Monday, April 25, 2011


Hot blood
splashes the stretched surface
of my young face
as the goat is being killed.

We have not much money
so get only one hind leg
and the eyeballs,

While most of the rest
goes to the family of the lawyer
who saved my shrieking mother from the police.

But the head will stay here
with the butcher
once the goat stops kicking.

It's a good Easter for everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


My little golden one,
Today is your Birthday!

Jumping in Disney red,
Wearing mary-janes,
And a french berret,
You can't wait,
For your Mickey-Paris party.

How can it be,
The years,
Have passed,
So fast?

At last,
Your friends arrive,
Stacking their presents,
With big sister keeping track,
And all the mothers fussing you.

After the hul-a-baloo,
Of balloons, 
And fun, 
And games,
There's cake.
And the happy smile you make,
Reminds me what it's like,
To feel loved,
And safe,
And five.

As long as you're alive,
May you remember,
That feeling, 
Each September, 
And in times most unappealing.

Happy Birthday!
Love Dad.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Burning Fat

Sweat has taught me
That you will burn more fat
Taking a long brisk walk
Than by pedaling with your head down,
Racing to the finish line,
Or swimming against the current.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Best Parts

Morning people wait on the bus,
The 218 express straight through,
Their quiet thoughts undiscussed,
And so I stand and think of you.

Done work people wait for the bus,
The 554 milk run crew,
Their eyes tired with city dust,
And so I stand and think of you.

Once the car finally starts,
And takes me home from the parkeree,
Our girls shriek at their chocolate hearts,
And so I stand, and so you kiss me.

On Valentines, and every day,
These are the best parts of my day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

San Francisco

In Hotel Monaco,
Le Petit Cafe,
Women, fifty-sixty something,
Sit without men,
In three wooden chairs,
'Round a round bar table,
At 10:50pm on November 29.
Dark turtlenecks, scarves and warm coats,
Big watches, wrist clasp bangles,
Ear ring sets pearl white, black, or hanging,
Pizza shared over wine, beer, and spirits,
Hair long white, short white, short dyed dark,
Talking of a high school reunion 40 years ago,
A marriage of 36 years,
Sons and daughters and their friends,
Something about the cost of drugs.

One knife and forks her pizza,
Two eats with her hands,
Three is done and asking about dessert,
Each lovely, with white napkined laps,
Unaware of me next to them,
Drinking my tea,
Appreciating her beauty.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tough Love

A flower woke up one morning,
And turned to face the sun.
The sun rose up,
And shone down, hard, upon the flower.
Making it grow.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Don’t believe, a word they say.
Don’t believe, a word of it.
Pretend you do, and live their way,
Until you can be done with it.

But if you can’t be done with it,
Take up their pack of lies, and run with it.
Spread them to others you meet.
Become the liar, the charlatan, the cheat.

And when you become the cheat,
Spend all your cheatings, as if they were beatings,
Line up a gauntlet, turn up the heat,
Let their deceitings, speed them to bleating.

Then from each bloody git, take the whole damned bit,
And turn it around, and crush them with it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

High School Convocation

To all you high school graduates
Here is what happens afterward:
Some of you will go on to community colleges
And maybe University,
And maybe even to a post graduate degree.
Some of you will work
But have no real responsibilities.

Those years will be fun
Regardless of your grades
Or if you drop out
Or if you move from job to job.

At this point in your life
Money will be the bottleneck.
So you will live in apartments or houses
With many friends.
You will party
On cheap intoxicants
Eat crappy
And have a rich social life
With those who are similarly situated to you.

But when you finally enter the real work force,
For at least the next five years
You will spend your time
Working your assess off
Particularly if you are in
Law, medicine, accounting, business or science.

All of your education
May boil down to working in a small office
Or even worse, occupying a cubicle
In an office full of cubicles.

You will have no time
But to eat, sleep, and work.
You will get by
By being either extremely healthy
Or extremely unhealthy.

There will be no in between.

