Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fleur du Mal

What magic is available? –
you wonder what you’ve got.
To what new use, for instance,
might you put a flower pot?

At first you thought you wouldn’t,
shouldn’t, couldn’t, can’t –
but then you rashly dared
to root and bloom a Poet Plant.

Bearing grieved resemblance
to Dame Edith Sitwell –
sorry and unwilling thing! –
it didn’t look a bit well.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Party Hearty

Today Death dressed up for a party
and then didn’t go.

Why she chose to stay away
we’ll never know.

But take advantage of this chance
to hi-de-ho.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Like Gas

Like gas, opinions fill out
any outward limits
to which they’re confined
within which they quite
frequently appear to breed
small bloated children.

The pressure of dominion
they pursue is absolute
and they’ll achieve it –
unless (as I would do,
if I were you), you take
some measure to relieve it.


Thursday, July 28, 2011


Aptitudes, like
untried brothers,
lolling, lying, sleeping,
waiting naked to be

clothed and used
and brought out of their
thick ennui and into
some free business

of investigative
curiosity, to manifest
the fused expression
of a point-of-view:

time to bring ‘em up
and on and carry
through. Honey,
they depend on you.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Ostensibly endemic
to polemic
is the urge to purge:

cut out the gangrene,
subvert, convert,
get at the root.

Why does it
end up



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something Like the Truth

Sometimes – say,
when you tie your shoe –
something like the truth
shoots out of you:

affords a glimpse of what
you’re really cooking –
or would, that is, if
somebody were looking.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Secret of What’s Underneath

Foundations of your psyche rest on careful applications,
in light layers, of soft certainties: assembled for their
idiosyncratic comfort and allure: and yet, except for those

anointed through your intimate permission to the task
of grasping just exactly what lies tied or stretched or dyed
behind the mask of your unapprehended privacies,

too few are ever let into The Secret of What’s Underneath.
Today – please dare! – bequeath us just a glimpse:
we wonder, and we care. Let us see your underwear.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Is, Was, Will Be

It looks up from peering down,
frightened and expectant – kneeling –
nervous hands assess the ground –
looking for assuagement: feeling

for what’s fallen, what might fall,
for what’s risen, what may rise –
to stop the breaking heart of all
that threatens to implode the skies!

It’s all in vain. Blank entropy
will drive the whole thing to a halt.
Anxiety is, was, will be,
does what it does. It’s not its fault.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


Oh, fortunate sweet band of friends!
Whatever else may have transpired –
whatever other aims or ends
we may have thought we once required –

today, right here, we know our dreams
of understanding can be lived:
no longer plagued by awkward schemes,
no clotted plottings need be sieved

through some resistant colander
of Mind; nor are we doomed to sail
like der fliegende Holländer
alone forever, left to wail

unheard, unloved: no, we
have found camaraderie!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Once You Start

They’re shy at first
but once you start

to demonstrate
by an assiduous performance of concern

for their demeanor and their features
that you care –

Before long they will pop up, ooze out,

seep in, leap and cantilever through,
into, above, below and over

The natural condition

of their volatile existence
is exposure.

Say goodbye
to your composure.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Calling Card of the Decorated Man

You always know he’s been here –
faint narcissus scent – a purplish haze –
your senses all accelerate –

ascend a pitch – amazed at colors
that you hear as well as see: chiaroscuro
gentling neon orange: all that once was

tasteless isn’t any more. You’ve found
the way to make it glorious again!
He’s left it at your door.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One Way To Do It

She makes them out of ice and snow –
these children of hers: daily animating the tableau

of their sweet circumspection, good behavior,
by incising bright new angles in them: as their savior –

yet again, again – she carves into each frozen face
the favors of fresh gesture, nuance, grace,

to lend expression to the gliding panoply
of what the heart can feel: beneath the widest canopy

of glacial night, they will not go; they won’t grow old.
All she ever has to do is keep them cold.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This Sweet Envelopment

Your dream again exceeds its bandwidth
and creates another human sandwich
and whoever you are with is blue, again,

and you are pink, again, you think – at least,
the last time, surely, this was true. Long hair –
you do remember that – but male or female?

