Sunday, January 31, 2010

It is the Final Day of January, After All

The blended ripened volume
of the day attends to me again:
rich late winter afternoon fills up

my eyes with the voluminousness
of foreseeable demise: it is no secret
that it will be dark. But now the light

is magisterially parked in Brahms –
achieving one last grand C major
melody: soon it will be paler Debussy,

and then descend to purple Mahler:
after that, well, it depends: my
interfering heart and mind will collar

night into whatever fantasy in
whose creation they have not
informed me yet they will collude.

Music might be guillotined entirely:
lately they’ve been reaching
for the inharmoniously rude.

It is the final day of January after all.
February may decide it needs
its messy say. Heads may fall.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

On the Murder of Someone We Knew

“God is the King!” Well, be that as it may,
but when one of our number goes down,
and another one does, brutally, every day,
every death puts a crack in His crown.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Like a Bandit

What I would do
if I were you
must surely be irrelevant.

But oh! – if I could
let you know the rabid pleasure
you unwittingly bestow

by merely walking towards
me in a room, your hair
un-groomed, hand-mussed,

stuck up in random peaks,
your square butt flopping down
into a chair, your legs

splayed wide, your body
leaning back in
unaccustomed thought, your brow

a kind of study in the sort
of slightly fraught
and pensive frown

a jock would make
attempting to remember
something hard in algebra,

perhaps a whiff-bit conscious
you’re displaying all the delectation
of you in the round,

allowing me to look,
just look –
oh, if you knew

the things you cook
in me – the private ways
I steal you like a bandit.

If you were me regarding you
I wonder how long
you could stand it.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Soul’s Gadgetry

Its magic never goes away –
this gadgetry of soul – which works
incessantly all day – precisely
to assay perceptual intricacies:
measuring and weighing, holding up

in its sleek sweet mechanic pincers
every fractal whiff and wiggle
apprehended by the mind – to turn,
contrast, investigate: to find exactitudes
of core and edge and spine and aura –

all in order to discover just that angle
of a side or top or bottom of a stretch
of, say, the textural translucence
of a sigh or sleep-warm skin which
offers, optimally, every best view

it can get of what’s within and how
it plays with and relates to – alters
and engages – what’s outside.
Just now I took another little winter nap
and all my gadgetry went gently snap

and whizz and pop and calculated just
the right illuminating fizz to keep me
in the business of experiencing
my own strange existence. I thank it
for its pulsing fond persistence.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Someone’s Gotta Do It

I try to catch me unaware
before I dare effect my daily
execution: you see, I need
to kill myself each day
but – like a ferret, bird or eel –
I’m hard to find and steal
and keep my hands on.

I beckon – crook and wag
my index finger – crooning,
“here, sweet baby, don’t
be scared,” hoping I will
take the bait and creep
out from my daytime lair.
Generally eyes get wide

and nostrils flare and I am
nowhere here or there.
But sometimes, when
it’s late and I have had
enough of daylight
and the sorts of grating
loud realities that daylight

seems to like, I strike
a tacit pact, agree to crack
the shell and all the inner
semi-liquid me bloops into
some new swelling splay
of entropy, and that,
my friend, is what you see.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I honestly have no idea
where any of this comes from.
I sit here, dumdy-dumdy-dum:
and humdrum quatrains come


or verse-lets
aching to become
sweet little tercets


or a sonnet which now seeks to savor
something in the realm of dreamlike senses
that appear to want to change the flavor
of my adjectives, adverbs and tenses –

so to be the signal I would send out
to those yearned-for ears and hearts and tender
sensibilities which might then lend out
news of what they’d heard, to her – to send her

on a further voyage through to some king
who might help the lot of us to fuel
yet more fusing coalescence: drumming
into some translucent state of jewel

a balcony from which we’d then have shown
an alchemy transfiguring our own –


which might not have put out its glimmer, quick –
if we had enabled the trimmer trick
of treating her gout
so she wouldn’t spit out
the whole of this foregoing limerick.


