Sunday, February 28, 2010


(to be played at top volume).
You are the craziest kicker I know.
DON'T let me down - take the capstone
from the monument and turn it into bread.
Here's the way it goes : 'ta-da-ta-da bar-ump-ba'.
Something like that. DON'T MAKE me look it up
(either). Now, for the moment, sit back down
and take this in : 'I was the little one, hiding still,
and the one in the back of the dark room
was watching. DON'T MAKE ME have to repeat
this. I left the glass when Glenn came in, and at
that point there was still wine in it. I DON'T know
what happened next. SHE SAYS he got drunk and
lunged at her. Maybe so. I don't know.
They turn the lights out at ten.
So, by then, DON'T MAKE
me have to look for things,
please, in the dark.



Matthew Dupre was a cripple from age nine.
His father had run him over with the family's
farm tractor and he'd broken both legs and a hip.
Just like that, cracked like a pretzel, but (as the
country doctor had said) 'with a whole life to recover.'
When he told me that story, I laughed, thinking
it had unforeseen, double meaning. I doubted those
country folk ever got it : a whole life to recover
can mean many things. I guess Matthew never
got the point, or never mentioned it anyway.
Hell, like so many others back there, he walked
with a decided limp, a gimp, his every ordinary day.
Never played the sports or the baseball and things
that others did, or tried. he stayed within, morose -
I always thought 'trying to recover that whole life
of his.' But, in that way, I guess I never got the point
either. Matthew went on to preach, and teach.
Country boy lesson master and all that stuff
I hated. Though he never really left his village -
farm country anyway, not like a 'town' -
he somehow had become of 'Minister' of
something, and people would call him Reverend
That was a whole lot to recover, and was
always something I hated.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


('he spoke like a man of the world')
It was almost comical how he swallowed his
words - some sort of ersatz fragmented accent
from between France and Mars, with Benelux thrown
in too. He walked like Marlon Brando chasing flies.
Living beyond reproach is like that : one can't be too
careful about the ways and means.
The one time I visited Carpathia, I was stuffed
in a frozen carriage with three Gypsy souls.
We rode through the cold in a bevy of blankets -
chasing vampires and werewolves and ghouls.
There was (really) something special about
that place.
I'd been, of course, to Sofia already - the soft,
wayward city beyond this continental divide -
(I'd divided this part of Europe up for spoils
already, in my mind, just as if I was Stalin
and Roosevelt and Churchill combined), but
it was nothing like this. The Chancellery silver
shone, and the icicles of the morning, I was
told, had already been there forever. There
was nothing between their now and their then.
But, these are places today outside my control.
Living beyond reproach, as I must here do,
I can only watch from a distance. My own time,
sadly, slides slowly off its platter, and the only
gruel I get to eat are the words of surly masters.
'One can't be too careful about the ways and the
means'...I'll always remember him telling me
that. (He spoke like a man of the world).

Friday, February 26, 2010


Nonchalant, I walk along the barriers where
the rifles point at me, knowing none of them
can do me harm. I am bulletproof in my way.
This is no incognito moment : both they
and I know who we are. Their ragged
footprints have come from blood and death,
and no mirror exists to reflect them yet.
At the same time, I have no real substance
into which their harm can take root and injure
me. I was there at their beginning and I'll
be there at their ends. All together, one big
exemplary moment in an overlap of time.
No babies sing such a tune as this.
No starling noises these ideas.
We come from nothing,
and we are, and
then we are not.


The third tier of your tiara made me tired'
those were the words I awoke with, a ringing
in my head, an echo-canyon of something I could
not place. I awoke then and went on. Towards
you. Towards an image, an oddly amorphous
form of clout and power, and, without reasoning
about it, I entered another day. Hands bandaged by
crisis and desire, eyes slanted backwards by the
pressures of reality forming itself anew around me.
That is what a day is after all - time piercing essence
and making a material physicality which manifests
the very thought stream before it. So, watch your
ways, young men of the jury, for you are
more powerful than you think, truly,
more powerful than you think.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


(not at all)

