Saturday, October 30, 2010


As I try again to
memorize your absence,
midnight returns, all
elbows and animals.

You are as beautiful
as the bare necessity
you become when
I'm alone, waiting

for the song to
continue, the one
you refused to sing
in my presence,

but now insist on singing
in your absence.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Assuming you could see
me and knew my name,
would you fall deeply
in love with me or

just leave and chalk
everything up to experience?
Listen, I can't promise
anything, but I'm

pretty sure if I saw
you and knew your
name, I'd jump off
a bridge to impress you.

Then we could have dinner
or something. A movie.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


An unlikely definition
you had of love
was a slender
thread connecting this

to that. Edges
you left behind
refuse to turn around.
I've rearranged that

spot that used to
fit you like a glove.
This offhand
mention of you

in my mind makes
a dent in the dark.

Monday, October 25, 2010


A bird decays in mid-air.
Dust and a few feathers
filtering down from above.
Meanwhile the bird
continues on through the city,
pecking out windows,
popping light bulbs with its beak,
while in sixteen darkened bedrooms
boys with gleaming rifles
begin bouncing bee-bees
off the bleached skulls of their mothers.
In other words, midnight.
In other words, the earth
hatches a silence
which is bird-like.
A small, feathered silence
that spreads its razor-like wings
and skids
along a seam in the night.

Recapping the rose's
rise to fame requires
one to start somewhere
in the middle of the

Middle Ages. Not in
the exact middle necessarily
(which would be hard,
if not impossible, to

locate), but somewhere
near the middle of
the middle of the
so-called Middle Ages.

Yes, there, next to
Walther von der Vogelweide.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


If I should die
before I wake,
trash collection
is on Tuesday,

and I may have
left the motor
running on the
car. If that sounds

a little bizarre,
please understand
that life tends to be
a little bizarre in the

twilight years. And, oh
yes, I pray the Lord my...

Friday, October 22, 2010


Finding a good alibi's
an art like everything
else in life. The secret's
in the wrist. Think

of a good alibi as
a curveball or slider
that breaks so late
the batter has no chance.

Knuckleballs are best,
of course, when it comes
to alibis. They don't
"break" exactly. They

"bounce" off the air
like a broken balloon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


In the dark relief
your shadow offers
I ponder what's
left of the future.

Water not only
under, but well
past the bridge,
reminds me of

what's been. As the
cemeteries fill up
around me, I dig a
hole in the backyard

and stand over
it looking down.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Having followed you
to the edge of your
footsteps and stopped,
I understand where

longing belongs and
gladly deposit it there
for safe-keeping.
I hope you have grown

young enough by now
to recognize ecstasy
again and to appreciate
(as we all should)

how busy history is
escaping from our books.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Communion wafers drifting
down like snow from
the rafters. Other than
that, just another evening.

I think I told you
about George, who wasn't
where we left him
(when is he?), and about

Emily, who buried
herself in the back yard.
And the gradual accumulation
of gravity, of course,

around the edges, slowly
pulling us in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I've been rereading Elaine Equi's poems. A unique poet with an unusually wide range. She can be witty (even silly at times), poignant, profound (sometimes all three in the same poem). Always sassy and in-your-face. I recommend her.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


My eyes crawl like ants
over Cezanne's delicious
fruit. It must be August
again. The months fly by

so fast now it's almost
always later than I think
(earlier than I dare dream,
though, now that I

actually do think).
Time to turn off
the gas again and live
longer than my parents

did or could, who had
no way of knowing.

The mortician's daughter
in the town I grew
up in was hot.
We all wanted her.

Sort of. Maybe she
was blond or something,
or maybe she had
big, you know, eyebrows.

I honestly don't remember.
But I do remember she
managed to be hot, despite
what her father did

to our dearly departed before
dropping them into the darkness.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Suppose a nose
(the kind that grows,
Pinocchio's) rose
up and said,

"Enough!" Suppose
that then something
less predictable happened.
Could that same nose

still smell a rose
that smelled as sweet
under an assumed name?
No thing is ever the thing

it seems to be in dreams.
Not even a can-opener.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


There's something to be
said for familiarity.
I like the sun
in the sky during

the day and prefer
it gone at night.
To have it otherwise
is, in fact, to scare

the daylights out of me
(when I have any).
Rain should continue
being wet while

drought is busy wringing
itself out thoroughly.

