Right Turn on Red

Foggy morning ride to work,
visibility near down to zero,
I crept up to the red light.
In times like these much care
is needed—death can come
in a flash, and we know it

will come, someday—but since
I had other plans I pulled out
cautiously, turning right,
and suddenly saw in my windshield
an obscured face, large eyes
round with fear,

and it was only me.
And it was only me.

(Jazz) Note To Myself

All a musician can do is to get closer
to the sources of nature, and so feel
that he is in communion with the natural laws.
—John Coltrane

I don’t want to be
the typical doleful
poet, perpetual
frown, in-drawn,

soul-withered whether
or not the weather’s
fine, hearing
every song

in a minor key—
so get over yourself,
play the changes,
sing fortississimo,

head bop
to the jazz of life
ringing out
in earth, creek, and sky.


Every room the same–
ten 12 x 12 tiles this way,
ten 12 x 12 tiles that way–
perfect squares; identical

rolling beds; chrome IV trees
dripping sap at nearly

the same slow rate;
same worn white

storing the same supplies;
every room housing

an indistinguishable
fear of death.