Wednesday, April 20, 2016

According to Plan - As Usual

While we were too busy asking "who am I?" instead of looking at the sky, they filled the casinos with Sacagawea gold, and voided the Waxsaw rake from the current sea, for he hated native races as much as he hated foreigner's money, made Tubman Mississippi the new capital for the poor, 2 large become the Tub nickel, to be passed around like pennies used to be, see - that's me.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mesquite Flowers in Lieu of Tears

The cactus turns blue
as the sounds end
and the jackrabbits come
from the tumbleweed.

Life is a gift:
we all have to hide
from the terror in our own minds,
what we call an eye.

Monday, April 4, 2016

View from the Candy-Apple Ladybug

Wild sunflowers in the sand,
a thousand yellow points to be adored,
a vibrancy too large for just one heart,
it burns one's eyes, how everything is yellow

except on the edges of the hillside,
where purple's like a hue that's not
supposed to be; it takes over,
for being stranger and rarer and braver.

The yellow is now nothing at all.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Variations on a Line by Aiden

An island of truth
                on the dry river bed:
a mattress
                that swims with the sand
and keeps it secrets hid so well
                it seems ever at one
with the mallards and killdeer,
                lawn chairs and golf balls,
the stick nest springing in the tire.

The sun shines on all of them equally,
there's no way this
               tennis shoe
                                    can't fit
in the desiccated strand
               of cat tail and thistle,
where muskrats still hide in coyote tobacco,
               ping pong balls
in the transient cliff side,
                                         but an eye
can see them all, a mind can choose to judge
               or not
the unresolved past
               of coffee cup plastic,
take-out black
               and Natural American Spirit packs
(litterers' favorite).

The birds behind blinds
               of milkweed and castor bean
chilling at home
               don't pay it no mind

until we come to claim it
               like a stone on a sluice
and they run, to the endless air,
               their voices, for once, breaking.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Spring Implications

The fields of yellow stars
dusted by the sun
                  in clear air
as individual or general
          as the heart that moves
                                through them
                  will allow
whether it nurtures
                                the lost
or explodes to the call
          of the all-pervasive idea
                   that says
                                 with one voice

clover and cactus
         soft before spurs
like lovers entwined
                                 red heart
         bulging like a jungle apple
in clusters of blossoms
         pinpricks of white 
                     on hierarchies of spike
as if when they match our desire
         it's the source of all our wounding
the pure
         (love and hate is the same gesture)
         we’re protected from

then the sun drips in the sky
         and mustard flowers fall into my hair
as if I’ve learned there’s truth
                                        in all our meaning

Friday, March 25, 2016

54th Chorus

Brave Jesus
Spiralled into darkness
Still we are surprised
How flesh gets all dismembered
As if it holds no answer
Or two.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Thought that Blew in like a Weed from Chicago

The great violet smoke
Understands all, sees all
And sits perfectly still,
Unlike that rock,
Which will tell you
All that you need to know.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Sunday Moment

The nursery's full of surf punk rockers
nodding their heads to themselves
as they push wide shopping carts
past sweetbroom and snapdragon,
a kind of beauty, turning on its carousel,
not to be touched without impossible permissions
from the angels who escort them
wearing leather boots and speaking of Texas onions
as something to desire this warm afternoon.
Tattoos that show through rock'n'roll suicide t-shirts
and the shh of dragging shoes come alive
with a blast of thrash from a modified 
pickup truck outside, and eyes connect,
ashamed almost that it is cool
to share for just a moment what is freedom,
what is life, for fear of slipping
down that hillside, with eyes no longer
ones to trust, but black inside.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

You, But Not Your Sleeves

Everyone needs seduction candles
and therapy pillows, hibiscus nests
and fountains of sway,
a guitar beside the riverside
by the light of a girl gathering cones.

