Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Danaus plexippus

Danaus plexippus

Great grandmother/ who said the dead are allowed
to return winged, monarch/ To fly from here to there—

That journey over the old lovers, who in their fields
still pull on the root—

Their hands in the soil /Covered/ Clean in the after birth
Those old lovers who draw the message/ Up through

their fingers: remember, remember the faint life/ It flicks
over shoulders/ Comes / Then goes:

Two sisters who escaped once, spun silk for a place
to grow/ To eat through/Emerge/ Land in eucalyptus—

Grove just in from sea, where they rested
Drunk on a thimble of nectar, they drew their wings

up in sleep/ Along the edge of the field:
Spotted lovers/ In the hairs of the milkweed

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Music box lady

A quarter slipped in to her third-eye-slit:

her mouthbox creaks at the hinge, jaws
steel open: Inside--the arched way, a ballerina
turns on her toe, arm-bows drawn up
she twirls to a tune untwirling--In the fog
of the mirror, initials running

The ding of lips lidded shut.
The brass lace latched. Song folded up.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In place of people, dance/ with scarves

The Wind blew out my voice/ At first she couldn’t hear me
In the past I sucked it in, heard her whisperask, well, does it smell broken

An orchard of bird prints in sand, erased/That place I laid mermaid,

hip-down-casted in grains/ Shared apple, bread with feathered wilds
Wet, cold, naked

(Inching closer, she saw/she sees)

The spill/ My constant foxtrot down shore—a way

In place of people, I dance with scarves I said, the stars will come soon, call for us/ They call us the wishers: we, their dusted selves

Recycled: yourwordmywords

Each section of this series was created from notes/letters I recycled into poems. Each recycled note/letter has its own section, (aside from the last, which combines two short letters) and is in the consecutive order inwhich the originals were received...

Recycled: yourwordsmywords

I ...or so it goes

Dear Sarah

A house that sleeps 20 fish so I opened

it to see if it was blank, got good seats in water

that I love, I love I am going, I am going

to write you You can read

about the flood/ You can delete the building, float

down interstate I can’t follow

Everyone who can get free is going is going/ Down below

I never left, got tickets

The island sleeps My biggest fear?

Birds for winter that break on their feet


II Hands that close

Dear Sarah

I am again reminded/ To hand-pray/ We will be hand-healed

I have cards from underneath/ Hands that close/ Close both hands


III The very grateful cliff

(Dear You

I was rock filled I was grateful

caving near headwaters/ The sweetest

kitty of the gorge I was river so pretty

The days of making nature there, the very grateful cliff

My underside pretty hurt where you and uncle went

to medicine/ Couldn’t tell/ Pretty critical I went flying

out the little dog door)


IV Blog blog

Dear Sarah

I have read two cats died on your blog/ Need to get them out, huh? Beat the heat on your blog? The river is where

we went white on your blog/ Are you still sore?

The Ocoeeee takes a long time to heal/ Are you commissioned?

Out spring

on your hot blog/

I have read all the hope poetry/You?

Well, blog blog


V Book a face, (sung in rounds)

Dear Sarah

Book a face, friend a book

Be a face, book a friend

Friend a thank, book me be

I love you I love

Love you I love I

You I you I love love

Letting me Letting me Letting me be

Your face Your face Your face book friend

Your friend Your friend Your friend again

I love you I love

Love you I love I

You I you I love love


VI Verbulated

Dear Sarah

I plan to download, print, frame, display, capture, post, dive, wreck, love, the photos of you--your essence at the beach


VII I feel connected again

Dear Sarah

I’m back I know you read I’m happy to hear our funny home I thought deleted thought you blocked my face

Your new poems I feel I feel connected again


VIII For your birthday

Dear Sarah

would you like the bottom of the hill? A farm, a car,

or a hitherpat tart?

The pretty white house on the right hand side

right before you start up?

