Wednesday, July 16, 2008

metaphor 6

like a precipice and ridge

not your complicated replication

the tendency of fluid to move to the area of least pressure

so smooth in his hand. questions about the sky

bigger than the universe and arms

rise beyond the paper

you could have held that single, multiplying cell in your hand

who knew it could be so minute?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

metaphor 5

but no, it doesn't have sides or a bottom

more like wing than spleen

the tumor is the presence, not the absence

looking like an eyeball and focusing

and all if its exchanges

when you imagine grapes

where do the puddles go? wash

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


character style fast menu

twice alive not wearing monster

eyebrows quick like symptoms dire

given fireball is the collar of good

recognize in the water on the sidewalk

is the jar in the mirror two and four

from the shadow the trail leaves tracks

you welcome the flavor before it's gone

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


from the light of that season
between winter and fall
you came and went.
your coming was never marked
by an arrival or a rush of heat.
it was the quietest stay.

your departure was marked
by a floating, swirling beam of loss.
not like losing but like becoming less
than nothing for a time. like nothing
could cover it. soak it up.

how hard we try to fill in these spaces.
caulk the leaking crevices. maybe there will be
another who comes. maybe with limbs,
a body, a mind who can think of me. Another you.
Another you who might be here already.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the significance of steam trains

(I feel the need to add some kind of disclaimer to this poem, which is much more traditional than most of my current work. I feel a strong need to write this poem for a more traditional sense of "understanding" because it is for my son. When I speak to him, I am attached, unified, and sure of my trajectory; therefore, my usual sense of division and confusion is erased, of only for a moment. I want the words to carry a figurative weight of a more traditional style- more lyric in the traditional sense. Because this poem serves a specific purpose for me, it is written in a specificly direct way. Not that you asked. . .)

For Eliot

Such explosions, steam. Rising in the dome.
Turning the wheels.
For you, everything is linked, coupled,
sequenced in terms of who
carries whom. You wake up already attached
to the elements of significance:
Who is the engine? What is being carried
into this separate coincidence
we call "freight"? Who is, after all,
on the train?

Still, I'm astonished to see the dexterity
with which you connect everything. Paper clips;
silverware; books, once a pile, now lay end to end,
from one side of the house to another.
Your tracks take shape and look
both like circles and tangents at the same time.
Each engine has its place, its own power source,
and its own cars to carry.

We've read countless books about trains,
some are about arriving, some are just about
getting on. Destination and arrival. You often return
to the story of our own journey on a train, the orange engine
straining up the mountain and through heavy rocks,
tunnels, emerging into light. You slept soundly
on my lap as we descended, like a river,
into the valley. Your wheels, for once, at rest.

Friday, January 25, 2008

& illusion

It wasn’t like
you fell
the line.
All street
plump and
scarlet. There
the moonlight
half green,
half lemon zest.

The magician
magically rises,
sure to cover
his left foot
in shadow.
In this light
it’s difficult to
know what is
and what is
just poem.

This half
world can’t
recognize things
like your steadfast
eyes, how well-
worn your image
is in my own
personal equation.

(She reminds me
It’s not poetic
to always go home
with the same guy.

But you alone
are a mixture,
a hybrid
of balsam and
trajectory.) You say
you are not
complicated. Often
I find you
How else
would we maintain
the beam
that divides
these galleries?

It’s not
a matter
of playing
along. In a quiet
moment, you
fall pale and
But at the end
of each critical
flash, you return.
The magician
not levitating,
but standing on his
left toe. The poem
collapses. Your face
may be
looking away. There
is no more
secret. That
alone may
keep us.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

& counting

Gondola, red envelope. Sweet boxcutter and dandelion. She walked through the valley, undesiring. Bleu-rimmed china keeps appearing, plates flying like UFO's like salad like wheels. Once, I sat there, surrounded by quick transportation. Specifically, dragonflies and trains. Always hating the smell of cigarettes, how it meanders and rivers and zeros out the oranges. Voile. Trick ponies. The famous poet said to be deliberate. Was he set on fire? Wasn't it an unwritten rule? She argues that nothing is unwritten. She can prove it, her lacquered nails, her tobacco lips pursed. I will tell you one more time. It was red and floating. It is gone now and never did.

Unusual, her fingers twirled anxious photographs. Clearly of children. What of centuries of goddesses trying to be women? Are their bodies hardened in birth; how do they carry and bear? Aware of shrapnel. Exploded torso. Can a bone explode and become another body? World or wars. Glue or anovulatory spike? It has nothing to do with the moon.