Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Strangers, in Many Ways..."

Over-exposed, artificially ardent – this
record of visceral dissonance – visually
disconcerting, off-kilter: those blank
haunted eyes – lit by midnight –
reflexively hunting – devoid of surprise:
caught in her silently clattering scaffold
of skeleton – awkwardly pushing
against some internalized fence behind

which she'd stood terrified: how many times
had she died like this, swaying onstage
while she lip-synched her own preternatural
calm – that unearthly dark feminine
baritone sound – so polished and easy
and done to a turn: the brilliant precision
of studio-technic perfection, all earned
through repeating, repeating, repeating

until she acquired that aurally bodiless
beauty – vibrato so subtle – voice deep
and so still and so cut off from her. I cannot
today keep from viewing, reviewing
the YouTube performance of her strained
performance of her secret paradigmatic
enormously odd enigmatic performance
of soul. Seen through so many lenses,

how could she be whole? Not so different,
now, from a sense of the shattering strange
lack of “how” I’ve afflicted myself with this
week: as if any capacity I might have had
to prevail had just sprung a malevolent leak.
Karen Carpenter got to where she couldn’t
eat: hellishly branding herself as unlovely,
unlovable – fathomably incomplete.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Ambivalently Fiddled

I hadn’t played the violin
for too long, and it showed:
before I got it to my chin –
before it could be bowed –

its D string popped: unused, in place,
some moment long ago
as it lay unplayed in a case
when I’d thought to forgo

the curved wood creature it espoused
and lived to lend respect –
until it gave up, sick, unroused –
to die from my neglect.

Oh yes, I know that strings will break –
part of the everyday
experience of give and take
in instruments we play –

but something darker here obtains
in my sad fiddle, since
it’s felt the wrenching angry strains
of my ambivalence:

it sits there weeks and weeks alone
without me – left to fate –
and then when I try to atone –
it senses buried hate

which burns its red and fearful glow
into my heart and shoves
it through my arms and fingers, bow –
which tell it what it loves.


"It and Me"

Let the body, mind nap: bundle into layered
hibernation: roll down into the enfolding
creature’s massive lap – kiss its it-ness: burrow
into a sequestered private inward view,
just outside a dream but with the drift of dream:

a scheme important, somehow, it would seem,
to psychic wealth: as if the gentle giant’s crotch
into the volupté of which you’ve driven
your frail substance seeking its rare gifts
of half-deep half-sleep held the only redolent

dark hope you had you wouldn’t botch it up:
prevent a coalescing of your shredded
winter consciousness, where – now, as if you
were a monkey in a jungle, all you know
to do for any semblance of trajectory is grab

another vine, as if it were a rhyme whose
meaning lay entirely in how it bungled towards
a kindred rhyme: as if to think consisted quite
entirely of cupping palms to catch whatever
dropped in them to drink. Your brain, by now,

is asininely nothing but an assonance in search
of assonance. Winter now consists completely
of retiring to that warm giant’s lap to sleep.
Commemorative pap to keep: incise a heart-
and-arrow in your psyche’s tree. “It and Me.”


Thursday, January 29, 2009

What You Lack

Your psyche’s tangling up
as if with fretful sentient
neural vines, inclining you
to worry over little tics
and twitches, itching
through the whole of you:

there is no hope for this,
it’s surely true, apart, perhaps,
from waiting for the view
to widen and, perhaps,
by facing sliding fears
that manifest (for instance)

in your anger at the phone:
the phone, yes, that’s
the terribly unanswered thing:
the apparatus you are used
each dawn to pressing
soft against your ear

and cheek to bring her
voice and wit and love to you:
this week your dear friend
Donna’s gone and that
feels quite incalculably
wrong, and everything

conspires in her absence
and her silence to remind you
you are quite alone.
Oh, she’ll come back: but
you’ve found out, without
her, what you lack.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Winter, Now

Crepuscular mid-winter’s shadow and its harrowing
noon glare – you learn to bear the season’s panoply
of lighting tricks: and how the mix transfixes –
tethered irremediably to what you would like to think
you know as “now” – now, and here, uncapturably queer
and changing, changing so immutably that changing
loses meaning: what else is there but what teems?

