Shootout at Depression Gulch The clock hesitates. The black blind draws down. If you feel like you’re sinking, you are sinking. When the furnace clicked on, I ran to the vent like a mouse to the trap. The gray sky so thick, so thick, so…. Remember when they used to care what you thought?

Hell’s Canyon Our helmsman steers us through the river gorge. “It’s quiet,” he tells Terry and me as we chew huckleberry taffy, our “welcome to Idaho” gift, though I can’t say what state we’re in right now or if we’re on the Snake or the Clearwater. Both waterways once taxied timber to the mills.

1. Because they were religious, useless, fragile and fearless. 2. Because they circled the world, and took the form of my summer dreams. 3. Because whoever invented marbles must have believed angels were round. 4. Because the chipped ones were more beautiful. 5. Because the distance of their journeys was an exact equation of space and time.

No Garden In straw, a fire-web of light, drawn sinews of halt and stretch, and I bury my wrists, move my eyes in dry scratches of toughened fiber smiles. The dead hover in the hallows, owls statuesque in hazy attention. You are the child lit at dawn, sighing, engulfed steadfast in your raised eyebrow full of milk and heavy grains.

The Defection Of The Pale Horse Of The Apocalypse Saddled-up again we ride to sweat and bone, gallop across the bogs, fugitive from the sweep of the scythe of mortality, come to collect its due for the passing through this life, for what I took from its brimful cache of loves and sorrows.

The Civilised Savage Among the ancient ruins strewn with moss Within the decimated architecture Of a forgotten people Lives the civilised savage The balls of his bare feet land on the aged marble Of fallen Corinthian columns As he leaps, apishly Traversing the Hellenistic landscape His white collar lies starched As it hugs the knot of his crimson necktie His muscles wrapped In a three-piece suit of grey barathea Tribal markings Of blue, red and white Decorate his impish visage Hearkening back to the insignia of his cannibal tribe That has since dissolved His hair, pompadoured with mashed yucca and honey Maintains its structure Despite his simian movements Swinging from tree to tree His polysyllabic speech, Constantly interrupted by moans and grunts Even when he unearths his well-worn copy Of Plato’s The Republic And reads it aloud Through my crooked, cracked spectacles * * * Marilyn’s Lips The diptych exalts her noblest feature Half filmic, shades of the silver screen Half palpable, with vibrant red and pink Newsprint lips crookedly smiling, vampish Inked, off-register, coy and seductive Flattened, alienating, out of reach Red and succulent like the tender flesh Of tree-ripened fruit, shimmering, wet Glossy like the pages of magazines Pried up from her white, coquettish face Eerily floating in the ether Like a Science Fiction Double Feature Suspended in time, life-like in their print Barbiturates melt on the tongue between Her swollen lips, oozing down her narrow throat We recite a threnody chant, but still Her lips remain

Cold Turkey Can’t see no sky —John Lennon We regret to announce that your flight has been delayed by this announcement of regret.  Calendars featuring the anal passages of today’s cabin crew must be paid for.  The hot chocolate isn’t slow.  It’s special. Satirical sonnets on this or any other airline must go over your heads or under the seat in front as the risk of becoming bad observational comedy is high at this festive time. 

Bright Windows Jackhammers rattled the walls with stammered curses & I awoke from a dream of soft-spoken longing–what I want, ungiven.  The window, a rectangle of brilliance I couldn’t enter; thus now, to retain some sense of holiness I go to Tompkins Square, but even the monkey bar set escapes the playground, sneaks in the fenced areas to dance where it says not to tread. 

Mist On the west side running path mist-ghosts disappear into the future or rise to the surface as an impression of color, or the outline of a limb, wafting close enough that I can see the ballooning of ribs sweaty with effort and the sinking again of the ribs behind the spine— & then the figures drift, sails half-filled with wind, back into grey * The man in black shorts is not too much faster— a slow erasure into fog while my breath grows shallow trying to catch him.

Panic Never-to-be-caught, Now, falter me. The reined-in horse neighing, wide-eyed, made to be still, not happy yet closer, Now, to you—to being alive. Dear Anger, get me past the girls’ gate beyond all that God-sap, honey of sex flowing, heavy in their veins.                             ˜ I’m moving beyond all I adored. Come with Brutal Awareness.