.this page is currently under construction.
elementary school. St.
Pius. Edgewood, KY
higher school. Villa Madonna Academy. Villa Hills, KY
colleges attended. Brescia. Owensboro, KY and
Northern Kentucky University. Highland Heights, KY
(some older writings)
Linked By Our . . .
The candleshine was nearly as soft as your sigh,
Dirty-Old-Man Moon stood wide-eyed at your window,
and the music was like a late July drizzle with a broken heart.
Sitting and smoking on the couch we stained black with our ashes;
three feet between us, but we became one --
stitched together by a gaze;
linked by our eyes, not our hips --
a snippet of love in our fleshy collage.
I pray a rosary to you,
my golden calf --
can faith make heaven?
She Hit The Mute Button
She sat coiled at my side like a coral snake.
I was smoking a Chesterfield King and keeping my temper on a leash.
She stared at the television like a twelve-year-old boy whod found
naked breasts in a National Geographic --
the sitcoms idiot drone drowned out all talking or thought.
Thirty minutes later, the show ended and she hit the mute button
and asked me if I wanted to fuck. I didnt. She sulked
and I lit another cigarette. She said she felt scared
and I said "Why?"
and she said "Youre going to die."
and I said "No shit."
and she said "No, I mean really soon."
and I said "What makes you think that?"
and she said she had a feeling
and these feelings were never wrong.
Assuming this is true, it seems shes want at least one naked
conversation in the seven-month relationship, that since its genesis
had been sentenced to death --
killed by our labels and measurements and clouded perceptions.
Have you ever seen a naked building?
Well, I have man.
As I recall, the structure wasnt
wearing any walls, and had
no roof to act as hat (theyre too
troublesome, always attracting
those damned pink things that
shit and piss and whine
about the absence of time;
then they split, leaving the insides
in shambles --)
Hundreds of tons of iron for entrails
now a rustrotted gut under membranes of dust;
the cogs, wheels, valves, and gears
an immobile industrial mandala
for this skeletal temple, whose priests
ran away because God didnt pay.
Pained and strained Frame,
why do you still stand against the violet sky?
Poor Stony Bones, do you shiver in the winter,
are you frightened by the night?
Voice of Building: "My rusting ribs hold refugee riffraff
and psychos and winos and desolate homos.
I only shiver when the innocent suffer --
winter wind isnt nearly as cold as a regular user.
Suns plunge sees those psychos and winos
and desolate homos hide in my insides
and burn in my gut like
some two-month-old taco.
Come sunrise, I finally fart them
out into the street --
then a fevered breeze blows
those beat, gaseous boys back
to some street corner, or doorway
or bus stop, or bar, where theyll
linger like a stink till dark."
Lightbeams lick and raindrops
drippy kisses erode the groaning bones
of my skyclad cathedral --
but still it stands!
By strength of spirit, not steel --
this past bastion of industry and business
now a haven and home for hobos --
a steely skeleton of prophecy.
In Heaven, every building is bare-boned.
Here in Cincinnati -- fingers heavy with lovers gifts:
the feminine scent of mystery,
a hawks-head ring cast in pewter or confusion,
and the scabbing tears of anxious teeth.
So weighted are my digits I can scarcely move my hands.
I offered up my words wisdom absurdity chuckles
and they were met with the indolent death of indifference --
the only thing anybody wants from me is a fuck.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on,
fuck your mother father sister brother electric-can-opener
pet cat and artificial house plants.
Fuck me and my dysfunctional family, fuck my car,
fuck my job and the welfare state,
fuck taxes and balance the fucking budget,
fuck the government and political corruption,
Fuck democracy! Fuck communism! Fuck anarchism and
fuck anything else that ends in "-ism" !
Fuck the power-brokers and politicians,
fuck Clinton, Dole, and Marion Barry,
fuck drug legalization cause addicts spawn
rising rates of crime and bitch go
get me another beer;
fuck gun control cause I read the Constitution
and my arsenals large enough to
qualify me as a militia.
Fuck Jesse Helms;
fuck censorship and the cross the Klan stands
in Fountain Square cause theyre dreaming
of a white Christmas;
fuck Simon Leis for imposing ethical circumspection
on the artists of Cincinnati, then in his piety
breaching private e-mailboxes for inspection.
Fuck McDonalds creed of convenience,
fuck MTV for killing song with its Snoop-Doggy-gun
Fuck destructive Prozac, the deceptive apothecary
whose waterjacket burst inside poor Olivers
passionhead, extinguishing holy flame and
changing personalitys taste from black coffee
to something resembling dry white toast.
Fuck the fact that theres so much to fuck, and
fuck the nymphomaniacal compulsion with which we attempt to
fuck it all.
Fuck the junk monkey!
Fuck the simian yen I unfailingly satisfied,
staying polluted like the Ohio and
flooding my banks for one thousand
days and nights -- this morbific abuse
of body outshining even Jehovahs
forty day effort on Noah.
Fuck addictions gifts of malicious intent,
the package wrapped up in twenty shades of
seduction -- I tore the paper away
and received these: overdose, seizures,
jail, rehab, a friendless life, a muted
Muse, a cigarette burn collection, and
the creation of so many mutations of
my core-form that I couldve staged
my own march on Washington.
Here in Cincinnati, in the bathroom of my youth,
I strip me down to spectral skin;
I scrub my crumbling hands clean of last night;
I dissolve my sad ghost-self in the tubs watery scald --
A recording of Allen Ginsbergs 1957 Chicago
reading hangs on the humid air like a fern of wisdom --
Im hungry, and my face is cold.
Naked Ape Dance
Fat spayed housecat lays
on black-specked back with
legs raised and splayed in
invitation -- a feline
imitation of the homosapien
mating tradition it witnessed
on basements mildewed
carpet -- the strange
naked ape dance I
performed with the girl
who walked away to
waltz with another to
a song with simplicitys
rhythm. I suppose that
I stepped on her toes
once too often.