You will have no social life
And if you are in a relationship
There is a 90% chance it will fail.
Those of you women with children
Will have the choice
Of letting someone else raise them in daycare
Or quitting your job and downsizing
While your husband is the sole breadwinner.
If finances are tight
You will fight.

Eventually you will realize,
Through observation of the “role models”
Levied upon you
By the source of your income’s management
That this is no way to live.
You’ll see that the stodgy old partner
Approaching his or her 50th year in the firm
Always smells of alcohol;that a room
Full of physicians, scientists or lawyers
Quickly sort out their pecking order
Based upon where they went to school,
How much money they make,
And who they work for or who their patron is.
Once the pecking order is sorted
You will kiss the asses above you
And stick out yours
For those below you.

Upon this Epiphany
Your reaction will be
To look for something to do
That permits greater participation in life.
Only by now money is not the bottleneck.
Time is. And you will have extreme difficulty
Finding time to transition
Into a more life fulfilling role.
If you have children
And live up to your responsibility as a parent
It will be virtually impossible.
You will be chained to your job, and hate it
Until your children are old enough
To at least start attending kindergarten.
Your living standard will be high
But still paycheck to paycheck,
Without longterm financial security.
You will not have a nest egg
And will face financial ruin
If any major expense hits
Like illness or loss of ability to work.
Your politics will be to the right of center.
Your home life will be impacted further.
You will be stressed.
You will remember the days before you had kids
When you and your spouse lived in or near the city,
Ate out more than you ate in,
And had more free time than you knew what to do with.
You will want those days.
You will look at yourself
And not know who you are anymore.

Some of you will never escape
And die lonely old and miserable.
But most of you will reach a point
Where it is not too late.
A fork in the road of your life
Where you make the choice
To either lie down
And stay on the path of unhappiness,
Or to cut loose and get your life on track.
You will look at all the speed
The locomotive of your life has built up
And be afraid of a train wreck.
The fall out will be significant.
You will loose longtime friends.
Some family members may disown you.
People will laugh.
You will be afraid
To do
What you know you have to do
To be happy.

This is where I am now.
I took the plunge.
I changed direction.
It was worth it.
I managed it without making a total wreck of my life.
But I have friends who didn’t.
Some of them lost their marriages.
Some of them died before they could fix things.
Some of them have just given up
And resigned themselves to their situation.

So my feedback to you,
As you graduate from high school,
Is to think very hard
About what will be important to you
When you are 40
And obey what you want
Not your friends or your parents.
Hear what they have to say,
But always remember
And be absolutely belligerent
About the fact that you own the decision.
If you don’t know what you want
Or know yourself
Then stop what you are doing right now
And find out before you do anything else.

What will you want?
Only you can answer that,
But for most people it is
Living in a good neighborhood,
Having a decent home,
Being near good schools
And having a family with kids.
Making a decent living.
Playing as much as working.
Simple things.
Things you are trying to break free from now.
But you will come back to them.
You can count on it.

These are all things that most people can accomplish
If they start out on the right foot.
But most don’t.
Instead we get caught up.
We pursue false definitions of success.
And the longer your life train
Maintains that pursuit and builds up momentum,
The harder it is
To change direction.
So I say
Focus on getting the basics in order first
And protect them. Here's a start:
Make sure family comes before all else.
Snuggle silently with your spouse for 15 minutes every day.
Only follow a career path that you are passionate about
And which you can make a living at
To support a family of four.
Learn about money
And invest all you can while you are single.
If I had invested all the dollars I blew
When I was young
I’d have retired well before I was 40.

Best wishes for a good life.

Friday, July 14, 2006

A Poem for Daddy

I’m sorry that you have to go to work all day
And it’s very boring
When you have to work on the computer at home.
And it’s very fun
When you baby sit us
When momma is out on an outing.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

After The War Prayer

Tear them all to bloody shreds
With our bombs. Drown us to smiles
With their shrieks. Leave their woundeds
Writhing in pain. Waste their domiciles
In hurricanes of fire. And wring
Their most unoffending widows
With unavailing grief. And sing
Upon their children’s little brows
With rags and hunger and thirst.
Blast their hopes. Blight their lives.
Make heavy their hearts. Let them burst
O him who is the source of loves.

