Friday, December 28, 2007

as we danced

the stuttering thought
struggled through my mind
desperate to finish
and in itself
be smooth as
orator pebbles
in the mouth
of forced disability

was there a sense
that time was answering
its own questions
about dark and light
and lonely

that this great solitude
born in the shadows
of stones
or the fatally blanched
moonlit shadows
of trees
where lurked betrayal

that was the last answer
to the first question
about the third law of thermodynamics
echoing in the shadow
of the solid things
and dancing the dance
of duplicity
with tidal vapors
of emotion
made real by gravity
in the pale night

Saturday, December 22, 2007


word wash waste water
bright day without sun
shadows dreaming darkly
dish dark dirty dragging

the moon will come
between me and the sun
mid day stars shine as
birds land beside me

surrounded by a flock
with their heads tucked
under their wings in the dark
as if it would help

as if sleep would save them
with dreams of bright and blue

Thursday, December 13, 2007

to winter

wasted days gather
the same as piles of leaves
on a crisp fall day

if something drops
you won t find it again
in those bleak piles

Saturday, December 08, 2007


soon i will take to the skies
my face – in muted cabin light
a pale offering upturned and spent
on bad things and duty free

the silence hiss and rumbling
is kept away
with headphones
and personal screens

talking and singing arms
wrap around me tightly
hold the lonely
and the bored

have embraced me away
and have brought me back

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lament for David “chip” Reese’s last hand

maybe this is the some other time
business school at stanford can wait

calm and quiet like chip
who was a lousy businessman

according to his partner
poker kings but business suckers
of the worst sort
true gamblers

lost outside the realm
of million dollar bets
easy come easy go

sitting now across the table
from the one with all the cards

Sunday, November 25, 2007

short list

here is my schedule for today
check room for final presentations
set film study exam schedule
grade papers
post grades
pick up papers at administration
teach class

it doesn t say anything
about staring at the corner
answering phone calls
reading e mails
finding no letter from you
looking at full pages
that are blank

and empty pages that are full
it doesn t say anything about them

Friday, November 23, 2007

we are too eager

she can hear her blood rushing through her ears
a river of raucous song

she fashions sugarplums from her eyebrows
and sends them off to dance on their toes
in the gaze of handsome eyes

the thrill is to dance with a good looking stranger
her quiet looks of desire
are thoughts so loud
they overcome the music

rotating the room in circles
swirling to the center of disorientation
anticipation not knowing what it is looking for

what if a rustling shroud was a dance partner
and dying a dance

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

night flight

she rides the rocket ship of mumbling in her sleep
monologs that once were conversations

we are aware of her as if she was dead
mostly asleep always waiting for the ice to melt
visible only as a spot in center glacier

we have no choice but to consider her
she cannot leave her world of solid ice
we know she is always there
asking questions in permafrost thought

she haunts the nights
a rumor in the hall - an allegation
that the dead can be hungry at three a m

lunch in orbit – who cares what the time -
with a final lay-over in the rocket-port of cigarette smoke

Monday, November 19, 2007


night hollered
its last rainstorm

and the drunken man
slid below the surface
while the other watched

short gasping breath
leads to sleep
death confidently visits the face of the drowned
like an over-welcomed guest

dreaming breathing - mother -
whose eyes smother small children
with death defying control

wetly punishes – especially herself –
the weak who are too strong

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A MEME ON POETRY -- tagged by Tiel

Tagged (by Tiel at Knocking From Inside) and feeling somehow a bit naked these days, so the meme is like this: list at least four things each you think a beginning poet should and shouldn't do: tag someone else.

Ok let’s start with the DO’s:

1. Get in touch with the passion inside of you that most people bury and only give expression to obliquely at cocktail parties disguised as envy, prejudice, jealousy, provincialism and lust. When you get your passion uncovered and able to honestly express itself, mobilize it – give it your legs, arms, mind and time to use in whatever way it requires. You must believe in it blindly because it is invisible but, when you do, you will start finding physical things like clues that show it has passed this way.
2. Put on your Matrix sunglasses. The world, as it appears to most of the people you know, is an illusion created just for the purpose of keeping them amused and letting them pretend everything is going pretty much as they expect. Discover the splinter in your mind that will keep you from hiding from the world that is truly all around you. Open your eyes to the secret world; you may be the only chance somebody you love has to even get a hint of what is real.
3. Read, searching every word for proof that others have seen the secret world and are willing to bring us their dictations. Read until your head blows up with all the people who have penetrated the mysterious and have brought back what was shared with them as if it was somewhere very far away, which is how it seems to most people. Read until your mind becomes a roadmap written on water and fog and you begin to understand where you are.
4. Write so that your hands get used to holding the truth as if it was a present and you were happy to be at your best friend’s birthday party. Write until your hands are accustomed to holding that present, until they have learned how to hold a gift.

