Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Race Problem

When I was 17
I was still in school
Sex, and getting out of school
Was largely on my mind,
TV shows and Rock bands
Calling my friends to talk for hours
And food
And acne.

What was never on my mind
Is that I might die some night
Walking home from 7-11
With candy and a soft drink

Pale skin shielding me
From murderer's rage.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Moment Unfolded

Gazed up at me.
With tongue caressed,
With voice sang
With scent mesmerized,
With all his focus of mind,

Bells rang in empty streets.
Waves of flickering birds arose.
The universal music
Lifted up the ragged men
When Heaven
Gazed up at me…
Burning sweetly,
With all the love in all the hearts,

Nothing was left then
But fine laughter,
Effervescent waves,

Lifting us to the smiling stars,
Returning us home.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tatterdemalion Dreams

It was always summertime then
And softness flowed soft jeans.
Time moved colorful flags,
They were going back to the garden
In their Chevrolets.

Everyone had the summertime blues
Except for the day-tripping dreamers.
Time swept down summer rain;
They all found something fun to do
In the upstate mud.

Summer came to an end too soon
Though fires burned in desert twilight.
The king of jokers danced in the wind;
Knives flashed, innocence died
In the Santa Ana winds.

Now hair grays, stringy in wintertime,
Tie-dye is a market for pot-bellies.
The easy neighborhood dreams of fast bucks,
The walrus grumbles in endless loop-back,
Summertime’s a cheap decal.

So there’s your dream, Americans,
In tattered rags, once flags of youth.
The promise of endless cool and earth
Swallowed in the corporate vibe;
Aquarius, a nova-star.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Suicide

My suicide
Will be a razor
Will be a gas
Will be noose-tight
Will be a whole bottle of pills
Will reek of bitter almonds
Will slice through arteries
Will bleed on the carpet
And leave dark smears in the bath.

My suicide
Will be a mess
Will burn like a monk
Will swell with lake-water
Will smoke in the garage
Will be a shot to the skull
Will declare me void and null.
My suicide
Will burn like acid
Will freeze me in ice
Leave nothing except
My dead eyes at night.

I’ll leave you all
A simple note
That will bite the heart
That bred it right
Words will be my symphony
All that’s left
Of absurd me.

My suicide will be talked about
My suicide will be
The one great act
That defines me.
My suicide, on the evening news
Will be the story
That fits the bill.

I’ll be world famous
I know I will.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Windows and Waves

There is a window
Behind the moon
Where winds move
and trumpet flowers play
just beyond the frame.

Stars, you know
Dream of glass
And glass dreams
Of when it was sand
And sands dream always in the sun.

We know obsidian lizards drink
From dark fire rivers
And do not dream of anything,
but the waves move, just the same
Behind the moon so clear.

All the water that ever was
Once carried the glass
And what did it dream?
Perhaps it dreamed of us
Perhaps it dreamed of God.

Stars spring out
And spin in spirals,
Or so it is said
When the moon is full and blue
When the window is open.

The curve of the universe
The cat said, is a blink of an eye
An eye full of sun
With playful lashes
And a smile in its depth

So go ahead and drink         
From a glass, from a dream of sand
The water of life, so bright and clean
Skate the tempests of ether,
Like a small boat cutting through time...

...Through the million nights
Through the blink of days.
Don’t fly until you’re ready
To jump through the windows
Above the curling wave of sea.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kissing You All Over Like the Sun

Kissing you all over like the sun
My love will softly nourish you.

Indolence becomes you today.
My arms are the best place for you to rest.
My rough hands a becoming frame for your face.

Stay with me
And I will crown you a sleepy prince.
Love with me and I swear it,
no matter how torrid the tempest becomes
you will rise from our bed
radiant and clean
and all over kissed
by the sun.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Untitled Poem For a Collection of Dusty Books

What is lonelier
than knowing you’re
the only one who cares?

Mr Thurber’s dead
Jackie Benny forgotten
And Charles Dickens?
Just someone read in school.

The attitude summed
up best by a writer friend
who said, did your Dante make
the New York Times
Bestseller list?

