no one else can protect
no one else sees the hell
that is waiting to spring
on some bright, ripened life

- we must wall it up higher, now
wrap the chain tight

for there's no one else, dear
who knows how deep and far
we could sink, we could go,
yes, we know what we are
oh, we know what we are

and

we'll keep you from harm.

No one else here can save you now, love

move along.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(as if pronounced "Cal-i-forn-EYE-AY")

we drove into the sunset for a week
trying not to make it go too fast
when we finally got there, we could see
everything was beautiful at last
California
California
please don't go away
(stay with me)
We lived to see the day
in California
if California holds together
so can we
every night I dream that it's the last
panoramic vistas crashing down
tons of gleaming metal, mirrored glass
I wake up to wrap my arms around
you
California
California
please don't go away
(stay with me)
We lived to see the day
in California
if California holds together
so can we
I left behind the world to be with you
we started to create a world, ourselves
if you can't stay here to see it through
the fault beneath my feet goes straight to hell
California
California
please don't go away
(stay with me)
We lived to see the day
in California
if California holds together
so can we
if California holds together
so can we
if California holds together
so can we

Monday, November 22, 2010

If wishes were stitches

I want to apologize
to everyone, for the way that I am
that I cannot change
and that will continue to be:
a tax upon your patience,
and a frustration to your attempts
to get some kind of broad, shoulder-shruggy position across
in the face of my specific resistence,
or specific insistence,
or simply my specific
existence -
which I know has been quite unfortunate
for some of you
to deal with.

I realize
I take what I understand to be true
and I score and slice, and whittle it down
to the hardest core and clearest point
that I possibly can,
(given my limited abilities)
and then,

I pound,
and pound, and I
pound, pound it home.

Which can smart, a bit.
I know,
some people are a little tender
where they live.

But you know what? I can't do any better
than to try to give you what I understand,
to the best of my understanding,
the clearest way I can.
I do it not to show you
up, or to shut you up
or down. I do it
So that you can do likewise, and -

then we can see where we stand.

So while I want to apologize to everyone,
I feel that it would be hypocritical of me.

So I can't.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my thoughts to pieces

Did I too late the
if it did, I'm really
but you know that I
forever. I've never
person. You make
all over. And it isn't
keeps getting more
alone - not without
intense. Because I
and kisses, and the
wouldn't unless you
that way. Your lips

Boobs

boobs loom large
in mind (in mine)
regardless of
the size of cup

each boob embodies
some ideal, each
perfect boob
can't disappoint,
but measures up

unto itself

for what it's worth
can't be compared
except to just one
other thing:
the other one

(they come in pairs)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

can't put it plainer

I'm going to lay it all on the table,
cards-wise. And I'm
going to put it to you straight
I can't put it plainer. When I met you

well.

You know.
You saw. You were
there.

I thought
I had some pretty strong
defenses, but I guess
they must have been
against something else, because

you just jumped up
waded in,

threw your best shot
- yourself! - at me
with a full-body flying hug, you

smote

me

down,

like a heavy cudgel; wielded rough
and tumble, and I really don't know if I have gotten
or can get
up.

But in any case,

the dent that you made in my heart
looks great. And so,

yeah.

I can't put it plainer
than that.

repeat (all)

I put the album on
that I played the last time
I could not get to sleep
it came out in '01
and it's really been years
and it's not working, now -

but it washes right over me
beautiful, wow

and I can't get to sleep,
or to peace
with the past

if the moment won't pass, make it last

make it last.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

take your hand

I'll take your naked hand in mine
and bow my head and kiss it, grin
- and I'll be yours, and you'll be mine,
and every fight we have, we'll win.

the rapids

I keep telling myself
in the back of my mind
that I'm not going to bother you with this stuff

it's not that you don't care, or
that you're not indignant
to not be a part of my struggle enough

- you are! yes you are
you're a big enough
part

You're my rock. and
I need you to settle down -
or else, I'll have no mark to swim for, love
I'll be swept under, pulled
down the rapids,
and drown

It's just that you can't help me through,
not through this.
Not by diving in reckless!
- just give me your trust

just your trust, not your help -
all I ask
just hold fast.
Your help can't help me now
to get safe through this crush,
get myself through this stretch -

I can't drag you along,
and the weight of your fears,
and your tough, sharp advice

I know you want to help

what I need is this chance
to shoot through, to get clear,
safe to you,
back to life

and I know what I need
to do now, to do that.
You say all that you want
is to do all can,
- and you do.

but you push
and insist to do more than you can.
Can that help?
Does it somehow help you?

It can't
help me.
I just

listened to you -
or your voice, your
voicemail.

Yes, I'm uncomfortable. Yes, I am probably
still working out in my head what is best.
To be honest, I'll probably be working it out
in my head on an ongoing basis I guess.
That's just the place where
I work all these things things out

whenever you don't swoop in to announce
- like a startling angel -
that henceforth I must
work it out in my mouth,

work it all out right now.

Please, if you think you can save me

if you want to save me -
I need you to save me
- save me

by standing back!

Stand fast, hold safe -
right exactly where you are. I need
someplace to aim.

I am in the rapids,
in shock

I am slipping over the edge
of the waterfall,
now

and I have maybe one chance
to take a very deep breath,
shut my mouth,

and aim for the rock

Monday, November 15, 2010

in case of emergency

when the real aliens come,
to take us down,
all our top crypto-science-
fiction experts
had better just shut the fuck up.
I don't want to hear any gloating
from the star wars camp, because
they have laser swords, or from
the star trek camp, because they all
speak English, or from the Asimov camp,
because their robots operate
according to preposterously-flawed
programming constraints.

I want
all these geeks
to just shut the fuck up
and buckle the fuck down, and help
our god-damn unified patriotic military
infrastructure of Earth

to come together

and find some tricky way to beat these bastards.

God!
Is there -

can there be?

- any hope at all?

I wish there was some way we could start working on the problem now.
We simply have no data.

closest thing

my heart,
paler and fainter than yours
beats faint in the echoes
of your strong pulse
I know I can't love or feel
ever so strong
as you do
but I'm close
I am really
so close

Monday, November 08, 2010

no distraction

we each have things to focus on
that need our full attention, so
I guess I should back off a bit
so as not to distract you - though,
do I still fit the bill? for that?
at this point - I'd divert, at best
a pleasant, slight diversion, no
distraction, no, at most
a pest

it would suck to have more than one house

it would suck to have more than one house
you'd be tearing the house apart,
searching for something
some book
some letter
some key
"I knew it's here someplace...!"
some particular item of clothing
some sweater
some keepsake
a gift, maybe
- when all of a sudden it would hit you:
"Shit.
Maybe
it's in Barcelona."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

party lover

party lover

I'm a

I'm a

party lover,
I love parties

I'll be standing
by the brick part
of the wall
and body-rockin'
subtly
subtly

body-rockin'
I say subtly,
'cause there isn't any
music, really
isn't this a
party? Where's the
music? really,
I can still be
body-rockin'
very, very, very
subtly
subtly

drink in hand and
well away from
anybody

standing over
standing over
by the brick part
of the wall

this is just a
drink I'm drinking
this is just a
thing I saw
I can talk about
ideas
I can talk about
the wall

especially this brick part
right here
check the subtle texture
y'all

there's the girl
I can't go over
she's not quite
the girl at all

she's just sitting
on the quilt part
of the couch -
she looks quite tall
but she could be deceptive, really
sitting down's no way to tell
hey - wait - is she body-rockin'?
subtly, subtly!
what the hell?

maybe I judged prematurely
or she's making fun of me!
- but no,
she sits there,
quite sincerely
body-rockin'

sub
tl
y.

one of us should
probably either
go head over, or
come hither

'cause it's clear we're
both aware this has become
a tense, hair-trigger
standoff duel
misdirection
near-miss
eye-contact
who'll flinch?

each of us with Aldis lamp,
expertly mistiming blinks

shadow-boxing in the dark,
fencing without touching blades, she
wields her hair flip like I wield my
bottle-label-scrutiny

if we keep this up too long
if the moment draws too out
if our gaze, some how some way can't

oops, a hit - a touch!

touché

Friday, November 05, 2010

through the wars

and every night without you is the worst night of my life.
I can't take many more of these, or - that's what it
feels like,

- but if I never tell a soul, or you,
and if I can get through, they'll never know!
and no one will. And it will all have been
a dream: no harm, no scar, no stain, no
corpse, no
pain.

