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 www.edge.org)

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