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)



(And man’s groupmentality grew
and grew until it threatened to
blot out even the Sun.
Thus was borne into the pupils
of a new generation
the spark necessary to light
the fuse which would race
upstream to blow out this growing
smog of obfuscating filth.
Even the roses curl up
in abject defiance,
to lend their thorns
to my wrath.

Dubbed a knight for the Guardians
of Ambush, I pledged my allegiance
to no army but that of the trees,
23 years ago: A heraldic Oak
has lain its branch upon my shoulder
in the land of New Canaan,
in the year of my reckoning, 1988.

Upon my fierce countenance
the world’s facade splits apart
into halves: the chasm lain exposed
between has become my battleground
and new home.

Trolling for gemstones
slipped under the bridge.
Lost in a full moon reflection
wavering on black water.
Aspiring to be a hero to
every son and daughter.)



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




We swimming in the Suns light
Are like the fins that bring delight
Of a creature looping in the night
Forsaking darkness with its presence

A star is an exiler of the dark
Take a look around and you will see
There is no darkness between you and me
In fact that is an impossibility

For what we are is pre-conceptual
If we shut our eyes then we will find
There's really no such thing as mind
So let us open our eyes and awaken

To being alive in a fantastic continuum
We could not possibly imagine otherwise
So nevermind understanding and go on living
This dream of existence with our senses

The lens of thinking can never correct
Now cease the turmoil of our thought
And bring the splendor of that which is
By banishing all that is not

~ for my son Zane
May 14, 2014



It's the first day of spring
and death is in the air

The box car is full
and slowly departs

Crammed with weary
old friends taking their
motivations with them

Into strange darkness
streaming down river

The moon's sole
reflection white

Upon the surface
wave letting apart

Into well synchronized
angel moth wings

In motion appearing
to be saying goodbye



for Bill Knott

Our lives strange trajectories
have been laid bare here
while I stare in shock
at the lines dancing
drowned in artificial
light, why it was only
8 days ago that I stood
in Mountain View Park
(a quite un-euphemistic
way of rubbing our nose
in it, dont you think?)
and witnessed for myself
for the very first time
an entire flock of colored
balloons scrawled upon
with various Sharpee markers
messages like On the wings
of angels, SYOTOS, I love
you Doug while Neil Diamonds
Coming To America played
and we all stared up at the
flock of helium balloons
as they became smaller
and smaller until they
precisely resembled a
swarm of human sperm
flung Egg-Sunward,
I even took the opportunity
to casually mention the beauty
of this sight to the Mormon Bishop
standing beside me, Hes off
to a new life, just like your speech,
I said while his back stiffened.

Ive been biting my nails all day
before I learned online
on facebook that you
had at long last gone
to sleep with your hands
crossed on your chest
looking as though you
are flying into yourself.



Apart from cracks on the Formica 
counter top around the bending 
curve of my eye I can not discern 
anything through my shot glass
The rumblings of a city in dusk 
seep through the slurry of hushed 
undertones merging stainless steel 
clinks from glasses slowly stirred 

In this labyrinth collecting mirrors 
no one bothers looking at each other 
directly for the point of that was lost 
long ago with the reflected hosts 

I sink into the magnified pores 
of her face held balanced on a stack 
of merging surface edits like a drawn  
bath displaced by a weary body 

It's been many revolutions since 
I can remember spring time   
and for that I should ordinarily feel 
sadder than the beer ads on the wall

Cheerfully I determine that mixing 
drinks with indentured silver ware 
may distract the focus from a certain
familiar melody floating by 

Its coruscating pattern of decaying 
notes drifts along into the distance 
like so many flakes of ash rendered 
gray as the moon in winter

The cracked fields of this lit valley  
fade before the inland sea evaporates 
into silence here on a world whose 
name evokes nothing but dirt

I'd rather not think about it since
my drink became too evenly mixed 
for me to want another sip from 
the cold inversion boiling outside