Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not Enough for Anything

Defend yourself against the tenderness.


You’ve kept assorted photographic icons
from their lives, especially these two,
which date before the strange
unprepossessing small debut of you –


the first: a view of both of them, just married,
posing on the wooden steps down from
the Mobile, Alabama church wherein the war

decreed they had to wed – your father
in his uniform, your mother in the prettiest
white hat and dress – hemmed at the knees –

as if this were the modern way of being free
and young and somehow just exactly as you
knew them, older, dying, years beyond –


and then the second: portrait of your blond
and infant older brother, large-eyed, brimming
innocent suspicion, wondering what

anything could mean: looking up at mommy,
probably, away from camera lenses
and the odd expenses even now required

of living, giving just a touch of that bright
darkness which you saw in him years later,
wasted on his bed, all sores – morphine:


the fact that they are dead is not the point
as much as how, although you’ve kept
the backs of their framed visions to the sun,
some ambient illumination has undone

them just a little – fading sepia to yellow –
and the pain is that these pictures bring
about as much as life can ever bring
and even that is not enough for anything.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Human Meaning

Stark – staring – terrorized: blank
screaming eyes abut some
unseen unavoidable abyss –
a clip flicks by on Turner Classic Movies –

channel surfing bifurcates attention
yet again – then splinters it
to tiny sharpened bits: familiar
savage shards that an appurtenance

of consciousness in black-and-white
from time to time permits – film noir
version of the unexaminable soul –
the thing that eats it up, its blackest

hole: life-addled lean ex-convict
speeds inside the shiny lumpen coffin
of a Studebaker: crudely takes us
to the ledge, the edge, the brink,

past which we will not, cannot, think.
A dear friend’s mother, ninety-nine,
lies in a Southern California
hospital – confused and sweet

and working out of reflex for each
breath – probably not crying.
There are no words for death,
and precious few for dying.


Monday, April 28, 2008


A part of you’s the fat kid,
out of breath, and so unfit
for anything that when

they’re playing ‘tag’ you’re
always ‘it’ – and all that
you can do is lumber after

all their reeling skinny asses,
making slo-mo passes
that are so far off the mark

it just increases the fat
certainty that you'll forever
lack whatever spark

ignites in them. And when
those horrors end, and they
lose interest in your elephant

meanderings and mewling
that they aren’t being fair,
you plop down like a lonely

pudding, gasp for air,
and know down to your
last beleaguered over-padded

toe bone absolutely
nothing in the world can
get you out of here to there.

But sometimes you’re
the fat kid’s air. Queer!
You’re neither there nor here.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rough Sex

Voluptuous atrocity –
bloody agony – harrowing
expectancy narrowing
into an unsuspected ecstasy –

eruptive Earth – transmuting
unimaginable burdens
into birth – brutality and its
exquisite senseless aftermath:

a blasted tenderness:
the pitiable cry of having
had enough. The Universe:
a sexual modality, and rough.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Your Psychic Law

Short zizzes of electric shock,
cascades of spark – a spray
of kernels popping into thought –

or half-thought – something oddly,
quickly, wrought – a taste,
in haste, of something welling up

inside that can’t seem to emerge
in any other way: this is the intermittent
splay and splice of you, the sense

in you of something to be fed
which cannot be precisely met
or served: you give and take

the crumbs of something ultimately
numbing: maybe that’s why you
can’t contemplate the whole,

why so much must be held back,
in reserve – to keep the hunger
and the satiation of it partial:

swallowing the loaf entirely would
prematurely fill too many caverns in
the soul, leave too much packed:

you need your fragile fractal openings –
you need the ache of wanting more –
you need the palliative satisfaction

of confusion which maintains
a wobbly comfort which has somehow
turned into your psychic law: wed

to the unknown as if it weren’t quite
entirely unknown: to promulgate
delicious tension bred from

sparking, arcing, bright electric stabs
at proofs and refutations that
you may, or may not, be alone.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Or Anything That Comes in Threes

