In Vino Mendacium

There are people
skinning people
with the sole goal of profit.
The Corporation wins
regardless of your vote.
If Congress turned honest
we'd see trademarks in cheap suits.
Credit pays the bills
and the wine tastes good.

There are hungry children sleeping
with their eyes glued to the screens
that their parents placed before them
to replace the food of learning.
Overfed and oversexed
they rely on backs of busses
to teach of fornication
and the wine tastes good.

There are teachers
pulling wrenches.
There are soldiers
sharing secrets.
There are victims
droved and shorn
who believe that freedom's free.
There are peep shows in Manhattan
where a man can skip the dinner
and go straight to feeling lonely
and the wine tastes good.


Finding Orion

Piranhas and pariahs;
neither much desired.
Eating not for sustenance
but to fight the pangs.

Touch fire to the box.
He's bred of noble stock
but foreign constellations
make no compass claims.

Postmature and panting
they tire of the ranting.
Cauterize with quips
instead of heated blades.

Style points are given
though never to the living.
Read and eat and write and drink
and hope our brand's the same.


Long Island Viticulture

Ambushed saints
roll around in underbrush
throttling each other
through the din
of sin's confusion.

He saw this in a man
straightening a photo
hung on a rented wall
that no one cares to see.

"This is where the war
was waged," a tour guide
tells some Asians.
"This is where the war was lost,"
he mutters, off the clock.

Dishes in the sink
are proof of last week's guests.
A truth that doesn't make you ache
is not worth your remembrance.


Caveat Emptor

His work jeans are delivered--
slightly irregular, highly discounted.
Tearing them from their clear plastic packaging
he notices small strips of white masking tape
near the imperfections
that deemed the pants unworthy
of full retail:
a tattered seam here, a crooked stitch there.
The hands of poor Mexicans
in both senses of the adjective
have clearly delineated
all flaws on his behalf.
He barely paid half-price
and his friends will never notice
but that denim seems much darker
with the stark white set against it.

An itch subdues his chest.
He scratches, checks to see
if there next to his pocket
someone's tagged what is defective.
Even through the laughter
some can recognize the mark.
He likes those seers dearly
or as best as he knows how.



A ship becalmed
four words reneged
and lies like dioramas;
Liberals in their bomber jackets
toss the burning filters.

Caesar scoffed an omen
and bled out from his Senate
on a date that we'll remember
while the others seem to wane.

Women loved the fugitive
far more when he was hiding.
Friends and kinsmen called
when there was still much to offer.

Windless sails and raincoats.
A cracking masquerade.
If one god trumps another
then let's hope that we chose wisely.


Plus One

Two words
drop mail
in the stairwell--
An unexpected
return address.

First guess: belated birthday card.
An invitation ensues
and the falling.
Postage paid envelope. Nice touch
like a cruel joke, strategically timed.

Picking up the papers
demands a second glance.
A cousin's marriage. Relief.

They share the same first name.
The last one came close.


A has-been hangs up his holsters
and waits for a candle to ring
but she's forgotten.

Currently reading:
"The Road to the Dark Tower" by Bev Vincent.


Cryptic Prophecies in a Fugitive's Red Pupils

I am not a snubnosed revolver. I am many things, but a wheelgun in .38 Special is not one of them. I've ridden in pockets and stung a few hands, though that doesn't make me a Smith nor a Wesson.

I am not Nick Adams, Jay Gatsby, John Galt. Gregory Peck smoked better than me and Humphrey Bogart's less typecast. The problem with some assumptions is that not all martyrs are saints.

I am not Sub Rosa. The Chatham House Rule does not apply herein. Occam's Razor is a joke of the most perverse sort and Murphy's like Gravity without any conscience.

"Anaphora"'s a word redundant as another."Eutony" sounds like "eulogy" and means about the same. Listen through the laughter if you care to know the man.

My work here is done. We should all be committed.



When I feel it's
only sometimes
but when it's there
it's there

and if I'd done a better sweep
and the frame had not been shattered
and the wall had not been moving
and the wine had not been there

then this glass stuck in my heel
would not remind a heathen
that his brother deserves more
than a mess who drinks alone
when not smiling alongside him
for a camera and a man
who bore the both of us
twenty-some-odd years apart

so tonight I feel the shard
so tonight I suck the bottle
so tomorrow when the bombs ring
I'll know I'm still alive.