Thursday, June 30, 2011


Regarding the seven
deadly sins and the
corresponding number
of cardinal virtues,

I've always felt there
should be more. Same
applies to the measly
five senses. I would

have opted for fifteen.
I think there should
be at least fifteen
of anything there's

required to be
more than one of.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I tried to get there. But there was no "there" there when I got there. There was only a "here".

The headlines don't
bother complaining
about a bird that
gets lost on its

way to winter.
They shout instead
about a politician
who trips over his

own ego in the
men's room and
is arrested with
egg on his face.

There is a photo
of the egg.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I remember knocking
at your body hoping
to be invited in. But
it was one of those

dreams in which
things only almost
happen. The failure
to actually occur

is disguised (in
these dreams) as
an invitation to
the nonevent of

your choosing. You
accept the invitation.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I've heard it said
that death is a
small price to
pay for having

lived. I've also
heard it said that
life is much too
high a price for

not being dead.
I'm no expert
when it comes
to prices, so I

have no opinion
one way or the other.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


From an unlikely alliance
between stain and regret
a cinema of seeming
longer than necessary

collides with the
known world. Taste
wastes itself again
on largely irrelevant

forays into anticipated
surprise. Once a
mouth a word slips
out into the chilly

afterlife of isolated
attempts at art.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Some seem to feel we've gone as far as we can with language poetry. Personally, I think we're already gone farther than we can. The earth is in danger of becoming flat again.

If a wall of water
washes your house
away, or if it gets
picked up by a

kink in the
wind and carelessly
tossed aside, it's
probably too late

to apply for retroactive
insurance to cover
the loss. It's also
too late to say your

prayers or waste time
wishing it were yesterday.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Who knows what
my neighbor, the
terrorist, dreams
about. I hear

him dreaming
next door, but
never know what,
if anything, it

means. He hears
me dreaming and
builds a bomb
in his basement.

I have a basement,
too, but no bomb.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


A poem is made
of words and
is about words.
Not about the

words per se,
but about what
the words do and
what they talk

about when you
lock them
all up in one
room and

throw away
the key.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A monk enters a
monstrosity due to
a spelling error
and is burned

alive for his
mistake. This
is considered just
in large sections

of the world.
These sections have
been expanding
in recent years and

are expected to reach
land by nightfall.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


When I look at
a thing through the
eyes of the word
that describes it

I see hidden
vowels that resist
both what they sound
like and their meanings,

if any. Consonants
go crazy when I
do this. They act
like children trying

to remember how
to look at their mothers.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Lengthening leads to
increased independence.
I open my eyes at the
speed of thought, giving

rise to a radically different
approach. The day, already
blue in preparation for
sunny skies, prolongs

itself out of respect
for what endures.
I grow fonder in a
dream of what doesn't

allow itself to be
limited by simple facts.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


The something there
is to be said for
this or that (it
could be either,

it could be neither)
is often hidden
inside a nutshell
no one has

bothered to crack
open. I'm speaking
in a manner of
speaking that veers

away from what it
means like a runaway train.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


A love letter from
prison can be worse
than a black
umbrella that pops

open unexpectedly
or a narrow mountain
road that goes
on forever. Babies

that won't stop
crying are a poor
excuse for believing
in things that don't

exist. The enemy
you requested is here.

Friday, June 17, 2011


It's nice of a
poem not to
end, leaving a
door open others

will come through
later. The ear
hears it and
knows what to

do (or not do
if it's silence).
A sound comes
out of it, of

course, because
there is a door.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Death is a hole
man falls into
on his way to the
finite. There was a

time, of course, when
time held its breath
in bated anticipation
of some purely

hypothetical second
chance. But that was
then. This is now,
a stone no angel can

roll back in memory
of what's in store.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Nobody got too
excited in past
centuries when the
power went out.

Someone lit
another candle so
that life could
go on. Father

read from the
Bible and gently
reminded the children
of their duty to

be perfect. Then he
sold them at auction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Time sets its own
pace, but the young
try to speed it up
by wanting everything

at once, and the old
try to slow it down by
having seen every
movie at least twice.

A tortoise is faster
than a hare for the
time it takes for a
fable to finish, but

falls behind again
in the next telling.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Moving at the speed
the average flower
blooms at, I reach
the middle of

nowhere. Well,
actually, it's not
the middle. More
like the outermost

edge of nowhere.
As I make my
way toward the
center (still at

flower speed), I decide
never to get there.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


My mind tells me
I am and says
it can prove it.
But who tells my

mind it is (do
I?)? I have half
a mind to stop
talking to myself

like this and half
a mind to keep
doing it. A
stone I'm staring

at has no opinion
one way or the other.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The only socially
responsible thing for
a king or queen to
do is abdicate

and apologize for
having made an ass
of him or herself
by pretending to

be special. We
are all "special",
of course, but not
in the way kings

and queens have feigned
being for so many centuries.

Friday, June 10, 2011


A tree can't climb
out of itself and
crawl away disguised
as a picnic table.

The reason it can't
do this is a secret
the universe keeps
in a place so far

away it will never
be reached in time
for us to find out
why we're here or

where we're likely
to end up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


A house has constructed
itself out of absence,
beam by missing beam.
The dying enter this

house in pursuit
of a subtle dislocation
into memory. We
lean away from this

awful fact in the
general direction
of a mirror that
seems to know both us

and the memory we're
scheduled to become.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


After countless hours
of snow, midnight
leaps from the window.
Footprints it punctuates

white with are all
we have to go on.
But we have to
go on anyway

because life does.
That's the way things
are around here.
Hands pointed

up toward heaven
tremble in disbelief.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


A sun that only
rises is rumored to
be near completion.
I was reportedly

designed by the same
engineer who gave us
the now-defunct
eternal-life gadget.

A design flaw in
the eternal-life
gadget caused it
to deliver slices

of life so thin
everyone could see you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Alexander Pope

I love a word that rimes with what it means.

Is man the least
likely metaphor for
whatever's about to
happen? Those who

don't know any
better tend to
think so while
those who couldn't

care less are
reluctant to venture
an opinion. I
am of two minds:

one for the time being,
one for dreaming.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Some words are
in love with the
way they sound.
These words are

famous for shouting
out their names
at funerals and for
wrapping themselves

in echoes that
don't know how
to stop or fade
away gracefully.

These words are
poisonous if swallowed.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


If I'd known
then what you
seem so sure
of now, a thousand

surprises might
have burst out
of hiding into
the fake daylight

of this poem. Giants
shrink to average
size when you shine
the right kind of

of light on what
imagination makes them.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The ordinary comes
in two varieties,
the rough and the
smooth. Both

exhibit a surprising
brilliance when rubbed
the wrong way. The
distance from the

western edge of
the ordinary to the
eastern edge can
only be measured

in units of indifference.
The reason is extraordinary.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I guess there may
have been a word
in the beginning,
one that spoke

volumes. Stones
knew what they
didn't know then,
and a calm voice

spoke calmly about
the nothing that
happens in the
silence of the word.

The word was good,
I guess, though reticent.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Long after she
is out of sight,
my hand is
waving goodbye.

The umbrella I
opened above
her has given
up trying to close.

I often dream about
dreaming about
her, but change
my mind when

she dies. A daydream
closes its window.