Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Other End Of Eight / new poems 2011

Kafka Crawls, Nabokov Abandons, Jesus Doubts

At last
what I became.

A transfiguration so utterly, absolutely and plenarily complete
that Kafka crawls away, shaking his bug head in disbelief,
Nabokov abandons his lepidopterist's eye for butterflies,
and Jesus doubts, sticking his fingers into my side.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On The Other End Of Eight / new poems 2011

The Leaving

Red skin remembers
the summer of disassembling,
the stifling choke of a throat,
constricted and conflicted,
swallowing haunted shadows
with voices like ghosts fading
before they were ever even familiar.

Black heart scrapbooks
seasons of dead leaves,
set ablaze and asunder,
smoke billowing from a soul,
full of smoldering paper tigers,
and notes to self aflame and fanning
the conflagration of love's lost letters.

Pink hands forgive
the premature palsy of fingers
wilted into the permanence of fists,
to beat against walls now erected
until they become a pulp fiction
rewriting in the sanguine of blood cells
an empty book of days not to be.

Yellow eyes reflect
the time lost in the flickering light
of memories fading from senses,
taste, smell, sound, touch, and sight
conjuring the last artists' renderings,
becoming a charcoal of trembling
shuddering to think of itself.

Grey matter forgets
even the chalk outlines of children
stoic beneath a crayon sun,
running scared with the sudden rain,
a flood of confusion confiscating
even the best of memories,
drowning them beneath a childish dream.

Blue lips recall
the leaving, long left behind
along with the shiver of "is"
before it ever longed to be
the lingering, warm reverie,
the soft, supple nostalgia of "was,"
left instead this cold comfort to kiss.

On The Other End Of Eight / new poems 2011

On The Other End Of Eight

Having now outrun it all
I leave a small infinity behind me

Where I was who I was
for what seemed forever

Until I found myself standing here
on the other end of eight

On The Other End Of Eight / new poems 2011

In And Out Of Time With Broken Bells

Heart soars
against arrhythmia,
beats crookedly beneath
a cathedral of towering clouds
in and out of time with broken bells.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

From Winter's Womb

Hinted at,
just a dream
here as spring lifts
her heavy-lidded eyes,
whispering a pale warmth
through long shuttered windows
and the unspoken promise of another.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Without Smoke For Hands, Without Alcohol For Eyes

All winter long I have hidden myself inside the stacks
without smoke for hands and without alcohol for eyes,
dreaming of sand, the bright sun an x-ray of revelation,
writing summers Chekhov, Platonov and Solzhenitsyn
could only ever have imagined in their cold imaginations.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Shadows Beyond Birds

shadows beyond birds themselves

racing sun, surfing wind, climbing sky,

the heat of the day crawling from the frost

left behind for night to find when wings sleep

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Pencil Method

I was dreaming of a typewriter's tap, tap, tap,
realizing the rhythm of all writing was inextricable
from its form, its function, when my cloud eyes drifted
to muslin visions of Herr Walser's ponderous, pencil method,
inert in its torpid execution, but capturing every shuffled step,
each long look, along a walk across a timeless Swiss landscape,
the languorous beating of all the hearts no longer capable of hope.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

A Little Ramble (for D.E.G.)

Will I look for you
when you are gone

inside the hush where words
are wed quietly to one another,

in the sound of my own cough
becoming not unlike your own,

between the geological syncline
strata of a road cut chronology,

through windows bathed in sun
warming bones, aging pale skin,

behind the cold, low Nordic hum
of Jean Sibelius' slow 'Finlandia,'

along an endless wave of Durum wheat
rolling out below a wide, wild Dakota sky,

somewhere beyond a shadow of a doubt cast
upon my heart that you are there, somewhere.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

I've Been High

everything is on fire

low lapping wolves
at wooden

winter has turned strange
and in the quiet sits fear,
trembling blue

but I've been high,
stood on the roof of this world,
looked down at what looks like
make believe

cried to the heavens,
cursed at the stars

the ravaged, stoic moon
over both shoulders
with its eternity of travails
left unspoken

speaking volumes,
shining soft white, silver light
upon the inevitable coming calm
and its ladder back through clouds
i climb down, descending, determined
to wade the boiling, roiling waters,
walk the blackened, broken land

and though
the wolves still bay
off in the distance,
fear somehow stands,
its pale face transformed
by soot and sorrow,
and walks on into a night
still ablaze, shoulders broad
and parting a sea of smoke
and uncertainty, unafraid at last

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

They Assassinate Themselves

They assassinate themselves, or so it seems from this distance,
this balloon ride above a circus, shuttered tight beneath a tent,
where I see the land suffering, silently as a million thousands
bloom silently in rapacious colors, and wilt before a pair of eyes
has inhaled their essence, as painters and poets once sought
to secret away to canvas, parchment, and so, preservation,
flying in the face of, oh the, humanity, of spirits barely breathing
as they wander en masse their air-conditioned convictions
chasing spurious visions of futures weighted down by days
teeming with dreams of the dull, cold calculus of commerce,
all the while, lost in visions of excess, assassinating themselves,
though I am witness from afar, lost in thought above an open field
where poetry and painting place pen and brush, in place of a gun.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Speaking to The Rose

