Sunday, November 29, 2009

The potion.

Always in earnest
And in command.

--they look up to you,
And they wait for you.

What's to happen when you die and they empty your flask
On the field
Only to discover it was basically water?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

For prince.

Would a moon more impartial
Or bigger
Better represent us?

I mean, what's to become of
These heathen things we scattered here

And how about

Purple Rain?

Friday, November 27, 2009


Kill it with an arrow.
You'll reap the benefits
of the mess, for sure,
And less guilt

If not less culpability.


Man's got a stick of butter in the kitchen
He's liable to use it.

The fool's diet.

The swift correlation between that life and this...
See how the flailing continues long
After it has died.

It's as if it had--its ribbon stain already red
On the napkin,
Begging left to do.


The interrogation was sure to take hours,

And when it was finally over there was a cumulative
pool of cold water in the cup of the one's seat--
The inverse to the arid sere borne across the other's
Where answers blushed,
Startled each.

Monday, November 23, 2009


With rain comes good luck,

But it takes time to yield.

The severe shape of the rock
Takes ages
To mould.

Then there's the imagination:
Seasick, homeless and retrieving...

A watery pinch between the sky and familiar rot
It seizes, it lodges the believer.
In such desperation that no flourish of
fortune could prevail.

Good luck.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


The first person
Landed in a crater of eternity.

Up to that point there was no meaning.

It was a drawn blank bereft of golfballs and irony.

I bet he thought, to dance now is no riskier than to
Die now.

I might as well enjoy my Earth.


How mysterious it must all seem, too, once understood.


It's possible

This is the place.

I mean, it's the same color green.

The same basic shape that appears on the map,

And they have toucans and rivulets
And Natives.

Listen to the hush.
They speak English.

Look, similar sky.


Energy used to correspond to less
Compliant forms of energy.

There are now, for instance,
All four:
The bow,
The deed, the apology
And the smoothing touch of time.

There was a time when we thought
Ourselves lucky to get the apology--
A softer bounty to fall upon



Steam makes for a blurry

To patchy eyes.

I could have never guessed that
The lines on the trees

were drawn on in this lifetime.


Broke kids listening to an acapella
"The Nearness of You",
A fire barrel crowning on them, one of em
Getting sick by the bridge:

Dumb, dumb, dumb be dumb.

(once was a romantic skimming glances,
always listened to the words.)

But their incorrigible trombone shoves, it's as though
They'd been invited to lead a protest.

But the brass was bent and the light--

It wasn't low enough.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


If I have wasted these words I must do more than apologize,
Tending to them as orphans--
Disfigured from parents and
Way home.

It is essential that I be spared
And that the reader, in reading,

What has been made waste
Was made so by looming wane
No less seductive than wasteful.

The oath of the horatii.

Bend close

And bear these swords in the
Wounded imagination,

For it is they who touch the skin
The future
Has come


More honey, more honey now.

Nothing we share can be traced
Back to us.

You'll find no paper,
And would be only wasting your money
On a detective.

But go ahead, try.

Follow the wind trail of honey
And our particularities

As we are still unknown to one another
And would find your questions


We have basic palates,
And though unknown
Are not unknown to all we have selected
On the tongues.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The field

For Richard D. James

I am to ask the incessantness to heal me
as by simply enduring it has become

You already know me,
Moth-bitten me
And mine:

Waiting on a note from a scale to sound,

Not a melody--

We were born and lived and went caressingly without

But a coarse ripple stirs us,
Convinces us in our haggardback stooping that
The field is not Everything.

The echo rings.

For the great poet, Wilfred Owen

Let's be clear that this umbrage is the
Umbrage of warfare and deceit--

That all snipers shall not know and the dead will have died
After we've shaken hands and said to hell with it.

Let us, too, acknowledge them,
On this ferocious side of a desperate

On the grid of our beings and with
Loud blood across our hands

Let it be known of the solitary wisdom that waits to
Greet this policy.

The visit.

Is there no hope like our only stunned hope
And really
Could we differentiate
between it and

The familiar other

As were they varieties in a zoo...

Each having a skepticism,
A name in Latin.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The subject.

