17 October, 2007


All along the concrete sea wall the tide breaks restlessly in measured frenzy
Sensing its domination of earth is approaching and coveting its destination

The rude boardwalk floats damply over the grasping fingers of salt water
Its pilings silent, clogged with must and clamped heavily with a fertile scent

On every bench some child’s hero sleeps off their fearless traipses sonorously
Their cacophony beneath the throaty moans of fog-rich air frosted with salt

Everything lost on the other shore journeys here with purposeless determination
And rejoined with its waterlogged brethren assaults the sea wall on the downbeats.


down beside the road-edge I waited, sitting in the yellow of the sun
I divided that yellow from the green beneath me, under my hands.

Smoothing it all out, pushing the wrinkles off this American lawn
when it is ready I will rest my head, and I will pull it up over me

How many things, neither yours nor mine, are still slumbering here
where there are no traces of melody, only damp persistent rhythm

in the somnolent mounds of this country there remains for all days
an entire America, which was long ago discovered and forgotten.

16 October, 2007


The music is questionable: the question is immaterial
Over the roar of the sea: there is only the occasional gull.

A raw squawk breaks time: I have forgotten some memory
That frightens me: it is possible to erase anything, then.

Without any guidepost: I walk up and down the strand
Dividing up all the debris: some flotsam and some jetsam.

Time recedes all around me: soon it rushes back to my feet
Though: this certain ebb and flow dissolves the footprints.

15 August, 2007

a LOVE poem

I find an urging,
circumspect but sturdy - a heart murmur
growing into a heart-shout.
Feeling this feeling,
this feeling about you
feels to me somehow
like an admirable quality.

I want to find,
(after baffling through thickets
and thickening baffles)
myself at your front door
the front door of you
with probably some warm
orange lamp-glow.

I should like to come inside
and rest awhile
while the snow melts off my pants
in front of your fire

09 July, 2007


Some old poems I found,
I found in one of them a line about
and what they mean to us,
we who use them
so easily,
like some hat we wear.
But I wear silly hats
these days.

I have long ago hung up
anything that might attract you,
now I am left with only
those hats that repulse you.

When I wear them out in public,
I breathe deeply.
I don't wonder if you'll be looking at me today.


I arrange things a certain way,
no empiricism can quantify
the mathematics of these arrangements.
They are beyond mathematics,
alone in the hall with pseudoscience
and raw compulsion.

Tallest to smallest,
over and again.

You cannot possibly hope
to translate this language,
to become fluent.
You know this,
I know this too.

But still you seem willing
to try.
Like books running
tallest to smallest,
that makes me feel right,
and seems beautiful.


I have built a small fort of silence,
and all that is good.

There is a moat of expectation,
and if you are willing to get wet
you can come
live in this fort
with me.

There are rich tapestries on the walls,
scenes of my greatest embarrassments.
There are fresh flowers
in every room.

The table is set
with such a fine repast,
you wouldn't believe.

06 May, 2007

Suburbia Grand

Suburbia Grand

“Ah, why
Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd and under roofs
That our frail hands have raised?”

- William Cullen Bryant, from “A Forest Hymn”

"It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way."

- Christopher Morley, from “The Haunted Bookshop”


So, here we are in America,
full of stuff.
This poem will be suburban, pedestrian,
you name it.
This poem will have a lot to do
with television.
We are long past realizing
the author will never die.
We won’t let him, but
we’d like to.
So – we keep him on life-support.
Some of us, like lampreys
grasp the conduits of nature
but perhaps we are just
redistributing our own nature.
Isn’t that deep? Let’s discuss it -
over dinner.
Dinners over and we forget to discuss it.
We’re too full to talk.
Let’s just rest a while,
let’s watch some T.V.

I’m trying to write this poem for the rest of us.
You sure as hell won’t.
Who writes poetry anymore?
We read poetry now.
Maybe, if you’re lucky,
or trying
to get lucky.
Who writes in this sad-bastard
with sarcastic apathy
tone of voice


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?


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.


