Sunday, June 26, 2022

Moon wobble.

 One or two trees with roots behind the horizon 

Lumbering 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

I saw.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Reverse sign language.

 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.

 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The middle ground.

Keep it.

For a few nights salt lay before the purple sea.


But for the rest of the time

Despite the taste and its 

Buoyancy


The one closest seemed farther,

The impossible nearer to me.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Below the heavens you go.

 Language could learn a lot from you—

Because you meander—


You get lost so easily.


You aren’t good, 

You hook and you have good adversaries.


Speak quietly and especially slow to me

How the rose rises from the exit wound

While the earth and heroism

Sleep.



South

 Are you warm enough, now?


Is the poll incendiary or the

Polder smoldering for some 


Supernatural reason?


Are you hot because life jolted you hot?


Were these feathers left on the floor to remind me

Of you—you, the Angel,

Me, the disoriented  bird?

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Icarus and Daedalus.

 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.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Blue Commandment

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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Spring.

 This dream is more science fiction

That 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

Shoulder.

It’s gonna end. I’m gonna wake and he’ll be

Ok.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

You are born grass-tall.

 I keep thinking about the glory of love

How it has holes in it.


And as higher functioning organisms we’re

Drawn to those holes.


We are and the light from outside is.

You are born grass-tall. 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Minnaloushe.

 Where did we leave off, and what were you saying?


I was holding my fingers in a damp bundled cloth, and Yeats—


One of us was destined to pass out from the intensity 

Of the afternoon color. 

Friday, January 7, 2022

The string section.

 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.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Fragment.

 Chop me up into smaller orange parts, saying,

All will finally be revealed.

Take a look as the sun drops his damp bath towel

On the floor of his private field.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Hardly moving.

 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.



Saturday, May 1, 2021

The invisible tide.

 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

Comfort


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

Was alive.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

There is no big mystery.

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.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Moon letters.

 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.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Rusalka

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.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Spring

 As a person without faith

It bothers me to think 

Of the Wonders of the World, and realize

There was a time when earthly wonder wasn’t enough.

People must have needed something more mystical

Less mentally accessible—

Like a memory following brain surgery 

Or the funeral of someone important but not

Close.


They needed a blur to augment the incomprehensibility

Of enjoyment, an anti-science to assist in

Disbelief.


It is spring and a banal gang of four winds

Crashes the morning

And takes over the windows.


They have the logistics of a cluttered play

Whose stage hands fell in love with the sets and couldn’t 

Bring themselves to strike them.


They looked at the scene and put up with 

What it said about them:

However much of this spring moon—


However much—

Yes—

It begins hot in center, hotter still along the warped edge.

But that part that runs over, toppling the cool toppled

Horizon

Is unimaginable.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The strobe route.

 The fate and the fate near fate 

Collide.


An ambulance parts the way and people

Heave their helpful bits.

The sun glistens in all the blue particles between the shell

That protects us, and our ungrateful senses.



The fate and the fate bear fate approach one another

As though time might mellow their differences;


These dummies are gluing their own skulls back together

Just trying to think.


Saturday, November 7, 2020

Love Fields.

 I keep falling

And falling


And the pink sand in the hourglass

Keeps waiting

And waiting


For the scent of the field the seduce hard senses.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Stone of the Sky

I find myself singing
Hank Williams under my breath.
The stone of the sky opens.
The voice of Luke the Drifter 
Intoned in thunder:
"Alabama, patron saint of car crashes.
Doomed traveler, all you car do is pray"

-Jason Baldinger, 'The Patron Saint of Car Crashes.'


Let only that little be left of me whereby I may never hide thee

-Rabindranath Tagore, GITANJALI, no. 34



What part of the courageous brain understands things? 
Who figured it out from there?

How?

Why were they luck--and presuming they were, why are we not?

Is safety a big part of love? Or is recklessness the important stuff?
Is there gold in the hills of being stupid?
Is there silver, at least?

Did America die with Grant Wood?
Did the requiem cease to be an option with Mozart?

One head of hair must have stuck out above the rest before now.
Otherwise we might not have known to keep going,
That we were right.

