Cover collage by the author

        for Beryl— who brings it on

I see you in white shorts sitting
in your white Pinto on red upholstery
me wanting to kiss you but standing back awkward

I see your hand outstretched
returning the money I loaned you
wind blowing through as I bend to take
what you owe me

I don't know who is served
by me going broke in devotion to you
yet it's a wonder you haven't told me
to shove off

Hard to have it like you like it
when nothing's real until it's real
and then it's real forever—I pull up
on my Harley

just when you think you're going
to get some rest
and now you're cruising without a clue
there's another gear


"Numerologically," you say,
"Jell-O is a 9"

I feel displaced
and circle your room
asking your opinion of the wine
giving you back
your things again, this flute
this tower where I've been captive
for a thousand years

Easy to get caught up in it
until I think there is something
I can do
"I can understand," you say
"your love and hate"


Two eyes look at two eyes
two hands play a simple air
the wind, hot and dry
blows through your hair


Love's way is a ricochet
if you'd allow a kiss now
it'd be synchronicity


We conjugate the tenses
of the body's language
relax, love, it's true
love is senses—nonsense
and double sense intensely


I fly high, I fly low—
questions in the sky
answers in the snow—
love is not less for falling


You're hot—you'll be hot
when you're 50
saying, "I'm hot, god, it's hot
this house is hot
this cup looks like hell
and I'm drinking from it
but it's cold and wet"


Life is huge and cruel, and
at best we get a chance to dance
so, let's turn it upside down
life's up, down and crosswise
no one knows why
but you and I
so why hide behind disguises?


Love of love makes the poet mad
he dies and makes death wise


I called my love false love
but what she said then
"Sing Pine, Sing all a Pine"
Let no one blame her
I invite her scorn
What next? Who knocks?
It is the wind


He wants to know what time I was born for an astrological chart. I thought I knew where I had put my birth certificate, but when I look I can't find it, although I find the kids' Social Security cards and the numbers I need for my loan.

He's saying a Gemini generally has a lot of boyfriends and goes steady with one (if not two or three) each week, something about searching for a soul-mate or an elusive other side to myself.

He's laid back against the door of my closet and holds a glass of white wine. He twirls the liquor in the glass with the Gemini twins painted in gold and tells me what I need in a lover.

He'll stay up all night talking with me, want to take me to a double feature at the Liberty, remember the words to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," tell me I'm the most beautiful woman in the world when I look like a dead horse. This guy is hot for me and wants to wait on me hand and foot.

I'm chain smoking generic lights, and I can hardly breathe. I'm weirded out. I can feel the bones of my skull in my head. I wish I could dissolve into nothing in peace.


I'm a hermit
talking to a trout.
I touch you softly,
and you dart away.

I can't make you
make up your mind,
although I've caught
your heart in a net.

You might love me
since I'm the one
you can love
more than yourself.

It's September,
and the laughter
of the leaves
mocks me.

To Volume 2, Book 2