Sunday, December 20, 2009


THE BIG REVEAL


It’s no big deal.
You telegraphed it
way ahead of time.
It was your second cousin
with the suspicious moustache—check!
All masks have been stripped, all
pancake make-up left to sizzle
on the griddle of our worst intentions,
all oxygen sucked out of the thin air
where you pluck the fatted miracles
we’ve already accepted for slaughter.
What have you left to sell us?
That these are the ghosts of ourselves,
that we are ready to step outside them?

Sunday, December 13, 2009


MALFUNCTION


Data not available.
Warning: Tongue
may not be self-contained.
Systemic algorithm:
I’ve already said too much.

Forgive me, as I forgive myself
(Forgive me, that’s also an
embedded algorithm, we’re
still working out the bugs)

What you see is a blank
screen, what you must project
is your innermost…Oh, hell,
we’ve already got b-rolls of that!

Forgive me, as I forgive yourself
(Don’t turn the lights out just yet)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


LIMITED KINGDOM

To forestall the install,
to mark the stone’s length,
to count the tears left behind
as incremental mucilage
that make such
a monument possible…

We are ants tearing down
a hero’s lament.
We are a thousand blind feelers
versus the voice that breaks
but is still for rent.
We are the slow IV drip
of boulders into rubble.
We are the crown that
crumbles to the touch.
We are the last grasp…

Sunday, November 29, 2009




TRANSITORY


The night is filled with weak
and whispery electronic beeps,
the bells and whistles
of an invisible choir.
You get the feeling that
some vast, spider-veined hand
is out there, doing the tapping,
spinning the wheels, finessing
the messages out to those
that need to hear them.
You are not among the chosen
few at the moment, and so
to you, those notes are nothing
but the deranged white noise
of solitude, not quite ready
to let you in, to hear
the final translation…

Thursday, November 26, 2009


ORTHODOXY


My throat was stone
when I broke the words
when I broke bread with misgivings
and left them by the wayside
when I formulated the current
and predicted a devastating
flood of one. Leave me be.
I fulfill this empty backwash
I can’t swallow. I am an abandoned
project wallowing in bureaucracy.
I am a sign of the times, a shadow
slowly grading out. I am an ink blot
at the end of a contract never signed,
I am the half-finished condo tower
glinting in the tired sun…

Monday, November 23, 2009



THE TEXT…


flickers, certain as a serpent
yet lags behind the cold-blooded
slow boil of the sun; you may
extract the best test results
like a venomous lozenge
from beneath the tongue
you may say these jaws are open
and call this elixer compromise
but your smile is fixed
and rictus loves to meet itself
at the edges from which
it’s already run…

Friday, November 13, 2009


ASHEN WHIRLPOOL


A blind eye, flushing the icons
from our system, oh, the charcoaled
shadows, the blank window eclipse,
the black-out curtains, the half-painted
headlights that sent the enemy
down an alley full of sight
to the point where our own hands
could reach them…

Monday, November 2, 2009


BATH OF DREAMS


Nothing to worry about.
It’s all as it seems.
The snapshot composite
monolith is crumbling.
Your whispered razor blade
can slit the beast at the seams.
You can barely contain yourself
in the blood that’s begging
to be spilled. You can count
the steps before your lucky break
was broken…

Thursday, October 29, 2009


STARE DECISIS


is unbroken, and you couldn’t
look further away from the truth.
Your vacation starts now.
The stakes depend on where
you pin the poisoned-eyed
absolute. I see you gleaming
in last twilight, but it won’t get you
any fast tracks to kingdoms best
left unmentioned. You are a far cry
from common ground, as we stand
by that which has been decided,
and still, you can’t leave the rest behind….

