Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Life Among the Bubbles

this year made a nice family out of the garage
with pale green     then cream
fine     newest
i suppose in a way winter’s new
lotsa pizzazz
with an earnestness that would impress any fair-minded person

have a glass of wine
take an off-season vacation
hear voices
a physician in hell has no motility
so you won’t get any surprises

the sex
the sex
the sex

the bubblist movement 
that decisively broke with renaissance aesthetics
a twenty-two foot statue 
of a nude man with the head of a chicken

he found
a dark brown shard of pottery

she wears dark sox taking off her athletic shoe
it fascinates      the archaeologist
have been touched by a monk or a pilgrim

she gesticulates about an intellectual matter

you can almost put your finger anywhere here 
and discover antiquities
she wears black
her hands are more perfect
than any renaissance sculpture

we can’t stop construction
red plastic shoes
it required them to build a raised
o please don’t go upstairs     i don’t know you yet

the sex
the sex
the sex

from Auto Bio (2010)

Monday, January 2, 2023

Official Notice

we regret to inform you of the loss of your life
you may have missed it     it happened
several hours ago when the river suddenly woke up
and it became its own raft     your life
and rode the current into the blues of the sky
while you were still fighting     trying
to dig your eternal notion of a graveyard
to plot some way to institutionalize the clouds in front of you

	is it happy?     we don’t know
	it’s still ascending     not sending back any letters
	but maybe     if you go to the souvenir rack
	and pick out a really pretty postcard
	it’ll come back to you

Monday, December 12, 2022

A Working Class Kid Goes to College

the floor     in the story     asked us to just be quiet
so we tip-toed around on the walls
wings tucked under our jackets
crowns having fallen imaginary
loose to space     past memory
the law of gravity undeniable as soiled undergarments

    outside the building toy animals
    a goat     a dog     a donkey
    an ox     a fox     a lynx
    a set of sixteenth century peasants
    plot revolution
    but none of them looks in the mirror for very long

the little black and white dog
the kind you see in roman mosaics
felt modern     tinted sunglasses now
and wagged his tail waiting
for those bulls with wings     those spirited ancestors
to greet him at the door

    his paw nails are longer now
    he can walk walls

    their tales of castles and finery
    were still cute to him     cute

    he knew all their palaces by name and reputation
    he didn’t know he’d never been inside one

these gods
he’d venerated for what seemed like thousands of years
could teach him to savor the birds
that he knew he could catch up with now
but for the uneasiness in his belly     still puffed up with dog food

he was known     he was sure later     for his foul breath

from Auto Bio (2010)

Friday, October 21, 2022

Expectant Buildings

last night in a swirl of dream
i walked with field gnomes
in the vacant lot where i grew up

they smiled so comfortably
in their small quick strides beside me
suddenly two singers called to them
from separate second floor balconies
and the entire slum around us was gone

so sing to me in the voice of the ocean
    that carries cities of fish in its tide
sing to me in the voices of sea bottom sand
    that the water smoothes into cloth in its ebb
sing to me in the voices of expectant towns
    that i hear near their infancy in the slow rolls of water
sing to me in the foam of the tide
    that rolls in like the lifetime of butterflies

so i found myself happy
in the songs of the gnomes
in the meadow where i grew up
in the bright field of flowers
with no nightfall
in dream

from Auto Bio (2010)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

For My Parents

drawing their dreams
in carts
behind them

like horses
forever pulling bricks
for their own stable

making dragons
of small 
rubber-armed windmills

finding a field
too green
a road too rough for stopping

they want to continue
one generation
after another


on the same road
to the same place
just over
the same hill

from Auto Bio (2010)

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Finding Bones

some day a dog will get loose
find the patch of land just far enough past the yard
dig them up     the bones     the ones
the police looked for for twenty years
before they got back into their cruisers
and headed for the home planet

the force of narrative will goad the dog
into carrying the bones home
despite their glittery brightness
their strange     really strange     taste in his mouth
and he will guard them as his own
despite the will of the pack leader in the house

even when you’re small some things are your own
a dog could think that     a dog can think
and they’ve found that the genes that make small dogs small
don’t make them think they’re small
the class system here is purely physical
and you don’t have to think about it
if no one else can steal your treasures

from Auto Bio (2010)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Second Breath

my brain is getting painted this dull universe
your shy nondescript     taking darts
and your check     your time     say
mommy can't we buy a we?

rutabagas here go lift the day
sweating a car outside
idling badly as a scientist
can only say wow when go crash down the hall

she stopped for an instant
conversation in the tar pit with invisible flesh
words no longer     they go
and you dance

you dance on tires
all the dolphins peopled by career oranges object
what wonders must be across the ceiling in my living room
what wonders must be across love overcame them all
a huge leap      houses zoom in
stop conversation
houses zoom in      a huge leap
she turns says what wonders you have in your head
at ground     move
your sky neutral
you see together
you dance

