Category Archives: Poetry

Offsite

I’m staring this executive in the eye
He’s providing me the gift of constructive feedback
I’m listening and reflecting
Dancing the triangle of effective communication
And all that’s on my mind
Is you

We’re digging deep into this leadership development exercise
We’re learning to delegate and speak with command
Providing context and clear objectives
Standards for success
And all I’m dreaming of is your mouth
On mine

The noise around me is warm and supportive and an investment in my future
And I’m grateful and more engaged than ever
Motivated to perform, baby!
And consumed by the thoughts of my nose near your neck
The warmth and aroma of you just millimeters from me
Nearing the moment we lose ourselves and dissolve

We’re sharing our stories with brave vulnerability in this sterilized setting
Shining a light on our blind spots
Bathing in this pre-programmed artificial light
And I swear I hear your low purr in my ear
As we maneuver naked in the dark
Swimming the gentle currents of these naked sheets

I’m staring this executive in the eye
And your body is sliding on mine
Sliding, our eyes align and shine
As we disappear in the culmination
The orgasm that must not manifest
In this present environment of tolerance and mutual respect.

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Making Love As A Sacred Rite

Remember this:

As you breathlessly scurry place to place
Establishing reputation, name, your face
As you find yourself angry with Facebook and TV
Straining to prove you belong
Paying your psychic fee
While you fret your mortgage, your gardener, and the immigrants raising your kids
Your cholesterol scores – egad! – the lipids, the lipids!

Remember this:

Feed the carnal
Rub some skin
Hold your lover overtly
Take your lover in

In a dark and quiet place
Embrace our bewildered moment
Friend,
Relax your wonderful face

Let your lover learn your theistic soul
That rhythm of you
Beating minuscule but whole
Pardoning all past violence
Vibrating this vast silence
Recalling sounds the vacuum stole:
Our prayers, our farts, our tunes,
Our echoes, our burst balloons

(Baboons, baby
We is
We is baboons)

Imagine:

Whole galaxies collide
With nary a whisper
Nor hummed lullaby
Nor funeral dirge
Not even a “harder,”
Nor “I love this,”
Nor “Thank you for satisfying my urge”

Imagine, just do
Fantasize this place that belongs to you:
This thin sliver of atmosphere, perfect pressure, this chemistry
This constant flow of blood, our majestic ministry

Rejoice!

Rejoice and moan
Into your lover’s ear, moan
Moan:
I’ve come.
I’m here.
Thank you.
Oh, thank you, dear.
Come,
Friend,
Come, too
Collide
Elide
Embrace
Your face
Relax
Let go.
Allow it:

Flow

Amen.

Banff Mountains

Asterisk

For my next poem I thought I’d employ an allusion to the anthems of love, grace, and forgiveness by the rock band U2
But I hesitated
Fearing that 100 years from now
Or thereabouts
The text would require
An asterisk

To explain the band

As if.

As if I won’t be the one crying for that asterisk: clawing out the entrails of my competition, hoping against reasonable hope that I prevail and share a footer with Larry Mullen, Junior.

As if.

As if we’d ever occupy – much less use – the same bathroom
As if my summit won’t be the gutter-swamp of some marginalia
The pinnacle of my legacy some overeager grad student’s hard fought effort to illuminate the “forgotten history of early 21st Century American Verse”

My therapist says I’m too hard on myself

As if.

As if this irrelevance against the vast sweep of a universe I don’t understand isn’t real
As if my turbulence this quiet New Year’s Day isn’t somehow encouraged by the throbbing drumbeat of “New Year’s Day”*
seeping through the thin walls of this ghastly apartment

*a 1983 song by an Irish band called U2, who were once considered quite popular

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Betsy? Dolly. Mmm Hmm. We Need To Talk.

And still you allow the wild to awake, take fire, and break free
You still listen for the chatter of the ancient trees gossiping secrets of freedoms dreamed
You still believe the hope of these towering hills and blinding plains, the lie of infinite rains
You still swim the chaos of rapid waters forsaking the eddies, the ease, the still pools of disease

And still

And still
You’ve become this bloated butterball baking
Basted brightly in cortisol tattoos
And Schadenfreude shampoos
Laboring place to place
A slower and slower pace
Agony in your face
Cowering against connections
Ignoring local elections
Seeking advantage and protection
To mock and tweak
The others you seek
To re-tweak, re-Tweet,
Fellow-travelers naive as thee, judging them, my phrasing, and me

I worry for your heart
Your literal and figurative heart
America

And still
Here I sit
You remind me
This armchair pundit opining
This internet poet resigning
To soft wrinkles, a stiff spine
A graceless and sad decline
Still overwriting every goddmamn line

True
True, I admit
That’s it, that’s it
I too
I too am
Complicit

And still
I do
I do still worry
I still worry for you
My fattened flailing friend
My family
My blood
My soul
My soil
Coiled to bite
Too spoiled to fight
Happy Birthday goodnight
Happy Birthday goodnight

