As a single bird fixed in motion pins the sky to itself
remorse grows freely along the wetlands where compromised waters
breed few and far between flowers of great beauty and the human brain
spews soft gray clouds cloudy with truth
I am that river that cleanses—
the invention of a self set apart in ignorance of its own choosing
to be the not music and the not poison
a fluid dynamic of ceaseless production forsaking the concerned landscape
and a bitter end
Read more "In Praise of Windmills"
Babies, ice cream cones, umbrellas, cell phones, walking sticks,
Read more "Open Carry"
Groceries, the newspaper, a fresh pizza, flowers for the one you love,
Car keys, a purse, pen and paper, a snack, reading glasses,
A book, two books, a Bible, a pair of gloves, lip balm, a lipstick,
Bicycle helmet, a hairbrush, gum and breath mints, a hand mirror,
Earbuds and a pocket watch, a penknife, nail clippers,
Camera, screwdriver, hammer and pliers, a wrench,
Flip-flops and a towel, a folding chair, a handkerchief,
Which is a very strange word when you look at it,
A Leatherman, another strange word, but we got used to it
I doubt your existence
not your suffering
In your tall houses I have seen you
the site of execution
your electric throne
and lofty stone arches exquisitely formed
echoing your screams
Walking this morning barefoot in the garden
I watched your handiwork
a green bottle fly
resting its metallic halo
Read more "Sanctus"
on a leaf of my beloved apple tree
I snap the book shut,
try to erase his grim words,
but I can’t escape.
Even a trip to the store
is horrifying. I watch
as a lady thumps
Read more "Assault"
a melon, caresses it,
lowers an ear to
its veiny flesh, and heaves it
into her cart with a grunt.
I am lying, arms helpless at my side and sunk into the tiny gravity wells
Read more "Pietà"
Formed by ribs and hip bones, framed in this comfortable chair.
It’s only a nap, in a chair that is not my mother, its arms not my mother’s arms,
Yet I sense that I am upheld by love, and a poem runs through my sleepy thoughts.
I am aware of my hands cupped without care or purpose, at full useless repose,
And I think of marble, of a sculpted body eternally at rest, perhaps the Christ
Released from the agony of crucifixion, the artist carving his ahistorical palm
Wounds like lovers’ openings in a waiting corpse, tender lips traced through the Shadows of holy
This morning I read about sex toys
a design student was creating for old people
(defined as those over fifty),
a market he felt was overlooked.
One concept was a steel ear trumpet
to listen to a lover’s heart.
You have been gone for many years
Read more "Thrum"
but I still feel the warmth of your soft sternum
pressed against my cheek, still hear
your drumbeat vibrating through my bones
It’s something to look forward to,
of the talking heads
on the evening news,
her portal to the world.
When Dad was still here,
they’d watch together, and in twenty minutes
their own heads
would drop to their chests.
Now she nods off alone
Read more "Talking Heads"
under waves of silver hair,
the ocean at dawn
Rage is so respectable. Her top hat’s
made of smoking coals. She strides
the streets and kicks small sheep.
She knits up snarls on telephone poles.
She breathes in daisies, snorts
out ash. Her house is made of corners,
boned with whale. She turns on you
so quickly that she tops the sport Whiplash.
She combs her hair with matches
Read more "Rage is so Respectable"
so the sparks light funeral pyres. Her invitation list
is stuffed with Holocaust deniers.
Her snack’s a cat. The dump’s her park.
I know a grave in the woods
Read more "Tree Communion"
tricked with running cedar, mulched
with hickory and storms, telling heaven
to dance cobble-rock and quail-feather,
tuning up the sprouts, and all the thaws,
so they smooth and wriggle, and they smooth
and bank up every skeleton against a ghost,
so they all sing, so they all remember names
that touch like the tallest willow’s shadow
cribbing across the face of an old woman
waiting to find me here at home and alive.
It’s not torrential
or even steady,
this moderate rain,
more from the eaves than
the clouds. I’ve long closed
the blinds; I hear it,
not see it. Like
the tentative steps
of would-be visitors
killed in car crashes.
Read more "Pitter-Patter"