Monday, March 31, 2008

What Pond Droplets Are Thinking

Lily pads in our pond –
we lend each other buoyant
dreams of a before and after
and beyond – amid our
droplet punctuation
which suggests itself
when for whatever reasons
we experience propensities

to search for sense:
concatenate our fluid blips
into a sort of mental picket fence –
segmented linearity which keeps
our thisses from our thats
by means of metaphoric slats:
dividing our defining
parts: illusorily starting,

stopping: in the mist of which
we, ever the guessing pests,
nevertheless believe
at least provisionally.
Lily pads in our pond
quiver over us into eternity
and seek fraternities
of frogs, amphibious

arrangements of stark
bits of spatter. If energy
is matter then a lily pad,
what rides on it, and what
it floats on, all have
much to recommend them
as a pantheon of possibility:
live stasis and the freedom

of way-station: gracious link,
a kind of godly wink of
reassurance: and the prospect
to a frog of rest – a part
of that implicit test which all –
droplets, frogs and lily pads –
must take and solve in order to
effect incarnate life’s resolve.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Get At The Gods

You name in all the ways that you can find
to name – whom else could you blame for wrongly
rendering the thing? Maybe most providers
of the language don’t much fuss about their

epigrams and sobriquets, but you are daily
flummoxed by the awkward dismal grays
which leak out when you want to warble purple,
gold or azure: wander though you may through

pastures of blue possibilities to find a shade
to translate on a page which sings and signals sky:
oh my. You’re left with nothing but your
constitutionally hungry, unfed eye. So why must

you keep trying? It continually seems just plausible
that if you’d just keep spying – catch it unaware,
just once, you might not be the dunce you’ve
so far been – it might be possible, in this great

hunt to say the thing within outright and well,
to win. But right now every choice is hell,
and every verbal trope’s a sin. The most you’re
doing? Rocking to and fro autistically to find

in some somatic lilt some whiff of felt experience
that for a moment might assuage your guilt
at your vast incapacity to tilt with what is out there,
make a word from flesh: at least achieve a draw.

Every time so far you’ve tried you end up
sucked into the maw, with precious little left to
show for it. And still you go for it, against all
odds: to jump that fence, get at the gods.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hearing Thunder for the Second Time

I’d like this all to be a singularity – but every time
I have to square the quantum weirdnesses of “inside”
with the relatively calm predictabilities back up here

at the surface – not that that is always so serene,
and not that everything that happens inwardly is
so bizarre – disparity is more my guiding star.

I’ll have to move into another home before I’ve gone
too very far into the Spring, and here’s the thing:
I’m fine, at least in part, in my psyche’s skin and heart,

but I’m vexed the way a baby is perplexed at hearing
thunder for the second time: he thinks that he
remembers, but is awkwardly aware that something

inexplicable has dared again to alter his perception
of his place in space and time, so idiosyncratically
distracts him with a sense of mutant wonder

that his psychic apparatus seems too blunderingly
wrong to cope. In other words, he feels a dope.
And since he is a baby, cries. Well, I am not a baby,

and the situation lies in such a way as to invite me
to surmise myself into a linearity of story in which
I will soon arrive exactly where I ought to; what

I’ve brought to the occasion is a willingness for
something else to drive. But honey, all this rhyming! –
something’s nervous: quantum wildness mixes with

the yearning for the soft and unrelenting mildness
of the known: the net effect of its collective
echo in my head? “Baby, you are on your own.”


Friday, March 28, 2008

Involuntary Response to Taking a New Blood Pressure Medicine

We start the business of reporting late, today –
hmm: such quick use of “we”! – but as it seems
to be all but a certainty that many more than
one vicinity of personality engages now – as if
released from cages, howling at the pretense
of a unity – we can’t proceed with much
impunity with “one”: the legend of the single
self is done. We are a sea, this thing called
me, and though it seems psychotically untrue
to say we’re really you, in fact the oceanic globe
of us requires acknowledging just that, and this:
that we are gleeful miscreants enveloping each
other in, and with, a haze of the innumerable

droplets of our flooding consciousnesses – surely
everything is wet and plural and in processes
of active flow into the estuaries of the glow
of being: shades of seeing this and that grow thin
and fat, amid the sleek impressions of a running
river all deliver something like the closest stunning
sense we can derive of what it means to be alive.
It’s as if the mind is a relentless diuretic
and the liquid consequences of this “us” must in
their vast particular intensities provoke hypocrisies
of Stop to swallow every brash self-evident
empirical reality of Go. Lost you, honey, in
the snow? – this misty list? I bet you get the gist.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Hard Ones

I don’t like
the hard ones.
I never was adept
at junior high school word
conundrums, all those maddening

mathematical rhetoricisms bidding you
to calculate how many oranges there’d be
on every other Tuesday in the months of January,
April and September if two cars were to drop seven of them
every sixteen miles between the suburbs of Madrid and Barcelona.

