Monday, December 21, 2009

Der Panther
Cannot be understood
And to try
            Is to move further from understanding still.

Better that “horror”
Be written on a piece of paper

And that that paper be burned
And its ashes sent to the sky
And that they seed the clouds that float
Above a silent Paris.

It is that blue sky -
Emblem of Empire, syphilis, enlightened atrocity -
Which is responsible
            For the eyes which weary of the cage
And the doubt of a world beyond them.

And it is its duty alone to bear
The great lluvulation

Necessary to revive a dead heart.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I had grown tired of seeing the bars
And no longer believing in the
World beyond them

I paced restless
But deliberate
In a circle.
I imagined a mute valor
At the center and it held me up.

Something caught my eye from outside the cage

I thought about it, about how my neck hurt, and
Then it went away.

It is in your nature to submit.

You are not just the thing itself
But the symbol of the thing

And in giving yourself
You become Giving.

Lose none of yourself -
No essence, odor or remainder.

You are of this world,

But made too
Of the sky and the shadows.

To possess you,
To hurt you in the meanwhile,

Is to possess the sky
And hold dominion over shadow.

For one such as I,
With nothing,

No nature
But the end of nature

It is a bliss

It is
A tear taken away.

No wonder
You are the object of lethal lust.

To expire
As we kill -

The perfect expression
Of Life.

I live on a shelf
That trembles
With the passing of angry clouds.

Tomorrow is Sunday
And I am afraid
God will make a bad decision.

We must wake early,
Bathe and prepare ourselves.

The sun will shine on us
And no matter the dark vibration
Beyond the sky

We must be seen
With the love of the Lord.

Have you hidden so far away for so long?
Have you come down the mountainside
Only to draw me away?
You may pretend at being unseen now
But the heat of your neck vaporizes the morning
And spice marks the air with your errant cells.
I have followed your tracks,
Picked your hair from the thorns by the path,
Seen your impression in the dewy grass.

I know it was you who touched me
On the shoulder as I slept.
I know you sowed your piping
Into my dreams.  The days
Have all been colored by that
And the months and the years
All strung together by that song.

We were children together,
What you became I became.
What was in my eye was in yours
Until that day when we really saw each other.
Perhaps the resemblance was too much to bear,
Or perhaps it’s just love’s nature to destroy more than it becomes.

What fantastical task!  What unfulfilled wishing! 
We have already become in the first flash of being. 
From there we must only
Fall in love with ourselves again and again.

Now you have returned.
I am so old but you will not hear it.
You dance the old days into me -
            Remember afternoons?  Closets?  The rain?
            Remember the smudgy polish of our faces?
Faun, I will hurt myself listening to you
You will lead me to insensate ruin.
            But you are in love, Matthew.
You say as you have said before.
            And I am as helpless as you are.

The same ugly thing
Is under this sun along with that
Rapturous jewel, that fragile
Fragrant bloom, that explanation
And that unsayable question too.
The smell of filth
Is made of the same vapors
As mother’s milk, and ecstasy
Is subject to the same tides
Of ceaseless respiration
As nausea, boredom and indignation
And the weakness that I
            Or anyone has displayed
Is of the same hand made, the same
Bench upon which is hammered
The stuff of us, from gathered and scattered
Remnants once thought of with purity. 
But surely even gold on its own is too soft for
Any application beyond admiration, and the
Work of the world demands - demands all.
            Look at where the shadows fall:

One side bright and loved by light
The other dark and real and right.

Brave One,

Know that I see you
And that all things
            Come from me.

You are safe because you will die,
Undoing all ill and error.

I forgive

Not because I am savior
But because

You are no different
From anything -
            Gone tomorrow, forgotten.

Know though, Oh Brave One
That if you have injured someone
Through love or the lack of love

You make yourself
The object
Of another’s reckoning

Over which,
            Of course,

I have no power.

What kind of day is it
Where there is only one poem
                        At the end?

All day long
            And you worry
Because who wants to lose a day?

