Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17

I walk differently with new shoes into a field full of dandelions at night. I walk into this field, shiver, announce my presence to this field. I am sheathed in cold air. Cold air sheathes me. The field introduces the sky for questioning. Is it a bowl turned upside down? Are you drunk? Has my voice changed? A doe limps out of the woods. The doe, that’s your symbol! It moves through the dandelions with shadows stuck to it/ you move through the dandelions with shadows stuck to you/ something like that. It’s stupid, anyway. You’re back but you’re not glad: What is the symbol for this? Maybe it’s on the radio. An airplane guides itself with a white light. You will fly tomorrow. All my good ideas seem pretty bad now. I think about the airplane’s destination. Wherever it’s going, I totally agree. (Later I find out that the airplane made an emergency landing on my high school’s football field, and looking back, yeah, I saw it coming).

I have this image of your house: It is sunset, and orange sunlight streams through a set of sliding glass doors, splashes on your kitchen table which is made of blond wood, travels across the floor, crawls up the pantry door which stands partially open. I think there’s a grocery list or something, tacked to the door. On the floor, next to the door, is a dog’s water dish. You’re in the backyard. I can see you through the sliding glass doors. It looks like you’re waiting for something to be thrown to you.

The sky is still there, waiting for me to do something. I decide to make a wish. I wish curling up into a ball and crying was common practice, like going to the bathroom, and equally as effective. All my old ideas seem pretty dumb now, though I take some comfort in the fact that they looked good at the time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

a long time

I'm a bit worried
what if my voice has changed?
we'll go slow, and gentle
how my dad treats flowers
flattened in the storm
without disdain
for the wind

coming home

it took me 19 years to speak
of the diverse vegetation in my
i spoke in the driveway
with the sun going down beyond that
sweet-smelling tree
the sky carved up by
airplanes in the branches
my brother bit his tongue
skateboarding 4 spots of blood
on the white cement
he swears more now
and better, too

on a page folded down the middle

shuttle ride of
silence OH MY GOD
for a second I
thought my computer
had stopped breathing

how can i conceal
my fear when it
blossoms at my
throat like a rare
nocturnal flower?
crocus lilac crab
apple listen UP!

a tree has grown
in the back of this bus!

I needed something
to check on so I
checked to see
had the grass grown
since last time
certainly especially
with last night's
rainfall I held my
mother's nail file to
the blades they had
bypassed last time's
Sharpie mark by
this sure beats
waiting for text messages

something fresh

that's the sound
of the zit popped
eternally in time
as I sense my
vulnerability in the
shoe department at

All the boys in the
short-shorts say

it's the Beach Boy look
I agree with myself

moms in denim
waddle up ladders
they don't care about art
I appreciate them
from afar

sliding doors slide
open I am in a
commercial for
mouthwash where waves of
icy blue mouthwash
crash among the aisles
of a grocery store

Sunday, May 10, 2009

one year ago

a lot of boats
on land under buzzing
orange lights and a can
of paint where is
our car
where is
where is
everyone else

one year ago I entered
the yacht club ordered
a root beer
a DJ was setting up
on the parquet floor it was
early evening we took photos
around an anchor I did not
know what to do with my hand

that was now then
now this is now now now?

what the stereo heard

candle-memory I married
your shadow as it shrank away
between my fingers

driving home
i go out the window
smelling the trees
and your shadow got split up
by the trees

you put a story
in this room
you pulled a ribbon
through my eye-holes

above all the stereo
is for listening

at the beach
a flag flapped in the dark
the beach shaped
like an eyelash
a boat covered with
blue plastic
cold city
the loneliness of it all

poem on Mother's day

the mothers on the altar for a blessing
the blessing shoots out of our
right hands and
the mothers laugh my mother
among them and I
somehow cheering her on

she rides home with flowers
in her lap they are yellow

"he was laughing
and they were being silly"
she says
spying on the neighbors
making wild assumptions about
her obese friend or
the prom date in the
flapper dress
(how cold she must have been!)
Mom my
mother dreaming
up her next post-it note
dreaming about her
her worries have never been
evident i think
she loves this little house how it
hums like a machine when she's
inside it

May 2

lining up, the man with
party favors becomes
the life of the party it’s not
fun if you don’t

dragging something over the lawn
it was dark
ask her for her
I don’t know it was dark
what was it
dragged in the dew

they synced up their stereos
sped around the cul-de-sac

stuck in that spot on the lawn
the world gags on you
what’s dragged curls up on your feet
aw it
likes you

everyone receives the phone calls
they’ve been waiting for

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Harlow Barton

whistling through Thursday night
in a cigar shaped automobile
wind licking his hair, lips pulled
back over a neat set of teeth
grinding sticks of blue gum the wind
combs his hair past the
laundromat dishwasher microwave
joint blessed by streetlamps
extending their right hands
over his glowing head in
flickering baptism bullets under
the rainy bridge pavement unravels
beyond headlights just
where thought it would the
cigar-car eats hills eats tar
gravel bottle caps hardly stops to
eat a hamburger in the dim
diner don't even picture
the car stopping don't even picture
the passenger seat there is none
one little Buddha on the dashboard
one case of beer in the backseat
one furry hand on the steering wheel
another tapping time on hot red
flank of the scream
winking into the wind winding into a
dark green valley little cottages
with sleepy blue windows little
foxes leave a field in a line
and long headlights filter the
pocket from its dusk accuse
the air of its dark cigar-car
tongues black dips with
pools of black in their bottoms
and hoses the dregs poof into
a cloud of bats tornadoes among
sleepy cottages Barton splits
clawed night
the swooping nose of his chariot

Friday, May 1, 2009


horizon boils
over spills into the
big field a
sunlit farmer
folds himself into the corn
stalks and follows
earth's quiet curve
with palms cupped
for gather and posture
sculpted by smiling floorboards
a front porch
cradles a concentration of
brown nuts and ladybug husks
a dead fly or two

what spilled from the horizon
drips up the porch steps, drinks
milky orange shingles

the sunlit farmer picks his way
through the tall corn each step
revealing the glory of
that which is uninterrupted


big round
tips of synagogues
houses of who cares
when your hand melts on it
who really cares