Saturday, December 31, 2011

REMINISCENT

Since this is all
there is, I'd recommend
taking a deep breath
before you die.

There, isn't that
better? Since starting
over presupposes some
sort of prior concluding

event, shouldn't we
take a moment to
reflect on where
we've been? There,

isn't that reminiscent
of something?

Friday, December 30, 2011

POST-CONTEMPORARY

When the post-modern poet says, Well, yes, but it's not possible to write the way Frost did in this day and age, what he or she means is it's not easy.
HOSAI (OH-SIGH)

Merry, yet more
than a tad contrary,
she inhabits her
garden in the

unmistakable guise
of a flower. The
sun pours its
yellow goodness

onto the ground and
bids her continue.
Her name pronounces
itself incorrectly

on purpose to make us
wonder who else she is.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

David Shapiro

When I come across David Shapiro's comments in Facebook, I can't help wondering if he's trying (a bit too hard, I'd say) to be post-modern, or if he's actually lost his mind.
THE NEXT VILLAGE

Life feels so
foreshortened these
days that I hesitate
to turn around

for fear of bumping
into my birth and
bruising my face.
But go ahead, kids,

jump into your
buggy and whip that
tired old horse if you
actually believe

it's going to
get you anywhere.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

FOUND SOUND

Forgive me. I have
taken things too
far or not far
enough and have

no idea which.
I will try again,
of course. But
taking things the

correct distance
is not as easy as
it sounds and
considerably more

difficult than
it doesn't sound.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

EVERYTHING ELSE

An off-stage
voice auditioning
for the role of
God in a new

play about getting
lost on the way
to the bathroom lowers
itself until the

basement begins
to bleed. Once
that happens,
nothing else can

because everything
else already has.

Monday, December 26, 2011

DOOMED
for Halvard

Dark energy, the
invisible element
in the room of
science, is sitting

on my chest.
Exhalation is easy,
like rolling down
a hill. Inhalation

is impossible, like
rolling up a hill.
Anti-gravity is
having its way

with us. We are doomed
to be who we are.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

UPON A TIME

Twice upon another
time a woman
living happily ever
after starts over.

Every other now and
then she stops
to milk a cow.
Thrice as many times

as why she switches
spots to fell a
tree. Dressed
up as many years

ago, she secretly
dreams her death.

Friday, December 23, 2011

ARS POETICA

This poem answers
underwater. Bubbles
of misunderstanding
rush to the surface

and pop. The sound
they make is inaudible,
like words
submerged in wet.

Nothing can cleanse
a poem of its meaning
as it takes another
running stab at being.

A moon should not
be but shine.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

ANYMORE

When I was a boy,
the priest fell asleep
during my confession.
Then came puberty

with its taller trees
and deeper caves.
Thoughts became actions.
Actions became allegories

of uncertainty. Nights
became noon-like,
trembling in place.
Everything needed doing.

No one stopped at
nothing anymore.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

VESTIGIAL

The vestigial vagina
of an angel
measures minus
three inches and

is either invisible
or nonexistent,
depending on your
point of view.

Your point of view
measures however
much you're able
to see without being

born again or
sold into slavery.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BABY

Something this is
neither the time nor
the place for happens
anyway. In order to

be all you can
be, you don't. And
because you can't
help thinking it

should have been
you, it is. Something
as easy as taking
a hand-grenade

from a baby takes
longer than expected.

Monday, December 19, 2011

MY WOMAN

Some women can
turn it on and
off, depending
on mood and on

other factors that
shall remain nameless
as long as there
is a universe.

My woman turns
it off and off,
depending on nothing.
She is the sound

of one hand
refusing to clap.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

INVISIBLE

Something truer than
true love writes
its name in the
sky using cloud

cover as its excuse.
Will you marry
me or at least
be merry with me

while we may?
Rosebuds gather
without us to
celebrate our madness.

We hide in invisible
traces of ourselves.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

MORTAL

With his heart giving
out, a man checks
himself in. He hooks
up with a nurse

whose bedside manner
is fur-lined. He
tries to be reasonable,
but can't remember

how. Coughing causes
him to listen to
himself. He doesn't
like what he hears.

A doctor declares
him mortal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

TOCK

Rounding a rarely
turned corner of
time, a clock
meets its maker.

It would be wonderful,
of course, to wind down
the way a clock does,
one harmless tick

at a time, the last
tick (tock) not
noticeably different
from the first.

That would be good
both starting and stopping.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BLINDNESS
(Gandhi)

An eye for
an eye for
an eye for
an eye for

an eye for
an eye for
an eye for
an eye for

an eye for
an eye for
en eye for
an eye for

an eye for
an eye for

Monday, December 12, 2011

CLICHE BOUQUET

Though I have always
done my best to
leave you with
the wrong impression

(or a second first
impression when impossible),
I have never deliberately
been honest about

anything. For that
reason I resent your
implication that I am
my own best enemy.

I have always striven to
be my own worst friend.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CORRECTLY

In this litany of
lit particulars a
dayseye dies one
day at a time.

Time tells the
truth exactly as
written. Nothing
is as sad as snow

falling inside an
empty warehouse.
Lethargy leaves a
trail no one in

his right mind
would try to follow.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

ABOVE

Stacked gods do
indeed draw
lines across us
as the moon

stitches its eyelid
into a cloud.
At exactly
half midnight

noon's nimble
insistence
remains what it is,
hung brightness

in the geometric
center of sky.

Friday, December 9, 2011

TEN

Things this is
neither the time
nor the place
for may turn

out to be very
well suited to
a different time
in a different

place. It's certainly
worth a try. it's
always a good idea,
I think, to count

to ten before
killing someone.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

THE QUEEN

Many of the museums
in England have no
entry fee, but charge
a rather handsome

ransom if and
when you decide
you'd like to get
out. The ransom

has to be paid
in pounds, not
euros, and has to
be delivered directly

to the Queen,
preferably before tea.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

INDIGESTION

Americans eat a
lot. They eat out
of a mounting
frustration with

Jesus, who continues
not showing up for
their parties. Every
cheeseburger allows

them to believe
that God still
loves them and
approves of their

disapproval of others.
They die of indigestion.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CHANGES

A room my childhood
wants to have a
party in revisits
me in a dream.

The room is not
visible as a room.
It's more like a
series of ideas

about rooms that
have been woven
into a tapestry.
The tapestry is

hung in a painting
by Hans Holbein.

Monday, December 5, 2011

AUBADE
for Paul

A lazy moon
is saving its face
for later. Motors
turn over, letting

go of the night. A
life from which
all pronouns have
been removed

declares itself
not worth living.
A poet, in love
with a definite

article, dissolves
in a mirror of words.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MEMORY
for Maxine

Memory marks the
spot, as they say,
and even hits the
spot at times.

