Wednesday, August 22, 2018

my weakest cause

i once thought that this is what i deserve:
this caustic imbalance
this toxic enfolding fear;

but my weakest cause
these days
has eroded the tissue surrounding
the head, finally

so i let the collapse
begin, having hope
that the attrition will
reveal, in time, the hot
marrow of my heart
and leave me in a fine stupor;

receptive of the best
signals, the warmest
impulses that once thundered
in the vein and drove me
to far fields and left
me the master of stars and moons

some days, yet, i'm
again small in a smallest of rooms
where the voices of the most
violent stay me here fast,
wondering ever wondering:

what did you do to you
to do this to me?

no matter
really no matter

the head is ceding the victory
to the heart
and hope is due,
while my weakest cause
and erodes

Friday, July 20, 2018

feather on the floor

come walking over
and find me in
your own way
and tell me who
you've found

with a flower
between your lips
and dew pressed
beneath the tongue.

i am happy
you've found me
sitting beneath the sun
with eyes closed.

i tend to dream that i
know myself as
you know me,
but the image always blurs.

i see me as you do,
approaching, your
eyes mine and
we're smiling.

but nearer now
i, in you, collapse
to edges and the
image becomes all haze.

tell me:

do i dance? sing?
orate greatly?
pass on with the wind?
sigh against storms?

in my eyes i am
small, yet larger;
leaping with love
and abounding energy.

i am a victor
in my losses,
loyal to all comers
who dare breathe me.

i am the feather
on the floor i
discovered this

as meaningless and
random as any
natant dust
in a light.

but simply put
and no less important
and divinely placed
and no whim of God.

i was
i am
i will be perishable
but true!

come walking over
and find me in
your own way
and tell me who
you've found

just as i came
walking over this
morning and found you,
the feather on the floor

and found me.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


fomented seas below him thrash the heathen rocks
          into a million-year submission and he is suddenly

ambushed at the edge of the world. tempted to peer down
          just once he then restores his focus and altogether his soul is

thrust outward toward that line between black and turquoise,
          the one that splits the Mother from her infatuate, the Moon.

hymns of the sea birds overspread the ear, as a whiffet of air - matron
          of dreams - makes them dance on a line, while

escorting the man's own desires, loves, fears out to a far-gone place he
          can barely see, then towing them back;

retreating and advancing on the ticks of some sort of cruel
          metronome, time and love both a wistful tide

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

time and unsympathy

on that horizon
a cackling spectre,
summons me there
with a tremulous claw.

in his convulsions
of simpering laughter,
pulsing with ticks
and their ravaging flaw.

what is unwanting
when echoing footsteps,
padding down ways
of a narrowing chance,

send you soul-digging
for nurturing mothers,
breast-less and weak
in their twilight-ing dance?

i do remember
day's lingering softness,
under the skies
of the faraway sun.

the true intentions
of un-sinful children,
swapping their lives
for a mythical one.

but i recover
to emulate fondness,
something to ease
the mind's emptying faze.

don't i adventure
to inquiry's cavern,
escape to dark
in her infinite grays!

all that deferment
of deepening sorrow,
buried me low
in a chamberless cell.

not one allowing
for insightful ponder,
tindered my heart
to a soul-draining hell.

what is all-living
but treacherous biding,
governed by love
for unsympathy's kiss?

caught up unguarded
i willingly waded,
sinking in deep
to a fatuous bliss.

if i'm respondent
to elegant favors
un-lent to me
by a spurious friend,

might i beleaguer
your effusive kindness:
protect my good
'till the comfortable end.