We've all been through the wars,
and these
are ours.

Of course we'll fight: the
battlefield is several thousand miles wide,

and you are on the other side.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

dead letter

it's written and sealed
the address is still good,
and it isn't like one of those letters
where you would write all your hurts down
not intending to send -

no,

you very much meant
every word you wrote then.

You intended, you wrote -
It was meant to be sent.
it was meant to be read -

you pressed hard with your pen,
and said several things twice
that were not very nice
first time through

(and the second just hardened the ice)

so now how does it sit, sitting
squared off and white, looking
straight businesslike, to an inch
of its life, and with full postage paid
up in old-fashioned stamp?

to the penny, weighed out

and licked twice, moistened damp
with saliva - the last you'll be spending

on this! And

(you'll never admit!) - with a tear

with a kiss

the given moment

when that glint in my eye
catches fire,
and I have a break
to take in

the breath that I need

a break in the personal cloud
that I carry
a sky-and-a-half's worth of height over me

the scent and the chemistry both say "now"
and you know what it means to me
baby,

(almost)

I can't quite myself grasp
all this mystery
solved

but I know -
it's not gravity

pulling us close

"Are you into me?"

she asked, and I
must say. That's the single best
way I have ever heard that question
put.

"Are you into me?"

She could
(perhaps)
have put it with a bit more casual tone.
The phrasing was impeccable, but the execution, the
delivery, was very much less than "cool." As asked,
the answer mattered. The question
most definitely meant something. She asked
with something behind it, pushing forward. Not
in a forward way, necessarily, but
definitely with a point.
Pointed. Intent. Very intent, and, well,
maybe that was what she intended! In fact,
that's probably a fact. In fact I'm sure,
running it through my mind now,
that that
was probably how she wanted
to come across. So yes. It's not a criticism!
Just because 'proper form' on these things
is considered to be
to be
as aloof and cool
as one can be (when
asking a question like that!), well
- what if you don't want to be aloof and cool? Maybe
it's not an aloof question, for you. So if so, you put
that intent look
and calm but serious tone
there - as if to say, "Something
to ask you, here. This is
or may become
important."

(that's just a tone. Mind you
you didn't actually say that!) (hence "as
if to say")

- but well, that's kind of a grabber! Right?
So yes! Not a criticism. In fact, as I said

I have to say, that
was the single best way
I have ever heard that question
put.

Some people say, "do you like me?" This sets the bar
far too low. The only non-affirmative
answer to that question
would be "fuck
off."
(or tantamount to)

One girl asked me, "do you LIKE-like me?" Which - well,
that would have been fine, I guess, except - she's not
a girl. She's very much fully a woman. Are we in
high school? Do YOU 'like'-like
ME?

Of course! Very muchfully!

If we resort to "are you interested in me?" I immediately
feel like Mr. Spock. Here comes the quizzical eyebrow. I begin
to look for aspects of interest. "Fascinating"

But here.

There you are, right here.

In front of me now, and you (quite
pointedly) ask:

"Are you into me?"

and, Wow.

I have just nothing to say.

I mean, I wouldn't have thought
so before, or rather thought about it that
way, but

when you put it like THAT -

all of a sudden hey

...I kind of am.

"man and wife"

I've known it ever since I saw you
that you were going to be a handful
I knew that you were no pushover
that you could fight me to a standstill

well you should know my will is strong
but you should know my will is good
we both would fight for what we believe in
but we can see that it's the same thing

and I
will love you now, and you
will change my life, and we
will make a start
to find true love as man and wife

and so we both have strong opinions
and maybe always not agreements
so there'll be times I must correct you
and you won't humor me at all
I'll tell you "please don't misunderstand me"
but there are times when you are going to
and there is going to be big trouble
but it's with you I want to go through

and I
will love you now, and you
will change my life, and we
will take a vow
to find true love as man and wife

and you
will break my heart, and I
will let you down, but we
will take a vow
and I'll take whatever you dish out

and you should know my will is strong
but you should know my will is good

and many years will fall upon us
and though the burden will grow heavy,
you'll never stumble when you're weary -
'cause I'll be there to hold you steady
and tell you "I
still love you now, 'cause you
have changed my life, and we
are well begun
to find true love as man and wife

and you
still break my heart, and I
still let you down, but we
have taken vows,
and I'll take whatever

you dish out."

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

distance

A two hour trip is forever away
'cause you can't go today
or today
or today

Sunday, October 31, 2010

wings, of

the angel prefers to be at rest,
to stand or sit, feign gravity
where you or I would soar at will
if we were given liberty -
not congregate in libraries
to listen hard, so serious
to what mere mortals think,
unself-aware, lost thoughts
(it is a fact, our deepest thoughts
are poetry - but only angels hear)
and we are lost. So lost, no lone
consoling arm

could lift the weight
of thoughts, that come crowd in
to do us harm

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

so beautiful - what...?

most of the time,
I would rather not cry
so I tell people I
just made it up

which I did
which I did, yes
I did make it up

but I had
so much help
so much help

so much

help

pinch

everybody just wants
to find someone to wake up to
from their whole life,

- like one bad dream
of people who turn out to be
not the one you waited for,

so not the one you waited for -
except you did.

You waited,

and you wait,

and you're wide awake.

pushing suspense

I could live for years
in the pleasant suspense
of what you said then,
on the barest chance
of such silly things
(very serious!)
coming sudden true
on their own, as if

time had borne ripe fruit
blushing red, from green
with no forcing it
on my part, I mean

I'd be perfectly sweet
with this wait, right now
through eternity, thinking
"hey, well, wow...!"
it's a world like this
I've been living in...!

such suspense is bliss
every day, give in
to a moment of lift
that goes on, and up
on their own, dear miss:
my skipped beats pump blood
so may I make bold: please,
no need to rush!

for as long as you hold
the string - I'm flush

a kite stretched out stiff
on its cross of air

I could live for a year
on a high this rare

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

g. & p.

Ah, were I a sculptor
and you imprisoned in a block
I'd still and calm my hands,
and breathe,
and grasp my tools
and work 'round clock and calendar
'til you were freed
and perfect, stood
and if 'twould turn the trick,
to pagan gods and goddesses
I'd send up plea
if only they would grant my wish

you'd live,
and then I'd worship
only thee.

Dawn

was it only by chance
that my life was its darkest
just before you?

You are growing on me like a sunrise,

and the world in your light
is one I have never seen

even though
I have not moved
from where we fell, when I last
fell asleep.

two lives are not possible

and one life takes you one way
while love goes on straight

you hold out your hand, "you
can leap! Come along!"

but love made the right move,
and you got away.

