Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Riding the Serpent

Traversing the tops and the bottoms and sides
of each gliding meandering question, you almost
enjoy the weird harrowing ride – as you slide
to the middle, hang onto the wobbling hump on
the back of the snaky reptilian chump who appears
to be running the show, whose ridiculous takes
on the fast and the slow and the little and big make

a quizzical jig of each blundering stab at establishing
grounds for an answer. Astoundingly fancy
shenanigans play in the spaces you’ve prayed
might be filled with clear air: murk in the sky of each day
tends to slay the least hope of allaying the funk.
Ferreting through these immense misconstrued
hills of towering junk, you debunk only this: that thinking

can’t miss. And yet there is something appealing,
erect, circumspect in the mode you’ve protectively
labeled “the intellect” – something so sweet in the treat
of pretending there’s meat to be hunted and fried
into logical tenets of cause and effect. The heck
and the hell of inspection – of riding each gliding
meandering question back into the stable, to put away

wet – is something you’d have to regret to give up.
The reptile you’re saddled to hisses: “Live up to
the nonsense and make it beat time: parse everything
into a rhyme. Slithering over each fence for the thrilling
suspense: who cares if it never makes sense?”
Though on Eden apparently God dropped
the curtain, it isn’t so bad to be riding the serpent.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Prose Poem: To Bob

Today is my brother Bob's birthday. He died March 1989. (I was with him.) Anyway, this morning, right before waking up, I had a dream that he and I were on the second floor of some house looking out a closed window at a backyard; it was night – dark – he was dressed in some colorful Hawaiian type baggy swim trunk thing, I was in black – and we saw what seemed to be reflections of ourselves in the backyard, dressed the same way, in the same “poses,” and he said, "look Guy, we're down there!" And I said, no we're not, that's just some weird reflection from the glass in the window. But as I said this some old gray bearded man walked up & started engaging our “reflections” in conversation. And my brother said, "see? we are down there."
[pic - from left: my brother, my mother, me]


Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Thing We Know Today

The hunger won’t be sated –
that’s the thing we know today:
despite the fact you sit here
with a sack of pretzels on your lap:
they aren’t very good, in fact:
why does all the salt fall down
into the corners of the bag?

Naked pretzels taste like what
they are: hardened flour paste.
Your hand keeps digging anyway:
perhaps one crisp reflection
of a perfect pretzel paradigm
is somewhere there – ready to
appear when you are least aware:

ah, but you’re too needy, greedy:
cannot be surprised by chance.
Unless it is the chance that this
disgruntled moment constitutes
one tiny quiver of one eyelash
of the lidded glance of some
great creature – of whom you are

infinitesimally part: unless this
craving in your stomach and your
heart amounts to one slight
twitch within the crow’s feet
on his sensitively pebbled skin:
unless you are a necessary
sort of meshed few molecules

that help a billion others guard
whatever aids experiencing light:
unless you’re part of some
strange complicated apparatus that
enables sight. Perhaps your ornery
distress is part of some much
larger being’s yearning for success

at seeing more than he had seen
before: an itch that leads to
an enlightenment. Ah – but on
the way: these salt-less pretzels –
and your craving, unabated..
That’s the thing we know: today,
the hunger won’t be sated.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Welcome to the awkwardness of being male:

in which all elements of personality are sloshed into a pail
and hauled from hill to vale without attaining much
of anything beyond a heterogeneity of hits and bungles,
rumbling through the jungles of what’s doomed to

breed the Masculine Experience, whose task and seed
and sin erupts into the blunt abrupt appearance
of the phallus-bearing blunderer: dumb and blinking
and unthinking as a punch-drunk pug: welcome to his

mug of suds and hormones that excites – and then invites
oblivion: fermented brew of terror and testosterone: welcome
to the inadvertent and involuntary blast of squiggly tails
of thousands of spermatozoa pushing small blind

lumpy heads in search of beds to kick back in and smoke
cigars, little flickers who would strive to see themselves
as stars, who rhyme with Venus but end up, if mostly
dead, on Mars. Welcome to the awkwardness of being

crucified upon the chromosomal Y, looking lunkily
around and seeing nothing but the muddy ground, missing
pretty much the whole shebang of sky. Oh my. I do
appear to be perplexed. I get like this when I have sex.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Ah, but don't forget

