Monday, January 06, 2014

POEM: This Wild Daylight

 is unlike any other.

It is lizard-like
Squirms over frozen field.
It is the texture of talcum powder.
Things are tracked.
Footprints identified.
Directions discerned.
It enters lungs on every inhale.

It is a new year and day burns
It is the kindling past
that smells like charcoal.
warming us.

POEM: Tossing My Iphone Into The River

Imagine rolling down the car window
And tossing your Iphone into night air
Over a bridge that spans the Connecticut River.

Let’s call it summer.
Let’s say the stars alone are your witness.
Let’s say you’ve been drinking, but you have
Thought about this before and it is not fair to
Blame the alcohol.
Let’s say the moving trees and the warm
Cricket air has something to do with it.

Let’s say the darkness and the moving
Automobile owns you right now.

Imagine the object, shaped like a chocolate bar, swaying as it
Waddles to the riverbottom, tumbling along with the strong
Currents shad and stripers must fight every spring to spawn.

Now imagine this crippled alewife, without fins:
it cannot swim, its demon eye blinks red, blinks red,
blinks red, until the inky depth cuts the link.

Let’s say it creates a hypothermic silence.

Removed from any phone plan, a fading ghost,
A radio whisper to the satellites,
It frantically tries to connect, but only voicemail remains,
Vacant & soggy, begging for one more message.

Dreaming in a place where there is
no T9 shortcut for the word “help”.


Friday, October 18, 2013

POEM: Trumpet Ivy


A moment alone
Before another siege
And a blanket of fog
Muffles the leafblower.

Day light scores
Everything whistle clean
As a chewed dog
Toy.  My thoughts are

Draping cobwebs,
While trumpet ivy is
Ablaze in all its tropisms,

A match head
That dares the day to strike.

 

Monday, October 14, 2013

POEM: Gypsy Songs (Brahms)

Strike the faithless face
Lament until fleeing wave
Stream to the Rima banks.
When the loveliest
Laugh, teases and kisses me
Enfolded kiss, regret                                                                             
My poor bitter true remains.
Ever bronzed, clanking spurs
Caress his sweet whirl
Shout spring about.
Throw shiny silver guilders
On the cymbal
To hear it ping,                                                                                         


A row bloom so red.
No law against the forbidden
Beautiful wide grinned world
Thought perished
Long ago.
It would be a sin to abide
In empty cups of joy.


Recall with solemn oath

POEM: Ideal (Tosti)

Follow the friendly touch
I sense the light of air, of
Perfumed solitary radiance.
Absorbed,
I dream of earth’s anxiety
Of her torment dreamt and forgotten.
Come instant smile,
Cloud feet rippling through tall grasses,
 Shine on me

What has yet to be.

POEM: Lovely Moon Who Sheds Silver Light (Vincenzo Bellini)

Moon silvering street like a coin.
The flowers breathe its own language
To the elements: sole witness
To ardent longing.
Recount the distance,
Assuage a cherished spot in the corner
Of the room.
Count hours of flattering comfort,

O light, my love. 

POEM: O How Anxious (Mozart)

Ablaze,
To see only more,
How anxious,
How ardent glad reunion!
Erased by strident separation.
While I waver
While I quake and favor these
Sea swells that rise
To  halt the burst
Of fresh ocean foam.
Or sea green eyes.
In a whisper,
all fire is her sigh.
Cheeks aglow,
You deceive me so,
O tangy, trembling dream.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

POEM: Tu, La Aventura (You, The Adventure)

You are the journey I have longed to take.
The white water in me that aches
For wilder paths.

You are the canyon I would rappel if I could,
The dwelling place of all dreaming -
Something I never believed possible.

You are the adventure story
I want so eagerly to read at night,
When my leaden eyes close against my will.

You are a tale told in volcanic rock
Beneath our boots as flecks of shale.

You are the wild rabbit’s rush to the warrens of Fall,
Leading me, leading me, into the yawning dusk
Whose gilded fingers I desperately want twined into mine.

We are deep caves, the two of us. Let’s be spelunked,
Kneeling in the dark, with our dayglow clothing
And our moon breath to guide us.

Let’s wander then, to become trumpet vines
Showing off to each other our decadent flowers
On mornings, before each new gift of light.  

Let’s be stakeless tomatoes to northerly winds.
Kingly gourds with a sprawling demeanor.
Kin to the unlatched door

Lost forever in being found anew.




Sunday, June 30, 2013

POEM: Blue Flame


There then goes the vascular flame,
A flame that carries heat & light.
There then goes a claim to this life.

There then goes gravity that once
fixed objects  to this earth, but
now repels each thing from the other.

There then goes blood & DNA
& the bruised secrets of loneli
ness, of Coumadin-induced ghosts

standing in white hospital rooms,
of cousins long deceased, speaking
in spectral whispers.   There then go

the dusky eyes, the easy smile,
what remains of our father’s voice.
There then goes what we imagined about his hands.

Then goes the blue flame that released us
with the warmth of the friction created
by fingers releasing a sisal

rope, one by one, until nothing
lasts, & everything is
cast away.

 

POEM: The Objects That We Love


Your arm reminded me so much of lamb
That I nearly took a bite of it.

Your cheeks were so much like mashed potatoes
That I yearned to cry over them & salt them.

Your ear was a chocolate chip cookie
Begging to be dunked

And each lip, was a gummy bear.
Your neck was corn on the cob

As I plucked every yellow nib with a pink tongue.
Your eyes were butter in a toaster.

Your thick breath, maple syrup.
But when I say that I loved your lasagna

I am not being metaphorical
But that your layers entice me,

Whispering “undress me,
One curlicue noodle at a time!”

And when I dine out,
There is no cause for jealousy.

It is your sauce that I want poured over my pasta
Whenever I am hungry.

It is your bubbling red sauce, raw, stripping,
That shapes my meatball heart.

 

 

POEM: My Fearful Swan


My fearful singing swan is
so mindful yet  forced silent 
By early white plumage.
Elves glide on blissful song in the dell,
Parting false company. But only by
Listening, you died betrayed & sang
Aways in circles, where the song faded away.

You were such a swan then.

