Friday, November 22, 2013

The Glory Of True Love


Your friend's ashes are waiting far from where he asked you
to scatter them, while you are finding yourself staring down into
an eighth of an inch of blood on a dinner plate (finish your beer),
listening to a father and his college-aged daughter talking easily
and openly (you're starting toward maudlin, so move out)
teenage boys hold the doors open, think of silken black hair,
arms, veins, lips
when suddenly a family,
two parents in glasses and their three small children
moves innocently through, a brood...

You're brooding soon, under the moon
smelling the wet black parking lot
removing the thing from your jacket pocket
arranging it so that it points up under your chin 
then firing while still walking long strides
which just knocks you down, breaks your jaw,
but more importantly, your train of thought.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Great Compilation

November Evenings

There's something about night falling
in November, a brief and solemn
excitement, the last lights
of a sinking ship

Do you like Winter?
Not really.
You should move somewhere warm then.
But the twilight tells me to

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Errand Boy

Explain to a formerly smart, vivacious, attractive
twenty year old girl that the life she knew just last month
may not be coming back ever again.

Tell her that what's bothering her now is not
exactly what she thinks it, but an illness that
never goes away, though with time, might be
better understood and, with strict medication
compliance, even managed.

You tell her.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Car Is Not A Home Until You Make It One

Six a.m. sleeping in the car
with the sounds of wind and rain and morning traffic
a day like this strips away the last of the leaves
and the hope 
softens us up like an artillery barrage
before Winter's frontal assault
change is coming, I am changing.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gimme Danger Little Stranger

Yellow Tigers Crouched In Jungles In Her Dark Eyes

Things had shaped up into mostly mud and drudgery by then. I was twenty-two and released from the gates of Camp Pendelton about six months before, still alive (beyond my expectations) and without a plan, money, or any desire to go home. I was trying to do the right thing by someone I loved, in a young idealist's way, who was struggling a little more than I. By the time this night came around, I was working two jobs, breaking freight,  and sleeping an hour or two in my van between shifts.

I paid the bills and she complained. I grew resentful and shut down. She branched out and started making other plans.

Mike Russell, who always slept with a 9mm locked and loaded under his pillow, got in touch with me from out of the past one night. We went out to a rock 'n roll night club in El Cajon. We drank, and I felt pretty good for the first time in a while. I had a shaved head then and wore boots and a Charles Manson t-shirt.

At some point I found myself watching a girl dance. She really wanted to dance but her boyfriend was too cool or too shy, and he wouldn't stay on the floor with her for long. She was Mexican, liked hard rock songs and stood about five feet tall.

When she danced, she flew. I immediately felt like I could see her soul. I mean she danced - let herself go and gave it all.

Anyway, the D.J. played White Room by Cream. I knew it would move her, and she was moving me, so I asked her to dance right in front of her boyfriend with Charlie Manson staring on from my shirt.

Her dark eyes sparkled and dazzled and smiled with the excitement of music and, taking my hand, she led me to the dance floor. Only the two of us danced. We sweat from one end of the floor to the other and back several times and lost ourselves.

I think of that letting go now with great longing. She never spoke to me in words, and I said only thank you.

Fall always spins the wheel of memory and, tonight, it landed here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is Planning To Fail

Something must have died in the refrigerator,
and sediment from the well has clogged some mechanism
that won't allow the heat to rise or the water to warm,
and you'd best believe it's going to cost you.

You've got to take care of things before they break down.
Say it again.

Now stumble forward into the tilting world,
and try to keep a sense of humor
will you?

The moon tonight in silent silver
lights the brown stalks and weeds in front of the house
and the leaves have thinned
enough to see that I have neighbors.

Winter is stalking me, but this bed feels pretty good, and there's
no second job tonight: no cranky dope fiends, no depressed kids
alone in the world, or young men with their jaws wired shut
with an exit wound on their foreheads waiting for something better,
I hope, than another go.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day

The physical therapist is talking
baseball absent mindedly leaving me
unsure about this traction contraption
and whether or not we are doing anything
but going through the motions of healing and billing
while outside the day is shaping up toward perfection
the sky is blue and crisply vivid in that certain way
that makes you believe everything is okay
or makes you worry that a group of death-worshippers
have hijacked a passenger plane filled with children's choirs,
business travelers and family vacationers, depending on your orientation.

