Yes we can

Tonight we lean forth in hope,
hope which was we had forgotten the scent of
in so many long years of fear, uncertainty, and doubt,
praying that this speech will manifest more than words,
astonished at the idea that we have elected before us
a man who embodies the best in our ambitions and dreams,
instead of our worst fears, and in this evening, lay a
final blow to the artificial culture of fear which
has ruled our nation for a long and arduous decade
of declination, of disintegration, of self-destruction
at the hands of our avarice and our yearning for security.

Barack, we believe in you, our hopefulness tempered with
worry that this is all a dream, that by the cold winds of
January, nothing will have changed, but we will hold our hope.

Will you unplug the wiretaps listening to our conversations?
Will you exchange these bombs for food and sow good will in the
fertile soil of the third world, which now has been planted with mines
which can only grow hatred?

Can you change the nation, remind us that kindness and
fair wages have a place even in this nation of rugged individuals?

We pray tonight, that this dream will not end, and tomorrow
will the sun shine brighter than it has since war broke out
across the world?


Out of that decadence

Quiet on Friday,
sharing instancy,
infancy formed ad hoc,
of gentle and slightly
bitter exuberance,
our ear cleaned of
wax and diatribe –
forever laying waste to
dialectic with
silent dialogue.
The banjo twangs, and
our nods and half-smiles
form a dissertation
about the ecstasy we have
sought, lost, yearned,
chased, abandoned, and
stumbled over while dragging
our feet down some
broken glass alley –
suddenly face first,
abraided against
concrete love.

Then we were
slurping water
from pothole vessels to
quench our thirst for
dirt and impurity and
uninvited algae.

Crashed down, the
cops found us,
sleeping there, in
our own bruised armed
embrace, wrapped against the
feeble wisp of cold sneaking
around, peeking from a
corner office at our

Indulgence, sister to
self-effacing, laughing demise,
lurches with
anarchic intensity,
screaming at streetlights
humming the rhythm of
electrified modernity, an
immaculate intensity, a
reed blown by wind, our
joy at becoming soil,
returning to the
source, with a
beer in our hand as we
watch kudzu wrap around
our swollen tired feet,
raising a toast to
dreams turned to
effluence and dust,
a last can-clenching fist
held high above the loam.

Out of that decadence, that
decay, a dandelion dances
upwards towards the gentle
breeze, scattering these
memories, these images to the
wind, broadcast to take
transitory root throughout the
earth, unconscious of
her subordination, as we

extrapolate our complicity
from an analysis of the
supply chain which
delivers 20 ounce bottles of
filtered spring water, purity
guaranteed by impure man,
quenching some of our
thirsts but not all on
sultry summer curbside
escapades, escape outings
under leaves, drooping sweating
canopies in which birds
sleep to pass the time and
leave the heat.

Canopies breathing carbon, the
exhalations of our
conditioned air and
purified water, the ashes of our
hope, our burning red-eyed
need, our unfortunate
expedient, expounded under the
rhythm of drums calling for a
war on need, a war on poverty, a
war on war.

Raise the flag, take the flag,
take no prisoners, this
war for love needs blood to
feed her. Jesus spits
bile in a hungover sink,
aching from the
last party, which lasted
2,000 years, until the
holy spirit was drained,
empty of every drop,
exuberance spilled across the
tavern floor.

The philosophy of
dialectic, left
smoldering in the
ashtray, ignited the
last drops of

Awoke Near Dawn

across the tablecloth,
rickshaws of meaningless verbiage
spill themselves on checkered ground
and mingle there with drying sticky coffee
ground ashes, and spent thoughts,
empty emoting objects of
desire and loathing
left discarded under this corner of shade,
a dusty respite.

I linger too long,
hours idled away painting in
the evening shade
creating dreams,
half-discarded hopes
and horrors like
cheap late night cable imagery
and scrawlings and scribbles and
noisy bits of radio static,
a phone chirping to it’s master
breaking into the noise of shared
history, half remembered days
and hot wavering nights,
bold escapes, our first forays
into the growling mouth of
the voices before us.

I awoke near dawn,
finding myself
to be a puddle,
melted in the back seat floor
of a Pontiac with no hubcaps
and no gas,
all ambition and hope
curling away from the burning light.
Peel yourself off the floor.


Run, son, but I can barely walk,
legs turned to jello and then gone rancid
beneath me sir and I cannot
move this hour, no matter how you
yell and tug.
I yearn to leave here too,
just let’s finish our beer. It’s hot out there.
Our idols are dead, and our mythology
is on the nod,
passed out on the roof of the bar,
a belt still wrapped around her arm.
It was never weird enough for you?

An empty feeling
leaves me sinking like a stone,
I want to drift but drifting I
want to hang on tight to the ground,
if just for tonight, let’s just

Lay out in that grove of trees next to the freeway
until morning or they catch up to us
whichever comes first,
they move while we sleep so we run while they rest.
Let’s get moving,
maybe if we’re far enough they won’t catch up til sunrise.

They will eat us if we ever stop.

Jazz and Wavering Leaves

Wavering leaves and
softly yielding jazz
settle nerves on
a hazy

August shines
Arid lungs are
filled with hot,
moist air.
Sweat accumulates
on skin with
no space to

Energy dissipates into
collective quiet.
There is no sense in
pushing forth
against this weight.

The 3 o’clock hour
calls forth a rest.
Relax before the
evening’s dance.

Descendant sun casts
expansive amber hues
across the slowly
stirring town.
Birds ring with song
the gentler warmth and
brilliant array.
The afternoon
gauze lifts away.

Color and music
greet the cooling wind.
The steam peels away,
unwrapping the gauze and
revealing the young and
naked night.