The Neglected English Composer

When it comes to creatures, we must be

flawed in much the same way.  Or we are


entirely alien to each other.  Stars are

blotted out of our vision—by the very man-


made devices designed to propel us

to that great expansive space


of universal oblivion—but they are silent

there expecting to be noticed.  Still there is so little


that endures, an echo from the E. J. Moeran rhapsody,

“In the Mountain Country,” sings to you


from an open window of a building labeled NO

TREASPASSING over the cracked pane of glass,


leading you to accept rejection as a component

of beauty, while “Lonely Waters” begins


to play.  When we lay our thoughts to rest

we forget we even bothered to have


them.  Where is that love so grand it changes

the whole game?  We are just keeping


ourselves from it because it doesn’t fit

with these ill formed sensibilities


making it.  There is little sense to make

of it.  Indeed, we are senseless to the sufferings


of the songs.  Songs whose lyrics can only be heard

in the soul calling out to any beautiful thing


to enchant us with wide space in the endless

horizon where the stars spend their time waiting.


Definition Truth

v.t.  1.  subjective;

constant changing 2. human





The Wise Rising

We’re the prophets, baby. Come

here’s the water. We will drink from

the spring again. Time is now for sages

to blaze. Why is nothing but

bother, so don’t bother. There’s no doubt

we have been put on this precious

land to make water

of the sand. For us it’s easy. The end

is over so write the beginning. Any way you

want it, lead us to another day. Skies are limitless

we are here making the Genesis.


We’re the prophets, baby.  Come

here’s the water.  We will drink from

the spring again.  Time is now for sages

to blaze.  Why is nothing but

bother, so don’t bother.  There’s no doubt

we have been put on this precious

land to make water

of the sand.  For us it’s easy.  The end

is over so write the beginning.  Any way you

want it, lead us to another day.  Skies are limitless

we are here making the Genesis.

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Full and By

Don’t give up the ship!!!


What I don’t understand is how you

can ignore so much of this.  You choose to

gouge out your own eyes so you can’t even set

sight on the first glimmering, glisten

of light.  Maybe, you are a hopeless

fool, who would rather barely breathe, than

indulge your every moment, and be

what they would call art?

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I’m calling my own bluff, I can’t not share this shit


It’s not the Rose it’s the Lotus or It’s the Lotus not the Rose

The woman was small which made her

look, at first glance, to be frail.  Her

social awkwardness and ability to see

truth spelled out right in front of her

makes the animal she’s tied to retreat

into itself.  She is far from fragility,

but she carries with her this shaky

tenderness of a kiss on her cracked,

parched lips.  Sometimes she poses her

body to be a statue of a strong Warrior,

or a quiet folded childish prayer on the floor,

other times she is a happy dancer holding her leg

straight up in the air in perfect

symmetry.  Seeking wisdom in

the various postures of the day, she touches

each regret and lets it float by her while

arranging her torso as a crane preparing

for flight.  With a slow inhalation

of the burning of…

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The Land of Nod

The Keeper of Salt Speaks:


Off where the sun

touches the sparkles in sky’s

warbling waves are marbles

Of gas. We all watch in wonder

while withering among willows

as dust. A speck of dirt

in the eye washed away with a warm

rush of salt. Rewrite the history. Unsolve

the mystery.

Secret Names

Having a habit of plunging

obliquely into big strange


thoughts which keep coming

and going then staying the night,


she is a puzzle even to herself.

At times, she seeks to find some


sort of real connection outside of lonesome


thoughts which keep her night sleepless

or caged in a dream of endless


horizon.  So busy dealing with life,

so she no longer has time to live it.


Would you listen for her shushed sobs

as she becomes silent


prisoner of her own words?

That was just a lot of Tuesdays sewn together…FYI

The Book of Momentary Angels

The Book of Momentary Angels



Some of the poems from this collection first appeared in the following journal. Many thanks to them.