Couldn’t help but
pull a boner, meaning
that in all its hardly subtle
senses. The densities of knowing
more than you could possibly have known

you knew are quite enough to cause a similarly
unavailing psychic flu. And make you think what few
abilities you’d had to sort through chaos and
produce a symmetry have all, like fruit
picked far too long ago to eat,

gone bad. I make these
shapes and rhymes
entirely to rid

the anxiety of knowing
nothing. Sparks flew today as I made
way through books and people, subways
and a gloppy pasta lunch. Life was not appeasing
me: it was all resistant tug and sway. And then I saw

the calendar and realized my brother died one less
than twenty years ago today. Understanding
dared me – hunching like a secret
growling mutt residing on
his butt in my gut.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


What disturbs today? Come to think,
today’s demeanor’s fine – this
rather has to do with mine. I think

I have a clue. This notion of a “day,”
today, unsettles with parameters too
arbitrarily defined. I do not cotton to

the ends of things, and do not like
beginnings either: seem like lies.
Just because a person lives and dies

does not mean we’ve occasion to
concoct a ruler, section off the Universe
into convenient measurements.

And surely it’s the life and death
of each of us which make us think it
right to misalign into an artificial

symmetry of yes and no and good
and bad and day and night. Prescription
and proscription! The facts defeat

description. Today is not a day,
my dear: there is no rise in it,
or fall. It’s all just the Installing All.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wonder If That's Wise

Everybody dies.
Not a surprise.

But though we know the fulsome human
frame and its upholstery accrues
through time familiar evidence of slow-
amassed incarnate crime (rips and sags
and bags from which one may forgivably

surmise inevitable progress toward demise –
un-pornographic thighs, soft stifled cries –
long, reflective sighs – so many strained,
bewildered, wondering “oh my’s”
giving up whatever one had formerly

decided was the prize – unsuspected
aptitudes for devious disguise – and
a contradictorily stubborn inability to make
up lies), few of us have faced this lack
of ambiguity with cool unblinking eyes.

Wonder if that’s wise.


Monday, March 24, 2008

The Problem

The problem is,
you see,
I could have
stood there
at the kitchen counter

for the rest of time
the cosmic rhyme
of rolling (and then
eating) thin salami

slices into
pinwheels – after
spreading each
with Alouette herb
and garlic cheese.

The problem is,
you see,
it never has
made any sense
to me why

I should ever stop
whatever’s so
my knees.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Andy Warhol, Easter

I am bothered
by today
in some little way:
like Andy Warhol
in the photo I just saw of him:
in drag, a Polish matron
of a certain age, red lips,

bad skin, pert coiffed wig,
responding to the meaningless
effrontery of his Existence
with an unconvincing stab
at childlike calm, arguing
for autism – perhaps
to be confused with Zen –

as the achievable Enlightenment.
If I were he, would I suspend
all judgment and propend
the carrot right before
my nose of a complete
finality? – paying such close
heed to every bump

and texture, I’d forget whatever
need propelled me into
the investigation to begin with?
Does his coda add the Z to A?
I am by bothered
by today
in some little way.


Anthem: Ecstasy of Fuel

When you love a god completely
you are prey to bliss: blessed
in that inordinately gratifying sense
of cruelty which haunts the root
of “bless” – to wound. Too soon

you’ll face the prospect of departure:
anyway, what seems departure
from the point of view of life:
that cliff of death you must imagine
from the scattered evidence

will sever you inevitably from the city’s
early Spring and its resistances
and grim delights; that an eternal
battening of hatches will eventually
snatch you from Manhattan

must, you have to think, be undergone.
But undertaking all the amplitudes
of this renowned dark town
before the undertaker takes his cue –
disposes of the residue of you –

is really all you’ve got to do.
Can you say the thing outright?
You adore this god with all
your might. And this god needs
your adoration: You’re the sort

of thing it eats. Although you are
the least of its small feats, and though
you’re doomed to lose the duel with
its ballooning mad insatiability –
you are an ecstasy of fuel.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sooner or Later

