Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Two more poems

These are from the plane.

Safety First

Well aren't we in a fine mess?
We started this ride
with our
seatbelts unbuckled
and look where it got us: stuck in a tree with no way down and no way to call for help.

If either of us jumps
both branches will
But someone needs
to send a signal
to save us from
this sticky situation.

On the bright side,
getting up here was fun.

That really long line at the end of the first line is really one long line and not two lines (and look where it got Also blogspot's pissing me off so I'm done trying to put eight spaces before "seatbelts unbuckled" and four before "break" but they're supposed to be there.

The Egg

It's so comfortable in here.
No bright lights to hurt my eyes,
No loud noises to hurt my ears.
I've been here as long as I can remember.
Plus, there's a nice little seat here,
and I can even fall asleep.
There's nothing I need that I don't have now.

"What happens when you run out of food?"

I'm not there yet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dense Like Me

He awoke, of his own, natural, accord, to the sunshine and the glow coming off of the snow. Not having a watch or a clock, he didn’t know the time; he didn’t have either of these things for as long as he could remember, and for as long as he could remember he didn’t know the time. Jackson had been in this cabin, one he built for himself, in the green, thriving woods of northern Michigan for what seemed like a very long time.

Click on "Post Page" below to see the rest!

It might have been such, he just couldn’t know for sure, as he stopped keeping track of the days long ago. Then again, what makes a long time is wholly subjective when time is essentially obsolete. Whether it was half past 2 in the afternoon or a quarter to 6 in the morning…it does not matter, because among the tall trees everything seems to stop as if the cold has frozen the gears of time together. Jackson felt like he could empathize with such an idea as he got out of bed and stretched his creaking limbs and smoothed over his beard with the back of his hand.
The cabin was very small and subdued. It was the only structure for miles around, yet it did not stand out in any particular way, in such a way that some might call it bland, and others, cozy or traditional. It consisted of a small bedroom with a window facing the direction of the river, a window which always let the sunlight through in uncomfortable patches when the blinds were down but open.
There was also a small kitchen with a beaten old stove and a stainless steel sink with little pieces of rusted metal which had peeled off various pots and pans. There was no immediate need for him to clean that sink up, so the little pieces always continued to float around like flotsam and jetsam in the lukewarm water.
Finally, there was a small table with a flimsy-looking wooden chair tucked underneath it. The chair looked very old. Jackson often thought how he would not be surprised to know that there were termites in the limbs of that old chair. He had lots of time to think about things like this.
The table had a few things on it: some books and a few empty notebooks. Jackson always hoped that the books would say something to him, personally and directly, that would inspire something of his own worth committing to paper, an inspiration pushing him towards a new direction and perhaps even reform. However, as mentioned, all the notebooks he had brought with him, back when he had decided to stay out here for good, remained empty. He liked to think that something would be there before all was said and done; hopefully long before that.
That was the cabin. It was certainly not much to look at, but who was looking anyways? One can always find a way to rationalize anything away.
Jackson walked to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of black coffee (he had no sugar) and took it with him as he walked out the door in his rough denim pants and a thin white shirt. The sun was out and it was very bright. As he stood there, his steel-toe boots sunken in the snow half a foot down, the cold air and the bright light emanating from above and reflecting from underneath him, he felt that peculiar crispness that made him feel alright despite the fact that he was outside in a t-shirt. The crispness of that time of day and that time of year, which he had come to know over time, was one time when he felt there was something inside him worth looking at. He was not too sure. The cold air cycled through him, from nostrils to lungs and elsewhere, cold and pure oxygen temporarily quenching an uneasy sense of frustration radiating from his stomach, a visceral dilemma which often drove him to reassessment. He watched the steam rise up from his mug in the light.
He had not been here forever; no, not forever, of course, although it might as well have been. It was not worth thinking about, Jackson felt, because he was there and what’s done is done. But, yet, he could not help it, as is nature, the human nature.
The coffee was very bitter, but its warmth gave him strength as it matriculated through his body, down his throat and into his stomach, all the while giving him a kick to the brain. It felt fine to be out there in the sun with the white snow, alert but apathetic, not bound to anything in particular. If it wasn’t for the cabin, he might as well have been driftwood.
Jackson felt obligated to do something with the momentary rush of intracranial stimulation. He went inside and put a coat on after setting down his mug on the table with the books. His hands and his cheeks were red from the cold, he just noticed.
