Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here's the Test

Grim frigid outpost
of the broken tiles
and pitted steel
and concrete of the bald
inhuman efficacy of New York:

the structure – soulless –
of a subway platform –
predicating winter as
the antidote to sentiment –
New York as unfeeling creature,

barren rocky moon:
no room for, interest in
the loneliness of your affections.
New York is defection
from all softness, warmth today –

its cold and brutal business
soon comes clear:
spawning yet another year.
You think you love her?
Meet her here.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Washing My Mother (revisited)

I wrote this four years ago to the day: 12/30/04. I place it here now
because I just came back from seeing the marvelous movie
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and it made me remember
this poem. So - here it is again.

(30 December 2004)

"Put on your robe. I'll help you to the bathtub,
mom." A calm like church as the assemblage
of her terry-clothed fragility held onto you as
both of you walked slowly down the hall.

A bath-seat waited, and you turned a gentle rush
of water on, and helped her slip out of her robe,
and surely as she'd commandeered your baby body
more than fifty years before, you helped her,

naked, lift her spindle legs above the porcelain,
and past the shower door, to settle on the stool,
willing that the water be the right degree of warm.
You swallowed your amazement at her girlish form.

You wonder at this moment - soaping, rinsing,
drying the frail dying woman who had lent you life -
overcoming everything that ought to have
forbidden it. You can't imagine how you did it.


Monday, December 29, 2008

This Was The Year

This was the year I caught Manhattan’s early spring
off-guard – bare-assed – all barren rock and infant grass –
naked as a fuzzy ugly eaglet. This was the year I gave in

to the tumbling New York City summer – let the blunt
force trauma of its humid torrid volupté have its exorbitantly
sinful way with all of me: discovered in tree-ripened peaches

reaches of a thundering penumbral sweet embrace for
which I hadn’t until this year found a conscious place. This
was the year the autumn demonstrated that it knew the lurid

colors of the darker regions of the Universe quite well:
this was the year it offered up an orange moon as horrible
and wonderful as hell. This was the year I grew to know

the winter solstice: let it bolster me with its grave
ambiguities and learn they have a rumbling lot to do
with my own destiny. This was the year I felt my body, bones

link to the reeling wheel – its spokes and bumps throughout
the months – found I was indistinguishable from its feel
and apparatus, spin and rise and fall: that I was bits

and pieces of its rolling all. This was the year I stopped
expecting “deep” and found “complete.” This was the year
my psyche might just finally have had enough to eat.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Later in the Day

To have, as your medium, speech –
when what flourishes inside
is so beyond reach – when what reels
in the slowest and softest diffuse

sort of way – counter-clockwise –
against what you’d thought was
the natural sway – to think that for this
there were words – is like thinking

you’d know how to fly if you queried
the birds. But query the birds you do,
and whatever you learn turns out
private: inchoate: essentially tailored

to you – inexplicable – secret –
and fine – though it tastes of the delicate
wine of aloneness. Strange how
the soul labors, later in the day.


After a Phone Call

Glittering and precious
self-defining narrative –
excruciating – crucial! –
how long have you held

tightly to its golden bars
and stayed inside its cage?
Unlatch its fragile door:
come out: engage.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Honey

If I were to try to tell you what you do for me,
I’d have to sit here like a hive of bees incurring
batches of more honey, and more honey, and more
honey – each provisionally adequate for this,
abominably wrong for that, and no poor hungry
bee would ever get the least bit fat – I’d not allow

one insect to be fed as I inspected yet another
flowing bed of golden but inappositely useful
liquid sweetness: each would be discarded with
a rabid fleetness for its imperfections – for the ways
it hadn’t spread upon the tongue to offer one
scintilla of a sense of how you tread upon the planet

and invent new ways to turn each quantum bit
of nothing into something that might just as well
be kickass cosmic big bang sex, though it may
masquerade as gentle glance or slow intake
of breath. (That’s the sort of thing I’d say: not yet
remotely on the money.) Back to make more honey.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Card from Your First Cousin

Emerges from a jambalaya of past voices – crises –
still alive – if half-forgotten – burbling up like Cajun
peppers – colors – spices: can’t escape
kaleidoscopic chaos at the fringes, bubbling surfaces
of these expansive layered breathing heaving steams,

these bright unfathomed dreams, dimensionalities:
a Christmas card from your first cousin says:
“Still hanging in there” – and at first you think you taste
again the rarefied strange peppered tang of this
exotically elusive just-post-solstice air – but no, you

aren’t here or anywhere you know: this is an atmosphere
in which you’ve never been – stinging like a dozen
dissonantly overlapping saxophones in an indifferent
war of jambalaya jazz bands – moaning out their
frazzled songs about the inescapability of family sin.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Full System Response

Porous and as colorlessly unremarkable
as shale – meticulously through and into
which the oily iridescent whole regalia
flows and seeps – molecularly grows

and keeps each alteration – monitoring
more new flows and seeps – at each
of which it glows a little more, then steeps
itself inside each glow until a final florid

yes is almost reached – near transmutation
of a no – or so it seems when you don’t
go to sleep but lie there, watching nothing,
in the coalescing light and winter’s

predawn mystical fraternity, before their
tints and hues accrue, as if in their faint
glimmering reflections your not-yet-blue
irises had just begun to register eternity.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That Portion Of It

Let’s take a little secret time
for happiness.
I’ve got abundantly more than
I’d need – Lord knows,

not less – to savor you,
and you, well, you don’t
have to think about a thing:
just lie back in your

soul’s sweet hammock: close
your eyes, and swing.
Permit the Entity to underpin
and oversee.

(That portion of it which you
may feel creamily attending
to each whirling inexplicability
of you is me.)


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas Hymn

I frantically just threw together Christmas in an hour –
driven by some unsuspected catapulting power:
I think my city finally just got me in a headlock: clocked me,
made me knuckle under to her twinkly kinky wonder –
made me stop behaving like a blocked-up prig: pricked me
painfully with sprigs of sharpened plastic drug-store holly –

something almost jolly – so that crazily I’d dazedly entwine
and swerve around her Mannahatta curves to this or that
of her effulgent cornucopia, emporia, snatching candy canes
and such until whatever I had touched became essential
props in her bright grand December dance: she
played me like a ukulele, bopped me up and down –

around – like some strung puppet in a trance, jingling bells –
subjecting me to tingling spells: coercing schemes of heaven
from her many hells, a loud exacting simulacrum
of an unimpeded joy – so similar to it that now I’m home,
and now I’ve hauled my bags upstairs – I just about could
swear that I’ve begun to care about this folderol again.

But really it is always she: this city of my heart who makes
me start and stop and turn toward creating the most
skewed untoward accommodations to her every whim.
She’s the one to whom I sing my Christmas hymn.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Chill That Warms

Calm – as if it wants to spread this gelid wind with balm –
apply it to us like a poultice – some mystic healing
seems to seek to seep caressingly from unexpected
sources in the winter solstice – buffering us from
its bold sub-zero sting: as if to help us grasp just this –

as all our sighing freezes into mist: there’s no resistance
we need bring to dying: the air and light outside –
could this be why they tug to be described? – say so:
there is in their colluding, odd and abnegating glow
a chill that warms: this beautiful concatenation of dark

forms of branch in leafless trees across the park,
silhouetted, stark against white glare as if to tell us so
much more is there than we can know – there are,
I think, in their sharp season – this nadir of the day
and zenith of the night – there are in all their grand

apparently withholding brightnesses, ambivalently
jarring shadows, hues and tints – provocative, alluring,
reassuring hints: the surest one of which suggests so
many other blest dimensionalities – beyond the ones
we fear, and think we get, of breath and death.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

At The Winter Solstice

Sleety grey sky cleans its mess –
sun emerges – strange light –
late December glare: brightness
as a species of deep night:

as if once more to make one
recollect the sun’s a star.
Everything is done
and nothing’s far.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

For Anything

Footsteps clomp
like rhinos on the floor
above; casing on
the outside front door lock
is loose; cell phone

texting intermittent –
losing juice; AOL flicks
error messages subliminally –
operates molasses-slow;
one walks in peril through

the icy leftovers of snow –
gravity at odds with
lumbering and flailing
limbs: as if the sorrowfully
vast materiality of an existence

were atoning for its sins.
Still have to navigate
its hazards to pick laundry up,
and hot-and-sour soup,
and try to keep myself within

the tenuous and trembling
loop. I wonder what
new urban awkwardnesses
it will bring. I wouldn’t trade
my life for anything.


