Work In Progress

Beautiful Thoughts

Torturing The Earth To Stay The Same

Ant And Giants

Flake World 


Before We're Immortal

Beautiful-Shell Snail

Man In The Sky


Work In Progress

I'm a work in progress,

you could never deal with that.

You always wanted a finished book,

you wouldn't hold anything less than a masterpiece

in your hands.

"These pages are blank.

this chapter needs editing."

I'm a work in progress.


From the shadows of bohemia

where youth is squandered by ideals

that suck it dry like vampires,

and crown it with laurel leaves,

to the white snows of age

where the hand of wisdom shakes,

and kisses hobble with canes

along the trails that love wasted,

I never wrote a thing that couldn't use


though I never gave birth to a word

I did not find moving.


I built a thousand temples

without a roof.

Gods don't mind the rain.

But you do, and I am reminded

every day by your eyes

looking past me.


You set me down to race with writers

whose pens are covered with roses,

duelists who fell off of cliffs with poems on their lips

and were buried by nations of schoolchildren

watering their words forever.

Without applause, my pages' feet were too big,

their shoulders stooped, their knees knocked,

you judged me by the sound of hands clapping

since to believe in me by yourself

seemed too audacious.

And I never rose above your fear to be alone.

To be first, one must risk solitude:

better to wait, than to encourage.


Work in progress.

But it's not to blame you,

merely to tell you

that that's how it will always be.

I will never be satisfied,

though I love my pen's willingness to

stand like Horatio at the bridge,

even if there is no Rome behind it.

I will always feel like a pigeon

trying to stretch pitiful appendages of feathers

to be the size of eagles' wings;

while my throat,

my pigeon-cooing, pursues the notes

the nightingale sings.


Work in progress.

I'll never reach Eden

because I can't stop running forward,

I already passed Eden by a thousand times,

which is the place where you stoop down

to untie all the knots

made by your inspiration.

Too many blank pages lie ahead,

beating me to death with possibilities.

I can't wait

merely to make my past perfect.

Besides, I can only do this

if I'm standing in the middle of the highway

of my principles;

you try writing novels while you're

dodging cars.


Work in progress.

But I've lost my way.

This wasn't meant to be a lament or an

assault, only an apology.

Because I never finished

the statue.  In the middle of our lives,

there's still only a stone from the quarry,

with part of a face.

I could never decide if it

should be happy or sad,

if it should be black or white;

I am still trying to explain,

to the mountain,

why I have a piece of it.

I know.

I know.

My dancing hasn't put bread

on your table;

crowds step on us,

and wonder why you're

with a bum.


I'm a work in progress,

what more can I say?

Tell them that,

see if it can keep their

cruelty away,

which you take upon yourself.


I'm a work in progress.

Though I'll never finish,

maybe one day I'll get one line right,

one line that could change

someone's life, one line that

could send me, untroubled,

into the void,

one line like a bottle of champagne

broken over

the hull of the ship that's launched

into the night.

One line, passed to another warm hand,

perhaps my own, to continue writing

beyond my death,

adding drops of my mind

to this great collective book

whose open pages have the wingspan of time,

this work in progress,

precious and imperfect,

that is Humankind.


Back to Top 



Beautiful Thoughts


Thoughts battling in God's head


I am one

You are another

It is not murder

it's thoughts battling in God's head


The world wants to get up

The world wants to sit down

The world wants to sleep

The world wants to wake


Thoughts battling in God's head


I am one

You are another

It's not war

It's ideas that have taken flesh


We are pitted against each other

in God's brain


trying to move the hands of history,

to pick up gold

or reach for a star


Thoughts battling in God's head,

it's all we are


Do I stay in today

or go out?

Do I dip my brush into paint

that's blue or red?


We're ideas

trying to move the body of the universe,

trying to paint the perfect world


Ideas writing themselves into stone tablets

Ideas writing themselves into gravestones

Ideas coming with bouquets of roses

Ideas dropping bombs


Thoughts battling in God's head


He has dark impulses

that must be swept aside

with a broom of light


Just like us

whose glory the night nibbles on

with masks

and Judas kisses


We must clear his mind to act


Sit in the quiet space of meditation

that will make goodness rise above

the shortcuts

that weigh more


We must quiet the demons

that have assumed bodies


Sparks of soldiers flashing in

God's brain


Dreams of green pastures

Nightmares of machine guns


Thoughts battling in God's head


Beautiful thoughts can't

let the sickness win


Resist the neurosis!