Scaffolding, green screening
and a screaming baby in a pram
collude – exude a scrim: draped hazily
over the giantess of London Terrace,
Chelsea 1920s brick apartment
complex: macerating humid New York

April afternoon, incarcerating me.
Why do I submit so willingly? The city
viscerally works her certainties –
perplexes, teases her Narcissies into
quarantine – psychoses of bright
daffodils corralled like lurid specimens –

shocking silent bells of yellow packed
in iron fences ‘round indifferent
scrawny trunks of sidewalk trees:
I grasp that these are natural divinities
not one whit less than breezes, seas,
or anything that comes in threes.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Kingdom for a Category!

I want to be a thing!

I’d like to be tied up
in an explanatory string:
shelved, and selved.

Do you think
I might be
an absurdist?
I was thinking
I might be
an absurdist.

(Teams doubt height!
Reams flout night!
Seams sprout blight!
Dreams tout spite!
Gleams spout light!)

Seems about right.

Maybe not quite.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why I Will Not Make Love to You

Oh, don’t stand there, black and white, like
a mellifluously suave George Sanders in
the smoky half-light in the background in the haunt
and pull of war, film noir philanderer: the strong
and dark implicit pour of your imploring heart

would only mark the barest start of first conditions
for the ambience that I’d deem requisite for any
tryst. I’ll make another list. Today I rode
the subway in the city as if I had never ridden
it before: that is, I hadn’t ridden it before exactly

as I’d ridden it today, and I was absolutely
presciently aware for once that that’s the only way
of things: arrival simultaneous with a departure –
punctuated in the splayed array of every dinging
opening and shutting subway door – as if to quote

the Raven: “never more!” – not one experience
was a repeat. The city always does our bidding,
waiting, bleeding, sinning: we have been so many
of its generalities, exactitudes – we are in its
categories and its idiosyncratic stories: but we are

not on film, like Mr. Sanders, cannot implore the way
his filmic heart will always do as long as there’s
a DVD around to misconstrue the nature of
the True. We are doomed or blessed eternally to
“new.” That’s why I will not make love to you.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Duets on a Donkey Cart

Bandwagons make you cranky. Sure:
everybody’s mad at everybody else’s
hanky-panky: no surprise. Hardly

something to alert the eyes. But
rivers and recycling and the polar
bears and drug abuse and prejudice

against so many populaces of such
endlessly profuse diversity that you
lose track of who hates whom before

you’ve had a chance to think which
faction wants a warrantable portion
of your hide with more clear justice

than another: this notion that you’re
every creature’s brother starts to pale.
You feel no close relation to a whale.

You suppose it may come down
to this: do you entirely accept that
anything exists? If so, it arguably

argues for – entails – commitment
to engage: yet somehow manage not
to get inseminated by the rage. Bands

on wagons breed such loud self-
righteous greed. Maybe duets on
a donkey cart are more your speed.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Night in C Minor

Rachmaninoff’s C minor is the key
to prod the kinds of seizure, grieving
and renunciation that you hadn’t known
you’d needed, but you do: the leisure
to renounce and seize and grieve
throughout its reddish-purple light:
the Russian amplitude of sorrow

and desire you require – now – tonight.
Rachmaninoff would have you tumble
down and off his fat arpeggiated
C’s until you landed in his secret
cavern – pillowed there, protected:
source of all rubato and vibrato: welling
up and trembling in the heart whence

everything you’ll ever know has come
and comes – will come. You feel its fat
flow through your fingers to your violin –
and hear the saddest cascade of
accompanying observation – piano
somewhere, oddly, outside and within –
some distant dim resistance tells you

this is arrant bathos; no – you’re
somewhere harder, deeper, firmer: far
behind the scrim and miles down,
and it’s real pathos – actual and dying,
breathing and expiring, no assessment
matters anymore. You prod – must
prod – amorphous and unfocussed

sense and jabber with whatever simulacra
you can conjure up as God: and this,
tonight, is it, this fit – this second of
the maestro’s mournful irrepressible
concerti – sable fur of sentience which,
tonight, expresses now, forever what and
who you are – starkly and exactly right.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