What is lonelier
and more pathetic
than a man with gifts no one wants?
What is sadder than wisdom and wonder
lying dusty in a dark room
that no one will ever enter?

I’ll tell you,
in case you haven’t guessed:
It’s the man who lives in that room

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Sounds Of Bells

I was foolish enough
To expect a jingle in your eye
When I walked into the room
Instead I got the old
Bottle cry.

Let’s you agree to share my wallet
Garnished with a helping of lies
After all, that’s what makes
The world go ‘round, isn’t it?
Your world.

If my world had not been so long a desert
If I had not strayed so far
I might never have heard your false bells pealing.
Nor seen sweet water in the sands.

Now, go with my blessings
And not a curse
Because even you have taught me well
About loneliness, wavering lakes
And the sounds of windy bells…

Saturday, March 23, 2013


One winter’s day
Kids were being kids
In a colorful classroom,
When blood suddenly blossomed on the walls.

A moment that struck fear
Into the heart of a fetishist
Who had been stroking
His semiautomatic

He sputtered to his defense of
His right to own weapons of mass deliciousness;
Blood licking down the barrel
Of his impotence.

One winter’s day
The chatter of children
Was silenced by the clatter
In the head of a death skull
Aiming for glory.

A moment that struck terror
In the hearts of the gun clan,
Who squealed like hysterical pigs in the killing crate
At the thought of losing
An hour’s retail profit.

Now, someday a Herod
Will reap innocent lives
By the heaps, useless and uncounted
And the nation will die.

A moment that will be excused
As the price of a Right, divine and unalterable
Which is the only one worth respecting.
So shut up, and keep your
Shaven head down.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pondering TJ Lane

What can I think
Or feel
When I see your terrible
Sneer, your raised finger
Defiance of life
And what we call decency.

Where is one thing human?
And yet,
I must reflect
On men in important houses
Who order death casually
For thousands and millions
With sneers and a raised finger
In the face of us all.

And wherein is anything
From their livered lips
Not a defiance of life?

Where is their sentence,
their prison?

Oh, human child
Who destroyed,
As a bee creates it’s own death
When it stings
Your own life.
I see your ugly eyes reflecting back
The generals, the goons, the presidents
The cold stares of noted dictators
The bloody hand of our dark nature,

And I ask myself
(for this is not a polite subject)
Are you, after all,

The venom
Still pumping through
The detached lancet
Ripped from our
Once innocent bodies?

Why I Don't Shop at Whole Foods

From "Whole Foods CEO John Mackey told NPR that Obamacare is like "fascism." Of course, Mackey is welcome to his views -- but with a product line that seems so obviously aimed at those on the left, was saying so good for his shareholders? "It's hard to believe anyone who is intelligent would refer to Obamacare as fascism," says Corn, both because it's not a great analogy and because it risks alienating those core customers.
Indeed, Whole Foods customers were infuriated, and some boycotted, though the impact on sales remains unclear.
It's not the first time Mackey's conservative politics have rattled his customers' liberal sensibilities. He's also likened unions to herpes, stating: "It doesn't kill you, but it's unpleasant and inconvenient, and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover," according to this New Yorker report. "

I may be a Vegan but I'm not stupid. I haven't shopped at Whole Foods for years. ever since I first heard about Mackey's politics. He's been anti-union for decades. If you can, I suggest you use all that money you spend at WF at your local grocery or Co-op, if one is available.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Teacher, Dear

Teacher, dear
I'm sorry I acted up in class today.
(No, I'm not sorry.)
Home is not a safe place
it's where the beatings happen,
so I had to        lose my mind...

Teacher dear,
I'm sorry I came to school drunk today.
(though I really don't care.)
Father keeps forcing sex on me,
and he says that I'm a slut,
so I had to       drown my mind
(to stay alive).

Teacher, dear,
I'm sorry that I couldn't stay awake in class today.
(I'm so tired...)
With mother gone to work all night
someone has to watch the others,
and my voice stuck deep
inside my throat     won't let me say.

I wish you knew!
But the fear I hold inside
paralyzes        everything.
And I wish I could die...

