Saturday, October 31, 2009

All You Ever Have to Do

Each day announces there will be another menu
but withholds particulars until you sit down in its ever
subtly altered venue – tinkle the obliging chimes you’ll
find most times, right on the table, for the ghostly cipher
of a waiter – who (mostly sooner, rarely later) will lay out
the unforeseen repast. Now, you would probably not last
if there were not an understanding here – which is
to say, a certain reverence on its and your part for

the idiosyncratic and the queer – a gleeful receptivity
to no holds barred at all. It’s surely this implicit invitation
which accounts for this audacious daily culinary psychic
windfall – this grand amassing on the plate of broiled
expectations – lightly dusted with minced bits of love
and grated hate. You like the minuscule arrival – piquant
survival – of the plaintive sigh (in broth) – with its faint funky
hint of sloth; and savor, when it’s possible, the stinging

heat of lust – more searing when it’s impermissible –
fresh out of trust. You feast occasionally on the subtleties
of smile, though generally not while forking in the load
of guile which seems to bloat you up on random Tuesdays.
You rather like the goose that lays the egghead who politely
cracks his shell-y skull into your bowl to ply you with his
intellectually indefensible dull hell: you find the whole
thing swell. And all you ever have to do is ring the bell.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Its Way

You know
that spark
of dying that
continually lurks
in shadows at the center
of the heart? – foments the wild
dark revolutions in that other nether part

which wants another bout of anarchy
or else? Well, that part is no longer
safely tied up in its safety belt so
look out, honey, it may pelt you
with the rocks it wants to get
off – through and past what
now, already, promises

to be
of the day. And
you must let it
have its way.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Undertakings and the Undertaker

This avid hunger
for a varied vastness –
intricately, endlessly,
surreally detailed –
wet, breathing, sweating,
spitting, threshing
through innumerable
species of delight –

ennui – despair: this
hunger for an outer
breeding atmosphere
and slyly painted skin
which hints, at least,
at all the roiling blundering
and wondering within –
it can’t surprise you

you must have a city
for your undertakings –
and to be your undertaker
in the end. But one
does muse a bit about
alternatives: might there
be some strange
unforeseen slight bend

ahead in which your
thick interiority becomes
less oceanic and more
clear and thin and cool?
Might you be happy,
then, in the equivalent
of some serene blue pool?
Don’t be a fool.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I’m told I’m in a hectic age –
but I refuse to bow
to notions that purport to gauge
the wherefore and the how

of trafficking through consciousness
as if it were a sport
too random not to be a mess,
too frantic to report.

My mind asserts hegemony –
it need not lose the lease
that lets the where-and-when of me
stake out its plot of peace.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Care and Feeding of the Mask

Let’s address
the care and feeding
of the mask.
The bold transgression,
contemplation, cultivation

in the task
of seizing
something other than
the breathing face at hand
to cover it

require the finest sort
of artifice and slippery
seduction –
evoking secret sweet
misunderstanding –

rash deployment
of the blessing
in disguise:
to celebrate another
baffling way

of making love
to the eyes.
Hide behind its
bright unwise surprise.


Monday, October 26, 2009

A Few of Your Bewildering Effects on Me

Like a wise look
on a sleeping infant,
you revise me.

Old ideas forsake –
bake brittle – break
like thin potato chips.

New opinions bloom
like patterns
in a loom.

A baby’s face –
potato chips –
a tapestry:


Regard a few
of your bewildering
effects on me.


Sunday, October 25, 2009


The Lascaux caves
were painted in the flicker
of a burning wick – light
barely bright enough
to countervail the cavern’s veil
of near impenetrable dark –
but some illumination in it

promulgated art –
and in that rocky walled
recess allowed access,
at once, to all the paradox
of heart – evoking
dreamlike yet familiar
long parades of leaping deer

and bulky mastodons –
whose rush and flood –

delicacy – hushed design –
remind us we have
always gone to any lengths
to coax divine blood
out of earthly line.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Involuntary Response to Playing Bach All Week

Every instant
you scoop handfuls of it up –
almost never knowing that you are –
though sometimes glimpsing
that the only justice you could do it
is to say the hell with it
and dive half-blind into its profligacy –

overwhelming lust – try at least to be
a semi-conscious part of its unending
glittering entropic dust: it is – we are –
of course, detritus of an over-ripened star:
which is itself the blow-out from
the blasting well of energy and matter
which they say cannot be added to or lost

and yet comprises that arcane
vicinity we call infinity: in other words,
we are an inexplicable bright mess
and all that I can guess about
behaving in the face of it is this:
do exactly what you were about to do
and call it bliss.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Pale Angled Light

I claim to pay
attention but
I’ve missed

the coming
of the fall:
I look out

suddenly: see
yellow leaves,
pale angled light

beyond the trees,
the dawn
of night not

merely of tonight
but of the year.
All seems

just now
to have decided
to appear.

