A Pocketful of Poesy was and is again a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog! For 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and now for 2017 and going forward, you may expect to see 365 poems every year, 366 for leap years.

but aren't they all random?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I've been waiting forever to make this wish

I've been waiting forever to make this wish
the timing
has never been right for you
or for me,
for the wish to work
even if it came true.
Even if it came true,
it still needs timing, and time,
and place, and two people placed
to run with it, all the way
I've been waiting forever
to make this wish.

Fuck this. I am making my wish


misery loves

my misery amuses me
and I will take your company
in confidence

just promise this:
tell not one soul
how fun this is

my misery amuses me
and I will take your pity
as a compliment

the best I'll get

all day,

I'm going to cherish it

your support

I want all your support
from all that you say
from your tongue,
from your lips,
and support from your glance
and your hands
and your hips
in this choice,
in this chance,
I want all your support
all the way,
in this.

or there isn't much sense
in how much I can give

already gone

You don't need to say that you're gone.
I can see that. And anyway,
I couldn't hear you by now

you must be at least sixty miles an hour
and speed gently rising, away from me

how artificially clear
the sight of you comes
to me as you slap the wheel
- I can't hear

you're on mute, but I'm sure
you are singing along
and although I can't hear you,

I know the song

talent show

this talent show's spun out of control
into a popularity contest, which
was perfectly to be expected,
I guess. For things like this,
it's not always best to expect the best
will prevail at last, on merit alone

it's a talent of sorts, a gift in itself
to prevail like this

so let's take our bows, your awards,

and go home


My love for you is burgeoning
it burgeons and it swells
I had to look up "burgeoning"
it's just as well.
It's just as well, because I knew
I used it right! Just as I use
my love for you. No need
to look it up. I use it right
each time.

I always do.

by my adoring eyes

the colors you are
are so lovely
your flesh
better than sunsets
the pinks and the rose, and whites
and purple shadows
glow, so soft like clouds,
in focus
and yet - how
smooth, and firm,
and warm - my fingers know

without even having to touch! They
have been informed


you're my crowbar
you protect me
most crowbars don't do that

you're my spotlight
you lift me up
strange behavior
for a spotlight

you're my window
I see out of you
that's about right
for a window, yes

well, what
do you even know what you are?
I can only guess

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


you can still change your mind, any time
every time - you can go back on what
you decided at whim. Feel free,
make the rules

You are not fooling me
- it's okay if you are!
Every moment I'm fooled

feels so good to be in


the nub of what I meant was thus:
to seize the problem by the crux,
to turn it 'til you see the gist,
then give the tip a vicious twist

same dream

sleep darling, lullabies
take two tablets of dreams,
and let them dissolve in your mouth
they will enter your bloodstream, and rise
behind your eyes

by the time your head hits
the soft pillow, everything
you wish to see
will be backlit
by the moon

I'll be there to join you soon,

a million little candles
light the way to our room


for a ghost of moment,
I counted my sneezes as blessings
wishes to fall like stars, in the yard

expecting god blessings to land in the wet grass
for us to run out in the night and gather
quickly, before they go out


a cigarette twice

I've never smoked a cigarette twice, before

I was caught up in love, that talk with you

I looked down in my hand, it was whole again

by miracle, made unburned, impure

and ready to poison afresh, like new

not going to

this time,
I am not going
to be able to make it

"it's okay"
"it's going to be okay"
is what I always say, but now

there are things
massed and massing
on horizons all around

and things that build
and build and build, up inside
to tear down

and between them there is only me: and
all I used to think, believe,

and hold to,
every time of need.

and this time, it
won't work

I see

measured pace

I gave up every step on the way
and kept going

and I'm almost to you. And
I almost no longer believe

I am sure as the last step
falls, as I stand at your door

my hand will rise to knock,
and falter just before

bad brilliant

A lot of bad ideas work out brilliantly,
you know

you and me
could be the best idea of all
which is to say, the worst
but which

is out of my control.
Is it out of yours as well?

just between us,
I think it's a go


I like to use
"predicate" as a verb. Baby
when I predicate you,
you've been predicated. Predicated
on something, of course! You can't
just predicate a thing on empty air
It's got to be predicated on something

Well. I suppose
you could predicate a cloud
on empty air. Or a balloon

but even empty air is something.
You can't predicate a balloon on a vacuum
it would drop
and pop,
and quite possibly not

in that order

As it happens,

As it happens,
you are telling me
the story of your life.
you could keep this up all night
if I keep you up all night

but tomorrow, there will be
more to it - more to tell,
and it will not be the same story.

In the telling, now,
the story of your life -
as it happens, wraps me in
the story won't be yours anymore.
you give it

As you tell it - in the telling,
as it happens - in the story,
as you keep me up all night

you could keep this up all night

As the sun comes up on us,
I just want to hear what's next
see, somehow you switched it up
I sit here rapt, I don't suspect
I listen to you lay it out
like a net

the story of my life

decisions for keeps

I saved the moment you looked in my eyes
and caught yourself, and you caught me
and we each decided to give ourselves
each to the other,
for keeps.

Decided, but did not tell -
we kept the decision to ourselves
we don't need to make such decisions

we don't need to be so selfish, so
heedless, impetuous

I don't need to have you, outright, pledged
to save me every moment, out of so many people
out there, needing to be saved. Do I?

The moments we save forever,
and the people who save us for life
- you -
do not have to give
of you,

for keeps,

to me.


I do need that. I am selfish

For now, each of us can save
each other, just a little bit.
So many times,
every day as we go, give all
to each other
in given moments,
each chance,
we get

but saving just a little
for the next

going back, putting in commas

And now I'm going back,
and putting in commas, and spaces.
And taking them out
, from between and among

the words I said,
trying to make everything
art: a comment
on life.

if life were better, or I were more creative
maybe once

would be enough

for these words to be used.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

unexpected tenderness (original draft)

Lately, I've been experiencing
an unusual amount of affection
and tenderness

towards myself. this morning I awoke
and saw my arm, and I looked
at my arm. And I said, "awww
- arm!"

and I reached out,
and began tenderly caressing its hand.

Or yesterday, before bed I was brushing
my teeth, and I saw in the mirror

and was suddenly whelmed with a surge
of sympathy, for all that this poor self
had been through. Not pity! No, no
no self-pity for me. And who wants that?
Not me. But surely you've seen someone,
when you know what they've been through,
and sympathy wells up in you, even though
that person is pretty damn awesome, and
has come through it all pretty damn well!
You don't pity them. You want to reach out
and hug them. You want to say "thanks"

"Thanks for making it. Thanks for coming through,
to be here now."

But in my case, there was no one to hug.
Still. It felt pretty beautiful to care
and be cared for.

I mean, it's pretty rare to get that
from me. Usually

I'm pretty much a callous prick.

mailbox is full

mailbox is full
it has always been full
since the days I first knew you
you save every word. Those saved
messages must be
precious indeed
to keep you from letting the present

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Le Mort D'Art, or How Green Was My Bowdler

You know what I always thought was funny
about Launcelot? He could kill
any number of dudes. He was the biggest piece
of puissance the age of chivalry produced -
he was even set to get the Grail! Before
they re-wrote his part so mister simon-pure
Kid Galahad the Wonder Virgin
could get his grubbing little fingers
into the brass ring - "our hero,"
finally! someone we can present to kids.
Not like Launcelot, so deep in Arthur's wife's pussy
all the time, most trusted of the King's Knights.

"He always lives in Wisconsin"

He always lives in Wisconsin,
in the same town. Not what you'd call
a small town. It's half-sized.
He always lives in the same town,
but the name of the town changes. Now
he's in Eau Rouge, which sounds made-up
but they always do. You could track him
down. He'd be waiting for you - or at least,
he'll be there, waiting for you. He may not know
who you are, or why you're coming, but he's decided
to bide his time and wait. Just in case.

time was

There is no time.
Only energy spent,
only motion and mass,
spreading out without end, thinning out
to less dense, dissipating its heat.
Yesterday's not a country, a playground, a street;
yesterday isn't gone, not a dream, never was -
it is all still in play. It is right here
with us, just dinged up
and smashed down by the forces of roll.
But it's all with us now, speed of light, proximal
- it is all still in play. Not a bit of it gone
not created, destroyed, merely: moving,
moved on. We have kept up
with most of it, some runs away
we give chase at slow pace,
in a state of decay
which we call "today."

call me later

call me later
and later each day
every night, you can wake me
a minute into my first dream.