Somehow, it isn't right,
that rage and sadness are the only things
left in me;
rage and sadness, hidden tears...
I'm only trying           
to numb the pain.

Teacher, dear,
I'm sorry, but I'll probably fail in your class, this year.
Education is a burden,
and home is not the safest place it ought to be,
it's a hidden world       of misery and hate
and degradation.

So, shut your mouth!
How would you know
anything I'm going through?
The places I am bleeding from
the damage that's been done...
How would you know,

how would you know?

Oh, Teacher, dear
don't keep me here
don't hold me close      I want to go...
just let me go,

just let me go...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Simon's Last Thoughts

Still from The Lord of the Flies (1962) Simon: Tom Gaman

In quiet times
Way down here

I realize there’s nothing left for me.

I will melt
Like a starfish in the sea

And nothing will be left of me.

Its just too late
The sun has become a fearsome thing
And the devil has more than his due.

In quiet times
Way down in here
I hear the voices of the radiant
and innocent

Asking why did so many millions have to die?

What did freedom mean?

Like a starfish in the sea
Do I know the end of me?

It’s getting late
The sun has become a fearsome thing
Anyway, it’s time to be getting home.

In ugly times
Way down in here

I realize we never really found the way.

Why did you say
That God or Christ ever went away

So the Devil could lead us all astray.

It’s in your books
It’s in your church

Lying like dust upon the altar there.

All around, and up your nose
And settling on the statue’s frozen pose.

So to sin they had to clear the good away.

It’s gotten late
And the sun is setting on a hopeless scene
There is no rock on which to lean.

And all the light
Which illuminates the golden things
Are just reflections from the fire
That we built because…

Well, just because.

It’s just too late
We don’t deserve to be here, anymore
And anyway I’m tired and want for nothing more.

I’m getting tired…

Thursday, March 7, 2013


 "As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields." -- Leo Tolstoy




In the old black and white movies

the aliens were heartless and cruel.

They didn’t care

about me and you,

they just wanted what they wanted

and if you got in their way, you were food.


At the table that night we laughed

relieved that it wasn’t all true

and ate every bite of beef stew.


Oh, the killing places have thick walls

and the battlefields are so far away

nothing touches us,

nothing gets in the way

of a good time…


We watch movies from the old war

and see what the fascists had done,

the camps and the cages

gas chambers and ovens

and nausea grips us, their evil appalls;

if you got in the way, you were meat

rot that just got thrown away.


And, when bullets ripped through the classroom

when innocent first-graders died

we gasped in horror at the evening news

“what is wrong with our country?”

and tore the legs off a carcass to feed.

No, nothing gets in the way,

not compassion and not common sense,

of a good time.


No, we don’t want to see

seared beaks and cramped cages,

cattle who struggle and dangle

by their legs as they’re bled;

dolphins who die drowned in blood

the screams of their young in their ears…





The holocaust of everyday:

They’re put on a track to die

Life is all horror and misery

Not a flicker of hope in their eyes

Until throats are cut and they’re bled

if they’re lucky.


The great wheel turns again

Relentlessly grinding our humanity down

We don’t want to see the cost

The stench in the air that kills us.


We should have everything that we want

fast food, cancer, diabetes

dead skin to put on our feet

a heart attack where we lie on the couch

watching death on the evening news.

Nothing gets in the way

of our good time.


No, there are no glamorous vampires.

There are monsters in many ways;

waters that flow with bacteria

wars rolling forever, like blood;

the din of agonized dying,

the laughter and cheers at the game

where a beautiful creature must die


degraded, alone.


No, there’s nothing we won’t to do

No matter how ugly and cruel,

Because nothing will get in the way

of our good time.



















Saturday, March 2, 2013

Where To Look



“My mentor, Gottfried Muller once said to me, “Thomas, do you want to know how to look into the eyes of God?’

‘Of Course!’ I answered.

‘Then look into the eyes of any other living thing,’ he said.”

