A Great America

There was a great America
That my dad tells me he was told about;
But I don’t know anything about that.

I ask for something of my peers,
But maybe that’s too much
Hope to muster today.

As soon as I hear
The harmonica slide
And the piano peel
Before the first second is over,
I hear the screen door slam
And I don’t want to be home alone either.

I look for answers
But all that I find, all that I find is…

People talk shit
And people talk substance
And people are provincial
And people are provisional
And nostalgia is current
And currency is worthless
When we waste everything we know
In order to have things to call our own.

A Promise

I am going to lose sixty pounds
And forget how bad it hurts
To be a man.

Adult Obligations

You know I can’t
Stand adult obligations.

Dinner parties
Are misleading

And potlucks
Are misguided.

You know I’d rather
Walk hands clenched

In two liquid fists
Ready to punch out

Until I feel my heels
Surrounded by water

At the edge of Earth,
Where I can sink down

To the many manholes
Created by the assholes.

Affairs and Revisions

Why is it that spilling liquids on floors
Produces more shame than any activity
Aside from adultery?

I have learned my lessons
In various homes,
Including my own.

Going from one place to the next,
I think of every time I have been accused
Of wronging someone
Or even making them feel the need to lie.

The past has passed and I have to ask
Whatever happened to charm bracelets and hope chests,
Or yin yangs or ping pongs?

And now that I've got on
And moved on,
I think of
How I've got off
And moved off
Of every last thing I ever knew.

And that's how new becomes old
And old becomes next
And next becomes forgotten among the rest.


I climbed your mountains
Only to get to your chin
To kiss or to kick,
And now I don’t know
Where to begin.

I miss your insults
And the way you sulked
At every last fault
That I choose to ignore,
Until I finally stalled.

Turn it over.


Morals are personal,
Preferences are perceived,
And there is nothing I can do about it.


Every time I am called an asshole,
I ask why.
Although, I suppose I understand
The perspective of the accuser.

But what I wonder is this:

If I am an asshole,
What is decent
And what is criminal?

Awaiting The Fall

Nestled in the North,
I forgot about how the grip of
Always loosens up
Over time.

Back in the South,
I am losing interest in these conversations
Of making things
Feel alive.

Now that I am staring
At framed ideas,
Too big for themselves,
With nowhere else to put them,
I fear my next move
To place myself in danger.


I like to eat breakfast
In the afternoon,
But I am undecided
On the word brunch.

Aside from the simple
Bump and grind
Of two letters from one
And three from the other,

What does the word

Is brunch like a kite,
Floating on a string
High above most of us
Dragged on the ground?

Is brunch like masturbating,
While lying in a garden
Beside a gentle brunette
With exquisite milky skin?

I will eat my omelette
And drink my French Roast
Outdoors with fellow jerks,
But I refuse to participate

In this so-called brunch.

Buried Shrieks

Every time I walk around,
I hear another siren—
But I’ve yet to see the misery
Of these hellish streets.

There used to be blood
On the pavement,
And I’m told there are shrieks
Buried beneath the cracks.

But I don’t believe it,
Cause I don’t want to;
And I don’t believe you
Cause I don’t want to.


Even wolves form packs,
But what happens when
An individual circles for too long?

Can it be that a beast’s hunger
Could eat itself from within
And starve those around it?

We must not let tenacity
Be urged out of us,
But instead,
We must let resolution
Slowly leak.

The torturous punishment
Tied to justice
Like the shoelaces
That trip up your intended statements.

You are noble, sir,
But I think you really ought to reconsider the hunt.

Your age is apparent,
Your motivations are transparent,
And all these years…

All these years of dramatically showing teeth in public
Has taken its toll,
Hasn’t it?

Perhaps the time is over for being selfish, for being ravenous.
Perhaps the time is now for us to graze like cows and wait for rain.


Your mystery
Stretches for miles,
Across borders and seas,
Like Michael Jackson
Or Al Jazeera

And I am almost positive
You’ve never been hung
On any wall or laid naked
On any floor, asking for

But nothing in particular.

This is why
There will continue to be
Books written about you,
Classes taught on you,
Elections determined by you

Yet I am certainly sure
That you are silent
With every last person
You convince of

But nothing in particular.