My time and its intentions are of
a momentary infraction - I lose things,
and they reappear later on, I put things
away and they become hopelessly lost.
Like the ship, floundering or lost at sea,
whose Captain knows it should be headed
somewhere but cannot find that place - nor the
means to reach it - I stand a'watch over this
buckling plain, wondering what to do.
The wood shines, a wicked veneer.
The water pools, making puddles on
the shiny surface. I see nothing but
the reflections before me. The entire
world thereby is rippled and alluded to,
but just as much as that - unreal.
What shines is only light
from other light.
Parade my monsters before your cloth.
Let us examine what we see, and how
we see it. All that moves is what's
before. All that moves is holy...
No, rather, all that moves
is what is moving.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


(Portland, Maine)
Ah! The moon and the tomb, they both
have struck again! Beneath the pale, weak
moonlight nothing else comes through.
I am hearing the messages from afar!
Distant Heavens. Distant star.
The tempest-trees partake of what they will -
willow, hemlock, ash and oak - and the elm
trees, I note, are right now burrowing down.
None of these, I know, are the long-sought
woods of ancient sailing vessels. The
salt sea faces back, without a blink,
these acres of unfam'd dead.
They say the eyes are windows of the soul.
Here? Where? What is left but nothing
when the dead are all we have. The
eyes, for sure, are gone. And, too,
the soul has already fled.

Monday, February 22, 2010


The parsimonious fault that comes with the
wielding : hammer and sickle, and the rest.
Five hundred thousand lost in the mists of
time and history, the vagaries of all the words
of worlds all lost. 'We've buried the stinkers
where they'll ne'er be found. The rebels and
the rabble together.' That's how the authorities
talked. Nomenklatura, to be sure.
I was heavy with the sheaves of my work.
Bent by my back, my bones creaked for
want of solution. Each day another struggle
ensued. I ate the leather of my shoes
and the bark of trees.
An entire other side to the story.
We tried bringing it all into the
light of day. But Stalin, the henchmen
who waded through filth for him,
and the hunger of paupers did the
job for us, and better than
we ever could. Now, it
is, everywhere, over
and silent.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Having walked a divergent path - twenty miles
of a sideways trek - this ending, this destination
looms nearer than before. One would hope
it's been worth it. Clouds in the sky are
midway between hope and despair.
And so am I.
Lethal doses of everything eventually
take their toll. Lethargy and languishing
together make this Jack a dull boy...
or whatever that saying is.
The baker has stopped
baking. The cow no
longer gives milk.
Thereby, (isn't it to be said),
we have reached the end
of all deliverance? A very
self-apparent conclusion
looms before us :
We've been duped into
believing there's
to come.

758. OH, JESUS

Oh Jesus, my feet are up on your couch.
I am listening to Appalachian folk songs
from a hundred years ago. The words are distant
and the melodies just aren't like that any more.
They're saying you flew through their skies
like a raging wind chasing the flooding river.
I don't know much about that, but I can
certainly get the gist. Old Mama Muffin,
and that guy with the corncob pipe.


Down by the park they marked up the bodies :
12 in a row went down at the stream. All
those household pests and termites together,
things held in memory but things never seen.
I never knew what the magic number was.
Now old Jimmy Baldwin AND old Al Haig are dead.
Two together, so different and far apart, bumping
heads in their great hereafter. Like music in a
more-than-distant background, it's only something
I may have heard. Leave it to me to forget.
My dear mother, my God I forgot, the two of
you are also dead! Mom and Pop. Dad and Mom.
However one puts it, you too are both gone.
I just don't know what to do. All these names
a'jumble'd, one thing as dead as the other.
I have come to the conclusion - I may as
well here tell you - that 'Life' is good for shit
and that such shit is in large profusion.
Jimmy Baldwin, Al Haig, and you.


