Table of Contents  • Preface  • Index  


This collection is a reworking of earlier projects plus some new items.

Bus Life

Anonymous Hands

With anonymous, female hands
she pats her hair into place
and settles into the seat
in front of me
on the bus.

Bus Stop 1

Dusty orange-peel sun,
splotches of shade,
merciless noise,
and filthy light,
waiting at the busstop.

Bus Stop 2

Planes scrape away the sunset
at the bus stop
and cars whine like mosquitoes.
Another mugger night comes
for proletarians
numbed with work.


Creamy buttercups
ringing to the sky
in the chilly breeze,
keep me company,
send me home.

Catching the Bus

Squeezing pins out of the clock,
I wait for the bus.
Finally arriving, it swallows me
and I slide over heads
past fluffy scenery
through another wash of time.

Family at a Bus Stop

Two well-dressed children
with their grandmother
wait at the busstop.
The short heavyset mother arrives.
One of the sons kisses her.
Then the grandmother
breaks a piece of pizza in two
and gives half to the older son
and half to the mother.

French Fries on the Bus

With delicate fingers
a child eats french fries on the bus
exposing business eaters
and scrooges such as myself.

Inside a Bus

Compact faces,
checkerboard space,
thick color,
and melted time.

Lady Speaking Spanish on the Bus

She lifts me from my crib
with filigree hands
onto warm and dreamy
Spanish breasts.

Little Girl Crushing Cans

A little girl crushes aluminum cans
on a downtown sidewalk
late on a Saturday afternoon.
She takes each can carefully from her plastic bag,
stomps it with her foot,
then with a deft movement of the same foot,
moves it off to the side to make room for the next.
I notice her as I pass by on the bus.

Nail Polisher

To escape nail polisher
I take a noisy, hot seat
at the rear of the bus.
When I can no longer stand this,
I move back to the front.
Though nail polisher has gotten off,
there is now "standing room only."

Twig of Female

A twig of female
with curly eyelashes
proudly eats her banana
then falls asleep
in her mother's arms.

Woman on Her Way to Work

She plows through chocolate waves
with styrofoam cup, lipstick, donut, and ticking cane,
this stubborn winter leaf
that distracts weary travelers.

Woman on the Bus

Her crossed legs
and pointed shoes
wrap me in heavy male,
and I slip off her steep curves
into a purring abyss.

Worker's Grit-etched Hand

A worker's grit-etched hand
embraces child
and a lady flourishing in her native tongue.

Jack Fischel Jokes

So Far, So Good

A man jumps off a 30-story building.
As he passes the 15th story he says,
"So far, so good."

At the Horseraces

After receiving his weekly paycheck,
instead of going to pay the rent which is due,
a man goes to the horseraces.
He bets his whole paycheck
on what he considers a sure bet.
His horse is the last horse out of the gate
and trails the pack at the first turn.
The man begins to pray,
"Please God, help my horse win."
His horse begins to move through the pack.
"Oh God, please," continues the man.
His horse moves up with the front-runners.
"Come on," shouts the man.
His horse takes the lead by a wide margin
as they approach the finish line,
and the man says, "That's OK God, I'll take over now."

Kith and Kin

American Muggles*

In tangled, knotted time,
the American muggle,
marches off to
the land of silence
with reams of dreams,
pocket idols,
and wind-up toys.

*J. K. Rowling uses the term "muggle" in her Harry Potter novels to describe non-magical beings and their world. Here it is used to designate reactionary people who have chosen to stay behind rather than embrace new development.

Banana Sky

She is a banana-sky earth quilt
with sunshine eyes
that brings sweets from the nursery.
He booms
while his eyes
run off with a smile.

Perennial Woman

Heartland woman
with perennial soul,
you redeem and cleanse the world
then leave it.

Flower in the Hay

Flower in the hay
wrapping up the day,
singing muffled tunes
to attract other moons.

Ghost in the Making

Another sharp-edged ruler ticking off bruises, another ghost in the making floating in the ether.

Historical Bed

She sleeps in an historical bed
and sprinkles dollies along the way.
He snaps whips,
has Santa Claus cheeks,
and a driveway-brush mustache.

Iron Tears

Iron tears
has embedded fears
and barges through
would-be years.

Prophet Eyes

Prophet eyes
pierces your heart
then remains
like a cherry stain.

Shop Keeper

and eager for sales,
self contained
and tamer of males,
she cranks her machines,
and sits on a shelf,
collecting dreams
in the land of darkness.

Teddy Bear

She's a teddy bear,
with pocket icons,
trinket words,
banister sighs,
and an invisible footprint.

Seed in the Wilderness

She once flourished
in the wilderness
but now has been burnt
by the harsh sun,
pounded into dust,
and blown away.

Placard Face

He has settled
for a placard face
and waits beneath
where there's "weeping
and gnashing of teeth."


Master of bailiwicks,
pal of kings,
you walk on flowers,
fill pockets with crackers,
sell dreamworlds,
sleep with mannequins,
stuff ghosts into cracks,
and live a trading-card life.
Your face floats on the tide,
and the moon and birds
are stiched to your pillow.

Oaks and Acorns

Great Stone Child

The great stone child
moves through fields
under a sharp-edged moon.

Mother Behind the Railing

She sits behind the railing,
sells Pinocchios to lunchtime passengers,
and squeezes into tight places
to hang words out to dry.

Proletarian Prince

The proletarian prince
drives hard stakes
into the ground.
He is an overtime owl,
a white-paper jester
standing beyond the pale.

Warm-moon Statue

The big-boned,
warm-moon statue
controls tides
and elements.

Youth on the Corner

Youth on the corner
flash alerts
and dummies pass by.


The martinet is dressed for sale,
the martinet a slice of male.