Now let’s talk about DON’T:

1. Don’t expect that it will be easy; in fact there is a bag full of expectations about comfort, recognition, money, fame, love, admiration, acceptance that must be disposed of immediately. What you are trying to do is too difficult (or else everybody would be doing it) and, with that bag of expectations it becomes impossibly disappointing.
2. Don’t be patient. You have to find your muse when you think she is lost. You must write when you think you are too tired or, in the middle of the night when you’re sure you should be sleeping. When you can’t find your manuscript, you must wipe your eyes and sit down to write it again.
3. Don’t give up. You must be an army. You must view the objective before you in an unswerving way. You must send yourself as a soldier to take that objective. If you are killed and fail, you must send yourself as another soldier to continue the attack. Keep sending your army until the objective is yours at last.
4. Don’t forget God! You must believe in yourself so blindly that no one can dissuade you. If God has given this to you (and talent is truly a gift), there is no one who can stop you, as long as you persevere. Also don’t forget that God is the only source of true beauty. Ask and you will be shown all that you are missing.

If you haven’t been tagged yet, CONSIDER YOURSELVES TAGGED: Katy, Ashraf, and Shubhodeep!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

trees in fall

many have retreated from flesh to bare bones
clearly the hunger is in the crisp air

how the others eat that hunger
and are fed to fat with vibrant color
is the endless question of clear blue sky by day

and stars at night that also crisply crouch
like insect eyes of
a wise and very old
darkness that is nodding knowingly

answering that question like a whisper
when the wind remembers the branches
and tells them to the sky

but oh the rustling of that brilliant fabric
such a glorious flower for the season of departure

Saturday, November 03, 2007


if i could put this night in a cartoon
maybe we could have a good laugh
sad and lonely faces
drawn as if in some other places
in cars and trucks
down some dark streets
in the illusion of motion
campy as someone else’s sorrow
who can only be painted
or drawn
a geometric form
long on the floor
as a vodka bottle
a discarded cap
a small stain
a stubbed out cigarette
in an empty sardine can
a puzzling circumstance
bags packed
the phone
scratched in pencil strokes
always silent
like a clown face
the phone
broad like
a clown’s frown
not capable of tragedy

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


there was a night of waiting
which took its toll
scrolling down a long list of words
putting the name of doggerel
on what the morning would recall

all superficial wishes come true
the substance of what matters still
far away on long carpets in short walks
to the cupcake of a toilet
and trudging from curtain to curtain
on the path above the clouds
as if there were wings

to carry the mythical beast of the impatient heart
back to the magic kingdom of long ago day

Saturday, October 13, 2007

About a comment

I had left a comment on a wonderful post by Tiel Aisha Ansari on being a Professional Poet. It is on her blog Knocking from Inside. I really find her a remarkable young poet. Also, like she mentions, thank God we love our day jobs. ‘Nuff said, you can go and read all that for yourselves. This is the additional comment I sat down to write after writing the first one. I decided to post it on my blog, rather than muck up her comment box:

Tiel, I wanted to add another couple of thoughts to my first comment. First, I would like to thank you for being such a part of the group of contemporary poets that one finds via the internet. I am honored by your presence in the life of my writing as are many others, I’m sure. The internet has been a real resource for contemporary poetry to grow in skill, community, enjoyment and, most of all, commitment among those who take this art seriously. That is indeed a great thing.

I remember when I left the writing program many years ago at the university. Those programs are so full of all the resources necessary for young poets. The contact and support structures are so busy with people trying to help that I was really unprepared to leave it for the loneliness of the print oriented environment it was supposed to be preparing us to enter. Afterward, I joked for years that I had finally found the obscurity I had been seeking. Eventually I stopped publishing poetry and then I stopped writing it.

This brings me back talking about the internet. It was my savior. My poetry found a raison d’etre here. The internet probably saved my life, in reality. The contemporary poets I have become acquainted with here are friends and colleagues whom I treasure. We share a lot and I am looking forward to continuing to do so for the rest of my life. I am about ready to publish a book now and have had the honor to be included in some fine e-zines as well as printed media and enjoy the encouragement of some wonderful editors. I woke up and started living again.

Lately however, the legalistic world has started to invade poetry on the internet. More and more we are told, if your poems have appeared on your blog then legally they have already been published and cannot appear in our magazine. I am now holding poems back to publish elsewhere before I put them on my blog. More and more I see poets who earlier were prolific on their blogs but have now become practically mute. This is a trend that worries me. I am not sure it is a good thing for the good poets out there to stop giving us the opportunity to come read their work and learn from them. I am not sure it will be a good thing for us who aspire to be afraid to practice and share our efforts with the group of readers we enjoy. I understand the value of the things Tiel and others have assembled as exercises and places to practice the art of poetry but that is only part of the richness we have all shared on the internet. It is the loss of that original and rather free environment that I find scary. I am not sure quite what we should do about it and would like to open this discussion with all of you out there who are equally affected. Tell me how you are reacting to these new changes in our precious electronic community. Please give us your comments!

Monday, October 08, 2007


can we find the grace
of little meaningless hours
that pass carrying no burden
greater than a trace of pleasantness
no countries saved
no great heroism
no answer to sciences main questions

the carousel of mindless time
that takes us up and down
with equal gravity
and for all the turning wheel
leaves us where we came from

and smiling

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


hi how are you you ask
i love loudly and often
you would want to know that
for example i am always in love
tempestuous inside
i see a beautiful moment
and my words are choked
by travel my heart makes
up my throat
i try to lecture
my students sit wondering
at such a strange man
a man with a splinter
in the mind of his foot
a foot that is an expression
an expression that wants to tell you
how beautiful something just was
an expression that limps
but tells a story
louder than words
it cannot stand on

