Results for category "2010"

20 Articles



If it happens to everyone...

My freakish double, the killer,
isn’t around right now—
malignancy’s shadow

The host’s old,
the protoplasm frail, the
treatment:  none

Liars in pinstripe suits and cufflinks
Our bliss short, so short
I paid my bills, made my will

Jealousy was their aphrodisiac
(Whatever can heal will break)
and prepared to die


Death and travelers have the same saint...
The door opens easily,
just turn the knob
Last hours of life:

delirious and whimpers beneath
an oxygen tent ...
She hands the parents

a large brown bag of miscellaneous
odds and ends of belongings,
just behind that door

But the black bile was nowhere:
not in the orange size tumors,
not in the foul deep ulcers, nowhere


Nuggets of pleasure for all, for all...

An angry red margin begins to spiral
out from the wound and
the skin begins to rot

from inside
Something had broken and annealed
within her

Eyes bright with tears shed and unshed
The old prune-faced witch
from sagacity to senility

He lacks the gift of silence...
Formless, timeless, pervasive
(imitative, corrupt and perverse)


What I can’t explain – or show, or describe...

A family trip gone bad, real bad
There’s a fire in the kitchen,
The wolf is in the yard

Broken mailboxes, broken locks...
Great effects produced effortlessly,
marvelously, strangely,

inexhaustible, intangible, invisible...
He played it canny in all the glistening courts, admired,
his subtle expertise, his diplomatic grace

Acts are the bottom of language:
Their faces had a poisonous orange tinge—
all that belief, groundless



On his instruction, they bury him
in a plain wooden coffin with a soft
mulch designed to speed decomposition

The windows are covered with hard wire mesh
to prevent suicides, their poisonous orange faces
Relic hunters found:

a few pieces of corroded metalwork
and the tassels from a ceremonial hat
Great stalwart men, back from the war:

gaunt, lean, hungry, weary, sad;
later won’t speak of it—later...
They’ll never try to tell you

-December 27, 2010-

The Great War


Fog of the childish mind

No difference between what comes into his eyes
and sounds to hear

Music is colors for him

He goes through this life
through fogs of brittle noise


She brings her favorite bald gorilla to the gym

to hit me—
She was my enemy, always

I spit on her ass,

while electric guitars play silver,
and hope that she dies


A Nathan’s frank in a clear plastic wrapper

microwave hot, small packets of yellow mustard,
no sauerkraut, in prison

Everything ruined

We pity the old prisoner who pays
for every sad minute


Much must align to make love hot

A form on the stairs,
a cough from the basement,

invisible, alone, secret

Movement around this axis
like the after-images of trees in bright water


With age, deceits and troubles

the lines in her face harden
A coiled smile, a brittle mind

A time of giddiness, shallowness, escape

Her doubts require his certainty...
but she ruins everything


The Confederate leaders, just before the war.

in celebration, served:
turtle soup, turkey, mutton, capons,

ham, tongue, lamb chops, duck, oysters, steaks,

pies, pastries, ice cream, figs, coffee, sherry, bourbon,
scotch, wine, champagne, claret, port, brandy and Madeira


The building was too tall for the hoses

and burned all night
He likes having tough guys around

He was sick with fear

every time he walked on stage— he
followed her to hell


As a child he read all of Tarzan, King of Apes

So round, so firm, so fully packed”
Believe it or don’t, but that describes

a brand of cigarettes

Now that tornados blew the trees away
I see the cemetery on the hills and all those white graves


Rage black as coal

The rallies beautifully choreographed
Mass chanting swelled and fell precisely on cue

She hates every line on her face

They didn’t, in those days, believe in self-pity
and they didn’t recognize, or care about, your self-esteem


Famously lovely, her husband quite dashing

Delightfully happy, like a furry white mouse
Two of his brothers-in-laws,

Andrew’s only brother, his four best friends,

all killed within months of each other
at the start of the Great War


Treachery, double-dealing, shabby behavior

Who gets the dog?
Who wants the photographs?

Two years of passion

He’s a bad ball hitter
in this brittle nasty world

-December 2, 2010-

Always Faithful


You held that fine jewel

Let’s be more like Albert...
   The loops he makes

are golden ribbons in his head

Some loops are bad
   Some, quite harmless

Some even charm

They repeat and repeat
   themselves, regardless

Semper Fidelis


Why when it felt so good
   did it go so badly?

The old marine

had what was called then – Hepatitis
   neither A, nor B

Today we’d call it C

Would come every week or so
   to have the fluid in his stomach drained

Took it all stoically, said little

One day he motioned me over
   whispered, Semper Fidelis, Doc

Thank you—always faithful


Cold eyes in frightened faces…
   Is something wrong with your eyebrow?

Stop twitching at me

Grief has no time
   this childhood fantasy

Every bright morning

opens yesterday’s wounds
   Heavy smoke from the crematory

This happiness, this illusion

was seen over Hadamar
   each day


Form letters:

The first letter explained
   the war related reason for the transfer

The second announced the safe arrival

but explained to the family
   that no visitors were allowed

because of the war, of course

The third letter announced the patient’s death
   which usually occurred

within 24 hours of arrival

Doctors did the killing
   because “The syringe always belongs

in the hands of a physician”


He went to Italy for two weeks,
   spoke to no one

Who else was tone deaf?