What’s a moment, anyway? And then to factor in its
strange exacting and immersive play with this Manhattan
sway and tilt and specificity: if you were to walk outside
with me today, you’d know that there was something
idiosyncratic, insubstantial and hilarious about this city’s
glow: the slushy heaps of January snow all seeping into,
onto, over, under feet; the passing beeps of taxis

and cell phones – the furrowed brows of babies, lovers,
athletes and the elderly: the ultimate fine distillation
of the human: irrepressible and secret through faint
rumbles of the subway from below, and plops
of melting muck that hit you in the head which drop
from overhanging eaves and cornices of New York City’s
living monuments to its unbridled dead: tenements

and row-houses unsentimentally remind you of their
ghostly cold fraternity: and you, and they, live in the city’s
stasis of eternity – in winter, now, revolving, changing,
ranging and evolving: there’s no difference at last
between the past and you: leveraging any notion
of the ultimately true to silliness: kept everlastingly at bay:
and wintry New York City lets you know this every day.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sexual Secret

Let’s just say
one had a young Brazilian man today
(how did one meet him? one has ways)

who took one’s breath away
and made one understand that when two gay
men really want to play

and disinhibitedly savor being one another’s prey
they get as serious
as infants.


Monday, January 26, 2009

More About the Light

Confused, perhaps, by the ambiguous diffuse mishaps,
effects, demands of embryonic global warming,
red-breasted robins (one suspects) do not fly quite as

regularly in the winter anymore to warmer lands: and now –
well, now – a bright-red-breasted robin lights upon
a bough upon a tree outside the kitchen window:

blessed by middle-winter-white sunlight in all its middle-
afternoon oblivion and blight, the round ex-pat expectant
robin looks inordinately fat: full-up on something,

anyway: or maybe fluffed in some sharp birdy-huffy way
about the meteorologic shift in things as they affect
small feathered animals with wings. But more about

the light: each glance into the air hints at another sort
of dance inside its glisten and its glare – completely
unaware of seasonal respectability. Perhaps the robin’s

stayed for this: to be inside this whisked variety of photon
wisp and whip: to slip past the expected atoms and reject
conventional dimensions: this light is surely full of tricks,

and Birdy wants to be right in its mix – to ride its gravity-
defying rise and fall: appear and disappear into the quantum
small. (Perhaps one never saw the robin after all.)


Zeitgeist Cow

It's wrong to decry the high tech,
or speculate how many
brains it may

can't spell or think,
they can't spell or think. Observe
the new brink: take notes,
while you still

know how.
Milk –
then drink
from – the Zeitgeist
cow. Bet what the Internet

can’t not beget
will zoom
room for

the human and its
irredeemable jazz. Frankly,
my dear, it


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lovely Norma Zimmer

Lawrence Welk supplied expected harmonies – not one
surprised. The lacquered raven, blonde and auburn
ringlets of his seamlessly made-up pink pretty ladies
and the sexless lunkiness of his cropped, suited,
belted, crooning, belting men – swaying, tapping,
nodding, peeking through bright cherry-crimson swags,
around petunia-blue upholstery, ersatz Greek fluted

columns, props and curtains in alarming shades of aqua,
lavender, chartreuse – all fought against all possibilities
of looseness to construct a case for obligated smiles,
charm devoid of wiles. Prim adornments of vibrato –
ticky-tock as clockwork – soft parades of eyelashes like
well-trained little pets: all drew a filigree and fiddle-dee-dee:
an amplitude of dancing, singing creatures synchronized

to wing through all our television sets – all flew with
an astonishing directness into human brains. While we
glazed over to the strictly sugared strains which never
faltered, we were altered: inoculated with, indoctrinated
by a far more subtle influence than we had thought could be.
Lovely Norma Zimmer shimmers through her glittery
imprisonment – enshrined in some strange archetypal

mine, whose ludicrously singing Disney ore now, Siren-like,
implores us to come back and dig and pig out on
her pastel priggishness, propriety, sobriety, demure
maturity: no chance of ever reaching a satiety: we’re stuck
forever in its careful creamy muck: our dreams are stained;
they’ll never be the same: and canny awkward Mr. Welk
deserves – perhaps the praise, perhaps the blame.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Soft Star-Spangled Story

