June 24, 2016

poem-the-bleeding ...................... strange fruit four suits vines seeded wind

incise decisions  
tie ride knots 
ways dreams learn  
of when 

circling in planetary  
drift netted-in 
equatorial waters 
life of hearth 
to belly clean inn 
fat tide gentle  
turbulent lean-in 

before I knew 
the Sun never meant 
to stray or go 
too far away 
from where 
milk to ground 
bone ratios
came to know 
the relationship 
between rain 
desert and mountain 
sky wobbled time 
the codices 
of expressions 
in the seasons 
when they settle  
when they change 

udder utter uteri 
their dances 
perusals carousels  
uses and usages 
their bites of us 
these bits 
and bitten with 
spits of information 

string theory 
popsicle sticks 
licking stamps 
for a stillness 
of inner pause 

if we must kill 
to pay the bills 
hear herded 
in the ridden wake 
of an america-n-eyed world 

this or that which 
canned events you lead  
willed or wanted to be 
construance art 
a jones town 
any attempting at order 
when spatially dismissing 
what we ought 
thought be real 
enough to promise into ... pearled  ambiguous 

poem comes trying its hands at remembering 

tuck told turbulent meaning leaning 
the freight circling round  
loomed world 
tropical to  temperate 
to polar pull 
to push know 
handle turning 
of the Sun in peer 
peak and bravado valley slung 
those waiting ...

red algae souls 
have holes 
where the holes 
get in 

the lawn 
is scattered 
with replica animal shrines 
and altered state church angles 

everything else 
except hermit 
hunting at night 
when ocean allows 
isn't all wrong 
but I need 
more proof 
we're tape-looping 
the instructions 
onto poem 

kelp sway savage  
formula repose 
drinking sugar water 
needing salt so you weigh 
desert journeys 
to get to know 
and rain 
and their ways 
of sane claiming 
nothing in particular 

between age 
and erode 
the road  
going on ...

mesmerized eyes dance 
lilt to lull olfactory surmise 
I went hunting for causes 
to believe in couldn't see them 
but I got lost in the scent of their wake 
was it all burning insanity 
to the what has to take place 

sewn into the wind 
was tinder flint 
court beg to luxury 
intrigue park 
world's fair crazed 
late 1800's 
veering with twentieth century  
lark and taste 
starling insurgencies 
plied back alleys 
gas lamp to electricity
hope slipped to 
when none 
thought to be leery of  

I only meant to ribbon 
the poems toothed w/today 
and in that regard 
I almost 
always meander willow switch flicked 
to where I wasn't itching anymore 
I lay down by the river bleeding out 
almost whole where the holes got in 


Moon to Mars 
cabal voice intercept 
while listening 
to am radio 
in the middle 
of a nowhere 
desert southwest 
of the united states 
fasting fists fulls 
of sweat 
my mind set 
passing stones 
and blood 
over tracts 
and homes 

" ... fucking repugnancy 
teeming chemical chain broken 
humans and their beautiful spoken 
murmuring in flow 
why do we have 
to give them a sense 
of their having a chance 
while we slit their throats slowly 
in each of their next lives 
they're weighted with sea 
and me and you  
with the pieces 
we all feel  
on re-entry ..."


foaming desire 
will to speak 
the mouths  
by the sea 
cuvée delta 

river hair 
mud wombs 
where bandages 
with blood 
mix into 


in the rise 
and fall 
of me and 
you and 
all else 
that is guise 
and not necessary 
to finding our way 


not being able to look past myself .................................................... without a terrible wordless ache ......................................................... and the wearing of the noses the elders knew

disintegration chronicle-alia 

I stopped listening 
and began 
to ape responding 

kneaded stanzas 
in woeful reflexives 
kneed intimacy's needs 
I am wired 
write jerked reactionary 
a poem faceless tasteless mob 


roman tile 

I have a fear 
of certainty spaces 
so no spelunking 
I admit though 
I love the language 
of the dark side 
of the Moon 

she uses 
sunshine ex plain(s) 
and bane tool foolery shine 
and she is talking to herself 
most times 

it is a pure 
conversational genius 
an unfurling play 
of blind faith 
in sight 
and decline 
a slow 
to fury 
of interludes 
and tides 


bind by
bind sorted 
sordid songs 

what one 
might expect 
to hear 
when death 
picking locks 

I do however 
sometimes pretend 
to realize 
for instance 
I say right here 
that any day 
can be that day 
for me 
to realize that 
to know anything 
is to be 
nearly gone 
and you see 
I have  
last moments 

they are 
the bittersweet things 
that cling to smell
might have been(s) 
they are the ghosts 
that linger, without place 
they stop and stare 
where the words 
used to be ...


