Today I remember my mother’s bread,
the smell rises like yeast into my head,
waking my senses to baking dough
and the flower of my mother’s glow.

Today I remember I was born
out of my mother’s bread
and that the hands of her love
shaped the limbs of my body.

Today I know that bread is love,
that its memory is the bread I eat,
that even with a working father
bread was made of hope and water.

What Else Matters

What Else Matters

From the hotel window of our bel epoch
Paris will never again be this Paris, our Paris,
So we embraced time in each other. What else matters?


You stood at the window and I said look
the plants have dressed the sheers
like a wedding arch between floating worlds
and you came back to bed
wearing a wreath of shadows
as though we were newlyweds

Love on the Nile

Waking next to you on the Nile
sunrise lays a desert across my thoughts
of never loving you again.

The Spirit Molecule

The night my mother died I didn’t cry,
it was like dimethyltryptamine
flooded my brain with magnetic rain.

It was as though her death triggered a rush
of shrooms to flower in my mind,
and time and space had gone to kush.

It was as though I could hear her voice
like the voices of peyote shamans
singing their song of spirit into smoke.

It was as though every trip I’d known
was a road map to this sacred place
where I’d be motherless and stoned.

The Barber’s Coffin

In my dream we open
my father’s coffin
but instead of his body
we find the body of a young man
hair cut and freshly shaved
scented with rose water and eternity
dreams in a mirror

In my dream we open
my mother’s coffin
but rather than proud flesh
we find a garment of white lace
exuding jasmine and eternity
dreams in a weave

In my dream we open
my uncle’s coffin
but instead of his strong body
we find a hunting rifle
in perfect condition
redolent of gun oil and eternity
dreams in a landscape

In my dream we open
the oldest grave
of our family line
but opposed to bone and dust
we find a pure white dove
embalmed by birth and eternity
dreams of flight


With a psychedelic sun in our eyes
why flinch at any fulminance
why fear the dark by governing time
why detach shadow from light
or singe the transparency of words
into the mirrors of other minds
why fear death when we’re the fuse
and can see with the light of reason
the stars girandole and brocade
the galactic chrysanthemum blaze
with rising tail and falling leaves
with candle clusters of celestial fire
and the grand finale of the eye
to be the light into which it dies

Correspondence with the Moon

I grow old I grow old
I will depart with my shadow untold
I will walk in the footsteps
Of a black moon
Does erasure censure
The meaning of a venture
Does anyone’s demise
Do more than exorcise
Body from light
I will depart
But will fragmentation impart
More than closure
Or do we return
To resume this correspondence
With a new moon

My Teammate Albert

Like Albert I was a goalkeeper.
Like Albert I stood alone
And proud in my solitude.
Like him I considered suicide
The only important question,
And like Albert I saved, nonetheless.
Like Albert I chose love,
I was flexible and forgiving.
I saved, regardless of absurdity,
Fighting against ignorance.
Like Albert I felt responsible,
Like him I caught the moon
And punted it back into space.
Like Albert I held out a sphere
And showed what’s possible
When you turn the earth over
And see paradise on the other side.

The Poetic Debt Collector

There were sunrises in which he felt the divine
And without knowing it crashed into the sublime.
On those days and in his own way
He would have forgiven all of them their debt,
Handed back the lease to their land
And driven back to the office emptyhanded,
Giving notice by the smile on his face
That beyond money he had touched grace.

Baptism by Motor Oil

I was anointed with motor oil in 1959
The baptism was in a Detroit factory
With a foreman and a priest
And some people from the same factory
They poured motor oil on my forehead
Saying something about man god and war
To this day I grin when I hear an engine
To this day my gears are oiled and aligned
But who knows after so many miles
If those drops of motor oil
Which sanctified my ride through life
Cleansed me of original sin
Or stained me all the more for being human