Thursday, December 25, 2008


Hanging over
A hush, a star
and Seraphim

huddled in
the straw and earth
a virgin wept
while giving birth

Both euphoric
and confused
shepherds stumbled
and perused

the empty streets
the pens and sheds
a chorus ringing
in their heads

From the east
the wise discerned
a different route
for their return

as Herod tossed
across the plain
sleepless in
suspicious reign

A silent night
pierced by the cry
of a baby
near the sty

son of David,
a shepherd who
would be a lamb;

A guest who cursed
his rotten luck
in his bed
for being stuck

by the barn
and now the din
of God as He
pulled on His skin

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I am no stone
I am no river
I am a red leaf
in the wind
I am the last child
of the limb

I am no forest
I am no sea
I am a fragment
on my own
I am taken
where I’m blown

[extraneous saturday post – because it is the last day of fall, and rules, even (or perhaps especially) those self-imposed, are made to be broken.]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Butcher & His Bride

Loaded in a
Country Squire,
four kids with
their pants on fire,
always ready
for the ride
to the butcher
and his bride

He came swinging
golden gloves,
fists ferocious
as his love;
she came with
her family
through Russia out
of Germany

Kept a little
with the grocery
tabs on file;
settled up
the ones could pay,
never turned
a need away

Stout as weissbier
in a stein,
laughter rolling
like the Rhine,
ornery streak
a mile wide
in the butcher
and his bride

He could yodel
golden throat,
drove a Buick
like a boat;
she could take
a china plate,
paint a garden
while you wait

He made sausages
from scratch,
She made dumplings
from a patch
of blueberries
in the yard,
honest work
was never hard

He carved out
a noble life
with his cleaver
and his wife;
taking every
step in stride
just a butcher
and his bride

Never had
a moment’s doubt
what their time
was all about;
family bible
and three boys,
sixty years
of simple joys

She flew from
his arms one night
one more year
and he took flight
hymnal open
by the phone
to You’ll Never
Walk Alone

Grieving in
the loss of ours
laughter echoed
through the stars
and we smiled
as we cried
for the butcher
and his bride

[1 of 2]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sing Me Charlene

Sing to me Charlene, third period choir
a voice like the sea that could set sand on fire,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
no one sang it stronger or clearer or sadder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene

Your face wasn’t painted
the way that they wanted
too skinny, too tall
they laughed and they taunted;
I saw you, Charlene
in ways that they couldn’t,
I saw the seraph
where all of them wouldn’t

You were the girl that could
set my heart pounding,
practicing scales
the world resounding;
I never cared
what they said in hallways,
that girl from choir
gave it up almost always

Sing to me Charlene, third row of the choir
a voice bright and sweet like a bird on a wire,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
open your window and I’ll find a ladder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene

I thought it would matter
that I’d treat you better
than a secondhand lay
in a hand me down sweater;
I thought that you’d see me
as somebody different,
who’d care and who’d call
and be there in an instant

And now all the jocks and the
stoners and posers,
they sell their insurance,
they drive their bulldozers,
and they all have stories
from under the bleachers
or locked in the band room
avoiding the teachers

And all that I have
are my stupid delusions,
these unspoken words
and imagined contusions;
you saw me, Charlene
when I thought you couldn’t,
pining, impassioned,
and that’s why you wouldn’t

Sing to me Charlene, third year in the choir
a voice full and free as a muse on a lyre,
sing to me Charlene, the song doesn’t matter,
No one sang it purer, sincerer or gladder,
just sing to me, sing me Charlene

You knew the score,
knew what you were doing,
you knew who’d get screwed
and who’d do all the screwing;
they never took you
to parties or dances,
so you took their stabs at
blurred backseat romances

you didn’t need me
and you didn’t need saving,
you felt the same hunger
and fed the same craving;
on warm Friday nights
while they chased the cheerleaders
you sang in your room
soft as wind through the cedars

