Tuesday, December 30, 2014

In a Mean Time

So many things weighing on our mind, 
We don’t need to count them

To know they’re there, we have to 
Forget about them and remember

How light-headed we get when we don’t care. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

This Too Shall Pass


The word becoming so worldly 
Obscene, exploited, wretched 
The many failing

To wonder why 
And to what use 

It will all come in good time. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

On the Road at Two-and-a-Half, or Blowing in the Wind Called Phaedra

Oh, I like this new game 
Of Papa’s—these strange little 
Light things he picked up 
To show me—he calls them 
Leaves—how they race along 
Where he placed them next 
To each other turning 
Over and over and me 
Running after them 
Like crazy I hope 
The one he said was mine wins. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Truth's Like a Fly Swatter

Cross my heart, hope to die— 
It looks like they’re droppings

Of flies, the eschatological 
Ephemera of poets who swear

Their shit will last and not 
Stink to high heaven forever— 

Though from where I sit, 
It all smells a little too much

Like a downright rotten white lie. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Silver Linings Playbook

when storm clouds scud 
your way, the sun does not 
up and check out— 
it stays there 

high above the weather, 
looking out the window 
of your world, saving 
for a rainy day. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ex Libris Vazambam

With all the time in the world 
At nine months short of three, 
My granddaughter tells me 
She’s going to follow 
In my footsteps and read 
All the books in my library. 

Looking back at how 
Haplessly I fell 
Short of that goal, I do hope 
She doesn’t take after me— 
For better or worse, 
Let my feat remain 

No small consolation 
I won’t be round to see. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Faux News on the Air (In Cracker Boxes Everywhere)

No more pussyfooting round— 

(I tell you the news is right) 
There in front of you

(Inglorious color) 
And not in black,

(Just white), like 
You folks like it so 

(Get cracking, right?)

Friday, December 12, 2014

"I Found My Thrill"

I remember his 
Last words as he sped 
Down Memory Lane, 

His blueberry eyes rolled 
Back up all the way to where 
The moon stood patiently still. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

House on the Hill

All that’s left is a mound of detritus— 
Barely enough to remind us it stood 
Tall and strong as the family that held
Sway over it, a domain now infested 
By burrowing creatures of the night— 
Let’s say blind earthworms with feelers
Breathing through dank skins, sensing 
Their way through the dark by gauging 
Changes in the ever-changing light. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


That black 

Dog that stands 
For Death has 

Two gray marks 
Round its red 

Eyes that keep 
Watch for any signs

Of life just like yours. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Fish out of Water

Where you find out when 

The sea is only so 
Deep as the air 

You breathe in. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

In the Long Run

It makes no difference where 
You were going when you were 
Turning left or right 
Or going straight ahead— 

Something tells me 
That was where 
You were going when 
You had no choice but to go 

Short of stopping dead in your tracks, 
Which makes all the difference, 
Should one wish to know. 

Monday, November 24, 2014


of fig leaves under 
limbs swept bare— 

a rotting 

bed the fickle 
wind left 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Clockwork Universe

He’d sit before the expansive 
Bay window and take in 
The sun rising and setting 
Without fathoming why 

It never failed to move him 
While the sea—in an unceasing 
Undulating pendulum rhythm— 
Rose and fell, as if breathing. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


“I have come to debase the coinage.” 
—Diogenes of Sinope 


At the crossroad, you know the score— 
What’s about to happen has happened before 

So many times nobody gives 
A plugged nickel anymore. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To a Mind Long Gone

—for Duncan Jones and Tom Clark, two who appreciate 
the sound different drummers make. 

Be not mistaken— 
It’s not the song 
That’s gone wrong; 

It’s the gong going 
Off in your head 
That’s right on. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On the Dark Side

Saw the whole lunatic 

Moon in half, 
Wondering where 

The other half fell. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting a Charge over Williams' "The Young Housewife"

--for Nin Andrews

Forgive me, Doc this foolish 
Old wordmonger I can’t 

Help myself as I stand 
Drooling over this offering fully 

Aroused and--do you mind?--
Ogling it. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cryptic Relativity

There’s a where 
We all come from 
And there’s a where

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

We all go—here’s where 
We all are, never aware 
We never were. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Do I have to spell it out for you? 
It so happened 

The last quack who ravished me 
Over a dish of Peking duck 
At the China Clipper 

I turned into a witch, 
Doctor Tu. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Out the Window

