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, December 31, 2012

"New Year's Eve, Even"

New Year's Eve
even seems
this year
like
a transition
that may matter,
like things to come
to fruition, from seed
to green shoot, to weed
to blooming flower, will be
subtly, substantially
different
this time. Is it in
the champagne, or
just in the pain
that has aged us
like wine? Into something
quite rare, we are vintage
with hints of white pepper and
pear, and we pair well with cheese,
do we not? Well, I do. You
- I'll take you with a bit of
whatever-you-like. And together
we'll ring
in the the new

"pulling teeth"

wiggle, wiggle
tip of tongue
on hard and bright enamel, push
and fuss and slide
and poke and pry
it's coming loose
- I knew it would!
I taste bright tiny bursts
of blood,

and tips of nerves
deep down say stop!
and go! and oh god
yes right there! Those nerves
are perverts. Call the cops

When I'm with you,
it's pulling teeth -
and pleasurable
as hell, beneath
a thin, bright sheen
of heavenly -
are you the tongue?
or is it me

and when you go,
you've left a hole
more red then wine,
and aching, dull
and nothing ever will
come in to fill
that gaping gap until
you come in wriggling
to push and worry at
my firm resolve, to work
my resoluteness loose
with force
so slow, relentless
solve a puzzle
back and forth
again

did you feel that?
of course
ah yes
the pain

Next

you can't always get what you want, but
you don't always need what they say you need
like food on the table
or air to breathe
you'll do fine without both, eventually

and I have been always a beast for you,
I've walked so far hurting, I can't complain
and time is on your side, yes it is,
yes it is, and sympathy
- for old what's-his-name

don't tell me! I can guess who,
who are you?
I'm switching the channel
to C.S.I.
(I stole the remote) and I won't be fooled
again
on my knees
and pray,
oh my.

you scratch mine

how many stabs
can one back take, before
it scratches the itch
for that punishment, oh
yeah, that's it - just
the spot, right there! Oh,
up a bit,
left, yes -
just what I deserve, oh
you always know best
just where it hurts worst,
and how hard, and how perfectly sharp
the point works
its sudden surprise,
running through
and through - no one
knows my weaknesses the way you do,
which is why I take them all, and
I turn them
to you

get me the scissors of damocles

Let us have no more
of this stone-block throne
with its shining blade hung
point fixed over skull
like a pendulum,
only still as your breath
by a fine white hair
depends certain death
with bowed head, ready
to jump, or be still
one movement
is all, it will take
your will

magic hour

I love you like shadows falling under trees
as the sun rises up from its knees
and the bees buzz busily
to the beat of bee's wings
in the dregs of the wine
that you poured for me,
it is drowsily taking each part
of me hold, and I sink down to earth
like the sun
coming home with a cold
as the sky bursts in purples
and pinks, and slow golds settle on us
like mist on ice rinks

"try to get across"

I feel like such a fool
I never can reach anyone
when I want to. In fact,
I've never wanted to. Except a few times,
rotten times
when somebody I love is suffering, and
it's always something terminal,
though maybe life
is not always what's dying.

But I'm always unable to help
when I try. I come clumsily
close, fall clumsily short

though I seem to reach people
spectacularly, when I wasn't even
trying. At random, just saying
random things, off the top of some
cliff, which for some reason go in.

I think we're all in the same boat
of being the only one who
we can even come close
to know.

But each of us has a million chinks
in what passes for fortifications, and we all
catch glimpses, unbidden, from each other, sometimes

and what we see shocks us
as to the bad, as to the good, sometimes
even as to the familiar

I don't know what I'm trying to
say. I don't know even what I am trying
to help. I don't feel you're like me,
or me like you. But I like you, and
I wish I could save you from this.
What you're trying to do. Which

is going to miss.

I mean, I don't know that. Maybe you'll
succeed: where I've always always failed,
to help someone in need when I was trying
to. Or you might help some one, anyway,
just at random.

when it's too late to help you

Sunday, December 30, 2012

the world, pt.2

and may the world lay down its arms and armor,
and surrender to you what it was you wanted
from it. If nothing: then may it part
on either side of your way, and let you pass
on to the next country, unmolested
for as long as you keep to the path

the world: a Welcome to it

Welcome to our little enclave of fools,
geniuses, true loves and fond lookers-on,
big-talkers, good-timers, tough livers
and die-hards, children of all ages and
elderly personages of all youths and persuasions, characters
whether wise, wizened or otherwise;
conspiracy buffs and chaos-theoreticians
(but not theorists) of the highest order,
lowlifes (not "lowlives"?) of the wildest disorder,
gentry of the narrowest deportment,
seers of the deepest discernment, skeptics
of the shallowest razor-fine faith
and logicians of the headiest precision -
orators of the most precise diction
and erudition, doyens of distinction
(half-driven to distraction, alas),
cretins, thieves and minotaurs,
werewolves and cultists in unitards,
cyclopean unicorns and other such fanciful
monsters, eloping with the most bedrock sound
mind-and-body materialists imaginable,
veritable sainted atheists with angel's wings
in a manner of speaking, a match made
in a match factory, too many anarchists
spoiled by their pampered upbringings,
opening up soup kitchens
serving bomb soup with noodles
for $1.99 a bowl, and a peck on the cheek
thrown in from your choice of seabird.

However, having said all that,
completely without bias or prejudice I want
to welcome you

once again to this little patch of bliss,
notwithstanding the nearly complete lack
of innocence among most of the the participants;
we are, right after all is said and done, planning
to keep right on saying and doing until the cows
come marching in and the fat lady singles out
the cream of the cream into individually-wrapped cheese
slices. But all of that's for another day. I'm bushed,
and blushed, and blustered and rapidly dwindling
into lush sheets and pillows, to sleep perchance too late,
and so I must bid you mon dieu.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the curse

The curse of tribe, of team, of game.
It's "I must win," but I need help! Who
is like me? Who can I draft?
How to exclude who comes in last?
For we must come in first, of course.
If not by good clean fun,
by force.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

it's okay, it's going

it's okay, it's going
to be okay.

you ask every day if it's better, I'll learn
to give you the honest answer you want, instead
of the lie my mind has wormed into flesh and blood
and convinced me of, because

it's okay, and it's going to be.
okay,
I know, I know it is
it's been okay now for decades plus
my worst always gets the better of us,
and I'm sick of it.

Let's throw now away,
and leap to the fact that
it's going to turn out.

eventually
it always does.

it's okay, and it's going
to be okay. You knew it was.

with hardly a doubt

which of us to hate

sometimes the worst people die
and the wrong people live on and, the best
you can do is wonder which side you're on
if you find yourself lost in a faith you can't make
baby find your way out, to me - we'll be fate

yeah we make quite a picture and cut
quite a figure you leave me both breathless
and bloodless, I snigger
at what you meant so much, your eyes hurt
mine. your eyes hurt mine
your eyes hurt mine,

and if it was too late last time we met,
last time I said I'm sorry I couldn't quite get
what you meant, then - how late is it now?
It's just in time
it's just in time
your eyes hurt mine
your eyes hurt mine

and if I could sacrifice all that is worst in myself, why
I'd do it so gladly I'd pay you for sessions the rest of my life.
But you're not professional - you lack the distance, and I
am not patient

enough for my health. And I am not
patient enough for this life.

we don't know which of us to hate
worst, which of us to kill
first, each of us needs
help that's still
illegal in this state,
and we aren't even in this
state. but just in time
your eyes hurt mine
your eyes hurt mine
your eyes hurt mine

I'd rather die, than cause you pain
because, because, I'd rather die
anyway, but if you stay
I'll stay with you
I'll stay I'll
stay,
I'll stay, I'll stay, I
say I'll stay

the dirty trick.

I didn't just suddenly
not care what people think. I realized.

- that people don't care how I came across,
to them. That they don't care and don't want
me to ask whether they were offended, they didn't
notice. It went right by them, unfazed - surely

they have more important things to notice
then the guy who's trying to figure out what
he did wrong.

Or what he did not, or whether, or how to do
better next time. They don't care, they
don't want.

They don't. Don't need, and I got sick
of asking. Because they got sick
of the asking.

Asking for help. How to help them! Please,
how to help me help them,

they never knew. Never noticed! And never had one
useful answer. It took me several years, to guess, to
know.

It's something I no longer understand.

How I
could have cared,
could have been so dense.
It didn't just suddenly all make sense.

It was beaten into me, in increments.

It didn't just
suddenly hit me
one day, not to care

what people think.

