Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Drunk on the roof-top
a praying mantis strikes
my shoulder—what luck!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Beautiful but cross-eyed
she walks by, wearing
a Jekyll and Hyde T-shirt

Monday, April 28, 2008


Pigeons peck between
cobblestones; I note
the dimming light

Sunday, April 27, 2008


AMERICANT


Well, I been through the desert on a horse
with no name, but I had to shoot it, and
strip off its’ haunches for dinner.
I didn’t really think that one through.
Now I’m sitting very still, and it’s good
to be out of the rain, but I’m dying of thirst.
I’d be the world’s perfect cannibal,
but there’s only me, and I don’t think
I love myself enough. My horse!
My kingdom of porn for another horse
with no name, but one with sufficient
papers to get me across the border.
Note to self: Take up horse breeding.
Also: Find a way to smite my enemies
using only a rusty thimble, the elastic
band from my sock, and a losing lottery ticket.
Wait! That meager dowry enables me
to open an account on Ebay!
I am vast, I contain multitudes—
and every one of you is up for deportation,
unless you listen very closely…

Saturday, April 26, 2008


REPULSE HYMN


We could start again, free from the pale gaze
of nostalgia or newsprint. But our nerve endings
can't stand the blank air, they glow like threaded
coal when released from the skin.

I will sing tonight as I heard the drowned
mistress sing, freed from any repetition
of remorse, a carol to the choir at arms,
a soldier with an innocent smudge
on his cheeks—Oh please! I’ve been waiting
to break through for weeks. Just let me speak…

Friday, April 25, 2008


ARTIFICE


I still worry that this arts 'n' crafts camp is just
a pretense, that I am its’ real exhibit, that simply
by counting, I am creating some soundless,
idiot-savant arithmetic that lulls the rest
of the world to sleep; their concerns eased
because my concerns seem so limited.

I solve the newsletter’s cross-word,
and suddenly, you’re slipped into a more
aerodynamically ordained grid,
satellite-friendly and free of questions.
You wince, and crush the single pamphlet
of orientation material---Apparently, you
were looking for a higher tax bracket bump.

I’m crawling the walls, I so want to whisper.
You tap the paper, and I receive the latest
tattoo to be beaten into song;
a death march, a jingle, a wedlock of breath
and formless function. But I’m done.
Close this heart, and hands, and eyes.
Wait to make up the next encoded sunrise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


LEGAL BRIEF

Perforce, subsiliquent

Perforce, ballowdahlia

Perforce, thukhalanigh

Perforce, indulfeckistan

Perforce, abborathon

Perforce, validaphrate

Perforce, anon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The neighbor's air-conditioner rattles
all night; I dream
of crickets

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Asleep in the wheat field
ears full
of a brown whispering

Monday, April 21, 2008


Petals stuck
in the lungs
of the withered river corpse

Sunday, April 20, 2008


BLANK TESTAMENT


Stars flicker, and the planets are steady.
Or is it the other way around?
You try to remember, staring up
at your own wedge of cold night sky,
crowded with a testament
you couldn’t begin to decipher.

It’s easier for you to imagine
an army of flesh-eating zombies
shambling down the hill-side
off the back deck, than the deer’s
pricked ear, or the quick-sulfured
eye-glimpse of the fox.

You go inside, take a piss, come back
and just like that, the stars are gone.
Out of the black now tumble
glistening lisps of snow,
like the stars had come unstrung
and were swarming down

gasping ashes desperate to tell you
the story that you missed, turning
a blank white as they hit the ground.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


CROWDED WORLD


We walked onto the beach, the glowering ache
of hang-over in our eyes. The dark, cold waters,
the seaweed spreading open its palms,
the long stretch of road leading out past marsh grass
to the farthest, wavering point of salt and sunlight
will always remind me of you, how we lost each other
to something we were sure was there, guessing
at its’ breath, like a net that would catch us.
We could have touched like two white, un-named animals.
But the crowded world found us instead.

Friday, April 18, 2008


RETOLD FEVER


I climb the stairs, breaking out in a fever, while above,
a lightening storm splits wide the sky with gashes
and quick incisions. I’m looking, and inside its’ rending
slits of white light, I see motion pictures, many of them,
all told in glimpses and whispers. I see John Wayne
lying on the ground with a blood-spattered groin,
the Indian holding up his severed penis as a totem.
I see Abraham Lincoln watching a view-master presentation
of the moon launch and saying, "There's not a free man
among them"
and then wondering, "Is my check in the mail yet?"
I see the the bottom screen crawl fall past, asking of no one,
“I love you...Where are you? I love you...Where are you?"
It’s an emergency. Please respond.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


LAST PRAYER


My apartment dark and still; only I make
the floor boards creak. The same wind
which cracks pines in Alabama rattles
my half-shut window. Sparrows shiver
on dawn-lit telephone wires--the first
rain in weeks. I am the bones
and skin of a single waking equation.
Answer me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


BARON MIND’S DANCE TIME


So, if the scandal ever hits the front page---
Yes, I kissed George Dubya, but he asked me first,
and God, he tasted awful!
But I just wanted to dance, and for that
I would plant my seed in Gandhi’s skull
just to see roadside weeds grow.
I would turn to Lucifer, say,
Pick up your fiddle, go back to Charlie Daniels
and give it one more go---I’d even listen
to that goddamn song again!
Gawd, give me the remote control!
I chiseled at the gaps in the best minds
of my generation until their synapses screamed,
More! More! Turn the channel!
Where’s the chips? Pass the salsa!
And get up and dance!
Man, I could really make them go…

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


RIDDLES
Static riddles the line
with indecipherable squawks
and hums, the empty-aired
ghost dance of some lost tribe
telling their story in furious,
crackling bursts, where
you have to read entirely between
the lines, while all I was calling
to say to you was, “I’m sorry.”
But I’m just not in the same place
I used to be.