On Hearing Chopin's "Funeral March" Sonata

Quickly! – etch and whittle –
carve – construct – proportion
breathlessly – another fragile
bright deduction: too extraneous
and glittering: a bangled bibelot –

de trop – unnecessary artifact
and go-between between this
fleeting feeling and the reflex
to report: expensively, luxuriously
crafted as another manifest

impossible attempt to throw
your lot in with that bit of modal
harmony you hear: much-vaunted
music of a sphere – spotlessly
in tune with rapture: let your jots

and tittles show that you have
paid attention: let them glow
and glimmer, dangle in suspension
like a gauzy web of thinnest
golden thread: brittler than

the scatter of the dead – the dust
of silvery white bone: too full
of elegiac moan transmogrified
from anthem: pandemonium corralled:
a minuet après le mort and right

before the next need for another
fragile bright deduction, and the turn
before the torch to which it will
be held – yes, will be held –
yes, will be held – to burn.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

What April In New York Is

You take your bony awkwardness into the April day –
too warm for May – and yet the nearly naked trees are
barely March: well, that’s what April in New York is.
Gold scrabbles here and there: forsythia: frail runty yellow
feathers sprout from scanty soil – buttering a toss of corners
in the side-walked town: you stumble down the pavement
like a scarecrow with a tooth ache: pretty close to true.
(Another poem snatches pain from you and turns it
into point of view.) If you are to love this city you suppose

it can’t be only when the two of you are pretty, which
Lord knows, right now, my dear, you aren't. Currents lurch:
bipolar – hot/cold – devil-zephyrs from the river twiddle with
the ordinariness of people – tourists: bodies are a weight
and bother, something may be flourishing but it is not sweet
human pulchritude. The sun’s too rude, and flesh too
blank and pale and bulbous and mistaken to be taken
seriously. Mysteriously, though, you’ve got to have a taste
of it: you take your aches uptown to Central Park –

decide to walk up to the Metropolitan Museum’s art. All
the geologic outcrops! – rocks and runners! – gray
and unused to the light: squiggly growing green shoots
make it impolite to stare: they’d clearly rather not be there,
all embryonic in the glare. Damn the chronic pain of
everything! – and yet it paints a sort of wash of interest:
splinters of a prickly sensibility that keep you walking and alert
and almost happy with discomfort. Grandeur of the Met
begets its usual surreal imperial effrontery: columns,

steps and quandaries of what to look at first: but
you are on a mission to do two things: see if your sore
mouth can eat a sandwich in the cafeteria, then walk into
the Pompeii bedroom painted gold and blue and red
you caught a glimpse of on your television set that morning
from your bed. The sandwich is a bust: leaves you scowling
(the ghosts of both your wisdom teeth are howling):
but oh! – the room. Roman glory turns the page
and places you in habitable plot. Let the April day resume.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Holy War

Senses run where pain requires them:
a canker sore, for instance, eats a crater
in my tongue and multiplicities of cells
divide, synapses battle hard – catapulting
and careening to procure at least a partial
victory: a holy war: a battleground, and more,
where stings and stabs impel – belligerently
stoked to hell, indifferently relieved: a venue
for biology to rule and heave: a military
school which specializes in reconnaissance:

spy missions aimed at prodding, probing,
reconfiguring the actual and metaphoric
loins and testes of the multivalent me:
full of chromosomal pesties that convene
in their innumerable millions to consume
and generate an energy which in its roiling
wide totality sweeps here and there and there
and here and seems by chance to
gather up and find among its minds an odd
excuse for “Unity.” I’m interested in misery:

its upturned carts and frightened horses –
imminent divorces and ramshackle jerry-built
solutions lasting for an hour or two before
resorting to yet more rash slapdash plastering
of holes in walls against at least a tiny
portion of its fright. My soft sore tissue
will cry out today and through the night
and on into another dawn: perhaps until a war
it wants to think is holy radiates some whiff
of an aroma of a possibility it could be won.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Present State of the Wreckage

