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, September 17, 2017

out of unbelonging

You won't belong
where you've never been,
where nobody knows you,
where you're

not wanted

- how could you be?
When nobody knows
before you show up,
what to want you
for?

But if
you show up,
the people will see

you've arrived. And decide
how they feel
about that.

You are useful, you know
- but only so far
as you put yourself out,
as you give yourself back

where you go yourself forth.

For wherever you stray,
and wherever you stay,

you won't belong, unless
you have given yourself
to it.

So easy. Find a place -
It accepts your breath, and
it gives you air, and everything else

you can find that's good, and best,
and blessed,
and available, too

You belong to it all, but only if

you have given it you.

thought balloon festival

people who think in thought balloons,
clouds in the sky, or the corridor
- wherever they find themselves. They think,

and balloons go up, in white puffy shapes
trailing smaller puff shapes like a kite
trailing bows, and their thoughts within.

I don't understand
why the shapes their thoughts make
are so uniform. Like a white, fluffy cloud:

semicircled around, and resembling
nothing. Just abstract form.

What does a "cloud-shaped cloud"
even mean? I want thought balloons
that resemble

cows,
or cars,
or dragons - and everything else
that people say they see
when they look at clouds.
Any wild form that a cloud can take.
Why put your thoughts in a

boring shape?

skillset

I'm

my job is to...

analytics basically. In the job industry
that can be huge.

I consult

with people for their own good. Sometimes
people do something totally else, based on some stuff
I found out about? For them

Stuff only I might have noticed, basically. Or maybe

I notice a certain angle in my advice, and
I focus in, and emphasize that. People

can tell, sometimes. It comes across, word of mouth
gets around. A lot of people

come to me for exactly that. It's a nice feeling

when it happens.

to be respected

bee guru haiku

I teach shy bees how
to approach pretty flowers
without bumbling.

Wrong time

time out of joint
like a phantom limb sprain

I am used to these moments
occurring

by now. But you're not asleep
now,

and you won't be
for hours.

And I get up,
set to sit down

to the wrong meal, washed down
by incongruous beverage choices

and then go out, wondering why

it all seems too late

Thursday, September 14, 2017

outbound

The world turns over under you,
sleeping as it speeds its way and you
with wings, at cruising speeds and altitudes
lie hovering, for all intents and purposes,
a stationary bird in flight, asleep on solitary wing
and waiting to awake from night. Restless, lightly,
you'll touch down and make your way
to waiting dawn, migrating days
and nights to come, on paths planned out
or chanced upon. The world turns over
under you, as you walk on above its
sprawl and bring new landscapes
into view, to frame with eye,
and drink with heart,
and sign them all.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

validation, lately

So
I've been trying to get into
validation, lately.

It's just plain lazy
of me not to
try, to sit around
my whole life

wondering in anguish "why?
why other people need it
so? Die deaths of deprivation
over lack thereof?" Instead,

time for me to SEEK
VALIDATION and see

whether I can identify it

when any comes. Look out,

world. Validation
time!!

Please accompany any validation with
I don't know, a stamp or something?

so I know what it is. Cut me a pair of slacks
or something alright I'm

new here.

the pact

my friends and I
avoid each other out of consideration
for each other's
respectful difference, and
preference - we go
to lunch, kind of

at places that have lunch counters

with stained-glass
windows

in different parts of the city, and

we order dishes
that seem to speak to us. It's

okay. It's okay to be

seen, in seeming isolation
in knit hats and clunky
glasses, speaking word jazz

extemporizing life

explaining your point of view
to statues

in the middle of all this wondrousness,

surrounded by cartoon touches
and dressed like an anticliche cliche,
it's okay. Go now,
forth.

Make yourself a list: and strike

off

every

one

from

it.

counting time

There are times
- and this is one -
that come only once
in your life.

At least, once in mine.
And I don't expect to see luck again
like what landed me here.
I don't want to think twice

before losing this chance.
I don't want to think once
that I could be so dull.
I don't want to think

this

Is about to be gone.

I just want to take time
- just this one -

and hold on

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

low morning

a city carved from rose and soap
rises from the morning sky
that sinks away to background grey
as foreground marsh recedes to bay
and panes of glass gleam wet like suns,
just barely up from morning swims
- one eye, not even open yet
no coffee for the likes of him

Sunday, September 03, 2017

to choose again

It's a fear
many of us have. Once we've made a choice,
we've committed ourselves
- even if not irrevocably,
we've committed ourselves to
having once, in that moment, decided,
believed. Been for that choice, as
the choice that should be made
- that we needed to make. There's
no taking that back.

No taking it back. Once it's on record,
it's irrevocable. If ever again
we choose against it, we are

take your choice:

hypocrites.
Wishy-washers.
Wafflers.
Indecisives.
Milquetoasts. Morally lax,
whether because of
lacking moral fiber
or having taken too many moral
laxatives, we're

lax,
lapsed,
lost, we've
gone

back

against the choice

we made, back when we used to know.

We should be so lucky
to know. We should be so afraid

to know better.

to fix the past

If we're going to fix the past, we need
to go in hard
and study what it is,
that actually was,
that happened, then
argue over whether it
should have and why. Was what those people wanted, or
a subterfuge, a sabotage - a failure to
achieve what could have been, or some deliberate
thwart job? And if so by whom,

That, plus the implications and permutations.
What could have been, if only either/or
times the nth degree, and on from there
in orders of descending consequence cascade - if we are serious,

we have to think about these things.

