O, My Love, behold our Earth
which we have left
all those years ago:

The lushness of the green that we knew
so very well
has been replaced by dryness—
grey, brown, black—
and the air we breathed so crisply
has been tainted with smog and thick
blinding smoke—
our eyes can only take so much
of the haze.

The Garden we adored so much
Is now nothing:
Its gates and walls fell
as Adoshem struck His fist upon our land
and stripped the Garden of all of it’s green—
if His creations could not keep it,
then no one on this Earth would be worthy.

As you and I look down now
we cannot help but pine for the beauty which we felt
and took in with our eyes and mouths:
The succulent growings from the Earth
and the waters that flowed and dripped so coolly
down our throats.

We left the Garden,
we lived our lives
(had our sons, one more holy than the other),
moved about the Earth and found a land
to be our new Garden,
through not nearly as glorious as that of Adoshem’s.

Though it was His, it was ours.

For the first (and only) time, we felt the sting
of death—
you fell first and I wept,
for the one who was my Temptation was gone
and I had known no Earth—
Garden or otherwise—
without you.

Then I fell, too.

For the first time since leaving the Garden
I saw a blinding light
and remembered it dearly to be
but this light was far brighter than before,
as you stood there beside Him, ready to greet me
with your loving arms and your tender lips.

When we asked Adoshem why
we deserved to spend eternity with Him
after our transgression.

He told us that it was because of love:

Love is the reason we fell, but our love
made the Earth a new Garden—
more vast, more encompassing,
more dear than any sensual pleasures He could have made
in the Garden itself.

Our love made the Earth ours.

Our love made His Earth ours.

As we looked down upon the Earth
we say it so:
Lovers embracing and mothers and fathers
kissing their babies on the forehead,
man holding his fellow man up
in times of dread – O my Love,
we did so much!

These sights
were so much brighter
than the flesh of the Fruit
and a thousand times sweeter.

We vowed to keep our eyes on this Earth
as our Eden is no Eden
without each other,
and this Earth became our Eden—
as we moved,
Eden moved with us
to all, man and woman.

So, my Love, join me
as I implore those who today inhabit
our Earth:

Keep the Earth an Eden
with love.




We looked up and saw the sky above turned
grey—something neither you nor I had seen
in the Garden.

The booming we heard cracked in our ears
and left us nearly deaf—
the ringing over and over again
until our ears were left dripping with blood—
a redness that you and I had never seen
inside this Garden.

I reached for you next to me in the bush,
but you had already risen
and stepped out into the clearing,
unafraid of what form we would see

I curled up on the ground, my arms grasping my aching belly,
my hands gripping my back and my knees
pushed up against my breasts—
I was rocking;
I was weeping.

I looked over to you, saw only your feet
standing uneasily upon the grass—
you were silent as I wept.

The thundering continued and you stood
still; what seems like forever passed on,
my eyes had dried
and you kept standing.

I arose
my hands were
my breath was

I pursed one arm up against my breasts
and the other hand over my nakedness—
the wind was cold, as there was no sun
with which to heat the Garden’s thermals.

My skin crawled with each blistering gust.

You stood there, letting the wind entrap your face.

I looked over at you:
your hands were placed gently over
your nakedness, your eyes were firm on the darkened sky—
your mouth made no movements.

I moved my arm from my breasts
and reached over to your hand,
which was much more calm than mine.

You entangled my fingers within yours,
then we both clenched each other’s
as the sky opened up
and a blinding light came beaming down.

We ran back into the bush
and hid, peering through to the clearing—
still shaking.

Adoshem appeared from the beam—
his face was stern,
but his voice remained unraised.

“Adam, Eve:
Where are you?”

You began to step forward
but I pushed you back with an uneasy hand.

“We are here, Adoshem.”

He looked me over as you emerged from the bush;
His eyes still on me.

“Why were you hiding?”

I could tell that He knew;
He just wanted us to admit
our shame.

“We were hiding because we are naked, my Lord.”

He looked over at you,
now standing next to me.

“How did you know you were naked?”

I looked over at you, covering yourself still—
my hands were doing the same on myself—
and we both looked down until you lifted your head
to Adoshem.

“My Lord . . . ”

“I know what you have done.”

We both fell to our knees
and began to weep bitterly.

Our mouths inhaled the grass
as our breath pushed harshly from our chests;
our fingered curled around the earth
in our last attempt to stay a part
of this Garden.

You rose your eyes back up to Adoshem.

“The Serpent – he was here and he spoke . . . ”

His voice raised and boomed over the Garden;
the leaves shook on the trees and the birds
took to the sky in fright.

“The Serpent is none of you concern!
He has been dealt with—
he is now the lowest of all of the beasts
as I have forced him to crawl on his belly
for all of time.

“But you, my Creations,
have failed me!
I gave you all this Garden
and all of the pleasures that you could take in
while asking only one thing from you—
and you failed me!”

I arose quickly as you stayed on the ground,
I ran up to Adoshem
and looked at Him in his deep
entrancing eyes—
He reminded me of the Serpents,
only I feared His more.

“My Lord,
think not Adam responsible for this,
for I tempted him—
I am the one who gave him the Fruit
and I am the one who first fell
to the Serpent’s advances.

“I am the one who fell.”

“You both fell!”

His words burned my face harshly.

“You both disobeyed me,
you both betrayed me,
and you both let your temptations
rule over your reason;
for this, I must banish you
from the Garden.”

You looked up at me next to Adoshem
and I looked back at you
as our eyes watered again.

This place—
our home—
gone from our grasps.

Our bodies would never again feel
the grass below
and our throats would never again be quenched
by the cooling rivers which flow softly
in the Garden.

Adoshem looked over to the gates
and they opened,
showing us the bleakness of life
outside of our sheltering walls.

God’s voice calmed itself again
but remained firm.


So you rose, still sobbing
and came up to me.

We bowed our heads to Adoshem
then began the
toward the gate.

As we walked side by side
you reached over
and grabbed my hand.

