This poem is from my latest book, WHEN OUR CHEEK BURNS OR EAR TINGLES, THE TRUE LOVER’S KNOT IS VERY MUCH UNMAGNIFIED, which you can buy Here or read it for free Here.

In the forest, I ventured upon a strange figure
that was wearing a black cloak that was long
& flowed down to the grainy earth. I said Hello.

He remained quiet. His face was obscured,
his back turned to me. He turned around, looked
at me with a burning fever in his eyes & with a

quivering bottom lip that resembled a ripple in a
pool of water. He said: “We both look rather frightful,
don’t ve?” After speaking, I saw the glistening fangs

barely visible under his lips. A vampire!
I chuckled & thought, I’m going to tease this vampire.
I told him to hold on, that I’d be right back. I fetched

a pale of blood, returned to the forest where
the vampire still remained, but now stood as if
uncomfortable, anxious & expectant. I didn’t care

about gaining favor with him, but I simply wanted to
win out against heavy odds of not getting fanged.
The idea would be that I would become a vampire

& therefore could say Goodbye to this “land of milk
& honey” & rely on living a new, secretive, inner life.
It was a big risk, but a risk that I was willing to take.

A risk that, quite frankly, I desperately wanted.
Most boys want to be a baseball player, an astronaut
or fireman when they grow up. I wanted to be a

vampire, & now, in this moment, this was my great
opportunity. I had put myself clear into the face of
burning wreckage, like getting struck by tiny debris

from a volcano. The vampire was motionless, stood as
erect as a light pole, frozen like a shadow. However,
he had goosebumps on his vein-bulging hands.

In his eyes hung albatrosses. I began teasing the vampire.
I dangled the blood in front of his pale face, saying,
“Here, vampire, here, vampire...” & all of this happened

just as day dawned, burning brightly above the horizon,
the sky lightening in an incomprehensible frenzy.
If you do not believe me, I have assembled footage

collected from a DV camera (I thought to bring a
camera along after fetching the blood, thinking that
no one would ever believe this Cock ‘N’ Bull story).

Surprisingly, the vampire had other thoughts in mind.
He said, “Ugh, vait a minute!” & he pulled out a polaroid
camera, snapped a picture of me as I dangled the blood,

laughed aloud like vampires do, retreated soft-footed
like a silk domino into the darkness, screaming,
“I do not drink blood! I eat developed polaroids!”

His gradual diminishing echo clashed against the
cool breeze. I threw the blood to the ground, flashes
randomly appearing upon my flesh, as if my blood were

being supernaturally transfused & treated as
the developing chemicals for his polaroids.



Fatal is my machine which draws its own sword,
swarms in the air above, cold as an Antarctic vein

in the shriveled ground, effortless & down to earth
like fallen autumn leaves, a kind of sport for physical 

expansion, reduced & wrong. Grounded, are we?
Grounded like a magnetic field, or a biologist, salted 

by a nothingness galaxy of electrical rotating roots
underneath humanoid plants. In monotone, the eternal 

pencil sketches magnificently where angels camp
around me; the insects glow: gnats form around my 

face like crystals; fireflies gather around the top of
my head in the shape of a halo. Cell phone suddenly 

vibrates as if Voltaire were calling or texting to correct
my errors via cattiness, renegadely. Light is saved 

in my eyes. No correction is needed. This is a poem
about unyielding every savage thought, a story of 

diminishing evil like black hats, granite-colored
weather clouds hang above, redbuds & yellow blooms

along the creek-sides, sluice of unlimited opening,
venice fly traps with a kind of "engine" in their bodies,

streets hunger for the descent of fervent earnesty,
honesty in the middle-east ceases to exist, peace as 

wayward as spoiled meat, diseased within the shoulders,
hooves of citizens stomping the lands as Egypt fell,

Syria fell, Ethiopia falling, gassed out in tempo; comet
Elenin reserved for The Hunt for Red October?

In the same way, I want to be so deep within your mind
that when people look upon your face they see my face

as if superimposed over your face, a stranger
to them like a reluctant, languid murmur, tender 

vehemence in the mystery where Understanding needs
not a connective thread. Precisely the metaphor 

buckles. Today, I found myself in a peculiar dialogue
with a dark-haired woman that could have stretched 

to every state, my mind was the chorus, could have
been nudging mountains with my shock, unstaining 

stained glass, spazzed through Dante's imaginations,
& what is it about people's propelled recounts, 

their "puns" that they consider paradises of glimpses
into what their very minds see? If this were color, 

I'd fail to see the rainbow, but the concept of speech
is like a living mammal, or Dorothy's view of Nature 

& Law, peering through abstract symbols. This woman,
she said to me, "You don't want to know what that bottle 

reminds me of"--as if to say, "Ask me & I will definitely 
tell you," as if I did not already know.