Monday, January 1, 2018

Riding Seaward on the Waves

In the humid atmosphere,
Braids fray quickly.
Pricks of sweat
Burst from tender skin.
Sands, composed
Of tiny eyes of coral,
Cling to clothing.
Sips of water soak from within.

Waves spit spray that floats
With eerie languor.
Smears of haze
Curdle into focus through a squint.
The sand is lava, coral, abalone,
Boulders to an atom.
Shells and flint.

Friday, October 13, 2017

November 1856

In the midst of Moby-Dick,
Melville went to Hawthorne for a passage.
Asked him nothing, in the way
A friend asks everything.
Confessed a shredding of the stuff
that binds one’s faith.
The parlor pleasantries,
The subsumed ache.

They walked among the dunes,
Apart and together.
Melville spilled laments like rhapsody.
Fingers curled as if around a pencil,
Sand spread out like stars between his feet.

That day his kin denied the hand he offered,
So he unmoored himself: the castaway,
Anchored to a desk at Ellis Island,
Tossed by time like Pip by waves at sea.
There really is such thing as too much knowledge.
Dread can warm the soul like ecstasy.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Brand

Find a working flame and heat the metal.
Brand yourself when it is sufficiently hot.
Carve some living flesh into a knot.

Once the searing is done, the pain will settle.
That silhouette of flesh will never rot.
Your brand will live forever in that spot.

Using user-friendly words and cartoon pictures,
And in the name of progress, brand yourself.
Online traction is good for your avatar's health.

Now you can download all of the scriptures.
Progress never ceases - walk towards the light.
Eternities spool in the bellies of satellites.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Under the Ridge

Our Lady of the lake, the valley,
Lady of rotting trees.
Pine needles in cobwebs
Are weathervanes, spinning me.  

Our Lady of father-son camping,
Make tomorrow as good as I know it will be.
We will name the unnamed lake.
Hide this ridge for history.

Our Lady of heather hillsides,
Lady of ridges of aching green,
Fill the old campsites with grass,  
Grow moss among the scree.

Our Lady of the snowmelt,
You freeze, you drip, you feed.
A trickle, a stream, a river –
We cross it, and are free.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


A flaccid supposition -
no instructions were given.
There is no bough that cannot hold
the whole of nuclear fission.

A hunch, she had, a vision
of the suit man's truculent mission.
That supple bough is bending
into oblivion.

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Half Drowned Hope"

I’m bearing your grief, dear acquaintance -
Exhaustion comes so easily,
Your tired eyes make sense to me.
Taking your cues from the soaps,
You tried to hide the rope. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Bloo Berries"

The apples from the apple crisp
are ears for mister potato-head,
who will try to mislead you:
He's really a melon.
His little lips are cherries,
His eyes are halved kiwi runts.

He has a friend named Coconut,
who really is one,
brown and shaggy,
hollow fleshy noggin.
His soft blue eyes
are ripe blueberries.

Mister potato-head often blushes,
Strawberry nose,
Apple crisp ears.
Coconut kept his friend's melon secret
For a number of years.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ideally, style becomes substance,
A ballet that revolves on the rim.
Triumph is only relative,
Hardwood equilibrium.

Loose limbs translate motion
Into superstitious spin,
Just past outstretched fingers,
Two points. Retreat and square your chin.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just as fine as before

I used to wonder: it was great.
I used to dream at a startling rate.
"What does he do now?" is an
Insightful follow-up question.

Crouching in this stone-stiff chair,
Weighing every pin-pricked word,
I fine-tune, always at the source,
And swear I'm still a dreamer.

Yet paths we take get narrower,
From plains to plots to houses.
Barefoot at birth, untied at twelve,
Now we stack our shoes in closets.

Through my window, the city swells,
Flexes, moans at bolted seams.
Edges curl, suburbs slide central.
The strip mall's guts will fertilize trees.

I rub my eyes to smear the specters,
My heartbeat staves off dread.
My elbow guides a wisp of cursive,
I funnel the stream in my head.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cracking with Spring

The potted plant man beckoned,
And we approached courteously.
And eyed his windowsills of product,
And patiently heard his offers of plenty.

He told us that spring brings him stress,
The roots crack his pots from within.
But people like their plants to be potted,
And they all know where to find him.

I turned my head down and chuckled,
And plucked a leaf from my girl's hair,
And crumbled it in my fingers,
And remembered the tree that put it there.