Monday, December 31, 2007

On the Prospect of Playing String Quartets

It’s a little bit like sex.
You bring your body and your background

and whatever expertise your nervousness
has not completely teased away –

and face internalized assumptions that what
lies ahead is pleasure:

while the secret measure of the thing
brings terror. What’s the error?


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Take this: put it in a song

Amber, bronze, mahogany onset of Brahms –
Piano Konzert, Number Two – last small
warmth-against-the-winter: let its cello serenade

ensue – then lose it in a woozy waft and shake
of snow – let’s pray for early January ice to come
and splinter: stay and never go: let’s never have

another spring or summer: let an upward
snow-drift gather, slumber into glacial cliff –
an Ice Queen palace filigreed with folderol

and fractally Victorian snowflake geometry –
let all this soft encroaching rhythmic freeze
make crystal out of all our parts and needs

and settle them into the gentle unpredictability
and fits and starts of some new grand subzero
physics: breeding subtle quantum scherzo

quizzic intuitions which transcend all messy meaty
heat. Let’s be cold and sweet and magical
and strong. Take this: put it in a song.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

After 'OFF'

There is no silent night.
I press and click and shift all levers,
buttons, prompters, dials to “OFF” –
and then: the grand eternally internally

returning roar! – sufficiency soon
drinks itself into an ever-rising More:
timbres of inanimate apartment house –
refrigerator motor and a subtle nervous

trill: cooing, billing in the groin –
and on the window sill – quite like
the faint rejoinders I can just make out
from the monogamously married

pigeons on the fire escape:
there is this moment every night, before
I fall asleep: I doff my cape and face
the whisper of delivering my

consciousness to fate: doesn’t take
long for the cake to bake and frost
and cut and serve itself and fill the void
with fat and crumb: no ear is deaf;

no mouth is dumb; no stomach
isn’t ravenous. Every moment is a portal
to a cavernously echoing mad
smorgasbord: hungry, gaping, crying

to be fed: rash assonance and circus
in my head: rhyme-zone of a dream-land: –
time honed to a scheme grand

enough to wield distraction – feed

the tummy with the waddles and
the wobbles of its modicum of sense:
exact for me a dense big bang –
pack it into something I can hang.


Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year's Resolution

(Careful, buddy: this
could get you killed.)

Today’s the day for saying no.

Or rather, shoveling your no-no’s
like a pile of snow and packing
them in igloo blocks into a poem
so they don’t so baldly show.

(Careful, buddy.)

Have you noticed? People
are extravagantly delicious.
Sometimes the only thing to do
with one is lick it like a lollipop

then leave it on a non-stick
surface so that when it wants
to make a break, it can.

Forgive my ambiguity.
“It” means man.

(Careful, buddy.)

Here’s what I don’t understand.
Why put up a front?
Why don’t we do what we want?

Next time I snap my fingers
you will cheerfully appear.
Or, hell, crawl like a cowed dog –

fearfully near. Next time
I’ll be the boss. You’ll be the whim
I simmer to a fine soft foam –

or give a toss. Wrestle in
the rain and loam until we’re
muddy. Won’t stop until some

blood is spilled, or love is milled.

(Careful, buddy: this
could get you killed.)


Thursday, December 27, 2007

New York Barbie Wonders

Lime sherbet against black? – she hoped that someone
might just make her clothing’s colors smack of life
today: in some extraordinary way! And yet Manhattan
winter days conveyed a kind of softer glory whose
rewards demanded, she began just barely now through
her tight-coiffed and pink appurtenance of head
to understand, a subtler story: every time she went for

glitz, the city seemed abruptly to resist – strange,
she thought: New York with all its clamor – and its rep
for glamour – but her hot pink tulle, electric crimson voile,
and glossy purple satin all looked out of sync – did not
do justice to this pearly air of late December’s brink:
she wondered what of her innumerable bright adornments
and accessories would keep her from obsessing over –

yet more loss. She was a Barbie doll after all, a plastic
toss of latency, a temporary dream of little girls: two pointy
tits – a painted face like 1950s vamp Anne Francis –
and a hunger for a whole lot more than Ken. Sitting
stiff-legged on a window sill – left again, bereft, by yet
another fickle pair of hands – she wondered what the color
was for happiness – how would she get it? – when?


