Friday, December 31, 2010

Other Traps

that's about enough of 2010
oh we don't suffer much our
little aches and pains befit
our age and peculiar habits
she has her barn and garden
I my studio and books but
what a misery in the world
if you believe the news at all
there is a downward trend
not what anyone expected
I was schooled in optimism
after all we had won the war
without any personal damage
but latterly war is permanent
and the planet mocks control
if we don't blow ourselves up
other traps we set will spring
earthquake floods eruptions
to consume our pitiful works
meanwhile lucky lives go on
beauty has its seasons too
such grace to be unafflicted
praise light that will return
and we still alive to see it

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good Work

I only wanted to have a good time
and so I did you may doubt the so
but it matters what the intention is
assuming this of others maybe not
they seem so dimly serious as if to
fly is dubious earnest about games
which reality is the actual world
that's not what I mean clear away
all preconceptions open your eyes
by all means do stuff help people
build things pitch in make better
good work the greatest pleasure

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Delicious Drudgery

friends if interesting are more
interested in their own posting
mutual appreciation reliably
sweet continuity someone to
come back to or come back

my own ideas less persuade
than plod delicious drudgery
requires someone to witness
and if they respond so better
not too much don't tweet me

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Books I Read in 2010

Summer and Love by William Trevor
Parallel Play by Tim Page
First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process by Robert D. Richardson
The Crying Tree by Naseem Rakha
Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling
Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
Touching by Gwen Davis
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (part)
Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey (on Kindle)
The Unknown Matisse by Hilary Spurling
The Andre Gide Reader (part)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H. P. Saint
A Few Corrections by Brad Leithauser
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer
Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert
Reality Hunger: A Manifesto by David Shields
Homer and Langley by E. L. Doctorow
The Loser by Thomas Bernhard
Maps to Anywhere by Bernard Cooper
Noise by Bart Kosko
Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It by Geoff Dyer
Darlington's Fall by Brad Leithauser
The Limits of Power by Andrew Bacevich
Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
Itinerary by Octavio Paz*
The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Empire of Ice by Gretel Ehrlich
Embers by Sándor Márai
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
The Book of Evidence by John Banville
The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
Losing Our Cool by Stan Cox
The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk
Open by Andre Agassi
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
War by Sebastian Junger
Old School by Tobias Woolf
Decoding Reality by Vlatko Vedral
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light by Jane Brox
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Accidental Masterpieces by Michael Kimmelman
City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara by Brad Gooch
The Tanners by Robert Walser
England's Child: The Carillon and the Casting of Big Bells by Jill Johnston
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
Something to Tell You by Hanif Kureishi
Poems Retrieved by Frank O'Hara
Quaker Guns by Caroline Knox
Solar by Ian McEwan
The Only Question by Muriel Spark
The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (aloud)
Human Smoke by Nicholson Baker
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark (aloud)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Too Shy

deliberate bullshit is all too doable
and fun and means as much as any
if you look between the topicalities

no one talks likes this and nor do I
not crazy not particularly nervy too
shy even to know just what I mean

I know better but can't fix anything
art action keeps my dismay at bay
nourishes integral universal spirit

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nothing Else

how can I cheer myself up well
the usual ways and by love and
good work there is nothing else

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Free to Fly

I have enough it isn't true
that everyone wants more
biologically I am satisfied
if spirit yearns ever higher
it is free to fly only think

beyond the bounds of time
the speck in the swirl has
context existing everything
connecting its essence is
wholly distributed energy

so it goes on beyond all
individual moment making
waves hiss and harmonize
gigantic patterned chaos
exquisitely wrought detail

must I go on as long as I
can say everything there
is no end any fragment
contains a world echoes
eternally returning words

true wealth having choices
can exist between changes
choose beauty compassion
satisfaction rising to meet
allies good will companions

nothing better to do than
this Bach sang continuous
ecstasy pouring forth as
in vibrational fusion give
it all you have deserved

Friday, December 24, 2010

Old Story

am I missing some significance long since sapped
meaning something to others means nothing to me
how does it matter that I have lost what I imagined
I did what was expected its factual basis to emerge
later faded softly into not so harmless make-believe
not even not existing not an idea just an old story
running on empty promises flattery accommodation

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Warm Skin

good but hard to eat comes
out without a honk or snort
smelling better than anyone
imagined possible summer
a resort a family excursion

it gave him the shivers who
dressed in rags what nines
layered over warm skin bit
a tangerine come this way
again if I may still be here

one has to wonder whether
anyone bothers to undergo
the necessary trouble just
to be warm or happy doing
the little it takes to be free

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stay Here

if it is not going do not go
but stay here is better any
way I prefer to be at home

we are here and being with
each other being ourselves
the way we wanted it to be

being each complete more
completed blessed season
turning toward another one

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dark Enough

if this is the low point it's
not so bad I like the night
staying put getting up in
the dark but dark enough
I'm ready for longer light
coming just in time kiss it
in again we have survived

Monday, December 20, 2010

Only Fragments

How can I think about anything anyone is interested in while I am leading such a perfectly placid life?
How can I imagine exciting events when all I know is weather?
I have suffered but only neurosis and a broken heart, which seemed quite serious at the time.
What do I know of anyone else's inner life except that we all have one?
My principal stimulus is memory, apart from the blowhards on the airwaves, who are worse than useless.
What people tell me is only fragments. What do you mean? Could you be more specific?
Pip suffered but stayed buoyant, himself, and everything worked out.
Something terrible is sure to happen, but in the meantime what am I to do?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Only Old

chickens are on the way a coop
to build lost carpentry practice
returns like everything ever was

for years you imagine you want
and then you don't anymore and
then only might it happen to be

Italy a farm a theatre publishing
a dog a sailboat luxury chickens
reincarnated as myself only old

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Military Fun

if noticed rejoice if you imagine
someone cares maybe they do
for reasons of their own creation
springs unbidden from the soul
attention is required something
happens other people do exist
after all parties agree serving
gays allowed to be themselves
have their own gay military fun

Friday, December 17, 2010

Possible Meaning

never apologize never explain words
only good for entertainment the real
transactions happen on another level
acting means do it before it's too late

remember me even if you forget all I
say and write what possible meaning
in a word or turn of phrase or turn in
the park beneath a benevolent moon

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nothing Denied

come back to yourself by yourself
bring yourself along when you come
poet producer of art and love welcome
leave the mechanical consumer at home
look around do you really want to do that
nothing denied because nothing admitted
reality is grim but positivity itself wins out

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good Enough

no tai chi for Chan works sixteen hours
still a market for his tired but tasty wares
glad home wrapping Dickens crossword
enzymes and my usual late-night snack

I don't want to go anywhere anymore I
wish I had lived in Europe I briefly did
no more desire for different places this
is good enough at peace plenty to eat

and relatively secure a frame for living
as we like deprived of certain stimuli
rich in others ragged chevrons of geese
honking overhead weather each other

Monday, December 13, 2010

Deep Green

every time I lay out the cards it's new
anything can happen sometimes I win

she is better living in a gale of oxygen
ninety-six enough but who am I to say

rain song tickles night Persian turquoise
deep green flaws essential to character

the little we can tell each other precious
but there is infinitely more I want it all

Long Arms

insouciant Indians itch to make poem
real that is "the" real always immanent
otherwise all hollow surface glittering
sodden repetitions opening long arms
Wagner realizes minutes bliss unfolds
creaseless solid seriously beautiful if
you let it define the actual experience

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Too Soon

old and tired as I want to be no
spark struggling into flame stop
if you can it is never too soon or
short or thin you can't go wrong

Friday, December 10, 2010

Carried Away

now we know too late to do anything
braver voices spoke vainly at the time
Blair smaller Churchill one example
stop think what you are doing do not
get carried away do not let reasoning
persuade you fast talker sell anything
no sane person would want attention
reveals what's real we all know better

Thursday, December 09, 2010

No Smoke

what was I thinking
now my sarong is wet
the punchline enough

opera news is good
let's all go together
thick action no smoke

food drink a birthday
visitor from far away
the special thing done

rain stops of course
how pleasant driving
visible dry pavement

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Another Pie

why should I why not if I can
drift lightly on unpatterned air
quit or go on playing solitaire

nothing needs to be done in
public opinion irredeemable
misspent youth useless now

in the stanzas women come
and go and Michelangelo is
branded like another blog

I'm not complaining hunger
not my fault fixable by me
or anything I might not do

give me a reason to go on
I probably will anyway can't
help myself to another pie

