Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Something that always
has to end like this
rimes with how
she pulls us back

into a silence
she wears at night.
We reinvent the
telephone to

reach her.  Death,
a dark vine at
the edge of the
porch, is poised

to come inside.  The
phone rings off the hook.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Spring exists again
everywhere.  The
tulips crack open
and smile.  The

names for things
change like days
on a calendar.
The rose is as

as ever, even
without its name.
Forgotten things

trade places with
things remembered.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Problems have a
way of solving
themselves.  For
example, there

will be sufficient
fury one day to
precipitate action
against the utterly

shameless way
in which the
wealthy continue
enriching themselves

at the expense
of everyone else.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


In a long dream
in which money
is changing hands
and hands are

missing their fingers,
I enlist the aid of
the enemy of my
arch rival.  He

is promptly uprooted
by silence.  The two
kinds of people
there are in this

world trade places
for the second time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wise Cartographers

Wise cartographers wait
for the dust to settle
before touching
pen to paper.  Will

the earth continue
being round?  Or
will it flatten
out the way it

did centuries ago?
Wise cartographers
wait until every
question has been

answered before
filling in the blanks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In Australia

In Australia clocks
move counter
clockwise, if
they move at all.

A left-handed pitcher
(called a "northpaw")
is given the ball
and asked to strike

out as few batters
as possible.  Auto
mobile races are run in
reverse, with the car

crossing the finish line
last declared the winner.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Undressed To Kill

An object invites
me to look inside
it, hoping to be
immortalized in my

memory of what
I see.  Life goes
on starting and
stopping.  I remember

the first dream
I met you in.  You
were sitting across
the room, nude,

pretending not
to look at me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Water echoes the
few scant clouds
this sky has
managed to scrape

together.  We had
agreed to part
here, where the
river refuses

to come ashore.
You still demand more
than original sin
can deliver as you

search for a new
movie to star in.

Monday, July 23, 2012


When there is
no old left
to grow, I will
lie down in

who I am
and, closing
my eyes,
concentrate on

what little's
left of the
future.  I
hope you can

make it in time
to see me off.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

As We Know It

In some fantastic
way, though the math
is all wrong, everything
adds up to life

as we know it.
Life as we don't
know it is an
idea whose time

has not yet come.
An idea whose
time will never
come was planted

in our dreams
at birth.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Her Dream

Objects in her dream
are arranged according
to color, type, size
and proximity to the

ideal object we all
dream about.  Leaves
do not fall in her
dream.  They wait

patiently.  The dust
in her dream
collects in one
place, from which

it can be easily
whisked away.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Dropped as an
infant into the
well of his
mother's death,

my father made
the most of the
darkness he swallowed
there.  In an old

photo from his
early childhood he
stands staring into
the future as if

destined never
to get there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


It was good
to be in heaven,
though I was,
to be perfectly

honest, less conscious
of my happiness
than most of
the others.  I

don't think I
was less happy,
just less aware
of just how

perfectly happy
I was.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


He left a rent
check on the table
before shooting
himself in the

geometric center
of his diminished
capacity to see
beyond the moment.

The landlady
was grateful
and whispered
a prayer under

her breath for
his continued success.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Every poem is
a false start
that can never
really know itself.

A man stops
singing, hanging
himself from a
rafter of his hope

for the future.
An object passing
through us on
an earnest quest

for permanence
ceases to exist.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Forgive me for
always addressing
you without actually
knowing who you

are.  A soft
rain that never
reaches the earth
reminds me of you.

A bird that
flees underground
from a danger
that has no name

resembles what
I think you look like.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


If a mime speaks
while no one
is watching,
does a sound

fall over in
the forest?
Turning, I
tear my

memory of
your death in half.
Staring at the
object for three days

locked in his
thoughts forever.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Our Words

Your gaze, faking
injury, fails to
reach its object
again.  Light

scatters in
patterns we could
never have predicted
without your help.

I thought I should
be the one to
tell you that
we have figured

out a way to touch
you with our words.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Papal infallibility aside, the sound doesn't necessarily have to seem an echo of the sense.  But it's nice when it does.  Just ask the bees when they are murmuring innumerably.

The handwriting was
not on the wall,
but under the
floorboards.  This

explains, I suspect,
why the ship sank,
and why autumn,
with all its hymnals,

continued inching
toward October.
So many things
have become unavoidable

that there's no room
left for us.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Moonlight enables us
to read in our
sleep.  I hope
this doesn't turn

into a novel written
by someone I
hardly recognize.
I try to keep it

simple and as
silent as necessity
allows.  The ode
inside an elegy

I wrote upon your death
recites itself at dawn.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleeping Beauty's Breakfast

We try to open
her eyes in a
new window, to
photoshop her

out of her
overlong sleep.
Elves hired
to prepare her

breakfast each
morning (just in
case) tiptoe into
her bedroom in

the evening to watch
her not wake up.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Very Hard'

The passengers are
asked to clap on the
way down.  Clapping,
the pilot points out,

takes your mind off
your mind, which tends
to dwell on the
inevitable at the

expense of the
miraculous.  Yes,
the ground is
hard when met

at such a speed,
very hard.

Monday, July 9, 2012

for LDH

They say your
dream, in which
I'm always awake,
causes my insomnia.

They are wrong,
of course, as
usual.  My
dream, in which

you sleep soundly,
is the root cause
of war and
natural disaster.

I am trying
to wake up.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Your Diary

I had to make
some minor
revisions to your
diary when I

came across it
in that hiding
place you
foolishly thought

was secure.  You
are no longer in love
with Douglas, as
originally stated.

You are now in
love with me.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


You were dressed
as a lucky guess
that night.  I
was wearing the

John Greenleaf Whittier
raincoat Kenneth
had lent me.
It wasn't raining,

but it was the
first of our
many first dates.
I was so

happy to see
you I cried.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Having selected sleep
from the drop-down
menu, I remain awake
beside my sheep.

I am the shepherd
whose April is
inadequate.  Contrary
to what you've heard,

I am not at the end
of my hope, whose
beginning I have
tried in vain to mend.

I have miles to sleep
the promises I keep.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The walls and ceilings
have been constructed
in such a way that
my applause returns

to me in the form
of an echo.  I am so
relieved to hear it.
I had been afraid

that the poor
and starving might
have figured out
a way to get

their hands on
what is mine.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No Beginning

Cruel to be kind
his kind,
God ignores
the ignorant,

while pasting
stars on the papers
of those who
study.  Then he

turns on the
sprinklers.  Since
the Word withdrew,
there has been

no beginning,
only an end.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Lot Less

Like most people
who are not like
most people, I've
always had a

special fondness
for things I can't
imagine.  I can't
imagine why.

Can you?  If you
can, you're even
less like most
people than most

people are.  A
lot less, actually.

Monday, July 2, 2012

All That Remains

Towns that don't
have a rail to
ride undesirables
out of town on

can apply for
financial assistance
to the Bureau Of
Alcohol, Tobacco,

And Frivolity.  When
their application is
denied, they can chop
down a tree and chip

away until all that
remains is a rail.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


In the middle of
what's halved, we
have and have not.
No one has any

clear idea why.
Anyone who says
he does, is running
for political office

and must be ridden
out of town on a
rail.  Any town
that doesn't have

a rail must get
one immediately.