did you ever think a piano
could fall on your head?
do you look over
your shoulder at all?
on the dark side of passion
comes a taste for revenge
in the night is there
a rustle just under your bed?
are the bolts dead?
is the phone live?
are you wide, wide

are you surprised a battle-ax
has an ax to grind?
it’s tit for tat
and all’s fair in love
a mercenary man
with a dutiful wife
the tables have turned
the plot is prime
are the lights on?
cause the bet’s off
are you wide, wide

i gotcha comin’
i gotcha goin’
the IRS
is on your tail
a private dick
is in your mail
your edifice is starting
to crack and peel
your girlfriend is starting
to panic and steal
whatever’s left
of a small piece
of a small pie
of a small man
with a much smaller life

did you mistake “fat and happy”
for stupid and blind?
do you know
that I knew from the start?
a tooth for a tooth
an eye for an eye
this taxidermist
has skinned you alive
are the dogs in?
cause the cat’s out
are you wide, wide


(adapted from poem by Verlaine)

Dansons la gigue!
J’aimais surtout ses jolies yeux
Plus clairs que l’etoile des cieux
J’aimais ses yeux malicieux

Dansons la gigue!
Elle avait des facons vraiment
De desoler un pauvre amant,
Que c’en etait vraiment charmant!

Dansons la gigue!
Mais je trouve encore meilleur
Le baiser de sa bouche en fleur
Depuis qu’elle est morte a mom coeur

Dansons la gigue!
Je me souviens, je me souviens
Des heures et des entretiens
Et c’est le meilleur de mes biens

Dansons la gigue!

there’s a piece on the chair
a piece in the hall
a nice piece of me
stuck to the wall
divide and conquer
the jigsaw in you
has left me asunder
all over the room

there’s a piece by the clock
clinging awkwardly to time
there’s a piece at the piano
clinging stubbornly to rhyme
there’s a fun piece of me
in a crack in the floor
an innocent piece
who walked out the door

call me a doctor
or a structural engineer
draft me a past and a future
that consent to adhere
give me a pill that makes cohesion
a pharmacological thing
bring me the tape and the twine
the blueprint design
to fit that scraps and the threads
to the feet and the legs

there’s a piece that was pretty
for a moment or two
but my mouth and my lips
are somehow askew
a piece of a hero is
behind the TV
the piece with the glue
is looking for pieces of me

there’s a piece in Detroit
a piece in LA
New York is a critic
she’s funny that way
there’s a piece prone to panic
a big piece is blue
all the pieces agree
the best piece went with you

in fragments and tatters, scattered
all over the road
each piece has the other
but no piece is a whole
little maps in their pockets
reflections of possibility
the pieces pick themselves up
dust themselves off
and start all over

I arrive in the jungle
in my new khaki clothes
make a splash in a pontoon plane
bought and paid for by those

who demand a tally
of the dark horse, the bad seed
poking and prodding progenitors
of respiratory disease
are we


I have institutions in the West
to make institutions in the East
I historically revise
with Deconstructionist ease

to name is to own
to market is to steal
I’m a gangster in a Hummer
and this culture will yield
to me

my policy is straight
my publisher primed
the natives will not
resist this time

’cause I’ve got celebrity
I translate, I teach
I give my heart, my soul,
my brains, my body,
and my batteries


bridge (from Sophocles)
I came on my journey
to a juncture of three roads
two men in a chariot
made it impossible to go

I struck the driver
for pushing me aside
the old man struck me back
so that I
had to kill them all


I can change water into wine
solve the riddle for the Sphinx
I like the perfectly primitive
cause they desperately need

my sovereignty
over Third World Thebes
I’m a First World Oedipus
and Mother Earth is
down on her knees


I’m a First World Oedipus
and Mother Earth is
down on her knees