Proletarian Queen

Time, colors, and money
spill from her eyes,
this seldom seen
proletarian queen.

Child Tamer

Word string master,
gastronomic wonder,
and child tamer.

She Who Knows the Planets

She who knows the planets
stays in the backyard
with her large rough tree,
her little prince,
and a picture of her daughter.


The friendly little trolley
gives free rides to all
except when he's on strike.

Complete Proletarian

The compleat proletarian
with his box of hieroglyphics
and futurities.

Image From the Nebula

Through the ether
out of the nebula,
comes a steady, strong image,
an original pulse.

Proletarian King

xxxxx The transparent, proletarian king
slips through time,
does his appointed work,
nibbles here and there
and enjoys the scenery.


He who turns the humanity's wheel
slips into tight places
to anoint the people.

Stream upon the Plain

She is a stream upon the plain,
an evergreen tree,
a dusky lens,
a light in the closet,
a place-holder and guarantor
for humanity.

Beacon in the Forest

This beacon in the forest,
this resurrected farmer,
is a lover of lollypops.


xxxxx High above the canopy
for you and me
he manages things,
he pulls the strings

Statue of Youth

This statue of youth
weighed down with the webs of time
speaks to fellow statues.

Sharp Eyes

Sharp eyes
to shave things to nothing
and streams of iron
to keep the male away.

Indigo Child

It's still in dreamland,
picking its way through
indigo childhood wilderness.

Part-Time Teen

The part-time teen
between womanhood
and a messiah's birth
looks for handles
in the wilderness.

Smooth-Mountain Woman

Smooth-mountain woman
churns out millennias
in the secrecy of a tree.

She Who Suddenly Narrows

She opens large,
suddenly narrows,
then continues
as always.

Spring Wire

Like a repeating groove,
like a deathsome* race,
spring wire snaps
back into place.

*"death" + "some" which is "a native English suffix formerly used in the formation of adjectives: quarrelsome; burdensome;" see

Clockwork Manager

The bulletin-board manager
with clockwork wings,
not quite alien
nor yet a comrade,
remains adrift
in the mist.

Iron Flower

Bright-shiny iron flower
barges through wasteland
bringing spices and energy,
tuging a heavy load.
Acorn Folks 20060908

Paper Man

The rarely seen,
following-his-nose paperman
moves in and out of cracks
in no-man's land.

Cowboy The Cat

cowboy the cat
presides on cushioned chairs
and railings,
tags you in fields,
and reminds you
who's runing the world.


Peewee, the professional dog
with some rough edges,
though retired
still knows the ropes.

Big Warm Sun

She's a big warm sun
with soft shoes
that finds comfortable places
for folks.

Slice of Culture

xxxxx A slice of culture
pounded into the ground
holds him him back,
stretches him into blues
where neither flashlights nor nails
can stop the crash
or give him peace.



  • Only those who create are immortal; it is what you give to society that makes you immortal, not what you take from it.
  • Proletarian or God

    Proletarians act like proletarians
    and Gods act like God.

    Pyramids in the Sky


    Peas and poppies,
    pickles and beer,
    without the animals
    we wouldn't be here.


    Ants never worry,
    are always in a hurry,
    scour at all hours,
    never shirk good work,
    can be pesty when we're messy.
    Is there a chance, that God is ants?


    Apes are brutes
    and unafraid of suits.

    Baubles and Beads

    You make baubles
    and I make beads;
    they dig us up
    with the weeds.


    Beginnings are monsters
    that eat hands and tongues,
    make eyes wild,
    and blow away minds
    like sands in the desert .


    live day to day,
    seldom get in the way,
    make frequent stops,
    dislike bangs and pops,
    know their trees,
    go on sprees,
    peck in lots,
    have favorite spots,
    have legs like wire,
    never seem to tire,
    are always busy,
    (watching them makes me dizzy),
    have their spats,
    gather for chats,
    never fall,
    want it all,
    never cry,
    sometimes die,
    wake with the light,
    and disappear at night.


    Bumpy butterfly,
    wizard of flight,
    over the hedge,
    out of sight.

    Bus Driver

    Bus driver, bus driver
    eyes like a bee;
    bus driver, bus driver
    stop for me.
    Bus driver, bus driver
    be on time;
    bus driver, bus driver
    I've dropped my dime.
    Bus driver, bus driver,
    get me to work;
    bus driver, bus driver,
    don't go berserk.
    Bus driver, bus driver,
    please bend the rule;
    bus driver, bus driver,
    get me to school.


    Tiger ribbons,
    cowboy deals,
    fishbowl hideouts,
    moonshine wheels.


    Inventors of tact,
    diviners of cuddly places,
    warriors of the night,
    connoisseurs of pleasure.


    Wizards of smell,
    drinkers of rhyme,
    designers of clouds,
    prodigals of time.


    Cement for sidewalks
    freeways and schools,
    skyscrapers, signatures,
    driveways and pools;
    cement for puddles
    bicycles and skates,
    walking and running
    and finding playmates;
    cement for hopscotch
    and bouncing balls high,
    cement for rockets
    on the Fourth of July.
    Sometimes it's smooth.
    Sometimes it's rough.
    We never seem to have
    enough of the stuff.
    It's no place to snooze
    or snuggle or crawl,
    and when you're running,
    you'd better not fall.
    Good old cement!
    A little more can't hurt,
    but what ever happened
    to just plain old dirt?

    Children Go to God

    Children go to God
    for stories, trumpets,
    spectacles of water,
    and holiday marble.


    Clouds make
    a very soft bed
    though sometimes
    they're like lead.
    Though awfully slow,
    turn around
    and off they go.
    They're great for shade.
    I wonder where they're made.


