Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Black and White at The Fall of Night

It's all shades of black and white out there
snowing diagonally at dusk, and
the people from the church stand on the
sidewalk where they always do weekends
dishing out warm food and hot soup
to anyone who steps up - the poor -
you might call them.

This scene never seems to change, but the givers seem
warm and joyful, and their church is down the street
so they don't look like they're out doing good works,
they look just like everyone else here doing what they do,
wearing hoods, waiting for buses, walking on slippery sidewalks,
some  of them with such quick and searching eyes.

A few blocks later, it's coming down at a greater rate
in bigger flakes and everything is now white
except the cars and the buildings and the people under hoods.

A car goes by on the left headed in the other direction
and I glimpse a broken bicycle somehow attached to its back door,
while to my right a black hooded form lies in the snow white street
on its side, small hands pressed together in between its knees.

Someone on a cell phone stands over the form
from under his hood a human face shows
an earnest plea for emergency services, 
and on the sidewalk stand small children, also hooded,
watching, not knowing where to look, trying not to be
swallowed up by the snow coming now horizontally.

I want to say - I love you, but it's really turning to
New England's winter version of shit out here fast,
maybe the best thing to do for all concerned is
watch where I'm going and get the hell off the streets.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jaques Brel - Ne Me Quitte Pas


He sings of the possibility of two hearts
twice igniting which seems, from here,
as difficult as running one hundred miles
which my feet know for a fact can be done.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Far From Me

First Things First

I've been thinking lately
that I need a writing table
which is a real crock-of-shit thought,
don't think I don't see the game
you're trying to run on me
because I do, demons, I do.

I don't need a writing table,
I need to sit down and write.

I don't need props, I need an idea.
And some human feeling, I mean something
other than contempt, and just a small spark of energy,
a little discipline, and an internal iron fist.

I sure could use those manic wings
which flew away and left some time ago -
please write me if you see them.

I probably do need to shake this
lavender and white polka-dotted
plastic table cloth though.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be

It's one of those cold clear nights
good and holy, quiet and still
featuring plenty of moonlight and stars
walking under it for a moment
after the trials and festivities of the day
I remember her asking me
if I even like Christmas
because after fifteen or more spent
together, she never thought I did.

The moon is silent, cold and beautiful
and this moment here, stopping now,
has something to do with what your heart is
and why no one else can see what you mean.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Auld Anxiety

Anxiety doesn't take holidays
everything's overdrawn, unmaintained,
too spread out, and it has now fallen dark
on Christmas Eve, and there are many
things I have to be that seem to give
Joy more than it can handle.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Zat You Santa Claus?


It's someone's popularized interpretation of Doomsday today,
but elsewhere, it's already tomorrow, so I'm thinking
we're not getting off the hook so easily.

Let's call it a new beginning
along a different trajectory
cleaner and unencumbered by
our history.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A House Is Not A Home

Broken glasses, a meltdown, an aborted, highly anticipated Christmas
Concert - Don't freak out, that's the only rule - and you tell him Don't worry
It takes a life time to master, meanwhile she (Number 1) thinks ghostly fingers
Are changing the settings on her clock radio in the night and the other one
Says slyly that no, he might not see me Saturday, not if the world ends
So you quiz him on his vocabulary and he does pretty well then falls
Asleep listening to Harry Potter tapes for about the five hundredth time
And then the two of you compare notes on the Christmas shopping and plan
The weekend then you drive an hour home, Burt Bacharach is asking you now
What do you get when you fall in love?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Clock, Furnace, Monkeys

You're listening into silence half sick with thoughts
of all the things you cannot protect your children from
it's not advisable to go down this path, but there's no alternative,
it's chatter more than thinking really, and your crossed fingers
and clenched jaws, they are really prayer directed to who knows
what or who knows where, but you feel you must direct it on the off chance
it'll be heard and responded to. Let's not forget to celebrate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Because Tenderness Abandoned Me

Silent and black tonight with everything encased in ice
Remember when winter meant snow?
There's no wind, a blessing keeping the trees from cracking while
Today the funerals for those first graders and their teachers began and
We are arguing about gun laws, mental illness and what do do about it, or
Talking about football as though it matters, but I am remembering
Old friends, thinking that I didn't keep very much of their hearts at all.

Friday, December 14, 2012


Look at this latest madness
twenty tiny bodies
and the ripples of pain
spreading out and away from them
as high as mountains.

Look at this madness
and rage or shut down or despair
and write us off, all of us.

Look at this madness
without blinking, give no ground
oppose it with all that you are.

Burn brighter and longer
will it into existence
it's light we must become.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trying To Make It Smell Better

Burning a candle of balsam and cedar
in this quiet house
with very little sense of how things
will go from here.

Those I love most are living
I am listening for them
trying to send light while
leaving this arrangement nameless.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hearing Winter's Song Distantly

Waking now
to winter and darkness
without the heart to
walk anywhere.

