Friday, December 24, 2010

The Enemy of Imagination

He was the enemy of imagination,
you couldn't draw him,
or even imagine what he looked like.

Whenever you would try,
you just saw images like grey fog at twilight
and a foot disappearing behind a door.

-Jim DuBois
Dec 14, 2003

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Under cover of
the wild birds
singing at dawn,
I can't ever be
who I used to be,

-June 18, 2006

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Waves of doubt wash over me
as I lie next to you
trying to sleep.

Will I ever show you
this poem?

-Jim DuBois
June 25, 2006

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Certain Peace

The first time I remember
    walking down route 9
    by St. John's church
    in Northampton,

I had given up hope
    and was carrying
    a rolled up blanket
    and looking for a place
    to sleep.

I had given up hope
    of finding people
    of finding my way
    of finding a home,

but there was a certain peace
    that settled over me
    in that moment
    (maybe because
    I had stopped trying)
    and then Julian pulled up
    on the street
    (in Steve's british car
    he was borrowing without asking)
    and took me to stay
    at the Cummington Community
    for the Arts
    for a few days.

I remember wandering around
    up there,
    going into the weird little cabins
    (which I later learned were private),
    sitting in a field
    playing flute
    which echoed back nicely
    from the hills
    and imagining
    I was the long lost son
    of a woman I imagined
    lived in the little old house

I remember eating a lot of carrots
    and seeing Lauren's
    circular art cabin,
    with the hand-made walk,
    nestled in the edge
    of the woods.

Now it is nearly twenty years later
    and I am sitting on State street
    on the low stone wall
    by Edwards church
    and I am trying
    not to try
    and to give up hopes
    I have of other people,

and even though
    I've had insomnia recently
    and my best friend's husband
    died three months ago
    and we (including her three
    and a half year old son)
    haven't found our bearings yet,
    a certain peace
    has settled over me again
    and I am using it
    to relax,
        to remember,
            and to write.

-Jim DuBois
Nov 13, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Insomniac Math

Let's see...
I couldn't fall asleep right away
so it was maybe 430 or 5
then there were those weird dreams that kept waking me up
plus those fing dogs barking in the morning
and now what the fuck was that?
I think mom or dad just came into the extra room I'm staying in
probably to get something she or he forgot
but possibly just to accidentally wake me

now it's 1146
so it adds up to probably 6 1/2 restless hours
if I was lucky
but it's more likely to equal
that I'm tired and irritated
and the day is screwed.

Sounds like my brother and nephew are here now though
and at least I'll get to eat a lot
plus I got more sleep than the 3 hours I kept fearing
so I'm probably not screwed as hard as I thought.

-Jim DuBois
Nov 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Epic Tag-Sale Poem *


Jenny, you're away
but tag-sale season started today.
I did what I had to do:
I went without you.

I didn't get as far
as we would've with your car.
I got some books and some games
but by myself it just wasn't the same.


I remember --
last summer --
driving around to tag-sales
with you
hunting for bargains
and perfect satisfaction.

Now, even though
I've almost finished
the toothpaste
and gotten rid of
the weird literary magazines,
I think our hunt


Coming back to town
late Saturday afternoon
I saw many signs
for huge tag-sales
with great bargains.

Neither you nor I
could go to them
since we were

-Jim DuBois
Pt 1 - April 29, 2006,
Pt 2 & 3 - June 19, 2006

* A Tag Sale means a Yard Sale or Garage Sale, which is where people put things they want to sell out in their yard or garage. I picked up the term "Tag Sale" from living in Western MA, and have not heard it elsewhere.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Bus Stops

I like bus stops
because no-one
thinks it's weird
if you stand there
doing nothing
for a long time.

-Jim DuBois
Dec 15, 2002

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Some days,
you are sitting backstage
from your life
relaxing, eating a bagel,
thinking of what to do next,
waiting for them to play the music
that's your cue
to walk on stage

-Jim DuBois
Oct 21, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010



I never thought
those times would
become faded

Or that my voice might be
the spectre of the past
calling out,
reminding you,
reminding me,
of something…

…something indistinct
but important,
locked away in memory,
in childhood,
in these faded photographs
of who we used to be
but can never be again.


