Saturday, December 20, 2014



But, it’s Santa’s birthday!
He lives all year to give.
This day, Santa’s father gave
His only begotten.
To the elves,
To our selves.

Bless us, Santa, from hearths!
Save us from our sins,
Forgive us as we forgive 
Others’ failings.
        Counting coal.
        Counting cookies.

String the lights and
Trim the tree and
Watch the sky and
Rein the deer and 
Bless the world and
Open your heart.

Salvation, Santa, is born!
In a Bethlehem manger,
To a Virgin and her spouse,
To the world.
Christ is born.
Christ is born.

But, Santa isn’t really born:
Conceived perhaps,
As  Salvation’s placeholder,
Childrens’ fictions.
Rejoice! We’re saved.
Rejoice! Our gifts:
Christ is born.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Torture, Torcher, Torch ‘er

Torture, Torcher, Torch ‘er

Infidel, combatant, witch:
            Enemy of the state.
Criminal, unhinged, instigator:
            Enemy of society.
Hungry, homeless, diseased:
Enemy of conscience.
Enemies of enemies:
            Frenemies, Friends.
            Enemies of gods:
            Enemies of God.

This do, in His name.

Name your poison: own it.
            Dispense or dilute it.
Bomb, behead, bemoan it.
            Dislodge or dispute it.
From arboretum,  stone it.
            Defend then refute it.
From faceless vessel, drone it
            Police and prevent:
            Prevent policing:
            Prevent and police.

This, doing in mob’s name.

State, society, conscience:
Village, home, family:
Orbit, touch, tangency:
Legal equivocation.
Institutions and humanity:
            God-named enemy;
            Blazing city-block;
                        Torch ‘er.

This done, in your name.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Clever, Childlike, Constructed

Clever, Childlike,  Constructed

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            In this Common Era,
In Matthew’s eleventh,
In Jesus’s own words:
“O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
Thank you for hiding
These things from those who think
Themselves wise
And clever, and for revealing
 Them to the childlike.”
Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            In this New, new World,
At makeshift Spanish docks
            In the sixteenth century.

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            Among English Puritans,
In abandoned settlements
            In sixteen aught seven:
“That the day of our ships arrival
At the place assigned
For plantacon in the land of Virginia
 Shall be yearly and
Perpetually kept holy as a day of
Thanksgiving to Almighty God."

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            In Boston after harvest,
After the first trying Winter,
Pilgrims thanking Natives, God.

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            Ordered civilly, not
Religiously; Sixteen twenty three
            Buckles and Gods and Feathers
Breaking bread, maize harvest, fowl.
            After drought, more after rain:
“By this time harvest was come, and instead
Of famine now God gave
Them plenty…for which they blessed God.”
            Breaking fast. Thanking God.
Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            In America, by decree to, in
Seventeen eighty nine, by Washington:
“That great and glorious Being.”

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            Amidst a Civil War, of brothers
Needing a feast around which to tarry,
            America’s new father proclaimed:
“No human counsel hath devised
Nor hath any mortal hand worked
Out these great things. They are the gracious
Gifts of the Most High God,
 Who, while dealing with us in anger
For our sins, hath…remembered mercy.”

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            Yours and mine, his, hers,
Just last year? Amongst the lack and need:
            Remembering myths like truth.

Let’s talk about the first Thanksgiving,
            The last Thanksgiving, our
First, last, next, and after that. Thanks
            For things we may never know.
Indians and Pilgrims breaking bread,
Indians and Pilgrims at war.
Puritans and rebels making nation,
Puritans and rebels at war.
Americans and Americans breaking bread
Americans and Americans at war.

Let’s talk about the last Thanksgiving,
            Giving thanks for giving thanks,
Oblivious to myth: to truth: words.
            Clever, childlike: Thanks for thanks.
Read more of my poetry, essays, and stories at           

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Accountability or Far Back: America.

"Accountability" or
Far Back: America.

            From what?
In a nation of immigrants—
            All immigrants
Far back enough.

            For what?
Decriminalizing hope—
            Affirming hope
Far back enough.

            For whom?
From native prejudice—
            Prejudiced natives
Far back enough.

            Why, Where?
In Free America—
            Free America!
Far back, enough.

            How? How!
By any means—
            Any damned means!
Far, back enough.

What is: America now.


What is right?
            What is fair?

What is left?
            What is line?

When must this,
            When will this,
When can this,
            When, how, this,
When, if not this?
            When, how, America?

What is now?
            What is America?
What is posture?
            What is political?
What is rhetoric?
            What is true border?