Monday, December 06, 2010

Going On

everything you need is here what
are you going to do with it what
are the criteria for good living who
knows without possible perfection
what is the point of even going on

everything happens again as if you
were mechanical only wearing out
sweeping washing dishes clothes
bodily functions cars kids houses
service departments for our lives

another Obama sellout makes me
sick since when does compromise
mean giving up two more years
staff justifiers to justify anything
craft him words to forgive himself

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Keeping Up

pleasure pleases not nor part my person
if you ask I will tell you anything I can do

certain movements not too painful come
easily the body knows mind keeping up

if I could tell I would so I keep trying in
my own way be clever as I meant to be

again again insist on certain braidings
because I can because you know I must

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Dream Real

Beethoven in his many voices
charming playful stern relentless
comes again wherever you are

flowers in the face of human
smoke dream real against all
hope sanity dawn awakening

unbelievable that it should be
too stupid cursed disbelieving
waste of pain and possibilities

Friday, December 03, 2010

Pay Up

techno living subject to breakdown
hardly surprising always a surprise
expecting everything to work fine
and it usually does then it doesn't
inconvenient frustrating expensive
what to do no satisfactory solution

bodies too let us down wear out
eventually after miracle self-repair
do we blame the factory or dealer
who can fix transmission far away
time to buy new car ashtray is full
call ask pay up hope for the best

Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Good

if one state of mind means anything
it ought to be typical or emblematic
but nobody is typical we each insist
on being different if seldom unique

disagreeing about the most obvious
principles no one's taste respected
as if none know better nothing can
be learned we are stuck wtih selves

formed by forces beyond our ken
all the more reason to try to think
beyond positions personality hope
to reconcile reality with the good

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Perfect Moment

normally I wait for the perfect moment
someone might tell me when to go on
but no one says anything about it alas
I rest on my innocent laurels try harder
to remember my name and what I said
before the standards were recalibrated
one became two or the other way round
no one can tell you since no one knows

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Castle Walk

and I will know you in the morning too
be drawn along the castle walk instead
dreaming we were there before we met

we were in other lives forgotten years
as if beginning as we are now living
in the present promises to start again

the mystery of history happens once
we open unarmed portals into trust
that each wants what the other knows

Monday, November 29, 2010

Donut Crumbs

do I have to do this anymore no
yes everything over and again I
am the one who does all that no
wonder I can't think any better

no more anything goes forward
leap up from nap if I'm not late
why panic if people come when
I'm not ready it's their own fault

if I don't do it someone will not
well but spare me good enough
chill out the door framed for a
donut crumbs of smart talking

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Liquid Music

correct perception enables good drives
present weather threatening retaliation
hastens liquid music electrical factors
just begin and some or all will follow
if you mean what I know you do more

I know you do what you think you say
but is there something there and if so
what is correct or who decides to go
is not the same remain frozen no time
stops the possibility of something else

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why This

writing it doesn't change it not
enough to make any difference
it's over still the people dead

and I go on wondering why this
phase thus as if explainable by
research repetition documents

trying to get things right at last
praise apologize describe what
only can be diminished finally

what is is when it is no more
who came and went when time
was infinite and fun to waste

Friday, November 26, 2010

Too Thin

you don't always have to live in the present you know
more it is too thin without the context of your glorious
past there is no future and no one with you in memory
you are alone but now she is asleep in the other room

you have to live in the present there is nothing else if
you remember it is not the same it is constructed yes
you are adrift ringing buoys in fog hold on I thought
I saw touched heard felt smelt what is then was now

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What What

what I might say is this
instantaneous inspiration
can't you see whatever I
would say if I could have
your attention would cut
to the essence unfolding
as if 'twere folded before
what what is being alive
kicking against barriers

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Oneself

he would rather be who was
if choice were given separate
opportunities for definition it
may not occur to you for one
reason being who you had to

think about it if you can who
decided what and why makes
all the difference geography
class weather gender decade
all adds up to being oneself

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quiet Comfort

real feelings too poignant to bear
invoke them at your peril or else
live quiet comfort hearing waltzes
we both turn off they fill the space
inside time no room to remember
heartbreak losses put aside go on

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stay In

now it's too cold to heat my studio
everything that matters is in my laptop
stay in
as long as we have gas and electricity
we'll be all right

I wish it would go on and snow I love
the way the landscape is transformed

maybe tomorrow

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Best Versions

thoughts of my own require attention
if I'm ever to get anywhere or be here
now cold rain fingers encourage stasis
wisdom whoever comes to spill beans

each separately mutter as we make up
separate worlds idiosynchronous best
versions distinguishable as selves who
act who want to be admired admire

the what of what less matters than that
it be being done progressing by years
sculpted phrase by phrase despairing
enjoying process more than outcome

Saturday, November 20, 2010

No Harm

what snit sinks pick
if I cared how much
don't I why else not

nor dare say dank
means you no harm
so don't write them

quiet night buzzes
between crescendi
tapped to the beat

food milk soothing
finale senza crash
suits my light style

Friday, November 19, 2010

Too Easy

life is serious so art
doesn't have to be
unless it is a joke
in which case art
is our only hope
of making sense

too easy to be glib
and say how little
we know if any

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Deep Water

eat or die my beauty fails
but never mind we all do

so goes religion if it be
truer choosing after me

same name same thing
imagine new deep water

inside reconciled when
each decides to accept

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whiter Light

if this beauty artifact of youth
why matter I thought revealed
secret harmony essence being

enjoy it anyway while it exists
provisioning diurnal journeys
named by a single witty word

the same revelation escapes
again eludes bronze concept
might elaborate in whiter light

Only Pattern

music proposes order as if possible
artificial sweet as chemicals trick our
gullible sense pursues such pleasure
only pattern till chaos intrudes must
always will yearning for evenness is
not enough image or nature feelings
rising overlap any ready complication

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Limited Music

perfect order arises rarely
even with limited cards not
every music always pleases

limited order has to suffice
naked edge of chaos adds
jagged rhythm envigorates

amusement releases pleases
limited music suffices to be
perfect balance jagged now

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Abyss

goodbye Shakespeare hello Dickens
as we shift into winter wind roaring
through the trees along the creek stove
ticking radiating comfortable warmth

ready for what darkness bearing down
above the rush of days another work
poster memory lost companions in art
until I imagine another doable pretext

never again the same requires a new
release of preconceptions new abyss
new falling into flight no way stay still
teetering meaning asking to be made

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learned Behavior

it's not six o'clock yet and I will pass on
reading about Limbaugh forgetting what
else there is fallen between the meanings

promising respect is easy if earned or do
I mean learned behavior pick your models
with care they are your future followers

head reeling falling I can let it all go now
it's over done ourselves proud pioneers
the future came true and went on past

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Piling On

don't do anything all is prepared
apart from the feasting we've come
through the confusion of parts and
slippages most of them forgotten

winter time for another Dickens
emerging from the rubber rubble
rubbish piling on the pity oh dear
what I would do for you if asked

Friday, November 12, 2010

Other Fortunes

love and money pouring in
improves mood of memory
this one of many particular
peculiarly unique occasions

Nevele becoming a woman
before one's eyes in 1974
then gone who knew could
tell too late other fortunes

only what arises reminds
us who can work as hard
to see the prince restored

Thursday, November 11, 2010

At Peril

who shall I be I already am
if anyone cares or knows to
identify the changing game

a word or single letter shift
makes everything be story
as if nothing is understood

being present needs a past
accumulated lost a context
secrecy at peril of incorrect

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Leather

who is who is anyone
but where can I meet
if I come too far I am
not who I want to be
imaginary blockages
go on do it if no one
notice but who does
existence everything
if someday someone
changes this picture
even then be clearer
than I am an old one
other characteristics
emerge with demons
wing tail red leather
we are trapped here
together breathing

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Natural Alternative

do questions precede answers
or is it all a dance if so how then
do we proceed

asking is my natural alternative
to stating what I easily conceive
but don't believe

avoid the obvious is everything
if sayable said before better if
not the same

unique value of now excuses
groping is permitted sincerely
in the dark

Monday, November 08, 2010

Personal Past

I'd rather not be German thanks
Alsatian I can regard as French
for all the Ich and Sie they spoke

what good is a personal past
now that history is forgotten
heavy a 'vortex of expectation'

England vanished once they left
Jersey Maryland Virginia after
and what Missouri to me now

still something sticks identity
is what I do myself who cares
who knows what came before

Sunday, November 07, 2010

After Shakespeare

"Many rural villages lack basic plumbing." —Times

how long half dark the day goes on into the cold
sun rain a break in place can immediately adapt
welcome what comes keep working it's what I do

to exist awake or dream I am real different other
bodies intersect some more complex lives I envy
larger interaction more picturesque impressions

quiet night delight in Dickens after Shakespeare
good company to keep up with family fortunate
not far geography elastic actual even now return

