Thursday, December 7, 2017


— for Alex

In the end, he couldn't teach me to sing
anymore than I could teach a dog to talk.
But he would whistle under his breath:
a little Brahms, a little Beethoven, a little bird
song of his own making
to let us know he was there.
And he would "talk" to us
telling us what he had done that day,
that he heard cars in the street,
or that the sun was shining.
And we would answer
in the only language we knew.
Until even I learned to squeeze out a note
or two in greeting, low and unbird like,
which could not be mistaken
for song or speech,
but a bit of both
even he knew
how to respond to.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Transported by love.
Riding public transportation.
Wearing love's raiments.
Wrapped in affection.
Call it what you will.
What you want to be
is attracted, attractive
to those around you
like a person seen
waiting at a train station
wrapped in secret wings
about to take flight.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Answer to a Question no one Asked

The wave hides in the ocean, the way
rain hides in the cloud, the way
wine hides in the  bottle: darkness
surrounded by a world of darkness.
The bitter stories we tell ourselves
to justify this or that behavior.
Standing ankle deep in the tide
waiting to be swallowed up
by something we can't see.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


It's not the bird, it's the sea.
It's not the sea, it's the wind
or lack thereof.
It's the way the bird
is always there
when the wind is not.
It's the way the sea
refuses to move
which makes us bitter.
And the bird is totem
for the fate we claim
controls us. The stillness
we fear and the first breath
of air it rises to meet
and announce. Which,
for all we know,
may be the last
we will ever know.

Sunday, July 2, 2017


Boat upside down
on the shore
like a house
tilting to the east.
Light enters it
like a thief
or a poor man
carrying a statue
of the baby Jesus
wrapped in an old raincoat.
This story is a thousand years old
but is being told for the first time

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

3 Found Poems

Found Poem: Practical Geometry

Geometry, is
that Science
which treats of
the descriptions and proportions
of magnitudes
in general.

Found Poem: A Line Is

 A point is that which has position but no magnitude nor dimensions.

A right line is length without breadth or thickness.

A mixed line is both right and curved.

A curve line continually changes its direction.

Parallel lines are always the same
perpendicular distance and they never meet
though ever so far produced.

Found Poem: An Angle Denoted

 An angle is
the inclination, or opening
of two lines, having different directions,
 and meeting in a point.

When an angle is denoted by three letters,
the middle one is the place of the angle,
and the other two denote the sides
containing that angle; thus,
let a b d be the angle,
b is the angular point,
a b and b d are
the two sides containing that angle.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


The single stalk
serves only to flaunt
the improbable

siren song color
no one could invent.
Like someone's underwear
run up a flagpole.
Someone you know.
Because you recognize

the shape and color

that the world is.
And despite
or because
of all that

the owner
of said display
shows no signs

of remorse.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Meals on Wheels

My mother drove for them for, what?
Ten or twenty years? She thought
it was her duty and would sit
and talk to her clients
about the weather, their children,
how hard it is for older people
to get around nowadays.
She would cluck and laugh
at how narrow-minded
the old black lady seemed
to the old white lady from the suburbs
doing her Christian work.
And I would pretend to not be
somehow embarrassed by both
halves of the conversation
she retold. But she did it
and never complained once
about the work or the time
it took. Which is more
than I can say for myself,
the privileged son of a privileged society,
that — even as we speak —
is turning in on itself
only to choke on the excess
it refuses to share
with the world
it has decided
is its enemy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Tattooed Heart

I am no good
at asking
for giveness
or anything
my tattooed heart

already have
an excuse for.
The heart has to
put up with a lot
it doesn’t like
which is why
we keep it

deep down
where pride
and several other
vanities tell it stories
we would be ashamed of
were they true. But

or just dumb,

I come to you now
with what’s left
and offer you this:

take whatever
is good, whatever
is of value in these
veins & muscles
and make of them
something useful
which is all

I ever wanted

to give
to you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Illustré (Agneau)

The lesser of the sheep.
A baby harp seal with a target
painted on its back
and one bum flipper.
In the movies, it would be
setup for the ultimate little guy
beats evil corporate genius.
But in real life, it is
what we wake up to
day after day. You and I,
dear reader, bleating
over our spilled coffee
while tapping out messages
on broken phone screens
without the slightest hint
that someone bigger
or better than us
is listening.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Illustré (Agami)

The ugliest bird on earth.
Legs like a chicken.
Pot belly, pot black.
No color, no ruffle.
At best it sounds
like a car alarm. Otherwise
known as the "trumpet-bird"
which sounds so much better
in French, as so many things do.
But still no excuse
for its looks or behavior. 
Like us.
Fat, loud, and dull
as ditch diggers
with the pretense
of having read a page or two
of Nietzsche or Kant.