Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Windfall Provision


wind 

swept 


pine 

needles 


bedding 

down 


under 

cloud 


less 

full 


moon 

light 



Monday, May 20, 2019

Muted Village Wishing Well

“the fingers on the rim, as the poet put it.” 
—George Seferis, Mythistorema #2* 

The wild fig tree that has put down roots 
Deep in its depths and taken over 
The well’s mouth tells us no more 
Wishing here—the ropes have broken 
And the grooves on its lip serve 

To remind us those lines of maidens 
Who pulled up pail after pail of water 
Year after year have long since departed, 
And where once there was nubile skittery, 
Domesticated stony silence is all we hear. 



*The “poet” referred to is Dionysios Solomos, and the phrase cited is from his prose work, The Woman of Zakynthos, Chap.I.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wages Of War: Bringing Home The Bacon


“the Aegean flower with corpses” 
—Aeschylus, Agamemnon, 659. 

Soul monger, I’d have wagered
If you had any heart at all 
For this business, you’d have sold 
Your stake in it piecemeal 

To the highest bidder instead 
Of hoarding it whole-hog 
For your blooming, 
Bloody self--

From this vantage point
However, I must concede
You're doing a bang-up job
As both butcher and packer. 


Monday, May 13, 2019

Point To Bear In Mind


Where 
You find yourself 
At any given 

Place depends 
On what 
You take with you 

There. 


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Parsing The All For Naught Dichotomy


Wherein we are
Taught to think 
There is everything 
Under the sun to believe in, 
And nothing to explain how 
Inexplicable everything is.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Homage To The Kingdom Of Gaud


Spineless one, how is it 
You’ve left behind 
Legions of bedraggled 
Pilgrims on your way here, 
And many a torn rucksack, 
Yet never once noticed 
The tatterdemalion one
Adorning your back.





Monday, May 6, 2019

Almost Over The Hill


Coming upon the old 
Sheepdog as he lumbers 

Up a difficult 
Incline 

With his flock already gone 
Over the hill and I 

A steady distance some 
Twenty meters behind, 

I do not reflect on all that 
He’s been through to get this far, 

But on that sudden flash 
Of early morning 

Sunlight that lights 
Up his shabby coat 

Just as he reaches 
The top.


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Washed Up Primeval Aural Consciousness


Curled swirling encrusted 
Antediluvian conches nest 
Last heard striding 

Multitudinous deafening waves 
Breaking on black obsidian 
Strand. 



Thursday, May 2, 2019

Better Luck Some Other Day


Some days are meant 
For doing nothing— 
The Greeks know this 
Better than anybody else, 
You could say it’s the driving 
Force behind everything they do,

Best expressed in what has to be 
Their favorite saying, “Don’t do 
Anything today that can be better 
Done tomorrow”—of course 
When tomorrow does decide 
To pay a visit, it’s become today

And you’re back to square one 
With nothing to show 
For your patience save 
One more day spent imagining 
A tomorrow that mercifully 
Enough never comes your way. 


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Lyric Poet's Nightmare


In the dark, dreaming 
You’re falling only 

To find yourself naked 
Out riding the nag bare- 

Back in broad daylight, 
White wings thrashing 

The darkest air. 



Sunday, April 28, 2019

Quo Vadis


I don’t know all that 
Much about mysteries— 

What little I do know is 
The more I want 
To know, the deeper 
The mystery begs, 

No question at all 
Of letting it go. 


Friday, April 26, 2019

Crafty Mothlike Kafkaesque Procedural Matters


Metamorphosing? 
Ask me and I will help you 

Come to grips with yourself, 
But you have to learn how 

To handle it first, steady 
As she goes turning 

Into broad daylight, 
Nothing 

Fly-by-night.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Gift That Keeps On Wanting


I give up—

You have asked me 
Too many times 
What it is 

I want—ask me 
Just this once 
What I want

To give.





Monday, April 22, 2019

Poetry Workshop Assignments Nine And Ten




Your next assignment is to write 
Unfailingly until you drop 
To the floor and take a knee, 
All the while imploring 
Your muse for more, 

Or failing that, lose 
Track of the number 
Of times you laid down 
Your pen to think 
Of what to say 



Next. 