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Too Perfect

quick before the time changes
rain stops rattling on the roof
sugar warms the stolen beets
kernels pop neighbors' bran
as if in Italy things are better
I know it's true because I said
what had to be acknowledged
whether anyone knows or not
we were there together when
I forgot to remember present
company except we all really
do the steps reflecting mind
made up make no new claim
too calm too wet too perfect

Friday, November 05, 2010

Maybe Sleep

retreat into solitaire respite from the bleeding
another tiny succès d'estime what joy to watch
actors so tenderly sincere intelligent so much
writing said Mares some stood well deserved
this emptiness wants something maybe sleep

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Be Real

I keep wanting what I want
getting most of it still trying
for the rest the show open

everything got done just in
time the way to go happily
take whatever I can manage

art is ruthless otherwise it
doesn't happen something
else is easier and popular

who cares I do effortlessly
impelled toward perfection
of form content high intent

I know it's good I dare say
anything not to make the
wrong impression be real

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Elephant

what happened to yesterday time is not my own
these days all geared to my play about Hamlet
opens tomorrow at the high school ideal black
box classroom chaos every day restored to order

I voted for the Democrats even uninspired they
all want to save money there is plenty but they
spend it on war and weapons that's the elephant
no one can stop or even mention it's too awful

some of us won will do what they can despite
dinosaurs against everything what are they for

Monday, November 01, 2010

Our Faults

people are not as you want them
to be but as they are get used to it

we are not the same if we were
would our faults annoy as much

not being understood too painful
trying harder only makes it worse

accept no alternative ideal obstacle
take what each offers with gratitude

Willing Actors

more lights freer staging let it
evolve I am no Rossini alas no
even Poulenc working harder

presence of mind will suffice
given seven more committed
willing actors frightening wit

social construct barely word-
worthy my whole being hangs
in Libra balance soaring hope

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Old Knots

Last night I found myself
still, standing in a yellow room
filled with soft morning light, just
as my grandmother had; a space
now kept by someone else.

Behind, souls can't get out:
I see this cable used to raise the door
is snagged with big old knots
I'm loosening. Half waking

to another noticing
attempts to make the same repair,
clearly retied way too many times
I begin to replace the line

with fishing leader. Still
half awake, feeling this
I am inside you always
coming again and again

—Daniel Potter

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Your Mix

order comforts something else loves
chaos choose your mix if you have a
choice continual consciousness of art

I know it isn't what's real this night in
costume party ahead it's wet outside
elements converge on each individual

happens to be where when you are
can't run can't hide can't stop doing
what it takes advantage falls down

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lucky Man

up first out next to last who
works harder has more fun
than me o lucky man loving
every funny minute close in
bed unbored with challenge

come out even if you can it
makes the game go on our
finest week unwinds no ill
intended gain bright smiles
provoke charmed rejoinder

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stolen Meat

food for bakers bread for feet
wrongs unrighted stolen meat
broken promise altered text
swollen egos badly vexed
faulty thinking self-deceives
losing party disbelieves
platitudes are all intention
phonies rule by inattention
mention what you mean at least

Never Mind

Time is to clock as mind is to brain. —Dava Sobel

or water to pool immerse yourself the warm
bed delicious to skin's own sense of existing

this day expose our borning art steady work
reminds will of its power to absorb and yield

pleasure giving self experience débranché a
now with you in it never mind what you think

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too Late

nobody pays me in fact I pay
to do what I like isn't that so
like an artist no John Lennon
though certainly an artist too
late for any more success but
not too late to do it any more

that last word not forever say
no more as if you mean it say
whatever the script says after
your name is who I think you
are the character as I am god
knows I mean what I say well

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Come Back

a person saying this is that all
I want or need to know tell me

take me away chairs kneeling
imploring mistakenly mocking

tears a momentary melt-down
then strength again wasn't me

know when it is wrong to die
come back we are playing it's

obvious if you know available
to all starting to become alive

Monday, October 25, 2010

Country Life

countdown to Hamlet speaking up for me
smoke in the rain porch car both single a
two-woman house a burlap bench a scene
or three to be enlivened how can I explain

I too want real actors lucky to have a few
come to me where would I have to go if I
went if anyone would have me ever thus
the best I can having chosen country life

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Folded Brain

old age frog
folded brain
play too fast
we can't hear

bigger screen
narrowed eye
seek pleasure
virtually music

found software
sudden season
slows morning
grateful gleam

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lying Naked

writing interferes with reading my little
mind spinning off in mid-sentence exile
inevitable yawning abyss faltering feet

even music isn't glue enough previously
eaten or factory food truth lying naked
linking minutes otherwise unconscious

comfort me and close my eyes when I
am gone one beautiful line among many
yearning to be heard by relatable minds

Friday, October 22, 2010

Warm Sublime

sadly yes you must accept the bitter
with the sweet there's no alternative
be happy to be wise enough for all
who have gone before to Timberline
or some such image of redemption
can remove your lingering improve
another day by rising early reading
friends and would-be strangers too

I might say more the line is drawn
some few will come and go away in
time for secrets habits borrowed at
interest recurs like every possibility
bargain prices conceal productivity
gained on social capital my analysis
cheerfuler in French with furbelows
tacked on whimsical warm sublime

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Plum Jam

ordinary year-old plum jam none
this we had no plums it must have been a disaster
no one tells because no one knows more than any

what am I doing then can't follow
my own play actually having fun actually happy at
the end it's irresistible the way he turns a phrase

"My mother knew beauty, but not how to surround herself sufficiently with it. My father knew my mother, but not how to attract her undivided attention." —Stanley Cavell

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Among Stars

individual words float salt prevaricate meanings fluid
just say it not direction enough not how to act pretend
be yourself being someone else doing something odd

few people care enough to take a chance and come or
go to anything unless their kid friend neighbor's in it
wouldn't be here where there's not very much like that

the horse is not dead or beat but kicks up its heels it
runs like wind get out of its way and thrill from afar
cloud races moving mind-body patterns among stars

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Late Charges

everything said must be said again
in case anyone may have missed it
the first time is never good enough
I try to listen but do not always hear
or see what I am looking at seldom
more than adequate to the occasion

nor does one stanza fully fill the bill
due on receipt look once if you can
control your machine self sit down
do it before late charges kick in the
door open to all but welcoming few
the price of fair reality is vigilance

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dead Queens

what not who defines the mind
untuned in intervals of an opera
about dead queens alive again

no one said enough to be worth
repeating episodes like China tea
biscuits queer jam clotted cream

it was delicious you can believe
I wouldn't say so if it wasn't so
sad about the stolen idea of fun

no one thing enough to satisfy
such advanced peculiar tastes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No Joke

it's hard to read if you think it is
easy if you don't but of course you
have to think we all do even I

wonder what else there is whether
weather or not speaking for myself
contains adequate provisions

no joke in Haiti say something fun
going on without envying anything
you cannot possibly have

where you are matters who too no
doubt whatever free begins at home
where you actually have to be

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Making Moves

what better than this bemused ecstasy
registering beauty October color even
taillights anticipating pleasure continuity

nothing needs to happen but it does
anyway sweet company a thrilling play
then alone again in the private night

so the days go by making moves doing
what needs to be done facing problems
such as they be clearer than ever before

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Warm Companions

worth the road buzz to visit Garrick
on his farm beyond the pass people
living friendly organic gardeners sit
talk on sunny porch two black dogs
become four walk with us in beauty

New York numbers whirl a necessary
nightmare faced with buoyant spirit
none better praise patience probity
welcome gift of self arising prepare
slices of nurture warm companions

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eating Machines

deer munching jaws moving as they
look around what is the point eating
machines and what else are we who
think we think this energy hums on
planetary cosmic flow like alien mind

we are smarter but just as busy our
attention possibly more various but
mainly same proteins and enzymes
drive our days and nights we as well
electro-chemical express a universe

Another Report

shoot me in my chair searching inspiration in the next word or picture
music will remain potential forever small comfort between rebuildings
hard to know easy to kill the old-world methods unregrettable results
in things everywhere barely mentioned specific grapefruits my granola
generously composed openly tasteful befitting sophisticated aspiration

unimaginable sounding has to be known for metonymy of meanings I
mean what I say the day play out the window sight he might authorize
giving up no clue to secret interleavings open to what can't be shut out
without losing what I want to call everything again once said all known
for indiscretion ask another for another report on another landscape

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Acting Natural

fiction can never be pure intrusions
color the false profusion of persons
made up of memory and coincidence

she wakes and must be discovered
in the act of acting natural pushed
by me to define herself perversely

everything she does is made up by
someone else watching every move
beginning what can never end

