Throwaway From Notable
Bangor Landscape Painter

First, the near
foreground, where a dead deer

nuzzles blood from dust cloud,
frozen star burst over cyclone

fence, with arrow-shaped
razors on bales reflecting
lemony light, a glint, or hint

of pig tails cork screwing

And a little farther
off, protracted by easel, a flesh-colored
Nash Rambler car, with windshield wiper
hung all wrong, all
wrong -- askew

as a broken limb accusing antenna
of a song about buggery,
about skull

Hard on
a motel room 48 ajar,
and just inside, the painter hides
a bearded bag man
whose heart

just isn't
in it anymore;
with a shrug, head hung
as if admitting that much

only, to us
behind his back,
he lets his baseball bat

drop, clattering
upon hardwood floor ...
we've only to cock

an ear, then hear it puncture the hiss
from a radiator, picture frame, or rib,
smoke wisp jutting jauntily
in the shape
of a terrier's withers,
escaping now
from a half stack
orange brick chimney,
yeah, got to

get a little doggie in there,
somehow, right? Let Sparky
up in the air, with some fight
in him, whiskers bark, vibrating
the amazing light: lemon, ochre,
and just about to ignite

into sepia,
into dust, the fifty one
thousand unnameable spores;
a back door slams
on a moan, shot, or
shout of a man we can't
make out anymore,
maybe never

did, or will; the periphery
dissolved as it were to
cicada and thrush; another
still life dispatched,
a key

in a latch.
All brushes

scoured clean and put away,
oils on canvas still too hot to
touch; we will wait a half day
for lacquer.


Ed Munch
of Massapequa, suffering much
with fibroids in the solar plexus,
suffering slick half moon cysts
and then some, with bald head
thrust between
his knotty knees
on the floor
of the sick room—
Ballard Hospice, bars
on stained glass—Edward with jowls
the color of sunflowers, advances upon
end-stage liver failure, tossing his lunch
on the tiles, Ed begs, between shallow
frothy rasp, heave and retch,
for egress, for egress.

Only a year ago, he’d been stocking shelves
at a Pensacola gallery when the illness bloomed,
a scab on his wrist, which he picked, and rubbed,
like a scratch-off lottery ticket, he bled
in streaks, like Pollock upon the polished
cover of a Nolde print, he swooned
and stumbled from the curator’s room,
a dozen slack jawed stares
in his wake. Only a month ago
they’d been pumping him

with Dilaudid at night,
to adjust his palette for what was
coming, in the soft lamp light he watched
his long fingers sprout pink caterpillar fuzz,
knuckles morphed into hinges for Monarch
butterflies, and Edward laughed, thinking
to simply shake his bone erosion
and jaundice like a common cold.
Today they’ve taken

the opiates away, inexplicably
in favor of time-released Interferon
with no magical properties,
better for the injured spleen
while the squeaky-toed nurses come
and go in their loose white shifts,
with pursed lips and a practiced
judgment behind professional
eyes, they’ve come to watch
Edward die.

“Are you alright, Mr. Munch?” one
of them inquires; she stacks the bedpan
brimming with cocoa-colored stool atop
an untouched cafeteria tray, she lets the plates
clatter with a lackluster hate, simply because
she can, “Can you stand?” she asks
coldly, “we really need to get you
back in the bed.”

“I was a painter,” Edward says,
hours later, to the quiet night, quaking
then, at the sudden sight of a pint-sized
extra-terrestrial intruder with almond
tear ducts and celestial breath-plumes
arcing like comet tails through the pool
of moonlight in his tiny room;
the creature nods
appreciatively at a charcoal landscape
etching Munch had made in a moment
of lucidity, one afternoon last month,
or was it the month before?

“I saw you, Munch whispers,
“on the bridge, the vanishing point,
the most innocent eyes ever in the
universe. And I wonder… is it done?
You know I’ve already begun a series
in copal, called Star Spatter Deep
Space, and I am so very ready
to be gone from this place…
Any time, really, any
time you are.”