I keep, too

I see you alone
I see you're alone
I have never had much use for people myself
they let you, basically, down
when you don't know what you wanted from them
and they didn't know what you came here for
it's so easy to take your ball
and go

so that's what I keep, too
I could keep two
I keep to myself
myself
that's what I've been keeping, too
been keeping to
myself, as well,

and well, I get this sense of you
I know I haven't seen you once
in my entire hopeless life
but I would like to, once again
and if you ever look my way
I swore I saw you do, just then
the second before you got up
and left, I didn't follow
though
I couldn't see the sense of it
justifications didn't fit

I couldn't, it was not
it would
be kind of hard

to stop,
and halt
if you were out there by the door
on the sidewalk, explain
why I was too, because

that isn't what I do, I keep
to what I could, within reason
explain, I keep it
to myself,
I keep it to
myself, I think

unreasonably

I caught a glimpse
that that's what you
keep to as well
and I've been keeping, too
been keeping to
myself,

it's hell

h_W85IlGjos

licit

it could be that it could be justified

but maybe it kind of won't need to be

it could be the kind

of thing that we

simply do without blame, as if naturally

well isn't our right? if not - what is?

that's giving us this: it's just one chance

who cares except us

what we do with it.

we don't need to dance.

Would you care to dance?

an end of one-upmanship

You know what else? I want to get open-heart
surgery
with a tattoo artist as the chief operator:
incision,
crack the sternum, pull the cage apart with the
retractor,
and get my sweetie's name tattooed right there

on the clean smooth front muscle surface (just
under the aorta), then

clink it shut, zip me up

and after a few week's
recovery, I'd be like, "hey baby - guess what
I got?"

Well I'd like to see what she'll do
to top that
next!

I guess
I better tell them
take a picture of it.

before they close my chest
back over me, like a bone meat vest.

pity the weak minded

I should have so much more pity on weaker minds,
but they're so hard to find, oh
they're so hard to find.
Since I got to know mine.

home.

I have never once seen a you
when the whole bit you do
and thing you are
wasn't wrapped up flying loose
in a composed fury of
calm, bubbling
vwhoosh -

right past me, but
I have never seen a you
who I didn't want to catch,
wrap back up in something
sticky, such as would hold,
and take you

- I don't know where. Because

between us two, there

is no place like home.

I can't even say things like that now,
now. I'm smashed. All I mean is

I think the world of you.
I thought more than the world, I think

a full parallel universe of you -
if there could have been a switch
where a click of ruby chucks
could have taken both of us

to some place there never was

some place like.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

behind back

there's a guy who talks about people behind their back.
friends of ours, people we both know. End always ends
with "I love him, but" or her, but I know - he loves me,
but, too.

And he talks about me behind my back. I don't know what
I think of him or it. This realizations is too fresh
to fit

into the general high opinion I have or had, on this
flamboyantly heterosexual dad, nattily attired to within
an inch of his deep booming voice, upstandingly loyal
and overall good guy, tolerant and accepting or so I
thought.

Before I heard him say that about Kelly. And suddenly
realized I'd heard him give the same sorts
of lowdown scoops on many friends,
many times before.

So.

He talks about me.

Behind my back.

It seems almost beyond question that this means war.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

it's like

it's like

the part of you that wants to stop all war has a plan
that's got nothing to do with peace and love, and
only most of your mind can glimpse some of it
at once - it's too intricate and simple to
take in from the front, you have to go
around back, head tilt, rotate, wait
oh my god it's perfect this is
going to be great - if only
she can keep a secret, if
he can do his part, and
if the others never
notice, well then
nobody can stop
us and it smells
just like fruition
and it's frothy like
cream. I'll take a large
with immune booster, please

mmm

tastes like a dream

Ode to sushi

The crazy thing about sushi is -
you don't want to think about it
too much or deeply, but the other
half of you is wondering "This shit's
delicious. Why did people even cook fish
to begin with?" then

oh

you remember. It's to do with the aspects
you didn't want to think about, too much
or too deeply

Ode to wasabi (a haiku)

the crazy thing a
bout wasabi is shit that's
hot! oh my nostrils

Ode to pickled ginger

The crazy thing about pickled
ginger is the taste so strong

It's like somebody figured out
(sans fizz) how to get a whole can
of ginger ale, make the sweetness go
away and fit the whole remaining taste
into a pale, slightly crunchy slightly
slimy folded-over piled-up item. Now

it's sitting there looking at you, or
you it. Are you going to eat that?

If you know what's good for you.

sign this

there's a clipboard standing, staring, held firm
a well-dressed, clean-cut youngish person
who knows you're not compassionless, apathetic!
Reaching out to you, a chance: hey here come get it

So what are we signing our names to today?
Can you explain what this is, I mean - generally,
I know all the major issues in the world at large,
and all the threads hanging all their dangling lives by,
all the outrages, problems, horrors and flaws
and all of the causes set up, at least one for each cause
of each problem. (hell, sometimes
up to dozens for each!)

and victory, always plausibly within reach
if only we'll all throw ourselves into the breach
- since every single one has reached the crisis point,
and every single one cries out for action now!
And every single one of these is life and death
- so many threatened people who you've never met,
and never will. Sign this: to show that we care,
somehow.

To show that we are fed up to here
with what we just heard about, now

from the earnest missionary in the heather colored hat.

Well thank you for explaining. Here you go.

That's that.

Raw Apple Pie

Raw Apple Pie
* apples, five - skinned and cut in chunks
* pie shell, graham cracker
* special caramel-apple sauce (see recipe in episode 2)
* pie crust dough (for top)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place raw
apple slices artfully

in the waiting shell,
drizzling liberally as you go

with special caramel-apple sauce
so that all pieces are unevenly coated,
but well-carameled.

Put the pie dough on top - strip
method if you wish, but I prefer
plunk it on, and a few slits in the top.

Place in oven - only just long
enough to cook the top to a golden brown. Remove
and serve immediately. Sticky,
smelly,
crunch-apple-y, caramelly
goodness! When I say "smelly"

I mean the fresh, crisp scent and snap
of a raw, autumn ripe caramel apple!
They totally smell. It's subtler
than the hot, softened baked apple
full aroma, but it's a distinct
and delicious smell.

Serving suggestion: with a tall cold glass
of milk. After each pie bite, take a big cold swig, look
at the other person and say "APPLE MILK!! EW!!!!!"
take turns, repeat, until dissolve
into giggles.

End of recipe.

excluded

I walk around
excluded in crowds
people with bad memory shut me out
even though I remember
their face,
and name.
and there's no way out
except in again

postscript to shitty mood Christmas Poem 2012

Actually

I'm having a lovely rainy day,
and though I am sad I did not
get to get away to family this
year (I usually do) I will have
friends and loves to come in amongst
and get doppy on punch and nog and such
and there will be carols sung, and Carols kissed
(oh that slut doesn't care where the mistletoe is)
and by the end of the lists, as we review the list,
much merry making will be checked off. If
not innocence, there will at least
be bliss. Mixed in with some misty eyes
and chased, perhaps, with gin. We don't mind
a melancholy tinge, come Christmas time. There always,
always
is.

Where does the critic get off?

Where does the critic get off?

putting himself above, making judgments

taking others' art and push, shoving it into

boxes where he (pronoun yours) so

eloquently, ignorantly knows

it goes?

you ask

a challenge. I

Well, first:

do not put myself above. A critic

does not look down from above
on art. A critic looks not down,
not up,

but at.

And for some reason thinks what
he (pronoun mine, in my case) sees

allows him
to have an opinion
on this. And that. And
everything else. Which he does,
which he is - allowed. To express,
and not just to have. What makes critics
so special? What makes them have say? Well, they say

and that's that.

There's no badges or hats
or helmets or guns required,
and you won't be sworn in (but
be prepared to be sworn at!). People

don't like a person with an opinion. Well,
people afraid of their own opinion, don't.

So. There's that. But - you're perfectly
allowed to dismiss criticism as a form of literature!

Which it is - quite equal in rank
to novels,
and scripts,
and poems,
and epic ancient classic dialectics,
and drama,
and tragic or comic romances,

Criticism, the form - is
Art. And it stands

to reason that you can like, or
dislike the form, and say so. You are
quite entitled to your own accounting for tastes. And you do
dismiss, with distaste,
criticism

- and say so.

So,

what does that make you? Well,
a critic. For one. And

a hypocrite (two). To
answer the original question:

in your face.

"last stand"

storm / hill

I hold my umbrella
like a jedi, kinda
waiting for the Darth
to strike me down

in a parka so brown
it's like old Obi Wan
stands ready to win

first light

then sound

Christmas Poem 2012: Christmas Eve, Even

well the tiding of comfort and joy
has gone out, it has ebbed
and who knows when it's coming back in
there is no decoration, not one string
of bulbs, every room is quite bare
not one tinsel bit strewn
I was planning on nothing much special today
maybe bow my head, hold still and celebrate.
I can't believe the day and date.

I can't believe
it can really still be christmas eve
even though
nothing is
- no one's on
the way

Santa knows which list I'm on
I won't hold my breath
'til midnight, though
I may still be awake
at dawn. There's the chimney
all swept clean,
no one's coming
down but me.

ooo. gingerbread

Saturday, December 22, 2012

a brief defense of the purpose and use of legalese


The purpose of legalese
is at the very least,
to see that these
ambiguities, creepin'in
from conflicting accepted senses
of regular words don't do you in. When
you write the contract, and you leave it
interpretable, before it even dries
the other side's ink overrides, in
whatever interpretable interpretation
the other side finds (and can justify)
that you left open to them. So: bang!
Jargon. Make up a word, or Capitalize.
Define it - either in-document, or by
reference to an external tradition, such as
statute, citation of case law or other
precedent, the Uniform Commercial Code
of the United States (for example) of America, and

the term

is no longer interpretable.

