Monday, January 31, 2011

Or Not

There comes a stage of life
to many members
of most sentient species
when one thinks
perhaps to risk the task
of taking stock: withstand
the shock of introspection –

peel off the mask –
elect to pick each rusty lock
that quarantines (let’s say)
a shameful lust
or fetishistic secret – making
sure the main experience
of Being will remain shut up –

thick with shadow
and remorse. There comes
a time one may decide
to take a different
course. Bring it to redemptive
light – full force! Or not.
Darkness makes things hot.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Artist’s Trance

Today you left a sketch all sketchy
on your desk; came back to find
a wretched yellow pest had fetched
the creature from your scene –
and now was busily demeaning
all you’d done – devising and incising

runs of radiating lines down through
the hollow fellow’s skull and spine,
revising him into a huge blue monument
of ice.“That wasn’t very nice,” you said,
but they were dead to you: they’d long
surrendered to the artist’s trance,

and were advancing quite without
another thought. What have I wrought?
Can art do art? Where does it start?
you wondered, though you didn’t
wonder long. As long as something’s
making something, nothing’s wrong.


Saturday, January 29, 2011


One beckons.
The other won't go.

Who is right?
They’ll never know.


Friday, January 28, 2011

The Secrets of Your Life

Someday the secrets of your life
will have been translated into
a mode you would not recognize:

a hieroglyphic code of colorfully
candid squiggly naked body parts
(of varied sizes) each depicted in its

intellectual relation to contextually
pertinent particulars of culturally
exigent requirements brought to its

quick perusal by whoever picks
the damned thing up. With luck,
you’ll get a post-grad shaved-head

skinny thirty-two year old who’s
bold enough to think that secrets
can’t be told because they’re secret.

Take a peek at you: tell me if you
have a clue. Need a breather? Down
the road, they won’t know either.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blue Girl on a Beach

Yesterday somebody told her
she should cup her hands into a heart –
right up to her face –
kiss the open space – place it

on her chest and close her eyes
and think of who
she wished she wished she wished
would kiss her. Next day he would.

You tried it too,
but couldn’t think
of anyone! On balance,
that felt good.


looking east, w 10th street, 7:30 a.m. today

no poem. just a pic. credit luck, the sun & my blackberry camera.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Ah, to be out!
Drink from the spout.
Summon gypsy powers.
Swoon like tipsy flowers.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Angry Mother

Love the angry mother.
She’s had it up to here.

Saddled with assumptions
of so many others –
battling the existential fear

which roots and cuts down
through her heart and womb
that there’s no room

for her to be: that children
are made up of wild
inconstancy, and mothering

may be too strange
and pale a rationale for living.
Loving is a mode of giving,

but of getting, too: wanting
is permissible; having
is a fine thing to pursue.

Heed the angry mother
who gets mad at you.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Next in Line

You try to give it form. But often –
naked, warm, newborn – it has to meet
the axe. You try to clean the torn

detritus up behind the backs of new
contenders for the role, but, next in line,
sometimes, a brand new baby gets

a whiff of blood – and peeks around –
grows cold – to see the likelihood
it too will end up murdered in the mud.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Like Brothers and a Sister

Awarenesses – a whisper –
amicable ironies –
like brothers and a sister –
affectionately tease –

breathe a gentle change –
the felt effect of song:
wonderfully strange
when feelings get along.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Complicated Naked Things

“I like complicated naked things – like me!”
he thought, and so he stripped and worked
and carved and sculpted red mahogany

until he’d wrought a wooden complicated
naked thing, to whose cut openings his upper
limbs might comfortably cling, through which

he also would be able to swing both his naked
lower limbs to bring his growing retinue
of complicated naked things to full alignment.

“Why, it’s almost like a play of Pinter’s!”
he opined, while watching out for splinters.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Train Me

Prepare me for when you will not be here.
Let me get used to slipping into that abyss.
Withhold your presence: train me. Disappear
in increments. Enure me to what I must miss.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sometimes, When You Lie There

Sometimes, when you lie there,
just about to be absorbed again
into the blue-y dark, a complementary

deep lurid orange hue beams down
upon you: parks right in your face,
and changes space: erases all

the boundary lines between your cheeks
and chest and abdomen and groin
and hands and arms and spine

and their surrounding atmosphere,
which clearly queerly strikes you
as much more – or maybe less – than air.

