Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Archival Studies

The cherubs in the margins smile and wink,
All rosy incunabula; the winds
Blow puffy cheeked from four directions, there
To warn you off the edge, whence you could slip
Into oblivion, no name, no scribe.

One of the i-dots seems a smiley face.
Nature is natural and carries on,
Despite instruction. “Conjunx” is misspelled
And might mean anything, though nothing good.
The ink is mixed with blood. By DNA

We know he was related to a Name
Still snippety by Domesday Book. Some fee
Installed him here. It wasn’t all the smarts
He evidenced: one comment we translate,

Over the page the scent of sanctity
Still hovers. Must be subject-matter, all
Those humble dragons, saintly beasts with scales
Who found no virgin wanting. It is not
The ideal cursive hand. Those drips. That smudge.

Survival comes in packages too strange
To be secure. So say the sheep who died
For the appointment faintly on the verge.
A lunch, perhaps, or matins. By strong light
We can discern that something lies beneath.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Across the bay there must be people washing
And cleaning bathroom grout and drinking tea.
There must be pastors painstakingly crushing
Hormonal eloquence; but I can't see
Through all that fog and curvature. Despite
Long reading in patristic poetry,
I'd rather they were stomping on their fate
Than knitting bills and purling dirt. Like me.

Let them smash windows. Let them all eat cake
And fart like camels. Let them swive like heroes.
I've had as much of me as I can take,
The careful serrying of ones and zeros.
Let them dance jigs. Let them curvette and break
Upon their shores like Abelards. And Neros.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Alliteration in My Mother's Milk

In fall the flowers fail. The faeries fly
To Boca Raton and the Winter Wings Buffet,
The Bottomless Shrimp Bowl, Boundless Salad Bar,
The Seminal Seminole Margarita+,
And flash floods in your dreams. The flowers pray
To be dismembered by your orisons,
A Home of Unsaved Sepals in the Hills,
A past of pollen all their future now.
No cherry pie. No Anna Baptist Bread,
Dunked in The Living Chocolate Wonderfall.
No Date Night Date Nut Pudding in the spring.
The faeries book their seats for further south.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Elder Than Springtime

He was the elder. So he had been told.
He felt it, too. So much to take on faith,
But this, not this. He grizzled as he stared
Into the mirror recollecting zilch
Of what made him the elder. And of age,
A twist of this, a week of that, whole years
He called to mind in no detail, except
The colors of the calendars and shapes
There for memorializing the months, like May
Bedecked with buds and always breasts, but none
With heft or veins. A birthday cake of shrubs
And columbines like candles, and the wind
Which did not quite extinguish them, but made
Counting unlikely. In the dark he saw
The eyes of March, a fall of fallen leaves,
But no one younger, elder though he was.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Goön Folk

Their pilgrimage began before the light,
Before the squabbles of the little birds
Pilgrims forswore. And they were going where?
To where the road concluded. Since this was
Their latter days, that just might mean the sea,
The culmination, surely, of strange strands,
Pounding a plainsong once, twice, dot, dot, dot.
They’d rather it would end against a wall
Invisible to those of little faith,
Studded with jasper, joined without a joint,
And crowned with fire or with Dagon’s roc
In chains, something spectacular, without
Curios at the exit, something none
Knew substantives sufficient for. They brought
A change of shirt, a charger for the phone,
And water double-filtered to remove
Impurities. They sang car tunes without
The words, not all the words. They thought they’d left
The word behind, the first rest stop enclosed
By plastic fence. The map said, You Aren’t There.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Dead on Arrival

The number of the dead in Pasadena
Exceeds the grasp of man. Who would believe
You couldn't fit another body in
Another hole, the green so green, a sponge
Extended to its fullest? And the dead
Continued to arrive. From Ypsilanti,
Louisa, Chillicothe, and Gig Harbor,
The dead, the poor, the affluent, the dead
Came rolling in like breakers, but the shore
Declined their cold attentions. Thank you, no,
The living said, and didn't say much more,
The declinations, courteous, ignored.
So many, light, and losing heft, their last
Ride a return. Where was that ticket home?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Girl in the Red Honda

Knights fell a lot. And there they lay,
Lumps on the grass or in the mud,
Their armor like a suit of clay,
Rescuing maidens, giving blood.
The dragons chuckled, and the maidens
Planted cherries in their gardens.

Cherries ripe, but very wrong
For knights encased. Whenas they ride,
They sing, but every note of song
Is lost to echoes deep inside.
The ladies listen, if they can
Desist from planting pits for man.

We leave our dragons in their caves.
We watch the maidens drive away.
The knight are cool, but agile thieves
Thrive in the distance. Dawns the day,
And knights are bold and old and gone,
Cherries ripe in the subtle dawn.