I am young, it is dark,
and my teeth are not so sharp,
I have thoughts,
bordering on dreams,
of the day when I will grow
new, tall, solid steel,
thinking of men in that childish way –
unfeeling skyscrapers,
craggy cliffs climbing above the waves –
and I have dreams bordering on belief,
that my blood, flesh, the meat of me,
will boil up and all the old bones
will float out to be
hidden under pillows,
replaced by quarters and dimes,
nickels and nightmare

The Hired Hand of Justice

And I know what you know, kid:
three-fifty a week ain’t worth dying over,
and if Justice needs a helping hand, hell,
she should put in a worthy bid
like everyone else.

So let’s you and me just ease down the pistols, kid,
we can talk numbers just fine,
three-fifty-seven, magnum, faster ‘an a whip, hell,
I’ll buy yer’ dinner, and a lil’ something
extra for your time.

And I know, I know, I’m a bad man, kid,
for shooting the man who shot my brother,
now, granted,
my brother shot his wife, hell,
and plenty of other folks, but listen, kid,
if I shoot you dead, or –
Hell, if I shoot you in the leg and the sawbones
saws through the scraps of remnant –
Is it gonna be worth that three-fifty a week?

So let’s just slide these pistols down, kid,
real slow-like, and don’t make any fast mov-

Time Capsule

Place in here your frowns, your worries,
your rotten teeth and sour ideals;
Place in here your fledgling rhymes,
your thoughts of the world,
your idea of ‘unique’,
your expectations, your goals;
Place in here the ones you love, now,
and the stupid lusts you’re mistaking for love;
Place in here your friends of convenience,
your favorites-by-default,
Place in here all these things and more.

When you open the capsule,
many years from now,
you will surely smile.

blue, yellow, green, red

the calendar is marked with dots and slashes –
blue, yellow, green –
for good days, for pills taken and
exercises, experiments and
scribbled-in a delicate hand-
the titles of novels by dead men.

and the calendar is cursed with crimson cruciform –
red, red, red, red,
thickly splashing through the walls, a
low tide that strands all ships. Red for the bottle,
red for the pipe, red for thoughts that repeat and
repeat and repeat to their nightmare logic;

the months are splashed with red, yes,
but blue, yellow, and green make their homes in these days
as well. Perhaps not today.
But perhaps tomorrow.


There are many bullfrogs in the muck,
screeching, bellowing, wailing for mother;
there are many bullfrogs in the muck,
and any of them would eat another;
there are many bullfrogs in the muck,
succeeding in letting the world know
there are many bullfrogs in the muck;
and you can shut the window,
or hear them.


They chitter and chatter on high stages
like drunken fathers in drunken rages,
they throw their philosophies like cheap lamps,
cramming fistfuls of  words into enemy camps;
They are not wise, they are only loud.

They tell you what life means, they tell you the whys,
embroidered with jargon, with cunning,  with lies,
Thus seals their fortune, and therefore their fame,
and hundreds of others will say just the same;
they are not wise, they are only loud.

They claim their convictions as self-evidently true
as applies to them, so must apply to you,
and Living, and Truth, are simple to do,
and if you disagree, you are left, right, or proud;
they are not wise, they are only loud.

Verse in Dust

Elegance in verse requires high subjects,
the coursers sweeping across the plains and
Atlas hefting his burdensome rocks;
I seek the verse written in dust,
the tactless and true,
the scrawlings of madmen and the
recollections of poverty, of cold nights when
the firewood is too soaked to light,
when the rats nibble on plump toes and
the workers become alchemists converting hours to gin.
Tell me of  hopeless men,
no ideals or qualms, tell me
of men who use women,
of women who use men
for no reason other than lust,
than greed,
a search for meaning unbound from meaning.
I seek the verse written in dust,
by crooked fingers, by
the dying alive,
for surely an addict knows as much about life
as me, as you, for surely
some of us destroy ourselves in more subtle ways
and subtlety and beauty are taken in the same harvest.


Lust is a thing to be chased out of camp
with torches and the hurling of stones,
Lust is a thing that bubbles up from the earth
and swallows up your home.
There are fifteen miles between me and you and
the weight of careless moments shared and
maybe love is just a pattern
of saying things you don’t mean and meaning it.

Man is An

Man is an refining thing,
an animal bred for processing,
we eat, we shit, we read,
we write, we hear, we sing,
we smart, we sting, we reap,
we sow, we reap, we reap,
we reap until Donne’s g-d doth weepe;
and still, with shit-slick sickles,
we tally the harvest and sing our hymns,
we hurt the weak and hang the fickle,
still, and still, we reap and reap.