Saturday, December 31, 2011

truth in the light

The puzzle piece
into full view
on the floor 
at the support group
before the eyes of many.

Brave descriptions of romance
even true love
lifetime companionship
every need met; adoration
and abundance.

Why now, three months later, 
do you hate the way he eats?


Friday, December 30, 2011

enter the mystics

you hardly expect it;
a steep, solitary climb
on this snow field could be
so noisy. Nisqually Glacier
on the left, all day long, belching
thunderclaps. ice walls and
chasms waltzing, (the summer warmth-
the invitation to the dance.)

and you feel (could it be love?)
for this mountain. and you feel your age (young)
Rainier has seen five hundred thousand

this volcano, capable of such destruction,
from a distance, is the quintessence
of peace. (past lahars speak to the contrary,
of course. the geological history is frightening.)

but up you go (moth to flame?)
life is a roll of the dice. oh,
the numbers are good. (in your favor)

at ten thousand feet. (yes. that is the summit just above:
four thousand feet from your very own feet) a few hundred
thousand years of this view. what a thought!
(what has been seen?)

you will see science on the mountain.
(that mountain will chew you up)
always in motion, each glacier a
huge extended tongue. crevasses bring the surface
texture. deep, deep cuts born of moving ice.

dear Mount Rainier is the unlikely muse;
a place for dreams
(hoping, praying)
You’ll find enough ether here to move
your most secret thought. (absolution,
if it is needed. the last confession)
and here, on Rainier, is the staircase.
everywhere you look. (so many ways
up the mountain.) Your staircase and you know it.

for memory’s sake
for navigation. (motivation)
for God’s sake

for time will tick you forward
(off the mountain); so much less time spent
in the present moment, searching
for powerfully spent other (past)

the whiteness will come full circle.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

surface tension

don't linger
on my shoulder
with premeditated fingers

or glimmer flesh
a torso flash, floating
in loose fitting pants

do choose
each word you whisper
whiskey voiced man
and when you pause

to breathe

look at me.


Monday, December 26, 2011

my true voice

Screaming fight or flight through lifetimes;
to arrive on this, thrumming pulse.
Constant; but too vast for any calculation,
enumeration, description.

(loving rhymes and chromosomes)

The ethereal light
almost phony, corny looking,
until you’re too close to move away.
It is real, pilgrim
You’re in.

And then you know.
Just in time, the Truth.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

fresh sheets (title by r)


baby powder bare
crispy bright white
receiving blanket white
hopes for futures on
other soils
pressed innocence
helpless to a
threaded surface
orbs of coming days
behind crusty slits
their focus on linen canvas
bounty in the mainsail
of a crib.


crease-less sheets
to be imprinted with the
moons and rivers of life
human forms on gravitational
earth. Above and below
fibrous threads
with muddy swamps of thought
a glassy shard of lust
on a fold
in your brain
and now
on a fold
in your stunning fresh sheets.


fresh muddy sheet
sun warm
earthworm warm fresh and sweet
with blood
insects torn apart
now give way
to a corpse heavy box
forked into her steaming throat
threads of root, grass
perfect count
fresh bed
eternity bed
final bed
dirty and pristine
shoveled in as angel arms.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Aurora Borealis

I have traveled with you in my mind
to the north; me the student. you the teacher, forever.

many times

together on the floes,
the land of Eskimos.

you know the way
the ocean becomes clotted with ice the way pudding refuses to
separate, under-stirred. the way the seal-hunters only acknowledge our presence,
indignant; respectful?

together on the floes,
the land of Eskimos.

But, the Inuit teach us nothing about survival we
(you especially) have not known for years. we turn away
laughing, knowing we are the hunted;
laughing, still.

you, with the bad heart
me flailing all the way, of course.

what have we left, at best, on this speck of white ice
or green,
twenty years? If that.

and we are laughing, even crying
crying, because we know this is as far as we can travel
to the north; at least safely.

It is as far as we can travel alive.


Friday, December 23, 2011

near white center

oh guru! is there quid pro quo?
soft in the pupae state; hard little knot (evolving)
to blossom.

(who can explain this finger vibrating like a reed?)

see the lungs and esophagus are visible
through the skin, beneath the sternum
in pink-brown and white-green.

see you
standing hands above head—
each digit splits and becomes the branches
of a tree. a pear tree.

(arms black as banana peel)

Oh sage—where do whales go when they die?
as the decomposition begins—one may wonder
about the soul of such an animal; intelligence
with the ape, the human
knowing and feeling

to the County Line
—slipping even—
where Zeus and Athena argue
like Duwamish trailer trash

O sage.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

the sweet bird is singing

must be honey in my mouth
so sweet, and I love it.
(but as daily sustenance?)

this is the weight I carry; the albatross of my lifetime.
no more
too much, too sweet

(brain on the very brink)

can this little taste of arsenic in sour milk
save me from myself?