 

Found Poem From Translation of Edvard Grieg’s “The Swan”

 

POEM: Signs

Why does the flag fly at half-mast tonight / it is for breezes quitting / Or the naked trees / Or the look of hungry crows with deep eyes / in search of bread / cawing at the leaner days ahead / When I pass a church / and at every meal / I make the sign of the cross / just as I was taught growing up / Just as I still bow my head / when the name of “Jesus” / is spoken aloud / But I was never taught what sign to make / at a flag half raised / Especially When the deceased is unknown / It’s a blank gravestone / that waits for a Godly script to be written / A name perhaps a date or a clue to his faith / What remains is what I can never know / Is what has already been done / in living songs / in the friction / that life brings along with it / in the haystacks of debt that we owe to history / Which is a story / shivering to be told.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

POEM: Turdis Migratoris

Sunrise breasted bird,
You sit and wonder.
I will wonder too.
Scratch for your grubs. I
Will scratch along
with you. With a yellow
beaked heart that picks at
everything below.

POEM: Reversal

And now your life pulses


After the ebbing that was yours,

That sorrowful ghost,

That bag of dry twigs,

That was hope as kindling,

It is now just an empty glass.

The promise of love,

Of a smile, had never left you.

It was only covered up,

Hands clamped over its mouth

Waiting for the moon

To change everything

POEM: The Lives of Dreams

It is bad luck to dream of ice, or have your teeth fall out. To dream of snakes means change is coming. Dreaming of snoring people precedes natural disasters – like hurricanes. Like the night before superstorm Sandy hit when you elbowed me to tell me I was snoring and by the way, the air pressure was dropping, and do you think we should evacuate?




Nakedness is just the humility you lack; dreaming of red means you are holding a grudge, which will someday dry you up and blow you away. Rodents indicate a burrowing will, a whitheringness. The inability to vocalize during a dream means you want to be a jazz blues nightclub singer, and your soul is trying to find a hole to escape from you. You’ve never been accused of being hip, and this is why: you must let the cool escape.



Dreaming of geese in V-formation flying away means you will lose someone. Dreaming of geese in V-formation flying towards you means you are pregnant, unless you are male, in which case it means you wish you could be pregnant. Dreaming of geese on the ground means you will soon be crippled.



It is good luck to cry in your sleep, to weep soundly. It is your body’s way of uncovering all the hiding places in you, of removing the plastic sheeting you carefully construct over your internal house. It is also good luck to dream of food and if you can smell it, or taste it, even better. It is a sign that all of your hunger will soon abate. That soon, you will have enough. Stop worrying.





POEM: The Lives of Furniture

The loveseat once serviced the buttocks of Louis XIV. “Lou-eee Catorz” is how he says it. He is proud of this. The recliner never complains though he has a meat-and-potatoes life. He knows every Superbowl score since they started holding the Superbowl in 1967.

The piano stool once served in a speakeasy, dodging spilled prohibition beer. She dreams of being with a Steinway in the Biblical sense. She is a kissing cousin to a Stradavarius but does not like to mention it much since the others always make fun of her and she thinks it is bragging.

The end table is stressed – by design – to give him warmth, the marks and chips age him, make him seem experienced. On most days though he wishes the marks were gone so he could avoid all the pity stares he gets.

The hutch thinks he is overweight, and always tucks his drawers in to look thinner. He is tall so the weight is distributed well on him. He is made of mahogany, and the other pieces envy his tan. Still none of the other pieces in the room thinks he needs to lose weight. Sometimes he just feels fat, he says and asks the mirror to move a little so he can catch a glimpse.

The roll top desk likes to read. On rainy days, he rolls up his top, and flips through pages of a book. Sometimes he reads aloud until the others shush him. Near an old replica of an inkwell, are the initials “T.P” carved into his shoulder, like a tattoo. He remembers when the child did that. How much it hurt.

The grandfather clock adjusts his spectacles. His ballasts hang in fatigue. His pendulum carries a weight. Knowing time is a burden. All his springs want is a trip to Bermuda, to sit on pink beaches, and drink out of coconut glasses with colorful, paper umbrellas sticking out of them.

The rocker hums, eyes closed, imagining small children and arms.

The coat rack’s arms are tired, even without having coats to hold.

The couch needs reupholstering. His springs stick out. His arms are threadbare, with patches. Once, though, his foam was firm. Once, people felt majestic sitting between his arms.




POEM: The Lives of Voices

I found a voice on the street and thought it was mine. It was robust and fit well enough into my vest pocket, that I thought it might be the voice of reason so I kept it, hidden from the tirade of winter, keeping it dry and warm for future use. I wore this voice as a sacred undergarment, not unlike those worn by Mormons.

The next day, while hiking, I found a wounded voice in the woods, tattered in its timbre, fading at the edges. I brought it home and made it Portuguese White Bean and Kielbasa soup to give it heart, to fatten its soul. I hoped to make one fully reconstituted voice capable of the most unnerving prayer, the kind that makes you shiver from the openness; the kind that precedes a great discovery.

Friends encouraged my voice, asked her to sing, asked her to recite poems, to do interpretive dance. But her nerve grew and shrank based on the temperature of the dreams she had at night: hot dreams made her want to do more, to stand taller and to preach; cooler dreams made the voice believe she was a mushroom that no one bore witness to.

On some evenings, wandering the city streets, my own voice abandoned me and danced down alley-ways, bounding off of narrow walls, off of stucco buildings, pink in its carousing, drinking, finding women of low self-esteem, lifting their spirits and their skirts. In the morning, my voice would come back, headache in hand, remorseful for having bounced over the cobblestone of its own imagination only to find its way home on the back of a whisper.

Sometimes, in the fall, the season of great migrations, I find voices strewn all over New England, each one needing a hand up, each one in search of an inner ear and some bone-rubbing.

Not every voice makes the journey in one piece of course. Some are carried off by the wind on horseback never to be heard again. Some voices take a life time to bubble, to boil like the White Bean and Kielbasa, until it is soup. Some voices are just a glance, or a touch. And still others paint their hands bright saffron and touch everything.



Dreamers dribble into the 13 billion year old universe, spending their days waving to passing celestial bodies, never even looking for an ear to inhabit.





POEM: Wedding March

The sunlight has all the promise of a commencement address.
It tumbles over a thin-lipped horizon like a drunken pledge,
A full-bodied wine, so able to commit mayhem at a moment’s notice.

Today is your unwashed carrot plucked from dry earth, soil
Clinging to its pointed orange skin, held up by its green hair, so fragrant.
It is the diamond once lost in the back yard, rediscovered by mistake.
Today you become the seeds you’ve always dreamed of becoming.
The birds chirp a wedding march, and the clouds process in bridal white.
Before the dandelions and the compost, before the congregation
Of mayflies, those flitting maids-of-honor who flutter your praise.

