Thursday, April 21, 2011

The heart need only be spread
to be seen; a sleeve worn openly

on limbs, flung wide --
yet the body has much to hide;

depths within depths expand, slipped
through with knots, rough guides

leading foreign hands over lands
of soft earth, as though waters were drawn

up from roots in the ground
to dampen our sleeping fields.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

that dirt street
everything hard-packed
hard breaks
hard kicked pebbles
hard cuts, dashes, flies over short stone walls that wend like rivers

think of cross stitches
think of folded maps
think fields of clover and ditch
the road

Sunday, April 17, 2011


When I speak, I ask questions, while some
continue to babble; I always hear

like clear water: a look
on the face like a stream

which cannot be dammed. It says
be tranquil, dearest, as shade

over deep water; you are
clearer to us, as dear

as the river stones, as smooth
as the voice of the river.


Death, you and I
have a bone between us.

You pull and tug
but I would rather snap

than bite down any harder; I am
already unhinged.

Can we talk about this? I do not want to be
a burden, yet you make me

lonely for a dark place; I would rather share your room
for cold company, than be released
from a warmer, less certain embrace.

Friday, April 15, 2011

water is not water anymore
nor does air taste the same
when the lungs change, when we breathe light
and know it is a deep gasp that brings us 
faith, a swallow, a gulp.

Legs to Stand On

i am writing a poem on your table
it is flat
we are round
we touch across hard surfaces
but the carpet is soft
are steady with four legs
i walk on two; who could walk farther
table, chair, or fingers on a keyboard
traveling taste after wooden taste;
words seldom relieve me, but
gratitude is
a solid table in a dark room, voices
from the TV, and a singular light, a pleasant blare.

Monday, April 11, 2011

What is it that leaves us, Lord, when breath becomes
entwined with branches and shakes
through our lungs. What gasp escapes
begging a name, Lord,
what of a name-

And when does hope leave us -- is it a slow leak, crawling
on our knees to find the source,
cracks in pavement, warped wood --
do you reside between my fingers, where
itching and grasping I pull close a sweater --
or is it an envelope, a letter, mail forgotten
on my kitchen table, signed August 22nd, 2009 --
deceased, return to sender, or

perhaps your name, Lord, is written
on the pages of my book, the pages
I have turned over and over again.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More pieces, not necessarily related....

I'm chipping paint
the walls are running between my fingers like chalk
I am scrubbing tiles
I am digging grout
I am gutting you
like a fish

* * *

time is what time is
it is always tired
it is rounded up to a whole
it throws punches
pops blood vessels
takes two seconds to spell incorrectly
and who cares about mistakes

* * *

i wake up in the mornings, the heart hammering like a bent rib jutting
through the spine; i run races in my dreams, hide from endless faces and
foes; always
another fence to jump, another ditch
and when the door is closed, when the gate is locked, i bend the bars
or bend myself

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

and if I was shoved in a basket
if my head was thrust under water
if I was told to walk and walk until my toes curled inward
and I had to beat my hands against your car window
until it broke, and glass became
all I could eat -- if my mouth was sliced
every which way, my tongue to the pavement --
I would still find a way to say
fuck you, I have more
to give, God,
and this blood for your blood
is gold.

Monday, April 4, 2011

In search of a name....

I left their company in search of spacious rooms, no more
wax flowers. Like chalk,
their voices scuffed the walls

while I searched for a slip of tongue
that would lead me to where you sank
through a darkened door, an empty desk, or dropped a pen

that I swear once signed a name -- one
I am folding in half as I write.
and when in love do we generate self? a child
asleep on a staircase

who we tiptoe past, careful to speak
in whispers. when did we love? and when did we

share the countless steps
toward sainthood,
tied in matrimony tied
between us. And where

in those binding shelters have we
placed our foundations -- between walls
or collapsed in silence?
Because nothing makes sense to a woman
she sits and stares at windowpanes,
a multitude of droplets;
skipping spaces with her fingers
she smears across a name --

and because all things make sense to a man,
he takes one road to work, one road home
and each stop along the way is spent in
building a place to go, go --
a place to sign in turn, and sign
a name.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

there is a body eroding inside of me, rotting
out my mouth

but i do not think, no matter how many times
my internal dwelling collapses
that death ever leaves, nor do i ever

leave it

(how could i, with our bodies entwined
and our voices combined to create one voice;
when i speak, or love with this heart of our hearts
does death love through me? or in me? or of me?
what is love but a thousand chips of bone;
a collection on our mantle, trophies of solitude
and eternal winters kept tightly confined)

a season is churning inside of me
i am choking up snow
i know i am a vessel, a harbinger, a black lung
sick with the love of decay.
Pain is not worth poetry.