Friday, December 5, 2008

ECCL 4:6

One open hand in silence
Covers two fists in violence.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Those epic works are such a scam.
Read one? I couldn’t give a damn.
I think I’ll stick to the epigram.

Monday, December 1, 2008


In spring love is the call.
Summer echoes lust.
Then fall is my fall.
And winter is my dust.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Don’t sit.
Get fit.

If not,
You’ll rot.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Like Jacob jostling in the night
I tumbled, trembling in my mind;
Struggled, attempting to unwind
Proud, dour doubts dissolving in the light
Found in the warm relief of day.
Daylight's delights felt far away.

But then I sensed a subtle shift:
No longer a fearful muddled man,
But a diviner of the holy plan.
This passed by, revealing a rift --
A rush of cool uncertainty
Unhinged my hallowed victory.
I woke at daylight, rubbed my head,
And limped out of my tossled bed.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The early bird may get the worm,
But the night owl dines on rabbit.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Soccer moms, shopping malls,
Sunday's best for God;
Please, don't let them bury me
In this suburban sod.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


King David listened to the Lord
And heard an unheard melody.
He asked him for the hidden chord.
King David listened to the Lord.
The major third was his reward.
Be still and hear the harmony.
King David listened to the Lord
And played a holy melody.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

after Martial

Though life is rarely forgiving
Here’s my list for the art of living:
My numbers hit the lottery;
Huge house with lots of scenery;
Lawyers unbilled in a dispute;
Never the need to wear a suit;
A stomach smoother than a table;
A mind much more diverse than cable;
True friends, straight talk, and home-cooked food;
Enough good wine to ease my mood;
A comfy bed warmed by a wife
Who’ll keep my interest all my life;
Untroubled sleep throughout the night;
No snooze alarms; up at dawn’s light;
No courting death as a close friend,
But ready for my final end
And asleep in bed at my end.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


My poetry is rat poison to editors,
but here and there a Philistine seems to like it.
-- Edwin Arlington Robinson

Give me a friend who drinks lite beer
And burps his favorite Shakespeare.
Find me a wife who loves to bake
While she recites some William Blake.
Show me a man who loves his gun
And reads Emily Dickinson.
Certainly, everbody knows
A line or maybe more of Poe's,
But I'd be filled with sparkling hope
To find a mate who smirked at Pope.
And I'd be blessed by my dear Maker
If someone knew of me, Chris Baker.

Friday, October 31, 2008


What's the key to happiness?
How can I avoid desperation?
Don't light a candle or curse the dark,
Just keep those low expectations.

A sound mind and a healthy body
Or just the proper medications?
Well, those may work, but not as well as
Those low expectations.

The wise men, those ancient sages,
All have their recommendations.
Alas, poor Yorick, he knew all about
Those low expectations.

A dog, a car, a white-picket fence,
A relationship without complications.
Don't you aim so high,
When all you need is low expectations.

Hear the song

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


His poems won't stay in print
Long enough to pay his rent.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I used to be a logophile.
Each word was a small god.
But since my wordful faith has fallen,
That love to me seems odd.

My dictionary offered words
For worlds I'd never known.
But now it's just a dusty book,
One of many I own.

And I perused my dear thesaurus
And gleaned fresh terms galore.
Those synonyms and antonyms
Aggrandized my word-horde.

There was time when words meant something,
But now they seem absurd.
I'd like to tell you how I feel,
But I can't find the words.

Friday, October 24, 2008


My accredited snobbery
Hasn't aided my jobbery.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Who is this famous Anonymous
Who's written more than any of us?
Though sometimes listed as Anon,
There's nothing he hasn't written on.
Anon is found throughout the ages
In rough broadsides and glossy pages;
Scribbled in grungy bathroom stalls
And chiseled on smooth marble walls.
He's found in all the anthologies.
Who wouldn't want his royalties?

There is a deeply held belief
That he in nothing but a thief.
He sits around and bides his time,
Makes plans to steal another's rhyme,
Puts pilfered lines in his verse chest,
Waits till the poet's put to rest ...
Now that you know, are you distressed?

The time has come to stop this crook
Who's never authored one whole book.
But where to look? Can he be found?
Is he an agent of the underground?
Are his prints on file with the FBI?
Is he some sort of double spy?
Have they been tipped to his M.O.?
And if he's caught, how do we know?
Do you think he'll make a confession?
Say something like, "I've learned my lesson."
Or just deny it? Say he's been framed?
Can he be charged if he's unnamed?

Anonymous, this may be true,
But now we've got our eyes on you.
Now poets everywhere will look
Closely at lines in every book
And think, "Where'd he steal this one from?"
Anonymous, you thieving scum,
You rhyming cheat, you scheming schmuck,
You've just about run out of luck.

Monday, October 20, 2008


It wasn't drinkin', but eatin',
That got us kicked out of Eden.


If there is truth in wine,
Then which should I embrace?
Red or white? When I dine,
I'll drink both -- just in case.