A quick cremation was needed
   for public health reasons

I want to mess up her lipstick

Unless you move faster than the speed of light
   you don’t escape

By struggling you hasten your mistakes

This singularity will become
   increasingly redder, then dimmer

It’s my time machine

Her father was a chauffeur of
   improvident habits and violent temperament

As a child she had to steal food

Some fine music is heard
   only in your head

I want to lick her pussy

In certain narrow loops
   I know what I’m doing

You fall through levels
   of chemical happiness

I know the road well

You have several heads, several hearts,
   many souls

Where the cops are, everything

all the way to my girl in Pittsburgh
   He hides every fear, that trickster

Money never interested him but that world

and its music were murdered
   Hungry worms wait for me

Too beautiful, too happy, too fortunate…

One rehearsal – that’s all you’re gonna get
   from old Dino

I figured it out

Old men see visions,
   You should have done the same

Young men dream dreams

Let’s be more like Albert...
   He’s genuinely happy to see them come

and just as happy to see them go

-November 4, 2010-

She leaves her…

She speaks in pungent slang
self-absorbed, insensible
small-minded, incapable,
I’ll never find my footing here
We’re all alligators, my dear...
we move toward each other, slow, slow, fast—
we love to fuck
She’d been treated cruelly, when young
After the losses she gives up
ideals of sustained happiness—
hello intoxication—short bursts of fun
She now prefers loneliness, to the horrors of love
He wrote long letters
Her replies neither long nor loving
Melancholy, to surly, to rage,
last night he dreams the top of his head
pulled off, no pain; so he wrapped it in a napkin (no blood)
to show to the doctor later (there must be something he can do)
Wind so terrible it rips up a tree from the root—
leaves a big empty ground gash
She walks away sad
like some cumbersome reptile
The mansions of the rich
pull her away, they
torment her
Free fall is our natural state
Gravity comes up to meet her
“I met her sister long ago”
All those criminals in uniform
I’m afraid...
“In Theriesenstadt,
before she was murdered”
Carries the M60 through sharp jungle grass
Hot, always wet, swelters
his skin covered in cuts
When you get to the leeches, focus —
you’ve got to get rid of the whole damn thing
She leaves her sharp knife in my chest 

-October 4, 2010-

In this game…

In this game, you only lose
We build a fire, together, in the rain
To win changes nothing, furious
I make myself invisible
The apple tree smashed in the wind, the tornado,
no time to grow another
Does this mad flame still fire?
Is he still a weapon?
Poise, patience, control...
Don’t play, if you can’t stand to lose
As bad as it is, child, it’s not so bad
as it will be
I spend the night teeth clenched, sweat,
twisted in the sheets
He says it all in a silent nod,
boxes and punches his dreams
This desert of death, executed
with exact precision, high speed, duress
His exiles’ heart, his
fragile confidence
When he’s no longer there, he’s in the mirror
Anxious dark eyes stare back at him
The monotony of monogamy, your new dance
(or that old dance comes back)
Love’s the proffer of what you don’t have
to a stranger who doesn’t want it
She gives you nothing...
All those gifts, unrecognized
A man facing eviction, disgusted with his breakfast,
kills his wife, stepdaughter, two neighbors, the dog and himself
The landlord thought him unpredictable (you think?)
Little things would set him off
After she eats the muffin in Amsterdam
she swears off the stuff—
makes her feel paranoid, sick, drowsy
To play this piece in tune is like
bending the back of a chair
with my bare hands
They turned her away
George Sand from Chopin, just before his death
Her gifts for the moment warp
This is the wrong way around
A metal fork in her head
heats from silver, to gold, to red

-September 20, 2010-

Just another place…


We forge rivers through winter snow melt,
look for arrowheads in the desert

The oblivion before birth
is a different kind of heaven

No fear; the stronger the sentiment
the stronger the flavors

He diets when his pants get tight
(ah hot mustard, spicy onions!)

Her brown eyes shine
through the irrepressible brutality

Our wicked ecstasy
Our spectral, edgy gladness


We crossed all the rivers together
We sat under the trees

Watch it—you may freeze to death
in the mountains after falling

Afterwards just the same, well
maybe a little sadder

This is where they sat
the artist and his entourage

We flatten them out,
commit their features to memory

Over there, where they display those potato chips
It’s just another place of business now