What can we do but move on?

People go on, to live
their lives apart, to live
good lives: their own

it's a lot like they've died

- except somewhere, way out there
you know: there's a ghost
who walks on, and who grows,
and who smiles, and cries
and knows

niche

Ah, each of us must be our niche,
and fill it too -
is life a leash?
or just a bitch

deserve's got nothing to do with it

you deserve more than some
poor guy, he's such a nice harmless guy
you can talk about anything anytime,

you deserve more than some
puppyman with dog-beg eyes,
snuffling you with his fucking nose
smitten, with his head in your lap
(or trying to be)

you deserve more than some
constantly apologizing -
no matter how crazy the angle!
the way we interact is strange

always feel good from talking to him
you deserve more
than some

"guy"

you deserve

a BAD ASS

some hard-case, capable of things
that

frankly,

you think maybe you don't want to know about

while this hard customer, grim

voice heavy

and filled with dull, heavy points

like a pail of nails, but

a man of few words, though - few,

proud

- entire links skipped in chains of thought, when he speaks - you

better fill it in, right? or whose fault is it?

not his. He said his piece.

This unforgiving s-o-b has a shadow
that never fails to fall across his eye

(when he looks at you)

so that his eye glints and gleams

that never fails to set you a-quiver

but really, darlin'
you deserve better than

fantasy

why not settle for
some boring dork

like me?

Monday, October 25, 2010

the practice is natural

I am sad for those
who think it unnatural to try.

And who,
by this bias,
deprive themselves
of so many fruits
of their would-have-been
finest efforts! Because they feel
that to make effort is to taint
inspiration - they woud rather lie back
stupefied, dissatisfied; awaiting
their lagging muse - rather than to stand,
jiggle their bodies and limbs, and throw
themselves around in an exuberant dance
to call to her, to call her hence!

The muse waits not on those who wait
for her. She attends those who pay
her effort, who do her homage,
who pay her attention, which
is only her due.

It's better to write ten
poems at once than to wait
for inspiration to strike. You
can sit back all you want, say
"I don't like to force it," all you like
- and hell, neither do I! (Like to force it.)
I like it just to flow. Flow like a mysterious
river, never knowing from whence it sprang, like
a sudden storm, a guerilla cumulonimbus that gangs
up sudden, a towering mountainous cliff of dark wet cottonballs
glaring up over the rise, that grew over you while you were napping
and now there is lightning and hail of inspiration
in the sizzling air of your turned-on mind!

Wouldn't we all like it like that? So easy,

waking up from a nap.

I like it to land
sudden,
in one's lap

like an unexpected Saturday blow job. Don't we all?

Well, fuck. Of course we do.

But you know what?

I'm sorry to have to say it,
but sometimes, before it's ever going to start
to "just flow"
to ever get going,
sometimes - you have

to fucking work for it a little.

Shit.

Now go write ten poems

after a pause,

He shrugged
his shoulders with an almost
hostile emphasis

a red glint
in his glare - read
by her

the reflected coal of his glowing
cigarette.

The smoke from the butt, drifting
almost absently
into their eyes,

Him, slowly shaking his head, dazed.

Almost inaudibly: "No,"

he lied

pagliacci

do I amuse you? Like Joe Pesci,
a clown? -

I guess
I have never quite had
the luck or skill of
getting it right: quotations,
impressions,
impersonations,
the voice of a cartoon
favorite or a grizzled, screen-western veteran,
though I try,
with pathetic effect.
I wish I could, but I cannot
mimic. I cannot but fail
to produce that music
of perfect intonation
that triggers the moment,
and you in it!
With a gigglesnort
of recognition
and delight

- no,

I don't. amuse

you

necessity

Necessity, as they say
is a motherfucker. Now,

don't split hairs -

that's
essentially the gist! I
could easily invent twenty ways
to say everything nice, but

there's no need now

- not after
that
kiss!

still, small

the question is all that I know for sure
if you answered,
the answer could not satisfy

it would never hit home
like the question does now
in its permanent place in my life,

"God, why?"

Your perfume

your perfume smells
your perfume smells
like you. I don't know how else to describe it. and I've
been missing you so much, lately; and I know what vivid
memories a scent can recall, and I have been

craving

anything

so much.

So,
I knew what brand it was -
so I bought myself a bottle. And

I put some on, but

it doesn't smell like you at all
on me. I guess

the chemistry of you
must mingle into it, to
produce a uniqueness

which is a really nice feature I guess,
for a perfume to have.

But for my purposes -
I just wasted like
fifty bucks!

At your earliest fucking convenience

At your earliest fucking convenience, please
at your a.s.a.p., no: I mean do it NOW
stop whatever you're wasting your time with (and mine)
and contact me at once to explain why and how
and precisely the fuck what you meant, by those words
were you kidding or what? What the fuck! Are you blind?
Are you dumb? Are you out of your skull? Or was I?

yeah, I guess it was me.

You know what?

Never mind.

presentiment

my bunion aches when it's going to rain
I sit on the porch, buffing shotgun shells
making neat gleaming piles
of pent-up pain

to release, to release
when I see you again

I've been sitting here nursing my old, bad leg
from the kick that you gave me last time I called
I limped home from your house, next door

ten miles

when I felt well again, I went out with a smile
and I put up a sign at the gate, for you
saying: "TREPASSERS WELCOME!" big, black & white
but in smaller gray letters, of finest type -

"- neighbors beware: you'll be shot on sight"

insomnia notes

I am sorry to hear
you have paid the price
for your two-hour nap
(such a hedonist!)

you have paid the price
you'll be up for hours -
and with only four hours left
to rest

let the tension and brownish electricity
lessen, awareness stretch out
behind your aching eyes
- let it all drain away
- from your fingertips, toes,
as you lie on your back, in a room
soaked in dye
like a squid-ink pool,
you lie cradled in black.
In the softness
of one indecipherable sound,
like a murmering voice
that's been gagged, drugged and bound
to tell only the truth,
- but it can't be made out

so though you lie back flat
straining every last nerve
to ignore these distractions
and finally collapse
into dumb unawareness,
as morning comes on like a truck

you sit up -
sudden clarity!

gasp

Sunday, October 24, 2010

my pink skin

my pink skin
so white and flushed
with rose

like a delicate blush of red thoughts
pulled up from below
by white grape and
frozen alcohol
- a wine much too cold
from sitting between two rocks
in an icy spring

my skin, pink

these soft and downy cheeks
but bristled further down my jaw
by beard of wiry rust

and my eyes say just
what you've been thinking:

"this arrogant son of a bitch
- in the moment of this intimate picnic -
is mentally composing a poem
about his pink skin!"

