Tag Archives: poetry

Love and Chemo

a frazzled thief in the burn
she came delivered to glad

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 of forenoon
couldn’t want more

a bobcat with a dark spotted neck
would leap upon the gain

only from courtesy
I must keep you dead, she said

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

a lover knows to pass through
the gorge and along the ledge

sharp as one degree of arc-tangent
and on the summit of high nakedness

take the testimony
of a lossy heart

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
in an orange limned sunset
all across the hillside
a predator perhaps the Barred Owl
had returned or maybe a house cat
it ended as quickly as it began
the sunset and the cawing
dying away together

Singing in Cars

Before there were radios in cars
We sang
Kid heels on windows
Like garlic buds
Past orchards with ladders
And lungs splayed on tree shoulders
We wandered our side of the globe
Tiny firemen in Red Ball Keds
Angular fence birds in overalls
Who wouldn’t believe a calendar
That picked pockets like a conspirator?

Past the concrete dinosaurs
Past the tongue depressor river
Heavy with cancer that gave no report
Under the gruff clouds
One dish of flung out life
The doctor couldn’t cure
With a dark slap
Born songbirds all
In a sheet metal schooner

Medic

Gagging on an apple
Each departing soul
A hopeful tent of oxygen
A bale of farther food
Moving like sea in a jar
If I could melt the maze of tongues
Shoveling out the Bibles
And the yellow daisies
Before the knees buckle
Waving away the transfer tube
I might be known as a purifier
Caulking up the Antichrist
Before the rain storms of April

But my spine runs on bourbon
And spite and green ice
Back and forth like an angry bird
Trembling I mark the spot
Where the air rudder goes
Until she gasps and circles back
A fermata in a wheelchair
Army wraparound shades propped up
Blind as grandmother
On a snowy evening
Behind the leather padded
Doors of the US capital

Monk on the Ridge

“At midnight we raise their wine to tomorrow” — W. S. Merwin

a caftan shirt made of powder
smells of cinders and bergamot

leaving the city tunnel at noon

the ridge goes where I go
of old wool and garage blossoms
make me a pallet

on older snow the sun passes away

monarch butterflies
drift upwards
bubbles in older wine

monks walk like credit cards
making betrayal a thing of calendars

in the abandoned hours
after solstice

Oregon Desert

sun like lava
dragonflies
deer
ponderosa pines
smell like cinnamon

in the lodge
an exhibit
of flint arrowheads
a photo of a Paiute fire pit
a bone fish hook
like a pearly
fingernail

someone said
the water slide
should go here