--Thom Hartmann “The Last Days Of Ancient Sunlight”



Yes, I’d grown cynical

Lived a life so long wherein

I searched for Him

In every church

in temple and mosque

Read a thousand tales

In a thousand books

Sank my mind

Into the lost valleys

Of philosophies, of physics theories

Trying to catch a glimpse of Him

Through lenses, windows

The bottom of a glass

And in the winds

Of lysergic journeys

Fell long distances

Rose to vaporless vacuums 

Sat cross-legged under sweet trees

Humming the Mandala of Om

Counting breaths, searching Yarrow stems

Laying prostrate on red rock mesas

Beseeching the curtain be parted

And peace be granted

To my groping heart.


I’d grown cynical,

Starved, fruitless and weak

Spirit parched

Past all love, I thought


One day I turned to gaze

Into the eyes of

Another being

And that’s where I found Him,

Staring back at me.



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Maciunas Explains

Art that you can laugh at
is important
very important.
we’ve had too much of the exclusive
worldly artist who replicates
over and over, his limited
palate of ideas,
who knows how to shmooze at the openings
and get his two-dimensional paintings
on arcane gallery walls;
who bores with depth that isn't there.

What we need are paintings of the mind:
a painting that is one part piano
one part head in a bucket of ink
one part sound of wind on flying paper
one part grit from the cracks in the concrete
one part Buster Keaton pratfalls;
no paint or canvas needed.

What we need is art that looks like life
music that occur in silences
rubber boot concertos
creaking butterfly wings
and thoughts.

What we need is the poetry of juxtaposed
signs, words, meanings, sounds without letters
letters without words
jokes, vulgar puns
missing words
fragments from obsolete

What we need is to market art en-mass
anonymous to the consumer
film-strips and cheap plastic boxes
instructions on how to
create your own
work of art
just by dreaming.

The Stars

Where would my madness take me tonight
but to this wild, open sky
where, ringing above
in fearful radiance
are the stars!
Watching me like implacable gods...
The stars! Crackling with exultation!

I must paint them to relieve the waves
breaking in wide pools above me.
She doesn't love me.
Jesus doesn't love me.
even the whores don't like me.
and I am alone with my pounding, whirling stars.

I gasp up at them as they mock me
in purity,
I, so defiled, so filthy, adorned with dirt
I'm a failure and no one knows me...
Still, I must paint! I must... I must!

I-I can't even hold a brush, it's too soft
too far from my hand, it won’t do.
I need to push it out from the tube
and stroke the canvas with my misery
push the color of my pain out,
wringing it out, I must, I must!
Oh, the stars are breaking my heart!

I must let them out
swirl their accusing innocence, I must show
how they taunt me with their waves
how they call me to go with them
to stand before God.
Oh, Theo, let me burn pure like they do!
Please, Please! I'm ready...
My eyes are aflame with the stars!

Black Diamond

You were always my
black diamond,
reality preacher
deeper thinker.
Not for you the easy song
of love and longing,
selfish obsessions.

You sang,
'This is my country.'

You sang,
'if you could choose the color…'

Black diamond in the rough
on the tagged and battered
avenue of midnight.
I celebrate your dark glitter.
In your quivering, wounded falsetto
you gave voice to the ghetto child
running wild, crying out of his soul,
'My God, my God,
why wouldn't they just let me be? '

Soaring like a black bird
over the power lines
hung with old shoes
blaring with poverty
heaving with trash and rusted cars
You sang,
'Freddie’s dead
on the corner, now…'
you sang his black mass
with a full heart
an angel’s breath.
And then,
with urban irony,
'If you wanna be a junkie, wow! '

Urban trubador,
dark poet
black diamond!
how you glitter
even in the night’s despair;
nervous strings behind you
shivering in the howl of night.
You dared them:
look beyond
your heavy doors,
look me in the face!
reflected in my shine
so trapped and blind.

What do you mean
when you say 'nigger'
'jew', 'whitey'?
Don't you know? 'We're all gonna go! '
Turning that thought
into a whirlpool
swirling us out to a lonely road
to confront nakedly,
our own
toxic stupidity.

Stand up, slight man
in the club’s spotlight
smile a little.
Sooth us down with your weeping axe
let us settle in...
draw the room into your mind
until we shine

Black Diamond,
my man Curtis,
loving poet
of the brilliant night
turn them towards the light
singing, 'Right on, right on
for the darkness.'

