I hurried past three teens
just standing in the rain
and wanted to scold them:
“The overhang’s right there,
dummies.” Their laughter rang
unconscious of an audience.
Standing like mushrooms.

We all grow cautious
or catch colds, crash
cars, die on cliffs,
in war zones.

Or just shed pride in sheaves,
molt dignity in wild
public mistakes, swing
hard and splat–

the mirror a hospital bed,
old friendships a cast and traction.

Until then
or between thens,


Private Eye

I don’t know about you, but my
detective agency is booming.

Cases coming out my ears:
the missing iPod,
mistaken memory,
hidden secret of how to
have your own home

and, for that matter, turn the world
into fantasies
or vice-versa.

My secretary also keeps the books.
We should have married years ago.

The case of the haunted crawlspace,
the case of the occupied bathroom,
the case of the last tent,
the case of the stolen kiss,
the case of the hairy eyeball,
the case of the sacrificial lamb,
the case of Natural Lite,
the case of–oh, you get the picture.

One solving the next.

What I’m saying is,
if you have a case
and want some help, I’m
gonna have to hire somebody.

Need a job?




The Glue Widows

From the sticky planet,
as you know, we get our glue
with great difficulty.

So many good extractors
have been lost.

Their widows
in their shiny suits
with flagrant stitching

hate the bumper stickers
for their cause, they say.
Some do.

Others sit before calendars
of obese slugs, the goopy vines
and river slows,

eating ice cream
with their fingers,
watching the minute hand
stir the room.


Anniversary Eve with Kubo and Jim Fontagne

Took our kids to see Kubo.
It was moving too slow.
I got confused, but I stayed.
I stayed confused, so I left.

I ran into an old friend.
I couldn’t remember his name.
He’d broken up with his girl
and kept talking to girls. . . .

I got confused, but stayed.
It became clear I was the
wingman to Jim Fontagne,
so I left right out that door.

The night was full of beans.
My bike was right outside.
I sat and killed some time.
What are we waiting for?

Later, my daughter tried to explain,
But I was like, whatever.
Tomorrow, there’s a babysitter.
Anniversary, baby!

Do Right, Never Mind

Long as I do right, never mind
what I appreciate.
That seems a dangerous thought.
Or its opposite.

The mind wiggles the
senses like fingers
through the chain-link.

Lightning strikes a sinner’s house.

The nose turns towards her.

The steeple is not immune,
no, it begs for it first.

Long as one does right,
forget where one was going with that . . .

. . . that sharp heavy thought
one had retrieved out back
to think.

Looking out the window
at the sun
burning cooly on the water.

The tentacles flicking the
foam around.

In the waves—
not really; really elsewhere—
the roar of war.
The horde-charge,
the rippling—shush.
Push, suck,
lift, wobble,
wait, shine.