Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Intelligent Design

Such monumental mulling went into it
That any reversal of fortune implies a bid
Against a house of curtaincalls, accordingly
Carded for the timeless therapy of a spree;

Such purposeful pain and purity went into it
That you’d think none of us rightly trim and fit
To gainsay the dead for the utility of bread
Effected by hordes envious of those who fled

Shadow-wise.  Credibility marooned, bereft
Of tantalizing foolery to foul a dreamer’s yield;
It builds seascapes to sail, a pagan’s point

To parse the sky’s failure to repair.  I’m left
All alone, ozoned bones brittle and dis-healed,
Paying sharksuited lawyers to sue the joint.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Envy Wallowing

Imagine for a second that you’re Mookie Betts.
He’s about your size. Runs more, lifts more,
But sideways you’re about equal. Imagine
That you rolled a seven, hit the number,
Put your money on the longshot horse, drew
Inside for a straight-flush; imagine you blasted
The walk-off hit that wakes up the stadium’s
Pagan Thank You. You have a god’s body
And enough treasure to start your own country.
Imagine it’s guaranteed, no fine print, all yours.
Imagine flying an airplane after hitting a homerun.
Imagine sliding on the turf to snag a slicing hit.
Imagine stealing second then third then home.
You are Mookie Betts, oyster and pearl,
The best thing that happened to your team,
The best thing that happened to your friends,
The best that ever happened to your family; go ‘head,
Ask them. Imagine you’re Mookie Betts eating
Prime rib in a classy place with an umlaut name and a chef;
Someone in the lavatory wants an autograph
After you pee and wash your million dollar hands,
Mookie Betts, the best thing since regular guys
Were invented. Imagine being resident on Mt. Olympus
With the other beauties, a chest of gold and diamonds,
Platinum, jewels glittering in piles, and someone
Somewhere building a temple, an altar for bowing
In cap and jersey, Mookie Betts, number 50,
Boston Red Sox home colors.  Imagine being Mookie
Betts with the kind of money only a moron
Or a saint could squander, and having a name like Mookie,
And all you ever have to do is show up to be loved,
Just get out of the car with your entourage
Of friends, walk into the building, the stadium
Toward the front where the emcee is standing, waiting
With his microphone to introduce the greatest person
In the whole world, the best, the only, you. Imagine
Being Mookie Betts for one eternal second.

Friday, June 30, 2017


My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,
Saying mom was fat, dumb, and should see a shrink,
Though we all got used to that.  She was the boss.

No matter your age or how many grandkids you toss
On the family pile, you always stood on the brink:
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us

Wherever we were, as she saw fit.  Without any fuss
She identified her targets: we were her playthings!
Though we all got used to that, she was the boss,

With underlings to beat down, to belittle, she’d cuss
In our faces till we cried and fled the family shin dings.
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,

Thinking, perhaps, we’d get stronger, more robust
Of spirit, ready to take on the world, and never sink!
Though we all got used to that, she was the boss

That gave no promotions, no praise, tallied each loss
In columns with our names attached by chain-link.
My grandmother was tortured so tortured us,
Though we got used to that. She was the boss.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Orgy Over

all the world's battlefields
like monumental beds

where millions sleep it off
in the arms of one another

after going at it like hell
like there's no tomorrow--

walking through this one
on tiptoe not to wake them

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gerontic Fable

Two people meet in the middle of a bridge. They start talking. One's dressed in blue and the other's in red. They finish their conversation amicably, and walk off in the opposite direction, each scratching her head in confusion. "So, how was it," is the question they face upon reaching their compatriots. "Fine," they say. "But those people have a hard time with reality." Suddenly a speedboat shoots by beneath the bridge. Its co-pilot holding a sign that reads: Jump, jump and we'll save you!

