Monday, April 24, 2017

Still (A Quadrille)

I believe you’ll triumph
even though
the torture
continues unabated.

What are
the magic words,
the black market
black magic
to still
your raging wildfire
of sadness
and wholesale
emotional immolation?

I just wish
your plans
for your
threatened suicide

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Life's Job and My Job

You can only do
so much,
stop killing yourself.

That’s life’s job.

In the meantime,
find some meaning
and don’t be mean.

That’s my job.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Enemy of God

"Fear not,
we have God
on our side."

Realize how
that statement is.

Show me someplace
where God doesn't

You can't tell
a believer
"show me the
and believe what
they tell you.

Show me the
enemy of God?

there's a mirror
over there.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I stand on
the precipice,
looks like
a cliff,
but I choose
to see it
as a launching pad,
a runway.

I peer over
the toes of my shoes,
shifting my
body weight
ever so slightly,
gravity takes over.

I do not

I do not

I extend my arms,
as if on a cross,
and I glide,
carried on
the currents of
the wind,
trusting that I will

where I am
supposed to be.

Monday, April 17, 2017


At the moment
when it all kicks in,
and I follow
the natural rhythm

I dance
to whatever is on
the tv,
most likely old sitcoms.

It's not quite
a dance,
but rather, a sway-

back and forth
like a backup singer
in a black and white
kinescope loop -

forever groovin'.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Be Here Now

This world
doesn't stop
or even slow.

To keep up
I must run
alongside it,
as catching a streetcar,
running with guilt,
knowing I am late.

there is no timetable
that says I am late,
but I have agreed
to the world's sense
of time,
and forgot
that this time is neither
fleeting nor dripping.

This time
is my only possession
and even that
is an illusion.

To be here now
is the only appointment
I have to keep.

what is now?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Blank Pages

All my dreams
began with paper
because as a kid
that's all I had,
and some pencils.

Once I embraced
the freedom,
this uncensored liberty,
the world was mine
and there was nothing
but potential,
tantalizing potential.

Now I have
cell phones,
unlimited space
in the cloud,
but in my mind,
it's still
just a blank sheet
of possibilities.

May the excitement
and the thrill
of a blank sheet
of paper
never diminish
in my soul.

Friday, April 14, 2017


Show me
your most private places,

where you dream
and where
the unfinished surfaces
of your soul
await your touch.

Loosed from these bodies,
we can float and dance
like the essences we are,
light and graceful
as smoke
snaking upward
to Heaven.

I am not what I seem.
None of us are.

Each one is
and part-illusion
to the other.

Let’s spend
the rest of our lives
each other,

there is no you
and no me,
only us.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


A day of grace
National Poetry Writing Month

a day off for me

a day off for you.

You got
the better
of the deal.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


and berry-sweet,
the essence of you
is not possessed
by any embrace,
but rather
in memories,
some cherished,
some embarrassed.

I don’t know
where your
Earthly home
is today,
but I know where
I can always find
in the first scent
of spring,
wafting on the
with the saxophone intro
to “What’s Going On”
playing under
my memory
of you,

in an image
that all great
romantic movies
in vain,
to emulate.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Hope and Optimism

"OK, so the
didn’t have
the answer.

Don’t worry,
we’ll find
the answer

I know we’ll find
the answer
because if we don’t,
you’ll die,
simple as that.

So, do you think
we’re going
to just let you die
just because
you want to?

It’s just
a problem,
a puzzle,
which implies
it has a solution.

you know
how Mom is
with puzzles.

She doesn’t stop
until it’s solved.


I’m selfish
and I just want
to keep hanging out
with you.

I know
you're tired
of holding up
all the necessary
hope and optimism,

so you can
put down
the hope and optimism
for today,

but we

Monday, April 10, 2017

Quality Time: Vaping in the Early Spring Twilight

We vaped
in the early spring

my adult daughter
and I.

I opined,

"This is
quality time:
me talking to you
and you texting
on your phone."

In spite of
her treatment-resistant

she smiled
said "Yup,"

a drizzle of laughter.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Bake Your Cake

You don’t have to
bake a cake
that everyone will want
or that everyone will eat.

Just bake the cake
and feed someone.

somewhere is hungry for
what you have to offer,
and to deny it would be a sin
and a tragedy.

Yes, bake your cake
and share it with someone.

Someone, somewhere
is starving
and needs

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Please Don't Follow Through

you may
break our hearts
and finally
follow through
on the threat.

all the doctors,
all the pills,
all the talk therapy
have failed to
bring you
out of the darkness,
you may plunge us
into even more
with one

You might feel
but you are not

We are here.

You might feel
but you are not

We are here.

You might feel
but you are not

We would grieve
your loss forever.

Please don't
give up.

Please don't
break our hearts.

Please don't
follow through.

Friday, April 07, 2017


Take me back
to in the world
that was smaller
where my children
were smaller,
my worries
were smaller.
In my memory
things were
the right size,
but that's just
my memory,
which, as I age
is also getting

Thursday, April 06, 2017

"Can You Remember the First Time Your Heart Was Broken?"

“Can you remember
the first time
your heart was broken?”

The cold emptiness,
that unfriendly clammy feeling
in my soul
has been there

I knew the world
wouldn’t end,
but I also knew
there was no way
to make the suffering go

I learned to
accept the suffering,
try and make
a friend of it.

