Inward-flowing trigonometrists burgle
fine-toothed angle pushers on
the twentieth day of their self-imposed
exile from the land of mathematics.

Nowhere near the crime is there
a scrap of linen, the trademark of the
now oft-emulated original perpetrators.
The copycats don’t seem to mind
perpetuating the need for a police state,
it’s likely that their cheetah-spritzing
skills never allowed them to make it
to the big time, so they fell back on math
and edgy felonies to fill their days.

When will these damn academics learn
that intellectual proficiency negates
the need for flashy feats of daring?
Perhaps the observation of the next
full solar eclipse will convince some
wayward eggheads to stick to the sciences.
For God’s sake, let’s hope that’s the case.


Harsh indiscretions ring true
when skipped like stones
across cooling lava
until they sink into the molten rock.

“My windmill powers all of Northern Arkansas,
and I can prove it! Just drive
across the state (east to west)
and stop by every gas station you come across.
Kindly tell the attendant that Stanley F.
sent you to examine their power meter,
and they’ll gladly show you around the place.

“If they pretend not to know
what you’re talking about, that’s because
I’ve made an arrangement with the owner,
who likely hasn’t brought it up with their employees.

“If the attendant claims they’re also the owner,
get out of there right away. Chances are
they overthrew the previous owner
in a fit of violence after an argument
having to do with philosophical differences
as to how the town should be run.

“In the smaller communities, the gas station owner
also often holds public office, and you sure as hell
don’t want to get caught up in that whole
dog and pony show. Now, if you’ll excuse me,
I need to get back to my horse;
he’s been real morose lately, especially
if I leave him alone for more than ten minutes.”

A wild goose chase across the heartland
will yield only ambiguous notions of what power does
to impressionable and civic-minded individuals.


The asiago bagel lamprey is my nuisance of choice for the moment, the epitome of a rational raptor transgression through a commencement that lasts longer than the first half-life of a carbon isotope. 

In the best of all guest house rupee movements, flower stagnation cements the freelance settler in place, one foot frozen, hovering above the ground for seventeen hours of the most brutal self-reflection known to man.

Not to be outdone, maudelin backpackers heave their chests toward the sky whilst sampling imported mangrove root on a whim.

Anonymous in Chicago

Stellar calligraphy adorns a battered page
that once belonged to a fastidious girl’s journal.
The loose leaf flits about
the intersection of Halsted and Lake,
dancing above and below cars as they pass by.
I risk life and limb——
actually, I just grab it as I go through the crosswalk——
and hold it up with both hands like a scroll.

It reads: To anyone who’s reading this, don’t act like you’ve found something special. I practice calligraphy at least twice a week and scrap the page when I’m done. You are holding Calligraphy Practice Page #46. The first 45 have all met the same fate as this one. Only time will tell if this or any other of these will be read at all. This may very well be an exercise in futility, if you don’t take into account all the hours of calligraphy practice I’ve been afforded. Doesn’t this script look good? It sure is a hell of an improvement from Page #1, and almost imperceptibly better than #45. I’ve scattered these pages across the city, so good luck finding other ones for the purpose of charting the improvements in penmanship.

Yours truly,



Tenderloin scruples
dust our tenacious otter friends
all the way through the tendrils of paradise,
slipping under starved mineral formations
long enough to glimpse the hooey
etched on their facets
by a possessed quartz fragment.

Five for a dollar in this flea market,
shards of landscaping quartz
may not be used for the backyard
(at least according to the stand owner,
who had a fateful brush with the spirits
while trespassing on a millionaire’s garden property
and now prefers to leave out the horrid details).


It’s become apparent that Gulliver lacks the drive to make things interesting, whether it’s through turtledove acquaintanceships or Ivy League aggressiveness. He’s recently put a block on all things ego-driven, and will be the first to admit that he has no goal to get anywhere at any speed.

“I do like food, ya gotta eat, but I don’t dare don the chef’s hat, likely never will unless I’ve begun to see taking actions as necessary, freeing me from my lonesome days of kibble cutting, sandwich clumping and marble roasting–all done in my head without any consequences. I reckon my days of imagined cattle prodding, plateau scraping, griffin pummeling, take-out ordering and helmet wearing are also numbered, now that I don’t care to differentiate arbitrary actions and images from one another. Sitting in meditation for the rest of my life sounds good enough for a fella like me, yessiree. That is, at least, until I tire of the whole arrangement and need to unleash my convoluted persona on the world again.”

The merciless cycle of ego-driven to ascetic and back again eats away at Gulliver at least three times a day, typically while eating processed foods.


Standing never posed a problem until it became the only option for Gilligan. Granted, this is a self-imposed problem; he could sit any time. But then he would lose his discipline and just sit all day every day until he sees no reason to stand anymore. No matter how this conundrum shakes out, he can only be certain that his all-or-nothing attitude is hereditary, and nothing he does can change that. Predisposition to heart disease, addictive behavior, snoring and the fear of dinosaurs, heights, children, open water, dandruff and old mattresses have crippled him, leaving a man with less purpose than a satiated hyena. There’s simply nothing left to be done, so Gilligan stands still under the canopy of a locust tree, a monument to the dangers of doing pretty much anything else.