Don't wash your hands every time

you touch a door knob,

you can't live that way

Don't fix a bayonet

to your narrow view,

don't let righteousness

lead you astray


Beautiful thoughts

are the nightmares of those

who settled down and made homes

where they were lost


Beautiful thoughts keep walking

in the woods


I am the flesh and blood

of a beautiful thought


I am God

dreaming of an angel

in the concentration camp

of what you have

done to the earth


Thoughts battling in God's head


Thoughts with guns

and thoughts with books

thoughts that have accumulated armies

like sludge

that clogs a drain


Thoughts of sickness and thoughts of freedom

using men to make decisions

in God's brain


The Universe is losing its stars,

growing bald

from all the testosterone


Thoughts need many men to

move God's hand,

no man can do it all alone


I need you,

together we can make a river of thoughts

we can change God's mind


No man can do it all alone

which is why I write,

dig up tons of words like coal

to fuel the fight


Thoughts battling in Gods' head

to hold the skies up

or bury hope with slime,

like water rising from a backed-up toilet bowl

bubbling into the dawn


Thoughts that are men giving up their lives,

leaping in front of other thoughts

that have taken the form of bullets


Thoughts that leap into the river

to save drowning cats


Thoughts that are men

crucifying themselves

on crosses of words that kill them

coming out,

like the sting of the bee

that destroys

the hero of the honeycomb


No one can survive the ecstasy

of such love!


Thoughts battling in God's head


Thoughts that are like impulses to shoplift,

to rape, to smash a window,

thoughts well-dressed,

thoughts well-armed,

thoughts that draw plows through God's brain,

making furrows called borders

in his gray matter,

thoughts that put flags on mountains

that belong only to their own height


Thoughts battling in God's head


I see a $10 bill fall out of

someone's pocket, do I keep it

or give it back?


Thoughts battling in God's head


Thoughts embodied by men,

thoughts embodied by nations


Some men and some nations keep the $10


Where will we take Gods' brain?

What command shall we give His hands?


Should we put the sun up in the day

or let the night last forever?


Thoughts battling in God's head

That's all we are


And that's enough


Thoughts battling in God's head


Beautiful thoughts,

come together,

we must move God's hands

which move the world


Back to Top 



Torturing The Earth To Stay The Same 


The sinner in Hell.

For a whole century

he screamed,

standing in the flames.

He would have wept,

he would have repented,

but the fire was so hot

it wouldn't let

regret enter his heart,

it wouldn't let his voice

form the words, "I'm sorry."

Remorse is a creature of the intermediate zone

between gluttonous delight

and sheer agony,

the flames hurled him past learning;

like a rocket he flew

beyond the world of flowers healing from the winter,

past the blue dome of mothers

into the darkness

of pure torture.


Nothing good can hold onto a scream,

nothing good can cling to its slippery sides,

nothing good can resist

its furious gyrations without falling off.

Nothing was discovered except that

after a century,

somehow, the fire began to hurt less.

The part of him that could feel pain

was burned away,

he stood there, numb, with a strange chill

in his body, that's all,

feeling next to nothing;

and then, as consciousness slowly

returned to him,

he thought again of his sin

and it seemed to him less than God's.


Back to Top 



Ant And Giants 


The ant scurries around in his little world

inhabited by giants.

With his antennae to the pavement,

following the trail of other ants,

tracking down grains of sugar in a desert of stone,

he barely comprehends

the enormous feet that, every so often, fall out of the sky

like meteors.

He lives constantly

in their line of fire

playing the odds,

in their shadow

his every step, his every rush towards some

miniscule source of joy,

is a gamble,

a game of roulette

with a gun pointed to his head.

Utterly oblivious to him

because their eyes are fixed on the horizon,

giants hunt him with a lethal lack of intent.

From dawn to dusk

salvoes of their blind feet

come crashing down on his ant paths.

It is a miracle

not to be obliterated.

It is a miracle

not to be destroyed without a flower or a tear.

By the hundreds,

every day, they die, the ants:

squashed remains

shared by shoes and sidewalk.

Under the heel of tasks flying towards completion,

smaller tasks succumb.

Every once in a while,

a giant looks down

and changes his stride

so that an ant can live.


Back to Top  



Flake World  


Flake world.

Everyone's afraid,

uses other people

like fireworks

to light up the night

inside their scar;

uses other people

like bread you feed to the ducks,

throws crumbs of reality

to every lonely hour of the clock

till the dawn comes,

the dawn of being a machine;

the relief of belonging

to someone else.


Imaginary friends never cough,

never get hurt

by a careless needle.

You don't have to remodel yourself, porcupine,

to feel the thrill,

don't have to control your quills.


Robinson Crusoe doesn't have to remember

how to speak,

his vocal cords, ruined by silence,

are singing in his own mind;

and there's no one not to hear. 


How embarrassing it is for the unvisited bookshelf

to be kissed by a feather duster,

it's almost better that no one ever reads a book!


But imaginary friends are so thin,

like balloons not blown up to size.

