Friday, October 31, 2008

Alas, They Aren't Me

Everybody says she’s big and loud!
Whom could they be speaking of? My city
is a whispered privacy – a secret intimacy
known between diaphanous sweet clouds
of sheets in the retreats of her and my
shared beds – she sheds her coverings
and rolls and lazes naked, interleaves herself
seductively – when she is in the mood
for a caress: though sometimes frets
and moons and undermines my longed-for
rest with scattered natterings and perturbations –

like a whiny teen or nervous pet – jabbing,
biting, squirming and expressing her regret
about the whole of everything: that is, when
she is not the soul of levity – to me, at least,
who finds her snickering (again!) in all
the cabinets of my proclivities. And then –
of course – albeit in odd circumstances –
solo, silent, dim – she grows the requisite
appurtenance and turns into a strapping him.
All this behind our scrim. I guess nobody
else can see. Alas, they aren’t me.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Funky Monkey on My Back

I want extremities of you – each propagating
aching sweetness and each witty acid assiduity –
I’d eat your silly aimless jokes – which poke like very

little children, absently, at Christmas, through
their snap-and-crinkle wrapping on the floor – mildly
searching through the mess for more: so many small

and sour souls, like meager poems, strangling in
their overwrought and killing carapaces, vie for space –
retard your pace – and for a tiny virulence of moment

almost blot your numinosity of face – while you
in secret but complete dimensional exposure spy
upon the scene beneficently with a just-imaginable

grace – so full of light and humor that your scent
wafts like a rumor through the room to cause
involuntary swooning: you are flooding, looming in

my heart like the impossibility of art – divine life-blood
through human artery – a flow so suddenly a part
of me – so freely darting from your strange electric

mesh of being into something so completely freeing –
that to say one thing about it is to lack. Too abstract.
You are the funky monkey on my back.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Interspecies Kinship

You’ve opened up an unplanned stretch of days –
you can’t complain what fills them – you
celebrate the ways disturbances and spills
from unaccustomed sources and degrees
of unapologetic interruption – edgy dramas bursting

out of taxis, sighing yellow-greens of dying
late October leaves, and clamorously loud
Latina teens – make you expend quick spasms
of abrupt attention: lends a strange and funny ease
to the proceedings you would not have thought

to think could be. And now, abounding on another
sidewalk brink – the doorway of an upper-west-side
grade school – you encounter a menagerie: nine
animals from some availing farm with whom you feel
an interspecies kinship: a couple mallard ducks,

a pig, a sheep, two chickens and a goat and a duet
of ponies who devote their funky selves (hooeee
they smell!) to the prospective entertainment
of a group of kindergarten kids still in their classrooms,
walls apart, inside. As all the birds and mammals

burrow blissfully in straw and seed and feed,
in which they’ve snorted, quacked and chirped
and peed – and even as they stink up half a block
of New York street – you can’t not think this business
of an unplanned stretch of days is sweet.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Reach back, in time, in tenderness,
to try to capture even one reflected flick
of light in those sweet suddenly remembered

eyes: to bring it up and forward, here,
right now: enclose its tiny globe of fire – whirring
and aloft – inside your cool cupped palms.

Breathe on it – ignite it into softly blazing
psalm: lucency to saturate the atmosphere –
as silky-bright and intimate as any mother’s

whisper in an infant’s ear: we are, my dear,
the progeny of everything, and all we’ve
got to do to notice it again is render whole

and absolute the smallest recollected
aspect of the heart. It is an art to which we,
each of us, if secretly, completely know the inner

and entwining and combining road. Unload
yourself, and look again into the mode
of those sweet suddenly remembered eyes –

be unafraid to wed their past, first mirrored
in a looking glass: be brave: pursue their
lures. Those remembered eyes are yours.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A Private Blue

