Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Cyclops, Blinded

And if you see Creeley, remind him
that he's dead. Tell him that none of it
mattered in the end, not the words, not
the silences, not the endless fucking

It was February, and then it was
August, and then we finally reached
November. Age of nothing, land of less,
and what should be obvious is that
Cobain's suicide meant more than the
deaths of a million geriatric presidents.

Do you remember the song you were
singing when you heard the news
about Reagan?

The name of the woman you were with?

It was almost enough just to lie on
the bed and laugh.

Friday, November 24, 2006

we fall

The women hanging, spinning beneath
a ground glass sky,
all refracted light and cubist emotion,
all subtle joy and grey sunshine,
and this boy at the water’s edge,
but on the wrong side, face down and
nameless and then discovered
and named.

He is yours, or he is someone you know,
or he is no one. It happens.

Look at the picture.

Your lover, smiling on a beach,
her husband just outside the frame but
always there.

The rope, which can be bought at
any Wal-Mart.

The hallways, which smell of
hurried sex and desperation.

Whatever house you call home
just waiting to burn.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

dreamt you were gone

or maybe there's a morning where
i wake up and
can do nothing but hate

maybe the rest of my life
comes to be
defined by the actions of others

things offered freely and
things taken away and all of
the promises that sounded so good
in darkened rooms

all of the women who believed them
and that i've forgotten their faces
but not their bodies

that i've reached this day with
nothing but my name and
my children

with whatever small light
we can hold between us

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

the burning hand

this will be the year that
all words are shown to be

these will be my hands
balled into useless fists

the sun blinding and without heat

the distance between us
no more than it's ever been
but now i'm older

have buried lennon and
cobain and bukowski

have ended up with a
life i never wanted

with a house full of empty rooms
and a notebook bleeding
bitter poems and what i
still believe is that christ never
wanted to be your savior

what i still refuse to accept
is the idea
of a benevolent god

no one lets children be
butchered in the name of love

Monday, November 13, 2006

26 saints

and it's just a number
even if all of them are bleeding

she's only an old woman
on her knees

reads her bible with her eyes closed
as then trigger is pulled
and then she's just one more
murdered nun

she's just one more child
of god

bury her and nothing grows

Sunday, November 12, 2006

book of saints, age of despair

man rapes a
nine month-old baby and
leaves it for dead and
all i want is for this thought to
stay with you forever

all i want is for you to know
that the baby lives

all i ask is that you
teach your god to crawl

Thursday, November 09, 2006

once you get past words, you arrive at meaning

looking closer at
the blood in your smile

digging deeper for
the missing child

finding nothing
which is how these stories
always end

finding the bones of slaves
the ghosts of indians
my father

his coffee cup
his left hand with the
cigarette grown cold in it
his anger wrapped neatly in
black rags of self-pity

these highways which take us nowhere

which end up in cities or towns
no more or less desperate
than the ones we've left behind

these sidewalks with their
crosses of colored chalk

these houses with lit candles
at every window

with the mother tied up and
beaten to death on the living room floor

the son tied up and beaten to death
on the living room floor and the
fact that i have moved past the point
where anyone mentions me
as a friend

the fact that i
yell at my children too often or that
they love me without reservation

my wife asleep on the couch in the
middle of a perfect july afternoon

my eyes closed

everything i fear just waiting
for me to open them

Sunday, November 05, 2006

sanctuary: an improvisation

here in the house of truths in the
silence of cold sunlight at the
edge of the western world
i am only a broken fist

here with the shadows of birds like
frightened thoughts over fields of ruin

with the factories bleeding poison
into the rivers and the
children on fire and with their
bones reduced to dust

with their names forgotten and the
two of us alone in some
stranger's room and our hands and
our lips and our obvious scars

you on top and eyes closed and
the ease with which the moment is lost

picasso's horse staggering blind
down all of the streets I grew up on

soft music from further down an
empty hall and a phone
ringing in on the day my father dies
and it's always this ending that i
keep coming back to

a poem without words for a
world without beauty

all of these bare floors where your
daughters and sisters are raped
and the pure white light that
fills their minds

the lies that spill from their mouths

so much complicated anger and
nothing to do with it but build

Thursday, November 02, 2006


man drives towards
the dying town he grew up in
late in the evening in
early spring

grey sky over grey hills and
he turns to his wife and
says i love you
and she says nothing

the children sleep in the back seat

he pauses

considers repeating himself
but doesn't

thinks about the ghosts
he's left behind

about the scars he keeps hidden
and the ones
he displays openly

thinks about the money
he owes and
all of the poems that will
never be written

all of the ones that amount
to nothing more than
fading ink on dirty paper

understands finally
what a mistake this was