Monday, June 29, 2015

Poetry By Emily Sipiora

My first impulse is to step back and let these poems speak for themselves, and they do, magnificently, but because promoting voices from my home town of Rockford, Illinois has become important to me, I'd like to add that I did a reading with Emily Sipiora, who was 17 years old at the time, and introduced her as "the best poet of this generation, which is my opinion then and now." That said, I will now stand back and let these poems speak for themself. 

"Taking Xanax at IKEA with your extended family"

A plastic bonsai tree sits next to a real one in a display
wondering if it was really okay
to feel this different than its companion.
Real trees look healthier
& appearance is important!
The bark is clear and rugged,
matured and developed
but that medicated plastic tree
looks slimy and cheap
My body is just as bleak
full of tears, tar, & sleet
It's separated from me
& I'm hundreds of miles away
Underneath, the tree has no deep growth
it sits by itself–
wondering if anyone can tell the difference between itself
& a living, growing being.
Familiar thoughts of disappoint
& self loathing are rooted in me
These roots are strong and deep
& just like your dirty habits:
they will not break
& they won't go away.
I took my medicine with the pretending bonsai in hand
in the yard, it sits with the other trees
waiting for something that won't ever happen.

“Loft Party”

Sometimes, it’s the way you style your hair
or your silhouette in a crowd of people.
It’s a strange parallel
an eerie mirrored front
A smile that breaks my heart
because it reminds me of the start.
Alone in a crowd of people,
I felt salvaged in thinking
that someone so dead
was resembled by living.


Amorphous and poring
he is plucking strings
and picking through my records.
He is the thoughtful specter of a houseguest.
Always at my window perched
tapping and watching me sleep
I always see him between the trees
and at the corners of gas stations
he looks lost and disheveled
like god dropped him here
without a moment's notice.
He takes the thin, silver cord
that connects my body to this Earth
and frays it over and over
because his is already severed.
He caresses it like a noose
and it puts awful ideas inside of me.
I have wasted years
trying to understand what you say–
frankly, you sounded like a ghost
when you were alive.
Surely, it's better off this way.
There's always a draft in your place
cold empty air where you used to be.
There's a gap that you created
just to torment me.

“Sitting in the back of the classroom by yourself because really– who would
actually want to be your friend?”

I think I'm in a glass box
on Monday mornings, for show
and on Saturday nights to ridicule.
I have nothing more to do
than to bide my time
sleep until supper
and drive back home.
I haven’t been to class in three months
but your sneer through the slip of a curtain
laughing and having fun without me
is just enough.

I've been trying to get myself out of my head
nothing seems to work,
I find myself in bed for days instead.
Finding the only comfort
in a little brown cat
that hops on my windowsill
I count the notches on her back.
One two three four
someone's given her a sour score.
Pussy and leaking, her flank lies flat
mewling at my window, a shoulder chipped at.
The window shows a sad little movie
of animal control rolling down the street.
I already know what's about to happen
I pray to the god I'm due to meet.
There is a terrified, inhumane noise.
I want to go back to object permanence
closing my eyes and pretending to sleep.
None of this is worth the shaky hands
and bitter burning in your throat
the little parts of giving up made me weak
just like the bits of viscera on my street.
Everything you touch,
and everyone you miss
kind thoughts and intentions
have always turned to shit.
I'm afraid of redemption,
because it means I'm first incorrect.
I'm bedridden by choice,
hiding, a wreck.
It's precious to love something
but that doesn't protect it.
If you need to ask yourself this question,
you probably should've left it.
it's better not to bother.
-Emily Sipiora

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Saturday, June 27, 2015

Poetry By Holly Day

Holly Day has taught writing classes at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, since 2000. Her poetry has recently appeared in Oyez Review, SLAB, and Gargoyle, while her recently published books include Music Theory for Dummies (3rd edition), Piano All-in-One for Dummies, The Book Of, and Nordeast Minneapolis: A History.  


the irony is not lost on me: checking
strips of treated paper every Monday, every Friday
praying and praying and failing to see
a “plus” sign appear in
the second window of the pregnancy test.

the irony is not lost on me: five years before
seeing this same sign made me
think briefly of suicide, led me to a life
I never would have lived, left me with a child
I would now die to have more of
if they could only be just like him.

the irony is not lost on me: two years, a single mother dating
squeaking by safely, using various forms
of uncomfortable contraception, and now
Husband #2 and I
can’t conceive. it’s ironic to think
that after the absolute hell #1 put me through
abuse, divorce, and complete financial abandonment
I owe him something
for giving me my son.

