but aren't they all random?



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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Count

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
dark

ground floor hotel
steps outside

we'll keep track of everything we touched

I

will clean the room

you

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.

outside
a noise

eyes

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.
Alas
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

ROOT! ROOT!
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
girl!

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

ROOT! ROOT!
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,
anyway

yeah.

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
on
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.

Some

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

comparatively

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.

afar.

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,
well,

you know the rest

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Sigmund Freud was a guy

who

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.

profession

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.

musted?

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.

NADJA

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.

shoes

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

clear

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

I
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
one.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

nonsmoker

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

like

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

"victory"

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

hapless

I'm hapless
I need a context.
to function within
if I don't get it?
Pathetic.
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.

"play"

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.
sheltered,
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
combine
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
POW

...

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,
dry-scrubbed,
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
that?"

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.

"against"

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

placebo

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