some of those reasons

because you overcame the razor
because you armed yourself for war
because you cannot take misfortune
because next to you, Helen is a toad
because I can't be dipped into the Styx
because my heart is neither steel nor gas
because the crypt does not rattle
because the haze has not faded
because we have not had a drink
because you touched my spirit
because of derby hats
because you are a gem and not a metal
because I believe in genies
because you ask why
because you need the recipe
because your smile gleams through late summer and burns and quakes with such a mighty force that it leaves me in the rhythms of aftershock
because I can't see us in the mirror
because the room is full
because it's somehow empty
because you look so evil but
because I know you're not
because I take things too seriously
because I don't know if you do too
because I want to feel something
because you need more
because I trespassed into the realm of possibility and fantasy and I was ensnared in quicksand as they jabbed spears into my skull and I am trying to nurse my wounds
because of what we are
because of what we aren't


Something in the way you crawl
across my lap and tell me that
you want to kiss me
brings me sadness

I whisper in your trembling ear
a secret that must be revealed
regarding your sweet lips
and my refusal

I take a number, stand in line
become the soldier lost in time
for none who treat my love
as though a plaything

The ragdoll you are clinging to
will try now to abandon you
as snow blows in
from out of town

Trust me when I whisper close
that you are better than the ghost
I think you know where
I am standing


You summoned me into your hall
Acting useless as you bawled
But little one, you are no fountain

Preaching in your happy way
I know you tried but failed to save
The mist and smoke atop my mountain

The Occident is squirming at your feet
The rivers run in slivers of deceit

Strangling from the shrinking light
You press me deep inside your flight
I nod my hammer in your direction

You ask me for some other way
To sell your servants' waiting pay
And then you seek my own protection

Disoriented dreamers break their snore
You lost the right to knock upon my door


not into the whole
preservation of image
have nothing to lose?
then chisel your name
into the side of the road
after they put down
some new blacktop:
someone might
remember you


I took your cottage into waiting palms
I held your mother high with my hosannas
I lifted you into my raft of psalms
And sang for you, my sweet Shoshanna

Yes, I sing for only you, my sweet Shoshanna

But then the clouds of Calvary came pounding
But then you swung my lyre by its chord
I swear I heard on rocks your laugh resounding
You brandished your forgiveness like a sword

Yes, you brandished your forgiveness like some sword

night watcher

Tip the scales and you might find
that streaming in your unborn mind
is the nascent calming truth
that sages seek and scholars soothe;
digest your pain and swallow fear
before you find your life is near
or coming to its terminus
where angels hang in empty dust

and then I'd tell you,
much estranged,
that both of us still look the same

clip my wings

I wish she'd come unloosened
(from her clothes?)
Well yes, that too

Stripping bare our feelings
Burning draft cards
Manhattan rations and
everything going right

I just want to
make her


Two sexless, dreamless
seamless forms
Curling across the sky
their perfume
in the moonlight

I stand in awe


It was some robotic sound shouting blandly through the atmosphere
a cataclysm, cavalcade muddled in unwholesome formation
here the inflection rise and fall with bleeps and static
overload! the senses break, imperfect pitch-and-tone

Do we remember?
dead men swinging in the Mississippi breeze
wanting freedom rights privilege

Do we remember?
marches trumpets folkies all in Washington
MLK and Malcolm and the civil rights-unrest

Teenage body dumped on sewer grate
young blood trickling into gutter
wailing mother and the clacking
of assault

Do we remember?
backpack dumped stand up for self
strumming anger into the back alley
stripped of life

Do we remember?
unpeeled face double-struck in side
punctured screaming hunted drained
robbed, stolen

and so
we must
press on


A delicate leaf
trembling, autumnal
splashing goldenrod
on asphalt canvas

The lilac wilts
strings unbundled
even castles
shall erode:

I envy her
for the view
outside her frosted
window pane

Poor Taste

My misanthropy blooms eternal
Be it the grating harpy's laugh,
The crowing of the small-minded drunks,
The braying of the dandies,
The loose-jowled smirks of professors,
The nose-ring faux rebellion of the street rat,
The lamppost leaning of the leather baron,
The wagging tongue of the drab eunuch,
The high fashion warbling of the governess,
The stone fists of the ironclad avenger,
The waking numbness of the spinning sycophant,
The all-too-pretty clones who populate modern brothels,
The gold-toothed pimps who dial wrong numbers,
The dripping acid of the indignant lyricist,
The cackling volunteer and her whiny libretto,
Or the pompous poet with his pen...

