Saturday, April 30, 2011


An engineer who had developed
an engine that ran on the
desire to get from here to there
was murdered in his sleep by

unidentified "corporate interests".
Those who knew the identity
of the corporate interests were
sworn to secrecy using an

unbreakable vow perfected
years earlier by a different
engineer. God, who could
have done something about

this, was busy trying to solve
the riddle of his own existence.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Sometimes I find
myself getting nowhere
a little too fast and
have to slow down.

Getting somewhere's not
much better. Anywhere
I am should be where
I'm happy enough

to be, but it's not
always. Someplace
else has greener
grass, or claims to.

I get back to getting
nowhere, but slower.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


A new and improved
version of me that
lives somewhere in
the future seems

unlikely. Life
digresses at its
own pace and
ends up at some

destination no one
had bothered to think
of. A bird rising out
of its own ashes

makes believe it's
real and flies away.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The clouds go by,
dragging the years
behind them. There's
so much I had wanted

to tell you, but
the clouds wouldn't
let me. They went
by, and when I

asked them to
slow down, they
sped up instead.
There's so much I

had wanted to be with
you with, but the clouds.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


A "no vacancy" sign
outside our local
cemetery leads me
to believe the future's

almost here. It was
as bound to happen,
I guess, as anything
is that hasn't

happened yet. We
try to get ready
in time, but there's
not enough room in

front of the mirror we
share. My tie's on crooked.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Stones trying hard
not to serve as
monuments to anything
seem lost in some

kind of unidentified
shuffle. They pose
for photos when
the tourists gather,

but later sleep
happily under a
blanket the night
throws over them.

One of them wakes up
looking like Abraham Lincoln.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Sometimes I forget
how post-modern we
are and inadvertently
entertain a thought

that almost makes sense.
I immediately erase it,
of course, lest I
find myself accused

of being only modern
or (God forbid!) pre-modern.
Then I promise myself
not to do it again,

using an old promise I
know I'll have to break.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Occasionally a tornado
will build a house out
of pieces it has torn
from other houses

in this and neighboring
neighborhoods. This
doesn't happen often,
of course, but it does

happen because it's
theoretically possible
and fits comfortably
inside the imagination

of anyone who has
ever bothered to imagine.

Friday, April 22, 2011


A thing that looked
like the end of the
world (it glowed
in the center of

what was probably
darkness) wasn't.
It was something
someone had carved

out of a misunderstanding.
A promise of eternal
life popped when I
touched it with a

finger I had dipped
in holy water.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A house that got
accidentally blown
together in a lumberyard
explosion was described

as a miracle by
our village priest
and as a coincidence
by our village doctor.

No one knows for
sure, of course, but
everyone except Elmer
is afraid to live

in the house. Elmer
is our village idiot.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I used to watch my
grandfather carry
what he described
as "slop buckets"

to the pig pen to
feed the pigs (who
would later return
the favor by feeding

him). He hated the
pigs (except as food)
and wasn't shy about
saying so in his mixture

of Missouri English and
half-digested German.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


There may come a
day I'll wonder why
I didn't wake up and
ask myself again what

death looks like. I
may or may not feel
around for the light
switch. I may decide

I'm dreaming, like I
was that time I thought
I heard death knocking
and opened the door

without even stopping
to hope I was wrong.

Monday, April 18, 2011


A woman whose heart
is broken hangs out
in the kitchen, pretending
to care when the meat

will be ready. So much
fails to happen to her
that she wishes it were
morning again and

that she could wake
up with a heart that
hasn't yet remembered
it's broken. She could

fly away on wings she's
not supposed to have.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Life likes to hide
what can't happen
in a closet hardly
anyone ever opens

because everyone's
afraid of having to
look at whatever's
in there. The fact

nothing is never
occurs to anyone,
just as the thought
"empty" is utterly

unable to make it past
the sentry at the door.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


God, whose body's
made of paper,
paint, saliva and
a smile, hints at

what he means by
winking at regular
intervals. He removes
something from his

mind and puts it
in the world, hoping
it will catch on and
become popular

like a song. When
it doesn't, he shrugs.

