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.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Inarguably. pt.2

You can always remark
unremarkably, to disprove a point
that remains unphased; you can always
ask questions

that any can see
have been answered before you asked,
or maybe you raise a concern
that isn't one. It isn't a question,
just 'cause you pose. If nothing
is there to be asked, but you ask
something anyway, that just shows
what you know.

It helps if you know
what your basis is, and whether
there is any basis in it. And how
to proceed with grounded steps,
from one to the next without a skip
or a leap to avoid the gaping
crack that you probably know
is there, but hope to obscure
by your choice of facts. It's
interesting that (and why) you care.

Some people like to argue to win, not
to come away with the strongest case
even if it's no longer the one they
brought in. Some people argue to keep
or save face, in disregard of what lies
behind: their brains, just not a priority.

These people can question, unquestionably.
But often enough, the unquestionable
remains, inarguably - though they will:
they argue with it in so many ways,
and with questions they raise
that are no more than pose,
without substance or basis, overt
or inferred. There are no stupid
questions, they say it's true. But truly,
there are stupid questioners.

reasonably well-known

I want to be reasonably well-known,
but not
for what I do best. For something
else, not what I hold sacred
and dear. And people could get
into that as well, if they want,
I guess, but I'd probably
tell them to go to hell.


But arguably, all things
are questionable,
in the same sense as all things
are remarkable:

the literal sense.
All it takes is a will

to folly, whimsy,
or inconsequence.

busted flush

I have never before
in my life felt like
there was no way out.

And I don't feel trapped -
just becalmed, or marooned, but with less
a suggestion of color. Without
any great deal of grief or regret,

I hear you
ask how I've been. And then
how I am.

I'm still me, and that's good.
I always am. But no news. No news
is good. And I'm happy as hell

that you're happy with him.
You deserve that shit, bitch. You're
the ace queen jack ten flush
that I almost had, an unbeatable
hand. But I was the king

of not coming through on that,
and you're never a bitch. I'm sorry,
I just needed something for emphasis.

How's the kid, how's the knee, how's the
rain, how's you? I'm just happy to hear -


you know. That's me.

malicious :-)

was the one
who deliberately dropped
a clump of dryer lint

on top of your plate
of saucy rice and meat

it was me. I confess,

but the lint was clean,
you know
I would never hurt you,

i was the one
who put all the ice
in your drink, to hand it
to you. Did you know? You didn't
want ice in that drink. You know,

you never want ice in that drink. You like ice
in the other drink, the one that you asked for. I

gave you the drink that gets no ice, that you didn't
ask for, with ice in it. That was me

i was the one
who keyed your portable hard-drive
shiny in Corvette red, i
was the one who answered the phone
when your sister called up
to tell her you're dead, i
was the one

who punctured the bed - your waterbed,
you know I sleep there too, so you'd never suspect
- but I was the one. There's nobody here

but us two.

the other plum

In the palm of my hand
like a plump, ripe fruit
sits a plum just as good
as a metaphor. I could
test it with teeth,
be the judge of its juice,
but I'm saving this one for
you. Je t'adore

Yes, I know half the plums
at the store are sour, but
the other half shut your
eyes with bliss, and take you away
with their beautiful flesh,
and their juice flowing sweet,

and I already ate mine first.
It was sour, so this

is for you. I will watch your face

"Tell By Looking"

I gave up on my baby it's the worst mistake
I ever made
I thought that I'd be better off with this attractive
better-looking babe
it didn't quite work out that way, I found myself
in misery
and then I called my baby, she said she did not
give up on me

oh, she's in love again, ah
she's all in love again,
oh, she's so in love again,
you just can't tell by looking
can you though

and things are not the same oh no my baby gets
to call the shots
and most of them are right at me I dodge with
all the speed I got
and I can understand I understand why she's
upset with me
but I'm so glad I'm forgiven, I'll treat her good
as I can be

oh, she's in love again, ah
she's all in love again,
oh, she's so in love again,
you just can't tell by looking
can you though

and things are getting better, she looks happier
most every day
I'm sorry I was wrong to her, I'll say to her
I'll say, I'll say
and soon she'll stop doing all these things and treat me
like it used to be
well just the other day, for instance, she did my laundry
just for me

scattered my clothes around the block
borrowed my car and changed the locks
I really don't care I'm still in shock - she loves me!
she loves me

oh, she's in love again, ah
she's all in love again,
oh, she's so in love again,
you just can't tell by looking
can you though

Saturday, November 18, 2017

kept secrets

nights like these,
the darkness intertwines
like a secret we've always kept
between us, and the silence
is next

to break and share -
just one more little breach
, between us,

that will always be there.

our secrets broke open and kept
between us, with nobody
to tell what was known, what's always
been new, the whole world
closing in

to join in the hush
we own

the moon tolls

you might as well charge the moon
a toll to cross the sky -
when it's full, it would pay
through the nose, when it's new

- it could just about
slip by,

but you'd catch it
in passing by watching
the turns of tide.

further and farther

farther out and further in
goes the circle we've made the world of

the center is where we've always been
the edges are where we find ourselves

and we whip around it
at the speed of days, pushing opposite sides
even farther out.

Soon the center contains so much more of us
than anything we've ever cared about,

and I want to go farther than I've ever been,
I want to go further ways with you, further
paths leading down, to farther skies

always looking to fall, never watching
behind - I want to go further and farther in
than anyone's ever been privileged
to try. Leave the world that we've made, this
hula hoop

to shimmy away while whatever we do
takes flight

within reach

there are only times
like these.

Times where we keep
our feelings at arm's-length distance, in spite
of our differing reach,

we know where those feelings are. They play
at our fingertips, lightly, so ready for each
of us,

if we
grab and stuff in our mouths,
so as to be ready to blurt and confess -

but having stepped once, we'd each want
to go too far, we'd want to get it all
said at once.

Which is just
what those feelings want,
so we'd reach and we'd grab
and we'd stuff, until gagged
and muffled, with chipmunk-cheeks,
we'd reach out for more, to see
how much left -

then we'd find

- we'd feel, there's too much.

Those feelings
we keep within fingertip-reach won't grow
any less, as we grasp, and we gasp
and we stuff, we will never
be able to get
them all in

from the lips,
to the mouth to the tip
of a tongue

where they'd always belong.

Not to speak, maybe not. Not as such,
just to be within reach,

for whatever we'd care
to let shine through the eyes, or
take on
unacknowledged in heart,
or mind, without whisper betraying mouth
to eggshell ear, and no one

to say that it's wrong.

Let's do it.
Let's grab all of them
to keep safe and inside, where they'll always be.
No more flitting at length in a distance of fingertips:
Grab and stuff, grab and stuff, get them in
and digest. Get them all inside,
where they'll always belong,

with a swallow that feels
like the end of a song

Friday, November 17, 2017

Everything's right

I just want to make
sure everything's right -

I know I should trust
you for that, more
than me.

I rarely make
anything right, after
all, but you

have made everything right I see

at least from here,
with the two of us. And
you have got all of the truth
you need,

oh let me drop mine,
whatever it is. It's irrelevant
now, I'm sure
we can both concede

card trick

If I were the type
to play my cards right,
I should probably have
shut up by now. But I talk
my way out of the best
things in life,

as I know
only I know


walking, the night -

with sharp bits of it flying around
dead leaves,

weaponized in an Autumn storm,
shredding themselves to tinder-dry shards,
trying to get in your eyes, as you strive
on an otherwise
beautiful night,

for a glimpse of the moon -
that you can't well see, with your eyes
squinched tight.


As with anything,
you must weigh
the risks against
the benefits, and decide

not which

but whether
you want
to take them both.

if you don't, you always can

decide not to decide

Thursday, November 16, 2017

the plaint

This poem seems haunted to me,
somehow. It feels like I never
loved it enough, like I wrote it
and just rushed on.

Now it sends out its plaint as it always does,
as it always has, maybe always

- but with just enough


an emptiness.
Echoing through the spaces and lines, that maybe
I could have filled up. Or tried,
I guess

if I could

Anthropogenic Climate Change

"Anthropogenic Climate Change." It blows my mind,
the controversy. Anthropogenic Climate Change,
if true, is the greatest and best piece of news
that was ever received

by humanity!

If we can impact global temperature -

Wait! To be clear, I think we are. But I want
to believe, so I'd like
to be sure.

All we need is to find, oh,
a dozen of things we can do
to lower the temp (oh, wait!
- we already have) and a dozen more things
that we know do contribute to raise
it up (oh, we already have). After that,
we just study which ones can we use,
most expediently,
and to greatest effect,
in directions we choose.

It will take us some doing. It might
take some time. If some distance inland
in high-value coastal property sinks
under rising tides, while we're studying it?

