Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Gorillas, Fireflies or Jellyfish"

To hunt along the path
Blazed by escaping prey,
A summary fable

Of little predators
In the Middle Kingdom,
Crease a painting lengthwise.

We were all over here
Once, all over the change
That we imagine place.

The rain seeks out the roof,
No choice in the matter.
Somehow fine kinds of things

Grow out of that absence
Of desire that parents
All our luscious wanting.

The snails are in the jar
With flowers by the bed
Under the soul's escape.

Monday, June 29, 2015

"For Tides Are Often Intricate and Not Fully Understood"

A difference cannot be a cause.
A difference is always effect
Of a causeway, the lime-white heel
Of the moon trampling the whale road,

Stacks of reflecting metaphors,
Bone china porcelain on the waves,
What is what was, no longer
What it was, the difference is is.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cheryl's Birthday

No godly consensus dawned.
Singaporean children

Confronted logic problems
Amounting to set theory,

Either to conquer the world
Or to fiddle while it burned.

The beauty of afternoons
In the shade of rustling leaves

Remained the same, even if
The mandolins competed

With swooping, buzzing traffic.
We're all music to my ears

And I do not need to know
Anniversary answers


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Tuesday in Tschumkwe

There's so little we can verify.
If days were people, all of my days

Amount to a medium-sized town,
A suburb, an urban arena,

And it seems about right. Every day
Has its own fraught personality

And is as crammed with signs and symbols
Intruding from other days and lives,

As infinitely divisible
With richly textured ecosystems

As can be found in any person.
Once, women nursed, chatted and shaped beads

From leather strings of chipped ostrich shells
Around a smoky, small, fragrant fire

That kept the biting insects at bay,
And I watched quietly, a Tuesday.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Longhorns and Ostriches

Humans, being gamblers,
Invent decks to shuffle.
Igneous intrusions,
Virgin cactus jelly
Name continuities
As if each were its own

Tarot card destiny.
Everything is always
Gone and nothing causes
Anything, but where deer
And lizards climb fossils,
Longhorns, ostriches graze.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

An Invisible Forest

Two things: first, prior
To death, nothing ever
Exists unless death does
Not; second, the future is
A part of the invisible
World that is, if any is.

Try again. If dying
Removes both memory
And awareness of absence
Of awareness, then death
Removed its prologue,
Leaving not even death
To remember. The future

Remains within the sky
That holds no more
Than sidelong glances
At a death that cannot
Be what it cannot be.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Rest of the Pages Are Black

Memoirs are the commonplace
Books of the age, erudite
Compendia of good lines
From other sources arranged
Around some theme, what I did,
What happened, was done to me,
The year I crossed the desert,

Trained the hawk, lived in the woods,
Retraced the route, saw the past,
Found myself lost in a book:
Anatomies all, the art
In the accessorizing
Portmanteau worlds, wine pairings,
All librarian, no whale.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


You will have to wait until
Tomorrow has left today.
Moonflowers, white, and orange

Angels' trumpets nod poison
On the vine. Oleander
Lies dead at the wall. Easter,

Pagan holiday, hid eggs.
Demographers debated
Who would win the century.

Christians? Muslims? Lord only
Knows why we think these are things.
Buddhists? You who among these

Are without hubris, without
Atheists of your schisms,
Cast the first stone. The birdwolf

Rises among your debates
'Twixt philosophers and death,
Old slang, old gossip, and new,

Knowing he has arisen
To devour your disbelief
Based on old dispensations.

That was now. This is almost
Then. Zen, Sufi, Hutterite,
Pratchettarian, begin.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Universe up Close

Make your way at once
To the glass mountain;
I will meet you there.
The moon and the earth

Shadow each other,
Taking turns catching
And obscuring light.
The light comes from fire.
The fire comes from laws.

God knows why it burns.
Humans love their laws,
Making, breaking them.
What if the cosmos
Is not, at heart, ruled

By any such thing
As rules? Unlawful
Behavior ripples
Up from the dark glass
Of fragile mountain.

Make your way. Meet me
In the lunar dark
Of a red eclipse.
There is so much more
Than lives bargained for.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Bombs, bullets, and human bones
Clutter the thin skin of the Anthropocene
And then, half an inch later, disappear.

The zooids continue to swim by the billions,
Filter feeding on Cyanobacteria
In great, glowing pink socks of colonies.

Who is the winner here? The pale blue dot
Spins, a bead with an orbiting mustard seed,
A hundred human paces from a basketball

Of burning sun. How can we measure
What we are, our failure or success,
In our universe too vast to find us absent?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Through Watery Scrampes

Their feet clambering over,
I uncover the fitness
Of my place. The fitness, fit,
Why'm I so slow to see it?
To be fit is to be just
Of an appropriate size:
Why, I'll fit you! Eliot

Is mad again, tired of it,
Wired from all the nonsense rhymes
And meaningless allusions.
Here's a hint: allusions are
All meaningless and because
This little world nothing is,
Each of us nothings in it.