This is actually a true story

I was a ballet dancer
in the days of my youth
doing strange arrangements
but with clumsy feet

I blame Paul McCartney


Have you ever
kissed the barrel
of a gun?

How did she

Border wars

Her tresses sit in exile
I, in standing ovation
We both held ourselves
And pressed on in harder
Times than this.

A streak of lipstick runs
Along the edge of glasses
And she proudly smirks
And gently presses her
Fingertips into mine.

Only in this prison
Could I be free


If you lean in close enough
to see the flame turn wax
to sparkling, dancing liquid

If you watch a single bead
roll and curl along its side
until resting at the base

If you feel the sway of
the flame with every
pressing inhalation

If you hear the tiny
crackle of the air
turning into smoke

If you taste the warmth
and swish it with your
tongue and bask in it

Only then
could we
be lovers

Line them up

There were twelve men kneeling,
their hands above their head,
the smell of sweat and terror
steaming off their necks
in the hissing summer air.

One leather hand, professional,
reassembled its weapon
and slid along the side
of the divine steel
of his only lover.

They were all boys, eighteen,
some had never learned to dance,
many were still virgins,
and all were in terror but
could fake composure.

What can one say?
There are no words appropriate
for those who decompose
in ditches dug by wiry slaves
on grey barbed wire days.


It would have never worked out anyway
She was a Bonapartist
I, a Bourbon
Our parents, both Jacobin
A Thermidor uncle or two
A cousin's cousin of Robespierre
And a pair of siblings
in support of the Directory

C'est la vie


There were things I should tell you before you accept my invite
things that I've seen that no man should ever suffer
places & crumbling edifice & luxury corruption
terrible weeping sights and strange abuse
cigarette burns on air pockets of disaster
thrashed branches & broken limb morals
turning madly swinging in the afternoon

I saw a generation brain-washed and dumfounded
broken sunglasses consumer products
fearing God but losing self-imagination
standing on the edge brink of civilization
forgotten buried under roses history a myth
breathing butterflies and mapping destiny
gorgeous drenched in the hot solar rays

I saw an old nasty man with two gray mouse ears riding carriage
down dirty wet new-asphalt road, blown onto trail
stimulus package builder parking permit brokerage
stringing broken unhappy Christmas lights in July
cloggy iron boots ravaging the morning grass
cementing their illiteracy and slaking trepidation

I saw a young aristocrat blow his brains into heaven dharma
unquestioning his blushed bright face & screaming
devil's delight the untruth of trauma packets of lust
swiveling his feet & remarking on the last steamboat
sure took the piss out of it

I saw two children dancing quietly in the broken glass yard
swinging with their fists at the pulpy face of warning
taking heed pressing doorbells & basking original
strapping their houses with ammunition skipping
telling the tallest trees they are not on the level

I saw an ocean commanding the seamen of its bosom
entreating their survival casting them far aside
humpback whales giggling moaning mourning
the damp salty morning greeting way-worn
nobody with lovers' parting kiss

I saw the sinking mindful beam of daylight breaking
chastising & surrendering to the green dragoon
touching caressing needling & superimposing
triage & travesty & shrill tongues harping

And I saw the last living monarch swell with pride
capsizing into smirking murky mendacity
last of a thoughtless moment in thoughtless
history though really digital half-age is not
so bad

[ex] plosives

There he was on the street looking like some skeletal
mangy dog with his gavel mustache his hunger
eyes his topographical squeamishness & canyons
in wrinkles on the face

He kicked shoes into the hot sun breeze of the morning
whooping clapping with his dirty fingers on the
train last on the line honking as the Beatles
played on an iPod with only three minutes left
to go