            Take It

folded wolf
soft flesh beside me, I
am so hot, unfurls into something I know

baby bird above me, wolf
clutched in its beak, I
touch the white skeleton man, push it up, I know

what you want, man-child, wolf
creature, put it in my head, through my head, I
dream in kaleidoscopes, know

love for fractions of seconds, wrap me in sick sweat, wolf
spit, take this burning I
am almost burning--rip me up, make me know.

            Open Plains Cut By Highways

Caterpillars and bridges
rise and fall like waves, there is
always another

road that starts at the point that
the bottom step ends, where
your tiny bare feet stumble on

the gravel path, determined
to run away from me even
now.  The wind lifts the hem

of my cotton dress, hold
it down at the edge here
and here, with one tiny

hand that will someday too near turn
into an adult hand,
in these moments when tomorrow

and yesterday and nothing
all matter equally,
so long as there are bridges

and roads that run forever.


I’m sorry
I think to the cockroaches that squish under my boots
as I walk home along the roaring breakers of ocean surf
on a thin strip of sidewalk crumbling slowly to sand. In the darker shadows
cat-sized rats scurry over concrete pilings, carrying greasy chip bags
hamburger wrappers and bits of rotting fruit in their mouths
claiming the fetid remains of the day for a midnight feast.
Years before, these rats and roaches would have been in hiding
in the ramshackle brick houses and empty warehouse spaces that used
to line this part of town, but now that all those old buildings are gone
and the new buildings, mostly condos, are too brightly lit for vermin
the rats and the roaches have all come down to the beach. The new condo owners
might have chased away the junkies and the whores
and the homeless drunks with their overflowing shopping carts
but the rats and the roaches are here to stay.

            Revelations in the Dark

I’ve heard
sometimes prisoners in solitary
grow so lonely they tame
spiders, lure them to their cells by
plucking single
hairs from their heads and playing them like
guitar strings

the sound of a mother
spider calling out
to her children
by tapping on her web

if the memory
of some
comforting mother-spider figure could
make a spider like that one
staring at me
from the dark corner of my room
come running like a tardy child
expecting dinner

how awful and terrifying can it really be?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Simon Perchik

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, 
The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013).  For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at Simon Perchik

One headstone leaning against another
float though neither moves
taking root the way these flowers

wait for someone under the ground
soothed by gust after gust
from a sky that feels at home

dug itself down as the first tide
planted in business-like rows
still beating, wandering through

and back to rest in your arms
that remember rain as moonlight
overdue, left hanging, tired this time.


With each hand the same turn
you learned to take apart
put together, tighten

and though the wrench holds on
the tire's slowly going flat
the only way you know how

–you let go, circle
spring-like, for keeps
around the pin-hole leak

already planes falling into place
as a training song from the 40s
louder and louder, struggling for air

–at last the tire goes down
half under the ground
where you need both wrists

the way flowers wilt and each breath
takes in more smoke, still black
on course, end over end, almost there.


Not a chance! the gate
tries to open though rust
was already mixed in, drifting

till the Earth lay alongside
too weak to turn back
the way the lines on your palms

still flow close to riverbanks
and longing, struggle to pull
this mud soaked ironwork

into the darkness and turns
that stayed in the air
after it became the sky

even in the daytime
–you almost see the gate move
and with both hands, yell

you're working on it, yell
anything! how the latch
is just about to loosen, yell

so the fence breaks apart
wading in dirt no longer the rain
that never lets go all the way down.


Again your shadow loose in the attic
as if more light could help
coming for old letters, broken frames

not sure what was torn apart
has healed by now, hidden
as sharp corners though you

still expect the some days
to climb alongside and the height
save them –it’s storage work

later work –Esther and you
on a pony that almost remembers the dust
it carried all the way down.


