Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Misappropriated Heart

Strange, and changeable –
as if requiring embellishment –
each moment of the day refuses
to allay your wide bewilderments:

galoops from cloud to hazy sun,
from gray to white to soulless yellow –
afraid to bellow – hushing, shooing out
the blue in favor of an anxious slew

of whispered incompatibilities –
there can be nothing certain now –
no lessons in the how or what or when
of things – if something sings it will

be soft and meshed and shadowed,
cowering, afraid of being plundered –
mumbling under every overtone –
hidden – as if in the softest paranoia:

keep its sense unknown – not prone
to prying by the likes of anyone
who’d try to fix the apparatus of its heart:
however misappropriated every part of it

believes it is: keep the covert air,
the hissing and the fizz, the staticky
white noise enfolding all: keep whatever
stalls the light – ‘til darkness falls.

Tomorrow, maybe, something will ensue
to reinstate the blue – but not today,
no: fingers-over-eyes today:
blanket sight – today, tonight.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Slithering Abyss

Today we’ll do the things we say
and say the things we do
and find out in the final play
if anything is true

about portraying what we think
we are or thinking what
we’ve done’s the perfect link
to what we’d thought: to shut

the door on ambiguity
and keep the situation clean –
to locate our congruity
in either/or, not in-between --

which is to say we’ve found a way
to keep at bay the slithering abyss:
fall down on our knees to pray
we keep on blithering like this.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Sweet Morpheus

(re-posted from 9/26/09 with different pic)

I spread jam-dollops of sleep
thick on the bread of the night –
and bite: take quick deep dips
into dream-delineated light –

my brain regards its surrealities
serenely: coolly matter-of-fact:
indifferent to the actual.
Why jam? Ah – recall the tact

we exercised the last two weeks
of your life: the wielded spoon
replete with strawberry preserves
and morphine: “go to the moon,

dear mother, and –
come back
if you want to.” One morning
you didn’t. Want to. Come back.


Now The Party Can Start

Make a pact
to think of yourself in the abstract
only when absolutely necessary
and over time

I think you will find
you nearly
never do.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

The World Made Fresh

My London is an imaginary place –
but so is my New York.
My mind is an imaginary place
which down to its last quark

reveals itself as co-created
by some agency that I
can’t name along with other
agencies that lie

beyond whatever clear domain
I think I’ve got a handle on.
I think of wet late fall –
Dickensian brick wall: London

as the fresh set for a dream
peculiar to some yearning
which exerts unnerving potency.
As if by learning

I still love the chaos
I abide in her, Manhattan
gives me leave to leave:
and so I batten

down my hatches and imagine
taking off across the pond –
depart one dream-lit inner world
to bring another on.


Saturday, September 26, 2009


Investigate the obvious again.
Something in it’s peering at you
like a puzzled look whose sweetly

furrowed brow depends for a solution
on a sense you haven’t found yet –
or anyway have not deployed to its

avail or your advantage. Peek
beneath its muscled arms and take
a whiff – and lick. Pick a slow soft

route to float, meander down its warm
tight marble belly: heed the tracery
of bluish veins that frame its tautness

like the lightest silken spider web –
approach the omphalos and kiss it.
Glance below, do not dismiss it.

Blowing gentle puffs of a continuing
caress of breath above and over its
fine skin, arise and keep the soft flows

of its rhythms going – up and out
and in. Hold your sensate palms
and arms around its three dimensions

without touching – just above the thing
itself. Whisper something. Look it
in the eyes. Wonder at the wealth.


Thursday, September 24, 2009


The city licks us
with a lavish tongue.
We loll about among
each other like discarded

young – sprung too early
from the womb of some
neglectful mother.
One last slither

of the Summer wraps us
in its wetness and its heat
before the wither of the fall
takes all – before

the slow accumulating
tomb of winter.
Tumid, tinted gold –
bold and warm and visceral –

sensually indiscreet –
we swell and roll like
butter balls along the street –
pulsing lightly to

a humid beat: a season
sneaks – trespasses back
past Summer’s last day’s
barrier to steal us

for the trick of it, to see
if we are sick of it.
We’re not. Today
we like it hot.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


What to do
but breed
the air
with meaning –

take the blank
and dye it
in the dark
until it’s leaning

into one big
rank and bleeding
virulence –
or shake it

into something
bright, self-evidently
frank, and light –
whose tight insistent

of a moral candor
bleaches everything
to white?

for wrong
and right.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ripples ‘Round the Lotus Flower

for Richard

We are
a level plain –
calm pond of water:
a sense of subtle gain
accrues. I sit with you:
your views are habitable.
There is no strain –

except what comes, light,
in refrain: our noticing,
and noticing, the gentlest
ripples ‘round
the lotus flower
that might as well be us
and ours when we convene.

