Friday, February 25, 2011


Many people report
feeling especially sincere
after having been hit
in the head with a hammer.

Others report nothing at
all for reasons the research
into this matter understands
(if not perfectly) at least well

enough for purposes of
publication. Do not hit
yourself in the head with
a hammer unless

instructed to do so
by someone who loves you.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


On the banks of
a straight line death
becomes a metaphor.
A theological question

washes its hands
of itself. Mother
makes monkeys of
our ancestors by

hanging our future
on a clothesline in the
backyard. The front
yard barks when the

dog's in it, doesn't
when he isn't.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Convinced no one can
hear me, I whisper
anyway, just to be
on the safe side.

Then I cross the
street. When I
go somewhere,
but I'm not sure

I'm there, I
leave to be on the
safe side. On the
safe side of anything

suspicious, I take
an extra precaution.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Absence of empathy
is all the rage
these days. The bad
seed nibbles on a

corner of her cookie,
wondering what fuss
is (and isn't). A horsefly
dies and doesn't move

an inch inside its death.
What doesn't happen
is kept track of by
a moon that waxes

and wanes. The wind
wipes a butterfly away.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Animals, it is said,
can sense a person's
sense of humor and
will tell jokes in

exchange for food.
Monkeys are funniest,
of course, because they
remind us of ourselves

(despite what some
nervous creationists
claim). I once saw
a creationist faint at

the sight of a dog he
had mistaken for a mirror.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


The adults open a
new silence and insert
it into the room.
The children make

believe its a ball,
bouncing it on the
floor, off the walls,
and, finally, out the

window into the street.
God sees this and uses
it as an excuse
for no longer existing.

We rush to the church
to worship the new silence.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


On a sunny day in the nineteenth century someone had rosy cheeks. I mention this because, if I didn't, it might never get mentioned. If's a perfect example, I feel, of what couldn't possibly matter unless absolutely everything did.

Half-crazy clocks and
defrocked priests flock
together in a manner
not unlike that employed

by feathers in response
to winter's white weather.
(Whether they should
of not's another matter.)

If you know what I
mean, you shouldn't,
given the nature of
my frequently

methodless method of
scarcely knowing myself.

Friday, February 18, 2011


My hand goes dark
for what glistens
in evening's mythical
pool. Only a pebble,

rounded and white,
rises in result.
Understanding how
we've been deluded by

love's sleight-of-hand,
I let you gently
morph into a memory,
having been here

before without you, but
never in such a night.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


A word-mechanic who lives next door whistles while he works. He works at night while everyone else is sleeping. He's not too loud, though unduly proud of the words he cranks out nightly. Words like "monkey-wrench", "valve", "shit", and, oh yeah, "crankcase".

The distance between
wanting and getting
was narrowed after
careful consultation with

some people in hell who
wanted ice-water. We
gave them popsicles
that melted in their

mouths like communion
wafers. Things went
smoothly after that.
We marched through the

orchard, plucking whatever
we wanted from the trees.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Giving birth far
from earth, an
astronaut leaves
her footprint in the

future. Prophecies
crop up around
her, promising
more than truth

can permit them
to deliver. The infant
wants something and
isn't afraid to say

so. It reaches up to
touch a star and bawls.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'm not sure precisely when poetry became my way of convincing myself I wasn't dead.

Suddenly finding myself
at the top of everyone's
list, I wondered what
could possibly happen

next. When nothing
did, I knew I was
dreaming again. I
rounded up as many

wishes as I could find
and made them all
come true. I then
appeared before a panel

of circles and surrendered
my weapons to them.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Pretend the part about
death's just some story
someone made up.
Hold your breath

'til all your dreams come
true. Rest your weary
head in luxury's lap
to see if it cures

the headache. Do
as much as you can
to make the unthinkable
change its mind.

Sugar to taste and
slide into the oven.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Gratification has been
delayed again. (Something
about a snowstorm
in your bedroom.)

A maze we made
to confuse you evolves
faster than you can.
A mirror that turns

away from what
you wish for's in
the works. There's
no escaping the bad

news we've been saving
up for your birthday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Dining alone on love's uneaten bread, I held her hand beneath a fan as heather pressed its scent into our pages. Oh, Cathy, get your ass in here so we can get it on again!

