Saturday, December 31, 2011


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


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.

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.

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Stacked gods do
indeed draw
lines across us
as the moon

stitches its eyelid
into a cloud.
At exactly
half midnight

noon's nimble
remains what it is,
hung brightness

in the geometric
center of sky.

Friday, December 9, 2011


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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


The latest in
a new series of
pushed envelopes
hatches in

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.