Krazy Kat Poem

i’ll never be
your Ignantz:
i want yo be your
i want to feel
the roughness of
a mortar brick
upon my pretty
i want to watch
you tie yourself
to a big red balloon
and float beyond
the cacti,
up beyond the redwoods
and over giraffes’ heads.
i want to watch you
fall to the earth
as i
leap out
to catch you
only to plant
a little kiss
upon your cheek

meh dahlink.

Blue Thunder (or something predictable like that)

there’s a reckoning in my marrow, i reckon
like the way the night creeps upon my forehead,
i on my bicycle, greeting bumps
with my front tire, breathing to the rhythm
of my clicking chain down a hill
where the wind and i are brothers
barreling toward desire—i am the younger
of us; he holds me still from the traffic
and the low branches which i cannot seek
for any good reason other than nature’s whim
upon my destruction.

under my bones, under my sinking
there are almonds ready to split
and feed the village i whizz by
on my aluminum chariot:
there is no fire here
only the swiftness of a thousand tiny birds
inclining to climb higher and swoop down
to catch their morning worms
as i wish to catch the cracks in Ann Arbor’s walkways.

i outrun the storm—i become the storm
as my legs pump up like lightning
and my breath pants and roars like thunder:
God himself could not make such a fine apocalypse
like how i’ve destroyed the pebbles in my path.

i shall give her a name.

SONNET: Finale

let us walk into the chaos that is
this August day: the finale marked with egg-frying
sidewalk heat. as the boys and girls return
to see their Holy Land desolate—
to see the columns by the wayside—
they sit down, let the sweat fall from their brows
and watch it dissipate in the moist air.

it’s the season of change; of removal;
of taking the old and melting it away
into conclusions, realities,
all senses of being; when the mind stands still
through the tired body’s burning untrainquil
happenings. this is the season where
the sky and the earth make love.

SONNET: Sparrows

as sparrows’ wings flutter
they blow the humid air
into the Earth:
it breathes deeply,
sending its undying bliss
into the atmosphere
and above the stars,
above the little sparrows’ heads.

they point their eyes
to God and Jesus almighty
who look down on them
with gleeful satisfaction:
their creations nesting
in the endless clouds.

Lake Pickerel

i went somewhere that America's hand had not touched—
where wires were nowhere to be found
and radio waves fell short of the horizon in the dimming distance:
where screens went black and telephones' rings faded off
into the night sky.

i went somewhere where Perseus watched over us
while Andromeda undressed (for no one was around)
while her mother sat twisted and abhorred us
because we were free to move and shift our bodies
in the lakewaters below.

i went somewhere that quenched my tired soul
and fed my skin's parched desires with a spring that flowed below my feet:
the currents swept up my hair and let the crisp waters wash away oils
from my scalp: the animals will drink from this lake
and know one of them was about, the scent is near.

i went somewhere where i could submerge my face
to baptize myself in the eyes of Nature: the trees made up a cathedral
and the Moon was my Father: each little pine needle a parishioner,
the leaves alter boys who swept wherever the Bishop Wind instructed them
to go.

i went somewhere were the highways were smooth and lingered
with the stench of murk and skunk; where the trip under the night sky
left my limbs leery but my eyes just so alive.
eternal nightswimming under the stars with deepness in tow
is forever a wonder for the disenchanted soul.

Friday the 13th

the steps are blind and the room is spinning like a dead-weight
on a chain around a man's bulging neck—tonight is the night when black cats
and walking under ladders make nothing worse, only slightly better
because the blind can only lead themselves so far.

i'd rather be dead than dumb: i'd rather be dying than alone.
it's all my curse, my separation from God and the Virgin Mary
all because i mixed holy water in my martini
and lit my cigarette with a sacramental candle.



here lies Navarro: the one the Muses forgot
when molding this steep summer's day
from the sunlight on God's own hands.


i was trapped by the shadows of the trees in the walkway.
the mulberry bushes were my shackles which bound me
to the Divine's tampered will—swiftly they leapt
and softly they sang around my tired restrained body;
i became their playthings as they kept this poet's hand from scribbling upon scrolls with a quill or charcoal
or even his own unholy blood. i was left there to consider
my trespasses.


they left me out in the street while they bathed in the Tiber:
they saw their lover Virgil and lied with him
beneath a pomegranate tree—he licked his lips
and reached up, plucked a morsel for his wetting mouth.
nine little morsels met him there and licked their lips
of his warm juices and he called to me,
asking me if there was no greater pleasure
than agony.


they returned their robes over their shoulders,
covering their pale supple breasts and hearty thighs
as Virgil lay sleeping. they returned to me and moved their hands
through the air near my skin: temptation is my penance, it seems:
the art of deprivation while the poet stands, wanting to touch,
to feel, to kiss them. i pursed my lips but the shortest one
waved her finger at me, told me that this was supposed to be
agony: no lips would be involved.