All these derelicts 

Abandoned, one 
Wonders where 

The room went 
Along with the view. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming upon a Hitherto Unknown Poem by Sappho

[deterioration highly evident] 

heart frag[mented?] yet 
[ ] 
[ ] 
[ ] 
put together so 
[ ] 
[ ] 
[ ] 
[ ] 
perfect [that] 
nothing could 
[ ] 
[ ] 
[ ] 
go to pieces 

[rampant moth bites] 

[ ] 
[ ] 
[ ] 
forever [like?] 
[ ] that 
[papyrus in fluttering tatters] 

Friday, October 24, 2014


In short: 

Your plight does sound hapless with you down 
There up to your wannabe neck 
In it but no need 

To get ruffled 
Over the gravity 
Of the situation— 

Just roll over 
On the floor 
And die 

While a world busting 
Its gut laughs one less ass off, 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Lives of the Poets

Who toil 
Throwing out lines jammed 
With flotsam and jetsam 

Day-after-day making their craft 
Trim, secure and lasting, 
Ending up perfect 

Shipwrecks that won’t go away. 

Moderator’s comments: I can think of no better example of the time-tested, found to be sound conceit “sink or swim” than this sparkling pearl of wisdom fished out of the murky poetic waters by our trusty trawling seafarer and sounding board, Huuklyeand Cinquor. And to think that his too, too long absence had me seriously considering abandoning all hope of ever hearing from him again. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

How Stubborn Ignorance Took over the World

No one saw the phenomenon coming— 
Not because they were blind, 

But because everyone insisted 
They could see right 

Through people even at night. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Long Black Train

It remains 

A mystery how 
It pulls into the station 
Never late no matter how 
Long you wait.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Incurable Romantic Thinking Out of the Box

I know deep down
in my bones the moon really isn’t 
the moon and the earth isn’t the earth either 
and not only that but everything else 
in and under the heavens 
must be more than what it seems— 
even the air caressing my body 
smells mysteriously of moldy green cheese. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weary-eyed Vigil

Incredulous as it might seem, 
There’s a part of us 
That never sleeps at night; 

It watches over the other parts 
To keep them from falling 
Into a deep, interminable trance— 

Trust me. I’ve been there and back. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014



To far too many, 
Apparently not enough 

Stars falling 

To pinpoint the heart 
Of the matter. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Poem Should Be (12)

Both ingenious and ingenuous, 
Should it not? 

Like our Spot here picking 
A cool shady spot 
When it’s sizzling 

And curled up 
On steaming hot asphalt 
When it’s not. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Gravitational Pull

Believe it or not, 

What he wanted always fell 
Within reach or it did not, 

And he always rose 
To the occasion, 

Whether it was what 
He wanted or not. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Aphrodite Awash in the Limelight

When she crawled out dripping 
Wet from the primordial slime and bared sharp 
Beckoning phosphorescent teeth, 
Those who went gaga moonstruck

On the strand moved ever closer, 
Took the plunge and grunted 
They had never before been 
Blinded, sucked in by a more wondrous sight. 

The others stranded in the forlorn hinterland 
Had to make do with a less fortuitous fate— 
Such light as they bathed in was toothless, 
A gaping black hole appearing eons too late. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Upon My Word

Such silence 

Building up unbearable 

Cornerstones to speak of 

Silence holding up each word. 

Friday, September 12, 2014



If it’s worth thinking about, 
Find a language worthy of it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Don’t answer the open-ended question 
That’s waiting at the end—no matter how 

The poem appears 
Finished with nothing 

More to give you, you have 
Yet to give it 

Everything you have and more— 
What on earth are you waiting for?


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Heady, Unruly Spirit

Don’t look now—wind 
Heading your way— 

More than strong 

Enough to carry that 
Heedless head off

And away.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Step Lively, Scouts!

As a way out of deep depression, 
They told us to go back 
As far as we could and keep an eye 

Out for any signs of life, any 
Footprints that would tell us something 
Substantial had been here before— 

All we came across was that familiar 
Hollow echo of footsteps dragging 
The depths that kept after us everywhere 

We had to go. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eureka! (Or How to Stop Deadly Writer's Block Once and for All)

Stare at a blank piece of paper long enough 
And before you know it, bang!— 

You’ll find your head filled with lead. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Poem Should Be (11)

Unlike a Facebook like— 
A not unmoving contra 
Diction in terms— 

There when 
You need it 
And still 

There when 
You don’t. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rising to the Occasion

The sun’s still hiding behind 
The ridge of the mountains 
Waiting for the day to begin 

Something quivering 
Deep inside 
The dark sleeping martyred 

Earth lightly nudges you, 
It’s high time you rose 
To seek salvation, too. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Heat Wave

Having a hard time pin 
Pointing what one is? 

