Sunday, January 29, 2006

Magic Sexual Thinking

The me of the fetish
is quiet and desperate.
It's just a trick
to make someone appear interested,
a ritual of caress and touch
that could not be made
simply real.

The poem came
out of a hunch.
It's an old hunch
speaking to me since
I can nearly recall.
There are many secrets in it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

On Hearing Stravinsky

It's all right if you
picnic gently around the edges
in your soft colors and your
predictability.

But beyond that, the land
asks discomforting questions.
When I hear the muwahh muwaaa
I don't think of hunters.

That life in there is pretty
deliberate. It tangles angrily.
It is accustomed to death,
takes it for granted like religion.

The trees prevent tactics
and permit surprises.
And the earth is still
a mass of worms.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Epic

Like the beginning of a big
movie, the field of the eye
spans the earth, quickly
narrowing into a city
and street.

From the sweep of the planet,
it devolves into
a stage set.

We take
this entire house
and wear it down
to one crowded
corner.

Memory Principle

I know that memories
make the best poems.
They twist in the telling,
borrow their sadness
from long shadows
in the afternoon.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dear Reader

I will try to trap you
in little mazes

to make you tarry.
I will try to
tempt you with false exits,

trick reflections
that resemble lights.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Pharmacology

When I move
close to the edge
I find
the substances that
birth me and kill me.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

It All Leads to Needles

How the west does it:

We grow wheat and sugar,
which when consumed
in refined form causes
diabetes
that is nearing epidemic proportions and
is treated by using a needle.

How the east does it:

We grow poppies,
which when consumed
in refined form causes
addiction
that is nearing epidemic proportions and
is treated by using a needle.

Friday, January 20, 2006

While I Added Things Up

When I sat down
between the bed and the street
to add things up
I saw the well of tears.

The dead sighed in me.
My breath felt like the south wind.
Far flung dreams sung in my chest.
Everywhere in my closed eyes
I saw the glint of sun
on the wings of faraway birds.

Although I sat here
resting in a familiar place
I knew my ghost had muscles.
I felt the future parts of my body
flex.

How deep was this
well of tears?
It went as far as
the extent of my arm,
where I wished I had gone
where I might still go.

Monday, January 16, 2006

On The Front Doorsteps of the World

Good morning
I'm running for
a seat in the
Assembly of Human Beings.
You have my documents.
You don't have to vote for me.
Just remember.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just Five Years

Five years ago
I was at the corner
of my own eye,
a flicker of dark motion
in the ice at the end
of parking lots.
I couldn't see my clothes
they looked gray.
I wondered in passing
about these odd, quiet lives.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Trickster

As she rests on the hillside,
God enters through her nose
and strokes her flesh to
bring the water.

It looks like
she loves the world.

God sometimes plays those
little tricks to cause
people to feel beyond their limits.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Hail The Gang's All Here

The Gordianites arrive at night
wearing their fine leather coats.
We notice them because they don't carry lutes,
but prefer to sing street songs
accompanied by inharmonious things
they wear on their hips.

They announce that they would
teach us to put on armor and
chase the weakest among us away.
"Be tough," they say," because we
like to wound and
don't want tears."

So they own the place now,
and when the tiny violets all die
they say good riddance.

Nearing Funk Menopause

The conservatives may win
and the panic that drove me
to ask for tenderness
has brought me rage.

My hunger blows
into the void
and the appetite
increases as I empty.

My current funk
only lasts
a few days
and may be my last.

How many funks
can I fit into a short
life? If they are like
eggs I must be close to out.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Selective Memory of History

Dear Mr. Quinn
wherever you are. I'm
sorry I accused you of
antisemitism back in 1952.

I know I was only in your
class for six months,
but it was an adventuresome time.
You only found out because
Mike Markowitz, my supposed friend,
betrayed me.

I wasn't used to the idea of
betrayal in the sixth grade
and I didn't know
what to do with it.

It's true I was mad at you
for not letting me attend
the Washington Senators game
with the other safety patrols.

But you made me the chairman
of the paper collection committee.
You were rid of me as
I sat in that little shed in the back;
but you gave me the gift of being boss.

I started to feel for you
when my parents and I
discovered that you worked
for that gas station on Saturdays.
Dimly, I felt you must have
a lot on your mind.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Laius Watching

Oedipus has been my
least favorite folklore dream:
the old man cut down by someone
rude and young who used to be weak.

Seeing him groveling
is what I block from my dream eye,
the triumph of youth
hand in hand with death.

I burst awake to find in the real world
protection from the danger of fantasy.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Bad and Good Boy

No wonder
my mouth is
the largest part
of my mental face.

I have been
taking things in
and spitting things
out forever.

Yes I say and no
bad phooey
and good,with
a faceful of judging.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Poet's Trip from Pillar to Post

One girl friend says
YES another girl friend
says NO YOU BUM GET OUT!

That's the way it is
when you court the future.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

After The Bloom

Poetry and gloom

have always been bedfellows
from the earliest pleading in days
of disappointed passions

to now as I enter childhood
after millions of opportunities
to bloom.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Another Gotcha

The young ones
are very clever at avoiding traps,

something with their hips,
swivel away and run pell mell.

Traps grow deeper over the years,
dark walls coarser.

If you fall into one it will detain you while you await
the lonely secret moment.

Outside there is sunshine, warmth all the time.
In the Spring escape is always possible.

But not in Autumn,
when traps are consequential and last

on and on.