Before water was water it grieved
word by word the way each woman
caresses her first child

though what you hear is its mist
washing over those breasts
as moonlight and riverbanks

no longer struggling –by instinct
your lips will claim the Earth
with the kiss that gives each birth

its scent and between your arms
clings with just its bones
–with each kiss you drink

then weep and the dirt already rain
helps you remember nothing else
between your thirst and breathing.

Four Poems By Brenton Booth

Brenton Booth is a writer from Sydney, Australia. I like the way he writes. 


sitting at a starbucks in bangkok airport
stomach flat from two weeks at a muay
thai camp
mind weary from thirty-five years
yesterday i watched thousands of people
blocking the streets protesting the bad
they all had smiles on their faces and looked
like a giant close family
i’d never seen anything like it;
i was told earlier their protest worked,
my flight to sydney leaves soon
but all i can think about is a girl i met at
the muay thai camp
while planes continue to arrive and depart
full of passengers—
all hoping to reach their destinations.


to bleed is to live
and the candy cane
decapitates the tortoise
while the locusts waltz
and the flagpoles eat all
the grass—
bottles replacing dreams,
fear replacing sense,
sex destroying everything;
as paint lights up my dark
room now in sydney on this
tuesday night:
the air on fire
and flames beautiful.


Some days the stone
gods have broken
fan can’t push past
the dust on the grill
dogs prefer to bark
at dwarfs on mars
walls melt like
ice blocks poisoning
the ground with
artificial flavour
the mermaids walk
freely without tails
guitar strings break
before hitting the
right note
sparrows chew cats
with no special effort
blood crashes like angry
Hawaiian waves
the words always keep
finding reasons not
to come:
the eyes cut like razors
its best to go back to sleep.


I am the breeze, the drunken hangover, the closing down sale
I am the coward, the villain, the midnight jester
I am the bottomless pit, the headache tablet, the blood on the canvas
I am the failed attack, the wasted pick up line, the weary face of experience
I am the cracks in the sidewalk, the day old candle, the unknown torrent
I am the silent tombstone, the last man standing, the drunkest guy at the bar
I am the January sunrise, the purple bobsled, the shark in the river
I am Australian, the traffic lights on William Street, the nervous bats in the
Botanical Gardens in Sydney; Sydney the greed, Sydney the hatred,
Sydney the ugliness, Sydney the silent wars—Sydney the most anti-social
city in Australia, Sydney the 24 hour hot dog stand, Sydney the one legged
pigeon, Sydney the 3pm traffic jam on Elizabeth Street, Sydney the legal
brothel, Sydney the illegal expression; Sydney the dirty street, Sydney the
the cardboard lounge room, Sydney the neon mansion, Sydney the heavenly
power bill; Sydney the unflappable economy, Sydney the ridiculous politician,
Sydney the hand afraid to smack the deserving, Sydney the silent anger,
Sydney the fear of change; Sydney the blind arrogance, Sydney the
architectural maze, Sydney the screaming, Sydney the dying, Sydney the
inbred mind, Sydney the empty wallet of ambition; Sydney the glass idol,
Sydney the wordless script, Sydney the fan in the desert, Sydney the melting
bag of ice, Sydney the house of no reform; Sydney the conservative, Sydney
the satisfied, Sydney the brain dead, Sydney the celebrity, Sydney the
criminal; Sydney the average, Sydney the athlete, Sydney the rich, Sydney
the pension, Sydney the desperate, Sydney the great big waste; no fishing
in the polluted harbour, no partying after midnight, no drinking once you
are drunk, no saying a new thing; Sydney the hero, Sydney the prince,
Sydney the island of Hades; Sydney the ugly, Sydney the base of the mad,
Sydney the lodging of the dead, delirious, insane; the couch, the table,
the futon, the spa bath, the inflatable mattress: Sydney the great nirvana
of my tortured soul.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Five Poems By Janet Buck

Janet Buck is a seven-time Pushcart Nominee. Her work has appeared in hundreds of journals worldwide. Janet's second print collection of poetry, Tickets to a Closing Play, was the winner of the 2002 Gival Press Poetry Award and her third collection, Beckoned by The Reckoning, was released by PoetWorks Press in the spring of 2004. In 2011, Buck was honored as a Featured Poet of the Editor's Circle in  In the spring of 2015, she was a featured Poet of the Week for Her most recent work is scheduled for publication in Offcourse, Mistfit Magazine, Antiphon, Boston Poetry Magazine, PoetryBay and other journals later this year.

