Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Edwin, Bitten by a Monster"

Had a son, born deformed.
The doctor could not say why.
Edwin went back to work, hard.
Decades later, to his surprise,
His deformed son, still alive, got a wife
And had a son, born deformed.

The still-alive deformed son named
The new deformed son after his father.
Decades later, Edwin died.
Nobody was surprised
Except second Edwin,
Surprised to be one of the alive.


We're all in trouble, said the monk
Whose whiskers trembled against
His ears in the long breeze of perspective.

The landscape appeared much as it does
Now, and sounded much as it does
Now, and smelled much as it does,

But was nothing like this. Feel
That vibrissal difference, lost
To those who have never been bitten.

The Day Room

We live by surprise
And die by mistake.
Whose mistake? No one's,
Unless one believes
Surprises aren't real.

It was not important
That you survived. The rain
Forecast as snow rotted
The roof and dribbled down
The wall, blistering paint.
This was its argument:

These feathers from this living bird,
Dipped again in gods, the leavings
At the small end of an illness,

Moving slowly in the branches,
Alone in the dawn, anointed
The moon for you, dark in the door.

None more free than nothing to do
And nothing to your mind more free.
Open the door and you'll be gone.

Coyote Luna

Everything that happens has happened
Today. Uncertainty kept crossing his face.
It was, after all, maybe the darkness
Did it. After fall, the darkness would thicken.

There are things a prairie wolf remembers
That a forest wolf recalls as well. Things
Like the pockmarks on the face of the light.
If you see a shadow in shine, you howl.

Once, in More

Prosperous times, I had hoped
To build a house here, in this

Orchard. Not this
Orchard, since there's

No orchard here, but
Oh hell, poetry
Is not good enough.

I want to go home.
I want home to want me
To stay here. There.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Human and Starfish Honeymoon

"[H]umans and starfish have a common ancestor back in the Ediacaran period, implying that the shared details of their biology – including body cavities, guts, nervous systems and more – must have been present then, too."

Adelaide, Australia, May 2009.
We are waiting for the departure of the Ghan,
Two days' worth of bizarre train ride heading due north,
Through the navel of Alice Springs, up to Darwin.
Huzzah, the dawn of the twenty-first century
Of the revised, Gregorian, Common Era.
Piped-in pop tunes from a computer will soothe us.
We will watch a flat pink sunrise over Outback.
We will invent and play our own version of Scrabble,
Twentieth-century board game, while we wonder
About the joy of a train just for us tourists.
Before the train, we wander, visit museums.

In one, a mudflat turned stone and buried a few
Hundreds of millions of years now stands upended
As a lucite-shrouded wall of puzzling fossils.
Behold, the remains of the Ediacaran,
Before the shales of the Cambrian explosion.
These relatives of the ancestors of starfish
And humans, hence everything betwixt and between,
"Body cavities, guts, nervous systems and more,"
Here compressed and lovingly sketched for the tourists
As a wall-sized accompaniment to the mud,
Make me want to write something clever, a mash note
My ancestors could understand, surreptitious

And tucked into a crevice, the way I once left
My tiny, aphoristic prayer, "life is a force
That feeds on its forms," rolled in a scrap of paper
Like those the devout tuck into the Wailing Wall,
Except that I secreted mine in the buried
Wall of the Roman outpost of Colonium.
But this lucite allows no worshipful protests
Pressed into death, and ancestors can't understand.
A world is one entanglement of lies and love,
A memory that can't know what it's forgotten,
And we get on the train named for camel country
That rattles across the dirt of the kangaroo.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Never, Again

"A nihilist might be expected
To abandon the slightest notion
Of happiness." Has anyone met
A nihilist, compiled evidence
From surveys of professed nihilists,
Interviewed them for their insights,
Data-mined social media sites,
Trawled the literature for cases
Of these head cases of nothingness?

No. A nihilist is a poppet,
A straw doll, voodoo philosophy,
The one being no other being
Embraces except in sympathy
For the mere idea of suffering
Or in anger as anger's dogma.
Nothingism--what could be much worse?
I find myself at the fine-sand edge
Of a beach beyond the certain seas.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


"As long as the fleshy pulp is gone
There is no built-in dormancy that
Has to be overcome." So forget

That the quotation you have just read
Concerns the elegant and ancient,
Civilization-rescued gingko

And pretend we have something to do,
More or more, with the geranium-
Colored geranium, common, white,

Pink, purple, or blue "with distinctive
Veining," like me or you--or the church
With shell-shaped windows and cartridge

Guard tower by ornately carved doors
Built to protect sacred memory
Of weaponry, lampooned by poets,

Well, by a particular poet
Of Hartford, lawyer in purple light,
Absurd as sanctuary pistols.

