oh Christ,
just listen to me
ok, this is
a goddamn lesson
in finality.
this is eat
your heart out
back alley drama
set to the tune
of an enormous
record needle
spinning the rings
of saturn.
words that cut
like a poem,
a death knell
that thunders
from one end of
the world to
the other
on the petals
of a gloxinia.
scratch "incite
a riot" off
your bucket list,
wayward sailor.
jar loose your
jaw bone, oh poets
of this midwest
know what it feels
like to lose
and nothing
at once.
you wouldn't know
oppression if it
took you by the neck
and stuck its tongue
down your throat.
and all i can
offer you vagrant hearts
is the gentle touch
of a cold-blooded
its no wonder
the words escape us,
for we've murdered
one of them.

on setting clouds aflame

He has taken to lighting clouds on fire
to repay them for his inspiration
Sitting on his roof and watching birds
collide with planes.
He'd stare into Heaven and laugh
the entire night through causing
quite the ruckus.
And he'd scream at the top of his lungs
maniacal and mad.
Spitting at mountains,
challenging God to strike him dead.

God never took the challenge.
He never liked His odds.

get the grave

There is a garden
out in the courtyard.
And there the sun
covers everything
but the garden.
There is a garden
out in the courtyard.
And a crippled man in
soiled robes sits on a bench
carved from basalt.
And he's reading from
the Bible.
He is waiting for the
But there is no sun.
This does not
matter to the old
He keeps reading from the Bible
and carefully mouths each word.
And the letters bleed
from the page
He is an island.
He is everything right about man.
He is everything you and I
strive to be but are too proud
to admit.
We are a foolhardy species
in love with our own demise.

We turn ourselves inside
out to become decent men
with decent lives
in a decent home
with a decent wife

but get the grave instead


Timpani waves and other cliches

By the time you read this
I will have already
been gone

On a train
to the coast

Maine maybe

Blend in
with the
gray shore

Bend my head back
and listen as
waves hit jagged rock

And envy their
endless battle

A wistful french horn
dancing in and out
of earshot

There's a red roofed
house there

On the beach
And it stands resolute
like an old man with
missing teeth and
rancid breath

Spitting into the wind
and cursing circumstance

Unbalanced, wavering.
Head low and eyes
watering from the
salty ocean wind.

And I'll uproot
every lighthouse
from its perch

This will be my

Another boring love
letter written in
the sands of a beach
in Maine

I'll take to the
sky and look
down on what we've

And be glad in it

With love,



i draw ghosts

I draw ghosts
in the air.
on a beach
the wind
coming off the sea

is enough
to knock
a man to his knees
and pray to God

breath is blood.
where sailors sing
grave songs. teeth
rattled loose.

water will rise
always will rise
and the sand there
will not retreat

all we do is retreat


The bigger picture

I've painted a picture of
a blasted landscape.
A picture of hope, and
of giving in.
There are leaves there on
the horizon swirling
across an empty concrete
parking lot. A vortex
of earth.
The sound is a comfort.
It sounds of hundreds
of biting insects skittering
in unison.
The sky here is purple.
In fact everything is purple.
Her eyes were purple and singular
in their hunger.
Eyes as hungry as an insect.

There are so many ruins. Great
pieces of carved stone lazing
We etch poems in their sides
so that the generation to
come makes not the same
mistakes we have made.

We feed like lions.
We die like the day.


collide! collide!

nebula eyes
take off all your clothes and

nebula eyes

my fingers are

and between your legs

where stars are

nebula eyes


(there with)in my head

There is a place I know
within my head where
the ground is impossibly
Nature holds on like a lover.

There is a place I know
within my head where
the rain comes up
from the ground.
And worms (fearful
crawl out of the clouds
to breathe.

And the roots of gnarled trees
sing and reach for the sky.

And sometimes there
(within my head)
great shafts of light
pillars one and all
beam to the earth
and I am overwhelmed.

Surely I am in the air now.

Tracing individual tracks
in the tree bark
like a road map up to Heaven,
fingers bleed
(this does not matter)
but it is there that I find God.

And oh how I have been searching



I can feel a breeze penetrate my skin,
and a universe collide somewhere in my head.
My eyes are supernovae, my lips colorful
plasma effect.
My heart beats backwards in time.
In time with creation.
In time with stellar explosion.
Bursts of radiation explode from my mouth.
A cosmic orphan.

