D Press
Sebastopol 1998
Cover Art by Claude Smith


Plutonium has a half-life
of 250,000 years—
and unless we can raise the tone arm
and get ourselves individuated
or differentiated or TOGETHER OR
on top of it
we won't have a millennium to stand on.

In Spring, bud out.
Dovetails come later.

This is the later Kali Yuga
The Fourth World
The Iron Age
The Fifth Sun
The IXth Hell
The Age of the Hunchback
The Era of Disillusionment


Cumulus clouds cross the moon
above this trepidatious dustball.
I watch TV—another vengeance film.

I know this story by heart.
I watch and listen as the heroine
pleads with the hero—
"You promised to serve and protect.
Do this, you put yourself on his level."

City workers uprooted the spruce
in Altursa Park, and I can see down
Pine Street to the Liberty's marquee.

My window opens on a world.
My TV opens into a world.
The moon sends down a blessing.

Who wrote this script?
The show's not over, even when it's over


Politics determines our destiny
along with MUD and the power of romance

difficult irresolute

mystery, exile,
a bone apart

Not so far to Corsica from here
Not so far
Not so far from here

You who lead me
You who look on my pangs of
cyclic loneliness and fear

I awake and say, "Good Morning,"
to my bones


Between thought and act
Between cause and sequence
Between fate and abeyance
Between nature and our hearts

The parable of Self works itself out
My myth unfolds
Between the illusion and the confusion
I swell with strength

To live Nature's force
by emulation or by imitation
to take Life in its green fuse
with intention
released from shadow

To study, map, decode,
utter, know

Working ahead of all process
continuously changing, merging
while indecision meanders down the river

The root of poet is poietes
Maker, make your luck


The moon rises
in silence
a silent rose
of midnight

Hard enough to explain
but I'm going to proclaim
all it takes is a beak
and a few feathers to fly

Shower me with care
gifts common and rare
health and happiness
top my list of wishes

The familiar owl
has not returned
I search and find
funky scat


Being in the body
being in the world
curves in space
I love it all.

A tree and a rock
a sacred spot
because it is
it just is.

I look
I think it through
I do or I don't—
two fish meet midstream.

        for Claude


Lunch Wed w/Tamara @ Slice of Life
Poetry Slam Burbank Cntr 2nd Mondays
Teens Against Violent TV tonight

I peek through a keyhole of soul.
Been here and gone.

/we/they/dispersed thru a black hole
into reckless space,
leaving only a few after-dots.


Don't dot it
Do it

Dot Dot Dit Dot
Dot Dit

What is more
is code—

Dash Dod Dot
Dash Dash Dash

Dot Dash
Dod De Dash
Dot De Do

Dot De Do
Do it


The mirror curves
toward my dread,
and I start fading
because I can't
face the place.

This time, I know she'll say
"No," and
I fail to commit
to this encounter.

I know there is no there there
but there is a here here, even
if I feel like I'm nowhere.

Nowhere, and
now here.


head of a boil
occurs once OE
16c. small lump
clot, a minute
spot, speck, mark

1748 roundish mark
made with a pen

1816 mark with dots
scatter like dots or specks
point used in punctuation
a little child or creature 1859
a woman's marriage portion,
the income of which is under
her husband's control


poets knew it (knew(i)t) little i
newt, no(tat, tit for tat)ed
knit it (knew it) dotted it down


Since I cannot rise
to omnipresence
or tall to nothingness,
dull orange sand
fluorescent sheen of wave
wave curling,
I constrict
and drip from far to near.

Trace tones replenish
with paratactic breath
the objective world

The subjective itch.


All clam
still stor-all
my gift wrap
tit, toe
tell tore six
live one
without a muffler
fuse count
bell tower
fake the rank
former rag down
the yellow voice.


