Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Distance Shines

the star burns

in as many skies

as there are eyes

to see

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The cold coils up
like there's a nest
to protect, or a need
to rest rusting the very air,
a back that must hunch,
a hand that must curl,
but not close, a wind
so quick it's cut
her own legs off,
a wind become wisp,
dragging like a blanket
drooping from shoulders
just as hung as fabric,
as loose as the dull
sleep the spongy,
slurred world
promises with thudding
whispers, the cold,
as pristine as a lake
made a mirror
by a morning's happy
absenting of man,
like a librarian
admonishing the restless
mind to worship the silence,
the hands that keep
the books closed
raising a finger, oldest
symbol, simple reminder
that words are too restless
to bury anything in,
the pages don't want
to be turned and burned
by homesteading photons,
land-grabbing eyes,
their spines know
their natural state
is unopen, like the cold,
bending men around
their hearts, reminding
them to love something
close, something
they can hold.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yes, Again

Absence lets itself in,
like a drink pouring itself
on the floor, saying
say when and never listening.

Absence introduces herself
to everyone, the perfect mixer,
she wants to be counted,
to set the record,
the most noticed.

Absence over-enunciates,
a clerk happy to demonstrate
her superior knowledge
of her routine.

Absence hammers
like a carpenter who doesn't
care how strong he looks,
it tickles like an uncle
unashamed of the chance
to tell his only joke.

Absence pitches up
like a toddler atop
the couch's summit,
announcing his intention
to have attention.

Absence drags the room
around like a bird worth
a batting and two fangs,
but not as tasty as can guts.

Absence leaves the box
unopened, the roof closed,
the present circumstances
unexamined. Absence likes
imagining who might be home.

Absence goes out and stays in,
she can do both, two time
the whole team, she even
goes on double dates with other

Absence tries on everything
in the store. Absence
promises the moon for the
price of wishing and waiting.

Absence reinforces himself
like a bureaucracy creating
a new department.

Absence's favorite relative
is memory. She always calls him.

Absence is tireless.
Absence likes the repetition.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The glass is always completely full.
You can't breathe water.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unexplored Fragment

Heaven is full of light,
and hell is full of fuel.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Century of Sundays

That's not a gate, it's his toenail.

All candles are his footmen,
as upright as his chorus,
singing their singeing,
trooping with their tongues
as tall as pikes and tipped
with the gift of one
ray of the center of light.

Those aren't doves, they're bubbles
he's blown in the phlogiston.

Soon and gone are close enough rhymes,
with a foot in each he speaks.

Those are pearls that were his cysts.

All angles are his managers,
every middle bent on both ends
so every horizon can hide
in the same foreground,
the same perfect now,
one disconnection performing
the same endless pirouette
upon every point.

Yes, in the kingdom of his
pockets he has
a banana for everyone.

God does not want promises,
that's why he built a world.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breaking Faster

We orbit like eggs being juggled,
yellow fusion centers boiling
each other in case we fall

because shells can be swept up
and wet protein soaks into the carpet

she splits her muffin
like a twist cap
and I warm the butter on the toaster
right in the wax paper
and drip it into the bready badland
like greasy rain sent to smooth
out the moon

the coffee contemplates
a career change -
maybe marketing since
it already has the network

but we dirty the same dishes
as we shake out of grimy dreams
and fill the hole sleep
burned us down to with a heap
of lumpy fuel and take turns
tossing matches over
the windy walls we've
spoken up this morning

we avoid each other like magnets
afraid their field is forever

an uneaten apple prays
for a snake to sell it to us
unable to lie down for its round
around, all belly, beside
a paring knife it pleads
to be cut open
to let the star out

we keep apart
like the owners of animals
scheduled to stud and catch,
afraid our little goblins
will rut while we're busy
planning a day and a life.

The coffee dregs arrange
themselves in deconstructed
but solemn imitation
of a shape they studied
in tea-leaf appreciation

she eats her muffin
as slowly as she can.
I stab the apple
because it wants me to,
although I'm not hungry
for mealy or sweet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

As Arch as the Ancient of Day's Compass

What ape has come to plumb-bob
himself from my tree, to test his tail
like a spider, dangling from branches
his slum-gummed mouth to snag sunbeams
before I can filter them for him?

What shark has swum up
the main artery of my commerce
with my lesser communion,
to test his teeth on the antibodies
policing the ferrymen's boats
for dreamers raiding the country
of the dead?

What centipede has molted here,
collected its legs from interns
and entry-level upward mobility donors
to test the curve of their beastly
layered back against the long
odds I've laid the best so far
out on, what chittering orifice
has opened so proudly to scoop up
the detritus of life beyond
its ken? I can so happily

squash, so easily harpoon,
so simply and painlessly and
joyously and effortlessly and
gleefully and carelessly
shoot him out of my tree
with a bullet made of my
tiniest word, with a barrel
turned from the bone
I left out of the first
of his forefathers, with a trigger
cut as fine as the hair of my first
creation, my sibling, my lover,
my seamstress and barber,
my daily bread baker and
the only butcher I trust,
the woman who holds
thread, scissors and the hands
of the sisters she budded
to serve her like
scabbards for herself,

go away, little sleeper.
The world is full enough
of fluttering.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Den with Dead Television and Dreamer

Cold jags into the room like a muscle cramp,
walls so stalwart compared to the imaginary
ones buckling like the outside is all deep sea,
the gathered rivers of history all chummy
and backslapping the backdoor, promising
to plummet the ostrich-feathered tenant
through sand and silt and trench, so deep
into the cold the rocks have rubbed
their fists together until they melted.

