Thursday, January 29, 2009


HELIX


I was once released;
the brace of fresh air was terrifying.
I once held hands with myself.
It was all I could do to let go.
The multi-tasking heart has not yet
been documented, but I foresee it
as an evolutionary inevitability.
What once bound us has come undone,
but that old caress had a razor’s
insistence behind it.
Come with me, as we trace
the shadow that crooked smile sent…

Sunday, January 25, 2009


CLOSE UP


My irradiated love interest has left
the sound stage, my dog has flashed
the paw signal for “Panic Room”
for the last time. He’s through digging
for lost isotopes, for the golden handshake
that burns at the touch. He’s got his biscuit,
and he’s done with it. It’s a matter of trust.
Now, he’s running toward the event horizon,
winking in and out of focus like a cheap
TV signal, gasping for reception,
just a little bit ahead of the rest of us…

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


CHALICE


We come here delirious with thirst.

All we ask is already too much, that

the poison be lifted from our lips

as bitter hymn, that the band

strikes up a little bit toward the end,
that the chalice is passed, and beginsits’ healing work, that we fill it as it fills us.
All we ask is already too much, all we drink

more than any could give, but still,

our thirst demands the cup…

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


EMPIRE OF SLEEP


Its’ shorelines are jagged,
its’ inlands smooth,
just like ours, but there,
the impressions make impressions
of themselves, and the leaders
are endless; the handshakes
and name-checking lasts forever.

There, knives draw milk,
and the pitchers pour sorrow.
There, they light up tent stakes
at dawn, and say goodbye
to the insect-winged shiver
of shelter’s promise.

There, they pitch funeral pyres
into the surf at a newborn’s
broken wailing, and consider
every alphabet sanitized
if it can get past, “Hello.”

There, a smile is like
the whale’s rib, curving
continuously downwards,
until its’ very weight
is the point of breaking

Monday, January 12, 2009


RECAST


Can’t you see the horse-drawn cart
before your eyes? How you traded
in your elders for some flash and pan?
Can’t you see you’re a stone’s throw
away from being recast as the first
stone ever thrown? That you’re
the missing link to the misanthropic isotope?
That the narrator constantly re-shuffles
the deck and starts again? Can’t you see,
my fine, neutered rebel, that you’re already
part of the bait and switch,
of this hollowed-out shell of a game?

Saturday, January 10, 2009


SLAVES


The slavish wantons are already claiming
that you’re a lost down payment
on what we hoped for,
that you’re already the sum
that’s less than its’ parts,
already a discard, a mask,
a skin better settled,
a gift that breaks apart.
The slavish wantons, with tongues
tied like rust-gummed railroad tracks
to a past they haven’t noticed is behind them.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


JOE THE DECIDER


I don’t live in a straight line.
You’ll never trace my scent.
The arc of history descends
wherever I says it does.
You’ll never take me alive.
I never said that.

I’m somewhere between
where the flame starts
and the seal is set.
Don’t give up.
You’ll forget me yet…

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


SPUTTERINGS


Has my tongue been registered
in the coming convergence?
Has its’ oscillations been properly
adjusted for? I keep hearing you
named in the wind, off in the distance,
howling like we were born to do.
I keep wanting to parse one second
from the next, stripping you down
to the barest signal, that teletype
between breaths, that lip
of a grin just abandoned,
that structure I wrote off
as unsound…

Thursday, January 1, 2009


DIAGNOSIS


I am willing to accept the diagnosis
of my most maladied doctor.
His pacemaker runs off low-grade
plutonium, he should be able
to hum a few bars, and keep a tune.

I am willing to accept scurvy
as an unforeseen side-effect,
and degradation to the outer hull,
that social niceties are the first to go.
I’m willing to accept that.

I am willing to accept that I’m less
than completely on message,
that escape clauses only have room
for one, that this sickness
can’t be wished away.

I am willing to accept that
as I’m tied to the mast,
plunging into storms that only
know my name, I will be the last
one left speaking it…