Monday, August 31, 2009

Kiss for Pay

No better than she has to be,
she blushes – ripe – on cue;
voluptuous – plucked off the tree –
receptively on view –

engaging in the business of
her yearly kiss for pay –
though like a harlot feigning love,
she looks the other way –

her sweetness seems peremptory –
her heart far out of reach –
her show of pink complacency
belies another peach.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Bang Mama

You’re in collusion with the Universe! –
Big Bang Mama being what she is –
each atom of you pouring from the curse
or blessing of abundance, and the jizz

ejaculated by her ardent groom:
orgasmic particles are what you are –
so vast – each with unfathomable room
to grow into another raging star

in an infinity of galaxies –
exulting in the pleasure of the groan
that blasts you even now. Strange fallacies
of doubt! Why do think that you’re alone?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nothing Yet, However

Sitting naked, semi-formed – haloed by
a scattering of orange, blue irrelevancies –
eyes drawn just enough to warm – and warn
of some impending sentience: something just

outside the gate awaits, perhaps – perhaps –
there’s something in the creature’s proto-lap
that may evolve into the prize: but you
must wait for those emerging eyes to tell

you what it is and if it could be yours
and if you’d want it anyway. This is the stark
beginning of the play, the thought, the love,
the first brave breaking through the dark,

the ambient diffuse new light: the shape
just starting to attract your sight: a ray
illuminates a curve of dome. Nothing yet,
however, which has quite become the poem.


Friday, August 28, 2009


Civilized soft accents –
gently cultivated, stressed
no more or less
than necessary to convey
assent to some neat reasonably
candid and considered
cadenced and articulate array

of well-wrought thought –
a sweet and fine trajectory
of mind, a sort of lilting
philosophic roundelay –
in which agreeable agreed-upon
assumptions might, here, graciously
be given sway – caught,

and offered, carefully, of course;
at their most generatively
illuminating high points: brushed
with modesty, anointed
with a charming touch of shyness:
quietly achieving, and then
leaving in a hush: penseroso

not allegro – never so
unduly weighted that a gasp
occur, or breath be ‘bated:
all in homage to the apropos –
the powerful self-evident
belief that sense prevails
and nothing need arrest one from

its flow: indeed, that death itself
was, in its bold distasteful
crudeness, best kept well
outside the show –
accorded some short cordial
passing nod, perhaps.
Diagnosis: imminent collapse.


Thursday, August 27, 2009


This Wagner-viral flow
of operatic breadth and length:
you court an image of it

dressed in heavy purple,
royal blue and burgundy brocade –
all fading now to gray: virulently

enervating systems
slowly through the week:
demonstrating an extraordinary

delicacy, expertise in wielding
and proliferating weakness
through the narrows

and the deltas and the beaches
of the body’s porous continent:
breeding silently through

shoulders, arms and legs
and head and knees –
interesting, this propagating

warm insidious disease:
another cold, again,
which at its waning,

past this bend, you almost
want to coddle and befriend:
emit a breath of gratitude

for the illuminating
oddly comfortable gift of its
oblique rehearsal of the end.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Six Minutes of a Something

Hands like soft bewildered wings awaken: poke
and blunder: gently flap and close and point and rearrange
the view: what to do? Images unfold, come through:

teen-aged, dull-eyed, home sick from high school, under
a penumbral cold – all deliciousness on hold – blather
on the TV screen – wondering what afternoon could mean:

toddler, thwarted, grumpy, hugging knees, rocking
on the rug: intricately, impotently ill-at-ease – in somebody
else’s sway – trapped in someone else’s notion of a day;

twenty-something on a Sunday morning, thunderingly
stupid, battered numb from drinking hard the night
before, out of every currency, leaden at the core;

now, today, pre-dawn, the light just coming on, six minutes
of a something which evokes a vaguely recollected
existential absence, yawn – foggy panic: ruder, blunter, truer:

here – where life, the world, the Universe seem one vast
banishment: a teeming meaninglessly seething cell, and up
to your bewildered hands to keep it from becoming hell.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Secret

Had I the aptitude and expertise
to find and coax it out and tease it into
pleasing you – thereby relieving
and retrieving you – to bring you back

into the stream – oh, I would ply them
like a gorgeous dream – everywhere
and always. But evidently nothing
with regard to it or you is up to me.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Scintillating Fuss

Poems make the fabric of the day –
they are the substance and the mirror
of the play – it’s not like you can’t find one –
rather that you never can’t.

