Sunday, December 4, 2011

stone birds nest

stone birds nest
in the creases
of my heart

they sing
the emerald song
of the mountain
from which
they were made

a ghostlike herd
of granite horses
pours into the valley
of my spine

an equine avalanche
with jeweled eyes
like embers

with steaming manes
that swallows hurtle from
to the directions of this world

dark swallows that carry
the stone songs
to the trees

and the tree songs
back to the mountain
beyond my eyes.

Pink Flag

this town has been dead for generations

a diagonal sun casts corrugated shadows from the slumped rooflines

here we find our work ravelling the rusted intestines

here where we reassemble ourselves

our place of vision       so to speak

two kids following the train tracks like a dry stream bed

pick up a pink umbrella left inside-out by the wind

taking turns they wave it overhead     their vibrant eviscerated flag

another dream to collapse into another evening

I light another cigarette to prolong my vigil                          

the calculus of this place cascades over the ledge of observation

no one is entirely still or isolated

the death that comes is what daily divides us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

seeds break

seeds break
as the cold rain
seeps past

are sweet now

and the green
of the hedges

the wind
pushes me

but the sparrows
chase me back
out into the rain

back into
and longing

I resume my
to gravity

I cannot
to collapse.

Monday, June 20, 2011


beside the rock
the lit perception
or what I call

how to speak of
this world
of gestures

of fluent

and to find in
the alyssum’s
cruciate bloom
the hidden

to find the limits
without madness

but when you say
my love
the words flicker.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011





Kiss me as the dead have kissed you
your cheeks, the backs of your hands
the bellies of the crows you love so much.

Where they find openings the dead bury markers
a knotted snakeskin, a bloody dewclaw
a freckled hollowed cicada shell.

I wonder if the dead recognize the change in seasons
how the shifting sun and wind move them
if mud is a question or an answer.

your lilac note

your lilac note opened this shadowed burning house

and exposed the blindness                  the stubbornness
                                    the emptiness of me

I watch myself burn
and accept the homecoming

I awake to release another ghost

and when you hold me
like a child to your breast                   I listen
to your heart
binding us together.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

this is the second

this is the second
full day of mist

last week’s snow under
thickening ice

ashes float       flicker in
the light like snowflakes

this is the time to bear
your body’s stillness

the crows overhead
are barely visible.


yes I miss
her       one
I can’t ever

to our

of regret
and blame

so soft
your eyes
and breast

clearly there
had to
be fault

a loss in

DIA Beacon

in this house
that was once
some sort
of processing
            is still
some sort
of cannery.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

we hear heartbeats

                        we hear heartbeats

in our awareness

            feel in our connection

the weight of another shifting

                        in the distance

we listen from the lonely ridges

                        of our memory

perched on ledges

selfishly carved into the mountain

                                    in order to

separate from the world

                        in order to dissolve.

The Truth

you can’t deny what happened to me
                                    what I witnessed
every night      after the bars closed               you can’t
act like I didn’t hear you begging for the end of it all
to be killed once and for all
you can’t ignore what I haven’t been able to ignore
what still clutters our relationship

the motherless child of a motherless child

rippling sheet of white emotions
that hovers between us
guilt and regret
of bitterness and dry tears

the anger I haven’t been able to shed
                                                your anger
what a man will do to a woman if she lets him.


with one arm I circled you       lifted your thin corrugated body over
the rocks to give you
your true weight
to the river


watched the years vault up through you
volcanically                                          your resistance humming
like the rusted edge of a wind-rubbed bell                  memories
of the violations against you surging until your fists shot open and

you erupted screaming
as if suddenly swallowed by fire

and I sank to the bottom of my own fire                     roamed
the glowing coals         looking for shadows to shroud
your ruptured molten sanctity

I was useless                           lost in this custody

my ashes settling between the stones settled between us

my smoke following weaving your echoes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

so begins the

                                                            so begins the harvest
as deer nuzzle and browse under the hardening moon
as passerine rhythms shift to the muted drone of migration
when with the leaves I am brought down to words
in an open sun-shafted room

prayers gather on the crop stubble
as we suckle from the bending breast

so begins the song
of the bone-white dream         the approaching days of etched grace
the calligraphy of bare trees against blank skies

                                                            so the song begins
with the thinning gusts of autumn
laced with corn stalks left like batons by the harvest
left for the dying wind to defend itself
under a sky about to explode.

common enough

common           enough
            the gestures

that ignore time

                        we eat

midsummer mornings


c r i p p l
      e d

snake haunted

            tourniquet heat
                        for rain
                        rain fall


                        & pheasant flight.

