Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lunar Basketball

it must be easy i imagine
to throw your head
over the moon
watch it fly
from lungs and feet
that you're watching
and it isn't

from Purgatorial (2004)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

If You Can't Feel It, Don't Answer

the present capillary bed
the bed present becomes exposed to gas
the present gas bed becomes capillary
taking place

they are separated only by the thin tissues of walls
the brownish blond blood
passes through the bodies    gas pressures
and the bed becomes exposed to walls
the tissues
the tissues
with this pressure taking place
they are separated only by the thin tissues of walls
bodies surrounding all tissues
it follows that
since they are separated only by walls
gas pressures
gas pressures
ears surrounding all tissues
can you hear me?
these    are     very    large    gas    pressures
blood    passes through    and
becomes    exposed
gas pressures
gas pressures
can you hear me?
can you hear me?

form Purgatorial(2004)

Friday, October 24, 2014


here are my socks
my old love affairs
my collection of children's magazines
the car i stole from my neighbors
                             after they'd moved away

here's my piano
here are its legs
here are its guts

i could fake it
        by playing all the trills
        just reminding
                        you of childhood
        but you're serious
here   take my childhood
like eating a carrot
                        starting at the root end
after awhile you'll get to the top
                where it still looks alive
                                           and green

from Purgatorial (2004)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two O'Clock

i am not home
and the coffee in the machine is stale already
my staple remover    has teeth
sings to me    even though it was supplied to me
by the office

o aria
o i feel my head floating with your song
the desk's    grey    barrenness
like a dead ocean on a dead planet
and my desk calendar
like an iceberg that still has it together to glitter

the clock is like a sun
a two-dimensional ball
and just before the long hand reaches the twelve it clicks
every hour    above the prattling of the dot matrix printer
i hear it:    the music of the spheres

from Purgatorial (2004)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Poodles

we didn't mind when they put in the cubicles
and supplied the snack bar
only with sugar and fat

we didn't mind the
ergonomic chairs and leg irons

we didn't mind the
intravenous caffeine
or the brain surgery

we do
complain how those poodles strut
when they bark to us about our quotas
and how they pee
at the corners of our enclosures

we complain
but they never do anything
about it

from Purgatorial (2004)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Penny's Treasures

penny's out collecting again

nobody's garbage is safe

she just went through gerry's recycling
got a long piece of silver foil wrapping paper
that shines almost on its own power

she carries it under one arm
uses her other hand to control her cane

nobody's safe    nobody

    she's hit the insides of every can and bin on the block
    used to dive dumpsters
    but her bones won't let her do that anymore
    she'd even grab magma from the center of the earth
    if she could    to hang on her front fence
    give the place brilliance    give it beauty    purpose

from Purgatorial (2004)

Thursday, July 3, 2014


i just read about it in the society section 
of the newspaper
diamonds chandeliers white tie and laughter all around
at the year's opera gala or a reception 
for the latest fad actor
i forget which    but the gowns cut low 
the docility of jewelry
the besotted people trying to look suave i remember

i just read about it the next morning on a side street
diamonds chandeliers white tie and sounds like gunfire
at the year's opera gala or the caliber they used
i forget which    
but the gowns his mouth open 
his eyes open wide
the besotted people    
the stars    closed above him

the neighbors found him in the society section 
of the newspaper
they'd been afraid to go out earlier    laughter all around
the children could even guess a reception 
for the latest fad actor    but he'd been dead cold for hours
cut low the docility of jewelry
as if screaming at the windows    
trying to look suave i remember

the neighbors found him the next morning on a side street
they'd been afraid to go out earlier    sounds like gunfire
the children could even guess the caliber they used
but he'd been dead cold for hours    his mouth open 
his eyes open wide
as if screaming at the windows   
the stars    
closed above him

from Purgatorial (2004)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Remember the Maine

remember the hooligan
remember the mars remember
the cat's whisper
remember sweaty skin beside yours on a hot humid night
remember french fries remember spanish rice
remember turkish coffee remember swedish meatballs
remember danish pastry remember irish stew
remember    countries    that used to exist 
remember the shopping list remember coupons
remember the car remember your pants remember
sweat remember    laughter    remember the cat's whisper
remember the maine remember the bus schedule
remember your mother remember your anniversary
remember the twist remember the beatles remember the night

remember your lines
remember patriotism
remember the flag
remember the trash
remember to take it out
remember the cat's whisper
remember all of us

from Purgatorial (2004)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Approaches (for Judy)

i dream of you because I want you

i saw you once in another dream
in a coffeehouse in a storm i'd imagined
to keep us both waiting there

i dreamed of you later through a telephone 
device to call
warm voice on the other end but only a voice
walking a wire

i dreamed of you later a major event
i wasn't paying much attention to it
clowns hanging from my tongue
i walked out on a unicycle
robots painted me grey
my rigidity    freezing
my vocality    true
til i walked into my own mouth
and the teeth shown like lights behind me
and the mouth closed
and i sang your praises