They remained locked in one another
until the gate closed behind us.


from a poem in progress

i am not Prufrock—i am not half-dead
with rolled-up pants and thinning hair on my head.
i am still too young to face the dread of tea
sipped out of flowered porcelain cups; i am free
for i have only lived for half as long
as the man the Modern Bard depicted in his song.

i know not of beaches, i know more of sleet,
and mermaids were not the visions would keep
my lusting wincing through to the hells and tomes
of a series of ranch-style homes;
my visions of beauty were tinted by the rains
from ugly smog from flames of jobless pains
so any girl that could take the water
was one that flame my poetic fodder.

i do not scuttle—i tread where i walk;
but still i seem to prance more when i talk
(according to the lecturers to whom i speak
when my eyes are not looking down or full of sleep—
it is the lot of being my age, i suppose,
to skip the awakening breath the clears the nose
that prepares us always for the day—
but in our beds we'd rather much stay).

i am here—i cannot come and go
for if i go, my grave will let you know.

because i've got a mane so thick upon my head,
i am not Prufrock—i am only quarter-dead.

That Poem [A RESPONSE]

like my first kiss—which was awkward,
untimely, and rushed—

my first relationship—
which was not thought through all the way—

and my first fuck—which was dry,
raw, and unknowing (who knew it had to be so wet?)—

that poem
did not bear much truth

or thinking.

when you speak of California i somehow think

when you speak of California i somehow think
of you, two or three years old,
sitting in front of your father's television set
with a cup of skim milk sitting on your tray.

Under the sea!
Under the sea!

you strike me somehow as a Little Mermaid-kind-of-girl.

i can see your blonde curls bouncing
and your pale hands clapping along
to the nautical rhythms before you:

Un-der da seeeee!
Un-der da seeeee!

you said you used to love the beach
when you were little:
but now you dread the sand inside your skin.

i think the video tape went dead from tracking too much.

i want to be buried without a coffin so my flesh

i want to be buried without a coffin so my flesh
can be fed right to the soil and each little
flower around my grave will have a bit
of me within its core:

i want to give the little worms a place to live.

if i have a favorite season it is sleep.

if i have a favorite season it is sleep.

awake is like summer in too many ways:
grueling, lasting longer than needbe,
baking me, making me sweat over nothing;

and dozing is like spring: it's on again
then off; it's rain and then it's sun; it's wonderful
to walk outside then unbearable.

if i had to place it sleep is like winter:

i have to stay where i am because my feet cannot traverse
through the streets when they are;

but i want to keep myself from the freezing
so i wrap myself up tightly in a blanket
and hold myself so that i can avoid

the process of waking (which to me is autumn).

remember once, i was a boy: [A POEM REVISITED]

remember once, i was a boy:

long before my hands bled
and swept my body in filthy
desires, i kept my heart from


grazing moonlight
with your breasts
dancing swiftly above me
and your thighs crashing
as white foam of waves
upon my fragile shores—
they were torn up by my fingers

(lust is a thing ungodly:

ungodly so far as to tear
all my eyes far and deep;

and all those ungodlies
will fall upon my hands)

hardly, cold and swift

Our Gyres*

the Gyres swirl around you and i
and whirl us around in a spiral hourglass.

* * * * *

before we knew who Christ was,
you and i raised our chalices
and had bulls slaughtered for Apollo
for his blessings to write
our poems in dactyls
(DAH duh duh DAH duh duh DAH duh duh DAH duh duh DAH duh duh
where we spoke of the sea and fallen Troy
as Hector lay beaten bruised and dead
around the walls of the city.

like our fallen hero you and i were swept up
round and round
until our arms and eyes melded into one:
a fusion sealed by our lips
until our bodies were pressed against one another's
in the dire force of the vortex
where we fell.

* * * * *

each dimension in their dualism
built upon themselves,
spinning down down until a point burst open
and we droped below into a new era:
the hourglass turned upside down
so the sands begin again.

* * * * *

the sands of Israel--this was our home now
but instead of writing in dactyls
we kept it simple: four beats because those
in the fields with their sheep can only sing so many melodies
(they have to be able to remember it all,
like children: David had it right
when he made his sing-songy words the Word).

we followed Christ around like scribes--you made perfumes with Mary
and i washed His feet--covered in dirt and mud--every day.

at night we snuck away from the camp
to write a poetry for ourselves: four beats
were never enough for our bodies, four beats
were never enough for us to sing our full praises
of God for giving us these bodies
to play with.

we thought we knew pain
until we saw those nails go through His wrists--
like those points that pierce into the blood
we once again fell through the middle
of the double cone
and fell into new sands in time.

* * * * *

how appropriate was it
that we saw His death and now
all we could yell was His name
in our plunge?

time turned upside down yet again
to let us fall back to our original position:
we saw the moon overhead wax and wain
until it vanished from the sky
and we (once again) fell upon the point
of blackness.

* * * * *

there is no metre now.

there are only words.

the moon is barely waxing--we can only see a sliver:
how cruel when before we saw the turning over
of dimensions?
we went from seeing our history captured
in glass and sand
to simply waiting.

we have one thousand nine hundred eighty-nine years
eight months and four days
until we can see the gyres again.

now we have no Apollo,
no Hector,
and no Christ (despite what our mothers say):
there is only you and i
and almost two thousand years of waiting
for the next swirling caving Gyre.

* * * * *

let us make our own--
not our of time and place,
dimension and space,
but of lips and hands,
breasts and chests,
tangled limbs and lovely words
and swirl it all together
in a mixture of love.

Yeats never said that we had to wait
for the next Gyre--
we can make our own.


let's see where this takes us—

let's see where this takes us—
this early-morning love:

i awoke speaking sweet somethings into your ear

i want the world to be jealous
of everything that we do in this bed.
i want god to look down upon us
and remember all of the beautiful things
he has made.

my hands over back and shoulders, brushing your hair
out of your face on the offchance that you
would wake up and kiss me
(like you never do - you always just fall
right back to sleep)

i love your lipsi love your shoulders
i want mine on yours; we won't have two anymore
because they'll be one:
our four will become one

the sunlight shifts through the blinds
and reflects in your lightened hair;
i can see the little specks of dust in the air
rest upon your forehead
which i ride up to
to kiss

On My Way

a song originally written when I was fourteen and trying to be Jim Morrisonrevised with as much as I could remember

I'm driving down the highway
the California sun and waves
are all I have
There's a full tank of gas
And some coffee on the dash,
But I just laugh
I'm going down the coast
To see my baby's most
Sexy stare
I can hear the ocean break
And all in all I want to take
A breath of air

Baby, I'm on my way.
Baby, I'm on my way.