hours passed: seemingly days
and the girls kept dancing, waving their hands about me,
licking their lips and rubbing their boney hands
over their cavernous curves. every time the crow cawed
they would return to the tree, wake the sleeping Virgil
and lie with him again. he would look at me chained by branches
to laugh at my misery. i wept with every moan
and cringed with every touch. whenever they would kiss
the Poet’s lips, they would look at me and smile.


i now lie asleep on the sidewalk, the sun beaming down
warming my skin and opening my eyes
from the brightness. i rolled over, felt my hands move freely
and my legs squirm. i leapt up, felt my feet fall firmly on the ground;
i ran and ran and ran until i stumbled upon the church.


outside St. Thomas i sat and lit my cigarette.
the wine had ventured from my blood and my head sit surreally
upon my shoulders. the bells rang above me
and mothers led their children in, hiding their eyes
from my smoke and tired hands. i looked down upon my wrists
and saw no marks: no signs of my shackle vines,
no pomegranate trees in sight. i looked up and around,
heard the arhythmic church bell’s ring
and waited for the families to rush inside. i drove my cigarette into the step
and began to write on the stone with the decaying ashes:


here lies Navarro: the one the Muses forgot
when molding this steep summer's day
from the sunlight on God's own hands.


my hands were tied to two invisible balloons
and floated up over this mild breeze where the hush of your voice

the day gone, the night retrieved from the story
jetting from my tongue, one i'm sure that made you glad
you cut the strings when you did.

Fashion Model

don't tug on your sweater.

don't let the taste of your bosom fall short
of tender lips; don't let the inclination
of a startled mind keep you awake.

the elastic sheath in which you parade
is uncanny. the way your hips form
a dire canyon makes my fingers move

over walls, bottles, glass boxes makes me tired
and weary—makes me breathe softly
under your breath; under mine.

Alive and Well 2010

a black moon on a whitened sky
means the ending of the age
when the world is one with all.

how and when the motion of galaxies
sound like a lullaby for the people of this planet
it is understood.

a star, a black hole
or anything with a hushed noise
makes my lips quiver.

a date, a time, a kiss lost
makes my heart ache for simplicity;
for aliveness

like the stars—alive and swimming.

Out of the Cracks

you can't peel her off the sidewalk.

she sticks to it as if her blood pumps right through it,
her veins are onions bulbs penetrating deeply in the concrete
—nothing can pry her out; you can't pick her
eat her or even taste her: she'll just hold on tight
and prick you with her fleshy thorns.

she clops along as a camel in the deserted city:
there's a time and a place for it all and her time is now.
her hands are still leaves in the Indian summer
as if glued to the boughs that are her arms.

she does not rot: she ferments like California wine—
she's Nappa's daughter, with a smokiness and a good bite
(more like a beer than a stiff Chardonnay).

i got too drunk from her fruit
and too full from her bulbs.

a girl whom i gleefully kissed dearly held her place

a girl whom i gleefully kissed dearly held her place
on the stem of a violet. once more she bloomed more up
than up can call (down left her away from entirety
while still kept her fingers gripping the pine tree
where a white dress had fallen). when she concentrates
she sees a sugar cane and reaches out to taste
ungranules with her dripping tongue. the earth pours her wanderlust
into a barrel and lets it age to gain some body.

the roots below the earth’s surface wish to drink
as i wish to take my lips and gleefully kiss dearly.

The Hush of the Sidewalk in August


Lesbia will ride again
upon the pulsing stallion she rode in on:
her mercury boiled up as each hoof
beat the ground in succession.

she held up a glass of wine
and dug herself a grave with her painted finger,
watch her father’s heart burst while he slept
everso soundly.


the stars are convex and the moon is on the plain.
when the plots collide with one another
constellations form, telling stories
and making up stories and writing love notes

above the horizon, above our heads
where the wine spilt in the soil bathes us
in this fresh grave. there are hoof prints
around the edge and the dogs are sniffing in the night.


it’s Sunday morning. the churchbells are ringing.
simplicity is our morning light, our hangover
from the bloody wine we sipped sitting in a plot
of moved earth.

the stone is timid, minimal
with only a few numbers and letters
and a little poem etched its side.
it took a lifetime to write—all twenty-one years.


i’ve got a blackbird in my pocket; he flocked to me
looking for a bite, looking for a bath and something to clear his throat,
parched from calling all night long into the shadows
about the city. the tilt of my sword lies sideways

as he rests his head upon the handle. there’s a kaleidoscope in his eyes
the shifts and shapes the light, the colors into darkness
from about my thigh. i’ve got a blackbird in my pocket
and a handful of feathers in my palm, dark as the soiled night.


the clock shifts and time crashes into molten wax
from dwindling candles.

there's a sign on the sidewalk saying Last Call
as the wind picks up, rushing us back to our homes

to say goodnight in that starry night. i pour myself another glass of wine
and point it out to the man, telling him that if all were all okay

this would be milk from my mother's breasts;
this would be milk from her breasts if i could at all

decimate the walls and fences covered with grape vines.