Assuming, as I am today disposed to do,
that there’s no reason not to think
whatever we would like to think is true,
I have decided that you trade in an ephemeral

but incontestable exasperating magic which
creates the cloud that you inhabit and accrue
by simply being you: that you in any other
context – Idaho or Timbuktu – would be as

inexpressibly uniquely new as you seem now.
Every day I look and see what seems to be
the recognizably colluding is-and-what-and-how
of you: contours that depict familiar outlines

and announce your various peculiarities
and unmistakable phenomena – no doubt
of whom I’m looking at – that catch of shadow
in that angled face – inveterate elusive

bluish pinkish muscularity which makes
a parody of cherubim, invokes a camaraderie
with poltergeists and demons whose
deft steaming sweet shenanigans will

never be denied: every day I see the slide
into the mystery of how you claim complete
autonomy – dimensionally here in every way –
and yet with some strange inexplicability:

there is a crucial floating thread in you
connected to an answer in your heart – or so
I am assuming, as today I am disposed to do –
which drifts astray into a private blue.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Please Mozart

One sidles up to precipices
hoping not to hope for anything –
which is of course the trap.
Enlightenment’s too slippery for that.
Let’s summon some omniscient
being – plead for it outright –
proceed on the assumption

that we need not dread the night
which at the least is merely darker
than the day, and at the most
provides somewhere imaginative
we might roast our apprehensions –
steel them into raging fear –
to use them, later, cavalierly – spear

our broccoli with their sharp tines:
recite whatever fateful lines
we thought we never ought to say.
I’ve practiced just enough this
morning to believe my fiddle might
survive a concert planned today.
Please Mozart: let it play.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Dose of Dark October Afternoon

I crave a dose of dark October afternoon –
and right on cue penumbral mysteries accrue:
a yellow-gray-green shimmer coalesces into
soft-toward-evening brown: constrains and paints
the outdoor light and splays its theater ‘round
the purview that my third-floor view affords of this

strange-witted-winded city: anguished pleasure
ravages each tender fiber of the weave; it gives me
leave to think I might relieve the painful part of it,
dive deeper into some unspoken promise – whose
familiarity astonishes – its complex singularity,
its deeply shadowed face; I’ve found it in this

place, outside a balcony of inner sight from which
I lean to linger: pregnant with half-brightness –
windows outside, here, right here, precisely where
they ought to be, and are, for me. Manhattan skies
cry: ancient rain: I am concatenated in the chain:
a link. Nothing in this fading glow is out of sync.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Its Pent-Up and Innumerable Noses

There’s this, at least: the promise of a raging feast
tonight when consciousness supplies itself
with overdue replies to its own backed-up urgencies:
goes deep into the sleep of which – because
it didn’t get to bed on time – it was deprived last night:

glassed tight away from mystery because the body
couldn’t get beyond the window of Imagination’s
baby trees into its propagating forest: all it had
the chance to nibble at were trembles of the murmurs
of the barest rim of REM before it had to rise –

and then regale the waking world again: it’s clear that
this strange system needs its magic data generously
gathered and deployed in secret buoyant solitude –
the meekest and most ostentatious voluble
of temperaments which simmer and eventuate their

tastes within each singularity of self must boot their
little butts right off the shelf into the dark and play
their versions of uninterrupted and unyielding day:
pour wishes into dishes so to have their way
and swallow everything; what follows then?:

a necessary severing: a being newly born, resuscitated –
once again allowed its chow of private sweet
psychosis. Tonight I’ll laze into the requisite new
crazinesss and stay there ‘til my psychic zone has
adequately blown its pent-up and innumerable noses.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Maze of the Middle-Aged Manhattan Man

Coordinating disparately physical appurtenances –
arms and teeth and tongue and hair and groin and knees –
meshing secret autonomic systems with volitionally

biological uncertainties: managing to be the body you
appear to have to be despite the matter-free exorbitantly
insubstantial dream you have of your imagined essence:

thus to try thereby to oversee the large phenomenon
of that collective state of what you sometimes find
you cannot not refer to trepidatiously as “me” –

the Condoleezza-Rice-ness of the thing! – where
inexplicable negotiations stand to bring about a global
shattering: here’s what not to not prepare to do today –

you ranging strange cacophony: you object of your own
subjective scrutiny: you wandering collusion of refusal
and extremity – make sure you’re near somewhere to pee.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Little Fantasy for Afternoon

Let the vagrant sifting quantities of tune
that pale October light suggests as it begins
to tumble towards the night bestow their

strange alluring modal breaths – occluding
expectations – framing inner sight: so that
what starts to fill you up is something like

the brightness that the blind might conjure
in the mind as they begin to find that somewhere
in the Universe exists experience of seeing.

