..from a forthcoming book…. ‘Progressive’


Not who you say you are or not –
myself the same
without reference to abilities,
those being at times merely subjective
each thing witnessed a choice:
your appointment begins
with every denial of death crowding in

Voices chanting no or yes –
only offering clues to another lie
or truth;
guidelines or fences, bridges to burn,
the sacrifice unguessed:
in the renewal where you turn again
to meet yourself now unblessed

©Dean Baker

..from THE POETRY HOTEL.. ‘What Happens At Local Restaurants’

Twenty minutes waiting, people
become impatient
One half hour cheese and grease
are grating

One more time later launch
the brown alligator
Twenty seconds debating
another spider barks

Fifty miles sailing
broken pipes dreams burst
Twenty miles away thumbing rides
to a new horizon

Nothing on fire burns
close to what disfigures thee alive
Smoke and flames desire
what’s cooking on the pyre we deny

©Dean Baker

..frm The Mythlogies Of Love.. ‘Unearthly View’


Missing you, I
step off the edge
of routine; constrained, yet

held by boundaries,
the skeleton of this costume,
this envelope of flesh

where I cannot sleep or rest,
almost a dream awake
before the sudden drop

to the flatlands, the crash
soft, epidermal; sloughing off
another season

that may last one more
unmeasured length
against the strength

of daily storms
I contain in unearthly view amid
too mortal awareness, and remains

©Dean Baker

from The Mythologies Of Love.. ‘Practical’


In these cities
writing poems
is impossible

the buildings
collapse the sky
enters stage left

you’re in the bathtub
while the phone is ringing
among the ruins

and you don’t care
how many have the evidence
who is responsible

It just couldn’t be recalled

©Dean Baker

..from THE ESCHATOLOGICAL DOG.. ‘Bird Brains’

The sun’s not yellow, it’s chicken!” – Bob Dylan

Everyone has an opinion these days, some have even
Taken it upon themselves to capture these on the page

Whether rhyming or not various lines make their way
Through the air and flames to take a place, to reposit

Themselves in the form of art or some such imitation
Of the forgotten real thing – even the desire for poetry

Is misplaced, so great that surrogates resembling those
Are daily made in the form of solicitous belief, eager

Dispensations of neuroses confidently stated as though
These were the first and finally only things discovered, not

Caricatures designed to distract and placate, without
The slightest apology for the life pecked away as the writer’s

Riches are gathered once more for attribution to their own holy
Parade of vocalized chirps and tweets where even poetry

Has succumbed, gotten a bad name since there are so many
Poets I think there must somewhere be an obvious absence

Of clerks, and grocers willing to work for the joy of it all:
The lowest common denominator now a substitute for the truth

©Dean Baker



..from Silence Louder Than A Train… ‘Conquerors’

Don’t take up the alarm about the invasion
Anyone with a sniff of wisdom knows it has begun

That it has been in place for the longest time, that’s
Our sense of fairness, the largess of conquerors betrayed

Do not remind those who have families and friends
That anyone of them could be the enemy, dazzled with false

Idols and the indolent charms of the indebted slaves
Do not speak of the Barbarians at the gate, while the cities

Burn and spark and fires break out everywhere without origin
Do not mention history as a lesson, the abandonment of finery

And charm as the initial state of what the future brings
Where the aliens have occupied what greed left behind, deceit

Kept in place and refined so no final attack need take place
Anymore as the music plays, the dancers ticktock and sway to

The rhythm of the gathering wave soon to surrender us, again
As we gasp and there is no remembering from that place

©Dean Baker

..from Measuring Gravity By Grace.. The P.C. EaTS mY bRAIN

The P.C. eats my brain,
the corpses in the living-room
nod awake: another nerve expires.

I do not complain.
Such fantasies of doom
fail to aid the other liars.

You think you are satisfied
with what’s electric; your city
friends, and their mutual hatred.

This is no more than
few rise to it, though you try.

Pull back the covers: even
your skeleton
stays cold and still and naked.

©Dean Baker