Sunday, November 30, 2008

Spaced Out

“We are limited in our understanding…”

solipsisms passing for profundity

“… of these things…”

invade my brain

“…only to the degree…”

all day like prisoners

“…that we lack capacity…”

escaping from the Bastille

“… to understand them.”


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dulce de Leche

Swift tight harmonies – ripened apples of Corelli –
grappling fiddles shift and snap erotically
to sharp Baroque attention: how concerti grossi

can engross! I’ve got a can of Reddi-wip,
a no-mess Smucker’s plastic bottle of a caramel
sundae concoction clearly bent on topping dollops

of the Haagen Dazs dulce de leche ice cream
I sneaked out through this penultimate short
bright November day to purchase from

the supermarket: parked it requisitely in refrigerated
space – back just barely now to catch the grace
through windows of the last few glimmers left

of sunset: dark so fast! I need the glamour of Corelli
and a milky sweet repast to help me gentle out
of light into the night. Every notion that we will

not die is right, some say: but more say, wrong.
Passions lacking objects: how Corelli and November
ending and dulce de leche make one long!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Existential Dusk at 10:53 A.M. on the Day After Thanksgiving


Mrs. Jaypher

Mrs Jaypher said it's safer

If you've lemons in your head
First to eat a pound of meat
And then to go at once to bed.

Edward Lear


It’s this time, now, that seems to her a vacancy –
this biologically indeterminate vague state
which she can’t placate through the prospects

of the usual availing means: when life appears
to want to feed on something far beyond its
generally applicable hungers, needs – no form

of sex or sleep or beans with rice or playing dice
or any of that strange fastidious decorum which
sometimes proceeds from heeding Schubert

or Vermeer or Bach or Edward Lear sufficiently entice:
no human agency at all can pay the price of stalling
this bright terrifying spiral into – well, she can’t quite

say “abyss,” but rather that enduring kiss of existential
dusk which neither wakes her up entirely nor
makes her comatose – amphetamines or heroin?:

is there a soul equivalent of these expedients
that might perform the right transforming trick?
She wants wants one or the other: quick.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ball Lightning

We’d have to conjure up the meteorologically new
to render any justice to phenomena of you –
a sentient ball of cold gold lightning might just do –
some sparking dangerous and brightly massed
assortment of proclivities which offered blindingly

exasperating prospects of unprecedented blooming –
looming sometimes like a starburst into view as if
Beelzebub had just ejaculated clouds of wild rebellious
sperm all bent on skewing his dark chromosomal
demon legacy into angelic light – at odds with his

more usual determination to destroy: you are
the sort of toy a god would play with – as gods do,
I would imagine, play with you: I’d scoop you into both
my palms and drop you into some clear melon dish
and spoon you up like honeydew, and warm your

coolness in my gullet and my gut: cut you enzymatically
into manageable bits, digestible at least for tiny
sprits of moment: ‘til the mass of you fomented
irresistible resistance and got free: which would,
of course, quite mark the last and gasping end of me.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Including Me

Voluptuously slow and undulating whales prevail:
the treasures of a hungry movement through a moment
which in surfacing, descending, and resurfacing

put an infinity of lies to “journey”: everything is neither
here nor there, and there and here: dimensionally
present and accounted for by various strange measures

whose m.o. we seem to be remanded to this incarnation
not to know: sentenced by authorities we sometimes
get a glimpse and hint of in the glow of late November

early snow: those blurry flurries that will come and go,
and come again to sail and burrow through our primate
land-locked views – bemusing and inviting: “come on in,

the water’s fine!” – no matter if it’s frozen crystal or as rich
and dark as wine, the kind through which a whale
voluptuously undulates her lovely blubbered front and rear.

The Universe is made of orgasm, my dear, and you’re
a droplet in its vast eternally ejaculating sea. Remember
that when you reflect on anything, including me.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's surely not that we can't spot
some reason for a thing: most casts
of mind will find a rationale for their
proclivities: enough at least to scratch

provisionally some small itch
of worrying about why one has done
whatever one has done: but human
agency inhabits an eternity which

puts the lie to causes and effects:
one suspects one's energy is better
angled towards the votive, than
to motive: to laud, exalt and otherwise

immerse oneself in the impossibility
of being clear on being here. And yet
proscriptions make me petulant:
I sigh. I still intend to find out why.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Hard to Think, and Blink

