He Snores

In his nostrils, air convulses, vortexes of violent wet wind

hurricanes every heave of his chest, emphysema-black gasps,

as his tongue licks, laps and lip smacks. Symphonies

of saliva ring soggy, each inhale he struggles

in the dark, hollow shudders,

Typhoons of sawed logs penetrate

buds, pillows, plugs,

minuet up unwilling

earlobes to wiggle

moist lullabies





Graceless Princess

Connoisseur of calamity,

Headbutter of car roofs,

door frames, and walls.

She wallops hard desks

Stubs her mighty head,

White rising moon over tied shoes.


The stacked paper scatterer

Genius of gaffes

Clumsy Colossus of lawsuits

(although she won’t sue)


Virtuoso of woe

Catastrophic Madonna

Nemesis of neatness, order, and glue.


Marbles drawn to her feet

like a Pas de deux partner

to help her pirouette to the floor.


Maestro of mishaps

Her hair orbits, small eddies in air

as she trips, stumbles, blunders through space


Mid-sentence, no permission,

her hands become pitchers

Chuck cokes to black carpets,

The umpire shouts strike four.


Pazuzu-possessed her hands suddenly swirl

create constellations of Hors d’oeuvres


Like a drunken gymnast

she tumbles

through birth-cakes

stuck landing

catches grandma aflame





Breakfast she spills

At dinner, cups drop

For dessert

she hatches

a scheme.


With sapphire ice cream

feels safe in the bathroom

but trips on a tampon

Stains blouse, curtains, bathtubs,

her tongue red to blue.


Amidst her disasters,

always, always laughter

but her laugh sings loudest of all.


Then the world reveals itself a place of wonder.

All its pleasures become equal, and you would never dream

of placing beer above ice cream below sex: taste, sight,

love, and pain: all colors in you, and you

an image in a collage that creates the universe:


A crystal landscape erupts in your mind

and the clouds form shapes like brains as if God

says here is your boundless intellect, use it to forgive,

and you do, easy as sitting, filled with so much love

it seems silly to keep away from anyone.


Grateful, the only word you can conjure and for hours

it repeats in your mind like raindrops pelt a pond:

each plunk and plop reverberate through you, these thank

yous. For the sky you’ve seen since eyes

opened outside. For the dirt that held feet’s first steps.

You are lucky for it all, and only knowing it now,


Idylls Undone

Darkling sky flashes blue—
Ravens wheel through thunder,
Fleeing terror, shrieking murder.
Hillside blazes red—
I press on through rain and smoke.
A wounded rider passes me, cries
“Camelot the golden has fallen!”

Beyond the ridge, ruin:
Corpses quench earth,
Castle walls broken,
Fields aflame,
At the center of it all, the Old King,
Brought low with all his Knights,
The Red Dragon vanquished by the White.

I watch the Round Table drug out,
Hitched to a team of horses.
The victors hack it apart—
The Dream is dead.

At the lake, unseen,
The Lady sheds her tears
For the passing of an age.
I bear witness to the end of chivalry:
Of all man has conquered in nature,
Man could not conquer himself.
There will be no revival,
No Second Coming of Arthur.

I flee the White Dragon,
Follow the ravens into a dimmer world.

Sanity at the End of the Universe

The world can be too much:
Time ungovernable,
Noise crashing against strained glass,
Faces imperative, immature, idiotic,
Too complex and too unsophisticated,
Death preferable some days.

My room, my fortress:
Solitude at the end of the universe.
Wooly scarlet carpet warm underfoot—
May still find LEGOs buried within.
Single window opposite entryway—
Sun bathes Oxalis on the ledge.
Queen bed at left wall, unmade—
Vessel of dreaming and sex,
Sheets twisted from restless sleep.
Diminished peppermint candle on nightstand
Next to Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.

Bookshelves from floor to ceiling:
Greek dramatists and philosophers,
Roman politicians, Eastern strategists,
Medieval theologians, Arthurian architects,
British Romantic poets, Irish satirists,
And hundreds more—
The world and its history painted with words.
Film collection too:
Primarily foreign, dramas and dark comedies,
James Bond and Godzilla.

No blank space permitted on white walls:
Flags hang proud—Irish tricolour, Union Jack, Saltire and Red Dragon.
Maps of the world—Eire and Albion, the Arctic Circle, the Constellations.
Posters of bands:
Arctic Monkeys, The Last Shadow Puppets, Counting Crows, Nirvana.
Posters of films:
In Bruges, Pirate Radio, Never Let Me Go, Calvary.
Banners—Ravenclaw, Baratheon, Sinn Féin, Scottish National Party.
Above bed’s headboard:
Framed painting, Dicksee’s La Belle Dame sans Merci.

Flat screen TV, wall-mounted,
Connected to PS3 and N64
(Gaming rare without friends, and never as verbose).
Stereo system nearby
Ushers the uilleann pipes and the bodhrán.

Closet stuffed neatly with dress:
Pea coat, denim jacket, flannel bathrobe,
Polos, sweaters, cardigans, hoodies of solitary colors (burgundy most prominent),
Whole jeans, torn jeans, chinos, cargo shorts, flannel pajama pants,
Belts, ties, scarves, gloves, baseball caps (University of Utah Utes, New England Patriots),
Wool socks, ankle socks, black socks, white socks, holiday socks,
A color wheel of boxer briefs,
Top-Siders, leather shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, pink flamingo slippers.

