Thursday, March 31, 2011


I am listening to night voices, and the dwindling
moon settles in on my left, over the water, beyond
the lake, past where the oar-crew practices.
Even this early, splitting the daybreak with a
megaphone, nothing seems to make sense. The
moon falls over the daylight cliff, and the world
rises, light with its new-day's energy and heat.
Solar-powered luminescence, like a fire from the heart.
I am seeing the girls with the backpacks dissemble.
They count their eyes and arms as I watch. I sense
their feelings completely : an odd mix of self-awareness,
curiosity, and a certain, happy form of human lust.
All things to love; all things, every. Warmer than Sun.
Fifteen or twenty geese traverse the dirt-path
corridor; their crazy academic catalogue seems rigid
even here, on the ground. They look askance, and
cackle that cackle - whatever it is geese do. No
understanding can surpass their instinct to graze.
Winged flower, empty nightmare creature, broad
stroke of all that is; dim dawn of another day,
dim dawn of another day.

3018. ROPE

The rope was wide, the rope was narrow,
the rope was greased, the rope was tied
to a tree, the horse was holding back, the
horse ran forward, I stayed in place.
At one instant, I was there, and I was
here. Two parts to displace the whole.
The rope was wide, the rope was narrow.

3017. TO APRIL

All the things we seem to have found
are somehow still here, yet time passing
now better defines them. The sky like a
soup covers deeply the most particular
edgings; shapes and forms together avoid
both reasons and names, but such avoidance
can no more advance than can dead landscape
and dormant flower stop from transforming.
Everything has possibilities now; we will
all start out all over again.


A certain light intrudes,
in spite of the touch.
No lines, but no definition either.
All things, wavering, merge.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011



Outside in the wind, right where the pigeons were,
the dirt and debris was kicking up in funnels.
Through all this the birds stayed put - steadfast
in a posed resistance, feathers upturned, heads
unsettled. It appeared to be war, of a sort.
Never before had I aced the moment so well.
I felt for them as I decided for myself where
not to be. Life leaves little choice, yes, but even
less for the creatures of gutter and wall.
This was the gate of a simple hotel; citified
blindness, urban maladroitness, a doorman
with only an evil, small smirk. Even he,
I realized, was better able to withstand the
shiver and wind. Just past my eyes, well
beyond him, a few girls loitered within.
If a cash register were upon each of their
backs, their presence for business would
be no clearer. Outside, the pigeons
yet hunkered down for another blast.


I live in a half-world of shadow and
feint, where false messages of an
inherent trait keep breaking through.
My horizon thus - though suffering -
has little to give back to other men.
I know all about their lamp-lit harbors
and day-light cruises, but I do not care.
My out-of-control craft by contrast careens.
Most of the time, I don't know where
it is that I am. I sleep and then awake and
- only then for an instant - the two get
interesting : the lamplight and the darkness,
the cowboy meshing with his horse and hat;
while, at the other end of that spectrum,
the indigenous native respects his world,
'every little bit of it', as the spirit guide says.
Perhaps, in between them, living
in a dream then, am I.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


To be forgotten, per se, as it is, exactly,
isn't so bad. Liking pilasters of gold
hasn't much good to be said for it.
That old Springsteen bungalow down
at West Long Branch, Number Seven
and a half, I think it is, it just sits there
lanky and dull now; and the people
living within, they 'ain't got a care.'
'I go to work on Tuesdays and come
back for Saturday nights. Wish I had
his money though. Wann'a see the old
old toilet?' Reluctantly, I passed.
There's always a hankering from
something of glory - all that crap
from other days, and now the franchise
people and the local fiscal hoodlums
want in too. The man from the magazine
says 'there's too much to be lost by
waiting; too much now to be lost.'
Anyway, it's most all bullshit from there;
you can't see the surf, the screen door
never slams, and Mary's long gone.
Like a vision she dances? I think not.


(still-life to vendors to vegetables)
I remembered right then what it was I had
said to you : your cigarette ash like an artist's
brush dangling so low over the coffee, I had
looked you over and uttered 'God! You have
such a semblance of the real!' Startled, you
laughed and then gagged, right then almost
coughing yourself to death. Then we got
over that and finally embraced.
It was a November moon, Judy, way back
then and long before you'd changed your
name. Tenenbaum to Rifka to, Jesus, Smith!
I could never believe you were there, in
any of them : pallet-faced artist-hounded,
always running forager that you were.
Success, as I saw it, should always
elude the best of us. And then, just
like that, it hit you. There was more.
Some other guy, named Reed, draft-evasion,
prison time, wasn't it all of that? I still forget
and it really doesn't matter. Now, I'm looking
at your painted flowers on some broken down
matte of a wall. The piece itself still looks good
enough, but I can't recall it at all. I remember
something else instead : our bicycles, and
how you were always stealing the vendors'
vegetables along the way as we passed.
Funny how these things stay
planted in the mind.