Friday, December 19, 2008


I thought it called for grandeur, substance, drama –
all its preternaturally swelling panorama –
blasting vastness to a tiny softness, like a feather –
surely consciously encompassing, the weather

offered an exactly correlating deity
for every human want, confusion and velleity –
angry gods, alluring goddesses all manifest
in every storm or blue sky – east or west –

and yes, especially, this blanketing of sleeting
snow today on all of New York City, greeting
eyes and hearts with hints in its congestion
of some answer without precedent: suggestion

comes poetically accessible in wetness, wind
and cold – the promised expiation of each sin
you’d thought could only meet an abject silence
and no absolution at the end: but some sad sense

dimly covering a grim and undefended terror
in your eyes makes silly symbolism cease: the error
stabs itself into the mind, is brutally laid bare:
to you the weather is no metaphor, it’s damned blank air.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Queen

My queen reigns in a window
full of winter sun – becoming pale.
Every New York love
must face the same
conundrum – bring it out
and prop it up and feel it grow
as warm as flesh, and very soon

it cools – unblessed:
gets the wan December look
my queen has now. I’ll keep her,
though: her fadedness has uses:
shows me how experience
evolves. She stands like
an eternity of beige

forgetfulness: she lifts her hand –
grasps nothing. Old dusty satin
and whatever sort of stuffing
my forgotten notions
of her may once long ago
have been. As clean
as unremembered sin.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Feast Like This

Sometimes the howl
inside the human heart
is all you hear – the desperation
at the start – and when
the end is near – the inexplicability
of all its riddling middle:

I was a cat today
without a fiddle – having lunch
with two bright teens
as closed as cans of tuna:
succulence all crammed away:
no words of mine could

open them, could cut availingly
through their shut metal –
reveal whatever baby fear
kept them from
some imagined injury.
It vastly threw – unsettled – me.

New York City hit me
as I attempted to negotiate
through schizophrenic homeless
creatures in the streets and on
the subway back. Tonight I’m seeing

Liza at the Palace: Judy Garland’s
daughter – sixty-two:
cracked and splayed and sweating –
and, reviews all say,
exactingly released: I need a feast
like this, don’t you?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

If The World Were Sexual Today

If the world were sexual today –
and let’s decide it is –
then it must be much like
the raven-haired improbably sweet
lean young dancer whom I saw this
morning on the subway – keen black

irises and alabaster skin and ebon
eyebrows like two painted wings –
Egyptian iconography made blood-
warm flesh: it would have dipped as
freshly, deeply, gracefully as the plié
with which he entertained his rush-hour

audience astride a silver pole
obligingly provided by the MTA:
it would have played the role he played
as he engaged my eyes as we got off
our ride at Twenty-Third Street –
and I told him how delightfully I thought

he’d danced for us – and he asked in
the accents of some middle-eastern
country I could not decipher
what I did – and I forbade myself
to answer that my occupation
was to linger sinisterly everywhere

to find such finds as him – so I just
smiled as he stood waiting for a cue –
which I denied him: ah, my New York City! –
yes, I knew of course I had to minister
instead to you. Everybody sighed:
he pirouetted out of view.


Monday, December 15, 2008

What Inspirations Bring

I dislike being too inspired –
passions hit, too much desired –
suddenly I’m shivering
in some absurd new quivering

uncertainty: born of the kick
itself, convincing me the trick
of my existence now
depends on figuring out how

I can invade an art
to make it viscerally part
of my frail flesh.
The wound’s too fresh

to tolerate: I need the balm
of letting it subside to calm
annihilation. Playing Bach
and having it unlock

me is a dicey enterprise.
It’s hard to feel right-sized
after its dark intoxications:
they mix with other sweet relations

I might have (let’s say) with you.
And that can’t help but skew
the whole damned thing.
But that’s what inspirations bring.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Option

Painting is a bitch,
and music is too hard.
Acting is a mystery,
and poems? Find a bard.

Leave love to its misery –
ridiculous, unblessed:
let the thing die as it is –
unfathomed, unexpressed.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fetal Christmas

By my earliest December – more than four months
in the womb, evolving toward and through
the solstice – one-hundred-thirty-something days
before my birth would burst in May – my ears had
fully hatched – sounds began to play. What marvels

they would bring! For through those apertures
and past the densities of waxy fetal buffering
and amniotic fluid, through the muscular enclosing
universe of uterus, I surely heard my father in
his ringing tenor sing: “Glory to the newborn king.”


The Last Xmas Punch Party

How many Xmas bells
have rung how many
gruesome rounds

already? – when will they
have their final brutal
party in your soul?

When will the knockout
come? – that blood-red-

punch that blows
your last few lights out,
leaves you heavy, dense,

unmoving and unconscious
as a fruitcake on the floor? –
when will all that quake

down through your chimney
hole and leave you
thankful there’s no more?


Friday, December 12, 2008

Like Sweet Alyssum Flowering in Winter

On Listening to Bach’s F Minor Sonata for Violin and Keyboard

Please let me slip into this glisten – fully listen to, remember,
your fleet light endearments – feel your muscular
suspensions, tensions so regalingly resolve – dissolve
my odd misapprehensions in your cool exonerating balm,
your calm prospectus of the heart: let me take part

by giving you whatever muscle, tendon, bone, integument
I’ve got that you might care to use to build an instrument: oh,
play me like a violin – curl your florid vine around my spine
and bud arpeggios like winter-blooming Sweet Alyssum –
show me all the sure reticulated starbursts of your

splendid spiraling anachronistic flowers: help me make
a full transition from this hour to eternity: whisperingly
bright, awake – let me gently quake to the enduring rhythmic
shock of you, through all the rest of any point-of-view that
my poor wandering bewildered consciousness might take.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wall Street, on the Soul

Fear and greed invade each seed
and spot of us – they’re ragingly
contagious: saving your own precious
life – a horror at your death – are
what they’re fundamentally about:
morally, perhaps, they’re imprecise
but physically they leave no doubt:
you crave to breathe and you would

seethe and plot and rout and spout
against whatever other creature
needed breath if it remotely meant
that you would have to go. Try to mop
the woe from dying brows and you’ll
soon know that no one really
likes it anyhow. Is there a way
to celebrate and follow source

without resorting to a course
of killing hope and making corpses
of collaterally living things? If
you were a certain kind of Buddhist
through and through would you
contrive to find a way to let the slew
of flora in your small and large
intestines brew and never die? Ah,

but when they flourished, and made
flora nations, went to war: the lot
of you would self-consume and fry.
There is no way to keep on keeping on,
my dear, that won’t rely on kicking
something into the abyss. It’s you or me
or it or them, my friend – whatever’s
left can throw a goodbye kiss.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Half-Past Three Again