It’s very queer.
Where was I
if I wasn’t here?


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Quiet – never silent – full of whispered
repercussive plops and beats – soft
involuntary motions in a life – sliced
and undergone, rhythmically digested

and egested – pumping in and out,
expiring and respiring: wetnesses
accruing and congealing: drops and tiny
rivulets set random trails, amassing

into small cool mires – separating
and dispersing numberless desires –
which thread and pop and coalesce
into the simulated unities we all address.

I think you’re you, you think I’m me.
How did we get that certainty?


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I Can’t Show You to Anyone

Somewhere in the soft interstices of air
you wait, diffuse, like prayer, to infiltrate
awareness – demonstrate the metaphysics
at the heart of physics: mass, assess
and allocate my generously ample portion

of existence without which you know
I wouldn’t have a chance. You’re plain
as a banana peel – fancy as a satin
glittered pointy-toed stiletto shoe – and still
you won’t allow me to make love to you.

You hide like sin and virtue in voluminously
obfuscating clouds, schemes of blunt
obscurity: apparently you need the surety
of an invisibility: coasting, coaxing, stoking
and evoking, without ever boasting of your

fine control of every whiff and sniff and bit
of piffle that instructs my heart and mind.
You are the rarest find: you slip and flip
along the finest golden line – a sneaky
sort of fun. I can’t show you to anyone.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Awake to find
your world awash
in dazzling volumes
of itself – vaults blown up
in every inner cave of you –

releasing all their secrets –
alchemized to gold
vaporized to gas –
stolen by your psyche’s
modern mogul Robin Hood –

now whizzing past –
who’s let it piss out
every window
in his getaway Mercedes –
every shady corner

violated – indiscriminately
bright: blinding
each perceiving agency –
fighting confidently –
turning wrong to right –

setting all its blinking
creatures free!
Can there be such
a thing as too much light –
or liberty?


Monday, October 19, 2009

Soul Dance

Flip it like
a swath of silk
right out the window

of the thirty-seventh floor –
let October’s blowsy
blurt-y exhalations

flick it through
its wicked
throes and licks,

explore the faces
in its folds,
and more: send it

to its New York City
of destiny and chance.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Strange Inhuman Company

Fragile adjectives in orbit –
significant degrees of which
are breaking up into detritus –
whirling ‘round the globe
like dying gnats –
followed by insectivores
that look a bit like bats –

my thoughts lose prescience,
gain dead weight they had
not started out with: night
sucks out their air –
replaces it with seeds of dreams
which ricochet like buckshot –
rattling in my floating carapaces

in indifferent anarchy: all
conspire to ride the gravitational
effects of skull to lull it
and the rest of its attachments
into interesting uneasy sleep:
what strange inhuman
company I keep.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Naughty Sky

We shall now attempt, meticulously, to convey
some sense of the unnervingly familiar way
the light appears today:

pearl-white translucence:
as if a giant wad of opalescence –
fresh-pumped ejaculation – male adolescence’

essence – from an enormous rude inordinately
messy teenaged god – had insubordinately
smeared the sky: all spread exorbitantly

everywhere: as if to vex –
if not facetiously perplex –
a shocked unwitting populace to think of sex

like bunnies in a bunny shop –
and all the other things that hop –


Friday, October 16, 2009


I think I might have liked to chat
with it, if it could chat –
and to have sat with it while it allowed
dispersal of the cloud

of its refusals and its rationales –
to make like pals:
kick back and clarify, ‘fess up, admit.
That’s not what it

knows how to do. It blinks there
in a muddled air
and spins illusions – rarely prettily,
and never wittily.

