Friday, December 24, 2010

It's her hands
(of all things)
that I twitch for most,
because on each
of her fingertips
a maze whorls
with pleasure.  
What I may miss
in tracing a line
on her palm
I might divine
in the next.  
Even her pinky can probe
like a searchlight,
find what
I fear revealed.
Her slender thumbs
can oppose with grace
(Will they oppose me?)
Her index rises,
a tender wand,
a tenth of what
nightly troubles my blood:
a touch more subtle
than can be surmised.
All night,
each nail
a pale croissant
to be craved. 

Thursday, December 09, 2010



It steeps in starlight.
You feel it fall like freed water.
It bathes you in dopamine before dawn.
You take your breath from its whispers,
sitting like a sunflower in the corner.
Invisible by day and radiant by night,
it has a flame
that dances in all seasons.
It scurries from the rough
of young men's hands,   
from the smoke of opinion,
a cloud of ash floating
from a jagged cone.
When you press your ear to its heart,   
there is no note of any night.
And yet you call it nightly,
the possible oracle of an impossible song. 
But song is not the limit of its genius.   
The ear gorges itself on many frequencies.   
The fingers may caress
whatever key depresses.   
The lungs fill themselves
with various verses.   
The brain debates with no Coda.
It ripples the sea
like a new breeze,   
curls and peaks to many points.
You wait, unbated
to tangle in its tangents,
to scale the sails of silence
and read the ripples,
not as number,
but as Sine.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Under a duvet of darkness,
ears softening
in the silence,
you peek over.
Who could predict this?
An unfurling,
each touch
with the power
to part lips.
Making of their shading
and highlighting
a school of tactile undertow
that can pull or draw by
softest sixteenths
arterial eddies and ripples,
candlelit flickers
glancing the outer cheek,
shimmerings that shape
the banks of a river.
This isn't parenthesis.
This is the trouble clef.
Everybody hears
what they desire.
Always it is the same.
The purity
in the longing.
What we hear
is almost a tonic,
yes and yes with
each shivering breath,
climbing the scales
of the dark.
You are free to sigh.
I cannot of course read music.
Only these scars
curled like lashes
around your eyes.
A whisper’s siblings
vibrate into
quick muscled twitches
and tightenings,
in saline beads,
swirling sibilance
of an unbounded bed,
The stream
spills its banks,
pooling itself,
pulling gleaming abdomens
and tangled legs
beneath disbelief's blanket,
where a tender tremoring
involuntary dances.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Invisible by day and silent by night,
her wisdom curls like a cloud of ash
from a jagged cone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poem inspired by the Art Exhibit Weaving In and Out

A Cumulus Loom

I used to float
in a sea of sheets
and listen as you whistled
an aqua tune in the shower.
Mornings tinted by
a stream of air
made to modulate,
unwind and become silken thread.
Then a furious storm
split the oak that
shaded our house.
Now, rain splashes my gutters
on a morning so gray
its girders rust,
so starved for rhythm
it strums me
with liquid fingers.
If only I could summon
that rippled air, woven breeze.   
swab my ears in the flow
as it rinses away the pull
of tension from muscles,
towels a terry melody
over my hungry body.
How like the clouds
to resemble
pursed lips,
how like the Dawn
to moisten them
as its first blue deed.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kind of Blue


It eyed me at adolescence,
hot air trembling
along the curves of its bell,
hovering like held notes.
From the hallway,
the classroom beckoning
as if blue lit.
All it wanted was
to be carried home
in a case with handles,
a velvet lining,
a conical mute.
It promised to teach me
how to moan
in private.
My own mouth,
moistened so few times,
became a double bed
for it to dream in.
I recall a soft cloth,
stroking sheen,
the bright curving smile it left.
Found its body
a balm for stiff fingers,
even when I couldn't
handle its bursts of brassiness,
even when anything but
the Blues would do and
the deepest Blues
were all I knew.
And Miles
above us both—
hoarse whispers
haunting a muted mouth,
heresy set adrift on air.
There was a scented oil
glistening its valves.
Inside its coiled body,
my wet, rhythmic breath:
a note awaiting
an open ear.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On Glossolalia

The Way Faith Works

invokes notes
threading from
a flooded throat,
moving through tongues
pink and purple,
rising in ourselves,
but beyond us:
shrouded forms
spiritual as mist
floating across a river,
variables in
an equation of flame.
The way psalms work
is swirling sideways,
notes taken or not,
silence taken
advantage of.
Prayer is
a tongue trying
to trust lips and teeth,
cowed, yet called by
rising or open vowels
to Amen.
I hear the hymn
of your tattooed ankle,
arched eyebrow
and scarred lip.
I believe
exquisitely as a long kiss
in all the ways
our Tongues can twist.
Can the melted music
of our mouths
be held
as communion?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Riddle Me This, Batgirl!