In Picturing The Myth
What a strange today its been --
twice I saw the sun stumble, trip, and fall into
the dank alleyway of night like a drunk rediscovering
the comforts of pavement --
twice I saw the sun rise in the morning and get
as high as some Merry Prankster, so lit that its
shine would leave you red in the face --
Myself now starving, unslept, and shiver-limbed --
Welcome to the Hi-Glamour life of a poet!
thirty-nine cent frozen burritos,
a William S. Burroughs novel,
and back issues of The New Yorker
that were plucked from some upperclass trash can.
The lampstand on my rights littered with
little yellow lithium pills, plastic guitar picks,
and a black roundstic medium Bic --
its a highschool yearbook photo of poet-life
when it thought nobody was looking,
a picture of the myth with a finger up its nose.
This deranged today has split open lower lip
with its forty Chesterfields and nervous gnaw,
then pulled weary back muscle with third-shift
grunt work --
its taught me that life is a conveyor belt
that everyone works on --
and writers must record each package as it passes,
then toss it aside to be processed and sorted.
My mail is as jumbled as a junkyard
and just as fenced in.
Ive got my insides all twisted up
like the wire tie on a bag of Wonder bread,
and Ive turned my reversible raincoat of skin
inside-out to save people the trouble
of asking how I feel:
Im black lung and bodhran-drum heart;
Im blistered tongue and hands discolored by habit;
Im the raincoats dirty-dishwater-grey flipside,
kept hidden under plastic shell colored
yellow like a school bus or a Bobby McFerrin happyface.
When this schizophrenic today woke me in the morning,
it was a seventy-degree pseudo-spring with a sun
burning alone in the virgin sky --
by nighttime the horizon was heavy with snowclouds,
and the air was wearing nineteen
degrees of frigid sting --
This looking-glass weather reflects the face
of each relationships affliction --
a curse of inconsistency and addiction.
Its only fight or fuck!
usually both, and sometimes even neither,
but never conversation or contentment
when trapped at the extremes of passion.
The Muse mustve cast this jealous spell
to make me another sad romantic having
nothing but words;
to keep me for herself by killing me slowly
then stuffing my emptied shell to be a trophy
attesting to her power and glory.
I wont be a glassy-eyed head on
a plaque thats nailed to the wall
next to Kerouac, Sexton, and Plath!
I wont be a leathery sack thats
preserved like a Twinkie and stood
in the corner in a pose that mimics
What I am is a guy with a bad haircut
and an untrimmed goatee, a cigarette-branded
left hand that I burned to the bone,
and a beauty that it seems I only
show in my poems --
Can the damned defeat their assigned fates?
Its been a bulimic today --
every insight Ive eaten from the plate of
inspiration has overwhelmed my will,
then been puked onto the page to
purge me of the terrible knowledge:
Theres no line I can ever write that will finish the poem,
and self-destruction only dries out the pen.
Like a deep-sea fish from Wild Kingdom,
the microwavable egg roll spit its
searing grease at me in defense --
spotting my hand with shades of pink,
scalding skin in attempted escape,
expelling its pork-juice to frighten me off.
It didnt work.
I bit down.
Fingers And Emotion
Sometimes, when I drive with
the window down and the stereo on,
a cigarette smoldering between yellowed
fingers, and emotion smoldering
in my chest like a first shot of cheap
scotch, I notice that the winds blowing
in tune with the music, and
for a moment I quit thinking and exist
as a melody -- a ballad in the key of night.
based on the painting "Original Sin" by Dali
The snake wrapped round the
naked leg like an anklet, the
bare foot planted firm on ground
with a motive in mind --
a leathery old wingtip lay
loose-laced and open, its
siren-song floating out of
the open hole.
"When age is in, wit is out." - Shakespeare
Sad angels of a sadder yesterday,
what god of spoiled-toddler temperament
evicted you from heavens tenement, rent
the bonds of brotherhood like a cheap cotton
T-shirt, then scarred each spirits back with a whip
Sad angels of a sadder yesterday,
tell us of your tragedy.
Tell us of the madness that fell on
you like a biblical fury,
of how you questioned the nature
and purpose of suffering --
the suffering of Egypts sons,
and the suffering humanity to
whom suffering ( like skin color
or social caste) is handed down
of how you questioned if this pain is
sadistic entertainment for the celestial brat,
if were the B-grade cast in Gods low-budget
horror flick --
tell us of when you were winged things and
why you forgot how to fly;
show us your tear-stained faces of exile:
The sad angel of Dublin night
whose spirit still wanders down OConnell Street
like feet did, from Isaacs Hostel past
drunks beggars children street-musicians
alleyways to the pub-roar of ODonaghues,
watering hole of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce,
spilling drinkers and blaring reels into
Irelands night like Guiness from a
one-pint mug --
sad angel who was a blue-eyed con-man
and blue-souled poet wandering the streets
of Owensboro or Cincinnati searching for
inspiration sex drug-kicks visions satori
and love existing outside of time --
whose heart pumped alcohol, opiates, Benzedrine,
painkillers, tea, acid, sacred morning glories,
PCP, sleeping pills, and endless nicotine --
who used a rusted blade to slash his wrists,
jumped out of bedroom window, and fled into
the dawn, driving a stolen car to his highschool
then breaking in, taking ten dollars in change,
two gallons of wine, and a book of
Leonard Cohen poems.