with this determine
the unfaceless demon
fingers the strings
of a rotating hand

i am forever
the laboring figure
cold-linked to you
in this humbling land

Thursday, May 24, 2018


how the moody winds
blew your particles of fire
my way and burned the blades

how the boasty thunder
rumbled with your voice of reason
into the ears and flattened the eyes

how the waters of the high crevices
spilled from your too-low sky
and drowned my last lingering fear

how the piercing silence
sang your tribal hymn
and pumped my lungs with goldenrod

how the rain rituals of the sun
drove the tides of your loins
and penetrated my fallow bones

how the bald conversations
of the fat and shredded despairs
were soaked with your single kiss

how the handful of hungry flowers
felled their pedals from your mouth
and baptized my delicate moon

they don't get it
they don't get it

it's really alright

it's along this stained path
among the yellows and the greens
   among the silent cries and loud looks
      among the cycles of this woman
         among the rigid paleness of this man
            among the showers of the day
               among the hot quivers of the night
                  among the good horizons
                     among the miles of explosives
                        among the overhanging boughs
                           among the tripping toes

that you are silly
for me, this silly man

Sunday, May 13, 2018

mad love

mad love is a burden,
all wail and want;
bounce and plunge.

i look into this mother's
face and i look into my wander
to find the flutes of her yearning,
the flock of all her exiled passions

passed on to me the days
in our moments of coitus.

i've looked into that flowing
face a hundred thousand times
and discover again and again
the seeds of my blossoms,

the curls of my own
granite landscape;
the seminal dawn of my re-youth.

present no dull
arguments against the mothers
who, in dignity and truth,
build for you this altar;

they summon strength from
a facility you have no
notion of and from a universe
that has no name.

mad love is a burden,
all vertigo and elegance;
atomic and feeble.

where is it said that
the sun sets in the eyes
of the unforgiven and
the supple mouths of sinners?

that i may rise up in the
morning and witness each
day the one thing that makes
her heart a soundscape to gods.

what binds her to me is in
the corolla of that which we've
made in unison; the seas that
tremble the land are beneath her feet.

but anyway, she divined from
her womb and from her vessels
and from her fibers and from her
fingertips this epoch.

how it is that it happens in
such a glorious way mystifies
all the men of all the ages,
and yet we are still blind comers.

she mingles in that place between
the farthest moon and our nearest
sun, and spreads such delicate
and spacious love that we can only weep.

mad love is a burden,
all bray and praise;
elevation and desires.

my child is a partisan;
he is a victor in battle;
she is a guard against frailty;
he is summon to gods;
she is a play thing among fools.

my lover imbued the world
with our confessions; she laid
at its feet the subtle wish and the
fragrant flowers of a her and a him,

to be champions of their own
virtuous stars and to give unto
all others the jewels of some
fantastic and shocking voyage.

this came from her!
this sprang from her legs
this poured from her eyes
this drained from her mouth
this burst from her arms

like the eternity of light
and expanse of knowing,
this mother let love detonate
upon the sands of life.

and i can but claim to be a
weak witness to the evolution
of her cells, the increase of her
palace, the iron and soil of
her mountains,

and watch as they walk
among the growing fields
of their own harvests knowing
that they do so because of her.

there is heartache in her
dreams, pain in her side
from the extravagant violence
against her fount.

some blame eve
for our expulsions
and for our obscurities and
for our descent
which is foolish
in the face of the truth.

my eve, she failed no one,
but rather sinned against
herself when she took
on the mantle of mother
and then apologized for it.

i stand far from the horizon
and look back toward myself
to check and see if she is there,
the woman who originated men.

she is there, in her coat of shame,
in her smile, in her blood-pain
prowling the distance for predators

who would take from her the
kings and queens that she bore and
she devours them with her pure nature.

mad love is a burden,
all pink and flesh,
breast and womb.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

79 and anew, begins

it's mom's seventy-ninth today:
i called her when i felt she would
be able to talk, her attentions now
abridged by the poison of illness

she was going to the greenhouse
with Dad, she told me, where they
would pick flowers to fill the 
boxes around the house

there were many years he would
drive her to New Hampshire
to dine at their favorite 
restaurant on this day

but now, trips are forestalled
by a simple silent hand
and all approaches to the
once-before normal are dried up

outside my kitchen window
the peonies stand praising the sun
and await their may bloom
now that the cold crack of winter is over

they can live to be 100,
each fall dying back into the
mother and each spring emerging,
yawning green and leaning 

a hardy flower,
a flower that resonates with
the power of something
regenerative, something silver-tongued

my mother said goodbye 
after a few minutes, her voice
fevered with fatigue;
she needed to go nap, she said

the peonies will flower
soon, brightly; i won't know the color
but i will put my nose to them
and breathe in their bright lives

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

all yearning

something sometimes i write
makes no perfect sense,
so that what i put out there
is most frequently tread upon by
my sated behavior.

i can't imagine a world
in which words always march
in a narrow trough like this

and it's left me lately dismissed,
speculating on what i'm trying to
say against the ego of my
clouded and partisan intentions.

truth is:

i'm trying to be mild.
temperate in my frolic
around this world;
tenacious in my advisory
toward those whom i love.

