Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Metaphysically or Otherwise

What was the thought that made you pretzel up?
What brought you to this awkward place?
It couldn’t have been too abrupt.
Not long ago you had a face.

You sit and make your knuckles crack.
You feel as stupid as a cow.
What to think to turn you back?
How the devil are you thinking now?

Metaphysically or otherwise,
was this your fault?
All you can surmise
is, you could use some salt.


Monday, August 30, 2010

(See Stage Right)

If it’s true there is no time,
and all is simultaneous,
it’s nice to think that Cinderella
never really is, will be, or was alone.

Instead of ever sitting by herself,
she’s always next to everything
she has or will become!

Of course that would include
a black abyss of doorway
(see stage right). There always
is, will be, and was eternal night.


Sunday, August 29, 2010


Sometimes you cannot put a human face
upon the thing at all. You decide
the vision’s blotches have intentions which

produce a generating propagating system
and a strong protective wall. You see sense
in its conglomerate immensity:

the fine organization of a cell: not the chaos
of a random hell. Surely colors hold a clue.
Without meaning, what are you?


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sextuple Dare

Today one took exactly what one had –
in this case, one’s six heads (not bad
for an array of crania) – and wrote a page
of mania they could recite upon the stage:

lately they’ve been aching for the limelight –
“write a roundelay and make it rhyme right!”
So I did the thing, which they then memorized –
but when time came to sing, the six were paralyzed!

Or so at first I thought: but no, they were content
to sit there on a chair, with no particular intent
to do more than to gaze and stare out into air.
They had colluded on a double – well, sextuple – dare:

to see if they could get me to produce a way or mean
to gather up an audience and get them seen.
Six heads don’t have too many places they can go.
When the chips are down, put on a show.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Something Soporific in the Air

in a chair,

he almost

that he


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Autumn Is Icumen In

The face of Autumn
flashed at me today –
as orange-ish and green-eyed
as an Irish play, but calmer
than the whiskey-riven
driven drama that might be:

sweet, in fact:
surrounded by a panorama
and a panoply of gently
jarring brownish reddish
green and yellow radiating lines –
beseeching, breaching,

reaching out like veins,
like vines – linking Autumn’s
geniality to unseen climes,
and climbs – inducing
these too-easy rhymes.
There the face was,

smiling like a glamorously
artificial Whitman:
old Walt drained of salt.
Pretty, though.
Autumn is icumen in –
August soon will go.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still There

If a poem is successful, you can’t know from it what the poet thinks. You can only know what the poem thinks. Anon.
He comes and sits upon the bed.
I don’t think he is Hunger.
He isn’t pleading to be fed.

What accounts for all the blue?
Might he be Sorrow?
He says he simply likes the hue.

Is he Emotional Paralysis?
Dissociative Trance?
He says he’s not about analysis.

I tell him that I’m getting sleepy.
He doesn’t seem to care.
It’s all become a little creepy.

He’s still there.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here, Somehow

Existence is impossible.
What to make of that?
Absence is the rule.
The thing you used to bat

around when you were young
you used to call a ball
turns out to be illusory:
no ball exists at all.

The skin you touch, the kiss
you render to a lover
all amount to something
like the shadow of a cover

of the notion of a puff:
neither evidence of breath
(for nothing ever is or was)
nor harbinger of death:

no palpability of any kind.
Yet – less exploded star
than a hypothesis –
here, somehow, you are.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting a Head

It isn’t that he doesn’t have a leg to stand on – he has two.
His other bodily accoutrements are operative; nothing is askew.

He really only has one dread.
How to choose a head.

It used to be amusing long ago –
to opt for something roguish or de trop:

to play iconoclast, and be a blast –
long-haired and beatific, or obnoxious ass –

scathing and vituperative or as sweetly wisely prayerful as a monk.
And in his deepest funk –

when he was really down –
he knew he could put on the clown.

But lately it was tedious to fake it.
What might it be to be? – just sit there like a an opening and take it?
He sighed: he knew he’d grown unpalatable naked.

Who would want him if he didn’t do his acts?
What were the facts?

Surely nothing he should pout about.
He’d sit there headlessly and think it out.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Some Alarming Part of This

See the fairy spirit boy
who’s always almost waking up
inside the layered plush protective flow

that keeps him safe from any starker
rush or throe of consciousness.
Beyond his liminality,

a darker interest waits;
no sign, so far, however,
that his grogginess abates

or that he wants it to.
Some alarming part
of this is you.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reflecting on the Mystery

It must consume the human to be art –
this proto-porphyry cartoon –
this hunger to be beautiful – part
craving for attention, part platoon

of murky not-quite fleur-de-lis
all aching one day to be worn
by some grand emissary –
or, wily as a courtesan, adorn

the bedroom of a potent prince:
an indiscriminate perfection
so complete it must evince
its own voluptuous election

to a state of masterpiece: a stay
against the mumble of its heart.
But now it’s only purple clay.
It must consume the human to be art.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Existential Fairy

It seems to take an int’rest,
though in what we can’t be sure –
this existential fairy pest –
this “guardian” – less pure

in virtue, from what we can see,
than fairy tales suggest;
it flies with some authority
but if this is its best

at causing happy things to be,
much less to make them rock,
we’d just as soon it took a pee,
or knit an argyle sock.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Magnificent Erection

The acts performed by Anger
are theatrically aimed at slapping
you: alerting you to the exquisitely
erosive and explosive and purposive
scintillating hot necessities of direness.