Remember when I said
I'd walk anywhere?

I would have.

Winter is violence
tonight in silence
your mouth
without meaning now
pressed shut.

Forget the meaning

I'm only playing at this
it's not time yet.

Remember when I said
I'd walk anywhere?

I did.

Sunset Mission

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Winter Opposed

Central New England
After midnight
Positively balmy
At 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your body appreciates
And dreads.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yet To Make It To Kotzebue

Once I cast my mind's eye
toward Kotzebue,
to the Island of Saint Paul.

The sound of
Siberian Yupi'k spoken,
the smell of seal oil,
the taste of dry fish.

A sky that went on
over my strong body
through my young man's

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Training Day

Because I am
and middle-aged,
I'm center stage
in terms of
risky demographics
for suicide

And because I have had
close contact with others
loved ones and
who have died by their own
we multiply that risk times


The instructor
was talking about black
males and their
comparatively low
suicide rate
asking if any of us (all white)
had any theories about that

We were too frightened to offer any
so he told us that a black man
in a past class
spoke up and said

Because we strong.

Right on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Such a Long Way From Home, Just Me and The Moon

Silver Moon and Star

It's winter now
but gentle
sometime before the scheduled
end of the world
and the moon shines
so brightly I cannot
help but love it tonight
and there is a star shining
just above it
a planet more likely which
I cannot name
ignorant but reverent
I stand and see.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In The Driveway

Stillness and white unsullied ground
silver lit by the glorious moon and stars
a thin blanket of white clouds between us
in silent Eastward flight.

Winter, you arrive
in elegance.

Jack's Shadow

First Snow For Crow

Black crow steps sideways
looking down from the street light
playful in first snow

Monday, November 26, 2012

Not Yet Blanketed

It's maybe a day or two
before snow
watching through the window
the contrasting white gulls
gliding over black roof tops
and brown bare trunks

There's no ocean for you, not yet,
so what drew you here
besides the garbage
and the parking lot french fries?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Winter St.

Enter, sit and order alone
no, I'm not waiting
for another party

Outside is better
the moon wrapped in clouds
pass the red brick mills
into expensive lofts

Catch a glimpse
of the old place
a ghost in a doorway
hear indistinct voices

There were bright hopes
here and murderous hearts

Monday, November 19, 2012

Children Are Not A Protected Class

Sitting in the dark with heartburn
wondering about dopamine
an open bottle of wine couched in
a running shoe

I'm trying not to think about
the children of Gaza
their silent recriminations
a scolding line of brown and crimson
soft rubber bodies, faces smudged obscene

What must they be thinking?
those with brains still in their heads
staring up at the moon ,
those with eyes remaining ,
a slim and perfect crescent
ground to two sharp points
over watching the streaking F-16s
and the rocket rain

Why do you hate us?

Today something happened
that made me remember
a portion of last night's dream

They are sitting in a van
waiting to converge upon me
and I sense it

I remember why I didn't
want to let her
go to the mall
in the first place

Put me
in a small room
now and
close the door


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Temporary Cease Fire

No words to say tonight
it's unseasonably warm
and nothing's
any clearer
quiet and I guess
one might say

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hope Merchant

Squinting at the stars
blurred, sure,
but I can still see
they're bright.

Here's to every waiting seed
the sun is still there
despite this long, long night
hold on to the picture

or if you've never seen it
don't give up
on the notion.

The Misfits - Static Age

Monday, November 12, 2012


Nightmares continue with eyes open
although there is really no cause for such things,
I mean relatively speaking.

You think madness might offer release
a certain drunken sweetness, for just a moment,
staggering and completely spent
taking in the whirling panorama of everything
smashed, burned, upended
at last, addressed

Spinning, sickening
you fall,
but that moment,
it was necessary.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


Jack and his new best friend, Soren, wrote this song at recess. They're in the first grade.

Every single day I'm looking for my way
All I can find is your eyes
I told you once and I told you twice
Please don't interrupt me with your eyes
Every single day and night
I try to find my destiny
To shine in your eyes
But I can't find my destiny
Because your eyes
Won't shine


Mumford and Sons - White Blank Page

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The low late afternoon sun
and the beginning of night
winter moving in quietly
under the cover of darkness
slowly, it's a bad time to have
to find a place to house your family
which I don't have to worry about

Don't feel too safe, it's inadvisable,
but know and appreciate it if
you've got it, all in all,
it's rare down here

Today we vote, as a people,
divided maybe,
but according to the reports,
most of us are getting of our asses

And that's probably good,
at least I hope

Friday, November 2, 2012

I'll Remember This

Trick or Treat is not something
he's been very into the last couple of years:
overstimulating, I guess -
it's a lot to process and
well, frankly, that kind of thing
bends reality a little bit, you know?

