Thursday, September 21, 2017

Still Friends

did I say what I meant
too little or too much
or what I thought I could get away with
and still be friends
or stir up old rivalry and animosities we
want to let lie
a little vodka a bad cold
releases me from narrow habits
and I speak my mind

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Lost Poem

I keep trying to remember the lines
I composed while I was meditating
trying not to think in words I forgot
on purpose then regret the lost poem

Monday, September 18, 2017

Better Now

did I ever know
what was going on
not really didn't I
often miss the point

am I better now with
all this experience
and less distraction
probably not but I try

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Just Life

do I feel this way because I am old
or because I am me
or because something bad happened
or not even something bad
just life as it is
an exhausting houseguest
days of no work
a mistake with the chickens
a sore shoulder
smoky air
and what am I to think
knowing time is running out
still figuring

Friday, September 15, 2017

Golden Dust

driven to document
self-improvement
self-branding
surveillance
showing off
desired reflection
cult of . . .
productive pleasure
taking time off
productive leisure
happiness's uses
self-confirmation
golden dust

Seven Hens

my seven hens came running
as they saw me coming with
treats Lady White the eldest
three each red and silver lace
now they have gone to join a
larger flock and I regret them
goodbye funny chicken friends

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Natural Disasters

I barely dare to look at the news
something might have happened I
mean apart from natural disasters
poverty hunger continuing wars
and the collapse of civilization
I really don't care about New York
restaurants real estate celebrities
the arts as entertainment loved by
millions relentlessly manipulated
going along with whatever it is

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Not Here

grape juice fills the closet shelf
red and pale green lunch all year
apples ripe on the tree for sauce
tomatoes blanched and frozen

nights are cooler air clearing up
despite fields and forest burning
hurricanes flooding other griefs
not here but here in our hearts

Monday, September 11, 2017

Not There

quickly now yes no I didn't say anything
about it no yes I know I kept my promise
you were not there I forgot what I thought
I meant to say something specific but what

you do what you have to do having decided
long ago everything fits together to be what
it is whether it is what you wanted depends
on how well it worked out if you are honest

you can take credit for what you make does
service count only if someone is producing
something useful diverting unique explicit
description of what might be unmentioned

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tummy Ache

how you feel is all there is
to go on or not accordingly
your tummy ache may be
nothing or a sign of worse
to come dessert a mistake

how you are likely to feel
at a certain time tomorrow
determines what you think
will probably happen if you
pull yourself together and go

The Usual

a few large animal heads make an impression
however sincere their provenance as if frozen
in life eyes glittering thinking about eating in

turn away or you will see what you'd rather not
not likely benefit from distressing emotions or
fill in the resultant void with seasonal bouquets

I would clarify if I could and retain penetration
fully expecting to be misquoted or seen through
I avoid commitment to the usual magic rituals

which isn't enough to explain what I really mean
to translate chance revelations into some familiar
land forms childhood memories or tacky symbols

Friday, September 08, 2017

With Care

not knowing anyone
I am invisible
like a pet
or a wild animal
seen only from outside

not a dream this
common experience
this natural condition
can be managed
with care

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Blown Away

for Diane Fisher

I kissed you and was blown away
by the softness of your lips and soul revealed
womanly traits I didn't know what to do with
thinking I was gay

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

What You Know

the future is now as much as the past
the present a random transitional node
as we just happen to be where we are

so don't let memory claim it counts
more than what you know is to come
discounting the probability of surprise

feelings come and you have to go on
thinking the story must have a direction
when it actually is one whole thing

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Still Breathing

we shared an oh dear but the air
didn't clear the sun rose red again
the blue overhead vaguely white

painful dream but the day arises
I rise itching but still breathing
knowing it still what I expected

Monday, September 04, 2017

Whole Minutes

tingling itching aching
doesn't do it justice
then something distracts me
and I forget about it
whole minutes at a time
John Ashbery dying
reminds me to read him
and the browser balks
the Times staggers on
and then I remember

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Nothing Normal

smoky moon says something bad is going on
fires floods nuclear tests pleasant as it is here
though hotter than it should be nothing normal
I breathe it all in send out love peace justice joy

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Also New

keep it moving
and it comes around again
everything the same
also new this time
we are together acknowledge
the other existing
making our lives matter

Love Letters

nothing hanging over me
except our own mortality
bodies gradually beyond repair
collapse of empire chaos pain
degradation of culture planet
and further writing to be done
books love letters this poem

Friday, September 01, 2017

Even Bach

depending on the hour even Bach
can stupefy in an entertaining way
leaving me dazed a singing night
waiting for the obligatory words

I no longer worry about thinking
of something to say I always can
and do if not in the early morning
then now before I put myself to bed

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Spaced Apart

not alone but spaced apart
each contending with what
cannot be communicated

and even if it were nothing
could be done to spare us
mortal suffering solitude

inner being our only hope
shared in loving tenderness
exchanged across the abyss

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thought Form

years of love and creativity go on
pausing hesitant but not stopping
no general arc of brilliance and
decline applies no empty decades
wondering what to do next as if
everything had already happened
or wasn't going to wrong thought
form works keep arising anyway

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Careful Breathing

amid further smoke the swim
is spared the lasered shoulder
is not strained nor fails in use
instead we stay inside careful
breathing shallow in the shade
grateful not to live in Houston
counting on a clearing breeze

Monday, August 28, 2017

Just This

s my mind mine
or just a typical manifestation

the little dog has personhood
but I am just this

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Letters

too hot to think or write letters
but I love to hear from people
and sooner or later write back

am I really still who I am if
so what can I do about it now
before it's too late to enjoy it

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Line-Dance

language erases the user
as words are everyone's
they may mean anything
you imagine or nothing

referencing Barthes does
little to elucidate what
they whisper privately
offering ecstasy unseen

translation their essence
their line-dance recalls
a music not yet heard
an intimation of oneself

Friday, August 25, 2017

Digging In

no gym too tired after pulling
grass digging stubborn weeds
after unexpectedly digging in
old writing needing finishing
in order to go on to what new
arises in beautiful open space
instead I have made granola

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Larger Story

history rules and you don't know it
at the time you think you are making it up
if you only examined the circumstances
you would see but you don't want to know
you want to take a chance as if starting new
as if your choices determine what happens
meanwhile the larger story is emerging
and you have played your little part

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Willing Ears

if music could do what it promises
even when it does it too soon ends

delight in shape and pattern in time
kinetic pleasure of sustaining sync

emotion without confusing reality
people complicating circumstance

demonstrating superhuman skills
in the service of divine inspiration

formations in mind's luminous air
sustain an alternative way to be

elevated open to all willing ears
and then it passes leaving no mark

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

More Trouble

how come I know better than the President
that stirring up more trouble between India
and Pakistan isn't going to help them or us

Monday, August 21, 2017

Too Hard

who will know the meaning to me
connections too hard to explain and
no one would care the way I care
even if I spelled it out in full detail

anyway you wouldn't want to know
you have your own invisible web
requiring continuous close attention
so the meaning is fresh and strong

we can't express our actual selves
only show a mutual understanding
imagine stories that constitute an
artful alternate image to ring true