You’ll know you’re in 
One when 

Even those cooling 
Beads of sweat 

Round your block 
Head sweat. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Paperback Writer at Wits' End

I got this crazy hunch-- 
Stand back from what you’ve been 

Bent over all day, you’ll see 
What’s screwed you up 

Right away. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Idyll: Field Mice Out to Pasture

Just when you think 
You’ll never make it through 

Another down day, 
A crepuscular 

Screeching flash of a hoot 
Owl lifting you up and away! 

So no more mooning round 
If you please, plenty 

Of green cheese about 
For the likes of you and me. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Cypress trees take souls--at least 
That’s what my mother-in-law 
Claims as we sit under our tall, 
Twinned ones having breakfast 
Before my wife takes her 
To the doctor for a belated checkup--
Olives give us life, she continues
Besides, I don’t recall seeing any 
Olive trees in cemeteries, do you? 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Of Things Past

Draw them up as you will you cannot 
Hold on to them as they slip 

Like water through fingers 
Frozen in marble round 

The ring of a well. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gaza by Candlelight

“And what is the use of poets in a mean-spirited time?”
 —Friedrich Hölderlin, “Bread and Wine” 

O enlightened ones, tell me 
Before the first dawn light, 

Of what use is poetry 
To ones that are to be 

Snuffed out during the night. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fait Accompli


Burning black heartless 
Spell of wishful thinking— 

Stake your life on it.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


—for Huuklyeand Cinquor 
  il miglior fabbro. 

Convoluted his verse and so 
Vatic the meaning mind
You have to divine 
Which way it’s going by 
The manner in which 
His feet and mouth perhaps 
Even his entrails are twisted. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tottering Suicidal State of Emergency

This unerring 

Bullet securely homed in 
On the insecure 

Heart of America, 
How much longer do we have 
To wait 

Till it strikes home. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Count Your Lucky Stars

If it were so 
Easy, you would have 

Done it plus a myriad 
Other things like it 

A million times— 
Just try 

Counting the times 
You tried. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Bump on a Log

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” 

Don’t bother answering that— 
Whether in forest or not, 

Stand there long enough 
Doing nothing and sure 

Enough you’ll hear that 
Splitting cry of “Timber!” 

Definitely not whispering sweet 
Nothings in your ear. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Spirit of the Stream

I love to hear 
Your voice so much 
I can’t stand still 

Over this body 
Of water and not speak 
A word of it—even 

To the mute reeds 
Bending with the current 
Against their will. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

In the Throes of Postmodern Delusion, Huuklyeand Cinquor Fancies Himself Addressing One of the Icons of 20th Century Poetry

My dearest Sylvia--
(May I call you that?)
Forgive me but I think 
It's high time you knew

Your pure peerless line
Of pears fattening keeps on

Thriving as never before,
Being ravenously consumed

By bookish little Buddha inchworms
Contemplating their navels

All the way down to a rotten core. 

Moderator's comments: I see no signs of any delusion in this missive but then again, too much language-oriented omphaloskepsis on my part makes it difficult for me to distinguish my umbilicus from my belly button.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tree House

out of nowhere 
one mourning 
dove alighting, 

foraging, finding 
twig after twig 
on the carpet 

of bunched up needles, 
picking just what it needs 
for the finishing 

touches to its twiggy home
artfully hidden somewhere
in the no longer lonesome pine. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Smuggler's Cove


in a secluded shallow 
sea of jade, 


to the myriad 
pebbles tinkling, a few 

jeweled fathoms under me. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Empty Rhetoric's Catastrophe

Apostrophic yes— 
And never failing 

To omit whatever’s left 
Of your dwindling devices, 

You end up vomiting 
The whole works. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Inland Marina

No ordinary tree for us love but the drift 

wood craft we assembled for Christmas 
past and awaiting to rise 
phoenix-like for Christmas future 

lies presently moored in cob 
webs in corner of portico 
affording a splendiferous 

view of mountains floating 
in a deep blue sky in the balmiest calms 
of summer gifts we hope never run dry. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Coaxing the Gentle Reader to Reveal Himself with Sweet Nothings

