we stood by

we stood by watched petals
fall the roads stood quiet the medallions

glimmered we stood by talk
ed the
     etched ballads fell like toadstools
     elms balked at
     songbirds mocking the sun for rising late
     songbirds mocking the elk for balking late

we stood by etching ballads
     the medallions glimmering as the road meandered into walkways
     joined with the voice of the gull mocking the songbird we
     stood by etching
     moonrock from castoff dream
     we stood by

humming distant song

so you respond

I shamed my soul, lost heaven’s place,
when I fawned upon the oppressor’s flabby hand.

– Lance Jeffers (from his poem, “And God got down before the fool”)

so you respond
as the poet has to, as the poem
can (should?)      so you despond

as the times
will have you, as this cess is
wont to      so you sit, quiet

arm in bloodied
ink, eye in sullen slight      fire
brewing on the potted page –

an eye sees what the pen holds out as premise
     the field of X      an algebra of

an eye begins what the pen hollows out as seed
     tyranny of X      an unknown of
     fsetting the known

an eye opens what the pen stamps out as possible
     imaginary X      an amalgam of
     steel & need

tiny treatise on dark


  • – an insular, absurd dark: the kind
    you don’t want to do a phd in (or
    if you do, wise to shun all expectations of tenure)

  • – a redemptive, solaced dark: mundane,
    cheerful even (how?)

  • corollaries:

  • – with insularity, freedom rings tinny – you will get
    a full and final price – no refunds

  • – the redemptive space has no guarantees except
    what you can hope to find in a dissenting heart, dissolved,
    immersed in childsplay

  • – the absurd has more than many dimensions – best not to count

  • – solace burns arbitrarily – let me count the ways

iii pretenses

the fresh wound
     me to climb
     to sing      I

cannot tell whether the door is valid
     or if it just pretends to be near

spring pretends to know –
     the jar of heaven
     tells a tall story

I listen      the ink
     dries sooner than
     the parchment can

say goodbye      I listen –
     there is a night some
     where willing to

be stone      there is a
    need sometime to be –
    there is always time

an unflower pretends –
the grain of resistance
     slows down the intake
     of bloodalcohol

as you slump into an un
dead sea      you wake up
     to unknowns      we talk
     of blood, alcohol


the dregs of tao

wangwei spoke of a distant t’ang
no longer viable

as nature     dufu laments laments
his song his

children poor his ambition sharp
sharp till

he channels laotsu but he is late
the river recalls

a bedevilled notion of bloodflow has
ancillary cooptions

tooting a mandatory horn     we have
algebra lessons as

our guide to a moral aesthetic     (so
foundations are

necessarily wrongfooted)     beyond what
the rope of an

eyelid can climb     behind actuarian

lie certain possibilities     the rope
is mountain –

a burnt conscience stokes the
lament of

objectionable beauty     this
form that

begat the warmth of forgetting
now heat

now axis     now the plumb of
terror woven

Dread is my mouth’s resonance     dead is
the willingness

of its voice     which voice?     the stone
demands     which

need goes in search of this voice? the
stone is now rock

in becoming     in riveting itself to the
tales of two pasts

one which is my mouth’s resonance     one
which is its voice

so we can say physics is the aftermath
of reason

ethics the shell of the shell     & art?
art is

the longing for wrong when right-left
revels as an unjust di
          chotomy –


ii trembles

the loam – ripe with glut
of worm – spills

a bony secret onto verse
shell     this

bearing     noosing of nuance
blips purple

anger     blips ammonia     as
the goings of

tremendousness gather     as
we tremble salt

In whose silence does water bleed? through
which path to stone does life run its course?
when does the machine begin to reflect upon

Its lie? where can the parched eagle soar
if not in my dungeoned voice? how can summer
tell if it is a mere shadow of winter?

What does it matter if the life
of an atom is halved and there is silence,
some tremble, and then bloodbath?