This is the legitimate purpose of legalese.

The other purpose is of course, the one
we all decry: to pack a document chock
with as many of these weaponized, jargonized terms
as can be conveniently fit in, in an attempt
to burn, confound, buffalo or confuse those dupes
who either fear or don't get English, or can't
read, or don't have the use of a dictionary, or
are too stupid, or trusting, or unwilling, unable
to look up a reference, or for whatever who the fuck
knows excuse - don't want to go through to make sense
and fill in (for themselves), what each unknown thing -
in the document they are about to put their name to
- is.

These cases are sweet! Since the morons who write such
legalese - jamming so many in like jelly beans, candy!

- always, always leave several key terms defined
badly, or wrongly used, which then renders the language:

interpretable.

Which it ought to have been the whole point to avoid.

Interpretable:

To the benefit of the one who did not write the shitty,
vague, interpretable language. To the benefit of the party
of the second part: me, generally.

But very easily you too! Consult your attorney!

arrogances, No.2

I know! something

to know something,
I know,

is arrogance.

I want to take
each flaw, and make
it all my own

to tailor it

cut off the bit that fits
by sticking out, and leave
in everything that leaves
a doubt
implied. remove
the lie, excise
the hint
deny
intent, and
make explicit
and unbent
unbowed:
contentedness
in this content,
which is all
I meant.

in discontent
mistakes are made,
left in, if seem
becomes what's meant, becomingly -

So what's implied
is worth working out,
worth bearing in mind
worth noting,
worth saying,
worth repeating again
- well, it's not implied anymore
then.

But then: subtlety's a whore
with a stuck-up pimp
too timid to collect,
yeah,

I'm short. again

wimp

333

three three three
the number of the beast
when it was but half-grown
hey, c'mere pipsqueak
give us cuddle-bites
have a scratch, get a treat, then -
back in the pit!
Chained up forever again. Oh,
be a good boy -
it's only for a bit.
I'll sneak down
and give you scratches
now and then,
now:
sit

perspective, belated

Haha i just saw
i'm 8 hrs late.
Hope your
morning is as
beautiful and
bright as the
eyes of the
world, when
you are in view

stealth

there's a fine shade of doubt
between murder and
whatever else

it may be that you get away with
so easily

invisibility, it seems
is more your style
your fashion,

for you it all depends
on standing where the light
flatters ugly people. And you

melt

into
shadow, and call it transparency
because you are invisible,
and no one can see

you:
only your workings
laid bare.

how did we get here
how did we get here

inventiveness

invention is a mother, but
inventiveness is a son
of a bitch, and necessity sees
non-necessities, and cries
I want that! Can I have one?
Please?

that's how we all got here,
in a nut. But we're all going out
the exact same way. What we want
overrules everything that we need
- always has, but necessity wants

to play.

"cheating from memory" Or: "extra credit essay question #2, on fate's mechanisms"

cheating from memory
taking the test
as best as you can
on a foolproof plan
that even a fool could understand

so it does! so it goes
compare notes as you both
go through page after page
and the fool fills in blanks
from blank mind, yes and no
chooses other than you
on each carefully worked
out multiple choice. true
is false, false is true -
yes, you knew that, thanks!

Through.

But a sickening doubt,
in a sniggering voice, says

the fool will do better than you.

"arrogances"

Arrogance is
not attractive, y'all.
It's such a lovely-sounding word,
though! You know what?

Sometimes truth
flows beautifully
through ugly words,
and sometimes it's quite the

reverse -

My curse is this, and
thus: to say
it any way,
and anyway
and still not know
why it still works,
without me knowing which
is which.

The shoe, for me,
fits only if it hurts,
or walks away
untenanted. The fuck's
that mean?

I know! something

Arrogance is
not attractive, y'all.
It's such a lovely-sounding word,
though! You know what?

Sometimes truth
flows beautifully
through ugly words,
and sometimes it's quite the

reverse -

My curse is this, and
thus: to say
it any way,
and anyway
and still not know
why it still works,
without me knowing which
is which.

The shoe, for me,
fits only if it hurts,
or walks away
untenanted. The fuck's
that mean?

I know! something

next chef

deliciousness is in short supply
you, my food network chef, put on
quite a show - spread a platter

and spread patter thick as you go
cutting mixing and sifting, slather
batter in pans, you put raw trays away

in cold ovens, then pull out
- ta-da! as if
by sleight of both hands -
perfect hot finished food! from
behind door #2. It is a dance
you perform quite according to plans,
but the recipe doesn't quite scan,
pan out
or add up
anyway it slices,
dices, and juliennes

science can't save us from what life is like

the lightning actually
throws itself
from down here up
and into the cloud,
and the lava
is magma, underground -
and the human heart
isn't shaped like that

but
you battered and carved
and compressed mine, I guess
into the shape that you think
is best.

And my blood
is replaced with candied sweets:
soft centers, nuts, nougats

in every beat

and you always know what
you'll get

with me

Friday, December 21, 2012

so what if the abyss blinks first

Deep breaths.
steps outside,
and staring contests
into skies.

If life's like this -

no ifs.
it is.

- and I don't need these answers fast,
but it has come the time to ask -
and something out there better
have some very good,
convincing
lies

love, to English #2

The English language is like...
metaphor, a metaphor
except it would then be a simile, Still,
The English language is like
a window, with hot sweet pie all laid
out on the sill
to cool, or The English Language
is like a winsome, wanting
slut just waiting to be filled
with hot hard meaning!!!!!!

or

to put it better, arguably, better,

Okay. Leave
comparisons aside.
Such poetic device,
bootless, contrived.
Leave aside what The
English Language might be
or is like. I should like, instead,
to dwell on what The English Language is:

The English Language
is

a system
of audible and graphic markers
that people use to covey hot, hard meaning
to each other, over and
over and
over again until
they can't stand it and finally
cry out OH GOD
KEEP GOING
DON'T EVER STOP - or similar
messages of import and urgency, using The English Language.

Also,
like most languages,
The English Language can be used
to convey more casual or whimsical messages
as well (or even better). It is really very versatile,
strong and powerful, and while there exists some danger of abuse,

well,

what can you say about that? The English Language
happens.

Let's be adults about it, please.
The reward is more than the risk, the slip
is worth its poor excuse, and
the illusion you take to bed each night
is worth the transparent ruse
that we work
tirelessly
upon each other by use
of The English Language.

love, to English

What I love most about English is
its complicity. It wants you
to use it, to the limit, it will
tumble and turn
somersaults willingly,
and sometimes I just want so much
to put something I see, or really feel,
or think very strongly, or mean

- into words.

and English lets me.

one brief flash

two scoops of moonlight,
tinged upon their upper verge with rose,
bounded in by deep borders of velvet darkness
as by a starless night sky. Their glow
suffuses the room, and our eyes
- with a light
that shines

as bright
in presence
as in memory.

paddling out

If your words were a babbling brook,
I'd want to dabble my toes in the swirls and eddies of your cool,
clear reason, and if

a river, I'd want to dive in and float, on the current
to wherever the flow will be going, and if

an ocean,

hell,

I'd want to drown. Skin gone green and golden scaled,
as the siren spell of your words going on
weaves gills on my neck, and an anchor chain
snaps clank around my ankle

til

we talk again.

ill of the dead

We should have funerals
for the living

starting oh,
age thirty or so, every 10 years
and then when you get to 67 maybe go
to every five. People will come, dressed
up somber, and with you in attendance (sitting
in a nice, red, velvet upholstered teak throne
-like chair where the casket would be)
(will be) and they
can fucking eulogize you now!
before it's too late. Everybody get up and say
all the nice things they won't ever say to your face

Cry and get it out of our system, vent such things
upon the living. Then when you actually do die,
and it's too late to hurt your feelings -

we can all speak more frankly.

the definite you

I need another word for 'you'

to apply to other people.
Because the meaning is
completely different then,
versus when it is used
to apply to you, and
it can't be accurate
or useful to use the
same word!

For such different things.

when I say 'you'
to you,
all these associations
rise up, come in, put heart
in throat and other places,
various related responses,
emotional and circulatory consequences,
involuntary, prompting
relish and anticipation,

but then

I'll say 'you'
(meaning somebody else),
and it is wrong. It's just
plain wrong. They don't live up
to your pronoun, and you

oh,
you.
Only you
can be you.
I never want to share you

with anyone else

the sales job

Too many people

think persuasion is an art
of creating appeal
around a set of points, and selling them
to the other side.