He walked out through the snow and into the woods down towards the river. The snow on the tree branches fell as he tapped them, falling down in clumps and the remainder fluttering down like so much dust suspended in the air. The sunlight shot between the trees and illuminated this downpour, threatening to melt it in midair, cutting it’s marvelous descent short. A rabbit dashed across the snowy patch before him, perhaps in pursuit but more probably in flight. It’s ears were pinned back like wings, and before long he lost it in the great white.
His small wooden vessel was standing up against a tall fern tree trunk that seemed to defend it from nothing, but just in case…
With great vigor, Jackson moved the small canoe away from the tree trunk, setting it with the keel down on the tightly-packed snow. He could see his breath before his face as he labored, picking it up from one end, dragging it through the snow towards the river, about thirty feet away from the tree. He was breathing heavily but kept it up until he reached the very edge of the cool water. He set the end which he had been dragging down into the water and went around the other way to push the back end into the river. Slowly, the canoe edged into the water with his help, and he jumped in before it got too far so that he didn’t get his boots wet. Drifting, he took the oars back down underneath his feet with the intention of simply sitting for a while.
Jackson sat out there in the cold. He couldn’t imagine how it might be if he, by chance, fell in that water, in that river out there amongst the emptiness. The thought made him tremble slightly, making him wish he had another cup of coffee to wrap his stiff fingers around.
Chunks of ice floated about the river, some seemingly as big as him, as if he could lay across them and get back to land if the need arose. They were like little islands, once much bigger that they were now, beaten on by time, the Sun, and the cyclical nature of the seasons. In this way, you could say the river was Pangea, over and over again. In a funny way, Jackson felt like one of those icy islands sitting out there, floating around aimlessly, roasting. He was so cold, the air piercing through him and his clothes as if they were made of some sort of sieve-like paper, that he felt like he might as well have been an iceberg, even just a small one. Yeah, an iceberg. That’s the way to be. Jackson laughed loudly to himself. He laughed even louder a second time because he knew nobody could hear him.
An iceberg…yes. An iceberg. A part of a larger sheet of ice, maybe even the whole river. Then it, the larger sheet, breaks off into smaller pieces. They drift and they drift, not knowing where they go, and eventually, they get tired and melt away, becoming a part of the water they perched on for so long in a token of reciprocity of the basest kind. It is a graceful disappearance, an exit by dissolution into its maker, a necessity in order to give birth unto itself another time. The whole thing was so noble if you really thought about it right. Jackson wanted to say things were not so basic, but truly, they were and are. Jackson thought about this, and hard. None of it warmed him, but it reminded him of where he was, sometimes literally but other times not. He fought the urge to jump out of the boat. The Sun shone down on him, reflecting off a piece of ice in such a manner that he had to look away. He looked back after the light’s intensity had declined like the tides of the ocean. For a moment, he saw a face in the ice, a face from long ago of someone who might have been anywhere. The Sun disappeared behind a cloud.
Jackson sat in the boat, stretching his legs out onto the empty seat on the other end of the boat. The vessel floated on straight and true, past the ice with a fleeting, beautiful face, a visage comprised of the elements, elements that had long left Jackson. The retrospective view was his fate. Jackson thought about grace and exits, and how he said no to it all; all this as he floated to the edge of the world or the end of the river, whichever came first.
Again, any feedback is appreciated!

In Retrospect

Sparkling light, incandescent and free
Eyes closed, there you’ll be
In the fore of thought
Too bright, away it can’t be bought
No sum owns it, the idea,
No object of prosperity.
The old Good, the now Bad
Captivating, yes, walking away but
Looking back, don’t! or stone
Standing still, you will be, but
Too late, eyes in back
Search from whence you came
Blind to the other way, opposite
A backwards conundrum
Frozen in a spot, uncomfortably
And without recourse.
Like an ancient eyeing the arrival
of something grand, but
something not such, yet
grand for you, who’s to say no?
All that lives is a memory,
To reinforce the creaking stony joints
From breaking entirely, underneath
Between the ears, a force
The gravity of realization: Oh.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Monday, November 10, 2008


The Killer
The knife that slithers
Through my throat to slay a miser;
Erythrocytes flow profusely from the lesion.
Seems like I lack neurotransmitters
Afflicted by numbness
The sinner

wrote this some time in july...
i dont know if it makes any sense but... just wondering what kind of feedback i'll get =)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Poems

I wrote two poems when I was waiting for the bus back from the Honda dealership. I actually don't like either one, but I'll put them up because they're all I've written since I've been out here.

