Saturday, July 18, 2009


december, january, and all of
the ordinary horrors

sixteen year-old girl drowns her
newborn baby in the toilet

box full of maps

room full of nothing

tried to sustain my anger,
but i couldn’t

there were bills that
needed to be paid

small dogs crawling on their
bellies through shit & filth

potholed roads

you want to drive to the ocean
but can’t get past the hills

it’s a joke told by a man whose
eyes have been gouged out

you laugh with him
or you laugh at him

you find the body in a landfill

flowers push up through
the bones of forgotten saints

all of our darkest dreams
make perfect sense in the
bitter grey light of day

Thursday, July 02, 2009

was kissed by ghosts, was weeping

find the ocean just inches
below the desert's surface &
then wait for rain

this is the kingdom of false prophets

these are the bones of old lovers

no one here
wants to be your friend,
but being an enemy has value

wars cannot be fought
without cowards

children cannot be raped
without the cold embrace of priests

what matters isn't the truth,
but how pretty the
lies can be made to sound

what matters is power

the shame of being poor is a gift
given freely by the rich

houses built by the hands of
beggars can only fall

you will stand naked in
the ruins of everything you've
never owned and wait like a dog
for the kindness of strangers

Saturday, June 27, 2009

sun & the moon

like death she said or
like dreaming
and then she tore off the
baby’s wings

then she laughed
about what she’d done

Saturday, June 13, 2009


new collection, an assortment of poems from 2004 - 2008. $15, can be ordered directly from me. 160 pp, no rhymes, profanity w/in acceptable parameters, soundtrack not yet available.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

one for the man wrapped in barbed wire

or the sudden and undeniable knowledge
that all you are is an asshole

the broken wings of birds

the bones of all the
children you’ve watched starve to death

such a huge fucking feast of misery
laid out for you to grow fat on

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

holy days: an attempt at chiaroscuro

strange to end up lost in this
house i’ve called home for
fifteen years, and strange to
spend so much time considering
suicide on these bright
blue mornings

if you were here with me,
you would be beautiful and stoned

if we had children, they would
learn to live with disappointment

they would understand the
inevitability of being born in
a building on fire

Friday, May 08, 2009


It’s the age, yes, and it’s the war.
The naming of the enemy, the gift of
destruction, and this man I know, his
son, a soldier, a child, burned alive
inside his metal fortress, and so we
speak of revenge, we speak of God, of
victory, of the need to win this thing
that cannot be won, and the mother
cries in the boy’s room. The women
in the villages are raped and then
murdered. Are gutted, then left for
the dogs. What their flesh tastes like,
i’m told, is freedom.

Friday, May 01, 2009

miro, dreaming

with thousands of birds
singing or screaming

fields of mud and snow

10,000,000 miles of road
between susan and maria and
one of them to love and one
of them to fuck

are you anywhere
that can be mapped?

have you been mouthing these
same words for too long now?


the plane goes down in flames

accusations are made
and victories declared

the churches
are set on fire

what this accomplishes
isn’t immediately clear

Sunday, April 26, 2009


a new e-chap, SMALL CHILDREN BLEEDING POOLS OF SUNLIGHT, will be available for one day on May 1st at Poetry Superhighway. get the skinny HERE

Friday, April 24, 2009

prophetstown, before and after

everything turned
suddenly to desert

the women raped and
the children missing

pulled from the fire

brings a vision
back with him

not the death of
everyone and everything
he loves, but this is
what happens anyway

this is the
birth of america

Sunday, April 19, 2009

2:23 a.m.

and you write about death,
of course,
because it’s what you fear, and you
write about despair because
it’s what you know

the truth isn’t always a fist,
but it’s best to be prepared

Thursday, April 16, 2009

america, big and small

a box filled with smaller worlds
in a room heavy with dust

old man in a chair at the window

city buried in
its own mindless filth

freedom was never a gift
for the poor or the weak

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

subtle ascension

wake up to rain on the
morning after the massacre,
and to the knowledge that
it will all happen again

stand naked on the sidewalk
among the dying flowers,
the burnt-out candles,
the prayers that have all
washed away

