ASYLUM, redux

NO MORE A’GLOAMIN’ (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Look, John,

We can’t go on and fight like this.
Ain’t this that turns me on.
Hey, want to be in love again
When ugly stuff is gone.

I cannot slap my hands like this
And make your lies what’s true.
You gotta listen to yourself.
You haven’t got a clue.

I cannot stand it when you lie
About some lunch or call.
Hey careful, you just keep this up.
You won’t have me at all.

I can not ‘bide your dodgin’ truth,
Just tell me plain and square;
It wasn’t poker with the boys,
It was a love affair.

I just can’t tolerate your fraud.
C’mon, admit you lied.
You see the way that you clam up
Just shovin’ me aside?

Now listen, though ain’t much you’ve said,
Just listen. Get this straight.
You’re pretty nearly borderline
To turn my love to hate.

I see you wide-eyed, blinking there.

Uh, you don’t know what you said?

I can not stand to see you sad.

Oh, hell, let’s go to bed.

April 2004

WORDS (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

I’ve seen some sights, have learned some stuff;
I know a thing or two,
But words make comprehension rough
As I’ll point out to you.

I’ve found no use for income tacks
To nail my future taught,
I squirm to see that poker chips
Away my stash to naught.

Perhaps you watched the Plymouth rock
(Before the carburetor,)
Or saw the dragonfly
His love and in a second mate her.

I wonder why the butter flies,
No doubt there is a reason.
And would you let the daisy chain
Your heart to mine this season?

March 2003
(Revised 4/04)

LABOR DAY BEACHOUT, 2001 (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Moon bright, moonlight
Wedged across the sea,
Dagger aimed at me

Sprawled on sand, with
Sand in hand, to
Scatter angrily

Pain remains, Hurting stains
The pureness of the spell.

I will not give
My anger up
And turn my cheek again.

I’ll not return, not my concern
If gone, they’d guess not why
Left on the beach to die.

The moment goes,
The stars dispose,
The bitter magic gone,

I shuffle back
A smile, a crack
And leave my soul alone

September 2002
(Revised 4/04)

LABOR DAY BEACHOUT II (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Moon bright, moonlight
Wedged across the sea,
Dagger aimed at me,

Sprawled on sand, with
Sand in hand, to
Scatter angrily.

Hurts still gnaw
A wound still raw,
Savaged heartlessly.

Of course she knew
What this would do:
The end for her and me

I could not stay there
Shamed to stay where
Treated shabbily.

Now must she pay.
I’ll find a way.
To show that we means me

The winds arise
A chill derives.
By now, she sure must see.

From up the beach
Sounds gaily reach
and me abandons me.

I’ll just pass by
Attempt to try
Behave indifferently

Logs alight, spirits bright
I join the group to see
That she was missing me

My pique adjourns
My heart re-learns
Pure joy: she’s kissing me

March 2004

THE SNEEZE (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Begins a tickle, I’m aware
Of fickle tickles in my nose.
A sudden need to suck in air
Seizes me from head to toes.

And then it will and then it won’t.
I’m waiting, holding, eyes apop.
Does it do or does it don’t?
The primal urge won’t start, won’t stop.

Then with a sucking wheezing gasp,
My head falls back, my eyelids shut,
Bring napkin up in fisty grasp.
But now it’s paused. It’s over?…but…

With fury of its very own
It lets you know it’s done with teasin’
With power known to it alone
It takes control, bereft of reason

I hope, I hope it’s really through.

The freedom from that nasty sneeze
Is grand, but not another puh-leeeze.

November 2003
(Revised 4/04)

EASTER ISLAND (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)


Ante Doric,

typhoon season

Endless ocean;
magic potion

See land appear

Tiny speck,
longboat wreck.

Settle in.
Gods to win.

Giant heads,
assuages dreads.

How to move them?
Gently smooth them
over tree logs.
Never see logs
ever hence.

Life gets tense.
Without their trees
options freeze.

Here to stay,
Must gods obey.
In years, forget.
Their world now set
just on this space.
No other place

Power imbeds
in those with heads

Emerging Hannibals;
winners, cannibals.

Clans to beat.
Clans to eat.

To gods appease
virgins please

weaker seed.

Disease attacks,
breedings slack.
Numbers fall.
O’er hangs the pall
of life forsook.

