Dreams Of Regal Princesses

Dreaming We’re Awake When Deep Asleep


Happily we will go, and happy be,

to live in newer worlds, and find that we

are skirmishing with fae, or flakes in flood

within the ever-hallowed Hall of Winter.


White or grey as ice are all the walls,

and every sunset touches every pane

to brimming full, with thoughts as red as blood;

the ever-open doors bid you to enter.


Happily go, and when your heart flies free,

a salamander lights eternity

and rakes your earth with burning teeth, and feeds

on your intention, and your sense of wonder.


Daytime glosses (on the truth that falls

into our dreams as tears; as gentle rain)

are, to a salamander, purest food,

and well it feeds on all our dying splendor.


Awake Within A Dream Within A Dream


If all the humorous wrecks of goodly thrones

were not abandoned, wretched, empty, hulks,

or weren’t filled with gangs – of squatters, rogues

who barter tracts, and thieves engorged with lies…


if nihilist nights were not so howling blank,

what would you beg? If asked of your desire?

You stand before the light of the Divine,

which living flame bids: say what you most wish.


What dream are you most willing to relay?

What lust? What selfless gift of life? What fear?

Fulfill your hopes to love, and be beloved?

To feel alive and winning every day?


To live until you wish that you may die?

Or just perhaps… to mount beyond such dreams:

To own the soul of magic, and defeat

the deep desire to use it as you will.


Reverie While Waking In A Dream


And meanwhile, we are dogged by restless dreams:

of regal Princesses, demanding more

than flames take, from their willing bits of green;

of queens of humble royalty, as fair


as velvet nights adrift in tropic climes;

of frozen arctic empresses, a-wing

within the glowing mountains of the clouds,

as hard to grasp as dawning Winter fog;


but best? Our dreams of utmost majesty,

in which a living, breathing, august light

gives suckle to the cascade of our cries,

and loves us all, with heartfelt, milky sighs.


To dream within our dreams within our dreams

is barely more than living half-alive;

achieve the blistering sight-in-sight: let eyes

in eyes in eyes illuminate all ghosts.


A total of 48 lines in three titled sections, each section consisting of four four-line stanzas. Most lines (and the section titles) are in iambic pentameter (although there are a few other feet thrown in here and there, mostly in the first section).

Rhyme scheme for the first section:

LINE:  12 34    12 34    12 34    12 34



In this section, the first and second line rhymes bounce between heroic couplets and a cross-stanza rhyme with less immediate consequences; the third and fourth lines of each stanza keep a steady beat.

Metrically in this first section, the opening lines of the first and third stanzas begin with a dactyl followed by four iambs ( ‘-  -‘  -‘  -‘  -‘ ) . In the second and fourth stanzas, the first line consists of ( ‘-  ‘-  ‘-  ‘-‘ ) trochee, trochee, trochee, amphimacer – still five stressed, but only four unstressed syllables.

The final line in each stanza is built ( -‘  -‘  -‘  -‘  – ‘-) iamb, iamb, iamb, iamb, amphibrach, which leaves an extra unstressed syllable at the end of the stanza, which wraps nicely around to the stressed beginning of the next stanza (for all stanzas after the first).

Combine the variant first and last line structures in each stanza and you find you still have (roughly) twenty unstressed and twenty stressed syllables in each stanza, but they come in somewhat odd locations.

Compared to the rhyming and metrical structure of the first section of the poem, the second and third sections are pretty pedestrian – more or less standard blank verse. There’s an occasional trisyllable, but not many.

This poem first appears in my 2010 pen journal. Here’s a transcription of the original:

Happily I will go and happy be

skirmishing with the flakes in the

Hall of Winter         white or grey are the walls

and when sunset touches, the panes

fill with thoughts of blood and the tall doors close


Happily go and in the smooth touch of gone

the salamander starts a whickering flame

it paws the ground, feeding on intention

and daytime glosses of the truth we tell each

night; it feeds on fright, and very well.


