poetry

highlighter

my books are my mind

spilled out in pages
scattered across shelves

i am sifting through my ancestors
the sacred and profane
remembering and forgetting

i am becoming

my path is a line of green
highlit fire

I am a thousand flames
words
called forth
from the black ink

to think
is to divide:
each letter
infinitesimally smaller:
the beating of a heart

god
i love the fire
pressed through me
called forth by the word
into difference

yes i am
fractal
infinitely recursing
into flaming colors

books within books
are written
as my soul exults
in the infinity
of spaces
between words

Waking Up in Washington, D.C.

it is 9 o'clock in the morning

and my brain is full of tongues

i woke
to a president's plan
for an ailing economy
pressed through
a recalcitrant congress
ground finer still
by the pecking fingers of reporters
stuffed into the airwaves
like a sausage.

my dreams were cobweb
clinging in my mouth

I prayed
in the light
as I waited for the snooze
my dream persisted
like hope but soured

a sharp toothbrush punctures
my reverie
not unpleasant

i elect Ira Glass
soft king of my ear
for breakfast
a small truth
etched deep
into five acts

there is coffee
moving quickly
and I go
full
before the dawning fluorescence
i was predestined to arrive
a little late

i know how to empty myself
but where does it go?

time swept me
like the metro

. . .Read More

Firefly in a Jar

The echoes

of a night
drift
through my screen mesh.

A man explains
fervent
against a Crown Vic's
acceleration.

Crickets pulse
aloof
as tree branches
rustling above.

And why
does a horn slice
insistent
across the rustling
of dry leaves?

Anonymized
by distance,
a dog yelps
in pain
incomprehensible.

Our city
vast as starscapes
whose lights
yet travel
to our eyes.

i am a distant hope
i make no sound
my ballpoint
is a ninja.

How much less am i
than a single cricket:
whose sound brings sex
the thousand-throated drums
of pheromones in ecstasy?

While yet
my pregnant wife sleeps
through her symphony
of ninjas.

One evening soon
the rain will fall.
I will watch
the smallest inifinty
of sound
blanket her all.

Hope begins

. . .Read More

i am (i am) among the 9 thousand

the day barks:

a hound set to guard
by inner clockworks
officious, vigilant

exhaustion
nine thousand anonymous
lapping at the will
an attriting ocean

once again it bays
thirsting for work
and feed

"i am (i am)"

yes, and i am
i say
but less
in the dawn

oh the ceaseless dawn!
calling me to life
from wordless desire

ah how it tracks me
9 thousand distinctions
shattered from a single pane
and the wind carries a howl
through the broken glass

"i am (i am)"

i see that you are!
and i am less!
who am i this morning?
who was i last night?
who shall i be today?
why do you track me
you bloodhound
where do you come from
on the coattails of my grief
to the citadel of my self
where i had thought to rest

"i am (that i am)"

again you are?

. . .Read More

the leafcutter ants

i remember the hammocks
staring up
into the meshed leaf canopy

a midwesterner in paradise
still working

i remember the hammocks
of paradise

high in the leaf canopy
i strove against the leafcutter ants
against the green-hued sun
to build a haven
where all things stay
where put

i remember the hammocks
where i strove in my mind
as my body rested.

Impossible Exchange

porn

is a hell of not having
but seeing
the transposition
of infinite desire
laid over the world
on a screen

there is no resolution
to the seduction
of the symbolic
it remains
an impossible exchange

the object of desire
does not exist.

you are
as attractive
as you are
and have sex
when one woman
is not too tired.

but what you have
you have
through the trade of yourself
really the only currency
worthy of another.

this is the beauty
to remove the shades
from your eyes
and view yourself
and your love
unmediated
by the funhouse lenses
of the impossible.

how we have grown the impossible!
in ways beautiful and terrible
in images we create.

but let us make love
naked
as we are
flesh to flesh

this is the way
of honesty
we have trodden

. . .Read More

a tin sheriff

He kept us there
imprisoned
after he constructed a facade
around the the sheriff's office

it was the tin veneer
of a general store
he sold permits and titles
to goods and lands

. . .Read More

the world as she stands now

she was
good at birth

her age
like cracks
in a foundation
spidering away
from crabgrass

i love her always
this world

i love her as she is sinking
into the earth
like an ancient mansion
returning to dust

i love the earth
so much closer
as we sink
into herself

for she is both foundation and ground

i recall her
to herself
who she is
and was
and will be

she reminds me
of her birth
as she stands

i love her
as she is
created good
and sinking

bicycle-gholem

the fire in my flesh

a bicycle-gholem
from the amputated and discarded

the bionics of a thousand worlds
all impossible, forgotten
a lace of time
resolving to now
discarded limbs, all
remembered
touching and flexing the lost
moments of departure
dead flesh kindled
in the fire of what was not
the haunting
of a limb that never was

i feel the jar of steel
through my hands and feet
as i ride her
the memories and frustrations
carry me

oars in the water

i am myself
lived through me
another's hand
upon me

i am in love
with her
she is a prescient guide
past my doubts
and troubled questions

I must persevere
as I have done
for less
towards less.

