A touch of Zen

Even in Kyoto,
Hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

He says he loves the sun on his face,
the sound of the busy Paris streets.
At dawn mostly:
the idea of sipping coffee
with sun on his face;

But what he likes more
is the hollow of the coffee cup,
more than the coffee,
the promise of coffee it brings.
He reaches for the sky,
finds nothingness,
with sun on his face,
or so he thinks:

in Paris,
hearing the metro rumbling,
he longs for Paris. 


Flamenco à Hanoi

A la cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Hanoi,
je n'ai pas pleuré (à l'idée que tu es à l'autre bout du monde) :

au café en face, Paco da Lucia joue un air de flamenco.
Et j'ai souri : quelle connerie la vie.

Mais quelle belle connerie !



has become a nuisance,
as I have no use
for it

Today is my birthday.
I have spent it alone,

I read Romans,
I slept,
I listened to the radio,
spat at the TV
and wondered where my

faith has gone, unresolved
yet mingled, like water
through a half-drenched
coat – strong and
weathered –

storms and boats,
thunderous mental
psychedelic dreams
of vacuity,
the LSD generation –
alas gone!

Still no matter:
I just wish you were


Published in Eunoia Review


Marché de Fer, Port-au-Prince

It looks like the zombie apocalypse is doing very well here,
thank you Madame l’Ambassadeur.

Or that suddenly civilization turned around and says
thanks that was great but let’s just be friends, okay?

This is where men die every day for lack of poetry, while we –
staunch remains of confetti d’empire – just lose it.

Yet mother cat reminds of the endless love – metal structure,
market day.

Only men have guns here. The women? Well they know of
the secret crossroads.

I know I’m white. Just let me breathe it. All this confusion.
This joyful mess. Basically Invictus.

Published in Eunoia Review


Nine eleven twenty sixteen

For Nathan, who didn’t kill a wasp

You scoop a wasp out of
your beer and it flies away,
half drunk, half grateful,
out of that particular fate;

little droplets falling against
the curious shadow cast by 
your glass (curious because 
it is the evening of the day).

That night I slept better than
I had done in a long time.
I didn’t dream of the day we
all stood in stupor looking
at the sky,
although I wish I could sit 
still in silence,

wondering at the stars.

Published in Eunoia Review


A certain kind of ghost

For Nittavanh

"Most Honoured One, I have a question to ask you. If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom, what should they do to help quiet their drifting minds and help subdue their craving thoughts?" (Diamond Sutra)

And as you walk
down the street –
the certainty of cold wind
slapping your face –
you’ll remember you wanted

to cure the incurable,
save the unsavoury and
split emptiness
with raw contempt.

And with a mastery you
didn’t think possible:
the certainty you will die,
on a Tuesday.

As if living, you’d made
love possible,

in all kinds of tongues.

Published in Eunoia Review

One day I also will pass – in memory of those murdered in Paris on November 13th 2015

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism 
or in the darkness of destructive selfishness”
– Martin Luther King Jr
One day I also will pass.

It may be in mid-November, when
the days grow short.

Or after a last drink,
an apéro en terrasse
with friends.

I may be ill. I may be old.
I may be young. I may be alone.

It could happen in Paris.
Or maybe New York.
Perhaps in Rome?

When my candle goes out,
when the smoke dissolves into
thin air, let it be.

But let it be said: I lived.
And I loved.
That's all:

nothing more.