April 11: Morning Risers, Fashionable Ladies, Sky Eyes, More

Barry lost friends with his grating warning:

“There’s no reason to rise in the morning.”

Nobody listened except for the sun,

Which packed its bags and declared itself done—

“I’ve spent my last day bound up in scorning.”


Barry brought darkness, resentment churning,

Predators hunting with no sun burning.

He counted each battle the sunless won.

Barry lost friends.


In blackest space the world kept on turning,

And to survive, people were not learning,

So Barry said one more thing that would stun:

“I give myself if there’s light for someone.”

None gave him love for the sun returning:

Barry lost friends.


I know a trend that gauche trendy folk buck,

Which won’t surprise as gauche trendy folk suck;

If you like ladies, well, hon, you’re in luck,

For true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.


You try to vex them—you grab; they parry.

You won’t perplex them, subtle as a truck.

Fall at their feet and beg them to marry,

But true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.


You want to trick them, to subdue their minds,

To show the world you are more than a cuck.

A man such as you in short order finds

That true ladies fashioned don’t give a fuck.


In wowing costume or in mere plain dress,

High-fashioned ladies show weak men their mess.


The eyes in the sky, they’ll be you and I:

Satellites, satellites, circling high,

Mouths in clouds beneath them, breathing in air—

No, you can’t see them—feel that they are there,

Waiting to lick, lap folks up like a fly.


What don’t they see, opened so wide to pry

In lives below, where they struggle and try

To make fools care—they could be anywhere—

The eyes in the sky?


Under their gaze you’ve got no alibi,

Only excuses resigned with a sigh.

The eyes above you all know what is fair,

And their angry beams are enough to scare

Everyone, everywhere until they die.

The eyes in the sky!


Highway Pile-Up


Reflections on the asphalt burn

White car white car white car


The curl of the hood

The point of the trunk

The ground glass firmament

Road layer car layer fire layer smoke layer

Black white orange black

Firm broken feeding free

The curl of the smoke

The point of the flame

Bends of metal twist firm

Broken glass on the ground

Reflecting black firmament

Emptied windows frame fire

Black layers framed fire framed layers black

White cars bends of metal

Carcasses ground firmament

The curl the point

Rearranged to burn

April 10: Captives, Doorways, Smart Reading, and so on

A charming man, slick blue sedan, could lure

A simple lad—drunken fun had—on tour

Of empty streets—journeys complete—with weed—

He’d get me high—the blues would die—we’d part—

All was spinning—his strange grinning—my heart

Knew far too late, obvious fate, his need…


The bottom of stairs, I awoke in need

Of any attention, help I could lure,

But when the door opened, I heard my heart

Gasp—someone new joined me on my cold tour,

This abandoned basement, the hostage part

In some show, but was he some poisoned weed


With his forehead painted with letters, “WEED,”

He was labeled as what I’d said I’d need,

And I wondered if we played the same part,

And if he, my age, had bit the same lure,

And if I were his trial on his tour,

So I felt my forehead and stilled my heart.


The sticky letters there answered my heart—

Perhaps we were both here to kill, to weed

Each other, to create a grisly tour

For our captor’s sick self-indulgent need

That led him to create a young man’s lure,

Wind us with fear to tear ourselves apart.


I resolved then not to play such a part

And offered the new lad my hand and heart,

But I guess he thought it some kind of lure—

He pulled himself back like a kind of weed.

I tried to explain, “Oh no, you don’t need—”

Then in the corner, the end of the tour.


I hunt for more, on the floor, for the tour—

Our captor for rapture had placed a part

For each to teach of his own burning need

To survive, stay alive, protect his heart—

The parts were starts, spades to dig up a weed—

One alone could crack bone—that was the lure.


I ended the tour. I took up the lure.

I played the part, and I dug up the weed.

Free, I need to hide the truth in my heart.


You’ll never get through; you must go around.

This door never opens. It’s firm as ground.

You thought it would give access to living

Life with endless loving and forgiving,

But look at the doorframe—so solid and sound.


What do you do with a door that you’ve found

Leads you nowhere, leaving you where you’re bound

To feel you’re stuck, the whole world believing

You’ll never get through?


You are in the place where future’s unwound.

