A Few Published Poems from “Minds of Europe” and “Americana”



From newspaper, custom, and pillows

a swan built a nest for detecting air currents

and memory gusts that blossom 3-D into a tail:

cream cheese stained with strawberries. 


Mother pecked cheeks to feed.


Hawthorn wrote the way with pond water

and shade, but the ennui in privilege

parented the sensitivity to the blotting

in daily rituals and to steeples gathering

upon a carriage leaving town.


Countryside folded into the brainstem.


Steeped in tears the down neck

on Marcel gives way to out-stretched

wings and each feather detailed

permitting the rider to linger above

the petite concerns that peopled Combry.




Just Outside The Pied Cow


Thus talked Zarathustra in the city he loved, which is surnamed “The Pied Cow.”



Most camels don’t survive to children.

Beasts of burden pace the desert

of dragon scales as house cats. The weight

of family alone makes rising from the doomed


a crushing heave for the bulk. “You shall,

you shall” flares from the bellies

of teachers and police until manes

and backbones spread as backyard mulch.


Spitting at a front lawn refreshes the first

insult. The reptile plants its neighborhood

claim for humps of youth sunning themselves

for a load. Fierce devotion to chimeras


and to the play of a knight on a dune

calls to Ovid’s bedtime readers before

they are buried or eaten. World heeders






truth is that which makes a people certain, clear, and strong.” Martin Heidegger


Thrown into wild life, the clearing

defines authenticity from city.

Where else could the human

condition be? Meadows rubbing elbows

worked together enough in sunlit patches

wholly owned. As soon as pastures

linked arms, bad faith polluted

with rumor, reputation, and coercion.

Angst all around responsibility fled

into inter-state expressways for delusion

and paved complaint into compliant.

Asphalt, concrete, steel, and glass

relieved guilt with distraction.

(Facebook tapped into folk

and mirrors when alienation

invaded with cyberspace.) Time

and place squeezed lives into mobs

ripe for marketers. Harvested green

from limbs, most gifts and dreams

fertilized futility for propheteering,

a science able to rationalize

anything and believe nothing.



Masked Marvels


Their togas off, Marx and Freud wrestled

round two (?) for a hundred years. This time

nurture nearly pinned nature until the dirty

tricks we all know too well were executed.


Generosity would have walked away the victor

of rich and poor had private property and its

modest crown of silence not been so wiry.

With the bourgeoisie drawing on the mean


every day, family values, for its strength

and endurance, maneuvered muscle at the price

of the freedom of women. The middle class

won, but Plato got up smiling and brushed


himself off for another day. Aristotle went

into retail, and though the rest remains

history, the tectonic learners may yet find

their way out of the cortex of their cave.



Kafka’s Bride


Turning the pages of books into streets

and corridors, the starving Theseus winds

to where the bureaucratic Minotaur

awaits each reader. Lost in a bad dream’s


penitentiary, a beetle-shelled scapegoat

recognizes his wandering a solitary confinement’s

mad scheme and leads the protagonist’s call

for human responsibility. Estranged


from the guards and prisoners, the accused

artist on both sides of the ink hungers

for a balanced family, a woman’s touch

on any scale. Instead, the engaged lover


of life gives it up for a freedom just

beyond suffering father’s suffocation.



Love and Death in Granada


The crowd that flowed over London Bridge

rattled castanets in the Granada Streets:

By day as civil servants

and by night an arm pledged

to the Civil Guard that butchered fruit trees.

The Catholic Church buried the innocence.

Gacela and casida hung from limbs.

Ants took up positions within poems,

docile but capable without a word.

The walking dead resisted every breath

but horded oxygen from reading rooms

in the normal world.

The bitter root rejected imagination

and filled the bullfighting stadium

where friends feigned danger.

Wrapping typing paper around

a boot showcased the night with spurs

that invaded gypsy city and the moon.

Most bones cannot somnambulant alone

when stopping the river

from singing about an apple.

Lips part and then the jaw drops,

and the guitar suffers the swords,

while constellations, pistols.

The refrain: Each line after frowns.



