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

Where you wish & How to go

Calico Rocks Camp

trailing spider's web from my cap
into the swell of quickening storm

rain thrown down by wind

deep puddles


weather beaten paths

yawning trees

plastic coffin shelter bolted down
shit and piss buried below

the crack of brown thunder
potomac reflects the lightning in the sky overhead

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


when the stone pauses the shadows go with it.    
then the rain comes.     it is dreary for those
who cannot drown

like the mountain made of many roots
and trunks and underbrush and canopy
and river overflowing and heavy rock

the cloud never bothers looking up.

the water never rises high enough to touch the sky.

asking questions of the sky at sunrise

I am ancient

borne forth through time on interconnected rails

suffering the darkness of eight hour days

the commute from the lagging city

my penance

rush hour is my spirit walk

nirvana is death upon retirement

the abacus counting the days till expiration

is prayer

hanging with the frame
the image is like a blister     weighing
on the mind     an effort in paranoia
torn in the only careless moment     open
to the blue sky

like infection

iodine tinted secretions     slowed
by watercolor scabs

all effort and worry wasted     like
the rushing to catch a departed bus

finding that you are too late

a part of training

the earned days of life  
come from those wasted
traded      hours

long gone

those bitter hours of the past

fated youth     fleeting sun rises

each wish     gone

faster than the last
rushing toward the end
traded for figures in a book
phantoms of numbers on a screen

the 5 sayings and how they relate to dreams


interior of the arm
rather than bone

     cooked ramen noodle
     al dente      unbroken
     loose like drapes
     bound by dough
     dry and cracked

visible through the surgeon's window cut

without blood the tie unwound
removing the shimmering imperfection

     leaving the shell hollow
     sterilized sheets
     emptied of soup

Thursday, August 17, 2017


the white border that edged the countryside was unique

it was a painter's square
but this was not a painting

the perspective was precise and intact

I walked along the hills
and out into and down into the valley
watching for rattlesnakes
kicking up dust and stone

the clouds were tinged underneath
with reflected red accents
and stretching far back
they became smaller
until they could not be seen beyond the cliffs
that lined the landscape

I thought about home with the sun growing hot at noon
and how I'd brought no water with me

when I turned to go back the way I'd come
the glass tucked up under the frame barred my escape

Ad campaign morning sun

the sun was a Pepsi-Cola sphere
painted over the treeline.     hanging there
siphoning all the brown syrup color
from the river.     washing every
man-made thing in highlights of
blue & red gold

the clouds were like an attentive waitress
come to take our order
as the table of the world was moved
& looking over the menu carefully
you raised your eyes
asking politely for a sunrise.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

waning crescent

like a veiled statue
without a sculptor

you linger as an otherworldly visage

I place my hand upon your leg your breast your
arm.     you murmur a tremor

the earth shakes off the cold snow of time.

you are real  
last quarter

with your eyes closed you can't see.     your lashes
catch the air like dew
hanging under the moon.     your lips arch

like a bridge to a thousand unknown worlds
waning gibbous

dark hair waxes over soft features
the hills and falling meadows of the valley
like sunlight through splintered glass

lazy summer heat on stone

the reflection of quiet breaths

an exhausted mountain stream
meets the sea
full moon

sometimes your nails are painted
luminescence when you scratch my head

these are the nights
I sleep before you
waxing gibbous

the hand thrown over your eyes

acts as the wing of a
long forgotten bird.     featherless

and smooth as a shadow
first quarter

in the cool light of the street lamp stealing through the blinds
she glows like the angel's idea of the sun
waxing crescent

she smiles at nothing.

her teeth show through lips
as one-way mirrors

behind which is hidden bliss

the faces of her sleep

new moon

her dreams are like flowers
I consider picking
but leave them to remain
still & pink in the night


Friday, August 11, 2017

From the setting stones

three fingers of the sprouted stem

soon the bloom
                          from the ground
                smiling form--

the teeth are bars

weep        weep       little ones

for the cool gray sky
                                  blissful ones

men blow kisses kiss stems

women were once little things

to make wishes on--
into the blistered nowhere

film is sequential image
propelled through time

stressed to tear under its own momentum

blotted with the sad story of life

eyes pass it
lingering like the blink
of a train

into the lessening miles
everything drifts behind

into the past
tightly wound

played back and loop
these are memories
distilled lies

it was as tho the first understanding
could come again
A little figure of indignant loveliness

scowl of the watch
          beaming back at black faces
checking the pace
                             the make of the soul

green fairy tales
                         laughing children grow

--ants crawl
                    & chew the meaning

an ant hill is a mark of suffering

--when all the arrogant cities
of the arrogant world have
fleshy basements full of the

great horde

                    the great insectoid civilization


the march of generation
The Space Between the File

space between files
                                growing mildew
grown rough
                      inchoate constructs
--down in the gallery
along the canyon walls
all ago
            structures carved out

man struggles dies sweats
makes things that never last

always with failure & loss

            graves bleed into the past
--names cease to be were never

never matter


The Post-it Note Prophecies

the Slow Death

the first will ever BE
                        ever be LOST

       the floor is the purple room
             schematics of the MACHINE

pistons pump the lung
                                    of the ever-shrinking

look deeply
                   into the glimmering

              to read the name

the name sinking backward from entropy

the very first thought
                                   remember at the
FINAL moment

frozen at beginningless TIME

Saturday, August 5, 2017


etched out lines
erased prayers
gentle wind swept balcony
debris from the highway fields
cats on windowsill perches
crossed out lights
cold breakfasts
slowly aging automobiles
dilapidated spider-web complexes
cracked sidewalls
edited thoughts
wet sugar cubes

7000 ft tall a year ago
still the blue sky climbed higher
still the rising curtain of further peaks
still the wider rivers curve
still the billion treed forests
still the multitude of steps to go

praise the unheralded gods

gods who build the windows and walls

windows and walls that protect me from the outside

outside where the old god we called the sun shines


where Utopian coffins
will be manufactured by hand
with come with locks
on the inside and out

they will levitate above the graves of those left behind

helmets hang on stakes
loll like empty soup cans
spill their contents on holy ground
mix with mud and oil to dilute
boil in the glorious sun--

split fragment of an empty grocery counter,
powerlines run on blue light back-up lights,
digital mementos
--generator flicker
fabricated--kid looking to pocket 5$ in candy bars,
leaning up along counter, shelves underneath
hands buried in, brushing pockets--no guilt blush--
asking to know where the public bathroom is
--on every camera the authority sitcom alerted--
only the supermarket's part will out and
be vindicated and will be remembered
--cherished for its virtue

many names of factory walls

many names on machine barcodes

numerical values in many long books

monetary values in many broken bodies

8 crimes


perfect place to smoke,
to scream behind the radio coils,
wafting scent of tobacco lung,
haze of summer's morn
radiant on orange cone rays,
reflective splinter & dangerous
peeling off of angled lines