Police officer chewing bagel on the day off stream of strangers
sitting next to smells-like-fish coated dingy drawer
half-boat wrinkled old mess like a trash can alley
cat in mewing in the dungeons of vapid new moons
he capped the tip of his cane with only two minutes left
to go

Stravinsky is the sound of utter implosion madness war Thermidore
councils revolution Directors guillotine reactionary culled
from happy dreaming stakes where the numb shall grow
their gardens grinning truth with one damn minute left
to go

Spittle squirming trickling tumbling into his body lap
hot warm gooey and the rats nibble on corpses with ash
red black every car evaporated screams turning flesh to
black stumps shadows watching unmaking clouds pouring
gas flash boom bang mushroom and the half-muted
stumbling nearly-dead not-yet-eviscerated moaning
in the god-forsaken grey ash and there is nowhere left
to go

this is what you thought it wasn't

Look man you knew she loved you took your heart and painted
pictures had a tapestry stitched statues erected what more could
any man need? but you fear being tied down fear goodness fear
women fear true power fear the promises of monogamy want
more more more tired of stale unself meaningless meandering
lost paradise but can't tell your asshole from all the others put
in a line and taken out back shot with voodoo doll strangling
life death black white how could you do that how could you
do that


I saw her within a sea of fakes & self-indulgent clones,
carbon copy self-examination with their bug-eyed
sunglasses & ropy sandals & garnished day wages
tattered clothing & labors of Hercules pressed into
massive print by the tyrant who spoke with slithering
little turns of phrase, his face emblazoned on coins
& his health in the care of the aristocracy

I saw her dancing in the mid-afternoon as the rain came down
crashing across my skull & chest & disembodied legs
& the legislature demanded that we take our bags
& she, with her bright red raincoat & twitter
a laugh like locomotion where she lost herself
with no apprehension or sulking

I saw her taking the two men's eyes & cornering them naked
white beads of numbing flesh needing seeking stripes
basted & wam-bam-breaking in the dead gray sky
washing & welcoming her halo as their beacon
night light & watchtower & arctic rambunctiousness

I saw her take Rimbaud & Whitman & Ginsberg & Verlaine
ruffling the books in the dead wet breeze mould &
spirits spluttering & she looked & stamped feet
her bright blue heels taking turns kicking & glapping
gl-gl-glap in the tasseled in-between-class-time
she stuttered with her feet to light the way

I saw her parting seas, vast oceans & cosmos & vivacity
her blood running in the cold damp dream air
with she & me alone in all the swirling chaos of it
all & she took my tongue painting & said "This is
good, that the sky is mournful & the spirit is dead
& you sit here writing this as your pages turn to pulp
& your heart turns into a diamond & your mind rusts"

I saw her tapping out a melody & humming a rhythm with trash cans
talking backwards & addressing envelopes & letting me touch
her mind with strings of half-thought & for that was I grateful
answer being no, not ever, nor should I expect her rationale
her philosophy & melting candles dimming in the torrent

I saw her take the clouds & swish with them, tsk-tsking their trouble
permeating rainbows & umbrellas with her formless wonder
streaking along the open courtyard & traipsing along the way
& throughout it all I wept & trembled & knew I would never
see her again as the tides of formlessness swallowed her whole


I'm trapped
between the
ocean and
her harbor

My sail
and finds
the winds
of comfort


Strangers barking in the ear
of anger and the second year that
only speaks to those who hold
their flowers

You are the one who cannot be
reminded who is lost at sea and
learned the truth is meant for

The people we hold to the sky
who let us know the day we die have
left us for the promise we

The angels of the luncheon room
who sweep their life with broom and pan
lift their skirts and taste the life
worth living

Tomorrow sparkles on the tongue
that latches to the ladder rung and
swings across the clouds and lifts
your mattress

Sister Lily

Don't tell me that you're looking for
the mat you leave at the door
the only sign of this,
some form of shelter

I paid for it with my own blood
as rainfall turned the ash to mud
and you stabbed me in the chest
and begged to suffer

There is no word for your life except for torture
You're just some fast enduring form of torture