June 23, 2016

is love meant such a fragile tourniquet, my Venus .......................

Diana and Actaeon 
Jean François de TROY (1679 - 1752)

"... tomorrow tomorrow creeps in this petty pace ..." 

and the nymphs all sing :

what we desire today 
mistress of the Moon
we'll hunt tomorrow 
for there is 
no sorrow 
if forest marrow 
be filled 
with love 

I stood toe to toe with knowing and blinked 
for ignorance at times blissfully winked 
I could not fathom or afford its knowledge 
when love it seemed was at its best a blind edge 
with which I could make hate encountered, rest 

so I went begging for eggs surrey-ed in a basket 
turning sky reminds why I mustn't go metal casket 
and by chance or want, now is my life as it does bleed 
for I knew never stop wondering with awe I need 
to live surrendered in a moment, blessed ... 

with you 
my Venus 
I am corpus 
fed by seasons 
wind and rain 

surrender or tamed 
it is all the same
your cuts are 
a thousand 
tiny knives 

do your whispers 
explain how 
beauty holds me
a scent past 
broken ... 


no spoken word 
need be applied 
when caught 
by drift net 
or tied bundled 
then set on fire 
with what I am 
to myself through you ...
slow iron 
with rust 
a mouth 
an ocean 
palms full 
of how 
I've left you
a gesture to come 
towards me, again 


June 16, 2016

the glint prophecies

we started out 
hiking lights on 
in the slung west 
of morning 

we moved to the East 
where the valley's dark 
and dew had crept 
after midnight 
and now swam 
in the unfurl 
of a new day beginning  

most evenings 
in the southern reaches 
of the boreal forests 
are wept with Summer 
they are full of underbrush 
to sky reaching leaves 
and they catch 
in slow crawl 
all the water 
before it rains 

while dreaming 
of the future 
we have become 
paralyzed, almost 
by our intelligence 
our emotions 
what we are 
leaning into 

most precognition 
is tapestry unseen 
scent worthy passages 
sounds of nocturnal 
desire readying 
what is next 
or at least 
thought of 
as divine 
or inspired 

the glint prophecies 
of what we humans once 
as pure animals wore 
bent low to drink with care 
were enough to never have 
to speak the poems 
or write them down 

enough to dare one's self 
past currencies 
and histories of bones 
and souls and into the flesh 
of feeling we might 
have been here all along 
and that we did and do indeed 
bleed and belong to the songs 
the wind makes circling around 
this planet in ghost cried eons 


June 13, 2016

to disarm the catcher in the rye in me ................................................

photo by Edward Rinaldi 

one must 
become taken 
with one's self 
so completely 
as to surrender 
one's spirit 
or core human
to a heart(h) 
with ferocity 

for this act 
begets life 
to us each 
we get 
an ever more 

we practice arts 
and kind minds 
to combat
the mirror mirror 
tricks of fear 

as it 
and clearer 
the nearer 
we are 
to disarming 

fear doesn't like 
the world 
grow wild 
all around 
and inside 
us again 

EJR © 


shout out to Natasha Head ( http://www.tashtoo.com/ ) for a Vonnegut quote posted that incidentally inspired this small slice of the poem pie

June 12, 2016

the door : a poem in three parts

Susanna and the Elders c. 1555
Jacopo Robusti aka Tintoretto

part one of the poem 
<conversation between poem and eye>

who needs heaven 
as a subscription time share trick 
when hell says come as you are 
right now and develop yourself 
in spite of you 