    Coldness blinds me,
    cracks my skin,
    and plays old movies
    that make me forget
    about blood.


    Are we
    ever free
    if we can't run
    our own TV?


    Pull the cork,
    pour yourself out;
    let everyone know
    what you're all about.

    Cowboy Hat

    Down the street it comes
    dispensing white-marble dreams,
    squeezing tiresome hours
    into gift-wrapped boxes.


    Creators steal past warm beds
    and drag pleasure off
    into the night.


    Darkness I need
    for I've become a seed.

    Dread Mosquito Sound

    Like clockwork nurse
    or cooling sun
    comes dread mosquito sound
    at close of day
    to chase comfort away.


    I'm a duck
    and not very busy.
    Don't you think
    my feathers pretty?

    Dungeon Cat

    How alien
    to eat a rat.
    How precious
    the dungeon cat.

    Earth Says

    Earth says,
    "If you love me,
    leave your body with me
    when you go."

    Eating an Apple

    An interloper
    snaps stalks,
    crushes them
    and sends the juice
    streaming through glades
    down to the sea.


    set me high on your back
    and don't forget
    I'm not a sack.

    Flower by the Wayside

    "Take me with you,"
    shouted flower to traveler;
    "I too wish to see the world."
    The traveler enjoyed
    seeing and smelling the beautiful flower
    but did not stop to pick it
    and take it with him.

    Flowers are
    the nooks of life,
    the sun's eye,
    beauty's soldier,
    death's mediator,
    feeling's breath,
    our companion in the wilderness.
    Dance and sleep with them
    before you go.


    Cozy fog,
    mysterious tent,
    sometimes I wish
    you were permanent.

    Fresh-Morning Sea

    Out of my stuffy pajamas
    and off to greet
    fresh-morning sea.

    God the Parlor Guest

    God came into my parlor
    but didn't have much to say.
    I went about my business
    and God went away.


    Like a tree
    baptized in strength,
    with legs cocked,
    arms hanging from towers,
    and chest supporting the earth.

    Hills at Night

    Black breasts
    moving under the moon
    wisper their sacraments.


    Key after key!
    There sure are a lot!
    Finally the right one
    and all keys forgot.

    My Kite

    I fly my kite
    amid clouds of snow
    away from problems
    and grumbling below.


    I'm caught
    in the spokes of time
    at the laundromat
    where the air is chalky,
    mouths are made of metal,
    and windows are TVs.

    Little Baby

    Little baby
    wild and free,
    swept by kisses
    down to the sea.
    The world swims
    in your head,
    don't you think
    it's time for bed?

    Little Flower

    Flower of my dreams
    with your yellows and creams,
    "Why do feelings hurt,
    and why--so long ago--
    did you stay in the dirt?"


    Music tames the snakes of the mind,
    leaves tired world behind,
    reminds me of all the "whys,"
    tells me that nothing dies.


    Nightmares are
    whispering kettles,
    kicked balls,
    wakeup calls,
    pickax attacks,
    but as you grow
    they mellow.

    On a Shelf

    We put people
    on a shelf
    till we find them
    in ourself.

    Pain Keeps Vigil

    Pain keeps vigil
    at the edge of light
    and breaks life into
    the slivers of night.


    There's a
    down Main Street.

    Parking Lots

    Parking lots are an indefinite death,
    that smother the earth,
    that have no eyes, lips, or breath.

    Peach and Cobbler

    Peach and cobbler,
    brine and dirt,
    don't go under
    or you'll get hurt.

    Pesty Flea

    Pesty flea,
    little black spot,
    first you're there,
    then you're not.


    Pigeons spin pyramids
    over city spires
    then settle down
    on telephone wires.

    Pigeons and Other Birds

    Pigeons with sewing-machine heads,
    where do you make your beds?
    Sparrows so rowdy,
    why are your meetings so crowdy?
    Mocking birds with tunes like laces,
    do you get them from far off places?
    Notorious crows with your caws,
    are you not a pack of outlaws?


    With the back thrusting forward
    a proudly cabled chest,
    with shoulders towering,
    and arms, legs alive, free,
    a whip-chord torso glides along.

    Processions, Parades, Etc.

    Processions are stuffy
    parades fluffy,
    marches brassy,
    and picket lines sassy.

    Preposterous Hippopotamus

    Preposterous hippopotamus,
    laughable giraffe,
    preponderous walrus,
    and rickity calf.

    Pushing a River

    I was pushing a river,
    as it flowed to the sea.
    "Stop your pushing," it said,
    and flow with me.


    Quackers quacking on the fence
    never seem to make much sense.
    If any quackers within you lurk,
    I suggest you put them to work.

    Sea Dogs

    Old sea dogs,
    biscuits, and bread,
    tales of sailors
    stuffed in my head.


    Red-eyed monster sleep
    finally brings out its moons.
    Jittery messengers
    are left in the vestibule,
    and, once more,
    faces float upon the waters.

    Sleep and the Devil

    "A little more sleep," said I.
    "I need sleep myself," replied the devil.


    Spider legs
    invade air,
    wrinkle time,
    wrap up light;
    with their sacks of fear
    they disappear.


    I am a point,
    then suddenly the wind,
    then a glider,
    then once again a denizen of storybook land.


    Big hot sun
    burning off the dew
    make me clean and shiny


    Trumpets vibrate the air,
    trees blush,
    fresh breezes blow,
    the great one bowls marbles down the street
    summoning all to work.


    xxxxx Earth tilts and pours silver and gold onto city streets,
    Jell-O mountains and clowd-museums appear,
    logs of day are thrown into the furnace,
    great organ master flourishes,
    canons attack the sky.
    Day sinks into night;
    earth gives over the fight.


    Trees wrap up time,
    balance mountains,
    and stay with us
    till the end.


