Sunday, July 31, 2011


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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

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


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


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!

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


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


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


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


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.