Tuesday, October 17, 2017


i looked at the boxes 
massed on the living room floor
like i was watching the edges 
of an approaching storm
out over the ocean 
that appeared more like the painting 
of an approaching storm 
as it made its way slowly to land
seeming to be static 
so that there was an eerie sense
of calm that it would 
never make landfall  
until with fury 
it would avail itself upon the shore
bringing rain and wind
and flood and destruction

and I would be left there 
after the clouds had passed 
with the task of disassembling 
each discarded cardboard box
after the contents inside had 
been found removed and inserted 
into their final resting place.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Who to some is here

Too little too often
Say the empty car
Attached to other cars
On the cigarette line
End of end
Loaded up on wheels
In one direction to go
In another moment going back
Too often too little
Think the shuttling car
All those sleepy heads
Listen to the bell
After the sliding door
Behold its symphony
The color is rust like coffee mugs
Left rings around the ears
What to some is just the whistle's blare

Friday, September 22, 2017

Returning to the purple machine and what that could be

The pen has callouses
                    Have you heard?
It's time to clean up the mess that is my lunch
          Bread crumbs and orange peel
laid out like the schmatics of the purple machine
          Only really, I never got to look at it
I liked the sound of the words together.
The fingers are clumsy so the keys speak for themselves.
The future is like a chalkboard
          locked away and darker than the mildewed basements acting as their graves
there are no factories left willing to produce the chalk.
I dress myself every morning with older rags
          waiting for the accumulated sand to fall out
maybe I can gather it and sell
it would be good if it could be melted down for glass.
Like me, I am see-thru without reflection
          folding each smaller piece of paper tighter
it makes the trashcan regardless
leaving the faintest sense of itself
          that's an uneven jest
I'm still thinking about the purple machine and the sand
          I can't even process what's supposed to come next.

Alone on the train.

Alone on the train
Writing my first poem by phone
Feeling uneasy thinking I've missed my stop
Just because I wrote it doesn't make it real
The motion eats at a different corner of the brain
Having two thumbs
The letters between my hands

Thursday, September 21, 2017

california love poem

she wrapped her arms around the sea,
her breasts became the lasting mountains of the west,
flushed with pounding white surf, she kissed the milky blue sky,
flowers dotted the dunes at sunset, sun blushing pink in her eyes,
the mercurial sand of the beach, a mirror to reflect the stars
upon which she became the darkness over the earth,
I clung to her afraid of all that ever was,
of could be and her the most,
out of love,
the multitude of the cosmos stretched a long line of silver hair across abyss
her legs dug into the magma of time stone black and longed for,
she wailed as the endless wind rose drying my tears.

Friday, September 15, 2017

smiling toward my lost home

I was an angel wrapped in a blanket

the blanket had become a part of me     I had
two sets of wings

this is how I felt this morning in the rain

it misted around me     the air was filled
with floating perfect circles of rain

my eyes turned the sky gray      and with a brush
I drug the clouds across the sky with my vision

I was glowing     I could feel myself
a beacon of light drawn to separate the dark
a line from sea to shore

I was not embarrassed to be alive     I had arrived there
fallen from the heaven of my own mind     upon my
own will

covered in rain I smiled toward my lost home

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


the hour passed like a bus on a clear day
hauling the lives within it through the street.
I felt its form move across me like yellow pull string destinations
while I was reading on a bench parallel to the street
my head down in the words.
it was gone before I looked back.
a momentous whoosh as a pocket of heavy air bursting.
it was gone before I looked right.
I was an entire hour older.
it was gone before I even thought to catch it.


they removed the do not walk sign
like an airplane traveling from Philly to San Fran
eliminating the space of 3000 miles in between.

I was locked in neutral & now
I could see the way was opened to me.

the path between the walls. a straight line
to the door from the one that had closed.
the one left behind.

I was free.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Collision, or the Breaking of Flight

Its masterpiece was the broken sky.     How
the morning light reflected
in each shattered piece.     How
the light traced and outlined and burned
in every fractured space.

     'it must have been confused,' people said, 'poor bird.'

But, I don't think so.     I think
that bird was an artist.     I think
this was its gift to the world.     A thing
it was willing to die for.

We should honor its memory with
a better plaque than,
'maintenance has been notified'.

     I'm thinking something more like:

Collision, or the Breaking of Flight
Act 1 of 1

Bird on pane of glass, 24" x 24"
September 2017

before him was the moon

in the middle of his life he lived through many beautiful mornings,
before him was the moon, behind, the yawning sun,
it was in the direction he was going,
occasionally he noticed the fleeting nature of the nothing blue sky,
it was cloudless on those mornings, like watching through a clean pane of glass,
he could not touch the music the birds made calling to each other over breakfast,
but he could feel it,
those perfect mornings seemed to slow time and race toward their conclusion,
lost in between at uncertainty he was chasing the end of the day,
in the middle of his life there were many beautiful nights,
where, over dinner, he sat dreaming of the mornings he'd chased away

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

the milk

the milk is the phases of the earth
turning the yellow moon
bringing from it bridges of gold
under which the stars are a multitude of headlights
chained to the highway     dying like Christmas bulbs
in the cold milk of the snow
reflecting the subtle alterations of season
masquerading     as serialized time
the milk is the one after the other
never serving the remote     seeming where it has been
stretching fore and beyond

the impenetrable shadow

dark clouds
                    drop their weighted
mass on incorporated mausoleums
crusting the foundations
in rain
            pulling the grass from
muddy steps     the rank growth
of mold cements the windows
                  form the rivers of
the pane  
               washes the dust of age
from the shore     flowing to ground
suffocating the frame
                                    out past
peering god's many pillared eye
the sky a memory the storm a vision
the impenetrable shadow      

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fellowship of the word

a list of poems has grouped together
like a resume.     if they were seated
across from you decked out and
polished clean saying all the good things
there is to say.      in shirt and tie and skirt
you'd have to extend the
hand.     think of the fellowships deserved
those hours spent at university.    the list
of poems is looking for that job.     in fact
nervously laughing they have been waiting
their whole life for the chance.     honestly.     look
they'll write anything for the right.     cause.     we're in
the golden age of the
resume.     poem.     check their website
it's listed there along the tab line.     just in case you
didn't print it out they brought the cleanest copy
along printed on upscale sheets.     if not now than where.  
you'll not find a safer bet.      they can start any day.  
but monday is preferred

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Harper's Ferry

once the jade waters of the Rio Grande
desert cliffs painted with dry sagebrush

now the waters of the Appalachian range
overflow in green and bloom and stone

the bottom of the valley

blue ridge floor

the meeting place

once the crisp clear glacial stream north
from the border Kootenai pebbled riverbed

now the prophet of the great brown stream
slick rocks rapids slim shores

the eye of the Shenandoah
becomes the blue sky the Potomac
the Chesapeake the Atlantic
Bald Eagle Island Camp

how foot sinks in riverbed

how the fire is a city of embers before the night

how the organized howl of train lit by lonely window
& search light     rushes lament  through the tunnel
of the writhing darkness

how waking in dream the sleeper
huddled in tent     huddled & dwarfed
by trees     huddled & inert in the
hours & miles      lost to the day is
swallowed by the vast & dreaming forest