About this task, which we've undertaken
or may be about to: to fix the past, or
at least fix our understanding of it,
perhaps that's a prudent place to start; we need
to get together now

and make plans first, fast,
built to last, and most especially

determined along definite and pre-argued lines,
so we know what the past should be. Then, get
a radical element within the group to construct a time machine

- like we always figured was bound to happen, once you involve
radical elements in these things - into the future, travel to the age
when they'll know whether it's possible to do so, and if so,

probably lose the plot at that point, since
once you've got a time machine, other things seem
proportionally less
important. Next thing
you know you've got to create
some kind of restrictive body of guards
to guard the timestream from major perversions
and watch out for damage done, zero in on where and when
and send a team back

to fix the past.

That's probably our best chance. Now

enough talk.

the wishing hook

Hung on a wishing hook, dangled as if
from the unsteady firmament, stars
falling left, right
around you, you
hang

there so
steady, as if

none of this

is to do with you. And it isn't.

I wish
and I wish,
I could lift you down, but
I cannot reach, and

you do not fall

for any of it. Yourself pierced through,
you've concerns of your own to occupy you.

It would be
so easy, or

easy enough, but

this isn't a dignified way to go, love.

I wish that it was.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Away, by Fate

Thou hast not knowing
within which thou art known,
Nor strength to discover that
within which thou art not.
For within that in which thou art is thee!
How canst thou deny thyself to me?
Abnegation, away with thine empty peace.
Let us build a pyre, and burn immortality upon it.
For oil, empty words, and vain glories for twigs.
In the morning, from the smoke we will build a comet.
The sign of disaster, we'll Christen her,
And take off in broad day, for Heathen lands.
You will look with sad eyes upon panic below,
Knowing not how we came to understand.

charity case

Maybe we should walk around all day
with wishes ready, set in place.
Think how many shooting stars we waste,
burning up in skies of blue,
never to be wished upon,
rained in vain - should've stayed
in outer space. Maybe you,
with wishes fixed like fishing nets,
could catch a few as they blaze by
invisibly. To grant one wish -
that's all that any shooting star
aspires to, and so - to die
unmiserably.

Monday, August 28, 2017

winged moments

I forgot what I was waiting for, and then you came in
making me come up excused for being there, which wasn't
very easily, but which I pulled quite neatly off, along
with some objections I'd been saving for a drier day,
still soaked from memories of pride. You've now since
stripped those from us both, despite I was the wandering
one, out in the storm of darkest nights without the sense
to come in from. As usual, you, adopted tones as if you'd
rescued something lost, that couldn't fend itself a way,
despite how many times it has, despite how many ways it's
made to find its way at smallest cost, to you: that pride,
again. It fucks
with you. Don't let it.
Just be cool. Just settle in
and down, and up. And wish your
falling stars for luck, and lose your
mind in what the hell are we doing. Don't ask

Friday, August 25, 2017

education, Pt.2

We must educate adults
to know better than to bring up things
we can't explain to children. To explain,

"Don't ask. It's rude," or "That's gross!" or
"What if a child had heard you? Don't you feel
ashamed?" I'll tell you when you grow up

you won't ask questions like those,
bring up things like that, you'll have learned

we don't. You'll have learned
not to.

The benefits
to an adult society
are enormous. It is rude

to talk politics, religion, right
or wrong or anything else
people might be embarrassed about
not being able to explain
what they themselves strongly believe,
or, the lack thereof. This makes

it easy

to avoid scrutiny of wrong
and thought about what's right,
concerned about the difference
between yours and mine, we can simply agree

everyone's idea of it is good, and
no one has to have one! Saves us all

bringing it up.

and/or else

When a child is learning to count - there's nothing
you can do about it. Just like

when a child is learning to read,
there's nothing you can do.

There's no way we can protect them
from these dangerous things. Just
grow up. And try to

The world
is a bad example. It takes
a long time to grow up, and seal
yourself off

so many things, uncomfortable
you don't know how
The children are vulnerable. Use them

to tell the world off when
it acts too adult. We will never be able to say
why. Uncomfortable facts, acts and ideas but

at least there is always
the children. We will do it for them,
and/or else if we don't, they might grow up knowing

and be able to say, and we
would look dumb, and scrunch up uncomfortable

unable to explain except don't ask it's rude
embarrassed by the only answer we were taught, looking
round for the children to rescue
us.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

love from who

stringless kite adrift
Wanting nothing in return,
and never to return,
like a freely-given gift

you've been secretly admired,
and so you trail along -
ever after under it, just
to spot some one.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

the result

I love it when your lower legs are
suddenly itchy like bug bites despite
you've been wearing long pants
all day, and you'd been wearing shorts
all week before that with zero contact, and

the only place different you went was church

for your nephew's baptism, and
that

is not a buggy place. So

itching like crazy, you surreptitiously pull
your pants cuffs up to your knees and SCRATCH
SCRITCH SCRATCH, stymied by the seeming absence
of actual bites, and the more-or-less all-overness
of the itchiness, then

1 day later

there are what look like legit bug-bit welts, scattered all over,
and they end up with those tiny clear hard amberlike scabs.

I say I love it. I don't love all of it. I just love the scabs.
Those tiny clear hard amberlike scabs.

I love the end result.

Written instruction

A poem can be read
in many ways. Perfect
is only one of them.
I leave it to you,

the reader

to choose. Go back
to the start,
and try again

darkless

You brighten my life to such a degree
that I wonder sometimes how I used to see.

for reals

as the death toll mounts
on the internet, and around you
everyone in your social set
gets shares likes posts,
unfriends for keeps,

I can't believe you would say that
to me

your sheep

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

the spectacle

Poor thing. What a jolt
seeing this delivers.