Sunday, August 20, 2017

All Ready

cosmic coincidence coming
as orbs hot and cold whirl
around their orbits toward a
highly improbable recurrent
rendezvous with us tiny lucky
humans all ready for totality

Saturday, August 19, 2017

No Demand

this is not work but play
so I can do it even if I am
not working for a change

plenty of time my motto
knowing it will suddenly
end no demand for haste

I could have done more
if I had tried harder but
did what I wanted to do

it's enough if I say it is
anything more is extra
I do it because I like to

Friday, August 18, 2017

After Exercise

itching knees and elbows after exercise
accompany a stillness that feels unique

singing crickets man voices on the radio
hold me suspended in the car I open the

window enter air time stops or doesn't
matter anymore whether I go in or not

don't scratch doesn't matter either I do
or another day comes as soon as it can

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Fly

the fly follows me drawn
to my reading light and
won't sit down so I can
kill it for being annoying

its buzz is not deliberate
nor its distracting pattern
intruding in my thoughts
I stand helplessly armed

Monday, August 14, 2017

Still Hungry

the body has the last word
beyond what words can do
the mind must make peace
pictures memory in stories
trumped by the feeling gut
grasping for sweet release

whether everything is told
withheld distorted warped
doesn't matter to the belly
still hungry after the feast
grumbling for more words
to eat and never satisfied

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Two Books

I finished two books in a year
both short but long enough
should be satisfied instead
I have the postpartum blues
distract myself with reading
practicing the piano gardening
won't feel quite right until I
start writing something else

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Feeling Strange

suddenly told I'm old
I hesitate to disagree
no one knows better
I am feeling strange
nothing can be done
this what's going on

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Still Me

I thought it was tomorrow
if today it will be hotter still
we get up and immediately
set about being ourselves
doing what we normally do
thinking and speaking aloud
about our usual preoccupations
I thought I was someone else
not yet fully formed still free
still dreaming I find myself
at the beginning of a race
everything depends on a tire
touchingly thin and smooth
and a rim and delicate spokes
off you go and I am still here
wondering which day it is
and whether I am still me

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Another Hand

solitaire cleanses the brain
nothing exists except the fall
of the cards another hand
waiting for the laying out
another play of probability
nothing at stake win or lose

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Smoke

smoke unblues the sky
causes Carol to cough
but doesn't cool the sun
saps the earth of water
gladioli break and wilt
chickens colonize shade
cats don't seem to mind
people long for a breeze
to clear the smoke away
and renew the weary air

Monday, August 07, 2017

Being Me

not as curious or adoring
I'm stuck with being me
the way I ordinarily am
which is not at all bad
not famous and rich but
that doesn't work anyway
being happy and stuff
I want but don't really

Sunday, August 06, 2017

More Heat

early water anticipates more heat
farm welcomes afternoon poetry
further breakfast follows formal
pause fresh melting comes clean

then you notice the classic pattern
depending on type sprinklers rotate
or oscillate imaginary rainbows
flowing from the permanent laws

smoke dissipates blown elsewhere
constituent particles disassociated
like friends like pins on a map of
everything that ever was or will be

Saturday, August 05, 2017

The Future

"I don't feel I'm getting older, I feel I'm getting closer." —Rachel Cusk

the future let me speak for it now
it is real even if it never happens
what is to be or you want to be
causes you to do what you do
more than what already happened
where you came from who you are
defines the role not causing action
which needs the future to impel it
the future is what matters most

Friday, August 04, 2017

So Much

for Jean-Claude van Itallie

consider the gulf between the
Kansas City Country Club
and fleeing the Nazis
albeit in charming company

and yet we are friends and
fellows in the Sangha and
the forest become a park
populated with Chinese saints

and too we are equal citizens
writhing under crazy leaders
democracy a mockery power
threatening human survival

so much for manners and art
trivialized by sheer vulgarity
confident of its fake identity
molded to sell and sold

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Write Soon

is this reading or writing if I read
what I have already written and
change it reading it to myself again

or send it to someone by email
promising to actually write soon
or then sit myself down and do it

is it me writing it or does it just
arise like everything else in life
whether or not it's written down

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Same

for Sam Shepard

what I liked is remembered
55 years later we are still
imagining ourselves the same
young creatives hoping for eyes
and ears to recognize respond
to whatever we managed to do
then and in intervening decades
not just the momentary fame

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Another Question

am I speaking for myself
or some idea of what is
necessary or appropriate
which it is much matters
whether profound or trivial

am I me or is this a pose
might be another question
if I were Keats and falling
in love the other misbehaves
and all is lost and over

or merely a verbal construct
insinuating into the glass
fashion showing feathers
no poet should disdain
remain himself and true

Monday, July 31, 2017

Certain Talents

who would you tell
if you told anyone
your precious secret
if they care enough
they already know
why keep it a secret
when truth will out
aren't we all the same
apart from culture
and certain talents
genius is unlikely
to be seen again

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Just Us

no one is here
it's just us now
and the animals
"self-directed"
is that worse or
less than human
I don't think so

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bright Sky

oh summer evening here north
deliciously long not a cloud in
the sky sun down the pure even
light makes everything its exact
colors suddenly the moon appears
not new but still slender shining
in the still bright sky the sound of
children playing up and down the
street the dishes washed suddenly
it's nearly dark stars are revealed

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Carrying On

some days everything goes right
gym routine easy with podcasts
music great even if I can't play it
friends warm book getting good
family delightful dinners superb
shared with cats horses birds
carrying on as evening falls

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nothing Bad

I lay out the cards
then win or lose it's
a few minutes later
and nothing bad has
happened to me or
anyone I know and
love so I play again

Monday, July 24, 2017

Original Me

now takes care of itself
the result of everything that came before
filtered by present strength and will

for now I am glad to carry on
balancing measured pleasure with desire
more memory than drive

decisions taken long ago
fructify as manifestations of what I want
ever more expressing an original me

Cloudy Tears

cloudy tears compromise the words
I was getting used to seeing clearly
further intervention will help more
reading and writing is what I do
and seeing color my great delight

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Close Attention

no sleight-of-hand for me
my hands are clumsy now
blunder at the oddest tasks
unbuttoning a wallet pocket
what once was easy is hard
the hard still hard but I can
get better if I practice paying
close attention to every note

Friday, July 21, 2017

Still Free

adequate is not enough
this is my only life more
and better than I deserve
I should enjoy my luck

and do already remember
love and precious lessons
learned from countless
generous creative spirits

let's rejoice while we can
love energy flowing though
we can hardly move the
mind still free to change

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Question

writing about nothing
how can I be good

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Still Here

things happen
nothing is said
people come
and go away
other people
take their place
I am still here

