Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Sculptress Dreams

All she wanted was somebody
who would look her in the eye. Then
one evening as she spindled, clumped,
defied, massaged and spun striated clay,

a blooming creature suddenly
and readily made way, loomed up –
achieved gaze-level height – then
in a trance, advanced: held her in sight –

and ever since they have prolonged
the yearned-for night. Neither one’s
begun to fade: they’re too content
whoever made them made them.

Pygmalion is Galatea: an estuarial
translation of existence and idea –
of chance and fate. Maybe we would
rather meet our maker than our mate.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caught in the Act

It wasn’t long ago
you caught him filching intimacies
from your psyche’s beat-up portmanteau:
that weren’t his.

It ended everything in one
large heart-dissolving fizz.
But now you wonder
if he didn’t have a right
to your light.

Whose light
was it,
is it,


Monday, August 29, 2011

What We Think We Have to Say

It’s true, we think we have to say,
those things that do not go our way
may go our way another day
before they then just – go away.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Watching Smoke

They tell you: light a candle in the darkness –
so you found an old squat Christmas one
in preparation for the possibility that the impending
hurricane might turn your lamps out. You lit
the thing which sputtered as it crackled up

the dust. You tamped it out. Its measly wick
engendered far more smoke than fire. But:
wisps of it seduced the space. Faint wiry tendrils
formed a face. And though it wasn’t quite
your ghost of Christmas Past it helped you recollect

the first and last time you expected holidays
to satisfy. You were seven: sitting on a window seat,
late, twenty-fourth December 1958 – wondering
when you would feel what you supposed
you were supposed to feel. For most of your

ensuing life you blamed your parents that you didn’t.
And now you’re sitting watching smoke evoke
the resignation of a stranger who had long ago
ceased thinking of a manger or a tree or Christianity
when he imagined joy. This made you stringent

with the boy you’d been: you wouldn’t
coddle him. He had to learn he had to make
a story up to conjure glory up. The lesson loomed,
upfront, declarative: the mind must give.
It’s got to find, then live, its narrative.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ignatius and Alphonse

Inside a private wide and wise repository of epiphanies,
two monks – Ignatius and Alphonse – reside whose light responsibilities

include the gestured passing of a silent code – a mode of messaging
with which, it’s said, the two of them can tell the future – presaging

our destiny with such unerring bright reliability, we’d quake
to see how right they always are. That secret handshake

may conceal, however, even more than Alphonse’ and Ignatius’ pokes
of thumbs in palms convey about our fate. Their fingers tell salacious jokes.

A clue (among more than a few) came from investigating someone’s charge
that every time they meet, the middles of their golden robes grow large.


Friday, August 26, 2011

The Swirl and Fold of Her

There’s very little left of him
that isn’t cosseted by –
caught inside –
the swirl and fold of her –

this emanation with which
he can’t not concur.
She knows how to bestir
him into melancholia

whose rich persuasions cast
a vast inarguable spell.
Perhaps not all our guardian
angels guard us well.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Exquisite Physics

Formed of cloud and carrying faint vestiges of sun,
the wonder is how many skeins strained
from attenuations of the rain she’s spun –

this empress of late summer storm
who waits for that exquisite physics
when the air is optimally warm

and palpable to summon a fine violence of weather –
woven into terrifying power from a shower
with the instigating lightness of a feather.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blue, Blue August Afternoon

Hot heaven’s charms swarm; harp, horns croon –
far more voluptuous than June –
this blue, blue August afternoon –

whose azure light incites the moon
to gather us for night, to swoon:
invites delight to slow and stay; then go, too soon.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Think We Know Why

enigma rides the sky.

Stranger things
are going on
than ever meet the eye.

Today we had
an earthquake.
We think we know why.


Monday, August 22, 2011


Speech reveals, betrays,
conceals, bestows the Whole,
besets the bowl with cracks.
It makes you pay it syntax.

Pitiful and voodoo-true, your
syllables construe your view –
they’re how your knowing
knows. Say one and it glows.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wonder Storm

We’d like to say
we know what's
going on, but
we do not.

What have we got?
What purpose  
could it possibly
avail us to discover?

We must recover.
We’re querulous,
confused. Another
bolt of lightning

strikes. Perhaps
it’s all meant
to amuse. Some

overseeing sense
of humor. We
wonder whose.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

When Freed

That bulked
thing clinging
and anaerobically

you think
if you let out

would ride
through you

to rumble, swear,
destroy and rout
and seethe,

in fact –
when freed –

turns out
to stumble,
enjoy the air
and breathe.