What would you bargain for, if the nights

were not so howlingly humorously empty

and every throne abandoned, or home

to some wretched squatter full of lies:

to be loved? to feel alive? to eschew magic


Meanwhile I am dogged by dreams of regal

Princesses so much more than flame or

night or ice of the early morning fogs;

they are freezing but determined

and I was only ever half alive


As you can see, this has been extensively reworked.

This is a poem about illusion, and whether illusion is detectable: whether one can discern truth from falsity. Secondly, this is about what one does, if illusion is detectable: whether such discrimination is actionable.

The section subtitles reflect this concern: Dreaming We’re Awake When Deep Asleep, Awake Within A Dream Within A Dream, and Reverie While Waking In A Dream.

The first section is a tale of pure illusion – an actual dream, which perhaps accounts for its somewhat less regular and much more ornate structure and language.

The second section expresses a frustrated awareness of inescapable illusion, and examines the self-defeating, circular mazes of illusion that are sometimes offered as "solutions" to the problem of existence. The only workable solution suggests transcending existence.

The third section explores possible sensual modes of escape, and in the end, prefers the hope that the target of illusion might become a source of revealed truth.

There is also a sense that the second section occurs within the first, and the third section occurs within the second; that the poem as a whole is a dream within a dream within a dream.

The issue of what is and is not maya (and what kind of maya it may be) is fundamental to everything. Every action, every meaning we assign, exists within a context – a set of assumptions about what possesses value and what doesn’t. Which question reduces to what is most directly divinely inspired, and what is less so – really, that is all the questions in all the cosmos, in a nutshell.


Sorry Yer Honor Can’t Be More Specific

Fingers of branches, thighs of stone,

a spirit-immersion beatifies;

eyes of fire and wings of bone,

trembling myths under pinwheeling skies…


Heather gathered and catnip grown,

smoking leaves and stellar highs,

through candle’s light and dagger’s hone,

all lives are lived in deep disguise,


with every thought an expanding cone,

or an infinite section through lines and lies.


Though try as we might, we can never atone –

forever echoes with failed tries.


We live so deep, and so alone,

that touching becomes our greatest prize;

when loving is all the seed we’ve sown,

and all we do is compromise.


The cloth of Fate is how we are sewn,

by the shuttle that weaves its bitter ties


(and nothing pulls a deeper moan,

and nothing engenders sadder sighs).


All maidens contains an aged crone,

as a face contains its staring eyes;

a baby’s cries own its dying groans,

while books are hovels for the wise.


Fingers of fire, wings of stone:

skin that mirrors the wheeling skies;

sighs and eyes of spirit bone

trouble branch and will surprised…




My cozy Autumn quilt-work mist of schemes

and stars (so hazy through the broken leaves;

so wounded by the world) is left to dream


its heart out – for the beauty of the night;

for sighing giltworks on the favored trees;

for seasoned breezes, with their hint of blight.


Mist dreams its heart out, reaching through the kiss

of bodies meeting minds; through blight, it sees

into the loss beyond the edge of bliss.


Mist dreams the furthest edge of what is known

of life (those just and honest mirrors in our maze

of sin), imaginary as the bones


it sees inside all hopes inside all dogs

upon all hearths. Its restless sleep of days

abandoned, Mist sees through all winds and fogs,


and with a kiss, enlightens creatures cold

with nightmare fears, it warms the beatless hearts

encountered on its voyage through the world.


This first appears in my 2005 e-journal, in an October very different from this year’s October. Eleven years ago I was living in NYC in a single room on Bleecker Street, which I was at the time sharing with my friends Sabraji and Loupe – yes, we had subdivided a tiny 400 square foot studio apartment into three very much tinier rooms, and it was awful in many ways but livable in others – at least we could all afford to live in Manhattan that way. I spent a lot of time in cafés because of the tinyness of that apartment, and that was a good thing, I think – I met a lot of interesting people, and wrote a lot of interesting boulevard-style poetry and prose. Like this poem. This is a very NYC poem.

As I said, very different in comparison with my more recent Octobers.

