Friday, November 30, 2007


Thirty days hath November, and the rest
I don't remember, but I know that in the wash
of everything it probably can't matter much:
here’s the real excoriation: here’s the touch,
the deal that causes chatter, fear: the only way
to feel completely here is, get as near to that
slick edge as you can manage without falling
over: stalling like a deer in those proverbial
oncoming headlights will proverbially never do:

you think you're being safe, but honey: you
are imminently through. A friend informed me
at a meal today that I appeared to want to die –
not in an obviously suicidal way, but in
the manner in which I had pleasantly imagined
being dumped on Medicare in some stark nursing
home: I'd seen it in a movie, and it seemed
okay to me: a bed, a curtain and an operative
TV: when the time has come to not to be,

why not be there? It won't cost much – and you
can breathe the air equivalently; eat what food
they choose to spoon into your dying mouth,
and wait while everybody else expensively goes
south to wait, to have the dark, as it will do,
find you. But back to who you have to be to be
with eagerness, alacrity, and zip, before November
ends: my friend may well have caught that
for the moment I have given up all thought

of winning anything: no trip, no love, no grand
acclaim, no hunger to disseminate my name:
perhaps he’s right that I am looking in instead
of up and out, and that may well engender doubt
that I'm not terribly atip to be about: haven't
told him I am hanging from a hidden rim above
a secret glass that holds a magic drink that
gods I haven't met yet soon will sip. Proverbially,
I will fill ‘em up and let ‘er rip and leave a tip.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

If Only It Were Easy*


If only it were easy: fill the well, you tell yourself:
you can't drink mud: you have to beckon to
the source, the flood, the infinite resource that
from its sheer abundance will take over and
take care of your sere soul: but where exactly is
the spout, the tap, the flow? – where to go to cry –

(Her prettiness was painful: exquisite
and ineffable: dark-haired nymph –
seventeen or so – fine edged, flowing – )

It’s very hard to write the truth
when all the juice of one’s
perception squeezes from so
many different fruits: to squash
it to homogeneity’s a lie.

(Can’t soothe myself today –
no psalm to say –
no blandishment or balm –
no way to calm – )

Morals are what you configure afterwards –
abstractions squeezed through the resistant
cheese-cloth of cognition from a welter
of emotions, wet reactions – thin-blood notions
you can name that seem to indicate where,
if you had the wherewithal, you'd put the blame.
But until then – oh, until then! – I dare you –

(Though we’re disposed to quiet now, the load of life
is a requirement we've both continued to embrace,
not always, Lord knows, willingly – but with, on balance,
an abiding modicum of grace. And now, pre-dawn,
as I reflect one day past the event on how much love
and joy you've given, paid, experienced and lent
and been bewildered by – )

Poor piece of sentient meat – you thing
that thinks! Relent for just a beat and take
a drink. You know a well that may dispel
your sense of sinking into hell: a brink past
which the spell might break, and what
you've given you can take. Come dip your
cup and put it to your lips and sip. Liquid
white as cream: whipped from all the colors
on the vine: divine conditions of a dream.

* collage poem

To Body Parts: A Plea


Ineffably fraught orifice:
is this fate or glitch?
By the time we’re fifty, why
do you heat up and itch?

Perhaps you're lonely, need a boost? –
depressed you're so avoided?
So mad we don't acknowledge you,
you make us hemorrhoided?

Do you foretell the imminence
of new somatic jolts?
Will body parts each, one by one,
stage similar revolts?

Ear and nose hair seem to want
to creep out and make war –
and aches beset and bother me
that weren't there before.

And we won’t even mention peeing,
backs – or breath – or knees:
Perhaps the body goes on strike –
and wants to up its fees.

Though I suspect no winning here –
someday they'll maybe rue
that slowly pushing us offstage
means they’ll be going too.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gone Fishin'

“It is noteworthy how wrong it is to be angry and complain
when something is lost: that bears the presumption that
that good thing was given us instead of being lent….”

