Thursday, March 31, 2011


I heard my voice
in bed beside me
and thought I was
dead, or someone

dressed as dead.
I seemed to be what
I couldn't possibly
be for a split

second and struggled
to add up to something,
if only in retrospect.
Later I had pancakes

for breakfast and wondered
what the fuss had been about.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


As a child she
stayed in her room
and studied a box.
When the bell rang,

she invited her mirror
to lunch. An umbrella
blossomed above her
head in wet weather.

Rose petals pretended
to bleed beneath her feet.
A telescope let her
see into the future

when she needed
to know who loved her.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


A nightmare rode
my sleep last night,
galloping off in
the general direction

of disarray. Arriving
there, it dismounted
and tallied up my
disappointments: a

man in love who
loves what vanishes, a
swan that disappears
into a mirror, an

ancient habit, stuck
to itself like glue.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Man is a hypothetical
hole he falls into
on his way to the
finite. There was a

time, of course, when
time seemed to hold
its breath in bated
anticipation of some

purely mythical second
chance. But that was
before. This is reality,
a stone no angel can

roll back in memory
of what awaits us.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My grandfather, who once tried to figure out what the dead worry about, always slept with his future safely behind him.

Though his last words
weren't famous, they
were audible to everyone
in the room and

capable of becoming
birds under the
circumstances. We
stood under those

circumstances for
as long as we could,
then continued on
down the path

most traveled by
to avoid the difference.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A darkness light
can't cure hides
in the shadows
and waits. Time

waits for no man,
of course, but seems
willing enough to
wait while a woman

puts her makeup on.
Then it's time to
go (past time,
actually), and we

do, but not before double
checking our eyelids.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Returning from a bygone
era, I think a modern
thought and watch it
blossom. One of

Coleridge's famous idea
orchids gets lodged in
my ear and has to be
siphoned out.

A color which had
thought itself primary
ceases to be a
color at all. Time

gets relegated to an
inaccessible corner of history.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Extra-terrestrials seem de trop to us, but are absolutely essential too themselves.

When I can no
longer remember
your name, let
it be because

you have stepped
out for a breath
of fresh air or have
returned to where

everyone goes when
they're not at home.
I think you're at
least as wonderful

as you were when
I knew who you were.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I sometimes let my
imagination romp in
the greener pastures
of a nearby village

constructed mainly of
thought bubbles and
held together by a
relatively safe alternative

to death. When
this doesn't work,
I roll over and
practice falling

in love so fast it
makes my head spin.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A man gradually approaches
early retirement by
showing up for work
a minute later each

day than the day before.
He is awarded the only
surviving replica of a really
ancient Timex watch

and instructed never
to divulge any trade
secrets he may have
stumbled upon regarding

the true meaning of life while
employed by the company.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Starving children on
our plates make us
want to stop eating
so the poor won't

ask for any. Luna
conceals her ugly
mug behind a
cloud the sky has

scooted into place.
Things that can't
go on like this
do anyway. Problems

crop up in what we'd
hoped might be a garden.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Sometimes I try
to overhear what
the dead whisper
to one another.

It always takes
me a while to
remember that the
dead whisper (in

vain) what cannot
be heard by any
other means and
wouldn't make sense

in any case. Dead is
dead, the doornail said.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I watch a small bird
bury itself upside
down in the earth
and wonder where

the sky's exit is.
Then I open an
old box I keep
my fondest memories

in and forget
them one by one.
I am trying to ready
myself for what

cannot be avoided:
the unimaginable.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Watching the world
unravel, one can't help
wondering why
anything actually is

and whether misery
waits its turn.
Hope is so well
hidden now nobody

leaves the room
without a bodyguard
or two. People stare
at the past as if

the future were
already in vain.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I hear ideas
blossoming in the
next room and wonder
what Friday's doing this

week. Worry seems
to wrinkle everything
I think these days.
Calamities cluster

in books of recent
history. Notes I
forgot to take regarding
the real significance of

glitches in the cosmos
cause all the codes to change.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In one last effort
to unimagine everything
man had managed to
manufacture out of make-believe,

God broke his brain.
Bits of gray matter
floated down out
of the clouds for

weeks. People hid
in their houses
and prayed to what
was left of God:

the empty skull, the
broken bones of ambition.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Nietzsche, who had to stand on a box to reach just about anything (all four foot eleven of him), dreamed understandably of tall, blond men whose memories held more than could be imagined in a single lifetime, had sex one time, caught syphilis, and died.

