Day’s End

If I could peel these veins

from my arms and fashion

them into a noose,

then I’d find a dead tree

to swing upon

like a tattered paper lantern

dancing in an empty breeze.

(August 30, 2020)

self-flagellation

The words I have

are enough

to tear

my flesh from bone,

to feed 

the ravenous voices,

the hundred mouths

which peck,

and gnaw, and savor

my base 

foundations

as if blood.


They are enough

for this—

(August 21, 2020)

Afternoon Transience

Briefly light lays lace

across the crepe myrtle’s leaves,

then whisks it away again,

before this sentence ends.

(August 18, 2020)

Narrative’s Default

whose story

your story

my story

some other


someone speaks

some listen

some believe

some obey


here the page turns

hear the page turn

slow whispers

form a deaf ear


control’s the word’s

darkest destiny

(August 13, 2020)

No One Watches the Train Fall From the Broken Bridge (a reading)

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)

Fear Lies

“Why aren’t you bold and free of all your fear?”

-Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto III

as smoke 

infuses itself

throughout the house

long after the fire’s extinguished

so fear 

circulates in silent eddies

flowing like ravenous minnows

nibbling sharply at our toes

.

my fear lies

within doubt

it breeds

in the crevices

in the misunderstood word

in the scene not played out

it’s brood hatches

hungry needing to feed

skittering along memory

like spiders alive to every

web strand’s tingle

it descends to attend

to the fly’s quick dispatch

(July 21, 2020)

Unconsummated

Why shouldn’t I?

A wren perched next to a cardinal

like a drunkard on a stool

looking for a bit of trouble:

Am I such an easy fool

to think this wind is for me?

A yes, and a yes, waited unsaid.

(July 21, 2020)

a darker shape was always present

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (78)

after the worst of summer’s heat

we’d sit in the grass

beneath the pecan and cottonwoods

away from the radiant streets and sidewalks

the adults spoke of friends 

far away or long dead

they’d laugh and tell stories

which we were not a part of yet

we ran wild through the night

afraid of nothing

(July 18, 2020)

emergent world

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (77)

the abstract

takes shape

along an edge

a plane

teased

to a form

more tangible

than shadows

in the grass

beneath the stars

(July 14, 2020)

answers require supplicants

from a work in progress: “process, not a journey” (75)

with a hand lightly

touching a wall

as guide where

do you turn when

there is no wall

to the left

to the right

(July 13, 2020)