Sunday, December 27, 2009


I come in low over the water.
There are no hydraulics.
Only a firmness and resolve.
I look down through the surface below.
Orange and blue fish swim.
Seaweed is apparent.
But this may not be what it seems.
I may have been a symbol.
No memory tells me this.
But the evidence is apparent:
in the cereal I eat, the way I comb my hair,
and a smile I wave about like a pistol.
My face carries a trajectory of hope,
indistinguishable from my hello.
Every handshake I conduct, every
embrace of another person,
grows like red trumpet vine, like the
weight of a long heavy dream
full of pewter and moss.
I change clothes quite a bit.
To be forgotten.
Even now as I drop closer to touchdown
I am pullng on fresh dark trousers, now
the ochre pullover covered with sleet.
Now my hands are again free to eat a donut.
Now I see it is powdered sugar,
not weather, covering my sweater.
The empty hangers bump against my temple.
My patience is running thin,
my hands look like small birds
about to launch themselves into the white sky.
There is a bump, my coffee spills onto my pants.
Maps and crosswords fly through the windows.
I repeat the names on the roster,
a litany streaming from my mouth:
Margo, James, Stengal, Patterson, Dion,
Diane, David, Davis, and more.
Is it less than thirty, more than one hundred?
No mattter. I am still a thief.
And I have taken things I cannot return. Access_public

Friday, December 25, 2009

Embraceable You

It's not like setting up a tripod, or
seeing windows in trees.
I haven't lost anything and
discovery came back there
on the beach where I slid in
with a soft silt slice.
There may be clouds about, weather afoot,
but I never looked over my shoulder or
even sidelong, as a matter of fact.
I know this is not a confession,
or a questionnaire,
but it is like you are a letter
I can't quite get out of the envelope.
And I can see by the folds in the note
it is an origami bird,
a parrot, I believe.
And the message is just the motion,
the head moving forward
as I pull the tail.

Monday, December 07, 2009


As I sit in a restaurant drinking a cup of coffee
chairs and tables fall through me
piling up under my table.
I hold my coffee in hand
as my table
has become part of the pile.
I am tired of this job
of reassemblage
but I know it is
my only responsibility.

It is good that others
have surfaces
to eat from,
surfaces to drink coffee from,
in an on-going kind of way.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I stepped out of the Scottish Inn into a light mist. "Car," I thought."Where was help?" I wondered. Broke down in Lake City. On Main Street I could look east and know this street deadended into a lake. The Movement of God would take me west to the Engine Room where the boys would pronounce the word serpentine slowly while looking at my belts. I had developed a mild case of tinnitus in the form of an inner voice saying "car" whenever conversation arose. This was not the Tennessee I had drawn. The one with horses and whiskey was balled up in the waste basket at the Scottish Inn. And there would be no drink at the counter with MacDuff to send me on my way. Ganesh said, "have a good day". Ultimately what would save me was the prayer offered by a woman who was moved to speak to God concerning my situation. "Lord, help him find the path out of this mess," she said, touching my shoulder there at the gas station. "Car," I responded, as she walked away. Later the boys at the Engine Room would give me some weak-ass coffee and say, "you're all set." "Car," I replied, smiling.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Big Friday

This is how it got away from us:
Many of us began to notice the
true cyclical nature of things and
became fed up with Wednesdays.
Oh, it was like pulling teeth, but
eventually we rounded that corner,
circumscribed that square.
Mondays were next, a day,
that for obvious reasons,
lacked zest and produce.
Tuesdays got caught in that cross
fire and Saturdays lost their novelty.
Sundays encroached on meaning
and Thursdays had nowhere to go.
That left Friday, Big Friday, as we
jokingly called everything left. The
next thing we knew past and future
spiraled out of control, and crashed.
Night air, sunlight, and a little rain
were our first choices for what
to gather around Big Friday. But
even those things were no longer
sitting in slots, waiting for a bell.
Nothing ever started again on Big
Friday. And nothing was ever finished
in the sun, the rain, or by the moon
looking in.

