Saturday, April 30, 2011

You’re Not Supposed to Do it, But

You’re not supposed to do it,
but you made yourself a bet you could
illicitly fish up a proto-thought, all wet,

from its subaqueous arraignment
in its cognitive cold hatchery –
the undersea gray purgatory where

all nascent thinking slips and slinks
and intermixes: proto-thinks its eely way
into persuading Mind to summon it

to consciousness. You scooped one up:
success! It seemed remarkably
unstressed: inspected all the yellow

brightness to which you’d subjected it –
accepted it without a fight. It seemed
it might be just the sort of thought

you’d like. Peeking left and right,
you sneaked it back into the whirling
pearly swarm of its still-forming

embryonic brethren: quite delighting
at the sight. You hope it will return when
it's a touch more ready for the light.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Nothing is Quite Like That

for Bill

Wherever she goes,
she glows.

Up to the bed
from her mat.

A man in the night
with a cat.

Nothing is quite
like that.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wave Goodbye to the Mermaid

Draw it in one line.

Say it’s fine.

Throw it away.

Call it a day.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Face Beneath My Hand

The face beneath my hand begins to form
and loom and linger – reveal to my
interrogating fingers a warm woman’s

deep-set slightly bulging eyes, strong
bones. Innumerable tones of delicate soft
skin spread over broadly planar architecture:

brow and cheeks and chin – a Celtic melting
sensitivity blooms on a set and settled
frame: she has no name. Is she Irish,

French? Whence comes her fine distracted
mind, intelligence? What’s in its guarded
stream? She is more vivid than a dream.

She is her eyes: their ineradicable ambiguity,
disguise. I know nobody who could be her.
I guess she’s come so I could see her.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

His Rhyme, His Spell

I found the Quirk who makes me rhyme today;
or rather, I should say, the Quirk found me:
he’d heard I wondered why he wouldn’t go away.
Other poets often will astound me

with their naked rolling free audacious verse
untrammeled by an iamb or an assonance!
Had I been under some strange demon’s curse –
some antiquated fashion? Since

I first had picked a pen up or had typed a line
I couldn’t help but hearing symmetry
of sound and meter pitch its ringing fine
and chiming rhythm in my ear: sleek gimmickry –

neat feat – of soothing, rocking to-and-fro.
Though sometimes dangerously listing here
some unseen avid oarsman seems to row
me there, aware: a wave away from fear.

I think the Quirk who makes me rhyme takes form
because he knows to see him is to answer why
I still depend upon his engine: to help warm
and coax a living equanimity from ground and sky –

to sneak me into the unspeakable – return
alive: to try to glimpse the heaven and the hell
without resorting to psychosis. A strange cool burn
of gallantry, perhaps: his rhyme, his spell.


Monday, April 25, 2011


Unloved words – the shards
and turds of nouns and verbs –
cracked discards of insofar…
in summary…pursuant to –

all the goo of consciousness’
rejected mess galumps down
through the pipe and flumps
into the nasty ripe insentience

of an underworld to which
kismet consigns all bad
beginnings and lame ends.
Some of them turn into friends.

(Go ahead and show ‘em.
Crawl back up and be a poem.)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter TV

You woke up thinking you might share reality today.
Easter, after all, partook of the rejuvenating sway
of Spring: the thing, you thought, would be to bring
your widest receptivity to every provocation. “King
of Kings” was playing on the television: staid parades
of extras swarmed a manufactured Israel. Charades

of solemn doings, petty pieties: a cinematic heist,
bad actors clomping through: bland, blue-eyed Christ
looked like he’d rather have been doing porn.
And so you flipped the channel to the sordid worn
banal shenanigans of all the Louds – from Lance to Pat:
PBS had evidently thought the season was for that.