At some point though you are resigned
And let yourself be taken by the world-
                                                            After all
It is the world that has granted you the poem.

So you do her work, you
Sweep and pray and feed the animals
And when she’s done with you
And you’re cozy in bed
And you’re thinking it wasn’t such a bad day after all
And wouldn’t be so bad were it this day everyday,
            If that’s how things had to be,
            If there was no time or space or heart for poetry           
            Despite how such a thought had frightened you before
            Despite what an empty, barren desert the prospect is
            Or how close it has taken you to doing yourself in -

Like a drunken roommate

Monday, October 19, 2009

In his way is a difficult poet to pin down.  Certainly
He works within a distinctly American idiom, Though
To ignore his debt to Rilke would be rash.  Also,
He possesses the same intellectual acuity
Of say the French poets and all the wit of the English
Eighteenth century satirists
But propelling most of the work no doubt is classic
Whitmanesque free verse full of cataloguing and all sorts
Of democratic asides.  Hear too the Beat syncopations
And their frankness as well, particularly as he turns to
Matters of the body and its carnal applications. 
All this is not to say he is a poet unlike Emily Dickinson,
Or the authors of the King James Bible nor even an exemplar
Of dada or Situationist accidental bricolage. 
He is a romantic, if an analytical one and one
Senses a highly devotional and elegiac quality to the oeuvre. 
There are confessions, of course, but they are neither indulgent nor icky.
On the whole the poems tend to be short, some comprised
Even of but one line
Or less, but there is always a certain grasping at the universal at work -
A profundity found in simplicity, as in haiku
Or good coffee.  Other times they are like confetti,
And explode with fun on the page.  In matters of sadness,
The question of which of course has been raised before,
There is perhaps a certain melancholic optimism threaded
Throughout.  Aquilone believes in the sorrows of the world,
But the joys too he knows are as
Substantial and fleeting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fat girl
When your hair is undone
And it spreads beyond your shoulders
And it catches the sun
You are a goddess.
Cliché? No, eternal truth.
Even here on coffee’s mezzanine
Where as big lips sip from
Your tall cup of whatever it is
You are really
Slipping me the liquids of Lethe
And into dreaming I tumble your giving amplitude.

I have stoned your patrician sculpting on Fifth Avenue
Marbles hard and incomparably downy
Delicate hands
But what would they feel like
Wrapped around my swollen labors
Nauseas with meter and meaning
Accidental in jeans on Sunday
The day of our late lord now
The plus plus Devi cream
Whole-milker of Montague Street
Whose satin thong I know by faith
Strains to soar like any other bird of joy?

My mouth is the sky
And if I tasted your womb
I know you would bless me with eternity.


I saw you on the train last night

(Or was it Monday on the way back from the folks?)

Doesn’t matter because you are dead either way.

Aw, it’s not you at all.

Just another reason to write a poem.

Another reason to make something up.

There! With a screech and a holler

You be gone again towards over the bridge.

A Phantom deformed in a stranger

Attached by suggestion to memory

And for that moment

Confused by love.

To 1.

It’s not that I don’t love you

It’s that I am pointed in a direction

It’s not that you don’t inspire me or make me laugh

It’s that I am distracted by the scent of

It’s not that we are not close

To 2.

I do, the world cannot be saved by a single bee and a single bloom

No self-determination in magnets, fate alone

I laugh all the time

Hair, humid urgency, the sensation of being taken away as I am being held

Breaking things open,

Concentration to a point calamitous

My heart drawn out as through the eye of a needle

The ecstasy of the process of hollowing

Then a shell filled with scented air

The curdle of your breath

All your unpleasantries delicacies

I will push out what must be freed from you

Push in what must be from me

We are not mortar and stone. We are two stones.