Have I been drinking? Just a little dram.
Hardly enough to weigh an epigram.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


A body in motion tends to stay in motion;
A body at rest tends to rest in peace.

Friday, October 17, 2008

after Philodemos

My first love was with Chrissie,
I'd met in Indiana;
And then there was a Chrissie
Raised down in Louisiana.

A buxom Chrissie in Kansas,
Two best friends in Michigan,
A husker from Nebraska,
A widow in Maryland.

A cowgirl Chrissie in Texas,
An ex-nun in Oregon,
And a dreadlocked Rastafari
In rainy Washington.

Wherever I have traveled,
In Utah or Kentucky,
Wherever there's a Chrissie,
I know that I'll get lucky.

It must have been the Fates
Who decided on my name;
Or maybe it's some random,
Erotic spelling game.

It's true in every Chrissie,
You'll find a hidden Chris.
And I've checked every Chrissie
To make damn sure of this.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Never trust the five-star chef
Who’s too fat or too lean;
Be cautious of the mechanic
Whose fingers are too clean;
Never retain the lawyer
Who’s never won a case;
And avoid the family doctor
Who sneezes in your face;

Please fire that exterminator
Whose own house is infested;
Don’t believe that one-night stand
Who says that she’s been tested;
Steer clear of that body guard
Who doesn’t watch your back;
And don’t call the portly plumber
Who’s afraid to show his crack;

Never sail with the captain
Leaning over starboard side;
Don’t expect a groom in Utah
To marry a single bride;
Don’t book through the travel agent
Who says she’ll never fly;
And doubt the Texas judge
Who claims you’ll never fry;

Don’t focus on the photographer
Whose gaze doesn’t linger;
Cut and run from that butcher
Who’s suddenly lost his finger;
Never trust a politician,
Never trust a politician,
Never under any condition
Should you trust a politician.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Another birthday again?
Hope all's well.
May this year be like heaven
And not hell.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I don't believe there are any athiests;
I can't be so sure about agnostics.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The morticians didn't have much to do
To Charlie Clearview.
He'd jogged each day, lifted weights, ate right,
Slept well each night.
The open casket showed a handsome man,
Muscular and tan;
His always stylish-hair was just in place;
Soft smile on his face.
He'd lived his biblically allotted years,
Yet still there were tears.
Perfectly preserved, we lowered him down
Into holy ground.

Graveside I stood, hungover from the wake;
Those shots were a mistake.
It seems I'd be the better candidate--
I'm overweight,
Got bad gums, glum moods, high triglycerides;
Yet he, not me, died.
The morticians will have a lot to do
To me, it's true.
No doubt the damage I have done will show
That it was past time to go.
This body's already somewhat decomposed ...
Just keep my casket closed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

a villanelle nouvelle

As pegs are turned to make strings true,
They'll turn a tune inside the mind.
That sound is nothing but delight.

A soundscape shapes the tonal view;
Too few will hear, and fewer find,
The pegs to turn to make strings true.

When notes are pure and chords are right,
Take note of harmonies entwined.
The sound is nothing but delight.

Sound can be black, sound can be blue.
Those sound-hues blend as they're combined
When pegs are turned to make strings true.

What lingers like a winter night
When summer songs are left behind?
That sound is nothing but delight.

With sound there must be silence, too.
What sounds when silences unwind?
As silence fades, becoming slight,
And pegs are turned to make strings true,
The sound is nothing but delight.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008



Monday, September 29, 2008


On Monday, I couldn't find a rhyme;
On Tuesday, I couldn't find the time;
On Wednesday, my printer had no ink;
On Thursday, I visited my shrink;
On Friday, I had a dinner date;
On Saturday, I slept in too late;
On Sunday, I watched my favorite shows;
Come Monday, I think I'll switch to prose.

Originally appeared in
Light Quarterly
Anthologized in Phoenix Rising
Hear it here

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Your name? Nothing that anyone should know.
It’s just a signature pissed in snow.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I've heard you cry, Let's seize the day!
Yeah, yeah, I heard you yesterday.

Poetry put a price on my head
And it’s a price that I can’t pay.
Those borrowed lines left me in debt
And now there’s price on my head.
Keats hired a hit man yesterday.
Emily said I’d never be read.
Poetry put a price on my head
And it’s a price that I can’t pay.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


To cure all your cancers,
Don't look for sure answers
From Dr. William Gate.
He'll shrug and charge his rate --
And claim that it's fate.

Monday, May 12, 2008


If he's not glossed,
I'm lost.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

love without friction
is fiction

Monday, May 5, 2008


You've heard of diarrhea,
Some call them the runs;
And also logorrhea,
Where words come in tons;
But what of poetrrhea?
That's when poets' tongues
Mimic diarrheic buns.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


There is an art in being ignored.
Within a crowd of friendly strangers,
Never expect to be adored.
There is an art in being ignored:
A glance may be your brief reward;
A longing look has lingering dangers.
There is an art in being ignored
Within a crowd of friendly strangers.