(Discarded piece I had written but brought back to life)

Today we found us a new home (after many a month of looking)

There has never been a better time
than now to grab the mountains.
Drink in the rain.
Or chew on dry prairie grass.
Following the trampled masses
of tiny insects and small rodents
upon an open expanse that spreads
out in front of us like blanket space.
Feel the heat of an endless Summer. Drink
deep it's ability to make one feel
boundless. Directionless. Sick
with the knowledge that we've
been dust our entire lives.

Travel now on the wind.
Rooftops burn on the horizon.

This is our home now.


The truth of it

There were moments when the leaves
would fall. And the city
would burn.
And our mouths would tell
the truth of it.
We would laugh and dance
but always come up short.

There were moments when the climb
would kill us. And the rocks
would tear at our knees.
And our blood would tell
the truth of it.
We would hang our heads low
but always would we sing.

There were moments when the doubt
would choke the words from our throats.
And our voices would betray our intent.
And we'd say that we at least tried.
That we gave it our all.
But always come up short.


God was in the room with us (I swear it)

to capture a moment
right there at the
tip of our tongue.
to see it all unfold
before us.
basking in the final
beauty of the moment.
taking for granted the
taste of contentment
as it washes clean
our bodies.
the perfect piece
of music and
a long ride home.
driving slower
to make it go longer.
a bed where there is no
other side of the pillow.
straight dark hair
that smells like
positioning you on your
back and smelling amaretto
stone sour as you exhale in
sweet alcohol.
and there's sweat
that burns the eyes.
and there's groping
hands and heavy breaths.
trembling lips uttering
an apartment in a valley that
we map out in 30 minute
we sleep alone now.


Bar Noises (2)

Seeing the bottom of the bar through his glass, the man looked up at the barkeep.
"You've had enough, old man."
"I'll tell you when I've had enough."
"How long do you plan on doing this?" Asked the bartender.
"Until these scars heal, young man."
"Scars don't heal. That's why they're called scars."
Frustrated, the old man cast his gaze back through his glass to the bottom where he could see the bar.
"What do you know of the world? Of scars?"
"I've seen enough of the world. From the likes of you and your kind."
"My kind?" Asked the old man.
"Drinking to remember. Drinking to forget. It hardly matters. You're all the same."
"You're killing my buzz, kid."
"Scars don't heal. You drink to give reason. Hoping the booze gives answer to old wounds. A million stories I've put up with here at this bar serving husks of men."
"Invariably, it's a woman. A woman that scars."
"You've shown your age, kid. Women don't wound. Their words do."
"I don't see a difference between the two," answered the bartender.
"Then you need to drink more than I," retorted the old man.

Bar Noises (1)

I knew a man made of ash. Who had shadows for fingers. Who would stick around for last call. Smokes burn eyes. Tears now. But not from the smoke. Never from the smoke. "Your face is my face, moon," he'd say. The last words uttered under beer breath as shadow fingers draw taut the noose.


5th and Locust

Walking down the narrow hallway to my office, smoke closing in the walls. It suffocates me every time. I should quit but, today isn't a good day for quitting. The rain outside hasn't stopped for days and my trench coat and hat are drenched down to every fiber. It seeps in to the cloth and into my pores. Another 10 feet and on the left is my door.

Sam McIntyre
Private Eye

Hey, it's a job. Don't judge me quite yet, darling.

I step into my office and hit the switch. The office looks as if a storm had tore through it with discarded papers scattered about the floor, cigarette butts crowding every makeshift ashtray I could find, and empty beer bottles strewn about. Orphans of the night before. Landlord tells me I'm not supposed to have alcohol on the premises. The landlord tells me a lot of things. I rarely listen. It's just too damned early.

Plopping down with fatigue into the chair at my desk, I begin packing a new pack of smokes. I unwrap the filterless cigarette pack and take out a smoke, throw it on the floor behind me. I don't ever smoke the first one I pick. I put the second one in my mouth, light it and take a big drag. Exhaling slowly I take another glance around my office. There's a half empty (or is that half full?) beer bottle at the edge of my desk. Leaning forward I grasp at it but my hand/eye coordination is still on vacation as the bottle topples to the floor meeting its demise with a loud crash. I should pick that up but it's too damned early.

