Thursday, May 31, 2012


Abandoning the figure
has proven that
abandoning the figure
proves nothing.

The museum floor,
littered with bits
of broken language,
is building a

tower of meaning
out of babble.  A
blind man watches
porn in his imagination.

The best are full of
a lack of all conviction.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


In the deepest parts
of the deep South it is
believed that if you
look at any animal

long enough, it becomes
an alligator.  There
also exists there the
notion that it is

wrong to rape
a woman who is
willing to have
sex with you.

Just have sex
with her, they urge.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Solution

Trees slice
the sunlight
into shards
of its former

self.  Shade
drops from the
trees like
ripened fruit.

It is always
either morning,
noon, afternoon,
or night.

There is no
solution for this.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Perhaps Not

In my will
have requested
that pieces of
my dead body

be distributed
to the meek
so that they
 may continue

to believe that
I once existed.
Perhaps this will
help them to

understand why.
Perhaps not.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


To illustrate
how much the
quality of education
has declined over

the years, my
grandfather, who
was yanked
out of school

after the third
grade so that
he could help
out around

the farm,
knew everything.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Snow's plentiful around
here in winter.  Our
women put it up in Mason
Jars to ease us through

the summer's unbearable
heat.  In this as in virtually
every town in the region
the law requires

that all open
doors be walked
through at least
once a day and

that every closed
door be opened.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Something I had
been unable to
imagine in my
wildest dreams

turned up in
one of my tamer
ones wearing
a raincoat and

what may have
been the beginning
of the end of
something almost

certain not to exist
in anyone's lifetime.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I'm proud to say
that all of my guesses
have been educated
at fully accredited

schools.  I am
what I like to
imagine you are
in a world created

by John Ashbery.
It is a world in
which the warm
milk of morning

is trying to warn
us about ourselves.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Fascists

The fascists always
like to remind us
that they made the
trains run on time.

Truth is, the fascists
made the trains run
ahead of schedule
so that those who

were merely on
time would miss their
trains and be
forced to hitchhike

to their various

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


The distance between
hell and high
water is estimated
to be the same

as the distance
between now and
never.  It's impossible
to know for sure,

of course, since the
instrument needed
to measure these
distances was misplaced

in the geometric center
of the nineteenth century.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hashimi Sisters

Let me count
the ways I wish
away distance
where you're concerned.

You are always
in my opinion,
no matter the
subject.  It

would be thoughtless
of my thoughts
not to be thinking
of you.  A time bomb

ticks away the
seconds we're apart.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I know where
the hours go.
They go where
the dryer sock

goes.  Away.
The furniture
reminds me I
am here.  A

bed lets me
sleep on it.
I wake with
no decision

one way or
the other.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mehr Licht

A crooked man
walks a crooked
mile while a
straight man

clears a path
for the punch line.
Things go on like
this because, reports

to the contrary, they
can.  With his dying
breath Goethe is said
to have asked for

more light.  His
request was denied.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I am the undefeated
sleep champion of
the word.  I steal
the sleep of insomniacs,

forcing them to lie
sleepless on their
backs, their wide
eyes pressed against

the ceiling.  There
is no cure for
me, no tunnel for anyone
to crawl through

decorating his
wounds with scars.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Beauty happens when
perception deepens
the familiar (Hoover).
A mirror emphasizes

what we think
we see in the
semi-dark of
distance.  Silence

says the right
thing at precisely
the right moment,
expecting no reply.

I wrote this while
thinking something else.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Real Reason

Listen.  I didn't push
you down the stairs
because you were
crippled and utterly

unable to defend
yourself.  I did it out
of a desire to see
what you would

look like at the
bottom (as opposed
to the top) of the
stairs, and because

the top of the stairs
belongs to me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Not Quite

There's evidence of
everything everywhere,
but no clear
evidence of anything

anywhere.  No perfectly
straight line or
precisely round
circle.  Except in

the mind, which is
itself impossible to
pin down.  The
mind wanders along

a line of thought
into a dream.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nur Deswegen

Die Gedanken sind
frei only because
we are still busy
haggling among

ourselves over where
to price them in order
to achieve maximum
profits.  There are also

the usual disagreements
over marketing and
distribution.  And, of
course, the predictable

moron who thinks we should
just keep giving them away.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Scientists during
the Renaissance
concluded that the
world was round on

the basis of scientific
observation and mathematical
calculation.  I determined
it was round by looking

at a picture of it in
a magazine.  The object
of my affection can
change my complexion

from white to
rosy red.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


It was, among
other things, the
ruckus of her
hair that made

us want her.
And a hint
of something
reckless in her

eyes.  She
marched to the
very center of our
longing as if

midnight were a
memory she'd forgotten.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Oddly Infinite

Those blind from
birth describe things
they've never seen
in a catalog that

mimics midnight.
Things they've imagined
are described in
the same catalog,

using the same words,
on the same page,
page zero.  There
is something oddly

infinite about
their thoughts. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some poets force me to turn so many corners to get at what they're getting at that by the time I get there I no longer care.
Too Late
for Paul

The infant is,
of course, always
at the entrance,
waiting for its

words.  Our
footsteps are
by definition
man-made and

seem to be
encouraging us
to catch up.
We do, but too

late to erase the
difference they make.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


When our imaginary
wars began producing
real victims, the game's
maker recalled a

long conversation
he had had with his
accountant regarding
different ways of maximizing

profits.  Removing his
slippers, he slipped
into the Jacuzzi and
counted his blessings

to make sure they
were all there.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

for Said

The distance between
no one and noon
is negligible.  Nothing
can happen in a space

that small.  Ancient
laws keep tiptoeing
toward us in a
misguided effort

to guide us away
from the future.
Music erases the
seams that make

us seem stitched
together by mistake.

Friday, May 4, 2012


God lived (then)
in a small house
in the middle
of everywhere.

It was cold
there, though.
within and out

of God's control
forced him to
move.  He became
(thus) the celebrated

Prime Mover, shifting
his weight at will.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Our heroine touches
a knife (a letter
opener, actually) to
her throat.  The

boy who dies on
page thirty-seven
turns up again
in a work of

non-fiction that
may or may not
be somebody's

Nothing's clear when
the rest is mystery.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


In the ice-cold
climes of the far
north people wait
until the great thaw

to bury their dead.
Here in sunny
southern California
we bury our dying

a couple of hours
before their actual
deaths to allow
ourselves time to

reach the cemetery
they will die in.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Because everyone everywhere
had conceded everything,
nothing happened.  Traffic
stopped where it was and

stayed there indefinitely.
The sun pretended to
"rise" (it actually
never had), but

only as a courtesy.
A chicken climbed into
the nest next to its
egg to obviate any

possible argument
over which came first.