It’s Good for the Circulation

It’s no secret I
plunder the classics: Hill, Bash-
o, Horace, Zhuangzi.

My wee apartment
of glass floods with sunshine as
I consider Spring

cleaning, but instead
I take a walk into green
Oregon. First things

first. A level path,
shops, crowds, over which the old
voices comment anew.


Writing a poem
involves unspeakable acts —
like the first bowel

movement of the day.
No heroic simile:
experience comes

to an end in light
headedness. Chuang Tzu’s model
wise man, who’s mad, says:

“When I walk crazy
I walk right: but am I a
man to imitate?”

Tulips Perplexing

Tulips slow me down.
The way through the empty sub-
urbs to the market
this sunny April
morning is paced by spaces
devoted, it seems,
to a creative
cause in earlier times called
God. How perplexing!

Of Tyrants and Poets

As the tyrant holds
on to power, the poets
feel the urge to act.

The pressure on them
comes from people: the people
really want poems.

What’s a poem to
do? Sit back and wait until
a true poet knocks.


As nights grow shorter
the moon grows brighter over
the tall trees and un-

lit windows of un-
occupied apartments that
people the skyline.

A car alarm may
go off but the moon rises
without pause until

for a moment all
is spectacle. Those dark win-
dows blink away tears.

A Sleeping Song

Bag of memory
and desire, I lay you down
at my feet and sleep.

Let the dreams disturb
my sleep. I reach down and touch
you: you haven’t moved.

There is a moment
before dawn when I have no
desire or memory;

I’m released beyond
myself, a window open
to a nameless love.

Such Mercies

Is “almost” ever
enough? Quasimodo Sun-
day after Easter.

We are all foundlings
in this world. A sharp wet wind
in my face feels good.

The fresh green branches
thrash and flutter in the sky,
which makes me happy.

Such mercies! Chuang
Tzu taught the love of self, cold
when cold, warm when warm.