For your efforts you will at last be crowned.

Piles of dunce hats you are receiving

As you bought doorways and their deceiving:

You dreamt of fleeing, but your flight was downed.

You’ll never get through.


Educated readers wait for what’s good.

They show their breeding with their discernment.

They won’t read ’til someone says what they should.

They need help knowing what a word’s turn meant.


I love New York and some tastes that it makes,

But it’s not the end-all of existence.

On its ego some should put on the brakes;

Other cities should show more persistence.


Most snobs don’t merit the snot that they sling,

As ideas in their heads all come from outside.

Push them, discover they know not a thing,

And they are likely to slink, run, and hide.


Yes, there’s a moral: think for yourself,

Oh yes, and add all my books to your shelf.


He and she in marital ecstasy

Went for a swim in water super-clean.

They emerged together wet and smiley.


They were a match, souls in complicity

With the stars and all else that can mean,

He and she in marital ecstasy.


They crossed the threshold after toast and tea

To do in private things some thought obscene.

They emerged together wet and smiley.


A home together was then meant to be

Someplace where their true love could be well-seen.

He and she in marital ecstasy


Knew love worked best observationally,

Each took paint color—yellow, blue make green—

They emerged together wet and smiley—


Icons for faces, grins for folks to see,

Yellow her, blue him, jealous green between,

He and she in marital ecstasy—

They emerged together wet and smiley.


What did you see with eyes opened so wide

You might have let ghosts, eye phantoms, inside?

You took care not to drop your teddy bear,

Which could fend off things in the dark that scare—

Things that saw you and didn’t need to hide.


When you first saw it you gasped, and you cried,

But to call for help then your tongue seemed tied.

What is the horror of the whole affair—

What did you see?


Looks haunted like yours could not have just lied:

You saw something nasty; it terrified.

Regale us with details; tell it with flair.

Realize this: we must know what was there!

You have no choice, boy, so you’d best confide:



Crackle and crackle, let them dismiss you:

Bags of bones and glass make no sure demands.

Crackle and crackle, recall soft tissue:

Jags of bones and glass can cut their sweet hands.


Be brave to be broken without remorse—

Be labile with labels—no to normal—

Be forward physically first, of course—

Some bites and kicks, a scratch—nothing formal.


Insanity’s insight inside a cell:

In as much I’m here, I’m doing quite well.

If in ignominy inheres a hell

In here I smear each name I can still spell.


Crackle and crackle, I could just kiss you:

Crackle and crackle, they’ll never miss you.


We fell behind fences and feigned real fun.

A roller coaster held us still, in place,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.


In queue for hours, we watched machines run

As if each free fall differed, case by case.

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,


As feigning pleasure was how it was done;

If you don’t like it you have to save face.

On the wrong side once the war had begun,


We followed the rules, or we lost the sun.

To dislike the coaster would be disgrace!

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,


And that was living life under the gun,

Fenced off from the rest of the human race,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.


This ride’s a metaphor, has to be one,

Our deaths repeated, broadcast across space:

We fell behind fences and feigned real fun,

On the wrong side once the war had begun.


Anxiety monster Irv is uncouth.

He drills one into oneself, like a bore.

Irv’s anxious taunts play footsies with the truth

And treat the neuter real like a dumb whore.


His many fingers include one for trust.

When he presses the spot, it sends out shocks.

The pressure he builds will threaten to bust

Any human bond secured by faith’s locks.


Irv’s really best at insecurity.

He burrows down into every weakness,

Encouraging one to hide and to flee

Everyone, everything, the world, bleakness.


Irv loses battles and sometimes retreats;

Irv always returns and always repeats.


Sonnets versus kittens’ pics—yes, I lost!

But if I’d won, what would have been the cost?

Folks would have lost a moment of sweet pleasure

They needed in a rare spot of leisure—

Think of the horrid line I might have crossed!


Wait! There are some to count. All is not lost.

Many would like to see some kittens bossed,

Get those tyrants schooled, measure for measure,

Sonnets versus kittens!


Most would still greet dusty sonnets with frost.

Reminders of high school tend to exhaust.

That’s stupid, clearly—we must reassure

Sonnets can catch anything you treasure—

How brightly would you like your name embossed?

