Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Poem #20-2012 Empty dreams

Help me lose my way
Layer me with marble
I'm on my last shakes
and the police don't care
Can you tell?
My dreams are empty
     as a miscarried womb
--misery bloodworm canker cancer rotten meat --
Feel it in your deep down!
Tangled up in blood
Shit-filled fantasies
Wheelbound and
Dark headspace
     spins me out of orbit
Black thighs
  squeezing my brain
     instead of my soul
Scorched in sin
swollen to bursting
Eat with me
Sleep with me
Be with me

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Poem #19-2012 Falling Thoughts

She fell hard
hard like steel
hard like real
and she never made excuses
or completely lost her way
and she never got the blues
Hell, she was the blues:
liquid thighed
vibrato-laden . . .
God! What a woman,
Saturday afternoon
delight, tight
right up to dangerous --
fall off a cliff
headlong travesty
juicy wet lips beckoning --
(He fell, too,
hard as a rock
deepening vee
"You can't get pregnant
on top, baby")
How fast can you go
when the end is assured?
Pubic sore
Neither one ready to 
say "no more"
There was nothing more
than this falling fucking feeling
Like a rock
Like a cock
"There's got to be more,"
she thought
And he licked her
where thought became

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Poem #18 Not today

Today I shall not
use the word "like"
to introduce a metaphor
in a poem

I shall not
mention Jack Kerouac
more than 5 times
(zero seemed too lofty)

Today I shall not
forget to be thankful
for something,
no matter how small

I shall not
forget to buy
flowers on the way home
(for no reason than to
brighten her day)

Today I shall not
be a deliberate
obstacle to change

I shall not
get drunk
except on ideas

Today I shall not
should on myself

I shall not
foist my views
on others

Today I shall not
assume the worst
about others

I shall not
overburden myself
with "rules"

It's kind of like
a forced march
with no destination


Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Poem #17-2012 Pittsburgh

We're in Pittsburgh

We stop at a restaurant

The waitress says,

"What'll yinz have?"

We are definitely in Pittsburgh

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Poem #16-2012 Nature Lessons

A raven
(which is a crow but not vice versa)
will chase a chipmunk

I've seen it happen

An argument over the pile of seed I leave
under the maple tree
(I guess - ravens don't kill for meat, do they?)

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush,
the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush....

Round the trunk twice
Raven hop-running
Chipmunk scurrying
Then, a bee-line for cover

The raven takes wing
chasing the competitor clear over
to my brush pile

and safety

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Poem #15-2012 Fire Danger Today

Hearth visitors
drown in the miracle
of my fire

It lures them close
turning them to instant ash

Neither fire nor victim
aware of the danger
until survival
is out of the question

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Monday, August 13, 2012

Poem #14-2012 Jack Attack

Jack, Jack, Jack
Ti Jean
Ti Pousse
Mickey, Michael, Leo
Francis, Peter
Zagg, Wesley
Sal, Ray
Mike, Robert

Maggie Cassidy, Tristessa, Satori in Paris, Doctor Sax, Visions of Cody, Desolation Angels, Big Sur, Visions of Gerard,The Town and the City, Orpheus Emerged, The Subterraneans,
Atop an Underwood, Book of Dreams, Vanity of Duluoz, The Sea is My Brother, On the Road,
The Dharma Bums, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

Mike, Robert
Sal, Ray
Zagg, Wesley
Francis, Peter
Mickey, Michael, Leo
Ti Pousse
Ti Jean
Jack, Jack, Jack

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

This is a slam poem meant to be recited aloud from memory. It's a riff on all the characters that Jack Kerouac used for himself in his books (the latter in italics). I plan to perform it at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac this October. Wish me luck - memorization ain't easy at my age.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Poem #13-2012 Cut-Up Journal

