Tag Archives: poetry

American Rebel Yellow

some see the virtue of drowning
faithfully like Jonah
thighs pressed together
in the fin and rib of things
cramped where tongues bloom
muscles tense like November trees
curving downward into moist blades
with just enough left for their desires
to be strapped to the back
still singing loudly
and overhanging like cattle

they do not obey language
like an SOS from
poorly healed stitches
buried in the viscera
only a bonfire of redwood
in the oilfields
can make them look down
can make them feel
the engine entering them
with eyes like elevators
inlaid bent and perverse

all along their bottle capped horizon
wearing their shirts untucked
singing falala songs
to buzz their hard won
southbound lives
they hurry along
hoping to curate
some kind of armature
or refrigeration system
made of steam
and the better kinds
of software

Propeller

I don’t need their winter curse
from a time gone by
even silence turns on its rails
staying clear of the painters easel
the windows of the old school
full of griefs harder than boxwood

down the road the gritty white ruins
of an Oklahoma prison
that held Clyde Barrow
that nobody visits

from these animal bones
in private gardens
the solitude shuffles where the boy
defecates in the dirt under the porch
his bronze body never again less
incurable than now

some are snags bare as chalk
some conspire to make noises among others
full of hooks and ministers
a flash of criminals

where a girl is walking
a fragrance of hips
smoothes out time
lines and ruts
cut into her school desk
far from profound
say things will remain
all the numbers and letters
stretch out beyond the heat plant
towards the winery
like copper trees at dawn

no balm in gilead
just a rollaboard suitcase
in the carousel
at the airport terminal
our secret decay
fills the gaps
in the paraphrase of faces
before words can

maybe Charles Lindbergh’s
only mistake was
he wasn’t a mistake
or Michelangelo
only a boy
carelessly bronzed
over time

New Grandchild

Baby Ellie looks like her dad.
Roughed up a bit by birth,
but insistently here
and looking out at the world
with fearless, punch drunk eyes.

Now that I am here with you people,
I’ve yet to make up my mind about, she says,
where is the food? And can a girl
get a little shut eye?

Midterm Elections in the USA

Nightly TV two-mouthed
Striped and pointing
In four toned shoes

In Macon in Chattanooga
Sculling in a blitz
Reaching a god-like hand

Hanging microphones
Like mantis arms
Staked up high

Urging unturned
And crucial enough
Or cruciate because

Of Waco’s drive
To warrior hunt
With chopping arms

The two-fingered hands
Blind teeth and pink tongue
Befurred he and she

One suit one leaning skirt
One eyebrow arched
Pushing back bangs

Oh geez two grins
One white star
A wall of TV tiles

Hoops like golden beer cans
Bobbing over yellow marks
A text-stabbed African American

Under five-o stars
Getting ready to vomit
In a grizzled Van Dyke

Pink tie mike
Ready to take on
The birthright slam

Duck walk back
The midterm glares
For news the back row

Says king me with
An eight pointed star
Pin me with herald and shield

Not so safe as we
Always thought this
Lost dog called democracy

Love and Chemo

a frazzled thief in the burn
she came to me disorganized

and knobbed
and reaching up short

a lost wax casting
a mecca of bones in bright drapery

come and lose this she said
ride the raves the light ball ends

guitars and thin nickel strings
and rumored fathers

in this skinny hour
before noon

only from courtesy
I must keep you dead, she said

as radiation in the mouth and spine
humanized acid; arctic life

a lover knows when to leave
the summit and ledge

thin as one degree of tangent
this brief high nakedness

Whistleblower

count the rinses
the rings the leavings
the unconscious
drip drop drip
of having set off the alarm
pull the shade down
watch the blue light
filter through the creases
watch the current
following the holes
watch the day
arrive in small packets
and granite faces
and breadless ways
snow snow it
does not here
this place does not recall
your jungfrau days
it takes what it wants
and hands you your coffin
with only your hands
and eyes inside

Backyard October

last night in our backyard
the Steller’s Jays
began sounding the alarm
all across the hillside
a predator perhaps a Barred Owl
or a house cat had arrived
it ended as quickly as it began
the sunset and the cawing
dying away together