Sunday, December 18, 2011


when you see the garden butterfly,
know that it is me. if you see many;
then I am among them.


into the tremble of evening, cool—now in spring.
butterscotch cloud bottoms are seen,
but only peripherally. birds are chirping
singing—goodnight. goodnight.

and I float past the poppies --
on the left (the red ones having flown;
the pink ones -- just blooming.)

yes. I am floating


—how I crave the magic tree of youth
my memory marker, vibrant still
folded/ creased into some brain structure;
distributed throughout the cerebral cortex.
(specific mystery meat between my ears --
three pounds of it)

my tree! my mimosa!
my beautiful mimosa.

sometimes they call you Persian silk --
sometimes they say you are the bastard tamarind
Always 'mimosa' to me.

magic—when you close your tender leaves at night;
sometimes during periods of rain.

your stunning pink flowers,
no petals, only tight stamens, clustered little threads,
shooting straight for the azure above. blowing gently
in nighttime breezes.

did you know, mimosa, how I loved you?
did you know, mimosa, I was in awe?

How could you know?

(you would become my ultimate measure
of beauty on this Earth,
and you remain the benchmark.)

how I will forever remember your smell,
your seasonal ebb and flow!

did you know my heart was breaking, then?

did you know I didn't want to leave you?
I never wanted to go. I never wanted—to grow up.

And how I miss you, now, decades on—



"Faggot, fairy. Butt-fucker." The shattered self --
(at puberty) -- thirteen -- homosexuality
swirling 'round. a goddam windstorm ever since.

and I wanted it to go away. but how could I be saved?

I could not. I was not.

Childhood departs. It always departs.


O, mimosa; I have a garden once again. You would be proud.
So very proud of me!

Just past the poppies (I float right by -- defying gravity)
you will find a rose tree, exquisite white buds, tight, tiny knots.

the Dogwood hangs over the Japanese Maple.
hostas, ferns and lilies nearby, just beneath a towering Cedar.
(can trees have watchful eyes? yes. they can. they do.)

And there, my beloved pear tree, blossoms have become leaves,
and the tiniest pears you'll ever see are miniatures
of the fruit we'll eat this fall. Pear cobbler. Pear jam.

All these luscious trees, foliage brushing my face
as I ascend. All the evergreens, oaks, pines. And the one
tree of many branches (I don't know its name) -- but it reminds me
of you, mimosa, though its leaves do not close and blossoms
are not pink

(but something peaceful. something rooted, cycling through life)

It is sudden, then, I see the gloaming above has become inky dark.
the leaves are now vibrating, breezily, as I spy the Moon above.

Only at that very moment is it clear—I'm not floating.
I'm not floating at all. I am only walking in the moonlight.

Just a walk in the garden. A cool spring night.

You cross my mind.

And I am safe.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

blue skies

autumn is
your face in south-lit shadow

your chocolate candy eyes


rose- from chill

evergreen in a sea of red and gold

fingertips- alive in parting-
dancing for blocks
beneath a certain sky.


Friday, December 16, 2011


in what sullied state would I find you tonight?

the rain is a channel to you (one travels great distances
quickly; one appears transformed)

I, the many, many shapes I take as if by magic
through the water.

for clarity;
I am not invisible, but you will never see me
staring into your starving eyes
perched in the corner where the wall meets the ceiling.

we all strike our little deals
stake our little claims
settling on this, I'll give up sanity

what power and vision I have
despite my pathetic, quivering


Thursday, December 15, 2011

my teeth

on some screen—somewhere in Guam
via satellite.
“That man on TV sure has nice, white teeth.”
big smile.
“They’re caps.”


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

the exquisite, now

how will time touch your face?
and body? perfection
youth's tight edge.

I imagine you
old; ninety.
dimples supine
at rest
in lovely furrows.

cocoa and wool for hair

wisps, snow on
crown and crotch

long limbs
your ears
stretched at gravity's call

an eternal walk to the dirt.

how it brings you nearer
and whiter.

even in brown
and solid

your beautiful face.


Friday, December 9, 2011

while still a baby


snow face.

lilly white; sun plays tricks;

you are the magic canvas.

When you were a puppy -- no sounds; congenital deafness --

NOT A SOUND. only sight. only smell. only feel. only taste.

no fight.

no game.

no worth.

No hearing for the stupid little pit bull. Damn you to Hell, you bitch!

They called you ‘bait dog.' (Angel, my beloved animal guide)

how could you know you would save my very life?

you spent ‘babyhood’ as bait. And the aggressors? Your breed.

Pit bulls. Mean Ones. Fighting Ones. One-Hundred pound males with

intact testicles -- jaws like sharks. ALL muscle. They tried to blind you with bites.

— and the human trash involved —


When you. YOU! My white Angel -- when you were discovered in Moses Lake, Washington.

In that lonely orchard,

your deaf ears were nearly-frozen.

When you, my whiteness, were rescued, your head -- covered with pus filled bites. They nearly blinded you. (your milk chocolate eyes still shining) Delicious. Beautiful.

