Thursday, January 31, 2013


What Sticks

A warm wind blew through last night
and shook the trees, the house
squalls of rain, gone now the snow

The same wind tonight blusters so cold
and the ground is hard again while I
still carry this impression, this dread

Regarding a man I saw in a documentary film
yesterday, I am worried for his life, suicide
seems to be circling him, and then today

Another impression
an anxious pharmacist, scrutinized and suffering,
counting someone's medication under duress

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wrong Livelihood

Tonight in mid-winter, for no reason I could distinguish,
a fat slow buzzing house fly appeared in my house
and I killed it for the very same reason.

Lord of The Flies - 1963

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Black Ice Commuter

Just about the standard amount of discord
for an evening out at a restaurant in celebration
of the middle kid's twelfth birthday.

It ends in disappointment,
but it's low grade, manageable,
the wear and tear of the everyday.

The youngest is wrestling with
a helium balloon on a string he's
had for about ten minutes.

The balloon wrests free, bolts and
comes to rest two stories up
in one of the bookstore's overhead lights.

It's raining tonight, just below freezing,
black ice is already forming- a phenomenon
in which danger masquerades as harmless wet asphalt.

Someone follows me most of the way home
down the uncertain back roads
high headlights irritating in the rear view.

The radio, back and forth between two stations,
dry jazz or dry classical, both serving only to provoke.
Tonight, all life is disappointed.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Where is my love?

Last One About The Moon For Awhile

Awakened suddenly by the clear mournful call of an owl
Silver light streams in through the open curtain
She stands next to a black evergreen, naked and radiant
Accented by white ribbons of cloud,
Staring at me expectantly
I pretend not to see her.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I drove home eye to eye with the moon tonight
she was yellow and as full as I've ever seen her
beckoning me through the trees, rising slowly from the horizon
never blinking or removing her gaze from mine

Seduced, I sped to the end of the road
only to find her transformed
pure, radiant. ethereal
and miles and miles beyond the reach
of my filthy
grasping hands

Help Me, Girl

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Night Flight

That moon and those stars again
ultra bright, with the wind blowing
the thin armed, long fingered trees,
some kind of mania
careening with lethality

Tracks in the frozen snow - coyote
stalking, bold enough now to attack men
in the daylight and smart enough
to work together in

A pilgrim must give himself over completely
without reservation and accept the outcome
whatever it may be

Remember your love.

Soundtrack For The Bitter Cold

I remember this oppression during very cold and hungry days now with something like nostalgia.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Other Side of White

It's quiet now, and I'm damn glad for it
Cold has set in - white, silver and hard
Absolutely brutal when it joins forces with wind
Slashing, pummeling, relentless
Entirely incapable of mercy
I can't draw breath

You want someone with a heart to scream,
Stop It! You're killing him!
But there is no heart here, or just a shark's heart, a wolf pack
Absolutely indifferent to your suffering
It will shred you if it can, and it almost does,
But then ten minutes later you're inside a warm building
On your way to a business meeting
Wiping tears off your cheeks.

Later, walking across a parking lot
Crossing paths with a man hunched below an
Oversize backpack, but that's no hiker
Under that too-small hat, ear flaps maligned,
Pants tucked into two or three pair of up-stretched
Tube socks inside cheap uninsulated work boots
You can almost feel how cold his feet are, almost,
And his coat is chicken shit in the face of this wind.

Where the hell is he going?
For a minute you want to tell him
Man, it's too cold to be out here.
Come with me, you can sleep on my couch.
But you don't because you're afraid that
He might kill you in your sleep or something

You want some one with a heart to say,
I am an inn keeper, come in and warm yourself, be my guest!
But there is no heart here, or if there is,
It's chicken shit in the face of this wind.

Within the shelter of the heated building
You congratulate yourself on refraining from
Saying something trite and physically impossible
Like, Stay warm, bro!
But before you can even feel good about that

Motherfucker, I got to be warm
before I can fuckin' stay warm.