And so we prayed for our sakes, who adored thee.
And so we died by their hands, and cursed thee.

- - - - -

The above poem was inspired after the June 27 2006
quickmuse challenge between Glyn Maxwell & Thylias
Moss (see, to
write a poem based upon the following quote
from Mark twain's "the war prayer":

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols
of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou
near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also
go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God,
help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds
with our shells; help us to cover their smiling
fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead;
help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the
shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help
us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane
of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their
unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help
us to turn them out roofless with little children
to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated
land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the
sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter,
broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee
for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our
sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight
their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage,
make heavy their steps, water their way with
their tears, stain the white snow with the blood
of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit
of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and
Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all
that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble
and contrite hearts. Amen."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Social Worker

Drunken Indians, panhandlers, and
Heroin addicts: I hate you each one.
You yell shouts at me from your sidewalk land.
You piss in public and laugh when you’re done.

I give you money for your drugs and booze
I give you needles that you drop at schools.
No personal responsibilitooz.
No personal accountabilitools.

Castigate the dregs of society?
Nope. Raise high all our mugs and make toastas.
Dose them up with public shameiety?
Nope. Drink them down like chocolate mochas.

That’s how we do it in Seattle.
That’s how we do it in Seattle.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Advice for Aspiring Poets

In the spring of 1935
I gave you my poems, Ezra.
And you read them
And spat on them
And told me to publish yours
Because that’s all I was good for.

But I never listened, completely.
So I went in new directions
And I became “il Catullo Americano”
Even to The Saturday Review.

Now you are dead
And I am dead
And as our works are read
It is I who has the last laughlin
While you are the ass-pound of poetry.

- - -

Written in response to the Quick muse
challenge betweenJonathan Galassi and
Marge Piercy on June 14, 2006. The
challenge gave them 15 minutes to write
on the following quote by James Laughlin

"New Directions was born one morning in
Pound's study, when he was going over
some of my poems, in the spring of 1935.
He was crossing out most of my words.
Finally, he said: 'Jas, you're never
going to be any good as a poet. Why don't
you take up something useful?' 'What
would that be?' I asked him. 'What would
be useful?' He thought for a moment and
suggested, 'Why dontcher assessernate
Henry Seidel Canby?' (Canby was the editor
of The Saturday Review, who always gave
Ezra's books bad reviews.) 'I'm not
smart enough,' I told him. 'I wouldn't
get away with it.'

He thought some more. 'You'd better become
a publisher. You've got enough brains for

He promised that if I could learn 'to
print books right side up,' he would
let me be is publisher and would persuade
his friends to let me do some of theirs.
And that's how it worked out. He gave me
his book Kulchur, William Carlos Williams
gave me his collection of poems A Glad Day,
and Djuna Barnes allowed me to reprint

Friday, June 16, 2006


I have been in many fights
The vicious kind
With blood, and bites.
The kind that make you lose your mind
And nurse your wounds
And curse the nights
And wake one’s killer appetites.

I have also always been
My family’s might
Wholesome and clean
The kind who always strives for right.
And nice
And cordial
And polite
So you might think I never fight.

It happened yesterday at work
Across the table
Sly and smirk
I had to deal with Kane and Able.
And Kane was mean
And Able, was stable
And as I thought about the fable
I dealt with Kane and ignored Able.

Yes I hear all the squeams and scuffs
Their vanquished pleas
Their lawyer puffs
But such is the gauntlet to victory.
Down in the belly, up in the loft
Amid the fires, astride the soft
At GE, Wal-Mart, Microsoft
You will find someone like me.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Charlie Parker

Charlie Y. Parker had something to prove.
He had a big brain and read lots of stuff
And he could talk, and cut through the fluff
Read in a motherfucker’s bullshit groove.