(my bathroom's floor sags in
a finite sorrow while i write this)

yearning is a decent enough word
and the fatigue that emptiness
brings upon me is a speechless
death to this pale poet.

i need a stone in the sling;
a magnificent weapon that i might
wield to fell the giants
in my forest and take
possession once again.

there is some evil
practicing its craft on
me; a parallel body
in a vacuous world whose
primal light i see as if through
a gauze at night.

i've never gotten used
to being in the seams of
life, i suppose.

so yearning is an excellent
word - the way the sun aches
in the palm of winter, or
the moon rages in the breast
of summer.

truth is:

i'm trying to be mild.
temperate in my frolic
around this life;
tenacious in my advisory
toward you, whom i love.

you know ... i had a teacher
whose life-passions sagged as
much as my bathroom's floor.

to think i fantasized about
us when she despised me in life
but in dreams shredded my
virginity and left me yearning.

i once hurt for a lover
to the point that i thought i'd
been separated from the earth;
my eyes were numb to every sound,
my ears could only see into my past.


talk bitter sense to me.
show me the origins of tears.
make yourself hoarse with it
and get me back quickly so

that i might again be shaken
into a murmur on the pond,
a wake in the shore,
a disturbance across the sands.

i know who i am.

i'm a prince of the habits
of dreams and i've
nothing to show for
the mining of their wealth,

except maybe the
thick agitation of mysterial words
that they've gifted me:

all sparks and wander,
life and wonder

all yearning.

Saturday, April 7, 2018


i'd have you raised up to the
height of your truth;

elevated above the assured
counterfeit of lesser minds,
who chance against the atomic
weight of your best self.

you are picturesque
you are positive self-proof
you are a grant against the greed of
the soul-swindlers

don't hasten toward those who
ask you to shine for their behalf,
for they do so in service of
their own squalid darkness -
their attentions are puerile fictive

tell them to fly from you.

tell them, 'i am no girl,
i am velocity and sulfur;
inferno and the elegance of fire.'

Friday, March 23, 2018

sleep in her shade

i missed the shaded tones
of all those you've held
to your sleeping breast.

i'm too small for the
conscience of time to
know any better i suppose;

to see that the consumption of
the curious, calm breath
of loved ones is a craft;

that those formed of love
are eternally in love
and not surpassed.

i will watch you sleep
inside silence's muted
source, vibrating,

and see that what
emanates from you
dwells in the best regions.

hoping that i
can approach you
in my own inartistic way,

reaching you in slumber
and feeling what the babe
feels when free,

and falling forever
into your best

Thursday, March 1, 2018

i'm ok, daughter

i'm ok, daughter

on my shoulders
rests the weight
while i wait
for your fire
to burn the world down

i sit in our
kitchen looking out
onto a march afternoon
enlightened by sun but weaker
without you here

you are at school
or you are at play
or you are at sleep
or you are at one of
those moments of deep

thought that i find you
in at times that makes me hurt
not knowing if you
are vexed by the sudden
breathing of dangerous clouds

i was never the same 11 years
old that you and your friends
are now, i'm afraid;
the way the world has bound
you to a deeper covenant
with darkness is perverse

when my brother died you
hugged me every day for
months and you said
you liked the way my shirts
smelled after i'd discarded them
on the floor

so you wore them, and
in your silent way
told me that someone
else's pain can be a line cast
across the waters of those
who've not yet learned to swim

so i thought i should
be more careful around
you, to build a bulwark
and take pains to shield
you from the weight
while you waited for

an older you to
come, that perhaps
then you would be better
for it when life appears
in the palms of your
hands like broken rainwater

how foolish of me

i'm ok, daughter

on your shoulders
rests the weight
while you wait
for your fire
to burn the world down

it is your weight
and i understand it
and i understand you
need it - not me -
to teach you the
necessity of will

and faith
and pain
and love
and goodness
and death

for i am
ok, daughter

because of you

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

the first time i made you laugh

there was an attraction to chance,
when the days of eternal vitality were far before us
and the depth of hidden meanings magnified
our new fate.

