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Difficult things for a poet to admit: 1. that he is a poet. It's difficult because everyone snickers at the idea. There is no such thing as a poet. Or a poet is such a high being that no real person can claim the title. Admitting that he is a poem is an extreme act of hubris. 2. That he is having a good time and life is grand. Poetry and many other arts are like castles built on ice. You have to suffer in them or they are not worth it This book will have insufficient suffering in it. It will lack the usual edge. It is the work of someone trying to maintain curiosity and life examination as he ages beyond his sturm und drang.

To Siona

The Meaning of a Dream

When I wandered from paper to flesh I revealed the depth of my fraud. I can pretend and imagine with paper but when I touch human lives all the pretensions I carry cut into the private story of who I am. If you are born into theory never touch fact.

Cemetery Prison
The elders, buried on the hill under the time twisted stones, surrounded by that fence with no discernible gate, can't get out, stay caged above the town watching the young parade from restaurant to restaurant.

A Not True
I write poetry that has an audience in my egocentric brain and make things on paper I call art that wait like a beggar for a passerby's disinterested eye. Self and sincerity wrestle on the ancient field of paper. There are just too many empty artists.

Lilly Pond
without making what nature makes, I install filament clouds and wire grasses.


Ten AM
Coping is fun I think as I lounge in late Spring while the kitchen is slowly reborn and I have made tea on a slow grill out-burner. We are in a bubble of Summer. The insects are kind I have never heard so many birds. One of them is singing, "we need ya-we need yawe need."


Goodbye Note at 75: A Nightmare from a Movie

She said: It was a mistake to find you, even though you were a route to relief at the time. And we sat side-by-side for those quiet years while I longed to have a body in love. You are not my deepest love, you know, the mysterious love of my life. All the years, passed, wasted with you and there is this wish come true who makes me faint, found late, but found.


Godless Sleep Prayer

I am ready now to give up the day. Won't aspire any more, ambition faded. Dreams, my only safety net, guideposts to dawn, sleep blank and dangerous, I gamble with night, to win another morning.


Money is what we are seeing when we think we are looking at politics, the arts, the higher forms of anything through rare air to the palaces of seminar and fine talk, those who live complete lives in the sun with grand pianos, quiet bargains over rich drink. Books are published, interviews arranged galleries take and clientele point and nod in checkbook agreement.


On-going Conversation
The past is a blur now after having been laid off from the world reposed among the flowers. And when you ask me all those embarrassing questions about who I am, I only answer, don't recall.


At four AM I either obsess or dream. It has been the biology of my heart, prods the silence away. And now it's your voice part of sleep and anti-sleep. Christmas past, lighted candles, touring un-livable houses.


Passing Sainthood
This year, once again I miss sainthood. I could have been elected had I waited death out quietly. As always I slip away, stiff-choosing to hide among leafy branches, popping memories.


The Enthalpy of Sonny Mangapit

The clouds are gone today. I admire how Sonny pretends the world, breathes life into things mouth wide open, warm breath. There is no meaninglessness here, no anomie. Take heart, the child Sonny says. What we make in our minds is as real as mountains never seen.


He Thinks Poetry is Fraud

He is allowed to sit bundled on the porch hugging the walker on the cool June morning with all the piety of the flowers swarmed around him. He feels that poetry is fraud. But the pretty poets long fingered, pavane among the peonies, gesturing toward but not quite touching.


Rolling Down the River

Is it somewhere between "boyning" and "burning?" The singer works the ar. There is a faint smell of oil. the time between the consonants and vowels leaves previously unknown room for microscopic lives . I make this discovery in a dream, and understand where all those eternal souls can fit.


Seeing Out
I don't see why life is not extraordinary, seeing out and re-creating everything in a mass of circuits that may not close. I don't see how we look into the faces of creatures we don't know and learn that they can do for themselves if only we supply fresh water. Maybe God cares only for species and lets my individual eyes go blank.


He says, "When you scoff at my means I'll say, I'm not exactly stupid." He nods at the degree hanging on the wall. He says, "I Know how I'm wasting everyone's time with my non-stop displays and my questions." He says, "like a dutiful schoolboy currying favor from the adults." He recalls his dreaded violin case and the big leather briefcase even in Summer. He says, "I know how time explodes in my head." He says, "I know how feeling good deprives me of my edge."



