Saturday, February 28, 2015

trinity poem

january in the
room of empty chairs
and the poem is written slowly
on a light blue wall

the sun is forgotten and
none of the hills that
surround me are named

if i were inventing a religion here
i would call gorky the father

would call rothko the son and
cobain the holy ghost
but i am only staring out a
second-story window

i am only pretending to be a poet
in a mortgaged house

i am only listening to
my son sleep

cannot imagine watching
my own childhood replayed by
someone i love
and so i consider escape
without ever really believing in it

i watch the man next door
beat his wife to tears

listen to the bleeding woman's
baby scream until it's
pulled from the trash and
given a name

not everyone would call this
an act of mercy

Monday, February 23, 2015

artistic freedom

Dear Blogger User,

We're writing to tell you about an upcoming change to the Blogger Content 
Policy that may affect your account.

In the coming weeks, we'll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually 
explicit or graphic nude images or video. We'll still allow nudity 
presented in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts, or 
where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking 
action on the content.

The new policy will go into effect on the 23rd of March 2015. After this 
policy goes into effect, Google will restrict access to any blog identified 
as being in violation of our revised policy. No content will be deleted, 
but only blog authors and those with whom they have expressly shared the 
blog will be able to see the content we've made private.

Our records indicate that your account may be affected by this policy 
change. Please refrain from creating new content that would violate this 
policy. Also, we ask that you make any necessary changes to your existing 
blog to comply as soon as possible, so that you won't experience any 
interruptions in service.

Sunday, February 22, 2015


imagine the cities you could build from
all the pieces of the one true cross
floating around in the world

imagine the heat they'd give off

the man who would drop his lit cigarette
in a garbage can in some shitty
apartment on the south side of town
and the child who would die in the fire

who would fall blind into the
wishing well

nothing saved but this pale grey sunlight
and these tiny dreams of smokestacks

Thursday, February 19, 2015

walking backwards

was seeing a married woman,
which was the same as being alone

could still remember my father's face,
twelve years after his death,
and his voice, and his

got a letter from you on a
frozen saturday afternoon, and
you said come see me like it
was nothing

like there wasn't
a country between us

like i wasn't afraid

Sunday, February 15, 2015

remedios varo

for dali, with regrets that it couldn't be more

rain on the
shortest day of the year
and then later

my mouth thick with
the names of waitresses

my hands scarred but
my son whole and beautiful
between them and
this is finally what matters

but only in the things
i can hold

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

these dreaming houses

early morning with
the sky hung like some
forgotten war
over these dreaming houses

pale light
and no shadows and
all of my old poems
seen clearly as

and art is not her problem
but artists

not the woman
who dreams she's a nun but
the boyfriend tying her
to the corners
of the bed

her sister shaking and
dropping the baby
to the cold kitchen floor

all it does anymore is cry

Saturday, February 07, 2015

max ernst, all is forgiven

 cold in the shadows down these side streets
and the flicker of sunlight through
bare trees

the names of people whose names
i will never know

the churches and the waves of desperation
that radiate from them

i've never asked for salvation

never wanted forgiveness

the world is full of children dying slowly
behind locked doors

is full of priests with their precious words
that taste like dust

and when i tell you that the storm has passed
it doesn't mean that any of us should
come out of hiding

when i tell you i love you
it's almost never out loud

what it feels like is safety

turning away from the bleeding horse

 in the end
we go nowhere

have i told you this before?

we hang onto the gift of speech
but we say nothing

we see nothing

the mother is beaten to death
and then her nine year old son is raped

and he is raped and then he is
raped again
and then he is raped again

he is beaten and he is raped
and he is nine years old and then
he is murdered
and this is a true story and
it is always happening

it has always happened

the wars no longer need names
and the air is sticky with
crystal meth

the cop is shot in the face
as he approaches the front door

has a wife and a child and
his body burns as easily
as anyone else's

his god has no arms

no legs and he is blind
like we are blind

he is hopeless like
we are without hope

it's what i've been
telling you all along


Thursday, February 05, 2015

the myth, reconsidered

your words are not visions from god
and mine are only bad jokes
and this is where we stand

beauty caught in the tar of remorse
and that money is blood

that your pills are all dull knives
and every priest a rapist

ask your sons

step into the vague blue light of
any october afternoon
and consider how many days you've
wasted waiting to be forgiven

consider how many miles you drove
to reach the burning house

your father drunk
or maybe only dead
and whatever the last thing he
said to you was

the ticking of his watch as he
lay dying in a hospital bed

the first plane without warning
tearing the north tower
wide open

explaining the bleeding horse

man says
but this is just the
same poem written over and over

says america is more than
palaces of gold built on
the bones of indians

stops to take a drink and then
the door is kicked open

the cop shot dead

twenty miles south of
the town i grew up in with the
smell of meth and the
taste of ashes

the crosses on fire
and what i tell him is that
beauty needs ugliness to define it

let the dogs go too long
without food
and they'll eat your children

drag your enemy through
the streets of whatever place
you call home and he will
eventually be reduced to
memory and pale white light

show him mercy and
he'll rape your daughter

she'll tell you she
loves him

a truth that will bring
your house
crashing down around you

Sunday, February 01, 2015

faith in nothing: a sermon in the age of confessions

the world is defined by
those who own the wars

holocaust they say
or rape camp
and the words grow flesh

i am given numbers
but not names

i am given vague descriptions
of massacres

blurred truths

what i want is to talk
to a man who has butchered
a pregnant sixteen year-old girl

who has pulled the fetus
from her belly with a  knife

what i want
is to watch him die

in the end
we could be brothers

faith in nothing: a reason

 early afternoon in
the land of murdered cheerleaders
and the hills without pity

the streets like rivers of dust and
filled with the shadows of whatever i hold
between myself and the sun

and i am not trying to define
a moment in time here
i am waging some misguided war of one
against impermanence

i'm giving the finger to anyone
who expected
even the smallest of revelations


the man wore yellow gloves
while he butchered the bodies and
no one was sorry when he hung himself
and five years later i am still caught
between the ideas of growing up
and growing old

i am still receiving letters from
people offended by the use of the
lower case i
but at least the planes
have begun flying again

at least the children have turned
away from their own petty hatreds for
a minute to see how bleak the
future can really be

five thousand dead in the name of
someone's fucked-up god and then
nowhere to go but down