I've got a bungalow down in Venice
And, if the moon will let us
We'll save tonight
This highway's gettin' cold
And this car is far too old
To drive me right
But I'll face the asphalt day
Just on the chance I may
Hold you soon
So as I drive by ocean sand
With my cigarette in hand
I'll sing this tune

Baby, wait for me.
Baby, wait for me.

This drive is getting long
But the radio's still on
I can hear your name
The road is quiet as the sun
Rises from the dawn
As I do the same.

Baby, I'm on my way.
Baby, I'm on my way.

Ambulance on North University Ave.

the sidewalks fell silent to prepare
for your blaring sirens—the people scurried
and babies wailed as their mothers
pressed their palms over their fragile ears

get away! get away! get away, o!
the beast comes running, hungry for blood!

a red galaxy swirled overhead—
the vortex sucking in the milky beams
that flash and reflect themselves
in the window of the buildings around us

get away! get away! get away, o!
the beast comes running, hungry for blood!

the blue streaks over the sides of its
hefty boxy body, the eyes of those walking
filled up—brown, hazel, green, all of them nothing
when bathed in electric blue

get away! get away! get away, o!
the beast comes running, hungry for blood!

all that splendor of screeching horns,
whisking lights and shining streaks
all fell silent and still 0 then its jaws opened
and engulfed an old man's still body

get away! get away! get away, o!
the man is dead and beast is full—waiting for us.


i do not drown: i falter.

a life preserver you are not;
but you are the beating on my chest
that makes me breath again.

i can take it from there.

i can't help but look down
when you take me up to the top of your cliff
and i can see the valleys where the rivers flow
where we once swam and where i
(once (maybe twice)) forgot how to swim.

i do not jump—i do not fall.


it gets harder to look you in the eye
when you are floating so much higher above me.

A RESPONSE 5 [A Poem Revisited]

you don't need to say my name in your poems:
i'll know which ones are about me,
and for those about which i am unsure

i will ask
(even though you probably wish that i would just read it
and nod my head and go "uh-huh" and leave it at that,

but you know me).
besides, if i want to hear my name, i will ask you for it
(but it will be muffled under our bodies).

and i will always be i regardless of I things
as to keep my head from swelling up
which you—or your speaker—says it does

so often.
someone is none of my concern
for i know that you are one and i am one

and together we make two;
but we are together, so that makes one.
our ones make two which makes one.

does that make sense?
i'm not the one who's good with numbers:
you clip coupons and return bottles

while i vote for politicians who will do all that
for me
(isn't democracy so keen?).

we both know you will do no such skewing of which you speak
you know well what you are doing, where you are going; you know that i
am left-handed.

i don't think poetry fits on a scatter plot
despite what we both learned in our respective
Introduction to Poetry courses.


oh, you thought i meant . . .
you thought i was saying . . .
wow, this is awkward.

i know that you are not I
in the confines of these glowing screens
and sounds of pounding keys (mine much more booming than yours):

i just meant that you (Allison) are an I
and i am an i—
this was not a commentary on your speaker who i wish to know more dearly.

(and i will always be i regardless of I things
as to keep my head from swelling up
which you—or your speaker—says it does

so often).
and someone is none of my concern
for i know that you are one and i am one

and together we make two;
but we are together, so that makes one.
our ones make two which makes one.

does that make sense?
i'm not the one who's good with numbers:
you clip coupons and return bottles

while i vote for politicians who will do all that
for me
(isn't democracy so keen?).

we both know you will do no such thing, this skewing of which you speak
you know well what you are doing, where you are going; you know that i
am left-handed.

i don't think poetry fits on a scatter plot
despite what we both learned in our respective
Introduction to Poetry courses.


it's a funny thing, really.
you are I
and i am i:

you have bound yourself to such an immense
fantastic thing, while i keep myself
down to the i: incomplete, unhuman.

i would not go as far as to say that i
am a man, but perhaps a transition, or
perhaps a boy with an early case of facial hair.

i remember that Autumn well:
you seemed well standing alone,
yet i was waiting for you to crush me

with each of your powerful words.
however, crushing does carry nearly as much of a shock
as melting.

i would love to be wrapped in your blankets,
but somehow (especially today)
your arms seem so much better.

                  to be one with you; but, my love,
two bodies become one and two breaths
become one in our little games; one is more than two.

now on your tercet:
you are o-so tricky in your poems!
look at what you have left me:

no end-stop, how cruel!
how can i even attempt to ponder
what you were pondering there?

spacing? poetic, yes,
but this poet tried to keep it all left-alligned
for our sake, but if you want

to play that game,
i'll suit up.
and, if you recall, i wrote poems

in response to your poems
long ago;
it's just that this time i am trying

to re-melt you;
whereas before i was simply trying
to get you to say my name out loud.

To My Cousin

by god i thought that you would break the chains
of caramel binding—perhaps not break them
but rather use them, wrap them around the pale necks of men
who looked down at us and then tried to pick us up
with the almighty dollar; you and i were going to laugh
in their faces, hold them down and teach their children
how to keep their guilt in their wallets.

you and i were going to take this town in our hands
and feel the buildings crumble in our palms—
we were going to feast on autumn leaves and concrete
and wash it all down with the blood of those who used our grandfather
to build their empires; we were going to don
our swords and shields (bearing the image of the Vijen)
and down their walls brick by pressing brick;
it was our turn to be the Conquistadors.

i prepared to hoist a cup overflowing with brew with you;
we would drink to our conquest of things that were
unobtainable to us before—unobtainable to our mothers
and fathers because they felt the need to bow down
to the desires of those above us and use babies
to weigh themselves down; you and i would get drunk
on power and dreams, on desires and glory—
our own, not our mothers and fathers.

life threw you a bone and you choked.

The H Word Part II

surprise, surprise!
it's still there!