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the beethoven of donna

fill me with that face
dark and beautiful as
intimate words
promise me
you will linger on my lips
lost for a moment
and that
open or closed
my eyes will see
that secret world
only we know of
surround my ears
with the silky ocean
of your whisper
in the pendulous light of
a moonlight sonata
for a man
gone deaf on the world

Friday, September 07, 2007


i dont believe it is the effort of walking

that makes me want to fly

sweating on some

hot dusty road

nothing comes free

and sometimes walking

is my effort of choice

sometimes legs just need stretching

its a cold cruel world

when you cant make choices

im not talking about that

about dodging a reckless car

or hanging onto the mast

after a shipwreck

im talking about who will you find

where you are looking

cause where is surprisingly specific

where determines wholl be there

i mean those of the earth

are found in the city of the road

they roll beside me

trapped in traffic

creatures of the sidewalk

they read books

trying to set their minds loose

upstairs in the library

are anchored to their chairs

littering classrooms with questions

until bells set them free

still to linger outside doorways

grouped by gravity

and on to other questions

but its you who live in the city of the sky

and i want to see you

that makes me want to fly

it is my longing that needs to soar

Monday, September 03, 2007


she stumbles across the dance floor of the moon
having failed to hear the music
she cannot soar and sway
in the sparkle of starlight
she looks for pieces of broken glass
her beast is blind and cannot find them
even though they pain her ancient shuffle
her mind cannot paint a picture
nor her ear transcend
the clank of fork and spoon
nor the hungry growl of her beast
for whom she so urgently
cuts her bread
blindly leaving huge gashes
glaring open
in the tablecloth of the night

she carries cold discomfort
which no blanket can warm
and no pillow can make rest easy

sated – her sleep is profound
as the death she fears
but not easy
there is no waltz
over smooth marble
to glide the night away

Thursday, August 30, 2007


lust always comes first
it is the law of gravity
and inertia that follows
is scholarly
and would be boring
if you could escape it

pain always a breadwinner
hurry you cant delay
the news of your demise
published just today


Tuesday, August 28, 2007


some another monday
perhaps in the middle
of a week that was lost
in a wine mist
in new orleans
perhaps that was washed away
in a shower
in a soap smelling pas de deux
that segues into a cool
walk during a sprinkle
on a dutch summer day
by the lake
with the windmills
and the bridges between
the places you didn’t mean to go

afternoons trying to make
the keyboard of your laptop
roar like a grand piano
watching the planes
leap in and out of schipol

ah the fruit and the cheese
on the train going through antwerp
on the way to paris
with vin ordinaire rouge

by hamburg the ennui
has a hint of lust
holding hands in our sleep
turning to smokey smelling whiskey
an hour away from frankfurt au main
playing with the letters of confusion
so as to spell a better word
so as to spell a happier moment
so as to write that really good poem
on some another monday

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the don quixote bar

sitting there alone with all the pretty words

rotating a golden rumitchka

with silky cold of tarnished vodka

all the pretty birds have flown

darkness becomes frighteningly large

another siege of solitary pillow

discovering how huge small noises can sound

trying to narrow down empty space

to what can no longer be called alone

trying to hone down too numerous words

arrow prayers into expanding distance

hope like waiting for an echo

from a night soft as black silk

with tomorrow like a cliff too far

rock-hard and real but tough to see

under rule of empty stool

closing time is here

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

vodka chicken lips

i roll like a sloth over land and sea
i am not lazy only compromised

rung tumble slumble
foolish word mumble
i am an advanced agent of a dizzy government

overlooking that laughing land
i have just stumbled out of
i want to laugh and
i am so loose

i know that all things are loveable
especially that all too nervous dinner
that not so long ago was worth having

but now presides over the future
precarious as a long drop

Sunday, August 12, 2007



a day with the sun like a large room

a big bright place where leaves rustle

work is an hour of intense conversation

at the end of which i step out the door

and the next room is dark


puzzling views of letters glowing in the air

words spelled backwards hung there in confusion

when the breeze blows there is the dank hint of mildew

mold in unseen corners traffic lights changing

with the metallic-electric click of switches

echoing hollowly

things scurry close by but hidden behind shutters of darkness

my pockets are full of shadows and pain

which can be spent to buy dreams i can’t remember

the change comes back always more than i spent

and time has no visible motion

the night is an endless conversation

held alone and in silence and i

shaking my head

find the day has gone

and taken the door with it

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

inside me

i have a flower in my pocket
i have a question in my mind

i have a splinter in my awareness
i have an alter ego
who has left me

a message
in a bottle
floating hopefully
in the pool

on whose surface i gaze
hoping her reflection
will have lingered there

lazy as a smile
cute as a wink


it was for you i did everything
you told me i could earn it

all i had to do was work hard
that i could make it right
that i was wrong

you taught me that things weren’t right
you taught me tears and pain like bricks
i had to carry and place just right
so that everything would be better

that the world was wrong
that everything had to be fixed
and that would be my responsibility

tired in my sixth decade
i still love you

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


talking became like butterfly wings
and the colors got written down

The words were bricks
mortared into place
some walls shined with light

others were dull
he shared them with people
and tried to understand
the mystery of taste

he hid behind the walls
and examined himself
sometimes he just tried to hide

safety is color until you paint
words until you write

Monday, August 06, 2007

letters (Russell Sonnet)

the alphabet of love
exists in deepest nowhere

with it we write novels, plays
carve letters in trees
form the syntax of whispers

it is a kind of prayer
the litany of the letters of your name
it is the stage behind the curtain
where movements happen that no one sees

letters penned from the inky darkness where we wait
hopeful with desperate need
to spell each other’s answers

to questions we lack
the alphabet to ask

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I am who we want
It was all a mistake
which this is better
was that architecture
what was my mistake
we are not real
we are only each
others imagination
touch my
Corinthian column
I am in serious pain
We do not see
We are each others jokes which
take seriously

