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i laid flat, heavy as an empty sack
on molar flats of the toothy divide.
steady the ugly houses and the lake
swum green and grey to each side, staggering
in slow and foamy swells behind my eyes.

while nearer me, the nearer elements
fixed each to each, spit-swapping molecules:
neuronic ones, in generous display
hung raw-baked; locked in liquid heat
were giving over golden summer coats
that still decayed in drifts against the rocks.

the lake is stirred in primordial thirst,
licks-lashes at the tumbled prison walls
and drinking in the silt and salt of now,
erodes by moment those intemporal stones.

still dancing over jealous michigan,
dust webs and young storms court the governors
of light, a pageant cycle without end,
and whose great judges favor like old cats,
here playing, then indifferent, then cruel
but never passing sentence in the last.

i am ambassador here from a place
no less mighty, though better understood,
whose task without task is to chronicle
moods of forces i cannot comprehend.

lightning takes umbrage at my whim, and i
subject to death, take shelter from the sky

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Stormy

I know little and understand less.

As for you,
I would be wind
Racing across the lake,
Changing light’s play on the surface.
I would be breath
Rolling over the shore,
Brushing worry into smooth, soft beds.

I am a brief storm; you are a brilliant stone.
I am impulse; you are permanence.

This is my romance:
Selfish, self-sacrificing.

You are another tempest.
Ancient and heavy, I am shelter from the whirlwind.

I understand so little and know so much.
We are storm and stone, wind and waves.
A gray day is ours for dancing.

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low thoughts

A staggering wind like drunkard heaving presses unwelcome against my mass.

What red infant’s fist unfurls the buds of leaves in the spring, and what bony talon rakes them into a rattling, dry death when the warm breath of fall whistles away into steel winter?

I remember pushing through walls of bodies in crowded streets and at events and during instances of urgent passing.

I am not entirely aware of myself. There are things I know: dimensions and lengths in units that make some rough sense of how I stick out into space. I have an idea of my appearance, and have studied my reflection vainly or with dissatisfaction from day to day.

All of this fails to come entirely to use when I attempt to steer myself sideways and slide, coated and careful and catlike, past an oncomer rushing opposite my direction. I mean no molestation, but there is an error in my awareness and the bulk of my great ship careens, victim to some careless undercurrent. Some belly, limb or ass failed to report its sum to the navigator and now we smush, crash, or sliiiide across the hull of our adversary.

“M’sorry” as I pick up speed, beating a hasty retreat, a practiced and well-worn tactic in escaping a distressing encounter.

I am in years just beyond the blind corner of thirty.

While I do not expect that I will ever die, I admit that an eventual end hangs around the front of my brain more often these days that when I was stumbling break-neck through those foetal days of teen-age and twenties.

Leaves fall with the imperceptible shattering of limbs. Did they know when they were green, or when they fought the sun for golden brilliance? What exhale of a sleepy god tells the leaves that their time has come?

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Descriptive exercise

Padding across the wood plastic floor of their high, safe rooms, he paused. His eyes raised from the dusty sill, peering through the weatherproofed panes and fine metal screen that held the room against the icier drafts of winter.

Through the diced and blurred reality of the mesh screen, the rooftop world was a blur of tiny cells. The cells were blocked in places by a thumbprint smudge, a loose hair, or the windblown fuzz of seeding plants. In the fruitless suspension of the window screen they waited out their half-life of promise, potential randomly entrusted to each seed and just as randomly wasted.

The dimming sky slipped from ember-glow of sunset to the dull bronze of oncoming night. Perched atop skinny iron poles, the big orb bulbs of the city street lights mingled with burning firefly-orange strings from shopfront awnings.

Two working men stamped across the broken paving of an alley in the deepening dark. They stretched a long banner of fabric across the width of the alley and vigorously shook it clean, giving the impression of old woodcutters biting at an unseen tree with a skinny, silvery saw. Behind a nearby church, a piercing white emergency light flared to life like an angry star.

High above, in the safety and warmth of the apartment, the angry white light stared into his retina on long sleepless nights: “This time is not for you”.

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Remember the milk-man of old,
Stoic, trudging, rough and bearded, whipping a half-starved beast,
Ass, Cow, or Horse, plodding along,
Rusted bell dully clapping out his coming and going,
Or white-suited, black-tied, Rockwell iconic,
a bottle a day, stocks are up!, bone for the dog,

so steady-on and dogged, standing for us all
travails the noble stooping frame of our overlooked street-corner hero

O Hot Dog Man!