Sing to me Charlene, third period choir
a voice in my head that still sets me on fire,
sing to me Charlene, the songs never mattered,
no one made me weaker or surer or sadder,

Sing to me Charlene, nobody else mattered,
your window is dark
and I’m lost
and I’m shattered,
sing to me, one more, Charlene sing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Corner office
making those reports
look clean
counting beans
until they’re right
framed in flat
fluorescent light

Your wife is home
your kids are fed
puts the youngest
one to bed
goes upstairs
to draw a bath
helps the other two
with math

you pack the van
soccer dad
and family man
Monday morning
up and gone
before the coffee
pot turns on

Someone has to
win the bread
you mumble as
you slip in bed.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thank you, friend,
for stopping here;
a welcome voice,
a willing ear

from the dark
beyond the gable,
sitting with me
at the table;

to simple fare
in portions sparing,
finding flavor
in the sharing;

for the kindnesses
you’ve shown,
swapping tales
of your own;

you are a traveler,
I know,
the respite brief
before you go -

the road is wide,
the night is clear -
thank you, friend,
for stopping here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Adrift" by A. Wyeth

We’ve sewn you sails
with our hair,
unfurled, neatly
folded there;
with our blood
we pressed you wine,
that’s worthless now
as casks of brine.

From the clay hearth
of our heart
our bread, for you,
has come apart,
in the sea
like days melt into

So busy with
the lines and arbor
we missed you slip
our quiet harbor;
in a humble
hand-hewn dory,
a modest man
to meet his glory.

Across the cold and
callous deep
beloved, sail;
we only weep
in finding that
we are bereft
but in the wake
your voyage left

our love lights all the
stars that find you,
prayers push steady
winds behind you,
as tempests break
and bow in shame
before the whisper
of your name.

[you can see the painting here.]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Legends of the Gold Rush

Party of one
at a table for two
checkin’ your watch
but this ain’t nothin’ new
it just means she’s done
you’ve nothin’ left for her
now that you’re broken
and puzzled and poorer

Hard to imagine
her sweet lips could lie,
or that she could leave
without tellin’ you why;
those cornflower eyes
she said were for you
were already searchin’
for somebody new.

From the hungry east they came
rode their poor plow horses lame
drawn out by the tales of wealth
for each man with grit and health

Boomtowns sprang up from the dust
but their promises went bust
many said it served them right
tryin’ to get rich overnight

Ain’t nothin’ you did
ain’t your fault at all
any man with his senses
is destined to fall
and give her whatever
she tells him she needs
and not even notice
the streams that he bleeds

Without word or warning
she’s just off and gone,
your wallet is empty,
your stuff’s on the lawn.
She ain’t comin’ back
but man trust me,
it’s better,
ain’t no heart of gold
in them hills
on her sweater.

From the hungry east they came
rode their poor plow horses lame
all they wanted, all the while
was for Lady Luck to smile

But she’s mighty hard to please
they discovered, on their knees -
many said they should’ve known,
gettin’ spellbound by a stone.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Condensation: 3 Poems


It’s a sultry summer day
got a glass of Tanqueray
rocks and tonic, wedge of lime
I got nothin’, man, but time;

Turning salmon on the grill
squeeze a lemon, little dill
I got mushrooms, wild rice
I got baby greens on ice

I got lilies in a vase
driftin’ fragrance in my face
I got Stan Getz on CD
blowin’ tenor just for me;

Shimmered twilight falling slow
got a lazy onshore flow
I got sweetness on her way
I got nothin’
to say.