I am human 
I need light while living 
the pain of love to bear 
arms and alms 
I poorly set goals 
places to go 
when steadfast 
and walking back  
into the sea
I'd rather be poem 
at least home 
in a womb constancy 

is all imaginative leaning 
what poem says 
have I for you today 
I do fear rejection 
for being a poet 
been told I am selfish 
for wanting expression 
as my path 

I am 
I am being 
is it not meant 
to grind one's self  
bone smooth ash 
compost-ed byproducts 
scraped cared for cave guano 
sacred scared 
reigned reins taken 
baked in pie November tills 
trill raw before 
the frosts come 

poem says 
it is a flower 
on the inside 
and that it
hopes to always be 
eternal Spring arriving 
a darling draped dying 
first quenched thirst 
with a poet's humanity 

poem says
it paints  
and re-paints 
itself eyeless patina 
with a lean of 
nose and ear 
in regard 
to how sweet 
and certain 
scent and sound 
could be 
recalling events 
in the near 
and far past 

of course I know life doth frames 
as it's want to do 
I've bled it from the canvas 
as words stained my shoe 

and this piece 
is important poem says 
your vignette-d happened upon 
gang membership ritual 
and what you said to yourself aloud :

" what cups with whose blood 
do I have to fill 
and drink until 
my marrow 
says no soul 
can consume 
this much ..."

la segunda parte del poema
<The Mezquita of Cördoba>

ancient Moors 

plied sky to ways and means 
following cloud to seafaring 
repeated interval-ian manuscript-ionists 
they kept themselves wild 
with a fierce held imaginative identity 

were the Moors 
only nomadic 
sons of Ishmael   
did they just pay 
the freight of conquer 
to keep their flocks  
tended along the sands 
south of the Mediterranean sea 
and when they built stone to sky 
how did they know 
a love of geometry 
could take one's mind 
into a deepening future 
spatial uncertainty 
has a certain charm 
it disarms you 
when you close your eyes 
here, then smell and listen 
you can be found 
wingless but fleet 
hermetically unsealed 
by partitions 
they ignite one  
switch at a time 
inside you 
what is halted 
then is vaulted 
inner eye's 
mindful mathematics 
a soul's limbs 
will reach with 

so did they 
just tend 
to their minds 
as desert wanderers 
did they just 
become Mauritanians 

la troisième partie du poème 
<un après-midi au musée Clark>

we've become more attain-ians too 

these days one cannot find 
a sacred place without an icon 
driving the sale's pitch 
frequency modulation 
fine garden and garb abound 
the hills and old homes 
laid out in dolloped dainty 
to jagged perfections 
with infinity pools 
strung to the sky 
above the grasses 
stone walls and walks 
pebble to pedagogic foot pressure 
all of Prado's nudes here are tuned in to
with the lilies and water-skinning insects 
that knew Debussy's 'La danse de Puck' 
from the first few notes playing slowly 
in the curious light of this poet's life 
through which death's open door 
the elders had come to notice 


June 8, 2016

so I seek words to fill my empty ......................................................... what do you seek filled when no one is around ...?

photo by Edward Rinaldi


Atlas is still shrugging 
an outpouring of entrails to liquor amnii 
there is no need to be some other 
just another future brother father lover 
and friend I be to thee 
can happiness follow the gauntlet road home 
despite the hail of bullets and arrows slung 
with projectile intention death 
will life leave me bereft of decency 
and seeking words more and more 
to hide behind 
with no morals 
do I crawl further 
under, Edward or might I be 
the perfect uncle sam-iam
slum fed go-getter ... 
fucking mothers 
and the baby sitters 
keeping for myself 
all kinds of things 
I pretend I need ... 

reader ... 

do you want to come cage me 
for beating my meat to the punch ... 
I tell you Judy isn't home 
but you can watch the wizard of oz 
it is on an infinite loop 
with dark side of the moon 
playing along side it ...