-September 2, 2010-

Thin Ice

Her skeletal face
Her icy hands
Much uncanny between self and house
Run wild, never settle
All connections break
Mom and baby—
we never get that connection back
Says nothing about passion, desperation,
who might have saved her,
through fire
Her father, “Oh yes, the musician...”
Then under his breath
“Only an idiot marries a musician”
Mind a lot colder than many
on the prowl again
Thin ice
The crescent moon gleams in ice
Lots of city, lots of lights
It’s all about pleasure now
Cravings in the night
Fire on the mountain
Her rapid dysfunction
Their sexual practices are bizarre
even for insects
She hides in obscure wet crevices and cracks
Gleams awaken
in the night
She craves danger, fatigued
She depends on the recklessness of fools
the desperation of addicts
Melancholy disguised as gaiety
Unspoken words
only you can understand
You don’t do this at night
unless you ache
Bits of disembodied melody, violins
I know it well but
never feel at home here
She always sees the mirror
before it turns black

-August 17, 2010-

You know, Gary…

You know Gary,
   no matter what you give them
they’ll never love you
They talk about him like he isn’t there
   a dumb, feeble old man
Inner smiles, smirks, laughter
He laughs because he isn’t there—
   never was
They’re not very pleasant companions
Never were...
   They pray to the gods in their heads
More sorrowful than bitter
They never forgive
   All those good intentions
Courts are a pain in the ass
Slow, insensitive, expensive
   Love’s lost in this dimension
Stand fast
Time tortures and twists in his head
   Then steadies
His style exalted, pathetic
No casual touches, please
   We all know what touching is for
Love in this dimension, always stands fast
Time comes from my back and
   runs away from my eyes
I thought we might joke about it, later
But I fall into flame, instead
   Secretly, deeply feral
That’s quite a procession ahead
New rearranges what I know
   So bitter the mosquitoes won’t bite him,
brutal dogs cower,
stray feral cats piss and hide
   She’s just a scrub, like me
pigeons won’t shit on his head
Reason and you, never stand fast
   Successful, glittering, hard
Funny comes from feelings so deep
you need that funny protection
   Certainty is animal, basic, primitive
neither true nor false
instinctual, learned by rote
   Certainty can’t be tested
or proven right
A generous man, quick to anger...
   Unconscious, unresponsive,
eyes full of tears
His human needs, stimulation
   high spirits, escape...
Wipe away the tears
Starry nights...
   When we open this door,
we’re certain
He supports but isn’t supported
   Direct, hard, resolute
He eats whatever is set before him
Love is so doomed and so rare from the start
   She appeals to the extreme in me
I’m lonely for people like me
I go real strong
   for what I want,
can’t stop...
Whatever occurs here, basic balance is the same
   Our senses perceive only change
Heaps of overlapping features, no essence
We scrutinize the world... it’s our picture
   The beautiful have all left the city heat
to freaks like me
There’s no time to get over this now
   Explanation must stop somewhere
It needn’t be true; it just has to hurt

-August 1, 2010-

The Actress


Whatever she feels,
   she can pretend to feel

An uninvited guest

Melancholy fears subject to
   whims, styles, fads

No losses

Every so often he heals
   and his healed parts act

a little off

They don’t think you’re funny,
   they think you’re twisted

It’s big, stiff, juicy

We’re never really here and we really
   don’t care what you think

Go steeply in


I used to buy a root beer everyday
   before school

Macho-man, they called me “root beer”

Time ravages them
   they don’t look like before

The stuff, the thin sinew of life

Interstices of bone
   I adore her light tone

Intuitive, yearning, sure


Just two ways of dealing with pain:
   fantasy and stoicism

10 years, cancer of the jaw

30 operations, and all he would take
   was aspirin

She caught a cough

Started spitting blood,
   wouldn’t eat, pale

The black hole of your heart

Dark clouds come
   No one protects me

Our lives create cadavers

Why? You can’t control
   the way your heart beats

She never feels safe



He could mimic anyone
   He resented overly familiar behavior

A talented exile, an innocent outsider

If you felt half the pain you gave me
   you’d be in agony

Happily then reliving some childish thing

Though you left a few hours ago
   I still feel you’re here

You and me

Sometimes you get lost down there...
   O baby, if you only knew

Helicopter dreams— bitter, airy, loud

Beautiful now, she astonished then
   A kind of happy, aristocratic family resemblance

So stark, dark, wild, and proud

-July 18, 2010-

He Chooses

My father in shadow
   half light, half dark
Edification, redemption blend
   bloody, bold, stark
“So glad to meet you…”
   really ghost,  “so glad”
She filters out nothing visual
   fantasy, folklore, nature
If it’s not crazy (137, balance only in
   a fourth dimension) it’s wrong
This relationship won’t change him
   Truth lies at his abyss
Reality’s not personal
   blood circulates (for all) within
The angrier he gets
   the more he smiles
His realm defies her vision
   It’s cultural, isn’t it—this smile?
But if it doesn’t hurt, says coach,
   you’re doing it wrong
Cluelessness, self-denial, deception
   congenial lies
This vision of hers—
   affair after affair and
she’s always the victim, the hurt
   the scared
Superior performance, some success
   better but not good
Balanced but not free
   she filters out nothing
He detests small talk and
   chooses his dining companions with care
You don’t choose your partners and
   freedom isn’t just glimpsed
Criticisms hidden in sugar
   holes in experience,
Illiteracy in the light
   she always leaves visionless

-June 27, 2010-