Such a poignant moment
of piercing, heart-cut tragic
comeuppance – the slapdown we get

for trying to shine,

spotlit for our one too-brief moment
on a too-smooth stage. This

teaches each of us
everything we probably don’t want to know, about
ourselves and about each other. I applaud

the crowd at the end,
for applauding. It’s certain
that if I were there, I

would have burst into tears

the materials of vengeance

the materials of vengeance
are assembling within
you are ready
to take all
of the love you've ever given,
and repurpose it as grievance.
Which will clearly be your
right. Now,

bring down in fullest measure,

measured perfectly and fair,

an end to this fight.

to bear in mind

It's not my goal
as a poet to make your jaw
hang increasingly open,
your eyes sting from not
blinking and leave you after
fifty or so in a row
ready to chuck it in, shut
your machine down and turn
away, slouching off to lie
down crumpled up fetally
on the couch, never
to bother again.

Keep going!
Yours is as good as mine
on some scale, friend.

What you have to understand
is, people say everything's
relative. All values
are subjective, and
there are no absolutes. No
substitute for them,
either! - no reason
for you

to put value
judgments on yours, just
because of mine. However

you like it or don't,

that's totally fine.

so we've died

so we've died

and we never did do all that stuff
we would talk about for hours,

I guess

it was just too much, although

we could have done some of it,
at least

Life was full. Life was
sure full. And I can't
tell you that you, or you tell me
that I

failed, or I
wasted - or you did -

a moment, a year, a
lifetime of it. There

were all good ideas
and reasons and things
coming in and gone through, and we each
held the strings, and swung vines, and

grew wings -

so we've lived. And compared,
in a rush of what's new,
catching up since we last,

for as long as we do.

"Drink More Often"

There is a wall
between me, and what I feel
- it's high and it's wide
There's things about me
that you should know are real
- all on the other side
I could not break through or help you
climb over top
you thought I was uninvolved
but then, it just - dissolved

I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

I hate to think
of the opportunities
that I've let slip by
just because I could never
make you see
what was in my eyes
I know you're no mind-reader, and
hey, who is?
You thought I was a closed book
but now - it's open
take a look

I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

I know it isn't
the healthiest view on life
yeah, I'm aware of it
but darling if I lose you
'cause I can't speak up,
then life ain't worth
shit, I weave a curtain of words
to hide behind
- but they were just meaningless
until you unlocked my lips


I should drink more
often
I can't tell you,
all the things I'd say
I should drink more
often
- inhibition,
get out of my way
I should drink more,
often
- give you my heart,
subtracting my mind
and then your heart
would soften
- 'cause you'd finally see
how much I keep
inside.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

seven years

Met you seven years ago, today
we should've popped champagne
but how could we have known at the time?
who brings champagne to a thing

not normally commemorated by champagne. Such as
you know, meeting someone
soon-to-be very great, to be sure, but
you can't be sure
first-time meetings, you have no excuse

to be sure. Well, it's been
seven years, today since
you jumped
out of your seat,
seeing me looking confused
and removed all doubt.
And each year removes more
(as doubt does tend

to accumulate then,
and now). Seven years
such luck, still and soon
to be great - both of us should find
a broken mirror, and fix it

to celebrate

work bonsai

they say you should speak to a plant

and I try.
On phone calls, so no one
thinks of my sanity
too closely, and you know what
little tree? I think you help me
with my tone

I will turn my head, to you
breathe out

tiny tree,

set to the side of my desk, breathe in

frustration,
disbelief,
laughter that one doesn't cry,
and let

your little leaves exhale
as best they can,
given the light,

oxygen. And

I will turn you toward the sun,
give you water

I will turn you toward the sun,
give you water


each day I'm in
to take care of you.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Loyalties torn

A dun-coloured falcon just soared
thru here, three feet off the yard.

A yard high and half the yard across,
then out of sight past the corner hedge
of the screened-in porch. I didn't hear

her paralyzing cry, so
maybe she wasn't bun-hunting. If she was,

of course I wish her luck.

usual beautiful clarity

The mind is a brilliant, dizzying
gem made of lens upon lens upon
lens upon lens in a dazzling,
interlocked play of arrays.
Thought is capable of clarity,
but light loves to play. It takes discipline,
practice, desire and will
to learn how to focus in. It's more habit
than skill, and it does take work.
It's a conscious task,
but it's so much more rewarding
when the question is asked, and it's all
within grasp, because you can see now.
And you can say why, and you can show
how. It's as if the saying's true,
that it's all in your mind - except
for all the ways out
you're beginning to find.

A note on online poetry

Online poetry must be read

and understood by the light
of a differing standard. Not
different - just differing.

These people can't write!

And they don't have the benefit
of editorship, to read and
suggest, and send kind declines.

So you can see, as a result,
as a form, a differing standard
has evolved. Online poetry
must be judged within the tradition
and conventions

of online poetry. Besides,

have you seen some of the offline poetry
these days?

Maybe the problem is

you just don't like poetry. Or maybe
people have never been very good
at it. Well, if so

take your philistine critical acumen

elsewhere, bub. Or else - GO

Write some of your own.

I bet it's awful

Saturday, August 12, 2017

done up neatly

In the drawing room, assembled
all the suspects lounged, arrayed
upon the chaise, the love seat,
sundry comfy chairs, or
leaning rakishly against
the paneled wall, hard by
the mantelpiece and cupboards strewn
with china boats and goats, and maudlin
figurines of shepherds,
ballerinas,

astronauts

(incongruously enough),

in the silence of the consciousness
of some impending awful guilt,

awaiting the detective,

who has as much as insinuated
that all will be made crystal,
just as soon as he's divested
self and disabused all present of
all and any smoked red herrings, and
deceptive, miscast leads, in one big
tour de force performance/
slash fishing expedition,

hoping the one that got away
is right here in this room,
at this moment. If not, well

perhaps we'll try another game.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

waking dreamlike state

i wasn't asleep

I was in a waking dreamlike state

I was aware of you calling me

but I couldn't answer

or actually I could have answered

but to try would have been irrevocable

and I wanted to stay where I was

and I wasn't really sure
you were calling me

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

get along somehow

if I could only manage it, to die

right now

my life would be
complete. I know

that every moment on, from here

I'll bask in this
diminished glow.