You ask: who is her?
I reply: she is she.
Use correct grammar
or don’t speak to me.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Themes repeat –

again, the violin – which I resist, again:
I disinter it from its case again –
to practice Brahms and Bach and Beethoven

preparatory to rehearsing in an orchestra for yet
another concert – the prospect of performing which
I constitutionally seem again prepared to hate.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that every string
has loosened to the wan flaccidity
that every man has nightmares is his phallic fate.

Patiently, I tune it up: slowly it resumes
at least the simulacra of its function –
then the A string snaps. And I pretend

(swallowing my bitterness) I’m tender as a mother
while I passively-aggressively extract its silver ends
and thread the new string in –

and slowly bend
and coil it –
and twist

and twist
and twist the peg –
and tune it up

and tune it up again
and tune it up again
(repeat by powers of ten)

and here I am again again again
resisting the poor wooden creature in my lap,
hoping that another of its strings won’t snap –

or hoping that it will. Why does this always make me ill?
“Use your music,” said my mother just before she died.
It’s like she got inside and pried.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Titian Blue

You are the Titian blue exotic flower
of an efflorescent confluence of rivulets
of grace: so many random odd embraces
brought you here: the first, the passionate

conjoining of, expulsion from a pair of loins:
the rest a brace of unremembered, barely
known, misunderstood and treasured
kisses, arms, alarms, disarming presences

who wanted you or whom you wanted
and who are as gone as any ancient
geologic epoch: oh, be as fond of blooms
as any generating god would be! Today’s

magnificently January – pale and darkening,
cold rain – an afternoon to entertain the range
of strange peculiarities like these: the way
the Nineteenth Century elaborates its fractal

curlicues into the gray amalgamating frieze
your eyes take in of cornices across
the street and branches in the park, the way
the winter city comes to meet you in the dark.

This is the pleasantest dream harbor
to embark from and return to: be the Titian blue
exotic flower that you are through all of it.
Don’t worry that the weighty petals fall a bit.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Mess

You back off
from the stab
and sting of things:

the mess: the rabid
tabloid pro’s and con’s
that slice

into opinions
like a sadist
into skin;

you can’t abide
the least slick
snideness –

bloodiness inflicted
in a mindless conflict;

warring politics –
unfunny farce –
sicken, then depart

and leave you
hollow, drifting
in the breach.

Pluck off
every leech
and leave

the grind!
And grieve,

to find:
there’s nothing left
without the mess.


Friday, January 22, 2010


The day is fragments –
sharp and tiny shards –
to touch them is to bleed.
No meaning or intention:

Being doesn’t care.
A flood of blood would
merely be what’s there.
How strange the votive thing

we make of motive!
Stories we must tell.
Alternatives to hell.
Though hell’s another story.

I am trapped in hungry
semi-sentient mammal meat,
and I do not know what
to give the thing to eat.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today I Know

Today I know
the heat of its
transgressive flesh:

I taste a breeding
blood-hot illegitimacy
in its breath –

I roll and wrestle with –
am conquered by –
the sweet illusion

that it blesses
to seek fusion –
I believe religiously

in its relieving touch.
Today I know
it’s all too much:

reflect without, within –
from skin to soul –
its bold ecstatic reflex.

Today I know
the Universe
is sex.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

That Not Unappealing Cockney Gecko

Others seem to worry whether they’ll be loved or have
the money or the health to be or get the rest
of what they want before they have to die, but you
ridiculously sit there wondering about existence – not
your own, particularly, but the loud unfathomably spot-on
thing itself. Reason would suggest you put this on the shelf.
But reason is what got you into all this to begin with.

The sunlight flares like warriors: armies of it rampage
through the windows and cut up the couch and threaten
to unseat the rest of everything. But what is everything?
And there you go again. You’ve eaten pretzel sticks –
they worked a bit – crispy salt licks stuck into
a bit of peanut butter helped – distracted you
from feeling like a nutter – not, to tell the truth,

that’s what you’ve felt like. Existential winter makes
you melt like dirty snow. Police Procedurals
parade in one unending flow of reruns on the TV:
but you are puddled into such incomprehension that their
urgencies seem avant-garde. Too cliché to say it’s all
a theater of absurdity: there may be nouns and verbs
that might be useful after all: laughter at the fall

of sense has such a hollow echo. Rhymes will follow
nonetheless as you watch yet another car insurance
ad which features that not unappealing cockney gecko.
There have been earthquakes, yes – and there
are friends of yours in deep, deep trouble: and you
and they and what you can’t, you think, help but survey
as “everything” remain as fragile as a bubble.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Arrays of the Irregular

