Saturday, December 19, 2015

Back Roads

the ways we go
will jumble and make no sense
and we’ll yearn
for smooth boulevards
to preen the dream engines
we don’t have time to shine

some of us
can’t avoid back roads
walled with trees
and spiked with odd life
our destination is always
out there, somewhere

just one more turn away

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Rattlesnake Mountain

Like paradise
From alabaster glaciers
Birth trees like
Like stubborn soldiers
Raising the bright fall canopy
            To heroic skies

Hunting for moose tracks
Among the pine needle carpets
Climb and sweat
In the fall breeze

Slough up rocky slopes
Jagged hills with slip-leaves
Just for us tourists

Serene clearing
To spy Crescent Lake
And miles of trees and skies

Not another soul around to share
The treasured stones, the good musty Earth
The dreamy majesty of land
Of the America that still is, at least here.


There is a giant nightlight in the sky.
It is the opener of possibility,
It is guide and guardian
To young boys skinny-dipping,
night-swimming in an off-limits beach;
To mischievous teens lighting up
in Vermont graveyards where weeds
grow in depressions left
by collapsed coffins and reading
tombstones wondrously on their way
back to where the women are;
To children playing flashlight tag
in odorful, green fields at night,
To drivers who say to themselves:
“Why isn’t anyone else slowing down
to take a look at this?  This is
justified rubbernecking!”;
To campers who urinate on trees
and must wrestle with thirsty mosquitoes
and the danger of hungry bears sniffing
out their plump hot-dogs
and inexpensive beer;
To partygoers who stare out
across the Hudson River toward New Jersey
-- Yes even New Jersey can bask in its light --
and see the George Washington Bridge lit up;
To people wandering outside
to escape indoor life.

Those stars; they move from dwarf
to giant without complaint
and at their own sweet pace.
They may be dead already.
But Earth’s nightlight is
awake every night.
It changes its appearance
to fit the changing seasons.
It has its moments of brilliance.

It is like you.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ten-Dollar Blackjack

Real life happens
at the ten-dollar blackjack tables
where elderly Asian men
school business travelers,
where warrior poets
rest for leisure,
turn aside the free drinks,
and learn the math
of risk and good living.

Wondering where the night has gone,
we count our chips and think of home.

The dealers change over,
the game remains. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Long Beach Island

sun-brown men
jest from baking rooftops,
women with salt-touched caves
wander the sweaty streets

houses larger than dreams
reach soft powder beaches
and ocean, infinite ocean
—in a straight line,
you’ll reach Portugal

tanned sentries
guard the sands,
eye dolphins in the distance

from the crossed hustle
to the mocking ghost town
after season
the waves roar
their clarion call
to giant dreams
and stars make new friends
with a knowing wink

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rockport at Night

another youth climbs the tree
this one a barefoot girl
—the cop chased away a boy
as a teenage girl
sings, sings at piano
for a small crowd

people take it upon themselves
to light the paper lanterns
that glow our way through the breezy night

the dark beckons everyone
to the beaches
lawn chairs jockey for space
to spy the fireworks

Lobster Fest has wound down,
dusk shrouds the folded tables and chairs
as visitors mingle and float away
praying they come back

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Distant Lightning

a shock-white message
flashes soundless
in the distance

beauty electric
powered abundant
sears through softness
without burning
and brands
in our mind’s eye
the promise
of enormity and legend

for soul survival,
divine jump-start for art
fused from
primal power
that binds
even the most modern
to the ways
of the caves

sit in the dark
and watch the coming storm
let it draw strength
and blaze endlessly

delight in seeing it
char off
the soft false shell

to let truth in beauty be reborn

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Literature for You: Supernova Black Hole Butthole

Supernova Black Hole Butthole is now published. I am still new at the Amazon publishing game. I would like it if there were an option for people who buy things from Amazon’s kindle store to get them in printed book form as well, even if that means a smaller payout to the author.
But that doesn’t matter, because I have more fiction for sale on Amazon, out there and ready for the world to see, for a small fee.
This story was the first one I read at the Cash Prize Literary Open Mic at The Cobra Club in Brooklyn earlier this year. I didn’t win the prize at that open mic but the story was very well received and someone asked me after the reading if this was available online for purchase anywhere. Now it is.

So enjoy and thank the very talented Justin Melkmann for his awesome illustration. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015


They can see it
in the way I walk,
in the way I wear my tie.
They can tell
by the way I talk to the waiter,
in that I talk to the waiter at all.

The clothes don’t fool them.
I’m not one of them.
I stay my course
and get through my day
go through the motions
and collect my pay.

They have no way to know
that I’m a secret poetry agent,
a reluctant punk rock dervish
and pied piper
to the righteous underground,
that I enlighten darkly
with a cold fist of truth
through scribbled secret lines
scratched out on the way
to fancy lunches. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dance Party of One

Subway dervish
dancing for his own soul
fueled by a tiny smoke
and his own valiant mind.

Commuters ignore him,
another part of city scenery
to avoid.

Chinese residents hustle by,
a few financial men
see him,
contemplate this merger
of joy and madness.

He spins and jives,
a one-man setback
old and broken of mind.
The body spins and dances
on and on,
keeping a flame alive
that was long ago forgotten.

Let it flicker still somewhere
while we go about our busy days.