Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Door

What fresh hell is this
That visits at my door
What horrors await
When I open wide
Do I keep it shut
Barred and locked tight
Do I dare see what specter
Awful and bony
And scaly and dark
And ugly and old
And menacing and cruel
Points its finger at, at, at
God knows what
Why risk turning the next page 
Of this awful book
Doubtless there waits
Some black cloaked figure
With a scythe
I cringe at the door
Resist opening
As one resists diving from a great height
I reel, arms akimbo
Waves of terrible hatred
Must be beating at my door
No, no, no, I’ll not let them in
I cannot expose myself to more terror
This is undeserved
I rise above 
The passage will stay closed
What screaming or wretching or reeking
Foulness is there
Surely it cannot be
But yes it is
For it is entered somehow
It is, it seems
Another layer of mind
The stranger within, the enemy within
Come to claim my thoughts forever
Insanity at last!
Take me away

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Love Letter

I came of age yesterday
And died of good luck
Resting on your laurels -- most unsatisfactory
Daring the dragons to dream alongside me
I came to on the crest of a wave
And rode to your mountain retreat
Please take me back
Back to your heart
Let me know the shinings of your mind
Let me suckle at nature’s wonder
And angels
Always there must be angels
Let’s go out with them
And recite their great getting up songs
And poems
Of love
And caressing each other under a harvest moon
Why not?
We live but once
Or so you said
I came of age yesterday
And frowned at the maker
For the universe of lies I learned
Cursing the wind is futile
But so is the seeker
Join me this one last time
For a million laughs
And loves

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fair Kathryn

Women women everywhere
Some are dark some are fair
Women women everywhere
Some are clothed some are bare
Women women everywhere
Some quite pretty but I don’t care
I have fair Kathryn, the love of my life
A beautiful lass who is my wife
Women women everywhere
I glance at them but do not stare
For I have fair Kathryn to gaze upon
To me she is the only one

Monday, March 28, 2011

Foreign Policy Debate

Protecting America’s interests

Nation building
Spreading Democracy
Forming alliances
Toppling oppressive regimes
Spending millions of dollars
To shoot rockets
Drop bombs
Incinerate human beings
Turning homes into rubble
Sending young people into battle
Where some are killed
Some kill
Some are maimed
Some maim
Some suffer psychological trauma
Some cause psychological trauma
Defending our allies
Making progress
Stabilizing a region
Protecting, enforcing and defending
As human flesh burns
Minds melt
Sorrow reigns from the heavens
And peace lovers are mocked
We’re not living in the real world
(Who’d want to?)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cosmic Inferno

Fly you to the cosmic inferno
Where hearts are bright
And cares are light
Fly you to the end of all matter
Where souls are sanctified
And love is magnified
Fly you to the end of all ends
Where eternal is the light
And peace and harmony are right
Fly you to the best of all times
Where God is your eye
And hate doth die
Fly you to the cosmic inferno
There to find true meaning
Forever and always

Thursday, March 24, 2011

History Lesson

The nicer negroes of the 1930s
Pleased the pink-faced crackers
Happy Hispanics they preferred
And liked their jolly Jews in New York
Bowing, scraping in your place
Obsequious and humble, taking your lynchings like a man
No questions, please do as your told, Rastus
Oh and how they hated Hitler
Going too far as he did
Noisy man making angry speeches
So damn un-American
Still, we’ll tend to your own business over here
None of our affair
We got enough just eking by
Keeping our coloreds in place
Asking government to spread the wealth
But keeping what’s ours
By God don’t touch that
Let Eleanor fly around and say what she pleases
It’s a man’s world
If it comes to it we’ve all got shotguns
Mostly happy to be finally pushing the depression behind us
Amos and Andy on the radio
Occasional trip to the picture show
Sears catalogue and the Daily Bugle 
Is all the readin’ we’ll be needin’
Times is tough but the worst is past
Maybe we can afford a new pair of overalls
Cousin Jake and his family went to Californy
We stuck it out rich chere
God bless us
We is the common folk
We will abide
We will live and love our own
And keep our lesser browner brethren in line

