Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Plot

Calvary and cavalry faced off,
one weak, the other strong.
And men loved one, despised the other, rose
or fell in their arms.

Those Nurtured in Purple Now Lie

I am ashes blowing in a snowglobe, two men
racing to Vesuvius’ crown.


Squirrel in the wind went
where? Away; now
all in each panel of glass is a swaying branch.
The man in the red coat in the gold room

is waving his hands, begging
questions. Professor,
where did my squirrel go? The wind
has him overtaken.

Monday, September 27, 2010

From: To:

Yes, this is a question. Please
will you

speak. Something

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where Is the Scholar

Teach me the ridicule of what is. Please

sir there is a nothing poor even in sense
of its nothingness in me, and I found

a scrap escaping the whirling wicker
basket of my head with the word beloved

written on it. Please

sir I thought I saw you say
something to the foolish that made them smile

and I wanted to be there but I turned
away, shamed, great men

prodding and pulling me away,
dropping stones.

I know ash only,
and scattered shadows,

and shadows scattered,
and ash.

But you! hearing even Legion’s cause;
I am in awe. One who

loved a man empty and covered with demons and even
the demons within him

might have been telling truth.

The Wise Man

For your sake, son, let us approach truth
from an angle, pretend to see nothing
but its corner, maybe half a narrow hall
through an open door; then dread
won’t overwhelm you
when beauty in her fanged and piercing splendor
breathes and blinks with a thousand eyes.


Oh city of words,
spiked with steel towers of tongue,
will you?
I want, when I walk, to feel
your roof gardens like grassblades
sinking and bending beneath my toe. I want
to mount an ear on your east shore
and your west, possess
what lies between the pearly gates
of skull.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Chorus of Captive Women Have Just Finished Exhorting Electra

to speak sword
For sword (and blood for blood and).

What is sharper: Love
Tinged, crusty, boxed in the attic
(Where a frustrated fly-family
Holds council, one posing Will our generation survive
Another war-drought?
Laughing, Why fear now?) or love
That loves each equally, neighbor and son,
Justice without favor striking
Each, and, finally, his own, head?

Is Like That of Lebanon

Like cotton
humbled by long tender days into thin
sheets like sky or cloud or fog, my voice slips
upward, floating half-
tattered familiar folds
from feet, from knees, from cold scarred skin,
fluttering in goodbye kisses, or
trembling to think of the hands of God,
her new possessor.

Through Him the Amen Is Spoken by Us to the Glory of God

Yes, but
Yes, but, and but
Yes, but, but, and but
Yes, but, but, but, and but
Yes, but, but, and but
Yes, but, and but
Yes, but


Wake me, wake me; there is only so much dreaming
can do. The way mirrors
can only mirror and mouths
mouth and people can only
live. I have noticed that freedom often
sounds like a rope. Or a fence. But gravity

is like a rope, or a fence, or a stern hand.
I banned it from my world but I want it back; even my feet
long for a place they must stand; I shake and
twitch, running in my sleep, sleep-jumping.


I am like the girl with the glasses with the pink dress I cannot begin a sentence with any other character but I. I cannot do very much, I cannot love though love reaches his hands to me and into me every day (I think I have room enough but the doors refuse to open). I think there is something wrong with me the girl in the pink dress is circling her mother’s ponytail with jealous intent and holding her around the neck. I’m sorry for her eyes and I wish I could… but at least she has a pink dress, and little white shoes, I can’t wait to get alone where I can believe I can something and there’s no one to think No. But there will be no one to do for, just like there is no one inside (I never thought so little would be too much) to do for and when I get the chance I don’t do anything. I have a friend on medication that’s supposed to help her stand up but she doesn’t, or won’t, and I am not like her I am like the girl with the glasses.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Danger

Perched on the edge of a desert plateau like a rampant
baby on a high-chair high, smiling.
Why does the child raise her fists?
What is there to be gained by this? And she flings
a pale arm forward, too

Don't Know Why I Did It

I have embittered the morning, and I am sorry.
There are so many things I can’t do, and I guess
because this isn’t one of them, I did it, I tore through
the heart of day, trying to make her feel.
The sunrise turned red and when I held up
my hand to it, there was no eclipse, there was only
red. I am deeply sorry.
I destroy myself. Even what I understand
I destroy.

The Mouth Is a Pit

And sense of self should cry out Self! and Self! and Self! and
we should sit darkly only so long that
nirvana can slip from a bed and ceiling of ego
away. It’s not that I love you: I want
you to love me; let me impress you; let impressions of me
lie like treadmarks across your face, over your eyes and
between your fingers and around
your waist.
do not let me waste


echoed in the hollow of her ear. And thoughts
powerful-like banging, the break of apathy
like hammers through white-wall,
plaster everywhere. I wish I could collect
my thoughts. The range of rages happens to include
self-hate, along with less obvious and more subtle and more
redundant forms of fall-and-break, like
cute animals that eat each others’ eggs and
ugly animals who dig to hide
so long and deep they lose their sight, and mosquitoes.
There is nothing good about mosquitoes
except their deaths, and watching them
try. I saw a man with one of them, huge,
tattooed on his forearm, right next to the skull of a jester,
optic nerves hanging like umbilical cords
or tether-ball strings. Now what does that tell you
about mosquitoes? Unless it is
surgically removed, that man will die one day and mosquitoes
from Mozambique to Maine will take the credit, buzzing.


And what was my thought, when the question came?
To hold to him who cannot help me—
turn toward the outer man who broke me—
in toward the one who let me break.
And was I wise? Maybe, since wisdom now
is loving yourself to death.

A Just Decision

The marriage ended and no one took
responsibility, though both parties,
three lawyers, a judge, and the neighbor’s son
offered. They’d been drinking
coffee in the court kitchen together and realized
that nothing can end that never started, and started
unremembering. And that’s why
we don’t use member today
but the less violent family p(i)e(a)ce.