Glass Ceiling
All those grownups standing around looking up at the monitor as some college graduate picks the winner have nothing to do but wait, no names or titles and very small chances. They all resent each other because of the way they are bunched up against the glass at the top of the cage where the sun floods in so they can see the screen.



She makes flowers out of spent orange peels. With my stiff fingers I take the blanket edge for a stroll to the duvet corner. We laugh about how life will go on forever.


Eight-Thirty AM
I can only put on the remembrance ring after the knuckles stop their daily swelling. In the room I call my space, the display of my books that only I can really see has fallen into a heap. The bathroom floor may not be as wet as we first thought and maybe we don't need a plumber. Happiness reigns in this new place. Peace may run like syrup over the short years.


Hope Joked
I remember when we were the future and every step we took into brilliance was noted by a kindly teacher. We were rising. We became sweet and soft with hopeful tears of romance in our words and the certainty it would all count. When the teachers all wizened and died and romance turned hard like flesh, hope joked. We all laughed at the joke.


Twenty-First Century Religion in the USA

My god is The Economy and my duty is studying science so we can outpace the Chinese. I do my duty in spite of breaking my poetic heart. Hell is falling behind and becoming just another nation. Amen


Musical Bones
I breathe melodies, drum tum puffing diaphragm beats: "Red River Valley" "Mr Tambourine" "If I were a Rich Man" My singing is long silenced but not song.


Jung's Intruder
I awoke in the darkest part of the night and came into the living room startling a half naked man busily unstraightening pictures on the wall.


On Seeing "Lust for Life"

(I'm hung up on the word "I." It has meaning until the last seconds of life. I count down. Then it is meaningless.) "Theo," he says at the end. "I want to go home." But he's been saying what he wants all his life. He wants only to illustrate. Pathos is in his voice when he wants. "Theo" he says and we count down 10,9 "to go home" 8, 7. 6 "want" 5,4 "I" (aihhhhye, ich, yo) 3,2,1, 0 Then He's gone.


Another Dream Poem

When deep in the Andes we found the valley where Nature makes all the giant round roadsigns, my father could really relax.


He goes to visit her, bearing the smells of the garden. She doesn't speak the whole time, doesn't look at him. He is frantic when he realizes what she has chosen. When she says the lonely world is just as good, we all mourn another tuft of grass pulled out into the sea, a piece of the beach eroded, the Earth shriveled, wires unplugged, propaganda from the enemy adding to our doubt.


True Origin of Awe

I watch my cat looking out the windows at the woods. I have a sense of her awe--fascination with life outside. To the cat it is a pragmatic woods of feeding. So much to watch through her infantile mental wiring, triggers drawing her to the presence of things not really there, dream things, erroneous theories, infantile magic. My glance at the earth is made of tools and fears impressed by variety and risk. I still stalk the woods hungry and frightened looking for tactics, but understand with imperfect theories. I wonder, wonder full not from the world but magic from my infant eyes.


Siona's Orange peel Sun #2

Looking for pretty things and surrounded in the shop and on the walls put up with joy as numerous as smiles casual as tea. All of our busy hands and talkative hearts buy the pretty things and make them like galaxies rising out of the dark.


Modern Physics
We oscillate. Particle and anti-particle do-see-do in our gelatinous vacuum. I orbit my shadow eclipsed and augmented, shimmering, am and am-not hide each other, do and do-not.


Simple Social Principles

1. I concede the virtues of my enemies but not gladly. 2. Conspirators without enemies, make poor friends. 3. Can there be a lonelier place than a world without conspiracy?


Is God My Audience?
Tonight I'm feeling most keenly the pain of being small, the paltry income of a casual glance. Amateur, living a day on the protruding edge of a sixth floor brick, making an egg, in the sun, dying unmagnified.


The future is a sticky confection that makes you fat and selfish. Spend your wealth on the future and indulge in stingy dreams, sickening your heart. When the future shrinks to a strand fresh air and health open in your body. Unclogged,eyes wide,loving, present moments, slide graceful, lubricating the sunsets.