There is no pretty way to die.
But let’s not make a dirge of it.
The galvanizing urge that governs
comfortable sentience is remarkably

resourceful: weaves right to and through
the tiniest of breathing threads.
My father’s gaze retained a hazily alluring
light throughout his last act of dementia

which quite put the lie to it: soft flicker
in a puppy’s eye, too full of ingenuity
and yearning to mistake for anything
but something living, burning, still

determined: turning in the heavens
like a glowing sphere. He was,
I have to think, still ‘here,’ beyond
the point of knowing it through

calculable evidence. I roll and nap
and moan a little, like an old hound
dog: April sun arrives: connives
with me to rise. I bumble toward

this opportunity to stir: get up,
and take three Advil with a maple
yogurt drink. (Another poem blinks
obliquely at my mouth.) Pain, like death,

is the defining thing: like North suggests
a South, a dark against which one
might bring a sharper sense of sense.
My dense slow doggy body

and its mild strained distress allows,
I guess, a point of view. How much
rubble do I see from it? Popping like
a bubble, conscious life is far less

tethered to the wreckage than I vacantly
imagined it would be when I was
twenty. Now, with all its mottled wide
variety of shadow, is my plenty.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bad Sonnet Made Me Do It*

I don’t feel too good.
(I wrote a senseless sonnet.)
My mouth hurts, as it would,
since surgeons set upon it

yesterday to wrench
two teeth out in an hour.
(My sonnet has a stench
I really ought to scour

away.) But here I am –
inordinately fine:
that is, I’m on the lam,
refuse to show one sign

of being out of sorts:
an obfuscating renegade
(and expert in such sports
as having now just made

a sonnet that’s so bad
one surely ought to ban it) –
I huddle in my pad
and cut a card to scan it –

it came from someone dear
who knows me very well –
(forgives when I get queer –
and sonnetize from hell):

funny how, in pain,
I seem to rant in rhyme
(my sonnet shows the strain):
at least I’m beating time:

well, no: not really beating it
but falling into trance –
and stirring up and heating it
until it does a dance.

One could go on like this, of course
but one ought to eschew it.
One’s cart is now before one's horse
(bad sonnet made me do it).


*Fro to To

Obverse, re-observed: please let's pursue it! –
if to understand reserved objection
is the job that it would take to do it –
through the leads we'll need, reverse subjection:

strive for different sorts of altered meanings

than we can abide through this aborted
blind attempt to figure out the gleanings
of the silly creatures who’ve cavorted

'round this circus. Please let our final point

be neither to uncover who’s to blame
nor to identify that finer joint
that links his lonely spirit to his name.

Recite this sonnet backwards: “fro” to “to.”

(Oh, never mind. Still won’t make sense to you.)


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pheasant Teeth

The only prescience we can claim –
by “we” we mean the evanescent army
at the center of “me” we can almost name –
is something not dissimilar to knowing this:
all history is present and accounted for:
its agony and bliss. A pheasant under
glass is simultaneously pheasant egg,
denuded carcass, pleasant feast:
a birdie birth, a harrowing experience

of being hunted, shot, and roasted:
propped onto a plate. Another tasty date
with destiny. We will be a kind of pheasant
under scrutiny today: two wisdom
teeth will be extracted from our beak
and probably we’ll feel a little weak.
But we are every feather we have ever been
and yet another shading in the portrait
of us for which we have sat, will sit

and sit again, should only add another bit
of interest. Too many things are right
to want to change them. We shall hang on
‘til each tooth of wisdom we once thought
we had has been plucked out: replaced
with pleasant pheasant feathers ground
back to a dusty genesis of star.
(Convoluting loops? – distraction from
extraction? That’s the way we are.)


