from Thoreau's journal:

Is not the poet bound to write his own biography? Is there any other work for him but a good journal? We do not wish to know how his imaginary hero, but how he, the actual hero, lived from day to day.

- Oct. 21, 1857


where madness and creativity converge

“A fool can sometimes put on his coat better than a wise man can do it for him.”

- Fredrick Jackson Turner (1903). Contributions of the west to american democracy. Atlantic.

"But can the fool decide which coat he should wear? The straightjacket seems fitting. Though it is less fashionable than other coats, the wise man sleeps easier knowing the world’s madmen, yokels and fuck-ups are comfortably restrained in their

Strange Brood, (2005)

...where they dream up designs for the coats that you and I will desperately crave next season.

5-minute poem #4

"white beams"

did i write yesterday? no. at work
i looked up, past the beams,
white and criss-crossing,
holding up a ceiling
once above the local grocery,
once above the sisters
bossing little brothers and
still shopping with their mothers,
who were saying, "No, you can't
have that."
"Why?" "Because
it's not good for you."
"Why?" "Because it's got

too much sugar" "WHY?"-
i looked up and past the beams
and through the square skylight
into the grey-gray rained on skies
and sighed...
and set myself again to tasks
i would not choose
at my desk
at the job i wish that i could lose.


workplace hay(na)ku sequence #1

always seems
coldest at work,

i always
wear long underwear:

i'd be
miserable and frozen.


workplace haiku #1 and #2

[workplace haiku: the purposeful perversion of a sacred art form, for my personal amusement and/or momentary relief]


she is a red grape
beneath The Man's stomping bare feet-
she cries, "Just smash me!"


above, square skylights
display the seasons' passage-
below, there is no time

Moving On

we move
to a different city

over the next few months
via the internet and through old mailing lists
I watch my friends
get on with their lives

it is like being dead
and haunting the house you loved

from time to time I communicate to them
and they are surprised
just like I was an apparition

a headless man
at the top of the stairs

~ C. M. Evans, in Opium

(I find in Evans' poem a scenario well-depicted, if not particularly cleanly-written.)



(a poem by my grandfather)

in mystic places,
and long long
at babies'

~ Fred E. Brown

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

There was the time I went to this girl's house, to "hang out." We kinda liked each other, but that was unspoken. The street her family lived on was a narrow one-way, and their driveway was very small. It was all gravel, and narrow, and I had a terrible time trying to park beside her brother's Camero.

The girl and I talked a while in the kitchen. She got me a drink, and I drank it casually; she drank, too. Done drinking, we went out and talked on the back porch. The porch was small, and we stood, then sat, quite close to each other. We could hear her little sister listening to They Might Be Giants, upstairs.

The phone rang inside, and she went in to answer. I followed and made my way through to the living room and talked to her brother. He was a freshman in college at the time, but I didn't know who called. Later, as I was getting up to leave, I called up to the girl to say goodbye, and she came halfway down the stairs. We spoke briefly, and I asked her brother for the quickest route back to the main highway.


hay(na)ku from my desk

rain falls
hard on skylights-

is good
to be indoors


autumn haiku

orange-leaf sunlight
spreads over the earth like oil,
like my growing gaze


"my sleeping wife" - two haiku


cool air in mid-autumn
seeps through even closed windows-
my sleeping wife warms me


how beautiful-
my sleeping wife does not see me
as i watch her turn


4.85 centimeters

I would like to sing someone to sleep,
by someone to sit and be.
I would like to rock you and croon you to sleep
and attend you in slumber and out.
I would like to be the only one in the house
who would know: The night was cold.
And would like to hearken within and without
to you, to the world, to the wood.--
The clocks call striking to each other,
and one sees to the bottom of time.
And below a strange man passes yet
and rouses a strange dog.
Behind that comes stillness. I have laid
my eyes upon you wide;
they hold you gently and let you go
when some thing stirs in the dark.

~ "To Say For Going to Sleep," Rainer Maria Rilke