Sunday, December 30, 2012


Wheat fields & corn
Fields intersected &
Bisected by telephone
Lines & railroad tracks
Framed by culverts &
Dirt roads surveyed by
Crow black shadows
Under a benevolent
Sky of rain & sun &
Usually enough so’s
To stave off hunger
For another year or
The ravings of the
Local lunatic brayin’
About the end of the
World according to
Some ancient calendar
Nobody understands
Or gives 2 shits about
Long as there’s gas in
The machinery & the
Well holds water the
Apocalypse can
Fend for itself


Sunday, December 23, 2012


Still writing about
Places I’ve never
Been prairies I’ve
Never sailed seas
I’ve never walked
Upon not that I
Could I’m not that
Good a fisherman
I’m the one usually
Gets caught in
The bloody net
Daydreaming of a
Way out looking
At the world thru
Tiny windows of


Friday, December 21, 2012


The stone feels
Hard cool to touch
Almost eternal
If not for time &
Elements weighing
No more than ice
On the lake yet
Hardly buoyant
Sinking in the muck
Slowly slipping its
Moorings one day
Surpassing what
Lies buried beneath
Sharing its story
With the roots &
The worms finally
Poking thru the
Crust on the ass
End of the world
To exclamations
& reverberations
& maybe a touch
Of sadness for
What once was
Writ upon & now
Become illegible
Becomes itself
Once again


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Once upon a time

Used to have an apartment
So much happened there
That nothin’ ever did just
Layin’ about gettin’ wasted
Laughin’ about nothin’ like
A bunch of lunatics in a
Crazy house pissin’ on the
Walls scarin’ the neighbors
Sometimes scarin’ ourselves
Now I sit in my comfortable
Home watchin’ people walk
Their dogs water their lawn
Worryin’ about shit don’t
Matter to stave off the shit
That does & I’m drinkin’ day
Old coffee to keep my edge
‘Cause I know I’m losin’ it
Whatever once I thought I
Had a little at a time like a
Faucet’s drip keeping time
To a song I can’t get outa
My head still crazy after
All these years


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Oh holy night

Sitting in a room with one
Window a back room in any
Low hotel or derelict shack
The light leaks out drowning
Illumination ‘midst a chorus
Of restless souls bewailing
Release from a world that’s
Lost its salvation accepting
A price not worthy of the
Sin the night clamors for a
Reckoning tapping at the
Window like a story not yet
Written but well-read as a
Bright star wanders a winter
Sky trailing wishes misting
The earth in golden fire
Burning sleep from eyes
& pain from hearts gone
Reckless with regret &
Cold with intent lying on
An unmade bed


Monday, November 26, 2012


The moon is small & yellow
& hides in a leafless tree
Like a strange clock w/out
Need of hands for it knows
Down to the very second &
Plenty of it to dangle before
Me as a last gasp does a
Dying man & who could
Take a photograph of such
A moon who could endure
The very possession of
It for what man can live such
A life incessantly reminded
Of his last exhalation & so
Perhaps I’ll simply save
This memory for when
That time comes I shall
Need it to sit beside that
Yellow moon & silently
Peer between the


Thursday, November 22, 2012


With creases in his
Forehead like the
River Nile branching
Out in all directions
Yet dry as the sands
Of the Sahara drifting
Down dune sharpened
Cheeks occasionally
Suffering a nomadic
Tear just another wary
Creature in search of
An oasis watching for
Any movement in the
Undulating distance
Searching any idea to
Sustain or refrain him
Of all he’d ever borne
Together or alone as
Footprints erase from
The ever shifting
Mirage of life


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The joy of gathering
The pain of dispersing
The peace of emptiness
Both before & after the
Tumult of in-between
Where storms reside
& electrics paint pretty
Pictures in liquid colors
Of sensuous desire


