Monthly Archives: September 2014

News from the Neighborhood

an urban coyote
as indifferent as Diogenes
lopes the sidewalks
of my neighborhood–
I saw him this morning
but he did not wait
for a picture

nor did the raccoon
and her cub I met
while walking the dog
though the fearless cub did
bluff charge our dog

the mental patients
who live in the shelter by the church
circled the block last night
smoking like sullen furnaces

and the black birds who stipple the rooftops
made quick work of a road kill squirrel
in the street in front of our house

these things
written indelibly on the wind
and now here
and now there
where you are

The Eclipses of Poets

“The eclipses of
poets are not foretold in the calendar”

–Marina Tsvetaeva

Canyon Fire

Wildfire in Ferry canyon!
Greasewood burns like a match factory.

The fire walks up towards the canyon rim.
We drive the farm’s puny hose truck down to meet it.

It is like pissing into a live volcano.

People from surrounding farms arrive to help, although what can they do?

Finally a wind shift puts the country back to sleep.

Acres of new black scabs on
the stubble-skinned earth.

Hunting the Dinosaur Fish

We used to catch eight,
ten foot sturgeon,
before all the regulations.

The best white meat is sturgeon.

They took forever to die.
They can live out of water for days
unless you shoot them.

Time was we hunted
the dinosaur fish
although we didn’t call it that.


Weather is Personal

Elliot wore a yellow jacket
and sat in the park most days, drumming.
People would stop and listen or stare for a while
and then Elliot would stand up and point and say,
you will lose what you love most
unless you lose yourself first,
and then go back to drumming.

It was this way before signals
and beeping light farms
came to town and the drummers went away.

I got here as soon as I could.
You and I can listen to the wind
in the trees in the park together.

Someday, maybe not soon,
the drummers will be back.

What Became the Bandersnatch?

“Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!

And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
He chortled in his joy.”

—Lewis Carroll

By teas and seas and billowed charts
The beamish boy did sail about.
Exilerious did he lark
And wilder did he lout.

“Tis true, the ‘Wock, I did him slay!
His hide and hat I did procure
And Jubjub bird and Bandersnatch
Did also take the cure!”

To The Old Aztec Poets

You, Nezahualcoóyotl
You, Cuetzpaltzin

If the earth is the region
Of the fleeting moment

And jade and brown corn
And gold and the plumes of the quetzel

Are all fleeting as well
Let it still be said

I heard you chanting
across the ochered years