Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dangerously Good

Let’s go beneath his rising
rose-and-golden glow –
the evanescent shifts

and shapes that he suggests
as you detect, between
his lips, his barest breath –

when he so much as flicks
an eyebrow just a millimeter up
and to the left – to bless

the passage of the briefest
thought: soft irony,
the sort to which his

temperament inclines: dark
and hushed hilarity: savoring
disparity – the slit, the paper cut,

the slice-in-psyche whose
sharp anguish he can
almost wish away – leaving

maybe just a stray acidic
whiff: a flash reminder.
He is sure that if you knew

his case – if you could
take the ride that he was on –
you’d lose your sanity.

Perhaps you would. All you
know is every time you think
of him, it’s dangerously good.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

There must be other words for dream --

I mean, I sit here huddled over drawing paper –
hand is cramping as my free-associating
mind (how free is that one wonders)
goes about revamping empty space
and turning blunders into – not exactly grace

but something which in all this childlike coloring
and concentration does at least, at last
keep pace with – what? The toilet’s semi-
clogged; my soon-it-will-be-June imagination
just jogged agog through New York City –

looking prettier than she is used to being
seen – I strolled through all her lolling warming
waves of sunlit sound and frazzle: dazzled
at so many hardware stores so full of certain-
seeming men; came back again and plunged

the plunger, snaked the snake: could not
expunge the block, nor make the plumbing
plumb, but somehow nonetheless I’m here
and rocking in my chair: I don’t despair,
I find so many things that seem to want to come.

This carpet-page, for instance, folded
over, diddled on its surface with a random set
of hues: what’s its news? The mind’s a vast
unending scheme. (The toilet’s only semi-
clogged.) There must be other words for dream.


Friday, May 29, 2009

When I Want Comfort

When I want comfort, I don’t mess around
with bubble baths, massage or macaroons –
I summon up the planets and their moons –

I go into my lone imagination’s vacuum
wherein the dark becomes the central
station of another consciousness: wherefrom

I can inaugurate the sun – at will – to spill
its radiance, create a passing day – quite
near the end of May – say, not unlike today –

in which the ruse attempted just succeeds
enough to make it seem as if the light was
where we came from rather than the night.

When I want comfort, I go far out into
space and come back empty-handed,
empty-headed, empty as the June that

isn’t here, that right now constitutionally
one can’t get. When I want comfort,
I become the thing that hasn’t happened yet.


Thursday, May 28, 2009


the family things
that stay.

Lux – Minute Minder
kitchen timer –
and a stapler –
Swingline faded near away.

Both arrived on Earth
long years before my birth –

then sifted into childhood

(ding!) –
dinner’s ready! –

then to adolescence’
crushing clunk:
the push of metal teeth
into an arduously typed
ninth grade essay.

I use them
every day.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Body Parts, in Heat

Skin compels – flesh impels, creates a symmetry
from chaos – plants alluring lattices absurdly through
its jungle growth: herds its hormones into armies
so completely irresistible they give war meaning:
leaning into this conglomerated swing and zing,
you feel: what else could possibly be real? Here’s

the news: you’re up against it, dear: defenseless.
So, bare your vulnerable body parts: give your world
some views. Reject rejection: relish any jealousy
you foment – any hot avowal of desire: jump right into
that sweet sweaty vortex, that consuming sucking mire:
hold onto the best of it – abandon all the large

considerable rest of it behind accommodating prison
bars your consciousness will hastily provide: we’re all
amnesiacs on portions of this ride: you’ll recall
the time before each gray inevitable fall – not the fall.
At least not when you’re feeling this transgressively
voluptuously tall – and true. Have a ball. Or two.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

These Rapids of a Happiness

It’s strange to feel these rapids of a happiness
run so indifferently, abundantly – so dark
and deep beneath the surface of the waking,

sleeping creature that I am – bewildered fragile
New York man – weathering innumerable seasons
like a vine-y plant against the odds – attenuated

body creeping over and around the city’s shoddy
barren skin: fodder for an unconsidered future:
far above a flowing and obliviously grand

centrality which doesn’t seem to have to do with
any rue, accoutrement of doubt, misapprehension,
bout with any of the slew of inner angry bruisers

who compete to see who can establish new
dominion in the rings of me – be the winning ruse
or the humiliated loser in this ambiguity I call

my life: I’m like the thinnest slice of a translucence
next to this sweet secret well – this buried gushing
sluicing freshet rushing to some unknown sea.

