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


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