Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sipping Coffee by an April Window, 5:30 AM, the First Thyme Sprouts Clearing the Soil in the Starter Tray on the Ledge

Sipping Coffee by an April Window, 5:30 AM, the First Thyme Sprouts Clearing the Soil in the Starter Tray on the Ledge

Being a basket case so long so young, and then
     recurrently ever since—nothing
to wish on anyone...still, the anguish of
     prolonged early dark can (at best)
deform the programmed heart toward lit spaces,

i.e. toward unstriven joy and thankful observance.
Barred from youth’s healthy oblivion       
     and outthrust, one inspects (unless
left eyeless) the givings inside a smaller circle.  
Learns, prematurely, the splendour of sipping  

     a cup of joe right-mindedly:      
knowing what you feel, feeling where you are.
Breathing for some minutes without panic.
     Without desire for else.
Where not mere slag or shard, mind forges strong

caution by having to ask, second by second:
     Is this true? Is this so?
It kills, of course, this grateful vigilance, normal
drives and pathways to success (or their
     originary lack helped steer

the first sirens?) and—a deeper loss— 
the means of sharing others’ dreams other
     than with courteous sympathy, as   
shimmering mirages you’ve seen too, and yes,
     felt their swoony blue pull.               

Miniature green violins emerge from glistening black, 
     tiny tuning knobs first. First lights
come on in the Latimer, early shifts. These are
the great, permanent gains. And against what
     losses really? Buzzings in and out

     of the dry gray cone of conformity—                
ceaseless crawlings of alien thoughts, alien desires.   
Milky light makes it through thick cloud, hovers
     silkily above the yet-unburied, urging
them gently up. This late spring patient, undeterred.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

After Another Failed Poem

After Another Failed Poem

The people you love—
they’ve known it?
Felt it in their bones?

Then you’ve been eloquent.
A master
of the first, the oldest school.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jaguar Oscillations

Jaguar Oscillations. YMCA Parking Garage, 
27 February 2015, 3:50 PM.

Just hours ago a jaguar
stalking a fresh insight through emerald
                                    beaded grass,

I’m stuck now behind another stupidly
                                    big car,
tense all over, about to start cursing,

as the Expedition or Armada or Sequoia
                                    or whatever
twelve-points out of a normal-sized spot.

Liberating wisdom’s no more durable
than these farts of exhaust that envelop
                                    my windshield

and dissipate. Perpetual oscillation.
What else could days possibly be?      


Friday, April 10, 2015



Some things I’ve talked about with my students
this past week:

When and why and how to sit
Reasons to wash your hands
after using the toilet.
The Great Oxidation Event.
Since anaerobic bacteria like awful places and
excrete oxygen why we don’t send spaceships of
them to Mars and other planets to build atmospheres
for us.
What chickens see when they look at us.
Waiting for Godot. Why nothing keeps happening.
If nerve impulses are electro-chemical why
not construct nerve-pack generators.
What it means to say People should be treated
as ends not means.
Making a Rainbow Loom bookmark.
How not to fear death without believing in God
or an afterlife.
Why manga characters, baby animals and super-
models have big eyes.
Jane Eyre’s I must begin a new
existence amongst strange faces and strange scenes.
The meaning of disdain. Gastroenterologist. Psyche.
Factors affecting radicalization in British prisons.
Narrative criticisms of Alice’s Adventures in
The need to keep clean so someone will love you.
Hew versus hue.
Being less original than your sister.

Come home to an email:
Wouldn’t it be bliss
to shove the dayjob
and just focus totally on writing?!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015



There’s a stretch on Bathurst
where almost every day at least one
stoplight’s knocked out,
a cop on point duty,
traffic cones around the city
works truck funnelling us
jerkily and grumpily
into a single lane.

It’s old people. Old
drivers. You see them standing
beside their big, slightly dented cars,
sprigs of egret white hair
awry under questioning.

They feel heart spasms,
heart attacks, lose control
or coordination, have
Alzheimer’s or just normal
drifting minds. They’re too
short, usually, for the solid old sedans
they prefer, reducing visibility.

I do my share of cursing
and gesticulating, mostly
at the other assholes merging,
but somehow, even when I’m
stuck a long time,
it cheers me to see this
mild natural terrorism,

the mostly powerless and ignored
casually punching holes in the grid.