The sad mother, estranged, is telling me about her own mother's
ever-blinking eye and the wonders of acupuncture, she speed walks
seeking youth in her face and I go to the gym for the first time in a year
moving slowly but persistently trying to match my heart rate to the
machine's gentle expectations, sweating after in a chair, feeling it roll
down my skin.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Walking From The Parking Lot

Dark and wet today
that autumn smell of leaves and
sweet decay

I half remember
but fall short
of ignition

Sunday, September 29, 2013

September Morn

The beauty of this day is undeniable
I see it, breathe it, appreciate it
but never trust it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

In Bed Not Walking

All the cities are going on
doing what they do without me
walking their streets taking it all in
like it's my own great big private circus
until I've seen too many faces and my feet hurt and
I stay alone too long then remember how most of the time
I have been alone, just walking by
and then that thing happens in my head
and I become like a ghost again and the cities like cemeteries.

Lost In The Cold Sun

Monday, September 23, 2013

Low Humidity

And like that, it dries up,
and I don't want to write anything.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Six O'Clock

Find myself ready to crawl back into bed
after only eight hours of relative wakefulness
and no particular exertion.

I am too young to be old
and too old to waste time.

I am too drowsy to try any harder
and to alert to accept that.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I'm still spiritually wrestling with greater minds
who tell me the world is simply what I am,
what I bring to the table, my expectations, my understanding or lack of it,
my desires, my fears, my beauty, my ugliness...

That it's all just me projected out onto some screen.

But I tell you that horror and atrocity stay,
stick, remain, for a very long time, and that
I don't think I am responsible for it all.

I wanted to show you something about how horror
impacts good people who go to work never expecting
what will confront them, change them, scar them
forever and about how they try to live with that.

An overlay of tarnish is lowered onto the map of these lives,
the topography of reality has changed.

And then you walk out into a cold night
brightly lit by a large sympathetic moon
after the few cars drive off
it is so quiet on the village common with it's
old big white black-shuttered New England houses
the dark woods and the sharp clean air.

You try to make an overlay of this scene
for your own map.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shopping For Whatever

Browsing books in the gift shop
at the Trappist abbey, looking through
Thomas Merton.

the statuary, the beads, the quiet
for a minute it feels peaceful, maybe spiritual, until
you read a title in another section.

The Saint Among The Savages
and you think, what the fuck?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hey, Numb Skull!

Numb foot, now you've done it,
or maybe it's done you
shit breaks, after all
I mean, everything

Your son becomes a runner
the same week you can no longer run
choose to think of it as a relay and
pass the goddamn baton already

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Neil Young

Neil Young Said A Man Needs A Maid

Waking in a palace of dust and mold
I've stopped cutting the grass
They've stopped picking up the trash
If I lived with cats, they'd have eaten me by now

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Park Crisp Dusk

Walking represents a return to holiness
and the re-birth of magic in the world
open your eyes, even on a numb foot,
you can't miss it
you just can't tell anyone about it
that's all.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


This morning, quiet and humid,
an invasion of stealthy, marauding
blackbirds, hundreds and probably more,
their white shit on the black car's roof,
and a green grasshopper standing stock
still, sweating the birds, which have now adjusted to my presence
with occasional low barks of warning
they tumble from the still-green leaves, a migration shaping up,
twenty miles later you exit the car finding the grasshopper
still there, at eye level now, a tenacious fellow - so you nod
then later still, after work, walking through the broken city
the setting sun illuminates three gold crosses
high above three people who are making an effort to hold
an indifferent bus for a bent-low woman,
and it feels for a minute like it's all happening just the way it has to.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reiki Master

You're sitting in a wooden chair leaning slightly forward
holding a small crystal ball in each hand and feeling a little silly,
she asks you where the pain is, you put a finger on your
lower spine, she does her invisible work and asks about
your left leg, which is stiff and tight from the hip down,
she asks "how is your relationship with your mother?",
you pause then answer "distant", and she tells you that
is the pain in your leg. So you go to her when the session
ends, after months, and you hug her and she hugs you, and you
tell her about it and you both laugh, and now, hours later,
there is no pain.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kicking The Placebo

Saw a picture today of my spine
With all it's accompanying bone and soft tissue
And right there from atop Lumbar Number 5 squirted a very distinct bulb
A malevolent think bubble protruding right out from
Between the bones that hold me up
Impinging upon the rights and freedoms of my S-1 nerve
Causing pain and tingling down through my left hip, buttock, leg and foot
My very own herniated disk

That's right, punk. You're mine.
It's not the other way around

I aim to dis-inherniate you
To visualize you down to nothing
To make you crawl back between those vertebrae and
Get back the hell to work
You are most unwelcome in my house in your current form.

