the fear of nothing

I don’t know nothing,
I don’t know nothing,
I am already the ghost
of me,
the something scratching
in my flesh,
I don’t know nothing,
I don’t know nothing,
and someday,
someway,
nothing
will
know
me

ghosts

it must be something, moving,
some living memory –
do all forgotten things
slumber low and long,
dreaming of being remembered
until – a picture shifting in the hall,
thuds in the wall,
silverware sliding,
a figure gliding –
and they are remembered once more.

I Don’t Know

I don’t remember the sunrise
or the name of those blue-black birds,
I don’t remember you
or me,
or what road we just passed
or where it goes –
I don’t know if I’ve been down it,
maybe,
maybe not,
there’s a certain innocence in forgetting –
when the justified man with the slick-chrome
pistol presses it snug to my head
I won’t know why,
I won’t know why,
blameless me,
the victim at last.

God As a Counterfeiter

Phosphates, sugars,
nitrogen and carbon,
what did He crib life from?
What just-as-good steps
results in a product
that fool our eyes
but not our hearts?
And we,
– who are born
with such counterfeits –
would we recognize
a true life
if we saw it?

million

what would you do for a million dollars?
rob a bank
or mug a man,
kill a mother?
your own mother?
place your friend atop the altar
and plunge the dagger, yourself?
or,
clock in, eight hours,
seven days a week,
fifty years –
plunge the dagger
into yourself?

Traversible

Feet slocked in mud,
boots on brick,
toes in water,
skates on ice and
rolling around the hardwood rink,
skis for snow,
hands on steering, ten-and-two,
and shoes removed
gain access to forty-thousand feet,
and, well, I don’t know,
does anyone know?
what footwear is needed
for tomorrow?

infinitely empty world

coat, shirt, fabric, stitching,
weave and beneath,
skin, follicle,
and further – what?
bacteria fill the view and
we push in still,
skin cells, and further,
closer,
hydrogen, oxygen,
carbon, spinning their
silly circles,
and deeper yet,
is –
nothing.