Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pat Hangs Out With Vinny

Pat hangs out
with Vinny.
Pat is fat,
Vinny’s skinny.

Vinny sits upon
Pat’s thigh.
We’re not really
certain why.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Your Terror

She’s beautiful,
your terror,
in the prison
of the thickness

of her raging
red and black:
in the secret pulse
of needing her

which keeps her
coming back –
to her strange
iconic stasis –

to the basis
she provides
for being.
Without her

you would
never know
what you
were seeing.


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fact of Line

my thinking’s
toward abstract
design –

as if the fact of line
were a sufficiency,
not a deficiency.

that’s fine.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

When Smoking Felt Like Truth

Smoking as an unexampled
feat of human ingenuity –
or as an answer to
the unforeseen conundrum
of the craving to inhale

a little bit of hell – well,
all of that is interesting enough
in the abstract – but does no
justice to the power of the lack
we felt upon discovering

a lit hand-rolled lipstick-
enraptured cigarette left on
an orange plate inside
the soft cerulean boundless blue
of dream we had last night –

whose plumes exhumed
the fumes of vaguely
recognizable acquaintances
we think we might have
smoked with when we smoked

back in the lightly unconsidered
sweet extremities of everybody’s
brightly burning youth.
Strange, back then, when
smoking felt like truth.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Judgmental Mushrooms

Beware! Out of your psychic humus
an horrifically humongous fungus

just erupted with one mission: to glare angrily at you!
It knows your sins and outs and ins and how you skew

the truth with narcissistic blasphemies,
denials and catastrophes.

It’s far from sure you ought to live.
It won’t forgive:

won’t go away.
Well, not today.

Few judgmental mushrooms will have stayed
more than three days (less if sautéed)

before they've decomposed.
Soon you won’t feel so exposed.


Friday, February 24, 2012

Deep in Ambiguous Night

Deep in ambiguous night,
you wake. Ridiculous
experience. Internal light
abrades. Meticulous

alertness kicks the mind
into a fight against
itself: until you find
a kind of recompense.

You sing a song.
Beguiles and tugs.
Night hums along –
and smiles and hugs.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Imagination, Interviewed

I love to go too far when

someone tells me no.

I plot my heists.

I mutate less like Darwin

than like czarist overthrow.

Or poltergeists.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Creatures

It’s strange how many
creatures seem
to look at you in February
not quite in the eye. Why?

Makes you sigh. Well,

Spring will soon compel
again – induce its swoon,
hoo-ha and yen –
return us to the boon

of thinking we’ll go on

just like we’ve all gone on
before. Ooo – ah! Recall
those February creatures
not quite looking at you.

They know more.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Steady: There’s a Tale to Tell

We contemplate the night again,
the right again to go to sleep –
to flow into a deepness
from and into which

we’ve come and gone again
already. (Steady: there’s a tale
to tell.) The wails and bells
of funerals regale: can now be heard

to bolster the mistaken notion dying
has occurred. We’d like to put
that all to rest. The test: investigate
the guess that we are here and there

no matter what or where
and when a baby drops
a rattle and a gossip tittle-tattles
and a gassed embattled boxer throws

another fast left jab to try to win
this fight, we sigh: they’ve grabbed
a little light and made it theirs.
To think the point’s to travel

up or down the mystic stairs through
to an elevated heaven
or the burning ebon smell of hell –
or that the only facts are breath

or death – repels; seems abject
silliness as well. We’re bits
who blink into and out of view.
That’s the tale we came to tell you.


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Naked Orange Man

A naked orange man
sits down
to write.
Maybe it’s the night,

but something
puts him
in a trance.
Maybe it’s a glance,

but something
wakes him up.
He asks: “Am I a dream?
Or did you make me up?”

I ponder implication,
inference. I wonder,
what could be
the difference?


Sunday, February 19, 2012

As Much of a Manifesto as They’ll Let Me Get Away With

I cannot keep a poem from its folly. Tricks
in it prevent me from subjecting it to Politics.

It won’t elucidate the daily news.
Its interest is aboundingly in views

of which I cannot guess the point.
Success for it is when it’s put me out of joint.

I’d like to rant and rave: make verses vent it –
but they lack currency for that: they’ve spent it.

They will not let me pine for love too long:
They shut down at first hints of whine. It’s wrong

apparently to ask them to reflect me.
They won’t be mirrors: they deflect me

every time I try to put an equals sign
between themselves and me. What may be mine

(whatever that could be) does not belong to them.
When I require an answer they reply “ahem.”

I’d tell you more about what poems do and don’t –
but such stuff shuts a poem up; therefore I won’t.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

What My Visions Require.