If I

could only manage it, to stop

to keep

forever, just
for now

the world -

gone on without me
would be fine, I know. They'd get along

somehow. But

since I stayed, delayed
in hesitation, lingered,
lost -

convince myself, oh would you please?

This moment, slipped to memory,
is not the only one like this

that there could ever be, for me.

And I will find the cost

Sunday, August 06, 2017

alone in the feels room

alone with my feels
in my feels room at home
it feels safe here, and bad
because nobody knows
how it feels in this room
where the feels get so
close, and there's nobody
here. So I beep my own
nose

Monday, July 31, 2017

better then

Better to slip once, fall, get
back up again recover your place and
go on, then to be caught, bit,
crushed and snarled in the

implacable teeth

of fate's mechanism, or

trod under, made a meal
of bones in a blood / mud
sauce by the implacable

wheels

of your mechanism's fate. If
by sheer luck, you

get to share your dream

with the implacable bitch, or
jerk
of your thoughts, dominating
therefore the rest of your

life, it is better to win

big, then die trying not to admit

to loss.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I keep reading this.

I keep reading this.

Later I come
back and read it
more. And with
never a thing

I can meaningfully
add. It is

strange and frustrating to
me, given how
the image shocks like a
deja vu, like
a recurring,
but always straightaway awake-and-fade
dream. I

know I never actually had
this dream.

Deja vu
is a memory-sensory malfunction. It is not
a combination of precognition and amnesia.

I'm afraid, in the falsely-recovered memory of this place.

Yet deeper than the memory, I know that
in the dream, I am not afraid. Never

afraid. My waking mind

knows it's all just tricks
of brain-lightning. I insist
I've never been there. I insist
I won't go back. The former

is just fact. The latter

is (I think) what scares me.

tailor's elves

needle
stitch, missed
a seam

between
a time or two
and we

have seen
what comes of that:
a suit

of clothes
that fit

like leprosy, that fits
like epileptic teeth
fit into tongues
til pried apart

so stuff a rag in it,
my love. I've heard enough

to beat
my heart

to sleep.

Each night, our needlework
undoes what dawn does to the day,
and leaves
us
stretched,

exhausted.
Worn.
Cast off, we close the wound
and weep. But in the dreamforsaken dark,
some pitter-patter feet dance in
like storybook ex machinas -

they make the bed we wake up in,
and dawn does what it does to day.
And you see what you saw in me.

Tonight, let's stay up past our time
and catch them in the act!

Shall we?

word for word

I'll return for you,
word for word, what you said - and you make
it mean something

new each time,
like a magic trick.
From an altered priest
turning water to wine
to fine allegory, and I know

what you mean. What you say, just
so. So precise, so exact, without
shade or spin. Every time, word for word -
I return them to you, and you tell
me what else you had slipped

right in

haystack

Grasping at straws
from a camel's back, I had never
intended to break the spine
of the book of our love,
with its pages
blank. I had given
to you what was never mine.

Now it's tossed
on a jumbled-up pile, in smoke
growing up like a column
of ghosts and snakes
from what once was a stack
of orderly thoughts
and ideals, shelved in lines,
perfect-pressed in space
with no spaces. Between
what one meant and the next,
it was all of a piece. One thing,
all arranged

for the best.
What a loss. What a mess
we have made

of the stately arrays
we browsed through and into,
and strayed,
and stayed.
Truths borrowed and used, and
New. Thrown away,
well

I thought you were through? Each thought

that the other was already
through

Saturday, July 29, 2017

le assignation

By the sea, unspecified
salt tang, orange and bitters
in the air, hot

like a cotton shirt wrapped
roast, reddening and flushed,
with emotion, mostly: check

time, check - place, yes,

a melt-beaded glass, tall
and so close to cold, held
to sweat-daubed skull,
breathing hot, shallow
air, simultaneously panicked
and comfortable.

There. Perfect. Napkin folded, newspaper,
pen - table in the corner, by the creeping
vine thing,

All to plan. Here.
Halfway to China from the West, past
France, keep going
where Buda meets Pest,
just a little down and left -
turn around three times, blindfolded,
and dance -
there you are.
We are right on time. Wherever
this is, Mediterranean blue? - otherwise,
could be Aegean, or - no, it is probably one
of those two.

Just as planned, long in secret
signal, cipher and plot.
We knew that it would come
from alone, to together
to apart,

like a million to one.
It couldn't probably succeed. But
we picked, carefully
time and place,
and we purchased all the ways, and
that's all of the luck we could buy,
or find,
or will need. Job done.

Aced. I am here and high

on life.

On time. Now
- wait for it! - sigh.

Now a little bit past.

You'll be sneaking up behind,

any minute now

fast

the vestige of dignity

if you've lied to yourself,
who catches you out? Will you notice
yourself? Can you trust you to? Were you
trying to save your feelings? Why?
Were you going to be mean?
Like you always do
To yourself,
I mean.

To everyone else,
you could not hurt a fly,
could you? So you'd say. So
you tell yourself. This is how
it begins. You always have run
yourself down this way.

The lie -
was it little and white? Or big?
Was it fat? No, I know - you'd never
say so.

But was it? This lie,
you've been feeding it years.
You've been stuffing it full,
of sweet reasons why it was true

and this lie

is finally fed up.