Every breath I draw, everything I consume,
Is the most kick-ass, thermo-nuclear
Anti-Inflammatory in the universe.

While everything I exhale or expel from this body
Is your paltry and pathetic power, B.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eggs And Grits With Nebraska Rolling By

Breakfast at Denny's with three numb toes, and
that kid behind the counter's so worried about his share
of the tips that he's blind to all the toast, bacon, pancakes
and Moon Over My Hammies backing up
in the cook's window there...

But it's not lost on me. I tense up, almost choke on some ham...

They've got one Brazilian in there cooking alone
she's holding her own against the rush pretty good
muttering curses in Portuguesa to maintain that head of steam,
I'm pretty sure love's not making it into the eggs this morning...

I feel for her a little, but she's the one guilty of these sad and watery grits...

None are deserving this morning
or we all deserve it,
depends on whether you're taken up
by the meanness in the world
or not...


Monday, August 26, 2013

Mai Tai

They discover the meaning of my gestures before
I have finished making them, already building
3-D printers and portable assembly lines to manufacture my
next frail, half-hearted desire at the lowest possible cost.

Instant market research results
middle-aged American male
probably lonely, possibly disturbed
a tempest in a teapot, a nine-volt parade.

Maximum velocity means simply continuing to drift
on the vaguest of air currents given that
all the bartenders seem appealing
and twenty years younger with boyfriends and big plans.

I Feel Nothing/ I Feel Everything

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I wish you could stay here every night.
If your job was near here, you'd move all of your stuff here too, right?
Are you going to get Mom flowers and a box of chocolates
Shaped like a heart for her birthday?
I wish we could hang out all the time.
We should get her flowers.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Jack At Seven

Great day with Jack today
walking around town, shopping for school shoes, eating together,
wading in a river, hiking a trail
tonight, he's drifting off as we're watching
a movie on the couch, and he says
I fell asleep in your hand once

Saturday Feature: Jesus of Montreal

Friday, August 23, 2013

Start Typing

Blank mind, blank mood
The boy said he wanted to hang out with you
Even though you appeared to be right there next to him
You told him so, but he knew better
Blank mind, blank mood
You get what you want and forget it immediately
The only time you are good, worthy, deserving
Is when you are under the lash
Blank mind, blank mood
Maybe this is something you should look into

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What I Might Say To Myself If I Was Wise

Today,  I am free of depression, physical pain and grief. I am not persecuted by anything I can name right now. The world is open to me. I am able.

Yet the more I sit here dwelling on it, the more I realize I am already falling under the dark spell of inertia. The proof is in this cloudy state of mind,  this dull lack of direction, this nearly permanent drowsiness. I know it by the shape of my body, how easily I am winded, and the weakness in my limbs.

I am weary without having earned the state; false exhaustion. Do not succumb to this, for it is the first green sprout of death.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blue Moon/ For All of Us, Tonight


Long since you have dispensed with the notion of a divine plan for your life, except maybe entropy. The real truth is that everything falls apart, and in your case, it did so while you watched from an unsafe distance. You felt the effects which led you to a new kind of exhaustion making you long only for the end of the shrinking days so you could drop your clothes and slip under the sheet to oblivion for days, weeks, months. Then one morning you woke up to a new kind of pain - searing, constant, unrelievable - but the depression evaporated. You wished now only to be able to walk, to sit, to lie down, without pain . And then came the news of the death of your best friend's father- a real war hero who fought together with his own father in World War II - and you walking, sitting, standing without pain at the funeral, and the uniformed sailors and marines, and his enormously beautiful Irish-Catholic family, and your grieving friend in your arms, and some kind of wake up call.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Defy and endure.