The hawk-spirit convinced doctors, rehab, parents
and psychologists that hed been changed
by the drama, then flew to Owensboro,
putting two hundred miles between him and
The angel who tried to be a re-run of his father --
with academics, highschool athletics, rock band,
and cast-iron liver;
with homophobia, Chicago road trips, and a
facemask of macho posturing --
he could never be his father though,
because he was an artist, but no
doubt his fathers son
with his Camels, Budweiser, and Cutty Sark --
The enraged angel who thumbed his nose at death,
downing three fifths of Wild Turkey in forty minutes,
passing out in a puddle of snot piss and vomit
bigger than he was,
convulsing and screaming in fetal terror,
cadaverous skin glazed over like rotten bologna --
laying at the feet of his drunk father in cardiac arrest,
his mother began to beat at his lifeless chest
with fists clenched in anger and in prayer,
beat it with a desperate violence,
beat it until it was a bruised apple that
death refused to eat,
until Lazarus rolled out of the tomb
and started dry-heaving --
He just continued to roll all the way to Lexington,
a city of strangers where he could reinvent himself
as the movie character hed always wanted to be.
He pulled off his wings and fell into a category.
The gold-headed angel all porcelain skin and Aryan eye,
who screamed at the Void demanding self-realization
and then ran away, thumbs in his ears, afraid
of what he might be, and so decided to be
who tried to cure his nothingness with Kentucky bourbon
and marijuana, his loneliness with a girl named Muffy,
and his holiness with conformity and therapy --
whose father was Dr. Asshole the winedrunk proctologist,
and mother a millionaire by inheritance.
They had no time for a son, much less three:
theres asses to kiss and examine, patients
to pilfer, wine to swill, and $3 million mansions to
build and decorate entirely in Jimmy Buffet motifs --
They never noticed that the loneliness seraph had
become a desolate bomb.
He waited for the drop --
and dropped into a binge of teasticks, Puerto Rican
rum and Jim Beam, sat stoned and drunk watching
Naked Lunch and stared into pulsing strobe light
three hours for illumination,
dropped and dumped by Muffy who was moving
from Cincinnati to Boston to an Ivy League university --
parents uncovered the bourbon fifth hed hid in
the bathroom, left there nearly as dry as
a week-old chicken bone.
They confronted him and he had nervous breakdown and
disappeared -- so, panic-voiced, they telephoned
the other seraphim with accusations, bitching,
and requests for assistance --
Two seraphs went searching for their brother and found
a lot of nothing, went to the door for a progress
report, and were told hed been hiding the whole
time in the mansions other wing.
They asked his mother if he was alright.
She said "No." and slammed the door in their faces.
The goldenboy got stuck in psych ward and detox
and came out diluted by Zoloft --
no more passion,
no more talking until morning,
no more three-mile walks in sub-zero
December to get donuts,
no more ecstasies and transcendence,
no more feathers,
no more wings,
no more angel with his halo burning . . . .
They cured him of himself and left him to live as the tragic No More.
The bitter Chicago-born angel
who was a coffee-bean ground under fathers thumb
and brewed in the Catholic-school-machine,
who was clothed in distrust, self-doubt, and outrage,
and realized that these werent the
pretty things of popularity.
Who bore the dead weight of parents dreams on
a fragile back --
who was afflicted with the habit of thinking,
and frightened the other children away
with intelligence --
who was labeled "fagot" cause he hadnt a girlfriend --
who named his authoritarian father "Der Furher" --
who grew his hair long, and when ordered to cut it,
shaved his head, then stuffed the cut locks in a jar
and named it Gregory -- he constructed an absurdist
monument, a memorial for innocence.
The curmudgeon who questioned the status quo,
but acted apathetic for protection --
who swallowed thirty shots of Old Bushmills and
still didnt feel its effects;
who from fathers bar stole the sacramental scotch
and vodka for the seraphims bibulous
the fermented angel who guzzled his liquor alone after
school as an alcoholic Whiteout for the
erroneous lines typed by the day.
Who discovered that his actions mimicked his fathers,
then quit drinking in attempt to shift
the metamorphosis into reverse --
not cognizant of the fact that he was
traveling by train, not jalopy;
that the lever he gripped adjusted
his seat, not tracks rigid direction.
He rode the rails of resignation straight to St. Louis and
a Jesuit university so he could study himself
And the manic three-eyed angel
who came bearing spontaneity and experiment, preaching
the pretty in ugliness,
who came with Kerouac and beatness and Coltrane and
who was one of Jacks dumbsaints with a Moriarty mind.
Who picked magic herbs from his garden, smoked them,
and received "an Aztec wall of vision" standing
arms raised under the autumn stars --
who with his seraphic brothers ran through the grocery
and screamed hysterical as they beat each
other with sticks of pepperoni --
who sat with his brother through dawn talking on
Buddha love narcotics writing and music --
who got caught with tea-seeds in his coat pocket
and mother asked whyd he keep the seeds
and he answered cause they cause impotence
so she asked if he was having sex now
and he answered "Not necessarily, but
I plan to some day."
Who overdosed on downers and was found unconscious
under bed --
who was two weeks locked in Jewish psychiatric unit and
emerged with his madness intact, then started
haunting Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and
ended up twelve steps away from his halo,
addicted to the drug of recovery --
who used the monkey-wrench of Prozac to readjust his head
and bludgeon the dumbsaint to death.
The angel poked out his third eye and became a stranger.
your downfall gives rise to questions:
Were your wings flimsy things of posterboard
colored gold and white for your
cameo role in the play?
Feathers of intricate design to stun the
A functionless airfoil you remove from your
back after the pageants
Were your haloes old pipecleaners that you
glued into loops and fastened
Were your holy robes only sheets with a hole
cut for head and tied at the
waist with a rope?
Poetry and nonconformity your characters lines?
The pine stands as
proud old prickly and
arm cracked then torn
from trunk by a boy
who thought the pine
Youth always swings
When will this all end?
Sitting alone in my cars front seat
with a tragic song and a Camel
straight, a sixpack of beer and a
torn paper bag --
Im consumed like a carcass by
the vulture of my thoughts, my
bones of inspiration picked clean
by the gluttonous beak of routine.