this is not your home

these children with their
tear-stained faces will
never love you

you have always
been a coward

Friday, April 10, 2009

5 new poems at Lit Up


a shroud

but don’t be america

don’t be the old man sitting
next to his filthy window

the trigger is pulled
and the hero has no name

all wounds are greater
than they appear

hold the child above your head
and view the sky through
the hole in its chest

remember the kingdom of god

remember the island of skulls

stand in the spot where
opposites meet and feel the
wings start to grow from
your shoulder blades

this is beyond magic and the
dull grimy walls of religion

we are worth more than
the prices
placed on oil and on fear

it’s easy to forget this
with a foot pressed
hard against your throat

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

the ocean, at night

it was the year picasso began
painting monsters

it was the year he died

small objects in silent rooms,
always moving, smell of dust,
taste of rain against
dirty windows

you were asked to believe
in god

you were told

stood by the window waiting
for yr husband to come home,
but he never did,
and the children were crying
and then they were grown

maps were drawn,
plans of attack diagrammed

we would kill the killers
before they were even born

we would burn their fathers’
eyes with holy light, would
turn their mothers into
shadows of contorted pain

we would win the war by
refusing to fight it

we would
bomb only civilians, only
mud hut villages, only straw
and bamboo churches, and
it was the year my
sister was born

it was the year i kissed you
for the first time

made all of those promises
that sounded just like lies

Saturday, April 04, 2009

cage of thorns

yellow flowers pasted onto
pale blue construction paper and
all of these complicated ideas
about love & suicide

lying to myself is easy

lying to others is necessary

wake up too early to the
ringing of my phone, to the voice
of my youngest son

snow at the end of march,
then it fades to rain

this will be the
day i drink the faucets dry

this will be the moment
of my ascension

streets lined with houses,
but no people

endless fields of dead grass
and splintered bones

stand there next to my oldest boy
and he says he’s not sorry for
any of the pain he’s caused
and his voice sounds
like my own

his presence might or
might not be imagined

all acts of grace
are torn apart so easily

Saturday, March 28, 2009

in amber

walls of rooms filled w/ dust,
on floors, on hands and knees and blinded

sing w/ your heart

grow scars

this is the place, you see, this house
where the dying man lives, and
there is nothing any of us can do

no blood on the carpet, but a sense
that it could happen at any time

a window

a back yard filled w/ fireflies and twilight

stand there, barefoot, wide-eyed, emotions
carved from dark, sticky wood

speak names softly

breathe in the warmth of
overwhelming joy

stand as still as you can
until all laughter has stopped

Saturday, March 21, 2009

fanfare, with trumpets

man in the purple shadows,
crucified, yellow skin, yellow sky,
and the taste of sugar on yr breasts

don’t talk about starvation

don’t worry about the math

lock the church doors and
set the bibles on fire

chop off the hands
and then the feet

let laughter swarm like puke up
out of yr mouth, out of yr nostrils

sing the song you know i love

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


my youngest son sick without warning
and so fuck all of your ideas about
benevolence & generosity

accept the fact that
anger is a generous gift

that fear has the texture of
splintered bones soaked in oil

of crows landing on your lover’s pale breasts

we are none of us on this page dead yet,
but listen

god is not the lie that will save you

sunday’s dust cannot be eaten

it’s the age of moths, you see

it’s the pale grey light of a dying sun
that we uselessly flutter around

give me the cure for cancer,
or leave me alone

give me mindless entertainment in 3D

read me the stories of my childhood

i couldn’t be the cripple i
am today without them

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

helix of compassion

spray paint your small hatred
on dirty walls

substitute anger for belief

blood is the gift
with or without war but
no one really cares about pain if it
isn’t their own

no one really cares about
if they have money in the bank

it’s simple

the word will always be less
than the thing it represents

the thing itself will always be
more useful if it can be
used as a weapon

what you need to do is
consider poetry a sign of

consider poets
the enemies of action

kill them like you would
any other coward

Thursday, March 05, 2009

in the kingdom of cowards

and then another night
and then another

not loneliness, really,
and not sorrow

desperation, maybe, which eventually
becomes a type of numbness

nails driven into walls over doorways,
and what the hell used to hang
on any of them?

