Friday, December 28, 2007

Changes and maybe some resolution

Jan 93 is the source of todays poem ...

seems i MAY have resolved the profile photo issue. when i changed pictures (to a more recent one) i decided to store it on phtobucket (and somewhere else, i forget where now - but it didn't work either..) and the photo would never appear in my profile, or it gave me "invalid url" ... so, this morning i went back to image shack and it worked. seems the url length has something to do with it (though the notes in the Help section says they did away with the 64 character limit for urls before Nov.???) Well, the photobucket one was a few characters too longer than 64. So that may have been the issue. anyway - hopefully this will work.

you may have noticed, i changed a few things as far as backgrounds and colors ... no real reason, just change for the sake of change i suppose.

off to sleep soon, as it's night shift and all, so need some shut-eye, but i just wanted to post an update on the profile photo issue (any excuse to get another poem up, right?) .... ya'all have a great and safe and warm holiday and i'll see you next year, most likely.


the hiss of water freezing itself from ancient pipes
pipes caked in a stench of rust
pipes as old as a decaying city's dream

the water, black & orange at first, celebrates flight
dances & sings as it becomes clear
& seeks again the purity of ancient rivers

plumbers are called forth into a freezing night
magicians with wands of forged steel
chanting horrible incantations

the plumbers again become jailers of water
the hisses of freedom are silenced
only pools of dreams failed stain the walls

& eventually even these are gone

Thursday, December 27, 2007

a short (relatively) montage poem

well, so much for new stuff. here's one from 10-92.

cold and wet (and a bit snowy at times) here in the Pacific Northwest. back to the happy papermill tomorrow night. Oh joys! Them old heavyweight orders await. Whooopeee. Can you say, no sleep and sore shoulders. O, yes, i knew you could.

not much else going on. Turning a grand olde 58 in the morrow as well. don't feel that ancient today, in fact, seldom do, except after work most days. at any rate, added a new photo, but couldn't get the link to photobucket to take, so had to resort to using the photo on my PC, and not certain how that will work when i turn the machine off at night, or when it turns itself into sleep mode after inactivity times.... well, we'll see, i guess.


the black celebration
of night & shadows

stars as if voices
to be heard

& the river dismantling
the mountain
a chip of wulfenite at a time

i walk the highway
between your heart & my dream
as if a prophet

the sound of daemons dancing in the underbrush
their eyes are beads on a rosary

the river singing songs of threnody
a flat moon casting spells over the dark water
spells that never materialize

i stand within the darkness
as if stone
reflecting the magic
between your heart & my loneliness

river stone cradling deposits
of gold & nickel

the conversation of owls
sentinel stars speak
to the bones

i am the incantation
waiting for articulation

Monday, December 24, 2007

a brand new poem, oh my!

a brand new poem - 1st draft - not that it signifies a reawakening of the Muse or a trend, or anything really, merely it's a new poem - the first in maybe 3 or 4 years (or maybe it's a fragment, or something to be discarded - who knows?). just thought i'd put it up here for evaluation.

on a few days off now, had an OK week at the papermill, though next week it's back to heavy weight orders and me plugging tubes. oh well, one fairly OK week is better than the averages, so i'll take it.


cripple cripple cripple
waits for jesus on the road to calvary
knows the price of redemption
the price of sin
remembers the sermon on the mount
& the chatter of hookers on 6th avenue

knows temptation is a horrible thing

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Back to the happy papermill come morning

today's (well, tonight's) poem is from 10-:92.

rainy and sorta gloomy here in the Pacific Northwest. Typical Dec. day really. Poem is on the gloomy side (ain't that a shock?). Back to the happy paper mill in the morning, so i doubt there will be any posts until i get a few days off.

PC still working. so, keeping my fingers crossed and heading off to bed shortly. Ya'all have a good weekend and stay warm and cozy.


if you could see through my eyes

the cackle of the crow
wearing the gowns of disorder
& in his beak
the broken kernal of dreams
waiting to be sewn

the chameleon smiling
as he vanishes
upon his fingers
rings of magic
never to be transfered

the laughter of stones
holding the falling skies
from your window sill
& cracks more than obvious
filled with super glue

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

PC working so far .... new post from days gone by

today's poem is from 5:93. i really need to get myself together and type up - edit some more poems for future updates. i still have a few months worth (especially at the reduced rate i've been posting lately), but they are starting to sound a lot alike to me, and well, i think i have some others worth reading stacked somewhere or another. maybe after the first of the year???

PC seems to be working fine. Paula, mine too was relatively new. Started off as a software conflict that snow-balled into a registry issue ... anyway, since i went back to factory settings/configuration and reinstalled just what software i felt imperative, things are working well at the moment.

thanks for the comments lately everyone. And thanks to everyone stopping by, even if you don't leave comments. The counter tells me people are reading this stuff from time to time, and i am flattered. Ol' ZR, keep the faith and blogging along with those one word teases. Soulless and Paula, need to get back to your blogs and read your newer posts. i'll get there soon, promise. i do enjoy your recent work!!!

everyone stay warm and have a good season. Cold and rainy here in the Pacific Northwest. i get one more day off, trying to recover from another wonderful nightshift, then back to the olde salt mines on Thursday. No word lately the sale or merger. Since the contract was passed, things have been pretty ho-hum and quiet. They even hired another 4 people to cover the retirements pending early next year .... go figure.


capitalization has made us dreamers
with no credit

shops closed
with iron windows

midnight fogs in pockets
& no manna falling

we starve
just like africans

in this land of plenty
for the rich

smog in our lungs
we reach god

with prayers of desperation
& designer drugs

the damned. the desperate
will believe in anything eventually

but poets believe in nothing
other than coughing snows

& bleeding ulcers. heroes
seeking no gold

only the unknown

Sunday, December 9, 2007

working on the PC

another poem from Nov. 92

spent the day reformatting my PC ... seems there was a conflict with software loaded from my provider, and it just cascaded into a nightmare. So, tired of talking with HP techs, and being told i had a corrupt profile, or possibly a conflict in software, i just bit the bullet and took the computer back to original state. dead tired, and sort of close to being done, but not quite there. Things SEEM to be better at the moment, but won't know for certain until a few days pass.


i am the wind (no bones) merely emotion through broken timber & eroded mountains
i am the wind through young girls hair & old womens hands (no form) merely emotion
i caress dust for company - salt foam for enlightenment
i carry birds on my sorrow - seeds for remote possibilities
i am the laughter of mountains, the moan of rivers
i am the whisper of morning, the scream of night
(no bones) merely emotion

Thursday, December 6, 2007

#100 - hey hey hey

hey - it's my 100th post (according to the blogger count). Wowzers, and well, i have about half that many more in draft to add later on. need to get some more worked on, but who knows when that mood will strike again.

anyway, this is another introspective poem ... (ain't most of them that way?) written in the fogs of - Oct 92.


fog in drainage ditches
sentinel hawk upon wireless fence post

i watch the moon
caress a frozen wind

& wait on silent corners
for arch-angels in cadillacs that never stop

fog covers the yellow brick road
& vagrants lose the key to the american dream

i reaching for the debrie of comets
rub the face of gods lacking only names

expecting deliverance
as if i were daniel

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the wind the rain and oh my, wasn't that a mighty storm!

todays poem is from sept 92 - just another poem of inner realization.

not much here. survived the massive wind/rain storms that hammered the Pacific Northwest. Actually inside the southern Willamette Valley it was windy and wet, but nothing like on the coast.

playing hookey from work this week. Well, had a vacation on the books i'd forgotten about, and decided not to reschedule it. Just relaxing and doing a little computer fix-work (replaced a dead CD burner, not without some issues - seems resolved now).

Now onto the poetry ....


i dress myself in the rags of uncertainty
walk upon the waters of disenchantment
as if i were jesus gathering disciples

i erect no cathedrals
but my prayers are immaculate
to the dark vapors that gather along the dirty rivers of my life

i carry my dreams
as if a cross to Golgotha
there are no longer chariots of fire ascending the heavens

& my blood cures no diseases
but it stains the earth
as magnificently as any love lost

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a cold nov. post

first of all, thanks to everyone that has visited this blog and read my poetry this year. i honestly appreciate it. Also, anyone who has left some comments ... i also appreciate that, a lot. it lets me know you're out there and i'm not just ranting before a black hole.

not much new in the world of the paper mill ... crazy as ever, though 5 more people were hired last week, in hopes they can be trained by year end and help with the many retirements planned for early next year. no overtime this week (whooopppeee!) and unless the schedule gets changed (like that could happen????? yeah right.) i'll be working with 2 of the new hires next week and not having to plug core! Maybe my shoulder will start to feel better. :-)

anyway, back to the poetry. today's poem is from 11-92 poem.

again, thanks to all who read this, and thanks to all who comment. Hello, Soulless, it's a pleasure to see someone new to the comments.


death & i are the same age
the poet davie wrote:
wear the same rags -
piss in the same cup.

we walk the darkness
of our dreams
turned to imperfect nightmares,
walk, swagger & fall.

it is november now
ice on the fence post
that houses no pilgrimages,
november & i weary of the rain.

death & i speak the same language,
hear the same voices
that do not inspire
& then take them to heart.

surgeons prowl my body,
daemons in disguise:
prowl, laugh at the diseases
& offer voodoo curses as consolation.

it is eternally november here,
frozen winds, as we salute gods
standing rigid as stone
in their own catastrophic dreams.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

poem before heading back to work

a poem from 10:93.

cold and rainy, pretty typical mid-november day here. back to the paper mill tomorrow. no idea what the schedule holds, as i've been on vacation with no updates from the fellow slaves.


the sorry never offered
now on the wings of crows
in rotten corn fields
rains caress their torn feathers
as a mother caresses a repetitive child

crows. old & weary -
distracted. hold the sorry never offered.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

still on vacation

poem published by Potpourri in Dec 95.
still on vacation. Carrie has been visiting from Minn. this weekend and today we take her back to the airport, so maybe another update before heading back to the mill.