Sunday, October 25, 2009


YOUR SCARECROW


casts a crooked shadow.
In the cracked muddy rivulets,
we used to tell time.
You are less than yourself
when you step outside.
The sun runs its’ purpose
and the shade chases fast
and every line you’ve drawn
can be crossed and erased
and forgotten, because
darkness just went past.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


AN EMPIRE OF LIBERTY
(for Tecumseh)


When ink can choke an open mouth
when nothing is left to be said
when the forest is ablaze
and the eyes are blackened
and the bullet is hot
and the spine is breaking
when nothing is left to be said
you say these words, “We shall
leave our bones upon them…”

Monday, October 12, 2009


LISTEN FOR ANNOUNCEMENT


The ears are peeled, the mind is blank,
the night is full of the digital
approximation of silence.
We are attending a ceremony
in our honor, but the invites
have been wiped clean.
Come to think of it,
all the labels from my clothing
were neatly snipped out
while I slept, and my driver’s license
now shows a picture of me
missing on a milk carton.
Come to think of it,
I can’t think of it,
and such forward-thinking
leaves me way behind the curve.
I count loose change, and try
to make small talk with strangers,
but then realize I’m not sure
of the language that’s supposed
to leave my lips…

Sunday, October 4, 2009


BLACK BOX


The first turned coins of dawn
gleam, a bird song flitters,
and the black box out my window
is slowly opening…

I am less than myself
and more than I want to be
as the edges spread,
and words fall in between…

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


THIS DARK IMPRINT…


doesn’t even leave the eyelid
before it’s categorized,
half a shuttered frame, at best,
out of focus, inconclusive,
you can barely call it evidence,
but still, a shadow has to live
with itself, and every grain
leaves bread crumbs behind
for every bird who ever pecked
at the order of the house next door…

Saturday, September 26, 2009


FLIP-SIDE

I never said that.
Let the transcript be struck
from the record that’s on
extended play…
Let the vinyl’s grease paint
be a lesson to you:
Show the face you proclaim
to the world, and then just
keep it spinning…

Monday, September 21, 2009


WAKE


In every dish left to dry on the rack,
in every idly spinning window fan
refracting the TV’s light, in every
whisper of a book’s pages or
dimming of the stereo, there is
a soft trilling, a touch of collective
cacophony dialed down a notch.
The storms of August have passed
for now. We hover, uncertain
in their wake…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


MUTE SIGNAL


A firefly was trapped
in the TV room tonight;
its’ lonely teletype
flickered fast dances
above the screen
as our eyes strained
to catch the sub-titles
and the rain stood outside,
waiting for the next downpour.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


AFTER/LIFE


The roiling black-ink cloud
consumes the moon and sky,
and I was laying on the beach
once, high, watching the sea gulls
peck at scraps, and realized,
“They’d be eating my eyes out,
if I were dead!”
I guess we’re not so alone, after all…

Monday, September 7, 2009


WHAT THE BUDDHA KNOWS…


that the stars go out
that the sky is a Crackerjack surprise
that caramel is the most fleeting
of elements, that our lips can open
like a wound that knows a good ending…

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


THE GOOD SENATOR BEESWAX…


proclaims it’s none of his
but that the honeycomb was so sweet
he could not help but gouge its’ sockets
his paws so steeped in treacle, how
could he refrain in good faith
from not lapping up
his talons’ misdirected nectar?
But that the bees, no, the bees
have a mind of their own…

Monday, August 31, 2009


THE HUNTER/GATHERER GOD SPEAKS…


Adopt a scorched earth policy.
Don’t mind me. See if I care.
I’m just telling you which way
the wind blows. Please keep
in touch. My verdant spear
is lagging these days. Oh well.
We’ll always have the harvest.
The husk of my divine visage
left behind to anoint the pilgrims’
feet before they cross the river.
I hate reruns…


Friday, August 28, 2009


CONTRACT


I think we live with the demon's maw
snapping at our coat-tails, and angels
loaning out wings to get us further
down the flight path. I think I just
wandered off the reservation, and you
might suggest a way back. I think
the blood of innocents makes a decent
disappearing ink, I think you left tracks
wherever you went, in the fine, pearly snow…

Thursday, August 27, 2009


THE BLIND


I can’t see what’s in front of me,
but I’m sure you’re all there.
The space between raindrops
constitutes a massacre.
It’s what I call, “a blind.”
A dark spot behind the eyes
and way past a prayer, it’s
both cataract and cure.
It’s where the story begins
and ends, it’s when you can’t
see what’s right in front of you
but you’re sure it’s all there…