A kink of disastrousness must have been growing beneath the surface for us
To watch and pity,

And disregard in the moonlight we've admired.

It's like rain.

The world is simple. You are here and the blood-speckled fruit of it
Falls between us.

If you think it's like rain then it's like rain.
If you've been abused--I am sorry-- and you think its like cruel
Empires, then, that makes sense, too.

I am am trying to unconditionally talk you away from the edge of Everything.

But this is all new to me.

The world is simple.  The safe and poisonous berries in  our ordinance all look alike.
We gather them and consume them intuitively.

We know the seasons, and we hear our favorite songs sung in the air.

The world is on fire, and its backbeam is begging to give in.

The color of canaries, and the color of the wild restlessness.

"If the day writhes it is not with revelations."
-Wallace Stevens


And it came to pass that
Fools fell in love.

Now what.
Obey the space between yourself and them now that they're gone.

Obey it like any other overemphasized warning you might read:
The expiration date is a week shy of what it need be,
The ultimatum is flexible. Your heart beats now.

But that's the flexibility of wisdom, not the potential of chance.

(The potential of chance is slight and wiry yellow, and almost never flies away.)

People pass right through it everyday, outliving their own life expectancies.

When they do they thank god. They look up.

The hooked leaf of love makes a green pass at their shoulders, begging, the fools,
And they thank god.

And they were obedient.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Island of the Greater Good.

"They went out, locking the door of the theatre behind them; and Utterson once more leaving  the servants gathered about the fire in the hall, trudged back to his office to read the two narratives in which this mystery was now to be explained,"  

-Robert Louis Stevenson, from DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE




If you've ever dreamed of being dumb as grass
Now's your chance.

The time is right, too,
To read about all the classic monsters--

To gloat over the captive conservatory science
Of Victoriana--

Reassuring yourself:

I may only know a little useless bit of right now
But I can draw a smooth, deductive line around
The past:

The cowcatchers of their trains and black bunches of jubilee clothing,
And the spiritual significance of their orchids.

If you've ever wanted to be dumb as grass and answer to no one
Look just ahead,
And listen
For the singing is here.
Are you blue, are you lonesome tonight?

Do you have a moment to ring like a bell.

The love I've lost has flowed beneath the buck-tooth parted ways in the fence
While I watched the dew raze the grass-fed beef of things.

I really thought if I was beautiful I might live through anything.

Each time, for what it's worth, my enemies beat me because they were small

And slipped through my fingers, while my arms
Rang bells and washed dirty clothes in the rain..

Now, look, the reddest thing anyone can see
is here.

It comes first and it pronounces itself like a lion--

Naive, and roundly roaring landscapes, and bronze hair.

Maybe the part of me that brushed up against you needed the impossibility of
Completeness, as much as the certainty of nothing,

I looked at you, or I would have,
Shivering in the green cotswold of my own two hundred page novel.

I know the grass is yellow at its stems, and gentle things die in fires.  And Leontyne Price
Would sing til we reached the ledge of our flat earth and went over.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

And Yeats was a saline ocean.

I must have been asleep—when silence signified
Who I am,
And Yeats was a saline ocean batting at my
Wall.

I used to read more
About the light.

I must have been sleeping. The point—the whole point,
Of the human voice was to keep me up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Warm butter.

In the wintertime I keep a stick of butter on the stove to soften it, at which point I eat it like a banana.

But in July, in this heat, butter simply evaporates wherever I keep it. And I evaporate.

And we are joined as one in the burning heavens.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The 1965 Porsche 911

When you finally fall in love with cars
You fall in love with the premature idea
Of your own mortality.

It gets a dash of style and spectacular value.

You and yours, the rain, the train behind
It.

You are safe in the practice of departure.

Safe in the changing air.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

A light curse

By now I'm almost gone.

Between the tan hair and ashen end
I was finely dealt with.

I could elevate the moment and say,
"But I rise",

But I don't rise.

So many of us committed suicide at the same time
That memory eased up a bit, used only first names--

Nicknames for the Johns .
Nicknames for the virgins.

I used to look up at night to the coin of sky above the well where
I wound up.