Sometimes memory
moves me to move
closer. Other times
it shoos me away.

I remember always
being exactly who
I was, despite a
mirror's static.

I remember remembering
who I pretended to be.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

ALLEGORY

Invention's father,
a hobo with a hard-on
and a drug habit,
had abandoned

Invention's mother,
Necessity, years earlier.
This wasn't necessarily
a bad thing. It

permitted Invention
to grow up in
a world of
hurt and spared

him having to invent
reasons for his unhappiness.

Friday, December 2, 2011

HOPE

He works in the
no accounting for
taste department.
Poets, his data show,

waste paper while
wanting not to. He
locks his mother
in the closet every

morning to prevent
the darning of socks.
He calls home
continuously in a

conscientious effort to
drive the old lady insane.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

LATEST

The latest in
a new series of
pushed envelopes
hatches in

imagination's
lab. A pill
proven to induce
awe in some over-

promotes death
in others and is
yanked from the
market at what

may or may not
be the last minute.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FATHER

Since there wasn't
a single wife in our
neighborhood worth
coveting, father

reluctantly obeyed
one of the commandments.
Then he died and
was buried along

with his secrets.
He lives, I guess
you could say, in
whatever memories

we still have of him.
You could say that.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TEMPORARY

When I was five.
my parents decided
we were living next
door to the wrong

Wright brothers. We
began moving. Traveling
at the speed of dark,
we arrived in a

suburb, preceded by
an example of what
everything would soon
look like. There was

a temporary orange
grove on the right.

Monday, November 28, 2011

UTTERLY

When a pyromaniac
lights a match,
the universe goes
up in flames in

his imagination.
Stairs become stars,
and stars become
distant examples of

what it means
to be utterly alone.
When the pyromaniac
dips himself in

cold water, everything
he believes in stops.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

PURPOSE
for Said

The purpose of music
is to encourage hope
while simultaneously
insisting upon its

futility. In its most
twisted examples music
dances back and forth
between these two poles,

producing an electric
shock equal in
intensity to
that produced by

thrusting a hairpin
into a light socket.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NO LONGER

If I should die
before I wake,
I won't wake. I'm
not sure what

I'll do in lieu
of waking. Maybe
I'll sleep longer
then usual,

a lot
longer. Maybe
I'll dream a different
kind of dream, one

in which I keep
not waking up.

Friday, November 25, 2011

CIRCUITOUS

I'm tired of leaving
my message after the
beep. I deliberately
leave it before the

beep. I do this not
so much out of
obstinacy as out
of a profound sense of

boredom with modern
technology. I am, of
course, also fascinated
with modern technology.

Please unplug me
when you're finished.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ANONYMOUS

Anonymous died on
a day when nothing
happened. That's
the good news.

The bad news is
his failure to
leave behind a
single memory

of himself in
the minds of
those of us who
cared enough

to wonder who
he was.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

IMPLIED

There was a long
period of prosperity
following my great
depression. My

depression had been
brought on by science's
unanticipated discovery
that the universe was

flat and that there
was no way to comply
with the implied order
to "live happily ever

after". It ended with
the discovery of sarcasm.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

PARTICULAR

We frequently ask
What's the big idea?
when we have no
particular interest

in ideas, large or
small. When bees
hear the beekeeper
coming, they

cease making honey
and begin murmuring
innumerably. In the
wake of natural disaster

we cover for God
by feeling guilty.

Monday, November 21, 2011

IN THIS ONE GALLERY
for Asad

In this one gallery
installations are
outsourced to China,
and paintings lie

flat on the floor,
wishing they were
more like sculptures.
Sculptures don't do

anything and are
justifiably ignored
in all the reviews.
Videos, seen but not

heard, refuse to
take off their masks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DADA WORD SCULPTURE
for Hosai

A
bullet
believed
not

to
have
killed
MLK,

JFK,
President
McKinley,
or

Abraham
Lincoln.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

RHETORICAL

Once again ecstasy
underlines what
cannot be explained.
We leave the rest

until later, until
it actually is
later, at which
point we leave

the rest until whenever
tomorrow turns out to
be. We don't question
why we do what

we do because the
answer is rhetorical.

Friday, November 18, 2011

ATTENTION

It's amazing how
much we haven't
accomplished, considering
how much there

is to do. It's
mind-boggling how
quickly I can
forget where

I was when
Ronald Reagan
was shot.
Someone is trying

to draw my attention
with a pencil.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DECELERATION

With the invention
of the camera,
we learned how to
cry. Artists were

called in to paint
teardrops onto our
cheeks. The teardrops
refused to roll

until the invention
of the movie, after
which so much became
possible that we had

to lock ourselves in
a closet to slow down.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

FARTHER

It's always already
winter when I wake
up and try again to
reach her by phone.

She's always already
not at home. Her
telephone continues
ringing even after

I've hung up. I
can hear it in the
next room, where
she lives miles

away from me,
farther.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DARK PASSAGE

At the end of the
long arm of the
law, a heavy hand
serves up canister

after canister of
nose-numbing
"protection". Yes,
we're in Oakland,

across the Bay
from San Francisco
(only those in LA
dare call it "Frisco").

Bogie and Bacall are
driving down from Marin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

CONCEPTUAL
for Asad and Halai

A conceptual artist
suggests connecting
one street to a second,
parallel street by

means of a third
street (one that can
be called a "cross
street", should the need

to name it arise). The
city council votes down
the artist's proposal, but
compensates by electing

him mayor and allowing him
to marry the woman of his choice.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

TWINS

Do as I do,
not as I say.
Or do as I
say I won't

do unless you
agree to do
it too. That way
we'll both arrive

at the same exact
moment, neither
of us an iota
later (or earlier)

than the other.
We'll be twins.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

INNER

To see the face
of God from outer
space, you have
to look up, a

direction that, like
most directions,
doesn't really
exist in outer

space. The only
direction I can
think of that
might exist

in outer space
is inner.

Friday, November 11, 2011

NOT

The ultimacy of
intimacy seems to
be a kind of elongated
ecstasy that leads

inevitably to lunacy
and dry rot. A literal
inward tilting fails
to prevent the

wholesale sublimation
of birds into bungled
attempts at clarity.
Analogues to error,

once thought to be
the answer, aren't.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

EVEN NOWHERE

Because everything is
constantly in flux,
we now train our pilots
to fly flight simulators

by having them first
learn how to fly actual
airplanes. The
advantage of the

flight simulator is,
of course, its similarity
to a video game, but also,
and more importantly,

its ability to take you
anywhere, even nowhere.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

TO THE ONE PERCENT

Turning the other
cheek and then the other
other cheek is my
way of saying no,

not anymore. If you
see me coming,
drop whatever you're
doing and become

someone else, someone
better. Someone a
lot better. Otherwise,
I'll turn my back

on you and make
you disappear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HOW LONG

I have this feeling
that someone is
constantly trying
to convince me of

something. But of
what? And for what
reason? There is
a "what" inside

every "why" and
a "why" inside
every "what".
But where?