It won't be of you, most likely, no
- but when we hang up, I suspect
you'll slip in

but soft

there is this part,
the smoothest place
I've ever touched
below your waist, and round
in back, it fascinates
so soft, entranced
my fingers trace

Friday, December 16, 2011


you've become too mature
to save me anymore
you won't interrupt, object

as my mouth runs on and out
of words, on fumes of what I mean
you let

me keep going, until I'm out
and pushing the car from behind,
but I won't give up

I know what I mean, is somewhere
up ahead

it was faster
when you'd interrupt, somewhere up

the line


hi all
I don't think there is
anything I can say

that's going to change how you feel
or how you see the world
or how you see me

but that's okay. Life
is horrible. There are large, sharp things
in motion now

that will intersect your trajectory
tomorrow, or down the road, along the way
and pierce you body, bone, and blood
and you will fall in full stride

and break.

And bleed. And get up, and
hurt, and need, and limp home,
to pity yourself, in the mirror

clean up
poor you,
who did not deserve such treatment.
It's okay
it is true
you did not deserve such treatment.

you will heal
because you were designed to, and take too
much pain, and call someone
in the morning.

Pain is a gift
we take it with us, and pain proves
we have still some fight left in us.
But there are moments we can leave it behind.
When you stand on a cliff
soaring over an infinite ocean
surface cut with diamonds,
a million sparks of sun cut your eyes
from a million facets of water, and the sea
and the sky and time
are sucked into you.

You take that moment with you when you go,
and you have it now. And this beauty that saves you
sometimes, somehow

is just a fucking landscape. Just the world!
it doesn't give a shit about you.

How much more, the moment when you look into two eyes
and catch yourself, and they catch you
and you each decide to give yourself
each to the other,
for keeps.

That has happened to me.

One moment like that can save you for life.
And the only reason I am alive today,
is that I have been saved.

by the moments I can not leave behind
So many times, and I know that in spite
of the worst of my days,

life has been kind.

"guys, don't break up"

we know its gone
inside and out
it's all gone wrong
without a doubt
and hate, we hate
each other now

all this situation needs
is for some 3rd party
some well, mean
3rd party, please
to come along and say

"guys, don't break up
you mean so much
to me, to us
guys, don't break up
you guys are just
so great together"

that's what we need
right now, that's just
that's all this situation needs
I'm sure, that's all
that it would take
come on, 3rd party
make our day

big sea

people who withdraw into themselves
are not cool
with it,

some of them.

They miss
and would want to go out into the world
but they don't seem to do it

Without an excuse, an invitation
A context.

to provide that invitation.
I'm sure it is better: to be the kind of person
who figures out on their own, how
to be their own invitation, still
a lot of people

haven't gotten there yet. They weren't invited

to make an effort to crack the shell
they threw around themselves to heal
when the thing they thought was for real
went to hell,

left them solo after years, or maybe even
maybe even just weeks

of being so proud!
to be seen - a part of something perfect

to be out and about
with someone they thought so well of;
to be reflected upon,

a match.

Maybe it is wrong to have been proud. To have been part
of something perfect. Instead of being something perfect.

But I was part of something perfect,
and it was not wrong.

until it was gone

And when that happens, it is easy
to see everything wrong. You collapse
into the wrong attitude, it's hard
to feel like a catch.

you catch yourself

and throw yourself back.


the way the music was clean, staccato

uplifting from the edges
without obscuring the simple and explicit

I find myself unconsciously mimicking a little bit,
internal rhyme and scheme-flipping,
putting the rhyme where you didn't expect

and then skipping the next


raptures, occasionally

I hope it's okay if I go into raptures
occasionally, by way of explaining
something that I love,

that you hate.

It's not that I take
offense, or as if
I'm saying "X"

is wrong and "Y"
is right

really, none of what
I say

opposes or refutes or even addresses

your critique,
on the whole, it's just.
I "get," I endorse your remarks.

can I just share
a little bit
about why it was

I love this thing so much.


the ratio
of you to me, seems
all the more unbalanced
with all these other chairs

I have too much
to say, to tell, to mention, as you teach
me a lesson in not asking questions


horoscope by force

false modesty never
hurt anyone, much.
For your sake, I'll pretend
what you say is all true
as if you weren't enough
to seize everyone's stars
and bring everyone's sign
in alignment with you

"two polaroids from the future"

and in my reduced circumstance,
I will sit on a bench and feed crumbs
to ants

as you sit on your bench in another town
and the birds will come gathering round,
circle down


I want to hike up your
skirt, all the way up and
over the back trail, past those
lovely rounded hills, down into
the valley nook deep between, nestle in
and set up camp by the brook

nobody's ever

nobody's ever going to make me feel the way you do
your eyes
cup mine, you say
nothing much, and my face
hurts from laughing. You
have the most beautiful
everything. And you are
without a doubt, beyond compare. nobody's ever

going to make me feel the way you do

but there are other ways to feel.

"boom operator"

I'm in the PICTURES, see
see my name up in lights
but you won't see ME
if my work's done RIGHT
I will be all out of FRAME
as I'm creating the SOUND
I am suspending the BOOM
can you hear,
hear me NOW? I am the

boom, BOOM!

operator, BOOM!
operator, BOOM!
operator, boom,

and all my buddies and me
we hang out, out of sight
but all my best boys
get our names up in lights
I'm hanging out with my crew
- that's the SOUND CREW, dog! -
superintending the SOUND,
every word, catch it ALL!
I am the

boom, BOOM!

operator, BOOM!
operator, BOOM!
operator, boom,

now the gaffer gets props
for how he wires it up
and he works with all the grips
key grip, dolly grip, yup!
for all the lighting design
and casting shadows around
and hey that's all well and fine

boom, BOOM!

operator, BOOM!
operator, BOOM!
operator, boom,

I keep the mic out of frame
I keep it up in suspense
I am suspending the BOOM
from which so much depends
as you're immersed in the scene
hanging on every word -
I'm making sure you can suspend disbelief,
I keep it all out of FRAME
if my job's done RIGHT -
all of my best boys
get our names up in lights
so if you stay to the end
you will be seeing my NAME
and you will know who to THANK
who keeps it all out of FRAME
I am the

boom, BOOM!

operator, BOOM!
operator, BOOM!
operator, boom,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

exploit. v.

To exploit: defined
to make full use, and derive
benefit from.

The goodness that is in this life
must be exploited. It is there
to be exploited. It was given
fully, in expectation,
to be taken.

To not exploit
to reject the gift that is

That is, it is as if to take
for granted,
and reject as granted.
Even though: it was granted
full willing, with pleading eyes, a plea
wishing only to please,



Pretend that the world was me. I want
("I am the world," I would say, to you
"for you, for the sake of our argument,")

I want you to give yourself,
to me,

such as you are: outright. A gift
to the world. And in return, I will give
myself, outright: I am yours.

"The world," I note, "is yours.
You must live as if, make full
use, and derive benefit from."

Such as we were, we gave ourselves
outright. The world is ours,
all the world

takes only what it wants.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


If I Friend You, will you notice? Am I a friend of a friend you clicked on to pad your totals? Have we ever met over sodas? Sweated like pigs for an hour of bikram yoga? Fallen at least a third of the way over, laughing in a pagoda bonding over our mutual love of Yoda? Kept our affection for each other despite a huge argument over racial quotas? Portaged from lake to lake one spring in Minnesota? Done anything at all together? Do I know ya? I'm not saying people I haven't met aren't real, but if we met would you know me from Ricky Schroder? He prefers 'Rick' now I hear.

I can tell you what I prefer. But I'd rather show ya.

Monday, December 12, 2011

as fuzzy

I'm as fuzzy and compliant
as a soft summer peach, as fuzzy
and empty of stuff, full of wonder
as a newborn babe's not
-yet-hardened head, as fuzzy
and full of relief
as a cease-fire
from the high command,
on a hair-trigger stand,
the eve of a battle
whose armies are comprised
of all former schoolmates
and lovers, each on opposite sides
of tension-fraught, taut-drawn
battle lines, and yet -

- I would not say that I'm
particularly fuzzy. That word,
I don't know

it just wormed its way in
like a common denominator
that won't divide


Not all exchanges have to be public
do they? Let's post

our baby on the internet
and deliver him by high-speed DSL
no one will suspect

"him or her," of course - I'm sure a daughter
would go over just as well

and healthy, ten fingers and toes and
hell, eight or ten pounds easily

and soon to be in the top percentile
for growing big and giggling

his or her first words will be hilariously
apt - the things kids say, we will post them
in a video with our voices in the back
-ground cooing and oohing aahs

people will 'Like' it
and make comments like


"o my god"

as the first million hits
hit, no one will suspect

no one will notice anything

get set

but what the hell: let's
consider this hypothetically. Realistically,
if everything in the world were different

I'd still feel the same. And it would work
just as well as it did today

but since everything in the world is the same
I feel different now. I don't know. Hold on.
I'll explain


and, go

From you or, arguably,
anyone else
I could get away clean

But so what, what the hell
that isn't the point.
that's kind of a one-sided
impression. And I mean,

The truth is,
despite all contrary evidence.