Friday, April 19, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Thunderstruck


More often than not, 
In what passes surreptitiously 
As deep thought, 

Our mind alights 
On something it considers 
Truly electrifying, only 

To be left 
In the dark a flash 
Later, dumbstruck 

By the depth 
Of our stupidity. 



Saturday, April 13, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I Love You Too, Dear


My goodness, who would have 
Guessed her words meant 
And still mean much 
The same as mine, 

And yet,there’s still that much 
More between us to divine, 
Dowsers each, bent on plumbing 
The other's unfathomable line. 


Monday, April 8, 2019

Runoff Past Nothingness


Blow 

Hard go tell it on 
The mountain when 

The passes are still 
Choked 

With spring snow. 


Friday, April 5, 2019

Septuagenarian Spring Solstice Alarum


Something past the pedestrian sprang out 
Of deep sleep this ho-hum dawn and perched 

On a limb of a budding, dumb-stricken tree—sweet 
Sweet bird of lost youth, was it you dared wake me? 



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Pedagogical Exegesis


In reply 
To my question 
As to why 
She looked so 
Haplessly glum in her 
Third grade class photo, 
My wife came back with 

You can’t tell but 
The skirt I was wearing 
Was threadbare and torn, 
And I was holding it so 
The tear wouldn’t show, 

The teacher smiling 
In the middle of the back 
Row was petty and mean 
And struck us with an olive switch 
He kept on his desk if we didn’t know

The answers to his questions; 
He flunked me in the second, 
Said more learning’s what I needed 
To make the grade, you tell me now 
How could I not hate him so? 


Friday, March 29, 2019

Detachment Rush


Damn it— 

Drop everything 
You’re doing before 

You’re ready and you’ll find 
Yourself with two severed hands 

And nowhere to rest 
Your bloody head. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Pussywhipped


Enough’s enough, my bitter- 
Sweet catty sex kitten— 

Better a stiletto to the heart 
Than to heel 

Back to the doghouse 
A whimpering cur. 



Monday, March 25, 2019

Balancing The Account For The Duration


I say we get it over with 
And let whatever’s up 
In the air remain there— 

Like most of you hangers-on 
Out there, I too have more 
Than a passing interest 

In spending the rest 
Of my life loving being 
Suspended there. 


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Epitaph For A Morbidly Wannabe Witty Poet


His sense of humor was so 
Dark he couldn’t see 
For the death of him, 
His corpus wasn’t light enough. 


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

Desolation


The mountain trail you chose 
To walk today was once 
Full of the echoes 

Of peasants going back 
And forth from one village 
To the other; by the time 

You finished you’d walked 
Six miles and heard nothing 
Human but the sound 

Of one foot talking 
To the other, both yours 
For the asking. 





Saturday, March 16, 2019

Moot Question


All this murderous 
Business of people going about 
Their daily business of killing 
People unlike themselves, 
What power under 
The heavens will rise up 
To wipe this enterprise off 
The face of the earth 
And make it human again? 


Friday, March 15, 2019

Diehard Romantic Getting The Go-Around Once More

“So long, it’s been good to know you.” 


Knowing you, I’m sure you have 
Heard this distressing phrase before— 

Even so, it’s comforting 
To note you’re still able 

To wax poetic while bearing 
News so bad you can’t help 

Dragging your clubbed feet 
Through that same jammed too 

Pedestrian revolving door.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Resolute Invocation (Full Of Piss And Vinegar)


Good God, my Lord, 
Pray start your day 
Off with a difference 
For a change—forgive all

Those ass-kissing maculate 
Knaves currying your favor 
If they promise never ever 
To blackguard your good name again;

Should they say nay, swear never 
To utter their wholly holier- 
Than-thou shit names again, 
Amen. 





Monday, March 11, 2019

False Dichotomies


For instance, that between 
An optimist’s 

Half-full glass and a pessimist’s 
Half-empty one, where one must 

Also consider the empty 

Space above remaining 
Fully the same.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Y'all Be Here Now, Y'hear?


