Monday, December 29, 2008


I got a paper-cut
opening my health insurance

- Jim DuBois

Thursday, December 25, 2008

All of Broken-Down Humanity

All of broken-down humanity,
raging like crazy people in the night,
desperately searching for connection,
or holed-up in private castles
hoarding crumbs of affection and sparse memories of being human.

All of broken-down humanity,
getting drunk and fucking
like it's a miracle cure,
or watching hour after hour of mediocre tv shows,
killing time with endless scrabble games.

All of broken-down humanity,
trying not to feel,
trying not to face it,
or burning up from the agony and terror
and going down in flames.

All of broken-down humanity,
this is why you did heroin,
this is why you started wars,
this is why you hurt and rape and kill.

All of broken-down humanity,
lost in the wilderness of society,
pretending it's ok,
wishing for more... maybe,
forgetting how to dream,
forgetting how to want,
forgetting who we really are.

All of broken-down humanity,
searching for answers in weird mystical places and practices
- astrology and acupuncture and hundreds of religions,
and the only real answer is:
there's no room to be you!
we got fucked-over and are lonely,
we must build a new world.

All of broken-down humanity,
- we can only fuck and fuck-over
because we've forgotten love,
forgotten how to love.

We need a change
we need to remember
we need to make room for our humanity
we need to recover from the ages
we need to rest
we need real love.

-Jim DuBois

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Transformations (Dec 15, 2008)

The wolf and the crow
    visited me one winter night,
            "Your true self is waiting,
             Your true self is waiting,"
and I snuck out
    into the cold and dark
where I ate wild grubs
    of the present moment
and foraged for bark
    from the tree of life
until my clothes turned
    brown and grey and green,
    the colors of the woodsfolk,
and I could run one hundred miles
    without stopping
and my wings finally regrew
    and I disappeared into the sky.

-Jim DuBois

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back in the Kingdom of Me (Dec 13, 2008)

Back in the kingdom of me,
the dust has gathered on the floor
and birds nest in the high tower,
but I have finally returned,
so I light a new fire in the hearth,
clean up a little,
and look out at the land
I have missed for so long.

-Jim DuBois

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oberon Escaping (Dec 13, 2008)

I cast a circle of protection.
I cast a spell of invisibility.

I walk the back roads,
and hidden paths.

I call upon old oaths
and forgotten pacts.

I break your enchantment
and return to the land of Faerie.

-Jim DuBois

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Like a Radio Wave (Sept 2002)

Like a radio wave,
  moving steadily outward
    into the universe

Like a radio wave,
  or an echo,
    or light travelling from distant stars,
      informing viewers of events
        that are already well past
          in history

Like a radio wave,
  having no fixed point,
    only appearing
  to exist
    when there is a radio

Like language,
  encoded and encryted
    meanings –
        without a listener

Like a moment of history,
    or a book,
  sending out ripples of influence
    into the future

Has the moment passed?
  Or just some of it?

Like evolution and procreation,
  providing an unbroken line,
    a varied but cohesive system of life forms

-- One moment,
                many appearances

Just one moment
  without a beginning or end
Just one self-modifying,
  everlasting moment,

Expanding like the universe,
  being picked up once in a while
    by various
      sensors and receptors.

Just a moment of existence,
    like a radio wave,
      moving outward.

-Jim DuBois

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let's Find It! (Nov 24, 2008)

Let's go on crazy weird adventures, Tony.
Let's go on crazy weird adventures, Bob.

Where is that animal within?
Where is that crazy primal essence of life?

Let's find it!
Let's bring it out to the people!


-Jim DuBois

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coulda Been (a few days ago)

You coulda been mine, yeah...
you coulda been mine, but...
...yeah, you coulda been mine.


Dream Roads (June 23 2007)

Walking down a familiar dirt road,
I feel content,
and then I realize
    I have never been there before -
  except in other dreams,
    and that there's a whole
    landscape I visit over and over
    in dreams (and memories of other dream roads)
and then I realize
    even those memories
        are dreamed up.

