Thursday, June 30, 2011

When Clouds Are Not As They Seem

Having fallen into the empty
swimming pool, I stare at the wandering

sun. I bite the dog and sting the
spider called Tarantula. I laugh

at the magistrate, his madness now
perfectly apprehensible, because we both

mouth the very first language. Clouds,
come into view, appearing at first to be

Stratus, but are not, only the ethos of
Cirrus in dissimilarity, in caricature.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Three screws left, important,
critical. This assemblage now
minus its animus, one the brain,
the others perhaps not, like
the appendix. It may seem as
it should, but ill, one link away
from total ruin, one piece flying
off, blinding, debilitating the
child who wants to evolve into
a new race, mutable, now fleecing
bolts, gears, organs, more screws,
standing naked before the creator.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pick Up

First, the guy next to me
is called. Must be a friend.

Pick me, pick me. Surely
I’m much better than the

new guy. Who is he anyway?
Nobody knows if he’s

any good. Pick me, pick me.
Back on my street, I’m always

the captain, always the
quarterback. Hell, I even call

the plays. Pick me, pick me.
What? Not that guy. Friend again.

Has to be. Are they blind? I’m
Still here, now getting really

confused. I score touchdowns.
Remember that bomb to Dave?

And everybody said, “Nice throw.
Good arm.” Remember? Pick me,

pick me. Now I get it. It’s a joke,
They’re just kidding, right?

Not funny. Pick me, pick me. A girl?
Oh, I think I’ll just go die now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Some said
there were
distinct species,
but they
mistook solidarity
for the hyaline,
glassy twin,
a dead ringer for
Picasso’s death
mask, hanging on
the wall
of the
gallery, filled
with marionettes
wine and eating
living images,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Battle of Hammond Lake

Carp is a muddy fish.
So are catfish.
My cousin and I were too,
when we would run and
jump off the bluff
into the muck,
to see how deep we could
get stuck, pulling each other
out like horses in
a war, which are needed to pull
other stuff, that is, unless
they’re so cemented, there’s
nothing left to do but put a
bullet into them. Whether in
advance or retreat
expediency is essential.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


said that the only
pleasure of the world,
is a quiet soul.
But by confession, he
never jumped
from an airplane,
shot cold water
into a hot vein, or
smashed through doors,
looking for lovers
and splintered dreams.
But Plato knew better:
proceed from
pinions tattooed,
fear and sorrow
at full extension.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Inherent Conflict between Freedom and Equality

It is generally not too much of a strain to perceive that American’s tend to assign greater emphasis to “freedom’ than to “equality.” There has always been a conflict between these two concepts throughout our history. One might say that the tension between them has provided an important dynamic element in our political culture: that the question of priority to one or the other has always been a matter of controversy. Our response to this dilemma has always been to assign meaning to equality, so that it accords with it’s subordination to liberty.

Our culture does not seem to be interested in offering any resolution to the ambiguity.

Lets us look at liberty. It is an individual responsibility, not a license. We tend to think of rights, rather than duties. Along with this comes a suspicion of established authority and a deep aversion to visible restraints from any social organization. We value choice in matters of religion, consumption, and employment, even though rarely is active choice ever actually exercised.

We tend to view equality as a historical phenomenon: a rejection of hereditary privilege and of a closed class system. Today, we find its expression in the recurring themes of anti-intellectualism and anti-elitism. What it does not account for, is that it has never assumed biological equality or equalization through material benefits of society. Equality in terms of wealth does not jive with twenty first century American culture.

We find ourselves creating a definition of equality once more, so that it will give priority to freedom. Twenty first century America assumes that wealth is a benign and abundant reward that nature provides for those who merit it. It is a “just reward.” All the while we justify ourselves by chanting the mantra—“equality of opportunity.”

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Blind and Naked Illuminati

Well, it was inevitable, I guess. The Facebook social network it is just that—a social network. And, as is the case with all networks, the commentators and propagators of etiquette will surely arise. In the wee hours of mice and phantasm, I came upon a person who was calling all the people who hit “like” on one of his “status updates” crude. The update was about the death of another poet. At first I had to rub my eyes… surely this educated man could not be that stupid, to believe that people were hitting “like” because they were happy the poet was dead? Perhaps this person does not understand that most people try to hit “Like” often, to let people know they are not posting to themselves, but to others. It is a way to acknowledge that they took the time to stop and read your status update. But to come out and call them crude is plain ignorance.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Silence Is Killing Me

I need to hear the screaming voice of
the stereo salesman, who keeps putting
fritos into his mouth, spewing
microscopic shards like flak, apologizing
that he missed his break, that he has
the best numbers in town, look at the
size of those woofers, dude, more shards,
needing to take cover, but I need the
noise, the bass that goes right through me,
over the hook, the one he is sure to get
the sale with, dude, I’m practically giving
them to you, listen to that mid-range,
digging to the bottom of the bag, wetting
his finger and shoving it into the corner
of the bag for that last morsel of corn,
because he gets so hungry being the best
salesman in the city, in the state, in the
whole world, noise, noise, noise, which
I need, because the silence is killing me.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The Google view was
circumfluent voyeur,
able to make a close study
of the arena,
in all its phases,
go deep into the subconscious,
follow the chipmunk
into his hollow tie,
spying on me
as I pace the boundary;
this singular plot;
my length of planetarium,
from such a ghostly ark—
my countenance,
my groves
and contour lines,
fixed upon this transplant
surrounded by the
contingency of
marigolds and songbirds.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why Bother Submitting Poetry To Lit Journals?

As a writer of three published books, I have to ask: why submit poetry to lit journals? The Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch: June 2009, said of my book Circus by Moonlight, it is “a perfect browse for the poetry enthusiast,” and “...establishes Williams as an impressive talent and skilled wordsmith, deserving of as wide and appreciative an audience as possible." But the lit journals seem to have no interest in any of my poetry. When cashing the royalty checks for my two novels, I now have to consider why I would even want to showcase my writing in a forum that concentrates on work that would otherwise not be able to find an audience in mainstream, commercial publishing (we are talking over 600 print and online journals). The rejection letters are short and succinct—No Thanks. As writers know, lit journal editors need never explain their publishing decisions, so I can only speculate as to the degree of arbitrariness that subserves their deliberations. My understanding is that most books of poetry, that originate from the increasing pool of MFA writers and their professor’s, will sell around twenty copies. This is considered a good run. Well, my poetry book is already way past that number in sales. I guess I’ll stick with commercial fiction from now on, and post my poetry online for the world to see and judge for themselves (there are no gate keepers on the web).