For Lloyd

When in waking hours

no relief to be found

Only poison left to quell the din

subdue the competing voices within

dosed to relegate

a conscience more sedate

Then for some hours to breath

In repose years erased

no barrier to my travels

I take the place and time of my choice

My journey to these realms may find

Mr. Montgomery’s closet and

the long, woolen overcoat scented

with briar and aromatic leaf

and romanticized memories of night skies

over Hanover ’43

The man who made it home

paid the price for living free

yet still sacrifice his only progeny

You taught us to be men

as only you knew how

I didn’t know it then

but I understand it now


April 1980

Southbound 57

Perpetual Change at volume

blown channels disguised

by open windows

First time past the great river

to places with more sand

and waters foreign to my tongue

A new sun

A new air to breath

and the relief of being unknown

Prepares you for death in a strange century

We could harvest the slag heaps

or move to higher ground

We’d rather go home

but roads no longer go back

to that familiar place

Where we dreamt that someday

we’d be up late at night

sharing Johnny Carson’s ashtray

…if the universe

“What if”, my friend Fritz has asked me. In those moments unguarded I am caught, unawares. He bludgeons me with his bitter irony. And yet I always accept more.

“What if, my friend, the universe is indeed nothing more than some vast, fetid pool of reproductive goop….”

Goop? I interrupt him, quite certain this is not a term common to 19th century German. He continues unfazed…

“…. a festering, susurrating ocean of seed and egg co-mingled. A perfect, self sustaining machine of cells, combining and recombining…”

He was again sounding more German. I decided to not fixate on the goop.

“….and all life is attuned to this symphony by olfactory bulb; no memory, only direct stimulus to the brain stem.”

Fritz comes and goes. Often he is here and only sits as a silent observer. Other times he concerns me.

“Yes, my friend. A pheromone paradigm, eh? What do you think, Thomas? In that construct what is the supreme being?”

On some occasions he simply will not leave until engaged. I had to reply.

“Well, Freddy, in that construct I will say that the supreme being is Ramses Buttplug the XVI, the Great Intergalactic Aardvark. He crawls about the catwalks above the space/time fabric, probing the goop with his long, sticky tongue. He sucks up entire planets indiscriminately with each dip from the pool, thereby dispensing justice in an entirely objective manner.”

He remained silent a while. I had almost begun to believe he had gone.

“Ja, I had forgotten about the Aardvark, but you are wrong my friend! In that construct it is we, the ants, who are supreme. Through our consumption the Aardvark is poisoned.”

His logic is ever infallible. I forever dread his coming; I forever dread his absence. He pours two tumblers of whiskey, then raises his glass in toast.

“God is dead?”

I raise my glass in reply, “He is indeed dead, for we have killed him.”

We drink in silence. Then he is gone. My friend Fritz.

Time and space

All these twisted, tortured memories

have their own anatomy

Pieces only meant to fit

into certain symmetry

Something ugly shimmers in the airwaves

stealing it all

to put out on display

A subject now to all manner of decay

Hyperconnected for communion

It’s the new mental health therapy

where every psychosis is shared

The fabric of this space is folded

and goes nowhere


The Classy Lady

Do not trust those with facial twitches

or the grating screech

of old and spiteful bitches

Her pallid mask frozen in rage

In defiance she tears the page

A brazen and yet futile act

committed for the petty, while absent tact

or the grace we should no doubt expect

from a leader so wise and circumspect

Even those from within her fold

can see that she’s acting like she’s four years old

Her reward for exhibiting so much class

is Limbaugh’s Freedom Award planted, like a flag in her ass


Sixteen inches

It’s forty years on, and now

I can walk and find myself

in hallways we once roamed

None now to remember your name

I am here now

I will bear witness

that Jay was here

His shy smile and nervous laugh

Dark eyes and hair

haunted like a beaten dog

We were mates from the Old School

our proud rural contingent

We were quiet

We were artists

and they ignored us

Until you drowned

in 16″ of water

I wasn’t there

but I know what happened

So sorry

We could not say goodbye


An Ode to Swanson’s


Furniture an abomination

Why surely the floor is our place

Thirteen inch black and white on rainy Saturday

Kukla, Fran and Ollie host a foreign film

baffled by French names

entrapped by November rains

we begin to feel the hunger pains

These days when the migraines

were blinding

No light from beneath the door

No, I’ll light the oven

Swanson’s to the rescue