The Present in Plain Text:

Disjointed phrases of –

Fertile garden of ashes;
Night horizons far away;
Now a distant plane.
Walking towards it almost half …

— dust in my mouth.

Downward Sweeping Motion:

Wordless sounds of –

Clothes hang like men.  Shells
fall like rain down
a fearless ocean.  Of thoughts
I have only the one I can’t
seem to remember.

— feet wrapped in newspapers

The Higher we Fall:

Back-lit shadows of –

A faceless man is shot
from behind.  Rising at an angle
not quite steep enough.
Weak asymptotic taste
of an impossible photograph.

— singing while dreaming.


I wrap myself around these images
and talk to an empty slate.
Insoluble songs, unseen ideas
Are stolen like souls in pictures.

I could write stories; versions of me
that exist outside of myself.  Not instants –
dead little things, focused within;
things for which I have no time.


This was written in late 1995 after having not written anything in nearly 2 years.  I decided to try creating a personal form and building an introductory piece to it.

John Berryman has his “Dream Songs” so I thought I’d have my “Landscapes.”

Having spent a lot of time allowing myself to play fast and loose with form while writing things that looked a lot like un-poetry I felt it was necessary to work on a highly constrained form.

After years of laboring to create work that demanded to be recited aloud, that gained (I hoped) more depth while recited, as opposed to when read on the page, I wind up with an idea that is the complete opposite; impossible to read live and have the meanings conveyed.  I envisioned a whole slew of these, dozens, maybe (in my delusion) hundreds.   In all, I produced 6.