There's no distinction
between the wind and your breath,
the shine of the land and your eyes.
You are the earth embodied and disrobed.
Your bangles click as you touch my hair.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Costa Rica Suite

At the Airport
Delayed between Guatemalan hair
and El Salvadoran sadness,
a friendly voice warns "don't leave your language
unattended", as children at midnight
hold eyeless bears, and women bear
unbearable grievances, and men, unable to be authentic,
still talk a good casino at the Sea Legs Café,
where they play private LA beats
above the din of rolling rrr’s
of those trying to please or be pleased.
No one is doing what they want to be doing
but they all are doing something just the same:
drawing rainbows, sharing earbuds,
working out the fantasy of world integration in one's mind,
tossing tissues at outstretched hands,
explaining the travail of life in a yellow cowboy hat,
shaking a thick mane of hair, grabbing empty
packets to place in his one-piece PJ pockets.

The crystal light floats across San Jose at night,
shimmers with a code higher entities understand
and squirrels on the ground bow in honor to,
but it seems to us like pretty lights,
how they almost gasp for breath
in the swirl on the surface of the world
swallowing the houses.

The Meaning of La Pura Vida
God gave Costa Ricans the land
He was keeping for Himself
because they had such a pure heart.
A man in a wheelchair
in front of a home without windows

Tribute to the Other Brother
He holds a musket and a bouquet
by Alaheula cathedral
strung, like the blue schools,
billboards and bazaars, with razor wire.
It’s an economic miracle
of indigenous eviction
and farmers abusing oxen for tourist photos
holding machetes saying "pura vida".
Pigeons are free at least to move
in the fountains of Mango Park.

The Only Thing More Depressing than Poverty Is Trying to Sell the Virtues of Poverty
A grey afternoon in San Jose,
everyone is waiting:
for a customer, a bus, a meal.
Each shuffles in a private hell
that glows in Spanish neon
like the shoes hung on the walls
in the "Total Liquidation" Zapateria.
There's nothing between a head
and the polished floors here,
barred doors make some other world
seem hopeless, where one is free
from lords and mercenaries,
the great white culling,
the prison wire like theatre lights
for the tour bus to look down on
with equivalent despair.

At the Coffee Plantation
To be a blue butterfly
and float through paradise
drunk on hibiscus and banana,
reward for a life spent
on the streets of San Juan.

Looking for Monkeys
Behind the veil, a bouncing bough,
the monkey’s white eyes hide.
We hear him cry, through mists of sky
and think of pride, the monkey's eye
we see looking as he hides behind the veil.
Then he swings outside
to find himself a king.

At the Volcano Pool
The smell of sulfur,
the boy said, is
“Indians making omelettes
when someone dies.”
The vulcanologists say
there's nothing to fear,
the earth moves every day
and every day some people die
but be careful of the sulfur,
it can kill you.
Wherever there are volcanos,
there are silly adults the children have to save.

Beyond the Mustard Cliffs
The steam speaks secret poetry
then clears to blue cerulean
and the fairies we can't see
are mirrored in the lake
like time-lapse moons,
and in a flash the density of grey
rolls over again like a thick, thick sheet
on closing eyes.

Rain Forest Voices
Even the elephant ears
have been nibbled down to stems
yet a squirrel makes the fern tongue flap
and a voice resounds in thunder
but I only hear an insect
no larger than a whisper:
"what to write."

Above Eye Level
In plastic trees
a spider weaves gold galaxies from its black hole
for the Gods who do not know they roam the earth.

By the Candy Store
A woman licks an ice-cream cone
the same pink as her lip gloss
while strolling through a high-end mall
where marching bands plays Christmas songs
with drummer boys in white face
and gingerbread men on stilts
backed by six white sousaphones
and is horrifically depressed.

The Farm of the Happy Cows
They listen to Bach
and graze by hydrangeas
on flower cloud hillsides.

Birds in Captivity
Caged parrots with their broken wings withhold from us their song.
The grey owl wants no pictures, until we move along.
The ostrich thinks that she's in charge, scared eyes move side to side.
The emu thinks she's beautiful, knows everyone has lied.

The peacock turns her plumes like car show models spin around.
The crested guan Camaro cools his pompadour surround.
The conure nest in dead tree milk, to sing their songs of life.
Great curassow, huge grieving eyes, comb scythed as by a knife.

