stray tanka

my next purchase is 
a semi-automatic 

Yugo Pap Rifle.

Thirty rounds for under six

bills. Notched safety selector,

new wood stock and all sold out



Anytime Sunday
They say Locatelli

never played a bad note

but so what? Where is he now?

Six feet deep in Amsterdam.

Soiled by pigeon

and pauper alike.  
Only a few of us make it

so get out of my way. 

I just hit sixty

‘n I’ve been idlin’ ever since.

Like I have no bones


bury. Like my hands aren’t dirty
and my blood ain’t stained.

Like the voice inside my head

isn’t getting louder and

all my mortality

hasn’t settled in my hips.
But not to worry.

Our muscle relaxants

make us kin. Anytime Sunday.

Bring the beer.



For a thousand clams a week
I’ll turn any wheel. Wipe any ass.

Vote any crazy son-of-a-bitch.

I don’t care. Poverty builds character

not fortune. Least that’s what they tell me.

And everything’s gonna be alright

as long as the flag flies high.

Blows My Head
I sit through the
MFA graduation

and rewrite my eight hundred poems

but they still suck. 

And they’re still allowing

the memoirists to read

and remember how they got

the memory and how they found

the courage to swear it onto paper.
Virtual or not, they’re still spawning

and the romantics read next. 

All fifty of them. Wow! I’m hungry.

Gotta find some pizza before

the self help storms the podium

and blows my head

to smithereens. 


dark silence fallsas you enter grand central.

the ac cuts out. nerves 

ramp up.

the train 


real slow.
kings piss 

on our legs.

bullets arc

w/o charm. 
no cache 

of whimsy

will con me 

into canaan.

the ac kicks 

back on.


The hard cost of wordsnever bargains so people

get discarded. Refugees. Roadkill

dragging across the ten-lane.

Hiding ibidem. Dying afloat.

The cities of the plains burn

w/excess and zealots.

Beggary, prisons,

and the broken streets

of sovereignty. 

The hapless and the hateful

eat their own children. 

Computer shadows break banks.

Commodify hunger. Buy a new king.    

I came not to rescue or alert

but to resign. Take it.

I’m done. Done w/the mea culpas.

Done w/engagement, and the false hope 

of perfect union.