Memory1.I will take one flower a day.I do not know their namesbut they are brighter than anythingelse I found under the sheetsof conifers. The clotted colourssit dubious, dew collecting on stemsI hate to fracture. I lovethe tenuous ease, an entire plant ascending from thin soil. An excavationuncovers roots like fishboneswith their message, an infinitesimalhowl. In frantic pulse of tattoo they plea:"Remembering is destroying"But still,I wallow.2One quiescent shriek of warning beforethe compulsion of alveolarcollapse [my lungs, my thorax,undone and tightening] My breath is a bomb.I am empty for 1 second &the earth is a wasteland.I'd grasp this infinity, to revive you.I'd grasp this infinity butI know it would return, regardless. Ex nihilowe came, into this dust.how unconditional, the endingand beginning. how tentative love is againstso many constants- the rhythmof destruction, patterns of creation, a drum.
What's LeftThey found him hung like meatwaiting to be salted.Accidental suicide the paper read.Thirty-two and drunk, foolishand wasted: A portrait strangersmight examine for poems about lifeand death and the unsubstantiatedpoint to everything.And we are wordless, mindless,awed by the severity of grief; each alone in a cavity of communal questions.
And poetryeither you or iwill always know the differencebetween sin and sacrificein the right timefrom hate to noblessequi n'oblige pas, I traveledand you remainedin the right placemigration, with fists,violence, revolt and poetry.out of the revolving doors,my sun shines now
I Took the Blue BusYou didn't put the phone back, left your pills on the tableI went thirty minutes without thinking of herYou made cookies I didn't eat, watched movies I didn't seeI went thirty minutes without thinking of herYou talked, then you didn't, then you talked some moreI went thirty minutes without thinking of herYou took the elevator, she took the stairway to the starsI went thirty minutes without thinking of herYou swept out memories, wrote a manuscript of dreamsI went thirty minutes without thinking of herI had coffee and cigarettes alone at four AMI went thirty minutes without thinking of herShe took the stairway to the starsI took the blue bus to nowhere
l'hiver.(you can't tell the birds and the snow apart in the sky:the grand church of dizzying space - )and the trees are yellowed in cowardice, raking the skyto the ground and around and around.listen to your organs: the almost grand piano of thechurches i'd never attend.and never mistake the courage of the sky for the cowardiceof the ground. never frown, never frown.listen to your palms: the salty swing of the old snowburning up on silk and splendor.and visit the dying snow birds in their graves of theground, and they drown and drown.(you can't tell the birds and the snow apart in the sky:a grand church of dizzying space will reply. why. why.would my white birds die.)
After TuesdayElizabeth,I will not live like this anymore.Not anymore.There's a small Universe to the West,that sits idle in Autumn,I will be there.Hinged on all sides,by suicide maplesthat fall from the trees like droplets of blood,and that old Raven(the blackbird that taught us Canastaon the lawns by Cedars Lodge,)he hovers quietly above me there, in the azure skylike a guardian,and those two shining moons Elizabeth,the ones we happened uponthrough the windowpanes,between our screams and shouts last Tuesday night,in this Universe, those moons weep misty vanillasacross a falling horizon and I am free,yes, I will be there, in the West.And when I am there, Elizabeth,you cannot hurt me.Chris.
Islands of LoomExpository love handles discriminate the prosperous curvature of mated torsos, declined Minimal beats on the riseTorrential directories impoverished in the lucid inlay of motor functions risen where they manifest, assigned On the terminal slide, got mineSet alive with the masturbatory dance floor hues that whittle and smear akin to war choreography scintillating victimized moans that strangle distress, in stride
stratawe can climb, verticallythrough the region, the continenta vast terrain like a length of dark cloth laid upon the clayand when the lost sky comes against uswe can traverse a new path.but it's hard for me to locate your many stratawithin the shifting contour linesi know only the crawl and fold of the tidethe foam and spit of the waveand the gravity of rainwater.to study youis to be drunk with obscurityi want your phenomena and your substanceto know your structure like the cap of ice on awinter lake knows its shapeand how a portion of light strikes a harsh shadowon the rocky outcropi have unfastened youso i walk in your countryto enter you then, and always returnknowing your palm, your mouth, the smell of your airto just love without decidingand forever not so to dark
PyrePyreIf our luck holds,we will find ourselvesspread across three county lines,charred knucklebones among corn,in the whistle of swamp reeds, your hipplanted in loam and awaiting its fleshof April snow, my skull hometo the golden Orb Weaver, asleep.There are cinders in your witchlike eyes,there are Lyre snakes in the crookof your arms, and I would name your heartStrawberry Leaves. I raise the window,shout the silent goddamns of our distanceto a field, a forest, the celadon sea,and weave together, by fireweed loom,those half-crazythreads that fall from your heart, lupineand tough, my frayed girl, my shepherdof thistledown, my catbird darling.There will be time and timefor your rebirth on a wing. You livedas a stray child, strung tautwith words and fire. Now liveon the perch of my s
The SiegeThe first mile is always the easiest. —Kyle Lynn to me, circa 2006Tell that to the ghosts,men soaked in sand and blood spray,storming the shores of Normandy.First Infantry's sprint through coastaltrenches, up bluffs, under ruptured drays.Tell that to the ghostshuddled in half-channeled holes,a captain's dash through shrapnel, graystorm on the shores of Normandy.A German boy adrift in the compostof his legs, his elbows' grand flail.Tell that to the ghostsripped in four by mortars postedover Omaha. Dawn's evenly keeled decaystorming the shores of Normandy.How quickly the lung forgets to oustits breath. Be wary of the sea's affray.Tell that to the ghostsstorming the shores of Normandy.