Foliate Oak Literary Magazine: “Woman then,” “Meditations on a Statue at Faesulae,” “In a Breath,” “Air,” “Just a Terrible Angel”


Fretful Angels 2

Memory 3

Resurrection of a Young Dead 4

Women, then 5

Just Another Poem 6

Meditations on a Statue at Faesulae 7

Development 8

In a Breath 9

Air 10

Just a Terrible Angel 11

Something to Know 12

Clarity of a Moment 13

Another Lesson of the Arrow 14

Lover’s Opposite 15

Precarious Nature of Dancing Lovers 16

Tell 18

Confessions of Poetics 19

When a God Is Born 21

Archery Lesson 22

An Elegy Given For You 23

The Subtle Nature of How 24

Whisperer 25

Legacy 26

Justifying Remarks on Being Erroneous 27

Lesson on Time 28

Sense 29

Critical 30

Omen 31

Elegy for a Garden 32

There it Is 33

Longing 34

Confessions of an Arrow’s Trajectory 35

Rotten Angel 36

The Death of Your Choosing 37

Unrequited 38

Leaps in Isolation 39

Disagree but Hold Hands 40

More Than a Decade 41

In a Letter 42

Subjectivity 43

The Mysterious You 44

Lesson on Enjambment 45

Why 46

Bird Call 47

Between Sound and Meaning 48

A Loneliness 49

Oneness 50

Stage and Puppets 51

The Faithfully Departed 52

Empty at Duino 53

It’s All In 54

Rilke’s Lovers Speak 55

Go On Wave 56

The Phantasmagoric Yeats and All Poets 57

Do You See? 58

Lesson on Evaporation 59

Rilkean Nights 60

his song exceeds the present moment…


Fretful Angels

You can’t speak

those ancient atrocities

in blood. Sing them.

Don’t worry

about the angels gliding

beautiful in the air, dancing

to death’s lullaby. Cry out

for an invisible listener

whose tune talks to your wings.


You don’t remember, she told you

words were what she wanted. She hungered for

meaning. You heard something

you’ve forgotten. Maybe

she grew a taste for something different

because of you. Was that what started

this? You want her to be

what you imagined. She is only

one woman. You rebuild her nightly.

Resurrection of a Young Dead

for Abbey

Child ripped from her breast. Immortalized

in fond memories, the mother

of sacrifice.  Daughter, young, dead,

myths reconstruct you, and you

outlive all that’s here.  Sacrificed

for the sake of angels, you’re not

at home in the realm of the dead.

Woman, then

Holding on to little pieces of memory

until she could construct

the perfect image. Feeling

the volumes of night, hands

on shoulders. Nameless men touching

different parts of the story

for her to reconstruct later.

Just Another Poem

Here’s the one that has yet to be

written; because the metaphor is found

in the things you do not say.  You are

the poet, in this one.  Tell this page how to be

the one in which all words signify.  With

each line the speaker here is a different

I, and you are all the same,

because this poem will never get written,

as long as silence separates

symbols in the mind

and functions of the word.

Meditations on a Statue at Faesulae

Frozen by what she can’t articulate,

she’s replaced by an effigy. Mouth-bound

Angrerona, her finger at her lips

for silence. Language is

no longer adequate. All of this

defies translation. Words can’t

contain what’s ancient & eludes meaning.

The fear & anguish men believe

she drives off, she suckles.


The anamnesis from bitter fruit

depletes the pleasure of sweetness. The taste

of grapes cleansed in spring water

is frightening, a drop on the tip of your tongue.

In a Breath

Your lips and mine defy language.

Breath containing emotion like aromas of home

navigating decades to release weather.

Imagine phenomenon.  Lips think of

places.  Hands and faces always need

a gaze’s quiver to cradle

our still sleeping bodies.  Gently,

fingers react to touch.  Kisses

waken draping legs at dawn, tracing

outlines in the sounds of pleasuring

skin. Kneel, with hips,

kissing.  Climb the skin’s terrain

with mapping tongues.

Feel meaning

explode, breathing one breath.


The art of breathing

is acceptance of evaporating

beauty, cautious

of asphyxiation by angels.

Just a Terrible Angel

How dare you

come in here offering

such beauty

then giving nothing

but silence.  Don’t look

for the sound of my breath.

I’m holding it

just in case

you’re listening.

Something to Know

A secret is



more than

a poem.  Words


in black and white

whistling whispers


to you.  The poem,

an incognito magician


breaking codes

of silence,


sings softly

each moment’s stories.