Experience will tell you when to start or stop
or modulate response, they say, but
I am like a faulty light bulb in a sconce:
keep going out, must be replaced –
appallingly am always new, without much
clue of what or how to do what I’m supposed
to do: everything’s too fresh for my shock-

weary flesh – which may strike someone
as appealing, but they don’t know what it’s like
to bounce up off the ceiling every time
a switch is tripped: nothing doesn’t flip me
into reeling from another jolt. Electrically,
I am a dolt: must learn to cultivate a whole
new incandescent self for one small

gleam – until the next me’s quickly taken off
the shelf to try to navigate another beam.
Keep getting screwed back into my
encasement, and keep shorting out, to turn
into my next replacement. Here I am
and there I go: another blasting bright
concatenated link. It’s hard to think, and blink.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Change the Guidebook

Each drop of it contains the whole –
one taste hints broadly at the rest –
there is no need to lick the bowl
to sample both its worst and best.

Revere or loathe it as you will –
but know, whatever spot or place
you chance to stumble through will fill
your arms with a complete embrace.

Perhaps I am a prig to pull
this fine distinction from my hat,
but New York isn’t big, it’s full:
and that’s significantly that.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Post-Coital Pre-Prandial Interstice

Pragmatically one feeds oneself – finds this
or that upon the shelf to spread upon whatever
bread avails: dill pickles would be nice

(their phallic shapes would certainly suffice)
to spice this quick reflex of light, pedestrian,
pale fare – and luckily one sees a jar of them

right there! – felicitously near the hand – whose
grasping motion is remanded by the fiat
of the urge to eat which follows so exactly

the orgasmic feat one once again has found
one’s undergone: if sex is midnight, hunger is
the dawn. But what if one were to resist –

desist from filling up the maw to stay a little
longer in the awe? Ah: that would be against
a law. Emptiness is too intolerable to ignore.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Time Has Passed for Photographs

The time has passed for photographs.
Snaps of sexy quick light whirligig good looks –
of grabbing fast at asses – of sweet unguarded

poses where a neck, exposed, could make
a lens erect – far-from-circumspect avowals
that a blurry photo could evince from all

the all-but naked body’s consonants and vowels
as they soar and pour upon a sunlit beach –
just in reach of being caught by some quick

lustful wistful thumb upon a button: all that
teaches all the truth it can, and leaves its residue
of youth in albums. Cameras don’t ask

for your attention anymore: you implore
a different eye for an experience of you: another
sort of scrutiny may indicate the “true”: not

to do with anything to catch: nothing that
a photograph foments in memory can match
the life you’re feeling in the current face of things.

You’d like to think you’ve found a place for
rueful and uncapturable grace: which can’t
be taped upon a piece of paper: but still sings.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

(More) November Dusk

Here again
in dying light –
I cannot tell you when
I’ll stop attempting to describe the sight
of it.

I’d relent –
give up this rote
repeating – if it meant
I’d had the chance to summon some bright note
for it:

some sung deed
that showed just what
induces its strange seed
to bloom into its blossoming: to cut
from it

sky-blue bells
that whispered, rang
the mystery that knells
inside the belly: drums this soft dark bang
in it.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Darkling Sins, and the Sun

The sun has bluntly indiscriminately spun its wonders
over all my sundry blunderings today: caught me
bumping some girl’s ankle with a bag of sharp-edged
books – although I didn’t know it ‘til I’d heard her
somewhere down the sidewalk say, “you know, that
really hurt!”
– I looked around: I couldn’t find the creature
I had smashed – too blinded by the noonday light:

I felt abashed. Now I’ve come home and now the sun
is thunderously glaring at me through the windows’ wooden
slats as if to pick more spats: I have to look away. It knows
I bought a ticket to a Liza concert at the Palace I could
not afford today – and for a Wednesday night! – midweek! –
ridiculously late! – then watched me pick up chocolate-
covered doughnuts at the supermarket: not appeased

that they at least were mini. And so I sit and pout –
and bid the shadows lengthen out – which they've now done –
and my stark sun begins its gentle and inevitable run
into whatever lies behind horizons – leaves me with
my darkling sins – in quietude so strangely unexpected
and spectacularly sensuous I feel redeemed. Perhaps
the sun was not as disapproving as it seemed.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why It's Always Nap-Time