I sit and I smoke and I make me more numb.
Endings visit everything.
Two Poets In A Car, Trying Not To Fall In Love
Lips brush as strangers
in the hall, bodies as
entwine and combine
as one perfect
Public Restroom Blues
Its always after taking a
wet, sticky shit that the
toilet paper gets trapped in
the dispenser like a deer in
a snare, releasing its meat
in single-sheet coughs of
generosity. After five fruitless
minutes of wrestling the roll,
I resign myself to the futility
of fighting fate, refasten my
pants, and walk out of
the stall, the moist and
odiferous medium of feces
still nestled in the crease
between the cheeks of my ass.
Big Red Smokey Waltz
Its as if Ive been afflicted
with some good acids giggles --
after our conversations I replace the
receiver in its cradle then begin to
do the strangest things: Sunday,
after I hung up, I nuked four
smoked sausages, put the Cure
in the stereo, and danced around
the house to "Just Like Heaven"
while eating my meat; only
you can cause me to waltz with sausage.
My eyes are redwhite
and blue with black vision core --
been writing all night.
arms stretched and stuck,
pinned to splintery
machines of love.
Vision: March 22, 1996
March 22, 1996;
quarter after six on a blinding snowglow morning --
tail end of allnite thinkathon;
read me Sexton, Burroughs, and Jack,
wrote me songs and fiddled me strings hee-hee!
Spent hours poring over scruffy manuscripts,
sculpting wordful babies into wobbly-kneed gods --
vision came --
notebook bled into air, sanguine spill from spiral spine;
little blood puddles drifted up and away,
floated a few feet forward, and dissolved,
becoming one with the Nothing.
Trapped by dew-damp grass
in mornings pre-dawn darkness,
the lightning bug blinked a
June 94 in rural England,
I strolled through the
Tolkienesque British mist
in the Bards backyard garden.
It was seven A.M. and
I was waiting for the tour
of the house to begin.
Twenty minutes later, it started --
the PBS-like guide pointed
out wood-burning stove,
bardic old bed, and the
tiny hardwood table where
the sonnets and plays of
the legend were written.
I felt words sprout up
at the edge of my mind
and start to inch their
way into consciousness --
I sat down on a thick
wooden bench to my left,
opened my bag and
withdrew notebook, laid
its spiral-bound pages
on a battered table,
and started to chart
my thought-flowers growth.
The heavy foot of tour
guides voice landed on
my infant plant of poem:
"Sir, Im going to have
to ask you to please
not sit there."
I was writing at
On Dinner At DAndreas
Lounge singers, muzak,
blackened ashtray; swirling smoke curls
over her shoulder.
She asks me to write.
My poetry pales in her glow.
She is shining.
At The Register
Listening to Becks "Odelay!",
and driving the 83 Accord dubbed
the Fellatio Machine up 127 North,
in transit to Barnes&Noble
to purchase a William Carlos Williams
book, I pulled into Sunoco and
pumped me ten bucks of
petro, then bolted inside to pay
for the carfood. There was one man
in front of me at the
register, nearly sixty, and his
hand held a burning J rolled fatter
than Mama Cass. He took a
drag, paid for his bottled
water, and walked out,
The berries ripen
on branches like fattening
calves for feathered packers.
To Ignore The Burn
The cartoons idiot voice
shook the speakers cones
and a black housecat
strutted past us.
Her hand stroked
the wide-rails of my corduroyed thigh
and I tried not to squirm --
difficult to avoid her wild gaze;
difficult to control the instinct in my hands;
impossible to ignore the burn sliding up my leg.
Pseudohaiku For Clock
neon eye stares,
shouting out the time
like some madman.
Sky Was Humping
I walked out of the cornerstore
and the latenight January sky
was humping either heaven or earth,
maybe both -- a cosmic menage-a-trois.
Sweat poured from its back
and the drops ran down my weary face.
They hit pavement with the sound
of ten-thousand plastic packing bubbles
popping in the night.
I pulled the keys from my pocket
and headed back towards the car,
laughing out loud at the rain.
The Pope Is Not Catholic
The Pope is not catholic.
Gandhi was catholic -- universal:
a Buddhist-Jew-Muslim- Hindu-Taoist-Christian
man of truth.
The Pope is not catholic -- only Roman.
How Now Everything
Strange, how now everything
has semblance or remembrance
How yappy Yorkshire terriers tear
heart and conjure tears;
how homes, though once familiar,
take on foreign tongues;
how every rose I
bestow invokes images of the
dried, weathered, worn and torn one
that kept night-watch from
the head of your once friendly bed.
strike, die, unnerve me.
leave me here to wither, burnt --
thirty silver coins.
stab me in the problem,
it all bleeds out sooner
Labor Day 1996
We sat in the grass of my Alma Mater,
Labor Days celebrations splattering
across nights heavenly canvas
like thick acrylics.
Sarah half undressed, me milking a
bottle of beer and caressing her
tender skin -- belly and breast
and all in between.
We sat in desolate parking lots
and ate our greasy McCheeseburgers,
Miles Davis playing on the radio,
Sarah half asleep in the front seat,
the other couple with us sitting
and smoking, speechless.
Then to the lake, where we separated --
Sarah and I went into the woods,
made wild love in the green dew-wet grass.
I drove those three home
and made haste to Steves house;
where I killed the Killians and
played my guitar -- where I
donned a dress as a joke,
and watched World War II movies
while trying to write -- where
I stayed up all night, French-kissing
the Muse until mornings light
shone through the windows, and
the crows began calling again.
In Booth At Perkins
and bitter smiles --.we are records
by the needle scratched.
Second straight no-sleep
day -- theres volumes to say,
but pens engine is stalled.
