Monday, December 31, 2018

After All

what else is to be done
after all the living through
not needing to be lived again

what was open is closed
what was closed is open
to more of the precious same

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Inner Peace

is comfort and security death
to the artist as Dawn Powell
ironically said nothing normal
anymore eighty years later I
might as well be more chill

chaos anger defiance replace
ideals of civility inner peace
is all we ever had to turn to
denial precedes imagination
of multiplying human value

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Written Out

first a person then a pattern
circumstances already await
what happens by chance or
predetermined opportunity

choose if you have a choice
as if inventing what already
exists as potential you alone
embody what has to become
written out in invisible blood

Sunday, December 09, 2018

This Blur

if I were clear-headed
what more would I see
or is clarity a quality of
youth clear-eyed clear-
eared distant horizon

this blur is clear enough
what I see and hear more
than I can understand or
know what to do with
without undue struggle

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Drifting Off

is the degradation of this world a trauma
consequent stress requiring relief by dreams
or is it too slow to register though all around us
not enough oxygen or hunger for transcendence
belief in possible betterment on multiple planes

what follows is no fun watch out get ready
denial only goes so far nostalgia dumb whole
beautiful ways of life irretrievably lost live on
imagining ourselves there virtually soothed
then drifting off as if everything is improved

Friday, December 07, 2018

Sharing Air

wish I could sing and chat
with myself and others too
celebrate with you unending
miles and years apart memory
almost as good as being there

is it love or pure good will
links us higher than personal
all-one sharing air promising
to do better if anyone asks
and really trying to be good

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The Cards

suddenly I can shuffle after
some years of not being able
fingers sore and too weak to
release the cards smoothly I
used a machine what else that
I've lost can I get back again

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Come Home

two cloudy days then rain all week
maybe you'll come home and I can
stay by your side doing those things
that matter most by being ordinary
this too creation and recovery who
we are unfolding between travels I
remember best being here with you

Monday, November 19, 2018

Not Yet

you don't want to think about it yet
though you can't entirely fend it off
is age and frailty getting the upper
hand I've already given up lighting
and directing are your horses next
in dread of going through this again
you don't want to think about it yet

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Good Chocolate

"edge detection is sweet" she said
which out of context suggests
anything you feel privately or with
another person you may touch
indulgence is not always wrong or
bad like eating good chocolate

Wednesday, November 07, 2018


fragments of thought like rarely seen birds

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Chopped Up

my reason for not writing is
weary of rehearsing the past
the world as it is chopped up
with fences maps roads buildings
human intentions interfering
substitute for natural processes
life as it is made into stories
never quite true no one can read
without translating into himself
performing for his own pleasure

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Even People

starting to hate the modern world
not such a good idea even people
who can't help living as they do
partake of the available as it is
participate in the rapid ruination
everything we hold dear succumbs
to the might of dollars even now
as they lose their value vulgarity
at the top symbolizes our decay
the old ideal of beauty forgotten
kindness generosity welcoming
spirit hope for the future broken
even the best bought off helpless
as humanity digs its sorry grave

Saturday, October 27, 2018

No Excuse

deer hunting in our woods
one of many matters I don't
need to have an opinion about
I don't have to justify existing
there's no excuse for any of us
driving using plastic burning gas
pillaging our only living planet
for our comfort and amusement
I won't be here for the future
so why should I care still I do

Friday, October 19, 2018

One Position

yes and why not
is better than no
if this is my way
to structure the
sentence typically
this but also that
I try not without
being negative to
pick one position
and leave it at that

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Good Habits

without rushing keep moving do
something constructive
nurture good habits
problems can be solved
more arise
life is a game you lose
meanwhile play

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Late Light

is the world less real
if I can't see it clearly
does it blurrily exist
or pale with custom
seasons less thrilling
the umpteenth time
or do I need to sit
in the sun with a pad
by the babbling brook
the prehistoric me
loves running water
dams desert creeks
a river system under
the backyard hedge
and the way brilliance
falls through shallow
rushing liquid crystal
over mossy rocks
shining in late light

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Never Me

I am just a speck of stardust
drifting in never-empty space
faintly lit by distant suns
do I lie by pretending to be normal
though creative kind light-hearted cheerful warm
or am I really

even the good like my mother
have mean streaks
the bad like dad more likely good
doing their best
in a complicated situation
the results ineluctably beyond their control

not that there isn't evil
but it's never me if I can help it
realize other people are equally real
remember too
what I didn't actually forget
not doing what I was doing at the time

