One’s End’s Ambiguous

The labyrinth

bends into itself:

one thought feeds

bits of fear to the next;

until, teeth crack

on broken bone,

and it ends

without a beginning

to begin again.

One’s end’s ambiguous

as one’s beginning.

Indecisive and vague,

the end’s no different

than any contingent.

The end ends

with a flailing

of the mind

through a stark


of where we are,

where we have been,

and without a why

to justify

the confusion

of the scattered pages

across the floor,

and the ash in the air.

(May 12, 2019)

No One Watches the Train Fall from the Broken Bridge




His problem has nothing to do with the train which travels steadily through the night. Everyone is content, if not happy, on the train, reading opinions they already agree with, drinking champagne, eating delicacies imported from foreign countries. They pretend they do not like the food, but wish they could eat as well at home.  All of the people on the train are facing the same direction, which gives them all a strange comfort.  A few of them look out the windows, but it is too dark to see the trees in the forest. It all follows along so logically, like a math problem in high school where rats scuttle east over well-polished wing-tips at a variable rate of three feet per second. They stop randomly to nibble on discarded bread crumbs dropped with nonchalance by the passengers on the train. Meanwhile the train travels south at a consistent seventy-three miles per hour directly toward the crumbled bridge which once traversed a chasm one thousand feet deep and a mile wide. There is no question at the end that one must answer. However, there is an answer; there is always an answer. No one watches the train fall from the broken bridge. No one hears the explosions as it crashes into the rocks below, or the last cries for help of those who are momentarily still alive.  On a trail nearby the train tracks, a monk moves through the dark as if he has been here before, thinking vaguely of other things. He pauses, peers into the dark, then wanders off along his way. The monk’s tangentially wandering mind is not enough to mark the train’s passing beyond the silence which lingers in the mountains for several hours after the sun has risen again.


(July 6, 2018)

Vermin Fed Maggots



Nearby, in the gutter,

common wisdoms

still wriggling.”

–Paul Celan



The remains of old ideas,

ripe with anger, are

so deeply embedded

one breaks bones

only to find dust,

instead of marrow.


They raise their heads,

and laugh righteously

at their bitter lies.

Always, they wait nearby—

truncheons polished,

jackboots shined;

While common wisdoms

smile like the recent dead.


(April 24, 2018)

Ritual’s Slow End



As he has each morning,

Treebeard, the orange tabby,

Leads me down the stairs

For a first cup of coffee.


Today he shows his age

As he descends the stairs—

Something off in each soft pad’s

Touch upon each familiar step.


He stops at the end, and meows

To be let out into the dark.

I slide the door open; he sniffs

The cold air, then slips away.


I watch him move through the flowers;

I shiver, not knowing what to do next.



(January 5, 2018)