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Silent Speed of Starlight

How far has that light come?
People pass me on the interstate
as I putz along, looking up.
The time it takes for me to see
them is like starlight. Isn't it?
Approaching. Receding. Until we
meet at that exit light. Eventually
every star will meet me, entering
my little planetarium through the
wet, double doors over there. And
finally, the bear will lose a paw,
the dipper handle will fall in my lap.
But others are coming. Enough for
some kitchen utensils. I will find
the garlic press, the little creamer.
There, dangling above the southern
horizon, the apron and strings.
All in good time.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Forgetting the World

These are the days when
I could be doing anything,
but I am doing this now:
standing on the gray deck,
arms raised, pulling in signals
from the world. Everything is
bringing from the future. And
receiving the future takes work.
It could be in the mailbox or my
ear. The nuthatch at my door,
just blue and shadow. The wind
coming across, something is waving.
It says, "sustain this." I can't. It
lands on faded prayer flags tacked
to the rail. Dropping my arms I think
about these things, and for this moment
and the next, I forget the world.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Headwaters: A schematic of sorts

"We here at the Larnie Ketteridge Home have been assigned the task of renaming rivers. First we say welcome to the sun this morning and welcome to the laundry driver, Dirk. From the Department of Interiors I have received a packet of five rivers that I shall rename today. Thank you Mr President for providing this volunteer retiree program to make it easier for all of us to remember river names. Thank you interior people. I know you are busy on the inside and underneath, so it is up to us on the outsides to stay current, to be updating right now. The first river I have is the Moselle. Why in the hell I got this I do not know. It is over there somewhere. But I see by a map that the upper part of the Moselle wiggles like a cat cleaning itself. Felix is my name for this river. Next is a river in Ohio called the Muskingum. This is silly. I name this river Central Mosquito. Another river is right here down the road. The Cuyahoga or crooked river. It too wiggles like a cat cleaning itself. I name this river Krazy Kat. The fourth river I have is the Sawanee. The idea of "way down" does not appeal to me. I name this river Toot. What the hell. Why not. And finally today I have the Mississippi. I feel that i-double s, i-double s, i-double p is an unnecessary way to remember a river. I will name this river Sippy Cup. Now people may wonder if this program actually works. Well I have received many cards and e-mails from people all over the place who have reported great ease in remembering rivers I have previously re-named. Such as the Turbinado Sugar, the Lesser Leaf Rake, and the Piper Cub. No explanation was necessary as the names truly fit these rivers. Well I would like to thank Floyd, Archer, and Frownman for their help with research today. Good day."

Saturday, September 26, 2009


"Are we in for a surprise?
The future is like magic. It wears no robes or veils, but arrives naked, tossing its surprises to the right and the left. How does it arrive? It neither comes from ahead nor do we enter it running. This is because it and we can only approach what is always coming toward it and us. There is no possible action or sound that can be made without being received elsewhere, thereby describing and deciding the future which only wears the attributes of something recognized as past.
Is there such a thing as truth objectively speaking? This question curves around and demands that I ask myself why I am asking myself the question in the first place, what good an answer will do for me before I am annihilated. If I am convinced that the story of your life and thought reveals the truth about our condition on this planet, then will I be happier as I proceed? Why else am I asking it?"

-Excerpted from The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation, by Fanny Howe

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Real Man: Searching for the Marlboro Man

After the funeral I spoke with a close friend of the Man. Leland June had known the Man since the seventies. He invited me to visit with him in southern Tennessee near the Georgia border. Contrary to popular belief the Marlboro Man lived there near North Potato Creek in a tiny burg called Turtle Town. Leland showed me the man's horse, Toby. Toby is a miniature horse, probably four and a half feet tall. The Man suffered from sciatica in later life and could no longer mount his "prop" horses in the ads. Leland told me that the Man liked to ride around on Toby in the backyard roping goats. What came as a shock to me was Leland's disclosure that the Man's funeral contained an empty coffin. Apparently he had been cremated with the express idea that his friends would smoke him once or twice a year. The Man thought it would be a good reminder to all about what went wrong with America and smokes. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to smoke the Man that afternoon with Leland June. June mixed some of the ash with some Bull Durham and rolled us a smoke. It was a powerful experience. As I stood there inhaling the Man I noticed that I could not get my head out of profile for a good fifteen minutes. "He was something," Leland said. "Not was, is," I corrected. For the rest of the day Leland walked around shaking his head, repeating the words "is" and "was", chuckling to himself.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


