Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Over the many voices
filling our electric world with simple thoughts,
wafting arguments over movie stars and dinner,
I hear a pure voice, her Queen's English
and open soul draws me, makes me want
to sing a thousand songs my life
held back like a breaching dam, not whole
not even wanting to hold anymore.
I was trained in the perfect cadence;
a language only of the mind who turns art into pain,
creativity into lost books too distant
to hold a name like mine. Hers is the voice
tearing open those books, shouting
"I am here and I love; I want to love all
without definitions, not as possession our world
programs us to have from early age:
Barbie-mine. Boyfriend-mine. Husband-mine."

Once in my life I would have wanted her
as my possession, my perfect wife retired from
all the world's view as a secret. Then, as if
from a prescient siren I wrote
"No one owns the sky" and there she was,
as if I asked for proof of my own words
and Providence stepped in and said "Here.
This is what you meant." I hold a mirror
to my face, looking at a reflection aged
from years of battle with the world, years of
silence imposed by me borne of dread
or fear that I would become a wastrel, lost
singing songs only to myself and a cheap bottle
that would give me life until it killed me.
As I write again, the reflection changes,
the young hopeful man I was comes back
with fanfare of words I never thought I'd compose.

You are my muse now, through your openness
I let in many I would have shied from much like
a bunny shies from human touch. We may love one day.
Passions enrapting us finding perfection in
sexual desire not by any definition but
just as nature would have it in itself.
I would never want to own you, never place
the yolk of culture that holds silent
the million million voices who want to sing but cannot.
You are the air that gave me back
the youth of song I almost put away like baseball cards,
each capturing an image too high to be reached.
You are the courage that scares away
the demons long held in fear of rejection.
You are my friend, my friend, and in that
whatever time or the world hands me belongs
to all.  We have written together too and
in that duet I found the voice long buried and forgotten.
You are you. And thank you for that.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


An emulation of love, a desire
which is familiar but not to her
keeps her here. With me or you
she is an actress whose auditions
are prepared to shock the audience
even if their not listening. These colors
in her hair know me somehow, and you
would know them too as a piece of death
that is simple. Simplicity of sight
and a want to be with others is nothing
but a fool's logic and her
bylaw. Keep me for days she says, as if
the men returning on the subway
want to be there. In this life Elizabeth
would return to you, the vaginal return
and Saturn's pull are announcements
of stops the train no longer uses.
A policeman stops her on the platform
and tells her of wanton fish in the deli,
and a sex that no one wants
to pull off; she would answer him
with a stare of decades he
hasn't lived through as the train
shoots by. This stop has been closed
since the forties but she waits for something
that has nothing to do with her.

Friday, April 29, 2011

THE WINTER BORN circa 1984

(author's note, this is my first attempt at a longpoem. It was the basis for my later work Fear of Butterflies)

To have humanism we must be convinced of our humanity. As we move further into decadence this becomes more difficult. --Thomas Pynchon

Tradition is only the history of failure.
As things happen world is and we are not
the rapid color or unfinished stanza. We swing
around loose trees as they swing
in earth's cadences. Here it is, I said,
here are the dancers naked around the trees
and us. They could dance with pieces of world
and we could cross the living room.
In transparent time it snows everywhere, I said,
as it was snowing when we held
watch to our children's faces.

        She reaches for an apple in winter.
        She cannot be disturbed. I recall snow
        and it returns for this occasion, but it
        does not fall, it cannot
        retrace the steps of our descent.
        I think of you in her place;
        I think of you in my place
        with vines purely wrapped around our nervous
        systems. She jumps away. She is
        standing now smaller with the streetlight
        and sleeps in counterpoint to our divinations.

              Hanson the Clown is sleeping
              in a world whose earth
              is only a passing fancy. He stumbles
              through our lives finding his heart
              under the bleachers. He is spotlight
              and is buried along with our illuminations.
              We, you and I, see him not
              as a tornshirt mannequin of our generation;
              lime burning behind us, we are only to him
              a regiment of tightrope walkers, changing little
              while they move from ring to ring.

I hold my watch to a child's face.
I hold your eyesight with the watch between.
A wheel too familiar turns through
a blue line of sky. You are gone.
Now the world outside loads language on the wheel
and it turns to a poem no one had written.
Like an arrogant ballroom with music,
no one's poem is white to the air
as it is rewritten. There you are, I said,
and you stand behind the last hedge
to copy what everyone would copy.

