Dig a Hole

–for Nathan Bell


Luther’s ink pot, play that guitar!

Happy the one without devils!



Gwine dig a hole

To put the Devil in…



Lots of small “d” devs

Each with barbed wire

On the mind—



Get a guitar.


For the love of babies

Play something.


Don’t talk “recording contract.”


Now that I’m old I say things

Like “bananas are good”

As if it’s Manichean

They’re of the light

Lord knows they taste fine

No one’s seen the Devil

Holding one

And certainly I’m foolish

Half naked senior citizen

Up early

Exulting in his fruit

Childish before fucking eternity

I try to savor its sweetened ash

Clinging to a toddler’s joy

Only to think of slavery

Neruda’s “United Fruit”

The sorrows replete

In every picked thing

Now my banana

Is a flavorful ticket

Eat now, be absolved later

Like Jimmy Cagney

A crow struts across the wet lawn

Like Jimmy Cagney

And I think

My students

Know nothing

Of old movies


Beads of rain

Fall from maples


How easy to be

Happy about nothing


there will be so much of it



Have you ever walked in the shadow of a castle?
It’s colder there than in the churches.
Your bones recall the year rickets
Went around the lake.
“Some have memories,” you think,
Though you’re not very old
And the morning is bright.

Fast Moving Clouds

Drinking green tea

As rain comes on

Didn’t you always ache

This way—afternoon

And window?


I was a sick child

My Lord


Rain and bloodstream

So near

In the happenstance


Of lonesome


Fast moving clouds my Lord…