I have created a volume called Voices of Gotham, comprising monologs in which various characters from my fiction present and explain themselves, including The Street Kid, The Wounded Soldier, The Abortionist, The Doctor of Divinity, The Ragpicker, The Stock Speculator, The Lover of Boys, and The Wife of the Lover of Boys.  But most of my poetry is lyrical, as seen below.

  Resolutions for a More Meaningful Existence

To brush spring azure’s
Wisp of blue flutter

To ignore dust-prone surfaces and nagging clocks
In quest of high nirvanas

To attain mathematical grace:
My checkbook balanced

Beset with leaky pipes
Mice, warts, roaches
Bird shit on my windowsill
Dandruff and societal malaise,
To smile with sweet reason
And not greet computer glitches
With poundings of the screen and keyboard
Kicks, oaths, shrieks

To be a quiet little worm,
Let silence listen to me

To wallow in fields choked
With mustard and mint
Till summers juicy with caterpillars
Suck my seed

To discern
In thick rock
And my own taut flesh and bone
Vibrant nonsense
Frozen light

Each day, mindful
Of the lengthening fingernails
And black swollen tongues
Of the coffined dead,
                              To walk in the sweet-grass hills.

                              nycBigCityLit.com, January 2004


A rollercoastering white-rumped flicker
Gored, hawk-struck;
On decayed stumps
Pink warts of wolf’s-milk slime;
Wasp eggs hatching
Through the guts of caterpillars;
Inky caps
Eaten by their own black ooze:
The dark force of things.

Snake Nation Review, no. 12, 1997

                                         Witches’ Butter

When I step into silence
Pink rot
Of a dead seal greets me, and thoughts
Brick-heavy, cemetery-neat
Like burnt ash.

That oak light is not pine light
I thread
Sloughed snakeskins, yellow lumps
Of witches’ butter on dead logs, silken slime
While in my footprints
Earth stars bloom.

As brine in rock I dance
With the glass wolf.

Blue damselflies
Like winged pins lift me
Over cactus prickles
And seas stalked
By gaping hook-toothed sharks
Mantas and moray eels
While I dream
Of sky eyes, hands of light.

As a grasshopper’s spider-sucked husk
I enter
The hissing navel of the
Frost witch, hunt
The deep bitter pond
Where hazel trees drop
Crimson nuts
Eaten by salmon
The taste of whose flesh gives omniscience.

The Bitter Oleander, vol. 11, no. 1 (2005)

        Slugs Are Elegant

Lint in death’s navel, I project
My warts and ecstasies
Past spasms of belief

Nurse regrets intricate
As brain coral, snowflakes, rites of bees

Court erections
And resurrections

Lost lollipops and broken yo-yos

My juices and coils
To diminuendos of hope

Hear galactic whispers telling me
That slugs are elegant

In the dust of things
     And wish all lovers joy

     The Same, Winter/Spring 2011

   Rubbing the Penis with Ginger and Honey

Since rubbing the penis with ginger and honey
Assures erections
And black pepper and beaver testicles
Banana and egg yolk
Arsenic, marmalade and cloves
Are aphrodisiacs (so I’m told),
With a well-stocked pantry
We should all be primed for love.

Since radiance, so physicists inform me,
Is one of the ten powers of the universe
(The other nine escape me)
And the primordial language is light,
We should look for hidden brilliance
In stumps, rocks, clods
Fools and dullards
And speak only
Words that gleam and glow.

Since silence, ascetics affirm,
Harbors the Great Loneliness
Land of dearth and vision
And the darkness that is the home of the gods,
We should tiptoe
On its fringe of mystery
And absorb it
Like a starfish sucks a clam.
Silence: invisible but always there
Vast yet self-contained
Wise, deep, whole:
The undersong of life.
And since poetry is noise, I’ll shut up.

                              nycBigCityLit.com, Spring 2008

     Mind Beetles Creep

Mind beetles creep; I wallow
In puddles of dream.

Wedged between silences,
My entrails gnawed at
By the grubs of vision,
Yearning to dazzle
Star-biters and the rooted, I propel
My rattly skeleton
Past bowers where adenoidal temptresses
Expose their dainties,
My bare feet trampling
Squishy-faced fetuses
Sea worms with stinging spines
Jagged clocks.

In the office of the Executive
Screens flash, computers hum
While spike-heeled secretaries
Click in, click out.

Wart Woman looms, hugs me
Into the chasm of her engulfing charms;
I squirm, wiggle away.

Through a lean void,
Dodging deft masturbators
With eyes the glitter of quartz,
Killing time, killing time, I hunger
                                    For the puke of grace.

                                    The Same, Winter/Spring 2011


Don’t bury me
In a hardwood casket
Or one of those metallic jobs
Polished, cushiony, expensive
Guaranteed to last a hundred years
That morticians con you into buying.

Soft pine should do the trick
Bugs and worms are my friends
Let them take what they want
They’ll just pass it on.

Yes, bury me
In a crumbly coffin
I want to be roots
I want to be leaves.

Better still, cremate me
Quicker and cleaner
Less fuss
Ought to make
A good crackle.

Burn me
I want to be light.

                                    Heliotrope, Fall 2002    

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