Monday, May 31, 2010


Today, attempts
at symmetry
will be allowed
to wander: today

we’ll squander
every impulse
towards the perfect
circle, dump

the craving
for an unassailable
geometry: today
all regulated

and depictions
of exactitudes
put to the test

will be, as sweetly
as they can be,
patted on their
heads and fed

and put to rest.
Today we’ll live
as if a life goes on
forever. Today

we’ll sit there
in the hay, chew
chewing gum,
and be a bum.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joshua Reynolds, My Mother and I

Planted in a tiny corner of my many-cornered heart resides
my psyche’s take on what a rough draft of a Reynolds
double portrait of a lady and her daughter might look like:

elegantly spiked with long-necked grace; perhaps the last
vestigial siftings I inherited of dreams my mother had: of what
I’m secretly quite certain would have made her very glad:

an intimate affection for a daughter. My mother never
had one, nor a mother she remembered: matriarchy must
have seemed a strange unfathomable pearl. When I was

a little boy, I watched her watching with a covered private
yearning women talking to their little girls. Perhaps I learned
that joy cannot be willed; some absences cannot be filled.


(above is a revamped condensed version of original. here's the original:)

Joshua Reynolds, My Mother and I

Planted in the shadows of a tiny corner of my

many-cornered heart resides, propped up like art
in some haphazard crayon-colored state, my psyche’s
take on what a rough draft of a Reynolds double portrait
of a lady and her daughter might look like: elegantly
spiked with long-necked grace – bespeaking the alleged

Enlightenment of England when she'd ruled most of this
blessèd goddamned place: which somehow constitutes
the last vestigial siftings I inherited of dreams
my mother had: no, not of painting nor of Reynolds
nor of aristocracy – but what I'm secretly quite certain
would have made her very glad: an intimate affection

for a daughter. My mother never had one, nor a mother
she remembered: matriarchy must have seemed
an unattainable unfathomable pearl. I watched
her watching, with a covered private yearning, women
talking to their little girls, when I was a little boy. I knew
I couldn't fill some absence that would bring her joy.


Saturday, May 29, 2010


Long-forgotten sentry
in a long-forgotten age,
waiting for a long-forgotten
war: tending to the making
of his manhood. Sweaty

head in awkward helmet,
agile body in a dirty tunic,
silly get-up, enemies
are not expected yet:
his armor’s in the barracks.

He lapses into fantasies
and naps: he’s told
that someday there’ll be
swords. Breezes lilt
against his shoulders,

forearms, face: he prays,
and therefore knows,
he’s shielded by a golden
halo from the gods –
and by the rocky fortress wall.

He’s secretly delighted that
his beard is growing in
so heavy: proud he’s
getting tall. He could be any
seventeen-year-old at all.


Friday, May 28, 2010

If You Had Knees

Like a pear, a touch
befuddled by the sun,
swaddled in a cherry-satin-lined
black leather jacket,

you’re The Way – you are The One.
You slay. I am all wet:
a slave to your fruit-sweat.
You wear your smell

inexorably well. One whiff of you,
unmentionables swell.
I’d follow you to hell.
You make my future freeze.

Take me to the private shade
and breeze of your ancestral trees:
let’s rendezvous
with Gorgonzola cheese.

Oh, how provocatively deep
into your lap I’d put my face
if you had knees!
Do with me as you please.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The News

A group of four
small naked men
of varied hues
appeared quite

suddenly, today,
at noon, apparently
sufficiently regaled
by the aroma

of a bowl of cooling
canned tomato
soup to choose
to climb upon

the rim of it and sit
and schmooze.
There is no
other news.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Edgy Blots of Agita

Conversation isn’t always
what it ought to be.

Edgy blots of agita can eat the air
like macrophages on a spree,

bent on swallowing
the cellular debris

discharged by
deadened affect and ennui.

I’d get up
and take a pee.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Une Histoire d’Amour

Love seat – thickly padded
with the lessons of its past:

trios never do work out;
duos seldom last.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Waiting to Erode

to the cathedral blast

behind it
of orgasmically stained glass,

Grey Piety

the final pulse –
evaporates –


faint echoes
of a moan

and goad.

