the future floats

I dreamed a trip
to the golden currant
bush of your unending jazz
my fingers comb

the bohemian waxwings
are back
thronged in the
birth mother of
all russian olive trees

observe them for me
you know what to look for
the wind is stirring rituals

what’s your name?
why do you scent the earth with
traces of words
and assemble a bowl of thorns
in the night river?

I’m warm but I still hate you
speak up!
live your sexy miserable music
wear yourself out

a grim revolving snow cloud wanders
like death
the coachman doesn’t stop, he never stops.

cassette tape

why trap a harmless snake?

my first big dog was love,
out of control
often too much
often too little

her full unborn
blood moon body
called me

let go of your leavings
raked thick
the weather has whitened
there is an injustice everywhere present
let your garden go
to the sincere and heavenly voice of

this is the vanishing point
not a crafty painting on broadway
get a grip
self-destruction, remember, is next year.

illness and desperation crawl
through years of counting
yet I’m burgeoning
beaming myself into mindlessness

sally forth now. be on your way
I don’t have time, I’ll meet you in England
I’m not feeling violent or decomposed
I’m tightly sealed blood
in bitter skin
Los Angeles does that to you.

Jackie’s cafe’ was unsuitable
that’s all. It’s not the end of the world.

unmade bed

what history do you shock?

after the chess tournament in Kansas City
I went home to my needlework
sticky honey sweet you
thank god, were there, to assuage the
loss of my queen
effin A.D.D. oh, wait, A.D.H.D now.

I always retrieved your art
from the trash
bagged it in plastic
and secreted it
in the garage

swing and rub
the future floats
unbreakable hearts

lonely boy, you were just the old
man across the yard
a fiction
a dried out belief
a jersey acid rain
true, you had some discipline
admired by those hoisted
to view perfection
but you were, at times, milky,
imprudent, distracted,
you needed an upping to your shape up

oh well.. you are forgiven

we present you with violets
and mid-life women out of crisis
go with them, to lunar eclipses
and start preparations for April 8, 2024

Jamal can help
get him the particulars

butterflies don’t whine
about your prognosis
this is just a grey bridge
over mustard waters
it’s not your ruin
spelled out on rice paper

chop the garlic
read the dirt
go whistle with lizards

variegated geriatric birdsong

consciousness sustained through a rose
instantaneously streamlined
to the going thought of yes

I ought to write a thank you note
and slip it into the soil
under a rock
or better yet,
into a gall


Uncle Carl, why don’t you come over
for supper on Sunday and drink
our milk and eat our corn? Our
corn is your corn and so on and on
and on to the blasted O.

a sprinkle of rain
illuminated by moonlight
suffered a wetness

madonna monica grabs a towel

It’s a stretch to say I made you

the urgency to walk
and talk is pressing
as soon this body will die
not withstanding the resurrection
of Molly Ringwald and the
Fulton Street Jazz Band

the tiny ghosts of visual history
replace all corners of the moon
and in an apex of confusion
light diffuses the shadows of wind

3 A.M.

you’re so inaccessible!
all night the wheels
squeaky turned
asking for pie
you found it a disgrace
to public relations
and huddled with your masses

my mood inevitably declined

variegated geriatric birdsong

fuck you

20 years of differences
intellectual dishonesty
killing the cure
growing old
fishing marbles out your ass


MLK stands for Martin Luther King, not Milk.

I tried to bend light
through brightness of faith
but you said it wasn’t my summer
and wouldn’t be my winter

on all fours I cried
from the the small island
beach while
flotsam washed over my hands

affectations an inch thick
in cast iron

a paragraph of hope

what was or is left?

I live with ghosts in exile
eyes closed

Western Birds

choose meditation if you want
the door is open
shoulders can be rubbed
publicly by your guru

your coffin my coffin
is only empty for a spell

do you hear the marvelous
music from the forest? No?

9 years of war after 1 day
of marriage
We should have known by our
respective physiognomies

I knew myself then
dream pebbles on my tongue
prevented articulation

it was a long chapter

I’m sorry

Vietnam Vet
Skipping stone

ceaseless yawp

the flies remember

I announce all this
to the surface of memory


the endangered miscreant

Unbuttoned in the Buttercup Meadow

wooly goats grazed in the
blue sky
like prehistoric dream cabbage

snap out of it man

a long way ocean off
I saw the never to be always
mind with earth sleep and fire

tonight your attention
comes, commanded, unadorned, unexplained
off center

the brilliant colors have faded

there’s death on the hillside
…wind and death in the
late afternoon June
near chapel and dungeon

In Manhattan, glitter
in Santa Ana, flowers

Here, smashed, on the farthest point
of the peninsula
a surviving thought toppled out of me
and flew off, sadly.
I had hoped to colonize
an island with it

something about my aunt
and a catholic bishop

I faced a loaded gun

was there or was there not another woman?


The icy Lobe of De Moines
was my muse
her thick peppered
impenetrable ice
of Paleozoic thought
dumped me in her alluvial plain
oh Buena Vista!