Literate though in history and poetry,
I heard some folk saw him as non-intellectual.
Every note from the man alive and sensual,
You’d never expect their mocking of me.

Poor horn had to feel good by playing the dumbs
And zapping the suckers that made his jazz lax
Reversing the hurt he’d suffered from words.

Kept prisoner by fear of the Cracker crumbs
Escape only came through his blow of the sax
Releasing the cage and freeing the yard bird.

**** created following the quickmuse
( challenge
to Robert Pinsky and Julian Baggot,
which asked them to write on the following:

"He was an intellectual. He used to
read novels, poetry, history, stuff
like that. And he could hold a
conversation with almost anybody
on all kinds of things....
He was real sensitive. But he had this
destructive streak in him that
was something else.... [H]e used to talk
a lot about political shit and he loved
to put a motherfucker on, play dumb
to what was happening and then zap
the sucker. He used to especially
like to do this to white people."

--Miles Davis on Charlie Parker

For a bio of the Jazz great, see:

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Swan Song Sinatra

Say goodbye to the girl next door
Only tell her to stay young at heart.
Let her know we can’t wave anymore
Old devil moon and I must depart.

Now take my pocketful of miracles,
Give them out come rain, or come shine.
But please be kind, and lay them on some cheery gals.
Luck be a lady, they’ll like me fine.

Under guide of these strangers in the night
Everyone knows that my way ain’t to frown.
Even Nancy feels I’ll be all right
You see I’m going to my kind of town.

Endeavor my witchcraft too.
Softly, as I leave you.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Villanelle 911

Where was god as our prayers fell unanswered
And this proud nation’s flame sputtered and sighed
Clad in blood, twisted steel and faith absurd?

Ask the five thousand voices he never heard
Who crushed flat at betrayal’s moment cried:
Where is god as our prayers fall unanswered?

Ask the firemen, digging, without a word
Who saw truth in every sifting stride
Clad in blood, twisted steel and faith absurd.

Ask the cellmates ghastly mislead and spurred
Who knew when they burned shrieking terrified
Where god was as their prayers fell unanswered.

Ask the leaders blinking and disturbed,
While the forces America blessed replied
Clad in blood, twisted steel, and faith absurd.

Ask yourself what it means that this occurred
Though all sides prayed to god before they died.
Where was god as our prayers fell unanswered?
Clad in blood, twisted steel, and faith absurd.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Burning Word 2006

Forty pairs of wet shoes
Forty pairs of crossed, wet legs
Sit on twenty wet chairs
All with wet hair
Sheltered, in the dry warm foyer of Greenbank barn C.

Outside, wind howls.
Outside, rain taps upon the glass
And pounds on wet cars, in a wet lot
And leaks through holes in a white wet tent.
The empty white wet tent
Of an abandoned beat workshop.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

For Britannia

I long for you.
I long for your touch and your whispering lips.
I long for those nights we spent drinking
And singing
And making love.

I divorced you.
Thinking that my life was missing something
I threw away us, and our family, and our house;
And one month later you moved in with another man.
One fucking month
Before that bloody Yank was putting the blocks to you.
Shit! Maird! Scheize!
All your crying
And begging
And pleading
Must have been really god damned sincere
Since it took you a whole fucking month to get over me.

I heard today
About your diagnosis.
I desperately want to hold you
And kiss your forehead
And tell you that I love you.

But he is doing that now,
In a different house
In a different life
With a different family.
I hope you get what you deserve.

I will not call you,
Or send a card,
Or tell you that I know.
But after you die
I will visit your grave
And lean my flowers against your headstone.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Final Exams

I see the shadeless silhouette
Of a man who rode out from the sun.
Galloping near, his face shows clear
I shudder to think what he has done.
The hammered horse all wet with sweat
The mane a mat of blood
The valley echoes pounding thunder
Bolting through the mud.
Thrusting arms beneath dark cloak
Pulling reigns as if to choke
Stops man to ask, and horse decide
Should we leave him be alive?