1 the world in transition. i tells you, i aint.
2 wears no gold upon my neck, un-hip & poor.
3 wears my poverty like a curse - well
4 rehearsed. often times i believe in jesus
5 as a loan shark. time for sale. big bucks!
6 though ministers scowl at my brave heresy
7 i persists. no callouses on my knees, falling
8 into confusions. work into the darkness,
9 until i becomes part of it, believing in magic
10 of dollars, drinking holy waters of mt. ranier
11 until i am salvation itself.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

poem for my late sister

a poem for my late sister Virginia - from 92


we each live with our addictions (some more obvious than others)
each carry crosses ornately painted without our person insignia.
even paradise can be transformed into Golgotha
here where suffering is a lifestyle.

the wind sings "holy" & our rosaries are all broken
here where confessionals have video tape recorders in case god has a failing memory
& the water is no longer blessed & smells of sulfates

we each sleep with skeletons that we caress lovingly
each eat exotic dishes that fail to satiate
& lay prostrate before mirrors that reflect poorly
here where suffering is a lifestyle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

still nothing but rumors

still nothing but rumors of sale (or not) at the mill, but little else, it seems. we are still running some horrible export orders. they are actually hiring a few more people next week, as we are in the midst of a numbers crunch - more people retiring than coming in.

on some days off at the moment. trying to relax and let some rest for my sore shoulder.

today's poem is from Sept 92.


there are ghosts in the thickets

nimbus around the moon
& the sound of bats flying low
over the dark rancid river

my arms unable to reach eternity
as the wind whispers
in a language i cannot translate precisely

& the ghosts ignore my howling
they understand
i am unable to do anything
but admire their awkward motion

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

a new post even

wowzers Batman, a new post even! well, to be honest, still in a zombie fog after a long night shift, with overtime. was scheduled for more of the same after this coming week, but asked for a vacation (still to be approved). So hopefully i'll get some time to recover and add a few more posts, to reach that 100th post status soon.

Half Tones To Jubilee - accepted this poem in Dec. 1995. i assume it was printed, but can't recall for certain.


we washed the sins of an entire generation from our souls in the dark california fog
upon the black rocks of the little sur we memorized the flight patterns of the speckled gull
it was a time for living
we were believers in dreams

we were hawks waiting for wings as we waltzed down dusty salinas valley lettuce fields
in the ever shadows of the sugar refinery we hunted for secrets that had no formula
it was a time for living
we were inventors of dreams

Monday, October 22, 2007

another gap

todays poem is from September 92. sort of on subject for the local weather lately.

not much - other than loads of overtime - going on. it'll be a bit before i get a day (or night) off at the papermill. most likely 6 days or so. thus, another gap in the posts will occur.


1 i wait. mist gathers in dark valleys, as if smoke from the pyres of dreams unobtained.
2 i wait. rain whispers poetry in a language i cannot translate. i wash my face in the thick water. no magic exude.
3 i wait. somewhere you walk beneath rainbows. dance under warm skies as if an elfin dream.
4 i wait. decades amass. continents are born & die. we converse in languages that have no syllables.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

post before a silence

on my one day off here, between a run of overtime, so i don't expect to be able to update again for about a week ... as i have at least 6 days awaiting me at ye olde papermill, those wonderful 12 hour shifts we have all come to love and adore... well, some people do.

today i offer more 92-95 stuff. one of my prolific periods ...


i conversed with the shadow
until it lost substance
under a trapezoid light

rats ran incognito
down the alley
to trash can cathedrals

hobo with an umbrella
nursing the nectar of inspiration
sang songs of a more beautiful america

upon the highway no longer travelled vagrants wait for the messengers of god
bare their souls to the angry winds of disenchantment
confess sacred sins to the woolly mullein

upon the highway no longer travelled miracles wait to be translated
the wind exhales songs i have wept in secrecy
only the dead & dying seem unwilling to hear

i carry loose change for hookers
as if i were judas
the morning after

i wear the rags of damnation
into the temples
of gods i have forsaken

& i offer the blood
of dreams that have failed
for an america that never existed

Sunday, October 7, 2007

a montage type poem

more 92-95 stuff. a montage poem, sorta in a semi-prose mode.

a warmer day today. more like autumn than early winter, which is what yesterday was like.


star spangled sunrise
captured a cache of sunlight in her laughter
shuffled marked cards knowing the deck had no nines
- laid the warn cards face down upon a Naugahyde table
turned the ace of hearts from the pile pile as she watched saying :you need the nine of clubs for the ten of diamonds."
- knowing there were no nines
her laughter as a ray of sunlight through windows curtain in black clouds - soggy to the touch

no father poet waiting in the rain to escort me to the journeys end
the wind chewed discarded manuscripts
& the soggy skies sucked on the exhaust pipes of giant factories

i stood in the shadows of a garbage bin counting pennies as the priest passed
no souls to this tuesday
he danced across puddles
i thought i could hear laughter dripping from her rosary beads
surely it was a time of miracles but i was distracted by the aroma of hookers behind the bus terminal

ate the cardboard pie with a plastic smile
thought of a warped samuel pepys as i attempted notes of significance in a journal that had none
fumbled through greeting post card & bubblegum trading cards in the lobby
read month old magazines with coupons clipped except the Rosicrucian were still looking for a few good men
gave the waitress smelling of southern comfort a dollar tip that was worth a whole dime

studied coffee stains in the upholstery
studied the sound of rain on a plastic green patio roof
- goldfinches in the rhododendrons - elegant as carl sandburg

steamed carrots fresh from a square foot garden
wild turkey mash
on a broken coffee table four books of spanish poets murdered in the civil war to free all men from such a simple thing as tyranny

blind lemon jefferson from a scratchy record

studied the liner notes smelling of tobacco certain it was everyones biography
studied the sleeping corner of the sofa with a resolved placidity
- & wondered if the great father poet that not not come to escort me worked within such disadvantages

Saturday, October 6, 2007

summer poem on a cold Oct. day

Sherman - what have you done to the Wayback machine? it seems to be stuck on poems from 92-95 .... oh well, we shall explore a bit more, i suspect .... this is a summer poem, for a very chilly Oct. day .. oh well. some of the formatting got lost in "publishing mode". so instead of spaces - i inserted some "-" to mark what was uspposed to be a triple space ... doesn't change the read, just the look.

not much here, just relaxing and waiting for the overtime onslaught to begin.


Sherman - what have you done to the Wayback machine? it seems to be stuck on 92-95 .... oh well, we shall explore a bit more, i suspect ....


the heat - upon which sweat dances down chins - demands attention
night whispers of melted margarine & a moon that stares as the one good eye of god - upon the ignoble suffering
three in the a.m. & i piss into a toilet bowl that knows no berryman the porcelain as cool as pineapple in the fridge - but i do not caress it - rather stumble back into a torture rack of a bed - rather wrestle with sleep - it is victorious & slips out an open window - taking with it what was a faint breeze
the heat - upon which curses have no affect - demands attention

Friday, October 5, 2007

a few days off

another from 92-95.

a fews days off before another overtime marathon at the papermill. new (or potential) buyers waltzed through the facility yesterday, in the middle of a major crash ... so we poor and humble workers (and so unimportant we were not told who these people were until they left the facility) were covered in wet stock and gunk, as we tried to unplug the secondary headbox ... oh, such fun is limited to the really special, you know. no word at all as to their impressions or anything. after all, i guess, they are touring the whole Weyco containboard division, so our little piece of the pie may not be all that important enough to impresses (or not).

anyway, hope to get a couple of updates posted before more overtime and night shift arrive ....