Meister Eckhard (trans. Blakney),
“The Book of Divine Comfort”


I think I'll scrape the harder, rougher encrustations
off my day today and stay somewhere beyond
the ego’s pale: play the Melville whale and be enigma:
rip out of my barnacled constraints and live off capital

instead of the complaints that it engenders: cut life
into tender meat and get beyond its anxious greedy
panting breath: care a little less about the certainty
of death. Today I'll flow as unencumbered by my

yearning and bewilderment as I can choose to be: let
neurosis be unthinkable: and sadness, news to me.
Doesn't mean I'll opt for gladness: merely skim
the waters with a slick bare skin, and be the fodder for

the Universe’s whims. (As if there were another way
to swim.) I cannot buy into the aims I see around me
anymore. I don't adore one thing I notice others
do. And so today, and possibly for longer: toodle-oo.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

And We Were Done

Intently studying the broccoli – as if to peer
into its green florets to conjure up
the emerald they'd be in searing blasts
of carefully administered humidity,
and fearful of the brown they'd turn if left,
abandoned, on the stove to burn –

she crept, for seconds, just outside
her facial scaffolding: revealed an aching
tension in pursed anxious lips: betrayed in taut
translucent pink and beige skin, mercilessly
stretched like tarpaulin, and infinitely
unassuaged – a deep unhappiness: encaged

as well within the orbital entablature
around her hollow-gazing eyes: drafty
window casings in a vacant uninhabitable house:
which made one understand why she more
normally retreated to disguise – as I surmise
she often did, when, as she saw me,

and her arsenal of embryonic sighs aborted
silently in New York’s upper west side
market air, she blinked to let me know she
knew that I was there. One makes provision
against dangers of which, clearly, I was one.
She glazed a smile and looked away:

and we were done.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Planting Pink Narcissus Bulbs at the Center of the World

Yesterday I planted pink narcissus
bulbs at the center of the world.
Coring Manahatta earth – facing rock
and root and metropolitan detritus
in which New York City offers fifty-fifty
odds for birth, and otherwise subjecting

myself in the gritty soil to appositely
paid-off toil, I dropped each succulence
of hardened plop into its requisitely
dug-out plot and thought how very not
like me their likely history ahead and
backwards probably has been, will be.

Planting pink narcissus bulbs at
the center of the world, you feel a tug
to plug into the senses of all species
who and which avail themselves of all
the richness of this city that you do.
You wonder if it’s possible to un-constrain

and un-construe and find a way to
leap out of your prison of perceptions
and assumptions and presumptions
and in utter disembodiment discover,
widely, deeply, madly and completely,
at the center of the world, what’s true.

Could I be absolutely featureless
and lack quite any idiosyncratic family
or temperament or frame of reference –
and still register – let data in and
through? I think I'll dare to ache for
consciousness without a point-of-view.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

About Eighteen Minutes Before Three O'clock

About eighteen minutes before three o'clock, one buffets
oneself, properly, against the shock of seeing more than
one quite needs to see by typing: sniping at the brittle edges

of sensation as if crumbling away the crispy parts might prep
and clean a blank, sufficiently untainted shank of consciousness –
to wipe off stray annoying static and nonsensically emphatic

ambiguities: the noise and scratchy perpetuities of mind
which surely can't have any use and yet remain behind –
and fog the forward motion one inclines oneself to think

the thing to do. One was very good at ninth grade typing class –
and now, eons from that remember-when, one finds one is quite
good again – and then: well, alphabetic renderings aside, one

starts the afternoon’s inevitable slide into the estuary of the day:
that brackish part of imminently cracking dark which blurs all
possibility of conjuring another satisfying thing to say: one’s

fingers type, but only barely swipe at anything remotely large.
One might as well be floating on a barge without a captain
into vast uncharted sea. One does this every day, of course:

survives, abrupt, asserts preeminence – odd pop of reawakening
(allegedly) to pecking out new singularities of “me.” One
types as if one couldn't not, which probably is as should be.


Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Watching "Girl Crazy"

I know the only things worth saying
are the things that can't be said,
and I know that Judy Garland’s dead,

and that the filmic reveries one sees
of her in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer DVDs
are tricks of digital technology – but

if you have the barest curiosity about
whatever makes a human being be –
or what rapport, through voice, that

Time might after all have with Eternity –
you might consider listening to Judy
Garland sing, in 1943, “But Not for Me.”