You’re going to check my luggage?

sunlight streams through the street
should we praise death?
should we trumpet
the pink turned ashen?
will we then reach our
full strength?

Blue Fountainhead

No more walks in the woods for you mister!
At this rate, the pain enveloping
your dirty down sloping body
will bespeckle you with weak white
blossoms and soon bury you
just off the dirt road not
far from the waffle house

bennies and benzos aren’t about
to help you now.

the black train comes

the floors walls
and windows shake

I’ve lived too long alone

there will be an exchange

officials in uniform will
do the transaction


by late night
as shape arrived
I was comforted by the notion
that both McGrath and Jesus
also endured loneliness cruel

to be not alone
over breakfast
is Saturday sunny
buffalo jam on toast

let that thought
linger as if true

this journey bears
my weight to the horizon
of Havana’s green ocean

I’m alive and eating the day

Phineas Gage

Next to the window
a mother and child
stared out at the goats
and measured the clear morning


In the future cool
I will undress you
and tell tales
through night’s power

most of the past is lost
and hangs heavy

St. John’s Cross
Dark Glasses

I feel generally unbuttoned

walk with me Ella
up through the buttercup meadow

bring your children

nature by nature we’ll
worship at the alter
of no answers

I longed for brightness exceeding enormous

Passing people are passing away
to join them would be an unsaintly penitence
is there anyone here who can just chauffeur
me to Memphis to see Minnie?

The coachman won’t stop. He never stops.

What dim bulbs your friends were
I longed for brightness exceeding
if it were to come
with a bit of vanity,
so be it..
it would have been worth it

people are still passing

in the harbor
thousands of green fish
dead float on the
gentle waves

I want to touch them
but my hands are
impeccably clean
and besides..
Chang advises against it
says it will stunt my children’s

We awaited the arrival of our firstborn
with some anxiety
it seems we could have used
more assistance
than a ring tailed lemur
observing in the distance

Somewhere else on TV
the business of War continues
Ashes ashes we all fall
down in South America

Early that dark morning
crossing the white road
before the unfixed storm
Apollo came running up
Lost for days
thought dead
he wanted to join us in America
we said sit….stay

God I love California
the wine
Adam and Eve
John Wayne
while most men
were having theirs irradiated
I went to the most beautiful laundromat
I think it was the night
heaven’s gate exited for their
heaven’s gate.  39 fish out of water
thought an asteroid more inviting
than San Diego

the biggest influence on me
thanks for asking
was rain, romance, and
Stacy Hardwood fresh out of Paris

I’m a sick boy on a broken earth
I have a shack, a camera
and am freebooting Wi-Fi from
my dimwitted neighbor
I’m bigger than a tomb
smaller than a man
wandering through gloom
and Glare by Ammons

at the end of time
will someone be standing there?
will the pods, by the thousands
be opened with hideous exactitude?

Some nights on the dock
I turn my back to the water
and look ashore
to the moonlit grass
I think about profound things
like margarine,  peanut butter
my aunt Beth and her fucking around

a grand sorrow assembles
on my canvas
mainly your diseased dog
Rover White RGB(222, 222, 213)
Linden Green #9bb23e

When I was 20
and less free spirited
I read Shelley
while clinging, leechlike
to my fainting country

Leonid Brezhnev
crawling bugs

Dear Owl
Have you ever seen an Eskimo?
Have they never picked through
your pellets
looking for whale bone?

For several years I fell in love
while still learning the word
it was a planet
of decelerating dreams
just shy of discernment

Here go the chickens again
blotting out the day
advertising some small p
for poetry

kiss my waking ass

What Sam Harris did
to his brand name
doesn’t make sense

can a well-made
grilled cheese sandwich
find a home in Vista?

for awhile I was alone
and truly hated you
Well, not truly truly
but come on..

I know you have a message for me
midway along this road
passing time
I hear your voice
in my baggage
“where do we go from here?” you ask.

heart of darkness

I think we go straight to fear
the blue ribbon house
whose welcome mat
is always swept.
We’ll speak to Francis
the old hungry bird
and ride bareback again
through young woods

Can you conceive?

from my beach from my ocean

All those times I was bored
staring at the window, one flight up —
thinking on my Ex’s
and oh oh! oh~~!s

the movie sizzled
foretelling disaster
on a jungle king

So I finally learned how to love
a woman
her shiny sides
her porous surfaces

but defending you
hurts in the deep country
museums of black memory
and required reading

Mercy then on Maryanne
and Ginger who repeatedly
drank life from my
“neat and funny” island

they all stood
for a featureless
empty-headed something,
Idaho, Montana, Nevada,

Throwing a ball
thirty years ago
with young Corso
was a day of triumphant
bugling independence

dear fellow compositors
press your song
while young

there is space for grace
there is time for rhyme

You’re better than Pessoa

The day before my father called
to say he was dying
he bought 10 cemetery plots
and later, asparagus

Can we bury aesthetics
and all human profiles?
the facebook. the twitter
the billy of graham?

my mind lovely sang
give me more of Barry

My grandmother was an old man,
hairy chin, deaf,
large pores on the nose
but he never required an intervention

I took my unhinged sleeve
and spent the morning waxing the furniture
an abbreviated miracle really
saintly.. elaborate
slightly painful

Waxing done I set out in search of the sublime
a dirt road leading to wind tumbled branches
by my side a rodent, flowers, weeds
and sonorous trees, unwaxed.

