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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

chance conversations

Between us, we leave a bullet-riddled breeze
we shoot through with holes and edgewise words,
and afterthoughts in tangents wrought
like filigrees
enlaced upon
the surface of a cake we bought,
a cake we can neither have
nor eat.
One can't have cake in metaphors.
But let us eat a thought, instead. Here,
you try mine
- I want yours.

"Crush On Everyone"

You've been floating on a prayer, on a
wing and a swear word
You're an angel on a greeting card,
hiding some wisecrack inside
And everyone you meet is smitten instantly -
who could hang the blame on you for
liking what you see?

You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
but you're only in love with you

Everytime you turn around, you're
surrounded by onlookers
I admire at a distance, as they
jockey for positions, baby
They eat your every gesture,
super-sweet bon bon
You can't help but let your self
go on and on and on and on

You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
but you're only in love with you

Every one is so convinced that they
must be your soul mate, and
you sincerely really think that there's
only one person for you
- Well I bet that you've met that person
every morning
smiling through the tooth paste making
goo goo eyes right back at you

You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
You've got a crush on everyone
but you're only in love with you

Monday, December 26, 2016

Against you

Against you,
I can not prevail.
Against myself,
at least I have
a fighting chance.
Can we team up?
against myself
I'll help you make
the battle plans

Friday, December 23, 2016

more pictures of you

I find myself wishing there were more pictures
of you
from when we were together, but
I guess we were busy - which
is good? Isn't it? Or
we expected there would be time
later, maybe. It didn't
seem urgent. Live life, right?
That's what it's for, and
Documentation
is not as important. Now,
though, I kind of wish I had more proof
that we were not wasting our time.

room

You bring peace to me, in person
or voice or memory. You know the right parts
of all I know, and leave me
with endlessness to go.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"So You"

A whole two times in a row,
I have somehow managed to put you in words,
so to speak, and adequately (or did the word
"perfectly"
occur?? you said it, not me!). So now
I'm like a gleeful little shit at the science fair,
so pleased
at the ribbon for his clichéd
papier mâché volcano! No,

it could be the best feeling in the world
at the moment, to try pretty hard
to put something
that means something, into words
effortlessly

- to try and succeed! by the way
- about someone you think is anyway
brilliant.

And you
you said:
"That is so me"
, meaning you.
Of course,
when you're not sure

and you're not confident, but
you feel a strong feeling towards
the meaning you're trying to get to, or get
across - and then they tell you!

"Nailed it!"

Damn that was courageous! Right? And
From now on,
encouraged thus,
the risk will be run
of me taking more
and greater, unwarranted,
increasingly reckless risks
and flights, or anyway, leaps
of attempted description of you. Which

is not easy to do, even without the handicap
of this gigantic vanity with which
you've saddled me. Until finally,
inevitably, at some point you'll be "like
Um, dude

You keep getting further and further off
on these. Come back to earth man, ground
control to asshole:

Return to base,

please"

Friday, December 16, 2016

a few clowns short of a nightmare

it was one of those naked
presentation dreams
you sometimes get
at work, or school but this time
in clownface. Butt naked otherwise,
and let me tell you nobody
noticed or commented. I find it

kind of insulting
how weak in impact my nightmares
always are

am I so jaded by
daytime life? Tsunami rides
in, I stare it down then bodysurf it
to 14th street. Abducted by aliens?
It was all a dream! In the dream,
I mean. It was all a dream in
the dream.


That's absurd. And when a half-decent,
legit dangerous, potentially panic
-inducing scenario starts, before you know
it morphs into a movie, or a tv show

and all I am is watching.

When I wake up, there's no sense
of relief, or reprieve from
pains. Just garish
pillowcase makeup stains

a few clowns short of a nightmare (original draft)

sorry. That's all I got.

The concept's too freaky to proceed with

Some "poem"

"some snowflake"

Some snowflake you are

ten stories wide and gigantically

descending to crush this gingerbread city

englobed in glass, special

and unique, like the end of every world

always is. In some higher dimension,

the lovely cataclysm you bring

will be stocked, shelved and sold,

a commemorative paperweight

in a tchotchke shoppe. They will lift

and shake it up, but reenactment

can't cancel the event. You drift,

special and unique, uniquely,

simply every single one of you

different, crashing down, crushing

delightfully, implacably you,

as usual.

Monday, October 17, 2016

the fire-place

The present,
ever burning up,
our eyes beguiled dance
amazed as each of us breathes air
incensed, in apple, pine and ash
we blaze, a sense of crackl'ng residue,
of blacken'd sap and coming fall,
in twisting wires of what we are,
of wood-grained muscle, fired by youth
and wrenching, cracking, spitting fire,
twisting, writhing, splitting off
in ember glowworms, fall and dim
and dull to gray, too soon
to cool, in gloaming dusk
of coals well-spent,
or if not well -

then full.

Friday, October 14, 2016

demon eyes

I never mind being demonized. Accuse
me of the worst, and I'll know which side
- and I'll know you are on it, and I'll know
you'll fight.

The people who refuse to accuse aren't right.
When they know what's wrong: when they hear it
proclaimed, by a person in the room -
and they let it stand. They stand to the side,
saying "who am I to blame? To accuse, to
cry out, to challenge, to name?"

You're the bystander, that's who. Get in the game.
Quit folding your hands as the stakes rise high.
This isn't a table you can walk away from.
We are all all-in by the time we die, so

Take a hand: and call it, when you see foul play.
When everybody sees, and when no one will say,
that's how the damn devil wins the day. And the devil
is us, all day, everyday that we won't stand up.
You have got to accuse, when you see the dirty dealing
that would see us all lose. When you see it proclaimed,
right there in the flesh, right there in the room
you're in - and you let it stand. And you sit. They win.
Meanwhile, if you could only speak out, just for one,
just for you - wouldn't half the people squirming
in the room feel relief? Chime in, throw their hand
in with you, rise to their feet?

You are not the only one there who knows what's true!
And everybody there has the problem you do. You've been
taught to be polite, is the problem with you. Who taught you?
Can you guess, mister politesse? Mister status quo
- or excuse me, is it little miss?

Silence is consent. As the world spins on, and you sit
and you see, and do not speak out: you consent
to wrong. In every single room where you let it stand,
you are the one who throws up your hand.

If you call me a racist, I know two things:
you hate racism, and you've got the gall
to call it where you see it. And that is all.
If you're on the right side, I can take the fall

I don't mind. I get up! Those falls don't hurt.
When a shot goes wide, it does not break skin
so no matter how thin someone's skin can be -
how can you be offended by an on-target shot
at the enemy, when it misses you wide?
When you know you're not the mark? Aren't you on
some side? Don't you know right from wrong?
Big deal. Who cares. Can you TELL
right from wrong?

That's how deals get squared.

And if you stand accused of being the worst,
you know just two things: that person is, first,
someone who hates the worst. Secondly, they are someone
who'll engage with the enemy. Whose side
are you on? If you don't pick one,
you consent and support every wrong
that's done.

So accused, demonized, I don't flinch. Just rise,
spread my hands out wide, with my demon eyes bright,
and greet this cool fool who'll engage with my foes.
Who speaks out, who - so much better than knows! -

who can tell right from wrong. A courageous sight.

Pardon me, can I help you to set me right?

They narrow their eyes, of course. They get suspicious.

Don't worry.

Between two people who can both tell right,
agreement-reaching's easier than doing the dishes.

As long as you never mind being called wrong,
you will find so many people whose side you're on.

Break Up Monday

Well I know you're not happy with me
and I have to accept any blame
it's too easy to see how it is
or to say it won't be the same
I remember us flying so high
now it's like we've embraced for a crash
but we've been wading so deep
through this hell of a week
we shouldn't do anything rash

We can break up Monday
and not ruin the weekend
we could be together
we could be ourselves again

Well we could both walk out the door right now
but we'd have to come back for our stuff
and it's hard to adjust to the thought
of the two of us not in love
we'd be miserable being alone
even more than we've been in the past
and I know that these may
not be reasons to stay, but hey
don't be a pain in the ass

We can break up Monday
and not ruin the weekend
we can be together
we can be ourselves again
if we break up Monday
I could be your good friend
we could break up Monday
or we could change our minds again

Well I know I'm not happy with you
but I've never been happy with me
and I don't want to break up with myself
as dysfunctional as it seems
and as hard as your life has become
do you think that the reason is us?
we can say we weren't right
for the rest of our lives
I don't see a reason to rush

Well, we can break up Monday
not ruin the weekend
we can be together
we can be ourselves again
if we break up Monday
we can still be good friends
if we break up Monday
we can change our minds again

Thursday, October 13, 2016

le cinema

I never walk out on a movie
I don't care how bad it is
I put down my fucking money
and I want to see how it ends.
I want to watch the credits roll,
and I want to know who's responsible,
and maybe it's not so bad after all.
Or take my life, for instance
could use a more interesting plot
could use some more believable characters
or any discernible theme, but
maybe it's just post-modernist
maybe it's fucking art-house flick
the dialogue's not so well-written,
but maybe it's just naturalistic.
Maybe it's for an effect.
Hence the unsympathetic hero,
whose exploits just bore you to tears
hence the lack of compelling situations,
and the badly faked accents - maybe
it's for an effect.
I still want to see how it ends.
Even if maybe it sucks.

