Thursday, December 25, 2008


This afternoon a man leans over
the hard rolls and the curled
butter, and tells me everything: two
women love him, he loves them, what
should he do?

The sun
sifts down through the imperceptibly
brownish urban air. I'm going to
suffer for this: turn red, get
blisters or else cancer. I eat
asparagus with my fingers, he
plunges into description.
He's as his wit's end, sewed
up in his own frenzy. He has
breadcrumbs in his beard.
I wonder
if I should let my hair go grey
so my advice would be better.
I could wrinkle up my eyelids,
look wise. I could get a pet lizard.
You're not crazy, I tell him.
Others have done this. Me too.
Messy love is better than none,
I guess. I'm no authority
on sane living.

Which is all true
and no help at all, because
this form of love is like the pain
of childbirth: so intense
it's hard to remember afterwards,
or what kind of screams and grimaces
it pushed you into.

The shrimp arrive on their skewers,
the courtyard trees unroll
their yellowy caterpillars,
pollen powders our shoulders.
He wants them both, he relates
tortures, the coffee
arrives, and altogether I am amazed
at his stupidities.

I sit looking at him
with a sort of wonder
or is it envy?

Listen, I say to him,
you're very lucky.

Margaret Atwood

Sunday, December 14, 2008

her vital mistake

she says a word after a word after a word is power.

not poison
not corrosive
not hopeless

just power.

what a vague and innocent lie!
what a fool's dream!
what vanity!

is she not aware of the finiteness of our lexicon?
does she now know about predestination-
that we were given a set amount of keystrokes
before our fingers dissolve,
so every wasted word
is a step towards death?

every hypothetical you pour your brainjuice into
makes you less yourself, less alive,
erodes your essence.

you see,
a word after a word after a word is excessive
a word is cowardly
a word is arrogant
a word is time that could have been spent in love
with purpose

Friday, December 5, 2008

browsing for beach reads in Alexandria

by the delving light of an ancient wonder
i amble through waves of papyri.
the forged words and stolen histories
squish between my toes
along the fabled shore.

a snug spot manifests between two proud stones,
so I slide into the sandy shelf
for a short rest and a fast read:
2000 years and 7000 miles away
and still, all I want is escapism.

but there are no best sellers in the Hellenistic world
no Pattersons or Browns
only the dense propaganda of Herodotus and Plutarch,
the dull Greek lies of kings and victories
that retire my eyes.

and in that bored torpor
i envisage the apocalypse of proof-
all the wisdom of all the ages
enflamed from folly or foe;
the light makes ash of legend.

soon my copperstone skin strikes midnight
with the embers of Alexander
still torrid from conquest.
frightened, I beckon the forgiving tide
to wash me of the burden of knowledge.

Monday, December 1, 2008

tomorrow is thick and daunting
but all i want to do is document every moment
with a mix tape