Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Life Cycle of a Fairy Boat

Spider bark-brown, fingernail-moon wide,
lets an ant shuttle past her,
then-quick-then-still, no gears between
across brick and patio, both too bright,
what is she hunting for?

On a green leaf's belly-upside
she idles her legs down, as if it floats
cold on all that hot concrete sea -
- or mistaking synecdoche for honesty
believes she's found the fabled tree

One of eight off-edge, testing the perimeter,
she stops atop her own shadow, becomes dirt.

A fly lights an inch away, no reaction,
a yellow jacket bumble-strafes and is gone,
no flinching, so eyes that want to follow
find other motion to move them while she
meditates, a boiling abdomen, a compound focus
on stillness.

Her frozen purpose remains her own,
as all observers flutter in their chorus, away.

Then leaf and metaphors abandoned,
she disappears into shade and her own ends.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sweaters draped on a dowel rack,
stretched like skins to stay off shrinking:

asparagus green and hairy brown
and two plain, but incommensurable grays.

What if the wool grew colored,
sized and sewn upon the sheep?

Farmers become tailors, careful to cut
the cuffs off right, keeping the feed

high-protein for shiny buttons,
designers breeding next years lines,

twisting the genes together for cable-knit,
splicing in zippers, embroidered logos,

a boon for all sizes of sheep,
since fat and skinny both stock shelves,

plus the bones like crochet hooks,
skeins of yarns milked like magician's scarves,

and the fields full of velveteen patties,
wardrobe and craft store in one,

just sew on the tags and charge.

Friday, November 28, 2008


earth is not four things,
it is the fourth.

the fourth thing
insisting on making
a square and calling
the shape itself.

earth may be third,
only if the sun
counts for zero.

third thing,
the joke,
mercury quick,
venus beautiful,
and then there's earth,
just covered with life.

earth has a
stillborn twin,
moon and her
makes two.

also day and night
had a baby
called duality.

there is only one earth.

the universe may
have no center
but it is a world
just as all encompassing
and only.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

not another day, today

rain, please rage,
i have a candle
and want to be proud of it

wind, please shove
the clouds back to their corral
and cold-fistedly
squeeze them

cold, please breathe
on my mug of tea
so our fogs mingle

rain, please roar
down with a mouth
wider than thanks or wishes

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Red-Leaf Knowledge

Autumn is our peak,
we endure the leaning light,
the weaning heat, to harvest,
to master other's deaths.

Spring is for insects,
summer a season of green warpaths,
winter the biding time,
old man cold, the first muse
laughing ugly over his
burnable wood, his
edible meat, his
newest invention,

Fall constructed us,
temperature correcting,
moisture resistant
opportunistic scourers
of the hope of seeds,
the needs of rut.

Smell the apples,
soon full of our teeth,
that was our beginning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Untitlular Subject

you need a less homy name

won't fly with the purists

belongs to some cousins

is a rubbish coinage

is the name of a pie

too close to damselfly

too on the nose

prone to mishearing

too esoteric

probably too positive

a dot com reserved for kiters

sends the wrong message

implies you hunt rustbuckets

even your name is a bother

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three Dots, or Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Three is the loneliest number.
One is an infinity, the universe
and the center the same.
The second there's a second,
why there's world that isn't one,
but the other's, and there
are things to compare you and I to,
but no other you.
Once there is,
then there it is.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

No Abstraction Without Participation

Dido at the parapets,
poor queen tossed by throes
resounding through all the future
allusions her name will be used for.

A symbol is doomed to recommit its sin
its error is the whole of its usefulness

Guinevere lounging in the nunnery,
meditating on perfected memories,
one proper each to love and lust,
happy to know and no longer have to be.

Some ideas dream their own provenance
dwindling personal or waxing prominent

Goody Proctor and Abigail evil,
playing for the alternating jurors
the same circumstances executed for
all the judges who have come before.

Representatives of power held in absentia
for the truant human demographic

Laura, a name that means me to her
and her to the men touring her showroom,
only sees the sign of herself saying,
if you loved me, you'd know where my home is.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rubbing It In

To take off your shoes
or to take off
that is the question.

Whether or not it's noble,
nobody cares,
you enslave yourself
to the right master
or go found your own
fucking country.