The cat turns into a cheetah; the fly
an eagle becomes. I am awash in wonder
and awe. My dream becomes a person.
Outside on the grimy sidewalk, the opposition
arrives. The ugliest oilman I've ever seen -
dense, voracious and vile I sense. He
sticks his awkward hose into the ground
as fuel oil spills - a sickening black slag
running over concrete and wood.
There is no magic there. Where
every dreary moment demands that
it is real and of substance, and dragging
everything else down with it. I will
flee. I will transform : the curtain
now becomes an angel, as this
exception becomes my norm.

Monday, March 28, 2011


On the painter's wall was a still life of
Freedom - all static and steady, replete
with dead colors; more frame than picture,
I felt. Trompe l'oeil is what I thought of as
well - all those hanging dead rabbits and
powderhorns and feathers and caps. I'd
seen them once, on a museum wall, trying
of course to fool the viewer as to what
was real and what was not. Present and
real, or just the illusion you've got.
Maybe apples and oranges together,
in some polished silver bowl, would
represent better whatever meaning
was meant to be imparted - though
I think not. Good grief, what have I
started? On the painter's wall
was a still life of Freedom.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Fifteen men at the castle door,
seeking what they could,
and not one thing more.
The yellow sun,
unmanageable as ever,
beat down mercilessly
upon their heads.


(flagellants and mendicants)
Goes where it will go, goes where it
wishes to go, does what it is told,
disappears upon command. All those
things at once. A killer unemployed.
She is at the stove, now I see, cooking
eggs. Standing by the burner, little
in a robe, staring out the window while
things simmer. It must be morning again.
Nothing new, that. They do seem to recur.
There is not much, really, we can salvage from
our own lives, at the ends of our days. It all
has just already happened, seemingly vague,
yet real - and that is, simply, that. We may
remember a few things; or may not. Old
memory falters; that's all they say now.
Ages ago Flagellants used to roam the
land. In Europe, anyway; from place to place
they'd walk, berating themselves and, everywhere,
seeking Penance. Weirdly enough, not for any
specific things they'd done, more just for being
alive. Or having been. Such an obfuscating presence,
this crazy, stupid trait - beseeching God's forgiveness
for things you had nothing, really, to do with. An odd
and concrete perversion of all Creation. Many men
died, of their own lonely intentions. Leaving children
and wives, and all the rest. Yet leaving , it was
understood as well, one happy and satisfied God.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Books on the shelf, my own books :
Roth, Bellow, Pessoa, Updike, a few,
what the hell. Isiah Berlin, Hart Crane,
Bret Harte, Ginsburg and Ferlinghetti
too. I won't divulge the excess because
this is only a few. My life in idle pages
driving nothing home at all. Purloined
clockwork dickweed verbiage, and
poisoned papers too. I undertook
it all. Killed a King; made him fall.
St. Marks Place, 1967. A few dead
kids, a few raw stories, and me.
Cycling the cytronic, fishing
off the pier. Watching the
Normandie sink. Recalling
the Slocum Disaster from
Tompkins Square Park.
That bench where the
queer men all sat.
I never was really myself
at all. My life was a fictive
adventure, a story of
dearth, a tale to recall.
I am not from this
Earth. I am yours,
that is all.


Planting trees along an oasis does not ever work:
dry heaves, Dry Tortugas, any of that misplaced,
misreckoned, swank geography of the journeyer's
mind. It's so far and apart different from anything
else; like shaving with Capatain Elster's sabre.
Afternoons never linger; they disappear like
have-nots, and girls who die in one's arms.
Put the toast in the broiler. Watch it burn
and curl. If you object, oh Sainted Theresa,
then simply don't do it. Bless first the
God-damned bread and call it holy.
I left you a fifty dollar bill for your
services rendered. All was done in
kindness and remembered.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Once, when Neanderthal Man was
Meandering Man, the globe was a
stepfoot oasis. And this Man didn't
know a thing. He went to kicking
and crying for what could be results.
The sequence was always unclear.
Now, in a much different daylight, I
see reflected the Sunlight preening
down on naked pictures on some guy's
screen. He sits perpendicular to me,
and the glare from window B only
obscures the vision from me. Why is
that, I wonder. Some Godless hand
in the wide open sky finally took
an interest in something?
Some Reverend Minister Mister something
lackadaisically calls me in. His proud seat
on a humble altar? No, for sure, no.
He's suffering from Pride, the kind I've
never seen before : bring forth remaindered
glory on clouds of same. I'm bored, already.
Hi-Hat, Trinity, beautiful bumpkin babies,
non-judgmental rectifiers of all God's
dreary dread. I'm so tired of these
things. I wish I was dead, or at least
in some somnolent way like a
baby in a nursery window.