Shut your eyes; revise your last reflex
assumption: make oblique departure from
the usual compartments of your being:

then deploy a dab of the immensity of this
unnatural dimension like a rub of paint
upon a bristling tiny splice of space and time:

and watch the strip expand into the size
of some great silver rhyme as it might glitter
in the galaxy-large hand of an insuperably

brilliant god. Ride the soaring creature back
through your thin soft façade. Re-enter your
reality. Take fresh note of what you see.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How Are You?

only knows.
Just fine, you would suppose.

Half-assed self-assessment? – pusillanimous examination? –
safety far too much the aim? – why not analyze
the game to shreds? Maybe you’ve
developed an affection

for illusions
and warm

(and cavalierly arbitrary spacing, shapes, line-lengths): who’s
to say it doesn’t take less strength to play the rebel
than the steadfast man who diddles

through his middle age
without a startling

the deal has more
to do with consciousness of endings
than with bending a convention solely for the thrill. You bent

your contours more than anybody else you know
now long enough ago that who but
you could care? Others pour;
perhaps you spill.

But your
whole life’s
a dare. You bet it daily on
a certainty: that you will

learn the what and why
and where: not stop
until the Lord is
not the only

one who

are you?

Just fine, you
would suppose.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Violin and Bow on Couch

We contemplate
the violin again –
its onerous familiar

impasse and sadistically
seductive lure: it lies,

upon the couch, all
involuted curve and line,
as if it were a verb

whose animating spine
was inaccessible to
any lexicon or grammar

to which I, today, at any rate,
would seem to be inclined.
I’d like to take a hammer –

and – well, no.
Instead, we’ll contemplate
the bow. Tonight I am

to lead a section
of first violins
in Mozart: bounce

and sway – allay
all fear: let jaunty
little flicks and shoots

and arabesques
befriend a guest conductor’s
hopeful ear. Oh dear.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Their Titles and Their Jackets and Their Spines

Their titles and their jackets and their spines
lean up against each other: patient lines
of suitors gather dust.
My books retain relation to a trustless part of me –
I pick them up promiscuously:

welcome more the prospect
of what they might be
than the reality
of holding them
and turning pages

and engaging too inertly
in their printed lives. I wonder if this
bears a clue to why I cannot
seem to work a way to stay –
abide – with you: do the striving living glows

of me fear chapter headings
will depose them? – cool their heat?
Be in rapture with my bedding and my meat
for moments: yes! But afterwards, my darling:
please get dressed.

Should I tell you what I wish
that I could give,
or you could grant?
I wish I could.
I can’t.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Illusion You'd Dispel

If every day you practiced living large –
refused to feel or do or be without
a charge and stab at grabbing at
and barging into reeling contexts
and kaleidoscope-particularities –

you’d find that when you got a cold
and traveled with it through its ravages
and steep ravines and toxic jungles
into all the desolations of its alpine
isolations – and then fully undertook its

harrowing hilarities – surrendering
your being to its vast varieties of sneeze –
alertly rode the thing to its sweet
whizzing soft conclusion – one illusion
you’d dispel is that a cold is only hell.


Friday, October 17, 2008

NYC - 10/17/08 - 3:43 p.m.