It is no longer willing
to screen your fears. It is no longer willing
to make you look good, to only
yourself,

with the rest of us here.

The rest of us knew.

multiple hot dogs

I had multiple hot dogs

walking around, trying to find my beer. Misplaced
at some point. From room to room, even rooms in
which I could not have set it down, not having
been through them during the time between
tossing the last can and popping
the current one, I refuse

to give up the chase
in a case like this,

I put on mustard, relish,
and, pausing Oxford-comma thoughtfully,
ketchup. Even though I know ketchup

is considered disgusting
on a hot dog. According to Dirty Harry Callahan,

most things are. And I refuse to give up

that sweet, vinegary tang, just because
some superstar devil-may-charming

quasifascist cop

who doesn't even exist
(some people don't)
(most people don't)

has elected to share his bigoted views
on condiments in a major motion picture

release!

My beer

Finally.

I can sit

Friday, July 28, 2017

like anything else, habit

A habit is only bad
to the extent that it is
a habit, and to the degree
that it's bad. But what

We call a habit - when there is some action
we continue unthinkingly - Some
take the attitude that

habit

intrinsically
is
bad; our actions shouldn't be undertaken
unthinkingly. Such people

cultivated the habit of thinking, prior
to taking action. Not

a bad habit!

but is it necessary? And if not,
is the opposite necessarily
bad? People

fall into a habit
of assuming that if a thing's bad, its opposite
must be good. A casual examination
of diarrhea and constipation refutes this easily, but
- is it necessary?

We must admit, not always.

We must also
admit even good habits
may not always be appropriate, in a given

context. But

- does that make the context bad? It could, but
it would be reckless to assume that it must
always be so in every case. Let's

look at it

foundationally the way

the key

to harnessing the power of habit

for good

is to determine in advance which actions,
undertaken regularly without any considerable
reflection, will yield the best mix of desired
and desirable results, and unexpectedly beneficial

or at least relatively harmless

unintended consequences. Are the latter
bad?

For someone who believes all consequences
should be intended, sure! Because for their intents
and purposes, unexpectedly beneficial

or at least relatively harmless

unintended consequences are a warning sign. It says:

"You didn't know what was going to happen
when you did that. That means
it could have been bad."

Now that's a cautious attitude, but
it carries with it the real risk
of reducing one's influence on one's
world

to only the relatively stunted effects
one can achieve by means whose mechanisms and impacts
one can thoroughly understand,

predict,

and manipulate. What if

instead, one made a habit
of thorough self-scrutiny? of motives
and a commitment to acting in good faith
and with good will, and then just go balls
-out nuts in all directions
using the best assortment of scattershot,
fire-and-forget, surface-to-air rumbling
-juggernaut-of-mercy techniques and
approaches one has

come across, or up with? Who wins Then?

I think we know who wins.
Like anything successful, it gets to be

habit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

At Being Told

You must be sick, at being told
you're beautiful. It's been too much,
it's far too done, you've heard it
all before, what's more

it makes
you feel
uncomfortable

for all those persons sadly left
without the awkward burden of
unwanted compliments that you
collect by bushel, dodging
peck, and shrugging

your acknowledgement

- but with a look that says
enough! I'm beautiful

I'm over it

Quit asking, If

Quit asking, if
it's ok, when you know
it's wrong, already. It's already wrong
by you, so
don't request an overrule.
Just
stop.

Or,
if you wish! keep going -
since you haven't asked me, since
you are ostensibly
in some doubt

As to whether it is or is
not ok "by me,"
Keep doing what you'd do
already
do, do what you must, if
you wish, if you wanted
to

maybe you
are the only one
who is troubled by what you've done.

And keep doing

Monday, July 24, 2017

waking

I'm quietly alive in a dream come true
where nothing makes sense,
but it thinks we do.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

light

Another one, pulled smooth and flipped
absently to lip, drawn in to the
sheltering hand, head bowed click
rasp incandescent catching

the intake of your breath, and
pull deep, let out

sigh. With regret

wishes grow

wishes grow on trees, another
reason to replenish the depletions
of environments
wrought by our lotteries

same hat

same hat. Fits
a bit
differently, I expect
just like thoughts
underneath
flow in orders various
as the variegated
inputs

into each,
respectively.

But -
two heads, they say
speaking not
simultaneously, but
overlapping,
"are better
than one"

and if it's true
that size matters not,
or that one size
fits all, looks

good.
To me

Friday, June 23, 2017

beyond count

Pinpricks in the sky,
Like budding cherry blossoms -
A lace made of light. Night pulls
covers over us, way way way out past
cities making wishes. A shooting star
hovers, one syllable over
in the otherwise straight line
of God's haiku

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Easy truths, become cliches

Easy truths lend themselves
to overuse. And, become cliches,
offend the ear of those who
value novelty. It isn't that
they aren't true, or have no
true or real value, it's just
that we begin
the fifteenth time,
the fiftieth, the thousandth,
to suspect the one who hits us with
such easy truth - a baseball bat
held wrong-way up
- does not know how to hit,
to win.

But still,
the truth

is just as straight
and curved and hard and long
and fast, as many days
as it's proved true, the first
as true as last, the worst

that you can say of it
is: this. The human mind
can grasp

and use

a truth, poorly, even
wrongly - we may reach
for what we mean, try
to say just what we want, and maybe miss, or kiss
the pitch fair, pure luck - and so,
deserve no credit! But that truth, itself
has force. Even if

we only hold it out
to bunt,

take off and run

Monday, May 01, 2017

ominous flight

Listen while the rowers in the wind fly o'er
droves of solitary birds, ravens, crows -
all in one direction, in silence dipping oars
something coming after, maybe? Fuck it - who knows

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Message from a bottle

Hang in there, you. Take heart.
Be of brave, good cheer. Regard
the world with shining eye, and if
it won't meet your gaze, maybe
it's not lying. Maybe it's just shy.

