Sunday, November 11, 2018

Houses Lined Up

Houses lined up Like gray
Military recruits.
Entering each garden
—where no flowers or fruits can grow—
I then survey
The soil and dig for roots.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Tonight I admit this without shame:
I am afraid of death, afraid of dying—
as painless as the latter may be,
and as unconscious the first—
because it's lonelier than lonely,
because—oh what's the use of an outburst?
Its reflection on a tall building...
I see the moon drink it all in.
The moon does not look at me.
But look, I have a name,
remember it please, tell them the sea
and the ocean used to pour into me,
tell them I became
what the universe wanted me to be,
but not
what I'd wanted,
I'd wanted.
Remember that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


The lady of the hour
looms up wrapped in whispers—
security officers standing by her sides.
The wild honey of her eyes
inside a hive of scars….
We're very happy
that you're alive,
unconvincingly utters
a voice that’s become
familiar to me.
Much later the voice pours
like lava on a red poppy:
She fails in everything, no?
Oh, how her face is disfigured!
If I were her, I'd rather die!
Something in me thinks,
people can die
even while still alive.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

To Think

I stroke your skin.  I'm not Hamlet.
I'm harmless.  Like the final rest.
Look here, my heart has nails in it.
They stop the bleeding.  Oft I sing
So that I've no time left to think.

Friday, July 6, 2018

What Is Dog?

What is dog?  Darkness that howls at alien sights.
What is dog?  Foolish dark made of bones and eyes.
What is dog?  What looks dog, acts dog, speaks dog.
What is dog—if there is no God?
What is dog?  Dark inside light.
Death is an acquired taste and I still wait
For mirrors that do not work.
And yet I've seen love as of late
Reflected.  I've seen love take another form.

Myriad Dreams

In my dreams Plato practices Pilates.
Nietzche eats cheddar cheese with Chinese chai tea.
Heidegger's a haggard egghead who's hungry.
Kant can count in Catalan and Cantonese.

Friday, June 15, 2018


After my failures unfurled
with the sound of their brazen
Laughter fluttering in the breeze
I, a dry sprig of blushing red grass,
I, who could not exist, how could I cease?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Grief and the Pond

I am close enough to see
a lonely frog in the light
of my white phone,
looking back,
waiting for me
to make a move.
Its unblinking eyes
are soft
despite the cold.
I can not even cry.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Or Can It?

Pigs can’t fly.
Though The Simpsons put that theory to test.
The sun can’t rise in the west.
Unless astronauts who seen it do lie.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.
But on this moving Earth, that is what I have seen.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
But on my digital watch that's just irrelevant.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
Unless it's elephant-flavored cheese in a can.
A circle can’t have corners.
Well that's just bigotry—if it wants to, it certainly can!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

More Beautiful

Narcissus surfaced again,
this time his conscious rinsed
of the conceit of his own allure.
He reached for my hands, unconvinced
that I would help. I let him die,
and waited long enough, just to be sure.
In this world no other person
can exist more beautiful than I.

Friday, April 20, 2018

No Place

The gale sharpens its edge on the crags
As the night chill descends.
The unruly air carries exposed roots
And orphaned blades of grass,
Slamming them against cold rocks
And comatose boulders of sandstone.
It slices me twice under the eyes
As it speeds past me and back
against itself, like blind strength,
terrible freedom
with no place to go.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rhyming Dream Interpretation

I dreamed of a glass teacup, doc,
filled with tears of baby crocs.
But soon the tears turned into rocks;
I puked them all, which looked like chalk,
Then woke up to my alarm clock....
Tell me, what does it all mean doc?

Young man, the teacup is your eye.
Those tears are yours, do not deny
it! No croc tears, that is a lie.
Swallowing tears is hard, that's why
they turned to rocks. As for chalk, I
think we've run out of time. Goodbye.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Spring Carnival

Oh the feel of the vernal air!
April arrives like a carnival
Of living aromas and colors,
With parades of blossoms
Riding the sun-soaked breeze.
As we dive into the fertile green,
Their cool caress against our feet,
We hear daffodils laughing
Softly, like when breath tickles your ear.
Wish you were here.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Under the Spell of Rhymes

I came across the third word, spell,
in the local library's lost and found,
next to a smartphone heavy as a dumbbell.
The second word, the article of the,
was bestowed upon me by a grand poobah,
the young, recently crowned Maharajah.
My readers shall not wonder much longer
where I found the very first word, under:
I discovered under right above
the fourth word, the preposition of.
The last word, though I seeked many times,
it was only at the end that I found rhymes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


The bedroom air is perfumed
with the aroma of coffee
and freshly made bread.
A tall glass of orange juice
sits next to a closed window
that overlooks a garden.
Past the garden of dancing tulips
and blue hyacinths in bloom,
invisible from the house,
lies an empty lot,
that long ago belonged to a church
and once to a lottery retailer.
Here a halting ant,
having lost the way home
in search of food for hours
in the storm the previous night,
comes across an old ad
for Ant-Killer bug spray.
But a series of gusts
lifts the two of them,
the ant and its magic carpet,
and finally places them
next to the house where
inside someone is now baking
trays of cinnamon sugar butter
and chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies.
The ant is flooded with scents.
The door is suddenly opened.
A child runs out laughing,
eating a cookie, a small piece
of which falls right next to the ant.
That's the way the cookie crumbles.
That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