Friday, November 23, 2007

Ass-Backward into Forward

Each moment hides a David Hockney
swimming pool – it would be foolish not
to dive: contrive a personal geometry
throughout the shifting sunlit outlines
of its dapplings in turquoise, listening
to rippling whisperings of something you

will want to memorize, repeat: a mantra
which invokes and greets unconscious
aptitudes you hadn't known you'd had.
You're not exactly glad: and not entirely
untouched by rue. The question’s not
to be or not to be, but what to do. Today’s

a glare of New York late November
sun – too oddly blaringly inconstant and
incomprehensible to count. You wonder
if perhaps the sole solution is to sleep,
dismount – but no, the moment splashes
up and changes the amorphous to the aqua:

Hockney’s invitation – dive ass-backward
into forward – sends each curled November
member of you softly reeling – hurled,
unfurled. A tiny tug towards fantasizing
sex with all of tanned Los Angeles: but
otherwise you've not a worry in the world.


('Peter getting out of Nick's pool' 1966 - David Hockney)


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cosmological Rough Sex: A Thanksgiving

Some say, far back (too many hundred million years ago
for you or me to weigh or count) a giant rocky body
cracked into and mounted us – wild geologic rape! –
ejaculated right through to the center: made the Earth
an iron core. For eons we had fizzy rings, like Saturn (less
or more) – out of which catastrophe emerged our moon.

Happened not a whit too soon. Iron gave us a magnetic
field (shielding us from most of the unwieldy evils of
the sun) – moon-tug kept us from the drunken wobble
we'd have done without her: bobble-heads or geniuses,
no one would have dared to come around had it not been
for all this reckless violence, gratuitously bounding

sphere, unconscionable shock and queer impertinence
of molten rock. And so, my dear, today, when you sit
down to eat dead roasted creature which, with you,
would not be featured here without the planet’s
mad licentious past, give thanks for the eruptive horror
that created it – and has obliged to deign to let you last.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Notion of a Sandwich

One understands the notion of a sandwich best,
I would suggest, when one subjects two tender
leaves of Jarlsberg cheese (from deli-slicers who'll
produce translucence) to two kindred pieces of
the thinnest white sliced bread (Pepperidge Farm
provides the proper slender fare) – less bare when

spread with just a dare of Hellman’s low-fat mayonnaise:
become four gossamer abstractions via two precisely
transverse cuts – accomplished by a sharp serrated
knife – resulting in abutting absolutely equal squares
inviting contemplation from Euclidian varieties of
areas and angles of the concept of an inside surface

and an out-, and how, in life, as symbols, they might
signal purposes which banish any doubt that unlike
species, given equal shares, might wed. A sandwich
doesn't make the cheese or mayo or the bread
get in a fight. Put in their rightful layers on my plate
tonight, they rather seem to hope I'll take a bite.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Landing Here

My cream – my pleasure:
this unerring waking dream,
this treasure of a gray and windy wet
November day – persistent,
rich and fat and cold: ladling up
the Universe in soup bowls of
New York – cradling baby-hungers,

pulling them like taffy, torqued to
arabesque: each becomes
some warm unprecedented
and importunate desire – every inner
eye seeks fire – flame of answering
response – candle in a sconce
that won't blow out: this stance

embracing night erases doubt –
its glittering array, reflections bouncing
all about – the dancing light
of being – breeds new seeing –
more than absolute, and absolutely
freeing: all of this is in the air –
and I despair of naming it.

Two blissful wedded pigeons
sit not twelve feet from me, just
beyond my window pane, completely
calm. In their rapt acceptance
of existence is the balm. Heaven’s
near: leaking incrementally
in raindrops – landing here.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Whetted Dream

Communicating – in a dream! – oh, soft dissociation! –
quite politely if straightforwardly with his own brightly
lit fluorescent and excited brain, he drew a naked form
or two with fingers on a plane of air: to gain additional

appreciation of the human trunk – the architecture
of its limbs, and sexual appendages, a hint of savored
funk and body hair – like music theory deployed before
the molding of a hymn: arranged as if he were a pleasantly

deranged divinity who could, by merely floating fantasies
of sweet particulars above a sheet of blank white linen
could therefrom spin bodily productions with an amatory
grace that would appeal to his peculiar tastes and offer

something to look forward to as the fulfillment of his
nightly race: a kind of flight to take right to the precipice
of waking morning light – exactly tailored to his quaking
inward sight and predilections: possibly to end in

the eruption of one realm into another; let the dream
world be the mother of the other! – but, alas, we can't
report much past the fact that his eyes opened and,
once open, fogged forgetfully. Coda: he got up to pee.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Ratio of My Delicate Sensitivities to You

