Backslide

Eyes glance to the past
      with little to add 
much to take
     and nothing to spare
but sprightly japes
        at dinner parties
   recounting the same stories
  for some reason 
the fieriest adventures
the ones that hurt
     are lost in memory
    and nobody can add to the mix
        conversation of a cardinal
chirping loudly somewhere outside the city
        I fillip my head to the ceiling
for a moment
  as if praying
and hope for something new.

Tags: poetry

Look at me Ginsberg
and tell me there really is
a soul to adore.

Tags: haiku poetry

"howl to the beat of the road to harvard and watch your eyes roll to the sunshine pikari fill the train track cracks of Europe with moonlight."

Tags: poetry

Head tilts cheek to chin
all the world is left askew
such strange world this view.

Tags: haiku poetry

Burning

And then the throat caught fire 
in a tsunami of embers.

Rage what a mantlepiece of desire
for some canopy of darjeeling
thickets of cobweb in the mire.

Madness in a vacuum
nothing beyond its glass walls.
Stained glass windows of lifelessness 
and struggling animals 
flesh ripped apart.

The skull pounds in delirium
weighing itself down.

And she is the crescent moon
illuminated and orange
before the constellations of conflict.

Anger at the sweetness of her smile:
a love that reconciles.

She is my four-petaled 
never dying lilac
of breath and desire
whom I forget to admire.

Wayward With The Wise

These pale trees shoot upward 
scratching the night with
their dead wooden fingers.

The purple clouds that shine 
with refracted moonlight
against the university buildings
I can’t understand.

Oh so many midnight windowpanes
glimpse into professorial offices
where open book shadows
sprawled on the floor
with shifty wisdom painted
like a cracked oyster shell
open all too hollow
all too empty 
nothing appears real.

I paint the pattern of wisdom 
on the walls of my skull like a student 
harried by saddened sapience.

Oh such a wraith before my eyes
as I tread water with the wise.

And such trembling doubt
when they speak,
because there is nothing
out there
that I know.

Anxiety

Collapsing into a crawl
and hungry yawn to ward
off shallow breath
is to drown on dry land.

The bottoms of your feet
and the tops of your hands
are walking strangely sensitive
beside the chaotic solar plexus,
the ganglion of pain.

Darkness does not begin to describe it,
because before anything else
there is a blinding light of worry
flashing white and red,
your eyelids bar you in.


Then the inescapable pulls up in its carriage.
And Forever looks you in the eye
nothing is more terrifying
and you see yourself drawn up in a mental
ward for the rest of your nights

sobbing horrified by everything
hoping that the pinching
in your abdomen subsides
and that the shapes of your room
turn two shades lighter.

Sitting On A Bench At Night

Time placed in the center
looks outward at the world,
at the stone buttresses
balancing our madness.

It studies the constant sky
and the almost liquid flow
of our miseries and panics 
sitting side by side

spinning time in circles,
like a leaf spiraling down 
from an oak branch
toying with the flat surface
of our groundwork.

The sun freckles the grassy
shadows of branches
like a solar imprint of life
into the time-warped soil.

Light spites time
shining sprightly colliding
with the darkness,
and winning it over 

and nightfall
the garish purple
of the cumulonimbus 
hanging low.

Searching

The unfamiliar parts
of Park Slope, by chance, happened
to be blasting ear buds
and Descartes on the bus.

What a bizarre dot on the
map of the world,
with the pizza of hipsters
congregating to grow gargantuan beards.

Seven billion people… identity
sets us apart.
We bought ourselves
from our mothers

in a desire to comply
with the calling
of the equation.
One of the mass.

The world is a confused,
artistic, young man
solving a puzzle
in the mortal darkness.

Little handsome,
relevant things collected
in the sea and landmasses,
beautiful and gray.

  

Tags: poetry

Bloom Speed

(Wrote this quite a while ago)

Young smile—bright
daffodil: a natural history
of romances

penned in ovals,
distorted and redundant
like a deep rain kiss

turn up again
the petunia garden
watered and replenished, 

the flowers emerging
from the tough soil
in vibrant bloom
of yellows and reds. 

They die eventually
and different ones reappear,
but nothing changes. 

Delicate women jump
vulnerably blue
down with deep deadliness. 

Urgent motion, soft fingers
looking for a new place
to spend the night.