That there is a confusion of truth
With goodness in a world of pretty
Caring for neither is no business.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sue no yo no

In the heart of the mountains are no
Mountains. Mountains have no heart.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The House Where Howl Swims

"He was just a regular customer who came to the bar, enjoyed a beer and a whiskey, read silently, paid in cash, then left. He never bothered anybody else. . . . Like dry ground welcoming the rain, he let the solitude, silence, and loneliness soak in."

Peregrine, wandering through foreign fields,
Harrowed or cattled acres, the farmer
And the nomad can't be friends. Too many

Uses for sheep, goats, grains, vegetables.
Send them all to the city. Let them sin.
Poor worldlings, frantic for fresh scenery

Before the jig is up and it's too late
To contemplate repentance, they'll never
Know why only the wandering remains,

Although it might be worth considering
How the restless peoples populated
The planet and, worse, how when travelers

Fetched up against an impassable range,
An uncrossable ocean or ice field,
A pure paradise filled with innocence

In the birds and beasts ready for slaughter,
The so-trapped who settled in and grew still
Became the innocence, the frailty

That the next wave of thorough-goers killed.
I don't mean to be unkind about us,
Our blonde, mustachioed bodhisattvas,

Our moki-tatted indigene paddlers
Exploring by starlit dead reckoning,
Neither the first survivors nor the last.

We are driven, pollen before the wind,
And we are the they who landed and sent
More flung grains to perish and land again.

In a non-probalistic cosmos,
Perhaps, lives would not depend on long odds,
But we spin through innumerable bets

And are the winners of the past, now here
To hazard again, again against hope,
So that something floating from us survives.

I am drawn, nonetheless, to the withdrawn,
Who will not place a bet, not another
Wind-driven fling outward from the dark spring,

Who have accepted the loss of all bets
In the end and wait quietly for them
Who, having once won, come conquer again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Implacable Rogation

A raven harassing a red-tailed hawk
Between the highway and the RV park
Could characterize Earth's natural world.
Suppose it depends on what you expect
Counts as natural in this world, a hurt
Hawk thieving roadkill from corvids, ribbons
Of highway under a contrailed blue sky,
Maybe even the RV park, someone
Who wanted to get away from it all.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Splitting Shadows

Let's get out of here. Tell no one.
Seek light within, for all here's shade.
It's possible Tocharian

Came from the steppes. It's possible
Irish warriors came from farmers.
Whatever the cause, let's seek it.

It's not the philologist's dream
That matters here, although it seems
Etymology rules these sheaves.

It's what a backward glance reveals
About the many from the view,
Shed, skill, and science, the same root.

Rejoice as we molder, sad shades.
It's human nature to apply
Prosody and analogy

Most when vocabulary's poor.
We're all vocabulary's poor.
The trees above us conceal us.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What Life Is Like

"All is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit, that which I hinted at"

Charles Cornwall, ex-Mormon, once told me
That the best time to go to Costco
Was early Sunday morning, because

"Only the early-rising heathens
Are out running errands at that hour.
Damn few heathens are early risers."

I went on Friday to get a cake.
There were no parking spaces open,
Certainly not any handicap.

Senior citizens filled the pavement
And milled about like geese on a pond.
I struggled in and found the baker

Who kindly carried the cake for me
To the parade of shopping carts lined
Before the self-pay cash register.

I got through, got the cake to the car.
The cake was a monstrous white slab
A friend had wanted for a party

To celebrate another friend's book.
The book portrayed virtues and vices
By means of anecdotes and research.

I drove the cake an hour to Rockville
And delivered it safely, relieved.
The next morning, a piece in tinfoil

Was waiting for my daughter and me.
We had stayed home but my wife had gone
To the launch and saved us some sugar.

It was delightfully disgusting.
My wife said she had found just the right
Line to write on it: "To Gluttony."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Three Birthday Wishes, Belated or Early, for Theresa 59, Greer 60, and for Wendy

Semo La

Half of Earth's atmosphere lies
Below the wheels of the bus
Crawling up the dirt-track pass.

Prayer flags flutter in ruins
Of color at the summit,
Snow-bound most of the summer.

The Tibetan yak reached here
A few thousand years ago,
But snow leopards got here first.