Still it's nothing compared to the next Cretaceous
- which I warmly assure you, is in store for us!
Or the next ice age - which is equally sure.
In its own good time, the Earth loves extremes
that we'd rather abhor. So to find

we're the ones
who can (actually do!) change
the global outcome - well,
how can this not be great good
news? The best that we've had
since we've been alive!

The people who think we must study
and strive to limit the impact of what we do
are small-minded misanthropes,
nincompoops. Their influence here
will be minuscule. It will not prevail.
When study we must, as study we will,
we'll study for us, and for what we want.

Which is natural.

A couple ice-caps of reasonable size, a poetic procession
of seasons to please our eyes, and our crops, and our real

Anthropogenic Climate Change.

Let no one deny,

it is going to be great!

We will study this thing, when we get around to.
Once a few things sink, they'll find money enough
- but not to curtail our influence! Not
to limit the impact we make! No love, we will study

the means to increase that impact. To direct it
in ways that pay us back, and look lovely to us.

If we do have effect, then we will have control.
If you think that we can't,
you're a lovely fool.
If you think that's a shame,
you've a numb,
numb skull. There is no way to learn
to restrain our effect, without learning also
how to direct it. We will focus our studies,
as always, on things

that are useful and cool,
and your vote will not count
in this climate change:



rejected legs poem #1

I'm going to write a super-embarrassing poem
about your legs, only not
right now.

Anyway, when I do! it would only embarrass
as a poet.
It couldn't conceivably embarrass you,
as a leg-lady. Frankly,

that should be impossible. You've got

legs like ZZ Top's got beards, specifically,
two of them. The third guy's name is Beard,
Frank, I think, but all he's got's a 'stache.

Your legs are more laid-back,
than a song like those
guys would write and sing, but

I bet if they saw your legs,
they would think again.

"About Your Legs (Both Of Them)"

Her legs are like,
well, they look like
- silksoft, breatheably suffused
all through with a blushing glow,
if white could blush. 'Cause, you know,
they're pretty pale. I'm
not a racist, but her legs,

hers are nice. There's nothing between

that gives me the right
to obsess over her, so
technically I'm not. Any part
of that, I just

looked it up. To "obsess"
means something
really DUMB
man, I don't get it. People
are weird and that's
a fact. Her legs,


make up for the rest
of us, in the balance
of natural things,
wherever there's lack.

With the strength in them,


You know? Everything else that ostensibly exists
crowds for the exits of my mind to make room, for
just what's coming in

through my eyes, to glow in my


whenever I see
her legs.

I'm really not even
a "leg man" to be


Have you noticed how the world keeps getting better?

Is it just my impression? Or does the world
keep changing,
for the better? Have you noticed how
that happens?

I have.

Although I suppose
that for those
who like nasty stuff hid,
un-dealt with
consequently, thriving
as if in the wild, this world

might seem
to be going to pieces, but to me,
you know? I don't like nasty stuff. I don't like
stuff that's vile. And you don't
have a hope squaring off against it,
unless you can get it dragged out
and lit, exposed. Only then
can you blast it clean, and track
where it goes, and fix up
what's hurt.

It's a process. It happens fast,

after ages of work.

The top layer
wears down, wearing slowly
right off

- and we find shocking wrongs!

that we knew, or at least we thought
had been there, all along. But soft -

Let's pretend we did not. Let's attack
and destroy, let's strike fear
into horrible hearts, oh boy
- at least, let us all give it a shot!
Now's the chance. Let's all rear up and roar!
Let's dance, shouting we'll take no more!
Saying this shall not stand!
Crying this is the worst
that it's been! Let's pretend

While we can, while we have
this exposé. Send

a clear message in, say: Outrage! We're
shocked! An excuse to win
the day, to make hay while it's hot, let's
use all of the units we've got
in play, do some real damage now,
to cowards
and brutes
and predators too,
who we pretty much

all about.
But that's then. Let's find our outrage

since they've dared to intrude
on the light, because we dragged them out.
Let's make damn sure their days are rued,
that they know they're screwed. And make all the people
to know: "This could be you, too."
Seize and drag, publicly by the heels
- well-chosen, with care! Seize and drag
each one,

who has always done,
as we've always known,
as we've always been very well aware.

They have done
what more decent folks have decried for years:
We Will Not Tolerate Such Behavior!

Well, that's sure clear. They had warning at least,
unanimously, even if it was lies. Let's make it
For promises kept are but lies, long-deferred
and long-overdue. Down the centuries,
decades and years to this, let us now
keep our word,


is as good
as it usually is.

It gets better each year.
This is how it works, kids.

closer to you

this is harder for you
than you think
'cause you know I'm a jerk,
but you don't
and you're going to leave,
but you don't
'cause you want to believe,
but you don't.

'cause I'm closer to you than you are. Don't you think I know?
And I love you more than you do. Don't you think?
I know

And you never repeat
your mistakes
so you're giving me one
final chance
and you won't be repeating
won't you tell me again,
how you won't?

'cause I'm closer to you than you are. Don't you think I know?
And I love you more than you do. Don't you think?

I know


I'm scraping the ground
the barrel is on
'cause I've already gone
through the bottom. It's done
no good,
but at least
there's a few
feet further, here
to fathom.
is like a tick on a deer,
or a Lyme spirochete -

no symptoms, all clear

service and results

first thing you have to do is take
a number,
divide by two, and that

is precisely how long you are going to wait. Provided

you understand, we can't tell
you whether it's minutes, or hours
or days, or something a bit more exotic in time,

these units can be so
particular. Just you do the math,
you'll be ready. It's fine that you'll have

much occasion to look forward to, never knowing
which one will deliver you. Periodically, you
can plot out the next
and the one after that,

and you'll make your guess,
and you'll have your hope, knowing certain
and sure

that your moment is on the way, guaranteed
never knowing which one will
set you free.

the altruist

My name is mr. tentacle, I represent
the botherhood. And it gives me a charge
to do
some good, oh, anywhere I get
the chance
to extrude an appendage
or two, to stroke
or grope on whoever's
behalf - on you,
my pet.

It's what you are for, and
what I'm for as well. You see,
I am only one part of what
surrounds. Together, we swell
to create in your mind
an environment full
of certainty, of our mankind,
we are keeping you clear
on your purposes.

I keep you in states
of knowing full well
what you're really for,

in all of this, in this
world of ours. And I act

on behalf
not of only myself, but
of all other men - who are maybe, too timid,
or some of them, to do what is called
for pursuit of this. I
understand. I will gladly do
my part
for any and all of them.
I will do my part. I will take it in hand,
if fondling any and all of
yours, anywhere
you stray, you go, you know
you have been, I will help
you know. You're surrounded
by this, my dear. It's not
a conspiracy, no this
is a trust. We have ways
to make it clear. Let's

play. Are you game?
Will you make a fuss?
Will you make a
scene? It's a thrill, to think so. You
but I don't think
you will. You know
how humiliated
you will be, by calling

all of those

other eyes

to see

what I've casually done, so free
with you. Surprise

You are making such dreams
come true

for the greater good. For a world
that makes sense. For we all have a purpose
and part to play, and all the fun parts
are assuredly yours. Would you have it

another way?

constellation says hey

The constellation
rides overhead. A friendly guy
on a thing like a horse, made of
nuclear furnaces, trailing between
them imagined lines. And we'd like to think

he is waving at us. Okay, maybe
he is. Maybe the stars
have aligned, all turned
towards Earth, to present to us

a pantomime. All on course to gift us
with their influence, in order of birth.
What blessings rain down from these beings
whose trace we have always drawn.

When the sun is amidst
this or that group of stars, (who don't even know
the sun
from Eve, so distant from anyone
they are), we call it an Age, but
it's hard to believe

that they'll ever see,
or know their place
in a sky that's so far
from where they live.
Those fucking stars
that make up a face - they don't even KNOW
each other! It's just
from one vantage point - and
of course, it's ours - that they
even scarcely resemble parades
of crooked farm animals, grotesque
celestial implements ranked in arrays. However
it looks from where they're from, with
the separate parts of their bodies outflung
and in foreign arrangements, their joints
and limbs
in a mess making mannequins
we will never dress up, or name,
or plot out. We've always preferred

our view, somehow.

