Sunday, August 27, 2023



Of the stringed instruments, violins are sexiest—

That narrow tapered waist,

The thin neck emerging from the upper bout

Like a bare calf beneath a skirt

Terminating in the carved scroll

Like toes curled into the carpet.

The plaintive sounds seem to come

From the dark holes of your eyes

With my hands wrapped around 

Your stringed fingerboard.

I whisper this is making love

Into mysterious dark portals

Without knowing where the words go.

Oh if we could make this last

To somehow forget for a few minutes

More that this is the same song played

On the day of all death,

Not as surging climax

But somber adagio for strings 

Swelling to bittersweet shattering

Two sides of the same cadenza

Tossed as a coin into the void 

Flipping as it falls 

From death to love,

And love unto death.




I read somewhere 

If you're afraid of love it means

You're just afraid of death

I don't want to die,

Not yet. But I'll rise to the occasion.

And so I stay love-adjacent

I keep it close by


Thursday, August 24, 2023


 Poem #48

I want to write a poem

As simple as a series of instructions

When you get to the end, presto—

A stylish new bookcase

That never wobbles

Or a complicated electric toy

That actually whirrs to life 

But there're no books for the empty shelves

And no kids are interested in your cheap plastic gift 

Well then, a poem at least ought to be instructive

A series of steps taking you

From point A to point B

Get to the last stanza

And you’re nearly in Paris.

Halfway to self-immolation

For this to be true you have to know 

Where you’re starting from 

And point A often remains elusive

Which is the crux of the problem

For beginners like me.

Like, where am I right now?

Point B never bothered me as much.

Once you’ve got A, the good poem 

Can take it from there 

Another way of thinking about it 

Is that there is no Point A or Point B

The poem is the between that remains:

Solitary flickering spark

Hovering in the space 

That follows yawning original silence,

Serving as prologue to all the unasked questions

It will never get a chance to answer 

The winter exhalations

Of someone you love standing 

Too far away to tell if she’s

Speaking or just breathing 

The faceless watch that only ticks

Leaving the mystery of the time solely in your hands

So it’s up to you not to be late

A house that’s nothing but hallways

That never spill into any rooms 

The love that lingers

When the room is empty

The room you retreat to

When all the other rooms are full

The notes of a song

That isn’t meant to be sung 

An accurate map of the realm 

Of a Fisher King who will never heal

Mystical incantations

Whispered into the mist 

That take you from wherever you are

To the place you were meant to go 

From whatever this is now

To however it’s supposed to feel



 Dog Haiku

The dog’s eyes look sad

I scratch his head, his belly

His eyes start to wag


Monday, August 21, 2023


 Know Thyself

When you first come to understand yourself

And find out who you really are

It’s like nothing you ever thought

Everything clicks. It was always so obvious.

All those things you’ve done

And the ways you are,

There was always an easy explanation,

A traceable map to explain the journey

From "promising young lad" to workaholic hoarder

Clinging to crumbs 

Fallen from an untouched cake, 

A man so fearful of loss

He'd lost the taste for even

The foods that nourished him.

And not just a workaholic hoarder

With stones stacked around a soft heart 

But an ill-equipped boy who had

To go out alone and find the stones

To build the walls to protect the heart,

Who learned too young that even

Stones come with a cost.

There was once a man sulking inside me

Scrunched up straining against the confines

Of my little boy frame

By the time I had grown into his shape

He had changed into someone else.

Always one step ahead of me, the son of a bitch.

No, this body doesn’t really fit

It has always belonged to him 


Thursday, August 17, 2023



Texting can be frustrating

Thumbs up! Not a diss.

Take it easy.

I’m agreeing! Unironically!

When I say ya instead of yes or even yeah 

You think I'm being a dick

But I was just musing on the Matterhorn

If I respond with a watering eyes laughing emoji

To something clever you've said

It annoys the fuck out of you 

Not everything I say 

Is the funniest goddam thing anyone

On earth has ever said, you say

I didn’t mean that

So I reply with the bland basic smile face, 

The one that looks like if he were an actual person he’d be super nice

I need a fresh selection of emojis

Ones with faces

Bearing expressions

You've never seen before

Suggesting feelings

You don't even have words for



 Secret Third Thing

Some mornings the sky is an impressionist painting steeped in violaceous streaks of timorous soft light. I pull over to the shoulder to snap a picture with my phone but the result never quite captures. A ginned up pick up truck veers too close and honks. By the time I get to work the colors have dissolved into the yellow orange haze. The sun continues to rise. The day arrives. Everything once again is gray or black or white. And all the others. The other colors. The ones I don’t care about anymore. A painting is an artifact of loss. Museums compendiums of everything dear and departed.If I come upon a dead bonfire in the forest I kick at the ashes until I get a glow. A girl once intoned —we swim through wisps of spiraling smoke. She didn’t realize I was the smoke. Duh, the only one here not choking. I can make a fire from the coldest rock. The secret is to slash it against your shin. From memory alone the artists move their brushes across the canvas. Even Monet with his little travel kits. Nothing creative is ever anything new. Just something that everyone else has missed. Bridges and water lilies. Sunrises in places where nobody goes to visit. Whoever’s there has to be there. They can’t be late for work. The lawn crew is running leaf blowers at 7am again. They’d all rather just roll over and go back to sleep. Even the haystacks are dreams. Every painting is a picture of something now gone. Think of it like that. A place you once saw or visited. Maybe a flash of a purple dress in the corner of your eye. All the places that can only be found without maps. The mapless kingdoms, as I rather unimaginatively refer to them. These are the only true places. All else is imagination, or even worse, your actual honest to god life. Imagination synonymizes with real life. That’s the last thing they teach you. Everything you’re conjuring right now is all there is. They never tell you about the secret third thing.  The bastards. She whispers— a memory is the never to be seen again thing that only YOU ever saw. To paint is to remember something that once was. To love is to love someone who’s always leaving you. In the fading evening light Monet was just painting (haystacks). Before the dawn burns away its purple sashes I was just loving (you). 