Gimme your best shot – I can take it –
I won't stop until the sweet or bitter end.
But darling, afterwards, I must suspend
our operations. No vacation from this
one necessity: to entertain no less than

three half-hours to every six half-minutes
I derive from stimuli from you beyond
the slit and silt of each perceptual afflatus:
always takes that long to settle down,
uncrate this bursting entity that I'll have

packed with you until it’s all but cracked
its lid. Creatures riddle – writhe – alive –
disturbingly amorphous and ridiculous
beneath the grid of each experience: I have
to let them out, alone, and sit them down

and calm their frightened moans and help
them parse their most unnerving traits
until the worst parts of their disconnected
hearts – those squiggly enigmas! – can abate:
it takes a lot of energy to funnel through

the mystery: collect it and inspect it and
subject it to the hellish kit of my proclivities:
respecting all my delicate sensitivities.
Which, dearest, right now need to be alone.
That’s why they won't pick up the phone.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rodgers and Heart

What burns inside this plaintive strain
of Richard Rodgers’ painful melody? –
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue embeds
its harmonies – gently jolts and weaves

me, up and down, as if to have me
creep along, around the mortal spine
of New York City night: glimmers of
a light peripherally simmering: rife –

trembling – hexed – and always just,
just out of reach – perplexed. Today I am
to play the violin in string quartets: but in
the breach between me and the music,

now, is Richard Rodgers’ darkling heart –
the slightly syncopated thing that
starts and stops and lingers – darts –
between the major and the minor: let

divine deliverance – those yearned-for
saviors! – Haydn, Mozart, Schubert –
grace the music stand; let Richard
Rodgers shelter in the harbor of my hand.


Friday, November 16, 2007

U-Da-Man Burger, Rare*

(First, you tell them what you're going to tell them –
then you tell them – then you tell them what you told them.)
Free the angry firefly: hear the jangly gypsy cry: let the tigers
from their cages: be whatever all the rage is. Be Dvorak when
he hit these New York shores: be the scores he wrote in face of
incrementally advancing jazz and age and other chores: beasts
have their points: feast on their joints. Type until you cannot type
another thing – then pay a quiet sweet amanuensis who’ll gain you
further fame, like Henry James. (Silly block of typeface: monkey-
shined!) Funky is your favorite word and you will find a way to
stick it in the damnedest places. Kiss as many swarthy faces
as you can: u da man: knock contenders out of sight; win
the bloody fight; strut around the ring; sing an aria from
Die Meistersinger: fling a flapjack at the crowd; be loud.
(Now that you have told me what you’d tell me, and then told me,
and then told me what you'd done: please shut the bun.)
* alternate title: "Much Conversation, Laid Bare"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Manhattan Ate

John Ruskin, praising the irrationality of Gothic architecture:
“It not only dared, but delighted in, the infringement of every servile principle.”

It’s interesting to love a city whose deep soul
is mercantile. You'd think it would be far less than
worthwhile. But pragmatism aimed at commerce
taken to extremes results in gleaming fundament –

as pure as virgin hydrogen, from which we all derive.
It represents a final siphoning, condensing into surety,
that keeps each New York creature so alive. Pace,
Mr. Ruskin: not for us a beauty undetermined by

the lust for conquering, and lording into dollared sense,
and gain and loss, and showing who is boss: determining
servility is our supreme and guiding goal. We click
together in a varied symbiotic and unprecedented

you're-down/I'm-up/I'm-down/you're-up whole. Nothing
less will do. Today I am what New York City spreads
on you – like pricey jam on artisan-baked bread –
like fate. All I want to be is what Manhattan ate.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tabulating Lack

