“The birds are a chorus…clearly relatives of Mozart”
– Jim Harrison (Day Nineteen – 28 Days of Unreason)


Bird, box, grave –
Mozart gave a funeral
For his starling*.

I may want more
For my Requiem,
But my Day of Judgment seems
Here, now, along this road,
Dies irea of dirt and sand.

A flock of birds
Unsung across the wires,
Wary of my approach
As any St. Peter.

And startled, rise as one
When across the moor
A nail gun taps out Kyrie
To closing wood.

*Wikipedia: Mozart's Starling

Life Jacket

“Saw a poem float by just beneath the surface”
– Jim Harrison (Day Seventeen – 28 Days of Unreason)

Poems like water wings
Flotation devices
Strapped around our arms
Our chests our necks
Their gallows promise of not drowning
Holding on at/above/just under
The surface coughing out love
Hoping to breathe like the air itself
Our hearts sharked and slippery
Then slipping over onto our backs
Floating forever
Gulls floating forever
Overhead like forever
Sunburned onto our faces
Drunken and dunked in our
Breathtakingly cool skin and
Hoping we will
Live forever.

Charwoman Calligraphy

“Art often isn’t [nice] though it scrubs the soul fresh”
– Jim Harrison (Day Fifteen – 28 Days of Unreason)

The scour of carbolic
Is the most China smell I know –
The granite stripping scrub
Of every lobby, bathroom, terminal,
Mall, subway, and hall without end.
As if under Communism
There is only one factory
For Janitor in a Drum.
It is the smell of Forward!
And Upward!
A poem of the Revolution
Written with mops
For brushes.


*With apologies to Colin Lee


“I’m unsure if all of me returned”
– Jim Harrison (Day Eleven – 28 Days of Unreason)

Like a broken clock
Even a poet can be right
Twice a day.

Once at the hour of felony,
When our eyes are hunted
And our sins sharp.

Once at the instant when vertigo
Pitches over the horizon
And we are too dizzy to pray.

Don’t look down or you will see
All the words lost along the way,
Strewn like shavings on the floor.

We jiggle truth
To shake some loose,
So take what you can carry.