Once Out of Love

Exactly thirty-one years
later, overripe Summer turns
its nose up this tangled memory
node, this pretzel of half-baked insight
I call my self--

Am I smelling the past here, there?

The seasoned seasonal mockery
of eternal cycling return?

Nature the measured excess
cracks the paved grid

Trips me once, twice, three times


Bloody Late Valentine

I drift & I skip
I stumble & fall
roll down bounce & knock about
from excentric loop-the-loop
to another circle of weird

all Hallows' have come to roost
by the blood signal saint's
message bending cell bars

writing in a second language
so that talking to oneself
multiplies the mirrored who-ha
over & across hurdling borders


Put Away Monkish Things

in your heart of hearts
--liver of synaptic spark
in my gutter of gut instinct--

who among us has not lost
their thread at first light
or twilight's last gleaming?

never sated, never filled by gorging
or cleansed by the purge:
compulsion held in check
only by stalemate habits

burn the fat clean off
in naked incident

scrape the smug smirk off
your gratitude, please?


Candelaria & Other Losses

  (In Memoriam-- PSH, Luis Raúl, Dax Díaz...)
jumble of dreams, tangled & dim
ground slipping under me all the while
time ticktocks gale-force above

need needs a kiss to gather oil
assemble & prime the tools

to repair hardened disconnect in broken links
between bleak everymorn hall path slogs
with shadow matrix stars beyond
reflected gleam streaming underground

beyond smoke & hand signals
arguing out the mirrors
beyond alarm bells, flashing lights
anxious mistrust & bittersweet oblivion

beyond the hanging struggle to know
free-falling lessons to forget

beyond roadkill claims in the snowdrift
feeding on dressed-up carrion
beyond the pale
that goes with territory flows

beyond a narrative arc-in-heaven
beyond smoky hopes in these dark rooms

some makeshift peace?
an uncomfortable if convenient truce
settled into shelf-life permanence
nestling out of touch yet not beyond


Desde los Catorce Años

no hay eco ni refugio

en el pabellón de impacientes terminales
cada moribundo enfrenta sordos muros

¿cuántos me acompañan insospechados?
imposible hacer un cálculo razonable

un infinito número de celdas
un infinito número de vidas pasadas
me agobia la imaginación

ronco de clamar desde mis catorce años
no hay eco ni refugio


Kisses to Krist & Liz & Bob & Nick

I never realized
my heart has gone blind
(no blood on the tracks in the snow
on the ground, no ground in sight)

since I blew to cliché
since you walked away
since we played the game
since I puke cliché

I never realized
my heat burns me up
(no spark for the flue for the flow
for the tide, no tide in lust)

since my fly is undone
since I slowed my run
since I stumbled home
since my cramp is done

I never realized
I am not a ghost
I sting like a hive
since our tears tingle dry
since your bite shut wide

since I drained my pride
and my juice ran dry
since our fears ran dry
since our hopes have died


Too Late the Valentine, take 2

love from a tender age
seemed but a pretext
for endless unresolvable argument

fuel for the duel
of literary genre
not much more


Writing Tips by Max Sebald

      'The present tense lends itself to comedy.
       The past is foregone and naturally melancholic.'

--The future...?
Is an exercise in absolute omniscience:
a willful, hubristic beating down
of anxiety-generating uncertainty
by a pointed grammatical (syntactic?) tactic:

'Max & Mimi were going to die-- of course.
At some poignant moment
they would know when, but when their paths
crossed Herrn Doktor Fehler's that blustery Berlin
evening, they were not yet privy to the fatal insight...'

(I believe I remember Milan Kundera having
used this kind of omniscience & future tense--
in 'Life is Elsewhere'? Or 'The Book of Laughter & Forgetting'?)

You may laugh, but...I forget.
Just as I have forgotten where my convictions
of a well-lived life were mislaid.


Acoso al Acceso

donde roce reabre cada herida
y profundiza las llagas

¿qué mareo confunde versos
y borra toda epifanía?

lluvia en punto pasada medianoche
lava la memoria pero no el sudor