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.