Saturday, May 31, 2008


SHELL GAME


Have you guessed my identity?
Of course not. I have ladled such hints
with dollops of cyanide.
Have you spun the threads of my eye net
to their logical conclusion? Of course not.
Such dramatic dividends are limited.
Have you seen me for who I am;
a smooth-faced fellow laying all his cards
on the table, just asking for the tell,
the reveal, the release?
Of course not. That’s my cover.
And who are you again?

Friday, May 30, 2008


TOTEM


This golden-flamed totem had to be
doused before he spoke; of another time,
an amoebaed past, one tendril to the next,
the smallest of touching, an uncertain
grope in a larger ocean, and there was no
talk of god, or gods, or anything,
just the busy, hard-wired communication
of filaments wavering in the currents,
who would think of nothing past
the blind brush of immediate contact.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008



“Greetings. I am Dr. Hayden Grace,
of the Wellspring Institute, and I’d like
to take you on an amazing journey
through the exciting field of bio-psychic
fusion technology to a radical new process
we’ve developed here, called…

CONVERGENCE.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


APPLY POMPEII DAILY!


The graven few might not have much to say,

stricken just short of the wanting urn, but
I can fill in the gaps missing in mid-translation,I alone speak for the dead, outcast to memory’s
scarred and buckled edge, I alone have gained
their confidences, the exclusive interview, even

as their mouths are paved mute.


Monday, May 26, 2008


PILGRIMAGE


From your lips to god’s ears,
just the barest, stripped whisper.
From your heartbeat to the gnashing,
oil-drunk reservoirs of want,
merely a metaphor that could lend
your walk across water an extra mile
or two, your miracles stuffed and bundled
into a couple of old steamer trunks,
your budget cruise built on a pyramid
scheme of endless savings.
You, a hollow pharaoh, barely able
to cough up a decent blight or wind,
skimming off the top, never ready
to come in for a landing.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


ROVE IN REPOSE


Because he looks in the mirror & sees
a perfectly groomed troubadour of love,
bringing forgiveness to all the land.
Because his meatloaf beats out
his severed neighbor’s recipe,
because the maggots are no longer
second-hand, because every map
is labeled, “Disaster” in every far corner
where we’ve already run out of ink,
because the money shot begat the cart
before the horse was flogged to death,
because he demurely crosses
his legs during art class & calls, “Break!”

Saturday, May 24, 2008


FOREGONE


When you gone walking
on that good ground that’s
been sold from underfoot,
when an eagerly gnawed root
is called your very own,
when you claim two shadows
at Customs when you only
had papers for one, when your
hunch-backed cousin wasn’t just
a ploy to get a distant family member
over the horizon, then you know
you’ve been sold out for a lot less
than the story adds up to.
Then you know you’re just change
passing between pockets.
Then your alibi can’t have
A Once Upon A Time.
Then in a word and you know it,
You’re fucked.
Just finish out the time-line.

Friday, May 23, 2008


PRESS, RELEASE


I brought my throat like a birthday present
to the off-ramp, my fervent wish, an end
to all collisions, colluded orbits, frictionless
get-togethers; no tail spin parties allowed.
Take the black quarries of my open mouth
and make your own headline,
or discharge it, octopus ink
in an ocean too dark to even notice.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


MAPS


Oh, to beat the grey matter tattoo,

past your run-on sentences

and awkward silences, down

to the scalpeled iris, the seed

of the word you wanted to say,

couldn’t say—Guess what?

It’s never been said. But

its’ cast-off husk is already

taking root.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


DOMAIN NAMELESS


My eyes are like tea steeped
in petty recriminations,
my tongue tastes like gunpowder,
my sweat a salt-bed to lay down in,
where the pronged ribcages
of the slaughtered herd still show,
my voice is an interview-by-knife-point,
my soul the carrion crow’s laughter.
I am well schooled in the ways
of our fathers…

Monday, May 19, 2008


FLICKER


The Chrysler Building, as seen
from the end of a suffused, sun-setting
boulevard in Queens, is a mirage.

The old woman, the smile
stitched on her face, her eyes
blind to cross lights, is a mirage.