And when? And
for how long?

Monday, November 7, 2011

ANVIL

Music is inadmissible
as evidence because
it speaks directly
to the inner ear.

Candles light the way
to lethargy and God.
Murderers make light
of life in the moment

they murder, but often
feel weighted down
with worry afterwards.
This is known in

psychology as the
"dropped-anvil effect".

Saturday, November 5, 2011

SEMICIRCULAR

The beginning of an
end no one could have
foreseen turns out
to be nothing more

than the continuation
of an ongoing
struggle between the
possible and the

singularly semicircular.
An autopsy of the
difference between what
we want and what we

can expect to get results
in the hospitalization of hope.

Friday, November 4, 2011

AWARE

The moon, when
viewed through the
word "moon", is
somehow less

interesting than hoped
for. I had wanted
something haphazard,
like a snail that

wanders away from
its "trail". A dog
I'm aware, but
not beware, of

is refusing to
keep off the grass.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

IN ERROR

An adjective accidentally
cuts into a flower
it had intended
only to describe.

This typically happens
at night as sentries
attempt to relocate
their daydreams.

If you sleep
until noon,
you will wake
with a sense of

having misplaced
morning.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

OCCUPY

A guy I know makes
what many people
call a living
buying and selling

his idea of what
money will taste
like when the economy
ripens. He hoards

gold bars in a
basement based
on the assumption that
actual slavery will

flourish again in what
masqueraded as our land.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

HORACE

I believe it was
Horace who said
that mortality bruises
a man's thoughts.

He probably would
have added that
it bruises a
woman's thoughts

too, but no one
knew in those days
that women also
have thoughts. They

were only known to
have babies when touched.

Monday, October 31, 2011

THE ART OF WAR

Paul Klee worked
as an artist
during the war.
His best friend

worked as a
soldier and died.
Klee painted
a portrait

of his friend
trapped in
the act of
being dead.

The war dragged
on until it ended.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

OUT

The average person
has no desire to
travel to outer space.
The below-average

person has no desire
to travel to inner
space. There is no
gravity in outer

space. There is
too much gravity
in inner space,
according to those

who have gone there,
their tongues hanging out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

SHUT

At shut of eve
(words from an
angel frozen in
youth) night

spills its oily
ink. Owls age
in the general
direction of wisdom.

A dog, asleep
at no one's
feet, paddles
toward a dream


everything it
owns is buried in.

Friday, October 28, 2011

LAST

The shortest distance
between one point
is inertia. Angels
who die of

old age are
buried in our
best intentions.
The last man

standing is required
by law to explain
what happened.
He may do so

in any language
he chooses.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

GRAVY

What's in this
year is whatever's
out where the
greener grass

grows impatient.
Convinced that the
best lack all
conviction, I

invite a convict
to dinner, knowing
he can't come
because of the

bars and the
guards and the gravy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

POINTS

Points taken away
for shooting civilians
are added back in
once the corridors

have been cleared.
Gold earns you
an extra shot at
your even more

evil twin. Your
joystick is adjusted
to allow for errors
without any corresponding

reduction in your
lack of compassion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ANYWAY

I come from a
long line of
people who would
prefer not to, but

usually do anyway.
The devil is either
in the details
or in an overly

broad outline of
what life's likely
to have been
about once all the

dust has settled, then
been kicked up again.

Monday, October 24, 2011

AT SEVEN

A woman created
out of the combined
fantasies of a hundred
henpecked men

and forced to eat
nothing but bad
publicity for a
week emerges as

a somewhat enhanced
version of what we
had always considered
highly unlikely.

She will be expecting
you at seven.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

OPENING
for Asad

At a young artist's
opening critics
were surprised to
find a gallery

devoid of a single
visible work. That
was, of course, the
whole point. An

attempt to paint
movement into a
canvas had resulted
in an imageless

video that droned
on forever.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

DISCREETLY

A man keeps
his fear of
public speaking
in a file labeled

"private". His teeth
marks have been
found on the elbows
of nineteen fallen

angels. An inability
to express emotion
causes his toilet
to clog. Helium

balloons are discreetly
released into the air.

Friday, October 21, 2011

MORE PROGRESS

In earlier times
a man was presumed
dead unless he
twitched when poked

with a stick. Then
progress stepped in
with its fancy tools
and store-bought

knowledge. Now
a man is not
considered truly
dead unless or

until he vomits
gold when kicked.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

PROGRESS

In the Old West
a man was told
to dance as bullets
painted the area

around his feet.
In the New West
a man is asked
to think as bullets

penetrate the air
around his head.
This will be called
"progress" until the

idea men can come
up with a better term.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OSLO

"You'll never get
the art part out of
Oslo that way," a
woman says to me,

in reference to
what she thinks
I'm doing, which
is, of course, almost

the opposite of
what I'm doing, so
different from it,
in fact, that when

I ask the woman
to marry me, she does.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SELF

A man charged
with shooting himself
in self defense
defends himself

by pleading guilty
on all counts.
Soldiers of silence
lead him away,

their tongues twisted
into recognizable knots.
Nothing new need
be added to eternal

life, which is
presumably enough.

Monday, October 17, 2011

OCCUPY

Because angels are
only visible from
within, they frighten
the under-enlightened.

Our better angels
run off with
our worst fears
as winter wipes

the smile off
our faces. My
banker, afraid
I might figure

him out, eats
all the money.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NOT NEXT

When it seemed
everything of
importance had
happened, he

slipped off his
boots and died.
Next time he'll
know better.

If there is
no next time,
he'll know
better than to

wait impatiently
for what's not next.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

THIRD

I remember
once when push
came to shove
you fell into

a fish pond
and emerged wetter
than a whistle.
Good and bad

switched spots.
Beauty brought an
ugly price at auction,
and action spoke

louder than words for the
third charm this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

ELASTIC

What goes up
stays in Vegas,
unless, in compliance
with the laws of

gravity and decent
behavior, it must
come down. If it
must, it must, in

accordance with the
far less strict laws
of language, which
are notoriously

elastic and
let things happen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

FREQUENTLY

The noise a wish
makes switching
sides is said to
be inaudible to

all but the
underappreciated.
The right to have
it all is alienable.

