Friday, February 12, 2016


As I walk home censoring the flow of words,
Everything continues as before, unchanged.
That is, in constant flux, paying no mind
To the white distances I take in thought.

A seagull, come inland today, roosts
On the neighbor’s balcony across the way;
His presence turns the snow to sea foam
While the bird itself morphs into a white crow.

I loaf in the cold of imperfection
And let the afternoon wash away my pride.
No doubt the demagogues on CNN tonight
Will issue dire prognostications to a world

That does not conform to the ego.
The black holes of identity spin around themselves,
Churning out the rhetoric of apocalypse
In xenophobic songs and kill crusades.

The Pharaohs of capital continue to erect
Slave-pyramids whose gravitational waves
Disturb the depths of the most placid soul
As no-go zones proliferate across the earth.

And, for all that, I and this mystery
Are never spent making a housecleaning
Of belief before the chrysalis of sleep.
My opinions don’t matter now.

Dream and building are one impermanence
To someone or something in danger
Of winking out of existence unnoticed
In the darkness beyond names and forms.

A menacing snow-black seagull
Tells me there is still time to go back inside.
I will loaf in the cold of imperfection
And let the afternoon wash away my pride.

Friday, August 14, 2015


Pythagorean hymns out-crazy my old god,
The one I think about beyond all thought.
Her filthy feet have plod, have plod, have plod
Through bowls of cinnamon and angel snot.

I raise this monument against authority.
A piece of pilfered placenta in my jeans
To aliment the wrath of my minority
Until the trumpets wake the zombie teens.

I know the promises I break for you,
What chaos and resentment will ensue:
My angry opposite, your swollen eyes.

The mirror stills with breathing like a lake
Although the desert will not fill with sighs.
I built this mystery when I baked your cake.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Prelude to Consciousness

I am myself a fragment sifting dust
The end of nothing come to this
Eternal standing wave of purity,
A consciousness of vowels and sibilants.
It will soon be time to forget me
Although some early ideas stay aloft.
The special identity no longer applies
Beyond the expressway, where the houses
Return to the state of cabbages
And disappear, bathing, in ozone fields,
Your address when you are not here.

The bitter sunshine promises to cool
When oligarchs pack up their toys
And head for the exit.  In the interval
Small packages of joy await your mouth
If only you would call to say hello.
Is there no one to care about the thing
Whether it needed strength or alchemy
To breathe itself into a form of life?
The tribe today is a silent mass of tweets.
Give me your talking blue-green surfaces
Beveled by wind.  Am I still here?

Looking outside the boxes of the mind
Pure indifference returns
Pincered by the hands of the clock.
The sterility of night touches my mind.
I want only a fragment of your love
That I might live inside you (where else?)
Like a raindrop.  But my designs on you
Only postpone the time of our embrace,
In satin indolence, a paradise
On the embellished margins of your soul
If I can squeeze my spirit in this fruit.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


If I could write the radiance of birds
Or name the births of all the continents,
Would I be closer to your secret mind?
Others have touched the penetralia

Of your obscure recess, so why can’t I?
When will the azure of your voice proclaim
The feasts of patience come?  Never?
So I lose you among the guests and ghosts.

Let’s dip into the monologue of someone else.
Wow.  It is noisy in here.  Like windows
Thrown open on the loudest city ever built.
Things are always different from what they might be.

Time is moving away from itself
Like a train whose cars are getting farther apart.
Some things will never grow old.
Mysterious things we have no use for.

The languages of flowers will revolt the mind
Seeing into the long dark passages that never add
Up into constructions, like the gusts of horses
That galloped away before these hills rode in.

The obstacles are supposed to have some use,
Like an opportunity.  Optimism fizzles like a drink
While unknowable rendezvous arrange
The flowing substances, the dark necessities.

Walking around naked on the moon,
I stop only to consider the coffee stain
In the glass of the soul.
The house is defenestrated with griffin claws

And a leopard is laughing at emptiness.
Some people are never
Satisfied they didn’t discover the Pacific.
Not even I can wish you away.

I suppose I ought to love the sea.
But I hate it.  That’s why
I don’t return to America.  I love the land.
The great thing is to love something.

If you wait for things to change, you’ll never do anything.
I don’t know whether you know.
The masses are seething beyond the portico.
If only we would bother to perceive them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The River of Silver

The turning seasons add, almost imperceptibly,
Another layer of grime and mold
To the houses of the aristocratic necropole
Where the patriarchs fume as they decay.

The houses of the populace, less grand,
Caked with plants, wires, the slogans of yesterday,
Streaked as with mascara by the rain,
Accumulate like cereal-box facades.

The bel apartments are layer cakes
Or ocean-liners basking in the sun.
A toothless horse pulls a wooden cart
Loaded with scrap collected by a boy.

A foreigner looks up from his guidebook.
An idled crane drifts like a huge weathervane
As the clouds take the shape of animals:
Tiger, dragon, seahorse, rhinoceros.

While the more dangerous passions are alive
In the faces of the loved and the spurned
That one encounters on the shady streets;
Like destinies, they must remain unknown.

Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Lose One's Identity

I no longer have the strength to believe.
The absence of belief is my one belief,
Like a hole in my private ozone.

These spectacular flames, these oblique rays,
There is no speculation I might have
That has not already occurred.
It has been handled by everyone and you
By the time I finally take it up.
Wisdom would have to be something
Felt by all from all eternity,
Something fallen nearly into neglect,
Shined up, and placed, exactly, here.
One loses confidence in one’s touch.

I drank the broken gate before it closed
To me forever.  Some sightless man looks back
Now from a respectful distance.
I wish I could move forward or go back.
I, the statement of fresh water

Thursday, October 2, 2014

El Desdichado

I am the Inconsolable,—the Widowed,—the Dark Sire,
The Prince of Aquitaine of the demolished Fort:
My one Star is dead,—and my constellated lyre
To the Black Sun of Melancholia pays court.

In the night of the Tomb, You who did console,
Give back Mount Pausilippe and the sea of Italy,
The flower that so pleased my desolated soul,
And the trellis with Vine and Rose in filigree.

Am I Lusignan or Biron?...  Eros or Phoebus?
My face is still red from the kiss of the Queen;
I’ve dreamed in the Grotto where the Siren swims...

And twice I’ve crossed Acheron singing hymns,
Voicing, by turns, on the strings of Orpheus,
The Fairy’s cries and the Saintly Woman’s spleen.

GĂ©rard de Nerval (1853)