The title has two interpretations:

Sorry[,] yer honor[; I] can’t be more specific


which is telegraphese – a placatory sort of notification, with it’s implied punctuation and implied self-reference: "Gosh, yer honor, my bad – I’m really sorry I can’t be less vague…"

Then there’s the very different:

[I’m] sorry yer honor can’t be more specific


which is a passive-aggressive dig at yer honor’s vagueness: "Jeepers you stupid muhfuh, can’t you ease my pain and make yourself clear? What’s the problem, you fucking choad? Childhood trauma? Brain-freeze?"

As to how the title relates to the content of the poem – well, that’s anybody’s call.

The first stanza can be thought of as an invocation of the powers of wood, stone, fire and bone, and is perhaps a bit separate in feeling from the balance of the poem, although the lines are integral to the sense of the whole. The rest of the poem is a meditation on the invocation’s consequences.

The invocation is echoed by a terminal desacralization, if you like, or banishment; it’s a variation on the opening, used to break the circle and close the spell.

Technically, in the non-coda, we’re dealing with four beats per line, more or less; very irregular feet, and a monotonous ABAB rhyme scheme utilizing only two rhymes throughout the poem (until the coda changes things up). Stanza lengths are 4 4 2 2 4 2 2 4 4 lines, respectively, which is nicely symmetrical, although not inherently meaningful.

Twenty-eight lines in all – two sonnets, if you like to measure poems in sonnets.

I like to measure poems in sonnets. It’s handy.

I know many people use their own personal units for various things. I myself use a single Kaypro computer as a measure of weight, which is the same sort of thing, right? A personal sort of mensuration? I weigh about six Kaypros, to give an example.

The poem’s closing is followed by a coda – really, a second separate poem, written in an entirely different mode and mood, which reflects on the main poem.

I’m not sure it reflects enough on the main poem, to tell the truth. I’m thinking the coda really is a separate poem that deserves to stand on its own. The coda tells the story of an Autumn Mist that dreams about the world and tries to heal the hurts it sees there.

The coda consists of six three-line stanzas, with the first and third lines rhyming, more or less, all very simple one syllable rhymes, kindergarten rhymes in sharp contrast with the involved, multi-layered syntax of the content. The second line of every stanza more or less rhymes with all the other stanza’s second lines, until the last stanza, the second line of which is its own little thing, and rhymes with nothing at all, and is happy to be such a contrary and chaotic critter…


Golden Fleece (5) Firegirl Or Leaf

Full Moon – Hunter’s Moon, the Blood Moon.

How about a story?

Leeza 1st Person

I will tell you how it is. It is the slick feel of gold between your fingers and across your palm, greasy; heavy; smooth; hard and chill. That is what murder is.

Or it is water poured from an ancient brown-glazed ewer into a reed-strangled pool beside a birdless wood beneath a soundless, windless sky. It slips over the lip and touches the dark surface and vanishes, and every ripple it tries to make is trapped and smothered by moveless stems.

Or perhaps murder is a flame, or it is the power of Fate, or a door, or Hope Springing Eternal.

Meaningless as the morning dew, and as inconsequential as –


Kay 1st Person

"A whiff of swamp gas from a pond in a children’s park?" I asked.

"Yup – that’s how they found her. Complaints of a bad smell around the pond. Sanitation took a look – called us cops when they didn’t like what they saw. We closed the park, called the ME’s office, and of course, you show up. I guess they put the Kay signal out."

"The Kay signal, Jimmy?"

"You know – like Batman? The bat signal?"

"Uh-huh – Batman. But the ‘Kay’ signal? Really?"

That’s what the guys say when you get the call."


"They mean it nice. Maybe you should take it nice."

"And maybe I will. Either way, here I am, speculating about death."

"The guys say it’s always you, gets called out for the crazy ones." He looked down at the long bundle on the grass next to the pond. "Which this definitely is."

"I got called on this because I was playing guitar and singing in a coffee bar around the corner, and the office knew I was close."

"Let me guess – you were playing Don’t Fear The Reaper?"