To recreate – and take – this pain –
this self-defining pain – to wrench from
your identity that most peculiar agony
which led to such excoriating strain that you
imploded from it: gained the life you nearly
always have: except when you unearth
this virulence – as now, when in this
sick green lamp-fire of your heart, you disinter

the vampire: well, perhaps that is its function –
through the masochism you extract
a salve: but no, that doesn't do the justice
that this gravity deserves: this magnet
at the center of you serves a stranger aim:
you cannot even summon up much shame –
and though the point would seem
to be to dig up reasons that you blame him –

you have even disengaged from that.
He left you on a druggy summer morning
with another man – and suddenly your new
and blasted life began: and sometimes
you appear to need to wallow in that tiny span
and spasm of excruciating life to bring it back.
You are evidently made not only of
what you construe as asset, but of lack.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Thing I Want To Talk About But Can't

The thing I want to talk about but can't
will nonetheless impress on me to try –
it’s not exactly that it doesn't grant
me access to itself, or train my eye

to lead the rest of me to what it wants;
it does, but once I'm there it’s like I'm stuck
awaiting some new pitch: the batter bunts
before I've seen the ball: alas, no luck

in catching it: I wander off again –
in hope that I can play another game
where I'll discover how or where or when
I might find my loved thing a proper name.

I pray one day I'll get it to respond –
instead of flitting, slipping just beyond.


Monday, November 12, 2007

When I Get Alzheimer's

“Camus once said that the only real philosophical question is
whether or not to kill yourself.”

Mike Daisey

When one starts using Endust
in the sauté pan and Pam
upon one’s underpants to clean
the television screen,
how long should one continue
to be seen? Who should do

assessments of one’s severance
from whose assumed shared
points-of-view? When
I begin undressing for
the barbecue, will I have just
enough sense left to ask for

you? But oh! – my darling:
never mind. When I no longer
am inclined to talk to you
or answer for myself in kind,
confine my warm and wandering
dismemberments to their declining

shelf until they trundle off and
in their good or bad time fall.
Sense will lose its thrall,
and all will fade – and once
again, with no allowance for
deliverance, will destiny be made.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran of Foreign Wars

So delicate and fierce – how prettily
you've worn your scars! – gone into endless
battles under all the crimson bannered
gory glorious shenanigans of Mars: you
are the war god of luxuriously wild extremities –
you demand amenities: warm oak church
interiors and fancy sharp Italian dress:

won't stand for less than what you've soldiered
your rash way again, again to conjure
up as best: swift sex, and God, and ghosts
of fat cat politicians and tubercular small
children whom you regularly query – buried
long ago in Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery
sod: they've tested you, arrested you,

remanded you to psych wards as bipolar
but the secret is you've seen the solar and
the lunar scapes of human hearts, and you
will always fight in foreign wars again to master
arts of living recklessly therein. How ready
I am always to believe you're sprouting
wings! I look at you and do not know a thing.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Circumstance Like That

What doesn't run around and meet itself?
What isn't solipsistic? What don't you
absolutely make, create? What is there
to placate but your own anxiety-refining
factories of shadows and ballistics –
strategies, defensive prayers, phylacteries
that counter your interior’s addictions to its
fears? What squares eternity with years?

What time is it to everyone who isn't you?
(Is there anyone who isn't you?) Who but
who-is-reading-this decides what's true?
That's what’s rich – the hitch, the bitch.
Can't ignore the itch that something else,
or more, is scratching at the door: some alien
embodiment dispatching some essential
fact that you don't know, and should: that

life exists beyond your bad or good or “could.”
(Doesn't help to knock on wood.) Multiversity
not unity may be the secret final curse
(although that there is more to everything
than you seems so perverse!)
which licks
the outside of this verse like some ignoble
cat. And there's no way to make provision,
is there, for a circumstance like that.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Dead End

Come with me, my friend – take heart: descend: pretend:
this Long Island Railroad platform need suspend you in its
glaring air no longer – take its metal stairs down to the street
and follow me through Oldfield Avenue whose asphalt
links two dozen locked compartments of suburban houses

to each other – silent stares, shut mouths, despairing lives
behind the window curtains – look ahead of you, try not
to spy: though you'll be tempted to apply the immanently
underlying menace that you sense to everything you see,
stay close to me: bear the lack of human bounty – come

upon the county line, and walk the road that is its spine –
stick to the Suffolk side – until you've reached the space
delineated on the left called Cottage Place: travel down it
to the coolly rounded grace that ends its cul-de-sac, enwraps
you in its mapped embrace: that facing spreading house

ahead, green-roofed, brown-shingled, covered short front
porch, and try to swallow, hug yourself, breathe deeply,
rock so very gently back and forth that you can summon
up the comfort of a mother holding you in an equivalently
cold November wind. Accept that every member of your

family is gone except for you, and that although you must
construe this odd dismembered venue as the site of your
beginning, you are grateful to the point of crying joyfully that
you are winning in the battle to be free of it. Pray that this
may be the last, except in certain dreams, you see of it.