Seeing Ralph Williams Outside of UMMA

      today the LORD appeared to me again:
how Adoshem did float above the ground
while seeking holy children which to pass
His blessings; Nature laid a path for Him
of roses, cattails, dewy grass and sun
the flora cushioned both His leaping feet
and rays moved on to kiss His aging face;
although His face grew old in dire time,
His hands made gusts that underlined the shear
untidy winds that reap the Earth of seeds
which He then put inside the ground to bloom.
      an angel there accompanied the LORD;
she spoke to Him to understand his Word—
the flailing pleas to His sweet babe and all
to never let His beauty willingly
become a corpse while at the hands of Man—
she smiled as His lips begat the praise
of what His men have made in grueling sweat
and thought, which understanding leads throughout
the world that He has made in booming voice.
      His grin denied the sins of mortal Death
which tempts His children with its brutal means;
but when He bore his teeth to tempters' eyes,
the evil sees the World Utopian—
a paradise created within time
that Adoshem has made with every verse
and every undulation from His tongue.
      resisting urges pulsing in my soul,
i strolled on by, pretending not to see,
pretending not to want to run and kiss
His face by means of holy praise and love—
instead i placed desires to my lips
and kissed my Love, His best creation.

The H Word

the lap lap lapping of your tongue and teeth
grazing my too dark neck holds me
tense, my arms ribs inclining as my hands
grasp the rumbled sheet where i lie
and you traverse me with your lips

you've got those blue daggers

you've got those blue daggers
embedded in your head and a forest
of entrapments nestled on top;
so many hunters lost their bearings
when trying to navigate the intricacies
in your being to find an elusive love
that only few have felt returned.

the fractured seams of twenty-one outbroken
years creeps over you as you take
your boned hands and push my chest
and my body down to the floor
where they wrangle me like howling dogs
that are hungry.

your fingers arch over mine to wring them
to nothing; a crushing that leaves me
dripping and wishing for more.


LORD knows that you don't
need me:
need makes it sound like you wince

at every drop of blood that drips
from your fingers (which i know
you do but i won't tell anyone).

i'm like a babyi cry if you don't hold me
and i eat you out of house and home;
if i could drink your milk i would.

i am the baby here,
strangely enough because i am older
by two grueling months which seem like decades:

i remember in Autumn all you had
was the air on your bare hand—
and you seemed just fine (without me) then.

i need you because i am hungry
and i can only sleep if i have your breath
as my lullaby.


[gravis alp]


i count my life in pages now
and everything is double-spaced.
i think in Times New Roman
(i used to fantasize in Courier).

i can't measure my life in coffee spoons
because i drink my coffee black;
and i always throw my teabags away
so i can't use those, either.

and coffee cups, forget it!
why pay for good coffee
when bad coffee is free
and i can wash the cup right afterward?


i eat dinner at ten,
breakfast at one.
lunch at five.

i used to wake up early
but now i drag.

i used to go to bed,
but now i just go to sleep.


i'll know when i have a drinking problem if i ever measure my life in beer cans
because bottles are so much classier.


i haven't cleaned in weeks
because i'm just so busy,
but not busy enough to stay away from impromptu "poems."
i used to be a poet, remember?
now i'm a student
and school really gets in the way
of good poetry.


you know you're grown up when you buy your first can opener.


i used to write songs for pretty girls
but then the pretty girls went deaf
(except for a few,
but they don't like my genre).
how can you sing to pretty girls
when you can't even talk to them?:
John Cusak did it right
(minus the stalking thing).


accomplishment is measured in pages now—
no more than five at a time.


i love my winter coat
and its little hood,
but i hate my winter coat
in the middle of October.


this will never see the light of day.
i'll just drink it away in a month and a half
when i (legally) can.


whatever we write will be written
and whatever lies in the aheadofourselves will stay there:
i already have a style guide; you read it on my floor

(and though you disagree with it
i respect our differences because
like everything else i love you).

you may have whatever reminds you of home:
everything you do reminds me of home
because my home was so much less of a home—

your mother wrote poetry and painted
but my mother didn't have time for all that
inbetween daughters and a son

your father studied something
and my father only studied
the lawn which he had to cut

so now i will be like my father and give you my cut
and, like my mother, i will write another little tercet
inbetween a thousand other little daughters and sons:

i dream of being your blanket in the winter,
your shade in the spring,
and o so much more in nightfall allyearround.

as i plucked the strings of a worn guitar,

as i plucked the strings of a worn guitar,
my love came singing; her voice adorned with
moist assonance in her lingering tongue
and her toes tapping the Earth to my awkward rhythms

then her voice grew larger and filled the hills
with their reaping echoes
the trees shook and left themselves bare
and thirsty for more straining in sight

i kept plucking, fighting my urges to leap up
and kiss her dripping lips, laced with smooth alliterations
from her thoughtful lyrics—her dire words
leaving this world with such wrenching sweetness

and i just kept plucking
letting her words leap far beyond mine

SONNET: Fourteen Ways of Perceiving My Own Death



there's a step that this girl takes when she sways
over the sidewalk
where she strides to abandon
the one who lurks behind her.


when reading a story,
the phrase i I was born...
means that the story will not end well.


how many times have i dreamed of dying
with her thighs over me
and my body under?


whether in a painted urn
or a carelessly-dug plot,
or even under a pile of fallen rocks,
i wonder where my pale cold body
will finally dwell.



when slipping the ring on your finger,
someone in my family will undoubtedly yell
well, he had a good life while it lasted -
am i right?


i often think about a blaze of glory -
then i realize that i am afraid of fire.


i have too often had those
i'm-going-to-die-right-now moments;
and then i wake up for the third time
that night.


i am a crownless king:
my enemy will plunge a dagger
to steal my power away
and in doing so he will kiss my cheek
and lovingly call my "sire."



my love will open the letter
from the soldiers and weep
because hers will not be coming home
on this or any other night.


my son (god bless him)
wonders what i will leave him
after i die
(besides another shitty poem
like this).


there are monsters under the bed,
but i like to think that they are there
just to keep me in check in my fright.


i was born in winter's frigid death -
i at least deserve to die in summer's humid bliss.



i supposed it's the luck of the draw
that keeps me walking here
for now, for years to come.


someone once asked me
how do you think you will die?
why, i have many ways, my good man;
let me tell you some!