Monday, July 17, 2017

Big Ones

squirming mentally physically restored
to my sharp-eyed self at a teenage lake
going to bed hungry for breakfast and
another day of summer fun and action

myself in the world alive with frogs
wind cousins mother fishing for bass
the big ones hiding in the deep water
gasoline cold lemonade this afternoon

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Hiding Out

not by choice but circumstance
that is the presence of others
I hide out in my studio reading
a novel about a reality I used to
brush up against in the course
of other circumstances people
I was then relating to because of
work need desire ambition taste
this is why anything happens

Friday, July 14, 2017

My Clutter

I will not remember later
unless I remember now

what is not remembered
is a hidden life going on

but inaccessible doing its
worst in a nameless room

like Congress exchanging
dubious favors not to be

reasoned with or used for
my own sweet edification

it's here somewhere I think
rummaging in my clutter

to no avail no photograph
to quantify its odd effect

is ever likely to emerge
I am poorer and no wiser

but it doesn't matter to
me not particles but flow

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Freedom

new colors burn new freedom
were they there all the time
I don't even have to work
poems come from the light

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How to See

vision is seeing something
that was already there with
or without your observing

vision is how to normally
engage the world see and
note read and write about

vision lost you could cope
grateful not to have to you
embrace what reappears

vision is amazing see badly
one-eyed life still answers
with intelligible language

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Fair Enough

I give myself one card
and the hand plays out
fair enough for human

what else did I learn
being a four-year-old
is funner than trouble

still awake at eleven
burning with hot fire
inventing how to live

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Still Asleep

life's own momentum kicks in
it hardly matters what I think
the day is still sunny and warm
the windows still need washing
everyone is still asleep in spite
of chickens and other birdsong
Alfred will arrive and we will
rise to what the moment offers
these family days are precious
regular routine a mere illusion
ready to collapse any moment
never to be entirely recovered

Friday, July 07, 2017

Joy Present

as if I was still the same I don't
imagine becoming anymore joy
present but not possible to enjoy
the old forget-your-troubles way
glad to see others happy though
play the part nicely as I still can
a general impression of myself

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Too Serious

f something does occur to me
will I have the energy to do it

expansion yields to shrinkage
every dimension except girth

Roger looks young Andy old
the game become too serious

Ludwig raised the stakes for
music even he couldn't hear

we understand how to go on
too late to do us much good

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Beer Bottles

tame and timid hoping
not too much happens

we celebrate stability
in a changing village

beer bottles appear in
woods and hay barn

I lock my studio doors
listening to fireworks

Monday, July 03, 2017

Black Mass

writing it down another
artifact not a solution to
gravity black mass emerging
not to be fed attention not
to be swallowed but shit out
much later in the day when
it really didn't matter anymore

Sunday, July 02, 2017

In Pieces

unmitigated fun tending scary
everything mitigated now if
not I'd go flying off in pieces

let myself go isn't fatal I can
still come back to my normal
self realize fear finally loses

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Out Walking

I keep trying to say
what isn't understood
the same language but
different thought forms
each wants the other
to see it the same way

there goes the street
out walking and talking
on the phone as if dogs
knew English better
and had more to say
than anyone we know

Friday, June 30, 2017

Right Time

no right time don't wait just do it now
applies in many but not all situations
some stuff wants its own sweet time
and trying to speed it up doesn't work
imagining time is on your side better
than pushing grousing and impatient
so go ahead and do it while you can

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Local Conditions

what you have is what you always had
and have to deal with a thousand little
objects ways of doing things you can't
imagine different your body's peculiar
karma dependent on changed weather

larger cycles continue as they always
must local conditions less predictable
the relevant stability illusory now that
you know better what would you have
done in preparation for the final scene

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What I Did

the empty day so full I can't remember
what I did this morning or my dreams
forgetting doesn't make them go away
and I could already have written this

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

One Life

how can you judge
this is your one life
nothing to compare

their taste for black
currants during war
saved many children

books will be thrown
away their time over
never to be perused

but on screens we
learn to use or die
knowing nothing

Monday, June 26, 2017

Long Enough

nothing is anything like what
it used to be possible to think
it might go on pretending to be
fooling everyone no one fool
knew enough to stop the film
long enough to straighten out
the plot no one remembered anyway
I never cared how the story ended
the writer decides not the characters

Sunday, June 25, 2017

More Serious

one perfect anything
you should be satisfied
forever never have to
do anything boring again

are you a victim then
of human nature acting
against yourself because
it's just the way you are

why even bother trying
if nothing is good enough
let someone more serious
carry away the prize

Saturday, June 24, 2017

In the Middle

what would I be thinking about
if I were not listening to NPR
literally programmed by smart
people considering what people
like me but younger need to hear

what else would I be doing
if I were not driving into Portland
for a small medical matter and
lunch with Alfred and Shiva pay
attention keep an eye on other cars

what would I be feeling if you
were not here in the middle of
everything I have made of myself
accumulating experience together
as we navigate our separate lives

Friday, June 23, 2017

Little Lives

time enough for everything under heaven
the larger context waiting patiently while
little lives run their complicated course as
simple as that complete wisdom is obvious
refolded like a well-used map of experience

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What to Think

how to handle
what you never expected to be like this
what to think about the changing situation

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Not There

act without explaining even to yourself
no rational explanation will be required
what can he have been thinking will be
the question on everyone's mind if you
are careful and certain of being noticed
the act will speak for itself but no one
will be listening and you are not there

Monday, June 19, 2017

Doing It

plans do not usually fall through
so be careful what you say you'll do
you will probably soon be doing it
and glad you made the plans now

now you are at home and it's enough
you don't have to go anywhere or
do anything you don't want to do
this really is an ideal situation

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Your Numbers

long days belong to no season
ways of looking promise fun
first you have to give away
your numbers wondering who
will call while you are napping

warm compresses will relieve
some pains and most confusion
if you know better just say so
I will meet you in Rome or
come to your villa tomorrow

Friday, June 16, 2017

Nothing More

pay no attention to the camera
live-streaming us on the web
nothing is private anymore but
no one cares what we are doing
to manage the long summer days
now that we have all we need
nothing more is left to want
except infinite continuation

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Usual

will we ever know
what really happened
how we felt at the time
can we trust our own
theory or is it the usual
rationalization excuses
as if the reason why
contrived and dubious
made all the difference
relieved and happy
I don't have to go back

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

After All

after all
something else

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Further Change

silently waiting in the silent room
where almost nothing ever happens

what could the action be without
other persons to complicate things

each person more rigidly themself
prevents invigorating developments

the moment passes without regret
further change will not be resisted

Monday, June 12, 2017

Anything Else?

is there anything you want from Starbucks
which was selling cannabis in my dream or
anything else I can do for you that will help
smooth your recovery and give me a reason
not to face the usual void between routine
self-bettering distractions and nagging chores
everything keeps growing more than I'd like
weeds and dust endlessly wanting attention
I'd rather write whether or not I will be read