Friday, June 19, 2015


"The hawk is alternately a hunchback toad, a nervous child or a dragon."

So what about me makes you
Angry tonight? Nothing but

Me and cockroaches and mice
Out here under the moonlight.

What if marriage has too
Many blurred, indefinite

Syllables to resolve now?
I am tired, true, and you are you.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bristle, Barley, Farina, Farinaceous

One can't seem to explain to anyone
Clearly enough that an explanation,
Whether or not it is a likely one,
Is not necessarily a story.

An explanation is like a lyric
Daubing camouflaging narrative bits
On its carapace, then scuttling away
When necessary, still, its own being,

Not worth consuming for the camouflage,
Only for the sweet meats under the shell.
Pointy, perhaps, is the self-disguiser
But surely bristling with coarser vigor

Is the disguise, the salad, the fluffed starch.
One I explains nothing to no one. Two
Eyes, true, could explain more, but perspective,
Likewise, requires no narrative, none.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bright, Clear, Pertaining

I have a simple sphere
To sell you while I'm here.
The earth abhors the stars

And turns,
"You didn't see

That was coming from me.

I love the light on these
Trees. I love knowing

I am not me." The birds
Whistle as if the monkeys believed

The good God of birds
Spat birdseed.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Roughhouse in the OK Corral

Who could tell what Fergus knew?
Before the wiry child squirmed
Between the panting parents

He might have have tilted one ear
Like a dog, a saintly monk,
Or a kindly grandfather

Curious to understand:
Does any of this matter?
The sweetest thought, that we are

Only silly beings fooled
By our own silliness, groaned
In that voice we used as kids

While pretending to stagger
Around, clutching our bosoms
And gasping, "I'm shot! Goodbye,

Cruel world!" A groan began us,
Rough housing, joking, shooting
Stars; a groan delivered us;

A groan will let us go through
The saloon doors we have been
Pushing and imagining

Opening, opened for us.
It's just rodeo clowning.
Rough stuff, life, not serious.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Upon Never Meeting the Woman Now Gone

She was kind to me, a man, a seed
Of things a man might be, a kid
Like all the other kids with whom
She, a mom, was bothered. Did

She have the tiniest clue what I
Looked like, how I was weird,
How I was, to myself and those who saw
Me, different? No, I disappeared.

She carried on without me. Wrote
More poems, won fewer awards, retired,
Was thrown by her horse as though
She were one more student of the men mired

In the embalming pitch of her last, black humor
That earned her later verse a place
In the software application of portable,
Potable poetry. But I was not me, and she is not she.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Death Is Motion

Preached Seaborn Cotton. It is only because
We can imagine that we can count the stars
That we believe we can actually do so
And not the other way around. Just because?
Asked a member of the cold congregation
Admitted to their possible salvation
While many others waited outside the doors
And the plagued remnants of natives outside those
And the dark woods and the wolves beyond those.
No, said Seaborn to his land-born congregants,
Not just because. There is no because. There's just
Just. I misspoke. There's nothing beyond the wolves.
The stars will have to imagine our belief.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Little Wall of Utah

Not the death of you you can't imagine
(No one can) but the long decline you can

Haunts you as it haunts everyone living.
Life is an affair of hunger and ghosts,

And you, and we, and I are both of them.
This was, claimed someone, my father's highway

That rises through the Virgin River Gorge
From the dirt designated Nevada,

Arizona, the strip, through the little
Wall of Utah, climbing up to heaven

By way of dynamite and government,
Mutual explosives. Let me be brief.

Friday, June 12, 2015

The Creator of Worlds

A good imagination is
One that imagines an unknown
Truth, not one that only desires
To have itself discovered to
Itself. It is, good sirs, the end
Of my lamentable story,
As untrue as unfortunate.
I importune you. Believe me.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Matter How Fond the Memory Now

No matter how fond the memory now,
There was always something terrifying
Going on in life back then, no matter

How humorous that terror looks, set
Next to the greater terrors of now,
Which are neither so great nor so small

As those terrors then, the terrors that will be,
Nor even the joys of et cetera, no matter
How fond of the memory called now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Counting to Millions

What does it sound like to be
Condemned to death, still breathing?
What does it seem like to be
Dissembling soul's honesty?