Today the light and air swell with a feathered
misty inconsistency: creamy green, be-pearled.
I cannot tell you why I like this world.


Monday, May 25, 2009

On Waking Up From Dreaming About People Who Have Died

It surely is a human fate –
one hard to tell from dread –
to know that we will walk in on
the dying and the dead:

family and friends and pets –
their sundry histories –
the passing of assumptions,
loves, and other mysteries –

perhaps it proves effectual
to render, by contrast,
a vivid sense of living from
a living sense of past;

provisional, that sense of dread –
and fleeting, as one sees
volcanically eruptive life
replacing, by degrees,

the whole of everything again,
distracting, with its kiss,
exacting our obeisance,
to soften what we miss.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ex-Post-Facto Dream

I wanted to discover
something utter –
and then utter it:

ride to where
the nth degree is,
decide if I agreed with it –

go the whole nine yards:
assess it as a subject
for the bards. And so,

heigh-ho! – today, I made
my full and flaming way
to the unnamable –

unspeakable –
to try to name
and speak it. I figured

I’d configure
something rough,
and maybe you could

tweak it. And whoa! –
do I need help.
All I can do is yelp:

quaking, reeling
in a rhyme, forgetting time:
a waking walking

dream of the extreme –
and the sublime.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Snow Globe in May

Snow globes shouldn’t solely
be the province of the Winter –
every gently repercussive slowly

settling echo, seismic after-shock,
and acclimating acclimation following
the softest jolt of anything produces

something like the bolt of tiny
sparkling crystals we shake up
indifferently in that glass orb:

the Christmas season shouldn’t
singularly give us reason to invoke
its fluffy storm, entropic aftermath.

I’ve just stumbled down a snow globe
path in warm late May: a whole
precipitating splay of iridescence now

is falling in the wake of the encounter
I just had with some sweet lovely
beast of man today. Had to sit down

in the snow globe blizzard drifts
amassing from the memories of it
to give the thing a full replay.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Think of it as Art

Square off the end –
Plane it flat and sleek –
No swerve or bend –
Nothing soft or weak –

Ninety degrees –
Make the angle sharp –
Tension – not ease –
Bugle – not a harp –

Straight as a sword –
Motionless as rock –
Let the reward
Be the key and lock

You now employ:
Think of it as art –
Try to enjoy
Closing up the heart.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ancient Ladies, Over Here

Though we can’t recall the hour
we aged beyond repair, we flower
still on summer days sans shower
when, to publicize our power,

we converge, at noon – appear
(we ancient ladies, over here)
to sit on benches, and to peer –
to see we’re still your greatest fear.


On Seeing "Star Trek" at a Times Square Imax Theater

When you do something other New Yorkers have demonstrated
in great numbers they too want to do, you find yourself thrillingly
in the tidal mob pull of a zeitgeist/gestalt moment: part of
a directed mass alignment of consciousness: one nearly mindless
cell in a million-celled organism whose collective nose points
at a significantly singular prey. But that's the sort of day one has
here every day.

You be me
and I’ll be you.

That will be
about as true

as me-as-me
and you-as-you.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lightening Up

All hail the broadening and widening of light! –
(despite your slight illicit whispered sorrow
at diminishing incursions of the Night: the globe
inclines to Darkness’ dissolution now – the fine
sweet dangerous ablutions to which Evening once

invited you abate. Keep the secret: ride through to
the peak of June – incrementally beyond which Dusk
will carry out its promise, and your fate: gratifying
yearnings for the deeper, longer opening of its
soft shadowed gate. Lighten up: you can wait.)


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


A different slant – perspective –
angled light: his glance
feeds you a slight corrective
to the spangled dance

you hadn’t known you’d dreamed
about the two of you:
whatever once had seemed
to be can’t meet the view

you cannot not now undertake.
The flash in those blue eyes
will not relent, however: quake –
again – in their surprise.

In love with fireflies.


Monday, May 18, 2009

You Look For Someone

You look for someone
coalesced enough
to seem at least

to have an outline –
and an inner life –
discernible consistency –

the bright illusion, anyway,
of self-sufficiency –
free-standing, mobile

limbs and eyes and lips
which fill with eager
prospects of exerting agency:

which promise something
like a recognizable
existence: someone

you would know a mile away.
You look for somebody
who’d look for you.

