A very old tree totters over 
Into the wildwood far away
With a sound approaching 
The memorial of thunder
To its standing survivors
Outspread in their foothold
Through funereal compost
Melding with mossy fungus 
Under the loam of bedrock
Adding another microtone 
To the growing forest song



Stars captured like mayflies in crystalline 
Suspension echoing their harmonies
Each one of them unique in the spectrum
Adding to the ongoing symphony 
Known as the universe or multiverse.

Hearts exploding in the macroplasm  
While lungs collapse within the interior
Shadows of all these events interplay 
Such as the grotesque forms seen
Thrown from circus tents.

Perhaps the rungs to which we've clung 
Remain ever-present in the ordinary 
Sense of the term as it came to be known
Only it is we who are now fleeting, clearly
That's shown from the point of the stars. 



by Georg Trakl

A Fountain sings. The Clouds stand
In the clear Blue looking tender.

Deliberately silent People go
In the Evening by the old Garden. 

The Ancestral Marble is gray.
A train of birds clips in the far Wide 
A Faun with dead Eyes looks
Toward Shadows in their Dark slide.

The Leaves fall red from the old Tree
And circle in through the open Window.
A Firelight glows in the Room 
And paints trumpeted Fear-of-phantoms.

A foreign Stranger enters the House.
A Dog rushes by a dilapidated swing.
The Maid snuffs a Lamp out
The Ear hears night's Sonatasounds. 

1887 - 1914

The original poem
is engraved in German
upon a plaque in Mirabell
Garden, Salzburg Austria
(translation courtesy
of Shaun Lawton
SLC Nov 2014)



for Franz W.
& Tom W.

There's a room

Sitting at a table
In our free society
The accouterments
Are all very nice
Polished mahogany
A fine table cloth
Clean silverware
Plenty of food
Piled in the center
A 55-inch plasma
Screen on the wall
For viewing pleasure

There's even a record
Player in the corner
With massive speakers
A nice vinyl collection
Sits amid books
Upon the shelves
Along side the loaded
Totemic gun resting
On its jewel case
Depression in velvet
There's also the medicine
Chest down the hall
In the tiled bathroom

Except for the nagging
Excedrin won't solve
Elliot's problems now
He's got a splitting head
Ache and the only cure
Believe him he's tried
Everything to no avail
Is to grab that crown
Gem and split the heads
Of those who have
Persecuted him so
Long it's making
Him sick with it

If the revolver was not
In the room frankly
So easily and sacredly
Necessarily by law
Abiding right there
Gleaming in the dark
Whispered by silenced
Bullets for tongues
An overheated and
Repeated insistence
Gradually and mutely
Transmogrified into
Abject American prayer

Would the troubled
Elliotts of our land
Find it so God damn
Easy then to fatten
The growing meme
Of their manifesto
Signed sealed and
Delivered with a fatal
Punctuation mark?
First ask what price
We traded tyranny
For and further the
More we pay for it

Freedom with our
Lives the pressing
Question remains
To count the cost
For those we lost
The double edged
Sword now replaced
By the barrel which
Fires both ways
May no sooner
Be repressed than
The flaming edge
Of our story itself