Racing With The Sun
Ten more hopeless pills
to help defeat the foe of sleep --
and like a pencil, the body is
ground down, leaving the mind
a finer point,
sharpening perception to provide
the insights that fuel
the engine of poem,
quieting the chatter
and permitting selfs purity
to drip from inkpens tip.
Today was made for racing
with the sun,
straining to remain one stride
ahead of time,
too exhausted to persist
but much too obstinate to quit.
Last Pall Mall
Smoked my last Pall Mall
until cherry burned fingers --
Was it worth the pain?
The Enlightenment Of David Koresh
Voice of David: O Great
who Am, exhausted
of the midwestern night,
tragic lover of women,
prophet, poet, and priest,
perpetrator of viscous
verbal murders and
and the cast
of his court --
Phantom of slumbering
swift thief of the marketplace,
engineer of roaring maniacal machines
of the American highway,
mad cackling leprechaun of Ft. Conservativille,
Mayberry, and Fulton Sheen madhouses,
and Atman shaman-man,
Tathagata the terrible,
Jolly Jah the heavenly toker,
Bethlehem Baby, and
Bard of Scarlet Babylon,
how may I serve thee?
Voice of Divine: With a firm rhythmic grip and lather or Vaseline.
In Rainstorm With Regan
Her tattered denims
are as wet as the cracked road,
bluejeans loosely hang
on slippery hips,
her curved perfection barely
Driving into night --
this glassy plathjars my home
away from laughter.
Snow falling -- in the
leafless tree, a starling picks
at frozen berries.
Prayer To Our Lady Of The Mad
She smells of girl;
a timid Venus, a fragile flower,
the furious female --
mythical mad madonna --
Shes the forbidden fruit --
a quixotic queen for my Oedipus --
shes wordful and wailful and weally quite wonderful --
a fit of giddy giggling at requiem --
Shes the shyly innocent snickering firetruck or
hydrant lipstick candy apple Crayola plastic of
some forgotten joyous toy roses are red-faced
blushing cousin kissing and touching and
grasping and groping and tearing and baring
breast and balls and inviting thighs in a
desperate and deviant eruption of erotic
exploration and "I dare you to dare me"-style
urgent limb-links --
the modern Mona Lisa --
the perfect Roman Catholic icon --
patron saint of the beautiful,
of the ruptured romance,
and of the bitter and bleeding hearted,
pray for us.
End Of Term
eyes MacIntosh apple red, greasy hair tangled and mangled --
ward off women with needley beard and staccato stutter speech --
caffeine and nicotine jitterbugging weak and groaning bones,
flogged and flustered muscles tendon-taut, and joints
crackle like infant ice on a December sidewalk.
abused reeking body, four days unbathed, seeking solace
in bed or bottle --
throttle the throats that ate my peace!
Cincinnati On Vine
sitting on top of a washing machine in the middle
of Sudsy Malones -- the bottles are empty and
the bottles are broken and the bottles are lonely
and their drinkers are dancing -- Saturday night
ska on the cigarette air -- Boots and boots and
more good boots stomping along to the upbeat
bounce -- girls skirts a splash of plaid in this
mad cess-pool of sweat -- I dive in to dance
and get bashed in the head by an elbow thats
keeping the beat -- I dance and I dance
for as long as I can, then walk back to the
washer for a smoke and a seat.
Song Of Simon
Sheriff Simon Leis,
youre the controlling swollen cock
that spits its thick-sticky seed over the
virginal belly of Beauty, ragefully
fucking her into bleeding and weary
Conquer that slobbering slutted cunt
who was Beauty --
teach that bitch about family values;
show her how big your community standard is.
sting and bristle --
glazing the streets.
Not Over Road
The gold Accord rolled not over road,
but on an inch-thick sheet of ice and snow --
south down 71, west along 64,
and then on US 231 car spun on highways
slickness like an oversized dradle,
slid across the surface and flipped
in the shoulders ditch,
skidded like a ski through the grass snow and mud,
then landed upright on a hill,
autos nose extending over edge,
the Honda now dead --
balanced on the precipice,
a prototype for the scales of disaster.
The Royce: 1:27 A.M.
Im in the Royce that dont roll,
a restaurant without chain,
with a "Dr. Who"-prop jukebox,
flashing an oversized
belt-buckle of selections --
here the "good stuff " has fat
and hair curls out of
Stetson hats and
mesh-back caps to
dirty-work-shirt collars that peek
out from black jackets.
Its a smoking section with macaroni in the chili.
Requiem No.: Antebellum
I. Kiss me full of madness
and bury my sad bones.
I nearly killed us with my
curious hand, thus rusting
the trust that was forged
in the flame we lit in
your basement last winter,
rolling around on the floor,
Star Wars on the screen,
three in the morning, and
no thought of me leaving.
II. Now, two days unslept, I left this mess,
this aquiline mind behind the eyes
that held the shine we tried
to find in grinding our groins
together in those groan-moaning
games we played alone in
your home in days past, in
an antebellum union of you and I.
Will you light a lamp to lead me
out of the crying pines that stand in
the night as perches for ravens
and ladders to heavens that lie
inside the bonds we tied by
trying to die before we had
time to understand why we hide
beneath these haloes of pride,
these envious wings, and robes
woven and sewn with the twine of our lies?
Radiant, A Beacon
Down Temple Bar, OConnell, and Grafton
and through St. Stephens Green,
her face and haunting smile loomed before me,
sad and radiant,
a beacon on the shore from which I sailed
and long now to return.
At ODonaghues I sat and sucked down
whiskey and stout and stared at the
stained white top of the barrel
that served as table;
stared at the band as they played
their Irish folk;
stared at my cigarettes burning glow
that smoldered like my insides,
all knotted up like a length of rope
at Boy Scout camp.
I spend my nights driving now --
tires scream frustration at
and the stereo shouts blindly
into smoke-strangled air --
every song or hymn the speakers sing
is tribute to her beauty;
each melody a monument, a single brick
in the temple of her being.