The right to
have it both
ways works
both ways and

is frequently mistaken
for its opposite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

OCCUPY

Poetry's a privileged
form of distance
from what's yours
and mine in

the mind's pantry.
Every highway
here's a ribbon
our mother weaves

into her hair.
A landscape whose
scape escapes
seems hopeless

to the hapless.
It's time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LANGUAGE POETRY

If you want to understand language poetry, close your eyes and picture someone masturbating with no hands.
TEA

No one has an
inalienable right
to everything.
Or so Jefferson

said after he
laid down his
pen and repaired
to the bedroom

to taste a slave.
It's almost
impossible to
find the Founders

without a program
or a scorecard.

Monday, October 10, 2011

RECALIBRATED

Displays of strength
in the upper atmosphere
were used in past
years to pump up

the average man's
idea of what
the future held
in store. What

the future actually
held in store is
now being used to
dial back the

idea that slavery
was somehow wrong.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

OCCUPY

An angel is
what's missing
from the snow
after it melts.

A snowman
and a straw man
hold hands in
a dream I once

had about being
helpless. A
beggar hands
out handouts

in a dream I'm
afraid to have.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

OCCUPY

If you scrape
the scape from
landscape, the land
begins to bleed

milk and honey.
The land I'm
talking about is
the one that's

yours and mine
that was taken
from us by
those who know

who they are but
don't give a damn.

Friday, October 7, 2011

SUDDENLY
for Sayeda

They check her
out while checking
themselves in. It
goes on like this

until it goes off like
that. An unexpected
distinction between
what we want and

what we can expect
to get explains
everything. She wishes
she had the exact

opposite of everything
she ever had.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

OPTICS

When seen from a
great enough distance,
past and present are
indistinguishable. A

man approaching seems
to grow taller with
each step toward you.
This is an illusion,

known in optics as
"the expanding-man
illusion". It can be
easily countered by

asking the man to
grow smaller by leaving.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SOLDIER

When viewed at
the correct angle,
a soldier's shadow
stands at attention and

casts his body into the
ground. This is
regarded as a
premonition by some,

but as history in
the making by the
soldier himself,
who kisses his

birth goodbye
at the station.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

GEOMETRIC

A parachute opening
inside his body
brings a man
to his senses.

An odd symmetry
between the wreckage
within and the
moon above reminds

him of the simple
geometric shapes of
childhood: the circle,
the square, the triangle.

Time is not the
right place for this.

Friday, September 30, 2011

GONE

I think I can
pinpoint the exact
moment I sensed
your tense shifting

from present to
past. I had
asked you a
rhetorical question,

expecting no answer.
You answered it
with a simultaneous
shaking and nodding

of the head from up
to one side to gone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

POSTCONTEMPORARY

A new school of
poetry, called tentatively
"postcontemporary", is
distinguished by the

words it refuses to
use. In place of words
it uses the heads
of headless hummingbirds

flying through the room
at the precise moment the
poem is being either
"written" or tossed

into a wastebasket
for safekeeping.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SEASONAL

A pair of black
headlights at noon
announces the end
of summer. Dark

helicopters circle
overhead, drawing
attention to the
unavoidable accident

autumn is. Halloween
dons a new
costume, woven
of worn-out ideas.

Winter hesitates for
what seemed like a second.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TWO

When one mirror
faces another
mirror, both begin
reflecting on

reflection and what
purpose, if any, it
serves in the overall
scheme of things.

If you place an
object, any object,
between them,
they change

their minds into
photographic memories.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MASTER OF CEREMONIES SQUARED

Apparently some
sub-atomic particles
have been caught
traveling in excess

of the posted speed
limit of light. A motorcycle
cop traveling behind
them (at the speed

of hope) testified
in court that he
had been unable
to chase down the

particles in time
for the Last Judgment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

RELATIONSHIPS

I've always felt
there must be a
relationship between
the fear of heights,

acrophobia, and
the fear of depths,
megalomania. Many
wonder why the two

don't cancel each other
out, the way large
and small do by
remaining medium-sized,

the way left and right
do by refusing to budge.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

AGAIN

Many are born again,
but few are chosen
(for reasons I'd rather
not go into here).

If you think you may
have been born again,
stare into the mirror
for however long it

takes you to realize
how foolish you look.
Then pinch yourself.
If you still don't care

what time it is, you
have been born again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

REPORTED

When seen from
a safe distance,
everything happens
at once. Or doesn't

happen at all. When
heard from a great
height, gravity pulls
the plug. A reported

snowstorm inside
the Cathedral turns
out to be nothing
more than a long

overdue Eucharist floating
down from the ceiling.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

KINK

A poem in search
of an ideal degree of
obscurity manages
to mean everything

and nothing
simultaneously
and has to be erased
before whoever I used

to think I was finds
out. There is a
seemingly ancient
kink in the center of

this that is trying
to work itself out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ADVANCE NOTICE

The mimesis of
the painting was
the difficulty any
viewer would have

in assigning any
value whatsoever
to the work. The
artist took delight

in knowing he
had outsmarted
us by predicting
in advance that

we would not look
twice at his creation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PAUSE

The time and
blood I have on
my hands have
decided to become

one. I wring myself
out to dry. The boy
next door, the one
who faints at the

mention of anything,
is fiddling with his
stick. Time stops
marching on for

a second, then
blunders into an ambush.

Monday, September 19, 2011

WHAT THERE'S NO ACCOUNTING FOR

Her parents locked
her in the closet
to see how long
it would take

her to eat
the darkness.
Now she is
rarely late,

but is often
too early to
calculate the speed
at which snow melts.

She lives inside an idea
her mother had about her.

Friday, September 16, 2011

NO EXCUSE

A man whose
alibi had no
excuse for not
holding up in

court was executed
yesterday in Texas.
Today we find
out his alibi

was telling the
truth about where
he was when
what happened

happened. It's too
late to be on time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

CHEAP LABOR

The people working
the graveyard
shift these days
are sleepwalkers.

Capitalism has
developed a way
of luring them into
the factory by

dangling cheese
in front of their
noses. It's cheap
labor's logical extreme.

No one knows whether
or what they dream.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ELASTIC

As I watch our
neighborhood poet
practice verbal
back-flips on the

lawn, I can't
help remembering
a time when exercise
was less poetic

and poetry less
elastic. I do my
part by performing
linguistic chin-ups

on a bar between
"rhyme" and "reason".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CLEARLY

Sometimes we try
too hard to
suggest a word
or color by

leaving it out
(or painting
over it in shades
of clear plastic).

