Monday, December 06, 2010

On reading poetry

On reading poetry

Master of pot lids-
clatter, sing, and snivel.
You think yourself bigger somehow
when you stand on sheets of paper,
arms sticking out of the windows
of a very small house.
You prissy poet, with one trick
reincarnated ad nauseum,
I would know your smear
in a bucket of snot.

I have eaten your words
after you, the regurgitated
strophe, a bowl of lukewarm mush,
staccato verses caught in my throat.
The tapeworm of your prosy proclivity
burrows in my belly.

I return to it though,
out of some curious loyalty,
Run my hands over almost sonnets
mortified by the thrill
the symmetry stirs.
One acquires a taste for it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I would offer up the violet cords
that twine my wrists, the knobby arc
of my sleeping spine, the nakedness

of my greed. Oh, pillow and moon,
light severed by reeds, at night I wish
for impossible things. Coyotes run
like starlings on the wind, yet I remain
astonished by the rush of seasons.

I would, you know, even now,
open my hands in honesty, forget
the reasons and regrets. If I could

breathe again the river would sweep
the song from my mouth and all
I would do is kiss you, fill you
with the light of captured stars.
I would offer up the violet shadows

that haunt my eyes, the tender bones
I’ve borrowed from the wrens,
the truth that has no words but these.

Saturday, October 02, 2010


October is a door I am thrust through,
a maw that gapes before me, all bittersweet
and acorn shades. Some think it lovely,
but I do not. I see its hunger for all
that is alive, from leaf to ruddy flesh.

It longs to dress the hills and glades
with garish hues and coffin mounds.
The air bears a bouquet of sorrow.
The grackles bear it up on ragtag wings
and span the fire laced sunset

with their omens and harsh cries.
Memory comes as a conjurer, clever
and unkind, in a swirl of dark wind.
He burrows in the chest, worm-like.
I think of autumns when I was young

and took the aching light as a sign
of tenderness, let it pour down
my throat like an elixir. October
makes me close my eyes. My heart
though, is a door ajar to this familiar grief.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am not writing about the storms
of May, or sparrows’ wings folded
like empty gloves, nor how
the constellations seem as stark
as sequins on a dark skirt.

I offer, instead, this letter that reveals
the pale skin of my shoulders. It builds
no bridges for gaps in time, tenders
no apology for embellishments
scattered like petals and ash.

An observant reader knows
to plumb the white space.
The back story is the one
that breathes and shudders
like a woman. I am saying
that I hardly know myself

what my hands will create
and I am not prepared
for imposed silence or solitude
that falls like a curtain
of watered silk. I petition
for a prescribed darkness
and a soft, grey hush that muffles
like the snow.

I am writing to say
that paper, wind,
certain rays of light
contain me truer
than this flesh.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010



I am painting today, near-black bark
and a sash of strewn sand, a mélange
of what fills my heart to its tender brim.
And that brim, how it bows and quivers,
yet obeys the fragile laws that contain it.
My brushes grow stiff, ignored as I am

coaxed by the dull grey wings of winter
birds. January is tintype, a dim remembrance
of an argent day and yet another to come.
But I am hungry for this pallid vista,
glad that it pushes hard against the panes,

a homeless season that groans for hearth
and stew, knows it will never have either.
I will paint the road that brought me here,
the sooty bridges and the river’s iron
spine. There will be a hinge somewhere
that has no rust, a sterling pin that slips

like a starved man into the dole. Light
will bloom in hues stolen from the moon.
When I am done it will seem as if the canvas
is a flecked sky stretched on a frame of opal
bones. You will find yourself drawn within.