Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Last Circus

Note: Barnam and Bailey announced today that they are closing their circus after more than one hundred years of touring and performing

I am five years old
sitting in wiggly anticipation
under the circus bigtop
Barnum and Bailey
has come to Sheridan, Wyoming

The crowd is a hot smear
of Saturday afternoon faces
The room smells of animal dung
and buttered popcorn.

I have the surprisingly intimate feeling
of being let in on a secret —
there is a world where the rules
are suspended, where people fly
and elephants walk on their hind legs
where women wear spangled
skin-tight suits and swing on swing sets
the size of tall buildings

where people are sawn in half
and then reassembled
where the polar axis shifts
and time runs in a bright circle
with a man standing on its back with a whip

Of course, I had no way of knowing
the conjuring has a cost. And like a broken
foreign correspondent, I have wandered ever since
looking for what is conjured
and what is constant

Trump’s Inaugural Address Under Erasure

Today we became the rulers
the public, rusted-out
and scattered like tombstones
American carnage
This sad depletion our country
disappeared over the horizon

America first!

The ravages, stealing and destroying
will lead to great prosperity and strength
I will never, ever let you win
Radical Islamic Terrorism
the bedrock of our politics

Total allegiance
open your heart to patriotism
Now arrives the empty hour of action
Our soldiers will bleed
the same red blood
and be ignored again

The Hunger For Getting Things Right

Sound investments panic and fail.

Cars grow winter mold and must be cared for.

Witnesses misremember.

Countries hallucinate.

In Zen, the fervent desire
and the stone footbridge are interchangeable.

In poetry, the sound
finds the echo canyon before you do.

In navigating the old way,
the shape of surface waves is everything.