Green and Yellow Relocation Villanelle

Who'd pretend to know, what drove Vincent Van Gogh?
Yet the milkweeds say, "Oh really? No?" Holding tongues.
Smatterings, of green and yellow.

Me? I've suffered the lawn mower drones—of east Tupelo,
long drawn-out scents you hear, as the blade strikes dung;
but I won't pretend to know, what drove Vincent Van Gogh.

I suppose Dandelion, as construct, can't be defined, they grow
many ripe blisters on a verdigris of the mind: Yearning to come
and be gone, at the same time. Broadlawn spores: Lime, Yellow.

Over the curve of the earth, scented breezes blow warmish
chills in late-spring, while Mayflower men complete their runs,
hauling off someone else's blessed belongings: V. Van ...GO.

Liquid amber; jade, -- incomprehensibly so, much like
a honeyed downslope from youth ... I got stung there,
in my longing to be elsewhere, anywhere — yellow.

Crazy wasps in a drone of comb, exactly there, below
the fluted horn, onion skin lobes, one corporeal cochlear
rung, among billions: Constellation: hum /green /yellow.
I need to stay at home. Cannot drive, as V. Van Gogh.

Puxatawnie In His Dun Period

Lately, I’d begun to wonder,
as these Winters run, one into
another, and another
and another, if existence
was nothing more than Tivo-
filtered Super Bowl Halftime Shows
in which Jagger and Springsteen
never age, as a pre-dawn stench
of hoar frost on sagebrush
reminds me how prophecy
is history written
in reverse, a Ponzi by Rumi,
generational curse, false Spring
after false Spring repeating.

I suppose it’s okay, since I dress
in layers, tends to ward off incessant
Deja Vu digressing into retrograde
amnesia, this longing
limned by dread.

Waking from my single bed
of leaf mulch, once again I see
my cousin commingling
with a mole in a nearby cloud of dust.
They chuff, they back bite, somersault
and squeal, but I ask you: If our ending’s
really been told
already, what’s the sense
in ever climbing out
of this hole again?

The Affirmations Of Marsellus Wallace

Chin up.
You were born
under the Sign
of the Stevedore ...

so maybe
I made that up.

Well, you're hardly
young, with scarred lungs
that whistle

like a rusty teapot
having sex.

that didn't come
out quite right,
... more like

a maimed loon, longing for
Lake? Yes, and yet trapped
on the docks, or deep down
in some fetid slough.

Is that what sucks, Bucky?

Still and all, those sirens
are not for you, who knows
the difference between pain
and injury by now and about
time, too.

Abide, Turk.

Or let it slide.

If you were born
to suicide, would have happened
by now. No mistake. First it eases
up, then you get to ache
some more.

Jesus man, you don't even know what a
Stevedore does do ya? Why not look it up
on Wikipedia?

What else you got going on, anyway?

Knowledge is hardly power, yet chances
are you ain't going to
die today.

Death Would Love
To Sell You A Rolex

Would it make a difference
if I told you every breath we take
is just an elaborate hustle, run by
the ribcage on the heart,
to keep it

happily humping
away in there, like a
rube in the geek tent,
with gullible guffaw?
ham hocks rubbed
and wrung out well
past raw?

For an encore
I can hide your
aneurysm under
one of three

capillary shells—
while the seconds
start to swell, one tick
every other hour until
you can’t hear them
any more.

