but aren't they all random?



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

Monday, May 31, 2010

stay the course

our plans were vast
they sprawled and furled
into unknown and distant worlds
our steps were huge
we sprawled and fell, but
co-entangled,
landed well

we pushed on through
our maps and charts
all marked and laid
for foreign climes
completely lost
before we start
exploring all
your lands

and mine

quite, really

and when the mood takes me, it doesn't let go
but I'm not really like this, I hope you know
theatrical gestures, grand sweeps of -iose
- I'm really quite dull,
if you'd care to look close

the milk I just bought

the milk I just bought
expires on
the day I will get
to see you next

and we're suddenly
just that close,
I guess

I just had a glass
and it's far too fresh

Thursday, May 27, 2010

nothing beautiful

I have nothing
beautiful to say,
but I wish I did.
Because I need to
say it.

Even if
not beautifully!
Even if not well.

I need to say it,

not because I want
grist for some
beautiful mill
- beauty in one end,
glossy words
churning out the other,
to be hung

and admired - but rather, because I need
to believe there is something beautiful

to say something beautiful
about.

And it seems there is almost always so much!
But sometimes, you look at all those same things
and you stare, and you stare, and there
is nothing there

Monday, May 24, 2010

we, the underground

eyes down cast
(most days)
I'm tamed
no eye contact
that's just the way
the people here
prefer to pass

sometimes I'll slip
and catch an eye,
or I'll smile
completely by accident!
or observe: "morning"

Not even "good morning,"

I'm not making any
value judgment
I'm not trying
to cause trouble,
and usually
that's the last
thing they want
as well.

And you can tell:
no reply,
no response.
Sometimes, usually,
a red, irritated look.
That, or else a studied
ignorance: face set
like a lumpen mass.
And I always, always
feel bad.

Because I don't
mean to make anyone
set their face like a
lumpen mass, against
another human being. Sorry!
I just keep forgetting.

every once in a while

there is a reply. A surprised
smile, or even - in extreme cases -
a bright: "Hey!" or "To you, too"

And we'll each walk on.
we, the underground

Sunday, May 23, 2010

back arrow

can'
t
write much
of a
good
happy poem,
somehow.

Just a poem on
"feeling good,
boppin' around
yeah. You know."

Like if I tried, it
would be boring!

Maybe so.

But hell to that. I'm a bus' it
nonetheless!

one to two to THREE FOUR,
now extend it and FLEX!!

- went down TOWN!
ate breakfast like a CHAMP
found a recommended BOOK
then I bought some STAMPS
from the auto-stamp-machine
at the central P.O.
the receipt said "Pleasure
to serve you JOE!"

The record store was packed
I got some Black KEYS
didn't even know they had a new disc out
JEEZ!!

I need to better pay
attention sometimes,
to life
but that's OK if I miss,
'cause I can catch it
on the bounce-back, right?
oh NICE

this song is my JAM!
I had to hit repeat
and repeat and AGAIN
because I can't
can't
CAN'T
can't
can't get my fill
when a track is that
FAT
the back arrow gets
ILL

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer will come, and when it does

Summer will come, and when it does, it will run us
into the ground
chased to the end of breath, collapsed
laughing and hot,
into the grass

Summer will come
and when it does, it will run us
wild
and chase
us down,
into the ground
hot smell earth dirt
our fingers worked
into it and each other, hurt
at first
but feeling better every second
to the gasping end
of breath, collapsing, laugh -
slip past the day
into the grass

Summer will come, and when it does
it will run us wild
and chase us down
gasping, we'll laugh
to the end of breath
collapsing
into the grass