Then story took
a sudden twist:

Out the mist
Easter morn
new gods born:
ships with sails,
swords and tales
of worlds beyond.
One who donned
A silver headpiece
Smoked and said peace
now was come.

With bread and rum
he won their will,
signed with quill.
Obey his queen,
who, never seen,
rules all the seas.
He won with ease.

Forsaken dot, not
tethered sure.
Can it endure?
Will gods assure?

But now its known.
Each other throne
claims it’s rights.
Its in their sights:
a tiny isle,
not worth their while,
but theirs to take.

So in the wake
of far-off fights,
they lose their rights
to life alone.

From gods of stone
To photo-op.
A long, long hop
by jet or ship;
worth the trip?


March 2004
(Revised 5/09/04)

FAKING IT AT A HOLLYWOOD PARTY (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

They talk of this and that with glee
And chortle at each others’ wit:
Such stuff that is too much for me
Or not enough to care a whit.
And there am I, with frozen thought
And brain full locked and key amiss,
Expecting what? Had thought I ought
To be more sought than this.
Had seen myself to be more cool,
With jealous stares from guys
And cleavaged gals, who as a rule
Would find me smart, emitting sighs
Of lustful longing just for me.
Not so, I ruefully take note.
That fantasy, alas, is not to be.
I pour the vodka down my throat,
And check my watch (as if a date awaits)
And bustle out alone, a bit adrift,
And hope departs and puffery abates
And that is that. I buzz the lift.

June 2003 
(Revised 4/04)

TO ANN PAUL AFTER A CREATIVE WEEKEND (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Want to be gratefully (joyfully) thanking you,
Taught by you anapest, trochee and stuff;
Bound to be happily thinking about you while
Tack’ling my poetry, clueless and rough..
Stuffed with new vigor, new viewpoints and smarts,
Conscious, from your view, it must have been tough;
Glad you chose, then and there, not to give up on me;
Glad to acknowledge, can’t thank you enough.

April 2004


ASYLUM, redux (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Stand, still stand; hold tattered stone to stone
Grip hard against the steady push that wants you down.
Hold tight the imminence and fame you won,
Hold for the ghosts, their cures and magic gone
To where life goes when used and done.
And I, with still a bit before the dawn
Of what must come, I’m bound to you as one.

April 2004

GHOSTS (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Spineless, chilled in snow, yet standing still,
Alone, untouched, yet viewed with wonder
By the rich who chat above you, glass a’fill
With red or white, ’bout this or that, while under
Lofty perches, cabs and tourists pass
Without a glance across the wet divide
More drawn to sights more crass. Alas,
Who cares that once there were inside
Your empty walls, the imminence and fame
Of noted patients? Now at best, it’s ghosts
Who flit along the shade. Here once came
Healers: brought their wisdom and their boasts
Of miracles and cures. But they, all they are gone
To where life goes when it is used and done
And I, with still a bit before the dawn
Of life eternal, am bonded: you and I as one.

April 2003

TO A YOUNG GIRL WHOSE FEELINGS I HAVE HURT (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Full fair of face and fair of form,
Still peaky green and unaware.
She holds our gaze, her charms perform.
The magic, lures us to the snare,
And I am captive in the net
Of Heather’s charm and steady will.
A lily does not see its own effect,
No star the wish it will fulfill.
And I, a stumble in the wrecked
Unconsciousness that comes with grey
And years, the senses dulled and worn
And not attention paid to what I say
Or notice took of feelings torn,
Am unaware the pain that I have sired,
Am huddled with my private hurt and guilt
And in the mud in which I’m mired.
Too late it dawns on me the mal I’ve built
And much too late, I seek to make it right;
I struggle, search the words and means to tilt
Fair Heather’s spirit to forgive, to reignite
The candle of affection that we shared
And say to her I love her, if I dared.

September 2003
(Revised 4/04)

YOUR COUSIN’S WAITING, ONCE AGAIN (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

You say I talk too much. “Shhhhsh”, you say. How else to learn just where
you are when you’re with me? I need to know things ‘bout you that I can not
find the breath to ask… and things I can not put in words. I seek directions in a foreign land where wisdom does not work at all…where I, the raging bull took what we both longed for me to take, where now my tongue is lashed against my teeth for fear that I offend. I am a penitent in hopes of alms, kind words.