You wonder why the men you know
treat you with a manner low
as you sit and curl
in their possession

Your face is frozen, lost in time
within your gaze I cannot find
the simplest trace
of some discretion

Those who listen close hear devilish laughter
Your tears are mingled in with devilish laughter

Placing blame is what you do
upon the ones who stole from you
the grave where lay
forgotten lovers

But you have laid upon the grave
serving him as though a slave
defiling holy grounds
just to recover

There is the smell of graveyards from the corner
You're just some foul-mouthed trifle in the corner


twelve balloons
floating to heaven
have more meaning
than a thousand
old books


I would
like to
curl and
the sky
and then
the sea

unrhymed couplets are a bum deal

Oh you know that I needed to be around you
because I am a thief of radiance

But then I learned that you are filled
with exuberance and some inner glow

I circle my life with rings of paint
to signal where you should land

I have found myself completed
some artist's masterpiece

And then when I compare my happiness
to the illumination that always dawns

I wish to, in that full-faced grin and eye-roll
lose and find my mind and self

But that's okay, for we can define
"to give," the infinitive

the catastrophe (or, how I bought the very last Stretch Armstrong in Baltimore)

stuck-up travelers-by-trade tell of a distant land
where all the people are bright orange
and their tongues explode with treacherous
half-truths that are baking in the warm
diseased mind of the salvation army

dunno about all that, but his friends
call him shaggy

Bumping in the turntable

I hear you
I hear you
I - - - - you
I you hear
h e a r
you you you

what I learned last May

i can't see through
your frosted glass
that houses your
brew of secrets

this is
my fault

some wednesday night

i am trickling through headlights
thundering through stop signs
smirking in the face of rattling windows
and "really i didn't know"
to the official red and blue lights

i am suffocating under the weight of
all the strung-up lights and music
taking from me my eyes
and pulling tusks from elephants
who needs the details?

it's just thirty-one dollars

The makings of government

Shall we liberate
Or deliberate?


We sit and imagine on quiet afternoons
while others bark for festivities
and wonder why the world is fading
and how disconnected the mainline
has become

I want to tell her that I love her
that rushing through the bloody streets
as soldiers march in civil unrest
and barricades are battered on the shore
as the specter of gloom and death itself
comes for Don Juan and demands that
in the Face of Eternity and All That Is
he renounce his sins,
like he,
in sin,
I would refuse

Let me tell you what I know of eternity:
the cosmos come unbundled
stars go black and decay in time
photographs curl and yellow
even gods and goddesses die
tombstones crumble
memory rusts
energy will be splayed upon the
shadows of the spectral
unmaking spirit of entropy
when everything collapses
life, as such, lies uneternal
quivering and quaking in the multitude
temporary and cycling throughout all
the wide wake of waves
collapsing in ripples
as the water draws too high
and as I splash against the canvas
of temperamental temporal claws
I become temporary
bound by time
and made unmade
potential shall lay in all direction
and the cat inside Schrödinger's box
is both alive and dead
but I am a particle
not a wave
for I have been observed

Maybe I'm Drinking

My gypsy girl sits in her shadows
Hounds are growling at the stars
I lift a bottle and remind her
That we both drive borrowed cars

A velvet glove of mortal power
Transient in the face divine
Shoved on top of slender hands
Grappling with uneven minds

Stick my fingers in the face of
All you knew of trinity
Suck my life into the drainpipe
Of complete serenity

The dwindling spirit of a nightmare arabesque, sung in the key of E and accompanied by acoustic guitar

Inside the rim of spectacle
underneath the rusted chairs
we traversed through emporiums
I thought I saw you there

But I don't think
that was you

Heartfelt Portrait of the Serious Artist

Mr. Valentino is a very serious writer
Who writes very serious stories
He considers every word
Touching them gently
With the thumb that has been
Stuck so very far
Up his ass

Mr. Valentino is a generous man
Who gives generous sums
To all the women
Whom he knows
But the problem is that
He only knows