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Good Earth

this is the excuse of pleasant folks:
medusa's head        bound by a silk stocking
is kept incognito inside a desk
open hands clap until they are housebroken
and cyborgs with dog heads
around perimeters of fish ponds
dreaming           of the blood          the blood

in the sunset come and go
singing of daily mop and glo

o dead god buried          in the wheatfields of south dakota
what commercial trumpets your theme song?
do you rise          like a missile          at night
wet-dreaming of marge the plumber?
does someone          polish the end of your metal
each dawn to keep your thoughts brilliant and clean?

we are all multicellular now
phone us

we are still searching the plains
looking for medusa's teeth
inches deep in the soil

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Swimming Pool Rotunda

be crowded within yourself
empty pass by pools of televisions broadcasting antique profundities
sing along with shepherds who’ve reburied their sheep in house twine
watch the aching of stone at your local amusement park

and what if other people too 
will be walking blind in swimming pools?
after long walks inside clouds
radios run antelope down their own antennae

the magic     opportunity     a new skill
a new memory in the same place as the old one
the steamboats of a leather navy in your coat pocket
you can reorganize yourself as a truck bearing crabapples
sounds lubricated under the steamroller of belief
it’s so seductive     a debt of bone     a cloudscape softened to cotton

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Friday, March 4, 2022

A Jealous Universe

his hips and she was suck
he comes into your party
i could see muscles twinge
and i know
leans against a wall

my landed neck i watched in her thighs and calves
excited and she in this new fingers
i could understand
my landed i neck i watched
she was possessing

i could see him
i could understand
he doesn't move
she was his eyes shown early
he was possessing
i would have

like tired eyes and starved strong
people     and some
began to leave
i felt     each stroke in their van yet
knowing the routine
begin to wonder about the cars
the long feet saturday an apparition
i could see muscles twinge
no routine     heard you cough once
they were possessing the walk
all of us alone     the desert sea
on the lawn  

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

So Yesterday

so yesterday you tamed a cat into a lion
hung a picture of the world on a wall of stars
drove the whole road home from there
to your own rooms that are paradise
and invited it in for a drink

today the sky is so blue and distant
and yet so friendly
a miracle that comforts you
with its peace and its vastness

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Its Elegant Steel Cage

behind the door     plored is advisable
like that died at the wheel     evidence with caged lips
but hats will be wallpaper     the original stables entering a cloud
where princes and elevators built abattoirs within waiting rooms

the voice     which literally cause were gamekeepers
is a journey into the basement 
of a lime-green monkey hidden in the cupcakes
snap that picture and crude pants depart
that means fewer meds year round and    hey     you
more coffee      i’m brewing chewing gum    
floating foundation     we did some myself upward
he passes the supermarket 
speechless within shock and admissible speed

we were holidays then    back when an attempt at charm
taking      saying thank you very much 
that repeating riff for thirty-eight years 
always adding her strange boil
was quite the poker escalator especially when the door broke down
less a mean spirited wearable wreck 
than a jerk with finders’ fees designed 
to prevent earthquake damage      the door?     
it’s still there     glad you asked
they tittered beside the drinking thank you
and the curtain went up and wouldn’t it be for water this time
but it’s a bright sunshiny day     always has been
and the apple reflects     so      mooooooo

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Friday, December 17, 2021

she crosses herself

she crosses herself
            every time a motorcycle goes by
one of the wheels
            the blood roaring into her heart
the other wheel
            the blood rushing out of her heart
            into the holy world
            of her body

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Monday, November 8, 2021

Re: Frigerator

            death is the
            in the freezer but
            it's stuck
            on the back
            and you can't get it out
            without your fingers getting
            and the freezer getting

From Oedipus' Firt Lover (2009)

Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Battle Approaches (cut up after Huelsenbeck)

the rivers your parrots and
the towers’ walls have refastened
oh you rivers
but in freedom        bag man        female your hands
reach into the pockets of your veins

gigantic high silk hats
the shapes of angels

thus you form the hot floods    
they have pitched tents from a misfortune
a great battle passed over you
their dazzling eyes
lungs livers and slashed throats
the enormous ladies’ breasts expand in
balloons of the magi
armies of photographs
your lips’ sleep

gigantic high silk hats
the shapes of angels

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Thursday, August 19, 2021

It Adds a Lot to the Handshakes

my mother brought my two heads west to california
there was an oil on us

quite young     have     in my hand
a very narrow definition of bridge

it’s a lump stretched out flat     i would call a doctor
except for the siren noise

which room was that?     hieroglyphics?
did describe apparition any?