Tuesday, August 15, 2023


Funny, Not Funny

Sometimes it's hard to laugh

Cheeks heavy with Quikrete

Too much of a lift

I‘ve read all the psychologists

There are only four valid reasons for anxiety:

One, not knowing what is about to happen.

Two, fear that performance won't match expectation.

Three, that you’ll be seen as you really are:

A fool, incompetent, boring, a dork.

And four, realizing that the only certainty is your own uncertainty

About anything, anyone, ever again

At least you won’t be able to doubt that 

You're done with funny

It’s not even worth mourning

You’ve entered your spaced out

Lunar eclipsed nihilist goth phase 

The sunflowers in the trash

Look like sleeping witches

I should spend more time in the garage

So much of my life

I simply am not awake

In the unlikely event I actually rouse

Myself from deep slumber 

It never lasts

Sandcastles at high tide

This cube of sugar in my extremely hot tea

Am I breaking any new ground

Here or am I just, finally, seeing

What everyone else

Has been seeing all along?

On the way out of the grocery

With a haul of freshly pressed shirts

Slung over my shoulder like I’m Ward Cleaver 

I notice a young man buying flowers

With an anxious grin on his damned face.

(The goof, as if she wouldn’t like them)

So, sure enough, there I am, stuck 

In the floral line with a bouquet of garish bellflowers

Hours away from turning into baby 

Gargoyles who will require frequent naps 

As I’m leaving I pass an old guy

With a face like hydrangeas

He looks at me, sees my flowers

And bellows out “what did you do?”

And the corners of my mouth rise

Ever so slightly, but lightly,

For the first time all night 

And I say: “this time I killed her”

With a nicely timed wink 

And I smile and, after a beat, he laughs his way

Into the realm of the perpetually unjudged 

And I keep walking, laughing, walking, laughing 

And pretty soon I’m the only one in the whole world still laughing.

From this perspective

Everyone looks so sad. 




August again

The end of summer

The end of something you

Never got around to naming

Nostalgia arises for a Scheherazadean haze

Obscuring the details of what

Must have been your very own life 

Join me for a drink in the Florida room 

Where the ceiling fan rattles like a loose grocery cart wheel

And no one should be forced to endure these chairs

Wasps leer on the other side of the screen

But there isn’t anything to say

We listen, note the inconsistency of odors

Realize we’re out of gin

Out of gas

I should have mowed the grass

It’s high time we harvested the fruits

Of our own forgetfulness


Sunday, August 13, 2023


 Modern Love

Modern love is a rat race

Swiping left or right

Lunch dates and dinner dates

Different women, different men

Keeping your options open

Don’t fall in love yet

Don’t fall in love

How do you know 

If he’s the one

When there’s a chance

Of loving whoever’s next 

A tiny bit more?

I’m a little old fashioned

I like to get medieval with my love

Racks and thumbscrews  

Castles and moats

My heart on a shield 


Monday, August 7, 2023


 All the Feelings 

All of the feelings there are to feel

Are never as important as the feeling

That arises when a feeling felt

Severs its homoussion connection to feeler

And becomes just another adjective

To describe a noun we regretfully call self 

Most people miss the importance 

Of this fleeting experience, dismiss 

It as mere interregnum

But you always feel something

Even when you think

You’re between feelings

All it takes is a stopping reflection 

Standing in front of a two-way mirror

In the bathroom of the train station 

Many people spend their lives here

Trapped in a way station 

Somewhere between happiness and sadness 

Checking the train schedule

Making sure they have the right ticket 

What about right now?

Is this the correct platform?

You aren't happy

You aren't sad

You're something though

You’re on your way

You have someplace to go



 Discharge Instructions

You may have clear liquids today 

And nothing but salted meats tomorrow

You may lap from a bowl, sip from a hat

You may go outside and wander aimlessly 

In the morning in the evening but never at noon

There will be no more needles in veins

No blood pressure cuffs

No stickers stuck to your chest

You may piss wherever you like

You may experience a tingling behind the eyes 

A gutting sense of loss each time your mind

Releases another thought. 

You may eat with your eyes closed 

You may hot shower

You may swim in a lake

Of slippery insouciances

You may shave 

You may smile in lieu of lucencies 

You may lick or hug or kiss

You may ice cream after dinner 

You may hold hands

You may never let go

You must eat the cone 

You may lift a baby in one hand

While finger snapping to the beat

Of Manu Dibango in the other

The medicine won’t stop you

From remembering that everyone dies 

You must wash it all down with milk

You may call the doctor after hours

For fevers or flashes of ignorance
You may ask him to repeat the instructions

You may not ask any questions

Whose answers are lies