blown by gusts that i will call impulses,
and proceeding from cold wisdom
that rioted with the heat of passion,
you cracked me open.

it was subtle how you did it,
standing in the dark before me;
i'd known you just for the length
of a quietly passing moon.

up until then, we'd become measured in tone
and deliberate in the conscious
approaches to each other's
closed door.

when, in that moment, that
feeble dusky instance, there was
a subtle shift in whatever temperate air
that floated between us;

and i ventured, when you looked
at me, to bridge (to span) that gap
with something inane, some silly
suggestion that made you laugh.

and i think it was then
i'm sorry
i know it was then, when
your expression bloomed,

when your eyes became my fable
when your lips my inclination
when your cheeks my exploit
when your voice my ovation

that i fell in love

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


i came across this
blade and strummed
her with a finger and

i watched the dew tumble
to my bare feet waiting
and i thought about
the will of its wanting

and the arch of its back
and the pearl beads
riding on the thin ridge
and of their tumbling down.

it's all about the collapse
into the self and the
phonetics of the helpless
toiling we all make.

how a man once said
that when you die
you return to the memory
you loved most in life

which for me would be -

i guess i'm not yet sure
of the edge of that quiet
night or feel its pursuit

others i know have or
are, and i wonder where
they have landed or
where they expect to land

like the beads of dew
shaken suddenly and
violently from their long
highway among highways

by my curious, dumb finger,
how they rode the green blade
like crystal dreams,
then leaped into the air

and came down on
my bare feet waiting,
their coldness a prick
of my sleeping conscience.

i told myself i
better wake up in
case i miss the glass
jewels of this short life

before my blade is
strummed and all my
memories land at the
feet of unyielding stones

my best memory is yet come
but can be seen in the end of a
spyglass and i
won't tell you what
i see, but it

makes me laugh
and weep because
you are there, my beads
of radiant dew,
my loves

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

apples, fall

i saw you flower
in the spring of this
particular year, the
nurturer's air rushing
in as if from bellows and
beneath the tree from
which you hung, the
grass beginning its
rise to the goddess

i stayed away from the
tree, and from you, for
various stretches of
time, although you
spied me most days
when i came

to fetch the children,
who were out in the
back field thundering
in their frolic and unable
to hear the call to supper;

or to water and grain the
horses, who stood
in the pasture blinking
and whinnying at
the heat of the sky
and tumult of the birds;

or to dodge the stout
raindrops and electric
flash of lightning
that commuted the
sky into the refuge of
the wild reapers;

or to kiss my lover's
neck, with my hands on
her hips and her head back
and the sounds of
the summer spilling
into the soil if only
for a moment.

you aged slower
than the days moved
forward, but there
you have it - the sun
and moon are rivals
for your soul as much
as for mine

and i came out
one afternoon to
find that you'd
rounded into green
pearls strung
along the branch;

ornaments suspended,
silent as the flame upon
the wick, you in your
clusters clinging to
those slender arms,

hopeful for the day
that you'd find me
with my eyes adoring
your skin and my
voice high in the
chambers of your host.

but i am too wildly
flung to linger
for long, to be a
worthy engagement
for all of you.

some i did pick,
at random, to consider,
to handle, to polish
in the palms, while
most of you looked on.

and the harvest did
come and you braced
for it, virgin brides
awaiting in your green
cathedral, until the
whole affair was past
and you wept to the
ground on the eve of the

i found you this morning
while out for a walk in
search of a matchless
offering of frost-dew on the

and there you all lie on
a matted bed of leaves
and grass, in concert with
a cold autumnal air that
sucked in as if by

your stations now fully
transmuted to something
not lowly, but low, coronated
by crystal beads of dew,
your migration completed
violently indeed.