Friday, November 16, 2012


This year some Holidays
Are gettin’ cancelled one
Or two won’t hardly be
Missed there’s a lot of
Pain to be dealt with this
Year lot of anxiety & fear
& prayers to be murmured
Under yer breath to who
Ever’s still payin’ attention
Whoever’s still payin’ the
Bills this year’s a notice of
Eviction a conviction of
The last year lingerin’ &
Layin’ up for any occasion
To dispossess & disperse
& it sure plays hell with yer
Joie de vivre no matter
How you pronounce it


Friday, September 21, 2012


Light reflects off the wet street
In almost perfect lines derived
From every lamp atop each
Individual post in each perfectly
Manicured yard darkness can
Not harm us here on this street
We have illumination to protect
Us & train whistles coming at
Irregular times to ward off the
Ghosts & goblins of intrusion
We have dogs that bark to warn
Us of any miscreants foolish
Enough to cross the perimeter
& some even have alarms &
Yet none of us truly feel safe
Sometimes lights seem to go
Out of their own accord &
Sometimes fog rolls down the
Street to swallow us & render
Us powerless & sometimes
We fall asleep & dream a
Dream that never ends


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Eruptions in the dirt
Explosions in the sun
The rain evaporates
Into dust carries on the
Wind covering the good
With the bad preceding
The darkness of a day
Long night of a night’s
Long torment that walks
The desolate floors &
Moans silently so as
Not to wake the fear
That haunts our dreams
With the things no one
Understands or dares
Look in the face every
Breath a hollow labor
That tires & exhausts
Our meager reserves
That helps to endure
An irrational curiosity
Makes us sweat in
Our sleep twitchin’ in
The throws of an un
Common desire


Sunday, September 2, 2012

A little prick

The building’s all crumbled like
A wedding cake left too long in
The glare of divorce it’s lost in
Remorse divested of appetite
& wonder but the shadow is
Still there in a shape redolent
Of better days before all the
Neglect & misunderstanding
‘Cause time’s nothing but a
Bubble encasing all existence
In a never changing routine &
All it takes is a tiny insistence
To raise us up from the dead


Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Gaffer

Beauty from fire
Glass is created

Generosity from
Adversity wealth

From poverty is
A true reflection

Water swirling in
Myriad direction

Giving purpose
To random acts

Of life


Thursday, August 2, 2012


Listening to the night’s
Wild heart beating like
A mother can’t wait for
Her children to awaken
Pacing along the high
Way along the railroad
Tracks in metronomic
Drone impatient ‘midst
An enveloping darkness
With an urgent desire
For light cradled inside
Its dew soaked breast
Dawn approaches as a
Burned out filament in
A cloud soaked bulb a
Straight line in a bent
World cannily ignorant
Of Nature’s insistent
Voice & yet so oddly
Enticed by its deadly


Wednesday, July 18, 2012


An occupied man walks
Across an empty street
The wind blows leaves
Like locusts rattling their
Wings not in approval
More an unconscious
Manifestation of the
Season the man takes
No notice the wind never
Blew any luck his way
Nor fortune of any kind
A dog barks & nothing
Changes upon reaching
The other side the man
Sneezes reaches into
His pocket for a hand
Kerchief & wipes his
Nose he resumes his
Walk along a deserted
Stretch of sidewalk
Seeming oblivious to
The darkest shadows
Marring his solitude
Like clouds across
The moon fleeting &
Yet somehow inciting
His guilty conscious
To hurry anxious to
Reach its finality


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The pest

Death hovers around me
Taps me on my shoulder
Whispers unintelligible
Into my ear it cools me in
Its shadow in its absence
Of light yet I wave it aside
As an insect bedeviling
For no good reason only
Reinforcing the presence
Of uncertain possibility &
The result of a life lived
In spite of itself counting
Itself blessed to have
Known redemption


Monday, July 9, 2012


The scribes are busy writing
In the sand of all the prayers
Gone unknelt unheard un
Absolved the tide quickly
Absorbs what bread’s broken
Under cover of darkness a
Stolen kiss on the cheek is
Indelibly marked by zealous
Betrayal sprouts nothing but
Weeds from unbaptized
Seeds left hanging from an
Emaciated tree swaying in
The heat of someone else’s
Passion twisting & turning
In the wind of a solar after
Noon waiting for the tide to
Return the sea to return
That which was lost 'midst
A sailor’s sad adventure


