Archive for December, 2008

Bad Form

December 31, 2008


Columned heart, cathedral-like mind, you live for
Medieval Latinate architecture.
I’ll admit I’ve read and enjoyed Bukowski.
Call me an asshole.


Grant Park

December 30, 2008

Ontogeny. The feeling that I’ve come
awake. I want to paint again. To write.
I hear you on the telephone tonight
conversing with a voice that’s calling from
the television: Kenya Celebrates.
A grainy feed, some newscast lost in time
comes channeled to the eye as a sublime
phylogeny that crosses latent states.
A recapitulation of the dream—
America is born into the world
again. Democracy awakes at last.
A pixilated species comes uncurled
and scurries over borders in a stream
of colored light, familiar, wild and fast.

The Painted Word

December 30, 2008


What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief of The New York Times saying…in short: frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can’t see a painting.~ Tom Wolfe

Pierre Bonnard predicted he’d appear
before the artists of our century
encircled in a wing-like filigree
of colored light. A mystic chevalier
exuding his incalculable pallet
as a benediction, he’d survey
the produce of the studios that day,
the fruit of every flashing brush and mallet.

He’d find out there’s a ton of shit to read.
A lexicon of abstracts to peruse,
a currency of theory and critique,
and creedos tacked to canvases with screws.
To glean a universal through the screed,
he’d need to book the hotel for a week.
Painting:Bonnard Appears, John Opie, Oil on cavas, 42″ x 69″

Borman, Lovell, Anders, and Armstrong

December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve, 1968

The Field

December 24, 2008


The man who raised those perfect Christmas trees
Near Flemington, those spruces that you love,
Is well beyond the toil of hands and knees.
His field’s reduced to stunted firs, enough
To get the family tree farm through December.

Jesus, though, its bleak. The underbrush
Has taken over all the paths. Remember
How that hill once flourished blue and lush?
Today, its like the Battle of the Marne,
All muddy ruts and broken stumps. A drum
Of burning scrapwood…

“Saws are in the barn!”
A bearded man, perhaps a son, has come
To greet us from the porch. “You serve yourself.”
We find the bow saw rusting on a shelf.

The Winter Rain

December 17, 2008

The winter rain explodes to heavy flakes
that load our field of vision. Double takes
resolve to halos where electric light
bleeds out into the saturated night
at a reflexive tapping of the brakes.

The Watchung ridge dissolves in teeming lakes
of cold reaction. Drivers make mistakes
behind the veil of shattered dolomite
that winter rain explodes.

The windshield wiper, flailing in its cakes
of knotted crystal, burnishes and rakes
the landscape, tossing Armageddon right
and left, inuring heaven to a bright
hereafter. Every particle it shakes,
the winter rain explodes.

The Second Coming

December 16, 2008


The Times of London called it “tongue-in-tosh”,
or some such British mockery. They panned
Keanu Reeves’ vapidity with canned
critique that came off rather “tongue-in-posh”.
The New York Times indulged in overkill:
“That alien sure looks good in a suit.”
The Wall Street Journal questioned why they’d shoot
a rehash of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Diverting to the cut of robot jib
in 1951, the critics’ glib
reviews fell short and cast ironic light
on certain human tendencies that you
would hope evolved in time. Perhaps Klaatu,
who warned us once, came back to get it right


December 9, 2008


Kissed by Madame Streisand and patted softly,
Bush goes out escorted by Secret Service,
clears the Crawford showcase, and moves to Dallas.
Grandfather clauses

guarantee his open and swift departure,
granting him a dubious grace–the redux
rehabilitation of Richard Nixon.
Caveat emptor.

La Belle Dam sans Shoes

December 1, 2008


The Barefoot Muse went for a villanelle! No greater love.

And not to be constantly bragging on my ownself, please–after reading my poem, “Dolphin Weather”, and listening to me recite it–check out poems by my pals Quincy Lehr, Aaron Poochigian, James Wilk, and Christopher Hanson. Also, there is a wonderful Sapphics piece by Danielle Mebert. And I like “Half-Past Eight” by Caitlin Doyle.

Also, check out editor Anna Evan’s review of Lehr’s new book, Across the Grid of Streets. I have cleared this essay of any ethics violation, by the way, in light of Evans and Lehr recently taking editorial wheels at The Raintown Review. It’s clean.