Monday, October 11, 2010

More Confusion

saying the same thing says listen
I mean it this is the best I can do

saying something else returns the
favor without entirely meaning to

saying nothing is impossible use
words they bring meaning along

so speak carefully when you must
be precise or sow more confusion

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What Normal

normal day cleaned the house
a drive a play a German beer
in Mississippi a drive corn a
short read stew Satie ironing
a movie Japanese Thai very
slow good night what normal

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Deep Supply

nothing doing but regular living
in art I hold up the flag one of
many heroic fortunate happy few

the possibility of pleasure saves
the situation as long as it can be
taken from nature's deep supply

and give back acknowledgement
at least some value added form
elevates function shares root fun

Friday, October 08, 2010

150 Minutes

does art serve life no it lives
beside within refreshment
whenever you need it

(can I open the form despite
flush left yes I am otherwise
free to love)

it gobbles time wants more
driving everything while it happens
missing center if not

rehearsal as example 150 minutes
four a week lend meaning
to the daily dance

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Rest

what I say is not all I think
much of life is prose and
welcome to it nay respect
the forms absent interest
do something unexpected

the usual goes on pleased
when its needs are meet
for grand events or small
wonder you are here now
wishing to know the rest

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Another Way

old friends doing as well or better
not all dead yet this the right age
to be or not remember anything

we used to count syllables how
else define a poem call it an ode
it is one example of another way

to rehearsal ritual sublimity who
comes becomes part I preside
spontaneous keen cooking art

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Being Real

ancestors enumerated thanks Carol back to Alsace England
more recent details in my memoir files virtual memory means
everything to me loving family and friends celebrating with me

everything I like best now here given to me to rehearse for joy
sustaining story form discovery and emotions go with it being
real well seasoned promises keep all coming to play the play

Monday, October 04, 2010

Funny Prose

a birthday present to myself
ends in thoughts of poems
spoken only in the car can I
remember or shall I write an
essay or is this funny prose

rehearsal refocuses on what
must be done and soon over
Living Theatre my darling to
be or not I stand with Judith
doing what she wants to do

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Good Form

so much useless nonsense burning up
the planet flight cancelled vouchers
phone calls shuttle to San Jose motel
"suite" means an arch gesture dividing
the room in two more comfort than I need

otherwise the weekend perfect modern
art College Avenue beer good company
Mark Morris indefatigable good form
Asian art Harold Brodkey and a sweet
baby cousin laughing burbling in my face

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Love Changes

this not the part of life when
things happen love changes work
anxieties identity risks now I
have to be who I already am

and not get lost in playing
myself no sudden virtuosity
save magic moments still awake
surprised my routine so pleasant

what I always wanted was this
unproblematic love a stable home
time slowing as I gradually fall
apart together realize my potential

Friday, October 01, 2010

You Can

if I am the one who are you
who else is here and what
do we know about them even
knowing everything there is

a possible joining even then
what we assume or imagine
is never the same respecting
difference the safe approach

four-letter words tell it best
but offend our delicate ear
as if the real thing is fragile
embarrassable shy of light

we don't have to be alone
oh maybe in some ultimate
sense I say get it while you
can you can believe you can

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Usually Wrong

belly up to the shaker in your homespuns
tell me all about your plans and pleasure

I was there and you are gone but this is
not it anywhere the weather usually wrong

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cinnamon Toast

how one habit or actor replaces another
how freely I offer my fondest hopes
how much less I should have said
but the truth will out and soon forgot

enjoy it while you can remember
how the show reminded me of you
or someone else decades earlier
still young enough to think so

go through the whole story one by one
is so much fun I can't stop eating it
appears to be cinnamon toast with
honey instead of sugar just as good

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Soul Legacy

underlying dismay goes on
regretting another possible life
shipwreck not to be repeated

uniqueness matters but
who to
to put it crudely

pattern of mind soul legacy
needs patient nurture
no one to do it

Monday, September 27, 2010

Act Real

what who might have said remains
unspoken projects absorb energy
move closer speak natural thought
forms twisted sister morphine act
real good time karma wearing thin

then well then absent alternatives
alter everything in flux or matrix
once you start the former engine
parse the matter phonic logically
assembled gets you safely home

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Job

now I've lost Betty where can she
be sure she'll reappear in time I
can't imagine how they get it to
happen "Oedipus" in Japanese

flocks of crows across the sky
caw on cue hundreds of people
on hard benches for two and a
half hours liking it very much

Ophelia is starting a new job
no pressure take the night off
or rather not I want to work as
much as I can capable of more

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wayward Skim

I mean it the way you think
without explaining excuse
for nothing unsaid and yet
this wayward skim is thin

I don't say everything think
twice or hesitate nor let it
all out only what I mean to
keep quiet mornings alone

enough but not too much
my motto modesty of aim
discretion open invitation
couched in sparest words

non-critical but still know
how I feel what judge right
or not wonder if different
ways are equal or superior

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hungry Birds

he doesn't hunt he kills
this human mind works
backward drinking beer
and sure it feels good

even sober fellow love
unites the lonely parts
leaves the wasp alive
but wastes the enemy

he kills for food nest
full of hungry birds
one elk months meat
beats selling his time

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Honest Weight

what of myself can I invest for profit
in a falling market attention my only
capital intention only honest weight

I must do it for pleasure or pleasure
in the doing and I do what emerges
is the measure of improving wealth

keep it going is the challenge share
manifest value each can understand
want to willing voyagers toward flow

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Such Fun (for Mary Lucas)

even long or wrong lives end
sooner one you've known for
seventy years the later gaps
can't erase it is all past now

I distanced myself but didn't
judge unfortunate choices or
bad luck only sorry you lost
your knack for elegant living

such fun to visit on Russian
Hill or Nob or Chinatown or
Oakland piano hot tub with
Julian I have no ear for jazz

nothing personal if I prefer
Chopin egotistical indulgent
I shouldn't have beat you up
with my supposed normality

still don't you had to be you
I me incompatible directions
beyond therapy conversation
regular living could not go on

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flying Visit

equal night full moon call across mountains
read across all borders imaginary drawing

Cascades opposite coasts weather patterns
fail to break aims for uncommon language

if that isn't it I don't know what is is what
he said tell everyone I said you know I try

I think in Norwegian act in flowers kisses
cousins foresee a flying visit well deserved

this accounts for another season passing
flow moments resonate the work begins

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hold Back

don't ask unless you want to know
or answer until spoken to hold back
not to offend repel others' patience
fear of overpowering being too man
excuses nothing of your withdrawals
twee fastidious hold that back again
late much going on being themself

that was what I wanted to know then
wondered why subjected to the wry
tweaking feathers aflutter forget it
not the formula for viscosity one of
my gaps I brag as if there were few
and no one knows better than you
how little glue is not really enough

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Irrelevant Wisdom

shall I be more direct I would
if I could but isn't everything
too obvious already this idea
for example if it is if anyone
says so

otherwise I should abdicate
but who else would do it if
it had to be done dine out
on irrelevant wisdom as if
any is

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clearly Explained

And maybe the message that can barely be deciphered is as close as we can get to the most powerful message of all, which is the one we wait for that never arrives. —Rivka Galchen

not say less more than two
more than you more than
multiply two who can rain

down it comes let it come
let it become few as three
or more clearly explained

never wetter weather wait
may be better or the same
way to nowhere be alone

Friday, September 17, 2010

Try It

everything is clear to me at last
I understand perfectly articulate
write the letter before I've read
the poems though I do mean to
it is only written inside my head

others promise more pleasure if
I'm right it means nothing which
purpose served or aim achieved
which art says more about what
and who cares enough to try it

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hidden Depths

he can't help himself she
said feeding dogs who can
we are what we feel from hidden
depths or else deny the true

missing action figures darkly
measured in spoons toward emptiness
nothing overflows that you can keep
quiet play your ridiculous part

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Ingenue

I hate casting it's the hardest part
of doing a play my little company
is fine but my ingenue is going to
college at night can't do this one
directing comes easy but casting
is agony oh Ophelia materialize!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Serious Stuff

sick of republicans sick of democrats
sick of the stupid tea party iraq iran
afghanistan somalia poor congo poor
people sick of hearing about politics
seriously stupidly stuck serious stuff
needs doing stop posturing and start

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Fun

keep the rhythm going is the key to music
and everything else who can choose to do
is what is possible with practical exercise

patience perseverance courage in adverse
circumstance arranges when we are tested
for soul and substance without prejudice

you can be good too if not the same way
no one has to harder than it looks work
more fun than play if you bring your best