When YOU (you; my beloved companion) found deliverance from HATE and CRUELTY, you were dying,

a tiny puppy. Nearly frozen. Nearly blinded. (legs tortured from the feces filled crate)

Only monsters torture puppies (fight ‘em); and these monsters

are still with us: free. They still fight those dogs. It’s just for fun.

Maybe a little money. They hide it from police. It is illegal; we all know that.


Angel. You survived. You thrived.

You see -- and you see those who love you.

Angel, you see the beautiful days ahead.

Angel, you 'hear' the truth in your own way.

And just so you know,

--- those monsters will rot in Hell ---


Thursday, December 8, 2011

hand of judgement

for the sake of curiosity; not cruelty,
and exploration, not destruction,
the boy pulls the wings from a Monarch butterfly.
he knows it would live only a few months, anyway.
(in the wild)
but he hadn't meant to kill it.
(or even maim it)

what had he been thinking?
(lip quivering)

and now there is shock and exasperation as the
still-alive 'butterfly corpse-to-be' scurries on the dirt
looking like a roach or beetle; wingless,
ugly as a monster

why the tears?

as the bug crawls out of sight
the boy looks down
on his hand of judgment

on his fingers; residue the color of a tiger.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

the milk sky

"It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks" - Acts 9:5


In Jerusalem, marks of Crusaders still etch the stone.
(Church of the Holy Sepulcher)
my own fingers running along the edges of Golgotha
—the crucifixion site— now a tourist line/ Disneyland.
smell of b.o. — as I scan the line — so many eyes
wide as plates. (and the candles always lit)

blood on the floor is just an expression—
but this is the spot of Christ's torture.
the marginalized 'God-Son.' -- Son of the Alpha and Omega
on a cross [The Old Rugged Cross] the illusion of death?


the unimportant self. the 'me' not worth a shit.

Dan, Help the poor
Dan, Help the mentally ill
Dan, Help the homosexuals
Dan, Help the Jews
Dan, Help the addicted.


and look up! the pale horse has a rider;
his name is Death. And close behind is Hell.
you know this. (a head-bow is appropriate)
a prayer.
your last prayer?


a bow to reality: to the azure sky
until Kingdom Come. To the very end.
—When all is equal.


Monday, December 5, 2011


Please begin again; all of it
Back to the Farm, Sugar Beet Skies,
primordial lessons repeated,
from the father to the son,
forged in a Colorado field of dirt
behind a prized,


Sunday, December 4, 2011

time and date of my choosing

“...This is no sorrowful day, you can be sure, I’ve got no axe to grind at all...”
—Swan Song by Bruce Hornsby


‘muffled snow‘ — the sound — the still world —
the just-fallen white --
the ‘any sound’ -- laughter (sobbing) transformed; absorbed first
by the fluff trees and marshmallow carpet.
(finally it reaches my ear) -- diminished.


the night before O.J. Simpson’s acquittal, Prosecutor Clark,
on tape, pleading a final time; deliberations to follow. “He did it,”
she said to the jurors—but for the muffled snow, perhaps,
a different outcome? Still, could we not hear through such obfuscation?
(even in relatively warm Los Angeles; muffled.) the snow.


2001, beautiful late summer morning, the towers fell into muffled snow.
(my body shooting bolt upright in bed—TV on overnight) “And it appears
a plane has...” But my wide eyes still gluey—and cotton batting
in my head? Tom Brokaw rambling on and on, as I clear what seems
a quart of snow from my ears. -- Is this real?


and now, with years having passed—all the many times—
all the muffled snow -- I am so confused. I’ve become another.
--barely recognizable --
Can you not hear me?


but there is a time and date when the dazed middle-aged man—
I indeed recognize as myself -- finally -- emerges. Has the snow cleared?
Have I actually chosen this day?


—or have I been tightly wrapped in a chrysalis? did I confuse
the swaddling for the sound after snowfall? do I see a light now? -- yes?

(the kind you see at the end)

I can hear the sounds, yes?

-- answer me --


or at this time—and on this date—have I become a butterfly?


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

certain knowledge

A glance sideways on your frame
catching my eye
in that shape.
An eternal chasm between sculpture
and what will never be.

The frame of you
and me.
Soft screams in carefully chosen words;
the noise of knowing
a bereft gut.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

night of lightning

unique as it may seem in the moment, it will return, and so on.
my night of lightning
on a Kansas prairie (only I remember) -- bolts up and down for hours;
repeats in this Century
looking down on Temple Mount.
Jerusalem is a long way from Kansas City.

take a glass light bulb -- put it on the floor, lit (aglow),
and then step on it. though the
bulb will go out -- look at the shards of glass
and visualize the pieces as still lit.

zoom out.

now, see each illuminated piece as an event in your life to come.
find the way between
the glowing, shattered pieces.
you’ll be fine.

have a valid passport and don’t get stuck in New Jersey.


Sunday, November 27, 2011


I remember your
bifocal glasses
then; and
now I see my life
on your parallel

I dreamed of flying
again last night, and
today I flew there
with you at my side;
you in your blue plane,
me on the cloud top.