"Women watching children, Heidelberg, August 1954"
Let's back up a little bit to "The Catholic activist Dorothy
Day and children, 1950's." These are photographs. Black
and white. Earlier in the day I confuse Doris Day with
Dorothy in a conversation about service versus dogma.
Now I am in a books store where the Day photograph
trots toward me from a book I open, called Our World.
In a moment I hear the Beatles sing "hey bulldog." And I
am reminded of a blog a friend in Germany wrote with
that title. The pages flip and "Women watching children,
Heidelberg , August 1954" is staring at me. Who will
recognize the oddness, the tiny swirl of convergence,
the idea that something like this has landed on a flower,
hesitated in its own busyness, and then gone on?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Funeral for the Marlboro Man

There were 5 of us at the funeral for the Man. George Peppard was gone. So was the Duke. We had brought the Man’s horse, black, 1/4, 19 hands or so, name of Tar Baby. A beauty. There weren’t much to say. We brung our’n animals too. As a sign of respect our work gloves covered their ears. Numbers was everywhere there. How many packsaday, 2nd hand this, 3rd hand that. Goddam first hand nuthin’. Tar counts. Damn. Some folks with orchestra instruments was playin’ The Magnificent 7. So they lowered the Man and the band perked up the horse’s ears a bit. The tawny gloves wavin’. All 5 of us with zippos a-clickin, the light flashing off that silver. That was it. Shit.

I wrote this in response to SarahJane's story on her blog called Death of the Marlboro Man. If you haven't read it you should. It would make Donald Barthelme smile.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hair loss

So I spontaneously decided to get my hair cut. I pulled in to a hair place not far from where I live. I did this because if I just ponder getting a cut, my hair will quickly shampoo itself and even start whistling. There is also this inversely proportional thing where the closer I get to the cutting chair the less I know what I want. But I can always tell if the stylist knows what I want even though I don't know. If he/she looks at me in the mirror while holding my hair I feel fine. But if she only looks at my hair, I am worried. It's a holistic thing.
Putting your hair in the hands of a complete stranger is either complete idiocy or pie in the sky oblivion. Factor in an occasional low flying hornet emerging from the duct work and a record for comb drops-6. You are headed for a white knuckle carnival ride. She did just fine with the scissors. But the clippers became an experiment in terror, as she dipped from side to side, chipping away from all angles. It reminded me of the way I eat a pie when left alone with it for a day. Small slivers dedicated to this idea or that desire. A christening, manifest destiny, or eminent domain. One by one they are necessary until the entire apple rhubarb pie is gone. In the end my head looked like the empty pie pan. Partly shiny through the crumbs.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Millard Fillmore, the Man.

Let us now turn to the life of Millard Fillmore, last of the Whigs, major player in the secretive, Know Nothing movement, and strongly aligned with the Anti-Masonic movement. H.L. Mencken spread the myth that Fillmore installed the first bath tub in the White House. This is false and a lie. Actually Fillmore installed the first dumb waiter in the White House by retro-fitting an existing clothes chute. As a member of the Whigs Fillmore enjoyed the spell and tutelage of the Whig's boss and power broker, Thurlow Weed. It would be a short life for me if I awoke to find this name assigned to me. Weed wielded enough power to bend the will of the Whigs to his whims. Way too much alliteration. The Whigs are remembered for very little. That was so long ago. On the other had, the Know Nothing movement has a legacy that flourishes to this day. This secretive Anti- Irish immigrant movement, invented slogans printed on clothing. The first slogan on a shirt was created in 1847, emblazoned on night shirts, primarily in the Buffalo, NY, area. It read on the front,"I know nothing but my Country, my whole Country, and nothing but my Country." On the back it read, "So help me God." But we digress. Fillmore's greatest accomplishment was his defusing of a major war with Peru. Fillmore smoothed over a disagreement with the Peruvians, and tucked in the sheets. This then is all we care to know of Millard Fillmore. Father, husband, Peruvian peacemaker, dumb waiter maker, Know Nothing, and member of a secret movement that opposed another secret movement. The 13th President of the United States to have never been elected President of the United States.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

