Thursday, December 31, 2015

Haulien by the sea--

Guanyin you watch the sea
carved in stone, un-moving,
you are perfect, serene, compassionate,
do you hear the screams a continent away?
over the skip of rocks in the tide?

Guanyin can you see past the
mercurial pacific that's merely
a splinter of the essential mind?
I cannot see your tears,
what has man done to you?
are you here to protect the sea?

Guanyin are you lost on this emerald island?
is it a mistake I've found you, bled of colors,
unable to turn your eleven heads, twenty-two ears to the pain
of worldliness and attachment?

Guanyin am I asking too much?
please let me know?
Guanyin are you the resurrected Christ? I won't tell.
Guanyin have you heard of our barbaric western religions?
do you listen to the Taoists stories about you?
are they true?

Guanyin will you help us no matter what?
will you place the lotus in my hand and breathe pink into its soul?

Gunayin I am sorry I have pierced your solitude
to ask you meaningless questions, but I've many more.

Guanyin how many high tides have you witnessed here?
how many typhoons? how many shipwrecks?
How many fisherman caught in undertow? how many many deaths?

how many oceans have you cried with your twenty-two eyes?

Often I lie

Remember those first shits in the first months
of your coffee addiction.

they're gone.

years later I wrote several poems high on oxycodone.

I'm cleared now.

I've heard
there's a madhouse in a Bethesda naval yard crumbling to dust.

I've read
there's a mad ghost wandering the halls of an unnamed school in Paterson, NJ.

I know
there's a green van pulled to the side of the road off I-70 in Ohio, lost to time.

where I gave up the wheel,
where I was a rolling stone,
where I gave up sleep,
where I was never found,

I guess
some things will always be,
some things must go
some things
some times.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

To Watch

fumbling for the switch, your nimble fingers
in the cold look so different, changed, rearranged,
tiny charred pitchforks in the monster hunting night,
can't grasp the tongue soaked metal of an afterthought,

some say it isn't right for the winter come,
and darkness is the right frame of mind to take,

I've no opinion either way,
outside a disinterested observation,
or so this narration says

and a rhyme.

the darkness is on time, to go or who to when next
we meet, with the ilights on, I don't know.

in the summer perhaps,
when you can flick the switch.

I'm not sure why I can't help you
in this task,

is it because I'm standing here, one legged?

there's one thing to be sure;

You'll have to stretch out and shut the door
or the light will escape, and all your work in the cold
will be for nothing

once again, just my simple, ascetic observation.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Along the river bank,
uncontrollable green vegetation,
beside concrete graveyards,
broken military installations abandoned,
overtaken with weedy tresses,
mangy junkyard dogs nip at bike wheels,
tongues slack from mouth,
show broken teeth--
if you gun it
they'll chase
so we roll to a stop
already they turn their heads
faced around the curve
for next scooter
--road skirts the water, closer,
no camera on red lights,
no stop signs,
five minutes from city center
the long hot country awaits,
brown dirt hills,
speckled with grass,
hazed by smog,
leaning bamboo,
scattered stone.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Song Book

shrouded stranger,
were you cold and hunched over in the night?

do you drink your coffee, moonlit,
from tin canned heat?

too many questions.

I know.

this story without answers?

my dreams and
lined up with reality,

like a filter
sediment sifted down,

levels formed.

paintings in the desert.


same structure
like snaking codes
haunts me,

to the eye,
it lies,

I search for its heart.

there's no reason




Wednesday, December 23, 2015


the last grey sky
hid within it
Chinese lanterns
burning in the rain
cast up from
villages hidden
among green wet mountains,

barely visible between
phone line power line
thick clouds steaming heat
power line phone line
flickering figures
with what words to say,
I could not know,

gone among now
the mining towns, golden waterfalls
sheets of sky, gone wishes
molten air, thousand miles

an empty mirror;
the afternoon.


my broken knee

it's too cold to read outside
my cat glances up at me

we both sweat in the apartment's heat

sigh gladly
when I open the window

ignore the rain drops
splash on the sill

Monday, December 21, 2015

William Tell

my shaved legs,
goosebumped from the cold,
become lost to me each day,
like my atrophied body,
hunched with worry for my world,
ages beyond my desire;

won't they leave my sagging form
Won't they?

gaunt and ghastly
I've eaten my own flesh,

can't they see I wish to die

what more is there left to be done?

a failed attempt to remain removed,


I've no bones.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Babe in the night

the straight blue line in the night, I remember,
the fall, stiff metal, sagging skin, weakened bones,
a voice in the cold shadows come through the chill,
a body a heap of faded memory, a fogged addled mind,
the first glimpse into dying, the lamb leaps to escape.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Gnostic Reading

