Solitary Affair

I can't live this lie another moment
I must confess my faithlessness

…To a solitary affair

I have been intimate
…With myself

I have told the truth
And watched the movies that I love
I have held myself
And laughed for no good reason

I have remembered that odd waiter in New York
And made my quiet inside joke
About his Freddy Mercury moustache
And his inappropriate trousers

I have sat and watched the sun come up
Cried for long-lost and much-loved pets
I have rehashed old and endless arguments

Which on reflection
I have validated
And finally won

I have argued with myself
And even hated
Had angry sex
Makeup sex
Quick and selfish in the shower
Or bathing long and languorous and alone

It has been an effortless commitment

And some might say
All this is innocent enough
Why bother with confession
There are no victims of this
So-called indiscretion

But that's … not true

Long before I was unfaithful
I escaped - Ran away

That is how
I came to know
I have to go

Everything must change

…Now I … know that

I cannot love myself
…Without first
Leaving you


I have an
Evolution of thought:

Don't search for resolution

Don't be so quick
To seek

One stage of rage
Is merely to
Acknowledge it

Sure resolution comes
But the quest for
Restitution dumbs me down

I know the dissolution of my
From forgiveness
Will come

But do not
Numb me

Don't pacify me yet

Let me
be enraged
… Engaged

Later I will forgive
But first I will be angry

For me
This is a revolution

Full Stop

The purging of an egg
From womb to tomb
A new death
An old beginning
No wonder I'm sad

This monthly grieving
Grips me and
Lest I dare forget
Clamps me

Cramps me?

That's just a pale invented word
An extremity
A bare approximation for
This motion-emotion

Inside it is far more and less

Pulled inwards down
Dragged down
To the size of a half-child I cannot see
Crushed to fetal comfort
Savage in its intensity
Insanely selfish for attention
Clamped to my origin
If continued would I in-fold?
Turned outside-in
Like some impossible animation?

I am crushed to singularity

And wrung out
Like some saturated
Psychic sponge I
Expel - These eggs - Expunge - Ex purge - Yes purge

Exhausted all my last
Regrets emerge
Putting purpose to my pain
Compelled to re-grieve all my exes
All my pasts

Time passes

And all those once and former princes of my passions
Become flushed clots - Passed clods
Full stops

For now

Sweet All

Ah, sweet all
‘Tis a pity I cannot sing now
To your poor and mortal ears
As you call for uzz to sing a song

But as I lean back
From this marvelous groaning board
As I lean back gently
Rubbing my proportions
Celebrate that I am here
And dine with the fallen gods
Friends now passed and friends I yet have met

Ah well
I would have loved to speak my own words
Resounding with the swell of Shakespeare
Or that other lad
An' now t’would have been lovely to make you cry
With songs of Yeats and other faerie loves

Ah but never feast on your regrets
I leave you there fair

Ah the past
Never mind the drab windows
Or all the rubbish parts
The only thing worth carrying
Is all your blessed hearts
And all your faults
And kindnesses

I sit here now
As the ale passes round
And my the food is good
And the craic is something marvelous
So many songs that I have never heard
That it will take eternity to learn them all
How I sang with you my friends
Now I sing forever
Of a long life and a wet mouth

Sure it falls to you
To stand your shout
To raise a hale and hearty glass
And belt one out for all of us
…And all our foolish failings

Jazz Izz

Spin it
Two minutes and fifty-nine seconds
Or count it out
One Hundred
Plus another Seventy Nine
S’your dime
That’s fine
Got all the space I need to make my time
In Two: fifty-nine

Jazz is the space between the notes
Jazz is the space

Between the notes
Jazz is
Jazz is
The expectation of
The syncopation of

The space between the notes
Yah dig it?

It’s the pauses
Not the clauses

Cut them into quarters twice and twice again
And I got spaces to the power of ten

I can break a heart
Fool around
Roll you over in the clover
And still have space left over

Jazz is the words between the notes
Jazz is the words

Between the notes
Jazz is
The alliteration of
The reiteration of

The words between the notes
Yah dig it?

