Thursday, March 31, 2016

Incarnate Life

Incarnate life subsumes us in the dangerous –
the body feels, reacts, discerns – soon learns
that nothing doesn’t have a consequence

which isn’t deeply steeped in sorrow. We borrow
what we can from promises of hope, yet always
have again to cope with matter – not the fleeting

spatter of the spirit – of the soul we’re told
is what created us, and made us whole.
It’s hard for flesh to keep this notion fresh.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Today’s Maxim

Despair sets an agenda –
so do rage and hope:
palliations meant to ease us into
thinking we’ve alternatives
to groping blind.

Let’s change this cast of mind.
Instead of cleaving to
a sunny outcome, moping into
the morose, or getting furious,
let’s be curious.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Body Language

Your muscles, limbs and torso think, and speak –
mercilessly delicate and unapologetic,
they regale, declare – gesturally fostering
opinions past the brink of the acceptable: too
possible to be believed; articulations far beyond
the tolerably bright: they weaken me – deceive:

I cannot fight their lexicons and libraries –
conjunctions: glinting, slick – soft juncture of the lips –
tight linen skin – swift prepositions: flicking wrist,
translucent blink – the diction of a pinkness like
a mist when fingers snap me out of stasis, script
the air – the gilding care with which they lavish

purely fleshly points: the tender awkward syntax
of the shoulders – jointed to arcane vocabularies
in the slender spine – in shy subordination
to the sweet inclining theme of you, the wash
of wafting clauses in the dream of you: completely
there – beyond all reach. You ruin speech.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Next Time, Honeys

Today they wobbled bare-assed out upon a rope
in hopes I might permit them all to cope

in their collective bumbling way
to get through their perplexing day

and into lurid night.
The scruffily egregious sight

of them was sometimes more than I could stand:
I very nearly used the thick eraser by my hand

to whisk their naked raggedness into oblivion.
But so intent were they on living on

according to their wanton plan,
I thought, oh well, I’d try to be the sort of man

who this time might decide to let them.
But next time, honeys, I will get them.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Inside Info

Every day’s a gift.
A bundle with a shift –
or shifty eye –
sometimes a peanut butter pie –

sometimes a little guy
as fat as you are curious
why he is not more furious
at his obesity –

the least that he
might do
is tell you who
or what

or when
or where.
But that’s the sort of inside
info few gifts ever share.


Friday, March 25, 2016

To Some Degree

Instead of wondering
what he is or what you are,
it seems to us by far
more interesting to wonder
about nothing whatsoever.

Somehow that severs us
into the rare: the air beyond
what’s putatively “you” or “me.”
Somehow we think that’s
how – to some degree –
we’ve gotten free.


Thursday, March 24, 2016


Why do nipples make a ripple in the mind?
Nipples make the spirit dip and flip
and sip – tipple strange wine.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Today the world
resides in color.
It rides us like a target.
No telling how far away
we’ll get today.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Almost Here

I’m almost here.
My soul is getting warm.
I think it’s clear
I’ll soon assume a form.


Monday, March 21, 2016


No, we fought
the thought.
Now we're caught.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Inimitable Meat

Be a constitutionally un-poetic treat.
Condense into the potent unadulterated
essence of your dumb inimitable meat.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Some Demons

Trailing you like
unremembered sin,
some demons
know you out & in.


3 Everythings - 3 Nevers

family photo re-imagined by Norman Shapiro

Let’s make the wild assumption
that we both know everything about
each other and we know we know we know.

Let’s go to all the edges we can see
or think of – stay at each for several blinks –
and then befuddle with a dash to other brinks:

don’t miss that odd ironic darting eyebrow –
or the faintly rushing pink suffusing cheek
of having been precisely caught precisely

where we hoped we might be caught –
that lightning glance that takes in all –
that glorious ebullient fantasy you grab at

like a golden apple – just before the fall.
And honey, there’ll be falls to put Niagara
out of joint. The point for us, my sweetness,

is to bargain everything against the certainty
that we are wrong about – well, everything
we long for. But never mind: let’s take

too much and risk the whole, and keep
each other hopping, never stop for longer
than an accident of rhyme. Let’s wrestle

with the terror in the gut that says we got
the whole thing backwards and we never
will be satisfied with one last time.




No, we fought
the thought.
Now we're caught.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Leaf Lust

After innumerable intimate acquaintances with trees,
the bare particulars of which (fret not) we’ll spare you,
he now sports branchlike femurs, mandibles and knees,
exposing them in ways we’d never dare to.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

For Lonely Beasties

If you’re a beastie
and you’re lonely
and you’re yearning for a boost,
why not give a homeless clown
a roost?


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Sly-Eyed Horticulturist

Some potted plants
can be coerced
to push out flowers

in suits and pants
or conjure unsuspecting
blooms in dresses.

Or so my sly-eyed


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When You’re Looking Back

When you’re looking back,
you sometimes look ahead.
Some of it will follow you:
not all of it is dead.


Monday, March 14, 2016

How I Look Inside

Today I hadn’t time to do
a single thing besides sit full astride
the thunder of my wonder.

I’m moving in a week.
You wonder how I look inside?
Here’s a peek.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Looking In Their Eyes

The reflex is to dance
for the magician and his boy.
But looking in their eyes
you aren’t sure you’re seeing joy.


Saturday, March 12, 2016


The Oracle now morphed into an old bipedal stance –
so different from the dance of leaping sparks within whose
crackles it could dwell the day before. But with what
it now knew it must foretell, it couldn’t be those anymore.


Friday, March 11, 2016


Tourists took a tour today:
five were shy and small;
one was confident and tall:
large, in charge, he told
his quintet not to fret –

that no catastrophe
was likely to beset them.
He talked about a slew
of other things as well
but we forget them.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

All, and All

They’re waiting for you every day.
Strange you’ve not yet come their way 
or so they say in whispers to each other –
intimately (brother, as they are, to brother)

wondering when you will see
that they are your Eternity’s fraternity –
the keepers of your rise, your fall –
your openings to All, and All.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beyond Your Otherwise’s, Therefore’s, Or’s and But’s

Beyond your Otherwise’s, Therefore’s,
Or’s and But’s abuts a lexicon so strange

that when you first encounter it, its symbols
mount your lips and range into your mouth like

army ants, implant their pincers in your tongue
and shoot their serum up your nose into your brain

and all you know from then on is the sometimes
gentle, sometimes raging rain of glimmering

bewilderment. You smell the spirit in the letter.
Sometimes it makes your poems better.