The spoonbill tries to hide in trees, but he, alas, is pink.
The boat-billed heron disappears, emerges in a blink.
The ibis sits on bamboo as from Egypt we remember.
The cormorant unshackled looks with black wings to the future.

R2D2 bleep, then a high-pitched radio shriek,
The green toucan learned who he is after breaking off his beak.
The mangrove swallow, white-necked stilt, tanagers say nothing,
The purple gallinule just let its colors do the talking.

Snowy egret question mark neck leans down from wet roots
Of walking palm to beak an eel, a honeycreeper flutes,
And hummingbirds share love with blooms, they float instead of fly
Until another pulls them off to a greater love in the sky.

On the River
A piano bird spreads its macabre wings
as it grapples with the implications
of a bare tree in the green river
then, without apparent consultation, dives
to dance like a snake charmed neck above water
to melodies of snook and tarpon.

At the Oxen Torture Center
Before the coffee was planted,
before the impossible train to the sea was built
there were oxen drooling, pulling brown men's burdens
up and down the mountains, hoping to survive
through constant work.
Now an empty ox-cart
painted with red parrots
is the symbol of the working man
whose back remains unbroken
though his whip is old and frayed.

Along the Universal Country Road
Men sit on benches outside of Soda Willie
where bags of onions and bananas hang down
as if to impress Soda Lily.

Costa Rica’s Mystery
Perfect stone spheres
too buried to be found
and heavy to be moved
until the Gods had been replaced
by man’s machines
-- you know the story –
some signal to above,
receiver from below,
there are these patterns
but they don't know,
the science and the history
still erased.

Resort Living
One gets bored with bathrooms fit for Louis Quatorze
by cabana bars where mint and rum, Brazilian
new age jazz and rave are mixed
for the precise predilections of mojito-sipping swingers
from the far side of suburbia, who hold the world's
sum knowledge in their phone’s crystal chip,
as they stroll a Spanish mission for the God of hedonism,
where umber floors are sparkle cleaned by someone who’s invisible…
until one’s dealt the playing cards beneath the palm-leaf fan.
The numbers never cease to amaze.

In Guanacasta
"Welcome," said the boarded up shed
cotton-candy pink, Esmerelda Poett's
Lost Iguana Hotel, Macrobiotica, Microcervezia,
Eco-boutique, Ferreteria, Discomovil and internet café.
She offers us 12 New Year's Eve grapes and Coyol wine,
so we'll be drunk again the next day with the sun,
and a taboret beneath the ear tree, symbol of equilibrium.
Just be careful of the duck police, the vicious
beaches, the cold killer eyes of ennui
on the crocodile uncomfortable in its own leather.
We're the largest exporter of coffins,
she, finally, excitedly said.

Rain Forest Notes
Everything moves but the waterfall,
the green that can't stop growing,
yearning to the condition of sky.

Red crabs on the forest floor,
torch ginger and bitterwood blooms
like specks of blood in the beard of life.

A sloth on a branch top stares at the blue,
the canopy swings its hairy air roots,
the distant marimba of monkey music.

Above it all, in endless sky, 
vultures circle like the forest flow,
black in the mid-day sun.

The history of this place,
of warring white men's
and alcoholic despots
who kept the people fed,
seems to have changed
everything on the maps,
in the books,
in the mind,
but not, oh no,
never could,
on the ground.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Disinherited

I am the Dark - the Widower - the Unconsoled,
The Prince of Aquitaine in a Tower broken:
My only star is dead - and my lute of gold
Wears Melancholy’s low, black sun.

On the night of the Tomb, with your solacing art,
Give me Italy’s sea and the Posillipo,
The flower that so pleased my desolate heart,
And the trellis where vine marries rose.

Am I Love or Phoebus? ... Lusignan or Biron?
My forehead’s still red from the Queen’s kiss;
I dreamed that a siren swam from the abyss …

And victorious twice crossed the Acheron:
On Orpheus's lyre in turns I vary
The sighs of the Saint with the cries of the Fairy.

