Thursday, September 30, 2010


E = mc2
and all is fair.

But "the approximate equations
in the original five
superstring models
proved too weak
to reveal membranes."

So into this universe we fall
into equilibrium,
membranes and all.

placed in Poets United Think Tank #17: Equality for all the branes out there

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bible words

What power there is in Bible words
woven together in my spandex suit,
weaving their way to fortune and boys:
and ye shall know me by my fruit.

What empire can I build in diamond
rings around a fleecable flock of sheep,
and nothing I do is nowhere a crime
and everywhere there's nary a peep?

To find these words to mold young men in
America's most famously unread book,
to pick these words for the right blend,
and then ... I've got them by the hook.

*     *     *     *

"I cannot get the sound of his voice out of my head, I cannot forget the smell of his cologne and I cannot forget the way that he made me cry many nights when I drove in his cars on the way home," Jamal Parris.

Monday, September 27, 2010

SATIRE is spelled

in bold upper cases


Cannonballs painted with big smiley faces
Opened switchblades held by four singing barbers
Lethal injections in opium drips
Bullets with rubbery clown-nose tips
Electric-chairs fitted with back-roll massagers
Rat poison mixed in strawberry sodas
Texas rattlers dressed as pink feathered boas

And that's the WORD.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I long again for cool day autumn breeze,
A sweater'd walk through parks of mottled leaves.
The noon's high-point marks midway path of sun,
But summer's heat, alas, not yet is done.
The day, once master, now shares time with night,
Whose breezes cool will soon subdue the light.

placed in Poets United Thursday Think Tank #16: Autumn

Monday, September 20, 2010

The cat

The cat appears in many forms sublime:
whiskers like poets, and immune to time.
The purrs are our link to fine purity;
what divine thoughts cause those, we cannot see.
The sable coat evokes a sexual tension,
perhaps the subject of feline invention.
The lithe path the cat makes on tracks on high,
the tapestry above, but always sly.
The cat subsumes so many of our loves:
presumes the cat's indeed a breed above.

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #10

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I love the old Kevin McCarthy

I love the old Kevin McCarthy
of cinema yesterday.
He warned us of tea pod people:
“They're here, already!"

Christine O'Donnell
holds her finger to the wind.
I wonder where
that finger's been.

Tea pods are winning,
the latest fad.
Tea pods are steaming,
steaming mad.

Note: the new Kevin McCarthy (R-Kern County, CA) is a tea party hero.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My father

My father lies
in many tombs,
perhaps the organs
in medical rooms.
Friends we were
on Saturday morns,
hopping and shopping
and packages borne.
The books he read
made a reader of me
of justice and liberal
The vacations we took
when my mother passed,
best friends forever,
forever fast.
But what he left
was a bullshit free
spirit that lives
forever in me.

placed in Poets United Thursday Think Tank #15: Think about who you remember

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I never thought of eating Lady

               design by Franc Fernandez

I never thought of eating Lady
Gaga in a deli roll of rye —
humor, a side, and pickled pink.
I would eat her with relish,
tomato, and some horseradish —
and with a berry soft drink.

     What fortitude would that supply?
     And would that fill my life with glee?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I feel sorry for Levi

I feel sorry for Levi
today. He can do better
than running for mayor
of Wasilla
or running from grizzlies
and cougars.
And he looks good
in or out of Levi®s,
but he should keep them on
around Alaskan girls.

*     *     *     *

On the other hand, I have to say I feel good about myself today: this blog was named Poetry Blog of the Week at Poets United. Thanks to Larry Patterson for the very kind words, Robert Lloyd, and all the contributors to Poets United.

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Life as Adam : a review

My Life as Adam
by Bryan Borland
Sibling Rivalry Press

My Life as Adam is the debut full-length collection of poems by Bryan Borland. What a terrific collection it is: vignettes of Adam's youth through his twenties capturing the moments of realization of his own sexual identity, the grief over a lost brother, infatuations, repulsions, lusts, the struggles of living in a religious culture, and more. Growing up in Bible-belt Arkansas, it makes perfect sense for him to pick a biblical theme for his stories, and the flow of poems from one to another is like reading mini-books of a Bible of Adam, from his own Genesis to Revelation. (There are seventy poems, four more than the number of books in the Bible. But seventy is a biblical number.)

And reading them is also like experiencing vignettes of film.
After church we tore off our
starched-white buttons ups and felt
temptation circle baptism
like two oil-slicked gladiators.

Many of the poems are bittersweet. And some are sad, but some are funny. Speaking of the Bible, there must be a Levi:
I want to see Russia from your crotch.

