Monday, February 24, 2014


There is no peace to be found around here.  It’s all piece-meal-
pronto, then, wait - pace and even the shadows can’t slow
the flow of shadows in the mind for a minute. 

Chop-chop at this certainty coming or that count
or this conversation, pecked away even in the early morning
certainty peaking through the cloud curtains outside

and (somewhat) away from those awake
already by the perky, opportunist popping woodpecker
busy at his work inside a cactus in my yard. 

Contemplations, ruminations, thought-less-ness, considerations-
stolen, disrespected by the diligence of the scavenging
for some combination, maybe, of a mating call and a search for grub.

Either will do.  Striking at that inner surface like the law with warrant.
He follows me like an old resentment, migrating in the afternoon to meet
me in the backyard, his laughter-like kee-u mocking my
                                                                          at silence

and the cursive chirrups say no use, no use
So I say, thought-tapper,
                                                      tell me,
where is there any safety on the outside to find your way to the  inside?

Where do you first perch?  Do you strategize placement
of those zygodactyl feet around the spines? And perhaps,
you say,  I really can’t afford to be choosy these days. 

Habitat like landing,
I can’t be choosy.

Even so, you refuse to reuse but the elf owl will come later,
recycle the ready opening you've made.  So it’s not all for naught,
your need for grind and generation.  I guess we’re much the same

in that.   Maybe it’s all quite symbiotic
and symbolic.  Or symbolic,
this symbiosis. 

Defended in the depths, you devour
what would harm your home.
So much simpler, this system than the human

mind-body problem I and my cosmopolitan kind
suffer from.   Now two spotted birds
at the stocky, wise saguaro.

One peeks out and amazingly, silently, calls
another, who perches first only on the outer surface
before entering the den, to escape this heat

that makes my vision hazy and my brain hazier, I think. 
No, it’s the noise, I think.   
I peek out of the height of pother 

for periods, jot, peck, peck, peck. 
             exercises of restraint, 

which are not my specialty. 
I silence.  There is no peace
to be found here.  In the house-
my mind- the house of my mind,
the mind of my house.
The exercises, 

the prompts, the continual cracking at.
The muse has taken over the woodpecker’s body.
She is pecking out prompts and crying her mocking 

no use cry.  She follows me like the children follow me
and her queries less querulous, though as absurd.
She is as persistent, too, as they, 

and she cannot know she is lending and taking away. 
Her voice rises and is joined and I realize then
in the cacophony of nature at work imitating children 

at play what I need:
I need your soul mate hope filled eyes-
you to nest inside.  I've pecked 

pencil to paper all day inside, flown out
for inspiration, returned with none,
listened well and not to my own voice 

contesting the yip yip
of all the little pecking flitting creatures. 
It is not so hot today.  It is cooling.  

The birds say this in their way.   
I listen.  They know so much.
They know how to sidestep 

spines and how to lace embrace
and lay down roots.
There is safety

inside the flesh,
they say, of what
wears thorns.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Curse the poet who resides here
          takes up space
and grits my teeth, bleeding
what she calls a gift, rousing me from sleep
                              I need. 
She is greedy.  Always stewing.  Plotting.
lists.  I scold her, threaten
                              to ignore her raging.
Her retort is sharp,
 a defiant line by line red-inked refusal
               to comply.
I do not need
fire –
I am warm enough.  What I need is rest. 
The machinations of a sounder soundness. 
Routine.  A day job. Reality.  An alarm clock.  Not these constant fragments
               tense across my skin,
playing on and on
like the never ending stream
of teams
of canicule cicadas, membranes
               all abuzz.

I terminate all previous agreements,
       try to let go this hold to hold instead
       the ready flesh of body right beside me. 
But Calliope purrs, rubs her recalescent presence up against me,
       massaging promise into the solidity
of my shoulders
and whispers (like a breeze through trees, creeping with murmurs
             in crystal streams
 though I still can’t sleep) that I have wings protruding
                                    where I feel numb, addressing
me as Angel

This is how she catches me.  Keeps me hostage.
She tells me stories I can dip my toes in.
She has a handy set of ever ready pens 
of every color and a garden of sumptuous, steady
                                    green .

