Sunday, December 28, 2008


POTENTATE


You called me the golden calf
but I ended up with a silver tongue
where the knife has started
that’s where I’ve begun
no shortness of breath
no palpitations
this corpse immaculate
upon inspection
I speak no further than this body
and I need no further reach
I’m the bankrupt slaughter
every fear that’s ever slipped past
I hold the lease

Friday, December 26, 2008


BANKRUPT


I am the father of many skins;
I wear them duly, in the procession
they were meant to be seen in.

I can’t abide a wayward son,
stripped to his skivvies,
and guessing the capitol of Mexico.

I am a free-range thinker,
and it’s thirsty work out there.
I carry the goblet, you provide the rain.

I’m a miracle worker who’s lost
his devoted flock, I’ve gone bankrupt.
I am the father of many names…

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


TURBULENCE


You are beside yourself on the tarmac,
taking an illicit snapshot as evidence,
proof you should be at work, or home in bed,
anywhere but here, arguing
with a switch-bladed matriarch
about the very validity of a claim
to “the Friendly Skies.”

We’ve all been robbed.
Saint Peter’s in foreclosure.
We trace the tainted line
on the map closer and closer,
drawing our breath to match
the wagon trained limits,
till we get to the red scrawl
at its’ center, the arrow that points,
“You are here.”

You are beside yourself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


XENOPROBE


I erased that last phrase from
the official transcript; you might
want to keep track of that, it was done
in your honor. Though your tail wing’s on fire,
you’re coming in for a perfect landing,
courtesy of my immaculate muttering.
I’m sure you’ll understand when I say
you must be quarantined and kept
separate from the general populace.
You are the beginning of something
that can’t be said, a delirious silence
that starts now…

Thursday, December 18, 2008


SEMAPHORE


My arms are blind, but can’t you read them?
I have achieved Downward-Facing Spiral,
but all you do is lightly perspire and shrug it off,
like it’s none of your business, like your business
stretches out to the outer rings, where farmland
lays wisping in the limp breeze and the occasional
highway light winks on and off. I’m way past
that fly-over zone. I’m done. I’m coming
in for a landing, my arms spread open,
collecting bouquets of empty air…

Saturday, December 13, 2008


REENACTMENT


Marie Antoinette, re-headed, says,
“Let them eat yellowcake uranium!”
The Civil War re-enactors stumble about
blearily in the pre-dawn battlefield,
hoping for a second cup of coffee.
Nixon, being Nixon, pretends he’s Elvis
as he daydreams about robbing a bank.
A billboard in Brazil is torn down.
Someone in Hanoi wires the Paris Hilton.
The word “love” is tracked 4,638,000 times
in a single hour by the NSA.
Sleep is declared an Olympic sport;
dreams are disqualified.
I’m taking my position.
Are you with me on this?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


MONKEY OMEGA


The last monkey will not know
he’s a monkey. He will shoot himself
in the foot and count it as a blessing.
He’ll consider his tail a be-all and end-all,
a line in the sand that’s already been erased,
the last shell game played on a block
condemned to demolition.

The last monkey wouldn’t think twice
about shanking Darwin in the back.
He’s writing crib-notes in the prayer books,
selling his spine as a holy relic
on the street corner of his ancestors.
The last monkey wants nothing to do
with himself, just wants to jump through
some tired hoops, be done with it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


NOTHING HOLDS ME


The sky lashed tight
to bright-stitched stars,
a glittering skin that cups down.
Off in the distance, a late
clatter of geese calls.

We never know what holds us here.

My breath steams against the cold,
snaking away in grey-shoaled shards.
I pace back and forth on the back deck
and watch the sky grow darker,
the stars bright.

Nothing holds me here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


CONCEIT


Are we not men?


Far from it!

The milk of human kindness?


Excuse me, do you have a 10% off coupon?

The airports are full of detainees.

There’s a scratch ‘n’ sniff form
pertaining to their release.

Heaven has been violated.

The rest of you, just file through.

Nothing to see here…

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


FECUND


Don’t you hear it,
in the sea-shelled howling of night;
a single bloom unfolding in its’
flesh cup, a withering of tendrils,
a grazing of fingertips, a brush
like seaweed against the cheek,
a hush in the breath
of the oldest ocean?

Sunday, November 30, 2008


CHASM


Wine-jug moon, misted incandescent
through the twining strands of rain that want to pull me in one direction, then the next.
No Jesus, no Buddha out tonight
on cat’s feet, to lend a hand,

no scribbled scripture

to hold this skin together.


