Down at the Alameda


Down at the alameda
We shook hands, 

Told stories,
Then laughed some more,
Until we forgot.


It was the place
Where life happened unconditionally,
Where leaves found their rhythm
In errant breezes
And paused to collect
A tear or two;

Where I once found a shell
With ridges decayed
Punctured with a tinge of lust
That tickled the jaws
Of feral plum seeds
Stripped of their memories
And spewed forth
From the mouths of happy beasts.

Art: “The Garden of Essai, Algiers”
Pierre-Auguste Renoir


Free Yourself


Free yourself
From the moment,
Then digest it.
Do not chew it,
But let it disintegrate
At its own pace
And nourish you
And cause you to tingle
With feral nymphs
Each beckoning you to
While the pangs
Of your ecstasy
Or fury
Or desire
Find their voice.

Another moment will come,
But do not eat it.
Let it linger at the
Fringes of your lips
Until it implodes
Through too many pointed
Frissons of
Each pushing against the skin
In search of words to steal
And a song or two
To keep them aloft.

Art: “The Pine Grove -Twilight” 
Charles Warren Eaton

Unguided Howls…

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Unguided howls

Unsteady drift;

Splashes of

Dusky gray


By intermittent


In due moments

Passions will be swept

Heedlessly back to their

Distant forbears

Where primordial




And a final reckoning of

Every muster brought

To account.

The sun may rise

But its rays will be blue

Just in time for devotion.

Art: “Blown Away” 
Winslow Homer

Three Hourglasses…


Three hourglasses
Stand side by side
Each filled with coarse black sand.

Peering silently
Into distances without aim 
Or countenance,
They have accepted
That fury is dead,
That the gilded raven
Still cries for remission
From remnants of shivering liturgies
Robbed of their skin.

Reflection has eaten itself raw
Into a vast burrow
With bores on every side
Slithering caterpillar-like into
A destiny of hollow regrets
And tawdry labyrinthine eulogies.

A crack emerges and spreads
Like a self-directed pestilence
Amid a population of
Scattering anti-heroes
And descending demi-gods.

Dust forms along the base of
Dreams that have long dissipated
Into an infinity of somber particulars.
Future accompanies a hapless paradise
Into a darkened chamber
Filled with breathless beady-eyed imps
Panting out old southern hymns
From their soot-drenched songbooks.

What the coming rain fails to redeem
We will want to keep embalmed
In this container
However imperfect;
However damaged,
Until the shell is ready to be
And the demons let out,
One, by one, by one.

Art: “Landscape Around Chatou”
André Derain

A stillness suffices for the moment…


A stillness suffices for the moment
While I rescind all restraint.
Faint persuasions are moved to the back of my throat
Allowing me to divine paths
Of supple remembrances
With residual breath.

I weep as the lowly violin excretes
A labdanum of succulent grace unsought
That trickles down the painted sleeves
Of a golden horse’s caftan
Circling its trembling leg
As a new healing heralds
A remorseless search
For justification.

It won’t reach the floor
But will daily emerge at the edge, and dry up.
And the will to believe will linger
On a thickened tongue
Unable to move.
I may sojourn here
Without so much as a sip,
While the horse falls asleep.

When the violin shutters,
Say nothing,
But feel the anointment
Gracing its head.
Then course the unctuous string
With gentle fingers
Until you feel the impression
Of a distant pulse.

Art: “Morning Prayer”
Chen Yifei