But from some other star, there's a whole new gang
that rides sprawling crossing those skies, chasing one

little point of light,
dimly off to the side,
where we hang.


a beautiful word,
for what it means,
and i think
we need
more of these.

even more,
we need
a sense of beauty

that comes from human beings,
not magazines


Handy with just about anything,
in whatever situation, with
confidence to just step in.
I've always been,
and you know what? I've never been
even slightly
good at it.
Things break,
I prop them up, I step in
ready with duct tape and spit,
because they asked, and
I don't know why,

I just hope they enjoy the results
of it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

of anything

The world is not made up of anything

it's coloured lights and homophones
and understandings, all alone

at bottomless depths of personal wells,
and you can accept the metaphors
and let the walls close in, for sure
but just enough

that you could brace
between and climb that way,
all the way up, but
when you got
to very top, and felt
the open air stir in, and even see
a tease of stars -
as one
of them falls! Before your eyes,

you would gasp and strive
and climb, those last few yards
with aching joints and burning limbs,
and suffering, bracing hard with broken nails
on nerveless hands, you'd wedge and hoist
yourself so far, so endlessly near,
the last six feet
in agonizing push and helpless pull,
against defeat, and pull
and pull your body up
and out, and

the stony, unforgiving rim
to find

the world
is not made up of anything,
the world

the world is not
made up

Take deep breaths now, and squeeze
and cry your eyelids shut
and count to ten, or any number
that feels
good, that reassures
your sense of when. And let
your fingers, reach and touch. Then

open eyes, and figure out
just where you really are, and why

it hurts so much

To sing this song.

Love is NOT BULL
SHIT. It's not! It's fucking

not. Love

is for real people. Love is for
real, people! Love is for real.

Love is
what makes your heart wonder stuff your head could care less
about. Love is what
makes you jump in front of a speeding plane, "Baby
don't go! We got to make a better ending
for this movie we're starred in, this
is depressing!" Don't do that. It's over, or
it would be. Act less pathological, maybe. Though love
can and do make you sick some time, I know. Love

is what could put you in a diabetic coma, metaphorically

so you better watch out except you can-not get enough

of the sweetness, regardless, when love

is the stuff

that makes you DO all shit like that, and end up
with a shucks-eating grin, lookin' like a fool

no regrets.

When you think about love, better be sitting down
because love can put you on your ASS. It's an epiphany
when that happens.

Love is the thing that goes bump bump bump in the night.

You know what I mean, on that. PEACE.

Love is also the thing that gives tender shushes, and
a perfect caress you didn't know how much you needed
'til just then that exact moment when. Oh,
sweet jeezy.

Love makes your tongue stick out,
or want to, anyhow! Depending
on context, and configurations. Love is the road

not taken, that makes you run all the way back to the fork and screech
around that corner, scattering yellow gold leaves
in your wake! Love

is a splendiddily thing, and love doesn't mind
all your diddling and dithering as you circle around it,
as long as you know

Love knows you're hooked.
And it's the sweetest sharpest piercing
barb with the strongest most unsnappable line
to reel you in, tested at
one hundred times the wait of you two
fish combined. And love, oh love
's got all the lines,
barbed and baited. Love's kind of shy,

too, you know, though. But Love
can't help it sometimes: it breaks out in a shout!
for all the world!

Hell yes!

Love don't mean a thing, except your whole life,

Love's not bullshit. Folks, it is
(love is)
the real deal. Love, to be clear
makes people smooth back their hair from their brow, to see
what's right in front of you, sometimes. Love, sometimes
makes somebody want to grab an ass
they have been told they're perfectly entitled to
grab any time and place, and with that permission
comes scant if any loss of the thrill
involved! In fact, it might
more than double the thrill, because
how can you not but spend your time
thinking about that permission, all day? All

day for days of what you've got, perfect
and as-far-as-we-both-wish-to-know-permanent
permission for: this, to love you. Oh,
wow. Love

is like shooting fish in a barrel
with a water pistol. Just that easy,
and are you gonna have to ask anyone how? Nope. Love

is also like riding your bike off a log: you
could never learn to forget
a thing like that.

Yet to get to it, and to get it, to win it and then
miss it, lose, slip, break-crack SNAP woosh
gone! and to feel the lack

can be
the hardest things you've ever, will ever have
to go through, in sequence

with your eyes wide-open in slow-motion the better to savor
the fatality of this

crash -

and to live in consequence.
to learn to endure
or to be at peace with. No, life
without love, cannot be peace; it must be war
or else:

They say it's the same thing, and I
will not war
upon them

for saying that.

Love's the most impressive force on earth. A love song
sweeps all other songs aside. A love song
tells you what you want to hear.

That's why I'm here.

To sing this song

explaining the late silence

So you know
I'm not ignoring you
I think about you all the time
I find myself in places we
both liked to go, and doing things

I look quite silly doing by myself,
or trying to, and

you know what? I think of you.

I think of you quite often,
without meaning
it, or wanting
to. I'll look up, see

what I have done, and say

is this a monument?
A testament! But no, it's not.
I don't quite think that fits. I didn't
think at all,

when I was doing it. I just forgot

I think
I think of you
because I don't consider what
I'm thinking of.
I'm not really aware,

the curtain splits, within my brain and I

am standing there on stage, enacting
some bizarre tableau. I'm not

ignoring you,
you know

Even as we speak

Even as we speak,
a child is being beaten, and
across a certain distance,
a man is being shot and killed, and
a woman's screeching
not quite to
a halt,
sliding sideways
as huge headlights speed their widening jaws
to fill the glass, crash down and
devour more than half

her life,

And you and I
talk on of life,
how beautiful it is and was,
or sad, how lovely it could be?
It all depends, so much

on us

Dangerous loves

Bold explorer Elven Grimme
treks far North, every wintry clime
to find the pod of polar bears
that he's befriended every time

you have to re-befriend those bears
oh, they remember Elven well, but
it's a thing of dignity, to do with
fish, respect, and smell

He always wears the selfsame furs
He always smells the selfsame way
They haven't killed and eaten him.
He's totally sane, his colleagues say

Despite the fact that polar bears
are deadly as a bear can be - he loves
when they come in, up close
and snoot him with their noses


So, Pepe Le Pui...

So, leaving aside that Pepe Le Pui
is just a horrible skunk for chasing cats
- which is totally unnatural, although
I suppose if the cat were into it,

we'd all be in favor of Wild Kingdom
coverage, make it a series even, but the point
- or one point - is that interspecies bestiality is
hardly a problem, except
between porpoises and dolphins, possibly,
where consent is also a major concern
(or to be more specific: the lack thereof),
and usually this ends up a case
where nonconsensual sex
is definitely about murder, and reduction of competitors
for the same delicious fish - but still, brutal?
For all I know,
there are probably instances of this
in the primate kingdom. Family, class - whatever.
It's not a kingdom, which
is beside the point:

skunks don't chase cats, but whatever, this guy
does. That's not our problem with him.

The problem we have with this guy is,
he is what they used to call in those days
"a masher." This was sort of a real "cute term"
for I don't know,
a platonic rapist? Someone who would
nonconsensually grab women and
wrestle with them, in

a sexually-suggestive fashion
? Now to me frankly,
I'm glad we retired the term because "masher," you know,
fuck off. There's nothing wrong with calling it "sexual
assault," which it is. And was, and here comes

Pepe, confused by a stripe of paint whose bouquet
surely he's not REALLY mistaking for the ripe musk
of a female of his own species? Paint, folks

doesn't smell like skunk, folks, if it did
we'd be considerably less consternated when one of our dogs

got in the paint. Or
when we accidentally did the whole outside of the house
in skunk. And don't tell me
skunks only stink
when they spray! Check out Pepe's tail, for gosh sakes

- you can
radiating off it in waves!

but the point is, here I am

Telling you to check out Pepe's tail.

This is an instance of situational irony.

The second point is: whataboutism. Everybody's all up in Pepe's tail
vilifying the guy.

And they're right. He deserves to be. Even if he were targeting
his own species.
Because he speaks English. So clearly,
- language-user, advanced sentience - he can't claim the right of animals
to amorality in the single-mindless pursuit of amorous conjunction
in complete disregard of consent, even if he spoke French.
They should be
vilifying him.

But it's chilling

to see Wile E. and Sylvester to the side,

right in the thick of the lynch mob,

nervously cheering

gossip critic

famous actor and his real-life wife
have split again, in a seemingly
scripted development by M. Night
Shyamalan, no - I wasn't surprised.

I foresaw the twist, but I wouldn't
bat an eye
if they could get through this,

they could make themselves a movie on tumultuous,
and then split

the profits with their therapist.

haiku rules

five seven five is
a start. But do not forget
the cherry blossoms

jerk-worms and others

These jerks and worms
who act like the things we do or say
are governed by rules
that apply to us all,
and can be known -
they keep going on and on
about not knowing what
they can and can't say anymore.

Because "the rules have changed,"
well, jerk, or worm, no

they haven't. The rules are not.
And they have always not been.