Who knows which of these will leave
Slowest-fading legacies,
When we're all young strangers here?

There is no roof of the world,
Only angels ascending.

Entirely Recent Echo

It's all new. Who in the west
Has ever heard of this truth?
The walls of Grand Canyon once
Carried flash-flood detritus

Near high as the petroglyphs
And the dessicated souls
Waiting to be lifted free
In my imagination.

I am not a surveyor,
But I can feel the water
Carving the old world under
And away from my clay feet.

We're all young here, and we howl,
Wolves and infants, small wonder.

Dear Wendy,

Sarah told me I should compose a poem
For your 70th birthday. I thought
It might be an interesting project,
If only because, except where your home,

Local artists, or guests are involved, you're
A no-nonsense type of woman. You won't
Be happy with flouncy rhymes or abstract
Imagery intended to impress dour,

Actual February with a sidelong
Glance at the meaning of snowy objects
Sitting mute as the cat at your window,
In craving out, out craving inside. Strong

Enjambment solves half the problem, but you
Are a whole-solution girl. Poems love you. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Three in the Absence of Tea

Ruth One

A good liar is a corset.
A good liar shrink-wraps the truth.
A good liar is Ruth Gordon:
"Never give up; never face facts."

Society has to cast you out,
Social behavior that believes
Your antisocial behavior
Is just that. But it's who you are.

Your impact on society
May even be beneficial,
But you don't lie to benefit
Yourself, for or against them all.

You lie because it comes to you,
Because lying comes out of you,
Like sweat, tears, defecation, feelings
Of anger and love and terror,

And as with all those things, you try
To supervise, to minimize
Any socially deviant
Variations, to keep control.

Getting caught in a lie is rough,
Humiliating as crying
When stoicism is called for,
Or as a bodily function

Your environment keeps private
Erupting from you in public,
Or as recalling lost temper
That makes you cringe to recollect.

But none of these embarrassments
Were carefully planned out by you,
And none would have embarrassed you,
Had it not been for the shaming.

Ruth Two
"Or else formed in English from reuwen 'to rue' on the model of true/truth"
Listen for the crepitatus
Of an ultracrepidate's steps.
The slight hesitation between
Lying and confession divides

Those who sorrow, those who regret.
The misery of another 
Matters more to the former, less
And less as confessions progress.

Me reweth. Not what I have done,
To the virgin, the sun, the tree,
But that such things are done to them.
I have overstepped my province;

I have concealed my provenance.
The sun goes down another time,
And then the sun comes up again.
The sun does nothing of the kind.

Everything human is sinful,
Goes one rendition of the song.
Everything birthing and dying
Is suffering, goes another.

Everything extemporizing 
Is false; everything false is true.
Rue on the model of true/truth.
Thou sayest. Wash my hands of you.

Ruth Three

Who knows what we are? My cousin,
Ruthie, was always a big girl,
Never much interested in boys.
She lived at home and went to church,

Quietly into her thirties,
Growing larger and more pious
As I remember. Then, somehow,
Doctors discovered a tumor

The size of an orange, growing 
Slowly at the base of her brain.
As her mother told the story,
The thing had been there forever,

Probably, pushing bit by bit
And altering her behavior.
To remove it they peeled her face
And opened her skull like a lid.

They teased apart tumor from brain.
Afterward, Ruth started dropping 
Weight and became frantic to date,
"A thirty-something teenager,

Her mother said, rolling her eyes.
That's the last I heard of Ruthie.
Her parents and mine are now dead.
She could be up to anything,

For all I know. I think of her
Brain expanding inside its room,
Her whole previous life a lie.
In truth, we're all light in the head.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Explication de texte

Many sects have vowed
To win the whole world
By conversion or sword
But none have ever succeeded
And none ever will.

The instability and sociality
Of imagination are to blame.
Denis Diderot argued
That a god was no solution
To the problem of explaining
A complicated world, because
Gods only compound complications.

I thought the same thing myself
As a teenager in the Pine Barrens,
Although I hadn't heard of Diderot.
It took me a few decades to square
The circle and come to terms
With why the further complication
Was so comforting and also so unstable.

Any sort of imagined explanation
For the complexity of perception
As modeled in our bowls of skulls
Necessarily cannot be as complex
As the endlessly incoming adjustments
To these modeled worlds. Gods feel,
Whether abstracted, anthropomorphic,
Or fabulously beastly, inevitably
Simpler than the inhuman mess
They're proposed to explain, simpler
Than any explanation lacking imagination,
Say someone's algorithmic science.
Given it's complexity we want to reduce,
A good god feels like a good solution,
Being imagined and therefore simple.