His steel conveyance rattling wheel for replaced-and-uneven wheel
over cracked and root-ruptured pavement,
unwashed metal box atop fitful frankenstein heating element,
torn stickers and loose hinges, the royal carriage of
countless wieners
stacked and iced, ready for a hot pilfered steel tray
and a tight wrap and roll through
thin bandages of pink and white festive pigflesh
sauteed among smoking wheels of pepper and onion
pops and sizzles, unsanitized
crackles, but does not fully cook
embraced by a flaccid
sweaty bun
of enriched white bread.

I see you, Hot Dog Man,
Not in your mustard, but in you I trust.
Your relish worries me, but I relish you.
The ketchup is brown and crusty, but I’ll catch up
to you
any day.

Wheel thy noisy fucking cart
transmit thy frozen wieners
from the depths of unwashed box
to hot pan perched on stolen shopping cart
thou unwashed wiener man!
Lay down my sausage, pork it up in ribbons,
flip it around ‘twixt savory raw bulbs and rich tomati
that it may gain the smoke of those elusive vegetants.

A pickle is arrogant
Affront me not with a pickle
I don’t want a fucking pickle

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You

you
small and chestnut, sipping at
your coffee
shrugging on a winter coat against the breeze
you
and
your endless inner void
tumblers into locks deep inside
puzzling out new worlds
finding and forging new roads
growing
you
with
your artist’s tools
making each pen stroke
delicate and deliberate
ticking down another note
finding
your way into
yourself
stretching and pouring
ideas and truths
creating a mind
tearing it down
you
look at me
with the voice of a lullaby
your lips softly parting
and meeting again
your tongue exploring
your teeth
speak a word to me softly
speak a word to me gently
fill me from the deep well
let me drink
from
you

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Conservatories 2/1 –

There are tiny, swirling motes of dust and gold dancing in the wind and held for tiny moments in their own instant of fiery spinning life by the cold and molten eye of the winter sun


The steam of a cafe’s heat vents onto the streets and sidewalk in dusty, curling waves of vapor against the clear air of a chill day in the wake of a storm.  Each pulse of the breath of mist unfolds like a cat stirring from a long nap, then desperately, silently is diffused into the ocean of January.


Waxen leaves like streamers from a child’s handlebars festooned and dry towers of hardy cone are stripped away in a day’s storm and revealed as new life to be celebrated and wave their banners in a fresh young breeze with the promise of paradise to the eyes of people far below who have long since lost the light to look for them

7.25.15

Sometimes the old is broken bricked down eave by eave
plaster ashes shattered into gutters into ocean and something new
stone glass or plastic is snapped together in its place
until someday a body takes a liking to a party makes a vote
saves a building or even a facade and what we have then is
a sort of artificial permanence
like a church or an ocean, some kind of rock that stays for a life or two and then
by earthquake or solar fusion is swept or boiled away.

Two years nearly since this project began.
The Thistle is a hardy flower.
It blooms and greens in dry dirt and stone and baking sun,
all spines and bramble with a bright eye
and if you cut its skin it bleeds white.
So our Thistle from concrete and dust and drywall
and so our spines of prided and fear and damned determination
But sure as the name, we bleed.

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10-25

I see you.

Somewhere there’s a universe where (conversation -> tryst [wild/romantic] -> unexpected consequences -> shotgun marriage) somewhere (hands/clothes/hands/skin in a dark room I see you in the bars of streetlight through the blinds) somewhere (I caught a bus and you went away) somewhere (it was embarrassing, we share awkward “hi”s now and then and walk away fast) somewhere (we just fucked, I hope it was good?) somewhere

How many instant(ly forgotten) flirtatious glances do we pass to make up a lifetime?  How many branches are snapped away from our timelines when we don’t look back?  There’s one where I’m folding you into me, we’re enveloping each other like twins in the womb, shutting out the world outside the walls of heavy blankets with cilia fuzz tasting our skin.

What is that feeling – “I would have been-”

Flattery/Uncertainty.  Sorrow/Arousal.  Intrigue/Repulsion.  Curiosity/Melancholy.

I’ll never see you again.

1-02-14

Another year another place another alone (again) but not forgotten (again)

Things are opening (progressing [in progress]) moving along and as a man in a (child’s) lifestyle I can feel the shell starting to break, we’re hatching, we’re living, we’re finding what we may have been meant to be.

Sometime in the past I thought maybe I could have been a somebody, and I thought I knew not how to get there but how to find out how.  Turns out I’m wrong but I might have been right?

Anyway there’s another way.  Bring on the new chapter and if this is a good one let it be long.

In another dimension – What do I do about who I do?  She is sweet, like a sticky dessert, and the way she sticks to me is too like a cinnamon roll but I lost my sweet tooth a while back.  She is good to me and I try to believe that I am good to her, but a guilty conscience is not the same as a loving heart.  Do I love her?  I say I do, and if I am lying then I am not the adult that I thought I might have been.

Well, well, well, well, well.

Now there’s time to think.

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