Monday, May 29, 2017

In This Garden, May 28, 2017

In this garden there are no fuming voices
With answers and choices that are neither.
On a Sunday with a woodpecker and a fat jay
Singing for their stake, in the shade of hazelnut

Bushes, now trees you can’t control no matter
How much you need deep down to grab hold
And steer them, hydra-headed it all comes back
Like the offspring of war.  Today I let it grow

As will, as squirrels bellyflop from the branches
To help me drown out the very best gone sour,
This hour when the lizard makes a mad dash

Between nettle cover along the narrow path,
Their hands wide open to the angle of the sun;
Already critical of what I have yet to write down.

Monday, May 22, 2017

America, the Game

In the game some play
By the rules, others slay
According to the aim
No matter what shame

Gets visited on the game,
The aim is always to win
And climb out of that sin
Losers feel all the same.

Unless your God awaits
With a book of notations
And timeless quotations
For your choice of fates,

Playing the game of lies
And disdain for the whys
Lands you the only prize:
Fear, in power’s disguise.

Rules apply to saps
And those with a vision
Of eternal damnation,
Feathers in their caps

Burning as beacons
For the whole of creation
Like blushing deacons
Witness dog exultation

On the corner where Go
Has an electric fence
To fry the poor and low,
Whose capital offense

Is being. Hence a God
Or a conqueror’s bod
Since the game’s rules
Are meant for the fools

While life means zero
To the capitalist weirdo
Whose one God is fame
And a moneyed last name.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tourist Posture

Russia ascends.
Russia about to be

a bottomless pit
of misery.  African

lives on the up.
Agriculture, industrial

output motherly.
The Amazon thrives

with life.  It slithers
dead zones

of epicensure.
China falls to modernity,

treats the world
like fuel, face-

savings in the bank.
Things to worry about

are things to love
and love is something

to worry about.
Billions build

towers of elsewheres,
hungry droves

in groves of children,
orchards bathed

in American
chemical ingenuity

proper calibration

of the sights  
to safeguard peace

on earth, good will
to those whom we ask

their souls.  See,
the slouching bear

on TV, decidedly
polar, on a drift

of ice once
a continent of snow

the whole year.
God’s people, thank

God, on the case.
Not for beasts, perhaps

but others
who turn out not to be

too greedy, too needy
for their stay.

Hope is elementary,
and wants to keep it that way. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Events Like Me

And then the president
Or someone blew up the buildings.
Then the mongrels took over. 
They made it plain as day,
Heartless tongues awag. 
They cut along the dotted line,
Two snakes emerged, each
A hissing lullaby for the baby
Bundles out on a limb. 
Then the whole nation wept. 
The whole weeping nation then wept
For revenge.  Patriot nobodies
Built bonfires at the center of the park.
One neighbor has two of everything. 
One likes the challenge of bows
And arrows.  Spark ribbons
Twirl in the black sky.
Fire burns up all the best ideas. 
The fire’s idea rises on its own heat
Like a balloon or a diver
Has to hold it in, yellow flames
Glide by on the fender of a 50
Something outlined in silvery light. 
Smiles recreate the moment,
Mother folding laundry, her back a curve
Of aches and pains like a sea-bitten
Tree.  I taste salt on my lips, as it
Was and should be, of earth
When it comes to me, in my heart that bleeds.
Around the planet the same probe
Takes place, the same pace
Of inquiry, the same
Interrogation. Money talks
Up what money makes
Like we speak lovingly of babies,
Milestones of growing old,
Of apples and pears,
Money is life enough for money
To bear, playing songs
It loves itself to hear.  Can I last
Out those who now rise up
Like their grandfathers
Against enemies of the word,
Enemies of the rolling Rs,
The coughing Gs, the straight
And narrow Ss?  Friends 
Of a god whose martyrdom masquerades 
As a misery party
Of unrequited lovers?
That’s when I think it’s good
To be mortal, when I appreciate
Such an event as me. 
And yet I have my days 
When even that's too much
Nothingness to be.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Portrait of a Dog Heading West on a Road by a Meadow beneath a Blue Sky

