Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Journey in the Plague Year

you cannot hide    the cancer cells
clean as smokestacks through the clouds
as fingers on your hand    (growing
extra ones)    there is no villa that will hide us
each one is cancered over with moss
the countess' coach is wrecked enroute
the wolfpack builds around it
scarred and scrawny
growing extra ones
above the trees is factory smoke

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


they're tearing out the floor of my father's house
to put in the monument to his living room
it's a small one
flattened like a headstone    or a sandwich
and though the work is done by people the supervisor
is a chimpanzee    
he's not back yet
everybody is waiting
the cone is almost dug
and the ice cream is getting warm

i pick up a dime off my father's chest of drawers
and walk to the drug store
lingerie is strung across the aisles
baboons howl in the back room
at the deep end of an aisle a child sits
playing with a small red car
a green light goes on above the drug counter
a hamburger truck pulls in in front of the flower shop
across the street
an old man eats roses in the window
wearing a superman suit and pancake makeup

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


if youf ry
you r mar bles
bef orey oup ut the min
the y'll mix
wi thy our brain
bet ter

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lament (for Hans Arp)

woe who who
he woe woe the hay-fish
woe wheelbarrow    thunders
woe woe consolation and snuff
monograms for us    woe woe
why have you    an udder
of craggy reality?
woe woe
now our crowns and soles
are charred at the bowling alley
woe woe
who will eat now
when he tries to entice the horses?
now coffee grinder
now the burning banner in his pigtail
now the rat who will expel the devil
now ships at sea
and umbrella
transparent bride
another sigh kaspar kaspar kaspar
you became a star on a chain of water
woe woe

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Waking Up on the Other Coast

dreams    seek    the thin blue lines of blood
the taste of manna is doubt if that's the right city
    cab by    like a jack o lantern
    a reservation that assures that everyone here
    pays off the night
    the grin remaining the next morning
    dawn's dew appears to be time
another cab goes by the wisdom now has congealed into asphalt
    metallic cat's breath
all the humor 
but really i was born on the wrong coast for this
    manic teeth at the window as the next one goes north
splay-feathered cockroaches eating donuts off the street
the kind they don't make in california
in retroactivity it sounds like complaints through bird teeth
of children playing fire station past extinction time
waiting with their folded sharks' wings
    pastel camouflage
sand now lost to a desert that's built into golden gate park
    masters of ego for that
discovered the next morning under cabbage leaves
restaurants for drowned horses open past midnight
    that's evolution
    and where's that damned cab?
a bus would be a step toward the vindication of dinosaurs
and below all this the subway's running like dreams of blood
corpuscles    embodiment    that's
sweet sleep for eggs

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pizza Shoes

shoe of pizza    your heartache
is my headache    is someone else's gutache
is someone else's sore foot
to the least of us a hot slice

you can wait for it under a tropical sun
you can wait for it under an electric sign
you can wait for it under a rainy roof
try not to wait under the oven

   i hear your footsteps going by the pizzeria
   you've got your pizzas on upside down
   at least the dough protects your foot
   dogs follow you    for blocks
   you know the scent of pepperoni attracts them
   more than the smell of your soles

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Aunt Griselda Sells Out

be sure and leave me
dripping with content
show up again with a normal dust
you the ones who requested this?

i can't see
you described it in a different language
i didn't realize there was no electric stove
in the middle ages and this
the ballot punched the particular person was there

sweepstakes    sweepstakes    sweepstakes    sweepstakes
greenwich village has been full of rich people
for fifty years now

buy broccoli    buy broccoli
buy broccoli    buy broccoli
a mutilation drops her new mug of fresh coffee
aunt griselda sells out

only a sock    only a sock
only a sock    only a sock
items might prove extensively
at home with a pen and a pad of paper

magnifying glass
too much money on the jukebox
is that a bus
or a limousine I just missed?

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Brief Look at Underwear

that cars are barking    
you can hear their horns and wheels squeal
bitter    they have to stay home
while buses write postcards 
to their parents in the transit yard
and traffic draws its inspiration from art in foreign museums

this is all on your opera schedule
underpants and bras flagging in the translucent breeze
the clouds going rancid    yellow with sunset
pages for sale at the bookstore    so go
    1) down park avenue if it smells fresh at all
    2) since i won't be able to look whole in one mirror 
       i'll look in two of them
    3) there is a real difference if it is done well enough
    4) the seagulls who squat in the sand like singing rocks
    5) the clouds are my favorites    i love their city
    6) and after the expedition    
       try to reach down and touch them

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Three Newspaper Pieces

your newspaper grows wings
and flies of its own knowledge
but it flies only so far

newspapers left in the rain
grow eyes    learn
to ask stray dogs the time of day

we have all been newspapers
the sensation ends
when you see your successor
the next day
preening in new ink

Thursday, February 18, 2016


pigeon flies in
through the coffeehouse doorway
then flies out again
   all the tables
   are taken

Saturday, January 23, 2016

For Francis Bacon

a house like a museum:
everything fits in
ripped hearts

each particle

claws that are
sinew inside

its breath

this room
its breath
the varying scents of
dogs' voices

my heart is open as a side of beef

you're too young
to get off the stove
and not burn

dogs' voices:

i have kept all my teeth
since childhood
in one pocket
that bulges now
when i walk

that rattles
like breath
when i touch it

from Cyclone Fence (2007)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

i watched her walk

i watched her walk
in the nubulated sunset

my heart is open
as a side of beef

from Cyclone Fence (2007)