Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Avalokitesvara on the Shore

The skipping pebbles said to me.
Onward now.
and back.
We have been washed and worn.
by tides
by the waves.

The color of toothpaste, I said.

What? (as gray clouds
from central mountain peaks
weighed down)

The waves,
they were the color of blue frothy toothpaste,
there was no sand.

And the sky,
the same,

it reflected the stones.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Rain Pome on Take Off

There aren't many nights like this left in America;
still, but for the shower that comes without warning.
quiet, but for the gentle tap of rain on street.
two storeys up from my window ever dry,
two storeys down my wet earth washed away.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Mr. Dorsett

Mr. Dorsett lifts pallets in the rain
     is a godsend in hardhat and blue jeans

each droplet is a pearl reflecting his world
     wood chips and oiled machines grayed smoke stacks

Mr. Dorsett picks up the tab for everyone's lunch
     just this one time

at the corner of University and M
     Mr. Dorsett is 65+ years old and working

Mr. Dorsett takes care of the boys
     they call to him from opposite sidewallk to see how the pallets are

     they're wrapped in plastic tied with a rope

Mr. Dorsett has a deft hand at the controls
     skips his meals when he needs to when the work won't go

Construction is the light blood of the damned
     and the storm passes so the umbrellas close

Mr Dorsett lifts the pallets in the sun
     is a godsend in hardhat and blue jeans

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Baseball Poem

baseball was meant to be enjoyed on the radio like this
rippling across this ocean spirit we called America once
waves grow from wheat fields outside Kansas City
pick up antenna speed flush out against mountains east and west;

have a beer for me and slowly edge the volume up
it's the end of the 11th and this thing's got legs to go into the night;

Kansas City isn't Iowa it isn't heaven but it's sure close to both

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


you there
with the basket,
slinking in alleyways
between siren
street lights

turn your head to this unfeeling world

there's no reason
to do what we do
to have to do what you've done
go on home
rest your eyes

we've come this far for fields of green
wasted all our trees
killed all your sisters brothers mothers we

don't hide your face
under florescent bulbs
I know who you are
but I won't out you
I'll let you drown

we are both on the lam
you turning the corner
me here

waiting to be slaughtered.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Kiss my life

leaning over bar
I played the
lonesome traveler
peering over pint
of oyster stout
silently brooding

'in heaven we will all be safe,
          there will be no reality to bear,'

in private libraries
I read alone
another night leads
to another day and that
is gone from me already
already I am older still
slower still stiller still

in auld forgotten faces
I got the usual in a place
I'd only been once
two weeks before

a delorean revved its engine
across street to cheering crowds
another celebrity out of time

the sun was set
the night lingered
bits of orange
tint of black
purple bruises

I limped home up Ode St.
caught each transfer
perfect red to yellow line to 16J
fed my cat
turned off all the lights
kissed my life farewell
fell asleep

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


(Written between October 16-18; Completed October 20, 2015)

Flash by Lowell in the Autumnal dawn
            Pink blear of morning
Rush goes the mighty Merrimac
            In Kerouacian mist of pawtucketville ghosts
            Turn go the leaves
            rough characters at gray full up stations
            waiting on breakfast lines
            In rearview mirrors of the tired mind
Red Massachusetts lonely
Golden in the night
            Like earlier darkness of Philadelphia
North Philly streets
            Shrouded Stranger
            Appear in faraway view
Flows cracks on long ago pound streets
Mystery of flowing cape
Gray gray gray gray
Phantom of mindless fear
Great death chasing
            Out of the past
Or hero of wandering fools
            A great horror thing
            Lost in break light red
            Big northeast leering eyes
And finally left behind
Become nothing corporal
            Omen harbinger spirit herald

Snow on Katahdin
            False peak faced north
Obscured by foggy gusts of zero degree chill
And somehow this clears at night
            To star filled starry sky
Night night milky night &
            Milky Way rush of constellations
At midnight
Untied boots and thermals
            Standing in clearing
            In dim light years
            Behold! Moonless night
Coal black night diamond forged
            Thoreau wrote from Bangor
From foot to wheel to backpack
to Millinocket
To Katahdin to stream
            & where are the primal spirits
Rage over mountain top
            Crag of split rock & kaleidoscopic tree leaves
Of fall’s ebb
            Inimical forest laid out
Spread unbroken to Kanady
            To artic to frozen circle
To grim desolate wastes
            Of tundra north