Fast and loose is the excuse –
poems splutter out like shrapnel
and confetti: disembodied flutters
in a bird-less cage – little bits
of rage against the bars – energy

without much matter – soul-derived
paint splatter – lacking color:
just the impact of a spray of drops:
skimmed right off the tops of some
wet being – nothing but the glisten –

tiny damp vicissitudes comprising
some small unity which now exudes
the vestiges of a bewilderment:
and yet and yet and yet abandoning
the notion that it has to ‘get’ and might

instead let go is strangely fine: fresh
out of wine, the party wearies
of the socialite – nothing left for
either one to prove. Sooner or later,
I guess you have to move.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Floosing Through the Shnew

I ate the butter –
you ate the bread –
tried to be integuments

that wedded heart and head –
connect-icons of silsdabury
floosing through the shnew –

among the rout of inexplicabilities
that did and do not do the least
amount of justice to

the slammatory dords of you.
Impatient with my lexicon!
Does not have one syllable

I want. Vex the dawn,
make it trill a bill of goods –
I’ve got the couldn’t’s –

it’s got the would’s.
Fal-da-roll-da-rill-da-ray –
every atom in the both of us

gets in each other’s way –
and bunny-billy-doody-day?
None of it’s got squat to say.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Physicality for Poets

I lay back on the bed and tried to read a book
called “Physics for Poets,” but Bach was
on the radio and he knew more about it
so I listened to his D minor concerto
for two violins and let its counterpoint
reverberate until it got me closer to the gist:

strange to send a poem splaying out like this –
it might as well be prose. But categories such as those
all close their lids on the ability to breathe, and here
I go again, back to that metered rhyming seething
rock-and-rolling flow without which I do not
appear to know exactly how to get from
to to fro. Here’s what really frazzles –

the bedazzling undesirability of
doctor’s check-ups and their
reasoned take on how your
apparatus works, or ought to,
or would work if only you were one whit
less lit by your staunch refusal to believe in flesh
or gravity or fluid circulation, neural networks
which entail a three-dimensioned focus:

an attention quite beyond your interest,
truth be told. To make bold about it,
where’s the book on “Physicality
for Poets Who Don’t Know
That They Are Here?”

I am feeling mortal,
darling: ergo

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Your Dirty Dawg

Let’s pretend we’re puppets –
stimulate by simulation:
do the nasty and the crafty –
sensually root and wrestle,
tussle with our puppet parts –

loot and pillage (though without
the gory spillage) puppet hearts:
make like little puffs and levers –
cotton batting, bluff receivers
of imagination only – play like

we are lonely for each other
and het up for sex: do it in a park –
perplex the pigeons and
the meadow lark: I will be
your dirty dawg – I’ll fog your

spectacles: the squirrels will be
agog. Let’s pretend we’re
puppets – have rehearsals –
do reversals: make believe
we’re real. See if puppets feel.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There! -- Swallowed It!

Welcome to where my keister sits.
There’s nowhere else for it than this.
If I were to spend the whole day
riding to and fro through all the holes
and conduits of New York City’s
neural network, I would not find one

whit more of what there is than
I’ve got now. This fat town – with its
degenerate renown and its regenerating
reapportionments of meaning –
all its leaning cranes and dangerous
remains and subway trains: I insist

that in one mote of its persisting,
listing air – there! – swallowed it!
the whole shenanigan exists: a tiny
shard of hologram which holds
the whole and – breathed or tasted,
heard or seen – even in its smallest

part – invades the heart and
conquers. Every jot’s a Bonaparte –
makes you bonkers – always wins.
I am made of every one of its unwary
sins. Bit off more than I can chew.
Sit here long, and you will, too.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Sheep Need Vet