And I can see you
just a leap away.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

forever cat gone

the gash in my heart—the hissing,
(middle of the night) Bozo dangling by claws,
just inches from his favorite chair;
he almost made it. (almost up)

he came later to curl in the crook of my arm.
the lull before daylight. the cuddle before death.

—in a dream—

Bozo is happy-fat, the big boy.
He's my old fat cat again
now on a tableau of pure ether.

In the end days he let me kiss his head—
usually not allowed—
seemed welcome
seemed needed.

At the Eternity Door,
the doctor was so very kind.
I'd never seen Bozo's eyes so clear. (knowing)
clear 'these' were the final visions.

I saw glimpses of those clear eyes
in the terrible days
immediately prior.


Friday, November 25, 2011

i (eye) - for Margo

Oh your eye,
try it will, find it will
a missspelling.
My being
electrified in some poetic way
justified by rationale
my reasons why. Crucified.

Then sanctified
your eye.



Thursday, November 24, 2011


I suppose it is, in part, what a bird feels
the very moment its feet leave the wire
and its wings actually carry it into blue sky.

Flight; but not knowing
you could fly


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

consider the sunny day

When human rubble sits on faraway fields.
Bodies and parts of them
scattered as a child would leave playthings on the den
the after-Christmas floor

A bounty of bodies; reality not terrible enough
over the span of time
to usher peace
Aortas still split. Guts fly
as teeth clench in distant meeting rooms.
Power and peace divided on tables.

When women are crowded behind the alley entrance
mission doors.
Their lives and babies’ lives
eviscerated as the wolf undoes a sheep in the night,
with only the moon to watch.

The carnage still not enough
to halt the scatter of bullets in the streets
or the viciousness that releases them.
Orphaned infants scream with forever-bruised hearts
while we deny under sunny, azure skies.


Monday, November 21, 2011

no refill

those were years of Nitrous and Noctec—
living in the Nicotine ant farm.

he arrived only in pieces; with Xanax, Seconal,
Nembutal, Valioooooooom—(the endless others)
the trailing half-lives followed him like a stench.

the cadaver still propped up; even walking with
morgue make-up.

(the walking—an illusion, a prospect? a wish?)

in his life, what of it he could legitimately remember,
he'd tried to guard the tiny, tender flame. (boxes of words
seen as trash; even by the intimates.)

we think it broke his will (and there is no pill for that)


Saturday, November 19, 2011

the everything man

truth be told.
don’t confuse me with someone you once found
in the middle of a lonely road, though I am him.
the world is all absolutes to me. no middles.
(begging) please no shades of gray,
and may I please help the baby out with the bath water?
I assure you, this is my final fucking position; forever
until the end. nothing changes. don’t try. not now.
not ever.
(and that is a very long time)

so, what to make of the unexpected confidante?
(freedom in absolution?)
in love with the black and white song.
then, why stake my life now on the only escape from the hole?
gray. middles.
(and not to be examined)

when the sky is melting
when there is fire on simplicity
(no fit)

I will go there. I will find the only one.
and the everything man lives in shadow;
paradoxically the brightest light.
(my puzzles, his innately leveled)

how I crave the secret fuzz, the times of very together,
when love fog obscures the sharp edges of the
dirty, daily steps.

even euphoria is manageable,
not blinded anymore by the too blue sky;
the too cheery sun.
I once thought never.

(and sweeter than this?)

pull back the large curtain near Heaven.
behold the everything man.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Throw me down.

Those rocks know thousands of summers.

That mountain will chew you up.

I’ve been here before.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Grandpa Fred

Gasp, with a stagger,
then life departs.
And mine,
the final eyes
your eyes
Goodbye twinkled,
as I lowered my toothbrush
to your limp frame on the bathroom floor.

Later in the kitchen
Mom cut onions for meat loaf
and I cried.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


last breath of day
cloud bottoms milky orange,
with seconds to spare. infinite
space, star-riddled, rushes to meet night's release.

Afternoon's teeth. finally gone now.
the too cheery light melting on the bay-
remnants float iridescent.

it's a safe catch into the ink
jet black flowing on cotton paper
the chaos
is cloaked now, contained. measured.
the air is gentle in low visability.

someone is speaking.


Friday, November 11, 2011

right now

where are you, little angel?
likely not there
fade out
(pipe organ)

where've you been?
likely not where you say, liar.
fade out
pants on fire, liar.
maybe some similar place--
but not there.

by the way,
that's some power
zipped up in there,
godboy. Pants on fire
as you
a jet strong
choke hold through the hole
faster climb the clouds
from the chasm

But no angel. in that crack
the moist abyss
fade out
(altar call)

So, So
what's all that about, little angel?
oh sure
but not you.
unless you lie,
hiding in some familiar place.
safe. cocky. cock.
oh sure.
But it's below you

So, So, So
in this light -- right now
in this good light -- you should know
all that shows, little angel liar.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spanish coffee

In Valencia, the oranges are famous
ripe skins drenched in sun baths.