Tell me what I see, then.
A late afternoon collapsing in on itself.
Me, a willing cripple,

bowing toward the river of quick renewal.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


CORRUPTION PSALM


Looking out the train window at sunset,
the sky-writing overhead just starting
to dissipate. The lazy smoke curly-cueing
into indistinct eternity helixes,
or lost DNA strains. They’re trying to say
something. They’re still words,
just the same.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


BREAKING SHORES


If the rain were a telegram
then I’d be talking to everyone
at once, all of us under

a singular, spreading touch,

as tires sluice, and cast-off

voices echo down slickened
night corridors, as
the desperate seek same,
and the quiet
keep their own company;

a litany of raindrops outside

their plain-framed windows,
a certain memory made uncertain, wavering, tide-like, breaking
and unbreaking, never

staying the same.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


IDENTITY DOCTOR


You’ve got nothing in your palm

but a hybrid abolishment witchcraft,

a flower bloom in reverse;

the seaming of lips, the erasure

of fingertips, magnolia blossoms

made blind to the sky.


This Spring time hypodermic,

a symphony you’d best euthanize

a lull to cash in on, again and again.

Rub a finger, start a fire.

God bless the combustion

at the heart of every engine.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Delicate amidst sharp
stones; winter feet
on summer ground

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Sparrows shiver
on telephone wires
the first rain in weeks

Monday, May 12, 2008


Resting in the cool shade
of a graveyard; car horns blare
past the iron fence

Sunday, May 11, 2008


TRANSCRIPT


The immutable few round up the check, split
the difference, shell-game our fates with dizzying
dispassion, set up road blocks and listening posts,
pay off the angels of our best intentions, detain
any second thoughts, flay our dirty dreams
for the last bit of stripped flesh,
solve the mystery of Mona Lisa’s smile,
leave an opening in every conversation for,
“I’m not really into that.” (pause) “But I’ve got
a second cousin I’d be willing to sell out.”

They thread the camel through the needle-hole,
free up certain schedules, massage the truth
till it’s lackluster and compliant, moaning,
“Shiatsu, mi amore!”
We are all made up of what we give away.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


MEMORY FIX


Do you mean to say that's even possible?
To fill in the missing pieces, to add caulking
to the dividing line of the misunderstood,
to rejigger all the missing fragments
like a cocktail mix on a flight that's
already going down for the count?
To add floatation devices to half-thought-out
rough landings, and to scribble me into margins
where I thought I was gone for good?
Call me a survivor in this scalded landscape;
I want a 12 month trial subscription
with an option to buy back my highest ideals.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


CITY LIMITS


Strange, how your blood corridors
match the sewer systems of this town.
How you can call every ebb and flow
in kindness and cruelty, how you’re
already sending back that complimentary gift,
how if you cleared your throat,
you would have nothing to say right now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The same wind which cracks
pines in Alabama rattles
my half-shut window

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


My apartment dark and still
only I make
the floor boards creak

Monday, May 5, 2008


Bread crumbs for sea-gulls—
they'd go for my eyes, too,
if I were dead!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


ALTARED


All of us bowed and hunched over
the cross-circuited altar, gathering cinders,
left with a trojan horse god-husk of a cause
running on the purest flop-sweat...
Okay, I admit it---it was such a rush!
Getting you that close to the fever-line
of believing! I had a bet running.
Five angels with a suicide pact
against a blood transfusion to open arms.
What are the odds?

Saturday, May 3, 2008


HOSTILE MEET


The elms, like stooped elders,
crowd the streetlight.
They’re all about tendriled benediction.
A face is forced in harsh relief.
It’s you, with a key, with a knife,
with an ointment for my knees
blown out during the last war
no one was told about.

I swallow the code entrusted to me.
I could slit throats with the shadows you make.
I’m waiting for your company, cuz
I can’t come apart.
A spore clutched in a fist, a loose thread.
You ring the bell. We’re about to start.

Friday, May 2, 2008


WITNESS PROTECTION


All eyes are on the hands that offer redemption.
All ears are tuned to the sluicing sound bite
wire-tap that proved I was somewhere else
when that revamped St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
went down. I am gut-shot and full of promises,
building the bridge to nowhere
off the sweat of my foreshortened brow.
I am offering a shelf life on my imagination,
a room with a view toward amnesia.
I’m already pulling up stakes, leaving town.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


SAVE THIS DANCE


I dust these old bones off. Forgive me the comfort.
Here’s me getting down to bubblegum pop,
at the dock that is adjacent to the yacht club inclusive
of everything ever listed in the American Dream.
I bobble and twirl, a dashboard avatar with its’ own agenda,
a spoiled flank steak, an Ebola of best intentions.
Oh, Ava Gardner, grassy knoll, magic bullet,
I’m still dancing. I’m the blind spot, the slight
that settles the score. Close your eyes.
Can’t you wait for what’s in store?