Amidst all this turmoil, it is a mere bruise. I did lose
an arm at Salamanca, I'll admit, but that pain passed,
and I've moved on from that. I read your letters
in my jail cell, but only when they pass them
through. What you state is obvious : I
really am stuck, and stuck on you.
Ten years ago, you could never have convinced
me things would come to this. Drudgery for
the King (a ruler I've never even met), a distant
posting for his obscene Holy War, injury,
maiming, and now this. Most of of my
friends are gone. Hiltard Rayo, my
closest friend, (remember him?)
is blind, but gets on quite well -
and he knows his wife and children
are gone. No matter to tell.
We two, you and I, are very lucky.
If what you say is true - that there
is no other man (which I actually
doubt) and that you still will wait
for me - we show fidelity like no others.
I, in love with the moon as seen from
my cell, and you claiming to love me,
stuck in my Hell. What's a mere
soldier to do? I can wait as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010


You'll want to know something - name, address, age, weight.
You'll not get anything from the scenery. High-hatted,
the drumroll pounces. I was born in a cage and
never have left : witness the destruction and
unleash the force. Walking on the water
makes one incomplete. The ghost
marks time - his wicked cadence
on his painted drum.
In the basement of the American Legion Hall,
the marching band, practicing, walks
round and round in circles on
the floor.
What echoes down this hallway?
The words of a man explaining himself:
how he spends his money, where the mission
shall be, how he needs to find a forum. By my
overhearing, I am forced to listen. Adjoining tables.
I am not amused. Lifestyle. Courses. Mission. Reflect.
All hideous words, from an enormous mouth. Yet, I
want to wish him well. May he populate the world with
Spirit. Out of place? No, no. What is out of place is
what is missing - the reporter, I am finding, seeks
perfection through other people's words, not his own.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


(I Think To Myself)
They all have their Klaus Voormann moments,
the rattlers, the singers, the killers, the dingers.
Imagination flies its stringed loops all over this sky.
I am watching from a distance, as two fellows emerge:
they are eating fire, blowing down the black smoke
between their flaming lips. I shoulder no burden that
would ever equal this (I think to myself). Then, just
aside, two swaggering Lebanese elephant handlers
enter from beyond the curtain, leading three broad
elephants swaying. One has a saddle, upon which sits,
nearly naked, a quite voluptuous woman. She stretches
outward with her arms and - of course, of course, one
sees the shape of her breasts. Guaranteed to get a rise,
the move awes the small tented crowd. This audience
erupts. I think again, to myself, 'where am I?'
I answer to no one; but I answer to you -
I am in Swinton Station, Indiana, at the yearly state fair,
where - in order to see these things - the county farmers
come far and wide, witnessing this fleshy cavalcade
behind the tented doors, as if it were some 1930's
sexy sideshow today. This is incredible, and how
can it be? I think to myself - these are the very same
men who shoulder rifles and bear grudges like I
carry pennies. Watch out, therefore, the unsatisfied
urge : the urge to lust and violence, one unfulfilled
leading to the other enacted. All those crazy
Summer gunmen, going home to take
out the family.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So tired I can't blink.
No bright lights up here,
only the glare, only the glare.
Keep me waiting half the night -
spindly shadows made for fright.
No one to talk to for sure.
Man comes by in a coonskin hat,
carrying a helicopter and a hammer
and some kind of corny thought :
His rotors look funny to me.
Up here, everything is illusion,
at best - volcanic dust or just
a hoary fog. One way or the other
everything remains dark and shady.
The only bright spot was when I saw
I saw your footprints in the volcanic
ash; some kind of fallout it was,
from long ago and the stormy past.
Now, only the glare, only the glare.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


You can have your old-time country music by
the bowl-ful. I've not seen a hog nor a hollow
around here for ages. The little girls are
splendiferous as they like what they hear.
Vacationland! Fat thinking in the sun!
But everywhere, the incongruities abound:
that stranger, with his dump truck, snoozing;
that worker, hauling his load. Two gentlemen
from Verona, you might say, kickin'
and strummin' their own.