Suzuki, Pascal had a sense
Of the absurdity of this
Effort to assess salvation.
We're in the courtyard, on the ship

Peering at scaffolding's carpentry,
Exquisitely edged horizon,
As if we could surpass it and fall.
None will fall. None will be left at all.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ghost in the Snow

Big windy day in southwestern Utah
Birds appeared flung across the dusty blue sky

Resurrection Sunday was ten days away
Already the leaves and the tourists were out

Already the heat was returning to flash
On the dashboards of slowly baking parked cars

Already bodies longing for Canada
Were noting the snowbirds turning around north

More and more it was feeling like time was up
And the question was only how long the wind

Could keep blowing past the edge of the cliff now
Gone time Wile E Coyote was in the air

Monday, June 8, 2015


When they, always they, prep you
For vasectomy, they say
You need to know there is no
Visible difference in
Ejaculate because sperm,
Even those billions of them,
Are so small, who can tell, but

Oh! The difference to these!
There was a speck of rock once
Held species by the billions.
The star of that world is dead,
All its nonsense vanished.
Little rooms, each one of us;
Little rooms of sunlit dust.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Judging of the Jello, Down at the Spit n' Burp

It was spring, barely, and already
Nearly hot. The St Paddy's parade
Beeped and tooted through the village.

The mind was full of unrequited serpents,
The varieties of salvation, the usual
Measures of collapse, of failure, of joy.

Big words, boyo, those little ones.
Two big-bellied men in green bowlers
Welcomed me to the curbside

Where I waited for wife and daughter
To pass, tossing candy from the fire truck,
And thought, sadly, how I was now

Among the sag-gutted, salt-haired
Sidewalk nondescripts myself, alas.
So many funny English words

For an Irish saint in Utah's Deseret,
I consoled myself. Myself who was
Not me and I shared a little laugh.

The sidewalks emptied for the park
Outside the Bit n' Spur Grill for contests,
Jello sculptures, costumes, the like.

Have you ever heard the like?
I am somewhere other now, someone
Other than a serpent-tricking saint,

But what do I know about where
Or one? In my elfin, jolly gut I hope
I am swimming over a deep, green lake.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Charivari Cassation

So. "Poetry is a good provider
Of the strange," wrote Dean Young, falling higher.
Stroll the streets and alleyways, banging pots
And singing a hullabaloo song that's not
As elegant as it could be. We do
Our best. We comb through the false for the true,
Good primates grooming each other. We bite
The crunchy, tiny bits between our teeth
And then go back to grooming what's beneath.
We are gossips, spying on each other
As we help. Why go to all the bother
Of devotion if there weren't a nit there
Somewhere to pluck out, bite, and remember?
Ah, the truth, nothing like it, nothing like
Songs' accusations on a moonlit night.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Narcissist's Salon

No evidence of homes remains.
The monsters rise from depths of gore
And other, similar nonsense.

Bend, not toward the specific,
Mimesis, pretend, but toward
The dreamed, the dreamer, the dreamy

Internal monologues that sigh
Into fogs of crowded twilights
When the mountains glow through moments

Before the vacationers' lights
Winding through the cut-down canyon
To and from tents, inns, RV sites.

I am not the hawk in your mind.
You were never a hawk to my mind.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Captivus Temporis Acti

All must be dared, to fuck with endured.
I have endured too damn much and dared

Too little. You laugh. You know me. You think
What else could the poor bastard have dared

Beyond his life, occasionally, his limbs
With every broken breath of the gravitas

Newton and Einstein blessed for all mass,
Bending time or falling in a straight line,

The lemming refusing the giant
Embrace of a blue-green and white, rapacious planet?

Ah, Mendelsohn, cartoon of loving, of music,
Of life, the thrumming in your ears is answer.

Your planet is a speck in the sorrow, the bleak fun
Of your burning, self-consumed sun, your star that is

A speck in the arms of your own, mother night, herself
A speck in the dawn of the impossible daughter, yourself,

The new, renewed world anew, you, you that promises
Delight. Good night sleep, sleep sweetly, sleep tight.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Troubles

There's a simple reason the nightmares
Are all in our heads: our heads. Think shrouds
Noggin to noggin and comforting

Cuchulain, the coward. All of us
Would like to imagine we are brave,
By violent deeds or by standing

Up to violent deeds. We are not.
There'll be no end to dreams until we'll
End, we'll happily end, our dreaming.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cement-Footed Comment

On foot, I hobbled around my life,
Shackled and incompetent,
But, in a car, pointed away from town,

I flew, free, an arrow released
From the bow, until descending,
Slowed, I cursed gravity's rainbow,

Humanity's inane necessities,
The lack of miracles for me,
Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Descending Mt Beaufort in Southwestern Utah: Hurricane

We live submerged at the bottom of air,
Discoverers, every last one of us.
After all, what else is there to do here
And what else was there to do before us?

Before the pioneers or indigenes,
The ground around the hound of Earth twitched hide.
Before dogs, before the claims of innocence
Bounded through, hot blood dripped from rock slides.

It's a hard world that breaks this easily.
The torturer's breeze is ripped, stripped and sere,
From the edges of the black cliffs. Free me
From this need of a desert. Persevere.