-Jim DuBois

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jenny It's Friday (Dec 15, 2006)

it's friday
and I want a hamburger,
and if it was summer
we could walk down
to Serio's
and get some,
so where the heck are you?
And where has summer gone?


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

And Love is Like (May 11, 2005)

Love is like
    a demon loan officer
    possessing and re-possessing
        my heart,
    demanding timely payments
        of imagination and memory,
    held at bay
        only by obscure signs
            of blood and fire.

And love is like
    a lion you find unexpectedly
    in your home.
You fling scraps of poetry-covered paper
    at it in a wild despair,
        it will be delayed long enough
            for you to escape out the

Love is like a tornado,
    scattering your carefully arranged loneliness.

Love is your shadow.

-Jim DuBois

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oct 27, 2008

Caught up by desire,
suddenly afraid of a real yes
because of "what if?"


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Down A Long River (Sept 16, 2008)

There's that far away place,
usually down a long river,
where you can dive off the rocks
and go for a swim,
but you don't know exactly where it is,
or how to get there,
only that it is wonderful and mysterious,
and you've been there many times,
at least in these dreams,
and it might not always be the same place physically,
but it has the same feeling,
the same empty watery feeling,
the same rocky primal feeling,
and sometimes it is the river,
and sometimes there's a powerful tall waterfall you are swept over,
or maybe jump over,
and sometimes it's a huge steamy bathroom
with tons of empty showers running
but it's really the same place somehow
and sometimes the showers are right near a pool
which is by a waterfall
which leads you out into the wilderness
and to that rocky diving spot,
or below an ancient temple,
and you're not sure if it's ominous there or not,
but you remember other times,
in dreams that are similar,
sliding down crazy water slides that go underground,
and swift-currented rivers you are propelled along,
and on and on,
until you wake up.

-Jim DuBois

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Short Poems, Short Affair

All fucked-up
      and tender-hearted,
waiting for you to call

Long, open-hearted hours,
at the green bus stop,
      and in my dream-like room

I love you already,
I miss you
      even after one day

Real love is so simple
I don't have much to say about it,
      but I want to keep saying it

Confusing conversation -
you like me... but...
not ready right now?

All fucked-up
      and broken-hearted,
and wishing you were mine

I kissed you goodnight
I took that flower you gave me out of my pocket
I put your number back with all my other numbers


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spiderman Retires


Spiderman retires
and takes up
watercolor painting
in the countryside
because he gets so tired
of all those tear-jerking moments
where his friend,
who was his enemy for a while,
dies after fighting off
the real bad guy,
who probably wasn't bad,
just misguided.


Gandalf goes to therapy
and starts to realize
that the shadow of the past
is only a shadow,
and a ring is only a ring,
and even though he wishes
for a dramatic solution
to soothe his dark memories,
he starts to understand
that the best thing he could do
is live in the present,
and save Frodo and the other hobbits
a whole lot of trouble.


Young Bruce Wayne
never becomes Batman
because some helpful social worker
realizes that Bruce just needs
to cry and cry
about his parent's death,
and explains that all his
dark fantasies of revenge
can never bring back
mom and dad.
Instead of growing up
to be a costumed vigilante,
Bruce becomes an artist.

-Jim DuBois

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mt. Tom (Sept 17, 2005)

Wandering in the remnants of time
the rotting tree trunks
the glacier-strewn rocks

Lost in the aftermath of the past
the decomposing leaves
the cracked basalt boulders

Even the new trees
in the bones
of their ancestors


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stealing into your Heart (feb 28, 2005)

I wrote poems about love and longing,
I pined,
I schemed about ways to meet you,
planned what I would say
and how I might approach you.

It's all come to nothing so far.

Here's my latest plan:

You won't know me when I'm near,
because I will not notice you,
my eyes will glance over you to someone beyond,
I'll turn away,
look down,
keep walking,
but late at night
I'll return to my secret task:
digging a convoluted tunnel
to your heart,
bit by bit,
with a bent and rusty spoon
I stole from the cafe.