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life On Life’s Terms

Now that you've been born 
The best we can do 
Is try to make you as comfortable as possible 
Until the inevitable 
Just think of your family 
And all the friends you'll make throughout your journey 
As hospice workers
You see, your condition is terminal
You are a living breathing human being
On the planet Earth
And there is no cure for such a condition
All we can do
Is to keep your suffering at a minimum
And pray for your soul
We’re sorry

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Bad Boss, A Bad Man

Hey you asshole boss who made my daughter cry
Learn how to talk to people
As if they were human
Don’t you realize you’re insulting
And cruel
Make my daughter want to quit
As others have
Because of you
She, who otherwise likes her job
Doesn’t deserve to be verbally abused
Try showing some appreciation
Don’t look for flaws
You make the girls who work there
Feel so bad
You should be made to feel bad for the way you are
You may be a big deal chef
With a fancy place making money
But you are still 
At your core
Someone who makes the world a more
Unpleasant place for
Nice young women
Like my daughter
Who’s crying tonight
Because you are a fucking jerk

Joy to the World

We fought urges
To compose new dirges
Such a short step from morose
To outright comatose
We knew to smile and laugh
Whether creative or making a gaffe
Not a time for tears
Or an expression of fears
It was our fervent desire
To rise above the mire
Dance celebrate and revel
And chase our cares to the devil

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Poem Veers Off in Another Direction

Old whiskered man cussing at the newspaper
A young woman in heels walks by, head too perfectly erect
Fussy middle aged lady wearing too much make up pampers her pekingese
Teenager on a skateboard swerves through human obstacles
Homeless man holds his palm up and out, his head down and out
Middled aged man in double breasted suit ogles the young woman
Guy in hard hat looks up at a large cloud
Looks like rain soon, someone says
I walk away from all the humanity
Home to read the morning paper, eat my muffin, sip my tea
If only there were dragons chewing on the cursed
If only there were pixies dancing on liverwurst
If only cats and dogs talked to us and to each other
If only everyone had a nice mother
If only we lived in peace and harmony
If only I hadn’t just spilled my tea
There are those things that happen all around
There are those places, people and sound
Then there are our wishes, desires and dreams
It seems nothing can match our fantastic schemes
Let’s be happy with all we’ve got
Even though I’d love a robot

Friday, March 18, 2011

Old Man Texting in a Bookstore

There was an old man texting in a bookstore
I didn’t know why or what for
There was a pretty girl with coffee in the store too
That made more sense was nothing new
A man working there was putting books in stacks
Typical looking fellow wearing wrinkly slacks
There was a mother with a little child
Well behaved lad not running wild
There was me browsing in the fiction section
Pausing occasionally for quiet reflection
But there was still one thing I didn’t get
Kind of bothers me even makes me fret
What was an old man doing texting in the bookstore
I can’t understand why or what for

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Once We Were Young

“I told an extremely stupid story about the two Scotsmen who went into a synagogue.” From ‘The Last of Mr. Norris’ by Christopher Isherwood.
We saw lilacs separated at birth and placed on a redwood tree
There were golden trails of fantastic sentences strung along the stream
A pewter rendering of rabbits lit up the night sky
Dashing boulders crying out for more sun sullied our sleep
We likened our mood to that of angels crying over a beautiful sculpture
Somewhere a short fat man made claims about injustices 
The timorous sound of pixies dancing across rooftops lightened the mood
All of us thought how perfect it was to be blessed with words
We vowed never to misuse them
Except perhaps in the face of rhetorical blunders
How we missed the passions of friends passed
So cheerfully we told stories, jokes and paradoxes
Nothing could make us squander the wonder of being young
We were at the apex and did not realize
That the only way to go was down
But there you have it

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Graduate Students From A Private University