I may be at least as much of a sucker
as I seem,

If only you
could make me believe in certain bullshit
not ever happening

A hard sell - but possible
for you or, arguably,
anyone else

- from what I've seen.

on your mark

you think
I'm kind of dangling
out there for the plucking for you,
any time you choose to stretch out your hand.
I mean, I know you know that I'm not

I think I might give the impression

I would simply and blissfully collapse
into your waiting embrace
if it were there.

which sounds so nice

*but not a real bearskin, that's cruel.

Sexy to me is a bearskin* rug
with nothing on. Waiting.
A wine glass, waiting
expectantly for the pour,
not knowing white or red
just knowing you - and knowing
it will be exquisite, with your lips
to follow. A plate, clean, white, gleam
- awaiting: something soft, warm. Salty,
savory; something to be scooped out in dollops,
and scooped up with toasted crusts. A door.

Closed; waiting.

A whole room, the whole house - darkened.

The misty hiss
of tires outside, rained-upon asphalt
rolling out a carpet for a car rolling up,
a carpet of wet black, shot across all over
with electric stars, a car rolling up
with us inside.

A slam
of doors and a laughter of running feet,
with elbows for inside position, as -

- a key slid in,
and thunk/click. And open and rush, and:


Home safe,
and dry.

brought to you by the number three

when you tell me these things,
it feels and sounds like a children's program
I know

there really are a lot of adults
who never learned how to be in the world, and
could use it explained to them

with a song, and a cartoon
I was not talked down to
my intelligence insulted
belittled and lessened
just to sit and let your lesson
babysit me, while my inner mom maybe
got something done in another room
washing the inner dishes

I sat entranced, no trace of ADD
at all, but also on some level
waiting for commercial

target audience

The key I think is the opening line
he's not talking to everyone, no
just you

and you know that his words
could encircle the world
and not one set of ears
could hear clear and true
what the meaning here is.

this piece was not meant
for the people who won't
take it personally. No
without any context of we
between you, you are sure of
exactly one thing


why I'm a listener

so finally I get up the gall,
the nerve, find a voice

equal parts reassurance,
and speaking from experience,
and a kind of wonder as if
still finding this stuff out myself

I awkwardly lean in, hanging on my
every word to tell you how much you mean

and of course, you don't

believe a word of it.

the girl like Linus

And her voice, with its Linus-like qualities, soft
with mercy and tenderness yet steel underneath
and firm emphasis (Linus doesn't play when it's
what he believes) her words soft, to comfort like
a blanket over your insecurities, yet with a flip
and a flick - snap crack like a whip!
to smack you smack-dab on the ass
whenever she sees

you need it.


I've always been prone to rhyme like that
from time to time,

I'm not just finding myself
admiring her facility with a style
I'd already previously mastered.

but she beat me to it, I should have known
I should have flown faster
as if flown could be the past participle
of flow

but I guess, having come in second
I have to go
back to the drawing board and reinvent it,
as if there could be a market
at this late date
for a reinvented drawing board. Well,
maybe if I bent it
I could draw a design in ten dimensions
that would map out a rap diagrammatically correct
grammatically suspect and mathematically impossible,
drop it on all of our heads and say

oops, sorry y'all

that was a GUNSHOT

was that a GUNSHOT

we don't get gunshots
in this neighborhood?

it was
it must have been

the news broke in with a report
of a loud report, and outside

sirens wailing, bewailing the broken silence
converging from all directions to assail

the source of all this violence

Sunday, December 11, 2011

just off the rails

trip off on a shot
like a tangent to a land
where only the premise applies,

and none of what's real can so much as raise a hand
to interrupt,

until the hypothetical has had its way

there was really no why to explain
the links in the chain as the train
kept a-rollin'

laying its own track
across the increasingly strange
fruited plain.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


last night
I saw you in my dream
what's more
I think that you saw me, and you
were walking alongside
alone & naked
you looked into my eyes:
you're tired of life
of what you can do
and tired of the things you can't
you need someone to teach
and someome to learn
and someone to understand

well I will
join you
I will
join you
in this

it's a sacrament

we walk
a world we did not make
we tried
it wasn't to our taste
we speak
of wisdom and virtue
I think
the secret is inside you
you're tired of love
without knowing why
of flying with no place to land
with no one to teach
and no one to learn
and no one to understand

well I will
join you
I will
join you
in this

it's immaculate

and we met in a place
where nobody goes
and something passed between us
over and over and over and over
the moment is gone
you're left here with me
we hold each other in our hands
with nothing to teach
and nothing to learn
and nothing to understand

but I will
join you
I will
join you
in this

it's a sacrament

said I will
join you
I will
join you
I will, join you - in this:

we're transcending it
it's immaculate
it's a sacrament

Friday, December 02, 2011

a minimum

for trusting enough: thank you
for trusting enough

you have to be able to
trust people enough
to believe, trust them enough
not to kill
themselves. You have to

You have to be able to
trust them enough,
that they're not going to

do that.


how can you ever take a joke? Or hang up
after what they said
that they KNEW did not sound quite right
the moment they said it, no -
do not call back
it was not a call for help, please
not a call for help, please

you have to be able to trust

Which you do
Which you did, so for tonight
I will make sure

your trust was not in vain.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a good book

it's bright and blue, no storm outside
but the wind shakes the house like rain,
in squalls

I am safe in bed,
with a book too sad to stick to, long
and no one calls

and no one knocks, thank God
I'm safe

I'm safe at home. Today, at least
no one, nothing, can touch me here

I lie on my back as the wind breaks leaves
against the house, in bushels-full
I look at my book

this book's so sad - I don't want to go back
but I have to, though

all the way to the end
if it's bad,
it's bad

the perfect thing

we want everyone to be
the perfect thing that they're not

WE want them to be.
They don't want that.

or maybe they do?
some of them do, it is true
they want to be that perfect thing


maybe together: the power of you
both, delusion times two

can fit flesh to the ghost
raise least to the most
undeserving, I know

but that's how it goes

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


you totally belong
and we miss you when you're gone!
but we're all of us a bit too good
at trying not to push, to push
and trying not to pry, and I
we all suspect, we know
that none of us belong

when you go

faith + or - one

there is a god
we are alive now in his thought
and will live forever
in his memory

cradle bird

I want to cradle you like a bird
but it's not because you can't fly
or that you need, really need my protection
it's just that I love to protect you,
and wish I could

in point of fact: you can't fly
you're not a bird. You're a grown woman

women can't fly

I suppose they can get a pilot's license
but this is only a deflection, a

an evasion

to cover for the fact: they can't fly


I tried to talk about myself
with you, just now
and I'm not sure if it worked

I realized that I never do talk about me
with you I always talk about
the world? I guess
or ideas. Dumb ones
all the things there are in the world
to scathe

and I scathe them
scathingly, to make you laugh
make your face hurt

but I talked about myself, or tried
just now, and you didn't laugh

I'm not sure if it worked.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I burn books

all day, i choose them for content
and i dump them - covers akimbo
contents, chapters, spread open, vulnerable,
contained disarray in a big metal mesh
trash can

and then

i also have some wadded-up newspaper in there
packed loosely between and around the books
- for kindling, bitches!!!

and i light up a cigarette
take a long, slow pull of a drag on that puppy, and
get the coal all very good and hot and red
and i start fires

in the wadded up newspaper
and the fire spreads
like wildfire, and soon
the books catch:
covers, blacking and smoking,
bubbling where there is ink, colorful
paperback covers turning black rainbows
hard covers, smoking
old, fabric covered covers burn dull and low
dust jackets, crisping into ash
thick wads of pages bowing and warping,
separating out, with razor-thin (paper-
thin) lines of fire tracing
the edges of the pages, as

heat expands



I stand well back from the soft roar
of literature, burning its way
into history

and I pick up my sign, as if this is
a demonstration.

My sign says

"I'm burning books!

It's ok
I have
a permit"

Monday, November 14, 2011


the shepherds were herding their sheep, anon
the bullwards were warding their bulls
the cowhands were handing their cows along
it was, all in all, in a thoroughly pastoral
sort of milieu that you I found each other
in our finding, and kept each other
in our keeping

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

purely to prove

out of spite
purely to prove you broke me
I cracked into pieces
that slid apart
as I walked

Monday, November 07, 2011

Yes. Of Course!

