The forest is old
obscured in ghosts and mysteries
Come out in the wild night with me
dressed in the stars
Serenades from the Moon
intoxicate air aged in adventure
Exult with me in pleasure
Far from decay of leaves, sad savagery
That strange stained light in the darkness
Silence, a pause in cycling
Tender reflection in the settling sky
a throne to reign
weary tantrum waves below
I can relate
the deals reality baits me with
I’m left unsated
staring at fate’s rear
Now escapes me
running into future skyscapes
stiff and strained
closer than this moment
as it slips
into one more
I seek that honest sigh,
that joining smile that art
of distilling meaning
Pictographs along the wheel
to distract from
surrounded in space
demanded in time
tells the reaper
is in the eye
On the Threshold of Silence
Absorbed by rabble noise my tired voice trails unheard.
How can it matter what I say?
A fool, I record hard travel truth in written word
to scatter as if for use someday.
Realize that my eyes see uncommon visions.
My mind seeks to find unlikely decisions.
My lips may seem gripped, but that’s not done on purpose.
What I know doesn’t show on my nondescript surface.
How can I explain,
entice suffice to hear,
what isn’t always clear?
Notes of refrain
jumbled with pain;
I must be insane.
play with my inner ear,
keeping me guessing.
Burden or blessing?
Of course you don’t care.
Just turbid notes on passing air.
Weaving through aether,
essence I ache to share
You never heard it from me.
Scorpio Blue Moon
Snakes & stones
& Dr. Bones.
Worlds of lies
within my eyes.
A chance to fake
a drunken wake
for romance forsaken.
Doorways to more ways
Ritual demands payment
rhymes intoned thrice
for babes wandering in the woods
Deep in enchanted mist
touch the veil
along the cortex
Points detach from
The puzzle reformulates.
Valerie Plame, Valerie Plame
The very fact that we all know your name
is a crime.
So, who’s doing time?
a pop carnavale.
The greedy get famous.
The poor rot in jail.
The glitter and star light
is doing its job:
distract and divide while
they rape, kill and rob.
Is that a pimple on my face?
Oh, I’m such a big disgrace!
I can’t keep it all together as I should.
The only explanation’s I’m no good.
I want too much. I need to much.
I never learned to mind my p’s and q’s.
I didn’t toe the line and pay my dues.
Now my opportunities
ooze beyond reach,
What am I even saying?
If the right people hear, surely
despair’s a treasonous crime.
And, unlike those Whitehouse lackeys
I may well end in a cell doing time.
This is where the idea is born.
soft green meadows gently disappearing into fall
sounds of dying, scent of woodfire and candlelight
no separation between what is becoming
accept and be revealed
summer’s wild adventures
spring was a torrent of clarity, precious rain,
Earth coarse, ready for fecund pleasure
Queen of night in daylight’s realm
obsessed in flowering
roses and daffodils
valleys and nubile hills
all is vanity and laughing vice
“But, Mother, I’m not a nice girl.
I’m a creature of the breeze; secure in shadow;
alive in the cutting edge of the storm.”
Myth in revision
standing at the back of the playground
learning theater, tucking metaphors
through interstices of sense and dream
In spring, kicking stones along sandy riverbeds
reading the classics
expecting valor, glory, dramatic lines
the stink of rot where flowers bloom
ancient feuds, retaliations, rage
tyrannosaurus feeding future waste,
absorbing a zeitgeist of want, of predation
within greed swollen seed infectious fear
search for further truth
mythology frustrates, curls back on its own ash
burn with hazy summer wine and dance
feet connecting dust to sky — but only in designated
spheres, with designated peers, self-selected inhibitions
sweat out poison into the ground; now, eat the bounty
midsummer farce, far from clear, far from sunrise,
counting out the chimes as if time were treasure
silly summer madness as if what matters
is so circumscribed, so predictable
Early autumn firelight
reminiscent of witch hunts, ghosts of cavalry,
dire warnings and endless hide and strike
the game, the funhouse, turns deadly
sanctuary calls, demanding sacrifice
the noble phoenix fed on frankenseed
can not rise
skies descend, dark mirroring
smell the woodsmoke, intoxicating, soft and sweet
masks the taste of bitter bile, secret vomiting
starving despite harvest’s gay array of treats
faded, nearly blind, falling in and out of
shamanic fever, primeval native dancers beyond sight,
ripple of tribal beat at the periphery
ecstatic vision dark/light/agony and brilliant breaks
seasons, years, moments of clarity
no need to travel, to invent boundaries
dance of the highlands warmth and sustenance
HERE AT THE BAR AGAIN
Here at the bar again, bar nothing to me.
Deepest Scorpio, gusts tinged icy.
Onward toward Chumley’s 2 pm Village poetry reading.