We’re here at half-past-three p.m. again – amid new
oblongs, shards of mesmerizing pearled December light –
carved by random closed-and-opened shutters in
the windows: drizzle spits against the panes.
The mystery remains: won’t bend or crack a lip or eyelid
for an interview. I will not say I see more than I do
and what I see is never more than one flicked stricken

moment of a thing – yet something sings: apparently
there’s change, and harmony: I’m now, presumably,
metabolizing tiny mountain ranges of two score
or so sweet red bell pepper slivers – yellow, too – all raw –
with dill dip and some hefty dabs of a voluptuously
mellow hummus which I dropped into the maw of my arcane
biology – and to refute the teleology of time: the strange

illusion that there is a goal, a line, an end implied between
what seems to have occurred back then and now.
I think from here on in I’ll fast – won’t eat another second,
minute, hour: there is no past, and I won’t let one
blasted bit of that hallucination hit: except, of course, in
my devouring dreams. There are, I cannot help but wonder
at them, dreams: let them, and poetry, consume my fat

and lean exaggerations. And still, and still the mystery.
That New York City is the only place for me has
much to do with what it does so metabolically to history:
spreads it like a dip on crudités and rolls it flat.
I digest its digest every day, evaporating and condensing
like the raindrops spatter, splat against the air
conditioner right now: a dash, a flash, a pitter-pat.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

If Someone Had

Your eyes carve space
to make a place for blooming
purple volume – the shadows
of Manhattan buildings
are as dark and violet to you
as lust: appearances
come first – they have a sexy
knack for slaking thirst:

what you’d like to think is
always what you’d rather drink.
You are, in fact, the literary
and pontificating drunk
too smart to crawl out from
your rich embroidered funk –
you know about the swooning
blue romance of heroin –

and gasp the quickened breaths
of endlessly explicative
didactic crystal meth: you are
the death of you but also
mark the glimmer of a yearning
for a life: you will not
cease until you’ve made a halo
of your strife, and painted

your ungainly saintliness all
over every wall. You are
the record of your rise and fall.
No one asked you if you
wanted to be born. You wonder
if that’s good or bad.
You wonder what you might
have said if someone had.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Tomorrow, in the Loo

More than a bit suspiciously we ventured on
a little shopping spree today to purchase produce –
not the sort of food we’re used to eating:
fresh, forbidding yellow and red peppers, celery
and broccoli – and Brussels’ sprouts – well, yes,
the last we’d managed to poeticize not long ago,

but with a touch too much bravado to be trusted:
rusty is the best that we could call our vegetable
cooking skills – too many ills and spills are
likely when we get our hands and colanders
and pans and spatulas and scoops and knives
and forks and spoons into the mystic runes

of “growing things”: and yet the idea of the fitness
of amassing plants supplants the worst of our
besetting woes – some budding atavistic
yearning for a taste of Spring – perhaps a hunger
for its contrast that the thought of Winter
and its snowing brings: at any rate we’ve got

a pile of cellulose, B-vitamins, and heaven knows
whatever else is slotted through this diet to
engorge our unsuspecting gorges and we’ll let
you know the outcome when we do. Though we
can probably predict already that we’ll spend
a longer time than usual, tomorrow, in the loo.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Things To Pay Attention To



Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Crucial Trait

Flat feet,
an utter lack
of aptitude
for anything mechanical –
my chromosomal legacy
includes a cartload

of propensities
and liabilities
to rue, and ponder,
But I will claim
as mine
genetic proof

my antecedents
were divine:
my brother
and my father
and my mother were
all hopelessly susceptible
to helpless laughter.


Friday, December 5, 2008

To an NYU Undergrad in Washington Square

Oh, slim
and young
and pimpled
blond –
thank heaven
you can’t see
today. So many
links of sin
and hymn,
and dimpled
ass and
simple truth
will bond
to chain
your youth,
and make it fray:
but you don’t
have to know
one bit
of that inevitable
flow. Live life
as if it were a lick
of cream:
and dream
and scheme –
and when you die,


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Again - the Trick, the Quick

It’s as if each aspect of the angle of the prism through which
I implore this New York City light – each afternoon – each day
beginning in December after three and thriving only barely
up to five – beyond which it has so immersed itself in diving into
darkness that the only possible response is blunt despair – it is
as if my only reason for existence is to bear some witness to it:
ah, but there’s the trick – the galvanizing quick – of it: today
we are again in Norway, Ibsen slowly loping down the sidewalk
humming Grieg, transmuting all to grief: some precious

legacy’s been stolen from him, and Manhattan is the thief –
secretively passing it to Ingmar Bergman – ever-present
with his private, dour and prescient eye – to indoor subway glare:
ah, there again – the trick, the quick: a bundled lady in her eighties
sits across from some young mother with whose baby
she locks eyes: a clinical investigation on the baby’s part can
be surmised: bright dispassion in the pupils, inspecting this odd
lumpy unfamiliar wrapped appurtenance of wrinkled creature,
as if it were a package on a seat. One seeks the lady’s gaze

behind her darkened spectacles (macular degeneration,
one suspects): intent and squinting, almost sweet, her face
absorbs the baby and entreats: she cannot seem to get
enough of it to eat. Ibsen, Grieg and Bergman, and a baby
and old lady in a subway car: all conspire to jar: to let you know
a little more about the glow beyond my windows now: dark
growling branches skeletally quake against the scowling tainted
pearl-white-yellow sky, whose barriers won’t break or sigh
or bend at my importunate brash pen. Tomorrow I will try again.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brussels' Sprouts Stuck on a Stalk

Brussels’ sprouts stuck on a stalk –
regarding which a preying eagle, owl or hawk
would not presumably take interest,
unless it hid a rabbit, mole or mouse:

regarding which I wasn’t sure what interest I should take:
this strange and lumpish fetish was a gift
from one dear friend, he said, “to warm the house” –
and so indeed it seemed it might,

as some incantatory atavistic wand to counter fright –
to sing and dance with in some native fashion,
naked through the night – but its tight green unfathomed fists
kept calling to me to succumb to quite another bliss:

and shortly I decided I might pluck them out
like vegetable eye-balls,
crisp them in a sauté pan with olive oil and garlic –
and then carried out the plan –

and, man oh man:
they warmed the house, all right, and me –
and I would climb the highest Brussels-sprouts-ing tree
to eat more of their endlessly delicious mystery.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crablike On His Ass

Today my legs feel tugged and sore and heavy,
slow and interesting: they pull as if they tow
a weight behind, as if they hauled some strange
invisible but necessary heavy wagon, commandeered
to stow, convey a load of what my soul would need

to use to furnish it from hereon in. I am the product
of a cold December city wind – suffusing me,
suggesting just what psychic land I’ll have to plow –
a tolerably pleasurable tiredness, fatigue – in league
with an intriguing army of illuminations which

insist on altering my weave and countenance
and station, so to teach them how to promulgate
the space-time spirit of me for whatever must come
next. Down into the bowels of Manhattan: through
a midday crowd I lug my mass across the subway

platform, glad that once I’m on the train I might
sit down to contemplate this odd sensation with its
powerful implicit callings to a task. A homeless
schizophrenic man moves crablike on his ass in front
of me: blocks, then scuttles farther – lets me pass.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Global Cooling

The day – again – surrenders incrementally –
fractally gives up its shimmering and silver soul
with such a vigilant determination that you can’t
imagine it could ever come back whole. Faith
may be defined, perhaps, by that: reliance on

the expectation that the sun will once more
rise up, free and fat – and you’ll awake to see it.
No drama from its point-of-view at all, despite
that its obliqueness has begun to sing the lethal
end of Fall and spiral faster, faster into vaster

Moscow depths of Winter. Light will splinter
like Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique through ice then:
shadow sorrowfully and more swiftly into night.
But now’s the sleeker sweeter time for Debussy –
Ravel – French music spinning spells: pale

charming dips into the stylish cool before
the deadly freeze: a tantalizing proto-Winter
breeze accompanying elegantly fading
brightness in a deft Parisian dance: New York
will soon depart for Russia: now it visits France.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Spaced Out

“We are limited in our understanding…”

solipsisms passing for profundity

“… of these things…”

invade my brain

“…only to the degree…”

all day like prisoners

“…that we lack capacity…”

escaping from the Bastille

“… to understand them.”


