Wednesday, February 29, 2012


As punishment he
was banned from
his cell. He
could visit the

prison as often a
he liked, day
or night. But
under no circumstance

we he to be
allowed to enter
his cell. The cell
was kept unlocked,

which made this
punishment unbearable.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


At night the
unconscious hammers
on the walls
downstairs. An

accountant's shadow
is set ablaze
by its own
sense of irony.

Existence is
anything but easy,
requiring each of us
to be somewhere

at any given

Monday, February 27, 2012

Today is Hosai's birthday!


Your eyes speak
a vocabulary of
correct answers.
We are so grateful

to you for not being
someone else when
we look at you.
If you agree to

come to our party,
we will sing
your praises
until morning

interrupts us with
what cannot be helped.

I spent the day
before the world
ended counting my
chickens before

they were hatched.
There were fourteen
of them. If the world
ends again tomorrow,

I am going to talk
with my mouth
full and crowd
in front of everyone

in line. And that's
just a small sample.

I didn't send you
a valentine because
I had been told
by a reliable source

that the world
was going to end on
February 13. My
source was wrong,

of course, but I
had every reason
to believe her
because her crystal

ball was round
and convincing.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I'm going to walk
on the grass on
the outside chance
the world will

end before anyone
ever notices.
If that works
out, I'm going

to drive both
ways down a
one-way street
and feed every

animal in every
zoo in the world.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Language Poets

Language poets seem to be, for most part, people who like to hear themselves think, or, in some of the less interesting examples, refrain from thinking.

If the world
ends tomorrow,
I'm going to regret
having cleaned

the toilet today
and not having
eaten a hot
fudge sundae

the night before
every day for
the last year
or two. I'm going

to regret not having
been late more often.

Friday, February 24, 2012


The world ended
twice last week.
The first time
was a mistake

and had to be
cancelled retroactively.
But the second
time came off

perfectly so that
all those who
had been born
twice were saved

and all those who
weren't insane died.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I think I just
felt the world
end, so I'm
going to tell

you what I
really think
of you. Please
don't be offended.

Remember the
world has just
ended. If by some
chance a new world

begins, I'll take back
everything I said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Since the world
is clearly going
to end any day
now, I was

wondering if you'd
mind letting me
sleep in your bed
next to you while

we wait. I
would only take
up as much room
as I take up,

not a cubic
centimeter more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Since the pastor
down the street
says the world
ended yesterday,

I think we should
make love and
then maybe be
introduced to one

another for propriety's
sake. If you get
pregnant, it
won't matter

because the world
ended yesterday.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Since the world
is ending anyway
(or will be someday
soon), it should

be okay for us
to touch the
paintings and
photograph them

with or without
flash. It should
be okay for
me to kiss you

on the lips and
then run away.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Since the world
seems to be ending,
may I see you
naked? All of you,

I mean. We are
the alpha and the
omega of all we
imagine and possibility's

last best hope.
So I think it
should be okay
for me to see

you naked, every
last one of you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


When I first met
Paul Hoover, he
was sitting in
a red barn next

to a Holstein
cow. He wasn't
milking the cow.
He was looking

at it the way
one reads a
poem by Gertrude
Stein, upside

down and

Friday, February 17, 2012


I am waiting
for the rest of
my family and
friends to die

so I can finally
be alone (Garbo).
In recent years
I've been careful

not to make
any new friends
since having
new friends

could seriously
complicate my task.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


The knock and shine
of beauty are lasting
joys. Future memories
anxiously await their

day of arrival, casting
off-white shadows
into the present. Love
speaks seven languages

fluently and is
currently learning English.
Love is unintentional,
though, or it isn't

love. The quality of
mercy is not strained.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A bird decays in mid-air,
then continues on, pecking
out windows, popping
light bulbs with its beak,

while in sixteen darkened bedrooms
boys with gleaming rifles
begin bouncing bee-bees
off the bleached skulls

of their mothers. In other words,
midnight. In other words,
the earth hatches a silence
which, bird-like, spreads

its razor-like wings and
skids along a seam in the night.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Kind in his cruelty,
God fills his mind
with nice furniture
no one is allowed

to sit on. He
makes minor
adjustments to the
tablets, based on

shocking errors
in the way things
happen. He lets
things that can't

go on like this
go on like this.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Eating the bread
of God's body
reassured her
by letting the

litanies in.
When a mother
surrenders to death,
she pulls her

children in after
her, not by choice,
but because of
the invisible

thread that stitches
everything together.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


High in the attic
of contemplation
a monk turns
into incense.

A memory of
his sanctity lingers
in the nostril.
The terrible

question (the
one whose answer
elopes with the dawn)
is reincarnated

at dusk and stands
in the doorway.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Luna's reflection
caresses a pond's still
surface. Sheep can
be heard bleating, leaping

a fence to lull the
lingerers to sleep.
A search reveals not
a single trace of anything

meant to be elsewhere.
The future's memory
of what will happen
next is being

slowly erased to
make room for us.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Which do you prefer, a
thing per se, or the means by
which the thing succeeds in
being there? So much

depends on your
answer that I would
strongly urge you to
remain silent, rather

than risk incriminating
yourself again. We
are all as guilty, of
course, as we are blameless.

The thing turns inside
out to hide from Rilke.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Shooting the nearest
living thing is one-tenth
of a job-well-done in
Texas or Arizona.

Avoid those states
if you are a living
thing. A father
flag folded into

fifths is difficult
to unfurl in time
for Wednesday. Time
seems tied up in

a bow of darkness
after sundown.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

for Halai

Wishes seek solid
ground, a leg
to stand on. The
sun surrenders

to distance again
before repeating its
round reentry into day.
Things go on like

this because things
go on like this, and
for no other reason.
I pluck another verb

from my garden and
place it over your ear.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Distance Between Here And Now

My new book of poems, The Distance Between Here And Now, is now available for purchase through Please check it out. It will be available through,, and a couple of other retail outlets in 6-8 weeks. Forty-six of the fifty-five poems in the book are brand spanking new (i.e. have not appeared in the poetry blog or in any of the free ebooks).

I worked as an
artist during the
war, creating illusions
for the public. I

hung myself in
a museum to illustrate
the artistic value
of suicide. I

used an old magician's
trick to survive.
Now I am strictly
postwar and post

postmodern. I
pretend to exist.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


He had the rare
ability to hear the
sound wrinkles make
as they form along

the surface of the
skin. He had an
annoying inability to
not hear that sound.

It wasn't a loud
sound. It was barely
audible even to him
as he sat on the

porch and listened
to his wife age.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The landscape had
been carefully draped
with artificial depth.
Motion had been painted

into one corner to
create the illusion
of vegetable panic.
The two kinds of

people there are in
this world traded
places. No one noticed
the difference, which

had been cleverly hidden
in its identical twin.