Line must have green in it three times.
Line must have reverse of earlier line.
A refrain with time and place.
A refrain of non-sense words.
An animal with parts of other animals.

with snow coming down
like green umbrellas, I stepped out
to buy some dog food for the cat


The moon rises
in silence,
a silent rose
of midnight.

Hard enough to explain,
but I'm going to proclaim
all it takes is a beak
and a few feathers to fly.

Shower me with care,
gifts common and rare,
health and happiness
top my list of wishes.

The familiar owl
has not returned.
I search and find
funky scat.


I'm waiting.
I am exploring non-thought
on Occidental Road
as I hunt in litter for a piece for my collage.


I am the world.
The world is me.


I think to say something.
I try to say something.
I think without words while waiting.

        for David and Jim

Seek to realize the self—
the way, the poets say, is difficult.

We are situated in a cedar cabin
built on stilts over the water in a cove
a mile across Moser Lake from Deep Bay,
our mail drop, Deep Bay 99901.
Mail arrives weekly from Ketchikan,
25 miles by plane weather permitting.
Mid-winter—there is four feet of snow.

Elizabeth and baby Theo and I,
helped by friends, take to the woods
after reading Bradford Angier's
How to Live in the Woods on $10/Week.
With my last paycheck, income tax return
and promise of employment insurance
we should make out—hoping that
by discriminating use of ecological resources
most of our material needs can be met—

Selfless means to a selfless end,
as Ghandi put it.

So around this complex
our routine flows—all activities
merge in the pursuit, which deepens
here in Deep Bay.

Schedule remains firm.
Implementation of spiritual discipline,
Karma Yoga—wood and water
wood and water, wood and water.
Would you believe, wood and water?

Elemental—the meaning is subtle,
but we're only scratching the surface.
We have stored away necessary
supplies, several cords of wood
cut and split and stacked.
Now we improvise.


Awoke to a 14 foot tide, high
enough to float a forty-footer off
an abandoned logging donkey.
Tied on and rowed it to shore,
breaking a rib in the dinghy near the stern.
Tied up and came in for coffee.

Sometimes, I'm the ocean,
I wonder how hard the wind can blow.
Whips us from the east today.
Whitecaps in the cove, cedar bending.
Gulls motionless in the gale.
February is a windy month.

Can we use up our desires?
Not that we don't have sense cravings.
Food is Number One God here.
And Shelter.
And the twin god, a good pair of Boots.

Made a mixture of vinegar, water,
cloves, onion, garlic, salt, mustard,
sugar, ginger—for sauerbraten.
Put this mix and a venison roast
in a stoneware crock to marinate.


By the way, I'm told
Ramakrishna uses the simile of the ocean,
the ocean of sat-chit-ananda
the ocean of existence,
consciousness, bliss—dissolve
myself like a salt-doll in this ocean.

Lu Garcia writes from Berkeley,
"Things spin as they always spin."

Jon Springer, at this time, finds it
"fetid in the Ukrainian ghetto of 6th St.


How did I get from selling Berkeley Barbs
on Telegraph Avenue to this cabin?
The old personality breaks down, and
the world becomes pure—like Blake said,
as it is in infinity.

It is curious how some moves take
years to come about, but then
done with full support of mind & body
they move forward.


The wind gathers strength.
As weather delays delivery of oil,
as the Coleman stove is in parts,
we cook over a makeshift grate
in the Yukon oil drum heater.
Elizabeth achieves bliss of sourdough
chocolate cake, cerealmate bread,
venison strogfanoff, and fern frawns.

Living in the woods is a fruitcake idea.
Can others be influenced by seeing how
it's done?—expanding circle—friends,
town, state, country, galaxy, cosmos
returns me back to myself.


Snowflakes falling outside
and in my mind.
The temperature, 40 degrees.
Nothing sticks.

I roam the woods.
Tongass National Forest.
Sitka Black Tail Deer. Beaver. Squirrel.
A few bear.
Much spirit life.