What is my pact, today, with you?
We cannot do what won’t engage the two
of us in something just as close as it can be
to ecstasy – and not just some banal variety

of blast: the thing we choose must last,
which is to say must meet the test of passing
through, beyond, into that realm in which
a soul might find companionship. Or should

we just abandon ship and swim our solo ways
to separate shores? Ah, but don’t forget:
there are no laws: no distance and no future
and no past and every time we think

that we escape, some new divinity hauls
back her haloed head and laughs. As if there
were a ship, or shore! Here’s the only word
that says whatever I know, darling: more.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Outside My Magic Windows

A dental bridge comes loose –
my cyber-server’s software has a glitch –
a tiny itch exactly at the center of my
back comes back, and back, and back –
the cell phone needs recharging
sooner than it ought to: all of what
I thought I’d brought to this shenanigan
of daily life – to regulate its gears

and minimize its strife – strikes new
angles: like that RCA dog tilts his head
and cocks an ear at some strange source
of sound: something’s slightly queer:
not unlike the weather that appears outside
my magic windows: softly awkward
and upset: a grumpy toddler who’s awake
before she’d like to be: a little

spittle at the corners of her lips as she
decides if she should cry: a kind
of juggling of the fragile light components
of Existence – slightly misaligned –
askew, a kind of abnegation, in the sky,
of blue – in favor of amorphous gray:
a fine miscasting of the play: outside
my magic windows come the oddly

wonderful, unnerving, and exasperating
imperfections of this day – as if
to flag me down to the array and notice
that it’s happening. My magic windows
will not tolerate cliché – or even
one slight whiff of smug complacency.
Bump into the blunt amazing grace
of place, and space, and see.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Towards A Theory of Love

Perhaps it’s like the rain, or sun, or snow,
or fog – a sort of meteorologically
unavoidable experience of doggedly

determined soul: a kind of certainty that
changes scenery and fills each hole – makes
itself as indispensible as air. But now I look

and nothing quite like that is there. Or rather,
now I feel, and what I can discern is real
is something more elusive than a propagating

atmosphere. The darkest curvatures
of night retain a seed of some full panoply:
ready always to delight in germinating, in

inevitably bright recurring light – beckoning
to anything that whirls – abounds –
disturbs. Few nouns – innumerable verbs.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Daydream: Imminent Incarnation

This freshness! – you wake up,
peek out, survey the rise
and sway of her cerulean skies,
snug from the bodice
of her negligée: then, joyful,

realize you can play! –
and keep it up all day! –
before you nestle softly back
to sleep in her deep cleavage –
to awaken to this freshness –

here, again! This mistress whose
amenities resplendently
will not let up: listen to her hum
and strum: invite your friends
to come, and stay, partake

of the array with which she
somehow holds the fray you’ve
dimly sensed is near at bay –
but in a way that makes you think
you bravely commandeered it

all yourself. One can’t not wonder,
tremblingly, what life could
be beyond the safe wide shelf
of her white alpine breasts:
what tests await those who don’t know

her rose-and-cream delight –
the glide of her exposed warm
bright firm sweetened milky skin.
One knows what it is like within:
what’s it like outside?


Monday, September 22, 2008

Culinary Implement Tip

In the kitchen –
afflicted with an itch
I couldn’t reach to get to:
felt like hell:

aaah. Those toothy
plastic pasta scoops?
Scratch backs
really well.


The Thing Alone

Unhappiness ignores the weather:
feathers its damp nest obliviously
with its privately precipitated sins –
extrapolates itself from its own
idiosyncratic mist: begins – persists –

attenuated, weak – meekly quickens
at the elegiac – and intones an ode
to all its stolen, all its borrowed
sorrows – gives felt vacancy a push
of pain – a reason to remain, exist –

as if abysses had a wish with which
it knew it needed to align. Perhaps,
sometimes, that’s fine. The void –
the silence – hear the music in
a moan. Better than the thing alone.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomatoes, This Time

Exploding, brash September is unloading
the excessive summer it’s amassed.
Bursting blast of cartoon-red tomatoes,
this time: kickass bulging muthas – teasing
with their sly sublime seductions.
Bludgeoned two, just now, in lust – rough

wet chunks – be-flooded all with pricey
olive oil and vinegar, and fresh-chopped
garlic, regal purple basil – didn’t seem quite
legal. Too much salt, of course, which
is to say: about enough. Heady mess of stuff.
Somehow through a ripple in the Big Bang’s

mama-moment, matter coalesced from
energy and shot its wad all over everything.
Nearly fourteen billion years of that have
gone into producing the nirvana these
fat babies bring. No birth’s too late.
But this one – damn – was worth the wait.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Schizophrenia's Love Call

