What Does He Do

Old excuses.

What does he do, when,
Mixed-up in sunset, he staggers
Out to where all of those who
Never admit fault end up bringing
Glasses of old excuses and new cognac to
Life-changing chapters from novels by
Henry James, or even Balzac

Where does he go, when,
Beset by age and loneliness, he
Realizes his best tricks don’t work anymore, and
Flashing the old smile only makes them
Run away faster than he’s seen his
Money go into holes and slots and
Anyplace else money might fit

He looks for his own reflection in
The sky, but all he sees is

Emptiness

My Love Is Water

My love is water, every dream
Is sweaters worn on autumn hills,
The capable is palpable,
And they say “love don’t pay the bills”
But mine does.

My love is dreaming, every day
We run along the riverside,
I asked the wondering sky for help,
But she said “I have too much pride”
Like I do,
Like she does,
Like all of us —

Like water

what wasn’t

the news about you
like a sun setting behind hills,
those days when you and she were
keeping alive what was young
(when so much so many
aren’t even keeping alive)

you kissed her long
before i ever did and
you occupy a place indecent
for me to intrude upon 

for nothing is owned
except memories,
and those are either
painfully real or
effortlessly manufactured

behold the reticent night,
afraid to show her stars,
for fear of us knowing love’s secret
and forgetting that life is
less like a lover,
and more like 

a linebacker

by products

A meditation on our role in the choices available to us

the world’s a store, and
we walk by products that are
arranged to catch our eyes;
our attention often fixed upon
objects not present, the
subjects of our current fixations –

and yet, if economics allow, we often
buy products that we know we may not
need or even want, merely from a sort of
habit of politeness; a feeling that
so much trouble was gone to for us, we
really should show some support –

bringing home these pointless objects, we
find ourselves leaving by-products, traces
of these and other half-optimal choices that
make up most of our days; the things we do, because
we must do something, and so we choose from among
the options available to us

if, of course, by “products” we are thinking of
things like relationship and career choices, this
only becomes more true – and more the
pity, since we frequently either don’t go to
enough stores to provide sufficient choice or
go to stores long after the right choice has been
purchased by someone else

the serpentine illusion

inside a taste of everything
the serpentine illusion;
as alabaster cities once
you drink as though you don't think you
will fall

a paramedic shortage means
you have to wait for ice 
to hit your veins,
but there's no kind of flow
along the passageways of 
melting land,
the hashtag ampersand,
the infrastructure longs
for one more breath

emotional diathermancy

he asked, but no one seemed to know the reasons
or hazarded so much as a small guess
why wasted time fills up the best of seasons
and leaves him to a life of emptiness

in roil dynamic or in static posing
a tag of nothing but diathermance
to radiate within secure enclosing
with only pallid nonsignificance

he asked, but no one gave him much to go on
he read, but found no clue to get him there
he knows that used or not, the days will flow on
a spinning wheel
that leaves him
in the air