Thursday, March 24, 2011



Never mind; I rode the horse until it tired.
Of me, or the ride, I never could tell.
The flat-iron steamer from the Scranton
Museum, I was looking straight at it, just
watching it plume. All these stupid
Pennsylvania people, riding an old train
like some Lionel wafer at a Christian
celebration. The tracks, they were laid
down right through the wood and vale;
no one ever cared a whit what they were
doing. 'This was Commerce, buddy, the
kind with the capital 'C'. It had to be.'
Something different from what Ezra Pound
had said : 'Kommerz, damned Kommerz!'.
Or something. If there wasn't a that there
couldn't be a this. I know such was the
landlord's thinking every month on the 28th.
I may have had it backward, or I may
have had it straight. Never mind.



New South Wales, and me. In a tri-corner hat,
plumed with a feather. I stood starboard on a
big, flattering ship, heading west somehow
until we got to 'it'. The remainder of my days.
Where I would go to die and stay.
There was never anything past a medical malfeasance
that I wasn't able to handle : that guy with five guns,
that day in Borstal, even the time, at the end of the
Thames, when I ravaged your sister for hours - who
by the way went quite willingly into that dark, dark
night. The only resistance she ever knew was in
the snaps and the stays. So many things are
so forever funny. New South Wales? Now?
How far afield am I dreaming? How many miles
does a man's mind travel? 'Simplicity patterns,' I
remember my Mama muttering, were the 'easiest
ones to follow.' She tried to make all my sisters'
dresses, but everything ended up as a pillowcase
instead. Now, the hardtack is on the table and
I'm sitting here alone. I sometimes think of
you but mostly think of, really, nothing at all.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Like debutante air at a lightning ball, everyone
here was decked out for murder. Enthralled with
emotion - lights, candles, flares and stars. Motion
picture photographs and long, black cars.
Twenty men to a woman, with each a cigar.
What fragrant and flagrant emotion.

Monday, March 21, 2011

3001. O'HANLON'S GROVE (Andrew Marvell)

(Andrew Marvell)
'More standard lap of luxury shit.
Isobar, and a real nice car - call him
Joe at any hour. Magisterial front porches
and a large porte cochere. Dinner by bells,
announced at the hour. 'I've got a big car;
they can all fit in.' I hear them talk about
the swimming trophies and new trunks
for the season. 'This one is really hard
to stir; I might add more sugar.'
When the light comes in to these walls, it's
all and always so very nice. False idols.
Saints at their grottos. All those imperfections
of man. I really just want to stay.'


True faces, and you have no source.
I write white paper. The single manner
of your scarf, it rises like a sign to me.
At end, all things rest; even the
Tenth Street light.
I once viewed a movie from behind
the screen. Yes, watching all things in
a backward reflection of one projection.
Not much sense. I couldn't tell. To the
action, no real story; like a shale fossil
found in a stream, etchings and markings,
though not as they seem.
Gretchen Virginia Valerie White.
She was watching me from across the
room. I saw, I saw, I saw. (True faces,
and you have no source).

Sunday, March 20, 2011


No, really; the roadway seems determined to
ease my way to Nothingness. Bending and
twisting around obstacles and trees, it will,
soon enough lead me to that revered small
place I left so long ago. The town square,
centered with its Civil War Memorial and
the list of places and names. Atop it all, some
poor-boy soldier, like a squire, staring out
and holding a rifle and a sword.
The center of town is rimmed with an old
filling station; two glass bays on a concrete
isle of steel and light. Oil cans and a hose.
Battery water in a spouted pail. Here and
there still stand a few hitching posts, with
iron rings, from one hundred years ago.
Can't get any more lazy than that.
I was born nearby, and raised, it seems,
in a well; the town well - everyone came
to draw from me, to take away, and no
no one ever left a thing, 'cept
words and idle chatter.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


