the one nearest

the one nearest


something is up with my cat

my cat sits in quiet ponder for afternoons at a time

eyes fixed on emptiness

furry brow furrowed

with vexed thoughts

and venemous entreaties


has sworn-off personal grooming

eating, sleeping, hunting, playing

suddenly responds to the name I call him by

so that he can then transparently deny

intentionally overshoots the edge of his litter box

while laughing

before welling up


sees his own mortality

sees his own impotent lack of control

sees the randomness of this alien world

and his accidental bookmark in it


decides it’s folly in going to the vet

would rather pay a visit to the chemical shed

wants me to unlock the gun cabinet

lays all night at the foot of the bed

drinking Remy and glaring


something occurring, I think

my cat [is having an existential crisis]

and, I know

I am his convenience

emeralds and rubies

Emeralds and rubies


A million, million times to fail and then

to tickle the sleeping dragon’s tail

porcelina of the ocean’s wide, I know

someday you’ll take me with you

wanting though your waning tide and

see me to the other side, but no

I already know this much

no, not tonight


but stay a while longer, why not

linger like a lover who fondly spies

unblinking through her emerald eyes, neither judging nor seeking,

sustaining fission. attentions focus, so circumspect

forging a tungsten tide upon your dull and slumbering

infinite shore, come forward and fall back again

into your sleeping ruby-demon core


can you feel it in your bones, does the

dragon dance and tickle, does the fire

pierce your skin and slip your veil

a million times before to fail

then in an instant become your emerald depths

shot through and dissected by the knowing


porcelina of the ocean’s wide, I know

someday you’ll take me with you

through your waxing tide and

see me to the other side

A million, million times to fail and then

A tickle of the sleeping dragon’s tail

or was it, but for a moment’s slip of the hand

neutrons ignite the air and paint the night-time sky

before everything quietly falls away

almost like it was before

no bud left behind

No bud left behind

– george stein


Maybe the Navigation was doomed from the start

It wasn’t as if there was an absence of signs

But things can always be taken two, three, or more ways

And then come the subtexts and permutations


Memory will inevitably smooth and polish

Things said and unsaid at the last supper

But there was a photo taken by the server

Among the many regrettable things people must do these days to earn a tip.


Now everything they touched and

Everything they fucked up, in their way

Will elicit waves that span the distance, pass

And come back again to spite


Some will surmise it was impetuous

Some will observe that it was avoidable

And most people won’t really care at all

Some of them will be right




The woman is perfected.
Her dead
Body wears the smile of accomplishment,
The illusion of a Greek necessity
Flows in the scrolls of her toga,
Her bare
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far, it is over.
Each dead child coiled, a white serpent,
One at each little
Pitcher of milk, now empty.
She has folded
Them back into her body as petals
Of a rose close when the garden
Stiffens and odors bleed
From the sweet, deep throats of the night flower.
The moon has nothing to be sad about,
Staring from her hood of bone.
She is used to this sort of thing.
Her blacks crackle and drag.



moartea finala


moartea finala

des 1

all above, the sky-blue sky,

and underneath, clouds underlie,

grey and mottled, patched and patterned

found words fail, flawed labels flail

then language is discarded


palms down, small hands hover,

burdened by air, buoyed by water

resigned to remain agnostic

gambling on the hinge over the lock

each vessel knowing only what it touches


an un-dented mind directs small, fastidious hands

castaway stones are re-gathered together

pockets sag under manifest density

atoms come to loosely vibrate with their neighbors

before passing through another door


pancake water, here to the vanishing

the horizon embraces fire over ice

air over hovers with rapt indifference

while the current under argues depth

when one portal martyrs to permission the other


moartea finala, another sunset passes



whether by chance or by a divine intervention,
when darkness comes and gouges the eyes
and bloodies the nose of a mid-june sun
comfortable clothes are ripped from beautiful savants
replaced by their silk and silvery-foil counterparts
the garden thrives in order and in sun
but thirsts for torment and chaos in equal share

whether culled by means of maps and legends
or the madness of genius informed by fortunate circumstance
wanderers find barriers of barbed wire and electrified walls of sound
but where fixed firmaments are encountered,
barriers that would otherwise serve simply as obstacles
now become points for an elegant departure

when those possessing extrasensory brilliance and insight
a higher form of sense, light, and being
while lesser lights fail to discern the sun through the haze
in the heat and glare of a greater fire

when the first petals of the flower flares
then begins to curl, even while others yet emerge,
foreshadow, the first sniff of decay
some flowers slowly atrophy, still clinging to the ideal of beauty
all the while falling, falling further away
while others simply burst into flame

when darkness comes and gouges the eyes, bloodies the nose
and the thirst for cruelty and torment will not sate
a line here or there, but never time enough for a true wrinkle
if six was nine, the end would be at twenty-seven