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Others Mumble

need our numbers help with weather
whether others mumble I don't care
where you dare go crazy for berries
falling off the falling over vines pick
quick if it doesn't seem so at the time

movie time bed late I finished another
draft of the same old story finally got
it right I always knew but didn't dare
there I dare to too many times willing
to prove the opposite not so different

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nothing Real

did he look at me did he see
the tears and know how well
I understood we sacrifice for
art immolate ecstatic bored
tormented humiliation isn't
worth it but there is nothing
else was the line to the man
behind me scripted nothing
real who knows besides me

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy People

streaming north counter others
south all different destinations
why this not something else
everything quantumly possible

you can only act now only be
consistent with earlier choices
you might not have made why
cars why so many busy people

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Something Else

should I be doing something else
must we always ask ourselves that

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bad Night

comfort range narrow tolerance
for discomfort nil non-survive
without furnaces houses exact
layers of protection mentally no
better one bad night ready die

winter is coming get used to it
the pool eighty-four year round
makes it easy if cold don't swim
bring out the corduroys afghans
fleeces heaters store away fans

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

For Hamlet

black velvet on the tennis court
I want some for Hamlet myself
beyond the pale brooding beauty

they are athletes with a sense of
style who can scorn such power
bodes well for something lost

what mattered was elegance cool
meandering days freely spent
learning subtle highways home

Monday, September 06, 2010

Do Something

I started to get depressed but
didn't have to not an ordinary
day it's Labor Day do something
dance with pendulum no video
clean studio floor call a friend
whack my hill I did my writing
before breakfast is that enough

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Out Loud

why don't I think what I have to say
is interesting it is and yet I fade say
some vague fragment of experience
someone changes the subject I hope
you don't mind my questions it's how
I think out loud if one has time for it

Saturday, September 04, 2010

No Option

work does itself if you don't do anything else
give your mind and body that is your time it
happens you don't have to do it just be there
active allow yourself to act idleness no option

Friday, September 03, 2010

Keep Moving

two weeks O.K. anything it takes
everything is negotiable if I can
keep moving preferably forward

fabulous charro artisan work we
celebrate Mexican excellence we
lunch dinner from garden better

tomatoes at last pale European
cucumber tiny new potatoes it's
plenty I don't want to eat much

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Only Morning

I didn't want salmon
but it wasn't my birthday

all my efforts in vain
delay two weeks? or?

open windows for air
close to keep in cool

chocolate at any hour
breakfast only morning

clouds in monochrome
cobwebs on peasant girl

pleasant to contemplate
madness to undertake

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mainly Awake

everything held in mind at once
rewriting my life casting Ophelia
letters poem news books granola
season changing

Tipsarevic demolishing Roddick
most of it trivial Fleming singing
in Russian palaces don't we miss
Saddam Hussein

no excuse for killing tomatoes
race the frost worth year waiting
for coherence past bedtime still
mainly awake

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Negative Space

shall I ration my pleasures will they
last longer if enjoyed less that makes
no sense not done is negative space

the mountain face is scored with lines
that could be wrinkles age powdered
with snow veiled in dissolving clouds

another vision would come if allowed
better alternatives able bodies could
keep working years without complaint

champions of smaller games decline
try hard what matters is being kind
patient loving who needs your love

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lost Language

is this the world am I in it this dusk
over among the fallen raspberries

what I knew subsumed in ignorance
inflates infinite wiki appetites mine

gone to pattern self-replicating as if
memory transmutes to dubious tales

as if what I assumed would be didn't
or elastic membranes yield to time

what are you talking about you stop
waiting to remake the lost language

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Get Moving

if the game works out I am reassured
another day dawns pink promising joy
or at least pleasure some are reliable

when the chill gets to me I get moving
pictures barely enough a day's beard
a clean house a few hours wide open

what I've decided often comes to pass
surprising in its regularity as if when
is a function of whatever you expect

Friday, August 27, 2010

Too Hard

don't worry I only hear
what's true to me my instincts
are mature I trust myself
if not my patience or powers
of organization keeping
everything in focus at once
is too hard I do my best

is "Love" enough I wonder
nothing finished when I stop
oh go ahead each step
better than none even if
it goes on forever like
nothing else matters more
as if I actually know how

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Less Rich

children come and go who can
not be sad the neighbor girl is
saddest of all but briefly while
our absences go on for years

we live with all souls all time
losing and gaining presences
ourselves possibly away but
usually here while we can be

not pain but the shimmer of
caring for others being part
of ourselves less rich without
paid with inevitable parting

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doing It

is it discipline to do what you like
it is if you do it virtually every day
for years just because you like it
doesn't make it easy to keep it up

pleasant though proud of yourself
that what you like is doing it that
doubles reward not just think but
act on that impulse while it's hot

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

While Shaving

where is surrealism when we need it
trivialized by Dali and the sloganeers
not to dish Dali but really consumerism
is worse than bourgeoiserie had taste
at least usually bad any betters none

catalogs make me want to buy clothes
when I already have too many they are
so well photographed what is opposite
of innocence to be programmed by ads
bigots greedies oversimplify for profit

writers can only play the game that's on
tv radio I listen to NPR while shaving is
that enough yes to know what depths
our culture has sunk to as if it helps
flooded Pakistanis that we feel sorry

Too Busy

one star one moon difficulty breathing
a roaring at the sewer works children
sleeping with the door open close it

lost check she will look in her wallet
months go by too busy for anything
always choosing the have-no-choice

as if dates controlled her days girls
worse giggling into their phones in
Korean frustrate her best attentions

and yet she is happy generous warm
in love moon-blessed a mother making
her way not mine brightens all days

Monday, August 23, 2010

Call First

where news what grok social
media over I am usually here
call first be sure to munch to
change every word to another

what is supposed to happen
but will it or something else
steps moves time moves on
with and without my doing

moments in focus others blur
my good intentions if awake
say what to think to make it
exactly what I had in mind

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Vision

complete disaster but trivial like
a game of solitaire gone wrong
complete success but also trivial
like the play group having fun

what is not trivial news fatigue
that people suffer horribly in
body mind everything is lost
or happy vision of moon full

making faces voices carried
on the wind thinking locally
doing our time with friends
for art in spite of confusion

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Not Things

words are not things they only refer
pipe is not a pipe what kind of pipe
to smoke or run fluids through smoke
what what fluids oil water gas what's
that they are better than things each
only itself unrepresentative example
competing for thingness or blurring
into one another veins hearts brains
words do what things can't contain
more than their limited capacities

Friday, August 20, 2010

Among Artists

playing alone you can often force the game to come out
someone should win why not you that is me who knows
if you cheat that's part of the game you tell yourself why
be rigid if you can't play up to tempo slow down no one
is listening the good parts are sublime but who can tell

with good will force ourselves to be nice to laugh it is
genuine good fellowship there is no one else we love
each other putting up love poems on the trees another
year among artists as if we were the real and we are
if we are doing it even if we are not selling it like them

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Way Out

dare to imagine the gloom of winter
if you dare to ruin the summer day

does daring make it matter more or
less than taking the easy way out

if there is one there are many none
works longer than he has to survive

a chill on a beautiful day did Brahms
despair but he didn't let it stop him

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Technology

even with upgrades I fall behind
not interested in facebook twitter
my information packets vaguer
and more private if you know me
there is more if you care to ask

now my superdrive is broken we
took it out I have to take it in
probably unfixable like so much
new technology maintenance
delays inevitable obsolescence

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Someone Knows

"…thinking and reasoning are nothing more than ornate rationalizations of what our emotions ineluctably drive us to do." (see

how does anything work thank
heaven someone knows think
how complicated everything is

cunningly designed by person
I don't know exquisitely made
incomprehensibly does my will

let us admire the makers who
figure things out and do them

Monday, August 16, 2010


for perfect arrangement reduce variables
one is perfect zero even more if possible
two well-matched and skillful can balance
three begins to spin but four is unstable
two twos or three against one compete
five is democratic three majority rules
go out the window with six find another
to make seven the prototype community
and so on evens paralyzed odds contend
nine just enough for the roles in the play
fifty-two good for many diverting games
exploiting play of chance and inevitable
smaller better but I large complex claim
room on the train for all who want to go

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fly Away

give up the idea that nothing has changed
half of what you learned was never true

reading something difficult and thinking
about something else also difficult in a
a different way does my brain still work

can I communicate with one who thinks I
think like him when I don't same words
different meanings links insignificance is
something I can live with quantum leaps

don't explain you know less than anyone
else could tell stories just like those but
chooses measures what a symbol can be

and why we're here why life goes on as
if we wished it willing words to fly away

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Begin Again

old friends come back acting
are we history not me undefined
by any success I begin again

this is the middle I thought at
thirty-five end anytime and then
went longer doing same things

artifacts of what is over return
survivors wonder am I yet alive
how could this have happened

we would not do that now are
doing what is just as strange
becoming what is still to be