Stone, waiting
to erode.




Sunday, May 23, 2010

Waking Up is Hard to Do

You must admit you wake up into
colorful conundrums. You creep
out of penumbral sleep through
such diversely permutating folds
of nakedness, you never don’t feel

clothed. Every morning you come to –
still wrapped in vestiges of yet
another thick and unpredictable
excursion to and through that strange
centrality in you wherein infinity

meets mind – you’re tempted
to suppose you may well just have
had a taste – at least a little lick – of it:
the thing that matters. Then, in
the clattering vicinity of waking day,

you sense you hear a pair of clocks
tick-tock away, one stuck to time,
one not. An only seeming paradox?
Or are you merely navigating self-
invented traps? Yes or no, perhaps.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Propriety of Summer

Today New York examined
the propriety of summer:
detected premature insinuations

of it in the middle of a late May day:
randomly decided to survey it
as a fourteen-year-old girl – pretty,

pale, a little plump, and pony-tailed –
bravely wearing her new two-piece
black-and-yellow bathing suit –

dangling legs, up to the calves,
in all the cool wet candid sadness
of a lonely swimming pool:

didn’t feel so bad though, kicking
ripples back and forth – but:
should it be allowable this soon?

Oh, tell it to the moon. Some
ominously tiny premonition
nipped at her – which she ignored.

She turned herself into a sweaty
thug and subwayed to the Bronx.
New York is never bored.


Friday, May 21, 2010

In the Act

I think I just
Caught God
In the Act

of Fashioning
the Missing Piece
to Everything!

Either That
or He was
Eating It.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Settling In

The year is always settling in:
nothing but itself is interesting to it.
Concatenating quantum bit to quantum bit,
catapulting constantly into becoming:
always here, and simultaneously

clearly, queerly, cleanly gone,
it masquerades complacently
as the foregone: self-evidently
brightly leafed or snowed upon:
implicitly, hilariously, ominously normal.

Formal aspects of its pat existence
are as gloriously fine, replete, complete
as anything that throws a shadow
in old Plato’s cave can be.
I wonder what it has to do with me.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Little Vengeful Bugger

Condensing from
unconsciousness –
anxiety to sweat –

quickly prickling,
coalescing into
rippling palpability –

a muscular muh-fuh
about two inches tall:
grumbles ‘round May’s

grassy folderol appalled
he can’t find ass to kick:
little vengeful bugger

wants some action.
Doesn’t seem to realize
he’s a fraction. Hmm:

memories of when
he ran the show.
Long time ago.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Solution

Your mind became a raid
of spirits swarming suddenly
beneath and through a table
and a chair, draining substance
from the room, replacing it

with your unprecedented essence –
your own secret stash of air:
fresh dream excitedly producing
and exalting blots and streaks
of blue and pink and yellow cream –

making fat and solid fact of fiction –
rushing through so thoroughly
persuasively that any friction
of resistance was at once quite
overcome. All the blocky stuff

of life was immaterial – all
the anxious brash banality
it had become was something
now, to which you were,
at last, and marvelously, numb.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Your Lumpy Bottom Parts

Yet another pretty cottage-y
confinement you just busted out of –
grown so large inside it that you woke up
wearing it as if it were a hat. You long ago
learned painfully it’s guaranteed your lumpy
bottom parts would shove right through
the door again and push your little secrets out
(front and back). By now, at least,
you’ve learned to wear your favorite
underpants (red and black).
You cannot crowd yourself into a this or that.