Vuks ot znk Qke ul MM

What if someone
invented a language
out of clones of the 7th letter,
and "Baby juice, Baby juice?"
Then served it in short texts
or long conversations?
The words would look ordinary
but be filled with peanut butter,
they might sweeten in the sun,
but never darken with brown spots
or become mushy.
How would such a language
wear its hair?
Swept up into a knot
that resembles a rose
or falling over like a fountain?
The punctuation would be
formed with white chips
and black straws,
the conjunctions shopped for
at Barneys New York,
the interjections minty green
and only available
every March.
The letter "V" would be red
and visit small screens
every Tuesday night,
the letter "N"
would not mean "North",
nor "S" mean "South"
(who could find them anyway)
the other letters would all
be small walnut tiles
on mahogany racks
that you could switch around
in your head.
The pet phrases would be furry
and small enough to fit in a purse
(although they might rattle
with snores all night long).
This language would know
"Coffee Can Make You Black"
and contain a "Litany"
and beautiful "Puzzles"
with a secret "At Dawn"
that might escape the notice
of even the Queen of Google.
All liquid sentences would
be pressed from soy into Silk,
the vowels have
straight white teeth
and none of the consonants
would be composed
of custard.
Nor would any of its paragraphs
dig Lime Green Gators,
contain pig parts,
or tolerate runny eggs.
Who could comprehend
such a thing?
Surely it could make no sense?
If one fell asleep listening,
could you set it
to shut off after 15 minutes?
And what could one
create with
this new lingo?
Any poem written in it
would surely
be ticklish all over.
Perhaps something bold
as the toasted bagels of eternal joy
or mundane as "Get Well soon."
I do not know
how long it might take
to master it,
but I would retire every night
reciting its random sonnets,
then roll over each morning
to search again
for the warm secrets
of that esoteric tongue.

Monday, May 17, 2010

From Wiki

Why Bertholletia Hums the Orchid Bee Blues
(Found Poem)

The Brazil nut tree's
yellow flowers
very sweet nectar
but can only
be pollinated
by an insect
strong enough
to lift the
coiled hood . . .
and with tongues
long enough
to negotiate
the complex

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I wrote this poem years ago, but was never satisfied with the ending.

She’s Miss Sweet Potato Brown
 a steamy cocoa statuette
   with caramel-colored eyes
and fine tuned fingers.
And with pepper tongue twirling
   she sets whole rooms whirling
her black tresses swirling
 so devilishly dervish
and needlessly nervous
 though wordlessly
   wordlessly weird.
After kissing her
 I stumble into a drugstore
   and desperately undress all the chocolate bars.
Though she refuses all my flowers
 and will not hold my hand
   she sleeps with me in a heavy sweater
     almost frantically afraid of the cold.
And it’s not until morning light
 over raspberry tea, that I read
   in the lines around her smile
that she's parked in passion’s alley
 searched through many cans
and shivered in the shadows
 with moon-stained hands.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Seascape with Vessel

Her voice
calls in currents,
the melody washing
like incoming waves.
with a moving sun,
her aria tracks
the heart's arc.
As all that would rise
fear what falling may follow,
she is careful,
sings of descent first,
is cautious with what
she allows to be heard
in the harmony.
She knows the sea
and the Song of Salt
are composed
in the same key,
but still chooses
to bathe in what
the tide utters
in the interim,
by rising

Her voice
is more searchlight
than song, splashes the dunes
with waves of something
wilder than water.
Her lyrics are a people's sighs
medleyed with moonlight,
a geyser like whales exhaling.
Since tears also shine,
what saline circles
she's tasted, sparkle
like traces of grace
in the foam
swirling across
what beaches she walks.
And we wonder
what price of translation
she pays, as she sings
in a dress that is fraying
and slowly utters
every word
by barefoot

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lonnie's Lament

She floods the room,
a flash of moonlight,
the pressure of night rising.
I feel my taut strings plucked
by hands soft enough
to wreck religion.
I hear sharps and flats,
the subtle fingerings
that form her signature.
I feel indigo ventricles
improvise emotions
they can't contain.
See the saucy hips,
the twin legends
of her legs,
that cryptic tattoo,
the tresses braiding rumor
and myth. See
how she pimps mystique
into solo and chorus
inside a blouse.
Her skirt flashes through my past
like Billie's final sigh
teasing hopeful lungs
in a haunted torso.
I hear her halo
tilt to caress the curve
of the ear, chords born
from the marriage
of catfish and cornmeal,
from lacquered brass
and that last goodbye.
Check her thick thighs,
how they resolve into
an ankle's passion
for expensive bracelets
and the foot's five types of finesse;
the sweet tonic of each toe.
The daughter of possibilty
and pain, this onyx angel
skips like a rock across
my river, conjuring
the holiness of dragonflies.
I know the knickname
hidden like a curse word
under her scarlet tongue.
How can I forget those lips
whose low moan caressed
my neck all night,
when their prints linger
longer than the burn of Bourbon
on my mouth?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ode to Two Lips

