31 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #306 : Alien


I want to go to Mars -

They are sending them in - are going to give them the keys to the place
experiments and the building of bubbles to live in

I dream of the bubble housing the smaller bubbles

The small growing things in the shield of man-made ecosystem

Think about the likes on those selfies -

God this is boring - is broken - there is a sense that a hole in the window would send everything in this world into space

It will freeze there

Lose itself in the not-black not-dark

Why don't we have a word for the color of space - the vacuum of our heads

I want to go to Mars -

Put on that suit - drift in the expanse for years - and come out the other side alone
where I would send cryptic emails and video messages

Where I would piss on the dead sand of that planet and make castles from the mud

Mainly -
I don't want to talk to people anymore

And that is the thing that resonates - the internet has left me not wanting to hear or be heard

I long for a rotary phone that only clicks and never receives but that's not true because Candy Crush -

Here is the buoy in the open wilds of imagination - it blinks seven times
is silent -
is even and calm - it only knows what fingers have touched it tell it to know

It beckons -

30 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #305 : Shirts


There are nights where the monsters in the closet are real

The open mouth of breathing becomes too embodied in the darkness

Those shirts that hung on a body only moments ago contain too much memory to be lifeless rags

To hang a shirt properly you should button it on the hanger - allow it to fill itself - hold shape

This also keeps them from escaping

The open window is too much a tempt - they would go - leaves from the tree - and they would find a wind to sail them because shirts know what you know

There are noises in there

The scent of skin and his skin and your unshowered self and the pancakes from breakfast

The stains of it are all over the place - teeth on paper leaving the indents of canines - they are flapping their tubular limbs and trying to un hook the hangers

They are attempting to smother

Try to picture a moment without monsters - closet or under bed - it is difficult perhaps impossible - did you make the right decision yesterday - was the adulting up to par - how about the grinning spectre of death

True to purpose - these things are a cover

They are warm when needed - soft as well

They find their sharpness in the pins left on accident - the button that always falls off

To you they look for forgiveness of what they did in your name

29 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #304 : Bling

"Bling" is the Oxford English Dictionary's word of the day for December 29th, 2016. I had a hard time finding the beginning of this poem. I'm not sure it coheres. But it does a thing. And it's mostly a true thing.


The top of the Hostess Cupcake sparkles - mica
on the surface of a road - salt crystals suspended in slush -
the color of your lips after gloss

the DNA code of the icing rumbles on - is eaten
which of the 43 ingredients isn't modified

There is a word for a question meant to get to the root of the matter
and for that moment when someone refuses to answer -
it is named for a character in Goethe's Faust

I mean - we eat them anyway -

Earlier there was a low-flying plane over the apartment complex
and it was noteworthy for the propellers on its wings
even the homeless men stared at it in silence

I grew up around planes - I know when they are searching
but I never knew what

28 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #303 : Aisle 3

Aisle 3

There is the idea of a person who builds a bridge - an architect of spans
but I am not sure that these crossings exist

Here is a fire starting at the base of a tower - and there is always someone dying in fires
always a fire in need of someones to die

At the grocery store the faces all look like milk cartons
I scan them for expiration dates - fine the barcodes on their irises and tick them off my list

An overwhelming sense that this is a toy unwinding - collapse in aisle three
it's devoted to cleaning products - I am rolling on my back - a dying beetle

There are picnic supplies and they are all about keeping food away from things that live outside
and there is a canyon opening and closing its mouth between one shelf and the next

Legs to the sprays - arms to the plates
allow each cart to roll over the spine - train cars going to who the fuck knows

I do not burn bridges so much as not bother to build them in the first place
this suits - ill-fitting - but it does

27 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #302 : Fragments of An Organ

This is not a finished thought. I have no idea where it is going or what it wants to be.