The only rule is: you

are responsible
to know who it is you are talking to,
and what they will want, or welcome from you.
Everything you say, you know that it's cool, or
you're taking a chance. A deliberate risk. Own

Because every damn time you make a mistake,
and you say or you do something they sure hate
- it is you who is wrong.
It was you who presumed. You who guessed badly
that you knew them that well. Enough to believe
they would take it well, and so you risked saying
whatever it was

that you fucked up with. Well, that risk
was yours. Wasn't it?

Do you crawl back into your shell, jerk-worm?
Or claim it's their fault, that you didn't know them?
As well as you thought or were sure you did then.
Shall you never make leaps or take risks again?
Shall you blame them for being unfair, or incensed,
or hyperinsensitive, or something? Or complain
that there aren't any rules for you, you can go by
to know what you can and can't do

with everyone??? So as long as you stick
between those clear lines, any time they get mad -
they're the one wrong?

Only a jerk-worm wants something like that. Wants to make
someone else

at fault

for their own guess, and decision, and act.

Yes: keep trying to know a person. Keep testing and learning,
keep growing in trust, and keep making leaps. Just -

when you leap wrong?

Fall to that Wile E. Coyote death
with some dignity

Fall all the way down, and hit the ground hard,
and make a huge cloud of dust,

and drag yourself up, and
go back to the board.

And for God's sake don't feel
you need to emulate Wile E. Coyote
in other respects, but damn

dude could take a fall
like he won an award

Con Artist

In comfortable kicks,
She paints the world
- a performance art,
in a series of steps
she has patented

up airport concourse,
on a plane, and off to
wherever she's led
into foreign, domestic,
locales and scrapes

by killer instinct
so inscrutable, slow
- it will draw her on steady,
inexorable. Lulling her to a sense
of comfort in things never seen

Wherever she treads
in her canvas tennies
through many
a way,
and past plenty
a fool,
she paints the world:

by adding a colour to it, that only

she knew.


I will weather this storm,
through a steady gale
as I clutch to the rigging
white-knuckled and raw,
hung swung between masts
of massive tree-trunks,
with a drink and a book
and I will not fall.
And I will not flee. I looked forward to this
all week, all month - hell I always am
looking forward to hammock time. I will not
retreat, give way, give up or give in.

Blow rain, blow wet! My drink is strong
You can water it down, it will taste
just fine. Though my book, probably
was a poorer choice. A gift from a friend, and

a favorite of mine.

"Laid Back Legs"

From all the way back,
the angle rests
and you're comfortably
perched on a chair on a deck, on a
balcony, somewhere or stretched at your ease
in a hammock, you've swayed to a lull
in the breeze through the trees, in peace.
You can see all the way
to the view, which - amazing,
wherever you go! I could look for hours,
and never get there. You'll place yourself
perfect and take one

to show

how fantastic it gets -
past your low-top Chucks,
ever-changing their hue
- and the picture is framed
and composed
so professionally,
like an artist who knows
how to win most bets.

careful what

Lie to me, you said

a challenge

wow, that's easy. I always do
lie to you. I say things that
are enjoyable for me
to say, enjoyable even to believe,
but always
knowing in some part, back of the mind, ha
ha, that isn't me! not for me -

it's for you of course.

But I find, I always do lie,
to everyone I ever talk to, but
it's special with you. I really
do care
What you think
of what I have to say.
So there - shall I lie to you?
It is easy to do.

You can always tell, any time I tell you

You know I never tell you
the truth.
I never did, I never do
I tell you once, like I'll tell you again
don't believe a word I say, my friend

shall I lie to you again?

low resolution

I thought you sent me dirty pictures,

it was just
I had a dirty
phone. I wiped it off

with static-free cloth, and
sure enough! You'd sent me

nothing of the sort.

Thank goodness! Or
thank a sense of personal
responsibility - thank
boundaries! Thank
who or whatever
personification of virtue is
to blame for this momentary
lapse or lack thereof
and by the way,

nice shorts!

pressure point

There's nothing much to say,
sometimes, so
make something up,
god damn it

make something up,
to talk about
there's a chance any thing
that you could make up, could catch
on and lead on
and on, and
on, to something great, or
into and through, and

anyway - what
does it matter
what you pick to talk about? It's not topics
of interest that interest you,

but what somebody thinks
of anything, of any
thing, just about
anything would do

no! Stop! That was small talk,
that's going to be a sign
that you're trying to draw

this talk to a close. Quick!
Say something grand, or

at least grandiose

Sunday, November 12, 2017

if we ever uh-oh

if we ever
get to the point where we enjoy each other's attempted
adorable too readily and uncritically, and reciprocate
with our own attempted adorable, and if this is in turn
reciprocated, we could quickly become sickening


the risk of this
seems vanishingly

the seduction

If I could seduce you,
I wouldn't. It
would take all the fun out of it
for it to be hypothetical,
and such a sure thing -
all I'd have to do is say yes,
and I'm in? Or I win? As if

that's how you want things
to go. If I could seduce you,

I wouldn't
know. If I really could,

I'd use some
other word.

And then I'd
say yes. Of course
I would! And then

you'd laugh.

So absurd


You're amazing. As amazing as a person can be
without ever being amazed.

And I wish I could take
the shape you make
In the air, from here

play it back to you
through a lens of defenseless
and amazed eyes. Let you see

what the signal really looks like. You'd
be like "hey, that's nice!

I guess"

unimpressed, and then look to me,

eyes wondering, was that what

I was trying to show you? Yes.

What's next

Those who would give up

Those who would give up
a little essential liberty
for huge, temporary freedom
deserve neither essential,
nor temporary. It is

Each of us,
alienated and in that,
Indivisible -

In a Country under all-too-mighty and invisible God,
What in Hell are these people
taking us to

in a handbasket, yet?

Where do they get off?
Wait. Have they already?
I think I missed my stop

Who are they to tell us

Right and Wrong?
I would like to ask them. Each


I wish you'd try

We can and do talk
about anything. Every now and then,
we cross some kind
of line, and it's
awkward, then.
And wonderful, like I'm learning
the first and best lessons of life

after all of our learned and wise
explorations, always so perfectly
at our ease.
Which is wonderful, too! As we know
ourselves. But finding myself
where we're both at a loss,
and muddling through, and so
finding you - it feels natural, it feels

so pretty please,
so easy to do, not so comfortable -
as if nature were ours, and okay
to be lost. As if awkwardness was
the epiphany state

where everything feels
like you don't know the way
because you've found the place
of ways opening, where

our ignorance can't get enough
of new truths
in adjusting to bliss, and finding
bliss is a thing we can use.

And then we unglow, as happy
as two would expect. And shift
to sure ground, and find
it's still there. We know
that no damage is done. We talk
far too well, I mean

you the world, and you mean

me no wrong. And we can and we do

talk about anything. We can go
with our words, and
remain. We go upward and outward,
and inward and through,
as forward we fly. More and more,
I want to go awkward. I wish

we would try.

Under Construction

Lady and gentleman,
if such should occur, it pleases me
to announce, again:

A rededication of purpose
or at least, content,
content in itself without
purpose. I send: to you,
if you will:

These poems. On average, one

for every day. A dog's breakfast

of near and accidental rhyme,
abstract pictures in concrete words,
well-meant puns, and retarded adolescent
grand romantic sexuality. I guess,

pretty much what you are free
to expect from me.

Excuse the mess

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The enemy of my enemy

The enemy of my enemy
is my friend, and I have
so many friends, and they
all hate me. And they all
hate each other. So it works

pretty sweet!

We can keep this dance up
with our nimblest steps
'til our feet wear out

on the way to defeat.

this creature, this thing

this creature, this thing
it lives in your heart
- in the shadowed part,
and it can't get out
unless you let it out.
You won't let it out.
It knows everything you
know, except how to act.
If you let it out,
it will prove that fact
and you'll only regret
every thing it's done.
And you won't know why
it's obsessed with someone,
and you won't know how
to explain or begin
to proceed from that place
it has locked you in

smile alarm

your smile's gone critical -
needle swings right
off the scale, and the silent alarm
shrills bright,
but - attention transfixed,
they can only smile back

everyone looks completely insane,
in fact

glutton sulks

Good riddance to you -
you who think so much of your worth,

that the best of another
cannot be enough

to deserve any more of your worst.

the one you marry

It ought to be legal to marry
yourself. Make a prenup, of course

- it does not pay, to rush into
a step like this pell-mell. If you really
do care, you'll look deep in your eyes
and promise yourself: whatever may come,
if the worst happens then,
I won't go after you
to make your life hell.

It would kill me too

easy enough

it's easy enough
to cut someone down
over what they believe
or don't believe

or what they take pride in,
where they find joy
when it isn't what

you need.

owl marking time

turn the clock to the wall
and let it scowl
I don't want to see its face

soon the bright sky
will turn deep,
then dark -

and then there'll be time to waste

Just another reader.

