Monday, December 7, 2009


Usually I don't find it necessary to make excuses for my poetry, but seriously I have had a run recently of very sappy poetry and I'd like to apologize for it. If it makes you feel any better it starts out mean.


Love is a four letter bridge
To the mist-shrouded home
Of fools and old men
Speaking Hollywood
Languages of cotton candy.

Love is the flimsiest excuse
For abuse I've ever heard.
Love is a chafing ankle-chain,
The most beautiful lie you'll ever
Celebrate saying, Love is
Pain and a commitment to loneliness.

Love is a spiked bat
With two handles.

Love will tangle up
Your arms and legs as
You drown in shallow water.


There is a word for when
We're close together,
For my lust for the
Salt in your lips. For
The feeling when we
Wake up smelling each other.
For the delicious
Hollow of your throat,
For the murmurs as I
Kiss and touch you. And it
Is not caring and less -
Though it hurts me when you are hurt -
And it is more than
A wild abandon in flesh. It is two
People learning to trust
Again, coming to a place where
Only two live. There is
A word for this world
That defies my halting
Tongue to say "love."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

the backside of NOTHING

An exercise at Zelda's. We had quotes to work from. Mine was "the backside of NOTHING" which I felt was kind of difficult to work with.

the backside of NOTHING

Holding nothing high, I'll slap its backside.
Startled, it will gasp air for the first time and scream
Exactly as loud as the cold outside, as loud as a
Thousand people watching the blank night sky for lights,
As loud as my eyes, as I lie here, watching your face
For signs, in this breathless space where we move in time.



Seeing the signs for Arundel Mills
I knew I was halfway home and felt a strange
Warmth; and I drove into
Baltimore past the harbor I realized no
Other shoes had dropped - and it was
Suddenly so easy and clear, it was only
An hour away, no terrible fights there or
Brought with me, it was even my
Birthday and there was a cake; I was
Brimming over with this feeling and this whole
Season has felt impossibly lucky, and finally I
Understand this holiday; several quiet
Unearned seconds together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009



(for Samantha)

My niece, who is three, calls for her
Popup book as I imagine kings of old
Called for drink, slaves, or favorite
Dogs. When it arrives the pages
Are opened and she gestures at
Alice. Wonderland becomes
A princess's journey through
Enchanted lands...

Cardboard unfolds from each
Page as we turn, two dimensions
Mimic three. We watch her
Spin new stories.

In memory I see old popups of
Mine, pages now worn,
Figures torn. With age
I ruined all these books,
Clutching at cardboard;
I reached through
Silhouettes as I grew
Older and lost
Youthful patience with
Surfaces. I wanted so much
To make my stories real,
I clutched too tightly,
Collapsed the mystery.

My wish for you is to keep
Telling yourself stories,
Find life and love in what you see,
Trust dreams. People can be flimsy,
Possessions betray. Always be ready
To turn the next page.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"You will be ok - I swear it"

Zelda's exercise for the evening: Quotes from the women's restroom in the Daily Grind. This is the quote I got.

"You will be ok - I swear it"

You will be protected from Baltimore
Rats. You will never be sad.

You will love your mistakes.
Your family will stay
Out of hospitals. Your husband
Will crawl back in his hole.

Your friends will be normal.
Life will be simple,
And full of little pleasures.
You will go out to see shows,
And forget yourself in time.
You will be happy on your own. You
Will never feel lonely. This will
Happen to you soon.

We will be honest with
Our fear.
I'll never try to
Hurt or cause you pain.
You will be ok -
I swear.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

When We Were Revolutionaries

When We Were Revolutionaries

When we were revolutionaries
We slept together every night,
Only the thin canvas of a
Tent between our backs
And the knotty ground, kept
Closer than brothers, sought
Furtive pleasure in a roll of
Worn blankets, slept like
Stones amidst the bugs and crickets.

In the morning we went
On patrol together,
Scented the air, heads half-cocked
Like young deer,
Watched the treeline,
Government troops just over
The next hill, as close
As death.

Now the war is over
And our offices are located
On opposite sides of the
Politburo. Still I pass you
In the staff canteen, or
Feel a twinge when I see
Your name on a cross-department
Memorandum. We speak with
Polite affection, mouth the
Party line, smile our
Affable smiles, at
Official get-togethers.

But - when our eyes meet
In an accidental glance
And I think I see a glint
Of memory, I want to ask
Could I have said or
Done something differently?
We expected an unmarked grave
In a forest clearing,
Not this steady burial.

I have no way of saying sorry
Now. What happened could
Happen again. But listen -

One night soon I'll knock
On your apartment door,
Cash, clothes, and papers
In the car, and in my hand
I'll have two tickets
For the last train.
What will you say then?
What will you say?

My Love / Dead Alive

Two poems here. Glad to say neither is the self-indulgent bs I've been doing. Normally I do one poem per post but neither is really worth putting in its own post.

First one I wrote at Spellbound (goth club) Sat night.

Second one I wrote from a Zelda's Inferno prompt - write a letter to someone in one of your favorite movies.


You've never done me
Wrong. Smile at me
One more time. Love
Me as I love you.
You're always there
For me, waiting
In my mirror.


To the Protagonist of 'Dead Alive'

One night soon you'll realize
Your mother's love was never love,
her greedy ownership will grow
And grow until it swallows
Anything you felt for her before.
Cleaning her house is not
A healthy thing for a young man to do;
Get out, get out soon.
Oh by the way,
She - not you - killed your father -
Just thought I'd
Throw that in there.
Get out, get out of that house.
Ask the girl from the grocery store out.
But wherever you decide to go-
Avoid the zoo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

lost, my enemy

lost, my enemy

I'll put
the torch to your pyre anyway.
(we're all in the mood
for an auto de fe)
but where will i go
when the cold north wind
blows your ashes past the

for so long i defined
myself against you, you're
gone and i'm falling over
loose, rolling awkward,
aimless, sideways, backwards

and i'm so angry (bent over
nursing it for all it's
worth) that even years after
i'm deformed, a you-shaped
hole burnt through

but when the cinders have gone
out where will I go, what
should I do?

you've left me lonely
here without my
hate for you.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

You Knew

This is totally the most goth poem I've ever written. Seriously still a bit ashamed. And let's all remember not to confuse the author with the protagonist, k?


You Knew

You knew what I was when you picked me up
Slick, cool scales against your skin
Gently, smoothly moving, convincing
I could be more than alien

I deceived you, in the story,
With my cunning tongue,
But your glittering eyes
Are never mentioned

When you bent down, warm breath on mine
Compelling me, that was
In my nature too, sweet lies,
Making music between me and you

Drowning together. If I could
Have held back my fangs I would
Have. You'll know my nature
Better now. You should.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Call Me

Call Me

Give me a call.
Or don't.
No big deal, you know.
I don't keep track
of who called who last.

I called you a few
Days ago, not that
That matters, you
Know, not that
I care, I don't.
I just don't want
To be the last one
Who called again,
Which I guess
I am, but
you know,
who's keeping track?

I wanted to ask
if you were busy
Or, I mean, I
know you're busy,
So am I. I've got
These things to do
And you've got work
And school, we're both
So busy, really, really
Busy. Yeah.
Maybe you might
want to hang out
again like last
weekend. Or you
know, go see a
Show, a movie, ah
It doesn't matter.

