Thursday, January 26, 2017

Measured Nautically

Nautical miles away, does that make me

closer or farther? I should look it up.
The dictionaries loom across the room,
as you lie over endless waters, measured
by any span, piratical or not.

If I could picture schools of kippers pushing
a v-shaped wedge of water on their way
to be your lunch, or hear the blue whale sing
Songs of the Psychedelic 60s, we
still would be stumped by distance. I am quite

as close as thought-waves. I could rig a gizmo
out of a curling-iron, colander,
extension cord, some rock salt, and my belt.
Where would you plug it in? Someone forbade
compatible power in our different lands.

I'll tie a message to a tuna, let him
slipstream currents, resting at fish stops. If
he pulls up lame, we're hopeless; watch for him
to greet your shore as tired as a dove,
bearing a stalk of salt-soaked celery.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Passing Strange

This appeared in Blood Lotus.

Here we are in Oklahoma, the next
stop Strange, where no one you know ever lived
and popsicles are served up for dessert,
wrapped in serviettes, where the dogs are bred
never to bark until they're spoken to,
and finger puppets entertain the kids.
Look quickly. Strange won't last long. Kresge's there,
one story, is the tallest store in town.
The 7-11 locks its doors at 10.
The newspaper is trucked in out of Enid.
It's gone, Strange is, you can see it behind,
an El Dorado, full of dust, the home
of unwed girls, pretty, each one, so briefly
their hearts grow dense, like cherry crumble squares.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Expatriate

For extra credit he remembered much 
That wasn’t worth remembering, forgot 
The kinship he had promised to except 
From discharge, and demurred at growing up. 
It made him charming, like a short-term loan, 
Lots of interest there, so he changed his name 
To Amaryllis-in-the-Shade and wept, 
Or said he did, at auld acquaintances. 
The Times that try men’s souls, he did not read, 
Other than archived, knew that butterflies 
Were thinner on the ground than yesteryear, 
But worms more frequent. Mr Lowly Worm, 
There was a name for next week, if he made 
Next week as Amaryllis-in-the-Shade.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Early Onset

Lordly dinners and waistcoast made of fust,
Gold, and the kind of glue schoolchildren use.
Gardens of flowers chosen for their names--
Verbena and wisteria and rue.
Cigars and women and women and cigars.
And ice cream, said the little boy. You do,
His father said. And so the women, too.

Yet I’ve forgotten everything that counts.
Without my mother’s maiden name I can’t
Access my bank account or climb the tree
From aunt to cousin, cousin to The Manse
Wherein the steamer trunk of crowns and pounds
Is kept for an emergency of love
Or kidnapping. It never will be missed.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Mystical Truths of Astronomical Illumination

Who can believe the luminous moon
Is lit by the sun? Here? In the dark?
Science is not some kids’ cartoon,
Where falling anvils leave no mark
On trees who are singing in the park;
And the dish runs away with the spoon.

It glows because it’s happy, bright
With sweat and pleasure from within.
It romances the earth at night,
Wolf-whistles at the frabjous sight
Of you in bed, and shines with sin
At second hand. You light the sky;
The moon absorbs. What science knows
Ends at the treetops. Wonder why
At night, between the breast and thigh,
Your silver duvet glows and glows?