All the heather and the madness,
All the heather and the madness,
All the heather and the madness,
Trouble isn’t trouble til
The hem tears and it’s trouble.
Look at me, not quite fit to come in,
But not entirely turned away. I’m the middle of the night
The horses will begin to kick the stable walls, and a cat your family loves
Will tip over an ink well. I’ll still lie in the peace of the grave
Discern kinky butterflies of your own undoing.
The dream that followed served the first one:
Skulls disintegrated beneath the pearly
Teeth of an earthmover.
Meanwhile, gladiolas rose in an effort
The world and where you work is substandard,
Figures fuck it. One day all the dog fighters
And dogs will die in this eminent domain
Of peace we feel in our bodies.
The swale in which the lively bathe, and the dust in
Which the sedentary sit share a border. But
There, distant past, we worried ourselves breathless
Remembering history’s Lusitania
And grief crept over us like sunset.
You might never have felt such captive culpability for
Your own breath, but I have.
Fewer and far between,
You dropped the house key in the well
To keep it safe.
But later you started to realize you weren’t
The first one with this idea.
That’s the problem with ingenuity. It’s covered
With thorns and it feels like a victory to
Actively avoid them.
But what about the rest of the time.
You look down into the clear and pure looking water,
And you see your own purple eyes in the poison and the key.
The bigger dream has been eclipsed by moonlight
And rotten ass doo wop.
The lesson covers love, old age, and eventually silence. Every
Great song points us back to the indefatigable
Globe of a thing.
Bobby soxers get together around me.
I’m nobody, but they see the cosmos. And
In their heels
And in their malevolent
Let’s let go,
As if decided at a party for everyone.
I have no responsibilities to tell you about,
This isn’t my job, so if I slip up,
And I’m amateur hour
It won’t affect my pay.
Maybe I should open myself more to risk.
I love the smell of motorcycles,
And once I saw a gargoyle leaving his post
For swimming water.
One of my headlights is out.
The road clears its own throat:
The radio once I get to a certain point on 30 is
But when I come down the mountain the
Sun is there to shine on a world superstitious of loss.
They bake their fallen leaves.
They reimagine the dead in uniform.
There’s a Gulf station in Art Deco
In need of an army.
There’s a duck no one ever saw before but me;
But everyone sticks up for him.
The alphabet was made out of mystery.
I’m sure it wasn’t perfect; I’m sure there were
Hard feelings shared between
The P and the R people.
But someone in the Hawthorne village anticipated
The wilderness of their thinking, and A became A thing.
And everybody followed.
The R lost its trunk and the P became
A predicate form. When the two looked at the Q
They imagined breakfast on their day off.
It was as if in begging, the tongue of
Humanity spoke and did its duty for once.
It was as if the people said for once,
Let us speak for ourselves.
The scientist is so weird—and he owns this place:
The beakers burning, and monkeys bouncing
In their cages. The next magic is in here somewhere,
He says. But is he really the guy?
He’s handsome, and women find him sexy at lunch.
Lightning bends as it crosses the window on his ceiling,
And it raises the sleeping skin in the green of his
He grows things, this dashing prince.
Where are you from, patient zero?
What brought you in to us today?
The flag flying above the clinic is ours. The fly
Is infectious. You, through the archway, which is Gothic,
Must dream of a life without all this science,
As you look ahead.
The hill burped when the toad stirred.
The sky shit on me in Washington D.C.
It was a pigeon, it was rain.
People gathered around a wet, dead baby doll.
As they dispersed one could be heard
She was already crying. On the bank
As a kid she saw the toads shake off
Winter as if waterproof.
Your friends love you but
They’ll never grow into your thistled shoes—
The suffering you show as you lean into the window.
Up against the sun—they feel small, too.
The comportment of waiting is based on people who are kind
and willing to wait.
They don’t understand the fraction of a cat’s life.
My science class memory of the Universe, it always
Begins in the dark. There are pinholes
Of misleading promise
—but that could be my eyes.
Have you ever seen a dead sunflower? The kernels
At the heart look like mummy teeth—the backwards-
Withered petals no longer canary yellow.
Instead, they curl away from the earth, like a vanquished
Coven of witches looking elsewhere.
But the point is
It—the Universe, I mean, always moves to the light.
The bean from which we get chocolate is good.
And milk is good. And the rivrrrun of everything
We get from milk is, too.
It’s good. But silence appeases a
Different set of Gods. No age, no
Gender, no celebration of appetite.
This embarrassment of riches is different from
The rich folks you know.
They hang out in truckstops
And undo the eating of their own souls.
The country must have looked like a person once.
Someone landed and said,
You, you remind me enough of home.