This sweet envelopment does not appear
to fuss much over this detail: apparently
it’s less the point than that the slumber

within slumber of the scene anoints you with
a tendrilled and intense familiarity, warm sheen
of skin on skin condensed from something

deeply known: that in the large resource
from which the two of you have generously
grown reside the closest chances you’ve

yet come upon to answering the song inside:
or what you think, now, waking, might have
been a song though you're no longer sure 

you ever heard it. It isn’t bad to sleep alone:
you pretty much prefer it. But if the chance
comes up again, perhaps you won’t defer it.


Monday, July 18, 2011

You Never Know

Just when he was sure he knew what had transpired
(his life expired), he acquired
an extra set of eyes, and nose, and full-lipped mouth
expanding south
from chest to groin,
which grew to spread along each loin

the tufts of an impressive pubic beard.
True, he found this weird.
And yes, peculiar that his head
and body sprouted hair which flamed a startling orange-red –
and that he sat upon a pink-ringed yellow pillow levitating –
which, beneath him, seemed to be disintegrating.

But what most struck him strange
was that he’d somehow found a range
of movement, here, sufficient to attain
the sitting posture of a lotus – without pain!
He never dreamed he’d navigate so large a hurdle.
As far as he could recollect, he used to be a turtle.


Sunday, July 17, 2011


Lately, every time Despair
besets, entreats –
Goofiness pops in, resets

the beat – and everything’s
askew. Part of you
would like to cry: another

part erupts Achoo! – just
for the sake of making noise.
Despair loves the lugubrious.

Goofiness loves toys.
Despair finds Goofiness
nefarious. To Goofiness,

Despair’s hilarious
(nicknames it Stinky).
Feelings can get kinky.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Perfect Beach Days

Daisy only ventures out on perfect
beach days. She puts her polka dot bikini on,
and strides along the strand from dawn to dusk.

She dabs a little musk upon each inner arm
at sunset. By then the hordes have
come and gone and Daisy gets to wait again

for her Don Juan, who she is sure
will only swim out from the center of the sea
on days so grand they guarantee an ecstasy.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Thing that Blocks the Way

We found The Thing that Blocks The Way.
It wasn’t quite as bad as we conceived it was.
We saw The Thing was only powerful
because whatever clung to it believed it was.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Strings

Strange how when you’re severed
from your puppeteer you do not
always fall into a heap. Amazingly,
some manage to discover on their
own volition how to creep: eventually –

bravely! – even leap. Though some
of us, of course, unlike Pinocchio,
do not get up and go. We stumble
and we fall and sometimes really rather
would not move at all. Which is best?

Click our hips and knees throughout
the Universe or huddle in a bundle
under house arrest? We marionettes
must face so many tests! Me? I am
an unstrung bum. I'm gonna rest.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

At Least You’re Not a Cockroach

Say at last you’ve found a private
pasture to lie down in – take a midday
summer nap: next thing you know
a squeaking creature’s crawled up in your

lap as if you were its mother and from
out of nowhere some lost hungry sister
and her brother come and lean against
you as if you were a discarded mattress:

show no interest in your strangely yellow
supine fatness but attend instead to that
small squeaking creature who’s been
climbing on you like a bed, and whom

they wonder what he’d taste like, crushed
and mushed and spread on bread.
Say you wake up and discover none of it
(yup, you're an alien) was in your head.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

But You Look Back

Peculiar, being peered at.
Forced familiarity.

But you look back.
The blunt irregularity

of barging in like that
is shocking and delicious.

You’re grateful nothing
mocking or malicious

taints the stare –
or mars the rout

you’re making
to extinguish doubt

that someone,
something else is there.


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Moment

I watch a guy of maybe twenty five walk by 

in New York City’s hot July 

and think: we manifest the Zeitgeist without knowing it. 

The moment writes itself in him and he is showing it.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why You Do What You Do Do Do

Motives as inscrutable as aliens
address their tasks by passing round
our faces as if they were reasonable masks:

attempting to induce a sense of safety
by allowing us to think that we’re in charge:

but secretly retaining by duplicity their utter
freedom to upend: remain at large.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Born Again (and Again)

Expelled again like some aquatic druid –
existential amniotic fluid pooling
from your middle-aged extremities –

you’ve been exhumed from yet another
womb. Life requires births galore.
Until Life doesn’t anymore.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Something to Suppose

in memory of two friends who recently ended their own lives

I wonder if, when people die
by their own hand,
they die in ways they never
otherwise would understand:

I wonder if, remanding
to oblivion their breath
they do not glimpse unique
oblique effects of  death –

surprised into illumination
by the sudden dive –
a consummation so coerced
that it conspires to contrive

an exegesis peeling open
that odd egg Existence –
ripping into sight its thick
commitments and persistence.

