Circle Of The Tyrants
Unscrew the metal pegs that spur the stock.
The strings go slack and spool from courses,
Unwind and curl useless as railway track
Pulled up by an army. Embrace the neck... more »
City-Scape Gentlemen's Club, Queens
Keys splash in the toilet bowl and clank
Dully on the brown-smudged porcelain throat,... more »
Is it still alive? Or is it a frame
Bared of its bright canvas, a skeleton
Whose fats, organs, and skin have been boiled off?
A mess of blood and nerve is not the same... more »
Consolations Of Autumn
Some are happiest when autumn comes,
Long for turning leaves, aficionados of first frost,
Put out gourds, ornamental sheaves of wheat.
They dress front porches as forsaken tombs,... more »
Corned Beef Hash And Two Eggs Over Easy, Coffee
I’m battered all to hell. You should see me.
I’m in the corner of a bright diner,
The very one from Suzanne Vega’s song.
Every time I limp to the john to pee... more »
Coronation Of Sesostris
Shrine of lunar hulls
Swayed to mist in river’s hold
Or solar reservoir dried
To yolk and pollen,... more »
Cover To Cover
Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories. - Walter Benjamin
I don't collect them. They just accumulate,... more »
The water gives nothing back. A child squeals
"Where's the monster? " She's jubilant
But braced impatiently for disappointment.... more »
Day In The Park
The helpers sweep remains of past events,
Banks of crushed paper cups, banana peels,
Broken tape. Bored, they go about their chore,
And make the park the way it was before... more »
When it comes to love and peace, that’s it,
We will never really learn to grow up.
Tantrums scorch; jealous, hurtful flares bear light
In the darkness we fashion from splendid... more »
Here in the state park, we hear talk of Wal-Mart's
Amazing deals, about how well Google Maps
Displays the camping grounds. When we retire,
At sundown, firecrackers and shouts go till all hours... more »
Dinner Flushed Down The Toilet
All my friends had gone from downtown.
The trash workers union at last had struck,
And August reeked in the streets and alleys.
Too poor for Fire Island or the Sound,... more »
Disasters Of War
It is September, and I lunch in rain.
I do not like your city. I do not
Welcome the filling sky as I once could.... more »
He washes dishes in the dawn,
Though really, still, it's dark.
The light has yet to slice through drawn
Draperies on a shark-... more »
Dog Days (Caniculares Dies)
Cerbero, il gran vermo
Sluggish flash at the tail end of August—
The humid air swaddles soft shocks,... more »
Maybe you've heard about this. Maybe not.
A man came home and chucked his girlfriend's cat
In the wood chipper. This really happened.
Dinner wasn't ready on time. A lot... more »
Dominion Of The Parthians
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
The iridescent maps along the walls
Reveal lost empires that spread like species... more »
Is this the end of fulcrum, wheel, and pulley?
Gains or loss issue from plan and man-hour,
Herds bred, coasts moved, pure momentum and mass.
Calls cough through. Gas pumps plentifully.... more »
The sky is warm and heavy before rain.
You throw down anchors. They till lines in soft
Clay, blooming muddy clouds. You sometimes slow,
Sometimes speed, as you pass forest and plain.... more »
By the time you learned it was Lyme disease
It was "advanced." The sports clinic sent you
Home with aspirin for an entire year.
With tuition due and an expired lease,... more »
Dusk In A Crowded Train Compartment, Regretting My Life
I stayed up two days straight with some old friends
In New York, and was charred, gut sick, still wired,
Stuck on the Northeast Corridor Express,
Suffering quietly as night descended.... more »
Dusk In The Ruins
I arrive, one more uninvited guest.
A June storm coasts down the horizon... more »
The smoky dawn lights miles of Jersey sludge.
The route I take toward the ancient church
Is forsaken, more so than I remembered—
Lots for sale, blocks to let, and what won't budge:... more »
Ecstasy Of St. Teresa
I listened to Bach for eight hours
After she left into the snow,
Disappointed with my library... more »
To pass the time we played backgammon with
Husks of carved whalebone on a smooth steel board.
I always seemed to win, though I knew you
Cheated. We had spent the past weeks in a warehouse... more »