My Valencia is Mediterranean blue
and orange and
so hot
in a Spanish summer

it wakes me from a dead sleep
with the taste of orange
on my lips.

my body
and wet.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

science fails

no innocence in this night of stars;
the appearance and the truth are contrary. it is the eternity dance again,
the brutal and beautiful annihilation of worlds,
and cycles, and spirals; tornadic, behind a gauze curtain.
tendrils of reality visible only to the few.

one is taken to the fair days, swaddled in memory husk, sword swallowers,
human oddities, candy floss, glee.
at the heart of it all, the reflection
and defying mirror image, exact replication prohibited,
and celebrated only as theme.

lethal angels are at play (lack of pain)
in a darkening field, now.
sun loss is here
and it is sad. counting down, now.

chaos is the mist, one trifling ingredient on an ascending scale,
orders of magnitude above--
one finds the grease, essentials--
the dawn is of truth only, not physical dawn, having passed
in this world, as one moves to hunker down in a new location.

science explains only a segment of the newness
worlds repeating, etc...
is it vanity and selfishness that took it all?
the post-apocalyptic discussions are tedious and too human,
but what other frame of reference can one endure?

broadcloth? that is the expectation;
longing for a definitive cause at a time like this.
mystics do not trump lethal angels.
the meanness is recycled as gelatinous brew, forked steaming into the throat.
swallow hard against the crush
reverse vomit.

every pulse is violent selfishness,
every single one
through all the worlds past or ever to come.
without limit.
so parsed by awkward language, this enormous sense of entitlement
transcends any tongue. We are, but mist—or dust.

one blink and out.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

street walker

Look into my face
you drunkard street walker,
begging for my money.
do you see
we share the same
beating heart?

We are one -- but you are drunk.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011


pools of you
and it rains
and again

rivers of you
the swollen clouds
refuse to


so much of you
in liquid form
before my very eyes.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

eating too much honey

the unspeakable, resurrected,
alive still; and trembling,
and breathing.

all the gossamer expertly removed
to the viscera of loathing.
attached specifically to reality;
exact, past doings exhumed

waking the nearly dead

shaking the memory tree

and the exquisite details
shed as a horrible, forever puzzle.


Saturday, October 29, 2011


It always leads here
ink slides onto paper
the soulful ocean swamps mighty dikes

and suddenly


some coded, photographed reality


pungent on the tablet
bloody and new.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

mercury (hold it)

What hides and bobs
behind gabardine's curtain?

Chocolate milk skin
espresso hair

Candy in my mouth's
most delicious

If for even a
it crosses your mind--

one brilliant second?

Let me see behind the curtain
let me be a deep, hidden

an experiment
folded away on some yesterday.

for you.

For me
infinite pleasure
in a


Saturday, October 22, 2011

the soup

trust me.
there are layers in this mist
shades of, shades of gray
not the layers of a skin; tangible,
dissectible or solid
but rather, the undulating fog.
the fingers of clouds touching my tender folds
teasing, even

opacity is thrilling, not knowing the way
not seeing the very next little step.
there is bliss in that uncertainty. Wanting
one more clue.
catch me. as I will catch you
should we trip up
upon each other
in all this


Thursday, October 20, 2011

my teeth

on the screen—somewhere in Guam
via satellite.
“That man on TV sure has nice, white teeth.”
big smile.
“They’re caps.”


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

in this life

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills, you know the one, Dr. Everything'll-Be-All-right, instead of asking him how much of your time is left, ask him how much of your mind, baby. 'Cause in this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld.' In this life you're on your own.”

-Let’s Go Crazy- Prince

We don’t treat strokes with
tough love. No ‘slaps in faces’
-- please -- for the sick?

for cancer. Parkinson's, ALS, Traumatic Brain Injury. Leukemia.

Or depression? Yes. Depression.

(wounds, injuries, accidents)

We sweep our own stoops
We rescue our fallen -- the poor --
Above all; We do no harm.

In this life, (my) defender is me.
For who else will advocate?

(I was a fool to assume, incorrectly)

Who else will step up
for the man who washed
his hands to bloody digits?

bathed in television lighting -- painted
like a clown. the make-believe newsman.
the ‘limp’ is hidden. stoic for the red light.

OCD monster. (thankfully now crippled)

(memories, so long past)

What protection might I expect
with clouds of mist and whispers;
the obfuscation of reality? The lethal
edge so near.

Step up.

I will step up; and fight
like hell. For myself.
For who else would?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


my foot is still dragging, almost a month after I fell on my head,
in the middle of the night.
my thumb is dead numb.
fortunately, the MRI is clean, just a pinched nerve. I'm relieved.

my mouth is under construction,
two implants sit waiting for the final crowns.
the little caps are being made right now at a lab, somewhere.

but my gut aches, and that's not an actual physical malady,
at least not truly in my gut.
I have OCD; a big secret I hide from almost everyone.
this is my coming-out poem,
a debutante ball for my soul. a cotillion.

in my poetry brain,
OCD is an animal. (a cat?)
much of its time is spent in the now; feline stalking prey,
once caught, the prey is tormented still alive, sometimes released.