I'm bursting with feeling
But I can't let it out.
Like an aluminum balloon
Will fill up and be tied,
So I am filled with
Emotion stuck inside.
Don't know what type
Of air is in me
But there's too much.
And I can't find the words
that will untie the knot.

Here's the second. If anyone has ideas for titles, let me know. I guess I can call the first Aluminum Balloon

In the city
The noise is suffocating
The lights blind
The sidewalk pedestrian.

Gone are the days
When the moon and stars
Were streetlights to guide
Down the path of fallen leaves
Between tall trees.

Now the springiness
Missing from the concrete
Wreaks havoc on knees and feet
And bullies aside the grass.

That last stanza's got some issues. Especially with the springiness and the concrete and the missing wreaking havoc... Ideas to make that clearer?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Hey... I brought this to a summer meeting a few weeks ago and got some comments; I have revised some of the things relating to complaints about logicality (ie, "her whole life had been spent complaining to her children..." .. "did she have children since her birth?") and made a few minor word changes. Others, tell me what you think! This is based on actual events, though it is not wholly true.


My mother is dying.
My sister called me last night at about 10:30. When her name showed up on the caller ID I knew there had to be something wrong with Mom, because it was not my birthday, or Mary’s birthday, or one of the kids’ birthdays, or Christmas, or Easter, and the only other reason she ever has for calling is “something else is wrong with Mom.” It turned out that my mother had had another heart attack, and the post-recovery EKG had revealed congestive heart failure. We all knew she wasn’t a transplant candidate, and so that meant that the end was near.

Click on "Post Page" below to see the rest!

I know I sound horrible saying that, but if you knew my mother, you’d feel differently. She had lived her life for a good eighty-four years, and every minute of it had been spent complaining. After the birth of her children, the complaints became less general and more focused on how we didn’t care about her. It didn’t matter what we did; we could call her every day, visit her constantly in the assisted-living home, bring her flowers every Sunday, and still the only things she would say to us would be “the food here is terrible,” and “why don’t you come to visit me as often as Larry?” Larry, the prodigal son in every sense of the word. He lived two streets over from her his whole life, quit college to become a freelance photographer, got fired from his newspaper job for being lazy, and was too lazy to find a new one. Now he lives in her old house because there, he doesn’t have to pay a mortgage. She’s in a home now, and her house has been paid off since 1983. The one he still owes money on is on the verge of being condemned, painted halfway up the side and halfway remodeled on the inside in an attempt to make it sale-worthy. But he comes to visit her, she says; why don’t you?

Anticipating this reaction, I went to visit her as soon as they released her from intensive care, and it was pretty much the same as always.

“How are you feeling, Mom?”

“How do you think I’m feeling? I have tubes up my nose and a wire in my chest!”

“Are your doctors helping?”

“Those bastards couldn’t find their own asses in a dark room!”

“How was your lunch?”

“How do you think it was? This is a hospital, not a four-star restaurant!”

After a few more attempts at cordiality and conversation, I put the flowers Mary had cut for her in a vase next to her bed, told her to feel better and get some rest, and left. I didn’t bother asking if Larry had been to see her yet; on her bedside chair, I had smelled the cheap paint he was using to desecrate her living room.

Walking through the hospital corridor, I noticed a few people were looking at me. I must have seemed a little out of place in the bleached, shabby hallways in my newly dry-cleaned black suit, but I had come straight from work and I had had a committee meeting earlier that day. I smiled at the cleaning ladies who got into the elevator with me, who were also looking askance at my attire.