'And the doors shall be shut in the street';
(Eccles. 12). The man who possesses no
reality, like a scarecrow, rules over his
(barren) field. Let me also wear such
deliberate a field, behaving
as the wind behaves. And into the mirror now
there shines a light - 'Moon Castro Eventual
Comfort Eternal Rest Sofa'. The teas and coffees
steam their little smokes as we, at rest on the
precipice, detract our blank attentions from
their day. 'It was on Tuesday I worked, and
then all those snows came; the wild, windy
morning, and, though tired, I still had quite a day.'
They are lined up at the corner, all these people
now, waiting for the slushy light. Behind old
Nassau Hall, to my right, some kind of a Sun is
rising. I do not know why the gardeners are yet
at work, why the snowfall is being moved by
machinery of a great production...
'She has eyes, eyes of a bold brown Spanish
face that oh! if I only knew! (The space between
us grows, where that space should only close).
And thus the prophet said, 'if all things are vanity
'midst this colloquial divide, then such things as
meaning and moment deride every moment we live
and I and we are living for nothing.' I am living on
Dante's broken shelf, living without promise or
blame, and what this is, a boring life this is, it
can surely bring me to shame. ('We do not wish
anything to happen; seven years we have
lived quietly, succeeding in avoiding notice,
living by only partly living').
The signpost on Lattimore Way, I noticed,
was writ by a broken hand - some twenty years
back and more. The letters had dissolved to a
pale, painted fade : 'So far as we do Evil or
Good, we are Human - and it is better, in a
paradoxical way, to do Evil than to do
nothing at all. At least we exist, at least
we exist, at least we exist, at
least we exist...'

Monday, February 15, 2010


In the cavalcade of your ways I see starlight.
Truly, it appears as a glimmer from the Heavens
to me. The distant planet Ner/Stra, unknown yet
to Earthlings, sings with a light, through sounds
and colors. All that is yet within me - I may
have traveled, (though it was but as sleep)
but that has never left me. We shoulder this
illumination much as you carry water or weight.


To demonstrate a candle, the flame is lit.
We sit in the corner, idly talking, while
that flame consumes the houses all around us.
Experience, then, is the suture which closes
up the wound : we watch, but do not burn,
we are cut, but do not bleed. It is like that,
simply put, and forthrightly so. There is
nothing else we can do. Fluttering by me,
the hawk is but the hawk, the owl is but
the owl - no matter darkness or light.
They, so consumed 'midst 'self' as are
we, whatever the designation, do what
they do without thinking, just doing.
I walked to the water's edge,
and only then realized
my pail had already
been filled.


I posted a reward for my soul on the town-square
wall, and got such a response that I was overwhelmed
and couldn't even talk. So many common people had
claimed to have seen it, in every kind of place I
myself had never been. It got confusing very
quickly, and I was left doubting my own
very presence. I looked for my soul
myself, and couldn't find it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Is for suckers.
All those who believe
in the frenzy of atonement.
All that 'life, death, and make
up for it all' stuff. On the other
hand, I did what I wanted and walked
away. No Rio beachfront revelry for me.
I used to summer in New Orleans before
I was banned. Mardi Gras always just started
the revolt : by three months later we all were
crazy. Laughter and loving, shacking up in a
shotgun shack, getting the names straight only
the next morning. It went on like that, I tell you,
a long, long time. Six weeks of Lent, a poor joke.
We made up for all that doing without in a mere day.
Nobody ever died. Nobody got too sick.
A few girls probably regretted it, but had time
to amend their ways later on. Salvation is easy
like that. Beads, beer, babes and booze.
That was all our motto said.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is no sample kit - everything in it is real.
The rapture, the fire, the intense feel of love
itself. Some marvel at a burning bush, I marvel
at the marvelous. A Valentine's Day spent in
mourning could make no more sense than this.
We walked together hand in hand. It really
was like a storybook picture. You muttered my
name, I mumbled something back - not really
knowing what to say. Then, at long last, we sat
down together in our warm and cozy space.
They brought us coffee and a platter,
things we'd never really asked for
but nonetheless kept in place.
It was all new to me : those Greek guys
with their baklava, the hoary dark drinks
they pounded, that crazy guy playing
his little guitar (or whatever it was).
Before I knew it, everything was over -
you'd said your prayers and spread
your cloth. It was the first of many
such engagements. We stayed
together longer than we've been
apart. My winter blindness fades
when I see your bleeding heart.


