29 July, 2006


The snow is piled up against the woodshed,
the woodshed is piled up against the house,
and we are all sitting around the table
the table is thick with maple-flavored syrup.

There is a cast-iron stove sulking behind you
on top of the stove is the last of the wheat bread
and it’s becoming the last of the wheat toast.
in the fridge is the butter-packets from the restaurant.

Today we are supposed to finish this coffee
and zip up our parkas and stomp around the house
picking up empty beer cans and bagging them all
to bring down to the store for the bottle deposit.

Man at the store doesn’t give us any money,
just credit for some more wheat bread, some
honey, some bologna, some more coffee,
and another case of canned domestic beer.

We give Man all our dollars and cents
from a weeks worth of painting and playing
at being working stiffs behind the counters
and at the workbenches of our town.

But today is Sunday and we have no work
To do and no toils to carry on our backs
So when we get home we will have a fire
And we will sit around it and laugh music.


Repeat four times your incantation
it will make him vulnerable
his teeth will flash
that is your cue
this is your only chance
before it's camouflaged again.


You were refusing.
I sensed the deceptive cadence,
a hanging vapor
some small surrender.

It was this I stashed in a bladder,
the balloon of your doubt.
With some string
it pulls me upwards
through the stratosphere.

I survey some landmass,
a continent with no depth or shadow.

27 July, 2006


when, in winter, we paused
beneath the yawn of the cathedral’s door
for one whole, slow minute
to watch winter happen to our town
I could feel your skin,
damp and cold, through your wool
and my flannel –
I tugged you in closer,
so we only made one breath-cloud.

08 July, 2006

a new ethic

this uneasy and tired night,
settled firmly into the ground
like interlocking parts
of a whole portrait.

the story of our lives
displayed monochromatically.
the lights of every living room
abolish the stars.

the darkness is like winter,
thin and built of wires, like
saying hello to your uncle
at a funeral

alone in every bedroom
we wait impatient for
our due diligence to
pay off in the long run

every back to a television set
we are bound together in
our communal ignorance of
the soft blue-green light emitted.

this year we have begun to read
all the books we want to have read
not for us, but for how they look
creased and annotated on our shelves

we have impeccable taste in music
it’s cultivation, a scar
here between the rolling hills
all we have is depth.

Writing our poems after midnight,
smoking cigarettes like in our dreams.
we are the poets of suburbia –
we’ve learned to ignore the TV.

And another

what do you do
when you were raised so far from livestock
that you cannot remember blood or milk?
do you cower at the stench of birth,
or can you learn to be born again
in the other America?
I am holding out hope that I was wrong,
that the vindication of my generation fast approaches,
and we will be set free of all machinery.
I am trying to write the great American poem,
but not from what I’ve sensed –
from the other America.

I’ve lost sleep, waiting
for the rebirth of wonder not in new, wonderful things
but a passionate scenic view
coming up on our right.
when I look over the cliff I see the water tower,
and the closed down mill.
I see a hundred stories I can never write.

so, I wait, and wonder –
will it all shift so heavy?
am I living in the other America?

05 July, 2006

After midnight, we're gonna let it all hang out.

as soon as she told me, I knew
the ledge wouldn’t hold,
underneath my hand it would crumble
and away
into the void I could follow it
reach out and beckon
and clinging to the debris
like a comfort item
make my peace with the ravine.

03 July, 2006

Another from July 3rd

all the sweaters and tea cups in new england couldn’t remind me enough of you
to break my heart all over again just for the fun of it
and try and close my eyes and tighten my face
to forget that you ever breathed
right next to my face
when the rain
was on the

east on 495
with the top down
and the radio way, way up
winding our way to your house
far from the town we grew up in
and learned what it meant to love and
forgot everything we ever knew about hearts.
all the sweaters and tea cups in new england couldn’t remind me enough of you.

After the Fireworks

I am the ghost of summers past
the kinetic reminder of sweat
and worship
the fearless explorer on Sunday afternoons
fueled by sunlight and teas.

the fearless explorer with
intrepid bookmarks
memories of a thousand chapters
the history of our language

secret jazz trumpeter
cannot tell a lie.