On his early morning streetwalk route
The grateful sewers straddling dawn
The noble Valentino laughs
And touches his marble cane
Rapping the peasants
Who sleep in the
Dusty street

He takes his lunch to the grey courthouse
Shaking appendages at angry law
Standing next to Roman columns
Breathing fog into the afternoon
White snow crunches under his
Salami and rye and
He cackles

Although he goes to the opera house
He falls asleep in the first act
Don Giovanni cannot hold his eyes
From plunging into misty death
And so he seduces misery
And makes it his companion
In wild lust

Madness seeps from his snoring tongue
He tames relentless death and tombs
Only pomposity and pretense
Survive the sands of all remembrance
Stinking from the pyramids
Embalmed in fine repair
Touching, no?

Charlie Was an Astronaut

Charlie was an astronaut
He sailed across the stars
He'd skate the rings of Jupiter
He loved to visit Mars

His suit was made of rubber
His helmet glowed bright blue
He only breathed pure neon
He loved to play kazoo

The planet that he came from
Was called Jklsipholame
Only one small Earthling
Could even say its name

He landed in a valley
And walked onto the street
His skin was green and orange
He had eleven feet

When Charlie held his hands up
(Though they really were like claws)
He could grab a distant star
(But always with good cause)

And so he met a little boy
His name was Johnny Chip
And told him that he needed help
To fix his broken ship

Well, Johnny was no astronaut
He had never been past Earth
He couldn't fix a hyperdrive
But he knew well his worth

He said big old Charlie
Who stood some nine feet tall,
"Come and stay at my mom's home
Until your planet calls"

Charlie took the boy's hand
Careful not to cut or slice
They sang a song together
From the planet of Quibrice

When Charlie used the television
To call his secret base
His helmet came unclouded
And Johnny saw his face

His seven eyes were teary
His nose was spiked and flat
He had a pair of mouthy grins
He was neither thin nor fat

Just as Johnny saw his face
The helmet went aglow
For Charlie could not bear the boy
To see him in sorrow

The officer he had called
Said in an angry voice
He would not send spare parts
So Charlie had a choice

It was about this time
When Johnny's mother learned
About the hidden astronaut
And soon she was concerned

When Charlie and she talked
He knew he had to go
Johnny tried to argue
But knew it would be so

Charlie was an astronaut
He'd sail into the stars
Upon a NASA shuttle
And then he'd float to Mars

Johnny watched in silence
And knew this was the end
As Charlie waved goodbye
And said to his brave friend:

"Of all the people I have met
On planets far and true
I have but one friend of mine
Of course, that would be you

Now please don't cry, little one
And don't you make a fuss
Don't cause trouble for your mom
And don't you hiss or cuss"

And then he did a miracle
Plucking from the night
A sparkling little handful
That twinkled with starlight

He handed them to Johnny
To put them on his wall
To remind him to act bravely
Always standing tall

As long as Johnny had them
These twinkling little stars
Charlie could still see him
Even from afar

The launch went as expected
And Charlie zoomed and flew
With a NASA rocket
And his helmet glowing blue

Many years would pass
And John was seventeen
He took those stupid stars
And tossed them as he cleaned

When Charlie looked for Johnny
He cried his neon tears
But who could really blame him
After all these years?

Charlie was an astronaut
No longer sailing stars
He lost his only friend to age
Stuck on dusty Mars


Take me out of
your leaf fortress
I have no use
for paper jewels

Your rhombus heartache
and paperback promise
Are not conducting
proper electricity

Smuggling little bits
of fire in your pants
You had better turn back
and splash into your nest










Dawn Song of the Last Living Red-breasted American Robin

Tweet, tweet tu-twitter tweet
The waking Illinois breeze
sinking in the jubilation that
bursts across the clouded
shrouded disc where the
morning comes unbundled
woven into the golden acres
swaying, hissing and soothing

Twah-tu-tweet, twit-tu-twah
The shaking strings of marionettes
those eagles parting kisses to the
horizon, their feathers weeping
in the rolling warmth of daylight
twinkling and dripping all around
as pastel mice scurry into the mud
pressing their feet in tiny circles
to escape their fear of death

