They say hardship is the seed of greatness;
That every pearl forms with a grain of sand
itching inside a mollusk.
But why is a pearl grander than a clam?
A pearl does not breathe. A pearl does not
filter. A pearl is good only for viewing –
a great thing aught be good for more,
and alleviate, not grow from, suffering.

Love (monitored)

A simple device can hold such complexity.
A pair of rings,  complete with delicate sensors
to monitor his heartbeat, to replicate
that pulse in her ring; and likewise.
Now, how lovers may never need feel alone,
for always the pulse of their other
is throbbing, gently stirring,
around their fingertips.
Picture  the faint twinge felt
when walking along the streets at night
her eyes catch another’s and-
Ba-bum-ba-bum, a fleeting flurry
some unwitting evidence of
something primal and unneeded.
He notices; how could he not?
And later when they are parted
And that stirring arises, extended,
what must he wonder? What
euphoric exertions is she committing?
How could she throw this all away?
And she wonders why her ring is
thumping along, rhythmic as
a flat on the highway.

Gentle ideas always lead to violence
and grief; and how easily
do our senses deceive. So too
do our extended senses;
our electronics report without understanding
And so we conclude without ever knowing.
When she steps through the doorway,
gym-tote slung behind her back,
there are no words she can spit
faster than the glob of lead.
And the ring’s pulse quickens, dithers,
and ceases. Proof of life to
proof of death,
all in a whisper’s width.

Sweet Waters – 1/18/19

Picking in the shade of the red haven trees
was my brother, and my father, and a very young me,
and we spoke of our neighbors, and Old Times, and cars,
of madness, of family, of infinite scars,
and my father decided as he plucked a ripe peach
that a loud man’s most eager to give a long speech,
and a rich man craves more than a man in a shack,
and those who take most will give the least back,
and, unhooking his crate, his last point was made
That water tastes sweetest when drunk in the shade.

After the Flash

We walked through the woods with our hands in our pockets,
Alone with the rotting ash trees,
And the air between us was a riot of rockets,
When we realized what would never be.
We could have parted as calmly as cowards,
But you’d always wanted the last word
With your face twisted up like a brute
You slipped love from a sheathe in your boot,
Jammed the word through my ribs,
and left me here
to live.


We don’t want love
and don’t want sex
we don’t crave power
and burn the checks,
we never cower
or blush at death
we think too much
and die for less.

And deep in us,
In unmarked spaces,
lay the bleached
and frowning traces
of dreams we held,
each flaw and fault
all locked inside
our secret vault

after we gather

After we gather
the half-full cups sit on windowsills
on tables, on the lid of the
while the cheese-slick boxes sit in their
tapered piles, like monuments
sinking beneath the sand.
After we gather
I awake sometime in the sunlight
in a place that I cannot name
with a head full of sealing screws
wondering where the day slipped off to
and hoping you never forgive me.