Small Starlit Poem

too late for coffee,
too soon for dreams;
a stitch of a moment
on one of time’s seams

Love Letter


Thursday, October 30, 2008

23rd & Dowling

what I pass off as my worst
is a fiction, well rehearsed
until an old metallic thirst
begins its acrid prowling

grab your coat and leave the key
get picked up in a dim brasserie
the one place you don’t want to be
is Twenty-Third and Dowling

it’s nothing you can argue with
this parasite that gnaws my pith
the grain of truth in every myth
the fear behind the growling

swirling in my vacant eyes
droning like a swarm of flies
a dark and menacing surprise
on Twenty-Third and Dowling

stop asking me to let you in
stop trying to give me medicine
you’ve no idea where I’ve been
or what it is that’s howling

stop sobbing that I’ll be all right
just turn around, turn out the light;

there’s murder
in the air tonight
on Twenty-Third
and Dowling

Thursday, October 23, 2008


It takes years of politicking
to be ripened
for the picking;
it takes pretense and precision
to provoke us
to decision -

Washington and Jefferson
Adams and Monroe,
it’s hard to read your writing
so we’ll call it as we go;

We lost a king in Dallas
we lost one in Tennessee
and your country’s turned to asking
now what can you do for me

We want promised plans
to pay us
a commander
of the dais
to protect the
to defend the

We need you to understand
we were dealt this losing hand
we need cowboys, queens and aces
to redeem all these disgraces

We pay down our debts with credit
blame the bank if we misled it
tell us that you have an answer
for recession, crime and cancer

Sell us national
with some billion
dollar fences

Tell the rich
they’re under-serving
those whose needs
are more deserving

(It’s getting hard to see
through all the bunting
on the porch
but it seems that
Liberty is blind
and that Justice
stole the torch)

You’ll get my gun
when you can pull it
from my cold dead
star-striped mullet

Were there a car
in every drive
and chicken in
each pot
we’d demand
a bullet train
and vegan food
for thought

we’re fighting wars
with abstract nouns
so one should turn
this ship around

thick as molasses
lay with obstinate
in a congress
bought and bent
to bear us
a president;

Perhaps there is
far less to fear
in who will be
sworn in next year
than in the people
of by for
holding out our
hands for more

in the nation
for by of
out of money
time and love

than in me
the of for by
allegiant to
an alibi

the busted making
one more bet;
the free
the brave

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Night

Softly sings the wind
a song so sad and sweet
about the man up in the moon
and who he has yet to meet

The stars are winking down
telling me to steal a kiss
so forgive me if I do;
they put me up to this

The winsome pines are smiling
and the chatty birds are still
and time carved out a moment
that we were made to fill

Softly sings the wind
a song so low and true
about the man up in the moon
and how I was made for you

The grasses there are stirring
and the crickets’ violin
moves us to this moment
from everywhere we’ve ever been

Your face here in the half-light
and your eyes as deep as seas
chase away the shadows
of the scented soaring trees

Softly sings the wind
a song borne by the night
about the man up in the moon
and how he finally got it right

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Miss Appropriation

sorry – this poem has been removed due to some delusional endeavor to get published. i’ll put it back once i come to my senses.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Impulse Purchase

I picked up a pint of ice cream,
you reached in for frozen peas;
we looked up and there we were,
frozen in our pleasantries.

Very nice of you to say
I’m looking very good these days,
very big of you to grin
and to ask me how I’ve been;

I could see you size me up
trying to measure my success,
and I caught you eye my finger
as my eyes fell down your dress.

You asked about my folks
and I asked about your work;
we held our breath and tongues,
the civil bitch and gentle jerk.

And for a quiet moment
that seemed twenty minutes long
we thought about how right we were
before we went all wrong.

An awkward take it easy,
a little coughed take care,
pretending that the coolers
put that shiver in the air;

And no, time has not touched you,
and yes, I’m doing fine,
but I put the ice cream back
and headed straight for Beer & Wine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Just below the dormer
in a home both high and
listening to the chirps and
watching as the sunlight

chary in a chosen
sealing pearls in sleeping
while no entreaty can
whose virtue is her only

in honor all the letters
scattered ashes soon
and settled on familiar
of asters, lace and

(just because a thing
is true
does not make it kind
to you;
the past is all the future
and we write songs Nobody