Sunday, May 16, 2010

what you wish for

it's what you asked for, wasn't it?
the one last chance you couldn't get
the least (I guess) that I could do
my version of forgiving you

the gift of love

the gift that I am gifting you with
is the gift of what is true. That true thing
that we give to each other
in each other's hearts: What
could we replace that with?
A clothes?
A certificate of gift, perhaps?
No.
If we replaced the true thing in each other's hearts
with these commercial things,
it would only stop the very heart of love
from pumping its blood,
that it so needs,
just to live with even
and stop it from feeling the truth
of these true things
that are my gift to you:
for what is love? A gift?
You know it.
Of course it is!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

we'll always have hell

I was stupid to keep up
as long as I did
here's not looking
at you

ever
anymore, kid

dedication

I was tapping my fingers, reading. She
sure can write, that girl! Me,
I have to say a thing or two to put distance between
the opening part,
and what I really secretly mean. But
she just puts it in: right open,
up front, and all through
- you keep tripping
gaily over jam packed gems
and the good stuff. Jack
Horner would have been like, "This pie's
all plums!"

file tools click invert

Positively
color flip
to negative
with just a click
and drag me down
to garbage can,
unclick, release
and there I am

I met miss negative in school
we both had nothing
left to learn
that anyone was
interested in
to teach,
so we took turns

I knew miss negative
for years, and she
knew me
but polarized
from dark to light
that was how she perceived
a plus
through minus eyes

I loved miss negative
but once,
for years or so
it seemed to us
but in the end she
flipped a switch
and it was gone
(for her it was)

and
I don't miss miss negative,
one bit
I don't miss miss negative,
not much

from negative
a color flip
to positive
with just a click
and drag me down
to garbage can,
unclick, release
and there I am

if I could cut this glass in half, and make it full again

My heart feels so half-full these days
not sure whether I should dump out the rest
or cut the top off, make it fit what's left
or wait - for it to slowly drain

or else, to slowly fill again

one thing's for sure: You
took the biggest swig from it
that anyone has ever taken. And
when you were done, when you had drunk
deep, and you set it down, wiped
your lips and smiled - it was still
full.

The more you took, the more was left
of love. The more my heart grew,
just to hold, just to contain -
what welled up for you, just for you

And you never wasted, never spilled
a drop.

And: you are gone. And my heart is a glass
half-empty. Too big for what's left
for it to hold. You left my heart
too big to be of use
to anyone but you

Friday, May 14, 2010

failures of technology

It

would be hard
for me to tell
you that I love
you, as often as
would be necessary
to give a good account
of the vast extent
of the love that I have
for you.

I

could write a macro
bombarding you with
several e-mails per
second, each of them
declaring the profound
intensity and prolonged
duration of my love,

but

your InBox would overflow
long before even a tithing
of the full
depth
and
breadth
of my love
could be expressed.

So fuck it.
Why bother.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

trying to duck

a slip of the tongue
and you're in knee deep
in promises
that you can't really keep

but you can't really break them,
or take them back

so you just splay your feet like a duck
and quack!

struggle and clash

I love you today
like I loved you all week
like I'll love you tomorrow
I don't have to peek.

I've got it tattoo'd
it's engraved, it's in stone
don't know how I got here,
but you are my home.

You're my heart, in my throat
as I'm holding on tight
you're the strength in my arms
and I will hang on,
for dear life,
because life is a fight!

but I love it no less
for the struggle and clash
are the proof and the test

Dear, I hate fighting you.
but you're worth any stress

any anguish or strain
you are worth any pain

But - I hate hurting you -
and that's what gives me pause
makes me doubt that I'm good

makes me feel we are lost

you deserve a man who
understands what you need,
and who never hurts you
and who isn't like me.

And who isn't like me:
when I won't let it lie
when I press every point
and I can't see your side

I won't lie to you, dear -

I don't understand you

but nobody could try
half as hard as I will
I will never stop trying
I won't change my mind
as long as we're ours
as long as you're mine

I will not change my heart
I could not, if I tried
you're with me in my heart
and the world
is outside.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

'til death do us

we've been together
for a long, long, long, long
time. And we're never going to not be
together now, because we're in a car
going over a god-damn cliff, right into
the Pacific, and its associated jutting
formations of black, slick rock. I'm
sorry,

but I have to hold you responsible,
here. I blame you. Did that damn bird
really mean more to you than me, than us,
than even your own life? You had to swerve.

