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Enough, the Centenarian's story ends, The two, the past and present, have interchanged, I myself as connecter, as chansonnier of a great future, am now speaking. ("The Centenarian's Story" from Drum-Taps, Walt Whitman) When I was a boy not very long ago they interviewed ex-slaves for...
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the sign on the door says Believe in Jesus Christ Be Saved. By God, I knock and score enough for me and my friend Ben, the suicidal Chihuahua, to get tranquilized alley-wise over by the Walgreens. between dumpsters lie wicked dreams: deposit me in the passenger seat of didion's bright stingray screaming down early...
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Information is just another way of keeping people down. If authority can't justify itself it must be dismantled. Multiple causality becomes the ultimate finality. start by asking what does jesus know about the second coming of 9-11 including mossad's expertise in controlled demolition and global pandemics (won't...
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Troubles

picture and picture of my bare pubescent bodies blur a tanned and pink magic lantern show sick stomachs flat or deep and all my numbered ribs marked off one when I was nineteen, between my two hips a third protrusion gentle roundfort green body deformed in that...
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Asian Hybridity

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Salander Café Racer

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i was on the tv show PAN Connection...for 1 hour...which is probably 56 minutes more than necessary...but it is what it is. anyway, i got to talk about my new book SMALL TALK as well as my more than...
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Sweet Pea

“I want a cat.” “You want a cat that will sit on your lap,” mother intoned. This is so metaphorical, I thought. It wasn’t even a question; to her, a pet was to be loved by. “We’re moving through time,” said Donnie...
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after the miscarriage I dreamed I was leaning against a yellow doorway peering through the half-open Dutch doors alphabet squares and blankets were draped in a pseudo-cubist's take on dali I had an idea which one was mine— something about the nap-matted hair half-hiding her wild...
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As I watched the sea of Hong Kong millennials fight with helmed authorities armed to maim or kill, blue face masks worn also to cover up identities, bottled water handy to wash off the sting of tear gas, placards of bold Chinese characters...
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family stories of Allen generally include the phrase what was he thinking? and a trip to the ER roller skating on the front porch— he stopped himself with glass panes of the garage door prying a jammed piece of gravel— his fingers crushed in the gears of the...
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i tasted myself on him the way a cat’s tongue rakes through fur or a pinched reflection in the corner of my eye resembles homesickness time wraps around itself, stuttering frames of old movies, a promise of water after a long ride settling onto silk breathing syncs into tandem while morpheus...
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Gaslight

You convinced me that migraine was the throbbing ache of the mind, so I believed you, telling myself nausea was a dead butterfly in my belly and vomiting acid air was the resistance of my innards because I did not listen to you, nodding too, without asking...
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Trailer Art

Artist Statement: Years ago when I was 17, my parents hit rock bottom. I went out on my own and ended up living in a trailer park with a boyfriend. I lived there just a couple years before moving...
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I follow, as she careens her cart through Mauna Kea Mall, tossing in cracked cups, mismatched sheets, biographies of people no one remembers. "Why must you rescue beltless bathrobes?" I pant. She fades suddenly, and I’m  awake and sweating, wondering who that was. Might have been Aunt Margaret, an artist,...
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Commencement

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like a murder of crows sitting upon the branches of a barren tree, ---squawking so my words rest upon the black lines of a white page, ---squawking
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there's clippings of bad poetry all over the deck where I thought up and discarded many lines I have to stack them up and put them in the dumpster before they end up in a poem
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primrose says I will be her lips bean says I will be her thighs broom says I will be be her clitoris meadowsweet says I will be her fingers burdock says I will be her arms. nettle says I will be her tongue oak says...
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Carpe Diem

Where can we live but days? Ah, solving that question brings the priest and the doctor in their long coats running over the fields. ("Days," Philip Larkin) I stopped near the house of my dead parents, down a thin lane pinned by the wind to vegetable fields, where unwalked footpaths, like...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCW3T3xZZwc For Lawrence Ferlinghetti When I ate a croissant in bed, flakes of brown crust fell upon my pillow, fell atop the sheets, and made the white down comforter resemble a speckled trout whacked upside the head, eyes akimbo, ready for the pan. Once it was me awaiting the pan, grunting...
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he takes a sky tram up the columbian mountains noticing the neighborhoods crumble deeper every meter they rise above the city center until sheet metal walls and roofs become brick balanced on top of mortar-less brick finally her stop he assumed she must be poor but not this kind of poor there is nowhere to sit he presents: strawberry...
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Persuaded by my wife to return to our marital bed so she does not have to get up every two hours to monitor my struggle for every breath and let her see the progress of my virus symptoms. As I try to sleep on...
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L-Scape 9–Trip

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Wave Function

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Dance for the day The location is only known to the few who care to take a long walk mostly uphill. One hears much that is derogatory about Morris Dancing, and yet, adjacent to this spot, is where people dance...
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Don’t shoot the artist