I kick my feet up on my desk and lean back. The chair is moments from giving out and collapsing into itself. Paying it no mind I put my hands behind my head and take deep drags off the cigarette hanging from my mouth. The smoke finds a way to reach my eyes making them sting. I go to rub them and that's when the chair finally gives out. It all happens in slow motion but I find myself tumbling towards the floor as the chair kicks itself out from under me like some half mad stallion that has decided it doesn't want to meet the challenge of being broke. I used to be so dexterous in my earlier days. I don't know what happened. Maybe it's the booze. Maybe it's the late nights. Maybe my body has given up the fight. I crack into the hardwood floor and try to roll backwards, my cigarette still in my mouth. I could of swore I told my secretary to move that damn filing cabinet. I had forgotten it was even there. Now is as good a time as ever for it to reintroduce itself to me. My head hits the cabinet and pain explodes through my head. Dizzy with pain I shoot up to my feet as if nothing happened. Just in case someone had seen me fall. Of course no one had. Most of the tenants of this sad, dilapidated building have all left. Where had my secretary gone anyway? Oh, that's right. She quit after one too many of my failed attempts to seduce her. Story of my life. It's just too damned early.

There's a piece of paper on the ground in front of my office door. It doesn't belong there. I know my mess when I see it and this isn't a part of my mess.

Head still dizzy and reeling I walk slowly towards the door. "SAM" was written in big letters on the backside of the paper. I bend over gently to pick it up lest my back give out as well. I stood back up straight too fast and had to brace myself. Damn. I really did a number on my noggin. I reach back with my hand to the sore spot on my head and it came back bloody. Wonderful. Well, there's no point standing up and risking another fall. Sitting down on the dirty floor in front of my office door I unfold the letter. The penmanship was atrocious. I know good penmanship:

deer sam,
yer secratery has found hrself in a bit of a bind.
if u wish to see her ever agin yu will do what i say.
10,000 dollers in large bills to 5th and locust or
yer frind gits it.

mickie the six

Huh. I crumple the letter up and toss it behind me where I think the waste basket is located. I miss. Still on the ground sitting Indian style, I slowly sink onto the floor on my back. I pat my trenchcoat's pockets looking for my pack of smokes. Must have left them on the work desk. The letter came as kind of a shock. I haven't seen any kind of action for awhile. I definitely don't have 10 large sitting around anywhere. The bottle that had fallen off the desk was an arms reach away. Huh. It didn't break and there's still a drink or two left. Reaching back to grab the bottle my finger tips brush against the bottle lightly. Just enough to push it back further under the desk. Shit. Maybe I should help my old secretary out. Be the bigger man. Hell, had I hit on me I'd get offended as well. I don't necessarily blame her for quitting. She could get murdered. Then again, it's too damned early. The only thing that's been murdered around here is what passes as English and grammar in that ransom letter.

Yup. Too damned early by far.


Making roads on maps shrink (or how to travel a lightyear)

Everything now, my dear, will come
your way.
Every last mote of dust
Every last spiraling arm
of an island universe.
Every part of kingdom animalia.
Every last plant wilting in submission.
Every nymph singing herself hoarse.
Every lyric thoughtfully written
at the tips of our swollen tongues.
Every square inch of milky white
skin as of yet explored.
Every moaning stream.
Every upended dress.
Every wasted day spent in a field
of tall grass.

Of decades.
Of decades in the making.
Of all the possibilities
and outcomes.
Of all the ways God
can punish a man.
To have you locked
away in a mountain.
Every hand grasping at air
and coming up atoms.


that's the day he took you and left me stranded in the middle of a road I had forgotten existed (only to feel the rain pound tiny holes in my skin)

You were walking down a blown out road
where rebar reaches for the sky
like so many metal fingers.
If I remember correctly, it was
raining heavily that day putting
the world to sleep.
There are blasted trees lining
the road on either side.
Naked trees blasted almost
sideways. All lined up like
giant soldiers saluting their

Roots explode from the loam
pushing skeletons from ancient
And above. Oh, above, the sky
is licked by the tongues of
flame. Threatening to burn
us all whole.
Eat the air, my love. Eat it whole.
Houses were husks. Windows shattered.
Windows dying. This is the
process of a God fearing demise.
Life has abandoned the very air
we breath. Puddles form ponds
and lightning electrifies pre-dawn
Your feet shuffle along the blown out
road. Bare feet shuffle along the blown
road, toes and heels lightly touch the

And it was down this abandoned
street you walked. Head held
low, shins torn raw by rebar
that I saw you there.
Like a star at the center of a
dying galaxy. Bright and real
and unfettered.
Hair tossled perfectly, eyes
doleful and all knowing.
Lips curled. Tongue tied.
A thousand seconds pass before
the sun peaks out from pink
clouds. Beaming a blinding, holy
light upon your person.

