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


the pine of the just throbs with
the thread of dark       bring on

the sieve       this incessant tao
at rest       how to enact this rite

of flow in tears?       as we edge
off to the tip of hell, we shimmer

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?

ii variations on song

do you look the weeping weapon
in the eye     do you stand in stead
of mirth     can we speak
the sated vowel as birth     as threaded
song     did you peel the sung of heaven’s ceiling?

the poem makes exception
rule     the creed of gift
crasses by unsung as we
collect mistakes     hoof
prints of past songly
cast as exceptions     which
the poem rends     to correct

the sunken star

the sunken star
let me know     the

grazen palm
root     the banished

star     whose time had
run      the sunken

tepid humless star
whose time began

with the rootless
par     come leg this

withered washed unspun
roar     the banished

star     whose wicked warp
has thanked     begun

let me know why each
vessel woofed my edgeless

bark     the sunken star
each starless known