    Treat water well for it saves you from hell.


    The sea stands up,
    opens its eye,
    then withdraws.

    What I'm Made Of

    My head's a stew,
    my stomach a clock,
    my arm's a club,
    my foot a block.
    My hands you seldom see
    which is OK with me.

    TV or Me

    I asked myself
    while watching TV,
    "Which will it be,
    TV or me?"


    They slice thru turbulence
    like the butterfly.
    Go to them
    and to find the answer why.


    Like a fog,
    sickness comes
    with its boiler-room sounds
    and whispers.


    I used a skyhook to get to heaven,
    but every time I used it,
    it raised me less
    till finally it didn't work at all.

    ("You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Bible, NLT, Matthew 5:13-16; )

    Star Trek

    Mc Coy

    With corkscrew smiles
    Mc Coy tames yankees
    and measures life
    with pieces of his heart.


    contributes alien blood
    sleeps on slabs,
    measures with robotic eyes.
    Comrades rely on him;
    bureaucrats fear him.

    Wesley Crusher

    He does cartwheels around giants,
    has tasted wormwood,
    and knows the scorpion's sting.

    Interview with Worf

    Host's Introductory Remarks:
    Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
    By now I'm sure most of you
    are familiar with the redoubtable Mr. Worf,
    security chief aboard the Enterprise starship;
    his whirlwind tour of the country,
    his chat with the President,
    and his addresses to Congress and the UN
    have received extensive coverage.
    I hope most of you have had an opportunity
    to read the autobiography
    that he has graciously made available to us.
    In the short time he has been with us,
    he's become somewhat of a household legend
    winning the hearts of millions
    and at the same time managing to develop
    a rather stormy relationship with the press.

    Host: Welcome to our program, Mr. Worf.
    I understand that you come from the Klingon race,
    a warrior people who even now
    are bound to the Federation by
    only the most tenuous of treaties.
    I gather from your stormy relationship with the press
    since you have been visiting swith us
    that Kingons have not changed much in their ways.
    How do you reconcile this rather violent, confrontational approach
    in dealing with others
    with your position aboard the Enterprise
    which is on a mission of peace and exploration?

    Mr. Worf: Klingons are direct and confrontational
    because we are out to change the world.
    We are a stormy people, I admit,
    but what is life without a few storms?

    Host: Don't you think such an attitude will have a negative influence on children? Shouldn't they be tought to respect and obey.

    Mr. Worf: Children are naturally confrontational
    and have a touch of the wild in them.
    What we as well as children need to respect
    are the laws of nature.

    Host: Wouldn't it be better
    if we tried to cooperate and get along with others?

    Mr. Worf: Your bible, I think,
    has the last word on this:
    "I know you well--you are neither hot nor cold;
    I wish you were one of the other!
    But since you are merely lukewarm,
    I will spit you out of my mouth!"

    Host: How about Klingon honor and glory, Mr. Worf?
    What of all the blood spilt to erect these monuments?

    Mr. Worf: We stand firm for what we believe in
    and it is this that brings us honor and glory;
    deceit and trickery are alien to our culture.
    We make good friends but catastrophic enemies.

    Host: What about killing?

    Mr. Worf: Only those that are afraid kill.

    Host: What words do you have for the fainthearted?

    Mr. Worf: The weak hang on to the coattails of life.
    The strong are colleagues with death.
    If you wish to be weak no longer, confront death.
    You will find that it is nothing.

    Host: What final message do you have for us
    who are embarking on a new century?

    Mr. Worf: Secure your planet.
    Energy flows where there is vision.
    If you can't see beyond your market,
    you and your children
    are doomed to stagnation and death.

    Host: What are your plans for the future?

    Mr. Worf: I plan to keep abreast
    of the latest advancements in my field
    and raise my son.
    I may seek a teaching position later on.
    We'll see.

    Host: How about a parting shot?

    Mr. Worf: Here is a quote from a Klingon philosopher:
    The great devour;
    The insignificant are satisfied with crumbs.

    Some Co-Workers and Administrators

    Autumn-Leaf Syrup

    She serves autumn-leaf syrup
    and opens nooks of time
    with her smile.

    Blossom in the Backwoods

    Olive eyes and dark hair
    blossom in the backwoods.
    Her sun moves through thickets.
    She travels rowboat waters
    and wraps her words
    in maiden puffs and hooklet smiles.


    He fits words well
    in his beetle shell
    and stocks the fort
    for his next report.

    Frank Barry

    Fires smolder in his cockpit.
    The king's wizard marshals machines,
    mixes underworld and sky,
    and pulls out bushy rabbits
    and polyester smiles.

    King's Daughter

    God appears
    in the king's daughter
    who plays among the monoliths.

    Noble Son

    The tweedy-suited,
    son of nobility
    scoops up hearts
    and sets them
    round his warm fire.

    No Time for Leaves

    She keeps her dollhouse
    on a craggy mountain
    where twisted trees
    have no time for leaves.

    Old-World Snapshot

    He is an old-world snapshot,
    a collection of
    ribbons, paper words,
    and roadshow entrails.

    Soft Jungle-Kiss Dresses

    Soft jungle-kiss dresses,
    chocolate-glade mouth,
    eyes that reveal
    the secret of feathers.

    Squeaky Pontiff

    Squeaky pontiff of the landings,
    friend of the weather,
    elemental man at harvest time.

    Summer Cream Pillow

    Circuit to the stars,
    summer-cream pillow,
    satin flower,
    enchanted jungle.
    She comes softly at dawn
    to tear up white paper.

    Toy Soldiers, His

    He sits on a great wheel
    every day setting out his toy soldiers
    and dreaming parchment-lists worth of devils.