And up you float. Arms
out of
"this can't
i yell
you're out
of ear.outof
a hellofa

leav e


the worlds smallest violin

Just above the sound of two people fucking next door I
strain to hear a violin.
And it's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard because
that should be the sound of my fucking next door.
But, it is not. I'm here in front of a screen
that people swear can give you cancer.
Trying to focus on the sound of a violin instead
of the sound of fucking neighbors fucking.
What a dangerous thing.

lights and shapes and how you came to wrap your hand around my heart

We're so far away from home
We're poison and toxic
and wouldn't have it any other way.
We're in my car and driving this way
or that on War Memorial and I'm
showing you the city. And you're
asking questions all kinds of questions.
You have a healthy interest in all
the boring buildings that we pass.
Every stoplight a story. Every breath
is my breath.
Nearing the Illinois River we take
a quick exit and head downtown.
You're all words and I'm all love.
Cheeks will grow red and your wet
tongue moving in your mouth and I
can barely contain myself.
You're the perfect day.
Today when I woke up and drove
as quickly as I could to the airport
I counted clouds. And saw us in every

You'll go on how all the corny
outpourings of a heart doesn't fit
me well. And I'll agree over and over
over cigarettes. This time.
This time. I'll beg. And the words
will come out on the page. But the
words refuse to float. Refuse to float.
We refuse to float.
It's lights and shapes outside.
Soft angles and heavy breath inside.
Inside my car where I pretend my hand
slips off the gearshift and brush
legs I've never seen.
A stroke of the brush.


We weren't built for this

There are nights when I’ll sit and stare dully,
Fully aware at the ridiculousness of it all.
To see so clearly in the dark the way we all
Have fallen.
Our houses in disrepair and the yards full
Of leaves and bits of paper. Shudders loose
From the siding, roof caving in, roof crashing in.
There’s a terrible finality to it all, I think, as dully
I count the cracks in the wall. We are afraid of the
Wrong things. We go through great pains to explain
Away, and exonerate ourselves of wrong doing.
But, in the end it won’t matter because when
Our time is up it’s up. And that is that.
Our soul will float to the Cosmos because God
Won’t have us. The Devil will not have us either.
Neither wanting to pick through the leavings.
So, finally, we’ll reach the stars and maybe see
Where it all began but, we’ll get bored
Of that as well. Bored of mystery. Bored of intrigue.
Just bored. But silent. Graveyard silent. Silent
Like a tombstone.

Aimless vagabonds in space adrift in the thickness
We’ll bask in the ever-present vigilance of the Sun
Dance with the satellites. Eat the moon. Pass
Over Jupiter and the Rings of Saturn. Battered
Down one and all.
I am thinking now on the Columbia and all
The horrid things man has died for. All the
Dreams man has strived for. Helen’s face
Launched a thousand ships. We’ve died for land
And love. Love and land. But my hand
Is clean of blood. I am thinking of the Columbia
And how it’s never as romantic to die for science
The way it is to die for God, or love or the love
Of God. We’ll die on the job or in a car crash
On the way to our job. We’ll die on our couches
Crouched and ready but not really ready at all.
And I’m staring pathetic eyes on a wall thinking
On the Columbia disintegrating over Texas skies
And how all the poetry in the world cannot save us.
No matter how hard one tries. All the great topics
Have been beaten to death over and over by writers past:
Love, God, Life, Death and Undeath, binge drinking, and
Feeling alone in a room full of people.
I think I’m finished for the evening. There’s a singing
Bird outside reminding me it’s much too late. Or much too

I'm the last of my kind

Dear Mr. McAtee,
I see now the err of my ways
Waves lap a shore yonder and
It has brought me to a realization:
That a demoness can haunt me
To dying days in unreal ways
Taunting me, taking me by the ankles
And shaking me free of my shackles.
Where were you in years past, Mr McAtee
To see unconditionally my surrender?
Do you laugh now at it all?
Do your eyes light up at the notion
That I’ve imbibed one too many
Heavy drinks from love’s potion?