Monday, October 11, 2010


You had me at "hello",
but then you said
something else that I
didn't like nearly as well

as I had liked your
"hello" (the "hello"
was a really good one),
so I never called you

like I said I would.
Sorry about that. In
case we should ever
run into one another

again, I'd appreciate it
if you'd stop at "hello".

Keep track of what
you want in a book
that has no title.
Gaze historically

at the last apple
on the tree. Die
making up lies
about how tall

you were before the accident.
Snow will fall when
it does because that's
what the weather wants.

Turn into who you were
before you try again.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


When the mirror begins
resembling you too closely,
look away. Save what's
left for another day, knowing

it will be there when you
need it. What won't be
there won't matter much,
stuck, as it always is,

in the all-but-used-up
future tense of time.
Redeem your coupons
while you may.

Don't do anything
while you mayn't.

My father began
by erasing everything
too good to be true
from his life. That

left him with us,
and, though he read to
us every evening, we
remained quite a bit

stranger than fiction.
That's why, I guess,
he made up stories
about who we were

and why, in the final
analysis, he died dreamless.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I left work early
because of the alien
invasion (which turned
out to be just another

tabloid invention). Since
I had some time on my
hands, I went to see
the six-headed Jesus

around the corner
(another tabloid invention?),
but the line was
too long, so I

left reality behind
and went to the movies.

When I see a male saint
flagellating himself,
I always wonder
what he had for breakfast.

When I see a female saint
surviving on thin air,
I stop and ask
if she knows what

time it is. She
usually does, but
refuses to tell me
for fear I may be

the answer to some prayer
she's forgotten to recite.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I probably shouldn't be
telling you this, but
after you die, you will
go straight to heaven

(whatever that means)
and stay there forever,
happy as a clam, if
you go to the bank

first, withdraw all
your money (including
that money you had
been planning to save

for a rainy day) and
send it all to me.

We put food in our
mouths, chew and swallow
it because it tastes
good or because we

want to live past yesterday.
I did. I lived past
yesterday today.
I might do it again

tomorrow if I have
time and if the
vegetables don't taste
so bad that I have

no choice but to spit
them back onto my plate.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Walk down a different
street if you want
to meet someone different.
If you would prefer

not to meet anyone,
walk down a deserted
street. Always walk
down the street

that leads to the
destination you are
trying to reach. If
you are not going

anywhere, stop.
You are probably lost.

The rhinoceros, of course,
ends with us not knowing
where the nose goes
while elsewhere a rose

goes on smelling sweet
without its name. (Would
we were the same.) The
'the' in 'there' might as

well be a 'duh' (almost
is, truth to tell). Hope
you're half as swell
as you often seem to

be in this dream I keep
having about the two of us.

Monday, October 4, 2010


When morning returns
(and it always has
so far), I like to
wake up and touch

it with my fresh idea
of what life, with
its squiggles, means.
I immediately forget,

of course, what life means
(since immediately
erasing every answer
is what I do best),

but I throw open the window
anyway to let the morning in.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I get up each
morning to grow
a day older without
trying. No

one notices but me,
nor should it matter
all that much to
anyone but me.

Others notice once
a year on what
they've dubbed my
"birthday". But it's

not my birthday. It's
noticeably later than that.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


My plan was no
one gets hurt no
matter what, but the
best-laid plans of

rascals and rodents
gang oft aglee, and,
if I must say so
myself (and how else

would I say so?),
people are dropping
like bumblebees (Tony
Curtiss just died

reportedly because he
didn't know how not to).

Friday, October 1, 2010


Because the air has been
replaced by music,
my car won't start.
I kick one of the round

rubbery circles the car
rests on and tell it to
get a move on. It
doesn't budge. Then my

pencils start thinking
they're something else
and don't jot down
some really great ideas

I suddenly find myself in
possession of. Then they do.