    Tuxedo Smile

    A slippery chute,
    a black hole
    with pointed eyes
    and tuxedo smiles.

    Unyet* Full Moon

    An unyet full moon
    moves city workers
    who delight in its light
    and warmth.

    (* "(adj.) A negative indicator used to denote a lack of actualization. Example: He is unyet ready to perform at the recital tonight,"

    Close to Home


    With miraculous strength
    the African who is fastened to the ceiling
    unties himself
    and falls to the cathedral floor
    where robots march
    and squadrons of hooded monks
    pass by on motorcycles.


    Archangel escaped early one morning,
    and I went looking for him.
    I found him asleep
    on a stranger's front porch.
    As the stranger came out I blurted,
    "My friend has been to a masquerade party
    and has had too much to drink."
    I picked up archangel and started down the steps
    with the stranger helping me.

    Corridor of Eyes

    Souls flit like flies
    in the corridor of eyes
    where there are no "whys,"
    where no one dies.

    Babe on Mother's Breast

    I wish I were a babe again
    upon its mother's breast,
    adrift in the softness
    of sweet womanliness.

    Death in the Morning

    A shaft of light
    thru cellar window
    touches green man.
    Long ago the savior
    asked him for a drink,
    but he hardened his heart;
    the words were lost,
    the screws tightened.

    Death's Mystery

    There is no love to cover
    what age has exposed.
    Perhaps I could cope for a while
    as a robot,
    but I'm lost
    if I do not learn
    death's mystery


    Tired lights push me
    from motherland.
    I hang on strings
    and robots bring my food.

    Devils for Sale

    I was looking for the devil.
    The merchant put out a rich assortment of them,
    and I grew old waiting in line to get one.

    Devil Under Arrest

    Recently at a resort,
    the devil showed up.
    As usual he was crippled
    and getting others into trouble.
    Finally the righteous blurted out,
    "Can't you see that sign over there that says
    the devil is subject to immediate arrest?"
    The devil smiled
    and went about his business.

    Edge of Loneliness

    At the edge of loneliness
    in a pot of tyrant hours,
    I sing comforting songs to myself,
    keeping just ahead of the devil,
    wallowing through dreams,
    waiting and watching with the spider.

    Escaping Mother's Tides

    Only now that she has passed,
    do I begin
    to escape her tide,
    to walk at her side.

    Eyes, Come Back

    xxxxx Come back, eyes.
    Save me
    so I can see souls,
    the streams, the sky, the sea.

    Father Haran

    Time washes away the soldier
    and leaves an angel
    signaling for those who come.

    Harmony in the Classroom

    Standing naked in the hallway
    I hear harmony from the classroom.
    Adding a few notes of my own
    I feel better.

    Horseface Land

    It's hot in Horseface Land.
    From high above you can view
    the heat-blanched expanse of the city.
    Those in power have horsefaces,
    and they go around the city
    in dark-windowed limousines.
    Common folk only catch fleeting glimpses of them.
    Periodically the horsefaces let drops of water
    fall into the streets from their limosines
    for appearance's sake.
    A frequent occurrence in Horseface Land
    is that of the water boys
    running to splash water into the limousines
    which are parked along the curbs.


    I am an owl on a bus,
    a ticket collector,
    a witch's brew,
    an alien horse with one eye,
    a cracked wall,
    a penguin butler,
    a starched bear,
    a dusty plow,
    the end of blood.
    I gulp pleasure,
    try to escape my face,
    rake my heart and paste sequin-eyed women on it.
    I am a wrapper tossed to the wind by my mother.
    Feelings spill out.
    My eyes are animal eyes,
    my face a dragon's tail.
    Days are photocopies.
    I serve dusty rulers,
    wear badges of starched children.
    Time is a dirty sidewalk.
    Ghosts snap at me.
    People are books on shelves.
    Beggars chase me onto the fence.
    Night is an old film.
    The young plow through me.
    Dreams suffocate me.
    Money struts by.
    Radios pound nails into my brain.
    I am on the wrong side of death,
    and no one is left to play with,
    only squeaky-clean guns,
    running paint,
    and boiling air.

    Lion-Colored Sun

    She's a lion-colored sun
    gliding behind state buildings,
    wraping my eyes in hot apple swirls,
    and sleeping with moons from her closet.

    Little Boys and Little Birds

    A boat with little boys sank.
    Then a long time afterwards
    the little boys revived
    and flew back as little birds.


    Lina is the seahorse
    whose attack I can no longer stand.
    Dance with her
    and brats come like rain.

    Little Boy that Drowned

    A little boy stepped into the river.
    His foot got stuck.
    Though he began to sink,
    he showed no emotion.
    Finally he disappeared.
    Then a man came and opened the water like a chest
    showing a row of lifelike children
    the last of which was the boy who had just drowned.

    Looking for the Devil

    A merchant put out
    a rich assortment of devils.
    I was looking for one
    and grew old
    waiting in line for one.

    Melody in My Mind

    A prominent lady
    came to visit an orphanage.
    A waif ran out
    and began to joke and play with her.
    The lady became indignant
    and stormed inside
    to confront the fairy godmother.
    The fairy godmother
    put her cheek next to the lady's and said,
    "Listen to the melody in my mind."

    Moon on a Shelf

    The moon sits
    on a shelf in my cellar
    where no blood or rumbling seeds
    disturb the wax faces
    or statues of the savior.

    Mother's Prayers

    Mother's prayers weigh a lot
    and occupy a great blank spot
    where devils sow
    and religions grow.