Clever People

Fit as many pieces of leftover pizza
As you possibly can onto the oven tray,
And let’s wait
For the thunderstorm to end
As the cheese slowly melts.

I am going upstairs for a few minutes
To read
Another interview
With Maurizio Cattelan
And wish that I was as clever as him.

When I come back down,
I will ask you over re-heated dinner
Why people think being clever is such a terrible thing these days.


I am in love
With alcohol,
But I am morally opposed
To the word cocktail

I am not a Mad Man;
I will only own one
Tuxedo in my life
And if my wife allows,

I will likely burn it
Before I die.
If you are with me,
I will pour you whatever—

But call it by its name
And touch my glass
With yours, please.
Let’s toast to no more


Cold Cube

I am stuck
With concrete
Ascending my body;
Every part of me
Is asleep,
All the way to my neck.

The cold cube
I am currently inside
Is soft enough to swim,
But I am a poor swimmer.

I think maybe
I will just shut my eyes
And give in to the mess.


Every time I give you up,
You reel me back in
And I try another taste.

It’s a sense of senselessness
But there’s a sensibility
To diligent diction,

And absurd alliteration
Serves me so well
Despite your demanding

Curmudgeon criticisms.
You think I’m referencing
You, specifically, but

Really, you are more
Than just yourself.
Or, at least you are

In this specific instance.
You are, at once,
My bad, bad habit;

But also, you are
What makes me
Give up on less desirable

Bullshit and commit
To the greater good
Of myself; yeah, I said it.


I write these words
On the folded backside
Of the printed hotel receipt
From the Fishkilled night before.

My father did warn me
Of the traffic of commerce,
But Dave bet a promise
That breakfast would be redemption.

Now I know for certain
Dave should avoid casinos and racetracks.
But lessons can be learned
From wasting money and indigestion.

And gold dust shines through
The natural, nourished death
Of the mindful new bohemian’s
Slightly shaped shrubbery.

Here, I’m sitting in a Providence pew,
Approximately seven minutes from Hope;
Or for some, sixty minutes in Heaven.
For me, there is no way of knowing.

But I’m in agreement with my current peers—
It is both necessary and fruitful
To feel and deal with our guilt;
But only if guilt can be used as fuel.

Guilt can drive humans beyond
The power of gasoline or calories,
If some vision is clear.
And I only have faith in what I can see.

A hairless, drooling child
Has been staring down the immediate crowd;
We’re both wearing flannel,
And I have faith in him.


Perhaps if the Corinthians knew
Anything about love,
There would be fewer divorces.

So I ask:
Who is patient
With their passion?

And I ask:
If salt could heal wounds,
Would we crystallize our scars?

And finally,
When callous lovers
Call us lovers
And believe in commonality,

I ask:
If two depart from opposite sides
At precisely the same time,
Will they arrive as expected?


If we were cowboys,
No one would request anything of us—
There is an understanding with brutish renegades.

We could sit on ledges,
Squinting our eyes,
Stomping butts with our boots,
And glisten in the yolk of the sun,

But neither of us can grow beards
And we don’t have the right complexion
Or the required chiseled chests;
Plus, we’re no good with machinery.

So how about we just go to a bar
And drink gin and tonics
And talk about our favorite painters
And annoy our girlfriends
And ignore requests
Like the cowboys we aren’t?

Daily Dissection

Every morning,
The holes in my head
Are filled with claps
As I clasp the floor,

I lack belief in any
Ability to itemize
The imagery
Unfamiliar to all;

And if there is any
Desire I can forward,
I must not concern
Myself with mediocre

Impressions of skulled
Copies or noted scansion,
But only to imprint layers
Like shoddily spackled walls.


I bought the daisies
A few years ago
And they lasted me
For a few years more.

But in the past
Few years,
It’s been one batch
After another batch

And I am tired of
Sad, sore eyes.
I never want to
See wilting sighs

Come out
Of my fretted palms
Or hear the muffled
Results ever again.