In the presence of an embracing universe, in full view of smiling lilac,
A balloon heart with your names on each other’s tongue is carved into
the oldest oak tree we could find and that is your New Testament

POEM: Plague



We are melting candles
Frenzied by the noise of
Our own our diminutive voice.
Our tongues that click and clack
This and that.

Relax.

Death is on its way.

The problems that have
Plagued us up to this point
Are wax drippings.

This is what the flame teaches.

What is left is what we have
Tried to avoid all this time:
The persistent cat-tongued voice
Wallpapering our brains;
Our turning around and
Around again and again only to
Face ourselves.



POEM: Apnea

1.) At 10 PM you nestle in. The bed is warm and the blankets are tucked around you. You are breathing like Darth Vader into the nose mask, through a hose connected to the CPAP machine. You imagine yourself as David Merrick, the Elephant man. “I’m not an animal, I’m a man!” you keep screaming at your wife.


2.) At 10:20 PM you are asleep. The hose to the CPAP machine is a snake that coils around your head. It is on a swivel, and you are careful not to strangle yourself or your partner with it while you switch sides.

3.) At midnight you wake up for the first time because the CPAP machine has malfunctioned and your heart has stopped. You momentarily dream of being bitten by rats and this is when you ARE getting oxygenated blood into your brain but without the machine, you do not dream at all, it is all a soupy blackness; it is the sleep you get when on cold medicines.

4.) At 12:01 AM you reach over and feel the night stand and correct the machine.

5.) At 1 AM you fall asleep long enough to feel as though you are falling. You kick your legs involuntarily and wake up again.

6.) At 1:30 AM the moon rushes into the room through the window like an anxious father and you curse it and pray to it all at once. This is the first time you glance at the digital clock - and make the analog comparison in your brain to someone running a marathon: how much further to go before the alarm. Time = distance.

7.) At 2:15 AM you turn and turn again, carefully maneuvering the hose of the CPAP machine. You are not asleep but not awake either.

8.) At 2:55 AM the mask slips off your nose and the air gushes like a wind tunnel. In a panic that has you believing you’ve just been sucked out of a 747 at 50,000 feet, you move your head slightly to cut off the air leak and then fall back to sleep.

9.) At 3:17 AM you glance again at the bloodshot eyes of the clock and mutter something about Satanic verses.

10.) At 4:02 AM you dream of sitting tied up in a chair in a field and hands, just hands, appear securing the knots. You scream as you are transported through wormholes connecting universes.

11.) At 4:05 AM you are awake again, revising the lesson plan for a class you are teaching about Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell Tale Heart”.

12.) At 4:06 AM you are mentally balancing your check book.

13.) At 4:07 AM you begin breathing deeply, following it into and out of your lungs.

14.) At 4:08 AM you are bored with this and go back to mentally balancing your checkbook.

15.) At 4:21 AM you are asleep long enough to dream of someone you do not know. You wake up feeling sad and you wonder why.

16.) At 4:35, AM again, you look at the clock and calculate time as distance.

17.) At 4:36 AM you accept that you are a freak; you believe that every other living thing is asleep at this hour. You believe you smell skunk.

18.) At 5:00 AM you dream of performing calculus in your head and while you believe you are sleeping, you are in fact not.

19.) At 5:30 AM the gentle melody of the alarm on your cell phone goes off. It is the opening notes to Radio Head’s “No Surprises”.

20.) At 5:31 AM you carefully shut off the alarm so as not to wake your partner. Your eyes are carrying American Tourister luggage around on your face. You stagger into the bathroom. The image staring back at you in the mirror: he knows you are a liar.





POEM: April 10, 2013

Had I left this spot


When the wind first thrummed,

When the gray clouds drummed

a black fist at me,

When my chilled teeth chattered

And my tired bones rattled a mamba

With rumbling hips of thunder -

I’d have missed the blue whale sky ripped asunder,

Stripped to the flesh, exposing

A roiling sun, flesh bared unrolling its tongue

Until it touched the earth,

All the while smirking, licking me warm.



POEM: Ode To a Statue of St. Francis

Sometimes birds like to shit on little St. Francis,
Man of peace. This is an occupational hazard
Of all garden-art, religious or not.
You can complain all you want:
Find a reason to hate birds, or
Never again trust a shady spot
But when you are brother to all things,
Which includes things with wings that shit all over everything,
Then you must have a cotton heart.
Otherwise your insides become a stone and
Then how do you respond to all the sadness of a world,
That scampers like a rat across a slate roof, that is
Sometimes seen, but always makes its presence known?

Clean it up and press on. That’s all you can do.
And if that bird shits on you nine-hundred and ninety-eight times,
You will clean it up nine-hundred and ninety-nine.

Watch a spider repair its web after a storm.
It’s incapable of sighing.
Remorse does not fit within the thimble frame of its
Rigid exoskeleton, it rebuilds.

Watch over me, shit-stained Francis. And
Protect every creature that dozes deep in my savage bones.
I will take you, mossy and white, or any way you come.



POEM: Tin Man

I stare into a mirror and
Proclaim in a mahogany voice:
“My God, what am I doing?”

That is the first step to disconnecting the red cable of your car battery,
Which is how you learn to jump-start things, like a car.

Fritter your hands a little. Fuss a bit.
Come clean with yourself, in jellied tones,
To the stranger in your head that says bat-shit crazy things
that you hide whenever company comes over.
The one that drives the Porsche of your mind
with the hormonal rage of a teenager.

Today is made possible
By its frosted flakes and all the sexy risk,
as dangerous as a cat-stretch-puddle.

It waits for you to take a step.

Here are the instructions:

Turn off the light /
make faces at the mirror/
on a moonless night/
let clouds grip your throat/
when owls embed themselves into headless trees/
hoot and then holler/
speak in private syllables/
break the tie between you and the image of you. /
Hold onto things with mosquito feet /
Promise anything: to bake bread together,/
to love the same woman or man or men or women,/
to get a rescue dog together and fight over its name./
Go and unmake your bed, /
Go slip your feet into large shoes, /
and stumble./
Time to stand in the ruinous rain/
to chisel away at the oxidized parts /





POEM: Wellwood Avenue (2 versions)

(Note: the first version is my first attempt at the poem, written normally.

