A Better Man Then I



I wanted to write you into a love poem,

but I had not words enough for the sorrow I felt in your arms –

hush, don’t touch, let’s not rush this thing;

God, I love her so much,

clutching her in the sea of eternity

as the darkness descended

and I defended my inch of Hell in No Man’s Land,

as dawn broke and so did I,

as the tide subsided and revealed

in morning’s pale light the wreckage of our ill-fated love –

hush, love, kiss me, now, in the red dawn;

soon, you’ll be missing me, and I you,

and the serpents will be hissing in our ears,

but for now,

kissing you on the shores where our dreams came back home if only to die,

I can’t help but thinking

in the silence and the stillness and the calm before the storm

how fucking beautiful you’d look,

in a love poem penned by a better man then I –

one whose hands are pale and bloodless,

one who can find words and world enough

to write you like an arrow,

straight and true.


rose-colored glasses: a poem




her hands shake.

it’s not the first thing you’d notice,

but it’s the kind of habit that you begin to wonder about

when you take her hand in yours,

and she’s trembling, and you take her wine glass and

maybe she’s just a little drunk, but no,

the sun’s just rising,

and it’s just rose-colored water,

or perhaps something more sinister;

either way, you cannot help but greet the day

by pressing her up against the wall,

letting the glass fall unbidden to the floor,

and it shatters, the scent of blood thick on her breath,

but it’s only, you find, because she’s bitten her lips raw,

and, oh, she must love the taste, love it as she’ll never love you –

and you can taste that on her, too,

the way she tenses under you,

the manner in which she pulls away a second or two too soon,

and then you kneel before her, your knees scraping against the broken glass and

your blood mingles with hers and

it’s not all right and it never will be,

but maybe, just maybe,

she’ll lie with you tonight,

if only to lick the bloody tears from your eyes as you mourn

what could have been.

her hands will be steady as she wraps them ‘round your throat

and that’ll be the last thing you ever notice about her, the world, and all,

save for maybe a passing thought about how there are no stars in her eyes, now,

though you’d swear they were there, earlier.

Shadow Land



She is pleased

On inauspicious days,

Days when the sun rises so red

That you’d swear it’d been painted

With the blood of ten thousand cowards.


She rejoices

In the sharp, salt tang of treason;

She’s a city-slicker, picker of fights;

For her, valor is not a good enough reason,

And youth is the only worthy season.


She’s the one who sways our hips,

Licks our lips, sips

Her coffee as her eyes meet yours,

And she is like the moon,

Bright and bare,

And it is she

With whom you fall hopelessly in love;

I sometimes wonder –

Will you settle with me,

Or would you rather I surrender,

To she?




I come from the forest

Where dreams go to die,

And the smell of loam,
Deep and dark,


Disguises our every secret;
Where the silence,

Impenetrable as the fortress along the shore

Where impossible wishes spawn,

Swallows every sound.

There is Light



He sits chain-smoking a six-pack of the finest cigars

He’s ever had the pleasure of smoking

Bequeathed to him upon the occasion

Of his father’s death;

One hand balancing the fat roll of tobacco against his lips

The other clutching the ashtray like a lifeline.


Soon, he will make the necessary telephone calls

But for now let them all arrive to the stench of burnt tobacco

And the thin shifting curls of smoke gathering like storm clouds far above

Let them know that where there is fire, there is light

Show them all he lived

If only through the ashes of the only pack of cigars

His father never smoked

one two three four five six

Creatures of the Night



They are out

In the pouring rain,

In the bitterest dregs of the night,

In those early, pre-dawn morning hours

Where so few creatures dare to stir,

Some of them human,

Most of them spending those long and lonely hours

Praying for the glimmering hope of first light,

All united in their singular quest

To get from Point A to Point B,

From dusk to daybreak,

Except they- those brave souls of the dark,

Those valiant stewards of night –

They are on the slow path.