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Squeezes

are you there
in the bed
I reach back
squeezes yes
I get up

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Surprisingly Cool

like a rocket that doesn't rise too high
then falls or a fountain jetting before
the palace blown into spray the initial
rush of love spreading like butter onto
the toast of time good with marmalade
rain drops cohering into vegetables or
floods ideas needing to be written out
music decaying as it flowers in place
light fading as the earth turns away to
hover silently as if in sleep returning
never exactly the same familiar faces
older than yesterday or gone forever
dissolved into ordinary daily writing
defines a surprisingly cool trajectory

Friday, June 09, 2017

My Face

where should I stand
is my face on straight
is my weight evenly distributed
shall I put on my glasses
will I be recognized in restaurants

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Naked Bodies

deliberately accidental images intrude on thought
feeling doesn't show in the face and eyes unless
you're acting naked bodies show their age badly

small women take up just as much space when
you want me I'll be here waiting to be asked if
I'm hungry I eat more than is strictly required

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

What We Need

easy to say it is difficult
to recognize as being or
having been real we can
only recognize what we
knew before never fully
realize even what exists

even our selves escape
cognition after decades
of search and redefined
memory the documents
unstable remnants only
hinting at what we need

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Here We Are

am I strange or merely distracted
my condition by no means unusual
now that the old ways are forgotten
as if they never existed tried and true

not that everything was ever normal
everyone sure they were doing right
few strange and seriously distracted
terrible mistakes always being made

but they knew how to do useful stuff
with tools they could fix themselves
well let's not idealize about the past
it was often worse and here we are

Monday, June 05, 2017

Just Thinking

having absorbed Beckett
one still wants to speak
even knowing how much
all this self-expression
makes me sick I can't
just sit here after all I
think and mostly having
no one to talk to must
write it down if I can
or else act in the world
just thinking not enough

Sunday, June 04, 2017

In the Lobby

nothing to prove by catching another
dream or disease or flight into Italian
opera first act missed we mill around
in the lobby harping on what we lost
in elegance at what irretrievable cost

another book play weeding move to
Sweden or a hidden corner of Japan
leaves another lasting shadow where
you one time acted in bright sunlight
remembering a model that never was

Friday, June 02, 2017

More Words

(for Teju Cole)

nothing ends if
there are more
words time
continues

the words
never end

No Alternative

no bones broken but a definite
glitch something is bound to happen
and when it does you deal with it
embrace mortality there is no alternative

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Each Exceptional

hundreds of pianists dozens I know
have heard or heard and seen have
ideas about what they are good at a
musical horde we recognize exists
each exceptional in their own way

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Too Late

although I do not suffer
I see suffering in others
without clearly knowing
what it is to really suffer

how could I suffer when
my life has been so lucky
no wars here no abusive
parents poverty or illness

I worry about the world
and surely will suffer too
before I'm finally over it
but too late to matter now

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Her Baggage

I try to be interested in Diana Trilling and
her fierce intelligence but I never cared
about her opinions and tended to despise her
for giving in to Lionel's great mind act his
repellent condescension part of her baggage
I never understood how they got away with it
the whole lot of them left me cold and still do

Monday, May 29, 2017

Proper Taste

threats disguised as flowers fool
my most refined defenses let me
serve as their ambassador to the
human round of rooms and meals
welcome admire and water their
laughing faces sneeze with delight
at their exuberant indifference to
anything I struggle to understand
purposes persisting regardless of
good intentions and proper taste
in colots forms and dying petals

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Making Choices

what kinds of people there are
don't know and don't approve
as if that were anywhere near
the point being my narrowed
vision molded by experience

are we making choices or just
playing out the paradigm we
grew up viewing as the world
whispering privately not even
imagining we have much to say

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Pause

this moment between Beethoven and
crossword offers an opening I seize
adeptly dash off the occasional lyric

four movements beautiful in stormy
lulls exquisitely fitted to the purpose
buoy me across an after-dinner pause

"Idiocracy" to follow if appetite lasts
beyond the kiss and cuddle into night
cooling timbers punctuate with creaks

Friday, May 26, 2017

Personal Experience

time/space is wobbling
William says as the
gravitational waves
keep rolling through

I wonder if I can
feel it interested more
in the gravity I'm doomed
to deal with every day

it's a matter of scale
he likes cosmic principles
and the infinitely small
I the personal experience

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Aleppo

it might be real
what happened
ah what a relief
it is just a story
this newspaper
a form of fiction
alas not so there
is no good news

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Soft Air

notice the balance of warm and cool
sun and shade the beautiful dissolving
clouds the scent of flowers in soft air

short of moving away what can I do
not mow or pull up grass that way lies
ruin of my hands and peace of mind

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tiny Bites

it's not that I can't think
or think of anything I can
it's just the way the days
go on eating time in tiny
bites and random feasts
regular as sunrise weather
fooling with our thoughts
projects calling attention
to whether they get done

Monday, May 22, 2017

In Pain

is that you depressed
and/or in pain forget
what I said before it
went down this way

now is the possible
normal day you like
to remember how it
felt to be yourself

when you are better
you know what to say
as if goodness had
the upper hand again

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Back to You

conversation may be arbitrarily interrupted
at any time unless you park yourself in one
of the Adirondack chairs around the fire pit
with your own supply of cannabis which you
generously share the pipe keeps coming back
to you though the people in adjacent chairs
keep changing places everybody pursuing
an individual trajectory determined by sign
and type freely helping to make the party go

Saturday, May 20, 2017

New to You

change bullets to ballet
wrong to wring shove to
love change now to how
new to you the Times to
rhymes change bug to hug
pounce to flounce flop to
swap snob to mob or lob
or job change whether to
weather fuck and suck to
luck and pluck language
changes everything to its
brother by another mother
its meanings ever at odds

Friday, May 19, 2017

Someone Cares

forgiven for forgetting
as if someone
cares whether you
remember at all

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In the Shade

do I have to tell everybody everything
what I think how I feel about my day
is more significant than anything else

I mean what else matters really do you
know the answer will you reveal it now
or hold out for permission from above

what is above consideration never says
what might be more germane moreover
reception is unreliable here in the shade

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pleasing Life

what is pleasing and even more pleasing in dreams
whether you are really there and remember or not
is part of a pleasing life you are attempting to live

nothing else matters if you are dead it's too late so
now is the only time to please yourself and others
you love and want to make happy when you can

art is pleasing to make you want something to do
and put everything into it but letting it ruin lives
yours and others is completely missing the point

Monday, May 15, 2017

Regular Day

too late to eat anything else
or start or finish something
lost in the rush of nothing in
particular just a regular day

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Knee Deep

nothing inheres but what you remember
from previous expeditions to the forest
knee deep in snow or feathery with ferns
unchanged except by season generations
slower than you can hope to comprehend
underlying mountain almost permanent

nothing inheres in you that is the earth
its own story unfolding in larger terms
care about what goes with who you are
you can't control what happens in the
great beyond or even here at home who
knows the story till it's over must be God