Clarity of a Moment

This is the “one”

that is

a pantomime of you


the faces,

which you have held

between your hands,

while you notice, more

completely, the ones

which have made it your own.

Another Lesson of the Arrow

Now you know, fool,
why lovers are
blinding. The ancient blood

isn’t listening
to the arrow’s strings. Rather, it’s straining
to hear Orpheus singing.

Lover’s Opposite

The things you do

not share articulate volumes,

despite any sudden

blazing soliloquy of flesh.

Your lover grows black with distance,

the discourse of indifference.

The Precarious Nature of Dancing Lovers

This is deconstruction,

where you lose


sight entirely in the infinite.  He


pulls your hips to his

as the song begins,


but the dance is something


you don’t know.  That’s where want is

designated.  The dance starts


with a dawdling waltz of one, two, three,


then the music changes.  Sometimes it takes

decades, or an instant, to transform


the song forever.  Like magic it becomes


erotic with a wilted rose lodged between

your teeth.  The thorns cause your lips


to bleed for the forbidden


dance. Where the skin becomes pleading,

eyes signify more



than color, more than being.  The moment


movement becomes the focus, words are

no longer defined.  Maybe their meaning


becomes so voluminous that no


one could ever contain it all.  Emotively,

his hands guide your movements


as if hands could dictate


sounds to flesh, greater than

the space growing between


you is the ticking


metronome of timing even when

the song changes again.


You found a voice which sounds

like your own only it isn’t

veiled by a curtain

woven tight

with jade color threads.

Confession of Poetics

To be driven by this is no

gift.  You know it.  A fully informed

person, not one of them,

would choose this.  There are times

when it’s just unreliable

scales of some sort of violent

intoxication.  Thinking is

metaphor.  You feel it’s true,

and you completely vanish

into an obscurity only

a heroin addict’s railroad

markings could transcribe.  Compulsion

isn’t something you control,

and desire is just

the shakes from the opiate

effects of meaning wearing off.  Junky,

you know the God in different books

only exists in the ideas

of language.  It’s not

the churches of man erected

for some deity, it’s meaning itself

that plagues your very blood making you

an addict of everything

you can think about.

When a God Is Born

It comes from an ineffable

longing, a desire for knowing,

and an intent

listening to make any sense of this.

Archery Lesson

Existence fools the heart with great space

among the stars. A bow crooks round

the curve of our shaking backs and the heart

pounds out sounds that could be

slumber, enduring distraction, until morning

birds chirp. Transcendent among constellations,

love can only be heard

when the bow cracks or the string sings.

All that’s mortal cannot remain.

An Elegy Given For You

I can make you a temple.

The façade would be lovely,

painted with various shades of lilies,

like the ones on beautiful mahogany caskets.

Great cathedrals would look at you

with envy because

the brilliantly eye-shaped

stained glass windows

seem to stare through

everything and still understand

nothing at all.

The Subtle Nature of How

The lesson from the book

of time whispers why

a moment can stop eternity.


You need only to look directly

into the eyes of a lover realizing

spade is just

the meaning of another

single syllable word.


The one word

which withstands

decades of weather

isn’t a difficult thing to

say.  One syllable.  She just doesn’t

know why it took so long

to say it.  Now

it’s been said so completely

that the whole world has changed.


Verba tene, res sequenter.

Prehistory is a set of symbols,

distinct, always

maintaining and accumulating

meaning, being ascribed.

We are bound

by all we could

never control, yet we try to

make roses look

a certain way. The stories

of our lives have been

told by our mother’s

teachers, who recited jargon

of biblical proportion. A disdaining

beauty blankets you

and mutes all reason

the heart has

with more

ancient stories.

Justifying Remarks on Being Erroneous

This is the one where you come

to understand why you were

wrong about the significance

of flesh.  Every follicle of hair

has stood at attention,

and lips dissolve into

breath that catches

a whiff of eternity to fog out

the moon in the wind.  Hands

have found holes leading

to a sliver of skin, and they can’t

get there fast enough,

because the moment

is going so slow.

Lesson on Time

It’s not a decade’s traffic

you need, you

need a moment’s breath.


