all of the silences

she is a master at her craft
a builder of extraordinary skill
employing language deftly refined
and meticulously set, her words
one by anxious one rising
as another wall emerges
into the darkness of my days
prohibiting useless dalliance,
for all must have a purpose,
even this matter between us
that once glowed with passion,
this once glorious act of love
now extraneous to a fault

she has taught me much
as the months have passed
and I have struggled to find
reason in this structure she erects,
assuring myself that her silence
is warranted by my own
petulant brooding, her distance
the result of my loathsome features—
of course she does not touch me
for who would choose to fondle
this aging fetid flesh of mine—
how much easier to keep building
in simple untainted silence

I have learned my lessons well
I abide within these walls

I have become all of the silences
you have taught me to keep

[Thank you, dearest Allison, for your incredible talent at always discovering just the right words, which I then gleefully borrow from you.]


darkness only carves the light

He vies for some unnecessary sense
of recognition, of temporal attainment
before it is too late,

striving against need, thriving in light
that begets pain as pride gains prominence
over what remains of his injured soul.

In confusion he wails, zealously
rails against unready answers
and unacceptable truths.

How could the light deceive him
so completely, when meekly he mews
please please please,

I have learned all of your lessons,
I live in blessed acceptance of your light.
Why do I still not understand?

Why am I still so alone?

But how could he know—

having followed only the sun,
having held up light to the precious path
unto its finest illumination—

how could he possibly ken
that darkness only carves the light.

as darkness descends

And now of a quiet evening as the sun gently sets,
its playful rays, like cheeky children avoiding sleep,
sneak through the leaves hanging listless in the trees
glistening around the rim, blowing bubbles in my rum,
tracing tickling one another to silent happy giggles,

while I wander through the myriad thoughts they evoke
with their hopeful dashing and dancing here and there,
shimmering, suggestive, hanging from tender webs,
growing ever more languid as the light diminishes
behind hills and stones and all the opacity of life.

As darkness descends I strain to see and wonder
at the world that was, how woven in transparency,
which is at once enlightening and all too illusory,
and I realize there is a reason why we have evolved
to fear the darkness of the night—to fear its mystery.

The mind depends upon the banal, the utterly predictable.
Light engenders safety, order begets peace, security,
and yet that same mind thrives on mystery and imaginings.
In the light, the mind becomes ever more complacent, lazy.
Give me the night, the darkness, the unquiet mystery.

And one more dram to enliven the dance.


in utter confusion
time stumbled forth
like an agèd crone
quivering and lone
her mind mocking me
her skin cracked and
immensely disagreeable

the path before me
tightly laid and most
strictly ever observed
curved not even once
not one single moment
beyond the cruel confines
of a dryly decisive she

my thoughts cringed
craving a sprawling lush
and moistly lascivious
garden where vines twined
suggestively seeking
quickly climbing
crushing concrete bounds

i have in solitude
my humility nurtured
though dreaming of a place
without walls or lines
where naked i might
penetrate innocence while
fiercely growling

at the crumbling ruins
of the moon


willful whispers arrange
the beats of this heart,
voices that shroud
these virulent nights
with aberrant loathing
and derivative dreams

perceptive phantoms
carve tokens of truth
on each and every page
spelling the most abject
syllabic mediocrity ever
to be lisped by such a




Salt Lake City 03 Dec 2012


i had a vision last night
striving as ever for sleep
and this is what i saw:

a wizened man breathing
heavy sighs over thighs
clasped by wretched hands

his skin trembled crawling
clinging barely to brittle
bones well settled with pain

over the balcony watching
spying the ducks waddling
lazily along the slowing stream

his thin hair hung grizzled
unkempt across pallid cheeks
sunken and finely flaked

through dreary eyes he watches
hoping for something to come
expecting nothing to happen

his daughter long since gone
his beloved never arrived
his spirit has borne eternity

yet there he sits wondering still
as blood dries beneath his flesh
and his heart wearies of waiting

Salt Lake City 08 Oct 2012


the honey locust out front
one of only three brave trees
to survive the hatchet woman,

who claims to have loved me
once upon a jealous time,
is simply molting like mad

dropping little desiccated
clumps of yellow feathers
beneath its skeletal limbs

and you know, i like it this way
i have to say it feels somehow
quite appropriate considering

Salt Lake City 08 Oct 2012

[Lately I seem not to have found a voice for anything but darkness, and while I have written much, I have withheld it all, waiting for some sign of a revival in my spirits. I feel I should apologize for this verse and for the next several verses to follow. They strike me as obsessively morose, and worthy of deletion. But they were composed honestly, and in all honesty I confess to myself that we are as much the product of the darkness that dwells disconsolate within us as we are of the light.]


when she inquired what it was like
I couldn’t be sure just what to say
so instead I began to recite a litany
that I doubted would make sense
at least not to one whose pretty self
required no further act of definition

imagine then having nothing to say
and no voice, no tongue to speak it
it’s like peering dismally at others
and watching their lips mutter move
yet without comprehending a word
a being of purposeless persistence

from a distance you vaguely sense
the atrophy that collapses your legs
your arms indeed your very bones
leaving you sure of one thing only
that the best truest choice for you
would be to make no choice at all

time ceases to matter anymore
and all that once did encompass
your thought and hope and desire
leaves pointless you but confused
like a blind man asked to render
his vital verdict: Monet or Manet

she looked askance at me then
and in truth I preferred her silence
so I drew a smile on my thin lips
and waved my hand dismissively
concluding, but don’t you worry—
it’s not likely to last much longer

Salt Lake City 25 May 2012