Going to Hell

This world is not going to hell;
It is being led by the nose
And pushed by an iron pike,
Pestered and swarmed by a welter
Of tiny, greedy, angry homunculi,
Human chaff that burn brief
As embers and turn everything to ash.
There are words to sum but nothing can
This endless ocean of lies
And cheapening dreams, a price
On everything and everyone,
When beneath the waves and below
The swell the truth remains the same:
Everything of value is priceless
And reality is greater than truth.
We may derange the tides themselves
But the maddened world will end
In the end this madding crowd—
To sleep quietly and one day wake
Without its host of demons.


This is farther West, where the West gives way
To dry mountains like tinder kegs, gunpowder
Ridges limned with lighting and fire as Summer
Gives way in anticipation of the Final Summer
Of our Lost Earth, burning beneath the madness
Of a race of monsters, a brain of dwarf; Farthest
West this desiccated wilderness suddenly softens
And the ocean takes over from the land, peace
Of the deep struggling with itself, with world,
Wishing to survive, wanting to be the nursery
Of life it always was, waiting perhaps for a distant
Shore when we are here no more and peace
No longer has to fight to be, sometime soon
On the great arc that we can scarcely conceive.
There’s a twilit jackrabbit in the shallow valley
Just over the ridge, a shadow flashing darkly
From stone-like stillness to quiet silhouette.
There are daytime raptors still circling behind
Me, turning and turning in a widening gyre.
The sun fades and the night sky is a million
Shades of blue until black is all that’s left,
A half moon glowing bright like a signal
Lamp set by the sun, dark side iron gray,
And the stars begin to throw themselves
Across the only heaven there can be, more
By far than grains of sand on a beach, far more
Than the likes of us, indifferent to our eyes,
Our world, everything but time itself, the measure.
Here in the West the day is done, our day over.

The Wheel Attributed to Fortune Personified

Another street scene, another walk at midnight.
A sound like the color of fire,
shifting, breaking, flowing back togetherÑ
Love whispering its cough beneath a grate.
Were you there, somewhere teasing the darkness,
the muscle joints in him? Were you, dusting off
the shade, pulling down the lamp, dressing by
taking off your clothes, withdrawing into fuck?
Did time run this way?

Truth is no commodity with me,
It never was.
For all I said, honesty would never
have sufficed—
it brought no cure, not then and it
does not now.
Everything must be gotten elsewhere.

love no passion

The Emblem of Mutability

(sweet) fuck all


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 Running Between

Our hands begin to see;
Our teeth grow soft and slip
easily back into the gum.
Bodies, like suspended drops
inverted, dip to each other;
Petals tender as rose burn.
A heavy bell swings to
sound and stops
while frozen on the skin
sleep dark-holding moves
a wet machine, dilated,
trembling at verge.

[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.