Except the floor holds up under all that
heavy metaphor, and the glass in the door
has equally bored air on both sides,
out back a lazy shoulder drunk with his brother
cardinal's spinning long-winded lies, inside,
a buffet of something as stale as a wish
kept in a mason jar in a hope chest
in the guest room at grandma's house
for twenty years, and the woman,
splayed out on the couch in hopes
that listless, naked abandon
often entices angels to make announcements,

she can't stop banishing her to-do list
with daydreams of how her house might
crush her, or winged messengers come
to escort her with a spear thrust
entrusted to judge the gordian knot
between her body and mind
with the rough cut it deserves,
blessed with the proper pressure
to collide with her flesh until
it vibrates fast enough to light,
and her spine stays behind,
a fallen flagpole for whatever
queen and country she should
have stood for, sang for, boiled
her heart in work for. She roils
in pillows and faux-fleece blankets

like a child dancing to keep her piss in,
like a cat that wants to bite the hand
it's afraid is about to stop petting it,
like a woman who would trade every happiness
she ever had only to know who it was
that was supposed to have loved her.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Morning's Game with Mug and Fall

Early enough for the hedgewall's shadow
to paint the same even shade of evening,
coffee braves the cold yard at his elbow,
proud to stand the forced labor of loving
men's mouths, heat in hope of a stomach's clutch,
the hot, glossy organs less alien
than her palisade of ceramic, much
the mercenary, letting heat escape
the smothering huddle of Brownian
motion for the wide, open world's lighter touch;

he limits his lips to one sip per wild
leaf to ripple her little-rimmed sea,
one by one, autumn's orphans steeped in coffee,
immigrants baptized by the grinder's child.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Pluck is not enough,
so said the string,
as tight as she should be,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lines to a Chainsaw

It is 7:34.
I suppose if I had to run my teeth
through sappy cellulose,
I wouldn't care either.

He's proud:
Nothing is as loud as the pain
I'm sharing.

You could wait until eight.
Tell the leaf-blower.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Gray thinks the pendulum is a myth.

Time can only know color by comparison
with numbers.

Matter has to hit things to know them.
Light has to poke to make its points.

Black and white have never met,
either in print or on board
the square-footed grid of the world.

A minute has just enough time
to think about how it will end.

A needle is mostly cylinder,
its own sharp a distant,
singular mystery.

All the consonants think the spectrum
is an old vowel's superstition.

The shape of things only folds,
never raises.

Tingles always wish they really felt something.

Friday, December 11, 2009

This Too, In Passing

The rain trumps the weekend with a deck-
soaking deluge of innumerable pips.

The pitter patter blathers on like a
television's background nattering
battering its way into an afternoon's
couch-cushion-fortified nap.

The rain gathers to welcome newcomers,
whole circles leaping up to receive new
members. Puddles overcome their edges
to paint the yard with the dullest
sparkles known to man.

The bland stink of unsalted water
carries itself across the threshold.

The wind gets tired of giving away
free tickets and closes the ride.

The gutters chortle at the dog
in the raincoat. Cars mow down
droplets in their prime.

The men bungle the day with
wishes. The weather goes on
with the show.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Mirrors, No Faces

Her punctuation is always late;
her implications arrive early,
without a bottle of wine.

His answers always go
out to sea first. The beach
dries out while he thinks.

She believes life is built
by knocking into things,
and the proteins seem to agree.

He starves out his options,
waits to crown the only head
his neck can still hold up.

Their orbits lose each other,
as they ask, would you rather
be unexpected or inevitable?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


she plays like a leaf in the street
as if a canyon could love like a blood vessel

as if fate was a wake proud to eddy after errands
she plays like a can escaping the trash

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home Again, Home Again

he wastes himself like breadcrumbs
leading his own flock of birds ouroboros

through a helix of hemlocks
happy to host another abduction

to the frosting-framed house,
whose pearl-sugared gate opens

as easily as any one-way door.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Costume Rental Policy

The world doffs her wolfskin,
slumps and huffs and
blows her own work down.
Pigs and sheeps and ducks
feather and line and grease
her gears, her purse
and her wingtips.
She slips in her friendly dentures,
molars for mouthing the round
elbow-locking tongues of
cud-chewers, while in a glass
jar of acid her fangs
stay sharp, etched with the right
inscriptions. The world
slowly backs her head
out of the trough
to sample the flesh
plumping behind. She
casts her peanuts before swine,
gives a fish a rabbit's foot
and teaches the mouths
to eat while they're closed.
The storehouse of seeds
and rain and sunlight
and time she sets herself
in a patrolling orbit around,
hackles up, howl looping
on the loudspeaker,
teeth rented out to the mercenaries
happy to have a place
to pay her for.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


a thorn sifts the wind for a gauzy thought,
rips it to strings so it can snake
into the primal socket, the threadneedle
thin mousehole the first word hibernates in.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hue and Cry

The race of roses happily segregates herself,
colors competing for their share of sunlight,
bee feet and appreciation, a combined score
of eyes and noses, bonus points for poems.

The pink wilts first, like the sun
loved it best and hardest, the orange bursting
from the bud as quick as ignition, from fist
to flimsy like a snapdragon. The white holds
her pose the longest, her delicate scent
kept so close it's absent, her center
pocked with golden purpose now gone,
her petals the perfect background
for the finest dust the day can precipitate,
stippling her pristine symbolism
with the honest, maculate truth.

In their pot across the yard,
the yellow roses believe their
utopia of equals is universal.