And The World Disappeared
The last climactic act
replayed incessantly in his head --
her words, sweet and sad;
her tender embrace;
how both heart and breath
stopped as eyes locked and they
leaned in slow to share greater
truths with their lips --
love and passion overcame them,
powdery time dissolved in their mingled sweat,
and the world disappeared
in the fog of their longing.
The fog has yet to clear
and the world has yet to reappear --
and when he prayed,
his prayer was not for Gods,
but her ear.
Hands Nearly Snapping
We sat on the dusty hood of
my Camry, smoking and talking --
sat under the stars and insect-acned lights;
sat under one of Augusts final skies
and the weight of the words we couldnt say --
and I played the clown and sat
on her lap, rattling off my wishlist
for the coming Christmas;
an eight-year-olds voice
from a broken mans mouth --
and she giggled and held me
and I laughed along with her,
then stood to return to work --
and we kissed; lips moving in
smooth choreography, hands
nearly snapping the leash that
lashed them to the tree of decency.
Angelic Visions Of Suburbia #1:
Man in garage sweating over bloody
tortured daughter, praying quick with
a copy of "Home Surgery and Spot
Welding Made Easy".
Prayer Of Thanksgiving
This is all Ive ever
hoped for: two eyes,
a nose, and birth at an
Self-Amusement Made Easy
1. Shave off somebody elses eyebrows.
2. Learn to do embroidery using only your tongue.
3. Become a producer of geriatric pornography.
4. Protest the Roman Catholic Church for advocating the practice of cannibalism.
5. Learn all 214 cheeses native to France.
6. Count the brain cells at the mall.
7. Ask your local grocer if they carry Nipple Chips breakfast cereal.
8. Hand out bouillon cubes to children on Halloween.
9. Go to the police station and request a body cavity search -- again.
10. Shave off your pubic hair and staple it to your head.
11. Steal a midgets hat and put it on the top shelf.
12. Plant a tree in your hair.
13. Get your torso pierced.
14. Sexually assault someone with rubber fangs.
Where is the front of your ass?
Id been trembling and sick for two days. Itd come time to pull myself a little scam and pacify the sickness for a bit. Id already stolen a doctors coat and ID badge, so I rippled on down to the hospital to procure some morphine for my tenderloin forearms. Feet drum-thumped over broken stony pavement studded with fresh shoots of green, each step growing more hurried than the last -- I could feel the sickness swelling like some polluted wave. After immeasurable minutes I finally stumbled upon a door -- in I went and WHAM!!!
"Dr. Ferguson, patient in labor in 210!" I couldnt be found out, so off I went to 210 to deliver a baby. I walked in and theres some chick laying there with her legs obtuse, and screaming like the Living God was twisting her nipples. She was a tasty young black thing, maybe twenty, with a hatchlings head peeking out of her elastic egg.
I threw my full concentration into mining that rugrat -- and slowly but surely, the little lizard came slithering out. I glanced up at the girl and realized that the act of passing the kid had caused her head to be sucked down into her chest cavity. In an attempt to rescue the girl, I did the only logical thing -- if her head was sucked in as the baby came out, putting the child back inside of her should pop her cranium out of her torso, and then additional precautions can be made for the second delivery. I started to shove that shit back up her --
Husband: "What the hell you doin, muthafucka!?!"
Me: "I must replenish your wifes head, dear sir."
Husband: "You jackass stupid rat-soup-eatin honky muthafucka! Her head dont need no replenishin! Her afro wigs just fallen down over her face!"
I tossed the wailing little fucker aside and bolted to the head of the bed to see what the fuck was actually happening -- there was only a black wig resting on a hollowed skull.
The holes are holy!
windows and doors --
huge holes in the wall --
providers of sight and passage
to new rooms and views
with distance, width, and mystery.
The holes the givers and takers --
holes in the ground
of fathers and lovers --
Hole in the lid the lender
to fluttering lightning bug --
Holes in the sky,
Holes in the night
On This Scrotum
The trees are but hairs on
this scrotum called earth;
were just the crabs God
is trying to scratch.
Open Legs, Screaming Lips
beating off in
immaculate bathrooms --
Ive never felt so all alone and smile-dry --
to kill you now would be a sin, Ill wait a week
and find the virtue.
we, junkies and queers in mayflower police states.
Sheriff Leiss got a hardon for Maplethorpe babies --
Ive got one for a thousand teary girls.
we, who spend our nights screwed up on junk,
stroking dreams of open legs and screaming lips --
In summer all the virgins died --
beating off in
In summer all the virgins died --
finding God in
were stuck in this poor German town
with whoring mayors and nazi gamesmen,
blind judges and deaf-mute bishops,
swarmy Catholics all tied up in rosaries.
I spent an indelible naked night
perched on a young Italian girl,
sucking hay like a famished warhorse
and tender throat like a cool parasite.
stories spent on homophobes float
like marble in week-old
intuitive glance showed me
shiny new fields
filled with graffiti lords,
naked to the weekend highway,
tossing off clothes like a tortured
spear, aching for camaraderie
of a new stranger, prettier
than the last.
Ive been out for a hit
since I kicked that habit.
Love was Gods junk,
woman a fresh spike,
and I aint scored since
London lost me
to the sun.
Ive been lookin --
beating off in immaculate
no angels in the coffee,
no buddhas in the gathering.
we feasted in honor of
our past lives --
we, who spent our nights doused
in porno flicks
and timid gropings.
usve grown weary of squinty eyes
and suspicious sayings --
Ill take what you give me
and exult in my own.
Simple Simon -- the kids need their vitamins
Simple Simon -- ban that jazz, ban that razzmatazz.
This is your town! Cmon Simon, turn us upside
down and flip around and suck a cock for all
the young Republicans.