I have learned from being here.

From birds, not how to sing but why,
from friends what enemies are laughing
at, from the mirror
that my sad face looks fake, and
from you, that you'll never help me practice it

but a lesson like that is a piece of cake
- you can eat it, too. Falling off a log
with you, a lot depends on who lands first,
but it's not a race. In ancient days,
I might have been mistaken, enslaved,
worshipped as A GOD - and you, my favorite sacrifice,
but more likely,

the science fiction ending: unstuck
in time, place, parts of speech drifting
away and on your face, as always,
facial features
- unreadable without the cereal box top
decoder ring. Send away,

I am receiving.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

strong coffee

I got the worst night of my life stuck in my throat
I need something to wash it down before I choke
Well I can't take heed of the warnings, I've tried
and I fear my old age will never take me alive
so I'm coming to a stop 'til it starts again
I know nothing's going to help me
in the state I'm in, but give me strong

coffee, ma'am
certified organic or petroleum-based, hey
I don't really give a good god damn
just so it's strong
coffee for me. Black, no
sugar, don't leave any room for cream

I can't prove one single thing I've ever done
and don't know who I am or what
I have become
It's like you wake up from a dream and can't remember your life
I know every stupid thing except why, why why?
Someone please turn down the light, I can't
focus my mind, I need something I can taste
'cause I've sure gone blind - just give me strong

coffee, ma'am
certified organic or petroleum-based, hey
I don't really give a good god damn
just so it's strong
coffee for me. Black, no
sugar, don't leave any room for cream

Sanity Check

Your vanity - any mirror you check,
can only reflect
your sanity.
In that
looking glass -
if you were not vain,
speaking rationally,
you'd be insane.

Monday, April 17, 2017

from the inside

To each their own
cell, no guard
except God if there is one,
no visitors
allowed inside, no fellow prisoners
for company - only a couple of windows
and these companionable walls,

through and over which you can stretch
your neck, strain your mind, sneak
a peek out. You can still catch a glimpse
of familiar space, in the dawning light
on a stranger's face. Well,

if anything's sacred, that must be it. If the piece
that you're holding won't ever fit, what if
somebody, somewhere, out in the cold has
a jigsaw gap, just the shape you hold...?
You can't fucking get it to them, though.
All you can do is describe it. And then they
can pretend they know
what it is to hold.

Ick.
Today's topic is
"Have you ever felt utterly alone?"
Yes, most always. Although
I am not the only one.

bookkeeping

Sometimes I am out of line,
and you let me off the hook.
But in that case, it's not my
call. Not my business, in your book
the entry's blank - it's not my place
to call you to accounts,
just to offer thanks. I owe nothing
- in generous amounts.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

tea ceremony

When you've plumbed and traced the shape of that ache,
you will find you can draw it forth as a blade
to cut paths through the phantoms of could
and should be, that are placed in your paths
by the enemy. Who,
disappointingly and undramatically enough,
is often you yourself, pulling
one of those subconsciousness snuggie cloaks
close around you and down over your eyes
in a sinister attempt at incognito,

but I know you

and you've been beginning to get wise
to that bastard's ways for a while or two
by now. Time to sit down together to a TEA AND CRUMPETS PARTY.

You two are ON THE SAME SIDE!

But it all begins
in examination of that ache,
with an eye towards fashioning it
into a defensive mechanism and multi-purpose
instinct-guided and -guiding tool. It is the ache
that is in you, in the shape of what is not,
that teaches us what's missing,
and the negative space in us into which it will fit.

It is strange that we want
or need such a thing. But it is only by feeling the shape,
by knowing our ache that we can make our eyes wise
to its possible fix, every wherever we come across its shape
in this profuse and abundant world.

Meanwhile, sit
Have tea, and linger

in this moment of getting to know

'til it hurts.

'More Than Sum'

The product of two,
divided by none
and raised to the power
of equals, is
less than three
to infinity, and
they're already writing
the sequels.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

the witness

If a tree falls in a forest, it
was not sound. You didn't
hear a thing, you
were there, on the scene
- in the way, and
perfectly positioned
to say. "It didn't make
a sound! I'd have ducked, dodged,
run away otherwise," resolutely refusing
to blame your earbuds, maintaining a cracking,
groaning, giving-way tree ought to out-racket
anything on your playlist, therefore:

it didn't.

It was silent. You're perfectly confident
you are competent to swear
on the truth in the matter. The proverbial treefall

did not make a sound.

If a tree falls in a forest
and it kills the only witness,
is it any of our business?

Well. In memory of the thing,
now definitively settled,

Let us have one minute's silence.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

execution style

I'm always sneaking up, but
you never have once.
But we all have wants -
How can you be so cold?
No, not cold: direct.
You have never let me hang,
But I kind of wish you would.
Let me stretch out my neck

You

stabbed me in the heart, but at least
it's from the front. I will turn my back
on you, if that's what you want

if that's what you want.

Let's do this. Execution
-style, I'm sick of pleading
innocent. Not guilty,
'cause I might be insane, but

I'm not giving up on it.

post-op

You've sewed shut your lips, and you're waiting
for the stitches to melt.
You'll never once open your mouth
to tell how it felt.