There were three of them, one pushing the mop cart, one carrying linens, and another who looked old from tiredness who seemed to be on her way home. The woman with the mops let out a long sigh and leaned against the back of the elevator as the doors closed and exclaimed under her breath,

“JE-sus Christ!” The woman with the linens gasped and said in a whisper to her in a shocked tone,

“Jean, that man is a priest!” The third woman looked confused.


“I said, Jean just took the Lord’s name in vain, and that man there is a priest!” She was pointing at me. I had to contain my laughter. “God will send her to hell for that.” The third woman’s face set into a mass of hard lines that told her emotional age and she said,

“There isn’t one.” The words oozed sadly out of her like blood from the dying patients she saw every day. The woman called Jean looked at her.


“There is no God,” said the third woman, staring into space resignedly. I didn’t quite know what to say. I realized I had become the unwitting catalyst of an existential meltdown. Would this third woman, had she not been under the impression there was a priest in the room, still have been compelled to exclaim out loud her views on the existence of a higher power? Or was today just the day that proved His absence to her? As I was not actually a priest, regardless of whether they thought I was or not, I didn’t feel comfortable inquiring. I am a professor of philosophy, not a spiritual counselor, and so I have no business being inside anyone’s mind except maybe my students’. Still, even without being intrusive, I could see that some sort of message of forgiveness was expected from me for the woman who had taken liberties with a common pair of names.

“Long day?” I said to Jean. She nodded. I smiled in what I hoped was a priestly fashion.

“I understand,” I said, and smiled again. I hoped this was enough. What do priests do to bestow forgiveness? I had never been in a church long enough to witness that particular part of their job. But the moment had passed; there was no point on trying to divine the answers to questions out of my realm of knowledge. The woman with the linens turned to me suddenly and said,

“So, that woman you were visiting is dying, I suppose.” I nodded, interested to hear her observations. She leaned closer, taking me into her confidence.

“I gotta say, Father, I gotta say I’m pretty relieved, you know, not to speak ill of the sick and all, but she’s a cantankerous one, you know, so I’m glad to see she’s being absolved of her sins, you know, because she needs that, you know, I think.” I smiled again, rather stiffly this time. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything other than “Yes.” Luckily, we had reached the ground floor and so I parted company with the trio, bidding them all a “blessed day,” as I expected a man in my supposed profession would have.

I walked through the parking lot and tried to remember where I parked. Though I knew I had a bad memory, after a few minutes fruitlessly searching, I realized that the problem was not impending old-man memory skills but the fact that I was completely distracted from actively searching by the strange resonance of the exchange in the elevator. To be seriously mistaken for a priest was something I had never experienced before, and to have someone tell me that my mother was an old bitch who needed to be absolved of her sins without realizing they were talking to this woman’s son was another new experience. Frankly, the very prospect of my mother wishing to be absolved of sins by a servant of God was quite funny to me in a rather dark way. Did my mother even believe in God? I didn’t know; I had never been in an elevator with her and a man mistaken for a priest to hear what she might be provoked to say under the right circumstances. There was no other occasion that would have inspired her to talk to us about religion. The only time I’d seen her in a church was when someone died. In our house, the only religions were food, yelling, and disappointment, and I had done my best to distance myself from those, as well. What would my mother even say if a priest came into her room to “absolve her of her sins”? Would she say, “Father, I’ve been a terrible woman and an awful mother; my children all hate me except the one who’s a lazy bum. All I ever do is complain, and I take everything good I have for granted”? No. What she would probably say if faced with a man of the cloth in her room to help her die without fear of hell would be, “Why are you here? Which one of my idiot children sent you? I can die without you, you know.” And that would be the end of that visit. Still, what she said would be true. She was perfectly capable of dying on her own.

Driving home, I had already begun to feel numb. What was left now but to wait? I knew the next time I came to visit she would probably be asleep, or otherwise unconscious, and if she weren’t, things would go exactly as they had today. Unlike many people, my mother was not one to be frightened into kindness by the prospect of a fast-approaching death; it was just something else for her to complain about. I suppose, in that respect, she was braver than all of us.

When the phone rang five days later at 6:30 in the morning, I knew who it was even before I put my glasses on to look at the caller ID.

“Is this Robert?”