Fragments of An Organ

Against the wall                    pieces of the doorway
begin to connect themselves in ways
foreign to passage
                                                                      There is a sound like paper burning
                                                             the joints are grasping          making out
tonging               They are making themselves a cathedral
                                              a soundway

                                              They will be an organ before they are done

Pieces of hands lay about the floor
                            like dynamite        
                                                             They are not real hands
they mannequin and pale themselves and become sand that could become glass
if only someone had fire


What a sound - the end of days - the reeds on the water will be the only thing to communicate with - the color of the moon before snow - a scent of lilac and sweat -





                                        Words tossed against a chest of drawers like laundry
                              - how did you begin to see into the crystal ball of this skull -
Motionless & -
                                At some point the doorway had to be reconciled - burned
                         or released - or -

                                                                           There was an inability to let it go

                                                                                                                     A sort of keylessness in the vetting
someone said that the man before us was a sociopath - others said he was just emotionless and distant - one called him a monster and pushed him into the burning effigy of Guy Fawkes


We are in a basement and there is the sound of music above us
It drifts through the sparse boards of the ceiling
It is a dirge
For others perhaps a wistful memory keeper
Here it plays out the burning of a church that is a memory

We are terrorists in this mind
Here to burn holes
The door frames attempt to re-
And we laugh at their feebleness
They manage to make noise

That is all before they collapse
We use them to construct a barrier


I was trying to find my way into the memory of sound in the giant room with the giant organ - to discover if the emotion rang there - if it hung from a light fixture - if it was kindling - it was not there to be found -

26 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #301 : Cheapen

I was looking at old posts and came across THIS one from 2009. In it I talk about the unexplainable sadness that I get at poetry readings. Then I wrote a poem about Abraham Lincoln and how we are all reduced to the images we leave behind and eventually not even that.

I think I can explain my issue with readings better in 2016.

They render the work dead. A thing to recite. They are dull and boring and not much fun. They are staid and quiet and people nod their heads as readers render language into stupefying meaninglessness. They ivory tower. And most damning, they are not interesting.

Before you think I'm advocating for slams...I am not. They are hooting and hollering for buzzwords. They are waiting for the speaker to say a thing in that voice that indicates sass and skepticism. They are equally dead and equally ivory tower.

I think the reading as a form of delivery system for written things is not really worth much outside of a self-aggrandizing need for claps and book sales. That said. They are a thing that is done. Because how else do the words get into the faces? People don't read journals really. And few buy books unless they know the author or happen to find something randomly that they are into.

It's an issue. My solution is to do readings in non-traditional ways. At bars. Online. I don't think it fixes any of the issues with readings. But it means I don't have to go to a book store and stand at a mic and stare into nodding faces going 'mmm' at obnoxious points in the evening.


We break ourselves for what -

          There is a sense that we are ships docked together
     but what exactly are we afraid of

The drift into horizon -
A sound that is the collapse of self -

          We are paper rotting in the hold of night
     the only thing to be done is to take that and be it

Poem-A-Day #300 : On An Aging Cat

On An Aging Cat

He moves a little more careful
a sort of think-pause before settling

He stares into the sunlight
as it fills the living room with warm

Hungrier and restless
he is a shuffle about the house at night

He is drinking only from the bathtub
the blankets are never empty of him

Somehow he wants more lap
his claws less ready

Poem-A-Day #299 :The Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory

All the locks - this one
the one in the dream about the abortion clinic bombing

There is the room - it smolders
bricks as rockets as pieces of living tissue
raining down on screaming people

If only everyone had been sleeping


I fear that I am not done with you
that I have somehow cursed myself
to think about you too often

There is a stability in forgetting
the atoning of it - cleanliness - like sweeping
up after winter

I dream about you often
they are angry dreams - are biting
I wake up screaming or crying or both

Somehow the circle was drawn around me
the salt I laid and the sage I burned
did not rid me of you


You take the hand of the killer

It will be puffy and damp it will bleed

Into the bucket of piss and salt for a month
you should know the herbs you 'll need

It must dry in the sun

Rest as a crossroads

Be nailed tot he door of a church

You did keep the killer's fat as well
you did make the candle according to tradition