    Mother Was a Bramble Bush

    When I was a child,
    mother was a bramble bush
    and father a hard tree.
    I myself became brittle.
    I buried death at an early age.
    In school I began to pick my way thru mountains
    dreaming pious filigrees;
    I was an insect buzzing thru incense,
    a dummy overcome by faces,
    a fool thirsty for death.
    Then I was bapitzed
    and set out to earn badges
    balancing flagpoles,
    walking backstage,
    and carrying dusty books.
    Now I'm a child
    protected by its guardian angel
    as it crosses the rickety bridge.

    On His Father's Back

    A father, in order to break his willfulness,
    carried his son on his shoulders
    everywhere he went.
    After a long time
    the boy melted across his father's back.
    Many began to criticize the man.
    Finally the man set his son down
    into the cool waters of a stream.
    In the water, the boy's body
    became whole, muscular, and supple once again
    but drowned shortly thereafter.

    Onion-Tree Claws

    Onion-tree claws threaten from above.
    In the marketplace below,
    I search from bin to bin
    trying to decide on
    which onion-tree fruit
    I should buy,
    which are cheapest and tastiest.
    I ask a lady, but get no answer.
    Meanwhile the tree's claws
    silently go about their grim business.

    Woman in the Locker Room

    Wearily I make my way
    down to the locker room
    to put on my habit.
    She's there.
    She grabs me
    and crushes a burning cigarette
    into my right shoulder.
    "Go ahead and squirm," she says.
    "Your squirming will put it out."

    Men and Women

    Bag Lady

    Said the bag lady
    gone without a trace,
    "Don't put your mouth
    in my face."


    Ecstasy comes in easy swells
    far from pulpits
    and capitalist hells.

    Her Casual Smoke

    Her casual cigarette smoke
    winds me back
    through adolescent dens
    and sticky-theater films.

    Her Dress is Butterflies

    Her dress is butterflies.
    Her lips pound me into unconsciousness.
    She burns my sticks.
    Her teeth are hard.
    Her jungle mat steams.
    All flows invisibly heavenward,
    and, twisting to enjoy the sun,
    the earth gushes melons and holidays.

    Lady Friend to an English Diplomat

    Her warm color,
    cool air,
    velvet paws,
    and foreign eyes
    soften this weary traveler.


    Men are Outside

    Men are outside
    and women are inside.
    Women like to go outside,
    and men like to go inside.


    She exposes reason,
    is master of love world,
    cultivates arsenals,
    dreams of children and spotless days,
    exhausts shopkeepers,
    knows the faces of men.
    They call her queen
    but her name is women.


    She sends him to the mines
    and brings him back at night.
    She grows in his wounds,
    and there is no end in sight.

    Three Young Women

    Three young women come down the street,
    their hair reveals the mystery of color,
    their smiles make all things clean.

    Two Ladies Waiting in the Dentist's Office

    Two ladies in the dentist's office
    tinkle rosaries at the daily blast;
    while their laps are still fertile,
    their bloomers are plated with time.

    Worker's World

    African Witch Doctor

    African witch doctor,
    breath life into my dusty bones.
    Make life elemental once again
    so I can stand
    with the ancestors
    and see the way forward.

    At the Office

    At the office stalks sag.
    Sharp-edged calendars
    and polished floors
    herald the disappearance
    of another day.

    Bank Manager

    Her stiff lips
    vibrate throughout the office.
    She tidies things up
    with her eyes.

    Bus Life


    China, stalk of humankind;
    savior of the peace;
    home of
    bamboo, bicycles,
    side-street bazars,
    worker squads,
    weekday fireworks,
    right action,
    and the professional merchant.


    Chinatown beads in the wind,
    herbs in banging drawers,
    and slave-eyed frogs in the stocks.


    Communists are nightmares to the rich.
    Bosses know their value but don't trust them.
    Religionists would burn them and their wholesale magic.
    Politicians avoid them if they can.
    Imperialists target them.
    Intellectuals call them simplistic.
    The capitalist media homogenizes them.
    The middle class say they're unreasonable.
    Parents regard them as alien.
    Children can't get enough of them.


    It's woven into fabric
    and wrapped around a smile.
    Some say it's homey,
    but no one calls it style.
    It's not exactly substance,
    and neither is it rind.
    It's on the edge of words.
    It's the "furniture of the mind."


    Customers line up,
    are dunked,
    wrung out,
    then sent along their way.

    Dana Point* Strollers

    Birds wait patiently on poles
    as Dana Point strollers
    move like technicolor ants
    and trapped forever
    in pictures on a wall.

    Death of Cities

    Cities to inches,
    days to ash;
    breasts to paper,
    children to trash.

    Hearts to metal,
    minds to flags;
    teachers to hoboes,
    women to bags.

    Dialog with a Slot Machine Player

    A: Excuse me.
    B: Just put the drinks over there.
    A: But, I don't serve drinks.
    B: Sorry. I'm not hungry.
    A: I don't serve food either.
    B: Oh, never mind. I'm going to another
    machine anyway--this one's no good.
    A: But Ma'am, I trying to tell you that you've dropped your purse.
    B: Oh! Thanks.


    Humans are still cutting the world into names,
    abandoning nature, and living in the land
    of poker faces and candy TV.


    Kinfolk weigh streets
    with shoulders,
    deliver us from monsters,
    and serve us at table.
    They are forever with us.


    Lumpenproletarians are freeloaders,
    former workers,
    victims of big business
    who recite the "news,"
    crowd into pews.
    They have a perverse culture
    that's foreign to common folks.
    They glisten like sharp immovable coral reefs
    ready to gouge the sides of unwary ships.
    They are fanatics bereft of common sense,
    wired to the shiny, growing tumor of fascism.
    Wealthy ruling classes, capitalists,
    make good use of these deadened souls
    first organizing them into paramilitary gangs
    to kill, terrorize, and exploit the masses
    and then, once fascism is established,
    cutting them down if they resist discipline
    or recycling them into police-persons or soldiers if they conform.
    All this waste ends, however, when
    the people replace fascism with socialism
    and redeems these "former" workers.