“This is the Detroit City hospital, and I’m very sorry to have to tell you that Florence passed away about twenty minutes ago. Your sister and brother are on their way. Would you like to meet them here?”

I said I would. I didn’t wake Mary, but left a note over the face of the alarm clock.

When I arrived, my brother Larry was looking incredibly pained and my sister Grace was facing in the opposite direction attempting to look bereaved. I looked down at my mother’s face on the suspiciously clean pillowcase, and was afflicted with a strange combination of confusion, sadness, and relief.

She looked, for once, happy.

Friday, June 06, 2008


Twist, wrap, loop around,
Under, over, together.
Join, bake, salt, enjoy.

This is actually from a long time ago. I'm not even sure when I wrote it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

good swiss

nothing in the world

like good
swiss cheese

shit's hard
to find

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


This is the other one I might read. HELP ME DECIDE!!! Comments, please.

You are bald, and this realization is painful because you have always had hair, even when you were born, and it didn’t thin out at 3 weeks like other babies’ did, your mother always used to remind you, it just grew into a thick mass, and now, fifty-seven years later, you are bald.

It shouldn’t be such a shock; you have looked at yourself in the mirror every morning for years and years and for the last fifteen you have watched your hairline slowly receding and the remaining hair thinning and thought in vain that maybe it just looked thinner, until you ran your hands through it and felt it like corn silk (but not quite as soft) and then once or twice or maybe a few more times you walked back into the bedroom after shaving and asked her to feel your hair too because she wouldn’t lie to you—she loved it so much when she first met you and never grew tired of touching it, and so it must be hurting her to watch it go as well, the remaining tufts fading into a non-descript, unmemorable gray that makes you think of wizards and accountants and homeless men.

She doesn’t lie to you. She says it was bound to happen sooner or later; it happened to your father and LORD did he have a head of hair when he was young, curly and thick like an electrocuted sheep, but at forty-five it started to fall out almost as if he were a cancer patient, and the gray was so sad, his coming of age not greeted with fanfare and praise and golden trophies but with boxes of dye that he tried to hide, until one day he gave up and let it go all the way, gray to silver to the resigned white that it was just before he died. They combed and gelled it nicely at his funeral, you remembered. He would have been proud.

Yes, it was bound to happened sooner or later, but you just can’t stop thinking about it, almost an obsession, this thought of hair loss is, because it seems to you a character flaw; you should not be one of those men, those men who go bald from the stress of jobs they don’t enjoy, from the pain of living with women they don’t love—baldness is not only a sign of the descent into old age to you, but also a sign of failure, of nothing less than an absence of success despite many attempts whose sad results were this: an unhappy life and a bare shining head.

You look back into your own eyes in the mirror and it is clear now; you have reached the point of no return. From here, there is the last third or quarter of your life, which will be spend waiting for the end, and that end will be heralded by the last of the hairs on your head falling to the ground, for when your hair is no more, you, as well, will be finished.

Alive is the Opposite of Empty

Comments, please; I'm thinking about reading either this one or the next one I'm going to post shortly at the reading on Thursday.

You are listening to “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot over and over again and trying to decide if you are doing it as an artistic gesture, like lighting scented candles that smell like someone’s sweater while trying to forget them, but about a minute into the aria you dismiss this because you remember why you are listening to it. There is an unmistakable purity in the music, and at the same time a thickness that grabs at your sternum and makes you move your arms despite yourself, and when the chorus echoes the theme there are tears on your face, even though you do not cry at songs anymore, not since you made yourself whole, you think, not since you made yourself immutable and secure. But Puccini, that Italian bastard, he’ll get you every time. He’ll make you cry at the climax of a high note that comes from the guts of a singer in a way that empties your whole body—you know what this feels like because you are a singer too—and he’ll make you realize that this is one of those works that makes the musicological “does music evoke or express emotion” question irrelevant because feeling this powerfully is all that matters in the instant of the aria.