Monday, April 14, 2008

The Full Fat Lap of Latitude

Astringency! – sharp psychic condiment –
Szechuan-hot zap – should set you on the track:
you need a greater crack at the ecstatic

than a soft-scratched back: though that might
start the right contractions in the psyche
and the groin to which you’re damned if you

will not conjoin the Universe. Here’s the lovely
and exasperating curse, and challenge –
to unhinge your sensibility just to that point

of receptivity which knows to swallow whole –
and yet remain as calm and bright and malleable
as gold: to be the thing that zings so hard

and fast you can’t begin to chart its crafty
brash trajectory – wed to the warm, soft metal
of a sweet refectory of soul: where everyone

sits down to eat and licks the bowl. Madness:
meet your everlasting comfort. You want
absolutely all of it today: scattered hot sparks

from that sexy sweating smithy at the forge,
engorging you with fire and his kickass attitude –
all residing in the full fat lap of latitude.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Weather

“Nobody ever talks to me about the weather.” Quentin Crisp

Well, it’s this way, see.
The consternating sea of
psychic surreality in me suggests
the thing to be is something
rude as public pee and suave
as just the right degree
of ripened brie. But oh! – here
comes the storm, and everything
feels warm and wrong, as if
a sore suggestibility were
worming up to underscore

each longing one had trampled
on as if it weren’t crucially
excruciating: now a Spring rain
falls and cleanses everything
and I smell like a vinyl baby
doll all sweet and talcum-
powdered: clean and slick as cream.
(Sweetheart, this is not a dream.)
Snow is the precisely right
experience for us today: something
to envelop in soft clouds of cold,

to stop us from this dastardly
biology that makes us hot
and wet and fosters mold.
But now the Summer rules again,
and we are back where we were
when we started this. Kissed
by a profusion of humidities
all over our extremities: pickled
in a prickling sweat – numb as sin,
and feather-fine. But come
on in, the weather’s fine.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Something in Sleep

Awakened: I make it to four o’clock: pre-
dawning morning: decide that the new day
is now. Sleep is a hickory-dickery dock –
swerving and blocking, it scoops up
and gathers a smatter of gorse flowers, here

and there over the heath of my night: I start –
and alight for a moment – then slip down
again: more curving oblivion bids me return
to the moors: barren Scotland – stark heath
of a consciousness – ah, but the dream’s

not the point – something less fathomable
seems to want to anoint: blur the distinctions
between being here, being there, being now,
being then: what, where and when have
a tentative bumbling relation to how:

whiffling and tumbling and swishing away

and then back: it’s hard to tell fullness
from lack. Here’s what I think may be cracking
the egg: perhaps I am able at last to
renege on this white-knuckled grasping:

achieve some deliverance from my tight grip
on one bit of an anything lasting. Cool
and delicious moon glow – a solicitous
throw of illumining softness: bright-lit.
Whatever it lights is what lights it.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Here's What Baffles Me

Poems carve a rocky unavailing path:
cut a swath from jabberwocky to the joke,
from elegy to lusting limerick. I poke
as if there were an overwhelming realm
beyond the visible: a notion, now, I wonder
if I shouldn’t think was risible; but that
would be another joke – another poke –

one more provisional conclusion: an illusion.
Here’s what baffles me: why sometimes

I can ride the surf and feel like there’s
no finish to a thing – and other times
I sink into a turf of quicksand: nothing
here but empty end. Sometimes, darling,
in the Teflon of your temperament it’s even

worse: I think that I will slide – nay, shoot –
into a point of vanishing so small that it
will be as if nobody ever was at all. How
does one devise a way to feel alive with you?
You look as if it ought to be a breeze.
But though I seethe and try to see
and seize you with my poetries, we freeze.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Biology Lesson at the Ansonia