You have no time and all the boundaries are gone;
troops are massed at the border. The skirmish you
last read of, it has already happened, a long time
ago. The posters are up and your name - though
quaintly misspelled - features prominently in
this morning's mission. No one really knows a
thing - but that's never stopped fervor before.
All the things that never were, have already
happened; and all the things happening now
never were before. It's that simple game of
fetch and truth - making things up under great
silver moons and skies of many suns. Look about
you, even the ripples on the water and the leaves
on the trees - some stupid prophet has said - are
numbered with the loves of all the Gods. I count
my fingers again, just to be sure. So many things
change so quickly that one should never be
complacent about anything at all.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Android tabloid headline fixation.
Marquee overhead, blinking lights
like a crazy man singing dirges to
entreat a full moon. Nothing later than
this comes soon. 'Don't 'cha unnerstan,
Chuckie, don'tcha?' Then, the yellow
man put down his paper. It was
something from two weeks back.
What a difference already! I suspected
he knew that. The clock-tower struck
twenty-three. A few lush girls walked by,
staring at me. If I only had hands where
my sockets should be. In the background,
some twerp in his Chevy was loudly playing
'Full Moon Fever' on his cheap-shit radio.
Oh Tom Petty better get ready, the goon
squads are shaking their sticks.
Like a dope trying to learn his lines, I
read the same script over and over again:
Desert sands, the cowboy comes over the
ridge, shouting and hollering about something.
The love intererest, whom he's left behind in
Calico Falls, was just found out to be fucking
his brother all this time. She never let on, and
he never knew. The horse goes lame, falls and
drops the crazed rider. He passes out in the raw
desert heat - reciting Keats, absurdly enough.
A flying saucer is shown landing swiftly. Out come
android-geek-hairless aliens. They gather him up
and the take him away. No lines to learn. Nothing
to say. Everything else should be just like that too.
(Cahiers du Cinema for me and for you).

Thursday, March 17, 2011


The red barn, in the middle of that field,
it's leaning a bit too precariously for my taste.
I went out there, just to see. A stinging of stars,
the cry of cattle, the whiz-bang of hungry
birds. All that, and evening coming on.


There's a riot in time going on in my mind,
with no ways to placate the things that I see :
the last bastion of the type that grows. Large
letter A, small letter b; things I just don't know.
I went to the doctor and he took a look at me.
'It's wise to be unsure.' He wrote that down
on my chart as well. No more than that would
he ever tell. He gave me a prescription for a
swollen lumber yard. That, and two
guys driving a bright green truck.
I went home early, but got there late.
Thinking about all that, like statements
of relativity, or something equally harsh,
I took my chances at the Pink Flamingo.
I won the entire chart.


'I am the other but I wasn't always the other
some days I was just me and great at that too
though it never was worth much and amounted
to less and I was talking to Evan this guy I know
about his new hat I called it a fedora and then
we realized we weren't sure what it was called -
felt finish with a little feather thing or something
attached at the strip of shiny cloth which wrapped
around the brim and we decided together we'd
both need to look that up for later and what do
you call a hat by style anyway ? tophat fedora
borsalino porkpie all that stuff I never know and
men don't much wear those formal sorts of hats
anymore except like hipsters and the urban hip
and young and chic and all those trying for that
but that isn't Evan's effect at all - more like just
pleasant formality and a certain gravitas or the
likes of that and he said anyway he'd 'gotten it
for trips to New York' so I guess it's pretty much
all the same and a'propos and all that but I sat
down anyway and couldn't get much past just
thinking about all that and - yes yes to get back
to the point : I am the other but sometimes I'm
just me and never really very good at that either.'

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2093. DOCILE

(Princeton University campus)
Limitless adventure - I am leaning back into the
sunlight and thinking only thoughts of light and
air. Why this is, I do not know. To my left, two
squirrels scurry, tending to duplicate, it seems,
each other's movement. What a strange and cheery
way to play. The yellow house behind me, with its
history and benches marked, still adheres to its
wily tradition : that of never changing and always
only being what it ever was. A place that had
another time, and now refuses to leave it.
The privet behind me, also with the house,
was started with cuttings from Mt. Vernon.
It is here labeled 'George Washington Privet.'
Purloined cuttings at the dawn of some
revolutionary era. How strange that all
here sounds. There is no revolution here
at all. We are used, and suffer things
lightly. We are cordial to all, docile
to an American fault. Almost a
waste, all this past glory.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The stretch of new section, right there, along the
graveyard I pass each day. Footloose me, walking
by, watching the dawn cut the sky. Stone
after stone, enscribed, names and dates, places,
references. Everything one needs but doors.
Wasn't it Sartre who wrote 'Hui Clos' - No Exit?
There but for the grave of God go I; there but
for fortune...and all the rest. I (really) just can't
stop to care. Life is going, Life is here.
I heard an owl once, perched and single.
It looked down and spat mice bones at
me. Nothing good about that. I figured
for nothing at all. By then the shadows
were gone, the lamp-lit sky was over
by sun-up, and so was I.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I have challenged the force of balance to
keel over; listening to no voices, hearing
nothing. I found Evil in its place, sitting
straight and steady. The decrepitude of
sky and water mixed - some form of
clay, a human-blend, came forth.
Amazed, I relived this Genesis.
Witness none. Crowds all gone. Old taped
voices running on. There is a candle
burning in the other room : a vigil light
for something other, a marker for
the scent of death and offal, all
those things coming soon.
'Are you writing in code?' - an
outside voice has asked me this.
I answer with a nod, 'as long as
you wear it, this shoe fits.'

