Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Abandoned Mud Nests

253 / gaped mouthed—in ruins— abandoned mud nests of barn swallows clustering under highway overpasses—hollowed by midday sun—

Saturday, June 29, 2013

In the Back Garden

252 / in the back garden— remains of the day linger among the pale leaves of irises, still waiting in pots to be transplanted—

Friday, June 28, 2013

Three Tanka

249 / a finch falls against the living room’s back windows— upstairs a father naps with his son in his arms— heavy weight of memory—
250/ the moment a finch unfolds itself against the house, transforming to something else: knotted thread, newsprint origami, a motion—
251/ as falling into a looking epiphany, unexpectedly, the after-shock leaving you stunned, shaken to the core—

I already mentioned the small gold-crested bird which fell into the back windows of the house recently— yet, the action allows room for further conjecture, multiple metaphors. How many different ways can it be expressed: the repetition of Nature unintentionally merging with the Human made constructions? That is, and still maintain a sense of independent poetic expression for each fragmented sense of the scene.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Opening Oleander

248 / three nights without words—there’s only a persistent buzzing in the ears—the sound of oleander opening in the rain—
Feels longer than three days— feeling aggravated. Caught in a rut of complaints. Focus instead on the positive. Summer break is almost here. Alternative hours for organizing manuscripts for submissions while B. is at school. Getting lectures ready for future terms.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Hour Folds Itself Up

247 / the hour folds itself up into strange, new patterns, origami shapes: nesting cranes, floating carp, or a poet seeking new words—

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Child Refusing

246 / a child refusing to sleep— just like that— wait, no— amplify the tears, the wails, the face crumbled as tissue— give me that resolve

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sumer is icumen in

Experimented with the tanka form the other night— reversing syllable count to 7-7-5-7-5 for the opening verse. A simple idea, yet opens a different manner of thought, a whole new perspective. In this fashion a more abstract poem is laid out. Less clinical and less static.
On the elevator the following morning the lift shuddered midway to the top floor— pulling out an instant flashback when I flew from New Orleans to Des Moines for college, my first solo trip, the weight of the plane's cabin shuddering with occasional turbulence. Then a half second later, a flash to a pseudo prediction of a plausible future: myself lying flat in a gurney at an undeterminable age, being transported from home to hospital, some random emergency—

—a blend of three time streams, braided events of identity transposed and misplaced—

ghosts in the machine:
elevator • airplane • gurney
present • past • future
individual—blurred interior
Summer solstice. The longest day of the year.

Feel like I should do something pagan-isque: dance around a bonfire in a mask of a Picasso-styled animal— or maybe quietly compose prayers on strips of rice paper, releasing them over the canals by the house. It is a want of acknowledgment of the time passing: letting the child realize he is growing up, recording a sense of memory for future recollection. Something other than the mundane ritual of everyday existence.
244 / nightmares of blood on your hands, rooted from the back garden, stones in your pockets— you wake— dirt under your nails, a sense of regret
245 / hands curling on sheets, then uncurling, hesitant, lost between action and sleep— as the wind rattles the windows, shakes the whole house—

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cat Piss

243 / the smell of cat piss permeates the back closet— the stench clings to shirts, jackets and slacks, scarves and cloaks— tonight I dream of subways—

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Lamp Left Burning

242 /a lamp left burning in the living room, under my grandmother’s unwound clock,—stalled at an obscure hour— her ghost shucking spring beans—

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Mocking Bird Calls

A late afternoon thunderstorm lowered over Cypress with heavy rains, continuous cracklings of lightning. We lost power for three hours by nightfall, leaving me restless, occasionally reading by flashlight or smart-phone glow—

Brendan slept soundly without his usual white noise from the fan, but I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, listening to the thick summer night motioning outside—
241 / afterwards— morning steam rises off wooden planks of the backyard fence—somewhere a mocking bird calls out his morning prayers, three times—

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Extra Blankets


239 / you unfold extra blankets for the beds tonight— wait for the cold front— afterwards, you find the scent of mint hiding on your hands—
240/ he runs in circles— through unseen ghosts of orchards— forgotten pear trees; I have no name for this mood lowering as a warm quilt—


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Three Tanka

Tonight Brendan mentions he wanted to play a game of dominoes with the paper maché moon we have on his top bookshelf: I held the bearded half-circle crescent adjusting the board around B.’s moves, his instinctual matching skills with color and numbers.

236 / he plays dominos with the crescent moon— bone tiles spread out evenly on the table between them— magnolia buds twist outside—
237/ a solid maché moon in my lap, as night descends— bones on the table shuffled between players— the moon laughs at my weak hand
238/ pokerfaced, the moon leans close to his new hand of dominoes, thinking over his meager options— sixteen swifts tongue the night sky

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Twelve Conversations with a Winter Moon

This week in the mailbox, I received a copy of the recent issue of The Meadow, a product of the Tuckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. Three of my poems appear in the publication— including a very recent work "Twelve Conversations with the Winter Moon." This piece is rather important to me due the process which developed its final form. Portions of the verse appeared within blog entries as fragmented exercises, experimental lines to use within a larger work. Odd the theme in the poem is off-season; I realize of course that a feeling metaphoric-winter can descend on anyone, even in the middle of July, but a strong irony exists in the timing of the publication. The cover image of the journal itself contains a haunting quality— without overly shocking the viewer.

Many of the poems here fit the well together as a collection; in particular Noel Sloboda's short poem "Self-Portrait as a Stoat" stands out with its stark qualities, and the poem "Blood Less Language," by Jane Rosenberg LaForge, carries a heavy emotional tone of resentment, an element I need to study further in her abstracted phrases.

For more information about the magazine, or to submit your own material, visit: The Meadow.

New Rhymings


Without purpose, opened my old copy of the Random House Dictionary to find any word, a casual selection based on chance; landed on loft, loggia, and logic, firm sounding syllables, practical phonetics. Words that lift off the tip of the tongue. Originally I hoped circumstances would provide a short poem from a brief visit to the text— only silence tonight.

Brendan wore himself out today— running in circles, chasing the old cat, dancing with the children’s programming on television— afterwards, carrying him upstairs, he half whispers, half sings: “Twinkle, twinkle, little star—.”

235 / lifting him to bed, half asleep, he whispers in my ear new rhymings— his sweet weight grows heavier in my arms with each new step —

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bitter Weeds


Foul mood. Irritable. Three days of redaction. And poetry sounds flat. Bitter weeds. Bile. Piss on a toilet seat at a roadside park, collecting germs. Tree branches rub across the vents on the roof. No moon overhead. Syllable counts resist meaning. An ache develops across my upper thigh. And I keep rearranging words within phrases, looking for a particular "sound" or "beat."

Which tricks the ear in a stronger sense of music?
—cruelty of April lingers in the blood, —or—
—The cruelty of April lingers in blood,

All rhythms in today's verse seems slightly off.

The cruelty of April lingers—

234 / —the cruelty of April lingers in blood, fingers, in exact motions across perimeters of this fallen house, without words—

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Box of Silence


233 / —a box of silence left opened on the kitchen table—sunlight drags across the wide, gapped-toothed mouth, pouring out left-over hours—