"his lovely,

soft

pink skin"

and we kiss

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"We Make Poetry"

Well the rain is just wasted - washed away
and the stars have all fallen - in your sway
now the dawn has come crawling - still darkness clings
from your lips I have tasted - the natural order of things

You and me we make poetry
We got a natural affinity
Here I come, here you go with me
Sliding in, to infinity

We were half way up the sky, and foolin' round
when we slipped and fell laughing, back halfway down
then you pulled me in close and I cried in pain
it was like I caught lightning - inside your clouds and rain

You and me we make poetry
We got a natural affinity
Here I come, here you go with me
Sliding in, to infinity
You and me we make poetry
With an eye for simplicity
But I let you embellish me
'Cause I trust you implicitly

Although
our paths
can't be
diverged
still you
and me
are free
as verse
reason
can't learn
what we
both know
and rhyme has no symmetries
to match with these, you make me
overflow

I have finally succeeded - in stopping time
and if gravity's broken - the fault's all mine
I was only expressing a universal truth
and if I was just guessing, hey now - you're my proof

You and me we make poetry
We got a natural affinity
Here I come, here you go with me
Sliding in, to infinity
You and me we make poetry
With an eye for simplicity
But I let you embellish me
'Cause I trust you implicitly
You and me, we make
No you can't - fake
Here I come - hey
Sliding in, all the way
All the way to infinity
You and me we make poetry
We got a natural affinity
Here I come, here you go with me

primer

Love is my second language
I fumble with each phrase, testing
syllables upon the air
and navigating ways
of making senses come to front,
that have been buried by my sad attempts
to parse my words into your tongue,
for everything as it was meant

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

to lose

there hasn't been a thing
for me to do
here, since you left
and I have been here,
since you left

and I have done
precisely this:

I

have piled precious moments
filled with longing,
ever longer
in a pile,
ever-growing
of these black and stubby seconds
that are scraped
from this clock's bloodless face,
by long and slow revolving sweep
of razor-perfect minute-hand

as time piles up,

where it will keep.

be a whore

why not be a whore?
money for sex
is the latest thing,
the oldest trick in the book -
the profession of queens, and besides,

as all the sayings go.

We all already know, we all know -

what you are

food chain

we're bound to this:
the ground,
the dirt
by chains of flesh
and teeth sunk in

by starving pangs
by murdered eye,
by cries of pain

we're bound to meat,
to blood,
to dew

we salt the earth
black pepper ground
and sausage link

by bellyful
by spill,
and stain

we're added to

this chain chain chain

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Frisco! A City of Manifold Attractions: A Free-Verse Poetry Photoessay Odyssey with Your Humble Poet Pt. 1: The Golden Gate

photo credit M. Humphris
Photobucket

They say they paint this thing
full-time, year round
from one
end
to the end

all up and down,
and when you get it done -
it's just one long look back
again

down that whole span
of long hard work, of days
and days, and weeks
and weeks, one long hard look to see
how far you've come
how far you'll have to go again

before you back it up, and run
take one long narrow-eyed look back
all down that length of cable swoop,
so graceful-hung, with nothing slack
a harp, for monstrous angels to perform upon;
a cruciform and bar for some gigantic puppeteer
to pose, and hold his form,
and cock his ear with far-off gaze
awaiting cue, he'll still his hands
until the signal comes to jerk the strings -
make cars and people dance

the cables droop their tautened cords
while pinioned up upon the track
of jutting tower, thrusting proud
with atlas-load upon its back
look past that awesome, squarish brute
and past his brother, all the way
way down the other end -
your starting point
is just about to start

its fade,

and flake,
and peel, and if
you're not right quick
- its rust, as well.

In aid of job security,
I accidentally took a toll,
a scrape of brick-red paint -
- I must have just kicked back
my heel and left a heart-red smear
on leather black (and maybe smudge of black,
on red?)

it must have happened when we posed,
after we'd walked half-way across
when we walked back, you noticed it -

I'm never going to buff it off.

Monday, October 18, 2010

by hearthlight and woodsmoke

here inside
this little house I call my heart, I wish
I didn't know

that cosmic things await outside
to span the skies, and stir me so

Sunday, October 17, 2010

in even-numbered hours

in even-numbered hours,
I get things done
I clean the damn house up,
I work on a song
I rush to prioritize,
start,
and get through

for odd-numbered hours,

I think of you

Sunday, October 10, 2010

united in this

and we should be
united in this
we should both know exact
how we feel about it
what we both say what happened,
where the story should go
from here, it's all over
unless we say so

"it's really not the doorbell"

Your e-mails from before
that I never saw
that you swear you sent then
come haunting my in-box

they drift up, one after the other
arriving like guests
arriving like ghosts
who could not make it on the night of,
- though they were expected,
though they promised, and
confirmed -

they could not even put in an appearance.

but they are so prompt now
and every year after,

on the anniversary of the party

Saturday, October 09, 2010

seven years' luck

my mind is a mirror
I've broken to pieces
these blank, razor shards are
all separate amnesias
not one piece is lost
but there's nothing to see
every angle is off, and
there's no sign of me

Friday, October 08, 2010

excuse

a poem, once underway
tends to lift eyes from its original object,
to go out far, to turn aside, dawdle,
to take roads of its own home

no longer worrying so much
about what the point was
that inspired it forth

and once again -

forgot the damn eggs as well

spoiled

spoiled, by your voice
as you read, I want you
to read to me everything,
everything, and all prose
and all poems. Seriously,
you should be on NPR. Tell them
to kill the smirking background violins
and let you tell it all,
naked, a cappella, perhaps not
quite literally naked
in the studio,
although - I hear NPR can get pretty wild

but I digress.

Shut me up, please!

Read.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

as if your eyes

as if your eyes
held nothing but truth,
you flash and flaunt
your soul to mine
your naked soul
such bare deceit
my eyes aren't taken in,
just me

as if on cue

that hateful minx
slapped triangle
on gleaming balls
then whisked away

a perfect rack,
Isosceles
could not have done it
better, say

is it my break? I thought
I lost
the last two games

well, if I must
if you insist: I'll break

but you just brace yourself,
now

for a loss

some princess

You're grasping at straws with such good cause
making sweet hay while the hot sun shines
on a farm such as the one
that maybe David St. Hubbins
might have sung about once,
straws so sweet - but rough, dry,
no longer - suddenly fine!
since you've spun them to gold -
in your hands, alchemy: matter, space
yield to mind
time to eternity
wax poured into mold
nimble fingers spin lines
of cut summer-grown grass,
grown first head-high then mown
now as shimmering flax, into metal dissolved,
gleaming sun-like, light shone
so much brighter than brass
and you - working so sure,
with repetitive pass,
with untiring stroke
piled treasures galore
till a finger-slip - prick!
on one thin spindle fell
and with moan,
and with swoon
you were under the spell

Monday, October 04, 2010

dear,

your mind is mine,
like open books
and secret signs
and meanings took
and understood
like easy math.
I read your mind!
signed,

psychopath

Friday, October 01, 2010

I changed my bad idea

I changed the bad idea I had
I had to change it, it was working
out

for worse and worst, and
worse than that
it stuck
in every place it touched
- and lord, it stuck so fast!
No coming off. No razor
shave, no wiggle/slip, no
working loose
- but stuck
for good!

For good-

was it?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

just the best ass

There's a girl at work
and she has
just the best ass.

I'm not interested in any
other part of her

not her pretty face

or her lovely, but rather
let's-be-frank undersized,
rack

or her but-let-us-not-speak
-of-such-delicate-matters,
either.

I'm not interested in that!

see,

I'm a professional,

and I'm not going to go chasing
after work-based tail!

Besides: as a serious feminist,

if I were going to try
to take a crack,
to "hit that",
then I would never of course

go about it by
engaging in such moves
based on some shallow basis. I could never

enter into
something

real,

not by depersonalizing a woman!
down to simply one
or several
of her gross physical attributes

Hell, no.

Not this guy!

I find the prospect alone
repugnant, almost
gross

albeit when I say: "gross
physical attributes" -
none of hers are, I assure you
remotely gross, but I digress. Point is: in

a relationship situation, or even
contemplating such a thing! even
hypothetically! you can't just
focus in
on that one thing

that one big thing

that one main thing
that thing
that caught your eye

in the first place

wow,

look at that

and held it,
held your eye
prisoner, captive,
and with it - your mind.