Time Framed

The acute phase of your pain will last about four to six weeks.
You can expect recovery to take at least four months.
Eighty percent of people recover without surgery, but surgery might be necessary.
Surgery is invasive and can pose serious risks so it may not be worth it for some people.

A pinched S1 nerve seems to be the issue with
related muscle spasms and inflammation,
and if I can just avoid compressing my spine,
I can escape most of the pain.

Now how does one do that?

Right now I'm lying on my back on the floor
with the computer on my stomach, and
it's not too bad. but the more I lay around
the less mobility I have.

Driving a car makes me sweat and swear
and think about running down innocent pedestrians
for a little relief, as I try sitting on my right hip
looking through the passenger's side of the windshield.

While standing in the neurologist's office
waiting for the exam, I picked up a copy of
a neurology periodical and opened to an
article on chronic pain and suicide.

Not surprisingly, a very high percentage of people
experiencing chronic pain consider suicide as a means
of pain relief at some point, then the physician is left with
the risk calculus: likely addiction to opiates or elevated
risk of suicide.

The patient seems, to me, screwed either way,

That's not me though - not yet - no suicide, no opiates.
but I am in a new relationship with pain
and am headed back to elementary school to learn
how to cope with it.

And I have a new and hot
disdain for, and defiance of,
the omniscience of physicians
and the sentences they impose
with their off-hand time frames..

Saturday Feature - Jethro Tull's Aqualung


Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Case Against Concealed Carry

Let me just tell you this, okay?

I never glance sidelong in envy at your smart phone, okay?

No matter how high its IQ, regardless of what the television commercials portray - I don't care, see?

See, right now I'm preoccupied with a doctor's BMW parked in the lot at a community mental health center which serves the (billable) poor, disabled, destitute, homeless, and disenfranchised mentally ill; and I'm wondering what color the flames would be should I decide to broad jump the line between thought and action.

The sciatic nerve is really only an electrical cord running from somewhere in my pelvic girdle to my foot, despite the fact that it screams and howls like a backed-over-hound, so I'm thinking of drilling a small hole and just unplugging it, then rooting the damn thing out with my own hands.

You know, it's really a beautiful day - cool, sunny, pleasant - that I am limping through, hating everything I see.

An Educated Patient Makes a Decision

It wakes me earlier than I wanted to be up
and all the propping and repositioning I can
conceive of makes no difference

It's not excruciating now, I guess,
but deep and steady and wearisome
and I'd like to be rid of it

I'm going to fire my doctor, who won't see me for
another week, and I am considering narcotics of which I
am deeply afraid and averse to after seeing
legions of addicts born out of similar circumstances

Frankly, I'm thinking about
amputating the left side of my ass myself
I'm pretty sure step by step instructions
are available on line

I Know You II - Morphine

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Todd Colby's Tender Rendition of Lemon Brown

Sometimes in life things come around just when you need them. Such is the case with this piece of performance poetry and me 20 some odd years ago. This is re-posted with the kind permission of the author. You can check his blog out if you like. It's called Todd Colby's Glee Farm and there's a link to it on my blog. If you're a jittery guy or gal, this may be of some help. Enjoy, Happy Hump Day, and thanks for tuning in.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2:04 AM With No Complaints

It's 2:04 on a Wednesday morning. I've got to go to work in a few hours, but just outside the screen door I hear a night breeze stirring. I should be asleep, it's comfortable without the fan, but before I go I want to tell you this thing about the sound of this breeze through the branches and the leaves. About its gravity, when there is only silence and night behind the sound. It's always been a holy thing, restoring, healing, correcting. Listen to it with the lights off, close your eyes, and let it do its work.

Black Eyed Dog - A Six Sentences Post

Sciatica, you're a persistent bastard. I told you NO, ENOUGH, GO HOME, TAKE A FLYING LEAP ALREADY - so why the hell are you still dogging me? Here you sit again looking up into my eyes panting expectantly, salivating tongue swinging around in that almost endearing, totally undignified way, and your tail is plainly insane. It was you who ate up all my muscle relaxers, wasn't it?  You're looking deep into my eyes - into me - sardonically, satanically, making me understand clearly who's the pet in this relationship. You miserable cur, the only one who stays.

