Thursday, January 31, 2013

Memento Mori

Afraid we won't
notice the moment
of death and
foolishly go on

living as if nothing
has happened, we
resolve to pay
closer attention

to the sound
time makes as
it turns its
back on the

future and races
into the past.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Beauty is never
less true than
when it thinks
truth is beauty

or when it turns
left (instead of
wrong) at
midnight.  No

one knows this
better than a
poet locked into
an earlier century

and forced to write
the wrong poetry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


In the ongoing
struggle between
matter and energy,
light tries to

maintain a more
or less constant
speed.  A sunflower,
sipping sunlight

from the morning,
slowly turns its
head toward dusk.
A tightly wound clock

changes trains
at midnight.

Monday, January 28, 2013

At Last

I'm nothing now
but a traveler
trading places
with strangers

who hold secret
meetings inside
me.  Desperate
for good news,

I rent messages
from the stars
to reassure
myself as I

prepare for the
last roundup.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

After Bei Dao

A shadow negotiating
with the light
asks for more
time.  The sun

raises a cloud's
curtain to announce
the end of winter.
An insomniac's

pillow opens its
eyes and stares
at the ceiling.
Nature renews

its contract
with the moon.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Eternity is a
metaphor for
the patience the
earth shows as

it spins like
a top on its
axis.  Night
circles the

globe in
search of
the horizon
on which time

its knot.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Way

A boy growing
up learns how
to control reality
in his dreams.

He takes an
elevator to the
top, then allows
his dreams to

continue skyward
until gravity
loses its grip
on them.  He

turns into starlight
at death's door.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Existence is
the mother
of necessity.

the mother
of invention.
Death is
the mother

of beauty.
Beauty's the
mother of terror.

the mother
of Mother.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The history of failure
is the shortest
distance between
the hands of

an old clock.
Youth hides its
secret inside the
invisible logic of

the fairytale.  The
wind, desperate to
find out what love
is, tosses a

brick through
your window.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


A sleeping bee
releases its
honey-coated dream
into the night.

The night knows
more than it
lets on (it
always has).

The best cure
for loneliness is
to paint the distance
between you

and the future
a different color.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tired Of Words

Who has no
home will never
build one now.
I get so tired

of death and
its arguments,
how this proves
that and that

proves nothing.
Ice melts in
the memory
of an infant.

January leap
frogs into March.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


The most interesting
thing a person can
do by far is die
unexpectedly in

the middle of the
night.  Even the
morning is caught
off guard.  Especially

the morning.  Every
object in the room
wonders what has
happened, the bed,

the dresser, the curtains
on the shattered window.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

After Beo Dao

Darkness is a
door which allows
the saint to
draw near.

My hand, like
an old key,
has memorized
the lock.  The

dead snorkel
underground in
search of air.
A snowstorm's

butterflies cling
to the window.

Friday, January 18, 2013

This Way

I want to concentrate
on one particular
aspect of you as
heavy seeds attached

by toggle switch
to lengthy loops
leading us out
of literature are

being planted in
someone else's inaccurate
garden, having
already resigned

myself to the futility
of never knowing why.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Painter
for Asad

Nature is pleased
with the seeming
simplicity it uses
to lull us into

a false sense
of security.  Let's
face it, we are
always between

the sea and what
we see.  A self
portrait of what
we thought we

saw is all we
have to go on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

for Said

A song awaits
its encore off
stage, holding
its breath for

emphasis.  Moonlight
skids across the ice
in the direction
of morning.  Nothing

that matters fails
to exist this time.
The road is littered
with rose petals

that resemble
self-fulfilling prophecies.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A New Century

We gallop after
gold in our
dreams, changing
horses in the

middle of nowhere.
An old century
turns into a
new century

without making
a sound.  The
truth hammers
itself into the

ground to protect
itself from us.

Monday, January 14, 2013


The cat's goals
and my own
intersect like

metaphors.  She
longs for food.
I agree to feed
her.  She begins

to purr.  I fall
in love.  She prepares
to leap.  I lie down
in a safe place

and dream
until morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

After Bei Dao

I have examined
the bones of a dead
star and determined
that the mystery of

life will always
be intact.  What
remains unclear
in evolutionary

history is the
role of the lover's
tongue.  I raise
my rifle and draw

a bead on the
distance between us.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


The corpse hanging
above the altar
seems out of
solutions now as

it sheepishly
turns wine into
water, its body
into bread.  The

newer bells hold
their tongues,
humming hymns
back into hymnals.

An uninspired wind
blows out the candles.

Friday, January 11, 2013

After Bei Dao

The road ahead
bisects a setting
sun, permitting
the passage of time.

Three adjacent
mountain peaks
ride their camel
through the eye

of night's needle.
Can morning
be far behind?
The words of

the poet echo
in exile.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


History, working its
way through a
tree stump's rings
toward the beginning,

has yet to change
its mind and turn
around to face
the future.

The large box
I bought to
store my

in is

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I was sitting
on the porch,
listening to the
leaves debate

whether and when
to fall, when
nothing happened
so convincingly

that I thought
I had died.
When nothing
happened again

almost immediately,
I was sure I had.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Along The Way

In one sense,
of course, we
are (have always
been, will always

be) exactly the
same age.  We
begin and end
at zero.  Something

keeping track of
us in the dark
seems incapable
of counting.  Periodic

adjustments to the clock
keep us on schedule.

Monday, January 7, 2013


It is said that
in an even deeper
sleep we wake
with eyes shut

and see everything.
The unfamiliar
turns around there
(it is said) and

shows its true
face.  Apples
ripen as ideas
and do not

need to be

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Something misleading
in the center of
why we dream
makes us mortal.

A frozen tear slipping
from her cheek
shatters on the
pavement.  The

pattern it creates
signifies nothing
(a fact which leads
her into temptation).

An ill wind blows
her dandelion out.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


A man sits
on the sidewalk,
tasting the thought
of bread. A

passerby offers
the man a penny
for his thought.
The man demands

less, convinced
that his thought
is worthless.  The
passerby, passing

by, begins
to rain.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Our parents never
teach us how to
die (except ineptly
by example).  And

we never really
pick up much
on our own
(unless coming across

a flock of dead
birds at dawn
counts as some
sort of introduction).

I practice starting
over at the end.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


An angel's shadow,
set ablaze by its
own sense of irony,
allows an unusually

ill wind to scatter
its ashes over an
otherwise idle countryside.
Children playing in

the patterns this
windfall produces
are called in at
dusk and ordered

to dream a new
tomorrow into being.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year

In the name
of the sun,
the moon,
and the holy

distance between
now and never.
People painted
onto canvases

outlive their Masters.
A lute string
breaks in time
for eternity.

The needless-to-say
 nods in agreement.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Poem

A poem (the poet
says) is born in
the distance between
a hunter and the

animal brought to
an abrupt half in his
gun-sight.  It stays
there until every

riddle is solved,
until the last bit
of light from the
last star touches

the lens of the
last telescope.