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dulce de Leche

Swift tight harmonies – ripened apples of Corelli –
grappling fiddles shift and snap erotically
to sharp Baroque attention: how concerti grossi

can engross! I’ve got a can of Reddi-wip,
a no-mess Smucker’s plastic bottle of a caramel
sundae concoction clearly bent on topping dollops

of the Haagen Dazs dulce de leche ice cream
I sneaked out through this penultimate short
bright November day to purchase from

the supermarket: parked it requisitely in refrigerated
space – back just barely now to catch the grace
through windows of the last few glimmers left

of sunset: dark so fast! I need the glamour of Corelli
and a milky sweet repast to help me gentle out
of light into the night. Every notion that we will

not die is right, some say: but more say, wrong.
Passions lacking objects: how Corelli and November
ending and dulce de leche make one long!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Existential Dusk at 10:53 A.M. on the Day After Thanksgiving


Mrs. Jaypher

Mrs Jaypher said it's safer

If you've lemons in your head
First to eat a pound of meat
And then to go at once to bed.

Edward Lear


It’s this time, now, that seems to her a vacancy –
this biologically indeterminate vague state
which she can’t placate through the prospects

of the usual availing means: when life appears
to want to feed on something far beyond its
generally applicable hungers, needs – no form

of sex or sleep or beans with rice or playing dice
or any of that strange fastidious decorum which
sometimes proceeds from heeding Schubert

or Vermeer or Bach or Edward Lear sufficiently entice:
no human agency at all can pay the price of stalling
this bright terrifying spiral into – well, she can’t quite

say “abyss,” but rather that enduring kiss of existential
dusk which neither wakes her up entirely nor
makes her comatose – amphetamines or heroin?:

is there a soul equivalent of these expedients
that might perform the right transforming trick?
She wants wants one or the other: quick.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ball Lightning

We’d have to conjure up the meteorologically new
to render any justice to phenomena of you –
a sentient ball of cold gold lightning might just do –
some sparking dangerous and brightly massed
assortment of proclivities which offered blindingly

exasperating prospects of unprecedented blooming –
looming sometimes like a starburst into view as if
Beelzebub had just ejaculated clouds of wild rebellious
sperm all bent on skewing his dark chromosomal
demon legacy into angelic light – at odds with his

more usual determination to destroy: you are
the sort of toy a god would play with – as gods do,
I would imagine, play with you: I’d scoop you into both
my palms and drop you into some clear melon dish
and spoon you up like honeydew, and warm your

coolness in my gullet and my gut: cut you enzymatically
into manageable bits, digestible at least for tiny
sprits of moment: ‘til the mass of you fomented
irresistible resistance and got free: which would,
of course, quite mark the last and gasping end of me.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Including Me

Voluptuously slow and undulating whales prevail:
the treasures of a hungry movement through a moment
which in surfacing, descending, and resurfacing

put an infinity of lies to “journey”: everything is neither
here nor there, and there and here: dimensionally
present and accounted for by various strange measures

whose m.o. we seem to be remanded to this incarnation
not to know: sentenced by authorities we sometimes
get a glimpse and hint of in the glow of late November

early snow: those blurry flurries that will come and go,
and come again to sail and burrow through our primate
land-locked views – bemusing and inviting: “come on in,

the water’s fine!” – no matter if it’s frozen crystal or as rich
and dark as wine, the kind through which a whale
voluptuously undulates her lovely blubbered front and rear.

The Universe is made of orgasm, my dear, and you’re
a droplet in its vast eternally ejaculating sea. Remember
that when you reflect on anything, including me.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's surely not that we can't spot
some reason for a thing: most casts
of mind will find a rationale for their
proclivities: enough at least to scratch

provisionally some small itch
of worrying about why one has done
whatever one has done: but human
agency inhabits an eternity which

puts the lie to causes and effects:
one suspects one's energy is better
angled towards the votive, than
to motive: to laud, exalt and otherwise

immerse oneself in the impossibility
of being clear on being here. And yet
proscriptions make me petulant:
I sigh. I still intend to find out why.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Hard to Think, and Blink

Experience will tell you when to start or stop
or modulate response, they say, but
I am like a faulty light bulb in a sconce:
keep going out, must be replaced –
appallingly am always new, without much
clue of what or how to do what I’m supposed
to do: everything’s too fresh for my shock-

weary flesh – which may strike someone
as appealing, but they don’t know what it’s like
to bounce up off the ceiling every time
a switch is tripped: nothing doesn’t flip me
into reeling from another jolt. Electrically,
I am a dolt: must learn to cultivate a whole
new incandescent self for one small

gleam – until the next me’s quickly taken off
the shelf to try to navigate another beam.
Keep getting screwed back into my
encasement, and keep shorting out, to turn
into my next replacement. Here I am
and there I go: another blasting bright
concatenated link. It’s hard to think, and blink.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Change the Guidebook

Each drop of it contains the whole –
one taste hints broadly at the rest –
there is no need to lick the bowl
to sample both its worst and best.

Revere or loathe it as you will –
but know, whatever spot or place
you chance to stumble through will fill
your arms with a complete embrace.

Perhaps I am a prig to pull
this fine distinction from my hat,
but New York isn’t big, it’s full:
and that’s significantly that.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post-Coital Pre-Prandial Interstice

Pragmatically one feeds oneself – finds this
or that upon the shelf to spread upon whatever
bread avails: dill pickles would be nice

(their phallic shapes would certainly suffice)
to spice this quick reflex of light, pedestrian,
pale fare – and luckily one sees a jar of them

right there! – felicitously near the hand – whose
grasping motion is remanded by the fiat
of the urge to eat which follows so exactly

the orgasmic feat one once again has found
one’s undergone: if sex is midnight, hunger is
the dawn. But what if one were to resist –

desist from filling up the maw to stay a little
longer in the awe? Ah: that would be against
a law. Emptiness is too intolerable to ignore.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Time Has Passed for Photographs

The time has passed for photographs.
Snaps of sexy quick light whirligig good looks –
of grabbing fast at asses – of sweet unguarded

poses where a neck, exposed, could make
a lens erect – far-from-circumspect avowals
that a blurry photo could evince from all

the all-but naked body’s consonants and vowels
as they soar and pour upon a sunlit beach –
just in reach of being caught by some quick

lustful wistful thumb upon a button: all that
teaches all the truth it can, and leaves its residue
of youth in albums. Cameras don’t ask

for your attention anymore: you implore
a different eye for an experience of you: another
sort of scrutiny may indicate the “true”: not

to do with anything to catch: nothing that
a photograph foments in memory can match
the life you’re feeling in the current face of things.

You’d like to think you’ve found a place for
rueful and uncapturable grace: which can’t
be taped upon a piece of paper: but still sings.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

(More) November Dusk

Here again
in dying light –
I cannot tell you when
I’ll stop attempting to describe the sight
of it.