Friday, August 19, 2011


England’s like
the memories
of childhood –

all her kings
and queens
have gone to bed

in fairy tales.
She sits there
in her rocking chair –

the little girl
who used
to rule the world.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garden Party

“Come to our garden party,”
said her ghosts.

They promised showers:
flowers would gain.

They were, she knew,
fine hosts.

So many ways to spend
the summer in the rain.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Late August Comes

In the stricken throes of an expectancy
where exits open up along with ecstasy –
the rumbling imminence of ends
when summer’s swelling sun suspends

all motion in a glowing splurge of heat –
slow dance where nobody can find the beat:
it’s harrowing to see just how extreme
the least sensation can become: a dream

made sweating flesh whose senses reel:
wherein each fiber can be made to feel.
How can this blasted blessing not survive?
Late August comes excessively alive.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The next time you creep naked through
the underbrush at midnight with a pet,
shush yourself: inhabit hush: investigate
the wealth of stealth: imagine you are
after prey: your animal already will react

this way – take heed of her wise lead: try
to get a bead on what’s disseminating
scent, or scratching in the dirt, or whirring
in the air, or otherwise emitting faint
and subtle evidence that it is there.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Fresh Sense

Imagination strains,
then trains,

What blunders out at first
so foolishly, soon wakes you up;
creates, then slakes, a thirst for more.

How we ache
to make
fresh sense!

Today I hopped the fence to knock upon a random door which opened
to let pour the deluge of a water realm – an oligarchy at its helm
of multi-featured creatures who appeared adept at running everything.

I saw no reason to object: I’m now their willing, loyal subject –
undergoing an amphibious corrective rigorous
political indoctrination.

Which I will do, that is, till I decide to skew the works and surface
to the shore to knock upon another door to jerk into another realm
that more befits my endlessly mutating station.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Catalytic Agents

Catalytic Agents
hover ‘round
awaiting signs –

triggered to pursue your next
unprecedented moment –
whose aperture they’ll dart into

and alchemize –
to bump you
to another size.

The instant that you pivot
they’ll be at your side
like spies –

to plunder wonder:
over – over –
under –


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sex Hurts

Oh, not the brute mechanics – though they can be a pain.
More the undermining, overweaning ego-ridden strain of trying
everything you can not to appear the least bit plain. Birdies know

they’ve got to grow the plumage to attain the prize: so much 
is aimed at eyes. The urge to propagate is strong enough to foster
wonderfully erotic lies: stiletto heels, for instance, can show off

with irresistible appeal the calves and butt and thighs: as if
the woman they prop up held an unending promise of lascivious
surprise – ever on the make. But then arrives the ache.


Innumerable Peaches

I’ve dared to eat innumerable peaches.
Tomatoes are
a swoon as well.

Greenmarkets in mid-August
in New York
are pretty swell.


Construing the Nude Blue Dude

That he’s eschewed habiliments –
that he, prevailingly, is blue
as well as nude – that he plays
Chopin, Franck and Bach etudes
with tiny pinkish hands, his mood

subdued to shrewd insouciance:
an un-abating offhand attitude – that
little pyramidal horns of hair adorn his
pate, and drooping straight mustachios
extrude like Fu Manchu’s – isn’t news.

Look: he’ll profligately give you views.
One wonders, though, what
unseen light or fright ignites
his fuse. What does he do because
he has to? What does he choose?


Thursday, August 11, 2011

You Think It’s What You Want

It’s strange to find someone who’s interested –
who sits there listening and asking questions
that make sense. You think it’s what you want.
Perhaps it is. But it’s as if what you create
in the exchange is something quite apart
from either of you – conjuring new possibilities

proceeding from a curiosity which doubles from
this doubling of attention you both pay to it  
bringing new intensity to what comparatively
small and separate propensities for passionate
investigation you had each once known alone –
you stumble into realms that don’t quite

seem your own. To accept that there’s an Other
means to find out there’s another way of seeing,
which has eruptively immediate effect on
your experience of Being. You risk dissolving 
both of you – in scintillating existential fizz.
You think it’s what you want. Perhaps it is.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Imagination’s Coterie, A Touch Alarmed

It isn’t that they didn’t know the orange pen was magic – or that
behind the curtain of pelagic blue that certain seas of mystery
accrue it couldn’t conjure up a tragicomic aperçu or two.
Oh, they had summoned up more than a few. But nothing like this
shady and degraded lady ever dared before to barge so largely
and so rudely into view. What else would blunder through?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Losing Weight

