Thursday, March 28, 2024

Unidentified Fallen Object


That light from underneath the wendy house?

Aliens praying for our human souls,

Which they use to recover old upholstery,

To plug the cracks in alien patios,

Through which they plunge for hundreds of alien miles,

And end up salting mines. They keep a light

On day and night, hoping they will be saved

From shopworn fates by spiritual human stuff.

I don’t know if that ever happens, though.

Our lawn is littered with the crinkled husks

Of something other, something not like us

In flannel shirts and wool sweat socks, and hats

Stamped Alma Mater, Stabat Mater. Pray,

You aliens. I wish you all the best.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

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?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Plot Points


It wouldn’t take me long to build

A monument—to stuff, then gild

A cassowary or a grub,

To stain a fence and plant a shrub,

Install umbrellas all around,

Stick Latin mottoes in the ground,

And plat the place with a snazzy name.

Of course you would have died of shame.

Much better to lie in the dark,

Pretending night is a private park,

Charming the mob away, who knew

Nothing of me and less of you.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Catching the Ferry


Last night the Truth Ferry

Put in as I slept

And left a verse in bed

And took the dime I'd left.

It wasn't printed neatly

And neither fine nor fair.

I read it only when and where

No one else could hear.

This is the way the worm

I wonder how it ends.

Bangs and pine and dirt

And pale segmented friends,

Perhaps. I am afraid

I can't write in my sleep.

I cannot hear the sound

Of what is taking shape

In dark rooms growing darker,

Quiet, humid, dumb.

To every boy and girl

At night a truth will come.

Monday, March 11, 2024

The New Roadmap


I lived here once. I know

which streets went where. I ran

where this lane starts to go

to the left, where it began

to carry another name.

So I am not impressed

by maps. It's not the same,

your sketch. I think you messed

up my reality.

Where's Archer? Appleton?

The dogleg at du Pres?

I know now what you've done,

you've gone to see what's there.

You stood on my home ground

as is. That wasn't fair;

taking a look around

alters the memory.

It warps the past. It preys

on what we say we see,

It relocates what stays

to house, then to maps,

till we avert our eyes,

as though all routes collapse

below misfigured skies.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024


    This appeared in Staple

If it isn't the roof, the plumbing's goes,

Or the showerhead, or the parakeet. Like that.

Sometimes the years of dry, furnace-forced air

will shrink the floorboards. What was glossy, grays.

Sometimes the one you turn to isn't there

in the bed; or perhaps she is, but gone

to ghost, and you can never be alone

more than you are right then, which is enough, thanks.

They told you nothing stays, claimed, as you found,

that change is what there is. But this is less.

Everything leaves, but not entirely:

the bird's cry from the elm tree high above

the dust of rooftrees laid down many moons

rouses the form whom you still try to hold.

Friday, March 01, 2024

All Tales Come True


 Is this one of those historical moments—

The Siege of Stalingrad or Johnny Van-

Der Meer's 2nd?  Decades hence, a hundred,

Two thousand years, will people say, Her linen

Shift fit like May between the spring and summer?

No one can tell what Helen did in bed

To make her Paris spring.  The men who lay us

End to end in expensive cardboard jars

Know squat.  They can't wait to be shoveled ash.

You pivot on the spike heels Dr Jekyll

Says women shouldn't wear—poor torque-sprung backs.

Your hair fans a like a runway breeze was blowing.

The men besieged behind their shattered walls

Drop their boiled leather, wave their horseplume hats, 

And scatter condoms from those famous heights.