Playing with all those crazy mad ellipses
Eclipses sound
Yah ha

Let me show you now the score

And Honey
If you're looking at all them dots
You gots
It wrong
You surely know that aint the song

Hoo boys
Them notes is noise

Jazz sings the words between the notes
Jazz sings the words

Between the notes
Jazz sings
The hesitation of

The anticipation of

The song between the notes

Call it two minutes and fifty-nine
Or count the seconds one hundred
Plus another seventy-nine
S'your dime

That's fine

Got all the space I need
For all the words I need
To sing all the songs I need

My Jazz

Like me

Izz Filled with

… Syncopated

Found Album

I stare at this found album
Each half recognized face
A fractional memory
I can't remember the conversations or the slights
The fights
I think I liked him - I think I had a crush on her
Or vice versa

It wasn’t that I turned my back on them
I just looked forward - Out

Escaping to the gaping
Mouth of …
Running to the empty
Pit of …
The vacuum of
… What now?

Not running away … No


I didn't know nostalgia could crush so much
But then I suppose I did
And that is why I never could look back
Not conceiving anyone might care
Nor conceding
I still can't

Beyond the - Occasional - Saloon bar
Whatever happened to what's her name?

Theirs were pinched out lives
Of course they all went on
To do the things that real people do
Being faithful and unfaithful
Coming to god for the children's sake
And battling with addiction
Or paying off that second home
Or not

And I took strange comfort in the fact
That they might assume me to be dead
Sad in the abstract for a moment
But no real or specific pain
And nothing to explain

Selfishly that worked for me
Taking all their histories in the aggregate
Freed me from conscience

Now this album of awakened ghosts
Reveals the nature of my comatose
And isolated state
I did not ache
For then
I mostly hated

But then I stare into that telescopic past
And realize I've been hypnotized by the highway
I was awake the whole time
I would have crashed if not

But I don't know how I got … here

So I look vainly for landmarks
Or some version of myself
In all those ancient photographs
And the only thing I recognize
Is I
…Was never there

Jimmy's Demons

Pretty Jimmy
With his gods and demons
Plays both sides
Losing twice

Pretty Jimmy
Faking like some He-man
That he's doing all he can

Shakes down his tricks and demons

It's a grim
A taxi dance

Meter running on his last chance
He takes cab fare
To feed his demons

But they only feed
On him


I am in tears

I am in joy

I am in passion

I am in fear

I am in rage

I am naked of expectation
I am free


I roller blade - hit a crack and fall
I hit a crack while roller blading
I fall
It is the crack that made me fall
Not the roller blading

It is my ego that made me think
That I could roller blade
I therefore fell

When I was not so brittle as to crack
I rolled with punches

Now I am less flexible
More frangible
More tangible this ground
I crack and fracture

Roller blade

No matter how
Finely I divide this
I still can find a crack
Inside it
Large enough
To make this roller blader fall


We who hibernate meet those who aestivate in spring
Get together and in the break between our
Restive states…

Festive dates
May First a queen and lady day

And then again in Fall
Some Hallow weekend ball

Between the Summer and the Winter sleeps
A moment between realities

In winter I am bedded in my clothes
Wrapped in down and comforter
Uncomfortably down

In summer I am dressed in nothing much
Wrapped in oil and musculature
Uncomfortably high

I am festive somewhere in between these seasonal phases
Two intermissions
Parenthesized by street borne
Intemperate crazes

Dog days and Jack Frost hazes
Sandwich my sanity

Old Dog

Floating Across the field with liquid grace

Back straight
Legs driving
Paws that barely scratch the ground

A perfect illusion of movement
As if you trot in place
And it is the land that moves away

A flurry of leaves
Alerts you to your nature
Your passion for order
A phantom flock

Unruly sheep
To stalk and herd

And job well done

Come away boy
Stay back
Look back
...And smile

My civilized wolf
My herder of dreams
My friend

That’ll do

Bad Art & Man's Best Friend

I turn and my aesthetic reels
As if hit with a blunt object
I see
What I have been told is street art

Abstract in that it is badly rendered
Expressionistic in that I think I recognize it as an object
It is wrought iron
And not rusting fast enough

I sense the art
But only in the deceitful poetry
Of the budget proposal
That spawned this shite

Those council led
And counseled words
“Respect for Environment”
“Old Meets New”
“Social Commentary and Iconic Landmark”