You're asking a question that is almost
impossibly strange
for me to answer, the way you have
literally put it
into words. but, I think
I know exactly what you mean, and
and I am going to try to answer it,
hypothetically: if

I met a girl who
looked like you,
who talked like you,
who was you,
I might not think
or believe you were hitting on me, but
if you asked me out -
I'd be all "AW JEEZ
I should have beat you to it!"


to answer you're question,

except when it is

It's not funny except when it is
not for the person who it's not funny for when

except when it is
there's the rub, there's the rub
rub it in now,
why don't you?

rub it in

Let's get it over with

have you already missed your shot at one true love?
have you quit waiting for your second chance to come?
have you already given up the ghost of it?
have you already traded in your membership?

hey there, happy! glad to see me?
we were on to something
bad at goodbyes
good at white lies
hey, you can't have everything
let's get it over with
let's get it over with
let's get it over with?
we're here

have you reached the point where you know that you'll never change?
have you figured out why everybody else is strange?
have you wished for someone
- to get hit by a shooting star?
have you lost
your illusions of how nice you are?

well, I've still got some
where's the shotgun
we can blow them all away
I don't care, really
seeing clearly
is better than they say
let's get it over with
let's get it over with
let's get it over with?
we're here

wolf in sheep's clothes
bare beneath, though
set to howl and growl
and baah
sing it, baby
whatever, maybe
it's okay,
sera sera
let's get it over with
let's get it over with
let's get it over with?
we're here

Sunday, November 06, 2011

"Love Makes No Sense And So Do I"

predict it
go ahead see it coming
and she said:
exactly what she wanted
and she said
you're not the type I want
so I said -
well what's your favorite font?
Yeah well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?
yeah, well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?

and you know
what you look for in a man
and you'll find
your mister master plan
the future
is what really counts to you
but I'm sure
the present has its moments too
yeah, well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?
yeah, well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?

and they say: to thine own self be true
but I know who I am
and I'd rather be true to you
and wise men
say only fools rush in
but I can't help
falling in looooove with you

yeah, well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?
yeah, well, love makes no sense
no makes no sense say yes
love makes no sense, and so do I
so what?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

serving suggest

When you are feeling down, and coming down,
and life has ideas of its own,
and the black clouds come over
then you can't help but cry
that's when it can get hard.
But that's just when it can help so much -
to get up
breathe, and walk down the hall
stand yourself in front of the machine
you pays your money, and
you press the button -
- out drops an ice cold can of Coca-Cola.
Pull the tab - *PFSSST!* Sniff that bubbly fizz!
Hold that ice cold-can in your hot little hand! and then


say it isn't

when news is this bad,
well what can you do? The mind shuts down.
The mouth stops cold, and
I pray you are putting me on.

oh how gladly
I'd be made a fool! Ten times out of ten
I never mind, if only you

could be ok

but I can't see or believe how that can be
I trust you

would not have told me
all of what I just heard
for fun.


make me wrong

tell me I'm wrong

tell me you got me good,
on this one

how many holes

This place,
without you, was bereft.
Bereft, bereft of you
in so many ways. Too many
ways to count. It's amazing
how many holes one person can leave,
when they've gone.

"Making Gaines"

I've been Driftin' Away, yeah
the Way of the Girl - like an Unsigned Letter
'bout the state of the world
so Lost in You, it's like Snow in July
and It Don't Matter to the Sun, Right Now
so I cry:

Maybe, if we could make Chris Gaines
put another album out -
the world could be the same
as it was back then!
so edgy and true
with a funky soul patch
under skies so blue

That's the Way I Remember It,
walking on Main Street,
Digging for Gold -
we knew life could be so sweet
'til we got beseiged -
can we ever get it back?
My Love Tells Me So - I won't
raise the White Flag, 'cause

Maybe, if we could make Chris Gaines
put another album out -
then the world could be the same
as it was back then!
so edgy and true
with a funky soul patch
under skies so blue

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

how badly

how badly do I need your help?
it can't be that bad, 'cause I'm asking
right? Oh you know if you can't, I can more
than take that
and on principle, use it
to fuel my fight.

If I really need help -
I would have to be so
deep and down,
trodden low,
that you'd never have heard

So, you know,
it's okay if you can't.
I'm okay, if you can't -
of complaint,
you will not
hear a word.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


To end this call
at any time, please hang up.
To continue this call, please
remain holding.
If you wish to press the pound key,
do so now, by pressing pound. If you wish
to press the star key, press the star key.
If you wish to select a number, please
locate the number on the keypad,
and press it now. If you wish to select
more than one number, enter them sequentially,
in the order you wish to select them.
Then press pound.

To continue this call
in Spanish, please remain on the line.
The menu of options will be repeated
in the worst Spanish you have ever heard. For French,
continue holding after that.

Monday, October 31, 2011


how do I squeeze
my body into this
the excess mass
is shed as mist
this slimming black
batwing motif
I'll fly tonight
let's bare some teeth

pulled pork poutine

in the banquet line of life, as
others around me browse
on choice dainties, and gorge themselves
on trendy and esoteric delicacies -
I keep my plate clean
while that slow line moves me along
to the tray I've been waiting for: you

are my pulled pork poutine. Comfort food,
in the way that only the wordless songs
our mothers sang when we were arm-cradled babies
can comfort our wordless woes now. Soul food,
in the sense that if one had no soul, if
there were no such things as souls inside
people, one bite of this would put a soul
into you.

As soon as you could swallow: a soul of your own.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

action movie

I'm very
not good
at this.

the room

ground floor hotel
steps outside

we'll keep track of everything we touched


will clean the room


clean you

no words,
all planned.

both of us
memorized the exits
the route

the phone number

and if we can get to that point
16.2 kilometers north

if you still want to split up, break up
well okay.

a noise


they're coming.

Friday, October 28, 2011

calling revolutionaries

any revolutionaries
need to figure out how to make the world run back
to when grassroots could pull down power structures
that have since become entrenched in the stars, paradigms
carried by satellites, the status quo

has taken the heavens down, and the constellations
that control our lives
have drowned

in the inky black that surrounds.

a game where only I can't play

let's invite the world
and let them all make up the rules
and they can each bring cheering sections in
to stand and stomp and clap and sing
as we play them all for fools.

Because we know that between me and
you, we know that you're our secret ace -
and you will run right by them, making plays,
and I
will be the mastermind -

it's okay.
I know my place.

Bring out the medals.
There are only three levels
to the pedestal: gold,

that's you.

The other two won't matter. I know

what we need to do.

sense of anything

I never know where I get my sense of anything. It ends up
in the mind, and the tags torn off.
I wish wish wish I had one of those minds
where I could trace the path...
some people do, you know
it's a little like magic
saw a man
in half

"Horseradish Rash"

girl you're made of white hot
your mouth is white hot to the taste
my sinuses, the vapor plays
the signal is
I've made mistakes
the fever from the flavor says
your name is gonna burn my mouth
oh just to say,
just to pronounce,
but I can't help but help myself

like radishes, like radishes
it stings a bit
hey girl you got me whinnying
like horses in tornadoes, yes
I think I got an allergy
are you horseradish, girl?
you're horseradish, girl!
I'm allergic to horseradish

you make my mouth hot
girl, you make my mouth break out
girl you make my mouth water
sting for days, for weeks, for later
sing my lips, my lips to sleep
the sweetest pain, still lingering
from where you kissed, oh where
you kissed
just everywhere
and everything

like radishes, like radishes
it stings a bit
hey girl you got me whinnying
like horses in tornadoes, yes
I think I got an allergy
are you horseradish, girl?
you're horseradish, girl!
I'm allergic to horseradish

my fucking boyfriend hates me

my fucking boyfriend hates me
it's because I'm a man
and he's not gay
and neither am I
but I keep calling him my boyfriend,


I guess I can see where that might gall,

after a while

I can't resist it though
I'm so cute when he's mad!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the longer we keep getting ready

putting on the makeup
we've been clean and dry for hours
took our showers
brushed our teeth
everything routine is done
setting all our outfits out
moving all around the house
fixing tiny crucial flaws
work of art is tedious
every blemish gets its bright
and hot spot thrown upon it full
'til each of us turns mirror smile,
we're good to go -
"hey, beautiful"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

that song is strong kung fu

you need strong kung fu
to go without armor
in this world.


armor themselves
with breastplates, mantras
pad themselves with dogmas
others sharpen the blade
of reason on will's whetstone
and trust to a keen, cutting edge

I have only this song.

Shall we dance?

qualified, are you?

I don't think you're qualified, are you?
to make that judgment call. it isn't as if you went to school
for several years, to learn how to break up with me
in a way whose interpretations could be supported
wholly from within the text, but still, I
(and I have some small expertise in this field)
can confidently say you, with all your naive
arguably: naive instincts in the right place
in all the right places, your instincts
have hit the proverbial home run, here!
beginners luck, spectacular effort
first time out with little to no formal training.
You're a natural! I doubt we'll see another such performance
any time any time soon, really. Kudos, really. Kudos.

I've got more rhymes than the wind has chimes

I've got more rhymes than the wind has chimes. That's not a poem yet but I bet it combines with the next couple lines coming out of my knot to make a couple couplets stanza it up, 'til we got somewhat respectable accumulations of the kind of verbiage that people come to half-expect from me each time I serve you with my fingertips, just twinkling keys, I string the letters on like pearls or beads of rosaries, the words you meditate on


roses are sad
violets are blue
bitter is sweet
when you're seventeen
and the woman you love
is a PhD
in comparative world lit and poetry.


the love in your eyes
in certain pictures hurts
I hear you're doing fine
you said so yourself
That works.