What one understands about the grand Ansonia,
that opulently belle époque stone pile of
an apartment house proclaiming the civility
of New York City’s upper west side Broadway
neighborhood – the side that sides with
academics and musicians and the toniest
of homeless schizophrenics (observation, this;
not diatribe) – is, much before all else, that

it is large; and that despite its putti-covered
cornucopia-rid shelves and tiers and balustrades,
it has to do what every creature – never mind
how gorgeously elaborate a public face
it may possess – must do: evacuate its waste,
eject excess: take an unimpeded dump.
Now, we’re not talking politesse here: this huge
ogress of an edifice, all sagging cheeks and jowls,

has untold tons to pass through her inevitably
massive grinding bowels. A Bunyanesque
trash truck takes root each Thursday morning
to collect with giant double-dumpster bins
let down and lifted up with heavy metal arms,
as if to thudding beats of constipated Brahms:
a slow and complicated choreography of
dark blue steel containers groaning under

the innumerable sacks of garbage that this lady
must discard each week – well, let’s just say
you’d better take another route to get through
to the Hudson River if you want to take a leak –
but if you’re there, do take a peek. Seldom are
we bidden so dramatically to pause and to reflect
on the impossibility of being circumspect about
biology. To or fro, even grand ladies gotta go.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On Throwing the Telephone Out

Let’s not be oblique.
Your trendy cell phone’s chic –
but are you blindly riding it into the Zeitgeist –
unwittingly the victim of the heist
to which the culture periodically subjects
its hapless denizens?

Aw, shmenizens.

You like it.
You like it a lot.
In fact, if it were flesh
you’d mesh with it
employing every last delicious method
of a conjugation that the two of you
could conjure up.
Things would get steamy.
And creamy.

But now you face
your dusty and abandoned landline
left without a single course
to follow, and you swallow –
feel remorse.

You’re hardly being rash.
But it’s sad to throw a pet out
in the trash.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

3 Everything's - 3 Never's

Let’s make the wild assumption
that we both know everything about
each other and we know we know we know.

Let’s go to all the edges we can see
or think of – stay at each for several blinks –
and then befuddle with a dash to other brinks:

don’t miss that odd ironic darting eyebrow –
or the faintly rushing pink suffusing cheek
of having been precisely caught precisely

where we hoped we might be caught –
that lightning glance that takes in all –
that glorious ebullient fantasy you grab at

like a golden apple – just before the fall.
And honey, there’ll be falls to put Niagara
out of joint. The point for us, my sweetness,

is to bargain everything against the certainty
that we are wrong about – well, everything
we long for. But never mind: let’s take

too much and risk the whole, and keep
each other hopping, never stop for longer
than an accident of rhyme. Let’s wrestle

with the terror in the gut that says we got
the whole thing backwards and we never
will be satisfied with one last time.


Monday, April 7, 2008

A Perfect Little Fiefdom

It surely wouldn’t have so peeved
the man if someone hadn’t burped
just at the dénouement – just as
he had marshaled nearly all his
massively interior resources into voice:
a plummy transmutation of the vaguer,

darker chambers of the heart into
an intellectually ripe, defensibly
configured tight compartment that
rejoiced in its felicities of wise, right
choice. He wouldn’t quite so much
have minded if precisely at the moment

that he reached his exegetic coda’s
dawn, he hadn’t heard that groaning
yawn – and if when he had gathered
up his delicacies of apportioned
meaning, touched with metaphoric
scent so subtle one had had to strive

to something like the live condition
of a prayer to dare to fathom
what exactly he had meant, there
hadn’t been distinct regurgitative
noises in the back, uncivilly intended
to distract. A perfect little fiefdom is

what he had lacked, and sought,
and fought to build with his alluring
whispered words – aligned and shined
and burnished on his finest, highest
mental shelf. Odd, the audience one
had to wrangle with within oneself.


Sunday, April 6, 2008


At six-fifteen on Sunday evening,
April sixth, Two-thousand-eight, while
cleaning out my coffee-maker in

the sink, I looked up from the running
tap and realized I’d lost my fear
of death. I can’t think how to give

the depth and breadth of it in any
other way than this: to say that it seemed
simply true that one day I would lose

my view and then skidoo. The coffee-
maker waits for me to push its button,
dawn, tomorrow – but there's no pain

or sorrow at my certainty one morning
it will wait in vain. If I should die
before I wake, not a thing will quake.

You’ll go on and I will not. And then there’ll
come a day or night when you won’t
either. Sit with me: let's take a breather.