I never thought
those times would
become faded,
but these photographs
tell the true story,
that we weren’t who we
thought we were,
and we still aren’t,
and it’s only by a trick
of the mind
and avoidance of the sight of our old bad
hair cuts
that we convince ourselves
that nothing’s changed.


Sometimes something
indistinct can tell us
more than something precise,
because what is essential
is dynamic and can’t be captured…

…we can only be reminded of it,
and experience it anew.

We have memories and feelings
about the past
but no more moments of it.


I look out the window,
watching the grey weather
quietly drop snow onto Northampton
as I write down some thoughts
that came to me
after looking at these old pictures.

I know that one day,
this moment will also fade,
this ink will disappear and
the paper crumble.

Until then
I just want to say:

We still have time
to be who we’ve
always been.

-Jim DuBois

Monday, October 18, 2010

Momentary Ambition

Sometimes there's no guide
    Sometimes there's no right or wrong,
        only a momentary ambition
            to climb into your eyes

Sometimes there's nothing to understand
    Sometimes there's no rules,
        only love
            you didn't expect

-Jim DuBois
Dec 8, 1998

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Places I Think You Might Have Been

Walking by the places
I think you might have been.

Scratch off tickets
litter the sidewalk
that leads to the house
a friend of yours
have lived in.

Walking by the places
I saw you last.

Eight years ago
I met you briefly
behind the counter
at the Pleasant Street Theater.

Once at Bread and Circus
we talked for a moment,
but I can't remember
what we said.

Six months ago
we waved and said hello
in the parking lot
behind Thornes
I smiled and blushed
and fell in love.

Walking by you,
a few weeks ago
on main street,
I felt my stomach clenching
and I ducked behind a tree
even though I wanted
to be brave.

-Jim DuBois
June 27, 2005

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"steel candy-cake perfume"

I remember that time
that you said
"steel candy-cake perfume"
Karl Marx
rose from the dead,
not came back to life,
just rose
straight up
into the air
and disapearred,
heading out
towards the
Oort cloud
and the horsehead

Well, that's the last time
I'll sing butterflies
supercluster cadences

-Jim DuBois
June 19, 2006

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Semi-sweet broken hearts

      broken hearts

absorbing heat
      from the landscape

of lost love

because somedays

the sun isn't enough

-Jim DuBois
Aug 27, 2008

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fox News, etc

Propaganda machines
of the conservative capitalist empire
running at full force
to cover the cracks
in the foundation,
to distract and anger
the people
from their chance
to help deal it
a death blow

-Jim DuBois
Sept 4, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Old Working Class Women

Old working class women,
smoking in the little park near the parking garage,
gossiping about this guy
who lives in their building -
they can't let each other finish their sentences,
they are agitated, but talkative and friendly.

Sometimes they wish they could afford
a better place to live.

-Jim DuBois
August 19, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Evolution of Existence

I went outside
to eat two bananas
and enjoy the shade
and breeze

Then I reflected
on the nature
of my existence
as people have done
since they were people

Then I typed in
some poems
on my telephone
which sent them
through radio-waves
to some distant
computer server
so I could retrieve them

-Jim DuBois
August 19, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quark Dreams

I had this dream
that I was explaining to Robby
that when electrons jump from state to state,
they sometimes emit photons.

I woke up
and thought about
that living beings
are made of the same stuff,
like electrons and protons,
as other matter,
and that
all those weird quantum things
apply to the underpinnings
of our own selves.

Do we emit photons
every once in an improbable while?
do our protons ever decay?
do we have junk DNA and multiple back up RNA
to compensate for quantum randomness
that might disturb our
cellular reproduction?

I pictured us
as glowing collections
of subatomic particles,
heat, trapped and controlled
by elaborate methods,
like neurons and DNA.

-Jim DuBois
August 19, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lame Little Bird

Lame little bird,
leg stuck out sideways,
dragging across the ground,
hopping around like everything is normal,
you are made of
Quarks and Protons, too!

-Jim DuBois
August 19, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

SItting on your couch

Sitting on your couch,
Wanting to be closer to you,
Wondering what I should do (if anything).
Maybe I'll show you this?