i'd missed it all,
all of it nearly enough
to no longer fully
know you anymore,
which is my consuming

but rather than collect
you all in one terminal act
of hubris, to gather you
into unceremonious buckets
and get you off that bitter
bed that will soon succumb
to winter's enduring
concealment, i left
you to be

and stepped away to
rejoin this calamitous
existence that leads me
more away from myself
than toward, knowing that
i cannot be all things
to all good people,
and therefore almost
required by the fates
to leave you
in your spoiling postures

but stll


loved no less by me

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

the girl who dreamt of the exploding sun

the girl who dreamt of
the exploding sun
regards her moon
in a temper of mutation
and solitude,
singing about
a day or two not
long ago when
love's lifting wing
left her on a
diver's ledge

a wail to the stars
has caused her temporary
blindness, so she
bleeds from her eyes
until the salt in them
returns in a melancholy
flow down onto her
hands, her lap, the floor
and she is finally
ready to tell
me her dream,
which woke her last night

the sun - she explained -
rose high and stayed
fast when she ventured
outside: this cyclopean
orb hanging above the earth,
the size of immortality
and flaming in
its cradle, the sky,
like an accused child;
bristling and arresting
the air and scattering
all of god's shadows

but then, she said, in
that posture, in a
bloated cast, the
sun broke into a
thousands smaller suns
and tore across the
horizons and into the
orbits of all the stars
and held in their visages
the expression of eve on
the day she first loved adam

i am apt to think
she had dreamt the
dream of the resonant
goddess, who comes to
us in our most unarmed
state, tripping among
our gardens of dim light
and through our crops of
bright darkness and who
murmurs above the
husks of our delirious dreams,
'play, play, play!'

the girl who dreamt
of the exploding sun
is an heir to a pale heart
and a desolate amber moon,
a girl who must ever
be on guard for
the breaking tide
upon a spent shore,
and whose own love
is drowned in
the oaths of riddles

i would tell her this,
then, about her
thousand small suns:
smile up to them
in their fine orbits;
gather their rays
in porcelain palms;
sip them from the cups
of green blades of grass;
leap up and
pluck at them as you would
pluck at the strings of
an alabaster harp

for you know not
when they will
wind down their own
days, pass on from your
threshold and become cold
comets colliding with each other
until they've turned into the
dust of ages,
never to radiate down
upon you again

that is the nature of your
lovers' hearts, then


my friend

Sunday, October 8, 2017

my witness moon

my tempest purity,
my witness moon,
you've devoured me
and my pale armor;

plundering me,
my pastoral monarch,
my wild testimony,
rending my sea.

outside my window, on
this day, the harvest
epoch continues with
plaited rains,

lashing the barn
and drenching the
fields while i roam my
hallways to your chime.

flecked with joy
and crowned with
cascades of laughs,
you came

into my arms from
your vigilant mother,
whose seam was torn
and who was recast

you had no howl in
you, you never really have,
my astral sun,
my quick night.

i see you down a long,
pathless suspension,
your invasion of me complete
at the dawning of  a winter.

your meaning in my life
written with blood ciphers
and locked in a dark room
built with the bones of
my ancestors.

i'm not ever meant
to know why you entered
my dreams with all
your seraph sighs.

there, as in an echoing
chamber, you are the
plucking strings of a guitar
and lilt of a whispering peasant.

you were conceived on
a day such as this: at the
height of the harvest foist,
with her wet tremble,

when my howling passion
overtook your mother's
quietude and plunged her
into the familiar fire.

i will ever be an annotation
to your days, my vibrant
leaf, my avid voyager.

i will be the scent of the brume
of an extinguished candle;
the primal wildflower
perfume on your fingertips.

my memory lately leaks
from my timid fibers and
drains into the soles
of permanent wounds.