Death To Dream

I have been dying slowly
In my mind

In my mind
I have been dying slowly

I miss earlier days
When I wake up later than usual
I look forward
When I wake up before nine
I look forward
To my future with you

I dream about if I go for good
And if anyone I know
Would think twice
I think about every day
That goes by
Every day that goes by

I have been dying slowly
In my mind

In my mind
I have been dying slowly


After all
The alcohol
And articles,
I am left alone.

At the end
Of my friends’
Mindless debts,
I am still willing.

It’s been years
And years
And I ask myself:

What are the odds
That we’re still at odds?

After years
And years,
You must know:

I never meant any word
You thought you heard me say.

Dog Shit

I want to buy a ticket,
But you don’t have the time.

Man, I want to buy you a drink
And talk about good vibes.

It’s like:

Why am I always stuck
Standing in snow
When you’re in shorts
And asking me for shit to stare at?

Empty Space

If it was such an easy feat
To arm wrestle yourself
In plastic wrap and leather straps,
We wouldn’t have so much empty space
Pinning down the clutter in this goddamn world.

End To End

There is no
There is no
There is only closing
And entry points.


I might
Have might.

But I may
Not stray.

For I
Am I.

And you
Are you.

But who
Are they?

Extended Sum

I hate exposing my skin more than sharing secrets,
But I ran out of excuses
And now every part of me is suffering.

To cure my aches,
I have been drinking coffee and cocktails (in excess)
And staring at the coastline,
Hoping for the fog in the distance to come closer
And engulf my self.

Routine is comfort
And comfort is familiar
And familiar gets boring.

Bored with the same old,
I went looking for new poetry.

I traveled to the fingertip of a landmass
Just to slide my soles
And learned early that morning
That I was a night too late
To hear the voice of an old man I barely knew let out air.

I didn't sulk—
I convinced myself we had no connection;
Yet when I saw his limp in that yard,
I wanted to let out some air of my own.

After a bowl of Portuguese soup and a bottle of British beer,
I found some love to borrow
And the courage to love.


In the event that you feel lonely,
Look for a loner
Or maybe a loaner.

It’s like when you pour too much
Of soda or liquor
And you need a fixer.

But what about getting around
A wanton come down
Only to be let down?

I offer there’s no evil in good fun;
So I’m gonna go to the newish bodega with Reid,
As soon as I trade capitals.
That is,
If the car can make it
And the stomach can take it.


I’m going to buy at least twelve Modelos,
And we’re gonna listen to Mac Dre,
And throw all bad vibes out his window—
Straight down onto North Hancock
With every butt that’s been tossed,
And every spit that’s been lost,
Onto pavement or glass,
Or garment or grass,
Cause we don’t fucking care.

But tomorrow,
I’m going to the place I passed up
To view feminism of the past
With a female of present
As an exchange of presence.

And tomorrow,
I hope I eat as well as I can,
As well as I have,
These last couple days.
And if I have dessert,
It should be in the dark
With no added weight,
I mean pressure.

I want to gain praise,
Like him
And like her
And like her
And like him.

I want it now.

Praise be to me.
Praise be to you.
Praise be to us.


Before you think I said it,
Think about what you’re saying—
I’ve only failed you when you wanted me to.

Fair Trade

Two cats
Play like wild children
From the other side of the tracks,
While another listlessly sits on the edge of a window
Peering out like a jealous asthmatic
With well-to-do parents and a sound education.

If only the loner could share his snacks and dreams,
And the rebels could share their freedom.

Flexed Weekend

I thought you were a brooder
When I saw you standing on the corner
But I think it was just getting late

Nobody wants to be road kill
And them sheep sure can get casual
So I promise I understand

But I thought I liked you
When you bumped back
From the initial strike

And then it was one by one;
It was one after the next,
And I couldn’t come back

It was the whiskey
And it was the Blues
And it was the first kiss that I really knew

But maybe I think it was after some romance
And the beers after beers,
When we were on the Internet for an hour.

Guilty Face

I tried once a week,
For three weeks,
To explain my disappointment.

And every time,
She seemed to understand—
Until she proved me wrong.

One night towards the end,
She caught me catch her
In a house with no shame.

It smelled like dead ferrets
And rotten oranges—
As sour as the tenor of her words.

And then finally,
When I really let her have it,
The shock in her body was shocking.

