Thursday, April 30, 2009

Notes from a Conversation

Hell, he said.
Alone, she said.
Anything, he said.
Wait, she said.
Wish, he said.
No, she said.

Is That A Poem In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

Celebrate the second national Poem In Your Pocket Day today by putting a poem in your pocket! Don't just leave it there, though, whip that sucker out from time to time during the day and read it to your friends and co-workers.

I put together a little -- 4.25" x 2.75" -- 16-page chapbook containing 14 of the poems I've shared here with you over the last several weeks.

Copies will be available for FREE at Left Bank Books and Subterranean Books here in the STL.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Listen to the Ether

In the center of the big room
Amazed and considerably dismayed
She saw no one else.

She realized almost immediately
That he had no interest.

He stood there trembling.

At this late moment
The ether was silent.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


tell him hey for mister granerford
the children yell
as i pass by the window of
the tenement on my way
to paradise.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weather Report

How was I to know
that in the middle of April
the sun would come out
and boom like a
cinema spook?

Sunday, April 26, 2009


"The trip might only
take a few months"

If that was true
If that was a fact

Nobody could see that

"We don't need guileless
innocence unhappily fighting"

"It would be kind of a shame
to get home in a year"

Saturday, April 25, 2009


dark tree branches
floating down
towards him.

when dreams came to him
even added mentally
something would remain unrevealed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Poem for R. Kelly

hidden he

she spoke

hidden he

hidden he
his face
for a moment

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dr. Benway Consults

he told his patient that
he had often cured such a mania
but that just in case
he should find
a transistor radio

[for William S. Burroughs]

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

None for Me, Thanks

The girl, along
with everyone else,
had to drink the tea
made from the bitter
leaves of regret.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Roldo the Fish-Headed Boy

Roldo was a boy
(that is, he was a young human
with a penis
who differed from the rest of his society
in that he had the head of a fish

Roldo was a bright boy
he was good at math
and at reading and writing
and he could ride a bicycle like
but, still, he had the head of a fish

Other boys were often cruel to Roldo
girls, (young humans with vaginas)
were also cruel to him
they (the boys and girls) made up a song

The song was about Roldo
when he would ride by on his bicycle
they would sing:
Roldo the fish-headed boy
he’s so ugly we want to cry
he’s a fish and he should fry
and then they would laugh

The singing and laughing hurt Roldo
but he loved riding his bike too much to

Roldo would often ride blocks
and blocks out of his way to avoid
other children and thus was sometimes
late in arriving at home
where he mother and father would be
anxiously awaiting his return

Mother and Father were worried about Roldo
they felt guilty about inflicting a fish-headed child
on the world and the world
on a fish-headed child
and they were afraid that something would
happen to him and somehow their guilt would be

But, still, they loved Roldo and when he would
return in tears they would hug and kiss him
and tell him that everything would be alright
and though they hadn’t really believed it
as the years passed things did begin to get better

Roldo’s fish-headedness became less and less
Until one day Roldo was just an average
and went out riding his bike
and no one laughed or sang

Sunday, April 19, 2009

And Still

You rip the mask from my face
It falls at my feet
The scales drop from my eyes
I can see you plainly now
You can see me clearly now
I lash out with a jagged blade of rage
You are cut
You bleed
Sorry I'm sorry I say
I pull the mask from your face
I lay it at your feet
The scales drop from your eyes
You can see me clearly now
I can see you plainly now

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Left At Home, Again

She practices her ballroom dancing
the hall
her broom for a partner.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Poem for Your Confusion (A Song for Michael Stipe to Sing)

Around and around and around
Floating floating floating
down to the sky
up to the ground
give me an ounce give me a pound
around and around and around

Go to the well go to the well
fight back tears
fight back tears
go to the well go to the well

Silence silence silence
I want to hear a pin drop
a pin drop
fall from your grace
laughter laughter laughter

Around and around and around
swimming swimming swimming
into the water
into the sea
give me an ounce give me a pound
around and around and around

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Faster Than Light (FTL)

The stars exploded in a flash of
indignation when the ship reached
light speed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Four O'Clock

Four in the morning found him
at his typewriter
-- fast asleep --
his coffee cup filled with
-- cigarette butts --

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Good Cry

Tiny, blazing, tears
came streaming down
his cheeks when
he realized
she wasn't

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Short Story With No Moral #4

There was once a young woman who was obsessed with obsequiousness. She had heard someone being referred to as obsequious, like the way it sounded, and resolved to one day become obsequious herself.