I still want to see how it ends.
And I want to watch the credits roll,
and I want to know who's responsible,
and maybe it's not so bad after all
but I'm not walking out.

I just hope they don't pull
that one stunt I can't stand,
that bull shit wizard of oz move
- where at the end, the lead character wakes
to discover it was all just a dream.
What a waste of time it makes
the whole thing seem.

fork

We should amuse
ourselves with the universes
that could have been if we'd
chosen otherwise, but we should immerse
ourselves in this: because it is,
And we were wise.

Friday, October 07, 2016

rhymes with

The regional origins of the orange
are largely indifferent
to the linguistic picture, when
the stresses and pronunciations
of the original syllables are considered
as merely constituent elements
of essentially separate phenomic constructs
that have since spread everywhere, and there
undergone their own regionally-distinct
evolutions. Nevertheless, and without
unnecessary convolutions I would be willing to say:

May I have
an orange,
please?

I ask you

how could there be confusion?

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

further along

Further along, as the world
rolls round - I will never
catch up to you, somehow
but I keep catching notes
that you throw in the air.
They encourage me: keep
hanging on,

somewhere

signs of who is toxic and should simply therefore be given up on

Some people are not reliable.
Some people are procrastinators.
Some are known to lie. Often, certain
indicators, certain triggers are there,
such as "didn't want to hurt the person's
feelings!" So they lie, and some people
don't care.
Some people have a temper.
Some people are closed. They won't talk
about what's going on inside and share woes.
Some people share huge, deep - and need you too,
to.
Some people need a whole lot of sex.
Do you? Some people don't want sex
at all, or hardly any.
Some people close down, when they blame you
for pain. Some people bear a grudge.
Some people get too jealous, act wild
and insane. And some
don't get jealous enough - don't they care?
Some people act sometimes as if you're
not even there. And some will hang all over you,
empty with need.

These are signs of potential toxicity.

Some people get too bothered by something, some get
not bothered enough, for the other person's liking.
Some people are fantastic with conflict, so
they think - direct and disarming, with charm
and a wink. While others shun conflict entirely, or
- they approach it indirectly. Some people hate that.
Call you "passive-aggressive." Accuse you of sneak.

The are signs that a person could be toxic and weak.

When you break out in hives, hyperventilate, rage
swims through your eyes, widening in sunrise hues
You see red, feel yellow and it dawns on you: no matter
what you do, try, say or change, this person is
poison to you.

It seems strange, since so many other people don't seem
to see. They get along fine. They seem to enjoy.
They interact well, and associate free: well,
they must just be fooled by their act. "Not me!"

It is never not you.

If no matter what you do, it will not work out;
if the interaction's sick, and it's time for a shot
- but you know it won't get well: well, we must operate.
Cut the limb off at the hip. Walk away, feel great
- it was poisoning you, and you don't need it.

These are the signs of a toxic fit.

People have you in their life
because they want you there.
If that's not true, you should feel
a little sick about that.
If they didn't want you,
they do not need alibi, or excuse
or diagnosis to prove or justify
that they can cut you out.

In your life, when you have
someone you can't take, can't enjoy,
all your interactions clash, and go wrong
- that person is not "toxic."

It is you who doesn't thrive
in their interaction style, personality
- they raise hives on you. Other people
seem fine. They aren't "fooled." They just don't
have the sensitivities. You do.
This doesn't make them strong, or tough.
Some of them would probably keel over
from a nut.

So what?

Peanuts aren't toxic. Interacting with them
is not useless. Some people do wonderful things,
make delicious dishes, it is healthy and fit.

People are not toxic. It is fits that can be. And you
are just allergic

to a person or two.

"Not me!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

"Recovery is a hell of a drug"

substances, foreign and domestic
disease, mental and physical
habits like these tend to make
us forget how livable life
can be, even lacking that
edge, that needle, that
knife, that mirror,
that smoke, that trail
of dust.
That thing
that we live for
just out of habit
and need that grows
in leaps, because
we've decided to
rule it in bounds,
for keeps.

your roving critic

This person
just sitting silently, there
in blind-guy shades
regarding you,
making all these sorts of
"shrewd" assessments - but of course,
not saying anything

or is he awake?
if not, what are his dreams? if so,
do his shades tint everything?

does he factor that in?

we all tend
to keep up a bit of commentary
in our heads
don't we? I do. I bet God
thinks we're creepy as heck!
No wait - probably not, because God
does the same damn thing, I suspect.
Except God gets to gauge it all
against all, the full spectrum of humanity's
deepest, sometimes awful inner thoughts. Some of which
- well, let's just say we're better off,
not being able to inspect.

We probably come off fine.

In a play-by-play
of the all the sorts and kinds
of thoughts about others we distract
ourselves with when we're stuck, sitting
in a train for an interminable time,
we make up little narratives
or assessments, guesses, etc. Life stories
of those passing through. I guess
we all do? No wait - maybe not.
It could be just me, I suppose,
just my runaway vignettes, in throwaway
prose, never to be collected or reviewed
or interpreted askance. Which is good,
because those

are some hideous pants

notice.

Unfortunately, it's policy. Policy
is that which must be unfair
in this case, in order to be fair
to all the others who have previously
received the brunt
of its unfairness. Life

has so much of this, so much
mass in motion, swinging downward
that realistically, it could crush
any of us from directions unforeseen,
without notice.

However, it's always been this way. All
our lives it's been this way, to say
nothing of all previous peoples' lives. Why
do people need the illusion of control?

Most people are not summarily crushed.
Even if they do spend their lives living
within the zone of their illusion of control.
Whenever that illusion shorts out, typically
temporarily, it's suddenly panic city
for some reason!

Realization that a person lives almost
completely at the mercy of uncontrolled
events ought not to be cause for panic.

I prefer the illusion of insignificance,
myself. A bit of proportion. Having not
control, still I am one of seven billion
moving targets - all of whom are pretty
well engineered to not only survive
but thrive in an environment
we don't and mostly can't control.

Statistically speaking, almost all
of us are going to keep surging
forward for a good, long time (by
our reckoning). My life

isn't in greater danger
just because it's more important to me,
is it?
Anyhow.

I'm not sure
what all of that's in aid of. Just thoughts.
The seeming random nature of the incident,
the uncontrollable nature of events it touched off,
the seeming security of the position just prior
- it's one of those weird wake-up calls,
I guess,

that people get

Friday, September 30, 2016

theme with variations

chiming empty aches
gaps filling to space
spaces fit between notes
unstrung, -sung, -wrote
never planned to be heard
gathering unconceived
tumbling uncomposed
out of pieces of peace
fit to dissonant chords
come to rest, ungrieved

As if one orchestra
could read music in leaves,
lives, loves, and escapes
and play everything through
Let us listen for now
Later on, we will hear -
and consider, and do.

Ringing out, coming in
at the end, it fills up
in your head you can make
every part of it clear,
any piece of it new.

As it ends, dots connect
in your heart and awake,
trace hearts, beaks, wings,
taking off, fly anew
with whatever it takes,
into all of the infinite
things it could do.

Improvised and true -
and so musically so,
of such beautiful make.
If only some one
could intend
what you know

"we're like:"

we're like:
2 peas in a pod
two thieves in a plot
two hands in a basket
on the way to red-hot
two nuts in a shell
nestled up like birds
on a perch, cooing love
in so many words

Thursday, September 29, 2016

perfectchord

Ringing in the background chiming low
it doesn't make a sound but I hear it, though
a symphony defined by its missing note
it doesn't have a shape, but it leaves a hole

I live my life, listening
walking around, to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord

And I can almost hear it,
the piece it all resolves around

One note short of a perfect chord
One note short of a perfect chord
One note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

Ringing in the background, full
and beautiful, and true.
The empty part that aches
just makes it mean the more to you
You fill the missing piece in
with your wish, and hope, and mind
You know that life is beautiful, if only
You could find

You live your life, listening
walking around to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord

And you can almost hold it,
the point it all dissolves around

one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

We live our lives, listening
walking around to the beat
of something in the background,
missing

- one note short of a perfect chord
We can almost hum it,
the key that makes it all work out

One note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord
one note short of a perfect chord

a perfect chord

a perfect chord

"Unrealistic"

For all your life you try,
and try,
and try and fail,
and run, and hide
a penny saved, a penny lost,
a lesson learned,
at any cost
we've all been bitten
much more than twice
- we'll shy away,
away from life
we'll finish our work
at the end of the night, and
we'll go home to life
in a shambles

yeah

For all the lies
we swallowed whole
let's just metabolize them all
we'll burn them up,
a burst of speed
flush out those empty calories
we've all bought into the wrong idea
let's sell our shares, get out of here
we'll finish our work
at the end of the year,
and we'll go out all night,
and get scrambled

but let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
you don't know you won't get what you want

For all the risks we took for free
to compensate, we'll charge a fee
to all the ones who laughed us down
when they come 'round to see us now
we've all got something
to tell ourselves - we'll go to jail,
we'll go to hell
we'll go to lengths,
and heights and depths,
and we'll be unrealistic - Just say yes!