Any day now I'm sure to break through,
and stealthily enter
the chambers of your heart -
on tip-toe,
in socks,
breathing shallowly
and moving slowly.

I don't want to disturb anything,
I just want to see what it's like
to be in there.

Maybe I'd pause for a bit
and watch how you secretly
love the world
when you think no one else is around.

I might take a nap, too,
before I headed out,
because it would be so warm and comfortable.

The only things I'd leave behind
are a few tender kisses
in spots that wouldn't bother you
or disrupt your days,
a soft string guideline
to make finding my way back easier,
and a note
that said

  "Somebody loves you"


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sometimes desire is so simple:

wanting to go walk around
in the fading light.


More Hobbies of an Unemployed Poet (May 21, 2005)

I guess I'm
collecting feathers

And aimless moments.

Wandering in the lost places

like the hillside below the abandoned state hospital
and the broad empty lawns of Amherst College.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Unknown and Unfinished (July 31, 2001)

I was lost.

Unknown and unfinished,
I sat in the parking lot
while the rain threatened to fall
and finally did.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Brief Encounters (Sept 5, 2000)

I saw the fading slogans
  of ever lasting love
    decorating the rusty railroad bridge
      in dare-devil

I wondered about
  the people who wrote them,
    10, 15, 20 years ago.

I wondered
  if they still

I thought of you
and I wondered if
    our brief encounters
    were like those slogans,
  thrown up in a momentary abandon,
  left like relics
    for future lovers to find
    and wonder over.

-Jim DuBois

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Universal Echoes of an Ancient Truth (July 1, 2006)

Universal echoes
of an ancient truth
filtering down
through the technological canopy
of today

by cellphone towers
and cheap plastic goods

by escalating vices
and polluted waterways

beneath a mountain
of pop-up windows

Universal echoes
of an ancient truth
seen here and there
in thrift shops
and the crazy buttery eyes
of select strangers

Universal echoes
of an ancient truth
whispering between the words
of religious propaganda

Universal echoes
of an ancient truth

-Jim DuBois

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It Doesn't Turn Out Like in the Movies (Feb 25, 2005)

There's that face in the crowd,
a random person in a sea of strangers,
that sets your heart on fire,
and it doesn't turn out like in the movies,
because you never meet them,
and your struggle to tell them you love them
never gets resolved, one way or another.
You just go on seeing them every once in a while,
heart-aching, trying not to let on, trying not to care,
wondering why it seems to matter to begin with,
but not understanding how you can do nothing,
or how you could do anything, anyway.

-Jim DuBois

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sitting Outside State Street *

Everybody's rushing around here
but I don't know
what to do next.

I ate a banana
and a peach
and now
I'm sitting outside State Street
watching the cars go by.


* State Street is short for State Street Fruit Store, a grocery store near where I live.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Randomly Regarding Infinity (Oct 1 2005)

Randomly regarding infinity

Compiling lists of words

Lost in the wilderness of time

I talk to dogs and other mammals


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hollow Metal Phantoms (Jan 25, 2006)

Hollow metal phantoms
hurtling towards oblivion

The roots of the pea plants
tangled around my heart

Wasting and saving time
vanish like ghosts in light


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Step by Step (April 28, 2005)

Step by step
word by word
penny by penny

bite by bite
stone by stone
moment by moment


Monday, July 28, 2008

For Every Time I Saw You (Sep 6, 2002)

I thought maybe
  I’d write a love poem
    for every time I saw you
      from a distance
        and longed to know your name,

A poem for every word
  that stuck in my throat
    when in your presence,

A poem for all the hours
  I spent thinking of
    ways to meet you
      that didn’t involve revealing
        that I already loved you.

But it would add up,
  you know,
    all that paper.

At first
  I’d slowly replace everything I own
    with stacks of love poems,
  but then the apartment would get too full,
  and the door would burst
  open like in the cartoons,
  with papers flying every-which-way
  …and there’s me running around,
  trying to keep things in order,
  keep them contained.