A pocked, peculiar day –
dotted everywhere with
existential pot holes in arrays
of the irregular. Bright pixels
in the internet would like to blind,
and almost do: perusing pics
too closely on my laptop

screen has caused a neon
scaffolding to bridge across
the theater of my inner eye –
which only lying on my back
and peering up into the gloomy
half-lit afternoon at Henry James’s
claus-y prose can healthfully

anneal (I’ve done so and have
healed); the other sun appears
to nestle relatively safely
thick behind the buffering
of January cloud and ozone layer
and the globe’s magnetic field:
allowing me and you and all

the rest of everyone to wield
more moments in our strange
respective lives. Something strives
to well up in me like the magma
of a nascent quake; the dusk
begins to fade and break –
and waits for me to wake.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Sex and Pizza

One obvious perplexity in sexual
desire is how it mires the imagination in,
and with regard particularly to,
those blunt aspects of fantasy
that influence (fantastically) the flesh:
the limbic system runs amok and all
the thing you are can think to do is fuck.

Without availing opportunities
to gratify one’s importuning flesh,
one tries instead to think of fresh alternatives:
but comes up with clichés: those tired
and repressive ways of redirecting lust:
a chilly shower has a certain tediously
chastening if sudden power; or, of course,

the other old resort: to seek an onanistic fate,
and masturbate. But why, I thought,
not channel one’s libido into food
and rev up to a culinary mood –
to be a feaster! – make an online order
for a pizza! – undergo alluring throes
of choosing something custom-made

from Domino’s: with extra cheese and meat.
And so I did, and was engaged
by all the entertaining thoroughgoing onsite
news of progress of what I was soon to eat:
Domino’s informed me that “Muhammed”
put my pizza in at 3:05, de-ovened
it at twenty after three and now

the thing allegedly was on its way to me!
I optimistically expect, when it arrives,
that it will be a fine distracting treat.
But that was quite some time ago.
and where Muhammed’s gone with it,
I do not know. It’s starting, now,
to vex. It seems a lot like sex.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

On Waking Up Achy

One hopes parameters of mind expand
as powers in the flesh disband

but probably it’s more correct to say
each serendipitously fades away

without regard to human wish –
at any rate not mine. The dish

of our existence nourishes
until whatever’s in it flourishes –

to our forgivable surprise –
in our unlivable demise.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Patterns That Will Have You

Frame it differently today.
The patterns that will have you
do not flow the way the others do.

The route down through the sway
that promises to bring you to
the end of everything is new.

Expect excoriating stabs:
a driven dark indifferent force
will blast you on its raging course

then leave you up for grabs.
Amoral, far beyond remorse,
dispassionate and cool, the source

will not so much reveal
as undercut your deepest mind
to make it leave its premises behind –

the mission? – not to heal –
for what needs healing?: but to grind
out the exactitudes that blind –

replace them with the chance
to breathe the sweet amorphousness
that really fills all consciousness –

and lets the damned thing dance.


Friday, January 15, 2010


We were thinking: jeweled
a sapphire’s blue –
something anyway

that fooled the eye into believing
all was well and settled,
gracefully in place;

and then perhaps we’d add
a brace of silk,
the lapidary hue of clabbered milk,

to drape around the thing
to juxtapose with – bring a lustrous
softness to – the hardness of the gem;

and then we’d prop a beveled
mirror at its hem to capture
baldly in its center

and refracted at its edges
the reflection of the pretty paradox
in glass: candlelight

would flicker in it – past
and through the shadows
and the glints which would,

we thought, quite
conjure up a mystery –
whose cinematic hints

and contrasts might distract us
from the error of pretending
that we weren’t feeling terror.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Only One Requirement

This is a joy that must be sung about –
this thing that floods you in a rush
of sensually brilliant winter urban light –
you sit here knowing that the night
will consummate the day and that the day
has consummated night and frankly,
everything is consummation. One wonders –
can one say these things and be believed? –

or, more: thereby retrieve capacities for life
in you and him and her and them and those
and these – gone, to come or here already?
There must be some way to hold steady
while you crow about this happiness –
without descending into sappiness:
express the sentiment, without the ‘ality’ –
reality, without the cynical reprise.