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Waiting (Ghazal)

Dark water runs away in the sunlight
Sad man thinks he has seen you among light

Shrieks and laughter in the yard are calling
Can your hand touch when morning craves sunlight

Breaks are braver than you know, by mercy
Mosques, churches, synagogues search for one light

Barely knowing what to say son turns from
Coffin lid, patient, hid one face from light

Russell’s mind shrieks questions, answers don’t come
Hearts and wrinkles smooth prayer in the numb light

Monday, July 30, 2007


i had a dream of breathing dream clouds
not the death hard face of
go to work every day dad -
a swirling day of light and joy
with all the confusion of
happiness you can’t stop or control

the music is everywhere
i’m surrounded by it
a whirling dervish
i dance all day
bright blue breaks through
and i take to the sky

soaring through the brightness
warm waves of day
surge around me buoy me up
gentle as a caress pleasant as a body
carrying me on bright hued winds
a bird of drums and fifes

i’m dreaming a dream where it’s good to be me
where fault is not in free to be

Thursday, July 26, 2007

busy day

first day of rain i’ve seen
and less people not so many people as the hotel
but all these people want to talk
how is everything how was everything how will everything be
i took a can opener but didn’t have to pry very hard to get some milk
had tea while the phone rang
phone calls a lot of phone calls
a regular oracle at Delphi you know what i mean
wistful to watch pictures who were all those people
especially the ones that looked like us
you know the smiling ones with the real familiar faces
not a care in the world simply not a care
felt a little robbed maybe even mugged
felt like quiet violence had taken place
sat and stared trying to stay out of all the talk
talk goes on you know since they come over to see you
but then they get started warmed up competitively telling stories
they know they are well-meaning crazy about being nice in fact
but their own lives are what they want to talk about
so i just sit back and the day goes on
almost as if i was still where i am missing

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

on seeing things in motion

flowers in a turbid vase
battered and ruined by being there
so beautiful to see
so dead and dying
so what they are not
and so what they will be

many finches feeding below the tree
at the hint of a cat
they speed to the branches
which now wave to me -
a large green hand -
i wave back

yes you‘re right
i needed to smile again

Monday, July 23, 2007

Grand Efe

the waves are blue and crystalline
the sun permeates everything
the sand and the smell of salt
are a possible universe

the waves gather light and air
and splash the eroding rock with it
everything is awash with the fact of beach
and the day is too brittle to carry cynicism

Saturday, July 21, 2007

world of silence

many languages
exceptional silence
hotel lift

Friday, July 20, 2007

hourglass beach

she grabs her slippers
adjusts her navel
says i am a jeweled toy
hungry for despair
we - as is her wish -
do not talk about it
there is little
in that brittle manicure world
that is up for discussion

i am the dog of old wrinkles
my loose flesh
seems to shiver in the sun
the light hides the truth
the cicadas sing
the agean sea crashes softly
a horsefly bites my ankle

the litany of time
is quietly chanted
over cards and beer
by picnic table swimsuit old couple
at the shore
of the narrow measure of sand

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


trick dogs of the past
dance to new music

get up and move to it
someone wants to slowly sway to it -
sway away into vengance and despair

tears are always waiting
bursting forth from edges and corners we turn
when light blinds us
or darkness lies about its comfort

we sway to subtle hums of hips -
pleasure to pretend against pain -
pleasure that gnaws bone when flesh is gone

clap your hands and slowly spin
we are the skinny trick dogs of the past

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


show me the night sky
where darkness is your rib cage
and echoing within
is the pounding of your heart

i know that thump
pushing that blue liquid
carrying things jumbled together
like love hope pain
and that gathering ball
of strands of distrust
anxiously tying themselves
to your youthful thoughts
dragged kicking and screaming
into that silence and darkness

i know in that deep dark
you could show me
your heart
and i could see those letters
carved in it
as if florescent
and so i show you yours on mine

Sunday, July 08, 2007


love was dead
it made me sick too
pug shrug ugly
past tense dreams
i didn’t have any chance

where was hope
i hadn’t seen it
a long time
lonely me
my dice time again tonight
i found you

we watched eyes
but we found your belt
stars twinkled
putting my hand racing time
we both gasped

secret now
secret forever
this was our
only chance
this was our only real hope
still got caught

Friday, July 06, 2007


the wound sits sullenly
seeming never to scar over

in my white jacket with
mirror on my forehead
i take out my pen

to look for its history
a deep pocket of hurt –
imbedded alternate reality –
in a shallow layer of skin

scratching my case notes
on oversensitive paper
like a photo of a sigh

beauty maybe is skin deep
but ugly is a cosmos

Sunday, July 01, 2007

blade blood

all this anger drifts skyward as a flaming ball over the darkness of the city night
down below, just above the skyscrapers, sits this dense cloud of raining sorrow
the French horns of screams add a hollow solemness around the buildings
that ephiphinizes nature’s calm acceptance
of right and wrong as existences of equal entitlement -
a place for everything with wrong at the head

oh i am sorry i cannot make this better
i am, after all, just another stupid human
stupider than most because i see what is wrong
and can do nothing

what, i wonder, does it mean to be human, to live in this mess,
behave like trash, and treat each other accordingly
yes i foul myself because i am a course man
forgive me, find in what i say some hope i cannot see

find us a way forward
find something that is not a logical extension of me
find it in your heart to forgive me for writing about it instead of being there