You tell yourself
you never look for anyone
but that’s not true.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coming Back to Her, Mid-May

She comforts, oddly, in humidity and cloud –
subtle strange distinctions and varieties
of coolnesses that cannot accurately be
deciphered or described – and yet amount to
what enlivens and allows: she is the nth degree

of consanguinity to me: my red blood flows from,
to her mid-May green: we glow with a transmuted
sheen of underwater gold: which tells me
I shall be here with her ‘till I am so wantonly,
ridiculously old that nothing can be done with me

except to throw my cracked crushed empty shell
into some new and necessary well of wet
concrete: please let me, then, oh much-loved-city,
be a street: to kiss the feet of others who one day
will face and celebrate a kindred fate. Ah! –

your finenesses, your greennesses, your gliding
through the springtime air as if you were
a swimming soaring skate, and pearly-emerald
water was your lair: Manhattan I return to you!
Each breath I breathe in you is prayer.


Saturday, May 16, 2009


that’s you.

from day
to day
to day

you learned
to play
your private

silent solo –
San Francisco

now you’re in
a New York

tunes devolve
into “Fuck You.”

But oh! –
you love
her too.


5 San Francisco Poems (sf poem 1)

All’s Well

Abrupt Pacific gust – quick thrust –
caresses, cuts – blooms and chills:
retracts: exacts the sun’s full sudden
blazing desert measure: random
thrills and pricks of pleasure aren’t
random anymore but a collective gift
that rides and ought to ride in tandem

with a life: that it should be the
of things to lift and soar and coalesce
into a happiness becomes the law.
You wonder what the alterations
in the soul will be from this rash feeding
of its deepest maw: to stand here
waiting for a ferry to embark for

Sausalito: flashpoint – ice! flame! – air –
and blue – and light – bright jazz
somewhere behind you, near, on some
reflexively rejoicing pier: as you inspect,
across the bay, the way the scrabbled
green, harsh gray and arid brown
of the eruptive land-mass you’ll approach

has broached, and found – embraced
by soft alluring San Francisco haze –
the shades of terra cotta, jade and apricot
and cream: speckled with the bravery
and dream of little houses: faint pastel.
All should always be – and (who
knows?) maybe, deeply, is – this “well.”


(sf poem - 2)

Sirens Sound Like Whale Songs Here

Sirens sound like whale songs here –
every element of everything is queer –
it’s surely partly this strange desert air
which must account for the peculiar pair

of opposites that flourish like fraternal twin
and twin in her: care? lust? – silliness within
a sorrow so profound it cannot touch
the cognitive at all?: one talks too much

about her prettiness and witchery –
to know her you must see the stitchery
of flesh to soul – in some unwholesome
pattern she can’t not withhold: and from

no observation I’ve yet made
can I see any sense in the parade
of rampant raging interlacing dances
that invade this San Francisco lady’s glances –

blue flame torches in the sweetest
framing of cool face that wants the fleetest
kiss. One searches for a rhyme for “will” –
so strong in her. One wonders if it’s “kill.”


(sf poem - 3)

As If You Could!

The bumbling hungry part – the stumbling
into walls of air and tripping over nothing there –
the grabbing at whatever is – the babbling
to yourself as if the only way to keep a balance
were to leaven it with fizz: and yet – deep

below the jabber grows – unutterably slow –
the strange soft glow of a complete immersion.
Self has staged its own desertion. Loving
this means letting go. Be sure of it. Let pure
hilariously evident empirical eternal evidence

suggest: you’re free. Every breeze down Stockton
Street through Chinatown is San Franciscan
gold: a bold duality of hot and cold: each side
will fill you: one with heat, and one with chill.
Prepare (as if you could!) your heart to spill.


(sf poem - 4)


I want my language
to be pictures and my pictures
to be words –
I’d like each

to part

with all
its silly
and bark up

one tree:
I’d like the singularity
they coalesce in to be me.
(Fuse it with some music

and I’d


(sf poem - 5)

North Beach

Soul’s confetti! –

in sweet squalls –

Ferlinghetti! –

and meat balls –


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soft: A Valediction

Hush: don’t push.
Inhabit the imagination
lightly. Be inexact.
inexplicable. Elongate

and protract: bring
the ringing thing
as gently as you can
right to the edge
of silence: the ledge

this side of leaping
to the consummation:
soft: pull back. Enjoy
the lack. There’s nothing
to be done, or won.

