life sentences



like dust dancing in the light

filtered through a shutter’s slats

I walk through my emptiness

leaving less than a ghost behind


the room’s stark silence belies

the turmoil of indifference

which roils beneath my indecision

like marbles scattered to the floor


yet the indignant day grinds on

each definition thickens and blurs

through ever vaguer variations

until the very air clots with blood


(November 30, 2017)

Pass Sentence

I’ve been told to write a sentence. Not a sentence which tells, but shows what you intend to tell. I am a hapless sinner, I confess: I do declare, within my declamations, sentences, which tell in their telling. After all, sentences tell things as I’ve been told, but these sentences I’ve been told to write must be good sentences, alter boys strung along the edges of high mass like rosary beads, the words curling toward heaven’s judgment with burnt incense and candle light.  I’ve been told to write this way— this way is to write into salvation. There is no other, except the other. No statements, for that would be to tell and one must not tell, like now; for that would be to expose oneself in too prurient a fashion.  Statements create expectations too blatant and crude for seduction. Instead epiphany’s show’s burlesque, a hint and tease toward desire, to come on one’s own, as it were, to grace. To have no idea is best. Causality is acceptance and love, an open marble hand held out simply, pointing coyly to the side away from its intention. This way is the way, a direction embedded in the sign cut into stone on the side of a road, but never the road. It points. It shows. It tells. We know.  Follow here this line of thought, this sentence, through the maze. Follow this thread to escape the meaning, which lurks, still not slain, at the center of the poem. Trace with your hand the image inlayed like marble decorating the side of this tomb, until there is no difference between the telling and the told, the image and the word, and the dark glottal bark we use to point at the world before we can pass sentence on our crimes.

(July 24, 2106)