04 July 2016

aetiological meditations

commit this to memory:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

-Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"

we are a nation of boat-people. whether you came of or, more likely, against your own free will, most everybody came on a boat...

except for those poor sods who were already here. (whoops!)

so by longing, avarice, murder, or misfortune, two hundred and forty years later, here we are.
that might even be fine, except --
now some of us are getting this fancy notion of
"oh shit, better lock the doors and nail the windows shut"

...oh my aching pyloric valve.

unless your name is properly written out with a whole bunch of diacritics and vowels that a scant handful of people can pronounce, and all the white folk just call you Mercedes Whitecloud or Bob Littlefeather,

read what the nice Jewish girl wrote and remember:
this home has been stolen from Mercedes.

so, run a nice guest house which everyone loves
or turn this shack into Pyongyang?
(please excuse the facile shorthand)

choose wisely, now.
enjoy your barbecue.

09 November 2015

all on one line

obdurate ennui. on night's wan filigree scales, it doesn't weigh much.

30 October 2015


shudder, Atropos
the shears are blunt and useless --
someone's cut paper.

25 November 2014

haiku & four tanka

a lava flood of
frauds, maladministrations:
we subside in realtime, beh-
happy Friday; bon courage.
12 sept 2014 - Lafcadio Hearn would have recognized these forms.

autumn's second wind
night sirens in October
stop counting sounds, please--
some sleep, some dance, some suffer
and you're wide awake writing.
5 oct

would you had your own
sustenance, abundant streams,
endless verdant fields.
would the world were not so dry,
every axis were equal.
18 nov:  
"nobody ever said life was gonna be fair" 
-karen lambert, 6th grade gym class, 1996 

at least, in abstract
we are satori dancing
all shy, tentative embrace...
then we go supernova
on contact in open air.
25 nov - as it burns

At night, the wind tells
only as much as the stars
cannot spell themselves.
19 oct

20 February 2014

an enchanted sentiment

I tend to send flowers to my Valentine,
such passion in their colours deep
shout "lover, you are on my mind"
as long, at least, as memories keep.

appropriate, then, that they last for a week
until mummification, or the compost heap.

28 January 2014

in an indefensible place

open chest, insert javelin here --
the parade began with a cymbal clash.
the evening wore silk lipstick secrets
and hovered, leering, six inches too near.
now there's one you can trust to talk:
spitting out coffee grinds, cigarette ash,
marking out a bed in makeshift chalk
she'll recline on an earnest error and hiss
the synopsis to morning, dozy with bliss.

you mean cupid wasn't an archer by trade?
as accurate, yes, but less likely to balk.
his arm, if the arrow proves poorly made
aims naked hope at the dullest brow
those sweet, sad eyes perfectly mourning
the projectile as it leaves his hand
the graceful arc tracing the fatal line
of how much you never know at the time
but lord, don't you now!

thank god for the shiftless night,
the gypsy caravan returns to the city.
ambrosia hangovers are flippant and light
like day-old ignorance dispensed in pity.
maybe sell this all as an enthralling perfume
(for those who don't mind bee stings
or appalling twists of outrageous fortune)
but mind a light touch as you measure.
see, care didn't warn me on the pensive road back
drifted off, as usual, in a mistaken pleasure
dizzy on the vapors of giddy regret
and all the cautions that fools forget.

so. brunch in the graveyard, mid-afternoon?
I shall come with the wine, yes, but not in black.
the love I hadn't met, I heard he was dying.
first came the press of a future lack,
and then the relief, the grateful sighing --
I plan to attend the funeral, soon.
for Zack 
coepta 23 feb 2013
desita 19 feb 2014

06 January 2014

french lesson

tous nous sommes fils naturels de cette cochonnerie.
(we are all the bastard children of this ---)

speak the matter not so plainly, 
don't spell it as such a simple name.
you see, cochonnerie, so rich in
its connotation and history, is but one
of the more virtuously discerning,
insinuatingly burning means to
convey a sense of reproach and disdain
the word by sound itself in the main
recalling the grunting of hogs in slop
brings the indictment to a full, haughty stop.