While dark, I take to the woods.
When dawn cracks, I'm waiting.
I'm a good shot, felling my game
with a single round from a 30.30.
Death, sorrow, sort of unreal,
this tug of life and death.

Repression, exploitation—
leaving the city to avoid the establishment,
and, in turn, I become the Man.
Good weather, one clear day in thirty
in this rain forest—ego hunting—lots
of weird animals in the mind—the mind
itself a crazy monkey.


As I rave, the Governor of Someplace
makes money in real estate.
Dr. Leary attends Altamont, says
it is a lesson to be learned.
Theo and I float in our boat, while far away
Neil Armstrong takes his giant step.

Hunt and fish, wood and water.
Today, eight crabs in the trap.
Cut and stacked cedar blocks,
using the tide to move them to shore.
I came indoors to paint the cabinets
until Theo knocked over the paint can.
Put him down for a nap and read
a few chapters of Thomas Á Kempis.


Field studies:
Periculum aquillium
a perenial fern, local species "hog braken"
substitute for asparagus.
Theo gets up early to pick the frawns.

Tiarella trifoiata
Quileut "gwaqwlatcyu'l"
three leaves (qwal'l=3)
Chew for coughs.

Equisetum arvense
"field horsetail"
Used by Quinault to regulate menstral flow.

While reading this aloud, Elizabeth
starts her period.

We have no ailments in the woods,
except when we go to town, we catch
the "Ketchikan crud."


A whirly-twirly, sunny day.
Here it rains 200 inches a year.
10% chance of rain means 10 inches of rain.
Made ice cream and had mincemeat pie
á la mode.

Watched a sea otter dive for crab.
The sky gualoises blue, the water
a shade of jade and now smooth.
Buds and bugs and migrating fowl signal
I feel like pulling the doors from the jambs,
but I'm afraid of the ceiling falling down
from a ton of newspaper & mattress insulation.


Cut and split another cord of wood.
Supper of red snapper filets, scalloped
spuds, and sponge cake w/berry sauce.
We haven't seen a soul on the water
for days—grooving on the isolation.

By kerosene lamp I read Lone Wolf Smith's
letters to the Daily News,
always a revelation—

Not one new goat trail here.
What for our Poor People and trollers
more rotten Pinks from Creeks
and let Coho go?
Where o where is Gov. Hinkels
Better or Bitter way?


Not sure I want improvements.
Sit and watch the deer on the beach,
watch them turn their heads, twitch
their ears suspiciously.
A little bird settles on a branch,
listen to it sing.


I hover above virtual.
I jack in.
that Shakespearean tag—

My worm-worn voice sustains
a single note, a ghost tone
played on an invisible glass harmonica.

The note floats, folds, flows into color,
lavender and wrinkled gray
caressed by ash in the zero sky.

I plod the cross-plowed fields,
a hard-driving, warbling, woodnote
sort of guy.


Plutonium has a half-live
of 250,000 years—
and unless we can raise the tone arm
and get ourselves individuated
or differentiated or TOGETHER OR
on top of it
we won't have a millennium to stand on.

In Spring, bud out.
Dovetails come later.

This is the later Kali Yuga
The Fourth World
The Iron Age
The Fifty Sun
The IXth Hell
The Age of the Hunchback
The Era of Enforced Disillusionment


Venus receives the file
on the Psych case
from Mercury, S.I.D.

Squad detached to precincts
by Our Lady of the Myrtle
c/o Aventine Hill, Rome.

The Reward—
7 sweet kisses and 1 honeyed tongue
thrust, exquisite and delicious,
between the lips
for whomever returns the slave.

Behind the right ear of Venus
sits the Throne of Vengeance.

Psyche say she ain't nobody,
but I say she ain't ain't nobody—
she somebody—cursed with beauty—
more powerful than the gods.


Numb and in a quandary.
Dazed, disengaged and

Here is your birth chart,
which I have calculated
and drawn by hand.

