Saturday, February 17, 2018


Vine’s Rhinoceros
(an achizm that’s almost awakizm)
          I felt good that I had eyes.
                                  —Joe Brainard
In the quite room: “I asked you
I asked you I asked you a
specific question.  You didn’t
answer the question you just went
AROUND the question.”  Then “YOU
think I’M flirtatious?!”  Then “What
if I WAS flirtatious with the professor
who was trying to flirt with me?”
                Long Pause     
I guess she hung up.
So let’s clunk…
“How behavior light” (folly) …
“(How behavior light!”)

               “Hello?  Hello.”  
Suspicious of the vines, she
broke the rhinoceros.  The
vines that broke the clouds
with the eyes.
I sat up late at night (top bunk #13).
I shot up in bed.
I woke up shooting up.
If you spit on a toilet
You get nothing but
          a wet toilet.
The toilet, the vine, the specific question and the eyes
                          all went right back to the ache.

Monday, February 12, 2018


“Here,” I said, hand-
ing over her lunch,
“I wrote you a sandwich.” 
“Arkansas thunderstorms are
close to my own words,” she re-
sponded, surely meaning something
like “What a neat trick!”  That, however,
was then.  Today, I learn of a good friend’s
passing, and my current favorite person in
the universe will not even speak to me, de-
spite my trying in most every language (in
the same universe) to explain to him that
pretty much the only thing that he could
possibly do to actually halt progress (which,
as it turns out, is a difficult word to define,
in any language!) is to cut off all means of
communication.  What a lazy way to go, this
death by incommunicado.  Perhaps, then, the
San Francisco fog colludes with that of my own.
Feeling my way through it, this fog and that fog,
I happen upon the zing of a word that once meant
something.  “To whom?” asks my favorite person in
the universe.  Thus we arrive, the both of us, in color-
ful bow ties, at the Awk Ward, where for many years I
live, taking lots of pictures of myself just to while away
the time.  Much later, when I finally escape, I find myself
At every MUNI stop swimming in a curiosity that is almost
always followed by an uncontrollable laughter.  I’m not
laughing (of course) at all of the people from other more
distant terrains who stand in the subway or sit in a bus
with long  wands which are called Stick Selfie.  “You idiots,
you lost another month!” says the person sitting directly
under the ad for Stick Selfie.  Or is it that the voices in-
side of my head dare instead to remain silent?  Will they
always be this deceptive, this quiet, this deceptively
quiet, like an intricate stealthy drone driven from
five thousand miles away by an even smaller drone?

Sunday, February 11, 2018


The Sequel

What I really remember is the snow
that crunched loudly white while two
by two we emptied milk cartons all over
the carpet where we’d light a blunt auburn
candle each time we’d place a large chicken
clean into the oven and then we’d find ways
to warm ourselves up without speech until the
cold was floating around us and not on top of us

“like reindeer” amid the pink canvases filled
with runny noses we always arrived into the
same dusk-colored place – we’d be circling a
Christmas tree (“Teddy’s got mine!”) with
none other than our dusty favorite, Frosty
the Sasquatch.  Thus would begin the alt-
holidays through which we’d droopily
happily endure . . . and now the sun – 

shining its headlamp out toward every
slice of existence that isn’t already
pink (concocting brown and also
blueberry and ashen gray but
banana, too!) . . . and the trains

whistle arguments with one
another; non-stop red-faced
outbursts over and under
snow-capped mountains,
beside the exhausted
stumps that stubble
the inclines between
the tunnels;

these parched
remains of an
erstwhile lush
austerity sec-
retly seek 
seek  a simple
spot in the shade. 

Sadly, being but stumps
(and therefore never quite
capable of grasping the fate-
altering tricks known particular-
ly by their neighbors, the rocks),
each, despite a blaze-quenching
desire, meets destiny by coming
to rest beneath a canopy of no-
thing but emboldened stars;
each desiccated stub next
to its very own frozen
pile of decaying hay.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


The Rambler 

Promise me, son, not to do the things I’ve done.                           