[for my play]

MALCOLM: The Groom, mid-twenties, half-Mexican
AIMEE: The Bride, mid-twenties, white
LINDA: AIMEES’s mother, early fifties, white
CORINNE: AIMEES’s sister, late twenties, white
JEFFERY: MALCOLM’s best friend, mid-twenties, white
STEWART: MALCOLM’s father, mid-forties, white
ROBERTA: MALCOLM’s mother, mid-forties, Mexican-American
NANCY: Corinne’s daughter, age five, white

SETTING: The living room of MALCOLM and AIMEE’s apartment. The play takes place over the course of a few months.

once again my body fell victim to

once again my body fell victim to
its own dire groping: the call to flesh from arms

strewn across our bed in the middle of the night
and the wide gaping jaws of your impassioned

mouth - my own bellowed in distress as an
echo of agony; and how your back was arched

over your arms which grasp to keep
your blood from churning too much over itself,

which seems only to happen when you
and your hips are sitting still


that smell of you still ling      ers
upon my




                                     fing       ers

for days now my face has known the gentle doting

for days now my face has known the gentle doting
of the prickling Spring rain; the poke
from each thin drop protruding my
ashed fleshy cheeks, chilling them with
brisk outward mist, now without
their corse pricking cover of
my now-shaven beard

we are a species of repetition:

[for alp]

we are a species of repetition:

that song you sang dayindayout
broken into syllables
bounced along within my head -
like the sing-a-long ball at the bottom of the screen
of every childhood television show

& the steps of a jagged boogie
keeps the mad rhythms in time
as you show me again when i fall asleep

my dreams are filled with deafening wakes
and breasts a-flame

i have been lit
over and over
and over again

because now i know this song
only because of your dear jumping steps
and the inflection of your alto
along the caverns of my bed

each syllable a romance within itself -
repeated through all of time


hardly doomed:scathed this girl became
an or: a yes not no not
however maybe; hurled between the less
up to more; she became the can
to make it will; now fully doomed;love



A Dream about Laurence Goldstein

i awoke aching to remember that poem
that you boomed throughout my slumber:

those distinguished gray snarls on your head
stood still as your fist came pounding
upon a podium of pine - thundering
with your stomping spondees (dripping with
little "uh"s here and there) - your breath
drawing in deeply, commanding the air
to aid your lungs in their projection
of your stampede of photographs in your words

your eyes gazed up into the florescent lights
that illuminated your crinkled forehead and left
a deathly glare within your thick bent glasses;
your teeth showed vigor as your lips gaped to free
each piercing noise from your muddled tongue

there was a slow-motion depth prickling my ears
with deafening claps of mono-syllabic pride,
a cacophony that made the throats of those around you
bleed from their nail-like echoes; you are a hammer
with your SoCal pretension (not at all a bad thing)

as my chest thumped with each of your words
i listened with my ribs rather than my ears -
so (i'm sorry but) i can't remember your poem;

only the beauty of power that we have discussed

For Leigh

Pirandello is
a Modernist -
do you all know what
Modernism is? -
James Joyce is one
for you English people.

we know, Leigh -
tell that to the Actors
because Lord knows they don't know.

in nights like last when i hear the rain

in nights like last when i hear the rain
i wish to awake and run out the door
into the dampness and filth of early spring mud
and find stagnant waters pooled in the
limp, moist grass, drop down to my knees
and feel the soil cake my skin -
my hands darkened with earth and my face
ready to plunge into the cool, shallow waters;
i rear my head back and push through the air
until my face lies saturated and i drink -
i let the waters of rebirth sooth my throat
and wet my parched lips until my breath is gone -

i inhale the waters of the earth and spring
until i lie in that puddle wishing never to rise

An Elegy

epitome of man, i held you dear
as winter blew itself to Earth so near!
but now the Sunlight bears its gleaming head
so now i sing for you, the Lost and Dead.
the thwarting that we made against the earth -
which lay engulfed within our smold'ring hearth -
now lay about our knees in rough defeat
as juices flow into our mouths so sweet!

but now i've made you victim of the blade;
and nothing more upon my face you'll shade -
for you have seen your Death upon my hand:
a suicide brought up from my command.

so now i bid your body sweet farewell;
i pray it be a heaven where you dwell -
i missed your darkened soft and rumpled curls
as down the drain i watched them swirl and swirl.

Fallen Planes

a song

In this city dwells
The light of abandoned dreams of men
Who all cry and swell
When they are left again
The rooftops seem to blend
Among the setting sun and sky
The way our faces mend
This gap that lies between our eyes

Papers fly like birds
That carry a stranger's words

Then our fallen planes
Fall in love among the streets
Where the lonely reins
But not over our am'rous sheets

When that time of day
Comes 'round to make you feel alone
Think of what I say
And if it lingers in your bones
Then in haste I'll write
The words that make it all seem clear
And in their dire flight
They'll come and make me seem so near

The city sits and waits
To see the love it separates

Then our fallen planes
Fall in love among the streets
Where the lonely reins
But not over our am'rous sheets


Then our fallen planes
Fall in love among the streets
Where the lonely reins
But not over our am'rous sheets



The bite boomed
throughout the entire Garden;
You would have leapt back
from the shock, had it not been
for the sweet delectable taste
in your (now aching) mouth.

You held the Fruit up to your mouth
and looked at me with wondering eyes.

But somehow still
You were not wondering
but I could tell that dearly
you knew:

You knew the bounds of the heart
that I had felt
when my teeth sank into
that gleaming Flesh;
you were able to feel a thing
outside of the bounds
of this Garden –
a longing known only by
after I tasted that
firm, supple flesh
of the Fruit.

Your breath quickened
and your lips watered,
dreaming of more flesh
of the Fruit
or mine.

You said nothing.

I grabbed your shoulder
and shook you gently.

What has befallen you,

You turned and looked at the gates
and your face was blank.

“What have I done,”
you asked,
“since my creation?
I have tilled this Garden
and cared for it
on command alone.
But now,
I know not how command
is meaningful
when this new
impassioned inclining
lingers deeply within
my being.”

I went over to you
atop the hill
and under the Tree
to look out at the Garden
with you.

Our eyes looked over this land
that God gave to us:
The greenness
and the liveliness
all seemed like nothing
now that this love
was deep within ourselves.

I turned to you
and you to me;
you grabbed my shoulders
and I your hips
and we pulled each other
until our moist lips met
in a manner never seen
in this Garden.

we pulled away,
our eyes still locked within one another’s
as our lips were before.



“My Love.”

“My Love.”