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# 43

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LEGO Flowers

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Time for change

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Novelty

Just for now, let us narrow the picture, postpone those conflicts, see art in a bullet dormant in its chamber, allocate the quiet of cancelled epithets for poetry and benediction, consider other reasons to raise a hand, expand definitions to include the absence of, imagine we have finally met some cosmic...
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The moment Galileo Galilei innocently gave the Books the proverbial finger, it was clear, there and then, that we'd all end up in therapy. Even Atlas was screwed, as his contract had to be renegotiated and weight redefined, but he, too, was limited and couldn't rise...
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I get the sequined jeans. In the window I catch a glance tight stretch denim, flared legs, my palms press down my bottom and damn look at that I do have the hips of a woman! Historically disguised by androgynous Levi's, these low riders with...
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A crude black crayon drawing could be anyone. But the only other significant color is blue, in one eye. Heterochromia, the Internet offers. Etched in the back of your mind thereafter, the word rises every morning as you brush teeth, just as the Houston Marriott where you met appears in snatches of...
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10:08 a.m.

I'm retired the clock belongs to me now
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Today is more than just one cup of black coffee after another. Today, I have enough melancholy stacked on top of more melancholy to climb up a sad stairway, out of my down-in-the-dumps, here - into what could be the snow covered...
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Regarding a Corpse

Regarding a corpse at the bottom of a ravine, I wonder if it’s mine. I wonder if as it tumbled, sinews tearing like tissue soaked in another’s tears, it felt my pain. I wonder if there is relief in not- feeling, not-being: absence. I see no headstones, nothing to...
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feather-sized flakes spin then faint on the grass we look at the sky, wondering eggshell facts melt on our faces life isn’t quite irresistible nor do you have to be suicidal to stare in death’s eyes the offending knives the slatted square rooftops we might have made rounder...
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TT6R5OryGU There was no sign of a woodcutter in the tin shack raised from the red earth, the black wood of an archived forest. Dismembered trees haunted the air, ghosts in the pungency of cut pine. A tepid cup sat by a soiled plate and a...
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Laneville-muted sunlight, good sex, bipolar, playing Jay-Z in the morning pissing off the people below me. Laneville-crappy bars and not in a good way, buildings like prisons, walking the streets, so alive unlike now in my catacomb spirit. Laneville...
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this game's going down in history randomly craved poetry is best take the enamel right off your teeth I saw a great grandmother reading it in her minivan she imagined Kerouac in his cold northern grave and smiled as she stuck a poem in the ignition and...
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Before you lost what was left of your mind, did you have any idea that the scales of betrayal you kept even with your thumb would tip so far against you? We tried to recalibrate them for the rest of your life. No, we...
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Abstract Terms

I am fascinated by the notion of representing abstract terms with abstract art. —Michael Acker
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Group Art

Perhaps you miss folding the May blossoms, sakura, creeping phlox, chrysanthemums; maybe your fingers are itching to fold cicadas, damselflies, moths you can hold; endure the gloom so when we meet again, no one is gone, a folded pine or crane.
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Getting Help

I try to keep an appearance of a well-manicured lawn but my moles keep showing up hungry, silently heaving sod. And I gotta lot of them so I never leave the yard stomping the heaves so they don’t kill the grass. My wife thinks I’m crazy and wrecking...
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Wishing my penis could detach itself and crawl off somewhere far away from me She insists she understands how I feel especially the moments one is tempted to snip it off with a pair of scissors or cut it off with a knife "You should not do that" she orders "Let it be" But I tell her whispering words of...
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Meth(odical) Fog

The cove is in a fog; out on the beach a meth head beats his dog. No one sees a thing.
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UMWELT Series

 
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some days, a squirrel jumps up from the oak's branches above the grandma's balcony and tells us how to pour our grief in a cup of lily of the valley, how to inspire a penniless gypsy to build a shelter out of wool, how to crawl into the air like the relaxing...
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Quacks

nothing’s really wrong I’m just laying in bed in the middle of the day because I’m tired I'm thinking about all the stuff I could do that I don’t want to do some people may mistake this as a reaction to my depression there’s always a doctor...
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Thutam Nguyen

you're just a stupid child she coos in broken English, mixed in with some French swirling around in there like strong Vietnamese coffee you will never understand and she’s right I never will I have the same dull blue gunmetal eyes as my father who flew F-4's over lush countrysides dropping fire: American fathers always pour lighter fluid over 4th of...
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He doesn’t know where to start so he looks into the styrofoam cup to find a reflection he has become proud of staring from cold coffee it holds. A reflection just as nervous as him. So, after a long, deep breath he begins. Even when it...
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I need dense text heavy panting flowers thrown in the creek I wanna go back to Cochranville for a week when it’s summer and I can sleep down in a row of corn I need sleep I need the smell of you frying bacon for...
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Galapagos tortoises

I went to Regents Park Zoo Sat on the bench at our old spot Watched the Galapagos tortoises Dolly, Polly and Dirty Dirk According to the resident herpetologist Dirty Dirk is uncommonly randy For a tortoise in captivity Though I’ve never seen any evidence of it Polly...
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Chigguns’

everything hinges on death their own black heart locks the armed chickens within their copper jacketed cage of bitter fruit wood ankle deep in the litter of mass killers
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Chun II