In that small place where my uncle once lived,
there was a carbine on the wall. His closets were
stuffed with music - and the wonder of it all:
photo albums of Alsace-Lorraine, where he
spent three long years, he said, teaching English
to miners, or minors, I never got that straight.
I was but twelve at that time, and always wished
to own that prison-painting he had hanging.
He said it was done by a guy serving life
for murder. It was about 12X15 inches, I'm
guessing, but was a wonderful three-dimensional
farmhouse, with a fence and a distant vista
and some trees and a stream or a river.
What struck me about it, always, was that
it wasn't simply flat. It had a third dimension,
pushed out where the mountains and trees were,
recessed for the river and water. I hope you
can get what I mean. I marvelled always:
this prisoner in some distant land, spared
of death, I'd suppose, but doing life (not
so unlike us, after all, I'd think), finding a way,
in mostly greens and blues and browns, to show
some fuller extent of Life as known than one
would normally see. A super-realism behind bars!
An optic intensity missed forever! Some kindred
surrealist lost by an escaping death sentence!
I never really knew, but, alas - now all gone.
My uncle's long dead, the prisoner too, I guess,
has gone to meet some final judge, and the painting
itself, why - now, when I ask about it - none who
should know know a thing at all. It's as if it never existed!
(I hope that final judge appreciates art).


(Madame Exhilia singing her aria!)
I can't want for totality or grace.
The snow is three feet high and more
where they plowed the piles and left it.
People will walk through anything at all,
and now that everything is essential
- or made to be seen as essential -
there are no questions asked.
The world has become a necessity,
and such a necessity we have to deal with,
not like days of old where people only
did one or two things their entire lives.
Now everyone is all at the point where they
each want to do everything, experience it all,
and be part of the whole entire thing:
bullshit mavens at the market selling trinkets
to whomever, story lines of carpet baggers,
rock and roll hee-haws screaming their shit,
opera ladies singing their swoon, while the
pince-nez guy (12th row, I'm watching) jerks off into
her kerchief and gives it back to Madame Exhilia
singing her aria - and no one notices a thing.
Meanwhile, the room explodes in a darkness of
Napoleanic proportion, or Neo-Napoleanic as
they'd say now. Everything's bigger, everything's
smaller. I don't know the difference here,
and anyway anymore everything's
accessible and everybody wants a piece.

Friday, February 12, 2010


It is said : this man killed his God
for thirty pieces of silver; about the
price of the Sunday Times today.
I wonder if it could have been worth it.
What bank accepted such money,
what interest was paid? How much
cost the wood for the cross?
(And what could such money buy)?
I wallow in this stuff like dirt :
all this myth making and story.
As Anne Sexton said (I paraphrase) -
the New Testament is so small;
its mouth opens four times, as
out-of-date as a prehistoric monster,
yet somehow man-made, held together
by pulleys, like the stone-jaw of a backhoe.
Anyway, why bother? It's a long one-act play
without any intermission. The swooning, the swords,
the blood and the crying - along with Death -
play character roles that somehow
just cannot hold (any longer)
my full attention.


(or else)
Don't take the key from the doorway,
don't write your name on the ledge.
Right there, where the cat sleeps, that's
from where Jezebel jumped. She landed
the three floors down, right to the
pavement below. Two broken legs
and all painful as Hell.
But that was long ago. When Berlin
had two sides. When Regensburg was
new. When the girls in Bonn were still
speaking 'Bonn' - which is not German
at all. I remember laughing at that when
someone asked Gertag what people spoke
in Bonn. 'They speak Bonn!' she said -
something of the equivalent of a southern,
country, hick town local dialect in Amerika.
I said 'I thought you all spoke Kafka.'
I make tricks. I can put a cigarette through
a quarter. But what I cannot do, Goddamn it,
is make your memory disappear.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Rimbaud and Verlaine, the Buggery Brothers,
still bother me like snot. Two atrocious
characters wrapped up in mythmaking and
romance - the same dour surge that makes
pus run or blood trickle. Young romantic
children of today - every Patti Smith and
Bob Dylan of the configured world - can
still run out of their way to praise the
effrontery of these two characterless swans.
I'd hate to be around their table.
Flamboyant blowhards, flaming pistols,
running hordes and overly-sensitive puffs
crowd it from end to end. Servings of
pink potatoes and purple jellies would be
their fare. Why do we listen? Why do we care?
Up high, the height of Gods, up high, the Heavens
of all the worlds - that's where the true poet's
mind dwells. Not in devilment, not in Hells.
Oh, why do we even bother?