There is a world out there for the taking
And it’s taking me under, utterly.
Open doors beg me to enter my
Very own Lady Chatterley.
Perhaps I dream too big in this
Too small town.
A king uncrowned in a landscape
Nigh impossible to escape.
I’ll set my sights lower as I
Walk down streets named after dead presidents


sometime in March

One of the most horrifying things
I've ever seen was the way
My father's mouth moved
on the hospital bed.

He didn't utter a single word,
Only quick breaths could escape.
He wouldn't give death the honor
of letting Her know the pain
was killing him.

His mouth would move and
His face was alert, and he'd stare
Out of the tall windows but his
Eyes seemed more focused on something
In front of him.

Years later it would occur to me
That he was talking to something.
The mouth formed words, sentences, he'd
Stop, wait for a reply from the invisible
Something then he'd start moving
That mouth again.

There would be nights, awful nights
Where I'd be in a fit trying to
Remember how that mouth would move.
Try to recognize moving patterns and
Unravel the mystery of his words.

My entire family was there in that
Horribly decorated room with it's wires,
And tubes. Savage machines and wilting
Flowers. I'd bring up the way dad's
Mouth moved but no one admitted
To seeing it.

This is a terrible time to start
Losing ones mind.
I was at the foot of the bed after
Having grown enough courage to see
This isn't the Colossus I remember!
Give me back the mountain!
Give me back the Goliath!

I had moved to where my failing father's
Eyes seemed to focus and started flailing
My arms about in total fury. Whoever
It was he had fixed his beam upon
Would know death this day.

Having spent all my energy setting myself
Upon Death I remember dropping to my knees
In submission. There were arms around me
And I was being escorted out of that
God awful room.

One last sentence.
One final chance.

"Dad you can't go now. The crappie will
be biting soon. We need to go fishing
one last time, dad."

"We will, Sam." He said.

We will.


we were on rt 6...

tires tearing up the road and
turning it to flame.
our terrible mouths moving
unceasingly talking all kinds
of madness.
saying a lot but saying
very little at all.
Gorganea Secundia
peers in from the moonroof
accusingly. They are the eyes
of my father staring
into the passenger side
seat. All is well with
the world. Tomorrow
the sun will rise and
greet our backs.

For now we're carving
lines into the road.
80 miles per hour and
going nowhere. Strings
play over the radio and
all is well with the world.
We'll hit the light where
rt 6 collides with rt 29.
Yellows, reds, and greens
whirl across your face setting
freckles to fire.

"you dress like poetry," i say.

the light is red. I beg it
to stay that way forever.
this is as good as it's
ever going to get.
this is the last red light
I ever want to see.

the light turns green.

and we tear down rt 29
the lights around the foundry
carve through the fog.

eyes skyward

*work in progress*

oh, poverty
what do you know of poverty?
who do you think you are?
these aren't my hands
I swear it to you
but blindly I reach
for it.
northern light eyes
staring through the smoke.
geysers shooting blood.
have you any idea why
I scream my throat raw?
oh, poverty
the broken out windows
of some old steel fab
factory are all we
have left to prove we
were ever here.
the yellowed ribcage
of old bony buildings,
scoured clean.
this is our soul for
this is our final
this is the tangled
roots of the body
politic heaving
the foundations to heaven.
oh, poverty
the rivers have turned foul,
and we sink ourselves
stupid to depths we
knew not existed.

oh, poverty
I have seen this city
it is like all cities.
crushed under the weight
of the sky.


I can smell space
the places between planets, stars.
I can feel ozone pass through
my skin.
light years lonely, dancing
with debris.
radio signals bounce off
my face at the speed of
the distance between us
is a lesson in wave/particle
miles across yet so small.
it feels so cold, and impossible
but I will be there soon.
to bounce off your body
and send shivers down
your loins.

the inevitable separation
closing in under the
watchful gaze of the sun
this is hydrogenicide

gravity pulls me in
a climax.
sweet impact.
sweet sweet impact.

let us lie here for
as long as God allows
or until your beautiful
body consumes me



There's a small stream that runs quietly near my living space. The stream was never there before. It runs thick and lazily, languidly marching to wherever it may end. Ankle deep in most spots it's near impossible to see the bottom. The water can grow hair and it's corrosive contents eat into the earth with wild abandon. Gnawing like some monster, teeth gnashing, drooling poison. The earth seems to cry out in despair. Flailing its arms to the sky, pulling its hair out, tearing at its eyes. This, of course, is a distortion for the earth gave up the fight many years ago.