In the mindfields,
nobody minds if you explode.
Honestly, it's better
for everyone involved
if you suffer that one
for the team.

There are fortunes,
although luck, destiny
and fate are all fickle
enough to be fictions,
but there's no opposing them,
and there are endings, sure,
everything you want
or need or love will end,
but everything else
no amount of rage
can burn out.

I, too, can sleep, Ophelia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Sequin Out of Costume

Flat as any glimmer is,
one brassy sequin lies alone,
a full circle punctured,
a deflated gold,
one quarter-inch of artificial
object among the leaves,
joining the backyard table's surface,
sharp circumference wedded
to the wood, where no wind
can lever him to flinging.

Having a hole in his center
and his own absolute zero
he attempts to project
across the patio furniture's


the motes won't properly orbit,
the yellowish leaves won't stand
in the proper constellation,
the dust refuses to play at nebulae
and the galactic blackfly fleet
won't respect his gravity well.

So the sequin sheds his hubris,
in the shadow of old titan umbrella
he awaits the actual sun,
succumbs to his appropriate
level of self-esteem,
aware he is a miniature,
not to mention perforated,
reflection. He prostrates
himself with the wish to be hit
directly with the full spectrum,
hoping to be transmuted
into pure glint.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I believe mother nature
has an unfair monopoly
in the emerging green market.
She owns all the cycles.

Also, sky-father has cornered
all four corners of the earth.

They've choked off supply,
no new planets at all,
which is so unfair since
it's their destiny we're manifesting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Three Lessons

Wisdom is knowing what
parts to leave in the trap
without bleeding out.

Faith is knowing that
God's dictum is this:
if you can be defeated,
you deserve it.

But love is something
angels sing but cannot touch.
It is yours alone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

There Is No Stopping

Red candle,
when burned you bail
blood away from your wick,

made a stick
by hand of man
a tall taper
whose purpose is to stoop
down into a puddle.

Unlit you do not await

burnt black but unburning,
a coma between stints of life.

Lightless stretches
grant only blank time, lapses

stagnant, denying even the hunger
to shorten yourself.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rules of Engagement

Speak of the man in the world,
but do not say horizon.
Speak of people among people,
but do not say power.

Speak of life without mouthing
heart, love, moon-soul-please.
Speak the truth without shouting
faith, pain, brain, god-lonely.

Of lust say nothing
except praise of hunger.
Of spirit tell only
of the suffering exemplar.

When death is mentioned,
never describe a bird.
If light is requested,
silently flip the switch.

You are forbidden knowledge;
your report is due by day's end.
Show me only what you see,
that trick is our legal tender.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Better Than Two Pills

Seated beside his beverage,
his daily cup of therapeutic black,
ceramic mug holding his hand down,
caffeine holding his skeleton in,
thumb kept from excavating his temple,
hooked by the handle's smooth loop,
bitterness drugging a flopping tongue,
as hot dollops patrol the voicebox,
chords told to keep to their sides,
no freedom to speak of that constant sensation.

There is dignity in pain, just not headaches.
Humility is their educational mandate.

Coffee is not the only soldier
he drafts to police the assembled protesting
neck and shoulders, nose and forehead,
pillows arrange for vertebrae to stage
a quiet sit-in, a book arrests his self-attendance,
a sweater heats the blood for steam release.
He would commission her hands,
but they seem too busy to lay
on nape or brow until she says:
"Come here, there's something
I want to get off your face."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Pastoral Misses The Past

From a certain tree to a famous stone
lays fieldgrass trampled to a row of mats
put down by foot after foot of homegrown
wandering heart, the hungry ghosts of past
songs become their own absent singer,
bootless, rootless, dirty, spectral minstrel,
carrying an unwashed mouth of poems, bringer
of the wishing sickness, a proper wastrel.

