Saturday, March 31, 2012


A segment of the
population is trying
to read illiteracy
into everything.

They serve tea
at their parties,
along with finger
sandwiches cut

from the hands
of the less fortunate.
They carry guns
in their minds

and on their hips.
They breed like vermin.

Friday, March 30, 2012


If it hangs
from the wall,
it's a painting.
If it hangs

from a tree branch,
it's a rustler.
If it hangs
on your every

word, it's in
love and must
be put to
death before

it procreates all
over everything.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Returning astronauts
report feeling
dropped into a
well as they

readjust to the
planet's gravitational
tug. They circle
the park in pink

pajamas, pursued
by nonsensical dogs.
Weightlessness whittles
at their bones

until they fall to
their knees in prayer.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Paul Carrol used to use the word "tedious" to describe poems that insisted on taking a detour around the imagination. It wasn't so much the word itself as how it sounded when he said it that caused it to penetrate the air around it like an arrow.

A child slides
down a slick
surface in pursuit
of amnesia. He

knows better than
to know better.
He loses track
of time by swinging

back and forth
like a pendulum.
A string tied
around his finger

reminds him to
forget everything.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

for Asad

Let art be conceptual
for a while if that's
what it wants to
be. Every canvas

is blank at birth.
A flower painted
as the idea of a
flower is a conceptual

still life that moves
if and when the wind
uproots it. It's not too
hard to see how

the idea of
this happens.

Monday, March 26, 2012


People first began
to move (according
to Aquinas) with
the advent of the

movie. People
first began to
think out loud
with the development

of the loudspeaker.
People first began
to believe in
life everlasting

with the invention
of death.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


A thing turns
itself inside out
to hide from
Rilke. Rilke

outsmarts the
thing by writing
a poem titled
"The Inside-Out

Thing". He writes
the poem from right
to left as if it
were in Arabic.

And it is in Arabic,
much to Rilke's surprise.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


A collection of
cell-phone calls
made from high-
jacked planes has

reached number one
on the New York
Times' best-seller
list. In the

earliest films the
world had to be
painted black and
white (with varying

shades of gray) before
shooting could begin.

Friday, March 23, 2012


Meaning as something
said or thought has
no leg to stand on.
In a word, it

isn't a word,
or even an idea.
It may or may
not be a feeling

of climbing back
into the screaming
infant you were at
birth. Trees delight

in portraying the wind
as air shifting its position.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Being hit in
the head with
a blunt object
causes a sudden

increase in
sincerity. Ideas
exit through the
ears like rats

abandoning ship.
The doctor says
you'll be okay
after a century

or two. You can't
remember when.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Several attractive errors
in her smile give
us an indication
of what is to

come. We follow
her moves with
our eyes as if
glued to what she

will do next.
And she does,
repeatedly. Everything
she does is next.

Everything she tries
comes true.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Relics of a past
that never was
persist in memory
despite their obvious

irreality. A lock
of coiled hair from
the patron saint
of pornographers

intrudes upon what
might have been
different if only
we had had

more time to
penetrate what we mean.

Monday, March 19, 2012


In a century
hidden from thought
virtue collects its
reward. Gray,

the color of theory,
even of the theory
of colors, allows
one thing to lead

away from another.
An underwater sky
comes up for air.
The eight-hundred

pound gorilla in the
room speaks Latin.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


In the gaps I'm
unsure of night
drinks my sleep
from a small cup.

This is not as easily
said as meant in
the lunacy of midnight.
My oracle speaks

in code from a
collection of words
whose eyes are
lidded with glitter.

The moon sleeps
soundly in my head.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I dreamt a deer
was eating a deer
in the zoo. I
wondered (in the

dream) when eventually
was and whether
possibility was just
an act. A man

in the center of
a circle dreamt
a brand new circumference
into being and became

a spoke in the
invention of the wheel.

Friday, March 16, 2012


I purposely ignore
what's where when
one of life's pleasure's
clicks into place.

I'm going out to fill
my cup until it
runs over. To
gather as much

as I can for as long
as I may (rosebuds
read me the riot
act when I don't).

It won't take long.
You come too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


What you start
over at the end
of is exactly what
love looks like

when it's trying to
be true. Your guardian
angel, a year younger
than never, props

himself up on one
elbow to watch
over you while
you sleep. Your

daydreams dance
in his eyes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


If I've left
anything out,
let me make
up for it by

saying everything.
Well, it's not
possible, of
course, to say

everything. But
it is possible
to say "everything".
So I do.

Thank you,
and goodnight.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I carved my name
into your memory
while you were
sleeping. I hope

you don't mind.
You can carve
yours into mine
if you like,

though I don't
think it's going
to be necessary.
You left your

fingerprints all over
me at first sight.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Sensation has an
end but no edge.
Or so they say.
A hat worn inside

the head is pointless.
Born to die, a
man folds himself
in half. He is

later unfurled
like a flag on
the lid of a dead
soldier's casket.

Life goes on
because it ends.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


My ability to undo
damage in mid-air
had been compromised.
I proceeded to mean

more than anyone
could say in six
years. Ice grew
angry at the sight

of what I had
been unwilling to
become. Mystery
made mincemeat

of our best-laid
plans and poems.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


The story progresses
in dripping-wet spurts
that turn out not
to matter in the end.

Hidden inside each
object are descriptions
of insignificant
details. The details

scatter like cattle
reenacting a stampede.
It is a story
about getting

nowhere fast that
gets there even faster.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I didn't know history
had a camera and
a CD that could hold
more songs than

any one person could
sing in a lifetime.
A hooded figure
outside the window

whispers an overdue
secret into the room.
I don't have a word
for what I mean

next or the
time after that.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

for Asad

The end of painting
is the concept behind
every painting. I
should know. I myself

have painted it
several times. And
I'm not much of a
painter. I'm more of

a mime who presses
his hands against
the air for leverage.
Or I'm an art critic

whose idea of a
good time is an idea.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Mourners make a
mountain out of
the molehill that
rises out of

each grave. Death
is repetitious to
a fault. Its
redundancy is

not well received.
It recites poetry
on the island
no man is, interrupting

every poem
with a stop.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Let this little
bird be the means
by which I told
you whatever it

is you think I
thought you should
know. I buried an
ode in each of the

eighteen elegies
I dropped famous
last words into
after your death.

The famous last words
were mine, not yours.

Monday, March 5, 2012


Robots trained to
apply paint one
molecule at a time
have learned how

to feign injury at
a crucial point
in the process.
The reason is unclear.

What is even less
clear is why a monk
chanting abstinence
into an otherwise

splendid morning has
been invited to exist.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


The eyes have it
when vision is
the goal and the
fog finally lifts.

Photos of the same
old thing try in vain
to distinguish themselves
from themselves.

The world out west
wears a pistol on
its hip. After a
thorough investigation

the sheriff's brain is
found to be a forgery.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Noise is never alone,
making a sound
even in that forest
whose footloose tree

plops onto a patch
of earth no one
is within earshot
of. Man-made

footsteps trample
a road more or less
traveled by into
some underbrush

that branches off
into the music of mystery.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Maybe if you aren't
too busy, we can
spend our lives
saying goodbye

at airports. Parting
is, after all, sweetened
sorrow. And a
rose winces at

any attempt to
alter its name.
Morning stitches its
greeting into a

cluster of trees
at the edge of town.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Gridirons pulled apart
by grief, a poet
unmakes sense.
A barber cuts

his own hair using
four mirrors and a
poem by John Ashbery.
Impossibility rises to the

surface like a balloon
and bursts. There is
rarely room for
everyone and never

enough time to make
a mockery of silence.