Translated from the French of Gerard de Nerval:

El Desdichado

Je suis le Ténébreux, – le Veuf, – l’Inconsolé,
Le Prince d’Aquitaine à la Tour abolie :
Ma seule Etoile est morte, – et mon luth constellé
Porte le Soleil noir de la Mélancolie.

Dans la nuit du Tombeau, Toi qui m’as consolé,
Rends-moi le Pausilippe et la mer d’Italie,
La fleur qui plaisait tant à mon coeur désolé,
Et la treille où le Pampre à la Rose s’allie.

Suis-je Amour ou Phébus ?… Lusignan ou Biron ?
Mon front est rouge encor du baiser de la Reine ;
J’ai rêvé dans la Grotte où nage la sirène…

Et j’ai deux fois vainqueur traversé l’Achéron :
Modulant tour à tour sur la lyre d’Orphée
Les soupirs de la Sainte et les cris de la Fée.

Friday, February 19, 2016


The Thirteenth returns . . . It is the first anew;
And still the only, — or has time not passed?
As you are queen — first or final? — are you
King too? The one lover or only the last? . . .

Love him who loved you from cradle to hearse;
The love from the sole one tenderly flows;
She is death — or the dead ... O delight! O curse!
The hollyhock she holds is a rose.

Neapolitan saint with hands full of light,
Rose violet heart, Saint Gudula's lantern;
Did you find your cross in the desert skies?

White roses, fall! To our Gods they slight:
Fall, phantoms white, from heaven that burns:
— The saint of the void's more holy to my eyes!

From the French of Gerard de Nerval:


La Treizième revient... C'est encor la première;
Et c'est toujours la Seule, - ou c'est le seul moment:
Car es-tu Reine, ô Toi! la première ou dernière?
Es-tu Roi, toi le seul ou le dernier amant? ...

Aimez qui vous aima du berceau dans la bière;
Celle que j'aimai seul m'aime encor tendrement:
C'est la Mort - ou la Morte... Ô délice! ô tourment!
La rose qu'elle tient, c'est la Rose trémière.

Sainte napolitaine aux mains pleines de feux,
Rose au coeur violet, fleur de sainte Gudule,
As-tu trouvé ta Croix dans le désert des cieux?

Roses blanches, tombez! vous insultez nos Dieux,
Tombez, fantômes blancs, de votre ciel qui brûle:
- La sainte de l'abîme est plus sainte à mes yeux!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Golden Verses

                                  "Well then! Everything is sentient!" - Pythagoras

Man! Free thinker - you think alone, you think,
In this world where life bursts from everything:
The same force you wish your freedom to be,
But of all your advice the universe is free.

In each creature there's a reaching spirit ...
Each flower has a soul blooming in it;
The metal that sleeps beams love's mystery:
"Everything is sentient!" - And your being is mighty!

Fear, there on the blind wall, a spying stare
That attaches a verb like a prayer ...
Don't let your service be the unholy kind!

In the dark of being a hidden God lives;
An eye awakes in covers of eyelids
As pure spirit grows under the stone's rind!

Translated from the French of Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855):

Vers dorés

                                  "Eh quoi! tout est sensible!" - Pythagore.

Homme! libre penseur - te crois-tu seul pensant
Dans ce monde où la vie éclate en toute chose:
Des forces que tu tiens ta liberté dispose,
Mais de tous tes conseils l'univers est absent.

Respecte dans la bête un esprit agissant: ...
Chaque fleur est une âme à la Nature éclose;
Un mystère d'amour dans le métal repose:
"Tout est sensible! " - Et tout sur ton être est puissant!

Crains dans le mur aveugle un regard qui t'épie
A la matière même un verbe est attaché ...
Ne la fais pas servir à quelque usage impie!

Souvent dans l'être obscur habite un Dieu caché;
Et comme un oeil naissant couvert par ses paupières,
Un pur esprit s'accroît sous l'écorce des pierres!