Peculiar necessary messiness
of sleep! That we should nightly
need to creep into the thing so deeply –
that our bodies can’t apparently
survive without whatever it delivers –

what a brightly seeping oddity –
prodding neap tides in the mind: rivers
flooding into, out of psychic seas
or finding, butting, sweeping into
psycho ponds and lakes – quakes

and exigent vicissitudes of mental
operation wielded by a panel of Zen
quantum lunatics on random doses
of adrenaline and dopamine, greased
by God knows what other hormone

cocktails each of our arcane and
idiosyncratic frangible metabolisms
seek to get their jollies and relief.
Sleep’s a thief that robs of us
of our secrets and displays them in

the Ziegfield Follies of whatever stage
we’re stuck in: dreams are like
the luck we have when swimming
in a thunderstorm – and odds are
infinitely good that we’ll be struck by

something absolutely crucial we will
not recall as soon as we awaken.
Probably we need the break in waking
consciousness we get, but all those
sheep we count to do it need a vet.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

What I Forgot to Say

What I forgot to say –

(while he ranged with anxious shadows over
his uncertainties – his sharp concerns about what
turns to take to renovate his days – and briefly
boiled a pot of capellini to al dente rightness –
strained it, dressed it with a whisked-together sauce

of lemons, freshly squeezed; and grated
Parmegiano –
ah! Reggiano!
– cheese; and blushing virgin
Grecian olive oil; cracked black pepper, and a toss
of preternaturally fragrant basil – and kept speaking
as he shredded tender lettuce that may well have

tumbled from Olympus – threw it in a bowl with
an unconsciously-whipped tart effusion
of a perfect vinaigrette – artless as a Tuscan kiss –
all rendered with adept and certain fingers – faint
aromas lingering around us like a Haydn minuet)

– was there was nothing
in the roiling space
his words described but
his unthinking grace.

(Dear man: forgive me if I’m rude: but if you
want advice about accomplishing a lovely life,
pay attention to what you just did to food.)


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mommy, Daddy, Bobby

Sometimes I forget if we are heading
toward the winter or the spring.
I’m loath to think it’s both. And more
bemused at the confusion of remembering –
today – when I woke up and got up,
shambling to the bathroom, grrr inside
my head – that my family were dead.

Forgive me if I’m given to an existential
rambling: I suppose it has to do
with this. If I no longer know what
good or bad means, and if I’ve completely
lost my bearings with regard to time –
no longer buying into future, present,
past – it‘s probably all implicated in

this oddly vast repast of dwelling in
a recognition: feasting on the most
and least of really knowing solitude.
Mommy, Daddy and my brother Bobby:
either you got screwed, or I did – or
the lot of us. That’s the thing, though,
isn’t it. There never were a lot of us.


Friday, March 14, 2008

In Heaven

In Heaven there will be tall cool
glasses of holy water – from
this or that of which you will occasionally
be inclined to sip – which instantly
refill themselves through just the sorts

of sleight-of-hand at which you
would expect a Heaven to excel.
The thing to know in Heaven is
conformity is hell: everything’s
autonomous: and every beauty comes

as much from noticing it’s there,
and doing fine, as from availing yourself
of its fresh eternal singularity.
In Heaven you will not find wine,
but may decide from time to time

politely to recline with a supine provider
of a kind of spirit: not unlike lysergic
acid – but with keener introspective
means of tripping into memories
you had back here of how your

arm felt on his shoulder. In Heaven
you’ll be bolder, though we cannot give
details. Let’s just say in Heaven
it will end and start, continue and go on
with whimpers, and with wails.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Les Baricades Mistérieuses*

“Life is so exquisite a spell that everything conspires to break it.”
Emily Dickinson

You’re right to want to turn them off: sounds
of Couperin through an excruciating delicacy
of a plucked guitar – incessantly repetitive –
a music box of gilded eighteenth century bibelots –
that young man’s artful fragile body, fingers,
face, in place to breathe through wood and string
the sort of thing you’d never heard except
in some remote recess of dream, and yet
with such a human bloom of reassurance that
you know it just as surely as you’ve known
the dearest soft caress from mother, lover, brother –

oh, too many other floods and strains of feeling,
thought: all wrought within, upon this French
Baroque commodity of wordless song: what is it
harmonically but simple cadences, suspensions –
all some childish chordal riff? Bach would sniff.
But all you need’s a whiff: you’re back and longing
for it, jonesing for its smack, a hero hooked to heroin,
its slick addictive heralding of something so
precise and intimate and right that you must fight
to keep the thing from haunting you all night
and day and night and day – so anyway, you have

to turn the damned thing off. And so you do, and
what you hear are scratching noises from the claws
of an apartment dog next door, scraping at
a knob and lock – a dog who knows that barricades
are an intolerable injury and shock. What is this
thin pale veil between you and the rest of
everything? You only know to hail one source of
certitude that in its endless lending might befriend –
and bring at least a tiny measure of your vast
unknowing to an end. And so you watch and breathe
and eat and make love to the Couperin again.