And I write to survive.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

War At The Tulip Festival

An army of pretty tulips
Move to stand against April’s sun
Orange-yellow bells ringing silent when wind whips
Tall lance leaves planted like war was won.
Heavy clouds strafe blue sky
Emptying guts through mountains’ rent.
Reinforcement line raindrops charge only to die
Soaking row upon row and bulb blooms bent.
Roamers a field flee the swelling moat
Except for one small tulip seen
Wearing her mother’s childhood white overcoat
Alexandria bright, defiant as Josophiene.

Rescuing parents pluck their tot
Day turns to farmhouse parking lot.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Prettiest Flower

On a rain-soaked April day,
The sun broke through
In the tulip field.

As if right on cue,
It was then I saw you
Toddling up my row
To squat and hide below
Our adoring red petals
On doting stems of green.

Well how dee dee do!
That was when I knew
I would not mind
If you picked me.
Me, the second prettiest flower
In the field.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Walking Alone Through A Collonade Of Trees

Walking alone through a colonnade of trees
A brown business woman watched the sun rise in Hyde Park
Pinkish-red mitts matching her soft angora turtleneck,
Beneath a purple felt hat, brand new scarf
And black winter coat.

Frankly she stared at nothing
While the lit sun warmed her face
Realizing that this is what life must be like
For people who don’t work.

And turned white.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Dinner Party

Tightly wrapped up in prosciutto
Handsomely stuffed chicken breast
Entrees served fresh al forno
Deliver for host to each guest
Inside rain reddened brick Tudor.
Nibbling on potluck deserts
No swingers escape charades’
Euphoriant gesture outblurts.
Resulting laughter cascades
Pool eddies deep into midnight
And floating glad hugs out the door
Return guests home under streetlight.

The simplest supper paradigms
Yield gay and memorable times.

Friday, April 28, 2006


In a pool of urine he sat
Torn pants full of the homeless stink
White-grey hair a tangled up mat
And too drunk on whiskey to think.

Straight past him we strode looking down
Crisp shirts fresh in our lawyer suits
Heads held up by the pensive frown
Red silk ties and black leather boots.

It came to light soon thereafter
Since man’s great plague was killing me
That your piss drunk but of laughter
Might see me die by thirty-three.

And though the old bum’s life be grim
Still I’d trade my place with him.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I used to watch the big boys play
While sitting courtside all the day
And dreamt of starting on the team
So I could be as just as they.

Hour upon hour in practice spent
Emulating each skill movement,
Despite naysayers glib jibes made,
Marked me their benchmark participant.

Years hiding the ball, however,
Had my jersey torn, as ever
Arena’s polished hardwood floors
Nicked this lawyer’s old shoe leather.

Delight playing the game was gone
So I hung ‘em up, and moved on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Billable Hours

To them we are mere galley slaves
Hands born for pulling master oars
Ears bent to catch commands and raves
Yet stowed below dank poop-deck floors.
We row fueled on burning rage
As gritted teeth below wild eyes,
Long lusterless in this dark cage,
Keep grinding on the Captains’ lies.
And paying ‘lubbers at the docs
Oblivious to the sly rats
Which flee from ship to island rocks
Only see us all as pirates.

Read they not the dangerous
Knowledge lesson of Spartacus?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pausing By An Old Prof’s Class

Whose class this is I think I know
He is still in his office though
And will not see me stopping here
To watch his students come and go.
My friend here with me thinks it queer
That I have an interest here
Where students sit and wait to take
The exact same class I took last year.
To ask me if there’s some mistake
She gives my hanging arm a shake.
The only other feel’s the heave
Of sighing lungs and eyes awaked.

This class is such a sweet reprieve
Present spare my dangling sleeve
A little while before I leave
A little while before I leave.

Monday, April 24, 2006

WTO Protests

Storm trooper-like riot police
Each remembering wives
Advance in line to keep the peace
Tense and afraid for their lives.
Taunting foolish and unafraid
Lewd protestors taking offence
Engaged in an anarchist raid
Incite everyone to violence.
No globalization without
Representation, the signs said.
Until all the words were rubbed out
In tank track gray and tear gas red.