The 2nd represents the same poem flipped upside down. Which one sounds better? It is a a very interesting thing to do to a poem.  The meaning is slightly different in the 2nd version, but it also suggests I am not in control of the poetry writing process as much as I might like to believe.)





We wonder how sunsets look to the dead,
From the tips of white granite
Which is now how we recognize their faces?

We know they are not really there, of course. We are
Very good at knowing the difference between
animate and inanimate: it is a difference of weight –

The living are always lighter. Geography
Sews an invisible thread to the inside of us, and
Pulls at us every step of the way, demanding us to return.

When I go, I want to build a place for you, my love,
To sit beside the godly pine. Place will be the shape of
My face, and the curve of your hips.

It is the running ripple of your spine, the meaty part of my hands
Which you have always admired. A place to clutch
cold stone. To wish beneath a glowering sky,

To believe in the heaviness of the dark oak past,
When I was your desire and we connected
To this sandy island whose soils once

VERSION 2

And perhaps neither of us will miss or be missed as much.
While my consonant arms wrap around you,
My name, and all the vowels will lodge in the trees.

Sit before marble and silence, and you will speak.
I will slip into your breath when you rest, when this sandy
Island a long time ago hitchhiked south on a glacier,

Before I was your desire and we touched,
Believing in the heaviness of a dark oak past,
cold stone. To wish beneath a glowering sky,

Which you have always admired. A place to clutch
the running ripple of your spine, the meaty part of my hands
My face, and the curve of your hips.

To sit beside the godly pine. Place will become the shape
of my face. I want to build a place for you, my love,
that pulls at us, every step of the way, demanding us to return.

The living is always lighter. Geography
Sews an invisible thread to the inside of us.
Animate and inanimate: it is just a difference of weight –

You will know I am not reallythere, of course.
From the tips of white granite
Which is how we will recognize each other’s faces,

Wondering how sunsets look to the dead


POEM: Watching Sports

Watching sports is like carrying your lover on your back
Through every minute of every day.
She throws her arm off your neck while you try to shave.
He leans her to one side, as he bends to tie his shoe.
She uses his Ahab arm, which swings as if
tied to the back of that accursed whale,
As a trivet to place a hot frittata upon.

The chance for perfection is always appealing.
All the energy that is burned could rekindle
A supernova, black hole,
now dark as coal,
weightless in space
or it could re-illumine every burned out light bulb filament.

Monday, June 17, 2013

POEM: She’s Off To Find The World And Herself (A Parent’s Final Exam On Flag Day, 2013)

The sky shows off its boredom in pale blue, the shade of a thresher shark’s cold indifference. A jet that is so high it is ghostly, glows as gray as a newborn. It leaves jet trails like autumn leaves in its wake.

It’s Flag Day. I hear parties going off all around me. Fireworks putt-pat against the warble of tree frogs whose trill questions everything. Laughter floats like the smell of stale beer from shattered bottles on a mocha breeze.

They are with their tribes, I think.
“Where is my tribe tonight?”

I think about children who grow up to fly to other continents because once we taught them not to be afraid of the world. Right about now, uniformed men all over this land gather, meeting to dispose of old American flags in the only approved of manner: wearing medals with multicolored ribbons and oversized pea-green jackets, with elephant ears and log-like noses, swaying to taps before flags laid out like soft coffins,
saluted, anthem-ized, hand-over-heart-sworn-to, drenched in kerosene then ignited.

Rising smoke is the soul that pools into clouds of a holy memory.

The serious sounds of growing old fill my head. She is off to Tanzania, Bolivia and Iceland. Colorful stamps will decorate her passport. I worry about the intercontinental travel of children who are no longer children, and of me, being a child again, without agency, afraid of the world and everything in it.

“I would give everything I own tonight to see her pearl face poke through that door right now,” I say every night, for a year, until she returns.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

POEM: Charlton Heston In Heaven



I wonder if Charlton Heston regrets
that video clip of him raising that
musket over his head,
Growling chafed words
about prying guns from cold,
dead hands, if there are toothless
cherubs surrounding him,
onion skinned, who also know about guns,
about tiny, cold, dead hands,
still as full of wonder,
scented with the talc of trust,
with voices like a corn-cob whisk,
telling him just how wrong he was?

POEM: What We Don't Believe


We do not really believe that art and music will raise our children’s test scores, for if we did,
we would equip each child with an art pad and violin while still in her crib.

We do not really believe that bread and wine, raised and consecrated, becomes the body and blood of Jesus Christ, for if we did, we would crawl on our hands and knees to the altar to consume it.


We do not really believe that we are beautiful or loved for if we did,
we would surely give beauty and love more freely.
We do not really believe that we are all brothers and sisters, for if we did,
there would be a homeless man in my guest room as I write this.

This is not meant to harp on shortcomings but
rather to show that the splitting of the atom is not just esoteric science.

It happens to be part of our genetic code:
This ability to explode on contact.

Friday, March 22, 2013

POEM: The Lives of Voices

I found a voice on the street and thought it was mine.
It was robust, fitting so well into my vest pocket, that I thought it might be the voice of reason so I kept it, hidden from the tirade of winter, dry and warm for future use.
I wore this voice as a sacred undergarment, not unlike those worn by Mormons.

The next day, while hiking, I found a wounded voice in the woods.
Tattered in its timbre, faded at its edges, I brought it home and made it Portuguese White Bean and Kielbasa soup to give it heart, to fatten its soul. I hoped to make one reconstituted voice, capable of unnerving prayer, the kind of prayer that makes you shiver from the openness, the kind of prayer that precedes a great discovery.

Friends encouraged this voice, asking her to sing, asking her to recite poems and to do her interpretive dance.

Her nerves grew and shrank based on the temperature of the dreams she had at night: hot dreams made her stand taller and want to preach; cool dreams made her believe she was a mushroom nobody saw fit to bear witness to.

On evenings, wandering city streets, my own voice often abandoned me, dancing down the alley-ways, bounding off of narrow walls, off of stucco buildings, pink in its carousing, drinking, finding women of low self-esteem, lifting their spirits and their skirts.

In the morning, my voice would skulk back, headache in hand, remorseful for having bounced over the cobblestone of its own imagination only to find its way home on the back of a whisper.

Sometimes, especially in the fall, in the season of great migrations, I find voices strewn all over New England, each one needing a hand up, each one in search of an inner ear and rubbing bones.