So we head out for the night
in a new town with a whole bunch of
people we don't know,
and he is the youngest among this
group of masked marauders
dressed as a wizard, close beside me,
holding my hand

...for a moment,
and then he's off and running
leading the group up
every darkened driveway
past skeletons and scarecrows
ghouls and graveyards,
and he never once looked back.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Dead man
propped up in
someone else's living room,
I don't recognize any of you
and have no words to say.

Mad man
walking in the darkness of
someone else's neighborhood,
the children's costumes
express my heart.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sun Rise

In the presence
of gods and monsters
we are awed
and if the sun
should rise after they've gone
and find us spared
we are grateful children
for a moment
and new.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I put them to bed
in another house tonight
already almost asleep
when I tell them I love them,
not bothered by a single thought
for that swirling, massive thing breaching the
coastline miles from here

Drive home in the dark
flags stirring, a few falling leaves twirl
and a light rain begins
the music on the car radio
is ominous and without

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


today had something like winter's bite to it
I tried not to telegraph what I was thinking,
never show your fear to winter...

it's like playing hide and seek,
if you want to stay hidden,
you never look directly
at the one looking for you.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Losing The First Person

The fan, the clock, the blower -
office sounds in the pre-dawn stillness
outside it's dark, not far from frosting.

Here, they aren't really together
some sleeping under medication
some still awake and in need of it.

No one yet thinks to look out a window
for what the day promises or
to determine if it offers anything at all.

A man last night spoke confidently of a second man who lived
his life in a state of constant psychotic terror of the government,
the first man says the second man is better off now - dead.

It's nearly 5:30, the morning reveals nothing
no rebuttal seems forthcoming, only these moments
flowing one into another .

The Story Project - Lakota Teacher

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nature Takes It's Course

You, the Shit that shot that little girl in the head,
I would like to kill you tonight with my own hands
asking you through clenched teeth, spit and red rage
if your prophet really has no sense of humor or
if it's just your own unquenchable sense of inferiority
that makes you worship death and bully the small,
beating out of you the reason why your tyrant god
thirsts for the tears of innocents, the blood of children.

You holy  warring shithead...

You are less than human:
that thought blossoms in my reptile brain
the seed deftly planted with the perverse calculus
of your vile action.

This is how you win?

Alpha Shallows - Laura Marling


The entire world should know your name.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Hey, Charlie Brown

A co-worker told me she's always depressed
after talking to me.

Run while you can,
is all I'm trying to say.

Not like there's any hope of getting away,
I mean just run to experience the act of running.

Exertion will let you know you're alive,
slap you awake and out of your stupor.

We need that now and again, and also to remember
that the day is coming when you can't. Selah!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Seasonal Unrest

Seasonal unrest.

Watching a video clip of an accomplished writer
talking about writing and the life of a particular place
and it makes me yearn for the bubbling well-spring
of words and emotions and to be part of the life in that place.

At this time of year my choice is to
be a wind carried leaf,  blown vivid in a momentary blaze,
or to stay,  all gray and abandoned,
rushed over by clouds and such falling leaves.

Do what you do,

Friday, September 28, 2012

I Stopped Running For A Month

I stopped running for a month and now death is close
swirling in the rain and the falling colored leaves
sounding like wind and strings and Andy Williams
the sounds of childhood and goosebumps
all the varieties of love you had yet to know

I stopped running for a month and can already feel
my abdomen slouching, hanging, my waist expanding
and don't think I missed the way that wild dog stared at me
outside of Starbucks this morning

I stopped running for a month and learned that sometimes
change is for keeps and that this work your doing,
friend your loving, child your cherishing, hand your holding
is not...for keeps, that is
call it luck, good fortune, a tease, or a loan
no matter how well intentioned
we can't stay.

Friday, September 21, 2012

You Saw Me

Are you a quarter moon up there?
So brilliant and off kilter
drunk and brimming
with all you've seen below.
I know, you can't hold it,
and I don't expect you to.
The air is crisp tonight
and there is less peace
and more trouble than I can manage,
staring hard into the shadows, like you,
all these people carrying bags, wearing extra clothes,
thinking about killing you for your arms
while patiently waiting for
a book of baby names.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


listening to her broken English through the wall,
she's talking on the phone
saying nothing of substance sweetly
to someone in a language not her own
she hopes for something, deliverance maybe
thirteen and a half hour work days
seven days a week

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feels a little like this

September Again

tonight, the wind
another Fall begins
the excitement and
swiftness of a
low grey sky
memory stirs, blurs
don't look directly at it
only at the motion, the colors,
just the feel of it and
the sound of very heavy rain

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

incense head

At least consider the possibility
that it won't go the way you imagine
you are, at least in part,
the author, the surgeon, the butcher
the ink on the page
the blood on your hands
at least consider the possibility
of a better ending, a plot twist,
all you might have to do is
get out of your way


Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Circuit

Twenty four straight hours of work
the last two half asleep on the floor,
bear witness to the circles we're caught in
the futility of saving one from himself
evaluating, questioning, confronting
mostly apathetic with stray moments of care
try to see who's in there, if anyone still is,
don't throw it all away
one is found on the dark highway
without papers or words, just a driver's license
issued by a state three thousand miles away
in coming to the hospital she learns
of a baby just two or three months away.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Same Shit, Different Day

Like a band around my head
the pressures of the day
you're the hot head, the angry one
today's another example of you
losing your cool
while the rest of them keep their mouths shut
but start complaining and talking behind the scenes
the minute the meeting is over
low grade politicians
a study in mediocrity and serving time
woe unto you who wants
to do something
other than sleepwalk.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Coming From Where I'm From

Coming From Where Sam's From

Sam is my oldest boy. He, of the three, looks the most like me. And our relationship is the most complicated. This week he started middle school in a new town where he knows no one. He brought home a writing assignment tonight. I'd like to share it.
I am from...
I am from my small room
From the gas station down the street
I am from a big family
From my small town
From a mom who says
Don't forget to say thank you
I am from banoffee pie
My favorite pie
From the first day of
I am from my special box

Overnight Shift

All night she's coughing
getting up to use the bathroom
pacing, coughing, pacing
she wants you to listen to the noise
inside the walls
afraid she's being poisoned
all the time
she'd like to trust you
she wants to smoke
but can't have her cigarettes
until 6 am, until then
she passes the time
coughing, pacing, coughing
using her inhaler
keeping her distance
afraid of everything
in the world

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gently It Slips

Quiet here now
as the sun sets
on summer -
a cricket or two,
a blue jay,
the distant rush of
rolling tires.

There'll be more of this
as it gets colder
along with the sound
of the inside
of my head,

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let's Get Lost - The Whole Documentary

The soundtrack to this film is fantastic. I like to watch him sing.

I'm A Fool To Want

Play it once, play it slow

It'd be nice if some one some day plays quiet Mexican guitar with you in mind - a kind of tribute, because at last you became someone worth remembering. Maybe someone at the bar will raise a glass, staring down the years, understanding just what you meant. We deserve a soundtrack, all of us, with exclusive rights to the final edit.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Stagger, a little, the streets of nostalgia
under a bright moon this warm summer night
and look for traces of your past.

So hungry most of the time then,
thin and cold
bruised by every hard face,
the brick and stone of the place.

Tonight, you're older
harboring less intensity
not out of maturity or development
just bad faith, exhaustion,
faltering spirits.

You stagger under spirits now,
you and your friend,
it's good that word,
say "friend" .

All that moves out here, besides you
are the disproportionate number of police
daring you to get behind the wheel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Brace for change
or don't brace, just be fluid
figure it out
so you'll know what to tell them
and what to do
It's happening now.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Something Blue

Working late while they're out
looking  at potential new lives
and I'm trying to jam the summer fun
into one eight hour block tomorrow
while one little boy gets jealous of the other
and the rain is coming down like it hasn't
for the last several months threatening
the whole plan to kayak around a
reservoir in a state park before going off to my second job.

This is better than the picture
of a cool blue drink on the bar
sweetly exotic promising
to drown you painlessly.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Exiled to a child's too small bedroom
it's no wonder they don't like it in here
but I'm already drowsy
with the drone of the fan
and the rhythm of cricket chirps.

Listening to the music of longing
without really feeling it,

Write what you know, what you've seen,
a story of a brown skinned girl looking down from
her prisoner's window
or five drug addicts stuck in the car next to you
sweating with the windows down,
swearing fiercely at each other in the most desperate way,
and the strange civility of their stillness and
in using each other's first names.

Write something that can take us out of here,
something set to music and sung sensuously-
slow as smoke
by someone like Sade
or something.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Be or Not To Be

There was a guy I knew in school,
older than the average student,
like me, and he worked with his hands,
built things.

He said he wanted to be a writer
and you know what?

Today, he is one.

So what's your problem?

This On The Radio This Morning

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Took a right turn this morning
on to the wrong track,
and stayed there all day long
around and around and

You chose the vile thought,
the shameful act -
you built this ugly world.

empty miles
wasting life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

So Long I Think It's Me

I undertook this thing
in part to change the voice
in my head.

I've been listening to it,
living with it, for such
a long time.

I want to know what I am
without you,
what I can be.

If I can shake you

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Numbers Like 40,000 Men, Women And Children In An Instant With A Single Bomb

Hearing numbers you thought you knew repeated years later
they mean something they didn't back then
the magnitude, you have more of a sense of it,
but still can't imagine it with any real clarity
sadly, you know enough now for it
no longer to be unbelievable

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Owl's Name Was Called

The owl didn't make it,
I should have known by it's
one-eyed stare that the
damage was too great.

