Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Danse

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

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life is a baited hook.

so, how to know
when i am the instrument,
the worm, or the fish?

and which is hungriest?

i would see everyone fed.

though, life is no nap
on the soft belly of love,
that ocean of fat, warm water.

many take up stances,
very wary of each other.
we will still all look,
listen, and grow older.

there’s potential here.
given time.
to know how
we’re in this together.

 

 

 

 

Local Diner

Monday, February 1st, 2016

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He’s  banging the pots——to get them clean.

He’s clanking a bowl with a spoon——for the melted ice cream.

Black cowboy boots guffaw across the bare wood floor.

Someone strikes the register keys waaaay too hard——for emphasis.

 

Slam! Ka-ching! Its all such overkill.

 

But, when I was a little girl,

I loved to run across the waxed linoleum

in Sunday shoes, in a high-ceilinged room,

pin balling off clusters of adults——in patent-leather stereo.

 

We’re all playing, you know?

Though, we must admit——some look awfully serious about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Girl, Spring Break

Friday, January 29th, 2016

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For all those girls on their way to that party.

 

Snail curled by shell,
embryo curled by bone cradle,
a girl is born on sand, on belly,
sea tones in her eardrums.

Bare on the grit,
on skin thin as an eyelid,
ventricles swim in her ribs–
just-hatched jellyfish.

Water girl has no shell,
no fur, no land or water parent—
but hungry gulls, who scold
dogs and the coiled serpent.

More exposed than a gastropod,
the girl grows into tall heels of plastic,
into shamed and angry boys,
and a mask of purloined makeup.

Drunk on the beach,
dreaming of a scallop shell and goddess,
protection, she says in soused sleep,
did you…?

 

 

Suite on a Mountain, for Earth and Cello

Friday, January 29th, 2016

 

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After a performance by Cellist, Ruth Boden, in Oregon’s Wallowa Mountains. http://tinyurl.com/j5j2qew

 

Cellist, practitioner of hours on chairs,
climbs up-mountain hours in boots,
goes to raise the polyphony
of Bach’s own prophesy, in G.

To walk is andante,
an unhurried tempo, steadily,
like up-mountain with a cello,
its shifting case across her back.

On the summit and snow,
her wrists are looser, her fingers lighter.
Her bow strokes in plein aire…
the acoustics of ice and fire.

Notes pitched on tones of granite,
notes on wind’s palette,
their radical counterpuntal
sieves down the steep forest.

Suite for Cello,
with Bach’s foretold allargando.
The notes fall, feeding willows,
before dark at a quiet seep.

 

 

Writing Desk

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

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My table is papered with pages of curled edges,
dog-eared, with pen-strokes
like nail clippings and eyelashes.

Among perpendicular phrases
there are underlines and just cross-outs,
zaggy scribble-outs,
and loopy lines–the wings of flies.

Such blotchy circles of coffee sweat,
fingerprints of newsprint,
smears of resins and oils
salted with lily pollen from a banquet…
the color of saffron spreading
in a ring of purple wine.

Steam from a soup bowl liquifies
this chaos, that evaporates
into a cloud that looks like
the willfulness of watercolor
without outlines…it is…
where stuff happens.

 

 

 

Poetry Curriculum

Monday, January 18th, 2016

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After a poetry workshop with Eileen Myles

 

Beginner,
I was afraid of poets:
(scary scary)
bishops’ hats on lances
declaring red ink.

Eileen said,
“fucky fucky–sitting with god”

Yeah, I was sitting there
scared of a dumb god.

Look, pens are
death and birth and sex,
see their vulvic fountains?

Fill them with any color.
Write!

 

 

Walking Oaxaca

Friday, January 15th, 2016

 

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Crowned pig on a talavera tile,
one solo puerco insignia
set in the stone church stairs…

why? what?

on the steps where
two puppy bulldogs attract girls
to the boy sitting,
whose corn on a stick pops, bitten,
’til its honeycomb’s dry.

Church doors of slabbed wood,
long hanging slices of carne separating.
Four hundred years of drying
on iron pins…for someone’s carnality,
and still the church pigeons pass scat.

Look: an iron ring in a colossal stone,
fat as a fed snake,
it fastens some supreme possession…

but, I ask: who forged in the heat?
who hammered it-in to no applause, chingon,
and who ordered it placed?

Crowds step around it and,
on the street, the spindly trees,
when this racket:

someone set loose from loosely piled cages
what won’t be captured twice:
an outraged macaw
pursuing its native fruit.

 

 

 

 

Fractured Floe

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

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I’m on a fracture in an ice floe
and the night is blue
and the far white suns remind me:
breathe through, breathe through.

In whale water, whales shake
my ache from their heads, and make
a new word meaning both
“what?” and “why sakes?”

Half of this ice floe
could really hold two.
I’m on a fracture in an ice floe
and the night is blue.