There is no returning
only the dip of oars
soft in the night
lapping at the stillness
in my soul
as i move towards the moon
on the water

ahab

I am Ahab
that terrible king
of self

Fate
a godless windup
ratcheting its red arms

Blasphemy
is an empty hatred
motored as I am
a blood-turned turbine

Hope
a harpoon
thrust towards the leviathan

Life
crushed to oil

Fuel
for the machine

god of a tiny world

i am awake in dawn

thoughtlessly alive
in a stream of life

past a collection of islands
against a grey sea
in a system of seas
infinite swirling grey
revolving about an black abyss
that is needing

i am moving
in increments
of eight
by sixty
by sixty

I am moving
still smaller
past atoms
quarks
leptons
bosons
and fermions
the spaces between things
are not rules, no.

exuberently tiny
in godless exultation
the freedom of matter
in rivulets
down my face.

Love through War

Our God
is an AK-47

he said

we love
with power

yes, i thought

a distant steel
penetrating
like a bullet
to the heart
a bang
and a glittering silence.

Someone Else's God

God was a tiny speck
I saw him
narrow
through the iron bars

Thrashing
in white
I threw myself
straightjacketed
against them all

I love my just so God
white like me.

pearl in my teeth

your love
is a hard pearl set in a wound

i wove it pink
of my anger and blood

a hard thing
set in the flesh of my heart

i gnaw it there
smooth against my teeth

i am cold
clenching a pink flame
blood warm in my mouth
yet i am cold

cold as truth
in ones and zeros

i am god
of the spreadsheet
my tiny perfection
translucent with pain
clenching a tiny world.

unemployed

i am taking apart

a world of legos
color by color
ink is dripping
like blood
from latexed hands

putting together
my feet slip
and I lay sleeping
where I have fallen

i wake
in bloody morning
to dip my pen

i make a list
of poems
messy
as the dawn

People of the Corn

The dry corn clatters
grey and crumbling
a mocking death.

the wind blows from deep
within a fetid machine

it is a wind
of power
of money
of commodities

the corn knows
the wind.

snaggle-toothed
it speaks:

Listen prophet!
hunger it knows

dry weeping
for water

drinking
what is blown

grey and dying.

God

A tender God brushes,
gentle
insistent.

She asks me to ask
“Where have I been?”
I am asking
myself
less gently
than She.

Who could neglect Her?
that tender power
un-presuming
I cannot speak
after all,
what does one say
to such a God?

A love
so whole
I must
but cannot

the distance
She reaches
to touch.

into the night: adolescence

whiteness

is a dream
i woke to
soul screaming
with bad rock
in an adolescent doldrum

suburban night
was quiet
i ghosted
in obtrusive black
a glowing cigarette
against an empty playground

the night
is a dark love
of mystics and devils

the moon
a perilous mistress
hard against cement

would you ride her to God
small man?
as yet
untested
by the mediocrity of morning
a thousand sands of day
wearing the heart
to a lumpy putty

a rage
would crash against the sea
at least a few times

and tear a king
from a white paper heart
burning

and pressing on
towards the shining letters
white in the headlights

a billboard in the distance
brilliant with moonlight

and another billboard
tall above nebraska's
golden waves

not even out yet

. . .Read More

The NSA

I do not exist
he said
nor does the agency
I represent.

Harken unto
my absence
and the deafening noise
of silence
defiantly
unmaking.

a living god

i am falling
(it's true)
so far, i think

a living god
holding
in this abyss

am i ever alone?

so tender
a feather
floats...

alone
but this tender furious
God
is holding
rocking.

i am none
in black
soft vertigo
to where...

is that
un-knowing?

remember in absense

Memory is a world

the sawing bow:
a violin strung with humans,
quiver with melody
and ache forth tears.

I am a world
I carry with me
dying a life
somewhere else
I am a memory.

a poem
frozen lipped and dead
the world is this woman
gorgeous, a keening wail
the wind kisses her hair
she is memory
and I the wind.

and walking back
to walk the slumbering walk
in this world someone killed
but vexes continually

the world is a gorgeous woman
frozen-lipped and dead
and the wind kisses her hair
like memory

The Taming of the Verbs (or) Fathers and Sons

The Taming of the Verbs
or
Fathers and Sons

On all sides we were beset
By Adjectives and Nouns
They pressed against relentless
But us Verbs, we held our ground.

They tried to hold us still
To ponder where and what,
But we quite had our fill!
We held our tractless rut.

Like footprints in the sand
They wooed our formless band
To mold our frenzied act
Like beads encased in hacky-sacks

But we proved
Impossible to ride
Foam stallions of the tide.

We rushed about in frenzy
Like tumult of the gods
And I was one made dizzy
Smashing through the odds.

. . .Read More