This "book" of LEVI is no Leviticus, though.

Towards the end, he reveals his manifesto:
I want to write until my hands bleed,
metaphors and sestinas,
wipe the sweat from my forehead
then turn the salty dampness that lingers
into a sonnet
about your skin and my lips.

Indeed, there are metaphors with punch:
We’ve never seen glory holes, those Swiss bank accounts
     of gay passion.
Our lovers were never hung like disco balls, ...

While our wedding bands
are no leather hoods,
our ice cream shop
has served flavors
beyond vanilla.

I like this one (from MORNING COFFEE):
I missed you like summer
to a frostbitten

On the inconsonance of going through his twenties being gay in a red state:
In Arkansas, we worship at the club
on Saturday night. In Arkansas,
the blood of the lamb
is a gin and tonic. ...

We are reminded that Arkansas is not east or west coast:
Queer was a New York City thing.

This book certainly should be eaten up by gay poetry fans. But it is just good poetry for anyone to consume.

My Life as Adam is published by Sibling Rivalry Press
( Bryan Borland's website is at

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Grand Design: a poem

About what one can not speak,
one must remain silent.

–Ludwig Wittgenstein

What to say of self-created heavens
of spacetimes of dimensions eleven

of Feynman paths of potential realities
of present-made pasts and Riemannian geometries

of loops of string and things called branes
of a universe no God is needed to explain

of one Theory formed from a sMorgasbord
of dishes of physics in seamless accord?

I think of a multiverse of cosmic foam
and say that I can only write a poem.

*     *     *     *

1. The Grand Design: a book by Steven Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
2. The Mathematics of M-Theory: a talk by Robbert Dijkgraaf (the paper)
The first, I can follow clearly. The second, dimly.

Note: I grew up in North Carolina, where poem rhymes with home.

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry #8

Saturday, September 11, 2010


A memory of what remembering is for:
of loved-ones lost or heroes born,
of purities shaken or buildings torn,
of ones who'll die in future wars
when again the fearing fall for hollow sounds—
a remembrance hijacked by evil clowns.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A labyrinth of paths


"A labyrinth of paths" said Wittgenstein
about our native tongue. Perplexed, we are
as questions grow as we contemplate the stars:
where haphazardness is truth we crave design.

Old words, combined like bricks that built the walls
of Arkville Maze, confine us to false paths,
entrap us in dead ends. New words: be cast,
rebuild, and let old vocabularies fall.

placed in Poets United Think Tank #14: Walls

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a stampede is looming

Elephants are crowding near the village
bearing the odor of tea and birch
from the hinterlands.
Rogue and herd mingle,
trumpeting and rumbling—
a stampede is looming.
This time, it isn't Bomba's call
that moves them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ominous obituaries

How print becomes passé
      by e-inked book displays

How World Wide Web gets zapped
      by the spread of specialized apps

How cable-sat will die
      in Apple TV's eye

How soon the demise of prose
      as tweeting and texting grows?

How God just got run over
      by Hawking's mobile Rover

All of these have been "___ is Dead"-stories in some form in the media recently.

Sunday, September 5, 2010



“I have nothinG to
saY, and I am
saying it, and that is poetRy
as I nEeded it”
 John Cage

The quote above is attributed to John Cage, "avant-garde" composer and poet, whose 98th birthday would have been today. I have arranged the quote in the form of a mesostic (in this case, a fifty-percent mesostic), a form he used extensively, along with a matching image of a Texas tornado. His compositions could be like gyres, indeed.

placed in Poets United Poetry Pantry Week #7

Saturday, September 4, 2010

haiku bar

come in ... have a seat
welcome to the haiku bar
(five seventy-five)

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Juneau poet's haiku stand has the write stuff

Thursday, September 2, 2010

That Saturday night I kissed

There're many times I've reminisced
upon that Saturday night I kissed
that cute off-duty gay Marine
in a disco-throbbing dance club scene.
He told me what he did for work.
(We always ask, a common quirk.)
I'd never kissed a soldier boy.
(In youth, perhaps, a soldier toy.)
I wondered if his buddies knew.
He answered "just a very few,"
a silent clique of gays disguised.
It was only then I realized
the gay Marines' semper fidel-
is: they Do Kiss but they Don't Tell.

placed in Poets United Think Tank #13: a kiss

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coming soon: Young Guns

Young Guns:
Eric, Paul, and Kevin's
Tea-ed up Republicans
swinging Big ones.

Like the stars of one of William Higgins'
gay-porn puns.