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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

or beautiful, either

you're beautiful and sad
and I don't know why you're sad
but I don't know why you're beautiful,
either

you have a number of tattoos, it's just
that number happens to be zero, but
they stitch and wind their no-design
across and under your skin, and into

and you are owned

by the decisions you have never ever made

and you are saved

by all the things you are so glad you never said

and you are home

right in this instant, but this instant's slipping past

it makes you sad

but you don't know why you're sad,

or why anyone is sad,

or beautiful
either

Sunday, June 27, 2010

remember me, when you win

when you win
remember me
the one who did believe in you
who looked away from what you did
and only saw what you could do

remember me
the fool you fooled
who used to be your biggest fan
defending you from every slight
imagined or substantial blight

you think you can, I know you can
and though you ran roughshod upon
my faith and trust and confidence
I'm on my feet
to cheer you on

to cheer you on
to cheer you on
and though you wouldn't want to see
the things you've done
they're in my eyes
so shining bright
remember me

ghost cake

My brother used
to like the cake
but not the icing, so
at birthdays he'd carefully
slice free
both cake-layer wedges
and slide his plate
with a perfect cast-off cake-shape
of just the icing!

to me

(he
then mashed the cake itself
into
his ice-cream!)

And on his plate, now mine, this icing-shell,
perfect, still standing at attention, unaware
of its own untenantedness,
haunted its plate

a piece of ghost cake

awaiting
the same cold fate.

beer, a beer

beer!
A beer.
A female beer.
Ale.
A drop of amber sun!
Stout
A name!
I call myself!
Bud...a watery concoction!
Porter,
a dark substantial treat!
Lager!
A beer to follow porter!
Hefeweizen!
a beer made out of wheat!
That will bring us back to beer-ale-stout-bud-porter-lager-
beer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the whole distance to you

I will walk the whole distance
if I have to

but first I have to rest, because
I've walked halfway through
already

alright

I'll just

soothe my poor, poor
feet, wait
for the fluid
in these blisters to
reabsorb

wait for the skin to stick back
together,

and pull tight,

then let the callouses form
and it's on

skin
meet sock, meet
shoe, meet
road

and I will walk the other half of the way

here I go

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the day the world cared

the sky stooped down
to scrutinize the depths of artists' hearts
and every single face-in-crowd turned round,
demanding art
from all the bitter starving striving
artists in despair
who, millions strong, turned round
as one,
and said: "TOO LATE"

"You should have cared
ten years ago -
ten weeks -
ten days -
when we were dying for the light,
when we were cursing all of those
to whom success was sent
while we - our plight ignored -
kept toiling on.
Your chance with us has passed."

and then they - proud! - turned backs as one,
as one: they bared collective ass, and waited

for the kiss

to make
it
better,

at long last

the pattern comes after

I didn't expect a surprise,
from you today
but I guess that's redundant
even to say

by definition: you
are the one who comes through
steady, dependable, confident
you

and I should have too.

there's no point in tracing some intricate way

I guess
I know

it's just how it is
it's just how it goes
or in retrospect - it's just how it went.

there's no point in tracing some theory on how
or why, or to what underlying extent
there were reasons for it.

because I know this:
that I could have straightened it out,
with a twist
and a kiss
or a flick
and a wish or command
if given a chance

(but I had every chance

to straighten it out
and I didn't, so
damn).

Just looking it
over
just look at it
now

it is simply
completely

unfixably

bent.

Well, I guess it was time

it was time

to give up

it was time -

walk away

- it was time

well spent.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Tumbledown" (verse 1)

"Really
you are
perfect
you are

perfect
really
I don't mean
no scars

I don't mean
no wrinkles
no foibles
no flaws

'cause all of
your aspects
contribute
to awe"

saving it

the weight of human history now
is falling from our shoulders
we can't know any wiser now
but will we when we're older?
can all of it make sudden sense
if underneath, it's really of
no consequence?
no cause/effect?
just one damned thing
and after that:
another thing
well guess what's next!

but here's the best:
it's yet to come
it's yet to come
so ring the bells
reach one hand up
another rung
and pull yourself
just pull yourself

the best is yet
to come I guess
let's wait a bit
we're saving it
we're saving it
we're saving it
the best is yet
oh, ya
you bet

the scales don't fall
away at any point, your eyes
just learn to see
within the blind
in front of you
the ties that bind
your flesh to thee
your flesh that fixed you in this world
cannot be fixed
or purified
who told you that?
that fucker lied
and then he died
and then he died

the best is yet
to come I guess
let's wait a bit
we're saving it
we're saving it
we're saving it
the best is yet
oh, ya
you bet

and here's the best:
it's yet to come
it's yet to come
so ring the bells
reach one hand up
another rung
and pull yourself
just pull your self

Saturday, June 19, 2010

s n a p

life's a trap
we're caught
that's that

beat to hell

I tripped back a step from the curb, I had
stubbed my toe and Lord
did I howl

in that moment I discovered America
sucked from the headline spelled out in headlight blurs
in letters forty miles per hour high

well, why
do our daughters and sons
- smashed into lumpen sums greater than their severed
parts, maybe -
fetishized as always by some pervert -
what cause
do these beaming girls and boys have
to listen
to whispers from the uneasy spirit of their times,
to listen
to unsettling music,
to take
unmeasured steps on over-trod paths,
towards destinations plotted neat as cemeteries
but never satisfactorily mapped,
to take
it all in,
to let it sit. Apparently undigested
and then spit
incomprehensible slogans?

