8 minutes to 2

the bus leaves me off
and I half-expect
the phantoms
to start in.

what’s left is
this feeling of

I walk,
I stalk,
I pass an open kitchen window.

there’s an old-time
happy summer song playing,
it’s got a snappy beat
and a guitar line that
lilts like a breeze.

in some wiser cultures,
a frown is considered
a compliment,
but I offer mine as

a bit more,
a sort of tribute.

Funny how
the old, bad
never leave you.

5/23/16 2:20 PM

I take on nausea
like a breached hull,

the rivets
giving way
toy soldiers in a
war gone real.

A sparrow dances
to the siren as I

hear a young man say

Yeah we should invite him, it’ll be ____

He uses a word
beyond my
non-millennial lexicon.

I vape listlessly
and wonder
what pirates spoke of
over breakfast.

5/17/16 10:12 AM

The stars crawl.

Pressing my ear
to the ground
I can mark
their passage,

along a pavement
almost as hot
as their
former brilliance.

The stars

And I wonder
if they leave
some spectral
in their tracks.

They are us now,
learning our stories
and sights,
and the time we
try to cheat
walking and
one another.

The stars crawl,
and you could
almost cry
to see them with
bellies to ground
and bloodied
points straining.

But somewhere
in the struggle
there’s the thing
you see in the
noble fallen.

And you can almost hear them rising.


5/9/16 1:37 PM

the eyes out here
rarely venture
but when they do,

they speak their tales in crucifixions.

On the next corner,
a hammering, irregular
the arrhythmia of us,
the fattened on concrete.

I whistle low
and flat and
in reverse.

These are the games
of decline.


hey, it hurts!

there are hours
that roam in packs
and will cut you
if you throw them
a glance,

there are hours
that will play
all the wrong
kerosene games
while you lie awake,
sweating it out.

And all the while
there will be
this punishing silence,
enough of it to drown in
enough to get you wishing
for the dentist drill
boring, boring,
the novacaine discarded
the whole thing deepening
and you there,
crying to be alive.

I don’t know of
any cure,
and even if I did,
I’m not sure
you’d be the one
I’d share it with.




it’s out there

I’m on the hunt

for a scream,

the type that


the brick, the pavement, the stink

of this perdition we ourselves built.

I’m on the hunt

for a scream,

crouched low,

parting the tall grass,

examining only those

behaviors unique to the landscape.

I’m on the hunt

for a scream,

pith helmet screwed up top,

riding crop piercing through,

the sounds about me

circling like

buzzards on angel dust
buzzards on methamphetamine
buzzards on hopes that are lonely.

Look, they could

sell you

this type of thing

but it wouldn’t hit your gut right,

and you’d

hate to hear the price


they skimped on the painkiller


is the vulture of hearts

and its coiled talons

reek of

rent hopes,
names you misplaced along the journey.

I’ve turned my collar up,
a resistance as token as
waving bye-bye to a
dying star.

Look, forget the promises,
you made them with tied hands,
you made them while in pain.

people don’t change

I can remember

Greta Beck

sticking a pin into an apple,

spreading mustard on it,

then taking a bit.

For Vinnie Gracie,

this just didn’t compute:

“I swear to Christ,” he foamed,

“I’m gonna beat the shit outta you after school!”

“I swear to Christ, after school you are fucking dead!”

Chunklets of lunch sprayed from him

and he meant it.

It was this way in our little school,

which is to say

call and response.

Like seppuku,

there was a strange and terrible beauty there,

but you’d only come to realize it

much later on.