Like hidden ancient Mayan ruins
in the Guatemalan jungle
only satellites with fancy techno-
cameras-and-lights can see,
sneaky scattered constellated
bits of dream tug up at me:

pulling at my limbs and neck
and knees to join me somnolently
to their mystery: nap deep in
their fat equatorially lambent lap.
I've taught them that I know
a central part of what they’re doing –

caught them at their work;
I know their ways and means:
they’re messengers which quirkily
connect the day to night, sew
up the seams, and hope to
coax me into constant dusk or dawn:

they keep alchemic fires on:
they wait eternally for opportunities
which lend them claim to fantasies
and schemes, renaming them
as if the contents of a mind
were wordless beams and rays

and shattered streaks of haze
that only they – their special brand
of angel – can perceive. When
I’m awake, they want to whomp
me into swoony moony Guatemalan
jungle daze; when I’m asleep,

they want to bleep me into
wide-eyed wonder with their
Guatemalan jungle thunder rage.
I’m locked inside their tangled
humid lurid lovely secret story now,
and cannot turn the page.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Like Trees Lose Leaves

I’ve wanted you, November –
and finally you’re here –
beginning more than ending –
allowing sight to clear:

you are that rare appurtenance
which I can use to sieve
all ponderousnesses away –
and work out how to give

exactly what is apposite:
to celebrate the plain –
exalt uncluttered surfaces –
observe the patent gain

obtained through simple bareness:
to give the Past a toss –
and follow your example
of shrugging off its loss.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not Enough for New York

Can’t just leave her,
then barge back in.
Yeah, you love her.
She’s heard that before.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

On Balance

What’s the past?
Are recollections flickers
caused by synapses
conflating to create
some yearned-for state?
Do certain places have
a potency because they are
the gates to timelessness –
where all you’d thought
had had to weight itself
towards “truth” prefers
the ruthless exposition
of a fat erotic juiciness?
Glimmers in a void?

Does remembering imply
the soul’s annoyed?
One can’t return because
one never leaves. (One
wonders why one ever
grieves.) I recollected centers
of a portion of my youth
today: at least it seems
that way. For moments:
lithe and full of pain
and lust and madness.
What a green quick shoot
I was! And maybe am.
On balance: gladness.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Orange Ball

Long day on the road –
blinking in the rural dark,
bleak white headlights
blind you briefly – passing,

passing – stark: you focus:
see the fire ripple –
glow behind a wave –
apocalyptic orange! –

brighter brighter blaze –
skull-top of a mushroom
cloud: what is this, and why?
Circle hits the sky:

looms into the night –
bursting from some mountain
range’s strange, elusive font:
moonlight in Vermont.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Like Clockwork to the End

East Village: chilly early morning vision:
huddled bundled figure on the sidewalk,
mittened fingers on the handle
of a shopping cart, meticulously pushing it –

small squat woman in a black hat, shawl
and coat – wagon packed with plastic
garbage bags: black, stacked and bursting:
thrusts it forward slowly thirty feet.

Turns and pads back on the curb along
the street to get the second cart, to push it
towards its kin; returns to get the third –
to join it to its brethren. And then –

she pushes first the first, and next
the second, and the third another thirty feet
again. And does it all again. And does it
all again. Like clockwork to the end.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Memories You Didn't Have

Sometimes Imagination blankets all its walls
and floors and ceilings with vicissitudes
of black-and-white B movie cues and scenes
and blondes and bad guys and the bonds
they sold in wartime: 1940s swing: Kay Kyser’s
band and brand of thing – all brassy
and reverberating through the complicated

rabbit warren of the inner ear in which you hear
ridiculously clearly all the scatter-shots
and love-me-nots vehicularly smuggled through
the German front – jeeps amid the peeps
of birdy-kins in cute cartoons – and cats
and mice and all the all-too-nameable
mild spice of Spam: the salty fatty middle

of the blandly grand perambulations through
a safe and gentle Central Park in which your
twenty-something parents shared a sandwich
in the quickly interceding autumn dark.
Sometimes Imagination parks right here:
full half-truth-years before you came upon
the century: none of which you know except

in that remaining phosphorescent glow
of mish-mashed memories you think you’re
almost able now to summon up: those stories
so revered and real to them, which now present
this alien interior experience, kaleidoscoped
into a black-and-white Kay Kyser band revue –
which somehow has a lot to do with you.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November Strangenesses

November stokes unbidden strangenesses – evokes
a hundred years ago – as if there floated some
collective cloud in human consciousness that burgeons
to precipitate into the meditative mind at certain bare
November times – permeate a kind of absent receptivity;
a trance – a psychic blankness – surely finds, invites this:

black silhouetted trees in Norway – feverishly bright
white-yellow sky behind – beginning to descend
to autumn dusk: the gentle glowing musk and shock
at four o’clock of sorrow – out on Kristiania’s streets
perambulates a cold, be-furred, tight-corseted young
woman, hair piled high beneath a fashionable feathered hat,
but yearning for her feathered bed: coughing into her blue
handkerchief, which glints with several drops of red.