Not every voice makes the journey in one piece of course.
Some are carried off by the wind on horseback never to be heard again.
Some voices take a lifetime to bubble up, to boil like White Bean and Kielbasa soup until it is soup.
Some voices are just a glance, or a touch.
Still others paint their hands bright saffron and touch everything.

For dreamers, a voice dribbles out into the 13 billion year old universe, waving to passing celestial bodies, never once looking for an ear to inhabit.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Carol's Language Fetish




Carol always wanted to learn a foreign language, so she signs up at the community college to learn Mandarin, but Chinese is a tonal language and Carol is tone deaf.  So she drops the course in favor of learning American Sign Language because she always wanted to be able to send secret signals to others without being overheard. She wonders if it is possible to be overseen, but registers anyway.

She is afraid of being listened to and what that means.

She practices in the mirror, pretends that her reflection is deaf and wonders if the image is impressed with her fluency.

No one ever visits her though, and over time, she realizes that knowing other languages does not, in itself, promote understanding, just the potential for understanding, and she remembers a time when she was out in public at her favorite Indian Restaurant eating her dal makhani, when another woman fainted, driven to convulsions by some spice in the chutney, how she secretly prayed that someone would need a person who knew ASL, but it never happened. Not once as long as she frequented that restaurant did it happen. They just called 9-1-1 instead and she watched three very handsome and muscular Latino EMTs perform CPR as though this woman were an organ and they were holding a concert until they brought the woman back to life.  The woman, as it turns out, was not deaf and did not even know what ASL was.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

POEM: You Are Not You


You are not you, but a shaft of white,
The chance starlight that I look up to see,
Who is the boat that carries me home
Over black water, beneath a new moon
When the dark is a velvet soup.
Who is not a kiss, or madder red lips
Or even the sound of a pucker, thinned
By fear.  Who is a fire blazing within,
Not a lone voice but the communion
Of many dead poets conspiring rebellion.
You are not you at all,
But a wind that whisks me clean,
A sinful lushness of summer greens
Against the long-shivering hours of need.

Monday, January 14, 2013

POEM: Favorite Words

"Why. I'd love to hear your ideas!"

POEM: Light Borrowers, Framed By Bits of Dark Matter



1. “Every woman adores a fascist” Plath wrote and mine is the darkness. I want to have an affair with it. The dark is a fascist love.
2. Horace Greasly held love like a bread loaf.  He escaped Germans camps in WWII more than 200 times but always snuck back in to see his German girlfriend. 
3. The hissing that I believe is my tea kettle is just a common sense escaping.
4. Love, love my season that I cannot be made ready. That melts over everything.
5. Come, my wounds. Glimmer like fresh skin. 
6. I show off my stigmata you gave me like a tattoo I dreamed of having removed once out of your sight.
7. Tulips are baskets that carry color. They lick their own petals, like a grooming cat, they raise their heads to catch the direction of the next rain, or the next frost as a bad dream, presaging the desiccating autumn.
8. Curl up now, curl up into your bulbous hideout, grieve fading embers, O gardener of clouds, take a gulping breath and keen long winter.  
9. Go imitate the lost wandering blue lust of sky.
10. Harold Whittles heard for the first time in his life, when an earpiece was placed into his left ear, He alone is credited for the discovery of sound.
11. Streams are tinted glass, made by all the weeping world. 
12. Splintered over streamstone, water is often disguised as birdsong. Birds imitate streams whenever they sing. 
13. I am terrible at small talk but my heart wants to carry you  in its back pocket    
14. Everything is a whetstone that sharpens colors, which is what tulips dream.
15. Tulips are packed with mud and bone meal far below a noisy surface where everything seems to matter.


POEM: Tattoo


The tattoo ink was very old.
The sleeve of words tumbled
Down her arm like ivy:

“Face the pith of everything.
To the flower that is a breath.
To the toughness in standing up.
With nothing to defend.
Palms open. No Fists. Always.”

She is afraid of her future.
She is afraid of the future of everyone.
She is afraid of what will happen
To her children.

I see heroic things in you.
and that will simply have to do.


POEM: Elegy


Now the ordinary day begins, though
The graying hours have yet to pass.
I say a prayer: I want to be useful.
But today I will not sing any hymns.

My lungs are stuffed with cotton. I admire
The songs of the serpaphim among us.
I know every one of these songs of heaven.
But grief clings to me, inert as soil. I

Beg for its release, but it’s sewn to my bones.
My tongue is just a sparrow but wants to
Do big things. Pain’s tidal flow has set it  
Adrift in an ocean of suffering.

Watch how light falls on us now, after quiet
Violets offering no resistance
But their gentle fragrance are crushed beneath
Violence’s cracked ice, & purple spills.

The bloody mornings will always remind us.
I want to be useful.  I want to be useful
To engage on the battlefield of love,
To healers, & caregivers, who know these songs.

A child is a promise from our pinkest flesh.
Always willing, we dangle on a hook,
Crying out in recurring boot-black dreams
of a coffin, into moonless nights to come:

“Save my children,
  Save my children,
  Save my children.”

Watching Fox News


“Sean Hannity is the most unfuckable person on the planet,” she says. My friend is a shepherd, down from the mountains for a visit.

“I feel that way about Ann Coulter,” I say.

“They could make an antiporn moving with those two,” she says.

I nod. “I’d watch them just to see them put their clothes on,” I say.

“They could threaten to NOT have sex with each other as a turn on,” she says.

“The whole thing could be sponsored by Beano or Gasx,” I say and we giggle like school kids.

“Watching Fox News makes me horny,” I say. “Not in an urgent adolescent kind of way, but in a sheep-screwing kind of way. “

“I’m not comfortable with you talking about screwing sheep,” she says.

“I understand,” I say, but I don’t. I change the subject. I promise to never mention fucking Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity or sheep again.

I am feeling the rawness of things. My head feels heavy.  My chest holds the north wind and I can’t breathe.

 “Let me teach you breaking wind pose,” she says, ever the yogi.

I want to slam my thick head into the floor.

We decide to eat waffles and bacon for dinner. I leave Fox News on.

“It helps my circulation,” I tell her.

“Oh”, she says, “I thought you were just lazy.”

She pretends to watch while we eat. We open wine and whisky and vodka. “No booze left behind.” I wink. I am clever, I think.

“Would you do Greta Van Susteren?” she says.  We go on discussing which Fox News casters were fuckable and which were not.

“It’s a completely subjective topic,” she says when I tell her I have science that proves they are unfuckable.