Luckily the weather’s warmer now; perhaps
a stroll half naked down the street
would be a treat. Maybe seek the grand
domain. Maybe do not curl up, furl up,
sneak into the dark. Maybe set your
sights upon a park. Be its lawns
and fountain, swing, calliope. Be
the seasons changing in it unapologetically.
Drop your underpants: be unabashed
and pink. Turn your face up, open both
your fat lips to the sky and take a drink.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Long Seasoning of Light

Night in middle May divides the muddle
of you neatly, briefly; day – tugging
dawn, delaying dusk – otherwise
is chiefly light – our star now
immemorially starts to char again
the slice of slightly oblate spinning rock
we live on with ballooning luminescence –

whose imprecise soft shock at five a.m.
seems premature – stays on and on
to probe more surely into evening
than you’re ever first prepared to think
polite: until, by now, a brightness so
prevails that even you have started
falling under the enchantment

of its blinding veil: spangling the angle
of your world, altering its tune, until
you think the scheme might permanently
turn to June. Magnanimously, you
accept your fate! – decide you’ll follow
what it destines to the letter.
You guess you’d damned well better.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Making Like Daphne

A Sort of Manifesto

Random rhythm, pitch and tessitura – less bravura
than obscenely rash – brash city birdsong splits the dawn,
grates and gores you – indiscriminate display – antic chaos –
bloody ancestors of dinosaurs in service of exactly nothing
edible to comprehension, reproducible to human sight.

Beats the stuffing out of you what it’s about: this oddly
ardent proud collective shout. Like a bunch of poets in a pout.
You do not do the things that others do, as far, at least,
as you are able to construe: you are a hybrid and a stew
and slew of easy rhymes, improbable excursions into psyche:

words are not your servants and you lack the least criteria
to claim a place among their alphabet: but something
in your aberrance exacts an arrogance – self-administers
a tincture of a secret animating DNA – and hoop-de-doo
you alchemize away: become the child, finally, of play

eviscerating into absence: absent mom and dad whose
admiration could be had through art: the overwhelming realm
whose sneaky fits and starts perversely here insist on
something cavalier and easy – just a simple tossed-off
alchemy: to demonstrate the absolution of this absolute:

nothing can be found in niches: there has never been a poem
or a drawing worth a thing that wasn’t really something else.
All you know is when you go to sit upon a toilet thinking
you are there for excretory purposes your unsuspecting
surfaces combine to make like Daphne coalescing roughly

into plant: a tree and undiscovered source of peony and bush
and leaf and branch. Which somehow right from where it’s
rooted makes its strange imaginative way back to the source
of sway and play that constitute the thing you do. Sing-zoo-
bling-true-swing-new. Lovely flings rhymes bring you.


Friday, May 14, 2010

What the end of this cold feels like

Un-pretty lady,
café table, circa 1910 –
low on acumen –
personifies demise:

a history of sighs;
cannot fathom
what to do with life.
She will not be a wife.

Isn’t bright.
Sits without a hope.
Who is there to be?
Surely can’t be she.

Go ahead and grope
for any better
metaphor or trope.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Without It

Memory’s a cartoon
of a decorated daddy
pulling up his calligraphic son –

spun to weave intricacies –
falsities and filigrees –
absolute necessities.

queer about it.

We’d disappear
without it.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meditations on two titles I wish I had come up with

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Visions come
of breath applied to form –
swarm soft towards night –
warm, light –

what is left
into a mist, eviscerating
into something blessed,

the best phantasmal death –
the dust – at last –
of that disintegrating figure
of the man you never knew

if you had wanted
or had wanted to become –
blown mercifully into

suture, tendon, bone
atomizing: future, past
drying up,
numb as ash.


The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

to the dawn.
Long gone.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Vibrato Witch

She is small.
She holds the kernel
at the very center
of the golden
trembling call
whose slightly
smoky radiance

sometimes befalls
a lucky violin
or set of vocal cords:
fleetingly affords
a touch of blushing
viscerally shocking
vibrancy which

stokes, evokes
the softest
ecstasy the human
ear can bear.
Today she dropped
a bit of it into
my care: let it brush

my cup of left hand
on the violin –
even dropped
a dollop of its
volupté into my
throat, for song.
It didn’t last for long.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Every Idea I’ve Had Today

Primordially thick,
the barely
pulsing things

each hauls up,
brings about –
effects – tugs

from the messes,
mucks and brinks
of instincts –

all amount
to diffidently
mixed varieties

of faintly
colored muds.
Extricated forcibly

in pumping sucks,
they end in
clumping thuds.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Taking Care of It

Today I sense the perpetrator
of my rhino-viral hell:
I close my eyes and see
a snail’s head looping out

not from a shell but from
a ropy neck and dog-like
body with four trembling legs.
It piteously begs.