Yesterday you were firm 
As a brooding hen, not 
Budging an inch from your future 
Capital, come what may. 
Well, I’ve got news for you, you 
Fly-by-night mogul—the god 
Almighty inch is still here today, 
Plus the budgie in its gilded cage. 
Before the cock crows anew,
While your lovey-dovey precious 
Nest egg’s flying the coop and stool 
Pigeons coo, I bet swiftly you’ll be 
Roosting in a chintzy cuckoo’s nest a blue
Moon away, you cheesy yahoo you. 


Monday, March 4, 2019

Bringing It All Back Home On The Ferryman's River


Rounding another silted bend, 
Where someone left a lone 
Oar, a marker now half- 
Hidden in the susurrating 
Singing reeds signaling still 

Another traveler’s solitary 
Deposition beached 
Near the not so 
Farfetched beckoning 
Dog-eared shore. 


Friday, March 1, 2019

Real Going Concern's Unfortunate Misstep Into The Abyss


The secret of my success? Too bad 
A run of bad luck means I’m going 
To take that with me but I can 
Leave you this much, Einstein— 
I didn’t get this far in life 
By counting the number 
Of steps I took backwards. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Literally "Right As Rain"


Timeworn yes but still she 
Reigns over like similes easily, 

Rolling alliteratively right along 
Our parched drooping tongues, 

I tell you she’s a long, cool rain goddess 
Storming towards us in a pelting 

Sheet of sleet with nothing 
But a sleek red headdress on. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Adamantine Bauble


Indeed, 
The poem may be 

Many things, even 
A thing to gawk at 

At one’s ease and pleasure, 
But it will never be 

Something you can do with 
As you please. 


Friday, February 22, 2019

Artfully Good-For-Nothing Dodger


Way beyond redemption, the worst 
Thing you can do now is try 

Better to trump yourself again 
By claiming you’re an exemption.





Wednesday, February 20, 2019

National Enquirer


                    the good news of the day 

Most mornings 
We rise ready 

To wonder 

How wondrous 
The twilight will be.  


                    flip side of the coin 

Punch-drunk on Twitter, we just 
Roll over, stay in bed and wonder 

What to make of the next round 
Of squiggles crawling up the wall. 


Monday, February 18, 2019

Happy Days Are Here Again

—for Kristine, who requested a “happy” one. 

If we had dared 
Say we were happy when 
Such days as these 
Came and went and we 
Just kept on hoping 
Everything would go 
On being the same, 
Who would have believed 
Us and how much 
Of what we had said 
Would we have changed? 


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Why I Was Unable To Write A Proper Valentine's Day Poem


Self, on that timeworn day, 
Like many other wretched 

Days like today, I could not love 
You or any other suffering 

Kindred souls, do send some 
Loving my wretched way. 





Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Vindication Of The Faultless Standard Compass Bearers


This one’s for you, Magnifico 
Of the North, because 
Your mind was forever off somewhere south 
Of the border when we told you your notion 
Of true north was never that true, 

That you should look at everything 
Around you askance to see 
What’s really lying out there 
And always in plain view—in this instance,
Lodged between the whites of your eyes, the end 

Result of a mind-blowing bushwhacking 
Just for you. 


Monday, February 11, 2019

Venture Capitalist Pigging Out In The Commodities Abattoir


You’re forever 
On the lookout, your snout 

Twitching in the animal 
Air, ever wary 

Of the news the cutting 
Edge feeder conveying you 

Home on a cold slab of bacon 
Will always be there. 


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Romantic Beyond The Shadow Of A Doubt


After a long day spent 
Asking never-ending questions 
To see if I’m deserving 
Of my state, now in the darkening 
Twilight, the slightest wind-swept
Brush of burnished gray-brown hair 
Cross her steady unassuming gaze 
Reminds me it’s best I let the light, 
That incredible uplifting light of hers 
That never seems to end, 
Sweep my every doubt away,
Leaving me alone to cherish my fate. 


 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

MIA


Come what may, 
Till you come back victorious 
From the dead, let’s drink 
To nothing 

So full of empty 
Promises you never 
Knew what 
You were missing, 

You who dared 
Give yourself away.