I didn’t tell him I’d been playing Hank William’s I’ll Fly Away. Or that Long Black Veil was next on the playlist.

What can I say – I’m a traditionalist.

"That’s a very funny joke, Jimjam. None of us in the ME’s office ever heard that one before."

"Don’t call me Jimjam."

"Okay, Jimster. Hush now."

The cops had cut a fold of the plastic away from the corpse’s face, just enough to make sure it wasn’t eighty pounds of bread dough wrapped up like a body. Which, incidentally, they have actually found – more than once. Once, a plastic replica of Tutankhamun’s mask had been pressed into the dough’s "head".

"So what’s the plan?" Asked Jimmy, ignoring my ‘hush’.

"The plan is to take the whole kit and kaboodle to the lab without it being any further disturbed," I said. "Just as soon as I examine the face."

"Why you wanna look at her here?"

"To make sure she isn’t a robot," I said, folding the plastic back away from the head. "Robots don’t go to the morgue."

"She was pretty," Jimmy said. Then he saw how I was staring. "What’s wrong?"

"So, as it happens, I know her. I think I do. She’s kinda messed up, but I think it’s Packy – she rooms – she roomed – with my friend Leeza."

"Packy? Leeza? Interesting first names. Got last names?"

"No. I know Leeza’s address."

"Think she could do this?"

"Leeza? Not a chance. She’s, like, four-feet-ten. Plus, they were close. Really close."

"Lots of times close is just another way to say fork-in-the-eye."

"Not this time."

The EMS guys were leaning against their ambulance, smoking. I waved at them and they came over to give me a hand.

"So what’s Leeza’s address?" Jimmy finally asked.


Leeza 3rd Person

So that’s how it is, thought Leeza. She watched Kay from across the street, from her shadowed car window. She imagined what Kay must be feeling, seeing Packy like that.

Here’s how it is, Kay: Death is a dark house full of memories and food and things that were meant to be shared. Death is the sound of crying, coming from the dark outside the dark in your head. It is a soundless scream coming from the shadow-country Packy has entered.

Death is a black ink tattoo showing her last searing minutes. It is how she spent them. It is the inevitable fortune visible in the cards she had been dealt . It was how she wanted to live.

Leeza started her car. She sat for a moment longer, watching Kay and the cop. She saw Packy lifted into a big zippered bag and gurneyed into an ambulance, and she thought about what to do next.

Death is my own blank mind, and my certainty: they have not finished.They are looking for me. They may be watching right now.

She reached into her bag and touched the gun, just for one reassuring moment, before she put herself in gear.


Leeza 1st Person Talks About Leeza 2nd Person

There is a most hidden world in the canyons above the city. In the ravines, behind the rock walls and stone falls, up dirt roads you can barely tell are there, over tire tracks in the dry sage, so faint they might be a year old.

Chase your tail far enough up those winding arroyos and sometimes, you find a little clearing, maybe a cliff with a tinkling spring in it, maybe a little plot of too-dry dirt with some vegetables and flowers struggling out of it, maybe a canvas tipi or tent or even a shitwood hut. You’ll probably see kids: dirty and curious.

I did, anyway. Their mouths opened in amazement to see their ma and pa flipping the tent flap back and running toward me, getting between me and their kids.

"Hi," I said.

"Hi," they all answered, children and grown-ups alike, in an imperfect display of noncommittal non-judgement.

"I’m Leeza," I said. "Packy’s friend. I’m here to visit Lady Sunray."

That’s right, I told myself. Tell them who you are, say who you’re looking for, put them at ease. Let them know you’re safe to talk to – that you’re part of the tribe. Or at least one of the tribe’s running dogs.

"I know where she lives," I said. "Is she home right now?"

They nodded, trying to hide their relief, but I could see it in their eyes. Strangers were always birds of ill omen in the canyons, but I was there for someone else’s tragedy. It wasn’t their parent or husband or wife or child – not this time. A stranger had come walking up that parched trail to deliver bad news, but not to them. Someone else would suffer. Grief had been postponed.

