Sunday, January 31, 2010

she left behind
a star trail of words

lovely lake view

I wanted to step into the picture
but it is water

Thursday, January 28, 2010

shopping at the 99 cent store--
rich enough to afford plastic

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

conversation with the other side of the face

"If I would dye my hair
I'd look much younger," I said

"That's ok," I replied
"I'd rather be secretly young."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

clouds sweep in

a remembered sky!

over a foreign landscape...

how easy it is
to move the sky
over a new home

Monday, January 11, 2010


out of silence, shouts
louder, angrier
higher, more desperate
a lifted knife plunges
an arm drives downward

break in the clouds
the sun dumps gold over
the man writhing hand-cuffed on the grass
the man lying limp in the driveway,
red and gold

swift cars, blue uniforms,
neighbors in groups, gold-tinged
the ambulance drives away
a gold star on its windshield

Monday, September 28, 2009

in honor of chicory

rising birds, lifting up out of a blue field
illusion of movement--
a still life of sun
on folded and extended wings

welcoming the new driver to, say, an 8-lane freeway

aren't you proud of yourself
the way you can maneuver
accurately, without touching
within this flock

Sunday, September 27, 2009

on their 21st cruise

it was after they had secured their cabin
and arranged things in the cabinets and drawers
that she sat down on the bed suddenly, and said
you know what, Jamie?
I wish I were home

Saturday, September 26, 2009

note for nation building

instead of they, them
I really want to hear more us
those of us, those among us...

I want the things that unite us
to decorate our shelves

Friday, September 25, 2009


on the rippled water
an approaching mast
and the bridge begins to hum
two halves rise, drawing in the air
a non-existent mountain...

seaside on a Tuesday

the ocean is bored without us
lifts a languid hand to slap the beach

Thursday, September 24, 2009

wipe your feet

on the door mat do
a little dance

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


in the kitchen
she surrounds herself
with things that will obey

Friday, September 18, 2009


our atoms formed together
part of the water, hardly distinguishable
and our energies go over in around--
pass through each other
all the time like ghosts

how is it
we’re enamored of the sharp image
straight edges, solid forms, incised letters
demarcations–eyes, noses, fingers
present and accounted for

and the numbers tally up, agreeing
goals, ends, clearly showing
orderly, marching closer...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunday dinner

people greeting people all around

alone, he comes to the restaurant
for the left-over smiles

windy weather, lax

from the seventh floor, by the airport
we watched the airplanes blow towards us
Aeroflot, Emirates, Philippine Air, LAN Peru--
labeled winds

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

always hungry

I had in mind the dog
but it was only an empty
brown paper shopping bag
looking up at me

cleanup time

when the web of time
joined the dust of time
she gave in and cleaned the cabinet


(the dust, on little
rubber bands
bounces right back)

Monday, September 7, 2009

theoretically, from the distance, knowing nothing

so easy, so familiar
pulling back a practiced finger
and the action playing
tiny and so far away
hardly feels like murder

the cries? we've heard these cries before
coming out of our own mouths--
nothing anyone would pay attention to
and we've been dead a long time
to anything but anger

still, we'd take it all back
for pizza and a night at home...

Sunday, September 6, 2009


overheard, stopped at a red light, window down
two graybeards conversing on a bus stop bench
“Now, I don’t wannna have ta kill ya...”

jet (or swine flu, hopefully)

begins with intimation
builds to thunder
which subsides
does not come our way

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


a landscape tossed by wind
a climate, cool caves beneath the branches
entertainments--spiders, squirrels, birds
the coming and going of its leaves

all this compressed into one word, tree
hardly worth a second glance

(word--at first, supplement to a feeling
then a feeling supplanted)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

change yourself for the better?

sure you can learn a few things
give yourself lessons, lectures, sermons
make mental notes, resolutions, conversions
but in life we can only truly be
the way it comes to us

Sunday, August 30, 2009

it's just good feng shui (Dunsmuir take note)

suspend some wind chimes in the canyon--
the river, the railroad, the freeway and the wind
blowing through town through opposite doors

Saturday, August 29, 2009

mathphobe mutterings

one number is pretty much like any other

stored on slanted shelves, they slip off

Friday, August 28, 2009


from a child I learned
it's ok to be easily hurt
it's ok not to understand
it's ok not to want what others want you to want

from a dog,
bark sometimes
don't let just anyone come near

from the cat,
disobedience does not kill you
("Come here." "No, thanks.")

Thursday, August 27, 2009


the cat gallops past to play
I chase her under the dining table
her legs distinguishable from all the rest

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

surviving the landmine

at peace--she’s not a burden to her family--
they’ve sold her into slavery--

on bare ground with her one leg
her hands weave the rhythm of her days
she had hopes, but they are dead
nobody wants me now, she said

Monday, August 17, 2009


suppose we really did
love one another
what would that look like?

Saturday, August 15, 2009


...standing on some foreign threshold
the fear, a fur on my back

where is that gold-paved road
the stone lions, the iron door
who has the formula?

where the dwarf to lead me
through this wind-torn landscape
shreds still flapping from the bones of trees...

I watch myself
trying to flee a terrible dream...


from the door
the view is wide, wide!
it seems that this is where fulfillment lies
and greatness
and slipping of the yoke
one step...

so why is my heart racing?

it is grey, and cold
I am alone
it seems a violent wind has blown
the air away

this freedom feels too much like dying

the door has gotten very small
but I know I must get in

Friday, August 14, 2009


snow with a bite--
dunes, knife edge
in dagger formation
gnashing under your boots

Saturday, August 8, 2009


when I make a statement and you negate it
and I restate my statement, softening my stance
I’m not bowing to pressure
I’m restating my original position
refined for accuracy

Friday, August 7, 2009

yard list

gazing balls
purple plastic windmills
yellow wagon, red petunias
terrier with a serious underbite
snarling & snorting

Thursday, August 6, 2009

gray days

the bay area was hiding from the fact
that it is a very hot summer

as the temperature climbs, the fog piles on the hills
ready to wash over us in the night
neither does it settle on the ground, but floats, protective layer
between us and the sun

I peered out the front window last night (where it is never really dark)
and saw it--caught the fog in full retreat, draining back to sea
tomorrow will be a very hot day

seltzer birds

bush tits in the bushes
like bubbles, rising,
breaking in a soda can

Monday, August 3, 2009


tanker truck
up the hill at full speed
swinging its trailer

(trucks we built so as not to burden
any more beasts)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

note to self

Shut up! The position of knower is already taken...

shifting the plates

whenever you say what you really mean
red hot material oozes from a crack
a blackened fingernail grows between two continents

unnecessary opinion

matadors, unnecessary heroes