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





Leglessness in a snake, a bearded man on a bus once said, 
is not the privation it is in a doggy life. Misquoting the man
misquoting Wittgenstein, “a proposition presents the essence
and experience of atomic facts,” I buy penumbral heads of lettuce
that I will slam stemside on the countertop to core before storing
in ice water. Just kidding—I’m a vegetarian who detests salads.
For nearly thirty years, I’ve confused fate line with heart line
on palms which could always use a good aloe moisturizer.
Yesterday, I bartended a birthday party at the Nathaniel Palmer
House in Stonington. He was the first man to glimpse Antartica,
off the prow of a sloop called Hero. Pinot grigio and crab cakes
on beds of fennel. I even addressed a blowsy man with upturned
collar sir. Once an older student, mine, versed in moonshine
chiromancy saw faces of many women, maybe even her own,
in her teacher’s hands. Geometric lines in the Peruvian desert
have no discernable shape, except from the sky where the Nazcas
could not have had a vantage point, unless abetted by aliens,
nothing in the great books of subtle knowledge to explain them.
Not when autumn takes the shape of bluster, leaving a whitish whorl
of skin where once there was a wedding ring. I’m robot-walking
through the wilderness with sets, rows of aligned bones—
there’s a mneumonic to help remember their names: “some lovers
try positions that they can’t handle.” I leave prints invisible
to the naked eye on things I don’t own, like on the woman
I’m going to leave my wife for or on the backs of my own two hands,
for God to decipher the way a hunter construes beast from track.


Pretend you’re a man stuck in a woman’s body. 
Perhaps you are. Who am I presume? Listen,
when the flares go off, running for the hills
is not going to cut it. You’re going to have balls
to leave your body. Still what if (be)longing
survives surgery. Just to erase what is seen
in the mirror may not be enough. What sees need
be seen. Seen through. Like binocular lenses.
Not whatever bird towards which they point.
I’m sorry. I realize I’m not being very sensitive.
Started out wanting to tell a thwarted love story
and ended up with optics instead. I, the eye,
is problematic. But I don’t need to tell you that.
After all you’re you. Plus most wigs survive lips.


When the old coliseum where the Nighthawks used to play
fell precisely inwards on itself in a cloud of dust to the roar
of crowds watching on rooftops in their pajamas, for it was
early, I was headed to Union Station to catch Metro North
to the city. Better than fireworks, quipped the traffic guy
on the radio. What’s better than seeing something smash?

It’s true once I fell asleep on the red line, my face smashed
against one of the plastic seats, booze the hero of the play
that my liver, heart and head also starred in. Lucky some guy
didn’t rifle through my pockets or write on me. No subway roar,
or even the addled rants of a man wearing an Ollie North
pin and distributing pamphlets on how the Holy Ghost was

friendlier than Casper, could disturb me then. Not when I was
drooling, no joke, and missed my Brooklyn stop smashed
into sleep and only roused agog in the Bronx, South to North.
Slept and again woke in the Bronx, like in an absurdist play
where time was recurrent and distant sea’s muffled roar
replaced any dialogue. Scary. I was a wild and crazy guy

back then, would crash art openings featuring any guy
catering chardonnay to accompany his charcoals. My motto was
“the done can be undone but the undone can’t be done.” Roaring
around the Burroughs but never in cabs and always smashed,
some combination of buzz and drowse in constant play
in my bloodstream, lights blurring past like perpetual North

Stars. My days dazed in amazement. The idea of true north
held no interest. I was knocking back scotches with a guy
who knew a girl whose roommate I had dated, was playing
pool with George Plimpton and clubbing to jungle, was
being invited out to Fire Island and could call a smash
single before anyone but the record execs. How I roared!

Now I take Metro North into the city and do my roaring
around in a hybrid car with a car seat but that’s north
of never mind. Say I’m using a knife’s blunt edge to smash
garlic for a marinara sauce I’d wager better than the guy
who says “Bam! Kick it up a notch!” No matter who I was,
I’m happy, have no other choice in the next act of the play.

I still like to see things smash. More or less, I am that guy.
But all that bluster and roaring is like belief in Santa’s North
Pole into adolescence. Not what was and will stay in play.


Copyright © 2010 Literary Pool, Inc.