A few days later,
I began receiving notes,
In various forms and tones.

She tried to convince me
With unconvincing rationale
Of her dragging actions.

My initial impulse was one
To try to understand,
But I knew she’d only prove me wrong.

Gum, Rock, Pits

Knives only go
So deep—

I won’t turn this one,
So don’t twist
And shout

But those hooks
Were overrated—

No chrome
No meat
No matter

How can anyone
Feel alive listening
To those insects

When their words
Are as though they,
Themselves, are dead?

Half Is Enough

I cannot mine
Allusions like you
And I cannot make
Illusions mine.

But I am fortunate to forget
Disparate distractions
From dim-witted detractors.
And in spite of my fortune,

I further pursue one
Opportunity after another
To bountifully hunt
Forgotten creatures of faith—

Ignored by the Greeks and Romans,
Clutched by those more clever,
Thus kept a secret or a slave,
Or made to be an eraser mark

Or a slight embossment,
Resembling the arcane
Shadow of a pixilated ghost,
Begging for eradication.

So I must do what I must,
And dig out my shovel,
To sharpen the truth:
Half, truly, is enough.

Hammer Time

You were the first
And you were the last
And you were the in-between

Does that make sense?

I mean, you were the first
To let things slide
And to let me slide

And you were the last
To let me sleep
To let me sleep in peace

And you were the one
Who let things smooth out
And to let me ease up

And when I woke
And had to face
The man without words,
I sort of knew

I knew things were over
But I had to get out my nails.


One voice
Per corner
Of every corner
Of every room


They walk to the dense center like dehydrated reptiles
Then embrace like unlucky fingers during a lotto draw
Then tangle and dissolve like mid-summer country gossip
Then drown like dungeon masters at a public pool
Then rise like pacifist bread you can’t wait to butter
Then melt melt melt till the morning

In The Middle

I wish I saw you more,
Cause you’re really changing,
And I like it—
But I don’t tell you enough.

I’m sorry.

From here on out,
Every time I visit,
Let’s just eat Indian food,
And watch sitcoms.

Indiscriminate Stance/Impenetrable Dance

Grey days have no impact
On my position.

This day,
Is merely a coincidence.

Sulking and swelling
Will assure resentment.

This night,
Is a prepared must.

My sense of balance
Has finally been surrendered.


There is a steady flow
Of yellow guts
In the folks I keep away.

Usually, the color
Of their skin almost
Matches what's within.

And what comes out
Always proves
They're full of shit.


I watched Jeopardy,
And witnessed a seventeen-year-old
Tally $51,999.

I knew every answer he knew.
And the ones he missed,
I knew too.

But I am twenty-five,
And I make paintings,
And write stuff like this
About people like him
Because I have no money
And don’t have any leads
On how to meet Trebek.

Plus, if I went on tomorrow,
I’d probably lose to a retired librarian.




While jogging at a steady pace,
You’d be surprised to find
The speed by which others live.

July 31st, 2010

Two redheads
Promised each other life
And it made me ask myself
What am I doing with mine?

Missing Exes

I want details
Because as it is,
I have fragments
And run-ons
And they all run away.

Perhaps once I flee,
You become free.
Perhaps once I am gone,
You find wisdom
And accept transformation.

We aren’t meant for suffering—
A quote buried beneath cemented phrases
Of a book I’ve read at least twice,
Maybe three times.

Sentiments engraved in sentences
Like a photo copied on the other side
Of a misplaced sheet,
Dropped from each illuminated script.

And memories are missed like an awkward first kiss.

So there is a mandate
That comes from some committee
That has been in place since at least the turn
Of the century I was born—
We cannot speak to or of those we break
Or those who break from us.

We execute finality
And finally, we execute ourselves.

We become nameless;
We become abridged versions of stories
Left untold.

We become old folks songs
That nobody but our connected enthusiasts
Ever hear.

And all that remains is a ransom unpaid.

I miss you all.


It’s a curious bit
Of wonder, isn’t it?
How one individual
Can own every piece
Of the world
In their pocket,
And dump the lint
On our floors,
Expecting us all
To pick it up
And hand it back;
No questions asked.

