Saturday, August 28, 2010


Smash and tremble, the breeze
just about breaks the back of a camel that’s been
straw-loaded, berries of green inedible anxiety
making their debut upon his poor bronze back.
Like a rabbit caught by talons in mid-stretch
or a singer underwater, the sound
swimming and undirected, is he.
This is not a cautionary tale, any more

than the moon’s a spanking mother
or straw-toothed whale. It’s just one
of many moments where patchwork gets a face
painted, hands blowing in the summer

Glass Eyes

Old dreams with time
rot, and if you
keep one at home, or,
worse, in-
side you, get help. There’s
too much
to lose; be careful
if someone kisses
you with a full mouth; they
might think they are doing
you a favor but it is
death to suck death
in. And if you find one
squashed under
your shoe, just
lock the whole thing, sole and all, behind
a soundproof glass.
Taxidermy, it’s the only way
to discourage certain dreamers from thinking up

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Vine

I fall from you again
and again
and again,
peeling myself from your patience,
landing in a place so sharp
blades of grass and gravel-crumbs
slide knife-like through my soles.

I have learned some facts
from independence:

That, apart from you,
the sun weakens and weeps and finds
no strength to rise in the morning.
His kingdom is easily stolen, and no gift
streams gold and warm from his spread hands.
The sky stands empty,
a twisting and blackening place.

Apart from you,
death grips me by the root
and presses blue lips to my curling leaves.

Blinding One, come look for me.
You will find me rotting
in the deep shadows of a starving land.
Have mercy—don’t consume your leaking offshoot,
bruised with overuse and wrung with shame.
Graft me, stitch me, take me, come remake me
whole again and one
with you, my Jesus, ever-loving Lord,
my sweet fresh home and deep salvation strong.

Proverbs 4

Common Sense, the monster made
of spit and bone and splinter-tips,
covered in a heavy dress and painted
like a queen, found me, full
of guilt for aiming this quick sword at her
pale neck, so much and yet
so little like her judas-ed mother Wisdom’s.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Window

This new suit’s cool and clamorous blue
tempts my sight to stop at fourteen inches:
the glass between glass me and airy Out-there,
out where the sun’s crazed splendor has enlightened
everything too much, and, as much, vainly,

for I see Self loudly
blue, blue against the blue-white sky, and blue
against the semi-greens and other
less important things. I must

get naked, must I? and fade before
I see, with honest clarity, and without clamoring
undertones over the world.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Realization

You are real as the sky above.
And like the sky, I miss you only
in Hell or Mind, the times
I feel the confines of my life-away-from-Life.
I love you like I love the sky above,

who, covering completely
me, loves me,
more and higher, better
than I care to cover any other with the width of two arms short.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Bad Question

Who’d draw a map of Nightmare? It would take too long;
you’d have to work handprints into the edges of the thing,
fingerprints clawing their way out from the center.
A house with plaster walls, exposed and un-
folded, two women huddled against the stove,
a child roasting inside it. Who? And the pale men-
like creatures, all seven of them skating
over rubble with their strong bare feet.
Who would calculate and draw, draw and calculate
the scene of it? Isn’t once
enough—don’t the creatures dance to hear
the women shriek in fear their names?



pricks piecemeal the way
only time-tried, canyon-dry-run can.
Hope-love like water was running
too strong, too hard, it killed
the sane inhabitants of Me, and the rest,
the rumble-ready beach-diggers swam
with the current, and now—now!—days
are nothing but the hot sun
pounding dust with callous beams.

Ask And

I have lifted
upon the gateposts my eyes where a man sits
without moving a sentry
with water eyes
circled in cloud

and he looks like my father
like my friend

he eats breakfast I think
two fish and one egg
feast of the poor

been waiting for him
to open the gate a bird circles
and lands on the gatepost
(a dove asking for a piece
of fish for her children and he gives her
a piece of fish for her children)

I burn in the noon suncircle rays
hands-at-sides and my voice
inside me


Sharpen my mind with your blunt

side. And under the tree we
(were)                      away, we(re
members) and you and
me: the three of us

was(ting away).


I would like to say
just enough:
chapped lips and
the active discomfort of penning in bed.
My reality in pairs:
you and me,
the cold air and the hot sheets,
the sex of language and stunning abstraction
of mind. I would like to say

just enough to hold you, being
more than a binary key, you being
either the head
or height of me,
the full circle of my helpful round or
the sphere from which I, the curve, come.

You are male and master of me,
lord and love, to you both
I would like to say enough
to please.


Today I saw the most beautiful thing: Two tick-
like creatures carrying
a seed, suspended between them, home.

Fields and Charges

It is time to understand the kind of power
that can click on and off across the barrier
of plastic outlets. Seriously, how does it work?
I’ve heard discourses on electrons and their
liberations, movements of dissociation
and divorce, felt the effects of their rebellion
on a careless finger, seen the magic
globes like bowls with goldfish lightning.
But I want to know the thing that makes things run.

A Trifle

is a many-layered dessert of many
layers. My uncle cuts marshmallows
(Mmmmallows ©) into one of them
with scissors; the pieces stick
like orphaned ducklings to the blade.
Three times he has asked
his watching wife and guest if they are ready
for desert, and probably because they want
dessert they do not interrupt his laughter
with an answer.

Sticks With Me

Your question caused my head to shake and all
the unswept corners cracked and bled
dust. I forget what the question was. Something
stark against the paper morning,
blurred by noon’s sudden storm and dripping

slowly into midnight’s greedy soil.
What makes a memory
collapse, and petrify, and boomerang
back like a silent spearhead, self-shot and piercing-
ly useless?

The Separation

Dear Husband,

It is cold where I am and I tell you this
not because it is significant or because
I care if it changes.
What are your thoughts on the weather?
Do you know what it thinks about you?

I hope this gets there--
someone told me that letters
get swallowed sometimes, at the equator, and it worries me
that maybe these two years you have been
sending some.

I was going to write you a poem today but I cut out
a forecast from yesterday's paper instead.
The picture in the ad beneath it
was of a hurricane.

I hope you like it.

I am dying of heat and wondering,
are you too?
I hope your days are good and there is not too much rain.

When I Was Full of Years

I saw: The earth
is full of dance, and war, and night, and flame.
It is, it must, but do not cry
or throw your bones against the hill and dune.
You pick your dance and war and night and flame.

One's danced
up near the moon in sky
shadowed from the hard sun. The man
makes you feel
good. You are his only, and he will war
against your enemies with you. Together
you embrace the night and set the rest to flame,
burnt and burning in a passion for your name,
the world alight with fire conceived in you.

All bow, or join, or die to you.

There is another danced, however,
on the earth, played out against no shadow,
stark against the razor light of day. The man
makes you feel:
peace and fear together, grief
real and realer love, linked
like atoms in each water's bead.
He is your only, and you will war
against his enemies with him, cutting
the hand even of your right arm with his mouth's-sword.
He embraces your soul; it ignites;
all else flickers and fades in glory's Name.

I saw a thousand women,
an army continuously conceiving by men
like children with flaming eyes.
But out of a peasant's womb, a little spark
grew to consume them and kill for all and for once death.