What terrifies me is the silence before you speak.
It fills my world and I find myself in the desert.
There is one horizon, of which I am the center.
My heartbeat fills the sky


under clarion rings
our fingers crawl
back to the caves
of our hands

a shattered keep now
moans in the wind
a soft fist is made

over which the city
its elf




Let me hear of all things good
crisp and icy firewood
chimney smoke warm puffing soft
from white rooftops sloped aloft
bells ring out through crystals falling
all things good gently calling

Whisper to me all good things
ruby wine glass toasting rings
tin cups clink on street corners cold
teddy bears wink at bed stories told
cold soaking mittens hang from wire
all good things thaw by the fire

And someone surely somewhere dies,
biting frost that freeze shut eyes

Let me hear of all good things
though winter bites and sharp sleet stings
and some of us won't hear the rings
when the New Year brings on all good things . . .



for James Wright

The ashes that I rubbed into my eyes
are long gone now, look
the standing man identified,
swallowed by a desolate forest.

Who can save the suicide
from drowning in an oasis
those without fire and trapped
in an endless galaxy?


soldiers stand in a row,
like teeth in a skull
one of them has that daisy wheel stare
when the world falls in
a vulture's shadow

we think to escape
right into a wall of friendship
and are tracked down and cornered
by strangers known very well
and fondly remembered by friends misplaced
who must whisper the legends insistently


Scrying ebontips
glitter across elaborate tracing
in the matrices of meaning
while a muscle's grip contracts,
anenomes beckon in dark
currents on the ceiling.

It will be remembered
by a facet of an eye
and no android, even you,
can be programmed for that
memory passed on.

Like a platter of glass
in which a crowd is warped
and never shattered.

Until one day, when
the whorls of your digits
pass over the legends themselves
with such softness
they don't quite touch,
that you suffer the weight
of a dream's crush.



a glance at the cluttered bureau reveals
still living ghosts amid disheveled icons.

A winged knight's candle
long burned out.

A praising salamander
thrown away his shadow.

A leaned cane with a brass
hammer for a head.

A gargoyle carved
in thought.

A phial of mandrake
with one drop left.

Some ribbons left hung
from valentines.

A small dream catcher
with a lock of horse's hair.

One sharp bull's horn
lying empty on its side.



a language composed of foliage
leafy living tissues slashed
scarred over ditches irrigating
into a staff held before

your eyes can laugh and
taken away after the page
turns over in sleep and
rests still in ashes

where weeping will lower you
by the river's edge
sliding past slow,

the written tongue

unravels birds


(messengers unfastened)
:shadows scanning the land

waking the dead

from a branch it watches
you read past it

try writing it down
on dead skin

and watch it rot
let it feed in the cemetery

listen to it chuckle softly
from a cave mouth



There is a face split in half
One half does, and one half doesn't laugh
There is a gleam coming out of one eye
While the other one is lustreless and never does cry
There's a dream locked up in a crown
That will either turn to dust, or it will drown
There is a smile that rusts shut after a while
If you trust it might dissolve in laughter


Your hair and fingernails keep growing.

The heart is last to decompose.

There is the sensory deprivation.

The integration of isolation
When you achieve room temperature
It's like you're not even there.

And when you realize
your hunger
so all consuming
is but a chemical
flash in the brain,
providing a weak
after image of
your identity...

At least know we have a choice.

We can either

dry up or drown



certain things shouldn't, like the
moonlight sonata for instance,
have to be endured again
necessarily; they might touch
that buried place you're too fearful
to revisit. . . and reawaken
those feelings that cannot be killed,
that have been so long,
so carefully locked up & forgotten
that when the strange door unlocks,
you open up Pandora's box


The magnets of your face
swivel in a positive stare
toward a force far greater
than my smile and eyes.

This force I name Mirage
because the horizon is its front gate.
The dilations of your pupils are the key --
this does not make it any less real.

I entered through that laurence
in the past, flag rippling.
When you leave through it,
you will leave me a great sadness.



the Beast who has entirely
confused his awareness for his environment
never comes to stare at you but
lunges in a cry and halfrips off your face
and crestfalls into tremors of a long
lost relaxed grace

his whole mask fits together
with the two halves of his face
they meet in a territory that distances
the closer it approaches straight between the eyes
so the lunge is made when sight is gained
of a vagueness that was not there --

you were


A leaf fall integrates
through a stare between
the tarred black fence
wrought of iron stitched
there cutting off the
churchyard from our
congress. Beware of
the dog is posted on
the mirror, cracked
from side to center.
YOU ARE HERE written
on a fracture


Can you keep the peace
or just the pieces.
What does it mean to you
to make up your mind.

Do you just recede and hope
that I am spinning
one too many times
for you to find.

Maybe you'll melt into the shadows
and be forgotten.
It must have been effortless
for you to unwind.