I pretty much always have
taken your word.

And you always know, I guess
that if you ever called,

you know the rest

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Sigmund Freud was a guy


kind of knew what he was doing?

he made up a lot of shit,

fuck that guy.

he invented psychoanalysis

nice work if you can get it to.


I'm not gnostic,
or mystic.
My reason's explicit.
My purpose is final (and not mine to say)
and justification's not mine for the making -
but I have found meaning
each step on the way.


At some point we stopped caring
and that was when I decided "Something
must be done, or
I don't know what will happen,"
and it turns out
I was wrong on that. Nothing
musted to be done, and
I did know what would happen.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

fate vs

it is the fate of every one of us
to destroy the universe
and it is the fate of the universe
to endure.


someone marked up my copy of Nadja
in ink
in blue ink
words circled
passages underlined
or bracketed, with notes
such as "self-consciousness
as writer and conscious of reader"

some of these underlines rise
into crossouts
so that it is not possible to interpret
their importance, or...?

I don't believe this book was sold as used
I think I paid full price for this.


when you used to be gone
for a week, for a trip
I would look at your shoes
lined up by the door
and grin like a fool

Friday, October 21, 2011


I am suddenly wonderful.
I feel very clear. If you asked
me the secrets of the universe,
I am clear. Like a glass
of water, at least. Oh,
I'm pretty sure
I've felt this before.
It comes and it goes I guess,
but it's always so nice
to come back to,
and not be confused
for a minute or two.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

chisel, or chiseler

like long poems that give you a chance
to sink all the way in. I like
short poems that snap and crack,
leave you with a grin. I like
poems of all lengths and forms,
and with no excuses necessary,
no need to nod to norms: take a tool
called you, and cut your way into
language with it. Leave reasons why
aside. What you get's worth the effort
no matter how much you put in,
no matter how hard you try
no matter what block of language
is left in front of you when you're done.
What you get's worth the effort: you start
with one tool, end with a better-honed

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


after all this time
after all these years,
I still can't believe
you don't smoke. I mean
sure. I don't smoke,
and why should you? It's
not healthy, for a start! But
you seem somehow


someone who might light up,
and offer one to me

at least once

"Won't Be Free"

"Won't Be Free"

We walk, knowing always
how freely we choose
between options. Alone,
and beholden to nothing to lose.
We can't stop, sometimes it seems -
between always choosing between -
between paths we already know

we hope we'll wake up changed,
and gathered in by blessed chains, and

we won't be free
no we won't be free, no more
we won't be free
no we won't be free, no more

We fight, tooth and nail
to preserve our deserts -
and our rights are what we say.
No one can put a claim in for first,
and you can't put a claim in on me.
And my claim on you isn't free.
We deserve more than what we will give -

we call it "what we need,"
but one day we'll be undeceived,
yeah someday we'll wake up and see, and

we won't be free
no we won't be free, no more
we won't be free
no we won't be free,

no more, no more
no more, no more -

and you'll tie all your futures to mine,
and we'll bind all our fortunes fast,
and you'll have someone to answer to -
and I'll have someone to ask

the world, by it's nature is always a cage
we are trapped in, but free
to decide and to order our days,
within the limited scope we're given.
We push so hard to break and escape -
we live chained by what we forsake,

we wait in freedom's thrall
and waste away for some great call,

'til we won't be free
And we won't be free, no more
we won't be free
yeah we won't be free, no more
no more,

no more no more,

No more.

as you go

may light go before you,
my love will follow after

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


we cannot line up
on fields or courts
to play this game
where the score will count.
It's only outside the lines,
and out of bounds
where we all fall short,
fall down -
where out, strike,
tackle, sack,
brick, miss
hard check
rejected -
no real rules,
and no one to call "foul"
there's only this:
last try, last chance,
then lose


I'm hapless
I need a context.
to function within
if I don't get it?
and I will try to
recover, find out
whatever you want to
and I think: I will win.
I can't begin
to tell you how far I am
willing to fall.
I am hapless
I need a context - if I get it?
I'll destroy you all.


when I say "play"
there are no rules
there are no tricks, "play"
simply means
two tigers
are not trying to kill each other.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

cigarette for the soul

she's like a pony with lonely eyes
how can you say no?
a cube of sugar, and apple to bite
she's leaning on your door
you open up just a crack, just a sec
and she's breathing on your heart
now you'r commingled 'til death
'til death
you'll never be apart
(and that's a hard thing to know,
but a beautiful thing to give into, though)
she's like a cigarette
for the soul
she's like a cigarette
for your soul
and you can feel the hit
breathe in, as she takes hold

she's woven into your nervous nerves
you shake when she's left town
until you hold her and she leans in
and her breathing calms you down
you still recall how you used to act
aloof from anyone
you never want to go back to that
this need is all you want

she's like a cigarette
for the soul
she's like a cigarette
for your soul
and you can feel the hit
breathe in, as she takes hold
she's like a cigarette
for the soul
she's like a cigarette
for your soul
and you can never quit
this one need has made you whole

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You Don't Know

The party's over!
feel free to sleep on the lawn
if it get's colder
I'll turn the sprinklers on
thank you for coming!
just exit as you leave
so glad you made it
so glad you wouldn't believe

but you don't know, you don't know you don't know
you don't know! You don't know you don't know

he's got a penis! he's into muscle cars
he likes the Beatles. but he don't know who they are
she's into retro
like Britney Spears and such
she thinks he's perfect
she isn't thinking much
he goes by feeling
he needs to feel it inside
she needs to see it
to see it with her own eyes
'cause that's believing - she's easily convinced
no deeper meaning
she says it is what it is

but you don't know, you don't know you don't know
you don't know! You don't know you don't know

the party's started but it's over any instant
the people come in through the front and exit by the side
he thinks he's found it - the point of no resistance
she likes his style, she'd like to take it for a ride
and now they're driving - the wind drowns out the music
he's sing-alonging, she thinks he's making up the words
it doesn't matter
they're easily amusing
they both believe it - in spite of everything they've heard
but you don't know
you don't know you don't know
you don't know
you don't know you don't know

The party's over.
Feel free to sleep on the lawn.
If it get's colder,
I'll turn the sprinklers on,
Thank you for coming!
Just exit as you leave.
So glad you made it!

so glad you wouldn't believe

Saturday, October 08, 2011

ghosts and echoes

too many ghosts
and echoes
in my recent poems.
these words have resonance -
but delicate!
they shimmer, indistinct
and must be shielded from overuse.
in the lee of some huge,
black stone embraced by dunes
as echoing, the tides come home
in ghosts of foam, and the bill for once
or twice too many times to the well
comes due

once all around

a cocktail toast
to clink on glass and echo
through these colored
ghosts of waving shimmer
liquid lines
like ether, in which
spirits shine and sheens
around and through
our cubes of ice, and twists
and toothpicks, spearing fruit
and drowning truth:
a toast to what?
the point
is moot.

the worst thing I can do

the least that I could do for you
is let you have it: right, straight, now
this moment, clear! in crystal bricks
one ton of them
suspend, then


the worst thing I can do
is wait
and sit and burn,
and fume
and curse
and think of you until it hurts
until I make the sense I need
to put the perfect, fitting touch
on something worse

clean thoughts of you

my thoughts of you
are completely clean
you walk in - shower-fresh,
into my thoughts -
completely clean
your towel is wrapped
around your hair, your head
thrown back, your towel
slaps damp
on dry, clean skin
beturbanned, you:
and nothing else
at all is on my mind
except the clean, fresh,
rosy view

you should have that checked out

I never know what to say.
Why do some survive? Some die
some live - by skins of teeth
by skin shaved fine, excision
cut and dry, freeze dead the spot
you should have had checked out
the first time someone said, "What's

Sing lullaby, sing false alarm
sing nothing really, it will fade
away with thoughts, nightmares are made
of chemicals, and dreams are made
of radiation, blades are always there,
if there's emergency. I doubt
that this will come to that
as doubt takes root,
and grows a tree

the devil's say

now that the devil's had his say,
left the tickle of a whisper
in the bones of your ears
well you couldn't really swear
to a word, the truth
is you aren't really sure
- did you hear what you heard? oh,
it sounded true

to parts of you
that don't get a vote
(on the record, that is)
So when it's tallied up,
all counted and rung,
the decision may not make much sense
once again, it's the hidden majority
- always so right!
on the spot, in the moment

but in your defense, it's the devil
you guess, who set trills to the thrills
in the ghosts of those words
that you swore made such sense
those words that you caught
- you distinctly heard! -
in the moment just after their echoes
fell soft. It's the devil,
whose way got had this time
It's the devil who led,
and who caught, and who taught.
It's the devil this time,
and the time before. Well I guess
you're the fiddle, and damn
can he play
It's the devil each day
who rides you 'til you're sore
It's the devil you know
well, the devil
(you say)

and more

just when I think I couldn't love you more,
well I never thought that! My dear,
for sure: I could always love you more
I could always love you more
I could love you more
for sure I could
I could love you more