“Take Megan Kelly, for instance,” I say. “Even after sex… sometimes during sex… you have to talk, right?”

“And?”
“And that would do it.”

“Do it?”

“Ruin it.”

“Ruin it.”  I scan the ceiling, wondering about echoes.

My head is cotton soaked in oil or no, mercury – a heavy viscous metal causing brain damage at slight exposures. We are watching Fox News, waiting for the fiscal cliff.

“Do you think it will coincide with the Mayan end times?” she asks.

“More important - do I need to dress and shave the day we go over the fiscal cliff?” I ask back.

“I always raise my arms on a roller coaster – think I should do it that day?” she says as a joke, but I mistake it as a serious consideration.

“That might cause a stroke,” I say, not believing what I am telling her. I wonder where I got that fact from. 

“Where did you get that from?” she says. She and I are my own worst enemies. We challenge everything.

Later I make tea. I serve tea and a coffee ring cake because she likes it. I like the irony of it.

“I like coffee cake,” she says.

“I know,” I say.  

“But I’d rather coffee over tea,” she says after a pause.

I change the channel to Downton Abbey. That was more her speed.

“Now this is more my speed,” she says.

“I know,” I say.  I watch too.

But deep in my concrete head I am making a mental list of people on Fox News I could never fuck.
Brit Hume? Isn’t that necrophila. Shepard Smith? That shitstain? It’s no good. I take out my laptop.
I begin to type every news reporter’s name on Fox News.

I think to myself, trying hard not to let on to my friend what I am thinking, “I would never shag Geraldo Rivera. I might boink his mustache, but that schnoz? And that ego? That would be a three-way at best.”

“What are you doing,” she says. I am silent. Then I say something.

“Not saying.”  I just keep typing.

I can feel my head sinking, lower, into the keyboard. My head is too heavy to hold up. My poor bean sprout neck bends beneath the weight. There is a pulsing. Like a nova – like a heart – like either one of those things that can explode. Only my head is imploding.  I am feeling the rawness today.

 “What about Sarah Palin?” she says. “I know she doesn’t work directly for Fox.” In mid sip of my tea, I do a spit-take. We talk for hours about not boning Fox News Reporters.

Then my laptop belches.  A serious looking message appears. A serious error has occurred.
“This looks serious,” I say.

“System is shutting down”, the message says. I try to shut down gracefully and am advised that I have no authority to shut down.

I am speaking to no one. Maybe to the laptop. “But I had authority to sign in?” I question.
 “What kind of fuckery is this?”

I hold the power button for 30 seconds. The beast gasps, wheezes and becomes dirt dormant.
“Fucking don’t tell me I don’t have the authority to shut down.”

My head begins to lighten.

POEM: She Is Off To Russia


At the end of the semester.
Her tickets are ready.
Rooms are let.
Passports tucked.
Luggage bowed.
Soon she will be dowsed in Russian,
looking for “Original Muscovites”
Who have left for history.
With her shy Russian friend,
She is building a language.
“My city is the oldest in Russia”, says the friend.
Of course it is her city.
“You must visit!” she says
“We are sisters of history,”
On this fish-frozen blue day
Fire corkscrews from her red head as hair.
“Yes. We are sisters.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Heart. Lungs. Walnut.

The wooden Buddha sits on my computer desk along with a small figure of Spiderman and a cheap clock bearing the image of Chairman Mao in his famous flat cap and comrade jacket. His arm is actually the second hand and as it ticks, he waves the little red book.

The Buddha, who believes all life is suffering, is mesmerized by the jerky motion of Mao’s arm. Spiderman stares sternly ahead, arms folded, watching for evil to spring up. It cannot be an easy life for a superhero if your motto is “With great power comes great responsibility.” Captain Buzz-kill.

Chairman Mao reminisces of the good old days, of purging intellectuals and saving the country from capitalism. The Buddha occasionally reminds him to leave the damn Dali Lama alone, to let him chill, but Mao, even as a piece of junky-Chinese-tourist-claptrap will not listen. Time softens all things save the ersatz Mao.

In China today there is a one child policy to control the population. In a culture that devalues girls, many families abort girl babies and try again until they get a boy. This used to upset me, thinking how awful it was that the Chinese as a culture do not value women until I learned of politicians from Missouri and Indiana who remind me that we don’t really value women here either.

Telling raped women it is impossible to get pregnant from the rape, or telling them God meant for them to get pregnant indicates that these men don’t understand biology. They don’t understand how sex works. I suppose if they actually had sex once in a while it might help them understand how a woman’s moving parts work.

And that might lead them toward understanding, what it might be like to carry a baby, what it means to have one, and what it means to be raped. That we have states which give the rapist father’s rights only further indicates that we still don’t have a clue as to what mothering is, as to what fathering is. We only pretend to understand what family is, making up story-book configurations of people and calling that a “family.”

So yeah, it’s tough in China to be a woman. But it’s tough all over if you don’t have a penis. If a penis gives men the power, it surprises me that no man has ever considered getting an additional penis sewn on, or grown from some stem cell experiment. If one penis allows a guy to make 25 cents more on the dollar than half the population, consider what have one or two or even three penises would do for the bottom line! Maybe I could sell second hand penises on Ebay to supplement my income, which I will need, when they lay me off from my teaching job because I am making too much money in the first place.

And maybe if Mao had sex more often, or the Buddha, things might have been different.

I cannot speak for the Spiderman doll on my desk though since he is only a plastic torso, and has no anatomical parts. Besides, how intimidating must it be for a woman to have sex with a superhero, one who spins webs no less, one who looks better in spandex than she does.

But all this reminds me of how things are connected. How things look like other things. How the thin line of everything is there if we choose to follow it. How a walnut, turned sideways, looks like a heart and lungs. How a human brain from above does too. How the Buddha seeks enlightenment in the emptiness, while Mao craves the emptiness of a MacDonalds in a country of billions and billions served.

MacDonalds in China serves fish. And noodles. They tailor the experience to the culture so the experience seems natural which of course, it can never be if you have ever eaten at Macdonalds. The experience is like everywhere which makes it like nowhere.

The Chinese like noodles. And fries. But they dislike the Japanese and for pretty good reason, given then Japanese Imperial history of invading China. But the Japanese hate radioactivity and had to create their own god-myth-action hero in the lizard-god of Godzilla which represents the United States, the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon, twice. On Japan.