The only problems are these two:
First, and trivially, the logic is hopelessly
Built on a freak of memory, flawed,
And as an argument only making
Matters worse, duly noted. Nothing
Has actually been explained or simplified,
Only another gew-gaw added. So far,
Diderot and little me long ago.

Second, and vastly more consequentially,
Our gods are prisoners. Born of memory
And culturally infested imaginations
In an aggressively, opportunistically social-
Group-obsessed clot of buzzing brains,
They are dragooned into playing
Our cooperative competition murder games.
Every one of them falls hostage
To team spirit, and so goes the goal
Of all-conquering, goal inherently unstable
Because the fission-fusion necessity
Of people fizzes and fizzles eternally.

It's thus I explicate my own after the before,
My own summer daydream, my own
Patched and quilted blankets pulled up against
An early onset winter's night. God help me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

If I Were to Die in a Flash Flood in Zion

If I were to die in a flash flood in Zion
I hope you would scatter my ashes in the wash.

If I die while traveling for some foolish, academic reason,
Far away from you, bring me, keep me home.

If I languish a long time with needles and tubes
In some great exoskeleton of a hospital bed,
Take whatever remains of me to a shady grove
On the off chance that those remains arise
As revenants to haunt the woods around me.
From what I've experienced of hospitals,
I would never want to be indoors again.

It's okay if those trees are near a road.
I could watch the passing traffic, hitch
The occasional nowhere ride.

And if I should die on the actual Ghost Highway,
Take my ashes down to Slocan Lake.
Our daughter and you already allowed me
To float a part of both of you after you gave birth.
I watched that part of you two drift and sink
In the white and black winter waves.
Floating down myself, finally, I could complete
Whatever lingering molecules of our family
Life the long dark of the lake still embraced.

And if somehow I could die in your arms,
Hold me as long as they let you, as long as you can.
When you release me, I'll be gone.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Four Days on Rarth

I cannot get my paragraph right.
I leave prescription medications
Lying around where daughter or wife

Might take them for candy or crisis.
What's your blood pressure? Are pink ones sweet?
Paragraph, ha. I can't keep my line

Straight enough to angle for one fish.
All the history I am is not
Enough history for one good lie.

I'll tell a secret. Eleven years
Gone, I sat on a speck of island
Green in a muddy brown creek and fished

Four days for a way to rewrite math
That was pure tautology before
I messed with it, so it meant something,

Measured something exact about this
Madness of living, eating, hiding.
I failed, but I saw a golden trout

In the weeds all morning, afternoon,
And evening, pursuing strategy
As an ambush predator. It glowed.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

And Strength by Limping Sway Disabled

One swift, one crumpled. "In this example,
Light strikes the waterdrop from the upper
Left, illuminating the lower right
And bottom of the drop and casting a
Shadow below and to its right." Amen.
There's a drag on the jump from quotations.
"The prayer begins when we say amen," said
Epistolary Hal Cannon, my friend.
I can complain. I complain. I'm hobbled
By compound, fragile causes for complaint.
I'm illuminated by better prayers
Than I, who am reflective light at best,
Have ever offered, so I offer them.
I'm the shadow that I shift when I tilt.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Words Are Written Though Not Yet Said

"Clusters of succulent apricot-
Like fruits on a female gingko in
Autumn." Caption worth commendation,

As captions are, in the main, verb-less
Wonders of mathematical proof
That a picture still wants a few words.

Gauze-curtained bed under the plum tree
Where my love and I tried to forget
Barking dogs on Valentine's evening.

Red-painted bench waiting to be moved
To the front of a tan stucco house
With a flat roof that leaks when it rains.

Obituary of a working
Man's poet, face-up on the red bench
With a photograph and a caption.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Any Then

Meanwhile the sun has left the water rocks
And worry gives small things such long shadows

They're all shadow now. Empiricus tried
To keep investigating, but his thoughts

"Might add up to a rather far-reaching
Skepticism about the natural

World," in which case, endorse Bishop Berkeley,
As I find there are no causes for me

To disagree with him. Why disagree
With anyone, living or neverwise?

We're all wrong. Why can't we love being wrong?
Our faces are turned to more distant stars.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Sound of a Permanent Stream

In a time of droughts, even among those
Who should know better than to be surprised,

This murmuring thread of water, running
Down canyon, as if sources had no end,

Comforts the dry wash where cottonwoods grow
In their deep-rooted conviction water

Can be found lower when it's no longer
Falling from on high. What comes down must rise.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What About It?