To be a Chinese Citizen

Last night I was eating at restaurant with my friend Doug. Our waitress was an young Asian woman. We tried to guess her nationality. Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese? We settled on Korean after a lengthy process of elimination. So we asked. Hong Kong Chinese. She then launched into a long explanation of the traits and differences. Interesting. Indo versus mainland. We got on the subject of her citizenship and she described the test. Mulitple choice questions like "who was the 13th president of the United States," what was the color of the uniforms of the North and South in the Civil War," and "what do the fifty stars represent on the American flag." I had no idea who the 13th was. I started counting and naming. Not sure. To my surprise she said that in China all you needed was a background check. No test. Then she laughed and said, "imagine if you had to know 5000 years of history and dynasties to become a Chinese citizen." We decided the citizenship test was pretty lame. Probably dated back to the days when the American gov't considered most foreigners inferior. One of the side effects of jingoism.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Pattern Recognition

Discreet music rising from a toaster.
A large blue rubber band on a cold deck, unemployed.
The bending of folding chairs in the morning light.
The wet glass table drying in a crowd of trees, the
twenty inch fingerprint found in the glass.
Breath near my ear and the soft falling
of warm animals on the periphery.
A group of candles, relaxing between burnings,
idly chatting, looking toward the mountain.
The purr of the furnace, answering Fall's phone call.
Twin bamboo doing their little green yoga
just beyond my shutter speed.
Winesaps curled in a clear bag,
dreaming of becoming me.
Salt and pepper, always ready...
Buttering all this discreetness
with the knife of my ear.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Parent Up Each Sleeve

We have a parent up each sleeve.
Maybe a mother up the right,
a father the left.
It wasn't always that way.
We chose. Dominate hand,
dominate parent, or
When my arms are crossed,
my mother rests under my left armpit,
my father, the right.
It feels like they are lying
across each other after
sex. It's a comfortable position
for me. When I point with
my finger it could be my mother's
instruction. Or my father's command.
I can feel the length of her, beckoning,
in that finger, while other times he is
bulky, emphatic. When I put my arm
around you it is my mother, like a
fish, curling, wavering softly. And
when the other arm is extended it
holds gunpowder. It can be discharged
if I hold it steady. When my hands come
together, they touch with the realization
that the two of them found time to be
together. When my mother hand is
holding my chin it soothes. My father
hand holds tightly the same chin, pulling
at my lip, directing my mouth. My face
can not smile with my father's hand.
When I shake hands with you my
mother is there. I hold her like a gift
for you. On the other hand my father
holds a small book of cautionary tales.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Wind Disorder

My back is pressing against a
stone wall, low and crusted like
bread. Occasionally I rise up,
my hair moves about, I smell horses
off in the distance. They will ride
through me long before I will
ever mount them. But now I look
again. The tall grass is moving.
there were no horses, only this
pale wavering, the wind. There is
no saddle for the wind; if anything,
I am that saddle, gritting my
leathery teeth. I wait here for
the shifting weight of a rider:
As light as the weather, cotton,
as heavy as a thought seems, wool.
There I am now, moving across
the lumpy pasture, the wall
the light, noticeably clearer.

Hanuman Is

Note: This is the 5th of five interconnected tales of Hanuman. To read them from the beginning chronologically start with Hanuman In Love, Hanuman Loves, Hanuman Leaps, Hanuman Returns, & Hanuman Is. In that order.