The kids are doing other things,
life keeps moving,
so let's hope they don't ask.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cry For Love

Ruins: What Rises From Them and What Falls Into Them

There's a burned bed in the median
hardly more than metal springs, black char, and grey ash
disconnected from any memory of whatever purpose it once served.

The call about the owl didn't come in today,
the suicidal one that flew out in front of the family van,
the bird I was willing to forsake if not for a child urging
his father to seize upon an opportunity to become a hero.

Thirty minutes after impact, we find the bird in the headlights
flat on it's back, wings spread wide, motionless.
It's dead, I say, disgusted.
It's midnight and, like any working man off the clock,
I want to relax not mess around with dead birds, lost causes.

When I step out onto the road though,
the owl leaps to its feet and looks at me drunkenly
through one open eye.

Uncertain, I drop a blanket on it and gently lift it into a cardboard box.
The owl offers no resistance thinking, perhaps, that I am the reaper come to take it home.
We drive thirty miles to the 24 hour emergency room at the school of veterinary medicine
which is different from emergency rooms that treat humans in that it's not very busy
and the staff are polite, humane and like their jobs.

The receptionist asked us to complete an information card which inquired
as to whether we wanted to be included in the release of the animal when it was fully mended,
and I thought what a great family moment that would be - to see the despondent owl cured and liberated, soaring strings in the background...we, beaming skyward.

But that call didn't come in, 
and I have this fear that the poor owl
may have hung himself in his cage
while the staff were laughing and having pizza.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Antlers Of The Midnight Sun


There isn't a great deal of difference
between being boxed in
and being boxed out

Timed the merge wrong
and got caught looking
you're too old for this
and the awkward moment
passes with you playing it off
outwardly while inwardly
burning stupid

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Crunchy Rock Nugget For MRM

End of July

your body feels almost alive
something in your mind is jarred loose
and rendered temporarily operational,
a wind-up toy's sudden action,
startling and inexplicable

the only medicine you have
is in this cool palm
lying awkwardly for a moment
across the top of a head,
like a small child's,
trying to transmit peace
not sickness

Monday, July 30, 2012

Today Is All We Have

Runner Ups

Weak for Kind

This beautiful assemblage of chicken bones
a facade barely covering more loss
and abuse than anyone should
have to know in twenty years.

I have a hard time not only holding
this ground but just knowing
where I stand.

In a parking lot
under a stenciled moon
who is this in my shoes?

Young under the sky
wanting somewhere else to be
the imbalanced weight of missteps
chicken bones assembled sadly,
still and eternal.

Yes I would,
but probably for
the wrong reasons
disguised as right.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Twelve Hours

It's a sport of sorts, competitive yet entirely individual,
it's a trial, something that engages the spirit,
the whole entity,
it's a long god damn time to stay on your feet
moving forward.

this time I really noticed just how heavy
my head is to carry around
both physically and otherwise.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Touching Display

Artists Write For The People

I'm looking for this story for you,
really paging through volumes,
trying to find the one in which
the world is a safe place
and all the predators are in the zoo
happy now and taken care of, a place
where wild is just a ride on a roller coaster
not tooth and claw and red.

I want to read to you
this story in which
people are who they say they are
set in a place where it is really
bad to lie, cheat, steal
and hurt each other.

I want to tell you  a story about
a place where people are free
and responsible
where the weak, sick, old, young
the less fortunate
are taken care of
because it's the right
thing to do.

I'm looking for that story now,
maybe I should call you when I find it?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


In the photograph
he looks like a painter
from another age
Van Gogh or someone
capable of suffering at that level
and a moment of something ecstatic
swirling stars, everything wrapped in light
and panic.

Of course you hear suicide in his lyrics now,
not that you or anyone else did fuck-all about it.

Friday, July 20, 2012


What are those men doing?
down there in the depleting river
with the water level shrinking daily
and less life visible

There's an old couch on the bank now
and a muskrat trying to pretend there is enough
water to swim in
in more than just a few spots

This creeping drought
we are tinder
and madness swirls around us like hungry horseflies
like bullets at the movies cracking over your head
and leaving someone else dead

We can't believe it because we can't and so we
try thinking of bare shoulders, sun-browned skin,
try thinking of your children and you watching a movie in bed
and your small boy, happy, telling you that you smell like wine
even though you've had none,and that you are the best dad he's ever had

You're glad water still comes out of the tap.
You hope you are cancer free.
You pray to a storybook illustration
that the light on the good things stays on.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Calling Hours

A cancer death
a mother with two young boys
surviving her
they watched her go slowly
unable to stop the progression
or comprehend
the inevitable outcome.

They were all kids when I
last saw them,
so was I, and so was she.

I recognize their eyes, but it's
as though they're in costume
peering through middle-aged masks
theater make-up

Waiting for your life to happen
it went by
and we are all now a little

Monday, July 16, 2012

Man Friend

Sweat-bathed on the East River's edge,
dog walking on a dog day
these people who will not even make eye contact
with each other on the street
are quick to do so, even smile,
with the dogs the others walk.

