Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Dance

Faint, eroded, near-erased –
soon to be no more:
take it by its tiny waist
and waltz it ‘round the floor.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


quip – a
bit of slick
perusal, quick
catch!: too dark
to make much out –
but there is always this
interiorly strange conundrum
stuff to whip, regale and fluff you
into something that might just erupt
enough: sufficiently to blast a little freedom
in and up and through your winter heart. Slide down
the slope, my dear: I’ll meet you at its nether part. Today
we’ll close our eyes and belly whop onto the frozen Universe for art.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brutal Graces

Winter sun seems set
on blinding you
a little earlier today –
no way to stop the slow
revolving angle

of the global axis’ sway
away from that sweet
darkest solstice day
eight days ago – when
night was emperor.

A brutal glare too eagerly
cuts air: blares squarely
through the window glass –
zaps, slips between
the semi-shielding wooden

slats and you have just
as little power to survive it
as you’d have in space –
which come to think of it,
you are already in.

Not the first or last time
you will have to face
what brutal graces bring.
Inexplicability: synonymous
with everything.


Monday, December 28, 2009

I’m Dreaming Lately I Will Fall in Love

Perhaps it’s more than I should ask
of each day – to distill a drop,
if not of essence,

then at least of a reduction
of the brew from which I might expect
some prescience:

something with a touch less cloud –
a clarifying view: as when
a yawn induces tearing

in the eyes: a dawn, a gentle shock,
a slight surprise.
Perhaps it’s too much to surmise

that training my attention
on the spanned eternity
between the sunset and sunrise

might prod a benefit beyond
its entertainment: perhaps it’s too much
to imagine I might see the heart

beneath what’s guising it.
I’m dreaming lately I will fall in love.
I’d like to dream that I will rise to it.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Choosing Sides

I think,
when you pay attention,
you find

the brink of a divide:
of whose chasm

blasts about the orgasm
and the thunder
of the wonder;

a bleak blunt is-ness –

the solution to whose

a sweet releasing

I wonder if you
choose sides,
every breath.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

2 Short Poems That Have Something To Do With The Holidays



End joy.


Slow silver whale of yearning –
welling up through space –
reflected – shimmer burning –
in everybody’s face.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Cool Solace

We fret and worry, scurry – guilt! – feel misbegotten –
importunately fear we’re indefensible –

but fortunately no one’s indispensable.
When we’re gone, the thing – and we – will be forgotten.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sort of Thing You Have to Do Alone

Through the forest
of the city’s un-bought
Christmas trees
I forge my way: quiet –
on the private venture

and adventure
of discovering what
Christmas eve
and Christmas day
and night might be

if I bequeath them
utterly to every other
member of New York’s
constituency – that is,
everyone but me.

Cool late moonless
Winter Emperor
of Afternoon now glows:
as if he knows
an intimacy no one

merely human knows.
Tonight perhaps I’ll get
a peek behind his throne.
Sort of thing you
have to do alone.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

If She Were Here

Some prevailing wind –
a weather system you were in –
continual expenditure
of energy in one direction –
as if sped ahead along
the blank containing banks
of some eruptive river which,
invisible yet irresistible,

refused not to enlist you
in its insurrection: not unlikely
as the narrative, the story
you would fashion
of your past. It plausibly
suggests why nothing lasts:
too fleet and indiscriminate:
though maybe faulty in its

implication of a unity:
as if one thing advanced
more than another. You think
about your mother, born
on Christmas Eve. Pushing
off the isthmus of her death,
you’d had to leave so many
harbors: out to find

new marvels of a rich autonomy –
which surely ached, still aches
to grow. But strange,
the way things go,
always pushing off the banks
into another river. If she
were here, you wonder
what you’d have to give her.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Let’s try to take the measured earthbound view:
evince the sort of body-laden equilibrium
that might just make a fine fit animal of you:
pick through the front-lines
of your consciousness
to find the bits that proffer unsymbolic thinking:

“should I stuff an egg or kick a football?” –
something that prevents the sinking
and the bluffing puffery of involuted
self-examinations, with their proto-sicknesses
and folderol and castitooshigations:
which, besides which, get thick in the way

of sex and piss and food and drink and sleep
and all the other excretory, incretory bodily
sensations, functions, blinkingly
unconscious celebrations of the flesh,
than which there are no better ways
of living pleasurably. Keep it fresh:

activate a confluence of motor
instincts – scrap that nuanced
questionably “fascinating” introspective mesh.
Be a constitutionally un-poetic treat. Condense
into the potent unadulterated essence
of your dumb inimitable meat.


Monday, December 21, 2009


The given of this sunset’s well of light –
the unconsidered gift of it –
the glowing harbinger of solstice night

before it comes to spread its length
and breadth and depth beneath,
above, abreast of us: the eerie locus

of a peace which weaves a freezing
meteorological indifference into our warm
mammalian sensate lives: the way some

sensibility now strives to say what’s
happening: the quiet is immense
and almost musical: as if it were

an anthem to a balanced tension
in the Universe so perfectly conceived
and carried out that there is nothing

possible to disbelieve: all is true. The sky
is spiraling away from blue. The aim
of everything is answered by the view.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Solstice Sleep: A Rehearsal

Sweet excursion
of a winter-heavy sleep:
yesterday I took a nap so deep,
and underwent the sleek coercion

of a voyage to a dream so far away,
that coming up again seemed wrong.
Until I once again began to long
for more of the complete array

and knew I could not stay –
and so began another climb to an incursion
in and to another version
of a winter-heavy waking day.

