Sunday, March 19, 2023

Regarding the Poems


When the poems first get posted, they are second drafts that usually require more drafts to achieve any hope for a ‘final stage.’   I tinker with them pretty constantly.  Sometimes I leave notes below the poems on the changes.

Probably I’d be scolded by a PR rep for putting up unfinished, awful poems.   “First impressions are everything,” and such. 

My response to this is complex and muddled.

As I think on it now, I would respond that the poems get more attention from me, when I post them earlier rather than later, which ultimately leads to better crafting.  This is my own selfish little idiosyncrasy.  I seem to get a rush from the feel of ‘being under the spotlight,’ and this motivates me to edit and improve the poems 

This introduces a related point:  that my goal is primarily to bring the poems to full expression, in concurrence with the appraisal of my inner muses, not to truly gain the spotlight. 

So, strange situation:  I like the feel of ‘being in the spotlight’--a posted poem available online to whoever’s ‘out there’-- but it isn’t my primary goal.  Even more, I am not sure that I want a lot of readers.  

Predictably enough, this invokes more thought, based on another tension:  am I obligated to try and get my poems more public attention?  Do some of them, at least, deserve greater recognition, and am I therefore ethically required to strive for that? 

And then more rabbit-hole questions:  Is my thought that the poems deserve more recognition purely narcissistic and deluded?  Am I losing any semblance of humility, a virtue I much admire and want to embrace, when I start to think in terms of getting more attention?  Do I, unknown even to myself, crave fame more than anything else?

I could keep going, with more confusion arising, and more questions, and more rabbit holes. 

For now, my behavior is simple enough.  Post poems on this blog, where I believe very few people actually read them (most of the ‘visitors’ are no doubt bots).  And yet I get a little frisson from having them publicly posted, which motivates me to write and edit. 

I hope this petite neurotic diversion was entertaining to someone.  



Friday, March 17, 2023

Poem: Cemetery Sunset


Cemetery Sunset



shave lichen from the head of a stone,

as they lounge on the praised dead,

comfortable on a chaste green sward

glazed by the silence of winter.


through this somber ease,

oranges and yellows reach with lazy paws,

the outskirts of a diffuse carnelian cat.

slowly its claws bleed

into the cusp of dusk,


until the metamorphosis of night

stretches out, bold as an odalisque,

ravenous and disdainful

on a brimming bed of stars.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Poem: Dream Caught



Dream Caught


garden spiders,

yellowy moons in scythe ballets,

they weave amok, windy as swallows.


no fear of my godzilla-sized head,

theater for their puppet show.


their legs wheel into airy letters,

sentences of half-seen languages--


such agile spinners of plots and spells,

vortices of lines and worlds,

obsessed to populate.


it’s a novel, perhaps, in the end,

about a fractured ghost,


one far too frazzled,

compartmentalized and captured,

who fled the harangue of a city of tombs. 


puzzled blue or pink with rage,

the fantastical octets swarm,

some of them orange sweet or peachful in lust,


as if all would be fine,

if only it would look back, the godzilla head,

the ghost, the poet,


and see.


3/19 "fantastical" replaces "perceptive"

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Poem: Fallen Leaf


Fallen Leaf


tiny flounder, lost from its teat,

postured in mud, doormat for rain.


torn edges gaping, or yelling, maybe,

at whatever accident slew their mood.


black ribs mimic the frolic of fungus.

the rest an auburn daguerreotype

gutted and splayed by a cat.


 a waltz of shadows quibble

over the slick cranberry dapples:

whether the little age spots mock 

or honor solar tears.


the leaf, 

it doesn't care

about such lurid audiences,

or the cranberry dapples

or the dying papyrus they distress.


more mauled than martyr,

without fanfare or even note,

it settles to dissolve its puny way,

slumping in leisure into the soil,  fading out

as if coming home.


3/19  massive changes  ... poem was awful before... might be still, can't tell ... rarely can

fixed typo ("doesn't care" replaces "does care" ...)

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Poem: Blood



beauty pulls you,

painting a blush on my cheek.


the slightest pounce,

as if a spider checking a string--


if someone risks a touch.


you play tide

with poems as your moon.

what a dance, what a whirl!


a dash of cicada

rhythmed by odyssey

in a marathon of rain.