The sun stood behind a soft gray door. I crouched in the dusty rocker, squinting. The leaves around me reminded me of the sunset. The brown ones had gone down. It was like night had come. Others had fallen, showing me such beauty, their light changing. I listened intently to them falling. Sighs and murmurs. Once in another time I commanded them to stop. "Please don't lose what you have shown me," I pleaded. I did not want the brittle brown stillness. But now the sky was coming once again. And the wind reminded me as it tugged at the colors. I held a piece of the tree in my hand, a tiny palette.I touched my finger to the leaf and streaked my face with the colors: orange, yellow, a burning red, some blue down my nose, some purple across my brow. "I will let this color remind me," I thought. Then I remembered Rama's hand on my shoulder. And his voice telling me that how you see is like a squirrel curled sleeping in a tree, waiting for you to look, to awaken it. "The world starts that way," he said. "What is this power that I have?" I remembered thinking. He smiled. "It is not yours. It is not something you can ever know." In Rama's face I saw the same colors I had on my face now. It was the same. This then was my lineage. Through this leaf into Rama's face and back into mine. Who was looking at this leaf? Maybe it was Rama in the temple. Maybe it is the wind now moving in me here in the rocking chair. Maybe it is the falling sense of the colors that are filling me. Maybe it is the rattling sound of the leaves above. I lean forward. I cannot find that sound. Through the trees the mountain is growing in me. It pops out through the top of my head, perched there like a cap. It too carries all the colors. And it warms me in the cool air...

Hanuman Returns

"Where am I?" I wonder. The rain is falling, landing softly on my cap, darkening the saffron to blood. The warmth comes out of me like smoke. The glass door shows me where I sit along the rail, the sharp mountain at my back. Like a ghost she moves silently through this picture. I sniff. I know the glass holds something that is not real. But what is real? I glance down into the wet pattering ravine. There was a crossing, I remember, but there was no far shore. When I reached shore I recognized my own footprints there in the sand. It did not confuse me, this immersion in her desire. Only a knowing was left. Distance was just the color of the water, darkwood. I hop down onto the slick deck floor and touch the glass. I let my fingers pass through the cold clear surface. I know it is an illusion and like all tricks it can not block me. I hesitate there, my knuckles through the door. Slowly the feeling comes over me like a warm wool shawl. She must come to me. I pull my hand back and hop onto the gray rail again. All around me is this space, her space. This is why I returned. This is what I brought back. In the darkness, I lean forward, looking down. Water drips like diamonds from my hat. "Her desire is my desire." My eyes are closing.

Hanuman Leaps

There was a chill in the air. The blue of the sky touched the crown of my head. I leaned in, the right angle of the frame supporting me. She sat in a chair across the room with her legs pulled up against her, a pillow. I watched her breathe fro a few minutes. It reminded me of the velvet ocean, purple in the dying sun, the waves rolling in quietly, long dark scrolls. I hopped down and crossed the room quietly. When I reached her form, so tightly bound, I gently undid her arms. They fell like the ends of a white sash. Her bent legs were like two pieces of firewood. I parted them and she looked into my face. I cocked my head and removed my cap. She leaned toward me but I turned my head to the side and touched her heart with my ear. She pulled back the violet veil. The song I heard had its own gentle face. Not a funeral dirge, but not yet a celebration. The two feelings rose together, death and awakening's smoke, rising from the same fire. I wanted to sing, to fall silent, to weep, yet laugh. I tipped my head back a bit and looked up into her face. I felt myself growing thin, no flat. Not flat either. I was half in her, the warmth and darkness on my right side, the room and sounds on my left. I felt a line, subtle but indelible, running down my forehead, from my crown, through my ajna, splitting my nose, my mouth, my chin, my throat, traveling down to my seat. But my heart was not split and I knew. I leaned back out of her and dropped to the floor. I placed my cap there. It began to glow, a burnt orange hue. I removed my ten silver rings from my toes and formed a circle with them around my cap. This is my form, I thought, from my crown to my toes. Now I was moving toward her again. I ate that proximity until I was resting on her shore. With one last exhalation, I dove into her, swimming out into her darkness, under the moon and the stars.

