Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Deep Dreaming

I return to the world of men
each morning amphibian
leaving the sea
where non-sense makes perfect
sense in thick moody shadow.

Deep sleep fits my tired bones
into a rest of sane occlusion
where a mind is free to lay
in whitecaps or to yawn
among the gaping mouths of fish.

I am not so brave awake to follow
paths leading deeper into dark
or dive where reason drowns
and collective memory buries
the history of surges.

Though awake I reflect, myself in wonder,
how steams of coffee and slatted rising
of sun wring out the night soaked clouds
mapping the surface with a more real
of textures and depth

and I see how without the other
we are so much the less.

(Painting courtesy of Walfrido Garcia)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hawks & Doves

a brooding nostalgia
pricks the cave-conscious monger
                                                  of war
convinced the time before wars
(as if such time had ever been)
was due the blue angelic gladius
who strops his rough edge raw
who figments deterrents
in right ready strokes

we want not, Panda pleads,
an ignoble destroyer race to be
yet helmeting her spawn
in leftist eccentricities
each more modern toy
troops pride & prejudice up, up and away
to the plane where nostalgia fights its foe
and it always must be so

in the mean-time
it's tract-less blank paths
remember the earthy un-weaponed worlds
which have never been

Friday, October 08, 2010


For the cadence of wild rivers
unperturbed, unquestioning, unimaginative
a-roil in grand erosive bliss
who tinker, spit and string along the cool incline
with unrefrained tongues benign

rivers who sing their duets with wolves
rivers who whine along corridors of descent
descanting, deriding, doubting quells of conscience
stone focused, burrowing holes into unmolten dross
they go, flow and unfold a destiny foretold by gravity
wending their endings in occult communal ecstasies
slapping, lapping, flapping on the shores of lake-front

cottages men design to mind their own boastful cadence,
the cadence of rivers impounded, weighting waves
at the obfuscated end of natures ignored.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Dying Zen Poet's Journal

I thirst in a desert filled with innumerable words.
My parched lips
meant for kissing
swallow sand in their hunger for song.

Was it God cast out my malediction
with the stars
or mortality
turned me toward barren wastes?

I for one am famished, licking my finger,
sticking it
into the wind,
piercing nothing, posed at an oblique angle.

The blind see nothing.
Nothing feeds the poor.
The affluent fear nothing.
Nothing waits as time moves on.

I sat with grandfather quaking, waiting
for a word
but nothing came.
He winked at me as if to say let me be your guide.

But I wanted words and fathered bastards:
Gerund, Trope
& little Hyperbole (with his billion freckles.)
We became a family. Kissed and sang and stuck

our fingers in the wind, it all seemed so glorious
bright pink kites
challenging the dawn.
We picnicked with the other little glossaries

until the wind shifted and the sky refused to rain.
Nothing seemed
the same.
I wish I'd listened to him,

learned to be content with it
but something
made me hungry
for something more than nothing.

Now all that's left is hunger and a waning
in this desert
of innumerable words
where nothing is speechless and I must die.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


At 18 I found myself standing
before those beautiful hourglass curves,
those 25 cent drafts of gold & foam
laid on a hardwood bar.
Standing in the effete smell of the night before
and the night before that,
those pretty little ladies of the night.

I stood where my father and his father and all our men stood
facing the mirror behind the ladies,
small change lying before us.
I snickered, "I must now be a man"
and so I bought the house a round,
the house where men live away from home
away from wives and crying babies,
away from mortgages and septic tanks
away from the dull grind of metals in sweaty shops
away from Cold War threats
and the immanent annihilation of this world.

I stood with them
wanting to speak
but every empty eye
forbade me.

Was I still a child
not to understand the manners of their silence,
a child unaware of such gravity,
ungrateful for the quiet sanctity of these
well-stacked bunker shelves
bearing the weight of mens' survival?

I lied,

said I had to piss and slipped out the back door running
across the street, across the country, across the Great Divide.
Perhaps I was not a man as my father and his father and all the men
had been....

And, you know, to this day
every time I face an hourglass shape I remember
the man I could have been, should have been
if only I'd listened to their silence.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Weight of the World

my precious
let them go
let them go
little pieces of the world

small stones sifting
through bubble & silt

who knows how deep they go
they go deep
don't they?

spidering down where sins remember themselves
& god's big toe stirs the muck

jellyfish know
brain coral knows
god knows
how deep they go

water knows
what stones don't
the path is fluid and blue
& me and you
we are sinkers
pirates & smugglers

unto the ages of ages
we descend
bones of stones
let them go
let them go
my precious
let them go

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Essential Summers

Oh the great carefree
laughter of family days
boys in baggy trunks
soft blades of grass
diving to find shiny pennies
on the clear lake bottom

Corn cobs & hot dogs
old folks clamoring
cribbage boards
fathers with brown bottles
fresh from red ice chests
     clinking horseshoes
     Lucky Strikes
 & mother's bathing cap

We boys ate orange creamsicles
and shared our blood-secret

a tiny knot hole
in the lady’s bath-house
& who had seen who's what

It was our essential summer
and we knew the end
would never come

Yet it came
growing shadows
along the trunks
and shiver breezes

in the leaves
the bright orange sun
sinking down

We packed our gear
our coolers and table cloths
in old Fords & Chevrolets
kissing giant lips
of  blubbering aunts
winking at our cousins
quick to dream
on the long ride home

Oh open windows & Nat King Cole

Oh essential summers
where have your goosebumps