Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Bully

No one cares who started it,
The words they hurled like rocks -
Loser, lard-ass, fatso, faggot
Retard, lame-ass, homo, maggot.

Every living thing has voices -
To mock, to pity, to howl.
Every living thing makes choices -
The victim, the teacher, the crowd.

He stands alone in his power.
Alone, alone in his might.
Alone on the playground.
Alone in the tower.
Alone, alone, alone in the night.

Pariah, excluded, unwanted,
He carries his need in his eyes.
He muscles through their close-knit walls
Wearing his armor of lies.

His fists command attention
Demanding a change of course -
Demanding to play -
Demanding your heart -
Demanding the world by force.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Apologia de Religio

Tentative tentacles reaching out -
Remember me?

The lost lines
Submerged in the lake of the past.

I wish ...
I regret ...
Didn't think -
Didn't mean -
Mis-spoke -
Mis-thought -
Mistook -

The soul is no trifling thing
And I am not a prophet.

Will you sit with me?
Can you bear it -
Breaking bread together,
Remembering my arrogance?

Will I look you in the eye?
Can I bear it -
Your soft lamb's gaze that says
"I learned"?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An Ode to the Belly

Belly, belly,
Beast of burden
Bearing brute rebellion,
Belching beatitudes,
Bulging and bloating,
Bleating, bursting, and bellowing,

Reckless, recalcitrant,
Rolling and rounded,
You are an ocean's tide,
A moon-borne ebb and flow,
Ring of fire,
Seething with unspent fury,
Swelling and surging and swallowing,
Shape-shifting as the soul,

Unbound and unbreakable,
The gauge of age,
The seat of truth.

Feel, and be filled.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Floating In Benson Lake

In this submerged and muted world
Only birdsong is permitted
        and heartbeat
             and the low rush of pumping blood.

In this liquid body
Only flesh is permitted
    Swim-soaked skin
          pond-filled pores
And birdsong
     and heartbeat
          and the pumping of blood.

In this spirit pool
Only inner shadows gain entrance -
An island of dreams lost in midnight -
    and birdsong
          and heartbeat
               the pumping of blood
                    the liquid flesh
 And you.

Monday, January 11, 2016


When you told me the truth
I couldn't bear it
So I drank my oblivion
Under the stars
Dining on cold cuts
And hot tempers.
Insanity's not a condition, god dammit!
And yesterday's news
Leaves tomorrow's broken souls.

My wounds wear wings
Of worthless wealth.
Take them home.
Hang them in your closet
With the mothballs
To gather mildew
And memory.
The dust bin has no heart.
The compost makes no sense.

Leave your note on the doorstep.
I've gone out.

Friday, January 8, 2016

A Modern Dilemma, or The Nonsense-monger's Song

(with a tip of the hat to Edward Lear)

My head exists in cyberspace.
My legs are on the couch.
My hands are in this notebook.
My tongue is pointing south.

My teeth are in the cemetery
Chewing on some gruel.
My brain is lost in rhyming land,
Repeating like a fool.

Between remorse and reason,
Beneath despair and dread,
Until the warmer season,
I'm farming in my head.

My words are cast in crayon,
Unlocking winsome doors.
My thoughts compete with fashion.
My dreams are keeping score.

Come dance with foolish poets
And greet them in the streets.
They bark like fish. They swim like dogs.
They dine on salted meats.

They force their invitations.
They ice skate in their socks.
They live off incantations
And die when they are mocked.

Good-bye! Good-bye! my leaping friend.
You cannot find your toes.
Your foolish song is at an end.
Your pen's cut off your nose.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Is the Matter?

"What is the matter, my Lord?"
Said Polonius to Hamlet, in the alcove reading.
And he answered:

A zero sum vacuum.
A smallness. A dot.
Angels crowded on a pin,
Dust and ashes and taxes."

"No, no, my Lord"
Polonius cried,
"I meant the matter you read."
"Ah," quoth Hamlet, "then you address:

Dreams in stone.
Vows fulfilled.
Oak-tree visions across a river.
Soul-searches, love-quests, and truth.

What is this quintessence of dust?"
Asked the youth,
Declaring disinterest, despair.
With subject plus verb he dismisses the world.
So there."

The grammar magician defies apathy.
Waving a well-placed hyphen and
Planting a colon on the earth, he
Transmutes unconcern and indifference.

Insignificant infinitesimal insubstantial nits.
Now you may proceed to list
All the pointless little bits
The washing dishes shushy slush
That puts your spirit in a ditch.

Begone! Begone!
Now feast upon
More pithy, weighty stuff -
The solid-liquid-gas,
The life-and-marrow mass



Monday, January 4, 2016

Snow Day

Trundling bundles
    nod softly,
       tread lightly,
          smile shyly
            as they pass.

Indomitable abominables
   in snow shoes
     scrunch through
       on their way to

In the tree-filled church of sledding,
Pilgrims pray on bellies flopped.
Tushes twirl in coaster pews,
         and spin
              and stop.

Busy sculptors
Work cold wonders
   in the city, in the park -
     frozen maidens, chilly children,
       carrot noses, eyes of bark.

A snowy deer with antler branches,
     Standing tall and poised and still,
         Like a glacial wintry sentry,
             Keeps its vigil on the hill.

Gilded beams grace the rooftops.
Droplets glisten from the eaves.
We'll have buttered toast in blankets,
Cocoa kisses if we please.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Now is the time to choose

Either the mountains     
    or the ocean
              or the seashells I used to own,
       the empty cigar box,
             the endless corner of snow-filled laughter,
                   or the earth itself.
The dead things that walk along crowded streets
               sell scraps of brown wind
                      to deafening time.
Cheat them.


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Aurora Borealis

A wish
Reaches back beyond beneath,
Opens a brazen swath of mind to
Remember the future at play, to
Awaken the births of the past.

Behold the spectral grace that sweeps
Over the teeming world of night,
Redeeming wounds,
Entreating art,
Announcing creation's truth.
Let us pray
In wine-fueled wonder,
Singing the hymn of friendship.

          - for Lynne and Lawrence, Suzanne and Sam, New Year's 2016