1 sludge in sewers we once navigated
2 i examine discarded treasures
3 tires missing tread
4 mattress missing merely springs
5 distracted the book of ancient chinese poems goes unclaimed
6 as does the glitter of gems in a cracked mason jar
7 but i hoist the remains of an old baseball glove
imagining it belonged to rogers hornsby in his st. louis prime
8 unable to snag falling dreams i return it to the dark water
9 mosquitos sing the operas of wagner in my left ear
10 rats dance as if fred astaire between broken crates
11 & i photograph the magic of it all
with the liquid films of my heart

Friday, September 28, 2007

a real day off, before overtime strikes again

another poem from 92-95 era.

my only day off .. well, day and a half (after night shift) before hitting another long stretch of overtime at the for-sale and very management silent paper mill. guess starting next week prospective buyers will be circling the facility. The only certainty is things will be certainly different and nothing for-certain if (when) the sale (merger?) happens. No time tables have been announced but for some reason there is a sense of things are starting to happen fast. well, a sense is all at this time.

now on to the poetry ...


i sent my sorrow
rain danced off your window sill
it was easy enough to ignore the annoyance
i sent my loneliness
the baying of old dogs at the moon
blurred into a forgetful aura by the magic of neon surrounding
i sent my anguish
thunder rattled your precious teacup collection
but no damage was reported & it was an easy memory to erase
i sent my rejection
tornadoes on the radar screen
nuns count rosary beads in the chapel & no one knows how to control the sources

Friday, September 21, 2007

a zombie poem for the upcoming night shift rotation

a poem from 2:94. the poem is unsolicited, unpublished. it's also sort of a grave-yard theme around here, which starts in another day (or night).

not much going on today. a new pup in our house last week, a 12 week old black-lab-mix (call it a mutt). slowly learning the daily stuff like house-training and all that jazz. a bit tiring on us elders.


i tells you, i been visited by zombies, that tell no truths.
the gossip of their lies is merely beautiful rhetoric. i is a dying cow
with no religion. priests come with incense eyes
to sing horrid latin cantos.

i yawns in the face of the living. cold visions of stars. the lisp
of the wind. ha! i was not a bleeding adrienne rich
with the whole dying world at my breast, feeling compassion. i was
dirt under skies of rain, mud - cursed & pissed upon.
no jesus in my veins - just diseases i never learns to pronounce
but lives with.

i tells you, the god of death is about as perfect as they come.
zombies take my soul, scribbles cryptic codes, distributes it
among their own. shakes their heads mostly.
O, the message is not worth saving.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

aberrant hymn

another poem from 92 - July to be exact, written while working at Springfield Forest Product, possibly the worst place i have ever been employed. it was less than 2 months later, i left to work at Weyco papermill .....


Darkness is a state of mind:
we walk upon the dark side of the moon
listening to the whispers of Alexander Komorov
as if it were the wind through tall timber -
which it isnt

& the belief that pain is a viable guage to life
is a profanity echoed here

heretics -such as i- mumble
gazing into the mysteries of her smile
were dark waters tumble down granite mountains
& the perfect dream is offered in her touch

Darkness is an avenue:
we with limp legs & no headlights
stumbling upon the bones of gods
that have no documentation -
gods none the less

& the concept that pain is a legitimate measure of worth
is a holy decree i try not to believe

dissidents -such as i - weep
gazing into the myseries of her eyes
where dark waters tumble down granite mountains
& the perfect dream is offered in her touch

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

updates on the round brown world of kraft liner

another poem only published in Post Amerika. small presses deserve any support you can offer.

on a couple of days off here. still trying to learn a few basic differences between Vista and XP, though for the most part, think the new computer is working out OK.

now that the new contract is in effect (and retro-active to last March), the big concern about the mill is the potential (prfe-destined?) change in ownership. 4 possible buyers are out there at the present, and will start to make the rounds of the various mills late this month and early next month (when our little piece of paradise will be evaluated). that has tons of implications, some good - some not so good, some potentially disastrous and some potentially great. As with everything, it waits to be seen. Anyway - so much for updates on the universe.

now, back to the poetry:


frost on the fog
i face the apparition

my heart is the breeze
broken by the obsidian rock
of that place

where the mountain stumbled
into the aqua-grey of the sea

i face the apparition
of what i was supposed to be
battered & perfect bastard

kelp on the black waters
broken boats moored as promises to be kept
broken boats nothing more
than scrap iron to be disassembled

there is no god i tell the mists
other than that which is truth
there is no truth the frozen fog replies
other than that which is holy

mumbling seals in the dark surf
howl with delight at our discourse
they too waiting for godot
even if they did not know

Thursday, September 13, 2007

new computer blues - sorta

another poem only published in Post Amerika. again - support those small presses, if you can.

got a new PC last week ... sorta on a whim, running Vista, and let's say the transition has been less than smooth, partly because of a bone-head move on my part (transfering files from "D" drive .... don't do that ... well, the software sorta did it for me, and i didn't pay attention to some details) and some spotty documentation didn't help either... well, got the essentials running finally, and am now using the NEW PC, but still have a lot of programs and files to move in the near future.

anyway, that's the reason for no updates so far on these rare days off .... i have tomorrow off, then back to ye-olde-salt mines, inc.


1 in my superman underwear i confront the gods of disorder
2 tell them it is the dawning of the new age of reason
3 they resist & beat me with fists of kryptonite
4 i stumble out of the temple of darkness
5 & search the cupboards for my wheaties
6 certain they will bring back my courage
7 open the frayed box only to find it (as my life) is full of flakes

Friday, September 7, 2007

back into the zombie week

news flash: contract passed with 85% yes-sir votes ... wonder how many actual votes they had. not that it mattered. no idea as of now when it goes into effect, or when we'll get a new contract book. Only took them 5 years last time ....

back on night shift starting tonight .... so no updates for a bit, as i stroll into what is known here as "the zombie week" ...

another from 1992, published in Muse Of Fire in 1997, another small magazine venue. support them small presses folks. they need and deserve it, really.


i spent five days writing a letter
tore my soul into syllables
& offered them as scripture
five days & ten pages
before the fog & ice
shivering - examining the texture
tore my soul into syllables
& placed it all in the fires of refusal

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

prose poem and contract chatter

another poem only published in 1998 - Post Amerika. a prose poem. it seems i have been sharing poems from the 92-98 time period .... when i first began soliciting poems. it was also one of my most prolific periods, as well as a time when i began to define the type of voice i have used since then...

here's a hint for future tests: support small presses if at all possible.

update: visited with "Bruce" last evening and discussed (among other things) the contract proposal. Since you had to be present and sign in to get a data sheet (and i wasn't there), he let me borrow his to look over. Contract isn't all that exciting, and really not all that different, except for they now have testing for jobs in the contract (though it's been sort of in practice for a while) and start times have changed to an hour earlier, when in practice most people started their shift anyway. A few other changes in insurance and language ... but nothing earth shattering i could see at first glance. 7 year contract with no raises in two of the years (this being one of the years).... and it's just not quite long enough for me to be able to retire under this contract. So i'll have to wait and see what happens after 7 years .... and i see no reason it won't pass, though officially the votes can't be tallied until after tonight.


forget that i have stood before the wind. forget that it was my bones that broke the earth for your pretty garden. let the radishes grow for your salads forever. & i will be there, part of the opened earth that you carelessly walk upon.

forget that i have opened doors to the mountains. the rivers will off gold & nickel. forget that my bones were used to harness the troubled waters as you dip your toes & sip the crystal was if it champagne.

forget that i have frozen upon glaciated passes. forget that i have fallen into foaming rivers that gnaw at the very root of mountains. i will be in the warm air of your electrical furnaces. i will be in the laughter of intoxicated company.

forget that i have learned the language of depression, that i have learned the songs of desperation. forget that i have learned the chatter of wildflowers & the song of the eagle, that i have spoken with the gods of the wind & stone. i will be there in your books gathering dust. i will be there in the schools, in the museums. & i will be in the eyes of the children you do not even recognize.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

a poem for BJS

another poem only published in a small 'zine - this one 1998 - the 'zine - Post Amerika. the indentations are the result of my inability to format (and space) correctly in this blog ... but you get the idea, i hope. and the mantra is? Oh come on - it's support small presses if you can. (there won't be a test on the subject today, but who knows about tomorrow ...

voting on the new work contract is today and tomorrow .... it'll pass i am certain, as no one is willing to go on strike as in 2001 and suffer the possible consequences, which could be a complete mill closure. understanding my high regard of former union officials (and the union in general) it's a fair gamble i may miss attending informational sessions at the sacred hall. but to be fair, my regard for the management isn't too much higher ....


glacier cut valley
osprey on an occluded updraft
the sound of gold in your pocket
you are the laughter
the laughter i hear
in the aching of bones
the smell of morning glory
& alabaster rivers shouting
down the face of ancient mountains
certain to be worn away
you are the laughter
the laughter i feel
in the aching of bones

Monday, September 3, 2007

still alive n kickin

today's poem was published in June 1997 - by Studio One, another small press 'zine. again - support those small presses in any way you can. the poem is much older than '97, written in the 80's sometime, but can't recall when anymore.

some updates - just finished a lovely 11 out of 12 day/night run at the olde papermill ... burnt out and tired ... and they weren't exactly the best days - production wise. LOADS of problems, but in a couple of weeks we have a major outage, where lots of repair work is scheduled, so maybe the machine will run better (and oh joy - faster!).

and we have a contract offer. very strange that no union official will talk about it at all. it is required to go to the union hall on one of two days this week (Tuesday and Wednesday) and hear the Union Rep that negotiated the deal before we even get informational packets. i have no doubt the package will be to accepted, based on the fiasco of the last 6+ years after the last negotiations and strike of 2001. so, as of now, all we know is we have an offer .... absolutely no details. swell.

anyway - onto some old poetry ....