Oh Chasm, old friend,

you’ve found me again…

Saturday, November 29, 2008


PROFILE PIECE


This fever passes from one to the other
like a tainted bake sale.
This roadside attraction is now
an independent republic
with a banana-based economy
& me a tyrant worried my imported
tin plating will not pass inspection
& may contain trace elements of lead
which could endanger the very children
I swore to protect on this, the eve
of my blood-soaked inauguration,
where “allegiance” is now both
a state of mind, & an accessorized
cologne, & that down payment
on those dowager virgins is actually
none of your damn business---
Did I mention this interview is over?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


LIBERTY ASHES


…rolls by, emblazoned on a truck outside
my apartment window, right when I’m going to step
into the shower. Absolve, absolve me!
Of that grey-sheened dusting, parchment-thick.
Let me speak words that haven’t already been burnt.
There’s just a smudge left on your cheek,
in the last grasping rays of sunset---
Excuse me, do you mind? Can I reach?
I want to wipe it clean…

Friday, November 21, 2008


HIDES


We heap them upon us
to keep warm in cold months.
We ask them to lie with us
when we are dizzy and sick,
when the tented skins only
provide so much, a construction,
a place by the border we tilt
to trap the sun, a shadow
we harvest, an empty robe
for someone else to step into…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


MY THROAT DOES CATCH…


again and again
like a liar ahead of the mob,
like a workman ready to douse
the torch, like the repentant
leper willing to take back every touch.
I have everything ever owed me
in a pouch paper-thin and out of luck.
I am a stricken syllable. No,
I can still say even less…

Saturday, November 15, 2008


LATE NIGHT HYMN


The barrow-eyed windows of Brooklyn
look back blank at this point in the AM.
We’ve got nothing left to say to each other.
The moon is a broken tooth flying
off the sky’s jaw in eternal slow-mo,
some sort of clich├ęd fight scene
replayed over and over again.
Some tiny slight led to this,
and now the tides are set
in our blood, and the dreams
we sleep are bigger than any of us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


TURNCOAT


I’ve turned mine—have you turned yours?
The fuse in the bunker has been lit.
I am my own worst enemy—
and I refuse to exist.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


OPEN THROATS


A throat thrown open to sing--
A circus trampling the dust
of day-old post holes in their rush
to clear the next horizon.
I’m sorry. You may have
forged oxygen into a commodity,
out of thin air made even thinner,
you may have hard-wired the choir
down to the spine, but these breaths
we take are no longer stolen;
they are our own.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


SANCTIFY


Do I live by the altar
of water meeting water?
Do I die by the tide it makes?
Am I less if I don’t drink of it?
Am I more if I stand away?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


PRAYER


My lips can’t say it enough,
my arms can’t lift the air enough,
my eyes can’t strip-mall the nearest forest
to get the word out on the front page
fast enough---I pray that this new shore
breaking on boulders and shards can be ours,
that our thirsts can be answered, that we can
turn a page that leaves behind a blank testament,
that we can fill it, end the sentence, start another,
begin…

Saturday, November 1, 2008


INVENTORY


The owl finds his perch, and what other song
can I hear, but, “Who, who, who, who?”
And the trees splay dead-strangled fingers
to the sky, thwarted capillaries
drained white against the porch light,
as I pace back and forth, trying to measure
a shadow to its’ course.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


SHAMBOLIC


To walk upon seas that were once
oceans, oceans that were once
perforated pavement, pavement
that would crack upon impact
of a suspect dream.

To see it all before me
in shards, to see it all
like stars gleaming,
like the strip-tease
before the cops bust in.

To see it all, in the moment
before impact, breathing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


EXILES


I could take you out back and give you a whipping,
I could set fire to the postage stamp of our
long distance ancestors, I could claim no kin
in the frothy blood. I could erase everything
I’m about to say, I could say, “I’m penniless!
Redundant!” And you would still lay this key
to a forgotten kingdom upon my tainted brow…

Monday, October 13, 2008


NAPOLEON OF DUST


Oh, of course, the smudge
on the fine print wasn’t meant
as a sign of disrespect, or a misnomer
of your net worth, or a totem worth
building just for the burning in the back field.
Oh, that net isn’t even worth catching.
Oh, you have portfolios that will
sail you far, far away from this,
my bejeweled, beheaded prince…

Friday, October 10, 2008


ROOT CAUSE


Despite my drawn breath,
this moment still awaits us.
We are triggers left yawning,
pistols without punctuation marks,
diseases without causes.
I’m so far gone from where I started—

this close to the last word.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


ABSOLUTES


You can declare anything, can’t you?
Your thirst never falters in wine-dark seas.
There is a bureaucratic redundancy
in your wish list of tidily apocalyptic
end-days. Your story the last story,
to end all others, all storms, your word
alive only in the shroud of the last
innocent animal you skinned to keep
yourself warm.

Monday, September 29, 2008


LOVE LETTER


such hints with dollops
of cyanide have you spun
the threads of my tongue

Sunday, September 21, 2008


REPORT


There’s a report right here
that proves the frail elegy
of fireflies.

Fold it up, repent.
Reinvent bird song at dawn.

Let the sky close.
Let the sky close down.

Multitudes pulling
up stubborn roots that proclaim
they hold stuffed visages.