Me, running around making the worst
  hundred thousand poems
    into confetti
      for the impromptu parade
        for you,

And with the rest of the poems,
  building block after city block
    of shrines and monuments
      in your name.

                        - Jim DuBois

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Borrowed Ambition Pen (May 4, 2003)

My borrowed ambition pen:

trying to find
      what was lost

trying to arrange
      what is in disarry

trying to make sense of
      what doesn't make sense of

Like a mind of its own,
   it’s searching the shadows of my understanding,
      probing into my broken heart
         looking for the indestructible black box
            that holds the secrets
               to what went wrong

My borrowed ambition pen
   is travelling deep into outer space now,
      chasing comets of lost love,
         skirting the gravitational pulls
            of black hole disaster zones
               where nobody knows… knows what there
                  is there and nobody can.

What is it learning?
   What does it know?

When it gets back to earth
   we’ll have a party
      to study the complete map of the emotional cosmos
         called me,
      and we’ll put big red danger ‘X’s
         on certain spots,
         and never never go there
            except by accident,
            or if we have to because of true love again

Only this time I’ll have a new,
   re-enforced space suit,
      and extra oxygen tanks
      and plenty of food,
      in case I get stranded
         for a long time,
      and probably a homing beacon
         so you can come rescue me,
            all you people who were at my universe party
               and warned me not to go there,
                  but knew I would,
               because who can hold back
               where love and hearts are concerned,
               and who would want to anyway?

My borrowed ambition pen
   is like anti-kryptonite,
      boosting my strength to super human levels,
         and I’m using it to chop down
            forests of primal delusions
               where – by gum! – it’s still beating:
                  this old heart,
                     this old forgotten heart.

It looks like we got here in the nick of time, too,
   but it always feels like that,
      doesn’t it?

            -Jim DuBois

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hobbies of an Unemployed Poet (c. 2000)

Looking for change
Beneath pay phones and parking meters

Sweating shirtless in the sun

Hanging out in parking lots
    and on sidewalks

Abandoning practicality
    to study the mysteries of
        life and death,

Abandoning practicality
    to study faith.

            - Jim DuBois

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obsessing about my pants at 1:45 am (Oct 18, 2006)

about my pants
at 1:45 am

about my only sweater
at 1:55

Should I keep them?
Should I get rid of them?

Get rid of?

Over and over

                (return to top of poem)

            - Jim DuBois

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Poetic Grace (July 13, 2007)

I read about meaning
  and poetic grace
  and then
I fixed my toilet

        -Jim DuBois

Monday, June 30, 2008

Let’s Tell The Same Old Jokes (Nov 26, 2005)

Let’s tell the same old jokes:
Men are X
Women are Y
    ha ha ha

Kids are Z
    ha ha ha

The liberals _________
The conservatives ________
    ha ha ha

Let’s tell the same old jokes
Let’s buy the same old stuff
Let’s do the same thing every day

Let’s watch the same old
    white guy talk show host
        tell the same old jokes
            with the same old attitude:
                cynical, detached, passionless,
                    mean, empty,
                        american bullshit artist

Let’s make the same old movies
Let’s write the same old dialog
Let’s have the same old plots

Let’s have the same old news:
You’re fucked!
There’s a disaster,
There’s a war,
Be afraid

Let’s show the same old ads:
Cars will set you free,
Beer will get you sex,
other stupid shit will make your life easier

Let’s make the same old excuses
Let’s play the same old games
Let’s tell the same old jokes

Let’s write the same old lines
Let’s tell the same old lies
Let’s commit the same old
    slow-death suicide by overwhelming mediocrity
        so popular in America.

                            - Jim DuBois

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Real Life (Dec 4, 2005)

If we told the truth
  it would be a story of:




Thursday, June 12, 2008


I wish they'd named me
'Cause then I coulda
    been nicknamed
    "Primordial Stu",
And I woulda
    jumped around
    like a monkey
And started
    a rock band.


Dear Mr. Frost

Dear Mr. Frost,

I slapped some words
  on a page today
  and called it
  a poem.