Lazerus i whispered Lazerus it is time.
His eyes were hard, cold as stone.
His flesh was hard and smelled of death.
Lazerus i whispered Lazerus, Jesus is here.
There was no pulse.
There was no breath.
He looked impatient.
Well, is he coming around or not, he asked.
i looked at Jesus and said
It doesn't look like it.
Lazerus i whispered Lazerus.
Jesus looked at his hands.
I don't understand it he whispered
It worked last time
and he walked off into a fog of doubt.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Some rumors

a poem from Nov. 1992 - one of my more prolific periods - oh, a long time ago, i know.

a few updates - still no contract, though i hear the talks continue but obviously it is not a major priority to either side, since the meetings are not scheduled very often _ too many conflicting agendas, or so they say. some rumors say nothing will get signed until October or November, but you know how reliable rumors can be. Also, no real word on buyers for the paper-side of the Weyco world. Some rumors were floating around last week a potential (or interested party) would be named today, but it seems that was just a hoax that got taken seriously by a few employees.


i tells you man, i hates telephones
solicitors that worm their way into your psyche,
make you feel like rat piss
rejecting the blind, disabled & maimed.
hurrah for me! cruel bastard
that relishes suffering. theirs & mine.

no need for guaranteed light bulbs in my dungeons.
no need for dancing,
club foots on my two aching legs.
i tells you man, i hates telephones
late night callers on their knees,
not even rusting in mock worship,
for my last shiny pennies.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

some economics

from 1992 - i was not giving my poems titles back then, so when (if) i submitted them, or put them in manuscripts, i usually just made the first line the title, making it a bit easier on editors. This is an unsolicited poem, so it's unpublished as well, like most everything anymore.


the economics were simple enough
America had failed
(no billboards announced it, but the graffiti artists knew it, sang the song upon derelict buildings
the hookers & bums knew it, sang the song together in the decayed city cores)
America had failed
it was in the tombstone eyes of once believers even if their hearts desperately tried to deny it

Monday, August 13, 2007

poem for going back to work

a poem written in 7:95. this poem was published by Vantage Point in April 1998. another of those small press publications that need any sort of support you can give. it's also a poem that fits the mental outlook as i head back to the paper-machine tomorrow morning, and those Oh, so lovely (NOT) heavyweight export orders that our crew seems to get all too often.


no address & the rags no one else wanted on his back
he searches garbage cans for breakfast
like a runaway dog - no license
just a snarl & growl
for early morning fog

Sunday, August 12, 2007

a prose poem from 82-87 era

a poem from 1982-1987 era - unsolicited, unpublished. a prose poem.

on a few days off, after a rough night shift ... went to Wildlife Safari this morning, saw dem big cats up close. Pretty impressive creatures. Got close to Bison and Rhinos as well. Interesting place and worth rediscovering every four or five years.


i met four gypsies - each with a golden earring, each with a curse, on the distant highway to leads from the silver highway of the City of David to the golden highway of the City of God.

Of the four, two were blind and two were lame.

As they hobbled along, the sun was pleasant and they wailed the names of their mothers turned to whores and their gods turned to the pleasures of war and though each voice cried in imperfect harmony, the names they expelled as a vile arrangement with unknown beasts was identical to the other.

i asked them of their lament.

They knocked me down and spat upon my face and took my wallet and threw it into the dancing river that ran wonderfully along the Highway of God. They cursed me and then fell on their knees, begging for forgiveness.

i stood up, silent and strong, as a judge or assassin and demanded they be out of my life.

Without saying a word, they rose and took to the highway, tears, the delicate touch of sorrow, dripped from their eyes.

And as they vanished into the haze of holiness that rose along the edge of the golden Highway of God, i felt only envy and found myself too cursing mothers turned to whoring and gods turned to the pleasures of war.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

vacation time ends ... and the happy papermill awaits

today's poem is from 1:98

still not feeling like work (which awaits tomorrow) is a great alternative to vacation - but alas ... pay-checks seem to be a rather major necessity.


you take yarn from old clothes
rework it into new blankets

call me when you are lonely
when the moon is drunk
over dark fields
& the owl is content
to sit on high posts
& sing of contentment

even though i have sworn off
all pleasures
in this place of simple survival
for you i will make exceptions

Friday, August 3, 2007

still not ready to wrestle alligators

a poem from 5:93 - accepted in edited form (which i have since lost) by Midwest Poetry Review in July 97, supposedly to be published in April 1998. i don't think i ever got a copy of the issue .... so here is the poem, not the original piece, but also not the edited/accepted form either. (i guess that makes sense. in other words, re-edited from the original.) anyway, support those small presses in anyway you can.

still feeling under the weather, but think i'll make it, so i can get back to work in a couple of days. Gees, would hate to be sick going back to work, now wouldn't we? just not quite feeling ready to wrestle any alligators at the moment.


gather the bones in less than symbolic piles
the flesh will burn even as the soul seeks immortality

if every poem is a sin (according to yeventushenko)
then we are all the vilest of sinners

we are designed to be creatures of beauty
-most of us bastard sucking the dirty tits of desperation
finding no nourishment, but inspiration
- soiled & unholy -

we are a discardable bunch
our cancered flesh fit for the fires of your purification
we are the tainted blood in veins
the dirty air you are forced to breath

to curse our imperfection is to curse yourself

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

feeling under the weather, a bit

and here is yet another poem for ya'all - from 1995 - same old song and dance - unsolicited - thus unpublished.

vacation continues. really feeling under the weather today. tired, aches and pains and a headache that won't go away. i am certain it's withdrawal symptoms from being away from the paper machine for 6 days. no other explanation works.

other than that - not much going on. really warm (OK, it's HOT) again today. certainly can tell it's summertime in the olde Willamette Valley. that should please the sun lovers ....


all my stamps gone
what does it matter? no one was publishing dreams of darkness this year anyway.

i sit beside the muddy river & wonder how anything could live in those dark waters.
lovers stroll by, arm in arm. she is beautiful. he is masculine.
they are giddy & skip stones across slow eddies.
(just like god hurling thunderbolts upon a drenched Midwest.)

i listen to the wind through fallen timber.
squirrels wait for hand-outs. i give them instead pages of poems no one wanted.
they too refuse to be impressed & leave for easier scores.
the old man with an eagle on his hat shares stale pop-corn.
in the sky, an osprey - but it could have been a vulture - searches for also dinner.

when the rain finally accompanies darkness, i watch neon bleed.
somewhere in the blurred faces that flash between head-lamps are dreams & love & poems.
but i do not capture them. instead i listen to the rain as it whispers in a language i try desperately to translate
unsuccessfully tonight.

what does it matter? all my stamps are gone!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

missing the salt mines - NOT

a poem printed in Prairie Wind - in their Spring 1996 issue. remember the mantra - small presses need your support.

since i am on vacation, and deeply missing the paper machine, i'll offer up a work poem. seems appropriate, right? and speaking of work, did i mention how much i miss it, oh yeah, i did ...i heard the contract talks are off until late August. Again, scheduling conflicts. If nothing is resolved then, no talks are in the works until October. Geez. This must be a real high priority to someone. We've been without a working contract since March already. Oh well.


we recycle cardboard
newsprint & dreams
here on the threshhold
of oblivion

fog drifts across the highway
the dark river mutters
dark heron laughs symbolically

we are the faces of america
in disrepair
we are the missing pieces
of the puzzle

floracarbons in our lungs
a sour wind telling tales we disregard
dark heron conversing with the dour river

we are the remnants of hope
all in a tangle
not even bohemian
in our struggles

frost on the wind
steam swirling from rusting metalic vents
dark heron disappears in to icey fog

Monday, July 30, 2007

a possible explanation of - nothing really.

a possible explanation of my lack of any new poems over the last few years - when a similar, but much shorter, hiatus occurred in 1987.

this morning i updated Leonard's blog with the third (and last) part of his recent manuscript. Paula has some wonderful pictures of her recent trip to Greece. OK, i am envious. There! And Roger is still one wording it with some very interesting stuff on his blog. Links to them all are in the side-bar, if you're so inclined.