Sunday, August 11, 2013



Fun Time

He loves your sweet, sweet brownie points
oozing wax, testicular fortresses, the ailment of everyday.
Send your sunshine to him, Moonbeam,
he's pale with a certain dysentery of the spirit.
This axe above his aching pencil neck, self-poised and wielded,
poindexter, psychopath with a conflicted conscience.
Class clown tripping on nothing but living another day
(once, a girl said he had the nicest smile and he loved her in his head).
Some joking seriously that he was most likely to be institutionalized
or to croak at the hands of his own joke.

Jackson, let him in on the fun times, you can see he misses those.

He missed most of them or
soiled them or spoiled them
with overly-serious thoughts of
igniting something important.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Next Time You Feel Proud

They lived years like this, only worse
Limited mobility, sick, weakening and
Left to fend for themselves
He was a skeleton cooking out of cans
And somehow managing to bathe her
She lived in bed without even a television
To pass the time. They died like that.

Saturday Feature: Wings of Desire

Friday, August 9, 2013

I Don't Want To See You Posing For Photographs

Low back pain and reading poets
Does nothing to lift me, only makes me think of
My small words, small lives of mostly pain
Choking back the knowledge, and its
Resulting panic, that we are plainly lost.

What did you do for the money that allowed you
To Winter here and Summer there?
What did you sell? Who did you kill?
Or was it just talent deservedly recognized
And proper branding?

Pimping and whoring, the old man is snoring.
And I'm talking a lot of shit for a jealous
Half-assed-one-sixteenth-time writer with a backache.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Suicide - Wild In Blue


Dries you up quick, pain does, and then I think of
a writer like Hubert Selby Jr.
who lived most days in pain and sickness or
addiction, with its' specialized brand of pain and sickness,
and yet he got it down on paper so beautifully
saw it, felt it, said it - clearly, so you could feel it too,
and somehow at the same time it seemed as though
he could see beyond all that darkness, and
so I am just a blubbering little kid lying here
on muscle relaxers and a heating pad

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Alemu Aga



A couple of days of physical pain
and limited mobility sure provide perspective
it's been a week of lessons
now, please return my spine to its
original shape

Monday, August 5, 2013

More Than Her Share

She wonders how you can just keep getting hit:
trauma upon trauma, loss upon loss. and hearing
what she's dealing with puts my own petty shit in
some perspective. She looks hard at me and says,
somewhat accusingly, that you really can't
understand what it feels like to lose someone close
to you until you go through it. I nod and resist a

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I Was Right

An easy day crossing monkey bars
throwing a Frisbee we found in a tree
through a sudden sun shower
eating with the boys at Dairy Queen
hugging my daughter off to choir camp
registering the youngest for Fall soccer
making simple plans

Saturday, August 3, 2013


when I wake up, I will quickly forget
this string of slept-through days,
life will continue, and I will feel alive

Friday, August 2, 2013

Saturday Feature: Paris, Texas




Down, you learn that it takes so little to bring
breath back into the body and so much to sustain it.
Raising your head, seeing light, then taking the memory
of the light back down with you and holding it close for buoyancy.
Contact has meaning, is the difference
between the living and the dead.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

E-Book Update

It's August, the month of my e-book experiment. My plan is to write for at least an hour a day this month, edit in September, and release the results onto the world October 1st. I have no energy, and no plan or idea beyond this at the moment.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


nothing worthwhile in the mailbox a hint of wood smoke in the air as I pull my feet through the long un-mowed grass looking up at the last smudge of fading sunlight thinking that I should just keep on walking like John Muir with only a coat three books a loaf of bread and my faith such as it is instead of up the sunken stairs finding the lock with my key in the dark feeling my way to the bedroom turning on the fan kicking off my shoes dropping my clothes to the floor finding the sheets and putting my self between them hardly waiting to close my eyes.

