Category Archives: Homesickness

Cigarette Butts


What if the only person who could be Jesus Christ was an addict? A deadbeat?

What if redemption germinates in slime, shit and piss?

It’s worse out there than we think

It’s always worse

It’s always deeper

and yet also somehow less

So that we’d rather not know, not look, not slow our roll

But what if this brand of glory is some pathetic, anonymous moment?

Not martyrdom but nameless, faceless dissolution

Not ignominy but private shame

What if the crucifix is self loathing?

What if the aggregate of all our microscopic dread are the forces acting upon us

The stripes, the stigmata

What if the garbage in the street were relics for some busybody’s collection

and holiness is something far, far away?



Cities from the air at night


You put the intransigence in transit

I rode north one autumn through high country, blind

Once upon a time

The burden of fate held up a staircase

and the buoyancy of youth left a gap between who you are

and what you signify for me

Dawn always breaks in the distance

Life defies us, is defiance

because the world is won by wickedness

but only seemingly so who needs Jerusalem

if it can never be forgotten?

I saw you in a dream, I knew it was really you

but when I woke up it seemed as if you were no longer there

We left these past lives in other places

that are scarcely more real than the ones we can’t recall

and if I lose you I won’t be me

if I could lose you I wouldn’t be myself

We may never set foot in the same city twice

But we live in each other

So let us take nothing for granted

Love’s Iron Curtain


Don’t stop believing

What becomes of a Russian girl?

We shall have to learn how to smile

Through strip malls and leasing offices

and uncomprehending inquests of a new colossus

Through syphalitic massage parlors and purgatory’s own vinyl siding

Through weekly coupons’ deadly barrios and indifferent correspondence courses

She longs for an abandoned pensioner and dies by a thousand cuts of anonymity and disdain

arranging clearance racks and perfume samples with the red shameless handmark upon her throat of a fat, impotent generation’s inchoate hatred of mother

Who flitted, frolicked, recited simplicity and diligence

Whose defiant gaze passed recorded history’s last glimmer of innocence

and the future’s city swarmed blind and tumult

Never knowing what grave depravities await

to make the overeager dashing of brains against the gears of heaven’s ever-turning barricade appear quaint

Science is their god


…but we have the technology

If that child could speak, it would ask

Why did you murder me?

If that child could speak

groping, blind, breath taken cold frenziedly

It would laugh at you not knowing you’re already dead

It would ask why you keep turning your back, keep moving away

Don’t you know I’m right here?

Enveloping the void that was you with this persistent innocent question

If that child could speak

It wouldn’t ask what’s more important than love

Because you already answered


Colonel Bert and the Epistemology of Time


“We” don’t

Would you recognize a great man if time deceived you?

Bert is America

Bert is forgotten

Bert’s wife Ann brought our boys a tray of brownies the day we moved onto the cul-de-sac

Who does that anymore?

A thin, sinewy pillar

chin up, shoulders back

but with a manner of able grace and a twinkle of unwary forebearance

Bert was an artillery colonel but he wouldn’t have you know unless you pry

There are those for whom time yields,

and if you see it, you’ve seen too much

This word, “America,” gets thrown around a lot, though its meaning is actually fragmented

and a fragmented meaning can’t be grasped intuitively

When Ann gets sick Burt reports for visiting hours in ironed slacks and collared shirt

Dignity is a lost art

Every few months now an ambulance takes Ann away while we’re all out

Seasons change, life goes on

Ann rotates between facilities with the utmost christianity

between doctors and blood tests

but none can say what’s really wrong

Funny how they can see inside your cells but cannot see a person

a neighbor, a fellow

Across the street, Bert works afternoons on an old car, ploddingly

and suffers these curious times without all the desperate questions that plague me in my travails

If we shirk our potential must we ignore the man who meets it?

Is the terminus of fellow feeling in a democracy a windowless room?

Bert keeps up a solemn resistance.

Damn Dirty


Can’t we all just get along?

Reality is hidden from mankind

In the future, forensic archaeologists of a conquering race

or a paving crew or scavengers

or inchoate beasts will uncover

an intact cooler containing near-perfectly preserved ice cubes and a drinkable beer

DVD blue movies and a children’s toy autoplaying a pre-recorded tune once possessed

By a people who forgot how to spell

And they will weep because it startled them



freedom isn’t free

I meant to give you what’s been lost

but now you have to try and find it

Tetragramatons and old appliances

and Father David has his incense

a dusty village has its Saint

We’ll not be going back to Kansas

though roadsigns promise yesterdays

just following orders


Never again

Chicken Soup for the Rotary Club war criminal

for the child molester in medical billing

the abortion goddess in yoga pants and eyeless smile

shavasana, namaste

Soothing rhythms for the republican on workers’ comp

for the child support debutante

the hospice patient unable to grip the remote

and turn off Dr. Phil

A message of hope for the man who dropped the soap

for the high school badass, the medically discharged, the one-time amateur

with a credit score of 598

retrieving shopping carts in a parking lot

Hollering threats

masturbating gingerly

forcing back hot tears at a traffic light

Just kidding

Noting ruefully

while waxing an impotent bullet

that out of forty-seven populants in this community college lecture hall

only one communes with Providence




Winter and the skin is breaking

I needed to be somewhere

I can’t remember

The sky wants to snow

then hesitates

Does hatred hibernate

Like indecipherable engravings

on moss speckled tombstones?



US 285 Colorado – 2012

There’s something everlasting in the scent of blood

So please accept that death overtakes each successive step

and the revelation of covered furniture

and the laboratory subcategorization of verse

and snow

and coffee stains

and soldiers of self-hate will be like wind to you

You’ll walk right through them, oblivious

like a wall through ghosts