True, lasting agreement doesn't come
from a sales job. In my mind: persuasion
is rooted in taking the truth down
to its hardest core, not side
vs. side, but seeing the circle
within which both sets of feet
are already planted. Stand

there

and realize where within that wide
and shared property, the common interest lies.
And just put it
down.

thunk

If you're right
about the truth, and not lying
- and if
you've done a good job
stripping it, people on sides
(any, every)
will have a very hard time to gainsay it. And it
will not be your voice,
or your reasons
that compel,

but the truth itself.

Critique.

this is crisp,
distinct, definite
without being offensive (or
defensive). I like it.
I can't even think
of a thing to suggest -
there are things
I myself would have put

different
-ly,

but I like your voice. Keep it

perfect as is.

ring cycle

I don't understand what
happens to all the old beautiful jewelry
in the world.

It's like it is chosen, purchased,
paid for, given,
worn, stored,
and then

people pass away
or it is stolen, pawned,
and at that point
it is transformed
into fake.

a future in greeting cards

so you have made it through, almost
such times and tribulations, you have
gotten well, or will soon, and I
just want to say, I want to spend

the rest of my life with you

making the rest of your life a place
where the unrealistic seems likely again
where the day-to-day

becomes something you wish would go on forever

fugue you

here's another thing
I was wondering about (and
it's okay not to tell anyone,
if they ask), but
how

did
the pages of the book, did
time turn back? How did
mind go black, as
the missing hours

spent themselves out

of sight
and out of
memory, to drop
us both back
here

in time to wake up?

POLICY.

That's my POLICY.

That's my POLICY.

It's a policy of mine!

To sling dope rhymes that go over
flowing rivers of beats, and through woods
just like we're going to grandmother's house,
and I'm the horse!
I know the way
to carry the sleigh on-course
so of course when we get there, the big bad wolf
had better step off, behave
or I'll have no recourse
but to

cite my policy.

That's my policy.

That's my POLICY

"just a candle"

it was just a candle,
maybe it gave
only a little light
but those near enough to see
were cheered, and they
could see how the glow
made them beautiful

oh we all looked good
by candelight
but who saw the candle?
as it lit our night

it was just a candle,
and when that tiny flame
died, well maybe
in the big scheme
of things,
the world
did not lose
so much light

but I noticed,
and cried

it was just a candle,
and when it vanished,
it gave out without notice
or noticeable cause
- a gust - or maybe
- it just guttered.

and nobody wondered
why.

it was
just a candle.

No really. It was
just a candle.

Literally.
It's not a metaphor
for anybody, or
anything.

Nobody died.
A candle went out,
and I cried. Then
I wrote a poem about it.

Don't read into
things.

fizz

Fizz is great as metaphor,
but I like literal fizz more
I love the bubbles of champagne,
the bite of pop,
the fwoosh of carbonated rain -
except that never happens, though.
I guess it could be done, somehow
with pipes and tanks above the clouds
and we, below, with closed eyes,
wide smiles

and open mouths

warning a crisis may never occur

in a moment of weakness,
I may ask you for everything
and you must give it all, love - or
you must give nothing

"rift"

my soul is crying migraines
all over the universe, a wheel
has slipped, fallen, come loose - out
and now nothing works.

my heart - hurt, oh hurt
by myself
and others
and I can't believe
in any part
of this process anymore.

Since all has gone askew
I could ask you privately,
in confidence
- do you have any?
confidence

in me,
I mean
I think you do.

But I don't have any
confidence in you
you are made of dreams

and I thought things
were so sweet here
that I was furious about it
certain aspects, frankly
still

well,

if only I could go back
in time and do one thing differently -
that time I bent over so far
when I kissed your ass

I'd have drawn blood

taught with tension

teach me how to tie knots,
and how not to. I want to be taught
how to take the ends of ropes apart,
splice and fasten, make two lines one
strong, to bind, or swing from, drawn
and taut, made suddenly fast

Now lay hold, pull and hope

- no, not hope

but trust: it holds. Because
I did it just like you showed
me. Just like you taught me, just
like you: strong
and fast,
and taut,
and drawn.

"do, do, do"

Got up
again
same old shit

stepped out
the house
in to it

I woke up
about
half way 'round

the spiral
my perfect straight street
goes down, and

I knew it
then
some thing wrong

the exact thing
we've seen all along

every single day
right at your feet
or your back
at your side
in your eyes
- there's a piece,
I'm gonna do
do
do
a little good
can't do all the good
got to leave a little good for you to do
do
do
a little good
just a little good,
every day
just between us two there'll still be

way too much good
in this world
to do

met up
with my friend
so damn sad

we're talking
again
and getting mad

there's too much
to take

it's too intense
then she says let's try to
cut it into bite-sized thousands
of pieces, and deal with the eaches
at least, that's what she says
she'll do
do
do
a little good
can't do all the good
got to leave a little good for you to do
do
do
a little good
just a little good,
every day
just between us two there'll still be

way too much good
in this world
to do

aww, there's another one
hey look at how wrong, and where are the people whose
job this is? and
oh, there's too many to
make
a
difference.

but it matters to this one. and it matters
to this one. And it matters
to this one. So it matters,
it matters! If it matters
to this one, and it matters
to this one, and it matters
to this one, then it matters
to this
one
too
to
do
a little good

can't do all the good
got to leave a little good for you to do
do
do
a little good
just a little good,
every day
just between us two there'll still be

way too much good
in this world
to do

advice in a fatalist universe

Fate is immutable,
plan accordingly.
You can't change whatever
you don't know
you'll do, but
fortune favors
what destiny tells it to.

So just make sure you mean it -
whatever you happen
to be meant

to do.

wait for it

I burrow into
a world where I don't fit
and wait for this moment
to pass. When I can feel safe
again, I'll exist.
For now I am sure
that it won't last,
but I'll wait for it.
wait for it

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Authority

I'm having a hard time with this poem. It's
a bit on the rigid side. Inflexible, the rhyme
schemes against me, and wins. Wins, if I'm not
mistaken. I don't know how to make it looser,
make it work, work in my favor. Hell, it's in its
own favor I want to make it work! But me

and this poem

do not see eye to eye on what its own
best interest is. I, however, am author. Therefore
I will crush its little petulancies and insubordinations
down, I will pull the splinterlike wires of infelicitousness
out from its skin (where they somehow got stuck, running along
just under like a horror movie) and daub its pinprick wounds
with fizzy antiseptic, which is called I forget what, applied
with cotton balls. Daub, daub. Pink and white in sharp scent
of wet alcohol, or peroxide. One of those two will do
the trick. Then,

Smack my hands together, rubbing up heat and warmth from
friction, fire my inner eye and apply firm, kneading
pressure to the points and joints of this poem, moving
muscle masses and reshaping fat, slapping and twisting,
cracking chiropractorily, bones askew then re-skewed
and there you are: feel like a new man, don't you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

do not disturb

monsters have made my bed, and I
don't wonder why I can't sleep at night
the sheets drawn so tight, you could bounce
a roll of quarters, I can't kick the corners
out, and I can barely slide myself down
in and snug. When I have, when I've worked
my way in and snug tight, it feels like
my limbs are paralyzed, and I'm ready to go
without a fight

"piece love and understanding"

A lot of people seem
to have lost friends, or
blocked, cut off, de-friended
people, de-personed people, un-
personed

friends, now former friends

over the recent political thing.
Me, I don't know. I don't get that.
But it's up to them, you know?
You can't make a person
care enough about politics
to not
withdraw
from public discourse
they personally disagree
with.

It's not people's job
in most cases, to care.
They're not being paid
for the aggravation, so
it's something they may do:

Withdraw.

Some people feel
unpleasant viewpoints belong
someplace else,
other than in their face. And I agree
- that's totally their own call!
Your face, your call. I say:

people should sink down
into their own little insulated bubbles,
and hey, hate everything outside of them
(which we know is the problem)

That's how progress works! Eventually,
if we keep at it, working hard, we will achieve
complete harmony: to agree with everyone
we know, and to completely fail to understand
all others

as the greater part of the world, neither understanding
us, nor caring for our concerns, necessarily
grinds us under
altogether

which is only right,
from that perspective.

just to see

can it possibly be?

that my presence here?
is as hateful to you?

as it is to me?

I hate to say this
I've never been a sadist, but
maybe I'll stick around
just to see

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

track

seems not worth
the effort you put in
but it's too late
to get it back
so what - continue?
or turn back
step off the path
cut off cross-country?
to what end?
there's nothing out
in those directions, either
now.

read in

you can't read in
between the lines, there's
nothing written, there
by anyone
you'll strain your eyes
there are no messages
in code, implied
you can't
read in

but if you try
you'll find
whatever you decide
you've found
whatever your mind thinks

between the squints
and glares
and blinks

share alike

Share alike?

Do you want some of mine?
Hey, yours looks pretty good, too!
Have a bit of mine? No? Okay.

Yours looks pretty good too.

I bet it is.

Monday, November 19, 2012

do math no harm.

