Monday, February 22, 2021

A Foregone Duty


A Foregone Duty


Apoplectic anorectic -

biometrically unsound -

New York City, once electric:

has it run its power aground?


Or has it always played

this trick of seeming sick -

doomed by fate to fade?

Oblivious to slow or quick,


when or then, again, before - it

knows what it is, it’s more.

How could horny New York quit

its favorite role as whore?


But it’s mother more to moods

than sin. Outer and inner -

to New York they’re foods

of the feast. Loser and winner -


fall on it, savor its beauty's

perfection, its chaotic loss

beyond measure. Its duty’s

foregone: it’s the boss.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021


 I shall rashly suggest (in the wake of finishing this in the early pre-dawn of a blizzardy February) that this may be my best work yet. By which I mean, I had a helluva good time entertaining it, that is, allowing it to entertain me. The video recitation, which is part of what I like to think makes this fly e'en through the snow, is, in fact, done in whispers - though stage whispers of the kind that should be audible. Do expect to kick up the volume, though, if it's annoyingly too soft.






By the time she’d trotted powerfully out to plant her ass

flat on the floor close to the safety of the southwest corner

blissfully to suck up through a giant straw inside a giant glass


half half-and-half, half cold sweet coffee – oh, to warn her

not to drink too much, whatever it might be! – is all you

wished to do and would have done had you been nearer.


But now, from her sly knowing eye you somehow also knew,

with not unwelcome certainty, it could not have been clearer

that you’d merely caught her in the act of drinking iced sweet


mellowed half of this and half of that: no more. Your view

had changed and oddly prospered from this cul-de-sac: neat

trick! this heretofore unknown blessed invitation to pursue,


pursue, look into, voyage through, the unsuspected blithering

and blandishment and random glories in a heavy down-pour

of the rest. You look around: the sky and ground are slithering


into another circumstance, a dancing fanciful romance: much

grandeur now arrives - more heads, which with yours number

ten. Six are yellow, three evince pink greenish-nesses such


as might be bound in and surrounded by fluidities of slumber

that you’re subtly kindly pressed to entertain will not so much

decree your destiny as be it. All this folderol! At last you see it.



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

What I Guess I Came to Say

 What I Guess I Came to Say

(the video is maybe worth seeing, mostly because of the light that dims at the end, exactly on cue, which it did entirely on its own recognizance.)
The practical reality of doing what I do
seemingly impracticably makes me climb
back into reinventing plans to mimic who
I think I was or what I did the last time
I believe I had succeeded: that’s a pain
with little prospect of a gain: “again”
is not a notion to rejoice in: but to feign
a former me, to re-ingest some madeleine
to re-inhabit memory - may be the best
maneuver I could conjure up to shoo in
inconceivable catastrophe, to fail the test
of being serviceably human, ergo ruin
the renewal of what had been an ability
I now had lost: to render calm accord
from those so rageful with malignant incivility,
no calm could now arrive except by sword.
But that would be uncivil and untoward.
Then, at last! I now recall their favorite condition.
“Hit the ground!” I yell as I move forward.
With great relief they do. They love submission.
One twists and turns and burns
to find a serviceable way.
I suppose that’s how one learns.
I guess it’s what I came to say.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Bubbly Ding Dong




City stone is mostly what my art observes

to find its way. From 1880s scroll and column

on my block I heard today what bell deserves

my notice, and for whom it has to toll. Solemn


though this business may appear, New York

fears nothing about death. It plays ping pong

with it, and life - can’t wait to pop the cork

to toast the art it spawns with bubbly ding dong.


Hence the pitcher and the lizard here, I think:

who find themselves in lurid hues a city bell

would welcome. They’ve drunk the drink.

Feeling well. Not in hell. Art’s rather swell.


It’s amazing how little things matter. They

don’t matter at all, and they matter the most.

Every life we bring on we will shatter. Hey!

But don’t leave in a huff. Make a toast!

Sunday, November 1, 2020


Snide Little Tease




What are all these terrible proclivities, anxieties?

In how many guises of exuberance do quakes

of terror hide? Life can be a snide little tease –

an acrobatic malady, a viral wheeze that makes


us watch trapezes full of inept fliers falling

from the ceiling. These unfunny circuses reach

into all our psyches, hearts and eyes, appalling

anyone who pays them any mind. Spirits beseech


you: offer to whoever wants it, all you’ve got –

your marriageable self, your favorite raccoon,

a chicken-burger-fries chain with a parking lot –

offer it to God or the woman in the moon,


or a brilliant astrophysicist, or witch on a broom.

Give your every penny, Eurodollar or doubloon.

Divest yourself of everything: empty every room.

Do it years and years from now or do it very soon.


Or hoard it all forever in a cellar in your house.

There may be worse and better things to do as well.