Poems are Existence’ DNA –
beyond electrons, quarks and leptons
are the rising, falling, stepped-on
yet resilient chants and strings of vibrancy

that constitute the warp and woof
of poesy which weaves and sews
and undergoes the freaky subtleties
without which we could not account

for you or me. Poems are, however,
so profuse that our experience of them
is pardonably loose, diffuse,
confusing – so much juice! –

amazing that we ever catch the tiniest
sweet snatch of it to put out here
for scrutiny. I grabbed a handful of the stuff
just now but it was so beyond enough

that I was forced to let it go. So many
syllables all in the throes of numinosity! –
quite something for a creature
made of them to see: quite something

to begin to recognize the lineaments
and the contours of the scintillating
fuss that ultimately makes,
and is made up of, us.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

What My Cold Has To Say About It

Entrancificatorially speaking,
to coin a word,
this thing you’ve got’s perpetually leaking
as if a bird

proleptically had fallen into squeaking
thereby to gird
itself against transgressively de-beaking
thus to have spurred

compulsively premeditative peeking
which has occurred
to your astonishment, while also tweaking
what you had heard

was true.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Unutterably Queer

Galumphing in a cab (sans shock absorbers)
through the sopping sloshing wet vicissitudes
of New York City concrete, streets, and other feats

and treats of excess and decrepitude, you prate
and prattle, rattle and create today’s confabulation
of the past: whomping to and fro and sideways,

slamming into the upholstery and knocking into
window glass, you make up stories that wake up
your appetite for just the right repast: a narrative –

declarative and speciously secure about the “facts” –
that builds another case (as if you needed one)
for why you couldn’t last a moment in another

place: oh, how you love its ugly petty pretty funky
lurid shameless dream continually meting out
the cream of why, and why again, you’re here!

Rolling, rocking past your favorite Chinese
take-out – oh, the city’s endless hot-and-sour
tautologies! – a taxi in a lumpen-stormy-rainy

August celebrates the rank ineffability of how
you know that life – up near, and down in its
imponderable rear – will always be unutterably queer.


Friday, August 21, 2009

When I Imagine You

I want a realm, a slew, a stew
in which the vast varieties of you

have room to dive and glide and part
and come together, as they wish, with heart –

which is to say with warmth and force
to change, pursue or relegate the course

sometimes to something else: to rest –
before exulting up again to test

the bound’ries of the Universe.
I want to celebrate the sweet perverse

and oddly innocent employ
to which you’ve trained your aptitude for joy.

But most: I’d like from this to glean,
when I imagine you, whom I might mean.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

No Hoop-de-Doo Today

I want to hoop-de-doo today! –
but it’s too hot.

Late summer’s simmering away
up from a pot

of steamy sweaty swoop and splay
and goop that’s got

me in an August fricassée.
Wish it was not.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Timbre, Tone

Pronouns, Breathing

We didn’t ask to last this long –
we didn’t ask to last at all –
as far as I can tell from any item
in the evidential panoply
remotely open to the likes of me,
we never even asked to be.

But who knows what one asks for when,
or if one asks for anything,
or if one ever stops.
There’s something at the heart –
fresh-caught and toppling –
which presses randomly

to bring its sometimes
not-so-little déjà-vu’s to you –
a hybrid consciousness –
shamanistic liminality between the known
and can’t-be-known –
permitting one to wonder

if the aim is ever win or lose
and if what you had thought was yours
is ever quite your own.
We and I and you and me and one:
pronouns, breathing, left with something
faint but heard: a timbre, tone.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Seems odd to opt to think to choose
to claim – personify – a “muse” –
a waitress, lover, teacher, child –
who seems to keep the mind beguiled –

as if some spirit other than
what seethes already in a man
or woman could alone suffice
to render and reflect a life –

as if one had to fabricate
a Something-Other to create
an entity of breathing art.
Concatenated from the heart

and swiveled through the intellect
and sieved through craft – bedecked,
adorned, regaled and spun –
it surely all amounts to one

experience and enterprise:
a unity – all undisguised –
proceeding from one point-of-view.
But what, then, do I make of you?


Monday, August 17, 2009

Heat Advisory

Four Random Quatrains, Mid-August, New York City

Pink infant in a harness pressed
against her father’s hairy chest –
a pretty word made gentle flesh –
ineffably at rest, at rest.


A shirtless dirty homeless man
is passed out on the curb: the span
between himself and traffic can
be measured by a baby’s hand.


When did you learn that you exist?
When did you incur the risk
of grasping that you would desist?
Will anything beyond your death persist?