a doll’s house


A doll’s house

gleaming copper downspouts and red tar shingles

a dream kitchen, smuckers, wonderbread and pringles

carpet, and padding. stretching from wall to pastel wall

new clothes, designer labels, clean empty tables

a cat and dog. the little girl spends her days in many ways

three square meals and a healthy snack

fruit and fiber, just what the food pyramid says

but an architecture that she lacks

one little white girl, and one little boy black

the parents long-ago lost to the family dog

dismembered,  buried and resting in pieces in the corner of the back

of the backyard, where lovely mah-jong tile headstones bear silent watch

every night, clean, damp, vinyl hair falls like finest floss

onto freshly washed and dried linen, still warm

dogs bark, and angry voices crow from somewhere down below

made reasonably unintelligible by the television’s blaring flow

muffled by the jungle-sounds cassette the girl plays nightly,

to ease hers into the netherworld, where no thing and no one can pass

No slights. No frights. Finally found, tightly gripped,


Strangers come and strangers go, laughter vapors from below

the mornings are always the most peaceful, but one can never know

In the eve, the girl locks her door and sleeps

waits for the signs, listens, the third step creaks

a pocket knife and a serving fork tucked beneath her pillow

her children smile and shine as the first day they were found

islands in the stream but she stretches and grows,

ever more perfect with each sunrise

she fears her little ones will still need her, want her

love her when she goes

every night, vinyl hair falls like finest floss

onto colored, cut-up tablecloths

scavenged and sewn from common dross

little cups and dishes, plastic,orange and green

from three square and a healthy snack

rubbed and polished until they’re clean

another nether evening falls, retire

a prayer for the lost in the corner of the back, sleep.

coyotes call, dogs conspire,

there’s  the creak of the third step

and it starts

road trip / vanishing point

road trip 6


Road Trip / Vanishing point

driving another junk car, leaving behind long, languorous shadows

traveling on gravel and on sand and on stone

over sagebrush and scores of unmarked graves

this is for fun or is this to atone

for sins still under consideration

We stop for trinkets in the sad ruins at casa grande

ask the waitress with cold, black-pool eyes

‘where’s the men’s room, she says, ‘when was the last time

you remember being happy’

she gets no fucking tip

from this place, from any place

the path of least resistance, is a turn to the south and cold warmth

on a graphical perspective, in a dimensional world

its where all the lines converge

color by numbers, fill in the blank

obituaries, horoscopes and crosswords

getting more lost, driving past unnamed mountains

without snow, and rivers without water

passing back and forth between the strange and the strangely familiar

footprints in the sand, assert, then disappear

who works the strings when bodies

with apparent motion, angst and vigor

appear and dance and jerk, then pass

a hole in the center where the jelly-soul used to be

I don’t know the moment when

the dust of our two spirits slipped

like light through haze into the space

where our bodies drift and hover

atoms, molecules, strong and weak forces

things with and without labels

mixed for a time, entwined, impressed

entangled and then fell away

how much water can you drink

from an oasis that’s ceased to trickle

my stern glaze, your indifference

the crest of a tide is fickle

maybe we will get it together

drift westward with the sun

slowly fading, extinguished by the blue to the west,

or north to the wind and to absence

romantic western narratives that will never happen

games the mind plays on itself

to occupy in void and absence, then into dust

shall pass, the wind will do what the wind chooses

it’s a little like a casual magic

idle amusement for beats and for slackers

an illusion without the pot-smoke and heavy mirrors

what transpires when destinies meet and merge

melt into the horizon, converge and disappear

the path of least resistance is a fall to the south and to the warmth

don’t wait, accelerate, drive on past the vanishing point

another milestone in an empty book of snaps

manufacture reason, method or motive

restless bodies become bodies lost in motion

once the momentum to leave is found

why would we ever want to stop


turning the corners / dark world


Turning the corners / dark world


god says today I will make a mute

and tomorrow I will make a king

while planets spin and circle and trine

earthly dynasties and alliances fall in disgrace and ruin

then realign

the kings’ astronomer traces the oppositions and alignments

unconsciously touches the soft of his nape, in silence

watches as mars slows and pauses, then reverses

as if on queue, the whole world snarls

and goes gladly off to war in the provinces

the princess is taken from her hidden realm

smuggled surreptitiously under reckless plot

suffers fools and indignities. Sees beauty entangled with ugliness

feels the sting of peasantry and gravel for the first

on her soft and lovely virgin, white soles

she thirsts for water and hungers for color

is rewarded with random apportionments of debasement and irony

her soul pains to sing a song of honor and grace

something from somewhere other than this place

if she had only bothered to learn the words

somewhere opposite this sorrowful earth, bathed in so many greys,

mossy greens, hopelessness and darkness. a diametric to the sun

effortless, amidst a black sea of profanity and malice

china-white clouds bring sweet, spring rains, refract in buttery, golden hues

the ephemeral pleasures of the floating world, for which she will now forever be unfit

distilling meaning in the face of defeat

a princess longs but loses her lovely head

one must steel themselves for deceit

what is that expression so foreign

to men who work and live and toil

on the face of the dead and vanquished

one can discern the corners turn

peace, transcendence, and the hint of a smile


inspired by akira kurosawa’s ‘hidden fortress’