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I fear losing my strangeness, my hands and feet dissolving, my distinctive features bleeding into a bleary rabble. The patient man perched on his balcony, who waits for the clan, the tribe, or the chaotic crowd to decide his future, he makes me hum...
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My stockpile is such that when I open a drawer I brace for an avalanche of toilet paper. In the kitchen are enough cans of beans to last a months-long struggle, for my son to pass the hours building beautiful steel pyramids. I’ve strewn fat...
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it is a thankless task sweeping together the parts of a person dismantled by the wind gauging by feel and heft if everything is there the limbs paired the feet engaged that they might carry the assemblage through another day it is the endless toil of hands callousing on rope and...
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non profit phone bank job in hollywood that I found, on craigslist in December when I was living in Van Nuys down on my luck i guess you could call it a desperation gig and i shaved my face took a shower got the job for a couple of days and i...
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Lockdown 2021

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i heard a scuttle in the bushes and listened sensed an angel suffering from a fall the sounds my body makes when standing still gravel crunched as the postman turned leaving a bank statement and a 2 for 1 offer on pizzas under the bushes i saw where...
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Unopened

There is a tumble of ribbons and words forming bows and twirls, wrapping my thoughts into pretty little packages. I line them up one by one on the shelf to gather dust. One day you will come— eagerly pluck them down, blow them off, admire each little gift before removing the...
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ebbing

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Quietus

He’s old now, very old living in a recliner reading his favorite book about death feeling like an eaglet in a treetop nest curious about what jumping does.
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Safe Text

She wondered how an old boyfriend spent New Year’s Eve, if he was there with his wife being nice, or maybe mean saying her clothes looked slutty or how she came on to the grocer, making gossip in their small northern town. But now she knew. It wasn’t much different than...
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I explore gender fluidity in my art, assuming a fictional identity as a female, although I am mostly a straight Asian male, who occasionally fantasizes about becoming a woman. My life is a struggle between two wolves inside of...
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OAF friends, if you ZOOM, I'll be one of three poets featured on Flying Out Loud, a Zoom series out of Kentucky, Jan. 11, 7 to 8, EST. If you want to attend, let me know, and I'll send...
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2021

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New Year, resolutions rising from reverie running outdoors with a smile singing and skipping into very concrete streets resolve to pay credit card bills, student loans, interest on interest, visit sister and mother at last, drive a little slower stop drinking, drink slower, wear a jacket,...
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Waiting Room

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Wave Function

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Waymarkers

Today I stop to photograph a backroad milestone which reclines in fescue and rough dandelions. The miles ahead, the miles behind. Simple numbers all declaring how far we’ve travelled from our source, and how much further we may go along our crooked, shrinking, course. Perhaps some poet...
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Raphael

the Archangel with the power to heal, hovers over the roof of my house. He’s been up there since you left. I went to a Catholic school. I tell myself my guardian angel was happy to be reassigned. Raphael keeps my house safe inside, me & the dog tame, neither of us...
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Ethnic Cleanser

Removes unsightly people whose grease and dirt spoil your landscape. Cleans as it polishes, replaces their awful smell with fresh fragrances. Their profane beliefs with fresh air. Their noisy children with heavenly quiet. Our history with revised pages. Preserves our pure culture. They are an infection that will...
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Henry was brilliant; at least he had me believing he was. He read at the Coffee and Cruellers, the place with the sawdust and peanuts on the warped wooden floor. He offered a cupful of courage and got me to read a few there....
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My father remembers ancient banyan trees. He sees ghosts in the tall temple grass, smells rain on abandoned sugar cane. He watches the ocean and waits. Lately, he sees a tall ship in Honolulu Harbor, silent and crewless, and my father thinks it is there for...
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Do Not Resuscitate

He was positive at 96 approved for hospice care on O2 and morphine to make labored breathing comfortable. His last thought was walking from the maternity ward 67 years ago holding that tiny casket. Remember me? asked the cherub child. Hold my hand. When the next breath didn’t come he...
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Umwelt

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mixed media on paper, 21,2 x 29,9 cm, 2020  
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1/4 kg

Looking at a man selling tomatoes my intellect begins to play a game— are there enough in the fridge? If there are too many & I buy, Maria will get mad at me. If there are none & I don't buy, Maria will still get...
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    All animals are equal,     but some animals are     more equal than others.         — George Orwell I guess I am the lowly spokesbird that can reveal anything there is to know about our jungle, no spin, no hyperbole. The...
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Pattern of Life