Battered Shoes

Your birthday gift is late this year. It’s not that I forgot the day.
I’m plodding in a weary truck, weighted down, low on gas.
You say, “I hate this old age thing,” as if it isn’t really us.
I’m the left shoe; you’re the right.
Both feet hurt. Facts are flying straight at us—buzzards
after what is weak, bailiwicks of long obits.
Too much knowledge, much too quick.
If we didn’t love so much, we’d skid like roaches from the light.
Under stoves, between the cracks. The asphalt on our street is old—
mostly gravel, mostly dirt. Does it really matter now.
No one pulling in the drive, just for lunch,
or munching on pistachios to wile away an afternoon—
double-duty pondering just how pale our faces are.

Owl eyes we’ve grown to know are deeper brown,
staring in the dark so long they’re swollen closed.
I wince to read and so do you. Typos are forgiven crumbs.
I’m an ancient Christmas wreath still hanging tilted
on a wall above our dusty patio. May is almost over now.
Needles fall in mounting piles. You sweep them up.
Our husbands bend to hold the dust pan in its place,
penumbras as eclipse draws near.
Clouds are thick potato chips that line the sky.
My bones will call and tell you if it’s raining yet.
I hear a window slamming shut all on its own.
Who took spikes around a clock,
sped them up like hamster wheels
we thought were cute when we were young.

We’ve traded matching baseball cards of tragic times,
like other women try each other’s lipstick tubes—
aching backs, swollen joints, sciatica,
cancer scares, all the scars that come with that,
surgeries that make a longer grocery list,
longer than we ever planned.
I’m your scaffold; you are mine.
Floors grow weaker as we talk.
I once saw hemlock as a tree,
no different than a pine or oak.
I’m squeezing down this old balloon—
listening as hydrogen releases into cleaner air.

by Janet I. Buck

Janet Buck

The Leaning Topiary Tree

How do bodies go from sleep
to lightning rods of garnered pain.
Stone pillars fall across my lap,
compressing disks,
sponges of wet cotton balls
between each sanded vertebrae.
My head begins to pound its drum;
no songs with any higher notes
appear upon the empty page.
A heating pad is all I have
for morning suns across my back.

Just years ago, I would have had
a long, hot shower, stood straight enough—
like tended topiary trees
in luscious gardens of Versailles.
Flower baskets tied to hooks
to keep the wind from dropping them.
My daily job—deadhead each petunia flute,
shrunk to limping arrows now, just overnight.
That’s how quickly death can move.
I cut back every single leaf with edges turning
brown and crisp, the texture of potato chips,
focused on each shifting shade of verdancy
still left above the thirsty soil.

I think about an easy out: exit earth before the rot.
Our garden’s only steps away, but blinds are closed.
Spears of light disturb me now.
My husband cracks them just a touch—
opening pistachios since fingers
can’t retrieve the meat of nuts inside a world
that’s leaving me behind too soon.
Now I just imagine green, memorize
curled pages of old diaries—
when everything the color of the deepest lime
seemed to hold it in its cheek.
Defeated, sad, and struggling, I close my eyes,
dripping with inconsequence.

by Janet I. Buck


Softer Chairs Than Wooden Pews

Imagine drying spatulas
beside an empty mixing bowl.
I used to turn a perfect crêpe,
fresh from skillets lined with butter.
Dad would eat a dozen in a single hour.
These were wafers in a church
with softer chairs than wooden pews,
mahogany of trees he didn’t really trust,
taught me how to do the same.

I was such a greedy mouth,
thirsty for the two of us,
without a sermon interrupting
laughter bursting in the air,
as bubbles settled into moons
the color of an autumn leaf.
A bowl of powdered sugar there,
quartered lemons in a pile,
I removed each seed I found
to make the day a flawless dawn.

I never rinsed a single dish
until he left, one moment
of a rushing faucet
interrupted hearing aids.
Even then, I left the ring
he left upon a countertop,
from just his single coffee cup,
ran my fingers over it,
worshipped it to call him back. 