That’s how the globe was formed
And little by little the idea of home learned to travel—
And develop its elusive slang,
Saying to the foot, not where you go.
Saying to the letter, maybe.
I want to see everything, hear everything,
And share it all— how the walls start to smell moldy,
Violet in the drying light.
And no floor could support a living soul
This may only be the beginning;
So, here I am—I want to feel everything.
The clover filling in the blanks
Between the grass,
And the sky tumbling down the wild, clean hill.
The poetry you lose seems wasted
Because you failed to externalize.
For hours maybe even days you continue to feel that
Lost opportunity, as if reaching off an empty pier
To pull aside the fog— a chance to see
And let them see you. But when you pull it back
Not even the miss you missed is there.
You are wanted,
But you want the miss.
So, with the curtain in your hand you ignore the future
As your guts shake the bottom of the sea to life.
One or two trees with roots behind the horizon
Slouching away—gatekeepers to another life, as the
Dead tried to leave, left.
The sun came—unrest went quiet, and
Orange light held court on the grassy shadows.
The first was the Elder, but the
Closest had one foot on the sunny hill
Human pearls look like toes,
As they sink into the edge of the curly waves.
We know reverse sign langauge,
We spend a lot of time working on our backs
Torsos and tesserae,
Come by and look where my works begins.
Look: it’s disappearing: a reason
Or reason for pearls.
The greater dream must look impoverished
On the hill,
Beside the cows and rows of corn and
Sheep we count.
Once we fall asleep and the agriculture of sleep
Falls asleep too
There may be a moment—but just one and
It’ll pass quickly—below—
You will grow from a seed to an aching tree
And the sun will set inside of you.
We don’t remember everything.
But when we meet it’s awkward, and there’s a
Lot we pretend to quietly understand—
We go home and dip inside ourselves, trying to
Pry it out, like change from the seat of a recliner,
Or hair from a stopped drain.
There was an eleventh commandment
And it had something to do with the color blue:
Perhaps it was the pailletted aura of the sun and
The possibility that it was
Point A in the whole sky.
Or, more likely it was how we ought to grieve. How
The heavens should fill our eyes all the way,
And how our eyes should blink, too,
And thank the heavens.
This dream is more science fiction
Than the others.
I meet a camel on the road to Damascus. He falls
Apart instantly, and I’m like why!?
Pretty soon the humps start convulsing and it’s dark
Outside. Blood everywhere.
I throw a saddle over his
It’s gonna end. I’m gonna wake and he’ll be
I keep having the same funny dream—
I’m trying to grab a giant pearl
In the ocean but it’s greased and the waves rock against
My will. And I’m just dreaming, anyway.
It becomes a kite. And I wash my hands.
Down from ten I count to zero,
Each blue ribbon tied to the string,
And each spindrift of sunny daylight
And more strings. Even stuck against solid things.
I am no longer looking ahead or behind.
Where it is either still
Or hardly moving the water —black beside the light,
Appears to wait. Visitors keep it to
Themselves, knowing if there’s a story nearby,
And it’s told right, they won’t
Have to sacrifice the dearest part:
Simply, I came here to get away from my job.
And because it didn’t rain or charge a late fee
The gold at rainbow’s end.
Some people live their lives to stockpile:
They amass grain silos of ramen
And basements full of bullets—
They’re going to be ready for the invisible tide.
But they’re not: the grain rots in a column and the gun
Powder dampens beneath the hail of magazines
And sandwich crusts—lives are lived
Upon the dampened plans for surviving.
I thought about it recently when I couldn’t sleep:
Feathers in the pillow struck out from the inside, the
Harder I twisted it—the harder I tried to find
The better they poked me in the eye.
It’s as if they were telling me something in death the goose couldn’t say while she
I’m adjusting to minimum wage,
Green, but cold, gloves, scarf.
And bare feet—there is
No big mystery, Four-Eyes.
The cardinals flip as they
Climb an invasive vine,
Grazing on the stuff in the high neck
Of a tree.
It is as if, this evening, the dead are rising
From their graves, blood first.
The C is a moon.
And of course the O is always a moon.
But the S is one, too—
See the smoke of laughter
Climb that starry staircase, and
Fill in all those cosmic rooms with bent
Walls and blue windows...
This is where a dreamer’s letters all get answered.
And the canceled stamp has a rocket
Lodged in its lemony eye.
You get two chances every day, and
A lot of time to think about it.
The sun encourages work
The moon does nothing.
But, I dreamed about you: You were piling
Greens and olives in my arms. I was stubborn
But I didn’t say no, exactly.
People endure awful things just to learn the color of
Their own shameless moon.