Until just now we were together on my bed, the pillows scattered and the soft white comforter dispatched in knots. Panting like sprinters we marveled as the wonder burst and we returned in gasping steps from ecstasy. I stroked your alabaster skin, radiant in the early evening’s light and felt your touch on me and yearned for more of that and less goodbye. My wit and hopeful charm to no avail, you dressed, pulling on intimates from here and there. “We’ll see”, you said, “This week perhaps. If not, then sometime soon again.” You turned and saw the Chinese clock and winced to find how late you were to someplace else, not here. Of course, you had to go. Another galaxy awaits. A feather kiss, blown, not felt, and you were gone.

Hey, its cool. No messy, over ripened feelings to penalize the night ahead. Lovers have no rights, just memories and those soon gone.

Next time you’ll see how I will privatize my maudlin thoughts. “Good boy”, you’ll think. You’ll see how I can let you go to fly away to friends who wait.

I think I’ll get a dog, a big one I can wrestle with and she will lick my ear, hang out with me without a thought of anyplace not here.

October 19, 2004

VARSITY MATCH-UP AT SAN MARINO HIGH (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

I saw them wrestle, girl against a guy,
within a slick and pungent circle:
sweat and sinew, grunts and grips.

At one instant, she, the larger of the two,
Applied a headlock, leveraged down,
moved his shoulders toward the pin.
But he, rolling, quick, his head tucked under,
desperate will exploding, freed himself.
And now, they faced each other,
fingers searching, mantis mating, wary,
eager to begin again.

Then guided by the vision of the way
the boy yanked her head aside and drove
his arm between her legs and tilted,
forcing both to fall with him on top,
pressing his force against her chest.

She struggled, bridged, attempted roll
but he, now sure, he held his way with her
until the ref slapped the mat.
They stood, shook hands and left
me with troubled memories
of my own teen-age matches, urgent, night and dark,
entwined within her mother’s Chevrolet,
me working toward her breathless warmth
and how there were some holds
I’d never dared to use.

NEW GUINNEA GUIDE (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

With cocky, toothy grin around some pidgin words,
he led us hut to hutch and roused up beasts and birds,
explained to wide-eyed us how food is diced from wood,
brought naked breasted girls to sell us what they could,
ensured we saw what’s true: their pure, unfiltered lives.
With compromise distained, integrity survives.
When we had moved along, he signaled to his wives,
“OK, put on your jeans until next boat arrives.”

April 2004

LAST RITES ACROSS THE STREET (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

A naked Chimney, three floors tall, juts from the bruted corpse below.
At tip, you see scorch scars where casing loosed the urgence of the smokey flow.

For decades folks had birthed their yuletides by its grate
and children warmed behinds, and late
some nights with whistling winds and cold
lovers, passions hot and fire glowing old
made love and dozed entwined just there.
You see the black bricked mouth? There
once, around, lay sun splashed rooms with smells of
plaster, chunks of wall and broken glass, humped in waves
like ruptured body bags from body cars.
The wrecker saves
for last, dismantling of this seedly source of family lore
while Chimney, mateless, sucks the breeze as though before
and hums and moans a lovers’ tune above the desolate dejection.

The workmen pause, unsure, before they raise this last erection


IN DEFENSE OF SEMICOLONS (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

A famous poet in a lecture said
He did not like the semicolon;
Had no use for it; preferred the dash.
We, who listened, nodded: seemed so sound.

Later on, I marveled at the thought
That such an ancient thing
Could be — so easily — dismissed
By those who form our minds.

Deprived of future in its full,
Does it not deserve a stout defense?
Is it to be felled by politics of new,
Like rhyme and meter, fallen and despised?

What then is next to feel the hatchet
Of disdain? I fear for colons, capitals,
For manners and for kind words
And I, so newly old, I fear for me.

September 14, 2004 
(Revision of January 17, 2005) 

MOUNT EVEREST AFTERNOON (Return to Index) (Return to Creative)

Mountain shadows push the sun away
But leave me brightly high and briefly lit
And mostly cozy warm with good intent
As though a God, blessed full of human joy
Commands the soft, still drama just for me.

The dzongs and fields resist the invading edge of dark
With one last sparkled volley flashed from pane and plow.

A shift of wind turns kind to cool;
I feel my fingers slip from heaven’s slope.
The melody of children’s distant voices fades
And angels cease to tend or have forgot.
I am again a traveler from afar
And I grow chilled and
Mourn the loss of Shangri-la.

March 2004
(Revised 4/04)