Saturday, June 30, 2012

Past Perfect

No one was more
surprised than I was
when my neighbor's
pants caught on

fire after he had
lied about where
he had been the
night before.  His

wife had a fire
extinguisher, which
she was prepared
to use if and

when hell ever
decided to freeze over.

Friday, June 29, 2012


An object swimming
in a snowstorm has
an antirepresentational
bias that should be

obvious even to anyone
not listening.  Beauty's
biggest flaw is that
it encouragtes the

hope death is only
too quick to undo.
The nothing that
can be done about

any of this is
knocking at the door.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Marlowe felt like an
amputated leg.  But
how could he know
what an amputated

leg felt like?  I didn't
ask him.  I just
digested the image
and continued on

down the page.  I
was nearing the
end of the chapter.
My voice sounded

like someone tearing
slats off a chicken coop.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Underwater Advice

 In a manner of
speaking crossed
with stars little
horses inhabit a

barn.  A child runs
with scissors along
a long corridor,
searching for an

answer to seventeen
age-old questions.
If any of this is making
you uncomfortable,

wake up.  That's
what I did.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Is it just me,
of is cause gradually
abandoning its claim
to be the reason

one thing leads
to another?  Clocks
have lost weight
in recent years,

leading me to suspect
that time is on its
way out (that
it's just a

matter of time).

Monday, June 25, 2012


Light lines up
along the fence,
dropping yellow
circles onto the

sidewalk.  A man
walks from one circle
to the next, as if he
were a performer

exiting the stage
one spotlight at a
time.  When the
light reaches the

end of the fence,
it stops trying.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Less Frisky

Underwater dreams
are best, so fish-like
in their serenity,
so ready to dart

away at the first
suggestion of danger.
I'm impressed
by your ability

to sleep in the
traditional way,
feet-first and friendly.
I had expected your

legs to be longer,
less frisky.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


As snow descends
the stairs, carrying
winter in its arms,
we pause again to

wonder.  Under the
moon's thin light
we slowly imagine
our way back into

warmth.  An
angel gets up
from the snow
and, brushing itself

off, becomes a being
we can't believe in.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Without Warning

Meaning is always
shorter in person,
and less necessary.
A promise without

a premise condones
disappointment.  I
was the earliest
of four children

and the easiest
to touch.  My
approach to pleasure
was deemed "heroic"

by the critics.  I was
born without warning.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner ate
your fucking plums.
Or says he did.
(I've noticed he's

not above lying
for a fee.)  He'll
write an angry
poem at someone

who's fucked you
over if you agree
to buy him lunch.
He'll turn your enemy's

brain into an adjective
if you offer him a beer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Real persons, living
or dead, sometimes
enjoy being resembled
coincidentally.  Allowing

a character in your
novel to die is still
a crime in some
countries, as is saying

you love strawberries
when you don't, or
having unprotected
sex with your

neighbor's wife
or daughter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


In a museum
in which each
sculpture of a
woman is an

actual woman found
by Marcel Duchamp,
the future refuses
to happen.  Beauty

finds solace in
sophistry.  Irreconcilable
differences divide into
groups of yes and

no and I don't think
so but maybe.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Meaning is regarded by
many as the stepchild
of an unconsummated
marriage.  The first

time I saw Paris,
she was half-naked.
Now she wants her
own set of keys

and a gun that fires
unfulfilled wishes.
She insists there is
no real substitute

for butter.  She's
right about that.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Sometimes it's harder
to say what you're
seeing than it is
to see what someone

else is saying
(Hoover).  There is,
of course, no
remedy for this.

It's a problem
rooted in language,
which is in turn
rooted in mystery,

magic, melody
and mimicry.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Going back to
what you said
earlier, do you
actually believe

the end is near,
or are you just
saying that to
get every woman

in the world
to sleep with
you?  Choose
one.  Or both.

Or neither if that
is your preference.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Driving in the best
sense of the word
seats four and is
capable of parallel

parking without
human intervention.
The latest cars
tell you where

you are and
compare it with
where you should
be at this advanced

stage of your

Thursday, June 14, 2012


The astronaut who
shot God dead
was given a
ticker-tape parade

upon his return
to sanity.  The
fact ticker-tape
was a thing of

the past did
not seem to
bother him.  He
brushed the glitter

from his hair and
waved to himself.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


On a day when
goatherds spar
in the barnyard
and money is

no object, a
bird best known
for mocking other
birds dies of

natural causes,
obscuring the theme
of a widely-read novel.
Time, unwilling to wait,

side-steps a
well-placed caesura.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The safest place
to be these days
is gone.  Getting
there's another matter.

North Dakota,
they say, is pretty
close, if you can
figure out a way

to get there.  Finding
it is thought to
be the shortest
distance between

a straight line and an
even straighter line.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Too Many

The greatest period
of prosperity following
my great depression
was the one I was

out of the country
during.  When it comes
to the question of the
left hand, I am of too

many opinions to
be helpful.  A freckle-
faced freshman arrives
with a note from God.

I read it with both
eyes closed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Having shot himself
in self-defense, the
narcissist takes a
picture of himself,

using a cell phone
and a precisely
positioned alignment of
self-conscious mirrors.

His reward is an
appearance on
yesterday's Today
Show at exactly

half  past midnight
and two bars of soap.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


When a giraffe
vomits in the treetops
(early Hoover), the
other animals

berate it for
not having been
more considerate
of those resting

in the shade
at the base
of the tree.
Some entities

(God) are too tall
for their own good.

Friday, June 8, 2012


When longing's reach
exceeds its grasp,
another suburb
springs up.  Native

Americans are moved
to make room for
the cavalry.  Walmart
crushes the competition

in its competition
crusher, a converted
trash compactor that
lusts for blood.

Several poems
go unpublished.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


She ran her fingers
through his comb
while resting her
head on his rapidly

improving prospects.
Later, she worshipped
the ground he was
buried in.  He,

for his part,
had never been
dead before and
didn't know what

to do next or how
long to wait.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Modus Operandi

There is no real
plan.  I pick
up a word and
go.  Looking out

the window to see
what the weather's
like, I remove
anything that might

remind me of
tomorrow.  I look
back over my
shoulder to see

what lies ahead.
I stop at the end.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


After cause-and-effect
withdraws its explanation
for why things that
can't go on like this do,

a number of things that
can't have happened
happen.  Though we
know the reason is

unimportant, we ask
anyway, partly out of
habit, partly out of
respect.  The answer

given is understandably

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thoughts Of A Young Girl

It's much too
beautiful a day for me
not to write
you a letter, so

I jump from the
tower to prove
I'm not insane.  I
want to thank you

again for crying over me.
Had you not been
the daughter of
my late employer,

I might have
written you sooner.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


The fourteenth way
of looking at a
blackbird involved
voluntary blindness

and was therefore
never attempted.
Of the thirteen
ways described

by Stevens only
eleven could be
duplicated in
subsequent trials.

Of the eleven, three
were identical twins.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Modern Life

I sometimes experience
moments of such
profound uncertainty
that I deed everything

I own to my
imaginary sister.
I then deliberately
take everything out

of context in order
to confuse the
enemy.  When that
doesn't work, I

fall asleep and
dream that it does.

Friday, June 1, 2012


A ping-pong ball
from Japan washes
ashore and is
the losing number

in a lottery confirming
the inevitability
of death.  A
lamp lights up

a room in vain
(every eye is
shut for decency's
sake).  I take back

everything I ever meant
about meaning.