Hanuman Loves

I am smoking a cigarette from a small red package I found near the greening deck. The other so like her is smoking it with me. She taught me this wonderful thing, a way to let fire become part of me. I toss the purple balloon up. It bounces off my head. She leans forward and tickles my nose with a jay feather. I want to touch her hand but she leans back into the pussywillows, exhaling. I look at her intently. I know this one and yet I don't.
"I wrote these words." The pieces of paper rustle in her hands. I did not know that. I had reached for them in the wind. They felt like comfort. The deck is quiet. Over my shoulder the mountain sleeps. I feel the earthy brown cat nearby. She presses a leaf against her cheek.
"Why do you do this? I don't understand."
My little cap is curled in my hand. It reminds me of a banana. I still feel the bump on my head where the bar of eucalyptus soap struck me last night. Last night. This one knows. This one heard. I glance over at the deck, glowing like a diamond runway.
I remembered the blue cat's words. Unlike him, I was noticed. A torrent of questions and accusations ensued. I could only look down at my silver ringed toes. The same blue energy that was there when she fell from the horse, when she waded in after that one so like her, that same energy was there in the room with the dark couch. Were it not for the thrown soap, word sounds surely would have come stronger than ever. Instead I retreated to the dark corner by the tall furniture, hunkered down, my eyes glowing, blinking. I noticed my cap there on the floor by her foot. A sadness crossed me. But it was just a breeze, passing through. There was a coolness about it. It offered me relief and I took it. I slept there and in the morning she moved about with the coffee and the cats while I waited. Such a night. She cried my name there as I hopped through the sill.
I look up, the deck is in shadow. This one's face is turned toward the bluing mountain. I see her eastern side but it does not overwhelm me. It is bright , but like the moon and the stars. She is turning and now I see the fullness of her. My head cranes forward.
"She is doing to you what all infants do to their mothers--she wants to possess you and yet she will try to destroy you with her anger. Are you offering her another chance now? If she can stay there with you her anger will eventually turn to compassion, won't it?"
My head is still sore but my heart jumps with me to the top of the broken gray wall. I look down on her mother. And bow my head.

Hanuman in Love

I need a fix. I'm squatting in the sunlight eating a peach. Now I'm up on the table moving papers around. I've watched her always, today from atop a broken wall. One day she left some rain on her deck. It smelled of lilacs and sandalwood. I wore that rain until it no longer fit. Another time an apple core, a bit of rice cake that smelled of peanut butter. These I fashioned with a few sassafras leaves into a necklace. I'm fingering it now. In the early evening I can crouch undetected by her sill while she weeps. My head is cocked to the side, intent. Sorrow. Sorrow I know. Sorrow I can handle. And I'm fine with her western face looking out at the mountain. It's her eastern face that scares me. Once when she was a child and fell from a horse I came running. She lay upon her left side. And when I saw the sun, the beauty of her eastern face, I began to rise up onto two legs and I heard words tumbling from my mouth. "I love you so!" I quickly covered my mouth with my saffron cap and dropped to all fours. I stayed in her shadow that day, shaken. I had never uttered a word sound. Still later I would drop down between she and the others. When the others were there it was as if a tide was coming in and then going out because the moon said it must. I trusted the moon over my left shoulder and when the tide was going out I would stand behind her and raise her arm toward the mountain. Once, with an other so like her, she began to wade in as that tide went out. I could feel her being pulled out. I went in after her and lifted her arm, not to the mountain, but to that other so like her. Their hands touched and joined. That other did not go out with the tide. She is with her still, in a special place I made from leaves, a spider web, some pussywillow branches, a few bird feathers, blowing paper, two old books, a lost balloon, and her love.
She has a blue cat and another I have not seen. Yesterday I motioned the blue cat over to me:
"She doesn't notice me when she's like this."
The blue cat discouraged me.
And so I dismissed the blue cat. It didn't matter. I knew where I could find her. The night was a long black couch. I sat on its arm looking down at her. She lay there murmuring, shifting. Oddly her body lay in a familiar pose. I saw the tip of something. There by her neck. I gently tugged. Out came a bright yellow bus, the wheels still spinning. A toy school bus. I moved it to the night stand where I could admire it. Shiny things always hold my attention. The details were wonderful. There was a photograph of her that leaned against the tiny steering wheel. Pictures of kids were propped here and there through the bus. But I redirected my attention to the task at hand. I slowly stepped down into the bus space, immersing myself in the dark water. I'm not much for baths but when you're in love you have no choice. Oh, I so long to see her. But I know I will compromise myself if I do. And compromise is like a wound that will not heal. High above me her clothes hang down, reminding me of the billowing drapes in the temple. Sandalwood again. And I remember:
I am Hanuman. I reside here in this gap between your self and other, satisfaction and fulfillment. I bring you safe passage inspite of my desire.
The little toy bus shines in the moonlight there on the night stand. I lower my head in repose...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Recipe for the Desire for Completion

