10:50 PM Saturday

Strange grayness settles in like late winter
fog, but summer and this concrete

shell do well to keep moisture in the air
from becoming visible. Ten minutes till

two hours to go. Then where? We’ll figure
when it comes time. Yellow of bulbs, succumbing

to the filtered blue my mental self slides
over my nose like reading glasses, trying

to make everything clear, but it’s all difficult
chemicals sloshing around in my brain, terrified

to meet each other anywhere else, coming together
in ways that defeat the old routines of wall clocks.

Their catlike, shifting eyes can’t see as far as mine.
Still, astonishment for transporting clairvoyance

falls short, the cusp of immediacy on the next
flashing scene. Lots of metal and red eyes,

sirens looped, the authoritative cautiousness
of authority creeping in my spaces. Leaving me

to feel alone, still loomed over, in the silence
of workplace solitude.


Shinin' On

Slow music on a hot day. The clouds
drifting as in a child’s imagination.

The turmoil of a new class, the buzzing
of life on old streets. Cicada’s mid-afternoon.

Anticipating the too long since hand shakes,
dreading that kind of thing, questioning

everyone you think you were.
A black ant trekking the wasteland side

walk, the long way, driven by an unseen
urge, braving the gauntlet of herded

elementary schoolers looking skyward,
continuing to carry the remains of the fallen

soldier to its final rest. I walk on.


The Spectacle Of Ceremny (Centennial Remix)

I keep looking back at reflections of passersby
Drawing attention to myself in silence watching
The wedding crowd file in through tall chapel doors.

I’m over dressed for the weather. Water drips
From potted plants hung on lamp posts
Sneaking table food to grass trampled to dust
Underneath. Familiar faces some certain move

Past silent and set on unseen courses. Conversations
Wafting by. A comfortable exhaustion sets in
With steel and birds chirping. Endless

Parade down the avenue. A flash bulb pop and
A sigh that this day will be remembered.



Repetition of Tradition

In one stark instant
this has run,
the fiery creation, the frozen
tundra, the peaceful wind,
the sharp pain underneath the
4th or 5th rib. The quiet nights,
the sunny afternoons, the weeping
days at work, the wasted time
only living.

Time amputated by
the searing hand, misunderstood
by the immediacy of the modern
world, ritual lends itself
to the appreciation of the mutation
of the moment, lost in repetition
and communication for the yearly
big sales event.


USPS (United States Police State)

Had something, I’m sure, on the drive
back from that gosh forsaken heck hole.
One more day to freedom! Well, we’ll see

how long it lasts. Next thing I know, state
and federal agents might just show up
at my door, because privacy is fleeting

when the govn’ments fighting wars, and what
a better way to weed out the undesirables than x-raying
fragile packages, and we have to bend to the powers

that keep us safe, because who knows what
terrible things will happen
if they're not here to protect us?

Of course, let’s ignore, with this willingness to
conform, that it’s those same power’s imperialistic
foreign policies causing factions to wish us harm.

So, don’t be alarmed if, someday soon, I’m writing
to you from a servailed room in an undisclosed building,
just for trying to boost the economy, like they taught me

a good citizen should.


Lake Shore

I find myself stepping lightly
over all the dead fish I keep
noticing in the queasiness
of my city midnight matinee.

Something lives out here.
The biggest bones being
scattered the farthest from
the glossy, caramelized skulls.

The further I get from
the house, the more it sounds like
there’s a vacuum running
in the trees. The tiny streams

making their way down
the rocks, not doing well
enough to clean up, dying
out and drying up just feet from

the waves, sending their mixed
signals. The dirt mingling in a
runny mosaic of browns, accented
by the burnt or decaying logs that

have fallen down, or washed up.
Hitting the east end of the inlet,
I notice a cricket keeps pace
about a yard ahead of me

the rest of the way back, even
with my best intentions of staying
out of his way. The rusting wheels
bathing in the corrosive, inescapable sun.