Didn't Their Parents
already prove their parents wrong, and their parents
wrong, and their parents wrong?

And who will prove me wrong?

Has a case already been brought, bought, sold, judged,
awarded a respectable red ribbon prize at the county fair
and was it fair, or was it just
a few days in county
and counting?

The top of my big toe
flaps like a jauntily-cocked hat

I'm going to stand here a minute, and eye that curb
warily
I tell you

that curb
is my America

and somehow I'm going to figure a way over it

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Goth Poem #4

your eyes
like something cool and gross and evil and mythological
bore into mine
like something brutal, some tool,
as I felt
like a Victorian literary reference
like an Edgar Allan Poe allusion
was Poe Victorian? I believe
so, but what I believe
doesn't matter now,
for now:

you

have stripped me of belief
of faith
of credibility
in the mascara'd eyes of the creeps we all hang out with
I can't be cool now, for
they have seen
you
pierce my armor
like a sword, an elven-sword, twice-forged - the first as mere steel,
the second in the furnace of legend - and
damn that thing's sharp
you have cloven
my dark armor
my heart
can't play it cool any more

I wub you so mush

Goth Poem #2

rejection like bile
in the throat of esteem
I swallow down all
of what you meant to me
to me you were
unicorn, vampire
ghost,
blood-haloed angel
from heavenly host
where no god ever reigned
and no satan rebelled
still, you cast me down
burning:
only
I

have
earned hell

Goth Poem #1

this trust was made
in veins and flesh
love's soulless heart
beat on, unblessed
until, by your betrayal boiled
forgiveness bled
on fertile soil
and what grew then?
a lovely tree,
all glistening black
of leaf and bark
whose twigs were thorns
to pierce and rend
the hand that sought its fruit
so dark

Sunday, June 13, 2010

set

I live right on the edge of a Venn diagram
between things, and things that work out in the end
and the shapes intersect and the colors combine
am I in or outside the right side of the line?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

shark vs. poet

shark is a sharp-toothed punk emcee
with a dis and a dismiss for everyone he see
and so I step to him to battle him and beat him down
but it's his turf and I can't swim so oh, oops
I drown

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

bright side blues

our hopes, sometimes they serve us best
before they die in flaming deaths -
because they were so damn far-fetched,
at least we know we still believe
we still believe enough to leap
we still have the capacity
to fool ourselves another time
we'll see the best 'til we go blind

Monday, June 07, 2010

May (31)

stay the course
quite, really
the milk
I just bought
nothing beautiful
we, the underground
back arrow Summer
will come, and when it does,
what you wish for: the gift of love
we'll always have
hell

dedication file
tools click invert - if I could cut
this glass in half, and make it full...failures of
technology
trying to duck
struggle and clash 'til death do us
a kind
of person
presentation
that straightened out!
the hoarder

flown, stark and cold
brunch, for mother osmosis

when I say "fine" words
stolen back new
middling extremes
More Rhymes

Dissing
Ordinary
People
the fatal clue
in Octoberland

pre-owned

the world is pre-owned
all of it's used
there's nothing in it new
maybe some days we do
pick up a piece, scrape it clean
fit together different ways
or take a piece and melt it down
cast it, shmoosh it, mold like clay, but
not one single piece is new.

The world is used,
it lost

six thousand dollars off
its sticker-price cost
as soon as it drove
itself off the lot

and the odometer since then -
man.

It's beyond human ken

Sunday, June 06, 2010

no rhymes in this poem

No rhymes in this poem!
This poem won't rhyme!
It would be really easy to
but not this time!
Oh shit.
Do over

as I live and breathe

the best feeling in the world,
is leaving
a party or show,
downtown late
at night or
early morning
with the fun
seeping out of my pores
into the warm night air.

I parked far away
as I always do
so I take a long walk
and I fish out my keys
and I trip just a bit
from the curb, but
the world straightens out so quickly, and
I stop,
suddenly,
and appreciate my balance.

And I am sober. And so
grateful, relieved. And I
may not be
safe in this world,
but I can
in this moment feel
at least,
that I am neither
in danger,
nor
a danger.