For Coe

when convictions come to pass,
G-d knows letter floats above numbers.
an equal sign is not is: it’s not isn’t
but it is not is.

a plus sign is not the same
as and: and is a is the root that holds
a blade of grass in the soil while equals
makes things on the level.

a sine curve is not the breaking wave
of the ocean as the wind whips about it,
turning it, churning it solely so the crest
can find its place on a plot.

my death will be more than minus.


keep the blood motives still—keep the dreadful mosaic open
for the masses to find some nirvana as they rake stones
from the base of the tree. i wandered with Siddhartha
and ate the same undercooked fish from the Ganges
where the dead lay—now us. as the heat came down my bare feet
wandered into the temple where i sat motionless for days
with my mother above me, rosary in hand, saying the only part of the prayer
she can remember in Spanish; your mother sat above you
with her stones in one hand and the Bible in the other,
switching from Korean to her soiled tongue. days and days
we abstained from the all to spoiled flesh and bone,
the wine we hid under the rug and the cigarettes in your bag
because we all know the clouding of the mind is something even our mothers
know hinders enlightenment or a round-trip to Heaven and back.
at thirteen i thought i would return to Earth a specter, something to offer
light to the dampened life of a twelve-year-old boy whose eyes look mysteriously
like mine. at sixteen i was convinced i could be a falcon or a rabbit
or maybe a woman if i really wanted to be: someone pretty so that the boys
would wish to never abstain like i would—Noble Truth 2: Suffering is Caused by Desire
and i wanted to be their suffering. but now when the glitch in the earth cracks open
so that i fall in, i can't see myself in the forest or in the street corner.
Noble Truth 1: Life is Suffering. i wanted to be life in that ifsofactso manner
but now to be the death of those desiring would be something more lustful
and sweet: i want blood to drip from my mouth like the sour juice from a pomegranate.
Noble Truth 3: It is Possible to Relieve Suffering in One's Life.
this does not bode well for the man sitting cross-legged next to you
while chants ring throughout the temple; while that putrid fish makes its way
through my belly and my blood; while the sick fuck aching from my hips sways
back in forth in front of you like a piece of raw beef in front of a starving dog—
though i know you don't starve: you are quite full so much that you can't eat another bite
(gluttony is frowned upon in this temple, but you had your fill before you left the rest
for the vultures). Noble Truth 4: The Way to Relieve Suffering is by Following
the Noble Eightfold Path. sadly i live my life in fours, and eight is too much for me—
gluttonous even. so while you consider chopping the hair off your head
i'll let mine grow. while you trim your finger nails to keep the boys at bay
i'll throw a coat of paint on mine to be a suffering. i'll trek with Siddhartha
and leave Jesus in the dust. we'll wait to see where you end up: to see if you'll stick with Gautama
or instead fuck him—remember the Precept of Misconduct: remember the Precept Against Killing.
remember that so you don't leave him dead: i'll be the one on my knees keeping him and you cozy.


as thy lips become mere mementos for the dreary boys
the tangles in thy hair become riddles insolvable
by their doting fingers;
by their restatutions made by the hopeful stares
into thy eyes. about when the sun settles in its place
thy skin will become the zenith upon which their glares
settle, where they allows thy paleness to bathe
in their troubled misery. thy feet come leaping
over their dire lappings and into puddles
where once again thy legs clench from the chill
of the still water and their forever moving hands.

SONNET: someone i have never knowingly kissed

someone i have never knowingly kissed
has a smoother tongue than i; has a taller steeple
upon his behemoth of a cathedral;
has a birthday which no mother has missed
because her son is so grand. he reaches deeply into his
pocket and pulls out a dime
so that her teeth can reach for another glass of wine:
an indignation of a tombstone made of pearly glitz.

someone i have never willingly kissed shall meet
my tempers in a churchyard—a waking dawn
which evaporates the holy water from the lawn
and rains upon him to wash his muddy feet.

someone i have never knowingly kissed has left me dead
with a crown of forgotten kisses upon my head.

when my stature falls from the grander of this Earth,

when my stature falls from the grander of this Earth,
i pray the willow trees not weep for me:
i pray the lilacs bloom swiftly from the soil warmed
by the intrepid sun and do not delay the simple violet buds
from protruding the summer sky in all of its glory.