Oh, yes be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
let's be unrealistic for once
you don't know you won't get what you want

you don't know
you don't know

For all you know,
it's all you get. But don't
get all distracted yet
- we're all in love,
in life, in pain,
for all you know
it's in your brain
we've all got something to hope for, hey?
For all you know, it's all in vain.
We'll finish our work
at the end of the day, and we'll go out
bang

just like candles

Friday, September 23, 2016

to the drink

To whatever
's been poured, as we
raise up this glass: may I
lift you back up
if you fall on your ass. Let us
drink what they pour,
til we go, dumb or
blind -
from the lip of the rim,
to whatever's behind, let us
clink. And then drink,
to what's here
in this cup.
And when
every drop's drained,
let us raise it up.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Nowhere With You

Well we've got it in our heads that we're not ordinary,
but we haven't figured out what makes us special yet.
except, of course, for what's unique in each of us.
but it's not really clear how that makes me stand out

it's my singular ambition - for a better life
and my piercing indecision, on what makes life get better
it's my having no idea how to find my way,
and my implacable need to have my way,
which has gotten me where I am today

which is nowhere
I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

Well I'm usually okay, but lately I've been thinking
and that's usually a sign there's something going wrong
so I opened up a random page in the dictionary
and I put my finger down on a word I can't pronounce

I considered it an omen
tried to take some stock
then I counted every moment
it did not add up

Now you're making me believe there's nothing wrong
with nothing - and maybe there is
for all I know, but it's getting me where
I have to go, which is nowhere

I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

To determine your location
- in the darkest dark
First you turn and face your partner
- and then there you are
Now you're making scary faces with the flashlight on,
in defiance of all that space and time
at the speed of light, you can see that I'm

going nowhere
I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

I am nowhere, with you
this is nowhere
I'm in nowhere, with you

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Promise

This
is going to be one of those
non-rhymed
poems,
with maybe a few
accidental

or off
-rhymes, and
in the
middle of it, I'm going

to
try to say something
truly

offensive.

"cartesian wells"

I think
a stone, a
coin, a drop,
a bucket slip
squeak-pulley
rope, and
plash - how deep?
Does this thing go
I think therefore
I do not know.

grace before

So many blessings are laid before,
but we walk right past with our eyes intent
on some glorious goal. Let us not pass by
this greatest gift you have ever sent.

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Couldn't Anyway"

It just slips out, how fucking cool -
how I see you - I see the bad, but
all that good is so much more
remarkable. And so I do!
I always have.
And it's all true,

but not too cool, huh?
Not too fair. Not too good.
As if I could -
As if I care,

As if I had
a thing to give.
I ought to shut my stupid lid, when

I can't have you anyway, and I
can't have you anyway. I couldn't
have you any way that I can see
my way clear to. And I can't
have you anyway, and I can't have
you anyway - and if I could, it's
just like me and just my luck,
and just like you - I couldn't
have you anyway. I'm pretty sure

I'm pretty sure I really need
to stop asking about these things
that have no place in space or time,
and nothing now to do with us,
or do for us - a waste of trust
a waste of patience, tried and tried
to waste imagination on
what we can't make-believe of life
and probably only one of us
would even want to make of it.

As if you wished - as if I knew,
As if I had a thing to give. When

I can't have you anyway,
et cetera, set, repeat refrain
and I can't have you anyway.
I can't fit us in any frame, I couldn't
have you anyway. And anyway, you wouldn't
want - at least, I think - that's
probably. I shouldn't speak,
for anyone

You're really something else, though huh?
Though maybe I do make too much,
it doesn't feel I've oversold.
To me, I cut back quite a lot
of all the things that come to mind.
The kind I'll say: You've said enough
already, now! It's obvious, and nothing
to be done about. And maybe you could shut
your mouth?
As if I can,
as if I could,
As if we ever had a doubt.
As if I had a thing to give
As if this was one life to life,
well

I can't have you anyway, that's
probably. I'm pretty sure.
And I can't have you anyway.
I shouldn't want you anymore,
I couldn't have you anyway.
I couldn't want you any more.
And I can't have you anyway. That's
probably, I'm pretty sure

Interpretive Coincidence Artist

Finite symbols, signs and forms,
finite numbers, dates recur.
Reach your hands out into them,
pulling out what strikes a nerve,
sets you off, makes you jump.
Teasing out connections, with
a never-ending search - commit
to drawing pattern, making fit.

Future ages will look back on this,
and call it modern Art.
Interpretive coincidence: you
spot the links, you play the parts
and draw a sum much greater than
the helplessness you feel when faced
by uncontrollable events. Reach out
into the details - place
your emphasis, and draw your lines:

There is a pattern of control.
The pattern we can see here, shows
that something is behind it all.

Albeit: something sinister.
Still, we reassure ourselves.
By being in the know,
possessing hidden knowledge, we can tell
ourselves: we are not at the mercy
of events uncaused. We are
wised up, we know the score.
It all unfolds by unseen laws.

While all the sheep read digest news,
believing what they're sold into
- that uncontrollable events
weren't planned - we know,
we sift, we reach our hands
into the finite forms and signs
and dates and numbers that recur.
We spot and pick and pull design,
to find control. It's sinister

'rainbow shades'

Rainbows cast a shadow
when the sun shines
behind them.
Those shadows
are so beautiful, but
so hard to find them.

'since you'

My brain and my balls
are full of pus, And
whatever I conceive
will be sick
of us

Friday, September 16, 2016

lost in a cage

My love for you
is like a roaring cage
made out of the universe, with
you and me in it.
"You and me" by the way
- not "You and I" -
is correct. Objective case.
Objectively, it's true
we can't see the bars.
The bars don't keep us
apart. The bars didn't keep us
together, either. They were
(or are) too far away, or too
widely-spaced, maybe. But
still we both know
about the cage.
Because it roars.

Shades and Shines

To shade through, like deeper chalks
and oil crayons, pulling out dark
tones into waking light. Shading
through, like a person's soul.
What's left after death -
according to Greeks
- is not you, but

a shadow in your shape,
that moves on in your old
habits and ways.

It no longer
is you. It no longer is

moved,
as it always was,
by the dance of light
and spirit you gave it. That you
give it. That makes it you. It can
never change, not even its mind - it
hasn't one. Just a memory of. So it goes,
on through all the old steps,
shuffling off into shadow,
infinitely stage left.
It's just
whatever impression you've left.

Just so you know:
it is you now dancing,
shining, who creates and shapes
what you leave behind. You
who you are, are your life.
Your memory cast, in everyone's
love, and eyes, and mind, is
but a shade.

And that image you make
while you live every day, it grows
long and goes on, and they stand
in your shade. Already,
day by day, you you pass,
as if into shadow. But you make
of it a shadow play. Because you're
still here to play it again,
to make it last, for as long
as you stay.

Each impression you leave
with each passing of yours,
through any mind, any pair of eyes
- As long as you live to cut the light,
and step however you wish into it,
your deft decision, your grace and might
bring every shadow of you
to life.

And in some ways, maybe
you could say that shade
is a realer somehow, than you
yourself. Considered in terms
of sheer multiplicity? You
are only ever in that one place
you shine, but you leave such array
of reflection behind. Everywhere
behind.

While you live, you do everything
your shade ever can't. You cut
and drape and arrange all shapes,
and color all shades of you, as you go.
You can even stop. Look back, judge
the effect, perhaps have a moment
of self-criticism? Anguish? Some do! And then
twist, leap outward with a cry,
or after a cry,
in some new,

or at least

strange-to-you way, path, plot,
dash, stab, lash, twirl, pirouette?
Something never seen before
in your silhouette. They may not
cry encore. You may say "Hm.
That's not really me, though" but this
is the point: You're the one
who has made and keeps making that call.
You are the one who tries who tries
you on for size and fit, and flings self
into it. Any time you wish, you can throw
new shapes, let old contours go,
bled away in light. An afterimage,
fading soon to past all recall.

You are the light designer
of the show you put on in others lives.
It's you, always, and after all,
who shines.

- but the shape, tone, depth you've laid down
as you go by always shades through. The cumulative you,
in another's view: an aftereffect. And as you play
(at being you) it is that backdrop you play against.
Careful or careless of it, you choose now
always now: mark! Don't look down, step up
hit it on feel, how to get through this scene, this
act: whether word, or dance step and turn, or emphasis
on this or that matter of fact - and what on earth
do you mean by that? That meaning is what you leave
behind, but it isn't you. You have meant far more.

Very little of that has to do with
Greeks, I confess.
They didn't carry their shades out from Hades
into all the images of sense and memory
that one makes in others while living. A shade
was strictly for afters, for them. But
it seems to me, it's the same thing really.
What I thought was kind of wild is that
they knew: your shade was not, and is not
you. Just the shadow your life has cast
off.

