for S. Delany

for S. Delany

tormented and wounded
in her words’ tearing lurch, he

be-sandalled and be-spectacled
had wandered the tired
the metalled street

and tasted the stale fog/perhaps-smog
of three o’clock of a weekday
three o’clock in a greyed City morning

considering various
heroes, villains, and other fools,

run from the worded woman
who skewers him at times
with her merest glance

but has birthed these various
worlds, these unlikely
(and moving) protagonists; when

i stiffen in my last breath,
i shall see Kid Death

November 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment



that quiet
desperation fills you, for
a moment
as you listen to his story (the old
drunk’s story)…
you realize
he is as you, save
for face, name, a few

but he is old, and you
are horny, and
a whore on the corner
beckons. If not
love, lust, and the quick’ning
of the blood
(you can understand the ones
who regard
sex as exercise, though knowing
them blind)
that bespells you…

so you leave him, you
stagger away.
It is odd that
all that of meaning
in that day’s passing
is his story, and
(his incongruous, his beguiling)
his smile.


The line between truth and fiction is quite narrow (if existent) at times.

November 14, 2018 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment



i have addressed you
too often, unable
to not recall, scribbling

line upon line to
page upon page, knowing
they couldn’t be sent:

we parted some years
and miles away. you’ve
wintered, i suppose (i
don’t really know, haven’t

asked or cared to know)
with that same lover
successfully. But really,
it hardly matters:

though now and again
i must pen lines in your
name, to be discarded
or perched in some

dusty file: one grows
or one dies slowly. and
i have grown to know

all the shadows of
my self in the reflection
of the image i knew as you.


Yet another example of how I’ve openly hated myself since Vietnam.  And, it seems, every time I’ve ever ‘opened up’ [okay, so there are things that would ‘just have to be repeated’ and which you don’t say, aside from the fact there’s only one possible source and which galls like flesh worn raw in the summer and then burning from the sweat]–every time I have talked more than usual, there’s been immediate reason to regret it.


I don’t remember what her name was.  Perhaps it was [name redacted; she’s a devout Christian Reformed [Calvinist] matron who was merely a convenient excuse.  I found other people progressively more boring since second year of kindergarten except ones who were mainly non-academic.  It looks now like I should just have had more patience or even went to the wrong school.  But then I had the bad taste to acquire PTSD as well.

November 11, 2018 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment



in deep-murmuring forest once
we touched, in shadowed
near-silence: i remember
your quiet laughter.

but the sun fell
and night came: we must
have lost our way.
certainly, in any case,

dawn found us strangers.

More a comment on society and fragmenting relationships than any ‘real’ event. (“Do you ever hear voices in your head?” “Well, yeah…” The psychiatrist or counselor or…relaxes and settles down. Gee, a psychotic. “Well tell me about them.” “Every time someone speaks to me it happens. Can you give me a hint of how to stop that?”)

—They run out of the door screaming.
Reality in many cases is sheerly a matter of perspective, and society most certainly isn’t capable of distinguishing it from the babble that modern society depends upon for its very existence. I remember living in the country. It’s so silent there (I remember being far out at sea…)

November 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

meanings (x)

meanings (x)*

meanings and sixpence.
the latter fill the palm:
the former bring headaches.
you can’t sell the meanings,
though that’s all the pence are.
you prate of salvation, nirvana, freedom…
i ponder my empty palm.

There! my essay on money, although I should do the prose form fairly shortly. I wrote this just after coming ‘home’ after the Vietnam war. So say….oh, just a ‘rough’ estimate…November 6, 1976. I’d been reading Proust, Kafka and Zelazny. Oh, and Lem. What a likely mix. Delany’s Dahlgren was in the background, although there are some massive problems with that; glance

*This means in this case that I had a series and then threw away half of them. Which seems oddly apposite.

November 8, 2018 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

uncomfortable truths

Too Much Truth For Comfort

to move toward you or away
just now
would require more judgment

or at least an ability to
see myself without complete distaste.


you see

am quite stripped of i.

fifteen years later
still captive to a long-past experience*
i still have learned
only occasional silence

as for wisdom?
not even its semblance.
November 8, 2018 Transcription, somewhere between 20 & 30 years old. The inspiration was 40 years ago–now.

She did make me swear to never love anyone or anything, ever again; more often than not, her remembrance is sheer agony. Worst of all was the discovery that some of my ‘imaginary’ perceptions were very unfortunately quite real. No, I absolutely will not go there. Interpret that as you wish, I won’t and can’t explain.

November 8, 2018 at 7:28 pm Leave a comment



how do i tell you
who i am?
and, having told:
how shall i know
if you hear?
This is one of the poems where I rather shyly dared reveal that I really was a zen Buddhist. **In town, no one responded (in the new zen Buddhist, group) to this “But do you draw and carry water, do you hew and carry wood?”

Someone’s perceptions are sadly askew here. From what I’m being told recently it’s without doubt me. Odd that I was convinced a bit over forty years ago, exiting the Vietnam war that this was going to happen. It was diagnosed as paranoia.


***By the way, a ‘telling’ has more than one meaning. With the internet fairly easy to search, i Ching is one example of method of telling as are Tarot cards.

November 5, 2018 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

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