Now, he lives inside an urn
upon our hearth.
I haven’t washed my apron yet.

by Janet I. Buck


The Hospice Nurse

Knock, knock, knock.
“Come on in,” our step-mom says,
as if she’s set to have a simple manicure.
“It’s just another hospice nurse.”
Floor me with a baseball bat
between my ribs. “This isn’t small.
This isn’t you. This is Dad.”
I really want to say these words,
yet stuff them like a turkey breast—
sewing skin with heavy thread,
choke on bitter celery chunks.
My sister puts her palm on mine.
All I see are goldfish floating in a bowl.

Death is non-negotiable—
my brain knows that; my heart does not.
“You can’t have my father now.”
I’m always nice, but not this time.
I’m wearing ice cubes in my eyes,
throw the pamphlet on a chair, may as well
be pitching rocks right at her face.
She can see the scorn in mine, doesn’t even
twitch a lid. I detest the rock she is.

I listen to this hospice nurse, sit close to Dad,
so close my flesh could melt right into what is thin
and left of his—warm remains of candlewax.
I guard him like a German Shepard
watches over baby cribs, as some invader
opens doors that should be closed.
Both feet in a wishing well,
water up around my waist.

He’s skinny as a hanger’s wire,
one petal left on daisy wheels—
November’s cold comes rushing in,
crawling up my sweater sleeves.
I will stay up all night long,
race between his bed, the walls—
reach and reach with withered arms,
just to grab that secondhand,
just to turn that clock around.

by Janet I. Buck

The Buddha Dream

He’s sitting on the plushest grass,
a small square patch,
no bigger than his single frame,
surrounded by tall brittle reeds.
Gardens in a desert portrait on my wall.
What comes to him, he understands
and I do not. A green cicada lands upon
his shoulder blade. They lay their eggs,
take several decades just to hatch.
What’s wrong with me?
My patience gone the second
I drop paperclips, anything I cannot reach.

Cicadas have such owl eyes,
marble-size, seemingly too heavy
for their stringy limbs to carry them.
Maybe wisdom holds their heads.
Another lands upon the Buddha’s stalwart arm,
rests quietly—I’m guessing that their eyes
have met like friends who never ever leave,
where distance holds no consequence.
An insect full of arias, perfected in consistency
up to moments of demise.
I think of getting hospice care, a morphine drip
to kill the pain, to quiet my inquietude.
We seldom leave this earth of ours
on wings of scaling lullabies.

The two of them are so at peace
with summer ferns and autumn leaves.
Seasons bringing life or death—
it’s all so damned acceptable, proportionate—
confuses me like some advanced geometry
I wouldn’t touch, certain I would fail the class,
even if I ate the textbook, page by page.
A dozen crickets crawl his robes.
Buddha knows the living chew and swallow
all the dying ones in front of them;
he does not wince, just takes a breath
I cannot feel, soaks in sunlight with the clouds,
equal in their pertinence—
I complain of dreary days and graying hair—
doing nothing in the rain.

I long for Calla Lilies now.
Their stalks are there, no color yet—
simple spirals coming soon, not soon enough.
Every step I try to take, a groping motion
with no grace. There he sits, that yoga pose,
does not worry where he goes,
since everything comes straight to him
like vees of geese en route
to somewhere safe and calm.
I wonder if he’s stiff and sore
upon his throne of verdant blades.

Now a flitting hummingbird—
I expect an argument:
it’s hunting for the nectar’s blood.
The only flower on Buddha’s lap,
a soggy stem, a bygone bud,
from roses someone put across
his neatly folded bulky knees.
A stunning flower, up and gone.
Time and thirst drew their claws
and that was that. Finished, done. Indelible.
The hummingbird hovered kindly over loss,
as if a spirit changed its tune.
Transcendence is a gift so rare—
it could be moons inside a rock
I walk right by, do not notice in the dirt.

