Archive for the ‘Verses from Doggerel Nation’ Category

There are no Edens.

Every paradise comes with

shadows and subterfuges.


Always agree with tyrants.

There will be ample time

to exact gratifying retribution.


Girls on heroin aren’t much fun,

but they’ll giggle at any quick movements.


Tap into the loyalty of a

drunken reprobate. They will repay you with

gratefulness and ineffectual encouragement.


Glass is not your friend and mirrors

will wreak havoc with any

psychic equilibrium you’ve managed

to gather in your sweet, short life.


Evil is, ultimately, a solitary existence and

Good will eventually gather allies and

kick its sorry ass into oblivion, ignominy, or some

really painful death.


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From The Last Pew


A gathering of the adherents of self-sufficiency,

uncommonly adept at the duck of the head,

legislating for forms of normal change.

I toady myself prone before the stained-glass windows:

these scenes of Christ in some Damascus land.

In Demerol numb sweat I watch the minister,

his skin as wan and drawn as parchment,

negotiating support for relinquishment of control;

but I cannot completely let go of

the sounds and sights of secular leftovers.

Outside, I walk around with my son’s unease

on this gray-blanket Easter morning

that’s echoing with the distant drumfire of traffic.

He plucks a carmine tulip for my wife

from the careful shallow garden on a small-town lawn.

Silence, on these spacious porches,

I only wish I could swallow this silence.


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You can lead a man away

from everything he holds as


Broken roads, and savage

highway scrapped,

moving town to town.

It’s all just movement

out and away from what he

considers sane—

but there is a place, a

pastureland, maybe only mere

memory; but he holds it up

like some offering in the crystal dawn.


I want to be clean, don’t want to be followed.

I want to be



and whole.

I will rearrange the way

that I look at the world

and seek some pastureland

down deep inside

my head

. Rhode Island/Connecticut border Valentine’s Day 2002

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In this city of the open hand, the orange

light suffuses into a dream.


Suffering rain, the slick stung streets shudder

and hiss as I wind through these common highways.


There is the small town, at the edge of the railroad tracks, where

the old men emerge mid-morning from automobiles and shake their

dusky heads in some confusion over the general way that history has gone.

 And down in the city, the time sits sullen, and passes slowly, like the small

tick tock of stone movement.


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Run down like this—
Saffron sun in heat haze.
I am the one out of place
amongst the paint-peeled
houses and sagging porches.
Drowned in mid-afternoon
heat haze. This middling
town aged ungracefully, but
dignified souls people
these weary streets.
Chlorine sapphire blue,
a tryst with the chemistry
of light, space, and heat.


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