-Jim DuBois
Fall 2007

Sunday, August 15, 2010

American Spirit

I keep finding these
discarded American Spirit
cigarette boxes
and thinking it's ironic
(ha ha Indians are
back to nature, etc,
funny to see it here, etc)
but then I realized
tt wasn't, it was actually
a message from
the true American Corporate Spirit:
Kill people, take their image
idealize it to sell
addictive things
to help control
the population
and make a profit,
and leave trash
in the wilderness.

-Jim DuBois
April 25, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Like the Sun - #17

To lead people well,
you must be one of them,
no better or worse,
no more or less deserving.

Don’t glorify your achievements,
don’t hide your difficulties.

Who you are will be enough.

Let others go before you,
let others come after.

When you are just another person,
with no selfish desires,
your leadership will last and be effective.

- Jim DuBois

[This is an excerpt from my book, Like The Sun, from the section about leadership. Get the whole book]

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Like the Sun - #66

Have you seen the great canyons,
carved hundreds of feet through stone
into the earth?

It was only flowing water and time
that achieved such a spectacular result.

But on any given day,
you won’t see much evidence
of this occurring.

It can be useful to picture your efforts
in life similarly.

Each day you put effort into
your work, a bit here and a bit there.

Most often there is no immediate drama as a result,
but sometimes you can see the canyon-like effect,
stretching backwards in time.

You don’t need to do more
than to be persistent in your efforts to achieve something.

Indeed, there is hardly a way
you could force all the effort
required for spectacular things
into one day.

-Jim DuBois

[This is an excerpt from my book, Like The Sun, from the section about getting stuff done. Get the whole book]

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Like the Sun - #1

The sun!

Radiating warmth to everyone,
sustaining life on earth,
needing no credit,
exerting no extra credit.

You can be like that:

Doing work that comes easily and naturally to you,
improving the lives of those around you,
changing situations for the better with your presence.

- Jim DuBois

[This is an excerpt from my book, Like The Sun, from the section about relating to people. Get the whole book]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sometimes (again)

the food you pick out
is exactly as delicious
as you had hoped.

-Jim DuBois
July 18, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Old guy, reading the paper
at Stop & Shop,
"I'm one of those
everlasting survivors."

-Jim DuBois

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Far enough
Wide enough
Long enough


Expansive feeling of life
at the railroad bridge
over the Connecticut river

-Jim DuBois
April 14, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Heart Has Always Been My Own

My heart has always been my own
with its own ways
and words
loving when it does
who it does
however it does

You might notice it,
you might not
- that is your business

-Jim DuBois
April 14, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Neuron Firing

A neuron firing,
An idea forming,
A muscle moving.

A letter!
A word!
A sentence, and a poem!

What next?

A person,
        A planet,
                A galaxy!

The forces of Gravity!
The speed of Light!

-Jim DuBois

Sunday, June 27, 2010

no time to wait

There is no time to wait, no new day coming with the promise of liberation.
There is no time to wait for the right words,
no time to wait for the world to be ready.

There is no time to wait for audiences or art
No time to wait for fear to go away
No time to consider whether your actions will be right or wrong

    no time for things to be finished
    no time to wait for someone else to approve or say I love you
No time to rehearse for tommorrow

no time but imperfect now

-Jim DuBois
c1994 (originally written on the inside of old raisin boxes)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Like the Sun

I wrote a book of poetry philosophy, and will be putting up a few selections from it on this blog, but you can get a copy now:

Like the Sun

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We Will Remember You

We will remember you,
said the stars and the rain

We will remember you,
said the flames of the sun

We will remember you,
said the mass of humanity.

We will place you
in our collected memories
and pass you on
    and on
        and on

-Jim DuBois
June 12, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Broken and re-formed
Like dna or atomic nuclei
Or life and death of stars

-Jim DuBois

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Somebody Else

He used to be somebody else,
but he rarely remembered who,
and even then
it was more of a feeling or a dream
than a clear memory.

-Jim DuBois
May 2009

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Paladin with shining heart
emerges into the sun
-- the world is saved.

