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unsolicited, unpublished stuff

a poem from 1999 - unsolicited, unpublished.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 unsolicited, unpublished.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another 1998 unsolicited, unpublished poem.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.