You do realize
I've only a cursory interest in interpretations
regarded as definitive? The author

has no authority to say whose story it is now. That information

is in every line, or else

it wasn't included, and it doesn't exist. The work
is the text. Post-textual proclamations

do not have affect.

Having said that, I enjoy
authorial opinions on their own works! I find
them of some small interest, as all trivia
is of some small interest. But nothing

like the interest of literature. The interest
of what has actually been accomplished.

The work

explains itself to the degree it explains
itself, within the body of its actual text
- or else,

nothing else can.

Explanations beyond
that which exists
and can be supported from within the text
are additional
fictions: nothing,
more or less.
From the author,
they'd be harmlessly masturbatory
pseudocritical self-fanfictions, which

hey, it little befits

the dignity of authorship, arguably,

it can be flattering to the dignity of a critic. Charming
to hear what an author thinks now

their work really meant.

just so we're clear

Just so we're clear,
I've never been secretly in love
with anyone like you in my life, and
I'm not starting now. I mean I've never
secretly been in love with anyone! In my life, and
I'm still not starting now. With you. I don't mean

you're not worth being secretly
in love with, just

that I'm not capable of such a thing. Secrecy

or love.

Just kidding!

I'm totally capable of one of those.


Lady Captain

Her face a mask of silent, volcanic
expressionlessness, she surveyed the remains
of her hand-picked staff and addressed them as one,
her eyes meeting everyone's gaze, at once,
her choked voice
a distant whisper
of ugly and musical tones. "That's enough,"
she lied. "We abort. Go home."

"But sir!" said the mate. "We can't! We're
not through!" With an almost imperceptible
wiggle of his hips, and a bat of his eyes, and a purse
of his lips, he failed to persuade her that this
was true.

the bath

When we're talking some times,
there's a powerful sense that you may
or may not be

taking a bath,
which is perfectly innocent.
There'd be no reason, really
to mention it.

circumstances of birth

I was born an only child, with
two older sisters and a brother
and three and two more on the way
of each,
a much-more identical twin, who
none of the siblings knew about,
but who used to drag me out
in the day, too early to tell
or find the way back. It never
occurred to me to tell, until
years ago, when I looked at his face
and I saw the lack.

But it all hardly matters, by
this point. Now. If one of us
never existed, how could either
of us prove which one we were?

I'll give him the benefit. He

loved her.

If I quit just this

If I quit just this, I can do all the rest
without breaking a sweat, or my stride
there is more to it now than there was before.

I don't need to find out, just yet. Let's

Friday, November 10, 2017

When I get married, I want it to be on a beach

When I get married, I want it to be
on a beach, and
back in time, on the top
of the World Trade Center, we'd install
a beach on the tower to the East
or South, whichever way they're aligned, and I guess
the beach itself would have to be imported. Sand
trucked or helicoptered up, and - well,
there must already be swimming pools
up there, right? Put salt water in, and
start a wave machine. Then come

the vows.

Years later,
back forward in time,
people will not exactly understand
how we pulled all that off. I guess
when you don't have a time machine,

or priorities,

you tend to scoff.

existential dilemmas (may not exist)

I'm really looking forward to things that never end

but I haven't any clue where to look for them.

I have studied on it years, even published a book!

It was mostly asking other people where

they would look

high concept

how about a science-fiction tragedy about
two people who live in a world much like ours,
but in the future, a world of tomorrow, of wonders,
okay, maybe a world of the day after tomorrow - no,
not the rather bad Dennis Quaid flick. But a world
much like that, without all the effects and with no
crushing end crashing in and a last-minute win. Just a mess

that two people who live

in a world much like ours

might find themselves in?

and then what they do next

Onward Up?

in the path is a post, with lettering on

and an arrow each way, and a number to show
how much further that fork has to go, to
the end.

It should really let on what the incline
will be, if we're going to commit to this hike

all the way, and expect to stay friends. But

if life were like this, we could just consult
guides, read reviews of all trails in range,

then decide. So I'm happy this post

has been sunk in our path. It isn't enough,

but it's good for a laugh.

whenever someone's death

if someone's death hurts me greatly,
I grow retroactively resentful of the power
they had

over me

and helpless and frustrated, furious at them
for hurting me so, and I say FUCK YOU

just kidding,
I made that up.

Brb, cigarette

I hate the word "lovers"

I always have.

I hate the word "lovers" because it means so much nothing,
and anything, and

the two lovers say it does, and realize
in acts. And occasionally,

I have loved the word "lovers,"

because of that.

Apology rejected

Not good enough.

You have to do something first.
You have to do something for me.
And something to me. You have to
do something wrong, first! That's
the rules. And it has to be
to me. I have to be wronged,
for this apology. So do it.
Take aim. Do your worst,
your best crack, take it -
a swing and a hit, get it
over with, put me straight into
pain, see my face react, make
a big deal and then, after
you realize what you've done,
you can be all, "I'M SORRY!"
like a death gasp,

and people will be all

sad look, head shake

"You know what?

Don't even
worry about it. It wasn't your

You were provoked,"

So give in to it,
let the grim
fall. I'm sorry, I


be sorry at all.

conflict of distance

Sometimes I can't believe all these people down there
all Australian, having dinner when we should be asleep,
taking their summer with Christmas, mounting their globes
all upside-down, damn. How do you even stay on? I just want
to once, ask one of them out to dinner at a reasonable hour and have her
(oh ok guys - OR YOU, but, well, you know, for the sake of the scenario?) her
show up fresh and rested, hungry for something other than breakfast

and have the GOD DAMN PATIENCE

to wait

until we're through sunning ourselves at the beach
to open her Christmas presents!

The whole thing presents
a conundrum
in mind, and I suspect, not
the only one. But I guess it's fine

That's what makes the world go flat,

in these flying and changing and trying


interpret a bull

I consider what others take from my statements
to be valid
to the degree their interpretations can be supported
from within the text.

But to be honest,
I'm not that interested. I consider the text
sufficient, and that people are on their honor
to question the questionable, wherever they deem
a need.

If they elect

not to,

that is sufficient
to prove

whatever clarity was necessary
or desired

was achieved. If they dispute
that fact,

they can come see me.

That's a red flag, though

It would have to be.

Marshal McHungry

Drawn butter, like a sixgun
fast and deadly, aimed straight at YOU

Lobsters McCluskey, most feared
and wanted outlaw in the territory. You, sir

are dead, and I will be eating you ceremoniously
for dinner, even though I suspect

the town-folk will have my star for this. You will be worth it


as the butterflies

butterflies turn
into sunshine and breeze, in the delicate
dust that they crumble into. No chrysalis,

this: but a ceremony. You can graduate,
you are finally free. You have fluttered yourself
on your final journey, you have drunk
sufficient of nectar, you have made
as many little caterpillar

as you could
of your time.

You will pass your life on
to more life,

and mine. When I saw you

that day - your beauty remains in my mind,
and will always.

for always. Forever,

And never to pass


Can't Tell

In case you can't tell -
have I made myself clear?
to myself, at least -
but to you my dear
- in case you can't see,
it's been all plain to me.
if you knew, if you knew
how certain this is, or was
or could be -

I would tell you
everything straight,
'cause it's all in my heart
so imperfectly-made, you
could probably cry

in case you can't tell
in case you can't tell, I
can't tell you why

I have tried, any time
we have circled around,
I have jumped in ker-splash
and I'm sorry if that
might have left you soaked.
So you know, so you know
I have tried every time
just to make it all go,
into something that could -

And I would tell you
everything straight,
'cause it's all in my heart
so imperfect and good, you
could probably laugh

in case you can't tell
in case you can't tell, you
would probably ask?

in case you can't tell,
I can't tell you why
in case you can't tell,
you probably can. I know
you don't lie.
Well, maybe there's something you know
that I don't

in case you can't tell,
I could wait until then?
In case you can't tell,
I probably don't know.
in case you can't tell,
I can probably guess,

but I could guess wrong
I don't want to guess

And I would tell you
everything straight,
'cause it's all in my life
so imperfectly blessed, you
would probably know best

in case you can't tell
in case you can't tell,
I can probably guess, but

I don't want to guess.


The Sympathy section follows
Get Well,

as if we can't make that connection
ourselves - pretty sure

we all will. I say, leave a gap
in the greeting card aisle,

just let us have

much room in-between - a space
to keep breathing, to hope
or believe

there's a chance for Get Well,

without so much Sympathy
hard on its heels, what the hell
why not just

put Birthday

right next door to death?

It would be just about
as fitting,

I guess.