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Fled the sky in bits and shreds to flit and settle
into feathered, soft, round day – inveigling its
insinuating way – bound for the bottom of the well
of me – as if to cover, briefly, with its velvet gray down,

several tiny creatures made of May – lost winged
things flung from Spring – dazed – without a dwelling –
pastel ghosts of warmth – small bewildered swellings
formed of petal and of sway – paradigms of butterfly

and blossom – so dismayed by their alarming brush
with gossamer perfection they’ve forgotten time
and space – and now are nothing but the glimmered
shavings of some past remembered state of grace –

aberrations from another season – blind to gravity
and reason: fading as December day becomes
a freezing blight – and as the gray turns into colorlessly
darkened lack of light. I am made of May, and they

have looked for me like family: but they are exhalations:
not susceptible to human sight: gone as soon as felt.
Tricks my mind plays, after all the dissonance
of Christmas, as solstice clouds turn into night.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Brain Freeze

Cerebral diversion! – perils of ingenuity.
Does a kitten think of hope and death and count
vicissitudes? One doesn’t know – which is

perhaps precisely to assert one can’t forget that
every abstract thought is no less an effusion
of biology than spit. (If only that, or anything, were it!)

“I’m just gonna hang out with my cousin.”
“What’s wrong? You don’t seem yourself.”
“I told her you would be there.”
“Tell me I came back and did this for nothing.”

Stabs at prescience: careful divagations of the mind:
“why can’t we ride like normal people?” Ha! – but
here’s the ticklish rub: the fickle tub of a coagulated

cream: the brain: the center, drain, apotheosis
of the dream: spattered paint. You flatter yourself
you’re Jackson Pollock; but you ain’t. You might …

however … not not be – entirely.


Monday, December 24, 2007

The Fairies Win Tonight

Sibilance – a spray of esses –
whispered and effeminate –
vigilance – all eyes kept wide –
what fairy sprites arrive?


You’ve sought the heavy reddened
meat of life, the palpable, the rich
and full, the body and its pull –
all gravity and sex and sweat –


but here, at once, all glance
and wonder – evanescence –
hush – the lightest barest touch –
meandering: flesh made wry
seductive ambiguity – a breath.


All your masculinity harrumphs,
implodes and grumpily unloads
and backs into its cave. What
is there to save? Nothing’s
definite, so what’s the point?


What fairy sprites arrive –
whispered and effeminate, alive?


The hunk and haunch of you
derives no solace from their
sweetness. Fleetness is a curse.
Settle down and weigh significant
amounts! That’s what counts.


What fairy sprites arrive? They flutter,
and the mind contrives – discovers –
other softer more amorphous
kindnesses – they cool the meat and
beckon something round and light
to enter and suffuse the whole
with light. The fairies win tonight.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Gonna Get You

The solstice grabs the gut and sucks it towards itself –
magnetic, stirring blood both to retreat to warmth
and seek a sensual abandon: danger thrills against
the safety of a hearth. I saw a solstice girl today –
no more than three – who, shrieking, ran away from
her pursuing mother who, with practiced cartoon-nasty
glee, repeated “gonna get you, gonna get you!”
Little Solstice Girl for moments seemed quite ravished
by the possibility – quite as she also squealed
and reeled just out of reach: excited by the breaching
feeling of a freedom just beyond the next perplexity:

Manhattan traffic – cabs and Jersey drivers and
an overheated laboratory of humanity that spiels
and keels right over every boundary: edging at the curb
of solstice-danger and then fleeing towards her mother,
balancing the urge to blow the whole show up against
the hunger for another touch – another reassurance
that the world would spin – the holster and the gun:
the solstice and the wonder of the violence and flux
it keeps just barely simmering – at bay. My mother’s
birthday: Christmas Eve – she would be ninety.
I’m the one who’s left. After listening to an amazing,

deft, sweet counter-tenor-blessed male choir – Chanticleer –
romantic word for Rooster – I boost a dark desire –
cultivate a cocked delicious animal perversity against them:
watch ESPN – and savor sweating, bleeding men
in combat – boxing, breeding lovely anarchy. A solstice
moment – bandying extremities: December’s indoor
warm amenities remind me of my mother’s gentle care
and yet I dare to taste her utter distance: faint and
enigmatic: unavailing hunches: unsusceptible to
punches – or to music – or to little children crying out.
There’s richness in this solstice, and there’s doubt.