A simple fly lands on my cheek.
I swat it off; later I will chase it down,
flatten it, wallow in the power I own,
pretend I’m not a murderess
or just a callous passenger.
I yearn to morph, shed my skin,
but it won’t leave. There are no hands
upon the shining Northern Star
to shape my path, to show me roads
I might have taken years ago.
I don’t match the simple urge
to love each element of life that grazes me.
The puppet with the loudest voice
is still a puppet in the end.

by Janet I. Buck

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

International Surrealist B.Z. Niditch

B.Z. NIDITCH is a poet, playwright, fiction writer and teacher. 
His work is widely published in journals and magazines throughout the world, including: Columbia: A Magazine of Poetry and Art; The Literary Review; Denver Quarterly; Hawaii Review; Le Guepard (France); Kadmos (France); Prism International; Jejune (Czech Republic); Leopold Bloom (Budapest);  Antioch Review; and Prairie Schooner, among others. 

He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts


The military
exile the thirst
for freedom and jazz
your twenty first  birthday
in a fervor
of fevered expression
yet you suffer
working on islands
from life's painful images
amid political repression
your language amazes
as you write in silence
from the notes you play
on a a historical scale
survive on riffs.


One of my actors
in my Original Theater
roller bladed
to his audition
he had tunnel vision
of his lines
with an eidetic memory
so I kept my eye on Adam
he left us
for the Big Apple
since I had no funds
to pay him for his worth
then went to Hollywood
and became a star
but when I needed him
he always came back
to us in roller blades
until he fell off
listening to Coltrane.


Andy Warhol
a passion to the lost,
I'm on a sleeper car
the ex-camera rolls
for we underground Beats
are giving our readings
on street corners,
with a lost Anna Karina photo
when married to Godard
we find at the Chelsea,
I buy a lunch poem
from Frank O'Hara
at the Cedar Bar,
here is
cheap vodka in draws
as time lapses
in my synapses
of taboo tripping,
after Andy demanded
to be electrically shaved
for the boy next door
carrying an imbibed state
for an extra in "Flesh"
needing a prescription
for a drug free America
losing a nude display
of Gordon Parks' sequences
after getting the "Shaft"
on the way meeting Lana
a transvestite
who asked me for a light
and turned herself into
a bulbous yet
nosey chaperon
asking me to do
her laundry
of lace aprons,slips,dresses
of silk, Egyptian cotton,
and chancy things
drifting in the wash
in bathed bleach
of celestial swimsuits
from Esther Williams'
Technicolor sets
swirling shirts and blouses
lifted things from Macy's
from a drawn basket
in shiny scents of lystoil.


With the romantic
here in the French
once again
playing jazz
to a melody of Mahler
and Rameau
before a French mirror
doubled up
for Mallarme,
the wind
has Paris icicles
for us
in the restaurant
we murder croissants
by the portmanteau movies
of Spanish refugees
seeing bridal angels
of Chagall and Picasso
of our passing.

Outlaw Poetry From Kangalee

Dennis Leroy Kangalee is an Outsider artist, Outlaw Poet, and guerrilla filmmaker from NYC. I dug these when they came across the transom and I hope you will, too.

No More

I am in between shining shoes and pulling a trigger.
Sarah & Cecil Stole Romeo & Juliet’s Getaway Car:
Tramps for Life episode 3

 (Or: Even Rebels Get Sad When They Have to Be  Bad but all in all there's nothing worse than having Jungle Fever on the road, broke and homeless, and trying to up the ante)

the cold rain
pours down
and beats
upon the roof of the car.
The car that is not yours.

And your homeless heart flinches in that way only a newly-dispossessed person’s heart flutters and aches and cold-lip-dry-mouth-cracked-chapped hands open the passenger door, but you notice – on the floor, under those worn out boots barely covering your feet which you are nervous has caught an infection – a text, a crumpled magazine...and the printed word on that filth, the alignment and the rhythms, calm you...Because they were written by someone even more destitute than you and you no longer have to dread and shudder your way three stops on the N train amidst Hipsters who come from some place no real New Yorker has ever heard of, and yet your ignorance bounds you...But you read the text and you realize it is just the thing to read when you are in someone else’s bathroom and the floor is cold and you cannot complain because it is not your home, and you wonder where your home went and how it came to...
You tried.
You did everything possible without breaking any laws, yet every moral code that you ever tried to live by has been left shattered and torn.
Your reputation – skids marks under Cassio’s heel; your name has been warped and twisted like the heart of a Judge who refuses to resign.
You ask yourself why? And you see fleeting images of who you could have been and phantasmagoric duplicates of you and your lady and yet you wonder...what was the sin?
Like the disabled and the forsaken, you, too, cast an eye up to the sky in hopes of an answer...There is no answer. The answer was known, was given – long ago.
And it is not his or her or their fault.
It is some