Plodding promulgation of a dreary clan: “American”
as rancid apple pie. You’d rather watch a ptarmigan
play footsie with a fly. Facetious specious stories,
Loud inert meanderings, ho-hum ersatz glories:
surely there were better tales to tell than these.
Christ! Somebody should kick the TV in the knees.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Future Sex

It surely shouldn’t be surprising that it all will feel so good –
this effortlessly morphing smooth exchange of flesh –
pursuit of all extravagant allurements the erotic could
effect – inimitably in and for itself: supernal pleasures fresh

from all the fantasizing each of us no longer does alone.
Eventually we will break back into our component parts
and measure, leisurely, degrees of ecstasies we’ve known.
Who knows, maybe this will touch or break or fill our hearts.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Brainy Bon-Bon

How can we know
how we know
what we know?

Answer that for a treat.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Things One Didn’t Do

One was supposed to do the things one didn’t do –
respond to the imperious decree to procreate –
examine living for its legacy – determine to pursue
whatever would leave proof that one existed: to create

what hadn’t been before: to make like God.
You can’t help thinking, though, God does it all for fun:
excites Existence to a peak until it’s shot its wad.

Hmm. That sounds like something you have done.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Last Seduction

Tingle – captivate – its capillaries –
flood hot black blood through its veins –
paint its skin in lurid hues –
especially take pains

to teach it every nuanced sin
which might effect its slick abduction
of my mild unwary soul –
immerse me in the last seduction

I will ever know.
Then let me go.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When we imagine Jacob wrestling with the Angel

We imagine that the Angel was immensely strong.
What if we are wrong?
What if he was feeble, soft, ethereal –
apt, perhaps, for Paradise, but not at all

equipped for this pragmatic and incarnate world?
What if how the episode unfurled
required Jacob to change strategy
from grapple to caress: so that, as he

lay hands on that mild evanescent flesh,
he quickly comprehended that his task – a fresh
enlightenment suffusing him, below, above –
must change from causing pain to making love?


Monday, April 18, 2011

One Rare, Red, Rainy Night

Mycologically speaking,
there are what amount to brain storms –
in some very rare
Spring rain storms –

which produce the fruiting
bodies of a sentient fungus
for as
long as

an apparently essential
crimson sky –
the shocked, delighted eye –

permits the birth and cosseting
of this odd genus –

They’ll show their mottled
multi-colored smiling faces
full of well-bred
sensitivities and graces

which may offer us
the strange delight,
if we set out to roam,
one rare, red, rainy night,

of apprehending
their sweet form.
You might decide
to pluck them, warm,

to find out just how
sweet they are.
No need to dip them
in the honey jar:

just chop them
into little bits
(ignore their squeaky
screaming fits),

sauté, and eat,
when fully dead.
You’ll feel remarkably


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blue Lady Blues

She drinks a blue martini, and
she lets him fantasize
that he might place a hungry hand
upon her breasts and thighs.

She’s bare beneath her filmy gown –
before long he is fraught.
She lures him into stripping down –
when suddenly he’s caught –

and all of his essences spill.
Men are too easy to kill.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Day, Cold & Gray

Blue child of daisy
and hibiscus:
feeling lazy.
Flower power: viscous.

Can’t get its keister
out the gate.
Thank heavens Easter
will be late.


Friday, April 15, 2011

I Blink Therefore I Am

Thinking zaps
from nowhere.

In fact,

the more I think,
the more it seems to me
that words which rhyme with think
suggest its meaning better than think does.

Link and drink and kink
and wink and shrink
and slink and clink and chink
and brink and stink and blink –


I am
a blink
that links.

Let me put
that down
in inks.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Use for Ours

Oliver, who tended toward depression –
and who’d (in his most recent therapeutic session)
been advised he needed more than talk –
thought he’d take a walk.

There wasn’t much to see
except a not unfriendly tree
that he remembered from his past.
“That’s the sort of friendship that might last,”

he softly said. But when he found it, it was dead.
Disconsolate, he lay his melancholy head
against its cold unfeeling hide,
and closed his eyes, and cried.