Overly Requited Oil, et alia

I don't know why for three days past I've felt I had to buy
the alimentary equivalents of ormolu, Venetian glass
and fleur-de-lis, but New York City’s numerous emporia
for such délices have so regaled me with their promise
of exotic feasts that, trancelike, I've continued to succumb.
I'm getting numb. Quixotic food-stuffs – sugared crude
puffs – mousse-y frilly Eurotrash – vacuous inanities
cost so much cash! – silly as banana-knees, these
untoward seasonings redacted, mashed in fancy cheese –

olives so ridiculously masked and macerated in so many
savory complexities they constitute a reeking lie. These
and other trivialities I buy, and wonder if this might be
some new sneaky arcane methodology to wield a covert
crime – oblique morbidity – food version of concatenated
strained unwieldy rhyme. Truth is, nothing élite stores
have wrought that I have bought appeals: I get it home,
subject it to whatever grating, peeling, slicing, or de-icing
it requires, and each misbegotten morsel makes my

skin perspire, tongue recoil. I do not savor overly requited
oil or rude insistent bitter pastes that masquerade
as evidence of finer tastes. Why do I waste my currency
thereon? Perhaps to test my premise that exoticism
doesn't have a leg up on the merely here? More likely
I'm a six-year-old who wonders what it’s like to put a mouth
upon the truly queer. Everything’s a miracle, no matter if
aggressively maneuvered into the gratuitously lewd –
or shrewdly stewed – or nude. Including all this lousy food.


Thursday, November 8, 2007


Like a lollipop, mid-suck, the word evolves
and lobs and tumbles sweetly on my dreaming
tongue: becomes a gleaming rung of my
ascending ladder back to wakeful sentience –
then insists on quick acknowledgment: I snap
the dowel off before quite doffing all the rest
of raggy sleepiness, install it like a towel

rack upon which this day’s dress might hang:
I am a perilologist – my dreamlife makes this
sure: for every crisis I am set I always find
the cure. Perilology, it seems, requires
loving every bang and mess, shoving each
Medusa-squirming tress into a flow: making
obdurately red cessations turn to green and go.

As a perilologist, I find that I can swim through tar:
blizzards, fogs and hailstorms turn out not
to be exactly what, awake, one thinks they are.
With somnolent assuredness, I wield my
muscled soul, and once again knit shattered
bits of universe: re-coalesce a blessèd whole.
Ah, lessons of the deep! Thank God for sleep.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What To Do

Take the measure of
its sound. Do not stop
until you've found its
muscle and its bone:
make the thing your own.
Be the night you flee:
let there be no difference
between your blood
and sweat and what is wet
beyond that frail conception
of an isolated "me."
Please it, don't be hasty.
Squeeze it ‘til it’s tasty.


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rainy Day Walk in the City

Beauty and

Every single

Life is sexy.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Paroxysmal slim voluptuary! –
brave neat slip we call the soul –
oh, how we had you wrong.
As wide as you are long, you
nonetheless defeat all measure –
sleek and fleet and evanescent –
ever-present treasure – longing
for release which you derive by
keeping us alive until you can't.

(We've only so much stuff to pack
into our pants: you don't do miracles.)
But while we're manifesting into
flesh, doubly-helical and fresh,
you will deign to keep us something
we might almost say is whole.
Rigmarole enigma!: dance around
on fairy feet as long as we're
configured to: fancy meeting you

here, dairy treat! – you're a whipped
cream dear. We've just had
sex and come to such a climax! –
felt as if it lasted one sweet year.
Paroxysmal slim voluptuary! –
we thought you were funereal

wingèd-angel marble statuary! –
not this bawdy song.
how we had you wrong.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"When is it going to end?" And I said "Never."