So Much Beauty to Offer, But too Ugly to Move

Just remember to write, tuck the face, face the soul
Until the foul
Like the million splintered tiny silver angels that floated on that morning when everything changed.
Receive the vision so you may heal the tribe
Write the stories only if you feel the vibe
But don’t outsource your soul
Not everyone
Can have
An Elephant Man
so stay down in the trench and come up just once when night appears
or the day the sun has decided to make you his ally.


For a Second I thought I Was Mahler

Stepping back in the room, I caught myself 
Like a cat burglar who had lost his cool
And for a second I thought I was Mahler --
Perhaps it was my high forehead
And my reversed sloped hair
As if my roots were growing out of the crown of my head and up backwards
Towards the sun (or the Aliens who had neglected me)
I was disappointed to not have looked like Prince
But maybe that's the price you pay
For living past the age you wanted to die at
I thought I knew that profile anywhere, having seen it stretched across the banner of an old friend's door 
He was a classical musician
and loved all things sad

He would play Elgar on a piano
and insist that it sounded better without an orchestra,
We traded stories of madness and caught each other once again
years later when we both did our stint at Paine Whitney
Our vitals were low, we were anemic, we were angry, we were young

And once when I stepped into the sun, my wife cried
And when I asked her why
She said I reminded her of something she had forgotten about in her heart
And while I was hoping it might have been Prince or some rock 'n roll revolt 
That jarred her memory --
It was the moving shadow around my head, landing into the new apartment we
had just rented --

And I cursed myself as I heard our new neighbor jerking off his new leaf blower 
in a coarse Sunset Park afternoon up on the highest hill of Brooklyn where some 
Rich and poor are now living closer and closer --

I heard the faint notes of a symphony spilling out of a broken heart. 


I Want to Hear the Sound of Capitalism…

I want to hear the sound of Capitalism
As it takes its last breath
I want to hear Angels – not singing
But flapping their wings
As they commemorate the end of a
Wicked carnival
A station-agent’s sunrise
As he tip-toes into a new orange glow
Of possibilities

I want to hear the death rattle
Of the Unconscious
And the shimmer
Of their warped souls
Taking leave of their lovely
But contorted bodies
Hands that could not help
Legs that could not jump
Mouths that could not
Utter words of love
Eyes that could not see
No matter where they looked

I want to hear
The beating
Of hearts
Instead of the vulgar
And expected yarns
Of Self-Hatred
And all that makes
The Ghettoes
With ripe ideas
For a Television series
That will cash in
As it pushes out
All that I’ve sworn to fight against

I want to hear the shovel
Kiss and hug the dirt
Before malevolent coffins
Are lowered in
Just barely deep enough
To be covered
But close enough that the wild dogs
Will have something still
To find
When we have vacated this
Awful experiment
Called the 21st century

I want to hear my lover’s morning stretch
Her smooth sigh
That sends the only real vibrations
I am still able to feel
Straight up my spine
Between the yawling drone of
Ambulances at 1AM
And young women
Who should know better
Not like drunken sailors
But the way a 17 year old boy
That his mother won’t hear him

I want to hear my darling’s wishes
Not her fears
But the gentle breathe of her desires
Still healthy and fertile
But beginning to show
Just a tiny bit of dust
I want to hear them released
And fulfilled
Instead of a motorcycle
That thinks
My city block
Is a suburban
Parking garage
Or Caribbean Island

I want to hear the sound of Hollywood
Not crashing down
But receding
Slipping into the earth
Like quicksand
Incurring the politicians
To realize that
Their days, too,
Are numbered

I want to hear my thoughts
In a language
Only I can claim
As my own
As the rage in my head
Calms down
Numbered like a lithograph
Takes stock of itself

I want to hear the sweet sound of demolition
So I can pray
That the next city
Is one we can
Be proud of
Or one
We gladly
To rot