Category Archives: My Poetry

Three Cheers for the Summer Solstice

Summer solstice, racing wheels,
Hair on fire, flames blown back.
Crown of heat cooks off the facts.

***

Paper tigers crackle:
One last snarl until ashes.

***

Winter’s melt
And springtime’s sobbing torrents
Swordfight in foamy peaks below the Falls,
Slide mud slopes across toothpick pathways and toy cars
Peopled by people.

The punishing Falls fucking dare the riverbed to come up for air.

Sunset paints the toenails of whitecaps.

I can take out the garbage at midnight shirtless and barefoot.

Featured image: Saint Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota (via Wikipedia)

Royal blue and pauper orange

Don’t talk.
Each word bumps me
closer to your center axis,
each sentence forecasts
some long-awaited contact,
and every paragraph heats my entrails like
electricity through overburdened copper coils.

I am increasingly vigilant
but it seems you will always be
just out-of-reach:
microns are miles,
and I still don’t know you.

So I will now defy time
and jump across this sadistically tiny chasm

to your brain. There
I will become your palette,
if but for a moment. There
I will know how it feels to be

ultraviolet and infrared:
your sempiternal extremities; and

royal blue and pauper orange:
the mutually exclusive
and desperately symbiotic castes which
cast shadows on each other; and

inchworm green to sunrise yellow,
measuring the slow and careful story of your
seasons;

and all your colors in-between
and above and below
and all the rest unseen
whose hues and values deign to show themselves.

– Jan. 3, 2001

Trainhopping Scumfuckers

To be or not to be:
That is a technicality.
Whether ’tis better to weather
The slings and arrows
Of a thousand sorrys and
You’re unqualifieds
Or say
Screw this
And vacate this whore house
For greener pastures.
To board a freight train
No ticket
No destination in mind
Just away
And away
And
And
And forever and always along
Down the tracks
Of whatever and whenever
Amen.
Eight men
Cruising
In steel-smelling; rust-smelling
Chambers in wheels
Chicago to Seattle
Empire Builder
Grunge sponge
A suitcase
A big-time story that’s false
But passes time good
As any drop-down TV would have been.
We arrive
Ill-stomached, good-spirited,
McDonald’s coursing fatty
Through our veins
Offer a grimace and a
Shrug
For your ever-loving shove.

When I Get It Right

It feels like liberating a hairball from the kitchen sink drainpipe.

I root around with a plumbing snake,
A steel rod,
A flashlight.

Nothing.

I get down on my knees,
Crank a collar counterclockwise with a fat wrench:
The P-trap clatters to the clapboards
The smell of rust mists into the room
The whole sink shakes
I shove my fingers up inside the main pipe and voila.

Catching the back of my skull on the edge of the cupboard (“Fuck!”)
I emerge damp, bruised, triumphant:

“There’s your problem right there, ma’am.”
The dripping tangled mass
Springy between my fingers
Mysterious catacombed matter.

It’s not like I can tell you what hair is made of
Or what precise path to follow should you care to attempt a detanglement
Or the scientific names of the asymmetrical creatures you might find
Should you take a microscopic head count.

I just unclog the pipes.
Sometimes they pay me.