(509 e11th st.)
I don't always have the time for great panes of glass;
the city-streets soldered with glamor and taste. It's
all I can do to stay slow, walk without haste, understand
what's before me, and stay - in my way - in place.
The doodle-meister paintman, running between garages,
I've seen him before - with his murderously sullen girlfriend
laughing about something while she put on her high
black boots. They were sitting at a bench in front of
some old parking lot. Behind it, a row of tenements
showed their nasty backsides. Sneakers on a clothesline,
thrown over it, as if for spite. Someone once told me
that was a signal meaning drugs are traded there, dealt,
sold, whatever. 'The Trade', in street lingo.
Things like that are beyond me. Graffiti, spray paint,
dealing drugs in tenement yards, under clothes of grime
and basements of filth. Wherever we go, it seems, there's
a story line that follows : regimented gruffness, power-play
in the alley, a few thugs beating on a gimp.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Though nice, the constant beauty of
ice, wind and snow I wouldn't want
to live with. When transient, it comes
and goes, when permanent, it really blows.


Atoms are indivisible
sounds run in waves
light is a quality
energy is mass and
essence combined
all things relate to
one another.
Indivisibility is not
invisibility NOR
divisibility - and
the quality of
mercy is not
Depending on what you depend on
is depending upon what you depend upon
and whether or not you go off the deep end
is dependent on what you depend.
More than that I cannot say.


I have a skeleton under my skin. I can
feel the jawbones and the knees, for
instance, quite freely. Yet, I wonder,
what will I be when it vacates me?
Shall I wander, loose and flaccid,
flopping around without a form
or a frame - in a spiritual guise
all airy and breathless, something
there with no name? Will I be
able to see....something?

736. MASTER HENRY (now what?)

(now what?)
It was fitful to throw a hum into the snowbank
like that, Master Henry. What in the world were
you thinking? That guy's new Audi was but
four days his. I'm sure he was as nervous
as could be : your frenzied, crazed behavior
must have made him wince -
so close to his new car.
It was (also) pitiful to throw that bum into
the snowbank, Master Henry, but that's
another story and he did probably have
it coming. I saw how he was going through
your pockets when you left your coat
on the bench. Yet, kicking him in the
face when he was down was probably
a breach of etiquette.
All in all, you've done a fine
day's work in less than
twenty minutes. What's
next to do?
Now what?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



Do not hesitate to chase down what you
see - a fleeing preserve, an idea running
away from you. By such means are revolutions
begun. One man, clamoring over something,
shouting high from a leafy perch, can caterwaul
the masses to prime their quick revolt.
We, in shackles, huddle over pain and want.
Blankets of bad philosophy and the lies of
schemers attempt to cover us from their own
prescribed cold. Following such orders, the
wise Captain says, will bring peace and happiness.
Instead, this compost heap of old ideas is riddled
with enforced rigor. Compulsory order keeps chaos
away : yet it is their order which shackles us,
and our chaos they most fear. Their own frightful
conundrum keeps them in fear just as our own
fear of them keeps us from chaos.
I have to lay my cards down with Chaos.
It is the more creative way to die.