How I’d cultivate the Grand Spectacular for you! –
spend a half-a-billion, maybe two, on digitally
mastered three-dimensional depictions
of innumerable legions of conscripted Roman army –

disciplined and glistening in glorious expensive
onslaught on the few resisting creatures who
refused its Pax Romana – blood would spill,
as in DeMille – picturesquely gorgeous violet

and crimson violence would justify the human spirit’s
craving for the carving up of bodies in the name
of status quo and honorable peace: muscular
behemoths would be gleaming in their cinematic

grease: I'd bequeath you all the requisite
exquisite horror I could find – expunge the damned
and damaging ambiguously human grunge that
generates equivocal reflection in your fragile mind:

before we’re done you would accept the ultimate
unquestionable One of Me; inexorable Love
would be your school, and you would know an end
to every anarchy. Let me rule, my little jewel.


When You Get Out of Bed

Articulate the surface – do not
let it mollify: crave the nano-panic
of Van Gogh’s compulsive

resolutions via brush: whipping
tiny waves up from the mush –
no lull or respite in the color –

allow your dullards to strip down
and prance buck naked like a posse
of demented clowns: be as stupid

as you please: drop to your knees:
wait to be fed.
That’s what to pray
when you get out of bed.


Note to Self

Out of joint?
Bless the schism.



Thursday, September 18, 2008


We’re here,

once again,
it is star.

we wonder
what and when

and who
and how
and if we are.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes Pickles Do Not Let You Down

Cold jar – lid screwed on so tight it traps
a half-sour sizzle of fermented brine – twisted,
flipped off: freed – emits a fine exacting hiss

that tells you you have opened a Pandora’s box –
popping scattered random measures of illicit
pleasures: acid, toxic spiced incursions: garlic,

seeds and weeds – raping, ravaging the tender
and unwitting crisp pale flesh of cucumber,
imbued and bruised and suffering and losing

but still, somehow, choosing to retain a tiny dream
of its mild former being – some last soothing
breath of its dumb vegetable infancy, so fat

and stupid on the ground: so serendipitously
close to dying; sighing, first – then, quick! –
you rasp a fast hot lick: your tongue is wrung

of its assumptions: blunders wildly into sharp
new threat: tastes sweat – as if wiped off some
lean Olympic wrestler: salty, branded with

testosterone – transgressive vengeful fantasies
of glory. What is that acrid whiff that makes life
such a story? What weakens knees? What is

“pleased”? Adverbially gird yourself – let new vast
pounding definitions of “ecstatically” abound!
Sometimes pickles do not let you down.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All At Once Before Her Eyes

Catch the whiplash of her bow – freeze it
into bronze – flash it into living stasis –
ardently refuse to exorcise the breathing
basis of your wish to enter every moment –

empty of dimension save the sleek suspension
of eternity: full of that sweet sourceless light
and solace that ignite the spirit: spear it
like Diana spears sublimity – every taste

of anything you hunt and chase and capture
is divinity. All that she can tell you otherwise
is that your life is evanescently arriving
and departing, all at once, before her eyes.


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Secret About Sex, Maybe

I wonder if the secret about sex
is that nobody really likes it:
flustered, bluster tilts and blames:
frustration, guilt and shame’s
the game: all desire is transgressive.

The mire of body bumping body
gets progressively peculiar
as one nudges oneself onward in
the quest for it: I wonder if the best
that one can hope is that an act

of God will intervene before we get
to yet another impasse – or at least
(please) make us laugh. I had
the private and unnerving gift not
long ago of such abundant gorgeous

skin and muscle, frame and receptivity
that I do not begin to grasp why
my participation in the grapple with it
soon devolved into unending gaffe.
I do not understand the thing by half,

by which I think I mean my uncooperative
operative member. “Transgress
away,” it seemed to say, “but I would
rather have a different sort of day.”
And yet it’s not just that you can’t

persuade the thing, sometimes,
to play. Something stranger seemed
to get into the way. Mined for gold,
dug up coal. Maybe sex’s blasting last
exasperating secret is the soul.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Inimitably We

You’re the nth
degree exemplar
of yourself,
my little elf,

and I’m the final
stop on any tour
of me. We are
thus self-evidently

singular, and surely
not an us – and yet
together, quite
inimitably we.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh! – Another Oh!