The spruce and the boulder, the patch between,
all three need that path and that animal,
however phantom, to see what is seen
of needles, flints and blades and sing no dismal
modern imagery over them, instead
merry, simple cadences voiced alone,
as the first patron of man's art intended,
the march of the tree, the grass and the stone.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Soundings Unbound

sandals and vandals
are nothing alike
unless a beach bum
is stealing a bike

candles and handles
share no common grounds
except wax is to flames
as leashes to hounds

and petals and metals
may make roses worth posing,
yet fake for the nosing,
and portals and mortals
are both open for closing,
but what's that worth supposing?

for peddling and meddling
on your doorstep both stoop
while piddling and middling
are worth each other's whoop

but muddying and modeling
are clearly near-opposites
and puddle-ing and poddle-ing
are unliscened composites

when pedals and medals
can keep the same pace
if the bicycle borrower
also takes the race

then candelabras
and handlebars
soon appear to be similar
if that thief is Prometheus,
famed fire-criminal

pumping hard the pedals
to bring heaven down
testing his mettle
against the widest of crowns

oh word and your world
one hot, sacred syllable
that brings the beginning,
of time burned up billable
or sulphur-dipped in sinning

oh word and your world
of opposing great works

where poems and clocks
may seem like rivals
except rhyming and timing
both end in arrivals.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Bottomless Box

No drama screened on this machine can call the deus
from exile, no comedy can surprise the trickster
to laugh long enough to tell us the joke.

Channels dredging each other for world-coiling
corpses, cameras kidnapping candidate idols,
as the macguffins punch and judy each other.

In the land of the one shining, blind eye,
the regurgitating pupil's constant pressure
of fleeting flotsam is horizon and crown.

So the sword nips ear and holds down shoulder,
since in the thinking lands to fight is to knight
the enemy, to submit to playing loyal opposition.

The library reprints itself, in electromagnetic
spectrum burning fractal expansions of synapses,
experience become mere mirror to the hall of mirrors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What Wood Wouldn't Do

No two tables the same,
factory fit, mortised and glued,
interchangeable surfaces
with unmatchable faces.

Count the grains like ribs,
planks starving ever since
cut and stained in their places

like a skinless man made
to play on the beach, leaves
fall on exposed cellulose

naked where the saw and sandpaper
touched, there is now soft air
rough with dust, heavy, relaxing
feet, cups without coasters
mocking the wood with new rings.

That it withstands standing
is strength I call moot.
The table should either
take a walk or take root.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

... Fall Back

Daylight-Wasting-Time, now,
afternoon already long in the shadow,
evening oddly rough to the rush,
night such a gloating landlord.

The gloaming comes too early, now,
the blue hour gone red with deadlines.
That magic angle of scattering,
of light without the point-source,
of reflections free of original image,
a celestial, musical hour scored
over with last-minute business
and the bonus chore of going home.

Dawn gloats over the morning, now,
floating the promise of heat,
but keeping it, the yellow sun
mocking every clockface since
no round circle can compete
with her exacting schedule,
no numbers able to remain
upon the furnace of her face.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Trading Today

Sex is so old it shouldn't still sell,
such crude mechanics, so indelicately sketched,
an image so ancient it invented hell,
a rough draft rushed into production, now stretched
to fit wireless mannequin-made proprieties;

supplies are prone to inflation and overstock,
subject to rent-control, while the wisest societies
embargo all fresh produce, kept alone on the dock
until over-ripe, left to stew in it's youth

the rest of it's life, inventing happiness
and other substitutions for the truth
that our futures have been marked down for less

than we can buy our bodies' daily allowance for,
unless we learn to market out inner, golden-hearted whore.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Never Directly At It

I was afraid to look at you, until I did.
Apologies are private things and honestly
frankness is blunted by the ironic stance.
Authenticity is shameless between strangers.

Sorry, I could not stop looking once I did.
Bodies have forgotten how to know another
without the efficiency of lust and no,
four senses plastered over with visions.

I have learned to look away, and then back.
Naked is the default feeling of the real,
the original color of every discovery
is guilt. Instinct is a poor teacher.

I am looking for your format.
And love is a contract for landlords,
I'm an amateur librarian. Does a book
feel so exposed, flat open?

You look back, not for, not toward, but at.
Skimming, scanning or sounding out, you'll
see I print myself on translucencies.
Our false fronts keep the black-market open.

Then two lookers unhook, drag anchors up.
The longform confessional requires hiding
in a shared dark until the ears adjust
to hearing another human being being,

and we have not contrived time or space
tonight for such unshielded core reactions.
Questions sort back into the tackleboxes,
and we become who we looked like.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Morning Breath, Morning Bite

Some of her sleep is still in my neck.
Second-string muscles so slack
the bones will play.

Her rest is paid by the hour,
so she punches the time
when it wakes her.

