Saturday, October 30, 2010


A wide and watchful look is in your eyes,
Although no threat can be detected here
By meerkats or those paranoid white deer
Always preparing for the worst surprise.
So if you chose an animal disguise,
I'd recommend another option. Fear
Looks good in any costume. Every year
The monsters stumble and the vampires rise.

I dream with orthodox intensity,
No freakish organists, no changeling elves,
No whooping cranes with crowns, no pantry shelves
With elbows, just the usual debris,
Where my descendants laugh madly at me.
My ancestors repress a smile, themselves.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Nervous Dance

One more exhausted boy debates the plan —
Essentially, it all boils down to this:
What he might have to do to earn a kiss,
A sigh, an invitation to the clan,
And how much further she might let a man
Continue, or a boy, towards that bliss
He's aiming at, and what would make him miss
His several targets. He'll do what he can.

Invariably, he fails. There's just no chance
Of his succeeding ordinarily,
And even if, one time of twenty-three,
He makes the right steps in this nervous dance,
Those steps won't work next time. Retreat, advance,
Retreat again, with greater probity.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bad Policy

You don't like poetry? Then go to hell.
I don't like you, the stupid way you rave
Without regard for truth. You want to sell
Bad policy. Who's walking on my grave?
I feel a shudder and a shiver now,
As you explain the world to imbeciles
Who still believe your senseless rants somehow.
I hear you talking, and it gives me chills.
This language wasn't made for fraud and lies,
Your tongue is foreign to the truth of things,
It's madness to go on — it's no surprise
The blackbird calls you liar when he sings.
You tell the world you don't like poetry?
That's fine. I don't like you; you don't like me.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Alter Nothing

If I were larger than a cuttlefish
But smaller than a worm, no paradox
Would seem too great: each fall we set the clocks
Back to their former spot, an empty wish
For time to alter nothing; there's a dish
With vinegar, with beef and chicken stocks,
Red wine, green mint, hot chilies and ham hocks
That I enjoy — it's rather devilish.

I am an algorithm, or a prune,
An exoarmature, a homemade flail,
The question on exams that makes you fail,
A childish notion, a rock-scribed Norse rune,
The endless movement on a desert dune,
I am the ocean, and a small child's pail.