Never Been Hit So Hard

I felt Jesus in my skin
When you blew the smoke
From the bowl you hit
Straight into my mouth
And kissed me
For what felt like two thousand years.

New Dysfunction

I am now aware of new dysfunction
From traveling with the gypsy;
But these issues are not my own—
I just point them out and pack them in.

People often say you need to learn from your own mistakes,
But how beneficial it could be…
To avoid mistakes altogether by learning from others’!

When I am through snaking my way back down the East Coast,
I will take my forgotten meds
And drink raw eggs
And think about doing one-armed push-ups.

I need to train like Rocky
If I want to stay strong.

New Guts

I never thought I’d move on
I never thought I’d get past
All the weight on my sides
And the anchors above

But then I moved mountains
And danced with drag queens
And laughed at wild beasts
While beauty rested on my edge

And I wondered about years
And I wandered in the streets
And I felt every chord I ever struck
And each resonated with new guts

No, No, No

I’m through repeating myself
To the circular dudes
And the stationary others.

I’m moving on to newness
And heading out West
As soon as I can say yes.

Persuasion fails with me
So don’t bother, guys—
I’m going fast, fast, fast.

Nothing’s gonna change
Nothing will ever change
No, no, no.

It’s just…

You’re never gonna get it
They’re never gonna get it
No, no, no.

Oil & Sand

I thought you were different
I thought you cared…

I thought you cared about history
And about the present
And what was coming next

But as it is,
You are everything I despised
When I was growing up
And learning and feeling it out;
And now I am bummed.

But what am I gonna do?

What can I do
Beyond bum out
And get over it?

You know,
Sometimes I really do…

Sometimes I really do
Let it get me down
When I think about
All the disappointments
That have been unexpected so far

But then I realize
There is nothing to do
But bum out
And get over it.

Old Man

I never learned how to roll a proper cigarette,
But I always imagined it would be a good skill to know.

For as much ambition as I
Would like to think I have,
I have always resorted to convenience on this matter—

In my golden days,
I had generous friends,
And now that I am one hundred and seventy five years old,
I simply refuse to try.

I sometimes question my willingness
To accept any invitations
Or allow anyone to open any doors for me

After all,
I am a gentleman,

On High (Lands)

Sitting on the backside
Of a wooden triangle,
I listen to the cicadas
Sing in unison
From dusk on.

That’s not entirely true.

I pour myself a rum and Coke.

I light a cigarette.

I go inside.

I want to listen
To the choir all night long,
But it’s colder than I thought in these mountains.

So after the movie,
I go out for another smoke
And listen more clearly
For my companion is now sleeping.

I begin to hear the crescendos
She spoke of earlier.

I begin to hear the moments
Where one voice rises,
Taking its cue to solo.

And I notice—
Perhaps the soloists should not be soloists.

And I think—
How does one become a soloist?

One By One

I’ve never been a jealous man
Because every time I see something I want,
I try to remember what I have.

And when I compare possession and value,
The marbles even out.

One Thousand Hours

I was getting towards something
When a trio said to look elsewhere;
And I asked half a dozen more
And they all confirmed the word.

I looked on every wall I know
And in the corners where they meet;
I searched every surface and space
Where I can sense familiarity.

But it was after one thousand hours
Of staring at the same shit
That I realized a word is just a word
And actions really aren’t much more.

Opening Nights

Stuck on sod,
Between a sob and a sap,
I flip through John Berryman’s dreams,
Making half-assed attempts to understand my own—
Reel-to-reel hallucinations
With almost nightly showtimes,
Playing vivid high definition cinema.

The scripts are pre-written,
Of course;
The edits are made from within,
Of course;
The casts always choose me,
Of course;
And the genres bend like genders,
You know?

These elusive, insular moments never come back to me—
If I am woken,
I end up channel surfing
With my eyes closed,
Waiting for my next feature.

Passion Proof

It’s too bad
These days
We only think in terms
Of today,
Except we excuse ourselves
From living at all.

What happened to history?
What happened to gods?
What happened to Jimi?

Passion proves
Passion proves

I want to move forward,
While looking back.

I do not fear tradition
Because I have none.

Passion proves
Passion proves

I am passion proof.