Directions Distance
Total Est. Time: 35 minutes Total Est. Distance: 22.28 miles
1: Start out going SOUTHEAST on KENMARE ST toward BOWERY. <0.1 miles
2: KENMARE ST becomes DELANCEY ST. 0.4 miles
4: Take I-278 E / BROOKLYN QUEENS EXPY. 1.9 miles
5: Take the I-495 / L I EXPWY exit- EXIT 35- toward MIDTOWN TUN. 0.1 miles
6: Merge onto I-495 E via EXIT 35E toward EASTERN LONG IS. 15.5 miles
7: Take EXIT 37 toward WILLIS AVE / ROSLYN / MINEOLA. 0.1 miles
8: Stay STRAIGHT to go onto POWERHOUSE RD. 0.5 miles
9: Turn LEFT onto ROSLYN RD. 0.6 miles
10: Turn RIGHT onto HARBOR HILL RD. 0.5 miles
11: Turn LEFT onto CHESTNUT DR. 0.2 miles
12: End at Chestnut Dr
Roslyn, NY 11576-2338, US
Total Est. Time: 35 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 22.28 miles


The car glides through
scenery that is only an anagram of
scenery from five, ten, two hundred miles behind.

I see my reflection in the constant brown rocks on the roadside
in their blue-grey icicles
I see:
the ever-present yearn downwards,
an eternity of failure.

Each road sign that waxes and wanes is a reminder
a mirror image of all other testaments to highway safety
another reminder of the vast rolling sameness of New England.

Like a bullet, our journey has no plot arc,
we are only the straight line, dashed, from point A to point B.

I roll down the window/, -


and on the wind comes molecules of dust and scents rural and right,
the smokes from chimney tops are a hundred rude exclamation marks to my
discovery of America.
I am the new Christopher Columbus, sailed the ocean blue-
me big man now in history books.

Instantaneously I am the world’s foremost expert on apple pie.
narrating this tour with fireworks of gesticulation,
peals of sound over the roar of the wind in through the

I have inborn knowledge now awakened of the secret lives of trees
from inception to destruction
I want to pull over and commute my sentence in favor of
a thick-booted and face burning run through the forest so much nearer now.


Roslyn, NY

Some things you should know:
1. Population: 2,750
2. Median Resident Age: 43.9 yrs
3. Estimated Mean Household Income in 2005: $80,700
4. Races in Roslyn:
* White Non-Hispanic (83.3%)
* Hispanic (6.3%)
* Chinese (2.6%)
* Two or more races (2.6%)
* Black (2.3%)
* Other race (2.0%)
* Asian Indian (1.6%)
* Korean (1.3%)


This now-ended delirium
a vast gash across America
the defeat of boundaries.
Suffocated in black Indiana heat
begin again to dream your night away
and see if you can breathe at all
without a lovable mystery to hold.

Red car,
the lightning bolt of perfect wisdom that cuts through the void
marks the history of this movement incrementally
with no end in sigh beyond the horizon
which even in sweaty earnest we cannot conquer.

at night, as if a light through the webbing of your fingers,
we see the red and white veins of American are glowing with the comings and
goings hither and yon beneath the watchful eye of the moon.

worried about America,
we are worried about ourselves.


I have seen a vision mighty, made me shake
and I kid you not friend, you would shiver to
stand in its presence is to know who you are
and are not, and what you are built of inside.

There is no place to hide when it comes up
screaming up your spine and explodes upon
the insides of your eye-lids, no blanket built
yet strong enough to hide beneath successfully

standing foot frozen and frightened I (you)
found no comfort in mankind’s history in fact
it was detrimental to the whole experience but
also it was the whole experience, somehow.


Dearest mother, American night,
I am deathly afraid:
of losing myself in the folds of your bosom.
Driving so far form the lights of men
that there is no reference left for
direction and in all the blackness
I am forever in some residential community.

05 May, 2007

It's Science.

Confound my attempt to flat-out disregard science and parallel
your every move with one more cleverly staged and my own.

