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The Men's Chair In the Women's Shoe Department

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We were going shopping, and they put me in the women’s shoe department at Macy’s so I would really have something to write about, and maybe you can imagine what happened. Well, this one woman sits down right in the chair next to me, which I thought a

My Alice

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My story begins where so many have ended, strapped fast to a cold table, just moments from a lobotomy needle and anything resembling the man that I am.

The Year Of Our Lord, 2020

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There is loneliness in eating garbanzo beans all by yourself on a Saturday afternoon while drinking wine and watching Hulu. It may be attributed to teenage angst. There you are on another Saturday in 1975 staring at the boy next door through the kitchen window.And what…

ekphrastic and somatic verses

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in clotted abattoirs where Sorley saw: / no animals shorn of their skins and flesh / could spy with envy the men killing them.

Bruegel days, nights by Bosch

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no matter where we sit or how we stare— / all parades now march away to one day.

Old Love Passes By Like a Landscape

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from a moving train. The lost ball inthe tall grass still wants for no one. AndI'm suposed to pretend? You got yoursmile from something, not someone. But it took all your long hair in the process. You've been looking for the one true grace, the ultimate…


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Bleeding quietly

prophecy of the playground

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they deafen you with cute / knive you with sugared songs / with machines turn love to silicon shit / hurl you at the god Fun / debrain you in their schools.


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Without a creator

Instructions for Assembly

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Please be advised to have at least 2 persons to assemble this unit Although it could take close to a dozen Always include at least 2 kibitzers Another 2 or 3 standing around sipping vodka martinis Be sure to have enough olives to go around And b

A Waltz Viennese

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We made a plan to see each other to chat more and so we did. I went to his little house in the neighboring town and walked in to a kind of time warp. It was a large living room, made so by it's emptiness. It was stark in the vastness it seemed, but dark.

the rest of sleep

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peripheral dreams fall out from the head / the body squirms then burrows abed: / “have you had a good life? you now have less! / —led a hard life instead? you soon will be gone!”


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The space heater whirred in the lonesome room, the giant, square window bathing the room with moonlight, and Lawrence sat on the naked particle board and ruminated upon the vast importance and significance that this very room would lend his mega-empire of a business which…

Bearded Lamb

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I was bleeding from the soul It took its toll I fell all the way down in a hole I saw some burning coal I didn’t know where the hell I was Or what went wrong As I sang some unholy song Where I did not belong There was a frozen carcas

Trick Horse

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The trick rider arches

ARE YOU: An ode to overthinking brought on by having too much time to think. To be recited in your best Julie Andrews voice.

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Are you interesting?Are you clever?Are you, maybe often, sometimes never?Are you shining? Pining?Are you glowing?Are you worth knowing?Are you a life without zest?Are you mainlining strife …

First Love

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What happened then was not entirely innocent or spontaneous. I had been impressed by a scene in Some Came Running by James Jones, where the teenage writer sneaks his girlfriend home and makes love to her on his childhood's bed.


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The oceans have no sides

Music and Books

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You're all I've got to keep me company, but it's a very fine company. So familiar, and warm as any cold digital fireplace. I can tell you've got more in your story, but it doesn't make you happy. I really do not feel well today. Fun I wanted to…

I Dreamt I Was Vermeer

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I dreamt I was Vermeer For just a little while I took this photo of a criminal A mugshot really And claimed I had painted it From memories of a previous life He looked just like a Vermeer With the light coming in From the side of his fac

Tinkler Man

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As the light changed and exhaustion set in, Suzy and Molly batted back and forth one more knock knock joke to avoid going home.

That Other Exchange between Timur the Scourge of God and ibn Khaldûn

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Just before the Mamluk army’s retreat from Damascus, ibn Khaldûn had learned of the new tower that Timur lately built just outside of Aleppo with the skulls of some twenty thousand former inhabitants.

The Truth About Storytelling

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irretrievably we tell ourselves stories irretrievably as beaded water slides off our skin

the impossibility of self

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To say what is my self to myself? How does one even begin? Then to think that one could take those disparate elements, experiences, beliefs, and aspirations and convey them to another succinctly: it is like my students writing their 5-paragraph essays on the history of…

Pro and Contra in Sepia Black

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From decade to decade, editorial opinion swings and sways as to whether the fault of volubility resides chiefly with the practitioner or with the lawless company he keeps.

Kneecapping the Muse

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In 1997, I was exploring a used bookstore in Camden, New Jersey, when I stumbled across a two-volume hardback copy of The Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavić, a book I had been meaning to read since it came out in 1984. At $10.00 for the set, I couldn't pass up…

Excuse Me, There’s Some Suspicious Activity In the Men’s Room?

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Someone has locked themselves in the large stall They’re smoking one cigarette after another And pulling long stretches of toilet paper off the rolls God only knows for what purpose And yelling for anyone who’s outside the stall To go get them

The Ex Flies

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"My ex Maxine claimed red wine was the healthy alcohol choice. When we were married and I still had money she drank the expensive stuff, as if drinking Chateau Montrose 2005 instead of two buck chuck made her any less of a wino. She would have been better

The Great Pandemic Poem 2020

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First you had to have been there Because the air cleared up When the world stopped driving And the plants bloomed Bigger and brighter than we had ever Ever dreamed The sky was just a brilliant, pure Blue Like when God was born Now fo

Syntax Connections

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Consider this. Only a sentence ago we were complete strangers, oceans of time, distance and thought between us.