Sun glare – shattered bright October light
breaks over sofa-boulders of upholstery: strange
to be in such embarrassingly intimate proximity
to this autumnal mystery: haunting disembodied
bongos bop and boom from far across the park;

from the kitchen: Mozart on the radio, a plaintive
oboe commandeering a concerto, as if doing so
were quite the same as bopping bongos in
the park: sun glare – blaring easy and enticing
rhymes – dare and care and bare and swear:

something wild playing Mozart on the bongos in
the sun-glare makes me wonder what would make
me think I couldn’t? All week I’ve been beat up
by flu. Today, all day, at last, instead, rare daring
New York City: I succumb, again, to you.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


New Age shysters! – playing on your hunger
for a revelation: promising three secret codes
that will reveal the next important thing to be
or do or feel: whom you’ll love forever, who’s a heel –
who’s your savior – enemy – assorted mystic
shapes and smells and flavors, message-laden
colors and innumerable numerologies: hypnotizing
you with irresistibility: claiming you can tease
the answer out by choosing blue to wear today

(including hat). But who knows more than that?
Who’s to say that anybody else has any better way
to weigh what will or ought to be, or should,
or could, or must? Quantum physics leaves you
in the similarly unavailing dust. Today I think I’ll lay
myself upon a dream of broken pillows and discard
my appetites – each, one by one, for poetry,
for sex, for food, for Judy Garland, and for
fathoming Eternity. Please do not awaken me.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quite a View

No one teaches much
beyond the thisses
and the thats
that constitute
discovering a basic
engineering of the thing.

You’re the one
who has to make it sing.

When did its logistics
cease to be of such
intimidating interest?
How were they replaced by this?

As if the problem
of a kiss were lips!

The apparatus
flaps its little wings
and meshes its
voluptuously complicated gears
and leaves you dangling
off a tiny threaded screw.

Quite a view.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cosmological Bowling

If this thing we’re in
has no beginning
and no end,
no center, and no edge,
it doesn’t seem as if
we’d ever have
to hedge our bets:
infinity is on our side:
distances are moot:
there is no time:
and size can’t matter.

So why not grasp
this relatively simple platter
of a task and fill it
only with the readily
accessible: just those
importuning blasts
and hints and aspects,
flows and throes
and causes and effects
which alter our particular
peculiar beings –

then concoct
from them beliefs
that serve a goal.
We are, it would appear,
already whole.
All we have to do
is constitute the pins
and set them up,
contrive a ball that
fits our fingers,
aim, and bowl.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Some Storms Go On

Inside your viral fog
you dream of clarity –
some habitable sense –
some softly bright interiority:

the grace of something
you imagine waits for you
beyond that fence –
that blurry line

that you’ve espied ahead
which may define the spine
of some raw incarnation –
indistinct –

but whose propinquity to you –
kinship and proximity –
visually viscerally pulses –
beckoning –

wavering and vacillating –
mere creation
of your cold?
How wrong to call it “cold”

when all is warm in this
encompassingly buffered
swarm of consciousness –
the baby of a low-grade fever –

infantile and craving.
Thunders butt and sigh.
You wonder what and why.
There are those whom you have loved

who are as far away from you as they
were near: which is to say,
unfathomably gone.
Some storms go on.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

October Archangel

He dwells inside, outside, around,
beyond the body: in its smells
and spells and heavens, hells – he buys
exactly what it sells, no matter what

the price: he lives on spoonfuls of his own
advice (mildly spiced): and gains by
tabulating – taking note – of every
photon his bright sighs reflect

in startled pleasure-stricken eyes –
passersby who do not know exactly
why he moves them – but are moved
so deeply and so permanently that

he ceases to exist as mutable and living
creature – and becomes instead
an indisputable imaginative feature
of the private mind – an intimate idea –

a find – an antidote to fear: embodied
category of existence which appears
to prove there is a reason after all.
He personifies the Fall, exactly at this

moment, now, when the eschatological
October light begins to alter into new
and unexaminable brightness –
flaming from the strange obliquity

of angled rays of sun that signal
there is such a thing as welcoming
the End of Days. When you're bereft –
when nothing’s left – he is what you praise.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Head-On Poem

