• Pinocchio – Early Edition




    Awake; like empty waves of trains in the bleary morning rush | the daily commute of metal wheeled coffins; tightly grasped by pall bearers—conductors | engineers who seek the high road to Mecca, America’s Freedom Tower; and points South | the Metro sinks to the depth of the burgeoning skyline; traces ghost lines of antiquity | to hug the rails of a fat dollar bill and a hungry New York Daily News.

    Work; in the City | after hours, barrooms, handshakes beneath dark doorways; up stairs of the delicate essence of a Broadway mesmerized; the rhythmic rumba of mermaids, jungle kings; a two-faced opera star | the Times Square great white wail revival of Pinocchio; in the place where Debbie once did Dallas.

    Relax; wheels turn | street merchants spot travel-weary marks, their craving heightened by jet lag; Air Bus itineraries | hotel check-in no sooner than 2; then wait in Central Park | buy frankfurters under Sabrett umbrellas; yellow and blue | say hello to America’s first “black” President in Harlem | who plays saxophone and panders to the poor; breaks the ice for the real thing yet to come.

    Stand; on street corners and watch the homeless; choke on squalor and urban blight | the rattle and mayhem of inner city life; an American era of loss | Haudenosaunee off the desecrated lands of Uncle Sam’s broken promises | soldiers, war-torn and weary; crushing opioid pills strained through cotton wads; bottle caps and dirty syringes | the last souls of a lost generation.

    Wait; for economic collapse | that all men may one day be equal to the greed of Wall Street and the indigo shirted night | neon billboards radiate high above Yellow Cabs’ tail lights; red | rain smeared streets reflected on the glass sheets of storefront windows; pastiche | as the world sits in donut shops and cafeterias waiting; for the USA, ABC, CBS and NBC | fall lineup.

  • Peace Serenity; and All That Stuff


    Peace Serenity; and All That Stuff

    the red barn on the hill; pine
    boughs framing the mill creek
    the sound of a stiff breeze
    rasping through the trees

    I must make each step count, I say
    as I walk through the frozen snow
    in step with the icy breath of frost
    biting my nostrils


    a woman waits in her car
    for a clandestine rendezvous
    his warm arms to embrace her
    back to life and undo
    the cold of her

    they leave together
    but I stay to feel
    the peace


    it is exhilarating to stand here
    listening to the rush of water; birds chirping
    brown oak leaves dancing against the sky
    clinging to the trees long
    after all the rest
    have fallen

    as I stomp on snow patches
    and crusty thaw ground
    a lip quiver of frost
    mixes with my swirling breath

    a little here
    a little there
    adds to the rhythm of life

    the splash and tumble of the creek rushing
    through the old mill; the rolling hills
    it puts me in a place somewhere
    far from the rattle
    and gears of
    this age


    I wait a long moment
    in that quiet place
    wary of leaving
    as if somehow
    I might leave too soon
    miss something; or
    nothing at all

    it is the stillness of time
    that I long to savor
    it is that sense
    of earthen hills
    wobbled on street-weary legs
    to find this cloistered place; this
    surrender to an ancient call
    that brings me here

    to feel
    the peace
    serenity; and all that stuff

     Originally Published on: Mar 14, 2010

  • Rankled Doll



    Rankled Doll


    in a corner
    of my lonely room
    lies a doll rankled and torn
    she don’t know what’s going on
    but she’s sure these wounds won’t heal

    rankled doll; I saw you fall from
    the shelf to the floor | rankled doll
    they heard your call and did
    nothing for you at all

    her heads been twisted; her eyes are cracked
    her arms are broken | her face and
    dress covered with soot
    she sits crumpled
    on the shelf

    they kicked her
    ‘cross the room
    threw her away
    and forgot; how
    they once played

    the rankled doll now
    sits up against the wall
    with eyes that show no tears
    she don’t know what’s going on
    but she’s sure this time
    it won’t heal

    papa shouts;
    the room turns to blue
    and the windows shatter | she
    wants to cry but the tears don’t come
    something’s desperately the matter

    the rankled doll
    sits on the wall; with
    eyes that show no tears
    she don’t know what’s
    going on but she’s
    sure these