Looks in good shape on its outside, but

I know nothing else

Friday, August 20, 2010

The most normal sun grinning

On her knees, beneath a wall of shirts/ She gathers

the best box from the stack/ Brings it to kitchen table

Where her fingers may work inside/ There, she stitches

the scene/ Constructs world in an evening, from paper

forgets how they told her green for grass, blue for sky, hears

other sounds: the passive paper she scissor-cuts

trees to sweep ceilings/ Spikes for grass, for dimension

she draws the most normal sun grinning

From the outside a hole, fork-pierced/ Through it, a string

fed through purple clouds/ And knots/ So they’ll swing

without dropping, fill space, chafe against

the sky, orange

The people—she places them last, folds lip

at their feet/ To press them down, into

the-too-much-puddle/--That unseen seam

to dry, forgive her/ --Shiny, smooth

A world inside a box, she carries

on her

hipless/ Paper-people, resurrected

from the crease/ sway inside

Do not sit on the folding table

Do not sit on the folding table

I lay there instead/ The sun's breath

slides down my hip/ Things made

clean/ I wait, watch eyes

churn in rounds, one way/ Then

heaving, the next

They can’t make up their minds

No, machines don’t seek balance

The slick edge, the dam freed

over, the baptism of stains—

They’re programmed/ By those

still, with desire

The last spoken word he heard

Go deep in the forest, the stix

you’ll need for a bundle--a faggot

The trees’ sheddings, without wick

break easily. Bind one, bind a faggot

In Winter, the makings more visible

The stems of oaks: a small faggot

For the sake of fire, pull branches

from what you scouted—the faggot

Three dozen a long way go

Together—makes flame, a faggot

What on Earth: the shortest autobiography

Many times they said to the child, There is no god in your house. No God in your house. She stared at her hands, saw in them trees. Becoming clumsy, she’d fall, walk into jagged.

A day she began to bleed. Realized rivers. Let rafts empty her, into Ocean.

Then. What on Earth they taught her, became holy: it softened. She’d visit, find arrowheads, pray.

To break in order

Spirit, I am here again, where we meet: Tides
of palm swept across page: my calling
for you, from edge where I sandfooted
stand in salt silhouette, drawn.

The coming in of your tide, on my ankles
welcomes me—Visitor, recede:
recede I, I recede
, change, dissolve.

I was created for this: order
in the way I break

Monday, August 16, 2010

Might I tempt you

Might I tempt you to

crumb crawl in my crackly crummy bed--
Atop my gladbagged, duct-taped-mattress--
with its dog hair- A fine throw!

A sneeze in the air—or two if you
come to bed doll, jolly rancher on your pillow
Not tempted? --Try the fridge of green jello.

Ghazal (my first)

The gunshot The bells in my eyes
Lunge in to wind Back to the stable

Thorns in my sides Winged
for a cool trough drink in the stable

Thunder in the cloud at my flank
A bucket of oats in the stable

The sound when it snapped
Bridle off-hook Back in the stable

Dropped from stampede as light acrossed
my empty stall back in the stable

In the hay The earth still
Saw grim in eyes back in the stable

Shoot her wild or long-nurse it back
What becomes of a beast in the stable

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fourteen, belly piercing: you did it to yourself

Unstick your thighs. Plug

the hole with gum.

Remember the pierce, the safety

pin—its black tip burned,

how you pushed in,

hours through skin.

Electric sent down. Past hips,

beneath sheets. Pink.

Walls fading. From the mouth

of the belly. On your back.

The hot-toast-prick. Silver

in your ears. Lighter

beside your thigh.

Once a cord, now a hook.

Your swollen, button-lip.

Your beaded chump.

God's cataract

While running, the shapes I see: mostly
square—the graph paper ones, all over

the glass/ Below, more cubes—their
light stains on the floor/ Kept ripples

And the far one—the smudged pulpit—
god's cataracted eye

Loneliness, who wears a tuxedo

Let’s have a look around

Loneliness waits in the kitchen,
wears a tuxedo
Everyone misses the roses

Also, a triangle in my throat,
a circle in my mouth, and this longing:
trains, window-scenes, the softness of going

But bright here, no place for music
when you wake up this alive

Inside my camera, an out-of-focus-bird
In Antarctica, a penguin turns off
towards triangles: noone stops, knows why

Is this how birds love
when bones take longest to digest

Swallowed something whole once

Behind a curtain of bubbles,
one-eye-open, I sleep in the sand

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When the dead speak

You’re already dead. I saw the white hairs of the earth, undug, dropped down into the hole of your grave, with a patty-cake-pat those hands smoothed over you. All well, marked you with a stone. What they called you by, chiseled into the face. They say a name can hold a person, so they never disappear.

The skin on my face wet, I did all those things humans do when other humans die, as they lowered you, thought of flame and ash, how you could have turned to wind, been free. Not this box, this box casing, this last home. Who chose this.

Now you write me from velvet, wanting peace, you ask for a drink, burp dust.

Tell me, how am I to answer, to feed skeleton, hold skeleton to breast. You—without skin casing, where maggots feasted, your eyes unaccountable--pit for a peach, or a thumb, always shadows in your hollows.

Tell me, what will I look into, the flesh of your cheek eaten and dry, as your mandibles open. You say, I love you I love you, tell me

what, wet and shining left, tells me the truth--what you really mean to take this time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stolen, light blue

When it was stolen, light blue

I saw it everywhere, gripped

Handlebars and hands.