when and if my feet slip from the dirty ground
i shall watch the faces of the children in the garden
to see their smiles on last time like a face
drawn on a red balloon floating upward over the horizon
where it floats down and nestles itself upon a branch
to give birth to thousands of tiny raindrops which come
and wash the dirt of the children’s sleepy faces:
again my falling body shall nestle in the mud and breathe
its sticky haze on final time—one final sip of sparkling
bubbly winter wine. when my legs break at points

as they crush the grass below i shall give my thanks
to the lushness that cushions my decent: the green
that stains my knees as proof that the soft Earth
does hold me true until that final gaping collapse
where my legs are pricked and poked by stiff blades
erupting from the soil—my blood flow not
from brutal strikes but from gentle doting hedges
who wish nothing more than to return my blood
to the parched earth. when my hands return to the shaking

shivering state in which i was born, my mother will hold them
shrieking, kissing it and raising it to God for one final
pulse from my everstill heart, one final jolt from my lungs
so i may repent my sins—so i may be a darling martyr for her
to hang from the oak tree in her front yard; to be the false idol
she lay her sweet unmoving eyes upon; so she may bathe me
one last time before i am covered in pale moist earth.

when my lips kiss the dreadful concrete where i know i’ll lay still
my father will know his name is dead—know that any platform
on which he and i would become a singular duality
shakes so hard when my bones rattle on the ground.

if and when i see my own body floating up and out
from the Earth i will kiss it on its tired forehead, giving it
subtlety as its parting gift—a way for the complex thinkings
of that last fathom: what i pray my mouth exhales
when i take that last scrumptious breath.

Yellow Card

my mouth tastes the salinic teardrops
from your brutal mouth: the way your teeth
sink deeply into the sourness of my sex—
here's the light that Christ and Buddha both lit
the specks of sweat in your hair, the moonlight takes it in
so the Man on the Moon can have a drink
with his dinner. we are his entertainment,
as he watches your body thrash into mine
and watch my limp frame simply lay.
remember the simplicity of my affection:
remember the deadly wounds left by the blade
of your sharp tongue. let the marriage of our figures
replace that which you have left soiled
like the way you left my sheets in the dark of night.


my mother's on her way to her holy land
across the mighty Kalamazoo and through the smog
from the passing semitrucks which my nephews

beg to hear their blaring mating calls—

my mother hauls these three boys across
the hand of God so she can purify their still ivory souls
in the timely crisp lake waters, diverging their eyes

from pale girls strewn across television screens.

she bought herself a baptism dress with a dime she saved
at the supermarket as she bought Granny Smiths
to make the boys' lips pucker from tartness

as she prays their lips do when falling on marble.

she wants the angels and saints to meet her
in Galilee to watch the boys' accent to the darkened clouds
by way of virginal angels who grab these three youngsters

and flies them over the adobe huts and cacti.

my mother's on her way to her holy land
where she will build a cathedral from sand and clay
and marry my little nephews off to angels

dancing to mariachi.

Found a Way

i found the way to make the spirals bigger
when the culprit of inception makes his rounds
from the banjo player's smiles off to the farmgirls
reading the Bible to their boyfriends into the telephones.

Ode to My Old Apartment

the familiar must from the decade-old carpet
is overcome by the putridness of lusting
now in this eastern corner of my bedroom
where three colors blended all under a light
to form a healthy shade of flesh. this was
where elephants roamed and corks were popped
before all that in feeling came about
like a rabid dog facing off against rabbits in the garden:
the tomato vines grew and grew until they became black
in silence—the way the game is played.

Lights, Sounds, and Resurrection

a song—folk—key of Am

she asked the crows by the garbage can
to light her cigarette
she saw the way that the clouds came in
and didn't want to get wet
when the pick up came, they flew away
and she hurried up inside
when she saw the raindrops, moist and grey,
she begged him for a ride

and now she waits in the passenger seat for direction:
a light or a sound, or a resurrection
but no one knows just why
she's got that serpent in her eye
but she'd rather be out in the pouring rain
with no car and no train, and no sun to claim
she just wants to be left alone
and find her own way home

she digs around her purse for a coin
to pay the man his dues
he doesn't make a lot of noise
but he asks about the news
the flood is coming around the bend
but the tires hold them back
there's a hole in the ground where the water ends
up flooding the sidewalk's cracks

and now she waits in the passenger seat for direction:
a light or a sound, or a resurrection
but no one knows just why
she's got that serpent in her eye
but she'd rather be out in the pouring rain
with no car and no train, and no sun to claim
she just wants to be left alone
and find her own way home

she steps out of the pick-up truck
and thanks the man again
he watches her foot steps, he's out of luck
to ask for another chance
a bird is outside with a match and a light
for her lonely cigarette
she lights it up and she walks inside
to spend her night in bed

and now she waits in the passenger seat for direction:
a light or a sound, or a resurrection
but no one knows just why
she's got that serpent in her eye
but she'd rather be out in the pouring rain
with no car and no train, and no sun to claim
she just wants to be left alone
and find her own way home

A DREAM: 7:06am

Edward had no reason to be afraid.