Thursday, September 18, 2008


She is shimmering and swimming
and I am on the shore
and she knows what she’s after
and I don’t know what for

Got a hook and a pole
and some oranges I stole
and I’m hoping for a

Underneath the surface
way down deep and cool
I toss peels upon the water
and must look like a fool

Casting out the best I got
and slowly reel ‘em in
but I ain’t catching nothing
and she’s always where she’s been

Got a pole and a hook
and some wishes I took
and I’m waiting for a

Crows gather 'round
in a dead willow tree
and I hear ‘em laugh
I’m guessing at me

And the wide sky is open
and the waters are still
and my creel is empty
just like that old mill

I don’t have a pan
and I don’t have a knife
and if I could swim
I’d have her for my wife

Got a hook and a pole
and a hard dinner roll
I’m planning to share with a

She don’t take the bait
she don’t hear my call
she don’t care for me
I’m guessing at all

But if she’d come up
for a short little stay
I’d maybe look different
than from far away

This old pond is full
of large mouth and cats
and I’d fill up a stringer
if I wanted that

But I got the time
and I got the will
and as long as she’s swimming
I’ll be up here still

Got a pole and a hook
and a spot by the brook
and I ain’t leaving without a

Thursday, September 11, 2008


sorry – this poem has been removed due to some delusional endeavor to get published. i’ll put it back once i come to my senses.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


This is the story I tell to myself
when the stars are falling down:

Once there was a little boy,
a goldfish and a clown.
The clown was never happy, the boy was never sad,
the fish swam round and round and round
in the bowl he had.
The clown found love and married, the boy became a man,
the fish swam round and round and round
and knew no better than.

This is the song that I sing to myself
when I’m feeling adrift and alone:

I’m just air and water,
skin and blood and bone.
The future is a pencil box,
the past has all been written,
I sat beneath an apple tree
and found that I’d been bitten,
I’m just heat and oxygen,
a double-helix legion,
a soul that’s buried underneath
a heap of scars and lesions.

This is the wish that I wish when I wish,
which isn’t very often:

I wish I could be strong enough
to let my stiff heart soften.
I wish I had the nickel back
I just threw in this fountain,
I wish for progress in my pain
and purpose in my passion.


If these things should all fall short
(and usually they do)
I watch the rain course down the pane

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Longest Breath

The earth and moon while spinning
struck together, in so
sparked the heavens and lit
the sun.

In darkness one is
Suspended, the sounds of a city
thrown backwards and heard
through an ocean.

Hammer meets nail meets wood.
There is no such thing
as the right color
if there is no
wrong color.

Now I know
even the shepherds
were Magi

I will sing the songs I know
and when I have sung them all
I will make new songs.

Her eyes cast the glow
of a workaday miracle
as my hand fills with camber

we are awed by what
we are not doing

Every bird flying
looking down
knows the feeling.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


the thoughts that restrain us
encircle and chain us
to anchors we haven’t
a hope’s shade to nudge

what can i offer
an empty-eyed scoffer
too weak to hold
anything but a grudge

when faith finds a fool
every kindness is cruel
i taste my own blood
on the seam of her lips

one holy breath
held in one living death
one broken oar
cast from all the tall ships

a coarse little prayer
limps through the still air
in darkness that knows
neither moon nor a star

an echo returns
a whisper that burns
a promise of something
that’s massive and far

with each passing day
i drift further away
from what is remembered
by only my bones

yet i’ll scull to know it
until I’m below it,
dressed for a wedding
in a garden of stones

Thursday, August 14, 2008


dead fly on the

one day
I will too
be still,
on my back and hard
and cold
into some hollow grave
be rolled.

brushed over, left,
and soon forgot;

dead fly and I,
we share
a lot.

dead worm dried on warm

do you know where your life

glad to writhe a
sheen of dew -

some morning, worm,
i’ll be like you.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Long Ride in a Yellow Vega

