Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Air Above

amusing to consider something i said
thirteen years ago when we first met
in a single cavern of this house
it was not you who agreed to give
could not possibly have been you
the air above places has got to be
right and all, i said

Monday, June 29, 2009


she saw it as nothing
much to remember as long
as she had never felt
a desire to do so before

it was one of her rare
impulses of joy

ours; we were done
stood at one end
in the same darkness
she seemed very quiet

Friday, June 26, 2009


he had not seen why
could not ask even for an explanation
he dreamed about it to repeat it
it keeps things close, he said,
even if they were not
far away, though, before
and, it seems, were more near

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Slow Twist

he's being carried past us.
it is, as a thing, a new way of looking,
a slow twist,
a kind of indignation.
we still feel it, though,
but not as much as before,
this emptiness in the middle.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


the slow tumble
a phantom embrace
in early summer

Saturday, June 20, 2009


we could depend on a sharp glance
a very likely possibility
as she bent to desire. the sun
jumping through a region altered.
she gave a too large smile;
he grunted, glanced at us, worried.
then, we said nothing about it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Morning Glory

bleak, moonlit autumn
shimmering, dimly seen
girls, again, and going
to the right place
ambiguous, yet
nowhere, blurred
blue peaking high

for Karl Kaltenthaler

Thursday, June 18, 2009


we were all excited
we would have dodged
fire struck
from her breath
but by the time
we started out
sudden darkness
scapegoats invented

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

An Elegy of Sorts

I have remembered
The passing
Close to the end
It helped
We all knew we were
So large, so low
I have realized

Monday, June 15, 2009


i'm crying in quiet rage
slowed down voice, wearily
i laughed and went back
conveniently forgetting that
we had made it to next door

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Storm

as solid as a stick
you remembered feline cruelty
turned, whistled softly
a cruel hurricane
no pattern
legs, arms, and chest
gotten there only by inches
she shrugged, gently

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garden Party

complex light leaving you to
it to be embarrassed by noise
already in the music
never before music
garden party sound
of life brightening thick
almost as good as jumping out
it seemed the best

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Office

amiable, careful
"up to date"
i didn't listen
"pay attention"
completely out of touch
jabbering at me.
"manager," he said.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

At Last

he looked everywhere positively
again frantic his eyes
no luck then you returned
you knew already the hardness
we would lie on the bed
down the middle think of
someone you had heard, seen
quiet for once he tried to watch
your fingers your eyes
could not tear his eyes away

morning came to find us
somewhat delayed but sleepless
tongues hanging out, kissing
at last

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


hard-board prone on the kitchen floor
immediately your words raised
from inaudible
so quickly i understand at last
having been yourself

again and across and back

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Clean Break

warmth of her skin nice, safe
drew closer not too reason
dark leather on soft and pink
laughter, no good
a silence, clean break

daylight now mockery

Monday, June 8, 2009

"Let's Go"

close to his body frustrated desperation
impossible, though, over the curved
slightly raised mound all the way down
fixed, apparently, plains across gold
going down no doubt
she had come, that morning
locked on to her, a shame to end
cheating, it, here

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Compared to What

a dreary place the sun
no longer at her back
flat, featureless, could not
see, made for less
strayed too far, cold and wet
no sound, snow and wind
too, the absence liked

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Wine Bar

all the young people: indifferent company
idiot storms: intelligence little
touch and clink face to face
meaningless but, soon,
obscurely disturbing
light, deceptive, friendships
ultimate loneliness versus
suppressed impulses

Friday, June 5, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 3

It was 10:30 by the time I felt sufficiently revived to venture out of the office into the streets. The first place I went was to the bank where I cashed a check for $100. From there I made my way to a barber shop where [a saint with scissors] managed to get me looking somewhat respectable.

The next stop was a Goodwill resale store where I picked out a sort of cliche movie detective outfit: dark suit, tan overcoat, and a battered but not beaten fedora. I was hoping that Curt would get the joke. I returned to the office where I changed into my getup. Things had been going well and showed every sign of continuing that way.

When I called the public library to ask for information about Ramiland, I was connected to a very friendly and helpful librarian who sounded like she'd be a lot of fun when she wasn't being a librarian. She didn't know anything off hand about Ramiland but told me that she could locate some sources for me if I wanted to come by and pick them up. I told her that was fine and told myself not to get too excited about the librarian. She was probably about 70-years-old and most likely had a figure like a baby elephant.

