I forgot your name,
street that holds the church
of my near-distant history. 

I footnote the automobiles
lining my street like
lines of a purposeful dream.
I fuck myself feeling
like my past can never
recapture my present.
I fold my hands like
laundry hungry to be fed
to the monsters of work.
I fulfill my promise,
to my dead, I never
made a drunken Monday. 

I flip myself as a trick
to be shown off at
fantasy bachelor parties.

I flip and fuck and fold
myself, redress myself
to forget each fulfilling footnote.

Underneath My Suit 

We sat in your kitchen, you

the boss of my partner, married to

a grain elevator operator, and spoke

of gas prices and working conditions.

With an oak desk and university

insurance, you weren't scared

for your teeth. I just lost my

funding for the second year, resigned

myself back to the rail yards

that run from Chicago to deep

in the ocean. We were drinking organic

herbal tea, the kind with the metallic

taste. This room could have been

my tuition to a state school, but it's an ill

fitting suit. These 'middle class' sleeves

are too long, too quickly taking

all the oil from my skin. To answer you

I claim my communist roots. Your family

works under you, under a salary. Why

is it so hard to say mine works

under trucks, under fear of losing

their malnourished pension they made?

You stared at me, not as a fellow

traveler, but someone who would steal

light bulbs. You don't see what I see,

that light belongs to each of us.

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Terrorist Threat



The world is getting older

social security cannot

support such oceans.



Names are forgotten

skin defines its own jihad.



Abortion! Abortion! Abortion!

Soon the jails will be

Roe after Roe of masturbators.



Caesar isn't the only

person afraid of elections.



Nuclear winter:

Nebraska in New York

New York into nowhere.



Red stilettos

slipping past the x-ray's

seductive eye.



Wolves with wings

circling the artic

waiting for helicopters.



The Iraqis because

our tongues aren't used

to bending over

ancestral letters.



Poetry as political?

Lines and bodies

are left under tarps,

the sand aging each.


The man who checks my bags

at the airport, mortician of the TSA,

debates stealing my anal beads.



P. Diddy has to fly

coach, nothing for MTV

to glamorize again.



I count gray hairs

and wonder if I'll retire.



The puppet president

pushes a button, the

PA announcement no

longer worries about parking.

Writing is Serious Business


Your words feel like tattoos

on bookshelves, heavy by themselves.


I continue to mop. Dirty, soapy

water will not listen any more than me.



Disco clubs fill with poems

nightly. Simile hips and metaphor


drinks, I am no longer envious

of the room. I swallow myself.



Every poem is an illusion allusion.

Find its source and you find


it, naked and shivering. Why do we

dress our poems up in miniskirts?


My allusion is my own bold

nude stomach. I am no model,

I am no poet. I am naked and

glorious, dancing with the rest.

dan nowak