I will do math no harm.
Though I may hate it,
sometimes. Not always, but
sometimes - I may and do. But
I will do math no harm. Though
I could easily crush countless numbers
under the grinding wheels of language, art,
repurpose numerals as mere design elements,
deconstruct their meaning and what they symbolize,
with their minus dash, plus cross, division slash
(or bar and dots) and that damn X or asterisk
that means to multiply, I must simply

be the bigger man than that. I will let math
lie. I will let it play out.

I will let math roll on, proud,
unbowed, implacable as always

as if universes were built
upon it.

almost lost a leg

it's to do with
the intersection
of the infinite
and the mundane: anything
can happen, and almost did.
And if you're honest with
yourself: that leg of yours
isn't so secure
and invulnerable
as you'd like to think.

The other interesting aspect is,
I did almost lose a leg! Probably.
And so did you,
if you think about it.

For me probably, and probably
for most people probably, if we could be
honest with ourselves, if we could be
aware of the many horrible things
that almost befell us and -
- owing to the timely intervention
of chaos - did not befall;

if for every one of those, we could
have a leg, we'd be centipedes
but instead, we're left
with our own leg, whole.
And infinitely not lost. Our leg,
un-severed, provides a glimpse:

the huge web
of interconnectedness
that we traipse through obliviously

each morning, and on through the day. It seems
likely to the brink of certainty

that each of us

could easily look back on our lives, and say
"how many, many instances there were
where we - all unknowing - very nearly

did
lose a leg."

memory sucks us dry

I have a strange memory
of passing a book in bed.
Each of us reading a chapter aloud.
We were into a routine,
and a glass of water passed
from side table to side table as well.
Reading out loud can be taxing.
We enunciated, as if on stage,
only more softly. Conscious
of mistakes, but weighing
the greater disruption
- whether to smooth over and on, or
exacerbate by backing up,
repeating?

We each read well,
in strong voices,
clear and warm.

I don't remember what book.

I don't remember what bed.

I don't remember what us.

Who were we?

reality and you.

Reality is an angel
with a busted halo and one wing
in a sling. Reality
holds the cards, but face-out,
so it can't see its own hand.

Reality
has roughly the same effect
whether you're a stiff breeze,
or a smooth rock
sunning in a shallow tide pool. Reality

cheats when it has to.

Reality gets more interesting
the less you pay attention to it.
Reality has a way of sneaking up
on the insane.

Reality encompasses many,
many different kinds of
cheese - most of them equally
valid. Reality

has a little bit to do
with you,
and a little bit to do
with me.

Reality
doesn't want to know what love is.
Reality
keeps intruding on your dreams.

Reality wasn't the first thing
you became aware of.

Reality decides whether or not it exists.

Reality would prefer to remain anonymous.

Reality is not to be anthropomorphized.

Reality has never lost a fight.

Reality is a splendid and convincing
liar. Reality beats the alternative. Reality
has nowhere else to go. Reality gets
the most out of itself. Reality
has never been wrong about one thing.

Reality takes the rest of us for granted.

Reality doesn't have much
to say for itself. Reality puts its best foot right
where you might not want it. Reality
seems a bit too much, sometimes.

Just sometimes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

not much good

I see not much good,
in all I do
and anyone is free to find

whatever good there is
to keep,

and to discard
whatever good there ain't

when I look back,
I weep
at all the good there
ain't.

but sometimes, I am comforted
when someone mentions something I disdained,

and said that it was good

to them. It's worth the pain.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

abashed the devil

the first thing God creates
and loves - is light

God saw, and said: it's good

the light said: no
you're wrong
I'm not

the whole world since has understood
that God's opinion goes too far.
Sees too much good

- not what we see:

the worst in us.

and we accuse
what God loves best
of devilry

banquets of words

As to banquets,
they're only for whoseover wishes a morsel!
there is no command to gorge. When laying one out,
I just cook what the ingredients
turn into on the way through the kitchen.
If nobody shows up to eat them, well,

As Jem the Gelfling, (or was it Jen?) the Gefling said,
in response to the question

"What is writing?"

"Words that stay."

The uneaten banquet
of words, at least, will keep.

And maybe later I'll sweep
through, graze it over myself,

- realize what I REALLY meant -

so next time, I'll be able
to cut to that one sentiment

say one (1) sentence

that hits that intent, square.

It's happened!
But the banquet laid bare
is often the key.

A catalyst
for later-developed supplement-pill meal substitutes

which, thanks to improvements in technology,
are every bit as god damn delicious

Criticism? Please

Oh, don't worry about insulting.

I'm okay with my style, enough to take THAT
from anyone whose opinion I can hear
and rate. Right? I hope. Aware
as I am of its limitations,
its many imperfections - I know
my style, and I'm okay with it.
Enough to know that it can be annoying
too, but it's always been the best
that I can do.

words, for what

Words are for what they're worth,
don't let
me inflict
or afflict you! Take
what you can get: what's useful, and leave
all the rest

- if it doesn't
make sense,
it's me who has failed
to put that sense in, I'd say.
Sure,
no point in you putting
more thought into it than I
did!

I said
what I meant,

at best.

as if I think!

think too much, you say

I assure you, it would take
way more thought and work to put
what I mean in a casual conversation
into words in some other form
other than how it flies
off the fingertips, trips from the tip
of my tongue. I essays
no essays, and the words come
pretty much out, how they come
with no thought. You

who say I may think too much
have beaten me to the first thought
upon the matter, upon
my own words.

Most of the time.

songwriting advice

a second-verse flashback, maybe?
Take us back to an earlier stage
between these two. What's going on
back then, that led us to now?

...or that could lead us back again
to the charged and magnificent hook,

refrain

(reprised in past-tense iteration, perhaps
- maybe this river swim is a metaphor,
but maybe it's something that
played out once before, and has
been burned into mind
in a kind of perfected picture
ever since?)

Were things different then, or were they
the same? Now
could the seeds of today's storms be seen

yet floating on the breeze
of that younger day? And if so,

how?

Better work on the chords a bit as well.

what's left of home

back to nothingness,
like a week in the desert

like the words too hard to sing along
as a favorite song
goes on,
and on

and I can't turn it off, 'cause it meant
so much

to you
and me

to us.

I remember how much
we had - it was not so long
ago, that my life
was forever
right.

For the first time in my life,

I know
I'm wrong.

and I won't be fixed tonight

8:03

8:03

at 8:03 a.m. that day
I knew what you have meant to me
but I can't say
what all you'll mean - each day
pass by, to futures seen
in glimpses, calculations made
through haze and fog, through crystal
balls. It's not predictions that make ways -
it's will combined

that knocks down walls

and all my will is in your cause.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"fine"

When I say a fine day, a fine
morning, when I respond that I am

"fine,"

I do not mean okay.

Or passing middling. I mean:

Fine. Like fine things, fine
like treasures of rare work
and craft, like sunsets and smoke rings;
fine, like the sea at noon so bright,
so swathed in dancing carpets of glittering white
diamond sparks that the midnight blue deep
between those close-packed stars
seems as dark and as black as space -

fine. Like the fog of golden dust,
filtering into a redwood cathedral,
hung in silent still rays
as the sun stops in,
to pray.

homecoming

If you catch a fish you intend to keep
as a forever friend, don't throw it back.
But if to vegan ways you convert mid-cast -
just apologize, with a hearty laugh!
Mr. Fish won't mind, as he flies waveward
- splish silverly back into blest wet
scales meeting blest wet gills breathing
blest wet air - or what passes for it,
in that blest wet world.

cougars

...what's the distinction
To me, see, a cougar is...

I'm too old for a cougar.

Cougars are out there
going after dudes
who are in their twenties (And more power
to 'em! A toast to you, "happy hunting,
and willing prey!"). And

they dress like they want to belong
to a demographic. I think. And they
believe they're damn sexy, or at least,

you get the impression that's what
they want you to think - but
it's all sort of a...fierce projecting
of that attitude. It's a shoulder-chip,
it's a matter of:

you better see it that way or else, PERSONALLY OFFENDED.

I generalize. Of course, I generalize. In general,
I generalize: valid. Not valid in specific, though
I've met a few cougars! Some self-described,
others otherwise. I find them great fun
to hang out with, in general

they love my vicious fashion critiques of passersby
and my smart sense for cocktails, they're usually quite
cosmopolitan, sophisticated,
highly-opinionated,

and it's rare that a cougar will not be able
to back up her opinion with some basis, if
you're curious to hear where she's coming from!

In short, I've nothing against cougars at all.

ladylike

I picture her
as ladylike.
I mean class
on a level
that does not aspire
to mere aristocracy.

This

is how she's always presented herself
to me.

time to waste part one

The best wasted time
is on each other.
We lavish it
on those with whom
wasted time feels
most sinfully rewarding,

and though we get next
to nothing back besides
the enjoyment

of that sin - of time
not well-employed, so much as
well-wrung, we find such time
strung out, well-wasted, and we
are ever on watch for opportunities
to do the same thing, to waste
time so precious, again.