 

 

 

 

In Abiquiu

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

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Sandstone bone,
this is where I return to the rim
of our mother,
and ask for her blessing…

to return to my falling
now, with wings.

walking is falling
between toe-off and foot plant,
breathing is falling
like an up-tossed hat…

we all fall…
even riding our fall,
flying our fall,
to give ourselves back.

in this birthplace
I ask for a blessing:
to be like a cat with wings
licking her paws for the landing.

 

 

 

Disaster Divinity

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

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God never changes, as far as I can tell.
The chemistry of belief burns
and its smoke-clouds of war
thicken with ballistics.

It is disaster divinity, as far as I can tell,
and my arm aches from throwing and catching,
throwing and catching,
arguments for and against,
the adherents or the doomed,
over whose corpses are blessed.

Don’t offer food to gods,
to hungry gods,
gods of threats and promises—
divisive, voracious.

Until our nows, united,
are a tumble of love and more love,
It, He, She…The Unnamable ego-demon
never changes.

 

 

 

Speech

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

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The Chinese word for headache is tong.
What gives me a headache is also tong:

wagging tong
running tong
restless tong
spurious tong

especially the shield of tong
the command performance tong
the brilliant tong
even tong in cheek.

sometimes tong clangs
like a spoon on a pot:

relief for the harried tong!
freedom for tong!
respect for tong!

What a headache, this tong.

 

 

 

Nearer Lights

Monday, October 19th, 2015

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Autumn,
when sun eases its encompassing,
when smaller, nearer lights
bring us home.

October,
on the verge
of wanting warmth before supper…

From an onyx lampshade,
the creamy beeswax,
sweet butter on sourdough,
a climax of leaves that light the road.

I want to make things:
bottle lamps and luminarias,
ristras and origami stars.

But this tender October quiet…
just to sit here and walk there
is effortlessly golden.

 

 

 

 

October Prairie

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

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Rice Moon above,

no lightning, no rain since August…

the marigold garden holds the harvest

of wind’s lost leaves.

Clearly the sky was bluer

when leaves gave it green edges,

when framed in aspen coins.

For love of blue…of green:

time to follow the conifers

up the mountain.

 

 

 

 

 

Rock Formations, Full Moon

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

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a field of recumbent bodies,
where the sumac tastes
of tang,

where the cricket bells
drop
and retrieve kept time,

and the moon yolk
slides
far up the sky:

now it is a doe eye
in the dark,
an interpreter of beams…

and the lithic bathers cool,
to sleep
wrapped in lunar white.

Bat Wings

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

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Bats don’t fly out of hell
like a bat out of hell.

They fly into night—
a stream of avian gloves,
so many soft leather bows
stretched for flight.

Bats know exactly where you are,
exactly located.
But bats concentrate on their own intent:
to fly, to gather, to roost as
wing-tented families.

Like bats in heaven.

 

 

 

She…

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

 

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whose love,
molded like a brick, or a brain,
or a lollipop, or a double pair of lips,
will melt…but not
disappear.

 

 

 

 

 

Talk Radio

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

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You’d rather be dead than rich.
You’d rather be dead than red,
or married to a socialist–

than to hold
two opposing thoughts
in one still mind.

In the belt loops
of your slacks:
two opposable thumbs.

What will you do with them?

 

 

 

 

Summer

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

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It is summer
sweating
enchantment:
the love of a table fan
blowing my hair
and stroking my face.

 

 

 

 

 

Eyes

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

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Sometimes while you are talking,
look,
look in my eyes.
No convection there,
or stillness,
or gap winds rising
can ever hide.

Masters and mistresses have forced
in your mind
instruments of alarm,
wired to warn in advance
of ambiguous signs.

Like seeing my eyes might
drag your tailpipe through town,
or flat your tires to ride clapping
through a village in mourning.

You’ve got to look.

Notice not only if lightening might strike
or if gales will down trellises.
Not only how changes in the sky
feed the plums, lengthen vines,
heat the stone of slopes,
and dry sweat to salt
on your sun-strengthened thighs.

Notice without measuring
the life in my eyes.

Notice like you did —
lying on a limb high,
young, behind a country house,
before you were trained to turn away
from the life within
eyes like mine.

 

 

 

 

Fresh Idiots

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

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Do you watch the rising and rolling
of beads on her chest
as she breathes?
Do you sense the valley of
her belly
through her sweater?
Does a nuance in your gaze
cause her hips
to shift?

Forget it.

She sees the hair on your sternum
breathing like a pet
that, with luck, she will nuzzle.
She sees, you wear your keys
hanging on your jeans —
eye-catching unlockers.
She sees your chin rise
and
your wit winding up for a pitch.

Forget it.

The newly single
arrive here every day.
See, they embark and disembark
with tin smiles:
fresh idiots.

Hold your heart,
stash your bags.
Wait for me.