Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Links: Poetry at our mercy; ego management

"Are you Christmas blogging?" my brother Brian just asked. Yes. Yes I am.

My friend Ben recently wrote an excellent examination of the state of Poetry (the magazine, not the, um, "form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning"). It's over at Luna Park, a new-ish online journal (one that's apparently turning into a new-ish blog in the coming weeks).

This site will hopefully be updated more frequently in the coming weeks: my duties as a grad student (for which I am actually paid) have been getting in the way over the last month or so. The poems may look a bit different if all goes according to plan. Some may even be readable.

Now that the obligatory self-deprecation is out of the way, I may as well link to some old coverage of this here site. Back when I was more diligent (and not working), a few people wrote some very nice things about the page. Deirdre Fulton (not, in fact, the mysterious Sharon Steel) over at The Boston Phoenix interviewed me for Word Up, the paper's lit blog. If you know me, I've probably already shoved said interview under your nose, but my ego hopes that strangers check in on this page from time to time. And yes, that's my mom and one of my uncles in the "Comments" section below the feature. Secondly (and lastly), Miriam Rosenberg at The Wave, a Rockaway newspaper, checked in with me after I made a poem out of an article describing the tragic death of Patrick Hernandez. Thanks again, Deirdre and Miriam! Thanks also to Jason B. Jones over at Bookslut, who linked to the site back when it was a bit more active and was also nice. You are all good people.

Look for more activity emerging from this dark corner of the web in the coming weeks. And thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I write you.

The usual typos – jealousy,
detachment, hopes – were enough.
You entertained inadequacies in darkness
like a bishop: They were concrete; they
were not mentioned.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Guidelines for Priests

Avoid the cost of a stable
Identity; look for apples.

Monday, October 27, 2008


sometimes their defense of drowned art
led to death embellished, weeks of
drunken lunch, murder
unconsummated, a regard for autopsy
over cynicism, conflicted

a buried name
where a better life had been
stowed away.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

King and Mountain

In quiet moments

the king lost faith in
order: its violence,
its clarity.

In another castle

a new prophet of winter is at rest
in an elliptical sunset; he
possessed nothing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

end of the line

The world I
no longer
belonged to
kept going

while I consulted
with the depths in a
dream I visited
but couldn't break out
of in the end.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

staying sick

We declined to be named
like people, refused
a ring, sought escape
in a performance of collapse.

Not to worry: that's
the way we like it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mind Your Manners

Crowded conversations
in transit launched
your reputation.

Now you
excitedly drone on without the bedlam
that colored your old poetry.

You have retired
to the common
horror of yesterday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another I

Each distortion murmurs to the world
like a drunken gypsy
and dreams itself into existence:

I am more than an actor:
filthy with these little lives
at home, on an evening walk:

I won't bathe:
in time I'll head behind these visions

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Chameleon

I love the idea of conclusion;
You don't need to believe in it
To admire it for its honesty.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

street heart

this blinding city

gathered souls to sacrifice
guides strangers home
quietly drums
made a shadow on a door

nobody knows.

Friday, October 3, 2008

his own enemy

Last night he
turned into fireworks for
a while, and attacked the endless.

His laugh
is like a coat he wore in a better decade
and grew out of.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

after summer

In rotten cities
where our money is

We stow our
spoiled bone

And wait for a few shreds
of unprecedented metaphor

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Stand Ins

They make moments talk
by roughing up everything incidental

And they enjoy their doomed life together
beyond changes

Their destruction untangling it all

A tattered, honest
shape to carry out to sea

Friday, September 5, 2008

around, not old

you're accustomed to talk
so perhaps a wrinkle
can throw you off

those years being made
less cerebral

it will come down to
thinking you lasted

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Moving Day

It's hard knowing well
the old done away

But reality
was moving

And endless horns I had already held dreaming
Planned the day I had already begun to hate

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Room For Doubt

You dismissed the bitterness,
the anxiety, the impassioned
roar of somebody surviving.

The invisible remains,
hopeful that you
will be going away in time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

do not die

we can put
some distance
between the
unnamed next
moment and
us at night
when they head
home and we
stay with the

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the other Americas

behind the endless America
you're supposed to look at

told you you're nobody
and you're allowed to be

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You & Me

look powerful
while the old
Me is missing
some pieces.

Monday, August 18, 2008

a return to normalcy

If the wave--I'm there
and helpless--were to
turn back and out, to-
ward everything I
was determined to
lose, would I put on
a dull, cheerful face?

Friday, August 15, 2008


Open, but protected,
The night approached.

It felt wanted, alive,
And he hopes it can't go wrong.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


until everything didn't lead
to more time

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I reached out to regret
the last thought that seeped out
from the masks that I wear.

Friday, August 1, 2008

just a man

Just a quick goodbye
to the faces in the photographs.

It could have been better,
but the end doesn't deserve
to be treated like
some big feat.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

not another one

It's not clear
when the sense of terror began

and it shelves life like merchandise

Monday, July 28, 2008


Language ran beyond acceptable areas

a factory approach improved it
made it less smoky

but its masks
are unusually heavy these days

Friday, July 25, 2008


It must be difficult, failure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

in need

Be reasonable:
you could cough up
another ray of hope.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


wounded eyes
erode many an honest man

cover them.

we are all equal

join hands.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


It is time to catch a break.