Saturday, December 22, 2007


Anger’s quicker at the surface –
don’t know why. As if some flicker
of a wordless purpose can’t stand by
without a flare-up. Partly it’s you’re
feeling dragged into a seasonal
requirement. And what is being dragged
are all the threads and rags and wires
and ropes and tangled tinseled shredded

hopes and shards from the kaleidoscope
of “past”: those glimmered falsities
that might as well be real, and probably
in fact now are: they’re what last. What
have you got but what you conjure up?
Normally the city is the star – not some
card-incarcerated sparkly thing
a king, a king and yet another king

are all supposed to have regarded
with a biblically applauded awe.
Everything is story, and that’s one.
So is Attila the Hun. Whom you’ve begun
today not incompletely to resemble:
slaughtering a slave might be the thing:
making some cowed creature tremble
might reflect this tiny zinging pain

and vulnerable rumbling mumbling strain.
When you were six, and sat on Santa’s
knee, life began to split away from fantasy.
These days you work to mend that rift
against a brutal drift of storm – unclothed,
whipped by wintry sea, out on some
barren icy psychic isthmus. No wonder
anger’s quicker at the surface.



Friday, December 21, 2007

The Hunt Is On

The hunt is on – you think for – well,
you just ate several of last night’s left-over
ravioli, cold from the refrigerator – and,
although you won’t go into the details, you

had a session of quite satisfying sex with
someone you quite like – not quite a half
an hour of it – ah, but too much “quite”!
Command of qualifying’s lost its bite.

Nothing has a taste. Well, there is a smell
(that man!) – and what should now have just
arrived by email but a New York Times
review of all the latest books! – announcing

the appearance of the second half of
a biography of Henry James that you’ve
been waiting for – and suddenly cold
ravioli and your sexual shenanigan and all

the vague distressing ambience of Christmas
have acquired a form: you warm to some
fine deep grand Jamesian amplitude
that tells you everything depends on choice,

and every choice is suspect, meaningless,
or tragic – and there’s glory in exploring it.
You want the largest portion of the magic.
The hunt is on – and something now begins

to taste of something. Mr. James and your
shenanigan and the inquiring you sit
down in your imagination to a bowl of
ravioli – this time piping hot. It hits the spot.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Took a Hike

I have never done it so I don’t know what it’s like.
Perhaps if I’d begun it even once – then absolutely
let loose after that – I’d lose this sense of spiky
impermissibility: fend off this psychic army of red ants
of cynicism that I’m sure impends – intends to wend

its angry way at my too rashly hungry heart: determined
to lick every flick of flesh off every part of it, and each
surrounding bone: those I own and those of anyone
unfortunate enough to be the lone recipient of my
unhindered love: whatever that might be. No tree for me –

or will there be? This is the fifth year of release from
my first holiday without her. Now her niece, her brother’s
daughter, my first cousin Barbara writes me in a card –
she hopes that I’m okay, and by the way it turns out,
yes, we were related on a very distant day to Nathan Hale,

but oddly are more linked to Lincoln! Abraham and Nathan,
sad and murdered – killed despite so many glistening
Christmases. Well, everybody dies. I’ve no replies.
Do not surmise that I am not a happy man, myself:
despite the artificial Christmas tree I’ve got which distantly

reflects the harmony my mother once provided it – still
firmly wedged onto the shelf it’s sat on since last year.
I think the thing is: loving without fear. (Talk the talk,
walk the walk.) I have never done it so I don’t know
what it’s like. Maybe I will write to Barbara: “Took a hike.”