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Darkest daylight

Even in the daylight, you see, I’m haunted by shadows.
They follow me, remind me, tell me another dark secret
just as a hot body promises with perfume to be a flower.
I stumble under this weight, even at noon with the sun on my bald spot like a crown,
trying to disguise things by making them shiny.
Trying to make this foolish person laugh when there’s nothing really funny.
Trying to make sounds that will echo in the dark and, at that time
I will know them alone by their real names.

Dark fingers can be seen at the corner of things holding on, waiting,
dreaming of the sadness and surprise day will know,
will know soon enough, will stager unable to cope with.
These are the dark fingers we feel inside when, on a hot day we suddenly go cold.
This is the darkness we know as inevitable as that parallel universe
when death closes our eyes and the only light, albeit bright,
will come from dreams as the light we have wrapped as a package
in this profoundly dark and impenetrable paper
is the only light that can be seen,
can be found anywhere in that permanently dark room.

There are no corners in that room, no walls and I wonder if the day
with it’s shapes and turns and rooms and windows
has any idea of what seamlessness the dark contains.
The dark contains the noisy, shiny day as keys clatter in my pocket –
can the day contain the dark
or is the universe grown too large to tolerate such a travesty?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


you are always who i wanted
you of the long stair
thousand houses of a thousand cities
teaching chameleons disposition

teaching me not to blink
but I must
and in that moment you are gone
leaving hurting eyes that are red and dry

i must climb the stairs
or return to the street
and so i climb

that je ne sais quoi trace of perfume
that empty air still following you across a lifetime of a thousand rooms

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


the door that was the doctor
opened on the stars
the neon above the entrance
was hotter than a five course meal
her eyes like wine to wash the night away
and everything was exactly an answer -
no questions allowed –
don’t even think about it –
just say yes
and stumble on the bluish shadows
raised on the crumbling sidewalk
cracks and chunks
that lead to everywhere
like a roadmap for a modern pirate
rolling dice for her life
because that’s all that’s left
just this map
these informative shadows
just this night with its neon black holes
and darker yet my desire
burning holes
in solid hearts
so lonely and strangely still

Friday, June 22, 2007


hope hop tune
claws along the sidewalk
last chance bargain -
give me something
or give me death
passionate question
indifferent answer
good this time
a senior not a cat

need finds need
get in to jail free card
when life outside
has not been good -
place to go

home needed a song
good name – lucky

This little experimental sonnet is a 55 word poem, an idea coined by the inventive mind of English August. I still enjoy the form. The story is a true one I read about on a post called encounters (22 June 07) about a walk around Seattle a short while ago. I read it on her blog at: .

Saturday, June 16, 2007


With his own hands
He fitted the wood
Sanding, shaping, carving
But there’s much he cannot touch
The day cannot be carried in his hands
He cannot pick up love
He may hold the thing he created
But he cannot touch the beauty of it

With my ears, eyes, skin and mind
I have written this poem
It is like a box to carry beauty
I cannot own that beauty
I can only admire it
I cannot even give it away

So while there is some sun yet
Let us go into evening’s gentle breezes
Let life caress us with summer’s gentle mood
And when the night comes
Like that graceful dark cat
We’ll let it snuggle between our bellies
And purr contentedly

Monday, June 11, 2007


he was afraid that you would know
he had always been himself
like a secret
that he had seen darkness
as it brooded across his mind
yes he was afraid of being
the wrong kind of human
some something –
too much of another view
of what was wrong

although he could understand why
he was perplexed
this so rested on him

every rebuff hurt so
he had to build an island
of color to hide in
waiting to be discovered
as having gone
to somewhere only
his rules applied

Thursday, June 07, 2007


charge the day with harboring a fugitive
noise sits- quietly hidden by silence
if your chair offends you call it a throne
gain a gift for naming- create reality

noise sits- quietly hidden by silence
worship power you don’t create
gain a gift for naming- create reality
i put my hand up waiting for God to call on me

worship power you don’t create
who is dawn’s mistress
i put my hand up waiting for God to call on me
did she just come or just leave

who is dawn’s mistress
perfume, cologne, satin and silk
did she just come or just leave
spider’s web of smell and touch

perfume, cologne, satin and silk
hope floats to perjure fate
spider’s web of smell and touch
we argue delicately into the night

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


true swing
slow debate -
when wow
is slower than an hour
and the pigs are home
before you know it
smelling of truffles
and sounding of small talk

let and live, pigs say -
when asked about physics
an answer today
is a question tomorrow
so why worry

Saturday, June 02, 2007


the dog is a nose
not one like a cat
or monkey - not long
like a horse - though
longer seems to be
a specialty
and cold and wet too

mouse says
that makes you wonder
about a lot of things
like why does chicken
taste like everything
and a hearse is always
spread before you
like a shadow
with only death
sticking far enough
above the ground
to create it

how do you know me
only by this shadow
that creeps across
this page - this ink
these startled ramblings
woken from their
murky sleep
and driven by
someone pretending
to be their shepherd
hoping to be their helper
praying they will save me
from being myself
from being something
we both know
in darkness as
precisely an alias

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Poetry Readings by the authors!

