POEM: Dissolving Past

I’ve heard it speculated that all times exist at once, and that our consciousness merely shines a light on a sequence of nows. But it sure feels like the past frays; that it’s dissolving from the edges. Worm-eaten in a way that works its way to the heart. The center reads clear for now, but one day… poof, it’ll be lost.

You’ll awake to find whole tracks of life are lost — like slides that were water damaged in the flood.

What happened in 1997? I’d need some sort of prompt to even make a guess.

POEM: Frosted Glass

I knew I was old when,
upon seeing a frosted windowpane,
I felt no urge to plow my finger through it.

The cost of a cold finger tip didn’t feel worth it for the pleasure of dragging a digit through the frost, carving doodle art or a word,
the frost curling and tumbling down onto the sill to turn from chalk white crystals to clear bulbous drops.

Anyhow, the mere thought prompted me to etch my fleeting symbol onto the pane.

POEM: Bad Reputation

Hey there, Mister Buffalo,

They say you’re mean, but I don’t know.

As far as I’m able to tell,

under the joylessness you’re really swell.

Your persona has been besmirched

by men who shot you from a perch,

and had to follow you, wounded, into the tall grass.

POEM: Metaphorical Sailor

The gruff sailor said,

“No sail and she just floats all lazy like.

No rudder and she’s a missile to nowhere.”

I nodded.

“You see, you need strong sails AND a working rudder.”

I nodded, again.

He continued,

“You get that the sail is a metaphor for passion,

and that the rudder is a metaphor for rationality, right?”


I said,

“I thought you, Crusty Sea Captain, were a metaphor for my subconscious.”

First Eclogue: Flow, Interupted

Thru-hiking a sheep-cropped pasture,
I spied a shepherd in repose,
in the shadow of a boulder.
I asked, “Do you know which way it flows?”


“It flows? What flows? the creek below?”


“I know the creek must flow downhill.
I mean how I flow through the world,
or it through me — by force or will?”


“I know when I lie here it slows,
between the bleats and blowing winds,
and I wonder through shaded eyes
whether the world is still in spin?”

I nodded, wandering on, wondering whether the world would stop for the likes of me.

Haiku on Music


listless drift
metronomic mast sweeps
the sea’s mute tune


snapping flags
halyard and hook ting the pole
spastic anthem


creek burble
amid the cedars
stream unseen


cave echoes
nothing that moves by sight
avoids bumped head


empty bars
rarely known in nature
end robustly

POEM: Lonely Boat

The languid roll of the boat signaled loneliness — silently but steadily.

Was it the inseparable connection of wave and hull — each feeling that, despite the lack of distance between them, they would remain distinct?

Was it that there wasn’t another mast for miles, at least the twelve miles out to the horizon?

Was it the motion, purposeless and uniform, a lethargic fidget that signaled anxiousness without anticipation.


POEM: The Revolution of Donald Duck & the Anchormen

Oh! Cast off these khaki shackles!

Like Don Duck, pants raise my hackles.

I’d chuck my slacks in the river Styx,

show all Hades my bag of tricks.

No more this prison for my loins,

and hear these words that I enjoin:




POEM: On “Walk On, Ye Doomed”

Radnóti wrote, “Walk On, Ye Doomed”
[Járkálj Csak, Halálraítélt!]
in 1936 —

Eight years before he was force marched to death by Nazis.

And I am left to wonder whether he was a prophet,
or whether the Poet’s obsession with death makes him seem prophetic.

Whether he was a prophet or not, he was true to his poem.

There’s at least 750 kilometers between the copper mines of Bor and the tiny northern Hungarian town where he was killed — a place closer to both Bratislava and Vienna than to Budapest.

Call it 500 miles on foot,
emaciated from cracking rock for copper to build the war-machinery of those trying to erase a people — his people.

They found a pocketful of poems on his person when he was exhumed.

If you can’t think of anything else to do in the act of slogging at gunpoint across two countries than to craft poems, you are not a poet, you are THE Poet.