Friday, May 12, 2017

Still There

"I am for art which we do for each other as friends, for ourselves."
—Jonas Mekas

one success is too many
you will never be the same
and always wonder why
and how to do it again

it will spare you nothing
you will suffer as much
and be less understood
well-wishers envy-blinded

luckily few read reviews
so don't listen to praise
or think it widely known
everything is still there

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Begin Now

trust understanding respect solidarity and love
begin now and extend indefinitely onward and
forward in time space people and animals we
may eat or be eaten by on another scale world
revolution will be required as we move ahead

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

One Meaning


like a demonstration of a life well lived
or busted for hitchhiking character and
fate connive to do undo best intentions

meanwhile work is being done plumber
coming in the morning roofer slower to
respond the sun getting hotter every day

one item after another expects attention
sooner or later getting done one meaning
clings to multiplicity another the simple

Monday, May 08, 2017

Ours to Play

even if I don't always say I'm sorry
you realize I am when I should be
thankful that I am not being judged
that is have already been accepted

this is no audition for either of us
the parts are ours to play as we can
and reimagine for a changing time
with or without audience approval

fortunately the weather improves
unfortunately earthquake threatens
meanwhile the house is insulated
fingers ready for the mystic dance

Sunday, May 07, 2017

My Condition

your pulse my pulse
beating when we touch
is it real is it love
or only my condition

what is this-I-feel
only the bare beginning
of something special
and present every day

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Chickens

I quite enjoy my little eggery
beginning and ending my active
days by tending to my jolly flock
I talk to them freely they chatter away
each expecting the other to perform
typical human and chicken behaviors
and really very rarely disappointed

Friday, May 05, 2017

Little Lapse

old flame still burning
despite the little lapse
never mind all that we
know each other truly
loving to the bitter end

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Decent Work

suddenly I'm old the illusion of youthful
vigor impossible to maintain others notice
and are embarrassed or at least regretful
knowing the good times have to end and
God knows what transpire before I die

is it now or do I just need the right drug
to reverse disintegration bounce back for
another round of fun more decent work I
have to hurry up and finish or am I finally
a feeble old man unable to make the effort

let me retain my equanimity at least friend
of the inevitable the end of biography ever
death and loss of everything that mattered
whatever loved survivors regard as virtues
or character I'd offer them a fond goodbye

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The Itch

Beethoven works to stop the itching
my hands too busy to scratch tai chi
too consumes and occupies the body
mind breathing transferring weight
writing is too intermittent pause for
thought and the itch leaps up all over
hungry for the satisfying fingernails

Monday, May 01, 2017

Gone Forever

never again always present
London young certain intimate
acts people I wanted to know
better suddenly gone forever

Sunday, April 30, 2017

So Long

hard decision what to say
to natural death arriving
upon his own sweet time

I already know his name
from earlier encounters
unhappily remembered

at least my friends not
tortured and enslaved or
stupidly murdered young

we were fortunate to live
so long and creatively
respond to our situation

Friday, April 28, 2017

Not Enough

love is everything
but not enough
you must sadly learn
the mind wanders
interests diverge
you must find each other
again and again

Something to Say

for Marc Janssen

believe in your words don't
mumble and slur them
declaim your poem
to the listening world
demand respect if you
think you deserve it
try to be understood
if you have something to say

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Just Playing

do other people exist
obviously I know they do
there they are
but do they really
are they themselves
or just playing themselves
perhaps badly
and what about me
do I

Brighter Colors

our pink house didn't surprise me
glad the spiders were gone Dad at
business Mom in brighter colors

that was how they did things there
and I was trying to fit in arriving
halfway through the snobby affair

you didn't have to be invited if you
paid and it was cheap if you could
afford to go on living there I was

young not knowing any better now
I see how strange it was how little
we understood the deeper motives

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Body

it has to be said that I feel better
staying at home though travel
cities and people I love invigorate
my mind and heart my body
doesn't really like it anymore

Saturday, April 22, 2017

New Aches

falling down a sudden shock
at least my bones don't break
scraped palms banged knee
surprises us all a stranger's
kindness and we continue on
to the mobbed museum great
art sold to the great consumer
nothing to regret new aches
anticipate the safety of home

My Meaning

talking all day uses up the words
I might say more if I knew how
gracefully you receive my meaning

stanzas like chapters house famous
works of art and memory between
eating sleeping and climbing hills

these are moment to remember always
happening for the last time this time
you are present at the inauguration

marching for science restates the obvious
truth waving its arms and chanting
as if history undone could be improved

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wound Up

interesting pillows in the guest apartment
when I finally lie down still wound up
from flying alone and talking to my dear
niece and nephew and their spouses
skipping and eating all over the world

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dead End

an hour with Amazon and they can't
solve my problem if you start wrong
nothing can be done fortunately life
is not like that you can back out of a
dead end head off in a new direction

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Many Eggs

earthbound bird of lustrous white
I bear your lifeless body to its return
beside the burbling rushing creek
as wilder birds twitter on unaware
buzzards welcome to come and feast
farewell chicken giver of many eggs
delightful ornament to my lively flock

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Two Days

still two days before I go
I keep thinking about shirts
and pants and whether to take
my computer so I can watch
movies late at night keep up
journal and dreams and post
my blog from San Francisco

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Opening Night

how a writer feels isn't counted
important compared to the work
but it is what value a Broadway
hit if it doesn't make you happy
on opening night and ever after
deliver the quiet joy of memory

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This Me

regrettably now I will
never own a sports car
or a Bentley or live in
an old stone house in
Italy or France with a
big happy family like
Francis Ford Coppola
in a good French suit
the same but more so
this me is all there is
what I have suits fine

Friday, April 14, 2017

Deeply Strange

did I tell you what I thought about
your hair or do you not care do you
have your own ideas and what is that
all about is one's behavior completely
independent of what anyone thinks
even you all acting out our confused
and inarticulate values and desires
don't ask if you don't want to know
how deeply strange these patterns are

Thursday, April 13, 2017

My Spine

excess gravity makes everything harder
even turning over in the bed where it
unforgivingly presses me down into the
mattress its foam remembering nights of
struggle yesterday's chiropractor lightly
poking my spine as I long for release in
vain from the weight of time the body
barely hefts the stones we carry about

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Entirely Understood

did I say what I meant
to say or was that not
me or you I told about
what mattered most

either you were there
or someone else was
as if reading another's
mind was ever easy

I may not have spoken
out loud only thought
it felt so natural to be
entirely understood

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Like a Novel

what is thinking the mind
swirls with recollections
and intentions as synapses
converse among themselves
in electrochemical wisdom
contriving word structures
we can read like a novel if
we allow ourselves to think

Monday, April 10, 2017

Good Cheese

help yourself to a drink
and a bite of good cheese
to temper the kick a little
if there is one anymore

let yourself laugh and he
happy to have survived
thus far largely intact
if you think that way

nothing more important
will be happening today
although it's early yet
you never can be sure

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Old Eyes

one aspirin usually does the trick
I will soon be feeling good as new
apart from my old eyes and joints

while Santa Rosa Island neglected
is losing its cattle ranching history
scrub reclaiming the old pastures

so the natural deterioration goes
beloved order yields to entropy
and unlike spring will not return