Things are mostly
the same since then,
some good days
some bad,
but always suffering,
with some lapses
for laughter and music.

can I remember
the first time
my heart was broken?

Makes me laugh.

I can’t remember
the first time
my heart was broken

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Always Looking Forward

The anticipation,
the waiting,
the hunger:

these things drive me,
propel me
because I am
always looking forward
to the next thing,
the next meal,
the next high.

it is an optimistic view
that holds promise
for everything
that hasn’t happened yet.

I have no defense
for this faith,
so don’t ask.

I just keep punching,
keep writing,
keep trying.

No one can live this life,
wear these mistakes
like I can.

one day I’ll be wrong
and there’ll be no more

but until then
I breathe in the sweetness,
exhale the sadness,
live with hope.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

You'll Fly (for Sarah)

Little bird,
come on out
of that nest
made of sadness
and fear.

Tiptoe out
onto this branch,
you won't fall,

but should you slip,

your life instinct
will kick in,
and you'll flap
and flutter
and eventually fly.

You'll fly
that's what
you were
made for.

[I hope this fits the prompt:]

Monday, April 03, 2017

Keep Moving

If you keep moving,
and do not stay 
anywhere too long-

you'll resist roots,
which are only 
more things 
that keep you bound 
to an illusion
that there is something 
worth being bound to
or for.

If you keep moving,
more and more
you'll grow 
weary of the ritual:

finding a storage spot, 
and then,
picking it all up,
and moving 
to new location,
beginning all over again.

carry forward 
memories in your heart,
facts in your mind,
music in your torso,
caresses in your fingertips.

these are 
the only things worth
the only things 
of value.

Anything more,
and you're just 
a pack rat.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Small Pleasures

It is tempting
to overlook
the small pleasures
of life.

So unstoppable
is the weight of
this life,
that we can
become lost
for the grand

At the end of the day,
all we really have is
the laughter of others,
the warmth of good food
in our bodies,
good and restful sleep
holding on to a loved one.

These little things
in this otherwise drab
and indifferent world
really are
the big things.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

April Rose

The rose
came out again
like always
in spring.

It was brilliant,
with orange and red
spread on its petals,
against a smogless,
blue sky.

I enjoyed it,
this moment of
surprising beauty,
before this bubble
was pierced
by the wail
of my suffering

This was a cruel
April Fool's joke.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Stumbles (for Sarah)

It doesn't matter 

how often
one of us

on the trip wire,
waking the dark, 
unmovable monster,

and you scream at me,
cry in your room,
slam doors,
and I sit here,
heartbroken and defeated,

I still love you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Come Back

I've stopped waiting
for Jesus
to come back.

He never left.

I have to
come back.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

If a Poem Falls in the Forest

If a poem falls
in the forest
and there is
no one there
to read it
is it still
a poem

more precisely,

can I still
even write
a poem anymore?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

My Naked Selfie Collection

I’m trying to collect
all my stray poems-
the ones I’ve sent here
and there
and way over there-
into one definitive collection.

I know there are
a few naked selfies,
literary self-portraits,
that could come back
to haunt me-
and just because
I tore and burned up
my copies
doesn’t mean
they don’t exist anymore.

So, this is my plea
to Laurie, Bonnie,
Jean, Gracia, Kim,
Darra, Teresa, Cyndie
and the handful
of others
whose faces
I remember,
but not
their names:

If you’re holding on
to any of my poetry,
I’ll buy them
all back,

$5 bucks apiece,

no questions asked.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day Playlist 2017

Every year, I make my lovely bride, Anita, a mix CD of songs for Valentine's Day.  Here's this year's playlist. Enjoy it with someone you love, naked if possible.

My First Love

My first love
was music,
comforting, exciting
and mysterious.

As I grew,
I put myself into
the lyrics of the song,
as though they were
a script for my heart
to follow.

Years lumbered by
and as I fell into
what resembled love,
I would hear the music,
look at the women,
and knew
they were disconnected.

Then I met Anita,
and all the songs
were new.

I couldn’t sing them
without my voice
with joyful tears.

She was the one
to make all the lyrics
true for me,

all the melodies
poetry for me,

and because of her
true love,
she was able
to improve upon
my first love.

[Go to - it won't hurt much.]

Monday, February 13, 2017

My Vietnamese Ghost Bride Confesses

My Vietnamese ghost bride
from 1994
through a dream:

you followed the rules,
kept your promises,
waited years,
but I was
bound to betray you.

I’m sorry,
but neither
your scrawny penis
nor puny
credit card limit
could satisfy
my avaricious

[For Dverse, you know, right there: here]

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Capitalization Counts (for Sarah)

The search for
is elusive, illusionary.

exists in smaller,
more modest

have a donut,
look at the rain,
I love you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Her Wedding Prayer

As she stuttered
her vow
“for p-p-poorer,”

she prayed
the semen
of the man
she eventually left me


[In commemoration of Black Sunday, February 13, 1994, wherein yours truly plays the part of the Biggest Schmuck in The Universe.]

Monday, February 06, 2017


Her moist,
yielding lips,

twitch and

waiting to be

and fulfilled,

by this warm,
and slippery friend,

so firm,
and ecstatic.