Suddenly our hands met
and we rushed from atop the hill
and down to the bushes
by the hushing river
where we spent our nights –
our breath was quicker
and my heart
was pounding deeply
as it never had before.

We moved into the clearing
by that soothing river
and quickly took to the ground
as we had before –
Only now
this was not from any command.

We entangled ourselves
within each other
and let our flesh graze over
each other’s lips –
again and again
our lips met
in moistness,
dripping of something much more sweet
than that Fruit.

Your voice grunted
and mine ached
and higher
until for once I felt
my body tense
and yours heavy with its pushing –
warmed in the cusp of daylight.

in a move so unheard of,
I grabbed your wrists
and pulled you down
to the ground,
and I climbed upon you
to (for once)

Your body was still moving,
your breath was still heavy.

I had broken you
with my body.

Time passed
and our bodies grew limp,
strained from that pushing,
that love
in the daylight
and without command.

We lied on the ground
you held me dearly
in your tired arms.

Our lips met again
and again
and again.

We knew we were no longer
among the Beasts:
we had our pleasures
and they had their command –
we evolved beyond command
and simply took our pleasures.

But with those pleasures
came something
within our bodies.

This thing we had never felt –
like love
only much more unsettling.

We looked down at our naked bodies –
still soaked with our pleasure’s sweat –
and felt unright.

You and I scurried over
to the nearest
and hid within its lush leaves
until we heard that booming
come down from above.

i trampled

i trampled
through fields of mud;
and with each
my soaked feet sing
of the newborn


not a poem

i'm truly sorry.
i shouldn't have been that way.
i'm sorry for everything wrong that i have ever done to you (because the list is probably so very long).

i love you.

please forgive me.

i love you.


too much is all i know:

too much beer and food
too much poem every day
too much thinking
too much awakeness in thinking

truth be told i love your words
and hate my own

i wonder if i just keep talking
to get them out

i'm starting to run out of words


if only you knew
what i
could be

you would want
to put your hand
around my neck




The bite boomed
throughout the entire Garden;
I would have leapt back
from the shock, had it not been
for the sweet delectable taste
in my (now aching) mouth.

You startled awake upon hearing the flesh rip
from inside my teeth.

Your head jolted up
and your body flipped over
letting the stiff grass pierce the still-moist skin
on your back;
your face agape and your mouth
wide in fear;
your eyes began to water
(something still strange to me)
and your eyebrows curved in –
I had only seen them do as such
when you were on top of me.

Your eyes jolted over to the Serpent,
still next to me;
I looked over and saw him

“Beast!” you cried,
“I am to command you
and Adoshem is to command me;
thus any command given by God
is of all in this Garden!
No one is to eat of the Fruit,
Man or Beast!
Adoshem will banish you
from this place!”

The Serpent crept up to you,
seemingly floating,
until his face was almost against yours,
and he stuck out his tongue;
in his sly squirming he moved away,
never taking his eyes off of
you and I.

He moved farther and farther away,
his thing unloving lips still curled
in that maniacal grin.
You looked at me,
blankness in your stern face;
your eyes red as they gazed upon
the bitten Fruit
in my hand.

With passion in body
(not like the passion we had
the night before) you swatted
the Fruit from my hand.
It fell down to the Earth
with a THUD that boomed
throughout the Garden –
still that booming was nothing
compared to your voice
as I looked down in shame:

“What unholy thing have you done
in tasting the forbidden?
How have you, my Partner,
betrayed the trust of Adoshem –
the One who gave us this place
and commanded so little of us?
What were you in mind hoping
to do with the Fruit?
How could you let such
a diabolical
beast seduce you
and tempt you to disobey
the command of Adoshem?”

I looked up to you,
into your raging eyes
which were gleaming red
like the Fruit’s tender sweet flesh
and I finally put my hand
upon your sticky smooth

“Adam, do you love me?”

You looked at me;
startled, confused,
unsure of how to take
my (now) simple question.

“What do you speak of?”

You reached up with your
rough firm hand
and tore mine from your face;
your eyes widened
and your lips firmed up
in questioning.

“When my lips
tore the flesh from that Fruit,
I knew that I loved you.”

You grabbed my face
and shook my lightly –
your hands were stiff.

“What is this that you speak of?”

Your voice was now aching to know;
all signs of rage had passed.
I sat down, my bare body now somewhat covered
by the grass below –
strangely it felt right –
and pulled you down with me;
my face beaming as I grabbed you.

“You must know this feeling:
I wish to be with you

You plopped down on the grass
with me, your face now
somewhat calm.

“We would have been together
had you not doomed yourself with
such disobedience.”

“But the confines of this Garden
are nothing to me now;
I want to be with you
regardless as to whether our bodies
lie in these gates –
I wish only to be with you
in this feeling –
this love.”

You looked at me
and then at the Fruit,
still on the ground,
then you looked over to the Gates
where we saw God’s winged men,
now scrambling in a panic.

“What is there outside of this Garden?”

I picked up the Fruit
from the ground
and held it out to you.

“What lies beyond
is something that I now feel
What is inside this body
and soul
is much more splendid
than what is inside this Garden.”

You slowly reached out,
your fingers curving over
the bitten Fruit
until you lifted it
and looked at me again.

“What is it like?”

“Like knowing what is right.”

You put the Fruit
up to your mouth
and slowly yet fiercely
took a sweet

(though i have never seen the ocean) i dream of one day

(though i have never seen the ocean) i dream of one day
bathing you in saline waves and letting the foam
collide and dissipate on your back; the little bubbles
poppoppoppop until there is nothing but a glimmering sheen
on sliding down your smooth pale flesh

my hand will ride over your body, the water will grace
all of the little flecks of skin and the stiff peaks
of your breasts: they form a valley through which
warm crisp waters flow, a canyon traversed only by
yours and my pressing fingers

your dripping thighs will be caressed by mine;
rubbing over one another's as the ocean breeze
cools them down from their carnal burning and shaping
over one another's - the rocks between our toes are nothing
compared to the firmness of their passions

our lips are one with the waters: the moistness blending
and mixing until we do not know whose waters are
whose; still we wait to see how long it will take
for our lips to fill in the ocean waters
(which i have never seen)



“What is love?”

I had to know.