  • Wagons Full of Hay


    Wagons Full of Hay


    a man walks down 5th Avenue; sociopathic and intolerant; plagued by doubt and incoherence | a light bulb goes off in his head; delusion  ::he rolls thousand dollar bills with indifference; plays boss politics with losers—or, winners | and his persistence pays off

    pigs eat scraps in the courtyard; horses pull wagons full of hay | wheels and blacksmiths deliver takeout to the manor  ::the court jester entertains the nobles; elite aristocrats eat beef | wear silver buckled shoes; their guards dressed in gilded armor—adamantium swords | but the castle walls need keeping and the house is in decay

    there’s a famine in the redwoods; fires touch the sky | his Midas hands have turned to sand; everything he touches goes to bad | he’s gone mad; they say and shake their heads—scoff at the man in the ivory tower  ::he’s hocked the family jewels; thrown our pearls in the street | he eats the bread of shameless luxury; and saves the crumbs for posterity


  • Buddha’s Illusion


    Buddha’s Illusion

    (Monuments Rise from the Rubble)

    Imagine many worlds; the wheel of life encircling | embracing the sun the moon and stars; lives past—and present  ::touch the ground and see the sky; connect | vibrations seek release; visions die in emptiness | light; and darkness.

    I have found the middle way! spake Shakyamuni | to a willing crowd; ears hungering | years spent in self-punishment; deprivation—all a vanity! | the Enlightened path made clear; and this is how you do it.

    Sit at rigorous attention | breathe and watch; eyes closed—the rhythm of life; compassion—have I mentioned compassion? for there lies the true path | The Way; right down the center | the Four Noble Truths; will lead the way to Understanding  ::and a third listened; and he illuminated the world | and the people learned; their bones broken—healed | and monks shared the wisdom; and taught—and this is how you do it.

    ::Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha asked the Buddha; but what did you see? | to come to this conclusion? | follow The Eightfold Path; but, what did you see?  ::they say silence speaks louder than words; true | a word spoken in haste proves the fool | the wise man leaves no shadow; and this is how it’s done.

    Monuments rise from the rubble; statues bless the poor | garlands and incense; rice wine, sake and soju | money; fake, printed paper | and prayers; lots of prayers | monks beg along devoted avenues | a bowl for rice and saffron robes; a meager existence | the cost of grasping the Inner Light; Nirvana | the poor shall be blessed, for their’s is the Kingdom; it’s been said—and this is how it’s done.

    The illusory nature of reality; within our reach—if only it were so | why am I who I am; and not another soul? | of all the billions on this earth; why are you; you? | the many worlds Buddha saw; the images of eternity | Socrates put it best; we practice philosophy to prepare for dying | Jesus spoke; the Kingdom of the Heavens is within you; isn’t it?—and this is how it’s done.

    Old men die wise | a lifetime of suffering brought to submission  ::preach from the rooftops; no one’s getting older | but wiser? young men are told; women grow bolder | the power of the talisman is yours; Buddha’s Illusion, their triumph | control the mind; better skill at persuasion  ::Jesus ripens like a fig on the bough | the politics of state consumed by Gospel—govern by faith and pray for Armageddon; because it will only get worse | and that’s how you do it.

  • Flowers of Dawn



    Flowers of Dawn

    the sun rises; blurred and wrinkled | sky the color of pink; blood | the whirring spin of a circular saw; grinds its path on plank | Bang! Bang! nuclear splashdown; alcohol pools wave headaches on | music fills the air; the sound of harps | an angelic chorale sings heavenly music—Ave, Maria! | choking throat and dumb rattle of breath; a harsh uptake; wake-up!

    ::a big yellow moon rises over the rooftops; striking | awe in silence; blue sky dark and twinkling stars | meld into street light; alleyways cluttered with wine bottles; clink | a cat howls in summer heat; rushing water washes away the smeared light | bleary-eyed and broken, I stumble among dust bins and the sediments of the living; crowned | with a golden halo of spirits; God, and Whisky—the One, and the Same | dusty showers of moonbeams glitter | a fedora of the night; a cap of dawn—a screw

    Crow! Crow! a rooster crows | in this city he’s been strangled; by the roar of the automobile; the rush of the hour | traffic and a cop in uniform; drags cars across the crossroads; my mind | the Altiplano; the drifter’s horse and the gunslinger | Clint Eastwood on L-dopa brought to an awakened stutter; angst | plays cat’s-cradle; twisted fingers; angry gut | a dog’s hair to bite you; a pint of Schnapps; a fifth of Port | cold rinse and spin dry

    a flower | rotted; ready to die
    waiting on Euphoria; the downhill slide | the Eternal groan—
    and that dark slow suicide   ::but it’s OK
    I’m doing alright


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