There must be some way to let you and him
and her and them and those and these
into this leavened heaven of a state of soul.
To beckon everyone to eat from
this great plate, deep bowl, provide them
each with proper holy golden knife
and spoon and fork. There’s only one
requirement: be besotted with New York.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

As If I Knew

Sex is cinema –
its sins are meted out
in private showings –

seized in filmic fantasies:
man and/or a woman
and/or man, women and/or men

adore, abhor, implore, or bore:
one or two or three or more:
profligate or sparse: mostly

it’s a Beckett farce: with luck you
get a scream – or double-feature.
(Super-individuated creatures

get to laugh.) Graph its dream:
you’ll find the cream of it
most always whips up after:

recollections of the thing
are pretty much what make it sing.
Love – supposed to fit you

like a glove – rarely does.
“Ha!” you say. “As if you knew!”
You’re right.

I rhyme a lot
and draw cartoons.
No clue.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Prima Facie Evidence

Memories are strange; old photographs
are stranger – the former bearing
witness to the tale you long to tell,

the latter selling prima facie evidence
you’d got it wrong: a surgical procedure –
and the form it would dismember.

I see your younger face and mine, less
battered then, than now, by time, and full
of longing: but for what? I can’t remember.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Winter Vagrant

Today I am a vagrant –
peeking ‘round the corners,
hitching rides
and begging sustenance
from passersby
who can be counted on
to look into my parvenu

imagination – take
its train and get off
at this January afternoon’s
beguiling station. I am a bum –
but then they are the sum
of my attractions and aversions
and perversities and predilections

and it’s not like
they don’t know
whose thumb is up –
or what he’s thinking
down below. Winter middays
are discreetly slow, thank heavens:
till they darken –

swallow up the diamond light.
But what a graceful
drifting afternoon
before that killing
and delicious night –
digging into stolen sighs
and other spectral cold surprises

with my sneaky spoon.
If I could steal the sun
and moon I’d snatch them both
in January like a demon cat.
Let some divine
constabulary lock
me up for that.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Only Saving Angle

Today my body
morphs a bit more
towards its end:

an overweening
sinking, achy
in a knee, all verging

on the probability
of gas. (We will not
talk about the ass.)

I am not pretty now –
I cannot quite
envision how

I ever was desired.
Mired in self-pity?
No: a fresh unblessed

of the flesh.
Facing this head-on

takes cheek.
The only saving
angle is oblique.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Here You Are Again

“Eternity is in love with the productions of time.” William Blake

Time’s texture,
in eternity –
strange mixture,
and fraternity:

the delegation
of experience
to delectation.
A luxuriance.


Friday, January 8, 2010


Do you ever really take a nap?
Appears, perhaps, more like
the nap takes you,
like meatloaf in a sandwich:
thick between two sofa pillows.

Unconsciousness begins to lick,
to nibble, then to chomp
and chew and swallow;
and, as lunch, what choice
is there? You follow.

Macerating in some
dark Imagination’s gut, you are,
you guess, digested into
nourishment, but all you’re
sure of is, you come back up

as discards: numb
undifferentiated undigested
ears and elbows, hands and feet:
detritus: all the stuff that naps
can’t eat, and must excrete.


Thursday, January 7, 2010


Infinitesimally sifting down –
quantum-tiny specks –
Being’s glitter –

existential snow –
drifting infinitely –
intimately –

filling space
invisibly –
blanketing the ground –

weightlessly uplifting –
while each tsunami
of a human

breath divides the glistening
explosively – supernovas
in a universe of atom –

in silence.

And what was that
we think we heard
you say?

“Who me?
Not much.
An uneventful day.”


