How can I know when is a beginning?
This word is an arbitrary line across the flow of time which only means, “this is where I start telling my story”
But our story doesn’t recognize lines and didn’t begin at the telling
we knew each other, that first time our hands touched
I was already myself when your skin met my skin
And there is no Me absent You
We didn’t come together the moment your words called me across the room
Your voice was my familiar home
I don’t even know the moment our dance began?
I only know the momentum of our feet,
the weight of our bodies,
the feel of my breath in your breath
The sound of our hearts beating wildly,
as my heart is beating now,
as your heart is beating now
Even our bodies cannot contain our story
How then could time,
which is, after all, small and myopic and secretive,
hold us in so small a place
as a beginning


An empty bench
dappled light through
the barely spring struck birch
shading a disinterested come hither
a regardless vulnerability
Is this some kind of love?
Or my disappoinment showing again?


I’ve never been to Berlin
but I understand they have angels
sitting atop Tiergarten
they are here as well
one is sitting on the corner of that building
right where the red brick meets the white
desire under glass
and after all
what can angels do
beyond reminding me
by their powerless strength
of my terrible freedom


Once upon a time our once upon a times were recorded in cornerstones, foundations, Corinthian columns and colored shapes in glass and stone
And in those spires and tiled porticoes was expressed the story and extent of our reach from the mire of our own brutal natures toward the vaulted ceilings of heaven
Toils, temptations and triumphs writ in intricate relief, on faces unwavering and backs unbroken

Look around you
The stories have not changed
But the telling has exploded in a cascade of subtle variations

Sunlight through the waterfall
Droplets of light dancing with the endless voices of the colorless night

Have you listened to the stories, to the yearning beneath, to the questions
Are we still begging the gods’ favor?
The hands of the almighty have covered us in glory, yet do we shrink in shame? Cowering before the brilliance of our soul

Our fractured voices, blowing softly through the intricate spaces between memory and the moment,
are made to capture light, to extract form, to liberate color, to expose the essence, aching for unfettered daylight

Look around you
These visions belong to you
We do not see the shape of beauty from some isolated mountain
Inspiration is not the province of the hermit
however remote her cave,
we share the same milk, suckling at the breast of the communal muse
We are the artist, we are the work
We are the violence that birthed the first morning
We are the sleep beyond the end of night

the next shore

The river bends slowly
The river inhabits the night
with its quietest voice, speaking a lazy urgency
with its quietest companion, the night sky,
dark and heavy like disappointment
dry and flaked mud encrusting my hands
I listen, but hear no promises at the furtive shore,
I listen with my petrified limbs, but see
no palliative hut for shelter
no fruit tree to feed the pause
it is the stream that speaks
it is the lumbering flow that begs my surrender
do i wish for some death-like rest
do i hope for a flood to do my work for me
am i a slave to the force in my hands
am i a slave to the blood in my veins
am i wanderer or king
am i stranger or friend
I breath, and breath, and breath
I breath and fall, and am borne toward that next shore


sometimes I tire of being fair and caring
of seeing things from your point of view
of thinking broadly of cause and effect and the delicacy of the little girl in you
sometimes I tire of looking for my culpability
compassion does not always beget compassion
and perhaps, I have learned that vampires are real

you see compassion (i do not say feel) as a handle to hold:
my strong heart, which loves you and loves I and loves youandi
becomes your feasting table, became your feast
eat this, it is my flesh, drink this, it is my blood

I am no savior (much as I want to be), no messiah, barely have I the blood left to move myself
barely have i strength to let you alone
your tears, your accusations, your unending demand to feed, demanding more of me until i no longer know my hunger from your hunger, until there is only feeding and preparation to feed (and hope, never ending hope that at last, you will say “it is good”)

my strong heart is growing wiser, it will not run and hide forever (today, yes, and maybe tomorrow also)
and while it still bleeds for you, (because my heart is made to bleed and I will not change that),
you may no longer taste the iron and the wine, you may no longer satiate your hunger through my veins
But I shall still bleed, to feed my own need
Until I learn the taste of new drink


before spring; before the green shoots of possibility;
before color and the fresh morning
there is a waking underneath
a stirring of elemental force, like the unheard rumblings at the volcano’s root
i feel it in my soles as i walk unshod, testing for solidity
i know it by the broken shards of my sacred pain

not knowing when life will return
nor how the liquid flows of earth and light and water will take shape in me, in the small universe i have touched;
i tremble, remembering failed promise and the twisted gifts
of cold springs past
remembering, over and over, my culpability
knowing that I am my only canvas
and the brush knows no other hand
i tremble, and reluctantly, bow to hope

The interrupted man

I have said I am broken
but what is it to be whole
what is the story of the uninterrupted man
does he love completely
live fearlessly
take hold of the world and change its shape
is an unbroken man the undeniable master of his own life
or the unconscious perpetrator of a thousand banal horrors
Is the whole man yet a boy, is the breaking itself the lost initiation rite
I have said I am broken
and do not know what a man should be
Should I have killed the beast within
or saddled it
Tell me please, because
my beast is a starved thing, huddling in dark corners, unable to lend its strength
If not whole, what then remains?
Innumerable parts dispersed across years and the crumbling self and the disintegrating present? the unstructured man?
I have said I am broken
and will have it no other way