It is over now; you cannot listen to it any more without destroying the sanctity of the song; if you overplay it, it will become moot, meaningless, you tell yourself you should only play it when you want to feel your innards ripped out of you, when you want to feel quartered between the horses and poles of your emotions and your mind. But then, what was it that you needed when you decided it would be a good idea to turn it on, to play it over and over again until you were crying out loud each time the chorus in the background conjured images in your mind of spirits of dead lovers, clutching your chest and sobbing at each high C at the end as if you too were vomiting your soul into sound like Pavarotti; what made you feel more alive thinking that if you were to listen to “Nessun Dorma” once more you should perhaps die, your circuits shorting out like a computer trying to process too much information? There is nothing that needs to be forgotten; you have come to peace with all the pain in your past at least for now, there is no lingering agony from that too-long lost love and once Christmas is over you will once again be happily nestled in the arms of someone who actually loves you back, and so it is somewhat strange to you for a few moments that it should be necessary to undergo this sort of cathartic emotional explosion, that you have this unyielding compulsion to make yourself cry over and over again, because who in their right mind would separate themselves from their happy thoughts of the present to become immersed in some sort of empathetic agony brought on by the works of a musical genius?

And then you think of Kat, who you no longer understand, who is happy to just barely scrape by on existence and seems to have no source of joy in her life, but that is all right; she doesn’t need to feel anything, as long as she can still go to work each morning and eat dinner each night and have a reasonably normal life with nothing of interest, nothing to disturb the way that things run every day, she is all right, and you feel like a horrible person sometimes because you have stopped feeling sorry for her every time she calls you to tell you about how her father is going to stop sending her money because she isn’t doing anything with her life, because it is true. You are listening to “Nessun Dorma” over and over again so that your life can do something with itself, so that you can remember what it’s like to feel so many emotions at once you can’t distinguish between them anymore, because when your father calls you up and asks you for the fiftieth time, “aren’t you lonely?” you can say no, because in your mind nothing deserves the implications of the word “lonely” except an existence in which you aren’t sure whether you even have emotions anymore, because while you know you still have them to keep you company, when you know that anytime you listen to something written by a composer who understands what humans feel, anytime you read something by a writer who has the same set of needs and desires that the rest of us do, you will have resurrected in your mind something non-material that can transcend physical loneliness, and then you will never be without hope.

Monday, March 24, 2008


the unmentionable--
Everyone knows the reference
no one dares
to specify
the thing

The two letters that taunt
inserting themselves
never letting those
who know

Monday, March 17, 2008

Twitch revised

Alrighty, the spacing looks sort of right.
Comment away!


I drink
         coffee. Go ahead,
Judge me. I am not a caffeine-a-holic, I am not
sleep-deprived, I am not looking for a
buzz.      But that doesn’t mean I don’t
            crave the jump,
want the energy, but not because I
            need it, I don’t
               need it to
         live, just to
            connect. I just
get it, get into the way the world
flows out of people to make explosions of
life with every foot that steps onto the ground
Coffee is the taste of
               knowledge of
all things in one cup, of
         cities breathing and screaming
               buildings living like animals
                     smells that look like your first love
               sounds that are the sense of a tear falling and
         faces that are John and yet Xerxes and Oscar Wilde and they are
all in my coffee.          One
         sip and I cannot
                  thinking about these things, I
                     cannot help but
      see everything
            at once and by the
               time my
                     coffee is gone,
                        my eyes are

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

No Place to Live

The outsider
roars through the garden,
upending the lives of
the ants, grass, and beetles.
He leaps for the ball and slides through their homes.
They cry out in fear
What will we do
with no place to live?

He comes home to learn
his house is in danger.
The wood is infested
by ravenous termites.
He cries out in fear
What will I do
with no place to live?

I wrote this while I was editing Vanity

Sunday, February 24, 2008

House Without a Roof

So I got it a little better. Now the text is all small. I have a monospace version on the post page. I actually kind of like that one better.

Brick by brick the house rose
The mortar was laid with care
Building blocks
s l o w l y c a me together
Ready for the roof, we
the final
But before it reached
the walls
there was a sudden gust of wind and we saw
The mortar hadn't
Bricks lay strewn
We, devastated.
Our shelter had collapsed,
Our sole protection from the world.

But we started again,
A new foundation,
brick by brick,
like Sisyphus we worked,
the wind never subsiding,
our task never complete,


Brick by brick the house rose
The mortar was laid with care
Building blocks
s l o w l y c a me together
Ready for the roof, we
the final
But before it reached
the walls
there was a sudden gust of wind and we saw
The mortar hadn't
Bricks lay strewn
We, devastated.
Our shelter had collapsed,
Our sole protection from the world.