Underfoot the ice barks - a resounding crack
of 'where not to be'. I'd much rather not understand
The darkness is thick like a brush - a harsh scrub
on a dirty scalp. There is so much not to be seen.
At this time of morning, no shadows even try
leading you on. Such quiet becomes me.
Were I to sink in this brash disdain, I think
I could only perish once. A singularity such as
that is gladly accepted; a peril undergone
willingly. My winsome spirit seeks to fly,
in this manner finding its own distant sky.
I've not lingered here for nothing. Breadloaf Mountain,
Scalinger's Hill, North Pomay Point. Each of these
places hold memories, but things I'd rather forget.
Who cares of that listing boat sinking in the sound,
the cave at the bottom of Aubrey's Meadow, the
old cabin where Lentinon stayed for the Winter?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Nothing but a crazy fucking silence.
2314 and the 3rd floor freight elevator
13th Street where they made porn flicks.
Now there's nothing. From uptown to down
only the crackle of money : ornamentation
stricken with sledge-hammer angst, all
those gargoyles of a true old decoration now
either dead and/or buried. Far away and long
ago, I can't even remember how it was
'Surround yourself with your own ideas,
yet place them in a tradition of yore' -
though he never said that, those words
were used against T.S. Eliot in a court of
law; well, literary law anyway. What he'd really
said was : 'the entire world has fallen away.
Instead of pillaging, take what you can from
the past to advance the present.' The only
reason I know all this is that he used to
live right next to me at 87 Charlton.
He used to cook feathery eggs on Thursdays.
His ex-wife would sit in a chair, crying.
He spoke of tea as if it was gold.
He was really from Missouri,
I was told.
He used to say cool things:
'the door opens on her like a grin,
and the corner of her eye twists
like a crooked pin.'


The water runs like water runs.
The mountains rise like mountains rise.
The highway drives like highways drive.
There's no sign of the settlers left.
This Park Ranger babe tries to tell me
how things were. Where they slept and how
they cooked. I know (and she knows) she's full
of shit. As if it was all about home decor back
then, she's going on about chairs and windows.
I simply decide, like a wildman from back then,
I'd much rather throw her down and strip her bare.
That's what she'd remember about the past.
'He came in quick and he pulled out fast.
Ugh, I think anyway. That's how it was.'
There's never any justice to things that can be said.
If it can fit into words, it's a lie instead.
The water runs like water runs.
The highway hums like
highways hum.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


1. Someone hard and fast and soft
and stern and demanding and sour too.
All so defined; as it had been, by the
legendary Cloud-Maker Firebush
Original Burning-Man - that old
volcanic deity of dumbness, God.
Be-Bop-Ba-Diddley-Bop. Him
groweth home-grown bloweth
blown, Jazz-King morning sunlight
movie-man marquee moon mash.

2. Swing low Sweet Harriet coming for
to carry my bone, swing low sweet
chariot, coming for to carry me home.
I - bop be diddly pe-dad dah! - looked
over - be dum bop! - Jordan and
what did I see? A band of angels coming
for me - wha-za-sha-bomp-wa! -
coming for to carry me home.

3. The morning sunlight pales itself along
and crying on past the horizon old moon
new moon hanging ring-in-white while the
smoke a million mornings rises - one million
mornings, man! - and lingers its mark like a
broad medallion in a long and lazy-lit sky.
If we are the birds, we sing; we do that very
bird-like thing without thinking at all and
all of that goes just goes and all and all
be-bop-a-diddley-lu-a-baby, yeah!


It's too simple to see with these eyes
how I love everyone I meet and yet
hate to go on living. The reverse side
of this dance-card was apparently
marked by Death itself. Stamped
with something that reads
'For the Duration'


My hands were broken at the bank,
my mind went sideways at the church,
my eyes gave out in prison, and
- only later - my lungs failed
until - at the end - I realized
I had prophesied and
rehearsed my own
unending death.


Independence Day came and went
and brought forth in its own way
that posse fielding forces on the lawn.
Horses with their bowed heads,
tentgrounds and fireworks; everything
filled with that unsorted frenzy of Love.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Something mingles my blood with Charlemagne.
I don't care which or what : there are no streetlamps
on this corner, the sky is falling dark fast, and all
I can see are these shadows...of the past.
I was once a youth armed with lusty fever,
playful antic and the joy of a magical spree.
It turned out very costly - as nothing was
for free. Beating me at my own game,
the lineage of blood said I came
from Charlemagne.
Eagle tarnish fuel temper
flame volcano wood-beam
ceiling tempo toolshed manger
chapel fury iceman rehearse.
We are the failings of everything
that has come before us, and the
victors, it always seems, are the
ones who get to write History.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