As if counting out along with me I would with Them catch the feathers that fell where
Individual ribs should have been.

And with each I would remind myself that I to it--not it to I

Was close to a captive mercy,
or answer.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cassini

I painted the walls with my mistakes,
Because when the sun rose it did so in the color of my mistakes.

The ray tore the yard, and the tree bled poison
--while the robin skipped the song.

Spring extended the frost because the line to see the frozen bodies
circled the block.


In the mirror I waited for evening to fall,
For, I don't know, a shadow or a shape,
An itchy rag to wear, a lovely loop,
A swing.

The sun fell and everybody's clothes appeared to match.

But my eyes were undiscovered planets.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Bay of Edgars

When it gets bad there must be some
Creature sanctuary to which they can punch out and flee.

Whether a cat, or an ape, or a human,

Bothered inside by a problem drawing in all three.

It must have an owner, no matter what.
A master to change the litter, shoo

The western poacher, or indoctrinate
The applebee.

It must do nothing else, necessarily--
Least of all for me:

A blood hose feeds the navy river by sunset
Bankside grass and
Water grass,

A vos souhaits...

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton.

When the Earth was young every
Time slot was available.

You could part the waters of a party, asking
Which came first,

The chicken or the egg

Or feeling tired.

It was before the allegory of the cave and
People believed faithfully

What they saw in windows.

A kid's marble dinosaur was propped up
On the ledge of a Shoney's

And either dusk or the doppler steeple traffic
Filled the old inside with
The light of damnable earnest nausea.

And that, and not magic,
Is how we got home at night.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hosannah.

Within the emptiness of a knot
Lies a view of the ocean.

How many silly, psychological dreams have I tolerated over the years

For a look?

The aviary.

All the rest was made of something less durable--so, naturally, it was all unreliable.

Never pass inspection. Never be
Recommended.

To duck beneath the eaves
Meant to cower from the world, from its
Bucklings of rain, its unlucky droppings, And whatever other lazy debris.

To look up

At all involved the fuss of protection--Sunglasses,
A helmet, a will. Pathetic.

Among the rest, where do we put the birds? Is there a dormant theatre, called. Themselves, where

The unprepresented things can be kept midflight, and
Dried, and managed?

It's tedious to think about, but what quick Scaffold design to erect-- where will they Eat, or mate? After all they must.

All of this, of course, surrounds the Exception.
We have always locked arms in
Emergencies.

We can relax in that unmusical air, and talk about the things we are sure we do Not understand.

Silence.

It clatters with mockery,
And refuses to budge.

Skidding in place, hogging the
Grass in the pit of its hostile

Blue hand.

Not an inch to either side, nor farther
Away will it go.

But draw it closer and it glides on a wave
Of sweetest humidity,

So quickly as to be misremembered,
Greeting you in an unfamiliar tongue.

It's now only a matter of time--we used to
Parse the time we had left in negotiable abstractions--months, full seasons.

Parts of your body fell from heaven
In the form of rain.

The Voeghtly.

The old icon statuary in the Voeghtly
is so worn away, to the point that features--and
for that matter, the corners of the letters
Commemorating them

Are nearly all lost.  Pocks and lichens
In between the important stuff
Have taken over, and

If you get close enough you can follow
A tableau--the past, the near future,
A grist of nudity, sleep, and forgiving mist.

Dust is where dust is
Albeit forceful in lording light and
Thin staffed for the disaster of dying.

One sculpted youngster stands atop an ash-color pedestal,
Lit by what fire he must have seen--

The sun or the neighborhood, after dark,
Til an adherent finally takes him up in his curatorial
Arms,

Saves him.

You will be our King Tut, he says to the boy. And I will make sure you never
Have to remember any of this why you yourself and others are remembered.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

So, you want to paint a picture.

It is unfair white in a world of counting.
And so it is a world of unending disagreement. Petty eyes

Study petty fingers, flipping through
Stacks of stuff.

So, you want to be a collector.

Start with a cottage in the woods--
How many trees did it take, and which way
Does it face?

Is it shy to the light?
Or is it devoted to the sleepboat
Moonlake?