The camera forces
everyone to stand
still if it's a
still camera. The

movie camera moves to
a new part of now.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NEVER ENOUGH

Today I had
solid-gold fixtures
installed in my
bathroom so the

poor would learn to
stop wanting so much.
The results were
mixed. Not a

single person applauded
when I twisted the
new handle, prompting
water to rush into

and out of my
beautiful toilet bowl.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

LOST IN TRANSLATION

Imagine an
unheard-of head
in which the
eye-apples

ripen. Then
change your life.
A smile the
loins can't keep

under wraps
announces in
advance what's
just around every

corner. Let
go of the leaves.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NOT IN ENGLAND

A mirror that
doesn't know what
to say (much less
reflect) is replaced

by the correct spelling
of a name you
can never recall
in time to call

the woman whose
name it is and
invite her over
for tea. Then you

remember you are
not in England.

Friday, September 9, 2011

MOTION

A movie in which
no one moves
opened last week
to rave reviews.

A critic who
labeled it "post
post-modern" was
criticized for being

prematurely prescient.
A second critic
said the movie
had moved him

to the point of no
longer giving a damn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

CONCEPTUAL

An artist who
thinks he invented
the intersection is
commissioned to

create a work no
one will be allowed
to see once it's
finished. No one

will ever know
when or whether
the work is
complete. No one

except the artist,
who is blind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

COCONUT

Every friend's death
whittles me down
to size (or words
to that effect).

I live on an
island no ship
visits. I can
swim, but not

well enough to
reach the mainland
(which is where
mankind resides).

I had coconut
for lunch.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A COUNTRY

In a country
in which no
and yes both
mean no, sincerity

meets its match.
This country also
specializes in
indoor rain

and outdoor
plumbing. Public
places are stored
inside closets

that close upon
closer inspection.

Monday, September 5, 2011

GADGET

The eternal-life
gadget, whose
patent is held
by a society

so secret it
can't remember
where it begins
or ends, is

said to be
identical in size
to the gadget
life uses to

erase us just
in time for death.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

WEIGHTLESS

Because everything
in a cartoon is
weightless, you
open your eyes

to find that life
has punched a
hole in you that,
while quite large,

is insufficiently
real to erase
you from the
world. When the

cartoon ends, you
have lived forever.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PARROT

I'd rather not do
this over the phone,
but I'd also rather
not have to see

you again in whatever's
left of this lifetime.
The goldfish that
died when you looked

at it has been
replaced. The cat
that left when you
didn't returned

once you had gone.
The parrot ate its words.

Friday, September 2, 2011

TOPS

I put your father
in an old folks
home and your
sister in a headlock.

I don't know what
I was thinking,
but I don't care.
I put your mother

where no one will
find her and
your brother in an
embarrassing situation.

I put you at
the top of my list.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THE GOOD OLD DAYS There was too much available parking in the good old days. Death was in its heyday. Bits of muffled diction seemed all but silent in the face of opposition. Gold's value was glued to chaos for no discernible reason. No one was surprised when the sky declined comment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

LOUDER

I don't regret
a false move
I didn't make
with a gun

pointed at
me. The gun
came out of
nowhere, the

way weather
does when
an unexpected
storm with

thunderclaps speaks
louder than words.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GREAT

A great poem
or painting has
the good sense
to totally ignore

its sources (Eliot).
A photo-realistic
rendering in impasto
cannot be slapped

onto the canvas
carelessly. It requires
careful planning
and, in extreme

cases, revision. A
great poem squeaks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

IN ADVANCE

Back in the days
when even women
and children were
reasonable men,

the art of postponing
pleasure was at
its zenith. Different
sized doors were

used to enter a
room, depending on
one's mood. Things
that needed doing

got done in advance,
before Dad got home.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

INTERRUPTED

Fantasy's clever
move releases
fidelity from its
vow. Now

what? I cannot
emphasize enough
the importance of
coffee in the morning,

chamomile tea at night.
I often wonder what
it would be like
to not be anywhere.

Then, without warning,
I stop wondering.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

LEAVING THE ATOCHA STATION

I don't understand why
everyone makes such
a fuss about leaving
the Atocha Station.

What better way to
get out of Madrid
by rail? I left the
Atocha Station on a

train last time
I was in Madrid
and, honestly, I
didn't notice anything

out of the ordinary.
It was raining.

Friday, August 26, 2011

WHITE

Feel free to
run your fingers
through my white
hair in search of

wisdom. What
you find there
is all I've
managed to save.

It's the not much
that's all there
is once the famous
last words have

been erased.
Tomorrow's yesterday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HIGH TIME

Our children have
begun violating
curfew every night
while making love

execution-style
under the bleachers.
The police, who are
busy buying lottery

tickets, are powerless
to help. No one
knows where the key
to anyone's heart is.

It's time. High
time it were time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CHARITY

The poor live under
a bridge outside time
that's safely beyond
notice. A poet worries

that he may have
accidentally used
a pronoun in one
of his poems, knowing

he will be denounced
by the Academy Of
Utter Nonsense if
he has. Charity

tries one last time
to be the greatest of these.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

THE WAX

A poet forgets how
to walk in one of
his poems and
can't get out of

the way. Fireflies
punctuate the night
with opposing thoughts
to no avail. Time

marches on anyway.
My wife is busy
funneling boiled
ecstasy into a

lidless Mason jar.
Now the wax.

Monday, August 22, 2011

TRUE COLORS

The color of fear,
long thought to be
yellow, is actually
closer to beige.

This is no surprise
to the artist, who
knows true colors
and what they stand

for. White represents
the false doctrine of
creationism, green the
sensible idea behind

evolution. Love is
colorless, but vivid.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

ARS POETICA

I agree that a poem must not mean but be. But there are too many poems around these days that succeed in not meaning, but fail miserably to be.
ADIEU AMERICA

Having chopped
down the only
possible reason a
cherry tree would

have been there
in the first place,
I leave what has
left me and

set said for
France, where the
freedom fries dwell.
Bon jour, I

practice saying
through the barbed wire.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

HEAD-START

I have begun
forgetting things
before they happen
to get a head-start

on old age. My
bones have begun
breaking in
anticipation of the

fall. The widow
next door wants
me to weave a
kitten out of her

hair. I promised
her I'd try.