Wooden writing desk at right wall a cherished shrine:
Simple cushioned folding chair helps the back,
Crimson HP laptop purring with frequent use,
Drawer filled with assorted treasures—
High school diploma, class ring, photo albums of vacations abroad,
Favorite albums, newspaper articles, academic awards.
Desktop lined with icons—
Alabaster Artemis on the hunt, polished teak Fudō Myōō,
Carved pewter dragon chest full of foreign currency,
Framed photographs of those closest to my heart,
The Happy Prince, the Mad Mentor, the Faithful Cat, the Autumn Queen,
Tennyson’s “Ulysses” taped on the wall over the desk,
Inspiration all, inspiration always.

Back of door covered
With Irish writers calendar and to-do lists,
Memos and humorous snippets.

Out the window, down in makeshift parking lot:
Black ’95 Jeep Grand Cherokee,
License plate UNWRTTN,
Dubbed Samuel L. Jackson—
An extension of sanctuary,
An extension of me,
Stubborn and loud,
A warhorse of the night,
Wobbly zombie stuck on the dash,
Ailing speakers still capable
Of drowning my soul in electronic loops,
It too defiant towards life.

Together, room and vehicle
Guard me from the madness of life.
A dreamer’s palace, a battle station,
Privacy for intimacy with others,
Privacy for internal strife,
Bastion of silence, repose and reflection,
More alive, more whole
Within than without.

Drunk in Paris

I find myself drunk on these Parisian nights,
Overenthusiastic for our departure flights.
Cruel Neptune’s fury persisted to drench,
I’m assaulted by legions of the rude French,
In person, the landmarks are amusingly small,
Lament! Lament for the glory that was Gaul.
But I have my Bordeaux; I need no Paris bar.
I will dull the agony inflicted by the Eurostar.
I think I need help, I can’t seem to find my room,
Please don’t make the hotel dumpster my tomb.
I find myself drunk on these Parisian nights,
I find I’m not fond of the City of Lights.

Reflections on Mykonos

When you broke me, did you ever believe

The pieces could be carried so far away,

Borne eastward, far beyond my home in Appalachia,

To the glistening azure folds of the Aegean?


Seven evenings spent at a café in Mikri Venetia,

Listening to the caress of the waves,

Watching sunsets and the people as I sip my wine and write,

Wanting with every breath to stop time,

And linger on this island for eternity.


Your specter haunts me

Like the remnants of a half-forgotten dream,

The scent of the spiced wine brings me back

To evenings spent with you, entangled in the sheets,

The firelight, the bouzouki chords and the dancing

Conjure memories of our rhythmic bodies, your fiery touch.


Each night I wage war against you

When I retreat to my lonely room overlooking the sea,

I gave too much of myself to you, to us,

All that remains is an infernal wound that heals too slowly

As I travel through a land built on millennia of myth and tragedy.


I know now that our love is like these crumbling stones of antiquity:

Nothing lasts forever.

The Jaguar

On the jungle trail steeped in night,

I saw the king’s sharp eyes alight.

The jaguar stepped out on my path,

I feared at once his holy wrath.


He had a regal face and dappled coat.

No sound escaped his mighty throat.

Ancient eyes bound me with a stare.

To face his judgement was my dare.


The jaguar’s eyes laid bare my soul,

All my secrets they swiftly stole,

And I saw myself within his eyes:

Silent, curious, proud and wise.


What Old Power ordained the law

Of Nature red in tooth and claw?

War and sorrow are now the way,

The Old World gods are now the prey.


I still adhere to the elder creed:

This world is not our own to bleed.

More honor than man in this noble beast.

I was willing to die its midnight feast.


All of this the jaguar did understand,

He bowed his head and gave command.

The king deemed me of noble mind,

A noble beast from ignoble kind.


The jaguar slipped silently away,

Granting me another day,

And inspiration from which to sing,

Of the jungle and its majestic king.

The Dreamer and His Dream

Do you know what ‘tis, to dream a dream,

To travel through a realm agleam

With gardens full of light and dark?

Do I know you? Do you have the spark?


Dreamers are such fragile kings,

From our minds creation sings,

Stronger together but spread apart,

As rare as Artemis’ golden hart.


Dreamers, like sunlit petals unfurled

Craft their dreams to remake the world.

But they are preyed upon and made to bleed,

Their power craved by fools of greed.


I am a dreamer by day and night,

Awakened only by each new sight.

Others sought to tear me down,

I did not yield my autumn crown.


I was proven more than a worthless husk,

Judged by the jaguar’s stare at dusk.

My mind was cleansed in the rains of Eire,

My hungry heart grew full with fire.


So full of passion, so full of love

For every ocean and the stars above.

What dreams may come, what dreams have flown,

I no longer wish to dream alone.


I need a love to match the wanderlust,

A companion in whom my dreams to trust.

Some lucky twist in the celestial blue

Brought me on my path to you.


You understand the growth of things,

Your nature smooths my angry wings.

Your smile blankets the world in light,

And sets my dreams to burning bright.


Will friendship and more between us grow,

Or will connection fade like early snow?

My dreamer’s heart is lost at sea,

Haunting me with what dreams may be.


Are you one to hold my heart,

And embrace the journey we could start?

Tell me now and tell me true:

Are you not a dreamer too?


I don’t know what to do, I’m so aggressive,

I escaped from that hole, I am non-depressive,

The fire in my heart stirs like a lake of fire,

Tired of posers, tired of liars.

I’m sick of the ones who think disrespect is a game,

Especially if things go wrong, you’re the first to be blamed,

They all need to calm down and simply just breathe,

For their emotions are like a sword; it must be sheathed.

I don’t care if you’re mad at the world for we’ve all been there,

Don’t take it out on a person, take it out on a pillow or the air,

If you would just calm down and have patience, the world will be great,

Whatever actions one takes, it’ll become your fate.

Forget about the event and continue on with your life,

You’ll be fine, you’ll survive.