Which is really misleading because during the Iraq war, tanks shot shells of dense depleted uranium. These dense shells penetrated tank walls and had low levels of radioactivity, so that even Iraquis who survived, would die years later from cancer. So really, nuclear weapons have been used over and over and over again.

Spiderman didn’t ask to get bitten by a radioactive spider. But it is a far cooler creation myth to say I was bitten by an eight legged dirty bomb, than to say I was a tank commander in the Republican guard in the first Desert Storm.

Sometimes I lean back in my chair and I squint my eyes at my three figures on my computer desk. The Buddha meditates and sees reality for what it is. The Spiderman eyes him nervously. Buddha, a strict adherent of ahimsa, would never dream of swatting a spider, even a radioactive one. While Chairman Mao, under the force of the clock’s windup springs, flails the little red book over and over at both the Buddha and Spiderman, knowing all the while that Kentucky Fried Chicken has taken over his country – this country that gave us the SARS scare. Mao knows there is nothing to be done but dream of an aging capitalism, dying of natural causes, praying he never bumps into Ayn Rand in the afterlife.

On that point, all three agreed.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

POEM: Color


a moment cannot be memorized



a raindrop leaves desire on a window

which is the way we are built: to be

burned to the ground

then built up again



in the cathedral of my moods



stained glass leaves are

sparklers tossed to a floor



of dried pine needles

& bones of old sticks:



this bed for willowy creatures while the sun winks



A moment cannot be forgotten



In this light,

shadows are geckos



with sibilant tails

& alien hands.



a raindrop is a window



a tear is a window



I send stained glass

Sparklers down

Into soft humus



To feel the softness.



I dare the ultramarine of things.

I coax the ochre.



We leave the pigment

Of everything in our wake



For others to wade through.

There is no choice.

&

it can never be memorized

Thursday, August 23, 2012

POEM: Garden Gnome

In Jennifer & Scott’s garden there lies much beauty
& a garden gnome with beach-colored eyes
With a bell shaped hat & a shell shaped nose.

You should know that garden
gnomes are people too, my friend.

They make their homes among swag-shouldered mushrooms.

There is lust in their plaster eyes,
& a pale-faced beaming to far-off lands:

They wish they could saddle butterflies &

leave behind the backyard gossip, this
Endless August with its sticky teeth & humid breath.

Often the scud of evening skies cloud their Sumatran
Coffee like cream, sweetened with a pinch
Of the sugar that comes from mornings imagined.

They sip coffee knowing nothing of failure
or blind disappointment.

“Nothing can hold me back now!” they whisper
To just the stillness, to an ever expanding plume of squid ink.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

POEM: Breakfast

Was the white color of a sand palm Its beauty etched out of hunger that spiraled Within our nostrils & lingered among the walls of Prehistoric stomach linings grumbling Thunder under the radar, below anyone’s notice. Aroma had the weight of bacon grease, buoyed Only by the floating gin-scent of waffles grazing blue air as if the Buddha guided it. There was not a prayer hunger was its own prayer, white & hidden In the sopping sounds of bread, in the swirling & Lopping, the jewelry clink of china each Eye turned downward toward the dark coffee Keeping its secrets to the bottom of each cup. Silence served up the breakfast that day The fear of the hunt now abated, Civilized men returned, who tamed the pagan night - Whiskers fell away & axes dulled - the sallow Sound of a “howdy” bellowed in gunshot exchange.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

POEM: I Hate The Fourth of July

And not for the obvious reasons, Not because of its tribalism I understand tribalism & not because of the red-white & blue clashing color scheme I love mixing contrasting colors I love wearing the flag as underwear just to make a statement. I hate the fourth because of its expectations, because the sun rises after nightfall because the cloudy night means rain because it unrolls in front of you without asking because it wants you to be its slave to light the sparkler & be glad you’re free & I love freedom god I do but I love reflection. & there is not a whiff among the gunpowder This mirrorless holiday posits nothing to take with me into the next day Expands nothing within me to remember the dead, this limp shrimp, left out too long for the party guests, when the cocktail sauce has been licked clean, like rubber rimming the glass rim in a prayerful way to get anything out of it. For the first time in weeks my head has unbuckled Its contents which are strewn before me like Christmas Morning toys that need assembly. I say I said it because I said I said it it but it was my head, oh my head dead dead dead my head, it was lead lead lead it was I could not create any two images that did not belong In a song together: or Thomas Kincade painting and any living room Or like wood and a leg, like Corona and lime – see what I mean? Unable to sew together any two unlike thoughts, reverse polarized Magnets like the polar ice of north and south – only reversed So they would repel rather than attract. The day is a broken bicylce with deflated wheels, with crying rims, with A rusted pick comb chain that can squeeze oil out of thick air and cure Boils that are a sure sign of the end of the world. Which will explode like those fucking fireworks, those decimal points Of noise that scratches at every square inch of quiet exclaiming, “You know the drill, don’t be such a kill joy.” And not for the obvious reasons, Not because of its tribalism I understand tribalism & not because of the red-white & blue clashing color scheme I love mixing contrasting colors I love wearing the flag as underwear just to make a statement. I hate the fourth because of its expectations, because the sun rises after nightfall because the cloudy night means rain because it unrolls in front of you without asking because it wants you to be its slave to light the sparkler & be glad you’re free & I love freedom god I do but I love reflection. & there is not a whiff among the gunpowder This mirrorless holiday posits nothing to take with me into the next day Expands nothing within me to remember the dead, this limp shrimp, left out too long for the party guests, when the cocktail sauce has been licked clean, like rubber rimming the glass rim in a prayerful way to get anything out of it. For the first time in weeks my head has unbuckled Its contents which are strewn before me like Christmas Morning toys that need assembly. I say I said it because I said I said it it but it was my head, oh my head dead dead dead my head, it was lead lead lead it was I could not create any two images that did not belong In a song together: or Thomas Kincade painting and any living room Or like wood and a leg, like Corona and lime – see what I mean? Unable to sew together any two unlike thoughts, reverse polarized Magnets like the polar ice of north and south – only reversed So they would repel rather than attract. The day is a broken bicylce with deflated wheels, with crying rims, with A rusted pick comb chain that can squeeze oil out of thick air and cure Boils that are a sure sign of the end of the world. Which will explode like those fucking fireworks, those decimal points Of noise that scratches at every square inch of quiet exclaiming, “You know the drill, don’t be such a kill joy.”