Make it Rain

Monday, July 29, 2013

Gets You Out of Bed In The Morning

Working in the emergency room last night
listening to a woman screaming because she isn't getting
what she wants

I've known her since she was fifteen years old
and she's been screaming since
long before that

My daughter calls in the middle of the screaming
to ask if I'm alright,
a friend texted her a message saying
there may have been a murder on my street

I'm okay, I tell her, don't worry, I'm okay

Meanwhile, I'm writing up an evaluation about a man
who hasn't slept in a week and his poor eyes,
I want to cover them with my hands

I spend several hours driving when I leave that place,
and at long last find my bed

This morning, I don't want to leave it
but the female voice from my GPS says "bear up"
somewhere inside my head and I begin the day.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Feature: The Moon And The Melodies

Feels a little like Autumn today, the time of the year that stirs memories. I lived in this place for awhile.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


feels like September
with the cool night rain
stirs memories, used-to-bes
other, better versions
of yourself

once you get into that swamp...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That Moon Again

The one in late July you've come to know
driving tonight through dark farms and woods
making a right turn directly into it's rising
nearly full, face to face, you hold your breath
an ache in your chest - tell the truth - in your heart
you still love, however choked and twisted,
you still do

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aaron Huey's TED Talk - Give Back The Black Hills

It's Sundance season. Prayers are being made. Dancers are suffering hard so the people may live.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Morning followed the reunion, the kissing of heads,
and it was even harder to rise than usual, my eyelids magnetically
drawn together, the pull of nonsense dreams, avoidance

All day that drowsiness followed me, called to me,
my highest ambition, simply to drop

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Little Hepburn

She strides around the corner
tall and sleek, a jet setter now in
big-lensed sunglasses under
her new Parisian sun hat

I wait, approach with a
single rose and a hug, and
am relieved to find
she still knows who I am

Friday, July 19, 2013

Saturday's Featured Album: Everything Went Black

This was the first Black Flag record I bought. It's a compilation of the band's early years with its first three  singers. Short, sweet, raw and raucous. Enjoy.


Jason Isbell - Live Oak

Thursday, July 18, 2013

E-Book Plan

My next big idea, as I sit here drowsy and psychically out of gas, is to write an e-book in August. I have never written an e-book, and I don't know the first thing about it. I'd like to learn, if I can just get myself unstuck. I have a working title - Crisis Of Confidence - and that's a start.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

confined in blank space without knowing its dimensions
stifling or vast, the result is the same
motionless and stale
unless you count the futile
pacing and spinning

Monday, July 15, 2013

Killer In The Backyard

He trots past the screen door noiselessly
and it's his intensity, his hyper-awareness,
that lets me know he's there, I feel him

Traces of orange in his face
the rest of his body
the color of smoke and ash

He doesn't bother with stealth and the underbrush
he's bad enough to run the yards and cross the roads
like they're his very own

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Two Pale Boys

Two pale brothers
splash and slip and laugh
together in a shallow July river
on a hot Sunday afternoon

Their father watches happily
this miracle and says thank you
to something

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Here's iTunes Access to the Featured Album

If you liked what you heard below, you can purchase the album or individual songs here. Just click View above to enter iTunes. Thanks! Baby needs a new pair of shoes.

Featured Favorite Album: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds -Your Funeral My Trial


Thursday, July 11, 2013


I'm still alive in here
just wanted you to know that
despite the stoic beauty of my
sarcophagus, the stillness
and the silence

my innards are still moving
there remains some form of
brain activity, and I do
experience something resembling
an emotional life, muted,
blunted, sure, but here

I'd say hello, but it'll take so long
for the sound to reach your ear that
I can't help but drop into exhaustion
at the thought of it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Doomsdayer's Holiday

Don't Shit Me, Murder Lives In Every Heart

I just listen to mine a little closer
like a kind of improvised road song
driving, I find so many reasons to hate

I watch you too and see you swearing
sneering, writing a little murder ballad
of your own featuring me

Monday, July 8, 2013

Trying Something

I'm not too sure how this works, but I thought this might be a good way to share access to the music that I really like. This iTunes-app-what-cha-ma-call-it only works in the United States though, I think.

If you happen to be passing through here, I'm curious to know what you think of this featured album widget and the featured album!

Monday, July 1, 2013


Drive grumpy for almost half of a seven hundred mile trip in a mini-van. The kids, all three, get along the entire time. Your wife does not nag you or practice even one of several in-the-car-habits that usually drive you crazy.

You are angry at the traffic which slows your progress. You want to blame them for the late start, for  causing you to be on the highway during rush hour on a Friday evening. You try to paint yourself, at least to yourself, as an abused long-sufferer.