Unfortunately, the young woman was not entirely sure of what the word meant. Being of a somewhat proud nature, she was reluctant to ask anyone for a definition. The young woman was convinced, however, that to be obsequious was to be grand and important.

The picture the young woman had in her head was of herself, dressed in the most beautiful gown in the world, descending a marble staircase that ended in a huge ballroom filled with the most elegant of the elegant. As she came into sight, heads would turn in her direction, there would be gasps, and someone would say quietly to her friend, “Isn’t she just too too obsequious?”

On only one occasion did the young woman ever tell anyone about her dreams of obsequiousness. She happened to have been in bed with a young man of whom she was quite fond – dreams of marriage alternated with dreams of obsequiousness – and they were exchanging secrets of the heart. The young man had just finished telling the young woman of his longing to be the manager of a Denny’s restaurant when the young woman suddenly blurted out, “I want to be obsequious!”

The young man laughed. It was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. The young woman, who on rare occasions might say “please” or “thank you,” and who would butt in lines and when asked to pass something at the dinner table would say “You’ve got arms. Get it yourself,” wanted to be obsequious. It was to laugh.

The young woman, however, did not laugh. She was deeply hurt and angry. She thought that the young man was laughing at her for wanting to be grand and important. She thought he was laughing at her dreams. “Get out,” she screamed at the young man. “Get out of my bed! Get out of my house! And get out of my life!”

The young man sat in stunned silence for a moment, very quietly said, “O.K.,” and wordlessly got dressed, gathered up his things and left the apartment.

That was the last the young woman ever saw of the young man. She would often think of that night and how things had gone wrong. As the years went by, she grew more and more convinced that the young man had meant to hurt her and, thus, she grew to hate him. Eventually, her hate grew too much for just the one young man and she began to hate all men.

One day she received a letter notifying her that her aunt had died leaving her five million dollars. “I’m rich,” she thought, “I can quit my job and do anything I want. I can be obsequious now. First, I’ll go out and buy myself the most beautiful gown I can find.”

The woman, who by this time as no longer young, made plans to throw a huge party in the most exquisite hotel in Vienna, Austria. She invited everyone who was anyone, and a few who weren’t, and she even invited the man, who was also, of course, no longer young, who had hurt her.

After months of preparations, the day of the party finally arrived. The woman boarded the jet airliner that would carry her to Austria. She was eating caviar and drinking champagne when the airliner went into a nosedive and crashed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

News of the disaster reached the party at midnight. At first a hushed silence fell over the crowd. Finally, a Texas millionaire broke the silence. “Well, shucks, as long’s were all here, let’s make this the best goddamn wake Vienna, Austria’s ever seen!”

And so they did.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Her few words
wound their way
her lips
to my
as though
they were
a sleigh
coming down
a mountain

Saturday, April 11, 2009


In the ark
the animals became
very, very, very, very

Ask Noah.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Fifteen hundred per minute
is quite fast
if you stop to think of it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pardon Me, I Thought You Were Someone Else

Grasping the hand thrust
from the cylindrical room
brought him
face to face
with the future,
like it or not.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Amen, Omen, Amen

Even though you,
as an omen,
have the advantage of being
taken very seriously
I wouldn't advise anyone
to talk to Mama.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And Away You Go

He would have inquired
after them
had the ghosts of the house
not spirited
him away.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


The night birds flew screeching
through the flame-licked ruins
of torn and twisted legends of
greater times.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


As if courage could be transmitted
he developed an entire science
for the generation to come.

Friday, April 3, 2009


He drank whiskey
from the bottle
with one hand.

Hhe drew her face
in the sand
with the other.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


They lay down
in an unmarked field of snow
behind a silent tree.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


If it's worth
writing at all,
it's worth overwriting.

* * * *

Happy National Poetry Month!


National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

Who started it? The Academy of American Poets has led this initiative from its inception in 1996 and along the way has enlisted a variety of government agencies and officials, educational leaders, publishers, sponsors, poets, and arts organizations to help.