*Mysterious Barricades, Francois Couperin, 1710

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thirteen Stanzas in Search of a Simile

He is like a book so full
of such ephemeral translucent leaves –
which breathe their essence

up as soon as glanced at – that involuntarily
you must release your hold upon the spine –
as soon as it endears its story

to your warm unwary ears: and all its melody
retreats to memory: unhooks
from time: a souvenir, a taste as fat –

voluptuous – as cream; as subtly evanescent
as a dream: and yes, he’s like a book –
a narrative which glimmers

out to you bare outlines of the plot
of how you walk into his spot-lit presence
and are mowed down: must recuperate

right after you steal looks at him:
a flimsy sheaf of notes
whose Sapphic shards cannot begin

to promise anything remotely like completion:
an amassing in a single fragile volume
of the barest frazzled edges

of voluminousness – of his luminous arrivals
and departures, all of them too quick to stick.
Maybe he is like a book – or

maybe he is like the round small plastic open
white container of a blob of honey
you once watched flame into fire, dull back

into mud and flame to fire again when
shafts of sun found ways to pierce the waning
winter clouded air to spark into an unimaginable

glory – there – right on your table,
next to an undrunk hot pot of tea.
Maybe he is like a dab of molten honey, maybe

he is like a fairy book: maybe he is like
a sort of sea you conjure up unluckily
to dive into whenever you can’t stand

the hunger for the sort of thing
he seems to be – unassimilatable into
the blurring erring limits of a simile.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tooth Fairies & Dental Dybbuks


In the occluded moment – now and here –
I do not know a thing, for sure, beyond
the temperature of my apartment’s atmosphere
(a little cool). I’ll dare, however, to be fool
enough to say that (in cahoots with
periodontic gurus at the dental school
of NYU) I am projecting an expected incident

and outcome: the enaction of a plan to
bring about extraction of two teeth from me
this afternoon; and that when I’ve come
back to you I will have undergone whatever
wrench and torsion will have been required
to effect these acts. All of this, of course,
supposed: we’re far from facts. But

with the expectation of these stark sharp
brightnesses in place – tooth fairies,
like fireflies, all captured in the mind’s
tight jar – I think it safe to say I won’t go
irremediably far past the enjoyment of
the vast, continued and availing happiness
of unimpededly revolving ‘round our star.


How the dimpled dental dybbuks laugh!
Once again there is no past and though
somewhere there may be sutures, there
is equally no future. High priestesses of all
the oral mysteries: invite the gleeful poet,
now, tonight to celebrate in your strange
apse and chancel. Appointment cancelled.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Isn't There

It’s like the tugs of tidal pulls,
you think –
from rumbling seas of hormones –
zaps of neuro-

transmitters –
that flip and suck you to a brink –
and keep you
fumbling at analyses

which always
trail pathetically behind:
your mind’s
no match for this. It is as if

God plucked
you up and kissed you –
drugged your lips –
and bits of everything

you see and taste and feel,
believe and hear and wield:
and yes! – above all –
smell – comprise an antidote

to hell which is itself a hell:
and furthermore
you’re patently
too old

to get
so god-blessed
het up – stunned
and fizzed and bare.

Whatever you had hoped
would be
the let up, honey?
Isn’t there.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Last Night

Last night I watched a program on the History Channel
which, between commercials for the quick delivery of pizza
and a lizard selling car insurance, spread the infancy
and adolescence and adulthood of our Earth out like a rug:
patterns of geology which indicated we’d been ice-bound
and incinerated and had gained and lost more species in
the past gazillion years than we have got right now. In the midst

of this, a craving grew in me like lava in the crust of poor
Pangaea which had just begun to separate into the continents –
and while that fire began to eat the edges of a crumbling world,
my craving turned into a grumbling lust for something sweet,
and so I padded out to make some chocolate milk. Now, I don’t
think I’ve had a glass of that since I was ten, but Lord knows
suddenly I had to have it then. I filled a big one up with liquid

from a fat-free cow and squiggled in kapows of Hershey’s syrup
(squeeze container – oddly sensual), then poured a packet
I still had of Splenda (got it for a friend who liked it – whom I’d
had a crush on several years ago: that was quite a rout – never
threw it out) – clicked a spoon against the glass into the mix
and watched it turn the right homogeneous bewitched and longed-for
cast of palatable brown. Then I swigged the whole thing down.