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ode to "Rosemary & Thyme"

At eight o’clock – this shot: profusion of fat pink
and yellow blossoms from whose bursting moment –
just this side of rot – drop seven heavy floating petals –
rife with roundness, ripeness: and the entrée
to such carefully selected dreams of English country
life – such graceful fantasies of early June – on such
a rare collective flawless blooming afternoon –
that all of England might be plausibly presumed

a picnic full of peonies for Beatrix Potter and her bunny
rabbits: neither damp nor gray: one picture perfect
summer day evolving as the pastel backdrop for
a requisitely plotted play, in which someone disposable
gets put away: furthering the murder mystery enough –
although no more than slightly – to dismay its
viewers lightly, now and then – avec frissons, soupçons
distractions from the swoony redolence of roaming

through the dahlias with felicitous Felicity (her surname:
Kendall) and the grand expansiveness of Pam
(Ms. Ferris) gardening on terraces or wooded glens or
tulip-ed pathways – a bequest of all the best of Britain’s
southern land – accompanied by the Baroquely
reconfigured music of the Messrs. Simon and Garfunkel –
as if they’d bunked with Buxtehude more than 1960s’
folk: all in all a gentle stroke against, and poking out of,

harshness for whose lush soft qualities I willingly
suspend my (never solid) disbelief. Ms. Kendall and
Ms. Ferris are so staggeringly good they render sweet
relief each time they blink or sigh or swagger – fleet
dagger of a glance: the willing tender heart is lanced.
There is a world like this bedecked and lovely
England, all unbruised and gay and bright. I visit it,
at eight o’clock, on Channel 21, each Tuesday night.

- - - - - - - - - -


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Disney and my father may have had the right idea:
animate the Universe! This won't merely clarify what’s
going on – since you will be deciding who’s the villain,
who’s the clown and just how roly-poly or begowned
the mouse or wife or secretive transvestite ought to be –
you'll also have the inside track on how the thing
will probably end up, as long, that is, as you retain

your sweet good-natured sanity. Which Disney may
have done: I didn't know the man, I can't be sure.
It seems as if his singing playthings made a life of it,
and he did not abjure their happy endings: he befriended
his slick cute anthropomorphic animals and made
a lot of money, put a smiling spin on being funny: heck,
he wasn't Brecht, but one must give him credit, and his due.

Cinderella never had a prettier more shapely shoe.
As for my father – well, his drawings had their magic too:
but when I peer as deeply into them as I can do, I cannot
find their skeleton. I’m left with some strange gelatin:
a residue that may have stoked the Shmoo into the being
Al Capp had construed for it: my father’s palpable
and fleshy plops would seem to be the props for quite

another play than most of us would think of putting on:
as if the heart of his existence had occurred to him as
some soft-ticking bomb which had exploded by the dawn
of his – well, dissolution. Oh, he created creatures just
as full of juice – as interesting as Walt’s – but they all slowly
slid down through a series of quite gaping geologic
faults: splitting psychic mud and rock, from which, in

cartoon terms, you might see shy but shocked escaping
worms – eely squishes – deliquesce into innumerable
darks: not unlike the winking out of my dad’s last synaptic
sparks. Here’s the final picture that I saw him draw –
before his animations were completely sucked back
into Alzheimer’s defining maw: his fizzing out, his empty
sea, his last thrown dart. Isn't Disney, but it might be art.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Breakthroughs in Technical Analysis

Moment in a subway car: not far, across from me,
a nattily attired forty-something salt-and-pepper-
brush-cut man in black beret, plum-colored
cashmere scarf, and tailored spotless charcoal
overcoat – sharp-creased pants, square-toe shoes –

gives me what my current angle of the prism
takes as news: peering through his sparkling
spectacles – gold wire rim – he reads a freshly
published shiny-covered hardback: “Breakthroughs”
claims the eye – followed by “in Technical Analysis” –

intuition tells me it’s an early Christmas present,
which not only somehow neatly fits him, sitting
there like some grand incognito duke oblivious to
roiling New York City rush hour traffic – but in
a graphic way reveals to me exactly what I haven’t

got today: no breakthrough in analysis of any
kind – some manner in which I might learn
to switch a channel and regard the whole of
something for a change. Wouldn’t that be strange!
It’s almost Christmas, I suppose, and I have not

one speck of interest in it; more a slight paralysis
than any breakthrough in analysis, technical or
otherwise. My capacity for baby-like surprise seeks
other avenues, I must surmise: or maybe this is
just the fifth thing that my rhinovirus has devised.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fourth Thing

In this driven freezing rain – with all
its riven grainy grays and pearls
retaining those peculiarities of

temperature and glint which most
evoke this city: water giving life
and flintily amoral ice: here is my

