Thursday, February 25, 2010

Other Words

In other words, I’m trying to say
what different words
could not convey ;

I get hung up in them a lot -
in words, I mean,
I’m always caught

between the thing I want to shout
and what it is
I stutter out.

In other words, I hoped to show
what different words
don’t seem to know;

they always vow they will express
precisely and
with stylishness

but then they lurch and reel and fall
and snicker from
their languid loll.

In other words, I'm trying to write
what these words here
don’t seem to, quite;

but maybe they’re not made for this -
forget them, then,
and with a kiss

we’ll let them slip and slink away -

I love you more
than words can say.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

St. John Eating Pancakes at Fog City Diner

Halo hung
on the coatrack
by the glass door,
lost in wide streaks
of mid-morning sunlight.

Faded denim
strains between
broad shoulders,
hard, thick hands
dwarf the fork.

Dirt pushed high
under fingernails.

Another bite crosses
a coarse tangle of beard.

Out of work
since eight lanes of asphalt
level the wilderness
and the casinos string
and sparkle
and sing along
the river.

Out the window
the laborers
huddle with their backpacks
under a mission fig,
gathering hesitantly around
every shiny truck
that pulls up.

Landscapers, roofers, masons.
Sí, sí puedo.
A few climb in and
are gone.
Painters and tree trimmers.

Stares at himself
in a still pool of
black coffee,
making brown
runny rings
over snake-oil

Waitress sets the check
in front of him on the counter
without looking down.

A thread of maple syrup
seeps from a pale scar
circling his neck
and he does not bother
to wipe it away.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Gather rosebuds, Herrick said,
before the smiling
bloom is dead

like he knew, in 1650,
how to hurry
or how shifty

time can be, or how it slips
a cunning hand
around their hips

what is it that you’re waiting for
how is it that you can ignore
the heat unlocking every pore?
the pulse that pounds into a roar?

The sun is Carpe Diem’s call
that bounces off
the convent wall

grab a basket, wide and deep
and leave the chaste
their spotless sleep

mind the thorns, but if they rake
seep some blood
for beauty’s sake

who is it that you’re waiting on
restrained within your prim salon?
why linger there, trussed in chiffon,
shifting, sighing, growing wan?

Gather rosebuds while you can
before the virgins
hit the fan

spinning fingers, blush and blouses
until poor
John Waterhouse’s

maidens fall like Pollock drips,
bending tears
around their lips

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Used Two

I used to feel you think of me.
It’s been a while
but that could be
it was only
wishful thinking
or whatever
I was drinking.

I used to feel you felt me too.
Not anymore
I guess that you
found whatever
in the space
you needed and
if that’s the case

I guess I’m glad
you cut the strings -

I used to feel
a lot of things.