What is Right?
            What is Left?
Richer and broader:
            Arms wide opened,
Slapping! Embracing!
What is America now?
Far back: Enough.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014



Counting and trying to count:
            And not counting at all,
                        And abstaining
                        On the ballot,
                        And abstaining,
                        By not showing up.
            And not trying at all,
                        And complaining
                        About losing,  
                        And lamenting,
                        Without any effort.
            And not caring at all,
                        And ignoring
                        The noise,
                        And out-toning,
                        Bombast and rhetoric.
Not counting and not trying to count:
And counting in abstentia,
                        And casting votes
                        On the ballot,
                        And casting votes
                        By not showing up.
            And trying to matter,
                        Hiding disappointment,
                        By just showing up.
And trying to be heard           
Among the noise,
Crying to be heard,
Above the noise,
In tone deaf ether.
And showing up
            By not showing up,
And showing up
            By showing up.
And counting,
            And not counting at all.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Five Fingers of "Will"

Five Fingers of “Will”


And Testament.

Fuck it. (Insert Ring here                    V\/V ).

You ever be able to love me half as much as I love you and if the answer is yes then that’s good enough for me because half of how much I love you is still so huge and I couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life with anybody but you because I love you with all my fucking heart.

You be mine forever?

This October

This October

On October twenty-fourth, four years ago,
            He was saying his good-byes
                        To his best friends--
                        His mother, his aunts--
            And packing up his house,
                        To start a new life
                        South and on the Gulf.

On October twenty-fourth, four years ago,
            I was living in bottles, in despair,
                        Losing everything,
                        Killing myself slowly
            With whatever tools I could find
                        On over-mortgaged,
                        Undervalued time.

On October twenty-fourth, three years ago,
            He was weekending on Eola,
                        Licking his own wounds,
            From a broken heart of his own,
                        Navigating lost love
                        On the crest of new hope.

On October twenty-fourth, three years ago,
            I was made alive again, alive,
                        Underservedly ,
            Loved with pure affection,
                        Loved first and frightened
                        By certain failure,
            Loving back apprehensively.

On October twenty-fourth, two years ago,
            We lived together in remnants
                        Of my shattered past,
                        Spooned on my old sheets,
            That I cautiously unmade, clinging
                        To the anxiety of
            In the face of full acceptance.

On October twenty-fourth, one year ago,
            We had made our own place together
                        Just ours and modest,
                        Just ours together,
            Free from haunting ghosts and
                        Free from depression;
                        With our own dirty sheets,
            With our own life together, with love
                        And tomorrows
                        And yesterdays
                                    Of our own.

On October twenty-fourth, one minute ago,
            We committed to a together forever
                        With diamonds and gold rings:
                          Quietly: unceremoniously.
            The sweetest kiss he ever gave me
                        The sweetest I’ve ever had
                        The last kiss I’ll ever need,
            Saying our hellos, officially an us:
                        No forced labels,
                           Just love promises

                                    Of our own.

Read more of my poetry, essays, and stories at

Monday, October 20, 2014



If I could have an extra second
            In every minute,
I’d take it so I’d have more time to love you.

If I could have an extra minute
            In every hour,
I’d take it so I’d have more time to love you.

If I could have an extra hour
            In every day,
I’d take it so I’d have more time to love you.

If I could have an extra day
            In every year,
I’d take it so I’d have more time to love you.

If I could have an extra year
            In every millennium,
I’d take it so I’d have more time to love you.

An extra inch on the Earth:
An extra spark on the Sun:
An extra thought in my mind:
An extra atom in my body:
An extra beat of my heart:
An extra kiss on my lips:
An extra finger on my hand
            To count the extra extras:

But If I can’t have an extra anything,
            I’ll take this now, this here
And love you fully with every bit of me,
            In every now,
In every here,

Monday, September 29, 2014

What Is Is? Or Bill Clinton’s War on Tenses.

What Is Is?
Bill Clinton’s War on Tenses.

One day, they will make us trade freedom for safety:
            Securing us from the inside against porous borders.
One day, they will convince us we are to blame for
            Ancient wars that predate our very existence.
One day, they will charge us ransom—protection funds:
            Collected in taxes and paid in human lives.

It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is:
            Asked in the present tense and I would have said no
And it would have been completely true. Is Is. ISIS:
            One day in the future, one day in the past:
One day in the now, no matter how parsed, they win.
            They will win. They have won. They are winning.

ISIS is now: Is was: Is will.
            Is have.
By whatever name:
            Al Queda:
By whatever tense:
            Present perfect:
By whatever unbounded
            Base of operation:
            Stateless, stated,
By the terror in our minds:
By the terror in our
            Everyday fear:
            Fearing itself.
Headless, diffuse:

On our shores:
            Prolific like ideas:
                        Ideas like gods:
In us: IsUs: IsUS.
            One day, one day, today:
                        Every now-day.           