Monday, May 28, 2012

POEM: The Distance of the Moon Does Not Make Me Love It AnyLess

The Distance of the Moon Does Not Make Me Love It Any Less What would it be like to have a girl who called me “baby”? The nurturance of it, the silliness of it. I like to imagine foreign sound waves bouncing against my ears. It is not writing well that is the needful act, either. It isthe still point of light that writing brings with it. The clearing out of all the junk I find myself walking into each day, bumping my shins. This, a sharing with like minded people. Hanging out on the corner of solitude & communion. Sometimes I do feel like an ambulance always stuck in traffic. Time is not mine at all, but a splintered resource, shared by every other living thing outside of me. I am prescribed, scribbled on a pad, waiting to be filled. Every hour is mapped, as detailed as a GPS. I realize that being unemployed would correct this. Or being pornographically wealthy would too. But isn’t there any room in my coffee for a splash of milk? I cannot remain disconnected – one part of me loathes this about me, the other part cheers me on for this. There are worse things than being disconnected, you know, like being unemployed, or like gathering mud into the shape of pies because you have nothing else to eat. Saints I know have made a career of not knowing. Value seems to be in knowing though, and this requires hanging from a tree branch by your knees with an elephant migraine waiting for your head to explode, just to stay connected. The distance of the moon from the earth does not make me love it any less. It is its mystery. It is its hidden tattoo whose meaning and location only I know of .

Sunday, February 19, 2012

POEM: Jones Beach


Jones Beach

The Neptune calm
deceived the children.
It pushed green foam
like rushing lava
lapping white
on fresh black cement
of beachhead.

We ran from stealthy
water, with lips chilled
blue as crab claws
evading waves,
making the sand boil
from below.
We’d know to hunt
for clams then, or pretend
it was the place
where mermaids lived.

Horizon ghosts
were just boats with secrets.
The smiling gulls
hung on wires
above trash cans.

The salt teeth of air
bit sandy bathing suits,
until everything itched.

The cold water was foreign
Picking at aching muscles,
our skin was as tight
as singing kite string.

The boats grazed smooth
across the flat line
they pulsed with a snail
glide, these tankers
that were nameless shadows,
like empty shells we’d
stuff in our pockets
for display later on
on our bookshelves at home.

The tide, like oil,
snuck up on the dry sand,
bleached white from the sun
Then carried things off
to blue-black waves
that carried off names
of those who’d been pulled
into the rip tide,
like the bottles we stuffed
with our secret notes
& throw out into
A blind sea.

We hoped to make contact
with some stranger
who didn’t know the language
only the bottles were tossed ashore
by a wave just a mile
down the road, near the shadowy
jetty, slickened from
seaweed, expelled
by a lonely ocean,
where, picked up as trash,
they were thrown away
without a second thought.





Friday, January 20, 2012

POEM: Truth & The Internet

I click the chicory-colored hyperlink that reads A BROKEN LINK
on a web site & receive a THIS PAGE CANNOT BE FOUND message

This self referential link, accurate as cesium, is a random truth
of the internet: sad as it is, unable to connect to any page, it is
a dim blue incandescent Christmas bulb with its color
chipped off, white light needling through the cracks,
gleaming totally inconspicuous by a dearth of self knowledge

POEM: Geologic

I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
- Revelation 2:17

Sometimes I believe words are stones we toss
at each other, to make the same hollow
thud rocks make whenever they land &
strike each other. There is a life of bedrock
Beneath us.

We sculpt with the tools of isolation
yet we are also hardened jack hammers
aching metallic aches, yearning to drill
through what is geologic with carbon
fists ablaze.

Each day closes somewhat more uncertain
than the previous, unless the bedrock
which entombs the beating heart is present.
Such is the territory each of us
has homesteaded. There is a life of bedrock
Between us.

POEM: In February, Wearing Sloppy Snowshoes

In February, wearing sloppy snowshoes, you trundled over,
dragging all the ice & snow you could with you the entire way,
Asked my forgiveness, & to hand me back the coffee that you borrowed
That last time we circled each other before we went on desperate paths
in the heat of July, we danced to cicada.
& now, & here - you promise me the heat of nuclear fusion,
wishing to make more energy out of colliding words
Which I mention to you is how sunlight is made.
Blood shot red light carves out a soft occupation of the hills,
As it casts its doubtful shadows.

POEM: An Ordinary Song

School is still out & the town is out of breath without its kids. I am constantly tired, not eager to rise in the earl grey light that peeks between the college’s gothic steeples. Maybe I want to sleep in but can’t. I cannot enjoy the leftover time in bed, the barricaded cold, coma warm blankets, the twisted bodies, our sheltered forms among the sheets. I sleep the way a father does who cannot sleep so deeply knowing his children are out, until the door finally latches behind the last one in at last. One exhale.
Thank you ice on my windshield spreading like a stitch
Thank you slate sky, scratched with fingernail white lines of ghostly planes so remote, off to warm lands. Thank you strangely anxious light over mountain sleep, dreaming of summer heat.

These days when I wake, I reach for my partner wanting to feel her body heat, because the warmth assures me that I am here, I have not been disappeared. That the sun will rise today, that I will dress & join the circular ordinariness of others: will shave, will eat breakfast, will drive to work & be consumed by daylight. The sun that rises appears to me as a grand gift reopening. The soft white noise of the car defroster offers me wordless song in elephant frequency.

Behind the ordinary is sadness, solid, waiting like soil in winter, what we must eventually immerse our hands in getting the scent over our fingers, go through the day with it, like cologne. Leaving dreams behind, making a way, I make eye contact with total strangers & hoping for a moment that I know him, co-resident in this opening, the contact, however awkward, hovers like coffee aroma.

Thank you ice on my windshield spreading like a stitch
Thank you slate sky, scratched with fingernail white lines of ghostly planes so remote, off to warm lands. Thank you strangely anxious light over mountain sleep, dreaming of summer heat.

I don’t know why in the play in my head it is always she who dies before me. Why do I think that? There is the shiver of a razor in first reactions. It is not a fear of being alone but not knowing what to do next, who am I in such hard absence?

I have always been afraid of growing disheveled, of having others say, “See how he has let himself go since her passing.” I do not want to let myself go. I want to keep a tight grip.

Since light was born I measured all distance relative to her body, her azure eyes, her loving hands.

Thank you ice on my windshield spreading like a stitch
Thank you slate sky, scratched with fingernail white lines of ghostly planes so remote, off to warm lands. Thank you strangely anxious light over mountain sleep, dreaming of summer heat.