Tuesday, October 02, 2018


no words
blank page

Monday, September 17, 2018

An Idea

not writing
beauty again

what I am doing
whatever I am doing
is me living

thus an I synthesizes experience
into an idea of existence

Monday, September 03, 2018

Either Way

if no cars why road
why anything
we are obliged to live

if house why no people
walking most
work now virtual hidden

and what of prosody
syllables counted
meaning crystallized

one stays home the other
comes back the same
time passes either way

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Clumps and Voids

the train needs no eyes to follow the track
the driver trusts no mirror image is coming the other way
the system must work perfectly and normally does

some cluster some move as far apart as possible
the clumps are grotesque the voids not really empty
hills full of antimagnetic farms dreaming of isolation

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Present Echo

no fooling age in nature
conceived in it you never
leave behind plants animals
web of process and relation
you are either young or not
anyone can see the situation
so much lost or left behind
forgotten realizations of self
faintly echo into present time

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Like Germs

language is like lumber except
every board is different "sprinkle"
more robust than "drizzle"
or the other way around

words are like germs except
they don't replicate
and you usually don't get sick

Monday, August 27, 2018

This Is How

closing my eyes I dissolve
into a field of stars falling
weightless and transparent
to the touch the sound of
silence singing in my head

this is how it always is now
waiting as crystals form I'm
ready to pounce imagining
someone behind the scenes
preparing to be the new me

metaphysically speaking I
used to know more how to
respond to a night's beauty
not just notice all is lost or
fading gracefully into dust

Friday, August 24, 2018

Life Itself

the void is now
clear air again
exposes possibilities
action in the letters
can be life itself
like Bach's music
mopping scrubbing
mowing not enough
sufficient exercise
and healthy habits
keep me strong
to what end

Friday, August 17, 2018

About Feeling

don't know what you're talking about
each his own secret language of feeling
slip out from under me
as I drift and dream

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Still Young

Must I buy into this narrative of decline and disintegration? It's true of me personally, but people can still be young. Can't the world?

Must I pay attention to disaster and chicanery thousands of miles away? It may well affect me, perhaps destroy my life, but there is not a thing I can do to change what happens at a distance. Here I can mow, clean, do laundry, cook dinner and wash dishes, plant flowers, and water the garden.

Must I feel implicated in the cynical worldview of our hopelessly corrupted leaders? I am an idealist. I think we should all be happy. Much must change to make that possible.

Isn't it obvious that competition for dominance, maximization of short-term gain, exploitation of resources, and reliance on growth are the wrong priorities, setting us at odds with each other, destroying the planet, and sending us all over the waterfall? Not all. The rich and their toadies will preserve their privilege and watch the rest of us drown.

How can I be more open, loving, generous, accepting, and light-hearted?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Not Like Me

the narrator is not like me
the narrator is me I don't
know what I'm like only
am and trying to be real

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Spark

now is the moment to which
all history has been leading
from which all history springs
I am a spark in a raging fire

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Further Art

now that my life is a book
nothing more can happen
everything is written that
I chose managed to write
keep revealed to who care
no more time for fun war
work relaxing further art

Friday, June 15, 2018

Why Yes

is this the way things are or just a
mood perhaps a virus or depression
over the political and social fiasco
my beautiful country losing its soul

or am I happy why yes I think I am
though old and older as the symptoms
multiply the bloodblister spots on arms
disintegrating skin on precious fingers

this is the way things are and I can
think about it how I like but not escape
time nipping my heels while I dance
at my own funeral laughing in triumph

The Worst

resist dread
the worst will happen
await it with an easy heart

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Mine to Tell

similarly my life appears green
unsimilarly never to regenerate
the story is mine to tell however
I choose to distort the bare truth
not a concept but brute biology
in a ruthlessy capitalist setting
lived in the cracks of complexity
buffered by the luck of privilege
adjusting details to suit myself
no one else positioned to be me

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Who Comes

say whether you have anything to say
or dare to be quiet let others have the
floor until form enables signification

insight hides in the wilting flowers as
summer destroys spring only waiting
to see who comes what can be saved

neither parent has the answer in the
end you make your own way back to
ancestral destiny acting the old story

