I hate these instances of stumbling
through vocabulary. Understanding
blatancy, and integrity, I stumble
on language that doesn’t suit this
intended context. After my attempts
at removing “of the” from my work,
it only came back stronger than ever
resulting in lists upon lists of abstract

Hell, Even I keep getting up
To look in the fridge
Solemn Sophistications
Haste, with an S
Almost there. What?
You’re relaxing? Well
Something like another year, Yes, That’s all.


The Illusion

This isn’t real. Nothing is intrinsically happening
here. But you feel it. Although it’s most certainly
different than what I’m feeling. It is that space
between us which is the essence of this. For that
space is certainly real. Nothing cannot exist. Reality
only sees ink on paper, which is tangible in a material
sense. Still, we’ve got this illusion going on, you and I.
Both wonderfully transcendent and alarmingly specific,

but it is an illusion still the same. Preposterously
terrifying as the escape artist, viscerally exhilarating
as the matador, but at this instant you are so much more
than simple spectator, here you are necessary, privy to
the secrets, possessor of the skill, as much a creator
of this budding universe as I am. Again, what is there

of it? It isn’t real. It exists as a dream without
sensation, moves without motion, lies out
side of time, while being bound inexplicably to it,
and continues only until one of us decides to stop,

after which it can never be truly resurrected.
Sure, you may reread these words. I could

rescribe them for pages on end, which is all you and I really do,

but this, what’s happening between us right now,
cannot be duplicated. We may feel a pride in this knowledge,

to be part of something so singular, just the two of us, but
it gets us nowhere because there is actually nothing here,
only lines and the space between our assumptions of them.
Despite that, we both believe this must amount to something,

or we wouldn’t have come this far. We can liken it to a fire
spreading, each blade of grass burns where it sprouted, each word
read contributes to the easily dispersed cloud that veils the practical
barrenness of what remains. This, that we’re currently engaged in,
is hardly natural. It’s unprecedentedly unnatural, despite its antiquity.
Such relics only proving our case, there’s nothing here but a synthetic

byproduct of our collaboration. The intangible heaven of our holy
communion, leaving us all here, where we started.


Spoiler: It’s the furnace

There are times in this house when things will click and
clack, slightly less than simultaneously, and the cat will
snap glances around the room at each, always ready to
run, but she doesn’t, as I hunch up from the body chill.


Let Down

The fog hangs around outside like a cold over
spring break, or a term paper due 2 AM, January 1.
I refuse to imagine the forest that lived here
on a night like this. It’s too late. It’s too sad.


City, Spring Time

Blue skies, girls walking and
laughing in the sun. There are birds
flying overhead, but no one's looking
up. Books being carried like dead
logs by professors from one close
minded lecture to the next, ignoring
all the faces they pass from fear of partial
recognition. Gnarly traffic snarreling
in clanking pops and honking around stops,
ungainly responses of pedestrians, pausing,
pshawing and continuing on their sauntering
ways! City days in springtime! Come, let me
show you the new plants around the park benches
on 42nd street. Young, still fat, bumble bees, resting,
only to work, on the still giving, steady leaves of
the open daffodils, minding their own time, living
in the work of what makes consciousness beautiful!
Honey for your bread? No extra charge.


Bed Time

“I saw the stars tonight, daddy.” Cody Mitchell said, all tucked into bed, his father leafing through the storybook he’d just finished reading.
“Oh yeah?” Preston answered, focusing more on the illustration he hadn’t noticed before.
“Mmhm. Even with all the lights,” Cody said, rolling his head back on the pillow, just as he had in the front yard hours earlier.
“That’s good, that’s good,” Preston said, still eyeballing the page.
Cody giggled at something and said, “I thought one was moving, but mom told me it was a power line making me think that.” He laughed again, wiggling under the sheets. “I thought it was aliens.”
Preston hid his scoff well behind the good humored tone he took with his son, believing any talk of extraterrestrials or deities was exuberant superstition, “You know, stars do move.” He looked from the page toward his boy, “Across the sky at least.”
“In constellations,” Cody interjected, impressing his father.
“Did you see any that you knew?”
“The Big Dipper was there. But that’s all. That’s the only one that looks like what it's called.”
They both laughed. “It’s true,” Preston said, tickling Cody through the blankets. “The people who made them almost had as big of imaginations as you.” The child squealed and squirmed himself to breathlessness. Preston subsided, leaning in to kiss the exhausted youngster good night. “I love you, code monkey,” he said.
“You too, daddy,” Cody replied, as Preston flicked the light off, leaving the door open just a crack, the book he’d read still in hand.