They call it Pattern of Life The high resolution images Data, collected by satellite Analysed to spot the unusual To predict what happens next Make a preemptive arrest Find Jimmy Hoffa See if McDonald’s is open If the algorithm suggests Where I might be in spring Can I sign up...
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I once tried to kick in the screen of a 21” color tv wearing my Tony Lama shit kickers. The boot’s heel & slick sole slid off the smooth glass like I was dancing a one legged boot scootin’ shuffle. I was drunk on my ass on...
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For Christmas, I received: A six-pack of Budweiser, with a note from Dad. Start young, preempt disappointment. An arched eyebrow and muttered menace when I didn’t thank him. Another story about Mom. A reminder I had her eyes. Rent and termination notices to burn. Dad...
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Click any image to open viewer.  
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Widow

  the waves brought it right to her feet that old improbable message in a bottle. She took it with her kept it near but did not want to open it to spoil the mystery of her selection. Resting in the garden she dreams starfish dreams opens her hands like fans of coral feels her...
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December

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These days all we do is swipe. right for double cheese burger, left for pasta with white sauce. Gone are the days when Pav-Bhaji would be home delivered after hours! Zomato is a smooth criminal— it has killed the thrill of chase but nothing can substitute...
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my heart beats less in November it has nothing to do with love ice crystals in the morning sun the dead leaves around my feet tight shoes gloved hands last year’s down jacket it beats so much faster in July when I can’t stop the sun’s honey from...
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Publishing a book is important, whether self-published (without imprint) or cooperatively published (with imprint). Yeah, you won't get rich or earn a lot of money from the book sales, but you will open the door of publication opportunities for...
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Ambition

The directions on the shampoo bottle: “Wet hair thoroughly before applying.” Someone got paid for that? Why not me? Here’s my resume. Published Poet. Will work for food.
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I try on a suit to look handsome for the stars, ask the mirror what I have gained and what I have lost. I mourn the death of those yet to die, seek an urn to hold the ashes of what might...
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My Son, My Son

We sit on the stoop for hours. A few passersby, one wearing bright red kicks, Hey man help me out. You wave a royal dismissal. Red-kicks nods, fades into the sidewalk. Craving closeness in any form, I squeeze closer, my shoulder to your shoulder. You...
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You pointed out a spot along the fence in the pasture and recounted how you once snuck up behind a coyote and just to see if you could, roped him, deftly snuck the expert loop of your lasso around his neck. (After, you...
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here's a new batch for you. I know that i erred when i couldn't resist and sent several times when you specifically scowl on excessive submissions. I guess i was overly anxious, yearning a slot in your very fine journal. I'm not really obsessive, nor one...
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He’s addressing the nation on CNN. How do you know he’s lying?  His lips are moving.  Four years ago, the joke was funny.  Now, we shrug, at a loss for words.  Dante damned corrupt politicians to the Eighth Circle of Hell, Stone Ditch Number Five. Even a singing cowboy, back in...
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The petrifying things that haunt me include waking up one day to realize I have become that person who enjoys the OMG Facebook games that make cute acronyms from the letters of my name my wine glass empty spit marks down the barely reflecting mirror a book mark in the...
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When she says my name it feels like my skirt flipped up To check for underwear Under where my brother hid when I was born, There are now mousetraps and cricket tape and He was waiting To tell my name to the slippery red...
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Performance

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MINOTAUR

Am I impressed? I suppose. The bull’s head, the horns, the way you puff up three times your size. Still you’re the same old, same old. Considerate. A bit of a slob. Some drool, green as mint, on your side of the pillow.
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Come What May

We are cognizant of the black hole at the heart of all expectations, yet our love feels like an orbit; slow and elliptical around a private sun. I, male, seem flighty as though driven by the panic of self-propagation. While you, the woman, sufficiently immune to the shadows of destruction, are committed to the growth of...
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A violet aura fades to indigo along the skyline. The drug of anger, and euphoria, are extinguished— everything that gives me purpose is extinguished. Extinction appears, on the twilit road, dressed in a hooded, knee-length raincoat; implacable as a stop sign, they point across the...
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Ocean City, NJ, 1967   Meggs arrives wearing dangling earrings and attitude   Afternoon walk: Nefertari and Ra
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Pilot Light

My mother waited up late for me early Sunday mornings chain-smoking cigarettes off the pilot light, her gas flame-blue shadow cast across the kitchen as I came up the back stairs from the porch; All the other rooms slept. Cigarettes burned, all the other rooms tossed and turned. Darkness never felt so good.          In...
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BEAR STREET

"The creature that does nothing will get dafter! And dafter! And dafter!" A man alone keeps screaming as he walks towards Leicester Square where at 8 am barely a soul is stirring where no creature will hear him.
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Four by Marcel Herms

King (in his own world) De deskundige Selectieve verontwaardiging Counting the days
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The wrong side of history belongs to people who eat candy corn one color at a time. Scientists say the twelve ingredients include sweeteners, artificial colors, animal skin and bones and little red insects from Asia. Those on the wrong side of history reject this ingredient list as liberal...
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Compose it now, as a guarantee of surviving this turbulent age, take it out for reassurance when you need it most, like a fifth of vodka, or memories of an appaloosa mare, calling to you from across the pasture. Recollections of the moon rising over the...
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1. there is a strange hill at the cliff’s edge​ verdant and delicious​ smoothly curved​ from the distance​ ​ it is not a hill, really​ not stone flesh​ with hairs pricked up​ green to the follicle​ ​ branches​ push up under the surface​ creating a hollow​ hill of trees​ ​ we hide us in it​ I am...
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Ars Poetica