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Other Ears

what I said is not for other ears
is not to be said aloud he said
do you hear me saying so it is
the compulsion to record only
for fun knowing nothing lasts

Friday, April 07, 2017

Lost Memories

not just a dream it vanishes
like so much extra waking life
leaving unintelligible regrets
intelligence missed misread

a painting you were carrying
snatched from raised hands
taxi waiting children gone
ahead to your corporate fate

today's wild southern wind
carries all before it wiping
clean the best intentions not
stopping for lost memories

Thursday, April 06, 2017

No Sign

no sign of morning yet
could be the worst of it
this the lived-in shadow
falling across each page
if temporarily ignorable
waiting there all the time

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Mere Words

I am easily surprised
but not surprised to be
and also the opposite
how little I can know
despite knowing it all
shows itself ever more
hopelessly ill-informed
all I've read forgotten
reduced to mere words

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Turn the Page

what is interesting is what interests
you no need to explain the feeling
arises unmistakably when you look
that direction you can't stop looking

don't believe what anyone tells you
matters unless you think more of it
than yesterday before you realized
you were blind now you can see

turn the page without thinking when
the sentence continues out of reach
engaged by a possibility of learning
which of your interests comes first

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Completely Relaxed

curling myself into the sofa
after reading from Pasternak
I rest my head on the cushion
and am completely relaxed
touching you then alone
mind easy thoughts calm
sky gray after brightness
warm after an active chill

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Complete Happiness

no fooling time changes
everything a quiet joy
comes home to where
complete happiness is
summed up in a sunset
other energies adapted
to what functions now
that we all know better

Friday, March 31, 2017

Before Machines

don't take me to the moon I dread
space flight complications spread
like rogue diseases warm climes
foster I feel natural here on Earth
where my genes chose to evolve
before machines took over living
it's the brute materiality I resent
power spent on a fantasy of flight
for few from the human condition

Thursday, March 30, 2017

An Echo

everything is typical you can
make up the details weather
comes around again each day
like another newly reproduced
the order rhymical and random

observe yourself observing it
write it down or you'll forget
but it doesn't matter it comes
around again love gain loss
unique only when it happens

the moment snatches it free
before anything else intrudes
blurs present with memory
this observation an echo of
colors never yet clearly seen

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Complex Transactions

air is not nothing
although transparent
you can't see it but
complex transactions
happen inside lungs
it leaves you changed

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

My Mood

maybe it's old friends dying
that is making me so blue
I'm going strong if achey
and spring is coming along
but the afternoon light is gray
my mood deeper than now
dependent on my pleasures
weary of cleaning the house
sans illusion of going back
hopeless redeeming errors
missed opportunities gone
perfection a lost ambition
oblivion a nearing horizon
only words save the day
lent to a distant mourning

Monday, March 27, 2017

Only Exit

The Times holds you hits you
one-two with ads and fascinating
content the new word for facts
and opinion theoretically helping
you to know what's going on

the only exit is close the window
be where you actually are think
your own thoughts slowly arise
the hours opening out unlimited
interior galaxies outlast all news

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Painful Tension

no couples in the play
although we are mostly couples
and happy about it

is drama necessarily miserable
real life too harmonious
to entertain

\are we committed to conflict
needing painful tension
to bring us together

Friday, March 24, 2017

My Chair

what then besides mowing the grass
watching maple buds redden and swell
serenaded by the squeaks of my chair
half-interested in whatever comes up

my screen frantic de Kooning Gotham
News not how I feel or want to feel I
change it to a straight road through a
boring landscape and imagine I relax

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Happy

old photos remind us of time
past recovery what we wore
forgotten more than where
how much younger we were
just a handful of years ago
bittersweet proof of aging
and how happy we were
randomly caught forever

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Longer Light

all right then
something must be done
all day doing and seeing things and people
includes fun and obligations

everything is wrong on a macro level
nothing being done to set it right
meanwhile spring
bright flowers celebrate longer light

is it right to be happy
even now
is it fair to live one's own life
in spite of evil foolishness and destruction

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Hill

walking a bicycle
like walking a
horse helps it
climb the hill

not so serious
unless it rains
even then you
just get wet

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Rain

more than I can read
don't stop buying books
more movies than I can
take time to see through
more stories in more
newspapers magazines
online revelations more
secret aspects of the world
falling like spring rain

Sunday, March 19, 2017

So Long

nothing lasts long even stone
breaking up into rubble or sand
words cut into wax dissolved
in the merciless heat of time

but time is not so long for us
memory may fade and vanish
genealogy remains informing
who we actually are right now

let it be gone without remorse
each corpuscle doing its will
then reverting to only atoms
affirming process all that is

Friday, March 17, 2017

Doing Nothing

how did it happen that I am here
doing nothing to change the situation
that I like the way it is now
never to realize the other option
which might have been equally good

instead I travel far in time and space
reading in books of others' travels
no need to go there myself
and couldn't if it is all long over
gone with magicians and seers forever

Thursday, March 16, 2017

We Forgot

those who got along did better
and we forgot to be ourselves

temporarily the bad guys win
then start fighting each other

needing to be thought strong
we will all join in and suffer

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Like Chickens

hardly more books than raindrops
no one thing defines all you can do
and be busily chasing all week the
days like chickens waiting to be fed

I pick up one and then another try
and participate fully before moving
on the next subject of investigation
opening like another Broadway show

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Ear Plugs

my noise your music
worship song I have to
respect horrible to me
it's not my music no
excuse for letting it play

later silence between
raindrops ear plugs in
fills empty distance
measurable in hours
here and back again

Monday, March 13, 2017

In Secret

attention like a stylus
scrubs around inside
my brain groping for
interest and coherence
telling myself be still
and wait the meaning
will emerge in secret

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Still Modern

we calmly forgot to read
what we always read
Pasternak barely legible
but thrillingly himself
Elizabeth Bishop lonely
Marianne Moore held
captive by her mother
Scriabin still modern
after all these years
and again it is Sunday
and we calmly forgot

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bathing Wounds

rain rushes sideways across the sky
denying all boundaries and borders
turning earthward where it pauses
watering gardens bathing wounds

how can we drink enough to fill
the gaps between places and tasks
spinning minds gaze heavenward
wet with the language of weather

Friday, March 10, 2017

General Drift

one of the ways I know
is what you tell me
otherwise it's guesswork

even knowing you pretty well
no one can really imagine
how another person thinks

I know what you think about
most of the time at least
the general drift is secret

neither can you follow me
I am generally drifting too
both on our singular path

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Made Up

more to say to more people
doesn't wait for chocolate
if they want the best brand
I know what it is and where

more to say to more kinds
of people listening closely
thinking heaven knows what

more words ready for the
camera dramatically made up

more said never too much

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Slow Work

sketching is art too
no blame for quickness
when the light changes
before you can catch it
painting is slow work
words come fast