Along the embankment of this terrible beast, scattered about like bones on some ancient battleground, are the lost. The broken. The remnants of man. Great barrels oozing from cracks the mire and muck of this era. The surrounding mural of land is barren and jagged. Rocks jut from rocky soil like fingers of some escaping titan. Tufts of long grass grow sporadically here and there. It's nature's abortive attempt to reclaim her former glory.

We are the forgotten. The resistance.

The stream bends a little and at this bend a woman is kneeling at the edge. She's crying uncontrollably and staring dolefully into the water. She's searching for something. Her own reflection? A memory? She is dressed in stained rags and her feet are bare. The tears cut the grime on her face as she continues to stare into the black. There is no one around. There is no one close enough to hear her stifled screams as she struggles to hang on after taking a drink from the stream. Her eyes fill with what at first appears to be absolute terror. Had there been anyone around they would of recognized their folly for the appearance of sheer terror was actually one of contentment. All had gone black. She had found her escape. She had found her way out. Kicking like a struggling gazelle in the maw of a lion she grabs her throat as if trying to tear it out. Had there been anyone around they would of seen her eyes bleed. They would of seen her mouth moving in dread but completely unable to utter a word.

The kicking would cease. The birds would stop singing. The stream would go motionless. The woman in rags will lay there and rot in the sun. Nature will claim her and for that I hate nature. Had there been anyone around they would of seen a grown man kneel beside her form and weep. And they would of seen me as I slowly rose and looked east to a heartsick hill which upon the other side lay my shack.

There's a small stream that runs quietly.


ever the way of things

*More a note than a poem. I wanted to jot something down of a night I had with my brother after way too many White Russians*

got the fuck me eyes
then left with another girl
then ditched her
she was a social worker
from toledo. worked on the north
side of chicago.
so hot. too skinny. against
concealed carry.
that's when i started talking to
her friend.
her friend went to columbia
in NY.
did portraits of faulkner etc.
then didn't know who kerouac
said goodbye.
all i could think about
was the waitress that shot me
miss inconspicuous
miss mouse
miss don't say a word


always looking for the poetic line

but it's like
i'm tired of being the guy
that helps with shit
that awakens shit.
for other men to
reap the bounty on
i want to be
the bounty
just once


rumi, wine, cigarettes

she'd read rumi in the dark
stark naked with a bottle of wine
and rolled cigarettes rolled badly
i'll enter the room with my pants
down to my ankles
she doesn't even look up. her nose
is buried in rumi.
"oh jesus," i tell her. "sifus
don't know how to love. they don't know
how to fuck."
i'll walk over and sit down in my
chair at the computer. turn on some
redtube to catch the mood.
she ignores me and begins to read
aloud over the moans and groans.
pants still down at my ankles
i spark a cigarette and stand
up on the chair and scream
"gracious queen! thief of mine
thoughts! every electrical synapse
carries your name! let me gaze up
on thee!"
that doesn't work either. her nose
is still buried in rumi. her eyes
dart back and forth back and forth
across the pages. i climb off the
chair and walk the 3 or 4 ft to the
bed where she sits naked reading
rumi in the dark drinking cheap
wine. i put my cigarette out on
the page she had been reading.
"you ass!" she yells
finally, i get her attention
turn on my heels and walk to
the bathroom. then it hits me:
that had been my last cigarette


oil fields, battlefields, battlefields, grave

i feel safe here
alone. outside the
explosions light the sky.
there are no longer screams.
just a hollow silence that
goes for the throat.
every now and then a
helicoptor thumps by
overhead. rising like a
phoenix again and again
we fight back. search lights
reach down and pass over
my shack like arms of some
zeus. pay me no mind.
ignorant of the revolution
that haunts and swells
these oily walls. if they
knew, they would tear
it all down in an instant.
take the last of my paper.
burn it all to the ground
and i would die unpublished
and unknown. which is the only
way to die.

we're already ghosts

You’re always told this was once a nice place to live. A little gem along the Illinois River. Muddy and direct. Cut like a winding scar through the ancient earth of a Midwest dream. A nice place to live with its sad buildings of brick and mortar. Sometimes, if you look hard enough, you can still see old painted signs on the sides of these sorrowful giants. Temporarily taking you back to what you’re told was a simpler time. That’s always been a lie. Nowadays it’s all sprawl and the town has lost its luster. This gem has the bruised and tired face of a retired pugilist. Its eyes are devoid of life. Its skin leathery and taut. You can see it on the faces of the people. They’re worn out. Giving up. Even the trees seem to be bent in retreat. There’s no escape. This is the last thing any of us will see before we die. We’re already ghosts.