Friday, April 15, 2011


When life begins to
wrinkle at the edges,
surprise buries itself
in the backyard next

to the asparagus patch.
The same rain repeats
itself, reemphasizing wet.
The sun, older than

Aunt Sue, wonders why
it bothers. The
wind, forgetting which
direction to blow in,

ties itself in knots
and carries the town away.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


A woman whose heart
is about to break
refuses to answer
the phone (which

isn't ringing). She
rescues what little
she can from a
nightmare she can't

stop riding. Inside
her solitude she
sees a stranger
whose pleasure is

showing and listens
for the sound of difference.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Death, left for
dead by the
living, feels
awkward when

it finally arrives.
It's reluctant to
make eye contact
for a reason only

August understands.
Some say it deliberately
faces in the wrong
direction, counting to a

hundred with numbers
that refuse to exist.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Today only the sound a feline makes qualifies as a cat's meow. But in earlier times a really popular performer (male or female) could be the cat's meow, unless he or she was too busy being the bees' knees or twenty-three skidoo.

All things fall,
get built again,
and those that
build (born

dying) replaced
by what replaces
them. Every
incidental crack

is where a crack
can be. Lovely
things, too quickly
gone, make way

for things as lovely
as the dawn.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Morning arrives so
nonchalantly I think
it must have known.
A question whose answer

is inertia interrupts
itself again. Silence
continues exiting through
a wormhole in our wood.

Nonsense discovers what
couldn't have been gleaned
by any other means.
Something that makes

the mandatory illusory
lulls the jasmine to sleep.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Today I dug another
hole in the backyard
and asked myself
what I'm waiting for.

I didn't answer myself
for fear of finding
out what I don't
want to know. Things

that can't go on like
this do without a
second thought. And
that's what I do

too for a reason that
seems to know me.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Here we are, still
dreaming the possible,
dragging our imminent
corpses behind us.

A tree (like an
upside down finger)
thrusts itself upward
in awkward protest.

A blind man's song
elopes with the past
(riding on memory
as on a horse

that knew the way),
reaches us at last.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Man, a metaphor
for himself, made
popular by someone
whose judgment's

currently under review,
does the best he can
ten percent of the
time. The rest of

the time he sleep
walks through the
suburbs his imagination
has erected around

him and waits
for his dog to shit.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


What seems reasonable
in retrospect is what
is cause for alarm
among the cannibals,

who munch on one
another on their way
to lunch. If I had
a hunch about

anything, it'd be
about something no
one else had bothered
to wonder about.

I'd keep it a secret, though,
that no one else could know.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Memory, like misery,
is negotiable only
up to a point. The
point of no return.

Turn left when the
road does if you're
really intent on arriving.
Gathering intelligence

in a land populated
by imbeciles can be
difficult. Don't
try it unless you

have gloves that won't
fit you after lunch.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A thing of beauty's
a stupid joy every
time we look at it.
Nonsense is its own

reward and knows
what it's talking
about. Spring
brings a new way

of looking at things
that's an old way.
This is not to say
anything as stupid

as the joy beauty is
each and every time.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Sirens screech toward
midnight. We sleep
deeper down, where
every evil's scrubbed

until it gleams.
Diving up past dawn's
watery border, we
drag a dream behind

us into daylight. It
blinks and disappears.
The world we return
to's the world we

leave to return
to the world we left.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


When the sea stiffens
in November, previously
incredible things hold
their collective breath.

Every inch measures
less than it did when
a much bolder sun
delighted in egging

it on. Gold, far
less electric in
December, keeps
its value closer

to its vest. Nothing
is as true as it was.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


When natural light
returns, displacing
this cloned light
that resembles confusion,

the sun will understand
what was meant again.
This won't happen
anytime soon and

won't come wrapped
in any of those old
newspapers the prophets
have tried to sell us.

In the meantime, be
careful not to open your eyes.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Tell me everything
you know about
love and then get
the hell out of here.

The architects are
coming with their
sketches of what
matters in the end.

We don't want to
be here for whatever
the future may hold,
even less for what

it lets go of in a
last-minute fit of rage.