Say the thing outright:
Shun all sham and crudity:
Weigh the day and night:
banish ambiguity:

link your facts together:
give them their clear due:
whether some dove’s feather
tickles you to new

unforeseen perspectives
or a heavy gloom
adds its dark directives,
give the creature room:

let it flex its arms:
or (as apt) its wings:
promulgate its charms:
‘til the outcome brings

something like a coda
to the silly quest:
like an ice cream soda
dumped into a nest

would disrupt a sleeping
little starling chick:
setting it to peeping –
choking in the thick

unexpected deluge:
make the thing resist
any sort of refuge:
then, please God, desist.


Friday, October 10, 2008


Hell is a very mixed bag.
So is its stepbrother, Heaven.
(Calculate infinity –
multiply by seven –

generously spread the answer
out like thick sweet jam –
take the quickest lick of it,
and belch a grand KA-BAM!

Feel the dimensional
gastrointestinal difference?)
Heaven’s a hint –
Hell is an inference.

We think we are wise
as we hem and we haw –
but we’re fogging the windows:
we jettison awe

from the central equation
we can’t seem to solve
in which Heaven and Hell
meet, tongue-kiss, and dissolve.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Big Couch Pillows

I wrap my legs around one cushion
like the barrel body of a horse –
squeeze the other mutha to my chest
as if the only course left open to me
were to wrestle its upholstery
until it buckled in remorse for all
my patchiness of sleep last night –
wedge my head into the third and try

to make it feel like bed – and wonder
if it’s age or undirected rage against
the weirdness of existing that’s persisted
in refusing me the outlet of the inlets,
rivulets and tributaries into which I do
delight in somnolently pushing my canoe
from waking life’s embarcadero:
oh, I know that there’s no separation

really: this stiff steely rack of facts that
passes for “reality” is quite as much
a shifty sham as spreading Morpheus'
drugged jam on bedtime bread: a matter
of degree, one must agree, between
one brand of consciousness
and any other. But oh, I miss the warm
embrace and taste of buttery affection

that one relishes from indirection –
sweet relaxing through to that true swoony
alpha state which proffers dreams:
those bloomy creamy cloudy billows
to the kiss of which the soft
irrationality of big couch pillows
might just bring me round. Come on,
you big fat babies: take me down.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What You Do

Kick my butt –
flip the switch –
tip the balance –
make it twitch –

that’s what
you do,
my little

Big Bang
shrapnel! –
you’d bring sassafras
to hell

and turn it into
root beer
and lose me
in the foam.

Point your gun
and shoot, dear:
cart my flat
ass home.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Irremediably Here

As if through indiscriminately wanton and unfeeling
grace, an overcast October lifts its shade – and all
New York is an uncomfortable brightness. You sit across
from glamorously green-gold sunlight in the windows –
glad to be inside. Notions of what’s outer, inner
won’t subside: they spin and glow into dichotomy:

a specious clarity: all’s surely one: but truth to tell,
you do seem irremediably here, and every other felt,
imagined, thought, observed perception’s there
you’re ancillary even to the air: objectified, as if you were
an ornament that someone had decided, bored, to hang –
to see if how you dangled helped the general décor.

Isolated in a hardened decorated shell a kind
of liquid core repels all possibility of contact: to crack
your hide would spill you, kill you. Or so the idea
of accepting any more than you are clutching to your
heart right now can’t help but strike you. Oh, sweet
dark desolate and frightened man! Take my hand.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Airy Worlds

The rush of meaning for today
began to be conveyed
at dawn by a tumultuously
undecided regiment
of stormy cloud – all proudly
puffed for war but barreling

into the blue – askew –
and screwing up whatever
it had meant to do: and then
more inner atmospheric
turpitude than I can name
usurped what I might otherwise

have gained in calm reflection:
all insisting I succumb more
consciously to air – in all its rare
and rude and daring
and unprepossessing forms:
I drank a “Dr. Pepper,” burped,

then sneezed, then felt a swarm
of heartburn bubble jazz me:
gas from an internal furnace
whose more usually balanced
give-and-take received a shake
from chemically reacting

circumstance, and fate:
gaseous states, above, below,
replace capacity for thought:
today all macro-micro-cosmic
winds must blow – let airy
worlds be wrought!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Day After Eden