Garden Gate
Hey neighbor, fire's in your garden, sun not traveling on human paths and the stems of dead flowers flowing through it. Only the trees upright dam the light but can't hold it, brief and precious flame and ordinary shadow green.


Sentimental Journey: Variation on an Old Song

"Gonna take," they crooned, "a sentimental journey." The place is habit now you can say I miss it and can't bear to feel the customs fade. I travel there on Google Earth to imagine the streets, trace where places are I no longer enter, goodbyes long said. Electrical memories are cleaner than real ones.


Great Pillars of War Movies: What Death Kills

I: aye,eye moving moment, fat bundle of memory, pasted pictures, a tower of skulls. want: the mattering of the world, great pointing, you: the bestowal of birth knighthood, eyes to meet. Then boom: flesh cells.


Episodic and Orgiastic

Once a day not all the time I burst the shell for the ooze of yellow bio-stuff, innocently made, not for me. I steal the life and scoop its substance into my teeth. The mixture of pleasure and rage lifts me nearly to shouting.


Goodbye to Another Old Man

Although I relied on the restaurant for friendship and expected a grand farewell they said it cold. Although I tried to meet their eyes they passed me uncaught. Honest people of business, they knew their true wordlessness. There was no free dessert.


A Full Passage
I ask, "Who are you?" now that we reach a parting. How long did it take to grow your heart? Pieces at a time from emptiness; or from popping into this universe full of old memory?


Burning Bush
Moses had clear eyes, grew up among princes counting bales of grain and keeping books. Loved simple miracles constructed of ordinary things. Making magic out of parting waters, snake-bearing rods, reverberating speeches, bushes flare in front of sunsets.


What I Want to Say to the Young Man about The Missing Cat
I'm old and find myself worrying about the cat, while you open the door and rush about the world. I'm light in weight now never really leaving my night clothes, a confined creature. You think of bigger outside things. Your promises to me are small in worth. Now I know I am old, far beneath you. My voice fades. I fall asleep with prayers.


Big Leaf in December

Only humble organelle, just stiffened but graceful as a statue streamlines that would carry life seepage closed, unrepairable abandoned body still paper yellow like a memory.


I'm tired of treating the gods and famous as if they were friends. I won't send them any more hurrahs addressed to Hollywood or Mount Olympus, won't read about their ins and outs. I'll let them vanish just like any other strangers. It's darker down here in the valley but I've been here a long time and will stay.


Two Mile Walk to the Hospital

Rot has its place on the road beside the harbor. Black with old grease and rust so rusted it blackens, and men ride encrusted machines that slip among the white white yachts. It's beautiful, navy washed by clean sea wind. But earth enters in when you are walking.


Wellness Argument
When it comes to cosmic arguments, nobody defends the sick. The sickness argument hides defenseless, and the wellness argument wins by default. Never let healthy men visit you in hospital. They will tell you to breathe and rise when you only want to sigh. They will bring upright fragrances and inquire after your appetite when you close your heart to reminders of laughing tables. They won't see how they pull you out of the sweet pool near the quiet gate.


Missed Preventions
Naturally I'm afraid discovering old enemies who still slink about in my new small world. Can I stop them this time even though I feel fine and joy awaits? The room is bright but winter looms. Perfect peace is a worn sheet with small familiarity-holes. Worry is a habit I learned from missed preventions.


Yes! Poets!
My my we are fine, girlish filigree sensory wicks waiting for tastes in autumn evenings. We ask gently, we stretch halfway without exertion to speed our hearts. Not merely wanting, weave baskets out of romance, extended strands of longing. Half open, half vulnerable nothing fully happens. We let truth start We dip and sigh.


My Cup Runneth
My electrons scud happily about my brain I love the fluid leaps like air sliding over mountain. When I open my eyes color like tin pan music from the sun and fluid flows, the slipping and oozing of syrups and waters. In my closed eyes mandalas of sunlight are the precursors of dreams.


Human Condition
When I love you, watching from the the part of me who never really joined the world, I look at you cold. Cruel thoughts feel at home in the shadows of my tenderness.


Small Potatoes
Once again the squeaky voice I can't keep down leaks. While the giants around me strut and win their prizes I keep calling out in empty rooms. The merchants come