Thursday, December 30, 2010


love like rain   falls

the wet collar
of her
white shirt collapses
against her neck
the soaked nest
of her hair that
the streaked egg
of her face.

if ever

if ever
like air

in truth
fills me

and ever

what sorrows

Like Grapes

the pears         thankfully
are small this year.

the tree           thoughtless
sways in abundance.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


from the edge
of the bowl
the sound
of a bell

song of brass
in ornament
of crystal
softly struck.


you waved
your arm

to say

on snow.


one fed the
hole inside


and she was
you in so
many ways.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a year as rainfalls

a year as rainfalls

in bone memory

tree rings

archives in dense materials

eggshells know

                        too disembodied)

hardness in layers

I dream across cross-

there is love

there is love

and the will
to love like

the will
to build furniture
that stirs

when I am alone
too long.

the wind will soon be bound by the thickets

the wind will soon be bound by the thickets
that will whistle piercing incantations
none of us can decipher
                                    children hang wires
from low pin oak and locust limbs
                                                the children
are the first to consider this strategy:
monitor to manipulate

their measures continue

the songs of children form mathematical spools
of ribbon to remind us what we have forgotten
how concise a clear mind
a room without clutter
or rotted floorboards in piss-stained corners

a seamless mind with raw sunlight
on everything that passes through

everything weighed
against its resonance
ghosts shuttled through the appropriate
throbbing conduits

ghosts, inconclusive data billowing
the gauzy web of a child’s taxonomy
as if sailcloth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


the wind howls looking
for its heartbeat          I admit
that I tend to ignore the wind

so he catches me often
calling out to   inviting
the others the lesser gods

he catches me feeding them
and is witness when they
inhabit me

            I have no excuse
for my direction or in-
discretion        I try to love
is all
                                    and you,
wind, do you love as you savor
the dance in everything
do you
as you pass through the world
as through a net
                        as you pull
at my clothes to get at my chest.

where is the grief in the harvest

where is the grief in the harvest after the land
has been sheared and after the vigils for rain
have ended                              now we must
tend to each other in ways we cannot tend
to ourselves                             I ask you to help
me push these walls outward and to hold
that line as I cut with sheer will the rusted
armatures lingering in my forsaken fields
such wreckages erected and half-erected
                        abandoned for other promises
and now the clean-up you’ve been brought to
for twenty years now like a secret cabin in a
secret wood with faded curtains and dishes
that remind us of childhood summers at an
aunt’s or grandparent’s house             full
of anachronisms and inherited meanings
inhabited with small suitcases where I hid
my humiliations and my shame at not being
like anyone else                       sometimes
I dream of this cabin with my ghosts politely
knocking on the door   asking through the windows
if it is time yet growing impatient insistent
and I wonder now that the harvest is over
and the light is dropping down in its golden bow
when will you invite me to your cabin to meet your
ghosts and to help unpack the suitcases         when
I ask as if through a window.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


at night the dead make crowns with their bones
to mimic the living who with feathers
mirror the gods.

as they roam the dead carry collections of our teeth
like a pocketful of tombstones
or a riverbed.

the vision of the dead like autumn wind is blind
hands of the wind comb the dry fields
for the love the dead leave behind.

At the End, At the Beginning

            The crows are still asleep, though morning has made her introductions and apologies.  Leaves, bound only by frost, float off at the warm touch of her arrival.  At the edge of the field the corn shakes off the night breath, while the river lingers over her song of the ones who roam and thread the sinewy moonlight of this ancestral valley.  For a moment, nothing moves;  then the oily air spatters with cartwheeling crows while on wires and treetops other crows start shouting punchlines to jokes they can’t ever remember.

need to walk

need to walk
out beyond
the usual
where sadness
like tinsel
over snow
where the wolves
the tarred shell
of your heart

out there
in the snow
another heart
in the wound

in the healing

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

my cup of flowers

my cup of flowers is the full weight of you
wet with your ancient tears
I will eat you when I wake and drink
this tea to return to the floated mind
of your dream
                        without hands or eyes
we will walk together through burnt fields
in the polarized autumn light
memories of love that was almost love and
nascent beauty that became this grace
                                                my cup
of flowers hums with your voice          briefly
you held my face against your throat
                                                another breast
for me to cling to
                        to enter love through
                                    to add my ancient tears

the clock is weightless

the clock is weightless in my attention
I write to you               you seem to care
your clock moves you from one spot
to the next
            it is no longer celestial time
in you it becomes dimensional
                                    fractured time
he once asked you
            -how long did we fuck-
and you knew
            -almost eight minutes-
dressing as you spoke rushing
around the shifted bed

take some time to write me back
                        my letter ended

yesterday        on my phone
your apology
                        in so many words.

