Times Square

can I speak to you in my native tongue–

metaphor, symbol, and synecdoche–

when the dark has come and

the colors have run,

blue and red from my country’s flag,

mixed into the color of bruises at

the flag pole’s base and the

blood has drained from her pretty face…


can I call you by name from the cloud

of witnesses gathered,

like October leaves in Times Square

through the gathering darkness and

expect you to answer?


would you rise from your Ten-Minutes-to-Midnight slumber,

comb your luxurious hair and

meet me to stand before the toxic wind?


for I have nothing but loose change

and a few cryptic rhymes to

hold back the clouds here at the

end of time and

A small, weak hand, stained with

ink and blood; a whitewashed house

we mistook for faith; a rhyming pledge

we mistook for love–


can I speak to you, in the

gathering storm, a few seditious whispers

in poetic form of an

eagle dying in a skeletal tree;

of a woman crying in a polluted sea;

of blood on the roots of liberty’s tree?

These Are The Last Days

fall down the page,
a leaf the color of blood;
words soak so easily
into the armor of routine—
“read me” the only
label on this paper bottle of pills, this
prescription, this
poetry, water for a
thirsty tongue—
taste my words and
know my revolution (revelation), my
LIGHT steeped,
into ink-stains on cotton
white as a newborn soul and
in these final days, last
hours, huddled against
crowded loneliness
feel me there beside you
reaching for your

Sketch 3

November 2nd
North Wind whistled down Canyon Road,
hands in pockets,
eyes elsewhere,
a jaunty traveler, just passing through–

behind him,
cottonwood cried, naked in the cold;
deer stumbled
for the protection of sparse pine,
children reached for mothers’ hands

Sketch 2

Was a man I knew
soul of a poet. His face
bright and quick, with
eyes ready to weep for a great cause.

he fell prey, suffered
soul-death, at the hands
of two conspirators:
time and poverty,
both grinning rakishly as they
knocked on his front door,
dressed in funeral clothes.

Sketch 1

Mirrors in Hell do not lie-
the damned must look at themselves with
doleful, understanding eyes,
must see themselves for what they have become:
wispy passions bound together,
sheathed in a thin layer of will–

they mourn for what they’ve lost,
hands outstretched like weeping clouds


Short                                                                                                                                                                                                       hours                                                                                                                                                                                       click long claws

down portrait-laden halls

snap-shot memories shift and move in candlelight:                                                                                                                                                           here is a photo of the woman I knew I must marry;                                                                                                                         here, a dripping sunset I knew I must memorize;                                                                                                                           here, a portrait of my grandfather the last time I saw him alive                                                                        November

time slouches forward, claws clicking,                                                                                                                                                     a luminous animal guided by its own light

down this corridor, around the corner to the right,

into a doorway through which I dare not go

Temporary Diamonds

can you speak of what
you believe with recycled words as
though words were water
flushed down urinals,
agitated in mechanics’ greasy rinse cycles,
spewed at high pressure into slimy New York streets,
mixed unmercifully into compost scunge and
sprayed across the lawn;
evaporated, rarified into purest form,
ascended, Christ-like, imbued with all our sin,
taken to Heaven,
purified to rain like
to ennoble brown October grass,
dressing each mundane blade in raiment
fit for a king,
encrusting the common, the ugly, the unspeakable
in temporary diamonds and fleeting jewels–
can words, like glistening frost in October morning sunlight,
hold the molten iron of what you believe?