And, oh my, was it good. By the time I settled back in bed to see
what new catastrophe had yet again beset my globe, my
chocolate-milked gestalt had roved – loosed itself like goosedown,
fluffed away by all the winds of asteroids and unrequited loves
and other cosmic sins – and I was back where nothing loses,
nothing wins, and treats that tasted good when you were
ten miraculously tasted good again. No beginning and no end.


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Rainy Morning Rhymes

You either float and whizz and flit away –
or flump – a clump of mud – and stay:
your moods, dim-colored lenses, skew the view
you wish would burgeon up as “you” –

you stoke the fond delusion you can see
and choose exactly what to be:
but too much reflex chatter crowds the voice –
what’s left to claim as conscious choice?

Perhaps it doesn’t really matter when
or if you “get it” – now, or then –
or settle into something with the gloss
of certainty – beyond all loss –

but wouldn’t it be lovely, once, to know
what to embrace, what to forgo –
dream a moral compass up: pursue it! –
more: to really want to do it?

Well, you suppose you do – or do you not?
It’s hard to stick to any spot –
as if you’re tugged by – soul and brain –
the ruthless wantonness of rain.


Friday, March 7, 2008

A Writer Strikes

“Excuse me for thinking the banana eating contest
was about eating a banana.”
(Gilmore Girls)

I would like to talk about a lot, here, but think
the better of it just as soon as I have got, dear,
the blink I always get from you: that visual

equivalent of nervous clink of glass: spot of –
fear? – quickly past – masquerading as the terribly
persuasive sigh that signals “bored.” They say

the writers’ strike is over but – something’s
striking like a gong in me: won’t be long before
you join the throng of absentees beyond the next

hill past my heart, arrayed to play their dark
collective part in demonstrating the completeness
of departure – celebrating, stunned, as if at

yet another end of World War One: bedecked
with garlands, swags and bands: mopping
brows, all circumspect: marching through

an avenue of stately poplars: Doppler effects –
attenuated breaths: incantatory rituals of loss.
One tosses up one’s syllables predictably. Stick

with me, my little shrew – even if you’ve found
no clue whatever in this striking writer’s stew what
any of it possibly could have to do with you.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Absolutely Everything & Nada

Noonday makes me stupid.
Too much light. All the colors
of the Universe pack into white.

An "equals" sign obtains between
the poles of absolutely everything
and nada. Like a dada cornucopia –

spilling out rotund invisibilities:
ghost-apotheoses of the apple,
grape and pear: teeming – not

a proton there: cast beyond
the possibility of good or bad –
Something cast a shadow!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On Walking Out of 'The Counterfeiters'

Thickly meshed and complicated fluffs and shreds
of nothing petrify into impenetrable clod, like bullies
fossilizing in a sensless prehistoric war. Fight to find
some evidence in it of God: concoct a poem to forgive –
to sieve, alleviate the alloy of its bald recidivistic reflex
to clump, grumpy, into stubborn and insentient lump.
I left a movie everybody said was good: I found it

dense and unforgivable as wood. Maybe Germany
should not make films about the Holocaust. Forcibly
accosting squirmy guilt: squeezing “art” from soul
and blood too madly and unfathomably spilt: some
absolutely crucial point is missed. Or am I just a wuss?
Every time I venture into politics – which this
ungovernably is – those complicated fluffs and shreds

of nothing petrifying into clod – I’m lost: not to mention
cannot find much evidence of God. Perhaps
one seeks a moral compass by default, reacting to
some visceral essential hunger in the vault
of skull and cortex, limbic system and synaptic spasm:
something to make fleeting sense of this wild stabbing
flight of life into the chasm. Serenity and passion:

freely come to, un-withheld, a grace and lightness
melding into vivid clarity: not petrified – but live,
and breathing with the full capacity to laugh. Couldn’t
find that in this movie, not by half. Maybe it’s the bee
of me exasperated by the limits of its hive. Apparently
I will not rest until I find a way to keep some freely
breeding consciousness of infinite particularity alive.