Dusk falls slowly, pinkening the world, while the kids are singing and laughing. Your eyes detect single deer grazing at intervals along the highway's edge modeling gentleness. The whole thing comes together gradually to unlock you from this old and automatic anger.

Thursday, June 27, 2013



A big sister or very young mother
watches herself in the storefront glass
arms freshly tattooed, dressed in
tight fitting tank top and pants
walking tall and proud

She meets all the watching eyes
and seems to drink the attention while
behind her a small, thin boy speed-walks
struggling to stay within  the range of
what might be considered a respectful

Blank Generation

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Dark night, wet road
walking in a crosswalk talking
The on-coming car with one
working headlight approaches
too fast and misses you
by only inches.

You see the side of the driver's face,
and your presence - the near fatality of
his proximity - doesn't register at all there.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Was He Ever Alive?

Sometimes Prison Is Home

Sometimes I like you better
when I cannot see your face
or observe what you do
or hear what you might say
and how you might say it.

Sometimes I wish I could.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

To Live Is To Fly

Fathers' Day

The kids, with them I'm better.
There isn't much more I can define
Right now

Sometimes hearing music
Sort of frees it up
Like right now

I wish someone would say something to me
That only I understand

And then we would look at each other the way
People who understand each other completely

But then there are too many words
And the melody is no longer beautiful
It's a commercial- clever, manipulative

And then everything shuts back down.
And I am left alone again
With the Echo

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cast Iron Hike

My brother's the drummer of this band. They're playing a reunion show tonight at Ralph's in Worcester, MA. I believe they played their first show as a band at that club 20 years ago. What a power house they are live!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Get Something Down

Both restless and tired
a hint of life weaves
it's way through this dullness
another night of rain
we practice patience
with no idea at all
of what we're waiting

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yulunga - Dead Can Dance


He's twenty-five and standing on
not much of a foundation
comes in for help - unspecified
because he's not used to asking for it
he doesn't know the language

The problem is no job, no income, lives with an aunt
a four hour walk from his girlfriend and their one year old son
no car, no driver's license, no health insurance
not much of an education, no visible prospects.

I need some guidance, he said.

Our solution  - sell him on the idea of
a voluntary admission to a psychiatric hospital,
witness the genesis of a mental illness
he never had until he came and stood before us.

And then we go home
feeling like we've helped
I guess

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Anti-evolution traveling petting zoo
ulterior motives, grooming techniques
a partial definition of history might be
adults doing bad things to the minds of kids
again and again

I feel a little nauseous
most days

Friday, June 7, 2013

White Camel

Low Pressure Swirl

Let's laugh ourselves
past the horror of what we hear
and see, let's generate the joy we need to
overcome our visions of doom and dimming
futures, there's a market for this type of thing.

Unplug these eyes and ears from the news cycle
shelter this brain from the carving wind and waves
of fear and terror and envy and from the influence of gods
who stunt and sanction systems of one over another.

Refuse beards and tattoos and too-tight shirts, you crotchety old bastard,
get back in the house, peel an onion, listen to the rain and pray for the people
in public places trying to impress while boring each other silly .

There are pale creatures beneath the crust of the earth
biding their time and rallying their forces.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Seluah - The Other Side of The Gun

After Sleep

Silence of the absent friend
Terminal, ominous, sacred
Whispers the power of death
Echoes the power of Love
Remember the foolishness
And the laughter, honor your lost friend
By laughing again one day

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Brother The Wind - Fire! Fire!

Dreaming The Thing

Am really having difficulty waking up
but when it begins to stir
the brain dreams of going,
not to flee, just to be
in motion
a trail, a bus station, a camper-van...

I'd like to walk away
and find that thing again
magic, music, youth, luck
or whatever
you call that thing
I've lost

Monday, June 3, 2013


The foot is lifted
and now the world is different
clear, breezy, starlit
and you will make the
mistake again of thinking
it's for keeps

Thursday, May 30, 2013


First of the hot days
A chimi for lunch
Two men sing loudly
Along with the music
Whooping it up at mid-day

Merengue, is it?
Don't know for sure, but it's Dominican
And it sounds good
Even in this quiet place I'm staying
Miles below

My nature wants to feel the music
Without the men
I'm apparently annoyed by expressions of joy
Now in this pale man's drowse

On his way out, one of the singers wishes
Good Day, my friend
Making me realize, gently,
That I am the real problem.

