The Idiot Anthem   It was a time of great fanfare, unfair to many, loud and full of old wind. We stepped out onto the balcony as the motorcade went by. In the crowd we saw a premonition of our own funerals, each of us distinctly, individual nightmares. Those who stayed inside were dying inside, their words as lax as exhalations.

  King Opah   King Opah, Moonfish, Lampris Regius, I hope your life, Before drifting solo up some immense Pacific seamount In search of squid or other of your own nourishment you Were hooked by a curious entrepreneurial longline, Was as good as the dark, dense orange steak The expert butcher cut from behind your head Suggested it must have been, that your silver flanks, That your steely, dark blue dorsal skin or scales Sporting irregular rows of big white spots And your orange or crimson fins all navigated Midnights of fantastic bathypelagic spawning, That your large eyes circled with gold, vermilion jaw line, And the thick, rich oily fat beneath your 200-pound iridescence Quivered with sweet salt as you conducted your pectoral fins Through oceanodromous wanderings so rarely seen.

Miss   Much as I’ve failed, for all   I lack, alone as I may look without   the phone I left home, bring me   more wine, nice man, and please   don’t call me that.       * * *     Jilt   Juliet, Jillian, harlot Jill,   in French jillet, the flirt, unfeeling,   felt, who flung her don into the dirt,   having fanned his flame,   the abrupt slut who ended it.

Having Bummed a Smoke Outside of the National Gallery, Though I Have Quit   “And if it rains, a closed car at four. And we shall play a game of chess.” –Eliot   The trees stick out their tongues at all of us squatting   at their trunks while wild onions fall limp at their tips like month-old mohawks.

    Dear Reader,   This morning the world tried its best to tuck me back in. I’ve been writing from the demilitarized zone   Of my chest and the weather is almost always clouds. Who can recall the sun with all this posturing?   I heard a woman say, “We ought to live more real life.”

Opaque It’s opaque, secretive to no purpose, circular rather than linear, a road that comes back to itself as if that were enough to keep our attention, the first person subjective, story of you as told by you who can’t stop free-associating words that stand for emotions you can’t bear to lay bare, cop-out extraordinaire.

What Blocks Out the Sun If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve. –– Lao Tzu Look, the tongue is not mapped, does not pair well with the drapes.

Blue Ridge Mountain Runaway High cries broke from that salt-beaded neck above splintered hands dangling on strings. Now rest hushed in moonshine between bar lines as lead begins to drip. We escaped on the trail of rhapsody to the crossroads of flattened steps until the air had a bite facing an Aeolian hall.

Rock How foolish we were to make promises when we are designed to break apart, to find our simplest form, to return to the thinnest vibrating string. We begin as one then the cord is cut. All we are are clues, molecules glued, atoms aching to be small, smaller, smallest. All the decades, all the pages of calendars ripped & forgotten.

It is what it is It is what it is. It’s not what it might have been. It’s not what it had been. It isn’t what it could be. It’s not what it ought to be. It won’t be what it might have been. It was what it ought not to have been.