I could love you as much
as I can, just to start
well the harder I'll push -
hey, it's only a heart
that's muscle, you know!
the more I could push,
wake up sore,
push it more
let it rest,
drink some eggs
give it ten thousand reps
if you want to be best
get your regimen set

I am tweaking the pitch
and the mixture of fuel
gone from spurting in fits
now I pity the fool
who I used to be, love -
sucking wind on the turns
I'm outpacing the track, now
and loving and earning
the burn

and my best
is a mark we can set
further out, further out now
there isn't a doubt
that there is no such thing
every limit's a myth
I know just what to bring:
just the stuff:
more of it

I can always bring more
I could love you, much more
I could always love you more
I could love you more
for sure I could
I could love you more, always
I could love you more

Friday, October 07, 2011

please don't

please, don't worry
about me love, I know
you've seen
where I have gone
and where I'm headed,
further down
you've seen the worst
rock-bottom, now
and climbed back hard and sharp, up cliffs
that cut and bled your knees and hands
and wrists
and fingers, stubbed your toes
and lips

you climbed
you know, you know
it's treacherous

it hurts your heart
to see and fear me
heading down

don't worry, love
when I hit rock

I'll stop

fill lungs

and drown.


if you and me were against the world,
that would be so unfair for all concerned

or at least, for the other seven billion concerned
as they sit, badly burned
counting lessons learned

Sunday, October 02, 2011


We both know that
nobody's special, and nothing was
the secret ingredient.

A placebo,
maybe - you had to believe in it
for the pill to work? Well

I guess there weren't enough side-effects
to convince ourselves it was medicine

but once you stop
taking it, it sure kicks in

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Who Made Your Day?"

You know who made my day?
The lord Jesus Christ.
That's right.
Made it from scratch, to a divine specification.
People, do you hear a lot about Jesus? Well let me
tell you something, that guy, holy crud. I don't want
anybody telling me about Jesus unless they get that:
I am going to tell them RIGHT BACK. And we're going to see
eye to eye too, because after all, that's Christ's love
in operation! A lot of people might think that's scandalous
- but not me.

I am all about it.
I tell it on the mountain,
I tell it in the valley with a hammer,
I tell it down, down, down in my heart and
I tell it RIGHT FROM THE THROAT! And if the devil
wants to sit on a TACK, that's his business.
I don't truck with tacks. That's tacky.

But as to tact, I deliver:
what I've got to say with dimples
and winks, shrugs and imploring gestures,
a Christian Side-Hug perhaps, and ladeled on top
with dollops of diplomacy and tact to boot! Often,
in ancient days, the soles of a boot
might be held on with tacks.
But in modern times, and in our modern ways,
we see that it is tact
that holds on the boots of our souls, which after all
have to trudge daily through the mud and the hum drum rolls
that endlessly build a rumble of suspense for the cymbal clash
that just never seems to come. And while we wait, we argue
over what the symbol was a symbol of.
But does Christ care?

Look, you take care
of your own answer on that one.
Christ sent me a LETTER it's called the BIBLE.
I opened, and read it. It said they was suckas!
Wanted me for their army or whatever.
Picture me giving a dang, I said NEVER!

Oops, sorry. I always get
a little hyped up listening to P.E.
I'm surprised it doesn't spill over more often

my poetry

So, who made my day? Chuckie D,
Flavor Flav

Terminator X!

and a little bit of J.F.C.

Monday, September 26, 2011

the only piece this puzzle needs is a frame

a beautiful picture
made out of pieces once
jigsawed and jumbled
a hopeless endeavor
to put it together
was going to take years,
but here you stand
whole, with the cuts

organized religion

a lot of people will say they're against
organized religion

I agree

when I was a kid,
in church
altar boys running into each other
priest knocking the big candle over,
opening up to the completely inappropriate
passage - "Today's reading is
not this one!"
People starting in on all the wrong hymns
I tell you

the way to find God is not choreographed
you just come stumbling

anything beautiful

I can't make anything beautiful.
I have tried,
and however I cut, craft and spin,
the work rotates by and I can clearly see
(before it settles into place)
the ugly side. And that is

For me, I will not see it without
that part. Even if walking all 'round
it now at rest, the ugly part is hidden
from view - I know the truth. A truth
not beauty.

I know it it better
than any who come to see it first at rest,
at peace, and believe it to be
a thing beautiful. They have missed,
and are deceived. No,

I cannot make anything beautiful, but some,
so deceived,

will say I have made a thing

my occasional lapses

I genuinely am sorry for my occasional
lapses, I
am sure they build up
into black marks against me, though
not any single one of them is worth
the apology I belabor you with,
the collective weight of the lapses
you never would have noticed,
and the piling-up apologies for them
which you frankly
can't accept
must weight heavily against me

and for that I'm sorry

Sunday, September 25, 2011

the fish princess

you had your tongue in cheek,
until you spit it out
with a glare at me
and it bounced, oh
it bounced
on the curb, and then
flopped around
just like a fish!
well, the hole in it
could have been made
by a hook

And I caught such a fish
it said: "oh, throw me back!
I will grant you a wish,
I'm a princess of sorts"

with a glassy-eyed look
and a gasp, you implored

and I pulled out the hook
but you spat out your tongue
just as if to say "There!
I need no help from you!"

well, what did I do wrong?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Do you know how big my love is?

Do you know how much I love you?
Because I don't.
It's gotten way out of sight - like a balloon
with a slipped string, except as it rose
in the air, it did not shrink but expanded to fill the sky.
And now all there is all this bright, cheery red
filling the whole sky, with white, fluffy clouds
scudding along under it. It looks
quite alarming. But that's my love
for you.


you say my reach exceeds my grasp
but I say you've got one firm ass

we aims to please

darlin' I will meet you behind the scenes,
as the curtain draws back,
and the crowd stamps their feet,
we will storm in stage left
and return their bouquets,
at the highest velocities

- wow, what a play!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Best Bad Influence"

if you could only use your powers for evil,
instead of good
good all the time
if you could let a couple wrong words slip
through your lips, from all the thoughts
that flit
through your mind
if you could only use your powers for selfish ends,
I'd justify
whatever that means
'cause you and me are a good, good influence
but I bet
if you try, you could be

the best
bad influence
I ever had
you could be the best
bad influence
I ever had

I think we've learned a couple too many lessons
took too much to heart,
the truth
and the lies
I guess it's probably been some kind of blessing,
but now it's time to strip
away the disguise
sometimes you have to take a little permission
tell yourself, hey it's okay
to be wrong
we're at our most perfect when we're at our most human
be just a little bad
and bring me along, you'd be the best

bad influence
I ever had
I know you'd be the best
bad influence
I ever had,
oh, you could be that, you'd be
the best
bad influence
I ever had
true story: FACT
you'd be the best
bad influence
I ever had

I'd say we've got an awful lot of potential
and all we'd have to do
is cross
a few lines
I hate to say it but it's going to come down to you
'cause I can't even read my own mind
and here we stand, and we're both on the brink of
waiting for the other to pull us across
and good excuses
are all we can think of -
we just need one
bad excuse
what would it cost

to be the best
bad influence
I ever had
you would be the best
bad influence
I ever had

stunt coordinator

when you try a stunt, you
need to make sure time stops
for the camera switch, and your double
sits in exactly the right place
in the mis-en-scene. That is,
you prefer to do your own. The insurance companies
will not love you for it. And the fans, they
will probably scratch their heads. Who do
you think you are? Jackie Chan? Man,
some days you need to stop. And realize:
Take the beatings you must, and
get out while you can, 'cause
you can't even pass for the stars
in your eyes


it's going to be better,
or worse, but it can't
stay the same
it can't stay the same
it can't

now you've opened the tomb
of your life, and the curse
when you lifted the lid
is the same one you laid
from the day of your birth.
You have changed. Every day,
moving forward and learning
what's next. Well

it's going to be better,
or worse, but it can't
stay the same

which is probably

somewhere a clock is ticking

This thing
sits and ticks out its life.
Its tiny hitched ribs
and wheeled gear lungs
hung on a precise spinal wire, run
by a heart
that is not connected to a brain or anything.
it runs, on time,

towards out

ways & means

There was never any question
you were going to make this work
in my mind or yours. But not
in the world's
And that meant so much?
to give up not an inch!
in the face of the worst
you knew who would flinch
first, and you knew you
would last,
until everyone else
gave up. Went home.
I agree with your methods,
expressed in terms of your goals. But
did you consider you could have won more
than a game?

when you had me alone,
the whole world was not
in the room.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

grazed knees

there's nothing about
this moment I'm in now
that I can't call back
with an instant's grace

even twenty-two years
past that look on your face,
I can still see the sun
through the curtains behind me
my peripheral vision
has everything in its place.