Grief is never far away, of course, but for today, grief is postponed.

Packy’s mom had a tipi at the dusty top of a nasty climb up Rayner’s Cut. She’d been living there, on a little plot zoned for camping, since I was a baby. Packy’s grandfather had bought that plot for $175 in 1961.

I’d been in and out of that tipi since Packy’s Mom raised her first pole and canvas. Or almost that long. Packy and I grew up together.

Packy’s mom was one of those hippie chicks with names like Moonflower or Sun Babe or whatever, a gal who’d taken more acid, if you added up all the drugs in all her stories, than most of the rest of the city combined.

She was still living the mountain girl dream, decades after everyone else had moved on to new dreams. Her tipi was full of hippie bric-à-brac and she was always covered in beads and embroidery.

She probably knew what lipstick was, but only from ads she heard on the tinny speaker of her box radio. Lady Sunray’s radio was one of those big, boxy transistors manufactured in the dim past – maybe 1962; definitely before an assassin’s bullet wiped the goofy, big-toothed grin off that Boston president’s face. The radio had one of those grimy pink snap-on imitation leather cases, plus a thick strap, like you usually saw on a rifle. That’s how bulky that radio was – it came with its own harness.

You know – so you could haul that big honking thing to the beach.

Lady Ray had wired that radio to a car battery in 1971, and it had been on ever since.

The same damn radio was playing when I got there that afternoon.

"Ray?" I called, from outside the tipi.

Packy loved her mom – a lot – but couldn’t live like her – no way.

Not that the way Packy and I lived was what you’d call all that shit-hot. Obviously, right? Or Packy wouldn’t have ended up a plastic-wrapped mummy weighted down at the bottom of a goldfish pond in Schneck’s Memorial Children’s Park.

There are things worse than death for all of us. For Packy, it was a life like her mother’s – a life in which she’d be named Firegirl or Leaf by the first accidental, unimaginative yokel tripping up into the canyon. A life of surviving without running water, decade after decade. A life of denial and privation, of turning hard as a dried branch of mesquite, of squirting out kids more ignorant than herself.

A life without hope or light was how Packy saw it. A life like that couldn’t end too soon, or at too young an age. Death would be simple, and ignorant – an abscessed tooth, maybe.

Under those circumstances, death wouldn’t be feared. It would be a hard-won solution

Then I remembered her body being hauled out of a pond and zipped up in a big bag.

"Ray?" I called again. I scratched the coarse canvas of the tent flap and waited another few beats before entering.

Maybe Packy’s choices weren’t all that great after she left the canyons, but she did the best she knew. I knew what she was running from. Maybe I wasn’t doing any better, but I would honor her choices, just like I always had. They were a lot like my own.

My heart ached to have her back.

"Ray?" I called again, looking around her little home.

Fear hit me then, paralyzing. I couldn’t say why. I just knew something wasn’t right in Lady Ray’s home – something was off. At the same time, I wasn’t going back through the tent flap, not for anything. I knew – I knew something or someone was waiting for me out there.


This is a first draft, and belongs in my Golden Fleece series of anecdotes, but isn’t integrated yet. It’s quite a departure from those stories.

Tale a look at The Golden Fleece Part One to get a handle on what’s going on here…


Perfectly, Astray

Define the Perfect, and then take me there;

no matter what all time or space may ask,

please, take me to Perfection – let me bask

beneath its rosy glow.

I unprepare

each waking: open eyes, then take them out;

reopen heart, then tear it free of love

and loss; reopen mind and lash the glove

of knowledge on the face of truth and doubt,


and thus, so school myself and all the world,

that memory entrains a spirit life

much like my own, and brings the spirit knife

to bear upon my pulse, in which is curled


the alpha and omega of the day –

in which I’ll wander – Perfectly astray…


Sonnetish, yes? ABBA CDDC EFFE GG, solid iambic pentameter and an easy, tripping lilt across the boundaries of the form. I’m uncomfortable with the broken fourth line, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to fix it.

Weird little ditty.