The Case Against Barbers

Folks, let's
set aside the entendres for once. Who's counting? I can be
a peaceable man if you pay me. I take dollars
Canadian, U.S., Australian or attention, and yes, I do make change
but face it: there's no real reason for us to mince hairs,
here. We all know

who the invisible elephant in the room is, and
we all know it isn't over 'til he or she or it sings
so please, sit down, please, please for a moment

- and could you dim the lights?

The presentations begins. My song is this: Folks,
if there's anything more irritating in a prose stylist
than an affectation of affection for internal, accidental (plausibly
-deniably) or otherwise off-rhyme, it's the guy who's sincere about it! Because ho,

shit. At that point... can he even style himself a stylist? Call that style?

It's even a little borderline off-putting calling it prose,
borderline-wise, but we all acknowledge
how wide that fat latitude borderline is in the art world,
these days. It's like

no limits or something - it's amazing that globe
can spin at all on that fat, clumsy axis. And that brings us
smack back dab to the middle of this whole anti-barber question. Or was that

further down? With all the edits and revisions, I confess
I lost track myself. It's a process, losing track.

But being as this is a forty four magnum.

The most powerful handgun in the world.

And would blow your head


Use the blower, alright
I know you'd prefer papertowels but go green OK? We're talking about
a boycott on all barbers. Potentially? Theoretically? This could be

huge. We have the power, as activists, to vote with a wallet, and if
it's mine? If we all combine? We could take a borderline obsolete profession
and render it a fucking anarchonism. Why?

Why would he do it, you ask? I will tell you.

I have no choice.

perils of a figure drawing class

these days, man. It's depressing

how deep they think that gutter goes

in that idealized-as-filthy mind
if you doubt me on that one!

Learn 'til it hurts,
and then learn why.
At some point, you'll end up

in a big room,
with desks and easels and every dang class,
it's basically "back to the drawing board!" Drawing
a naked person. Boy, you better watch it
in that room, because
that's a hard room to try to get your comedy routine
to stand up in. They don't even want that. They aren't
even trying to hear it. That's not
what they're there for. Grow up,
and get more businesslike in your manners, because ARTISTS? They don't
even PLAY when it comes to that sort of thing. Truth and beauty, or
it's your ASS. And if you do play, boy, they are
ON TOP of indiscretions

like you've never seen, and could scarcely believe! One wrong step astray
in that room, and you'll be soon sidling to the door, eyes averted
from everyone and doing your best
not to shuffle noisily. Your eyes averted in

guess what?

SHAME. Which is fucking unnatural
if you ask me.


When You And Me Meet

When you and me

you will correct my grammar perfectly,

and for all time.

and I will be fine

Your brain's mind's reality

The closer we observe, we find we cannot choose: artifice
or nature? Both are fused
inextricably together in us, in environment. Memory
or future? Both are imagined, from what we know
of impacts: craters of past hits, trajectories
of incoming fast-moving but plottable objects

- yet we know our ability to record and calculate
is to too large a degree impaired
to be considered reliable. Or we say we do. Or some say
we do. It isn't really so, though.

People who try to confuse you with reality
mistake rationality with meaningful complexity. To rationalize
is to take to pieces. One can cut ever finer, ever smaller, and
the distinctions drawn may be valid, without being valuable. Sometimes

your best course is to inform your interlocutor: hey
assface. Your brain's mind's reality sticks butts up its nose. Only then

can a sense of perspective and proportion be regained, or
in the case of half these clowns, installed
in the first place.

But while it will be easy
(with a touch of practice),
it won't be simple, necessarily. It will be

You will have to take time
to define with them even
the simplest words,
when they take opportunity to object,
and propose a different definition, you will get
your chance. Seize upon it (and them) instantly! Agreeing
to theirs. To what they propose,
and sticking to it. Making them
stick to it. Rigorously. It's fun! And if they insist
on switching to yours, instead, or to some third meaning
or one further forth, keep accepting and rigorously
holding them to it. At each switch, note
the change, and accept. Force
clarity. You will find

it inescapable, even when all they wish
is to escape. But they continue. They're
invested in it. They believe reality
is futile to even try
to grasp. They believe to escape
is simply to accept the truth.

Frustrate them in that goal. Their goal
is to get you to admit, too, that
reality is too complicated a thing
to grasp, understand or pronounce upon. Only
because they have found it so. Frustrated by ambiguity,
plurality, relativism, they have embraced the semantics
of mystification and become enemies of meaning - but
they have lost something in the exchange. Give
it back to them.

See, they no longer know how
to wield even their own chosen meaning,
they don't know what to do with it, except prove
you can keep shifting, dodging, redefining, changing it up - their conclusion
is that it's better to surrender, because they did, and they want
to help you give up, too. They pose

as if you hadn't considered that a word you use
has other senses, as if
that fact is in their favor,
against anyone with a definite sense.
They forget or pretend not to know: every sense of a term
is definite. And very easily can be. They pose

as trying to expand your understanding: "But wait!
That word also means" - and yes, it does. Once you catch
the trick - so easy, to accept each sense offered! - nail it
down to some one sense under discussion,
currently. Change with them, to the other sense
with clarity, as prompted. As easy
as they please. So easy
to accept each term they propose,
with a firm and definite grasp - and suddenly
we find, we can
make definite
pronouncement. Easily, in fact. With every
word, every sense, every
thing they try.

There is only this starting point
at which you meet, where you must force the meeting.
Where you have created one point both admit they can see,
and can seize from there in a shared grasp. Reality
- not what you can see or what I can, but what
lies between us - it's worth the hike

to find yourselves in it.

From there, a fruitful and amusing traipse
along a path both can see, and both can share! And pretty much
have to, because it's there. Observable, demonstrable
is as close to inevitable
as you need to get. Each escape attempt is
frustrated by means of clarity: revealed
to be simply another shared starting point, with
another fruitful path from there through definite, observed
features, defined
in clear terms,

redefined jointly as the question arises. Easy!

For reality is not so complicated as it can be made. What language
can complicate, meaning can cut: simple and plain. Easy.
A grasp of semantics is all it takes
to cut through the usual fan-dance these enemies of meaning
undertake, so haughty in their smug confidence you
cannot possibly follow them,
if they themselves don't know
where they're going. They believe all markers
and signs can be redefined indefinitely, which they believe means
infinitely. With a grasp and a pronouncement, they will find

otherwise, and be forced to experience
the truth:

Their brain's mind's reality sticks butts up its nose. They will see
there's something better out there, for sure. The truth

is fun to grasp, and easy and simple to see and say. Complicating it
can also be fun, and easy and ultimately: simple, as long as we realize
we're only decking and festooning things in new ribbons and baubles.
The things remain
as they were, or are. Our layers of crepe and tinsel applied
don't change what's underneath, or improve our grasp upon it.
But they can add a fun sort of interest
and appreciation. They can help reveal
details or angles we'd have otherwise


Each of us
is only a being of sense.
We meet each other as best we can
in this shared material world, perceived and grasped
through the best conceptual frame we've embraced
so far, received from others, or constructed from
ourselves. The enemies of meaning can be imprisoned within it:

within meaning. For they have made one terrible mistake! As soon
as they've told you "no,
that's not what that word means!

It means this - !"

Why yes. Yes, it does. A valid sense
in wide and accepted use! Let us run
with your preferred truth! Let us stick
to that, and see where it oh so inevitably leads. And it will.

It leads on to more. Language offers no escape
from reality. The enjoyable part is watching them try

to wriggle out of this meaning, or that sense
(which they themselves offered and chose!), only to find themselves
equally trapped in the next. Because each time they try to change
the foundation, you mark it with clarity; each time, you
are quite glad

to seize upon their new preferred meaning. Each time they dare
to "clarify," you make them. And take it, and each time they do,
they are further hemmed in, their options for obfuscation reduced
- in panic they quit quibbling over that term, cede it to you
and try to wriggle another word loose, but all they can do

is worm further and further in - to shared clarity. To observable
reality. They are helpless, once having taken issue with meaning,
they must commit
themselves to it.

They should never have corrected you
on what a key word meant.

They have lost something,
from when they first decided ambiguity is greater
than meaning can resolve. Give it back
to them.

compassion out there

that car just had to be ahead
of me. Just when I felt I'd prefer
to go a little faster than I can comfortably go
with that car in the lane, ahead of me
and impeding my progress! MOVE OVER,

you know

It's just the principle of the thing. It's not
the delay, it's wishing to be free,
with nothing in the way. "Liberty,
gimme some!" as they

could very easily say.

Gimme some or move over, mister
miss missus or miz bumper sticker I can't quite read
yet, but inevitably and sinkingly disappointedly expect
to be able to sooner than I'd wish. I can't stand this

creeping up on people,
into reading range of their
bumper stickers, making them no doubt
uncomfortable. It's like

when I'm going free, all out at a speed
I'd like to go, no one in front of me
to tell me no, and then here comes
some douchebad hauling ass up behind trying
to read my bumper sticker,
or something.