we headed out for the morning 
slow gait-ing our steps 
down the lane 
and into this small walled city 
through the stone archways 
we filed past 
store counter glass cases 
filled with overnight magic 

what awaits the morning throngs 
of shoppers, passersby 
and the off to work 
head bowed why 
in suits and ties 

we heard stories 
from over the other side 
pond politics and high seas shenanigans 
building island out of remediated sand 
and scrap metal with nanobot tie downs 

epidemic of wordlessness : 

apathy swallows us 
patriotism is nationalism 
lock-stepped-goose-marching's not far behind 
faceless mobs always shouting more death please less bread 

given the wielded ones 
we strike deals, weigh privilege 
versus payment 
for pleasure 
what do we have to do 
to be a being in order 
we step towards heaven 
on top of someone else 
here it seems we must crush 
to feel upwardly mobile 
and salvageable 

the soul 
just a 
vessel game hierarchy 
what does one fill a life with 
on the way to what heaven 
it has imagined it deserves 

I am from Troy 
named after an ancient city 
built on greed and ingenuity
I am a tuning fork 
I am a sound disciple poet 
I hear smells become words 
I like the way they make me feel 
I am struggling to be me in America 

here, you smell what words do 
some say nothing 
some scream while others are ignored 
more still are lauded for their distractions 

love means things 
differently here 
and it is not clearly fitted to all 

I am glad I know who is John Galt 
I am glad I am not a woman 
or black or Mexican or gay or Muslim 
or thought 
of in some way 
as tortuously ugly 
in some misconstrued 
social contract 
of affection to meaning 

white privilege 
after all is a boon to me, though
no one who receives it 
really likes to talk about 
but I am a poet 
and in this country 
I may yet 
have to wear 
a scarlet letter  
for being so 

I can't imagine 
the weight of things heard 
inside the neighborhoods 
in my city and the in between spaces 
we Trojans eek out a living in 
tell you visions herding 
us with opinion, 
our thoughts chained 
to the subtleties 
of jim crow ghost whisperers 
I fear the police and I am white 
I can't imagine 
and I won't try 
to understand the pains  
or indignation(s) daily suffered 
by those not deemed American enough 
by those with guns 
and the law at their side 

I have my own issues 
to deal with 
as with being 
born with a brain 
in a constant 
state of kerflooey 


in the corporate news cycling 
and re-cycling we are hearing things said 
in a commonplace manner 
as if this truth is what is right 
and is meant for us to understand 
why and what keeps white men in power 

in any town 
in America 
read any comments 
in any article involving 
a white police officer 
shooting a black man 
and you're bound to hear 

< he's black 
he probably was selling drugs 
he deserved to be shot 
why try and run from an officer 
if he wasn't guilty of a crime >

well if you ask me 
we humans have triggers galore 
especially the western civilized 
modernity addict kinds 
historically forgetful plebes 
we be ...

who is to say 
we are the species 
meant by God 
to inherit 
this great earth 
I say viruses 
are better suited 
to be kings and queens
and usually 
don't discriminate 
who they kill 
with a smile too 
or didn't you see 
how the death 
of Rome 
became home 
to all we wanted to be 
once ago when the bathhouses 
were free of pride 
and prejudice 

isn't it funny how scent 
often follows us to 
the end of the poem 
like the waft rot of flesh 
left in the streets 
murder after murder 
in the still air humidity 
of Summer behind the white noise 
and coolness of air conditioning 
we sing the praises of ... 

as long as its not me 
or in my backyard 
it's fine to be American 

how do we accept this as truth
how can we become 
a normal again 
how it is we laud  
vampires and zombies 
as entertainment 
and friend 
these fine days 
in sound bite 
movie-like finality 
with scored
back tracks 
and retraced steps 
all the living 
we've done
in our different 
shoes have taken 

and from the dead 
who wore them 
with laces 
we tied their shoes together 
and threw them up over 
the power lines 
to memorialize 
how we are all 
we can be now 
leftists right wingers 
centrist mules 
drug dealers 
preachers poachers
and sycophants 
ants and hoppers 
for handouts 
governed fools 
corporate tools 
fodder fodder 
like water, everywhere ...

someone, anyone please 
ask of yourself 
who is John Galt now
and what might have he to ask  
watching another hearse 
with someone you know, pass 
on by, you decide how to pay respect 
flowers in the cracks 
growing out of the buckled walk 
you see on the way home 
will do just that 
so you pick and pick and choose 
to wish they might have had 
a better chance 
like you did, poet ...