Yes she is my never mind
my come here you
left behind

girlie girl
with iron eyes
Zippo sparks
her lullabies
she’ll go though a fifth a day
just to do it, anyway

none of this is too important
none of this will matter much

tells me I’m an idiot
hates it when our fingers touch

leaves me every other week
comes back later on to crash
when she gets a taste for tongue
when she needs a little cash

she’s my always somewhere else
she’s my how’d I
wake up here

dreamt I was her Johnny Depp
riding amber waves of beer

isn’t worth the writing down
no one’d read it, anyway
history lets
the masses pass

She’s my looks
the other

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Truth (or as close as I get)

This is the truth
or as close as I get,
I still haven’t found
a remedy yet
to ease my worried mind,
to right my reeling heart,
to make into someone
someone else might think is smart,
so I’ll just ramble on,
keep trying to forget,
close to the truth
is as close as I get

Mama did her very best
and Papa taught me right,
something had to with dogs
and how the small ones fight.
I shot from kindergarten
straight through to junior high,
and then I got a mortarboard,
a handshake and goodbye;

I don’t know where it went,
there’s not much I recall,
bubble tests and tater tots,
a smile in the hall -
so I just rambled on,
I threw my books away,
I never had much use
For all the things they had to say

This is the truth
or as close as I get,
I still haven’t found
a remedy yet
to right my reeling heart,
to ease my worried mind,
to make into someone
someone else might want to find,
so I’ll just ramble on,
keep trying to forget,
close to the truth
is as close as I get.

Maryann shone like the sun
and Katie was a pearl,
Jenny was exactly how
I’d build myself a girl,
Sarah lived her life
like every day’d be her last,
Lily kissed me like I was
a secret from her past;

I don’t know where they went,
those nights we were endeared,
I guess they were so magical
they all just disappeared -
so I just rambled on,
I left their memories,
I never had much use
for things that bring me to my knees

This is the truth
or as close as I get,
I still haven’t found
a remedy yet
to silence all my doubts,
To soothe my troubled soul,
to make into someone
someone else might think is whole,
so I’ll just ramble on,
keep trying to forget,
close to the truth
is as close as I get.

Of course I’ve done some living,
I’ve seen a thing or two,
I figured I’d get married,
seemed like the thing to do.
It isn’t always easy
and nobody’s always right,
I think that’s what I’ll tell her
if she walks back in tonight;

I don’t know where she went,
I don’t know what she said,
I didn’t know a person’s face
could turn that shade of red -
I guess she’s movin’ on,
I guess I set her free,
if she don't come back
then it just wasn't meant to be

This is the truth
or as close as I get,
I still haven’t found
a remedy yet
to calm my troubled soul,
to silence all my doubts,
to make into someone
someone else can’t do without,
so I’ll just ramble on,
keep trying to forget,
another lonesome highway
and another cigarette,
yes I’ll just ramble on,
until I can forget
close to the truth
is as close as I get

close to the truth
is as close
as I get.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Start Is Important

Short stack of ‘jacks
and scrambled eggs.

Wipe my fingers
on my legs.

Cup of coffee,
two and three.

Waitress stops

and smiles at me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Used Cars

Rolling down the window
you can hear
the plastic-snap flutter
of the crayon colored flags
spread over them
like a finger-crossed blessing
from a gold-toothed god

All along Harbor Boulevard
sunlight bouncing off the hoods
inviting you to pull over,
kick a tire,
set a price

Protective little vans,
loyal Japanese,
clichéd Europeans;
this is when the grill lines
and the chrome bits
are critical

Slung gleaming
behind white plastic chains,
like they are about to lurch
and roar over the sidewalk,
through pedestrians,
into traffic

Pledges slapped
across the windshields
bark out in blocked

It must be hard to be
a used car
when the new cars
waxed and scented and lined up like soldiers
a hundred to choose from
with nothing to hide
smirk right next door