In the dog parks the people
seem easy in their exchanges
about each other's dogs,
even touch them unreservedly.

We're funny, I think,
waving goodbye.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Make Up Your Mind

Drowsy in the mid-afternoon
just about the same time every day
one might think your youth has run out
and being the half-empty type of homeboy
that you are, you'd be inclined to agree, but
you know all that shit is relative, cousin.

Let me know if you think the sun is getting stronger
because that's another thing you noticed lately
how much it beats you down, those heavy rays,
and you are hardly butter down here.

Close your eyes
lie down on the floor
it's all going to pass, no,
it's all passing, I mean right now,
which is why you'd better get up
and go.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Here is your summer heart
hot, languid and sultry
unattended and off camera
left too long in the sun
it's dry now, leatherine
as tough and tasty as bacon.

Recreational Battleground

Hard, you think
as the road goes up and on
in the form of another hill
past cows and vistas of green
mountains in the near distance
strong sun and a constant breeze
your feet complain
your mind is already unreliable
the real battle is in the heart
the true field of victory
or defeat.

Lhasa De Sela

Friday, July 6, 2012


My shoelaces are too long - replacements,
and my pants don't fit well
as I now remember this guy, like a sour preacher,
who wore essentially a black uniform-
polyester pants, ankle high boots-
every day and a certain something about him,
beyond his pan-Asian prejudice,
that signified evil and wrong-headedness.

I guess I should wear the black pajamas of the Viet Cong.

Because I am a bad dresser
does not mean that I am a bad man,
there is more to it than that,
maybe a smell or an aura that only
dogs and people on drugs can detect.

You know it when it's there. Hard to miss.

Today I listened to a man whose experience
can only be described as
everything at once
all the time.

He doesn't get a lot of rest,
and there's nothing funny about it
at all.

He's aware of my incongruous laces,
but he has bigger fish to fry.

Today I saw another person on crack
holding his body in a strange pose
who heard my thoughts and saw me first.

We are, all three, in spiritual darkness
and thankfully, I guess,
I can only see about a foot
in front of my face.

The man who perceives it all at once
is just out of jail for the eighth time today.
He tells me he knows the darkness in his consciousness
and he keeps it there, tightly confined in his skull,
never allowing it to infect his heart.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


There are no babies at the fireworks display this year
groups of teenagers roving, some smoking, swearing
awkward in front of families
and small children

You watch the back of his head watching the explosions
the colors
and the three of you jug eared lay next to each other on
a blanket

Your teen aged daughter returns to the group
missed and a little  testy after a week away
with friends on vacation,
so good to have her home,
everyone feels it,
you get the message
and mark the time

Later you sweat on the lawn in the dark
exercising heavily
graceless but determined

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name

there's a small river flowing
by my place of work in an old mill town
where the mills that once choked
the river are no longer industrious and
there isn't much for people there now
but the river is alive again

every day I walk by and stand for a minute
on the high bank
to try to see beneath the surface
of the brown water

today I watched a snapping turtle hunting
yesterday, a crayfish scuttling from my sudden presence,
and before that a swimming muskrat,
black birds and a squirrel at play,
small darting fish.

life is so much more than me
more than just

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Bat-eared under summer hair cut
straight across the forehead,
he wants to climb a mountain, read ten books,
go to a wrestling match, learn all there is to know
about superheroes - all of them -
and the powers they possess.

Monday, June 25, 2012


made small-eyed
with low grade hatred
born of  unconcious repetition

Before you can turn away
they see
and know

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012


Can you teach me to do
something you know how
to do?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nice Place To Visit, But

This place, or that part of it,
waits to swallow you,
and as a sad matter of fact
is slowly enwrapping you now,
a constrictor.

Deep brown,
you are here by no fault of your own
and the only one in the neighborhood
who's actually ever heard of

Greet the madness around you
with a smile that blinds the viewer
to all of the rest,
what you have come to know,
what you fear.

I wish for you,

Chuck Berry - Havana Moon

I heard this for the first time today.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Night Life

The night lets you know
with certainty
that you are unworthy of it.

Sure, you're brave enough,
in that imaginary sense,
to enter it, to begin -
shuffling quietly through
an ambush of fireflies.

Beyond them, there are no lights,
but the blurred stars too far away
to notice you and the moon
who must have called out sick.

There's just a faint semi-glow
to the light sandy surface
of the dirt road to guide
the placement of your feet.

You begin to listen with your whole body.

Imagination tingles and
you're thinking it really is your sixth sense,
until the throaty growls and hoarse barking
of fast approaching dogs you cannot see
stops and stiffens you in your tracks.

"Easy...", you say,
to the darkness.