Friday, August 19, 2011

HARVEST

My waves of grain
are especially amber
this morning. I can
hear the harvest

creaking toward the
barn. I reap what I
sow, feed a
little to the

livestock,
then eat the
rest myself.
I love to watch

the lilies in the
field spin and toil.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

THE OTHER OTHER FROST

The other Frost
was Randall
Jarrell's favorite
poet (after

Rilke). Mine too
(also after Rilke).
The other other
Frost, on the

other hand, wasn't
all that good, was
often bad, in fact,
like all those

other poets
who weren't Rilke.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ELEGY FOR JERRY

Hitting rewind causes
rain to rise,
the sun to unset,
parting lovers

to reunite. Nothing
causes life to go
on as reliably
as death does,

though. Your
absence stutters
in the middle of
a sentence it

can no longer
finish.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SIXTY-NINE

Braille porn is
all the rage among
the short-sighted
these days. One

feels one's way
(gently) into the
unseen. It's said
to be a lot like

having sex at night
with the lights out,
which is when and
how 69% of all

sex acts are thought
to occur in any case.

Monday, August 15, 2011

SAFETY

A goal I gave
up on keeps
trying to reach
me, sometimes

by phone, more
often by force.
I frequently
cower in corners

goals are said to
fear (like angels
do when they're
treading). An

absence of air
vacuums me to safety.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

THE MOST RECENT STUDIES

Taking medication
to control your
psychosis impedes
your ability to

control your psychosis
by beating your
neighbor to death
with a sledge hammer.

At least this is
what the most
recent studies
suggest. The most

recent studies also
suggest waiting impatiently.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

JOYCE KILMER'S TREES

Think of a poem
as a made thing
God or somebody
like God planted

a tree in (God's
brother, perhaps).
The tree, an
infant sucking

at Nature's breast,
has a sibling
named "Forest".
Nobody can see

the sibling because
of the fucking tree.

Friday, August 12, 2011

OUR WOMEN

Because of the way
things are now, our
women put up snow
in place of peaches

for the sweltering
months ahead.
They can hot
water to ease us

through winter's
god-awful chill. They can't
can anything for spring,
or say they can't.

We don't question what
they can and can't can.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NEXT

The economy of pleasure
is running out of gas.
We never go anywhere
anymore unless some

oboe tells us to.
Ether's everywhere,
waiting for its chance.
The moon spits

bits of yellow light
into a cluster of
motionless trees.
Opposites grapple

in the underbrush. What
happens next doesn't.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

E-Books available for purchase at Lulu.com

You can buy e-books of my poetry at Lulu.com for 2 dollars each. (links below)


August Again


New Zoos
BIG CITY

The rope I'm often
at the end of is
the same rope I use
to tie myself up

when I see a burglar
approaching my house.
I have forbidden
my neighbors to

intervene on my
behalf because I
live in a big city
and don't want to

be known as the one
who inconveniences them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

POSTPONED

Putting off suicide
until tomorrow is
actually a good
strategy. No one

knows what the
future will bring
if and when it
ever gets here.

And things do
sometimes improve
accidentally. You're
a lot more attractive

than you look, and
the sun also rises.

Monday, August 8, 2011

SONNET
(Padgett)

What shall I
write today? What
shall I write
today? What shall

I write today?
What shall I
write today? What
shall I write

today? What shall
I write today?
What shall I
write today? What

shall I write
today? A sonnet.

POETIC TRAINING

Even in the case of the best poets, only about 30% of a poet's work is actually worth reading. The other poems are akin to the sit-ups a boxer does to stay in shape. Rilke was, of course, the exception to this rule.
PICKY

I'm leaving you
because I love
you and think
you deserve better.

Oh, fuck it.
I'll change. No,
I won't. I
would, but I

can't imagine
who I'd be
if I did.
I doubt you'd

like me in any
case. You're picky.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

REAGAN'S LEGACY

A withered blue
tit, provided for
the poor to suck
on in their spare

time, is said
to be all the
filthy rich
assholes can

spare at this
time. Maybe
later, they
whisper behind

their smelly cigars,
maybe later.
CATHOLIC GIRLS

The girls from Our
Lady Of Broken Promises
let boys sleep inside them
after school. They

worship Jesus
in their spare time,
but don't like the
Father and are

ambivalent about
the Holy Ghost.
Each one has
an imprimatur

stenciled into her
titty for good luck.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

JOSEPH OF CUPERTINO

Joseph of Cupertino,
the canonized saint,
is said to have
disobeyed the law

of gravity a number
of times during his
life here on earth.
He is also famous

for giggling in answer
to every question put
to him by the Inquisition.
He was ultimately

dragged before the Pope,
who though he was cute.

Friday, August 5, 2011

YANK

Some of your best
friends are language
poets. They don't
talk to you for

reasons that resist
being mentioned. I
swapped faith and
hope for charity

years ago. In fact,
I freak out when
someone loves Jesus
so much he feels he

has to grab me
by the ears and yank.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MYSELF

My goal when I
was young was
to die on the cross
and worship my

death. I got over
this as quickly as
possible and built
myself a small

house on an acre
of irony outside
town. No one
visits me now,

but that's okay.
I visit myself.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

THEIR SON

A woman is
underground who
gave birth to me
before I could protest.

And her husband,
my father, underground
next door. I often
imagine them reaching

across the damp
earth holding
hands as they
discuss what has

and has not become
of me, their son.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

PENDULUM

One paratrooper mows
the lawn on his
way down. Another
is reading a book.

A third (the interesting
one) falls up instead
of down to avoid
reaching the ground.

His chute gets caught
on a branch jutting
out from a low-
hanging cloud. He

swings back and
forth like a pendulum.

Monday, August 1, 2011

THE SPEED WE DIE AT

When we die, we
do so mostly
out of habit.
Getting up in the

morning becomes
not getting up
in the morning.
Remembering to

take your medicine
becomes forgetting
to take your
medicine. Getting

nowhere fast remains
getting nowhere fast.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

REFUSAL

The stars, adjusting
themselves for inflation
so that the dead can go
on living in the memories

of those they've forgotten,
count their blessings
slowly as they let
go of their light. Like

a dream that repeats
itself in search of a
better outcome, the
stars refuse to turn

around into the
daylight of oblivion.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

SIGHT UNSEEN

A blind neighbor
of mine watches
porn with the
sound turned

off. He insists
he can imagine
everything perfectly
well and is always

satisfied with the
way things turn
out. It always ends
the same, he says.

I know it does,
even with my eyes closed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

MUSIC
for Said

Busy is as
busy does. But
sometimes music
is as music

does not. The
silences, I mean,
planted in the
middle as quiet

echoes of what
is meant by
noise. I hear
them and applaud

what they dare
to sound like.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

STARS

These recent stars
are literally anachronistic,
arriving long after they
have ceased to exist.