Sex With Him

Sex with him is like the last supper
(“take, eat, this is my body”) – on whose
basis you would be willing to carve out
a new social order: this time in cahoots

with the Indians: pioneering towards
the sensual – warmly herding hormones
through the body’s western prairies:
every beast aligned. Could you say

the thing outright? Give it a try. The heft
and taste and amplitude – the rhythms
and the trance of it: nope. Can’t even
glance at it without it blinding. Cannot

separate the thing without it binding just
as instantly as you have caught a glimpse
of some component part. Sex with him
is an impenetrable art. Happens only

rarely. Which you suppose is fine. That
random blast of wondering what’s "yours"
or "mine" – couldn’t take it every day.
Would blow you quite the fuck away.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How People Live

All — is the price of All —
Emily Dickinson

(for Reed and Richard)

Emily Dickinson split the atom.
I scratch my behind.
But sometimes when I stretch
my spine and send cascades
of neurons flinging, tingling off
and in and out – well, I begin
to think I’m on the brink

of Emily’s embrace of doubt.
Fortunately, I (inertia
on my side) decide to slide –
and coast into a kind of ride
for which there aren’t any rules
that I’ve supplied. Today I walked into
a friend’s apartment – just imagine:

he is half the globe away
in Sydney! – I'd retrieved his
mail to lay it on his black settee –
then filled a kitchen glass with water
which I poured into a tiny
ivy plant: complete – inured
to its environment of silence –

undergoing permutations
of a secret evolution I will never know.
A bit like the infernal glow
of Mistress Dickinson.
I helped another friend dismantle –
then to move – a table in his dining room –
holes and hooks and dowels

had to be undone and put
together with a fair amount of care:
agility – fragility. I wonder
that we carry on. I wonder that we dare.
I then walked through the nineteenth
century magnificently
groaning board of lower Broadway –

to a supermarket where I bought three
kinds of frozen vegetables
and liquid hand-soap with a spout.
(Emily’s embrace of doubt.)
If there’s a purpose,
I am absolutely sure it’s blinking at us,
right here on the surface.


Monday, March 3, 2008


Whipping crowds
up to a froth
he steadfastly remained

and – while they jumped up screaming,
every last scintilla of them roaring forth –
returned his infinite availability
to its dark shelf.

When he awoke from dreaming
which according to his watch
had gone on
nearly seven hours

he was astonished he no longer
had his powers –
or if he did,
they had remanded him

to ignorance of how to re-ignite them:
or, perhaps,
the lesson learned
was simply this:

he was Magellan,
Judy Garland, Harry Potter,
and Apollo in his chromosomes
and merely human

in the petri dish of wakeful
incarnation now.
Somewhere within, however,
he knew how

to smash it all to every smithereen.
What he hadn’t got
the hang of yet?


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Nursery Rhyme for a Godlet

Take a frank delight in Mind!
It never leaves a thing behind.
Although it may, here, go astray –
and, there, appear to lose its way –

and get you into brouhahas –
and wrest effect from any cause –
and leave you in a twilight zone
in which you learn just how alone

the spirit always is: don’t fret –
the fact that it will not forget
a single apperception means
you’ll always have sufficient beans

to make poetic cassoulet –
and, ergo, feed each trembling day
with all the You that you have stewed:
fermented data you’ve accrued

to wow the whole fraternity
of angels in eternity –
and all the demons, blest or not –
who wait for you to tread the spot

you, as ambassador to God,
insure no one has ever trod.
Take a frank delight in Mind!
It never leaves a thing behind.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

How I'll Know I've Found a Lover

I will know I’ve found a lover when
I’ve found someone who wants to spend
September weekends with me in a house
by Frank Lloyd Wright –
to make love every night
in its Usonian embrace:
and while we eat our eggs on mornings after

in that private glory of a space
we’ll plan a trip to England –
Rye – in April – where we’ll
stay inside the ancient skewed and loping
Mermaid Inn – just ’round the corner from
the early Georgian purpled brick of Lamb House,
Henry James’s famed beloved home.

My lover is the one who’ll know exactly why
and where one wants to roam:
he’ll understand as much as I do that you only
dare to live when you inhabit
everything and know it can be found
exactly where you are, as well as in
a certain number of symbolic spots

in which one needn’t labor to
experience a thing. We will see
the godly markers and the ringing beckoning
of our most private architecture, over which the jots
and tittles of our neural networks
will converge and dance and hover.
That’s when I will know I’ve found a lover.