What about a one-eyed squid?
Most of the accidental
Needs so little remaking

In order to make the most
Of it that the least of it
Begins to seem The Artist

To the artist who dives down,
Knife in the teeth, teeth like knives,
Obsessed with that sinking prize,

Cluelessly biting a clue,
These accidental edges
So similar to design.

The only reason to sink
Is to feel the pressure rise
With the drop, the surrender

Until the accidental
No longer needs to be sought
Nor made much of, but enters,

Stage bottom, diabolus
Ex machina, the Kraken
Of coincidence, those knives,

Remember? They resemble
The one true knife, the last word,
One world's phosphorescent eye.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Possibilia spes comitatur

"We come first to suspension of judgment
And, after, we come to tranquility."
How is this true? How does it work? No peace

I find I've found enduring, but the odds,
As they grow greater, appeal to me more
And more: the dream of escape from escape,

Immortality, holds no thrill for me,
But the dream of escape before escape,
That mystery wholly belongs to me.

There is a house near a river rushing
Through the deep woods of imagination,
Furnished with food, drink, long seasons

When summer might not end, fall might not end,
Snow falls all winter, blossoms fall all spring,
And I wait, outside or by a window.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Down by the Stairs of Surprise

"Yet behind these heady
Visions lay dismal facts,"
Such as the gathering
Of gravity's weakness,
En masse, to dire power.
Everyone will fall down.

Merlin, bard, magician.
Can you rise from the depths
To assist the fallen
Children of brittle bones
Who reconnoiter steps?
All flesh falls in the end.

It's the sorting breaks us,
Bit by bit, into bits
Heavier or lighter,
Each of which falls swiftly,
As swiftly as any,
But heaviest, farthest.

We may never ascend
To actual heavens,
Except transcending skies.
The journey incompletes
Itself in the riddle
Of this fragile surmise.

Oh no. Wobble. Don't rhyme.
Don't appeal to the clear
Fires of sudden lapses.
You have leaned on crutches
And elbows of giants.
Now stare down disasters.

Sunday, May 10, 2015


We approach holy nihilism
By halting degrees: Platonism,

Then Aristotelianism;
Aristotelianism, then

Epicureanism, which leads
To Pyrrhonism, ataraxy,

The calm of a soldier in battle,
The quest for no quest, no more questions.

Peace is our unavoidable end,
But we want to believe we chose it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Out of the Moment, into the Sky

They're amusing, those who hold
Up house pets and small children

As role models of tranquil
Minds. To be sure, they're here, now,

When happiness absorbs them,
But likewise for misery,

The end of which will never
Occur to them as they howl.

And, for the moment, why not
Rhapsodize this jewel-green fly

Pinging, steadily, against
The near-clear, fly-flecked windshield

Of a car parked by a stream
With all the windows open

In cattle-country, in spring?
When a fly does find its way

Into homily, it serves
As illustration of sin

And confusion. The system
May hold reincarnation

Or eternal damnation
As givens. The lowly fly,

Dung and carrion lover,
Buzzes to point a moral.

But look at this lovely thing.
If too stupid to escape,

It knows what escape looks like,
And persists, persists, persists.

Friday, May 8, 2015

True Spirit at the End

I love the eudaimonism
Of early Greek philosophers,
Considering how long they've been
Dead. It's a charming reminder.

Why not care most for when caring
Remains? The sun will spot itself,
The gods outdo themselves, the dark
Console its wealth of near nothings

Before we return to redact
Our fragments of broken advice
The ideologues of ages
Hence see fit to burn or refract.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Presence or Absence of One

There was no zero in your movement
As you spun, only the presence or absence
Of one. Imagine you approved

Or disapproved of these behaviors
In the life of a man tearing into sausages
With relish in the sun. Your opinions then

Neither granted nor denied him meaning
And had nothing to do with his eternal
Death in his world of desperate life.

"A culture is no better than its woods,"
Bosco, but a culture without woods is no
Worse. "Permanent, rowdy new tenant

Of your mind," your declining mind,
Neither here nor there, neither savage
In deep trees, nor deserted by them,

I have in mind an anonymous hymn. There is
No mercy left in these verses that end
In the absence of minor keys.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Four Beer Sunday

"Extravaganzas of obscurity"
Dot the desert landscape of mojave,
Joshua trees, southern Utah, northern

Arizona (have we name-checked enough?).
That was a long time ago, before spring
Surprised a dry February without

Any runoff to begin with. Recite
The names with us: Hopi, Zuni, Pueblo,
The Athabascan Dine Navajo.