Fabulous and artistic lies

Our children will look at it
Reluctant to melt it down
To put the material to some more productive and artistic use
Like parking meter poles
Or manhole covers

They will fail to label it correctly
As folly without humor

As unintentional satire
An expensive symbol
Of political expedience

No... They will perpetuate
And create new lies
“Part of the community”
“Culture of an era past…
… Demanding conservation”

As if antique
Somehow worth preserving

I see a dog cock its leg
Spraying his nectar of corrosion

I consider this canine
And erosive commentary

I buy some street-meat from a nearby vendor
Tear it into small pieces
And scatter it at the statuary base

Artists need encouragement
But we must also feed our critics

A New Yorker Sketch

A New Yorker Sketch
Way, way east of the Lower East Side
Spain – crushed by Franco
Proclaimed by Hemingway
And late lamented

This Bebop expectation
Fuelled by Harlem wealth
Onto a self-conquered nation
Pentecostal zeal
Meets pentatonic stealth

Yeah…Funkin, Moorish
Opium baked and desert caked
Sirocco’d - Morroco’d - Kerouac’d then castaway
Tapped out and taken high
Castanet approval and a white ole

A White Ole

Takes a black, rented horn
So what the player’s scorned
This don’t call for café au lait

But Heroin hooked
And crème brule

Five points
Five or more to the four

This place where
Latino, Nehgro
Jewed, Gentile
Arab Style
Azul da blues

Black charcoal
On a city street

Muddied by Manhattan rain
Blurred sketches of Spain

Mistaken Sense

Now and then I still remember when
We used to laugh too hard
At jokes we didn’t understand ourselves

Forgetting that the laughter turned out flat
When bitterness crept in

At slights we didn’t understand ourselves

And I wonder how I lost myself in you
‘Came uncertain as to what I ought to do

And I wonder how we went from

To Gods
I cannot stand the sight of you

I miss our love

The silken fist inside a velvet glove

And sometimes I mistake that sense of loss

…for missing you


Within stillness
There is no room for suffering
Or any other expectation
Just gentleness

And perhaps a little truth


Is not work or toil
Just the harmless


Of standing still

Immersed in self
And other-self

Moistened by truth
And other-truth

I have learned
To be tranquil as a lake

That understands her place

Loyal to her truth

Pole Dancer

I improvise your dreams
As if they’re yours
But that’s only how it seems

In the balance of expression
You are the substance of my impression
I am the printer’s block
To your paper made of reed

So who shows what to whom?
A dancer in the light
Or an audience that is trapped within its self-reflective gloom

My buxom exhibition
Of untold inhibition
Is movement given voice
A voice you wished you had

Heel and toe, calf and loin
The well rehears-ed elements of style
Creation echoed in your groin

You see

This notion of exposure
Is a fiction of composure
For I am made of flesh

…And you of need


Passioned Fertile
Fragrant Wild
Virgin Madness
Blooded by hunger
This is a landscape of my birth

A Market Fair
Flat and Far
Untidy, Busy
Messy Mismatched
Patched and
Somehow Saved
This is a landscape of my day

The graceful arch of a bay
A shimmering of leaves in a coastal breeze
The promise born of sidewalks aching from the sun-warmed days
Conspirators of an evening yet to come
This is a landscape of my night

A sunrise grazed by sands
Duned by whispered winds
A watery and golden path
Fair and unknown
This is a landscape of my hope

But there are brushstrokes yet unpainted
And images untainted
In another landscape
But there are palettes yet uncolored
And hues yet undiscovered
In another landscape
But there are vistas yet unseen
And views yet unperceived
In another landscape

My own: So

No… Virgin Forest:
Lest Rousseau be reviled
No… Long Awaited County Fair
Lest Wickersham be wasted
No… Bay of Angels
Lest Dufy be defiled
No… Sunrise between Two Headlands
Lest Turner be untasted

Those are those artists' landscapes
And though I owe to them a deep abiding debt
It is not to honor artists by
Reproducing their vicarious flaws
Instead to honor their attempts at mirrored truth

The grand escape and the glory of them all
They faced the barren hopelessness of empty space
The wasteland of a blank canvas