Tw-twu, twe-tu-twee, twah-tu-twah-tu-tweet
The blossom opens, virginal
knowing not the touch of God
though her petals moistly cling
to the sweetened, humming air
her emerald stem bends and aches
she touches her neck to her brother
calling to the soldier drone to place
his feet gently on her waiting breast

Two small footprints line the road
laughing and delighting as night dies
mingling together as their master
wanders into the hopeless streams
of passing time and its cruel glory

Exhibit 225: Holy Week

Imagine that there is nothing
Beyond what you can see
There are no spirits hanging
Underneath the willow tree
Confusion and creation
Are the compliments of life
There is no other sensation
Than the coil of mortal strife

My love is swinging wildly
She is naked as a meadowlark
She waves her arms for me to join
But the skyline has gone dark
There is a trumpet blowing
The stone is left unturned
My mind has begun racing
Recollecting all that I've learned

But who is splitting firewood
Preparing for my funeral pyre?
There are platters clinging loudly
And I can hear a distant lyre
My dirty hair has been parted
They are marching up and down
I see them weaving briars there
Into the twisted form of a crown

I call down rain and thunder
I split the sky and turn it black
There is a sense of breathless wonder
And I know there is no turning back
Precious moments are tumbling
Underneath the waterfall
I cry so none can hear me
It was a vision that I saw

I sit inside the museum
Looking out of mirrored glass
There are strangers all around me
I am seated on a gray jackass
Imagine you can see nothing
Except your reflected face
Then you know why I'm demented
I've gone so mad in this place

Fortune, Torsion

Nothing in the world of saints is worthy to be touched
Nothing in my heartfelt horror is without its crutch
Nothing that you say to me will bury its own grave
Nothing ever sprinkled here can spirits ever save

I blame the clay aristocrats for sculpting my retreat
They engineered my Waterloo, my quiet blue defeat
My crime, they said, was amplitude, corruption of the soul
I know that they are envious of my resurgent role

Hunger is the sin of dukes who tell the world to bow
I wish to cast them into hell, alas I know not how
The scepter handed to me by the people who are free
Has broken all your barricades and halted my own knee

You tell me that you know a pope who hates my subtle groan
I'd respond he is my slave, that I command his humble throne
I had to melt his holy crown, that bold historic golden calf
I see republics slouch and rot as prefects gloat and laugh

Nothing in the riverbed is meant to finance memory
Nothing in the bloody streets can ever garner much pity
Nothing in the smoke of rifles can distort my waiting plans
Nothing you will ever do will separate or clasp my hands

Nothing Remains The Same

Two small snow owls fall out of a nest
slugs buried deep in their skulls
Their feathers dance and tremble
in the white winter wind

Positively Cashing Out

You live in a world of phantoms
Populated wholly by your nightmares
Your handshakes seem suspicious
Sliding, sinister, snide, and unrelenting

You have quite some nerve
You think I don't recall?
Your questions buzz like bumblebees
Your pity is distasteful

You spot your reflection in the pool
Of cerulean uncertainty
You cannot stand your twisted grimace
And so you try to mother me

Please, little girl,
With heartbreak in your ears,
With unstable marriage rings,
With child left in others' care,
With stationary creased and folded,
With prodding ignorance in spades,
With fear and stations oh so insecure,
With mountains moved and meadows burnt,
With all your touching needing playing preening. . .

Who do you think you are?

Athens-bound portrait

Last night I saw a dancing pioneer sitting on a tarot deck
her coat unbuttoned and clinging to its rack
she whispers into nothingness her hopes
and as that void I listen without judging

She, with cryptic tides and jumbled resilience
to which the unexplained referendum
and the barely touching strands of chapels
and their strangled inactivity drive the
raving oxen of madness

She, with crossword desires and their checkered station
who tell of Italian liqueur, kittens quite well fed
surprising with its secrets and its tsetse manner
twenty-one machine guns in adagio fashion

She, who smirks with waiting chaos at the sight of rain
when prodded to pay the lords of steel and thunder
instead will let the air out of their tin skulls
and purchase new salvation