I’d relent –
give up this rote
repeating – if it meant
I’d had the chance to summon some bright note
for it:

some sung deed
that showed just what
induces its strange seed
to bloom into its blossoming: to cut
from it

sky-blue bells
that whispered, rang
the mystery that knells
inside the belly: drums this soft dark bang
in it.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Darkling Sins, and the Sun

The sun has bluntly indiscriminately spun its wonders
over all my sundry blunderings today: caught me
bumping some girl’s ankle with a bag of sharp-edged
books – although I didn’t know it ‘til I’d heard her
somewhere down the sidewalk say, “you know, that
really hurt!”
– I looked around: I couldn’t find the creature
I had smashed – too blinded by the noonday light:

I felt abashed. Now I’ve come home and now the sun
is thunderously glaring at me through the windows’ wooden
slats as if to pick more spats: I have to look away. It knows
I bought a ticket to a Liza concert at the Palace I could
not afford today – and for a Wednesday night! – midweek! –
ridiculously late! – then watched me pick up chocolate-
covered doughnuts at the supermarket: not appeased

that they at least were mini. And so I sit and pout –
and bid the shadows lengthen out – which they've now done –
and my stark sun begins its gentle and inevitable run
into whatever lies behind horizons – leaves me with
my darkling sins – in quietude so strangely unexpected
and spectacularly sensuous I feel redeemed. Perhaps
the sun was not as disapproving as it seemed.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why It's Always Nap-Time

Like hidden ancient Mayan ruins
in the Guatemalan jungle
only satellites with fancy techno-
cameras-and-lights can see,
sneaky scattered constellated
bits of dream tug up at me:

pulling at my limbs and neck
and knees to join me somnolently
to their mystery: nap deep in
their fat equatorially lambent lap.
I've taught them that I know
a central part of what they’re doing –

caught them at their work;
I know their ways and means:
they’re messengers which quirkily
connect the day to night, sew
up the seams, and hope to
coax me into constant dusk or dawn:

they keep alchemic fires on:
they wait eternally for opportunities
which lend them claim to fantasies
and schemes, renaming them
as if the contents of a mind
were wordless beams and rays

and shattered streaks of haze
that only they – their special brand
of angel – can perceive. When
I’m awake, they want to whomp
me into swoony moony Guatemalan
jungle daze; when I’m asleep,

they want to bleep me into
wide-eyed wonder with their
Guatemalan jungle thunder rage.
I’m locked inside their tangled
humid lurid lovely secret story now,
and cannot turn the page.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Like Trees Lose Leaves

I’ve wanted you, November –
and finally you’re here –
beginning more than ending –
allowing sight to clear:

you are that rare appurtenance
which I can use to sieve
all ponderousnesses away –
and work out how to give

exactly what is apposite:
to celebrate the plain –
exalt uncluttered surfaces –
observe the patent gain

obtained through simple bareness:
to give the Past a toss –
and follow your example
of shrugging off its loss.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not Enough for New York

Can’t just leave her,
then barge back in.
Yeah, you love her.
She’s heard that before.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

On Balance

What’s the past?
Are recollections flickers
caused by synapses
conflating to create
some yearned-for state?
Do certain places have
a potency because they are
the gates to timelessness –
where all you’d thought
had had to weight itself
towards “truth” prefers
the ruthless exposition
of a fat erotic juiciness?
Glimmers in a void?

Does remembering imply
the soul’s annoyed?
One can’t return because
one never leaves. (One
wonders why one ever
grieves.) I recollected centers
of a portion of my youth
today: at least it seems
that way. For moments:
lithe and full of pain
and lust and madness.
What a green quick shoot
I was! And maybe am.
On balance: gladness.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Orange Ball

Long day on the road –
blinking in the rural dark,
bleak white headlights
blind you briefly – passing,

passing – stark: you focus:
see the fire ripple –
glow behind a wave –
apocalyptic orange! –

brighter brighter blaze –
skull-top of a mushroom
cloud: what is this, and why?
Circle hits the sky:

looms into the night –
bursting from some mountain
range’s strange, elusive font:
moonlight in Vermont.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Like Clockwork to the End

East Village: chilly early morning vision:
huddled bundled figure on the sidewalk,
mittened fingers on the handle
of a shopping cart, meticulously pushing it –

small squat woman in a black hat, shawl
and coat – wagon packed with plastic
garbage bags: black, stacked and bursting:
thrusts it forward slowly thirty feet.

Turns and pads back on the curb along
the street to get the second cart, to push it
towards its kin; returns to get the third –
to join it to its brethren. And then –

she pushes first the first, and next
the second, and the third another thirty feet
again. And does it all again. And does it
all again. Like clockwork to the end.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Memories You Didn't Have

Sometimes Imagination blankets all its walls
and floors and ceilings with vicissitudes
of black-and-white B movie cues and scenes
and blondes and bad guys and the bonds
they sold in wartime: 1940s swing: Kay Kyser’s
band and brand of thing – all brassy
and reverberating through the complicated

rabbit warren of the inner ear in which you hear
ridiculously clearly all the scatter-shots
and love-me-nots vehicularly smuggled through
the German front – jeeps amid the peeps
of birdy-kins in cute cartoons – and cats
and mice and all the all-too-nameable
mild spice of Spam: the salty fatty middle

of the blandly grand perambulations through
a safe and gentle Central Park in which your
twenty-something parents shared a sandwich
in the quickly interceding autumn dark.
Sometimes Imagination parks right here:
full half-truth-years before you came upon
the century: none of which you know except

in that remaining phosphorescent glow
of mish-mashed memories you think you’re
almost able now to summon up: those stories
so revered and real to them, which now present
this alien interior experience, kaleidoscoped
into a black-and-white Kay Kyser band revue –
which somehow has a lot to do with you.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Strangenesses

November stokes unbidden strangenesses – evokes
a hundred years ago – as if there floated some
collective cloud in human consciousness that burgeons
to precipitate into the meditative mind at certain bare
November times – permeate a kind of absent receptivity;
a trance – a psychic blankness – surely finds, invites this:

black silhouetted trees in Norway – feverishly bright
white-yellow sky behind – beginning to descend
to autumn dusk: the gentle glowing musk and shock
at four o’clock of sorrow – out on Kristiania’s streets
perambulates a cold, be-furred, tight-corseted young
woman, hair piled high beneath a fashionable feathered hat,
but yearning for her feathered bed: coughing into her blue
handkerchief, which glints with several drops of red.

New York is Nordic now and full of something like
the resonant high painful precedent of this young
woman’s dread – but: quiet! – see the blackbirds fly
above as if her blood had more to do with love than death.
We’ve reached the time of year that silvers breath.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Same Place

I come to the same place
which is never the same place
because traces of eternity like specks
of living glitter keep bedecking it
and flecking it – sentiently inspecting it
as prelude to the daily goosing
of its dull gray feathers – yet again

into unprecedented gold – bold
spectacle – all’s glamour: anodyne
to tedium and clamor – puts the hammer
to all preconceived devotions
and emotions: blots the sun out
with unfathomable brightness –
all distracts from any notion of its

provenance: proceeds from nowhere
else – and yet it doesn’t come from
here. I wonder if there’s much to fear –
beware of – in an essence
utterly dimensionless which has no
rhyme for time and does not care for
anything that I’m aware of.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Legacy Requires

Damn! – forgot to shelter it from the sun –
shutter it against the glare of harsh
November afternoon which stuns
and blights and spends its watercolor
hues so incrementally and brutally:

indiscriminately drains translucent
gray-green from that pearled bay-air:
leaves it like a bare late January day
instead of warm penumbral April-prayer.
Bays and skies were staples

of my mother’s life: home movies
of unexpurgated slightly misbehaving
waves – and clouds all scurrying
and soaring – were to my impatient
adolescent eyes as inexplicable

and boring as – well, clouds and waves.
I haven’t changed too much from
my incomprehension then – nor have
I always won the fight against
the dying of this painting in the light –

sometimes the shutters gape:
the fading paper’s scraped. I do not
really understand her sight. And yet
I am the one who’s left to shelter what
still harbors its desires. Legacy requires.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post-Coital Consultation with Oneself

Something decorous might clear one’s metaphoric palate –
finely weighed, conveyed and balanced toward the right
exactitudes: a humble, reassuring sense of things, of course –
a mild investigation of the source of one’s emotional

propensities – etched and clear, though with a hint of density –
a low-key demonstration of one’s analytic gifts – the kind
that slightly lifts the heart and eye and mind: combines
a bit of humor with a gentle note of gravitas – the sort of thing

that English people do in 1930s movies set in drawing rooms:
you dare to hope a bit of glory looms inside those double
clotted-cream-daubed doors: an antidote to troubled
and besotted dreams that plague the civilized at night

and get them sweating anxiously for more – of what,
they can’t be sure.
(Sorts of thoughts one thinks on rainy
days whose gray amorphous brinks dissolve one’s being
into something one just had to scrape up off the floor.)