She said she would be there ten minutes ago; but—per usual—she had no sense of time. She was always worried about years rather than minutes, and Edward always wanted to remind her that minutes add up to years. But she wouldn’t listen, so he stood out in front of his car, parked on the nearly-deserted downtown street. The sky was grey, the breeze from the lake filled his bones with chill, but he maintained that he wear his thin black sweater with the grey slacks because he was convinced that his scrawny frame looked best in them.

He stood outside of his Ford waiting for her to approach. He knew where she was, where she would be coming from, but he continuously looked in various directions about the sidewalk to see if she would change things up, like she always did. He considered climbing back into the car to warm up and maybe listen to some music to help pass the time, but his legs were already cramped from the four-hour non-stop drive and there is only so much Joy Division that one man can take while at the wheel.

He didn’t realize how eager he looked until an older woman carrying a grocery bag glared at him as she walked by. He nodded at her before she could say anything and she carried on, her eyes wide and unforgiving. He rubbed his dry, cracked hands together for warmth. He thought he knew where she was. He knew it wasn’t but a block or two, if he remembered correctly. After all, he had only been to this city twice in recent memory, but he purposely parked in the same spot he always did so he could have something resembling bearings. He decided to brave the concrete and walk around.

Edward pulled out the keys and locked the door to the Ford (careful to check the handle because his two-days worth of luggage sat in the back seat) and trekked toward a set of somewhat familiar-looking building—a pub that they drank at together, watching a middle-aged band play Tom Petty covers while equally-middle-aged drunks danced about, reminding them both of their parents. He wished he could remember that night fully.

Things became more and more familiar as he walked about, although he wished he had an address or something to use as a reference. He kept going for another block and turned to find a group of teenagers walking and holding skateboards. They looked at him and he looked back, wondering how on Earth they could skate in such dreary weather. He looked above their heads to see a few flurries fall past their faces. He continued to hope that he was walking in the right direction.

Up the street a little ways he saw the blue Victorian house with the white trim and the porch swing. The odd thing was that the door was wide open. If there was one thing that he knew about Leah it was that she hated the cold—a shame for a girl who spent her formative years in this northern lakeside town. He carefully walked up the porch steps, peering into the window to try and catch a glimpse of her. There were no cars in the driveway, but he could see the shifting light of the television screen from inside the front bay window. These old houses frightened him a little, mostly because he felt so unprivileged setting foot in one because of his ranch-style rural upbringing.

He stepped into the doorway and knocked softly to announce to anyone in the front room that he was there.

“Hello?” he half-yelled, careful not to startle anyone who may still be in the vicinity of the door. He then heard the bang of her winter shoes coming down the oak stairs in front of the door. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

Leah stood there, dressed in a flowered knee-length skirt, a blue blouse, stockings, and a black cardigan. Her hair was darker than her remembered (she was a notorious dyer), but it highlighted her milky pale complexion well. She stood there, her hands on her full hips and finally took the last step, her black shoes creating a booming echo throughout the front room. She smiled with her childlike grin and he couldn’t wipe his off of his face.

“Hi!” she said.


“When did you get into town?”

“About twenty minutes ago,” he responded. “I parked about two blocks away.”

She grabbed his arm with her thin, soft hand. “You weren’t waiting too long, were you?”

He shrugged. “No, it’s fine. I guess I got in earlier than I expected.”

“Alright. Come on in.”


She led Edward into the living room where the television showed House Hunters: International, a show he was not particularly fond of. She plopped down on the white sofa as he noticed a gleam on her breasts. He looked at the gold name tag pinned on her sweater.

“Just get out of work?” he asked.

She looked down, slightly embarrassed.

“Oh yeah!” she giggled. “I forgot about this!” She reached up and took off the gleaming tag and set it on the coffee table to her left. “Come sit!”

He nodded and sat down on the couch, maintaining his distance from her. She looked at him with her shining blue eyes and she buried her head into his chest. He slouched in the sofa, and she grabbed his hand and put it around her shoulders. He secretly sniffed her hair.

“I like your new color.”

“I’ve missed you, Edward,” she sighed.

“I’ve missed you too.”

She weaved her thin fingers into his dry hands.

“I can’t kiss you, you know.”

She grinned. “I know. Michael wouldn’t like that so much.”

“I want to.”

“I know. Me too.”