I don’t use a washcloth in the shower. It’s probably bad for me. Not exfoliating, I mean. I bet someone has died from it. Somewhere, I read that dust is 70% skin, which means when you walk into the...
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Chun (series)

"Chun" is a series that I am working on in which I depict myself as an Asian woman, although I am a straight male, in order to explore gender fluidity and to express my love and appreciation for female...
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Silence chauffeurs loss, I call it—God— another conundrum unsolved. A discreet chill lingers to speak, a farewell from the arctic concludes: if millions of anything dies it isn’t equally tragic. Primates are most vile; what could Jane Goodall see in chimpanzees? Maybe as humans, we are of different genera,...
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something in the moonlight like one long goodbye I never heard there's just the upholstery staring at me the long death of the day click and drag on a cigarette have you ever cut a flower on a summer evening when it's not too hot and smelled...
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“Dick Hertz and Connie Lingus, phone call.” That was always me. I’d call the restaurant and tell the hostess: “Huge emergency!” I always told the waitress, “Cock tail, huh?” A wise guy. Smart-ass. And I’m still that way. Melania’s embarrassed to go out with...
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Mel took off to Cleveland last winter cramming everything she really needed into a hatchback Honda Accord: herself, her purse, a fluffy Alaskan Malamute Koda. Her blue 10-speed Peugeot got left behind— that bicycle rests against the wall of my garage to this very day tires gone flat now dust covers frame. I saddle-up...
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Fire Moon Rising

California, 2020 North, South, and Central, wildfires under a quarter moon threaten the entire state. The fire moon looks down on them red as it rises into the night. The Devil, I think, grins there tonight as I walk along the street, avoiding late-summer heat and smoke-- the evil...
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.salvation

. there are things made bright bled folded autumn arrives and the yellow eyes close sunflowers jiggle then lean upturned dirt chokes-up children's fingers birds dive on a belch of wind : i want to go .
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An apple orchard; slim pathways on the hill in the near distance have turned blue in dawn light. I tell blonde Alice I’m going to head out to take photos. Where? She asks. I say anywhere they jump out at me, and she laughs as if I’m chasing rabbits. The valley we’re...
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Michael B. Carroll Jr. I’m not mad. I’m angry We are not a threat to your America. I’m not mad. I’m angry… so angry that I could explode, spontaneously, like an unstable gas. Don’t you understand that we yearn and fight to prove that we...
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They pile us on a field. Try to identify us, contact loved ones. I think of older sister Nancy. She must be coming. She could joke about my love of Polo shirts and say I love you. Call me a man-child, but with...
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October Surprise

We have tons of hammers but not enough shoes. Really, isn't it the same for you? We'd be just fine if all that's required is beating out the gold leaf of our down time until it covers this comedy of fright. We might...
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Father

I am ashamed of my schism, my contortionist brain and tongue. Told status is a ticket to love. Take hurried notes on how to be righteous. Worship Satan at my school. Eat full-metal propaganda. I should be enough–one day. I am a contradiction. Confess on knee through a...
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Misery Chic

just            don't            fucking talk to me            don't try to buy me            a drink just           don't engage          ...
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-after "Einstein’s Dreams" A man and woman walk hand in hand down the Grabenstrasse. The street is quiet on a Tuesday afternoon. An aproned man shakes a rug over the sidewalk; scraps of dust and paper settle on a pair...
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My virginity is still lost somewhere in Athens, Greece. After serving my hippie time for marijuana possession I admit I was happy that prisons exist. I didn’t need rehabilitation then like so many of those assholes. I must have driven drunk a thousand times after my...
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The artist Ann Chernow was born in 1936 and grew up in New York City. She has worked extensively in the mediums of lithography, silkscreen, etching, and colored pencil as well as oil painting. Known as “The Queen of...
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Childless

When my son died I was devastated by the colossal waste that was his mind. That rare nonjudgmental visionary kind. My flattened affect belied a manic hemispheric need to understand his death. When my son died I became less human. Existed anesthetized by pills and booze and doubt. Garish makeup my disguise...
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Pig Latin