Thin brittle voices
Short uncomfortable laughs
Relaxed manner in tense bodies
Cold cynical world views
But simply oodles of ambition
Sharp but peripheral insights into trivial matters
Pimply pale faces
An underdeveloped arrogance
A fondness for sarcasm
Calculated, scheming in social situations
Hearts the size of a peanut
An intensely egotistical self awareness
A practiced indifference towards humanity as a whole
All affect

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Homeless Man

You ask me for spare change
In a mumble
You ask me for spare change
Your old desperate hand out
What a tumble
Took your life
Once so proud, so happy
Now you beg
A quarter would do
Anything at all
You didn’t ask for this
And so you ask for that
Spare change jingling in my pocket
Yet I walk on
Hoping the next person won’t
I need my spare change for the bus
So it isn’t spare
I feel guilt
Nothing compared to what you must feel
If I turn back and give you a quarter
It will be for me that I do it
For you need so much more
You want so much more
Your dignity
Your pride
A purpose for going on
Besides just living
Which this is not
You don’t want my pity
I have nothing for you
Here’s my quarter
Fuck the bus, I’ll walk

Monday, March 14, 2011


I ran through the streets quite naked
Looking for the rainbow’s friend
Instead I saw the unicorn splitting
An oaken bucket for a friend
I hopped along quite merrily
Seeing what I could see
Along came a rider on a giant spider
And I looked on without an end
I danced from here to there and back
Unable to befriend a yak
I looked up at the sun
Noting that this was fun
Then I heard the tram clickety clack
I gamboled where I dared to go
Knowing what the elephants know
There was a lovely girl
I decided to give it a whirl
We made love in a gigantic swirl
I loved thinking up this ditty
That it ends is quite the pity
School days are done
Working is no fun
I guess that’s life in this here city

Friday, March 11, 2011


There is a purity to a slate gray sky on a late Tuesday afternoon in March
Coming home to an empty house and only bills in the mail
Realizing that clothes and dishes both need washing
And there’s nothing much in the fridge
Best to make a cup of tea, perhaps with honey added this one time
The house is chilly, but not so that the heater should be turned on
It seems darkness will come soon though somehow not soon enough
There is a wonderfully empty feeling that can be filled in so many ways
There’s that book to finish reading and a movie that could be watched
True chores are beckoning, but they’ll wait, at least until after the tea
How about some dry toast to go with it, would certainly suit the day
The phone rings but it is of course a wrong number
Take the trash out and note the stillness outside as if everything else is dead
The whole world looks oddly faded
Back in the house there is a hesitation about turning on the lights
There’s something about the bleakness that one doesn’t want to tamper with
As if it is appropriate for the time
Yes the time
Then the silence broken by the wail of an ambulance -- befitting
Odd this feeling of satisfied depression, of not being quite sure of anything
A purgatory of mind and light and mood like the opening credits to a Bergman film
Stomach starts to hurt, then stops, not even the body is sure
My God this is the polar opposite of that July 4th picnic when I....
But let’s not think about that now, it would only make matters worse
Perchance to shake this ennui and breath deeply again
No more living lightly, let’s make this moment meaningful

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pity the Shallow

They found it depressing
Oh my
It’s great art
Moving, inspiring, uplifting
Some people live on surfaces
Too much trouble to examine
Can’t be bothered with thinking about it
You know the type
The loss is theirs
We may indulge our intellects
While they watch the latest sitcom sensation
Pity the shallow
For they shall inherit the dearth
Long live our quest to understand
To illuminate
Let’s just not rub it in
All right?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Boys Are Back in Town

Dusk of a late Spring day
Rock and roll blasting on the stereo
In our shared three bedroom house
Doors and windows wide open
Our young male bodies squeezed into tees shirts and cut offs
Cold beer already flowing from bottle to mouth
Hormones raging anticipating the rhythm of the night
And the girls who await us
We love this feeling and each other
But we say no such thing
Just smiles all around
Toothy happy genuine grins
We lock up the house and pile into a car
A laughing ride to the party
Huge amplifiers twanging the guitar beat
Kegs of beer
Plenty of young tan bodies
All hiding their enthusiasm
Playing the pick up game of match and mate
I hope to get lucky
Can’t drink too much
But have to keep drinking
The delicate balance
Find a partner
Shared secrets and lies
Necking excitedly
Triumphant, I walk her home
Our randy bodies intertwine
It’s great to be young and a giant!
I miss those days now
But I also miss being a toddler on daddy’s lap
The past is perfect
If you want it to be