His hair will be the wick


The sound of a lock engaging

Finality - safety - it is the sound of sleep
the eyes lowering as gates at the tower
a sort of dam against the light of the moon

Here is the hand of glory
it has powers to render all motionless
static - a stasis from the terrors of night
about to and already come


In the dream about the abortion clinic bombing

Everyone stood at the barrel of a gun

Your face was there - it was terrifying
because your face was there

The killer held the gun like a candle

No one had the milk to put it out

22 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #297 : That Woke

That Woke

I want to write something inflammatory
about how you are all about that
woke life

But I am tired

And uninterested in the discussion
not because the discussion shouldn't occur

But because the discussion will change nothing

Because fingers will point at the problem
will call out the problem
and will remain distant from it

Enough to not be bothered

Outside the hills fill with mist - they roll
like turf before a football game
they turn black and white

Here the vision of snow falling
the problem is covering in it

The static of it fuzzing silently

Let's both say something about our privilege
it will make us feel better

You can whip out your dick and compare it to mine
and then we can all feel satisfied that
we did all we could in the face of all this injustice

21 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #296 : Baking


Small ring encased in egg whites
and those silver ball bearings
that pop in your mouth

Leave the butter in the sun

Collect sprinkles like change

There are bottles of anise and violet
and bergamot
they are interchangeable

A sense that none of this really matters
that Christmas is inside the oven

That heads can rest on racks

A grandmother made these
even invented them
this has all happened before

20 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #295 : Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd

Beyond the fence at the edge of town
the boy will be sent alone
                    he will have a shovel
a dog at his side
it will be night

It is time to dig the thing from the earth
to place the now naked skull upon the pole
                    dress it in its robe of white
the dog will whine
the boy will brush dirt from the eyes

It can see
can speak and run
it knows the dark districts and the light
it will come to your door
and sing to you

          Well here we come innocent friends
          to ask leave to ask leave
                              to ask leave to sing

When the horse is at your door
Punch will rap on the wood of your door
Judy will sweep along your walls

You will have to sing your denials
have to outwit the unburried spectre
                    it will come in
will dance in your fire
and take your food

Poem-A-Day #294 : English


Let's again discuss language

It is unable to explain the noise of cars on the road
the color of breath in cold

Language does not know how to talk about feelings

It muddles across the page the best it can

A sort of clawing thing a hand
reaching never quite reaching

18 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #293 : Reminder


I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help I cannot help
I cannot help

Poem-A-Day #292 : Refusal


I hear that you don't want the flag to burn
that you believe we are divided
and our hands are hurting for lack of holding

Across the table I see your eyes
they are reflecting and moving like fish in a bowl
'darting' is a word that one would use to describe them

I must confess that I am tired of kumbaya
and have little interest in comforting anyone
this is perhaps a broken part of my soul

Your words bounce around the white space
they say things like 'politics is boring' and
'we must move beyond' and 'color isn't real'

I want to throw water in your face
slam your head into the wall until everything cracks
I want there to be blood when I am done

There is the sound of winter from the doorway
a sort of whisper death come to sit at the table

The flag will burn and your hands will grow cold
is what it seems to be saying

this could be a fracture in myself

The idea that nothing is politics is a refusal
a turn from the world from ourselves

Politics is just a fancy word for feelings
which you seem deeply concerned with

16 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #291 : If


Write beautifully
words that could sear and pop
with the light of stars

They will cause palpitations
be boxes opening into boxes
revealing one lone puzzle piece

Rend yourself
the scraps of white cloth
will be made into scarves

Language will fill sails
or at least bring to mind
the image of full sails

everything should wreak of breakage
and the feeling of tears on fingers

These true blunt instruments
these lines could be claw-footed bathtubs
that would fill with blood and flowers