Plain and plump, sunburned, a girl
sits on the beach: the breezes whirl
and suddenly the skies unfurl –
and drop a huge transparent pearl.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sight Lines

My vision variously dulls and sharpens –
rash degrees and strange polarities
of sight from which some central mental

agency in me decrees that I should
squint at fuzzy shadowed distances – find
preternaturally clear exactitudes up-close:

axial myopia – wherein the complicated
bulb of eye elongates: renders less than
optically optimal effect – well, one has got

to give the thing respect. I take my glasses
off and pull my fingers close to cut my
fingernails and whoa! – thank heavens for

the vista of my pathological utopia: how else
would I have come to know these microscopic-
tiny leaves of keratin? – that tough protein

whose layers split and sever flakily when
sliced and clipped – precise and quick
and fine; continuing to keep my spectacles

at bay – thus to align my eyes and train
their gaze across the room to see
a looseness splay and loom – I watch

impressionism fill the predawn light with
inexplicability and gloom – assuming instant
mystery. What glories do the vagaries

of less than perfect eyesight lend! – which
vanish just as soon as I commit the crime
of putting on my glasses once again.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Florid Orange

Nix the gray. We need
some florid orange
in the mix today.
Jerk the jewel

from the murk
and put it on display.
Not that the force
of an amphibious insidious

dim ambiguity does not
still rule, of course:
goes without saying.
But we’ve been

praying for a sign –
some fine ejaculating
head to pop up
from the cloudy brine –

some bright delusion
of delicious certainty.
Make it florid orange.
Make it look at me.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Existential Orgasm

Hooray! The Doomsday cards have all been dealt
and you’re left numb and slumping, soul unfelt,
in some faint simulacrum of a life
in which your heart is husband to the wife

of an abyss. At last! What bliss!
Dismiss! Let go!
Mow down the weedy yard
and find the virtue in the vacancy!
Now you can exercise some agency.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poem in the Shape of an Art Deco Wall Sconce

Bauhaus (rhymes with mucks)
with art nouveau and makes
it laterally vertically coalesce
into a Busby Berkley show –
spotlights a top hat left by
Fred Astaire, Rolls Royce
and one slim silver

that Tallulah uses
to bring glamour to
her leisurely seductions:
thank you dear, Miss Bankhead
would just love to have you
come a little nearer;

not to mention Norma
Shearer winking
from the back: speak easy

when you speak of Mrs.
Thalberg, darling:
turn the light
a little lower,
would you?

All this gin
gets one
a trifle



Poem Put for No Particular Reason in the Shape of a Tiffany Lamp

Let me be clear.
I’m very pleased at being here.
That I could walk through the voluptuous
discomfort of the streets of this sweet city’s sodden
fat humidity, imagining the air conditioning at home and what
transgressive pleasure it will be to turn the sound off on my phone
and contemplate the pro’s and con’s of cheddar cheese adorned with
onion (thinly sliced) or Pepperidge Farm bread (white and lightly

toasted) as the frame for Skippy peanut butter (smooth) and
seedless Smuckers’ jam (raspberry) – well, it’s more than very
good. It is the metaphoric wood from which my cross is made,

from which I gloriously
plan to hang

as long
hold me. Please
don’t scold


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Your What-to-Do’s

Do all your what-to-do’s confuse, affront
and misconstrue?
You might muse less on what you want
than what wants you.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


There is a moment
when the naked thing
has got to spring –

the rude afflatus
must inflate –
voracious flesh

can’t not tumesce –
and everything begets
and radiates a trace

of an audacious grace:
a timelessness wherein
the notion that there

ever could remotely
be an end to anything
is as unspeakable

as no would be to yes:
there is a moment
in that secret blessing

of a flow when you,
my dear, appear
to me as if you

couldn’t ever go –
hadn’t ever been away.
It doesn’t stay.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Having a Style

Having a style's
like having a smell –

to some it is vile –
to others it’s swell –

but after a while,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Syllabic Mist

Interest comes when pleasure does –
and pleasure comes as you fall deep
into the lap of this green-gray thick August day –
allowing your imagination to effect an exhumation
of a pith, a peeling back, a laying bare, not playing fair,
perhaps, with feeling – under-cutting every fond
illusion, plan, specific fantasy to send each reeling –
softly, murkily – into the heart of a humidity:

can you afford to go to Austria in January? –
is it possible to love a man? –
do you still want to play the violin? –
shouldn’t you peruse the fruit stands in the Sunday
farmer’s market just a few blocks down the avenue? –
is the Universe as fathomlessly blue
as that epiphany of it you knew
ten years ago in some hallucination’s druggy glue?

ah, but musing self-interrogation’s quite untrue
if it suggests that any speculation has one whit to do
with you: interest comes when pleasure does –
and pleasure’s come because you sense a fitness
in the itness of the many freedoms of syllabic mist –
questions dart and plop and flit and dip
like minnows, tadpoles in the ripples
of a listless pond: which is its own beyond.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bas Relief

The thief is an importunate intruder
who so baffles with his omnipresence

that you cannot know he’s there –
except, perhaps, as some slight

stultifying quality of air – which in a dream
becomes a slowly clotting cream to which

you find yourself adhering inextricably –
until you’re partly wall: until you are a tall

bland simulacrum of a soul: a bas-relief:
thick cream-concrete – chest, thighs, face

a fleeting semblance of dimensionality:
shoulders, butt and heels as flat as rock.

