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her touch

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Tonight has started off
extremely well.
She slipped
into my arms
with a look
that couldn’t be
mistaken. At times
like this
it’s a toss-up
as to who’s
and who’s receiving.
All I know is
that the longer
we’re together
the more
she turns me on.

in praise of eclectisity

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More than once I have been told I have eclectic tastes. That’s a good thing, right? It’s a compliment. At least, that’s the way I take it.

And nowhere is my eclectic tastes more on display than when it comes to my tastes in poetry. I would be hard pressed to list all my favorite poets, but the top ones are automatic. Bukowski, Basho, Buson, Issa, Rumi, Forche and Atwood are among the favorites, but my number one has to be Hafiz.

All of them influence my writing, but I consider that a good thing.  Who has the most influence your poetry?

I love Japanese poetic forms and have thousands of haiku, and notebooks full of senyru, tanka, haibun and renga. When I travel, and I travel a lot, I write a lot of Bukowski-style stuff. What attracts me to the Buk is his no-nonsense, matter of fact, grittiness. He’s a big shot of reality. What you get isn’t always pretty, but it’s definitely alive.

Then there is Hafiz. No one touches me like he does. He has a grasp on divine love that is heart-deep and born from being totally open to the spirit. Each of his divans is a tiny pot of honey just waiting to be enjoyed. (My latest project is a book-length collection of ecstatic poems modeled after the mystic works of Hafiz, Rumi and other Sufi poets.)

Is anyone else out there in cyberspace marching to several tunes of a number of divergent poetical percussionists? Who else knows the true joy of being a poetic eclectarian? It would be fun to compare notes.

Maybe it’s time for poetical eclectarians of the world to unite. Let’s get the discussion started.


“Don’t Even Try”

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My muse and I have been together too long to play games. Each of us knows exactly what we want, and we know each other well enough to know whether we are going to get it or not.


My muse
seems as cool
this evening
as the service
here in
the hotel restaurant.
She’s not
playing coy.
She’s just
really not interested.
What can I say?
It’s her choice,
and I have
been rebuffed
more than once.
I will live.

“Moon Dance”

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Here is another poem from my first collection, BONES WILL NOT SUFFICE, published in 1997 by Black Lion Press.


Hidden from all
but the most haunted,
there’s a place
where dreams go to die.
This muddy graveyard of giants
belongs to the naked dancer.
When rooting for riches only
unearthed by a hairy hand
one must remember:
bloody bones
belong to the hyenas.
Your reward lies deeper,
beyond the scent of memory.
Sniff. Remember the taste
of wet fur and warm milk.
You know the dance.
Raise your muzzle to the moon.
The Owl will tell you when.
The snake will show you where.

“When the Words Flow”

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like tonight,
there’s just
no hurry.
Both of us
are relaxed
and both of us
just want to
make it
There’s no
on either
of us,
just the quiet
of seeing
just how long
we can
keep it

“One Hot Lady”

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This poem first appeared in MOUTH MUSIC, a collection published in 1997. It is one of an extended series depicting my lifelong relationship with my muse.


While waiting
for a mocking muse
to loosen her lips
I continue stroking,
caressing every key
I can reach. Who
knows which one
just might unlock
the barely contained
passion, passion
powerful enough
to convulse us both
in an orgasmic frenzy
so frighteningly forceful
neither of us will be able
to walk for a week.
It’ll be worth the wait,
and both of us know it.
I can feel her
starting to squirm.

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