Walk along with me, carry your little boy feet
over rock-scattered trails where I have stumbled
and know me as I really am; there in my followed
footsteps you may in fact find your gray father
speaking to the stars, the dead and the rose.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011


I have watched you now for near on five decades,
a depressed Aphrodite gorging yourself upon lotus
blooming with self-pity, the landscape surrounding you
left a solipsistic wasteland even T.S. cannot comprehend

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Collections Of Nothing

will all manner of things,
our collections of nothing,
keep death from the door

or do ravens
rest upon everything
arms cannot hold
at all, all at

their yellow eyes,
as a friend reminded,
distant, distracted

by the trappings
beneath talons

predisposed toward,
yet cynical of
their own survival

remembering Poe,
alone and dying,
with only
a pen, a needle, a tale

talismans one and all,
attached to meaning
someone else
will attach

after death
empties our hands
and folds them
in a final prayer

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Banjo (Come Awry)

played out

at times
in time
at intervals
in time with

strum, pluck, pick

the parts of me
you want to keep

and construct a melody
from the amalgam

i only want to dance
slowly across

dust, wood, rug

pulled out from
under my feet
when the best steps
were yet to come

crooked crows
watch from
fields beyond fences,
cities beyond buildings
skies beyond horizons

hung with notes
of less than perfect pitch
upon a struggle of strings

i am hanging from
still singing along,
to songs we shared,

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Winter Skin

the sun is up, overhead,
my hand is in yours,
our hands hold his,
as we walk along
into the future

and beaming
with possibility

it is warming
our winter skin
and melting snow
of middle March Ides
as we all welcome spring

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Clairvoyant Of The Small (for Robert Walser)

... and yet you still somehow managed to carry on
in the small, slight, & almost infinitesimal strokes
of hard lead pencil points through failure fraught
with an unquiet dismay made even more fragile
by a progressive and existential schizophrenia
hiding behind the serenity of sanitarium walls
while all the while rending words of meaning
as you yourself shrunk away from the world
and escaped the pomp of a lexical largess
for a circumstance wrought with obscurity
where the novel idea is swallowed whole
in the space of a discarded matchbook
that burns with meaning beyond itself
and fans the flames of speculation
within which the small truths sigh
because they began contented
as the captured clairvoyance
of the irrational rationale
behind a bedlamite's
perfectly inscribed
near microscopic
and brief fictions
a life left
to loom

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Her There, Not There (for Erich Nagl)

in the negligible time
it took to turn the page
of a fiction, not a hoodoo
in my hands, an ocean away,
between mountains, there amidst
grape vines and ancient castle ruins -

the death of your mother, who had waited for it,
african grey from the cancer, breath laboring
in the shallows of fluid from pneumonia,
just as she had waited for you to leave
the hospital room for one last time
before slipping away herself,
a million starry miles now
mocking the proximity
of just minutes ago
and leaving you to know
yourself too well, now alone
and not really knowing after all
where to turn, never really having known,
not just in this moment of pure abandonment,
but in the sheer vacuum of a life utterly determined
to swallow everything you have known, including
what was left of her always reassuring voice,
all sound whisked away instantly
with the closing of a door
with her there, not there
behind, beyond it

- save for the sound of these pages
turning in my hands, just before
the ringing of a phone,
the call coming in
to let me know
she was gone

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

By The Ashes of Anaïs Nin

As I dreamed
I was floating

I could spy
palm trees and
beautiful young men and
beautiful young women
moving like carefree quicksilver
upon the sands of the shoreline,
upon the sands of time, slow
beneath their feet at first,
then all at once quick
and swallowing clocks,
swallowing secrets,
like the one's being whispered
just below the surface
of Santa Monica Bay
by the ashes of Anaïs Nin,

as I dreamed
I was floating

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Wet With Remembrance (for David)

an old photo floats by
on a stream of consciousness
overflowing its muddied memory banks.

i catch a glimpse of a younger you
and there i am, in the same flash of a moment
the camera took to capture an apparition of our youth.

and i am soaking wet with remembrance
of those watershed years when we baptized ourselves
with beer as we sang in tongues a'flame with campfire songs.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Listen To Stars

put out your hand

and stop

this world.

there is a ringing

in both

my ears.

the rattle and whine of politics,
the buzz and static of religion,
the shatter and bang of money

can never compete
with the hum of love
vibrating there above it all

including a world in constant motion,
with its crooked, cockeyed axis scraping
against the lilt and lullaby of the tides.

so close your eyes

and listen

to stars.

in the quiet sky

they are

our hearts.