Blue blue blue blue blue white white white white blue blue
Blue blue blue blue blue blue white white white white white
White white blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
White brown blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
Blue brown brown blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
Brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown green
Brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown brown
Green green brown brown brown brown brown brown green
Green green brown green brown brown green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Green green brown green green green green brown green green
Black black brown black black black black brown black black black

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Rationale’s Pal

On the day the Greater Good showed up, we were just standing around tapping our feet, thinking about what to do next. But it soon grew weary, and demanded action (and an omelet), and it did so in such an inelegant way that spittle rained down on our faces. Some of us resisted, afraid of the coming bloodshed. We wanted to use our heads and hearts. But others began to sharpen their blades. The Greater Good knows all about heads and blades. Some say the Greater Good is nothing but your average vampire. I doubt that, otherwise it would shrivel in daylight.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Price Is Wanting It For Free

He writes a poem. It turns out terrible. He’s hateful, you’re loathsome. He writes a good one, it’s a great one, he’s great, and so are you. Poems get between other poems on a shelf at home. It was always like that, on a shelf at home, in a cabinet, a chest, a box with an airtight seal, a bedroom without a window. He squawks like a peacock about the hummingbird’s flight. It was always like that, cloaked in fine feathers. The poet and the poem have words; hey, you’re an okay guy, the poem says. The poet agrees. They walk off, mind in mind, beneath a blue sky with pink clouds. They’re like lovers. We sit on the sidelines, booing, applauding, yawning, as the moment recommends.

Monday, April 3, 2017

American Citizen

One thing I like about being
A citizen of America
Is how everyone you meet
From around the world (except
Citizens of other white countries,
Citizens of poor ones) bows
And curtseys, mouths agape
When I enter the room,
As if I were about to say something
That could fix it in the blink of an eye,
That could raise the average loser
High above the heads of even the greatest
People the world has ever known. 
You can live in a castle, I say,
And you don’t even have to know
How to add or spell—
My importance to the world
Is the stuff of legend, and my methods
Of rule are universally praised
As the most just, most sophisticated
So far during civilization’s great parade
From Plato toward perfection. 
I try my best to be aware,
To remember that others
Occupy the planet too, and we all
Have to get along.  Listen,
Now this is what we’re going to do,
I tell them, and when I say that,
Everyone pulls out a pen
And a notepad and gets ready
For the important info
On how to proceed with running things
And thinking about things, how to make sure
That it all transpires accordingly.
Even though we discuss
The finer details, go over the numbers
And work out all the kinks,
They rely mostly on me,
On my armories,
On my universities.
Feels good to be American.
One day I thought about how horrible it would be
To be from Portugal, a mythical place
That once ruled the seas, explored
The frontiers of the known
For the gold in the earth’s bowels,
That once set the standard
For others in Europe
And half way across the globe,
A land of knights and ladies
Who, today, have donned their aprons
And patrol the restaurant floors,
Man the kitchens,
Check in visitors at the front desk
And clean the pools
They swim in,
And leave home at the first
Opportunity.  (That’s me,
A citizen of equal opportunity!)
What does it feel like, I ask,
To grow up in a country that had its day,
Like Rome or Athens, whose glory
Was 2000 years ago?
What does a Roman feel now?
How does an Athenian feel today?
I’m an American, so I feel
Like everyone is standing up
Just beneath me.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What I’d Give My Right Eye For If None Were None The Wiser


Sue me, I guess, kill me, hate me, mess me up,
Have your say, judge me as you see fit,
I have no excuses: I’m a goddamned man!
Kingdoms of love forbid me enter,
And yet your posterior surely calls out

Like what gods employ to wake the dead—
A loaf of bread to feel at home—life’s goal to
Kiss that spot only offered to the chosen,
Such gifts to die for, no less than soft words

Hanging pink upon your tongue. I can’t help it,
My body goes into convulsions when you walk
Amid averages, hair wrapped on your head,
Nature’s own style improving the pavement.