Manhattan bared, left naked, like
a screaming baby on a brownstone
stair, indifferently abandoned, yet inanely

full of daring – all despite the lack
of any overseeing care, despite
immersion in an indiscriminate despair:

the thing will rise, repair itself and breathe,
accommodate the high and unrelenting
winter. A virus splinters me: I’m all

porosity. Decembery New York colludes
with it and leaves me bitten. Fourth
thing that this cold has written.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mirrored Schemes: Rhinoviral Exercise

To separate yourself from the unending fray
let’s seek the preternaturally simple way:
just breathe as deeply as you can – seek to allay
old certainties of failing that beset your day:

now pause, and blink
so as to think:
“at least I wink!” –

thereby summoning the sort of humor
that can leaven and remove the rumor

of your crass ineptitude.


You might build another house

then, sans the fears you’d had before: now to
be lighter, soft, instead – a suppler you –

while crafting rhyme
exact as time –
just like the climb

you’d made when you had started out before: to rear,
this try, an edifice without one tiny fear
of imperfection, thus at last to commandeer
a habitable life: both possible, and here.

No Contest

trying to plow
mud in a logging truck –

half a freeze – enough to make sure
not one tiny moment of it will be
easy. “I Love Lucy” plays

all day as if to say
that no one ever
dies. Nothing
gets a rise,


of a Universe


the brand
new moments
come and go and go
and come no less or more
than any one of them has ever
come or gone before. All adds
to the lore: and worth a poem:

face yourself with that. No
miracle exists beyond
the fat persistence
of what is: what
other could


to top infinity.
But please pass

me a tissue.

the issue.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"Come Back to the Raft Ag'in, Huck Honey!"

Let it go? Vapid palliation! –
which at best can soothe one
into thinking there’s a truth quite
simply to be had, if only we’d get
calm enough. Stuff it: here is
what I know today. I’ve got a cold

I’m almost happy won’t too quickly
go away: I’ve just ingested
chicken broth with matzoh balls –
Balducci’s tasty anti-flu soup (lower
east side wannabe) – and I’ve been
on a spree of fantasizing lightly:

watching Turner Classic Movies
circa 1933: and it’s as if a Cupid
had alighted on my knee, to entertain
me with this possibility: that
someone full of glow whom I have
just begun to know might turn

into a Huck, or Jim – I do so very
much like him. It’s quite a mix, this
pile of pick-up sticks that one
calls one’s perceptions: full of
chicken soup deceptions: but
nothing’s here for seeing that we

haven’t dreamed up into being: so
allow me Jim, or Huck, and I will
be the other shmuck, and it will
half be daring, half be luck,
if we, out on our raft, get into –
something – ineluctable.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Prime Directive

I hauled the hardware out to Prince Street –
detritus from an old computer, some of it
still operable, some quite incomplete:
a printer, router, monitor and cables snaking
out of casing for my warhorse of a hard-drive
(which I had contrived to wreck in private

to deprive posterity of records of my rash
innumerable sins): not half an hour later
all of it had disappeared into Manhattan’s
vast ephemerally absent but apparently
voracious bins: somewhere beyond a merely
human reach, upon some unsuspected

beach-head of another batch of lives, reside
the leavings of my secret hives. Gobble up
each cataclysm, each haphazard scrap
of nothing special: vestiges of any spray
of urban play: instantly absorb it through
its many-chambered maw: New York City law.


Quatrain Wreck

Gavotte? Perhaps: might hit the spot.
You regularly – once a week –
seek some exquisite metered trot
to keep your fairies dancing: peek

around the curtain to make sure
that they obey like Ariel
at Prospero’s mandate: procure
a whip to beat them into hell

if they so much as trip a toe
awry to tap an altered beat
or carol out a note to throw
the rhyme off: make each elf retreat

in shame if any let you down:
tie the creatures into corsets –
squeezing the amorphous out: crown
their heads until not one forgets

who’s given them a purpose: be
the be-all and the end-all whose
persistence lends reality
to every breath they take: their shoes

and tops and socks and little caps
like punctuation marks give proof
of your brave war against relapse
into chaos: you are their roof

and floor and walls: you give the stuff
they need to: wait – a note?

“Fuck you,” they wrote.

Ran off in a huff.