In August salt and rain showered down barren passages in Coney’s desert of padlocks, the real deal not nostalgic fetish clogs of websites and turnpike tattoo parlors making noir not peace. In the early part of the day the emptiness proves itself master over love, the place nakedly nothing, stale fizz awaiting another vain shaking. How surprised are you to come here and then discover how gone it really is. It is a place for wind to travel through. It is a place to commemorate collapsible rot and matter overcome by time underwhelmingly desperate in suspension. It is hunger momentarily sated with dyed fat and vulgar shavings in a cup. It is minor league rage and regret and mostly mockery canned smell it asscracked in cocoa butter and mentholatum armpit smotherfuckers. It is pocked pickets and handy jaybirds under the boardwalk humptastic. It is Hector and hectored, Blanquita and hipster banal-y-wood irony. The bearded lady is just a jew in a lawn chair. Somewhere there are photographic Germans with lunch in their backpacks because must always, right? And uniformly doomed children squeal in delight liberated from books and shoes if ever there were either to pollute their nude aspirations of nothing. Chickenbone says hello too because she is everywhere either in styro or just there. The cola laps like the afterthought Atlantic and I’ve seen cleaner men’s rooms but it is evolution calling, sleeper cell water droplets activate insulin insurgencies and demand on grainy videola that we worship wave-halations, prostrations, face the sun and choke ourselves to death, even here in wretched teeming shores, decrepit with yesterday’s sustainability that only applies to that which we’ve already lost and cheered for. The world is so much more than colored lights and nothing else exactly what the calliope says it is, wounding down groan too old to ever be sun borned again.

In August I brought my Cousins to la playa vieja. Coney Island whasamatter? No mind.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Everywhere there is unlimited space

Except here where space is limited

The world is lost in the whooshing void

Up close a cluttered ball of noise

I can listen to two different noises

The empty hum of massive being

Or the clattery bustle of our puny selves

Either is what can propel me

Or serve as accompaniment

To the slow graceful arc

Of my dying.


I should have broken you when I had the chance

Instead of just rattling you on the stick

(But you liked it on the stick, didn’t you?)

I should have left none of your original skin

Showing, I should have bruised you

Because, like an apple, yes, at the end

Of summer, you deserved it.

And I really wanted to give it to you

Because you really wanted it.

Heat rose from you -

Your breath stank of an empty

Inside dying for love

So I tracked you like a dog

And just a little, I roughed you up.

You took me in places we had

To wash afterwards, places –

Nothing but unfinished business.


You know, if I wanted, I could

Feel you on me any time I wanted

Just by thinking of it

But I couldn’t hurt you just by thinking of it.

I had to leave you to do that

And I only thought of that afterwards.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Funny, I’m not young anymore -

Young young I mean, little and small,

Yet still I recall little conversations,

Funny things we all said

That we all remember

From when we were small and

Funny and close and alive and

A family created by memories and

Built after time by

Funny recollections

We only recall when we’re no longer young.

I drove through fog in the Wet Green Mountains,

America unspooling itself from the ether,

Silos and steeples and such, such as it were.

(Who knew it was so close to home? That is to say, nearby?)

And at the top of the mountain, cleared fields.

A cloud had touched down, no other way to describe it –

(“The wet thumbprint of God the Almighty Motherfucker”)

And threatened to asphyxiate the whole picturesque shebang

With its still and violent breath.

But the whiteness! There is the beauty

And the inevitability of death -

Restores my faith. I will vote again in November!

Past silo and porch I sail into America’s very heart,

Opaque and inexhaustible – the two of us dying,

Leadfoot Daydreamer versus the Gossamer Speed Demon.

So much is waiting

And emptiness

Before the thing comes

As if to prove itself

It must first be disproven, negated

Obliterated even – Impossible odds

A shot in the dark but then from the dark

It comes.

Sun over the mountains – God

Saying there you go.

Then it is here

And it is everything.

It is every reason for being whatever it is

And it is all you will ever need.

Feels good

While it lasts

But its gotta go you know

Because you can’t,

Despite how successful you think you have been

In overcoming the cruel duality of the human condition,

Hold your breath forever.

Now to write because I can’t read.

The minds I have,

One attracts one repels,

Yet each seems a real response to a situation.

Keeping up the pace, that’s where the skill lies

Or the luck maybe or maybe both.