Tags: poetry

Weak Veil, Weak Light

Do you ever look at a person
just to study the dimensions of their smile?

I view photographs of the most confident
people in the world, presidents, chemists,
novelists, lovers, and I study images

of young children: her hair is blonde
and she has light freckles on her nose
above a smile as bright as a luna moth,
she is happy just to be alive.

Do you ever look at a person
and momentarily imagine that you
are holding a dense rifle against their skull?

«»God’s not watching your thoughts,
he’s too busy.

Sometimes I shake a woman’s hand
and look her in the eye
flash-imaging the most disgusting
acts she could possibly perform on me.
Do you ever do things like that?

It’s called an intrusive thought,
they happen to be rather common.
You could pretend that by categorizing
our perversions and consigning them
to filing cabinets somewhere deep
in the annals of the American Psychological Association,

that your demons are human
and laughably small just like we are.

When I look at people smiling in public
I’m reminded of all the times
I closed my eyes and sobbed so hard
that I was worried, for just a second,
that the contents of my skull
would burst through my face
with a splintering crack.

Celebrities especially remind me of
death and all those times I cried so violently
that I crumpled to the ground
and beat the floorboards with my fists.

We’re all weak like that.
And when I see people smile
I see the latent sobs bubbling forward
waiting for the next private moment.

I remind myself of all the intrusive thoughts
you must have about me,
and about all the guilt it must put you through.

Your smile reminds me of how
easy it would be to make you vulnerable
with the right combination
of the nastiest words in the language,

!!!

and in a matter of seconds you would
remember the most hateful things about yourself,
and if I keep persistent in my attack
your systems would fail,
it would reduce you to a fleshy puddle of tears.

I could remind you that you’re going to die,
or that you’re hideous.

Maybe the thing that makes you tick
is your intelligence,

or if you’re young, I could tell you
a few things about Christmas.

Much of this joy is a weak veil of concealment
and you don’t have to be a sadist
to see weakness everywhere.

Tags: poetry

The Old Crimson Rug

Whiskers and lint litter
the herringbone pattern of the rug,
low against the ground,

tread upon like a brick,
a placemat, a stepping stone,
or a slab of concrete.

Thick hands, wrinkled with oily
palms, working together
some time ago

must have created this rug
in a few months,
the work of a distant artisan

in his dimly lit workspace
beside a horse stable,
the deep odor of manure

which enjoys the affection
of the sullen foot
and the adoring eye

in the reading room of a stranger.
A consanguineous heritage…
an indelible impression of humanity…

Although it cannot see,
this rug has a family
composed of history.

Persistence of objects, resistance
of subjects, ephemeral flicker,
one walks before the other

on the Aztec imitation,
everything is an antique
except for us.

Tags: poetry

Words Are Paint

and reading is making love to yourself
in a vacuum of the distant past.                              

Sometimes our eyes burn the pages
leaving crisp black circles

between the dark lines
of text, fading like smoke.

Mired in truthfulness,
the book is bloodying
your nose too close to the page

Candor, injury,
blood, locusts, and nausea

and prepare for disaster
to strike your soul
as you walk up the stairs

to your warm bed,
book in hand, ready to learn
about yourself, you will

discover new mysteries
before you fall asleep
never again the same.

Tags: poetry

You’ll Hear From Me, Buddha

I did something he
                               would smile at.

Incandescent scriptures
are gone, but I believe                   
doubt lies on the ground

like a limp dog,
neither moving
nor resting,

it just breathes
slow as bones. 

It collects stories
from the sky
and orders them
in alphabetical vain.

At night I talk
to the Buddha
of Kushinagar

about politics.
I try to make him
worldly again. 

Sitting on the rug
blackness surrounding a lit
candle, thin cylinder
plucking away at my strings,

I am its instrument
and doubt the song
of my throat.

Tags: poetry

Soaked Diaries

Age hurts like an invisible ghoul
hiding in an empty salad bowl
in a rural kitchen with ancient fumes
and light bulbs buzzing loudly.

Hiding in an empty salad bowl,
soaked olives beneath the lettuce
and light bulbs buzzing loudly
waiting to be discovered.

Soaked olives beneath the lettuce
forgetting to wake up,
waiting to be discovered,
rotting from two salads ago.

Forgetting to wake up,
eyes with unbearable youth,
rotting from two salads ago,
the riddled memories are gone.

rab