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Just As It Collapses

I grasp
just as

and clutch
an hour,
a day,
a year,
a decade

before a lifetime
falls away
and I am left
standing in the rubble of

instead of swinging away
on a chandelier
with my one free hand
into the wide-eyed open of

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

The Diaphanous Library

only your eyes look right through the translucence of my skin,
seeing with perfect clarity the bound thoughts i have hidden
in the long stacks behind brown eyes, the diaphanous library
you and only you may wander through to browse
moments and memories glowing with emotion,
dreams and desires' hot phosphorescence,
the still flickering, fragile filaments
of thoughts thought lost or forgotten,
in dusty volumes of collected ephemera,
between gossamer pages for you to leaf

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Diaphanous Library / new poems 2011

Haiku For Japan

each tear an ocean
full of souls not forgotten,
in and of itself

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Concerning Crows, Elucidating Undertows

thrill me
with theories
you keep hidden



languishing there
behind your coy lips
without the benefit
of your tongue's fey lisp





before the crow takes flight
from a sky left contemplating
an undertow of silence below
sweeping our love out to sea

a finding of loss
no thesis or dissertation
could ever dare to explain

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

If Only

the cold gray of dusk always fills my mind
with muted, faint memories that stand silently
in the last of my shadow's fading outline, yawning,
before they themselves retreat back into the darkness
there at the edges of, "If only..." and "Remember when..."

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Ask The Dust

After the rain, the mud,
came the sun-baked dust
along an avenue of trees,
whispering what it was,
before I could ask
if this was, at long last,
summer beneath my feet,
hovering above my head,
laid out like a landscape
by a Plein-Air painter.

Another Canvas / new poems 2011


gluing again
together again
scattered pieces of a
paper heart

walk a rocky world
looking for scraps
secreted away
by jealous winds

cut across
a collage of emotions
with scissors for decisions
cutting blood ties

no longer
torn and afraid,
I throw confetti
to the fire I called friends

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Now As Unreal

my grey
sitting there,

a comfortable
for a kingdom;

the world
the window

now as unreal
as a child's
crayon drawing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

In The Absence Of All Influence

in the absence
of all influence
i climb inside
a self-made
and sit securely
in the sinecure
of a self-reliant
suffice it to say
a self-satisfied,

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Of Our Occasional Congress

I have nearly outrun myself, although the version of me I left behind,
in the burned out bunker of a marriage, does still walk this earth;
- shaken, stunned, and scarred; ashen, uncertain and ashamed -
alone but not alone, adrift but not adrift and not altogether forsaken,
for we indeed still talk from time to time in cautious conversations
carried on in a quiet mind, between the beats of our Siamese heart
where no one can glimpse the content of our occasional congress.
There, in the telepathy of emotion, a historical and less hysterical
fiction has been constructed to bridge the gaps of a conjoined annal,
so that I may know the complete continuity of myself on either side
of the imaginary, invisible, yet indelible line I drew between us both,
leaving behind a shell of a man for the chimera I cannot fully shed.

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

I Part The Lemongrass

sifting the seasons for respite, calm, surrender,
i part the lemongrass, thrust my once young face
into summer's warm wind, into autumn's dull decay,
into winter's low light, into spring's green garden,
discovering a cache of old promises built upon
premises of constant movement, perpetual motion,
and in stark contrast to my old soul's
complete indifference to kinetic progress;
finding more in the simple, narcotic fragrance
of the overgrown lemongrass at my stationary feet,
inhaling a reverie of still, stolid, and salient reflection
upon a quiet found future tucked into a cotton pocket
for purposes of safekeeping from the cruel of a calendar
and its marked, methodical and ironic disregard for time
and the promises a young man had no time to keep.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

The Sancho Panza Of My Soul

I stop to crane my albatross neck back across a broad and bruised shoulder,

spy the shadows of a doubt that walked a wincing sleepwalk
behind every battered, broken-hearted and bushwacked mile,

shrug and smile, out of breath, but breathing free at last or perhaps just for now,

knowing by their silhouetted stepping impressions/compressions
in sand and loam, clay and soil and the hot tar of not yet pumice,

that dreams can chase you down even in the wide awake of running from the past.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Other Flowers

petals soft push

other flowers

rising out of rock,
slipping through stone.

"can't" has always been there,
below the surface,
whispering doubts through ash.

"couldn't" waited
pouted broadly below my feet,

as I picked
this bouquet for you
of me.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

None Of What Happened, Happened (for Charles Maxwell Anderson)

i can still feel
the bricks of a house
built along the rise of,
not atop, a hill

i can still see
boys in a short driveway
standing around in
KISS makeup

i can still hear
your father's records
through the floorboards
of your room

i can still smell
your mother's cooking
through open windows
of carefree summers

i can still summon
these senses and dream
that none of what happened,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Joli Comme Un Coeur (As Pretty As A Heart)

soft vowels spill
from the pout of
your lips

my tongue
to the crack and tick
of consonants
counting time
in between time
until I see you again

le temps entre
punctuated by
periods of pining

spent chiseling words
into the granite of hours
without you

that read,
Joli Comme Un Coeur,
within their own stippled heart,
cleaving to one another
in the same way your lips'
whispered caress, "Je t'aime,"
has clung to my own

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another Canvas / new poems 2011

Yellow Becomes Blue

a little boy in bed.
the wall between us breathes his name.
incandescent light breaks softly across my neck.
its yellow becomes blue when he speaks, when I dream.
at night, in the quiet and absence of color we wait, but not in vain.
these boys in bed connected by the red of blood on either side of this wall.