Stronger Than Dirt

When I'm bad
hurt, forget all
hell, listen:
take me to the sax
player's bungalow, bell tower
on the corner of Marine Drive
around midnight, color of rose
quartz, six stories below
the power station.
When nothing else
helps, before extreme
unction, so's to hear
sax man blow
the screaming
coda solo from Touch Me
by the Doors. Been said this
reed man, he done it before,
really heals
frozen arteries from a house
on Marine Drive, in the style
of summer wind on sea cove,
on a long stem, he blows
those warm glissando

When I'm maximum
hurt please drop me
at sax man's wash, toss
these breaths in the bell
of his horn, bathtub coda
for the clean

Dr Dre In Passing Bedside Manor

Forgive me, but an orderly
spaced out your chart. Luckily
we already know it by heart.
All these moments of flux,
be tough. I know because
like you, I was a mover
of furniture. Lasted 3 months
in the tail lights of my youth.
I needed bread. And the hours
worked for me. I pulled them
all, learned how loads
can shift, on the road
like the healthy

taking sick.Yet shakier still
were the customers who called
it down: smack in the middle
of their changes, to hear us
coming on, mornings, banging
open the quarter panel doors,
no banter amongst ourselves
per se (the public image of Dre)
but only softly spirit coughing,
all business, making ready
with the bungee straps, padded slip
covers, 2-wheeled dollies dumped
upon broadlawns. I was a musician
then, but still a long, long way

from doctor. Like you, I love
the people most, and was careful
with their stuff. Folks in deep flux,
their precious homes opened up
as rib spreader is to thorax
on a table. The moves I made
to get to MD, I cannot share.
Got to be that way. On account
of mortal moments shifting
away ... unfair, I suppose
but back to

you: the chart, yes,
and results ... but first, listen
to my freshest track to date
thanks to the polymorphic electric
bass harmonics carried along in 13 / 8
time by Echo Plex, the effects loop
with chorus: So much a series
of bone marrow aches
and pop, sounds a mind makes
for nausea solace watching raindrops
scoriate an oil slick, or sporadic
puddle. Like you, I only grew
into my skin comfortable when
I knew the pores to be slammed
open doors, transitory as our
music, and this

Long Gone Ghazal

Second to last hug from a main squeeze, 1 week or so
before all the bennies ran out. Rigid. Frigid. Maybelline.

The yapping Dachshund attack dog, who wouldn't back off... ..
You kicked, and missed. Its drunk-ass master cackled all day.

Fender bender, with dissociative features. Fake cough,
keyless remote. Specious gull feces, whited out the registration.

A rhomboid pendant, hung from my shower rod. Turned out
steam clouds: Lambent. Prismatic. Ozzy Osbourne Shampoo.

Carl J. boiled his moribund bass strings. Cheap fuck never had
the love. OK? His low-heat, high-reek skin soup. Instant callus.

Last panic attack in the trattoria crapper. Dead bolt tattoo.
Sink rising. And a fireman's axe: "Step back. Let us help you."

Roget's Pocket Diffidence

Time gets by, and I'm satisfied
to skip the spell-check of undone.
Lately I've been letting it slide

by the river, a sidereal glide
and who's the insignificant one?
Time gets by, and I'm satisfied.

The risk is only to the pride
like saying "gracious" to a Mexican:
Lately I just let it slide.

Love abides; Papa Hem died
on a treadmill, pontoon shotgun.
Time gets by, and I'm satisfied

to be Wedding Guest, sans bride
reading Bless the Beasts and chillin'
lately I've been letting it slide.

A linguist deciding not to decide?
No stranger synonym under the sun
yet lately I simply let it slide.
Time gets by I'm satisfied.


The Colonel would like to reiterate
his inability to either confirm or deny
the atrocities of which he stands
accused, pantomimes he may
have performed in the company
of whores and painting crew foremen
while leeches ate away at rusted dog tags,
and blue-green bile geysers
carved ring skeins of scar tissue
on his heart.

Watch the Colonel
in the flashback, cooking China White
with a dying Zippo and rusty teaspoon
bent upon itself like a prostrate
question mark—
Fast forward as he nods
at the camera, and explains:

“The first lie they tell you is about
Semper Fi—how you never flee a
foxhole to tear off a piece of 16 year-
old tang in a Saigon hotel room
with ceiling fans nesting
like cottonmouths.”

Dolly hard and tight now,
on the Colonel—his iron grey temples
trapped by knocking kneecaps, as he vomits
into a crackling floor monitor, then comes up
wailing and flailing like a dazed
symphony conductor with sudden onset
schizophrenia tinged by tinnitus.