When there are no words there are none
The quaking of mountains or the pleasantness of smiles cannot bring them forward
If they are gone they are gone
If they have been wasted they have been wasted
But O they danced as flames in the night from my heart to the wind
And they danced for her because they found joy in it
Now they are tired and desperately seek rest
They may come forth again
But now they are tired and desperately seek rest

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the Grande Zombie tells me sleep is over-rated. is that true Roger?

a poem from 1982-1987 era - published in Insomonia & Poetry - a small press 'zine. - in 1995. it is also probably the only poem i have published that works in rhyme. one of the very few i've written in rhyme actually. again - when you can, support those small presses of your choice.

really wasted today. probably got a total of 3 hours sleep in the last 30 hours or so ... must be anxiety or something about being away from the ever joyous paper machine!! Yeah, right.


Plath watched the channel.
Brodigan watched the bay.
And they both heard the same sweet voice that never went away.
i watch the mountains.
i listen to the voices.
i stare into those templed spires realizing i am running out of choices.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

a delay in vacation start ....

todays poem is another one from 1995 .

some updates on the world around here. negotiations, we sort of hear, are off again, over the company wanting to deny vacations during scheduled shut-down days/weeks at the mill, where they need all the workers they can find. (how about hiring more people?) The union says there aren't enough weeks in the year now to allow everyone the vacation time they are allowed. So the union walked away from the table. Anyway, i guess they will talk again - but no time is set just yet.

speaking of vacations, i GOT to work (as in mandatory) one of the nights on my vacation ... the contract says they can schedule you on the first two days (& nights) of a vacation, as those days are not protected, though they will try never to do that. well, they did to me, again. i think this is the 3rd time in two years i've had 2 or more days lopped off my vacation time. Oh well, such is life at the big happy papermill. but now i am off, free to lolligag around, listening to some old 60's music and trying to catch up on some much needed rest.


who would care what is said (or not)

the neighbors fought every other night in the darkness. under the veil of stars or fog.
she's a rotten bitch & he's a goddamned lying bastard.
neither are worth a pile of shit.
but by morning they smile,
each in their own Ford Escort, wave a "good morning: to the old walking man who knows nothing of the last night.
such a wonderful couple.

DC8 eating black-top
into an old dump-truck. flagger holds STOP sign in one hand, cigarette in the other. the sun curses. nearly as well as she does.
eats more dust. & more dust.
in a week they'll mend the craters with a new layer of asphalt. steet will be open in two weeks.
in a month, they'll tear it up again for another gas line.

the cop (blue uniform, badge number 1736) knocks. 6am. Sunday morning.
Yes. i know the neighbors.
tempestuous! Mark in the trunk of Diane's Escort? throat cut & she without a trace - into the mystic?
well, he was a goddmaned liar, officer. told me once he'd been to Spain & the Persiam Gulf.
Diane swore he'd never been out the damned state of Oregon.
who you gonna believe anyway?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

new glasses and i can see clearly now

another 1995 unsolicited, unpublished poem.

not much going on today. new glasses and a cool afternoon, no rain, but lots of clouds and well, i've always liked the rain (some expected tomorrow) and cooler temps, so can't complain about that. one more day off, lots of little chores to get done, then it's back to night shift and those damned heavy-weight export orders that are such a pain ....


everyone i read these days: so successful & literary.
(editors, educators - all full of intelligence.)
i am inferior - here in the rain, working with sweat & blisters.
i walk - inner-city, to where the graffiti artists work.
here is find my brothers: young & angry illiterates that struggle at communication.
except i am old.
i spray paid old hearts (dreams). it changes nothing, but for a while i am beautiful.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

contract talks continue

another 1987-1989 era poem - unpublished. unsolicited.

contract talks are officially in progress. last week they talked and this week more are scheduled. the union seems to feel there are no major stumbling blocks so far, but only reported back on potential changes in how the work schedules are made (potentially by the workers instead of management) and the company wants all positions to be certified - in other words, we'll have to qualify for our move up positions (if not our current jobs) by some sort of testing. This has been rumored to be in the works for years, so it's not really a big wake-up call or anything. i can't see the union fighting this very hard, if at all. other than the fact we know there will be changes in the insurance carriers, not much else is being said publicly.


Will you hold her as the rings around Jupiter, a simple kinetic or electro-magnetisim?
your entire existence circling the vision as if galaxies of wonder?
Does she illuminate you as comets across the sky?
your entire being radiated in her?

The mirrors in your eyes will tell everything your heart feels.
Words are irrelevant now.

If the morning sun fails will you create one of your own for her?
your arms warming her heart as solar winds warm her face?
Will your heart orbit her eyes as a moon?
your survival laying in the invisible magic of her love?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

a poem published in Fireweed

poem from 1995, printed in 1996 by Fireweed, a Eugene, OR based 'zine, edited by Eric Mueller, one of the great patrons of the local arts. Another fine small press publication that should be supported.

tomorrow i'll add a bit of chatter going around about the state of contact talks.


1 red tail hawk
2 upon a fence post:
4 sentinel
5 of a better dream.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

an olde 1987 poem, with footnotes!

and yet another 1987 poem - unsolicited. unpublished. it was written to a friend, and at the time night watchman, at Cuddeback Lumber Co ... the years have removed him from Oregon, and i have no idea where he is these days..... if you're out there, John Kn., drop me a line.

it is cooler here in the Willamette Valley today. But not cool by any means. Guess the thunder storms last night helped. at ye olde Paper Mill, this is the month, and these are the very weeks, that the management and union are supposed to start meeting/speaking to establish a new contract. Who knows what sort of joys await the rank and file. as of now, it's all speculation on what will be taken (or added? ha!) to our existing package. next week (i believe) the 4 new hires begin their orientation and training. They are scheduled to start working the week i am on vacation - the last week in July.


The future is to be.
In the dripping fog of early morning there is reaffirmation, glorious and profound.
Listen to the sounds, delicate and precious, soft as the whispers of her heart.
Listen to the sounds and understand each before dismissing them as insignificant or trivial.

The future is to be.
No matter how brilliant Hannibal planned from the concern and greatness of Carthage, the Alps and Rome still remained a difficultly too great to master.
Plans are only a short gnarly stick used to beat back the beasts of uncertainty.

The future is to be.
"The soul of man does violence to itself ..." (1)
There is apprehension in your smile.
It has the nervous twitch of someone waiting for omens that are slow in clumsy in their arrival.
And your laughter, it is nearly synthetic now, as if i it has the necessity of duplicating the perfection of machines, or someone elses genius.

The future is to be.
Look into her eyes, delicate and precious, soft as the whispers of your heart.
In all the pain to follow, in all the glory to be found, nothing will be as significant as her smile.

The future is to be.
"Let us not waste our time in idle discourse!" (2)
Let us dream dreams as brave as assassins believing in their holiness.
Let us hold our hearts as if they were gossamers in the wind.
There will always be dreams that struggle for existence.

The future is to be.
"There's a divinity that shapes our ends ..." (3)
Softly the rain falls.
As you stand in the confusion of the wind, along the rivers that rise and fall as your dreams, let your laughter dance across the whiskers of the beast that stalks you, deep into the peace that should be lasting and soft and hers.

(1) - from Meditations Book II - by M. Aurelius
(2) - from Waiting For Godot - by Samuel Beckett
(3) - from Hamlet - by W. Shakespeare

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

not exactly penguin weather

and -well, wowzers - yet another unsolicited poem .....from 1987

NOT quite as hot today. still rather uncomfortable, but only in the lower 90's ... not exactly penguin weather for certain.


Aristotle sits before the voids, contemplating ever minute detail presented.
i ask him of significance.
He tells me to shut-up and appreciate the spectacle.

i am the wind through the darkest tree tops when the night is uncomfortably warm.
i am the whispers you never share.
i am Jesus, if you desire it.

Aristotle sits before the unknown, defining it.
He tells me of logic and rhetoric.
i believe they are the very details of duty and obligation.

In the papers are the travesties of war, glorified.
In the papers are ...
i avoid the papers.
Rather i sit before the swirling of clouds being formed in the stratosphere.
There i examine the finite details of beauty all about your immaculate heart.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

magnificently hot today

only 25 posts (which roughly means 25 poems and rants) are on the "front" page of this blog. The other posts are still available for your perusal. They haven't really vanished forever. Just go to the "archives" in the side bar to the right. (at this point, there are about 40 poems sleeping in the dark over there.)

here in the olde Willamette Valley, it's magnificently hot today. it's a flat oppressive heat that just simply destroys ambition (100 degree F). luckily, it's a day away from the papermill. Inside that cement box we call Paper Machine #2 (even though there is no longer a #1 machine in existence) it's like an oven on days like today ... oh well, will get my turn in the box in a day or two ... can you feel the enthusiasm?

today's poem is from Proverbs For The Initiated - (c) 1999 - published by Cedar Hill Publications - the book is out of print to the best of my knowledge.