If you like Avant Garde and contemporary poetry, here is the address for Pennsound: you'll want to load your MP3 up with some fine readings. This is a Wow!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


there a dark corner spread
and became persuasive
a quiet history
nobody could deny

over it the muscle
of day flexed
and marched around proudly
an army celebrating
while the enemy sneaked up
hiding under bushes
beneath trees around corners
taking victims little by little
till so diminished
the day begins to flee
with darkness sprinting after
shouting coward

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


my mattress only moans and sighs
it is not the proper place
for a man like me
lying on thoughtful nails
rather than rest

a question rather than answer
if i were to write the story of a life
could i say how
i climbed a tower of hours
to the room at the top

how i could have counted tedious steps
how many of my graves are spread below

how i light the dark window again
with my moon encrusted sleepless face

Sunday, April 29, 2007

teacher learns

the days in spring start to sing
they find me always busy
spider web work is their logic
the evenings are often just the same

summer shines relentlessly
an air conditioner in my office
grinds me to a gooey mass
nights test a solitary sweaty wrestler

winter in caps of sheep’s curls
fur lined waterproof boots
home and tired - how to spend the evening
cold covers and pillow are dark whispers waiting

you swam through waves of solitary tea cups
you showed me what the night was all about

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

rock star

the light was hiding behind
dark espresso
adjective clouds

it was the rougher form
of tag we were playing –
evening exercises
for overactive thoughts

confident doubts
of a calm mirage
floating nervously –
hovering over couches and chairs
knowing the electric moment was coming

cat tail
under the rocker

Monday, April 23, 2007


green grow the tree tops
parts and spaces away
from killing shadow
smelling good is
dead or alive

dreams are the darkness you don’t see
when you close your eyes
smelling is good
whether fresh leaf
or broken branch

green is a color with a hole in it
that’s filled when light
is eaten
with delicate bud like teeth

Sunday, April 22, 2007

music for katy

that the sky was light
was an illusion
bent armed and bedraggled
behind the veil
where there are only confidants
and just a few of them
after all

secrets are told there
but secrets are hard to keep
he wears a smile
to hide his passion
it trickles through
disguised as a good natured jest
he wears a frown
hard as a soda can
rattling empty

the sky looms
an invisible spider web
in which we are trapped
it is the disfigurement of day
built of secret tons
of crumble and rust
the grand skyscraper of our civilization
over which the wet dark
giant wave of night
pours like a flood
and introspection starts too late

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

huge cup of night

I am the husband of the dusk
I am the pimp of Peter Pan illusions
(because they remain childish forever)
forty days and forty nights
we sailed the dark ocean
we drank the huge cup of night
and only the dregs were bitter
sometimes you just must
drink deeply the blackness
the hours are like stars
shining on the surface
of the huge cup of night
you see what you cannot
when you stare into your drink
of the huge cup of night
you smell and feel
like a blind gardener
when you drink deeply -
I feel you as if you were a breath of mine

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I can’t see my prison
of a young atom bomb child
but I am looking for the bars
and walls that float around me –
flowers and trees that strangle
to hide the things that bind me
grabbing poems like bars to shake with rage
I must slip free of the balls without chains
and learn how to take them apart –
find a tunnel under solitary confinement
peek through a peephole in the glass wall
that floats around me
to the door that also floats
that opens onto a dream of freedom

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I have missed you all very much. I got so busy I didn't have time to blog or write poetry. It was really terrible. As pennance I post a new poem which experienced a rather emotional birth this afternoon. I can't wait to see everybodies blogs. I can't wait to get caught up on all of your doings!


starving on the apricot cross
I believe in the mysteries
starving in your gaze
fondly returned
I also believe in the obvious
you play like a kitten in my lap
yet you are trying to kill me
you need no absolution
it is your act of grace
that like a serial killer
you stalk salvation

come to me trembling with
the rage that is love
bend back the limbs
that gave you no freedom
there is only one moment left
between the future and the past
and it is ours

Monday, March 19, 2007


quietly in the morning
the silence is ownable
your eyes watching me
your laughter
the way your attention
stalked my hours
were not
still there is not a moment
I would change

so I sit
pretending life
marches like a tea cup
that there never really was
any color to sunlight
and that one day
is just as the next
at the office

Saturday, March 17, 2007

working late

darkness is a story I tell to myself
it keeps me from being lonely
desires burn in this darkness
as if it were some volcanic world
desires erupt in the dark
glowing creation
something new
at the expense of the old
what was there
is forever changed
what was
is no more
what will be
will destroy all that I know
in the end
in darkness
only I remain
the story I have told
has put me by myself
the last warrior
making peace
with nature’s anarchy

Friday, March 16, 2007

looking for the larger view

please help me write this down
there is a disaster that claims all life
I see it in pony tails
and friendly get-togethers
I need to celebrate the life that was
before we sang yesterday
and sniffed a little
I need to know it as if
I didn’t live here
in the disaster
discovered as a child
the brutal love I recall
that became a habit
and sticks like glue
in the span between
God’s earrings
and forever

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


This is the worry, you see,
that in the end
the air will disappear;
there will be nothing
and nothing will not sing any song.
Butterflies will tremble
in some new air
wings healing from
smallness will never
swim through the passion
that our lungs felt
(with that air
knocked rock hard
and hammered into
wordless headstones).