Allow the gate through
its own weight to open.
Things will poke in,
slide to your avail
precisely as whatever

countervails evaporates.
Sit quiet and alive,
and let the plane
arrive, depart. Focus
on your art. Tomorrow:

the enchantment:
San Francisco. Go.
You’ll fly: the only way
conceivable to get there.
You know why. Bye.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

This Having To Do It

This having to do it –
go through it –
and alone –

how strange to see
everyone else
in as startling
a fix as your own –


Friday, May 8, 2009

From One Point of View

Galooping soupily
out of an aperture
like an excrescent polyp –

then detaching
and perambulating
into wilderness

until its meshed
interiorities of tubing
knot and clog, erode,

dry up and die:
so – my dear, I fear –
go you and I.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Proclivities of a Seat Cushion: Speculation

If you were a button
in the middle of the cushion
in the seating of a chair

inside a crowded doctor’s waiting room,
insentient save for the arcane capacity
to register the temperature and pressure

of whatever body pressed on you,
what judgment would you levy?
What preference would you form?

Hot and hard and heavy? –
or soft and light and warm?


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ghost Cake

Six years ago in early May,
exactly two months to the day
before she died, she somehow
mustered up the ingenuity
and wherewithal to take her walker
to the car, sneak out and drive
to Stop ’n’ Shop – therein

to buy a cake to bring it home
and hide it somewhere in the back
of the refrigerator. “How’d you
do this, mom?” She smiled,
made no reply. If she exists
in any realm, I wonder if I still
attract her covert, loving eye.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tree Dream

Branches sway
and turn away –
transmogrify to hands –

a silliness of reflex –
pushing out, against,
resisting – maybe

beckoning as well –
a cartoon ambiguity:
flung from ambivalently

thick and twisted
bark re-armoring itself –
inert, unfeelingly

protective: dense: you
can’t rely on your
perspective or your sense:

despite the harrowing
stark certainty
they’re all you’ve got.

Let me burrow
into you a little.
You pick the spot.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Next Stage

Fogged by its meager,
insubstantial, tediously worn
condition, it’s surprised to find it’s eager
to observe another small gestating creature being born –

pulsing in the dust,
as if it had the frailest dim soul
ever to near consummation, prey to gust
and arrant breeze and whim and sneeze: sees it wriggle to a goal

the observer knows
through an abrupt faint intuition –
recollection, in a way – as if it chose
that moment to take stock, acknowledge lack, and requisition

a companion quirk –
a sidekick – a quite other half – whose view
might scramble up a shared experience – work
to effect the oddly balanced apparatus you’ll call you.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rapid Transit

The thing has got to flit –
be preternaturally quick
(too long a word for it!) –
zapping through the thick
and vapid. Rapid transit!
There you go: now stop! –
and make a lap. I’ll sit.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

What One Sat Down & Drew & Wrote Today

Mystic vision
wrapped in ribbon
like a blue-green ghost:
you are as close
as I can get to seeing

wider, clearer,
nearer to and farther from:
you are the hum
inside the dum-de-dum-de-dum
that promulgates what spirit

I can point to
as my own: you are alone
and peering out
and don’t care
very much about

what’s peering back:
you are Existence
ripped of everything but lack
and essence:
you’re a mess

of birthday presents:
you’re the prize
nobody can surmise:
you are the swatch
of bubbling calculus

I watch and wait for like a bus:
take me to you
here or there,
my little parvenu,
I don’t care where.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Metrocard to Purgatory

In the Purgatory of the New York City subway,
progress seems ostensible. Things appear to change –
doors all close and open – figures enter, sit,
and wait to exit, which then, variously, here and there,

they do – but while they’re sitting, offer
such a range of strange abstracted and distracted
looks betraying their unconscious fractured drifting
points-of-view, one wonders just exactly who,

or what, they are. If ever there were need for
evidence that we are random dollops of detritus off
a star, surely what we look like sitting in the subway
would, for proof, beat all the rest by far.