Monday, June 11, 2012


Life tries to pull me back
Tries to drag me down in
To that which I’ve recently
Escaped painting pretty
Pictures with withered paint
Ain’t nothin’ I can relate
To I’ve shed that skin &
I’m walkin’ on two feet
Like a real human being
Breathin’ the air of freedom
One last time before I go
Exhalin’ pollutants of the
Past the fantasies of some
One else weren’t never
Mine now I got the time
& money never mattered
At all long as I had it


Friday, June 1, 2012


Traveling to an island
Without palm trees or
Bikinis without surfing
Or coconut oil too damn
Cold this last day of May
In the middle of Lake Erie
With a wind out of the north
Washing over the sides of
The ferry bringing tears to
Our eyes like a recollection
Smells in this realm of golf
Carts & weekend sailors
& some irrelevant music
Belching from an Irish bar
Only the history’s authentic
Stored in a closed down
Monument still waiting for
Repairs yet we managed
To entertain ourselves in
Spite of every obstacle a
Castaway day provides
Good company creates
Its own weather & laughs
Maniacally into the wind

(for Ian)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Oxidized tears stain
Corroded cheeks
Leaked from blind
Eyes that stare into
The flame of death
Remembers shadows
Dance thru the pain
Of years knowing
Only nothing can be
Done or undone like
A poem that can’t be
Written for fear of
Life here & after


Monday, May 28, 2012

On the mend

Contrary contraptions
& rusted relics missed

Conceptions & crusted
People & words make

No sense left too long
In the rain running like

A river drowned out
By the train rattling the

Dishes disturbing the
Clocks while old paint

Hides recent mistakes
Worm hole to nail hole

The pendulum stops
For silence sake


Monday, May 14, 2012

The last luxury

Has no agenda has no
Rules or ritual winging
It from day to day & yet
More satisfying than the
Confinement of fiscal
Responsibility free to
Get on with the art of
Living & spontaneity
W/out profit or margin
Poorer & yet richer in
The wealth of the


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Five months later
Filling up my days
Sleeping good at
Night fiddling while
Rome burns keeps
Me busy keeps me
Sane still looking at
Life thru the filter
Of inspiration still
Finding meaning
In the minutiae of
Familiarity in the
Minutes between
The hours waiting
For those hidden
Notes of beauty
To surface when
All the pieces fit if
Only for a moment
The world makes
Sense again & the
Puzzle has no need
Of its missing piece


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Render of clouds

Trying not to blink in a wide
Eyed world trying not to miss
What others see or lose
Interest in what used to be
Such a wonderment before
The years evaporate like rain
In a tropical storm moving
Off in the gathering distance
& one last chance dripping
From a rain sodden leaf
Surprised of any occurrence
Like the sword of Damocles
Attached by a single nag’s
Hair & slowly spun as words
Writ on paper or emotions
Etched in wood succumbing
To the flames & faces haunt
The embers set aglow in
The smoke of childlike


The wind & I

A few weeks ago the wind had
Blown over a termite Infested
Tree at the end of our property
So I chiseled away at the un
Sightly stump ‘til not much was
Left but a jagged sliver whittled
Beyond any recognition & as I
Broke off the last haggard shard
I experienced a reluctant sense
Of accomplishment mixed with
A burdensome melancholy &
Even though well & thoroughly
Powdered in woodchips & saw
Dust I felt myself exposed like
A mad tongue exploring an
Empty socket there amongst
Nature & all for a better view
Of the forest


Friday, May 4, 2012

...plain sight

We’re most of us guilty
Of something just like
Original sin it’s in our
Bones it’s in our blood
Propagating faith like
Fresh fertilizer clever
Yet so blatant as to
Be blinding & you don’t
Want to study on it for
Fear it might rend your
Belief into tattered bits
Of a rhetoric so foul it
Sticks to your soul be
Coming the sour mash
Of bitter fruit left too
Long in the decaying
Fields of hunger
Hiding in...


