11 Oct 2017

New Work. Oct 2017

Weird people

Not the different
Not the odd
Not the dysfunctional
Round peg in square hole

But the weird
Those who are kind of
Slippery and glossed
Calm and sallow with a
Volume never above a mediocre

Untrustworthy and nauseating
Happy and agreeable and
Out for themselves only
Ever and for

They are sly and cut like razors
And so you bleed out before even
Finding a wound
And they are the majority
The climbers like
Spiders on a web of success
Reaching the top and dying
Still ignorant but richer

 Normal people

We are small
And caring and look too far
See too much
We understand the fire
The insect and the elephant

You have no idea
The difficulty in maintaining this
To awaken every morning into anything but
And yet still become the shape of it
The weight of normality continuing
Permanently crushing
Unceasing and tireless

Our days an unseen high-wire act
Between street and office and café and
Finally home
And throughout our finite tolerance
We still manage to love and compound our art
Into the everyday hum

And it becomes at times impossible
To maintain the
Façade that we are part of this
Square onto square onto

And we are small
But not the smallest
We look too far but are not blinded
By it
We are nothing like you.

1 Oct 2017

Dying Laughing


The gods are not the artists
The painters or
God forbid not even the musicians
Though they come in a
Close second

It is the comics
The comedians driving from city to city
On lonely roads of sadness
The stand-ups that hold a mic
And control and dominate
And finally overpower all
Those faces beyond the spotlight

These are the souls racing far ahead
Of the rest of us
Words coming at you unfettered
Brutal truths direct to your third eye

These are the gods
It is not a painting
With a hundred meanings
Or a poem swollen with

They instead send us rock and soil and the
Air we breathe
And nothing I could ever write will
Come close.

26 Sep 2017

Dream up to the bell

She wakes up at 4am
Makes a god awful racket
Though trying not to
Flushes and gets back in
Feet cold after only a few minutes

It always wakes me in that half dream
Kind of way
Where you’re there but also not
Your toes still off the ground
Then back into it I go

Other nights I dream right up to the bell
It goes off and you open your eyes
In a micro second turning the sharp corner
From some rainbow/dead friend/Atlantic ocean
To a white sheet and blond hair in your face
And wondering why the sun
Hates you so goddamn much
Coming up as it does

Burning away out there uncaring and
Unaware of you
But pushing you forward towards
Your small day with its bits and pieces
Screws and fixings and dust and clutter
And all the needful things

A push and pull of digging in your heels
Rolling up your sleeves and
Hoist the black flag, as the man said
But then also
To see an end
A beautiful end and remain powerful enough
To climb toward that too

A cycle of wanting and the waking world chasing that
Want from you
And there is no secret to any of this
Other than to fight against the days
Follow the sun
Rest in shadow
Keep dreaming right up to the bell.

29 Aug 2017

8 to 5

I am not drunk enough
There is wine but
It is a school night
And a hot bath just took me for all I have
Listening to Joni Mitchell and drifting

I even had the beginnings of a story
About a man newly homeless
Surviving on the free things of life
But that too has drifted away

It is a stranger’s bath
Better than ours
It swallows you and the taps are a classic
Brass with china handles
None of this is important
To anyone but me

I am not drunk at all
It is Monday night and I am ready to sleep
Already at barely 9.30
What in god’s name happened to us all?
I lay blame at the job
The money that buys things and
Loses me time

But I need my red meat
My steak and good bottle of red
Or sweet oak of a dark bourbon
I need the car and the books and music
How to reconcile and balance the scales
There is no conceivable way

No poet will survive this
Barbaric age.