I ride the subway,
Navigate through the maze
With my eyes closed.
Countercurrent in ancient canal.
I recall your smile,
The tone of your voice
Over and over again.
Your words spin in my head...
Barrio Muerto (Defector)
During the poetry reading
in the new artisanal soda shop in The Mission
on a block that’s had botox,
a block I no longer recognize,
a man with one leg
in madras shorts and a women’s card...
She is an amnesiac moon,
a lunatic laundromat
robbing me of my quarters.
tombstone tarot cards;
ties my pulse
into a hangman’s knot.
She is a forever leaving ship;
my arms ache
Conception of Love
for Leslie Winer
to lie down
on the sidewalk
The last time we parted we were getting into our cars
and I remarked how it was such sweet sorrow,
and we laughed, already thinking about next time.
But that would be our last time
and now it’s strange to ...
This planet needs more martyrs
Sacrificed on the Altar of the Holy Beast
For the sake of the Holy Dream!
Poet Hang, E. 4th St. Ave. B, 1979, photograph by Philip Pocock
When we were children our teacher explained the war.
She drew it on the blackboard until her chalk squealed.
The dust of her erasers made us cough. What had she drawn?
Rommel’s pincer movements? The oval m...
The trees in Brooklyn are the same color
as cooked hamburger.
I know the song of the cardinal
and it goes a little something like this.
Pangs twist a belly, until it dawns, eat! The light in
THE SADDEST MAN ON EARTH...
...ignored how the rain felt
as he left home
for the last time
his boot heels
searching for the woman
of his dreams,
but never understood
The Loneliness of a Lost Horseshoe
I did not dream a broken bone, a hole in my foot
But my limbs suffered from accidental falls
Biographers would be seduced by my pain-blues
I have shattered my toes, some of them twic...