If she was a squatter,
soon to leave, I might tolerate her antics,
but she’s unpacked her gaze, fragile as hizen,
and if I fail to be careful
she could break, weeping pages. 
In a state of fever, Mnemosyne
comes and leads me to
that gate
that leads to the upward-downward path
that leads to the Plumbago fields of fabulous budding
that stains my fingers. 

I follow her in where she begins to pluck and gather
My steps have left invisible marks
  so I can’t return. 
She grins,
 livens, and I am swayed by her
possible beauty, tantalized by the tonic
she says can cure my fever. 
I swill the spell. 
Oh    dear man    deliver me
of this spell
Swirl me in your own   passionate way of sway  
Flower me with your flame    Poison me with your purpose
                                          to stay 
The desire   in your smile    grounds me    I forget
the muse 
Tattoo me with your box-thoughts 
See me through one lens   past my pure skin  regard the fractures
in my framework
Step into my ferryboat     enter through
my scintillation
my susurrations  
Know what to say to bring me down
and higher
Your hands are stones that I hold tight
when I worry and there I find glory 
Stay next to me   until morning
and arrive
when evening opens up her doors
of me
the state I’m in
with the movement of your cooling touch
Willow over me volumes of your sweetness

I am not porcelain
You do not need to hold me so
gingerly and my white   though delicate   is game
I am famished    starving on the plenty that is within
aching for rainfall and for your fate    to turn
above me
Feel out route of my nimble vertebrae
for housed there    is your luck and in the gaps    
a type
of beauty in which there is no sorrow

The Sunday Whirl

A Language

I am here    it seems    every morning
about each last night
You are near
when you are not
you hear my translations
this glowing growing narration

Contrary to what it seems
I don’t believe
I have ever been away
from you at all   Never far
I don’t believe I had yet become
begun to become
alive to the unrealized
headed toward causation     And then
                      is why
all that I cannot say comes here  As formal
instinct     Molding      You the means
or the mounting
                       I wind around
You are near as the words
fibers and filaments of a story
glories and fibers of truth
staring right into each feature of the narrative
where the writing lulls

These poems are love letters though words will
never suffice written or sonant
because the space these lines take still lack
the means
to state
the state
of balance now created    
These poems   Terms
twisting the formula
to its breaking point
until the everyday day
breaks too
Repetition increasingly
                  necessary in the simple
                   explanation of

What was
never possible
has become  Or
  another way of saying this might be I think I knew you
  in a former life
and now
 that life
has rematerialized 

You are my other  Self  The lost twin
yes  A brother  Storm shelter 
Soothing childhood wounds
you never suffered
Smoothing out every urge to flee by pulling down
                                             the covers
                                                      or the shades        
in what you bring or teach

And I only struggle
when staring into silence
which feels true to me like something
which can be done   I am believing
splatters could form an abstraction
      actualize art       
I am
definition for impression
I am inventing
   a language

no one understands but you   Words alternate
morph and the instructor sways
her head   explains that this
    is not the way
it is done     I have labored over
long division and missed
the fact
that this is
mere addition

What is the one underlying metaphor
 for this phenomenon

 I am merely tiptoeing
around the edges
 of exactly
what I’m trying to say

swirling for taste    but you and I created
a language in the perimeter
of a cradling
    and now the synergy
of our lips
makes sense

so find me in this continuum
converge with this axiomatic urgency
to keep
the drums that beat in unison
asleep and echo instead in your own voice

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tour de force

Your body is
a country
I have traveled far to come to.
Your own soul a
state of mind I sought in
I composed the flitter
    of your kiss
before I knew its
taste, and in the arms of strangers, I was
warmed by the flame of your embrace.
I have traveled far to find you.
Long before your limbs began to

                                                        teach me,
my fingers traced imagined memory

                                                            of your face. 

I took the back roads, embalmed
in untouched dirt.  Journeyed years through
     untamed time. 

I stopped and lodged in sordid day,

fled from
tempt of night.  I read letters you
never sent to facilitate my
steps.  Caught substance of

stars and used their flush to
                                      light the way. 

Nearing brink of
discontent, juggling all I’d lost
I strained to hear La Cle des Chants. 
I sought

housed within a strand
   of hope.

I marked your turns, counted lines
  of love,
sowed sonnets
                         the soil
                                 of a past
life’s grave, and
uncivilized, into the setting
                          of your arms
the every
aspect of
your softness and now I plan
                               to know you.