Wine Colored Days

My favorite Canadian sings it nice. If you can't feel this, check your pulse.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pumping The Brakes On The Passenger Side

All three graduated something today
kindergarten, grammar school, middle school
everything is moving, changing,
and I am left here to spectate and
to marvel

Thursday, June 14, 2012

There Must Be Some Kind Of Mistake

They make a long list
of the things you
don't like
or hate.

It doesn't paint you
in a very favorable

They seem to be saying
they'd be okay
with you being
someone better.

I'm still thinking,
hold on,
I'm sure there is something
I like that you
refuse to give me
credit for.

I'm almost certain.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blood And Honey

A World Well Made

Animals seem to be appearing to me
pressing me somehow
turkeys today, wild turkeys
we live in the world with others
we are not special
and we all hope to stay free of disease.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tell It To Go

Training run today and it's
sunny and bright and hot.

The woods are filled with horseflies
which change the tone of this outing
from recreational to spiritual trial.

Becoming a blood offering and
watching them dizzily orbiting my head
growing in numbers, finally biting
right between my shoulder blades
just beyond my reach.

They learn,
they adapt,
and so must I.

So I take to the road,
and now it's oblivious cars threatening
and hot pavement beating the soles
of my feet.

But on this trip I come upon a brown snake on a dirt road
close to a Great Blue Heron's long feather and a
a smallish box turtle, withdrawn, except for its watching head,
a dead porcupine, perfectly intact, lying on its side as if only asleep.
I run as softly as I can.

There are many empty pint
and half-pint peppermint schnapps bottles
strewn along the roadside
mile after mile.
Someone in this town has a serious problem.

Imagining him drinking,
bottle kept low in his lap,
driving slowly, searching,
endless night.

My problem, however, is a 100 mile race
with a start and a finish and the question
are you enough?

Out of water now,
stopping to drink from a cemetery spigot,
and no one there takes offense.

My feet hurt already at only three hours in
and my calf muscles twinge and ripple with activity
that I've come to understand as pre-cramps
caused maybe by a lack of salt.

Must learn to manage
my water,
my fuel,
my electrolytes,
my mind,
and dreading the science of the damn thing.

Experimenting with different ratios of running and walking:
15 minutes running/5 minutes walking, 10/5, 5/5,
and sticking to the plan of not allowing myself to walk
more than five minutes at a time,
of not falling into the dirge,
the death march.

When it hurts,
trying to think about staying upright
relaxing my body
controlling my breath,
my form...

Trying to avoid thinking about how tired
I will be running ten times this distance
or how much that effort will cost in pain.

Gently instructing my mind
to know
that it will get done
and to go.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thinking about a title for something unwritten

Unsung songs, tuneless
and unheard,
I dedicate them none-the-less
to the hard pressed.

Depressed is less than I am,
but too tired
to explain the rest.

please do,
ask me why.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The First Pain

Oh, The Places You'll Go

End of the year
singing your kindergarten songs
happy and confident
having found belonging here
the world can shake you
and I don't want to see that.

Monday, June 4, 2012


What do you love?
One shot a bear
Another lost his teeth
I'm not sad about today
I'm okay
Keep running
Try for sleep

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fear Mongers Say We Are Eating Each Other Now

Profit of Doom

You'd have us believe we are sicker than we are,
though I will concede we are pretty sick,
all this reportage of eating one another
cannibalism, zombies,
but the fact remains
there are many varieties of madness,
and it has always been circling us,
there is nothing special about now
just the laws of supply and demand
market forces
someone creating desire
and fear
and making a

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On Demon Wings

For late nights, alone.

Eighteen Pairs Of Food

Kindergarten curriculum night,
just he and I,
he shows me the sum total of his work,
his progress of a year
from the scrawl and scribble of his first day
to a clearly printed name with all the letters
pointed in the right direction and
drawn faces with features and bodies attached.

It means something to him that I am here,
and it means something to me too.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Art Appreciation

When you play for me,
I am an animal

Your technique, your prowess,
go unappreciated as
I can only respond
to what soothes or agitates

Can only understand through
how your music moves
my blood.


Sunday, May 27, 2012


Standing in the road, seemingly oblivious,
unseen until the last moment,
sharp right turn, hit the breaks hard,
too fast, too late, and impact
but it doesn't end up under the wheels
the brown coyote standing still in the middle of my lane staring straight ahead
not even looking at me as I hit him
what had its attention?

I turn the car around expecting to find
it broken and dying on the roadside
but my headlights  catch him running
apparently without a limp,
back to the side of the road
from whence he came.

Of course, the little bastard
was uninsured.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Good Place To Kill Half An Hour

A seat in a bar I've heard spoken of as a good place
pine panneled, well-lit, the usual temple shrine of bottles
smokers in an outdoor sitting area sounding drunk even though it's only 9
bartender's cautious, never seen me around here before, gets my beer
and it's not long before he probes discretely with a question or two
artfully revealing a mutual friend, a regular, who sometimes comes in just after closing
and they talk, drink and listen to jazz until early morning...

