Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The poet is a beautiful man
And appears in the mirror enthusiastically

But nothing changes
The image of a rotten inside

Perhaps it is a condition of Hope
To lack faith in the evident
Perhaps seeing damages the eye
Just as love breaks the heart

He is beautiful
Upon reflection
            But knows not to trust a second-hand light

image: John Dugdale

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Stubborn, but still a shadow
So still cold.

Face, self, shade, breath –

Fade with my delirious dream
But never gone
            For good.

Better to be misunderstood
Than stand
One foot

In a grave

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Define: Equal.

The fatigue that follows transgression?
The hunger after rage?
Humiliation and honesty?

And a poem,
            What law does it obey?
What follows
The opening created by a patient heart or mind
Whose only aim is stillness
And its own disappearance?

Left with nothing
I did,

Against the crashing edge of the world.

What is there that is not against my skin
Or in my eyes that I need?

The wind is confirmation
For the way of things:

Be nothing
That can’t be blown away.

The sand is strewn
With what was once wanted.

The gull
Is graceful scavenger,

The beach ours,
Together walking, bearing nothing.

She is hungry,
I am weightless,

On the edge of things,
            Collecting stones.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beach Muse

Brown and ready to split you,
To fit you over
            My willful sunburn tickle
And to instill you with a trickle
            Of the vinegary sinful issue.
I know you are hungry and coy
But I like being a boy and you will learn
To play along.  After all it’s you
Who wrote this song - I only sing.
I only hammer out the ring of your design
And pour the wine that makes us both
            Go mad and dream,
Another potent stream to which we are both
Inclined, to love.
So drink and doze
While I  remove your clothes and gather close
            Your skin and hair and shine,
Bend and turn and learn your lines,
Both of us afraid and whisper -
            You are mine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I write my letters in the sand
And right away they disappear
As expected
In a world
Where everything’s in working order.

Birds again in their insistent assertions
Unflagging advocates of facts
Hungry!  Terror!  I am!

What lesson then for the poet
Who doesn’t cotton to such naked squawks?

Retrain the ear perhaps and know
There’s nothing true or beautiful
That isn’t a matter of life and death.

Lord Buddha
I offer you the afternoon
Because you have offered it to me

In Brooklyn
Where the afternoon was born
There is a place for you

It can be reached
By broken bicycle
Or bare feet

The sun is still high there
It is still

That heaven
Waits for me
Even though

I am but a dirty feather
Having suffered
My days in the world

For you, Lord
It will
Open itself

Its mysteries illuminated
All history

If you come
I will meet you

On the corner

I love pale skin

Frail imperiled
Hitherto unheralded limbs
Delicate and drowsy
Pasty and blousy
Marked by hair and mole
And insistent red cell
Eager beneath translucent sheath
Icy bone
            Hungry for heat.

A fruit you want
Ripe and red
Ready to rot at a moment’s hesitation -
True there is joy in suppuration
But it shouldn’t be too easy.

I can be the sun that warms you
I can burn knowing
            Onto your surface
Coax the stone from your flesh
And ready you           
                        To bloom.

There is an end to everything
And it is to that as men
Which we are drawn

The ocean’s edge
Thrills us
A sharpened knife to the palm of the hand

Its blackness though
Its deep middle darkness
Is the terrifying oblivion of origins
            All too much of one thing to bear

Men want the end
Crave the thing becoming the other
Blue sky to slate sea

Find us where we live
            On the perfect, unreachable horizon


In this room
Light and shadow
Die together
            A sweet rot
No different than our own

In the same room
There is no dying
There is no room
            No table no wall
No afternoon at all

This room
Is empty of everything
Except what is absolutely

The eye
In its dissolution -
            Joy and truth

On the nobility of writing poetry

How noble would it be
If I swallowed my pen?
            The bus moves so fast
Drawing me away
From last month’s
Improbable Eden

            Also I am hungry
And trying to mouth the words
That never made it out with me

A thousand impressions
Left on the porch
Where I left them
Along with a few ears of corn.