Saturday, February 25, 2012

Goodbye (In the end)

I've been to Herald Square
and Jerusalem --The River Jordan --
Sea of Galilee --

I've walked on Penny Lane.

I touched the Hollywood Sign.

so many other journeys.
—But now it's time to rest—
—been a busy day—

Friday, February 24, 2012


money burns a hole
tiny lies
rule the volume of night's
everything in small
doses; attention
rat/ fink shufflin' off
knowing; engorging
a slip-knot hand
in some tiny room
chokehold on tomorrow's
writing on some coin
only in the mirror
behind eyes

gold eyes

coin money.


Thursday, February 23, 2012


there is a hair's-width between self-absorption and awakening,
the flawed human condition is universal,
and the gauntlet is thrown down
for the philosophers;
the very same mortal action may be self-aggrandizement for one,
a life or death decision for another.

what is perceived as vanity or greed may indeed be the will to live.

Kafka once told a friend,
we human beings should stand before one another as reverently
as we would before the entrance to Hell.

for you don’t know of the griefs that are in me,
and I don’t know of yours.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my true voice

Screaming fight or flight through lifetimes;
to arrive on this thrumming pulse.
Constant; but too vast for 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.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

never a last day

the apocalyptic troll has assumed his usual outpost
at the end of dream lane.

each traveler is blessed with abundance, seen or unseen.

and this drama, masquerading
as reality, is a thread to be

in time
(always returning to the butter sky, this cycle
scientifically repeats ad-infinitum)

one must consider what
cannot be disputed.

(four and a half billion is a significant number)

so who are you to trash quantum physics?
(parallel universes. string theory.)
where is your ice age?
who is your God?

silence is not an option now, as we tick
into some new rendering.

welcome to the razor lip
(sharpest edge yet into what will be)

the very dawn,

space and time recast.


Monday, February 20, 2012

the recovery

in the brittle post fever
recovery, my twitching eye, myokymia
is harmless
and yet I allow it to pilfer minutes of my sanity.
this is Hashem’s wink, certainly.
and the message, perhaps, from souls long gone.
embrace, enjoy!
fevers, boils, orgasms.
same mix of now.
bathe, while there is time.
(you speck of cosmic dust)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

play to win

always remember the bottom line
your position of ultimate power
even when the prehistoric jaws
shake you
to liquid knees. hot metal poured down
your throat
(mouth forced open)
asshole on fire. stirring bowels. loose.

always keep your head up. keep your eyes open,
gun cock neck to take the blow
(gaping wound)
roll steady into it, and

remember, there's always the bottom line
the ultimate power is yours as a gift.
after the humiliation (the lonely last day you drank)
the molestation (sullied practically beyond recognition)
you'll win in the end.
a wolf sitting with just dead prey
steaming like a pile of shit
on the morning lawn.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

and the poppies die


I know nothing of poppies
(or any plant) -- but I have so admired
these proud, red perfect ones—my early spring
companions—just beyond the window.

for the last three weeks? If that?

startling then, when I descended the stairs
this morning, with no peripheral red
in the window. none

no standing tall as before. the poppies!

the moderate spring rain turned petals
to leaden weights; took them to the ground
last night.

heartbroken I am,

after only weeks?

so silly. just flowers.

and the automatic swirl of despair
around my heart.


later in the day, I'm told,
"they would have died anyway.
the growing season is so short."


O my life;

what to do with these constant, tiny griefs?


Friday, February 17, 2012

how's that working for you?

If a loved one had brain cancer; the final throes -- what might be expected?
Morphine drip? -- Pain gone?
near coma?
Family gathered close?
What about the beloved son/ daughter?
Isn't there medicine? Not there. Prozac is a sugar pill for so much mental pain. The pills are often useless. Vicious pain; Snake bitten pain. Venom coursing.
(doctors know it. pharmacists know it. do you?)
“I don’t see his goddam leg broke,” one of them might say.
"What ‘sicko’ needs pills? Is he hurting? Does he have cancer?"
"Is it just in his head? Is he crazy?"
Is it real pain?
Is it physical?
no. It’s mental pain.
But, will he live?
No. because of the pain. Physical or mental; it doesn’t really matter. You can see that right?



Death is here.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

drowning in Puget Sound

And then you are in the water. The immediate bodily response is hyperventilation, a gasp, like the wind being knocked-out of you; and it goes downhill from there. Your body knows something is wrong. Blood flow changes; pumping vigorously at your core, less in your extremities. Within minutes, the heart is beating very slowly and lung activity is diminished. You know you’re in danger and so does every cell.
In fact, your skin will actually begin to turn a shade of blue and that will intensify as the minutes tick by. Moving your fingers, arms and legs becomes next to impossible; like your whole body is wrapped in strapping tape.
You might aspirate some water, taking the brine and liquid straight into your lungs, but soon your throat seizes near the vocal chords and slams the airway shut. Obviously, this is not a good turn. No oxygen is entering your body. Even if you’re one of the few who has a limited spasm of the throat, the amount of oxygen is diminished to almost nothing.
The whole thing really deteriorates now. Panic requires energy and it’s just not there.
Consciousness, at this point, becomes iffy. Reality fades and is replaced with involuntary sleep. Your throat may relax; the choke-hold goes away. That’s bad news because water is freely flowing into your lungs.
You’re breathing water much like you did air, but in a blue sleep; and the heart beats for the last time. It stops.
And then you go away.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the chase

the intoxicant comes not from the kill

alive in the morning sun, the cat demands
every last bit of fight from the mouse, the cricket;
the any-catch.

oh, can you imagine the joy?
seeing and wanting,
with absolute knowledge of the ending,
but literally denying the passing moments,
slowing time, or the perception of time,
to a thrum in the deep vein.

the ecstasy of impending

oh, it will happen.
yes, God help us, it will happen.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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.