    Middle Class and War

    They make good use of war wrapping it for sale, then they dump its victims into streets or into jail.

    Missions for the Homeless

    The homeless,
    under patron eyes
    of prison-door religion,
    are culled for the willing
    then stuffed into neat boxes.


    Thunder steps across my eyes.
    Heart explodes into ugly wires.
    Time stops.
    Brain is squeezed to a pin,
    and I am cut adrift
    in a rain of silent days.

    Native Americans

    Far from ancestral lands
    they stand in painted-moon hallways.
    Their streams are silent,
    their dreams smolder,
    and their dances have frozen into stone.

    Ontra Cafeteria

    Movie-theater smells,
    old folks with baseball caps,
    shaky hands,
    deadpan stares,
    perennial clothes,
    Spanish-speaking employees,
    some well-defined proletarians,
    a few Latino couples,
    a young female employee socializing
    with one from the deadpan-stare group,
    sturdy black shoes swaying past a circus of Jell-O.

    Parable of the Two Kinds of Farmers

    Once there were two kinds of farmers. One kind desired wealth for themselves and their families alone. The other kind grew crops to meet their own families' needs plus the needs of the rest of the community. The farmers who placed wealth first found out which crops were profitable and grew only these and in great quantities enabling them to monopolize the home market and later--at great profit--to sell to foreign countries which encouraged them and provided them with money and gifts for themselves and their children. In return these farmers purchased chemicals, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds from the wealthy countries and supported right-wing politicians interested in setting up their own country as a puppet state for the wealthy foreign countries.

    As the wealthy farmers' business expanded, they needed more land. Some they bought and the rest they got by hiring discouraged, victimized workers whom they trained with the assistance of professionals supplied by the wealthy countries. These paramilitary gangs chased the poor farmers and peasants off their lands leaving them helpless and desperate. In the end the poor famers and peasants were forced either to migrate to the wealthy country to find work or to come to the rich farmers who were now able to hire them at the cheapest wages. Furthermore, because the wealthy farmers did not grow all the crops that were needed, the people were forced to import food and other products from foreign countries--the same countries which had helped and encouraged the rich farmers. This provided these foreign countries with new markets where they could dump their own great surpluses. The poor famers saw their farms expropriated, the soil polluted, their economy destroyed, their sovereignty lost.

    The small farmers and others concerned about well-being their country decided to break this pattern of exploitation. They formed an army and defeated the hired mercenaries, assassins, traitors, and foreign soldiers. They took control of the state and used land and resources to meet the needs of all the people. The small farmers then grew a great variety of crops along with the staples thus providing the basic foods along with all the other materials needed by the people. This benefited not only the farmers but also the whole community; it provided jobs and stimulated not only the economy but also education and culture. The people now had an abundance of food and other products so they did not have to import them them from the wealthy countries. Furthermore the small farmers found it in their interests to form collectives to share technology, equipment, and resources. They took care to practice sustainable methods so that they and future generations would enjoy health and prosperity. The people were independent and prosperous and the farmers were loved and respected by all.

    Las Vegas Striker on the Picket Line

    They can put me in prison
    but I'm gonna walk this mother f....


    Mammon's a quackery of signs,
    decay in a test-tube,
    contagion of light,
    a parade of cut flowers
    and homeless trees.
    It pastes eyes to the pavement,
    teaches our young to kill,
    and congests hallways with ghosts.

    Mario and Ryan

    Mario slides into class
    on the corner of a smile
    and leads you through
    computer lollipop land
    while students chase bright-beetle Ryan
    through wires and chips.


    They bring fire home
    and sleep in stone,
    weave days into life
    and tell earth's stories.

    Michael Cincek Releasing a Mouse

    "Good-by Mickey Mouse.
    See you sometime in eternity."

    People's Altar

    Black blood-spots
    on concrete,
    the people's altar
    on the street.


    He brings
    bonfire smiles and color pods
    to all.

    Waiting for a Party Meeting

    I read mud-brown leaves
    in the amber street light.
    Time clots as I wait
    at the gate in the night.

    With a Comrade on his front Porch

    It's a tourist-tale, muddy-time day
    on Leroy's front porch.
    He pokes me
    with whiskey words
    and my hands burn in the cold air.

    Worker's Statue

    How strange to see
    the dusty statue of the worker
    walking in the hallway
    between classes.

    Worker's Apartment

    They climb sacks to their coop.
    Meters tick. They have their soup.
    Traps are set for another day
    while their children forget to play.


