Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Songs of 2009 (in my humble opinion)

"Always" by Switchfoot

"Beggars" by Thrice

"Every Thought a Thought of You" by Me Without You

"Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars

Two Seas


is a dream,
a child
sleeping sound
in the shadows
that billow
then fade.

is a mother
shaking her little ones

Why wait?


Friday, December 18, 2009

First Snow


Sweet winter,
who told you
to rise again,

wearing the snow
as your festal robe?

You stole the show
much to spring’s chagrin,

you who swallow
the sun
only to cough up


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter's Shadow


Sweet winter,
Who told you
To curl up and die
Three months early,
Wearing your autumn
Clothes, pretending
No one notices?

Looks like you squabbled
With the sun and came
Up limping.

The world reveled when
You went on holiday
And hopes you will
Forget to return,
Forget to remind
Us we are living.

We now take the
Light for granted.
For we never knew
The clouds.
Never danced
In December rain

Like children.
Never made pools
At the kitchen door
While the liquid
Cold kissed our
Skin until fire
Received it.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Fourth Man Walking


When will the vessel
Burst forth from the blaze
In a translucent,
Resplendent glaze?

How long will the devil
Dance on a dead man’s grave?
I look to the skies, but
Alas! Only rain.

Yet, God is not dead
As Nietzsche has said,

But the fourth man*
Walking in the
Midst of my flame.

* "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods," said the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar as he described the being in the blazing furnace with the three Hebrew youths whom he had seemingly executed (Dan. 3:25, NIV).


Saturday, December 12, 2009

What a W@?#!?ful Life!


Sweltering summer of discontent*:
Thought I slew you
Last winter,

Thought I buried your body
In my mental graveyard
And threw out the body bag.

Why then
does your stench
Rise like a chimney’s smoke,
Like a bloody phoenix’s black ashes
And take wing?

Why do you sell memories like
Toys on Christmas morning
And rub the money
In my face?

I want out of this body!
Why can’t he who did
Not ask to be born
Ask to die?

What use has the world
For such questions,
For such candor,
For such despair?

The man would’ve jumped
In had the
Flailing angel not
Almost drown.

Where is this drowning man?

I will give him his

*Line borrowed from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.


Friday, December 11, 2009

A Lullaby to Sleep By


Sleep has lost its virture
Has lost its solace
Its Eden

Has come up short
Like everything else
Under the sun

Now is something
To run from

Tomorrow has lost its promise
Has lost its flare
Its resplendency

Hollywood has lost its marbles
Its grip on reality
Its tongue

Has lost its innocence
Its honesty
Has poisoned minds

Has dressed its corpses
In kingly costumes
Has sold mags

With aliens on the cover
Men and women
The world has never seen

Has made us believe
Buying will save
Our souls

Will free our minds
Our spirits
Our mortal skin

Has promised immortality
While delivering
Only immorality’s mortality

Only ashes

Only the dust
From which we came
From which we sprung

And to which
We shall return
When it’s all

Been said


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

1,981st Dream


“We all have a chance to murder.”
– Dan Haseltine

Dig graves for your guns.
Make your tanks naked
at the junkyard. The terror
is within, not in sandy desserts
across the oceans that keep
us safe from the bearded radicals.

These men are not crazy. They
say they hear from Allah. At least
their authority comes dressed in
antiquity, comes with unaltered
words from of old, comes on
ancient papyrus pages.

We are the crazy ones, believing
the lies we tell ourselves, dressing
them up with brand new truths
like a fancy whore, saying
God is dead.
We take notes from the corpses we buried
long ago. What good is a dead teacher?

The man on the t.v. screams because
his father is dead. He would rip his
hair out but instead reaches for me.
I point the finger at him:
The war on terror begins with him.

Murder sits within him in a cozy recliner,
feet propped up, comfortably home.

Sitting up in bed, my finger pulses
with heat and tremor, turns to
me with crooked nail, and I repeat
what I had said:
The war on terror begins with him.

Bin Laden and I hold hands, walking
through the battered streets of this crumbled
and crusty earth. I am no better,
I mumble under warm breath.
If I throw the first stone
I cast it from the
electric chair.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

YHWH is Salvation!


“Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved.”
- Billy Corgan

What bride is spotless white,
What sky is ever blue,
What knot is forever tied,
What love is ever true?

