bliss bliss (heart’s beat)



With a nod to Melvin Dixon


I meditate

salute the sun


jump rope for heart

one two three four


swim laps for lungs

five six sev’n eight


write poetry
good kokoro


zip my suitcase

ignore the hunch


each window’s wide

‘Bliss’ (Live) is free


a Toll Mack truck

arrests my drive


stereo plunge

-dives into wreck



tossed cross of pain

on shoulders, neck


hot clot of shock

arrhythmic cop


Take photos, move

your vehicle—


My ears are throb

-bing, vision’s blurred—


You’re blocking this



My car’s a squished



a vein pops, Move

your vehicle—


The vertigo—

For fuck’s sake, drive!



in limbs & trunk

electric shocks


the hard neck brace

& spinal board





the Niked nurse

with cannula


the brilliance of

the fentanyl


the CT scan

I meditate


the lost report

soft-eyed, I wait


Your brain is un




disjointed sen

-tences & words


I hit the wall

I black out twice


the sirens call

BP’s real high





the spiky nurse

with cannula


the bruit of Doc


A pinched nerve or



take aspirin

don’t drive—one week



I meditate

take aspirin


read poetry

aid memory


the MRI

I meditate



don’t drive—one week


more H2O

no added salt


carotid du

-plex ultrasound


I can’t dismiss

my blood’s bliss bliss


Your arteries

are beautiful



I meditate

salute the sun


jump rope for heart

one two three four


swim laps for lungs

five six sev’n eight


write poetry

good kokoro


more H2O

no added salt



myself, I drive


my frigatebird

pumps up its pouch


The triumph of

an upbeat heart!








Note: Sōtō Zen priest Shōhaku Okumura writes about kokoro in ‘What is Kokoro?’, Lion’s Roar, December 18, 2018: ‘Kokoro is a common Japanese word that carries meanings conveyed by the English words “mind” and “heart”. The entry for kokoro in a dictionary of classic Japanese words [reads]: “Originally, kokoro referred to the beat of the heart, which was considered to be the essential organ of life and the source of all activities. By extension, kokoro refers to all human activities affecting the outside world through intention, emotion, and intellect.” Kokoro, then, has three basic meanings: the heart and its functions; mind and its functions; and centre, or essence’


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Immortal Jellyfish



I ask’d thee, ‘Give me immortality.’

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ‘Tithonus’



Pinkie fingernail-small. No brain, all brawn.

I bloom in ballast water, bell awake

in a cell a far cry from the marquee

of the sea. You goggle at, prod my art

—unfussed, cruciate, scarlet. Have a heart,

you pray, aspiring Tithonuses. Make

known to us your mystery. Let me be

crystal clear—just the unfeared can redawn.

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Spenserian Sonnet


SUMATRAN will understand your aura.

It is not controlling like a pharmacist.

It is not cold or bitter like a doctor.

It is pink as the concern of an agonist.


One dose and you will smoke relief. Persist

-ent purple ears, sore jaw? Two-pack

of lies. You will not flush, tremor, fit, faint or blist

-er. Forty-year-old male? No heart attack.


It is hearsay, that it is sick, the pack

-aging—stroke it. Don’t be so sensitive,

Shorty—migraine will not come back.

This medicine is highly selective.


It does not contain gluten,

wort or sugar. Give it your full atten—








note: ‘Spenserian Sonnet’ remixes some of the text from SUMATRAN Consumer Medicine Information


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Tritina after Satre



There are far worse things than being
raped. Countess Judas’ kiss and
Earl Thomas’ doubt. Nothingness

unpursing lips, spit of nothingness
in the eye. All other things being
equal. Noosa’s gnarled nooses and

the ecru car’s everlastingness and
the fuss and the fuss about nothingness.
The conjunction of nothingness and being.

Being’s snarled attics and static of nothingness.

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