I have been pawed by the cat since I was a child,
and crippled in varying degrees, over time.
it's strange that I limp now because of something unrelated.

if someone were to ask me about my OCD, I'd say, go read about it,
that's why we have the Internet.


Friday, October 7, 2011

pinhead (all of my angels caught dancing)

the first-class red-eye to the sanest stretch of night’s crossing;
lounging, sleeping, melting

a halo of beloved cats.

“Boze, it’s my favorite time of the day!”

these inward travels—laying here—fetal—suffuse with color
—opioid, nearly.
dance me all the way to some orange edge.

—show me joy!


Thursday, October 6, 2011


across frozen, anonymous, blankness
ice and ice and ice
nature keeps a secret
away from all human eyes
equally hidden and discoverable
(as secrets are)

December knows
and has discovered
the stones
which lead to ice, blank sky
and the mystery -- the

nature knows its

by name.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Aurora Borealis

I have traveled with you in my mind
to the north; me the student. you the teacher, forever.

many times

together on the floes,
the land of Eskimos.

you know the way
the ocean becomes clotted with ice the way pudding refuses to
separate, under-stirred. the way the seal-hunters only acknowledge our presence,
indignant; respectful?

together on the floes,
the land of Eskimos.

But, the Inuit teach us nothing about survival we
(you especially) have not known for years. we turn away
laughing, knowing we are the hunted;
laughing, still.

you, with the bad heart
me flailing all the way, of course.

what have we left, at best, on this speck of white ice
or green,
twenty years? If that.

and we are laughing, even crying
crying, because we know this is as far as we can travel
to the north; at least safely.

It is as far as we can travel alive.


Monday, October 3, 2011

epiphany; sea change

and softly we arrive each year (back like the swallows)
stinking of the fear journey; carrying all the tchotchkes (collected nefariously. sad!)
and so, roiling, the “I know” fingers do their magic, invisibly from behind.
you are there again, speaking in eternity voice
(God, it can be overwhelming, thrilling)
not only scent alerts the blind-deaf self,
but touch
from behind
a chilblain, hypothermia, a body death rattle;
cannot tame what has been loosed.
you and I wander, but with a surgeon’s precision, into the ether.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

moon (January 1998)

That old girl won't run anymore
and it breaks my heart.

Moon, I see you forever
in one orange second on that beach.
Not even the Pacific is as blue
as your eyes.

The sea swallows huge gulps of air

But you dance on the edge of dreams
twitching in your legs

You know the way to eternity.


Friday, September 23, 2011

tons of thunder


always the legend of what I wanted life to be, embellished constantly with myth.

(it could have happened, but doubtful) the gospel.

when Julia was alive, anything was possible, practically speaking in tongues- all the superlatives, over the top, and so many of us will remember it and you, and the cancer, and the charisma so unadulterated, appealing; all the seduction, the career that never was, the death; stolen from us at the zenith of your influence. Jesus!

O God bring back the dead ones, all of them. Julia, the great, bright light; and father Lowell, the ultimate teacher and giver of love, (the God-alive man) we had waited thousands of years for your lessons carried to earth (no mistaking messiahs), in reality, this is mortal flesh with a too-soon expiry, only finite years and words finding threads to be woven through generations, (seen now, very much alive, in comet eyes) red giant too close; too soon gone; you were the birth giver, once removed, now a soul-mate who lives on, with your passing, exquisite, only in memory.

grief subsides but will not pass.

and we are all still waving goodbye.


strong grandmother enigma, you cannot be disfigured by time, your Eastern European face won’t go to ether, nor will your reality be defined by the living, even by those with your flesh; it is obviously pure legend, descending directly from mystery, questions met only with a polite change of subject, a change in focus, a mirror suddenly turned to expose what? we are forced to look another direction, the moment before is lost to an ocean of time, swimming away barely missed, a shimmer and some familiar notion at the very root of it all. (in the pit of my stomach) and there you are a beautiful little girl, now long since passed and only beginning to live in some of the descendants.

how your eyes still blink in this world.


sugar beet fields are certainly a part of my legend, backbreaking work behind a mule, only imagined as your reality, but that is accurate, in truth, there is part of me that dripped as sweat in those fields; no one can take that away from me, it is where I existed first, before this. and who could have known then you would die before my very eyes? face blue, death eyes (all the many years later, clear, bright, the same) ;
my own father trying to save your fast fleeting life, only to falter himself in some divine mimicry (genes, oh sure), a serene European golf course his eternity door and the electric foreshadowing; a 1970’s bathroom floor. shuffle on out, shuffle away, but we are still watching, all of us in the house, we see you (no true escape from legacy); father of my father, it rolls off my tongue, and will like poetry.