Sometimes in writing there is so much waiting

And sometimes reading is work.

Everyday I ask for only one thing.

To be left alone with my two minds

And my many others

And to let them find the goat’s path home.

There is a wall. Thin perhaps, clear even

Between any one person and another.

Sometimes it is very sexy.

You go through that wall

It dissolves around you and you are inside

Then there is the other person

Surprised like you are

And everything is funny, tastes funny smells funny

But it is so sexy

And you are surprised to be so turned on,

Your tastes, or perhaps your immediate attentions

As always are too easily believed -

And the dark, sharp, flinty form

At the far end of the car

Is exuberantly separated

The humid wood broached

The roots wetted

And the union!

Powerful because it is

A lust beyond an I. No self of ours

Can absorb all that bliss.

It is Making that rings in you

It is time demanding to be played out

Through you and anything that comes out of you.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The sky is slate tonight

And the buildings but mist before it -

Fiery mist

Burning with Industry.

This is Brooklyn then.

This is the what is coming and the now.

From bed it seems a remarkable thing

And in the mind’s eye it is a fearsome dream.

Remember childhood

The warning goes -

All things lead to moments like this

But to be prepared – impossible.

The sky is slate tonight

And by day is lapis streaked with promise.

See it – its dominion over the harbor

Its cloud the clear bell of consciousness -

Of conscience.

This is history now

This is home and this is the gong of motion

The turning of the world -

Industry and its conscience.

I have known no one who has harvested slate

But many have burned in dreams and promise

Many have warned against childhood -

It is too remarkable a thing, they say

But I am too afraid to know better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I’m so worked up with all this relaxing,

Don’t lay all this unwinding on me just yet.

I barely unpacked my bags

My mind will have to wait.

No seriously, I need a minute - But the birdsong!

Now there’s a pushy bunch

Nattering, chattering, endless phatic “here I am”.

(Okay okay I get it

We’re ALL here, that’s the point, ahem, yes.)

Can’t I just sleep? I ask.

To be honest this Bambi shit makes me drowsy.

“No! Do! Be! Explode into being! Rush into dying!”

Fuck, it’s all over the place, I suppose.

Before you know it I’m done for

Swinging in the hammock, barefoot and totally stupid.

I have forgotten my body

Two maybe three months,

(Four but who’s counting?)

And now I find it lying all over the place.

Ah laziness

What is the cure for beautiful you?

I love you I hate you I love you

Write me a romance novel -

The shelves are filled of you

Ah laziness I,

I forget.

Pay attention now. Closely! Closer still.

There! Nothing at all.

I have forgotten my body.

What is the way back then?

Coffee, tea or me?
No smoking in the rear?

If I do say so myself!

The reassuring black shadow –

It moves faster than anything.

It is the end of things,

It is their end and their negation.

But it is nothing without the sun

Nothing but the sun’s little errand boy,

Its letter from the auditor

Reminding us of what is owed

And what is granted.

The reassuring black shadow –

The land means nothing to it.

All things bow to shade

Just as all things worship light.

Light, maker of loneliness

Light, revealer of the ugly-broken-hearted.

A brutal calculus with which to figure the world -

Minus/mine is in the red.

Hail Mary full of spaghetti sauce

Don’t think I have forgotten you

Don’t forget how I had gotten you

You came with a giftcard

And a coupon for a matching pen.

Out father whose aunt’s in heaven

It’s weird how different you look close up -

Like a bug with a moustache,

Quite dashing really,

And rather a good conversationalist.

Say, how’s your pal the whole wheat ghost?

The hi-fiber host?

Thiamin, niacin? Still on the liberal west coast?

You know I built a brick church on a crowded street for you.

Blow me you big bad sexy wolf,

No one gets off that easy!

Come on, draw your avenging sword

Cut archangel figure eights in my tofu loaf -

(Serves a family of four, more if you add water or wine)

Jesus H. Fucking Kike!

Who do you have to bleep to get borned around here?

Ah, miracles.

On the eighth day he created something to do between the commercials.