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Watch Out

I think everyone can say
whatever they want
and everyone else watch out
it may be off the wall
and profoundly wrong
or vulgar and even evil
just watch out
they still can say it
I wish they wouldn't
I wish some attitudes didn't exist
I keep my distance

Monday, March 06, 2017

Too Real

I feel like I'm going to explode
but nothing happens bursting
with sympathy for a story in a
book by Teju Cole what people
endure and retain their sweetness
unvalued in the overcrowding
too real for me even to imagine

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Never Empty

these words are mine
while I squeeze them

we can all partake of
their renewable juice

they are never empty
never entirely owned

we can all taste them

at the same exact time

Saturday, March 04, 2017

First Person

the first person is not me
you or anyone we know
a greater writer thinking
might achieve an actual "I"
acknowledged mentioned
in the hebdomadal report
"I am myself" he insists
after extensive reflection
and no one calls him out

Friday, March 03, 2017

So Often

how satisfying when
it all works out
as it so often does
when there is peace

and you can pay

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Changing Course

reading three books now
writing two now that one
is finished how can I think

driving into Portland for
lunch walk a little concert
heard all over the world

what happens in between
when I am changing course
momentarily doing nothing

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Month

first daffodil announces March
the month makes a difference
like what state you are living in
is culture really like the seasons
alas not weather sustains itself
without depending on humans
spring will come in spite of us

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Any Words

life is a spark flying up into the black sky
also a river ever flowing and the fish in it
any words will be treasured and believed
life is weather also a ringing in your ears
and more I knew this morning in the pool

Monday, February 27, 2017

Old Books

stagnant pools of objects gather
every surface overpopulated in
transit from yesterday beyond
tomorrow I will address them
one by one worn-out clothes old
books I never want to read rooms
full of paper dense with writing
I'll never overtake I will be taken
from them never to be seen again

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Limited Thinking

the difficulty is oneself
my own thinking limited
by class and happenstance
my own mind untrustable

for example the economy
works well enough for me
and the people I know
selected by commonality

from this I conclude
wrongly all kinds of stuff
vaguely valid in my bubble
actually jejeune and dumb

or the value of what I do
and believe in as if art
self-pleasuring replaces
sacrifice to answer need

congratulating myself
for love health wealth
as virtues proving I am
right in everything I do

no ability to see beyond
one's own sweet interests
buffered against remorse
justified by evolution

Friday, February 24, 2017

Not Us

I avoid speaking about anything
not tonight's extra-glittery stars
random doings of a standard day
whatever new fright in the news
that everyone is thinking about
and wishing they didn't have to
nature is what is not us humans
who get to decide what to admit
into the holy precinct of our art

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Memory Foam

how long does the night go on
without respite despite memory
foam and feather pillows ears
protected by the softest plugs
bones fully charged with ease

I dream of a job at the Times
lose myself in the hidden city
shut off the first alarm return
to the comfort of the mattress
forget everything but the light

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What Was Said

talk feeds on itself
the subject alive or
dead goes on being
mentioned in print
or on the web or air
every recorded death
discoverable later on
if anyone should look
wonder what was said
when we were talking

Monday, February 20, 2017

What Matters

who can say what matters
but to move through space
acting speaking or silently
recalling time stealing past

persons appear and vanish
changing and still the same
slow revealing what will be
what matters when it's done

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Moderate Success

if I had known more
I could have done better
instead I pretended
I already knew enough

I "learned on the job"
and got away with it
until I couldn't bear
pretending anymore

did something else
I also never mastered
in spite of a decade
spent trying to learn

returning to my roots
I kept blundering along
stumbling into wisdom
never really unmasked

ending as well as anyone
after moderate success
making a virtue out of
ignorance and confusion

Saturday, February 18, 2017

How to Play

no distance with the baby
demonstrating how to play
a whole person 18 months
much growing yet to do
already entirely himself

Friday, February 17, 2017

Earlier Attempts

back up latest version
that should be enough
revision is irrevocable
in practice not theory
posterity will deplore
archived variant texts
no one will read them
I will never have time
back up latest version
erase earlier attempts

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Green Soul

down by the river
deep ancient forces
rise to the surface
everything explained
certain neurons fire
and random memories
burst like skyrockets
showers of petals fall
caressing my green soul
awake from winter sleep

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Another Book

one-click living speeds the norm
rain driving across the uncaring
planet we happen to inhabit soon
another book appears unbound
ready to be readily absorbed
becoming part of myself forever

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nibbles

aisins walnuts cheddar
enable continued sitting
reading about attention

backgrounded normal
evening hunger easily
appeased with nibbles

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last Word

the first possible moment
admires a wry expression
misplaced regret merging
algebra or ancient history
with individual chemistry
finding treasures ahunting
wilder impressions of love
when the last word is said
shuts the back gate forever

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Question

the answer is yes
if the question is properly asked

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Even Opera

always singing sounds better in Italian
even opera may be better in French or
German too well understood as music
supports words it doesn't really need

still we are here talking listen on the
side while making Sunday pancakes
I bought raspberries after ours expired
like forgotten devotion to the local rag

you have to use the language you have
trying to say enough but not too much
people would rather talk than listen to
what your words insist on spelling out

Friday, February 10, 2017

What I Saw

if I can see I can say
what I saw I may be
right or misperceive
or even intentionally
blind to what is real
and really happened
wanting it different
and so correcting it

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Each One

aren't we all fathers and sons
or else mothers and daughters
how can it be as special as it
feels when they communicate
or don't come visit all relaxed
and friendly or losing the beat
retreat in confused remorse

aren't we all vulnerable to loss
experiencing each one acutely
even when it hasn't happened
yet knowing it eventually will
whatever the weather and our
state of health wealth common
sense counsling don't go there

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Full Lives

is it as bad as Elizabeth Warren says
I am the middle class doing all right
on the downhill slope despite decades
of improvisation lucky in my parents
the younger generation managing too
eating housed enjoying their full lives
usefully employed or planning to be
there I said it that's what I had to say

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Healthy Habits

what would I think about
if I thought about anything
beyond my breathing body
children grown up and gone
work substantially complete
assets conservatively invested
habitat comfortably arranged
healthy habits and routine
indeed there is a little more
another personal appearance
another book to connect me
to the world of other people
affirmation of common sense
and creativity's higher value
when I'm ready to think again

Monday, February 06, 2017

Kidding Around

actual circumstances go unnamed
everyone already knows you think
it is all the same for them although
their situation is entirely different
nothing shows you can't imagine
what they think and don't express

try again you don't want to know
the details this is no time for that
we are idealistically doing poetry
mailing out festival brochures and
kidding around on wine and cheese
regardless of whatever is going on

Sunday, February 05, 2017

What Day

forget what day it is
and that it's raining
none of that matters
only that you exist
the future will come
you can be there then
remembering the real

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Who You Were

call yourself anything
you can be who you like
in theory at least no one
will remember later on

inner release is harder
you will never be able
to forget who you were
before the great change

sameness as an illusion
requires to be nurtured
allowed to expire it will
naturally decay to dust