A patron in his sixties cracks a joke about nurses,
moves in closer, tells me he was a tunnel rat in Vietnam,
and he's got a girlfriend with a smart-ass son in his 30s
who thinks it's funny to jump out and startle him at every opportunity
this last time he did so with a kitchen knife in hand which prompted
my new friend to go out to his car and get his Ka-Bar
which he then brought back into the house and asked sonny boy
if he wouldn't like to be killed with it,
his girlfriend apparently didn't understand.

At the same time, two guys are arguing down the bar,
"She's got MS, asshole. That's a terrible disease."
"Yeah? She's got BS too. You should stay the fuck away from her"
"Your talking shit about someone with a disability"
"Look, just because she's disabled doesn't mean she's not an asshole"
"You been drinking Jack and Cokes for six hours. I can tell by your mood"...

Turns out sonny boy drowned in a rip tide
off a Boston area beach soon after, a risk taker,
some people just don't understand what they're fucking with,
and the bartender fills me in on his brush with the Russians in Germany
during the Cold War 70's and he tosses out the names of several other people we
know in common between pouring his customers drinks and weighing in on the
character of the chick with MS.
I've been here 20 minutes.

We three shake hands, I've got to go pick up my daughter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Gypsy Moth

Aren't you early
this year,

scouts for legions
soon on the march
to eat all the green in
the world.

I run, and it's humid,
but I'm getting no faster
in a relative sense

No real hope of out distancing
much of anything,

I just need the ability
to keep moving fast enough,
long enough,
to avoid being crushed
by knowing

Cuz Your Back Ain't Strong Enough

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bill Withers - Lovely Day

Here's hoping.

Ignorance Of The Law

Put me back in the dark,
this place where us kids
had the run of the neighborhood
at 5 or 6 years old
without adult supervision

we never knew the passer-bys
in cars, those adults,
were predators,
perverts and child killers,
because the television news
talked about other things,
like nuclear war

besides, we were mostly
superheroes and
if not safe

now, we line up here
and are fed
a 24 hour deluge of
shit and fear

and we don't know
what we need,
just that we need
more and more
and more

and we hate
and we fear
and we buy
and we stare

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wild Child's In A World Of Trouble

There are three songs here. The one I like, and want to share, begins at 7:08 on the timer.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Forces In Motion

will just roll over it all, fuck you,
your small faces, your homes and keepsakes,
dreams and treasures, secrets,
your favortite things, your loves,
all you worship and adore

will lay waste and leave ruins
blood, tears, terror, and loss
that will echo
down the years

will crush your heroes and your hopes,
make a mockery of all you hold sacred
and brutalize your idols leaving them
staggering naked in the street
drugged, raped and pathetic,
painted up silly,
rubber tires hanging
around their necks

you can join us,
or you can join them,
but the choice isn't really yours,
is it?

you can bear witness or
you can be dumb enough
to try to pick up the pieces
and tend to the wounds,
that is,
if you're still

Out of The Corner Of A Jaundiced Eye

Distracting myself in that god-awful gym
running on a treadmill and looking at the TV screen:
it's some food show on the Travel Channel
and I can't help noticing as they show
one family after another
happily eating and talking to the camera
that one of the moms is reaching to dip
some food item into another
while in mid-nod on opiates,
probably prescribed and abused.

Fat, bored, sick, addicted,
entertained unto oblivion
and rich enough to have time to
think about it.

What a pickle.
What a dream.

Riders on The Storm

I've always loved the driving quality of this song. I think it might still be close to perfect with just the rhythm section and the rain. No disrespect to you, Jim. Or to the unstable guy with the squirming-toad-brain. Or to the Jazzy keyboards, which I like so well right at the end.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Silver Springs

Named for the Blessed Virgin,
a land not so very far from here
but not of my every day
so it qualifies
as a far off place
a dream

Is there magic there?

I look at the map
and that is why maps
are beautiful.

Ave Maria

Monday, May 14, 2012


Afraid of influence,
even music is a drug, facilitator,
reading sews seeds, wildly germinating
what you want is the true sound
of your own voice
even if it croaks
I am parched...

Someone said organic
three times in one sentence,
and that was enough to
put me off

It doesn't take much
to realize smallness
and to bring it into being

I am telling you
that I am something
that must be overcome.

Chicha Libre

Saturday, May 12, 2012


If you let yourself
fall into their hands
after dark,
they may kill you...

imagining that surrender,
letting go of the shoulders,
dropping them, the tension

and not missed

turn yourself in,
give yourself over,
to the chance offered
by nights falling

you aren't captain of anything

darkness will fall,
of course it will,
and so will

School of The Flower

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I am
more than
an object
in your universe,
and less.

Blog Archive

Visitor Map