Just call me when
you get a chance, or
I'll call you, maybe,
In a few days, no
Point in waiting
By the phone,
I'm not waiting-
I'm busy, that's all,
I have a schedule.
So I don't have
Time to wait for
Calls, that's all,
And if I'm up
Late, I'm not
Waiting for
Anything, you know,
To happen, no.
It's pure coincidence
I'm waiting
By the phone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Three Smart Mice

We had to work with phrases again. Today's phrase was "Three smart mice woke me up this morning."

three smart mice

three smart mice
woke me up
this morning.

little voices
creeping in
my ears, merged
with my thoughts,
around my
guilts and doubts,
stole my motives,
purloined my
urgent reasons.

today I will
read, half-dazed,
eat apple cake
(with lots of
crumbs), wander
in a haze-

today I will
live simply
in a warm
room, feet up,
sleep early,
dream of
careless love.

Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina

I know we
Can't be together
I just wanted the cards
To tell me we could.
Was that wrong?

Four Emotions

We had to pick emotions off a list and describe their physical manifestations.


The old oak tree at the cliff-edge-
From a distance your limbs are gnarled
Stumps barely rising from the earth-
From beneath your old roots hold
Up the cliff and the precipice.


Vehicular Rebirth

Driving nine hours south
The rhythm of passing and
Watching the road follows
The beat of your heart,
Your hands are the wheels,
Your eyes are lights.
When you stop
You learn to walk again
The pain from knees and neck
Makes you gasp and shout aloud.



I've cut one nail too deep.
Seeking the truth, the whole you,
Asked and answered now,
And because I want to be consistent
In my life and love
I have to clip them all the same.



Two hours later than I wanted to be
I missed my left and couldn't park twice.
When I came in
You hugged and kissed
Me. You had
Done the dishes,
I could have

"late August afternoon"

The quote I had to use was "a languid rainy late August afternoon."

"late August afternoon"

An angel passed,
Languidly lulling sleepers with blessings
Raining love liquid, distantly,
Late for it's
August appointments
This afternoon.
Afternoon lovers looked up
August-warm wondering
In the dark-sullen late
If the gentle touch on their skin was rain
Or the languid breeze
Of an angel passing.

Dear Diary

I haven't had a lot of creative energy to spare lately, I guess. I've been writing poetry but it didn't seem good enough to edit and post. But I wrote one I kinda like today so I'm going to get caught up on my backlog now.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Furious Energy I Can't Explain

Another poem written on a napkin, using a Bail Bonds pen (you know what I mean) in Leadbetter's. Around 1:30 am this morning.

Furious Energy I Can't Explain

Like the flame that kept burning
It's two AM and I'm still drinking.
I'm on my sixth beer and awake and alert.
Maybe more than I was to start; there's a
Furious energy I can't explain making my heart
Beat twenty times a second. And the yells
From the crowd excite me like they're
Shouting in my brain; the same loud
Thoughts are thundering and keeping me awake!
Standing at the bar like I'm running in place
Breathing through my teeth, rictus in my face,
And all I think is one more
Song! And this place will

Fifty Minutes

One of two poems written last night at Leadbetters around one am. I love Leadbetters.

Fifty Minutes

You could set the clock forward fifty minutes
And everyone would thank you for doing it;
It's one now; closing time is two in this town;
We're all marking time and looking for excuses.

The singer's drooping in exhaustion, her voice broke
And she's coughing, the barflies can only hear
Each other laugh, looking at the same familiar face;
The girl and her date, each waiting for each other
To ask, would love a chance to walk home in the rain.

The billiard players are swaying on their feet
The business men, watching the tv, don't even
Know the score; they can feel those pillows now
Thinking about another hotel night alone;

And that's how we drink another
Sullen August Thursday here in Baltimore.



Driving to work
Not watching the road,
I floated, dreaming,
A cloud in shadows
With just a corner
Of my mind in my car

And the rest of
My thoughts following
The corner of your mouth
Passing the quirk in your brows
Circling the warm brown
Oval of your face-

And just as I reached my space
A car pulled in and missed
Me by inches,
As if to demonstrate what
Incredible fortune this is.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Green Places

Zelda's exercise tonight: something about green places, or the most frightened you've ever been, or I don't know, a whole host of other things. Anyway so I went with 'green places' because I remembered this image.

Green Places

At altitudes you find
Suprises; there was a burned copse of
Trees we hiked around, a swath of
Ash, juniper skeletons poking through
Like dead men's fingers, and then
Around the corner we saw
A tiny patch of wildflower strewn
Meadow, soft green and gold penned in
By granite, the most vibrant shades
Rembrandt could never paint
In the autumn-crisp air
And I knew I could never own a
Camera, never capture this,
But always would have the
Afterimage when I think of
Climbing high into the mountains.

Coming Home

Coming Home

Before I slept in your arms
I had never been home.
Before I made breakfast
With you I didn't know
How it should taste.

But now you're gone, and
I'm here, and I've been
Tasting you all day.

And I can't stop my face from smiling,
Thinking of you, wherever you are,
Thinking occasionally of me.



Until you came along I
Never knew what that jack was for; and now
The heartbreaking sound of Nina Simone,
Breathing through my speakers, merges
Gently with your sexy classical playlist:
Making out to Mozart, Shacking up to
Chopin- and I never could have guessed
This music lived in my little stereo!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



Even by the sea,
This heavy air barely
Moves at all.

I'm waiting here for you
As I'm always waiting:
choking on my own hot breath,
Crab in a puddle, left behind
By the tide, thirsty for new water.

Couples walk on the cobblestones, passing me.
My body's wires and pulleys, slumped
Against this wall.
What I have is a red stain
On my rags; it's been wrung out now.

Yet once if you said one word ah then
If you but looked at me that way
As you used to do, or smiled at me,
Or called me in that old familiar way
Blood would spring from the stones
In my heart and this puppet
Would dance-

the Other

the Other

I heard "camera" then saw one in your hand
A little old Minolta with a shiny lens
Even asked you about it, when you said it
Wasn't there I couldn't believe you for a moment.

We all see what we want to see, need what we have to need,
And when there's someone else we see
What we want to see in them.

A little while ago I thought you were my life
Saw stars suspended around you
Air move - just a trick of the light.
Funny what tricks the mind can play with hope,
A small diversion for you, for us both.

Die, You Maggot!

The Zelda's exercise was random sentences from random nouns and verbs. This is dedicated to Mike Monroe because of the first sentence (which recalls a lot of his work). Also I think the title is cribbed from Jodie or Suzanne.

Die, You Maggot!

Guitars breathe through this wreck of a city,
Shouting our elbows rub out smiling sentences in the margins.

Riding men, riding women, the fire follows love igniting the trash-strewn street.
Urinating gasoline, I turn the floor to ice and diamonds.

Swinging glass hangs in shards, reflecting us in detail.
Ice cooks in your gaze.

The chair wakes as I pass, the table dances.
My song is blood through icy gasps,
Ripped fabric fluttering,
Screeching violins in chalkboard chorus.

I'm shedding monstrous visions that infect the atmosphere-
tiny horror-waves climbing into ear canals and optic nerves-
Soon you will breathe the pulse of my madness

And I will sing of cockroaches
Crawling on the edge of the planet
Breathing through their glossy black carapaces,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

This is more like a blog post than a poem, really. Well luckily this is a blog.

Here Comes the Sun

One time - one Halloween at school-
I was feeling down, as I usually do,
Went into a building and came out a few minutes later
With 'Here Comes the Sun' playing in my head.

Not sure how it got there. Maybe the sun had come out.

Anyhow when I walked in I was down, when I walked out I was up.
If I walked back in again, would it have reversed again?
What does it say about us, when our moods change so easily?
A shift in the weather, a little comment from a friend, anything-
And so many times this has happened to me.

Unforced Errors

As I recall (and this was a while ago) the exercise that day was to write about our mystical experience. Well folks, this is about as mystic as I get.

