The First Law of Thermodynamics

On the TV screen
There’s a smiling scientist
blathering about matter
and how it cannot be created
or destroyed.

And the host is smiling,
A vacuous, absent expression
which comforts the studio audience
Who sit with vacant,
Stupid smiles for the camera
So that the masses at home
With bed-sore-covered asses
Don’t ruin their nuked-preservative appetites
With too much food for thought.

But I and Democritus
Are two terrified Atomists
By the fatal consequence
Of this hypothesis.

If all there is now
Is all there will ever be,
Then I’m left wondering
Is there enough happiness
For someone like me?

But at least the scientist is smiling about it.

Mountain Moods

It’s nearing noon
As I rest on the mountainside
In high spirits
Though the ink in my pen
Has been dry for quite some time.

And maybe the two are related:
One climbs while the other falls.

If so, I’ll take the former,
For I’ve found it’s far better
To soar over the mountains
Than to wallow in the ravine
Of pseudo-suicidal self-loathing.

This ends my way.


As a student,
Soaking in the epic of History,
I marveled at the titans
Who lived through
The turn of the last century.

The Roosevelts, Rockefellers,
Capitalists and Demagogues.
De Bois, Sinclair, Catt,
Leaders of legions calling for Justice.

The turmoil they lived through,
The wars they fought
At home and abroad,
Both physical and moral.

Economic disparity,
Social Inequality,
Racism, Sexism,
Unchecked Capitalism…
The list goes on.

Their mistakes
Are fodder for the critical historian,
And yet they retain an aura of awe.
They failed in many ways,
But we have failed them, too.
We are still fighting their battles
A century later.

Now it is we
Who are the inter-centurians.

At the Bar on a Weekday Morning

It’s not the sleep deprivation.
It’s not the flames nipping at my lower back,
Nor the lack of sensation in my lock-kneed legs.

It’s not the overly fretful coworker—
incessantly whispering her worrying thoughts—
The supervisor constantly watching over my shoulder,
Or the wasted time spent at the front desk,
waiting for a customer who never came.

It’s not even the eighteen hour shift
Or the two hour meeting the followed
In which it was conveyed in the most round-about way
That, very soon, they would be unable to pay our wage—
Yet instead of looking for a new job,
We should all try harder
To save the asses of the assholes in-charge.

It’s that after all of that nonsense,
I can’t even go to the bar
To liberate my bottled emotions
And consult the oracle of mighty Dionysus
About the nebulous future, foreboding,
Without the judgement of non-believers
Because it’s still only eight in the morning
On a God-forsaken weekday.

The Tale of Sigurd Buesson

Fallen trees of Norwegian wood
Offer rest for our weary backs.
We seven sit in sullen silence
Awaiting our turn to meet the axe
That split the bark of these stoic giants.

I and my comrades hang our heads.
Prayers are read by foreign priests,
Blessing us in tongues we do not know.
We will soon join the noble deceased
Be it a feast in Valhalla or fire below.
Continue reading “The Tale of Sigurd Buesson”


Three dead men float above,
Purveying the land of the living.
Their vapid specters, a cruel satire
Of the HBO special upon the stage below.

Stomach-churning Pirlos,
Watching Pietro Crespi’s clocks
Tick away the shortening days
Like a spark gnawing at a fuse,
The tension building as the wick shrinks,
Ever approaching the inevitable end
That never fails to surprise.
Continue reading “Scarecrows”


With a pluck of a silver string,
A flaming phoenix takes flight,
Silently rising to the stars
Before gracefully cresting its arc
And returning to its mortal task.

In the soft light of the moon
A boat floats on the gentle tide.
It is headed out to sea,
Away from terrestrial toil,
And into the great unknown,
Who valiantly guards her secrets
Against the vain greed of man.
Continue reading “Frigga”

The Night Shift

Drunk at nine am

Fast asleep by ten-thirty

Shit, what day is it?


It’s amazing how the same song

On the long and loathsome walk to work

Could be the soft soundtrack to a suicide,

Then be a joyous, life-affirming hymn,

Accompanied by torrential rain,

Warm thunder, and beautiful lighting,

By midnight on the walk home.

The Big Bang

You were the divine spark
That ignited the Big Bang
And set a formless void
Ablaze with wondrous light.

Volatile Helium and Hydrogen
Fused with uncontainable passion,
Bursting forth with new light,
Creating the stars and planets,
For whom the light shown.

We vanquished the void
And set the cosmos in motion,
Beginning the ticking of time.
And with it, meaning and purpose.

But in the shadows, darkness grows.
The ever mounting evil, entropy,
Will expose our beautiful naivety.
How could we have expected
The exponential expansion
To ever settle into something stable?

But why should we vainly hope
For such an inane future?
Expansion brought meaning
And gave our cosmos life.
And even if we are doomed
Along with every last atom
To be torn apart in the end
By the intrinsic expansion,
Let us enjoy these moments
While our gravity holds out
And be thankful when the lights fade
And we drift into solitary darkness again.