A dinner guest
who's a ghost,
on the other hand,
has the common

decency to not show
up and damage the party.
Stars (the other kind)
show up uninvited

in the tabloids as
often as they can.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

UNDECIDED

Crimes left undone,
like the blouse
of a woman you
hope to meet someday,

fester underground
where the worms are.
This is, of course,
not the first the

first time you've
declined our invitation
to drown in our pool.
You stand in the doorway,

trying to decide between
entry and defeat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ESSENCE

Angels at play
like to lie down
in the snow and
create themselves

out of nothing.
They name themselves
after famous angels
of the past (Michael,

Gabriel, Satan) and
take turns pretending
there's a God. When
they've had enough,

they dress up in their
essence and disappear.

Monday, July 25, 2011

INFORMATION

People have become
so hungry for
information they
will believe anything

as long as it's
being said by
someone else. My
sister disappeared

when someone on
the news said she
was missing. She
returned a few

days later with a
feather in her mouth.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

BIRTHDAY

The right to have
your cake and eat
it too is not
inalienable. It's

left over from
yesterday's birthday
party. Age is an
inalienable right

and insists on
being heard in
the ear and felt
in the bones. It

doesn't go away
when the guests do.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

ACCIDENTS

Accidents are said
to happen because
they can. Planned
accidents (so-called)

occur in certain
types of art and
are intended to
simulate the way

we don't really
have the faintest
idea where we're
going until it's

too late to do
anything except die.

Friday, July 22, 2011

AT NIGHT

A stroke of genius
produces strokes
in the wealthy,
releasing greed

into the common
good. This tends
to happen at night
while the world

sleeps and nervous
paramedics struggle
to undo the damage.
The greed in the

common good tries
to multiply, but can't.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NEO-ONTOLOGY

A being which can be
conceived not to exist
is not God. A tree
that can be conceived

to not exist is not a
tree. Neither is it a
god. A being that
goes by the pseudonym

"God" is not God, even
though its namesake may be.
A tree that climbs itself
may or may not be God,

who is, by the way,
either not God or not good.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

DUSK

I'm here on the
porch making
difference out of
the same thing

as yesterday. I
use an unusual
set of knitting
needles to unravel

as much as I can
before sundown.
After sundown
everything gets

darker. I insert
myself into evening.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

PROSLOGIUM

Occasionally a prophet
or saint will become
weightless here on
earth and ascend

into heaven. It
doesn't happen often,
and it is never witnessed
by anyone. It happens

only because some
people believe it does
and believe that what
they believe has to

be true because they're
convinced that it is.

Monday, July 18, 2011

MY TALL FRIEND

Being tall can have
its disadvantages.
A tall friend of
mine suffers from

what his doctor
calls "autoacrophobia".
Whenever this friend
closes his eyes,

he sees a parachute
fail to open inside
him. He has tried
suicide several times,

but always ends up
plunging back into life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

FRIENDS

Wanting to want you,
which should be
enough, turns out
to be too much.

We part friends.
I play the part of
one friend, you
the other. We

take our show on
the road and begin
to bask in the warm
glow of our unintended

fame. I take your
bow. You take mine.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

HOLE

A hole consisting
of pure disappearance
had appeared overnight
in place of a place.

Matter mattered less
in this hole than
it had in the place
the hole replaced.

Someone who claimed
to know what to do
about this (a priest,
by all accounts)

dropped famous last
words into the hole.

Friday, July 15, 2011

AUBADE

I was trying to
look at the sun
through the words
you had used to

describe it (without
blinding myself,
of course) when it
occurred to me that

the light the sun
lets go of in
the morning has
to fight its way

through space to
get to me on time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CURIOUS

I was raised on
a curious blend
of blind faith and
healthy skepticism.

I tend to see
all six sides
of any argument.
It makes me wonder

what all the fuss
is about. I know
what it's about,
of course, but I

can't stop dreaming
in time to wake the others.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SOMBRA

It's not your shadow,
but the shadow
your shadow casts,
that hides your

face from me.
I have to close
my eyes to see
you, to be as

dark as you are now.
I have to recite
your name backwards
slowly to know who

it is I'm calling
from so much distance.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

LIKE THIS

I hear the years
adding up in
the next room
and close the door.

Counting my
blessings slowly
to prevent erosion,
I leave the best

for last without
knowing what
when is or why.
Things can't go

on like this because
they do and will.

Monday, July 11, 2011

RECENT DEITIES

Recent deities have
no clue, assigning
blame where none
exists, promoting

piety over symbolic
gestures in the
direction of imaginary
goals. Some gods

have eyes that
look like pebbles
after an afternoon
rain. Others have

ingrown vacuums angels
won't go near.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

INEXACT CHANGE

One if by land,
two if the universe
is flat. Been there,
done that, but

still believe in
miracles that
miss the point.
Weight gains itself

(and the whole
world), but loses
its immortal
soul to mortality.

Don't go there unless
you have inexact change.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

VICTORY

A spaceship
circles the earth
dropping bombs
on us that will never

arrive because of
gravity's reluctance to
stray too far from the
planet. The bombs

float in space
behind the spaceship.
Even so, the enemy
feels he has

made his point
and declares victory.

Friday, July 8, 2011

THE PAINTER
for Asad

The painter falls
into a trap
abstraction has
set for him

and finds himself
painting the figure
again. Then he
gets lost in an

abstract labyrinth
the figure keeps
hidden within itself.
The painter gives

up (again) and paints
with his eyes closed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SOCKETS

Music and morphine
hid the truth
behind sixty-two
years of hardship.

Faith was a shining
example of distance,
shooing away
what only wanted

to welcome him.
He died of being
ready when the
time came. We

extracted pennies
from his eye sockets.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

IDEOLOGY

My cat is so
busy being a cat
she sometimes forgets
what ideology is.

Soldiers cast bodies
instead of shadows
in the reflex action
we call "war". Chutes

fail to open inside
them. Pilots land
their planes in a
memory we have

of their nonstop
bombing raids.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Asad!

OPUS
for Asad

A god with sad
eyes and the body
of a bridesmaid
assembles itself

out of bits of
paper gathered
in slums and
pasted together

to make some
sort of recognizably
artistic statement.
The resulting "work"

elicits consistent
kudos from the critics.

Monday, July 4, 2011

LIGHT

A word like "light"
sounds brighter
than it is, and
clearer. You feel

like you can see
through it the way
the mirror sees
through you to

the other side
of you, where you
didn't realize you
were until it

was too late
to stop.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

SHE

Because her tears
rimed perfectly with
her fears, I invited
her inside. She fell

into a dread of
depths, hoping it
would eliminate
her fear of

heights the way
one x cancels
out another
x in some

cockeyed equation.
It didn't.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

HERO

The hero carries his
death with him in
his pocket. He
takes it out

every so often
to make sure it's
still intact. He
inspects it, puts

it back in his
pocket, then jumps
off a tall building
to see if he can

fly. He can't, even
though he's a hero.