This River

This river of lava flows,
bleeding orange and molten gold—
oh the scent of hot stone
and anguish, the sound
of charring tendons and bones….
Meanwhile miles away the sheep
are returning from grazing in the field,
and the shepherd’s face reveals
a faint smile—that used to be
me before
this river of shame flowed
into me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018


The burial was a lollapalooza
I hit the slopes at midnight
Under the blinding light
of the gibbous moon
So cold was the arctic air
I shivered and wheezed
but then I saw a raccoon
with glowing eyes down there
it looked so lonely and yet so alive
that something in me felt pleased.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I Saw Rumi in my Dream

Asleep in his tomb in Turkey
I woke to Rumi in my dream.
He held a gold glazed pitcher
of rose water and mercy,
singing a soundless song.
Is life what it seems?
I asked him in Farsi.
Will you meet me there
in that field you said was beyond
our ideas of right and wrong?
But Rumi did not respond,
though I saw his eyes tear,
and suddenly here
I turned into the pitcher,
became the infinite container,
meant to serve the thirsty—
I, who parched myself, full of despair,
a desert myself, what could I spare?
But Rumi did not respond,
though I saw his eyes tear.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Sun's Face

To awaken to the sun's face each dawn
As though this last night was the very first
Time you had slept apart from your lover
To kiss the golden curls that flow and shine
And warm your elbows and knees under cover
That's what I wish you feel each morn deep down.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The dead. But grieve they not.

The dead. But grieve they not.
And tears would drown their rot.
But us that breathe must grieve.
And us that grieve should breathe.
Inside I’m dead, shall never weep.
And fearing dreams I never sleep.
In fluid pain, I'm not afloat.
The desert in me needs no boat.
Alone and stiff, my island dry.
My stars appear blurry and bright.
Tonight the stars I hear them cry.
I dipped my toes in tears from skies
that poured like rain in my own eyes,
into my soul so close to rot,
my body its burial plot.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year

As the old gust growled and spat in the sand
And packed the shore thick with pellets of ice,
It loathed life, loathed death—hell and paradise—
Hated the lights that emblazoned the land,
Pitied mortals and their joy and salaam,
When celebrating passing of the time.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Shy Flurries

Flurries settle on sleeping lawns—
Refugees in flight from heavens.
Hush!  Hear the halls of light echo
Shy footsteps gliding into life.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Brochure

You prepare the sherbet while I ponder the brochure.
You look so innocent, you look so pure,
As if you could heal me—like you could be the cure
To the infectious disease of my existence.
I am tired.  Tired.  Tired of it all.
You serve me the sherbet.  I blush.
And what if I should say no to this chance?
And what if I should say yes and then fall,
And even if you should come to me in a rush,
It would be late. And if not...oh, I feel so insecure...
And if not, how could you help me—and know for sure?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Not Knowing

You are reasonably beautiful.
That I intend as a warning.
I'm deceptive as water and sun.
Behind MEN AT WORK signs
I dig myself into a...hole
where dying desires still lurk
like yawning reasonless hopes.
It's safe to die not knowing.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In This Poem You Can Be....

In this poem you can be protected.
Despite what you have just said,
Such grand assertion demands
Proof equally extraordinary.
Unless you were to trust me.
But why should I though?
Nevertheless I can only reassure:
In this poem you can be secure,
In this poem you can let go.
Merely repeating it does not make it so,
Nor does denying it or indifference,
But only what is absolutely true,
And in reality what is the case.
In this poem you can be safe,
In this poem you can be you.
Even if so then what about
That word there with that sharp angle
That reaches out for a stirring thought
That still refuses to untangle;
What about the endless lonely spaces
Between the words with distant faces?
You can be safe—just a hope or suggestion.
I believe that no poem is safe if it speaks
To deep feelings as it must, and if it seeks
To connect to the felt universe beyond;
No poem is safe if it claims to have found
The answer to what never was a question
But a courageous vulnerable expression.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Poem Spread Across a Day

Wrote this line when I woke to find myself
soaked in sweat on a raging summer night.

This one composed with the greatest of care
crossing the ol' Pattullo on a bus
in Richmond where potholes are known to bite.

Told Don this line's my reminder to buy
a rhino on my way home...but instead
wrote this and then forgot to get the toy.

Penned this with Donald's vintage fountain pen
I cried when he then took it back by force.

This scribbled on a napkin I had found
in Park Theater where Paterson played.

Can not recount the story 'bout this one
been sworn to strict secrecy by the shore.

Wish there was a way to describe the taste
of sugar-dusted bleeding dark purples,
berries I wolfed down when I wrote these words.

This line I thought in line till heard my name
from that pharmacist's lips picking her nose.

Can't say much here without breaking the law
Can't say much here without following it
but this...I never could finish the thought.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Human Stain

Par for the course: Hollywood creeps,
threadbare couches, filming silence, cops
that strip...strippers that police: What happens
in Hollywood...
Are we flirting
with disaster?  Madonna:
truth or dare?
The human stain.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Silver Mascara

You apply coats of silver mascara
to the puffy folds about the setting sun.
In the screaming sky mannequins flew.
From the silent soil red flowers grew;
one in the shape of an umbrella,
another: a pointed gun.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Rich Cotton Quilt

On a rich cotton quilt we'd lain, us
like chess pieces: knee to knee,
shadow palms and white fists.  In such states
twitching, in knotted broken chains.  Check!
Our words and joints strategically placed—
not touching.