Control’s an Illusion

I negotiate the moment:

the shape of a shell;

the color of a shoe;

the proper knot for a noose;

what was said when,

and to whom. As if time

whispers the secrets

it finds in tide pools:

what belongs

scuttling in the rocks, 

and what has washed in

with the last full moon.

(May 24, 2020)


from a work in progress: “process, not a journey”(59)

of course it’s never either or

a yes a no one path or some other

no matter how far you attempt to see

before it bends in the brush

or how detailed the pro con list

you lay out with little checks

primly contained in tightly drawn boxes

your life is always cluttered

with could haves would haves buts

yets and never-minds

all the vaguely grey spaces

where it’s troublesome to see

as if your smudged glasses were removed

in order to clean the day’s detritus

away and what blurred clarity

you possessed expands and smears

toward an ever-darkening horizon

(May 2, 2020)

to define is to limit

poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is thought

poetry is words

poetry is silence

poetry is emotion

poetry is gibberish

poetry is vague

poetry is ambiguous

poetry is precise

poetry is concise

poetry is babble

poetry is light

poetry is dark

poetry is mind

poetry is heart

poetry is hidden

poetry is everywhere

poetry is pervasive

poetry is absence

poetry is laughter

poetry is tears

poetry is love

poetry is hate

poetry is simple


poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is metaphor

poetry is plain

poetry is complex

poetry is slant

poetry is curved

poetry is bent

poetry is straight

poetry is cubed

poetry is convex

poetry is obtuse

poetry is infinite

poetry is hermeneutic

poetry is occult

poetry is transcendent

poetry is god

poetry is zen

poetry is buddha

poetry is Christ

poetry is religion

poetry is atheist

poetry is glib

poetry is serious

poetry is dirt


poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is earth

poetry is air

poetry is fire

poetry is water

poetry is elemental

poetry is irrelevant

poetry is submission

poetry is dominance

poetry is coy

poetry is rude

poetry is blatant

poetry is obvious

poetry is obscure

poetry is orgasmic

poetry is impotent

poetry is sex

poetry is flirtation

poetry is destruction

poetry is resurrection

poetry is creation

poetry is filth

poetry is shit

poetry is dust


poetry is nothing

poetry is everything

poetry is breath

poetry is death

poetry is ice

poetry is tongue

poetry is bowels

poetry is piss

poetry is you

poetry is me

poetry is us

poetry is other

poetry is privilege

poetry is poverty

poetry is gender

poetry is genderless

poetry is cadence

poetry is dissonance

poetry is power

poetry is gravity

poetry is nature

poetry is voice

poetry is spit

poetry is sight

poetry is blind

(April 11, 2020)

Dream Journal 37: He Woke to a Memory Which Only Happened in Metaphor

As they walked, she spoke and collected items she saw along the trail. A kind of reverse Hansel and Gretel: instead of finding her way back by dropping bread crumbs, she wanted to become lost, and collected markers which would have shown their way home.  Finally, she asked if he would read a draft of something she wrote. He disliked reading friend’s work (it was all too intimate: entering another’s mind), but he said for her he would. He lay down on the soft grass, entranced by her voice. She told a story as she placed the objects she had found (an acorn, a feather, a stone, a dead butterfly, a ribbon) in a shallow hole next to where he lay. After a while, he sat up and glanced at the objects in the hole. He said, it’s like a witch’s ingle. She laughed gently, and began to loosely tie his hands with the ribbon as she finished her story. He watched her dark eyes focus on the task, becoming lost in their intensity. When she was done, she said to him, now you’re supposed to untie yourself, and become free. He said, one would first have to want to be free. With nothing more to say, she walked away leaving him in the woods.

(April 1, 2020)


from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (33)

I have



(February 28, 2020)

first word last word interrupt

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (27)

if anyone speaks

of anything

she might know

some small bit

that might relate

to her

a childhood memory

the center

of a collapsing star

anything at all

sparks her speech

until it is hers

and she turns and

turns and turns

all to her

as if she were


than who she is

and knew more


what she was

(February 16, 2020)

the illusion of narrative fragments

from an untitled serial poem (3)

and nothing specific is ever learned

it’s more a pervasive atmosphere

an inescapable context which traps

us in a web woven and rewoven

moment by moment knitted from our flesh

and residue left from this dark frenzy


daily we fall deeper into the tale

yet there is no white rabbit to follow

only desire to ride us like harpies

the news the neighbors our friends all screaming

into a discontent none can escape

nor explain enough to be forgiven


as if there could be a strong enough god

to save us from our own stupidity

(January 5, 2020)

Simple Enchantments of the Young

The cracks proved the power

of words. Such spells cast

across the fissures formed

fears of a painful death.

Who would be willing to test

this hypothesis on one so dear?

Her survival, by correlation,

confirmed the childish chant.

She lived. Not writhing on

the floor, vertebrae shattered,

just oblivious to your heroic

leaping, like a hopscotch knight,

from slab to concrete slab

to save your one true love.

(December 5, 2019)

Confession as a Form of Explanation

My story is true in so far

as it is my story. The lines

I must maintain for my belief

to be justified are many.

I fear questions lest it all falls

like a child’s tower of blocks falls,

tumbled across unstable ground.

Although I know that the truth lies

for I formed each one on my own,

turning them over and over

like rosary beads until smooth,

they still allow me to believe

each stone lies firmly on the next.

With no one to doubt what I say,

the facade I have built is real

I explain to myself myself:

I live forms of happiness

As long as the ever after,

and the hero is always me.

(June 30, 2019)

Coming to Meet

from “Renditions of Change,” a work in progress

It’s always so simple to trust

an Iago’s words to lift

a bland darkness over

the light like a veil

to hide a leper’s face:

I allow myself to degrade

myself, ignoring my better

angels as if they exist

only as shallow hubris.

(April 26, 2019)