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Arthur Rimbaud, it was - lugging armaments and
ammo over African hills and distant Mideast places.
One leg rotted, on its way to gone, complaining of the
ragged one left living. What was it, all, I wonder :
camels, elephants, tigers, leopards, cheetahs,
and all that? Or something else instead :
the calm of palm-frond evenings,
the shimmering, silent sound of night
over desert, savanna and plain? I
find I have so very much to wonder
about. I have so very much for sure.

2089. ON POINT

I am on point with my dirge, with my memory, with
my all-too-many-witnessed things. I am (and, yes)
already an old man. And these are distant, dallianced
days : my fights with men, the sad surpluses of Alecks
and Mirandas, the severe routs of magisterial decorum
making up mind and manners. All gone, and all, as well
insipid as Hell. The page I turn is already torn from
a Book of Life long tarnished and re-bound by
amateur craftsmen; to be sure, not mine.
I walk away on desert sands and shifting packs
of wind-blown soils. No foundation 'neath the
castle, no moat to embroil. I look straight
ahead, and only see - on point, on point
again, the farther goal I've sought for,
now suddenly so near, still dear.


My forces of night are sullen and solemn,
like the black locomotive that wisely leaves
the tracks - frightfully meandering, at
one with only itself, striking where it may
go. The edges of reason, sanity, gloom -
they are but selected way stations on new
stops along the way. This mountain
tunnel has cuts, already set, for oblivion.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Someone just told me I looked like Archimedes.
Yeah, right. Outside of endings, I like that one
best. I also like beginnings; but you know where
they can lead. Gustatory overindulgence - I
think that probably means over-eating. And
not only humans alone are so prone :
I've seen aliens too get sick on the road.
Well, their road - space, darkness, cold,
and all the rest. Outside of endings,
I like beginnings best.
They fill me with happiness, centeredness, and joy.
They bring forth all good intentions and expectations.
They live up to (I always hope) my own potential -
to be where the action is, to have gravitas and
influence, to be present when the best things occur.
Today on Sansome Street, I saw a very old man
take out his teeth. He rinsed them in a fountain
nearby. It was blowing water, at the same time,
into his face, wind-driven. He didn't seem to mind.
I wondered if I could ever be like him. I too am now
an 'old enough' man to be considered either ancient or
a pest and, though I still have all my teeth, well, anything
can happen. Decay sets in, and then neglect. Next you
know I'm spitting out teeth like phlegm. And - though
I don't want to be there when any of this occurs, I
actually do. I don't yet want to die.
Yet, I wondered still if - when alive - I could ever
be like that: hitching up my pants by tugging with
my hands, washing out my teeth in a fountain,
wearing wrinkled clothes, seemingly slept in, for
any extended period of time. But it's only good
fortune that keeps me this way, and not that.
It all could fall apart at any moment. And then
well, then I'd be happy to be anywhere at all.
I guess. Anywhere at all. Outside of
endings, I like beginnings best.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Celebrity rate sheets and corporate dog chews?
The hammerhead of cereals, the underwriter of
all these memorial things? Whenever I think
back on Grandma, all I see are steamed-up
windows from another Winter's night of
cooking tomorrow's food. Food. Food.
(All I ever heard about).
Fifty years back, I was an orphan, at the
ready in a stultified city orphanage, just
waiting to be farmed out. Grandma did come
to get me, and I got out - but oh all those
long days in her measly hovel on Avenue
this or that. I really don't remember much.
Next door, a basketball court and a parking lot,
even way back then, when I was ten. Then,
they came again and took me away.
I escaped on a dark, rainy night, and was never
heard from again. Grandma died in 1980. I did
attend, surreptitiously, her service at graveside.
One of my crazy cousins, I remember her raving
and fainting. No one recognized me. I came in a
rented military uniform and feigned a wicked
war-wound limp. It allowed me to stay in the
background, and no one really caught on.
That too was long ago. Then I found a family,
yes, but only to make it with their daughter.
It all lasted a while and then it too faded away.
My life, awkward, wasted, wicked and vile,
has pretty much always been like that,
pretty much been the same.