nothing comes to mind

easier to leave them
where they are

easier to let things
fall apart at their own pace

sit in the hall and
watch the children sleep

listen to the wind

all possible endings are
out there somewhere

Saturday, February 28, 2009

falling from great heights into vast oceans

strange standing here naked
with a gun to my head,
but this is the new world

wanted to move out to california,
but i was tied to this house, to
this job, to these children

woke up sweating and terrified
from a dream with no meaning

heard water in the basement

tasted rot, tasted decay

not sunlight, you understand,
but this numbing sensation
of suffocation

this false hope of
50 degree afternoons
at the beginning of february

the threat of freezing to death
replaced by the threat
of drowning

the sensation of rust flaking
down from great heights
onto bare skin

and did i mention the gun?

can you picture the hills
all painted a
soft, despairing grey?

we will never be more in
love than we are at this moment

we will never be more alone

choose, but then keep
your choice a secret

Monday, February 16, 2009

malachi (2)

all of these small cancers
and all of these smoldering remains
and all of the bodies

all of the ways that each one
matters more than war

and these words
which do nothing but scratch feebly
at locked doors

these dogs
who are starving slowly

who are chained to the passing days

and this is not a poem but
an explanation
or possibly an apology

it's my mind
refusing to sit still while
the first big storm of the year

and there is a man who writes to say
that he can't make sense of
any of this

you need punctuation
he says
and you need flow
and you need to stop worrying
pollock's bones

and there is a four year-old boy
on fire
on the other side of town

his mother held back by the neighbors
while the roof collapses

some small tragedy with no meaning
and maybe these are all we
have left in this year of election

streets littered
with the corpses of soldiers or
this man who murders his
pregnant wife

the woman he fucked
two months earlier who says she
just wants to be left alone

who says the walrus was paul

says you have to look for the clues

the open hand or the third eye
or the burning cross

the way america is defined
by its history

the way christ's teeth have been
filed down to dirty yellow points

and do you fall to your knees when
he smiles
or do you turn away in shame?

consider your answer

consider the act of rape being
filmed for the internet

the way names are kept hidden
out of fear
and out of shame

your children growing up with
nothing more than
the wreckage you've left them

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

one for lisa, stoned

try to help and you
fuck things up even more and
so you stop trying to help

this is the way

these are the starving orphans
of the world and the
battered mothers and the
abused babies

within wheels

gears clotted with
rust and with blood

this woman next to you
in bed who says show me how
much you love me
over and
over but all you do is
hurt each other

all you do is hurt

there is no shame
in turning away

Thursday, February 05, 2009

For You

Sun through the blinds onto your body.
Sweat running down your breasts, music
everywhere. Loud, bigger than God, bolder,
and my fingers wet with your taste.

This is something from another room,
from a different town, and I carry it with
me instead of your name. Instead of your

I stand at the window while you lie on
the bed. You touch yourself. You moan.
Things begin to fall apart.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


talk about the age
of burning witches as if it’s
a thing of the past

the confidence of youth

hold your ground

the coldest days
are the brightest

squint into the overwhelming
roar of distant massacres

talk about both time and space

these men with their faces
painted white, black smudged
around their eyes, mouths &
teeth smeared with the blood
of other people’s children

the gun is invented,
and then the bomb

killing one martyr at a time
is inconvenient, inefficient

picture the face of god
as an explosion at
ground zero



you will know it only
once before you die

Saturday, January 24, 2009

in the palace of exiles

walk to the far edge of the
field and shoot yourself

would this be considered lost
or would it be considered

believe in christ
as a fever dream

scream at the hills

throw the baby in the river

no one offers you hope
without wanting something
in return

Thursday, January 22, 2009

responding to the critics

and sometimes
they write to talk about
and sometimes to lecture
about the need for

i send them pictures
of nuns hanging raped and
murdered from the trees
of central america

we all need to
believe in something

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


What it is, after everything, is that his wife
feels cheated, and so she leaves.

There is silence, and then there are
all of the sounds that help define it.

There are the dead and the dying,
and he is one or he is the other.

He is counting the days.

He is walking backwards.

The sunlight feels good on
his useless hands.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

lazarus, reinvented

and you and i in
the brutal light of
empty prayers, and
you and i in the
relentless shadow
of sorrow

thought the words
were what mattered

thought the truth
would be enough

jesus christ,
what a fool i was

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


faces painted dark and bright and
all of them hidden at
the edges of february fields

men of power
grown fat on lies

the women they have come to own

piles of skulls left to
mark where one country ends and
another begins

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I added a link for this collection over in
my BOOKS section. My email is in my
Profile, if yr interested in ordering a copy.