in the nightstand next to my soul

I left you in my drawer of
forgotten monsters
where photographs so
urgent in their moment
lay curled against neglect there
is the Kama Sutra &
other Sanskrit dabblings
Dashiell Hammett &
love letters lacking the
heft of punctuation & the
catholicon of desire

my first wife was the
second cook at a
third-rate joint on 4th Street
scribbled across a Starbucks napkin &
your roughly forged iron nails
in a relic jar

how to take antipsychotic medication

to sleep like a seed
& dream of a garden
the stem I will be
bent under late snow

voices on oils
their lips their
stilled tongues & rapid eyes
they think of me as family
from a tragic buttoned distance
the Christmas poet
still as a century
on a Seroquel street corner
in my shoplifted coat

take at bedtime
the label says or
when the angels gather &
hum your name or
do not take them at all &
fall in with the angels &
walk with them their
whispered mile

how to read a poem

you breathe and know the words are yours
but have somehow switched position upon the page
as the small audience dreams and expects at
well coffeed tables

so you look up from the page and
smile looking
over the top of your glasses knowing
you look professorly but
knowing also that
professorly is not a real word just
four syllables that
fit with adhesive
somewhere on the
edge of a sonnet in which
the word love in the
second line now reads

bedlam boy

dark condenses finely upon
each object in the room the
psychiatrist’s stare is his

am a true bedlam boy a
waste of his DSM mysticism
administered & urging my brain on
toward cheerful banality some
pedestrian evenness where
razorblades offer their blue innocence
like a child’s simple grin

meanwhile I
am thinking of a
garden wet & dark with
unreliable night
wrapping round pointless paths &
kept by a great wooden gate

spider waits all
eight-eyed upon
her coiled labour for the
food chain to draw taut round
a buzz of blind protein the
near disaster of broken silk the
tickle & panic the

psychiatrist scribbles on
creating more artefact with my
name upon it he
looks up at me then
scribbles more while

somewhere there’s a
highway a
cigarette commercial a
convertible with a well vetted woman riding
shotgun he’d
rather be with than
me in this room but
there are profession & possession & the
dewy garden at dawn he
hasn’t considered

from October 2011 – horoscope of the apocalypse – the occupy wall street edition

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

Aries, you’re a happy camper. What’s all this about Occupying Wall Street? You got your bonuses this year. You’ve got money hidden offshore. Your kids will get into Ivy League universities despite their crappy grades. And your nose is so far up your bosses arse, it would take backhoe to remove it. So go ahead and scoff at those ragged, unorganised OWS protesters being beaten by the cops. You’re Marie Antoinette. Let them eat cake. 

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

You’re so patient and warm hearted, Taurus. A pack of degenerate Wall Street criminals stole your retirement funds, and you’re happily looking forward to working as a Walmart greeter until you’re 90. You’re the model citizen of the new normal. Now put your hand palm down on the desk, and stab it repeatedly with a screwdriver. Mad yet? 

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Gemini is the adaptable one. No job? Lose everything when Goldman Sachs decided to flush your future down a filthy Wall Street toilet frequented by constipated bankers? Homeless? Sleeping in abandoned cars? Panhandling from the very bastards who poured poverty over you and your family like a can of beige latex? Use your innate eloquence, Gemini. Choose a corporate executive and kick him in the nuts. 

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Oh baby! Cancer, you are the emotional one. You’re the one with the megaphone standing on the overturned, burned out Bimmer. Shout your personal manifesto. Provoke the masses. This is your moment to stand out in the crowd. Fellow OWS protesters cluster around and look up to you. Watch out for police snipers. 

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Don’t worry, Leo. There will always be food banks. You can always line up for a couple bags of charity groceries to feed your starving children. And hey, since you’re poor, and therefore paying a higher tax rate than Warren Buffet, you can take comfort in knowing that you actually have some clout in this world. I crack me up. 

Virgo (Aug 23 – September 22)

Your obsessive compulsiveness keeps you at home during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. You’re too busy lining up the slats in your Venetian blinds, and perfectly distributing the banana slices in the lime Jell-O to get excited about mass white collar crime, the concentration of wealth, the disappearance of the middle class and the curtailment of rights. Oh, hold on. Isn’t that the sound of your job being given to an eight year old in Bangladesh? 

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

You’re diplomatic, charming, sociable and urbane, Libra. Holy shit, you’re a corporate banker. Hey everyone, let’s get this asshole! 

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

The dark side of Scorpio is resentful and jealous. You covet and brood over the possessions and successes of others. Financial gain and material wealth will be yours. Just put on that black hood and pull out the ball peen hammer. They don’t call those stores Target for nothing. 

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Optimism is your worst enemy, Sagittarius. You think that cop in riot gear won’t beat you to a bloody pulp? Think again boy-o/girl-o. There’s a nightstick out there with your name on it. 

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Why are you even here, Capricorn? Just go home and rain on somebody else’s parade. 

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Hey, remember that song Age of Aquarius by the Fifth Dimension. It sort of went: …this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Like that was supposed to mean something. And there was that big fat guy in the group who looked like he was going to have a cerebral haemorrhage at any moment because he was such a damn lunchbox. Man did he sweat. I mean he sweat like no one I ever saw. And they put him on TV, for God’s sake. Wait a minute, where was I? 

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Ask yourself, Pisces. What are your goals? Why are you really going to the Occupy Wall Street demonstration? Is it because the opposite sex digs a sensitive, radicalised anti-establishmentarian? Did you set the TiVo before you left? Did you get your flu shot? It’s already October, you know. Have you bought candy for the trick or treaters? Have you called your mother? Changed the oil? Paid Hydro? Flossed? Made funeral Prearrangements? Submitted a DNA sample to freeze for future use? People talk behind your back.