Since your beauty exceeds what’s necessary,
How ‘bout I try to make you explode?
If that’s not too much to ask, I mean, let’s talk,
Kick off a briefly glorious orgasmic moment
Always to be there, nostalgia’s muse, ruses

Like the kind that get you hot at night, wet
All alone, eyes rolled back, tinglings, all those
Knife-wound ticklings already well-rehearsed,
Sworn to secrecy, fingers feel for it, drum,

Hit the spot: a flick, a strum to make the juice
Mill run as from a punctured orange, fatly ripe,
Aimed at my face, targeting my tongue—mercy
Needs no awakening in a bottom like yours.


Say it: you believe you’re beautiful, hot.
Have you considered what it means to be beautiful?
It’s not having the most delicious bellybutton,
Kissable and loveable and lickable, it doesn’t
Always mean happy loins (had my fate’s

Love struck a different year, perhaps my own
Agonies might be quelled while your pink
Kindnesses dole charity in succumbing
Sweetly to quake-making machinery, hung

Hopes hard as stone as you crisscross the yard
Mimicking goddesses of old when we all felt
A trembling, a shuddering, our knees buckling,
Now dizzy as you pass, so just beyond reach).


Somehow tonight I restrain myself, I cope, I
Hold myself back because the face you look into
Isn't the one I’m looking out of, the body’s mask
Keen for fragrances, sweet aroma of an ass’s
Angel, endless pleasure protected by layers

Layered in style, fitted to the felicities of spirit—
Am I a machine? Programmed? De-? Pre-?
Klieg lights shine, I whine to stay amid the wall
Shadows, unseen as electric pulses, working

Hobo of non-deeds, a gelded breed Hollywood-
Made from clay whose origins can be traced
As far back as your last lover’s face, stirring
Nirvana’s fingertips wetted by an apparition. 


See, naturally, I shouldn’t be willing
Hell’s fantasies, puckered genitals at my lip;
Imagination as self-abuse! The tongue’s
Karma-tip plunging cavities, wiggling round,
Ain’t exactly a crime, is it? So human, this

Lazy surrender: I’m at your mercy! Please
Annihilate me! Make me thy commode!
Kill me, drain me in a pool of steaming
Sex beneath your feet, soaked by dripdrip

Hammers of joy, ready to drop, to be
Martyred for the sharpening of each nerve
Aimed like an arrow, to make another
Negligible peace with the needle’s eye.


Say that beauty is why, merely to love it,
(Hey, isn’t ugly sad? But where’s the fix?)
Indeed, learning it to become it, to rise up
Krypto-godly, absorbing colors, sounds, feelings
Advancing nonstop. Nomad orgies seed

Languorous pauses on pillows of misfit lust
As your toes get kissed, my lashes learn
Karaoke as incendiary perfumes, lovemusks
Sail like scarves mimic the wind flipping

Hair from your eyes; goddess carved of sun!
Madness seizes, too sensual our senses—
Amateur mystics who failed to look away,
Noosed by the heartbreak-lovely of an ass.


Shall I spread your wings, lick your exit hole?
How about while also doing that, right there?
If greenlighted, I’d work thee to a shudder.
Knot of muscle, life’s door an inch away: nectar
Amended with sweat, shit, piss, soup-salt

Ladled for inhalation; molecules on the tongue, 
Along the lips, the breath of your seat. Zat o-
Kay? But why should I not think of having it,
Shagging it, who cares how it makes your jeans

Hug more style than another’s loss, less
Made for that next phase, that next stage of
Animal-games played as angels: I close my eyes,
Nearer now to those indecencies I'm blind for.