Like people
you work with,
you just can’t be sure;
they seem nice enough
in their way
but eventually
the pitches wane
and the polish fades
and history

oh buddy
she’s a runner
never a problem
she is one sweet deal

I gaze long as I drive past,
imagining scattered moments
and memories;

like driving by a prison
like driving by a little league game
like locking eyes

with the lady
who is waiting
at the bus stop

The used car man
eating bad Lo Mien
from a Styrofoam
at his desk looking out
at all the cars going by on Harbor Boulevard

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Tumbling through the froth and foam
the sea above
the sky below
craving what i have not had
mourning what i do not know

Racing as i do not move
they look confused
they look concerned
laughing at what is not there
forgetting what i have not learned

Building walls that do not stand
the howling wind
the pouring rain
lips exploding on my lips
fingers tangled in her mane

Falling always, falling still
towards a center
towards a core
that’s the hope in gravity
who am i to ask for more?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

History, Written by the Losers

sons of bitches,
sons of whores,
daughters of a failed

ran their ragged ships
mistaking escape
for solution.

musket fire
and rhetoric
and winters

they piled in -
the vagrant horde -
mistaking escape
for living.

empires built
on blood and bone,
and larceny veiled
as blessing;

they took the torch
from liberty
so she could start

sons of deacons,
sons of dukes,
daughters of magnates
and martyrs

glad-hand the pauper
and the prince
with daggers
in their garters.

we stand upon the
beaches now,
regretting their

wondering what
may lie beyond,
mistaking escape
for ambition.

our hunger
never sated,
as one might well

from sons of bitches,
sons of whores,
daughters of a
quixotic shipwreck.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Apples and Oranges

She is simple, she is sweet,
she buys shoes to hide her feet,

I am complex, I am strong,
unafraid of being wrong.

She is funny, makes me laugh,
stands five four, maybe a half,

I am witty, I can weep,
passions rooted twelve feet deep.

She is happy, rarely sad,
cheeks get red when she gets mad,

I am quiet, I am wise,
I hide nothing in my eyes.

She likes music and ballet,
likes her man to lead the way.

I like beauty, truth and grace.
I like my man; he likes my face.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Just as it has always been,
so it rears its head again;
the blackest day in all of June,
tired as the frozen moon.

I do not fault the wishers-well,
who do what noble hearts compel;
who by blood or benevolence
love me past their own good sense.

It’s not the aging that I mind,
the going bald or going blind,
it’s not the specter of the void
that always has me so annoyed.

It’s how each anniversary
recalculates the waste of me,
broadening the gulf between
the failure and his fading dream.

Let me leave them with a joke;
blowing dancing flames to smoke,
wishing to asphyxiate,
choking on my birthday cake.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

You Bet My Life

All the way past Santa Fe
and down to San Anton,
I chucked the maps in Phoenix
with your letter and my phone.

You’re somewhere in the valley
with some thickneck from your gym,
staring out the window
as he tells you about him.

Oklahoma is OK,
Arkansas is sad,
a bartender in Shreveport
says he used to know my dad.

You’re somewhere by an ocean
with some buddy from your work,
going Dutch to dinner
as he tells you I’m a jerk.

And I’m blowing through Kentucky,
rolling out through Tennessee,
a diamond in my pocket
and a bottle on my knee;

in your best friend’s apartment
crying in your chardonnay -
here’s hoping your next hand is better
than the one you threw away.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Red Hots and Hard

stuck on a stick,
gets a lick,

sugar sweet
and cherry red,
rot your teeth
right out your head,

who wouldn’t take
a finger to the
birthday cake?

Passed around
and getting thinner,
just enough
to spoil dinner,

wrapper blown
along the street,
gone as quickly
as they meet,

can catch an eye,
another hunger
passes by;

tears pooled in
a chocolate cup,
can’t fill them up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Pregnant skies
withhold the rain.
Charcoal rubbed clouds
wheeze up from the sea.

I am driving an empty road
next to a nervous freeway.
The cars rush past the trucks
who rush past

Inhaling the harvested
celery fields,
the damp soil,
ridges of dried mud
arcing across the median.

