Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A brand new pen

I think I’ll buy myself a new pen
One with new words in it so I
Won’t have to use the old words when
I’m crying on my pillow or cry-
ing when I’m down; I know it’s bad
When I can’t rise and face the day
That same old loneliness I had
When I was alone and used to pray
That someone somewhere could come
Along and save this dying soul
Of mine, and no one came, no one
And I dug myself another hole
And lay there in myself made shame
And moaned there in my peppered pain

Friday, November 23, 2012

More than empty ambition

People tell me I’m more powerful than I know,
Saying that it doesn’t go to my head
So I’m almost never drunk on it.
I get the same message everywhere I go
Friends patting me on the back
To keep back the people with knives
My life full of dark plots
I’m constantly resisting,
I’m always falling over clues
To puzzles I never intended to solve
Frustrating my enemies
Making enemies I don’t mean to frustrate
“Trust yourself,” my fortune cookie
Tells me with tonight’s take out,
“You know more than you think,”
and it knows more about me than I do,
knowing that the next steps I take
will be towards something other
than empty ambition or
pointless wealth,
“Your dream life is rich,”
My other fortune cookie says,
“Listen to your dreams.”
and deep down in my heart
I know this is right.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In search of prefection

I keep expecting Spock
To step into my life
The narrative squeaking
Out of a television speaker
Life as hippie, hermit, writer
Listed in the order of their occurrence
The flaws of character
Made obvious by the screen
The craze of million of witnesses
To the demise of a man,
The embarrassment of wasted talent,
Years and years
Of looking for the key
That fits only me,
Flaws waiting as in California
For the proper seismographic catastrophe
To see me free
From this need of importance
To live life without identity,
Or worth
Or perfection.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

After the storm

When the lines fell during the storm
There was still hope
The cold wind blowing rain over the roof
Like fingers prying into our lives
Tapping at the windows
Doors and cracks of floor
Seeking to steal fire back for the gods
Huddled up into the corners, poor
Impoverish Prometheus waiting for the claws
Stepping from house the morning after
To dangling power lines
the swaying carcasses
of fallen witches from Kansas

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


They tell her what to do
And she does it
Biting back the bile
In the back of her throat,
Knowing that they might do
What they said they would do
If she doesn’t do what she’s told,
Panicking each time
Something in the plan goes wrong
Hating the man who always manages
To get in her way
Thinking he will make them do what
What they said they would do
If she can’t do it to him first,
Whole lives put at risk
Because of one stubborn fool
Who has yet to learn
That this is the way
the game is played
And that people like him
Have no business
Getting into the game
If he doesn’t know the rules
Or for that matter
The consequences

Sunday, November 11, 2012


You always were persistent,
your sure step shiftless in the sand,
inches behind mine,
refusing to fade the way mine do,
the wavering water washing up,
sinking in at the toes,
the deep impression of your life,
always remarked upon,
leaving that satisfied taste of completeness behind,
while I, in constant struggle within myself,
looking for ways to make my name,
a Wall Street broker, a notorious book peddler,
a hustling, rustling bandit of the street,
almost ready to wash your feet
or windshield for your secret,
me, the invisible foot on the sand,
my suit, tie and shimmering shoes
meaningless here among the pixies
and gypsies of your imagination,
like a gull's bloated body
in the low hung clouds,
grey upon grey,
while you, stark,
a white gull with black head laughing,
even at the waves that crush you....

Sea shore letter at six

I wrote to her from the sea shore
that short weekend vacation
when I was six,
a bragging man of inch-high printed letters,
who licked the stamp certain
she would be impressed,
the sea and gulls still aching in me,
the indelible impression of youth
marked upon my soul,
crashing waves and salty air
and broken ship on the reef—
old fishing boat filled with souring fish corpses,
which reeked for weeks,
though to me,
there might have been pirates to battle
or women to save,
swords clashing in frantic glee
before the inevitable Davey Jones,
and for the long ride home,
I imagined her, receiving me like Errol Flynn,
her long five-year-old hair gleaming
like gold from the porch,
small hands grasping my letter on the stairs,
shaking with expectation—
though when I arrived,
there was no one home,
just my letter, stuffed in the mail box marked:
address unknown.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


How is it the goose
Lifts up from the pone
Or a child to walk
On own two feet
Or a bird to take
First flight of wing?
No one knows

How is it
We trust these wings
These bones and feathers
With each lifting
Of our heads
To rise from bed
To open eyes
To know
The sun will rise?
No one knows.

How can we trust
This world of ours
To keep its flowers
Or bring its green’
Spring coming after
Every winter
Without fair?
No one knows.

How is it
I meet you
This bundle of words
Sent to no one
For no reason
A bottles sailing
With secret message
To land
On your shores?
No one knows.

Faith is not a word
A goose would use
But feels it none the less
To know bones
Will hold wings together
For the thousand miles
Of flight
To come or go
From no one knows where

How can you doubt
The years ahead
When the world has
Done so much
To bring us together?
Why waste those
Secret energies
If it all must end
Why expend spirits
On such matters,
As if fate thought
Us trivial?
No one knows.

But when I life
My wings to fly
Or arms to hold you
I know it is forever,
It is for that time
Beyond winter
And the time before
The first flake falls
To all those times
All those buds to bloom,
This life, that life
The life that comes
Tomorrow – and all
The tomorrows after that.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Buying the farm

Spring spreads green
With quiet qualms
Quilting the cold crusted winter
You come
Waiting the ceremonious hours
Before the ceremony
Bursting with the bubbling
Burning boils of love
Time ticks on too tenderly
moodily and wrong
Painfully aware of you
Telling you in your settled world:
“This is the moment.”

Out your window the gulls return
The geese squander their inheritance
In the church yard
Wasted the wet winter thaw
Somehow the house ahead
Seem haunting
The ghost of marriage
A little strange
The indomitable isolation
Of independence
With a ring and a chant

How many rings does Saturn have?
Or Jove?
Jolly and round
Violating his own rude rules
The ring rolls around your finger
The vow, in your head,
The quiet question
The preacher proposes
Whispers in the room
“What was that?”
You want to ask,
But don’t,
Caught in the aura of austerity,
This IS the moment.

You are one,
Holy in a whole world’s whispers
The music starts,
And stops,
And starts again
You turn,
Two to one
Standing at the alter
Standing with your hands
Bound piously
People pouring rice
Over you
Like water

Man and woman
Husband and wife
Terms that worm through life
And settle you
In these spots forever
For eternity,
Soul’s sacrifice of self for you
You love.
You and love
You and the eternity of love
To hover
Over like a glorious spirit
This is the moment.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The darkest hour

Hope blossoms
Even in the darkest hour
For those who retain faith
Walking the walk
The righteous walk
Not talk
Deeds done for decent purpose
The flick of switch
Never matters
Only an illusion of illumination
Easily put on or taken off
Always a slight of hand
Wool pulled down
To leave us blind
When real illumination
Even illuminates
In this our darkest hour
When the world would blind us
Bind us and abandon us
We are not abandoned
We who see through this darkness
To what is always true