He picked up his chin and began to kiss her forehead like he used to all those months ago, before the snow and before the long drives, before the city when they were together, before Michael, before they fell apart and he clanged to her and her memory in his head every day, with every message and phone call asking him to please just be her friend even though he knew he couldn’t. He picked up his chin and puckered his lips. His dry quivering lips barely graced that holy spot on the side of her forehead.

He woke up, this time not in shock or disgust—his eyes merely opened.

He looked toward the wall then rolled over to look at the clock on his nightstand. 7:06. This was the latest he had slept after thinking about her. This time was different: he actually dreamt about her.

He had not dreamt about her since the day she left. He knew it was all a dream: the hair (hers was lighter than ever now); the house (she lived off in the suburbs in model-type home); Michael (the man she was with now went by a different name).

He waited for that sinking feeling that he usually felt when he thought about her, but it never came.

He grinned a little bit, knowing that his dreams were a place where it could all be okay. Then he realized that the dream was probably the closest he would ever get to kissing her again.

Although he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to, he closed his eyes and fell right back to sleep. He thought his body would be able to help him get back into that glorious state again where he could hold her hand again and maybe even touch her lips with his.

Pessuli, Ejus Pessuli

this is my call to arms: my bellyaching to the moon
to draw up her smokestack swords in the sunset
and hear the wind kiss her thigh. the skirt she bought
in Paris blended with the sky while the breeze

blew over the rooftops. we climbed onto the ledge
and i thought my head would become Newton's apple
on the steps below: my mind was spinning
as my finger pressed firmly against her skin

to silence any notions of her nonsense. the crickets gave
a song from their loins that our ears drank in
like the waining gibbous drank in its own moonlight.
i can smell the elements around me, aboard the construction equipment

readying to tear down unsightly trees. she asked
if i would read minds if i could but i only saw
four stars in the sky and thought how much
i would rather read those instead—their patterns

match those of the mist made by the lawn sprinklers
as it dances in the streetlights' glow. now is the inclination
of her hips' swagger, the oscillation of the concrete bench
where laughter keeps the urge to kiss at bay.

A Cup of Tea

i'll fall down upon this tattered bed
and let your hands slip over mine,
let them clench and clench until blood
drips from my palms that you can lap up
with your whip of a tongue. your hips lock
onto mine while i weep something harsh,
all the flavors of my boyhood stinging
like my tears, and you slurp them up,
the way your hips drink up my pleasures.

Red Wine

a song—folk—key of G#

here's the wine with his name
here's the dime for his carnival games
that i found on the pier
while the carousel's song is near
all the horses are white
all the poles are golden bright
now i think of the time
we drank so much communion wine

it's that time of night

here's the pond, Mary Jane
where the frogs and ducks lay their eggs
and we brought ourselves here
to keep up on drinking our fear
in the form of Merlot
but we have no idea where to go
water's still, grass is firm
but the wine is beginning to burn

it's that time of night

one more time, we will drink
and we'll wonder what our mothers think
when we end up asleep
within one another's bed sheets
covered in red Merlot
in the morning, we've no place to go
not a glass to our names
so good day, my sweet Mary Jane

it's that time of night

HAIKU: Parking Lot

there's danger in this
parking lot: where the caverns
gobble up our feet.

Buried in April

a song—folk—key of F

we don't need the birds
to make restitutions
all we need are words
to ease our confusions
i should have given you
the ring that i made of hemp
held on with violet blooms
i picked from behind the shed

it's plain to see
what the summer has done to me
and you, the girl,
buried back in April

walls behind the church
where saints make their gravestones
covered with jumbled words
hidden in robin's winter tones
we left after we drank
the wine from the cellar
then we left for the woods
hand in hand, hearts together

it's plain to see
what the summer has done to me
and you, the girl,
buried back in April

we were unaware
of what June could harbor
the loss of your body bare
the loss of our daughter
i remember her name
but the wind has forgotten
and who is left to blame?
on my knees, i bargain

it's plain to see
what the summer has done to me
and you, the girl,
buried back in April

SONNET: Someone with a Glitch

i have these bare-boned fingers
that crack when they grasp for air
and scrape up nothing. i roll up
my sleeves, wait for the song
to belt from my lungs and my straining
throat—my chest is burning
with every daunting breath. my skin is the guru
sitting on the ground, waiting for
someone with a glitch
to seek out wisdom and unwind
from the perils of drought. this is what
days alone in summer reap from me:
all days converging, congregating
to make one long blood vessel.


sometimes when silence is ringing about my ears
i imagine you across the river, weaving a tapestry
where a story dances in bright colors—how you sit
working your bones, making them creek
with every last plucking and lacing of the wool
from your mystic flocks. how so these stitches come up
with roughness in your voice, the shining of your
untuned tongue, the one whose deadly pearl teeth
clench as your knuckles bend and break over yarn.

sometimes when silence haunts me for years
i roll up your kindred tale, the one soiled and free
from the bitterness of sour fruits and peach pits
from wounded trees where for truth you seek
refuge in the shade—the delightful singing in the cool
darkness and a sip from a maple leaf as a cup
that God has stricken with crisp rain waters. he pours
them down, watering the grass and trees with His wreath
of flowers adorned with your story, your blanket, and stars.


dance for me, o fleeting eyes!
let the bound temptation set free
my heart from such bleak oppression:
August is the deadliest month.