This isn’t the story of a dying town. That story gets old quickly. Every miserable metropolis or failing shithole across America has the same tired story. This is, instead, the story of a man. A husk of a man in a failing shithole. A man with bleeding fingers and torn nails from fighting the inexorable demise as he tries futilely to keep his grasp on whatever is left of the dream. He’ll never win but it’s the fight that keeps him getting up in the morning. The fleeting chance that something could happen. He had thought any willingness to hold on would have died with the sun. That the bottom would of dropped out from beneath him the moment she left. But, that’s yet another boring story. It is ever thus.


the sometimes cloudy mouth

The sad
Sometimes cloudy mouth
Agape will always kiss you

Underneath this
Canopy of sometimes lust
Sometimes caution, the inevitable
Creature of these base-


The sad
Sometimes cloudy mouth
Agape will always kiss


Eyes shut legs smooth
Busy breath that
Licks and licks

At the back of
You r neck


this landscape is a bitch lover

The landscape outside is a bitch lover. Here, alone, I sit at a rustic computer with a screen moments from giving out completely. Peering out a window stained yellow from age and years of cigarette smoke. The walls smell of grease, oil and death. This is my refuge. My sanctuary. The front screen door refuses to stay shut. Instead it bangs violently against the wall trying without surcease to jump its hinges. Looking around, taking a deep tug off my last cigarette, I realize what a fire hazard my place has become. Paper is a rare commodity these days but I trade a man in town for it for what I tell him is clean water. Crumpled pieces lay strewn across the floor. Abandoned creativity. Any and all hope has been forced from our being. The collective strive to achieve, to create, to procreate, to live, has been raped from our bodies.

It’s raining again. It’s almost as if the weather knows the bombs were dropped. The final push for complete and utter control punctuated and announced with the final blast from on high. God has left the building. There is only us and them. My keystrokes accompany the muffled staccato of an urban gunfight miles distant. It’s beginning to grow closer. I pray they choose to look over my sad little shack. This is what I’ve become. A lone tiger without the will to fight. The resistance is for the hale, the young, the sexy. Let them die for whatever it is they choose to die for. My weapon of choice is the word and the words my ammunition. This is what I’ve become.

Madly in love or lovingly mad. I’ve forgotten the difference. A man has only his innermost thoughts these days. Introspection and disgust with what that delving reveals. The world around me has gone crazy. Women and children, the elderly and infirm. They die for a cause. The young formulate plans of counterattack to regain what sanity is left of this country once the battle is won. Or lost. Everything around my refuge, my sanctuary, burns out of control and all I can think of is lovers lost. Hand in hand in apoclyptica. What I wouldn’t do for a women’s touch right now. I have everything and nothing.


The fight has grown closer. They tell us resistance is futile. They only wish to protect us from ourselves. Outside the raid horn screams, echoing off the rocky walls here on the outskirts of town. Curfew for all except those that choose to die. Startled by a loud bang behind me I turn to find the door has finally jumped its hinges.


so he hoist his sail
and in her he plunged


there is a giant
wad of gum sitting at the base
of the lamp on my bed
side table.
6,7,9 pieces allclumpedtogether
she had the habit of
discarding her gum just before
we made (love)
i told her to hit the road
weeks back but think maybe i jumped
the gun.
i should see her one last time
so she can come
scrape it off


on coming to

she used to love running errands and drinking
alone in her apartment.
it made her feel grown up.
"why do you want to grow up so damn fast?" i asked.
this is when i started thinking dangerous thoughts
her and i.
maybe thats what made us
she could never give an answer
shed just go run more errands
and drink alone

robot skin

everything i've learned about life
has come from the
female form

its contours smooth
the edges honed

eyes bleeding light. mouth
sucking you dry

robot skin and robot teeth
jealous jade heart and
lips like snakes.
hair breezy brown like
many tentacles
that grasp and grasp.

concrete hands that
murder men in their

and the land of
milk and honey.
a watering hole
in an empty desert
that robot men again
and again
strive to
to reach
hands and knees
spitting sand choking on
a watery hole
that's always

there on the horizon
that disappears
into desert night
the minute we