Now where was I at this instance?
Safely watching from a distance.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Early Morning Carpool

Red lights. Demon-eye fires driving into dawn
Eerily flow us haggard herded hundreds.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dog Bite Statute

It shall be the first duty of all persons, who
Have knowledge that a dog has bitten or injured,
To immediately report on what occurred
And to state where the subject dog has gotten to.
Whomever owns said dog shall soon confine it, through
A manner to prevent further harm incurred
And shall for twelve days observe if its rage be cured,
After which time inspections shall begin anew.

If said dog is stray, the owner’s role shall be filled
By the police, who shall test it for rabies, plus
Dispense treatment as the State Dog Warden directs.
If diagnosed as rabid, the dog shall be killed
Without delay; lest the same harm should come to us
As when Hitler raged war on our rabbit subjects.

End Resolution 1441.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Amazing Discovery

You discovered
how to pour
the finest thinks and feels
Anyone ever had
Into a tiny cup
Of steaming words.

And imagine
You mixed those words
With beauty
With pleasure
And with emotion
So their taste
Became impossible to forget.

And imagine
Drinking from this cup.

And imagine
It made you
See the details of your life
Heighten your perception
And consider things you hadn’t truly thought about.

Then imagine
You became wiser
And your life
Became better.

That would be amazing.
Wouldn't it?

So what is
This Amazing Discovery?

Poetry. Poetry. Poetry.

People have been drinking it in
For over five thousand years

And now you are too.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Birthday Present

It is, my little lighthouse, your fourth birthday,
And you cannot contain your excitement,
Nor your august baby sister of 15 months
Who toddles along gleefully behind wherever you are,
Her tiny feet making pitter-patter sounds,
As yours once did when you were a baby too.

In the pink princess dress your mother made,
Or the bright blue one your auntie gave,
Or the one of yuletide yellow received from me,
You and your many playmates eat chocolate castle cake,
And wear crowns made of twisted sausage balloons,
While all the mothers have champagne and orange-juice mimosas
With fresh baked quiche.

In the years to come,
When your sister and you are all grown up, and when
In the dead-ends of life
You ponder
The question:

“What is the pursuit of happiness?”

As a gift from your father,
That today
Is the answer.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Grand Theft Auto

I don't mean to say that Jimmy Hawk
Was a thief or a gangster on the run.
Despite the attitude and hip-hop talk
He was a gamer who paid for his fun.

And when they found his sister broken,
Beaten and shot and raped in the night,
He cried for the cops and laid his grief open
Not so much different than you or I might.

And after the killer was caught and frisked
And the news put his picture right next to hers,
With a t-shirt that said "GTA Rocks"
In the section above the soap opera blurbs,
James Alan Hawk busted all his game discs,
And changed all his clothes,
And took a sledge hammer to his Xbox.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Joseph Toep

Joseph Toep was the first one at work
And us order givers looked for him there:
A clean shaven young face, an out spoken Turk,
Pressed into a shirt by his darling wife Claire.

And he never missed a beat or a line.
And he never dropped a bomb or a ball.
And ears pricked up sharp to hear him opine
“How ‘bout this?” and we’d listen, one and all.

Yes he was a better than average guy,
Still lesser than us, but more than his race.
And yet we each feared his meteor rise
And prayed for his star to fall from its place.

But then, after this year’s performance reviews,
His name topped the damned promotions list!
And wonder of wonders, after hearing the news
Joseph Toep took a mail knife, and slit his own wrist.

Friday, March 31, 2006


The clock still ticks as I get up to fly
A beat before the cry of our alarm. A beat
After the warm allure of steam. A beat
Under the sting of soap and eye.

A shave, a shirt, a suit, a tie, and last,
A quiet kiss good bye behind the rain.
The gentle thud of spray upon the glass
The taste of Starbucks waking up the brain.