The second-best wasted time
is meaningful work.
But that kind is oh so rare

you could waste your whole life looking
for just one chance to waste time like that.

The most amazing of all is when
an each other finds itself
- each, in the other -
not only an endless stretch of time
well worth wasting together, but also
a meaningful work to be made, created
by two pairs of hands in an effort
understated, elegant, with joy
in the making and love in
each day's labor.

time for that, most people
will never get to have

what we have. Here,
let's waste it

while we can!

part two: time, wasted

time goes in a different
- not direction, really
there's one way which
is forward, and time

flows differently, in
different places or spaces
or speeds, when you have
taken time to celebrate

with perhaps, far, far
too much champagne
or was it prosecco,
or was it cava,
or was it simply
"sparkling white"

- it was all of these, as the bottles
with their labels

will remain in the room
to testify. A few
upright,

several
lolled or rolled
across the available surfaces, lounging

time

is sparkling white,
when you take time to drink it in
and blink, and propose

a toast, a proposition.

a proposal, if
you will

so will she,

maybe

time wasted part three

All we can do
is measure it out
with whatever watch we keep,

in the sleepless watches
of the night and always
to very little if not no
purpose,

we waste time.

wasted time part four

Ah, time
is wasted. Wasted
on the young, and the old,
wasted on us. Of course
it is wasted! We couldn't
make a thing with it
if we tried,

we haven't the infrastructure.

advice on "go for it"

if I don't see someone
attractive in the moment, I go for it, I
there isn't much in the way
can't just justify if you
are the stars out, and the moon

look, tonight

there was obviously fate, which
proved on second attempt

to be

I can't believe

I am proud of her. I can't believe
how far she's come, but still
I'm not the only one
who should be proud: she
did it all, everything
it takes and more

she did the work

of cutting loose dead weight,
and turning loose,
and turning out,
and showing fate
the door.

if money was ass

if money was ass
baby I would hold
yours up to the light,
before I cash that

OW

cha-ching!

wait

that won't even make sense
it should have been
if ass was money

anyway, baby
I can see your ass
is not a counterfeit

it's the genuine bill of goods
see? there's that little reverse-face
presidential tattoo, just there hiding
on the right side

wait

that's not your ass

this
is a hundred dollar bill.

Just what do you take me for,
baby? Am I some
commodity? is this some
transaction? well

NO SALE

my love is for free or not at all!

baby,

what's the meaning of this attempted filthy lucre?
you can't sell love in this state baby! What a pitiful
state if you could! oh yeah

that's right. we did
bet on the game didn't we. I forgot. I won, huh?

in your face

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

ah, ouais

"tout le monde l'aime l'amour,
pas maintenant - toujours, toujours"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

a conspiracy of pernicious influences

Well, the abortion van
was late again, so I practiced assault
weapon drills with my friends
while we carded the neighborhood kids for IDs
- we refused to supply them with cigs
or with weed or with alcohol, but
we drew catchy cartoons
that were targeted straight
to their childhood views and abused
their impressionable minds, entertained
within inches of lives
to embrace all the strangest and vilest
video games, the most violent
movies and music
and comics and sports. The kids,
fully programmed,
replied "EAT OUR SHORTS,"

- a retort we included
in our full reports.

body mind survival

body mind survival
is after all, often enough
a surpassing concern for those of you
of less than considerable intellect!
or personal advancement, in terms of,

you know.

The rest of us, sure, get over it
, and die.

soon enough,
you will give up
give in, and stop
the useless struggle. Join us
but we, the enlightened, somewhat

will have gone before, gone on ahead of you, and

it puts the lotion

it doesn't want to spread its wings and fly,
it wants to hunker in and down,
and safe and sealed
in walls
and ceiling, and

be shut, secure

and frown.

Drown.

down,
as I slip

the surface breaks
with bubbles from
every last breath

I took

my memory tells me
there is other air
to breathe, deep beneath

so I sink, to look

more spam

"Need Anything for Your Trip?"

asks the email from Alaska Airlines.

yes

yes, there is. Could it come quicker?

I've got a ride,
and a place to stay,
but there's too many days
in the way between now,
and when that plane
comes swooping down,
to spirit me up among sun and clouds,
then dip, bring me back
through a morning fog
to rain-kissed earth
in a town, in a woods
by a river so wide

where I walked with my love
one time in the mud of the bank,

giving just as much thanks
as her sweet, dumb dog

268

Some of the best work I've ever done
was under some damn fool arbitrary deadline. I want
to make that clear. I have not stretched and gessoed
one canvas, since homework stopped being assigned.

And painting was my first love! Anyone who says
"do it unforced, do it natural" is not doing it,
is my guess. Or if they are, bully for them. Me

I need a bully. Even if it has to be me, if I don't have
some damn fool arbitrary deadline to meet, even if it
is as simple as: "Play 3 songs a day" - which by half way
through the third has me in the mood to write, even if
it is "write 365 poems per year" - which on the face of it,
well, seems a bit excessive.

But if I have to write three hundred and sixty five
poems a year, I write two hundred good poems a year.
Many of which I consider very good. And perhaps twenty

will be

of such a

thing!

I can't conceive they came from me. They came
through me.

They exist because I had to write them. Only because I made
myself have to write them. They were not in me, waiting. They
never would have come out if I had not already gotten the machine
fired up, running hot, spitting out pig iron alternating with gold
ingots and fire.

Okay. So if I don't have to write any poems, then I will
write ten poems in one year.

All doggerel. Free-verse doggerel. Stuff like "my love for you
is like a"
crap, basically.

To those of you who feel work must be produced "freely,"
unforced, without arbitrary deadlines -

Hey! How's your work coming?

Well, I hope.

Coming along well!

Day 318

I should have 318 by now.
I'm at two-sixty six. That's
short by fifty two. This poem-a-day
pace kills me each November. It
gets so I don't even care to rhyme.

See? Is this poem? Does this count?

Well sure it does. Look at it. It's in
that sort of

"versified" blocky format. It's clearly
free verse. Or at least, very cheap
verse.

Two sixty seven.

own world

the rain falls down
on us both from outside
it's a world that we share,
but it's different for each.
Far above - over both of us, it seems to me
there's a mile-thick cloud,
and we're both underneath
but you smile like the sun

I am soaked to the bone
as the rain's coming down
hard on both of us, right?

each in our little world,
I am standing in rain.
But I'm standing by you -

keeping warm in your light

too involved

my thoughts are too involved. I think
of one thing, it suggests another and I have to say
the next link in the chain, it suggests a train
and my mind keeps hitching cars as the engine
never stops

gathering steam. It's amazing
if it stays on track, but more often, no: this train
goes off-road,
cross-country,
a tangent some may call it, but
there's a more prosaic term
for a train-wreck.

If I could remember what it is. But
how can you stop, when each link seems to fit
and lead inevitably to the next, which is worth saying,
which bears repeating, even - and as the pileup
starts attracting news copters, I keep piling on
cars. At some point,

here it comes!

get ready for the caboose.

Oh, yes thank god finally

a complete thought.

too soon

it isn't as if
anyone can tell right now. For one,
it's a secret. Can't say. For two,
the truth has yet to be known! For
three, it won't matter if or if not,
once you've made the call.

Twice, if necessary.

the human hearts

the human heart's a fathomless reach
down a bottomless depth
up a wingless lift
with its tether, snapped
by its endless stretch -

in a stringless gift,
from each,
to each

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

to now and future genius, bitterly

Please keep writing, dear

especially
write angry. Especially
write sad. Especially
write passion. Write it just
as hard as you mean it, so that
as happiness comes

you will have the means to write that
too, and as hard or as soft as it needs to be,
it will be

written.

An author
is the world's only means
to enlarge itself.

Without writing, the world
moves ever on, and stays the same size
leaving everything behind
as everyone dies.

But when you write, you have power:
to find one piece of life that matters,
and fix that piece in place. Good,
bad, incontestably hard
or incomprehensibly easy, you have power
to find and fix a truth in place.

For anyone to see
who can recognize it,
which is potentially:

for an infinitude.

But don't write it for those
endless generations of unborn bastards. Instead
write that shit for me

please. Or if you must aim higher,

for yourself, would work too

just fine

our archaeology

Love is everywhere we look
but if you look too hard, you'll see
reflections of a deeper truth -
it's troubling, it troubles me

the love we see at first, at glance
is but appearance - what appears,
but digging deeper, we'll discover
something underneath, I fear!

There'll be no end to hidden depths -
the deeps we dig, as deep we go -
there's something more that we'll unearth,
just underneath the love that shows -
more love?

It seems - yes, there's more love!
It lies, concealed,
like secrets lie
untroubled, under surfaces,
to trouble us when brought to light
by raising question in our minds:

what lies beneath? Just deeper down?
We'll sweat and toil and never rest
to get beneath this love we've found,

to find what's underneath it all
- more love, I guess. But can we know?
it seems ridiculous, somehow
the more we dig, the more we know
this find seems unbelievable.