- Jim DuBois
Oct 24, 2008


Peeking in the dance window...
no one there to dance with...
no way will I pay $5!

-Jim DuBois

Friday, May 21, 2010

Adult Life

View 1

Breed work consume

View 2

work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work
work work work work


-Jim DuBois
Sep 2005

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The World Didn't Stop Turning

The world didn't stop turning --
    the moon rose,
        the stars shifted --

but we were safe,
    drifting through time
        on our raft
            of that long embrace,

for a while
    really living,

just being there
    at the center of things

caught up
    in the trees and water around us

caught up
    in the only moment there was.

-Jim DuBois
Sept 21, 2000

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Worst

I like to save

the worst
    for last

and then
                    skip right over it

-Jim DuBois
Dec 16, 2002

Monday, May 3, 2010


I used to be
an astronaut,
floating out, way out,
somewhere between
the galaxies.

They sent me there
on some mission we all
forgot about,
but luckily I got rescued
by some aliens who brought
me home.

-Jim DuBois

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Upon Opening My Kitchen Door

Upon opening my kitchen door
I see a strange chair
which startles me for a moment
and then I remember
in a rush
how we stole that chair
last night
on a date.

-Jim DuBois
July 15, 2007

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It Was A Good Day

Going to bed last night,
I suddenly remembered
you, barefoot,
calmly leading the Clydesdales*
out to the pasture,
while I ate mulberries
and watched
from up in the tree,
and later,
we ate red raspberries
off the vines
and talked about
how the world
keeps on giving.

-Jim DuBois
April 13, 2010

* a Clydesdale is a type of horse. They are very large and stocky.
Learn more about them

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It Rained So Hard

I'm staring
at this swamp
and remembering that time
when we were young
and it rained so hard
a pond formed
next to the junkyard
and we built a raft
from old tires
and the hood of a truck
and floated around
in the rain.

-Jim DuBois
April 12, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Genetic Astrology - video

I already published the text of this poem here, but now there's a video of me reading it.

-Jim DuBois

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Real Moment

At home,
new paintings, drying
under new drop-ceiling
next to new windows.

me, wandering
catching the last of the light
almost aimlessly.

-Jim DuBois
March 25, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010


My friends
are away
on a trip
but at least
I get
to be lonely
and clean up
cat puke.

-Jim DuBois
March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not Really

You asked if anything
was bothering me
and I said no.

Are you sure?

Yes, I feel fine.

Really? Cause it seems like
something's bothering you.

Not really.


Are you sure
nothing's bothering you?

Well, these questions
are starting to get
on my nerves.

I knew something
was bothering you!

-Jim DuBois
March 5, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010


I remember
playing piano
onstage with Trevor
at Fire & Water*.
I was reluctant because
I didn't know much
about playing piano.
People liked our song,
and afterwords
Trevor said,
"See, it didn't matter
how much you know,
you could still
entertain them."

I also remember
Attaboy** giving me
a drawing lesson.
I brought
my pen and paper
to the cafe,
and he said,
"Ok. Now draw, man,

Another time
I saw
some modern sculpture
and said
to my artist friend,
"I don't get it,
I coulda done that,"
and he said,
"Sure, but
the difference between
you and this guy
is that you didn't."

A few weeks ago
when I was having
an open studio
to sell my art,
Kathy told me
what her brother says
about pricing his art:
"Keep raising the price
until you get nauseaus
and then sometimes
double it."

-Jim DuBois
Feb 23, 2010

* Fire & Water was a cafe in Northampton, MA
** Attaboy is the name of a friend of mine who used to live in Northampton

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Old Cat

Look at the
cat lying in the sun

Look at the
green green grass

Look at the Cat

Look at the Sun



-Jim DuBois
Nov 21, 2003

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What if

What if
in our secret hearts
it mattered?

-Jim DuBois
Jan 17, 2007

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bone Memory Poet *

Bone Memory Poet
dwelling in the
blood marrow caves
telling the ancient stories
of the genetic ancestors,
the primates of days past.

These bones,
these caves,
were grown
so long ago
no one really remembers
but everyone knows
they go further back
than some find comfortable,
to rodents and bacteria,
mud and rocks,
strands of protein
from unknown shores
off the planet.

