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

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