It seems too rich. It seems so big!
We'll labor on to verify
together - 'til we die,

we dig

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"just as much to say"

there hasn't been much to say around here
for a couple of years, but that's good
not bad. The lack of all news hasn't kept
our mouths shut. We still have just as much
to say as if there was

anything to say around here. There's not,
but you would never know it by listening
to us

THERE IS

Is there an astronaut up there
at the moment? Or have they all
come down. I don't suppose they
need to tell us now.

woke up lucky

yesterday was weird
like I was walking around in a real,
but it felt so dream

but today I woke up:
my illusions were gone
and you were still dancing
in front of me - and your smile
has won

over all of the frowns
I ever had to pull,
to scowl the world down.

As I walked to work,
the sun came up
on a world that looked
like it was supposed to be

laid out for you and me.
And as I walked, I skipped
over every crack,
for luck.

Monday, October 29, 2012

"The Trick"

the alarm's about to sound
but the fever calms me down
I can breathe without distress
I'm not sure which bugs me less
you fall down on your knees, screaming
"oh my god"
or let it burn you out
like a full time job
well you can make it really really hard
but there's a trick to it
there's a trick to it
there's a trick to it
there's a
trick to it

well they feed you dreams and goals
but it only feeds your soul
your tongue is sharp and it can carve
but your mouth's about to starve, yeah
you can say you don't care, say
"screw it all"
you can say it's not fair, you can beg
you can crawl
you can beat your head against the wall
but there's a trick to it
there's a trick to it
there's a trick to it
there's a
trick to it

you've got a dream? lay your hand on it
if its too small - don't make it fit
but if it's too big, then you must
acquit yourself
take a step back
lay it to one side
return to yourself,
growing size by size
until you find that you've outgrown the lies

but there's a trick to it

Thursday, October 25, 2012

no mystery

we've reached
each other's depths and hung
ourselves, from each other's heights
we've plumbed
each other's deepest darks,
and started from each other's frights
you awoke in the night, from my nightmare scream
and you punched and smacked me safe awake from that one

but even after all the time that's passed,
it doesn't seem a day since I saw you last
hey, how have you been? as good as you seem? oh,

Sitting across the table from you after all this time, I know
no mystery, there
no mystery, there
and your smile suggests the hint I knew was coming next, oh
no mystery, there

all
the same looks in your eyes
and the same thoughts behind, I shouldn't be surprised
if it's all
the same to you, I think
we both have seen this film a few times

we both know the good, and the best there is
but we're both the same, we know who'll get the worst of it
it's nice to have the chance to catch up, hey?
but pardon me when did we stop running
the other way? oh,

Sitting across the table from you after all this time, I know
no mystery, there
no mystery, there
and your smile suggests the hint I knew was coming next, oh
no mystery, there

ooo, ooo, ooo. your hair's different.
ooo, ooo, ooo - I liked it better,
the other way. But what can I say? oh,

we've reached
each other's depths and hung
ourselves, from each other's heights: no mystery, there
we've wrung
each other's deepest hearts, been blinded by each other's lights
no mystery, there

we both know the good, and the best there is
but we're both the same. We know who'll get the worst of it
even after all the time that's past, it doesn't seem a day
since I saw you last, and I won't count the days
'til I see you again, hey

sitting across the table from you after all this time, I know
no mystery, there
no mystery, there
and your smile suggests the hint I knew was coming next, oh
no mystery, there
no mystery, there
no mystery there.

the bird

I shelter the memory of you
protectively between the fingers
of my cupped hands, like a tiny
and vulnerable bird who had fallen
and rolled, like a fuzzy brown tennis ball
dropped,

in amongst the dry, sharp pine needles, down -

far below the nest

mama bird and papa
had built for it, and next, now
has been picked up
by a well-intentioned hellion, some
misunderstanding
child

who wants only to put it
all the way back up, but

can't.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

bravado

bravado as a curse says
"You can't beat me!", and
bravado as a blessing says
"I dare you to try." And,
bravado

is the worst thing

you'll ever take back, but

bravado is a lesson, that

You'll never learn.

Why?

mani. f***in. festo.

I'M BACK.
I don't care who thinks otherwise. This
is a first-rate poem! by my own standards,
and no other. Hast a poet
any other standards than that? FUCK HIM,
HER AND ZEM IF SO! SELLOUT!! You deserve to fail,

hast ye

any other standards than thine own, and I
rock it olde schoole
on that point, if on no other.

Frankly, the affectation galls. Rockin' it,
or attempting to,
olde schoole.

It galls and palls. I am gallin' and pallin' it, olde schoole,
on that tip, and I myself admit
I can't sustain. Not on the basis of that shit,
but good news to me: I don't have to. I makes my excuses, and moves on:
It comes of reading too much Sherlock Fucking Holmes,
and listening to too much didgeridoo music,
and Shaka Khan, but leave that disco
to the dance floor.

At any event.

I'M BACK, and to such a voracious extent, you are looking
(or listening, or reading along) to a man
with no apologies or tricks. Nor should any universe have,
and may I underscore this:

Each of you.

And every sentient being,

is a universe. And

had better come to priorgenerativebeingfucking terms
with it.

Or else,
if you dont, I
myself, I!

Will have the better of you. And you will have no one to blame,
but myself. And I'll accept it and laugh,

And where will you be better off? Well, you'll be stuck
way back behind me, with

fact.

"this may or may not have been: a manifesto"

Ah, my second impression, maybe
it sucks,
is wrong,
and I'm wrong.

But who cares?

The best thing a poet can do is produce.
The best thing an artist can do, is practice.
We are all practitioners, but if we practice for perfection
we have missed our own best mark: practice. Practice is
for its own sake. To produce the work. A great work
is greater than than any artist.

One single masterpiece

is a greater thing - in terms of a world of billions it can impact, over its immortal ages of influence - one single masterpiece is a miraculous thing, of greater worth than all of the mere beings, of all artists, combined. Those puny humans

lack that worth.

Their works are where their worth inheres.

Output. Out put. Put out. Poets, songwriters, lyricists are whores,
and it is those
who are their own johns, tricks, and pimps who matter

less

not at all

and more.

For what? For what, is the nature of life?

FUTILITY?

I say futility.

I say the nature of life: is futility.

Well. So. Dare
any motherfucker
gainsay me? I dare you

to prove it, then! And until then,

we're all ahead. Aren't we?

Because I'll tell you this, my shallow-breathing brethren:

I am.

Ladies,
gents, brutes
and flies and otherwise, I bid you:

a gauntlet. And,

"This May Or May Not Have Been A Manifesto"

Apologia.

I fucking apologize for everything, if
I could? I would
assume the burden of blame
for all things
visible and invisible, if
it would make a difference I would say
I am not only sorry, I am

at fault.

Does that help?

That is what
apology means: not
admission of feeling bad. But
admission of culpability. I,
if I could, would assume

that blame,

for the universe.

If I did,

Suppose I did?

Could you forgive me?

Would it matter? Because

I, me, my own self, I never meant
the bad shit to happen
to you!

To you.

To you,

∞.

So, there.

Do you feel better?

Because I tell you,

I do.

Now,

I'm going to go enjoy

some fucking sunsets, some fucking torn, roasted flesh, some fucking nature

red

in tooth, and claw,

some fucking sex.

Some fucking cosmos.

Some fucking wondering, and wanting

what's next.

Oh. Is this a bad universe?

Boo

hoo.

You are incorrect.

You, if you need an apology from anyone,
for this life,

are a defective organism.

You will very soon,

be taken out back and shot,

first one up against the wall! In the revolution, if that
is any honor, and I

will apologize.

Oh yes, please

leave the speeches to me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stratagem.

I'm only devil's advocate
to help you beat the devil's hand.
The moment he steps in the room -
I'm on the side of angels, then.
I'm on your side: and all the way.

So as you come, complain, and sigh,
I'm going to take his part then, dear.
The strongest case he has to make:
and we'll work through what our case is.

Together: we can beat this guy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"break"

The demons in my head have all decided they want out, and they
have diagrammed the means and mapped out every inch of way.

They know the bodies on each wall, they know where all the blind spots are
that play in every arc of spotlight searching through the darkened yard,

They've set the secret day: tonight! They've spread their bribes and made their deals
and everyone is getting out, in one big break - if no one squeals.

They've blocked out the rotation of the guards in every shift and watch.
In every block, there are three cells with tunnels, and in every crotch,
concealed - some shiv, or key, or needful tool, and every hole conceals
an ace - but that's diversion, see - these demons know
they own the place.

plate of lies

I cooked this up, it tastes like love
- the crisp-fried basil, just the touch
upon a rich and sumptuous cut -
a chop of beef so fat with blood,
seared charred outside, but rare within
just like I know you like your meat,
your heart, and all you touch with sin
too hot by half! - but deft, and neat
pulled out of flame, your saving fork
- and then the knife comes out. You fool
your share of everyone you meet.
I've made this plate up just for you.