I hope your fickle uterus disappears in a rage without explanation
Every dream dies
Good enough
A season full of lessons
Listen with the possibility of being changed
The language of deficits
Every human being is of incalculable value
Education is not neutral
What did I do today?
Maybe it's time
Destiny henceforth
You made your bed
But how short?
It's kind of a clamor
Soup sounds better
I censored myself at least 40%
Drinking bad beer is out
Sometimes nothing makes sense
Writers write
All dead as are their husbands
More is welcome -- what's been is sufficient
The Buddha was the first one to see it
Cake for everyone
Jack wrote at least 1,500 words/day
I need to stop that
The blank page
A Child's Garden of Verses
The best unknown poet alive
I am no good on my feet
I assume I'll be alone
More impressive in person
What the elders said is true
Does this help or hurt the future?
The muse comes from any direction
Poetry ought to be a refuge
Infucking competent
Wrongs I committed out of selfishness
The mindset of discovery
Generating ideas
Because of a fucking meeting
There is a poem that will save you
A psychic toll, indeed
"Order up!"
Sometimes it is all one can do
A second look
Trust me
When am I happy?
Should we get a convertible?
Creative thought is dead to me
"Who are you to ask me such a thing?"
What makes something "fun"?
Naked Lunch
In my wildest dreams
For an undetermined period of time
I have been the betrayer
Sparkling sin
Hovering death
It's not. You know that.
Something needs a poem written about it today
Quit whining and do your work
Nothing matters
Tighten up
Make me believe your corvette skin
Needs too much work
No problems identified
Trust me, you are not that important
"What would you like to dip your chicken tenders in?"
I have a whole new appreciation of Cake
Beats the shit out of me
Death transcends such things
Close your trunk using a bungee cord
Waiting for the tab

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Poem #12-2012 Death From Above

black-and-white death
a few false drops
teasing the watery prey
then, head first, at
bullet speed
Spaaaa-looossssh (talons first)
Wet pause
airborne again -
one quick hover and shake

Look -  a flying fish !

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Poem #11-2012 Velveteen Bird

asks the little bird.

"Because," I say,
"they told me all these
things are real."

"Are they?"
the little bird asks.

"Who are you to ask
me such a thing?" I say.

"Why don't you ask me
why I sing?"
the little bird asks.

"What's the point?
I know why you sing," I say.

"You do?"
the little bird asks.

"Of course," I say.

the little bird asks.

"Instinct," I say.

"And do your instincts
tell you that these
things are real?"
the little bird asks.

". . . No," I say.

And I begin to sing.

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poem #10-2012 The On Road*

My wife and I
had something miserably dead
coming before planning
naively intellectual letters
shrouded out of New York

The beautiful cafeteria
reminded me of leftover things
so I went flat
jumping to sex
like a young Gene Autry
blonde ringlets
hanging like a serious
gloomy fluctuating crystallization

*This is a "cut-up poem" (a la William S. Burroughs) using words (in the order they appear) from the first four paragraphs of Jack Kerouac's On The Road.

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Poem #9-2012 Colored Things


Color is light –
made, lost, or moved
Black is coldest
Then red, orange, yellow-white, bluish-white

Bowling balls

Stripped to its essence,
color is perception
Wielded by the artist,
color is passion

Birthday candles
Construction paper

Taken for granted,
color retreats
Seen through bias,
color condemns

Sunday comics
Traffic lights

If music is what feelings sound like, then
color is what music looks like
Don’t just see the colors –
Hear them

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Poem #8-2012 Equality

An old book.
Bright morning glare.

My fingernails amaze me,
As do the wine bottles
reflecting the
streaming sunlight.

That anything exists --
the sun,
wine --

is equally wondrous
and . . .
wondrously equal.

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poem #7-2012 The Lowry Day

Mother always called
a day like this
a “lowry” day
the sun hidden
only a threat of rain
not cold – chilly
she said it’s what
Dad called days like this
(something about his Irish heritage)

something else, though –
beneath the weather –
makes it lowry

an attitude, a state of things in general
an unnameable sadness for what could be
a miasma
a desire to wrap oneself in
a cozy blanket and
sit fireside 
pondering not much of anything

Contributed to dVersePoets.com
Open Link Night

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poem #6-2012 Writing the Sky

I want to tell you about the sky
About what it does to me
Especially when it’s clear
like today

I want to tell you about the sky
About what it does to me
Because I wonder
Does it affect you this way, too?

