Jazz on the Square

the same bareheaded
shiny skin headed man
patrols the square on tuesdays,
mexican blankets with their thick cottons and
old people with mole eyes
darting feverishly to the sharp slide of the cymbals

baseball capped, fedora laden
breezy summer wide brims the
jazz brings the city in on
a short leash
tied to the rap-rap-rapture of the snare

while the same bareheaded
shiny skin headed man
takes his rounds romantically
holding a blue vase full of
drowning roses.

By Nature

There’s no such thing as an
anorexic poet

poets by nature
eat everything

drawn out wedding toasts, pages of overthought
steinbeck between gold bookends

childhood freeze-frames, brain-freezes and freedom
tiny truths clinging to the mind’s shirt tails

morning snacks, biscotti at tea time
wandering buttons exploring the territory beneath couch cushions

cavernous eye sockets and
cadaverous skulls hollowed by book learning

there’s no such thing as an
anorexic poet

but poets spend their whole lives hungry.


Rich-kid revelries
under tinted moon roofs and
out of gaping moon roofs,
purpled fingers digging into the hot rubber,
nails scratching at untainted paint

basking in the warm welcome of
white privilege,
of upper middle class
(does drugs because
parents unspent money
feels like freedom in an
underburdened bank account)

hitting sidewalks with the street
kids, shoving unlit cigarettes between
graying teeth
deliberate dishevelment toward some deplorable end

but ray bans and leather bags
stand out in the spread of
all unholy

splayed uncomfortably across
the leather trimmings of a red BMW
snorting and shooting
the way
to ten seconds of fame.


I keep pages of his poetry
bound title-less together
right side, second drawer down it
takes the fleeting seat of
unpunctuated honor –

volumes of typewriter punched
verses extend
arms like parenthesis
around a life sodden
with alcohol and
spattered with heavy drugs
pills smashed under the
hot wheels of a
sooty freighter.

he reminds me that I
am the only one mentioned in his hand-
scrawled will
(written first because he too often
tasted the end of
an ashen muzzle),

he wants me to have
his words
because that’s the only thing he
ever gave
a fuck about, anyway.

Writer’s Block

Leaving brittle tooth marks
on the capped ends
blue inked pens

trailing protruding cheekbones
with the unbroken glide of
a favorite ballpoint

hashed backs of
unwashed hands
I am shaded from dark to
bleached out peach, skin tone

shadows spreading an
inky infestation
maybe I can write myself into a
comfortable intoxication.