Once up,
there's so much slumber to dump
off the sides of her once submerged
now newly floating, barging boat
that the house tilts under
the oncoming tide of her
unsunk tired until it subsides
into carpet, coffee and

Outside with the dogs
she kicks herself in the propeller,
breathes fuel and makes a list,
soon inside it's food and TV news
and of course, one kiss.

She tightens her wires
and springs on her day,
teeth out.

My backbone waggles from
left-hand relaxed to
right-hand wound and waits
for her teeth to come home.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Two Gifts

Upon the mouths shouting
this door is only theirs
to close and open,
my gift is so much
happiness in your hallway
that you never learn to leave it;

upon the wailing claimers
that history is only theirs
to inherit,
my gift is perfect title
to your traditions
so the debts stay tallied to you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Once More Around the Block Song

shall I leave to go walking
to beg with a song
for food or for tenure
tell me is it wrong

for a grown man to wander
and suffer and dream
while the workers all
boil themselves at full steam

to keep high the engines
they all race against
to trade timecards for tickets
inside the good fence

is it too late for poets
to beg with a verse
for love or for fairyland
tell me is it worse

for a modern man's habit
to mourn magic's dead
or proudly do his part
for the tragic instead.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Pound of Faith

There is no sky today.
No gap from ground to space,
the frontiers touch our face
like gods we lost, now close,
soon enough all heaven's host
will at her customary infinity stay,
and yet there is no sky today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Two Pictures and a Prayer

Rain clips the city's first hour and clops on
bordering the morning with wet glossies
until the executive jet-stream drags the grayscale
waterfront eastward off the frames of gutters and
traffic toward the proper setting for weather,
croplands wide with open-handed earth.

The dog-eaters shake off the nuisance of nature's
self-promotions, claiming she's still in the race,
her noisy pitter-patter advertisements
like clouds and showers, scheduling herself
without consulting the economic forecasts
for billable hours, part-time double shifts --

-- oh, water falling by the grace of science
formed before knowledge had either heads or apples
to hide in, please abandon those parameters
of pressure and density and carve from this dry sky
a door, I will, I promise, walk through the deluge
into whatever garden or desert you fall upon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Other Side of the Mountain Goes Down

I have made of my shelter a tempest
as years stretch tenuous from modern hurtling
back to the anchors of history, "Changeling!"
my forebears cry, "Traitor! Heir to our best,
born on the mountain's crest, only to rest,
lamenting we left you no cliff to test
our gift of arms on!" Excusing my mewling
as hothouse, workhorse lungs unused to cooling,
airless air, I entertain myself with
tantrums, manufacturing my one-use myths
and making a general mess of the nest,
since I cannot breath space with a human breast
I have made of my shelter a tempest.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Frontier Interior

The house is evolving a habitat,
like a brand new cooling earth,
like paradise built perfectly empty
the house is going wild.

Under the bed, lustbunnies breed.
In the microwave, a new biological
niche awaits the salamanders
who abandon the old world of flame
for an electromagnetic heritage.
On top of the fridge, conquistador-
sherpa-pygmy-yetis plant flags
and keep their promise never to
speak of the great defrosting famine.

The seasons of dishstacks, burgeoning
Piletime and scarce, dry Racking,
make half-years for the Sinkling race,
flotsam scavengers, nomads playing
thimblerig hotel in coffee cups
while their plumbing-flung, porcelain
ensconced cousins knit hammocks
and tunnel-web-nests of hair
behind the disinfectants, strands
harvested at heroic risk
in the drainstorms.

Couch crumb collectors trade
each other unidentifiable fragments
in hopes of owning their own penny
someday, while in unused sockets,
goat-horny boys play pirate-hole
and king of the alternating
head-butt under the plastic tree,
with her naked dolly dryad,
as changeless as each other
and as curious about thirst.

The high country between the books
and the shelf-backs sport new
colonies of prospecting gnomes
scratching the paper edges for
magic words as they retell
stolen bits of stories, mining
what was for what could be,
like every culture laying down
its layer of cave paintings.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stich-ripper to the Storm

The rain also stops,
clouds done gutting themselves,
childish, many-fingered sun
pokes the thread-wet holes through,
burning storehouses of deep gray
down flat to that cheap, old sky.