Jersey Drive

Current traffic reports & conditions, I'm changing lanes.
Feeling the distance. Anticipated backups, accidents, delays
to loving you. And I am that child again, hopeful
to see a friend, anxious on a Christmas day for presents
beneath a cone shaped fir of crushed needles.
In this, the sticky cloying emotion of an unexpected gotcha!
Where my brother unwraps his first, beats me to the magic,
curries favor. Not this time not this time, I have the fare!
Beyond this menagerie of lanes, love is only a toll booth away.

(for Ezra Pound)

After Barack I lost my karma
the funk the sway
the swagger, gone.

My homie's kitsch
of bling went blank _ _ _ _ _
like a fossil in a 9 to 5 year

I'm a Lucy on record
the Australopithecus
unearthed, my joie de vivre

wears dust and lime.
And at the dig, dear brother
you were

this thoroughfare called life!
A bizness of love and pain,
history's shared history

but our commerce ends


B is for Bronx
my borough of penury
a brick yard called purgatory
a stone gilded nursery.
L is for Latino
a 15-by-15 square of hydrants
never opened
Always hoping.
C is for Cuba, mother's
cinnamon and barley,
the cellophane mulattoes too coy to kiss,
where Dad, from the king's land of Jamaica,
woos them all into a square
a has bro
Kind of scrabbled.




"The brain may be seen as hardware…and the mind as software."
     --British physiopsychologist Phillip J. Corr

That's not all there is to it.

The fanatic mind is to the brain
what magma is to a volcano.

The depressed mind is to the brain
what guano is to the floor of a cave.

The paranoid mind is to the brain
what a soldier is to a foxhole.

The schizophrenic mind is to the brain
what a hyena is to a flimsy cage.

The narcissist's mind is to the brain
what a peacock's train is to the peacock.

The mind of a fool is to the brain
what a cow is to a piano.

The mind of a genius is to the brain
what galaxies are to the universe.

For others, at its best,
the mind is to the brain
what a fire is to a fireplace,

throwing off heat and light
on its way to the ash bin.

Judgment Day

A pig slits my throat.

A fish disembowels me.

A lobster drops me into boiling water.

An ant the size of a building steps on me.

A spider inadvertently tosses me into a fire along with the wood.

A frog puts me in a jar filled with chloroform
and screws on the lid.

But also,
a turtle I've removed from the path of a car
takes me aside
and explains.


A year after his death,
following instructions,
she pours herself a glass of wine

and opens his letter:
If it pleases you, love,
write a book about us.

Make something gorgeous
out of everything, even
the maggots in the cellar,

the mold in the pantry,
the tarantula perched on the bedpost.
Go deep, as they say

in football, geology,
philosophy, sex.
Don't forget:

in the Dark Ages
the main ingredient
of the ink used by monks

to illuminate their texts,
one glorious letter at a time,
was urine.



On Lion Road

They lie like sliced mushrooms, overgrown portobellos,
brewed coffee backs to crème brûlée bellies, curving in

on themselves, fifteen or more cats crowding the dirt track,
a pride bigger than average, with a handful of adolescent

males not yet run off to start their own teams.
At the moment they're enough to make a play

for hippos, bring down giraffe, and even now
they lick blood from each other's fur, a lagniappe

from last night's kill, while shifting at every noise,
some standing to probe further, then settling

again, ears pinned into the wind and the Land Rover's
purr that will travel no further forward.

We are all scarred by lack of sleep.
Who are the kings, who are the men?

As the jeep off-roads into a three-point
turn to head back to the lodge, there is no telling

in the rearview if they lag behind or, as it is written,
they are closer than they appear.



Leaving Eros

if you invited me like a thought
into your wants, you'd think I invited
myself unannounced, and if you moved
closer to me, I'd invade your freedom
like a Marshall sporting a new badge

if you ran your hands along my thighs,
I'd turn them into hot oil lamps,
relish the burns until you left your

Christian God for the arrows of little Eros

if you suffered me into your love,
I'd smother you with mastic tears,
turn your life into a scarlet path
where debts are owed to Medicine
Women who weave broken skins
if you stayed, you'd think I'd stay,
but I'd leave you and all that love
for a messy muse in search of a fine story

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