A damp and heavy blanket wants to drag the city down:
humidity’s a clown that doesn’t know the circus left –
but oh, the light’s a magical and ghostly yellow-gray –
still lit with day, though rays of it perform obliquely through
the angles five o’clock decrees: I’ve drunk its obdurately
summer funk down to the lees, and this, and Beethoven,
now have me on my knees: I’m fresh, or rather wrung,

from playing violin in his quartet: an Opus 59, the one
that’s numbered 3 – second movement – dedicated
to the Russian Razumovsky – evidently predicated
on the premise that you’ll have the stomach to receive its
harrowingly delicate and graceful mystery – magical
and ghostly yellow-gray – just like today – and so I sat
there, in an upper-west-side academic’s barely fan-cooled

large apartment, middle-aged and sweating, violin
uncomfortably wedged beneath my chin, and oh, the sins
that I committed in my sad vast imperfections – oh –
another oh! – this time, of baffled and exasperated
exaltation that it’s taken fifty-seven fucking years to grow up
just enough to have become this helplessly receptive
to its gold. I guess there are advantages to growing old.

= = = = = = = = = =


(NOT me playing violin :-)


Friday, September 12, 2008

I Have No Thing To Pray To But...

Miserable people spread their misery around:
joyful people tend to lend their joy.
Fascinating that so many darknesses abound –
and brightness is discarded like a toy.

Though wary of polarities, I rather like the light –
at least as it contrives to help create:
it’s good to feel its afterglow warm, deep into the night
when promises and hopefulness abate –

I have no thing to pray to but Existence, here, undressed –
at best, it floods my being with its dare –
to keep its vigil seems to mean a kind of happiness –
to live, instead of merely think, that prayer.

But I am capable of virulence – sadism – doubt:
can send them burning, blazing through a heart –
contagion is inevitable when I let these out –
delight in suffering wields its dark art.

I’d like to think or dream one last decision might be made
removing the necessity to act –
but misery and joy and their emotional brigade
need me – again, again – to make them fact.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

To Honor the Abyss

Ferocity of focus! –
surely has an aim –
though cannot find a locus
and so far lacks a name –

intolerable anguish –
too dire for it to say
what it would seek to vanquish –
or what part it should play –

there isn’t any meaning
to latch onto the thing
beyond what’s darkly leaning
upon it – makes it bring

its blood up to its surface
its bile up to its lips
and find a futile purpose:
to honor the abyss –


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Butterfly on a Dahlia

Caring too intently stops the works –
feeling viscerally that you are invested
in the course and outcome of – let’s say,

a love – jerks you into fun-house
mirror vision: running through a wobbling
tunnel of untenable decisions lining up

like disapproving judges, ready to condemn
you for the least infraction: sharp contraction
of the heart: all of whose strange parts

are on the verge of cracking and exacting
yet more action bent on – what?
Conducting a small mottled butterfly:

which would sooner die than follow
your restricted course. How do you induce
a force, a flow? Don’t say no. Imagine

that it flutters on a dahlia in a dream,
fantasia-ed through the bed-room of your
quarry. Want more than that? Sorry.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Emotional Mathematics: C-

Precisely calculated calculus that once described
the curves that coalesced into the form you
might have labeled “life” now does not illuminate
one slice of what absorbs you: you’ve disinterred

your rulers, pencils, compasses and foolscap
all to no avail: whatever aptitudes you thought you
had for such precise examinations fail – you’re
caught back in an antique schoolroom with a slate

and chalk and lunch pail and an apple rotting
for an absent teacher – and when you muse about
how you might reach her you discover you’re a baby
in a crib, drooling on a bib, experiencing your

first vagaries of sentience. Apprehension strikes
you dumb: always out of whack with the directness
of a cause presumed to link to an effect: like bad
lip-synching to a song: something’s always wrong.

Yet there it is: experience – a little like the oddness
of the New York City flower stand you passed
just now purveying irises in almost-Fall.
Incalculably and anachronistically purple, tall.


Monday, September 8, 2008


The atmosphere feels hexed –
as if perspective which conduced
to comfortable reason knew

some absolutely other season
than the one upon you now. How
oddly lovely all this grand and dry

and blue and clean September
weather seems to be! You intuit
it’s a music which rides on unheard

cacophony: a rickets-ridden rhythm
far below: up here, its beauties swell;
down where it counts it’s hell.

He’s Icarus and soon his wings
will melt and he will fall into the sea.
And not one bit romantically.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Wagering the Heart

It brims, that’s all –
what more to say?
This valiant silly life –
this instance of the stray
and incommodious:
this pointlessly arranged
array of causes and effects –
profuse odd progeny of sex –
this shock I keep pursuing –

finding – in your eyes:
this endless source
of meaningless surprise:
this weird reflex-attraction
to the notion one might fit
another human being
like a glove – despite
the manifest and manifold
objections from the highest

courts above and one’s
most cynical and irrefutable
experience below –
you amaze me too entirely
to stop myself from
the refusal not to fall in love:
just – quite – yet.
Wagering the heart,
place another bet.