      She wakes and walks aloud
      to the first window as light
      disappears into light. She is trusting
      the passionate fading of stars
      and is alone as the sun is alone
      with night behind. She is thinking
      morning as it opens
      under the street's blunted light.
      She is seeing weather start around her.

           We are moving from ring to ring.
           he is moving through us, lives
           within his red circles around his sight
           of us. He sees through a series of wires
           patches and randoms
           of greasepaints we would imagine
           and cannot. Hanson thinks
           and those thoughts become the accusations
           we could live with. He is thinking
           as it rains through the parking lot.

I copy what you might copy.
You tell me of a quiet accident,
an accenting of words found at best
near the bookstore. I said
Why is there a foreign world. Why
is there earth and air, water and fire,
and a distinction of relationships?
Why do they sleep under automobiles? You said
Look at us in this angle of candlelight
through the large window.
Look at us looking at the others.

      Arrogance of a neutral color
      weather of various origin and she
      stands on the sidewalk
      to hold them together. She is imagining
      us, thinking that we would think
      not of her and her incarnations of light
      and dark around our primal world.
      She is dreaming and we dream for her
      a world without cacophony
      on an earth without geography. Here it is,
      here is the setting for your current life.

        Winter comes to Hanson to find him
        with the family. He is drinking again,
        they would say and not
        like a family but like a group of
        fish, swimming away from the dead
        mackerel. He is drinking. The circus closed
        down years ago and he
        cannot dress for the occasion. He cannot
        think and not think of their limitations
        and his here, under the angels
        of Weinachten. he is drinking.

Why are you afraid of the window
you said. Why are you not looking
at others whose lives are certainly
interesting. Look at the way she decorates
the tree, not like a tree, but a winter
away from her, a winter without evening
but night. Here it is, I said,
here we live and not live
in various living rooms. Here.

Tradition is only the history of failure
we'd say, and look to the outside.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


(author's note, this was my first published work from when I was in high school)

We wave at others
Apologetically. The harm that lives
With us, like a promise of sleep
And good money, stares off into the blue air
While nightmares become,
For the six-year-old behind the wall,
Home for darkness
And this life. We walk into the ground. Others
Cannot follow us home
And do. We must have met there.

The wind becomes warmer
And Wednesday spreads over the airplane
While down here eyes turn toward the echoes above
And are happy. Maybe
Winter will end soon, with
Explosions of color where the dead stood
Afraid of something. The whispers on the parking lot
Become the only framework to run from.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

WORSHIP circa 1986

...as a part of the dream she is wearing stockings,
dark, as her Theda Bara eyes were dark and silent.
Raising her leg with a motion like wind I kiss
the tips of each toe with a breathless touch.
Their movement under my lips were at turns
basic and complex as a watch running just slow enough
to reflect humanity but on time enough
to be perfect. The movement to her arch
may have been measured in hours or seconds
or in the wings a young bird begins to use
for her first flight from home. Her calf muscles
began to tighten under my lip’s caresses, ever
so slowly I encircle in tongue motions
the inches of sinewy silk encased skin with a smile
matching hers, eyes meeting, closing in unison.
Behind the knee so soft, the silk moving, tightening,
then loosening her calf closes to my back
drawing me nearer to the origin of the lives
that would come one day. But not now.

...‘More?’ in dream I would whisper, or wish I had,
she moves with a silence saying yes
as Molly Bloom would have said in the book
I forgot to read for class next morning. Thighs begin
a slight dew drawing through the silk, the sweet
salt of her mist coating my mouth like
a thin primer of paint placed to canvas before
the masterpiece would be created. The motion
from silk to skin mid thigh was seamless, a perfection,
a transition from the work of eastern moths
to the work of human evolution ever changing.
She moaned slightly, on cue, a symphony of one
each tone measured through years of experience
but tempered as every new performance
would humanize it. I moved, as a mouse to food would,
silent, wanting, finding sustenance in her deepest self.
The mouth I speak with meets the mouth
she loves with, a uniting, her legs
wrapping my shoulder like a present
the gift of her quivers, her tastes
the nectar of her passions becoming mine
forever as I am born in the light passion creates
and donates to every morning.

