Category Archives: SelectedPoems0

Trump’s Inaugural Address Under Erasure

Today we became the rulers
The public, rusted-out
and scattered like tombstones
American carnage
This sad depletion our country
disappeared over the horizon

America first!

The ravages, stealing and destroying
will lead to great prosperity and strength
I will never, ever let you win
Radical Islamic Terrorism
the bedrock of our politics

Total allegiance
Open your heart to patriotism
Now arrives the empty hour of action
Our soldiers will bleed
the same red blood
and be ignored again

Sex Habits of Martyrs

The sex habits
of martyrs

the two I know of
were both

and prolific

Driving to church 
doesn’t mean

you have to stay
in the slow lane

Dealey Plaza-November 22, 1963

The motorcade moves stately and slow
through the oddly intimate space

Above, in the book depository window
a nail-thin shadow

The first shot disorients the driver–
and he slows down–even more

Then the second
Then the third

Finally he zooms under the overpass

There is a copper penny taste in your mouth
and a roaring in your ears
Your arms fly up to embrace
the awful change that is coming
Your vision narrows

The bleached world begins to tilt
A magpie in the tree by the road
A song you heard your mother hum
when she walked you to church

Soon will come the caisson and the drums
But right now, just the magpie
and the humming

Long Lining the Heart

Like a deep ocean drift net
Cut loose by the mother ship
Drifting with the carcasses of tuna and hake
Twisted forever into its skeins,
Your poetry haunts me,
Anne Sexton.

The Secret Life of Words

Bagel backwards is slegab
which sounds like a town in Wales

Hearsay backwards is yasraeh
which sounds like a seminary in Israel

College backwards is egelloc
which sounds like a Klingon food

Maybe if I make words say their names backwards
they will reveal their secrets to me

like turning a talking stick upside down
and listening to the waterfall of seeds

or breaking a cottonwood twig at a joint
to see the secret star inside


In Madrid
burning like a green stick fracture
all the unemployed indignados

whose grandfathers rolled the Republican cannons
are lighting fires in the squares
to burn in absentia

the corrupt refuse cabal of bankers
and real estate development whores
who have sold their beloved country

for a toxic mess of derivative stew
and a few photo opportunities
with Javier Bardem and Selena Gomez

Spandau Prison

An entire prison in Berlin
maintained for years for one man — Rudolph Hess,
the last Nazi, founder of the luftwaffe,
the last of Hitler’s inner circle.

It drew me like a magnet
when I was young and the old man was still alive.
i walked up to it
ignoring the sign that said
anyone crossing a painted line
was in danger of being shot–
like a dumb American, really?
I thought.

The guard in the tower
waved me away wildly
until I realized how much
fear there was of this
old man.

Hess eventually hanged himself
with an electrical cord.

His work was done.