Gleams out at me – a few degrees
of difference – this subtly altered
angle of the sun: what glows a month
beyond the solstice starts to tell its soft
star-spangled story: just a hint, just now:
as if just off the bow of an emerging

dawn-white dory – small fishing boat:
a speck on the horizon: ushering in
little rushes, breaths of life in light:
touched by some faint glory: beyond
the bite of cold seductive death
embraced by Winter night – and now,

just now, a slight bright evanescent
welcome: fresh, awake: not seasonally
torn, or worn – and still, of course,
not even close to warm: but here’s,
unsinkably, the thing. It’s not
unthinkable there’ll be a Spring.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Vexed Couplets

His pregnant pauses
threaten to produce

and honey,

you're not sure
you want a child.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Head On

You ascended to the challenge! –
met the thing head on:
propitiated all the angry gods
of anxious wakefulness – enabled
a diurnal and nocturnal balance –
found the sole appurtenance
you could depend on to allow

a lasting living ease. Last night,
outside, a blasting freeze
took care of one sharp
half of context; flipside of its
howling frigid blight: the warm
gemütlichkeit delight of bundling
in your quilted bed: invoking

cavemen – atavistic comfort,
near the embers of a fire:
body warm and animal –
rocking to a gentle entropy:
diffuse as spent desire: as if
post-coital effulgent sleepiness
had crept into, replaced the air:

and you were in your blessèd lair;
and nothing in the least disturbing
pressed upon you there:
what pressed upon you – oh,
thank Morpheus for his conspiracy
with Bed, Bath & Beyond! –
was your luxurious plush purchase

of the day: into which your head
plumped softly down and deep,
and lay: as if to fall asleep
beneath a paradisal canopy
of sweet benignity: a fairy story
weeping willow.
you found the perfect pillow.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It’s as if you see him tearing wildly at his flesh
and cannot stop him making headway – shredding
skin and scraping bone – to try to break the bloody
cage that holds the heart – and while you see
him ripping his exterior, interior apart, you
flash on something oddly intimate, and calm,
detached and almost knowing: something glowing

like the light you look at every day: the light
right now, let’s say – that New York radiance, late
afternoon: this winter you have labored so hard
to convey – and flashing on this peace, as he
appears to tear himself to pieces, tells you
something’s going on – no, not in you, not just in
you, but deep somewhere within his own capacity

for psychic dawn. You have no place in his grand
violence; it’s not your business if it’s good or bad.
You’ve only come to guess that somewhere deep
inside the soul-lit cell of him, he’s working out
a private passage: clearing out whatever’s pulling
at him here and there, behind, below, above him.
Meanwhile, no one said you couldn’t love him.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In the Fresh Wet Wake of His Speech

Take a little time! –
reflect – allow sufficient
space to recollect –
don’t try to talk

about the nerve
while it’s still quivering!
A fuller portion
of the thing will come –

delivering within
a reasonable context,
far more wed to calm –

cool observation:
something useful, welcome,
closer to what one might plausibly
accept as truthful;

yet you persist in all this
youthful mess,
sopping wet with bliss –
a dope voluptuously

in the wrenching grip
of this strange agonizing kiss of hope –
and bawling out Niagara Falls
of tears. You! –

and your “sophisticated”
fifty-seven years.
Oh, mama.


Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have Been a Spy

Relying for its weight
on the illusion that it never will abate,
this mottled ply of January snow
on city brick (besides its tricking us
into the gelid dream that all the endlessness
of February, once it comes, will never go)
is not unlike July (implying August

in a ceaseless creaseless summer):
but I have been a spy
all year and can report
that this thick invitation to succumb
to numbing humming schemes of stasis
has no basis – except, of course, in its sly
intimation that no moment can be captured

or escaped. As we muse on Time
again, and wonder what the substance
is of “then” or “when” the snow falls
in eternity: and change is as illusory
as constancy. We are in a lively
silent joke, my little poky empanada,
slipping ‘round the spokes of tricycles,

lubricated by God’s dripping icicles
that harbor steamy thunder
and the starkest frigid wonder
in each drop. Think of that,
my little sweet cascader,
as you watch each
snowflake pop.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Semi-demi-hemispheric Cat

Must coin an adjective or two –
Lord knows, so many now are needed
to convey the least idea of you –
ah, that pesky second-person
snooping ‘round again: always flitting in
and out in sneaky bends and loops:
sometimes as guise for “I’s” and other

mythic featured creatures – weather
systems, come to that: for that is what
you are, my sly and slinking snowy
feral cat: you feline queen of this slight
semi-demi-hemispheric slice of Universe:
this city, and therefore, my heart:
New York’s covered in your shedding

fur and you are her exhuming art:
you dress her fluffily and fussily –
and she impresses. Well, she always
does, but generally with a lot more
buzz – not so replete with this sweet
dangerously covert tangled lacy silence.
You are a temporary soft relinquishment:

you’ve whitened and alleviated
barren tenements and trees: you whisper
us back through the centuries you’ve
witnessed here: withholding your sharp
claws: you pause: you gentle
prospect of averted fear: you herald
of an odd impertinently hopeful year.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Thomas Hardy Stage

I’ve gotten to a stage of cold
when coughs require standing up,
erect – as if the body wanted to caw
out a grisly aria: to open airways
to provide whatever was inside
its unimpeded exit: project its
vexed, odd music – this cacophony

of my phlegmatic symphony: erratic
and percussive – full of spasm –
and yet passionate – each cough
another angry beast of grief
determined to be born – now set on
leaving me at last. One should expect,
perhaps, to feel post-partum blues

after these virally induced rough
gasps: some guilt about ejecting
these sad Hardyesque rejected
blobs of child – reviled, unlucky
and pathetic messes – Judes
and Tesses no one wants: coughs,
like Thomas Hardy’s litter’s runts.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Under Cultivation

Winter under cultivation
Is as arable as Spring

Emily Dickinson


I try to pay my dues:
only choose, report the news
which – quantum-swift –

shifts, undercuts, bemuses:
fantasies, catastrophes
and deep drum beats

that baffle heart and nose
and feet and mind:
nothing’s ever as I’d thought

to find it. I stir at slants
of winter light, and purple
fall, and ballsy summer,

and have faced some
strange bright swings
of spring. Perception

turns them into thing.
Nothing rises, stoops to notice
one iota of their float and sting

except what stumbles,
dives through my surprised
near-sighted eyes.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Influenza Cadenza

Slices, tendrils, shards
and splinters of the dawning
morning feverishly flit
and slip and slither through

the windows – crack
my eyelids – achy
and oblivious: clumsy
and indifferent: slowly

shifting from translucent
lacy snowy gray to
blinding sunlit January day:
and all of it seems new.

I once believed that poetry
required unrequited love:
but it seems perfectly
at home with flu.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Felt Implied Sweet Promise

Thankful for the covering a cold
can bring – tending to its viral
spirits wafting into, through me
like the incense in a church – loving
this communion with the January
almost-dusk-light, shadows
perching at the windows, once again
just always out of reach, but with

some felt implied sweet promise
that the breach between me and its lit
translucent mysteries will one day,
not too long from now (for nothing
is too long from now), be bridged –
I now beseech the long, preliminary,
floating and subsidiary introduction
of a clause to which I’ve just

subjected us, to take its place as
guiding verse, so to reverse
and lead me back, away, towards
the living outline of the angles
of the city’s trees and buildings:
backwards, as if the beginning
of this poem were its end, and its
ending were its start. I want

to turn time into new uncharted loops,
and watch it scoop and bend,
and go with it wherever it will
take me back beyond its genesis,
before, before, before the world
and my participation in it gathered
all its heavy lore: to back off
from the fight, and only be the light.