                                                      —Kenny Rogers

Repetition is the highest
form of slavery. Never- 

mind that it doesn’t
matter what I say. 

Values are less
valuable as 

the high ground
is high. It’s 

our job to separate
the wheat from the 

chaff, amorally
speaking. “Turning 

the other cheek is a
sin,” says Mixed-Up 

God, who’s always
walking away from 

trouble (when he
can). I spit up 

an egg sandwich
onto every offender. 

Each is an officer
who bears a key 

to the city-state
host of this year’s 


is made of

gold. And
molded bread 

my dears.
Good old bread.

Sunday, February 04, 2018


This Has Probably Been Said Before

Looking down onto the desert
I am reminded of the dollops 
in his throat – it could just be 
the clouds or how the currency 
of his voice was always paid in
whiskey clinks (Were aces wild 
or bases loaded? There’s only so 
much one remembers); it could be
too a resistently lingering vapor, but
a whiff of that surly misdemeanor, now 
gone all but non-existent – a stinking ex-
tinction the whole of which I’d welcome 
for an instant – or two – and not in a regret-
ful nor a spiteful way, either (Oh, how very
skewed becomes each glanced perspective!)…. 
Would that I could pay my way clear through 
the pink rock-like layers that compose such 
beautiful buttes as those that I have yet to 
completely imagine.  But come now would I
could I (?) if but to ascertain precisely my
particular description; how each (to a man)
whose clipped talk was such a dreamy golden
voice gone voiceless – (ah, but whose now 
hasn’t?) – was everything that’s me and mine
in just one singular cloud that drops by, stays
a little while, then drops a little rain upon
the desert and (poof!) was just a cloud all 
by itself  (like me, like I am now, an isolated
puff)?  How distant are the layers of that cake!
And to the prick how each (a he) he must have
convulsed from such repulsion, and with urgency
and in direct polarity with apparently misleading
charm, that with a similar conviction and speed
a quick storm exhibits as it hops across the sage-
brush of a summer afternoon – or how a, bit 
further into the frontier, a casino’s change 
leaks softly-swiftly into pocket – with a whoosh! – 
it’s vanished irrevocably, leaving for jilted memory
all sorts of bruises and cuts that in turn will leave
scars, the very templates of bitter remembrance,
and hands that remember being full with what’s
gone – as with a ghost town’s erstwhile panhandlers’….
This story of a couple of men once disguised as side-
burns walking through an arboretum, and how they 
were at once two books that being stolen from a 
leisure van parked on a little rock in Little Rock….
How that little black pocket rock once conveyed
a made-up mood, a few feelings, for example, 
like the ones given out by whistling sagebrush –
those same clumps disintegrated by the dis-
appearance – now gone so damp as to give 
a vertigo, a berserk and unconventional 
spin.  And do they ever spin!  They spin 
until all of my arms and teeth are lost 
until a single blunt post of saguaro gets
stuck somewhere in the rainforest of a 
distant hemisphere as the vague sent of 
whiskey as it clicks or as it clinks through
the bone-chill night after night after night 
toward the rocks that are uplifted and carried 
by the dreaming wind until dropped as a stack 
like silver dollar pancakes into blood-colored 
buttes.  And nearby, where burial grounds 
grow paler pink under the scorch – “We’re 
going to Illinois…aren’t we?” –I thought I 
heard him say.  “If just to perk things up 
a little bit” – (But where did we ever go?
And will it be remembered?)….
The once and all familiar….
And then we….
At last…  And
since….   (a dis-

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


     1) An unvert is neither an invert or an outvert, a pervert
         or a convert, an introvert or a retrovert.  An unvert
         chooses to have no place to turn.
                                                       —Jack Spicer

Toby Lee, guitarist and child
prodigy, stares out from the
computer and onto his bed
but momentarily, lost among
his various quirks and tradition-
al guitarist twitches. He is hard-
ly as historical as they are, these
traditional glitches.