I know you wouldn't approve,
  but you are dead
  and I
    am not.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hidden Landscapes (June 2003, May 10 2006)

I don’t mean to alarm you,
but just outside the yard
there’s a pulsing landscape,
filled with ever-blooming flowers
and the un-dimmed dreams of youth.
All you need to do is raise your eyes
ever so slightly from the TV,
and cast your glance out the window
at the billowing clouds or
the momentary flight of birds,
or the sun going down
    over the hills,
you might never find your way

      - Jim

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Strip Away the Tattoos

Strip away
    the tattoos
Throw out
    the designer belt
    the nose-ring
    and other assorted studs

Get out
    of your car
    your keys
    your IDs
    and bank cards

    your job
    your date-of-birth
    your name

- Jim DuBois
Nov 20, 2005

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The night cousin Ed met Genghis Khan (May 14, 2006)

The night cousin Ed
met Genghis Khan
at the edge
of the Gobi desert
and they raced
stolen tractors til dawn
while drunk on plum-blossom wine
stolen from the forbidden city.

Actually, plundered.
Plundered is a better word for it.
Plundered plum wine
and stolen tractors.

Good old cousin Ed
and crazy Genghis Khan,
lord of the mongol hordes.
What an unlikely friendship.
But they’ve been pen-pals
ever since.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Unexpected (May 17 2008)

I slept so well
I forgot
what day it was

I saw
an ex-girlfriend
on the street

I got
a check
for $6.41

Then, wow!
free condoms

     - Jim

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Opposite of Wasting Time (Jan 24 2006)

I guess
the opposite
of wasting time
is hoarding time,

pinching off seconds like pennies,
counting minutes
on the balance sheet
of your life
and hoping they are all
wisely invested,
not wasted on frivolous things,
or luxuries,
or anything intangible,
like happiness.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nowhere to go at 11:42 pm (June 14 2006)

Nowhere to go
at 11:42 pm.

Walking through an empty
Smith campus,
I pretend that
because there is
a locked room
where I keep all my stuff
my life is under control
and held in check.

What if all meaning
is artificially constructed?

I head out
towards Stop & Shop
to get some
cinnamon gum.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Incandescent Time (March 11 2007)

Incandescent time,
burning the edges of reality,
softly glowing
as it consumes eternity.

Incandescent time,
revealed by memory and motion.

Incandescent time,
I offer you this moment.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Deer Antler (Dec 25th, 2005)

Wandering lazily
in the field by my parent's house,
I found a deer's antler
in the snow.

Half an hour later,
after a slow search,
as I composed in my head
a poem about how
what luck brings you
you can't seek deliberately,
I found another antler.

     - Jim

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rollerblading around at night (June 28, 2007)

I felt pretty cool
rollerblading around
at night

until I skated
through a huge nasty
dog turd

but didn't find out
til later
when I took my skates off

and grabbed them
by the bottom
and said,

"What's that?
It looks like...
oh, shit!"

I was at Stop & Shop
and wanted to buy
some fruit

but decided
to wash my hands

the water pressure
in the bathroom sucked.

I also thought
I might wipe off
my rollerblades

but the bathroom
only had an air dryer
and no paper towels.

"I think
this is one of those times
the Buddha talked about

where you think
one thing will happen
but it never does

and you end up
pissed off
because you wished it would have,

and if you could only
get over that expectation
you'd be fine."

And Jesus would probably say,
"Skate through a turd
with your other skate."

or: "Blessed are those
that step in shit
and don't complain."

Well, I don't want to make
those guys
look like assholes,

so I'll do my best
to shrug it off
and forget about it.

But it still sucks
to have dogshit
on your skates.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Uh-oh! I'm happy. (April 25 2008)



I'm happy.

Warning! Warning!

I'm happy.

    have I
        done wrong?


I'm sure I've done nothing
    to deserve it.

I haven't even been
    working hard!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Marking Time (April 16 2008)

Marking time
by people walking
by returned phone calls
by day and night.

Marking time
by growth of trees
by clouds
by the lifespan of the sun.