Night Life of the Pennsylvania Dutch

In the night life of the Pennsylvania Dutch,
bundling was once, is sometimes still, the way
to trundle one’s ungovernably blazing fires
into touch and sway with someone you desired:
human duo on a mattress pillowed to allow
a mumbling stumble of the intimate to lodge
between, against soft layers of a flannel barrier

enforcing chastity: talk and touch, permitted –
naked skin: too much – taboo; wanting would be
muffled – stuffed – into the burning caverns
of the two of you. We are not unlike a bundled
couple, kept from coitus: for us, a barnyard
whiff of essence wafts indifferently into our cage:
promised delectations of the thing outside

so irresistible that finally we rage at being thwarted,
and the walls are clawed, pulled down: our fine
deliverance from full abandonment aborted:
passion’s pyroclastic flow sears ass to ash.
Why not take a breather in the bed, detect
the larger loveliness instead? Perhaps the good
life doesn’t mean you get a thing, but rather

bids you bring a bundling to every swing
of contradicting sense: thus stand to find
the recompense of wrestling paradoxes into all
their wacko parts – find their unrelated hearts.
Then, lightly musing on this elemental feud, praise
right use of plenitude. Maybe bundling answers
in its harbor-fleece. Might lend a kind of peace.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Perpendicularity at 5:00 on a Saturday Afternoon







Friday, April 4, 2008

The Chase, Cut To

There is no time,
and everything’s
hungry for God.

While I know we
should fill out
the gauzy peripheries,

I’m on the tip of
a whip cracking
out so unslippably

quick and miraculously
that I can’t catch
my breath to say

more. But we’ll
entertain the galore
of the rest when

we get to it: watch it
undress itself
grandly – enticing

eternity out of
each nipple and
thumb: and from

then on, my darlings,
you cannot play
dumb. Sing cosmic

rhyme and sever
yourselves from
each lumbering clod.

There is no time,
and everything’s
hungry for God.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Prep for a Poetry Reading

My friend Donna
asked me, “Will your
poems have a theme?”

“Sex, New York and food
and death,” I guessed
would be the team.

“Ah,” she said, “of course!” –
when she had heard me
shoot that wad.

Clearly I’d meant God.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today we'll make sense.

Today we’ll make sense.
Though amassing ingredients needed

to knead and to ball up a sensible dough
and to bake the result

to right point of done
is never a whole lot of fun.

I’ve had my fill
of this bill

of fare.
But there’s

nothing to do
but to stir something new –

consume –
and construe.

I don’t know that the answer
might not be to flip off the edge

of the Earth, and have done with this
business of dying and birth.

But the lungs fill
and everyone’s hungry again.

Today we’ll make sense
but I can’t tell you when.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You Say "Shoo!"

Your sweet urgency needs room,
requires optimal fandango music:
floor and light and something
like a tiny fright to keep
you glistening: employed
with just the sort of tug-of-war
that I’d enjoy with you – that lovers do –

fresh from the shower, fighting for
the power, pulling on towels.
You are mahogany with dowels:
you feel the damp and sometimes
cramp with a humidity
that sometimes issues out of me:
your precious wood expands

and shrinks precisely in proportion
to the drinks I foist on you
from my importunately pouring
soul. You need a latitude
surrounding you: you wish me out
of your meshed circuitry. You are
a Chippendale settee that dances

naked Chippendale cha-chas around
the hungry denizens of your purview,
like me. I descend to the impossible
shenanigan of the attempt
to climb you like a tree, and merely
rhyme nonsensically. You
living thing, you singing lesson,

hoochy-koochy dancer, piece of
gleaming furniture, you jockstrapped
stud who models in the sea of
my proclivities: indecipherability:
perfect antidote: bipolar antelope;
you John Donne flea that intimately
sucks my essence and infects,

and hexes. You are the Other who
perplexes: you convince me
of the number Two. I am
in orbit ‘round your gravity –
yet moving slowly out into the space
whose blankness adumbrates
the mystery of you. You say “shoo!”