Unforced Errors are my Mystical Experience

We're a noisy, stumbling crowd,
Part beast, part god,
Funny in our slapstick way -
Ricocheting in the
Narrow space we make -
Striking together hard
Enough to see sparks.

Blind creatures living in the dark.

And when I see him, see his face,
I know he will lie to me
Again. After the lightning
Comes the rain; we are born to
Pain and live in pain.

What am I searching for?
Why do I scrabble and scrape?
There's a spirit in each of us
That yearns unknowing for its source.

Been Writing, Honest

I've been writing and not posting, lately. Too busy? Maybe.

In any case, I'll post a few poems tonight, I think.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

There are Mornings

There are Mornings

There are mornings you wake up
And the drinks from last night
Hit you like a towering wave
Of exhaustion. Not a hangover
But a memory of mistakes in order;
The story of the night before
Told in a different way.

There are nights you go out
To hunt, full of excitement.

But some nights you go out
To be out. To stay up.
You have a feeling deep down
You'd rather drown than
Have to go back home.

Thursday, June 18, 2009



When we talk ducks will
Suddenly bob up as if
Returning from a riverbed.

I bought her thirtieth
Birthday present in my head
Three days after our
First date. Two weeks later-
No second date- I went ahead
And bought it anyway.

She's nervous, busy, afraid
To see me. I tell myself
Someone I can't see that cares
Is better than someone who doesn't
And is always there. But I
Have to convince myself
Like a lawyer with a weak case,
Waving his arms and winking at the jury.

Conversation is a dive into deep
Water. I lose track of time, air,
Myself sometimes. I tell myself
I need more than this and then
Find myself compulsively making sure
Of her presence like a diver checking
On his air. It terrifies me
I might be this deep and run out.

If I could...

If I could...

If I could bleed a word
and pour it under your door,
it would seep gently into your room
and silently dissolve your objections
quietly calm your jangling nerves
fill up the chasms in your heart -

But you can't hear it.

There's a hollow place in me
that wants to be your refuge,
but you're afraid of the dark.

I would stand outside in the
Cold with you. But it's so hard
To wait here for you to come in.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reporting from the Front Lines

Reporting from the Front Lines

My rational mind is reporting tonight
From the front lines of a dangerous crush.

There's no hope for our government troops.
The streets have turned red with partisans
In berets and sashes. They're dancing and
Singing. Anyhow we don't know who to shoot.

And above the fray my right brain
Is watching it all go down, talking calmly
To the folks at home, recording our
Foolishness for posterity.

"There's an inevitability in the air,"
He says, "Rebels have taken the capital.
Fascists are retreating in the face
Of resistance from ordinary citizens."

Looking down from his hotel room,
he thinks it's like a car
Tipping over a cliff,
All he can do is watch.

"Like falling in love" he writes home.
These days he finds himself adding
That phrase, like punctuation,
Into all his correspondence.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I wanted to say

I wanted to say

I wanted to say my stomach hurt every morning
And I got up early and didn't know why
(But I knew why).

I wanted to say I was wrong before
When I said I needed to see other people
But at the time I didn't know
What they would look like next to you.

I wanted to say I could wait
And give you space
(But now I guess you have plenty).

I wanted to say that, for me,
Everything changed that day
We really talked for the first time.
I finally saw what I had been missing.
But now I'll be missing it
A bit longer, I guess.

All I can say is at angles,
I can't come straight out.

A Special Providence

A Special Providence

Be strong; walk upright. Stop checking for texts.
"There is a special providence in the
Fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis
Not to come; if it be not to come, it
Will be now; if it be not now, yet it
Will come - the readiness is all." Get through
Today and the next will be easier.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Closet Romantic

That Romantic Bastard

What the hell did you do girl,
What did you do?
You let that bastard out of his cage
And now he's ruining my life again.

He was locked behind five-inch thick bars
Chained to the wall, beaten and starved
I would walk up the stairs once in a while and
Heap abuse on him.
"Ha ha ha, monster! You're rotting in hell
And I'm in charge now, I'm in charge!"

But then you walked in my house
Went up and unlocked that door
(I told you not to open that door)
And - well, it was all over but the tears.

He's in the driver's seat, chuckling to himself.
I'm in for one hell of a ride -
And in the end, there's no doubt,
I'll wake up on the same cold hillside

With that bastard, exhausted, right next to me.
Is there any wonder I keep him locked up?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fat Man

"Don't want to be a fat man," sings Ian Scott Anderson, lead singer of Jethro Tull.
I can't pretend nothing's changed for me after losing forty pounds.

Fat Man

There's a fat man inside me
A homebody, who craves
Attention, loves loud parties,
Writes sad poetry because he's
Lonely; I'm being brave
Right now for him, doing
Things he always wanted to do.
One of the beautiful people
Or at least one more average
Than the rest. I have a
Love / hate relationship with
Me. A rocky tumultuous
Compromise between
Who I am and who I
Used to be.

Walt Whitman

So today's exercise (inspired by Walt Whitman's birthday yesterday) was to respond to his poem asking us to justify him. Well him and poetry. Or something like that. Anyway it was Tom's idea.

Walt Whitman

Dear uncle Walt
I am lost in Baltimore on this
Beautiful day-after-your-birthday.
I have lost my sense of why
We create and share poetry,
Why we humiliate ourselves
On a regular basis, scribble
Words on long sheets of paper,
Stand up to reveal to each other
Those thoughts so private they would never,
Should never, otherwise be examined,
Why we congregate in out of the way corners
To demonstrate conclusively, consecutively,
That poetry will not, can not, draw more
Than a very few to hear it for a couple hours;

Walt Whitman, is our answer in
The rapid staccato of rap and slam?
Are they your true successors and we
An unwanted genetic remnant, a spur,
A tailbone, a dead end sign, a
Bridge to nowhere?

Where are your proud descendants?
Where the strong men and women
Who stand for the cleanest, straightest
Lines, who reach beyond convention
For truth, who stand in the fire
And sing poetry?

Walt, you are our mirror today.
We must work harder than we
Ever have before to justify the
Shoulders we stand on.
And on your unshakable platform
We can prepare and plan to build
A trapeze, a trampoline, another level,
A new world.


I was sitting there with my five dollar fruit smoothie and Jodie was eating sushi and Alice came in and said, "You people are so decadent." So this is entirely her fault.


We are so
Decadent. Smoking-black-tar-heroin-
Decadent. Wearing-endangered-species-for-
AC-on decadent. Trust
Funds are what we mean by
Sustainable living. Conservation
Is not a concept we believe in.
Values are for other people.
Sometimes I wake up in the
Morning, eat my bird-of-paradise-poached-
Giraffe-scrapple, while watching
Bloomberg, of course, and I think
I love my lifestyle. You
Should try it sometime.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


At this time I feel I must remind those in the audience that the author does not equal the protagonist of a poem, if there seems to be one. First person perspective is always an illusion.


I'm coming off a love-high
Now, reeling on the rollercoaster
Joys and miseries coming both at once,
Blowing me around in the air -

It's the next day, there's a new
Eye to look in, look through for
Reflections, refracted patterns.
Sometimes you're all dolls, it's
All a game to me. Paper
Carnival, colors whirl like
pinwheels as I wander.


Probably the best of what I wrote tonight. A reply to Mike Monroe's "The Day Sisyphus Quit."

Envy Sisyphus

What slow delight it must be
To have a task, an
Overpowering desire, compelling
One to move, day after day
After night after night,
Driven by outside force
Or one's own will.
Reaching the top
Is empty hell - you should
Envy him. He has a job to do.
He does it well.

Give Me a Break

Written earlier tonight.

