Monday, October 31, 2011


Paul Klee worked
as an artist
during the war.
His best friend

worked as a
soldier and died.
Klee painted
a portrait

of his friend
trapped in
the act of
being dead.

The war dragged
on until it ended.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


The average person
has no desire to
travel to outer space.
The below-average

person has no desire
to travel to inner
space. There is no
gravity in outer

space. There is
too much gravity
in inner space,
according to those

who have gone there,
their tongues hanging out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


At shut of eve
(words from an
angel frozen in
youth) night

spills its oily
ink. Owls age
in the general
direction of wisdom.

A dog, asleep
at no one's
feet, paddles
toward a dream

everything it
owns is buried in.

Friday, October 28, 2011


The shortest distance
between one point
is inertia. Angels
who die of

old age are
buried in our
best intentions.
The last man

standing is required
by law to explain
what happened.
He may do so

in any language
he chooses.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


What's in this
year is whatever's
out where the
greener grass

grows impatient.
Convinced that the
best lack all
conviction, I

invite a convict
to dinner, knowing
he can't come
because of the

bars and the
guards and the gravy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Points taken away
for shooting civilians
are added back in
once the corridors

have been cleared.
Gold earns you
an extra shot at
your even more

evil twin. Your
joystick is adjusted
to allow for errors
without any corresponding

reduction in your
lack of compassion.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I come from a
long line of
people who would
prefer not to, but

usually do anyway.
The devil is either
in the details
or in an overly

broad outline of
what life's likely
to have been
about once all the

dust has settled, then
been kicked up again.

Monday, October 24, 2011


A woman created
out of the combined
fantasies of a hundred
henpecked men

and forced to eat
nothing but bad
publicity for a
week emerges as

a somewhat enhanced
version of what we
had always considered
highly unlikely.

She will be expecting
you at seven.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

for Asad

At a young artist's
opening critics
were surprised to
find a gallery

devoid of a single
visible work. That
was, of course, the
whole point. An

attempt to paint
movement into a
canvas had resulted
in an imageless

video that droned
on forever.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


A man keeps
his fear of
public speaking
in a file labeled

"private". His teeth
marks have been
found on the elbows
of nineteen fallen

angels. An inability
to express emotion
causes his toilet
to clog. Helium

balloons are discreetly
released into the air.

Friday, October 21, 2011


In earlier times
a man was presumed
dead unless he
twitched when poked

with a stick. Then
progress stepped in
with its fancy tools
and store-bought

knowledge. Now
a man is not
considered truly
dead unless or

until he vomits
gold when kicked.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


In the Old West
a man was told
to dance as bullets
painted the area

around his feet.
In the New West
a man is asked
to think as bullets

penetrate the air
around his head.
This will be called
"progress" until the

idea men can come
up with a better term.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"You'll never get
the art part out of
Oslo that way," a
woman says to me,

in reference to
what she thinks
I'm doing, which
is, of course, almost

the opposite of
what I'm doing, so
different from it,
in fact, that when

I ask the woman
to marry me, she does.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A man charged
with shooting himself
in self defense
defends himself

by pleading guilty
on all counts.
Soldiers of silence
lead him away,

their tongues twisted
into recognizable knots.
Nothing new need
be added to eternal

life, which is
presumably enough.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Because angels are
only visible from
within, they frighten
the under-enlightened.

Our better angels
run off with
our worst fears
as winter wipes

the smile off
our faces. My
banker, afraid
I might figure

him out, eats
all the money.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


When it seemed
everything of
importance had
happened, he

slipped off his
boots and died.
Next time he'll
know better.

If there is
no next time,
he'll know
better than to

wait impatiently
for what's not next.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I remember
once when push
came to shove
you fell into

a fish pond
and emerged wetter
than a whistle.
Good and bad

switched spots.
Beauty brought an
ugly price at auction,
and action spoke

louder than words for the
third charm this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011


What goes up
stays in Vegas,
unless, in compliance
with the laws of

gravity and decent
behavior, it must
come down. If it
must, it must, in

accordance with the
far less strict laws
of language, which
are notoriously

elastic and
let things happen.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The noise a wish
makes switching
sides is said to
be inaudible to

all but the
The right to have
it all is alienable.

The right to
have it both
ways works
both ways and

is frequently mistaken
for its opposite.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Poetry's a privileged
form of distance
from what's yours
and mine in

the mind's pantry.
Every highway
here's a ribbon
our mother weaves

into her hair.
A landscape whose
scape escapes
seems hopeless

to the hapless.
It's time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


If you want to understand language poetry, close your eyes and picture someone masturbating with no hands.

No one has an
inalienable right
to everything.
Or so Jefferson

said after he
laid down his
pen and repaired
to the bedroom

to taste a slave.
It's almost
impossible to
find the Founders

without a program
or a scorecard.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Displays of strength
in the upper atmosphere
were used in past
years to pump up

the average man's
idea of what
the future held
in store. What

the future actually
held in store is
now being used to
dial back the

idea that slavery
was somehow wrong.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


An angel is
what's missing
from the snow
after it melts.

A snowman
and a straw man
hold hands in
a dream I once

had about being
helpless. A
beggar hands
out handouts

in a dream I'm
afraid to have.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


If you scrape
the scape from
landscape, the land
begins to bleed

milk and honey.
The land I'm
talking about is
the one that's

yours and mine
that was taken
from us by
those who know

who they are but
don't give a damn.

Friday, October 7, 2011

for Sayeda

They check her
out while checking
themselves in. It
goes on like this

until it goes off like
that. An unexpected
distinction between
what we want and

what we can expect
to get explains
everything. She wishes
she had the exact

opposite of everything
she ever had.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


When seen from a
great enough distance,
past and present are
indistinguishable. A

man approaching seems
to grow taller with
each step toward you.
This is an illusion,

known in optics as
"the expanding-man
illusion". It can be
easily countered by

asking the man to
grow smaller by leaving.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


When viewed at
the correct angle,
a soldier's shadow
stands at attention and

casts his body into the
ground. This is
regarded as a
premonition by some,

but as history in
the making by the
soldier himself,
who kisses his

birth goodbye
at the station.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


A parachute opening
inside his body
brings a man
to his senses.

An odd symmetry
between the wreckage
within and the
moon above reminds

him of the simple
geometric shapes of
childhood: the circle,
the square, the triangle.

Time is not the
right place for this.