Guess not.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Smarter Than I Am

My thick insentient palms have heels, unwieldy pads
of flesh, which glide and rest and press – reside
like mollusks – stupid muscle – on the smooth divided
deck of my new laptop: how did Hewlett-Packard
do it? – make this metal feel like sin – all satin, warm
and sensual? – not only can the Word transmute
to skin and body, so can steel: nothing is impossible
for this adept: eventually everything, through it, will be
revealed. I suppose Johann Sebastian Bach may

well have stopped a second to regard with some
affection his besotted quill through which he day-to-day
spilled his unending amplitudes of music: no doubt
Henry James, whose carpal tunnel syndrome made
him lame, rejoiced occasionally in the clicky-clack
of his amanuenses ticking on the typewriter to capture
his effluvially oral flows; and surely no man knows
or knew more than Van Gogh the spunk and plunk
of brushes and the rush that merely contemplating

implements, at moments, can bestow – though
one can’t not think that they got right back to business,
let the physics of the art’s logistics quite alone. But oh! –
today, I am more clam than man: not only can’t
I summon up a molecule of what the Messrs. Bach,
Van Gogh and James could, or (who knows) still
somewhere in the cosmos can – I’m less than
this flat brilliant metal cyber-cake hot from the Hewlett-
Packard pan. My instrument is smarter than I am.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Vast Uneasy Castle of You

Too much work. Well, maybe it’s not work – that is,
the thing that seems too much. But rather an anxiety
which tinctures, taints and apperceives – anticipates
with dread – whatever’s coming up that seems
by some necessity embedded with, and in, dependence

on performing an activity just so: a bunch of blowsy
verbiage, I know: a means of obfuscating that hot fear
to which you’re fishhooked, speared: the bait you’ve
swallowed which it seems you’re doomed to follow ‘til
its sad unpalatable deadly end. Oh my! – such

passionate theatrics at a time like this! And all because
of one (you thought) unguarded kiss. Which, like
the House of Usher, seems inevitably guaranteed
to topple all your boulders and your balustrades: make
the vast uneasy castle of you fall. You wonder at

the reputation of gay men in cities: how we are supposed
to tackle sex like Advertising turns out ditties: dalliance
with pretty nothings, Christmas balls and stocking
stuffings: jockstrapped to a willing but insouciant attractive
Mike or Joe. Reality: it’s more like Edgar Allan Poe.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Thoughts: December City Fog

What do people look at when they think?
Not the middle distance, surely,
but some carefully allotted neutral plot,
a space that eyes can colonize. On subway
rides, this sometimes means comparing
sizes of the fonts in advertisements,
focusing on “take the next express to your

success,” or contemplating artificial teeth:
posters for cosmetic dentistry can offer
some release. The mind therein can softly
spin: thoughts corralled like lambs beyond
the brink of whose enclosure wolves are known
to roam. One thinks within the confines of
what one can temporarily inhabit like a home.

Sometimes my thoughts, like poems, fill
with talk, sometimes they’re mostly gawk.
Sometimes they ride around as if delighted
with so many ways of making sound.
Sometimes they scrabble for minutiae in
the sand, or babble like a baby with
a sea-shell in his hand. Today my thoughts

arise like New York City buildings into fog:
they start like edifices ought to start,
foundations seem quite sure and planted:
but are soon supplanted by translucent air:
a kind of gentle sway of nothing-there: a sort
of amicable house arrest. I like these thoughts
the best. They take their time, and bless.


Sunday, December 9, 2007


Regard the never-ending shattering of every
foregone notion I have ever had – gathering
momentum every day: a shafting of experience
transcending good or bad which makes
presumption of assumptions: filing flicks

and dabs of them away as if they were
a baubled bangled mad array of ornament
set for some arcane holiday display: shards
of swift shenanigans to spray one day upon
a dreamy memory or phlegmy moment of a cold

when less-than-conscious seasonings make
bold to flavor sense unreasonably: full of
slapstick and ineptitude. My system runs, deploys
a wholesale bargain basement packed with rude
amendments, emendations, culled from blame

and joy and sexual abandon, hunger, satiation,
and the ever-mutant nuances of shame: questions
aren’t tolerated: answers aren’t thinkable:
unsinkable until what we might just as well
call God decides to pull the plug, make his claim.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