dead ones, I will not stop resurrecting you for my sanity.
bring me the Jews. bring me the Christians, the nonbelievers from all birth lands, bring all, and not just the memories, but flesh, bits of bone, sinewy decomposition; we can embrace any truth! we stand for it. detail the sea you loved, the waters you fished as the near-ultimate pleasure, the San Francisco Bay, the Mediterranean, the Dead Sea? what did you feel the first time you heard you would see another generation? (not knowing, of course, so many would follow- so many blood descendants), the boys with your face, destined to carry the other features, easily recognized as yours, and your laugh is tons of thunder- your jowls and belly seize, certain to span the lives, shooting through other decades and bodies-so like yours, big as the blood mixes/ retaining science (unchangeable: no amount of prayer will alter a double helix. that is fact) and you are with me this moment.


bring me jars of jelly from the Colorado plains, pickles, sweet and straight from the dirt to your earthy-smelling basement. balance? your absence leaves me with blank canvasses on which I can hope to dream, there are so many questions to ask you, if only face to face, can you give me one afternoon? (busy as you are in eternity) I would look you straight in the eye, humbled though I am by your knowledge, corpses don’t often talk, but I have higher expectations of your once attached soul. we share a secret, don’t we? there are not enough hours for me to contemplate you, and the rest; explore all the music history, family tree, photos and my many questions for your other world wisdom. are the traits I most dislike in others those I cannot tolerate in myself? how do my dreams materialize from black holes? imagination’s sperm and egg; always the aggrandizement becomes reality, that is the mystery only you will explain, though not now. in the end, aren’t we, individually, alone, each a tiny floating vessel of chaos? (the underlying goal is interconnectedness, but that is the exception, the rarity.) in the end, the loss of you (the collective) is beyond all the oversimplified self-help. oh words. (oh, all the great power we assign; it is our mistake) it’s over. I’ll find the shaman on some other soil, to fill my veins with food, but not here, not in some highly compared, criticized, unimportant farce. (not in public, please)



in the end, isn’t this world just an excuse for potential’s half-open purse?

one imagines so.

but your voice from the grave is hope for the alive world.

we are rapt.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011


you don’t fear
the old man in the mirror
while your lips move,
time chasing you down
as prey,
shaking you in folds of your former self.

how could you see your own ebullience?
glowing on the soft gel of youth
while the old man
a certain chasm,
a gulping ocean,
a black hole,

for you.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

following new stars

in hiding—in danger-
abusing analogies; time to move to a new room,
we look at the larger picture.
weekends mean music, no robots.
the shine (shave) of my youth long gone,
reality is finally visible through life cycles, repeating.
(are you questioning the Book of Mark? “I don’t believe in it”
Star of David) the photographs arrive electronically. I’m holding
the little mother. Angel mother is holding the legacy, moving
forward in plain view; we passively witness
the divine win limited notice. ho-hum. Thy Kingdom come.

are you really going to just give up? (not what I would have
expected from a true, full blood descendant.)

on to Israel, where Italian planes bombed Tel Aviv and Haifa
during the war. (the war’s Jews slaughtered with the queers.
gas ovens.)

Aliyah is the secret word. Hashem.
so, the spotlight is a cheesy bright, too white light,
dancing in it is the legacy I honestly inherited. birth, blood, genes.
Fred Astaire?
in hiding is the metaphor, Hashem.

in danger? yes.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

be mine

Valentines Day—1969.
D.B. in the car. Eleven years old. D.B. dropped-off at the school's front entrance. D.B. still sleepy in the gloomy morning light. Minnesota snow; piles cleared by janitors. Sidewalks and doorways still slick with slush as hundreds of students stomp the grayish muck.
"Have fun at your party, Honey" -- cheerful Mom to little D.B. Of course, he's forgotten all about any party as Mom hands him the basket of cards. (Cards D.B. has signed.) Seventeen of them. BE MINE. LOVE. I'M HAPPY. SWEETHEART. At the party, D.B. is to place a card into an individual basket for each girl. Boys don't put cards into the baskets of other boys.
D.B. is unlikely to read the cards placed in his. But there will be cake!
As Mom's car pulls slowly back into traffic, D.B. clomps toward the front door, slush flying -- basket in hand.

How to know this very moment would forever disturb?
How to know it would change a life?

The noise is from behind. CRIPPLE. GIMP. GET-UP. CAN'T YOU STAND UP?

R_, the girl with a tortured walk, (disability never to be known or understood by D.B.) is down in the slush-glop. She has fallen. R_ is crying. D.B. can see, around her eyes, through coke bottle glasses, the whitish, frozen tears. And there's a crowd; all boys (hyena laughs) kicking the filthy snow onto the girl's red coat. A coat for Valentine's Day? R__'s basket has been kicked from her grasp. The boys are stomping it to shreds, cards are sopping wet, the basket itself now a shapeless wicker form; destroyed. Laughter from the boys pealing through icy air -- the sounds barely muffled by mountains of fresh snow.

Where are the teachers? Why is R__, with the horrific challenge, being taunted? Help her D.B.! She needs you! HELP HER! HELP HER! Suddenly... convulsively... D.B. is also leaking tears. Maybe R__ is calling to him. Help! The surreality of the moment; gloved hands on his ears, D.B. sees his own basket on the ground. Has he dropped it? Has someone knocked it down in the shuffle to the door? The slush and streams of melting ice make rivulets around the edges of the basket. Red coloring leaking into the glop. D.B.'s own cards are wet. HELP HER!

