by products

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 7th sibylline utterance of the new millennium

the gods demanded sacrifice,
and so we offered
tolerance

it’s not like anyone
was using it
that much

for what you can’t destroy,
you still can
lock away

we do that now, in every manner
those words can
be stretched

and how we torture words, to make it
seem as though we mean the
things we say;

but we do not. at least we do not live
the values we espouse, nor do
we really want to

and spiders – there are spiders in the halls,
the webs are everywhere —
we call our hate self-love,
and turn our self-love into
candy-coated knives


with power comes
nobody’s peter parker;
the price is right, but we
have got no barker

the song of houston, but
how will i know?
we stowaway what we should never
stow

the bars slam shut, because we
close them down;
don’t know your name, you’re just
some damned pronoun

the skittish horse may try
to flee the pen;
but hunted down they are,
always
again


when semiotics tells us to,
we stop and genuflect:
the dog-whistles that really
guide our lives —

the empty hallways do not mean
that all the ghosts have left;
the blood is in the pipes,
not in the water

and the pipes

go everywhere

[…the space between infinities…]

The masters of the universe
The mistresses of pain
The fortunes of the other folks
Their houses down the lane
A passion for veracity
A cavalcade of fun
A phone call in the dead of night
To be the only one

An afternoon of pleasure spent
An instant on the way
An overarching sadness that
Engulfs the everyday
A word or two that hides its face
The comfort we don’t give
The space between infinities
Where we choose not-to-live

The music of the hidden heart
That keeps in how it feels
The whitewash on the sepulcher
The tomb of our ideals
The aftershock the ambulance
The cold and bloody dawn
The moment after of all of it
The tv goes
back on

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

A Little Ways From Yesterday

She broke down a little ways from
Yesterday — her dreams so much, her hair
Not so, and you and I don’t
Own that mirror, do we? This is more like
Entropy than agony; to slowly lose
What she has not turned loose. So she
Turns up, turns out, turns down, but it
Never seems to be her turn; or was it
Always hard to walk in those shoes, hard
To see anything but the storm coming when
It feels like it never leaves? Never leaves —
The never-leaves blow slowly across the landscape
Of one too many days and too few nights of
When anything tasted like it’s supposed to;
And she closes her eyes on pictures she
Painted in the brightest colors she could
Find, turned dull with
Misapprehension