Give Me a Break

You may think to yourself some,
Listening to me read or talk,
Man, that's enough, bring on the next one!

Well hell, how do you think I feel?
Don't you think I'd like
To kick this guy right
In the ass, out of the bar,
Tell him to go home, sleep it off in the car.

Sadly I live with him -
His name's on the lease,
Hard to get rid of.

This is a rare chance for
Him to get out, get some air.
Give him a break, let him stand there
For a minute; you can hear
The creak as his sides expand
Just a bit.

Cowboy Poetry: Never Done Nothing

Well this is my first (and probably only) attempt at cowboy poetry.

Never Done Nothing

I've never done nothing that my spirit couldn't kill
If you starve your conscience slowly you can get along quite well.

You see before he does it to you you got to do the other fellow
Cause he thinks that what he's dealin' with's an ordinary man
But to him I'll be as careless as a devil out of hell.

You folks pretend you're somethin' better but I know it's all a sham:
God knows there's nothin' colder than a banker that you owe
Yeah they call it civilization but what it means is empty hands.

You can cry out loud for mercy but it's somethin' they don't know
It's enough to make you burn and shout and curse out God and moan
And that's the long and short of why I walk a killer's road.

Ode to He that Sits Behind my Seat

Obviously from a recent trip on an airplane.

Ode to He that Sits Behind my Seat

My dear sir, I regret I seem
To be the cause of your troubles;
If I could I'd reassure you
But I can't be damned to tell you
The seat is broken.
It won't stay upright.
But then again, I have every right
To lean as I please.
I'm of two minds about it;
So you can stew - push as you will -
I'll just ignore you.

Storing up Inspiration

Another one from the Powwow rain date.

Storing up Inspiration

I said well, we're not writing today
And tom said time to store up inspiration!
I've had ten years of it (I thought but didn't say)
a lesser man would have drowned in it
bent his back and broken in it
the kind of inspiration that makes you
Bite off your arm to escape it -

But hey, there are all kinds of inspiration
I guess.

Alice the Goddess

It's been a weird few weeks... took me a while to get back on it. I've had some of these written for a while but couldn't find the time to polish 'em up.

Alice the Goddess

Alice the goddess
twirls in her dance,
dares us to catch her,
accepting the earth,
circles the crowd
threads the scene together -
and then
Robin lost a necklace
Alice found it.
I said
Alice, make a miracle happen.
There are no miracles, she said.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


There's a thread of sense
Just out of reach -
If I could grasp it
I could unravel it, make us separate from what
Has separated us.

Supreme Leader

(Result of a writing exercise in which we thought about what our first decree would be if we became leader of the world. Kind of silly, I guess.
Speaking of which, can you guess which word I had to look up?)

Supreme Leader

As the world's first united leader,
All powerful mighty high plenipotentiary,
Prepare yourselves, people of the world,
To receive my first decree:

All currency will be replaced with
Pictures of me.

A unit of this currency will be
Called the Awesome, or Awe for short.
(Debasing, defacing, destroying this currency
Will make one eligible for the highest penalty -
Take great care in actually using it!)

The value of a good or service
Will henceforward be determined by me
Depending on how Awesome I think it to be.

Of course, I'm a busy leader (the busiest!)
And in this task I'll require some assistance.
All hipsters assemble; I'll judge your value first,
And those I declare are dressed best (or worst)
Will become the first High Judges of Fashion in history
(the rest, unfortunately, will die in obscurity).

These incorruptible arbiters
Of truth, beauty, and how Awesome things are
Will roam the land, at my command,
Judging your works, near and far.

No longer will you wonder
If you're getting what you're worth -
From now on, by supreme decree
You will get just what you deserve.

Can't Sleep

Luckily I worked on a few poems today (polished them up).

Here's the first - we're starting with the saddest one, I guess. Sorry 'bout that.


Every move is artificial, every gesture
Learned from film, glass eyes set in
Plastic skin.
Recorded speeches to sound realistic,
Practiced signals to move, and bend,
Adjust the head, and look as if it
Understands. But it doesn't - and never will.
Knock, shout, scream, yell
There's no one here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Arriving at work
Before the dawn
Unshaven and wearing glasses,
Having forgotten my cell,
I discover the coffeemaker

Monday, April 27, 2009

Twenty Four Hours

I told Mike Moran I wrote a poem about somebody else for once and he said, "Oh, there IS a hole in your ego somewhere." Yep, but it's a very small hole :)

Twenty Four Hours From Now
"Twenty-four hours from now,
All that she wanted was me,"
He said. I said, "Last week?"
"Yes," he said. He meant
Last Sunday. I thought
(But didn't say) Well,
A lot can change
In a few days.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bad Decisions

I'm mulling over the nature of bad decisions.

Some decisions you make and you immediately know they are bad for you, ultimately will end up causing you pain and hardship, cut you off from friends, and you'll regret them for a long time.

Some decisions you realize five minutes later were bad. See the above.

Sometimes you make a decision and find out months or years later you went the wrong direction, stuck with (or left) the wrong person.

There's absolutely nothing you can do about any of these decisions. You just have to live with them.

I'd like to be more specific! Tonight I decided to stick with my housemate instead of going to something I wanted to go to. He ultimately had to stay home with his sick cat. So I did that... I don't regret it now, will I regret it later? Every night we have plans that can take us in different directions. Sometimes we don't even know what we missed.

I was driving a friend home (he came over to hang out with us) and a song came on the radio, "American Music" by the Violent Femmes. This reminded me of a production I co-directed over ten years ago. The closing night party for this production, I made a few more bad decisions... Well, it's a long story. But every time I hear that song (it was the closing song for the show) I remember that production, the age I was, and a little of who I was back then. It was a tough time - but then this is a tough time too.

Where the hell is all this leading? Wouldn't I like to know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Exercises from Lines

I drew most of my 'starting lines' for these exercises from Jack Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown.


Introducing: The Unknown!

We can't expect the unknown to
Walk in and introduce itself.
Pick up an easy chair, adjust it
At a comfortable angle,
Sit down, settle in to stay a while;
The unknown likes to search around the doors a bit,
Scratch at the hinges, sniff around
The windowpane, and generally be a nuisance.

It's waiting for you to go out
And look for what the hell is
Making that sound.
Then it will pounce-

And god help you if it isn't
Your aunt Harriet
Wearing her favorite hat,
The one you always feel forced to compliment,
Because you know she sees you
Staring at it;
You're in now for another
Dreadful visit.

Meanwhile the unknown lurks around the corner,
Waiting for the next unfortunate hour
You're listening to the creep of sounds
Outside, the rhythm seems wrong,
A gut feeling makes you get up and look;
Hide in your bed instead;
The news is never good.


Jumping Jupiter!

Caroming down the stairs
Playfully he whirls
Around the grand piano
Twirls the table
Flings the glasses over the balcony
Full of juvenile excitement!
"Oh, to be a young planet
Giddy with life again,"
Saturn sitting on his dais
Is heard to grimly frown.

Russian roulette with the atomic bomb

I instantly regretted my rudeness in bringing up the gun in his hand - it wasn't the bomb's fault he was suicidal.

Bombs by their very nature are prone to a certain amount of depression - after all, the fulfillment of their ultimate purpose is synonymous with their demise, and that's the end of their story.

Of course we can't forget the fallout, damage to the surrounding area - measured not in lives but in lives and the wreckage of lives, emotional, psychological, economical, destruction of arable land, families, cultures - the ripples of one explosion, one disaster envelop countless people, worlds and worlds of people, when you think of it.