 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Four-Year-Old Old World Ephemeral*


The sense you wish 
You could convey but can’t 

Remains full of aromas 
Of a too brief childhood spent 

Amidst ancient ineffable odors 
Too soon whisked away. 












*US passport issued June 8, 1948,
Patras, Greece.



Friday, February 1, 2019

Zero Visibility On The Horizon


Oh, snooty one who knows 
It all, tell us why on clear days 

You say you can see forever 
But today you can’t 

Make out the muck at the end 
Of your nose. 


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Only You And You Alone


Our world once was full 
Of untold wonders too 
Numerous to mention, 
My love, and you— 

You never forgot one 
And one needn’t 
Always make two, 
Did you? 


Monday, January 28, 2019

Putting Down Poetic Airs


Discovering you have a voice descended 
From angels may very well send you 
Over the moon but knowing when 
To keep silent once you’ve arrived 
There is heaven, too. 


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Trump Utility Mismanagement, Ltd.


Knowing how, when, and how far to fall 
When you’ve been remiss is useless if 
You’re stuck for the duration 
In an unfathomable abyss. 



Thursday, January 24, 2019

Picking Up Where You Left Off


At first sight, perhaps not so easy 
As it seems—case in point: 

I had many memorable dreams last night 
But can’t remember a single one today— 

I’m going to give it another go tonight 
And see what tomorrow’s like. 


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Vacuous Out-Of-The-Box Thinker Going In Circles


Isn’t it odd that 
Nothing is always 

Part of everything even 
When you stop at nothing 

To think about it? 


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Not Your Usual Stone-Faced Façade




Here, 
Under a now brilliant 
Clear cold blue 
Winter sky that just 
Two hours ago 
Dumped a foot
Of blinding snow in 
And around its hollow 
Shell, I find myself 
Wondering how 

It is this magnificent 
Still standing tall 
Two-storey centenarian 
Stone derelict no longer 
With a roof to its name 
Still shamelessly refuses 
To lie there in shambles 
And take its monumental 
History down 
With it. 



Friday, January 18, 2019

Elizabethanesque Ruse


Dear hurt halting heart, fain 
Pretend you did not 

Hear me falter where once 
My heart beat true, in truth 

It was not my intention, 
Nor was it meant for you. 

Yours truly, 
(Signed) 
You-know-who. 


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Euphoria Of The Ephemeral No Longer Disillusioned Man


The uplifting passage in question was: 

Aporia— 

Wondering once 
More at length where 
It all comes from, 

One finally begins 

Asking why 
It took so long 
To arrive. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Screwed Up


Face it— 
The more you look 
At what you’re doing 
To yourself each day, 
The more you want to 
Blame the mirror, don’t you 
Dare look the other way. 


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Before The Sun Comes Up


Love, no need to ask 
But I’ll tell you anyway— 
Poetry’s about trying 
To tell the difference 
Between nights full 
Of questions and answers 
Begging for the light of day. 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sure Looks Like It's A Dog's Life


Especially after 
A squall— 

A lot like that home- 
Less mutt lapping 

Up the winter sun- 
Light on the lee- 

Ward side of that derelict 
Wino’s soaked ply- 

Board hovel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Bedding Down In Communal Winter Lodgings


Safe above 

The nocturnal prowling 
Of neighborhood cats, 
Where once there was one 
Lone small brown sparrow 
Perched every night 

On one of the three 
Forgotten rusty construction 
Guide line nails stuck 
In the stonework near 
The top of our portico’s arch, 

Now there are three, each 
On a nail of its own, 
In like company, their tiny 
Talons locked tight, holding 
Fast to the common dream 

Of outlasting one more night. 


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Know Thyself, Poet


You tell yourself you’ll know 
Better the next time and not 
Make the same mistake, yet 

There’s another voice inside 
You telling you by the time 
The next time comes you’ll 

Still be your old self made 
Over in another image, 
Making the same mistake. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Narcissist Not Worth A Plugged Nickel


For what it’s worth, 
Here’s my two cents: 

If you can’t stop yourself 
From saying what you’re made of, 
Bite the bullet, shoot your mouth
Off as usual and tell us 
What you aren’t. 


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