Unleash, henceforth, the 9am
piece of misunderstanding (Oh,
do come back Mister Under-
standing…)….  Your promised
plans make fucked up moves,
make things like me hurt.  That
tough love disguised as bitter pills
to toughen up or make one better?
I’ve never been an easy scam (much
as I tease so) but next to you I’m not
but had. Isn’t that historical?  As if
the vapor of your fake death would
deign to respond.

Without a map, without a dollar, without
an aging couch, much less a familiar door
to open (close and deadbolt), I find my-
self (like I find Toby Lee).  In this bubble
of misbehaving, misbegotten emotion, I
am left to face this farcical non-existence
you invented for yourself, an omnipresent
tension that turns out to be as real as
your fake pills for love.

“Witches’ brew?” offers the magician’s
assistant, as he lifts the gargantuan
magic eraser up to the summer sun.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Kill the Star Student

The lousy way
you’re treating
me is only hurt-
ing myself. Mary
very easily makes
teacher’s pet breathe.
I watch lovestruck
just to further distance
myself until I am well
again. Enough of the
hell you say!  It was
inevitably your choice
that I chose incorrectly.
I love you so much that
you broke a record I set
picking an ultimatum. In
other shadows moping a-
round inside your skull,
distance is directly pro-
portional to engagement.
I look down feeling less
heathen and negatively
affianced. “We both knew
this would happen,” says
the finances to the ugly pile
of material conquest. Ever
the victim, I text via SMS
knowing full well that to
square off with reality is
to disavow it. Like knock-
ing on the door to a place
you single-handedly just
emptied only to find the
table set like a midwinter
holiday. (It probably goes
without saying that you
have arrived, as always my
fairest delusion, for no other
reason than offer the only
tradition at which you’ve
always been best: con-
cocting the signature
coctail, of course.  And
this elixir?  Well it is so
good it takes me out to the
ballgame and shoots you
all the way to the moon
where that fat ball of cheese
is still having its way with
you. Because, you see, it has
stolen your playbook by
playing the victim and
pointing its fingerless
blame right at me. And
the stars? Well, they each
have their turn with you,
too. But they’re only extras
scattered about in this rousing
conspiracy. And while I sit but
twiddling alone in a cavernous
ballpark, the moon turns its
cheese-riddled cheek to a
new favorite culprit as you
perform your final erasure,
dissolving traceless into the
Andromeda, a wasted and
infinite expansion of space.

Sunday, January 07, 2018


Tiny Goals for Larger Days

These people
are not morn-
ing people. These
people are getting
in the way. What
is the opposite of
two roads diverging?
A bridge over troubled
waters? Would you like
to hang out today? I’m
not certain I can do that.
For one thing, I have to
charge my cellphone (the
days are endless like this).
In my mind I’m thinking
I owe him a dollar. In his
mind he’s thinking he
owes me an apology.

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Waves are made of the same water rotating tirelessly.
                                                          —Cassie Lewis

I used to love Hal-
loween. Today,
this one is somber,
at the end of a
near catastrophic
October. Some-
how, I rise,
surely more
zombie than
human, in
search of

all the things
that lead to
cash rewards
on every pur-
chase. They
turned my only
remaining bank
into a cafĂ©. It’s
still a bank, but
it’s wearing
a chainstore
a pet can
change its
world and

Grace here = cash.