Always in that same place, dolphin

clicking past, someone new

on its back

Each time I wanted

to push them off, steal

my saddle beauty, my windy

ride down hills—so close

to flight

Once, chained up: a scratch

in that same place, so I knew

But nice cops couldn’t cut it

free without numbers—proof

I had paid

It was the old kind you know:

Brake via backwards-pedal,

and no gears-- just knees

Imagine that: speed stops

in the real world just by digging

in your heels a little, and you

breathe: you exist

Thursday, August 12, 2010


She learned how to scoop space for silk,

mining with her fingers those strings

that stick to skin, soundless

she'd drape the wound then, cobweb-

curtain it ancient—way to stop the blood

With plenty a spider —all those whites

beaded in corners ripe with nets,

and wild creatures who stared by the eye--

some of them stuck by the wing,

she never felt alone

Always on the edge

of listening, she'd strain,

so still to hear a note: let go

let go, they'd whisper

Her finger on the pulse

Up, as a lighthouse

Embrace my mother: the last speaker of womb
Pinpoint her center before she shifts That calm eye lurks
off coast, where gusts took home out sea

Beside the waves, I was right
in my silence: a lighthouse with blues for eyes
I looked out, at that first sea-- sea
she never stopped reaching, salt
she wanted, always more: That thirst

Inside, I grew a spiral, a spine
with stairs to the top, where
through eyes I spoke not
in code, but swept the white tips
The Moon never stopped
so I never could, even make a pile
of all those chops

So I tried the ocean into hypnosis
With the pendulum of my light-flick,
tailing very sleepy from left to right,
I knew the trance of comets: solace
taught me well, though ocean
does as she wills

Stout in sand, my one legg-ed chute—
nearly rocket, I kept my eyes,
still turned out

Sunday, August 8, 2010


I want naked, want
beautiful when I’m naked, want to be seen
in color, want light shined all over this
on-loan-vessel of mine

Let’s ride out to sea, where
fresh blood stains water, where we
both know they’re coming for us:
We just keep loving

Teeth— they say come out
in the struggle, so we won’t
We’ll float as they figure-eight around
Hold each other, kick out like babies
Become light, till back
in that salty womb: We,
always forgiven.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I sleep better with bones

Dear God I gave you my throat, you stained
my fingers at the Sun’s benediction
You should know by now I have a sixth sense
for electricity, and I know very well about hunger

I used to believe you were a grizzly, of the sky
Not the fluffed, what-do-you-see-in the-clouds-kind
but the one with claws, my thigh remembers
how you rested on that final day

Is it possible I never feared bears, though I cut
off what was pretty, I sleep better with bones,
bird-shaped, beside the bed

Hear the heinous singing

Hear the heinous singing: their toes from dust depart

as one with sky their song makes them, despite the Earth—

who in stone and tree remembers

rain, blood in rivers,

what they did to each other

She who saw keeps place, baptized by both: drifts of shadow, drifts of light

She who knows the shape of forgiveness, without corners,

is always round, always sung

What's red at night: the bush

What’s red at night: the bush
Not the lion on each corner, light-frozen
on stone bed: very still, very statue

What looms held behind your back
looks like flowers, but careful, will turn--
a guise for something: You know

how sudden all the lilies—their heads cut off
The man in his garden who hated their color, hated
how they grew

back each time he’d pluck their bloom—
a palm of wild, stolen
How he’d sing holy then, grow wax feathers

while out in the garden the streetlight caught
on a ghost, a child— her cheek wet
In her hand, stems

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Through my eyes, August 1, 2010

Frogheart mitosis

Even though skin still intact, if no longer alive
throw them back: these deaths have a way
called the frogheart-thump
Beneath sheets in the morning how one
the night before multiplied hundreds
Beneath Egyptian cotton they pulse
on your toes, ankles those hearts come
back to life, wearing such thin skin:

cold & wet, how you can you tell
What’s dead
when they always felt that way

Monday, August 2, 2010

A pen uncapped/ Has a tooth/ Has an ache
In the hook of my fingers, a notebook
hungry at the jaw/ That spiral seam

Not down these days/ But up
from the earth/ Up I said the dress
of the mountain/ On your back, take it
with you/ After that click

walk home in breeze that comes, mint
whispers on skin/ Wave goodbye
at the window/It promises to come again

Flat-chested-totem / Love-tree-belly
The rough on your lips/ Don’t be shy
cause no one looks/ To tide,

you pluck leaf for fire/ Tear petals
inside the rain/ And Susans, black-eyed
through white pickets/ Grow

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2 Untitled (little) new ones

The bridge wild, its boards shook
as I walked out, unable to look
On ground On ground

Angels with lanterns passed in corners
of my eyes as I sang, found
earth inside, unshaken

Walked out, across water
where moon that night, I couldn’t stop
to see, not with all the shaking


To feel the Earth, pulse
inside your socks, wild creature,
open your palms: sky them up

That clean light pours, You—
ancient comer, are you in favor
of turning it on high—
Your spirit that knows it’s time