It's true.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Angle

All I need is a metal hook.
And a bit of flesh to push
it through, and I will catch
one bigger fish than you.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Shades and Shines (retired draft, since revised)

To shade through, like the deeper
chalks and oil crayons, pulling out
dark tones into waking light, woken
to notice. Shading through,
like a person's soul.

What's left after death
- according to Greeks
- is not you,

but

a shadow in your shape
that moves on, in your old
habits and ways. It no longer
is you. It no longer is

moved, as it always was
by the dance of light and spirit
you give it. That you gave it. That
made it you. That gave it
life.

So it goes, through old steps,
shuffling off into shadow, stage left. Just so

you know: it is you,
dancing, shining, who creates
and shapes what you leave behind
today. You who you are, are life.
Your memory in everyone's love
and eyes and mind, is but a shade.

The image in mind - that you have made,
that you make now while you live,
every day, and long before you die -
is your shade. Already, you pass, as if
into shadow

but you make of it a shadow play.

Each impression you leave
with each passing of yours, through
any mind, any pair of eyes - As long
as you live to cut the light, and step
however you wish into it, your deft
decision, your grace and might
bring every shadow of you to life.

In some ways, you could say
that's a great deal realer
than you -
considered in terms
of sheer multiplicity? For you
are only ever in
that one place you shine,
as you leave such array
of your shade, behind.
Everywhere behind.

Yet you yourself are greater,
clearly. You
are the dancer in light, whose life
is what cuts, drapes and arranges
all those shapes, those shades of you,
for others - you do
everything your shade ever can't. Even
stop. Look back, judge the effect, perhaps,
have a moment of self-anguish and criticism?
Some do! And then twist, leap outward with
a cry, or after a cry,
in some new,

new, or at least
strange-to-you way, path, dash, stab,
lash, twirl, pirouette? Not seen
before, in any play of your silhouette
well, they may not cry encore, and you may
say "Hm. That's not really me," but this
is the point: You are the one who tries
you on. At any time, you
can throw new shapes, let old contours
go, bled away in light. An afterimage,
soon to be past all recall. You
are the light designer
of the show you put on
in others lives. It's you,
always, and after all,
who shines

- but the shape, and tone, of all you've laid down
and thrown as you go by, shades through. And as you play
at being you, you play against that backdrop. Careful
or careless of it, you choose now, always now: mark,
plot, feel, how to get through this scene, you
choose now: act, and word, and step, and turn, and emphasis, and
what on earth do you mean?

Very little of that has to do with
Greeks, I confess.
They didn't carry their shades out from Hades
into the images, of sense and memory,
that one makes in others while living. A shade
was strictly for afters, for them. But
seems to me, it's the same thing really.
What I thought was kind of wild is that
they knew: your shade was not, and is not
you. Just the shadow your life cast behind
it.

It's true.

Monday, September 05, 2016

personals

I love rain
after drought, and love
after loss, and hunger
where the food's on its way.
I love beer
after beer. I love
a kiss that actually does make it all
better.
I love to talk
about things others love
to talk about. I love an old
-fashioned, red, kite-shaped kite
against the sky - bright
red diamond with elongated
bottom point, trailing
a tail, with a ribbon
or two.

I love a deck of cards. I love an excuse
to wear a jacket. I love feasting
and making merry. I love a long, slow lie
in a hammock, preferably strung between two
big trees. I love
the difference between puppies
and kittens, and the moment
before just before you taste something
you've never had. I love loud thunder

: CRACK! BOOOOOM,

and rumbling roll. I love
people on foot who you pass
in the street. I love finding out
somebody you always assumed
was just being nice
was actually flirting with you the whole time.

I love songs. Not love songs,
necessarily, but sometimes
those, too.

I love towering clouds.
I love the weird majesty of stars.
I love beach sand, your feet
in it, damp, hiding from sun
and your eyes
in the shade of your hand.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Antiphon

Precision is
how I give in, to you.
Decision is
where you give in, to it.
It goes on and on,
if we intuit.
Concision
is how you constrict its wit,
conditioned on content, style
and form.
Depending who blinks,
we could be succinct.
We could easily rest,
take pause, go on.
We could even critique,
just to make us think.
We could even conclude,
for the sake of taste. But
before we desert
to such wastes of time,
let us first

say: grace.

And let us begin.
And let us dig in: For we
define.

Garden of Even

She's got a fundament
that you could rest a firmament in.
And I would rain every star
down upon her sin, to cool
the volcanic grace
she lets go. We create
and recreate every
day we know.

Birds on Fire

The birds set on fire
fly out through the night.
Tradition, and ritual make it
right. This is the way,
our mothers used

To crack open the door

But we have squeezed through. So
do we need cruelty, anymore?

A Fine Thing

FINE. Like treasures. Like
fine things. Like spun gold,
regardless of straw. Like gems,
regardless of facets
struck from them. I,
am fine.
What more
do we want, from
Men?
Let us give it to them,
then!

Fine.

I was the Dragon

If I was The dragon, what
would I do? First,
I would present-tense that shit.
I would BELCH, no ROAR!
I'd give into it.

For nature demands: no counterfeit.

No camouflage, no feint, no dodge.
Even a dragon must
pledge that lodge.
But I'll tend bar, and
I'll crack eggs. My body
is sinuous with legs.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

new moon fever

The new moon is
the closest black hole, we know,
it recurs like the tide to draw us
rushing back in up the shores of hope,
just past the shoals, and be
either beached or wrecked,
washed up upon them.

"Small, Secret Smile"

I have a small, secret smile
that no one can see.
I wear it on my face.
Don't look at me.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Last in Heaven?

"Last on earth, first in heaven." Hold on, for me
that doesn't work. I am first:

a servant. Seems to me the venue shouldn't make
such a difference. Can't I wear the same
or equivalent livery up there, assuming
I secure the situation, that is? I mean,

There's no guarantee. But I'd rather be last
in both places. I'd feel
kind of awkward, pomping around cloudtown
in shining raiment and a halo of laurels,
talking about some
"How ya like me now?" No.

I want to serve, first last and
always. Assuming there is
such a thing as always.
Can't I just wear my sackcloth
to the afterparty and see
what needs touching up?
Probably very little! But then,
that's what we lastcomers like
to see. We're just there in case,
in the event
of eventuality. Because we love,
first: to serve. Last, too. Why not?
Wherever we are,
we like to be.

Hair shirts, okay -
those don't suit me, but
you should see me rock a sackcloth.
I want to be last in, last out

- my usual mode. Show up on time,
not fashionably but 'umbly attired -
spiritually natty, okay perhaps. But
nothing ostentatious. Stay late
to clean up - thankless, but
task me with whatever's thankless
and guess what? You will see who
is really welcome. You are!

If someone's really welcome,
do they have to thank you? They can,
and welcome to it, but they needn't
thank me. Who needs all these
preliminaries? You can thank me

by taking advantage of the service.

If it's any advantage to you,
to do so, I mean.
So be it.
So let it be.

This is why the meek, I guess
get stuck with the earth.

Don't want to be first up there.
Awkward. Plus,

they've tasted last of every cup,
and found it sweet enough already

So last here, and wishing to be last
there, they get stuck here. In theory,
at least.

They are blessed with it, in theory
for their meekness. It is called
an inheritance. And perhaps it is true
that meekness is
genetic.

I subscribe to the nurture vs. nature
theory, on that issue. Reportedly,
according to God's Will
as reported and recorded
in the most recent edition
of the Testament thereof, I get:

The earth.

Sweet!

But the inheritance tax on that
is assessed perpetually.
On a quarterly basis.
Payable in pennies, so

You know.

I plan to keep busy.

come lie with me down

Come lie with me down
a road we can't tell
anyone else about.

It will end just as well
as deserts should expect,
after so rich a fare.

We have paid dear for this
and we don't even care
for the change that will
come,
We do not even check
any impulse at all.

Still at least 'til we've done
what we needs must do -

or we once must have

- if we didn't, we're
through. We could
not be so bad But once,

we could.

In the sun, come lie
with me down.
We would not be so good. Would
you lie?

Or have I? Come,
down. And the grass
won't complain.

We were made,
here to lie
in the course of each way
we have lain,
until now.

Showboat

I love beating people
at my Own Damn Game.
And they can't even tell! Well,
hey, what's its name? I can't say,
but there are a few rules
you shouldn't know.
It would ruin your enjoyment
how you win so slow.

Originality what a concept

If you can't find a new way to Hell, sometimes
the old ways are best, my friend.
Forget about what you didn't expect.
Expect what you wouldn't intend.

And then on the day,
they will stretch back amazed
on a way none of them thought to use.
And you'll open the tolls,
and surpass all known goals.
They will name that road after you

Retiring, yawning, eyes all aglow,
laurels ablaze on an untroubled brow -
At last you're a trailblazer now, good sir.
For once, you're original now.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

There's a lot you can do to convince me.