Grandpa drank Falstaff beer on Sunday afternoon,
listened to the Giants on the radio
extension chord out a bedroom window to the patio.
He loved Mays. Still his favorite was Maricial.
He loved the flash & flair of the Dominican Dandy.
But he himself was more like Jack Sanford -
8 innings every time he was called. Hard sweat
& honest effort - looking for a little support
down the stretch from friends & family.
Finally there just wasn't anything left to give.
Even the beer was stale after that.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a morose poem from the "zombie-zone"

utterly burnt out from a long night shift (can't wait for the 4 new hires to get their orientation and enough training to be allowed to work on their own!) and well, deep into the "zombie zone" mode ... so this poem is one of those unpublished, unsolicited poems, written in 1996, a "bit on the morose side" i suspect .... yeah, understatement of the hour!


wondering if shaving is worth the statement

my eyes not certain they are ready
to capture the world as it really is

too numb to ache
my flesh is merely a covering
bones have forgotten rhapsody

i fart for morning
as if a prayer to a god i have forsaken
my pledge of allegiance to life
for at least one more day

then i reluctantly piss away
the dreams i have erected the night before
& prepare for consequences

Thursday, July 5, 2007

no rest for the ... ah, poet

didn't get much sleep before work today (on a night shift rotation this week), so was looking over some of the poems i've worked on recently and decided to add this one. it was published in Spindrift - accepted by phone (yep, they called me!) 2:26:96. Again, small presses need and deserve any support you can give them. Also, i worked a little on Leonard Cirino's blog today - some minor edits and what-nots. i think it will updated bi-weekly or so. And Paula's poetry page has an amazing photograph to view, as well as a very nice new poem. If you're into looking around the blog world of poetry at all, links to both are in the side bar. Until later:


1 the moon as if a paper dragon
2 caught in the dark limbs
3 of winter trees
4 & you beside the dark river
5 believing in miracles
7 the tail of comets
8 in your eyes
9 the whispering wind
10 in your dark hair
11 & me on the other side seeking
12 passage

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

poem from another small press magazine

today here is a poem printed in Mushroom Dreams issue of Dec 1997 - another small 'zine, probably long out of existence. Please support small presses in anyway you can - buying copies, passing the name of the poets to friends, or sharing the URL to on-line material. i know you've heard it over and over on this blog, but it is important i believe. And again, a thank-you to all the visitors and i do appreciate your comments.


the concrete cares for nothing.
i would like to think it had stories to tell
or that it had dreams, but it doesn't.
i remembers nothing of you standing before the sea,
watching the waves roll over
& gulls in an ignorant swirling bliss.
you with your long hair tangled in the wind,
salt on your lips.
those lips that were always more expressive
than your eyes.

& the rain remembers nothing of your hands,
but my bones remember,
even as they simply whisper,
even if they are unheard.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Gizmos for ya'all

today's poem is an unpublished and unsolicited poem from 1996.

a day off today, trying to get some rest before a long night shift with lots of overtime tossed in for good measure, or whatever they call it at the mill. a side update - still no word on the mysterious contract (though talks are SUPPOSED to be held sometime this month). Neither side seems too concerned at the moment. Also, not a peep about the potential sale of the papermill division of the Weyco world. keep 'em guessing, boys!


paper cuts do not expose the soul
but they annoy

the world was imperfect
i studied the flaws
even sent reports to silent gods
& their spokesman

no blue birds on my fence post
but the crows in the orchard
high on the aroma of rotten apples
told wonderful tales

the telephone salesman insisted
i could reach salvation with his gizmo
i offered him payment of silence

the black dog noticed merely
it was hot
laid in the shade of the old shed
already full of gizmos
waiting for the moon
to call fog off the dark river

Monday, July 2, 2007

a day or two off - i think

ah, the overtime is going to be bad the next week or so. just worked 6 days (12 hour shifts at the joyous papermill) ... and get 6 nights in a row coming up next. so the intervals between updates may be a longer than the past few. (just in case anyone notices or cares .....)

here is another poem, accepted but not printed by Semi-Dwarf Review. The 'zine was published by Leonard Cirino - a poet (and editor of Pygmy Forest Press) well worth discovering. (Links to his press and poetry in the links section. i did an update for him this afternoon, so there are some of his newest poems to be read.) His poetry is difficult, passionate and important, if i say so myself.

-after John Berryman

she writes words that be plastic.
i hates 'em as i bends 'em.
they means everything, nothing.
i know she laughs at my miseries:
source of dreams & pain.
she is not angelic
though i be mending wings.
ha, i tells you they gathers dust here.

the fatman grateful for affection
though he much prefer lust.
he too write confusion (on envelopes)
but it translates well into despair -
she without out of date dictionaries
find no incantation to soothe lonely.

pour me hard drinks, like hard lies.
fatman laughs, ha, i smashed finger
with more than one hammer -
so what love got to do with pain.

she spin words. i grow dizzy
as i confuse meaning with intention.
if she was less beautiful
i would tempt myself with other dreams -
they too be damned plastic.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

unsolicited, unpublished stuff

a poem from 1999 - unsolicited, unpublished.

back to the salt mines in the morning, so this will be the last post for this week, more than likely.
not much else to report, so i'll keep this entry short and simple.


where old furniture gathers dust
ghosts have scribbled her name.

the wind steals the color
from the roses on her table,
puts it in the cheeks of children
that play along the same river
she once walked.

the river, though, has changed
& the dreams the black birds now carry
are as mysterious to her
as the letters on her desk
without signature.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

another montage poem

another montage poem. unsolicited, unpublished. written in august 1998.

again, thanks to all who have visited. ya'all come back again, please.


the clock has either fallen asleep
with the backtender,
or has forgotten what it was designed to do.

my hands are sore
from slabbing out wrinkles in this paper,
though the blisters will wait
until morning to appear.

on the bulletin board, the list of 41 positions
to be eliminated -
positions - as if they had no names, or faces,
no families attached.

the highway stretches out forever,
right into the arms of uncertainty.

it is the same nothingness
as the sound of empty lockers rattling
in an evening thunderstorm
that will no longer affect the transformers
on the fourdiner.

she wears no lace
for morning.

the rags she washes
are merely dreams that frayed.

she has forgotten the purpose of smiles.

morning fog on the mountain
where the cougar is hunted -
his once domain, now a cage,
now a trap ...

the callouses on my hands
will vanish, as dollars in my checkbook,
until one morning, all that remains are memories
dissipating as fog off the mountain
that too has forgotten the feel of production.

now all visions are stark & desolate.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

a garden poem, well, not really

another 1998 unsolicited, unpublished poem.

not much to say this evening - off of night shift for a few days, and it was not an easy one to be certain. dwelling in the "zombie zone" until i can get caught up a bit on rest. the mill is actually hiring 4 new people, now that we've run short handed for nearly a year. should be interesting. contract talks await in July and as far as a new buyer - well, that's one of the great secrets of the universe that hasn't been resolved just yet.

- Only the tips of my hair still remember
your stroking.

behind the garden gate
she showed me her zinnias,
let me pick her hibiscus, but the rosebuds,
she swore, would never bloom
in my vase.

her riddles were not perfect,
but they were beautiful
as her mouth enunciating uncertainty.

in the morning, when i shave
my legs, she whispered,
nothing will remain of your affection.

i waited for rain,
the way old men wait for buses,
schedules so old
the print was no longer legible.

her smile remained
as tempting as whiskey
when the night had forgotten
how to tell time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

on night shift again ... whooopeeeee!

another poem, this one was published in 1999, by a small press magazine The Inditer. again, the mantra - support small presses!!!

speaking of small presses - yesterday i helped create a blog for Leonard Cirino and his Pygmy Forest Press. if you've been reading along, you know i think highly of this poet/editor. So, if you've been interested in reading some of Cirino's poetry, you have a chance to do so. The link to his blog is in the links section ... i recommend you at least give it a try.

-for the children of cain

i want to believe there is a god
benevolent, omniscient
that cares for the cripple child,
the HIV poet - more than cares -
loves & protects.

i want to believe in heaven
as a reward to the faith,
to good deeds done
because they felt right in being given.

it is the 3rd morning
i wake to rain, my hands crippled
& the nausea of dreams gone askew
fresh on the bathroom floor.

it is the 2nd month
i have forgotten that there is beauty
in the sound of rivers, in the eyes of women,
in rain & flowers & birds that also die
in the cold night, unknown.

Monday, June 18, 2007

another work poem

the last time i was writing prolifically was 1997-2000 time period, just before THE GREAT STRIKE of 2001, and all the things that followed which made me decide to stop writing poetry. the exact details probably will never be fully discussed (the choice i made). this poem is from that time period.

a side note: this is the 50th post on this blog ... uncertain where it's going anymore. i was never certain what i expected this blog to be or what responses i wanted, needed for it to continue. it began as an experiment. for the time being, it'll continue, as i have a quite a few poems edited and ready for updates ...


