Monday, July 30, 2012

If a tree falls


Veined wall inscribed by incessant worms,
ragged bowl bristled with snapped roots arcing
blue white current, fine filigreed circuits

bleed final sundered transmissions into
the distant past, lighting the way back; time
rent asunder, clockwork revealed where one

by one these blue and green glass beads emerge,
cast to the four winds in fury; worthless
wampum, a sly swindle overtaken

by the relentless march to this moment
I wear like reading glasses, transfixed by
one pierced blue tear, filament through the heart.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Duck Soup

Studies show wearing a pair makes one less
likely to rocket
their own people in
their beds walk into
a café at noon
wearing a vest of
explosives and ball
bearings cut wages
to increase share price
wipe whole villages
off the map spark a
preemptive war take
away citizens
right to vote preserve
tax breaks for wealthy
people use rape as
a weapon of war
govern from holy
books deny science
persecute people
for who they invite
into their beds kill
the parents and turn
the children into
soldiers make oceans
of money on both
the upside and the
downside while the rest
of us cover their
bets shield coaches and
priests to protect the
institution turn
warfare into a
droning video
game muzzle nuns keep
girls from going to
school mask racism
behind a veil of
rhetoric embrace
corporations as
people claim God as
their free pass to grind
others into dust
methodically and
cynically starve the
public schools and what’s
left of the social
safety net purely
for political
gain burn carbon like
there’s no tomorrow
conflate guns God and
fear of the Other
kill over fine points
of dogma invite
corporations to
shit in their bed and
stick them with all the
dirty laundry preach
hate demonize the
Common Weal squeeze the
poor middle class boast 
of their absolute 
certainty elect
surrogates for big
corporations slap 
crooked bankers on
the wrist, a nice pair
of Groucho glasses, one for every man
women and child on this crazy planet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pure Michigan


A shoulder of pure clay cut with runnels
set to music, round nimble notes, each fat,

plucked chord sustained in eternal cascade
to the concertina of the spooling

Manistee above Red Bridge, blue blazes
worn smartly by these still, mute sentinels -  

their averted gaze twining into
graceful arches that usher us from one

moment to the next, fine capillary
weave stretched tight over ribs of stabbing light

that illuminate the slick kaolin
vein, a surgical tent to conceal the

fingers we plunge into the wound, smearing
our faces, the trees thrilling to our howls.

Monday, July 16, 2012

HOUSTON — Less than four years after President Obama swept into the White House with the overwhelming support of black voters, Mitt Romney appeared on Wednesday before the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People with a bold claim: “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him,” Mr. Romney said.
His assertion was met with cackles and boos — as well as some tepid applause — and was emblematic of his entire speech, in which he tried to appeal to African-Americans, while still offering some tough medicine and policy prescriptions unpopular with them.
New York Times, July 12, 2012

PROVINCETOWN -  It was a steamy afternoon when Mitt Romney stepped up to the podium here at the very tip of Cape Cod during the annual Carnival Parade sponsored by GLAD (Gay, Lesbian, Advocates and Defenders).  The former Massachusetts governor seemed to recoil from the large microphone hovering before him at nose level.  The speaker ahead of him, Carnival Queen Crepe Suzette, came to Romney’s rescue, dramatically adjusting the microphone to an upturned angle inches from the presumptive candidates gaping mouth.  The six foot, seven inch Suzette mimed grabbing Romney’s posterior as she left the stage, drawing an appreciative roar from the glittering crowd.  Daye Lily, a parade organizer seated just to Romney’s rear, remarked later “his butt cheeks snapped shut like a rusty leg trap.  You could hear them clear over in Lake Winnipesaukee.”  Romney seemed to rally, exhorting the crowd to get behind him:  “If you’re looking for a good man, a man uniquely qualified for this nation’s top position, a man who won’t gag on the deplorable radical socialist agenda of the majority in the Senate, a man unafraid to wrestle this country’s economic problems into submission, you are looking at him.” 
Romney seemed confused by the enthusiastic response from the crowd, grinning nervously, large dark stains spreading  out from the sleeves of his blue blazer.  Unblinking, he appeared frozen in place as he joined the crowd in singing “Over The Rainbow”. 