Poem-A-Day #290 : Nightscape


On your skin

A color like purple

It thighs and glides across surfaces

A woman is thrown into the pool of a taxi

There is night and then there is city

Each thing defines itself against the void of space

Your eyes are glares

The streetlight blinks yellow banishing color


A wish to be the reflection in your sweat

The smell of garbage

A rat across your foot

Uber and crash

Your teeth are violet

14 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #289 : Tension Break

Tension Break

Sight of a dandelion about to open

The tension

Paper tear noise of it

The fabric pull

In there a small quietness

The center

A vision of things as they could

Poem-A-Day #288 : Breaking In To The Graveyard Where ___ Is Burried

Breaking In To The Graveyard Where ___ Is Burried

Fold your shoulders
until you fit
through the iron
of the fence

Around you - air origamis and collapses
the fractals of it shrink and expand - this is
a moment where physics cease

Light cannot escape your eyes

I want you to birth yourself
                    - now

The leaves are worried - they red and drop
immediately in response

are buttered

A scrape along the expanse
of your

Dislocate your memory

Attach it to the string of a balloon

At the horizon of your vision - a sort of
whirl exists - it is a spot where boats can
manage - can decide -

In the interior
a sound of geese hissing

When you find the grave you are seeking
there will be a garbage truck
rattling in the streets

Did you bring a sandwich
wrapped in cellophane
or brown paper

It matters which

12 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #287 : Some Days

Some Days

Clouds are striating
they form a road into the distance - telescoping
there is a forgotten city beyond the horizon
where everything is perfect

Some days I just don't know

The letters lay themselves across the tracks
they tie themselves down
and they wait for the train to come

This isn't about poetry - that is tired
this is about the break along the horizon
that birds peel themselves out of - a cartwheel of fire
contained in the barrel of the sky

Let's plant things there
see if the line melts if perspective will allow
the flowers to look like skyscrapers

Words cannot stand today

Or any day really

Language tries to reach - to unfathom
it calls to us from a distance unmanageable

The lines of clouds race themselves
like soap down a drain

11 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #286 : Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation

Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation

The process is the thing

To see the car in the tree - the wood nails and glue

The idea of oil crisis - a sort of fracking
cracking the shell of the idea of a country

We want to see the yellow box on wheels as savior - we
want it to drive us to a future we cannot imagine

I pump the gas into the car that was bought as an afterthought

It is cold dark out and the station is bright

The truck across from me is empty - the door open - there is no one around

I hear the sound of the pump fulfilling itself

Saint Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael

Our lady of broken promises of lemons and car making

Industry science and technology - I want to talk about
the abandoned - the people who held their money out
and felt the rain coming

Light the candles - there is the repetition
                    desire need poverty and fear

It is a sort of cycle

And then the promise of freedom that cannot be

The mind convinces itself of its cagedness

And she stands up and points to the horizon - and the horizon responds
with light and with lines of dollars

A moment arises - it becomes prophetic - cool to the touch

The process is the thing
at the end of it there is no result - the hollow space
of new event and new horizon

Ad for the 1975 Dale

10 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #285 : The Alarm is Going

The Alarm is Going

The alarm is going again -

It has been 15 years 8 years 2 years 1 month -
                    it was yesterday -

I stood in front of the Madonna - the one from 1290
               - the painting is on peeling wood

Around her head the gold is sculpture - it is an object grown - the tree gave birth to this fully framed woman

The child reaches for her veil -
                    not yet - not yet -

A etches across the surface - it highlights her sadness - is a weight on her
like the oddly proportioned child -

          too small - too adult looking - a doll really

He reaches for her veil -
continues to reach -

You died on this day - or that day -

                                        the alarm is going again - I am not sleeping -

                         I blame the moon for this - it gets fucked by us too often - blamed for all atrocities - I blame it and the light it steals - the fucking rabbit that lives upon its face -

The rabbit hitched a ride on the back of the heron
          its small white paws going raw from the gravity of what they were doing

they landed and the rabbit reached one bloody hand towards the heron's face
and marked it forever -

The alarm has been going for hours -
                    and I feel like I should have burned up by now

Death isn't fear -

          at least not on the surface - I like to think that I understand this but -

The child reaches for the mother's veil -

                    His hand touches the edge of the loose fabric - blue and shimmering -
          his oddly small fingers pull at the edge - her eyes reveal themselves -

