The Dictionary of Nil

We've begun work on a new dictionary.

It is composed entirely of non-existing words
defined by other non-existing words.

It is a closed system, completely
saturated with non-meaning.

It is not a reference work, it is
a container of ontological vacuity.

It is not something that will
actually exist.

It is the idea of the rumor of a
thought, an informational contagion.

Its reference invades innocent words
like a virus invades cells.

It propagates through the air
by word of mouth.

It harnesses the power of vocabulary
to insinuate non-meaning into
the collective unconscious.

Without a basis for existence, it
establishes itself by implication.

It is a harmless harm, seemingly
naught, an echo of itself.

The biggest threat to its conceit is
that you will forget all about it.

And tell no one.

The Revisionist

The latest revision of this unruly draft
plagiarizes pieces, whole chunks, alas
from the now abandoned previous pass

The carcass, once vibrant and meaty
now quartered with care, leaves little
for the vultures but a dour scent
and some tufts of hair

The new revision is on to something now
it can smell it, the crux of it
oh man, oh wow

But the bits and pieces arrayed
in a flashy, bold new architecture
suggest nothing much new, hint that
another slaughter and rending is due

The latest revision now bears no resemblance
to its ancestors, has seemed to lose the thread
of that something-or-other need be said

Perhaps the current jumble is a total loss
with nothing to salvage, a deposit of dross

(15 revisions)

Just Plain Crazy

So, karma's like a virus
infecting innocent thoughts
with promises, always
of something hopeful and new.

It's all just recycled
confusion, perceived as appealing
converting innocent thoughts
into the machinery of delusion.

Seeing things as empty
of any reality whatsoever
is lunacy, they will say
whose views are hijacked
by the ingenuity of display.

Better to be crazy like a Buddha
than just plain crazy, any day.

Enough Rope

So I gave them enough rope 
like you said, and they 
tied me up with it.

I bring this up, because 
if you'll recall our conversation 
you had said, and I quote...

Yes, I'll hold.


Light particles already
waved their goodbye as
apparent effects when they entered the eye

See the studious chaps
when the functions collapse
asking who, what and where, also why

Probability means
what it means when it does
but cannot when it probably doesn't

Does not at all mean
the experiment seen
was such, when it probably wasn't

A Word Apart

The space bar keeps the words apart
as if they want to fight
but if they ran together all
it wouldn’t be quite right.

A little space is what we need
for us to get along
a little time to catch our breath
correct me if I’m wrong.

So let me tell you this one thing
my lips upon your ear
let’s enjoy ourselves apart
for six months, no a year.

To this she said a decade
would hardly be enough
and gathered all her things in arm
and left in quite the huff.

I said I didn’t mean it
but she’d gone and hadn’t heard
now my space bar mocks me
at the end of every word.

Well now I’ve gone and done it
to deny it would be wrong
I went and done wrote lyrics
to a goofy country song.

A Word Apart originally appeared here October 5th, 2016.


Catwalk grating with treatment.

it's nice when things are smooth to touch
our fingers like this very much

and good when walkways claw and grip
our feet don't like it when we slip

especially when we're way up high
as we could fall and maybe die

before we've had a chance to mend
our evil ways: we meet our end


The Wheel

Behold the wheel as motion incarnate. Inventor of the metaphor. Roundation is its pride, spokes the whispering of its ministers, its axle the secret grief. Turning until the grease dries up, then burning.

A mechanism, its gears a-turning. In thinking, wheels turning, turning. Spheres of influence, around, around. Circles have no need of ground. Sanskrit chakra has a sound like wheels knocking cobbled lanes. Strike and clap again, again. The arc, a portion of the round, its back is bent. It makes no sound.

The curve that sneaks in fluidly all paths and motions, blunts the angle, rounds the bend, transcribes the swing. It does its thing. It snugs the rim of hat and crown. Same as same when upside down! Once gone, just wait, it comes around.

Self, the center of conception, the spokes relate in rays the scenes. The never was but could have beens. What comes around, will go around, in startless parts, no stops or starts. It turns upon its secret grief. The axle happy in its grease. How does it make its way, by feel?

The ship, it has a steering wheel.


The light that we see by
provisioned as much by sight
as by a persistent radiance

Has little angels dancing
on the heads of all its little pins

Seeking always the refraction
that fans it all out
into rainbows

How is this different
from visions of the Blessed Virgin

Appearing again, and again
in unexpected places
to the solace of the faithful

The wonder of the crowds
and expectation of the Absolute