Well this observation - my suggestion his effects would go on long after his death - cheered the bomb up quite a bit. With a trembling smile, he said, "This time, I'll put two bullets in the gun."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bonfire poetry

Poem for the Fire

Eyes blinded by smoke
Dream small, live small.
Strike down hope.
Keep walking.


Atonement? Try Love

For best atonement, try love.
Nymph, in thy orisons be all my sins...
And so on.
Who needs a confession?
Each new lover a sacrament,
In their body the communion
Is made; the sacred link
Between you and the endless
Succession of others
Between you and the Other;
Between you and the world.

Who can intercede for you now?
You've built walls out of bodies
And seem quite happy in your little house.


... are always done in the dark

These things are best done in the dark.
Spot in my eyes I speak to the darkness
Speak to the darkness within each of us
A quiet space for listening
A little space for truth to speak
Truth is always spoken
In darkness.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Random Words

Last Sunday's writing exercise at Zelda's Inferno. I forgot to post it till now.

Words: "shoot, punctuate, plot, essence, extort, grow, masticate, smother"
Entertaining story: I was outside thinking about what to write when I met two white men in their sixties, one wearing a camo hat and jacket. The one in the camo hat and jacket was silent; the other one asked me for money so he could buy his friend coffee. He said coffee was a bad thing for a drunk person, but his friend wanted it anyway, so he was going to try to get it for him. Occasionally he would talk to his friend in the camo jacket and the guy in the camo jacket would curse him out in a low voice.

I love you; you're my brother
And we've been
Deep in the gutter together;
But you're punctuating silence with silence,
Growing in the dark.
I'm smothered by what I need to say,
The rushing sound rolls around in my head.
I can't cough it up; it's stuck in my throat.
I wish I could grab one end of the problem,
Pull my guts out of my mouth until I spew multicolored threads,
Heaving up us as if it were a magician's trick.
But I can't pull against myself, and you're still
Sitting there as if the apocalypse will come
Any minute and you want to be well rested.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So much energy (part II)

You're the scent of the
First cigarette in the pack -
Watching you walk, tasting musky
Smoke curl around my tongue -
You stretch like a cat.
I am undone.


Stage Rehearsal

We're a line off today, all out of order.
Stage left's swapped with right - all the action's
Backwards now so we're facing the door.
Exit center left. Walking into the audience,
Applauding for them - they think it's too much.
After some business - you died so prettily -
I finally remembered to put in the knife.
Before we knew it the play'd begun with all our entrances -
Well, that's how it's supposed to go in dress!
But now I'm pacing back and forth trying
To forget my lines. I'm worried 'bout auditions -
What were we doing again?
I hope this time
I make it in.


My roommate's cat

He has lymphoma - cancer in his gut.
And he can feel it - crying around the house.
Coming to me, squalling, looking for
Help and all I can think is -
You poor dumb bastard, covered with sores,
What the hell did you ever do
To deserve having me taking care of you.

Lots of energy today

I've had a lot of energy today and yesterday. Getting caught up on a lot of things - this blog among them.
I've written a lot of poetry lately but didn't get a chance to polish it up / post it.
So I may actually end up needing to break up this entry.

At the Reading

Yeah, I went to the goddamned reading.
I'm telling you I was there. You didn't see me.
Well no wonder. The place was packed. I mean
There were a lot of goddamned people there.
All over the damned chairs - I ended up
Squinched up on the floor, one leg on another,
In the goddamn corner. I was looking at one guy's
Ass the whole performance. And it was not a great
Ass you know, it was not an ass I would pay to
See. I never knew there were so many damned white
Writers in Hampden, much less Baltimore. I mean
They were all white and most of them had glasses.
It reminded me of Avniel (the whitest Indian you'll ever
Meet) who said he was scared to walk around in Hampden
After dark. I think these were the people he was
Afraid of. And they sat so goddamn quiet. Like they
Were watching an old man try to stand up after
Sitting in the corner. One leg at a time.
Like they were watching the dead
Get up and goddamn say the Lord's Prayer.
That goddamn quiet. Well I got up at the
Break - I was ready to say the Prayer myself -
And limped out of there. I'm not sure they moved.
I tell you what, go back and check. They may still be
Packed in there. Tell you what I hope they are.


Playing Craps

I'm laughing, see, cause I like you.
I like everybody, but I'm playing with you.
We've got a great game here, kid. Don't screw it up for us.
We're all playing. Can you keep it in the game?
Can you keep on smiling when you lose your shirt?
Keep your goddamned sense of humor if you can.
Are you laughing yet?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meditation on Selfishness

Well, so I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and I was thinking about it today, during a meeting. So it turned into this, whatever this is. Definitely a change of pace from my usual stuff.

Meditation on Selfishness

Today you wanted to know - why am I concerned,
Why do I care, in my own words,
About "too many people." Why do I ask
"How are you? How are you doing?" when I know
You're not doing that well, it's been rough going.
Why do I ask about your father, brother, sister,
Cat, dog, mother, grandfather, goldfish.
I'm reaching out - it's not altruistic -
I've had some losses lately, not sure if you remember,
I lost a cat, my grandmother, a marriage
And all the things I had invested in it -
A home, some pets, some thoughts about myself,
A woman I loved ten years ago. I maintain
She left me long before I knew. But I
Digress. Why am I here, why am I bothering you?
I'm looking for attachments, tossing ropes as they rush past,
Drifting along in my little boat, trying
To hold on, find something, someone to care about.
And so my friend, I need to help you if I can.
If I spare you pain I help myself; what I do
Helps myself more than it helps you. I'm selfish that way,
Redeeming myself a bit each day, some part of myself,
Proving there are people worth caring about.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

tarot-influenced writing exercise

Today was a Tarot-influenced writing exercise - we picked cards off the top of the deck and they 'told stories.' And you know what's funny was this was a hippie kind of deck and we all wrote these new-agey poems. So yeah, another set of poems that have nothing to do with me - I mean, I wrote them, but they actually sort of wrote themselves. And the card they're from is the title of each.

I. The Tower

In the beginning the waters broke
And I exploded. I was cast
Out; I lost my home.
Holding tight to the shell,
Adrift on the waves,
Surrounded by televisions,
Glassware, curtains, rods
And wheels, gasoline canisters,
Old dirty steamers, knives
And dishes, they floated
Every way on the water,
They were lost with me.

II. Four of Swords (nest)

Then it was curious how
The waters subsided.
My house-shell rocked
And floated me gently;
My hands were loose, my
Grasp let go, I collapsed
And rocked in
The river. I no longer
Looked at the water, I looked up -
And the night
Sky filled with stars.

III. Ten of Cups (calm)

They move deliberately
Away from each other;
I've lost distinction whether
I'm in the sky or the river.
I may be in both places -
I don't look up for patterns
Or faces; I know I have
A destination and a plan.
I've come to love this
Slow journey outwards,
This expansion.

IV. Two of Pentacles (root)
I'm feeling snags now
On the bottom, slowing down,
Coming to a rest soon -
And above me, the dawn
Is erasing my little lights
Softly pulling in the bright
Sky-candles, infiltrating the night.
Just above me, I can see
A great-grandfather of a tree
I'm twisting, turning in
Mossy green toes.
And then I come to rest.

Barstool Poetry

Some random crap I've written on barstools around Baltimore.

It was a night for promises.
We knew someday beer, salsa, and even chips would arrive, or so we hoped.

Doing what's natural,
Drinking as normal,
Walking from bar to bar-

Ok, a couple of real poems. But they were both written in bars so they count as barstool poetry.