Searching outside book stall for bargains,
found a Paul Goodman
with cat and dog and baby photographs
to give to Cindy
a gift of love for a fragile child
Still affright from last night’s heavy scene,
wherein the police took my man away again,
this time with my blessing and accomplicement.
. . . A man is a hard thing.
Also a drag on my developmental aspirations.
When all he does is loom and threaten
Big Brute Violence
to storm my sensibilities.
(What’s frustrating is he doesn’t hear me
plead for shelter.)
Laughing in the park we loved
Crying in the night we parted
Oh, beseech I, gods above:
Why must you leave me broken-hearted?
(and I know he’ll be returning with more disregards
and diatribes and possibly pistol drawn to fire)
So I sit here in the bar, again.
Drinking sweet Kahlua and awaiting the poetry.
Taking a respite, you see.
Oh, Goddess, for this while,
bar nothing to this troubled child
(for child I feel, though woman grown).
Let peace alone assail me.
Black as hate; drained blood white,
Your patient, erratic torture
left me shattered, bereft, blind,
drenched in torrents of pain,
unable to move
unable to exhale, breathe through shame
or engage in
Yet you were never satisfied.
I was not your chosen sacrifice.
I was merely inconvenient,
or too convenient.
Dressed in goat suit,
queued up to be driven to slaughter,
how could I expect to be seen with
But it was the Executioner’s blade
not frenzied repetitive
back stabbings, epithets,
In a simpler world,
we could have been sisters.
Giggling secrets in the schoolyard,
smoking pcp in the girls’ room,
shooting up the classroom,
dying in each other’s arms.
Small girlchild, rags and dust – follow
her morning of traverse, this tiny world allowed.
Each tent flap reveals fester of wounds deep
and shallow, ravage disease.
Senses, thought, subsumed to beat of breath
outside rational context.
Stuck in the dirt, her worth a hole where
she bottoms out, tributary blood expelled.
Power differentials are natural
Makes sense to attend to these matters
Hot heads, coarse tongues, flail of arm,
crush of foot, outthrust chest, rancorous
lively show and tell;
Yes, such forceful yell might get bells
ringing, choirs singing, merry pageantry.
After roaring Sun’s descended, crowds
disbanded to bars and beds
to dream lusty victories or private
histories, nobody charged to watch
for this twinkling of time.
Without law, there is no crime.
Without rules, no crown ascends
by common call – but only by
all against all
in squall of terrors,
contests of survival, games
scored in blood.
Segue to and fro
two steps back; a flurry forward.
Satin cats, tails a’fling
pirouette, scurry choreography.
No tomorrow. No scheduled glee for
Time’s a’clanging, impatient clamors
for unknown seasons.
sends tidings, murky repentance and
beard for tears.
Savage rain tip-tapping
rhythms and blues.
Barrels for dipping, for ritual
washing, for tribal hydration, replenishment.
hunger, health, hygiene. Sordid rain,
ashen water, terror, pain, diluted
Storm warnings advise caution.
Cover yer windows and blinds.
Hide in cellars and pray.
Find salvation in fearsome company.
Oh, Hell – give in! Cave into slippery ground;
swallow and be swallowed.
The rains came, carried fortune to further shores
Long into unspoken tomorrows.
Dread – crusty needles eject embalming poison
Stiff, rusted shut, ooze tarnished prison door.
Electrified to molten waste.
Lost wastrel, chased into rough wood.
How could good ever tough through?
Seethe tooth and fang.
Anger will tighten screws, coils.
No mercy to win when cardinal sin is innocence.
Don’t chatter of cruelty,
turn red in shame.
Remember the wise one winked “No blame.”
while wheeling outside reach of stage.
There are no great secrets,
barbed network of lies.
There is this blood bludgeon
of power wielded by minions and slaves
with too little to win.
If a moonlit beach at midnight called siren songs,
embracing melody, calming waves —
if urgent desire brokered change.
O’ evil Man
It is not your gods who make you so.
They laugh at their celestial balls,
silly little mood slaves
primed to vomit sour wine,
feast after bloody binge.
Who is the moral gatekeeper,
the celebrated purveyor of righteousness?
Who the masked scoundrel,
cross-dressed wolves and lambs
in demonic jig?
A lively game to wile away some
Our children obscured in armament.
So many souls to devour.
Dig, deep into unlikely crevices.
covered in mud, old crusted blood,
more suffering than shame.
If none know my name,
can they curse me?
Always rehearsing for
untended curtains, productionless
Sally, won’t you go
Pick up some teabag party
We’ll teach ’em tricks of trade
from streets walled in by
Ain’t this nation grand
for glad hands raised in celebration
of shames we dare not name.
Hallowed ground baptized
Saved from the cleansing Flood
by sticking to our kind
however we’re defining us today
If we were meant to live
a different way
wouldn’t He have told us?