I twiddle fingers
and sing and hum a bit:
you tell me stories
that go on a bit: breaths
abate and swell.
All is well.


Monday, September 21, 2009

If I Were to Map the Land of You

If I were to map the land of you,
I’d have to soar so far above the view
that I could catch the last faint contours
of the fringes ‘round your thinnest ground –
the beach and coastline of your mind

that bind behind into the breach of cliffs
emerging from your fault-lines leading up
to barren mesas of your terrors blending
slowly into grasslands of your milder
anguish into forests into jungles into seeps

and deeps of unlit sexual complexities
that would be drying out – as I surveyed
the rational intentions in your understanding –
into vast Saharan sands – soon to swivel
down perimeters of your peninsulas

that lead towards the blind reflex
of walking feet: vexed parts of you that
move ahead no matter what. But oh! –
to map the land of you from that high
spot would make me miss the hints,

the glints that I can only get up close
if fleetingly. I cannot hike the whole
of you but I can sit in shadows and await
the breath and scent and strangeness
of the soul of you. So that’s what I will do.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pledge to Reunite

Among the cast of characters
that constitute the mind,
today I’ll try to find and introduce
that pale ironic lady invalid reclining
on her burgundy brocade divan

to that mercurial tight pink
athletic boy who will not let himself
get one small breath behind
the panoply outside. To make him
share her company beneath

the lady’s canopy, and let her
breathe a whiff of his taut
muscularity – to have her faint
cologne mix with his sweat:
well, that would win my bet

that I can hardily survive this
business of remaining heartfully
alive. Ah, but when they part –
what will they keep? Perhaps
a pledge to reunite when I’m asleep.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


Faint strains
of strained attention –
wherein I sense
a Waterloo –

connect me over
distances – to you:
and you are not
the winning side.

Like Bonaparte,
you are the dark part
of the heart.
I cannot reach

into your mêlée
without injuring
my hand:
I need my hand.

You’ll ride down
you will conquer
other lands –

perhaps you can;
but watching
from the cliff
I sit on? No.

The day beats drums,
all blue
and loud and slow:
for you.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Do Keep in Touch

Why do we never see you? Do
in touch.

Are you not there? Could it be true
a crutch?

You have that rep, sometimes, due to
and such.

But oh! We’ll pray when we’re askew –
the clutch.

So never mind. Earth turns on cue.
so much.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Manipulated Glow

Cast a thin cascade –
translucent whim –
whispered shade –
dome it over all –
spider web umbrella –

see the tiny shadowed
textures it suggests
below – celebrate
the lent complexities
of a manipulated glow –

borrowed for the time
light takes to alter sight:
believe that everything
you see is true. Tell me
that it isn’t you.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Today the Universe canoodles
like a lonely clarinet’s sad random noodle-doodles:
hooty calls which fall into an absent-minded blues improv –

then lobbing out of nowhere – as if in a dream
of swooning in some other Universe’s arms –
descends into full-throated chesty Brahms;

today the Universe sends out a yearning song
to notions that there might be other unknown
lone dimensionalities who’d want to hum along.

Today the air is full of sweet discarded melody.
Today with a magnificent but unappreciated ingenuity,
the Universe pursues a splendid superfluity

of tunes which dip and dangle, pirouette upon
the infinitely tiny squeeze
between its longings and complacencies –

all the major and the minor keys.
Today its delicately bobbling balance
could be wobbled by a sneeze into catastrophes.

And yet it floats as if on preternaturally calm sweet seas:
quantum-tiny latitudes and longitudes
all sway a little here and there

and back again at each new
noodle-doodle from the solipsistic clarinet’s reprise –

self-correcting by degrees.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To London (Again)

Welling sensually up from somewhere
at the center of you comes a plume,
a channeled coalescing bloom of feeling –
warmed as if by some strange secret
magma – which quietly asserts its

slow investigation in repeating rhyme:
a fine collective cadenced assonance
which, as it rises, seeps into, infuses all
the soft surrounding tissue – porous walls –
of consciousness – with some new

propagating prize: proliferating
and insinuating – probing, staining
all the fibers of you with its deep
red-purple purpose: visceral sweet sense –
utter private rightness – calm and deep

as velvet, spreading into everything
and bringing it alive: receptive as
a cat’s night-seeing eye. Ah – the slyly
wonderful decision it has made you make!
(Can almost smell faint-diesel-tainted-

late-night-damp-leaved river air.
Remember when?) In late November,
for a week, you’ll go back to the wedding
cake of London and receive her lovely
murky benediction once again.