An Entirely Adequate Role

An entirely adequate role – the way
that this cat plays his soul: a model
for me who would seek to be equally free.
I come to him, mornings, each day
of the week – and we don’t so much
speak to each other as sneak in our stolen
and intricate secrets, conveyed in our
myriad preying intent curiosities – sudden
attentions, affections – warm rolling

around on the floor: as freshly as if
we had never once done it before – we
bodily barrel and swivel and sway –
our fur, skin and clothing mere trappings
that veil the display of a naked exposure
of heart: leading up to a pleasure
as startling and soothing as silk: as
I get to the part where I pour out the milk.
His eyes are electrically pure – his aria

low and assured and alluringly urgent
as I put the bowl in its place: then,
to turn him around so he’ll face me,
while lapping, when I walk away, just
before he gets near to the prize, I lift
him abruptly: and he hangs as limp as
a ragdoll, as calm and as present
and silent as slow, willing sighs: complete
abnegation of lust: an utter descent into

trust. He waits ‘til I’ve kissed him on top
of his head and have dropped him
in front of the dream we’ve allowed to
come true before falling again into thrall
with his cat-mind: as far from the catalyst
I had become for him as he ought surely
to be. Species return to their proper
allotments: he doesn’t look up as I walk out

the door: and that’s almost fine with me.



Relations of time with the timeless

disable: cause mystification;
relations of rhyme with the rhymeless
enable a harmonization.

One acquaints us with “stop” and with “go” –
the song and the port of the story;
one is simply what seems to be so –
the long and the short of the glory.


Friday, December 7, 2007

P.S. I Ate the Cookies

I wonder if I’ve found a way, or if
I’m finding it: if so, it’s surely more
the lucky product of surviving family

extinction than the exercise of wise
examination of the measly evidence
of what is left: scrabbled up like

broken seashells on the beach: sharp
shards of death, what used to be,
beyond my interest or my reach: all

that isn’t any more: except as it may
fuel reliance on – defiance of –
selective memories – those teasing

jabs that pass for Past. Expedience
is all the mind cares for. I have three
choices: sex, or decadently chocolate-

chunked soft cookies, or my first
dive into Proust. My life is mine today,
my dears: that menu is the proof.



SOUL: You’re getting wet. Aspiring – conspiring –
to shift the paradigm again?

SELF: You bet.

SOUL: Well, go ahead. I like the smell of sweat.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

On Not Needing to Write a Poem About My New Computer

It interests me
how strangely readily
I take to this technology:

I love this toy
but while its fluencies deploy
bright measures that indeed do buoy

me to make fresh starts –
acquaint me with new parts
of self, machine that do affect the arts

I wield – the newness shatters:
quickly drifts – and scatters:
that all swiftness seems quite normal is what matters.



Barreling ahead –
icy slope –
one should use a sled --
keep the hope

alive of getting
there intact.
So why I’m letting
my swaybacked

pertinences slide
like some drunk
out to take a ride
on a chunk

of nothing – well, I
just don’t know.
But that’s how – banzai!
I must go.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

By Any Other Name

Call a rose an aardvark, and I'd disembark.
Language is the cursed allurement to which
nobody is not addicted: unpredictable

mad chaos would ensue were I to mix up
other names with you. Unpredictable,
that is, until we came agreeably to terms,

in which case everything would germinate
again precisely as it always does when it is
finally and flatly said: a whiff of 'live' is kept

within the dead confines of definition (maybe),
but your labels better make their peace
with jail, because no word escapes it. We are

what we speak: availing the amorphous with
a weak show of effrontery: we bunt the ball
and barely reach the pitcher: make him catch

the puny batted blow and call it yes or no.
Every syllable I’m using now is suspect: watch
the alphabet! It’s out to get you badly into debt.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My Piece

Not given much to tell a story, are we!
Flakes and shards and bumps and tiny little
scrabble-dazzles which, at best, remind
one of some something that occurred some
sometime -- zapping through the synapses
as if they had no object past becoming grist
for a voracious twisty idea mill: with far too
many absent-minded oligarchies at its helm,
wherever or whatever “helm” may be. It would

be overwhelming if there were some simple
overseeing “I” who had to get a gainful sense
of the entirety, its chaos, count the pay-offs
every time a feeling thinks, resists or acts:
chart the long protraction of a twitchy human
animal through its exacting prophylactic
measures: amplitudes of self-protections,
fears: strange half-blind deceitful zeals
and pleasures as it nears the meat some scent

of blood has drawn it to: belonging to its
atoms more than you. I do not know where
to put “love, honor and obey” – or “God and
country” – or the way we dream of one day
breaking links and flying out of sync with
everything – busting loose into some grander
magnitude. Fireflies inside a jar, scarring their
sweet diddly heads against the glass. I was
asked to say my piece. I should have passed.