Will you oscilloscope my radar-finder and send
the jackal into May? Can you obfuscate this
endive and bring forth healthy motion? Seas
and swings, party planks and outdoor grills?
Anything to this you wish to add you may append.
At that point, even I myself - watching the screen
in rapt attention - looked away; for right here
they were killing a chicken. Twisting sternly the
ringing neck - a squawk ungodly, a shriek, and
death. Even at that, unsightly still.
I am always enamored of waiters in tails and
hostesses in tiny dresses. It simply makes my day.
Of course, if you had noticed, you would have seen
how I winked first, and crossed my fingers as I
spoke, and did any of those ironic things to
show I really meant nothing
of what I said at all.
The poor boy rubs his shoulders with the rich.
The rich girl sits down with the poor wretch.
All in all, things have a way of working out -
and all manner of lively living goes on.



'A wife, a two-year old, a one-year old' -
the guy was saying that as he walked
away - two construction workers in
Carharts, headed out to their jobsite.
Setting up for a game of 'Family'; I thought
perhaps he meant it all for real. Didn't know.
Can't cover the contingency here; constabulary
re-constriction, life's a prison and all the rest.
Anyway, not my problem, raw-deal boy-man.
When Franklin Roosevelt died, he was kept
standing up, strapped to an ice-board for three
days. Why? Who knows? In case he came back to life?
When Joseph Stalin died, he was pasted to the
Kremlin Wall and bolstered there with darts and
brackets. They kept two armed-guards there
every hour of the day. That lasted two years,
and then they gave it up. They wanted to see
how the ideology developed, and what sort.
There are always ghosts resting on mantelpieces
and spirits in the parlor air. It just goes without
saying - we shouldn't talk so fast, and we should
first learn what we really wish to say. It's very
dangerous for a person to waste all those years.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Why would anyone do something that would just make them
uncomfortable? I really don't know. Yes, true, birds fly into
skyscraper glass and die, but they have really no clue what's
up - broken neck, crushed chest, and all that. Those are
our concepts, to be fair. Race car drivers going 220 miles
per hour around hairpin curves are sure to die eventually
...and they know that and accept it, but, still, why?
The addict piercing skin with needles day after day,
merely to stay alive and high so as to need more?
What's with that anyway? That's all discomfort.
When it's easier to stare into the Sun, walk straight
into the waves, or simply stop moving at all. Those
things, by their realization, are more apt to have
true consequences. It's the love of a life that
really matters; that, and the things one can
hold in one's hands. Objects we can understand.
Not water or powder, no, I mean real things
in the hand, stuff we can touch. That's
the comfort of knowing that Life's
being shared with others in the
same form of habit. Misery. Joy.
Integrity. Relief. Or all those
things anyway the same?


It seemed this one time the water-wheel was turning,
throwing great gushes of water over some municipal
lawn where a police driver just sat staring from an
overly shiny car. I watched him. He steadily smoked
some awkwardly bent cigar, as if detailing to himself
the varied reasons for doing or not doing something
else. No way of knowing, just what I felt.
The door did finally open, and out he stepped.
Walking away, towards the plaza and some
big doorway, he waltzed right in - as if
uniform did bring privilege, as if badge meant
free entry. He was, I guess and after all, Police.
The little town of Mecklenberg likes things like that.
Maintaining order, even on a shoestring, gets
progressively easier each day, I would think.
These towns run out of money, no one can do
a thing, services run down, and eventually the
locals just give up on everything and stay distant
and removed all the time. It takes energy to do
crime. You can see it in the kids' eyes - they
stand around with skateboards or phones, just
continuing the idle matter that's stuffed up their
brains already. Just no room to move, or not.
The modern world, in itself, becomes the killer.
Cigar-smoking police guys can do nothing for
that. Sit in the shiny car. Smoke that strange
cigar. Wear that funny hat, and let it go at that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have decided I want to be at the observatory
with you; settled on the hillside, standing as one,
looking through that strange lens at the far and
open sky before us. You wanted, as I recall, to
guess a number for the stars you could see -
'70, 303', was the number you said, while I laughed.
'They all look the same to me', I said, questioning
instead if they were really there at all. 'I truly
think you've imagined just what you wish to see.'
No better gesture than shrugging could there have
been. You took your hand and put it on my arm.
We stayed like that together, for a few moments,
as you looked high to the forward sky. 'I've never,
I've never really imagined anything like this at all',
you said. 'Funny, I guess neither have I', I replied.


