This Was Not a Candle Light Vigil


There were people from all over the world
there to protest at the Summit. I was

attending a lecture given by Vandana Shiva
about the crisis of water

in the 21st century. What she was saying was important,
and I was so thankful to hear what she was saying. Drums

were heard in the corridor outside the lecture hall. They kept
getting louder. All of the double doors of the room burst open

at the same time. People streamed in all the aisles. They all had red
shirts on holding candles and making gun shapes

with their hands. They were singing freedom songs
of Anti-Apartheid. My skin is white. I was young and naïve. At first,

I thought they knew I was
on the side of thoughtful and compassionate, but they didn’t notice

me at all. Everything is collateral damage to the cause. A riot
broke out. Outside the building…

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Biography of Children in Illegal Images

This is generic, so could     not

            possibly be

about love.  Maybe, I like

being that terrifying light

everyone falls for, even if those           fleeting


moments are only present

rarely.  Even if those moments

make the steel of my work

boots unusable.  Still,

my own light frightens me—


given how men become deranged

at the simple sight of my


body. Something

to conquer.  Defeat is

never a gift.  Only aggressors win

the right to narrative. Not I.  I


become just a thing


to pass around.  I’ve met

only one man who can even guess

the brittles which scrub so hard

my skin serrates in lines of red

from my feet to head

while I weep. When I think of you

never seeing

the light I found in the dead


museum locked deep inside

where no one can ever go

          except me, I know the world

is wrong. Light can radiate

despite fear     of        falling.   

                    The same

falling is felt when you


pulled down some crimson 


the gray

grainy mortar 

just enough


to let me shine 

brightest. Longed 

            for understanding—never

wished for, because I have never

met a man who didn’t 

want to

possess me

in some way—is an accident of the mind’s

failing.  You must 

stay alive for me.

The Weeping Song by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds



“The Weeping Song”

Go son, go down to the water
And see the women weeping there
Then go up into the mountains
The men, they are weeping too

Father, why are all the women weeping?
They are all weeping for their men
Then why are all the men there weeping?
They are weeping back at them

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the men and women sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

Father, why are all the children weeping?
They are merely crying son
O, are they merely crying, father?
Yes, true weeping is yet to come

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While all the little children sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long

O father tell me, are you weeping?
Your face seems wet to touch
O then I’m so sorry, father
I never thought I hurt you so much

This is a weeping song
A song in which to weep
While we rock ourselves to sleep
This is a weeping song
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long
But I won’t be weeping long

Postivism, Let’s Be Honest

Don’t get too comfortable.  There

are things people never want


to hear. Words are seeds. If you plant

someone else’s verbs you never know


what you mean. It is good to plant seeds

to both nourish body and spirit. But


when words become mindless copy

and paste, acting like authenticity, meaning is lost.


If facing the wound, itself, standing in your doorway,

could you look at all the blood, tears, broken bones,


bashed hymens—girls too young to count. I feel

the cost of it turning inside of me. What space


would you open to my body covered with dead

babies suckling my graffiti mile marker skin,


with their sweet lips dripping AIDS down my body

to pity at your feet? Could you open your cozy home


to the woman in the burka crying in what sounds

like something a terrorist could say? Is there the right


coffee, in your orderly house, for the little girl I carry

in my arms, the one who was raped beyond


what she could count, sometimes she’s too shocked

to notice the pain of penis ramming


anything it fits in? Could you even look

at her? Would you think it strange if a person


from the long past shows up to cry, not saying

an intelligible word simply reciting Landay, after Landay,


after Landay, weeping in Pashto?  Does the food

you offer nourish your soul, before you offer it


to others? You are right, someone is always

listening. Hearing what isn’t said is the hard


part. Would you open the door to someone who will

make you question your own ideologies,


instead of right click, click copy, click post window,

paste? Could you really take in the broken and beaten,


or is it just a coffee date? Why don’t you reach out authentically

only like you would?  Instead you plagiarize your heart


with someone else’s loving

thoughts.  I agree we need more love.