I wonder why I never feel alone. I wonder why I wonder why
I never feel alone. I do not wonder more than that – which is
to say, I disembark from questions fairly soon when they do
not invite an answer: probably because I'm so abruptly thrown
by glances – distracted by each next new serendipitous romance –
exaction of yet more peculiar blasts from me of shocked attention:
little room for the retention of the not-yet- or the under-known.
But still I wonder why I never feel alone. Perhaps it is genetic:
no matter how eruptively unkempt, frenetic or unkind my feelings

or the world appear to my bewildered mind, I find I think about
my mother: how she orchestrated every day according to an order
which reflected non-negotiable pleasures: she'd refuse to let her
treasures be maligned or taken: whatever else would be forsaken –
husband, son, and most all of the other grand abundant ones
with whom she'd shared her work and life and love and humor –
lost to Alzheimer’s and AIDS, malignant tumor – these and others
shot the back and cracked the whip and chopped the trunk –
but never caused the sort of final funk in her I've seen in others

who have found their hopes debunked: somehow in her DNA my
mother thunked that car-door shut and looked into the sunset
and regarded it as beautifully enough. Or so I think. As I wonder
why I wonder why I never feel alone, it seems I've learned to
drink a fine selectively amnesiac solution which she also drank:
perhaps that’s what I have to thank. We've had the talent to
forget regret. And so I woke up yesterday from one stray dream
perplexed. My mother faced me as if ties had not been severed,
and asked: “When is it going to end?” And I said “Never.”

Saturday, November 3, 2007

For Kiri-cat, who died late last night

This passing out of living has to stop. There is no
recompense or sense in it – but only one frail echo

of a distant thunder – of the wonder, in departing,
that an entrance ever was assayed: that a life

arrayed itself across a day, allayed all doubt that
it would not – was weighed, had impact: sharp

and bright as fact, with all the clout and clot and
gentleness of temperament and flesh: these are

the ripest lessons from the tree that I've seen drop.
But still I say: this passing out of living has to stop.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Hail Ersatziana!

Of the rhinestone-skull and dragon-buckle
wholesale glitzy gewgaw section in New York –
Thirty-second Street down to, say, Twenty-seventh
off Sixth Avenue – it would be churlish and too

easy to lambaste its stuff as cheap and sleazy:
surely less a matter of bad taste than human
profligacy – reveling in the ebullient bounding waste
of paste tiaras and snake-bracelets – expertly

refined, inclined to draw to it – engage –
the fairy-tale consuming mind: merchandised
prodigiously on witches’ wings. Who buys these
things? I think I know: galleons of lost craven souls

adrift and rocking in a sun-less hell below whose
main absorbing entertainments flow and swell
from watching trinkets glitter in the glow of Hades’
searing flash. Ersatziana is the devil’s cash.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Glad to Pay the Cost

Whacking at the world with stick and fist and kick –
eruptively shellacking it as if the problem were
intransigent behavior on the part of its insentient
stuff: enough. Problems don't exist. Activity
assisted by intention stirs the pot: but any recipe
for what it’s stirring, darling: long forgot – if ever
known. All this querulousness is your own.

Too much twitch and tic – switch it quick to other
channels: cushion its sharp prick with flannel of
a sweeter softer swirl. The stew, the world,
the stuff won't change: but you've sufficient range
to act your stop-and-go illusions to a gratifying finish.
Eat your satisfying spinach – quick-sauté in olive
oil and garlic. Exchange your sadomasochistic

Marley chains for ropes of cultured pearls. Be two
boys, and then six girls – then a rhino in a snit:
then a wino come ecstatically upon a split –
Dom Perignon – iced just right with waiting flutes –
proffered by Brad Pitt, quite naked – for the sake
of your exclusive self. Drag the whole mess
off the shelf. Let it squirm about like snakes on

ladders – chop it madly into gluons with an ax.
Now relax. Today you helped a friend to keep on
keeping on the planet. At times your heart was made
of granite: then of glue – and now of something like
that stew for which the recipe is lost. But he’s
still here, and so are you, and you've been shown
the price, and you are glad to pay the cost.