Someday, I guess, there’ll be a fatal crack
in consciousness’ capacities
to re-invoke the known veracities –
and bring me back.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

What I Expect We Will Be Left With

Perhaps it’s possible
to reach another stage.
Every moment asks

that we engage.
Not that you can’t boldly
light a pagan candle

in the cold, scold the dark
or host the solstice –
strain poetic symbols

from the story of a strange
imaginary baby in the night.
But what I expect we will

be left with on December 25th
is what we knew back on
September, June and April 9th.

The endless wonder of this
infinite and grand eternal
momentary life.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Full Up

A bulldog
walks two
other bulldogs
down the street.

They all look
like they’ve
had enough
to eat.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Your To-Do List for Today

Be a mystic and a carpenter.
That would please us.
Secretly out-Jesus Jesus.

Let sense be common
and eternal and voluptuous –
without infernally disrupting us.

Sing a metered rhyme:
wanton as an August breeze –
wounding as a February freeze.

Purport to tell a lie:
cover it in mud and sod –
pray to it as if it were your god.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This, or That

On the basis
of precious

little data,
we think

up worlds,
pro rata.

Our eyes
see upside

We figure

from a guess
what’s round

or flat.
Amazing what

we make of this,
or that.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Drawing Came First

A rippling underneath –
a symmetry of neural network –
coalescing of a shape in chaos –
chaos which is never chaos –
circling, looping, swooping
into, out of, over and below
a strange complex insistent flow
in which the nature of all meaning
seems to wink –
you grab at it in outline:

in a blink
it slips away
but leaves a residue
which speaks to you:
tells you to go off again into the cloud
in whose amorphousness
a pod of porpoises allows
you just a fleeting view
of form: a phallus
or a palace –

the fractal lure of sex,
a vexed perplexity
which just as soon
as you’ve accepted it
resumes pursuit
of a geometry
the whole

A man could sing.


Monday, December 14, 2009



of space and time
as it aligns with the sweet

pulling crime of your specific gravity
is too excruciating to


knock me out.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

This Soft Shadowed Being

for Andy

There is a grandeur and a gladness
to this liquid afternoon, this covert light,
this pearled translucent weather –
a strange aggrandizement of blessings
in the rain, its backdrop alabaster air –
near colorlessness – which obtains today
between Manhattan street trees’ dormant

branches: sky is quietly announcing something
large and private. December afternoon cannot
not praise the coming night: an envelope
of darkness has embraced the whole,
and we are never not in starlight –
and I hear the tap of drops outside
and I am in such golden warmth and stillness

in this room: a nearly cataleptic trance:
to move at all would be to injure an essential
stance: the pause between the steps of some
god’s dance: a hush, a glance, a savoring:
I know no way to translate this soft shadowed
being into language, but ever-pressing
nearly-winter sky demands I try.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Someone Said You Understood

Someone said
you understood.
I wonder, in that case,
if I should blunder in
with the assumption
that you’ll grasp
the cower

in my eyes.
If you understand,
it can’t be a surprise.
I’d like to stand
here staring,
pouring out the whole
incontinent inchoate

continent of me,
while you,
as someone said
you do, foresee
the likely outcome.
I might be overcome
with tears.

I wonder at
the amplitude
of fears.
But someone said
you understood.
My, that would
be good.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Reason

Quiet – warm – respectful –
companionable guise –

a slight anarchic glint
in his amoral eyes

suggests a revolution
of manageable size:

begets another reason
to find all love unwise.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


In this opal well of light and shade
from which December afternoon is made –
in its grand volume and complexity –
its dance of dust in angled sun from which
I must avert my glance – before its solar
cataract combusts and overruns my eye –
in this incursion of the sky into the room –

this incarnation yet again of some felt bloom –
some sense of sometime – when? –
faint grasp of past, beyond my own –
in this attenuated flow and tone –
this proof of time’s illusion – this rhymed
allusion to a dimly recollected home –
not this one, no, and not in London, no –

but fluidly partaking of the source
of each, as if an ocean of some distant
century had now begun to lap its gentle
waves upon a beach – to draw Baroque
striated swerves and geometric curves
in sand with broken bits of shell –
some code informs me all is deeply well.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Elsewhere, I Guess

Playing too close to the edge –
I’m praying a quatrain pops out of the hedge
on the lawn of my untended poetic garden today:
I’ve been elsewhere, I guess.