Well, what happened to us? We were
kids, we grew up. We were soft,
with pink skin
and wide grins
when the band-aids
came off


this focus is good
I need this again

it is so long since I
had my wind

the ground is so hard
as if it's proud

and the music is pounding
like mortar shells

there's a stitch in my side,
coming undone

as my ribs stretch and gather flesh
to knit back up

my body strains against itself,
and the ground is so hard

to understand

but it rolls along, bobbing
like it's nodding its head

while I kick it
for what you said


is communal property. This
is dinner, is it not? There
are rules. We set a date and
it came. We share the wine,
offer and decline entree bites
- make great impressions, feel our way
cautiously through these minefields, but

dessert - by rule -

is no gray area! What's mine is ours,
here. Even though you (as you always
will) decline to order, I (as I always
have and had presumed, will) order
the biggest, deepest, best chocolate thing
they have.

And holy shit.

You aren't kidding around, are you?
I think

well, wow, I love chocolate too!
You are not kidding around.
I get a bite or two
of it myself. Working

after a few years of this,
suddenly I switch

to creme brulee

spitting games

there's distance and there's accuracy
but either way, you've got me beat

"it's not a competition" - no! It never is,
but so it goes.

between the way you always win, and then
refuse to count the loss -

I guess I should just have the fun
that you pretend to have with us.

whatever's left

I'll take this side
in my right mind,
however you might wish
to paint the great divide
that lies between
- I'll take the side
you left to me.

gleaming auction

you make a sign
it's dangerous
your bid is in
you bid on me
at whose expense?
you might go home
with one too many
bachelors, but then -
it's all for charity


you slide along me, like
a squeak and thrill
of fingertip on strings
along chunk chug chords
with drive, in a line
and nothing but beat
coming up behind

well you can't stop now,
and neither can I but
this is nothing like beautiful music
we make

since we're not recording,
we'll play back the tape
and fix everything, perfect
and fake

in one take

how to play dead

just fold your arms
lie down, you're shot
you can't get up
you're playing wrong!
you'll wreck the game
shut up, lie down
and bleed out
the hole in your brow
that fills up like a cup
of thick, red tea

you be well-behaved, now
next time

it will be me

so snow patrol

so snow patrol makes me cry
now? really? Oh yeah, that's right
"Run" always did. But now I can't
even take the happy ones, the ones
that sound happy. When
did that happen? Darling, I
hate each and every one

of your bands


I swallowed my bated breath and bit
the line, and I sawed with my teeth
- the hook in my lung drew close,
settled next to my heart -
I could not cut the string,
so I pulled
and it caught

broken tooth

broken hearts are worse
than teeth. It snapped and slid
a king deposed, his crown
cut off, royal head raw
and lord it hurt!
and now I have
appointments, too
to schedule
oh, life as well
- every damn day
between the crack
and torture's rack
is torture, too -
I'd take it all
if I could trade
it in for you.

where's a boy scout

don't let me rush you,
old lady! - we'll make it
across this street just

the traffic's my problem - you
just put one foot in front
of the other, and try
not to whine

Sunday, September 18, 2011

did a number

I really did a number
on my beard last night
and I thought that I
was going to have to make
a clean shave. I decided:
put it off,

for a couple of days.
You should never make
a decision like that
this way

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the effect that you have

I figured out
what you do to me
no matter what
what you do to me
no matter what the world
seems to do to me

no matter what weird thought
grows up all on my mind
or if I worry worry worry
about what I said
or if I think we must have gone
off the rails in my head

in between the last word
we said, and the first, that

the second that your first word
fits in my ear, and it's your tone
like a bell, like a gong, like a deer
in the headlights of the moment
I just freeze into place
as every thing clicks clear:
dumb look on my face, because

recombobulate me

I said you

recombobulate me

it isn't easy to explain why I get so out of hand
with scenarios that can't be hypothetical, man
because I've steadily convinced myself between sips of wine
that it's the truth, except it isn't - it's all actually fine!
but I can't see it because me, I've got my own little world
it covers half a billion acres of the worst things I've heard
it towers half a dozen miles of the worst things that loom
and then you show up half a second
all that shit goes boom, because

recombobulate me

I said you

recombobulate me

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

steady foundation

If all we were looking for
was a firm, rock-hard, and steady foundation
to build on for life -
it would be so easy to stop right where we are,
with these fucking obstacles

and build a house on those.

Monday, September 12, 2011

trying to cross

my loping, implacable stride
as I jay-run across the divided road
brings me closer to the curb
with every step

of course it does. what the fuck
kind of stupid sentence or sentiment
is that?

is this a poem? You call
this a - poem? Would you call
What happened! there


is: I believe I slipped
when I should have strode
and ate shit, asphalt, gravel and
skinned my fists
on the aforementioned road -

trying to cross


I have done that before.
And will again. I tell you: I don't know

why the chicken must cross the road

but this poet doesn't need a reason
to go

just a moment
to stop and lie here, listening
to the rhythm,

approaching tide of wheels

thinking, reflect:
on how hot my blood is
on how close one can get
on the step that I missed,

purely for artistic effect

in training

force of will
diet pills
and alcohol

the shape I'm in
is almost fit
to die - Oh, corpse!
be beautiful

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

again with the forecast

Tuesday afternoon -
partly cloudy, light rain
ten percent chance
of a hurricane

fashion criticism

My favorite outfit of yours that you ever wore
was that cute schoolish skirt of reddish
plum-ish plaid with the jagged hem, together
with that black tee, with a picture of London
on the front,
done in white glitter
that you saw at Gottschalks
(back when it was Gottschalks),
loved immediately,
and put back.

So I snuck back later and got it
for you,

although - now that I think back, it
was more complicated than that. I didn't sneak
back. I went back on your explicit instruction,
coordinated via telephone, as you tried to get them
to put it on your credit card
(because we must have been
fighting or something). So
instead of me just buying it,
we had this tricky point of principle
for the sales clerk to deal with.
You were in Los Angeles, and it
was an emergency.

You had decided you needed that shirt.

After all,
I don't think it worked
out quite like we tried, but it did work
out. You wore it to that party
in someone's tiny little bungalow home.
Everyone there had a pretty fun pose,
was self-amused, or just archly superior
- whether sticking out by fitting in,
or the reverse. They worked it! It worked. It
was a well put-together party. There was
an Anarchist there! Which is what I mean:
this party was well and intelligently planned.
They had an Anarchist. Man, that dude
loved what I had to say about Anarchy. Crazy,
because we pretty much disagreed,
but the main thing I remember is:

You looked as cute as can be. I think you were
telling people I picked the outfit out -
which could explain why that anarchist
was hitting on me.

Anyway: that skirt, the shirt,
and those cute boots, too - it was surely
somebody's style, and
you sure made it

Friday, September 09, 2011

regrets don't wash

regrets don't wash
not clean, at least

I didn't get a chance

to unburden myself
of all of the things that felt wrong

about everything that was said

in the space between "hi!" and "oh shit!
you're dead."

Hercules, Bitches

I'll be glad to stand fast
on a bedrock floor
with the weight of a world on my back,
or more -
and my face set hard
and grim as a stone,
with my heels dug in.
I will neither slip,
nor groan. but

not just yet, though.
After lions and hydras, so much horse shit -
the weight of my back is too much.

At a minimum,
I need a drink, first.
And to lie down, if possible.

I'm tired of Herculean tasks,
each more ridiculous than the last -
of finding new crazy ways to win
against all of these weird, strange odds we're in.
I'm weary - worn out, I am going to lie down.
I need to recover my strength,
and will.

Let the thought of each pointless effort
pass, get my breath and my limbs
and my back in place,

just a short vacation -
a few blessed days, and then

I'll get back
to pushing whatever infinite boulders uphill.


You know what? That whole thing was
stupid. I hereby declare that it never happened!
Can't I do that? We create our own reality,
right? By how we perceive, and interact with
what we perceive. Well, in that case, I say
"It's stupid: and it never happened."

The magic words! And introducing Presto Voila,
the infamous stage magician! Whose tall black hat
is as sleek and capacious as you please -
entire possibilities can be contained therein,
to be yanked out by the throat with a squeeze - or else
stuffed in whole, to disappear without even a belch! That hat
is a monster.