Aisyday is a collector of things. Hats and canes. Handbags. Scars. I can't be sure. I am certain. She saw me as hard tissue. A door left ajar. What I said. Honest. Insecure and reaching. A ringing nerve along her jawline. Me. Jarring and disobedient. Always. Her...
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baby Christmas trees in a field little bump in the backseat driving past them but most of my life I’ve been intense no wonder I’m crazy no wonder my little pill bottles have eyes but I’m the one who’s always watching I’d like to give you...
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I refuse to die in a bunker, even if it’s with you, my dear. I want the slow death of struggling for light, hand in hand, through the tremors and the flames. Do you recall when we thought things were okay? I am thankful to...
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In the port of Saint Petersburg wavy-haired mathematicians exhale vodka and sanctions-ringed cares and caviar and smoke-circles and vodka, questioning the nature of consciousness, until they lose theirs. In the port of Saint Petersburg nests of Greek-column-roofed cloud-tickling fortresses where crane-drivers bask in the sub-arctic majesty pull mothers with...
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Comforted by the rough of the stucco wall, my back leaning on the hint of dew as I watch the moon hide out of shame, alone now, struggling to finish the day, trying to unearth all blues in the black of the...
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who sit with understanding. Focused, iridescent eyes attend to your wet ones. Well-timed hops on your lap, headbutts; well-placed paws, chins by thighs on couches. Furry steps tap out you are not alone. We got this: anxiety, infertility, marriage, adoption, parenting, childbirth, divorce, depression and death. When it is time, they become...
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hammer apple peacock tank poached | raisin leather defunct traction capstan | boulder frack inflate piss ratchet | your anus above me like a faucet up a tree | your ice lolly a placard for your love of contrast | catapult invert potato reputed curving | palace slippery inkwell rebate stone .1
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For the umpteenth time this mangled year she asked me why I was crying mama what’s wrong mama the coffeepot was sputtering vainly promising my restoration on yet one more in a long line of mornings too familiar to my desperations what was I supposed to...
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Lazy Pencils

Some Pinky pencils live longer as they remain hidden in the dusty pockets of blazers that no longer fit. Then there are unconcerned ones that idle in a pen pot and their only job is to make managers look busy. Some hibernate on dressing tables, others remain in...
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Kiss from God

A small shiny insect crawled methodically across the clean, white sheet of paper, trying to crawl across before I stained it with my useless words. So arrogant and determined in his steps. I am grateful it was not a spider. So very grateful it was...
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Witnessing

It was by no means coincidence that a tortoise the size of a manhole cover walked out of the open desert and into the path of our car. I believe in the goddess of close calls now and built her a hand polished shrine by the...
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for Trish Saunders First off, it isn’t Mr. Trump. It’s Mr. President. Alright? You want my tax returns? I’ve 5 accountants working on them full-time, but you can’t get even one to squeal on me? You don’t deserve it then. I’ll give you one big clue....
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Coupling

Strangers We never shared the same space; circumstance kept us apart. We passed so close I’m sure we must’ve touched on some level, but life went on unaware, invisible threads. Friends I got you to laugh in the middle of our tragedies, and you let me cry until I...
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no vacancy

so full of yourself with no room available before you implode
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By the Maple

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My grandmother asked. I was six years old and thought she had met Abraham Lincoln. An old beach photo caught her in sandy ankle boots and cinched waist, her long hair blowing free of its pins. She had lost her husband in France to shell shock and later to...
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Liberated Me

I buy my own groceries, fix my own meals, wash my dirty dishes: what more could a woman want? She might want a stiff erection, that's what: something I last had back at the turn of the century. She might want a man to give her...
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Edwin

Edwin was going bald in high school. Don’t ask me to describe him. Just take my word for it. He was not handsome. The popular girls didn’t want his cooties. When he laughed his buck teeth bucked. His thick glasses made his eyes look fat. It’s no surprise that Edwin was a...
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Her Knickers

gust on a carousel, revolve in Summer sun as she kals to her mam on her doorstep. Blown me nose on more material. says her mam. Cheese-wire me arse. They're comfy, mam. 'sides lads like 'em. Off you mean. When they've got it on 'em. Both snort...
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I won’t accept death delivered in prose. Darkness fell twice tonight; can we still know what’s real? Give me your hand and we'll compose ourselves. Do you recall, not long ago, when one could mourn but not despair? When pain made sense? I’m tired....
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Rick

was this old friend of mine who gave me my first and only award for poetry. it was near 3 in the morning and we were drunk on cheap vodka, complaining how we couldn’t get published anywhere and never won any awards for our work and we were standing on this corner ready to call it a night and he...
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Finish to Start

I kissed her cheek and whispered, "Good to see you." Snore opened to smile, her eyes looked up. "Hello!" she said like a girl. Then I went into a room with her back on the day I was born.
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Gesamtkunstwerk—Series

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Bedtime, Children!

Beware the old witch who eats lost children. Snuggle closely, my good little ones— warm and tasty from your bath. I will tell you fairy tales of abandoned children shivering alone, selling matches, big bad wolves leering at innocent girls, and naughty little boys growing...
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Watercolors

Owl at full moon, fairy, rose Bumblebee and Dragonfly in Love
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Lockdown

It's a conversation between the doorknob and me when I stare long and its glint in fake gold glances back as if for a turn my hand is too lazy to labor. I've now mastered the parts of the solo window in my bedroom, the sill begging for a...
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Dumpsters

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..things..

that manifest while drawing...
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Curtain Closed