He therefore didn’t see the transformation
he’d effected through the strange relation
that his tears had instantaneously had
with all the tree’s insentient roots. “Sad”

was what the dead tree understood.
Anxious stress enlivened its gray wood
to healthy brown: invoked its host –
a thirsty chartreuse vegetative ghost

who had been waiting for this melancholy kiss
(he’d grown so tired of canine piss).
Perky little green leaves shot
up from the morbid rain (he cried a lot)

and Oliver felt something change within.
He looked down, felt he saw something like kin! –
or anyway, a use for his great sorrow.
Perhaps we’ll find a use for ours, tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

“The ‘Seventies”

Remembrances of anything are secondhand –
sanded down and shredded into bits of simulacra:
icons seen through cheesecloth. Colors may seep
through but it is up to me to flesh the contours out
in all that blurry red and blue – according to whatever

current constructs I’ve got stalking, squawking,
routing from, into my stubborn point-of-view. I will paint
the picture that I need to see. I genuinely wonder 
what it has to do with me. Today “the ‘Seventies”
erupted in their semi-recollected oddity – chopped up

into crazy-salad memory. They marked, as far as
I could see, my first exposure to the harrowing fascistic
hedonistic notion of the “free.” To look not terribly
unlike a Bee-Gee and to party-party-party so that
simply, by the law of averages – which in “the ‘Seventies”

pertained to baby-boomers blooming in unprecedented
numbers of unprecedented sexualities – you’d
probably get stoned and laid – and paid with pubic lice
and gonorrhea. It was strange to think when
you were twenty-three that you had had to be

a paragon of sexual ferocity. And yet and yet and yet:
I cannot bet that the peculiar disco creature who
just came to me is more than the effusion of some
serendipity. What happened then? How do I know?
It may well all be re-runs of a Bee-Gees show.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Butterfly McQuee

Because she was what she had been
and wasn’t what she’d be,
she thought she might just take a spin
as Butterfly McQuee.

As Butterly McQuee, she thought,
she might just find a way
to bring the things she wished she’d brought
but hadn’t, yesterday.

To fleur-de-lys around a room –
to twirl and leap a while –
perhaps would summon up a bloom
in her of grace and style.

And so she hops and leaps along
to strains of Debussy
to seek, as “Butterfly”, a strong,
and sweet, identity.

Watch her, if you’d like, tonight –
forgive her if she’s flawed.
When she’s done attempting flight,
gently, please, applaud.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Compositionally Speaking

Not all visions get along.
Sometimes a pretty yellow one
will light up everything
like sunshine in a song –

and it’s just wrong. A sulky blue
behemoth’s getting squeamish:
he’d rather not be seen
in company like that.

(About to be a visionary spat.)
And yet, looked at together –
vying about who will tether whom
into a blooming unity –

the one determinedly beatific,
the other virulently mad –
compositionally speaking,
they don’t look bad.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Red, Red World

It surely wasn’t inconceivable –
or so one would have thought –
that one could morph into fresh
shapes, much as some brought

themselves to unaccustomed volumes
of expanded consciousness.
But his dim mind must have
reversed: its little swampy mess

appeared alarmingly to curse
and mar his flesh: the more so
since, when he woke up today,
he found he’d lost his torso.

Where were his kidneys, back
and stomach, liver, heart?
Was this what he would be?
A human fraction? – lesser part?

He sighed: decided that whatever
he’d become, he couldn’t fake it.
And so he strode into
the red, red world, stark naked.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Thing that Sarah Loved

The thing that Sarah loved, loved her
because she had long hair.
She held the thing in blankets
and she took it everywhere.

Brushed by fly-away soft strands,
the thing quite quickly grew
to know the tickling Universe,
embrace a point-of-view.

What the pay-off was for Sarah,
when push came to shove,
she couldn’t think to say more
than it was enough to love.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Blue Boy

Blue boy – sulky, sleek, not
unappealing – standing, shirtless,
sweating, in dull humid reverie –
bored as only youth can be
(at times I think that I’m still he) –

sure that everybody else has
agency: more license, money,
pull, éclat and clout – and all
the other boons that grown-ups use
to kill time and to blanket doubt.