I hate being the one to

make you uncomfortable. Whereas you, apparently
scumbag, are totally fine with the being the one. It's a sign

of the lack of compassion out there, please

Gimme some

shotgun bride

...As she slips down the ladder-rope
that I flung up to catch on sill
she cleaned out all her chest of hope
all of the trouble and the shells she's saved,
she milled them herself of her own free will, she calls

shotgun, shotgun, shotgun
and she knows I got one, got one
got one

She got the ammo, I got the rod
and I don't intend to spare no one
One barrel two barrel plus the stock
- in too-close quarters I'm ready to run
upside your head, the jack of clubs
rock-hard hickory buffed to gloss
She's at the wheel she's the duchess of stunts
I'm in the death seat, aiming for boss, she calls

shotgun, shotgun, shotgun
and she knows I got one, got one, got one
when she calls shotgun, shotgun, shotgun
it's cause she knows I got one,
got one
got one

I snuck in through the old South fence
raising all alarms plus electrical bills
her old man's just over the hill
She got the wheel, she daisy dukes
She's an all-pro hazard in a muscle car
if I don't clip you man I'm afraid she will
She got the wheel, she's aiming hard
it ain't no General Lee, it's Patton tank
the man's at the hole, trying to call all cars

He shoulda known better than that
he taught her how to act
taught her how to shoot, and I will
he shoulda known better than that
she got the trigger in hand
it’s wrapped around a ring
hold still

I just aim.
She calls shots
Fish in a barrel and deer in lights
bird shot buck shot double pump ought
to change your brain
set free your mind
you’re welcome at the church if you come on time
to give her away, ‘cause old man she’s mine, she called

And you know she's got one
got one
got one, when I call
shotgun, shotgun, shotgun
then you know I got one
got one
got one

I just aim
she calls shots
filled the shells herself, every pellet of pain
and here comes your invitation engraved
- it's wrapped around a brick in case you wake up

good, but

people are good, but
it's stupid to trust, or give
anyone power over yourself

they might abuse it. And you

will be left
with lessons that do not apply
to anyone's best.

Trust me, you're much better off
not learning those things.

It's better
to hold something in
the best of you, could be vulnerable
and it's much better protected

if no one can guess

and then you let it out
when you didn't expect,
and you didn't decide
when the walls came down
in spite of themselves

- it's a mystery why. But sometimes you just
forget to hide. If you can't help it, show

who you really are -
let it be a surprise

"Name In Vain"

I haven't been much of a praying man,
but as a child I would pray out loud.
Some things I've seen have sort of shut me up,

Some things that happened to the ones I loved
And looking further at the world itself -
God, you better save a little punishment up
for hell

sometimes it feels so good
to say your name,
but it's in vain.

You said you know that God could never give
a burden heavier than you could bear.
But when I see you crumple under it,
I'm so

I try to lift you help you get back up,
I try to hold you as you try not to cry,
the only thing I have to say to God -
is why?

sometimes it feels so good
to say your name,
but it's in vain

sometimes it feels so good,
to say your name

in vain

Dear God I never thought that you weren't there.
But somehow still I seem to have lost my faith.
It's hard for me to believe you care
these days

She said you had to put her to the test
She said so far you're probably not impressed
I guess to you it probably all makes sense,
it's all for the best

it's all
the best

sometimes it feels so good
to say your name
but it's in vain

sometimes it feels so good
to say your name

in vain.

If we met at the end of all of this sense, I would justify whatever that means

I literally
honestly don't know right now

if I just made sense. You can tell me,
I guess? I promise I've done
my best, and whatever you say,

I will know how I did, but
this isn't a test. As sure as I am,
as clear as it was, as I've tried to be,
putting words into means, into meanings,
to ways of conveying sense, I don't know

if I succeed

to anyone but myself, sometimes.

Trying as hard as you can
to put meaning into words
in a way that makes sense,
and succeeding

for only yourself, really,

I suppose it's a start. But I don't honestly

if it's a start on the way

to anyone else.

Whatever you have
to say,

could help!

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

"fading fast"

And I don't know what you want to
but I'll do what ever you want to do,
and we're here

in this, with a morphine drip,

and I saw something leaving her body,

was her.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

"My Heart Has Lost Its Mind"

I'm so sure I'm alright, I must be crazy
haven't I up and left you, baby
you treat me like gold
I'm locked in a back vault, all covered up
in teeth marks - your fault

Don't they always say to let your heart show you the way?
But don't they say
love is blind
Where you're concerned, I think I've learned
I'll never learn
My heart has lost its mind
my heart has lost its mind

I can't make any more
difficult choices,
I'm seeing things clear, but
hearing voices
that tell me to stay
and I wan't to listen,
but how can I give myself permission

Don't they always say to let your heart show you the way?
But don't they say
love is blind
Where you're concerned, I think I've learned
I'll never learn
My heart has lost its mind
my heart has lost its mind

less than nine

You're a cat who catches angels
for practice,
expecting the afterlife to be
much like this
one, and the last
one, and the one
before, never having made

a habit of keeping

"Die Disappointed"

I may not be the one for you
but if that's so I've sure been fooled
sometimes I think you've been as well
but neither one of us can tell

can't tell for sure which way is fate
can't sleep at all in this bed I make
and I think you feel a lot like me
but it looks as though we'll never get to see

I don't want to die disappointed
but I'm probably gonna
said I'll probably die disappointed
but I don't really wanna
if we saw our way clear
to get from there all the way back here
would we do something differently?

don't have to guess what that might be
'cause in your eyes we both agree
we know it's not an option now
it's like we've already taken vows
to have and hold forsaking love
well okay, that's a little much
I tend to overstate the case
but that's only 'cause it feels like
entire lives are going to waste

and I don't want to die disappointed
but I'm probably gonna
said I'll probably die disappointed
but I don't really wanna
if we saw our way clear
to get from there all the way back here
would we do something differently?

"She's Confessed"

she buttoned her coat over nothing
and stepped out into the night air
she couldn't begin to explain herself
the purpose of her presence there
there was a knife, but it wasn't used
and scandalous details emerged
like the link the connected the two of them both
(which wasn't what you might have heard)

she's confessed
she's confessed
to so many things, we can't see
how they all connect
she's confessed
she's confessed
still no hint of what it all means

there was a knife, but it wasn't used
and the blood stayed concealed in the body
(which was carefully hidden beyond all trace
by a third, unidentified party)
and scandalous details emerged
as we stood around smacking our lips
in the darkened confessional, third-degree light
she's making sure everything fits

she's confessed
she's confessed
to so many things, we can't see
how they all connect
she's confessed
she's confessed
still no hint of what it all means

she stepped in red-handed and leapt at the bait
we owe her a great debt of thanks
from person of interest to suspect to culprit
she tidily filled in the blanks

she buttoned her coat over nothing
and stepped out into the night air
it couldn't support her, she was -
the weight of her guilt, no doubt
too heavy to bear

and she's confessed

Sunday, November 05, 2017

"Bad With Birthdays"

And today, you would be
with me here - take my hand
in your hand, with a squeeze
and a heartbeat, a sigh

We would take it for granted:
"another year gone,"
I would light one more candle
and sing you the song

I'm bad
with birthdays,
and christmas,
and new years
I'm good
with someday,
and sunday
and easter
I'm fine
with next week
I'll get through
is harder
I miss you

I miss you

in a darkened room lit
by the light in your eyes
from the candles and cake
you would lift your head high

as you drew in your breath, and
with never any doubt
all the light in the world
just a puff

blows it out

I'm bad
with birthdays,
and christmas
and new years
I'm good
with someday
and sunday
and easter
I'm fine
with next week
I'll get through
is harder
I miss you,

I miss you

as I sit here alone,
see your smile everywhere
from the frames on the walls
through the flash and the glare

and I took such bad pictures
but you'd always shine through
darling, if you're really nowhere
I'm right there with you

I'm bad
with birthdays,
and christmas
and new years
I'm good
with someday
and sunday
and easter
I'm fine
with next week
I'll get through
is harder

I miss you

right in the head

When you think a thought
because it's the natural consequence of your previous thought

and the thought is so weird you suddenly realize you are alien
to anything you can relate to.