I want to believe in reincarnation.  Maybe it’s because my father told me, just before he died, that he didn’t believe in an afterlife, had no use for Heaven, didn't care if there was a Hell, either. He believed people turn...
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wings on silk dancing small, on fragile fingers dancing, tonight on some kind of neon, pink sea ancient, wooden boats will sail forgotten sailors will be eaten by moths: you’ll fall in love you’ll bounce in and out of people, cities, ghosts flitting thinking of stock market crashes ‘n hallowed eyed surfer kids with...
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Terns

sad disbeliever without feeling beside a window distorted by rain from the second named storm of August I watch three pure-white terns brighter than elegant the delicate grey of slender wings that beat in the hover rise in the gusts then dive to tickle the brown-foamed storm-churned lough no fish — too deep for...
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HEL the sunlight makes long shadows of the trees hands that reach across the road there is that sickening moment the fall of a thousand guts the soft crunch of breaking bones and a high pitched yelp that merges into the screech of the truck's brake...
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With Your Voice

Not just a man who understood the confounding breath of the forest but a man who knew both fire and peace in the conversation of tree and leaf Shrewd and silent as scenting wolves he might’ve remarked We humans often live foraging words forgetting the names...
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The bars close down. The virus. So I have my own drinking night. I line up four glasses of Merlot in my bedroom. Prep my playlist. Debussy and Tchaikovsky mingle with shadows. Moonlight arpeggios weep and brass instruments crash. But there’s no...
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Travel into the bitter north Following the shooting star To the fluorescent display that sears The distance. Aurora Borealis. An oath The night vows will last eons Until the last man on the last horse Says farewell to the smoking earth. Imagine it, the final ghost Of...
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Industrial Pussy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmjU-nKfvr8
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Dark light

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I come to in the kitchen, leaning against the stove, gripping an empty bag of Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn, tasting salt but unable to recall opening the bag & eating its contents. Funny how the time slips away, sang my favorite cowpunk, funny how I once needled my foodie...
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The wood of the old farmhouse still crumbles, paint powdery and chipped. I pick at a flake with my fingernail float from room to room through the past tumbling along the scent of dust and bone. My sisters waken in the bedroom to the...
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POETIC NOISE

On St. Patrick's day the New York Post was printed green and I got fired. It was a Wednesday, payday, and I got paid and fired and I stumbled out of a gray windowless warehouse into drizzling and puddle strewn Brooklyn. I folded the paycheck into my...
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It's quiet in the yard. Gray-green leaves barely rustle. Sun is out: I need to get off this couch. I was in Tangiers where a kindergarten friend I hadn't seen in eighteen years tried to sell me dope. I was in Moose Jaw, Canada; in Skopia, Yugoslavia; I was...
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there is nothing in the night even the moon is probably missing I haven’t bothered to look I remember when you said can you see the breeze through my hair? I want you to know that I did but tonight I don’t see anything the TV...
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Days

let yesterday go          for she’s an imposter- eager to steal today          a rose etched thief who silently, beckons ………………………….. and do not wait for tomorrow,          for he’s a tinker’s dream a liar brushed in silver        dying to drain us                 of our youth
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Youth I keep sitting on the deck trying to feel how I used to when I was younger it was a vibrancy a confidence sometimes I almost feel like that my fingers just a few inches away from it the next door neighbor’s son yells up, "Why are you...
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Pariah

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She must have thought I was bringing up some blingy new couture. I had just told her there had been another one this time in Allentown. Voracious newshounds that we are we knew all about the other ones in Edmonton and Miami in Sarasota and Spokane and of course...
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Whose ribs will fill you now, black silk dress looking reproachfully at me from the half-price rack? I don't like your "look at me!" plea with one shoulder sliding  floorward           off the hanger. I want someone to wear you dancing in some dive on a moonless night drinking...
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are at it again in the street they practice twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday more in the periods before the local fiestas it is painful to listen to the duff notes make me listen even harder– is that really Despacito? this band is...
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Ikebana

When I withhold desire to sate the empty vase is when I saunter through the garden a virtual arrangement of flora on feet on display with my peers.
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It’s your ghost, no, it’s you— coatless in June rain on the longest day, walking with your arms crossed over your chest to keep warm, so I know you're not a ghost after all, but you might be your son, and I'm trailing you, knowing...
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Something moved, down on the floor, as I sat staring at the t.v. Marisella came in from the kitchen, holding something, a glass. The t.v. went limp trying to broadcast something too late for working people to be watching. Marisella sat on the sofa. Three days later and...
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elevators are dangerous they’re to be avoided conference rooms, even more so scurry frantic, away on all fours from under hard-wood desks: too much space underneath them lethal, seductive shun enclosed, private spaces where wives cannot see you there’s something, there; an unholy hallelujah ecstasy rhythm a sinner’s motion up, and down, up and...
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all the poets I’ve met at a safe distance on the Internet after years of carefully cultivating meaningful introverted long-distance friendships with kindred unquenchable minds suffering a similar affliction to wrangle a world into making some semblance of sense with written words they are so close I could touch them
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Dear Lou, How long have you been dead now? Almost 10 years. You were supposed to mentor me longer, ya know. I don't know what I'm doing in poetry. I have a manuscript I got the edits back on, that...
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Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there? Gather up your precious stones and get ready to hurl them yes assume your holier than thou positions for I’m sure you are feeling quite without and therefore righteous and maybe due to that self-promoted sinless...
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Biohacker Series