Some will parade themselves, some hide and grouse.

Some make a boring heaven, some make a happy hell.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

We are Candy Bars and God is Crazy


Boundlessly unfounded chaos would appear to be

the order of the day today from Speonk to Bombay.

It’s not that any thing might happen but that every

thing must happen which contrives to drive one

mad. “Does it serve justice that such coconut-

stuffed heads as ours be driven nuts as well?” or so


the clan of crania I’d just impelled to sprout up

from my neck and shoulders into an incarnate form,

now queried God. Who out of mirthless laughter

hollowly replied, “Because you cannot be dissuaded

from believing there’s a cosmic truth, your reality

both must and cannot happen: you’re Ambivalence


made flesh. Maybe, baby, you’ll discover you have

never lived. To see if you exist you must subject

yourself to infinite varieties of ands and buts and ifs.

Recall infinity knows nothing of ‘before’ or ‘after’.

And candy bars are lazy.” (As I, albeit vainly, have

implored you to accept, we are those candy bars


and God is crazy. There’s more (God’s hungry for

us sundry sweets!) but it avails us little to explore it –

undermined and undermining, all the rest at best

is hazy (God’s synonym for hellish). He wants His

valedictory goodbyes to ring with language we will

relish: He does orate them stirringly, then – oh, with


what relief! (but no surprise) – He dies. Ambivalence

personified to such a pitch, God couldn’t find a way

to scratch – alleviate – that old hellacious itch. Ergo

the Universe he made could not stay made. That’s

the skinny on why we’re no longer here, though it

may seem we are. They’ve bedded my eight crania


into a comfortable and capacious booby hatch. Every

being “here” appears to think God’s busy running

worlds as usual and all is fine. They’ll find out

soon enough that nothing anymore belongs to God,

long gone. When we sit down at dawn at breakfast,

I perceive the real design. Everything is mine.



Tuesday, October 6, 2020

We Like to Think We’re Taken Care Of

...Being Cared For

Has anything caused you to consciously reinvent yourself in a way you never could have imagined?  (question on Quora)


Now there’s a question you can take to bed with you - really only to subject it to every measure of sensual persuasion you’ve got to see how long it will take to succeed, and to what degree you and it will convince each other you have succeeded, in prodding, seducing or cajoling each other’s substancelessness - yours & the question’s - into one of only two possible manufactured ‘emotional’ outcomes: feeling excruciatingly exposed or hopelessly beyond any chance of ever being understood. There’s a kind of aching ecstasy to be had here for a very short while.

The most obstinate kicker of a single word in the question arrives in the form of its lethal adverb ‘consciously’.

Consciousness of oneself is an entire impossibility, at least if the condition sought is framed for you as some version of ‘objective’. The great lie we cannot help sustaining about ourselves is to believe (pathetically in the effort to keep sane) that we can in any way - say through the agency of the great fabrication so many of us ferociously refuse to refuse - the substanceless abstraction ‘Soul’ - manage to separate from our thoughts and physical sensations in order thereby to ‘see’ what manner of thing they (and we by the illusion of contrast to ‘them’) may really be. The circumlocutionary syntactical maneuvers we attempt in the cause of finding and inhabiting a ‘stance’ of clarity of perception which can permit this impossibility are heartbreakingly vacant of power. They are little whiffles of swish in an imaginary wind which of themselves harbor no wish to help or hinder, heal or infect, add to or subtract from any of the arbitrary forms or imagined principles governing the ‘substance’ we are convinced are what gives us shape and shadow. Language inevitably breaks down in the face of any mission foisted upon it to describe a single ‘thing’ definitively. We are and we exist entirely as Unknowing. We are remarkable for our persistence in face of this Unknowing. All there is, is Unknowing. That’s it. There’s nothing to make of anything else. If you don’t end with your mental exertions dissembling in and into a blithering heap - well, there’s no other way out but that. The heap will deconstruct into a blither and be what it only ever was or could be: Unknowing.


I wrote a poem ten years ago, September 30 2010, which I dare to suggest may offer a little peace in these troubling matters: it entertains a notion I still am unable to clasp completely to my soul and heart but which tenaciously retains a sort of hold on me. I can’t banish it to oblivion. It traffics in the sentimental notion of faith. I abide with its possibility.


We Like to Think We’re Taken Care Of

Being blankets and suffuses, underlies and overlays; nothing

doesn’t have a cover from which nothing isn’t made: everything

is anything you like: constellated atoms spike and swoop

and promulgate their warp and woof to keep you fizzing

in a grand and infinitely busy camaraderie. Biology is physics:

sentiment is quarks. Everything’s a spinning whiz: whirling like

spaghetti twirls on forks: proximities in endless overlapping

families of probabilities and permutations of exacting essences

of star. We like to think we’re taken care of. Perhaps we are.