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Skippin’ thru the pages inside
My head eyes closed tight to
Block out the light as the years
Roll back in black & white & the
Only color’s blood like a dream
Or a feeling that gets me to stop
To watch what unfolds me from
This boredom blooming flowers
In pale shades of grey disturbin’
Black & white so’s I don’t know
The origin only the story & that’s
More than enough for a kid in a
Comic book world who can't
Always afford the next issue
Only wallow in anticipation


Thursday, April 26, 2012


I am not a preacher
I am not a teacher
I am just a creature
Of habit I can’t tell
What you’re up to
But I can just about
Predict what I’ll do
Next & sometimes
I’m even right


Monday, April 23, 2012

Coin op

Existence is a penny
Arcade game plugged
Into the subtle grid of
Organic consumption
As once modern now
Quaintly eccentric &
Comprised of flimsy
Cables & barely wires
Connected to some
Remote history like a
Face can’t place the
Name in calamitous
Facility so beckoned
On the breath of greed
A scam that welcomes
Custom a prayer that
Eats your soul & well
Pleased with the trade
Applauds clever ability
Before pocketing the
Profit & sending you
On your merry way


Friday, April 13, 2012


My mind’s like a steel trap
Rusted shut crusted over
In bitter confusion dense

As dark beer ruinously
Muddled guzzled into
Submission abandoned

& bewildered abiding
The dark in this prison
Of time gone wrong


Monday, April 9, 2012


The years have stolen my
Voice I used to think I had
Something curious to say
Now I just open my mouth
& yawn like I’m tryin’ to
Catch butterflies nothing
Ever happens but what’s
Already happened many
Times before only maybe
Slightly different I guess
The trick’s just stayin’
Awake in case the un
Expected the unexplained
Actually ever occurs like a
Beautiful butterfly landing
On my tongue & I have
The presence of mind
Not to gulp in surprise


Friday, April 6, 2012

The fix

God plays dice with our
Teeth our bones drinks
Our blood like red wine
To clear the celestial
Palette while we seem
Content to wander blind
& blunder thru our short
Existence loving & fighting
Living & dying we oblige
The grand design playing
Our small parts without
Understanding the script
All except those who
Undertake to rewrite
Misfortune corrupting
The divine tragedy to
Fulfill their sense of
Worth & nothing good
Ever comes of this &
Nothing bad for it is
All foretold & thunder
Is only another roll
Of the dice & the rain
Tastes of metal &
Paints us the color
Of lust


Monday, March 26, 2012


In all things is a heartless
Condition void of passion
W/out room to maneuver
& no space left to fill it’s
All or nothing in the middle
Of the road lies a desert
An empty wasteland of
Death & boredom no one
Ever survives without a
Desire to sacrifice to keep
The engine going before
It sputters & gasps like a
Fish out of water or a
Clock out of time hung
On a singed beam of
Extinguished light


Monday, March 19, 2012

After The Rainbow

Watching the storm build from
The west above the rooftops
& treetops & clouds stumble
Together then fling themselves
Apart like frightened armies
Stampeding creating a grand
Disturbance & lightning sparked
Of hardened resolve to complete
Some misguided mission when
Conditions are just right & every
Body taking cover until the battle
Rages past & the all clear has
Sounded to emerge from sub
Terranean shelters to see what
Remains of their broken lives


Friday, March 16, 2012


I’m thinking of taking
Out an insurance policy
Long as I can still play
The odds & fiddle the
Figures ‘cause losing’s
A sad possibility when
You stumble at the gate
& wasted time is hard
To make up like a bed
Where the cadaver still
Sleeps & no way to get
Around it & no way to
Get away