Click an image for full-screen viewing Acrylic, pencil, chalk, ink on Kraft 280gm corrugated cardboard paper
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mixed media on canvas, 90 x 90 x 3,5 cm
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I remember being a little kid and staring at the fattest guy at the pool what a brat well anyway, justice is served, because now he's me I'm sure the kids calling each other "retard" have snuck a peek at this stupid gut...
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The playground's fake dirt pellets were warmer than I remembered. Millions of tiny rubber cylinders of identical size, shape, and color released a disturbing chemical stench. Yet the children continued to play there with ubiquitous plastic water bottles. Trash that slobbered out of the...
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The dog wants to bite, her muzzle twitching as she tends to emails and texts. The dog wakes up and drinks coffee. When you were a child you were a charlatan, your mother told you. You immediately fell into the company of mirrors, disturbed men and women eating pop...
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All Dug Up

The excavators started one street over, blocking the street with “ROAD CLOSED” signs and orange cones that kids upended with their bikes. “I suppose we’re in for this all summer,” Davy said. He pulled the curtain back and peered out....
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lawd we march lawd we chant lawd we pray lawd i sing the body to a hemorrhage i sing "the fires are not my doing neither is the fear nor the brown skin i put my weapons into the ground i sign my resignation in the dirt" lawd it's broken all still broken the house windows the...
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"Write drunk; edit sober." –Ernest Hemingway Punctuation is a personal struggle. It begins that way for anyone who wants to be a memorable writer. Who doesn't love the writing part, putting words on a page, the sloppy rough drafts with their...
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the thin film of my mouth on your cunt in a half-mile high toilet just to keep us going through an invisible security corridor from west to east notes of golden brown play easily as we fuck each other over and land in Berlin Templehof 1986 the airport border guards check that...
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i am he shouted as an emergency tourniquet to his severed identity you are i agreed am i on the floor yet he called falling backwards spinning out of control there is no floor i said only space he floated then his umbilicus a distortion of air tethered to primordial...
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coronilla blooms now by the bridge where I poured out his ashes across the creek I see the ghost of a groundhog popping up between tobacco shoots, whistling—​ I remember blowing him away and cutting off his spindly tail to keep even if I am alone now I don’t cry when...
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First a bird, then the sea; then huge armies traipse to their catastrophe. Now the storm; next the dawn— freedom dangles from a single sound. Closer, ever closer, march children from the womb. After this: a tomb.      
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WHAT I AM

I crawl back into the warm bed for a brief goodbye and I hold her from behind as she stretches and squints in a sleepy sweetness beyond anything I've ever touched or seen and she likes me anyway, despite who I am and...
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There was porn on the TV when I fell asleep, the irony not wasted in dreams I had bulging muscles, blinding white teeth and the Instagram hair of hot selfie-junkies I held fuzzy puppies against my well-combed chest, cute babies to raise my ‘gram-score followers flocked like zombies, desperately not seeking brains, my obligatory...
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Flashback

It's not the fall of shank buttons or the tearing noise of quick unzipping or the impulse of pull and push or the rough of cold concrete or the thin blades of wild ryegrass or the voyeur moon of waning summer but the wide smirk of noir ugliness I don't omit or relish.  
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Ward 8

For Edna with love. "Whiskey. Any kind you like. Club soda. You never go back. When you do, you're an old party girl still sucking all the fishermen off; everyone else is long dead. Know what I mean? A little lemon and some Grenadine."      
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Art Revolutionary

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on a bench in Barcelona, open-neck plaid shirt betrays him as a visitor, children chase their football, unaware that he is there.I watch from behind an olive tree, observe a passive contentment undesired in life, never quite as still or calm, as in death .. Stella Read June 14, 2020          
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Pages are falling, and I’m always replacing. They never look just right. I’m haunted by red bougainvillea blooming along the King Kamehameha Highway so thick the road crews hack it down with chainsaws, and still the seeds hurl themselves into a sliver of dirt and catch fire in the sunset. I'll...
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Everyone in this meeting is full of shit & not the kind of shit to varying degrees depends on how long ago was their last shit or how much they have eaten since. I shit shortly after breakfast before coming to work & now I’ve...
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Chimera

I wanted to write about the wind but instead I find words like wait or fury which are somewhat appropriate, but not really.  The day lifts and the lake rolls with a longer skim of dragonflies than yesterday. I skip flat stones and contemplate the places where they end.  This...
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Even Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid me now since I started wearing my fur coat year round. Pervs in the park leave me be until some pop tune reminds them I’m alone. I’m alone in a world where a woman can’t be alone, unless she has lost a child...
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Let her be healthy and let her be safe. Let her climb on the turtles and run through the spray of the Three Rivers Fountain and when she is old enough, let her sit on the stone rim of her city drinking sweet coffee...
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