It’s nicest when self-righteousness
can be evoked: snarky little snits
can leave you feeling choked.
But when you think you have a noble
cause to crow about, protect –

look out for the magnificent erection
of a grand morality you’d never known
until its blast that you had waiting
to defame self-evident injustice!

Amazing how articulate
a man can be when he is mad.
But even if you bluster without
consonants, it isn’t bad.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Soft Sad Silly Paradigms

The dreams you never recollect
and therefore can’t suspect you’ve had
become the ones that most recur.
They aren’t either “good” or “bad” –

they muddle, waddle, puddle in –
erupt into a whacked-out zoo
of soft sad silly paradigms
which haven’t much to do with you.

It would be nice to think that they
gain entry to protect you.
But really they just needed space,
and happened to select you.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Something In Your Eye

So what’s that sad young hatted man
about, standing in a sea of pinkish liquid,
holding some strange little yellow creature –

is it sleeping, is it dead? What’s that
green amorphous thingy swimming
through what ought to be the air ahead –

globules of some unnamed substance
filling what no longer looks like sky?
Have you something in your eye?


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Private Life

Private life is like the dolly you are not
supposed to have, and hide beneath your
underwear – totem, talisman and confidant –
bare, worn and cracked from years

of hugging, ripping, praying to it, throwing it
across the room – heir to all the hell
and bloom of your exacting passions, gleeful
negligence and inexcusably delicious rage –

heir, as well, to tense resolves kept to yourself
that no one need know just how cavalier
you’ve been with body, money, sex and soul.
Lodged there like a beaten pet, it does

command a certain anxious mute respect.
You have committed no infringement
of its single rule for which you’ve ever once
had to atone. You’ve left it happily alone.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

“Don’t wait.”

Drawn to his commanding grand peculiarity,
we hailed the man:
“What should we understand?”
With lips so widely stretched
they'd permanently etched a dimple, he began.

“The principle is simple.
Expecting anything is ill-advised.
Existence has already been devised.
You aren’t early and you can’t be late.
It’s right to hate to wait! Don’t wait.

There is no waiting. Nothing is increasing
or abating. Nothing’s far or near.
The whole thing’s so voluminously here
that once you notice it you can’t stop grinning.”
He grinned so much it seemed like sinning.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Silently and Overnight, Perhaps

You don’t know how the thing gets in.
It helps, you guess, that it’s so sinuously thin –
which you presume enables it to winnow

and insinuate through cracks: silently
and overnight, perhaps, it creeps along
the floorboards – tightly tucks into a speck

amid the other specks beneath your desk –
you now expect that when you go out
in the morning it investigates whatever means

of ingress, egress are accessible to get it
efficaciously back to the surface you’ll
return to – to pursue what it appears to know

you daily must pursue. Compelling its pale
surface into brilliant yellow, spots of glowing
green and pink, it then availingly and deftly

drapes over your shelves and pens and papers –
praying it might make you think – if only
it could bellow, bray at you to win the prize!

seduce you like a barker in a carny booth.
It wants so badly to be molded, painted,
stretched and blown and blasted into truth.


Monday, August 2, 2010

His Sadness

Rocks – near imperceptibly –
soft subtle seismic aftershocks –
sits in its own private purgatory –

like some stunned youth,
abandoned inexplicably,
who does not know

how beautiful he is, or if he is alive.
An undramatic dive into interiority
becomes the Universe: part strangely

sweetened curse: part utter stasis.
Irresolution is its cadence
and its basis. His sadness knows

more than you know,
more than you could.
More than you should.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


Every soul belonged to Joni Mitchell then,
back when we turned the switch –
became the strange bewitching secret
we became. It wasn’t just a game
of generational revolt – a bolt

of brutal voltage zapped through everyone –
not usually enough to kill –
a nanosecond’s worth – sufficient
to exhume us – thrill and jolt us into thinking
we had done the beckoning ourselves.

Perhaps we had. Suddenly we thought
we mattered. Inevitably we began
to spill and spatter: but the drops still
sometimes coalesce. We altered
and were altered at the altar, more or less.