Monday, September 14, 2009


September’s garden
pardons all –

releases from its
brimming stall

tomatoes, watermelons,
peaches –

ripe and tumbling – bursting
from the vastest reaches:

no less born of star

than you are.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hidden in a Love Poem

The urge to render yearning
for a lover into verse
is followed, soon, by learning
it is prey to one small curse –

that of a reader thinking
it speaks nakedly of you –
not knowing it is drinking
from a far more potent brew.

Whatever love verse conjures,
please don’t wonder if it’s real:
too small! – far larger ardors
in it burn to make you feel.

Beyond a poem’s languor –
blunt, seductive, brave façade –
can lie the hidden anger
of a lusting after God.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Each Tiny Spat

Enchantment, now,
pre-dawn, as single spatters hit the metal casing
of the air-conditioner – gentle clatter, off and on,

raindrops in the dark –
entirely and quietly regaling
with a strange sweet intimacy:

softly changing tenses from the present, past and future
into something so dimensionally more embracing
that the mystery of its extended moment,

lacing vertically and horizontally
into new continents
of time and space, lets you derive

the soft exhilaration of
an accurate perception of this place:
gently passed to you
as if it were a lover’s note.

Lines both long and short in it devote themselves
both lightly and assiduously to a mission
of composure, perfectly at ease with nakedness:

irredeemable exposure.
Each tiny spat
is that.





Friday, September 11, 2009

Altering the Mix

Shocking glimpse –
quick catch of a particularity –
abetted by an angle of the lens, perhaps –
a something-other-than-expected

which erupts into a deluge
of the recognition
that before this
you had not expected anything.

Slice – oblique – desire? –
lightning shooting through the mire of you –
altering the mix.
It’s not exactly that you’ve never been

in this sweet sudden fix before.
It may be odder that it hasn’t happened more.
(You being a receptive sort.)
The stranger part: it is as if another heart –

invisible – is tracking you, and cracking new
sharp fissures in your shell.
You almost know this
feeling well. Unconscious wish? –

imposing its romantic itch? But there’s
that faint enticing smell –
a little rude, a little like fresh
sweat. As if in payment of a debt.

Or are you making
that up too?
Or is it
making you?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

On the Eve

Clouds are
weaving in

over Manhattan –
stealing bits
of sun

and spitting them
into the gutter –
tethered by

sibilant inclement
weather –

hissing muggy
through the leaves
as if to mock

whatever grieves.
The city’s
on the eve

of the eleventh.
Nothing rhymes
with that.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Some Part of Mind

Some part of mind persists
perennially in a twilight –
psychically equivalent
to the abeyance that obtains

between late afternoon
and early night – an opal hush
of indetermination – buffered
by the velvet crush of gently

holding back: soft tensile
strength sustaining calm –
a proto-Never Never Land
where all remains undone,

not quite imagined – wrapped
and held in almost-colors
which must haunt the nearly
blind: vague blushes, barely pink

and blue and gray and silver,
gold and brown – calibrated
hazily to spread diffusely
over possibility – to keep

the temper down. Some part
of mind exists before and just
beyond each bend, not quite
seed-bed, not quite end.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

As Soon As It Stops Working

You say: as soon as it stops working,
you’ll stop doing it.
And sometimes, blinking, jerking, accidentally verging on some thin
translucent fringe of liminality, you feel yourself tugged just a touch

too far towards whatever isn’t there –
and wonder why you try
or what you’re trying for
and then, somehow, perhaps to stop you contemplating stopping,

something gloriously rears up –
godlike, tall and glowing, gorgeous, golden, halo-ed
and too flagrantly aroused, alive and here to entertain
the least reality of the abyss

your pale involuntary private mumbling anxious fear suggests –
madness to go on with it and madness to arrest it –
so you take a breath and coalesce
into another strange display –

as your imagination splits kaleidoscopically again to breed
another dimly fathomable day. Gremlins in it
wrestle, burrow, seethe and forage.
Everything takes courage.