There's a lot you could do to convince me.

First of all, try to stop.
Convincing me's easier done
than said. If you care to drop
a hint or two, a word to the wise
means less than the hand to the ass
you'll get instead. I mean, if you say
that again, what you've said three times?
I heard it the first time, pet.

And I'll tell you just where you can put it:

To bed.

Confessionally, an apology to Ms. Sexton

Dear, Anne, you know,
ever since I read that whole, it

was more than a book, compendium
of yours,

I have been lost
in such a rut

of confessional poem. Mine,
of course,
alas don't confess

anywhere near as many things done.
But in religion at least, at least
in mine, what you haven't done, you can burn
just as much over. So I feel
pretty well safe there.

What's missing? In mine,
I mean. Yours

are great.

But of course, unlike you
I cannot write a poem
while I menstruate.

It's not clear whether this

should be considered
privileged.

I can't very well tell,
can I?

Letters to Exes, Part Nuevo

Dear, do
you remember the time you dragged my ass
half-asleep at the wheel
across the continent to, ostensibly,
home? It sure looked nice from here,
back then, and now I've got a sense
it either never fit, or
has since been outgrown. But
it's no fault of yours. We
know. I have you to thank
for that. Dear, do
you know how much it hurt

my tailbone, falling seated vertically
drunk down half your whole staircase,
not spilling a drop (as mentioned
in my previous letter) of the martini
you made me shake? I've gone stir
crazy since you kicked me out of
that cozy-little prison of a house
of yours, and I like 'em dirty,
too. Grey goose, for you
as I recall. But I've gone to gin.
Never
have two such mutually-incipient
alcoholics ever been so well-
fit as friends, so damn raring
to begin, so well done by the end,
burnt through, to a finely-turned
crisp, and so ill-suited all the way
through and not known it, yet never
once, have two such people us that
sobered up so fast.
As a matter of fact,
I believe I'll have another but,
that belief can't last. Dear, you

the only one I ever cheated,

well that sucks. I'm going to start
another one to you and shuffle it
up. It may already be up there, written
out of order. You'll never be any wiser,
anyhow. The worst part is
to feel so violated! Dear, you

, despite the actress that you
so are, were probably the pick
of the bunch. Let's do lunch
again, like we mean it this time.
Scene. Curtain. Call me. Ah,
I'm just kidding. You would
anyhow. You're always there,
on the phone telling me some
new drama unfolding. And I
am always hanging on, you know.
Rapt. So be it. Let it be, so Dear,

anyway, I

knew you
best of all.
You know who I mean.
I mean, you know who

you are. Need I say
more? Thanks

for everything, dear.
You,
I must have left you out
of the last letter. You didn't
count. Still don't.

Ow, that's cold. Dear,
did you know when you left me
so cold? It's okay,
my jacket always looked so much warmer
on you. Keep it. It's

dirty.

Dear, you
must forgive me for all that crap
about the jewelry that time. It was just,
you know. A ring. Dear,

we must go now.
You, go on. Away
from me. I will keep
the ghost of who you never
were anyway

company.

Catharsis!

I have a theory in fact
that a feeling kept in
must explode into act,
but that there is more than one
way to skin, or better yet pet
that cat. Because the kitten's
back, notoriously pissed
at the wrong way you run
your hot hands upon it, is up.
Under better management,
you might have done something else. No,
don't interrupt, let me suggest.
Example: write a letter
to a woman's magazine, and
never send it. See? As long
as you put that feeling into act
somehow, it

has come to be! Intact,
if a bit tawdry.

Pretty easy, right?
Write a song! Learn
to paint still lives.
Life will go on, as
you depict it. Or
better yet, as you wished
you could. You start to realize
things. Next thing you know,
all those feelings have someplace
to go. Isn't that better?

No?

Well, it's fucking practice then innit?

You know what to do. You
don't need me,

or need me to tell you.

Ah. That's,
well. That's just
fine. And never
choose the lesser-meant word,
just to make a rhyme.

Take my advice, I know
what I've done and to whom.
And if you do as
well,

then you wouldn't be the only one, alone
in your room.

Locked up safe

You get me all
out of sorts, though. Fresh
out, of sorts. It's this
embarrassment of truth
that you put me, or push, or
every time, come to think of it - shove
me, into the way of seeing. Not
deliberately of course. Naturally, so
necessarily many things pile up, said
but not out. Not out, not loud, not even
whispered, so much - but proud,
though! I mean, why wouldn't
you be? If you mean it,
why blush?

And why not?
You are just
too much. I can't tell you
enough, but

I've found I ought to try
to let on a little less.

It feels a little too revealing,
I guess, or confess. Perhaps best
to just say: what you've heard
is but a pinch of what I've left
in my heart, all composed and
calm and blest, and ready to serve,
but. Well, that would be
absurd.

You can't let it out,
waggle wiggle around, and
expect to keep up dignity
in that kind of clown outfit.
Whose birthday is it? Surprise!
I guess it's mine, but
, again, that would be too much
to further define or divine
or delve into. It would look
ridiculous.

And I'd prefer not
to be so bold, but I am
and so I guess we have left
to hold: this enormous, bagless
cat. Who let this thing in?
It's been sitting in the room
the whole time! Just in case
of mice. We wouldn't want
to scare the elephant away.
That's why I keep mum,
like Oedipus. Another classic
allusion, from a guy
who has lived some myth.

Oh, when you have in you
one million lives
you have never taken one breath
inside, you have to let it out,
get it out, somehow. Some
sing a cheating song, some
break some vow. I,
would love to flatter myself,
could not care less. How
you look in that dress, but
you do. I am not impressed
by your style but my sense
of it is sharp. I must admit
you've taken quite quiet hold
of my heart, in some fantastic
way, in some imaginary
place, where imaginary time
ticks away,
on my watch
you have broken all clocks.
You have caged all song,
And it has to stop.
It has to break something.

But whose?

I have to let it out,
get it out, some how. Since
you won't sing along - so
it's only a song. So
we've seen, and for now,
it is harmless enough. If you've ever
lived one, you would know:

just a song
can't lay anyone low,
until it's sung.

So, yeah, most
of what's in me will
never get out. Please,
you have no idea, as
I'm sure you can imagine, so
forgive what you've seen,
if you would. For my sake,
and to benefit
a doubt.
I know,

It's a risk to take.

skip it!

She gives me such high tea,
he tee he'd, skipping
half
of the rest of unnecessary steps,
for a lark, for a laugh,
we can skip
so much quicker than
a marathon gets. By the time
you hit the wall, you're already
to rest.

When you find a wall between, well
you push til you or it

either give,
or give in, or
give in to it,
or fit,
and with soft slip-snick, as it
- clicks into place,
we shall see
how much was worth, or is left.
The self-image that she'd praise - well,
she's sure seen worse.

And she has seen
the best. So
Let's skip!
For to skip's so much quicker
than to hike. And her skirts
aren't really cut for it, so
let's steal a bike! Or,

contrariwise,
let us whistle in the light,
all the way through the dark
where the fall in your eyes
has found me out.

It's a lovely day for skipping,
Shall we? Oh, don't let's
doubt. So let's don't
start now, shall we?
We know how. As we know

What will come of it. So yes,
let us now. Let us skip along, now. Well,
we know what's come, and
how badly we will slip,
and how badly we will want,
and how badly we will part. So,
let's skip that one
part, by skipping. Let us skip
to that part.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Nostalgia Stories

Remember when we were young? And
you told me I Saw Your Girlfriend's Cunt
was a good band name? What kind of a fool
were we thinking of making,
with that kind of thinking. Now,
yons and yons on
it seems, we have between us
distance and perspective all out of
proportion, and you've grown so cold
where we used to be cool.

I don't mind that now. I mind way
back then a bit,
because it was a little deceptive, but
the truth is better
to learn, whether it proves beautiful or not.

When will we learn?

We still grow up.
When I grow up, the whole world
will know it from down.
And will you be down? I will kick it
with you, anyway or how, if so or if
God so wills, or anyhow: as long as you
do. Don't ask me why, but I never minded
a bit

what happened to us,

or what's happened to us since, or what
happens to be the case - it's what's in it
that counts, and we still have time
and you take up space.

What is the worst
that we could do,
to make you see
what a fool out of me you have made
A clown suit. Sharp
like a lawyer and carrying
a polka dot brief case, walking in
all grin with a grim face
despite certain knowledge
about the judge's taste
that leads one to belief:
the whole thing's dismissed
with prejudice, as a frivolity.
A conclusion we've all gone through,
that in this case, might as well
be foregone. Well, what
are you going to do?

It's his job, as he sees it.
Give a man a gavel and he
just has to bang something. You and me
didn't need to bring this case forward
- we're wasting the court's time
and the public's resources, did you expect
the justice up in this piece to find humor
in that?

It was deliberate, the way we all sat
down to figure all that out. And how
we were sent in as a jury, and we came out
hung. The gallows by the bailiff should have tipped
us off, luckily, it was con job.

