unproven theories in the season of despair

cold sunlight down tracy street
on a sunday morning
and i am almost able to believe that
the past can be left behind

i am tired of these abstractions
like [i]america[/i] and [i]god[/i]

i have moved awkwardly into the
21st century and brought with me only the bleeding horse
and it walks
slowly from room to room
without ever casting a shadow

and there is a child somewhere
who will be the next one
to die horribly and there are linda’s sisters moving
through this lush green landscape
ten years after the cancer
devoured her

[i]nothing is more important
than motion[/i]

[i]nothing is more important
than love[/i]

these are the words i write with my
wife and son
two hundred miles away
and i know them to be true but
speaking them out loud is a
different thing altogether

i have learned that silence is
not always failure

is sometimes just weight

it can be carried
but only for a short while

two mirrors facing each other: an interpretation

the moment when
you find out how useless
you really are

when you realize that
you will never save anyone

a sunday afternoon
with your wife and children asleep
and late winter snow falling from
a tarnished silver sky

a war somewhere
which is nothing new

dead babies and suicide bombers
and all of the reasons
you should support the killing

all of the poets who
want you to join their causes

to sign their petitions and
praise their hollow words and
it’ll take more than a river
full of corpses to stop the bills
from arriving


nothing you own has
any value

nothing you touch will
retain any warmth

even faith in these
small bitter truths is better
than no faith at all

second miscarriage poem

snow again
without warning

the idea of tombs

of trailers along
the side of the highway and
the lives trapped
inside them

the distance between
[i]home[/i] and [i]lost[/i]

do you remember
how far we drove?

200 miles only to find
the front door open and
the bathroom floor smeared
with blood

200 miles only to
leave again

only to come back to these
few simple rooms
without light or warmth

all of that time spent
going nowhere

poem as necessity

asleep maybe
or awake and crying
with the dream still
bright and bleeding in
your mind

my words at 2 a.m.
which are cold
and without comfort

this woman gone missing
for three months now
with her unborn child

the fact that
neither of them will be
seen alive again

we believe
in monsters for
obvious reasons

dog (1)

and your sister’s lover

tells her to crawl
and she does

tells her to roll over

[i]good girl[/i]

holds out his hand

lets her taste her
children’s blood

waits for her
to beg for more

photographing the civil war

not shadow but

february rain from
tanguy’s sky until the streets
are all dull grey mirrors

if i keep my distance
i could be anyone

if i get in my car and drive
i could call it escape

could call it running away
which is sometimes an act of
cowardice and sometimes
an act of survival

and i sit in this room of
empty chairs instead
with my thoughts
and my bitter resentments

i believe in gorky at the age of 43

in rothko at the age of 66
but not in my father

not at any age and not in any
of the bars i spent my childhood in

i remember the threats
and all of the dire predictions

i remember fifteen years
spent perfecting the
art of silence

what a sad fucking
victory it’s become

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