No, it's not your fault. It's mine. I
had to let you drive, didn't I? You're
an excellent driver overall, apart
from this damn bird decision. Frankly,
I don't think I could have foreseen
you'd have done that. That was a left-
field move. You kind of just went out
on your own, on that one. I'm not sure how
I can blame me, really. How was I to know

you'd choose a bird! A bird who,
by the way, flew off
before we would even have hit the damn
thing. No, on second thought, I can't blame
me, on this one. This one's all you,
toots.

And here come the rocks.

Look at you. Look at your frozen expression,
eyes white all 'round your lovely irises; mouth
wide, lips peeled back
from white, even teeth, in a scream, probably,
though I can't hear a thing.

You're probably reliving your whole life right now.

All the joys, triumphs, good and bad decisions,
lingering cringe moments, vindications, right up
to this morning
when your eyes opened on mine, and
we both just knew,
again,
lasting happiness
had arrived. That same new,
amazing feeling and realization we
have woken up to most days, for years,
for years,
now

What
a miracle you are, my love.

I will never fucking forgive you for this, I swear. for

A god-
damn bird

a kind of person

If I were the kind of person
you thought I was, I would
be so kind and thoughtful, from
the heart, oh sincere
and I
would tell you the truth
all the time
I would think
of you first, and last
and in the middle. And I do

All of those things

but
I'm not the kind of person
you thought I was.

presentation

I have seven points to make today.
One: I love you. That's the biggest point
I have to make to you today. I plan to make
that point in several ways. Sit tight, stay
tuned for those, after the presentation. The
Second Point I have to make today is perhaps,
not worth mentioning, compared to the first. It
is this:

Hm.

Begging your pardon. I seem to have forgotten
the other six points.

That's fine, they weren't
really that important.

So anyway,

that straightened out!

there has been
a misunderstanding
yes, I'm sure
there has. I was the one
who had it! So don't tell me
I was right all along. I tell you:
I thought you meant something else.
And you DIDN'T. So, no blame here, no
aspersions being cast, but what's being done?
Well what's done is done, which is dumb, but leave
that aside: where does it leave us? That's the question
at this point. And the answer is: well,
right here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

the hoarder

the time you deliberately
scuffed up my chucks
the time I insulted the candy
you gave me ("these aren't authentic
Jordan Almonds!") the time we sat silent
for hours and stared at the sea,
my shoulder and arm - you burrowing in
- the only communication exchanged,
the rose on your face as the colors
washed over and changed,
the time that I slipped
on the stairs and tripped all the way
down, falling right out the open front
door without hitting the ground! - the time
that we made all the words up wrong
to that song
- to be sung that way, every time since

- these things, now
I am convinced,
are of no use to us
or to anyone else.
Well, there isn't any us
to be of use to
still I keep them around -
have you thrown them all out?
how did you do it, dear?

old calendars, marked-up,
going back years
with drawings of cakes and of boats and planes,
and dates inked in: our trips and plans
and occasions that mostly came true
we looked forward and damn, if we didn't make sure
it worked out! Occasionally one
would be crossed-out, nixed, if it
couldn't be helped, if it just fell
through - but between me and you, almost
everything clicked, or was fixed

until me and you fell through

we fell through it all; I guess,
it's best. When you've run out of trips
and plans and cakes, doesn't matter
what squares on old calendars say
all the days and occasions that turned out
great - so right, and perfect, are so many
laminated stacks of dog-eared,
push-pin punched
trash.

But when it's in your mind, how do you throw that out?

Is it just supposed to fade out, fade away?