Friday, January 27, 2017

exclusive committed

No tongues, no lips, no
pussies no clits no titties
no nips, no dicks - not even
just the tips! (no "practice
dips"), that's just
how it is.
These things, contact with,
each to each
is reserved. No, it didn't
need saying, but it's good

to observe.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

hurry on, torchbearer

I'm not smoking, I'm just carrying a very small torch. I
took it up right when you gave me a ring, quite a small one

but grand! we both thought. Give or take
four more and, by the time I am though
with the added tax on every pack, beginning in April
then on 'til I quit, I am sure I'll have paid twice over
for it, and more. But it isn't for you,

that I go through the world like this. Shed my
light, passersby incensed,

And it isn't for you,
this world's smallest torch. Oh it's you
that I carry it for, I admit, but

it's more on behalf of my very last breath, and
the sake of enjoying my way to it

that I light this torch, and I hold it high

as if lost in the mist of its heavenly scent, or

what passes for it.

universe plans

the universe plans nearly all
of my moves, in the obstacles
waiting wherever I roam. They
make sense to me, at least one

sometimes three

So I'll see
or I'll feel, my way up
if that's where
I am trying
to go. And with taste,
I will find my way home,
if that's where

I am

or am trying to go.

They make sense
to me, so I know
what to do. Where it goes,
how to act, and:
accordingly. Is
how I act.
Is there any
way else that I've
missed? Accordingly works,
I have found. That it is
always evident,
always makes sense,
where I go. On the way
to wherever it goes.
It is always the plan,
so I've found.

So I ask: why bother with those?

Roads, so much easier read than their maps.
Obstacles, easily through or around, or
at worst, back the way that you came - which
is wide. Buildings,

so easy to read from inside.

Why bother with plans? You can plan
it all out, but the universe can,
and it has, all you need

to decide.

Monday, January 23, 2017

"Distress Damsel"

I don't mind a damsel
in distress, but if I can,
I'd rather get you out
of distress. Distress
is ugly, awful. Where?
did you get distress

Was it on sale? Did
you check all the
stitching? It may
have been a factory remainder, or
counterfeit

with a logo on it, but
you bought it. Well,

let's get you out

of distress,
now

Shall we?

"Nothing dirty"

The visual is all we have
to go on, through our eyes. That's why
we depersonalize.
We get to know you better, as
you speak. Eventually

we wish we could know
as much as could be, about
how you feel. Nothing dirty
in that deal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

disappointing forecast

heavy features in a stormcloud face
but when sun breaks through, you
would be amazed. But you won't
be, though. Because you
don't bring out the sun.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Patronizing

As a child, I took delight
learning the names of the Saints
I could pray with to help me through,
this or that emergency, problem,
contingency, need – specialists,
really. Anthony for lost things,
Jude for lost causes, Christopher
(who I understand may not have
existed) to break traffic jams
and keep airplanes aloft, which
isn't hard, Nicholas
to get me on Santa’s list,
and so on. I did not “pray
to” them. Scandalous, that would seem.

Later, though, I learned “to pray”
does not mean what I thought it means.
It just means “to make a plea.” I could
pray to you if I wanted to. Prithee this,
prithee that – neat! That’s just
what they did formerly, medievally,
of old to their feudal lords, and
they weren’t worshipping them.

In my adulthood (so
-called), though,
having learned well enough
who’s who and handles what, I seem
nevertheless to have been
delighting in sending up
the perfectly right prayer
to the completely wrong guy (or
girl sometimes – as I recall,
most of the women saints
were girls, and had died so
sadly). Why? Some kind
of perverse urge, I guess!

Generally it would be a guy.
I'm a little shy around females
of stainless and perfect virtue,
sometimes. Depends on the situation,
but generally, it was a guy.

I imagined some of them might
have been annoyed.

They're specialists, after all.
The best there is at what they do, and
if you're St. Jude, me praying to you
about my car keys might strike you
beneath your dignity.

But would it? Would it really? Lately,
it struck me - I bet you’d be delighted
by a nice change of pace, now and then
in eternity. Wouldn't they? So, I don’t really
know if I should knock it off
or not.

People up there love me! To judge
by results, anyway

some of them do

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Despatch

End so it ends. Another exchange
of letters of pixels through ether. Another cut
of soul, shamelessly laid bare. Another heart
in throat leap, trusting that YOU KNOW. WHAT? Eh,
I dunno, whatever's appropriate to know, reasonably
accurate to the facts, within the scope
of the overlap between the mutual understandings
we each mean to establish, and to otherwise
question the questionable,

Even if one's standing to ask is idling
curiously by the curb while you or they
loiter indecisively nearby, unsure of
whether to tug down the hem of somebody's skirt. You
could get picked up for that
in this town, and when they drop the charges
for lack of any sense it's not going to
break anybody's heart, or make the day's news
any smarter. By the time it hits the front page,
it'll be mustard from a street vendor's oversauced
dog.

Acceptancy

It's time to be alive in the world you've made,
your destination's here. You are on its way
and your path is as sick or as well as you care
to acknowledge every symptom, and call it all
fair.

My Inner Kirk II: The Wrath

My inner Geordi said "Detecting a surge!"
My inner Data said "I seem to observe..."
My inner Worf simply growled in rage
My inner Picard said: "LOCK!...ENGAGE."

My inner Spock said "Phasers on KILL"
My inner Kirk said "Fire at will."
My inner Sulu said your shields gave in,
My inner Bones said "HE'S! DEAD! JIM!"

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Film Review in Poem Form #1: Casablanca

So because basically he's all "In
one of the gin joints, in all
the lousy towns in the world
- and then she walks in!"

They had a history, you see, but
you don't know that. You find out
later. He'd already had a history
himself: a real idealist, mercenary
type. Running guns, participating
in losing revolutions, he thought
he was pretty much "all man"
and knew the difference. But
he had to take a little break
in Paris, between gigs, didn't he? It must have been

fate at hand,
that day - because next thing
you know, she meets this guy
and they're being all coy and
joyfully mysterious about their
pasts. Drinking, smoking,
implying sex, it was as if

it was a game to them. A game
they'd heard about before - no time
for it, then. But now, it was a game
they could both afford to play,
because it was so plain
they'd already secretly
won.
Somehow,
by that point, what did the past matter?

