Winter 2012, #18



Not Enough Sin To Go Around

     for Ray

Inevitability: it's what's for dinner.
Step lively through the arrogance
of landscape, step decisively across
the minefield of joy. Tread independently
the airport road. Treat your neurons

with respect. Do I have a second?
It takes only one grain of sand
to sabotage the aperture, to desolate
a lens. Place your glasses in a vial
of acid. The frames dissolve apace.

When information fails, there
is always information theory.

When the future falters, there
is always the redacted past.

Not That Kind of Pain

What kind of pain is it? Stabbing?
Shooting? Throbbing? Tell me. Is it
a radiating pain? Does it burn? Point
to it. Is it a pain or more of an ache?
Does it feel muscular? Is it constant
or occasional? How severe is it? Is it
infrequent or recurring? When did it
start? What do you think you did?
Lift something? Move funny? Is it
relieved by exercise? Better lying down,
sitting, or standing? Does applied heat
make it better? What about ice? You
think maybe it could be stress related?

Different. A very different kind of pain.

Under Commiseration

The moonlight news is brutal:
compassion has been voted down.
The siblings of the siblings will never be born.

Human decency has been vandalized.
The honed stones have started to float.
The last of Che Guevara is being eaten by rats.

A meager third of a century will be devoted to love.
The last piece of pie will remain the last piece of pie.
The green heart of the red planet will stay transcendentally dark.

A man with sighs for eyes sits under a yew tree.
He watches acorn after acorn fall into sodden leaves:
He watches the past advance on the instability of the present.

The future, he tells himself, is the real èmigrè.
He bows his neck to the pagan razor of displacement.