Friday, November 19, 2021

Dirty River

Rivers wash away
Carrying our shit
To who knows where
But who knows, knows

There must have been
Some first human, bedecked
In naked who realized this
As he watched his shit 

This was supposed to be
Pretty. This was supposed
To make me think of green
And leafy things, so strong

Snapping against our legs
As we break the grass before
Us working so hard to reach
The shore where we can 

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Signifying nothing's Cabinet of Curiosities

I have an old lap top that I wasn't using, so I installed Linux on it, to revisit my fascination with computers, writing, and photography (among other things).  You can also find a live webcam, which calls back to the early days when I engaged in such foolishness.  All the devices on my home network at all named after birds, so here is in all its curious glory:  Signifying nothing's Cabinet of Curiosities (

Friday, October 29, 2021

Never Realized Move Plots #3 (Written While Driving Too Fast on the Freeway): RUNAWAY ROBOT

Scene opens on ROBOT running
Away, across a grey, meteor-pitted

It is Ganymede, so there are flashes
Of green and blue and red in the grey

But mostly it is grey which makes it
Difficult to perceive ROBOT who is

Away cross the screen, over the jagged
Pitted surface of a desolate moon of

The planet looms high in the black inky
Sky--washed out and pale since this was the

But actually probably more accurate than
Our oversaturated present, with its wandering

Who are, technically, also running away
Without legs, of course, but with outlandish

ROBOT is running away from something
He may not even remember, since his memory

Are full of pain and suffering of some kind
Inflicted on him on Ganymede by those who

But ultimately hate him.  So he runs; he runs
And he is most assuredly crafted in metal to be

He runs, this ROBOT with pencil thin legs
Radio head with yellow blinking light and

And the scene fades as he runs, now a tiny
Glistering speck of metal against a vast, vast

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Never Realized Movie Plots #2 (Imagined to be written on a grocery story receipt)

It is 1975
A solo dog runs across

Panning back 
The camera reveals

Two cars have
Collided, 70's

Big boxy beasts
With lots of plastic

And chrome, plastic
Chrome for miles and

Slumped over the
Wheel of one is Lucille

She was drunk, of course
Having just Tonight

In the day, because day
Filming and day

And you would go to
A doctor and be offered

The other driver is
Groucho escaping his

70's TV comedy
Ensues with biopic

Friday, October 08, 2021

Never Realized Movie Plots #1 (Written on grocery store receipts)

For some reason
Main Character
Has to make a
Sudden escape
In a self-propelled
Parade float

Bursting into 
Butterflies of 
Wafting paper
(Replete with 
Accent marks)
Careening this
Way and That

Tissue paper
Streaming like
Toilet paper
Caught on your

Friday, October 01, 2021

I, Robot

I hover over my new vacuum
Robot, not to monitor their duty
To the job, but out of sheer joy

Amazement. Yes, I am that kid
Still who sincerely believed that
A gift of walkie-talkies was the
Absolute best best best and I love
You forever, oh wow oh wow oh

The robot comes in a plain brown
Box, like porno mags used to be
Delivered. Uncle Ken had Playboy
Sent to his house and had a TransAm
Aunt Wanda loved him and loved that

Now that's where it gets complicated
This salacious appeal to my boyish
Desires that were entirely sexual but
Had nothing to do with sex as anyone
Might define it. Desire. Desire? Is it 

No, so I hover over this robot, watching
How they negotiate this wild mountain
Of rug, this leg of lamp, this chair that
Keeps moving because I keep moving

And I am in sheer ecstasy. Such a
Simple and wonderful thing. The 
Code runs through my mind.
Decision trees play out in simple

Desire to clean, desire to map--desire
To know.  I hover over my little round
Friend because I have to.  That's me
Down there.  Seeking the map.  Seeking
The spots to suck up the detritus of a

Friday, September 24, 2021

I just realized

That's me in the back there
The baby in his mother's arms
Her wild hair but her recognizable

She is foisting me into the row of
Her children, Larry in front, so much
Like me, or I guess I am so much like
Him, but so not like me and so

Like me.  He's objecting to something
And Michael the oldest brother so
Assured but so yeah, what do you say
And sweet Annette, there she is
In control, like she always needed to be

It is. Let's let that go, though let's be 
The hovering infant your mother
Wants to foist in line with the rest
But yeah, it makes me wonder as
I look at the line of my siblings
To see the lines of cousins, like us

It makes me feel the sad loss of 
Douglas, so big, so young, so him
Striped shirt and ready to become
Dead at 30 of a brain tumor with 
A child

I don't know even half of these
People and the half I do know
I've lost, lost somewhere in the 
Tensions of family. I'd like to

Friday, September 17, 2021


Ive been thinking a lot about life these days

I'm intrigued by how the little things like eating toast
Seems to mean something
(Yeah I'm writing a poem)

But I am thinking a lot about
Life These days 

Losing weight

But I probably live in that Romantic world where things Matter.