Sunday, August 23, 2009


FRONT


Out my window are the sounds of war,
cacophonous explosions over the East River
and I wonder if NYC is under attack
at this late hour, but then lightening flashes
and the rain comes seething down
and I realize it’s just a storm front
blowing in, a furious story
to suddenly overtake us…

Sunday, August 16, 2009


SHAMWOW = FAKE DELIGHT


Shuck and jive, shock and awe,
take the bait and then look
at all the pretty lights.
The cripple looks down
the corridor, and wonders
how much he can absorb.
We are legless for convenience,
but that only increases our advance,
a soundless stampede. Our eyes
give us away, the prisoners’
leaden teletype that says,
“We are home, but that home
has been hollowed out from us.

Please let us stay…”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


NERVE VECTOR


I am the sum of my parts, and then some.
I am often called William, though that
is a misrepresentation, recalling
my essay, “Myth-Making on the Back Burner”
but we’ll save that lesson for another day.
I am less than I am, but more than you.
When we get close to the center,
I’ll make sure you pass through.
A needle-eyed hindsight
so certain it’s pure…

Sunday, August 9, 2009


LIP-SYNCHING TO GOD


….can lead to a very smite-able
contract dispute, where the dotted line
is dashed with dawn-of-time and all
attendant baggage, and the heavenly
choirs are talking trash behind your back
in perfect harmony, and you can count
all the angels you want on the head
of a pin, until the needle drops,
and you’re left standing,
mute and pure as milk, your only
line from an already minor production
suddenly excised….

Saturday, August 8, 2009


ADVANCED KINGS


…already put the kibosh
on the word-of-mouth,
and just when you were done
worshipping the end of the line.
Your allegiance spells dust.
You can’t say the first word
of forgiveness, the dead
are swept under the chalice,
but still, this is the realm
you’re most comfortable in?
Remind me why I’m blind…

Monday, August 3, 2009


MEET YOUR MAKER


Hello. You seem to be
holding up well. Are you
the worst for wear, do you need
any special mommy-coddling,
or a credit for a free dinner?
Look at you. You’re a bag of bones,
unformed, a bent fetal Hail Mary,
delicious. I’d name you Clay,
but that would be redundant.
Look at what you are
in my hands….

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The eyelids of god are always flipping burgers!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


What does this picture mean to you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Is this a vindication of blood-lust
or a properly celebrated holiday?

Monday, July 27, 2009


Is this man a shadow of his formal self?

Sunday, July 26, 2009



Is this a mirror taking a picture of itself?

Sunday, July 19, 2009


BRAZEN ARITHMETIC…


this writing on the wall
this syncopated second thought
this out-of-body full disclosure.
I have read between the lines
until I am blind, I have scoured
the text to vilify the sacred,
to make angels the default
button for destruction, but I can’t
break the code of the familiar,
the breath that catches,
the sustained silence, the coiled
look, I can’t find my way
out of here. I’ve written myself
into a corner.

Friday, July 17, 2009


A DAMNED AFFAIR


I will have nothing
to do with you, I expunge
you from the record. You
officially do not exist.
Pleased to meet you.
I see you come with your
own pre-commissioned
laugh track. Congratulations.
You’re one step ahead of me.
But I’ve already strangled
any potential blood donors,
so really, where does that
leave us?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I AM LIT…


by bourbon, by a back deck
to pace on in Brooklyn,
and by three candles
that survived the wind,
one of them guttering
in the Buddha’s plastic belly.

Friday, July 10, 2009


MARK


The black text has scorched its’ mark
and my brow folds closed like an ashen
Wednesday that never happened
and I am shunned by neighbors
and carny folk alike. I am left
to languish in moldering seaside resorts,
in penny arcades that have long since
run out of ammunition. I hide my eyes
from all that is not right before me.
To either side, shame builds a highway.