Sonnets versus kittens!


“Shape upon shape, I see animal, man—

They’re in collusion; I catch what I can

Of their conspiracy, their watching eyes—

These ghostly figures the living despise.

I’m on the verge of learning their foul plan.”


“Shapes in the carpet, under the divan,

Supporting chairs, not some new human ban—

I fear our friend sees things, you realize—

Shape upon shape.”


“Know they are watching, spread out in a fan,

Know they are heeding you, clocking your span,

They draw conclusions—oh yes, they surmise—

About who you are, who lives, and who dies—

You say I see things? They haunt your whole clan,

Shape upon shape.”

April 8: Sneaky Snakes, Shipwrecks, Wicked Workbenches, More…? (with guest James Chakan!)

She’ll not see me coming. I’m on the take.

I’m slick as silver, the real scale—not fake.

She chatters away in a stupid shirt

That bares her arms, which I’m longing to hurt—

This is my nature. I’m the Super-Snake.


She would see me, and she would surely quake

If she’d half a brain and weren’t such a flake—

Yes, I am sneaky and fierce in concert!

She’ll not see me coming.


I’d swallow her whole, but she’s big as cake

At a wedding where folks like her would bake

At 350—for taste, a venom spurt

Would really make them a lovely dessert—

I’m dreaming of a wedding for my sake!

She’ll not see me coming.


We’ve taken on water, taken on years;

The weight of centuries contains a flow.

We’ve faced our own slaughter, faced our worst fears:

The weight moves onward with nowhere to go.


We traveled eons through one landless night,

Where light meant nothing amidst the long drift.

We started to sink when land was in sight

Because the weight on us we’d never lift.


We looked aloft with deep resignation

At what to some would seem like salvation

But to us was the last indignation

In our terms swimming through Earth’s rotation.


As we drowned and knew heaven wasn’t near,

We couldn’t fathom who’d held life so dear.


My workbench and all its entertainment—

A man takes satisfaction in labor.

I worry such pleasure needs containment.


The work enables me to maintain rent;

I’m not the type to accept a favor.

My workbench and all its entertainment


Will not allow tasks to be in vain sent,

As I will complete work that I savor!

I worry such pleasure needs containment.


My side work may seem more than just plain bent;

I do indulge in some odd behavior.

My work bench and all its entertainment


Includes trials in torture sustainment,

In which I play both devil and savior:

I worry such pleasure needs containment.


If you stand for my trials’ arraignment

Know you’re in good hands that always gave more.

My work bench and all its entertainment:

I worry such pleasure needs containment!


Bill the white rat has a secret to tell;

It could disturb the whole global order.

He has discerned with his keen sense of smell

Infinite ways around every border.


Nothing you want out cannot get right in.

Negative, negative: trouble doubled

As you sealed cracks with multiplication

That left your walls naked, short and rubbled.


Master of disaster, Bill the rat’s fat,

Pudgier, yes, but faster than a cat.

If he gets your pure ones, well then—that’s that!

Bill, mighty Bill, makes your mores go splat.


Bring all your best habits—he’s got the keys!

But please remember: he favors fine cheese.

April 7: Poisoned Trees, Fiery Death, Dragon Brains, etc.

We don’t know yet how many fools we’ll see

Eating the fruit from the old poisoned tree.

They say when it’s ripe it’s soft and juicy

And gives you the world in your hands for free.


We’ve seen troops tromp over children to eat

Fruit that trumps morals with essence too sweet

To resist once you’re with the elite,

And if you eat once, you’d rather repeat!


Would I be wrong to take some real delight

To see these fruit fuckers begin to fight

The effects of sweetness that isn’t right—

Dropped to their knees, poisoned, too late contrite?


I know I’ll be judged for wishing them dead,

But each put the poison inside his head.


So let it all burn so that they will learn—

They have no chance for redemption to earn.

The flames will consume every darkened room

Where they spent hours planning frozen doom,

Blind to what would come—too cold to discern.


Fire fails to discriminate: flames turn,

And they eliminate people who yearn

For lives free from the weavings on plotters’ loom,

So let it all burn…


I know for innocence some hearts will churn;

Alas, innocence is not flame’s concern.