my feet will fall
in the rattling hall
among a thousand and one
malnourished guests

before i know why you
were sent to me,

my lovely increase,
my armed medium,
my witness moon.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

to the girl sitting alone at the wedding last night


to the girl sitting alone
at the wedding last night with
your gloomy lover:

i saw you twice
for hours as you
looked at the idling
table cloth adorned
with the ornaments of convention
and he didn't ever talk to you

you wore a dress that you
picked out for hours and
you made your hair a
canvas to Eros
and he didn't ever stroke your arm

you watched the bride
escort her groom across
a universe of polished barn
boards while you bit your lip
and he didn't ever whisper in your ear

you were ambushed
again weren't you?
by some bitter circumcision
of his irony; how he sat
with his back to you,
regarding his knuckles

your makeup was
ill-made while you dreamt
into your mirror how this was
the night he would finally plant stars
in your pouch, penetrate your
heart with a ferocious lightning

you've wasted hours wishing
him into your ripening loins;
hours of sleep enchanted by a
shimmering phantom only to wake
dry to the kiss of the wind

yours is a fugitive story
carried on the tongues of all
the inaugurated women who
ladled their dreams into buckets
of mud

only to see their coins
converted into stones
and skipped out to sea by
men made of ash and silt

i've wondered for ages
why some fields go to
harvest and some to seed;
their flowers felled and
best days sent down unspent

i would tell you
that you need nothing
but to jump into the
wheeling expanse

that you flutter those
slender fingers across the
petals of collapsing daisies

that you captain your
vessel, stand naked on the
prow, breathless,

that you prick your
dreams with the point
of a pen in order to bleed
the air from the line

that you pray for the
arrival of the triumphal
flood within you and not
the captive famine of another

i suspect that you
won't, but instead will
sit at the reception with
your hands in your lap
looking across that long
way down while he


there was a girl
in high school who
ached for love to the
point of distraction

she was not unattractive,
as i recall, but her
constant vigil at the door
of desperation ruined her face

how much she clawed at
possession! to be absorbed
by the skin of a boy!

i observed this in my cold
corner, alone, watched her
check her reflection in the
mirror of the windows when
a boy entered the room

she did no checking
when i said hello but
she did laugh at my jokes
and i soon became
her confidant

telling me how ____
kissed her at the football
game but has a girlfriend
(so be discreet)

how she let ____
change the oil in her mom's
car sunday afternoon
because (that's the sort
of thing i won't ever need
to know how to do, not with
a good man)

how she let ____
put his hands in certain places
even though they really just met
but don't worry it won't go further
(her mom got pregnant at 15
with her, don't forget!)

her mother was oily and
indifferent, blowing smoke
and barking orders from her
car whenever she had to pick up
my friend from school

her father lived in another
town - or another state - either
way he was really only
geography to her at that point

whenever i made her laugh
her poverty became a refugee
and i saw the real armies of
her cloudy battlefield withdraw

but then ____ would
come by and she would
stop laughing to check her
reflection and tell me he's
the kind of guy that will make
sure she doesn't live as alone
as her mother some day

she did not solicit from me
a kiss; ask me to change the oil
in her mother's car on a sunday;
allow me to touch her in places.
i was a brushstroke on a black

i believe i loved her
or would have, but out of
some overladen pity or
misplaced esteem

i dreamt about her laughing
teeth and the toffee smell of her
hair and how i could just mount
a rescue one of these days

but never did and
instead remained a witness
to her expenditure of time
flitting from flower to flower
and watched how she allowed herself
to be caught under bell jars
over and over

i ran into her at a store recently
and noticed her pearl was gone; her
fragrance evaporated, how her
hands and soul were as dislocated as
her mother's

i learned that she suffocated
eventually under the weight of
a collapsed marriage to a man
who was sulfuric and who had
moved to another town,
or another state, either way -

she'd bought her first car
and found an apartment
and her kids visited when they
needed money or a babysitter

how she takes her car to the
local garage to have the oil
changed because she doesn't
mind the man there who
flirts with her

i would know him,
his name is ____, we went
to school, remember? and
he's talking about moving

not now, she insisted:
she's too tired to need

then she laughed at her
own joke and we said our
and then she departed
into her new glorious exile


my daughters, stay beneath the shading trees
that hide you from the mouths of captive minds
resist the urge to dive upon their seas
or set your sails to points of distant finds

deny a quarter to the ones whose want
would have you tossed upon their ashen sands
and make of you a shallow, idle haunt
stripped down to bleeding eyes and feeble hands

crave not a love, let love be love alone
have not your truth be leaked beneath your soul
stay not inside the mind that's not your own
let not another's dream become your toll

my daughters, toss your souls upon the air
and watch convention's shackles all laid bare