Today we’ll tackle form –
grapple with its superimpositions
and the swarm of specious unities
it warms and prods us to accept –
its crazy-goose modalities –
inept realities – its sleight-of-hand –

the precious little evidence it grants
for what we think we’re sure
we understand – and which it seems
to think sufficient to remand us  
gracefully to Fate: well, here’s
the deal: intending to, I’ve dropped

a lot of weight – there is a hole
as big as Henry Moore inside me:
I am light as all inconstancy;
I’ve shifted to another shape.
Its contours quake: they do not
know yet if they’re fake.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Strange Times Call for Strange Rhyme Schemes

You’d lay your cards out on the table
but you haven’t any cards.
Bad economic news bombards.
Something seems about
to smash the world to shards.

You’re un-persuaded anybody’s able
to resuscitate tomorrow.
Nobody will lend or borrow.
But sit with friends and pout.
There’s camaraderie in sorrow.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Living Things You Love

The living things
you love:
would you still
love them

if they didn’t
love you back?
What is love,
in fact?


Saturday, August 6, 2011

When You Discover You’re the One

Sometimes, when August’s
humid humors stun
you with their heaviest
experience of sun,
and everything feels done,

and you discover you’re
the one the Universe
finds wonderful, you find
you cannot quarrel
with its dispensation:

in the volupté of perspiration,
you embrace it as appropriate
and dutiful to understand,
as deeply as you can,
that you are beautiful.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Twin Sisters Ponder the Effects of Dying Their Hair Different Colors

Where do I end up
and you begin? What is out
and what is in? Are we a random

wanton glut of quantum
probabilities? Are we in a rut
of DNA-decreed explicabilities –

predictable as prison life:
trapped in our impermeable cells?
Are the rife and ardent swells

of love we’ve felt significant
beyond hormonal flush – involuntary rush
and belt of moan and squeal

and capillaries filling with reflexive zeal
and bodily inconstancy?
Can you know me?

Can I know you? What is true?
Pattern? Splatter?
Does it matter?


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let’s Sidle Down the Street

We can’t know what travails assail.
Sentient beings obfuscate. Unfamiliar
perfumes may arrest: leave trails;
eyes may hint at lies – and sometimes

there is no surprise: nothing urgent
seems to stir beyond the breathing shape
of general expectancy. But oh! – detect
the mission underneath the skin: the thing

we don’t know, burbling a decision
from within – watch the apparatus
of a driven body come to life and undergo
the friction and the fission of intention –

move a little closer to the darkness
or the light: dramas idle, then burn bright –
if virtually out of sight. Let’s sidle down
the street: imagine what we’ll meet.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Artist's Abashed Confession

Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?
No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
But by reflection, by some other things.

act 1, sc II, “Julius Caesar,” Shakespeare

The face comes first, as if to test its welcome –
knowing it is prey to half-delighted, half-impatient,
volatile analysis too tumbled inward to be trusted
past a few quick hints of instinct: but the face comes,
burrows in, as it knows how, as it’s allowed, to find
a place to settle in and look back – at and out.

The words come now, sometimes un-vexed –
sometimes perplexed – at having yet again to wed
another medium whose rules make fools of anything
not it. But words are used to fumbling, and their
stumbling sometimes makes a nice distraction, opens
like a lotus, now and then attracts the face’s notice –

before inevitably it looks back – at, out – unnervingly.
It seems so absolutely sure it ought to be. Meanwhile
everything acquires style – held up backward to the light,
it shows me where to make corrections. Words
make more and more of their procedural inspections
until finally the whole morass is past redeeming.

Seeming's done, wad is shot.
What have I got?
Something that looks back at me.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Circumlocutionary Curvilinearities

Circumlocutionary curvilinearities –
repeat that six times fast,
and if you last,

you may soon grow to know
that spouting broad syllabic
curves resembling art nouveau

can put you in an irresistible
benignant flow of imperturbability,
where all the Universe appears to be

an elegantly rolling ride,
a rhythmic glide through
mild wide distractions – smooth

enactions of the meaningless –
leaning less to shore
than to a vast accumulating

More where nothing ends.
There’s something to be said
for swells and bends.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Come to Think

Symbiosis is a fine pragmatic way to organize affections.
Friendships based on shared necessities
know few defections:

each acquires something: each fulfills a lack.
Take this multi-colored pliant giant
with the monkey on his back.

One is small and skinny, one is large and fat.
Come to think, they don’t need anything from one another.
Well, friendship also can be that.