Friday, August 13, 2010

No Stars

the sky show starts later
after the noise dies down
hideously overamped din
an Eagle Scout celebration
multitudes were screaming
then cars and revving bikes
everyone goes bed except
people who see no reason
clocks expectations sleep
when the trashman comes
no stars in city anyway

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mere Mistake

if I said I would I will do I ever
let you down I do change my
mind opinions are of the now
don't hold me to them always

basic values not to say unless
I mean it may misspeak over
hasty flustered stairway lines
you forgive my mere mistake

when you need me I am here
when it matters call my name
I am saving myself for you or
others in greater sooner need

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Enacting Myself

Just out of reach, some realization that will make sense of everything at last. In the meantime I take it for granted that my personal reality at least is what it is, perfected in its way; that I am enacting myself as best I can, on micro and macro levels interwoven if not quite simultaneous. If there is a gap it is not too disturbing. One more day seems like a good idea, a little closer to what I had in mind. I don't seem to think the way other people do, but the results are more or less the same.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Old Port

hip reprieve relief two five years
any Ophelia will be fine Hamlet
can relate whatever happens so
the day goes good friends talk
fast at the same time and ends
with new blackberries old port

photo problems tomorrow they
go on and so do I amid others
waiting for an unmarked page
to fill up with nameless actions
quick exchange washing dishes
declares time-space on after all

Monday, August 09, 2010

Nearly Shot

do his toes tickle the summer air
do his feet stand up and dance is
he allowed to stay up later than the
others what are they doing in the
bedroom probably reading thinking
the same sinuous don't be mean it
doesn't help one foot dancing the
other sitting one out on his knee

each genuinely fond of each other
they perform personalities ready
for any non-interruption the night
wears on their nerves nearly shot
hot showers final sleep vulnerable
dogs and coughs how give more
after creative play on the way to
and from more serious concerns

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Deep Napping

simple satisfactions abound easily
noticed if watching closely awake
within deep napping after lunch

did that happen oh yes everything
imagined or remembered between
berry picking and one good deed

whether news bites or Steve Reich
or the sound of my own thoughts
reach goals return without regret

Funny Animals

horses are happy just to eat
funny animals stand munch
large eating machines in one
end you know thinking hard
but not clearly that's enough

people are different we like
throwing parties for hordes
fighting wars to defend our
mental castles or whatever
stuff in more not satisfied

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Odd Comfort

I don't need to be reminded
we're old I feel it not all bad
dimmed eyes stiffness aches
tottering gait fragile systems

but also not so fretful less at
stake appearance reputation
what anyone thinks mother's
codger friend's no alternative

odd comfort that after all this
is what there is choices made
when they mattered more is
possible not different is O.K.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Middle Distance

hearing me up Tom calls from outside the open windows
I am sneezing again after two weeks clear
a crow caws in the distance other birds nearer
tweets chirps buzzes louder than whispering traffic
farther away than the intimate fuzzy buzzing in my ears
like looking through a screen or slightly dirty window
at an interesting scene in the middle distance
early birds pursuing their quest for nourishment
talking knowing worms don't have ears and bugs
need to be ready to die at any moment

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Never End

no time for movies all the other
evening activities while it's light
polishing my headlights working
on my book publishing which is
moving right along Ignacio's out
at last the Harry tribute good to
go once I check the proof Magie
says it's beautiful blog poems next
hot rehearsing Kory in my studio
long summer days will never end

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Political Action

eating vegetables from your garden
is sufficient political action he said
you can take the rest of the day off
bicycling away smiling up the sunny
road our action is our art surely is he
entirely ironic is it all a joke his sisters
his mother's diaries how can anything
be changed except by taking its picture

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Both Sides

something might emerge but it's too late
my head is spinning from activities sleep
beckons my eyes drift into blur and cross
my head lolls nothing is worth repeating
like anything worth doing is worth doing
twice or twice as well or both sides now
is enough for the final minute of the day

Monday, August 02, 2010

Fewer Humans

here where the land is not ruined
grass farmers burn the fields our
eyes burn our throats we cough

better than most we are happy
not being part of a disaster no
accident everyone knew better

did it all anyway because they
could and still do empty houses
where fewer humans should live

our soil is deep the climate truly
temperate holy rain abounds our
garden nourishes us virtue tasty

Lost Words

"Only when your throughts have started to drift is creativity possible."
—David Gelernter

if you don't say it now it won't be said
he said
as if an ultimatum ever does any good
lost words never come back the same

what does it matter if you miss a day
she said
or would have said if I had asked her
but why would I who else really cares

I hope I don't sound bitter I'm not a bit
I said
I am happy with how things came out
not that one had any viable alternative

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Most Things

some things just work out perfectly
like a movie most things might say

that's why movies are things based
on things something is a real thing

we assume not thinking otherwise
if we knew how we probably would

and often may do contrary motion
ostensibly harmless way stay awake

Friday, July 30, 2010

After Yogurt

a week away and the crabcrass likes
not being watered takes two to dig
and pull declare victory before it's too
late summer browns grass hopeless

corrections keep coming when do I
say good enough nothing flawless
let the presses roll now everything is
easy to change never a final version

is that the Oregon effect no I always
was a romantic realist try for perfect
learn not to miss my sleep or meals
hot shower every morning after yogurt

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Racing Stream

look up the sky striped in lurid peach
the cuddled cat doesn't care but I do
look out over mountain ranges paling
in the haze drink the high-altitude air
think as clear as the racing stream icy
cold warm sun flashing on rocks below

it's nothing personal until you make it
matter doing its energetic best shining
if you eye it right livelihood right action
if you choose if lucky if not do it anyway
I am not who you think I am look up the
stripes yield to the waning moon me too

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Too Swift

if I could draw it wouldn't be a mountain
what is not mentioned I decided long ago
it might explode hardly as permanent as
it seems some do when their time is up

nothing will change unless you forget to
pay attention a lesson not to fool around
the space remains moving through space
too swift for mortal cognizance to catch

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Never Dead

where do plays fit anywhere who cares
about anything anymore except what I
did newspapers which are over now an
old idea are all media transitional after
and before the theatre is always dying

but never dead the people who don't
come are missing out it's fun for me
a trip for all actors get off being on
the stage is everything we like we still
need you audience to receive our gifts

Monday, July 26, 2010

Other Roots

welcome to the family is how you take it
embrace acceptance as an actual person
qualified to be one of us when I doubted
found when I had lost myself or a zoo-like
public showing of freakish possible forms
defined by cages marveling at each other
when not seriously annoyed I was touched

embrace the concept but reality is I have
my own children brought from elsewhere
our own history not same deep other roots
less in your face maybe that's why I didn't
cry when I would if the groom were mine
marrying yet another family linking world

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Perfect Timing

this is the day we tend toward the purpose
of having come so far so fast all directions
home true reckoning with appropriate food

our former neighbor house still striving no
gain or nostalgia how we stood it in fact we
had fun making the most of our middle age

or walking around downtown where every
block turns on perfect timing generations
realize potential tides carry away all boats

wait for the bus in Spanish wondering about
my pants bleeding leaking swiftly betrayed
certainty of body walking waking up in time

and watch real reason walking funny acting
history wigged well enough carry the show
forward into marriage and total satisfaction

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Still Alive

we know each other surprised
we are still alive years later

the landscape has matured in
subdivisions freeway on-ramps

cracking the beach erodes and
all is lost romantic memory

worth reuning once in a while
watch young make their way

expert waiter different drinks
as if enjoying new possibilities

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Interesting

we are moving fast doing lots
while in a relatively stable calm
which is it fast slow or nothing
to insist on saying if they're not
interested if they don't realize
I am more interesting than they
already know about themselves
no call for any of us to show off

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Place

outside in Davis the evening cools
after serious heat on the straight
highway after the Siskyous I could
live in Dunsmuir for the vibe if I
had another life or here for now
tiny tidy cottages beside bikeway
along arboretum park full of kids
and grownups jammed together
as if Central Park in the middle
of nowhere not everywhere is
somewhere in a way I can like
but these are and many more
does everyone keep imagining
new changes in another place
my father priced real estate I
like the vague might-have-been
anything is possible even now