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


For years I didn’t know who to be
Or how to be whatever it was I was
Or wasn’t
I kept being other people
The person I thought others liked
Or expected me to be
Or the person I kind of wanted to be
Even though I couldn’t
I was trying to please everyone
Especially my ego
And lost myself
I could have stayed lost forever
But luckily I’ve started the process of finding me
Turns out I’m here somewhere
Safe and sound
Waiting to do what I really should be doing
In case you’re wondering, I got here by asking questions
Of myself
Like: what are you doing?
How did you wind up here?
What were you thinking?
Thankfully everything is all right
But jeezus what a curious route I took getting to the wrong place
So now I’m getting it sorted
I’ve met myself
Getting along just fine

Monday, March 7, 2011


Where were we
What happened
Did I awaken from a dream
I remember so clearly
The wonder of it all
We were, yes we were
On a mountains of pillows
Loving freely
Bound to one another for eternity
With chocolate ideas of pristine love
Never needing
Only desiring
Each other
Then you, you awful alarm clock
Jolted me away
To this room
This bed
This day
But to my side was you
Not just a dream after all

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Play’s the Thing

They were characters in search of a plot
Three people not happy with the script they got
They were confused by the lines they had
Was this the reason they read so bad?
Unable to learn the words in time
Thus more conflict with their natural rhythm and rhyme
They could not see the forest for a tree
Didn’t know if they should be or not be
Pity them this forlorn cast
Not knowing who was first and who last
They struggled with direction and lights
Lapsing always into hair pulling fights
How sad to see such a dismal flop
Worst of all they knew not to stop
On and on this piteous charade
See what fools God has made
If only they could figure a way out
We’d not have to hear them rail and shout
So loud and ugly comes their din
This horrible performance seems a dreadful sin
End it! End it! Please dear God
No more can we suffer this awful fraud
But on it goes they seem to insist
And somehow the audience cannot resist
Are we blame for this terrible play
Is it because we watch every day
We are the enablers of this theatrical mess
Why we look on is anyone’s guess

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not To Be Titled

There is no title for this poem
There is no name for this sorrow
There is no label for this joy
There are only the floating, flitting, dancing
Careening, crashing, sighing nights
With dragons for wings and wings for eyes
All colluding to bring joyous, crashing symbols
To the never land of your despair
You cannot comprehend the eternal
Or the never
And your love is wasted on the dead
Bring only your seeking
Search on comrade
Find the fruitful buried there in vulgar words
How bereft we can all be
At the ceremony of naming
Boxed up in appropriate folders
Stored for another time
Damn it all to hell

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A For Effort

I read the clouds wrong last night
Thinking they meant rain
Not another fight
I messed up the tea and made it too weak
Oh be mild, be mild
Remember the meek
I tried to clean my room that messy place
I picked up the floor
And threw it into space
How the stars twinkled lighting up the sky
Rows of gleaming orbs
In response I sigh
Portentous events I do ignore
Pretending to be oblivious
But to what advantage, what for
I can’t read clouds nor predict the rain
I can’t make tea or clean
My weaknesses so plain
Where can I go
What can I do
When everything old 
Seems brand new
My mind is failing
Can’t get things right
But I’ll not go down easy
Not without a fight
Look it’s me
Still trying

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Keep It Real

Keep it simple
Don’t complicate
Leave just the spare details
Shaken down to the bare bones
So we can see what’s really there
No more lies
Beauty is in truth
We don’t really need the intro
Can pass on the epilogue
Don’t waste our time with intermission
Tell it straight
Let the sun shine on the essence
Let the stars twinkle over the honest simple story
Save the glitz
Have I made my point?