Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cinematically Speaking

Real persons, living
and dead, were
being resembled
coincidentally.  The

one person being
paid to care about
things didn't care.
The movie continued

winding its way
through a plot
no one was
bothering to follow,

since all of the characters
had left in protest.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Not having to answer
every question is
a luxury one would
like to have when

standing in front
of a large crowd
of angry protesters,
especially when several

of the protestors
have already tossed
shoes at you in
an obvious expression

of dissatisfaction with
who you are.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Snowfall in North
Dakota in winter
warrants the
wearing of warm

clothing.  Taking
misfortune in
stride and the
hard truth of

death lying down
is recommended
if one wishes
to avoid the

frustration of always
going against the grain.

Monday, February 25, 2013


It's nice to be
kept dry by
the building you're
in during a

rainstorm.  It's
nice not to
have to go out
into the ugly

wet.  It's
nice to have
enough matches
to start a

fire in the

Sunday, February 24, 2013


The garden in which
death experienced
its first growing pains
is Eden-like in its

eagerness to end
badly.  Snow marks
the spot with a
wider shade of

pale.  Paw prints,
added for emphasis,
leave a trail that
leads to the cute

little girl dressed
in red.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I ate your precious
plums because I
was hungry.  End
of story (beginning

of digestion in
the early morning).
I had an appointment
downtown and needed

the calories in the
plums to propel
me there.  I wish
I could say I

was sorry, but the
calories were delicious.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Rest

The sheriff set
out armed only
with the wrong
end of a rope.

The weather held
its breath as if
advised to wait
and see.  Dirty

Dan danced inside
the saloon like
an inarticulate
acrobat.  The rest

is either history or
not worth mentioning.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Only beauty was
able to set her
body free from the
eye of the beholder.

Placing your name
in quotation marks
for self-protection is
a right implied

(though not specifically
guaranteed) in the Second
Amendment.  The
Second Amendment,

like all amendments,
is subject to amendment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


While existence is
being negotiated in
the maternity ward,
the dead open

their meeting with
an invocation:
"Let the forgetting
begin."  The

First Cause
is frozen in
place, first
place.  Those

who can't wait
wither on the vine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Id Est

She's with God
now, i.e. alone.
She finally knows
what she doesn't

know, i.e. everything.
I'm sorry I
wanted to kill
you last night.

It won't happen
again, i.e. it
will, but with
less fanfare.

I'm going out,
i.e. goodbye.

Monday, February 18, 2013


As the sky leaks
a drop at a time
from its container,
the vanishing point

vanishes, then
reappears disguised
as a half-hearted
belief in the

efficacy of concerted
effort.  A janitor
assigned the task
of sweeping up the

scattered bits of
broken laws resigns.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Two Ounces Of Prevention

To prevent a close 
friend from committing
suicide repeat any
word beginning with

the letter zero several
times in rapid succession.
Then invite the friend
to lunch, your treat.

This method works
so well that, in the
majority of cases,
the friend, whoever

she is, is happy for
the rest of her life.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Father

Schooled in the
rhetoric of risk
versus reward, I
watch a songbird

cough up blood
and almost lose
my footing.  My
father snored in

syllables no one
could translate
into an essay on
the importance of

deep sleep.  He died
one day at a time.

Friday, February 15, 2013


When desire can't
settle on a single
object, a city
springs up on the

banks of a wide
river.  Snipers are
deployed in the attics
to prevent the

spread of joy.
The dead are placed
underground where
they can more easily

locate the exits
from history.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


When something you had
wanted to sleep on
wakes you up, agreement
nods in the next room.

Do not be alarmed by
the dozen or so crows
lined up outside your
window.  They are

nothing more than
figments of midnight's
imagination.  Beauty
continues its never-ending

task of decaying in
the garden.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I mistook your
shadow for a
clandestine meeting
between two

contradictory mirrors.
I exchanged your
name for the
question "why".

Having resolved never
to call you again,
I left my memory
of you outside

to shiver
in the dark.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The line between
heavy impasto
and bas relief
is often a matter

of interpretation,
as is the line
between bas relief
and sculpture and

the even more interesting
line between sculpture
and the nude bodies
of the men and women

strolling at this very moment
through the sculpture garden.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Back Then

To be different
without having to
change was my
goal back then.

To stay the
same without
having to remain
seated is my

current goal.  To
believe strongly in
something without
having to be too

specific has always
been my goal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Sky

When the sky
becomes such a
huge responsibility
that you just

can't go on, sit
down on a park
bench and explain
life to yourself

in terms even
a five-year-old
child could
understand.  If

by some miracle
this works, don't move.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


One by one the
lightning bugs turn
out their lamps,
forcing dawn's

window to open.
A poet resolves
never to speak
again. He buries

his favorite word
in a small grave
outside town.  He
deposits a flower

on the grave each
morning at noon.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Either Way

Either it's a terrific
day for a picnic,
or you've ruined
my life.  Either

way, the way
seems dark and
peppered with
potholes.  That

girl we sent to
Catholic school to
study chastity has
returned with

handprints all
over her body.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Having turned the
adjective that described
it inside out, we
waited behind a

tree to see what
would happen.
You leaned your
head against my

high expectations
while we waited.
A bird sang its song
backwards.  We

were still waiting when
time dropped its anchor.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


A cookie happily
assumes the shape
of the instrument
used to cut it.

Man, created
in the image
of God, does
not.  He pulls

away from the
mirror and tosses
a grenade into
God's bedroom.

God blinks, then
causes himself again.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

After Beo Dao

Fish, embarrassed
by their anchors,
study the sky
from underwater

and dream of
flying.  A star,
turning out its
lamp, lies

down in the
dark.  An ostrick
buries its head
in the sand,

the inevitable.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Evening empties its
ashtray.  I seek
solitude in
numbers again,

confused (as usual)
by the beating
of my own
heart.  There

being nowhere
to go but away,
I refuse to leave.
Like the sun, I

have burned my
bridges behind me.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Almost Immediately

Noon times two
equals the sum
of its missing parts.
A student enters

the room on
tiptoe to avoid
waking the teacher.
A doctoral candidate

in math who has
buried a hatchet
in the skull of his
professor realizes

almost immediately that
he has made a mistake.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Stepping through dawn's
crevice, you come
across an object
in search of its

shadow.  Just when
it seems more can
be expected of
life, evening slams

shut its door.  The
sky drops a heavy
blanket over the
top half of the

earth.  A bird teaches
its song to swim.

Friday, February 1, 2013


A river flows
through your
room, carrying
the familiar

farther downstream.
The moon has
shrunk to the
size of a smile

in your dream.
Poetry is wounding
you in the usual
spots.  A rosebud

clenches its fist
in protest.