Friday, September 22, 2017

father fury

my son, with his drooly
speech, and his
excitable howling
and his fumbling dexterity
and his shoes on the
wrong feet and his open
fly and his picked-over
sores and his near-egregious,
gargantuan, gaping smile
and his stewing adolescence
and his incapacity for
meaningful discourse

was not dislodged by the snickers
of the boys this morning when
he'd launched his boisterous hello
at them and waved his fearless wave
toward them and dribbled his subterranean
basketball dribbling in their presence

as much as i was

i seethed
beneath the skin of my bones
at them as they pointed and
laughed; i wanted to pull
their souls through their
fingernails and strip them
naked before their petty
peers who preened in the
hallways of their school
and erected statues to these
new gods by their silences

i have gotten angry with
him many times; i have yelled
at my son, and i carry that
guilt one mile for every word
spilled from my guts and onto
his plate; i am sorry, and i have
no grave for my sins beyond
what my own arms will drag me
into, so i pray alone with dirt
in my mouth

in truth, i balance upon a wing
of smoke with my heels bleeding
and my eyes sewn shut, if
only to make do with these
tools i've been given

i was once a boy who
wept in the darkness
of my bedroom after
school so that my mother
knew nothing of the
trolls who haunted the
shadows of my days

i believed then that i
called down upon my
own head the lightning
bolts of those who held
dominion over me and
those like me, who
were voiceless

but today

i abide no fool who
scoffs at a soul that shades
to one side or the other
of a movable line: differences
are ghosts drawn in the salt of
the air and melt with the
tears of the mothers

so what have you that i have not,
and what have you not that
i have dreamt for my sons?

a firmer soil on which to stand?


you have nothing but
your grandfathers' impotence
and coiling hell to look
forward to

so i sat beside these boys
and i whispered into the
pores of their waxed eyes:

i will make you piss
yourselves and drain
you of your fathers' wills
if you
point your finger




Monday, September 4, 2017

they raised a marble statue for you here

they raised a marble statue for you here
the oldest member of a stony choir
who sing a mourn about your lives afire
and how each breath was forged by angst and fear

in wonderment i walk among your heads
and ponder on this day with all its good
the lives you led and if you ever would
unlive your fates to slip these earthen beds

this marker is a lie to all your youth
a life's best spent when life is lived in truth

Saturday, September 2, 2017

all the lovers are miles away

all the lovers are miles away
and a fence post in the pasture
is too aged to keep her
barbed wire well hung

all the lovers are miles away
and the gate handles are too
entangled to release them from
their holding loops

all the lovers are miles away
and the horse and her two
companion minis graze upon
browning autumn grasses 

all the lovers are miles away
and the lame dog limps
about the yard and lies in the sun
and gnaws a phantom sore

all the lovers are miles away
and a zephyr caresses the
pasture grass as one would trace 
a hand across one's hot scalp

she had surgery 
recently on her foot
to right a 
prevailing wrong

the doctor had
been vague about
why it hurt so
much for her to walk

 neglected soreness
that began as a middling,
almost trifling, foolish
annoyance had calcified,

he told her,
into an unforgiving  growth,
a riotous spur
the size of fate

she said what hurt
the most was the
bandage that kept the
dressing around the incision

how it tightly
taunted her in her
immobile state, no longer 
able to regulate her day

i watch as she
unspools the swathe
from her treated foot
blackened and blued as it is

the wound a puckered
ridge two inches long;
a pleated range of pink
fleshed tied with black x's

have you heard from ---
have you spoken with ---
no. they're all gone

we talk as she
lets the gauze fall
to the floor and wiggles 
color into her toes

all the lovers are miles away
but the bandage is still
warm and i roll it into
a clumsy ball

and help her undress
and ease her into the tub
and watch her hips
and her thighs

and the way the water
rises up around her
arms and her breasts
and consumes her navel

and she dangles her lame
foot over the edge
and i palm her hot bandage
and watch her 

all the lovers are miles away
and my serene girl,
blood on her foot, is right here
and says bend down and kiss me