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Almost Like a Life

Odd to feel
such delicacy –
barely held up –

spun into random webs:
cross-hatched, thin,

haphazardly –
in a balance

which defies all sense,
and gravity:
silver, catching sun,

to be undone.

for the glass,
she drinks.

Almost like
a life,
she thinks.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Today I am a Bag Discarded in the Street

Today I am a bag
discarded in the street –
just emptied of an ounce-point-five of pork rinds –
fried – with zero grams trans fat.
I glitter in the winter sun and crackle
underneath the feet
of indiscriminately stomping people,

whomps of whose great bombs
of random weight
are rather interesting.
As a species of clear nerveless cellophane
I feel no pain, but do
experience a sort of devolutionary
change from flat to crinkled to ripped large disbanding

shreds: it’s rather like
I’m sprouting many heads –
discursively pursuing entropy.
Anonymous quick hands retrieve the bits of me –
and drop them into meshed confines
of garbage can. A plastic Coca Cola bottle greets me
like a long-awaited fan.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Longings Aggravate

You cherish your warm winter lair –
but something in you rumbles something
else is unforgivably not there – a perfect
presence? – yes; and therefore not
attainable? – you’d reasonably guess:

which matters to your core about
as much as telling it it can’t have more
would ever do: your psyche is a crying
infant and an angry shrew: it knows
no gravity or time or place: all it knows

is that beside you in your bed resides
a hungry space that wants to swallow
up a large strong fleshly warmth
and hold it there for you to hold all night:
a sensually full resplendent quiet

incrementally awake, asleep big human
mammal right along the length, breadth
and circumference of you, to sniff
and kiss and lick and nibble and perhaps
occasionally bite – and bait with whispered

personal suggestions nuzzlingly delivered –
out, profoundly out, of anybody else’s
hearing, scent or sight. Oh! – turn off
the light: it’s late. Winter longings
aggravate. Lucky bears! They hibernate.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Glance, Translated

I taste the grace
of knowing
that the sweet balloon

of you will float
no matter how or when
or if we meet –

or what we do or don’t do
when or how or if
we do – or don’t.

I suppose
I ought to clarify,
but won’t.


Saturday, January 2, 2010


(from an interview with Benoit Mandelbrot re: fractals)

And you were studying the unsmooth.

That’s right. I soon came to devote my life to phenomena
that may belong to very different organized sciences but have the
common characteristic of being irregular and fragmented at many
scales. Like the weather, for instance. I could not possibly anticipate the
level of complication this youthful choice would bring to my life trajectory.

Today let’s try to play
right at the fragile edges of attention –
attend to those dissimulations
that disguise appearance –
camouflage the ragged
beat and meat that seem to need
to hide to ripen, open, bloom

into the feat you want to see and be.
Today I am exactly that faint burp
that just reminded you
you ate a garlic pickle
sometime earlier this afternoon.
Today I am the rush you
feel when you remember that

warm stranger’s inadvertent touch –
soft brush: his hand
against your hand as you were
standing in the subway car.
Today I am the strangest
part of moonlight – weaving
like a rivulet between the clouds:

becoming what you are
when you’re asleep at midnight
and you turn and hug your pillow
like a funky lover, breathing in
as deep as you can stand it.
Today I am a dark delicious habit
you indulge in one last time

before, reluctantly, remanding it
to your most bitter judge and jury.
Today I am the living
pulsing absence of all fury:
beyond all cognitive retention.
Today let’s try to play
right at the fragile edges of attention.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Minute Necessities

You wake up thinking,
from a dream,
that you’re a breath
inside the billows of a sail –
whose galleon proceeds
with you as one
of its minute necessities:

a gust of air, a bit of atmosphere
with push: a whoosh whose
larger motive is unknown
except to that prevailing sail,
which isn’t telling.
Making coffee makes you
tug the swelling trope back

to the land, to New York City,
that strange envelope
of blare and glare in whose
complexities you are a puff
of air as well: a little tease –
less measurably driven
but with work to do:

become a leaping sneaky lemur:
wide eyes – glimmers
of surprise and internecine plan.
Time to turn back
into man: the new year’s sun
erupts: New York’s
about to try to beat it up.