Think again


"a christmas pome"

Christmas comes
but once, a year
for approximately 30%
of the running time of that year,
it feels like this,
because so much cheer, there
is so much to squeeze
into just one season, even
bigger than winter, just
to put the "Christ" in Christmas
hypothetically, probably would take
several more weeks than you expect, and then
make room for mild-mannered St. Nicholas!
and his crime-fighting supergadget
lightspeed sleighmobile driving
vigilante alter-ego Super Claus, who
knows the exact location and
guilty disposition
of every bad person in the world,
and they can not escape his implacable gift
of precious fossil fuels - a bit antiquated,
this traditionalist but

what do you expect from the man who put
the HO HO HO? All that
plus Shopping Holidays,
Virtual Reality Carolers,
peppermint lattes

and one tiny crippled orphan, who

could very well have died

it's no wonder people get overwhelmed.
There's too much good in Christmas to
actually do. So take a holiday,

Arguably. Or let it take you.

Take us, Ghost of Christmas Past,
to where the Presents are and

we will cram in the feast. If that makes us
sick, or disordered perhaps,

I'm sure there's a pill, at least

"Sensitive Soul"

I'm just so damn terrified this time
it's you
and if you're just a dream, at least you're mine
see through
if my life's like this I'm probably just a ghost
I lost everyone
all it once
then they bring the one that I wanted most

you're so right
you're so true
you're so false
rotten guess
you're so bad inside
got a hot, buttered mess
you're so hot
you're so bold
let me out
of control
so far gone
inside, I, I, I
got a sensitive soul

take two
and this time we're going to make it work
made new
and they've all been treating us like a jerk
deja vu
if it makes you sick, then baby what makes you well?
you lost everyone
all it once
now you've been released from your home-made hell

you're so right
you're so true
you're so bad
you're the best
you can beat my heart
in or out of my chest
you're so sharp
you're so hard
I can't stop
I can't slow
cut me deep
inside, I, I, I
got a sensitive soul

if they say we're lost, then baby what did we find?
we left everything
all at once,
and we've gone a little too far to mind

Saturday, November 04, 2017

beach life!

How is it? I dunno. Ok I guess

A bit bleached,
bleak, beached and hugely-heaving
lungs, suffocating under
one's own weight and waiting
for some crowd of bystanders to come
with cameras and cries for first-responders
from the stranding center to show up
and do something, except

- with the certain knowledge that there are no stranding centers

staffed with committed and altruistic experts
versed in the rescue and re-immersion of humans,

stranded up metaphorical beaches,

to have washed upon them

"the departed"

Like living in a purgatory of someone else's
cast-off sins and artifacts, roomsful
of Jacob-Marley chains and weird shrines
to all the tasks they have ever undone
- the sorts of things a respectable wight
would hang around and haunt something over.

What kind of afterlife
crowds with its detritus
into the space
where you're trying to live?

If I Could Post Myself To You

if I could pack myself in a parcel
and post myself via US Post 3-day priority
to you
for your birthday,
a belated pressie, I'd probably be

so beat-up, half-suffocated
by the time I got there, all stinking from
inevitable bodily issues and bloody
from scuffs and bangs, and probably
crying too - because I'd be such a wuss, I have no doubt
- I am a wuss! I have very little threshold
when it comes to stuff like discomfort
at the level of being jammed in a box
for three days shipping and hard handling (DESPITE
THE 'FRAGILE' TAG! BASTARDS!), and I'm sure that I'd

be crying like a baby by the halfway mark,
sitting hemmed into the little limbo
of my me-size box, surrounded by an unseen
pitch blackness

- the outer limbo
of some anonymous, enormous warehouse
facility in-between planes and trucks -

Twisting and twitching
from muscle spasms, rubbing raw
against the constricted cardboard universe
of my own fully-considered and rash
decisions, I'd be softly moaning
through my snot and tears, no doubt: "I
didn't think it would be so HARD, to be MAILED!"

- that you'd probably open it up and say "EW!

Who the hell sent me THIS?"

You'd never find out,
though. Because

I'd long since have eaten the card. Partly
from pure shame, but also from being fucking


Jesus, what a bad idea
that would turn out to be, if I did that.
Lucky, I have
a good imagination! That lets me
put some thought into things,
Totally worth

the extra for overnight.

caveat ball

Bear in mind, here and there
are a few experiences that I know
are horrid. Whether planned to be,
for some perversion of purpose, or simply
standing in evidence
of failed experiments - horrid. See, bear witness,
- testify if you like! Question the questionable! Indict,
seek some form of closure if such sickly cliche
can comfort, assuage, and then

move on,

regardless of whether you've recovered yet. Moving on
isn't what happens when justice is satisfied
finally, it happens when the last fleck of gristle
is gnawed from the bones of your never-
to-be-forgiven and convicted,



Now -
how do you feel now, miss
carriage of justice,
with your horses newly-shod
and footmen, or would they be

This Cinderella tale
is destined to have a happy ending,
isn't this nice? It's gone
off the rails, by the wayside and baby,
I love your wayside but you
should have known better -
as the deep-stuck shards run with blood
from your very soles: never

breakdance in glass shoes

Friday, November 03, 2017

fashionably never

Yes, you can flick your forelock
back, to the side, from the side of your face
where it hangs, like a drawn-out bang
going off in your face, you can flick
your lock back, but

it knows its place.

Yes, you can stand like a mannequin - sleek,
in the clothes that hang off you like modern art,
looking dynamite
and immaculate. Have a Nobel Prize,

you sure look the part.

Yes, you can split down the middle
as neat as the stone-sober whiskey
you knock back in one. Always
poised in motion, with disgraceful
ease, everyone here would thank you

to come. Would you please?

Your absence weighs all the way
through the room.
The proverbial elephant
nobody sees,
and everyone's missed. They are looking
at me. They are looking

for you.

the time change came

they fix a date in the nest of squares
that go by so orderly, for you there
and an hour comes off, or an hour goes on
but it's nothing compared to the racing sun

as it laps the days, winning heat after heat
while the hours fall back with their tires flat
it was never in doubt who couldn't compete.

now my clock's colored lights have gone out, at
precisely the moment you looked away

- the alarm is set, but I think that time
has long since passed the two of us by

this was so much more than yesterday.

I love you, though
I can still kind of see
your funny mixed colors
in my retinas

If I sleep today,
If I don't wake up,

what's one hour more or less,
between us?

If this gets back to you

People gather wherever
and they talk

about those who haven't,
about the absent

it's natural
they need to check themselves
"is this person crazy? or is it
me" no, yes

we've all been there
we all can agree, share stories,
commiserate and ridicule

the absent. It's cruel
and useless, to call

it cruel. It's just what
people do, everywhere - including
you. Meanwhile, you,

excluded, left out - know nothing

of what's being said. In confidence,
between some people, friends
of yours, or some of them - behind your back
until one friend

rushes, out of breath

to tell you
before memory makes it
too much worse -

that one real friend,
I guess. How true. Tell them everything bad

about everyone else,
who isn't there now,

until it hurts


Taking turns reading
wonderfully awful poetry,
drinking moscato with someone
whose sense of humour you're sure
of. Or

standing out on a cliff, with someone
else, a person from a dream who you've
woken up with, or

Making fun

of the universe, the way that it's all
put together, and suddenly

sad that you couldn't have done any
better. Dreams turn out,

don't they? Dreams
come true. And everything
makes sense in dreams, and you
wake up, and laugh at what

a fool you've been

as all your dreams
come true

Climate of the Mind

Turning, grasping inward
my soul has arms, so empty now -
reaching, deeping, the pain investigator,
past wet folds of flesh like bedclothes,
a hollow is enclosed

and inside:
no toys
no pets
no songs of silent growing, the thrum
of the pitterpat sparrow's heart,
dreaming of surf pound and crash
from a previous life washed in,
and washing away, no

no new presence
lingering, waiting its chance
to take over life and hijack

just me, here
and all around spreading out, but
mostly here

in this hole

Thursday, November 02, 2017

the big fierce pang

oh, I know this part
where the steely hook swings
up from seven yards back
to pierce my ribs

just above my heart,
killing butterflies
and the hook punches out
from my sweet insides,

as my sternum cracks

and I don't even gasp
anymore, just grin
and blush, can't laugh

This pain

is a dear old friend of mine
who's indifferent to my guts
and disdains my mind,
but who loves to punch holes
and stick fast in my heart. Such pain,

each time through a unique part
as the point drives through,
makes a brand new hole. Will they ever
heal up? If not, I suppose

I can use it as a sieve. Ever
pan for gold?

the suit

there's no end to the woo
I would pitch at you, if
you were as free as I

if I were to say I would not
want you
as a conquest,
then I would lie.

I do not want you
as a thing to steal,
but to win you
for hearth and home

after many campaigns of peace
we'd wage, together
for each and own.

Not as a thief,
to steal away,
but a suitor whose case
is true

Not for tonight,
not for today, but for life
to look forward to.

I'd give up a lifetime
of stolen goods
for what you'd be free
to give

As free as I am.
And as you are not,
I shall be content
to live.