After fifty feet, you are down to the smaller bones.
Rosemary and fir needles in an old clay pot on the deck.
Lotsa luck giving things away. Metallic tasting wounds.
Fluted window glass. Car tail lights going back and forth.
Dinner on the outer wall—someone’s tunic is on fire.
At the national art museum. Everything isn’t in there.
Thin people walking into you. Give them your hat.
The cracked face on a thousand year old bowl.
A Mardi Gras mask. Thumbs in a cast.
Cotton bolls on stalks in a brown vase.
Every time the wrong thing happens well.
They probably saw something and didn’t say anything.
The way you walk when go means not now.
This madness is like fleas.
A donkey slide. Know your betters.
I was prepared to hate it / well, hate is a strong word /
let’s just say give it wings and let it sail past the bridge
/ but it doesn’t suck / it doesn’t pretend to get on its knees
and make the rafters sing / it is a red owl on a bicycle with hungry eyes /
“Who isn’t bruised around the edges, peaches poured
into the truck bed, receipts faded to white?”
it sends out science mannikins to shout about being nervous in secret /
it collaborates with machines to make rain squalls / it argues for
a better kind of blindness / it warns others about dreaming in stairwells
and at crime scenes / it is a crime scene painted in butterscotch broth /
“The cop speaks and I call a plum into is his mouth
and it doesn’t shut him up.
The cop kneels in the grass below my friends, my friends
crowned with August and Salt. My marigold my wave.”
tendrils and tips and sprockets combine to give it firm plant awareness /
“cyborg means man made” I didn’t know / it is like new sounds added
to frost in the stubble by the road / in a Wyoming winter snow drifts
come and go like grainy herds of buffalo / this book is like those herds
mated with seigniorage — the profit made from the minting of coins /
ducats in the pillow / francs thrown into the Seine / everything costs
what you are willing to throw away / this book is completely free
in that sense / it is madly lyrical / and worth your time.
Note: this review is for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club. Soft Science
is forthcoming from Alice James books.