We can’t mourn everyone inside flame’s tomb.

Flame won’t stop for mercy and then resume.

When it’s time for fire we must be stern,

So let it all burn.


I once drew maps for Dungeons and Dragons,

Trapped mazes with rooms for monsters galore.

Now a mind-lapse, and I fall off wagons:

Mazes and monsters are apt metaphor.


I’ve used some poems to map out my mind,

As if its principles I could predict—

I think a brain scan, a true one, would find

The mazes and rooms all lead to conflict.


The mind is a dungeon—that one is old—

But how to slay dragons, I’ve not been told.

I’ll buy magic weapons where drugs are sold

And gladly collect hard-earned dragon gold!


Here there be dragons, old maps used to say—

Big fucking lizards always in my way.


Hurl words like lightning, and heal them with shock.

Frankenstein’s Creature needs to be alive.

Make your prose sizzle, and make poems rock.


Big bolts from black clouds will not please the flock,

But bigger is better, and you’d best strive:

Hurl words like lightning, and heal them with shock.


Their wounds are deep, as they took a hard knock

When they learned love was a thing to contrive—

Make your prose sizzle, and make poems rock,


Because all feeling is fast losing stock,

Making all complacent, one with the hive.

Hurl words like lightning, and heal them with shock!


Some people are pushing the doomsday clock,

Believing end-times are their times to thrive.

Make your prose sizzle, and make poems rock,


Or you step in a cage and turn the lock.

If you pedal soft you just peddle jive.

Hurl words like lightning, and heal them with shock:

Make your prose sizzle, and make poems rock!


The river’s forever. So is the bridge.

I thought I was crossing. Now I’m stranded.

I think I see land there over the ridge.

I’ll never make it. Hope has disbanded.


The water beneath me whispers my name.

It knows I won’t listen. It tried before.

Water’s temptation is too trite and tame.

Its gentle voice is easy to ignore.


I’ll die on these stones, up here in the sun,

To mock the promise of safe connection,

Halfway away from where I had begun

But never close to landing affection.


I can’t imagine who built this long path—

I add my steps and expire from math.


As vulnerable as Marion Crane

I shower and go a little insane,

Wander with water, thinking of the past.

I wash automatically. Showers last

Until my sense of self goes down the drain.


However could washing cause so much pain?

There must be some causal root to explain,

Some point in childhood when the die were cast

As vulnerable.


It’s as if water stirs an inner stain

That I can’t reach however hard I strain.

It reaches to me and grabs me quite fast,

Forces out all else with a steamy blast,

And wreaks blister havoc upon my brain

As vulnerable.


Dmitri, come meet me: you’re astonished!

The horrors you’ve seen in this life are tough.

If you unseat me, I’ll be admonished,

Justly because I’ve succumbed to your stuff.


You can’t help your confused disposition,

Hanging around with visions of fire.

Big-eyed distress sends men on a mission—

Men like us who wear business attire.


You take it off, the confusion and shirt

For me and all who hear your anxious cry.

You show us all right where you feel the hurt

And make us promise to teach you to fly.


Desire and fear travel hand in hand:

Do you disagree or do you demand?


We are many, and we will never die,

A frozen army with a heatless sun.

You cannot count us. Do not even try.


In the headless woods no animals lie,

But the restless winds get to have their fun.

We are many, and we will never die.


In places for mortals we would be shy,

But in our own realm we bow to no one.

You cannot count us. Do not even try.


This place would be Hell if we cared to fry,

Or cared at all for what someone had done.

We are many, and we will never die,


And we are above what mortals decry.

We embody their fake God’s negation.

You cannot count us. Do not even try,


Or you might rip out your brain through your eye—

It would make no difference. No one won.

We are many, and we will never die.

You cannot count us. Do not even try.

April 6: Stairs, Taped Lips, Other Tortures and Torturers

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,

As if they led to sophistication:

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.


When young we’re climbers, happy hopping hares,

Impregnable to most perturbation.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,


As near the top, you were caught unawares

By views majestic, God’s visitation—

They lift you to platforms where no one cares,


But recall those glimpses, those eye affairs

That to ascend make folk keep their station.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs,


Which made me complicit and made me theirs,

Those who take pain and go on vacation.