Friday, February 12, 2016

LA Portrait

A sailor from 1948
Walks wide-eyed through Union Station
Having lost all hope
Of catching the long-delayed train to Reno.
Nobody smokes
But children wear tattoos
And empty their lives into silent walkie-talkies.
Still, not much has changed;
The women still have breasts.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Facts for Believers

The sparrows nightly fly
Cross the baby shower sky
While frogs sing cricket key
And the river turns calligraphy

The sun is squeezed like a dropper of ink
In river light that could save us from the demons
But it's only not yet emptied sky
For we refuse to see

In lifeboats we worship the liquor
Of patterns and God as machine

Monday, January 25, 2016

January Rattle

What the bean locust tree says
is everything we can't hear otherwise
from the aching outside to be heard
by the aching inside to hear,
what we call "imaginary."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Inkblot Sky

LA noir at its most serene,
Mr. Groom saying "the emperor has no chain,"
And her reminding him "It's a fwee countwee"
As if he ever could forget.
So the day pulled away the vested handkerchief of grey
To find that smudge of lipstick evening pink.

At Sunset Beach

Thought is no different than other viruses;
It propagates itself to survive.
The oil's mixed with plastic jetsam from the eddies.
The gulls fly bamboo sticks over the tide;
Why we can only surmise.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sunrise Blues

Pink snow mountains,
Palm trees still asleep,
Sun on a white stone wall...

The world is too beautiful to see.

The Well-Read Boy on the Train

Poets and intellectuals
work the data mines
for hopelessness seems
close to the solution
in a world that's hope-bereft

Students still read Paradise Lost -
it gets simpler
with each passing year -
we, sinners all
still shake our fear crosses

Still people build their houses
outside of corruption
albeit they're aglow
with all the reports of it
from some central dispensation

And even the clouds
cannot obey,
and the bodies sometimes
take the poison
sometimes don't

It's enough to call it
chaos, but that's a word
that they use
for something else, a thing
that gives them power

But are we not controlled,
who shift so numbly to
the side of all we see?
Is the thought of freedom
the illusion we are free?

Do we listen to a Satan
omnipresent and eternal,
or is the voice just too
damn inaudible?
Yes the symbols are embedded

in every program that we see
but we thumb our noses
at all that, riffling the dial,
blinking as our heroes
genuflect before it,

That's their deal, see,
not mine, you know,
I still can dig an orgy
but not if there's too much

The yearning's secret
in every heart
for something
beyond that power,
something one can actually hear

in the wind and the birds
and the streams, life is real
and death is a rumor,
and anyone with half a mind
can read that gossip rag

with names like Milton,
Blake and Shelley,
who still work
in Satan's mills,
as if they haven't changed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Purpose of Piezoelectric Barium Strontium Titanate Crystals

And all of this
To watch us glow,
To track our
Though we're deathly afraid
That they keep us
By dimming the sun,
Ending the world,
None of which counts
In the instant of life;
All their smart dust
Just a button we push.

Monday, January 4, 2016


A cold sea
Goes as far as
The white sand
Still numb
At day's end
To touch.
At a distance are some houses.
Their windows are on fire.


They looked through Ronsard's forms
As we, far from any Geneva of the mind,
Look in the folds of cloud
For what is false,
What is real.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Last Gift

Christmas crows in orange trees;
they know that ribbon's coming.

But now they shriek as we make frowns
behind the scheduled miracle.

That little patch of morning light
too pure for us to contemplate.

We must ignore all slights and wounds
to fight what is.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

In the Red Light of December

The poet speaks
The world recedes
There is no sound
Left of his breathing

He draws the void
We might believe
If there could be
An end to reading

The words erase
Each tiny thing
But there is never
Really nothing

As the theory
Would have it be
Meaning glows like glass
Cannot empty

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Light Inside the World

The sun behind Catalina
Makes all Surf City pink
Except for the eastern mountains
Violet already.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Gift of Seeing Purple

City of joy
in a broken world,
like a smile on a busted toy.
God shines whole through every
weathered Camel pack
strewn in depot pebbles.
Still we make of Art our God
to salve a wound
too deep for even knowing,
take such comfort from the false
because it can only condemn
with opinion.

The earth has been more patient
than the sunset ever shows,
it waits with solace for our
quivering minds
when we recognize there is no
roof above us, there are no
stones inside, the concepts that we
trade like food are vapor
in the void.