I would like to hear me
When I type “I”
And I would like to hear you
When I type “U”

For then,
I would simply type
Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.


A sneeze does not
Sit well with me.

I do not care much
For involuntary actions.

But then again,
I choose to cough

And I choose to scoff
At those who lack

Consideration of anything
Or anything close

To uncertainty when
It pertains to containment.

This is why pigeons
Do not flock together.

Please Pay Attention

In the wake of “good fun,”
I arrive back to the place where I chain all my intentions
And interrogate them until they can walk on their own,
Free from their post-pubescent guilt.

I thought acting was unattainable,
Art was unbearable,
Music was unsociable,
Poetry was unprofitable.

But here I am,
Stomping in mud,
Begging for you to pay attention to me.


We go down to the river
With a case of cheap beer
And some firecrackers

Once we’re drunk enough
We pull out our lighters
And set fire to the sky


I fear restrictions,
And relaxation makes me tense.

I haven’t taken a bath
Since my bones first went.

But tonight,
I laid with my lover
In our own filth.

And it felt strange.

I felt like a zebra in a trough,
Yet I liked it.

Quarter Life

I don’t know what could be weirder
Than seeing a pupil on the outside

But I guess I only say that from experience
And it was a weird experience, for sure

But then again, I haven’t hit quarter life yet
And those below are still peaking

Seize It

Why don’t I see you anymore?
You don’t need anchors
When you’re so sturdy,
On your own.

Smear your beige hairs
On statements you don’t allow
Yourself to speak aloud
For reasons I am unaware.

I just owe it to everyone
To address you in this
Format, for otherwise
I might never have the courage.

Sense and Sensitivity

It’s not that I don’t listen—
It’s that I have wet cotton
Lodged in my left ear.

I do regret your feelings,
But there’s not much
More I can do to relate.

It’s relativity that keeps
Us apart, you know,
And if you can’t see that,

I’ll try to comfort from
A distance, if you try
To pinch the bitterness

And dismiss the stench
That so often stifles your
Sense and sensitivity.

Shallow Philosophy

Every time
You come back,
It's like the last time
You came forth

With knowledge
Of some past deeds
Left to be undone.

I will continue to carry
On with ill fortune,
And lonely trepidation.

I await the day
I bust some clouds
And gold rains down
And knocks me out.

Shooting Blanks

Poets are too warm;
Musicians are too cool;
Artists are just familiar.

I don’t know what
Action to say
That might be

From what I’m told,
That’s what I need
In order to find
This hidden token—

And I’ve got some
But potential is nothing
But semen without sperm
And who needs that?


I know a man
That in half a century,
Gave up any agency for authority—
An unfair trade,
For he was unauthorized
To access himself.

As a child,
He tripped on pavement,
Hung in lockers,
Explored backyard backwoods,
Set fire to nothing,
And knotted his future.

With age,
He cultivated personality,
Personalized cults,
Routinely broke routine,
Modeled new vernacular,
But never spoke up.

As an adult,
He affirmed his character,
Amplified his caricature,
Destroyed himself by accident,
Re-built with the remains
And foundational friends.

Last week,
I sat in a used car,
Separated from November,
Attached to this frozen passenger,
Crying for the first time
About this war, and other wars.

Stronger Bowed

I always worry about
The other guys
But it’s not really my place…

Who am I to worry?
Who am I to care?
But I do…

It’s a weird situation
When you’re the one
Who is alone but not lonely…

What does that mean?
What do I show?
But I know; I do…

Stuck in the South

What does it mean when three friends
Melt down, down, down
In less than two weeks?
Should I worry or prioritize?
Or should I just visit and get them drunk?

I am supposed to say something important
In less than a dozen of whatever;
And even though I’ll probably go over,
All I can do is listen to Mike
Share his American Short Story.

I miss all my old friends.

Summertime Blues (2010)

In the summer,
People bum
And the end never comes.

But year round,
Shit is found
And then you’re back to down.


I was just beginning
To scratch the area
Where my testicles
Touch my thighs
And everything

I thought I knew
Was slipping
Out of my pores;
And I hadn’t quite
Developed a mature

Sense of coordination
Or communication.
So when I made any
Attempt to grasp
Onto what I was losing,

It was so immediate
How I stumbled
Or fumbled,
And I couldn’t lose
The red in my cheeks.