She, with clay-faced synthoid bebop half-note rhythm,
searching and surging through used car lots
tumbling in maternal manner as she loosens
two jugs of milk from curtained plastic

She, with system-thought-meaning, problem-solution self,
with stuffed monkey necessary for final preparation
whose anger is tempered with keen understanding
overstanding overself equating hopeful listening

She, who finally took in the sweet caramel breath of dawn,
learning in the tin cans that roll toward barrels
that life itself is worthy and untamable
shaking free of sweaty sullen duality

She, to whom modesty is all-unknowing, vagabond and stranger,
knocking quietly on her baroque dressing door
as her confidences command continental armies
touching one another in familial fashion

She, with Mozart between her wings, unitarian tambourines,
unlacing the shoes of courtiers and hiding them
boiling chicken for the sergeant-at-arms
quarantining vacuum thoughtlessness

She, with palms cupped in tenderness, balancing amphibians,
willing to endeavor over fences barbed and bolted
wreathed in shadows but twinkling with laughter
chewing apathy and denouncing all surrender

She, who corresponds with animal totems, spirits old and mighty,
with amnesty and inclusive provisional counsel
responsible and all-supposing of their worthiness
talking into distant towers with sliding words of beauty

She, with cold-death-dying-sickness, the nasal mortal form,
who perseveres to disinfect and seeks remissions
relenting to the storms of Eden-grasping panacea
her treetop and untipped hours smoking quietly

She, who senses heartache pills and their white-washed bottle,
hunting them as needles on a daydrop blacktop,
protecting children and her Heracles from malcontent,
throws them into dustbins and tells the siren deputy

She, with bookstore poet stationed nobly on her desk,
working in due diligence to present her case,
lumbering toward her further vocation, advocacy
lifelong in its luring nimble lashes

She, with Saturn on her tongue, her blazing mind eternally aglow,
with strength and ink stitched onto her skin,
with piercing orbs of absolution and rebellion,
who reaches at the galaxies and claims them all as hers

She, who sits between the oboes and the blurting of saxophonists,
the tantalizing light twinkling through sunroofs,
who mows the dewy blades of impious proportion
tumbling along as spiders slink into slumber

She, with black and white shirt entombed in moral quandary,
with stuttering temples crumbling beneath her will
loquacious as they truncate her medallions
heaps of coins burning through the midnight

She, with safety cornered in her iron-coated sensuous surreality,
who prefers the panic of rotund companions,
the happy minds that link in warmth and wonder
limping toward their wisdom with a glass of wine

She, with quarries where philosophers make war with negligence,
with amber tasting taxis crashing in the breeze
the painted locks of moonlight trickling
transcending the numb preponderance

She, with imported cure-alls for the plantation of tomorrow,
whose preparation and vivacity is all-convincing
without which Atlas might divine a mortal surrender
and none would ever question bifocal creation

She, with curling tassels that bridge the mundane consanguinity
toppling regimes of idle madmen with candlewax
remarking even in the face of nightwashed murkiness
that prisons of the mind are where souls rot

She, with drawers of apostolic creed and many-flavored adventure,
whose weapon sits and dances in abstention
primordial in the twilight need of textual interference
knowing that the floors of dalliance are to be cleaned

She, with syncopation found in the hearts of deceased rumrunners,
who knows the squires of electronic angelic agony,
speaking to the tempest and recalling Canadian days
prancing about fashion shows as queen and comptroller

She, with fiber-optic aptitude and the slushing stream of clamor,
licking at cones and whipping foam into a form
tasting jacuzzi strategy and sharing canine laughter
sheltering the blue-eyed beast with proper dignity

She, who bids for notions deemed insoluble by the mantra of eternals,
knowing in immortal fashion that cosmic allergy
and the paws of tremulous subcultural sneezing
are equivocal and lackadaisical in their primacy

She, with Cadillac defensiveness and a grateful tone of ecstasy,
who understands the nuance of appreciation and volition,
with aptitude in all the fields to which she applies,
excelling in the circle built by quantum elevation