This is all that you are

capable of. Watching

the lover you hide in.

Terror winks as you

blink, smiling.


Reading the narrative

of your life, watching pages

passing, you weep smiling.

Trouble is that you do

not know who is

the next chapter, and

facing the widow

you want to keep breathing.


Budding fixation

tugging on winds, whispering

confessions to

be read in leaves,

tell them you are listening.

Elegy for a Garden

There is no reason to be

unhappy.  You have the things

everyone wants. You planted a garden

in the spring.  Bulbs and seeds

placed with great care. Nothing

grew.  You thought the soil must

be inadequate.  But on the edge

of the bed, sun-flowers grew

where you didn’t plant

a thing, put there by some animal.

There it Is

You are a fretful creature

prone to hiding

in the white between words.


Transient, the object of

desire becomes abstruse,

absorbed through the gaze. Recognizable

from a distance,

intangible to touch, soothing

the tumultuous soul.

Confessions of an Arrow’s Trajectory

The one who forgives

the repeal of touch, she knows

you are there, heart sanded,

by the arrow’s missed target.  But you

have touched in other ways.  More

sustainable ways.  Remember the religious man

who warned of passions?  It is the burning

of touch, and the heart

will inevitably dry.  You can always

fashion paper with the heart’s sawdust.

Even if you believe nothing

else the preacher says, his Jesus knew that.

Just leave the silly

morbidity to zealots of a different grain.

Rotten Angel

Every new lover’s kiss is murderous.

You held my face once, told me

of an angelic face my hair framed,

but the marrow of my bones, just beneath

the softness you liked, was droning

the ammonia of my aesthetic.

The Death of Your Choosing

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

—Carl Sandburg

Another day determined

to overcome a beauty which wallops

any wise man.  Lift your face to the fresh

crocus song of morning, the fiercest

nightmare of angels finally faded.

Breath continues to fill

the Beloved—still with those sparkling

eyes. Even the act of

telling yourself not to think about her

acts like another

mourning for a memory you have

committed to forget. You’ve given her

immortality.  She is free

to leave you with visions

of wilting spring flowers polluting the cool

dawn and two words that will never be

answered. What if…


He is always in her thoughts. Being

one of the fallible, he has no idea.

Her mind builds a man of valor. Not him.

Her greatest loves are

memories she never got to have.

Leaps in Isolation

for Effie

Tumbling, my muscles straining against this

life, the performances of acrobats

dissolving in me. With all

the constant torque of those vagabonds

tearing away any space, there’s

no time for breath. Only you,

and you blur as I, the trapeze

artist, ascend for the next leap.

Disagree but Hold Hands

for Rich

My hand, your hand—doesn’t

matter they are all

the same— look

completely different.

My hand is

seeking something, always

out of reach, while

trying to not lose

a single grain of time

from the other.  Yours stays

clammy, even after

wiping it along your jeans, after

your nerves revolt

in recognition, and you don’t

know why.

More Than a Decade

It is still one country on both sides of this

pane of glass you stare through

looking for reflection.  His eyes won’t

be there to reflect yours.  Too busy

with leaving was how you listened.

In a Letter

This is your lament

for smothering beauty,

that murderous

seraph.  In abstracted human form,

she painted U.  There is little to be said

now.  She broke glistening in the bay of Misery

with her shape. Her nights had encompassed

shadows out windows too dull to shine.

Days had driven in the rain

facing street signs with the letter U.

Buildings stare at her as if to say: It’s

you! The glistening ripples like sound.


for JRJR

A decoy of your likeness

waltzes among others. Behind

the disguise, you revel in

isolation, grinning

at facades. You know touch is

only skin, feeling abstraction,

your mind only the asking.

Maybe the ego hides somewhere

between the mask and soul,

stomping out the rhythms

of a heart as if the body

could be a weapon, and the masquerade

is temptation. Reality

is not objective. The dancers

never know the songs. There

is something more they all wanted.

The Mysterious You

You are a precious gift

to a certain person,

unfortunately, that

person knows the precarious

nature of beautiful things. You see

there are books warning us about

angels, lovers, heroes, and acrobats,

and that person has read them,

knows every present

comes with a price

of, at least, two letters.