go back

go back
            to fix
what’s to come

            her turn
to collect
the ashes

as I sink

the whole house
is having

and the rain
falls and clogs
            the air

on a hook
in the yard
is hanging
the mobile
she was asked
            to build
            so long

she made it
in minutes
this morning

            our lungs
still labor
            in this

Thursday, February 3, 2011


to take apart
what remains
of a coherent life

is to decide
which stillness
could contain
your fluency

the many things
that you’ve made
and collected
like scattered
emotional centers

you arranged them
as if you were
feeding them
with memory

these artifacts

these footprints of
a life of
meaning how
to dismantle
            it all

a pool

a pool
of night
in me

for ballast
sways in the


the mother is beautiful behind the glass shower door
bent over her growing restless daughter

she moves quickly       constantly        to keep
ahead of the feverish temperament                her long
dark hair spilling over her thin shoulders
she gathers it again at the back of her neck as she rinses
her twirling daughter in the light spray
                                                            and I watch
as she washes her tired bending body impatiently
her daughter sitting under the spray also watching.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


a choreography
of ghosts whirling
on the stage of
my morning tea

the acrobatic clouds
that tumble from
snow-lined branches
grazed by dry wind

how the silent music
surrounds us how
the dance appears
to just happen

the way that memory
constellates us
with it’s tides with
it’s residue.

as simple as

                        as simple as


animal sense

rolling field in
            tall tanned grass

hidden child
still hidden

wait for light                wait
for sleep

            enough nights.

Instruction Manual

circle yourself

            your perception

compress yourself within arm’s length

sift what you remember

                        out of what you know

                                    then sift your known self

through the hoops of your being

            through skull
                        and skeleton                organs
                        fluids and tissues
            through synapses and sphincters
                        vessels pores follicles
            through your last orgasm
                        your last dream
            through your current breath and
                        the salt in your mouth
            through the fatigue and the aches
                        that affect you

            through what exhilarates        humiliates
what annihilates you
                                                and what remains.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am in

I am in
the open
field again
waiting for
the answer
I was told
to find to
find my way

and so I
find myself
lost looking
for who I
was before
I began
to become
who I am

I try to
try to find
the soft hands
that held my
at the breast

the gentle
song of round

a song of
to be here

but instead

why are you
crying what’s
wrong with you

all you think
about is
yourself you
never think
about any-
one else you

you little
bastard all
you ever
think about
is you how
do you think
I feel on
my feet day
after day
to support
this house you
selfish brat
how do you
think I feel
for a change

I brought you
into this
world and I’ll
take you out

is what I
heard as far
back as I
can forget

up until
I cut the
cord with her

her response
ended with
“you stupid
bastard” and
I ended
the phone call

“and that’s why
I . . . goodbye.”

if the waves

if the waves
in the river
are blue
it is
a shade of blue
I want
to be

            and if
            is true
I want to become
the wind that peels
off the hurricane
to sail over
the mountains
            to be here
to be
the hand
drawing blue waves
out of
this ticklish
muddy river.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

to weld

to weld

                        to stillness

to dig
            with miniature lightning
furrowed congealing edges

to stitch small gaps with immense resource
volcanic shorthand
of elemental dynamics

attention is critical as the ancients atomize
as electricity becomes ore becomes molecular

                                    stride in

                                    as if
concentration can stop time
                                                yet not
                                    without gravity.



your soft footsteps crossed the thin
threshold of my sleep and we danced
like old lovers  celebrating
the wreckage of our bond
                        two gray creatures
your filigree of movement stippling
my rounded stone
and we danced
featherless in the hovering sunless air
covered in your cold canorous tears
your song that flows over
                        and into all bodies
that stirs the silt of dreams.

the fox nipped at my back

the fox nipped at my back
seated as I was

she danced behind me
cantering sideways from
my left to my right
            back and forth
grabbing at my shirt in
the passing                  once
catching my collar
and I could feel the small
determined teeth on the knot
of bone jutting from my neck

I waited as the dance turned
from nervous to playful
                        still cautious
and spiked with warning

I continue to wait to face
and nuzzle this fitful
            magnificent being.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

as though it comes

as though it comes
from a remote mountaintop
few have ever been to
this slight afternoon
breeze moves me as it moves
the maple leaves         lifts them
up to show the red stems
                        the eyelashes
of a red-headed warrior          drifting
from the ripe edge of the viking stride
eleven-hundred years after his fall
here on the ancient exhale
                                    the eyelashes
translated between leaf and limber
arrow-like branches.

give me a crow for gawd

give me a crow for gawd’sakes
like the one I saw with a white
patch under the wing
                                    one like that
don’t need to be perfect
                        rather that a crow
could ever be perfect
or anything else but right there
when trouble comes swinging
her greasy bag a lollipops
just the most sensational tongue-
tied way to live for gawd’sakes
                        I ain’t kiddin’ dammit
give me a damn crow like I asked
one to drink out of or else.

where a seed once fell

where a seed once fell a determined oak
took ground and forgave silence like the sleep
of birds           
and through
the oak signature it grew into a tower with the same
slow accumulation of stillness or indifference
that intervenes over time between lovers.