a question

are poems ensconced somewhere inside my mind
like some hidden treasure I’m trying to find

or demons we summon with blood sacrifices
an addiction we feed with the rest of our vices

from erudite sex after months of gestation
or some kind of socially safe masturbation

are they sculpted completely in only a moment
or are we shaping slowly and don’t even know it

is a poem a seedling becoming a tree
or some captive bird that we have to set free

for some, I suppose, it’s a source of contention
but I think that most poems start out as a question.


The boys found a field mouse family’s
burrow beneath one of their tents.
The mother ran under a bush to watch
as the scouts inspected the shallow trench.
In the earth she’d made a careful nest,
laid with cotton fluff and fine, dry grass
for the naked body of a birth-blind pup,
which chirped as it searched for her in the dirt.
I covered the place with a piece of bark,
and whispered to boys to step away and watch
the mother come back from where she’d fled.
They crushed her pup with a rock instead.

Something in Writing

There is something in writing

                greater than the simple groups of letters

                            through which we meet our restless thoughts,

                            which breathes a vibrant life into the words,

                that transcends sentences of meaning,

that recreates something in reading.

JWNODY Before Exit

A woman with short hair and a red sweater
smiles into the camera as she explains
that she’s been very busy lately,
and her mind is a little jumbled.
She’s been preparing to meet Ti
and the other level-above-humans
in a ship behind the Hale-Bopp comet,
which is passing by Earth a few days prior
to the planet’s recycling.
She talks about business and
casually recounts a few anecdotes.
With a coquettish grin she tells the group’s clients:
“you might need to get someone else
to finish up your website right now.”
There is chuckling behind the camera.
“And one last thing we’d like to say is”
here she taps the space above her left breast,
Star Trek style,
“Thirty-nine to beam up.”
More laughter this time.
Someone claps as the clip fades.
On the surface it’s just a funny way to end a vlog,
only she isn’t joking.
They really were all taken away—
in body bags after they killed themselves.

Interview with a Zyklon B Handler

You must keep your reasons for doing it
in the forefront of your mind at all times.
There may be things you like about your victims,
things your mind will tell you to try and stop you;
there may be consequences you’d rather not deal with—
mourning families, a guilty conscience,
pleading, begging,
a sleepless night or two,
that sort of thing—
but when the moment comes to kill
the time for such considerations is past.
The death will have pros and cons,
which is why it’s always a sacrifice.
You make a compromise with the universe
when you decide to take a life:
“I’m willing to give up this person’s good traits
to get rid of their bad ones.”
So you tell yourself whatever you need to;
you do what you have to, and,
depending on how well you’ve convinced yourself,
the universe may hold you to a debt of guilt.
You may wish there was another way,
but you can’t just kill a part of someone—
you cannot choose which portions to get rid of—
you have to kill all of them,
the whole body, you understand?
You cannot kill the Jewish in someone and keep the body.
And the Jews were all one body.
There were good people,
men, women, children, even infants…
you had to kill all of them.
They were sacrifices for the future of Deutschland,
a burnt offering made to the god of the Reich.
We didn’t hate the human part of them,
just the Jewish part, and
we hated it enough—
we knew the reasons well enough—
that we were willing to sacrifice the humans
to be forever rid of the Jew.