I'm not so lucky in my lovely garden
that you've left behind
because I believed you
when you told me
that your heart
was all mine.


watching pictures on the tv

i thought it was a movie

it really was the news you see

it looked like cgi to me

i've seen it so repeatedly

it doesn't even seem real to me

those moving pictures on tv

the less I watch the more I see

that in that box there's no reality



dog beneath a star
sorrow from a feather
prism in a window
melts a crucifix in snow

and later this november
after every body's gone
a fog horn scares the ravens
off the can collector's brow


d i s tant hammering .. .
sigh of an auto's doppler effect

a constant muted harddriven drone,
a high-pitched nigh-inaudible tone.

soft cricket sussuration
incessant chirping

creaks above ceiling
under the weight of a step,
tires across distant asphalt
the refrigerator coughs & starts up.

ergonomic keys rattle sporadic
skin of horned toe rubbing heel -
circular rhythm & sound of thumb's
callus skating across palm,

spin of an unscrewed lid
from a red nalgene bottle,
waft of yawning interior.

silence and stillness of water
echoing throat muscles gulping,
cellphone rings & the poem
crashes to a close.



crushing staccato
insists a dark reflection
borrowed tomorrow

tower of babel
key pins erode under base
dust never settles

chestnut hair bundled
sound of being deftly shorn
between scissor blades

life's short years peeled off
to be dropped away into
the burgeoning dusk

these echoes are gone
despite their endless fading
behind a dimmed eye

the attack is manned
and a shadow arises
unnoticed behind

watch your throat now then
quickening creepervines might
return us to them

bone vibrating song
of the halving excision
from a twin removed

airbrushed a divide
in delicate cumulus
with infanticide

the lost tribe running
without friends left to
reason a way home again



Before empire's crest of cracks spreading out
Wait crooked boned the grinning army white
Blind with bliss and bold dreams of glory shout
The troops of the Sun stand facing the dark
Night falls, an iron sledge on the anvil
Of day. The wall of fools advance with shields
The stars disintegrate. The dead, tranquil,
Feed fury with frozen eyes and force yield
Upon the pink cheeked rows of living fear.
Gold haired soldiers turn and fall, swords let go
Their blades to rust and serve the ghoulish leers
Fresh corpses feed the grasses turning brown
The moral here: the living fight and drown
For the undead to gain new souls each round.


Divided. Falling.
Derided. Cat calling.
Kettle black. Sneak attack.
Blowing steam. False alarm.
Broken dream. Won't disarm?
Bully's scheme: Knock their block off.
Our regime. Drop the talk.
Take a walk. It's like this.
Now we're pissed. Mess with us.
Off the bus. Won't comply?
Eye for an eye.

Break the circle. Staunch the flow.
Stop the supper. Let them know.
Western Diamonds. Will bite back.
Crushing coal. Heart attack.
Jewel thieves. Smiling back.
Your secret market. Ain't so black.
Trade in liver. Hudson river.
Initiative. Decide to live.
What are you. Smoking crack.
We'll strike back. Blind or not.
With rage or calm. We'll drop the bomb.
Change your mind? Will comply?
Fugget about it, Fucking die.


Comes a time with a sigh
we must look us in the eye
to plumb the depths we find
hidden from a shield behind
rattled into place a manhole cover
like a penny left with care
on our blind spot.

Later or quite soon
our bones we must exhume
to trace the secret cracks,
reveal the source of the attacks
so we can understand
the difference between our right
and our left hand.

Or maybe never we shall see
with such scope or piety
that certain global headline facts
might be consequences of our acts
and so embark on that familiar ride
of burning in the lime light
of our Nationalist Pride.


So who do you want to blame?
Do you want to blame the guy who pulled the trigger?
Or his companion who wrapped telephone wire about the
school teacher and the american businessman?
What about the third accomplice who interrogated them
while splashing gasoline on their heads?
Why don't you blame all three of them since they
each took potshots at the captive's knees.

Does it really matter which one wielded the carving knife?
Perhaps they drew straws afterwards, to determine
who got to fire the flare gun...
...Maybe you should blame the local police
who went by the numbers and poked through
the charred rubble, and two days later claimed
ignorance about the flare cartridge
missing from the evidence file.

Naw . . . you want the brown-skinned fuck
who pulled the trigger to burn, don't you?
Do you know what a trigger is?
The killer himself is a trigger.
Do you actually believe the local periodicals
with their blazing headlines about some Crime
Of Passion involving prostitutes?

That's the work of a pretty passionate pimp,
to employ text-book tactics from
The School Of The Americas,
don't you think? Or don't you think?
You want to blame the trigger finger?
Then step it up a notch and blame
the man who gave the order,
because the ignorant hirelings who did the deed
were only doing their job, after all.

What sense of justice will you get from knowing
a couple of filthy scum bags like that were captured,
jailed . . . even executed?
Will you really sit back in relief,
feeling the scales have tipped even?
While the real men who arranged this crime
sit back in complete anonymity?

I don't think so.

So go ahead and blame the man who gave the order,
but you have to ask yourself who is this man,
who appears to be the "real" trigger finger?
Is he some card board cut out comic book character
who was just bored one day lounging in the tropics
devising this chess trap atrocity to while away the hours?
Maybe he's a real life Scarface "teaching some Americans
a lesson" . . . Yeah, right.

You want to know something? I'm tired of this.
If you're not starting to see the picture, you never will.
If you can't see the chain reaction in
the trigger finger command,
then it's because YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH,
and the truth is, YOU ARE TO BLAME.
Because the chain reaction,
by floating all the way to the Top,
(and there is no doubt that it does just that),
and if you don't know where the Top is, just look around you,
how long have you been living in this country?

Oh I'm sorry I didn't mean to interrupt your video game,
but if you just don't feel right putting the blame
on dear old Uncle Sam,
well that's perfectly fine, because he's just
a marketing conception after all,
and what he really represents is YOU. And ME.

We are a nation that is supposed to be run by the people
and for the people, and regardless of the fact
that certain bullies wrenched away that power
from the rest of us
and monopolized themselves into
the highest executive offices in the land,

this is still no excuse for the cold, hard fact that
each and every one of us are to blame for murder.

So who do you want to blame for pulling the trigger?
Take a long, hard look in the mirror.
It all starts there.