No word had ever crossed my lips
or mind.
No such thing I had ever felt
uttered from any mouth,
God’s or Adam’s;
but this Serpent thin unwarming lips
spouted such a word.

He smirked and looked at me
his red eyes set on me, his visions
leaving my stomach churning
yet my mind yearning
to know of this feat of which
he spoke.

You (still sleeping) did not hear a word.

The Serpent loosened his coils
from around the branch, the Fruit still entangled
in his tail; then his head turned back
and he began to slither down
the thick sturdy trunk
until he was once again up
above the ground
and his eyes were (once again)
back in mine.

Love” he began,
“is what God does not want you
to know of – love is what would keep
with you
and your body

I looked over at you, still sleeping.

How, I imagined, could you ever
leave me? leave this place?
leave this Garden which we have made
our own?

“What is it?”

“It, my dear, is more than
is confined in the gates
of this Garden;
it is far beyond any and all
things you know in this place
and it is what will keep Adam
bound to you forever.”

My eyes began to water –
a feat Adam nor I had seen
in the Garden.

“Why would he not be bound to me
forever? Why do you speak such
despicable things? We rule over this Garden
together – we obey Adoshem
and keep this Garden for Him –
we make the beasts ours
and the flora is ours for our mouths;
Adam tills the land for Adoshem
and I keep him rested and fed
so that God remains pleased with His creations.
We are bound to this Garden;
Adam is bound to me.”

The water on my face was warm –
the salinity ran into my mouth
and my breath became harsh,

“He is bound to you in body
and body alone – his labors are not
for your sake or his: they are for God’s.
He does only what Adoshem tells him:
he lies with you because Adoshem tells him;
for that and nothing more.
But with this succulantness,
he would be bound to you forever
and you would be bound to him
in a manner beyond the confines of this Garden.”

“How do you know?”

“My dear, I know things of love,
and this is a thing of love.”

He turned his head back to the branch
where one ruby Fruit hung
from the end and it dangled
in the gentle breeze of the Garden –
a drop of water trickled over
the thick ripe flesh
and onto the grass below where it

“He will say with me


I reached up,
my eyes still streaming,
and with my pale fragile hand
I plucked.

I slowly put the Fruit
up to my moistened lips,
looked over at the Serpent,
who moved his head toward

I saw you there sleeping:
your back still glistening
from your sweat, your body
moving with each inhalation.

How badly I wanted to feel that breath.

I grazed my teeth against the flesh
and slowly yet fiercely
took a sweet


my love:
you and i will start off small-
little tercets now;

maybe a sonnet or two;
a sequence when we are well-versed;
a TV pilot;

a screenplay or five
(we start our own production company - M.A.L. Films
for "Mark Anthony/Allison Leigh").

finally a style guide:
How to Write Together for Lovers
or somethinglikethat

there are so many histories that we will write
and the most beautiful poetry we will make will be
called Camilla and Alex&er

let us write those spots in time
and let them gleam in the world,
but, until then:

my jealousy of that heater
is only matched by my desire
to be the only blanket you'll ever need.

A Poem Revised Three Times in One Sitting

11:10 AM: the vacant booming echoes
entrapped in eyes on a photograph -
color brings out too much
in the lines of spectrums; and frames keep the eye
bouncing across glistening beams and swiftly over
the dire greyscale still

Ode to the Run-Down Theater in Monroeville, OH

the sign above you said
Now Playing, but the stripped paint
broken doors and blacked-out windows
said otherwise -

driving down Main St. in rural whoknowswhere
makes me wonder what made you go under:
the drive-thru liquor store
and gentlemen's club (which still looks oddly
like a garage) seem to be doing
just fine

the antique furniture store next door is filled with
all of the items that were around when you
were first built - that old green-padded
dining room chair, the velvet sofa;
the faux-crystal vase reminds me of your old lights
that used to glisten in the night sky but now
are dulled and burnt-out, like your old
silver screens (that probably had a hint
of real silver)

i wondered what on Earth that FURNITURE sign
did on your marquee - i think that in a desperate
act of pleading, your seats were stripped
from you and put on a black market just off of Main St.
in order to keep your screens lit up for just
another decade or so - just long enough to see
the next incarnation of the Coca-Cola logo
that your customers would carry with their popcorn
on their way to see Night of the Living Dead
for the umpteeth time

i just pray to god that your last blaze of glory
was not The Blair Witch Project
or something terrible like that


reminds me of my plainness
a one-syllable abrupt timely thing
that leaves nothing for the tongue
to fuddle over or anything for the lips
to purse themselves for a false kiss
that one could grant the air as it
trickles down from the warm streams
of the mouth; and i remember that he
from twothousand years ago was only
the second; and how he from now fortyfive years ago
thinks nothing of the moniker that
perhaps is the reason why he is so plain,
so flat, so undrawing to the world -
like the cacophony of a single ugly sound


a cry from my Mother Rome:
how well it molds the first ugly thing
and makes is something more -
something of power that greets the day
with a brand-new-fuck-you attitude
claiming the land and all of time
as his, as one, for the sake and the sex
of a beauty that keeps him pushing
against the world, a timeless struggle
to move onward, to move through barriers
brought upon the old - he was young and
i am young, reckless in some right
but not enough to bear the dagger
that he did, my namesake.


only half of what this is supposed to be
but only a true part of what i am:
the ugly, abrupt, unbeautiful follower of Christ
the cry of power deep within a Mediterranean root

how this makes such a strange thing

i wonder who is the champion
of your strange lovely thing

she said

she said
rise and pluck me
from the branches of Earth:
i bloom ready, my juices are sweet
and ready for your tongue
to take it and make it widen
your eyes and your lips
purse - now pluck me
with your lips
and taste my love.

i obeyed.

at age four my nephew has found

at age four my nephew has found
a muffled voice - a song sung through
the muddles of a lazy tongue
for he, like me, finds his roots
in a long noble line of lazy tongues

Death showed itself

Death showed itself
withing the moistness
and sheer soft plight
of your quivering

