A Sequence of Sonnets


80


I knew we'd be seeing each other again.

It looks like everyone else is here, …


79


I know she’ll be the one who comes for me,

and it shouldn’t matter what she …


78 (valentine)


Momma, are there other wooden children?

Momma, am I your only …


77


On Sunday, bring your broken promises,

the two of them, fragrant as tangolas,


76


I’m only going to ask you for one thing.

From now on, I don’t want to have …


75


I'm afraid that child isn't here anymore.

He left on the fog from last February,


2.4


Tire me with white lies and petty pretty 

complicity—we've never ventured …


74 (charge my card)


When I die, invite everyone over.

Make sure I’m stripped …


73 (French kiss)


Maybe you can lie your way out of this.  

You know I’ve always …


(second crown)

58 (?) → 35 (falling) → 55 → 53.2 → 53 → 52 → 2 → 24 → 50 (the …


72


"Without lies, none of us are beautiful."


"Not me, him, not you, her, not …


71 (valentine)


Be mine. Don't be friendly to other people.

Don't smile at all …


70 (New Year's)


In spring, sorrow looks through my socket skull

and starlings …


65.3


I don't think I'm ready to talk to you. / It could be that I'm afraid of …


65.2


I don't think I'm ready to talk to you.

It could be that I'm afraid of …


2.3


Tire me with white lies and petty pretty 

complicity—we've never ventured …


68.3


Every once in a while, I get a hall pass,

which is good because I need …


2.2


Tire me with white lies and petty pretty 

complicity—we've never ventured …


69


You know ten years don't matter to me,

that when you drew your too-sharp fingernail


68.2


Every once in a while, I get a hall pass,

which is good because I need …


8.2


I walk with the dreams of the child I was,

who walks with his father, handsome …


68


Every once in a while, I get a hall pass,

which is good because I need enemies,


67


We can't hold everything, but we try / sometimes, to hold them longer than …


66 (china shop)


Ok, you didn't need to break something.

When people come into …


65


I don't think I'm ready to talk to you.

It could be that I'm afraid of something.


64 (I'm not mad, beautiful)


I'm not mad, beautiful, that would be

like blaming …


63


You show up when you want me to help you.

You show up, talking about all you've …


62


I might have a present for you, this time.


All gifts are lies.  But I don't …


61


She got every single thing she wanted

by avoiding smiling liars like me.

She …


60 (little miss)


Little miss, little miss, don't you miss me? / Miss me, miss …


59


Just a few minutes after eleven, / and I won't be sorry until sunset, / when …


58 (?)


Didn't you come for trouble, and find it? / Didn't you wave to the twelve …


57 (13 lies)


The truth is, I only tell 13 lies.

Lie no. 2: I lie in praise of …


56


She didn't get it all, but she got most.

What little there is now, is as salt,


55


This way madness lies.  This way madness lies, / in the blue volt of an hourly …


53.2


Why would I lie when I can just be wrong?

I've fallen off course, drifted …


53


Why would I lie when I can just be wrong? / I've fallen off course, drifted …


52


But actually, you're crazy, aren't you? / Aren't you on the corner of the …


51


Our little losses just the cheer of crows; / a laughing sheen on the face …


50 (the barmaid's freckled hand)


Let me tell you what a liar I am

I'll tell …


(first crown)

36 → 49 → 45 (miracle cure) → 46 → 47 (jest cause) → 37 → 48 (other …


49


I promise you darkness, and blinding sun,

and a carnival wheel at twilight,


48


Why not?  This place is burning to the ground.

The workers are gone, flown …


47


The asylum rescinds the naked law.

Given that we've woken to the surprise,


46


Is this the place for the miracle cure?

Here, sitting around this veneer …


45 (miracle cure)


Is this the exhibit to the conquered?

Is this where I come …


44 (twenty-dollar holiday)


Death is a twenty-dollar holiday.

The first dollar …


43


I keep waking up in this burlap sack.

I'm on the edge of the Hudson River.


42 (old friend)


Applebees and a strip club, all for free.

Isn't that heaven …


41


All I really want to do is stab people.

Once, I got a chance to do it.

But …


40


She smelled like puke and a bar, and childhood; / where love is a dozen thoughtless …


39


Is that you again, standing next to me?

Wearing last night's dress, missing …


38


Possession is nine tenths of the law,

where I come from, where city met meadows,


37


On fire at the apothecary,

all that effort, melting in sealed boxes.

Aisle …


36 (dangerous)


Dangerous, is the smiling face of desire.

Have we not always known …


35 (falling)


Warm from the cradle of God's presence,

rushing in the breath of …


34 (one for the team)


We are all children here—against the wall

of the gymnasium—…


33


Little did you know about the implant.

You thought so so hard about the couple,


32 (paean)


    We of waste, waisted we, who would squander 

    sorrow, squander …


31 (sorry R)


Sorry R.  I am so so sorry R.  

Immodest me, modest of modesty,


30 (bleavenly hiss)


Me alone, dear God, in these hills of flesh, making

nothing …


29 (2B at “The Tannery”)


You and I.  Then we, on the railroad tracks. / walking …


28 (your name is Slim, slim)


I am more gaunt than my slender zero,

counted not …


27 (Queen of Ice)


O bitter light, O queen of ice, O wicked flicker 

candlelight, …


26 (more Ann)


How is it you would rely upon me?

I would lie at your command, …


25


Heaven descend, wash over this ocean,

wink at the wretched, and leave us …


24


Smash smash smash, sex and half, sex and half. / Woman and a man, woman and …


23 (double R)


Double R and you know who you are.


And I'm the friendly among …


22 (seated at her table)


To a woman like that, I'm nobody. / But this other …


21 (just years)


She leaned over the bar to arm wrestle.

She'd pulled me to a …


20 (John John)


John John automaton, born to never, 

never learn. John John automaton, …


19 (saints and winners)


She shows up, hangs around, and smiles at me.

I hover …


18


Sea-moon blue.  He marries the Paris sky,

her eyes, and a loose knit dress …


17 (life unweaved)


You live on the other side of the world,

and somewhere between …


16 (a long night)


A long night, my love, my sweet sick sunrise,

my drunken dawn, …


Before (15)


Before, before, we are children afraid / of sleep, of the hallway …


14 (eleven)


Eleven years later she comes to me

and remembers she said "in ten …


13 (holiday)


Whatever is there to explain, my dear?

The tinker of regrets and …


12 (Never Forever)


In Never Forever we live together,

eternal in terminal wanderlust.


11 (joust that hack built)


Cruel crisis, and we, dusty dividends,

are flies …


10


Sad, alone, she is reaching for the world

with the mist of her breath on …


9 (seventy)


Seventy-seven ladies of sorrow,

dear hearts, cruel hearts, broken …


8


I walk with the dreams of the child I was,

who walks with his father, handsome …


7


Her breath catches.  I am white heat and ashes.

"I tore it outta the flesh …


6


Come to me like tomorrow to a child.

Like the day is cradle, blue world below,


5 (little loser)


Nobody loves me like my little loser.

She would lift me, love …


4 (adieu)


She comes like a wrecking ball in winter,

razing the old tenement and …


3


Vainglorious somethings undone by time.

No time for lust or enlightened delusions,


2


Tire me with white lies and petty pretty 

complicity—we've never ventured far 


1


Sunshine or gold on a family urn

is a hue hard to hold, so I just stare.

How …