Do say I loved you –
that we knew eternity
before we wore out
and sank into
that rugged, wooden night.

Tell someone we
were a something
that mattered.

Monday, March 12, 2007

fluid mood mystery

Liquid music
floating on the
surface of a
makes us
a tonic
we drink
rippling in and out
of workweek
days in
vacation moments
that settle in
the sun quietly sinking
down the ocean a trillion lives deep

Saturday, March 10, 2007


the song that sang
of the little else
beside what we felt
will not endure
because there
is no place for it
in the bedlam cosmos
of our passion
no matter how
long ago
it made today
and tomorrow real

Friday, March 09, 2007

Outside the disco

Harmed by the view
like a moth,
she stays in the
chilled light of evening.
While winter stretched its arms,
she withdrew all offers –
steaming, sucking teardrops
in gulps
from the ice air
of a winter’s night.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007



There is the darkness
and the light -
you are gracious.

There is time –
in your presence
it has flesh, length.

Sound becomes melody,
Poetry becomes
intoxicated words
that are our escape,
our hope -

the mythology of our hearts
is the whisper of your name.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

driven all the way

looking for the right words
need is hard
like a big nail
hit so hard
it is countersunk
in a living tree

its like an illness
the only illness
the final illness
the one that cures me

I’m dying of something worse

This poem was originally published in Autumn Leaves

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Black Ice

The flared match has an old face in it. The pair of hands moves and the glow does a young face. Then only two tiny sunsets are sucking wind in shadow’s cosmos. In the night the black ice rules, the dome of dark is endless and the dawn is after eternity. Drink the black water; ride the black wagon; laugh loud and full to drink the darkness. Do not look. You cannot see. Do not wait, the night is endless. Do not wish, this is the time of dreams and later is only the now you can’t avoid. It has already arrived against your wish. No matter where we go it is dark, no matter how many lights we turn on. We are naked and it is dark.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Katy did it to me again!

A list of my 20 favorite movies (in no particular order):

1. Groundhog Day
2. Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back
3. The Third Man
4. The Shining
5. A Touch of Evil
6. Psycho (the original)
7. Vertigo
8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
9. Men in Black
10. Back to the Future 1
11. Matrix
12. Amadeus
13. Blade Runner (Director’s Cut)
14. The Rear Window
15. Throw Momma from the Train
16. Good Will Hunting
17. Dead Poets Society
18. Rainman
19. Finding Forrester
20. Once Upon a Time in the West
21. Raiders of the Lost Ark
22. Romancing the Stone
23. The Piano Movers
24. The Silence of the Lambs
25. The Bank Dick
26. The Maltese Falcon
27. You Can't Cheat an Honest Man
28. Casablanca
29. Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome
30. Road Warrior

And that is not all, I probably need to do my favorite 50 to really cover my all time favs.

This is an interesting exercise! I tag Gulnaz, Sue Hardy Dawson, Gautami S. Tripathy, Ozy, Schadenfraulines, and Cecilia

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sad half sonnet

could’ve been your major
a question asked by scholars

could have been
the day you missed class

could have been
your Mona Lisa smile

loved not is half a couplet

My Bio for Plus Ultra

He was born in California, grew up in West Los Angeles, and moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1964. He attended the University of Arizona where he was a student poet. After the university he entered the food industry, first working as a retail meat cutter and later as a chef. He moved to Almaty, Kazakhstan in 1992 to work as an executive chef for a hotel. He started teaching English in 2003. He opened his blog Yuckelbel’s Canon in 2004. He has published his poetry in numerous magazines, bi-annuals, quarterly’s and journals. He has acted in theater, movies, commercials, on television, and sung in musicals. Currently he is a full time Lecturer in the Language Center of the Kazakhstan Institute of Economics, Management and Strategic Research.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


It was a mess
I didn’t make
sounds on the stair –
dog barking

it was a day
beyond lies
but less, far less
than truth

name me an ugly
dance, naked with
the heart-shot
falling bear

I am the anguish
that answers the door

Saturday, February 17, 2007


The night is huge and powerful,
a dark muscle, massive and bulging,
changing as a hammer hits
hot steel the color of sunset
and sizzling stars shoot
into the blackness of forge smoke.
There is no reason to face this,
she says, and a ship sinks below the surface
of convolutions and ripples.
He takes the bottle with the ship in it
and pours out an ocean around him
drowning till the clouds part
and in the full moon light
the faces of the bobbing, bloated crew
shine with grins.

The diamond of the day had a flaw
and through that crack came the brutal black –
the bulging blacksmith pounding, pounding,
telling all you wanted secret,
heralding in the ample night.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The poem Mime is for all of you. I love you very much!


I have caressed this
rapturous book of silence
with which to tell you my mind.
Laced throughout are
obscene gestures,
genuinely obsequious,
ultimately polite,
which have prevented us
from touching,
from tracing eternity
along starlit paths of skin
strategically slippery,
here a pearl of spit,
there diamonds of eye light.