No. You can't do that.

No,

you can't.

I'm telling you. You can't. That's
just not how you go about it.

You can't.

What you have to do is:
to love a woman,

You have to
appreciate her -
her entire, her
whole womanness
in its complete
and rounded
totality.

Of course!

Doesn't that go without saying? Sure

And I'll be honest -
all of that
totality, well
it might distract
just a bit
from that ass
on her.

Which, frankly!

it is just
the best ass. I'd almost
rather just leave all these other aspects
aside, for the moment

a separate issue

really

nine-tenths

you have entered in
to me
assumed
possession,
ownership
- my heart,
in no fit state
to take in company

feels nonetheless
at peace with it

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things such as cannot properly be said

My heart lives in a house on fire;
these feelings for you
that I have -
well they don't mean much;
not without that sigh of sudden tenderness
that awakens in your breast like a mighty shout,
a sweet whisper of the strange lands
that your heart hearkens unto
in the darkling deeps of love's sweet night of the soul -
when the toes of one's unreadiness settle
heavily
into the thickly downed slippers
of love's repose.

as we waltz achingly into the future,
dripping endless entreaties of love,
we sweet happiness to each other
over tender protestations of despair.
This, too, our dearly-made destiny:
falling haplessly by as the sleeping years
smite us hither with deep longing,
under the baleful glances of the moon.
you are beautiful
beyond flowers
and jewelry,
and sunsets,
and fine things,
beyond the soft glow of fires
and the sweet earth from which we grow
and I love you for it.
Your sweet head is in my heart
bumping and thumping around
but it can't get out.

our vows

so it's agreed, then:
we'll pull one straw from the hand
roll a pair of crack dice
flip a coin in midair,
don't even watch
where it lands, stand precise
upon the crack
between the sidewalk and road

leave every little thing to chance,
and see -

wherever it goes

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

goddess of dark alleys

she stains all the glass
that lies in shards
at her feet as she'll pass
through the darkest of nights
down the darkest of halls
in between every tall
and magnificent spire,
her shadow falls higher

still want you all

I still want you
all to myself, somehow,
despite now
I have practically none
of you left
to call mine
- oh, I'll call
I can call all I want!
I can call, and
we'll talk, and
agree that it's
fine

Saturday, September 25, 2010

first morning beer

I haven't had beer in the morning since I left
you - or rather, you threw me out
that last half-bottle that got left
on the nightstand
sour and warm
to wash down our pills in the morning, and
revive what was left
of the taste in our mouths

and today I see
that last half-bottle that got left
last night, that I forgot to drink, to finish
sitting there for me. to drink

to finish

so,
thinking of you, warm
and sour,
I raise the bottle and
pour it out

Friday, September 24, 2010

fate vs. what actually happened

our memories have minds of their own,
I think. And they go where they wish
without asking permission
and lists of those things
you would better forget
walk right in, popping corks
clinking glasses and laughing,
and listening - to words
that can't now be unsaid, and
speaking back words
that can't now be unheard
and decisions, decisions -
so hard to make once!
must be relived again,
but yet never undone.

Lived again, and again
- what this memory wants
is a chance to live now
and be what should have been!
but the best it can do
is torment us again
every single thing right
but the end

of the scene

some people should not be given super-powers

so that's when I used my super-powers
to make everything alright!
and then I warned people
"do not fuck with strangers"
"because who are they?" "and what are they capable of?"

"you don't know!"

that's a good lesson,
but people were like,
"Thanks, Mom!"
kind of insultingly
so I killed
and resurrected them
with my super-powers

which I guess

showed them!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

at least the lemmings

Hm. Speaking
of work,
of lemmings,
I bet they could set up
rows of a hundred hamster wheels
in front of a cliff!

with lemmings - one
in each wheel, like a cubicle, a
workstation - it would be

perfect. A piece - a performance art
nature installation, these lemmings,
running endlessly
towards that sweet cliff of
desire, of consummation. It
would be like:

  • a commentary on modern society,
  • how the ceaseless spinning wheels
  • we allow ourselves to be harnessed
  • into are in the long run, just a slower variation
  • on the mass leap of
suicide

that certain furrier lower organisms take
at a run, leaping
by instinct.

Meanwhile we sit scratching our heads "why?" - while we sit
running in place, and admiring our view
of the precipice
over which one day we too shall plunge.

But not yet: work,
work to be done.

The wheels
must wheel.

There. Perfect.

foot down

you put foot down hard
on the surface of a lake
we'll be held up by faith
for as long as it takes

Sunday, September 19, 2010

she said 'later'

she said 'later' because
it's closer to never
I took it because
it's the best I could get
from her
push her for something
you'll get nothing back
I've known her, well
long enough
to know that

my hair looks great

my hair looks great
in mirrors, drunk
or in your eyes,
or so you slur
- but later on
the photographs
show evidence
of matted fur

Friday, September 17, 2010

you and your line

there wasn't much I could say to that
you and your line going off along
your trajectory left, and away,
and up
and out
course-corrections fed in
as you go
if you're wrong,
you'll be wrong
and I'll maybe find out
when our paths cross up
on the other side
when we're each too late
to do much, but decide
we can see we weren't wrong
only off

just a touch

check

checking in again
oh, religiously
like I tend to do
on what interests me
and for God's sake, what
do I find from you?

you're still stuck on this?
in this needle groove -
with your perfect skip,
jumping back one notch
- you stay centered along,
carving into pain -
though the wheel turns
smooth,
and it never stops,
you will never progress
past the first refrain

and the words you repeat
at the top of your voice
- you don't know what they mean,
though you sing with force
and they could have been
great, and true, my friend
it's a shame for this song
you won't let it
end

we need to frown

we need to frown upon
such things
and stop our
laughter in our
throats
before we get
so carried off
to all
the places that it goes

caught

I caught a look
that wasn't meant
for me, but for
the guy behind
me in the hall, I didn't
even know he's there!
your smile is
armistice
armor
armament,
amour

- you're at
the other end,
a hall that runs considerably
and I can't see your eye contact
is just that slight bit "off"
from me -

so I light up,
and wonder what on earth
has passed between us? passed
without my notice, passed
without my taking it
it seems
quite serious
and great!
and dangerous, perhaps
and guarded
hurt once, maybe

so much depends
on distances
and little differences
and you

see me light up
you have to laugh
there's no mistaking

my mistake

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where There's Smoke, There's Jackie

she's got a point to make
red, glows, and fades
to gray
while weaving 'round
then reexplodes into white red
strong pull, push out
a ream of smoke
encircles, clouds
then clears

the air
is breathing her
she's conquered fire,
and our hearts
we're all enthralled a bit,
we breathe

in her:
black arts
and filthy habits
burn to clean
a catch, a
cough

my throat,
tight - burns
my eyes fill up

are you okay?

oh yes
I love
I've learned
to love

you
burn
me

up

Your house is boards, held together by swords

Your house is boards, held together by swords
light gleams off blades,
and shines through cracks
you stand ready to defend yourself with your life
at the sign of a threat, you draw forth cold steel
and your walls collapse

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

pinch

were you feeling a pinch
of uncomfortable, with
the feeling of this

with decisions you made
that you live with each day
for reasons explained
to yourself through and through
that are ringing less true?
are you feeling betrayed

by this out-of-control,
by yourself, most of all
by the path that you chose
to traipse gaily straight off
into bramble and rose
to go gambol in weeds
by the side of the road
- yes, a gamble indeed
to go rambling, now! from
a path straight and true
that you picked for your self
your best self

to see through.