The leaves of gold peel steadily -

Madonna & Child (1290-1300)

09 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #284 : Body


                                        far          is the border
of the body

                    Press finger          to rib
                                        the soft places between on the back
                    there is bruising
                              and separation

Poem-A-Day #283 : Sir Bedivere Waits For Dawn

Sir Bedivere Waits For Dawn

I could run

The sword
                    in my hand
                                        heavy - cold - stones inlaid feel on my palm
across the bridge of the fingers - calloused numb

It is cold on these rocks

The mail is heavy

He wants me to throw it to the lake - it's written on the blade
                    cast it away

Could I be king

Raise this to heaven and sit at the table

I see the crown - lowered to my scalp - it sits
                    everyone falls to their knees - the coin show my face

It is night

The rock is slick with green

Sigh the thought

Would I could throw the might away
                                        I shall sit and contemplate the shoes needed
                    to outrun myself

Winchester Round Table

07 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #282 : On Sean Bean's Numerous Deaths

On Sean Bean's Numerous Deaths

Does Sean Bean die in every movie he's in ?

I wonder about actors and their type - are we too so categorizable ?

Here is my face
what is gleaned from it - the breaking line of mouth
the slightly lower right eye and ear

Do you sense the phrenology of me - colors across the surface
of my glasses are light and dark and project a lot that could be metaphor or not

I think about the times Sean Bean has died in movies
each one a slow motion shot of his tortured face in scream

His eyes a crystal slough of ice

What type is it that dies all the time ?

His deaths have started and ended and coalesced plot lines  - have ended fellowships
and launched wars of secession

The ur-man

In the mirror my eyes are tired - they green - the red in my face
is amplified by the red in my face

A sort of repeating trance - spiral - would these lines start or end anything ?
there is a daylight ending and I have only stared into this window -

I fist the glass

Imagine the stack of scripts on Sean Bean's table
each with a death inside it

06 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #281 : I'm A Little...You Know The Rest

I'm A Little...You Know The Rest

Of course I want to rage - kettle myself

I know how to whistle

The man at the corner was screaming repent into traffic
his mouth a dark hole into which pennies could drop and never fulfill a single wish

I thought about the unsteady hand that drew the sign
thick black scrawl against sunflower yellow
these are Charlie Brown lines I thought I wanted to yell out the window

But I drove through the intersection - his wild hair in the wind

It's cold in Santa Fe today and this man is freezing to message

His temperature must be high

The problem with my raging - it evaporates quickly
becomes herbal tea

I never said this was going somewhere interesting
though you came on board and probably assumed it would destination

The reality is that I stare into the abyss of life and I don't even see an abyss

I see a thin cloth - loosely woven and unevenly made
full of holes and without pattern other than the continued overlaying of things

And I don't think raging helps thin cloth sustain

Steam does though - maybe - in directional ways

Iron-like ways

What I'm saying is that I don't want to rust but I don't want to shine either

05 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #280 : Dilly Boy

Dilly Boy

Bitch you're meese

Nanti pots in the oven
shite ecaf but bona drag bona ends full basket

Bitch you so ?

Zhoosh yourself
hang the cards

Switch the ring on your fambles you look married

I'll let you doss me get down on my lallies
show the dish and all that in the cottage

Have you the measures to trade ?

Poem-A-Day #279 : History


The world as gold object
spins in a heavy space
it flakes - gives off green
rubs itself against your leg

04 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #278 : The Wind Convinced Them They Were Ice

The Wind Convinced Them They Were Ice

                                        . . . their voice
                                                                 is one of curling
                    a sort of unfurling
                    that resembles rolled fabric

          a tent holding its bones tightly . . .

I said that I didn't mind the cold that my hands and feet are cold even in the summer that this violent weather was perfect for sleeping

But there is that spot on the inside that stares into the distant fire and wants the forest to ignite around us

          . . . we cannot endure because

                         we see things as outside
                                        inside ourselves . . .