Monday, February 12, 2007


What is this stuff called time?
Do rare birds fly near our windows
With a beak full of it,
snatched from the sky,
to stand in our yards
in the afternoon sun
and partake of it,
even in winter when
there is precious else
to chew on?

Who is it
that so has her belly
full of it that she
has long ago
forgotten how to die?

Or worse yet
who has had so much of it
they have grown so bored
that, in mid air,
they fold their wings,
and plummet to the Earth
a small sarcophagus
of disinterested flesh
given up wondering?

Has a little bird,
head the size of the body,
said I can’t bare to start
so long a journey,
folding those yet
vestigial wings?

Do we breed
every billion years
and regret it

Friday, February 09, 2007

Only a question of time

For Luis Benitez

Do you realize who I am?
That is not possible.
I am less me today
than I was yesterday,
I am unraveling like
a badly thought out story.
I am now that piece of
sadistic humor -
the joke time
has told my birth.

Friday night came and went.
Nobody noticed poets;
they sang, they danced,
they romanced ten pinters;
nobody will see
yesterday without
some burden of regret –
fewer still
will understand
what was missed.

If I am different today
is that better or worse?
Is this more of who I am
or less?
Why does pain
and the chance for
happiness have
an inverse relationship?

What can my aging mom -
captain of the ghost ship
full of friends and relatives
only she remembers -
hope for with
tomorrow’s dawn?


Fat half of the moon -
crows fly with Spring at daybreak,
caws fold day's bedclothes

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Drink the darkness
but don’t stir,
the glass of night
is a long, black silk sheet.

Tired eyes
dart to shadows
but fear the abyss found there.

Sheets of white
remain bright
but the edge of the room
is frosted with moon.

Still teaching after class.
The itch is scratched
with a red pen.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wrong circle

In our next moment of wearing clothes,
we will be unstoppable in our nakedness.
Every answer will be a lie
and will mean everything to us
like the darts in your dress,
the soft rub of your jeans.
I cannot tell you the truth
and that no longer hurts.
True was a lie that we shared
before your small hand shattered
my big one with a squeeze.
I look to the light in your eyes
for this world has grown dark.
You are apple and I am orange.
I cringe at beauty because
the glint of a hair has entranced me.
I revolve around your lips
like a forlorn moon.
I pray for gravity and descent.
Destroy my orbit.

Monday, January 29, 2007

poetry 2

a week without spilling out the words
is the burning cross
with my insides boiling

busy week
distracted week
only rhyming preffixes

syllabus students
working the vending machine
in drop/add anarchy

nights echoing
day’s folly
foulness at rest

a dance
without any music

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Experiencing technical difficulties!

Dear students, thanks for the wonderful pictures which I will post soon. I am very busy, at the momment and Blogger has changed. Over the week-end I should be able to have the time to sort it all out, so check back later.

See you in class!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Oops, got tagged…..

by Katy

The rule of this tag is to tell five unknown factoids about yourself.

1. I wrote my first play at the age of 11.
2. I rode a custom Triumph motorcycle for 15 years.
3. I have been in three movies.
4. I was a surfer in the early 60’s.
5. I moved to San Francisco and became a hippie in the late 60’s.

I tag Queen Neetee, Pat Paulk, Jaded Prima Donna, Gautami Tripathy, Sue Hardy Dawson.

Friday, January 19, 2007


The snow writes a poem
to the earth about silence
the wreck of the moon
breaks again in a pond
as it freezes
looking a little
like the sparkle
in a lover’s eyes.

I stroke the face
of the lover
with my words
the lover is old
sleeping quietly
peace crosses her face
in the pale light
as we succumb
to the old dream
of winter.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Amsterdam afternoon
bright crisp graceful air
tinkling piano keys

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Road Show

Planes and airports
the next two days -
that travel has grown discomfort
like the skin of a giant snake,
that my students are waiting,
soon from my office there
I'll sit at the computer
and answer comments
after the snake has shed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Arizona Sunset

The painting leans against the sky
Borrowing colors, light bleeds in.
I sit at the computer tapping keys –
The riot of my feelings
Revolts against a sad history of words.
They together tell of the crack in time
Where the torturer slides in like a shadow
Between what I wanted
And what I have done.
The only thing to do
Is to turn my back on
Guesses and approximations.
The crowd pleaser must die and
I must do alone that evening liturgy.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

After a siesta

Hot air dreams on a cloud
Soaring red tailed hawk
Hungry over a winter desert
My daughter’s lips move
Ending heartache with a swoop

We have much to do
Hand in hand over shopping malls
Grocery stores
Big as a desert sky
Reflected in each other’s eyes

We must laugh and play
Improve the lies of night and day

We must tell them to each other
Uselessly as surrendered soldiers

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Stained Glass Window

My experience shapes my poetry
I want to shape my experience
By living how and where -
I want to write those poems

It must be said the mind
Shapes all experience
But sometimes you must
Be crazy to see what you want
I put my bookmark on my pillow
And get up to pen the dawn

There is a street we all live on
All ordinary experience is had there

I cross the street nearly alone
And find my bookmark

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

River Pebble

The rock has known the hollow harmony of water,
The limbless rock has learned the joy of dance,
On the bottom of the river it learns to measure love that passes,
And dry in the sun it learns thirst and to sing a lament.
It has always been whole, complete,
Only by being caressed it learns
The limitation of solid.