Tonic

we shouldn’t be surprised
when, sometimes things
they fall together

since fall is how they
came apart, in season
cycles, moult and feather

adopt a tune, sing
rain or shine, what is it
after all, but weather

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how galaxies form

Something on the tip
of the universe’s tongue
no more than an unclaimed
memory: a vanished recollection
that picked up a few

carbon atoms, like sticky-burrs
on its pant leg, on the way
through some asteroid belt

where it began to accumulate
the stuff of it, mass, hording
the entire periodic table
and packing every room
to the ceiling with it, no order
to it, no time to sort it out
the spiral arms of a neglected hallway
closet, packed full and slinging
merciless gravity waves

like a kleptomania of the cosmos
or, something else, it’s just on the tip
of everyone’s tongue

Folly

the folly of humanity
can be summed up
in about a dozen words

but we’d probably come to blows
trying to agree which ones

people who say it’s
all just fucked—they’re not
wrong exactly, there’s an angle
that sheds a good light on
just about anything

it shouldn’t cost
so much, what we seem to
forfeit, to be able to laugh
it up (in the face of mortality)
and still honor the sanctity
of so many beating hearts

but it does, and we’re
already below the grade in unpaid
bills, afraid for what we have to lose
bad wiring in our calculations
crossed purposes in the DNA
of everything that was born
to believe its own eyes

try to say, ‘it’s love, just love’
over the thriving chorus of
‘yeah, buts,’—you can feel it
but you can’t even hear
yourself think it

and you find yourself saying
yeah, but     yourself

Blue Plate Special

a poem should be written
on a whim, in the dark
its meaning a puzzle
its purpose a lark

assertions, like tires
should be poked with an awl
erudition abandoned
it’s not needed at all

extruded ideas
so much pasta, all carbs
an early-bird special
no spices, no barbs

rote and pedantic
sanitized and deburred
screw that, draw your daggers
have quarrels with words

make inanities dance
to a literal din
as many as will fit
on the head of a pin

when done it should lunge
at your throat off the page
in a cheeky, precipitous
perpendicular rage

or at least make us laugh
at ideas we hold dear
or confront the hobgoblins
of truth that we fear

if not, set some meta
to meter and rhyme, like
a bore, argue theories
per dozen, a dime