Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category


She said she liked my song

But not the tasteless arrangement

My melodies are like pigs, she said

And roll in muddy firmament


And her dark eyes had kohl and looked wet in the room

Here she knew she could judge me

Knew her look meant my doom


Looking for a flat or a word out of place

She could cut me and see the pain on my face


My whittling thirds and a seventh out of time

I cut it too quickly like the green off a lime


She knew how it hurt to squeeze some flavor from truth

Still she shot down my song

Called it tasteless, uncouth


Then she asked me for dope money

And I gave her a ten

Till next time she cuts me

When we do this again


And as she left me alone

So her arm could seize joy

I’m here tasteless in waiting

For those with taste to destroy


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She Said I

She said I’m as alienated from my own singing voice

As I am from the ships that cross the narrows

Same as when my looks turn like gravity into male gazes

And they bash each other like black beard sparrows


This is nothing I contrive or plan on a hot street

God having made me what I am

And when I hear my own voice in a tape or a phone

I do not know that person any more than a staticky voice on a radio


And when I turn and see my blonde red reflection

And try to plumb the depths of the maker

Who is it really that made up that face,

That I had nothing to do with, nor the sexual race


The proceeds of knowing come when I walk or turn out the light

I don’t know how many arguments I’ve sparked or fights

Cause when I hear my own voice in a phone

I’m afraid of it, that other thing, that I come to know when I’m alone

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If I were a child and you were the sea

I’d find a place for my ankles in you

And my hands and my curiosity

And you would rise up

With warm and sandy love

Rise up to my knees and then rise above

And I would find depth

For my shoulders and chest

And my neck and my mouth and my teeth and the rest

And when I knew you were faithfully cold

I’d give you my heat while the water takes hold

The ocean’s chilling black and the vast shipping lanes

Cut for all ships, squids, roaring seaplanes

I give to the sea all my hair and my hips

Give love in more ways than through just two soft lips

And you don’t have to cry for all the things we now share

Love in its ocean, joys, blood, toil, despair

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When my friend had

His first child, he said

“Now I believe in God!”

“How can you not


When you first look

Into his eyes

Upon the miracle of his life?

The miracle

That is your baby?

“How can you not believe?”


When I had my child

And I watched him crawl

Watched him stoop and learn to walk,

When I saw my son bend his knees

And hunch over

To pick up his first apple

I thought,

“Holy Christ!

“We’re fucking apes!”



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When he told them whom to hate

He gave them permission to hate.

When he gave them permission to hate

He gave them permission to feel.

When he gave them permission to feel

They loved him.

Loved him so much. Oh so much.

And then he had them by the soul.

And he could do with those souls what he wanted.

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I have never said my piece

To strong men and to kings

And my eyes they sweep the ground

When their tragedies are unwound

And the tragedy is how they’ve ruined little things


You dress up in red lipstick

For a date with providence

And every set of eyes is a possible expense

Every new set of arms a residence

But passion turns to violence

And you pin your hope to wings

The tragedy’s the same

they’ve ruined little things


And a weak little man stands

In the corner doing what he can

Helpless to stop brutality

Not ever good for you or me

And soon it comes as sure as if he had the flu

He comes to love his abuser too


And as sure as he’s helpless

The boy he learns to sing

Anther lament of a life ill spent

They’ve ruined little things



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You have your bulky joy

You wear your youth like yarn

Piss mordant till you dye

It keeps your skin from harm


The smoke was once alive

In yellow plaster’s pores

Nostalgic from the wounds

Love has too many sores


And when the plague it came

We measured its hours too

The worst things about man

Turned out to be virtues


We once invented need

In the pre-pandemic dens

Like strangers on TV

We see ourselves back then


A life force is absorbed

In the city’s coming squall

This is how you love now

If you can love at all

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It was in the Times

The future is looking worse

Racial strife. Illness. Hate


The future is not looking worse

It will look better

When we stop lying

About what the past was

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The year was 1911. The movie camera was new

And when it captured the young old souls

In the pinned frames and licked their faces

Onto emulsion, the timeless New York jaywalker

Paid his debt

To posterity by showing,

Abreast the speeding cars,

He still didn’t give two fucks

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You Cut A Cloud

The rain cleans your wound
A stab made into the body of luck
An impossible good shank
And all it did was bleed nothing
You lost a thousand words
From your living steak

And the wind lifted the girl’s hair
Mellow, nothing in her brain
But the surprise of knowing
Your put a bunch of your dreams in her

You freed and oppressed her with
Your violence
You cut a cloud
And she lived in your rain

And you hope in your wordless despair
Hope she’ll miss you and the pain

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