haiku (10/17/2017)

see the light flitting amid the interstices of leaves

shards of glass bottles scattered below,

summer dying in breaths of morning smoke.


man, watch, and gun.

Image result for pocket watch

man, watch, and gun.

a deaf man presses his cold palm

against the shining lunar silver

of  a watch, chain coiled around

his left index finger. bullets hit

the wall in rapid procession.

first the poet falls and then

the jewish woman with gray eyes.


nothing is sacred beneath stalin’s

chin ,and the rivers are dammed

with legs and elbows. brown shoes,

beige jackets, and the uniformity

of petrified faces before the firing rounds.


he wonders what dostoevsky felt right before

the czar’s reprieve arrived and his hands shook

in awe of the inevitable. he wonders if

the writer was a window into himself,

if he could see his future, a bucket of cool water

poured into the sludge of street gutter.,


daylight bouncing off tinctured glass,

dreams burning with the fiery

resonance of unwritten poems.

venus fly trap

Image result for venus fly trap

venus fly trap

my brain is a cage

carried aloft on lime-colored waves,

and so is the love we live inside

a wool scarf that suffocates

until time resuscitates the ghost of greta garbo

grey-faced floating up from some long abandoned

nickelodeon in the middle of nowhere. you stand

tremulous on the brink of memory,

eyes heated saucers expanding in a field of stars

soon to shatter as your legs linger on a last syllable.

the mouth slams shut. no measured gust or

pleasurable release. abdomen dissolved; thorax vanishing

like a child’s quarter in some storefront gumball machine.

from here it is mere mechanics.  fear is but the shadow

that follows relinquished feeling.

the dealer has stacked the deck

fortuna has spun her will, and your squeal

feeds my lust to kill.  historians with their microscopes

can glimpse rome burning in the brightened pus of your melted wings.

canticle in mid-autumn

Image result for wolf howling

canticle in mid-autumn

september’s last light fell

slipping into the purse of night

and a she-wolf sitting

on the slope emitted a low moan,

a howl hitting the ground

with a clanging sound, copper coins

on a shower’s floor lathered

with soap and blood.


Image result for persephone


one september afternoon i walked out into the world,

speared with longing, a figure ripped

from a pieta, and the lust to roam

a fiery spark glistening within as i lay

upon the furnace of emetic thoughts and half-remembered feelings.


i walked in the twilight of that season between seasons

motion transfigured me and

i walked under gray clouds smothered

by my saturnine disposition,  misery a long coat upon my shoulders

fabric dragging behind, a long ribbon

of muffled stars trailing the indigo sky.


i walked beneath swaying palms with spinach green leaves

shaking loose onto soggy ground—air ripe with stale rain

and in the distance i saw a green-haired girl, locks straddling

her waist, wearing a sundress with sunflowers stitched

in haphazard patterns and where she walked seeds sprouted

rebelling against the wind, small tufts of verdure resisting perdition’s wish

and when i shouted to her, to ask her name she replied i am chance

and with a flickering light, the flash

of a shining diadem stashed in a pocket, she vanished.


the earth groaned and pink and green and gold grew brown

and children became corpses rolling over into high waters

after a soft groan and the ditches filled with blood and fish

flopped onto rooftops and the flood did not abate

Flowers for the Coroner

Today I encountered this image by the American poet and artist Shel Silverstein. Silverstein, who was born on this day in 1930, was renowned for his contributions to children’s literature. His unique poems are filled with whimsical situations while grounded with adult wisdom. Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic are books which will appeal to readers of all ages and backgrounds. Today, however, I would like to focus specifically on the picture above.

At the top, you can see the young boy growing into a man. His short haircut grows into a bouquet of long, beautiful flowers. These flowers symbolize the cultivation of a visionary imagination. The man marches to his own music over the course of the years, but as many of us know, society is not kind to the individualists.

Others ridicule him, and eventually, the man feels compelled to cut the flowers from his head. He lets his spirit die, so that he can wear the suit of the world, so that he can conform to the rigidity of life’s demands.

So many of us allow the torch to go out. So many of us let the beauty wither.

The ultimatum is to submit to the standards of our peers and superiors or suffer, and for many, the threat of ostracization is too much to bear. Flowers, are for the dead, after all, and what need do we have for the beautiful and the noble? Do our senses really aspire to something higher, or are we meant to slug along like zombies? It’s so easy to let the creativity dissipate, but at the end of the journey, will you long for that which you could never bring yourself to touch?

ode to the plum

Image result for plum

ode to the plum

purple skin clinging

to whetted teeth


garment to conceal

the weal of hunger


while being ripped

apart naked body


bleeding pink

in crepuscular light


small stem bent

like a battered sail


timely vanishing act

in the grip of two

plump puckered lips


Image result for huntsman spider


in your closet behind the wrinkled

sweater with a christmas tree,

lime and lopsided, stitched

in the center, fabric moaning

for flesh untouched in a decade,


a huntsman spider is plastered

to the gray wall, slurping shadows

and dust mites, it hungers for something

savory. with legs bigger than a child’s arm

his gait is a hindrance. the stale odor

of your sneakers disgusts him. he scurries,


flattening his hollow bones until

he enters the room. you’re watching

television. we’re at war

with the barbarians, but it’s the super bowl

and the cry of pleasure calls out

even amidst impending annihilation.  


you glimpse the spider in the corner

of your eye. he raises his pileous legs…

and you scream. there isn’t a shoe

big enough to beat down the dreams

that imbue your waking desire.


you don’t know if this is real,

but it doesn’t matter. you’re both

the boot too small to kill,

and the spider made wicked from waiting.



Image result for photographer


“take a picture.” she says,

“it will last longer.” and suddenly

your understanding melts into comprehension,


overcome with clairvoyance usually gifted

only to owls and old ladies with spotted shawls


you see the visible present shift sideways

after a turning of the lens, and you know


the world will not last as it is even

with all of its splendid imperfection.

the words on the page

Image result for book

the words on the page

printed with ink of antique presses

bound in museums of leather

fit artifice for eternal life,

secluded and quiet in the forgotten corner

of a scholar’s shelf


as shadows surround the stacks

and lamplight reminds us

that even in the night nuts and bolts

are turning in the invisible factory

carved into a cliff jutting from the left temple.