On the Steps of the Michigan Union

i am a disciple of the chaos bred from hearty fists
pounding on podiums—i am a riot ensued when the call
of injustice rings loud through the corridor with terror.
i am one with the blackrimmed eyes that linger
through the moors in mist and shadows and watch us
lay siege to the whips and chains that leave marks
on our tender flesh. i am the exodus from the dry untidy
desert that holds us bound in the sand. i am the Messiah
for a lost cause: a beacon for those undressing then bathing
in words, verses, stanzas, rhymes—those who take rose petals
and make bandages to cover salted wounds. i am a brother
to a nation of those standing below gaudy pedestals
covered in the blood of our mothers and fathers, their pale skin
strewn over the backs of the conquerers who raped
our poetry until there was nothing left, nothing but manipulation
and molestation of the settled lands we rode upon
as once valiant warriors. this is where it all crumbled—
but here i stands collecting pieces and moving them
into their old structure of expression: of one.
i am a single thing, an i in a world of wes
that takes the juices from the earth and sprays them
over those dead and dying—over those who keep still
while the impressions bury themselves into their bones;
i am Jesus, Mary, and Joseph; Matthew, Mark,
Luke, and John. i am prince and pope; i am pauper
and lord—any one who can save this from such rapture.

i am.

Manhole Cover

the manhole cover looked like a sheet of pure February ice

i was afraid would slip
my self up
although it is so humid
that the air is thick enough
to swim in
while August stews us
from above

i have grip on the ground for once
by my head remains cranked upward
to await the snow

Wilderness Love Poem

the sound is like birds nestling in the bushes
over these hushed common grounds
where Autumn sparsely lingers—

the breezes grab the twigs
and thick looming boughs while forest berries
let their juices graze the prickly leaves.

this is a garden laced with temptation,
waiting for out simple depletion
we can feed the earth our soiled moistures.

the buds are spontaneous awakenings in moonlight
when tall redwood trunks look like Roman columns
that hold the night sky above us—

this is why my hands seem brittle as i reach up
to capture one of God's tiny flames
for you as we rest our heads in this August night.

Whale Song

the Devil scrapped his knees
before eating the tongue of the whale—

i heard those whale songs soothing my head
down to sleep. the Devil yanked it out
as the whale belted a high F i believe
and let it sink from the blood pouring
from his parched mouth.

the Devil came back up and fell
onto the sand where rocks and shell
drew more blood: the sea is bloody
and the sand is crimson like the band
above the horizon at sunset.

the Devil just kept eating,
hoping to get that whalesong in his soul
somehow so he could lure us to the sea
where we could drown in whale’s blood
and salt water: ocean foam looks like it’s been kissed
with fresh autumn cranberries
but the elixir is not nearly as tart.

the Devil stood back and opened his mouth
but nothing so soft swayed from his tongue:
he made a deal with himself that he
regretted, looking at the body of a dead whale
wash up on the beach.

now the Devil has nothing but half a whale’s tongue
and some scrapped knees.


the setting sun was fleshy and bright
like a fresh-picked nectarine
straight off of the branches of the galaxy—
the stream of clouds above makes a stem
and a bright living leaf that soaks in
the stars above: i wish to take my fingers
and slip them around the fuzzy cool flesh
to pluck it roughly from the sky
and send this earth deeper and deeper
into eternal night
with my every selfish, moistly bite.

SONNET: Persimmons

this is not one of those evenings where my fingers picked your breasts
like persimmons, where my hips stampeded over your fortunes
and i stumbled upon your vials of womanhood in a toosmall bed:
this is where the crispness of perfection stood while it crumbled
at bay from your hips and where your skin sagged and molded itself
around my hands—where you stretched out your neck and told me
to dig my nails deeper and deeper into it; to pound the flesh
above your thigh; to make your wails echo off the white plaster wall.
this is where our breath was thick and panting while my legs
stood perfectly still; stood while you arched your back and slid down
past my knees and onto my roots where you drank the liquid
that i stored for a drought of such: we forgot our raincoats
but the water soothed us just right and the storm was no concern.

this is not one of those evenings: all of them died with the persimmons in summertime.