Trees have a way
of ignoring everything
that happens around
them. Ask a tree

a question and receive
a noncommittal bark
as your answer. Ask
a tree to spread its

wings and fly, and
nothing will happen
so fast it will make
your head spin.

Lie down next to
a tree and dream.

Monday, March 14, 2011


An awkward man takes
refuge in his room.
He turns on the
television, forcing

the future to happen.
Next to no one
knows anything,
yet practically everyone

parades a little packet
of knowledge past the
reviewing stand. Flowers
go on strike when asked

to perform as extras. Cause
and effect trade places.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


A passenger igniting
his Nikes goes unnoticed
because of new rules
governing how much

we can care about
at any given moment.
The limit is variable,
but unbreakable by any

conceivable combination
of wishes. Nobody
knows the trouble
I've seen by heart

and can sing it
almost from memory.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


A man without words
lives in a closet
no one opens. No
one knows it's

a closet, actually,
since it has no
door. A question
I often bother

to ask myself is
how a man without
words manages to
get into and out of

a closet that has no
door. Silence.

Friday, March 11, 2011


In the center of
memory's incinerator
Napoleon conquers the
world. Ill-gotten

gain gains ground on
honest effort. Time
travel, as overrated
as ever, disappears

overnight. Metaphysics
learns to mind its
own business, but
not soon enough to

prevent God from
cropping up everywhere.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Not every hairdo
does what it ought
to do. Bandit hairdos
rob you of whatever

chance you thought
you had to be a
special someone to your
someone. Ambitious

hairdos cascade past
your shoulders in pursuit
of something more. Errant
hairdos do their best

to make you look ridiculous.
Balding hairdos hide.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today I dug another
hole in the backyard.
It's the seventh one
this month. Each

hole I did brings
me closer to God
and to the treasure
I hope to one

day unearth in
yesterday's mine
shaft. I'll hide
whatever I find

there in a memory
no one knows about.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

for Elaine

The first clone
was named Adam.
The second clone,
Eve. The third Cain,

of course, so he
could clobber Abel,
the unfortunate
fourth clone. No

one knows (or gives
an apparent damn)
what the fifth
clone was called.

Things had already
gone too far.

Monday, March 7, 2011


If love arrives in a
donkey-drawn carriage,
tell it to go way.
There will be other

opportunities to lose
your head. Switching
contexts for the sake
of being understood

by someone you want
to impress is pathetic,
but perfectly understandable
under these circumstances.

Do not stand under these
circumstances if it's raining.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Memory makes the
most of all that's
said and done after
some unforgettable

event. I forgot my
keys yesterday and
accidentally locked
myself in again

(it's the third time
this century, I
think I remember
saying when someone

I didn't know
I knew asked).

Saturday, March 5, 2011


A certain tightrope
I walk between
loving you and wishing
you'd go away

forever's not what
I meant to say
at all. I meant
to say, so glad

to see you, love
of my long life,
so happy to have
you here at last,

where I can reach
out and make you mine.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Past, present and
future are all tense
as they await the
arrival of tomorrow.

But tomorrow never
comes. It says so
in an old country
song, and old

country songs never
lie, except in
memory, perhaps,
or when lying

sounds better on the
back of a five-string banjo.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Not every fetus
knows what it
wants to be when
it grows up. Most,

in fact, are as
undecided as they
are unable to move.
At the quickening,

Aquinas says, the
soul enters the body.
The Pope doesn't
know this, having

never made a fetus,
perhaps for lack of trying.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In an impressive
display of the art of
sleight-of-hand, my
mother said: "Sit

down. I have some
bad news for you."
Then she died. We
buried her in the

only place available.
Underground. I think
she might still be
there if someone who

looks just like her hadn't
insisted she wasn't.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


On the banks of
a lazy river anonymous
thoughts take root.
Nuns undressing in

secret take a peek
at who they were.
Heaven opens its
gates to all who

haven't gone elsewhere.
Time travels backward
in search of its
former future.

Everything uneventful
agrees to try again.