Monday, September 7, 2009


Something in the predawn wakes to cull, collect
shreds, threads and pulses of a soul – fresh-threshed
by dreams and sleep into a porous mesh – a fibrous
consciousness: a wonder that it coils into the semblance
of a sentient whole – which sets for yet another

coalescence of itself such concrete goals as: putting
feet to floor, amassing neural signals which conduce
to the assortment and cooperation of the body’s limbs
and core – in preparation for its getting up and turning
towards the bathroom door – and oh, whatever

strange innumerable more effects the efficacious
realignment of that fragile sense of agency we like to label
“me.” That we manage this amazing and courageous
feat each day is quite beyond what comprehension
I can bring its way – never mind that factor of it

which arrests: its built-in obsolescence. We’ll run down,
my dear: one day our shreds and threads and pulses
will no longer whoosh together into anything remotely
like this whirling sphere: we’ll disappear. For now,
however, somehow, we’re miraculously – thickly – here.


Sunday, September 6, 2009


Boom and blare
conspire to barge in –
loot the mind –

what to do: resist? –
or let it take exactly
what it finds? –

me, sitting in
the grinding
meaty fist of this

pumped bumping day –
across the way from
seven drums’ undoing

of a large East Village
park: palms flay,
slap, bang the drums’

tight skins –
loud atavistic lark –
proto-shamanistic spins –

a celebration
of the need for festival –
relieved by having one.

So what? The city
makes my psyche
seethe and bleed a bit:

hardly a surprise.
Blood-letting is
her daily exercise.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Labor Day Weekend, A Prelude

Dripping with incessant gold – lavishly
indifferent, but aware of you and me (she likes
an audience), magnificently narcissistic,
rapturously falling over into and around her own

abounding lolling rolls of precious fleshly pelf –
in orgiastic foreplay with herself – Manhattan
in late summer flaunts it – taunts in more than
usually blatant ways – transvestite courtesan

who’s popped her corset stays like an Edwardian
pink-stocking-ed mistress to a foreign king
whom she’ll meet only on these sorts of torrid
perfect days – when nothing but the butter

of the sun plays on their untoward splay
of rump and thigh and florid cloud-sky-plied
extremities – without a thought, she grants us
the considerable grand amenities of watching

her: we’re simply on the sidelines where
we ought to be. The king is drunk – he doesn’t
care – and oh, the funk he’ll have to bear
tomorrow morning when she’s dumped him.

We’re the little flitter-glitters who reflect her blunt
erotic flashing naked glimmers back to her –
how she shimmers! “Hold the mirrors this way,
little queers!” – she whispers at us –

throatily, but clear. And soon the king will
snore, early fall will pour, and she will find all
notions of our adoration one big bore.
And honey, she will not be this way anymore.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Yet Another Way

When, by chance,
sweet balance is advanced,
enhanced by some sporadic
and involuntary luck –
unlooked-for ineluctably
voluptuous felicity –
somatic, silly, deep and glottal

as a nesting chicken’s cluck –
gently surging into
and usurping every
psychic aperture –
from echo-ridden cavern
to tight tiny silent duct;
when random amplitude exudes

an effortless benignity,
dissolves the muck –
becomes the strangely simple
order of the day –
a voice in you may gently
burble up, and say:
“Yet another way.”


Thursday, September 3, 2009


Glad, proud, blue, bright –
September conquers: climbs
the atmospheric rafters
and achieves its height, again, at last –
seizes and surveys the vastness
of the day – defies you –

disavows disparity – propagates
its clarity: everything in this
eternity is evidence: a heaven-bent
examination of the light
reviews all motive and effect –
finds them unified and right.

But you! – oh you – you brownish
runty little creature – hear a whisper –
underneath, within, inside –
a tickle of a faint reminder
that the ride ain’t over yet –
and who knows what it will beget.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shift, Personified

There is – now she’s awake to it –
the loveliest reprise –
a variation on a theme
she’s heard before: a breeze

of psyche which alerts the soul
that something wants to give –
a tendril of whose scent suggests
how much it wants to live.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Words About Style

More words about style
are surely unwise:
too prone to use guile –
or silly surmise:

lame stabs at some proof
of what the thing is –
a silly grande bouffe
which traffics in fizz –

obscurantism –
mell-of-a-hess –
strained syllogism;
until (hmm) – you guess:

while you’ve remonstrated –
decried rant and rot –
you’ve just demonstrated
your style. (Can’t not.)