brittle craftsman

Measure once and cut twice,
three times, four,
cut into the sky and call them stars,
cut holes in the earth and see heat flow up;
cut thin slivers and wide shanks, cut and
cut until the shapes of
of death,
of everything inbetween,
are imperfectly formed and perfectly observed,
and then cut some more.

A Sweep of Fungus

in the mind are unmet meadows,
forgotten forests,
and shaded faces;
in the mind are forbidden places,
forlorn tourists,
and fits of prose.
there are things in the mind that it must not know;
the sweeps of black fungus
peeking out from the wrinkles,
some shelven,
some dangling in clusters,
some highlighter-gleaming,
and some all alone;
all sorts of strange caps and
stranger stalks,
warning signs and
deadly skirts;
and all can kill.

Dead Languages

Most buried brains were brimming with
dead languages, languages like
chants in murky temples, languages like
storms whipping ancient forests and
flint points notching wet bone.
These languages are buried, too, their
thoughts are incompatible with the living tongues,
these thoughts were a product of their
these brains were a product of their

The Perfect Weapon

The perfect weapon is a sword that can only kill evil men,
lost in a lake somewhere in Scotland or
France or one of those as-thou-dost countries.
The perfect weapon will pierce the
dry wrapping of wet flesh, but only
if the flesh is incontrovertibly willing to do no good.
The perfect weapon was snapped in two
at the hands of the perfect soldier,
who grew irate when the blade would
bounce off his enemies.

A New Way To Speak

Fumble the vowels around your tongue and
jumble your jowls, fill your lung with sibilance and
silence and let sweet hisses stir from the
soft sawgrass of the
Some sounds seek meaning and some sounds are meaning;
some sounds lay lodged within the heart,
syllables like Clacton-spears,
forgotten but discrete,
buried in the muck of millennia,
words that
can still wound,
words that
can still kill.

Life By Rote

The Earth will spin and with it, us,
and all our daily chores,
will add to the weight, will add to the pull
of this spinning orb.
The Earth will spin and signal day;
and night, and mark the time we spent away,
and the hours spent toiling or –
worse –
not toiling, the hours spent
with hungering tongues, the hours spent
wishing for toil, the life we
have learned to live by rote,
the life we have fallen into.


The wind whips through the beaten woods and
does not earn a dime.
The stars have worked without a wage since
the start of time.
The bears, they feast until they plump,
yet their portfolios are lean.
The fish do not charge different rates
depending on the stream.
It is Us, only Us, or perhaps rather We,
who dare to print a paltry price
on the pulp of a tree.