Friday, July 1, 2011

BRIEFLY

Something I caught
you thinking yesterday
was mine, so I
took it. You may

want to replace
it with a
wish or a whim
(or an overnight

journey if you've
got one). The
thought was mine.
That's all

I have to
say about that.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

FIFTEEN

Regarding the seven
deadly sins and the
corresponding number
of cardinal virtues,

I've always felt there
should be more. Same
applies to the measly
five senses. I would

have opted for fifteen.
I think there should
be at least fifteen
of anything there's

required to be
more than one of.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

SO THERE

I tried to get there. But there was no "there" there when I got there. There was only a "here".
HEADLINES

The headlines don't
bother complaining
about a bird that
gets lost on its

way to winter.
They shout instead
about a politician
who trips over his

own ego in the
men's room and
is arrested with
egg on his face.

There is a photo
of the egg.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

INVITATION

I remember knocking
at your body hoping
to be invited in. But
it was one of those

dreams in which
things only almost
happen. The failure
to actually occur

is disguised (in
these dreams) as
an invitation to
the nonevent of

your choosing. You
accept the invitation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

NO OPINION

I've heard it said
that death is a
small price to
pay for having

lived. I've also
heard it said that
life is much too
high a price for

not being dead.
I'm no expert
when it comes
to prices, so I

have no opinion
one way or the other.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

ISOLATED

From an unlikely alliance
between stain and regret
a cinema of seeming
longer than necessary

collides with the
known world. Taste
wastes itself again
on largely irrelevant

forays into anticipated
surprise. Once a
mouth a word slips
out into the chilly

afterlife of isolated
attempts at art.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

NEW WORLD

Some seem to feel we've gone as far as we can with language poetry. Personally, I think we're already gone farther than we can. The earth is in danger of becoming flat again.
THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY

If a wall of water
washes your house
away, or if it gets
picked up by a

kink in the
wind and carelessly
tossed aside, it's
probably too late

to apply for retroactive
insurance to cover
the loss. It's also
too late to say your

prayers or waste time
wishing it were yesterday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

NO BOMB

Who knows what
my neighbor, the
terrorist, dreams
about. I hear

him dreaming
next door, but
never know what,
if anything, it

means. He hears
me dreaming and
builds a bomb
in his basement.

I have a basement,
too, but no bomb.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

POETRY

A poem is made
of words and
is about words.
Not about the

words per se,
but about what
the words do and
what they talk

about when you
lock them
all up in one
room and

throw away
the key.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NIGHTFALL

A monk enters a
monstrosity due to
a spelling error
and is burned

alive for his
mistake. This
is considered just
in large sections

of the world.
These sections have
been expanding
in recent years and

are expected to reach
land by nightfall.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HIDDEN

When I look at
a thing through the
eyes of the word
that describes it

I see hidden
vowels that resist
both what they sound
like and their meanings,

if any. Consonants
go crazy when I
do this. They act
like children trying

to remember how
to look at their mothers.

Monday, June 20, 2011

SIMPLE

Lengthening leads to
increased independence.
I open my eyes at the
speed of thought, giving

rise to a radically different
approach. The day, already
blue in preparation for
sunny skies, prolongs

itself out of respect
for what endures.
I grow fonder in a
dream of what doesn't

allow itself to be
limited by simple facts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

RUNAWAY

The something there
is to be said for
this or that (it
could be either,

it could be neither)
is often hidden
inside a nutshell
no one has

bothered to crack
open. I'm speaking
in a manner of
speaking that veers

away from what it
means like a runaway train.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

ENEMY

A love letter from
prison can be worse
than a black
umbrella that pops

open unexpectedly
or a narrow mountain
road that goes
on forever. Babies

that won't stop
crying are a poor
excuse for believing
in things that don't

exist. The enemy
you requested is here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A DOOR

It's nice of a
poem not to
end, leaving a
door open others

will come through
later. The ear
hears it and
knows what to

do (or not do
if it's silence).
A sound comes
out of it, of

course, because
there is a door.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

NOW

Death is a hole
man falls into
on his way to the
finite. There was a

time, of course, when
time held its breath
in bated anticipation
of some purely

hypothetical second
chance. But that was
then. This is now,
a stone no angel can

roll back in memory
of what's in store.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

AGO

Nobody got too
excited in past
centuries when the
power went out.

Someone lit
another candle so
that life could
go on. Father

read from the
Bible and gently
reminded the children
of their duty to

be perfect. Then he
sold them at auction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

FABLE

Time sets its own
pace, but the young
try to speed it up
by wanting everything

at once, and the old
try to slow it down by
having seen every
movie at least twice.

A tortoise is faster
than a hare for the
time it takes for a
fable to finish, but

falls behind again
in the next telling.

Monday, June 13, 2011

NEVER

Moving at the speed
the average flower
blooms at, I reach
the middle of

nowhere. Well,
actually, it's not
the middle. More
like the outermost

edge of nowhere.
As I make my
way toward the
center (still at

flower speed), I decide
never to get there.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

BLIND SPOT

My mind tells me
I am and says
it can prove it.
But who tells my

mind it is (do
I?)? I have half
a mind to stop
talking to myself

like this and half
a mind to keep
doing it. A
stone I'm staring

at has no opinion
one way or the other.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SPECIAL

The only socially
responsible thing for
a king or queen to
do is abdicate

and apologize for
having made an ass
of him or herself
by pretending to

be special. We
are all "special",
of course, but not
in the way kings

and queens have feigned
being for so many centuries.

Friday, June 10, 2011

THE ORIGIN OF UNCERTAINTY

A tree can't climb
out of itself and
crawl away disguised
as a picnic table.

The reason it can't
do this is a secret
the universe keeps
in a place so far

away it will never
be reached in time
for us to find out
why we're here or

where we're likely
to end up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

DIRECTION

A house has constructed
itself out of absence,
beam by missing beam.
The dying enter this

house in pursuit
of a subtle dislocation
into memory. We
lean away from this

awful fact in the
general direction
of a mirror that
seems to know both us

and the memory we're
scheduled to become.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

MIDNIGHT

After countless hours
of snow, midnight
leaps from the window.
Footprints it punctuates

white with are all
we have to go on.
But we have to
go on anyway

because life does.
That's the way things
are around here.
Hands pointed

up toward heaven
tremble in disbelief.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NEW MACHINERY

A sun that only
rises is rumored to
be near completion.
I was reportedly

designed by the same
engineer who gave us
the now-defunct
eternal-life gadget.

A design flaw in
the eternal-life
gadget caused it
to deliver slices

of life so thin
everyone could see you.