I deliver it by hand.
One can't be too careful.

There is much here about
fear and loss of control.

Take this mosaic, these
jagged bits, disjointed
and elusive, for in it

I see gossamer sails
filled with the moonlost wind
ride the ragged waves.


Five times I've left Berkeley.
First, after my father told me not to
show my sorry ass around his door,
and I split for the Big Apple.
After the University presented me
with a 0.9 grade average
for my year of protesting,
and I regrouped in San Luis Obispo.
After my bust for redistribution
of capitalist wealth when I sold
a copy of Macroeconomic Theory
back to Cal Book Exchange
without first buying it.
After a jealous husband took my scalp
but left my eyes, just for for the glow.
And on my own, kissing the sidewalk
at San Pablo goodbye, I drove away.
Then the weird poem of my life formed.

A sign says Hillside, but I should be bayside.
No lights but an emblazoned Blockbuster Video.
I ask a clerk how to get to Richmond.
She says, "I hardly ever leave Pinole."
Where's Pinole?

She asks if anyone knows the freeways,
and a dude in a stocking cap with an earring
through his eyebrow steps forward, and
I know that I'm in a timewarp.
Up the hill, the Parkway, four lanes
with a street lamp every couple hundred yards,
but no cars, and everywhere outside the road
in total darkness—signs pointing left or right
to Sanitation Depot or Landfill.

Listening to Mister Mysterioso.
Around a bend, there she is, legs up to her ass,
tight mini-skirt, bare midriff, a tousle of hair
and hip bent as she throws her whole body
into a wave to hook a ride.

I see the glitter of the Chevron plant
as I sail by, and I know where I am,
but does she know where she is
and why she is where she is and what
the odds are of getting carjacked.
By then I'm a long way down the road,
and she's a memory,
bright lit against the cyclone.

Months later, I'm water chasing logs
on a small island in the Tongass Narrows,
and I see her—never could a girl
make my dreams like she did.


Mountain Blue Bird
Varied Thrush
Stellers Jay

A Jay and a lizard in a fray,
Lizard tugged by jay.
Jay pecks yet kept at bay.
Clap of hands—jay flies away.

Red Squirrel
Wood Mouse

Lists never end, nor do difficulties
and obstacles.
Not easy to outwit the fox of desire.


Expanding Our Dominions
With Might and Right
With Axe, Rifle, and Plow
With Computer and Hydrogen Bomb
In the Course The Propagandists
Mark on the Soil and in the Sky
For the Stars of Empire
With the Policy of New Possessions
Beyond the Seas and the Atmosphere
According to the Logic of History
And the Duty of Destiny

All for Power, Sex, Money, and Death

        for Naomi

Live upon the pulse.
Drown in life's flow.
Laugh at inertia.
Resist—even if you're hustled,
throw it out there,
and let come what may.

Life's more than a love story.
Life's an inspired gamble.

        for Sabrina

In this formula there is no limit
to my feeling—X follows Y
across an ocean of space.

        for Sito

This game has four outs,
Only you hide the extra out
Under the mound
Until you have a mound of outs.

Then, every fourth time up,
You are already out.

        for Mary Helen

That which cannot be read
Shall remain so.

That which we believe to be correct
Shall, in fact, be correct.

        for Jane

Early morning in the garden
different intensities of color
grass and stone.

So hot—no hurry—heavy air
water-loaded air moving slow
across the yard.

Practice no-resistance
just a fan and a hammock
in Tornado Alley.

        for Shannon

Trees to see,
sea to feel—friends
of feather, fur,
and earth

and magnetic

I'm a leaf dangling
from a spider's filament



Don't sob—
it makes the boat bob.

Yes means never.
No means maybe.

Moist words.
Written kisses.

In place, I'm
on a roiled lake.

I should shower,
but I'm too wet.

Fill the bucket,
and let me boil.

To Volume 4, Book 6