And in morning
            White skies
Icy hands
            Warm steam of mouth
Smoke of fire dawn
            Rustle of tents
Acrid scent of flame on my beard
            Ceaseless cascading stream
My dreams
            At 4am
As temperature dropped for snow
            Lift my lost kitten
            To the moon
            He is lost
            I am lost
Oh Night!
Thick on my eyes
Someplace long ago
            Voices telling me
            It was okay to let him go
Drift from summit rock slide
From bone of holy oly peak holy
            I am cradled in the night
            By icy root of tree

Root of tree
            Wreathed through wet ground
Bedded with leaves
            Twisting branches overhead
The tent
            Shrouded in its shadow
Final thought
And now morning of the mind
            The first snowfalls on Maine hills
            At edge of trail end
There’ll be 8 inches or more
On mountain paths
            Whooshing waterfalls
Cough cough arctic lung
            Tip tap of large flurries
Weigh trees down
So leaves like windshield wipers
On car windows bend over road
            Baxter through Lovecraft
Lakes mist on lapping water
Pebbled shore
            Stark inky and gloom
            Heart of the northeast
            End of the world
            Millinocket Lake
            Off Blackcat dirt road
Not far from Togue Pond Twin Pines
Log cabin coffee at River Drivers
            Snow falls on
            Cold cold cold Maine
Lake effect
Swirling flurry winds
Gravel path from window
Katahdin invisible
Opaque whiteness
Great white north—

South in the October foliage on 157
            Medley at I-95 back to Bangor trek
The farthest reaches of
            Hi-way gore
To seek the Atlantic now
            Cap’n at the wheel
Light with ginger beer smells
            Old world puritanical spell
Carved wood at the
            Cross stitched lamp of the world
In motel now
            Tents clothes bodies eyes
            Too wet for another elemental night
Dry on the furnace of mankind’s
Innermost Acadia Gateway hotel
Caramel brown ale smell
            Ellsworth Trenton toothpick toothache
            Too true Trenton
Of no this isn’t New Jersey
But gauntlet to Bar Harbor Acadia cliff spill
In the Great North
            In bitter wind
            In winter’s great American shore
Come morning
            A brush across the bluest waves

 Blue waves
            Fishing boat fisherman’s life
Wool caps thick beards barrel chest
            Desolate but beloved distance
Beloved lighthouses
            Cut & cold hard
            Icy of heart
New England ah
            Call of gulls
Burn of engine fume
            Rock & mast
Red painted rails
            Cast against heaving sky
Glory sky
            My visions in the cool
            Blackness preceding sleep
            What sunrise would bring
            What next?
            Frush & rush
And undertow and all
Blear blast black port
Great hulking rocking bestial ships
            Silent aw silent

Answer at sun-up
            Brings blue sky clouds vanish
Route 3 south
            Onto Mt. Desert Isle
Bar Harbor
            How it got it’s name
Who know? Who?
            Rocky beachhead
Shimmer under sunshine
            Without warmth
No time tho but to race around
            Start those tires roll engine roar
Chariot headed south
            Congested traffic hell of ole New York
            To bar our way
First a swing on 9 from 95 from 1
            Lobster rolls at Dock Square
End of Lanigan Bridge
And every town has a sister in Maine
Slapped port on the end
West Westport Northport Searsport Portland
            Slapped mayo or butter or both
            Grilled bread 1lbs Lobster shelled
Last day of the season
            Cold gray water
            Thick with coming winter
Scent of lemon salt water fishy scent
            Little shore towns
            Hidden from time
            All along bottomless

