Monday, August 29, 2011


I demand a trial.
At court I plead insanity but at the institution

I’m not lost?
Does admitting I don’t know where I am mean

falling dark and fast.
God help me,

Follow Your Nose

Miracle lost me.
Unleashed, I was too hard to keep track of and have
wandered far from her happy hands.
I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean

to turn my back but once my eyes
lost color and lacked light it was far too late
and I am much too far away
to find her by hearing happy sounds of clapping hands.

I follow what’s left:
Hansel and Gretel’s stale crumbs and the smell
of old things leading home. Home,
where everything reminds you of everything.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


My body won’t let you lose meaning.
Names fade
like the dust raised by a philosopher’s foot,

but you are everywhere,
thick in the thin of it,
this atmosphere,

though I am blind.
I walked to the edge of myself today.
Is a storm without wind still bad weather?

My toes curled
over the stony ledge and I was fearless
for the first time.


Burned my tongue.
Nothing I crave tasting anyway.

I Want to Wait

I want to wait
listening for you but when I pray mosquitoes
bite my toes and I am convinced I must cover myself
at all times. So I thrash in a hot bed
sweating my soul
sweating and my aching head asks when
can we rest and I prop the alarm on my pillow
wiping the stuck strands from the back of my neck
to watch the digital lines getting
more and more arbitrary I wish I could
wait I could listen for you.

The Clock and I

The waiting is bearable only because I know
that every counting is a counting-down,
one second sooner to your coming

coming. Soon. By mind-magic
my ticking enemy spits time
almost like lullaby,

like an overworked governess
waiting to rest, wanting
like I want your arrival. Soon.

In this light that old face is no monster,
its hum-and-drone monologue less
a reminding that you are not here than soft
One more day one more day one.


Yes, yes, you’re here,
but I don’t know your inside.
What’s behind those eyes?
covered in that lovely form of flesh
and light?
In me there are muddy and leaf-covered places.
It’s not easy for someone
full of secret holes to trust
holiness so generous and bright.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

found wanting

I want to lose myself
in you holding hands
out to the poor I am
one with the one who is
and will always was
always will you want
me differently when
I am better or worse or
do or don’t do


He doesn’t spend a lot of time picking his nose.
I guess that’s my favorite thing about him.

hey babe u no
I <3 you
big time forever
wrote u a poem hope u
like it k sleep tite

Sometimes roses aren’t red
And violets aren’t blue
But you are still mine
And I’m still yours too

Psalm 141

I saw the demons tremble.
They had been digging holes
around the foundation of my house,
snickering at dusk.
I thought they were kids messing around
and left them alone. But today I went
around back where I’d seen their shadows
and smelled something
awful, started digging
up bones.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It Was Dark

This morning everything was profound to me.
It happens when I’m sad,
makes your whole soul listen.
The dirt on the ceiling fan was speaking.

So was the light lighting next door’s brick.
When I grieve, the whole world sings;
it’s the strangest thing and I can’t
help, crying, praising the one they praise.

The Train of His Robe

There’s a chair inside me
up on a hill

glowing warm golden in the setting sun, won’t you
come? I’ve been hungry all day for your judgments.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Starved, this fattened world,
like a calf moaning for love,
its mother milked
and father out in stud.
A trough, full of silage
starting to rot.
My tired throat.

Who knew it was a vegetable,
this mystery? a root vegetable! right
in front of us! under our feet
and shimmering leaves. I suppose,
looking back, it’s all so clear, but that's
because we pulled it up
to put on a pedestal
in suffocating glass. The truth
in flesh, and that flesh full of seeds—
I think you’re right,
it is too wild too thorny to be kept

Every word of yours is full, like perfect
close-to-rotten bulging fruit,
unflagging, heavy-sweet and brazen.
Like a child I’ll eat without thinking.
But when I stop too long to look
at melting glowing colors of rich peels
my stomach pains so strangely dim my eyes
and make me faint-
hearted and weak-willed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I don’t praise sunflowers because sunflowers
die. Their impossible Fibonacci
seed faces turn to dust no man cares counting
or thinking of. And my breath, fluently expelled,
pumped up from a hot heart taken
with lemon gold hair and its inevitable bliss
a moment might be praised,
but I die too. So much of what we call Forever
is whatever petals breeze-battered we happen to
catch between the pages of our paper nets,
as if neither paper nor
petals burn.

The sun came by word
flaming like a second earth
combusting in the sky.
Man’s glory is like flowers bowed by wind,
like grassy fields.
We see the word made sun, are stunned
as blind and deaf, letting our bones bleach
out in fading fields.
But some will rise
and watch the sun die out alive.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The tree had been afraid,
until her fruit fell, she was all alone.
But the hot wind was a warm wind
when she saw the seeds and bite marks
and the stained ground.

Holding his ears and tears
in the pale corners of his eyes, he said,
There are too many axes,
what’s the use of another?

I told him to look up
at the high arms spread for silent destruction,
hands wide and hiding the light
from hungry shrubs.