        —Cassie Lewis

Thursday, December 21, 2017


ocean static
kite and salt
walk directly
into the wave

if sex
were you and i
hands clenched
with whitecap

the thrill
of the crest
to our

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


we dry
our fingers

the moon pulls
our shadows
into the mist

Friday, December 15, 2017


The Burden of Living Off the Graciousness of Others

I really enjoy it when, say, a
generic brand of strawberry soda
has, rather, a distinct cream soda
taste.  And this happens on occasion.
To me, it does….    Anyone else?
The act of engagement. Engaging in
person (that act).  Yet for all of the
days generosity, the beautifully spun
green and gold floating backwards
through the internet, past the new
social blockade and landing here in
my very lap, it is that act I miss the
most.  Nose to nose talk done not by
fingers (which carry about contorted,
flying through the space just in front of
our eyes, if not locked between the pair
of them) but voices the steam from which
we can feel on our cheeks and words that
are spoken with our entire bodies….  My
eyes, your eyes. Eyes that know I and
mine that know you, eyes that have a
history between them, can recall times
such as these. See the both of us in
something of a tight orbit, air quotes,
a three dimensional thumbs-up, a held
but spinning glass of wine, building
suspense, finally tilted so it’s almost
spilled, until we are speaking a decibel
or two louder and our faces flush.  We
seem to care, as if we’ve each a bit of
something at stake, a small piece of
you and a small piece of me which we
offer the other or carefully take.  We’ll
talk the afternoon away, just like we
used to, of course, through a wonderful
evening we’ll chatter away. It’s so lovely
to see you, perhaps you could stay? Let’s
say for dinner? Or even the night? It has
been forever, there’s so much to say.
Oh, please say you’ll do so, I find my
self texting while saying so loud that I
find myself hearing my very own voice. I
look up embarrassed then back at the key-
board before reminiscing, caught hung
on a moment, completely carried away.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Sure there are eucalypts but they seem as out of place as we do.
                                                                      —Cassie Lewis 
I have joined
the leagues:
I am grooming
at the public
library.  I am,
to be precise,
clipping my finger-
nails into a can
of trash near the
poetry section.
But this act
definitely falls
easily under the
category of The
Leagues Who
Groom Them-
selves at the
Public Library.
Next thing you
know, I’ll be tak-
ing a sponge bath
in stall number two
on floor one – in
the only public
restroom at the
public library.
When I last used
to come regularly
to the main library –
to browse the poetry
section, no less –
I would often refer
to the men’s room
as the homeless
showers.  The next
thing I know....

Sunday, December 03, 2017


Achizm #3

     It’s been days since I opened the book
     my face is watching.

                                               —Cassie Lewis

always peeking

down the wrong
hedgerow /
at the most

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


One Night Stands
                               (Achizm #2)
can occur (to
the transformed;
to the spectator
of the transformation)
as immediate, an immersion
into inversion, yin becoming
yang; yang, yin.  The cockroach
lies flat, content, as it (mostly)
covers the nuclear reactor.  The
nuclear reactor sits silently in the
distance, chugging, as if making a
joke of its very own silence, of the
cockroach atop it, here, in the middle
of a state that lies somewhere in the
middle of a country.  All passersby
pull their automobiles over just
to spectate; to participate.  It is,
as always, a beautiful day.  Each
of us are part of the beauty, and
so we whisper:  “Gorgeous!”  “Ama-
zing!”  “What a spectacular day!”

Friday, October 27, 2017



              (Achizm #1)
And then…
I wanted to hold
the smoke – the
of special breath-
ing smoke – way

up high.
over the elk
standing frozen
an the mountains’
large winter-
time cliffs
where they
the fogged
bluffs of


Sunday, October 22, 2017



it not
for a
bit of
. . . .
If this
isn’t re
I’ll never

Saturday, October 21, 2017


     Do other people 
     not know where they think 
     they are when they do? 
                                —Sue Landers  
The ear thing today is 
nice guys finish last.  In 
this fantasy (the paper- 
work within paperwork), 
my being does not live 
me.  Yep, here I don't be  
me (a recommendation I'd 
reckon).  I don't live. 
But yet, the opposite, 
which expands beyond 
the opposite, does not 
become the infinite, so, 
therefore, does not ache 
Like existence; like expansion. 
Hollywood demand:  expend $$ 
for new transformer. This could  
be the one with which you blew  
up the transformer in the last  
episode (the prequel?), 
with which you blew up the  
transformer personified.  How 
could you?!, I implied!  At 14 
years of age.  in 2008 or 9. 
Room number 217 or 217 
and a half.  RUN LIKE HELL 
out of Miami.  Who does 
That?  Come to think of it 
who runs like hell out of 
Miami.  Maybe you were 
simply running (maybe 
still are) from Sears & 
Roebucks to Miami.  An 
utter conclusion. I think. 
In this fantasy exists a  
couple of pieces of  
paperwork about  
ivory.  And how I 
chipped a couple of 
teeth saber-rattling.