It is funeral weather and
I am dressed for a funeral,
creased trousers, necktie,
black raincoat.

I turn the radio off
and listen to the buzz of feathered
tires on dry

I am as the day is,
something big
waiting for something bigger,
a promise biding time.

The howl of wind
blowing through my open window
is cold and then colder;
I feel the skin
on my scalp

I steer past the low buildings,
staked saplings,
into the parking lot.

I think ahead to the first cup
of coffee,
the scattered, cryptic notes,
trying to remember where
I left off,
who I’ve yet
to call.

Monday morning met
and there’s no rain coming down.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Pyromaniac Love Cheer

Fire chief, fire chief,
sis boom bah,
burning down the firehouse,
rah rah rah.

One for the tinder,
two for the spark,
three for the four alarm
flashing in the dark.

An I and an R and an O-N-Y,
fire chief, red sedan,
colors in the sky,
a hee

and a ha
and a ho ho ho,
fire chief, fire chief,



Thursday, May 15, 2008


stolen moments
whispered words
trembling like a
baby bird

falling silent
i succumb
sugar, spice
and opium

today dies in the ocean
tomorrow’s coming soon
driving through the darkness
beneath the Cheshire moon

bewildered and
in this perverted

call it madness
or a dream
doesn’t matter
what you mean

today is its own answer
tomorrow is a rune
puzzling between them
beneath the Cheshire moon

gathered roses pricked –
i bled
painted snowy
petals red

simple questions
silver smoke
who never spoke

today’s a tattered web that hangs
tomorrow’s a cocoon
broken wings are mending
beneath the Cheshire moon

some rabbits run
some rabbits laugh
some slice their blackened
hearts in half

to celebrate
what isn’t there
the bankrupt
have the most to share

dishwater spinning down the drain
reflection in a spoon
i pour another cup of tea
beneath the Cheshire moon

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Up and over
through the air
I am flying

Spun and strung out
eyes are sandy
wrapped up like a
cotton candy;

Low and lower
on the ground
breaking bones
without a sound;

Thursday, May 1, 2008


sorry – this poem has been removed due to some delusional endeavor to get published. i’ll put it back once i come to my senses.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


A body in
tends to head
for the ocean
while a body at
tends not
to get dressed

Such are the lessons

has taught
where science has
a life
has its oughts

by their very
I’m sure
you can guess
leave me pale
and panicked

And building
the physics
of wires
to hang up our bridges
and steeples and
spires -

All I
is that surf
meets the sand
and all I can
is my heart
meets my hand

Not far behind us
the ages
remind us
there’s always
who’ll quietly
find us –

And each time
I start
to whittle
and chart
I know little
by little
falls apart.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Stirring soup
in an iron pot,
thinking back on a
summer’s worth of youth
lost in wheat fields
and a wide

muddy river.

Watching out the window
as a family of cardinals
bickers in a
wind stripped maple.

Time and distance,
black and straight like the
highways that swallowed her son,
the old man
in the garage,
sanding down the stock
of a worn .30-.30,
knowing his legs
will never carry him now
to the mule deer.

Their fourth year without
a tree.
Honey brown wooden
barley and potatoes
bob and sink
and swirl.

Three bowls on the table,
more out of habit
than hope.

maybe he will smell it
he will come.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Her smile thin
as river ice,
hair done up
with edelweiss,

In satin, linen,
Irish lace,
so that I could trace

every arch and
subtle twist -
wound her fingers
through my fist.

She spoke of Kant
and Kierkegaard
and cauterized
where I’d been scarred,

she washed me with
a switch of thistle;
dried me with
a torn epistle.

She spoke of Nietzsche
and Descartes,
soft hands pulled
my ribs apart.

her labyrinth grew,
effacing what
I thought I knew;

she spoke of völkisch
and gestalt,
dressed my open
wounds with salt.

