Saturday, May 30, 2015

premonition of a rock through my front window

my son asleep in
the afternoon of cold rain
and a strange van driving up and down
my street

what i’ve lost
is my list of enemies

wherever i am
is always too close to the place
i’ve escaped from

a pale blue room in a collapsing house
and my hands numb beneath then
weight of flat grey light

the taste of metal or
of burning

of the flesh of ghosts and
what it’s taken me twenty years
to learn is that nothing is
ever completely safe

and what this makes me
want to
do is destroy

poem in a single breath

think of something
bigger than god

think of famine

think of war

walk into this house where
someone’s sister has
just lost her unborn child

what she wants is
to describe it to you

what she wants is the
warmth of a living body

how human are you
willing to be?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

the gift

a history of burning
books and burning paintings,
of shooting artists and teachers,
doctors who perform abortions, and
always the iron fist of ignorance and
always the party line of fear
these cowardly fucks ashamed of
their own pathetic lives

afraid of the future and
destined to be devoured by it

no other fate for them than to
starve on the sound of my laughter

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


here finally in the
pure white light of late september
i am the bleeding horse

i am america in decay

the cities at the exact moment they
fall in on themselves
and the children as they're
torn open like presents and
all of us breathing in the sweet gasoline air

all of us crucifying or crucified

the sounds we make
and the silences that define them
and listen

the constant hum of electricity

the blood-red drone of the television

this new century that feels
no different than
the one that came before it

this idea that
we are running out of days

that the war cannot be won

and why would you ever vote for someone
who wanted to be elected?

why would you give a man a trial
after he'd murdered his
own daughter?

and when the last sioux is buried
the medals are handed out

when the long march
finally comes to an end
the fences are built

freedom needs to have limits

needs to have a price

this is what i've learned from the speeches
and what i learned from the
whores who made them is that
anyone can be bought

and the land in this town has been poisoned
and the water
and i've been told that no one
will be held responsible

i've been told
that deals were made and gifts given and
what we call sixteen year-old girls
dying of cancer in this
part of the world are unfortunate

what i teach my children is that
violence is never a solution

what i hope for
is their forgiveness

tuesday evening, route 26 south, the weight of dust

all of these days spent
through the smell of burning

a house or
a child or the beginning of
a hopeless century

is what i mean

kennedy and the fragility
of the human skull

the simple beauty of the calla lily

and what happens is that
i am always somewhere between
lost and found

there are always hills and
the shadows they cast

sunlight and the sounds
of children in the seconds
before they disappear

the last screams of a
young girl in california

the relentless weight
of stories without endings

we tell them over and over
until every word begins
to sound like a confession

Saturday, May 16, 2015


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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

unfinished film about prison

standing there on the rim of the valley
at the edge of the highway
and silent

emptiness and fear and
in the distance (in any direction)
a city

buildings where they sway and collapse
and huts made of straw and
the promise of burning witches

the smell of it
and the heat

like hope but

the well of knowledge

they kill the father
and then his eight year-old son
which makes sense
if you want to rule out the
possibility of vengeance

they kill the mother
but not before they rape her

they save the daughter for
another day

Saturday, May 02, 2015


and on monday afternoon
the doctor says it might be cancer
and my words all run dry

the sky threatens rain or
possibly snow

the bodies keep piling up in
countries that mean nothing to me

for causes that
no one can ever remember

and when i get home
my oldest son laughs as he
jumps into my arms