The terrible moment: unrelenting. The awful epithets. The cruel boys. R_ sobbing, unable to make it to her feet.

—D.B. has felt sad for R_ before; not understanding her ordeal.

D.B. is in the snow too, gathering his own cards. —D.B. is walking toward the door. —D.B. is in the hall. —D.B. is at his locker. —D.B. feels a blast of heat; lockers slamming, teachers smiling. —D.B. no longer crying.

—D.B. walking to class. —D.B. carrying his basket

The day is 'ON.' The bell is ringing. —D.B. takes a seat -- eyes of a cadaver.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

street walker

Look into my face
you drunkard street walker,
begging for my money.
do you see
we share the same
beating heart?

We are one -- but you are drunk.


Monday, July 4, 2011

samsung man

movement again below
surging is my heart.

I smell you
lifting my nostrils with guns popping in my brain.

the giant is awake

startled to reality in some deep hunger.

And me?

listening like a little boy.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

birth and such

it must be evolutionary simpatico
with the enormous she/ sea turtle—
(the complexity of the mission; the forever danger!)
—on the beach—she plants them
with Darwinian flourish.

a turn.
then back to sea. gone.


even now, in center/ middle-age—
finally beyond my equivalent planting mission.
(deep satisfaction)

a turn,
and then—back
finally back.


Friday, April 29, 2011

the secret of the cotton

cotton ought to sing. (memory’s does)
white-capped monks kneeling in dirt,
song and the alliterative like.

through it all, there are the high notes,
the high point, remember?
the men touching, and then finally,
the truth of it all, at last. my soul. my soul.

God, the euphoria!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Uncle Si

Old Uncle Si
with long legs

with the passing of
one moon, one sun
I see his oath to me
as vapor

just clouds in the old man's eye.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

the logical case for suicide

this complication is enormous,
and yet appears as ether. the obverse
is the elaborate snowflake under a microscope.
same riddle; not to be solved.
(even passing consideration is a waste,
unless the interest is simply awe)

so, is it fair to introduce an extra layer
of complexity to something barely understood?
it is just a roll of the dice, man,
linked, exquisitely to science.
(genetic code can whisper death and disease
surreptitiously- often does)
don’t underestimate the double helix.

and what of the blood?
limbs ripped at the fleshy anchor.
rape. (not your will, and sullied)
box of chaos. box of comets.
these are not pleasant scenarios.
these are not the Kodak moments.
this is the cancer end of a morphine drip.
this is the intruder set on your dignity, your life.
this is the loss of a child (inconceivably violent goodbye)

where is the bedrock of no hope now?
are you walking on it?
can you feel the solid disbelief?
(that it’s all come to this)

it’s a subtle shift of light.

the gun slides in so easily
(taste of metal, nothing new)
and there are lovely parting gifts.

what’s behind door number one?



to the pulse code.
It pumps
and talks tomorrow.
Entering fiber through
capillary's path,
ears open now. Important
coded blood pumping
heart open,

the muscle holds the secret
steel strong

Ready as a cannon
cocked; now
the white hot pulse speaks
translates in the mirror
some bulge
in the deltoid

in clay of flesh
Reflections are translations.

in the fat vein
River in clay of flesh.

Muscle is the secret
bedrock shifts.
Oh joy,
The Word
forever pounds the fiber full.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dan/ 2001

For most of my life.
And until the day you died. You called me Super.
“Super, It’s your Old Man calling.”
“Super, take the High Road.”
“Super, We think you’ve gone off the deep end.”

Did you, over the years—or in the end,
ever think about the origin of that nickname?
That day it all started? Did you block it out? Forget?


The Little Fat Boy. "SuperGut."

I remember.

Your word (vicious), your son, your choice.

(SuperGut); shortened over time to just plain old "Super."

Harmless. You shortened it.
I grew out of it, and occasionally you even called me
But "Super" stuck. I still hear it tripping off your tongue.

“Super, this is your Old Man.”
Sometimes Mike or Tom will call me "Super."
It feels good, and they don’t
remember how it all started.

Me in the kitchen. 12 years old.
I wanted to join the Navy. The Navy!

“Good -- you’re too fucking fat to ever be in the Marine Corps, so go ahead.
Join the Navy. Maybe they’ll take you.”

I hated you for that.
On that day—I wished you dead a thousand times over.

And for so long—I wanted you in a box. Gone.

The years, however, replaced my revulsion for the name
with the deepest longing.

How I crave just one more time—your voice.

“Super, This is your Old Man.”



Old Uncle Si
with long legs

with the passing of
one moon, one sun
I see his oath to me
as vapor

just clouds in the old man's eye.


the opening

you could fly to the top of that building
or the top of a mountain

Providence is moving
Angels calmly watching, just out of sight
and the truth is told in whispers

I can see your soul
in my dream- my face was not my face