The baked potato hot, the skin
with crust of salt, the flesh so white
and fluffy, ready to dig in -
here's sour cream and and butterknife,
and here are chives, and bacon bits
you never had much use for those,
but here they are. Here's everything,
and all the best.

But save some room - dessert
comes next.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

sweet and stung

the kiss of death lies on our lips
who knows when we'll react
to it. But when the allergy
kicks in:

our faces flush with grace, amazed -
we won't regret one of our days -
except, perhaps, to wish we'd lived
a little more in sin.

holiday by mistake

Found you on the doorstep
bedraggled, falling over;
you hung your hat up on my hook,
and ate me out of house and home.
You tricked me - put my foot in it.
You baked me into half-baked plans -
and now I'm bagged, oh I've been took
- you swept me off to roam.

The road goes ever on and on,
and on it, I'm your prisoner,
your burglar, your accomplice
- we are in this thick as thieves.
I hold myself to this blind course,
by dreaming of my kitchen -
If only I could wake up home!
Or heading home, at least.

A hundred times, oh how I've cursed
myself for throwing in with you.
I have no need of anything
you've offered or proposed.
You've taken me through danger, too -
through life and death, and flight and fight
I've done my share of saving you -
the end's not even close.

The road goes ever on and on,
and on it, I'm your prisoner,
your burglar, your accomplice
- we are in this thick as thieves.
I hold myself to this blind course,
by dreaming of my kitchen -
If only I could wake up home!
Or heading home, at least.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

open letter

Dearest everyone,

I am very serious and I apologize, I wish
I could buy you breakfast, and eat it with you.
I am probably the most serious person you ever

met. I took you literally, and every time
you thought I was kidding and laughed,
a part of my heart could not understand,
and died. And it was the wrong part, and it deserved to die
because laughter is our universal recognition that the world
is in fact,
fucked up.

The point is: please imagine if

please imagine first, if nothing I ever said mattered,
because that's truer than anything I could say. But
second, please imagine if everything I ever said I meant.
Because that's so close to the truth, you would not laugh
at me or with me, if you knew. And the world is not
what you make of it. The world is most certainly not
what you make it. The world is.
We're stuck with it.

I hope you don't mind being stuck with me.
I don't want to go anywhere. I don't want
a better world than I've seen. To clarify:
I believe in heaven. And I have had hell on earth,
and I don't want a better world than I've seen.

I don't want it.

I don't want it.

Darling? Kiddo? Can you read these words? Anyone?

I don't want a better world than I've seen with you.
Sat in next to you. Clinked your glass to. Let pierce me.

Let's all die when we have to. 'Til then, let's live.

I have work to do.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

wake

I slept like a thief in the night
on his night off
slept like a ghost who's done
everything
that was left undone
that was keeping him up
in the house where life

has passed on from him

I slept like a man
for whom conscience is king
and whose king is dead
and now mourning has come
and gone, this wake
is clear-eyed and alert
not a drop of scotch
and nobody gets hurt

'til this one last thing

sure. It has to be done,
and I've steeled myself
during dreamless nights
for these past, sound weeks
I am undisturbed. It's
disturbing, how easy

I find the words

life raw

She bites into life raw, and
swallows it burnt.
her mouth is so hot

that bit of steak well done
was rare, when it was just
a small, pink, forked square
lifting to her lips, and

I kissed her
knowing full well
all of this.

And I burnt my tongue.

done wasting mine

I'm done
with wasting my life. would you like
to try? I want
to try wasting yours,
and you wasting mine
and all of our time
will fly out the windows
and open doors and down roads
that we barely guessed even exist

we don't know what lies
down those roads, no we don't

but we've wasted our lives, so
let's go find out

it can't be much worse
that what's right
here, now

forward

I have always looked forward
toward

the future,
grinning like an idiot,
will be happy to have me
and I

will be happy to have one,
not knowing what's in it
but some days

I hate that grin

Thursday, October 04, 2012

"recipe"

snips and snails and sugar
from you, and spices
of various kinds
from us both,
and everything nice,
plus puppy dogs' tails -
and everything's right,
when we come in close

to envelop
the most of each other we can,
I just want every part of us
mingled is best
for this recipe - making,
and baking, and done!
set us both out to cool, serves two

made one

"look around, frown"


the whole world seems dumb
without you here
to help me make fun
of it.

"your everything"

I love your belly,
your legs, and points between
and I love what you say
and think
and mean
(which is everything)
to me, I mean:
you're everything

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

"vintage kisses"

I love when your kisses taste
like wine, and I can pretend
it's the wine that has got me so drunk,
but to drink kisses from your lips
is to open a bottle so deep
it will never run low.

warm, and soft and rich,
like sweet cream and velvet
cold:

your mouth

is chilled from chardonnay,
or is it the evening breeze pushed
through tall, old trees

as the light clings to us
in rays that oak has steeped
greenish-gold

Thursday, September 27, 2012

pattern so far

The pattern so far is
I come through scathed,
and eventually what's on the other side
is worth getting over it for.
I kind of like
the pink, shiny streaks
where the scabs fall away. I like
that they last a long while, then fade.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

cellular one

Amoebalike, I sense your light.
Extruding pseudopodia, I squirm
and make my way towards you
it's just the way I've learned
to live. My sustenance is
what you give. I ooze,
engulfing every bit
that you've left floating
in your wake, 'til I am full
and then,
I split

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

old with you

as we forget each others' names
and sink into our mental haze
our feeble limbs will clutch and grasp
remembered strength, in one embrace

our milky eyes will search and scan
our faces, so confused and drawn
and I will wonder who are you
so beautiful, familiar one

and though you cannot place my name
I'll see and know that you are mine
because you'll guess from beyond time
that you once knew: you're meant for me

and you can be the cauliflower, I will be the broccoli
I want to vegetate with you persistently,

persistently.

the future for a walk

I love to walk your dog with you.

I know we're only starting out,
and I am perfectly
comfortable
now, not being the one
to pick up the shit, as we walk along
- that's still your job. And rightfully so!
She is still your dog, and will always be.
But at some point,

I feel like a shift will occur:
it's already in motion inside of me -
every bother and burden that you must bear
every trouble and nuisance that's yours, by right -

I want to put in for a share of my own.
in your fight,
with your grief
as my care

for life

Friday, September 21, 2012

try.

Is it even sense
can a person worthily try, try hard
without purpose
or intent
or end result in mind to achieve? Can a person
just TRY HARD?

In GENERAL?!

And not actually be trying
to create some further end
result by that try?

Well fuck. If not,
then that's why I'm awesome.
Because I do, and
I can.

And the result WORKS. Fuck attempts
at outcomes, fuck
such things, they are beneath me, fuck
far beneath me, if I'm honest. I TRY
WAY
HARDER
THAN THAT. Good luck
if you think your "purpose," so directed and driven
can deliver a better result.

Point is:
I try so hard.
I recommend you
try it for a change,
if you haven't already.

You may be surprised at
what purposes, better than yours, you achieve
by giving the uncharted seas of your unsteered boat
every inch of your back and shoulders, projected
down back and out along every one of your oars. Don't
worry about rocks and reefs, it's a metaphor!

you're not even at sea, buddy!

You should get out there, maybe.

goodbye kiss

a kiss of death -
just luck, I guess
between two friends
the way your fist
just hit
my chin, so
perfect,
just
my legs
went out and knees
went to the side, it was
a fight - my head
fell so far left
and cracked
against the
curb,
and if I had
(but I do not: it's all
gone
black)
one word: a breath,
to say before I float away,
my soul
a paper boat
down river red
to gutter sea -
I'd try to catch
your eye
"it's me!" - and breathe

one word

as clear
and true -

"sorry"

- as I've ever said

or you have ever heard.

oh! how

sorry

you

Thursday, September 20, 2012

that old couple

I used to think
when people talked about wanting to be
that old couple, what they meant was, basically
"we'll have to fake it, but could be fun!"

Could be fun. and
after a while, the hang of it
could get pretty convincing. That's how I thought
that old couple must have always pulled it off. But
suddenly I think I was wrong, 'cause girl

I have only just suddenly met myself
and my future, and you and all
the signs point to us. We are
already that old couple. Right
the fuck now. While we're still
young,

carousing,
discussing baby names objectively,
planning to strike a fairly late 1960's
adulthood chic, our ritual cocktail
and blowjob tradition after whoever's
hard day at work (if such a grisly thing
should continue to be necessary,

it can be bourne, given
sufficient panache). but when

You called me your porch-swing guy. And I
knew exactly what you mean - I saw it, I
have not even had a chance to sit down
with you on an actual porch-swing, yet
in an instant, I knew we were already

in full, gentle swing

in the way
that my shoulders
and your so soft curves
and all our limbs together
settle in, infinitely
new and every combination,
every intertwine perfect as if
each of us could be the other's hammock,

I can't wait to go hunting
for the house with a big front and wraparound
side porch, and begin
to sit and swing. You
get the sun tea started, you

are the one

with whom I already fully intend
to putter around.