Not croaking, 
Sticking it out 

Silently, something 
Like a stoic 

Frog immobile, almost 
Imperceptibly moving now

And then to trap οne more 
Gullible fly at the end

Of a too, too gooey tongue. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bard Swept Away by Runaway Personification

No it wasn’t the singular multitudinous 
Seas incarnadine washing ashore 
On the headland of a rocky poetic 
Coastline that did him in,
It was the heart breaking 

News of the tsunami inside him 
That took him by surprise, 
Racing headlong as he was 
Towards a receding hairline. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Gnomic Verse

Savants who should know better 
Keep telling me it’s best 
To let things go; the next thing 
You know they’ll be underground 
Just like me, wishing they’d held on 
To whatever they cherished 
A wee bit more. 

Moderator’s comments: 
 “Less is more”— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Monday, June 16, 2014

Letter and Spirit of the Law

Stay a while and muse on this 

Granite tombstone that’s stood its ground 
Steadfast over the years— 

Not like those chiseled letters long since spirited away 
By whatever it was deep down the words wanted to say. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Goodbye to All That

Nothing ambiguous about it— 
Once the message arrives 

In no time at all 
You’ll understand why 

It took you so long to get here. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Broken Heart

Leave it alone long enough 
And it will cure itself 

In the dark, returning 
To the light only to develop 

New scars that need 
New blood to nourish them. 

Monday, June 9, 2014



on the very edge

of the fragile 

twig, one last trembling 


Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Little Learning Leads to One Being Dead in the Water

Buoyant at the depth of your skill 
While downing swill after swill 

From the Pierian Spring, keep this 
Swell thought afloat if you will— 

Deep thirst for undying fame leaves 
Many a poet bloated lying there still. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Perspective Distance

--for Ed Baker 

the moon looks

to be fleeting 

yet staying

on intimate terms

an arm’s length away 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Regarding Warning Labels on Provocative Works of Literature

Be forewarned— 

These poems contain language 
That might be considered unsavory 
And thus unfit for public consumption 
By large portions of the hoi polloi. 

If you’ve been served 
Shit for brains, don’t 
Just stand there diddling about, 
Eat your fucking heart out.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Must Read: Electrifyingly Imperative Chinese Multi-Language Vispo Found Poem!

Please right click to open new window, thus letting in as many mosquitos as necessary to fully appreciate stunning power of poetic apparatus.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tale of the Lonesome Pine

Been rooted here so long 
Listening to the wind, 
Don’t make much sense 
To get up and mosey on 
Further down the ridge. 

If I did, I’d be still 
There standing in line 
Looking up 
Waiting to see 
How much I missed. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Shelley's "Poets are the Unacknowledged Legislators of the World"

Gentlemen, have we all gone mad? 
In the Muse’s name, let us 
Proceed with all due haste! 
Clearly there are other things 
More crucial to our material 
And spiritual well-being, 
With examples so bountiful that 
Many of our disillusioned 
Noble riders believe 
Such romanticisms should be 
Summarily dismissed as being 
Inconsequential and irrelevant 
To the nightmarish issue that keeps 
Rearing its ugly head before us, to wit: 

Do we have a quorum? 
Or more to the point, 
Have we ever had one? 

Moderator’s comments: I think it’s high time Huuk dismounted his high horse and went to pasture. With the exception of the plague of stable boys and girls who keep grooming Pegasus for the next running of the MFA Perennial Win Place and Show Poetry Sweepstakes, who gives a flying Phaeton fuckaroo about poetry, anyway?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Going, Going, Gone

Never a get-up-and-goer you feel 
There’s nothing to keep you here, 
That you could slip away 

Any time now with nobody 
The wiser—or worse yet—nobody 
Giving a damn how your time was spent,

And oh with everybody who’s anybody 
Wishing you a long, safe journey 
To wherever it is you went. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Huuklyeand Cinquor on Confrontational Vanguard Poetics

Are you reading this? Well,
Nailed to the wall of the derelict 
Latrine next to the yellowed stool, 
A rusty spike holds all 
The news from the rearguard 
That’s shit to print, you fool.

