but aren't they all random?



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

Sunday, 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?