Featured Work Archive
if we fail
we can delete ourselves
and create a new avatar
in splendid animation
with glitter and bling
if we're lonely
we can fantasize
about our appearance
who we'd like to be
who we'd like to be with
prepare the perfect profile
if we're tired
we can drink
a pot of Java script
a few hyper-links
and by all means
if you need a friend
Always wanted to try this poll feature. Poll results, which you can see once you vote, are just numbers, so it's a secret ballot. I'll post final poll results at some poing. -Tom
Hi, usually I'm pretty shy, so...I'm quiet. I like other quiet people. I like to read. I'm romantic, but no thunder here.
Hello! I am looking for a companion to do all kinds of adventures with. That includes whatever happens sexually.
Just pick me and let's get into it. I'm no nonsense: I'm not Date #1! If it works, it'll be a volcano. If it doesn't, solitaire Scrabble.
I can't tell you my name but I love being tickled, love anything with peaches in it, and I like to occasionally suck on a splif.
Make me laugh and I'm yours! “Just Wanna Have Fun!” That's me, round the clock. Life's a cherry stuck in a pile of damp stuff.
Snakes don’t smile- pain craves attention-
Running very fast makes innocence last longer-
Not all trees know the truth-
Sorry’s a pointless word-
Death loves pretty flowers.
I don’t know you-
Lying’s easier lying down-
Hands make mistakes-
The moon offers no guarantees-
Pert’s a word best used in threes (pert, pert, pert)-
Foresight focuses late-
Songs don’t fool silence-
Angels come with demons.
There’s no place for all this hate-
Cliché got there first-
Tomorrow’s a breath away-
Leaves are transgressive.
Home is a kiss.
I'm left holding a weight
the shape of attempts and mistakes,
i stare at my future
in a computer screen marketplace
(a growing boy
needs a dog)
earlier, errant words
trump this happiness?)
flesh and blood,
and bones are not
purchases for floundering souls.
(he'll be in college
before this puppy grows old)
Charlie Ottoway, by Milner Place
It was about ten to eleven when I went out into the street.
The world was considerably empty except for some
of the kind that doesn’t encourage shadows but seeps
strokes bushes, lawns and black dustbins
with soft hands.
Yet I was thinking about Concepcion Delgado
and the Sierra de Ronda, neither of whom had
anything to do
with the hour or weather,
but inhabited sharp and shadow, steel and jet;
a time filled with saffron rice
and the voices of wine.
And she smiled.
And the hills smoked.
And Tommy Fairbrother
came out of his garden and we walked together
to the Bay Horse with such precision
that Lucky Tomlinson was just unbolting the door,
greeting us with the politeness
for the most despised reps.
But the beer was silky and Tommy
a man of few words.
Like that one in Lowestoft
who was so ashamed of his teeth
all his neighbours...
You want a sonnet. Let me punch one out
of yesterday's trash, today's black and white
papered-bullshit. There isn't any doubt
you'd prefer a wood nymph of myth. The sight
of flesh and bone, of flesh and pain, in four-
teen lines? Not for you. Let's begin anon:
What's the wood nymph's name? Anyone? The hour?
The poisons we have fed the earth have won.
In a forest of two remaining trees...
the earthworms were the first to go. Damn roaches
thrive. I can't keep them off of me. No breeze.
We've lost the sea and my last good rhyme falters.
They are coming for my ink. To get higher.
And I? I plan to stab myself to sleep.
Do you notice me at the table next to you
not sipping my latte,
not turning the pages of the Times,
not leaning toward your clipped conversation
with the thin-lipped man
in the button-down shirt,
not commenting at all on his empty
ring finger or the way you have
crumpled your—is it pumpkin?—muffin
into a sad little heap?
Tell me you have no idea
about the tiny notebook in my pocket,
the pen I will use to write down
just how the chair whined and scraped,
how the bell above the door clanged
the end of the round when he left
you with your cappuccino unfinished…
I will take it from here.
Please don’t say you’ve read
the dictionary.com word for the day,
that you‘ve caught on to what a flaneur
I have become, or how you
will be looking for poems about
studied indifference, coffee, and the
weighty truth of pain,
your name in the title.
This morning's gale no doubt
took off part of my mood,
leaving all the pathetic
gestures open to the world,
at least to those people
who are supposed to smile
each and every day,
from the very first hour.
The smile might not be enough,
but we have learned from experience
it is necessary to advance -
and look, here we are
on the way to becoming happy.
Girl of Ten beside Tomb Effigy 1966
Effigydressed Girl dressed
in academic costume: in hand-me-downs,
a long red cassock… a small red T-shirt with frayed
…shirt underneath … hem revealing skin;
…tabard… skirt also red, with broad white stripe,
let in when she grew last time
she had bronchitis.
