Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Late Thanksgiving

Be thankful for those who love you
because you didn't decide whether
or not they'd ever do such a thing.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Songs From the Highwayman

Interstates play their own rhythm -
worn tires cross each block in the dirty
concrete road only years old,
but broken all the same.

The tempo accelerates with the gas,
as the radio sings things I've learned
to forget
because I've heard them for the last
twenty years, sang by six other men
and a great woman painting on a piano,
once upon a time.

Biting cold north winds held back
by volcanic flames scorching out of
my greenlit dashboard,
I wondered what to say
to you when you woke up;
because it would still be late October
and I have ever been useless
this time of year, just ask the ex-files.

When you returned to, you said first:
Verdant mountains burst to spring,
time dilated in ways
unpredictable by relativity.

So I said it was OK ~
the rhythm of the road playing on me;
nodding, weaving, bobbing my head,
steel one-hand grip, thumb tapping
on the wheel.
I looked at you and it was all right,
talking like that as the lights changed.

And you were home long before
I wrote the final lines to this song
that I will likely never sing,
because the song was stolen
by a broken Michigan highway.
All I know to do is
just let it play out
any way it wills.

Friday, October 2, 2015

What I Think

I know
some master once
painted your radiant beauty, long time ago
during the renaissance, in Milan, or the Vatican

I know
you've a symphony
or two, conducted to patrons in Venetian masks
dancing with drunken lovers, courtiers, all fools
and princes

I know
baby rabbits and squirrels don't really gather at your feet
you said you wished they did when I suggested the sight;
to listen to you tell them stories 
before they curl up
in their secret burrows
and lodges and dream
until the next sundown

I know
the touch of your hand as it closes around mine
and we draw each other one step closer
one back, and
one pulling ahead
slicing our way, laughing
across the crowded ballroom


And now
I know
your love is guarded by cold fire and a smile
your secrets are quite safe, open to my shadows;
open, but the shadows cannot touch,
though they ever fall upon you

Because by morning,
they always fall away
and you know that

When the sun rises again
you rise with it
your own shadow caresses me 
and is gone

right now
that's what I know. 

Monday, October 24, 2011



Met a man with one leg
wearing a green fedora
playing a cracked guitar
with 3 broken strings
and an open suitcase
with silvery coins thrown
in for his dinner, drinks, fix
and I added my few bits to
the meager pile that grew
as the wind picked up 
and the sun fell from a 
weak autumn apogee
and stood there listening 
to a man playing the blues
who knew it for what it was

And tonight I'll get home
and eat and drink and fix
and sleep
and then do it again
and again
and I will never be as free
as that one legged man 
sitting on his stool
playing the blues
as the gulls wheel overhead 


Thursday, October 20, 2011


I hear the piano playing
see the sunset 
and smell the breeze 
wafting from the dragonfly’s wings. 

Springtime tells us stories 
that smell this sweet, 
and so does an autumn sunset 
of the horizonless lake 
as the waves say hello 
and our feet see the sand 
for all the trillion miracles 
that it has always been, 

eyes falling only to fly high 
again when the old mariner’s bell 

The light and the dark 
are brothers after all.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wormwood (Another Ode to Bukowski, the 2nd such...)

Dead by the streetlight
my shadow
the mountains
off the desert floor
in the distance

The distance:

A hooker is dodging cars
while living in the midnights

Really, it can't be that easy.

Dead by the TV tray:
half a pop tart
empty bottles
a remote control
and no batteries

No Batteries:

The future is in the now,
and turns out it's nothing
without us.

Taste the gasoline mai tai;

Dead by the bedside:
been there before
the chloroform still
gives me a twitch

Dead by the hand that
beckons me
feeds me
scratches my itch
and rubs my belly
my lust
and my lies.




And someone said:
the sun
also rises...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green River

green river most holy
I wade my bare feet
into your purifying flow
away from noise and smoke
where your voice is wind
a laugh I've died to hear
but I ask you;
which of us
will hurt more?
if my mortal sins
were washed away
by your cold blood
to the mother ocean...
and beg your forgiveness
for listening to your voice
instead of your words
on this matter of souls
as they walk on by

Friday, October 29, 2010


She screams at her nosferatu
on the threshold of her house
every night the ritual
needs more blood.

It's 3:00 am.

She throws a liquor bottle
it shatters to diamonds and mash
in front of his car door
screeching to departure on cue
I’ve seen her throw herself
on the rusting hood of his car
or smack his side window
with her open hand.

She has broken glass before
as easily as she's broken herself
and for the ground that she gained
she just as easily gave in
to the monster near dawn.

Together they rise each morning on cue
organs re-grown—limbs mended
faces vaguely human, bloodshot
axes grinding edge to edge
all day until the next dusk
when the beast roams again.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Flotsam and Jetsam

It was a long walk~
her thoughts all over the map,
the bus schedule lit by
a procession of
amber streetlights.

The traffic crossing town,
to south
to bad
and flow
flotsam and jetsam
in and out.

Right through the door
she carried herself
quickly to the neon lit bar
where he'd just finished
one, two, was working
on a third vodka straight.

poked him in the ribs
let him know she was


...and the fires in Detroit
burned early that night

...and the planets aligned
delivering catastrophe
to the world of man

...and Lazarus rose from
his tomb

...and the bomb dropped--
millions died.
millions more were born
with a million more bombs
to expound the universe
with their fire and their love.

Poems should be
elegant things; complexity
in a single sustained breath.

But this one
just won't work like that.

It's from Detroit.

It was a long walk.

In and out.

The morning sun would have
a fucking nasty hangover,
but the amber streetlights
would be there
to pick up the slack.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last Hit

"The length of my life
and the day of my death
were fated long ago"
--Viking Proverb

Up there,
in the tall grass,
snakes lying in ambush.

Downhill, his every breath
a dead scream
twisting in vacuum.

Hear that?

They wait...
They wait...

Safety thumbed off,
muzzle pointed
at the imperious sun,

They wait.

Up there, twigs snap.

He knew his job,
but did his duty.

Tonight my uncle died.   He was a former U.S. Marine, died at home in the quietude of suburbia.   I know nothing else to say but that he was a good man, a person who would never harm another living being, but was always ready to defend what he believed in and loved.

He'll be missed and thought of often, though he can now finally rest.

Love you all for reading here.   Know that.