(Hollow) Theme Party
Bleeding across the page
a turn off
better passed by
Rather, let us speak of
solitude, the advantages
kept to oneself
No beasts lessen my load
No supplicants beg to share
Luxuriously wrapped in my lair
laughing and dancing on gold
acutely aware of thin cold urchins
out on a distant plain
They are no kin to me;
out there for atmosphere
I am Deity within this domain
blood you see splattered
on this page
fell from other veins
some poor unfortunate
released from pain
How pretty! Let’s party!
A gala affair, enraptured
alone in my lair
Depression facing outward
Taking power to give it away.
This entrained impulse
See them crackling, jangling
puppets at puppy play,
bite, bark, entangle,
grab and tussle,
growl, muscle in for the kill.
Natural as puke, as death,
violation as violent orgy
violation as ecstatic
initiation to the brotherhood.
Life elevated to dreams, goals,
careful weighing of coin and hours,
dependable plans, actions that honor can favor,
love, duty, allegiance to the rules of sanity
and kind regard
have no purpose here.
Men of blood and battle fluid
need no fine speeches, no valor —
only food and receptacles
for their waste.
Guilt as a constant drip of toxin
a constant flow of tears
a constant beat of blood
pounding behind my eyes
exhorting me to arise
to rise to the occasion
to fall upon my knees in shame
begging for any scrap to salve
that gnawing, angry pain
a constant burning drip
a ring of fire — pass not beyond this point
for life is not a journey
but a downward spiral.
What could such an open, curious, loving child have done
to merit such punishment?
Timothy McVeigh Is Still Dead
It’s morning in America
The morning of June 11, 2001
A warm and beautiful Spring day
And in Terre Haute, Indiana — a little after 7:00 am
–Timothy McVeigh is dead.
What more is there to say?
We all know the score:
Death: 169, Mercy: 0
The hero “bloody, but unbowed”
Silenced, but still proud
Ashes to scattered ashes
Death to death.
Scooping up the cornucopia of experience
gently nestled in moonbeams
at peace in a lullaby
into the world of lights and pain
too bright, too loud, too cacophonous
to embrace whole.
Whisp whispers shhh, whispers
of ideas, harnessed light,
ease into bits by bits
hypnotic meme streams
of clearly constructed grammar
sharing common tongue
that we may ease our fractured
in chorus of soothing nursery song.
See, we are the progeny of heroes.
Hear the laughter of the Almighty
among hosts of angels
here we are home.
Sweet, splintered home.
Here we learn to serve the giants,
give piously abased homage
to the slingers of arrows
that could rend us
bit by bloody bit.
No wonder we sing louder,
dance jerkily on starched,
Wouldn’t we agree to anything
that we be allowed
just a few aeons more.
The Business of Sickness
Good Day, Good Sir, Good Madam,
I do hope all is well
If not, we’ve got a spell
to cure what ails
You have come to just the place
Let us take your case
to solve the mystery,
make you quite alright,
and collect our fee
What else could be our motivation
We entered into this vocation
to fulfill a need society
finds compelling enough
to be shelling out to us
big magic currency
So let us take control
of your health
Whatever you hold dear
we’ll make our business here
Make a fist and let me take your blood.
Sweet old daddy
Doing his will in the night
Keeping the mamas afright
for the plight of each
beloved child, so tender
He really oughta be hung!
so say the neighbors, clicking
Take him to the magistrate
Fill his ears with the voice of hate
while he’s tied, defanged, prostrate
Let our will be done!
Tie him down in a prison cell
Make him feel the wrath of Hell
’til we all are bloody well
exhausted of our fun.
No need to delete old daddy
sweeping shit and burning bones
any toil we deem atones
to repay society’s loans
of wicked sowing days
assuring he damn well pays
for the pain and loss his wicked ways
marred our happy homes.
Sweet teardrop rainbow
bright drops of light
clean sparkling flowers
Taste enervating electricity
Feel blood bathing brain
Smell the air of change
like falling off a cliff
In the Future
houses will be wired
‘No thought crimes allowed, sir.
You’ll be coming with us
Cats and mice will play nicely,
or feel the juice
from which none come back
This is the way the world turns
from sanity or compassion
because we are cheaper than robots.
I am prickly, admittedly.
I come by it rightly.
Organically evolved defensive weapon
(note, no offensive weapon attached).
You must approach me with care.
Feel the velvet of my vibrant leaves, gently.
My flower, radiant in grace and wonder.
Musical poetry wafting, my enchanted perfume
calling for the discerning touch.
But grasp too hard, too clumsily,
without reflection, a thousand tiny cuts
push you far away.
In no time, you will heal,
leaving me to bleed forever,
attempting to clear from my system
your poisonous residue.
Let’s talk about this.
Exactly what are we afraid of?
Different skins, different thoughts?