The sun, having sighed too many nights
alone, decided that for every glory-width
that being stretched
are two at least for being-with.
This was huge for a huge man—
Big men are tempted to be loved
alone, forgetting their friends.
But the sun is far from his friends,
and praised because he is far from his friends,
who seem so small in endless space, but
he is the small one, really.
So he started loving the little earth he feeds
and faces, extending a kind arm,
a tender hand.

Facing Deep

As covered in bright hats
and middle age as I am, don’t you dare
think I don’t want to lose myself.
Bad lovers lose each other in themselves.
The young and false fall into murky lakes.
Just because my eyes are full of frightful sights—

babies lost in bathwater
whose mothers hid in heaving sheets,
students pierced so full of holes they can barely
hold what they drink in—

don’t think I’ve stopped
looking for a full and pounding dream.


Death’s a silent chaos
reigning on a cracking throne.
His ministers are covered
head to foot in open sucking mouths and spitting sores;

he commands them to be quiet
with empty eyes; he wants to be the only sound.
I thought when I got here there’d be fire,
but the floor is unlit sticky fluid

You can feel suspense in the trickling wind.
Everyone is covered

in red and yellow leaves;
they gorge themselves on light and on each other
in preparation for the endless winter days.


I bowed to a stone,
which rolled.
Picking up my power
I crossed the crater it left,
thanking its great gray face
facing the risen dirt. And following
the song of my king calling,
though my feet were not yet dancing,
I did not look down
or stop.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pity the young

between being a big girl
and being a little girl held
high. Yes, Daddy, I
by worrying can
add inches to my height.

Adam & Eve & You & Me

before the people were
you were


See the spool he spins, indigo,
humming and weaving.
Azure the tapestry he, humming, weaves.
The song that he, weaving, hums, golden.
The song that he weaving hums golden.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Suddenly Hungry and Thirsty Both

You are the first spoon too big
for my mouth I have encountered
(though I’ve met many too square,
too heavy, or too thin).
The way you touch my teeth,
silver on porcelain,
makes me wish and wish
you fit.


They are beautiful
said the old man of the old nuns
who hid themselves for purity
behind stone walls.
The young man listened,
head bowed. They are gentle
and kind, said the old man
with an even tone.
His eyes were on the windowsill
where a fly had died. He thought about life
and the cruel simplicity of dead things,
wishing both that nature were kinder
and that men would be more
natural. The younger
had that morning killed
nine flies with his bare hands,
hoping to help the matron of the house,
the old man’s wife,
who had started stacking dishes
when she saw the familiar forward hunch
of her husband readying to muse.
And the fly stayed dead and the nuns
kind behind their wall
as women and children hurried
around him, doing ordinary things.


This is an exercise on skirting the edge of things,

on loving where you are,
but looking, for the sake of looking, somewhere else.
When I touch you all my talk of freedom
dissipates. I am not free
to leave my lovely circle—no, I am!
though not to leave and to come
back as I choose, no consequence, no mud

from my boot tracked back. There is always mud
wider than the longest jump between our just
white rims. I am free
to sully your circle, to tramp back
to my own with dirty soles,
knowing when I am alone again what I have done.

Unity (II)

I just love looking at what you see, doing
what you do with different hands. It’s like
love, this imitation, like being in it, being
in you, at the height
and the depth of it, your life. And all its flatness too.

Unity (I)

We’re on the same page
but you’re hiding huddled on the corner,
looking out. Love has no limits
but it prefers you don’t escape
for escape’s sake. But what do I know
about it.

Two Heads

I know that your left hemisphere is full of snowstorms
and that forest fires eat at the walls of your right.
Your poor heart, pumping unevenly, pumping hard
to keep up. Your poor tongue, startled by popping sounds.
But I have a body too, and just as all
bodies are poor, it is needy.
I need you to hear me
and my warm springs
and rain.

Sister Said

I dream a lot about my brother’s wife. I haven’t told him, though.
He might think it’s weird, since he thinks I’m weird and since
he doesn’t have a girlfriend
and since there haven’t been arranged marriages in Idaho for hundreds
and hundreds of years. But if I told him, I would talk about
the way her teeth though they aren’t all white shine
in the sun and how well she can dig up onions with bare hands
and how pretty her pale wrists are beneath the cuff.
In my dreams she is always waving, always thinking of me
through the window as they drive
away. I love her. My big brother
is a lucky man.

I’m afraid
there isn’t much time, she said, she said
get going. But
where? From no one to someone,
the sea of faces in this watery world are too many to name.
Someone to claim, and a little land. But
my mother has always been bossy and this time
also unwise.
I think. Though I’m afraid
of losing time too, of pushing so many buttons
and shifting gears so many times, that
with all the stop-start forward- and reversing I end up
running over the prize.
End up in neutral. With tire tracks
in the grass
and glassy eyes
and a watchface cracked in two.

He saw the dawn crack. Spoke
a sentence or two to the kitchen table
and went to work. In the midwest
you are always in the center of things
and never in the center of anything. Wheat
grows too high to tell. He saw
day break. And his core, still whole,
trembled like a seed.