Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The night gives you magic

The night gives you magic
you can see between the leaves
that cling to dead limbs,
the city is a profile
that leads with its chin,
night birds sing the songs of chimney ash

and cinder fireflies spiraling  in hot red-yellow streaks
before vanishing into the black tarp,

the blues harp
moans from the window
in a house set against a mountain side
that is getting ready to rain,
but it is always raining in my heart
when your lights go out,

a small notes tells me
that you've gone for the night

and maybe the week
and that leaves me
staring out the window
through the screen
at  clouds and madness
that is a rime of light
cresting over all our business

when the city pulls up the
covers and reads
the word by flashlight.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where to walk and where to sit

the grave yard
would be
an obvious place for me
to drop by
for some hours of the week,
more friends
than ever have their names
engraved in the
last place they’ll every park,
the history of every kiss
and hours of
speechless joy
is going increasing
underground and
soon to be forgotten
as witnesses to where
you and I have have
tread fall over like
bribed boxers,
fall like ships
off the edge of
a 13th century map of the earth,
take on a sleep
so deep in dreams
of black ink
that even the word
is an over statement.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Woe be gone in song
of the wandering violinist
as he moves among
the tables, annoyed
as bows the neck
at the haircuts
that bob and shake fists
to his melody
of two Black Forest Lovers
beset by a pack of wolves.

Bristles are the cuts
on the head of this throng,
he bristles himself
and often longs
for a seat
nearest the podium, starting off the evening off right,
on the mark, on time,
a tempo  to  signify the
romance of his moods.

Yet his songs are too sad for
his present crowd,
they like it in chords
that blast and clash the anger of gods they
can't name,

Their rhythm is violent,
not suited
for violins
and the sentiment they exclaim.

The kids want to see Industrial Cities
slip into
boiling Great Lakes
as a backdrop for a riff   on
the E Major scale.

Yet they're all stuck,
they by blizzard and
the need to eat,
and he by hunger and
the need to pay rent
every thirty days,
and together they make
the best of
the love lost between them.

They sit, listen, and gnash their teeth,
while he plays frantic cadenzas,
dreaming of applause and kisses from
the balcony from men in tuxedos
and ladies
in long white gloves,

Together they
 make music t


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Another Side of Long Distance Calls

"...religions are beautiful because of the strong possibility that they are founded on nothing. We would all believe in God if we knew he He existed, but would this be much fun?..."

-- John Ashbery

Somewhere along the line
something was said
that made
an awful lot of sense.
an utterance so
stable in verb and stance
that my head jerked up
as if on a string
moved about
by a cruel master.
The guy who said
was smiles
for miles his white
teeth could blind.

William had his glass at the tip
of his lip
as though a toast
were to emerge from
his studied gestures,
he repeated
his wisdom,

"Jesus lives in a house on
the moon
and he can't go outside
because there is no air..."

The table spun just then,
three fast fandangos,
and in the swirl
three thousand or so years of
thinking came undone like
badly sewn stitches across
the seams of thin, historical clothing,
every fig leaf has fallen
from our shoulders and

Philosophy and faith
are seen finally
for what they are
through the bottom of
William's bar glass,

a little man in a corner
holding a wet paint brush.