Owning the Terrier

                        For Travis


Shell shocked, each Europe

picked through the rubble remains

for the genuine. Cities ducked

at thunder and nations drank

to forget. The island tail

that once wagged a mighty big dog

began to shake, and the canine

started to suffer dissociative

identity disorder. The implosion

called homecoming doubled

as victory. The Agamemnon family

troubles landed men in living-hell

onto bayoneted fences

or into the panoptic cells.

Clarissa wandered rocks for flowers.


For lack of Guinea,

brilliant women regret

or sally with five big sons.

Psychosis may have held

melancholy prose poems

hostage for new language

that only XX could articulate.

The time had come to regard

less the canon than to form English

before a tongue became a yawp.



“Come On Down”


“In short, they denied that we had ever been that hag-ridden populace a part of which was daily fed into a furnace and went up in oily flames, while the rest, in shackled impotence, waited their turn.”  Albert Camus



In the stands at the Coliseum the emperor

ignores thumbs and from his perch squishes

victims as though each were a bug. The fans

like to think that the food for lions has been


retired a decade, but saber teeth are also

sharpened on the bones of children

and middle-aged women. The sand at

the bottom of the arena’s pit plucks random


audience members or swallows whole sections

of seated citizens. Distracting themselves

from each loss, family and friends commiserate

or peer through fingers at the carnage.


The crowd gathers at the concession stand

bottleneck where the customer of inevitability

pays with a life to feed the complacent face

of change. Every body enjoys an ice-cold cheer.



Round the Block Toward Camus


The stone and hill wait for a reply

or to mark a death. The higher

ground never understands the granite

pushed into a place: The peak pinches,

and the boulder bowls over

so that a businessman chases a crag.

Again the weight matters

in the valley where the crust ore slab

test mettle, and the bone wears

before the slag that seems to snowball

upward. If effort achieved.

If purpose had bedrock or reef

where the engineer jerry-rigs

a hurtling geology that owns

mind and body. Relief eases

at the pivoting foot, the short poem

defying the gods before quarry

and renewed query. At bottom,

rocking with a diamond in mind

and anthracite at hand and shoulder,

the rebel without pause smiles

while the clock budges.






From the mountains of wheat

to unmined coasts of milk and money

thoughts are empty of wailing bellies.


The air is grimy with snacks and booze

on the fat that belches townhouse and ranch

and movement cripples a creeping hand

while rocketing chains and expensive pain.


Among cropless bowls and wilting bodies

wall-to-wall living rooms a moment away are dragged

but not a kernel is shaken from wallpaper eyelids

left with magazine pinups selling soap.


In the churches of cones, gingerbread, and beans

the dieting and lonely gathering mid-week

cover their mouths with bored hands

and cups of decaf coffee.



American Dream


The home movie of the fenced-in putting

green surrounding a house of sticks puts

a nation to sleep, so that if anyone wakes

he is without the bacon to buy back his life.


Franklin’s promise of original self-crafted

homo sapiens was buried among pages

of fiction to be disinterred by desperate

shovelers. Mass produced husbands


and wives spray lacquer on each

of the conveyer belt’s children and lose

them on continental shelves. The people

of ceramic molds fear the feeling of


their bodies in their hands in order to keep

a thought of their own from adding or subtracting.

Too few lumps of clay from the land of the free

find their way to a hand of the brave.



Brush with Exposure


The path to trust troubles footing,

lashes eyes with jetted tendrils.


Each step in the manual for the ability

to be vulnerable includes no directions.


Flagstones, one-legged pink flamingoes,

or the Virgin in an upended bath tub


camouflages shame from curb

to front door, behind which secrets fester.


Judges stand at every window

with megaphones and sit idling


in police cruisers pointing fingers.

Balance and the willingness to share


any berth along the way doesn’t clear

thicket but provides shoulders


and similar stories. For instance, race

and sexuality may slow the engendering


blame game to a joke. Keys to assurance lock

nothing but open to revise, revise, revise.



Now, the Fashion Celebrity


Collecting reports from senses,

the spinning wheel looms.

The fibers tangling into thread

include the unconscious records

as well as might be.


Without a spindle each faculty

roams alone, even at home.

Quicker than ticker-tape

and no thicker than silk,

the present slips into something

more comfortable, and the spider

backs into a corner once again.

Yet, a spool will pause to put

the evidence in order, even if

the participant must live in the past

with the paparazzi.