Raise your clanging pitchforks against the light of the fire.

It was set to evoke the hell
Of hell if you should fail--
For I am a breeding demon,
Fixed to love,
Sure as you are my throng,
You cultivation!
Fixed to hunt me down
When the moon and your elevated
Fires should search me
Destine me...


Unattributed photo of the portals to a Persian caravanserai (Iraqi 20th c.)

No one anticipates a secret.
They are mostly odorless,
Lethal if their husks are not found
--a woozy sensation occurs,
But after that, total darkness.

So you see why it is crucial that we search now,
For the surprises we know are the surprises
Which lead us


Friday, November 13, 2009


In a wonder, a bubble--
Marshalled out of an ungrowing,
Parented out of,
Districted in those,
(spray cans, no one)
Kept in close proximity of those, then
Left to modify on shit and blood
You're not welcome here


First only protruding, then
Actually walking on
Children's legs
--for it was a group of them,
Born in a silver instant
On a wall.

Quickly, and covered in slime,
They set about the miracle
Of fire.


How do you stop the beloved hand from stopping?

Do you ask it, caress it, or
Bribe it?

And how might you?

Do you start with the blood and bones--
Appeal to its heritage--
To whom do you write?

When it cannot be stopped do you appeal with equal force and persuasion

Do you hide?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The blank canvas.

I only want to be looked at
While there's time.

Spare nothing--not trees,
Not your labor force.

Spend money, devise a thing
Do what you have to do to make this happen.

Produce a perfect blank canvas reminiscent

Of those armless clocks tolling in your sleep,
That ferality of dancing oceans--
Had teachers not taught you
Would you know their Names?
Those faces between counted sheep whose features
You could not restore, nor even dream about.

How romantic it is to have and to hold

As it is not the substance in beauty that compels,
But the compulsion that we continue to look for it
Where so little lies open for us, and when
Our need exceeds the provisions of space.

Hearts stuck in caves.

The grass and silence disturbed,

The walk deeper and more disturbed
From where the warm light meets the trees is dis-

Each ocean, hearts stuck in caves and
Girls enslaved in other countries--
Other neighborhoods,
Have all been jostled awake
By the intrusive stir of the

In this, as if containable, pooling, swims Possibility and the
Cloaked shadow it carries
To disturb.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The nike of samothrace.

Sometime long ago when boys ruled us,
Grown-ups wore decorative laurels in their thinning hair,
And marble rose from every field,
Either born out on a servant's back or
Ripened up in the rain naturally--
Each white and gray crowning in the grass
Pealed for its hour.

Certainly there must have been observers,
people with no premeditated desire to remember or
Even see.

But they saw.

See now the way she lacks a head,

Those bygone, laureled witnesses could not have wagered to even expect
Such white and gray
Diminishing not her
But our apprehension.


The arms gave out,
though exception must be taken for Nature, as
Just prior to that

The bough, green and damp at the memorial curves,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Night music.

When the guests absconded,
The silverware they stole
Tolled in their pockets,
While the duty of ownership left one
And without regard to life
Or happiness
Joined another.

Long perspiring shadows crossed the neighbor's lawn
It was difficult to tell how many.

The horizon chord.

What trace of the universe will remain
In that horizon chord--
Orpheus forgotten,
Our favorite bands forgetten,
Our jeans turned back into dust?

Who will rifle through the crates,
Find all that we left--
Or at least some?

Who will play the other side and notice in the straying black scratches that
We loved it nearly as much as

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Some people wait their whole lives
To be believed.

They're not incredulous,
--follow them.

Look carefully.

From a distance they look like insects.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To shelter.

It is so late right now that the sun is threatening to come up against the will of the hour.

To shelter! White arrows
And not stars beyond,
Report down.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

untitled plea.

My L-rd I'm sorry--
I'm tired and fail to deserve to say so
At your feet.

This wine,
I used it to divine my oath
To reprimand myself from disuse and

How awake I must seem to the others,
Though I sleep standing up.

How awake my soul to reprimand,
Though I sleep standing up.

(Tell me, though I do not deserve it, how I must have been desperate,
the garlanding wind and rain pushing in the windows--
I was looking for You.)