Saturday, September 6, 2008


Martin Luther was a priest –
Jesus was a Jew –
Better, worse – we’re all at least
as alterable, too.


Now, Suddenly, On Cue

Pelagic light – a magic luminosity contrives itself
from rain, and sea: a demonstration of what
atmospheric water in a city ought to be: ubiquitously
jeweled: mysteriously ambient wet elements
of stagecraft – conduce to this penumbral drama
seemingly performed for you: to see the drenching
pluvial excesses of a hurricane-run-north extend
a gently bright, precisely syncopated rhythm

on the casing of your air conditioner: a daring act
of derring-do to send such mad Stravinsky beats
so far – and so intentionally – up to you. It takes
the volume of unfathomable quantities of rain
to render in exquisite condensation that slight tapping
on your window pane: and oh, again, the subtle
sourceless light! – unprecedented taste of shadowed
white – there is no way that you can capture, now,

the sight of it: or offer what it asks of you: you must
be Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde, so full
of an intensity of rapture and of woe so contradictorily
mild and acerbic, yearning and mistrustful: oh! –
absinthe would be superfluous in this rare flow –
you are the blessèd progeny of an imagination not
quite yours. Now, suddenly, on cue – as you recall,
somehow, before, you’d asked it to – it pours.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Laissez-Faire Alchemy: Early September

Evoke it privately: stoke up
bewitching potions, fix your
mixtures and elixirs, calibrate
whatever sweet exactitudes
of golden light it takes to serve
the finest tolerable brightness:

crush your crises into powder
and apply it injudiciously
to spice the chowder: eat it like
the treat it is. All there is to do
is notice. Focus on the weather:
feather-sprites of clouds:

loud blue resonance of skies:
watch the evenings come like
spies: nothing on which you
rely for longer than a poke
or pinch or hush of breath felt
on the cheek. Morning, afternoon

and dusk fill up a nascent week:
a promised musk of autumn:
midnight finds you back in touch –
receive its cool love letter.
You were right to want to wait
for this. Nothing better.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Our La Brea Tar Pit


Two birdies in
a puddle splashing.



Dashing passion in
the pebbles like
two criminals too
happily and hastily
ensconced in laying
waste to expectation
to retain a taste
of anything.



We are many things,
but mostly must be
deeply social animals –
how else to understand
the lunacy of such
a tacit vast cooperation? –
all these birdies in
their puddles with their
story-lines that for
a moment seem
to make the muddle
seem pellucid.
Bubbling up from
our La Brea Tar Pit,
darling, damned
if we’re not lucid.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Midday Light, Halved

Turned the CD player on and let it
carve a great big slice of Brahms –
A minor – Quartet Number Two –
before a semi-slumber threw me into
semi-somnolent hallucination – I had
halved the midday light by pulling closed
four wooden shutters on the windows:
shoved a pillow tight between

my thighs, and clutched another
to my chest, and wedged my head
into a third, patently to grab
some rest – looked like a grimly
hibernating prehistoric bird –
by this time I had heard the better part
of Brahms’s swoon of the first quarter
of the quartet’s feast – the movement

mooned-and-starred me back
to childhood – evening, setting silverware
for dinner, placemats on the table,
somehow knowing that I hadn’t
made a space for everyone – couldn’t
think whom I forgot. By now
the Brahms had reached a spot where
it could not suspend me anymore:

a jabbing mad allegro shored me back
into the need for day, and all this
hibernating musical dim prehistoric
reverie blew, soft, away – like
seedpods from a fluff of the forgettable.
Although regrettable that I could
not recall that dinner guest –
as if I’d failed some secret test.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Depression: A Strategy

Be tiny
in your dealings
with the world, today.

You’ll get to see the whole
enormous hoo-bah close its eyes
and swing and sing and sway, that way.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Silly Goose

It’s late – too late now –
for the break
you hoped that you
would get: that warm

orgasmic wisdom
spurting down toward
the heart and groin,
up to the head:

that geyser of two
joined enthralling
understandings fathomed
just in time to take,

while you were hot,
to bed: one, that
outcomes didn’t matter
all that much – and two:

hilarity was part
of kickass sex.
But you’re no longer
that sweet youthful

glory which might put
these gifts to use.
Today, in love,
you are a silly goose.