It was important to someone, once.

Does it wait in a predicament of beauty,
Half-built?

Now you count it out. The building blocks
And orphaned stumps, the yard made of what is near in flattened lumps.

The bottom line seems to not matter as it is
On its foundation, in its original
Habitat.  But when you carry it on your back

The oldest ounces of nowhere gain weight, and tend to matter.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Voyager.

EMI wouldn't grant permission to
NASA to use "Here Comes the Sun", by
The Beatles. It would have been one in
A variety of sound documents--
HELLO in an array of languages, and Chucky Berry--a
Muslim call to prayer.

The vessel went into space without it.

But the Sky is magnetic. And so what gets
A yes as it rises will always get a yes.
But--and here's the thing, what gets a no
Eventually gets a yes, too. It must rise Longer.

So when permission was denied, the stars Swelled as the sash of the brooding Peacefulness that, yes, is;
And that, no, cannot yet be imagined.

But yes.

The first
Voyager went as far as the hashmark

Where the sun routinely cracks. Not the
Beatles, lifted up, but some forebear, some  

Beating Mozart took-
From his numb, feline
Fingers, to the windows that shook with the

Earth singing.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

The red brook

The bach was unsophisticated,
And pretty small.

Listeners came in ignorant of what it meant in translation, knotted shoelaces at the length of simple expression...

They could distinguish the simplicity of their own slang language

From distant counterpoints--But even then they left the currency exchange math to chance. And the disquietude it produced made them visibly uneasy. The water was free.

One, or maybe a few stripped the cone of the dusty fuzz

One of them got too drunk to stand up straight, saying,"Now, let's fill the slate to Heaven--and cook every dish we know for the Sun King."


Monday, July 10, 2017

The moppet.

(The cats must have lived just fine, separately, while I was gone.)

God's Dad didn't hover because he didn't really care.  But once, he said, what is that.  What is that supposed to be??

The son sat hunched on a piece of graph paper, whose adornment was a Twomblyesque starbuck that were it any other occasion, it could be identified like that, and just that.

CHRYSANTHEMUM.

How's that supposed to work?

The son bunched irritably at the shoulders, as if about to rote recite Latin for an ignorant parent who might know he hadn't studied, but all the same couldn't read Ovid for himself.



The flower, he said, finally, Dendranthema, pictured being led into the western world, by way of Russia, disguised as forlorn moppets, their faces hidden,

Sun in their hair--and eventually a new world.

But the dad just grumbled.  When I first saw one I--and have no other reason but this to remember--caught sight at a roadside stop on the turnpike.  I was pretty young.  Everybody else was eating or helping with the oil change on the long vacation drive.  I went to pick it when it vanished.  And with it everything vanished.

We drove across Dauphin County and I could smell the bracing choir of things.  I was carried into a local hospital where my parents were eventually told it was just an unexplainable accident, which even then seemed flimsy to take science out while resolving the greater innocence.

In the room where I woke up a pastor from a nearby church had heard, and left me a tiny potted cactus as a gift.  And a few comic books slouched in the window sill like an old broom.  One, I remember was a Spiderman. While the other followed a superhero who had no face.  But it wasn't really that he had no face.  It was simply that, in his tact, and plied by his ardor, he made it so that no one could remember him.

The dad said, making a grand connection, Do you remember when you we young--almost too young to remember, I'm afraid, and we sat by the window listening to music. I do.  I remember.  Ernest Chausson's garden of lilacs? Moonglow, the son said, with the picture eventually taking shape beneath his hand.  By Artie Shaw.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Eating the zoo.

It's always so smoky where I live
Nothing seems to want to fly in by...

One morning, I saw a truck, and some guys binding and gutting a  deer.

And the generosity of sharing--no
One was doing that.

They were, like,

Eat if you have.  Enjoy if you can.

Love follows the trickle of love.
The dearth fits neatly in its own shadow.

If I wave away the fumes, with my hand, the smoke will unfold in its place--
A cleansed revision of the flawed first draft.

It's like a record of everything I anticipate for myself.

You--orange,

Tell me your name again.