You found me all alone beneath the canopy
Pumping twenty bucks into my Ford
You looked like something dredged up from a strip mine,
all mud and bone, quickly coming forward
I went on in my very best Midwestern,
“Hey, you doin’ alright there, guy?”
You were screamin’ like an El Camino’s engine
come right at me, so I jabbed you in the eye.
It didn’t really do what I was hoping,
I felt your fists go straight into my brain,
and before I even got the spit off my tongue,
I started slipping down a long and slender drain.
I’ve always had strong notions about living,
but hands around my neck are a bit stronger
and I’ve never really felt as alive as in this moment,
and I hope I can just live a little longer-

The Guiltless Man

Between the moment his head hit the pillow and
the dew sneaking across the willows,
the faintest finger of god surged down
to smudge every past-dwelling lens.

Sweeter than cyanide, sweeter than lead,
he arose as a fungus erupts from the dead
no longer concerned with the churning earth
under three tall pines in the Fairfield park,
where last he left eyes as cold as mother’s
and an alphabetized list of all the others.

He kept his course to the gates of Hell
and the grocers and clerks could never tell
the truth of him, but all the same,
a guiltless man brings guiltless pain.


Dwelling long, dwelling long

It is easy to forget that wine is a poison
and hard to pinpoint the truth in the lie
I was unforgivable during the best of times
and the best of times have all passed by.

I have checked and reviewed your arithmetic
and agree, our hate is mathematically sound,
if by chance we should meet in the hallways
I would scream. But I ache to be found.

It Is Good To Walk In Pairs

We head for the river around midnight.
Park’s closed by then, but rangers sleep too.
We walk with the rushing step of youth
and it’s just me, and it’s just you,
and we speak with extinct exclamations,
laughing at the sour things crouched in the past,
And our meanings would be worthless in a moment,
waiting for the sun to rise at last.

There are things that men will only say in private,
and only after shared heaps of grime,
there are seconds that slip into the cracks of a soul
and emerge at the necessary time.

Actions in Repetition

My nightmares are actions in repetition.
My nightmares are actions in repetition.
clasping and unclasping my hands
and repeating the process, over,
and over,
until the screams sprout sore from my throat.
The firing of rifles that never cease and
spray wildly downrange, fast then faster
until the report is a steady drone.
falling until the fright has left me,
falling through boredom,
figuring impossible equations as I fall,
finding solutions and forgetting them and
starting anew.
My nightmares are actions in repetition,
but I always wake.


They read books for their children, and never read for themselves,
so when the kids outgrew them, what was left to do?
I suppose prescription painkillers and
cups of clean, cheap gin, are
a substitute for purpose.

Mom took another part-time job, just to get away from the house,
but the house got jealous. He always gets jealous.
And the hate in his heart was sharp enough to slash her tires
and dredge a gun up from the baseboards.
Four county officers came, and the house was emptier.

One son was doing engineering for a firm out of town,
and the other sold cars down the street,
and when their great aunt asked them when they’d be having
children of their own, they laughed and thought –
With parents like these, who needs children?

Loving The Battlefield

Your necklace gleams in moonlight like the silver-barbed wire,
Machineguns trained at my chest, all threatening to fire,
it’s lucky I’m a fool. It’s blessed to be a fool.
I charge right in at you, over trenches and the guns,
The mortars strike my balance – there’s no way left to run,
And there’s nothing left of me when the roar is done.

Maybe you’ll find someone fit for digging out the mines,
to dig up bombs for a hundred years,
Or  they step on one, and die,
And I wonder if the brain and eyes behind the guns
think of that young man, who charged in so bravely,
so dumbly led to slaughter, do they think of me and wonder?



Every smile makes him lighter,
each forgiveness drops
a stone from the ankles.
Floating is such sweetness
and there are limitless heights
above, and within.
Until he’s gone high, beyond the air,
into the nothings we only imagine,
where all the natural world is reaching
and plucks him;
burning and freezing, apologies
wheezing out from collapsing lungs,
as he plummets to the bitter earth.


A pain that description itself defied
pinned two inches behind the eye
that lessened only with a wailing cry
was his only anchor to the world.

He died lonely, he died young,
with love unsaid and a heart unsung
and from his head the shotgun flung
a pearl only half-developed.

Three Faces Of The Old Oak on Maple Ridge Lane

Radislav Drobnik wiped his face with a kerchief
and looked out onto the furrows;
the pale and growing things peeked out and
up at the sun from their little burrows.
Hot, too hot, he thought-he-thought,
and went to plant the seeds of shade.

The Man from Down South had a secret name,
and when they caught him and brought him
to the tall oak tree on a dead foreigner’s land,
his last moments were fists and hate and

“Will you love me forever?” she asked, as
the knife slid through the old oak tree:
S.N. + J.M.K ’78.
“Of course, of course, as long as I
can think, I will think only
of loving you.”