This is fucking America!
We can suck cocks!
Yesterday o yesterday
oh wheres the day
who walked away?
are you crumpled and crinkled,
crushed like a discarded newspaper
laying dead in the parking lot of a grocery store?
Are you stomped and chomped and in the
extinguished like a spent cigarette?
What fateful death awaits you?
You always were the type to die on April Fools Day.
I shouldve known;
Ive always known;
prove me wrong,
Man Thinking On Past Lover
He contemplates life in
this age of inversion --
with greasy hair and yellowed
fingers, head bathed
in the filth of betrayal.
He can remember her climax --
fond yesterdays of
gracious spasms --
bright convulsions of acceptance,
dim shrugs of understanding.
The Riddle She Wore
He was snared by her eyes --
lassoed in a glance both innocent and obscene --
tangled in the mystery that hung from her shoulders
like a gown.
He waited for something that he couldnt define --
a magic formula, a newly magnetic aura,
some way to unravel the riddle she wore.
Alone, he stewed in a cowards broth,
convinced that tomorrow she would
understand. He reached out to catch her
beauty and found he had no hands.
Tomorrows just a myth.
Like Libidinous Birds
He pulled the car into motels parking lot --
out they got and walked into the office.
He wore a hunter green camel hair jacket,
black pants, and a pair of cordovan wingtips.
She was wrapped in second skin of ruby-hued
velvet and her curves were seduce-me-blue
music, a lonely saxophone note hanging on
the air of an August night.
He laid his forty dollars on the counter and
the man handed him the key to room 433 --
they stood pressed together in front of walls mirror,
he behind she, arms wrapped around,
hands meandered over breasts,
then migrated south like libidinous birds
and lifted the hem of her velveteen skin;
the serpentine girl shed her red
to show new shades of pink;
she turned around;
he knelt down at that altar and
traced novenas with his tongue;
slipped between her lips a finger ringed
with sterling Virgin Mary;
threw her to the too-firm bed
and performed more of his
then slid into her slippry silkgrip
and added both the ones to achieve a single two.
They performed their golden eagle dance,
free-falling with talons locked,
trusting in each other to know the crucial second,
missing the earth by an inch,
then opning wings to scale the wind
and throw the world beneath them.
O, deciduous me!
Its time to stand as pine
and keep green needles
to drink in the light.
Im always losing my leaves
and left naked all winter;
seeing the sun but unable
to taste it, skeletal and frigid,
without a way to absorb
An Elegant Concept
Listening to Mozarts "Requiem",
it seems an elegant concept:
composing your own death mass
shortly before your Exit --
premonitions of death spiraled
through my head and I wrote
my own wordful requiem;
I just keep forgetting to die.
A Clouded Algebra
The rain falls like mournful
drops from the eyes of my fathers;
crying for what Ive become
and the path I must tread;
for the sentence that I serve
in the prison of feeling,
for the blue my eyes conceal
and the way I hold my pen.
Im searching for Shambala
wearing glasses sans lenses,
figuring for "x" using numbers
Ive invented, solving cross-eyed
equations that always equal one.
Where are the figures of sense and
whos living in my crowded skull?
What is that dream I cant remember?
Why do I feed upon the moon?
My Stratocasters sprawled across the lawn chair --
the concrete Virgin Mary statue lays on its back
in the still-dead flowerbed, a breeze
up its dress, deflowered now by the
Old Glory flaps its tattered stripes in the sun-drunk
a honeybees precariously perched on the syrupy
rim of my drink, balanced on the cups
white plastic lip, nervously sauntering
along the line between drowning and
a mother robin pecks the ground, sticks her face
in the dirt, and searches for a worm to
vomit back up for her young --
Why is catsup always "fancy" ?
In The Anxious Sky
The stars are being eaten
from the sky --
handfuls swallowed whole by
the cities insatiable neon,
a countless amount consumed
by the smokey beast
of industry --
Orions martial belt is being
gnawed on by a tailpipe;
the virgins vestal dress
torn by a streetlights
dismantled by a wrench
The old photographs stare
out from their frames like
caged creatures at the zoo --
moments captured to serve
as reminders for the mind
and targets for the eye --
unflinching and reliable,
the smile is always there
and the loved one never dies.
Robe Was Not Woven
The vacant shell of caskets corpse
proved to me that the soul exists --
I saw my grandma before the funeral
and it wasnt her stretched out
in that white spectral box;
it was some leathery mannequin
wearing too much perfume,
her sunken, bony face caked
with tasteless make-up,
the glow not only dim now
but extinguished, radiating
nothing from her core --
old NaNa was a nova with a
shine all wrapped around her,
and that robe was not woven
by body or mind;
its they that die,
not the mystery-glint that glimmers
in the iris of the eye.
Sermon On The Mount
Theres a foot-and-a-half high statue
of Jesus revealing Sacred Heart anchored
atop small rock pile in backyards
circular flowerbed --
cemented to stone to prevent winds
heretical breath from knocking this
concrete Christ into mulch, dead leaves,
and mud below him --
mounted to his miniature Mount,
he gives his sermon to the grass
and other plants that surround him,
but not a sound escapes those
immobile, stony lips.
struggling under impossible labor, he surges on,
bearing fruit and redemption to lazy queens.
dodging terrible footsteps and childs looking glass,
he surges on, hard-armored and precise.
Glance To A Gaze
My eyes made their rounds of the room
like a machine-gun lawn sprinkler --
over Catholic-school-green heaters edge dangled
a pair of perfectly curved and fluid legs --
my glance turned to gaze;
the stare staggered up her bodys swerving road
and froze at the oasis of her face --
she was a misplaced angel;
the white of her skin was like the silken, pale
shine of candlelight behind clouded glass,
her hair the kind of golden warm that only children can imagine,
and her innocent emerald eyes were filled up to their lids
with infuriating riddles.