Hit to kill: punch, kick and grapple:
consequence of that damned apple –
teaches that the light can blight;
what else is left to do but fight? –

what else, when everything we face
completely lacks the saving grace
of one unquestioned mind, which now
has fractured into question?: how

on Earth can we begin to claim
the sense embodied? Heaven’s name
is nothing but syllabic stew –
a bad joke stand-in for the true –

forgotten in the heart remain
dim vestiges of that lost strain
of melody which we once sang –
or thought we did. What awful clang

beats, clamors to possess the ear?
Put up your fists and swing at fear –
but you’re too spent. Here is the cry:
the moment you are born, you die.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Love That Didn't Happen

Our fragile synchronicities
come undone:
the tenderest of entities –
dreamed as one –

now trembles to a slumber – not
something free
to waken, but a little clot –
travesty –

imagined feelings – gone astray –
ground to dust –
abandoning us – blown away
in a gust –


Friday, October 3, 2008


On having just seen “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist”

As if it had to shovel up a brand new sexy teenhood –
yet again, again – for its own chronic delectation –
blasted ever-prematurely from the pod – the Zeitgeist
feeds and feeds upon each of its endlessly emerging
tenderest selves: an Ouroboros whose infinity is form:
a solipsistic circularity of swallowing each swift velleity:
the whim of tight or baggy pants; the shaved or bearded

face; the wrap of leather, lace; the taste for hiphop homie
belted jeans which start below the butt-cheeks; artfully
messed hair bespeaking “bed” – which to the fifteen-
year-old fantasizing head says: “Can’t stop having sex”
the bright expected leaping deliquescing fleetness
of the “chic” – the squeak of dying fashion and fascistic
blind adherence to the new – the scintillating hot hormonal

stew it heats and stirs up, serves and eats, regurgitates:
oh I am absolutely true to my sweet Ouroboros:
my East Village pet – I look around and see three decades
of my own reflection in its ever-curling and revolving
festival of sex: you see that brief divinity of boy-man
speeding like a blur and getting swallowed by the sea
of Seventh Street and Avenue B? That was me.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Limbic System Aria

The interest of the thing lies buried in the scent –
a limbic system aria –
intensely reeling – as if every sense were rent
by rutting dogs – one terrier

of which remains behind, keen to investigate
more of its wanton glory –
to press his snout against its fleshed alluring bait
to ferret out its story;

relishing descent appears to offer cure –
as if an archaeology
of sensuality were needed to inure
us to the dark biology

that underlies each atavistic tug and flex
which through the eons seem to be
as close as God can get to us: through sentient sex’
olfactory hyperbole.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Subtle Hell of It

Some people sweeten life –
they feel the swell of it and let it in.
I felt the subtle hell of it, I thought,
today, when I woke up and cupped
the flattened breasts of two small

sweat-damp feather pillows in my
hands as if they’d died – dead
from too much head. They seemed,
in fact, to have subsided toward
the end of pillow-hood. A fellow could,

I would suppose, do worse than I have
done: sustaining wonder at my sundry
stumblings into opportunities for fun
and sorrow, lust and art, evincing
fairly loving interest in varieties

of heart, and not entirely begrudged
expulsions of the substances
that kill and choke (no longer drink,
do drugs, or smoke): my curiosities
are generally fresh: my fascination

with the blunt enigmas of the flesh
do lively daily battle with the utter
foolish transport of the soul: I think
I’ve often filled the bowl: but I know
people who have sweetened life:

who take it whole and give it back
as if each brush with it were ecstasy.
Perplexed to see I couldn’t see,
today, I pushed the thing away.
It seems a reason one might pray.