I'm joining a new forum and I want to be a popular guy like everybody else on this forum

I need another name
That's not my real name
I'll find a new name
To show the real me
So they all know me
And they'll refresh me
And they will want to see
What I am saying
I'll have so many friends
They will be endless
And they'll all know me
They'll know my real name

This next poem is totally Suzanne X's fault because she showed me something and said "Wow somebody should write a poem about this," and then I did. And now everybody hears this poem and they say "Wow, that's really sad / depressing." And I just want to say, "Yes, but it's all Suzanne's fault and I bear no responsibility whatsoever."

Poem for a dead ant in a candle

Drowning in hot wax
I inhale your love
The hot lava of your smile
Is burning my lungs
My stomach is full of fire
The wax covers my eyes
I'll stare at you forever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Writing Exercises

So... this is a fun exercise we did at Zelda's last Sunday. Write a few 'writing exercises.'


Writing Exercises

Part I

You need a new name that's not your real name. Your name (not your real name but the new name) should make a statement about yourself (not your real self) others will find clever, perceptive, and revelationary. Your new name (not your real name) should contain no part of your real name. Viewers of your new name should engender an idea of your personality which reflects in some way your actual personality; so that in future these viewers, upon interacting with you, will recognize your actions as being "so [new name]!"

Part I A

For bonus credit, create a new face that's not your real face. You may use any picture so long as it does not resemble your real face.


Part II

Write a letter (in 500 words or less) in which you explain to an old friend that you no longer wish to associate with them. You must use words which are clear, concise, and leave no room for error. The purpose of this letter is to get mutual friends entirely on your side.

Part II A

For bonus credit, replace all use of the words "friend" and "friends" in Part II with the words "relative" and "relatives."


Part III

Describe in great detail, omitting no action, how you dance when you go out dancing at clubs.

Part III A

You observe a young lady (or young man if such is your preference) with whom you'd like to form a closer acquaintance. Describe how this affects your dancing.

Part III B

A young man (or young lady if such is your preference) seems interested in you; you are not interested in a closer relationship with them. Describe how this affects your dancing.


Part IV

Write a poem intended to be inscribed on bathroom walls. Ensure it includes no reference to sex or male or female organs of any kind.

Part IV A

For bonus credit, alter your poem so it becomes a request for a blowjob.

first post in March

And why is this the first post in March?
Anyway my next thing is long so I figured I should put this poem in here. Just a quick thing.


I met a girl with a
dog today. she was outside
the house as if she were
waiting for me.
The dog was laughing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

catching up on my backlog

So. Here I am catching up on my backlog of poetry I wrote last week/weekend.

This first one was from an exercise where we had to use the first and last lines from other people at random.
The cancer of corruption oozed through the city's orifices-

The growth was not as strange
As what caused it;
Flowing through the natural
Impulses in us all
The body is sick
The cells revolt;
Organism subject to
Individual will.

The body kept alive by electrical pulses
In Dr. Zhivago's Fabulous, Wonderful
Museum of Things Magnificent and Strange:
A beautiful woman, neck slightly distended
Hanging, by guy wires gently suspended,
The puppeteer's art is here magnified;
The lady in white seems almost alive.
A turning assemblage of cogs and flywheels
Gives her the semblage of thoughts and feelings.
A bladder of air in her throat
Makes her seem to breathe and choke-
For in this pale-eyed fantasy
The corpse is paraded about in a play.

To set the stage, the voltage is
Applied to our delicate subject.
Our audience confused to cause and effect:
Our lady seems to react and move.

At that moment, as a discreet signal, the back door swung open and Desdemona received her second shock.


innocent love

In the shower this morning I had some difficulty
Thinking of you that way, for the first time;
I tried but you seemed to slip away;
I tried but I couldn't put you in that frame.
You're a watercolor to me now,
When I see you, when I talk to you,
A distant lifeline on the phone.
Last night we were close enough to touch,
I only thought to hold you, keep you safe -
My thoughts of you are innocent, awkward,
Like a kid. I can't imagine
What to do.

get it off the front page

So now I need to post some more poetry to get some of my worse stuff off the front page. Although I'm not too proud of this either.

I slept a while, and dreamed
Of all the girls that rejected me
And in a while they showed the same
Face; or looked at me the same way,
The face was your face, of course.
And knowing meant nothing to me;
And tears would have said nothing,
Truth was useless and already on the table,
Words choked me in any case,
Words were too large for my mouth,
I couldn't work my way around them;
You looked away politely. Thank you.



You think I go outside to satisfy my secret need;
In fact, I'm bored. It's this or read.
Tonight I'm in a walking mood;
I'll scan faces, store fronts, cars, listen to conversations,
Anything that's rude.
Anything that intrudes on others, if my gaze intrudes,
If my speculation bothers them
It's the only consolation to me now
To think I have that secret knowledge about my fellows,
About you for example, while I went out. What did you do?

Too damn tired

I seriously have pages and pages of poetry I need to get up here. And I'm putting it off because as usual, some are personal. And some need more work. But anyway, I have a good excuse now because it's late and I have work tomorrow, of course.

But let's have some quotes first:
"I have an issue with treating people like machines. Because I've seen 'The Terminator'" (John Higgins)
"You have to shake it first, 'honey bunny'" (Melissa Carraway; imagine this said in a sarcastic voice)
"Doing nine to five in the crazy clown jail" (Mike Monroe; but Steve suggested this is an old saying of some kind)

OK, so here's song lyrics again. To give me the illusion of having accomplished something. Although I know I'll never get this into a decent melody anytime soon.

Nothing to do, to look forward to,
Whistling a tune, a lonely tune,
Go out to shows, drinking all night,
Numbing my mind till I feel alright, all right
Verse 1
Get up early walk the dog and go to work
Somewhere deep in the belly's where it hurts
Somewhere behind my head it hovers
Over my shoulder, passing back and forth
Verse 2
Sitting at work, not at work
Focus so tight, so tight it hurts
Clench my teeth, bite down on the pain
Inside, don't let it out, see it again
Verse 3
Home again I'm drinking, hold the nothing
In, get dizzy pacing, looking in corners
Go around, around, around, not satisfied
By what I said, you said, I lied, you lied

Hey actually I'm going to hide a poem down here where no one will see it.

White Pines
Your life is the white pines of your development, careful cultivation,
And when I'm on your porch I watch the turning star with its many faces -
Happy homemaker, your ramekin fell from a high shelf today; broke in three pieces,
I picked them up and took them home with me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

some quick poems

I had a couple ideas about one-act plays I might want to write. But I'm letting them simmer for now.

We had a new exercise this Sunday; write on a random subject for 5 min. only. So I ended up with a lot of crummy poems. My apologies if these repeat existing themes, so on.

"the radius of movement"

turning my cup a degree towards you,
I seek to precisely define
the arc of our relationship;
To measure the feeling
In our eyes with calipers and compass,
Tracking our paths,
Forces balanced in separate equilibria,
Rolling in our planes, we dance.

"his direct contribution"

I could attempt to calculate
His direct contribution
to my dissolution;
His assistance in my depression
Or resistance, resilience
In the face of circumstance.
In some celestial arcology
On a delicate abacus
The beads slide appropriately
As I affect him, he affects me
And in the mind of Judgement
Our precise relationship
Is understood to nth degree;
We cannot choose friends, only enemies.

"tumble washed for exceptional softness"

Tumble washed for exceptional
Softness, steel toed, pre-stained,
Broken in boots, made of
Flexible plastic, breakaway
Glass, blue-jean fabric,
Essential technology for the
Modern age; Hardened circuitry;
Environmentally sensitive
Reused, refurbished, ready to wear;
Purchases guaranteed for nearly a year.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A few things I noticed about this party

Broken glass in the sink = party foul.
We know who you are. One of these days, there will be broken glass in your sink. Count on it.