Big Birds alight upon their concrete nest.
They rest, and fill their bills with men. They soar,
Again, again, again, and engines roar.

Some read the news with legs and arms compressed.
Some take the views and eat the juice and snacks
But only I, wish lonely I, was flying back.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spiders and Flies

Caught up in the old firm line
Hopeless struggles the fly.
And here too dead hang by design
Souls departed and blood sucked dry.
Enter keepers of the web
Tying heavy struggling shapes
Hoping to prolong life’s ebb
Entwining wings to bar escapes.
Carcass now hung by dangling thread
A trophy for the captors’ slake
Ruined and drained the fly is dead
Realizing too late the great mistake.

One to this insect may relate
The Bogle and Gates* associate.

*One of the premiere full service law firms in Seattle before it went under in the 1990's

Playa Del Carmen

Palm thatched palapas stand and run
Loud surf crashes in rhythms strong
And breasts offer up bare to the sun.
Young and old couples walk along.
Aggressive Mexicans ply their crafts
Dogs in shade of the tourist chair
Elitist Mayans share cold laughs
Little sand-birds running nowhere.
Chaac-Mool still serves gods’ message to man
And at water-sorcerers’ well
Rests great serpent god Kukulcan
Marking where ones sacrificed fell.

Each display on Tzompantli knew
None of the promises were true.

Palapas – a sun umbrella made of palm leaves

Chaac-Mool – messenger to the gods

Kukulcan – god of the sun

Tzompantli – the wall where severed heads of those sacrificed to Kukulcan were displayed.

Dream Engine

Wound up so tight
Each pressure gage
Exceeds max height
Kracking with rage.
Engine shut down
Now parts with wear
Driven to town
Get their repair.
Engine switch on
The Bullet Train
All problems gone
Winds up again.

Amid all the klickety-klack
Your dreams need rest upon the track.


Abandoned here by our father
Named the scapegoat for your sin
Done without concern or bother
Regarding my delicate skin.
Openly you claim to love me
Matted hair tangled in knots black
Epiphany of truth mine eyes see
During arms wide spread and wrists pinned back.
As long impending death draws nigh
Some do watch with true reverence
Letting themselves think I would die
Only for their deliverance.

Tell each such ignorant fool ear
That I was never a volunteer.

Caffe Greco

Talk to me old crushed velvet walls
O’ Victorian busts speak up too
Betray openly your memories all
Exclude nothing and speak always true.
Carefree god Pan full of smile and mirth
Account of those who here shared your mood
For here I came inspiration dearth
For here I seek it where Keats once stood.
Even now echoes poets’ laughter
Gathered over espresso and smoke
Reclining in your red chairs after
Extolling some long forgotten joke.

Continue your watch time worn Caffe Greco
Only could I but share each musing you know.


They sit small under office light,
skin drawn back pale and sickly white

Hapless all in great black masses
of round bellies and fat asses.

Each weekend workday that is lite,
herd stampedes beaches for sun's sight

Separate from the lower classes
sporting oils and tinted glasses.

Under the gun guts glaze and bake
disappointed with how much they make.

Maybe they’ll be on a boat
racked payments keeping it afloat.

Maybe they’ll be in a lake
lamenting for a boat to take.

Either which way its laze and bloat
a-griping at what gets their goat.

Right here I sit, cast among them
wishing hard not to become them.

Foolish and true a hypocrite
I too do all their same old shit.

Oh how it makes me choke and phlegm
to admit that I am just like them!

Onto their mold I do not fit
and it has me in a real snit.

Last year I vowed to quit this scrape
yet here I am the sour grape.

Someone help me to escape.
Someone help me to escape.

Benaroya Hall

Audience knee bends before modest seat
To rehearsing minstrel cacophony.
Backstage though maestro and cellist guest fleet
Enter they stately amid symphony.
Nocturnal-esq senses now orchestrate
Alan Hovhaness’ cello concerto
Rapt as Janos Starker skills navigate
Opus seventeen number one alto.
Yet hands with no lesser gifted talent
Assembled this hall humble of music
Having satisfaction in its advent
And recognition being intrinsic.