A good collapse
Is another way of having fun.

I'm not trying to hurt
Anybody's feelings,
But your woes could be
Just another mirage.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Named Outsider

Exposure carved the world on her heart;
The eye continues opening
silence, working a slow escape
from known boundaries.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

as rain

stirred up their inspired opinions on controversy

I tried different words
giving up on their feelings

it's about time

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Mirrors taunting children,
recreating beautiful remnants
before time and numbers arrested them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

some pride

Worship little.

The steady gaze, like a priest,
stoops to conscience even in modest light.

I am answerable to less nourishing tides.

Friday, July 11, 2008


The whole morning stumbled in,
and in the candlelight
I was alone, trying hard
to hold a little bit of belief.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The stranger sat around drinking coffee.
Slumped low, ageless, he told me
that his suicide was dismissed
as inauthentic.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Down Times

The whole story was talked into me
in the middle of the night

And eventually the years leaned far back
and I didn't want to hear much more about my home

I know you're not going to believe this

Monday, July 7, 2008


His hands, the world,
His face in tears,
History hunted down the end,
Diminished with delight.

It took some time, weathering
Him until muted eyes
Watch, maybe with surprise,
In near darkness.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

new fire

I remember thin fingers that threatened a terrible setback.

The old turn for the worse streamed in
yesterday; it seems to be coating the home in smoke.

The air boxed us up, blacking out many days.

Stubborn things we normally wouldn't say
stretched out now, reopened.

And I chose to stay in harm's way until the end.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

nothing but smoke

you feel good
buzzing around any amen chorus

the good guys are stealing hyenas
in a meaningless story

it is too late to rationalize

no one is going to feel good

one thing that we could all agree on

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

forget authority

a rosy steel and cement city became dismal over years
monumental, obvious
sober truth slated in its culture

it is in a state of optimistic demolition
the cost of encouraging words
addressed to the future

Monday, June 30, 2008

war signs

the vital lines crack
on the face of children

the next disaster
benefits their families

Friday, June 27, 2008

the search that day

putting his years behind him,
scrutiny scraping up a memory of difficult moments

tailored in gold, little in common,
candid, confessional, distasteful,
a ruptured smile under stress,
building lives without much success

compelled to unhitch years of time,
some of the walls come down

Thursday, June 26, 2008


urban dwellers in our midst
snatched the same conjured energy you drowned out

uncanny Eden, a silent one,
too strong, immense,
rips you every day

you grow up against the ancient civilizations
thinking, especially after dark,
you have the greatest chance
to glimpse hints of a lost paradise,
waiting for the jungle to be assembled and reassembled

get lost: until you get close to bits of mist and fog,
intoxicating, miragelike,
fake natural history
sleeps on you day or night

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

lighthouse wanted

Housing a romantic notion
of gray grass stoically sloping
after more than a century of darkness,
the lightkeepers ward off heroines
trying to fill the picturesque
with brick and granite views
painted white, automated.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Scattered light in the morning
releases the fathers and mothers
(in a religious sense)
of the people I sympathized with.

Relatively conventional angry mob routine
cemented an uproar
and a buttoned-down decorum.

Working class wordplay
weathered major, psychotic hatreds,
the shortcomings of humanity,
makes us think.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Decision Public

Accept the wake.
No kicking and screaming.
Shut off the spigot.

A disproportionate amount of time;
and he has been freed from
the necessity of spending countless hours,
enabled to break his promise.

And a bevy of other
limitations laid bare
will always find an outlet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

influence simply

an old-fashioned bureau
tough and amiable and grounded
slightly better than used-car salesmen

a gross dollop of unfairness to digest

tarred with the sins of those who transmit
wounded soldiers in the 25 largest markets
sufficiently afflicting the comfortable

did not walk on water

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Instead of redoubling their efforts,
drag their frazzled minds
to a higher plane.

Extinguish that hope.

This whirlwind staggered
from the very get-go;
Overburdened, frustrated
(and) proud, the far
better energy
paid off immediately.

Ready to negotiate?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

interim (let go)

Throughout the past
the immediate future has arrived.

Stumbled out,
floating around anywhere,
grew more frequent,
but it was not enough to save:

Grew more cryptic,
Grown into murmurs,
Withered to nothing.

Plagued by speculation past midnight,
Conditions deteriorated again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

no coast for the taking

A soft-shell pushover
punched back.
He was the best.

clearly missed the inside
cutting into my friend
contributed mightily
to (their) own demise.

"Tape everything for posterity":
right away we were talking Deja Vu,
Youthful Aggressiveness.

"But those things are to be expected."
Now you can add the name.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

still heavy

imagine you're not
return to the shock and rush
vintage bursts of cackling-hyena
makes ya more strong

minimize time away from their families
moved all over the place

guys are on fire
hooked into that right now
those were made very quickly