She, with targets of Lockean sense of accomplished self-worth,
steeped in understanding but wading in frustration
peeking between the rags of acknowledgment
reading hands with right-brained arches

She, who knelt between the stacks of knowledge dust-entombed,
slouching in Jerusalem manner toward Michelangelo
archangels, God, the fall of man in grasp
tattered and monochrome in fading pattern

She, who shares her pain with stilted lily compassion,
who places tiles upon the grid all-commanding
wishing for her suitors and their kin to remember
that games do not provide true nourishment

She, with porcelain masking unhappiness, unbecoming
who pours the stunted malnutrition into grates
upon command of sergeant-at-arms in confrontation
perched upon the concrete as dreams decay

She, riddled with agitation and anchored, firmament in anger
stripping bare the dropkick madness of the blemished
barking beautifully in the high afternoon wind
acquiescing and making right the too-wrong world

She, who writes of understanding and quells the unknown absence
piercing tongue and pools of radiance haunt the night
her spirit gliding between the wintered halls of dukes
and huddled beneath her cloak to spare her champion

She, the herbivore goddess with endless knowledge,
who raps the gavel against her suitors
enveloping all seeking enclosure
and placed atop ewes as cynosure

She, with olfactory
She, with knowledge
She, with stratospheres
She, with tidal waves
She, with eye-comets
She, with theoreticals
She, with ball-gag-night-thought
She, with apotheosis
She, with unblessed shawls
She, with skirts and skulls
She, with wheel and axle
She, with tongue-revolver
She, with Stratford-spirit
She, with bards and nobles
She, with astral cravings...

It is she who stands in doorways for the glowing afterthought
and tells me that the night is good
it is right that I believe it

Hip tip

Tip-toe tornado with a taste of trepidation
like a torpid tepid talcum tangerine
sipping in the garden of eden
slight and malcontent in ecstasy
a friday morning freakout from
too much opium

Danger dangles like angels and amateurs
the bleak street of beat nations
the generation antebellum tell 'em
emancipate the nobles from their
empty sense of cents

Wrote a book for you and a couple dozen
poems with a surreal stability
some kind of acid trip upside
the slumping sandwich you
didn't even eat

Skeletons and skulls skipping along harbor bays
waddling in swim trunks with apathy
stuck in my car door and bucking bronco
willfully neglecting the agony and sampling
scurrying in metronomes


I'm looking at the painting on the corner of the wall
The master left it for his student in his winding hall
The strokes are like a melody, perfect in its tune
The paint is dull and arabesque within the dim-lit room
Old and misremembered as his greatest masterpiece
I hear, through mists of parted time, the master speak to me:

Shall I be thrust upon a dusty crucifix?
Shall I be cast in iron, nails within my wrists?
Or will I be remembered as a jester of the stars?
Will they say I killed a man just to eat his heart?
Shall they say my name in vain, am I a vagabond?
Will they build a monument, will they carry on?
Or shall I be interred in silence, laid next to my wife?
Will my children cry for me, or celebrate my life?
Will the sun be cut upon the mountains of the east?
Will revolution splash and spill, will tyrants ever cease?
Shall owls be perched upon the crowns of oak, maple, and ash?
Shall groaning yellow branches break with a sudden lash?

I'm looking at the painting which so captivates my soul
The master left it for me to discover my own role
The strokes are like a telegraph commanding me to yield
The paint is like a spear exposing my weak heel
An homage to the master who awaits the answer true:
Through the mists of parted time we shall remember you

Haunted Box of Pine and Steel

You punched me in the gullet
Wearing Latin on your sleeve
Dump me in the gutter
Give me my reprieve
You lie and steal from children
You burn the Bill of Rights
A tyrant and a killer
Bereft of form and sight

O, cruel in your fashion
Cuffed in sullen creed
Burn with heaven's anger
The angels will not bleed
Muskets are malnourished
They cry for greedy times
Petticoats in powdered boats
The King and all his crimes

Stuff me in your lockbox
You are my bayonet
Touch me in your hatred
I am your Lafayette
The box of pine resounding
The clamor of your death
I fear this revolution
Charon's fog-worn breath