She wasn't and she didn't, I found out when I got over to the library. We had a pretty good time talking and she thought my detective outfit was as amusing as it was supposed to be. We exchanged phone numbers and promised to make it out to a club sometime in the very near future. The only sources she had been able to find were articles in two magazines, which she handed over to me with a wink.

And here, dear reader, my story grinds to an expository halt never to recover, except for this brief passage:

It was around 2:00 when I finished reading The librarian I took the magazines back to was 70-years-old and did have the figure of a baby elephant. She had a pretty voice and I was in a good mood so I flirted with her for a little bit. We didn't exchange phone numbers, though, and I didn't even get a wink.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 2

My clothes were in even worse shape than my hair. The Hawaiian tourist shirt had never been the height of fashion and was now just barely wearable. It did go, more or less, with the Army surplus fatigue pants I had on. The splotch of puke, my own or someone else's I couldn't remember, on my right thigh came pretty close to matching the flowers on the shirt. I didn't think Curt or his family would appreciate that too much.

I looked around the lovely Black Diamond Detective Agency for something else to wear but couldn't find anything. I did find my checkbook in a pair of black-and-pink checked pants that I couldn't remember ever wearing. Look at them now, I was glad that I didn't. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had $450 in my account. It was obviously money left over from the last time I had worked as a laborer on a construction site. I certainly hadn't worked on a $450 case for a least a year. As a matter of fact, I hadn't worked on a case of any kind -- cases of beer excluded -- for 6 months. Maybe I'd been working on too many cases of beer.

(To Be Continued)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Black Diamond Detective Agency, Part 1

Note: Way back in 1980 I took a fiction writing class at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville taught by Lloyd Kropp, and my final project was a short story that, frankly, doesn't live up the the promise of it's first two and a half pages. Those first pages, though, are worth posting here.

It was 9:45 in the morning when the ringing of the telephone ended my sweet dreams. I know it was exactly 9:45 in the morning when the telephone rang because I'm a detective and I get paid to remember little details like that. It had been a long time since I'd been paid for remembering little details, though, so I did a fairly good imitation of a man leaping out of bed to answer the phone. The imitation was flawed because I was sleeping on the floor of my office and only had to roll over on my side to answer the phone. As far as I was concerned, I was leaping out of bed and it's the thought that counts.

"Uh, yeah, what do you want?" I inquired of my caller.

"This is Black Diamond Detective Agency, isn't it?" I allowed that it was and further admitted that I was George Blake, head honcho. "George," the caller continued in much happier and excited tones, "this is Curt Simonson. I just got into town a couple of days ago and I thought I'd give you a call to invite you over."

"Oh, hello, Curt. It's been a long time. You've been off in Africa or someplace, right?"

"That's right. I've been doing fieldwork in Ramiland in eastern Africa. The political situation got pretty hot so I decided it was about time to come home to the family for awhile."

"So you're back at "the Mansion," eh? I think I can still remember how to get there. What time do you want me?"

"Around 3:30, if you can make it. And, George, I may have to ask you to mix a little business with pleasure."

"That's fine with me. Lord knows I could do with a little of both. I'll see you at 3:30, then. 'Bye." I hung up and began getting ready for the upcoming reunion. The first thing I needed, I saw when I finally located a mirror under a pile of old newspapers on my desk, was a shave and possibly a haircut. A haircut soon became a necessity when it became obvious that no amount of combing was going to produce any style other than grubby. It'd been a long time since I'd dealt with anyone who would mind hiring a detective whose hair was grubby.

(To Be Continued)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


going on and on
spread, sprawled, increased
touched, twitching, octopus
tentacles, machines, belts
vanished, swallowed
here and there
they were swamped
throats blazed
in their turn
vanished, eaten
searched, forced
seemed, becalmed
and it was not enough

Monday, June 1, 2009


he thought, he did think
even on the hill
he had known
he had denied
foliage vanished
molten sunset
gone, she
had been more beautiful
he had believed
beauty exotic, not tentative
her cruel smile, her
in a smile
still remained as
she would tell