Though I’ve stayed pretty much at the same
old address, I have left to the last squeaking moment
the task of reporting I ask of myself –
the work I require of assembling desires, aversions

and whiffs of the sweat of whatever just blessed me
or cursed me. My verses desert me.
Like lovers who lie on divans, unattended,
they’re done with excuses and couldn’t care less

whether I stumble in to caress them – undressed.
My nakedness isn’t a draw anymore. I try to implore;
they’re unspeakably bored and depressed.
I’ve been elsewhere, I guess.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Like Milk

The utterly reliable completeness with which refrigerated milk fulfills
whatever yearning my mouth, soul and psyche regularly bring to it
recalls the barest glint and whiff, vestigial trace, the almost utterly
forgotten grace not of my childhood so much as of the source of
something farther, farther – so much farther back than human
intercourse of any kind; beyond all genesis of Mind: where
had a sentient spirit somehow come to be, and thought

to seek to find it – the rebounding echo of the vast and
pounding first primordial Lack to which the Big Bang
rushed with its attractions – might have offered all
at once its absolution of an answer to all vexing
existential fears. That, perhaps, begins to say,
convey some fraction of the bliss with which,
through years, I’ve turned to the experience

of this entirely efficient counteraction to the
visceral somatic memory of that first dire
abyss. Whatever factions of experience
have since ensued – whatever cyclic
eons in which energy and matter
have become unglued,

construed –
there can

satisfaction in
one bit of it – no
sweeter glory – than
what is hinted at, implied

inside the story I can tell about
the way a gallon of refrigerated milk,
sipped through the night, so incrementally
provides its perfect and divine delight, through its
suggestive pearl-white flow of potable sweet liquid silk.


Monday, December 7, 2009


Attention must be paid –
but when it is,
look out
for all the wayward

and waylaid
misbegotten dark

that will, my darling,
seize you,
needle, wheedle
through and undermine

your every
last assumption
and presumptive
point of view.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

3:54 p.m., December 6, 2009, Manhattan

Here it is again,
slinking toward
the solstice:
that unearthly light –

angled as if
hungry for a fight
with something larger,
fiercer, more remote,

more full of mystery
than you or I
could ever be.
You cannot look

too long at it –
not that it will even
slightly mind you.
But it will blind you.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

That Light

There is, we think, a chance, at least,
of something like a magic feast
awaiting you tonight.

Look: see the makings of it here –
your day’s imaginings appear –
inviting: take a bite!

that is, when what you call “asleep”
becomes your state of mind. A deep
experience of sight –

more inward than the one you know –
will then begin its lyric flow –
regaling you: while bright

live warm ingredients prepare
themselves into a gleaming fare
whose redolent delight

will fill you past your brim and spill
into the yawning dawn: until
you’ve fallen from its height –

and find that you are here again,
amassing life and musing when
you might get back that light.


Friday, December 4, 2009

The Work

The Work takes notice of you
only insofar as you affect it –
health and mood must hit sufficient pitch
for it to go about the enterprise of dealing
with its germinating itch: although
you do not have to be awake for it:
it sorts through your unconscious
waverings, your somnolent

half-hollow dreams for what might be
its best negotiable schemes – retrieving
this or that exacting insight, pulsing color,
scent, arousal to effect theatrical
espousal of regret or celebration,
confession of defeat or prideful
hot assertion: it investigates all traces
of the grace of your erotic yearnings –

any dregs of desolate desertion –
assiduously burrowing, inquisitive
about your latest least exertion and how
useful any of its consequences –:
how it kisses, kicks the heart –
might prove to the creation – wielding,
molding – of a gratifying art.
Chilling how unwilling it appears

to care about your happiness:
(all that, to it, is sentimental sappiness):
but it does care more than you know
that you find ways to counteract
all tendency to stop and foster
everything it takes to make you go.
It hopes you’ll get the hint.
You are its only instrument.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Break – beat – batter
the egg of your heart,

for the sake of
the habit of art.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Day After London

Some distillation of experience
seems to have occurred
between my landing like a sack of concrete
and flying like a bird:

the vast amalgamated town –
condensing, purifying, trickles, falls:
where candle-lit John Donne
ruled pulpits at St. Dunstan’s and St. Paul’s:

the roiling skies above
the patient, slow-revolving London’s “Eye” –
the strange inviting Thames
beneath each London bridge: as if to die

there would be quite enough
to justify a life entirely endured:
Hampstead’s bracing heights –
the Strand’s slight swelling scribing line – insured

production of one strain –
thin vivid stream – of shimmer: quite a find:
despite a grinding jet-lag
my brain does not now seem at all to mind.



Late November London blossoms:
roses – blowsy, falling, fallen;
pansies – brazen and surreal –
frozen-grins on mad-dog purple
Pekinese: amid all these and in this

northern light and in this cloud-
exhuming and -exuding vacillating
bright/dim bluster of a place emerges
an amalgam face: divided man –
half-fluid, -monolithic – rooting up

from rock and sea – erupts into
the loins and groin and crack
of his strong self-supplying mystery:
he is the London night: spreads
ruthlessly – alchemically fecund –

flowering in winter. I seek the deep
beat of his pulse: and trust that I might
find a way to catch, convey a bit of it –
a little – fractionally – here. A strange
magnificence is always near.