Imperfect World [Free Verse]

Our plight is craving perfection
     in an imperfect world:
           imperfectly perceived,
           imperfectly performed,
           imperfectly programmed.

To have a mind that can imagine perfection,
     but never attain it
           creates a special hell vehicle.

Jolie Laide [Common Meter]

I've seen in ordinary eyes
  a special twinkling glow.
 In rough and sinewy muscle
  I've seen a grace in throe.

From rotund torsos, I have seen
  a lithesome prance or strut.
 I've seen a thing called character,
  in schnozzes that kink or jut.

If beauty below the surface,
  it finds you splendor-blind.
 Then defect 's not in the object
   but in the viewer's mind.

Five Wise Lines from Leaves of Grass

Why, who makes much of a miracle? As to me I know of nothing else but miracles.

Walt Whitman, “miracles”

The American contempt for statues and ceremonies, the boundless impatience for restraint…

Walt whitman, “Song of the Broad-axe”

I exist as I am, that is enough. If no other in the world would be aware I sit content. And if each and all be aware I sit content.

walt whitman, “Song of myself”

I am not the poet of goodness only, I do not decline to be the poet of wickedness also.

walt whitman, “song of myself”

If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred.

Walt whitman, “i sing the body electric”

NOTES: Numerous editions exist between the 1855 and 1892 (deathbed) edition. It’s available for free on Project Gutenberg at:

Under Pressure: Or, A House Divided [Free Verse]

A construction worker once told me -
    for a building to last -
 depends not so much on
    its materials,
    nor even on its foundations,

but rather on the building being
    in balanced strain throughout.

A building stays up when its 
    parts press into each other firmly,
    or pull at each other strongly,
    but never too out of balance.

This web of unseen forces
    allows the building stand solid
    against any huffing, or puffing,
    the world might throw its way. 

A democratic society works the same.

It must have an establishment.

It must have a counterculture.

And these two elements must 
    constantly pull at each other
    or mash into each other:
    tension & compression,
    compression & tension,
    tug-of-war & sumo.

If one side is unopposed, or too weak,
    the state will crumble into some kind of
    authoritarianism by another name.

Destroy your enemies at your own peril.

Master & Slave [Lyric Poem]

What will be your master,
  and what will be your slave?
Will you court disaster
  to be perceived as brave?
Will you call your pastor
  to hide that which you crave,
    or be your own ringmaster
       and own how you behave?

And will you choose virtue,
  or live in fear of vice?
Will you choose to be true,
  or default to being nice?
And when there's much ado
  will you jet their paradise?
Or just defer your view,
  as act some men and mice?

Bury the Ordinary [Free Verse]

Bury the ordinary,
 but make sure to 
  chop it out at the roots.

Nothing grows back more tenaciously
 than the commonplace or the quotidian.

Sometimes what grows 
 back from those roots 
  looks entirely different,
   but it's still mundane.

It has the same feel,
 even when it has a 
  very different look.

Kill it.
 Murder it.
  Chop it up.
    Bury it, 
     and let it die the death
       of the forgotten. 

Edgeless Edge [Free Verse]

Some speculate about
 the edge of the universe,
  and what exists beyond.

But that edge - if it exists -
 is beyond another edge:
  the farthest points
   from which we can see light.

In a tower
 on a mountain,
  there's still an edge
   of our eyesight --
like the others,
 it's an edgeless edge, 
  signifying nothing 
   but our own limitations.

We are builders
 of edgeless edges,
  fashioning boundaries
   that don't bound anything,
    but by which we are bound.

Disintegration [Free Verse]

crack the tablets:
smash & shatter them
until they flutter into dust,
dust that's wisped into eddies
and sparkles in the creek bed
and is flushed out to sea
and is but a glittery trace
of what they once were.

Spontaneous Ideation [Free Verse]

ideas accelerate to the surface
like air bubbles

from whence they came,
i cannot say

they passed up from below
the lit sea

from the darkness 

maybe, like air bubbles,
they follow a mostly straight path,
but i cannot say for certain
what happens below the light

i catch only the vapor that drifts up
out of the popping bubbles

and it must be gathered quickly 
before it spreads on the wind,
becoming lukewarm nothing...

damn increasing entropy!

Squishy [Free Verse]

Nothing is straightforward,
or simple.

Everything is a messy mix
of shades

blended in swirling clouds—
chaos clouds.

Those who can redraw the world
with sharp, angular boundaries
are the masters of self-deception:

for all deception is self-deception.