Deny my spiritual advice and risk disintegration of emotion
but reflect on the positive results of total mechanical integration.

Circumspect and sophistic but clearly some kind of valiant push
towards the geography of your slumber, unassailable and down.

03 May, 2007

An Old Favorite


Uncle Tom’s cabin is the Rosenberg’s vacation home,
Packed with people until the walls, the whole thing, swells like a waterbed.
Flubbing on the otherwise paperish landscape,
The landscape that rustles slightly in the wind and has no depth to the intrepid eraser.
Gandhi’s rags were burned with the trash,
Lincoln’s last shaving razor was launched by his houseboy into the wastebasket,
A post-mortem precursor to the American Basketball Association.

Another one from the Archives

He walks lines narrow waiting ledge
Fear the great white a-coming in wind.

The night time is like plum pudding and
When he tries to tell her that he wants to see other people
His mouth gets clogged and he only
Tells her he wants to see.

Above them the fireworks are a Bruce Springsteen song
Twice repeated from the horizon
The ex navy-men sit in folding chairs with Schlitz
And they quote the tide as it comes and,
Like their libido, recedes.

Here on the shore he brought her
Here he walked out on the pier
Here he was ringing a dinner bell out across empty fields

A newer poem about an older friend

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 frost
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.


I have seen a vision mighty, made me shake
and I kid you not friend, you would shiver to
stand in its presence is to know who you are
and are not, and what you are built of inside.

There is no place to hide when it comes up
screaming up your spine and explodes upon
the insides of your eye-lids, no blanket built
yet strong enough to hide beneath successfully

standing foot frozen and frightened I (you)
found no comfort in mankind’s history in fact
it was detrimental to the whole experience but
also it was the whole experience, somehow.

02 May, 2007


From out of the sky, falling there came a piece of something
that was not of this our world, neither mine nor yours besides.

We cautiously approached the smoking crater like two gazelles
and twitching with alarm and sweating we inched our necks out.

What we saw is not to be said but when we left we left slowly
ambling towards the edge of the clearing, no longer afraid.

No Title Yet

I don’t suppose I can write
a love poem well enough
yet to turn the tide from
receding to approaching.
Still I try to stop and can’t.

Wanting to write a poem
is not the same as writing
a poem, which is different
still from reaching you.
There are lines between.

I put on Dylan’s record,
“New Morning” now and
then and when he sings I
wish I had a phonograph
built into my throat.

Opening my mouth you
would hear and know how
I felt, and you might feel
the same way, when the
drums came in you’d know.

01 May, 2007

Poems of Days


On Saturday morning, feeling slack
a loose arrangement of limbs
suspended in this borrowed bed.
In defiance of the sun’s ascent
seek out the shady corner of the porch
to sit awhile and read a book.
Eat a bite and make small talk
before you return to your bungalow
to fetch your typewriter out of your case
and try to retrace steps between
a temporary desk and a temporary pillow.
I wonder will today be
the day I write a fine poem
and remember the words of my teacher
about forgetting.
In an all pink room with zebra rug,
morning comes,
a welcome rotation
from the dark.

30 April, 2007

so, yeah - this is a bit odd I suppose

His Angels

"And lo! Swedenborg is the Angel sitting at the tomb;
his writings are the linen clothes folded up."

-William Blake

From within the earth, out of the dust and stone
a man was issued forth, and he was finely hewn
he sought to know the word, and with the word
the royal we he entertained, he showed the lord

And though for failing to find he turned away
so this a falling soft vessel shaped of clay
did claim to know the courses one ought live
blood of Christ, body of Christ, a gift to give

For this his crimes and his dissenting mind
he was charged a danger, blind leading blind
And yet from this dangerous home departed
a chosen child born to die, broken-hearted