Ode to Ginkgo Leaves

Patterned, overlapping, flattened,
as if laminated on the concrete
sidewalk by the rain, a range of
beaten gold and calmer yellow,
paper doll-fans delicately fringed
now here now there with green:
teased and tinged with color as if

painted by a Japanese brush master:
touched now slower, faster, by new
glints of sun which wink with
quantum unpredictability through
quilted cloud: the wonder of
an ancient tree, the gingko,
which accommodates perversity

and brings the prehistoric to
the blatant now: New York’s emblem
of the why and what and how
not of its own ephemera but of
the Earth’s: obeisance to eons
of the never-known, gathering in
perseverance, strength the way

a soul must, silent and unseen –
exuberant -- prodding all that ever
grows, will grow, has grown.
Inspires trust, somehow, that life
will last: at least until another asteroid
comes blasting through the ozone
and creates another unrelenting past.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Hee-Haw on the Keyboard

I shall do something never done by me before:
grip that slip of murk while it’s still quirking
on the floor and seeking absolution like a guilty
little child, pretending to be mild, sweeter
than it brayed in its appalling hot heyday – not
so long ago or far away: as recent as the dream
it overtook sadistically this morning, waking
me at two, as if that were the best thing it
could do. I shall regress with it wherever

it must mess itself into whatever next experience
it thinks it has to overcome: I shall play dumb,
take notes, observe: regard its essences,
absurdities and urgencies as if they were
my own: see it squeeze from its abstractions
something like a burning stone: passing
through the body like a meteor: a churning
speedy little Earth too bent on self-destruction
to consider birth. I shall keep its rhyming sillinesses

by my side and let them slide and not deride
its nonsense or applaud its sense: I shall let its
hellcats and its pussywillows flourish or expire:
intensify the stream that spews through my
infernally accommodating fingers: lingers as
this hee-haw on the keyboard: sucking fire from
desire. I’ll take its measure with dispassion: sieve
its rash irrationalities until they’ve choked on
their own puffing, kicking stuffing out of nothing.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Ain't Misbehavin' (Alas)

Codpiece, doublet and a pair of tights! – brave
dark mastery before you face the lights –
hmm: that might be nice. Overblown and full
of glory – blood and gore and love and lore
throughout the hoary over-acting of the story –
manifestly over-ripe delight: perhaps that’s why

I sought, and therefore bought and brought,
a chocolate butter-cream cake home the other
night: I thought I wanted something wonderfully
unnecessary and outrageously de trop – bad for
me, but oh! – a glorious descent into a realm
I had resented for persisting quite despite my

having not made entry to it for so long; but when
I passed its lazy sentry (who, unfazed and yawning,
waved me in) and put my metaphoric codpiece
on to battle into sin – and dug right in: oh dear,
how lardlike butter cream can be! – and how
ridiculous a codpiece – even metaphoric – renders

male anatomy. I sigh: must pleasure come in
lowercase? I'm not quite ready to submit. So many
other ways to rattle on, debased. Let’s speculate
about more interestingly lurid ways I might
next spend my cash – while watching me scrape
off the plate these crumbs and fat into the trash.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

Praise, Yearning for an Object


Who could possibly create the frame you do?
Through your sweetly organized arrangement
my eyes understand again exactly why they see.

The flicks and licks of light around the sides of you
do arabesques for me – summer-night al-fresco
tricks of sight in which each hologrammic piece evokes

the dazzling whole. Your shadow wings around
the center of whatever I could ever want to look at:
sings a barcarole: flings my love up like a baby in

a doting father’s arms: wields excruciating charms:
provokes the soul. I wonder how you fill this hole:
immanent as rhythm through the body from the heart:

drum-roll in a movie: you are careless, perfect Art:
a tremor in the blood, assimilating every feeling in
its stream. I wonder why I ache so in this dream.