Friday, November 7, 2008

Mouth Gym

All day I iterate:
incessant and repetitive syllabic jabber
modulating up and down and in and back throughout the ladder
of concerned and sweetly reasonable turns and tones
as if I were invoking all the grown-up conversation
that I heard on phones and in the kitchen
and the living room and bedroom down the hall:

all the sounds around me when I was an infant:
trying vaguely, maybe, to attempt to comprehend
at least if all these mostly gentle bends and twists and little laughs
that seemed so prettily persistent meant that their
soft ambience intended happiness: more generally
basking in their vocal flows and ripples, floating
through their stippled starts-and-stops

like bubbles popping in a bath –
attempting, maybe, also
to discover in the lilt
a way to inculcate
a safety out of all
the mass of noise
that seemed in grown-ups to be strangely inexplicably

a product of their poise. Their lips were slick as butter.
When I was older I began to stutter.
Today I don’t, so much,
but keep in touch in ever-present ways with the amazing
brays and sways and phases of the phrases
that beset my psyche’s east and west and north and south.
Every day I have to exercise my mouth.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extremely Secret, Intimate

The several people over time whom
I have carefully watched dying seemed,
at least in bed, to have coursed gently
to the end, which lent my thinking,
blinking eye a sense of gradual abstracted
involution, as if one-by-one the bits of them
had started slowly and implosively to spin
around the outermost thin gaseous rim
of some extremely secret, intimate

black hole which would eventually draw
them in: the agitated surfaces from
which we claim to name identity seem
to exert the least resilience of the lot:
a person’s idiosyncratic urgent
have-to-have’s have either all been got,
forgot, or dropped quite mindlessly on
some unnoticed spot. Biology takes over:
like a cat, the dying I have witnessed

seem somatically to know it won’t be

long now and retreat into the dark – perhaps
for dignity. A last benignity of evolution
gives the flip side to the violence of taking
one’s first breath, to death: rolls out
a prairie of comparative serenity as
blessing for the grand audacity of having
managed to sustain a life at all.
But all of this, of course, is folderol.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stymied by the Sky

You’re caught in cool brief licks
of mist condensing from the fringe
of an immensity of atmosphere
which roils away not only here,

above and through this New York City
rush-hour drizzle-spritz but blankets
and absorbs, resists – before
fan-dancing back into the clouds

which pile up beneath fleet freezing
jet streams, wrestling with the shrouds
of equatorial up-wellings from the planet’s
warm and spinning middle to present

unending no-holds-barred rude nude
galumphing fights through sheer blue days
and thunder-heavy nights: you are
the least bit of the riddle: fractionally part,

perhaps, of some small dot above an “I”.
You’ve set yourself to the investigation
of the textures of Existence –
and you’re stymied by the sky.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Existential Doubt on Election Day

Manfully determined to subscribe to the collective
hunch behind the premise of what we’re to think
is happening today – while nineteenth century

symphonic music prays and brays its heart out
on the radio, and I meticulously cut and interleave,
construct a sandwich lunch of dry rye bread

and thinly-sliced sharp cheddar cheese – I come
to wonder what of these or any other avenues
to which I’ve access to appease my hungers

and bewilderments can possibly succeed in making
me entirely believe that I am here. Next, perhaps,
I’ll try to sleep, have sex, or defecate: attempt

to graph disproof or proof of something absolute
until some aspect of my being anywhere comes
clear. Perhaps, at least, I’ll find I’m somewhere near.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Selecting Precedents

Maybe there are small and intimate
and subtle aspects to electing presidents,
but finding them would be like searching
in the sea for a pellucid jellyfish in midst
of a tsunami: all conspires to crush
the singular: nothing, now, conduces to

the sole and vulnerable breath. However,
little in what’s happening today, tomorrow
or the next day has much chance
of changing what I see: a graceful brace
of branches with an army of attendant
yellow leaves beyond the sashes, frames

and shutters of my outer sight – which
seamlessly connects to secret windows
that afford my mind its inner light. Each
fractal surface of each fragile leaf portends
a geometric destiny: symmetrical
exactitudes of reaching out and falling in

which leave me vulnerably breathless
and as full of rich unknowing as we all
are now, and as we will be when we
know what we will know tonight.
I wonder if selecting precedents has any
lasting power to give joy or sorrow flight.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

As True a Part of Me

It ought to be enough
to take a gentle breath
(no consequence need press) –
to welcome sloughing off

instead of piling on –
to let excess evaporate –
create a clearer template –
an a capella song –

succeed in introducing
a lighter way to be;
and yet as true a part of me
depends upon the sluicing

through of an impenitence –
a lust, hot and anarchic,
heeds the devil’s bark: quick
to the rescue of the sense

I crave of the complex.
I’m no sweet singularity –
I’m made of brash disparity –
ungainly, wide, perplexed.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

And ah, today! - November

Today is full of sleight-of-hand and transience: catering to
flights and shades of floating flummeries, fat jello moments
packed with sly suggestion – unrelentingly producing lack

when touched – as soon as I so much as brush the barest fluff
of their unbridled bluffing they’ve Saint-Vitus-danced to nothing:
jittering and brimming over like the colder bolder ghosts we were

supposed to have indulged last night on Hallowed Even: I am
their host, however, every dawn and dusk in every Winter,
Summer, Spring, and ah, today! – November: during which

one does remember maybe just a little more than usual
the complicated ways that people die: especially those deaths
that don’t result in failure of a kidney, lung or eye but signal

certain draining sad cessations in the heart. I suspect there is
an art to recollection that I’ve not yet learned: before I can
invoke a long-gone contour – try to stoke it through another

shadowed corridor to flame – the impulse ruptures: once again
has drained and burned itself to yet another floating flummery,
fat jello moment packed with sly suggestion: colder bolder

ghosts: those heatless heartlessnesses conflagrating into nil.
Find some warmer, shyer creatures: ask them to come in to dine
on all that I may have or am and take their fill. I hope they will.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Alas, They Aren't Me

Everybody says she’s big and loud!
Whom could they be speaking of? My city
is a whispered privacy – a secret intimacy
known between diaphanous sweet clouds
of sheets in the retreats of her and my
shared beds – she sheds her coverings
and rolls and lazes naked, interleaves herself
seductively – when she is in the mood
for a caress: though sometimes frets
and moons and undermines my longed-for
rest with scattered natterings and perturbations –

like a whiny teen or nervous pet – jabbing,
biting, squirming and expressing her regret
about the whole of everything: that is, when
she is not the soul of levity – to me, at least,
who finds her snickering (again!) in all
the cabinets of my proclivities. And then –
of course – albeit in odd circumstances –
solo, silent, dim – she grows the requisite
appurtenance and turns into a strapping him.
All this behind our scrim. I guess nobody
else can see. Alas, they aren’t me.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Funky Monkey on My Back