Monday, March 12, 2012


Talked about you the
Other day feeling sorry
For ourselves not yet
Gone a year so mostly
We just had to laugh
Saving tears for later
When we’re all alone
Together in an obituary
Reverie just two crusty
Old gossips sitting on
Their barstools hardly
Able to read the black
Board hanging behind
The barmaid where all
The beers were listed
Can’t neither of us tell
The difference without
Our fucking glasses &
Whatever we ordered
Helped get us through
These indiscriminate
Memories of you


Friday, March 9, 2012


A face emerges from
The curtain familiar in
Its shifting illusion per
Haps I should recognize
But it remains imprecise
Withholding a mystery
Unfocused in anguish
The material wavers in
Light & darkness in the
Creases & folds softly
Whispers of the breeze
As if perplexed by some
Transitory secret now
Gone limp & lifeless as
A pool of spent blood
Coagulating in the
Shadow of...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I love watching my
Dog eat carrots how
He holds ‘em between
His paws & chomps
Down on ‘em rending
To his heart’s content
He enters a sort of
Religious trance his
Eyes glaze over & I
Can almost hear his
Body humming like an
Ancient telegraph wire
Connecting pole to
Pole across some mid
Western plain lost in
The joyous desire for
One more sweet bite
Of orange bone & no
Thought at all for the
Entity suffering its


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Calcified boxes
Covered in flesh
Contain nothin'
But broke down
Parts like some
Junk yard rustin'
In the shade just
Takin' up space
'Til Judgement
Day puts it all
Back together


Monday, February 27, 2012


Birds disperse on the
Wind like ashes from

Some unknown fire
Agitated as bees dis

Turbed of their hive
Unaware of purpose

Or protagonist flying
Blind into the after

Noon glare of the
Sun littering the sky

W/abstract darkness
& uncertain measure


Friday, February 24, 2012


There’s a fly on the
Window screen fixed

In midair cleared for

Take off just waitin’
On a warm breeze


Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Requisite ashes
& grey skies
Cold & damp
As atonement
Symbolic of
Death's forecast
& flowered
Of rebirth of
Life's warm
Return like
The red bird
Just flew past
My window
& wondered
What that may
Mean to a
Prediction of



Consecutive numbers
Relative math what
Logic demands life
Disregards the game’s
Continually reinvented
With so many pockets
To pick & choose &
Possibilities endless
As fallen ashes left to
Smolder on the beer
Soaked fields of
Glory & the toilet’s
Backed up again &
The same song sings
Over & over on the
Pinball machine nine
Ball in the side


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Skidding thru a turn
Black ice unveiled
On a highway just
Before the accident
Happens makes you
Wonder was it your
Fault you didn’t see
It coming no time to
Slow down now it’s
Over wasn’t so bad
A temporary ripple
In the atmosphere
Now gone calm &
Serene & cold


Thursday, February 16, 2012

...w/out answers

Found some keys w/out
Locks like bones w/out flesh &
Worthless as questions…


Sunday, February 12, 2012


Breathing the same
Air as greatness &
Failure watching the
Same sun & moon
Endless as ants on
An ant hill powerless
As a voice in the rain
Happy as I allow my
Self to be keeping
Sadness where it be
Longs in the realm
Of dying dreams a
Light escapes from
Under the gate to
Lure the banshee


Saturday, February 11, 2012


The creative hand of
Lunacy touches me &
Blesses me but what
A cruel joke it plays
On me with illusions
Of artistic conception
Fornicating fantasy
An odd assortment
Of progeny defies
Description & taste
Yet in this time of no
Where to be & no
One to please giving
Strange purpose to
Indolence confusing
Me with myself


Saturday, January 28, 2012


Planes fly low above
The houses reflecting
Sun off iced over wings
Into their eyes into their
Lives some light intrudes
Like interludes of some
Where else where some
One else finally arrives
Discovering a different
World beneath the wheels
Touching down right on
Schedule or not & none
Come out to greet them
It’s just too damn hot
To worry about they’ll be
Airborne soon enough
Drinking white wine with
The stewardess while
Those below shield their
Eyes against the glare
Head back inside turn on
The TV to dream between
Commercials about a new
Refrigerator with an ice
Maker & water spigot
Recessed in the door


