Archive for August, 2008

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At Summer’s End

August 30, 2008

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Three Poems for the End of August

August 30, 2008

Poem 1

In the Walled Garden

the body of a wasp
building a home out of paper
eye wet as a drop of blood
anger made flesh, just
waiting to be touched

Poem 2

In the Hotel La More
Bisbee, Arizona

you may be the rain
and the rain comes down
you may be the wind
and the wind blows through
you may be the plain
and the horizon never ends
you may be the Earth
and the Earth rolls away
you may be the tethered star
and the void is the Hotel of Heaven
wherein we shall book a room
and dream ourselves into dust
co-mingled and sleeping
with curtains drawn against the impatient wind
rendezvousing clouds and inevitable rain

Poem 3

Fool*

oh fool in cap-and-bells
how you can dance the black and white
pirouette beneath the porch-light
how you can sing the ladder down
from the lover’s window
how you can vanish the silver key that unlocks
the iron gate between us
oh you fool my favorite card
the one I will always pull from the new deck
slick with witticisms and endless jokes sliding
beneath glass between fingers under doors
oh fool how can you smile through the grease-paint frown
the tear in the corner of your eye a rhinestone
how can you balance a spinning heart on your finger
how can you tenderly kiss the dove in your fist
how you will never understand
no matter how much she protests
she would die if you opened your hand

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*This poem originally appeared in Poem, May 1999, No. 81.

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Bring Me the Head of Boba Fett

August 27, 2008

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Three Poems About Birds

August 27, 2008

Poem 1

Person as Domesticated Bird

You cannot
tech them how to
speak, as some one else

has beaten you
there. Perches on your finger
like a raven

on a dead branch.
Darkness beneath
the feathered layers,

wet eyes bulging
with secrets they have no words
to convey.


Poem 2

Birdwatching

the torsos female bathing-
suited im various hues of blue
heads feathered & beaked
long storky legs wading in warmtide
what exotica for your notebook
flatfooted beachprints like leaves in limestone
necklaces of shell and mother-of-pearl pierced
navels with sterling fish hooks        oh
use the black binoculars to bring each one closer
but not too close
as they would eat the live bait out of your hands
ride thermals in circles over your home
steal the puffer fish drying
on the clothes line
and follow you
follow you
to the end of your days

Poem 3

Inca Dove*

I can’t play on your hunger
a handful of seed is not enough
for you        sage and scrub in the open desert bear far more
tasty        and as pure as the intentions of my voice may be
I can’t call you down with song
when you prefer the croaking toad and creaking limb
how am I to begin        to lure you down
with longing like the impulse to gather all that glitters
in your dark eye        my words only harden
into reasons for love        bars of a cage existing only
so you could fly between them

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*This poem originally appeared in Möbius, Thanksgiving Issue, 2001.

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Don’t Forget to Bring Her Flowers

August 25, 2008

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Two Poems for a Wet Monday

August 25, 2008

Poem 1

Mnemonic Devices

leaking faucet leaf falling lost feather
common place and ordinary
this thought I must hold on to
lacy fan leaning fountain loyal fool
stuff of bad poems and worse prose
this thought I must recognize
lemon flower leather foot little foyer
minutes of the meeting and measure of pride
this thought I must remember
loves fear loves frailty loves forever
every word reminds then replaces
this thought        that I forgot

Poem 2

You are Mistaken*

Night crosses her legs.
Day opens her arms.
Once, this was all you dreamed.
Once, time was a track and you were the handcar.
That was before
you lost your rhythm and fell
into the tableau vivant that is
the everlasting now.
You sit at the table between them, those two
abstract sisters, and foolishly assume
you are welcome, and wanted.

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*This poem originally appeared in The Lucid Stone, Winter 1998, No.16.

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Summer Chair, Monsoon Sky

August 20, 2008