Horizontal half-moons
soft as cinematic whispers,
last night heard my tongue
pray for the sacred space
between you.
I want you for
your red's exquisite sheen,
for how easy it is
to be transfixed
by the Two of Heart's glossy finish.
You know it isn't good sense
that makes me imagine
your fat bottom gleaming.
Months ago,
I dreamt you as sliced halves
of fruit beneath glass,
above teeth white
as an apple's exposed flesh.
But now I'm shoplifting Chapstick,
brushing gloss
across a canvas
stretched like skinny jeans
after a binge,
bewitched by what
surrounds your mouth's
satin machine.
You've been chapped
by wind, salt and sunlight.
But a single lick
from the scarlet felt
of a wandering tongue,
can make everything supple again.
And when are your
busses scheduled?
I want to caress
a fever into your fullness,
sighs from your corners.
You need no MAC,
Max Factor,
Revlon, Clinique, or Avon.
Now that I've kissed
the blues for you,
come close and hum
your cinnamon song.

Monday, March 01, 2010

New day. New try.

It's funny how the world works. I had started this poem a few months earlier as an experiment, trying to create a poetic analogue to a mathematical proof (Furstenberg's "Infinitude of Primes"). But although the resulting poem was somewhat interesting, the experiment was a failure on the conceptual level. So, after a while I decided to give up on the analogue idea and just edit the poem to get the best poem possible. And what do you know, just as soon as I stop trying the analogue concept and just do what's best for the poem, Bam! I stumble into a way to make the concept work.

(for Big Kenny and Little Kenny)

Let us define a topology
on the emotion L
by imagining a sub-love L1,
to be an open love
if and only if
it either contains
open kisses
or it contains
a union of emotional sequences
L(f, s),
where L(f, s)=hearts open as wounds.
In other words,
a sub-love L1,
can be open if and only if
every hesitant male heart
that is a member of L1
admits some non-hero condition F or S.
The axioms for a topology
are easily verified:
by definition,
an open mouth kiss is open;
L is just the sequence L(U, I),
and (if true) is open as well.
For any collection of open mouths
the intersection of two
(and hence finitely many)
open mouths is an open kiss:
Let the lips U and I
form open mouths,
then, let the mouths meet.
The topology is quite different
from the usual Euclidean one,
and has two notable properties:
Since any open mouth
contains infinite kisses,
no finite mouth can be open;
put another way,
the complement of an open kiss
cannot be a closed mouth.
The basis mouths {father, son}
are closed by nature,
but we can imagine L(f, s)
as the complement
of an open mouth as follows:
"There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a word . . .
. . . Love is a word, another kind of open."

Among the sounds
that are emotional multiples
of open kisses
is rain falling on a field,
i.e. [a topology of tears]
By the first property,
the mouth (raining sky)
cannot be closed.
On the other hand,
by the second property,
the mouth (fallow field) is closed.
So, if there were only
finitely many drops of rain
then the mouths (field, sky)
would be in a finite union
of closed mouths,
and hence closed.
This would
be a contradiction,
thus L(f, s) must contain
infinitely many
drops of rain
in an open field.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Litany For A February Day

Before, I might have dreamt
of the swirling agates of your eyes,
or the coal-colored
corn silk of your hair,
or even the velvet cushions
of your lips.
But, as I become
a more religious man
I pray silently for the soft halo
of your hands.
I do not pray the way
a kneeling Nun recites a rosary
for orphans in a Favela
or the way a penitent priest
invokes "Our Father"
before his congregation,
but how in mid-July,
a pair of blue mittens
pray from the darkness of a box
for what can only fill them
from the inside.
I wait for your hands
the way gallons of Butter Pecan
frozen behind frosted glass
wait for the mouth
that will melt it,
I coil for them
the way Spaghetti on a plate
coils for the tines of the fork
that will lift it onto
the warm wonder of a tongue.
I hunger for your right hand
small in the hollow of my back,
your left hand blessing the blades
of my shoulders.
I crave each of your slender fingers
as a smoker's lips
crave ten naked Newports.
My chest prays for your hands
the way the front yard
under its heavy sweater of leaves
prays for the sweep of a rake
to lay it bare and raise small hills.
My face imagines your hands
as a second story window
imagines the brush
of airborne blossoms.
My arms tingle for your fingertips
the way a branch tingles
under a caterpillar's feet,
my legs pray for your palms
as silk curtains drawn at night
pray to be parted
in the rising heat of morning.
And what does it mean
if my entire body
dreams of nothing but
falling asleep dotted
by your fingerprints
like a leopard
with a thousand glowing spots,
awaiting your caress
as blank paper
awaits the kiss
of the calligrapher's pen,
as rainy windshields
await the swish
of wiper blades,
as every morning
those cups stacked high
behind the counter at Starbucks
become sinners at a Revival
waiting to be made holy
by simply being held
in your hands.