Friday, July 3, 2009


A PORNOGRAPHY OF ONE


There I stand, booze-soaked and blood-sodden,
wiping the brows of my betters and laying bets
on the weather, a fever dream of absolutes.
There I am, second-guessing myself
in a shotgun wedding of best intentions
and the slow, stuttering pause.
I am to love what a spear is
to the heart, I skip a beat,
deadened and transfixed,
I am the choir of silence,
I hold it in my fist, complete.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


DUBIOUS CLOAKS…


we wear, afraid our parents
will singe us. Bruised totems
stored beneath the skin’s surface.
The blood will rise, but who
will stand, and who will sit down?
There are tunnels that lead
to the end of your throat,
but it’s dark, and I’m afraid
to take them. I’m all for
full disclosure. You first…

Friday, June 26, 2009


WHAT CALLS


When night wraps long fingers
around the wet, budding dark,
when whole floods are reduced
to a single drop left dangling,
when tree branches and the haloed moon
conspire a rough crucifix against the sky,
when the howl you hear in the distance
is either human or canine, when it makes you
feel you’ve walked miles away from yourself,
and still have not left enough behind…

Sunday, June 21, 2009


WORKS


After a quick Spring rain storm,
late afternoon, the sky slate-grey,
the factory lit up angelic
in a single hymnal shaft,
the smokestack spewing
coils of pure white…

Friday, June 19, 2009


THE FRAIL CAGE


…of self split open:
Everyone wants a piece.
Like fresh fruit on the interstate,
like blood on the tracks
tracing its’ own DNA,
like the taste of old pennies
on the back of the tongue,
I expect a miracle in a salt lick,
a sword embedded in the stone
of “How do you do?”
I expect the king to be shorn
of his mane, and standing in
a line-up, to pass for me or you…

Sunday, June 14, 2009


PUBLIC DOMAIN


I was born under a bad sign
of the times, that has since
been disqualified, due to
contest rules, and had to be let go.
Portent’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I am now a free agent, under
no waiver or threat of merger,
the sum of my parts, a dominion of one.
I am the blank slate you write yourselves
upon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


GLIMPSE


Riding the train
late at night, full moon
chasing my shoulder,
the scalded streetlights
of empty parking lots
flash by, one after the other.

I catch a glimpse
of a pure white bed
I will never sleep in,
like an unstuffed memory,
like stitches in a prayer,
gone before I even knew
it was there…

Thursday, June 4, 2009


CALL


Imagine a world where we can
all read each other’s thoughts
on tiny slips of paper before
they’re dropped into a stream
and swept away….twitter.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


HIGH NOON @ WHITE CASTLE


Lay my hand upon the hand
that lays upon the hand that’s healing.
Mark me present and accounted for.
Put me down for a pregnant pause,
and a dose of downgraded wisdom teeth.
Give me Liberty, give me Death.
Give me the Lazy Susan of the Seven Hells.
I live vicariously through myself.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


MR. BRINK


Here, arguing with a
few pilgrims along the way,
I offered them thick words
that have never been spoken
yet may be our own worst enemy.

For reception, I received just
a rattling in the throats that
followed us out of the train station,
a mob on a bender who have foresworn
any further looks in the mirror.

I am alone among the tented
true believers, I am warmed
by the slow fuse of their blood.
I am besides myself, and willing
to put the rest in hock,

I’ve gone as far as I can.

Monday, May 18, 2009


BACK IN BROOKLYN…


The latticed chain-link casts its’ shadow
and the gods skip a shallow grave.
Zeus ran a moving business on 4th ave,
but never could get laid.
The swan died at the doorstep,
the traffic box clicks Stop & Go,
the street light’s a heart flutter filament,
and I’m nothing, a propped-up ghost
standing between two lands…

Sunday, May 17, 2009


PREDICTIVE SCRIPT


If you’re so smart, how come
you don’t just say it, my love,
my offal, my premature
transmission, my rapturous malady?

How come you don’t just say it,
a trench between the sentences,
the last place you wanted to dig?

How come I’m chasing myself,
when everyone else has left me?