I want extremities of you – each propagating
aching sweetness and each witty acid assiduity –
I’d eat your silly aimless jokes – which poke like very

little children, absently, at Christmas, through
their snap-and-crinkle wrapping on the floor – mildly
searching through the mess for more: so many small

and sour souls, like meager poems, strangling in
their overwrought and killing carapaces, vie for space –
retard your pace – and for a tiny virulence of moment

almost blot your numinosity of face – while you
in secret but complete dimensional exposure spy
upon the scene beneficently with a just-imaginable

grace – so full of light and humor that your scent
wafts like a rumor through the room to cause
involuntary swooning: you are flooding, looming in

my heart like the impossibility of art – divine life-blood
through human artery – a flow so suddenly a part
of me – so freely darting from your strange electric

mesh of being into something so completely freeing –
that to say one thing about it is to lack. Too abstract.
You are the funky monkey on my back.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interspecies Kinship

You’ve opened up an unplanned stretch of days –
you can’t complain what fills them – you
celebrate the ways disturbances and spills
from unaccustomed sources and degrees
of unapologetic interruption – edgy dramas bursting

out of taxis, sighing yellow-greens of dying
late October leaves, and clamorously loud
Latina teens – make you expend quick spasms
of abrupt attention: lends a strange and funny ease
to the proceedings you would not have thought

to think could be. And now, abounding on another
sidewalk brink – the doorway of an upper-west-side
grade school – you encounter a menagerie: nine
animals from some availing farm with whom you feel
an interspecies kinship: a couple mallard ducks,

a pig, a sheep, two chickens and a goat and a duet
of ponies who devote their funky selves (hooeee
they smell!) to the prospective entertainment
of a group of kindergarten kids still in their classrooms,
walls apart, inside. As all the birds and mammals

burrow blissfully in straw and seed and feed,
in which they’ve snorted, quacked and chirped
and peed – and even as they stink up half a block
of New York street – you can’t not think this business
of an unplanned stretch of days is sweet.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Reach back, in time, in tenderness,
to try to capture even one reflected flick
of light in those sweet suddenly remembered

eyes: to bring it up and forward, here,
right now: enclose its tiny globe of fire – whirring
and aloft – inside your cool cupped palms.

Breathe on it – ignite it into softly blazing
psalm: lucency to saturate the atmosphere –
as silky-bright and intimate as any mother’s

whisper in an infant’s ear: we are, my dear,
the progeny of everything, and all we’ve
got to do to notice it again is render whole

and absolute the smallest recollected
aspect of the heart. It is an art to which we,
each of us, if secretly, completely know the inner

and entwining and combining road. Unload
yourself, and look again into the mode
of those sweet suddenly remembered eyes –

be unafraid to wed their past, first mirrored
in a looking glass: be brave: pursue their
lures. Those remembered eyes are yours.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A Private Blue

Assuming, as I am today disposed to do,
that there’s no reason not to think
whatever we would like to think is true,
I have decided that you trade in an ephemeral

but incontestable exasperating magic which
creates the cloud that you inhabit and accrue
by simply being you: that you in any other
context – Idaho or Timbuktu – would be as

inexpressibly uniquely new as you seem now.
Every day I look and see what seems to be
the recognizably colluding is-and-what-and-how
of you: contours that depict familiar outlines

and announce your various peculiarities
and unmistakable phenomena – no doubt
of whom I’m looking at – that catch of shadow
in that angled face – inveterate elusive

bluish pinkish muscularity which makes
a parody of cherubim, invokes a camaraderie
with poltergeists and demons whose
deft steaming sweet shenanigans will

never be denied: every day I see the slide
into the mystery of how you claim complete
autonomy – dimensionally here in every way –
and yet with some strange inexplicability:

there is a crucial floating thread in you
connected to an answer in your heart – or so
I am assuming, as today I am disposed to do –
which drifts astray into a private blue.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please Mozart

One sidles up to precipices
hoping not to hope for anything –
which is of course the trap.
Enlightenment’s too slippery for that.
Let’s summon some omniscient
being – plead for it outright –
proceed on the assumption

that we need not dread the night
which at the least is merely darker
than the day, and at the most
provides somewhere imaginative
we might roast our apprehensions –
steel them into raging fear –
to use them, later, cavalierly – spear

our broccoli with their sharp tines:
recite whatever fateful lines
we thought we never ought to say.
I’ve practiced just enough this
morning to believe my fiddle might
survive a concert planned today.
Please Mozart: let it play.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Dose of Dark October Afternoon

I crave a dose of dark October afternoon –
and right on cue penumbral mysteries accrue:
a yellow-gray-green shimmer coalesces into
soft-toward-evening brown: constrains and paints
the outdoor light and splays its theater ‘round
the purview that my third-floor view affords of this

strange-witted-winded city: anguished pleasure
ravages each tender fiber of the weave; it gives me
leave to think I might relieve the painful part of it,
dive deeper into some unspoken promise – whose
familiarity astonishes – its complex singularity,
its deeply shadowed face; I’ve found it in this

place, outside a balcony of inner sight from which
I lean to linger: pregnant with half-brightness –
windows outside, here, right here, precisely where
they ought to be, and are, for me. Manhattan skies
cry: ancient rain: I am concatenated in the chain:
a link. Nothing in this fading glow is out of sync.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Its Pent-Up and Innumerable Noses

There’s this, at least: the promise of a raging feast
tonight when consciousness supplies itself
with overdue replies to its own backed-up urgencies:
goes deep into the sleep of which – because
it didn’t get to bed on time – it was deprived last night:

glassed tight away from mystery because the body
couldn’t get beyond the window of Imagination’s
baby trees into its propagating forest: all it had
the chance to nibble at were trembles of the murmurs
of the barest rim of REM before it had to rise –

and then regale the waking world again: it’s clear that
this strange system needs its magic data generously
gathered and deployed in secret buoyant solitude –
the meekest and most ostentatious voluble
of temperaments which simmer and eventuate their

tastes within each singularity of self must boot their
little butts right off the shelf into the dark and play
their versions of uninterrupted and unyielding day:
pour wishes into dishes so to have their way
and swallow everything; what follows then?:

a necessary severing: a being newly born, resuscitated –
once again allowed its chow of private sweet
psychosis. Tonight I’ll laze into the requisite new
crazinesss and stay there ‘til my psychic zone has
adequately blown its pent-up and innumerable noses.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maze of the Middle-Aged Manhattan Man

Coordinating disparately physical appurtenances –
arms and teeth and tongue and hair and groin and knees –
meshing secret autonomic systems with volitionally

biological uncertainties: managing to be the body you
appear to have to be despite the matter-free exorbitantly
insubstantial dream you have of your imagined essence:

thus to try thereby to oversee the large phenomenon
of that collective state of what you sometimes find
you cannot not refer to trepidatiously as “me” –

the Condoleezza-Rice-ness of the thing! – where
inexplicable negotiations stand to bring about a global
shattering: here’s what not to not prepare to do today –

you ranging strange cacophony: you object of your own
subjective scrutiny: you wandering collusion of refusal
and extremity – make sure you’re near somewhere to pee.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Little Fantasy for Afternoon

Let the vagrant sifting quantities of tune
that pale October light suggests as it begins
to tumble towards the night bestow their

strange alluring modal breaths – occluding
expectations – framing inner sight: so that
what starts to fill you up is something like

the brightness that the blind might conjure
in the mind as they begin to find that somewhere
in the Universe exists experience of seeing.