In a pinch, all the reasons
still hold water, now
still hold, watertight -
still hold water: clear

but there's something far stronger
than water, held here
and the slow, deepest drink
leaves you feeling no fear

but a pinch - maybe? feeling
uncomfortable where
those decisions hem in
around feelings that can't
be quite comfortably
fit

- yet still squeeze to expand?
and did you feel a pinch,
and from that did you know
you're not dreaming?
and so -

did you want to pinch me?
one stray hand,

a hard squeeze

and let go

Monday, September 13, 2010

croon

I heard about it from a friend
who informed me today
I like the way you move
and that's when I fell in love
I got a letter from my heart,
I've been waiting to open it
until the moment comes
and that's when I fell in love
I looked across a crowded room
and my eyes locked on the empty space
where you didn't show up, I guess
and that's when I fell in love
it's like it was meant to be! like
every coincidence in town got together
- a conspiracy of coincidences, yes
and that's when I fell in love
with a thing, yes a sweet sweet thing
that's when I fell in love
with a sweet, sweet, thing, thing, thing
called
yooooooooooooooooooooooouuuuuuuuu!

grace before

your kitchen
cooked
aromas waft
your art upon your walls
a feast
you lay before me
everything
you softly sing
my neck
a kiss,

and we dig in

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a dozen fights

I rehearsed a dozen fights
just in case, before you showed up
and I'd like to say - that readiness
paid off, I think: we didn't fight
at all!

Not once. Not one
stupid fight, about anything

for once.

preparedness. I tell you,

preparedness

pays off.

Because

I was totally ready

Capital.

Come the revolution, I'll be up against the wall.
Standing straight with heel-click posture, tall and straight
and tall. Search the trembling firing squad,
with blithely scathing eyes,
they all know me
and what I've done,
and some of them have cried.
the commandant steps up,
all hard
with cigarettes
and blindfold,
scarred
across his nose
(and I know why)
and with a nod
I do decline the blindfold
but
with minute sneer,
I indicate the cigarettes,
with look afar -
"Send these away, old friend,"
I say
"and get me a cigar."

Friday, September 10, 2010

which in love

You told me once, that all things
which in love were made, in love
would keep - in love, all things kept
clean, or cleansed - forgiven,
unconditioned,
knots unbound,
blood run backwards into wounds, unstabbed
and sealed over with a kiss. Hearts uncrushed,
sprung back into the shape they had been, unbruised,
red threads of muscle snapped, clasped, rejoined
with no join to show for it. No
scar,

which in love do you mean?

to earth, a star

She fell to earth
her surface white
then red, then
black
and pitted rock

she cooled, and
cooled
her crater smoked
and cooled as well
I stretched my hand
out with a shock

and held it flat
and slid it down
her surface smooth where
molten streaks
wiped detail clean
and rough, where
burned
and pitted spikes
and chips
shot free

where shards snapped, fractured, out
and flew
the skin burnt black
torn by the air
her ribs like spokes

broke
through

the wind
stripped smoke
and flame, a vapor
tail swept back
she tossed her mane
it glowed,
trailed curled behind
in superheat,
her wake, inflamed
with friction's hands
expanding, spreads
to cleave and streak and scar
the sky
just like
her perfect form
has been so pitted, streaked
and scarred
oh lord, I still
see her

before she fell

so hard,

so hard

now legs, fused tight
her arms, held hugged
to torso bled and merged
and warped
from flight
too fast
too far

and down

I shake my head
with one hand spread out
flat above her heart, I tap
with tiny metal hammer, then

I lift my hand
and bow my head

to press my ear
against

listen

Thursday, September 09, 2010

no offense to Beth

I'm crossing my fingers
holding my breath
tapping my toes with impatience, Beth

Beth, you don't know me
and I don't know anyone named you

but I've got poems to finish.
and I needed a name.
So I took yours. It fit well enough,
so no,
I'm not ashamed

but the poem itself, I admit
is a little bit

on the lame side, Beth.

What can I say. Maybe it's

that lackluster name of yours.

I have to admit

most of the time
I start a sentence with
"I have to admit"
it's not true.

I didn't have to

That Thing

That thing comes slithering
ithering
in
wet hair, bedraggled,
clammy skin
one eye puffed shut,
one bloodshot eye -
it won't say where it was
or why
instead it winks
and tries to smile
with teeth unspeakable
and vile
and while you rack your mind
for what its weakness is,
it eyes your butt

you toss wood stakes
and garlic cloves,
silver bullets,
dirty clothes
make frantic finger crucifix
but nothing works
and nothing fits
this shambling vampire revenant,
this low-rent lycanthropic pimp
whose body hosts unwholesome ghosts
this slumlord of his own unholy
demon-tenanted tenement
advances on

with one-eyed leer
pretending not to note
or hear
your whispered, ragged,
gasping plea

so: knee? Meet balls
and balls: meet knee.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I really love that color pink

your towel leads such a blessed life,
unknowing, as it wraps and slips
between the knowingest of nooks
in, down around and up, it dips
to rub from wet
to clean and dry, and buff to red
from paler hues - your towel and I
are of one mind
on just one thing:
the whole of you
your front, down all the way
to back behind, and all the bends
and curves, we just
want every inch of you
to rough and softly work your works
until you glow to rose, suffused
- then waking naked, on the air
so cool - your skin sends shivered thrills
until you wrap us tight 'round you,
and barely held, but tight -
you move to lie with us
upon your bed,
upon your towel or
was it me?
or was it all
just
in my
head

...this was widely viewed

...this was widely viewed
as a vindication of your
bullshit move, but I wasn't
placated, and neither were
you - you still can't forgive
yourself. With rue, you look into the mirror
and you hate it, well that's just
great, or at least it's just, I mean
maybe there's a time
when you'll finally do
what you must

YOU WIN

You win half
a pack of cigarettes,
half a bottle of white or red,
half a wheel of cheese and half
a loaf of bread.
Plus
half
what's
left.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

safe from me

Safe from me
Safe from me
I wish you were
I wish I was
because you will
waste precious years
of all your life
you can't get back
I won't give up
although I know I
should

I really should

I still
will waste your years
upon myself
not giving up
those miracles
that never come
I wish you could
be safe from me

because I know
I never could
I never could
I never will
I never will

and so I will
and so you won't
be safe from me
but maybe if
you throw it all
away

I'll catch

Friday, September 03, 2010

the week that monday never came, is coming around again, again

Alas, alack, awash in black
I mourn the demise of another week,
and shake my fist in anger at
the approaching and much-loathed
Monday Observed - "Labor Day"! Pah!
a day without work? That's some
way to celebrate the cause!
and then I must fit 5 days into 4
to a resounding ovation of small
applause

Thursday, September 02, 2010

a breathing spell

I'm passing through a breathing spell
brought on by you, and what you said
just now
just now,
that reached down through
my open mouth, and down
into my (not
my soul, but something
shivered, nerved and
shocked with sparks - my
spine?)
mind,
I don't know what to do
about this chance
I'll breathe
I'll be -
I'm fine!