The voices in the wind,
the faces in the shade,
speak always of the one
— the alone is the only thing —
it is all.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


For once costumes fit
Little Tokyo Halloween
Bats watch from windows

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Thought Freed from Context

You don't understand unless you misunderstand.
What else can we learn from except our mistakes?
What else is there to life?

Friday, August 28, 2015

On Dog Beach

Riding with the dogs
In the ruff curl as it rips
And the twilight surfers
Pearled blue
Taste Catalina embers
And people sit on beach chairs
In irridescent shadow
As walls of burly wave thrash
And the dashing full moon glow falls
On a pink bikini tossing a frisbee
And night anglers tieing flies in front of a tiny TV
The dogs and gulls and children squealing
To agree:
"This is a day to be happy."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Five O'Clock Voices

The fountain burbling
does more, says more
than the campus full
of fretful smiles

but we only understand
the ones that go: "don't
do that, don't say that
ever again. Don't scare me
ever again like that."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


There are no ghosts screaming from the memory hole,
No black glass towers shuffling money on the hill
Or the smell of weed and urine along the string of bare hotels.
There is no man on a walker asking me if there's anything's wrong,
No wheelchair panhandlers
Or bums for hire with dog.
There are no cops on segues bantering Batman-clad ladies,
No luxury excavations beside the shopping cart clan
Or jewelry stores where Navajo security guards stand.
There are no "free smells" of coffee,
No Hollywood wannabes still red-haired and half-naked
Or John Fante Square.
There is only a feeling that won't go away
When I looked in that one man's eyes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Osprey in the Bare Tree

The osprey in the bare tree sees:
Crabs perambulate to keep the world
In front of their testing claws;
Insects that use every joint and leg
To circumnavigate quivering leaves;
Steel-eyed rabbits glisten in camouflage
Waiting for cover of walking humans to move;
Schools of fish in furious slalom run
Silver scale shine in the sun...

It is enough, this choice, to make a bird
Feel humble, to gather its wings
In will and prayer
For the holiness of being worthy.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


A squalor beyond the Music Center:
papers wrapped 'round weeds
with all that value's let skirt free;
beauty's richest soil.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The All-Seeing Lie

Everyone is an adult but me.
They seem so real, so fully formed,
as if I know their stories and their smells,
have lived their lives for them already, 
as if I know the eccentricity where they will fail.

Still I look in longing like the child I am,
eager to learn what illusions to believe,
what losses to sense, what fragments to call whole, 
as if, in every word I know before they speak it,
there is something not yet me.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day and Night in Corona Del Mar

Rocks like penuche fudge,
Sunset's white surf
Below a slow burning sky
That fights the night.

But soon the moon calls the rocks from the sea,
Dances mercury along the waves
To open up what is to what could be.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Light Within the Window

The refraction grows abstract,
Its fuel blurs into purples
Inside the turning fires

Which consume what’s recognized:
All that the dream says is true.
When light breaks through this prism

The monster in the middle
Will glisten instead of roar;
The forms it sought to merge in

Can’t clothe the invisible
Any more. It’s now too raw
For the world and its people

— Grid of junk calligraphy —,
And everything kept at bay
Becomes a God who’d acted

As acolyte in bow down
To saints from miracle clay.
What have we to show this God

So patient and forbearing?
Only prayers it finally can
Reveal itself without us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In Seattle

A sweetness brief, the days of sun and cherries
Passed around by bums in cups like wine spod-ee-odie,
The way that cigarettes are currency in the pen,
The pits like butts scraped down to the hard end,
So close that those who haven't bitten
Can't really say they've lived.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

As the Water Moves In

As the water moves in
Fish race over canyons
On tracks that spontaneously appear
From an intelligence like ripples and bubbles.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

We Cannot Believe the Pyramids Were Built

We cannot believe the pyramids were built
By man, mere man
Yet volcanos of ants do the same thing
Every day.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bunker Hill Lunch

It's the kind of a day where everyone in the city looks like someone
       I know
And everything they are doing -- from eating sushi to tying balloons--
       is just the amused moving of the universal mind,
And out of that forms vast conceptual structures to explain
       existence through all of its facets,
A sea of patterns we can always love into coherence but as models
       they collapse because they only refer back to me
Who doesn't exist.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Furioso He Claimed