Way Back When

Sweep on down the synapse
to the synapse to the synapse
that – like slalom sledding
in a luge – careens you into
the delusion that the feeling
you are reeling from describes
some past experience so huge –

with such alluring virulence –
that it might even now appeal the way
it must have done when you –
oh, way back when – decided
you were having fun – oh, more than
shallow pleasure: fit that treasured
trembling creature like a glove –

were toxically in love. But maybe love
is always toxic – anyway, the tricky
icily slick spray of it that made you
fray into the tatters that your life
with him was then. Just saw some
pictures of him, once again.
Oh, way back when.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Careful, Sweetheart!

Careful, sweetheart!: pleasures,
once adored, too long ignored,
resurge eventually with a vengeance –
shredding through your murky
narcissistic stew with messy
spreading views of you that you’d
forgotten for good reason:

contemplate the season
of the 1959 Impala – what
the vision of it had begotten in your
prescient childhood: created
when you were a fragile eight –
kept latent ‘til your early teens –
the sort of metal phallic influence

that weans a boy from boyhood
into graphic pornographic
dreams: Chevrolet had
promulgated such a rocket spray
that to this day it makes you
wonder if it might not still have
lots to do with who you are:

all bat-winged gleaming shooting star,
as if an orgasm could be a car.
Fifty years of seeing pictures
of the thing! – some volupté
in you begins again to sing –
and –
careful, sweetheart!:
things could get bizarre.


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Cooler Thing

She’ll try to choose to do
the cooler thing.
Pretend he didn’t bolt away
the other day as if he were
a feral and unloving cat.

Today she’ll conjure up
perspective on all that.
Pretend she’s got
a conscious witness
at the console in her middle

who possesses fitness
to assess without
a lot of twiddle –
no getting pissed
or lashing out.

Today she’ll underplay –
opt for dispassion:
see if she
can understand
one tiny bit of anything




No reeling tragicomic up’s and in's and down's and out’s.

She has her doubts.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hurricane Lamp

You explained:
“The light
went out.

If it were
to come back
on, I don’t think I’d

trust it. Fragile apparatus:
busted. Bubble: burst. You
were not the first. But I had

hope. Feel like a dope. And
then there’s you escaping
with the loot. You

a hoot.”

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"What Do You Do All Day?"

A Prose Poem in Four Arbitrary Stanzas

I can't seem to put it into solid language. It feels like
it would injure it to try. Partly because it would seem too
sort of skeletal, laid out as 'facts' -- and its effects are
so rich. I inhabit my inner life and the outer of life of NYC
so completely (a 'completion' of course that isn't; it intensifies
moment to moment) that they have become seamless.
Anything I do, whether it's a walk to a meeting or some

other encounter (supermarket, friend, etc.) or subway ride
up to the cat I take care of every day on the upper west side
or coming back here for more of my very active solitude
or cooking broccoli or Brussels sprouts (my main dinner
diet, with pasta - oil & garlic & salt & red pepper flakes)
and then making my bed and feeling -- every night! –
this unbelievable luxury of being in & sinking into the city

of my heart in every possible dimension of it -- settling
down to watch NCIS & House re-runs & PBS whatever
& then drifting off to sleep, and dreams, a whole other
way of inhabiting this waking dream of a life -- well, again,
doesn't begin to say it. The writing – sure, would have to be
'central' -- I climb onto that island daily -- but then everything
is central: I can't single anything out as more 'crucial' than

anything else - it's all part of the unbelievably ardent love
affair I have with this city, this completely indifferent & yet
passionate city -- this city 'who' (I see her as a transgender
empress/whore) demands everything I've got & it's still
not enough & coming up empty-handed in front of her &
bearing her dispassionate disregard and chronic hunger
for more still constitutes the most glorious pleasure I know.


