h o m e........
p a s t   i s s u e s....
s u b m i s s i o n s....
l i n k s





So as you can see I’m in one of my moods.

Let me begin again I meant to say.
With palatial symptoms, the jaundiced glimpse.
And toes unclipped, but who’s the wiser?
Allow me to repeat: because it has an azure tint,
the irrepressible glance.
The stopwatch was switched—placed in an onlooker’s
A child, whose eyes became the hooves
(while many commenced to gallop).
While you were on the lawn, at the stadium, in prayer,
at the soothing zoo (repeat)…
The banal tigers. A teeming wish.
And hair, prominent, wound through many ribbons,
all day long in the monkey house.


It is in the finding, such as iron ore.
A spectacular search, as if for buried miners.
All these broken bandits and grim hustlers.
Clackety-clack, the universe, the town.
Specialties of the house: Roquefort?
Abyssinians? Dactyls and trochees?
The moon’s in our sights, there, above the transom.
And your boy has fine motor skills; he throws strikes.
Increasing lack of appreciation for rogues and outlaws,
war-loving extras, beautiful dangerous people.
Light applause: for censorship? for salaciousness?
Their divine aura, however misplaced, motivates us.
Always on planes—sometimes on boats,
other conveyances—a sigh—from the compartment
(of the train). Something shiny in the dark
late last night. Let’s go out and find it!
Then when Mike got a job, I thought,
I better get one. The pain started from there.
Capsized, on our filthy boat, in the fog,
with a bell buoy—can you hear it?—nearby.
Give my love to…Miranda! Susan! Cheryl!
Effusions, godlike, singular, tempting.
But some temptresses we know inspire a form of triage.
The antivirals baffle the chronic sufferers.

We kept willfully making a story of a story.
A little cartoon with distinctive patches of curly hair
on the round heads of the happy characters.
Or, just leaning to my friend’s ear to whisper.
It was a tough day. I brought my instruction manual.
I walked into the training room. It was a brief meeting.
They hired a consultant with wide shoulders.
Afterward, we met for margaritas to deconstruct it. I always remember, when someone mentions Van Halen,
these two really drunk kids. Some of us are abandoned
altogether. Little cartoon gods in khaki jackets.
And some of us grow out of militant excess.
Sometimes I wave at the neighbors.
The one who feels he needs to call me Mr. Steven,
and the one who talks about aging while working,
and the one to whom Liz and I have never spoken.
One of the many fantasy lights spilling an exhaust
all its own. When I’m in Vegas I stay at TI.
I hit twelve just about every time.
I go to a meeting on St. Louis Avenue.
Little babies in the fronds with baby hiccups,
just like back when we all had a lot of money.
These wise editors…Tony! Melissa! Adam!
A little later, the ghostly radiator I remember.
Pebbles with lights under the water and tadpoles.
Circuitous delivery systems involving left-handers.
One two three four, he said, and we were startled?
Oh, lampshade, little code for codes to break.
Did I mention dactyls and trochees, line breaks, caesura?
A poet whom I admire told me I won’t live forever.
All these near-geniuses who secretly love outlaws
(and their spooky little story-hours).
Diplomats and their never shabby wives.
Streamers for el presidente!
So many things I’ve wanted to say.
Sleep, for instance—I brought my bedroll.
I was not a wise appropriator.
I blushed at all the wrong times.
A fountain by my head, music of water—pure irritation.
You know the answers; you really do.
You know the answers, but you run. Either you
or the answers are holy. I believe I know which.
And I finally looked up ut operaratur eum
from Voltaire’s Candide which means to stay busy.


Rest assured, our pilot really knows what he’s doing.
I took off my shoes for him, the right and the left.
I consulted with the Oracle then I prayed for him.
We walked from home to town and back,
jogged a bit, side by side, I skipped a little
in these dainty shiny shoes I traded my real shoes for.
I changed my name, my hair style, my gender,
my creed, my timepiece. So my nervous sibling
would not feel the heat of competition,
I limited my ambition and achievement,
and in the public record I claimed no property.
I enacted treaties and legislation that,
under scrutiny, held no bearing whatsoever.
Alone in the middle of exotic travels
I’ve begun to feel vaguely sinister—
but not a threat to any monument you could name
or any single style or public figure or empire.
Resolute, I watched (or did I hear?) the orchestra.
I was the youngest man in the opera house.
I wanted to be somewhere else.
I always want to be somewhere else.
When I’m drinking, I want to be at your table dining.
When I’m talking to you, I want to be making love.
The feeble little cylinders turn; one opens the side door
to dark stairs, dark hall, dark room, dark cabinets.
It’s the stupid little inventions that truly fascinate me.
I can’t think of one right now. Ask me later.
Sitting here tonight with my feet in a bucket of seltzer,
I was kind all day to the customers.
After all I’ve been through, I deserve a break
or series of breaks or turns at the gate or a cut rate.
Bursting at the seams, the fat little boys and girls
can go ring someone else’s doorbell for gumballs.
This neighborhood has been going to hell for you.
This city has turned its back on the divine for you.
Someone burned our only church I loved to the ground.
Someone else put out the red hot tip of a cigarillo
out on my dear friend’s right buttock.
What’s left, what’s left, what’s left for us?
A little hooch, a little snooze, a little coochie-coo?
Things seems negotiable, but almost always they aren’t.
You get lucky once in a while, but the trap’s set again.
I would rather be dust (for you) or dirt
through my own fingers on a summer evening
in the garden (for you) or mere motion and sound
in the daylight, calling your name, calling help me—
then your pet name—then help—in the wind for you.

Copyright © 2010 Literary Pool, Inc.