So much in life to let go its merry way, its
Heyday never to come, never to plumb
Itself against the crooked wall, always uprightly
Keeping to the proper stance, the appropriate
Angle of approach. How nice to set my eyes

Languidly to glancing for deep yet brief trances
As you make your way from place to place.
Knowledge is nothing without the fluids!
Some days all my hours are given to dreams

Heaven-aimed in a dense forest of animals
Mapping the treetops with song, your beautiful
Ass as hot as two brown buns from the oven
Nicely proffered on a blanket of wet moss.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


If you could sit awhile and imagine
What it is they’re trying to accomplish,
Hear them out, listen with an open mind
And heart, if you would simply entertain
The idea that they might want something
Or might have something they want
To give to the world, something beautiful
Only they can offer, if you could just
Accept that they too have children,
And families who want to remember
When life was good, quiet, modest, livable,
When you didn’t have to look over your shoulder,
Didn’t have to take the long way,
Didn’t have to walk like a killer-in-waiting,
If you could do that together, then, yes,
Maybe no one will decide to bomb
London, Damascus, Boston or Lebanon.
Those suffering death and destruction
From Tomahawks and IEDs, Reapers
And Operation Suicide Bomber, those who
Suffer the words that serve their passions
Should sit together, eat, drink, tell each
How his Lord looks after the poor, how
He preaches brotherhood and sisterhood
Wherever he lands with a voice straight
From earth. Fire up the grill, crack one,
Remember scripture threatens damnation
For merciless judges who claim to see
With the eyes of God. Sit together, or die
In the dusty street, bleeding, screaming,
Crying not to know the whys, the hows
Of ending up in such a precarious place,
Trembling, stuck in the bloodshot center
Of the bullseye, flights flying the flags
Of doing it the same way differently.
You'd have to sit awhile and imagine it
As it is and not as you thought it was,
Good versus evil versus evil versus good
Where winning means everyone loses.
You'd have to sit with an open mind
And an open heart, ready to eat, to talk
Past winning and losing; us is them
Should be the prayer before that meal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


One finger here,
One there,
My tongue in your ear—

Should do it.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dear Reader # 9

Please be advised
That this will be a poem
And that it will appear

To do nothing
Like your own mind
It will not make sense

Like your own mind
Connecting spaces
To things large and small

Hard shallow black loud
Like your own mind
Simultaneously in

And out up and down
At the starting block
Like your own mind

At the finish-line
Draped in a checkered flag
Please be advised # 9

This is how a poem is
Like your own mind

Cake Winner, or How Father Learns His Boys

father steps outdoors
stands in the yard
looks up

arms wide
palms to heaven
as the crumbs drop

in his eyes
as if on a road
in a Massachusetts’

blizzard building 
until he can’t see
the batter

his eyeballs pack
which he brings back

to show us
what cake looks like
before it becomes

from the morsels
falling off tabletops

one for me
one for my brother
to see 

with his eyes
how easy it is
to win a bite

Thursday, March 9, 2017


Not much of a patriot
I suffer lots of hatriot
When citizen buddies
Come home bloodied
From nights in trenches
Crowded as benches
The first day of spring
When all the birds sing
About love’s positioning,
Pro-life conditioning.
Leave me sooner outside
A stray that can’t abide
Begging for treats or tricks.
I'll fetch, then shit the sticks.

Imagine Imagine Imagine

Imagine being lovingly at ease
On a planet among people these
Making mercy for the right price
As if Einstein’s heart had loaded dice

Rolling snake eyes all night, payment
For previous multiverse infractions
When it was wise to avoid actions
That might the caboodle upend—

Imagine it all, impossibly redoable!
Behind the screen a shadow moves
As I sit upright on my shadowy views;
Intentions, unmentionable, askew.

Imagine being that comfortable—
Threadbare planet, blued by the blues.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

After Mark Slavin's Watercolor, “Two Windows”

In the one facing me the sun bleeds
Weapon-like, stabbing with its petals
Lit up by evening into the room
Like a hand covering the western sky,

And in the other pane, winter
Behind a dusky watery splash, snow
On the ground between misty trees.
You might be wearing a helmet,

And going left, away from the fire's
The best option, if you want to see home
Again, your people, your animals,
The trees in your yard, if you want to hope

Again that everything turns out best, to sit
Where two windows make the corner
A place to be, late afternoon,
With the sun coming up in one,

Going down in flames in the other,
That place at the back or side of the house
Where the dreams that life counts upon
Have half a chance to find you.