Standing in the huddle
On the dusty field,
With tall threads of green
Jutting out where any
Feeble slit might allow entry,

I heard the truth,
For the first time,
From the mouth
Of an older brother,
That not all children

Were born as a result of
A Caesarian section—
This new knowledge
Made me more lightheaded
Than the deflation of Heaven.

Surfaces and Structures

Who can be bored
When the days are so short?

With so much talk
About these landslides,
I don’t understand
The excess in rest.

There is only a slight line
Between laziness
And thoughtfulness.


But at the end of each.
There are mainly complaints.
And I often wonder,
What is worse:
Guilt or shame?

The Architect

I once stayed in a room where, strangely, there were two extra corners
In the center of the room.

It made me think of parents telling children to go to their room
And sit in the corner.

Typically, a child only has four choices in this situation,
But in this room there would be six.

I believe whoever designed this room
Most certainly had punished children in mind while doing so.

Could this be the beginning of more nooks in:


I want to know this architect.

Three Rivers Colliding

Have you ever wondered
What it sounds like
When three rivers collide?

I drifted down,
Down past the railroad tracks
Behind Fourth and Fifth,
And smoked a pack of Pall Malls
And I listened to one.

I drove past the hospital
Where I used to go
When I was younger,
And I left the car running
While I listened to another.

I coasted down the hill
Where you can see all,
Down to fogged lights
And stronger throats
To hear the third.

But when it came time—
The time
I decided to just go home.

Tom Tom on the Western Front

I never thought
I would hear
The pulse
Of a dance club
Beat my brain
While making such demands.

The Beat said...


You must surrender
Your intelligence.

You must surrender
Your knowledge.

You must surrender
Your confidence.

You must surrender
Your pride.

You must surrender
Your humor.

I refused,
And all was quiet.

Truism or Altruism?

Every time I think you
Are finally willing
To digest my agenda,
You squat on my chest,
Press my wrists against
The dirt or dirty floor,
Fix my eyes
With your safe lock stare

And with one smug, snide sentence,
You deflate my presumptions.

It's assumed that a man (boy)
In my position should step back,
Then swing around,
Stiffly soak for a moment,
Pace for two more,
Then recoil and repent.

But I refuse,
To no surprise.

We have the same conversation
We had last week
And the week before
And the week before that.

I feel like I am DJ'ing
Top forty hits
When I'm riding shotgun
In these situations—

And I wouldn't really mind
If the songs felt fresher.

But I applaud you
For continuing to come around
To the merits of my madness.

It's a mindless feat,
Meaningless to most,
Since the majority
Are still catching up.

Two-Thirds Vanity

After discussing at length
Bipolar Poles,
Disjointed artists,
And familiar familial descents and dissents,
I left two of my favorite people
To their own side of the booth
So that I could find comfort
In songs I have kept in my back pocket.

Unwanted Gifts

The ways she has made me tremble,
Giving me inverted bumps beneath my skin.

The lobotomy—
It was much appreciated,
Though unexpected.

If I could present her with a gesture
Better than these words I have written
That could somehow articulate
How grateful I actually am,
I would not have wasted these minutes.

There is no way
To change the past,
Aside from destroying every form of time
Ever conceived.

But no matter how many
Watches and clocks
I might possibly gather,
I don’t have the energy
To climb Big Ben.

So I suppose
My conclusion so far must be
To move forward with the present
And offer up more unwanted gifts.

Viking Jams

It cannot be
How crucial it is
To charter new territories
While avoiding preemption
Or worse,
Between youth and reality.

This is why it would be
To deny the preeminence
Of subtlety and boredom
In the works of forward
In technology or in person.

Without Measure

Sitting in a cold bedroom
On a white covered black cushion,
Laid directly on the wooden floor
That cost less than it looks,
I prop my head up off the wall
That it has been leaning on
And ask why she has the fan
Turned on high.

But she is sleeping
With shimmering skin;
Her left arm touching my right
And as I attempt to rise,
Both of my shins become paralyzed—
This is normal, for me—
So rather than fret,
I relax, free from sweat.