people were living bed in trance experiences
bed was terrified

it lets loose when it moves around
people go there for the family house vista

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Around We Go O Western Civilization

never eat anything small
about a painful dilemma

at first was interested
a vast dome from their 
three hundred years of
kept      company
trading      themselves
like them themselves brawn
for centuries

with the paw they tried to sign treaties
aromatic ways      side harmonies
the nerve center of the confused renamed bacteria
the supreme right to warehouses was the seaport of denial
fixed      was largely composed to western dress
needles to themselves
so sing      a major religion
    sing      dirt on earth
    sing      it could be cornfields
    sing      narrow worlds collide in orange marmalade
saliva the new ocean rolling in
see that as a new horizon
    i am square miles
    i am islands by the dust motes
    i am history in three paragraphs
    i am alpenglow on electric teeth
    you are      out there
    somewhere      too

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Manufactured Dreams

this     hot     breath     of dream
out of the brain of your eyes
goes straight from your soul like a sudden street run
alive     then sleeps outside my window

the cat hisses     scratches glass     slaps
dreamland the way you’ve staggered off the road
but i hear you on the other side of transparency
that distance     as if you’re using someone else’s lungs

as if this dream has been breathing from under water
searching its own white scales as squirrels search for acorns
in good years it’s you looking for a deity
in bad years it’s you looking for yourself
searched for as fish foam eludes cats in its water treason
as deep bread huddles to stay hot until a window opens

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021


            end of the movie
            movie of the end
            of the movie end
            of the end movie
            end movie of the
            movie end of the

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Moon's Influence Completely New Tests

to be kings of          pork
it was even from somebody's radio
medical knowledge of dinner trays
sometimes now it          we
had teeth          very raw
you had it on your hands or it's an echo
than more terrified garbage

neither of us without the ability
to work the taste of this arm

the war center stinko
certifies addition
we could so of this elbow
away from tears:
            the music that would snarl noise outside
            not chain the party is where it enters
            coming into the box          courtroom
            a vivid applause from recorded memory
            can you hear it?
            a very serious animal
            loose from the squeal from last year
            there is no deity necessary
            often          again

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tarzan's Twin

like a moON munching AIRpLANES
lIke ARCHimedes below the FLoor plAYing war games 
on youR cOMPuter
one TWIn STarts     turns to the oTher ASKS
is this HISTORY?

only if you beG fOr it after it’S HAPpEned
onLy IF you’rE numb to the tOUCH of the twine
that YOu Wrap around your knees before you RUN

and then iF yOu tRy to remember the Scent Of deBris
it’s like meAsuring the MOON’S jaws witH calIPerS
FROM a car MADE from the diSCARdED grains
of STAle Bread poker chips     silicON     salt     BONE

LOrd greysTOke where in tHe jUnGlE is your mansion?
can I See it thROUGH the GHOSTs of umbilical fACTORieS
BrokEN Time tunnels ape meMOiRs lEonine preTENSIONs

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Poem from a Photograph (for Adam David Miller)

maybe the coldness has an air about it
maybe the cold air they play 
in the slow movement of a symphony
no comfort     the brass frozen over the strings
cold smoke     the woman exhales
and her eyes cross as they disappear in haze
that reconstructs itself as flowers at her feet
she used to wear them wreathed around her hair
free in celebration not that many days ago

the third sense is memory
i haven’t seen this photograph in several hours now
and few of my friends still smoke tobacco
nothing to remind me     not even dreams of sleep
just the roughened smoke of imagined image
of someone whose hand I must have held 
not so long ago

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Friday, January 29, 2021

Three Dictionary Poems

I  free:
            a political of speech
            being able to

II  ice:
            come motionless
            cover with to preserve
            formal or
            ice cream

III  fragile:
            to break
            and staring

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)

Sunday, January 10, 2021


thank the chair and its shadows
the backrest pillow laid lazily against the seat
the sunlight coming in

thank the window and its politics
the dappled light of leaves
the people who planted trees here

the one woman leaning forward
as if she can’t hear
but she can    the artifice of conversation

thank noon    though it’s soon over
even a day doesn’t dictate forever
even the privilege of this day
even the light feast of noonday socializing
come another day    light will be light again
the day a full day of an again lively earth

Friday, December 18, 2020

Folk Tale

i realize i got confused
didn't know whether it was an airport or a bus station
so i went in
and there were me and horatio alger
feeding dollar bills into a squat machine
wheeze it went
whirr   whirr   whirr
and pound notes came out
each with both our pictures on them
and each embellished with exchange rates

i was satisfied
we were making money

the last thing i saw as i left were horatio and myself
working       making more money
and it made sense
my having visited
it made sense

from Oedipus' First Lover (2009)