A beach house
with new shingles
around two windows
keeps watch with brindled eyes
at what the sea brings
Some days it’s just wave on wave,
like a furrowed brow.
Some days birds skim the rollers
like penitents walking the breadth
of a watery country.
The sea and the house
tell each other their moods in colors.
Weathered silver on brown means contentment.
A scrim of white rags tearing off
of slate grey mounded water
means I’m out of sorts right now.
New white on clapboard means
I’m trying to impress the neighbors.
A boiling blue black mountain of water
rolling up the beach means
I told you so.
the fleet of electric birds
bluing the trees
in their sockets,
and how strange
it is that
we hear their words
with the ears
with keels of
ribs of sorrow.
Where do you raise a poem?
Etch it on the surface of a pond?
Hang it in the air above a burning building?
Braid it into a web spanning freeway and radio tower?
A poem is a hunting lodge and a circus tent,
a night trauma and a nucheal ligament,
allowing the mind to race clear headed and upright
through a forest fire in a deep ravine
while the heat sears your memories
and anneals your losses
like wax on old bourbon bottles.
Like a deep ocean drift net
Cut loose by the mother ship
Drifting with the carcasses of tuna and hake
Twisted forever into its skeins,
Your poetry haunts me,
When it arrives on your doorstep, the first thing every love
asks is: can you jump from the window for me? Can you stab
your heart for me? Every love asks this: can you fly with me,
with only the stumps of your arms?
When love arrives on your doorstep, it will not leave soon.
It has to go to some mountain or valley. To an ocean or river.
It comes to your house out of the blue, and wants to know if
you will come along to drown with it or not.
Every love gives you enough time to die for it.
Bagel backwards is slegab
which sounds like a town in Wales.
Hearsay backwards is yasraeh
which sounds like a seminary in Israel.
College backwards is egelloc
which sounds like a Klingon food.
Sometimes i cannot hear
what words are trying to tell me.
Maybe if I listen to them say their names backwards
they will reveal their secrets to me,
like turning a talking stick upside down
and listening to the waterfall of seeds
or breaking a cottonwood twig at a joint
to see the secret star inside.
burning like a green stick fracture
all the unemployed indignados
whose grandfathers rolled the Republican cannons
are lighting fires in the squares
to burn in absentia
the corrupt refuse cabal of bankers
and real estate development whores
who have sold their beloved country
for a toxic mess of derivative stew
and a few photo opportunities
with Javier Bardem and Selena Gomez