The Moon is at my level side, best in the sky,
and partnered in the dawn today with a planet
I really do not know. Morning star, one of those
things. They ride the sky together, in tandem.
The morning light breaks, across the water, and
geese are standing at idle, looking so much at
nothing as anything at all. Still too dark or dim
to really see anything; shadows and the weaving
glimmer of light on a rippling surface.
It's like this when I want to stay in place.
This summation of the best of times could
only be right now and right here. I try
to listen, but there's nothing to hear.
Goodness is always silent.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Oh yeah, they're all over the place now - those
big, sweaty guys with pumpernickle faces and
hand-held gout. Swinging bootstrap boots and
boxing gloves while they whistle the Marine Hymn
on a motorcycle-guitar drumkit. I don't know where
it all came from, but it started long ago : they drip like
shellac down an old, dried-out wallboard. They change
their oil on kit-cars from the lower domain. Weasel
and Wetzel, names like that; charmed in paint on the
flat sides of open doors. Eating plain bread from large,
open wrappers, discussing Cuban cigars while
hoping their dread will end by the morning
whilst running for home. Oh yeah,
those Mega-Boys do roam.

2078. THIS HEAP (a Dalliance)

Does anyone know where the ramps are kept,
the rages, the ridges, the foils of this life? Man juggling
fenceposts on the opposite corner from me; watch him
move, struggling free. Behind him, two cats on a ledge,
tails curled like lions, just staring. Outside of that, nothing.
Outside of that, nothing? The mailbox, where the two
Chinese guys just dropped their notes. They are both
walking, with maps, referring. One dangles a small
camera from a small neck. He wears an ill-fitting
carcoat I've never seen before. Talk is cheap. He talks.
He talks? Says something about something.
Call that talk? Talk is cheap. Outside of that, nothing.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Your maple syrup on the shinguard, the shaft
dripping from the tree, the silver buckets hanging.
My very high Vermont watershed inkling, dripping
honey like money like syrup; and all this before the
boiling fire. We never took down our guards, and
the late Winter snows kept falling anyway.
Those cows in the lower pasture, all sixteen of them,
busied themselves around the water trough, iced with
the bristles of frost and cold water. They never wanted
coming in, and never wanted going out. That lop-sided
John Deere we kept for special occasions led them
around. They followed it like stupid geese.
The one time that Ascor fellow, the Amish one
from the other valley, came over painting barns,
that too was a cold and funny occasion. He slid his
ladder into the chain-drop by mistake, and came
up stinking of shit, 'like a God-awful cow in
every inch' was his exact phrase.
And now it's syrup time again : the high mountain
air of a cold Vermont in middle March, believe me
George Eliot, already speaks for itself, and first.
Soon again it will be time to hay. Ah, again
the pleasures of May!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I broke through the tree line, I entered the realm:
diamonds, jewels, stones, gems, starlight, all those
things in one place, mine. Satisfied to a fault,
I found no more reason than that to remain.
My own life had long ago amassed enough.
Around me, precarious and bold, things
balanced on the faintest holds of reason
and belief. Mute people, like broken
chests of treasure spilling their
contents, aimlessly forced their
ways. Manner and custom,
the flag that waves.
This was all juice for jerks, I'd
decided long ago. A seventeen-story
building can mean only one thing -
seventeen stories of the flat and
the feeble; Gumby people bent
on a weird survival. Facts and
figures, dollars and cents.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


In the time of high manners, on Mandolin Mountain,
I was walking the path through the woods. Above me,
a crazy hawk; alongside me, the running river.
Everywhere, something akin with Nature,
and a language I could understand clearly.
This high up from nowhere, the trapper had
a cabin in the woods; he'd settled in long years
before and I'd met him cutting brush. Just out
from Waverly, along the routing river where
we'd find fossils by the tens. Bristles of sunlight,
coned and filtered, swarmed with light like the
tiny bugs in our Summer faces. We'd pole a
shelter and light a fire by nightfall, three, four,
five of us - each a wanderer seeking place or
a mission. It was 1974, and nothing was everywhere,
everywhere was nothing. The man on the magazine
face said Nixon had resigned. Late August by then.
Who cared? Atop this line of trees, it seemed here
everything had turned to evergreen and conifer.
Nothing left, were October to ever come, for
leaves to fall from. No incentive to bring
a natural death to a place so filled with life.
By September tenth we were all, each,
already gone ourselves; and the trapper
was alone again and on his own.


Cannot this be? The watch and the wonder,
the saddle and the strife. A million ways for
a million things - what makes up a life.
And only then do I see the tremendous
yellow orb, running scat along the edge
of an ever-widening sky. Down here,
below, I feel entrapped. Up there,
this feeble mind can wander - better to
tell the shapes and the hidden meanings
of things. I know the littoral tracks which
cross the bridge, meandering and
wandering, can only be mine alone.
This life, like water, falls
from my hands.