being following

being following
cascade of many
years into radiance

how dream settles
into song
how when
the wheel settles
            it throws your
unexpected shadow
on the half-lit world

and now the world
on your wheel

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I agree

I agree
with you Cid
I am old
enough now
to want for-
bidden things

old enough
to take in-
small storage
of years of
wants and needs
like boxes
damp in the

chewed by mice

until you
Cid       opened
the doorway
down    and I
for nothing
but to see
the rotting
I’m built on

to see where
my poet
eats sleeps and
to watch him
drag the hose
between fuel
tanks   from the
rusted out
over to
I never
knew of.

she like the

she like the
hydrangea in
its color speaks
the soil of her
roots to opal-
escent blooms
of her eyes
the       wells
of her resig-

The Ferryman

even now
a ferryman will take you across this
low wide river
for when you choose

but gently
payment should pass gently as alms
to the muddy quartz-fisted anchorite

listen as the throats of            the river ring
his shrouded water-bell

                                                see how
the sun shines through and hides his milky
cataract eye
where the river drains into and out
of him
this flooded pearl of cascading water
erupts in the moonlight like datura
                                                the blooming eye
a bulging spool
that winds and unwinds a silver thread

for what you might hesitate to offer.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

with no loss

with no loss
of words

the cynic’s prayer

the story is simple

to be so concise
            a meteorite

to isolate with words

the cynic prays
to a dissolved self

beyond belief.

Standard Tuning

I have ghosts of myself still in my mouth
their whispers inked on her breasts    and she
dreams of a wedding-funeral
            ceremony for the exchange of selves

of ghost for ghost.

cut the tree

cut the tree     they say
and we cut until
the massive bone shatters
and shouts a river’s thaw

another sixty years uncarved
at our feet       unguarded
by the incredible height
                        now length

our decisions consistently
making these conversions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

in this house

in this house    sleep
is restless
            another chore
to add to the list
                        we wake
sore on the rocks
of our mountainous
            cramped by
damp weather
and shearing winds
                        we wake
as if dropped
into a thicket of scalding
wild rose

            the uncommon
world in its orange dawn
and open mouth pulls us
to our feet
            back to our bodies
back again to the lists
inscribed in the metal
and brick
of our belongings.

just as red

just as red
tailfeather falls to
the ground

                        from flight
                        or perch
                                    ship / wreck
                                                in air
freelance weight eased through



            to bird

Saturday, October 30, 2010

you cannot make me

you cannot make me

the miracle that makes
a bare tree

explode with ten-


I cannot accept
such poetry.

in all things

in all things
the effort
to merge

bird’s nest
woven with
spider legs

there to
the egg

on the egg

ancient names
recorded thus.

in the long night

in the long night

root and rain

the first to join

moonlight frames windows

leaves spiral down

another layer               a blanket

a miracle         to die


and be forgotten.

Monday, October 25, 2010

as the lilacs break

as the lilacs break       the heart sings its memory
to forgive and find grace in forgiveness                      to find grace
in the way the wind breaks through the budding trees
how the infant suckles the lavender breast
with the stillness and focus of a sun-stroked pond

the heart remembers the elements of the changes
it remembers that morning when the wet fog
turned another key                 when you woke
and she was there waiting in her sleep for you
to wake her                 how in shadow she still shines.

this bracelet

this bracelet
love making love
a bracelet


glass-eyed jewels

dress this night
for morning to wear
lashes pinned with dew.

with water

with water
all bodies

twisting rivers
in sycamores

bituminous lakes
in the cradled eyes
of horses

the red canyons
we cross
to make love

the magic
of words
mist from
our mouths.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

into the storm

into the storm
            a wish
to be woven
between layers
            of rain

so that my breath
            is choked
from the cold

the struggle
is not without
will or desire

I am too warm

surrounds me

the fluid self
cremated &
with the ashes
of my
musical bones.

in the green secret

in the green secret of the
maple tree                   in the
palms of the thousand leaf hands
is the earnest thread-making
divined through cellulose spools
of the capillary loom
sap and fiber spun
and wrapped around seed
            and from each seed arches out
an eyebrow spine from which hangs
the papery filigree
of the dragonfly’s wings.

like the streamside ring of daylilies

like the streamside ring of daylilies the loneliness
of the widowed young mother is edible           she stands
in the doorway with her accidental smile and awkward
farm boots                               a ghost fading into a ghost
a smoky willow leaning over a mirrored pond
                                                            tilting off-center
in the green doorway of a house of a mutual friend
talking of Ireland as a way of talking about her dead
husband                       serum weeping from cut roots
as she falls through the bottleneck of emotional
amputation                              her isolation   
concealed in three small children
with flooding shipwrecked eyes.