Monthly Archives: June 2015


life hardened and fallen
into unpleasant places

each season of acid
eating away at memory

until what is left
is unbearably true

like a tsunami
in a Japanese fishing village

Love Songs and Other Accidents

The azaleas are in bloom
and the TV warns of toenail fungus
and gutters that need cleaning
but might not if you buy something.

In these long days of circling light,
we give our love to churches, countries,
TV products, and other small accidents
while sediments build up beneath our feet.

Taxis line up at the airport.
Things happen as expected.
Suitcases are loaded.
Turns are taken.

Hank Williams fell in love at first sight
and later claimed his new wife
with a gun, in a restroom.
She’s mine now, he told her boyfriend.
She never left him.

Some love songs aren’t pretty.
Maybe Hank’s came when
thinking browned out
and the back pain made him
want to shit out his bones.
“I’m so lonesome, I could cry…”

When Words Lose Their Meaning

When words lose their meaning, I listen for the sounds they make. 
Some are like dirty water swirling in a can. Some are like deflating a truck tire. 

Some are like when a child dumps her blocks on a tile floor. 

When words become their opposites I look for their history, their DNA. Many have traveled a long road to be mishandled by patriots. Their dignity is not diminished. 

When César Lehmann, the lead singer of the Spanish rap-rock band Def Con Dos, was arrested by military police and accused, under Spain’s new gag law, of inciting terrorism, his words sounded like a hammer annealing hot iron. 

The words of the government official sounded like cheap pants ripping when someone has grown fat stealing from widows and old veterans. 


hot day
slight wind at dusk

a hummingbird zips in
to drink at our fountain

bending the air around it
making a place to stand

Obama on Poetry

It’s not clear that we would survive without poetry. 

–Barack Obama, April 27, 2015

Here’s to You

May the skin of you ass never cover a banjo!

–Welch toast

The Poet John Ashbery Reads Hemingway

Sometimes the Old Man lost the bawdy odor. He was a luridly large fish, fast and ripped. His back was pimpled with sky colors, mostly blue though.

His maw was the thing. It opened and closed like vicious theater curtains. That was it, curtains.

You didn’t have to see much of that to think of Egyptian pyramids or fingers running everywhere with long nails sloshing the water around.

The Old Man played his autoharp, waiting as he watched the lurid lump come closer. Waiting was right up his alley.