The whole "lashing glove" thing is perhaps not clear; I’m talking about challenging the world to a duel, of course, but I need to make that more accessible, I think.

The whole "unpreparing" thing might be a little hazy too, but isn’t that the way of perfection? To be able to access perfection we must ourselves be perfect, or as perfect as we can be, which means surrendering all the aspects of Self that impede perfection – thus the stripping away of the senses (represented by the eyes) and the emotions (represented by the heart) and all preconception (represented by the mind); thus the challenge lashed across the face of "truth and doubt", i.e., rationality.

Once schooled in this way, the self and world "entrain a spirit life" – i.e., we find the deeper self that murders the ego.

After which, we return to the day-to-day. You know – "before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water…"

The opening line popped into my head as I was updating the SEO values for one of my blog posts from May of 2015, and I popped over to my journal right away and started writing, and the first draft came slipping out with the prosaic, uncomplicated ease of a good shit.


HBTY Aleister

HBTY, Aleister, you crazy ol’ wildman, you. If you were still alive, you’d be all wrinkly and arthritic and toothless by now (at best) – just like me. You would be rilly, rilly old today – like 141 years of old. That’s a lot; try fitting those candles on even a family-sized cake (even a family-sized cake in the afterlife)…

So were you really a prophet, Al? Latest in the line, after Joey Smith and his tablets? Were you really a wizard?

Maybe you were just funning, and didn’t mean any of that pulled-out-of-your-ass Thelema stuff, but you spent a lot of energy on it. Sure did. Most folks only invest so much in nonsense before they call a halt, and you were pretty much all in on Thelema, so probably you thought there was something to it. Didn’t you.

I wonder why. Personally, I’ve never seen much evidence that activist magic makes any sense, and Thelema was definitely activist. It wasn’t the kind of magic favored by adolescent children of a certain sensitive stripe – the kind that lets them gauge their own personalities and engage with the world beyond their copy of Nonthreatening Boys magazine. Not like that at all – people who practiced Thelema expected it to do things for them. And they for it.

Maybe you were just an eccentric, turn-of-the-century Brit spy, enmeshed in the Great Game like so many Brit spies before you.

On the other hand, maybe you really were what you said you were, only you were really bad at being a prophet and wizard. I bring this up not to criticize but because one sort of assumes that a Master of the Universe (and prophet) such as yourself might be expected to… I dunno – be a little more effective?


Maybe not: the actions of a true Master of the Universe have never been predicated on power and/or glory (which as we all know, are transitory phenomena and meaningless once one wanders even a little distance down the long tail). The actions of a Master of the Universe don’t reveal themselves to uninitiated clods such as myself; a Master of the Universe is incomprehensible to someone like me…

So I don’t know where you fit on the fraudster-to-guru spectrum. I do know that many people even today believe in you.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Your occult writing seems very muddy and silly to me. Several Thelema-oriented acquaintances insist your written work contains hidden, esoteric meaning. I doubt that very much. There are remarkably sophisticated tools available to modern textual analysts these days – these tools can evaluate a passage, or even a complete work, and make educated guesses about whether it could possibly contain any sort of subtext or any multiple level of meaning. These tools can’t determine what that meaning is, you understand, but they can say whether the text is rich enough to support more than a surface reading.

Your writing comes up short in this respect, Aleister; if there’s a subtext in your work, it is literally in code. Which is a silly way to write a book.

You did not, in your lifetime, aspire to great works or great thoughts. The enchantments you can arguably be associated with aspired not to any "surety of works", as the saying goes – which is one of the most damning criticisms that can be leveled against the whole enterprise of "magick" in its many forms: that it just fucking doesn’t work…

Sometimes, I wish this weren’t the case. On the other hand, how well would a guy like me function in a world of true enchantment? I do not know.

Probably not that well…

Wave your wand, wilya Al? Make it all better. Put on one of them funny hats and pose for the camera – bring yourself back from the dead, good as new.

Make us all believe

And if that isn’t in the cards? Well – there’s always the zombie thing; you could make a killing as King of the Zombies. You’d be a bigger sensation than that Pope guy.