There are things in this world that one does not want to embrace and there are things that one wants to take up inside themselves and curl around and absorb

The curling of the wind is a part of us and the freezing could be as well the only divide is one of listening and one of finding another story to tell

                                                            . . . bullshit
                    the wind is nature and voiceless

                    I hear that

                                       but you are made of air
                                       and it sometimes finds ways to curl

03 December 2016

What I'm Reading : December 1st 2016

Gather Journal is an amazing food/drink journal that comes out twice a year. I had the good fortune of having my poetry featured in an early issue. The recepies are luxe, the photographs are insanely beautiful. Each issue is a mood. The current one is on the seven deadly sins. There's a cocktail in it that involves cotton candy.

I started Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie yesterday. It is part one in her Imerial Radch series. I'm not very far in but the book is fascinating, the main character is several thousand years old and has had several thousand bodies, including space ships. We join them as they have been reduced to one lone human body. Unique in the use of a non-gendered point of view of the world.

Benito Pérez Galdós is widely considered one of the best Spanish novelists. Many consider him second only to Miguel de Cervantes. I will be honest, I started Tristana weeks ago. It's only 170 pages but I am finding it HARD to get through. It's the tale of Tristana, a woman (a girl honestly) who is taken in by an aging (he's nearly 90) Don Juan type. He refuses to marry her, she is deflowered, and then falls in love with a painter. It's VERY Victorian, but maybe a little more honest about the creepiness of the era. I am just not being taken in by this story though. It is perhaps an issue of time. I am in the midst of teaching Existentialism and the sexual problems of people in big houses is maybe...counter that. The 1970 movie version was directed by Luis Buñuel.

02 December 2016

Poem-A-Day #277 : At The Illegal Bar in Spanish Harlem I Really Tried to Sleep with You

At The Illegal Bar in Spanish Harlem I Really Tried to Sleep with You

There was a lean-to against the building : Spanish Harlem : it was night dark there were shots of tequila rumors of the place being shut down : literally a dude serving liquor from his kitchen window into a shed : there were lights of all colors and I think I threw up on the Brooklyn Bridge :::

Did I sleep on the floor of the bathroom : did the night open and close : I am pretty sure I worked the next day : pretty sure I wanted in your bed : you had built yourself a loft it was warm looking and the lights on the ceiling were endlessly nebula-ing :::

Recalling the moment I stepped into the sun : how noisy New York could stop being sometimes : the street was blank with 7 AM light : the trash of the night before across the fronts of us : how did we get from lean-to to lean-to :::

At least I woke up alone : the clothes on my body : the keys to my things in my pocket wallet moneyed and unmoneyed : how longing of me to think that getting drunk above 120th would somehow make you love me :::

Memories stack like beads on a necklace : my mother had one that I would slide beads back and forth across and imagine I was counting myself into something : out of : think about the strings coming off of things marionetting every single one of us :::

What are you up to today : images flash across divides we live in such perilous times : how can we forget these things when Facebook reminds us every few months : here's a picture of your failures and of your wins : eat them :::

Poem-A-Day #276 : SoH je brutus

SoH je brutus

Remember that line from Star Trek:

                    Time is the fire in which we burn

Christopher Plummer says it in bald cap
Klingon ridges making Alps across its surface

wab QoQ ghor HuvHa' chaH rur HIvje'

That's Klingon for "the sound of music breaks on them like glass"

It's funny
because it's about a different Christopher Plummer movie

                    At least we don't live in Ancient Rome:

276 was a leap year
that started itself on a Saturday

In June
               and again in September

                                        an Emperor died

It was all about money
Tacitus devalued the currency
Florianus is assassinated by his own men
Probus returns everything to how it was

But even Probus gets only 6 years before he dies in an October by blades he supposedly leads

SoH je brutus

The Alps on Plummer's face
                    on all of our faces
                                        time draws topography on all of us

The sound of breathing rushes them like canyon walls
it crests and causes weather good and evil

makes us light ourselves on fire and lash outward at the ticking seconds around us