Learned and traveled, so farther and wider
did he in his way encompass all like a gyre
and being somewhat proud and younger still
he poured out his mind before it might fill

pages of books and scraps of worn paper
occupied by thoughts which never taper
until in full pride and science brought
he dreamed men where they are naught

though time enough and world he had
it was not for these pursuits he was bred
perhaps it was he a labyrinth desired
that the Nordic Deadelus required

yet there grew within the man
a slow cry slowly growing to fullness
from which no academic chair might cease
and leave him think as he might please

he sensed a division, yet not wide enough
to slide his hand gently between elements
so close though they must be he thought
but beyond each other’s grasp, never caught

seeking to find he went abroad again
and looked under every rock and man
to find the place where soul and flesh
walk silently onward hand in hand

but something still was in retreat
his science failing and dying now
he found himself alone with Him
whom he sought to please most

but which shall take the throne and
which shall know Him best of all
a gilded mirror, framed in flesh
or a sallow painting, burning with love?

over dinner, it was and ought to have been
as he took into him all the flesh and meat
provided by Him, and of Him taken forth
did the man find an answer waiting in the dark

so it came and was no more a questioning
there was in all his rooms no longer a silence
but from this maw into which he had sobbing gazed
now issued forth companions to walk beside him.

for years that followed the man did walk with they
who were first-loved, who knew him best
and in those dark places and high places
he saw all he sought reflected in their faces

what followed is a library, built upon madness
supported by volumes sung in sing-song at night
and though in death he was still alone, faithful –
he cried to the darkness as it came up to meet him

24 April, 2007

Empty Your Bowl

three flags wildly flapping and clapping loudly in the midnight breeze
I am casually rolling home wearing a garland of garbage and leaves
there is a dull wet stink of life and
it is pierced by the breeze that gesticulates the flags fiercely
and scattered it
like a snow globe
is a terrible ordeal which blinds you like a swarm of locusts
until it finally settles down.

there is righteousness tonight in each place I put my shoe
I am the saint of this boulevard

stooping low I reach out my hairy hand and pinch between my thumb and my forefinger
a lowly worm
fleeing the flooding of his home
but the flooding is abated
and he is a blind man in the desert with: a very limited supply of water
I pick him up and bring him home,
like a child running away from home and this time it’s real
but it’s also a mistake
and I’m saving the day.

11 February, 2007

the original "what poetry is, to me"

Poetry, for me, seems to be several things all at once; and intersection of various points in time, space, and emotional expanse that coexist in the arrangement of units (letters, numbers, signs, words, etc) on the face of a page. There is a tension in poetry that is the result of multiple presences, diametric opposites even, maintaining a tenuous balance – what I mean to say is, poetry needs to have both levity and gravity in each individual moment, so that each component can float up into your mind, then fall like a piano down into your heart and soul. Poetry pulls both ways, and while it pulls it also pushes, lifts and crushes, builds and destroys, illuminates and confuses, ad infinitum, et cetera, et cetera.
Like all art, it is something like a cross between demonic possession and cabinetry. It is eagles falling from heaven, but more importantly it’s also the memories of your childhood. It’s memories you haven’t made yet. Poetry is the recipe for nostalgia, even for places you have not been. Lightning bolt-nighttime razor blade multifaceted diamond wheel of infinity. The perfect wisdom that cuts through the void. Poetry is the difficulties of metacognition. It is the wall we build. It is also the sledgehammer.
This is a poem for you.

Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

Gary Snyder

when you awake you will remember everything.

What is a Sunday poem?
a Sunday poem is an annotated map,
a history of a weekend
vague remembrance
compounded by some white light moments -
conversational pleasure that left you reeling.
silence that left you reeling.

You wrote all these lines the night before
racing tomorrow to your bed,
and yet, nothing falls out right in the morning.

SO - I've changed to a new template, this one is more austere I think. If you're wondering where the archives are - Scroll to the bottom.

01 February, 2007

New Project, Successive Haiku

Working at night
we are all alone –
all of us together

18 January, 2007

a comission

The blueness of water
at night and in between
the damp stoicism of the dock pilings
plays a memory-game with sea-captains
born too late.

the other blueness of water
is not on our palettes
we can only make art
to facilitate its memory.

the blueness of water
against the stark white wall
in the silent light and foot-shuffling:
near enough
to make the captain shake.