“The World Between”

In my father’s study the bookcases are bursting
Neatly of leather-bound marvels:
Encyclopedias from yesteryears outdated
First edition classic canons – perks of his profession
Historical texts on the Western world
My father an intellectual explorer
Only up until a certain point
He liked most to run a hand on time-softened spines
This I know as a little boy spy who
Used to hunt for his father’s attention
Eagerly snatching each stolen detail as
The pit of my stomach deepened while
My eyes drank in his private moments
Unable unwilling to tear away…
An impressive oaken desk lords over the room
Where my father would recline in an equally impressive chair
Feet up on the once impeccable wooden surface
A book in the right hand and the left twirling his glasses
I wondered once as I hid in the spot behind the potted ficus tree
If ever my father compared his son to those intriguing treasures
And found a worthier prize in me

“Thoughts from the Back Room”

He struck a match and that fire burned bright

The mighty stink of sulfur went deep in the next inhale

Ya ever smelled sulfur before, I wonder

It hits you real hard like month-old rotten eggs

Or like Manny on the real hard days:

Straight metal pole from nostril to brain

It’s conjured now by the slick flick

Of a seasoned wrist

Its visual incarnation a blazing phoenix

Quietly hissin’ into life

I could only tell ya what I smell and hear, kid

And the light is only my imagination

Because I’ve got a goddamn sack on my head

“The Statue”

…that night

Your words and my words

Were one

Your arms and my arms


Your lips to my lips

My eyes on your eyes

Your sight was my sight

My sighs, your sighs

Our heads bent

To each other

You and me

An image of prayer

“Evening In the Study”

The song of the wind came from the leaves
Of the tree outside his window
The branches’ swaying hips offered little sips
Of sounds of the distant ocean
There was no scent of salt to lick even as a memory
And so the writer stayed content with phantom waves
That brushed against his ears

“A Tale from the Blue-flame Burned Wood”

A yellow creature snuck upon a spot
There, in the clearing of a forest rot
It edged its way around the blackened trees
Fearful not to step into the middle
With stiffened tail, nervous eyes and wide-open ears to hear
Any predator in a mile before it could reach near
But wait –
First it was the prickly smell of something sweet
That took hold its nose to the center
Curiosity led its eyes ahead
Where it found, in all its lonesome, a tiny morsel
More than a morsel – it was bread!
Without a thought the little creature dashed
To within an inch of its prize, and leapt –
Felt the crust of the bread –
And alas! promptly fell down a nasty hole covered
It learned too late as it plummeted to depths unknown
That the tempting piece of food was bait
Which concealed a trap that lay in sinister wait

“The Monk, the Mercenary and the Lover”

Up the high ceilings our voices float

Joyous, and brim in the space around us

The temple serene with the whisper

Of light wind that twirls through

Wide open arches, and somewhere,

Bodiless voices chant childhood hymns,

And their rhythm breathes through us

We walk on tiled floors we’ve walked

A thousand times before; I hear our

Tender steps echo down the worn years

And each one we’ve made to each other

Slowly drove away the restless shadows

With the moment of our meeting bright’ning

This once desolate sanctuary


I’ll know no peace until the chanting’s done

I seethe with guilt at their hymns

I’ll know no calm at their solid march

I’ll take no comfort at the temple here

The deed’s been done; what’s a meager life

For a worthy sum?

Now here they are beyond relief

For which I admit no stake or claim

It’s the circumstance of life –

You take yourself the silver

Or you accept the blame


The mercenary’s remuneration

Today will answer for

Yesterday’s recrimination of me