but aren't they all random?



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

Wednesday, 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

Today.

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

burgeon

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
this,

without even having to touch! They
have been informed

confound

you're my crowbar
you protect me
wow
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

accomplice

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

Point.

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
sublingually
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

star-counting

for a ghost of moment,
I counted my sneezes as blessings
expecting
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

forever

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

predicate

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
known,

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
all
of you,

for keeps,

to me.

Yet

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
myself

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
disturb.

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

mean

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

saved

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 with 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
finally

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

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.

influence

the way the music was clean, staccato
minimalistic,

uplifting from the edges
without obscuring the simple and explicit
delivery.

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

one.

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.
Still,

can I just share
a little bit
about why it was

I love this thing so much.

pupil-teacher

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

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

I'm
paying
attention

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

Outdoorsy!

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

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

operator, BOOM!
operator, BOOM!
operator, boom,
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
but I'M CREATING THE SOUND, I am the

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

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

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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

exploit. v.

Exploitation.
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
it
is
as
if:
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,

denied,

despised.

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,
fully,

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

Unfriendly

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

delivered

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
"SO CUTE"

and

"o my god"

as the first million hits
hit, no one will suspect

no one will notice anything
odd

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

somehow

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
nevertheless

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:

"Base!"

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

destiny

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.

rivalry

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

"Sacrament"

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.

Otherwise

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.