Imprisonment impregnates
many with an inability
to conceive of either
the possible or the

impossible. I'm trying
very hard not to shoot
anyone. (The fact
I have no gun helps

immeasurably.) I recommend
surrender to those unable
to believe in time for
April. Help is on the

way in the form of an outside
chance disguised as a dove.

Friday, February 11, 2011


People warn me never to use "I" (or "eye") in a poem. Then they say something clever like "see how it fusses under the pheasant". I think they're afraid I'll "confess" something, or otherwise collide with a metaphor for meaning. I do my best to read and appreciate their poems, but usually fall asleep just in time.

Ecstasy's oracle
camps outside
the door. Morning
plays hide-and-seek

with evening while
seventeen restless
angels plot a coup.
Nobody knows the

trouble I've seen
or has been able
to pinpoint eternity's
hideout on the map.

Cockroaches continue
to continue.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My age gauge
when my eyes
are closed. I

can't stop remembering
when. First times
are wonderful,
but second times

are better. Third
times make magic
wish it had three
hands. If I could,

I'd turn around to
look at who I'd been.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Once I had finished living forever, I tried to think of something else to do.

Death, the missing
tick in his clock,
arrived in time
for the funeral.

The sisters are
asleep who led him
into temptation
in his dreams.

(If I wake them,
the world will
disappear.) What
slithered away was

August, twisted into
the awful shape of things.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


You will be with
me in whatever's
left of paradise
once time has

had its day. Things
sneak up on us.
Age does, with its
claws and other

extremities. Near
the top of a flight
of stairs I turn
around in order to

topple back into
myself for safekeeping.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Unsightly problem areas have begun cropping up on the Mystical Body of Christ. If it were possible to blame it all on the Jesuits or Pope, we would. But where would that leave us it even one woodchuck could chuck wood? No woodchuck can, of course, and there's the rub that rubs the other rub.



Once again quietude
refuses to ravish its bride.
Ships set sail for
four corners the earth

can no longer locate,
having come full circle.
If this were the only
problem, the sun

would make its
way into the sky.
As it is, the only
encouraging news

is that beauty's completely
truthful while it lasts.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


A poem a day
keeps the apple away.

Seeing the boats float
by (red, white and blue)
makes me want to
get in your way

and be with you.
Sexual organs visit
one another
in a specially

designed canoe.
Watching the
pretty boats float
by (red, white

and blue) makes
me want to visit you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Licking the red ones
from her wound
(sweetened slightly
by life's untimely

lapse), her dog
pauses for a
moment (distracted
by the absence),

but then resumes
its journey past
the mystery of
her death, into

the darkening
cherries of its hunger.

Friday, February 4, 2011


The singer in Bob
Marley's song shot
the sheriff and Doctor
Williams' poem ate

the plums. So it should
come as no surprise
that I left your shoes
out in the rain

to dry or that I
accidentally stepped
on a cake you had baked
for someone's birthday.

Flesh happens, as
the cannibals like to say.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I'm apt to stay where I am unless necessity nudges me from the spot. I'm as at home in my body as any homebody's apt to be. See you later if later's where I am. Otherwise, I'll see you sooner than never unless I absolutely have to.

On the outskirts
of my aging I
shiver in ecstasy's
ice storm. Nothing

not previously seen
arrives to rouse me
from what is much
too long not to be

the woodchuck's
slumber. Sentences
have begun severing
themselves from what

I though I meant
to say, but didn't.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


The teasing outline
of where we might
have been haunts
the horizon's sequel.

My pet remedies
are no match
for what obstructs
my view. I am

happy enough to be
who I am, yet too
unsettled in my ways
to end up anywhere but

here, at the edge of
what confounds me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Gunfire aimed at erasing
this afternoon's beggars
from the mirror
seems to have done

the trick. Nothing
worth ignoring has
turned up in any of
the subsequent reflections.

Warning shots warn,
of course. Second
opinions confuse what
seemed uncommonly clear.

We'll know more in the
morning when the eyelids lift.