Short Stories:
Human Cheese, Incorporated
The Land of Give and Take
Saint Simeon
Carlos and the Visitor
The Blues Singer
The Transformation

Selected Poetry: 1974-

The Certification of America, Vol. 1
Corridor O
In The Shadow Of The Cathedral
The Man Who Could Read Minds
Rachel and Annie
The Family Heirloom
The Atheist in the Foxhole:
  Chapter 1
  Chapter 2
  Chapter 3







Orangutans in cages in the Tiergarten

never look us in the eye.

Perhaps they know too much

and cannot bear the pain

of our human circumstances

trapped as we are,

within the cages of our specific bondage.

Giraffes peer down at us

standing boldly in the February wind,

as we struggle up the knoll

Breughal figures

on our way to the Dolphin Show

still shocked at being bitten

by the graceful llama

that raced up to greet us in the snow.


Published: Jump River Review, Issue Five, September, 1980




In moonlight circles on Gallow's Hill, a skeleton

labors with pickaxe and shovel, digging frantically at

the graveside of a lost love lately departed.

Clods of sod and clay he flings at the starry mantle.

Moonlight dancing along the convexity of the skeleton's

spade is reflected like pale sunlight in a faded mirror.

He unhinges the roof of her narrow cell and stares

into her half open eyes, but alas, she remains whole.

Many long nights will pass before he can accommodate her being.

Love is long delayed on Gallow's Hill.

But he will sit patiently at the side of her grave

hoping the raindrops do their part and force into view

the beautiful bones of her face.


Published: Dew Magazine, Volume One, Issue Three, November, l993




Peering lazily from the banister,

after making love,

the primitive form of the staircase

spirals toward me,

evoking images of an ancient nautilus

lying encrusted on a wind swept beach.

As my mind recedes

into the enigma of the distant past,

double stranded spirals sensuously dance

before my eyes,

swaying to the ancient rhythms

of the stars.

My otherness ascends the staircase,

her breasts matronly full and bouncing.

"I'll get the wine," I promise,

as we brush aside

the liquid sheen between us.

She smiles demurely.

She rises ethereally.

I descend, a thinking creature,

Step by lonely self-effacing step.









He came to me…

an angel, with streaming tendrils,

clinging to aspects of my reality,

vibrant in the power of his being here.

I, poor creature, could offer only prints,

containing flawed aspects of his reality,

hidden in the pages of splendid books.

Perhaps it was some primitive strain

that he perceived in the faded elegance

of those creations…

But he smiled on me,

the smile of his Madonnas.

I noted a cautious groping

of his hand.

He asked for nothing…

save the rustic substances of paint.









Frogs and penguins on leashes run by

Call, call on the darkness

Scream, scream at the worm

Like the winds we've all felt

The little swarming leaves

The sickly smell of Spring

When we taste, taste of the dew

And the feel, the feel of the night.

Lonely, like scarecrows,

We hang on like flies

To the bones, to the bones of our interview

Then come, come like a mist

Up out of the bog

Where the frog silence of the damp prevails

And the penguins, the penguins return to the South.









I am a human encephalon.

I laughed about that--nervously--at first.

Then came a strange epiphany:

We are not people contemplating brains.

We are brains, contemplating people.









The dark approaches,

the final encompassing dark.

When life seems fullest,

an anniversary feast perhaps,

the dark creeps up the waxy walls of a candle,

in an erotic, suggestive embrace,

until the flame eats into its enthusiasm,

the way Death carves a path

into the substance of the heart.









The beveled edges of a mirror

reflect silence.

The thing-in-itself

hides within

shy and blushing

embarrassed to be caught



within the revelation of the light.

Reaching out a tremulous finger

like God to Adam

in the chapel

I probe the interstices

of the thing.

Tiny stars spin off my skin

and disappear

into the cold and silent emptiness

of space.









In the soft red light of the sun

When anticipation hangs

From the antlers of stags

I bury my dead

And speak of each of them:

Dwarf, Embryo, and the Pregnant Omen.

I reach for a proximate cloud

Which smacks of softness and substance.

A sheer drapery hangs from the world.

Horned owls in triangular groups of nine

Conduct ceremonies up on the plateau,

But the night wind always returns

To faithful she wolves

Whimpering in the darkness

Outside my lair.









Heaviness oppresses the bottom leaf's position.

Moisture seeps slowly through the loam.

How can leaves put on such colors?

Who do they expect will see them?

My eyes embrace the intricacies of such leaves,

trace the tributaries of sustenance and sorrow,

and then celebrate the fall,

the rustic Autumn dignity,

the regal presentation of trees to the surrounding hills,

the stately presentation of trees to the flowing streams.

The red is blood.

The yellow is marrowbones and twisted hair.

The green and black are skeletal forms uplifting.

The orange is the embrace of the earth by pumpkin.

These things show us the emptiness of fortune.

They show us the vast hollow losses of the harvest moon.









I learned from the fields the nuances of flowers,

of their pistols and stamina.

I was able to forget the funeral flora

and the hollow socketed mockers

encased in vases.

I now love the ones with thorns

and languorous green leaves.

These I would climb

if flowers were large as trees

and I was the size of bees.

I would seek my own azalea

during a summer storm on the dark horizon.

Or I would climb a bleeding heart

and bask among its cups.

I would shake its loving stem

to bring on the pollen rain,

an erotic effusion quietly descending.

Lying very still, my eyelids sleepily open

the immense bees would lick flowers of the future

from the sensuous curves of my vibrant body.









A macrocosm


A pinpoint expanding infinitely into space

A raindrop exploding on a forest leaf

The fragrance wafting on the air

That reaches silence

Alone in her room

Mourning her lost innocence

As the light years pass like seconds

And the birds cry at twilight

As they circle

Around the darkness

Near the moon




When wisps of fog creep

Like grey serpents

From the dank edges of the underground


Holds a small lifeless animal

Points to the sky

And then questions

The prophecy of the viscera

As she--an ancient priestess--

Reads the organs and the signs




Piece by piece

Tile by tile

The mosaic rises into space

The pattern emerges

Like a bloodstain spreading

Beneath a silken robe

Or a shadow at work along a window pane

An orgasm leaves the halo of its breath

A large O embedded in the glass

Like the jaws of a ravenous shark


Upon the incertitude


The immaculate

Her hand aloft

Questions the lessons of the day

Insects peering from crevices far below

Witness her discomfiture

And bellow the names of

Heisenberg and Kant

Two who affirmed that we can never know

At least in part

Why lips are soft and moist

When duality embraces unity

And the church bells sing

A simple village song

As you cling to me

Like moss upon a massive pier


Of the void


The delusion becomes complete

In the last seconds of existence

We know we have arrived at last

At heaven's unresisting door

Like flies landing on a field of blood

And for vast stretches of imaginary time

We peer like seaweed

At the agitated surface of the sea above us

Caressed by a summer wind

Atop an adjacent hill

The death in us watches the last glimmer of sunlight

Searching for nightmares

Lost in the darkness

They are lost sheep--these nightmares

Bleating helplessly as lightning

Stuns the clouds of madness

Driving them from the summer sky