“But my favorite,” he cries, “is the one
that says you can’t get a habit by smoking it,

besides the fact that back in the world,
mercenary docs can always hook you
up like Keith Richards with some
number one spanking clean blood
on the cusp of a new tour…”

As you can see the Colonel
is nodding again now, his heart of
hearts hell-bent to win over the jury
in the face of the contrary evidence
that continues to mount—all those
years stacked like stiff corpses
in a snaking limestone ditch.

Lot’s Wife In The Laundromat

Running another load
of unmentionables, fisting
the quarter roll
with painted nails
in a Thinker’s Pose,
Mia sniffs

and squints,
giving the Evil Eye to
Petition Gatherer Boy
who’s set up shop
with his clipboard
sandwiched between
the gumball machines
and soap dispenser.

There's a patent
satisfaction, picturing him
—all got up in her still-dripping
panties and pasties, but the image
is soon enough chased by
the guttural buzzer of another
dryer needing feeding.

Mia remembers
bottom-trolling the bathroom hamper
for her 1st husband’s t-shirts saturated
with enough dried semen to give them
a kind of Dead Sea Scroll consistency;
she remembers waiting table

at a Spokane Denny’s, years ago
when a teen mother cloaked the
dinner roll basket and Deep Fried
Zucchini Platter with the steaming
discarded diapers of her squalling
twin infants at table eleven,
and then left her

a twenty-five cent tip. Even bone-weary
minds, past prime, they mean well, from
time to time lapsing, then leaping, splashing
into wishing ponds pockmarked by pennies,
silver dollars, tiny shiny dimes.

Or a fountain
cap from Mia's youth, brine scent
and clean tighty whities snapping
on a line: prestidigitator's
art of erasure ... yet now,
coming upon

Spin Cycle, and she can't help but stare
at a porcine, red-headed co-ed there
by the dollar bill change machine,
the kid softly singing

first verse of “Legs”
by ZZ Top, fingering
the dregs of a dead
Pringles can, dabbing
her doll’s mouth with a
fabric softener sheet.

Mia wants to scream
at this girl—at everyone!—how laundry
is an exercise in futility, and absurdity,
how the whole world must fool itself
to think otherwise, but just then

her overloaded machine starts to groan
and buck like a forklift sinking through
the slats of a rotting pier, and the quarters
she’s been squeezing so tight
go flying all over
the floor.


It was a few minutes before dark
when the electric can opener mishap
cut off his buzz, hacked into the wrist
of Ralph. Red rivulets and spatter,
an arterial fountain he stared at
as if dumbfounded to read time
inside out, a Fellini in his own newsreel
miming about absurdity. He waved
as if to shoo it away; his curses bled
instead, a din into pallor, the truest kind
of babble: "Oh it's the quicker picker
upper mother fucker quicker
upper..." Ralph shaking off

the wine, running a roll of paper towels
which he pressed as Thalidomide into
the underbelly of a trout, yet quickly
darkening, the dangling
fin he clutched as a bridesmaid's bouquet
muttering "it's gone to be okay, it's gone
to be..." Ralph reached for a cell, any bloody
thing, hopped around on a Pogo stick of rising
shock; he stared out the kitchen window
at a luminescent strip of cul de sac
sidewalk, chalk-white and pole axed

til a paramedic came, and talked to Ralph
in a calm tourniquet of Spanish that even
shame could understand: "Sir you've lost
a lot of blood I need you to hold your head
up now oh my god how the fuck did you
manage this?" The medic's voice, only in some
fantastical translation from the foot of a gurney,
and a doughnut hole of mush where the face
ought to be, incinerated pixels used by TV
censors to preserve identity. "It's so good
to meet you too," slurred Ralph, going

