Memory’s Constraints

“the fog solidifies among us”

            –Tristan Tzara

As a dark spider webs

her partly-poisoned prey,

he shapes another wall

around another day.

Beneath his crippled hands

a mausoleum soars

to contain all his fears

in tightly patterned rows.

Each dawn descends to dusk,

as dusk ascends to day.

How one can thus escape,

he cannot aptly say.

Most days are forgotten,

Lost in this clotted fog.

(September 16, 2019)

Weeks Before Winter Solstice


                                      “and I am

out with hanterns, looking for myself”

                        –Emily Dickinson

Despite the lights in the house,

The darkness penetrates.

It assumes positions in corners,

Presumptuous in its domain.

Like lions pace a cage’s confines,

I am lost in loops of thought

Looking for a set of keys

Which will let me inside.

Yet, there is no rest within

Nor without which can comfort

Enough to bring a closure;

Locked in my obsessions,

I worry each item in turn,

Tangled like tumblers at a fair.

(November 26, 2018)

No Crumb, No Trail



“and the night is coming on,

which has no hope of dawn”

–Anna Akhmatova


I lost myself

out of myself


like a sleeve

slips over skin,


a new coat

to hide within.


One is more

than one’s











I lost myself

in a storm,


my broken arms

flailing the wind


with a whirlygig’s

frantic clacking.


I lost myself

again, too often,


too easily—

donning disguises:


losing myself

out of myself


without myself—

broken, alone.


(March 30, 2018)

To Hesitate



Always on the periphery

Of many misunderstandings,

She slowly dances alone

Along the firelight’s flickered edge:

Almost blind,

Almost about to see.


Shadows sway the light

Back and forth like a lover’s

First dance. Neither’s willing

To take the lead; both desire

To surrender. Their bodies

Cleave each to each. She cannot

Read his intent, nor its

Inevitable consequence.


(December 26, 2017)