but aren't they all random?



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

Monday, 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