I'll breathe

I'll breathe

I'll be

I'm

fine

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

round 2

gloves off

horseshoes in
gloves back on again

ding! ding,

shanty

sing a song of seven pence
a pocketful of ashes

four and twenty lashes
and a bottle of what's worst

to burn your throat, to keep
you here, to keep you going

on and through, with chafe of chain
and bend of back

through waves of black

your blade cuts through

to every move a motive

I like hotels with soft,
doughy danish in the lobby
paper cups for hot coffee,
hot water and assorted tea bags
all free! We make
fun of the orange juice,
and you choose
the most fucked-up
out of all the bagels.
I eye that thing
askance, as if to ask

- is it pity that moves you?

and in the mirror,
my eye

catches

my throat.

drill bit

She stood in boots
all attention, at ease
and she said "I'm your man,
sir!" - bright,
eager to
please,
well

I wasn't impressed.
With a stern dressing-down,
and a good talking-to
I reduced her to

frown

it went on for hours

it went on for hours
no one knew how, but wow, THAT
was one long haiku

So. Peter Gabriel.

So. Peter Gabriel.
My opinion of that guy,
he sings pretty high sometimes
that gulping shriek falsetto
never fails. Love it, and
he's like
with his weird, stacatto
syncopated vocalizations
he's like, what
the Tourette's of Soul
to me, anyway. His R
and his B are each
equally shot through
with this
World Music from Mars
or is it venus
that he does

that he does so well.

that he does so well,
it's hard to say how.

but I tell you,

though:

Peter Gabriel.

Peter Gabriel.

That's my man.

advice on your poem

I apologize. I never

give advice.

I usually don't give advice
or presume to. But I am moved,
and I must.

You must take what you have, here,
and use it as a beginning: to destroy
the universe, and travel in straight line.
Arc infinitely through what is left,
'til you reach the end,
dragging at lightspeed
the detritus of all that
blurred mass half-shattered into energy, all that
battered energy half-congealed into mass, and then
exert your pull: an entropic field, bending all
back together.

Inhale the last gasp of the big bang, change
and charge it with your lungs, expel it renewed
in a shout of light and time, the clang
of a brass gong the shape and size
of the cosmic microwave radiation background,
and what will be written upon it.

Your poem.

set sail

That kiss never happened. I saw it, lying there, tied up and waiting by the quay I felt it, my lips felt it through my eyes looking at your lips, your face stirred by a sweet breath exhaled - air - from grass, trees, pushed from behind by wind from the sea, and my lips set. Like wet concrete.

and somewhere, there was a ball game.

Your lips set like sails, spread wide in a smile that caught every ounce of breeze and turned it into speed - and away it went, a moment spent (mis-spent?) wisely, in some ways. I woke in your wake, awash in the waves from a moment gone by

that refused to take

please to meet

They say "speak of the devil,
the devil appears"
that's only the devil you know,
my dears
the devil you don't know
plays it cool.

You wouldn't know him if he kissed
you fool

rebuke thee

I cut like a sky through thick cloud, burn
like a brick wall through a life made of ash, of machismo
I've to spare, and I'll spare you plenty. The
figure I cut:
garish, rakish, mannish, - well,
it's all angles and angels and halos
cocked sideways, to hear me talk - wings
folded pretty insolently, harps plucked
sharp and painful, like a duck, to see it
my way - and if you care to check
you'll see I've got two little me's
on the right shoulder, and nobody
over the left. It's
how I've always known.

There's a certain amount of truth to everything,
if you know how to see it, you'll see exactly
what I mean. I mean
what I say

no

wait

is there some way?

That I've missed

no.

way.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

habeas

my corpse was born
same day as me

and I've been dragging it around,
like evidence

forever since.
but one day, I will lay it down

when the ruckus

when the ruckus
came up
there were days stretching out
like beaches with bugs
and nuts at a ballpark
when the ruckus
came up
there was time running empty
we filled all our glasses
half-empty with heart
when the ruckus
came up
we threw up our arms
with the sting-shining sun
squinting beams in our eyes
'til the ruckus
came up
let's pretend we weren't warned
pretend all we don't know
all we knew
was surprise

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

we go way back

there was a point at which
we both walked past the right way
fast and didn't see,
and we kept walking on
right to the end
and there we were. Impossibly
no hot dog stand
no left-hand road
the car was towed?
it couldn't be
it wasn't even on this street!
the side street disappeared
on me

and you
were really on my back
as we passed back, right past our way
- we went right past our street again! - without a glance!
as plain as day
and all the way back through the park
and half the way back to the lake
before you saw that tree you saw
from Middle-Earth, and then we stopped
and turned
and stood
to take the sights
and reconstruct the angles out
from where we were, with what
surrounds

and then we knew the right way out:

way back the whole long way we came
the same exact well-trodden track!
we'd only missed our turn, somehow

just catching up,
I guess.

we go way back

she sings

she sings
on the toilet
her voice
subtly but grotesquely distorted
by her efforts
you can sort of
hear what's happening
disgusting
I don't know why
I'm writing a poem
about it

Monday, August 23, 2010

slow leak

my life has developed a slow leak
I have to keep filling up
my right front tire
with quarters, and
damn if there wasn't water
on the tiles back behind, under
the toilet tank! Great. A drip
that I catch in a basin, that has
to be emptied
every several days, it's
filled up to halfway
and I am going away
for the weekend soon,
so I plan to surround it with towels
just in case. But it
should be fine. The rest of me too,
seems slowly to deflate, something
harder to see than water,
harder to breathe than air
escapes

and it isn't my sails
that fall empty and wait
as I drift in place, safe
in the cabin I hide
looking out the porthole
with no sign of storm
and the slow lap of warm
water creeping up the sides

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

GO GO SUFFRAGETTES!

Today the woman's right to vote
was ratified,
some years ago
and on this anniversary: I say
"GOOD JOB!"
to Susie B.

my life is no lie

my life is the truth,
or uncomfortably close
anyway - not a lie
not a vain, empty boast
not a carefully-crafted
and tended facade -
it goes all the way through
and sometimes it doesn't
rhyme, either

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dear Old Dad

Dear old dad is the motherfuckin man!
He never beat me up but he still can!
and way before the media knew it was cool,
he knew what was cool about Jackie Chan!
Even though dad is not a kung fu dude
- I think he knows karate or tae kwan doo,
and I can never remember what color belt he had
BUT HE'S GOT A BLACK BELT IN BEING A DAD!!

answered

I lie awake,
sometimes
trying to find God

it isn't hard,

if you know how to look
everywhere at once
for that infinite glimpse
of whatever you want

(not really "whatever you want")

well one time, awake at this hour,
trying to find God, I suddenly
quite accidentally
prayed
to you

by mistake.
Well, I don't know -
it's a little bit blasphemous,
I guess

but you know what?
it did
come true

flags from whole cloth

one time
I met this latin senorita,
and I was like "hey, hon,
how's that hot-blooded stereotypical temperament
treatin' ya?"

and she laughed,
she laughed because she had a good sense of humor

and we were like chi chi chi
and cha cha cha

but it didn't end up working out,
somehow.

and then one time,
with this irish lass,
I arched a brow and said
something to the effect
of "kiss me you're irish!"

only far, far more fetching
and clever somehow

(there was drink involved)

and she tasted of Becks not Guinness
which was fine

but I had to draw the line at Bushmills
that's for protestants

then this brit, well she sure did have a thing
for that thing that the british have a thing for
and I kidded her about that a bit, you can be sure

for breakfast we had bangers and cheerios

which went together, well,
about as well
as you'd suppose

if ever

If ever I said there was anything bad
that you were to me
- I won't say without cause,
I won't say it was lies -
but it sure hasn't stuck
anywhere I can see.