“That was fast,” Emma said, not lifting her eyes from her work at the kitchen table as Preston entered.
“I had a long day,” he told her. She smiled, raising her head a bit but staying focused. “Look at what your son’s been reading,” Preston said, flopping the children’s book on the table.
“So he wants to be a farmer. Let the child dream,” she told her husband, again without looking.
Preston took a moment to admire her multitasking, figuring she’d read it, at least three or four times already that day. “Not that. Page six,” he said, getting a beer from the fridge and sitting in the adjacent seat.
“Horses wear shoes while they work, just like you,” she recited. “The farmer puts them on. They bring good luck.”
“Well done,” Preston intervened, “but look.” He slid the brightly colored drawing over the term paper Emma was still reading.
She looked him in the eyes, “Yes. They still use a mallet and nails. Brutal, in theory, but…” She was becoming as impatient with his insistence as he was with her not noticing.
“No. There. Look.” He instructed, pointing to the seamed corner of the page, where the farmer’s daughter was depicted checking a hoof from such angle and with such expression that Emma could only furl her brow and clear her throat to keep from laughing.
“Preston!” She collected herself quickly. “This is a book for preschoolers!”
“I know!” He reminded her, finally getting a laugh. “Just imagine what he’ll be reading at eighteen!”
Emma closed her eyes to laugh harder, to not look at the picture, and to not think of her little angel as the man his father was.



Splattering sound around the canvass in the loose, sublime
hand of substance. Time will find meaning in all that is left
behind, be it much mild laughter, or fare minded engrossment,
exercise for the next generation of existential observers, daring
any outcome to present its molecular line up at all, if not each,
in the ever vibrant expanse of networked, single minded consciousness,
open eyed in all directions, cathode tubes catching colors at a million
bits per second, speakers preaching to the masses, masking matters
of pure decadence, check cards maxed out, absent minded account
balance banished from the tangible realm. Intellectual miscreants
miscounted under intellectually numb, bumper stickered shopping
carts, pushed around by disgruntled, gun toting, shell shocked
mail people, dropping our lines off in a sealed, airtight, duct taped box.



69 years to the day leaves me
standing here. Smiling and praising
the sunshine, minding yours and whiling
away the hours. Did I mention I’m
smiling? 69 years to the day,

it seems, here we are. Can’t
argue, after all, we’re so much better
off. Japanese cars. Wal-Mart. Rihanna.
Nation wide cell phone service providers.
Truly the tragedy is that not everyone
who participates gets a door prize.


Alrighty Then

You ever feel hollow? Not hollow inside,
our bodies are full of things that keep us alive, but
hollow like the space inside of you, the space in yourself
is infinite?

Why are we filled with things that would keep us
alive, anyway? For what purpose? Good and evil
are human constructions. Knowledge is situational.
Art is dead, and sports are rigged.

We work to eat and keep our insides
keeping us alive, and the infinite space
inside us is filled with morning radio gossip
and the prime time reality show circuit.

Don’t you ever feel hollow? Doesn’t the striving for substance
ever gnaw away at you? At the ironclad insides of
your structure? Doesn’t it seem like we’re being pumped
full of corrosive filler that’s preventing our structural integrity from

reaching its peek performance? No? We’re solid?