south, no clue, waving with his brain
while one hand clutched the other boo boo
wrist; some incipient Latin came to him
tart-sweet as sacramental Gallo burgundy he
remembered topping off a glass, "Just a splash,"
he said before starting in on the can of beets
pushing, then leaning on the tin lip that wouldn't
cooperate. He'd only wanted to whip up
something quick to eat before the

befuddlement, and rust mist inevitable as any
mayhem. "Hold it like I showed you sir," the
corpsman said in urgent Sicilian, "pressure
between your legs stay with me understand?"
Moments later, high above his sight in the meat
cathedral van, a clean recessed light sang in
perfect time with a siren, darkness and steel
belted radial thrum. Ralph heard them
come, so many tongues that for once in his
life he was not perplexed, knowing they arrive
only to beckon, with plain and succinct
sober directions, repetitious across
spheres while other human fools deign
to drive. Closing down his eyes, Ralph
listened, intent on the light, wanting
in his soul to get this one thing right.

Whatever For Executor

About another hour
to kill. I'm going to work
on my will and testament,
then we will order us
a pizza.

I had an idea about
a fool's errand, right up there
with crock pots of soup stock

left to smolder on a stove top;
then I forgot.

This house is not
in my name, never
was but I got some
penny stocks, a dozen electric
toy trains by Tomix, Lionel
and Bachman packed up
a neck-high stack
of boxes under the stairs,
you can go there, if you
want it, just swear to

whatever, read these lines
aloud, as if edifying the ears
of unseen heirs gathered on

a green in dew, then leave it
alone, me and you'll pitch in

on the pizza.
You hear that bell, it scares
holy hell out of... whatever a
bit like where

moments go: Reverie, Jehovah,
the killing floor. For me it's more
akin to casting back, I remember

this hapless fashion model I saw

once in Seattle fall off

her catwalk; nasty
scrape, some bruise,
cuts, but she got up, achingly
slow, her back turned to us
all; she put two shaky

thumbs up
in the air while walking

away whatever I saw a snatch
of glitter spots, strapless gown,
bare shoulder blades show
the way

down to wings.
And what do you say about
a two liter of Mountain Dew,
too? See here, it could come

any moment now that's

what I'm telling you, take it
off in a red Vespa scooter
you'll find under the carport,
burnt O rings, dirty chrome
and throttle blown, a torn
puckering string...

a heart wants
to squeeze every bleeding
thing, it can; and will such is
the temerity of being

a man. I give

I can; you read them
these lines, about a will
to live, make it
stick so

they will understand.
The hour's gone, but not
yet at hand, listen Nacho
Supreme black olive three

cheese, these
things rarely if
ever go off

as planned.

Dollar Bill's 18 Wheel Satori

The peace that passes
on a Seaside highway
shoulder, she's wearing large
dark glasses for piloting, this
Anne, or Jan, in her
minivan, one wan

but wild woman at the wheel,
at 90 miles an hour on the right,
sporting ultra bright
sidereal smile ... of a midnight spritzed
by pussy willow, a mile from Cannon
Beach, Oregon her Victorian chapeau
nudging shadows from a dome light,
foot-high crown festooned
with peony, snap dragons
of every stripe, pasty fingers
waving at you like anemone,
or krill.

Faster than a speeding
shrug, roof rack loaded with priceless oriental
rugs, the paisley buzzing of cheekbone short hairs
on nape of neck standing straight, as wipers catch
and toss off brow sweat of a runner. Your day-old
monster tires lag, a little tired, but no earthly way
to expire, not this stretch...

How to tell
of the deep red reflectors, swan-like
swimmers, with her shimmer of tail
lights? Winking
right out, a blessing

of sine wave, talisman lollipop
around midnight? Or the air horn you yanked
in her wake, one breaker bellow of hello, Christ's
own klaxon for its own sake bye - bye ... bye

"Punch it sister," you whispered
to the night sky smelling of sea salt
and cordite, resurrection even twenty
fifteen vision.

Diamond dusted frost, limning
her exhaust, amniotic from a
distance spanned by

b l i n k ... .. .

of breath, one
pink aura done