But only because of the head underneath,
of the man formerly known as Mr. Heart On His Sleeve
- nothing up my sleeve now, as you can well see

and/or believe

to know what it means

Impenetrable yet... transcendent. This
can only mean one thing, a very specific
thing, these words of yours,

your statement made

is an object. Its own. It
cannot be held in the hand, it's
too solid, fixed in place, but it can
be stroked, felt. Grasped, not lifted. The
imagery, the imagery cuts like a thick blade
through dumb flesh, and leaves it none the more

for having gained such a definite wound.

your personal best

Stick a foot in your sock, it's
done. And a shoe, too while you're at it
lace it up and run, hit the door ecstatic
that the ugly part's finished, the fun
is sure to begin, now the smoke is extinguished -
and don't let the door hit your ass

On the way out, fix your eyes forward
and stretch your legs, in a lengthening stride
toward something inside that's been calling you
names, something you can explain, but not in words
(not to me). Something that is building up,
with each stab of pain
in your side - it's just a stitch

You can breathe your way through this,
hit that smooth pace that slowly glides
up towards your personal bliss
in your personal race,
a personal quest to beat
your personal best, well

you won't have to run very fast
to do that.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

thanks, just in case

if I ever get through
the worst patch of life
in my life, it will be
because of you

but not in a way that you'd
ever accept, even if I were to try
to explain

if I ever get through,
I will try to explain.

Friday, September 02, 2011

a good faith offer

To die is not over. But
to prove it is impossible
unless...death, you don't
want to! Even though faith,
you think, you believe but
ultimately, this life: Hold
onto it with hands! Your tight
and embrace makes precious,
because you never know what
it's worth. I will translate
for you


I'm sad as hell, I don't mind
admitting to you - there's no reason
for me to get happier, now
it doesn't feel easy
or better or worse when I smile,
so why not smile?

just wait for what's coming
to hollow you out

you'll find you've got one fewer
lesson to count

when your blessings come 'round
to take you down

and I don't mind admitting
my self-torture device
doesn't get me to break, like
one flick of your eyes
and I'll spill, all the classified
private advice
I was saving for you
'til the day that it dies

and just a little bit further,
the far side of now

the back of your head is like
"figure it out"

and it all makes sense but you can't see how

as your blessings come 'round
to take you down

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

your down cause you can't take Jesus

Your down, 'cause you can't take Jesus! And most people
can't, but Jesus isn't after most people! He's after you
. Now sit up and pay heed to the call, chile! Your heart
has ears, don't they? That sweet saving grace that makes
repentant sinners of us all! Take ear and hear it, for
the call
only comes but once
and for the rest of your life! Your down
'cause you can't take

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

wash with waves

and the ocean tastes pretty bad
you know, but it always has
it always has.

The water is blood
of salt and silt, and
brackish plankton blooms
and billions of living polyps

drinking each others' waste
and shitting each others' food -
it's a closed system
bleeding out at every edge,
and it's clean to me - pure,
and good

I am going to sink in
to the wide, wet strip
where the tide goes out,
waiting patiently

I'll lay sinking in, an encrusted rock
to wash with waves
wash with waves

and I'll sink into sand and remain where I am
and wash with waves
wash with waves

foam scum on green
as the years rush in I will wear away
'til there's nothing left of me
but clean

shit-eating grin

Proud tongue, lie still
behind blank teeth
- while eyes conceal black depths of soul,
Bite back hard words -
blink back hard plans,
and swallow turds

cries for help

come on
cries for help don't count.

Get real


how serious do you want to get? Do you think
you can really wade all the way in?

It's a dare
it's a slight, it's a date
it's a bet

some sex

some sex makes love
sit up and beg, and
no two hearts ever sit quite
still, slipping over
each other like arm
and leg, in a

that was almost burst


bicycle built

leaning on the plywood wall
of your homemade garage,
shiny and new
under webs and dust
with spots of rust now, eating into
a bicycle built for two

well it serves you quite neatly,
apropos, even -
for something so hokey as hell!

No more fitting death knell
could you have devised
if you had tried

and the bow is still on the thing. Fitting
its handlebar bell's trigger
will never be pulled
back with a spring-load resistance,
jingling like an insipid party favor -


"This Much Love"

at home with you - a house of walls
alone with you - beyond recall
as we sit by ourselves, way too close to be touched
we take turns disappearing, take turns turning up
and the plans that we drew to fix everything wrong
you said you had the will,
but it's gone - you only want
this much love
much love
this much love
you only want this much love
this much love
much love

you only want love

(this much love)

I've tried to sift and measure out
expecting less - I cut it down
you prove your points and justify
until you're right - and so am I
and your eyes hold the threat and the promise as well
but you never make good on half what you sell
if there's only one way we'll agree, that's okay
I just wish I could see why it was
- you only want
this much love
much love
this much love
you only want this much love
this much love
much love

you only want love

(this much love)

and the nail in my head has been pounding itself
it's been so long since you had to hammer at all
I have tried to make do, I have come to your terms
I have learned what it's worth,
what I'm worth
what I've earned:
just this much love
much love
this much love
you only want this much love
this much love
much love

you only want love

this much love.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I really could use a friend right now
someone who isn't invisible
someone to sit and listen to
who'll make me believe we both are real
who'll make me believe I have free will
and that it would make a difference
and know I can take the world in stride
and know I could not take any less
and I have any number of friends like that!
just nobody near enough to guess

a new thing

There's a new thing
an entirely new thing
I've been trying to say lately
and failing miserably
but hey - maybe
can you see it in my eyes? Okay
tell me what it is,
slowly, so
I write it down.

a zombie

a zombie
is just a corpse who has starved back to life
but I don't want your brains, darling
only your heart
and all of your flesh,
and okay your brains as well
nothing goes to waste

I want to make all of you
one of me
just like I am now
mindless with need,
either that or
consume you entirely

I don't feel too well
I expect I don't look so good, either
especially to you! - so particular
have you always had
such exquisite taste?

and I never knew, oh
I probably guessed. But this
goes beyond confirmation
a suspicion come true

there is truth

it isn't as if

it isn't as if
I care
or you care
or anyone cares
or do they? I don't care
to ask, it isn't as if
we'd believe them anyway. It's as if
we decided to let the whole thing ride
on faith to the point of suicide
without caring much which way we die
over the cliff, or stalled
and starved
frozen, exposed
excruciate, slow


suffocate, now.
Then get up, and go.

Monday, August 22, 2011

going to scream

if I don't scream,
I'm going to scream
and either way: the
problem's solved,
I guess

but either way
starts trouble, too
I'm so sick of "explain myself"

I'm running out of one excuse

but it's the best
that I can do. It was only a dream
I woke up from, you
know what a shock
that can be,
my love

but either way, now -
it was only a dream
if I don't scream -

I'm going to scream.

some assembly

Let's take what we have left
and put this all together
into something that feels

so we can leave it here

as a monument to "us"
(whatever that is), or
as a warning to others?

Either way there's work:
the pieces have been strewn
all over the place,
and the persons and things involved
all feel very replaceable
by now


If I could,
I would pay myself to forget
how this feels. Unfortunately,
my heart doesn't take bribes.
I don't believe
anyone's can.

My brain takes bribes. If
you pay in drinks - soon
I can't comprehend why,
anymore. I forget whatever
I used to be willing to think.
Why I thought anything of this
could be a smart thing.

But it does no good, simply
to no longer understand

I forget why I loved you
but I remember that I love you.

a meditation

there is
nothing in my mind except
a shrinking circle
in a spreading void

blackness surrounds
and black encloses
and black is enclosed
as the circle grows

but the circle grows
only half as fast
as the darkness it can't quite grasp

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"The Rest Is A Lie"

We were pretty much always in trouble
and we pretty much never cared
we were pretty much always in love, enough -
we had courage enough to spare

At its worst you'd always burrow into my embrace
and I'd squeeze you as hard as life
at its best there wasn't anything I could say
to convey

That isn't all.
That isn't all I have to say to you -
but the rest is a lie, the rest
is a lie.

The rest is a lie.

That isn't all -
that isn't all I have to say to you!
But the rest is a lie.
The rest is a lie, and
I'm the only one fooled.

Now the universe is a burst bubble
and the earth's atmosphere has a crack
I can't even get across how it feels right now
without saying stupid shit like that
As if hurt has got to be so "poetic"
to make up for love that was not
but so what, no poems, arts or literatures
could depict us
not one jot

That isn't all.
That isn't all I have to say to you -
but the rest is a lie, the rest
is a lie.

The rest is a lie.

That isn't all -
that isn't all I have to say to you!
But the rest is a lie.
The rest is a lie, and
I'm the only one fooled.

I'm fooled - I could go on and on, beyond truth
tell you that it's too late to take you back
tell you that it's run out of juice -
but the earth's atmosphere's a burst bubble
and the universe has a crack -
and as much as I would love to tell a lie to you,
there's a million true things
that I can't take back

That isn't all.
That isn't all I have to say to you -
but the rest is a lie, the rest
is a lie.

The rest is a lie.

That isn't all -
that isn't all I have to say to you!
But the rest is a lie.
The rest is a lie, and
I'm the only one fooled.