Does it strip out your guts
and stomp them into ragged puddles
of submission?

Does it reflect your crazed soul
back at you and leave
your skin night sweaty and electric tingling?

Does it tell you things no one knows,
things that would scare a dead man into
singing a dirge for Satan?

Does it color your perception about
and sweep your gloom off its feet?

Does it promise you endless love yet never delivers—
like a jilting lover?

Does it empty your silver-lined pockets
with greedy bone-licking fingers dressed in
full wedding pomp? 

I wanted to tell you about the sky
because that’s what it does to me
but it only does what I let it

It only does me for me

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Poem #5-2012 Immortality


I want to care - I want people to think
I do - I really give a shit
or maybe I think I’m  supposed to care - It’s only a phantom
all that guilt-driven shame - the constant harping
heaped on me - dosed in good measure
by a well-meaning but fascist parent - applied with “love”
comes to fruition - leaving welts
late in life - on tender skin
Too late? - “Not enough,” I scream
The “what is” and the “what should be” - unnecessarily
wage war in my crimson thoughts - But they do make it seem like
I really really don’t give a good goddamn - at times
about much of anything others think of me - yes, not even you
yet I still act like I do - understand completely
Am I in control? -  A lack of empathy
Or is it she—still? - Shrew-bitch!
And the gray elephantine weight of it all - Bearing down unmercifully
colors and smothers my every labor - crushing any effort
to write, speak, move, feel - to love!
If I could drive a stake - with abandon
through the heart of darkness - to the hilt
I would—ending it - forever
But there is immortality - with her blessings
and her name is “mother”Amen

*This is a “cleave poem.” It can be read three different ways: left-to-right in its entirety, just the left side (in bold), or just the right side (in italics).

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Poem #4-2012 Dragon's Breath

She said, awkwardly,
"Thanks for the compliment"
Her tone almost a question
I said something even more ridiculous
She walked away
I sat in silent disgrace

That is how it's always been:
I am no good on my feet

And although I have charmed the monster
a time or two
Exactly "how" escapes me
No learning takes place

Now I'm in a place
where I don't want to,
don't need to,
and wouldn't act on it anyway

But it's fun to see if tempting
the dragon's fire (without getting burned) is still . . .

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Poem #3-2012 One of the Secrets

I will tell you
of the secrets.

It is to stand
silently and gaze
at a full moon
on a clear night
until the word
arises spontaneously
in your soul
and then - suddenly -
the world will make sense.

But only for a moment.

And that is just one
of the secrets -
finding one will reveal
the others.

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Poem #2-2012 Parts

In suffering silence
wounded warriors
exist without:

But whither the
less obvious parts?

Missing limbs
are still felt
(they say)

But when innocence
and the like are lopped away –
Is there a residue?

Psychic scars must surely
outlive the corporeal

Ask a ghost

This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Poem #1-2012 You Are Not Your Body

Unless you are some
Hollywood aberration
you did not make your nose
you didn’t have anything to do
with your hair’s perfection
the shape of your ass
the size or your tits
(or the size of your cock, for that matter)
and unless you’re some mad scientist,
you didn’t instruct your genes
toward society’s ideal

So why do you feel so
RESPONSIBLE for it all?

As if all of that is you?

I’d rather know if you’d
take in a stray kitten
or tell a cashier they undercharged you
or put a quarter in a stranger’s expired parking meter
or leave a waitperson a big tip “just because”
or cry at sad movies
or remember your first kiss

or if you have a quirky habit only you know about
or got the point of this poem . . .


This poem contributed to dVersePoets Open Link Night.
Follow them on Twitter @dVersePoets.