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Banished: Reinventing Gotham

Banished: Reinventing Gotham

Rarely, on Sundays in New York—
            The city—
Can you see from Hell’s Kitchen
            To Chelsea
With such clarity of eye—
            Of vision.

Ceaselessly reconstructing, revising.

You rose hazelessly from good sleep,
            Dream slumber,
Unhindered by substance, sin,           
            Or by guilt,
Every step, each sight, each thought

Stretching up and down and out, reaching in.

You greeted  the sun as a comrade—
            Not stranger—
Whose staunch appearance intrudes
            Into night:
With otherwise clear-day dawns,

Night-settings millioned to greet each new day.

Thick, overcast mornings like this—
            Air soupy—
With the sticky remnants of
            Last night’s daze
Hanging over muddled minds,
            Yours soars free.

Ideas swirl meteorologically.

Yes, you rejected all demons
            Last night brought.
Alphabet soup and molly
            You banished
To memories tucked away:

Blameless land, walked by free-willed human souls.

You embrace this new Manhattan,
Morningside to Liberty
            Holding you
Sweetly in her island grip:
            The new you.

Insular: Harlem, Hudson, East: new-us’d.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More Fortily

More Fortily
Last year, or maybe two ago,
I lost eighty-four minutes
            Of wake-time to sleep
            Enjoying a seventh hour
            Of slumber each night:
Fortily nap-needing. 
My waist, twenty-nine at thirty,
Now spreads out to thirty-two,
            Ok, thirty-three,
            Depending on the jean cut,
            Depending on lunch:
Fortily wrestler-built.
Hair, once my tall-spiked signature--
Me solia llamar Pelo--
            Sprouts most everywhere
            I'd rather it wouldn't grow,
            Stubbling ears, back, nose.
Fortily thinning grey.
Miles, thousands I ran as a kid,
Shirtless, barefoot on the beach,
            Catch up, knees crackle,
            Creases and freckles skin-dot,
            Spine and elbows snap:
Fortily less limber.
More pee.
More gin.
More Tums.
More Tea.
      More T.
            More Fortily.
The son, or sons, I'd have fathered,
Had I chosen that, would be
            Graduating now,
            Just like nephews and friends' sons
            And their sons' girlfriends.
Fortily bad-uncle-ing.
Words, cursed gifts, metered emissions,
Tongue-linger a bit longer,
            Stuck twixt brain and page,
            Disrupting discourse, debate,
            Feigning wrought wisdom:
Fortily what's-the-word-ing.
Defeats, historically many,
Fade behind sweet sentiment,
            Conflated victories,
            Writ with Momentitiousness
            Embracing promise,
Fortily love-loving.

Sunday, July 20, 2014



Thirty-nine and holding
            Texts near to my bosom
That, perhaps, I'd long forgotten:
            Re-reading for the first time.
Thirty-nine and holding
            Friends in newer esteem
That, perhaps, I'd undervalued:
            Loving again for the first time.
Thirty-nine and holding
            God tighter to my heart
That, perhaps, I'd displaced:
            In the spells of cold Science.
Thirty-nine and holding
Thirty-nine and holding
Thirty-nine and holding
Thirty-nine and holding
Thirty-nine and holding
            Charles Darwin:
Thirty-nine and holding
            Disruption-like stasis,
That, perhaps, I'd cloaked with pride:
            Building truth in sentiment.
Thirty-nine and holding
            This soul's evolution,
That, perhaps, I'd fought too bravely:
            Letting go, firstly, finally, fortily.

Friday, July 4, 2014



Union more perfected, justice established,
            Liberty-blessed for some, for progeny.
Landholding fathers, founding brothers,
            Birth-givers to the first gene.
Calling on God and Reason as kinfolk,
            Amending, rights-billing from the start.
                        Join Or Die.
                        Eighty seven.  

Fissure, rebellion, crisis, justice suspended,
            Liberty-confirmed  for some, for progeny.
Crestfallen fathers, embattled brothers,
            Mutated, naturally selected.
Crying to God and Reason like kinfolk,
            Amending still, freedom-granting.
                        Sixty three.

Dreaming in chaos, disobedience with cause.
            Liberty-redefined for some, for progeny.
Black-robed fathers, assassinated brothers,
            Bi-Helix twisted, coded, knotted.
Protesting to god and Reason, strange kinfolk, 
            Amending through jurisprudence.
                        Now, integrate.
                        Sixty eight.