Shut your eyes; revise your last reflex
assumption: make oblique departure from
the usual compartments of your being:

then deploy a dab of the immensity of this
unnatural dimension like a rub of paint
upon a bristling tiny splice of space and time:

and watch the strip expand into the size
of some great silver rhyme as it might glitter
in the galaxy-large hand of an insuperably

brilliant god. Ride the soaring creature back
through your thin soft façade. Re-enter your
reality. Take fresh note of what you see.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Are You?

only knows.
Just fine, you would suppose.

Half-assed self-assessment? – pusillanimous examination? –
safety far too much the aim? – why not analyze
the game to shreds? Maybe you’ve
developed an affection

for illusions
and warm

(and cavalierly arbitrary spacing, shapes, line-lengths): who’s
to say it doesn’t take less strength to play the rebel
than the steadfast man who diddles

through his middle age
without a startling

the deal has more
to do with consciousness of endings
than with bending a convention solely for the thrill. You bent

your contours more than anybody else you know
now long enough ago that who but
you could care? Others pour;
perhaps you spill.

But your
whole life’s
a dare. You bet it daily on
a certainty: that you will

learn the what and why
and where: not stop
until the Lord is
not the only

one who

are you?

Just fine, you
would suppose.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Violin and Bow on Couch

We contemplate
the violin again –
its onerous familiar

impasse and sadistically
seductive lure: it lies,

upon the couch, all
involuted curve and line,
as if it were a verb

whose animating spine
was inaccessible to
any lexicon or grammar

to which I, today, at any rate,
would seem to be inclined.
I’d like to take a hammer –

and – well, no.
Instead, we’ll contemplate
the bow. Tonight I am

to lead a section
of first violins
in Mozart: bounce

and sway – allay
all fear: let jaunty
little flicks and shoots

and arabesques
befriend a guest conductor’s
hopeful ear. Oh dear.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Their Titles and Their Jackets and Their Spines

Their titles and their jackets and their spines
lean up against each other: patient lines
of suitors gather dust.
My books retain relation to a trustless part of me –
I pick them up promiscuously:

welcome more the prospect
of what they might be
than the reality
of holding them
and turning pages

and engaging too inertly
in their printed lives. I wonder if this
bears a clue to why I cannot
seem to work a way to stay –
abide – with you: do the striving living glows

of me fear chapter headings
will depose them? – cool their heat?
Be in rapture with my bedding and my meat
for moments: yes! But afterwards, my darling:
please get dressed.

Should I tell you what I wish
that I could give,
or you could grant?
I wish I could.
I can’t.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Illusion You'd Dispel

If every day you practiced living large –
refused to feel or do or be without
a charge and stab at grabbing at
and barging into reeling contexts
and kaleidoscope-particularities –

you’d find that when you got a cold
and traveled with it through its ravages
and steep ravines and toxic jungles
into all the desolations of its alpine
isolations – and then fully undertook its

harrowing hilarities – surrendering
your being to its vast varieties of sneeze –
alertly rode the thing to its sweet
whizzing soft conclusion – one illusion
you’d dispel is that a cold is only hell.


Friday, October 17, 2008

NYC - 10/17/08 - 3:43 p.m.

Sun glare – shattered bright October light
breaks over sofa-boulders of upholstery: strange
to be in such embarrassingly intimate proximity
to this autumnal mystery: haunting disembodied
bongos bop and boom from far across the park;

from the kitchen: Mozart on the radio, a plaintive
oboe commandeering a concerto, as if doing so
were quite the same as bopping bongos in
the park: sun glare – blaring easy and enticing
rhymes – dare and care and bare and swear:

something wild playing Mozart on the bongos in
the sun-glare makes me wonder what would make
me think I couldn’t? All week I’ve been beat up
by flu. Today, all day, at last, instead, rare daring
New York City: I succumb, again, to you.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


New Age shysters! – playing on your hunger
for a revelation: promising three secret codes
that will reveal the next important thing to be
or do or feel: whom you’ll love forever, who’s a heel –
who’s your savior – enemy – assorted mystic
shapes and smells and flavors, message-laden
colors and innumerable numerologies: hypnotizing
you with irresistibility: claiming you can tease
the answer out by choosing blue to wear today

(including hat). But who knows more than that?
Who’s to say that anybody else has any better way
to weigh what will or ought to be, or should,
or could, or must? Quantum physics leaves you
in the similarly unavailing dust. Today I think I’ll lay
myself upon a dream of broken pillows and discard
my appetites – each, one by one, for poetry,
for sex, for food, for Judy Garland, and for
fathoming Eternity. Please do not awaken me.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quite a View

No one teaches much
beyond the thisses
and the thats
that constitute
discovering a basic
engineering of the thing.

You’re the one
who has to make it sing.

When did its logistics
cease to be of such
intimidating interest?
How were they replaced by this?

As if the problem
of a kiss were lips!

The apparatus
flaps its little wings
and meshes its
voluptuously complicated gears
and leaves you dangling
off a tiny threaded screw.

Quite a view.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cosmological Bowling

If this thing we’re in
has no beginning
and no end,
no center, and no edge,
it doesn’t seem as if
we’d ever have
to hedge our bets:
infinity is on our side:
distances are moot:
there is no time:
and size can’t matter.

So why not grasp
this relatively simple platter
of a task and fill it
only with the readily
accessible: just those
importuning blasts
and hints and aspects,
flows and throes
and causes and effects
which alter our particular
peculiar beings –

then concoct
from them beliefs
that serve a goal.
We are, it would appear,
already whole.
All we have to do
is constitute the pins
and set them up,
contrive a ball that
fits our fingers,
aim, and bowl.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Storms Go On

Inside your viral fog
you dream of clarity –
some habitable sense –
some softly bright interiority:

the grace of something
you imagine waits for you
beyond that fence –
that blurry line

that you’ve espied ahead
which may define the spine
of some raw incarnation –
indistinct –

but whose propinquity to you –
kinship and proximity –
visually viscerally pulses –
beckoning –

wavering and vacillating –
mere creation
of your cold?
How wrong to call it “cold”

when all is warm in this
encompassingly buffered
swarm of consciousness –
the baby of a low-grade fever –

infantile and craving.
Thunders butt and sigh.
You wonder what and why.
There are those whom you have loved

who are as far away from you as they
were near: which is to say,
unfathomably gone.
Some storms go on.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Archangel

He dwells inside, outside, around,
beyond the body: in its smells
and spells and heavens, hells – he buys
exactly what it sells, no matter what

the price: he lives on spoonfuls of his own
advice (mildly spiced): and gains by
tabulating – taking note – of every
photon his bright sighs reflect

in startled pleasure-stricken eyes –
passersby who do not know exactly
why he moves them – but are moved
so deeply and so permanently that

he ceases to exist as mutable and living
creature – and becomes instead
an indisputable imaginative feature
of the private mind – an intimate idea –

a find – an antidote to fear: embodied
category of existence which appears
to prove there is a reason after all.
He personifies the Fall, exactly at this

moment, now, when the eschatological
October light begins to alter into new
and unexaminable brightness –
flaming from the strange obliquity

of angled rays of sun that signal
there is such a thing as welcoming
the End of Days. When you're bereft –
when nothing’s left – he is what you praise.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Head-On Poem

Say the thing outright:
Shun all sham and crudity:
Weigh the day and night:
banish ambiguity:

link your facts together:
give them their clear due:
whether some dove’s feather
tickles you to new

unforeseen perspectives
or a heavy gloom
adds its dark directives,
give the creature room:

let it flex its arms:
or (as apt) its wings:
promulgate its charms:
‘til the outcome brings

something like a coda
to the silly quest:
like an ice cream soda
dumped into a nest

would disrupt a sleeping
little starling chick:
setting it to peeping –
choking in the thick

unexpected deluge:
make the thing resist
any sort of refuge:
then, please God, desist.