You are reading this with totemic vision.
your eyes are like headlight winking stars
          in the void night over I-70 Kansas plains.

your finger on the mount
          are like god's timeless hand tirelessly being all time,
          being anything, being same, meant as everything or;

your smirk is of my creation
          out of nothing, becoming nothing, going back
          into nothing, after all being of nothing at the start

you are reading this as a last dying light, going out.


          the hands in the church are hanging,
swung down the bell tower fast,
clanging like ancient horrors
in the swift moving current,
the white holy cloaks carried along,

          hail, now the last possible moment
terror comes before the feast, there the
tormented souls have come to lie, where
nothing grows but the vibration echo,
the holy voices yell,

          wavering, the scent of incense burns
my eyes, your eyes, all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


in there there was this
old grainy 1960 home movie footage,
little girls in white dresses
faces gently muddled into obscurity
twisting on white soled ankles
in what might have been the afternoon sun,
looking up at them and around,
not sure why we were there--
I was two years maybe three years old
when the lines at the margins began to run.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Security Footage

in my stomach
what now has been my world
two weeks now removed;

I am in an effort,
I am to decode myself,

I will rid myself of all shame.

today I left the house without my hat
I was sweating

did you know I am going bald?

where were all the eyes watching?

there were none that noticed any difference
I was passed back and forth
my cat doesn't know what to think of me.

I have become an imposition on myself

many times I have thought these things
these unreal unreality things

is it possible I am an invention?

if so,
how long until I die?

if so,
is this my answer to life. no,
this is my response.

where have the things I have thought gone?

they have gone
where I have no things
and things is a word I use to mean
nothing and nothing is
just a thing a word in a line
I have placed where others
are left and others will follow.

Friday, December 11, 2015

my right leg hasn't touched a floor in 2 weeks

sound is like this shower
make believe rain
I haven't had in days
when I imagine gray skies
in the afternoon
alternating to blue skies
when I wake
and drop these pills,

the ice therapy lasts 20 minutes,
I can't count past 10 without drifting
and it feels like some
other clear daydream day
before I wake, maybe it's
the length of a television 
program broken 
by commercial advertisements,

these are the most important questions at this time;

and with that it isn't clear if I'm
some sorry cripple scribbling 
on the back of his hand
counting off

Thursday, December 10, 2015


I have covered this ground with tired legs

not much has changed, nor has it remained the same

there were strings I mended, re-tied along the way

many were frail and so left ignored to atrophy

there were barriers constructed

mercurial bridges, flat tires, orange arrows

and the road,

two white lines, one yellow

only ran one way


frame by frame

your life escapes me

little white pill

many mashed words in a
mixer like mom's 1950
powder blue or green
whatever my mind
sticks to whatever
memory pops out

whatever color smells right

like flour
wisps in sunlit circles
and by the time I write this
I am 30 years old
confined to my bed

in pain


higher still

too weak to resist the next four hours

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


*Originally appeared in the Light Ekphrastic*

"Death is acommin in
                                    and mocks my loss of Liberty"

63. The Tree
Cast a shadow over villages
made into the face of the moon,
a tree impervious to seasons, to death,
a pile of limbs, no dent,
in its cradle of branches,
a man, sap marks his blade,
blood, sweat, aching steel,
folded and sharpened by fire,
absurd Wu Gang chopping,
chopping still;

an impossible task.

39. Daphne
my fingernails
                        now leaves before the night

for winter

tho earth may dry and crack

my roots
sink deep
                        shall never die

52. Lust/Chastity
a chase
a tragedy

the word once spoken is law

an oath
an apology

46. Genes
Bay Laurel:
of the order Laurales
of the family Lauraceae
of the Genes Laurus
of the species L. nobilis

5. Chastity/Lust
an anachronism
an image

works written for the page

a relic
a wreath

18. Apollo
By her limbs
                        I have wronged

yet I will not learn
but yearn
through an arrow
and in so doing

tho the earth may pass before my age

I shall
not want

                        shall not be sated

36. The Moon
Madcap, the 64 signs
hear tell of the rabbit,
lives on the moon,
there, he pounds the medicine
of the earth,
in the lunar light,
for the coming age,
the luster, holy water
reflected in
Buddha’s pail;
a body never burns.

Monday, December 7, 2015


metal hooks on set tracks
cross hatched beige dividers

wipe your body clean
and air dry

these socks prevent blood clots

they're white
and the room is cold

it's time to go

my ass is out and the gown in gray

purple marker masks my knee

the IV is in
blood has dripped

it'll be an hour that becomes six months

once I sit down
I am no longer mine
I am the white walls
the anesthetic
the knife

induced sleep