For there was always a guy on the wall
with a gun, just itching to shoot us down.
Anyway. Now that that's all done, would it be
insulting? At this point? if I ask you out?

It's a lovely day for that sort of thing! Don't
let's be all boring and stuffy
about the house. We can shake
the leg out, do turns around the block
like a couple of fool kids, telling everyone
about the band they're about to get into next.
With hindsight and wisdom maybe, you could say
we've always been about the wrong business, but
at least only one of us ever minds. Never mind

The End.

gone green

Once the lawn's
mown, you can moan and piss
over what's past
til the cows come home,
smoking grass
to explain your cried
-out
eyes, and lie about what
you can laugh about now, but
if anything, it isn't funny what
happened, but how
you can go about
wearing out rounds
you've long since gone
'round, because of her friends -
always showing up at random,
as if in accusation
like a sudden detective: what
have you done with her?

Search me.

Do you have a warrant?

You will find she's all over me
: hints, suggestions,
fingerprints that don't come off,
scraping to get in. I know

she's all over me.
I couldn't get her off if I tried.
She told me, confided
that she did, and oh! how
she lied. And I,
keeping my endless trust
inside,
am all over her
dust, by now. As the grass,
hemmed in and fenced by stained,
bleached limits of once
-implied trust,
exhales the air and grows
and grows
so green and greener
you could get sick in it.

And so you do.

There isn't any sense putting off
what isn't, any more. Nothing
that hasn't been, and gone, and done,

all over

before.

love to be

I'd love to be an empiricist. But I feel like I'd need
a dagger between clenched teeth, and smiling wide
naturally, (necessarily) like a tiger with a bouquet
of roses in each fist, whopping people
left and right, leaping and laying about me
grinning with precision, glittering
at them with my eyes pivoting - can you imagine
the buffed skin, thorn scratches, shouts,
blushes
of shy panic and indecision? Let alone the petals
strewn everywhere! and dangling in air, downward
pirouettes of a process of being strewn.
To be an empiricist, you must be a bit
of an imperialist, an ambassador from the age
of pirates, which was the age of Reason. You must
be of age, and you must consent
to skepticism, risen
to the level
of positive belief. Or anyway at least

I do!

Friday, August 26, 2016

stray home

What if I die like this?
In cowardice, not reaching for
the bliss I have not so richly
earned? Burned
by the worst case of
the one that got away
that anyone's fairy-tale talking fish
could unfairly twist into a wish. Spurned.
Turned, by your eyes,
to go home
owned.

It's you who knows
where that home is now.
It travels around on your
back, like an uncounted bird,
like a pathless track, through
the unconsidered lilies
of my dream's widest fields, and wildest.
Fact. is what you console yourself with
When God isn't calling you back,
and the devil just crosses the
street, chicken that he is,
so as not to meet the fate
in your eyes so deep.
I looked too soon,
too far to be wise,
as I learned too late.
Could I ask you out for drinks
at this late date? Just give me

the time of day,

and I will have and keep
faith. In something great, which
I can't understand, that you taught me
once. Damn.

I'm so ready again. I am! I swear. And,
this time it won't be you
who is left in the air.

certainly worth

You're as amazing as you deserve to be.
It was good that you tried.
Every time
It's always so good to see you try
If you can have hope, hell
Why couldn't I?
Don't answer that.
It's rhetorical, or
it's futile at least. The point is,
it's moot. You don't have to try
to play clever, now
girl. You don't have to try
to be cute.

familiar ring

The attention I pay
to the absence of you
must have worn the earth down,
by now. Just thinking, and
walking around
on how you or it must finally have felt,
found out.
The act wears thin,
after all.
After all you put,
no matter how much, no matter
how good, into it
or all you take out. Do we have
lessons learned?
of faith,
or love,
on trust,
- unearned? or just
frittered away? the attention
I pay

to the absence of you
doesn't have much to say.
that old familiar ring, just
a call away.

showoff

You are gifted
by Nature with artifice,
on a level where workmanlike
craftstmanship couldn't even begin
to tempt mastery into masterpiece.
For the life of me, I have never
been into perfectionists.
But I must say that you
make it work for you, miss.

sarcastic at all

Please don't be so sarcastic
I'm being sarcastic
No really, I'm being
sincere, so please
Don't be so sarcastic,
You don't have to ask it
You know what I think of
you, dear,

so,

please. Stop being sarcastic
about all the acid
you claim tastes so bright on one's
tongue, but

that's
just
being

sarcastic.
You know what? I'm past it.
And I'm not

the only one.

the inquest

false cry
for help arrived
a crocodile suicide
with tears baked in
on salt-streaked cheeks
by deft applique
of autopsy

Quarterly Adultery Industry Accountancy

The price of admission is everyone knows.
The price of kept secrets is not to be tried.
The price of forgiveness is risking your neck -
We both hung our heads rakishly to one side
since we risked broken hearts to possess broken
vows. And which of us promised the world, anyhow?
To have, and to hold up to scrutiny too. Well you can't
eat your heart out and have your cake, boo.

"straight flush bluff"

Oh, lord she was
the jack of one's heart,
the queen in cups, with
a six sense in spades and
I threw my hand up. Her face
showed it all: I had busted her
flush straight with chaser in tow,
all the way to the bluffs, and
fell over laughing. It was
time to show, so we both
said 'I win.'
And we both said:
'I know.'

creation of ours

Nudity is
a human invention. Recipe
apple juice,
enlightenment,
wardrobe oops,
fig leaf and repeat.

Serves two, or one, or
more or less, with the best
of intention, and be
discreet.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

feel free


feel free to feel
feel free to feel
feel free to feel that way,
that way

feel free to feel that way,

That way, you'll be able to shift the blame
like a mountain's worth, right over the edge
- the abyss looks up and sees oncrushing death
and you're left, hands clean,
with the freshest breath, or
so you'd expect, and deserve
I guess, so

feel free to feel
feel free to feel
feel free to feel that way,
that way

feel free to feel that way,

That way, you will eat from the cat-bird seat
knowing only the finest seed will be strewn
through the gold-bar cage of your gilden age
which you wouldn't divulge, but I've always known -
clearly too young to grow so wise
so soon, or so you let on
with downswept eyes,
oh,
feel free to feel
feel free to feel
feel free to feel that way,
that way

That way, with a thimble, drinking blue tears
and eating your pie of pine-smoked moon
spiced with woe so sweet, which experience taught
you how to bake, from a recipe
written down by mistake by a friend of mine,
oh you,
feel free
you have all the time
to savor that thought. That certainty,

feel free
feel free
feel free,

truly really,

from me.

That way, we can both be right.
And the grass on each side
will glow in the dark
by comparison, it's invidious,
to get into the dirt that we've had
to dig in. Feel free,

to go,
to know,
to sway, to waver,
come back or around,
to stay, or to watch
and wait, until it occurs
we don't have to have words,
- when we don't have the words,
- and sometimes it hurts,
but feel free,

if you do. I don't, somehow
But by all means, you -

You have earned it now.
Feel free.

ease

My words
are only a temporary surcease
of these:
comprehension,
intention,
plausibility;
a reprieve
from that dreadful sense you get
from those things
that make it.
A stay
of

elocution,
a finding of uncertainty
beyond unreasonable doubt, and

that certain feeling
of having been all too easy
to please,

thank,

and welcome.

stand on ceremony

It would be incredibly
suspicious if we had something
to hide - no more. It is agreed: you
with me, to stand on ceremony. In your
ever-so-slightly off-white dress, soon
-to-be ever-so entirely off
(white dress) before God and everyone
beats me to it I will seize
the whole damn stretch of days
we have left

right away,
straightaway, making
joy and pain and love
of them

just as if it were written,
destined and blest. And
the greatest piece of fortune
I have ever lucked into - you
will smile and sit upon it,
off your aching feet at last,
in lasting peace and certainty; you
with me, and I
with
and in
and all through you,
ceaselessly,
endlessly,
recklessly,
restlessly,
all the way to the end
and begin again, til
we come to rest.

Direct evidence

Direct evidence does weigh heavily with me.
I've never seen a chance
never had luck on my side
if I had, if I'd noticed
I would probably have tried
to rub or buff it out.
What is this shmutz?
What did I brush up against?
Will it come off? I never even
doubled down in Blackjack. Although,
if I ever got a seven and a ten,
I would split.

Blackjack's not my game.

One time, me
and the girl I was with, had to up
and switch seats in disgust (hers,
primarily)
so that I wouldn't keep up my streak
fucking with her draws by means
of my non-conventional
system. Was it wisdom?
Or experience, that made her do that?
Very little of either
went into the decision, I assure you, I suspect
the evidence

was not direct.

Just a guess, but
ever since that day
I'm a skeptic
like you wouldn't believe. I am not one
to settle for less
than a test, lest the proof
come in and pull some bull-shit
move, that
you could not reasonably be
or have expected
to expect. Suspect everything,

trust the impossible
once it has been
compellingly
proved.

That's my sweet move

Number one with a bullet

Number one with a bullet
doesn't mean you're the best,
only that you had a hit.
Killed it.

