the old violent and wild

your rib cage
holds violent and wild creatures
and in every vein
fires a branch of lightning.

your eyes are sunburned and sand blasted,
having been victims of a rough and abusive sleep.

sleep that's lasted decades.
sleep that's done no good.

sleep that's skimmed the surface,
as if it's mocking you.

sentence fragments
pound their way through
like tent stakes
and blast through your logic,
like bursts of cold, compressed air
or sudden escapes of

utter chaos.

sometimes they break through skull bone.

these are the thoughts that take weeks to dissolve
and they taste like stale metal.
like batteries.

and there is nothing


you can do but wait them out...

escape or ponder...

keep busy...

or do your best to pretend...

they are not there.

keep busy,
keep moving.


still awake

still awake.

moths are sweepin' my eyes
and polishing my glasses.

the streetlights have become
pale and watery.

i've never seen 'em shine green before.
must be my eyes.

swimmin' in white wine.

downtown it's quiet.
like a widow's den.
dusty yet clean.

buildings covered in sheets.
rooms that are never used.

near 10th street i watched the train pass.
i got out of my car and stood right there next to the tracks and let the wind
snag my scarf.

the train was a long one, a standard freight train,
and i waited until the entire thing passed.

it sounded so good.
loud enough to drown my concerns.

when i was a kid i used to wave to the man working
on the the caboose
and he always waved back.

tonight, i stood by the tracks and waited for the caboose.
but it never came.

the last car was just a brown Santa Fe box car.
just the standard deal.

for some reason,
i haven't seen a caboose in years.