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Saturday’s Song

I feel gorgeous
I feel stupid
I just made out with Cupid

His red lips sting
So sweet so sore
That demi-god is a hot-bod bore

Standing in my socks and waiting
Thought he’d be more intoxicating
I’ve wasted dinner and an hour
I’m a sinner, I need a shower

So gorgeous
So stupid
So stupid
But gorgeous, believe it
Take it in, receive it

I compel you don’t I
I compel your third eye
To open
To cry
To cry

I feel gorgeous
I feel stupid
Sing it again
Loop it
Loop it
(Gorgeous
Stupid
Gorgeous, stupid)

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Love In The Present Epoch

What’s happening with me?
Maybe it’s you, do you feel it too, what’s happening with you?
Maybe it’s the artisanal wine we’ve sipped, so so good, so
Satisfying inside and so affordable too?
Maybe it’s this rain and the song that Spotify just chose?

I’ve truly never felt this close with someone, it’s like the lines have blurred
Our merging hearts caressing
You and I sitting here, legs folded, facing one another
You leaning in to me
Our foreheads touch softly, just enough so that I encounter the strength and armor of your skull but also the kindness of your mind
And perhaps your soul
Each message you’re sending so soft and clear and unique to you yet classic like memes passed down from the ancients
Our faces aglow

Gosh, it’s amazing to me
I’ve never texted like this before
I pray to some all-knowing all-powerful intelligence to let this moment never end and our batteries never die and our wifi never hiccup and our thumbs never tire

Your texts are so intimate tonight
Oh damn, that emoji really turns me on, I’m typing so fast

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Know Thyself

All I’ve known is the known darkness
The isolation from you
The loneliness of me
I suppose this has been the great tragedy, the one I’ve suspected all along
I just want you to know me

Dearest, I just want to be known
I just want to be known so someone can tell me who I am

And, my love, when you know me, it’s true: I will seek the same quiet shelter alone
Find that unused absence of light
Wallow in the lost library
Unseen, blind in the contradiction
As long suspected
In unplanned dreams
In wild lapses
Vino’s veritas

I swear it pains me, it does, dear, as if, as if it were some epic trauma
As if I had once been some exalted god on high, now fallen
Called to this earthy morass of light and dark
Ecstatic pain and agony joy

And I swear
Oh yes on my dearest breath I vow
I will always, I suspect, always blame you, blameless unknowing
Companion

Know me, dear
Mommy daddy lover offspring lord
Know me and tell me who I am

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Fan Note

Your poetry is quite pedestrian
Like that old lady I saw walking her dog
Along the sidewalk
This morning
Look
My poetry isn’t good either
But that’s not the point
Now is it?
All I’m saying is go back to poem school.
You need it.

A still life observed while enjoying an early evening perfectly warm stroll along the Boardwalk near the sea.

I nearly passed by it
Co-workers on the beach quiet
Lee kissing Lim
Burning skin in intense city dreams
These are the dreams
The dreams life is made of
The dreams it’s so good to be out of

The awe

Fists clenched still
Life presents endless cycles
Endless eruptions of fear elation anxiety
And peace
Even still
In this still, still life

Ah

It’s so good to be out of the office

Neck rolls and shoulder shrugs
Breathe in and close the eyes
Allow the peace to come and call
Leagues below
The depths the soul
The death of the soul

Ah

Fists unclenched
Eyes wide revealing it now
Ah, see them still
Life, why don’t I have this still

Soft sands soft hands
Limber lips
A melting sun

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The Unwelcomed Guest

I am enjoying this party

The perfect panoply
Perfume and personality
Casual yet clean
The right display of food
The right dosage of wine
The deep toke
A drag or two – what the heck – three!

For the first time in recent memory, I’m attending an event buzzing, content, finally alive
The conversation is easy but real
It confronts one with momentary pause, open wonder
Before tripping easily into warm laughter and a wash of well being

It’s a gentle eureka, this paradise party
Existing, it appears, in immortal splendor

Till now

Yeah – yep – knew it – I fucking knew it! – there it is
Again, the dreaded vibration
The rusted cheese grater of your voice seeping through the thick walls and dense haze of music and connection
The stale garlic of your essence invading my membranes
Drowning me in renewed disgust

Your body enters the room
Again, I find – again!- Fuck! – again? -
Yes, I’m confronted with my own empty inadequacy
My ugly pettiness and low thinking
My fraudulent membership in the tribe
Made ever more clear by this appearance at the door:
You!

Eden has fallen

Now all the warmth flows your way, the loudest honoree I could imagine
(And noisome too!)

I just don’t see it
But they do
Perhaps, were I they, I would too
But I am not they
And they – no! – Goddamnit! – they do not
They take no notice as I fade into the wall
Unseen, forgotten
Whatever happened to…

And so now the night returns us to our status quo:
Another party ruined
Another annihilation of innocent vulnerable dreams
Another pint of premium vanilla vanishing
The sad white man awash in another stale white man’s sour monologue glowing blue from the oversized plastic miracle flowing with electrons and Internet

Comfort – diabetes – dull, dull, yet certain
Rot
And pain

Thanks. Thanks a lot – asshole.

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