What man can never fall,
What king can ever rule
With a crown of peace, justice,
Mercy and love for all?

What heart can never break,
What body cannot fail,
What ragamuffin soul
On this crooked little earth
Can flee the fires of hell?

What life is worthy of heaven?
What song is perfectly sung?
What god would ever suffer
At the bloody hands of men?




Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a Thoughtful Web the Spider Sews


Where I lie down
Is where Fear chokes
And where Hope
Opens loving arms
Wide like the blue
Sky of tomorrow.

A peaceful world
Is a false world,
At least where man
Is free to roam
Like a stray lion.

Hope is the husband
I have yet to fully
Wed. The train of
My gown reaches
Into tomorrow to
Boldly fetch his hand.

The mustached man reads
To me tonight from a tattered
Book, pages black with
Time. His words prick
Like a rose bush,
Though he may not
Have meant them to.

A friend is like a
Issuing not poison,
But the silent whisper
After the boot kicks.

© 2009 vagrant moon

Friday, November 20, 2009

Entering Heaven Maimed


I entered heaven
maimed through
the bottom staircase.
There the entrance
wears butterscotch.
And gold. The angels’
eyes are diamonds and
rubies that never grow

Peter doesn’t sit at
the gate like most
think. He is inside
getting a new eye.
And a new right hand.
He expressed those parts
to hell. They arrived
the night of his denial.

Some say a man needs
both eyes to be healthy.
I say you’ll get cancer
anyway. Winter waits
for no one; cancer
leaves you alone until
you think you’ll leave
this life unscathed.
Sin is like that.

I long to write like
Rumi. To clothe the
naked with my words.
But I can’t. I am not Rumi.
I cannot weave awesome
tapestries with my tongue.
I cannot swallow the dense
waters of the subconscious
to spit it back out like
a misty shower on the
old, dry earth.

Our tears improve the earth,
he said.

They do. And our cure
tears it down. Our death
precedes all births. Our
gouged eyes and severed
hands line the narrow way
to heaven, like rotting
skulls on a desert highway.

--original draft June 6, 2008--
© 2009 vagrant moon

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eternity's Shadow


“Inside this shell
there's a prison cell.”

-Jon Foreman

Never wanted to fail.
Grabbed the fire and
Pulled back a handful
Of ashes.

It has poured for
Four days,
Yet the scent
Still remains.

The stench of the
Past is strong in
The gutter, still
Filthy in the rain.

How long before
A man learns?
How long before
He closes the books

And exclaims
Aha! ?
How long before
The trap door closes,

Before the night
Shuts his mouth
In the weariness
Of waiting?

How long will
The fool sing
In the rain?
Don’t let the

Laughter delude.
It is only a drug.
Only a mask.
Only a shadow

Of what’s to come.

© 2009 vagrant moon

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rain Dog


“For I am a rain dog too!”
- Tom Waits

for Marc Ribot

You play guitar
Like I walk in this
Sacred ghost:

The connect.
The disconnect.
The reconnect.

You confound and
Fingers dancing
On wood and steel
Like a drunk
Looking for peace,
Looking for shelter
From his storm,


The earth died screaming*
And you woke up
With your paintbrush,
Your picks,
Told the world
To Clap Hands,
Then buried the
Conventional corpse
To the Cemetery Polka,

All the while
Adjuring the critic
To close his ears
And open her mind.

*Earth Died Screaming, a song by Tom Waits, who Marc Ribot collaborated with on Rain Dogs and other albums.

Click here to listen to a sample of Marc Ribot's guitar work.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Arithmetical Birds


If you've never stared off into the distance,
then your life is a shame.

– Adam Duritz

There it is,
The horizon.
It spins and twirls
Like when Amy
Hit the Atmosphere
Its enigma lures,
A veiled heaven,


All your life is such a
Shame, shame, shame.
All your love is just a
Dream, dream, dream.

I found her in a gutter,
This Desert Life.
The day I was
I could hear the
Wood split as daddy
Chopped that winter,
Heard the buzzards
Their wings heavy with
Below them,

A Murder of One.

As The Past looked on
Writhing his hands
The Corvus crowed,

You don't wanna waste your life,
You don’t wanna waste your life,
Now darlin’.