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Ground

i would see the new town in your eyes
except that i see it in your teeth
rows and rows of white houses
grown thin and translucent at the top
shark's teeth    except for the wear
the grain above jaw the grinding
the decades of hot and stormy winters
the slush and bake of never giving up

such a peaceful face    the bone beneath it
going harder and harder    brittleness not cramp
the hard long swim in one's own juices
the wetness of gaze    the red-run field
behind its center    feeding of blood
the grind along city streets newspapers being delivered

from Purgatorial (2004)

Saturday, April 12, 2014


you're in a tug of war with this man death
strong and young you pull harder
but your body tires
and you drag closer and closer to the line and over
where    now you can see him pulling too
pulling too    drooling
with his eyes ready to open for the first time
pulling too    ready for birth

    and you pull him    
    on that umbilical cord
    wanting this birth for yourself
    to complete

from Purgatorial (2004)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Film Script

time later he just ran
time later he just ran
ran time
time later he
ran    just
just time
ran into time he just
end of the film

he had taken off the
could not find

he only knew    through history
punished himself for his brief pause as a skeleton
      film stopped they
      this should have ended the story
but suddenly the mist lost it
barrel teeth
gods someone had told him was a rich yellow ooze
beams stained blackish green
for almost fifteen continuous centuries
amber horns its husband
      moved    he said to it
yes    another    blanket then

he woke up sometime
      empty in a bathroom
      the inscription away
      then    film eyes
      another shudder running
      the endless loop    one atop the other
      ran    just
      just time
      time later he
      just ran

from Purgatorial (2004)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Vision

otherwise the egg was broken
he set out in a three-wheeled cart for the sunrise
rocks rolled out of his shoulders
and his gaze fell on the snakes coming out of his ears
stop here
this vision is being sold to you
on some level a structure i've learned
in thirty years of writing poetry
it isn't easy giving you this half lie
all you do is open your head and use your skill
and people think you're honest
what lies do guys tell themselves
when they're trying to sell their services to some deity?
is it worth    the fear of soul death
to afterwards    ask
if there was truth in the transaction at all?
does a beggar    care    in cairo
if he looks pathetic in front of you?
the door opened the light shrieked the horse grew two legs
and a guitar rumbled in his lungs
a giant mouth appeared on his bedroom ceiling
he prayed
rivers rose in his words
none of them impressed him as bullshit
he thought only of dreams
and of morning
outside it was dark

from Purgatorial (2004)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


also the insects
gathered in their small kitchen
in a hole    near the hall
each growing rabbit fur
each learning   esperanto
each professing its own nationality
in thunder through its
air tubes
    this strange pronunciation
    i make
    am i the only one
    who hasn't got the accent right
    who still sounds like
    a rabbit?

from Purgatorial (2004)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How To

this is how to read
two books at the same time:

    one in your paw
    one in your hand

Friday, February 14, 2014

Training Session for the Manufactured Community

pauses for the pre-articulate:

slobbering into his teacup
king kong wears a tie and
uses airplanes from around the building
as electric shavers
all this right in public
for money

when struggling to conquer
get your markets straight
make a million
you're a
i'm a
we're all
just the ticket to a great performance

the woman in the t-shirt that says ha ha ha
takes half an hour scraping tea leaves off a table
after the photo op
that lasted ten minutes

that fly
buzzing around her
won't go away

the traffic sign    outside
says    pause for princesses

we're not training frogs here
we've planned our miracle

from Purgatorial (2004)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


at least when we die
we won't need to hear
the horrible violinist at the bridge
at least in our lifetime

he thinks he's brilliant
he's out there every day
during the hours that are light enough
not to be spooky

crossing the bridge at night it's different
you can't really see the town
except what's lit by lights

the horrible violinist may be asleep by now
in one of the buildings you can't see
fiddling with somebody's dreams

(written in Salzburg, May 2013)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Up (for Frank Moore)

i've always wondered
and nobody's ever told me
if ourobos has his eyes open
when he swallows his tail

and how far down his body he goes
how far down he dares go
and the scales   how they feel in his mouth
how they taste

and how i don't know these other people in the subway car
as it begins its arch into the earth
past your house   ready to go back down again
i wave   in my moment of light
then down again   into my sports section
two more stops   two more stops to go

from Purgatorial (2004)