Monday, April 14, 2008


APPLIANCE


On the forlorn formica counter is the old
muttered toaster, which choked out toast
grounded in such personal detail,
full of dirt, grubby roots and lost teeth,
that it became a presence in the kitchen itself,
a sharp-jawed repository of memory, willing
to come alive, while you remained still
and everything around you moved too quickly. Funny, the things our minds will latch on to.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


SIMPLE MATH


No, it’s like reverse psychology, but in reverse.

You’re not acting the opposite of what I’m saying

to make you become what I actually want you to be,

you’re actually becoming the opposite of what I am,
operating against both our best interests, thereby
creating a duplex-vortex (better real estate value)

where ample but affordable housing is made available

for every dissatisfied soul that ever gnashed

the watermelon rind of this realm, and wanted more.

It’s simple math. I’ll walk you through it.

I need you on board with this.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


SHADOW DOWN


I walk through sunlight that would welcome

even the most callous gallows-man, past the first

crocuses and lilies of the season, gathered
in eager garden pews, just unbending
their tender heads toward prayer.
I walk past the dormant up-thrust,
the quickening veins, sprung of the frame
I have so long tried to hammer down,
roofless in the rain under all this sunlight, uncertain where to set my shadow,
even now.

BLIND GAME


Who are we without conflict, but slaves

to the cesspool of habit? Like the scorpion
hoarding the last hot rock in the desert,
like the seedling growth gripped beneath
the shell, like a three-card monty game
full of singularly empty vessels, set by
the blind dealer to an endless carousal?

Thursday, April 10, 2008


SISYPHUS GETS A DAY JOB


In the old days, they would have called me
a paper-pusher, but now it’s only data; rows of shifting numbers and codes, weightless, mutable. It’s like an infinite ocean of light
I keep forcing through a spigot,
hour after hour, day after day.

But it’s OK. I get OT, full bennies,

and a little girl a few cubicles over
I’ve been putting the eye-fuck on.
It’s good to have a change
in your life, y’know? A new routine.

All things considered, I’ve never

felt so free.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


FORLORN


We are shadows leaking into the greater whole,
knife-thin mirrors spinning on a dime.
You can taste our emptiness, wafer-crisp and insidious.

We are gone, no spot can hold us for long,
like the memory of salt near the edge of a vast ocean.
And our own limits become the kind of time

you can tell our lives by.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


CONSTRUCTION


At the thick-misted East River dusk,
dogwood buds overhead just opening,
five high-rises across the way in Long Island City,
where there was once just one.

Old Megalopolis’ fresh crown,

uneven and thrust up.

Oh, his will is our will, to break

and unbreak, and never be done.

Just then, two birds trill back and forth
among the dogwoods. Another construction
set up, debriefed and sent running,
already making room for the next one.

Monday, April 7, 2008


THE WHISPER’S PICK

You intrigue me. In the ghost halls
of meaning, you strum a singular tune;
a blaring, redundant binary code
that roughly translates as,
“I have embraced myself.”
And so the circle is complete.
Love, a vacuum of containment
shared with no one. You seem
an ideal candidate. An overripe fruit,
plucked from a grove doomed
to re-zoning. We could fill you
with something so beyond yourself,
you wouldn’t know what you were missing.
You could stare at the stranger
in the mirror, and not even come up
with your mother’s maiden name.
You could become your own chalice,
the blade of our conscience,
wearing the same clothes, reborn.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


STITCHED RED CALLIGRAPHY


I am your accident.

Press your emblem-fist

into the soft wax of my chest.

I want to open

the lung-colored box,

to hear your secret talking,

to shift through the sulfurous

prairie of nerve endings

and bring back a message

that might have flared and died

back there---Can you hear it?

The signal, already decaying…

Saturday, April 5, 2008


JUBILATION DECREE


I already feel lighter tonight, transparent.
A wordless jubilation is pumping up through me
amidst the tumult. There is something to be said
for this. It is dizzying, champagne-hazy, like when I used to slip naked into my neighbor's swimming pool
at night, arching, breath-held, through the deep-silvered
waters--though I am receiving word that those
memories, too, have been declared forbidden.

Friday, April 4, 2008


ENHANCE


You know, it doesn’t look right.

You can’t even say it looks

remotely all right, can you?

My perforated iris just gave up
an over-stuffed clown car at 3 o’clock.

My lazy eye just let a number of things go. Seeing’s not believing, is it?
It’s a matter of bringing hi-def

into real life. It’s an enhancement program—

some of us may not be up for it.

Those tears you’re shedding right now?
They’ll be like bullets
once they say the word, Go!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


ALARM

I move through a place of bristling strangers,
each with their hands sharpened by neglect,
and still I can't reach the one I call you.
Each day is not a new beginning. It bursts forth,
contagious with the past.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


CUSP


Can the moon tell you the same thing twice?

Can you stand on the same patch of ground
and be the same man twice? The wild reeling creak of the tree trunk in the wind
sets my baby feet running, and the howling

stars take me as their own.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


UGLY AMERICAN


I never met a beheading I didn’t like,

or a blood-letting for a secondary cause
I couldn’t explain away.


It’s not my wallet, it’s my cousin’s.

It’s not my ass against the wall,

it’s a instructional diorama.
Take my wife, please!
Oh, wait, she was just stoned to death.
There’s bound to be a surcharge.

Where’s a Geneva Convention
when you need one?

You always smite the one you love…

Ga nite, everybody! I’ll be here all week…