From there now gone
            From here now going home
Day falling fast to our left
            On rushes the night 515 miles away
            Our mason Dixon mid-atlantic line
Rivers Delaware Susquehanna Anacostia Potomac
States MA Rhode Isle Connecticut New York
New Jersey PA Delaware MD
Pitch black is October night shift
            5am of morning slow crunch of time
Last days fresh
Fresh like the recent dead
Hint of decay
Memory fade
            Slide in the rearview
Alone now at destination point
Last dead drop my own
Each goodbye one less body of the whole
Of the host six souls one car one mountain
Whole of Maine
            Six directions they go
            Gabow V Tommy Joe Chase myself
I go mine
I go it alone but not alone
Toward what future may come
This is spring this is summer this is fall’s truest end
            Faced in directions south face north east west
To roam loam roam roam home roll flat burnt leaves
Vibrate soul soil soul legs hands heart wheel engine
Ancient stone forged trail in gray-like dreams
            Go Go North a vision a god a martyr Go
            Ever always standing

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Suburban Sprawl

We each had good, green lawns.

There was this bit once, I tagged myself
in a photo in front of my lawn titled,
Just mowed the lawn #housework #weekends

It was featured on my facebook page.

We each had one of those, too.
quite serious.

There was a time when I used a pseudonym
but I shouldn't misrepresent myself;
luckily facebook had me change it back.

It was the right thing to do.

We each had an online presence.
Tied to our life;
our job.

What you say or do online can impact you
in reality, it should impact how you live,
we all understand that.

It is the small price you pay for progress.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Filing Papers Away

last 10 years.
park at end of childhood street.
this morning's sunrise.

today I realized
they were the same.
today I realized they were gone.

gone and going even further gone.
gone away from me.
gone forever.

what have I done?
since then, what have I done?
where have I gone?

look back.
look forward.

today I realized they were gone.
today I realized you were gone.

today I realized I will be gone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Parable of the park

It doesn't
require much
to be lost

to realize
that you're lost
takes even

once in
a park
I saw an

it was
crawling across
the seat of a

what's a bench
to an ant?

what's an ant
to a bench?

I sat on the
bench and the ant
crawled across

think about it

what am I to
and ant on a
leg on a bench
in a park?

were we not
all lost together?
can anyone
say for sure?

It doesn't
require much
to give an

Love sentences to the New Yorker

I haven't been able to finish a poem in the new yorker since 1979
          and I wasn't even born yet

* * *

Somebody might want to let them know that their obsession with the ampersand
          has no lasting impact on their cultural relevance

* * *

Remember when Bukowski wrote about all the tap tap tapping back and forth,
          did it occur to you then, or now, that he was talking about you?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Insects in the snow

insects in the snow crawling toward the data centers
     of the contemporary digital brain
insects in the snow were once lines in magazines
     now twitter and sulk on flat screens
insects in the snow feeding personal thoughts
     to four-wall unmanned fusion centers
the eye of the great surveillance wheel
     black and spinning like a .45

insects in the snow of dedicated bandwith methodology
     television talk show false flag causality
     youtube montage conspiracy screens
     SNL as a political platform voting machine
     jon stewart doing the viacom shill in plastic suit
insects in the snow buried in coorful personality quizzes online
     what do they say about you?
     I want to know

what do you know about insects in the snow
     like where did they come from?
     where on tumblr do they hide?
on some hallmark card line over ocean sunrise mountain top forest photoshop
     how many will share or heart or like?
how many hands are red lines of ants steady crossing data paths
like insects in the snow

Insects in the snow as the static fades out and the white light goes
     insect like black trailing pixels cast out as typed lines
insects alone in the stale silent death
    within the inimical isolation of internet space
Insects in the snow becoming clear barren
     beginning to smear and blend
becoming obfuscated reality

to remain unfinished

in 100 years there'll be pilgrimage to Junction City Kansas
all these hyper kids on I-70 walls between them and the sea
head against the windowpane watching for that famous gray exit
there'll be a line of junk and hope straight down route 1 half-moon to LA
visions on the shore of Carpinteria like Key West or Desolation peak
this will all be done via virtual reality if we're still here if necessary
when the beach as black as oil and the plains are toxic waste dumps
and I'll be long ago buried in an anonymous plastic tomb outside Camp Hill, PA

Friday, October 2, 2015

300 dollars worth of repairs

the transistors
          the lamp posts     and
my car     too
          rust out in the rain

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hallmark Card in honour of Paul Muldoon

If your work is ever rejected by the New Yorker
     just look up the editor's poetry.

I promise     You'll feel a lot better.