Limits of Influence

Whitman didn’t go to Harvard –
had a rag-tag family –
never looked like he’d been barbered –
spewed his passions handily:

sometimes I will sit down with him –
glad to be next to a fan
as I am of sweat, and jism,
flesh, testosterone and man –

but I can’t take too much of him –
all his lengthy catalogues –
soon I want a new touch: love, whim,
cadence, meter, travelogues

colored by her realms of Soul –
Dickinson’s dance through the night –
hymnal prosody made whole –
full of freezing light, and fright –

‘til her language breeds a madness
in a mind as slight as mine –
and I seek a different gladness –
comprehensible design –

Auden? maybe; James? perhaps –
Kipling has become a friend –
I climb to, and from, their laps –
still can’t find the proper end –

don’t have much left in my coffer –
few fruits hang down from my tree:
wonder if some other author
might resolve the mystery.


Friday, January 9, 2009

My Private Phoenix

Precious cobbled thing! –
reconfiguring a small clay pot –
nestled in silk cloth –
conglomerated bibelot
about which
something in the soul
decides to sing –

for urgent need of song.
Stray Christmas ornament
gone wrong – redeemed, re-won,
recaptured and made fit for May –
all day – all year –
I shall salute my private Phoenix
here. He knows there is no

antidote to pain
except to reign – aflame –
over a longing heart as if
its longing were a subterfuge
for some much lovelier, more
secret art. He nestles now,
before he rises,

fragile brittle glittered creature,
featured player
in this huge and layered moment
of which – dear, lost everyone
who’ll hear me! –
we and he are each
and indispensably a part.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Painful, Fresh, Inevitable

You develop the resources
to prevail over time – regularly,
rhythmically exhale, inhale –
and yet regale your deepest
fantasies sufficiently to stoke
the hottest ardor – thus to barter,

maybe, for the chance to make
them flesh – and then accept
the failure (painful, fresh,
inevitable) of the sale – as you
develop the resources to prevail.
Over time, which is to say

with a magnificent fine disregard
for time of any kind, interior
or ticking on a clock, you may
at last transmute at least
the sharpest edges off the shock
of being here – create a smoother

and less fearsome apparatus.
Like Lee surrendering to Grant
at Appomattox, you discover
you’ve capacity to cede control,
post-fight, to fate: learn not
to choke on love, or favor hate.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

13th Day of Christmas

Christmas ripens for too long –
Then so quickly rots –
Trees, discarded, limp and wrong –
Broken muddles – blots –

Garlands have become detritus –
Down – what was above –
Not unlike what would excite us,
Then we used up: love.


Laid Bare

quantum-tiny rivulets.

Large and dense:
or small with a propensity for what appears
which seems to the imagining

and hopeful eye
to be a chum
of wanton fun.
But one

cannot deduce from wishes
what is is.
One can’t deduce from anything
too much.

I thought today I might make sense
of touch –
that backed-up tensions
might ejaculate,

be overcome.
But all I see is mud,
not rivulets.
And nothing

is the chum
of wanton fun.
Poems lay bare
all you dare

and almost all you don’t.
I asked this one
to help me out:
it won’t.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Importuning the Dusk

Gathering’s what must be done! –
amass illuminations –
the ones aimed, slanted, at oneself –
pale brightened perturbations

needed to revive the mind –
remind it it is flesh –
exact from it a recompense –
humility: address

its yearnings not with promises –
but, faintly, with a view
of all imagination’s schemes
and all they misconstrue –

to let their arrant play of sense –
nonsense – become the thing –
and not care overmuch about
the meanings they don’t bring –

and not care overmuch
about repute – identity –
but flit, instead, into a nest –
invite a wren to tea –

and kiss a pterodactyl –
then boil it, and shove –
and say to hell with poetry! –
and God! – and death! – and love!