"Soft unrushed exposure,

brushed with discomposure.

Keep us inexact."

They made me sign a pact.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Reckless Rhymes

If I had hegemonic presence in each hemisphere,
oh how I’d think to play
with human hearts! – so that collectively they might appear
as unified array:

a countenance trained on the light of their eternity –
without a single doubt:
therefore to learn no cold indifference, burning love or rankling enmity
could ever wipe them out.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

New York City, 1975

Jobs in her sweet heaven/hell were mostly blow:

Manhattan was a Blanche Dubois

deploying a courageous squalid flirty show-

and-tell of her je ne sais quoi.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Second Person

Strange how deliquescent
friends can be: how softly ends
are reached: how once again across
the breach comes nothing.

Huffing up the hill from sleep
last night you dreamed you tried
to find your only sibling in your
childhood church, but couldn’t.

Your brother was a priest.
Episcopal. The idea’s inadmissible:
the least that he could do was live
a little longer. But he did not.

You’re not sure what to make of all
the melting faces you encounter
every day. No sooner do you
spot one than it seeps away.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sometimes, Of Course, I Lie

I have no news to tell,
I don’t know what news is.
I don’t know who is holding
whom, or being held.
The show biz

of existence
is supernally alluring
but I don’t know how
to interview its stars –
ferocious light ignites

my sight – debars
an explanation.
I chant a votive prayer
to motive: dare to ask
to grasp the scrutable.

All is mutable.
Sometimes, of course,
I lie. I do, for instance,
know who’s holding whom,
and why. I spy

on strange embraces
every day to try to find
a way to do
a little justice to
the mystic loving sigh.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Warp and Woof and Wile

Ah, my pained and feigning friends! –

weaving warp and woof and wile –

straining toward ungainly ends –

through a disbelieving smile.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Incarnation of Yourself

Another incarnation of yourself
slips through the slit
and angles to be it.

As usual –
what choice have you? –
you catch it and permit

the swift transition:
calm as easy breath
you undergo another death

nine thousand times
a nanosecond:
hum the hum –



Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Trail

Memories in tributaries
make him up –
codes in cartoon face –
the wayward glance

made flesh –
enmeshed and mapped
and stacked illiberally close –
as if identity

depended on them,
which it does:
the buzz
of a bewilderment –

the bits of past –
amass into a tale –
a story he can tell himself –
a trail.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


When masses
from chaos –

that miraculous
defection! –

we wonder if
the grandest

is effecting
the expression
of affection.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Man Who Reassured a Deer

I think I’d like to tell the tale
about the man who reassured a deer –
but you might wonder what it meant.
Investigative questions make my head feel queer.

Any stab at explication,
and I lose the thread.
Suddenly – inexorably –
dreams play dead.

Until they’ve leapfrogged
to another pond –
somewhere –
beyond –

to savor
the ambiguous –
delight in
the amphibious.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Some Blue Clowns

Prevailing blueness –
not to signify a sorrow,
nor to sanctify the borrowed
sentimental notion

that all clowns are really sad:
rather more to celebrate
the advantageous adjunct
of becoming colorfully

recognizable: oh, there’s
the bright blue dude
we hoped we’d see
whose shrewd

prevailing blueness
undermines, distracts:
exacts attention which
diffuses and reminds us

we can’t grasp a single
certainty from color.
Unless, of course, we’ve
missed the dolor in him

of some hidden cold abyss:
to which blue hues indeed
may well accrue:
morbid maquillage

which might suggest
the crack of madness.
Some blue clowns do,
in fact, feel sadness.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Patently Depicted in a Hat

She thought she’d round up two
of her annoying alternate identities –  
from whom she felt the worst attack –

and have them patently depicted in a hat.
Not to make some grand esthetic point,
or anything like that – but rather

in the hope that if she gave them air,
perhaps they’d cease afflicting her
with such extravagant despair;

that she might learn to dread them less
if they were unapologetically displayed
for all to see in a theatrical head-dress.

Alas, the milliner she called on to erect
its mass and sew its seams invoked
their faces half again as large

as they appeared to her in dreams.
Each now aims at her a sidelong
haughty glare, and schemes. You’d think

she’d take it off. Instead, she wears it
everywhere – emitting, now and then,
a soft embarrassed cough.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Insuperable Lack

the energy that funds,
and funnels into,

holding back –
contracting and sustaining
strain as if it were the only

way to feed the brain.
Resistance is existence –
the persistence of which

soon becomes
the only conscionable
heroism. Terrorism:

aimed at the contrivance
of a certainty
that cramming yourself

into stasis will
distract you from
insuperable lack.