The NODA Poem

i found God scattered across the Ohio Valley -
He took the form of red and white bricks
as His kiss on the land with
oil and mud blanketed the foreheads
in the paleness of those who sing
His praises fully, while i await
a different kiss, one much sweeter:

i saw your lips just out of my grasp
across state lines, through the smog
of the Midwest - it cleared up the deep blackness
in the clouds and paved whiteness
onto the Cuyahoga, brightening it
and dousing the flames ignited by all of the God
burning across the Ohio Valley

your kiss

your kiss



onto mine


to fall

the visions of Christ sitting above

the visions of Christ sitting above
my dear mother's forehead will always
keep their gazes on me

moreso than my mother herself

death (bound by the tangles of your hair)

death (bound by the tangles of your hair)
crackles in my fingers, a stone-cold mixture
of sunlight and air, of the new moon tampered
by the swirling clouds above our heads
until the sky opens and inhales the Earth
within its darkness, the somber wakings
of our eyes through the deep wandering
through to our hands, the skin melting

as the stars which beam through the vastness
in the caverns of our love, the breezes of
formed our dampened bed, like the leaves
that bloom over us as the sky opens

up and inhales us both as the deep deep
inclinings of our love inhales us both

The Blues

an old swarthy black man never taught me
how to play the blues:

the blues i learned came from Detroit:
a white Catholic man (not a Southern Baptist
at all) and it had a little oomph in the bass
notes - it had a primal pounding of 4/4 time
behind it, and a wailing known only
to choir boys

i will write a blues song someday
but i am neither black nor white
so i wonder what i have to be blue about

the deep reverberations

the deep reverberations
of her voice pulses through
telephone wires until they
strike my ear as harshly
as her lips once struck mine

i often wonder what she

i often wonder what she
does with her hands
while we are in our beds
tupping together while mine
stay wrapped around her
to caress her back -

hers disappear into the vastness
of the sheets

in the dire shifting

in the dire shifting
of the never-still waters in
this puddle
the frigid cold grazes through
the March wind
and ceasing all ripples
in this once-moist
standing water

Ode to my Apartment

the thick air of this musty
ratty place keeps my breath
bound in the rustic paint
and the chipped wood

Our Sunlight Slain

a song

i know i can't claim
the refuge that you push on me
in the night
with our sunlight slain
your love's spark and kindling
are burning bright

with your body's pains
you grab me to pulse again
in your bed
i can count my gains
on all of the troubles there
on your head

still i know that you
can stir me like autumn winds
that blow the leaves
into spirals through
the lushness of summer's sins
that you relieve

when i dream of death
i fear not the burning sting
of God's commands
i just hold my breath
and know that your voice will ring
with me in hand

my oldog Sasha was byfar a noble dog

my oldog Sasha was byfar a noble dog

she was a nightly streak whose blaring trumpets of war
took the form of deep barks as her boy was pursued
by howling snarling beasts, her gentle softness
replaced rapidly by fierce pouncing and chomping teeth
as she fought off the evils tempted by the flesh of
a tiny running boy

she would curl herself up into a mound of fuzz
breathing and moistness in her tongue and i
would let my tears from childhood aches
and schoolyard bullies & my mother and father
as bullies fall within the entangling of her fur

her little death was a simply cracking of my chest
like her teeth sinking into the flesh of other dogs
and her little death was a moistness that no amount
of thick black fur could absorb

"you're doing just fine, kiddo"

for Lyall Powers

"you're doing just fine, kiddo"

somehow a credo, a motto,
a canto for this youth to sing
in any language - his own to sing
or another canare* -

he sang through the little crown
in his left front canine where he spoke
in dactyls, his soda
bottle spectacles were his eyes
from which he saw the world
in iambs (kerPLUNK), the tan
flannel suit (making him sweat
so profusely) flailing as his big
booming steps as spondees
lept up from his false spirit of

"we real cool" he told us once.

he beckoned the larks of England with
daffodils and London Bridge,

next to of course Rheotke Powers i
loved you, for i am more than cool but
apparently i was doing just fine, kiddo.

*Latin: cano, canare - to sing

now your voice

now your voice


to me
through clouds &

god's pitiful
sky to where
i sit

to wait for
your voice:

my lost kiss


Spring awakens her supple head

Spring awakens her supple head
and pushes her cover of snow off of
her body, blooming itself in melted frigid
coldness; her her branches diverge
in the full sprouting of the leaves,
once again creeping themselves up
from the old barren wood -
the stillness of the water is where
she bathes herself, washing the stones
and cement from her (now fertile) green belly
where new lush green babes await their birth
and to be plucked from their earthen bassinets
to make new lives for love - from the hands
of this boy to his girl, who (also) becomes
much more awake in the Spring

how can i understand the plight of the teenage girl

how can i understand the plight of the teenage girl
when i was without one? i had a nasty habit at age 16
of falling in love with women: not girls but women who knew
the tender explosions of carnal love and the rough
trappings of tattoo needles, engagement rings,
and (most horrifyingly) babies - one in particular
claimed rosary beads were the way to go, even as
something was plucked from her supple worn womb.

so tenderly they would kiss my cheeks and let
the wetness of their red lips ooze down my face;
and they would smile, thinking that i was somehow
man enough to take it, but what they didn't see
was my infatuation engulfed with boyhood fantasies
that left me with so many sleepless nights.

how often i dreamed of that smooth salty kiss
upon my (then) virgin lips, the shock of a subtle
pulsing within hips pale or tanned, fleshy or boney;
these women were the ones to show me what to do
when i finally did fall in love - "don't be afraid" -

fear was not of what i was doing:
i was afraid of somehow falling in love while between
those hips about which i dreamed so much
but never truly got to taste.

thus i was afraid of taking those teenage girls (still virginal)
and making them women; making them the harsh
visions of those crushing thighs and beatings of
worn and strained hips and forgetting to kiss them.

Fingers and Honey

a song

in our city there are lights that you outshine
and you follow them in double time
making sure that you are both humbled and bright
keeping myriad orange up in the sky

so today is a day
where "i love you" cannot say
enough for the night
which blankets you so tight

in my car i saw you dancing in the road
and your body stirred me with its rhymes
i got out and watched how all your dances glowed
somehow strewn beyond God's four/four time

that song was a song
which kept your pulsings strong
so i only tried
to capture you in sight

in your songs i heard the singing of a love:
one who took the world inside her hands
lifted it so that she kept her head above
all the pacing of her love's demands

this one is the one
who keeps my fingers wrung
around all the sounds
of the strings that you have strung
your face in this place
will keeps it honey-laced
as i only try
to make your love my plight