As I lay there
dull and dim,
a pallid, wheezing,
withered limb,

she kissed me softly
on each eye -
my requiem
her lullaby.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why the World is Round

Truth is chasing Beauty,
Beauty shops at Sak’s;
trying on veracities,
thumbing through the racks.

Art is chasing Anger,
Anger drinks alone;
calls up Art for insight
from the bar but no one’s home.

Justice looks for Power,
pounding at the door;
Power’s on the courthouse steps,
shaking down the poor.

Passion chases Reason,
Reason’s chasing me;
I’m after a kitten
something chased into this tree.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


A crow in the field, a grin on the moon,
many have left but I’ll see them all soon;
the corn in the silo is planted again
and the roots trace the memories of where it has been.

We keep the wheels spinning
and keep the lights on,
it’s not the sky’s moving
that brings us the dawn -
I traded a queen
for a fistful of pawns,
a hundred years on
and we all will be gone.

The sounds of the city, the sounds of the sea,
they both sound like far away laughter to me,
the radio playing in a ten-dollar room
sounds like the sweeping of somebody’s broom.

The names that we leave
are just words on a stone,
it’s not by our shadows
we see how we’ve grown -
I traded my heart
for a chest full of bones,
a hundred years on
and we’ll all be alone.

Some swallowed by fever, some stolen by knife,
some melt like snow in the spring of their life.
Some shine like stars to deny dark the night,
some smile and whisper we’ll all be all right.

The blooms in your hair
whither there on your head;
I wish there was something
more to be said -
I traded forever
for a night in your bed,
a hundred years on
and we all will be dead,
a hundred years on
and we all
will be dead.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whose is Not

The prettiest girl
I never knew
to me
gave she
on this
to chew

There’s not a thing
you can not
to get another’s heart
to sing
but if it’s all
you thought you meant
you’ll wonder where
the could have

The strongest man
I wish I was
had a fistful
of because

Seldom very
needed more
beat Why
and crushed
What For

The prettiest girl
I never heard
sat straight and
a little

Gold and green
upon a
better knew
than speak
in church

The coldest man
I am become
finds his nose
upon his thumb

To those
whom would him
seek to
falling slow
he gave
a shove

The prettiest girl
I never met
has not
to me
spoken yet

But I’m sure
that soon she
waiting by her

half my

and lose it
in a

Thursday, March 13, 2008


sorry – this poem has been removed due to some delusional endeavor to get published. i’ll put it back once i come to my senses.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Stooping by an empty bed
sand falls from my
windswept head
the prophets said
drags the sun
into the sea

Bottled pleas on restless waves
drift above
forgotten graves
where the sovereigns
and the slaves
lose their names
to history

Cream and almonds with the queen
rats steal through
the brigantines
the prophets dreamed
hauls the moon up
with the tide

Reefs born up from sunken ships
clumsy prayers
fall from my lips
where the heart and head
is where the bow and blood

Thursday, February 28, 2008

st. somebody of everywhere

there is a flame
that bears my name
flickers by a

in the window
there is stain
that shows a man
healing the lame

he’s looking down
and looking sad
as if the lame
who reach
are bad

perhaps they do not
have a flame
or anyone
to pray their name

frozen in an almost
above the rigid
empty rows

and all the little
flames that dance
cannot melt
the icy glance

cast from saints
upon the lost -
to die
is gain
to live
the cost.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Pomme, A Poem, A World to Roam

Take a pomme
and boil it,
take a poem
and eat

take the love
you fear the most
and cleave to its conceit.

Take me to the forest, dear
take me to the moon
take my hand and tell me, dear
what time you mean by soon.

Take a pomme
and fry it up
take a poem
and peel it

take the hate
you’ve bottled up
and free it when you feel it.

Take me to the circus, dear
take me out to dance
take your time and tell me, dear
what hope there is in chance.

Take a pomme
and bury it
take a poem
and live it

take your bruised
and battered heart
and kiss me
as you give it.