Next?

Your gun holds six, so
you've got five left.
So ask yourself this: do you feel

lucky, punk?

Oh, yes. Definitely
yes,
drunk

on the basis of a shot.
So take another one,
or reload,

or not.

so, sew, sow

commas, a one
here, and a one
there, and a one
not there, and going
and ongoing, also
going on through sowing
and pruning 'em back,
and putting them back,
and between and in,
is the gardening trick
that can never be done.
that can never be quite
where you're finished with
it. surrender all ye,
the commas have won

the delegates

But yeah. Outside
of stories noir - some of which
were true, of course - none of us has
to dig our own grave.
We put it off.
We delegate.

In case of yours,
I will be first
to line up solemnly
in black. A shovel
laid across my back,
and I will dig six deep
so fast, and just at the tipping point
of things, as the timing hits right,
I'll be ninja slick so nobody sees
where I disappear to, as I've slipped
in right under

it.

A sort of horizontal bearer
of pall. I'm prone
to nontraditional steps,
I know. But when you gone,
you gone. You got to go
how you got to go. No right,
no wrong, no chance, no use, just

somebody had to take this on.

For you, I hereby nominate me.
For me? You can name

whoever you choose

you rank arrant unmitigated TWIT

yeah I'm talking to you
you, the one writing this
what do you mean, could you
possibly be more explanatory
of things less in need
of clarity? Such as
every other train of thought through
the prairie desert wasteland
your rusted rails rattle and hem
and haw over, as cars like carts
before the horse drag the engine roaring
backwards screeching in, only slightly on-course
to arrive, on time, nowhere.
Nowhere near. Nowhere
near the station,
at least There's a switch
that could have been pulled
some ways back, that could
have changed all that. But

seems like a dirty trick
to pull a switch.

Somehow, when you've always been running it
the same way. honestly - cracked,
vibrating rails, nails (spikes,
really shimmying towards loose, and ties
- not required, apparently,
for grand and expansive stretches of track.
You rank, arrant
unmitigated twit
Might you please,
once, just
take a look!
at your self, for example.

Fix that shit.

isn't a thing

isn't a thing we
isn't a place for
how do you get
that feeling you want? More
than anything else,
you don't get it
At all, at last
and at least: it
is coming to fall.
it is coming to dawn.
it is coming to earth.
to visit, to stay, and
to leave
in the lurch. And
to live
in the first
place, to better
or worst ourselves
in our lives. For real
and for true, and
it isn't a lie. it isn't
a thing
we can do.
we can try

but it isn't a thing we
can do.
we could die

of a piece

Now why are her buttcheeks so
eloquent? How
is an ass such perfect advertisement
of all that's up and under, and
slightly before? Can you compare
that to anything in love or war? All I know
is her ass
is documentary
Of all of how human history came
to want
to be. And the ongoing story
of why we want more.
Is it fair? Mirror,
mirror, oui. You,
je t'adore

decided to be cool

you saw them all together, and
the way they turned from you
doing things you wouldn't want to think that
you could ever do
you tried so hard to fly
beneath their notice all the time
that you fell

see no it isn't really bad as all of that
look at it this way until you don't know what
you're looking at
every time they turn their bright attention
on your life, to make it
hell

til finally you
decided to be cool
yeah, finally you
decided to be cool

maybe there's a reason for how everything turns out
hard to see what's wrong with it,
now looking at you shining, now
isn't it what everybody wants
to see the best one
win out?

when finally you
decided to be cool
yeah finally, you
decided to be cool
finally you
decided to be cool. you're
finally you

you hated all these people.
now they're your friends.
they tried so hard to crush you out, and
now they
respect you
one day down the road,
you'll share a laugh about it all.
with your friends.

'cause finally you
decided to be cool
yeah finally, you
decided to be cool
finally you
decided to be cool. you're
finally you

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

akimbo

The game is afoot. The glance
is askance. The limbs
are akimbo as we do the limbo
the bar is athwart, so we knock it
askew. Our chance is at hand.
It's tickling you!

Friday, August 19, 2016

curiosities

Idle hands and idle dreams and curiosities have shown
our idols up for what they are: a centerpiece
of bones and tar and bits of hair preserved
in lights, tacked up for all to own and see.
And we without dreams shall cast first stones
And they without souls shall flee

way to die

There are many ways to die.
You could die a different way each day,
if you were a cat, and the accountants
were not paying attention - but you're not,
and they are.
You could die three hundred sixty-five ways
this year, a different one each day, I assure you.
Death is unique as life is commonplace. Now wait,
you say - it's more than three six five. In one day
you might have a chance to die three times.
But you won't, though. You'll only die once: the rules.
Only once: today, stepping off the curb the wrong way,
your ankle twisted, your head way smack out in the road.
You won't even need a passing car. Swung by your body and neck:
crack! The back of your head,
and from out of the theatre
in stately, bored procession,
on a red carpet life
is leaving the building
while you lie there,
painfully mourning:
my ankle!
My poor ankle

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"insect's eye"


as blades of grass
cut morning dew, I blink
the sun from my hot eyes
and think of you, and where
we went. Right or wrong,
our day shall be
well, spent: extravagantly bought
and paid in coin of realms
by shores
of seas laid under
spell: so soft now, to sleep.
Perchance to dwell, cool
by breeze.

Perchance to change. Perchance
to keep, jingling now - brass
and nickel bells, in pocket
of the jeans you wore the day
we let it rain. Perchance
to weep.

- but wither now? Wither us?
What time, why fate, which chance? And what
luck shall we make dance, and whose funeral
shall we brighten, with our vows
to live?

I ask you now,
unfairly. Give or take, fair
life isn't
and ain't. Such things
as these cannot be known,
at least, temporarily. We wait
in vain, without complaint.

What will be
shall unfold
as buds in the sun,
petals breathing into season, parasols
for bugs below,
scuttling for a crumb

Monday, July 11, 2016

"That Look"

Intense emotion - you wear it well,
but I can't tell if you
have been going through hell? or perhaps
it's just hot inside, where you are. I could swear
you've been crying. But without leaning in,
it could easily be just a sheen of sweat.
From afar, either way
- you have the look
of someone who knows torment. And I wish
I could cool you off,
whether today has been hard, or soft
or whether you burn from without,
or within.

I wish I could kiss the salt from your skin.

sailor & coke

Don't let the sunny side
shining a light on sadland
bring you down! Whip up
a frothy cup of yourself
and say, "I do believe it's
hot, I do believe it's
sweet, I do believe it's
good" and then taste carefully
and see. Sometimes you have to be
your own mocha. Sometimes mocha
is not what you want.
Two broken hearts
walked into a bar and one said
"You look just like my better half."
The other said I can see why the fit
didn't work. Look, you're dull cracks
where I'm jagged edges. You're rounded, where
I'm all broke. You can't make
two hearts like these
beat as one, and
the bartender served them sailor & coke.

This one's for the LADIES:

This one's for the LADIES:

I mean those who gendersexually self-identify as "a lady,"
in preference to but without denigration of "woman"
or even "girl" - those for whom
the archaizing of the term
seems an attempt to rob an essential dignity
and elegance, that feels natural to them
and then, who risk (perhaps) a rift
between themselves and others who will wish
to invoke class war and oligarchy,
accuse you of aristocracy, or simply say
"I hate how that sounds" - demonize you that way.
This one's for the ladies.

You know what I'm talkin bout.

Awwwww yeh

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Lunacy"

As gravity grows in strength, and bends
the space that hems and holds his heart,
the man beaks down and says 'I shall
be prisoner to this curve, this arc;
forever hold me nearing you,
and falling in your sway, your pull.
Each day: I fall a million miles. Some force
still keeps me far from you, and going through a phase.
Always new, to waxing crescent, never wanes, and never
reaching full. Still
nights like these, come out and read
by light of me, which came from you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reproducible

I am made of flesh
and bone, the remains
of love diffused in blood
and memories of home
from another life I've never known -
and toads and snails, and bees, and stones,
and sugar and spice, and everything
else that was lying around
when they broke the mold. I tumbled out
soft, and half-deformed. The wax
wasn't even dry, I'm told.

Relay

You exist
in
counterpoint to spacetime, extending
in every dimension through memory
and imagination towards infinite, possible
futures. No need

to rush, there's only us
and a roaring void, bearing down
from everywhere at once. At
the moment time's nicked
by the scythe's tip, I know

you'll only yank my precious neck
out of the way of the sweeping blade,
and probably hard enough to break it
- so go easy, babe. Nobody said
we had to make the impossible look
fun. Just so's
it runs on time,
the game's ruled fair,
you can hand me the baton,
shoot me with the starting gun
and catch me later, 'round the other side
of the looped track we're so endlessly
experimenting upon.

incoming

In the lee of the storm,
as towering hunchback clouds fling waves,
and spearfish for sharks with lightning lures,
awe shucks us like corn and we boil away
in spray, as summer comes in shorn
of every meaning but yours.