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Too Hard

nothing left to say
or not worth saying
more like too hard
simply to account
for everyday life
and the point of it
anyway who cares
except you and me
and we'll be gone

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Another Spring

nowhere to turn but words appearing on the screen indifferent to being read
is it Alzheimer's or indigestion a dinner too delicious loved at the moment
and regretted later is life like that we pay for our pleasures long afterward

what can I do that is not the same old thing
how can I be surprised by another spring
or anything that hasn't already happened

the buddha smiles because nothing matters
when you recognize what's really going on
surprised how often you hit the right notes

Friday, May 18, 2018

Keep Looking

the dream is what I really was thinking about
even as I kept working and thoroughly enjoyed
another anniversary dinner each one unique we
have so much to draw on you had lamb I rabbit

walking down the mountain I was barefoot and
wondered how they got the food up for dinners
it all seems so impractical why anyone bothers
but we do keep looking for the very best views

Friday, May 11, 2018

Tidy Up

the furniture randomly draped with
miscellaneous cloths this is not the way
we live I think in geometry hold chaos
at bay tidy up restore the clutter's order

such elaborate infrastructure requires
energy maintenance assumes attention
confident in Buddha lineage delimiting
what you can't imagine yourself doing

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Still Stuck

otherwise we'd lose words
you'd be me I'd wonder who
else might come for dinner

otherwise we'd already changed
without knowing why we were
still stuck within ourselves

otherwise you'd be back before
I even noticed you were gone
busy as I was being occupied

sudden thunder interrupts a
dream of work appreciated
without quite being understood

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Same Side

remember we are comrades
the war is lost but we can win
our battles I am on your side
and you on mine we are on the
same side side of sanity good
sense mutual encouragement
in honest healthy endeavors
true to our innermost desires

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cold Water

shocking spots on
subtle harmony of
lavender and green
scrub with cold water
I need my skin intact
bedding unblemished

surprising breakdown
mower and then me
intact on one level
reading and writing
sussing out Prokofiev
mentally fresh enough
dermally undefended

Monday, April 23, 2018

Great Personalities

a process rooted in observation and manual drawing
(the kind of image David Hockney tends to make)
to bypass the tradition of autographic painting
… expectations of … unique, subjective content
(still visually unmistakable as a Warhol)
detached from the whole enterprise of self-expression
great personalities of our era flamboyantly
crafted for reproduction in all modern media

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mow On

I notice myself noticing
but am I really and if so
what are we to make of it
notice every blade of tall
grass in its varied sameness
shining clear in the slanting
sunlight ear-plugged silence
screaming with life and flow
restart the mower and mow on

Other Beauty

nothing real is as real as the dream
connection missed in a moment of
distraction there there the occasion
to know the embodied mysterious

in me the yearning glimpse of other
beauty yearning equally toward me
but life goes on taking us apart time
reasserts its hold as the music ends

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Leaving Too Late

a whole world dies when I wake up
friends of major years a potent tissue
of reciprocal feelings a son returning
from the west tickets to Carnegie Hall

we go out for a walk too lightly dressed
in a tiny French car not strong enough
for a vertical hill spelunk an empty house
delay leaving too late to make the concert

unless congestion pricing makes it faster
traffic conquered in the intervening years
the son grown up winters not as chilling
cars a novelty precious loves alive again

Saturday, April 07, 2018

The Right Hotel

sometimes you just have to move
to a different hotel the right hotel
makes all the difference where it is
the vibe how well it is run can rescue
the whole experience of being there
in Barcelona for example or Rome
you can then enjoy the art and food
and have a wonderful time together

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

The New Chair

the new chair sits in the living room
wondering about the other furniture
and how it will ever be able to fit in

I like the new chair better it is not so
puffy I don't sink in so deep the arms
don't push my shoulders up as much

the new chair a tasteful bluish tweed
is not offended by the old upholstery
which is something of a hodgepodge

I sit in the new chair wondering if I
even need a footstool new ones are
too spendy the old one has ugly legs

the new chair feels firmer more erect
I am more relaxed less compromised
by the old one's frumpy implications

time to move on even if we thought it
adequate I sat here morning and night
years passed my habits might change