Add two cups of water to a small sauce pan.
Bring to a boil. Continue to boil off water
Until pan is empty.
Serves two.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Controversy

Upon the so-called death of a Beguine, Marguerite Porete , at the stake, in the year of our Lord, 1310 AD.

His Timing was impeccable.
She had waited, not knowing where or when.
Her patience, a small carved wooden box,
a lock of hair, a tuft.

In that last year she had become lost in Him,
speechless to this world,
Only hearing her Beloved.
All else was babble.

She burned brightly, her body a flare,
not so much a distress signal as a call,
her desire, her Everything, slowly winding up,
His Focus, spiraling down to her.
Braided in a final endless Embrace.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Let each eye be a swan
that I may know the feeling
of that movement that I
know as sight. Let sight
be a mixture of transparency
and dark wet earth, of the
rough edge of a camel's back,
held together by the cold blue
sky. Churn these bits into
movement and the idea that I
send out my world when
it's ready, when it's the
yellow of an egg, and not
a moment too soon.



I nailed that sucker down
to the hot wood and leaned
over it, deepening it with my
free shadow.
"How's that feel," said I.
"Sweet fellowship," said the dark prisoner.
The day was moving and life was
Changing for these jet lovers,
the one crucified, the other faultless.
After the sun went down I used the
rudiments of triangulation.
Location, location, location...
Knowing the geometry of nails
Doesn't lie I stirred the black
crepe from its dozing.
"In your element, aren't you?" said I.
"Darkness, darkness," shrugged my shadow.


Monday, August 24, 2009

After the Operation

"Seriously," I thought, "I can work
my way back to the center."
It's a conversation I'd already had
but I felt sure it needed a beginning.
With one hand on the wheel and the
other on my mantra I looked back to
where I'd come from. I decided it
would be best if I backed my way
up to the emergency exit so I could
get a running start.
"At least you've got your health."
He smiled into my wet windy face.
"What?" he cocked his head, hand to ear.
"I said I'm getting there."
The aquarium day tilted it's light
toward my cap, featuring it in the
rearview mirror. At the light I
noticed two derivatives in the trash
bin by the crosswalk. They looked
tired, the color of two day old Key
Lime pie. I could taste the tang.
But I knew if they came for me I
could move on. The operation
had been successful.


Love Poem #1

You must not miss this moment.
Please watch her face, her eyes.
The spotted dog flushes the birds.
You turn. Lower the weapon.
Do not fire. Watch as they float
up, an abacus airborne.
Feel into that as you would her face.
Something is rising, like bread, like
standing up. You notice a shelf there.
And for the first time you see its surface.
There is water on it, suspended, held
there like mercury. But now it is thinning
And rolling off the sides. Things are going
the other way now. Down and in.
Never take your eyes off her face, the shelf.
In a moment it will be dry and calm.
Nothing is left.
Almost nothing.


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Dazzle

The beech leaves move up and
down my spine, shimmering,
flipping like cards-from mint to
scalding white. The wheels turn
in the vegetable light. Pin wheels.
Somewhere inside me is
condensation, breath on
clear glass, thought hushing
the place where things stick,
where a mark is a diamond.

My hand is growing in the
grass, wondering itself in
the simple form that contains
everything. My name is not
my hand. Only the sun, falling
in sheets, patting my head,
patting my shoulder, knows
the name of each thing.