One tries again to prise the light
out – quickly – unaware –
distract it, tangled, in a trope –
too late! No longer there.


Monday, January 5, 2009


I want the nineteenth century today –
to whirl the globe of time back, say,
one-hundred-thirty years – 1879’s soft,
careful and precise locutions – a fantasy
and sway to which my mind gives play
when winter light is like it is right now: before
it makes another shy diffusely glowing bow

into the evening – Emily Dickinson , 48,
and Henry James at 35, arrive – appositely
at my desk for ghostly tea, but each quite
quickly takes an interest in the other – not
in me: Henry’s gray and Emily’s dark sherry
eyes inspect their captive prey and prize –
dispassionate, direct – as if they each

were insect specimens; I want to waft
my deftest sweetest clauses for them
into meaning – elegant and filigreed,
but simple as the simplest human breath –
I want the bliss of thinking I might get their
blessing – but they’re too bewildered by
each other to address another being – dusk

slowly swallows both – and I’m back here
one-hundred-thirty years beyond the hush
of their improbable encounter and existence.
Cell phone shocks the air: a friend calls:
have to meet him soon. I trudge into the cold
Manhattan evening: half-moon – whispered
utterance – etched, peculiar as a rune.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Everything I Write is an Ode to the Limbic System

What you really
want lies always
in the realm

of scent.
What you love
has everything to do

with flesh –
both fresh,
and spent.

You have a sense
of this
of which

you cannot give
full measure.
Buried treasure.


Saturday, January 3, 2009


Shadows of tree branches on the window
cut the glaring sun-white brightness at 3:33:
like ghosts of some archaic neural network –
separated from some vaporous extinction –
etchily not there except as patterns in the air –

nothing is as beautiful as winter light.
I sit here once again dumbfounded, and yet
powerfully determined to find speech. I won’t
accept what I am told is obvious – that
capturing the whole, in words, is out of reach –

because it patently keeps proving that it isn’t.
The delirious experience of seeing, hearing,
feeling all the confluence in ambience
is absolute: it’s happening right now.
Break the thing down, head-on: say it! How?


Friday, January 2, 2009

Basta! I Am Not The Same These Days

More than merely alchemizing calcium to pearl,
a sea change prods another being, far beyond so many limits
in which its recipient felt furled – or even knew were there:
preliminary focus might be rocky ocean floor beneath
the water, but its repercussive resonances alter air.

Some odd insistent funny loving yet dispassionate incursion
of a sense inside has sent me on a ride that seemed
at first one merely taken in the mind: a metaphoric egg
had cracked conceptually: what spilled out was seamlessness.
And now dichotomies have evanesced, divisions are illusory,

the body is the soul – the word made flesh – darkness
is the same as brightness: night is day – and my own symphony
of skin and limb and muscle, bone and certain very
precious other sweet appurtenances now appear to have
their own experience of blood-hot life – which they each push me

to express: and sometimes with a knife; to wit: the slicing
of a dozen broccoli florets which then my fingers toss into
a sauté pan – short span of blazing heat in olive oil and garlic –
and then gently steam before I season them with salt and hot red
pepper flakes (my cooking muscles do not doubt what

they have also done to Brussels sprouts): tossed in squiggly
pasta. Basta! I am not the same these days, and neither is what
flames upon my stove and roves into my maw. I shall embody
an inimitably brand new year: undoing fear of isolation
and replacing it with awe. Sautéed broccoli is its law.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Animal Body

My animal body
has purposes
it makes sure
it achieves.

I used to think
I worked around
its powerful proclivities –
but now I see

imagining that I am
different from
this breathing, straining,
sweating, pumping,

humping, hairy
hungry thing
is fallacy. There is no “it”
and may, at least

as I had once
assumed abstractly,
not exactly
be a “me.”