Progeny elected, entitled without recompense,
            Liberty-nuanced for some, fore-progeny.
Fathers and mothers, brothers loving brothers,
            Cankered species, new-gene cleaved.
Owning god and reason, hospiced kinfolk,
            Emending, refining through nuance.
                        Fourteen, then.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Fifth of June

Fifth of June

I was at the Magic Kingdom, alone,
                        Fittingly lone,
            Just stepping off the Carousel of Progress,
            Still, "These are the Times"-ing
            When the phone, belt-clipped, rang
            With atonal, casual urgency.
Overwhelmed by the sun, I sought shadow-
                        Obscured, heated
            Preparation for the voice on the other end.
            Sweat dripped into my eyes; squinting
            As I answered, "Hello,"
            Day-Star-blinded and optimistic.
"Have you heard?"  "No. What?" "Sorry."
                        "God, what is it?"
            "His Sun set, finally." I knew instantly
            That, even in the intersection of make-
            Believe and greatness, of ranches
            And studio lots, he shoneheadlinedstill.
Loving Nancy and God and America,
                        And even me,
            Tackling malaise with vision, with words,
            With myth, from behind the golden
            Curtain, before the Iron Curtain
            He took his place beyond the sunrise.
To the sunset on our Carousel of
                        Victor's Progress,
            Fighting on, eclipsed and echoing resolve
            Like a trumpet against Jericho,
            With humble fallibility, page-turning:
            A new scene, a new story: an enduring hope.          


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New Pillow

New Pillow

In the last days, before I was convinced to finally part with her,
I would crawl under the covers and lay my head upon her,
knowing that her days were not unnumbered,
The single constant that had accompanied me since childhood-
thirty years, at least, my quiet sleeping companion.

She gave of her mete to my wandering fingers, searching ever
In those moments when I needed--sought--them
For the wholesome prick of a feather's quill,
Poking through the fabric meant to contain them as fill,
to be drawn out as an instant treasure, a trophy.

She too, had once been young and fresh and sturdy: unblemished.
The perfect accompaniment for the change to manhood,
Soft and forgiving of my imperfections, midnight-flipped,
Cradling my head in slumber, folded and lumbar-supporting
As I read or watched TV, or in other recumbent endeavors.

As I'd pull one feather out, others queued up for extraction,
Until together, in an OCD-eternity before slumber,
Piles of feathers were transferred to the floor, bits of her
To be gathered up in the morning or pushed underneath the bed
With dust bunnies, crunchy towels and National Geographics.

And after decades of such extractions, the once plump and sturdy,
Unswerving, undemanding, post-indulgent head lounge,
Now sweat, tear, and love-stained, sleep-strained,
Replaced with a cuddling constant that gives without deteriorating:
Slumber, unencumbered and contented and ever strong:

Transacted: Picked.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Thank you for your interest in reading HOOPS from the forthcoming book, "Black Kettle." The preview has ended, but please feel free to read other stories from MOMENTITIOUSNESS available here.

Friday, February 28, 2014



This faded, cardboard orange box,
                        Swooshed and sturdy
            Like the overpriced athletic
 Shoes that it once housed,
            Two decades ago,
            Carries the flotsam of a life--
                        Or is it jetsam?
One thousand eighty cubic inches,
                        Still loosely packed,
            Give or take, with things:
A dusty, half-full bottle of
            Drakkar Noir, four-o'd report cards,
            Some 6-inch floppy discs-     
                        Post de-magnetized.
Long lost, the Polaroid camera,
            By the glossy sepia nudes of
Boyfriends and estrangements
            With smiling aging me's in various
            States of undress, inebriation and
                        Persistent youthfulness.
Once, I know, there was a gold chain
                        And crucifix--
            A gift from my grandmother
That I cannot find after picking through
            And shaking every item in
            The cardboard chest. I lost it, I curse,
                        Or someone took it.
A love poem I wrote but never gave,
                        Folded neatly,
                        Pen-ink smudged by time and tears.
A glossy New Yorker comic, clipped
                        By a dear friend
                        With whom I have since lost contact.
Keys of all shapes and sizes and alloys
                        Dozens of them,
                        To all the past places I've called home.
My first driver's license, a Libertarian voter registration,
                        Blockbuster card,
                        A Miami Dolphins lower bowl ticket stub.
A slow-ticking, gold-banded Timex watch that I shake, and
                        Slide on my wrist,
                        Once the nicest thing I owned.
I have moved this box with me, cramming and
            From the east coast to the panhandle
To lakesides to other states to the bayshore.
            From dorms to apartments to houses
            To mansions to condos.
                        From optimism to loss to hope.
Here, moving again, moved to a new space
            Accounting for and taking inventory
Of stasis in constant change. Time in a box,
            Stacked in a new corner:
            Stacked in a different closet:             
                        Beneath another 'nother's stuff.

Accruing dust, dander, mold and yellowed edges,
                        More nostalgia,
            And now, another poem to be--undoubtedly--
Revisited again when this newest lease expires.
            This space, this time, is perfect.
            This box is only so big.
                        This box is only so big.