I have one of the best penises of my generation

Being as it is representative of all the optimism and fortitude

The age requires yet lacking none of the pragmatic rectitude

Necessary to create a new world -

A world of tolerance

A world receptive to brave new ideas

No matter how scary or unorthodox they might appear

At first glance.

Ah, the hopefulness -

Even this far along,

Even here in the long thick middle of my life.

Mind you I am not a young soldier,

The eager, loyal, idealistic infantryman

Marching among thousands (thousands thousands!) of others

Towards that common if violent dream.

Instead I, my penis and I,

Iconic, symbolic, avuncular,

Because I am a nice guy whom everyone knows and wants to meet.

I am the lion.

The roar rises in me

Mostly when I am alone

And let it happen-

No, let myself feel it

For when is it not happening?

When I am good? Quiet?

When I am the child?

Nope, neither, none.

For no one roars like the child,

And no one fears like the man.

Now, I know fear because I know death and the end of things

And now I know the lion

As the lion would finally know himself

In the mirror

And say that

You, too, Fearsome Thing, must die.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I really don't think the psychology of the artist matters all that much and I don't really find it all that interesting a topic, unless of course the artist is mad or debauched.  Most artists are gray birds who take flight and color only in the work they make.  Besides, the work is always a gift, and we are just the filter through which it passes.  What I think is important is how a work of art reveals the soul, which is after all a very big thing.  I think peoples pyschologies by contrast are actually very small, and easily summed up.  It is the wonder of how we fit a soul into our meagre little minds that is the miracle, and that is why we keep trying, and keep producing so many works of art, if only to honor and reveal the soul throughout all corners of creation.  It is also in the surfeit of our feelings, which seem overly large and overwhelming most of the time, that we seek some sense of sense.  It's a futile exercise.  Just swim I say, and forget about the edges of the ocean.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Poem for the ages

When I was young Jesus was a very cool dude,

And I was him, crawling under the coffee table.


We have both grown up to be different men.

I think how tired he must get doing his thing.


I only want a little bit of Jesus in my life

There is only so much that I can fit in me.


I know I know, a little goes a long way

But if it’s one thing I learned - shit costs.


Maybe some day he will explain it himself.

“Ah, Matty you know it’s all just a bunch of whatever.”


No doubt it would be interesting, 

I bet he likes to cook.


Or maybe at the museum:

“I’m all over the place lately!”


Then taking it down a notch he would say

“Dude, seriously, we gotta hang more often.”


But there are tons of folks I haven’t seen for an age.

What makes you so special?


Aww he’d grin that million dollar grin,

The Pantydropper, the Mama’s Darlin’,


“Nothing, Brother, nothin’ at all.”

And wink and I’d know I was right


All along.

My Good Black Pen

I have lost my good black pen

And am left with nothing to say.


The chances of finding it

Are slim, but there is no reason


To lose hope.  Nor any

To grow sad too soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Acronyms for a New Age

III? Is it in?
IWICTY I wish I could tell you
NBFAWB Not bad for a white boy
IWIWD I wish I was dead
SOMBF   Some of my best friends
TFF  Too fucking funny
UMMS You make me sick
ANWWT Ain't nothing wrong with that
PITA Pain in the ass
AFOAMCL A face only a mother could love
DRM Don't remind me
SUAGTFOOMH Shut up and get the fuck out of my house
ISDUSS I'm sorry did you say something
STHSDT She thinks her shit don't stink
SIASD Stupid is a stupid does
PPTB Please pass the butter
DH2TM2 Don't have to tell me twice
BINUNT2M Bitch, I know you're not talking to me
MAIKM My ass is killing me
TMAI Tell me about it
WDUW4N What do you want for nothing?
WAI?CL What am I, chopped liver?
ATAGT? And thats a good thing?
GFU Go fuck yourself
WAYR What are you, retarded?
LIGAF Like I give a fuck?
DNUSO Don't knock yourself out
TTSWC Talk to someone who cares
TSNR That's so not right
AICB? And I care because?