Does a beetle
Feel pain
When it walks on
The carpet

And is set upon
By any blunt object
I can find?

When its legs are
Does it know
That it’s its time?

As it writhes,
Does it writhe?
Does it know that’s
What it’s doing?

When it slows
After it sustains
Another blow
Does it know

It’s dying?
‘Will it be missed?’
I ponder as I
Hit it again,

Observing its
Legs tear in two,
It leaves them behind
Trying to escape.

If it spoke
Would it scream
To protest
At my cruelty?

It doesn’t bleed
But its shell is

Still squirming,
But ever so slowly
Fading out.

Fading away,
And with this
Percussive eulogy
I say:

Stay the fuck out of my house.

House of Wolves

You live still
You live now
In a desert home

Away from
The city
Now you roam

Reality pelts
Draped over
As clothes

Obsidian heads
Sharp on
Memory arrows

A bow you draw quick
To shoot
From experience

So the memory
What reality is

Bows have been drawn
With each
Wolves’ last breath

A house of
Their pelts
Safe and secure

A house of wolves
In the desert
Where you now roam

A hidden estate
Shifting sands

That bury the bones
Reality packs

A pack of wolves buried
For a house
To be built



For the first bedroom
we will center the
bed on the left wall
and clutter every
surface with prints
of old pop stars
and album covers
and write with
Sharpies on the
headboard some
sweet musings. There
will be a rickety
ceiling fan from the
sixties to slowly
spin beside blinds
that cracked from
pressure with all
the knick-knacks
clustered on a
shelf below a pane.

Our second bedroom
will see the bed
nooking in a
corner in full
view of a TV set.
We’ll put a desk
under the window
and a keyboard
beside that, towards
a vanity and
its mirror which
reflects its
opposite wall, where
a walk-in closet
door is closed, and
we will paint every
wall orange before
putting some posters
up and sticking
stars to the ceiling.

In the third bedroom
we will set the bed
in the center of the
rear wall facing the
door, beneath a
window that was
hidden by a big
velvet skeleton poster.
An entire wall will
be window, and an
entire wall will be
for entertainment.
We will put electronics
on those shelves and
put paintings where
we can, interspersed
with drawings on
paper, thumb-tacked
sparse in contrast to
a messy floor.

The first living room
will have a piano
that can play scrolls,
and there will be
bric-a-brac everywhere.

But the second one
won’t even have a TV,
yet a sectional couch
will sit happy and lazy
beneath an indoor balcony.

And the third living
room will have a
cabinet full of films
and a bay window’s
view of the street.

The first kitchen
will be outdated, and
stocked with soda.

The second will
be sparing, with a
shiny hot water tap.

And the third on
will be small, and
moonlight as a mud room.

All front doors will be closed.



People come in and out
Every day

New cars
In the driveway

A boy, a cigarette
A father, a bike all bent

They don’t look like they know
Each other all that well

As the father and his cigarette
Hits the boy in the back of the head

And they walk down the street
In the rain, together

A mother and her infant daughter
Arrive at the house every day

A mother vaccums her entire car
Loud every other hour, almost

Never without that white hoodie

Where ash and crumb must have
Spilled down into the interior

And the cars
Oh, all those cars

All parked on the
Neighborhood parkway

Fixed all day
In the rain

Cables hooked up to a battery
Compensating for unpaid bills

Others come in and out
In and out

But the mother there has

Father says
“She’s a crackwhore”

But the boy doesn’t
At all understand

Nor do the other tenants

Anything more than for everyone
To go about their sorry business

Leaving the boy
To toil in pitiful witness



I opened my window to see
Seven sisters
Watching over me

Across the sky,
Like dozens of eyes
The stars watched

When I awoke from a restless sleep
I turned my head
To look at you all

Who would watch silently
Move about
And never let me sleep without

Who would give sight of splendor
Yet bar me from being
An observer like yourselves

Watch me toss and turn
Watch me dream of nothing
And do nothing about it

Beyond my walls and ceiling
An abyss unending
Stares back at me

A house of glass
Windows for them all
To examine me from afar

So many windows open
With so many eyes
Blinking and pulsating outside

Bloodshot and blue-shifted
Clusters and singularities
Outside my glasshouse walls

It is a marvel with
Ten thousand eyes
Forever watching over me

Governor’s House

Governor’s House

Sipping on black tea
Brewed for me
Barely after morning
Rain outside pouring

Thunder and lightning
To me, not frightening
I am safe inside
Rain, I don’t ask why

She walked on tip-toes
Didn’t mind outside’s woes
Made eggs and toast
Just as would a host

Classics on tv
Humor I can see
Laughter for no reason
To mind commit treason

Cold out there
Warm in here
As a blanket covering
Or rocket smoke smothering

Rain hits skylights
No time to write
No reason to fight
Even in pitch night