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Coming Back

until we go we are here in practice
if not thought the subtle body goes
ahead and when we are gone we are
still here after all we are coming back

eventually everyone shows up with
varied results piano student fooling
around problem actor brilliantly right
exactly what I wanted for the part

my conscience easy challenges hard
choices made will answer every need

Monday, July 19, 2010

Antique Tools

book done letters writ pack later
both guys stood me up tomorrow
last day here goes well planned
stop thinking no point what will
be done will do what none before
have seen brightly possible play

come fate whether I will I will to
call or send a messenger if here
will answer what I need to know
then later never old-fashioned
small dull never old life was fun
satisfying work earned reward

that too is true and the other two
too much for a dollar and a half
if he remembered are we there
a workshop full of antique tools
make something for me make a
time machine or gravity eraser

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Every Kiss

I've done everything I'm going to do
by now save surgeries life support
etc. not just old only more so now
this is repetition what keeps it fresh
makes every moment special every
conversation dinner orgasm kiss prana
doesn't lie never falls down on the job
constantly arises original momentum
endlessly expanding to fill the infinite

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quaking Plain

"We do not succeed in changing things according to our desires, but gradually our desires change." —Proust

now I don't dream
or if I do a dream
is natural my sleep
restful threatening
only entertainment

when I do dream
it is as if brighter
vivider real doing
bleaches this life
every color fugitive

thrills my branch
apples of memory
fall bruised upon
rocks of morning
await with worms

the cycle turning
I anticipate more
willingly awake in
happy trepidation
on quaking plain

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ask Me

connect if could score template
proceed to books at least try
learning shortcuts go faster
in my short-wheelbase speedster
forget discipline it's what I want
do you know what I mean do I
say so if you mean it network
down if you bother to ask me

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keep On

how much do you need to know
to make the right decision every
time does anyone I don't think so

then how do things go on they
work fairly well considering how
complicated they have become

you need a system and patient
workers to make small changes
fix what's broken and keep on

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Brandenburg 2 most beautiful music
best performance heavenly oboe alto
clarinet for trumpet what would Bach

Bob Potter good example of a good
man gone true confrère wrote plays
like me loved enough to take steps

may his work live on benefit peace
restore sanity brothers in arms to
resist destruction of us or others

new Italian movie "Io sono l'amo"
took me out of everything moved
and bought new cast-iron griddle

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sweet Moment

can't I slow down why this
steady allegro not a beat
without incident but I like
what I'm doing all matters

where's that space inside
dark the size of universes
bright stars shining on us
but from very far away

emptiness remember I'm
not working in an office
no boss even self defeat
no option wrong lingo

this is not a novel or a
symphony forget sonata
form days not programmed
verses what I make them

in conclusion I raise baton
bows poise sweet moment
the music that had paused
resumes and couples dance

Monday, July 12, 2010

It Jumps

my name doesn't describe me
oh it'll do for signing checks I
guess I thought of Bluebird or
Motter might that be better is
family or fancy simply change
it lies on the page who knows
the problem is the Smith look
it jumps defiantly plainspoken
Michael special in my younger
years now generic take me as
I match the words I write out
as an ordinary name cannot

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sudden Change

is that what really happened
or am I making it up are you

tales of tender possibility a
sudden change of weather or

something else entirely that
glitters more than it shows

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Too Depressing

what's the matter with Obama
not only not good he's actively
bad not only not making things
better he's making them worse
hardly the change we wanted
no wonder I tune out political
news it's just too depressing

Friday, July 09, 2010

Still Wondering

life is the answer the tree
glittering through the blind
still wondering what I see

what you do that is what
the story turns out to be
in the end if there is one

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Solid Objects

someday my merits will be recognized
or not who cares if I don't no one will
blame how humans have developed a
way of responding that feeds back and
makes things worse not better after all

will can save the individual just decide
but it's too late for humanity as a whole
I fear we're in for catastrophic collapse
then something else everything lost
except a few very large solid objects

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Easy Way

I like it hot but not
the lethargy black
railing untouchable
stairway pain call
surgeon time come

though tai chi fine
walks once begun
ping-pong lunges
cost well worth it
serious this is not

strip fan take easy
way out while can
dance in private if
anyone cares I do
better accepting

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Cute Name

no viagra thanks anyway what I need
help with is hay fever isn't that a cute
name for annoying pollen effects this
time every year I sneeze and the rest
wake up at five too stuffy to lie down
no early project going now the funny
touching play dreamed only a dream
got away before I could write it down

Monday, July 05, 2010

Trash Noise

another puzzle matches the flowering moment
keep score while you still can do more driving
smooth running pleases most careful growers

place is closer than time to tell stories regret
piano lessons less than perfect Debussy still
better than none or trash noise or whatever

she's too weird my taste never went that far
I tried to like it even if I didn't ultimately told
the truth about being freaked or bored silly

Sunday, July 04, 2010

No Fuss

space station passing climaxes fireworks
frighten dogs horse runs around sweats
Italians know how to celebrate have fun
I'm like part of the family warm no fuss
cage fighting then the gentlemen's final
each one has a different idea all accept

fathers love their children just being is
enough the other dimension is here or
there we go visit mountains orchards
touristing cross the Bridge of the Gods
cross back see salmon swim upstream
say strawberry shortcake in Japanese

Friday, July 02, 2010

Skip Dinner

pretending to walk we pulled vines off trees
till our hands stung exhilarating adventures
everywhere went driving with the top down

come and go climb swing pick ping elucidate
watch happy afterwards I have to take a nap
skip dinner the pendulum vertical when still

Thursday, July 01, 2010

At the Edge

They were looking gloomy, for good reason, although if you ask me it only makes it worse to get depressed when things are going badly.
—Robert Bolaño

no ice on the drive it's July
triple digits in Tucson not
hot here but summertime

poems pour out even sans
poets to talk to trips crazy
young adventures no fun

or other joys continued
Chopin this week novel
people and possibilities

without feathers covers
disappoint their content
lapping richly at the edge

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


too slow to notice I seem to know the moves
why are they so easy at first so hard to learn
grass pleasant under foot irritates passages

then suddenly a month is over solstice past
doing something every day adds up change
clothes rhythm breathe deep into the belly

you can call this kicks preparing products
is the fun once they come out it's over then
something else comes up sweet weed-free

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tell Me

making them look like idiots is fun
but it doesn't do any good they
already look like idiots pandering to
who like idiots to reassure them
in their idiotic opinions
what else can we do
if you're so smart tell me

Monday, June 28, 2010

More Plays

chance makes plans not to be obvious
more plays surfacing all the time even
now the coolth arrives quietly clicking

what specific question can we answer
keeping secret means of self-respect
a symbol means less than thing itself

or so I was told and repeated widely
how we looked when we were young
recalling what came after if we must

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dark Trees

the moon rises on time
defines time all but brown
above dark trees the face
benign almost winking

later will be whiter still
pale haloed will a curfew
keep kids wholesome I
would worry if I could

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Just Read

do you read me you who took
my card you who know me better
but how well is that how well do I
know you your family history is
vague how many children I know
you told me or you who notice
my existence after I am gone

I can only hope you do and will
thought tentacles reaching out
writing everything be my friend
at least my reader that's enough
don't say a word just read

Friday, June 25, 2010

Running Down

if not this now then what when
you tell me how I will do it pick
blueberries just before dark an
evening days years rolling past

natural as it is to see the world
running down it's a conspiracy
how tell the story as if making
it up to me I would not buy in

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Even Rocks

there was something I was going to say
a regret a concern a plan that wasn't it

one book all but done two others work
something to do with what can't be said

will it come to me if I don't think about it
try try me try to remember try patience

what I realized is that everything moves
it's natural even rocks' atoms whirl

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Major Characters

thanks for saying so is what
I meant to say appreciation
helps open yourself to it and
there it is another good idea

further sermon is this really
my voice or am I faking does
it matter what you think may
be going on or is it a dream

Living Theatre more than real
major characters from another
life intense conviction feeling
I have something else to do

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Falling Over

what is balance
not falling over
being a critic
being a Libra
moderation in all things
I speak of my Libra nature
smiling laughing
like a Libra

well I am losing it
my sense of balance
edge lover always
I can't walk on rocks
much less water
I tip and stagger
amused but knowing
if I should fall
I would break something

more balanced than ever
what matters more than
everything in proportion
new clarity not afraid
to say something
might be obvious
or not

Monday, June 21, 2010

Straight Enough

a pang to my heart inevitable as a son
departs but another will come and it is
summer first blueberries blue though
barely ripe the swing swings straight
or straight enough the grapes draped
date play title makes it a breakthrough

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sudden Tears

quiet enough the night sings a father's reward
acknowledged easily none more precious than
another unique engagement squandered time
comes back again tomorrow and the day after

Bach's finest melodies played two at once or
twice as well known for eruptions misplaced
good intentions bringing sudden tears I said
I'm sorry I am forgiven once and once again

fluff the curry and aioli add artichokes enjoy
the same dinner different rice good for some
vegetable pickers defy merchandise flying off
the shelves or handle every emotion physical