12 hours on the night shift
& fog stutters from the dark river.
mixes with vented steam from the paper machine
until there is no vision,
only the gutteral moan of machines
that have an existence to merely produce.

i stand in that mix of fog & steam,
hosing the chemical reaction of pulp fiber, potato starch
& kyme (an additive to make paper
water resistant) known as foam -
a benign bubbling that is hosed inefficiently
into the sewer ... the procedure known as
fighting foam in the vernacular.

i look up & there stands
Cesar Vallejo in his blue suit,
no safety glasses, no hard hat -
obviously not in compliance
with safety regulations. i attempt
to explain, but he points to the moon
between fog banks & says something
in Spanish, which i do not understand.

he then steps back into the fog.
i do not follow
as the sound of alarms tells me
my distractions has let
the foam short out the trim squirt motors
& the paper machine is down.

i mutter to Vallejo:
"how the hell does that make you feel?"
not certain anyone can feel anything
at 3 in the morning, knowing
a mountain of paper work awaits the arrival
of the mill wide coordinator, who i am certain
is not wearing a neatly pressed blue suit.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

tra-la-la-ing along

another unpublished, unsolicited poem. written in March1995.

the archives are always open, if you want to read all the poems already posted. i've worked up another batch, so there will be updates irregularly, for quite a while it appears.

not much else - still nothing on the contract at work (that's on hold until July) and no word on impending (or potential) sale of the paper division .... so, as the world stumbles, we stumble along ... tra-la-la-la ....


poems - like the rain. collected in puddles, an annoyance stepped over if at all possible

they are only words
scribbled in my alone

- like stray dogs that bark & wag their tails, but are always without name tags, shots - to be avoided if at all possible

they are only stones
before your doorstep
that i believed were diamonds

perceived as pyrite
at their very best

Saturday, June 16, 2007

list of important poets reposted

this post is a bit different. it is a poem that was accepted, but remains unpublished. Semi-Dwarf Review was a magnificent little 'zine published by Leonard Cirino (wonderful poet, magnificent editor and genuine friend). His magazine is unfortunately no longer in existence, at least at the present time. i had a number of poems accepted by this magazine, but it quit publishing before many of them were actually printed. His press Pygmy Forest Press remains vital and alive.

in the first days of this blog, i put up a list of poets i felt were important enough (to me at any rate) for anyone who honestly enjoys poetry to discover. here is that list again - the poets are in no particular order, just as i remembered them:

John Berryman
Yannis Ritsos
William Everson (also known as Brother Antoninus)
Fredrico Garcia Lorca
Walt Whitman
Paul Zimmerman
Leonard Cirino -poet and editor of Pygmy Forest Press
Michael McIrvin -particularly his book DOG - published by Pygmy Forest Press
Rob Whitbeck -published by Pygmy Forest Press

and not known as a poet (thanks to unknown person in comments for the correction), but one of the more influential writers (for me) of the 20c - Samuel Beckett

good stuff - worth checking out if you're unfamiliar with any of them.


one eyed master,
you sees more beauty than whole
bastards. i knows you feels
a purer love than my rancid bones,
tastes a richer joy.

i fumbled the relay. custom made
double play - only one out.
winning run scored on my inabilty
to turn & throw. second baseman with
limited visions. i discarded that ball
for a dream of women.
fucked-up that relay too. short stops
begin asking managers for someone worth
a damn.

the ocean spoke in riddles.
you who writes masterpieces about
the lives of agates -
i with holes in my pockets
collects the fog, offers it to
damsels in distress, rather than
diamonds. neither if us getting laid.
riddles make strange bedfellow, sir.

Friday, June 15, 2007

another accepted in a small press magazine

this poem was printed in Steelhead Special, another small venue magazine. Crawdad Nelson is/was the editor. a working class poets magazine, and well worth discovering. Again, support those small presses.

anyway - got a lot more poems set-up in a file for future updates .... archives are open for review anytime, no appointments needed. comments are greatly appreciated and a humble thank-you for everyone who has stopped by and read any of this.


it was easier to plant trees
than to cut them,
though neither was really

in the great Northwest
hardly a burner left,
& the few that are -
all rusted & falling down -
like the toys god forgot
how to use.
no more incense
for his pleasure.

old growth forests & spotted owls
under federal protection:
now mills run piss-fir
& second growth,
run hemlock snags &
some old farmers pecker-poles:
the saw dust remains
the same -
only now the waste is chipped
& sent to Weyerhaeuser
for paper pulp.

no longer old men remembering
the strikes, the deaths.
mostly old men waiting
for retirement,
hoping these few scattered mills
remain open
until them.

feeling like dinosaurs

Monday, June 11, 2007

playin' hooky?

sort of playing hooky from work today - well, it's a scheduled/approved hooky ... but it gives me a chance to update the blog another day ... back to the work-grind tomorrow, so probably no new updates until the end of the week, unless somehow i get an easy day - like that's going to happen.

here's another poem published in a small press 'zine. This one in a Japanese magazine called The Plaza. the poem was written in June of 1994. support small presses by buying copies if you can, but at least by reading and passing the names (of the magazine, editors and poets) and links and copies onto others.


1: things break too easily in my hands now.
toys. records. VCRs.
i am the king of oafs, large hands that crumple
never caress.

grey rain in late june sky & dwarfs
horrible songs
silk banners proclaiming peace & prosperity
i cannot embrace them even
if i wished
their little bones
break so easily
in these rough hands.

king of oafs proclaims thursdays a day of weeping
the tears saved in vials of gold: holy waters
of the eternally clumsy.
king of oafs will bless the faithful.

2: yes, you sleep with sugar plum fairies
but the king of oafs sleeps only in the crystals of someone elses dreams
never knowing the purpose of ghosts but certain of their existence
off the left side of his smile forgotten in the closet of desperation
as night is filled with smoke of fires - wet wood & damp skies
- the king of oaf dancing in thick puddles because it is the lightest thing he can dream
no Icarus in his veins, not even Wilbur Wright
only crumpled feathers.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

another poem published in a small zine

another poem published in a small magazine Poet's Page. i reiterate - support small 'zines - as they are the lifeblood of modern arts, esp. poetry. written in June of 1994. There are so many great small presses out there, many are just paper presses, some on-line. And they are run by great people and dedicated editors. i salute each of you.

on another note: check the archives if you want to read all the poems offered on this blog, as well as the source of a lot of the notes and comments i talk about in the "headers" to some of the poems. And again, thanks for all the comments, as well as for everyone that visits and reads this stuff. if anyone wants to pass along the link to this blog, feel free to do so. if anyone wants to publish any of these poems - feel free to contact me. i don't have any objections, but i would like to know about it ahead of time.


1. i do not seek acceptance
though i do seek
friendship -

cantacerous as i have become - old
& overweight
full of dreams & dramas
slowly unfolding (awkwardly)

i do not seek acceptance now
as i never really have
i am more like Walter Mitty, unfortunately,
than Robert Lowell

when you search the caverns
of desperation
you will find many mirrors
reflecting images
you would prefer ignore

my eyes could be such mirrors

2: shall i flatter you,
cover you with cliches
as if rose petals
shall i ignore the turmoil
in your smile
& your laughter?
surely morning aches.
surely the rain is tears
over the rock of hope.

3:we will remain stone

or continents drifting

the call of gulls in a damp wind
our conversations
the black ocean
our touch

sometimes close enough to hail
almost understand
sometime a whole expanding ocean

we remain continents

& gulls will be our language

Saturday, June 9, 2007

a rejected poem

this poem comes from a folder i designed as rejected poems / need rework ... i cannot recall exactly when it was originally written, or how often it was submitted - but i assume at least twice, since that was pretty much the pattern i was using when i was submitting poems in the mid-1990s.

"The clutter of worship
that you taught me ..."
-Anne Sexton

cover your face with silk.
fog masks mine,
blown over dark waters,
over rugged arenas of rock.
turbulence is the essence of my dreams.

call me when there is time
for dreams.
i am not as demanding as bosses,
though as curious i am certain.

rings have carved prisons in your heart.
diamonds tell lies.
rings are in my tide pools, carmine & amber,
starfish & mollusk.

let your perfumed flesh
remain soft & luxurious.
i have riddles without meaning,
words that struggle for flight,
stones in my dirty pockets for sharing.

call me when there is time for dreams.
we have dealt ourselves horrid hands
& kept gamblers faces through it all.

Friday, June 8, 2007

an old chameleon for you today

from Night of Hobo Dreams - another of them there unsolicited, unpublished manuscripts - comes today's entry. it is a very old poem, originally written in the 1970's i recall, edited a number of times, but it really has managed to stay quite true to the original form & concept.

just a note on the paper mill situation. now contract talks are not scheduled until July, but there is a full two week period both sides have set aside to negotiate. and nothing more on the sale of the paper division ... so the world continues to turn.


Hattie unfolded the letter
& put her smile away.