Friday, March 4, 2011



There are certain varied things at every water's edge
that change and alter with the wind. The way the wide
tides rotate sideways before they shift, the swift and
reverse flow of water running out. Even the windmills,
catching the force of something unseen, now turn with
a frenzy. Perhaps, if all my friends were helicopter pilots,
helicopters and rotors and wind would be all I ever thought
about. But, as it is, none of them are, and I go on my singular
way without that thought. By the same token, though I
cannot walk on water, I am at least watching the sea.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


To make the entablature fit we need three things:
pliability, willingness and, of course, energy. You must
bend the very bones which hold you back. Use a
countervailing weight to impel the structure forward,
back, and sideways too. The muscle-power used
can only show the flex and the artistry of all those
sinews stretched and displayed. A decorous human
sculpture, in motion, lithe and dynamic. We can bend
the arch, we can twist the waist. It all comes together
as beauty and sense. And - haven't you ever noticed -
there never are any words involved. Speech here is
only a vice, too tight, which holds things down.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2071. (TO SLIP AWAY)

-Sandy Hook, NJ-
Mabel Trench and all the rest.
Blue Bonnet barbell breeders
with all those horses at Sandy Hook.
Egad, we rode those steeds right into
the sea, and oh how well I remember.
The rip tide in your face, the open ocean
current pulling at your arm. Three old
seafaring scows, piled high with trash in
heaps, heading out from Brooklyn waters.
Beneath the billowy sky, the terns and seagulls,
flipping about, sought food and fish and whatever
let them eat. I fell asleep, for but a minute it seemed,
on some old gun battery placement, looking stupidly
out to sea, looking stupidly towards the open waters.


How I hold onto nothing at all;
this wizened and demonic figurehead,
all glum and serious, this wasted
federation of all consideration and
sense. I see she sits, hard-backed,
against a pea-green wall. The man
next to her seems better than I seem,
for sure, and he's hers. That's to the
good. More power to him too. Both
figures manage a sensibility I lack.
Double-faced in their cubist domain,
I watch profiles and noses and eyes.
I've grown against all that and am, by
now, well-hurt by what it brings : I
try simply to get over it and then,
by chance, I can't. Those dual faces
facing out, that lightly patterned
shading, that pea-green wall.
This Picasso, I realize,
speaks twice.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I dragged Him from the fetid swampland by
the hairs on the back of His hand. Fat cat
alley rat slime bastard that He was. Shot
Him down with one fell swoop - or whatever
they call that crap in the theater. Houselights
dimming, dip-crack of thunder too, lights
back up bright the sky. Any kind of Murder
will do. He was Mephistopholes, that 's why.
He said, from many years back, He'd never seen
a milkman, a glazier, an artist, a carpenter nor
anyone who ever drove a truck. He was quite
medieval in his cantankerous ways - drinking
raw milk from a cow's very teat, killing His own
food and game. Starting fires with His eyes - yes,
yes, that's the one that got me the most. Enflamed
me, in fact. Starting fires with His eyes, and then
taking incendiary pleasure in everything in ruins,
all those people hurt, all those lives destroyed.
Not by any modern logic would this fly.
I told it to Him, right before He died.
He had to go - the wind was breaking
the treetops, and the whistling sound of
its fearsome speed could only mean danger
and doom; a trifling damsel this was not.
And then for myself, I saw the speeding train
approach. I spread my arms out wide and
suddenly sprouted wings. Able to fly and soar
the Heavens, I went where any urge led me.
'Ain't no mountain high enough to keep me
from getting to you...' You all know the rest,
or I hope you do. Mephisopholes comes home.


He religiously watches his coffee brew.
He's worshiping smoke, and aroma. Two
hands 'round a very small cup. I religiously
watch the windows steam up. Unaware.
Unregarded. Uncorrected. I am such a
neutral moment. A sleeve prepares the
enemy down : ten new bullets on a
field of war. We know how it will
always be. The man needs his
moments prepared to precision -
and buttons are pressed to achieve
what we send. Think not there's a
reason for Reason, for all is ideal in the
end. (And this is but a picture frame).


Don't ruin a thing don't you don't.
Carry that bag like a two-armed
stevedore today. Board on board,
away (oh well, Caravelle) and
may you travel like this forever.
Exponentially entrenched, are you?
Bring forth my missive forward
and straight on through. Dividing
the horizon line in an infinite
perplexity will then
just have to do.