Friday, September 30, 2011


I think I can
pinpoint the exact
moment I sensed
your tense shifting

from present to
past. I had
asked you a
rhetorical question,

expecting no answer.
You answered it
with a simultaneous
shaking and nodding

of the head from up
to one side to gone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


A new school of
poetry, called tentatively
"postcontemporary", is
distinguished by the

words it refuses to
use. In place of words
it uses the heads
of headless hummingbirds

flying through the room
at the precise moment the
poem is being either
"written" or tossed

into a wastebasket
for safekeeping.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


A pair of black
headlights at noon
announces the end
of summer. Dark

helicopters circle
overhead, drawing
attention to the
unavoidable accident

autumn is. Halloween
dons a new
costume, woven
of worn-out ideas.

Winter hesitates for
what seemed like a second.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


When one mirror
faces another
mirror, both begin
reflecting on

reflection and what
purpose, if any, it
serves in the overall
scheme of things.

If you place an
object, any object,
between them,
they change

their minds into
photographic memories.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Apparently some
sub-atomic particles
have been caught
traveling in excess

of the posted speed
limit of light. A motorcycle
cop traveling behind
them (at the speed

of hope) testified
in court that he
had been unable
to chase down the

particles in time
for the Last Judgment.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I've always felt
there must be a
relationship between
the fear of heights,

acrophobia, and
the fear of depths,
megalomania. Many
wonder why the two

don't cancel each other
out, the way large
and small do by
remaining medium-sized,

the way left and right
do by refusing to budge.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Many are born again,
but few are chosen
(for reasons I'd rather
not go into here).

If you think you may
have been born again,
stare into the mirror
for however long it

takes you to realize
how foolish you look.
Then pinch yourself.
If you still don't care

what time it is, you
have been born again.

Friday, September 23, 2011


When seen from
a safe distance,
everything happens
at once. Or doesn't

happen at all. When
heard from a great
height, gravity pulls
the plug. A reported

snowstorm inside
the Cathedral turns
out to be nothing
more than a long

overdue Eucharist floating
down from the ceiling.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


A poem in search
of an ideal degree of
obscurity manages
to mean everything

and nothing
and has to be erased
before whoever I used

to think I was finds
out. There is a
seemingly ancient
kink in the center of

this that is trying
to work itself out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


The mimesis of
the painting was
the difficulty any
viewer would have

in assigning any
value whatsoever
to the work. The
artist took delight

in knowing he
had outsmarted
us by predicting
in advance that

we would not look
twice at his creation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The time and
blood I have on
my hands have
decided to become

one. I wring myself
out to dry. The boy
next door, the one
who faints at the

mention of anything,
is fiddling with his
stick. Time stops
marching on for

a second, then
blunders into an ambush.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Her parents locked
her in the closet
to see how long
it would take

her to eat
the darkness.
Now she is
rarely late,

but is often
too early to
calculate the speed
at which snow melts.

She lives inside an idea
her mother had about her.

Friday, September 16, 2011


A man whose
alibi had no
excuse for not
holding up in

court was executed
yesterday in Texas.
Today we find
out his alibi

was telling the
truth about where
he was when
what happened

happened. It's too
late to be on time.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The people working
the graveyard
shift these days
are sleepwalkers.

Capitalism has
developed a way
of luring them into
the factory by

dangling cheese
in front of their
noses. It's cheap
labor's logical extreme.

No one knows whether
or what they dream.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


As I watch our
neighborhood poet
practice verbal
back-flips on the

lawn, I can't
help remembering
a time when exercise
was less poetic

and poetry less
elastic. I do my
part by performing
linguistic chin-ups

on a bar between
"rhyme" and "reason".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Sometimes we try
too hard to
suggest a word
or color by

leaving it out
(or painting
over it in shades
of clear plastic).

The camera forces
everyone to stand
still if it's a
still camera. The

movie camera moves to
a new part of now.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Today I had
solid-gold fixtures
installed in my
bathroom so the

poor would learn to
stop wanting so much.
The results were
mixed. Not a

single person applauded
when I twisted the
new handle, prompting
water to rush into

and out of my
beautiful toilet bowl.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Imagine an
unheard-of head
in which the

ripen. Then
change your life.
A smile the
loins can't keep

under wraps
announces in
advance what's
just around every

corner. Let
go of the leaves.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


A mirror that
doesn't know what
to say (much less
reflect) is replaced

by the correct spelling
of a name you
can never recall
in time to call

the woman whose
name it is and
invite her over
for tea. Then you

remember you are
not in England.

Friday, September 9, 2011


A movie in which
no one moves
opened last week
to rave reviews.

A critic who
labeled it "post
post-modern" was
criticized for being

prematurely prescient.
A second critic
said the movie
had moved him

to the point of no
longer giving a damn.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


An artist who
thinks he invented
the intersection is
commissioned to

create a work no
one will be allowed
to see once it's
finished. No one

will ever know
when or whether
the work is
complete. No one

except the artist,
who is blind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Every friend's death
whittles me down
to size (or words
to that effect).

I live on an
island no ship
visits. I can
swim, but not

well enough to
reach the mainland
(which is where
mankind resides).

I had coconut
for lunch.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


In a country
in which no
and yes both
mean no, sincerity

meets its match.
This country also
specializes in
indoor rain

and outdoor
plumbing. Public
places are stored
inside closets

that close upon
closer inspection.

Monday, September 5, 2011


The eternal-life
gadget, whose
patent is held
by a society

so secret it
can't remember
where it begins
or ends, is

said to be
identical in size
to the gadget
life uses to

erase us just
in time for death.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Because everything
in a cartoon is
weightless, you
open your eyes

to find that life
has punched a
hole in you that,
while quite large,

is insufficiently
real to erase
you from the
world. When the

cartoon ends, you
have lived forever.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I'd rather not do
this over the phone,
but I'd also rather
not have to see

you again in whatever's
left of this lifetime.
The goldfish that
died when you looked

at it has been
replaced. The cat
that left when you
didn't returned

once you had gone.
The parrot ate its words.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I put your father
in an old folks
home and your
sister in a headlock.

I don't know what
I was thinking,
but I don't care.
I put your mother

where no one will
find her and
your brother in an
embarrassing situation.

I put you at
the top of my list.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THE GOOD OLD DAYS There was too much available parking in the good old days. Death was in its heyday. Bits of muffled diction seemed all but silent in the face of opposition. Gold's value was glued to chaos for no discernible reason. No one was surprised when the sky declined comment.