Loud accolades praise artists who fill it.
Louder still what inspired to build it.

Jazz Alley

After drinks in the upstairs lounge
Toasts and a bummed cigarette
Tonight’s seedy faced tip scrounge
Has us stage side for the late set.
Eating up the hot blue spotlight
John Pizzarelli strokes each fan
And trio lips screw up tight
Zip-zapping out tunes for “Best Man”.
Zoo keeper-esq night club hostess
As we jazz rats applaud the act
Lifts away our cold dinner mess
Less candle-wicks burning intact.

Eye wonder at the difference
You see in live experience.

Sarbanes Oxley

We put our darlings’ trust into Wall Street
Resulting in Ruin; it was stolen
As though Paris stole Helen – a golden
Trickster, a grand seduction, a deceit.
How could this happen? How did damned cheats
Fool each proud accountant and lawyer den?
Unfaithful servants they lied to us when
Lording truth meant padded client receipts.

And so all good men fall prey to such dreg
Cast from Street dime-less by sickening deed
Handouts their last hope for being made well.
And so for however long y’all must beg
I am to vile chiefdoms’ infectious greed
Achaia, when fairest Ilion fell.

Sherman Alexie

Listening to you Sherman Alexie
Each act of incest or alcoholism
Traces back to “bad acts of Cavalry”
Serving white man’s evil colonialism.
Excuse me for pointing out the lie, but
Legacies of conquerors long dead?
Feed not my guilty conscience such glut.
Past history falls on no modern head.
In childhood I saw my father named
The label of “dirty d.p.” and stranger
Yet today we are players in the game
Each respect gained from action, not anger.

Nations whose culture, artist, and lover
Dwell most on setback never recover.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


What is true loveliness? You be the judge.
How lovely are the sight and sound and smell
A morning breaks, before day’s rising bell
Tolls on that sleep no husband can begrudge?
Lovely, no less, than every romp or trudge
Our children’s feet may take through hill or dell.
Valor is lovely, if we guard it well.
Escape is lovely, as when wards discharge.
Some would say lovely too, all great quests spent
In ancient places, bought with freed up time,
Kissed lovely by the cares one dared to lose
Not fearing reprise. Loveliness once bent,
Owned, and shared in all my life; and if sublime,
Will once more beat the path my futures choose.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Home late

1 AM
Shoulder pain
Arm pain
Back pain
Chest pain
Short breath
Racing heart
Pepcid A.C.

No Change
Tell my wife
Drive myself
Emergency Room
Blood draw
Cardiac enzymes
Heart monitor
Pulse monitor
Insurance card please
Age: 40 years
Father of two
Drug allergies

Worried call from home
Nitrogen once
Nitrogen twice
Nitrogen thrice
Two X-rays
G.I. cocktail
Blood draw negative

Diagnosis: Esophageal Spasm.

Then four hours of observation
While I think:

Why is this the only time I have to write poetry?

7 AM
Back to work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The best and the brightest
Still come to America.
Dreams as hot as Texas
Smoking off college degrees.

Who feels the breeze
of ignorance and malcontent?
Not the ones who matter
Just the poorest resident.

And that, Mr. President
Exactly is why education
Funds the Iraqi nation.
Business doesn't care
If it's oxen, dragon or bear.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Stop Light

She pulled up behind me
In a rusted out cougar.
A tail of rat hair
With triple chins.

As the mirror fins
Reflected us
I wondered how the lady
Got from here to there.

Like a fish gulping air
She looked at me
Expelling her smoke
And sped ahead.

Then the bumper stickers said:
Merry Kiss-My-Ass!
Mad as Hell!
God is dead!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Don't love me.
For I love only one
And it is not you.

Don't love me.
For if you do
I will only take it,
And break it,
And cut you with the shards.

Don't love me.
Love your children
Love your wife
Love your dreams
Love your life.

Work is just work.
Money is just means.
Status is just a goal to hide behind.

And I am all three.