The thief won’t cease until he has effected
an entire lack. Ah, but: readiness is all: relax.

Dream of carving out the creature,
front and back, pick and axe: free him into

an autonomy. Take out everything
that was within. Wake up and begin.


Friday, August 7, 2009

The Model Talks Back

You squander equanimity! –
the chalice of your balance spills –

abruptly gushes out like some small grand
tsunami to recede immediately into

drought. I’ll try not to pout: this is the way
most human essence issues from the spout:

as gluttonous and wasteful and distasteful
as an eighteenth century aristocrat

with gout. Look at the easy rhymes
your essence now insists upon! –

who cares what’s skewed or lewd
or rude or so indifferently reviewed that hands

become the size of foreign lands
and feet become two atavistic creatures

flopping out and turning blue, about to atrophy.
And what the heck, I guess, to what you’ve

just done to my neck – and all the rest of me.
I am your colored pencils’ latest rash

catastrophe. And that sweet little smile
and ragged bits of outlined reddish hair!

Oh well, at least you dare.
If not exactly care.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alien Flyby

Notes Made in Passing

There is, in them, we came to understand,
a rapt fixation on the foot and hand
which seems to cause them all to calibrate
success by how well they manipulate

and muscularly wield themselves – beneath,
above, both left and right – so to bequeath,
perhaps, some sense of bolstering the odds
of lasting longer on their “Earth.” What gods

they importune seem to be physical –
perhaps corrective to the quizzical
ambiguous sensation of the sink
they seem to suffer when they try to think.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Imagine: You Are Here

How many breeding bleeding layers
are there in this city’s skin? –
some operative – some discarded

and unpardonable: this half-moribund,
half-breathing porous mesh
of spin and sin and blunt intransigence

and subtle residue – this vast organic
stew which seeps into your thought
and flesh to underscore its intimate

hegemony – its power over you
in all its multifariously kinky funky
sweat – its threat to all complacency –

this godless naked kickass punk of soul
who struts in refutation of the least
idea that any sweet simplicity could

ever constitute the whole: this thing
that richly rhymes with muck and suck.
Imagine: you are here. What luck!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No Ordinary Thing

What could it mean
to glory
in the ordinary
if there is
no ordinary thing?

Glory lives
its story
underneath –
beyond – within –

nothing doesn’t
make it sing
or spin: it wants
no gratitude:
it sees the world

and doesn’t
fault it.
What is there
for us
but to exalt it?


Monday, August 3, 2009

The Work It Takes!

The work it takes! –
to keep a full battalion of relation
up to Being: deploying nth degrees
of seeing, smelling, thinking,
hearing, dreaming, paying heed –
attending to the vagary –
the wish – the need –
employing opportunity – the seed
from which the psyche’s
propagations all derive –
essences of what it takes to be alive:

contriving to construct a sheltered hut –
a temporary architecture –
open windowed wall
and floor and ceiling wherein,
for a moment, you can harbor feeling –
recover from the fall and reeling
for a time: but just as soon
as you have climbed into the thing
and started to believe
in the delusion of a constancy,
it breaks into a monstrously abrupt

disruption: crumbling cliff – discord –
something pulls a rip cord –
and you spiral down to somewhere
new which turns into
where you have always been.
You’d like to think a sentient
and sublime serenity informs some
stillness at the core: from which
proceeds this mighty spin.
You wonder what in heaven
or in hell you’re in.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sensed Through Dark August Rain

An unbidden poet’s
bedeviling cry
levels a challenge,
and waits for reply:

“Why would ambition
ever be small?
You might as well never
have had one at all.”

(Emily pokes at
her flowering sod –
and conjures new ways
to keep puzzling God.)


Peeing is Nice

Peeing is nice:
when we have to pee –
we find we enjoy it


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Catching the Quatrain –

It’s time for my unconscious
to stride right up to the gate –
and kick it open wider
than it’s managed to, of late:

bid all its forces big and small
to rampage in like sin –
assort themselves in quatrains
with a sly collective grin:

I don’t have time to write today –
or draw much – but with luck
my discipline of daily work
and some amount of pluck

will draw an apposite degree
of something worth its salt,
and if it doesn’t, what the hell,
it’s my unconscious’ fault.