Hard to relax when you're worried about people having fun.
How does Ron do it? I'll never know.

This is heartfelt. But I really have to keep it to myself.
Actually, in retrospect, 'Argh' is too much. Some people are just like that. You know? You have to expect it of them. Just relax.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

a non-emo poem for once

Yep, I am so happy I wrote a non-emo poem I'm going to break my rules and write them down in reverse order of how they were written - the positive poem goes first, even though I wrote it afterwards.


The world is my oyster.
What does that mean?
Roll it over in my hands,
Admire the shell.
The world is turning
At my command.
Feel ridges on the palms of my hands.
Watch the blue-green shimmer in the light.
Open it carefully.
Touch it where it glistens.
Trace the liquid on the surface.
Bring it to my lips
Sip salty-sweet water
Taste the world slowly.
Move my nails around the edges.
Grasp it firmly.
Tear it from the shell,
Swallow it.
I am chewing on the continents,
Drinking the oceans, I consume it.
Pry the suckers from the shell,
Clean it; wash it; drill holes in it.
Wear the world for earrings as a sign.
I have it on a chain;
The world is mine.

This thing (won't honor it by calling it a poem) is something I wrote in Workshop. We had to pair objects with actions.

Whipped cream drips down the cup.
The napkin absorbs the drop.
She holds it up in her hand.
I trace coffee on my mug.
She complains about the coffee here.
I watch ladies tracing paper.
She smokes her Marlboro Red.
I smoke my ultralight.
She flicks it in the street.
We walk along the street.
She looks in storefronts.
I watch her shirt collar.
I'm drinking Shinerbock.
She drinks her Magic Hat.
The river's cold and still.
My car echoes with chill.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A couple more to do

I wrote this one up last night, kinda cheesy I guess. Well got to get it out anyway.

Nothing like the night in a strange house
To make your mind turn in circles;
Nothing like the night to clarify
Your thoughts, your life
Nothing like the night to see
Where you are and have been
Nothing like the night
For feeling pain.
Tomorrow I can wake and say
"Here's a new day
Here's a sun rise"
But in the night I see the mirror
In the empty dark, in the strange house
Nothing but chill air against my skin;
Nothing like travel to see again.

Hey, this one's actually positive, so there. Take that!

For J and G

You were drunk, I was driving
Singing with the radio
Offhand I said I'm done with music
And you said together, "no
What a shame to lose your voice."
I dropped the subject, reached the store
And as it does the night went on
And we never heard that song
Again; but when time's dust sifts
Into my throat, numbness grips,
I cling so gently to the thought
That two good friends once loved my voice.

Some thoughts on personals

Here are some personal (ha!) thoughts on the personals.

Dear blonde girl at CVP
I still see you there facing me
Tables away I see your face
So delicate, the red lips
Raising the longneck and sipping
All evening;
I said "excuse me," all
I said when we passed in the hall.
And hours later when we left I saw
A man beside you, leaning back
And like the coward I am I went
On; not knowing the score
I quit the game. Someday
I want to see you again
And say 'hello' - what will you say
But I know that day will never come.
Ron didn't remember you
We looked the same way all night
Why do I see that face, those lips?
My chest is tight, mind gripped
Teeth ache, can't sleep
You're all I see
Blonde girl at CVP.

OH yeah, this gets worse.


My Personals Ad

"Damaged only need apply here
Is a half shell, a discard
Come for service
You're welcome; don't scratch
The surface, there's nothing there
To reach - Living in foyers and entrances
Eying the door inside, Kicked out I
Slink back again.
Closet romantic, I keep it
Beaten half to death, starved, locked
In its room under a landfill
No exit; no chance."

Having fun yet?


Me: posing, unsure. Afraid.
Nothing left there to give. Witty.
A fat pig.
You: confused, secure. Marking
Your time; until you meet someone who
"blows your mind."
Me: cat-scared, careful. Nervous
of loud noises, glasses, emails,
phone calls.
You: too young, too old. Waiting
for the right one, right time. Love,
Me: lost on the path. Freezing
outside, looking at your back door.
You: hurt, scared. Worried
You'll let in the wrong one, like

Boston Poems

Girding my loins and writing these up before they get any older.

You know how it is. I can't let them sit.

Not the phone
I thought I felt it in my breast
Pocket; but it's not the phone
The tremble in my chest -
The face is blank; it's not the phone.


Shuffling, they meet at the pass
Don't look each other in the eye
He swam every morning then,
Said he'd handle everything,
Now he's a fast fish in this sea
Of slow walkers, ladies years his younger.
When he said to my little cousin
"Don't worry, I'll handle it,"
I almost broke down there and then
We've exhausted him. Exhumed it;
Thin white and dried, rough as his cheek.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I've been drinking

Well, I went to Boston and all I brought back was some stupid poems.
Some of which are too personal to put in here, some are not ready.

People I called today
Every woman I know, seems like
John. He answered. We may hang out later
My boss at work
People that called me
A friend of mine from work
My wife's psychiatrist
My housemate

Stuff I like to do while drinking vodka
Ogle women
Get red in the face
Go outside for a bit
Write bad poetry

Monday, January 26, 2009

some doggerel

Well here's some doggerel.

On Waiting

Waiting for your call is such
Delicate agony; I thought
"Why not wait for two or three?"
A job, contract, a role or two
And thus building anxiety
Avoid the thought of calling you.


Thanks Pal!

How cryptic people are
They want to say
"Avoid mistakes I made!"
Trying too hard
Couched in a careful phrase -
My friend, just tell me what to do;
You'll feel more honest though
I'll still end up ignoring you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

song lyrics

Kind of sad for me to write song lyrics when I can't really play guitar anymore.
But hey, that's life -

You dance outside my barricade
Plead with me to let you in
But I won't answer, can't answer
Silence, my best defense, Silence is my best defense

You sing that sweet song
The one that makes me cry
But I won't answer, can't answer
Silence my only defense, Silence is my best defense

And it's so hard to see you
In the sights of my gun and know
With one shot I'd kill you
One bullet would make you go
Hard to stay on duty here
Behind my iron wall
I want to strike you down
I need to make you go

Dancing outside my barricade
Crying to be let in
But I can't respond to you
Silence is my best defense, Silence my best defense

Crashing into my walls
Begging to be let in
But I can't speak, won't speak,
I'll stay silent, my best defense
Silence... silence my best defense

500 damn poems on the same damn subject

OK, so here are a lot of poems on the same subject. And yeah, they need serious work.
But I have to get them up now, they're not going to work on themselves.

Not me, it's you
Not you, it's me
I'm just not ready
Being selfish
All my energy
Focused on me these days
I like you a lot really
But I can't,
Think about,
The closeness that
To you is second nature
I have to keep
Needing to keep
Not you, it's me.


That day you loved the asparagus-
It was so sweet and sour,
But now I see it was the vinegar
It had absorbed
For that moment I loved it too
I tried to remember
I don't like it, don't care
For it, the taste, the texture
But right then, in the vinegar
I liked it, loved it.
I would never have tasted it
But for you; but then I tried it
And fell into liking it with you.
For that moment I loved it
And kept on consuming it;

There is a giant green tree in the forest
Its roots are deep, its bark is green
And so soft, and you can rip the leaves right off
And they taste like

I'm pissing my days away
And it smells so rich and strange
Don't want to hurt you
But it happened right away
That moment I tasted it


Knocking on doors
Down the street,
You answered, we talked
We made plans for the evening
And all the time I knew
I'd keep on knocking;
I like to see the doors,
Like to feel them
Knocking and waiting for answers
And talking, peeking
Just inside; I like the furniture
But I'm not staying;
I'll keep on knocking.