There's no cast to the angle :
the men who build bridges don't
care, and the others don't notice.
I'm sitting up in a leather chair,
my feet straight down. Reading, I'm
trying to beat my own slouch, or
slump, by consciously sitting up
straight (in that leather chair).
I may have said all this before.
Somewhere I've heard that
tonight is Chinese New Year.
Year of the dog rat snake,
whichever. It hardly matters,
never in fact, to me. I surmise,
like some dumb old horoscope,
that it's all meaningless drivel,
borne of ages, carried aloft and
then forgotten by modernity. Except
in glee, the glee of greetings and
greeting cards.
The man I used to know -
over there - Freddy or Frank,
is smoking a menthol cigarette.
He's looking out over the porch,
gazing at nothing. As I remember,
he was as dumb as an ox and a
pain in the ass too. I'm glad
he's alone. Smoking, these
days, is a very lonely gig.
There's no cast to the angle.
The men who build bridges
don't care, and the others
don't notice (a thing).


(Life Without Limits)

A community of holidays wrapped in
nothing special - ice rolling off a cliff
along a distant roadway, two signs - without
meaning - spinning wildly in the wind, that
Winter hare, momentarily stunned, just staring
out. My silence is a comfort too - white
wires of an old telephone line, poles and brackets
now all white, covered by new-fallen snow.
Community gardens inside glass globes.
Alligator sewers 'midst a mishmash of time.
Everywhere I turn to look, there is, (it
seems), something 'other' beckoning.
I am outside the picture yet
within the frame.
Steamed-over windows dripping with dew,
an enormous shelf, bought in New London,
and now suffering in an early Spring.
I live within the anomalies,
if I live at all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I'm thinking of being taunted.
Notwithstanding. Effect.
The long dawn of a lumberjack -
trudging up the village hillside in
the dark, with an ax and a saw and
nothing more. What do they want
from him? Five trees, big, cut and
sundered and chopped in a day.
Let alone. The. Bringing of it. Down.
All those measly peasants
and their damned fireplaces.
Cinder-pots for the practice-flames
of their storybook Hell. Big Bad Wolf.
Cat in the Hat (ain't no lumba-Jack).
If you say a prayer before morning
I can guarantee you there won't be
no mourning. Everything will
into place perfectly; the
lumberjack will get his trees
and the peasants will get
their fires for the hearth
through the Wood
HE bringeth. Like
God again; someone



Where Chagall kept painting his
dreams; oxen and carts flying over
the sky, past moons and rooftops
and stars. I guess he wasn't really there,
so to speak, but that's what dreams
are about anyway. Interiors of exteriors,
maybe, or the other way around.
Like a mirror able nothing to reflect,
that too is an achievement. Something,
after all, to be noted or remarked upon.
Vitesk or Vitebsk, or whatever it was.



By her own hand, of course. That's
the way it always happens. Nothing sparkles like
death-as-dessert. I'd just been getting used to her,
liked her looks, loved her smile, and really dug
her work. And then, out of the blue, somehow,
she decides to take her own life. All that
confessional poetry crap had just worn her
down. The letter she left me said simply :
'I could have told you sooner, but
I'd already forgotten the words.'


They put the highway right through my head :
things winging, flying by, high rates of speed,
everything a blur. Not that I minded, mind you.
It's all the same to me. The sharpshooter named
Raymond, the one from Desert Storm, showed
me long ago where a sniper should hide.
We were in Jersey City, sitting out front of old
Captain Al's, a now-gone beer joint all creepy and
run down. Right across from it, they'd built new condos,
and at the very top, some strange-looking pinnacle
stood out. I said 'a great place for a sniper, no?' -
and he, momentarily startled, blinked back and said
'yes, actually yes it is. That's the very sort of space they
taught us to find in sniper school, for urban warfare.
I spent many an hour, fully armed, in just such places.
Funny you should notice.' I laughed, and smiled back.
Sometimes such coincidences just seem to come together.
His erstwhile girlfriend, also there, Laura or Brenda or
some sort of name like that, had no clue what we'd
said. She was too busy enjoying the others enjoying
her. The whole scene was funny - she was showing
off as best she could, we were talking about killing
people, and right down at the end of the street,
a perfect and near view of Lady Liberty's backside
was present - the whole statue, in the harbor,
framed by the street - the Statue of Liberty
I'd had yet to meet.