Heliacal rising

Sometimes it’s just a small
Light that finds your way a
Struck match in a crowded
Room a street lamp hovering
In the fog of fear or a bright
Smile in a dark alley grinning
Predatory to eat your worry
To swallow your fright all the
Missed conceptions all the
Wronged perceptions that
Disturb you that glint in the
Eye of some stranger that
Unnerves you doesn’t mean
He’s misleading you maybe
He’s only pleading you to
Understand he needs some
Light shed for him too


Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It all gets
Under an
Of grey sky
It all gets
Soaked up
Side down
In a taut
Skeletal bowl
Inverted like
A kite that’s
Lost its bound
Tail dragging
On the wet &
Foot prints
Sucked into
Grey muck &
Of any return


Thursday, January 19, 2012


Twenty years & twenty
Doesn’t sound so long
Ago as forty & barely
Felt the wind against
My face thawed by the
Sun lulled to sleep by
A moon caught lookin’
In a mirror mimicking
The creature I used to
Believe the lies I used
To reprieve the truth
Haunting me now that
Sarcasm no longer
Keeps me young & a
Sun that outshines
The moon lulls me
Awake after twenty
Years & twenty
After all


Monday, January 16, 2012


What is a ghost but a
Shadow cast on the
Moon lit snow a hasty
Reflection unfocused
In a dirty window just
A machination of an
Imagination so afraid
Of itself as to convert
Regret into revenants
For none were ever
Experienced w/joy &
None ever entreated
Return yet reappear
They do sometimes
Even unnoticed by
Their timid creators
Hauntingly silent


Sunday, January 15, 2012


Catching up to where
I had once & long ago
Gone paddling faster



Head on a pike
Crow on a wire
Eye to eye yet
One flies away
While clouds
Pass leisurely
By & beckon a
Sightless sky
To wander



Nine in the morning not
A decent time to wake
Think of all the dreams
Gone to waste & what’s
So important can’t wait
‘Til afternoon another
Day old cup of coffee
Another mediocre poem
Maybe today’s different
Maybe this is the dream
If that’s the case then it
Is time to wake up it’s
Started to snow & now
I got to go outside &
Shovel I’m committed
& no mistake once a
Dream’s spent there’s
No return & no deposit
No pawn ticket to ex
Change just another
Fragile whisper falling
On deaf ears


Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Business goes out
Of order & buildings
Abandon but it don't
Stop ‘em tearing up
Olden trees for new
Construction recently
Misplaced of deer &
Squadrons of geese
While ugly continues
Rising uglier like a
Faulty gene killing all
In its path leaving the
Dead to deal with the
Dead & the quick to
Renegotiate an


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012


No matter how much
Time’s spent feeding
The masses words
Mired in flour &
Molasses struggling
To sweeten the deal
Like sending smoke
Signals to God
Creates its own
Stench it’s not how
Much you’re paid
But what you urn


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I’m ready to meet my maker
To become unmade falling
Apart at the seams like a
Long way down from grace
Without a trace of suspicion
I can’t hardly close my eyes
Without seeing what’s got
Me nailed dead to rights &
Left me digging in a pocket
Full of dirt & stones & all I
Wanted was ashes to ashes
Dust to dust now my mettle
Has started to rust one flake
At a time crumbled of faith
& doused of flame looking
For the sunny side up & a
Good cup of coffee


Monday, January 2, 2012


Placed your picture
In a frame behind
Glass unfortunately
Part of the painting
Is now stuck to the
Frozen sand & needs
Be positioned exactly
So the piece comes
Together in constant
Alteration & it makes
More sense this way
Makes me liable for
My indiscretion faux
Pas'd before the law
Of perception duly
Judged & sentenced
To a life lived in the
Presence of your


(for Michael Welch
Happy New Year
wherever you are)