I spent time in prison
For crimes I did commit
And learned to value
Duration, sitting still,
Brisket, anything roasted,
Rusk bread baked
Not once but twice,
Love wrapped in foils
Of forgiveness imbedded
In the coals of resentment,
Things incubated,
Simmered, not boiled,
Water, poison, sweated out,
Dross drained,
Life refined,
Life, I came to value
A second chance at life.
Say more with less.
Don’t tell me everything.
Be like a stone.
Talk with your fingers.
Bring me pamphlets
with no words in them.
I don’t want to speak.
I don’t want to think.
I look for the exit,
not the entrance.
Don’t despair.
I just want to be alone.
Just say no and
I will say the same.
I need silence.
I don’t seek conversation.
Sit like the stones
in ancient towns.
I don’t want to
return to my birthplace.
I don’t miss it.
I lost the connection.
I am sure it’s still beautiful
under the stars
and perpendicular rain.
Reason maintains many things, though not

the rings left on the dark wood table,

the torn label from bottles of India brew.

I got fat. She was sad

to be falling out of love with me.

Walking through Chicago winter, you can

only see your breath if you stop moving.

A taxi slowed to see if I was fare.

And that’s pretty much the whole story.


cosmic fist fulls of hair you
tear from me, my white lantern
stars fall from my eyes; I’ve
never known what you’ve ever
wanted, but all you’ve done is
steal moments from me, pulling
away the fine wine of my life
here, pouring it down your gullet
from my favorite chalice which
you consequently shattered in
a rage, I’m sick of remaining in
the shadows like a dusty relic --
you can take your things and
leave, nothing is worth this petty
anguish you’ve sung upon me;
I must rather be washed away by
the sad tears of a cold silver rain.


broken dreams litter
the lawn in moon silver,
they used to cling to me
with teeth tighter than the
coils of zephyr through hair;
I mourn their loss in rain,
white river stones mark
their sacred burial grounds --
I want to breathe life back
into them, resurrect them
like Jesus rose from the dead.

Hands embrace each other, slide through on another
Like raw, wet fish still shivering with death.
In unison they flop, up down, clinging mannerly apathetic,
Then separate, parted by the tide of time.  

A deer lies crushed under a fallen trunk in the empty forest,
Visible only as a bleeding hoof,
Blackened from the flames that consumed his home.
No one lives here now.
He must have been injured not to run with the rest,
Or penned in by the flames after sleeping too late.
I think he must have blessed the tree that fell and
Ended him quickly before he burned,
For I know I would have.
I place the daisy chain I made on the way across his tomb,
A splash of yellow and white on relentless black.
He was the only one in the forest when the tree fell.
I wonder if it made a sound.

She said put your hand in the flame.
She said your shadow will protect you.
I can’t recall her name now.
But in the morning, when the sun is
a broken blister, I can hear her
soft susurration. And I think of the way
she held me, like a prisoner,
like the man she could burn and/or love.

the silence broken by a cry,
cut short in mid-breath,
as if afraid of being heard,
soft and tender,
a kitten purr,
asleep and dreaming,
I will not wake her.
And the morning 

gives way, 
as a thought 

to a feeling. The middle 

of the day 
is an acoustical ceiling 
with cathedral rafters, 
pine scent clinging 

to the blistered studs,

a plum line marks nail gun, 
sundial in a 

pinch; quarter 
of three, quarter 

past already
last chance  
for cobwebs to dance
with sun motes, saw
dust in a belfry; 

that disco 

jew's harp 
jump and jive 

intro, bottle neck slide, 
Roundtree the morning's  
already a powdered

chalk scar 
on the floor 

of someone 
who died a lifetime 

before: You say 

drywall, I'm more 

sheet rock, 
the red rubber 
song ball, it's five 
o' clock. 
                                                                Hotel Negresco

Both sea and sky dream
                                            eye-white blue, and I
feel empty as these eggshells on my break-
fast plate.
                   On TV news, twelve people die--
a high-def fire, a bomb-blast pixel-fleck
from dire Afghanistan. . . .
                                                 I turn to see
two runners on the Promenade whose race
might be my higher self and I,
                                                      set free
as dogs unleashed that dream a master’s face
but never see it clearly,
                                           trusting scent
or intuition, knowing faintly, bent
on ecstasy, but
                            fawning and afraid.
So many times I roll my pant-legs, wade
in shallows.
                      I must find the pier and dive
in deep, be swallowed whole,
                                                      then rise, alive.