And so tonight
The purple air, thick and lilac-sweet,
Is heavy with frogs, and silent thunder clouds
Take advantage of the darkness to mass
For war.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Crackling lightning illuminates the hopping frog
mistaking the rain soaked road for water's body
eagerly on toward doom, like me.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

May Flowers

How green this world at dusk
punctuated with purple flowers
a chill in the air and rain
only a few degrees from snow

Anything can happen
and it does, all the time

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Joked that it doesn't matter much
because we'll be dead soon enough
knowing and uneasy all at once.

I'll never make a film, let's face it,
with this fine and visible tremor in
my hands, it's OK to call it terminal

I've accepted it.

Probably it's your punishment
for watching your grandmother reading
the newspaper so many years ago

Her hands shaking so hard you wondered
disgustedly how she could even focus
her eyes on the print

Some thought they could cure that in you
with love, a calming touch,
but that wasn't to be

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Single Step

All day drowsy and apparently entitled
only to more and more madness
you think it might be time to leave
and begin some where new without
this head and what it contains

Windmills Of Your Mind

Monday, May 13, 2013


Parts per million
well beyond safe now
quantities dwindling
and expanding exponentially
the template seems useless
now, a departure is called for
I think, but not clearly

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Afternoon

sniff the air for exported
earthquakes, a status change,
shifting perspective, listen to the boy read,
task mastering his unfinished school work
while the piling up of excess toys makes the room unlivable and
the continuous grass greening, reaching for the sun
growing beyond my control

I am a father on Mother's Day
the tulips' pinched stems, a cold latte,
a thousand small sins and misinterpreted gestures,
poor timing and non-synchronized rhythms,
redemption is for someone else.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Was Thinking There Is A Need For This, But It Already Is.

Grass And Stuff

The grass keeps growing
and the lawn mower is out there
where I left it in frustration last
summer, just an example of things
undone or things not done right
that chip away at me as though
they were important.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Armour Against Nightmares

Bubbles Into Tiny Heads

The details of his night terror
stay with me, surreal in the
mind of a 7 year old, a scream
in absolute terror, run to him
as fast as I can, he holds me with his
entire body as I try with all my might
to scatter those ghosts away from him

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I'm quiet in the sun
pale and pushing a manual
reel-style mower finding
the task manageable in short grass
let it slide for a week though
and it's a different ordeal entirely

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Son, Benny Goodman

Best costume on the stage
knew his lines cold
background singing and
he can dance too
in prop glasses, he looks
just like his pop

I see him smiling
watching me watch him.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Trabajo Mucho

May Day
celebrating the worker
examining the balance sheet
watching things tip further
in the wrong direction
for so many

A Case Against Wakefulness

Lately, sleep won't let me up
An alarm sounds, I curse,
Shut it off and fall instantly
Back into dreams


Monday, April 29, 2013

Soldier's Things

Cut Of His Jib

I can see now
at my present age
that he isn't really a
captain of anything, just
harmlessly crazy, trying to
make us all feel a little safer
and in control which is a pretty
captainly thing to do after all.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Before Lights Out

not toughening
a step in that direction
maybe I need to learn to 
laugh again

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tom Waits. Heartattack and Vine. 1980.

Something Grimmer Than Faith

Those that stand to help

are assailed by evil
rising from that
very same place


combined with the
indifference of god

and the relentlessness
of time

makes for a
poor prognosis


they will do
it again

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Goodbye, Richie Havens.

War No More?

It dawned on me when I heard about a bomb blowing up innocents close to home (unlike so many other bombs and so many other innocents elsewhere) that I have to end war. Not fight it, pit myself against or resist it, but end it entirely. War is in my every thought. It's contained in every cell of my being. This is going to be a job.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Takeaway

"No more hurting people. PEACE."
                                                            RIP, Martin Richard, Age 8.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tom Waits. 1978. Blue Valentine.

If I had to pick a favorite, this is it.


Wake into another situation I can hardly believe
You could laugh or cry or just lie here catatonic
But you'd better steel yourself, face it, and
Take the next step.

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