Brick by Brick

a song—indie—key of C#
[the glory of being reunited with my electric guitar]

in a tower i can watch flowers grow
or i can just watch them die
all i see, nobody knows
but i can claim that i'm on high

and i lie and lie again

i told you it's all okay
to let you think that you're unknown
brick by brick i lay it down
to leave you wondering if i'm alone

by the beach i have no reason left to swim
the water makes me wonder
i have to think of me with her and her with him
and the currents pull me under

and i think and think and think again

i told you it's all okay
to let you think that you're unknown
brick by brick i lay it down
to leave you wondering if i'm alone

whoever knew this was so damn right
whoever knew this was my alibi
whoever knew this was a mother's scare
whoever knew this kept the secrets in her hair

underneath the soil there's nothing left to grow
it's burnt up, burnt out, diseased

and i plead and plead and plead again

i told you it's all okay
to let you think that you're unknown
brick by brick i lay it down
to leave you wondering if i'm alone


a song—indie—key of C
[for JP]

when the drinks are running low
and the smoke has cleared the room
i find myself sitting alone
wondering what's left to do
i pull out my arm, i put it up
toward the light
i look at my veins, running through
where my skin was tight

all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here

on the stairs i sit and wait
for a body i can claim
it's not a way to fill my plate:
it's a way to say your name
i pull out a light, i light it up
all alone
it moves on through and through and through
in my bones

all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here
all in all i wish you were here


for the first time in a long while
i have never seen my future
in a crystal ball over which
a madam waves her hands
to frighten me. last night
i saw nothing but timbers falling
and my mind was left white
when all the brush was cleared.
here there's no complexity
or no desire to seek specters
from whence i shall go:
there was only my bed
and the curiousness of waking up
only an hour after falling asleep.

instead of calling in sick
i decided to call in dead—

that's the excuse for those committed.


it was funny, really:

i expected red
but all it was
was brown
from the rust
of this old cutter i stole
from the office downstairs

it's about an inch or so
and it's this murky nastiness
flowing down my arm
like a polluted stream

i remember falling asleep
with my hand off the bed
to keep it flowing
and i expected a pool
of crimson slickness
whenif i rose
this morning

i laughed and i laughed and i laughed

"Contemporary" Poem: Personal Wellness Day

who would have guess the world
would leave me tumbling out of car doors
onto the streets where marching bands
thump the earth in matching shoes?

when i found Jesus, he was under my bed
so i called into work, tell them i wasn't going to come
but they told me that i needed to even though
i was sick, so i came in late,
told Jesus that i would be back in a while
and to not touch anything, especially that red box
hiding in the drawer in my closet—of course,
if he were under my bed, he would have heard
everything anyway.

the air smells like fried fish. it reminds me
of the pub where we saw everyone.

i still have to go to work.

Flowers by Your Feet

a song—folk/indie—key of A

the call of the wild on the farmhouse where the babe was born
it's all a sign from God to stay here and wait
the sound of the fury from the wind whipping up this storm
reminded me to close the wooden gate

and when two lovers meet up
in the back of the truck
a man can't wait
a woman's out of luck

call him out over the golden wheat
tell him he can't come inside
until a ring takes shape, the flowers by your feet
must stay alive

the crows are endangered of being scared when the noise is heard
they'll fly away and make their nests
they've never heard such turmoil, such rounded sharp words
they think about the way the two undress

and when two lover's agree
that there's no time to be
so petrified
they're both so meek

call him out over the golden wheat
tell him he can't come inside
until a ring takes shape, the flowers by your feet
must stay alive

the riverside is left alone when they come crawling back
that's not they way they left at all
the day the Christ was born they found an abandoned shack
and made the summer's heat invade the fall

call him out over the golden wheat
tell him he can't come inside
until a ring takes shape, the flowers by your feet
must stay alive


i plan to reroute the paths of rivers
and the roads carved into mountain sides
by rains eroding stone.
the course of the seasons will see my hand
and tremble, shift and take new realms
in different months. the sun and moon
will battle in the sky at my own will
of change. i will shift the gleams of love
back in time; forward.

SONNET: Overused Words

the kiss
of lips
and hips

the bed
as dead

the death
the rest

our sin

A Day for Love

below the sycamore she sits
her legs crossed, hands between her thighs—
she looks toward the sky with tired eyes
and contemplates the day about her wits:

today is not a good day for love

the branches slit, entangle budding boughs
engulfing her skin in sunlight
through her tortured words take flight
wrapped up in little shrouds:

today is not a good day for love

beside the roots, her legs and feet shake
as the summer breeze arises with humid air
like warm fresh fingers through her hair
and makes her think again, for her own sake:

today is not a good day for love

i approach the sycamore, looking down
to see her straining worried face
an i look about i sit and race
to speak of my delight upon the ground:

today is a day for love

August Poem

to death
toward God
and the
up grow
ing to break
the clouds
master heaven
this dandelion
to take its place
on high
until September
when it dies