Double Meaning

My third book, Double Meaning, is now available for purchase on Amazon.

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Poet’s Market

Against the (cash) flow of the free market, poetry is useless.

Poets practice idle worship.

A poem traffics in elicit non-sense, in that it asks for no response, checks for no pulse.

You can put a price on a poem, but it will never sell (out).

Burn After Reading

Ingeborg Bachmann: “I am writing with my burnt hand about the nature of fire.”

Some questions. Some thoughts.

Where is this fire? Perhaps you’re full of passion, to the point of pain. Should it read instead: “I am writing with my burnt hand about the nature of fire within me”?

About the nature of fire.” Are you holding your hand to the fire? Is it hovering above the flames? Why don’t you remove it?

It sounds like you’re using your hand to write. Another way of seeing things: Is your hand writing all by itself? Are you writing alongside it? Is your body, minus your burnt hand, writing its own material?

Are you using your write hand?

Words can contain fire—a fiery speech, inflammatory language—but words can’t contain a fire, can’t command a fire to stop burning. If we’re angry when we write, are we playing with ire?

When you wrote or spoke this line, were you aware, Ingeborg Bachmann, that a fire in your bedroom would contribute to your death in 1973 at the age of 47? Did you enjoy your last cigarette?

Poetry Takes Ears To Perfect And Guts To Perform

After the Master of Fine Arts
Calls your pen name to the spoken word stage
Ask everyone how it’s hanging
Even the eunuchs

Say you want to tell Walt Whitman
It gets better

Wait for a pause

Gregorian chant like a Benedictine punk
The worst line of the best poem
You’ve never written

Make nothing
Rhyme with orange

Share your truth
Without gazing too long
At your navel

Halfway through a moment of silence
Shout into the mega microphone
At the flop of your tongue—

Poetry takes ears to perfect
And guts to perform

Just A Poet

“Who I am is who I was made to be, and that’s OK.” My teacher, a kind soul, asked what this means to me. I said I don’t know. I’m just a poet.

Like everyone, I suffer. Like everyone, I hope.

Who I am is who I was made to be, and that’s OK.

A double reading here: (1) the fact that I am who I was made to be is OK; (2) I am who I was made to be, and I was made to be OK.

Let’s assume both are true. Still, how shall we define “OK”?

Who I am is who I was made to be, and that’s OK.

Does OK mean “average”? Am I average? Perhaps. Compared to whom? Is average a bad thing? Am I an average guy? An average poet?

Who I am is who I was made to be, and that’s OK.

“OK” means something like: “There’s nothing wrong with me.” But here we’re saying what I am not, which is fine, but—compared to what I am—there are many things I am not.

Who I am is who I was made to be, and that’s OK, but who made me?

We’re getting into God territory here and we must tread lightly.

“Lightly.” God is called “almighty,” and this is fine, but right now I want to write: “God is lightly.” God exists lightly. The world—even gravity—exists lightly.

What the world is, is what the world was made to be, and that’s OK.

A step further: Who God is, is who God was made to be, and that’s OK.

But nothing made God, so how does God, without a creator, know God?

Perhaps through my suffering. Perhaps through my hope.

Does God need me to know God?

I don’t know. I’m just a poet.

Free Writing #4

Neurotics lick
Invisible wounds
At pity parties

God works in
Mysterious grays

I’m either
On the phone or
Away from my desk

How would you rate
Your experience
In general?

God sends angels
People send emoji
Thoughts and prayers

I’m on the phone
Under my desk
How would you
Like your refund?

Priests high-five
True believers on
Palm Sunday

I’m either
In pursuit or
On the run

How would you rate
My experience
In general?

Anxious poets
Fear the verse

Are these
Tide Pods
Gluten-free?

I’ll have to
Check with
My manager

Shovel Her Stoop

Forget snowstorms
And wind chills

I want Summer
In my hemisphere
This Valentine’s

A flirty girl
With strappy shoes
And silver toe rings
To boot

Soft soles
At the foot
Of a warm bed
To soothe

A see-through
Sundress
To remove

Before I shovel
Her stoop