Friday, January 23, 2009

brief updates

writing has slacked off a bit lately. Focusing on work and other things...

I wrote something the other day, after it snowed a bit.
Looking in your window across the
street and saw your back walking
away. It was beautiful.
The snow was beautiful where we shoveled it
The cars on the street were freshly scraped
Nothing was new but everything glittered a little
Not sure if that's going anywhere.

OK, here's some more random disorganized thoughts.

Sometimes the minutes fly;
Tonight they go by slowly, watching me for signs.
I wander to the shop and order coffee.
I pretend to read; but I'm watching people carefully,
Pretending I can guess the stories of their lives,
Drinking coffee, talking to the counter man.
"Business is slow." Not much else to say.
We live in a slow time now, watching each other,
Wondering whether the slow slide down river has tipped on its side,
Not thinking yet about where to stand, how not to get wet.
Sometimes I fantasize about working from home a different way.
I could sell drugs from my porch, all day
People would come and go,
And they would come back when they realized
It was oregano.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

iambic pentameter

Which is actually a funny way of saying 'poetry the way everyone expects it'

Anyway this poem is the fault of Tom, Rachel, Nicole, and Suzanne. It needs work but I might as well put it up in its present form now.

Happy New Year's!

My touchstone's broken in the windy street
I look for life in faces made of stone
I speak my time in phrases overblown
They feast in footprints from my bloody feet.

Pulling at obstacles I cry
Clawing with bloody hands we dig
A thousand men or more dig here
In rows; we come alone, not organized
We strive in frenzy, grasp the earth in fear.

And this is not a pleasant mystery
For what was told us, each to each
We'd find anew inside these cobbled streets
Bodies we buried many years ago.

And when I reach my prize so high
I'll lift it, in display and pride
So carefully I'll clean these dirty bones
And then I'll smile and climb inside
The grave; Then I'll be home.

And dreaming then of times that passed me by
I'll fill my heart and stomach with the rocks
And up above my bones will walk and talk
And eloquently discourse on the rain.
All manner converse will they have
With every gentle creature in the land
And never will be heard a note of pain.

a minor comment

I woke up today and I wanted things to be different.
It was almost ten and I wanted the clock to use totally different numbers,
So I would have to think a little bit each time I thought about those numbers.
I didn't want it to be ten anymore, I wanted it to be an alien number I would
Have to think about every time I told the time.
I look at the time these days and I know exactly how long it takes me to do all the things
That I do in the day and I think, "Man, how dull it is to know exactly how long it takes to do these things!"
"How awesome would it be to wonder how long it takes to work out, take a shower, eat something."
How long would it take? A googol? Two multiplexes? Three severiams? Four eeyores?
Stuff would happen and I would always wonder what would happen next and I guess life would be a little more interesting.
Instead of this life where I know what will happen today.

just messing around

Lots of people have it

I'm a little sensitive, I admit.
When you don't come or call, I notice
And it bothers me, I check my mail
More often than it's healthy.

When I say you're welcome here, I mean it.
Plenty of room, like any lonely man
There's room; come on in. You'll see it.
The vacant spot is there. You can't miss it.

And when I ask you to call, that's what I meant
I meant call me, reach out. Bore me to tears,
make me want to sleep. I want that
Connection right now, I want to sleep, I need it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Something a little more complicated I'm still working on

This is probably the most complicated thing I've done for a while. Still a work in process. Edited last 1/16/09


I've been crawling along, I guess.
And everybody's got advice:
They say to
Move more, eat less
Smile more, be less
Smile more, see less
Hold on, break less
Hide the flop sweat,
Grin till your teeth clench
Tight on your breath.
Don't call every day,
Don't look that way,
Don't be desperate
To grab hands, get numbers,
Make friends, make plans,
Be strong, learn how to live on your own.
Don't try so hard, you'll get over this.
I can barely see where I'll be when I get over this.
Light and happy, windblown, fancy free, made of gauzy transparency
Rising up and over my mortal locality
Covering all with calm geniality, smiling, inflating,
Rising and shading man woman and child with slight filmy webbing,
Rising; expanding over the moon, rising and growing,
Expanding to cover the planets, the sun;
Expanding to fill the spiral arm.
Moving over the galaxy, until I'm a dim sheen over all that man has seen and will see
And I'll be so large then, baby, you'll pass through me. So large and so gentle
You'll pass right through me and I won't feel a thing
I won't feel a tremor or wave or particle or anything
Not the smallest damn particle of feeling. I'll keep on moving, you'll keep on passing
Lately I guess that's where I'm crawling.

One Poem for a different Friend

OK John, this is for you. If you don't recognize the guy in the picture chalk it up to Narrator not being the Author or whatever, just please don't hit me, I'm delicate :)

I've always eaten it
You seem to be strangling in it
My friend, you're smoking ultra-lights like they're going out of style,
Pulling air like you'll draw their lives into your lungs
Angry like a madman and your speech is 'clipped'
Clipped but it sounds fine to me
This is how deep you've pushed it
Deep down you're so damn

Two Poems for a Friend

These are both dedicated to Nicki. Actually they both started with the same line, and I fought the good fight in not making them about myself, and succeeded a bit better with the second than I did with the first.

Dreams I
I had a friend who would tell me her dreams.
Such a little thing for me; I knew their meaning
I was that arrogant.
Years pass and she's still cool and I
Am cold;
Looking in the North Pole for someone
With my ego to tell me
What my dreams meant, where did they go?

Dreams II
I had a friend who told me dreams, late at night,
Years ago; and in my mind
She's calling, my hand warm on the phone,
Face flushed, lying down, saying
What it meant and means.
We were both dreaming carelessly
and talking silly nonsense about stupid stuff
I can't remember it now. She said,
"Can I kill you?" I said, "Yes, I'll write a note."
That's our friendship, who we were,
Careless, ceaseless. Reading the poetry I wrote
It was too long, singsongy, and crappy. She told me so.
Who the hell else could have told me so!
I told her one time I was going home
And then followed her to the next spot, she didn't notice
I was so proud of myself for my cleverness
She actually seemed surprised. There weren't many times
I got the better of her!
My whole life, I guess.
Well we all have these friends we wish we were,
Stronger, faster, smarter, lives like a muscle car,
All we can do is stop and stare
We all have these friends, and sometimes in a long time
You find one that cares -
One that is a real friend back for you
And she is that, has that, and so my friend I dedicate this crap
To you.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

today's random thought

I am

I am nursing a cinder on my front porch
It's raining down the steps and on the street.
I'm cold up here but it's dry at least.

Indoors Wesley Snipes makes love to Claudia Schiffer and I have work to do.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

a 'Persona 3' poem

Every night at midnight

Every night at midnight we blow our brains out.
I'm breezing through high school feeding your
Egos, but I only need so much from you.
Three girls at a time, what a life this is!
The year passes quickly, the blue wings fall silently.

wrote these jan 4th 2009


One is enough numbers.
Count it quickly
and go home.

"Sometimes I'm a"

Spider crawling southward on the wall
to a warm crack on the wall
Where the heater blows.

Western Sheets

"You brought these sheets into the relationship, you take them out."


Some poetry I wrote more than ten years ago

I found an old notebook in a jacket and went through it, here are two poems that probably shouldn't see the light of day but hey, this is the next best thing.


Actors are untrustworthy.
I have to thank the hands
that catch me, every
night, in the darkness,
and pass me to the exit.
When the lights come up I'm in my place.
Who guided me?
Someone I cannot tell,
One of many.


A little bit of potatoes,
a single broccoli
on a plate.
Unasked for
but as much as
could ask.