My father leaned his elbows in on the red,
wooden picnic table, “I still say,” he said,
“let the post-modern Russians fade to early
antiquity. What we need is Melvillian
sublimation right now.” I didn’t disagree

sitting opposite him, but kept my generalizations
to myself. Mary said something in her yellowed tone
as all three of us leaned to check, through the door,
on the men that appeared to subdue, tranquilly,
the striped beast I’d only noticed in small portions.

“Metaphysical reality,” I said, and it seemed my company
agreed, “but I still think, in the end, all the effort proves…”
Mary interjected, in her, somehow, moving lines, “Look
at Raphael.” The animal’s steady breathing was calm
and deafening. Greyness entered the room in tiny droplets.

We all knew what was to happen next. “He makes no choices.”



We were nothing in and of ourselves –
one fiction abusing another.

- Lynn Emanuel

I found blood and I saw stars
all in the back seat of your car
and I told you it was love


The phonograph spun in time, bathing us in
more than the yellow light of the unshaded bulb.
We were silent in the noise. Pictures flashing in
the corner, ignored. Our blank stares focused

on the screens just above our eyes, completely
full, unknown outside the private showing, leaned
back in choking plush comfort. Someone laughed
as the stylus lifted, I didn’t know why,

but it wasn’t you, who was standing, as if from
a deep sleep, flipping through cardboard for
the next barrage, vocalizing softly, murmurs and
sighs, still tired, still, deliberating. I lost myself

in the intricacies of the purple, hanging tapestry.
Maybe you asked me something, but I let the silence
hang, smoky, in my confidence for you, following
the maze that ended back at the start again and again,

looping. As the speaker cracked, you sat, and again
we drown ourselves in the speculation of singularity,
sure that the expanding seas are lonely in the sound.
The sun set, leaving only the open expanse of possibility,

softly bobbing in existence’s ebb, the brash, lyrical
flow. We knew not our next opportunity for landfall.
We thought little of it in that room. Talk of veiled
tomorrow faltering on each salty inhale, exalted, up lifting.

Our salvation merely a buoy, ignored by the sprawling, hilled city.



When existentialism died, the news spread virally.
Every media outlet, every email homepage, every
social site, everyone's smartphones, televisions,
and satellite radios sounded off about the tragedy.

Schools closed, workers were let out, the gears
of the mechanized world, for one afternoon, fell



Appreciation is viral,
As the sun dips and

dips and rises
from the shimmering
oceanic horizon

Tension rippling outward
lapping, nay, crashing
crashing and splashing
slapping us all about
the hands and faces

The essence of what we call
living, us all squinty,
screaming, trying to keep dry

Under shading awnings we stand
Aghast in jaw dropped speechlessness
at the guttural screams of discontentment
wafting from high rise balconies
Eyes tweaked at the sides

yawning comforting phrases
we won’t be credited for
yet charged with
their responsibility.
Humbly, emitting slop for
the privatized silence of appeasement


Space and Time

Brainwaves cognizant of the slightest
Dilation of pupils, the rush of
to soft tissues, cheeks were made
for holding. The long freedom

of the mustang’s skull so
easily blinded by
the rider’s touch
So many levels of slavery.
So weighing down trousers are the key

One hole, one fit, they preach,
like the one with your name on it.
The one you never see
coming. Marks,
tallies, gradients of acceptance, I never told you
this yesterday,

seems I never can.


Public Service

Encircled by The Bookworm’s
brutish bandits, Bat Man, eternally
vigilant, asks the not yet battle
ready baddy’s to remove their
reading glasses, “Remember,”
the caped crusader reminds us,
“never hit a man with glasses.”