New York is Nordic now and full of something like
the resonant high painful precedent of this young
woman’s dread – but: quiet! – see the blackbirds fly
above as if her blood had more to do with love than death.
We’ve reached the time of year that silvers breath.


Monday, November 10, 2008

The Same Place

I come to the same place
which is never the same place
because traces of eternity like specks
of living glitter keep bedecking it
and flecking it – sentiently inspecting it
as prelude to the daily goosing
of its dull gray feathers – yet again

into unprecedented gold – bold
spectacle – all’s glamour: anodyne
to tedium and clamor – puts the hammer
to all preconceived devotions
and emotions: blots the sun out
with unfathomable brightness –
all distracts from any notion of its

provenance: proceeds from nowhere
else – and yet it doesn’t come from
here. I wonder if there’s much to fear –
beware of – in an essence
utterly dimensionless which has no
rhyme for time and does not care for
anything that I’m aware of.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Legacy Requires

Damn! – forgot to shelter it from the sun –
shutter it against the glare of harsh
November afternoon which stuns
and blights and spends its watercolor
hues so incrementally and brutally:

indiscriminately drains translucent
gray-green from that pearled bay-air:
leaves it like a bare late January day
instead of warm penumbral April-prayer.
Bays and skies were staples

of my mother’s life: home movies
of unexpurgated slightly misbehaving
waves – and clouds all scurrying
and soaring – were to my impatient
adolescent eyes as inexplicable

and boring as – well, clouds and waves.
I haven’t changed too much from
my incomprehension then – nor have
I always won the fight against
the dying of this painting in the light –

sometimes the shutters gape:
the fading paper’s scraped. I do not
really understand her sight. And yet
I am the one who’s left to shelter what
still harbors its desires. Legacy requires.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post-Coital Consultation with Oneself

Something decorous might clear one’s metaphoric palate –
finely weighed, conveyed and balanced toward the right
exactitudes: a humble, reassuring sense of things, of course –
a mild investigation of the source of one’s emotional

propensities – etched and clear, though with a hint of density –
a low-key demonstration of one’s analytic gifts – the kind
that slightly lifts the heart and eye and mind: combines
a bit of humor with a gentle note of gravitas – the sort of thing

that English people do in 1930s movies set in drawing rooms:
you dare to hope a bit of glory looms inside those double
clotted-cream-daubed doors: an antidote to troubled
and besotted dreams that plague the civilized at night

and get them sweating anxiously for more – of what,
they can’t be sure.
(Sorts of thoughts one thinks on rainy
days whose gray amorphous brinks dissolve one’s being
into something one just had to scrape up off the floor.)


Friday, November 7, 2008

Mouth Gym

All day I iterate:
incessant and repetitive syllabic jabber
modulating up and down and in and back throughout the ladder
of concerned and sweetly reasonable turns and tones
as if I were invoking all the grown-up conversation
that I heard on phones and in the kitchen
and the living room and bedroom down the hall:

all the sounds around me when I was an infant:
trying vaguely, maybe, to attempt to comprehend
at least if all these mostly gentle bends and twists and little laughs
that seemed so prettily persistent meant that their
soft ambience intended happiness: more generally
basking in their vocal flows and ripples, floating
through their stippled starts-and-stops

like bubbles popping in a bath –
attempting, maybe, also
to discover in the lilt
a way to inculcate
a safety out of all
the mass of noise
that seemed in grown-ups to be strangely inexplicably

a product of their poise. Their lips were slick as butter.
When I was older I began to stutter.
Today I don’t, so much,
but keep in touch in ever-present ways with the amazing
brays and sways and phases of the phrases
that beset my psyche’s east and west and north and south.
Every day I have to exercise my mouth.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Extremely Secret, Intimate