Caged in the Deadeye Culture

How am I to act when I choose

to not participate in the horrors

culture produces around

me?  Wars on everything promise


to kill the very Bay of Misery that knows all

my secrets. Where can I face the current

and not find myself


poisoned by toxic algae blooms? Away from

the hazy horizon to the faces I see always fixed

gaze on their flat appearances

created by a façade of platitudes for banal


social engagement that has driven people to death

from the buzzing in their pocket, while the car slides

into the wrong lane for a wrong number…looking for


the lol while 911 is called.  I’ve been found

in the trap of the screen myself.  I do hate it,

despite my best efforts to never hate

a thing. The trouble is distraction.  I get distracted


by the waves of emotion which grip my tiny frame

tossing me around in storms and fits of why


does it have to be this way? People don’t understand how

simple it is to change. It’s true, I’ve let fear take hold


at times, but when it’s fight or flight for my life, you better

believe it is terrifying, but I will stand. To always



walk the decaying

streets, with all the pot

holes, the missing

pavement, kicking

a half crushed Monster

can to the rhythm of chaos

past the crumpled up


tin foil, orange plastic caps, muddy

syringes, all the bent spoons: I know too

well what fresh hell is.

The Byronic Crown

#1: Yes Intended Audience


She’s always ready for guerrilla tactics,

pen in hand, marching—one foot

in front of the other to leave a single path masked by the bits of carpet she tied around her feet…one set of impressions in the sand.  I do it just by the gesture of my

left hand, while always meandering along

the wavy lines extending farther than any

eye—whether it’s evil or not—can see.  Some

people are merely typos, a scratched out name, a misspelling,


a misspelling of the word lover.  There’s no

need for a cipher to crack that code of silence. All you

need do is imagine it and then it is

  1. Believe me the terrible

angels will swoon, and I’ll bat

them like flies with my rolled up paper.


#2        Choices


This place is dreary and forsaken. The pertinacity

of names is not easily forgotten: Erie.  She

stood insignificantly trapped between the paper

thin dividers of lying nude in naïve dignity of death

and the sound of her own breath.  He was a corpse, her flesh

had no place against it.  The eyes shone glazed in

the obscurity oblivion only offers.  Each time there

was nakedness exchanged between them it became clear


how isolated from the other they were.  Her nakedness

was always poised and cleverly posed.  His hidden under

layering drips of himself to weep down a wall

when the painting is taken away.  The streaks of a man’s life

dissolving into a skillfully placed image of trees growing all wrong

to hide his face is all she gets to touch of the craftsman.  Being

channels through which life is issued they have to decide

to do it fully or be something for a mantel piece.


#3        Butterflies Building Better

Failure teaches us life is nothing

more than a draft, she has learned to swim

like two fish always chasing

the other’s tail in Misery Bay.  It’s like a mural

on the side of a decaying building trying to breathe

life into the waning city of dwindling culture


climbing up coiling around old neighborhoods as an invasive

new species of weed, just as it has in the old country


warring over its own name.  It seems the race

called human—all the variations of flesh which come

along with the word myself—has forgotten how


much like snowflakes they are. Blowing lake effect

gusts of bitter biting cold drives snow too heavy to see

a single flake adhere to the painted traditions on all

the buildings making it impossible to distinguish which ones

were crafted with love and belief,

and which ones are to be demolished on the shores of the sick

and hypodermic infested Great Lake Erie.


#4        Agony to Know

Any words cost him

a painful effort.  She dare

not show her eyes


directly at him for she would look

flaring with humble

eyes’ metamorphosis being victorious

in first possession.


#5        Spice Nomenclature


It presses hard upon me.  I let it press hard

upon me.  Questions reach so far they can never go

farther.  The heart burns from a sweet

agony.  Voice could save you.  The mind

moves in strange directions.  It’s not linear.  Massing speeds

that cannot be calculated, it is by will alone


I set my mind in motion


to mend all the broken bits of forgotten

ballads, stupid sestina’s…a sonata

with a number of movements in sound

missing a metronome.  A choice


spurring the need for new experiences is


perplexing.  Without change something sleeps inside

  1. It draws something out of us,

like a deep down countdown allowing us to grow.



#6        Eaten Alive


He chooses to invest time

in a Siren

when the Muse sits alone


in a green office writing

the poems of a could be God. Sadly,


he prefers to flit around in shallow waters.


The Muse sits alone.

A green room swallows her words.

He picks the Siren.


#7        The Sleeper Awakens


Maybe you are the only person

who completely engages the things that are


important.  So much of her is irrelevant, so grounded

in the earth to which she’ll return

one day. We are already silent partners

in the creation of myth, she didn’t say

this for you to hear it.  She isn’t there.


