ghosts for neighbours

stanza by particle
the ghosts move in upstairs
flakes of each falling
already from above
tomorrow I’ll have to dust!

they probably laugh
at words like papier-mâché

I pound the ceiling with a broomstick
hearing their disembodied snickers
aware that they’re likely
disembodily thinking
the mortal buzz-kill downstairs’s
a bore








take the child

that now there is a thirsty line
take the child
under stars
oh yes the moon
into your confoundedness
truth laughing at its teller
and let lies listen hard








summer drive


because you are a poet
—born onto you like a map—
you hear Bukowski in the double clutch
sense Plath in your speed &
watch Kerouac on the odometer
while on the roadside stands
the empire of things thrown from cars
never finding their ways home
ghosts on the last broken headlight off-ramp
you travel on an August night
buses & trucks & neon
into the city
of the roller of big cigars



The Emperor of Ice-Cream







Good Friday crows

I love the Good Friday crows
on the wire the noise
of pencils hitting the floor
Ahabs walking Pequod decks
bottomless black the taxidermy eyes
still hosanna on their wings watching the season
dig itself out of its grave
there are only sidewalks here
parallel parking and old apartments
this is Inner Urbanland here the smokers
still empty their automobile ashtrays at the curb
but oh the crows!

on Good Friday morning









taxi cab noir

October driving midnight without elegance
the Fat Man got in the back a mile ago
I watch him in the rear view at red lights
as he looks at his hands, his
fingers with their plump thighs

Don’t Forget the Liquor Store, he says
like he’s reading to me from a tombstone—

In Loving Memory of the Joint at the Corner
Where Cheap Wines Once Rhymed
and Cigarettes Once Kicked Like Chorus Girls

—then he tosses a twenty onto the front seat next to me, saying
there’s something behind the store counter he needs
I should mention his name to the old gal at the til
her name’s Ruth but that doesn’t matter
she’ll hand me a paper bag
what’s in it should be sealed in concrete
but it’s in a lunch bag instead
don’t open it he says
give her the money and come back

I do and the Fat Man looks greedy
shamefaced as I hand it over

what dreams are made of, he whispers
clutching the bag to his breast
telling me to make haste
and head up Broadway