It seems to want more than I have.
I’ve got no salve
or balm for its apparent pains.
Its losses, gains

no longer seem like mine.
I wonder if it knows I think that’s fine.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ode to Her

Circuitously long relationship! –
forty-nine years warm –
full of internecine intrigue:
started with her bold seductive sinuosity
which flowed relentlessly from her tight burnished

body through my awkward nascent puberty:
her lushness came and coursed in pumping
rhythm with the best of me: affording privacies
known only to the two of us, withheld within
our secret on-and-off dark constancy.

I’ve always been the harbor of her hopes:
she’s nothing if I don’t resort
to opening her door to coax her out into my arms
once more. She’s the harbor
of the most unnerving deepest strangest widest

confluence of fluid human substance
I can bring to anything:
when certain serendipitous conditions coalesce,
we join our forces once again –
caress and sing –

not to brag, but beautifully. But she will lag
behind if I approach her dutifully: she needs
to know I am in love. Today I think I am.
And so I take her once again in hand –
and sigh, begin. My violin.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Until I Beg Again for Light

Blessèd night is taking over now –
I’d wished for this:
that darkness seek again to plow
its bit of the abyss

into the space that once held dawn –
as if to give permission
to imagination to go rashly on
beneath the sweet remission

of that surface wakefulness
which scours the day –
and rids me of the playfulness
and danger of the sway

of setting the unfathomable free
to stumble, fight,
insinuate itself into the lurch of me –
until I beg again for light.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Volupté of Lack

What we know as “black” –
the visual illusion of abyss –
implacably delineates –

in some hands to the point
of rapture and illicit bliss –
the volupté of lack.

Death’s defined through
living dread of it. Life defines
itself because it cannot not:

it is the shape that hops
around the rude unmoving spot:
below-behind-ahead-atop –

we know it from its endless
bright depictions of itself.
Perception of the void is not

the void. For all we know
there is no void – and therefore
nothing to avoid. But volupté

requires a fetish of oblivion –
green-gold as absinthe
decadently celebrating absence.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Manhattan, Mildly Meaningless, on Columbus Day

Every time you try to push New York
she rolls on with implacable, indifferent imbecility.
Today you hoped to parse her into sharp and shiny bits:

investigate constituents of feeling for a verse
about her: see what fits; overcome the curse
of ambiguity: spread all in a fine array across an empty slate,

and therefore state, of mind – erased of doubt and inexactitude.
You took a taxi cab or two and into New York’s glue you flew,
or rather dropped and plopped and inched ahead

as if you’d rammed into a muddy bed
within which nothing was allowed.
Inside a growing cloud

of crowded immobility, you sat, stuck, in an incivility
of meaninglessness which distressed (no less) by adding freely
to the taxi fare: you’d lost whatever clarity you’d tried

to bring to bear; began to wish that you were anywhere but there.
Until you noticed you were here, which is to say, as near
as you would ever be to a deliverance.

And so you chose to pay another fee for the inevitably
mad exorbitance of daring to exist in this strange city: tipped
the cabbie pretty well, then bought a slice of pizza

(hot as hell): which burned your mouth before
you headed south on foot towards
home to write this poem.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Other Side

Something beautifully miserable surges –
some abrupt and upward violating force emerges –
violently burning through a course resorted to –
dictated – by the flaming center of the thing –
wherein resides its urgent power – blooming
now surreally, sadistically behind the mask
of an enormous silly crimson artificial flower:

worn by a ridiculous mad god intending
wholesale psychic murder – furthering at last his
gleeful glowering dark secret goal: to set about
the task of blasting through and past the contours
of what sentimentally you used to think of
as your Soul – ripping all to shreds: besieging
with a breeding seething travesty of destiny –

whose rape of mind will soon have bled entirely
whatever soft romantic notion you may once
have harbored in your misbegotten head
that everything was “whole” – deforesting
each heartbeat, cutting down its hopes like trees –
as if combusting to black ash what once been green
living wood. The bitch is that it feels so good.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

You’re the One

come and go
but you’re the one
I always know

will stick around
when I am gone
to wait for me
when I come on

in yet another
stage of being –
dumbstruck, far
too full of seeing

to remember
where I was
when I was here –
too full of buzz

to quite recall
that you would be
forever, yet again,
the agency

of my release.
You’re the one
without whom
I’d be done.