I can drive home with my eyes open,
loving what I see

Saturday, June 05, 2010

j-girl

awake at this hour, no less
trying to find God

accidentally prayed
to you

it's a little blasphemy I guess
but it's true, all true
so true

and the music repeats
that Tom Waits can't sing

but he sure can sing
can't he?

"and I call
your name
I can't sleep
at night"

well the world's got no time
it's got places to be

but nothing else matters
that girl of mine

is the only thing right
with me,

and I'm fine

we have places to go that we can't
get to

but you'll see

you make all my dreams come true

reason

The purpose of reason is to cut your premonitions
down to manageable size.

So you can dismiss them,
and go on:

living,

living,

living,

Until
they are proven true

life

life is for suckers
and I'm not one.
So, why do I go?
do I go
do I
go,

do I go on?

Friday, June 04, 2010

the air is hostile ground

the sky
high up
is hot, dry blue
one last big cloud
drags gasping through
hunched, crumpled
wadded up, pulled in
to keep its moisture
from the wind

that cloud won't quit
or slack its pace
or change its mind,
direction, course,
or waste its time
on what it's lost

- but dwindling,
each mile crossed

shape and form

it's as if
my twisted heart
snapped back,
a black balloon animal,
sectioned and squinched,
each twist
squeezed off its flow,
compartments pinched
and crimped, for sake
of shape and form,
but no
the rubber slipped
and squeaked, and
snap! - untwisted
oh,
the careful kinks
you folded in

but now -

it's not a heart, you know

Thursday, June 03, 2010

brewery rhyme

"Sing a song of six pints
barley, wheat, and rye
cider, stout, and something else
I can't identify"

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

meet

on starting blocks
the instep stretch
as legs take form
so perfect posed
poised perfect
arms, like landing gear

the cap gun -
cracks
now
dash!

my hopes

fly down the runway
up
the air

away
from packs
pursuing close

go
hurdle obstacles,
as light as
light

run on! now
dash,

my hopes

stupid love

stupid love
dumb love
love that goes
"hyuk!"

love that drives
on the wrong side
of sober

and won't pull over for the cops

idiot love
the kind that never stops
no matter how clear
the signs blare out

"WRONG WAY"

that love
just keeps
breathing in and out
by mouth

and grins right through
without a doubt
despite the facts:
that show
and say
that it already

did
not
pan

out.

But love drives on,
this fool love,
heedless
of flashing lights in rear-view mirrors
love's shades see only peaches
through lenses of rose

damn dumb luck love!
well,
away she goes

when someone turns weird on you

doesn't it
suck
when someone turns weird?
they sudden
let loose
with something

bizarre

inexplicably
cryptic and hostile, at first

you assume that it's you

you are missing something! but

then all too soon it turns clear that, no.
They Are

construe

I could take
this any number
of numbers of ways
from an inch to a mile
from what you meant
from infer to imply
a million times,
and then right back again
from effect
to intent

to cause
you self-doubt
is not my design
for I only unweave
what you leave me
to find

it's all right in plain view
and you said it - yes,

you!
can you even deny?
or did I miss?

construe

direct descendants

We are all direct descendants
of myth
passed down through the ages,
on dominant genes
to our modern times

where our skeptical eyes
take the world for what seems
and prove everything
lies

passed down through

We are all direct descendants
of myth
passed down through the ages,
on dominant genes
to our modern times
where our skeptical eyes
take the world for what seems
and prove everything lies


___________________
this is an earlier version of "direct descendants"

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

if doubt

if doubt
alone could overrule what's real
we'd take a world of pains
to keep ourselves
from doubt at all,
for fear we'd
dash a solid truth
by pushing it from phantom wall
to shatter upon phantom plains
with an illusory
fall

When two believe, belief can make it so.

But, we can stand some doubt
my dear

for doubt alone can't cloud what's true
when two can read each others' eyes
what's there in yours can overrule
all doubt, all fear, all will in mine
And, maybe some big bolt of blue
from cloud-dark skies
comes searing through
to fuse my nerve
in firm resolve
- but I don't need
such measures,
love

I just need you to say that you believe
- and so do I

In fact, you need not say the word
I've been convinced a thousand times
'til all I need to hear is a sigh -
that sigh can dash a thousand lies
the fool part of me tells myself
about how good enough I am,
or not,
or what I do or don't
deserve,
or every flaw
in every plan

those are the phantom walls and traps
and obstacles that doubt lays down
the truth is: we will skip
straight through, and over, else we'll go
around

What madness two believe, belief can make it sound.

blowup

I'm pierced, by glass, ten thousand
shards - clear, not stained
- are raining down
from overhead, I know not what
exploded, but
I'm dead
- or what?
it's some cruel cut,
or, hundreds of
cruel cuts
- I'll count
them later on
with tweezers, stitches,
alcohol, and pad with gauze
unless I'm gone