This month of your birth
has crept in upon me again,
slipped over the window sill
and into the corner of my room
where a perfect square of moonlight
seems to have up taken residence
and, outside, where the birds,
a whole choir of them, whose names
you never bothered to learn even when
mother recited them over and over again
as she pointed to the secret places
she thought they were hiding
under eaves or in the tangled branches,
are singing their hearts out
as she would always say then
and where now the boisterous cicadas
are joining in that twilight overture
This month of your birth
I do not know how it is possible
not to pause, to stop, to listen
when a single bird’s first notes
suddenly rise above the subtle hum
of the city’s opening or to ignore
the wonder when one spring day
descends unexpectedly to revive
this town in the midst of winter.
I do not know how to sing praises
as wholeheartedly as the throng
of crows gathered at the crown
of a leaf-barren tree whose cants
seem like cacophony to me
but must be the joyful noises
that they were made to sing.
I do not know how.Read more "How"
The world outside had turned into a forest. She had not been out in weeks and had not known, but she was running out of all food, so she tied a camo tank top over her face and stepped out. It was quiet. She walked down the stairs and outside and into it: tall trees stepping into the sky, moss beginning patchily on the street like an early beard, small red beetles, decaying logs, mud and unknown puddles of water. The supermarket was a hothouse, flowers lining the shelves. There was a purple flower that she thought had risen up from the inside of the earth, exposing the inner, shivery part of earth, the fullest and most muscled part. She held out a hand to pick it but pulled back. She went home again to open all the windows, in case the flowers would grow in themselves, perhaps winding around the radiators, up the walls, the curtain rods, nesting in the cool dank space under the sofa and behind the refrigerator. She locked the door behind her so that they would stay inside, maybe, so the secret would not overflow into other apartments, though it was all over the world. She put her keys in her jacket pocket and left.Read more "Green at the End"
It is an hour before sunrise on the western edge of the Salton Sea. The moon has set this early January morning and the stars are either falling in or away—depending on how long you look.
To the east the horizon seems two-dimensional, like black gauze draped over a thin line of light in pale yellow and salmon. In the foreground, silhouettes of long dead trees add the illusion of dimension and mark the drowning of a former shoreline. Where I stand, a foot of water covers two feet of soft, silty mud.
Silence, like a downdraft from the cosmic void above, creates an auditory setting that is equivalent to white noise. Then, from a mile away, a dog’s barking arrives with such clarity that I can tell which way he is facing. When silence resumes, my self-awareness comes into question as I am without sensory input—save the fantasy of vision.Read more "The Salton Sea"
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 endRead more "In Praise of Windmills"
One day you finally knew
what you’d been put there to do,
and did it
while the loud voices rang louder
and tugged at your sleeve,
each cry a death cry, a flashing red sign.
But you knew.
You knew what you had to do,
though the thread unwound round you
leaving you nakeder and nakeder,
its melancholy terrible.
Then the queerest thing happened.
Being almost already too late, and too dark,
the moon threw down
a bird, a
shining wild raven and in its mouth,
a flower of life.
The stars burned in its brilliance,
at first saw themselves shyly
then danced and shone round to
find themselves extraordinary.
I squirrel for your key among the bird routes
and airplane flights in the blue hummed daylight.
I dig for you in lowest drawers of desks
where duties cement my legs and
cubicles encompass what’s left.
If life ever careens through, we could
rendezvous in dialogue at night’s dock.
As stowaways in bed, we might kiss
and kite our private lightening
into the bugle-blare of dawn.
Border Stones Even death is just a concept we put on the bare facts of things. Alluvium and sunlight, names for the annealing world, the dough that turns into bread. I forfeit opinions because I want the startled wings without the assumption of the bird. In the forest, I’m simply dazzled. My heart may hurt, […]Read more "Border Stones"
Your friends are not your friends Your friends are not your friends. There is no such thing as a friend. The wasp devours the honeybee on his dutiful search For the final flower. The flower stagnates, smelling sweet for no one. If it’s true that you kill the things you love Then she loved me […]Read more "Your friends are not your friends"
Nature is Calling Grass of mysterious light, Do you become dry from lack of love? Nature has this bearing on all of us, Take out a white paper. Draw the red cardinal bird Singing wet songs for your neighbors. Purple lilacs left a trace of dry dirt But for once They were alive with love […]Read more "Nature is Calling"