3/19  "a dash of" replaces "the slightest"

3/13  ... changed punctuation

3/7 ... changed structure for easier flow (hopefully)

Friday, March 3, 2023

Poem: Cloudy Shore


Cloudy Shore


walk the shore, an arthritic dog,

each footfall births a crater.

wind strums

a murmur of dead galaxies

which ponder many lives

in pores of immense fickle surfaces.

what is the dog

to the multitudinous cheeks of the beach,

or the liquid crinkles

of all those squints on the ocean?


the skyline, it intoxicates dark,

a nimbostratus brew.

wind must’ve seduced it so well

to incite such a stampede,

these measureless quested drops of rain.

they encompass the sand, the ocean,

and even the ponderous dog,

fervent and baptismal.


all day, the storm conducts

chuckles of playful fire,

till gales constrict the last mouse of sunset;

and the dog, sheet after numbing sheet,

wanders home.


3/19 "fervent" replaces "fervid"

3/3/23  ... many internal mods, hours after posting... grim death poem

Monday, February 27, 2023

Poem: Bridge


more tired than anytime,

unable to excuse his hate,

he stood at the vertical crossroads,

and uncaged the demons that tormented him,

for no other reason than the curse of his conscience:

the paradox of a love that faltered

in the grip of its own pain.


the illusion was good,

the pleasure of wolves,

vanity’s masquerade.

but the truth, it was rabbits.

and rabbits, it was true,

existed because their ancestors

sometimes dodged jaws.


the people he saw

did not know what they were. 

they had forgotten if they were base.

they had forgotten if they had trapped themselves

without intending to dig a pit.

especially he couldn’t trust

the most convincing smiles.


monsters swore they did nothing wrong,

such as the one who befriended him

and raped and raped and raped.

the wealthy raped the poor, the Earth,

and whatever else they could

while praising each other

for their generous and wonderful hearts.


beauty was precious,

but liars stole the light,

and used it to lead the innocent,

because, because, because

no one wanted to raise their voice,

more than they wanted safety from the cold. 


only a few angels had the will 

to look and see how corrupted it all was,

the gilded glow of glamourous towers,

and not jump.



3/19 significant changes to body of poem

3/4  "crossroads" replaces "cross-roads" [sic]

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Poem: Doors




in my mind,

more mouth than entryway,

these doors that taste whatever comes through.


doors more lonely than a library has pages.

hungry mirrors of each other,

positioned to kiss.


one door excites another,

until they find a room

within a whirlwind of shocks.


when i tire from all the hurt

the doors flow simple,

and i drift in an odd museum--


smitten sculptures,

arrows through their hearts.


they point toward more arrows

and arteries and journeys

and many more signposts,

until the  doors resolve 

at the same destination.


3/13 ... sculptural mods

3/3   "toward" replaces "at" ... 

2/6 ... really hard poem ... I tried... 

2/6 "doors" replaces "signposts" ... "come" replaces "collide"

 2/23 .. titled changed to "Doors" from "Mind Doors"

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Poem: What Interview

What Interview

i wrote something great,

which took me years

to sprinkle on the page. 


after a few bouts of hope

i knew i was going to die like this.

my crowning moment


would mean nothing, say nothing,

uncopied, unused

by any other mind.


should i have volunteered

to help starving children instead?

i sat in a room, day after day,


and no one listened,

my success languished,

burning bright in an empty corner,


warming no one,

hotter and hotter,

eager for hell.


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Poem: Perspective




ant hives don’t woo wolves.

a humpback whale

can’t jackknife with worms

in the mud. 


azotobacters, even,

in their hierachies of rot,

take a stand.

apatosaurs scream

from traces of doom in gasoline.


no beetle speaks

salamander speaks chub. 

an eon for an organelle

whispers midnight to a raven.


angels envy songbirds,

or even humans, sometimes,

moved by the variations on loneliness

in the notes.


2/17  ... "whispers midnight to" replaces "means midnight for" ... "the variations" replaces "variations"