my fingers are talking with their hands
and so a picture goes missing, a
frighted tree trunk harbingers a
sense of perpetual loss, this disgrace
is only a figure of pathos, of wilderness
sight lines grow dim, chairs rustle toward
the center, but only for viewing dilapidated
acres, a brief of hollow under the
scarecrow moon, telling time a
circularity smitten with poor judgment,
a wealth of distraction, conveyances
upon a patter of unenlightened dirigibles—
propeller skylight offers weeds of transmission
a staple with a scrap the only trace remaining.


Travel Sight Arrival Sound

These titillation seconds
half broken
over the arm of the chair

and we flight security
risk, run
discombobulated overhead

compartmentalized mentality
all fortune
a chance mistaken

progress of things unrealized
a fault
of linear time and thinking

these masks wear off like
any other
jewelry, or face, leaping

from town to town as if
with rush, with altogether

too much pavement
too little
the sound of scream and

silence, simultaneously
filling the empty words

with half token paraphernalia
saturn returns
with rings on the side, peeling

clothes as pastime, as ritual
or frequency
to date there has been no

smacking of the lips on
plate, on
eyelids—can you hear

me, that’s the sound
of not sound
of calling the phone just

to hear the voice of
the speaker
and perhaps breath

coming down the line.
I’m mistaken.
I want only your eyes.


The Night Before The Spring Fling

They’re putting up
the carnival rides
in the courtyard.

You couldn’t traverse
any habitual route
if you wanted to.

And who would?
What with the promise
of fried cotton candy

tilt a whirl, merry
go round, pirate
ship, ferris wheel.

Although I don’t
plan on attending
the fair, because

I’d rather remember
the rides set in place
as they are now,

crouching creatures
relaxed, at rest,
perfectly still, workers

spraying them with
water as they would
elephants at the circus.

Although here in
the twilight machines
begin to hum, alight,

ready to project passengers
nearly into oblivion
before bringing them

back to pavement again.


Dumb Bow

That clumsy cat
might only be
partially drunk

but that’s no excuse
for its kitty litter
turning into scarecrows

and unleashing
bloody marys
from the ceiling.

I’ll grant you this:
no half penny
is burnished with

ink fingerprints
from unassuming
decades in god we trust.

Temperance is
always met with
a quantity of nostalgia

and failing that
pink elephants
grace the silver screen

in dream sequence
predicated upon
the climax, the climax

mouse whispered in
a boozy ear
But I been done seen

about everything,
when I see
an elephant fly.

is acquaintance
that falters

and faltering
dusts itself off
to watch the sunset

walk with mitten fingers.
Lick that ice cream
off your nose

it’ll leave a terrible stain.


Sound Balance

The sun gives

pressed against glass,
alliances, birds

perched on telephone
wires, erasing
lines of flight

across separate
distances, holes
cut through branches

to accommodate,
a center
of absence

the only slight
unheard voice.


Sorry Story

There is a kind of
between the live image

and the merely well-worn.
I’ve long loved
a life lived incommunicado,

as if reticence solved
the problem
of communication.

The enemy is on
the television,
cheering. We’ve seen

this story before.
That’s why lyric
narrative is the ideal form.

Pleasant to know
someone insists
on beginning middle and end

and no more. Lucid speech.
Like a flag
waving in the distance.


Implications for the Gospel of Judas

In a day
the world can
turn to ruin.

It took seven
days to build
but that is

only a myth.

revise the story.
They are peculiar

appeal to scholars.
No one believes
them because

no one has read
them. Until now,
of course. But

like all revelations,
we’re waiting for
the film, to come

down like fire
from the sky.
O happy day.


Above the Fold

Pay attention
to the legend
larger than life
on the front page.

It won’t last long.
Short shelf life,
quick turnover
and what not.

Roger that, sir.
We’ve got one story
to tell, and that’s
all there is, or so

I’m told. Friendly
fire. We’ll make her
a hero, unless she
is one already,

in which case
we’ll destroy her
credibility when
she appears before

congress. Madness.
She doesn’t know
what she’s talking
about. She wasn’t there.


I used to think

I used to think
the trunk of a tree
could be captured

by laying a piece
of paper against it
and using a pencil

to replicate its image.
In school they showed us
you can tell a tree’s age

by counting the rings.


I want to tell the story

I want to tell the story
of the shoes strung up
tossed on the telephone wire

when I was a child
those desperate shoes
clung to the wire

as if their souls
were barefoot. I never
saw someone fling them

up there.