The rains, after all,
they are the key.
Put the locks aside.

i listen for your laughter
along neglected shores,
though i know better.
Curses are everywhere.
Well, yes, it is beautiful
in it's own way.

The laughter of street boys
altered her. Her eyes
grew large & she laughed
as if she understood.

They saw the '63 Fairlaine
at the curb
& the two officers took down the license number
before tapping on the window for questions.
Hattie folded the letter
& put her smile back on.

What seems to be the problem, officer?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

off a long night shift - another update

finally off a long night shift rotation - still in the haze, but wanted to get an update today (or night as the case may be), so here is another one from Humbly, I Offer These Awkward Poems - yep, this is from that same unpublished manuscript (but it was accepted, just not published - but you knew that if you've been reading all along ....oh yeah, i think i said that in the last post ... anyway, it's been shut-down, sort of regrouped -remorhped- into something else, that gathers the same sort of worthless dust on my desktop at the moment, as it has for the last 6 years. )


Thursday night & rain
marks my window, the way an old dog
would a fence post.
it is not as a poet i listen,
but as a disciple.

the rain, muttering under foggy breath
something about the passing
of possums, hookers & the great pharaoh.

i ask it if test tube babies have original sin.
there is no direct response.

the rain was once symbolic of passion,
now of passion lost. i turn the pages
of poets i do not fully understand.
ink marks its territory
& i listen for the secrets of dawn
unfolding as the sound of trucks
through deep puddles.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

thanks to all who have stopped by

todays poem comes from Humbly, I Offer These Awkward Poems - unpublished (and temporarily at least) discarded manuscript (well, it was accepted once upon a time, but you knew that if you've been reading all along ....)

i also worked up a few more poems for future updates last night. so if i use them all, i have enough for a month or more of updates before i need to go back into the dusty piles. i want to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read these poems and especially thank all who have taken the time to post some comments.

off to work on night shift this week (plus an extra night of overtime) so i probably won't update until mid to late next week. Anyway - thanks again to all who have taken the time to stop by and read the poetry. take care ya'all- until we meet again a bit later .......


i walk the alluvial fan valley
in search of amethyst.
i chip rocks. no necklaces result.
merely scabbed fingers you
would not caress anyway.

a love-sick cowboy on the speakers
of a worn out pickup truck:
the old man behind the wheel warns
that thunder in the mountains means
flash floods in these dusty creek beds.

i acknowledge his concern with a wave.
i know nothing of these mountains
other than rocks hold the key
to forgiveness,
the amethyst for your dark skin.
i stumble & curse the boulders,
the sun & the rains that do not arrive.

brown lizard on a black rock
is unconcerned with my personal remorse.
i scrutinize holes where rattlers surely sleep.
they have their own suffering.

in my pockets no gems,
no love in broken rock, in broken hearts.
in the dark distant skies, i hear thunder
echo off rim rock, where i am certain eagles nest.

Friday, June 1, 2007

another poem for my sister Lori

still another - from 1982-1987 era. same old song and dance - unsolicited, unpublished.
written for my sister, who died of cancer before her 32 birthday .... Fushia was a stuffed dragon i had given her two years earlier, after her first cancer surgery ...


Fushia the dragon stares blankly to the wall.
He is bored.
He does not believe my woeful tales of death.
He will wait.
He has waited before and you have returned.
He is a convincing dreamer, with a love greater than the elements of time.
And so, we will wait together, wait for that laughter to come through the door.

(Forgive me, you frail souls that have passed on before.
Forgive me that i did not decry your death with the same wailing.
It is not that i did not know them there.
It is not that i failed to ache in your departure, but i have been undone in hers.)

The dragon stares blankly at the wall.
He is bored and tired of waiting.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

more of the wayback machine

OK, Sherman, get the Wayback Machine up and running. Today we go back to 1982-1987 era. Another of them there poems that're unpublish, unsolicited and yep, unrejected at this point.

more overtime on the horizon ... tomorrow's update may be the last for about a week. as for the contract (or lack of) - no news - i think they are talking again in mid-June? And no updates on potential buyers for the containerboard division ... so guess we're still on the auction block. anywho ... those are them there updates as of today. Now, onto the poetry ----


Horses are still being shot
in the infield arenas.
And gamblers still smile in disgust
as million dollar winnings
just missed again
are put down in the name
of humanity.

NASA views the Martian terrain
in agony,
remembering the glory
of moon walkers
and Saturn probes,
counting pennies,
always counting pennies.

i listen for the sound of rain
in these dog-day afternoons.
i listen
and hear
absolutely nothing
in the formation of haze
along the horizon.

If this were to be my last poem
and the void ensuing
extended beyond the silence
of your heart
would there yet be room
for understanding?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


a quick update ... sorta out of it today, this is another poem from 1978-1981 era, unpublished, unsolicited.


on the tides
of foaming mist
and salt
sandpipers run
quickly, agile,
dancing so to speak, in the wet-sand.

Can i share
more precious, love?

Friday, May 25, 2007

a working poem

another "working" poem, about the old saw mill/veneer plant at Cuddeback Lumber, where i worked at for about 9 years, running the barker/cut-off saw. written in 97. it was a really crummy place to work, mismanaged to the max (well, isn't everywhere?) - but i learned a lot, and the job itself had some interesting moments.


i spit saw dust
& pitch seams.
somehow salvage a profit margin
of this garbage timber.

wind off the log pond
smells of hemlock sinkers:
two mallards find it a perfect place
to mate & raise their young.

my hands rubbed raw
by the wind
no longer cry upon pages
that have forgotten your address.
but they find moments
to peel crust off stale sandwiches.

my fingertips delight
in the swift beaks
of the mallard young.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

another variant of a prose poem

and yet, another - from 1978-1981 era, unpublished, unsolicited. yada-yada-yada .... a prose poem - sort of .... well, a variant of the form. hope to get another update tomorrow, then it's going to be rather ify for a bit - as i have a ton of overtime on the horizon ... they just love us at the paper mill ... can't stand not to be with us i guess. still no contract, no word on the pending sale (though the rumors are starting to crawl from the floorboards) and well, ya know it's a dog eat dog world out there where ya gotta watch your own back most of the time .... so much for the great society i heard about when i was so much younger than today (to quote Bobby D. hisself!).


In the event you have wandered this far (or is it waddled? No matter.) there are still some surprises along the way.
In the event you are bored with all this required reading, there's a skin flick on the tube and the next few poems read quickly and easily.
Besides, the test is a breeze.

Erato, i am older than my dreams allow.
There are marvelous temples along the way, all dedicated to false worship.
But mostly, i am lonely with the harsh and broken songs.
O, delicate Muse, the gods have been cruel to my ambitions.
Soothe me.
i am willing to accept comfort tonight.
With the cracking of light over solitary peaks of the Sierra Nevadas i may be willing to learn the effect of the smiles you offer.

Falling in love is too easy for old hands of pain as myself.
i understand the broken text of songs no one sings.
The bitterness is invigorating.
Perhaps the thin silence is more holy than the programmed chanting of your temples afar.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

a cartoon he said?

another unpublished, unsolicited poem .... as i mentioned before, i have piles of this stuff hanging around .... this one is from the 1978-1981 era .... the wayback machine, Mr. Peabody is alive and functioning well. this is a rather strange piece - almost as if a cartoon, or something cinematic, comes to mind.


There are giants
growling in the cellar
and dwarfs dancing in the attic.
The dwarfs dance
to the mad and horrid
music of the gypsy.
(The gypsy is in alliance
with the prisoned
and starving giants.)
Dwarfs dance
along the window sills
until one falls
into the crushing hands
of the giants.
(And the gypsy giggles,
but the music never stops).

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

JC spoke to me, and asked for a work poem ...

Jason asked i put up some more mill poetry ... so i looked around and found this one, written in Sept. 1997. probably not what he was looking for ... but it's the one i found that sort of captured the way the papermill felt when i first started. (Still no contact, though that is supposed to be addressed in mid-June and neither side seems to be very concerned at the moment, so that means ???? - and still the containerboard division is for sale, but haven't heard any updates on that in a couple of days. most likely that will be a 6 month project to get sorted out.)

headed back to the paper mill tomorrow (the joyous night shift!!), loads of overtime over the next couple of weeks ... so updates may be a bit spotty, all depends on that ever elusive thing called sleep ... anyway, here's today's poem, for Jason and all you other working people of the world!!


can't buy heaven on a papermakers wage.
i tells you, lucky to get 4 wheels
& a roof sometimes, but, hey, it's
better than flippin' burgers - & that's no shit!

we (feeling more like Lazerus on rotating
shifts, than St. Paul)
pray to gods with our own terminology.
most days seems like he either deaf
or missing his dictionary.

slitter section bombed out - again.
so we override the computers
& set them by hand - the way
real papermakers did before they let fags & dykes
into the work place,
or so said the retiring backtender.
we not exactly saints, each seeking
cannonization before their own deity.