I would like to give le garçon bleu
the secret of determining what’s
really true, which he does not suspect
and may, perhaps, be news to you.
No guru told me: only sex and death,

humiliation, shame, the cosmic
laughter which prevails and entertains
beyond each patient or impatient
breath. How you find all meaning
is, you make it up. It’s up to you,

mon garçon bleu, to bake your
cake and eat it too. Your spirit –
once penurious – will soon find
it is curious. Not a bad reward.
At least you won’t be bored.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Midnight-Blooming Pigtail Flower

The midnight-blooming pigtail flower
only blossoms for an hour

and never in the presence of another
midnight-blooming pigtail flower: no mother,

brother, father, lover, uncle, aunt or child.
It’s enough to drive a pigtail flower wild.

It’s not that she can’t propagate
without the slightest prospect of a date:

no, she could live with that.
She’d simply like to have a little chat.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Holy Doodads

Aching for the sacred,
the symbolic mind plays roles –
squeezes mystery from history:

sifts through centuries’
inspired elaboration
of some anecdotal sight:

creates a sacerdotal rite –
takes sod and makes a god
or two. Pass the Holy Chicken

through! Priests’ feasts!
Kings’ rings! Eat, kiss, sacrifice –
the stakes are dire! Gods require

blood. Mythologize a flood.
Everything has meaning.
Everyone is leaning

to the left or right –
straining to pick up the latest
source of spirit-light. I have no

lead to share, no bead on what
is worth our care. Strange
and riveting – our robes

and holy doodads, though –
our prayerful poetry’s
odd solemn flow – as if

it knew somewhere to go –
the inside story on will be
and is and was. Perhaps it does.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Absence, Presence

It thinks it hears a sound again –
by reflex, turns around again.

Absence is a presence.
No magic effervescence

will make a midnight dawn.
How strange when things are gone.


Monday, April 4, 2011

What I Do All Day

I drink continuously: milk from plastic gallon jugs.
I love to grab one when it’s almost full – haul up
its heaviness, pull at its volume with my lips
and mouth, then close my eyes and let its
cold voluptuous unconscionable prize course south –

smooth through my gullet. (Sublimities wake up
the soul, then lull it.) I supply myself with pleasures
all day long. I start with one (a Kalamata olive),
stumble stunned into another (pet a cat) –
proceed like that until I’ve found their source:

a strange forlorn unreasonable iridescent song,
which radiantly manifests – as face, as form –
from which each strand of the exquisite rises,
to which I can’t not belong. I respond by slipping
into sleep like silk. Then I go back to drinking milk.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

She Wasn’t Easy

She wasn’t easy.

Sat there like a chair.

Something made you queasy.

Something said “Beware.”

Nervously, you looked around.

She gave you a glare.

Beckoned to you to sit down.

You didn’t dare.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why I’m Tired

Ninety-four percent of my relentless sentience
is induced, produced and juiced by two slick
resident artistes, The Good Time Girls.
They match my arrant thoughts up in blind dates:

turn on a rumba loud until the crowd of them
whirls late into my fateful fantasies – intoning
bunga-bunga-bunga as they stumble towards
the apricot horizon. Sunrise always baits

them on a beach – it’s got a lot to teach them,
and that six percent of sentience which relents.
The Good Time Girls await their dazed arrival:
serve them rum drinks and hot pretzels –

(und the Germans, schwein-mit-spaetzle).
By dawn they’ve wrestled out a truce about what
in the deuce I ought to pay attention to that day.
An awful lot’s required. No wonder I am tired.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Poetic Mind

and condenses
and intensifies

an anxious rapture
in the eyes –

every last

into a muscular
geometry –

at the altar
of the infinitely said –

before it has
to do another
thing instead.