Stained Glass Faces
My parents always took me to
Saturday mass when I was a kid --
I saw faces in the stained-glass patterns
and believed that the Eucharist was
slices of banana handed out at intermission;
the crown of thorns enthralled me
and the crucifixion hypnotized,
though I was always more enamored
with the Roman and his spear;
enchanted by his brutish look of violence,
infected by his predatory germ.
Ive wasted my life waiting at red lights --
finger clinking Zippo open, its wheel spinning gainst
flint to spark the fluid-wet wick into flame that
kisses cigarettes tip while mouth inhales from
other end and fills both lungs and throat with a
burning cloud of habit --
digging through backseats shitheap for a cassette-tape
whose music isnt as stale as baguette thats
been stripped of plastic bag and left to sit on
kitchen table --
scanning the channels for a tune that suits me;
hoping for a signal that proclaims it safe to carry on.
On Sidewalk In Chicago
Ahhh...... sweet jazz, beautiful women,
hot damn, could be heaven --
thick-hipped black women
and mad-minded derelicts,
city stripped to the bone,
this is real and true --
hot black streets
and corner jazz and blues,
the town and its music
are women sweaty in heat,
raging hormonal, bucking hips;
good pure american city
wrapped in filth and grime
like a bag-lady madonna.
America -- voracious collector of pavement and withered dreams,
left hand of the devil, it wasnt Pandora but
Columbus who opened the box of the Beast --
America -- youre standing on another mans planting land --
you pillaged his rivers and factored his forests --
remember Karma, America --
America -- youre a puzzle pieced together by pride and pain,
your soul leaked out through the creases --
America -- land of the niggerschincsspicsandmics with
toes in both oceans, tied tight between glacier
and flame, youre a boiling stew -- your
ingredients are pulling apart and forming
their factions --
America -- why ignite yourself like neon sexshop signs?
youve lost all sense of mystery and the beyond --
America -- your flags wave out of duty, not desire --
Cant you rekindle their drive and their fire?
America -- your old men are picking through garbage cans
for food -- What about your bounty?
America -- youre a junky -- theres permanent needles
pricking the jugular Ohio, even more in
arterial Mississippi -- your strained veins pulse
and pound with gasoline and fine white cocaine,
your heart is turning itself inside-out with
hidden bombs and secret soldiers -- there
are mad commanders hidden in the corn --
America -- youre a fagot asshole greased with Vaseline --
America -- your days are dim and fleeting --
America -- I plead to you to shatter your soul cages,
the pages hold the keys --
America -- youre a blind man or an imbecile,
never knowing your treasures --
youre suffocating your prophets with greedy
green paper pillows --
Now I call on your America -- glorify the poet as priest
of the everlasting, untie and take the gags
and rags from mouth and hand and hold
the microphone for us while we stand in
chorus and trumpet:
"I am ME and me be FREE!"
The felines night
is exploding with
Nine Dollars And Sixty-Seven Cents
Started the first dollar-earning work Ive done in months,
sacrificed my life of coffeepot camaraderie
and lonely latenight writing --
For nine dollars and sixty-seven cents
Ive rented out my contentment like
a motel room with an hourly rate;
and come morning , the sheets that
took me a month to clean are rank
smelling and stained all over again.
For nine dollars and sixty-seven cents
Im lifting seventy pound mailsacs and
pitching them down the steel slide,
where theyre gutted like green canvas
fish and their insides sorted according
to destination, size, and nationality.
I blister and skin my fingers on the belt,
pulling off packages and piles of loose letters,
blackening my hands like a holiday bird,
and sweating myself as dry as burnt toast.
Wandering Through London, Summernight
The night is clothed in intrigue;
like a cigarette clenched and glowing
in the mouth of a shadow.
Scenes of silly frat boys caught with their pants down,
playing with their tennis balls and speed rounds
and microscopes --
Make mine a telescope!
We wee poets, we solemnly fondle our semantics
and sarcasm, pump our pens, and laughingly baffle
all of the doctors --
We(e) drops of whiskey,
us chemical cons,
we congregate together
these crazy days.
The sun hung between the clouds
like a tacky gold medallion
shining out from an open shirt --
a brilliant yellow disc
to assault the passing eye.
O withered rose petal,
before you flutter to the ground,
remember that youre hers now
and belong not to the earth.
Looting The Tomb
Was it instinct or addiction
that led me back to this creekbed
to walk upon its mossy rocks?
What is this compulsion
to feel winters frigid whip
of wind crack against my cheek,
to camouflage my hands
with fragrant mud?
The blackthorn cane I bought in Dublin
dug up bones of an animal
that had forgotten its name and structure,
this Humpty Dumptys time-stained shellbits
laid there deconstructed and jumbled
among the acorns, twigs, and deadsoggy leaves.
I collected the remains
of the bodys collapsed frame
and put them in my jacket --
there was a feeling of weird power
when I stuck those fleshless bits
of death into my nervous pocket --
a scalpel blade of clarity sliced through
minds skin and I split-second glimpsed
into the open wound:
I learned that Ive lived through each forever
and will never cease to be;
that nothing has ever died;
that death cannot destroy,
only rearrange the shapes --
its unbending metal hangers
to unlock the bedroom door.
A Desperate Shine
The bloated moon sat at the
edge of the sky like a swimmer
who was too timid to jacknife
through the waters chill --
she straddled the red-faced horizon
like a child on a tree limb
and taunted the daylight
with her lazy, cratered form --
as the sun slid behind the distant hills
and nights black-eyed blue tapestry
was being hung across the sky,
a pranksters hand or loss of balance
uprooted fat Luna from her perch --
she tripped over the stars
and stumbled up the sky;
she clung to evenings fabric
and hung from the darkness;
she dangled in the black,
drunk with terror,
and her stonyscarred face
reflected a silvery light.