…cape also red, fringed, Anorak blue, with dangling
with deep pink furred hood… drawstring hood,
…black pileus on head; Elastic pony-tail band in hair
Face and hands naturalistically coloured;
Head resting on two cushions, Girl stands, legs already
the top one blue, covered in new hair.
the lower one pink, with tassels. White socks, Clark’s sandals.
She is looking under the slab
and bites her nails.
Effigy lies on a flat bed
made up of...
ode for all time
I never saw myself as an editor, before
but in a war, every shred of help you get
has a twist, so when raw talent is trimmed
and pruned, I say — what have I done today
you know, accomplished?
I hate words like process and poetry
what they do to people, each element kills
— for one to win, others must fall —
if that sounds Darwinian, well just try
to advance on merit, alone; or explain to Eskimo
everything is Snow, in contrast to Snow is everything
which is no small significance
for should this noun read God, or State?
— those are certainly no mistakes —
well, try and invert them
When I close my eyes
for sleep this night,
I will see you kneeling
in the dirt, half dressed,
your words, your kindness
half the world away,
tending the late birds
that call upon your house;
you will hold a white dove
close to your breast,
she will be blind in one eye,
cold with hunger, lost
in desert gardens, frozen
with a peculiar sorrow,
alone again, except for you.
Tell them to pack a small flashlight;
the tunnel is longer than expected, very dark, and
the light at the end, a pinprick.
Tell them to play croquet in the rain
and sing too loud at piano bars
and drink. Tell them this.
Tell the bartender down at Jack’s you want
smoking privileges restored. Tell the stars,
Time to go! Bring the wide sun back.
Tell the black and white cat stay near our happy garden.
Tell the broken frogs I have saved their clay legs
for making whole again. And remember, there is
no drainage hole in the gold pot; tell them this.
Fetch white zinfandels, uncork the bottles
and pour, pour, pour. Tell them
there is always more. Tell friends,
family, as you will, unguarded,
wearing your best orange shoes:
I was here. Tell them this.
I stood for hours
watching the seep
the trickle down drain
to hear you move above
and I was drunk for days
but that was once -
and once is a very long word
that’s not forgotten
that you should think
the world is flat by means
of arrogance and never give
birth to voyage unslurred
I busy myself pantried
stock shelves rearranged
and mummer the proper response
in mourning a greet
there’ll be no birds today
no sense of scavenge as
even the carp feeds bottomed
i wanted to quote
my own poems
but i knew
how disinterested he'd be
with my breasts and all
why should i waste
so i quoted shakespeare instead
where he makes her
feel just like a slut
he won't remember
what i said
but one day
he's gonna tell his friends
he fucked a poet
On Monday the air in at my open window came in uninvited
and at such a pace: not a run, not a skip, but with the sweep
of a ballroom diva gliding a fast fox-trot. I had no choice
but to name her Joyce.
Tuesday, the gauze curtains hung limp until sunset when this air
(I’m sure it was German) blurted through in know-it-all gusts,
rocking a crockery stringer of fish to clunk like terra cotta bells,
chipping a maroon fin. I named her Bertha.
Wednesday brought Anna who curled my bedsheets up
like the back of a slumbering cat. And Thursday, Phyllis,
who stirred only rarely, and then like a nurse with a tongue
depressor, demanding that I say, Ahhhhh.
Today is Friday. None have come and suddenly June
fails to fit this chunk of days with one this still, this stale.
While doldrums remain, June will be Jane. (I had, you see,
Reading some of your poems today I was awakened in several ways, and this question occurred to me. I'd be interested to hear your answers. Obviously for those of you who have read my work, you know that sex plays a big part in my writing. But when horny, frankly, I have to reign in my spirit sometimes or the poem ends up as bad poetry.
What emotions get your poetic juices flowing the most?
I like this idea of a journalese, so here's my stuff that just didn't make the cut.
I miss the mountains, and
there once was a guy from Missouri,
who had to get out in a hurry,
but then in the end
he found his best friend
had been sentenced to death by a jury.
I wish I could tell them
that I never wanted to be
money making hand over
fist into the cold pot
that sits on top of
Humphrey tied sheepshanks to join
the ends of his reach with waves
from the dock.
Conspiracy accumulates members,
a circumference haloed to blooming—
everything is guilty of someone.
Some of Humphrey depended on a lie,
the epithets, the pinnacles of climb.
Beginnings occur in the misstep of paces
sequenced to xylophone an origin.
Some of his myths were ambulanced,
rushed with broken siren, blinking
through the traffic,
a strobe of calendar leaves
shuffled in an overlapping spectrum.
It is how his memory was scarred,
loitering in the vestibule, diagnosing
scripts for pathos and Elizabeth Taylor.
The happenstance is learning of him
—not knowing him,
as streets are lit indiscriminately.
I put my finger on the appendix
before the elegy,
before his name buckles to consequence.
He traded hors d’oeuvres for acquaintance,
kept journals and wrappers past stale-dates.
At dusk, an etching unwinds at binocular
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