But we started again,
A new foundation,
brick by brick,
like Sisyphus we worked,
the wind never subsiding,
our task never complete,

Thursday, February 21, 2008



i was paralyzed
the sound of the drums and the synthesizers
a slow melody building from the heart of my brain, expanding outward
down the spine, out through the nose and mouth, pressing against my cheeks
that sound
pressing harder and harder on my ears, it surrounded me, pounded me
i had to close my eyes, as the pressure built
trying to keep it all in
i didn’t want to let go this time
the music was mine and mine alone


waves receded as i exhaled
i cracked my eyes to light rising
over the crowds and buildings and roads that take everyone home again
the morning’s peace disturbed only by shuffling, coughing, an engine rattling on
the muses gone
there were no birds
i lie alone again



When the solid state of
the iron-clad contracts
the pot of gold
into ingots and
wired loops of
communication with the
dead air around us
the only thing left
is hot gas
driving the car
through the turn
of the century.

Friday, February 15, 2008


This week our writing activity was the following:
1. Everyone write down 2 characters (like George Bush and the Easter Bunny)
2. Put all the entries in a hat
3. Everyone draw two entries
4. Write a dialog between the characters you drew.

The characters I drew were The Mighty Thor and President Taft. All I knew about Thor was that he was Norse, the god of the vikings, and much like Zeus otherwise. The only thing I knew about Taft was that he was a fat president with a mustache that got stuck in a tub once. My conversation follows:

Thor: (Booming from heavens) Stop eating, you madman!
Taft: (Twitches mustache) I'm hungry.
Thor: You are fat!
Taft: I am president!
Thor: How do you propose to explore your world...where you exist from MY benevolence?
Taft: I intend to not. I intend to finish my meal.
Thor: You fat wuss!
Taft: Come down here and say that to my face, you arrogant bastard.
Thor: (Appears with a bang across from Taft at his table with lightning bolt in hand, towering over the entire room) YOU FAT WUSS!
Taft: (Blinks. Wipes mouth) Excuse me. (Stands)
Taft: I intend to take a bath before my speech.
Thor: HA! ENJOY THAT "SPEECH"! (Disappears with a boom)
Taft: (Thinking) Whatever that meant.
Taft: Why can't I get out of this tub?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


the night you left me,

i was looking for your hands

and you refused mine.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Scarlet Road

Ugh, long night... here we go, then.

Scarlet Road

scarlet road,
I walk yr path,
my face the color
of yr concrete.

clean hands crammed
into empty pockets,
the note left
on my desk

placed last night
in dark wire trash bin,
folded neatly
along worn creases,

read, absorbed through
fingertips until
ink conveyed
meaning into

no need for memento
along crimson course,
just west into blinding sun

and welcome sign,
burned words upon
horizon, simply—
Not Here.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The best of the conversation activity

For this activity everyone wrote one half of a conversation, then paired up with another person and put their two respective halves together. There was no collaboration involved whatsoever: no one had any idea who his partner would be, nor what he had written. These were my favorites (tell me if I got the names wrong):

Click on "Post Page" below to see the rest!

Claire and Josh
A: So, how's life treating you?
B: Well, I never!
A: That's better than me; I had food poisoning over the weekend.
B: What an interesting statement. You know, I've recently traveled to Germany and had the most amazing experience! Amsterdam has the most interesting things for sale in their coffee shops. . .
A: Yeah, well life's a bitch. How was your date last night?
B: Have you ever tried marijuana?
A: That sounds awful.
B: Yes, yes, alright. So, we'll talk about something else. You konw, I once heard that in Bible times, people recreationally smoked opium. Do you think Jesus did?
A: That's why you should always carry safety pins with you.
B: That positively had nothing to do with what I just asked you. You aren't even listening. Well, then, what is it you're trying to say?
A: It never hurts to be prepared!
B: What's that? I thought I heard something about Mary Sue Coleman and Alvin and the Chipmunks, but what were they doing, and why?
A: Well, guess what, my apartment had to be emptied out because we had bedbugs, but you don't see me complaining.
B: Yes, I see your point.
A: Don't worry: it's not your fault.
B: By the way, have you seen my trousers? I can't seem to find them.
A: Well, I should get going. I have to write a paper about Samuel Coleridge!
B: That's AWESOME! Clearly, we're on the same page now.