Driver's Seat

Blast from the past. I heard it today, and it stirred up something from way back then.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Let The Man Dance

White Night

I don't know how to take a photograph in low light
of this cold night as seen up through the stark black
branches of a tree silhouted against an absolutely cloudless
sky featuring a brilliant white moon and all the twinkling
stars arranged in their constellations combining to illuminate
this white winter world. I don't know how to photograph it,
it's feeling of purity, but I wish I could show it to you.

Monday, January 21, 2013


A Non Event

Slow start, I hesitate
my matress has lost it's memory
it no longer knows and curves to
my peculiar spine leaving
my low back aching and
disrupting sleep
everything rises and falls away
this tiny pain will be no different.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sleep disturbed

Something in the middle of the night
has been waking me
and then it's morning and I'm caught
anxiety and regret usually
and then this bed won't let me up
now, I want to be walking the
streets of somewhere

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oh, For Christ's Sake...

Reading a book on suicide prevention
written for a contemplative on the edge of darkness
one chapter speaks of Depression
and lists each of my defining characteristics
as symptoms.

I can still laugh...

I just can't see
a reason to
at the moment.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Head And Wall

Expending so much effort and energy
to convince people to perform the acts
they're paid to perform,
to coax the various parts of the
system to function as they were
designed to,
in the service of a child
who needs help,
the absolute last

She is a young woman
who wants to help people
and for that impulse
her hair was pulled and
her head was bashed into the wall
in the hospital now, she
worries about the damage
and thinks about finding something else
to do.

The boy waits in his room
under watch
his face is vacant
his body is big now
so there will likely be no understanding
he wants to be normal more than anything
and when no one's looking
he talks to the wall,
to what he sees there.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Janitor of Lunacy

Perc Test

I am experimenting with giving myself writing assignments this year and submitting for publication. I have assigned several pieces complete with submission deadlines, but I've yet to write a word. Percolating, maybe that's it. The first piece is a seven line poem about my hopes and fears and the field of social work. I am percolating.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Treasure Trove

the three of us
transported through fog
on a warmer than usual night
after football and a diet of
donuts and pizza
a Sunday spent together

the highlights
making the older one laugh
and spit his milk in a fine mist
on the side of the refrigerator
and the youngest telling me
the scented candle smelled like
weird carpets

Friday, January 11, 2013


The smell from those few unwashed dishes
in the sink has permeated the house
and the trash, neglected for two weeks,
probably also contributes

I cannot be sure of where the days go,
but I can tell you when I wake up tomorrow
I will be someone else

And the day I wake to will likely
appear entirely disconnected from
and unrelated to this one

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January Thaw

The wind is blowing warm
and it is easy to
close your eyes and think
the pre-dawn of Spring

It's more than the sound of ice
sliding down the pitch of the roof,
it' s a soft red and a feeling of peace
a certain music in the body
and a coming to life.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013



Something like a low grade sloth
I allow it into my head
and act helpless as it overcomes me.

This should enrage me
because I am stronger than this
and could drive it out, just like that,
if I wanted to.

But I seem to want to stay here
half submerged, drifitng,
in semi-darkness.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Odd Bird

Kept a dead sparrow in my pocket
for several days as a form of protest, I guess,

Flying a red flag signaling
burgeoning madness and discontent.

This thing with birds developed,
a theatrical ability to communicate with gulls.

Remember the look of confused panic
on their faces at five in the morning
when you called them and they circled
down through the early morning fog?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Book of Knots

Benzene Dream

This was a refuge, a place of joy -the Table Talk outlet
With it's slightly damaged pies at half price or better
Crusts slightly burnt, holes off center, maybe the cherry filling
Tastes a little like the way gasoline smells, but when you wash it down,
Riding in the back of the truck, with a cold quart of chocolate milk,
It's good.
Everything is, for awhile.


What is this crap?
I get an idea, I try to roll it out
instantly I encounter an obstacle
which evolves momentarily into a set back
Ok, Buddah, ok.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Driving, running. speeding, worrying
through a world of symbols
the meaning of which I almost never

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And so, on...

Another day materializes, I wake
and am able and mostly willing,
after an hour or two's hesitation
to rise and walk, to half bake a plan
and, after several incidents of
forgetfulness, false starts and
delays, I am out the door
and into this
new time.

First Lesson

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