...in the next part of the dream she is nursing me,
I being reborn in the light of her quivering brilliance.
Not milk but emotion feeds me each kiss
from breast to breast I envision my life;
each part, each phase, years become moments:
first toy first kiss first disappointment first renewal...
First Light! The sun draws me from the dream,
the woman beside me sleeping in peace
a soundness as still as a star would be.
Always there, always shining. I stumble in awakeness,
bed creaks with my humanity moving
into culture into identity, the day’s pending realities
blurring and un blurring as I fumble to water
to awaken what dreams would quiet and create.
I look up, hanging with a smile behind me, face
wet with cold water and surprise:
her stockings.

DEPARTURES from 1981, an early piece

for Judi Baba 


There is a sandstorm
and a mermaid.

We were putting away
the hourglasses

and counting
places at the table...

how many there were!
and how many

were caught in the sand.


She denied the feathers
of harder crows. They
walked away with the silverware


for bad movies

we pretended...
skating across our excitement

just like that--the
push off--the

penalty box. We
were ready.

Our white socks
were ready.


Gone from the table,
expected by
someone with large eyes.


Later, the weather
soared pat the station wagon

and rested.
Our best lives

passed the alkaloid
tests--red paper

falling into blue
around us. Like

the mermaid. Like
the sandstorm.


Handsome, she thought,
growing models of named birds
in the backyard.


Or the lack of it.

We could have waked away.
The expected

were hand-me-downs

covering worn
surrounding day. The air

was cracking
into white angles.


We swore
at the green shadows
following us. As always.


on the bridge

of the rented maiden ship
we met few

prospective survivors.
We were ever-so-festive:

ours were
gabardine lives

of severest blue.
The grey mon dieu of pennants.


Even as we speak
apricot trees are dropping
large nested pheasants.


is in season. Every

summer we walk
this on out

over and over.
When the intervening world

hands out tablecloths
would we want

stripes? Would we
want the mermaid?


We counted
the hourglasses. And the mermaid.
And the sandstorm.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Lightning strikes like bad news and is gone.
A photograph may hold it, keep it fast
a voyeur of sorts, collecting quick
a fury dispersed and ragged
defusing the moment into specks of unconnected color.
The tree struck by the bolt never feels
the basis of it's electricity, the overhead mechanics,
winds random buffeting driving power below,
into unknown targets white light pinpoint and finds.
Rain comes too, an afterthought of sorts,
a dream that amazes & terrifies before
it's gone. Darkness fades into lightness
slowly, the rain abates and returns as mist, subtle
touching briefly, then gone.

On the tree a cocoon shakes, opens slowly,
the brown and olive wings of the moth begin
their slow assent to reveal the eye like marks
her wings display. The ancients believed these moths
were allies, Angels of the dead who return
in moments of trial to guide us
away from the unhealthy spirits of ego & chaos.
The moth moves slowly at first, it’s body
heavy with reality; the wings too new to hold
a wind in control but they grow to
feel and rise above the air in a moment.
Freedom becomes her instinctual target, the light
she heads toward above glowing bright then dim
as clouds obscure sun’s passionate fire.

No one owns the sky.
The planets & stars do not come
with deeds of title. The moths and butterflies
belong to those only in the moment they are seen.
Possession is not the way of all things. Only
humans limit themselves this way, a mantle
of sorts, carried with discomfort and yet
all too present. We define ourselves by what we do,
not who we are, running with fear from others scorn,
we censor ourselves to degrees so deep we cannot
recognize the backward image in the morning mirror.
This is folly of our own arrogance, our fear of separation
from the basis of a nature we were taught to control
but can’t. No one can do that. You

have stepped above those foolish definitions, the
possession of others as a tool to fight our own
shortcomings. The ancients had many words for love,
paternal, romantic, sexual, familial, all were different concepts,
not wrapped in one word or one sad need to grasp
what was never meant to be grasped. You are right;
you are the moth whose eye marked wings
carry the body of reality high above us frightened
animals. No one can own you entire.
No one can own anyone entire, yet that pursuit is always
the lingering foolishness that keeps us away
from the deep passions the knowledge of others
would build in ourselves. Fly, always fly, little Angel,
touch here only when the land feels no storm from above.