FLINT – Dirty gray clouds hung low over this forlorn city, home to shuttered manufacturing plants, darkened streets and a conspicuous absence of law enforcement.  A small crowd of the homeless, robust looking rats and what appeared to be, at first glance, left-over Halloween skeletons dressed in filthy rags gathered in front of the stage.  Mitt Romney bounded up the stairs to the rousing power chords of “Born Free”, his campaign anthem by fellow Michigander Kid Rock.  “Hello, Flint!  Are you ready to rock?” 
Romney’s hale hearty query was met with silence save for the sound of a cold, greasy wind blowing debris among the abandoned, burned-out buildings.  The crowd edged closer to the stage, eyeing Romney’s TAG-Heuer watch and Bontoni hand-made Italian shoes. 
“I’m here to talk about jobs!”  The crowd pressed in, oblivious to the small Secret Service detachment guarding the stage. 
“Good jobs, lots of jobs.  Why, jobs enough for each of you to have five or six apiece.  That is, if you’re willing to work hard, sacrifice, wean yourselves off free stuff from the government!” 
The crowd fell upon the agents and began eating them alive.  Romney stuck to his prepared speech despite their anguished screams.  “I’m talking jobs my friends, strangely familiar jobs, one’s you’d recognize right off the bat, the kind of jobs they’ve got over in China and India!”
The bloody crowd lurched onto the stage.  Romney ran in place for what seemed like minutes before his feet caught purchase.  He barely escaped by jumping into a waiting Suburban that sped off down the deserted street.

ATTICA – Sunlight glinted off the barrels of the fifty caliber machine guns that swiveled in the guard towers surrounding the yard.  It was, decidedly, a strange place for a campaign rally, given inmates don’t have the right to vote.  But the Romney team decided it was time for out-of-the-box thinking, aware of the impact a large, televised captive audience could make, especially if the location was misrepresented as Branson, Missouri.  “Any bankers or CEO’s in the house tonight?  Ha ha, just kidding, my friends.  This place is for real criminals, drug dealers and the like.” 
The crowd seethed.  Sharp shooters sprayed a volley of rounds into the dirt just in front of the stage.  “Can’t wait to sample some of that good Branson barbecue I’ve heard so much about”, Romney said, winking at a large, tattooed inmate in the front row.  “My good friend Johnny Cash said it best when he sang for the convicted prisoners at Folsum Prison, and I’m paraphrasing here so bear with me:  ‘I bet there are rich folks eating in a fancy dining car, they are probably drinking coffee and smoking fine cigars’.  Wait a minute, that’s not right.  I meant the line ‘I know I had it coming, I know I can’t be free’.  “

A riot ensued and the warden declared a lockdown.  Romney boarded a helicopter, but not before imploring the inmates to encourage their “poor, broken hearted mother’s and father’s, too, for those of you who have one, assuming they don’t have any outstanding felonies and they meet the myriad individual state requirements, to vote for me in November!”

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Bullets At Twelve

It was cloudless when I rained a hail of

bullets, hand loaded one at a time, sun

overhead plating the platoon of shells

gold, nose down in neat rows, a treasure trove

of small deadly coins packed tight concealing

short twenty-two cases bearing soft lead

egg shaped slugs, down upon the condemned tin

cans marked for death; one green glass bottle, mouth

open, keening in the wind, a still life

arranged un-artfully beneath a big

blue southern sky filled with wheeling birds that

sorely tempted me:   bolt cocked/finger on

the trigger/primer poised/measured grains of

powder enough to coax the bullet down

the rifled bore, awash with remorse:   the  

pure physics of terminal ballistics.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

background music


Brushes on a snare head played adagietto
or poorly tuned banjo strings strummed
adagissimo with low laconic
trumpet fills set the proper tone for that

endless walk from bed to coffee cup,
a mote of glockenspiel here and there, a
bridge to the feathery tabernacle
choir alight in the gathered looming

trees that lean in toward the pocket porch,
natty barber shop quartet in matching
jackets of sycamore bark,  jittery
rhythm section of squirrels running scales

allegretto up and down their papery
lapels signifies a change in tempo,
perhaps the introduction of a clave
stabbing blindly at the round clear tones oozing

from a brace of oboes marching enfatico
beneath the crisp flapping banners of a
Kottke tune, Vaseline Machine Gun as luck
would have it, stitching the dirt in my wake

with staccato rounds that trace my descent
into days final movement, the piece played
improvvisando, only a touch lugubre;
Grand Pause exhaling in fading fermata. 

Monday, July 9, 2012



Surface tension bruised

by sleek blue seed pod:  slipstream,

sky writing for fish.