Friday, February 03, 2017

Any Sound

evil dark hates good
dissolved by light dies
hides underground in
bitter solitude crying

so sound kills silence
eaten up emptiness no
longer exists except as
an imaginary concept

in darkness any sound
implies light elsewhere
others act and interact
expecting nothing else

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Do Something

I was thinking something the mind
has its own mind an insistent agenda

denial is good but doesn't work what
happens will eventually be known

inevitably I put it aside do something
close to intentional barely imagined

information valueless if no one cares
to stop and seriously think about it

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

This Moment

is this reality or fiction
this writing this moment
on a cold winter night

you reading it on screen
or paper sitting down or
running to catch a train

what I mean and what
you think about it later
all does actually exist

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Time Comes

nothing can be done
until the time comes
upon the moment you
will do what it allows
try as hard as you can
strong as you really are
and it will be enough
it will be all there is
and this too will pass

Monday, January 30, 2017

Less to Lose

fear is less
when you've less to lose
the moment of course
is ruined
but the future
has already come
and gone

Sunday, January 29, 2017

What Happens

the story continues
whether or not told
story what happens
regardless of why or
who if anyone knew
or cared to write it
immanent context
vastly too complex
to be wholly known

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Be Better

Stafford ever better reminds every one
be better to be good enough for Oregon

Friday, January 27, 2017

What Next

was that yesterday already
forget what happens next
before it can be written up

tomorrow not coming soon
enough intervals of ecstasy
to sink a battleship of fools

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Effort

the world is still here
demanding to be read
like the books I read
or write or wish to read
or write or read or write
again looking for clues

all my effort avails little
for the world goes on
with or without words
or people who read talk
or write saying all they
can while they still can

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Always Plenty

writing a letter is easy
you just have to do it
fingers flying on keys
always plenty to say

interpersonal contact
exchange of thoughts
sympathy for troubles
makes lives complete

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

To Chew

goodbye to another tooth
it had to go and won't be missed
even so it's a bit of a shock
I need a little time to recover
and be able to freely chew again

Monday, January 23, 2017

Being Yourself

it is easy to act like Whoopi Goldberg
if you are Whoopi Goldberg
the same with being yourself
you don't have to make it up

Sunday, January 22, 2017

More Blue

the color palette changes with the light
I promised myself more blue and lavender
instead I look at green and gray and wonder
why and how the seasons know to change
ah it is the thing about the sun and planets
resulting in all these disturbing alterations
hadn't they thought about how we'd feel

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Honey

my thoughts are bees
my mind a hive
they buzz in dancing
some make honey

Friday, January 20, 2017

So Big

visible horizon
goes all around
turn your head
see sky so big
rotate entirely

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Even More

nothing is what it is
except in passing
yourself young
no longer exists
yet that was real
even more than this
your youngness
forever your own

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

No Excuse

what a disaster this travesty threatens
normal hopeful common-sensicalness
relativism no excuse for no judgment
whoever you were you have been had
embarrassment the trivial least of it
wrong not just being on the other side
whatever their issues let good prevail

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Higher Things

I need to work quickly too little
time to catch a thought already
thinking itself readiness is all

revise at leisure virtual writing
abandoned to a floating screen
impinging on imaginary mind

set afloat on precious culture
never mentioned in a political
world higher things don't count

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ancient Statues

what fun it used to be to travel
I could walk for miles soak up
another city's shape and flavor
flounder in an unfamiliar tongue
every awkward choice adventure

why go to Rome again what do
I haven't done before absorbed
when I was thirstier feeling up
ancient statues in the Capitoline
Museum out of sight of guards

declining as the world declines
I now would rather be at home
and do the regular things I do
exercise see friends just live
as myself in my own language

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Go Deep

edges meet at corners and stop
you turn away unable to decide
whether to go somewhere else
or back what other possibilities
may offer themselves for taking

how were you not on the broad
flat plain but out at the extreme
embracing perverse distinction
to your own confused distress
when the other is much easier

the world is not cubic after all
swimming in one wide shallow
surface you can easily explore
or holding your breath go deep
amid dimmer profounder forms

Friday, January 13, 2017

No More

what was said is all that will be said
at some point there is no more coming
the provisional answer will stand pat
no one will reach the hoped-for end

so the story is one of inevitable failure
what you expected is not in the cards
the world is doing what all worlds do
each consciousness lost in the general

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Each Breath

touching the mountain with a feather
tasting the moment of each breath
resting in holding creating each other
then the bell rings and the time is up

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More Attention

three days of cold ahead
I don't mind I like winter
warm in my smartwool
snug insulated dwelling
inconvenience a bump
in the otherwise smooth
progression of my days
awakens more attention

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Never There

can I think
except in words
except by talking to myself
like the rain softly murmuring
no voice but my own

more than words
I see in movies
curiously real as dreams
until they slowly dissolve
never there at all

Monday, January 09, 2017

Good Advice

sometimes out loud my own voice
makes humorous remarks regarding
a number set ot random eventuality
I notice as I am performing my life

good advice or tricks of symmetry
too trivial to mention to any other
amuse me as much as ever so I am
pleased to mention them to myself

I keep it quiet if others are nearby
knowing they might consider it odd
tho everyone does it on the q.t. it's
not the kind of thing we talk about

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Goings-on

snow quiets
farm sleeps
animals eat
children go

wind blows
light shines
slush melts
music plays

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Another Move

the details don't matter they are
whatever they happen to be you
were here or there with this or
that person having appropriate
ideas to your place and time it
might have all been different if
anybody made another move it
does matter how happy or sad
you are with the one you love
the rest could just as well be
anything you care to make up

Friday, January 06, 2017

Cold Children

setting sun gilding snow
offers an ecstasy of light
cold children voices echo

one man to three women
balance demands robust
rededication to the good

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Good Ideas

some days there is nothing left
no greater words than appetite
having done and eaten your fill

you still think well of yourself
composed cheerful helping out
then gracefully stepping aside

others are admirably complete
good ideas in abundant flower
this precious time actual living

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Better Times

light comes slowly January mornings
fading out early in the afternoons we
need our gas and electric to survive it
comfortably dry and warm we can
read and write whenever we so desire

this is not natural but the good fruit of
civilization teetering with unmeasured
stress and fractured rationality we fear
breakdowns leaving us exposed to the
real conditions of animals on the earth

those we care for more sharply at risk
more years ahead to sustain themselves
find satisfactions we already enjoyed a
future unimaginable the dubious present
no longer implying better times ahead

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

In the Middle

between good and bad the world is real
whether you like it or don't there it sits
deal with it won't conveniently go away

you too sit breathing neither happy nor
anything else whatever else happens
you are alive in the middle of existing

Monday, January 02, 2017

Private Meaning

something has to go there is
too much it weighs me down

everything's private meaning
clings arousing poor attention

who will read these roomsful
of paper cluttered with words

anywhere else its value is less
if no one really cares but me

and my interest is exhausted
before I even begin to look