Each part is jigsawed to fit
somewhere, to hold itself
against another. We keep
coming back, the picture
grows clearer, the gaps
shrink and our resolve moves
across the ground.
Things fill in.

I see that it is moving inside
Something else. Evidence is
all around me. Something
green is scooting through
the tall grass. The wind is
such a puppeteer I think.
Now my hand is resting
just below the surface
holding everything like
A waiter with a tray
held high overhead,
about to serve.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Transatlantic Blue

I get up in the morning
And brush my teeth.
Behind me in the mirror
Is a shale blue waterfall.
I am closer than I think
To being outside in the velvet
Of rain, the rawhide belts of
Trees, the smells prying at
My nose, scanning the diary
Of deep green fragrances.
But what a mess as I come back
To the sky blue tile, the reptilian
Tube of toothpaste, the floss.
I turn the head and notice the
Hand propped on the counter.
Again I reach for land, I reach
For discovery. Now this way
And that. Through the shiny
Feedback of this loop behind
The sink, like a drive-in movie,
I lean back, letting evening in.
No more delay in the night's first
Stars. Just this double feature
Falling back and back to morning,
To the stillness of trance.


The Loneliness of the Car is On-going

The loneliness of the Car is on-going,
not like reading a newspaper
where things seem to end.

I sit inside the Car
behind the wheel. Its
life can be felt here in
this seat.
But with limitations.
If I talk to you
something different happens,
subtle or not.
But here in this space
looking out on the road
it feels like my eye. My
eye does this one thing.
Only this one thing.
Meanwhile I do the
looking. The Car is
like this. It carries,
I travel.

In it's loneliness the Car
craves my voice. It wants
to be soothed. But I look
over it or through it. I absent
myself from its heart. It sits
in the rain, the snow, the
hot sun, and waits for me.
It is not going anywhere
until I engage it.
What does all this mean?
I wonder as I stare at the
Red dash lights.
How can I bring this form
into my arms?
If I close my eyes the
Inside of the Car seems
a dark blue in the evening
light. When I open them
it has no color. Just darkness.
It is peaceful, like bread,
here in the Car. I fill
the Car while the Car
takes me in. It seems
I am everywhere in the Car,
in a way that is necessary.
The Car is obligated to let
me have these thoughts:
that I am driving, that
I am going somewhere,
and there is no Car.


Ghost Deer

A little light was left,
enough for the ghost deer.
We stood by the fallow
corn field, she and I,
listening until they appeared,
blinking, two, four, then seven
or eight, then fewer, finally just
the color of evening, muted, stretched.

Now it's late afternoon, two hidden birds
screech across the head high corn.
I stand where we stood.
The finches drag yellow over the
soft open thistles at the back of the field.
I mosey through an alley of green thinking
of Cary Grant in North by Northwest. In the
thistles, I kneel, listening to the woodpeckers.
The ghost deer are still here.
Maybe we were asleep that cool night
Maybe we dreamed of the ghost deer.
But I remember them now as
I experienced them then.
As a memory, that quiet, moving out into
our presence-- As if I recognized them then
the way I still see them now.



I am transferring some of my poems from Ron Hardy's Blog — Gaia Community
to this new site.


We are not alive yet. We skitter along the top of a bridge arch and peer over the cornice. It is a distance we cannot judge. There is no reference point. But eventually a native sense rises, telling us to go, to let go, to do. The one who sustains us is nearby.The thing about falling is that eventually there is a constant- terminal velocity. All things become redundant until we slow or accelerate.The wing is just attention. The beak is only focus. And the eye has such clarity that it sees the future coming. The raw data always indicates somewhere something is not possible. This will pass for hope. This will save itself. This will restore the colors as the spell is broken. This will disguise itself as a solution in a world where the answers evade. At that moment of terminal velocity we can still find a way to tuck a little tighter, breaking the given.


Saturday, August 15, 2009


A monarch
so orange the color is sacred.
Burnt orange bellows, black panes.
Fractals of breath that are wings.
I try to breathe like that.
But mine is hidden, unconscious.
The monarch's, exposed, precious.
Orange. The monarch wearing its breath.