Wednesday, March 28, 2018


thank God means the one with the capital G
who gives us our genes and circumstances of
birth and ability and lets us sink or swim accordingly
we have to honor Him/Her orthographically even if
we don't believe there's any more to it than that
and honor Easter because of what it formerly meant
eggs giant bunnies new clothes and getting outside
less bundled up music appropriate to the occasion
still remembering who we used to be and still are

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Elapsed Life

word flow echoes attitude
entities exist when named
grammar measures time
elapsed life accumulates
in postcards from abroad
forgotten books preserve

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Love Better

light an hour earlier flowers
blooming all about us warm
when it was cold the shape
of the body changes not so
tall or smooth or strong age
keeping up with the season
reaches even into my bed I
report facts without opinion
hoping optimism will arise
with the sun we both love
better after all these years

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Window

now is a window
you can't open because
it can't be closed
savor the light and air

Monday, February 19, 2018

All Present

half past half future
barely any now

no past no future
all present

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ever Young

Now that I am twenty-six, I feel older than ever. No one will believe what I say. We don't count, for example. Anything seems to mean something. Everyone else is younger than I ever was. Older people have forgotten what it was like to be alive. Horrible. You knew you were making a mistake but you wanted to do it anyway. You thought you could take it. Wrong was the higher right, like Trump. (I can't believe you said that.) I was developing my taste so I could dispense with thinking, thinking I knew what people were trying to do, and why. Now I understand. I will never be old or ever young.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

In the Dark

what I didn't say didn't fit
how she had to insist on being
herself in her own terminology
embarrassing missteps intimate
misunderstandings grotesque
attempts to obliterate desire
or find another truer way

what I didn't say saved face
the poet's lost illusion wasted
words jumbled into other sense
pain reinterpreted as pleasure
filth as a higher cleanliness
space as time spent reading
looking for another North Pole

what I didn't say stays lost
unexcavated ore undiscovered
as if no one had ever been there
looking for meaning in the dark
flickering word torches dropped
go out relit seem sadder still
not to have honored everything

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Real Feeling

if I can change the words
does that change what is
knee strong skin smooth
has the Moor real feeling
the English Jew real life
can centuries' cruelty be
erased the earth reborn
innocent and perfectible
as an uncorrupted child
can what I merely think
remake a broken world

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cover Up

impending disintegration his poise
shimmers in thinking how thin it is
how improbable not to be threatened
or houseless hungry sick and alone
only suddenly finally falling apart

this not to be talked about or blogged
not wanting anyone to know how I
feel when I feel this way cover up
keep warm drink plenty of fluids as
systems collapse and chaos reigns

Saturday, January 27, 2018


what time where I'll be there
if I'm not it's not because I
no longer care what you do
I'm as interested as you are
or would be if I had time to
and I do I always have time

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Still Arising

Thinking without writing is like fucking air — there's not enough pressure to make it count. It's not that I don't exist, it's that the day goes by and doesn't leave a mark. Not that it matters. The world is already scribbled over. A notch? An explanation or excuse? No one has to read it. I need to write, not edifices like Roth, I'm not a novelist, but honor passing time by registering its strange effect. Age is whatever you happen to be now. Less energy still arises.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A Note to Readers

I believe this is over, at least in the form it has settled into in the last five or ten years, the wispy little fragments of mostly self-reflective thought. It's getting to be a burden. I have shown that I can write a poem every day. If it doesn't arise in the morning, I can squeeze something out before bedtime. I can start with something random and almost always open it up into some kind of content. I am still engaged and tickled by the process, and I nail it fairly often, but it feels like I'm going around in circles. All these short poems have made it impossible to write any long poems. So I am changing the rules. I don't have to write a blog post every day. It doesn't have to be a poem. I may write stories. Thus this notice: that I am taking a few days off, but I'm still here, still writing, looking to renew this pleasing practice.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Too Obvious

what I am actually talking about
often goes unmentioned as if the
real particulars are too obvious or
boring the inner processes more
meaningful than what happens in
real life without the artificial form
and careful structure of a novel or
play with acts and a denouement
unless something terrible happens

that isn't what you wanted to say

Monday, January 01, 2018

Stop Quick

I only know what I happen to know
my thought a scribble of ignorance
reading for pleasure and forgetting
trivially literate by social accident

stop quick before it is impossible
before translation replaces words
what can be said was already said
unless being me is actually different