The Republican and Jessica
A: What do you mean "three times"!?
B: I can't believe, after everything that's happened, that you can just waltz in here and say that.
A: Well, that's not acceptable. I mean, how could you have forgotten? Only to remember now?
B: I didn't meant what I said last night. I was drunk. And possessed. Jerk!
A: Yeah, there was a lot of vodka involved.
B: Same to you.
A: No, I don't want to hear any of your excuses.
B: What's that supposed to mean?
A: All you've ever said to me was a lie. All of it, every whispered nothing, a vicious lie from your uncaring mouth.
B: Oh, oh. I get it now.
A: No, no you don't.
B: You know what this reminds me of? Nevermind, I'll tell you anyway-
A: I think we're done here, there's nothing more to say. You're a heartless bitch.
B: Hippos are the most dangerous animals in the Savannah, they kill more people than lions every year.
A: Well, maybe, but you'll have to prove it.
B: Yeah yeah, I know. But hear me out: everybody's afraid of lions, you know? But who could fear a hippo? People see hippos, they don't think danger, they think dancing in tutus in Fantasia - and then they think "Huh, those are some big teeth" and then they don't think anything at all.
A: No, I don't believe your words. Nothing you've said was true.
B: Wow, didn't expect to hear THAT, I admit. Well played.
A: What do you think I am, crazy?
B: Don't get cocky!

Scott and Fiza
A: I am not going to eat any of these cheap hotdogs for dinner again, goddammit. What else we got?
B: Close the door!
A: Yeah, but don't we have more of that pasta salad your mother made us?
B: Well, I didn't think he'd see us. But you never know.
A: So you're saying you ate all of it. By yourself. Great.
B: Nah, I'm not scared of him. Are you?
A: Well, I guess I'll just sit right down and enjoy a nice meal of condiments. Mmmm condiments! Ketchup, mayo, relish - the works.
B: Are we doing the right thing? Don't touch that! Have you lost your mind?
A: Oh, that's real cute. You'd like that wouldn't you? Christ.
B: That's true. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? It's just a little fire.
A: OK, how'd you like to eat a stick of margarine? Enjoy. Yeah, take that.
B: What? I didn't want him to die!
A: I don't know what you're talking about - domestic assault my ass!
B: This is not funny.
A: What!? Are you serious!? OK, OK, go ahead, call the cops - see if I care.
B: Oh my God! Noooo!
A: Now wait. Just wait, let's calm down. Take a deep breath. Nice and easy. . .

Eric and Alex
A: Barry, I told you not to do it. How many times have I told you not to do it?
B: Wanker junk sickness macho explosion!
A: Stop trying to change the subject.
B: No the whipple stayed the night in God's golden frame, all guts no glory!
A: That's no excuse. The VCR was mine and you just felt the need to change it in order to better suit your perversions.
B: Fantastic.
A: It's obvious what you did. You put bunny ears and applied oral glitter to what was previously a work of modern man.
B: A whore is a whore no matter which way you cut it.
A: Barry, just shut up. She doesn't have anything to do with this.
B: Stop. Just stop.
A: Jill is not a whore, no matter how many domestic animals she's slept with.
B: Eloi, eloi, lama subachthani!
A: You and I both know cows don't count. Come on, don't be silly.
B: Yes, Matthew. The best.
A: I really don't care about that. I just want my goddamn VCR back, and the calzones as well.
B: I ain't stole nothing never.
A: Fine, don't invite me to your Karl Marx birthday bash.
B: Yes, I know.
A: I'm hanging up now, and I want to see my stuff on your iceberg outside in two minutes, OK?
B: Love you too, Mommy.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year '08!

Happy New Year.
Short and sweet.
A greeting heard but once
a trip enclosing the sun
and grows more
and more meaningful
with the passing ages.
With a kiss and a cheer
don't fear the year, it's here
to bring us 'round.

The revolution has begun.