Friday, February 15, 2013

Jack's Song

We must now hark
To the slither of snakes
And the flitter of bats,
The twisting of minds,
Of the blood on the floor.

We make it dark!
Shake out black sheets!
Rise in night winds!
We spook it like demons,
Green in lurid red light!

We go down
Where the girl trod a loaf,
Where toads croak out love
And spiders spin madly,
Where vermin eyes glitter no pity.

Yes! Lovely shrieks
Claw at our throats,
While mechanical chains
Saw at false limbs.
Hollowly, glowgrins lick at the night!

Pound at the door,
Shout bloodcurdling cries!
The door slowly opens--
A shocking surprise!
  Evil intent on your pumpkin-lit porch.

Axes fall loudly
Webs wrap you tightly
Claws prick at your back
Sharp teeth at your throat
Luridly glowing, three thousand feet tall.
So, don’t give us Raisins,
We want the real loot!
Deadly sugars, dyed garish
To rev us up fully
And thus, fueled and sped-up
We’ll rip at the night!



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rabbit's Moon (Revised)

(Still from Kenneth Anger's "Rabbit's Moon")

Yea Perriot

Fallen in love with the moon

Over and over again

You reach

For the lover who isn’t there

Foolish Perriot.




The matte zooms in flat

The rabbit, the moon and thee

Over and over again

Hear the bells reveal the doo-wop tunes

Romance and fear

On this night

in the forest of flowers.




Here comes Harlequin

To beguile with tricks of air!

Walking tightrope across the ground

Juggling nothing, cavorting and tumbling

And leaping about!


Don’t look such a fool, sweet Perriot,

Look further than his wand and see!

For with his magic lantern. here


He’ll conjure a star of sun

A mystery of woman

Of blithe, alluring illusion

The heartless institution

Sweet Columbine!




Ah, silly Perriot

Who spurns the mirror and the lute

Thrills instead to her lovely dances

Artful and mechanique

Oh what would you give

Naif Perriot

To be her one and only dream-

The moon?

But now you are the one who’s spurned

She dances now with Harlenique!


He leers and turns quite graceful

And charms her in his roguish way

The rabbit sniffs the air,

Winking blindly, casts his spell

Off they go to the endless show.

Leaving lonely, stupid Perriot.



And now the lantern shows a fear

The moon eclipses, dark and drear

Disaster for poor Perriot

Dimming all the hopes he’s known.


But soft! Your better angels come…

And show reflection and the tune

Again you hurry from your room?

Into the silver forest gloom…


And there’s the rabbit in the clearing

The moon a spotlight on his hearing

The bells and adenoidal crooning

Is something there that you are fearing?


To fall?


And Perriot

In the garden grasping,

Twisting, turning, flailing, yearning

Flying towards the everlasting;

He tumbles towards the magic light

To something hidden in the night


 And when the ragdoll hit the floor

Poor Perriot, he was no more.






Saturday, February 2, 2013


We sang

When midnight tore at our hearts

When fire was swallowed up in mud

When magic died

We sang

And from the singing

Though there were tears and pain

From the singing

A new day blossomed

From a song

Stronger than bullets

The jaws of dogs

Or slander

Life opened up

A little wider

Smiles opened up

A little brighter

And life got a little easier

All because

We sang.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

No Shantytown

In America
Ain’t no shantytowns
Ain't no shantytowns
They’re all underground
Or stuffed into a shopping cart.

In America
You ain’t not alone
‘cept when you’re on the street:
Nobody you meet
Wants to take you home
sleep at a bus stop, here
Huddled in the evening news.

In America
Everyone got shoes.
No one has the blues;
They’re all underground
Shoved into a plastic bag.

Drowning down under the river
But the river ain’t there,
It ain’t nowhere
Ain’t no shantytown
Round here, anywhere.

This is America
Ain’t no poor man here,
And ain’t no bright noon sun
In America
To hide things from.