Something to suppose.

All I know:
they chose to go.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our Frontier

Hand in hand, to walk on sand, through water, in the rain,
sharing, in companionship, the pleasure and the strain:
each secret lure – each intricately idiosyncratic bent
to which you’ve ever lent

your wishes and your life:
the strange deliciousness of strife –
the predilections you exhale: a breathy cough
proceeding from what you had thought you wanted, flying off:

to stride along the stormy beach, its roiling foam of sea,
exchanging fizzling bits of you and drizzling bits of me:
investigating privacies of every stripe,
the whispered wet and ripe

experience of being here:
that, my dear, is our frontier.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Colorful Personalities

Colorful personalities
can be a little much.
Sometimes they lack
the common touch.

But when they sit there
quietly and gaze
at you, engulf you
in their brilliant haze,

and thoughts you never
thought before abound,
sometimes you’re glad
they stayed around.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bringing into Being

Bringing into being is a daily chore.
First you must create yourself (again)
and then create whatever more
you need to lend a meaning to: a Zen

approach to senselessness – to give it
form it seems to want to have that day.
Life is oddly willing to obey: to live it
is to co-conspire with it: to push away

whatever neither of you wants to do
and concentrate on something closer
to a pleasurable culinary rendezvous.
Checking out the produce – grocer

and his customers: sniffing, poking souls.
Procreating, co-creating – filling bowls.


Monday, July 4, 2011

My Daddy Had Flat Feet

Forebears fashion you.
Confluences of the slew
of influences which assail,
afflict, affect, embrace
and feed your chances
of a life proceed as keenly
as a surgeon’s knife

throughout your tenure
as a living being here.
Capacities to see or hear
or think or taste or smell
will swell and ebb inexorably
as genetic markers draw you
through their web. My daddy

had flat feet and Alzheimer’s,
and boy, was he a crooner.
I have his voice, a bit,
and feet, and wonder how
the rest of him will treat
me with its legacy, years
from now, or sooner.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to be You in Public

“Style, in the broadest sense of all,”
said Quentin Crisp, “is consciousness.”
It isn’t always bliss to find this out.

It takes examining your loves and hates
which rarely will not quantify some
qualities you may not want to flout.

And yet if you are to be true to you,
they’re crucial to pursue. What to do?
Grope the potent metaphor. Condense

your gory impermissibilities into some
indecipherable tantalizing trope. Soon
you’ll give your psyche hope – and do this

all the time. You’ll hide it in a rhyme.
You’ll nestle in a covert fame what
you once wrestled secretly in shame –

through the mortar and the pestle
of imagination’s alchemizing rapt intent
to get away with crime. Your purple hair

and calligraphically attenuated aubergine
moustache will artfully imply your hidden
cache of secret ardor for the private

batting of the lash of some bright eye
belonging to a species you dare not
describe. You’ll acquire mystery –

and a transgressively alluring sheen.
And who knows – maybe end up
on the cover of a fashion magazine.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Other Route

I've tried to beg
the table leg
to cease its importuning:
it will not stop communing

with my dreams –
setting up its schemes
to worry me awake –
to make me take

the other route.
I can’t dispute
its blunt opinions
without making minions

of them hastily appear.
When I say no, they jeer.
I’d like to chop it up
but that would hop it up,

I'm sure. Its face
would find another place
to taunt me,
and to haunt me

and to drive me mad.
Why would it be bad
to do its bidding?
You must be kidding.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Torch Singer Dream

You sang so sweet and long and hard and loud –
you ripped the tender surface of their hearts:
corralled their painful loves into a crowd –
and parsed them one by one into their parts;

you bled their essence through vibrato and a beat
until they almost couldn’t take the sound –
but also wouldn’t let you rest and stop, retreat –
because of what they’d lost and what you’d found.