It seems to know
it hasn’t long to go.
I always wondered what
was meant by taking care

of colds. But now I know.
I shall make bold to comfort
my small snail-dog while
its virulences fold.


Saturday, May 8, 2010


Trussed up and painted garishly,
what act will it perform?
Some circus act of trickery?
We aren’t even warm.

It can’t help that it looks like this,
perched on a hatbox stand.
It badly wants to take a piss,
not wait for some command

it couldn’t possibly obey;
it lacks the smallest skills:
can’t wriggle through a hoop or play
a banjo, whistle trills.

All it can do is blankly sit –
and watch you as you strain
to wait for some small sign of wit
that might just entertain.

Sometimes, when I will look at you –
and you will look at me –
we’ll similarly misconstrue
our own capacity.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Birthday Poem

I got a glimpse –
at last! – of soul today.

He popped out of the blue
to sit upon a blue art deco curb

about ten feet away –
naked, slightly wary –

tinted blue himself –
appeared a little cold –

not very old –
late adolescence:

fuzzy-bearded, awkwardly un-used
to sensual maturity –

still a touch embarrassed
by his body hair.

It’s taken almost sixty years
to get him there.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Ambiguities

Sometimes when I look into
your very human face, all
that I can think to say is:

Don’t imagine there is any
other place but here, or any
other way to be but in it.

I want to rhyme that Mozart
can be made to sound divine
upon a spinet or kazoo,

suggesting that this may just
have a tiny bit to do with you.
But I don’t say a thing.

I look into your ambiguities
and wait for them to take
their own sweet time to sing.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Death Put Down His Scythe Today

Death put down his scythe today –
he left behind his hood –
he wondered if it wouldn’t serve
a clear and greater good

to sit upon some steps somewhere
and give the world a look –
a forearm resting on a knee,
a foot upon a book.

He took the guise of student –
post-graduate, Comp Lit –
lithe and sure at twenty-four:
serenely handsome, fit.

None who passed him had a clue
just who he really was.
But something knew: as, one by one,
the bees all ceased to buzz.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On the Lam

Guilty fishies on the lam?
Come to me for counsel, dears.
I shall rid you of your fears.
That’s the kind of clam I am.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Take a Talent Out to Tea

Ask it to dress up
for an occasion!
Take it out to tea.
Have it wear a pretty
ring. Say you’ll cover
everything. Repair
to some dark lair

to share. Clink
and bless the cups
upon whose brims
you’ve found, with it,
the brink: whereon
two sets of lips
can now aspire

to conspire – drink
to think. Put your
frizzled pretty heads
together: promulgate
a plan. You can play
the lady, it can play
the man. Or entertain

an altogether other
sham shenanigan.
Facilitate felicity –
felicitate facility.
Achieve a little wit.
You’ll get the gist,
and so will it.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Extenuating Circumstances

Today all circumstances
are extenuating. Whatever
seems to be is not.

Assumptions misconstrue,
but they are all
you’ve got.

Sigh at

overlapping implications
of the circumstantial

Let the sleeping


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Working Conditions

Silly sculptor carved his masks
when he was naked –
sometimes wore an apron –
wood chips, paint and glue
and variously edged
and angled scalpels, hammers,
nails and knives – among
his other implements designed

to scrabble out another clue –
all constituted something
like a nemesis. But he would
craft another genesis
no matter what it took. Odd,
the morning after, though:
swaying to and fro upon,
and at, his blocks of heavily

pigmented rock, he’d only
give the mask he’d carved
the night before a single look –
before consigning it to
softly incrementally increasing
thick forgetfulness –
a widening, a hole: the sweet
oblivion of hungry soul.