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.


You reach the top step, and everyone stares.

They laugh to see your crushed expectation.

I’m sorry I told you to climb the stairs;

They lift you to platforms where no one cares.


Tape up those lips, boy—you’ve said far too much.

You’re too hot to listen, too cold to touch.

We can’t even take your poison in sips

Or anything else from your mouth that drips.

You’d kill the mood in a youth rabbit’s hutch.


You go on about politics and such.

Who cares about which party rules the Dutch?

Newspaper’s best feature is that it rips:

Tape up those lips.


We think your vitriol is a mere crutch.

You like to have a debate you can clutch

So when the old record of your life skips

You can complain with your hands on your hips

The jump was symptom of a greater botch.

Tape up those lips.


Some cold instruments, they like to squeeze you;

Some hot instruments, they thrive to tease you;

Some sharp instruments, they would disease you;

All these instruments mean to displease you.


I’ve been cut open while I was asleep.

I saw little knives that made the cuts deep.

Technically, I saw all but didn’t keep

Memories of visits in my gut-heap.


Torture and medicine, lots of fine lines—

Time is the best of them, as it defines

Methods as monstrous or the best of finds,

And both work best when used by masterminds.


Let’s put this clamp onto someone’s digits.

I must find medicine’s outer limits.


When your skin crawls, but that’s not yet it quite—

You’ll mistake a shadow for them at night—

You know how it feels, and it isn’t right,

Tickling legs, millions, even in daylight.


When experiencing formication

You’d best seek quickest stabilization,

For if the sensation has duration

It can lead to bad self-mutilation.


Then again, ants as hallucination

Aren’t the worst possible degradation.

They could be of the flatworm persuasion—

Perhaps you’ll pray for an ant invasion!


At least an ant isn’t a contagion

And works in ways that earn admiration.


The glass has frozen my face in a shout,

I see reflections, comic, distorted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.


I’ve screamed for help—I hope help is about—

I hope somehow my screams get reported.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout.


A-plus for survival; I’m glad to tout

That with self-help skills I wasn’t shorted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.


This glass exit, secure, lovely for clout

Shows me my face as escape’s aborted.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout,


Except it’s bending, rolling, stern and stout,

Aghast as if blood I’d sought and courted.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.


Maybe the glass is here for me to flout

This blood’s not mine, and it won’t be sorted.

The glass has frozen my face in a shout.

I’ve got blood on my hands—I can’t get out.


He’s rolling on in, taking the wide road,

Bringing damp dark to those foolish who owed

And didn’t know that he slips in the cracks,

In neglected places, your slightest lacks,

With help from seeds you didn’t know you sowed.


He colludes with nature, the mother-load?

He’s one of her freaks, a vague mist-borne toad,

Who gets mixed up with places filled with quacks—

He’s rolling on in?


Make light if you dare: he follows a code.

You may find yourself lost in his abode,

Knowing you can’t take a breath or relax,

Checking each shoulder for his next attacks,

As no one escapes once he’s in his mode:

He’s rolling on in.


Will someone please tell me whom I should thank

For the lovely view I have from this tank?

I have to admit the water is cold

And suffocation has gotten quite old,

But my eyes stay open to sights top-rank!


I’m not really sure what it was I drank—

At first I thought of it all as a prank—

But then they stripped me—it was rather bold—

Will someone please tell me?


The strange irony that should turn your crank

Is I’m not sure if I’m dead. I just sank.

I need air real soon, or truth is all told,

But should I struggle, or am I annulled?

I’ve got so much more for the question bank.

Will someone please tell me?


I’ve been in prisons, and I’ve been in halls.

Fear is not finite: infinity calls.

When prison’s empty and the halls lack walls,

You go on forever ’til your heart stalls.


Fear’s hall leads nowhere; it goes for hours.

It sucks energy with magic powers

And includes ladders so you climb towers

Full of more hallways: each one devours.


Everything shines in here. Everything’s bright.

Everything promises endings with light.

Everything covers the hall’s appetite,

The fact it imprisons you with no fight.


Nothing looks real here, and nothing may be.

The hall of terror is nothing you’d see.