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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

it took me years to understand

it took me years to understand
that what i was really looking for
in porn
even as a teen
was not some exceptional
act or marathon of activity
but a couple
who appeared to be
actually in love
and what i was waiting for
no matter what else
they said or did was the most
intimate expression two
people can share
the open
unguarded moment when
they kissed

Sunday, January 29, 2012


i had been reading
that book about jfk why he died
when the new preacher
paid a visit completely unannounced
and there was nothing
to do but let him in although
i do my best to keep
everybody away from here
a house which like
the title of the book is
unspeakable and
i stopped him at the kitchen
i mean i don't even
visit the living room myself
with its clawed-up furniture and powder-white
turds and the lingering
smell of cat piss and the preacher
an erudite man obviously
(what lutheran minister is not?)
asked me if i liked the book
and i said yes but like most of
the jfk efforts what else can
it reveal still it was far better
than that chris matthews
pastiche he calls a labor of love
and hawks at every opportunity
while unspeakable
has a distinct point of view
evolving from its title
i said which
is drawn from thomas merton's book
raids on the unspeakable
a concept he defines as a disorder of such
magnitude it can be broken open
only by a miracle
but when i mentioned merton's name the preacher
crossed his arms in front of him
and pursed his lips and brought forth
a reaction of almost unspeakable loathing merton he spat
that papist monk!

he's maybe even older than i

he's maybe even older than i
in dog years
but his health is
remarkably good
and he sleeps soundly at
night after sleeping
soundly all day
and he never complains
if my foot should graze him in the bed
except to give out a soft growl
of warning
so unlike the way it used to be
with us when
you would wake up screaming
bloody murder
if i tried to fuck you in my dreams

Friday, January 27, 2012

it's not that i hate you

it's not that i hate you
or love you
it's like everything else in this life
mostly, some
in-between thing or combination of the two
like this poem itself where
all the fractured elements i want to let out
are the very ones
it will seek to deny,
so that no matter how i try to nail the moment down
the reader is almost bound
to conjure up another life entirely
one that has almost nothing to do with either
me or you

Thursday, January 26, 2012

i wish

i wish i had a place
to go to a church
like you

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

daddy's sister ethelda

who we always just called
aunt miss
was one of those people who
when i was a kid
already had a refrigerator in her kitchen
and kept cold water inside
in a glass
bottle so when you wanted a drink you never
had to take it from the tap

and she had a television too
where you could see
milton berle that uncle milty
he made us all

get the giggles

and her house had three whole
separate bedrooms
and a screened-in
patio porch with a cement floor where if you were

it came right up through your feet to your
chest it seemed like

and whenever aunt miss had a cold or the flu
our uncle george who
was the pharmacist at black's drugstore
uncle george would bring home
green bottles and little brown ones
that would make aunt miss
sit up and wink at people and sing  oh
the doo dah
somebody bet on the bay