I can understand Faust when you hear a song like That. But the best song ever, you know that I think, Isn't.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Bottle Collecting

 When I was a kid
My brothers and cousins
And other neighborhood

Would wander along the
Roadside between our
Well-spaced farm

To collect bottles thrown
From passing cars to cover
For a night of sinful

These were liquor bottles
You see, and in my small
Mormon town, drinking was

To most, but by the time
We were done collecting
(When being a teen was a

And collecting discarded
Booze bottles no longer
Held fascination and petulance

We had hundreds and hundreds
Of bottles lining the walls of
One of my cousin's old farm

I don't recall ever once thinking
How strange it was that we had
So many, even in our small dry

And we certainly never thought
Of drinking any of the few sips
Left sloshing against the thick

Occasionally, though, we unscrewed
The caps and sniffed the sweetness
Liquor wafted through the small

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Last Temptation of Christ

 I've been reading Kazantzakis's The Last Temptation of Christ and was struck right from the start how well it could be adapted into a one season television series (unless, of course, the producers would want to carry on with the second coming in season two--which might be a hoot.)  Each chapter could be a complete episode, and would rely on the iconographic feel that the imagery in the book has.  I mean Greek iconography--the icons that the iconoclast worked so hard to destroy (but in the long run failed to.)  The visual design of the piece would be magnificently surreal, like those icons. I can see lots of flat lines of disciplines lined up in rows, warmed in golden light. Perhaps the irony would be that they would be dressed as "ragamuffins" as the translator so gleefully used the word, rather than all kitted up like Byzantine aristocracy.  Jesus's baptism strikes one as a perfect set piece from the book, with its Roshomonesque quality of no one quite certain what actually happened (nor hearing what the bird said).  I can see it playing out in several different versions on screen--one magnificent and trascendant--one gritty and realist--and one, perhaps, surreal.  No doubt it is a book that probably shouldn't be made into any thing else but the book it is, though.

Friday, August 27, 2021


 When I was a kid the only clothes I
 Recall my mother wearing were made of

(Polyester fabric is concocted
From the tears of dinosaurs, oil rich
And strong with fibrous fear learned hard in the

"These pants would survive a nuclear war,"
She declared as she pulled them fast and
Taught over her hips, pulling the elastic wide
And letting go of the band with a pleasing

And nuclear war was a possible thing back then,
You see.  While we may not have dived under 
Desks at the first sound of a siren, we all knew
That the possibility was there that we could wake
Up dead, or worse, and that there would be no more

We watched it on the jittery rolling lines of TV
Saw the flash saw the bones saw the flesh melt
Away because of a disagreement about how the
Economy was supposed to run and how poor people
Were supposed to be poor in each, which rules 
They were to obey and which leaders they should

(Karl Marx, by the way, dreamed of living in a
Hut, where, when approached, he would dole
Out life advice to the poor sots who were just
Looking for directions to the nearest Chevron
But he'd go on, and on, and the visitors kept
Inching further back from his threshold in

Only to run--finally escape and end up at Charles
Darwin's hut, replete with desiccated samples of 
This and that bug, and this and that plant and this
And that life. Darwin had nothing to say, other 
Than "Live with it." And inching back inching
Away, Darwin takes and interest and thrust a bug
In her face

"That's it!" the visitor declares, shoving her hands
Deep into non-existent polyester pockets to find
Nothing but fibrous rage. Turning sharp, she next
Finds the hut of Adam Smith, who is too busy counting
Gold to even answer the rasping knock of flesh on
Palm fronds

"Get to work," is the only thing he says)

But I digress

Friday, August 13, 2021


 When my grandfather visited
    (a rare occasion since he lived
     so far away across mountains
     of crumbling red sandstone and
     vast valleys of sea green sage)
He would be up at dawn
Every morning to rake the yard
Of sticks and leaves and paper
Blown in by the wind
He grasped the rake firmly with
His one good hand, using his
Frozen arm to counterbalance

Later, not long after he passed
While looking at books on
Japanese dry gardens,  I made
The connection.  Who am I to 
Know whether or not he had
Made it too while the rake
Scratched pattern and form,
Order and purpose on the clay
Back and forth. Back and forth
Taking away that which doesn't

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Listening to all your iTunes Library Reverse Alphabetical Order

I have no idea how many 
Are on this old iMac 
    (a fine machine that runs


But in reverse


They start with numbers

Starting with 9999 (Ways to Hate Us)


Your are soon rolling through the decades

        2002  (a lost love letter to a lost) 


And suddenly you are walking 2000 miles,


Remembering the snow falling down

    And maybe missing

                But not missing and no children


And then you are in the heart of 1999 and all the regrets

                                                Riff you

                            Though when you first hear that song

            It was long before anything burst

       Anything popped

Anything slumped

    Long before                    

                        Any hint of that loss

(of all all time)

And then 1979 and you feel young and it is summer and it is

        1995 and you are in 


Thursday, July 22, 2021


When you are seven
It is to be expected
But at fifty-six it is

But these days most
Have wisdom removed
While young

I always had a big
Mouth and even the
Dentist was amazed
That they had come in

So strong, at the back
Waiting to have a full

When your are young
You expect it but now
Now? Tooth loosening
And then it is in your

Fingertips edging the
Points, wondering how
The curved legs fit
In the sudden, hole

And you remember
When you were seven
And your brothers
Had the brilliant idea
To yank your bicuspid
Out with a string
As a sudden surprise

You are surprised