Carpe Diem Haikus

Japanese Style Landscape

Vapor wings emerge

Incense-breathing dragon bred

In earthenware pot


A cooling zephyr

Capsizes Genmaicha raft,

Teacup sea claims luck


Mystical cadence

Affords the heart’s hollow eyes

Unclouded vision


The morning air sleeps

While I daydream over a

Cup of honeyed tea


(then I took a dark turn)

In his eyes the eve,

The madness of laughing clouds

And rainbow puddles


The streets are his veins

His slick asphalt dreams, escape

Heroin highways


Submission for

Carpe Diem


Venom and Vice


The hourglass passes sideways

Through my esophagus

Time is horizontal like a trip wire

That’s why we can only

Ascend or descend


I am afraid of life and death equally

Seeing as energy can neither be created nor destroyed

I suspect that contrast is a form of hypnotism

Like the revolutions of a monochromatic wheel


There is something sympathetic about vice

The way is slides over a wooly exterior

And extinguishes all momentary threat

Vice is patient, it exceeds abstinence in resolve


Any step taken along a longitudinal axis

Will lead me indefensibly to addiction

My neurons have exhausted all ingenuity

They are too fastidious in their ventures

The occasional aberration does not

Expedite sobriety, recovery it seems,

Is the only true immortal



Painted Dragon


She could’ve been beautiful

But the makeup on her face

Amplified every imperfection

Made her seem unreal

Like a slipshod animation


We talked for hours

About philosophies

Too convoluted to consume

About ambitions

And the despair

That shapes realities

She would have sacrificed

Everything for the stage,

Instead, on her knees

Choking down creation


I find myself standing

On the same corner

Night after night


To the instincts

Of inhuman men

Selling pieces of my soul

For the abstractions

Of a primed syringe


We bought

An apartment together

On the lower end

No furniture or food

Only conversation,

The sustenance of fools

I remember

The hours piled upon hours

Of words so casually strewn

I remember

The weight of her shrinking skin

Defenseless beneath

The weight

Of our transient bones

I remember

Watching her fall


Into addiction

My spirit too weak

To stall the descent


I opened the door

To find her on the toilet

In my sagging robe

Hair unwashed

Body slouching lifeless

Against a tiled wall

And neither my hands

Nor my breath

Could draw her back

From the widowing shawl

Of a commiserating death


I couldn’t stop screaming

I love you

Until my voice was gone

And I had to mouth

The words instead

I wish I’d told her

When I had the chance

When she was crying

For hours on end

When she was screaming

I’m better off dead

When she hated me

For getting in the way

And herself more

For what she’d become

Those words never

Hurt so much

As when unsaid

I wished I’d screamed them at her

Over and over again

Until she went deaf

So no other words could ever enter

And cause her pain again


Now I am standing

In her place

On a modest stage

A modest crowd genuflecting

As I start to play

And whisper the lyrics she left me

I imagine her in my place

Squeezing the microphone

Lips as round and full

As an orgasm


Here I stand claiming

What time could not

From my heart cleanse

In her place

Picking up the dreams

That she left


This together with Paper Heart is the remnants of a novel abandoned and lost long ago. Paper Heart was written from the female’s perspective and Painted Dragon from the male’s perspective. I’ve done extensive editing of this poem over the years but I’ve never been satisfied by my efforts.