#8        The Walking Dead Sleep

Culture is an ostentatious bitch

riddled with tyrannical ideology. She’s always


in a humble bowing away from sharing

the parts she really wants


to say—but doesn’t have the means—so she’s shackled


to words escaping her.  How well your gaze fell

upon her.  It made the Dark Lady wake to carry


her scarred and etched skin: a dying savage

animal, screaming Carpe Diem.   Know


we’re dead to everyone, unless we struggle

to be what we may become.


#9                    Irony Would Do It

As a failing body, all she has

ever wanted was to love

fiercely so to be loved back


just as savage.  Yet, she gets overlooked,

because maybe she feels safer


lurking in dark places, because that’s what she’s


accustomed to.  Too used to being nothing

more than a prostituted body, the child


left behind.  Nice would be nice, since there’s already

too much tragedy.  It’s time to edit the world anyhow.


#10                  Overcoming False Boundaries

Is it that he can’t speak, or has he

not the means to copulate

in discourse?  The real, tangible, humble

servant to the Word—with each one’s


symbiotic semiotics sound—is a weak imitation

to the thought, the feeling.  Words will always

fail me when I speak, that’s why it is the Voice

which demands to be heard.


#11    Beginning Steps of Standing Strong: The Act of Telling


That neglected, abused girl

has grown into a woman, a virile

bodhisattva of the earth, now


she’s something more

a kin to the need

in conversation for digression, while keeping


record of metaphors.  White paper covered in

lines and lines of scribbled smudges

from some sweet ditty, a shushed


scream, all that sobbing

acts like the crutch keeping her

standing.  Even if she’s limping,


bloodied and beaten, she always

stands.  Sleeping through all this is not

an option.  Memory behaves as tutor


developing the disciple of man’s

languages—most of them dead

and mostly forgotten.  She knows the rain,


leaning against every said meaning, looking

for the unasked questions in the pursuit of  roots.  Thus

illustrates the need for questions in a time that is so


demanding of the mindless.  Utterance is

what is

necessary.       Voice is a constant                 organic thing.


#12      The Act of Showing

Mindfulness is knowing everything is

as it should.  The tree with roots penetrating

deep into the ground can usually withstand

months of brutal Erie winters to return year

after year as the promise of maple

collected in buckets during

the season of snow and mud. Until

lightning strikes, then becomes fruit for the insects

of the dirt to make it a tree again.  The tree then returns


for a children’s book

to be written about how giving


a tree can be.  She watches as tree


covered mountain tops are all blown

to bits in the search for energy, consequently

forced to wonder why we work so hard

at destroying the gifts we are given.


#13      The Act of Doing


Because there is a reason

for everything, you’ve been put

here.  Secrets were never


your friend, remember the Wiseman

says, You are only as sick as your


secrets.  So let them go.


Touch each one, even

the ones hiding in an achy and itchy

wound.  Touch them lovingly because they’re


guides through toil

to the state of being here. Let them hover

in the air giving life to your blood.


#14      The Action of Contentment


This county off Misery Bay has made

many hermits of this land.  My tree is dying, so I

see, invaded by the Asian


Longhorn death bringing beetle,

murdering a little more of my history, my home-

town off Misery Bay.  We will lose

our fifth season: the season of snow and mud.  It is

a secret time of year that only

maple trees share among the Great


Lake.  From a book I learned the wisdom of a Hermit

bee keeper, who had his story told once in an Erie news-


paper.  So, it’s time to celebrate

the life it did have

by dancing naked in the coming

night bereft of light,

splashing in the black Lake.

Its waves dance.  Here is being

among the erosion

of the shores.  The sun singing

its nightly swan song to the night of cloudless sky.

The sound of bats overhead.  We clasp hands.

Actuated by Officiousness

he realized, even in his panic he had not wanted to smudge the creamy paper by shutting the book while the ink was wet.



It makes no difference

how to resist. Winston


Smith knew brain washing is

easier to recognize


from the outside.  Question how

your own perception is managed.  By Thought


Police or algorithms…by some bot programed

to respond like you—after analyzing your internet


behaviors with a computer program—in order to wish

loved ones happy birthday, even after the flesh


sending the message has turned into food for insects

and worms. A forever repeating greeting,


that even in death, the voice can be made real by words

formed. Voice is infinite for the finite flesh.