Inflate them with a real person kept at bay,

borrow someone's longing in the dark,

someone's sensual expectation

like a belly dancer's arms coming closer,

gather together a piece of face, a piece of voice,

an e-mail opening like a rose,

combine them all in the perfect mosaic of love,

love without a future;

hurl a possibility like the moon

into the sky

to circle you, forever,

out of range

of your imperfections. 

When the dancer discovers she is alone,

she'll go,

but meanwhile, you will have fed.

Like a mosquito,

the blood of others' hopes

sustains you.

You're not a flake,

that's only how it looks from the outside:

you're a starving coward

armed with the latest technology.

Flake world,

Flake kings and queens

thrashing about,

not so helpless as they seem.

There is a method in their madness,

a way of smashing reality to bits with dreams

that are built out of reality's debris.

I don't believe

there's another real soul

in Flake world,

so I'll dream my dream

without you.


Back to Top





Patient, patient,

let the others fall away





A thousand years I'll wait

to find the truth


the dancing flea will tire


a thousand years I'll wait for you


I'll wait for the answer


Let the rush hour fade

into a deserted platform


let the shouting circus

become a fossil

in a rock, let it need canyons

to extricate it


For the blazing comet's second

I'll stare a thousand years into the night sky


I'm not in a hurry


The grandeur of something right

is worth centuries

of what is wrong


I'll search for one drop in the sea

Time is not as much of an enemy

as the wrong drop


Paradise is all about getting on your hands and knees

and making a needle in a haystack

the center of your life


It is all about being a cat

by the mouse-hole of a hushed truth

that comes once every hundred years


a truth that's quieter than a whisper,

like the signing of a deaf mute


The hand that holds the knife

remembers touching someone, once, with love


it's that memory

that the world

needs to extract from the senility

of its vigor

like an obscure date,

like someone's name


a secret

of love


a secret of hope

lost in

the Alzheimer's

of utility


it will come

once you sit down

like the sphinx

in the desert you chose


and wait


and wait

to become human



let everything fast and immediate


to the eye

that does not blink


to the eye that waits


for what we have waited for



Back to Top



Before We're Immortal 


Before we're immortal,

we're mortal.

Before we are forever

we are one minute.

Before we are like the sky

through which bullets pass

without drawing a drop of blood,

we are flesh that weeps from

hands that don't know how to love.

Before we are everything

we are nothing.

Before we have returned

we are a grain of sand.

Before we know

we tremble.

Before we hear the ocean roar

    the laughter of waves

    and the preaching of the tides

we hear little voices

stabbing us with needles.

Before we fall

we run away.

Before we taste

we spit out happiness.

Before we feel

we mistreat ourselves,

we start the world landslide.

Before we see

we hate.

Before we understand

we cry tears in circles.

I lost you

and stopped trying

till an angel said,

"Get up."


The ticket to Heaven

burns our hands.


The train of freedom

passes so slowly

through hills

of blood.


We're not wrong to weep.

But we're not wrong to get up.


As a tiger rips you to shreds

it is right to look

at the mountain top;

and it is right to bleed.


Before we're immortal,

we're mortal.


Back to Top



Beautiful-Shell Snail 


Beautiful-shell snail,

step on him and his fragile shell

is shattered

in a second;

but your remorse

lasts for hours.


The hardest shells

are the ones

that are made of your



Back to Top



Man In The Sky


My happiest moments were spent alone

flying in my little plane

without you

but with you

because I was going to tell you

all about it


I didn't speak to anyone

I didn't say a word


In joy and fear

I sat

strapped in to the mighty cockpit


For the engine of my little plane

was as huge as a soul


as huge as the heart

of a man who saves his brother


who pulls him, soaking wet,

out of the sea

on a rainy night

that everyone else is asleep


From my little plane I could see


All alone I flew

like a crazy angel

who drank

one too many clouds


I rose and fell

I dove like a hawk


at prey on the earth

with talons of love

to carry it off into

the sky


I climbed high

above the selfish mouths

that turn the flesh of dreamers

into practical things


I ran away from all of you

into heights private and personal

where something I couldn't see

caressed the body

that you abandoned


I flew


I flew and flew


I spent my life alone

in my little plane


the only place you let me live


away from you

in my little plane


not deserting you


trying to show you



but with you






joyful but


afraid I might crash

before I finished


and be nothing but pieces of metal

in a mouth of fire


on a hill


I flew

I flew

laughing and afraid


and beyond loneliness,

untouched by it,

closer to the moon

than to solitude


with no friend

except the friend

who dwells in high places


who lost her arms

in an accident

of the mind


She makes love now

without a trace


leaving the body desperate

and the soul flying


I flew

flew and flew


alone but content


more content than you can know


without you

but with you


because all the time

I meant to show you

that there can be such a thing

as a man in the sky


Back To Top



Poetry & Lyrics Contents 


Creative Safehouse Contents 



Site Contents