today's poetry

Maybe we can jump in the ocean today

maybe we can brave pearlescent waves

no longer large as hurricanes

but pounding nonetheless, to wash away

the tequila and the hamburgers

in the shape of hot dogs, wrapped

in bacon.  I don't believe

the blue day will concern us

any longer than today, we'll forget it

as soon as it's over so let's splash

our way through it as hungover kids

should do.  There's more wine waiting

on the other side, I bought a case

last night

and it is leaning in our direction.


I'm no longer the empty person

with a fifth in one hand 

and a beer in the other.  I've 

given all that up, I've judged

myself inconsolable, the dreams

I have are darker than I otherwise

allowed––in the past,

but that's all different now,

I've given up on God, I've gilded

the grossest lily, I lean in every 

direction but the one that leads

me home––I have no

home, I'm heating up, first

heating up for the longest

journey.  I'm going to a kind

of jail, this carcass/coffin/rec room

of a globe has granted me the keys,

I'm to play the warden in a version

of my own newly valuable life,

my ego is now the one to keep

the other parts of me at bay––

punitively.  The planet leans

and lessens the level of light

that strikes its flank.


Only silent

opportunities are available to us,

the loud ones have grown

too expensive, the silver

turns of phrase we watch

in the drought-stricken trees

are enough for us.

This is our pride,

that romance can be reduced

to a climbing feeling, a pause

in the throat when 'Never mind'

is all you want to say––how

beautiful the disruptive sap

falling onto the picnic table,

dropping with untamed rhythm

on its brethren wood

shaved by us down to use.

I never feel like shaving

anymore, I situate myself, with

you, beyond some Pale

I can't bring myself to discuss.

I'm one with my Polish ancestors.


The man in the moon

with his collapsible Floridian eccentricities,

his travails in the shape of old cheese,

his growling acquiescence to the cycles

his mother has bequeathed him,

his bloodlessness in the face of exaltation

(just when you thought he would give in

to the fascinations of power, he putters

around his brooding townhouse like a

sullen implement),

his deep commitment to figuration,

his entirely unreasonable way of 

speaking to the sun, his father, his mirror,

even, one could argue, his memory––

sometimes I just want to tell him

to snap the fuck out of it, his faith in

me be damned.

But then I begin to countenance his sorrow,

I sing him the lullabies he used to sing me

when the two of us were younger and his

youth was what made all the poets

twinkle in a bereaved firmament around

him like momentary arcs of fire and prejudice,

I soften his self-inflicted blows,

I bleed him into balsamic vegetation

like a medieval doctor who has cured

himself of Black Death.


Oh yeah

I'm in one of those moods

bordering on the self-destructive

when I want to give everything

away, it's a win-win

negotiation with my own death

expensive books for friends

who will never read them,

uneven promises made

to those who won't expect me to keep them,

entire years' salaries

lost, if you can call it that, let us say

executed, over the course

of a frivolous weekend of yachts

and yes-men and young lovers diving

off the bow together

into a sea that saves from from each

other.  It doesn't

matter, I tell myself, memories of this

period won't last,

I've drank too much to tell myself

anything else.


often on those

murderous days

when my best

intentions are

few I look to

poets to rescue

me from daydreams

but their own

drudgery intrudes

and I find

myself interred

in absolutes

so I whisk

away such fetters

and feel out

another barn

with bigger

windows and wine

free for the

asking and clouds

that rain pretty

drops to wash

away not knowing


When these runes are lost,

but mine,

will their isolation go?

Will there be

another news, a spell, a shape


enough?  a news like spires

reaching up,

a birth like tropical avenues?

I don't

have time to tell you all, I don't

expect the world

to change, to challenge off the frown

I craft.

But can't there be a force to play,

a fuse

too short or breast to kiss,

your breast?


The fifth race

was won by the fourth horse

and after the race

all the horses huddled together

to congratulate him

the fifth horse especially

whose race it was supposed to

have been

nuzzled up to the fourth horse

in so friendly a manner

all horses love each other

and the track

causes them no trouble

when they are together

in the winner's circle

whether or not

they have won


What happens when

the hellish room of

one's self-survival

helps others to find

the humor in nothingness?


Well that's goodbye for now and never

said the sapling to the hose

a hundred years of history fell

in the lap of one who was in love

and he heeded them and noon

called him out of his little house

into the brackish dreams he laid aside

the darkening the demeaning the true

all of these were there for him in the

proclamations he uttered as a way

of wiping his windshield clean

the fluid had been gone for weeks

and he had begun to worship the

empty reservoir as a symbol of his

isolation his fame his dismissal of logic

the long day was replaced the river

stuttered its path down dreary sunsets

the river was alive with thoughts with

trees that leaned their cups together

that talked the language of rats

you can hear them too if you listen close

enough if you put your ears together

and impregnate glass with your discovery

the drama of the individual has been

breached fatherhood has been outlawed

loans are available at the lowest rates

in centuries so say the kings

who have been sentenced to clean up

the bleached horizon never go back

they moan to each other sounds like sex

somebody has to do it they scream