Furioso he claimed
But the old man's elbow of a tree limb
Barely nodded.
The snails stuck to its underarms
Had listened to his crap all along.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Crane Walks on Water

Crane walks on water
Stands buddha still
Flies like an angel
Purer than sound.
To her the drones and trash do not exist.
To us that's all there is.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

White-Eyed Pigeons Fluff Each Other Up

White-eyed pigeons fluff each other up,
Fastidiously scouring feathers
Like a priest wets a newborn face;
They must be very clean
To beg in this town.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

In the Air All Discontent

In the air all discontent
Dancing invisible words
The butterfly settles on a branch
And becomes a leaf.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Although the Squirrel

Although the squirrel
Eats with both hands
His black eyes are fixed
On the call of the leaves
From another world.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happiness and a Broken Arm

Everyone takes what they need
In this place without sanction,
Where discomfort's like breathing
And conflict is as common as rain.

Nothing works and nothing fits,
Still we persist in smiling,
In trying to be admired
Or, failing that, appearing admirable.

Joy comes from the sun, love's free in our veins,
So sometimes it is hard to raise our hands and say
There is no meaning here, we are alone in this crowd,
And even the smallest pleasure has an itchy catch.

We try so hard to make this thing bear a light
Of recognition of us in its eyes. It seems to flicker
Only to tumble back like gears that would move
If only we were better, righter, more sure,

So our new gears spin, more reasons applied to unreason,
To salve with savage comfort a sense, at least, that we
Created this morass of ill will and sickness
As something for us sinners to savor.

So we struggle til we get some mechanical task right,
Try to be patient as the place explodes with rage and stupidity,
Write out our hopes for a peace we have lost already.
What else can we do? 

The heaven of nothing needs the echo
Of an empty ball bouncing through it:
Things to do, tempers to manage, thoughts to suppress.
It's called believing in oneself.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Post-Apocalypse Storm

Orlando, Florida

I have no memories of reality
But of dreams the backlot set's intact,
still kodak lit:
A second-story rare Elysium Books,
Cocktails in neon at the Tic Toc Club,
Ballroom Dancing at the Empire Hotel,
Then a closet-sized candy store where happiness and meaning are unwrapped from jars —
This is where the thunder hits
And the stormcloud sunsets go to die.

Plato's Retreating Shadows

Paradise Island, Bahamas

The Atlanteans return
On summer break
For the blue lights
And the white sand
And the palms still unconstrained 
Like ancient breasts

The blacks of many colors
Keepers of its keys
Who stayed in the wake
Of their apocalypse
Point their rhyming fingers
At the illuminated towers
And tell of Judgment for the lack
Of any morality
(Laughing anyway)

The world is not just
This imagined diorama
Of the once and future empire
It is here in the living shadows
Of the palm leaves on stone
And in the cloudwoman's tears
That bring new life for the failures
Of free will made every moment
And in the notes
Of the breeze
Afraid to say
What it knows
Too clearly

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In the Ancient Kingdom of Exuma

There's no getting around this wall,
With its glittering codes
That lock out all souls from its sea-bed cities.
I strain and I cry, only to find
That I am the city, breathing.
The only way through: the blue liquid of truth
Drifting like ink to something alive.

The more airtight the explanation,
The more unassailable the fact,
The more wrong it is,
Because there's a power in it then
To be right, to sweep away
The pain and the wrong on this dark side
Of the world
With a clean beam
Of light.

People turn to stone like coral too
Their faces remembered
And forms preserved,
But the force that was their living
Is still elusive,

The poison of the anemone, still,
Is seen as less than its ambrosia.
We are in pain.
We can't let go.
There must be something separate
To hold onto.

The poetfish glisten in such a way
One thinks that they are mirrors
Or something seen right through
But they are only large and thin
And swim with a certain sway.
Their inscrutable faces — star eyes,
Rarefied frowns — come alive in contempt,
Because they are seen
And because they are not.