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Deep Hole

the mines don't pay but they dig
anyway leave minor devastation
a deep hole some concrete ruins

while the waterfall pours down
accelleration visible the forest
grows ferns many greens glow

El Niño accounts for part of this
cold wet spring I don't mind but
global confusion looming large

a picnic a terrible play we have
a good time lucky stars benign
chance put us here unharmed

Going Well

another play begins it's "Hamlet"
of all things what a good idea it
sounds fine if Kory less a word
man that's what rehearsals for

two months off now forget it
if I can maybe fix my hip keep
writing enjoy the summer if it
ever comes my art going well

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Change Now

misuse the war metaphor again
oil no assault on our shores no
enemy to fight but our own bad
habits they begin with thinking
or rather not thinking spending
too much energy driving growth
the wrong goal grow vegetables

drilling for oil is inherently risky
especially so deep no one can be
perfectly careful always accidents
obsess as if this tragedy isolated
no it is part of a vaster tragedy
no one leading we are stumbling
mindlessly downhill change now

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Great Pleasure

is this better or worse
or nothing doing I can't
tell non-critical of life
give me art or not at all

O.K I dissimulate not
jealous or even envious
actually I can and take
great pleasure in it too

join me in the revels
much to celebrate also
mourn you remember
even if friends forgot

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Being Seen

if I were you I would not be me
or sorry take your pick are you
I must hope not because I care

if you were me what would you
say to another hand of solitaire
cinnamon toast a glass of milk

you are my hope immortal all
that matters to me everything
I am depends upon your eyes

being that means being seen
otherwise the room is empty

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not Enough

he suddenly turns on me
furious sarcastic condescending mean
denounces me classes me with
"ruling class persons" sneers at the
"wealth of the Connecticut WASP"

my time in Connecticut
two bright years at Hotchkiss
two clouded years at Yale
nine months in the loony bin
(albeit free to go)
ten years working in a factory
(albeit a harpsichord factory)
calls me a parasite

I was never rich
I wish I were but not enough
it's true I am not a great pianist
but no one will accompany you more sympathetically
no one try harder to play beautifully

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Carry On

it couldn't have been more perfect
the first summer day for a poetry
party celebrating ten festive years

the founders showed and we who
carry on to share poems eat drink
a magnum of champagne whisky

absinthe nobody liked but me tell
curious stories laugh act silly Ruth
retired Pat turns eighty tomorrow

while the perfect summer evening
magically embraced us warm and
kindly after weeks of chilling rain

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Gift

dead friends come back in dreams
and die again
or disconcertingly disappear
I wake to realize

I'm glad to see them anyway
if briefly
remembered fondness never dies
a gift beyond

Moments Alive

aesthetic traces have to satisfy
nothing else remains knowing
moments alive tasting sublime

can I share this insight tonight
a Salon about music the model
of all art experience I surmise

you can hold it in your hand
hang it on the wall run it on
the screen still only the now

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Only Plans

give me actors I will give you a play
my Hamlet was building gas stations
in rainy Washington messages lost in
space I didn't know what to think but
here he is again I am greatly relieved

other things can happen but this was
my first idea I want to see it tested
if it can smoothly move ahead plans
are only plans and sometimes change
but sometimes not you never know

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

My Novel

fragments linger
my job at the paper
when there still were papers
my editor friends with an agent
who would surely like my novel
which I had forgotten
what was the name of my novel

several gray stone apartment buildings
on the edge of a cliff above the city
on a bay wrapped around by mountains
my motorcycle repaired in a nearby alley
they must be reserved for the rich
I would like to go inside
there is a party
the walls are glass
the view is stunning

Monday, June 07, 2010

Poetry Food

everybody loves the super-kitsch
even super-loud do I belong there
I doubt it but I'm on the schedule
time tell something else happens
even I have other ideas and yet I
hope all will be well spoken done

my only idea for poetry food is
pasta al Dante I can easily make
for any number with a minimum
of boiling while the sun shines on
whoever comes calling for more
imaginary membership at large

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Be Better

someone I care about
talks little carefully in
simple clear sentence
forms true being lives

quietly confiding who
listens counts beating
hearts mindful smiles
glitter gaily to delight

follow this a naturally
occurring blessing if
I knew more I would
be better than I can

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Damage Done

sleep roiled with dreams tinnitus
like clashing knives hip hurtful
today limping never mind I'm
happy in spite of arctic tragedy
described by Gretel all too well

how can the greater and lesser
devastation impinge so little on
my own well-being as I used to
say I'm worried about the world
as opposed to my personal life

even more so now that the end
is closer I don't mind but don't
want others to suffer but they
have and do the damage done
and nothing can undo it alas

Friday, June 04, 2010

Eat Better

wild spending linen software
travels books car repairs an
extra hundred for dawdling
does it matter I don't know

earning nothing I hope it
all works out so far it has

going out to dinner less we
eat better from the garden
debt free I pay my bills at
once after this flurry calm

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Badly Scratched

I could see better but I'm all right
or almost maybe Ogle can fix my
reading glasses so I don't have to
use the old ones badly scratched

that one thing a serious cookie a
long sought kitchen thing a book
some art Stumptown coffee best
wandering around parking thrice

home to another skunk trapped
and shot upsetting I am upset at
dinner Beethoven absorbs it all
friendly balloonists over Parma

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Poles Apart

opposites do not exist in nature
except as aspects of unity poles
apart while joined in singularity

one might be the other without
violating its integrity viz. open
or closed a door is still a door

let not the mind mislead itself
with words can mean anything
without implying real existing

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Too Fast

is this too fast my confidence
wavers I repeat I repeat like rain

older happier for no reason learn
new tricks make same mistakes

more to come will make it better
if I can wait I will believe biology

it's all too slow yet all gets done
in time unless it comes too late

Monday, May 31, 2010

End War

tweaking is not enough rethink
everything is wrong puncturing
the planet sssssssssssssssssss

music is not enough reimagine
we can't go back only forward
how to repair great damages

how to live together crowded
as we are with ancient hatreds
think imagine believe end war

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cottage Cheese

Best Foods mayonnaise and Nancy's cottage cheese shhh
or I will tell on you too not that I know anything shameful

a question of taste my stock in trade as if I knew enough
to be exemplary or say what you or anyone ought to like

inevitably miscellaneous potluck of the highly conscious
in a time of weirdness symbolic nourishment is also food

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Infinite Craft

to the snake and the possum I'm
sorry one of you is real the other
dreamed or a photograph from
another time and place whoever
thought we would go on so long

endearments disarm the novel's
infinite craft and art projected
on a painted screen why hide it
knowing if not mentioning who
did what when we were young

Friday, May 28, 2010

Abstract Purposes

this word means what it says
that I am writing well that we
understand each other better
than we think that words are
good for something more or
less valuable than useful for
abstract purposes like talking

that came out in a rush because
I'd thought about it with my other
brain attention elsewhere dressed
up indulging in a special dinner
celebrating eighteen happy years
playing music now a century old
kissing murmuring sweet wit

I let it stand for what I want
to say to write is arranging
words in space in time will
tell the story now unfolding
lucky confident imagining a
reader when night is young
I am loving this book again

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I forgot to paint eyelashes
as bad as anyone the same
crude nose flatly forward
at least I did it I can learn
if I put in the time practice
helps I am better at editing
effortless natural decades
of experience forever fun
if anyone asks me I say yes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fickle Ways

what does rain mean
why does it make me
feel chilly when warm
what's its true content
besides perfect water

how does rain matter
apart from furthering
growth good and bad
plants flourish madly
growing uncontrolled

weather is impersonal
but who can resist its
alternating cheer and
gloom its fickle ways
charm and annoy us

now it has stopped
am I glad or sorry do
I regret complaining
yes do I hope for sun
yes but I love the rain

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Swept Up

start and the rest will follow
a hard lesson to learn if you
don't start someone else will
and you will be swept up in
their trip or just mechanical
doing the already program
program it yourself at least

Monday, May 24, 2010

Open Mind

I may or may not maybe tomorrow
or the next day or the day after or
all of the above and more or less
constantly all the rest of my life

other possibilities may also occur
keep an open mind and consider
changing it when better evidence
convinces you what you thought
was not the case suddenly clear

the morning is a moment away
night has lost its dubious charm
someone is calling you respond

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Don't Forget

Alfred totally gets it as usual
but Kory hasn't called back or
the high school I quietly fret

meanwhile Harry lives Dinny
is home again Christopher
and Patrick are coming over

either way is O.K. make it
happen catch up on blogs
don't forget a single thing