GQ

Idiot sculptor
at great cost you
have ripped
and cut a fleshly
mannequin to hang
fine suits upon.

Like a mystery
of the faith you inhabit
your idea of the self-
made man, inherited
from those patriot days
when Monticellos blossomed
in the wilderness.

After sunset
when the black fingers
of truth creep under
your door, you turn
your wife over
and make her take it
in the ass until
she’s good and sobbing.

Grinding her down, you
dream of a day
when she will be small
enough to drown
in the bathtub.

All you need
is your good right hand
and a land
on its knees, awaiting
the palsied shudder
of your seed.

For Libby

I watched your life contract
slowly, to a corner
of my daughter’s bedroom
where you hid
from the truth
for both of us.

It was easier for me
to be downstairs, to think
you were
alright, in your way
trying not to see how
your sides caved, your haunches
stood up like blades.

When your legs stopped
working, I brought you back
to the bed, and pet you
and felt every bone
in your spine.

Now I lie quiet
beside me
the smooth, white space
on the comforter
where my cat used to be.

Common Ends

Not far, just
one lazy toss
from the train platform

huddled together by a chain-link fence
Icehouse cans, bottles
of Gatorade gleaming, crushed
McCafe’ cups.

And we stand apart
hands in our pockets

to avoid eye contact
we all look the same way

down the track.

Hit By Pitch

For my son

the burning
indignity of it
no one to blame
just two souls going
      about their
business as best they may

bound together by rules
that say
you must throw hard
and fast you
must stand
in harm’s way

over and over
trying for
a hit and mostly
      fail
and then you get
hit and you cry

but

look up
already the pain
is less the sky
blue the grass
a level green

there is a game
to be played
the fresh earth makes
a path before you
don’t forget

the sting never forget
but get up
and take your base