As it turns out, he was kidding himself.
He thought he was the one from the big
dark past with shadowy crap in it,
meanwhile she herself was just about
as rough and tumble a revolutionary
as he'd been - and worse,
even more willing

to sacrifice what's worth living for,
even more willing

to sacrifice everything
for a hard, bad cause:

whatever's right.
Next thing you know, like a chump
in the rain clutching a note,
all the meaning in the world
was running away

and he finally realized that train
wasn't ever going there. Somebody lied,
or maybe somebody just didn't say
the truth out loud.

It amounted to the same thing: beans. One hill.

By then, naturally
the only thing left with meaning
in life was to go crawl to some
Gottforsaken desert hole, and act
mister big shot in a white tuxedo jacket,
play coy and mysterious with suave,
brutal German honchos, wink sarcastically
at the disgusting antics of the barbarous
French sheriff, bandy a lot of banter
with Sidney Greenstreet and assorted
other characters, and then what?

Everybody's sitting there by this point
going, "the dialogue is delicious!" "How
can this man possibly have so much savoir faire and yet
care so little about it?"

He can't.
Nobody can.
It's because they don't know the history. Then

she walks in with it.

Ingrid Bergman
was treated so cruelly in that movie,
you know. The story's famous, and as it happens,
it goes that they shot both endings. All along
the way - even in the flashback scene,
where realistically
she shouldn't have even been thinking about it!
- the actress had no idea which man
she's going to end up with

Much like life, really,
but a cruel way to treat an actress. How's
she supposed to describe an arc?
When she knows somewhere out there,
in the future, an alternate ending
DVD extra has already happened
- was released.

And that was the real film, in that universe.
In that universe, everybody said "Ah! Casablanca.
A slight film, a charming film,
a film with wit and characters - not much
heft to it, but at least there's a happy ending!
That much is certain,

those two were made to end up together,
early, often, and ever after. What
a piece of business."

And so she had no idea. What universe
was she living in?
And she looked it! She looked like
she came in from a better one, still
had hopes of getting back there.
But at the point of her crisis, she gave up on love
for what was right. He, meanwhile, gave up on love
because of what was right.

That's also why he gave up
on what was right, or had been. He'd found out,
by then, what was worth living for.
What's right isn't it. Not a broken man, just
a bent animal in a white tuxedo jacket
and a sense of style, both of which
fit perfectly. And by then,
she walked in.

God damn it I hope I never hear that song again But
if she can stand it, so can I.

I learned all those
same lessons he did, when
I first saw the film. And
I was deeply moved because
it was just a movie. That's
what consoles us to these things. That's
what reconciles us to movies. Later,
I was sitting in a gin joint
in some forsaken town in the real world,
or what suddenly no longer passed for it:

because all of a sudden, she walks in.

It's all a lot of history,
and it never amounts to much.
The right person got on the plane,
that's all that matters.
It took me forever to realize that
the whole time, she didn't know who

she was going to end up with.

stupid intelligent

Slow and dense, these boulders of mine
- in mind, they grind the world
so fine that by the time a problem's
solved and done, the trace of it
will coat the works and everyone
need never be a bit concerned by or
with it.

Every turn it comes back round
the wheel of chance, I'll recognize
what I had found and dealt so slowly,
densely with - at half a glance,
dispense with it
with graceless ease. This guy's so

smart,
they tell me. PLEASE

only on things I have already found,
overthought by a million too many
degrees too fine, and in
-to the ground.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

"Sell-By Date"

She seemed so fresh and appealing, He
sure looked like a likely bargain, They
made an impulse buy, on the way to check out
each other
each other

And a date was fixed, but they didn't check
what was wrong with it, when they opened up
they'd depended on these ingredients
to not go so wrong, but something's up

Didn't we want this?
Why did we get this?
Destined for breakfast,
originally - Wasn't it?
Weren't we convinced?
So sure! the sell by date
was eternity

So sure

He seemed so funny, but something
smells funny. No, not amusing, no -

not at all. She looked something sweet,
but something's sure soured
between these two, maybe
there's some way to save
what they saw?

The date was fixed, but it they've broken it
Or maybe it rolled off the line that way
Anything else that they add on top now,
what chance will there be that this taste goes away?

Didn't we want this?
Why did we get this?
Destined for breakfast,
originally - Wasn't it?
Weren't we convinced?
So sure! the sell by date
was eternity

So sure

"My love for you is like the end of a book, not"

My love for you is like the end of a book, not
there yet but close, oh so closing
in, so much no please don't
going on - in the narrowing
thickness, each whispery flip
and flick, hope is giving way
to enjoyment or at least, trying to
as it becomes frantically clearer
what the author is doing to you - why
run out of pages like this! So much
further, you wish to be taken - eyes
intent on every foreshadow, crying out against
resolution, willing into being possibilities,
complications, cliffhangers,
sequels

In the movie version we will play ourselves, but
which of us wrote this damn thing?

Monday, January 02, 2017

hypothetical panties

It's none of my business, really
and a fine, fine line (if any)
and curious that such a thing
(or not) would engage curiosity.

I realize I have no excuse to guess
but look, I was pretty sure, just a sec
I could have sworn - but the point
is neither
here nor there - or "either,"
maybe?
Here or there, or nowhere. Say
we believe
or not, it is just
as well.
It's a matter of faith,
anyway. A gentleman

cannot tell