He is the king of a rain-country, rich
but sterile, nothing but an old wolf’s itch,
one who escapes his tutor’s monologues,
and kills the day in boredom with his clubs;
nothing cheers him, golf, Fox News, McDonald’s,
his people dying by the balcony;
the bawdry of the sycophantic staff
no longer gets him through a single night;
his bed of fleur-de-lys becomes a sodden tomb;
even the lady of the court, for whom
even this king is bountiful, cannot put on
shameful enough dresses for this grotesque;
the weasel who makes his gold cannot invent
sleights of hand to obscure the poisoned element;
even with fiddles and fires, Rome’s legacy,
our tyrants’ solace in senility,
he cannot warm up his bloated corpse, whose glaze
is nuclear orange ooze, not skin.


Motes of fire in your voice
And the embers of your eyes
Animal warmth
Burnished gold

On the first night we met
I was immediately adrift
And quickly lost
Coming home

You are what love means
A low door in the wall to
Another world
New and familiar

Sly and radiant as your
Flashing smile and tender flesh
Welcome then
Magically gone

[A writer finds he has no words]

A writer finds he has no words
for what is rising in his gorge,
that he wears small pieces of the dead
like jade rings in his body.
Once held to cure side pains,
the stones, like so many things,
are now mere ornaments.
So too with words, some precious
symbols lying in dormition,
dying in their sleep. He longs
for the soft, greasy touch of pigments,
seminal virtue; he imagines paper
like hair, a distillate. The page
must open like the lidded flesh.
The mandala is an imperfect symbol,
and this novena must end.

Got the Drop

Half empty, another shot;
Half serious, love and anger;
Half a loaf, life a little less
Late at night before the fight
I know is always coming.
Where do we go from here
Is always the question
And the mindless, meaningless
Answer as the pendulum
Makes it’s dumb arc marking
Nothing but time and tides
That will never decide while
Eating away at the ground
Beneath our shuffling feet.
Personal best, pressure drop,
Drinking and sleeping alone
And walking on the empty
Sidelines of your own life.