There was a time that this was not the time.
There were words spoken around here were not
Remotely related to this English.

All go to show we can never, have not.
"At least you can grade watching the Watchman."
Is watching. I was watching. I am not.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cascada de las Ánimas


We prefer musics to muses.
A muse is a marble goddess,
A girl-frightened man's antique girl.

We're a strong-browed, talkative lot.
We're not always young or shapely
And not entirely female.

What do we do for you? Move you.
We all know how much you need it,
Nearly immobile, vacant soul.


Consider life in Zion Canyon
When rains festoon our desert's rock walls.
Waterfalls thin as spider silks arc

Belay lines fraying from every notch.
The earth could move at any moment
And at every moment does, but not

So that a life-tuned ant would notice.
No sun until Sunday. World ends then,
No more fog-draped probability.


There's a song only cave-finders hear,
A ghostly exhalation whistling
From the gaps in our explanations,

A breath felt with a cheek to the cliff,
Not a living thing, an escaping
From thin crust's river-carved underground,

The proof that the boring pleroma
Of monotonous, repeated rock
Conceals a vacancy rich in bones.


The stories continually invade
The ghost precincts of contemplation,
Demanding that someone tell them

Why it is that mere remembering
The hallucinatory past
Enhances the terror of dying

When it was only to soothe that fear
Of the unimaginable cliff
That clouds, descending, thought to turn back?


Love sings for the chemicals of love,
The same old story of repulsion
And attraction, of like pretending

Not to like, the messengers of life
Racing out to soldiers at the gates
Of horn, ivory, psilocybin,

To perform the rain dance of warning,
The most baffling of all messages,
Because we're you, we can't let you in.


Music among the most meaningful
In our lives, comparable to birth
Of a child, or death of a parent,

Mysticism dancing around us
As if we were invited, even
Sitting, placidly, still, as we must,

I have an answer to demand you
Question: nobody's experienced
Spiritualism unbodied.


The overview effect orbits cliffs
So inconsequential they appear
As smooth as the surface of a pond

In a meadow calm as your grandma's
Habit of singing Puritan hymns
As lullabies by which babies sleep

Without doubting or denying
By the murmuring streams of Zion
On spring evenings before we had names.


Girls on the cliffs sing recitatives;
"Uncontrollable introspection
Gradually shades out reality."

The seduction of all quotation,
Beginning with tuning in the womb
To cadences of our mother's lungs,

Is the belief that the veils of words,
Because they move, hide something to say.
"Life is a force," and we inch closer.


Last is random, most often male:
Archaic texts, conversations
With acquaintances passing through,

Hoarse and clever corvids' music,
Cunning and carrion-loving,
Song living closest to dying,

The lyric of the actual,
Thefts of ungainly elegance,
The innate alien of you.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Joy and aging, together,
Comprise the smallest subset
Of lyrics about aging.
Myth is another matter,
A bride dragging history
As explanation at heel.
Lyric is her secret name;

Myth cherished generic names.
Did she encounter aging?
No. Did she encounter joy?
Hard to tell, but everyone
Runs into some now and then.
Let's say joy is now, aging
Then. Then we're rare together.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Is Gone Gone Is

Here is gone: gone is coming;
All the rest derives from this
"Rush of days we cannot catch."

Here is gone: gone is coming;
The colonists of present
Absences collapse out back.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Order Now to Avoid Heartbreak

"Anyone who wants to can preserve a Web page, at any time, by going to, typing in a URL, and clicking 'Save Page Now.'"

Men who failed in many ways,
And I do mean "men," just now,
Necessarily litter
The Annals of Negligence,
For which I'm an editor.
History is trivial
Against time's wordless wreckage.

Little rooms have been preserved
Since camera obscura
Rendered the world upside down.
Strelkov took some photographs
Of triumph to be denied.
World wide webs of passive voice
Catch and eat that time of year.

Friday, May 1, 2015


"Depression and creative behavior may be linked through the third underlying factor of self-reflective rumination."  Verhaeghen, et al. (2005)

We sing colors we don't
Believe exist except
As sorrows' metaphors.

What, for us, built of flesh
Trapped in the flesh of lives
Racing to win the race

That can never be won
Because continuance
Admits no ticker tape,

Is not a metaphor?
Oh Death, where is thy sting?
The beehives are extinct.