incendiaryit was the city -- you know, a self-contained organism, a microcosm of reality in which we all take part. it's like a play, with our very orchestrated roles rehearsed perfectly until we can pull them off as smooth as ice.it doesn't matter which city, because really, they're all the same -- paris, milan, barcelona...lawrence, pittsburgh, atlanta.what matters is only that we were in the city. i was myself, playing the role of a love-struck jeweler, praying i could find just the right gem to put on my lover's finger someday, and she was herself, playing the role of sara.sara, my love; sara, my heart; sara, the snow beneath my feet, the ice begging for me to slipaway.but still, we were here. glimpses of this city swallow my hunger -- i might never eat again if this were my home, the way it filled me up. but the moment i broke eye contact with this entity, this city with its glittering skyline, i felt the hollows in me ache again.it felt rig
blood poisoningOnce you've had a baby you don't care aboutpeople contemplating your cervix. It's waitingfor the call. Or the letter because your new phonedoesn't have voicemail. Mostly normal.It's as good as these things get.There was a shift change when I had my daughterso the night nurses leaned on the wall in the back ofthe cheerful room and the day nurses touched my arm,the inside of my knee, everyone laughing and cheeringand yelling PUSHand then there was you.And a lot of blood, I could feel it rushing away frommy body, my host of hosts, my living flesh, thequick stitches, the pressure worse than the contractions,my long, graceful daughter calling for my arms,my open body, undone.I thought about love and you and how I've relearned totype quickly because I finally hit the jackpot, I finallydove deep enough into my body to find the veinand my heart beating like a tiny bird pulses bloodand you only think about repercussions later.Buy a tattoo, a coyote wrapped around your ankle
free verse poetryif you ask to see my god,i will show you the trees;like ancient grandfathers ,bark and tree trunk removedin time over sea-spells ofrain and mist and fog;if you ask to see my prayers,i will show you the rivers;drenched in cool veins of thedeer and stag antler, brokenbridges in masses over whichmuddy feet run;if you ask to hear my psalms,i will sing to you the songs of the birds;in a voicebox similar to thebruja who lives in the forest -old and sacred, screaming tothe sky for wishes and bottlesfull of messages;and if there lives children inthe river rocks, their hair combedof algae, faces wet with paint fromdirt and fish,they sleep in her arms like homeless drunkards, sick from daylight.if you ask to meet my teacher,i will ask you to speak to the earth;and sing like the bears at night whowear deerskin and coyote skulls, brushingthe sky of stars andbuilding the moon.
29hair hot,rough against your face the slender velodromes ,rushing down your cheeks (emotionaljetlag stiff,coineyed awake lonelyphones, three doors down, wretched december three amswe lay beneath the skyline stretchedwith winter veins :breath ,and feel dusk sweep through your organs ,drown your soul she always had heavy eyelids
a self-portraitYou are angry,there are purple flowers on the windowsill, you areangry, the fan hums softly, your limbs are soft againsteach other, collarbone unfolding like the bowof a violin. There is a power in anger, there is a lightburning against your ribs, you cannot speak these wordsin a known language.There is an escalation in the forming of self, you drawthe pieces in a poem, you fit them together like the buildingof a person, dissect and identify, you write notes in the marginof your fingers, there is a method of bombsbursting against the sky, pictures in the clouds,the world will bend itself around you, you are angrylike the mountains, like the ocean of yourself,eroding the shore.
JuiceI.appellations of the grandiose grapes,splitting open with fruitful splendor,bursting with rotting joy.II.Call out the names of the twelve tribes, or of one.No matter. They will not respond.Their scimitars gleam in the desert winds.Tent flags blow, walls flap.Camels spit at the masters.Manna lies in the sand, lost and rotting.III.Green cables of vine grawl up the temple walls.The vines spit their pointed leaves for all to see.The furious gardener is dead in his shack.Bouquets of weeds sprout from the path leading out of town.A tree falls under an iron axe.IV.Eagles rip up the serenity.Cousins of the vulture, they pick at the rotten dog.His master had forgotten him long ago.Sheep spot the valley, far away.The shepard snores dizzily, on honeymoon with his wine flask.His horse nuzzles greenery near his ear,but he does not wake up.He is alone and he is in love.
UnraveledOn a Sunday morning,forced to reconcile my body's form with it's function (never had I to consider it in these ways) I ate two offensively pink pills- dainty as they were colossal.I conceived of this, you know.I even gave it a name- born of a white decision on this, my birthday. You double-knot your shoe laces.
happy valentine's day"i have dreams of you," he says. "you're out walking the dogs. or at the store. or sometimes you're laying in bed with one of your headaches."he rocks his chair forward."you were so beautiful, with your hair fanned out on the pillow like a flower. i miss the delicate curve your wrist bones when you'd press your thumb and middle finger to your temples to stop the pounding in your head. you'd be completely still, tangled in the white sheets, like a body at the morgue come unexpectedly to life."he rocks his chair backward."you'd lay there all day, wouldn't you? cradling your head in your hands, fingers crawling on your face like spiders to ease the throbbing. you'd barely eat anything but crackers but you'd still smile at me when i stood in the doorway watching you. years spent like this, the occassional headaches that left you bed ridden."he rocks his chair forward."and then you stopped being here. you spent your headaches in the hospital, with nurses and doctors and tubes and beep