The several people over time whom
I have carefully watched dying seemed,
at least in bed, to have coursed gently
to the end, which lent my thinking,
blinking eye a sense of gradual abstracted
involution, as if one-by-one the bits of them
had started slowly and implosively to spin
around the outermost thin gaseous rim
of some extremely secret, intimate

black hole which would eventually draw
them in: the agitated surfaces from
which we claim to name identity seem
to exert the least resilience of the lot:
a person’s idiosyncratic urgent
have-to-have’s have either all been got,
forgot, or dropped quite mindlessly on
some unnoticed spot. Biology takes over:
like a cat, the dying I have witnessed

seem somatically to know it won’t be

long now and retreat into the dark – perhaps
for dignity. A last benignity of evolution
gives the flip side to the violence of taking
one’s first breath, to death: rolls out
a prairie of comparative serenity as
blessing for the grand audacity of having
managed to sustain a life at all.
But all of this, of course, is folderol.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stymied by the Sky

You’re caught in cool brief licks
of mist condensing from the fringe
of an immensity of atmosphere
which roils away not only here,

above and through this New York City
rush-hour drizzle-spritz but blankets
and absorbs, resists – before
fan-dancing back into the clouds

which pile up beneath fleet freezing
jet streams, wrestling with the shrouds
of equatorial up-wellings from the planet’s
warm and spinning middle to present

unending no-holds-barred rude nude
galumphing fights through sheer blue days
and thunder-heavy nights: you are
the least bit of the riddle: fractionally part,

perhaps, of some small dot above an “I”.
You’ve set yourself to the investigation
of the textures of Existence –
and you’re stymied by the sky.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Existential Doubt on Election Day

Manfully determined to subscribe to the collective
hunch behind the premise of what we’re to think
is happening today – while nineteenth century

symphonic music prays and brays its heart out
on the radio, and I meticulously cut and interleave,
construct a sandwich lunch of dry rye bread

and thinly-sliced sharp cheddar cheese – I come
to wonder what of these or any other avenues
to which I’ve access to appease my hungers

and bewilderments can possibly succeed in making
me entirely believe that I am here. Next, perhaps,
I’ll try to sleep, have sex, or defecate: attempt

to graph disproof or proof of something absolute
until some aspect of my being anywhere comes
clear. Perhaps, at least, I’ll find I’m somewhere near.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Selecting Precedents

Maybe there are small and intimate
and subtle aspects to electing presidents,
but finding them would be like searching
in the sea for a pellucid jellyfish in midst
of a tsunami: all conspires to crush
the singular: nothing, now, conduces to

the sole and vulnerable breath. However,
little in what’s happening today, tomorrow
or the next day has much chance
of changing what I see: a graceful brace
of branches with an army of attendant
yellow leaves beyond the sashes, frames

and shutters of my outer sight – which
seamlessly connects to secret windows
that afford my mind its inner light. Each
fractal surface of each fragile leaf portends
a geometric destiny: symmetrical
exactitudes of reaching out and falling in

which leave me vulnerably breathless
and as full of rich unknowing as we all
are now, and as we will be when we
know what we will know tonight.
I wonder if selecting precedents has any
lasting power to give joy or sorrow flight.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

As True a Part of Me

It ought to be enough
to take a gentle breath
(no consequence need press) –
to welcome sloughing off

instead of piling on –
to let excess evaporate –
create a clearer template –
an a capella song –

succeed in introducing
a lighter way to be;
and yet as true a part of me
depends upon the sluicing

through of an impenitence –
a lust, hot and anarchic,
heeds the devil’s bark: quick
to the rescue of the sense

I crave of the complex.
I’m no sweet singularity –
I’m made of brash disparity –
ungainly, wide, perplexed.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

And ah, today! - November

Today is full of sleight-of-hand and transience: catering to
flights and shades of floating flummeries, fat jello moments
packed with sly suggestion – unrelentingly producing lack

when touched – as soon as I so much as brush the barest fluff
of their unbridled bluffing they’ve Saint-Vitus-danced to nothing:
jittering and brimming over like the colder bolder ghosts we were

supposed to have indulged last night on Hallowed Even: I am
their host, however, every dawn and dusk in every Winter,
Summer, Spring, and ah, today! – November: during which

one does remember maybe just a little more than usual
the complicated ways that people die: especially those deaths
that don’t result in failure of a kidney, lung or eye but signal

certain draining sad cessations in the heart. I suspect there is
an art to recollection that I’ve not yet learned: before I can
invoke a long-gone contour – try to stoke it through another

shadowed corridor to flame – the impulse ruptures: once again
has drained and burned itself to yet another floating flummery,
fat jello moment packed with sly suggestion: colder bolder

ghosts: those heatless heartlessnesses conflagrating into nil.
Find some warmer, shyer creatures: ask them to come in to dine
on all that I may have or am and take their fill. I hope they will.