Moderator’s comments: A close reading of this poem reveals Cinquor’s forte, namely his en garde rapier-like wit deceptively hiding under the surface but always ready to leap forth and revel in exposing the foibles of contemporary verse theory. All well and welcome, of course, but permit me to have my reservations about the intentions behind his pressing yellow attacks on such an  august postmodern body of verse learning. A bit more to the point: Scuttlebutt on the blogosphere has it he’s preparing a tome of his apophthegmata and planning to use this blog as a launching pad. If this is indeed the case, I must impress on him the fact that copyright law dictates I be paid in full, if and when his coprolalia eventually hits the fan. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Thinking Once More of Refuting Heraclitus, I Step into the Stream of My Consciousness Again

still wet behind 

the ears why is it all 

the while thinking 

you remain solidly fluid 

no matter how 

many times you try 

you always 

come out high and dry 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gone to Pasture before You Know It

It’s when the few dazed village 
Old-timers left weave through 
The automobile-overrun streets 
Looking for the nearest 
Iron loop bolted to any building 
They used to tie their asses to. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Reflect on It Like Wilde

Some say darkness is never complete, that 
It needs some light to make it into a whole. 

One could spend an entire lifetime 
Parsing this conundrum. 

It would be like putting yourself in a coma 
Most of the time and the rest trying 

To take yourself out. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


A full moon. 

The call of wolfhounds 
Echoing in the night, waiting 

To hear the shadow 
Of their former selves 

Looming in the light. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

You Asked for It

When nothing keeps 
Coming through the door 

When least expected, 
Nothing more. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In Passing, Simply Fantastic

A poem should be 
A medium, let’s say 
A vehicle 

To spirit us away 
To another world 
Without us knowing it, 

Just like a hearse. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Survival of the Fittest

Some call it poetic justice— 
How fitting it is indeed that 

The most vocal of creatures remain 
Dumbstruck by the babbling of beasts. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Testimony: Raymond's Early Years

The logging town’s main drag was once 
Planks supported on stilts above the mud- 
Flats where amongst the taverns and cat- 
Houses, drunks could be seen falling 
Through rotting boards or over the railings, 
While the upright citizenry kept voting 
In sheriffs who stood for whores galore 
And the inalienable rights of winos delirious
To bite off the heads of snakes at a nickel
A score offered by thrill-seeking urchins 
Who kept thirsting for more. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness


Silver lines each separate cloud— 
All the same, everybody wants 

To be over the moon. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


The loudspeakers keep 
The message of the liturgy 
Resounding throughout 
The village and even if 
They should want, it is hard 
For those outside the church 
To ignore. Such urgency! 

But there’s more— 

If the wind should blow
Just right towards where 
You’re going about your work, 
With no effort at all you can 
Still hear the crystal-clear voice 
Of a lone shepherdess calling 
Her wayward flock home. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spiritual Cripple's Warped American Dream

Sometimes I dream I never left 
My poor miserable homeland, 
That I never went to the new world 
Where dollars were said to be 
Plentiful as leaves falling 
From trees and all you had 
To do was keep stooped over so 
You could pick them up with ease, 
And where now I dream 
I wake up rich and not deformed 
Beyond my wildest dreams. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Color Blindness of Homeric Proportions

Talking their heads off on the beach 
Till they’re blue in the face, they do not see 

How the wine-dark sea is laughing at them. 

NB: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/hoffman_01_13/

Monday, April 7, 2014

To My Precocious Granddaughter, All of Twenty Months

The only soul who speaks English to you, I wonder 
How much of it will stick in your little head— 

Precious, I hope it doesn’t end up Greek once 
You happen to read my poems after I’m dead. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Come to think of it, 
I like my poems so much 
I don’t even have to read them. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Brave New World, 1948

Maiden voyage making my way 
To the new world, so naïve 
At four I didn’t know what 
To make of an ice cream when 
It was handed to me on deck 
By the first black man I’d ever seen. 

Standing frozen there next to mom, 
I held on to it and her and watched 
It melting as I mustered the courage 
To move to the railing and throw it away— 
I still don’t know what flavor it was 
I was casting away. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poetries in Motion

From a distance I can see 

(The two brothers close 
To one another, the older 
One striding briskly, the younger 
Backwards, trying hard 
To keep pace, both 
Mouths animated, moving in 
What may or may not be) 


Saturday, March 29, 2014


I thought once I returned 
To the motherland, I’d remember 
Things I’d long forgotten— 

How silly to think one could 
Go back and fetch memories 
As if they were sticks 

To be retrieved and you 
A mere puppy playing 
At being a man. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Carpe Diem (On a Sunny Spring Day)

From where I sit, here’s how 
It’s done, mate— 

Two cold-blooded conjugated 
Saurians getting their rocks off right 

Here and now on a hard bed 
Of warm slate. 

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