Lesson on Enjambment

This is not a casual affair, you have

had those before.  This

is different.  It is something

ancient defying foresight—

anticipation—causing reflection about how

that—which was always there—did not get noticed

by you

before.  Knowing truth

is hardest of all .  You

must always say good-bye.  Lines are

incomprehensible, like a shore’s meander.


If all of us were

meaningless, budding

roses would signify nothing

but dying. A lover’s embrace

would tumble. Sweet sounds

from an infant mouth

would mean nothing

about promise.

Bird Call

Waiting for affirmation—don’t

become wooing or you will

fall victim to heavenly creatures.

You aren’t naïve. You know why

a rose is breathtaking. Dying

you live

by abstracting—questioning—causing

terror. You watch for

the sound of it, and yet still

you sing, silently, moment after moment.

Between Sound and Meaning

Here is that to which we’re all slaves,

shackled to the skeletal remains of something

we meant to say but don’t have

the means to say. All we can do

is to suggest. The refusal of

silence is where warbling begins.

A Loneliness

This calls out

to a companion.  A certain man

calls let’em in.

Such a pretty mess.  She seems

so far away.  I’ve seen them

come and go.  Legs are open

to roads leading

to some other ending.


Contradiction is abundant. In you,

you have everything you sought, but you

want more potent ancillary ideas. Pursuing

beauty destroys you slowly. It consumes.

Telling stories, you look outside of yourself.

You, the marionette strung up

by aesthetics, are dancing precariously

toward abstraction. Throw your arms up.

Let all that means anything fill the air,

so something can seem complete.

Stage and Puppets

We walk among each other

as puppets, not masks

as some would say, rather, we are

some sort of exterior always waiting

to be filled with something.  I feel empty,

staged as a puppet. I need

to fill with thought.

The Faithfully Departed

Lover and Beloved– You

who are faithfully devoted


to thought–navigating with

minds through the great space


among constellations–the ones

who cannot find the North Star,


remember, even

if the word has never been


uttered out-loud,

the heavens know its sound, when


reality luffs on angel’s wings sailing oblivion,

know you just need


mouth the word, and then

they will come swooning.

Empty at Duino

There is not a place here

to summon angels. You have

learned, while longing,

they simply despise

you. Grasping, you try

to hold one as if it could

keep you. There’s just space

separating your hands

when your face isn’t there.

It’s All In

Black is there for the eye’s





white is where the whisper’s

meaning hides.

Rilke’s Lovers Speak

Oh, the lovers are just

blind. There is nothing tangible

in desire. Skin lies

to the soul, telling stories

of ripeness, when all is empty

space. Angels are the immeasurable

distance between us. Love is

the beauty which will destroy us.

No one understands desire

is abstract. Where are you?

Did you not speak

of things? As fickle

as can be, love you destroy me.

Go On Wave

If you need me, I’ll be hanging

out with the pieces

of me that you’ve never seen

before.  All of the world is

strung up. Everything

dangles in a gesture.

The Phantasmagoric Yeats and All Poets

What a quandary you

have in this vicissitude you

face.  Do you

tell the “one” you

love them and never look on

them with gaze and all

that idiosyncratic longing for

expression? Your songs they

sing small fragments of

that impoverished affection,

with you scrawled

in them, changing the single

potentate of the most passionate

of dreams, knowing

that your favorite object is

nothing without the craft

of you writing such scenes.

Do You See?

Beloved, she could

write books just for you. 


Her fingers sweeping each

key as if she were


gently touching your face. 

Typing the songs you would sing


if only there were less space


words, and her fingertips.


Lesson on Evaporation

The hours you have with her

are stored in the air, becoming

ideology. When you search

the space around you for answers,

she hovers, questioning.

Rilkean Nights

When the light goes out, words lose

meaning, no longer language

but the low, hollow moan

in the leaves, the sound of air.

An outline of a body in bed. Solace,

an armless monster, crawls through

the moonless sound.  Loneliness is

contained in all that is

voiceless, that remembers

caresses that don’t mean anything

tonight.  Memory is

not language.  The sound of

everything it isn’t fills the dark.