Saturday, May 2, 2015


I was an orphan before I was born
no history completes me
no port in a storm
no future no animal complexity
whatever I saw
whatever I heard
what senses I tried
what danger I smelled
came from the unholy family
the ones who asked Hell
what to do with me
I was an orphan before I was born
and dressed in the clothes of the time
I curtsied and smiled unrefined like a mime
whoever I loved
whoever I feared
what I noticed was gone
what they said lived on infamously
children gone aimlessly
I was an orphan
not lonely or misunderstood
I was hungry and boasted
I was learning for good
whoever I trusted
whoever I lost
came before me and after
at considerable cost
I was an orphan and I still am
it keeps me from running
in my party dress
the shoes blacked to shining
those boys in their jest
one leaning in hunger
another angry at best
I didn’t exist in the universe of real
I didn’t persist at the altar of fate
those boys dogged my future
those boys understate
what orphans grow into
those orphans can wait
I live free or die a thousand times over
like the tide or the sunrise
the mussels dug under
I am orphan now and have
no need of a shell
I live free or die with no family’s bell
whoever I loved
whoever I feared
they are gone with the wind
they are magic uncertain
the last laugh is mine
I will grin wholly confused
I am an orphan today
I am orphan infinitum
ring for dinner this time
leave an empty space
ring for dinner, it’s time, 
it’s time and the place.


Thursday, April 9, 2015


Feral

For Tiffany Williams

I used to think of myself
as a feral cat
homeless and untethered
a bit stinky at that
but my claws were intact
I used to be proud of the fact
as a feral cat
the stranger malingerer
on an empty planet
littered with themes that
annoyed me no end
made my hackles rise
made my tail turn to brush
what was the problem
what was the rush
to slink under darkness
before everyone’s light
this was my world
this was my fight
an alley, a doorway,
an opened window
I had no ties
who knew
who knew
I am still wandering
the streets of my moment
is this the mouse death
my emotional torment
I used to think of myself
as a feral cat
homeless and untethered
a bit stinky at that
and I raise the red flag now
in a warm, well stocked kitchen
I still have my claws
and nothing has changed
I still have my claws
time to dig in

Saturday, April 4, 2015

you are an unopened
sleeve of salt crackers
on a shelf in a bunker
awaiting the storm
you are the blankets
folded for warmth
you are the siren
the tempo that sounds
like a clapper the bell
that rights all our wrongs
you are the frequency
on high alert
the volume down low
so no one gets hurt

you are the day
and the day after that
a parting, a wake
a coming together
you are the foxcatcher
in dead of night
we share a hole
where no one is right
no one is trapped
no one is guilty
you are the family
that has escaped me
you are the day and
the day after that
you are unopened
you are the crack

For Paul, on his birthday

Sunday, March 29, 2015


someday I will run
out of stories
like rivers run dry
when mountains lose height
like jokes that deny
loss of the light
someday I’ll be caught
in eternal reluctance
chapters will fall
from my self like
instructions
I will disobey
and beg sober destruction
someday I will run
out of food stuff
like peasants denied
the storehouse of words
will be ambushed
I’ll cry
what  have I done
what’s the point of it all
does it matter this
shall I bloody the fall
for a story a poem
is it worth being tall
in a land of the shorts
in a land of the small
And what points a rhyme
to a dark night is all
my map and my saint
and my bloodied crawl
some say it’s tourists
some say the worst
some say the best is
what some say I just
someday I’ll run out of stories
it’s true
I’ll write from the grave
it’s an honor
for few
the bull can be knave
the sword can be you
I’ll run out of stories
it’s sure and its true

I’ll write from the rave
it’s an honor for few

Wednesday, March 25, 2015




MAGIC

magic is risk
a fire set alight
magic sleeps in the
same clothes every night
it’s revenge when you’re old
and pretend it’s the light
magic  is going to hell
in a hand basket
magic is what came
before you asked it
a bottle uncorked
a liquid that’s blasted
the front door
the window
a passage untraced
black cats rumble
the witch in the kitchen
magic is risk
and fire and then some
magic sleeps in the
same clothes every night
love her or leave her
she knows what is right
ready for death or the dubious life
magic is risk
like the day betting night
dawn is the bullet
makes it all right
dawn is the handshake
the dubious clause
a contract you meant
a contract you avoid
magic is clueless and handsome
a noise
magic is sound
the kind you rejoice
and when threatened by death
in a memory verse
magic lives on

for better or worse

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


















Northern lights

For Carmen

urban cliff dweller am I
with the soul of a hermit
searching the light
in an alien sky
I’ve been warned of the storms
considered regret
I wander in restless
celestial deterrent
sit at my desk
and wonder what’s next
I pound keys into stars
words land uneasily
the rest of my scars
are stories told freely
I wanted to witness
that unearthly glow
cramped as I am here
in darkness below
the cat creeps beside me
his eyes all aglow
what more do I need
what more can I know
evil is written in stone
and in snow
in rivers that rage
deserts I don’t know
urban cliff dweller am I
with the soul of a hermit
searching the light
in an alien sky
I am home with my light
my river that flows
my witness to self that
continues to grow
my desert that kills
each passing word
I live by the light of
unknown northern night
I wonder what’s next
shall I stay shall I fly
I wonder what’s next in
my northern light