*Italicized lyrics in the poem's body from the Counting Crows’ “A Murder of One.”

© 2009 vagrant moon

Thursday, November 5, 2009



To drive is better
Than to stand still

I tell myself.

The past is a murderous
Fool, killing what he
Cannot keep
And keeping what
He cannot kill.

My lungs rage
With the teacher’s,
Like the frontman
Of a post-hardcore
Screamo band:

All is vanity!
A chasing after the

© 2009 vagrant moon

Tuesday, November 3, 2009



Dear soul,
Enveloping you is a
Sad garden growing:
Plants thriving,
Apathetic and

Waving their hands,
Imagining a life without
Love, without

Never is a sad
Oblivion swallowing

Harping on a distant past,
Angry at the present,
Vying for a future,
Effortlessly yet while flailing.

Tomorrow laughs at
Himself as his
Eyesight fades.

Laughter, it is said, is
Ample medicine for the
Time disagrees

While avoiding
Oblivion, who is ever
Running toward

© 2009 vagrant moon

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oct. 31st


However you look at it
Autumn’s ghost is
Passing with flying colors,
Pinning down Winter’s
Young to the mortal earth.

Harvested field lies naked
And fallow, welcoming its Sabbaths
Like the ancient Holy
Land, tainted with the blood
Of the exiles as they
Watched the land betray.
Eyes ever open, hands
Ever clutched, the pilgrims rode their
Nightmare into the dark heart of Babylon

--October 30, 2009--
© 2009 vagrant moon

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Recovering Catholic


I will likely go to Mass Saturday.


I will likely cross myself those
Three times when no one is

Kneel behind the
Silent blinds like I’m bowing
Before a great king in this

I am not pleased with myself.
Not pleased with anything really.
I plan to confess this to a priest,

The next time I stare myself in the


My penance: life itself.

--Oct. 23, 2009—
© 2009 vagrant moon

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Burden of


The proof is in the

Not the plate.

The birds of the air
Sing this song as
I rise this morning.

They never cease.
They do not grieve,
Do not grumble.

It’s not about finding
The worm, it’s not
About being early.




It’s not about this.
My mouth births
Small cloud in this


This is a miracle.
This is what I am.

No need to


God is the pudding.

--Oct. 25, 2009--
© 2009 vagrant moon

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Gift from GOD


Dormant doormat

Knows not the frail
Footprints of friends.

Knows only the soft
Silence of the wind.

But this too is love.
This is life, a

Gift from God.

--Oct. 23, 2009—
© 2009 vagrant moon

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I cannot see you,
But I see your path,
Your footprints,
What you do.
As you shake hands
With the trees.
As you ride belly up
Through the rustled weeds.

These give you away,
Show you.

It is the same with God.

A fool will say seeing
Is believing, will say
Proof is everything.
This one should have
No problem, then,
Kickin’ off shoes
In a gas chamber,
Lyin’ down with
Peace in still waters,
As the ghosts of the
Water prepare to feast.

One day the blind fools
Will see.

--Aug. 4, 2009--
© 2009 vagrant moon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There's 1 in All of Us


Life has three black eyes
And cries himself to sleep
Whenever there’s not
Enough time for such things.

This is not just a point
Of view.

Tonight I saw a children’s
Movie that nearly made
toddler tears tiptoe down
The mountain of my face

Only to explode on the
Shores of my upper lip.
They would not have been
Sad tears, but honest ones.

Tears from the love of a
Drunk mother, from the
Heavy hand of a sweet

I know life sucks. Even
For those who’ve got it
All together
. Yes, even
Their life sucks.

And I shouldn’t be afraid
To say this. And you shouldn’t
Be afraid to hear it. You know
It’s true. You know there’s a

Corpse lying inside your heart,
All half-eaten and buried. That
Only comes out when you least
Mean it to. That only screams

When you can barely speak.
That only explodes when you’re
Crawled up in the corner, ready
To die.

I dare to say this is o.k. This
Is human. Even angels fall
From heaven. I think one
Must’ve landed on me this


Tonight, I pray your little wings
Are broken. Just like mine.
That maybe you’ll see
Flying high isn’t your fate...

Not in this life.
Not this time.

--Oct. 17, 2009--
© 2009 vagrant moon