While you trip over stacks,
underfoot,

every day

Monday, May 10, 2010

flown

we've flown
we are one bird, I don't
know who is beak, or eye,
or wing, but we

wing over effortless
the hills, the cliffs,
the sand, the sea

a fixed-wing craft
we soar down drafts
and circle, spiral up
again, with preternatural sense
or rather: natural sense,
of where and when

the currents bend
so that we'll catch
our wingtips grasp
like fingers, made
of thousands of ethereal fans
that take thin air like ladder rungs
with firm hands splayed
upon sound wood
so feathered filaments take hold
and draw us up, as sure as steps
but quickly, though

this air is cold

stark and cold

you look up once, then
answer me: one time
for all my questions asked:
"No."

that answer has to serve,
for all I've done, for you
for us, is in the past

and so it goes
slips further back
into what was

and never will again
be, now
why?

because

but why
?

because

brunch, for mother

cut
like a hand,
by mistake,
by a knife
trying to make
something planned
something nice
a surprise
but instead
a surprise
thin and red
gushing wild
did you know
that a special effect
could hurt, child?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

osmosis

everyone's full
of the emptiness you get
from being surrounded
by so much less
than you filled yourself up with
when you were in school
yeah, the future was where
it would all come together
to fill in the cracks
all the splits and the breaks
all the misfit corners,
the interior edges
that didn't line up, well
just you wait

it's going to be cool

when I say "fine"

when I say "fine,"
I do not mean "okay."
I mean fine: like beauty too sharp to describe
until one has had first the requisite sharp intake
of breath

fine, like sunrise
like the late-morning twilight
that turns towering clouds gold, fine
like treasures

like a blue ocean hit by the sun and lit
by blinding sparks, split
into one hard and sparkling gem
with infinite facets,
shifting cracks
catching
and
tossing
fire
at
us

brilliantissimo

words stolen back

I wish I had the words,
because it plagues my mind. A good plague,
a calm contagion, the memory shines
and blesses the afflicted with feverish cool
clear bliss and leaves them rosy and glistening,
panting with shallow breath until
sickness returns. Listening
in memory for the words - the real words
I don't want to make up fake ones
to remember my way into - the ones you said
were very gold, and shone in my mind as
you let them unwind, oh your voice
is the finder that all treasures seek
- though they lie buried for centuries,
pining for maps that have ceased to be seen,
have ceased to show ways, have ceased to tell steps
and mark exes, been mouldered to worn tatters
un-looked at in curious attic chests, buried
under old dresses and letters to lovers
from lovers - all long dead
and blessed, now.

Friday, May 07, 2010

new middling extremes

the best we could ask
the most we could get
the least we could do
the last we'd expect
the farthest we'd go
the hardest we'd try
if the truth is what broke us, well
darling,
let's
lie

Thursday, May 06, 2010

More Rhymes Dissing Ordinary People

they call me
Steve!
Johnson!
but that's not my name!
I don't know
where they got that shit,
it's too plain
(no offense
to all you
"Steve Johnsons"
out there
but whoever named you dudes, hey -
they just didn't care
)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

the fatal clue

I see her. From across the room. She
doesn't exist, but there she is
It's just as if
a dream came true
it's just as if
it's just
as if

I see her turn, slow-motion caught
my throat tastes heart, I swallow down
it hurts a bit, it's fear's dull cut
her two eyes touch my two eyes
frown
I'm sure there must be some mistake
but sure too late - my heart got out!
my throat stretched raw, to throb and ache

a smile grows across my face
oh, my heart
has never been quite at home
in its proper place
it's lost again
off

on a wild chase

a mad detective
on another tough case

I'm just the plodding assistant,
with the wide-eyed wondering dumb look
on his face

Sunday, May 02, 2010

in Octoberland

I want to live in octoberland
where it's always fall,
and the fields are full
with a harvest-song
as the day grows tall
with shadows of trees
in their rusting coats
they will rustle them off
in the evenings, though
as we all head to hall
for a sort of fest
with our foaming steins
and our steaming brats
we'll sing bawdy songs
and be very much blest

but until that day,
when I find that land
I will do my best to be blest
as I am

to appreciate spring
where I live today
finding beauty in such
little things, as
may