Quantities seem silly as you drift along
like some bright tiger lily in a pond,
around, around, beyond, beyond.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Ambition

My ambition has a hellcat’s heart –
impeded by my sentimental burlesque
queen-turned-zaftig ballerina’s art –

disingenuous unpalatable mix
of jaded scheme and naive dream
of conquering divine approval.

At first I thought to engineer its
prompt removal. But I have rather
come to like its tasteless volupté

the sexy way it stumbles towards
plié; its flattering, coercive temptress
glance. I’ll let the hellcat dance.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keeper of the Thing

Scrofulous deceiver, he will
hide the taboo thing –
pet it like a sexual anomaly –
bring it quickly out to sniff it,
sneak a peek at it in crowds:

then slip it back into the folds
of his variety of baggy dirty
blouses, pants and shrouds,
voluminously pocketed
for secrecy. Invisible as smell,

this keeper of allurements
from your potent private hell
resides inside the heart
of you, safe in knowing 
he is viscerally part of you.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Gain or Lack

Regard the gentle dissolution
of the psyche during sleep –
temporary, malleable:
colorfully deep –

whose quickly constituted
fluid dream machine
encompasses its compasses –
and, through a keen

exactitude bent on
the navigation of the whole –
insists on voyaging into
the stranger reaches of the Soul

with the candid understanding
gain or lack –
that one long night
it won’t come back.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

After Eden

The worst part

was a sunny day.

When none of it

would go away.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes Want

Sometimes Want
so swamps itself
with wanting that
it cannot see.

Its writhing mission
to consume becomes
the thief that steals
belief in any prospect

of relief. The awkward
yellow fellow haunted
me with unassailable
despair today.

Stared at me
with longing
every time
I looked his way.


Friday, January 14, 2011

As Usual

Why are thoughts so fat?
Why do they mount
up in the sky like obese
acrobats, defying gravity –

absurdly balanced
tonnage in a tower?
Where do they get their power?
I watched one fleshy hillock

of them flower on my desk
today. As usual, it had
to have its way. As usual,
it didn’t have much style.

As usual, each semi-colon,
period, parenthesis
and comma in it wore
a wide complacent smile.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Urine-Yellow, Soft Reflective Water-Blue

Visions coalesce out of illusion –
but illusion coalesces out of vision too:
“as if” is absolutely just as absolute
as “is” – which is as utterly illusory
Existential fizz like this
aspires to describe the rippling
consciousness I underwent just now

while pissing in the toilet, wherein
a urinary yellow met a soft reflective
water-blue, in whose admixture,
on the surface, flushed, emerged
the lyric rush and outline of a thoughtful
visage – floating, calm, in space.
No place you can’t find a face.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Off We Go!

We would like to find a basis
to believe in stasis
but we can’t.
We wouldn’t mind remaining, but we shan’t.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Memory and Desire, in Winter

Memory’s supposed to pay the bills.
Memory effed up.
Desire’s supposed to fill the tills.
Desire is bankrupt.

There is no heat.
They’re very cold.
They're feeling beat.
They're growing old.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Someone Threw a Face Out in the Trash

Someone threw a face out in the trash –
bits of wrapping, dark blue ribbon stuck to it.
Unwanted gift. It could have used a lift.
Skin as wizened as a prune. Discolored

creases, bulges, lines suggested dire designs –
symmetrically ugly. Its wide-spaced eyes
had fallen toward the sides as if attempting
to escape: but had been stopped by lumps

and ridges: smidges of a broken landscape:
inadvertent bulwark which retained the rotting
flesh. Odd, then, that its agony looked fresh.
I picked it up and took it home and tacked it

on the wall above an antique gramophone,
which doesn’t play. “There’s absolutely
nothing you can do,” it seemed to say. It hangs
there shriveling and irredeemable, today.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Chromatic Spectrum Convenes