    Abilities  • Abortion  • Acorn Folks  • Action  • African  • African Witch Doctor  • Aging  • American Muggles  • Ancestors  • Angels  • Anonymous Hands  • Ants  • Apes  • Archangel  • Artists  • At the Horseraces  • At the Office  • Autumn-Leaf Syrup  • Babe on Mother's Breast  • Bag Lady  • Balance  • Baubles and Beads  • Beacon in the Forest • Beauty  • Beginnings  • Big Warm Sun  • Biographical  • Birds  • Blossom in the Backwoods  • Bus Driver  • Bus Life  • Bus Stop 1  • Bus Stop 2  • Buttercups  • Capitalism  • Cars  • Catching the Bus  • Cats  • Iron Flower  • Cement  • Change  • Children  • Children Go to God  • Children's Songs • Child Tamer  • <China  • Chinatown  • Cleanliness and Order  • Clockwork Manager  • Clouds  • Cold • Commercials  • Communication  • Communism  • Communism and Religion • Communists  • Community  • Complete Proletarian  • Comrade • Comrades  • Connection  • Cork  • Corridor of Eyes • Courtship  • Cowboy The Cat  • Cowboy Hat • Co-Workers and Administrators  • Creation  • Creators  • Customers • Dana Point Strollers • Darkness • Dawn  • Death  • Death in the Morning • Death of Cities  • Death's Mystery • Democracy  • Depression • Desire  • Development  • Devils and Angels  • Devil Under Arrest • Devils for Sale • Dialog with a Slot Machine Player • Dread Mosquito Sound • Dreams  • Dr. Sharfman • Duck  • Dungeon Cat  • Earth Says • Eating an Apple • Ecstasy • Edge of Loneliness • Edith and Urban • Education  • Elephant  • Emotions • Energy  • Escaping Mother's Tides  • Eternal Woman  • Evil  • Evolution  • Experience  • Eyes Come Back • Faith  • Family at a Bus Stop  • Father Haran  • Father Malachy  • Fear  • Feelings  • First People's Republic  • Flower by the Wayside  • Flower in the Hay  • Flowers  • Fog  • Fools  • French Fries on the Bus  • Fresh-Morning Sea  • Fundamentals  • Ghost in the Making  • Ghosts  • Gifts  • God  • God and the Devil  • God the Parlor Guest  • Good and Evil  • Gorilla  • Great Stone Child  • Harmony in the Classroom  • Hatred  • Healing  • Health  • Helene  • Hell  • Her Dress is Butterflies  • Hills at Night  • Historical Bed  • History  • Hope  • Horseraces, At the  • Horseface Land  • People  • Humans  • Image From the Nebula  • Immortality  • Indigo Child  • Inside a Bus  • Interest  • Interview with Worf  • Warm Sun  • Iron Flower  • Iron Tears  • Jack Fischel Jokes  • Keys  • Kinfolk  • King's Daughter  • Kite, My  • Lady Friend to an English Diplomat  • Lady Speaking Spanish on the Bus  • Lamentations  • Las Vegas Striker on the Picket Line  • Laundromat  • Life  • Lina  • Lion-Colored Sun  • Little Baby  • Little Boy that Drowned  • Little Boys and Little Birds  • Little Flower  • Little Girl Crushing Cans  • Looking for the Devil  • Love  • Lumpenproletarians  • Mammon  • Manager  • Manager, Clockwork  • Mario and Ryan  • Materialism  • Martinet  • Mc Coy  • Meditation  • Melody in my Mind  • Men and Women  • Men are Outside  • Messiah  • Mexicans  • Paper Man  • Michael Cincek Releasing a Mouse  • Middle Class  • Missions for the Homeless  • Moon on a Shelf  • Mother Behind the Railing  • Mother's Tides, Escaping  • Mother's Prayers, My  • Mother Was a Bramble Bush  • Mugged  • Music  • My Kite  • Mother's Prayers  • Nail Polisher  • Narrow Pathway  • Native Americans  • Nature  • Nebula, Image From the  • Need  • Nightmares  • Noble Son  • Oaks and Acorns  • Observations  • Off to Work  • Old-World Snapshot  • On a Shelf  • On His Father's Back  • Onion-Tree Claws  • Ontra Cafeteria  • Organization  • Pain Keeps Vigil  • Paper Man  • Parable of the Two Kinds of Farmers  • Parade  • Parking Lots  • Part-Time Teen  • Peach and Cobbler  • Peewee  • People  • People's Altar  • Pesty Flea  • Pigeons  • Pigeons and Other Birds  • Planets, She Who Knows the  • Pleasure  • Placard Face  • Poetry  • Politicians  • Posture  • Power  • Preaching  • Preposterous Hippopotamus  • Principle  • Production  • Processions, Parades, Etc.  • Progress  • Proletarian, Complete  • Proletarian King  • Proletarian or God  • Proletarian Prince  • Proletarian Queen  • Pushing a River  • Quackers  • Queen, the Woman  • Racism  • Reactionaries  • Relations  • Religion  • Respect  • Responsibility  • Reverence  • Revolutionary Theory  • Righteousness  • Smooth-Mountain Woman  • Sacrifice  • Salvation  • Scientists Versus Intellectuals  • Sea Dogs  • Security  • Seed in the Wilderness  • Self  • Sermons  • Sex  • Sharp Eyes  • She  • She Who Knows the Planets  • She Who Suddenly Narrows  • Siblings, Relatives, Friends  • Simplicity  • Sin and Forgiveness  • Sky Hook  • Sleep  • Sleep and the Devil  • Slice of Culture  • Socialism  • So Far, So Good  • Soft Jungle-Kiss Dresses  • Soul  • Spiders  • Spring Wire  • Sprinting  • Spock  • Squeaky Pontiff  • Star Trek  • Statue of Youth  • Stream upon the Plain  • Struggle  • Style  • Summertime Cream Pillow  • Sun  • Sunrise  • Sunset  • Teachers and staff Where I Used to Work, Some  • Teddy Bear  • Teenager, Part-Time  • Teresa Ware  • Thought  • Three Young Women  • Time  • Toy Soldiers, His  • Trolley  • Trees  • Truth  • TV or Me  • Twig of Female  • Two Farmers  • Two Ladies Waiting in the Dentist's Office  • Universe  • Unyet* Full Moon  • Waiting for a Party Meeting  • Warm-Moon Statue  • Water  • Wave  • Wealth  • Wesley Crusher  • What I'm Made Of  • Wisdom and Folly  • With a Comrade on his Front Porch  • Woman in the Locker Room  • Woman on her Way to Work  • Woman on the Bus  • Worf, Interview with  • Workers  • Worker's Apartment  • Worker's Grit-Etched Hand  • Worker's Statue  • Writing  • Yankee  • Youth  • Youth, An Encomium  • Youth on the Corner  • Youth, Statue of  •