Orchid Spirits

slope on my inevitable decline
grows steeper
in the company of ghosts

unholy host petals of white flameout
burn scattered in pure aches


Substantial Utility

I blew the size of the dark
in the sunset
cycled immeasurable seconds ago

I mistook a distraction for a venue
--substance tracks of toll-free youth
wore the dry pipes down

elevated grade routed spirits
out of the higher fuel
for a faithless goal


Aniversario a Destiempo

al mirarse al espejo
y verse en los ojos
de un señor

mi niño interior se asusta
se traga el grito y murmura
quejándose por lo bajo

se encoge y cruza los brazos
se sorbe lágrimas mudas
una tras otra

paralizado entre rabia
de frustración y decepción
al enfrentar la poca cosa
de tanta ilusión arruinada

al mirarme al espejo
y verme en los ojos
de un señor


Into the Deaf Season

Cricket chirps carpet
Summer's end underfoot
as woodpecker polebeaks
a ratatat canopy for a Fall home

But it is the static radio cicadas
buzzing a shower tap deep in my ear
that shut the Nature score out
to trip me headlong


Borrador en Vías

perdido el estricto norte
rumbo incierto de remedios
puede aún dar con salud

como halla justa palabra
la coincidental etiqueta
de mercader o poeta

si es un hombre lo que hace
¿desconocerá como ajeno
al que otra cosa ejecuta
dominando sus aperos?

cada respuesta es añico
sin medida para armar
crucigramas de respuesta

queda el papelón quizás
de un obligado libreto
a duras penas sentido

(la más clara voluntad
--error o facilidad--
ejerce resistencia impura)


Speak No Gritty

I must own up, surrender
to my battlefield arms high

my head my heart my groin
all mine down to my ingrown
big & little finger toenails

but at the core of pain
the heart of thought
the roots of wilted nip-in-the-bud
is a war of the tongues

behind the curtain of disembodied Oz
the cracked liberty tongue
tangles with an anxious mother

not a refuge, not a sound
understood without guides


Nohow Focus

ah youth ah youth ah youth!

free of obligations
the juice pooled in my loins
nightmared only for myself

ah youth ah youth ah youth!

I sat on what I saved
feeding on my shadowplans
for nobody


Inner Exile

1. Homing In

there is no open range path
no sunset horizon sunrise
for the rulemaker badge or outlaw

the mother tongue is naught but ill
all full around & deep inside

how everwhere to settle down
again a stranger in my town?

'tween everlusting pigsty sheet
& nightmare king's erected moat
there is no cozy cottage

amazing maze, how bitter roots
issue no mirror entry bright

2. Bolaño Birthday

shifting into neutral gear
at every downhill slope
I save my fuel

I map my route
along circuitous side roads
so the wind will be always
at my back

one hill after another
I am being blown down
into a bottomless ravine
where hell feels like home


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