POEM: Coming Down the Mountain

every heavy step
an act of resistance
against the indefatigable force of gravity

— hell on the knees —


why does everyone think coming down the mountain
is better than going up,
as if gravity were doing one a favor

the desire to live high in the mountains
with stunning beauty on view everyday
is one of those romantic notions
that reality pummels
and robs of its lunch money


i’d say something about everyone
who goes up a mountain having to come down,
but then I think about the stories
of the frozen corpses on Everest —
instead of coming down the mountain
they became stone-hard monuments to ambition

POEM: Poetic License

Poetic License…

a permit to say strange things in strange ways.

It’s not quite Bond’s License to Kill,
but, sometimes — merely by using words —
one can deceive people into thinking
that conveying meaning is one’s principal goal.

It’s not a Double-Oh License to Kill,
but it does let one write in secret ciphers,
with each reader providing their own key.

What mayhem might be unleashed by one operating under such a license?

POEM: Insomniac City

Cities pretend to sleep.
They fool us.
Eyes close.
Darkness settles.
In the deep of the night,
a city is like a kindergartener during nap time —
fidgety and mischievous.

When Tokyo’s trains shut down at midnight,
far from hibernating in suspended animation,
the city traps people in a dimension
that most people never see —
a headachy, eye-rubbing,
land of waking dreams.

POEM: The Dangers of Going too Deep

I watched a bee —
a rotund & buzzy carpenter bee
scoot its way into the deep cup
of a cornflower blue sky vine blossom,
nestling itself within.

When it had penetrated to maximum depth —
only the hind tip of abdomen protruding —
the blossom fell away,
plummeting leisurely — as light things do,
in a lazy spiral toward the earth.

And as the blossom and its captive bee
passed out of sight below my window,
I could only wonder about the bee’s fate.

It did not zoom up past my window
at the last possible second
with a pronounced doppler shift
in the manner of stalled aircraft
pulling out of a dive in a Hollywood movie,
but that doesn’t mean the bee didn’t escape

If it didn’t escape,
what would that crash be like?

A light-weight creature trapped in the soft folds
of flower petals, with a combined lightness
such that air-resistance cannot be ignored
the way one does in Physics problems involving bowling balls.

What would that crash be like?

POEM: Midnight Taco Truck

Most nights,
there’s a rave-roving purveyor
of meaty Mexican masterpieces.
— cilantro & lime on the side —

It’s drawn to the sweet unhinged
by the force and call of hunger —
that gravity of need.

It’s fueled by the need to feed
the weed-reeking masses,
and by the sweaty, wadded cash
they dig out of pockets.

You can never find
the Midnight Taco Truck,
but it may find you…

if your luck and hunger
are vibrating in harmony.

POEM: Intolerable Status Quo

They say that every story begins
with an intolerable status quo.

Who it’s intolerable for is an open question.

Maybe it’s the protagonist…
Maybe not.

[Some protagonists spend the whole story
trying to get back to that status quo.]

Maybe it’s the antagonist…
Maybe not.

Sometimes, the status quo is intolerable to the universe —
(as every status quo must become.)

And every non-blissful moment of living
is an intolerable status quo —
a state in search of [or hope for]
a better state to come.

POEM: A 100 Word Sentence on the Risks of High Speed Karma

Mikey stole a motorbike, a high-revving rice rocket, weaving through traffic, leaning this way and that, quickly dodging the slow and the still, riding toward an inevitable fate, rapidly surpassing any chance for a destiny other than a beastly crash, a tumbling and fiery maniacal kind of crash, one resulting in screaming vehicles and flashing lights, punching their blunt red noses onto the scene, disgorging fast moving men and women with hoses and bandages, pretending the hoses were for the burning machine and the bandages were for the rider, but knowing that the hoses would be all they’d need on this run.

POEM: The Ekstasis of a Warm Bed [in a Cold, Snowy Land]

-To watch powder cling to sill and muntin through the frosted panes,
but not be chilled by that crisp whiteness

-To slacken on the back of spastic release – lulled by discordant heartbeats,
while feeling that they — and all — are in perfect accord

-To drift into slumber with no urgency and to awaken noncommittally,
sinking ever deeper into mattress and mind

-To love the snow for its beauty
as much as for its lack of reach