Note: The grammar in the poem is intentional.  It's not meant to render colloquial speech as much as it is to lend ambiguity to the statements.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Defense Department

Ground meat gristle war machine
with flag wave cross bone skull in green
it frenzy-feeds, farts and shits out
silver for the new Iscariot.
Kiss the race, the human face
shove your kids into its maw
hear the crow laugh, buzzards flap
sniff the stink of napalm death.
here’s the drug for you, my dear
meat on your plate, now chew, now chew
eat, choke clotted blood and spume,
exploded eye and swollen lung,
expose the spine and nerveless strings.
Ground meat gristle war machine
goes on and on across a plain
folded into fumaroles
where sky once was and in the fog
who sees the ugly ending come?

Metal machine drone insect wing
it roars and screams at everything.
it fills the bank with candy-jack
and slipper-blood and cadillacs
and everything for pretty princes
so witty, killing party jokes
anticipating tasty sorrow
lasting tears and ruined life
(that is no life, it’s just not death).
It really gets them off with glee
they spurt, the slackness flies so free
it's radiant like neutron waste
and glows on every poor man’s face
as they decide, like god above
how many towns to burn today;
and grinding gristle bone-machine
grabs hand and limb for grist and glean
to sweep the universe so clean,
the gleaming, shiny war machine;
the oligarchic endless dream
so safe in happy houses, free;
the Christmas tree is placed with care
above the salt-sown plain of fear.
Oh godly golden death, it gleams!
The gristle bone-crunch war machine.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mobius Flip



Don’t tire me out with lies

you don’t know whys.

Don’t give me your sand castles

Or bitten apples

Awful strains to find remains

Of something easy to accrue

Put the pot down

Pour out a cup

And listen to once what’s around you.


It floats in transparencies

Outside the pharmacies

Flows without a personal ghost

Up and down if you’ll beam in

The happiness of losing self

And sense.


Don’t get comfy in the fat jacket, Jack

Get down under knees to see

Something a little elementary

What’s going on in the immediate, all around you

Down to your soul-feet sky.


Get in on this flipper dive

The mobius flip, alive, alive!

Get out of the trip, it’s jive

Check out your sister, brother

Fall in with a new crowd, cloud loud

The blades of tenderness, those little savage

Dander-lions in the slipstream of your one and only

Rising ball of earthly fury, Argus-eyed life.


Don’t kid yourself, kid

We never really miss a trick.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Night Storm


Buffet and shake my little house

Dark and raging winds

filled with the lash of rain;

Remind me of mortality

Show me the risk of being alive

Separate from the fury of effervescence;

This restless, driving universe.

Give me this gift of fear

The last door through which I’ll pass;

Opening on the light that is

A Vulcan shower of forging sparks

Of which I am and always was a part

Though I deny it, in my little

Shaking house.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012




Light comes in

through your shy face;

a window

where I can see

all things I know

are beautiful…


beautiful and young,

bright and earthy,

new grass, wildflowers

blue skies

Leopard grace

sunshine smile of brighter hue

than the finest, warmest gold.


Excited and alive


swirling up, a storm

of crackling ideas

childlike and intelligent

given freely to the day

with grins and hope.


You don't know it

but I love you today

with all the yearning,

all the soaring arrows

of truth and freedom

in my mind and soul.


I'll never tell you

for it wouldn't do

to mar your path

with selfishness

or, witless, heartless

allow you to feel a single pang

of regret, distaste, or pain

for something so unreal

and unneeded.



Though turned away,

in my hidden thoughts

I kiss your luminous face

hold your mystery in my arms

wonder at the universe

reflected in the surface

of your eyes.


I ask for nothing else of God

except-- let me love him

with my secret glance

which whispers

like a breath on glass

warmly, but without harm,

memory, or trace.








Saturday, November 24, 2012

School Picture

("1965" By David Salt)
Where the emulsion

Has cracked and curled,

Has torn or worn away

Lies the truth.


The shy boy face

The half-smile

Is the mask

worn to school that day;

Like the stiff, red shirt;

Protection against

The cold.

The true self dreamed of

Going somewhere friendlier.



Reading ahead in class

Or dreaming

Of red numbers and blue numbers.

He always dreamt in colors



That was one thing that

Couldn't be cured, or slapped away

With incomprehensible

Adult resentment.