three dreams

three dreams in
three consecutive nights:

my niece, now five or so, looks
up at the clear blue. “there’s a
flashight in the sky,” she says. I
look up at this flashlight, it
flickers brighter and brighter, till
it streaks across, a trail of
heavy smoke behind and it hits off
in the distance. the shockwave

walking through an empty amusement
park with my father at night- along
the boardwalk between a carousel
with faded horses and a
wooden roller coaster that hasn’t
seen a smiling face in years. there’s
a loud rumbling, we both look up
to see the moon fall. a tidal wave
the size of a skyscraper crests
above us.

in a room that has peach
colored walls. my head is resting
on my lover’s pregnant belly. curtains
curling in a soft yellow breeze. her
hands run through my thinning
hair. everything is silent.

I know what these dreams mean.

dead stem

a caricature of what your parents
wanted you to be. but this is
a conscious childless. this is
fighting all
the addictions that were
in inheritance;

gambling itch
eighty proof professor
tar plumes
drunk tank
a few wives to divorce
mental illness

it’s not a tree, it’s a
frail brown stem- and I want
no part of it.

first dates are tough for a someone like me

she looks at you from across a
metal table, her full glass of
white and your emptying glass
of rye. she waits. you

could tell her that you’ve only
seen your father cry three times in
your entire life. or that your

mother didn’t talk about that
great human bind called
emotion. or you could tell

about the grandparents you
barely knew- except that
strange memory of an Itlalian
Grandfather towering above you
in a Denver airport terminal,
a spectre in a black
leather jacket. you could tell

her about the other women. the
ones that only ever appeared to
you as dead skin cells in a
beam of light. you could tell
her that

you’d rather be alone in
muted pessimism. or, you
could ask

where she works and use all of
those tired muscles to lift up
your lips, showing at least five
teeth as she

always has been

I stand above this town at dusk, green
brick to my back. birds race around in
of me; they circle together in patterned
ease, then join the rest on the
church’s roof just across the

I know that I am someone’s son, someone’s
brother, someone’s uncle but I sometimes
wish that I were none
of these. wish that I was completely
alone, and this thought takes a
blade to any goodness that
I still may possess.

I stand here, green brick to
my back, watching these birds
charm in pack with patterned
oneness. then they join the rest
the roof just across the
street because this
is how
it always has been.

sunday storm

I become aroused when a storm
approaches. when the scatter
of bright blue light is invaded
by a line of heavy smoke inching
its way to erase a perfect

deep rumble reaches even if it
is still several miles west over
cornfields. I grin. the hot humid
air now cool and expedited. it
ripples my dark blue t shirt, swirling
under, glancing my sticky

billions of joules striping at
soil- the crack now only
seconds after. I am flush. feel
satisfied. content. a storm
that cleanses man’s ego as it
ushers all of us deceitful
animals inside.

I light a cigarette and curl up
in the swirling dark green ashen

blank sheets

a dot in a beryl jar, I sip a
strong mash in a beveled
glass- here sways a

goddamn poet with
nothing to write about as past
musae sit taxidermied
mounted in a fit of prose several
years ago. now
in this aroused
stupor, I can only think about a
legs greeting the ceiling in a
pose. hound.

poetry dies in sexual prime cause
all I want is women, all I think
about are women and yet, I’m left
with blank sheets rigid in

not quite right

in the slowdown of daily, I
think of spanish moss draping
over oaks in the south. think
of cacti needled and laughing
at the sand, at all the things
that cannot grow. think of
kentucky bluegrass, exotic and
unwelcome. think of a ballet
class in brooklyn, long pointed
legs in attitude. think of an
artist in some early a.m
frustration- it’s not quite

sober poem

on balcony. four church steeples
forgive. two clock towers laugh. the
sun and moon begin to take turns. a
train bell dings from behind. railway
brake releases. hurried
men and women in suits make their
way across the parking lot. feet are
propped up on railing. family eats in
the courtyard of an irish pub
below. child knocks silverware to
the ground, the father scolds. cratered
begins its sweep, peeking with storied
brick and trees. take a deep breath
the exhale.