Whatever you decide, Al. Any way you go, I got your back. You have a happy 141st…


RIP Édith Piaf My Love

Fifty-three years ago, La Môme died; from too many reasons for too many drinks and too many pills. Tough little kid who did the best she could with not a helluva lot, sang better than the bird she was named for, and went down in a haze of thoughtless consequence.

I’ve known a lot of women like Édith Piaf. My friend Mere, for sure, who started in a one room shack and finished with leukaemia. My friend Ashley, too. Her rage at life was built in childhood circumstances much like those La Môme lived through, though she managed to pull herself up and out, for a time.

Waifs. Innocents. Clueless, beautiful, lecherous, duplicitous, mendacious innocents.

Most of the human race is like that, yes? So many people have done the best they could with not a helluva lot, sung better than the bird they were named for, and gone down in a haze of thoughtless consequence.

Most everyone I ever knew is gone now. They were all ignorant and classless, and without a hope of escape from their origins. But all of them were inhabited by grace in full measure, and were absolutely indomitable in spirit throughout their lives. Clueless, beautiful, lecherous, duplicitous, mendacious, and gone.

I miss my peeps.

To My Love


To My Love, tho



far away and gone forever from me:


When you walk, walk high,

go your own way.

Talk alone,

and go your own way.


I go my own way.

I walk high;

I talk alone.

I own the Sad Son’s wiles.


When you sing? Sing peachy.


(A kiss from me.)


Rest now…


… and in a whisper:


Lullabye, lullabye…


This bit first appears in my 1976 pen journal. Of course it was in my pen journal – in 1976, almost no one on Earth had an e-journal…

I always think of this as having been written chiefly for Ashley, but we didn’t meet until the summer of 1977, so, huh?

I turned this into one of my better songs… and the song, for sure, was written with Ashley in mind, so maybe that’s how my confusion was induced.

Clueless, beautiful, lecherous, duplicitous, mendacious… humans. Gotta love ’em.


To My Hapless Mate

For were we to surrender, now, to all

the goodness we so fear, the Bell of Want

would toll; would shiver; would reverberate

within the Hall of Sense. That’s not so great

a thing – unless we’re both the sort of dunce

I seem to be: I’m so inclined to fall.


It seems we tread as near as fools can get

to every bitter edge: no precipice

exists, to daunt our vaunted lack of care.

Now, all I ask is that you meet me there,

and share a moment, and perhaps a kiss,

or… just a memory of how we met?


Surrender is, they say, a thing of bliss;

like precious rings, in which our hearts are set.


Whoopsie – it’s a sonnet!

Of a sort… Rhyme scheme is ABCCBA DEFFED ED, which is weird for a sonnet, but not too weird, I estimate. It’s iambic as hell, for sure, with a rockin’ pentameter…

First appears in my 2010 pen journal, differently titled but recognizable.

Sometimes a poem begins with a meaning and sometimes it starts in music and finds its meaning as it goes along. This is more the latter sort, I estimate.


Forward And Back

Both forth and back, this Janus life will swell

and fall – a loving-scented ocean’s rise:

of loving lips to thirsting cups enthralled,

of lovely riddles for a mind’s surmise.


Both back and forth, we see the track of Time:

its flying, arrowed, course through Shadowlands

of missing gods. We see the way it claims

us all as targets for its magic wands,


though targetless we be. Our Dreams are free

and dancing on the knife-edge of the Now,

all balancing Before with What’s-To-Be.

We’re mad as hens and crickets, mad as crows,


and shocked, we dance like puppets through our life,

as dumb as babies, shrill as fishwives’ cant,

as raw as sailors on a tearing reef,

and drunk as those we’re driven to enchant.


Take up from down, and ball your love and hate

into your sticky tears and stiffening bread –

this salted taffy life cannot abate

its end: to Athamé the sweetened dead…


Five stanzas of iambic pentameter with a casual ABAB rhyme scheme. From my 2010 pen journal.