Coming toward me a dog
tethered on a long rope
pauses to shat in the weeds
I draw my gun
well.. ok, I only fondled it

granite woman stooped
steaming water
galvanized bucket

I draw my breath

Last night some truck
gunned it up
Poppin’s grade
I could hear it
from home
a noise maker
owned by a large child

but oh the succulent oh’s
so conducive to
desk work and indecency

The last tree flares
from evening light
the green sky dies
she is sodden on her bed

Yesterday I drove to Oak Park
it took two hours
the evening rabbi was there
testing his mettle ahead of

I asked if he remembered
dweeby Phillip and the girl
who rendezvoused in the shower
of kind, their kind, all kind
he said he didn’t understand
I said neither do I
and holstered my weapon

tool shed
loose boards
drunken sailor
the air with nothing to call

when you broke my
newly acquired Ming vase
I had wished to expel
you from my life
from my beach
from my ocean

but instead I shaved
and cleansed myself
of the thought
found muteness
called you my girlfriend

No, I’m not moving to Grief Street
with a new love
not talking sex and color
not stopping over to visit my blind

I’m in the current
of your life
like a tall aspen
in the wind

Why you wrote DO NOT OPEN
boldface, on an envelope
was, at the time, beyond me

this lonely dreary
cherry red instruction

fuck it, when can we have cake?

this journey was never what I expected
but I persisted

the first time we entered France
you were stormy
my essence
surrounding your germ
kicked off in you
a turbulent narrative

south station
hoop skirt
bound tits

what misery

rows of babies in plastic boxes

thank you for writing
we are happy

the path curves left now
your stroke changed everything
no more walking in the woods
just billboards at the south station

Somalia Famine
Balkan Wars
Gays in the Military

Twenty thousand crowd at the gates —

We shoot at flying fish in the Gulf of Tonkin
each incident comes with a price
a bill, edged blue

this small island defeats me

your death was not gentle

bread from the body

The dreadful weight of the world descends
I know. In fact, I know I know. It’s sexy.
Would I lie to you–lover?

True, wherever you’re from it sucks.
Sometimes when I pick up the phone
there is a person on the other end
I’m grateful for, nuzzling my ex-lover
who loves to talk.

The splitting of the USSR is a favorite
topic of hers. It’s dead ass raining down
but I feel nothing this morning.
Fuck it. I have two loves–
espresso and the cup.

What are the birds called
in that neighborhood anyway? Dogs?
Chicago possums?
A nest abandoned in a tool-shed
next to my strip club
cracked me open.

Everything alludes to the mood
of us — and when my daughter calls
bored that the world has not ended
yet because bodies keep everything moving
there is sadness everywhere present.

I woke up thinking about my brother’s body.
Ladies and gentlemen of the state,
the soil is frozen, the weather cursed,
gather your children and ghosts.

Never before have I so resembled
a pastime. Flowers have been picked
from the field and planted on the fairway.
Lord of the barren, almost droll
consequence. Release me.

We’re all here now, in notebooks
craving an unscarred voice.
A weathered woman, nude
enters the barn below the slope
When I was younger
I could open that door
cage the voice
pluck the string
tremble the night

A magpie memory
flies over the snow
and covers us deeply

World I honor you
All pears and buttocks and hips

While we got bashed on the hill
fiddling with nail guns and wooden scaffolding
Rusty rolled his car reaching for candy
Forty years of Jumbo dies a one-handed

oh, if language could just become solid
and all oh’s go so oh away
I would flip your pillow to the cool side
of constellations

I am more than half the age of my father
that is to say each day the city unhinges its jaw
and I climb inside the golden trophy of true addiction
a job would be more musical

A round yellow flurry of evening light
brings a bouquet of flutes
if you can, take the first step and the second
my heart is a black flower

In fifth grade
I looked to apostles, fortune-tellers and
faith healers

I eventually found them
sitting in tree shade
looking parched
like nazis in Vienna

at the top of the hour our sprinkler system wakes
temps swerve and pivot
schemes are conjured
it’s 3 A.M. and I’m grief laden.

Germs talked me into a hotel room
somewhere in Iowa

Dear airbag.  I did consider the Blue Book value

I think by now the river must be salmon thick
Eden like
don’t screw with my head
I’m old and scraping by
This white ash is one I’ve known my whole life

We cast our bones
like bread from the body
black, lacquered, coaxed to sound

the toadstools are starting to come up

I come here for the views


Der Schlafwandler

dear earth
white dirty
pure black
blue and dreamy

what shatters
the snowberry moon
whose night fell

was it the mind
calling on blood
to the waking spot?

or was it the feather white
morning star circling
the sleepwalker?

for nelly sachs,