Monday, September 01, 2014

someone and someone

was feeling okay was
slowly approaching
the idea of suicide
was four below
zero at two
in the afternoon
sunlight and the
taste of road salt

the ghosts of
old lovers

nothing to laugh at but i
was laughing there at
the highway’s edge
while the river froze and
the first of the massacred
children was buried

while the
conspiracy theorists
fucked each other
in curtained motel rooms

and i forget if i was
nothing but i knew we
were nowhere and it felt
like this mattered

felt like small birds
singing but without the
hope of spring

felt like frost filling the
cracks in the walls

colder than the morning
they found my father on
the dining room floor,
though the same shade of
grey, and at this point in
time all objects in the
known universe are
                  of course
still moving further

at this point in time
your body
means more to me
than your name

seems like a waste of
breath to apologize
for things that aren’t
ever going to change

Sunday, August 31, 2014

a cage in the forest

tell the blind man there's
nothing to see

let the politicians
fuck your daughters

don't settle for the facts when
the truth is what really matters

don't worry about man ray
dead now for 30 years in
paris, and i still keep
waiting for his call

i stand on the edge of the
porch roof, next to the
hole in my house where the
light pours out


the days are shorter now
and all of my fears that much
closer to the surface

no amount of poetry will
ever cure cancer

no man who would ask for
your vote would
ever give you his in return

these are things to think about
while you watch dorothea
undress, and when she asks if
you love her, you should smile
without answering

you should
kiss her breasts

words aren't the enemy,
of course, but it's always
best to act as if they are

four ghosts


knew him when he was dead,
early spring or late summer, town filled
with the stench of decay
a parade for jesus on some
bleachwhite saturday afternoon

flowers and virgins, senile old men
holding rifles, and what i remember is that i
could no longer remember which
century was mine

sat next to an open window
listening to freeway traffic, someone’s
girlfriend screaming in the second
story apartment across the
street, then laughing
almost midnight

july maybe, maybe october

birds with broken wings, angels
caught in branches, in nooses,
and politicians, and terrorists, and all of
them concerned with butchery and power

all of them concerned with
vengeance and he said fuck this

said let’s go find a bar and i
knew him to be dead and i knew him

had dated his sister had slept with
his wife and i said wait

i said the parade’s going to start soon
and he just smiled and shook his head

set fire to the house

pulled the trigger

something stupid and dramatic and the
girls on the floats were all
beautiful as they smiled into the sun

Monday, June 23, 2014

the golden dog

or lives controlled by
need and not desire

end of summer and the
                  idea of fear
too large to be ignored

gun held tight in the
fist of christ

taste of gravel and of
              broken glass

cold blue sky over empty parking lots,
over the clean, meaningless lines
                             of gas stations

over the corpses of children
killed by chemical warfare, because
the world is always so much
more than your own small,
                      petty failures

the kingdom of ashes
begins at your door

the missing man is found two weeks
later on some weed-choked
stretch of riverbank
almost eighty miles away

his wife is with her boyfriend
when the news
makes its way back home

even now
the possibilities for joy
                   are endless

Monday, June 16, 2014

the refusal

shoot the doctor in the
back as he walks away then
tell him he’s a coward while he
dies at your feet

it’s an addiction,
like humor
it’s a punchline

you capture the soldier, a
boy of fifteen or sixteen, and
then you torture that fucker
until he’s on the floor in a
pool of his own shit and blood

this is how wars are won

make your children
understand this

tell them how much you hated
your own father,
how much he hated you

show them the scars

explain how they can only
grow up to
repeat your mistakes