Bone memory leads us back
to the calcification
of our own skulls,
to the womb,
to the very first vertebra,
back further
to Africa
via our individual paths,
to tiny mammals,
an ice age
and the extinction
of the dinosaurs.

Speak, bone memory,
speak, bone memory,

Remind us of our
elemental nature,
of calcium and iron,
of our siblinghood
with water
and oxygen,
of our ability
to generate
electrical pulses
and create chemicals.

You've seen
all these things
and encoded them
in mysterious genetic runes
and protein alphabets.

Bone Memory Poet,
reminding us
of our foundations,
of our inner structure,
reminding us
that below
the cleverness and cognition
we are physical entities,
forces of nature.

-Jim DuBois
Jan 6, 2010

* title line from a friend of a friend

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stars, and Ice

Walking back through the front field at night,
after feeding the cats at the barn,
we used to lay down and stare up at the stars
and feel the enormousness of their distance
and what it would be like
to just keep falling
up into the sky.

Sometimes when we came back that way
in the winter,
the whole hill would be covered
with ice-encrusted snow
and we used to lay down on our bellies
and slide slowly
all the way down.

Jim DuBois
Jan 1, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Looking for Something

I remember many years ago
when I was browsing
in the consignment shop
down on Pleasant street.

It was grey and snowing outside,
and inside, me, one other browser
and the guy at the register
were the only ones there.

The other browser was a skinny guy
looking for some cheap boots or something.
I wanted some cool cheap shirts, probably,
and the guy at the register kept looking boredly out the window.

Then this girl came in
and we all felt a little happier,
because we were lonely
and our only way out was through girls.

She knew the guy at the register
and they talked for a little bit
and me and the other guy had to listen
because it was otherwise quiet in there.

She said she was having a lazy day,
a relaxed, lazy, snowy day,
and she had spent the morning in bed
playing Nintendo with her boyfriend.

And to me, and undoutedly to the other lonely fellows,
it was like the god we had always wished for,
but never believed in,
had sent a divine being,
a kind of benevolent angel,
to let us know that
somewhere, someone was happy
and not lonely
and that even though such a divine entity
was always going to be out of our reach
and we'd probably have hard struggles
with our separate desperations,
we should not give up hope.

-Jim DuBois
Jan 1, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Computer Summary Poem #2

When I put my whole blog through the summary function of my word processer, this what it came up with:

40 Short Poems

This poem

a love poem

- Jim DuBois + Computer
Dec 20, 2009

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wandering in Other People's Memories

This broken twig,
that muddy footprint --
these show the paths they took
to become themselves.

Here is the campground of her fearful heart,
there is the happy hillside of his youth.

There is the pizza place that still serves
    hot hope for the future,
here is where she buries her forgotten days.

This is the trash heap piled high with
    unsent love letters.
that is the wasteground where time
spent waiting for things ends up,
and little yellow flowers grow.

-Jim DuBois
2004 ish

Monday, January 18, 2010


This is where you live
On this sidewalk
In this chair
Among these people
Wherever it is you actually are

This is who you are
With these thoughts
Eating this burrito
Making these minute by minute decisions
Doing exactly whatever it is you are doing

This is what you are
Temporarily animated matter
Atoms somehow made conscious
Not separated by the boundaries you think you are
Not different from other atoms
Unique but not different from the other conscious beings that surround you

-Jim DuBois
Jan 16, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

That Long-Dead Dog

I keep dreaming about

Rushing to attack
the post officer,
in a strange ranch house,
struggling to escape
my restraining grasp.

He is like symbol,
or a message
that I don't understand.

Nobody liked him,
but I guess
I liked him
more than I thought.

-Jim DuBois
March 10, 2004

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Let Tomorrow Come

Let tomorrow come
    because I’ve polished today
    and stashed it
    in my trophy case,
    with an engraved label

Let tomorrow come
    because I’ve got my ear
    to the ground
    and the energy of life
    is relaying your heartbeat
    to me from wherever it is
        you’ve gone.

-Jim DuBois
Oct 6, 2000