If ever I said how fantastic you are
or went on and on lengthily praising your faults
and your features, each equally held in regard
in esteem, and in love (at the time, anyway)
you should know (if you don't)
that as far as you go
- yes, no matter how far -
it all still applies.

I don't much look behind me,
no need to go back, or look back, or regret
I can carry myself, and the rest
you should know, when you left me
well, you left me changed
for the best.

In my hardest of heads,
it was you who made all
the most beautiful dents.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

two haiku

1.

I put pen to pap
er to compose haiku for
you. Keyboard, really


2.

beyond where we've been.
haiku! haiku! It's not what
it seem. haiku! hai-

Thursday, August 12, 2010

have you ever seen how much I love you?

have you ever seen
how much I love you?
it passed this way
just moments ago
I'm hot on its trail
- a huge hulking thing!
with great grasping arms -
which way did it go?

uh oh! here comes the flow

East/West coast to coast, I rocks the most, I don't beef - 'cept for cream chipped on toast - I smokes you like cigars, but you don't rate stars, it's just: one puff, splutter then chuck you to the gutter 'cause your stuff is poor quality, I'm aficionado-y, brand X is not up spec, and it's gotta be, I'm choosy like a mother! my shit is the Jiff, so if you're craving peanut butter try a sandwich of THIS, I miss whole dart boards, but yet shoot, it scores - the judges gave me the awards, my style is better than yours, despite every single triple-lutz my butt hits ice -

it's how I get back up again that's just too damn nice

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I beat a bear

I beat a bear
this was one time
down High Sierra way,
I guess

Just me.

I swear - though
no one saw
- I beat that bear
at chess

phantom leg

ever since we were as one
and then came unattached
we're like each others' phantom leg
the itch persists
- nothing to scratch

I feel sensations tingling
where I can't stretch my arms

a flow of blood through phantom nerves
where you should be,
but aren't

suddenly struck

suddenly struck
and again and again
by repeated hard blows
of how lucky I am

to have you, your heart
and your head, and
the rest is too good
to describe

I'm in love
with the best

War and Peace

the summer we read War and Peace
was long and uneventful
please, how could it have been otherwise?
we spread our blankets on the beach
and let the tides run up our thighs
as we shared chapters back and forth
we each gave voice to characters
now: you be Peace
and: I'll be War

tricky way

I wish that I
could find some tricky way
to make you love me

I know you love me anyway, though
so
kind of maybe a waste of effort?
or a waste of a wish,
because it's not really effort
just making wishes!
Plus, you love me now,
already

But still, even with that,
even with things already
as they are,
I'd still like
some tricky way

to hold reserved
for just in case

and then:
if you were wavering,

I'd go for it.

pull out that sweet, tricky way
of mine, and spring it on you -
very nonchalant.
and you'd be all

whoa

"I love you

I don't even know what I was thinking about just then
because I definitely love you"

and me,
well
I wouldn't feel bad at all, or guilty

because you said I could trick you if I had to
right?

Monday, August 09, 2010

If I was bees

If I was bees
I wouldn't care
that I was here
and you was there
I'd serve the queen
'cause that's the thing bees does

if you was here
I'd build a hive
and nudge you 'til you went inside
and then we'd buzz

'cause that's the thing bees does

Sunday, August 08, 2010

make me die

if you make me die,
it will be from good

too much life gone by
in a look, or a mood
that lasts ages and years
in the space of two beats
'til my heart says: "that's it!
that's enough,

complete.

Friday, August 06, 2010

just crazy

sometimes I suddenly think
that I must be too ugly to love
but you love me
you love me

sometimes it hits me, how far short I fall
from deserving you, but then
we all do
(you love me)

sometimes I don't know how long it will last
before you see it too
see through me
'til you do,
though -

you love me

and then, I realize that you've seen
all along, all through me
you're just crazy

you love me

Thursday, August 05, 2010

poem-in-one-go #darned-if-I-know

runaway train
running right off the track!
runaway train
running right off the track!

uh oh wait, that's not a poem
you can't just do that all bold,
call it a poem, when it's
just - a blatant swipe
of an AC/DC song refrain!

AC/DC song refrain
running right off the track!
AC/DC song refrain
running right off the track!

give it all give it up
come on give it all you got!
AC/DC song refrain
running right off the track!

that's that

When I let you go, I was
pretty much sure of the fact:

You were either gone for good, or
you'd be right back.

It's looking more and more as though
you'll take
the latter tack.

I'm more impressed than surprised,
by that.
But you know what I'm enjoying the most?

the lack

rough draft of a pass

Are those your eyes?
Is that your hair?
Can one lay claim
to face so fair?
is beauty's truth
lock-uppable?
ah, surely you
belong to all!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

one wish for everything

to wake in such arms,
to walk in such fields,
to live in such light
and then to die

I only wished once
it never came true
if I could wish again,
well
it would be a lie

faith, no leap

it's too easy for me
to want to believe you're serious
or could be.

What we want to believe is the easiest thing.
It proves itself, no evidence required.
Simply to want to believe:

a miracle.

is it not?

Monday, August 02, 2010

easy enough to explain

Look.

Even if I might ordinarily
be inclined to fall in love with you,
I can't. It's not you, it's
her.
I'm telling you: this one's
the one. She's not only
got dibs, she's also
got
and/or
is
any and all of the following:
She's...
"like whoa"
"all that"
"double-extra special plus luxury tax"
She's abstract math
that makes all kinds of sense
every link in her chain is of
consequence
with such good and sufficient cause
and effect
and such plain intent
and it's all so very, very much
meant.

and
I've known all that
for years. Known it
every day
more than the one
before. I know it
till my brain can't take in
any more, the sheer knowing of it
has replaced the usual trivial certainties
of gravity and evolution. She's become
self-proven, a first principle in her own right
a clear truth revealed, soaked in its own light
an axiom,
an inalienable right, albeit
one I can scarcely be said to deserve.

but one from belief in which, I find
I cannot ever again swerve

So much for my head. And honestly,

there's just not much room left in my heart
with her
in there, every day expanding it
and then filling up the new capacity again. She makes me
more and more
of what I am. What
can I say?

I'm taken.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

fingernails

I've made considerable headway on these fingernails
they had gotten so long, and I
finally
took the clippers to them
I have been at it for some time

I don't know how I let them get like this
let them get away from me. but now:
shorn
snapped
by metal mouth with only two sharp teeth
but perfectly aligned - no overbite, no underbite
just fit and grip and squeeze
and

click

cut off.
soon, they would have been curling out
into swerving separate trajectories
like waterpark slides,
now - gleaming hard sharp short angles
like exacto knives

all except the right hand pinky

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

clunk

my heart
just "clunked"
that feeling,
like death
for a split
-second
left
without blood
moving through
and the heart
itself
pressed
fell forward
and hit
the back of the sternum

for the space

of a beat

with no beat in it

I like a flock of birds.

I
like a flock of birds.
A flock of birds in flight
has one mind. The configuration
of individual birds acting
in concert forms
a
collective
intelligence.

The pulsing and surging
of feathered forms,
contracting
expanding
and changing direction
- they think as one,
they fly
- as one,
the constant spaces
between them
acting

as firing neurons, the birds
on perimeter form up a skin
feeding sensory input back in
toward the center
where it is then
processed, decisions are made
on flight speed
and
direction

This has been proved
a number of times,
to my complete satisfaction,
while gazing out the passenger window
at passing,
pitching,
surging,
pulsing,
convulsing flocks of birds.