Clothed with an intricate monogram,

each audience member remains on stage

until the craftsmanship unravels.

While a second hand

makes a round and firsthand

heads for the hills, experience

rewrites a history.



Neither Rhyme nor Season


The untimely artistic energy gushes

from wells drilled with great regret

miles below the tourist industries.

Souvenir shops and motels

occupy the tuned in hearts

thumping to mouth-watering iambs

on pop stations. The refineries

for raw talent stockpile ambition

and sublimation for cities and suburbs

that tour universities and Hallmark

for factory prints. Every means

has been tried and every expense

continues in an attempt

to stem at its human source the accident

spewing with paint, ink, noise, even stone

at a studio here and writing desk there.


The unrecognizable products

from dispersant sheen teens

and tar-balled gunk punks

carry regret boons and exotic sorrow

as the thrill babies thrill using thumbs

and temp-jobs to paper over

the oops career destined to hang

on a bank vault walls in 50 years.

The plumes from the slick poetry pipe

stop as natural gas in each exhales,

but not without the disaster welling up

in someone else deep beneath

the marketing hustle bustle

punching holes in fin and flesh.



Postmodern Martial Arts


With what we don’t have flaunted all around.

Gnats taunting garbage. False sincerity

igniting rats. Gucci, Gucci goo. Malaise

stuck on the heel of a shoe fills nostrils.

Gross domestic happiness

waves its mortgage to waive fear

for mayonnaise. The flow charts.

Feet look sewer. Acquisitions and enjoyments

rev their motives while waiting for the third

generation cowboy. “Come down off a cloud

named Silver.” US cash total 300,000 =

the 150 million meek. What’s wrong

with the unimaginative tells the street people

how lucky the dead are not. Earth

my word my witness. Deregulated violence

drones it Tasers: gawking testicles,

not Moloch moms spoiling dinner,

children, and their own lives. Get hip

and walk a mile. The beat survives

on bread alone. Too late to wake up man.

The buses for one leave their curves.

The dear in headlights pushes hope

with its eye out all made up.



Fright or Flight


Citizens of secret cities polish floors

beneath their beds with the crisp fronts

of shirts. Skies of springs and foam

held up by posts and frames never rain


and no god sags in the clouds drawing

the wrath of outdoor threats. The snow

of interiors piles high in shoes. Bootstraps

are put to rest. The safety first students


graduated from under desks and frequent

fliers shifted their compartments from

between their knees. Chased by a sense

of fear, mop heads show up for work


and crawl after pay checks. Backbones

of dust cloths never stood against evil’s

thin air in an epoch of blue capes

and telephone booths on every corner;


two sets of neighboring eyes have

never confronted each other at

the attitude of between five and six feet.



Pepperoni Peace


When delivering democracy

from 10,000 feet, purveyors know

all parties below tip and receive a slice

straight from the oven

without a chance to scatter.

But then, before hell rang the doorbell,

the men mixing tomato sauce

in the kitchens on foundations

had addresses to populations

and orders also: The pot

had been simmering

to a boil a long time.

Pizzazz thrown in the air

sits flat with extra cheese

or the works on top in a box.

When the box flies open,

the smell is unmistakable:

Nothing sells like the sell in the morning.

On paper, the meal with map and driver

could feed the world and may,

even considering home-made concoctions

ready to spice up the messengers.

The average citizen dipping

a finger in the tomatoes and oregano

casts a vote and everybody else knows.

The dough spreads around

when everyone thinks

about a pie peace.

Burnt remnants fade from memory.


The Wait for Lame Excuses


The lopsided war

between the tribal

and infantilized peoples

continues until the men

with spears, spare time,

and misogyny wound themselves.

The lollipop populations

hand out diapers

to hunters in slings.

The happy ending

that thumb suckers demand

comes in various flavors,

but it arrives.

Asymmetrical gangsters

gather here and there in the hills

to lob disasters

when schoolyards fill

so that lessons lapse unlearned.

Hopscotch and jackstones

pass the time for fabled hares

with car keys waiting

for accidental injury.

When Brute Billy comes

looking for first aid,

the conflict subsides

and Nancy Nurse Coerce cuts

a deal so that the nap mats

absorb another playmate

with a life expectancy.








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