“These people are not like us.”
Nor we like them.
Legends say we fear
and fight the barbarians.
A receding panorama
of battle upon battle.
Millennia of genocide
We must be strong warriors,
rough, sharp, explosive,
valiantly a barricade barrage
protecting Our valued and values
from Their predation.
Lines must be drawn clearly.
Womanly, childish fuzzy vulnerability
cast far behind, confined to
kept at bay with bitter laughter,
These patterns built up over
generations serve us well,
minimizing weakening contamination.
Where were you when I was dying?
Now that I am all but (merely nearly) dead
you mock me
beg my assistance
the dark fall-out
of your fantasies.
Blind to my bleeding, and your own,
how can anything I say
reach you anyway?
Return your pleading to your
Leave me to my resolutions.
Strangers all these years,
I feel no desire
in your dream.
blood taste long after midnight
not to entice your fright
to find the one
calls to mine
More and more
get less and less
the best sacrificed
to great God Success
brick by bloody brick
Is it a surprise
(“Look! Into my eyes!”)
when the peasants cackle
resurrecting the guillotine
hot metal shooting
making unmistakable mark
burning ragged skin and guts
Tell me a story, daddy
about before the war
when water flowed
in abundant freedom
when the air was pure
of the stench
when everybody had
a sacred right
and dance in the moonlight
when we could afford to be
young, untried, open
to possibilities not cut off
by a sacrificial knife
repeatedly deeply severing
without regard to the waste
with no respect for place
or the people for whom that space
Weapons forged in anger
built up shattered layers of
desperate pride, disrespect, grief
create festering wounds
poisoning the populace
unto the Seventh Generation
caught up in some grotesque
Gnats, fleas, mosquitoes, biting, buzzing
can inflict disease beyond their size
or intellect. Best to discover and cover with repellant
to quell their appetite for terrorizing we they see
as tempting treats of invigorated blood.
When the national project was stolen before our horrified stares
When it became our duty to kill and destroy for the convenience of profit
When humane policy became anathema, unworthy economic drag
When the will of the gambling elite gamed the rule of law to their pocket
Did you scream so loud that bitter blood poured from your lungs?
Did you set up mourning camps to gather forces,
to train grief and rage into worthy opponents against true freedom’s foes?
Did you gaze into the cold eyes of propagandists and say “No!”?
Or did you march along in the parade, assured: “First they get theirs; then we get ours.”?
Pink and Blue
(and red all over)
Fist shakes from rage
stagnant dying ocean
willing to be taken down
from fear to violence.
Call wild arms,
breast, sinew, shame.
Chemistry surges, overplays.
One mortal coup de grace
burst sword to heart
that never lived
If man is fire, dissolved
into greater waves,
why does Woman weep?
Why does not the flood
of pain absolve and
succor? Why should fate
deny blessings of mortal
release in wash of blood
to lady fair,
snakes and thistles to braid her hair,
expose her tortured face?
Eyes that kill in silence,
stone lips, wrinkled nose,
washed out in times of
stoic denial. Why must
she kneel, vile, victim
of violence, not its cause?
Who makes these laws of
Who takes the stone?
Who takes the stone’s projection?
Honoring righteous anger.
Not mean little sprites,
Chironic knights protecting me.
Cradling me so sweetly.
“Oh, no, dear, never forgive, never forget.”
Torture is no way to say you’re sorry.
Love whispered to me
in dreamlike memory
told me tales
told me lies.
I told myself those stories
whispering in the night
bereft of sleep.
I told myself of soft surrender.
Of gentle caressing days
dappled in sunlight,
lusty heat-soaked revelry
so poignant, so intense.
burns me through
each myelin sheathe
blood, guts, lungs, heart.
Viral penetration, consuming
strength, vitality, duration.
I am languid and torn.
From time to time I rally
to fight my own tears,
my own mind,
my own field of battle.
No one comes forth for me
to offer my surrender.
I can no longer breathe.
The anger breathes for me.
Gently wrapping me in
singing me a battle song
urging me to take respite
as it soothingly scrapes off
refreshing my wounds.
slivers, splinters, failing meaning
catch it, spinning out into the stars
bleeding rags fine red droplets
shredded hands, hopes, hearts
I can’t hold on, hold out, hold a good thought
bind the wound
tight and tenderly
as blood drips through your fingers
touching raw eroding senses
with gentle rain, dripping,
obscuring the view
I would curl up into destiny,
locking my lacerations
in dreams of false skins,
tightening, holding fast to the edges.
I would fall immortally into space,
I would lock my dreams in pasteboard boxes,
too tight for mortal breath.
the words whirl around, whirl around, whirl
like scattered bits of paper tears
I would hide in the deepest hold and
keep to life slowly seeping through.
but the hunger calls
it growls and jumps in fits to battle