Sell the incision quick,
so that your name be doused
before the next dotted line.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


RUINS


Look---There’s Rome
in my ashtray! The photo
of a ruined coliseum
beneath the grey-shaled
dust of cigarette butts,
shifting & snuffed-out.
I’m like a slave, who bought
his freedom, smiling…

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


HOLY ACCIDENT


Torn breezes
settled air
an impact I can breathe
Crickets after a long rain
the leashes of a distant hurricane
briefly eased
& me left guessing
at the thrumming engine
that goes on beneath each breath

Monday, September 15, 2008


WE ALL KEEP TIME


this roadside is
a snake swallowing itself
and we are one

for lack of air and water
and light, for lack
of what is left

give forth a still born
who sings in a voice
of clear, untrodden underground

for the rest, I wrap around
me like a cheap hymn
we all keep time to

Thursday, September 11, 2008


INVERTED HYMNAL


I draw my dark ancestor
into a dance through
my own many mistakes

A cheap hymn we all
keep time clumsy fingered and
I come back to bite

A cheap hymn we all
are drowning and glad for it
rising off the dashboards

A cheap hymn
the hungry hunt and peck
A cheap hymn

When radios sing heaven

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


CONSTANT MAP


Map is what they
call your face
I remember a time
when we didn’t precode it
when the altars would break
upon your breath
when I was willing to be lost
on these broken shores
and not ask for any shard
to replace it….

Sunday, September 7, 2008


COLLECTIVE


Summer collapses upon itself
We hold up torches in protest of heat
The burning ember-ribbed monolith
The quiet cupping of the hive’s eye
The lightening bugs rim our scattered sight
We beat the ground in unison
A tide ferociously dry
We have lived past our hour
Now we are just a rattling
In the throats that follow

Thursday, September 4, 2008



TRAIN STATION, 1 AM


Oh, the scabrous humanity,
the hunt and peck, hungry
for an afterbirth. Faces
mutter to themselves,
study religious pamphlets,
Us and People magazines,
schedules and missed connections.

Between the thrumming
of trains coming and going,
a lone cricket chirps
amidst the trellised iron work.

Monday, September 1, 2008



JUNK


This world is so full of junk
our veins can’t open enough
to absorb it

Waiting at the station
a freight train pulls through
bells laboriously clanging
open-ended bed after bed
filled with grey, shaled
rubbish, from some other dream
hollowed out, made weightless
trundling the past past

As we look on
glaze-eyed, late night
waiting for our next connection

Sunday, August 31, 2008



DIAGRAM


Thirst follows no tunnels, no maps.
Thirst is a harrowed arithmetic, stuttered and freeze-framed.
Thirst is the snake swallowing itself

and we are the pilgrims shedding
a burnt offering, a chastened ember
to glow upon the bed of the tongue
and make stronger.

Thirst is the last word

gone up in flame, easy kindling.

Thirst is a release when nothing is left. Thirst is the dotted line
when you have no name to give.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


MOON

You offer a stream
through towering, misted
elm trees, a shaft
for me to lay my last dance in

All I can ask as I stumble
toward your bone-white light
is forgiveness

Monday, August 18, 2008


SELF-RELIANT PUNCH LINE


no you in fact are
the one where the monkey dreams
he is a monkey

Saturday, August 16, 2008


GOD’S AN INSECT


those starved and bug
eyed ferocious with neglect
who are we to make

Thursday, August 14, 2008


OLD SELL


A mosaic of shattered interfaces!
A being of pure appetite seeking its'
sutured center! A time we said
we were wasting; broken down
to seismic plates and the approximation
of a smile…a billboard, redundant,
leaving off the details of that last mile…

Monday, August 11, 2008


TOTEM-ON-A-STICK


Megalopolis lives inside me! I give forth
a still-born shaken by shame!!
I am a be-all of the end-all
that is currently wrapping up, I am an after-thought, a refrain.
I am everything in a cup I thought

I could drink, I’m empty.
I’m a city, start again…

Friday, August 8, 2008


BIBLE BLACK


by heart and flip through
these skin lisping pages oh
belief i am

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


IDENTITY THEFT


To catch the untrained race of our many personas,

our miraculous familiars, our parade of faces we shed
before the world like flaccid seed shells to begin again?

Monday, August 4, 2008


TOTEM EFFENDE


no problem saying
nothing with seeds split wide and
no you in fact are

Sunday, August 3, 2008


SQUALL


sputter fear paint me
red scurry my eyebrows up
to lightening rods

Thursday, July 31, 2008


PHOSPHOROUS HALO


humming my body
is humming my body is
humming cold angel

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


MIRROR


put out a silence

complete in its fullness
the
shadow of your last

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


ACCURSED TONGUE…


…always speaks its’ mind.
That’s part of the Money-Back Guarantee.
Do not taunt Accursed Tongue.
It’ll come back to bite you.
Do not try to second guess or use
reverse psychology on Accursed Tongue.
It’s up on the latest tricks.
Just sit still and bless your Maker
that Accursed Tongue doesn’t know
where you were born, cuz it would hunt
you down and burn you out from the roots,
motherfucker. Accursed Tongue
just wants to get along…

Monday, July 21, 2008


GERM OF MERCY


Tiny, imploded bloom.
Shrapneled petals.
Hands clasped asunder.
In our smiles are a
riotous extinction.
In our turning away, water
we cannot cross, though
our thirst for it saves us.
Your hand could be my hand,
but every palm opens empty.
What small mercy still
lends me something to say?