Monday, February 13, 2012

cruel muse (you tyrant, baby queen)

surreal feeling; ambivalence
about my own life or death. How strange
to write these very words. (and to see them here)

so frightened of the unknown;
yet far beyond flirting with a likely outcome.
a time and date of my choosing.

(but how does the worker bee reach
the queen? given the desperation,
the ticking clock

a kind of rolling departure window.
aren't we all rolling in that window?
death; universal, often unexpected, so final.

(I thought it would save me,
but it broke me—
the great 'muse—views' rhymes 
subtle as a stench. like carrion.)
At once, I'm recoiling in horror—
swerving into a sudden sanity; reality—'manic'—
that my "lifetime nest of word offspring"
--the tiny ones just experiencing release--
might perish in a destructive melee.
(the master has only begun the oeuvre.)

I will go from one 'bright' party room
to the next,
even brighter and then—brighter
I will plumb infinity-and celebrity-
with such a grand, diabolical plan. Meshuggah.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

even elephants

Such mighty beasts -- (trunks in endless shapes) -- they grieve.
Mightily.  Even elephants protect the weak ones.
hover over the dead.. or dying.. for days
Sitting Shiva  [ grief in any language or grouping of sounds. ]
with nature’s canvass so broad.
And still, a male lion will kill newborns
not sired by his very own ‘semen.’
I find myself ‘dazed’ in late middle age.
I find myself ‘hoping’ for elephants.
Stampede me 
with your love/ devotion/ protection.
(I need it and crave it)  I beg you for it. 
danger is here -  
lions, guttural in the distance.  otherwise silent. 
and no moon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

prose 001

Three o’clock in the morning; the boy and brother hear voices
The boys -- in a ‘middle’ room. 
The father carrying the mother down the hall. 
He would not talk.  But neighbors/ and others were there;  they were 
‘milling about’ - clucking fowl in a barnyard.  in a hallway. 
chuffing tigers
whispering, and shhhh.  ‘Just hush, the two boys are right there.
The mother was hemorrhaging, barely conscious.  limp rag;
the bleeding sick mother.  'The Angel' / the birth giver
carried in strong arms, unable to talk. 
she would survive. Thank God she did.  It was never discussed, 
the laceration, some rip not properly mended in surgery:
breaking loose and the mother would have died.
Who was watching the boys? 
(wide eyed, in the hallway)
Those boys were scared as fuck. 

Friday, February 10, 2012


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.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

time bomb

Love that grey.   
Melt with ‘gloaming’ --- closest ‘natural phenomenon’ (physiologically)
to my own psyche and soul.
Hello Seattle.  Hello World.  Hello World Wide Web.
Each day, Checking the ‘hits.’  Sometimes more than one-hundred.
Meager offerings, my words. 
But true. -- and Brutal.  (perhaps just to me- yawning!  You crazy stupid man
Life in situ. 
My words;  (one poem - a grain of sand)
--  a beach near Guam. or some beach --- anywhere ---
No greater or lesser than other words.  
Let us deny the power, true power -- let us turn to our addictions.
sex.  power of penis and vagina.  fucking like rabbits
Let us pray -- (as humanity)
we see the little ones.  the shriveled souls like mine. 
Let us deflower colorful subterfuge and see the face of God.
or find a Mercedes Benz, polish your nails with glue and sugar
 -- put on pancake
Drive across this country in a convertible;  flashing peace signs.  
Sugar on those fingers. Smiling off the cliff...


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

poetry brain

I’ve described ‘poetry brain’ to beloved friends, family; the others. (blank faces; puzzlement)

Delicious words always swimming just under my level of consciousness -- below the actual conversations; the actions -- the words forever clotting, coagulating into skeletal form.

When I feel them in my mouth -- when I begin talking to myself -- like a madman (grumbling as if in a cartoon) -- I find any scrap of paper -- having even written them on my body. (palm of a hand)

‘poetry brain’

thankfully, life’s struggles bring the grist -- and without the aforementioned what would I have? —Some stable life? — A first real taste of sanity?

Not an option—
for where would I find the word amulets?
Where would I find the treasure?

I choose poetics.
I choose lunacy --
I choose the ‘dazed man’
I recognize as myself.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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?


Monday, February 6, 2012

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)


Sunday, February 5, 2012

the brothers

chromosomes—(cement), those genes bring shades
of (similar) smiles, (alliteratively accurate) prose;
biologically locked to the (intransigent) double helix.

the 61st street backdrop (weeping in willows, the mimosas,
all those kids— pealing laughter and thunder.) that horizon
a part of their connective tissue -- stunning sun (tar babies).

"Old Rip" (legs at a half-gallop) barking her candied joy.
(that happy dog— loved by kids as a friend) the fire ants filing along
highways of sand and (into) the eyes of dead lizards.
smell of cakes, barbecues, moms, February chill.

who knew one of them (one of the bedazzled boys)
would explore Pluto in the flesh? —bearing word amulets; the talisman
to impress no one (it is only poetry)—
and on this hygienic tableau there is life's grist.

they had known for months this day would come,
a fact so apparent as the nut-brown carpet (dun).
the haze of absolute precision (a gestation period);
circularity being the perfect pattern. O time.

it repeats and repeats— and yet this circumstance
would rip the fabric of their time— the baby is born today.
Dad is coming home to tell them all about it.