Colors are political,
forever arguing their case.
The Spectrum of them meets
inordinately often: to the tasty tunes
and beats of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”
and Prince’s “Purple Rain,”
the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,”

with strains of “Ebony and Ivory,”
“La Vie en Rose,” and “Don’t it Make
My Brown Eyes Blue,” “Blue Moon”
(too many Blues, the Yellows all
complain) regaling every hue
as each debates just what to do
about exactly which and who

and what should rule
the school. Humility
is not their strength.
But one of them now pushes through
their vast chromatic bulk and length
and waves its paws –
to flag them down, remind them

when the laws all changed
to let the range of them run free
and un-dictated to. “Remember when
eons ago the Delegations
of the Yellow and the Blue got drunk
after their eloquent orations:
and passed out, except for two –

who sneaked away, unseen –
and inadvertently created Green?”
a vernal hue hoots in the crush.
There is a hush. Everybody blushes.
(Red is pleased.) A grand collective
sigh now heaves: they hum along,
as Green begins to sing “Greensleeves.”


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Lady Catalyst

In her filmy yellow negligée
The Lady Catalyst sits, lit, atip,
for all eternity, in hot anticipation

of the prospect of another spot
of the alluring and inevitable
moment when a human psyche

faces yet another pivot in its life:
boon or strife, she nearly cannot
tolerate the heated expectation –

the vast orgasmic revelation  
the excitement – promised blast –
of the fundamental change!

Earn or lose, be born or die, exact
the consequences of a lie, or leap
with an unprecedented win,

her blood is in a boil and a spin –
a sure pure burn. Soon, again,
she’ll get to say: Your turn.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Dichotomy Considers Alternatives

The covered thing with eyes
surmised it had devised
an apt solution to the problem
of its lack: it conjured something
naked as the Universe to which
it tied a bit of its own covering
as blindfold, front to back.

Now it had the knack:
on and off, it saw and felt,
a little like a blinking light. Then
strange new thinking brightened,
frightened both of them:
uncovering the covered thing,
un-blindfolding the other:

what would that effect?
Harrowing perplexity!
Though vexed, they dared
to speculate: might flesh have
sight, might sight have flesh?
It’s something they would
very carefully consider next..


Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Thing Behind the Thing Itself

We’ve had it with the freeze of cold hypotheses:  
“if these were those and those were these” –
well, please.

They’re not.
That all you got?
Give us something hot.

Tropes, analogies and similes grow musty on the shelf.
Who wants “he twinkled like a merry elf”?
We want the thing itself.

But when, at last, we got that self-same thing?
It brought the kinds of things a thing will bring.
Not a lot of zing.

And then we found the thing behind the thing itself: the sight!
The fright.
Sourceless light.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Color War

You can call it her life’s work –
interpolating color: the slaps of it
she must put up with and transmute into
caresses – every fresh inevitable time
another pigment bests her expectations,

undermines her certainty that pink
cannot be orange, or that purple always
bellows when it stumbles into yellow.
She generally wears dark gray in hopes
she’ll one day get along with everything,

although she never does. Was not
diplomacy of the minutest delicacy needed
when she last attempted to excuse herself
in front of hues who steadfastly refused
to lose a photon of chromatic rage –

when all she wanted was the respite
of a little beige? Perhaps it’s time to turn
the page. But what would she do then?
She couldn’t face not being beaten silly
and illuminated in the color war again.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Exquisite Lift & Drag

The mind is like a humming bird –
exquisite lift and drag –
or mandolin -- its strumming heard
beyond the body's bag –

and other fleshly tetherings –
a glisten in God's ear.
Its whirling mental weather brings,
and keeps it, lightly, here.


Monday, January 3, 2011

In Winter

Sometimes you think of daffodils –
green spears, yellow trumpets, frills –

hold their spirits in your lap, and
recollect they’ll happen.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

You Did It

Somewhere in my night-blooming garden of a heart
you planted wanton warm progenitors of art
and now we are each other’s lazy slaves.
Nobody behaves.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Amenable Conditions

Some anguish
to float up

in an orange
sky – to find

through which
it can fly –

to stay aloft –
and feel itself,
with soft

acuity, in