Further Down

Sudden unease in the palsy
rattling each breath, keeping
the voice more stable than
the pen, moving around images,

bobbing in the ripples of names,
what a strange sea this world
has become, what dangers float
below the surface, where breaths

become impossible. Best not open
your eyes while submerged in it.
The terror might make the wading
seem futile, less like survival than

the real sharpness moving around
down there. Rocks worn jagged by
the molten movement of time, jetting
up with the intensity of an entire

planet, only to be cooled instantly
as a monument to the powers of
the universe, subdued by its own
skin, fields of these towers make homes

to the strangest, most terrifying
predators. Webs hang high above
the summits, invisible amongst
the mucky flow, adhesive as death,

counting on the prey to wind themselves
further and further down, impaling itself
on the serrated peaks. The worms, so small,
finally move up on slimy bellies, from nests

deep in the crevasses, millions of them,
at the first trace of blood in the brine, devouring
their struggling catch, usually a billion times
the size of any individual, completely, when

each stands on end, every one of them, and
they release their single strand straight up,
anchoring it, before they head back into
the still unseen bottom to finish off

any bones that may have fallen further down.



Maybe it's the weight of the world that pulls
down the sides of every one's mouths.

The reality of a trend
Within the free for all
Of drunken humanity.

All the hills of beans wouldn't sustain
the problems of three little people in this crazy world.

The picking up, the holding down,
The modest flappability of the modern
Jazz age with no sound to show for it.



Rejoice in light, the blanket
Eminence outward of all
we see, the strange precursor
in the valley of belief. Paraphrasing,
of course, let it be.

Revealed in light, the apparent now
The world around us, definite dimensions
of color, shape, of distance and
time in the steady rotation of the holy clock,
moving from no to yes, the travesty of sitting in the dark

Relevance in light. It must be
seen to be believed. The assurance of
reality in the perception of my sight.
Intangibles hold no place inside pure
vision of this spectrum, I know I am

Reassurance in light, lassoed, broken, built
again to determine the course of history,
perpetual illusion of the domestic, contentment
of illustration on the canvas of our minds,
mindfulness of empty space, what do you see?


Old Jokes

The wasps and yellow jackets
float around my sad plot
of flowering weeds in between
this porch and the publicly
preserved sidewalk. I’d
forgotten them quickly in last
night’s late romp through booze
and moving pictures in that
drastic, lonely attempt at truth,
but I still woke up at noon, and
washed the weeks out of my hair,
hoping maybe to make some tips,
so’s this weekend will be as
blurry as the rest. Jesus lived
without money, stormed through
synagogues and slept for the kindnesses
of others behind boulders or star
marked barns. Most the time
I feel like being left alone, this
makes no food grow, no homes are
built on the sabbath. Only gods.

But this is already god’s work. Does
the painting spend its life praising
the brush, or does it live for the rush
of eyes upon it? The voice cries out for
the rhythm of sonnets but the mind
despises the forced structure in
the clap of creation, bang, universe
is here, bang, universe is gone,
screech and metal folding and
suddenly, the daylight is some
thing different, something much less
drastic and the thought of a wake
up alarm, to sit tired someplace else,
seems so much more like hell than
any inferno
but my car needs gasoline,

internal combustion in
the face of nirvana, shaving
the face in the mirror. Maybe if
I can’t recognize myself, I won’t
notice or want or care and I
can hire people to move all these
boxes for me, so they too can
drive home and fill their children
with crackers that are sealed in
airtight plastic, inside cardboard
boxes. I’m only ever trying

to be honest. I’ve got nothing
to hide. I’ve never meant
to hurt anyone, the only things
I’ve ever done wrong are because
some suit with the power
to tell everyone what to do said
I shouldn’t, but we do it anyway.


Early Shift

Its not so much the getting

up and getting
here that’s the hard part.

Mainly it’s the in hale exhale
And the smiling as I’m blue
in the face.

Laughter moving language away from
understanding toward
the comfort of
well here we are


Holy Moment

Instances of god, revealing,
relenting, revealing, relenting,
surpassing, perhaps, but never

supplanting. Always just
in the simplicity of here and now,
one and done, over and out,

silences, while in existing theatres,
even if its recorded, the you watching
can never be the same.