Poetry Archives Bio
August 13, 2018
6:33 AM
after frost

Whose woods these are I know too well.
Her house is in the forest dell;
She will not watch me strain, deranged,
To make her woods fill up with swell.

Her little dog must think it strange
To see us thusly here arranged
Between the sheets and blankets, tranced,
The longest morning sits unchanged.

She makes a little song and dance
To ask for food by any chance.
The only other sound's the bake
Of bagels in the stove, askance.

Her bed is narrow, soft an ache,
But I have promises to break,
And hours to go before I wake,
And hours to go before I wake.

June 29, 2018
1:21 PM

I fit into you
like a bulb into a socket

a flower bulb
an eye socket

June 26, 2018
3:56 PM
if you read this  mother

if you read this  mother
i want to show you my
wishlist spreadsheets

if you read this  mother
i want to whisper sour nothings
to you

        each word an electron cloud
        each word a horizontal scar
       (perhaps a star

if you read this  mother
you know my strife  how to my lover
I must shout "come! foreignize my life

        how gently she doth move the carriage
        how gingerly she feeds the shaft
        the lead screw and the compound rest

     my love is working on a train of thought
     my love is stripping now
     her mettle for my metal

and for my final test
 I see
        I conquer and I come

the bed that holds it all
the tool comes into play
the turning handle

                and peninsulas of flesh
                with penances beneath
                o mother

the things i want to do to her
with my remaining teeth
      halt! hold!

      das Urlicht kommt
      and what was broken once
      is nearly done

o if you read this mother
you'll remember the first thing
that i had learned upon the violin

        was how to hold it
        with my chin  like this
              begins all circumstance

with holding  on my walk i see
a cormorant  a crow
two old men linking hands

my pain is seaweed green
it is obscene  and yet
it is all mine

         and even here endure
         so infinitely barbed
         the endless hang tens of a wire

at all cost  arrival is a rival
how many times a day can die a man?
o mother  twenty? ten?

                           out from the garden
                           i can see the greenhouse
                           what's inside?

the startled beast
the mangled corpse
the broken sword

         the tilted ghost  on foot due east
         and memories of which
         i have no recollection

   oh and dreams
   o mother  if you read this
   my suffering is nearly done

         (still there but dulled
          what kind of plant is that?
          what kind of bird?

                  you know this
                  that the best of pleasures are
                  hard earned

            like wood
            like birth
            the opening of unforgiving earth

    her immolation on the spit of man
    a fist fit for a queen
    a joinery of flesh

       the breast is blessed
       the rear guard corrects the music
       with a pencil

 o mother  ruhig sein
 there is no place for fear here
 no one watches the unforgiving sun

      it sleeps in fits and snatches
      as do I  while children singe the stencil
      i like you better in white light

but her i do prefer in blue
where cushions hang like corpses
fabrics' weft and weave

           they guide my eye and hand
           i miss the shape of her
           o mother  do you understand?

   step one  you nestle seasoned fish
   into the sauce  step two  you make
   a note of what to do as last resort

 step three  declare jihad upon
 the pitcher  does every broad a door
 a nazi? hah! I've seen a woman in a kitchen

           the ghost of christmas past
           is nestled in a cask  and in the end
           all children would be bastards

      o mother
      you have lost
      if you must ask

June 21, 2018
12:41 PM
Her Hands

To Sophie Grace Shields

Their strength surprises me,
Their pliancy, it pleases.

It stupefies to know
Where they have been, these hands,

These fingers. In their creases
I see the deftness of her passion,

The squeezes, touches, the caresses,
The pushes and the pulls, the presses.

Within these blackened fingertips,
I see the markings of her art,

I know the stamp of her compassion,
Indelible, and yet deformed, defaced,

The whorls erased, the cuts, the burns,
The scars—both new and old—

For my soft digits are quite apt
At spinning words, but hers

At gold.

June 11, 2018
1:40 AM
sixteen ninetyfive

To Sophie Grace Shields

happy people are all alike
every unhappy person is unhappy in her own way

almost as if to make the point
kate spade and anthony bourdain
hang from their snarls like the last leaves of fall

but you  my small big furry faun
come  stay with me

there are so many rooms  so little space here
in this house  and soon each place with plastic straws
will come to break the camels' backs

why must each word be a frustrated repetition
an empty ring recurring with its entry point effaced?

you'd like a resolution to the dawn?  go on
and pull that party parachute  according to tradition
in unison we'll state  "like this I die!

shall i compare thee to a summer's day?
shall i compare thee to an apple pie?

i love you  and your hair it smells like memories
your breasts like challah sanctified
your eyes when you have woken up yet still at rest

your small dog's sour moist thanks
your short but deep and strong iambic breath

you simply make me to forget
my back (fast fractured in tercets of pain
fur on the pillow where my head was  and again

your body opens wide to me just like the country
your nethers are a soup upon my tongue

imbrued a touch  interminably sour and sweet
a bag of brass pipes of all size unmatched
sits calmly by your sleeping feet

and undergarments hang from antlers
like so much prey

the light falls heavy through the tilted slats
and while I sleep i dream  one day I'd like to meet
that forest jesus  he'd take me by the hand

your panties in my pocket as we walk
discussing politics or latest podcasts on the cbc

but no  just as my father drives me home
I hear the stereo insist in leonard cohen's voice
that jesus was a sailor  so of course

he'd have not much to do within that orchard
for it's the kind of place where you can't tell it slant

the facts then  you need me as much as I need you
and no one else  all water freezes but sometimes it flows
most poems that we call complete are finished  tortured

the price of oneway ferry ticket to your house
is sixteen dollars ninetyfive  how strange
I haven't counted every syllable inside this poem

June 6, 2018
12:00 PM
real time torque and drag analysis during directional drilling

people who express their love
with deprecation  can go fuck themselves

this particular rabbit of thought
has only one way to go

the first blueprint I've ever drawn
my father tells me  was that of a siren

(that was the assignment
i'd give you some excerpts

culled from our thoughts
but would you understand them

or instead  would you pull patterns
from the woodgrain to remind me

1. you've never uttered the phrase we had sex
2. I've rarely said a thing that made sense

i am insane  you are beautiful

and now  four white guys with a backhoe
do the gravediggers' dance

while the professionals in the
front pews intone professionally


elsewhere  i watch two mute men
sign to each other  to their faces

touching fingers  all the while a short
white girl in her black raincoat stops

just to observe a long wet rainworm
on the ground  i have a breakthrough

in a room too cold  remembering
you telling me  when you finally break

you'll be better than new
they'll repair you with gold

May 28, 2018
12:59 PM
My day is dissolute, absurd...

This is my translation of Мой день беспутен и нелеп by Марина Цветаева [Marina Tsvetaeva].

To Sophie Grace Shields

My day is dissolute, absurd:
For bread I beg the beggar bird,
With coins I fund the rich man's wellness.
Into a needle I thread light,
With keys the robber I delight,
With whitewash I now rouge my paleness.
The beggar does not grease my palm,
The rich man does not take my alms,
Light does not thread into the needle.
Without a key the robber flies,
The fool is crying out her eyes –
The day devoid of glory, meaning.

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