Friday, October 9, 2009

A Judy Garland Kind of Star

Today I will not turn away
from all the hoopla.
I shall group my aptitudes

in little rows, and call upon
just those of them who’ve
got the chops and nose

and humor – and that
slick gift for fomenting
rumor so completely

necessary to the smooth
wellbeing and the glad
transactions of the Soul.

Today, well, screw ‘em if they
want it whole: they’ll get
exactly what I choose to put

into the bowl: the dazzle
and the fritz: and all
the rest of impermissible.

Today I’ll be a Judy Garland
kind of star and keep us
guessing who we are.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

In a Nutshell

Scout about
for clues:
I guarantee

and views

that you peruse
are full

of the all
you know,
could know,

will know,
or knew:
packed like

in a shell.

Cracking it,
of course,
is hell.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Your M.O.

A wink, a furtive peek, a stare –
your eyes trail everybody everywhere:
you’ll hide or show yourself if it avails –
you’ll disappear into dim tales,

unseen – all watching, silent: or erupt
bare-rumped – abrupt –
into the glare: it does not seem to scare
or put the barest dent in you if others care

about your fat extravaganzas
or your abject absences: your glances
and your driven rapt investigations
and ostensible vacations

from the Ordinary leave you high and dry
and in the sorts of reverie that fly
up to the least accessible small perch –
whose distant view provides a sort of church

to which you do not go to kneel or pray
but rather to inspect that broad array
of all that you refuse to lose
by daring never quite to choose.

But what a shmo
I am to think that I could suss out your m.o. –
reveal the motive in your line.
Unless I’m less describing yours than mine.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Embryo of Loving

The embryo
of loving
is an awkward
purple spirit -

fragile capillary
lodging – faintly
visible – beneath
thin skin:

you think
it may be
branching from
the heart –

but cannot really
make out
more than
that it’s part

of what
you only
almost sense.
You wonder –

in the dark –
if there
resides some

private silent
resolution in it
to develop
and embark.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Discovering the Existential Inefficacy of the Conditional

What he’d have wanted
had he wanted
what he didn’t know
he’d wanted when
he’d wanted it would
have been bliss.

Had he known what
he became when
he had not known he’d
become it even though
he was becoming it,
he would be pissed.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Psychic Alchemy

Reeling –
caught –

a feeling’s
a thought
when it’s named.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

To Nobody in Particular

There is a tenderness in you –
resplendent – trembling like an ache –
soft pain whose strange and glowing hue
imbues the air around you: make

the day again, the way you do –
allow my heart to falter, quake –
to jostle me to some new view
of how to love for loving’s sake.


Friday, October 2, 2009

On Preparing to Play Bach Again

Approach his brimming universe, first, delicately –
careful not to shock or skew the balances that float
and intertwine throughout into exactitudes –
like strands of sentient silk – intent on forming lace-like
symmetries, trajectories persisting to solution – second:

brace yourself for landing brutally on rock: expect
as you blast down to crash as hard as his unyielding
adamantine moon can smash you – swoon:
bleed from the punch, and taste the blood – careen –
again, again, until the battering suggests the hunch:

that this – whatever this insistence is – requires
attention of unparalleled completeness – breathe –
and let the pain flow into sweetness – simmer through
the anguish to the silences: experience the sensuosity
and balm – impute the change to this allowance:

his permission to be conscious – see and use the gift
of it until it fully blooms to polyphonic song – and you’ve
no mortal doubt that you belong – in his affliction
and his calm. Heed his metronomic heart, of which
you’ll be a breathing, feeling, beating part.


Thursday, October 1, 2009


You dream the lines of bone
in Nefertiti’s sculpted head have
disengaged phantasmically to zone
themselves into a webbed array of fine
proportions that imposes on –
floats to, seeps through, infiltrates –
the sinews in your hand – to redirect its

many morphological misunderstandings –
tutor fingers into sculpting something
like her grandeur and perfection:
intuitively calculate the angled
stance, erection of her neck
and skull and cheek and lips
and single blank left eye to educate

and pry your vulnerable gifts
into dumb humble acquiescence:
to ally them with geometry beyond
the precepts of the human – to align
your mortal imperfections for a moment
with a palpably divine eternal dawn.
Then you wake up, and yawn.