What All

or, real as a
boulder clutched by five
hundred-year-old roots
in the fluid of a mountain’s
gradual crest

or, our own
skeletons remain
clutched by continuity
in the fluid of a moment’s
gradual assumption

assume rise
crest fall, and
what all

Why So Quiet?

I look, dumbfounded, at the
world, I think of my mom
saying, “don’t stare, it’s rude.”

I look away, in a
hasty search for a new fixation
and think of my dad
saying, “finish what you started.”

I look down at
my shoes, and think
of everyone who ever asked
me, “why so quiet?”

Tread Wear

Steel Belted Radials

They don’t make movies like
they used to, he said, but they
never made tires like this—then he
says it: haltingly, wistfully, as if
it were a line from a popular ballad

Steel Belted Radials

as if Leonard Cohen himself
were standing there before you
casting tire-buying spells with
magical incantations and smiles
backed up by the pedigree of
a pure bred confidence

Steel Belted Radials

spinning, orbiting
they sing against the pavement
with a melody above, apart
from the automotive implication
of a sure grip on a slick surface
or a rolling rampart

against punctures, evoking
scenes of roadside despair
with passengers pressing sad faces
against rain speckled windows
as you labor with a jack handle
against fate itself

Steel Belted Radials

upon the radiant bearings of
the gods, such a car would soar
on a cushion of air, uplifting
inspired, like an ode to a planet
draped gloriously in robes of
carbon monoxide, cinched by cords
of endless highway

Steel Belted Radials

you reach for your wallet
like a magistrate for his gavel
to the background hum of a
grinding economy, and spit gravel
peeling out of the flag-draped lot
and drive, you drive back to the

bottoms where your domain asserts
a stubborn little imprint, the tread sipes
in a dirt driveway, within patterns too
large and convoluted to comprehend
perhaps, and the radio is tuned
to a country song about disgrace
and redemption


eyes open at dawn
darting like fish in a bowl
gathering sparkles


eyes craving the light
cross and double everything
bountiful mirage


eyes speculating
outbidding the richest dark
cunning investment


light and distraction
the secret wealth of vision
from the fount of tears


these eyes are pennies
their pictures bought and paid for
bagged like possessions

#575 #Haiku

Black Arrow Tonglen

Have the patterns stopped being patterns
or is this something new?

Am I craving repetition and motif while
I cheer the onset of change?

The goose flesh lends a pattern to my skin, which I lug around with me like a favorite sweater. Like a fiddler crab, I am shelled up in it. At night I spread it out and sleep on it. The sky, like old skin, looks tired of stretching itself over the frame. The air is stubborn, full of picky fish bones. You have to pick at the air, most carefully, if you want to breathe it.

I replicate the land with thoughts, streaming
(like fabric spewing out of a big commercial loom.)

It stinks and makes pollution but where
would shameful flesh be without cloth? Ill-defined goals

make it difficult to script these plays. I am
the wobbly table that supports my entire religion.

I rise from prayer, in prayer. I can see that the tiniest details all reek of scripture, holy and encoded within the ratcheting make-work of a creation that cannot seem to stop unfolding. Worry, sharp little digressions, like fish bones in pudding, is self-asserting: Will they have properly placed the blame before they get around to me? Will the cancer of such faithless doldrums feast upon me? Will Christ’s sacrifice be seen to have appeared in a mirror? Could death be a reflection?

Countless archers, all points of life
they all release their sufferings:

the sky fills with it, fills with black arrows.
I magnetize them, draw them all in

—my own pierced flesh transforms into light, shining
purified, the shafts are all sent back

to their quivers, as light.

The fish swim out of the air taking their bones with them and they are gone and nobody knows where. They were last seen on the surface of a street puddle. Their disappearance was a reflection. But everyone is breathing easier, attributing the relief to various causes, including but not limited to the will of God.



A conflict settled
by debate, away
will rise in appeal
some other day.

A Hybrid of Life and Death

The disease will not settle
for medicine, nor will the
remedy quarter the disease
doctor bills, they are piling up
a shot of whiskey, please.


Things appear
to die, and I appear
to keep living
the welders are in dry dock
assembling the hulls
of sunken ships
at what point in the
figure eight of continuance
can one say end, or begin
at all points
amazing, how gracious
how sweet it is.


I’m feeling clueful
today, little hints peeking
out from under bushes
the neighborhood jingling
like a phone full of urgent texts
bits of the crux of all matters
sparkling here and there
like gems tossed out
over beach sand.


Long in the hair and
gray in the tooth
he learned how to dodder
then he died, forsooth.

Pray (sol dep)

In the six regions
throughout the three times
under the one sky
peaceful, happy.

An incoherent notebook-dump from October 2018