Friday, May 27, 2016

some eulogy

My appetite's destroyed.
My lust for life, decayed.
My body soon can meet my soul,
in spiritual parade
- long time coming, stranger.
At last we meet, at least.
At least let's have some pomp
and circumstance. At least,
let's follow where she leads.
I knew that girl, beforelives, man,
She's got a swell baton.
I'd follow her past hell and gone.
We never met down here. We don't believe
in soulmates, now, so much less Valkyries.
And so we die in battle, unselected, on our knees.
Every time.
It's clear there's something wrong:
it's everything they ever gave us to believe.
The game: is rigged, by being not a game,
unruled, unrefereed. At least let's have
some pomp and circumstance,
some eulogy.

A chance to stand,
break down, and tell who's left:
you were this life. This world,
for me.

run

You remember this,
from a thousand dreams
- but it's always real.
So suddenly you're back, this scene:
comes horribly true, just like
you always tried to make it seem,
and play, and feel. This time,

it's live.

Like every time, you try
to find your way, and through. Same
conflict, motivation, arc - each stage
unfolds unmercifully apace, the only part
that fits is you because you're trapped in it.
You can't get out. You're killing every house
you ever had. The curtain calls go on for nights,
and no one knows if this year's smash hit show
was ever written to be this sad.

Least of all, the crowd.
Not a dry eye in the place.
The critics are all amateurs.
They're doing it for love because
they hate to let on: they have no taste.

As this year's smash hit show goes on
its record-breaking run, we know:
ten years ago, it was the same
verbatim, line for line, for fun.
It played as uplift, triumph, feel-good
inspiration piece.

And then, a comedy.
And finally now, we weep.
Its truest sense is wrung,
and cut, so dry your eyes
my love. You are released.

Monday, May 09, 2016

"The birds greet the morning"

The birds greet the morning
like a bunch of mo-rons
as if at first light, they're already
a crowd of drunks, and
too far gone to modulate
their tone, or even yell a thing
that's interesting, or new, no, just
loud, not listening, talking over each other
their favorite strains: well-practiced
and worn, again and again they rasp
and squawk and trill and call,
and caw, because each only knows
one thing. And they want you to know,
and everyone else. And they're not listening,
but if they were, it would only be for the sound
of some other too far gone one-song asshole
giving them their favorite thing back.
Even with the windows closed, crack!
At the crack of dawn, cacophony and me
inside, wishing I could chime in reasonably,
and quiet the whole milieu, which I can do
with drunks. Drunks also only hear
the sound of their own call,
for the most part, but you can imitate that
and break in, and sing them down. Birds,
though, don't. And being strictly wild, too,
they never learned to use
their inside voice.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Indignation

We let the world go on like this.

We are the ones who let it go
on like this, it is and was
to have been our responsibility. Oh,
I know, we've clocked out for the day, though
haven't we? Done our time, paid our debt
to society, forty fifty sixty hours - isn't
that enough to ask, we've paid our debt! Yours,
mine, ours, plus the freeloading bastard we can't
look in the eye. Bastard winning the game, it's unfair
- doesn't even play. As a species, I know
we've clocked out
as a way of life,
basically. Declared fairness
government's job, I pay my taxes
don't they? Let them
look after it! So
they have.

The responsibility
was ours, but we hired it done, so
You get what you pay and pay and pay
and pay for, don't you know? It's ours,
and was, and was to have been ours
to stop authority

from taking all control.

But through no fault,
blame, or duty of our own, Some few
came along and got the job done
for us. They always do. And let's concede, they bear
a more than passive blame. They deserve, in fact,
credit I suppose, of a kind:

They have worked themselves
assiduously, into the plan,
and actively taken away
the design.

Taken systems designed to harness
ordinary, blameless greed into channels that serve
the common weal and need, taken systems designed
to create landscapes that are rigged so that
justice is the lazier path, the easier outcome to achieve,
landscapes where injustice has to work for its gains,
and work again and take pains to get away with them - oh,
there are always those few,
in every age, but - that's precisely why
they are not our excuse. They are
always present. In every age. We can't deny we knew
about these assholes. There are always a few,
and let lesson be learned, please: it only
takes a few, when you hand the whole thing
over to them, tell them it's their job, and
not to bother you.

Those few have taken all the systems we could monkey up
together in common trust to make common good common,
commonplace, easy, or at least - more commonplace, easier.
All the systems we gimmicked to put a fix in, build fairness
into the course of things as the path of least resistance
- those fucking few, who are always with us in every age
have finally hit the jackpot in ours, and really -
in a few hundred years, and purely on merit,
they have completely clipped and rigged
every system to benefit the great many
no longer, and the petty few
always, instead.

What is justice, but the very human effort
to take an unfair world and rig it in ways
that make fairer results more commonplace
than could naturally occur?

There will be an accounting, but don't worry
if you are bad at math, and law, and government,
and whatever else the job requires, don't worry
- it will be someone else's job after all. Won't it?
Isn't it? We pay our taxes, don't we? The Greater Good
is none of our concern, and so

it never is. The Greater Good never
is ours, but there will be an accounting,
don't you worry. It will not involve any
of the numbers
you know.

Indignity

The flies land on eyes
too dry to close,
and logos run filthy all over
the clothes, where there are any. Limbs,
bellies, minds ache, naked

and wither with hope - nothing can take it

but death, at least, comes often
and ceremoniously. Everything explained
by a pantheon - alive where nothing else
could possibly survive, God
looks down, and looks on,
and lives on.

God's in Its heaven and the kids
are alright. Peace on earth,
to everyone willing
to give up

the fight.

the change

Love is the change, the strangeness, the charm,
the damage another has done to your view.
The cracks in your world that were always there, that now
you can not only see, but walk through - and love
is what's on the other side, too.
And love is on your side
all over, as well.
That's what they've done to you.
If you've done it to them,
then it's heaven.
If not, it is hell.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

"masterplan (revised)"

You make me want to plan together with you
some spectacular crime that will shock the world
and everyone will say we're so devious
and so deviant and so dangerous, that
the only possible way to deal with it
would be to build a special prison
with just you and me in it.

Friday, April 29, 2016

"master plan" (Later Revised) (Original Version)

You make me want to plan and execute
Some spectacular crime together with you
that will craze, amaze and shock the world
and make the toes of newscasters curl
and the pundits will say: we're so devious
and dangerous, and deviant
that the only way how to deal with it
is construct a new kind of prison,
fit to the crime and designed to isolate:
and with only you and me in it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"We could flourish"

We could flourish with feathers,
but the toasted blooms of summer
marigolds, you will continue to confuse
and call daffodils, which, injured, indignant,
radiant, will turn from you. In the wind,
all we are made equal. The heat
shall be stripped from our skins
and limbs, and we could wish
for differences to come in, set us
apart, get our coats like gentlemen
courting ladies
in ancient copper-plate etchings,
like badges of distinction, like bugs,
pinned to cork and long since bored
to death at educating the ten-year old sadist
whose eye was caught, whose hands gently,
lovingly, carefully, caught and who
has long since grown full of himself
and left, while you stand here
out of the sun, chilled to the skin
and wishing for wings - not to fly,
but to fold you in.

"Your Grim Stevedores"

well all these people in my heart
who I fell in love with, but never out
they linger never paying rent, and keeping up
the management, they're bad for business
there's no doubt - put them out
put them out right now
there's no room in my heart
no vacancy at all
you have booked the whole hotel
and your grim stevedores
are dragging in your steamer trunks
and I am trying my best to help
and I will help you settle in
and I have turned down every room
nothing but the personal touch
I'm most hands-on solicitous
for such a precious guest as you
there's no room in my heart
no vacancy at all
you have booked the whole hotel
and your grim stevedores
are dragging in your steamer trunks
and they don't seem to want my help
you'll settle into cleanest sheets
your pillow mint, melting in your pillow mouth
down my office, I turn in
and flip the vacant light to out

and out my window, cross the courtyard
I see the flicker in your room
and you'll be blasting your tv
but there'll be no complaint, you see
all the help is gone but me
and all the guests are gone but you
there's no room in my heart
no vacancy at all
you have booked the whole hotel
and your grim stevedores
are dragging in your steamer trunks
and they might kick me out as well 
and there's no room in my heart
no vacancy at all
you have booked the whole hotel
and your grim stevedores
have all gone back to their long shores
and they have left you in my charge
and you have put me in your spell

there's no room in my heart
no vacancy at all
you have booked the whole hotel
all your grim stevedores
have all gone back to their long shores
and I will keep you very well.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"current events"

Buddy, I don't want to hear bad news from you,
unless one: I can come to you rescue, or two:
ain't a thing anyone can do, in which case
I will come and sit by you and take any and all
of your current events. The truth hurts,
but at least it's true. Bad news makes no sense,
but at least we're informed. I will sit by you,
we can shake our heads, in wonder at this world
which is wonderful to me: since you were born.

staring dark

You made your bed, now lie awake and see how long
the daydreams take to summon up the sun, a stark
and staring contest with the dark. And now,
the bells! You win. Hit snooze, and hope
that some night, soon, you lose