Poetry Archives Bio
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

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.

May 25, 2018
5:37 AM
внештатная жена

This is my translation of "part-time wife."

в собирающейся тьме
застелила ты постель ненасытности

ночь — оргазм на колёсах
в гирляндах грязи и пионов

она вытащит зубы
сплющит кости твои

художник с той встречи
он меряет время своё

фасциями речи
и улетает в долины

мужчины — глина
женщины должны осветить и сжечься

на посуде языки павлинов
(малкольм икс — гей

апогей страха у ворот
вечно запоздалый паром

к велосипедной карусели
к херр кубику мягкому врубик хладной плоти

арматура натянута
подниз нижней надстройки

покрывало рвано и смято
в гневе  есть марафон

прибывает в город   есть
со страницы сирена в рёве

April 22, 2018
3:03 AM
Island Poems: The Completist

To Sophie Grace Shields

The men in this town wear an awful lot of denim.
Many have coats and jackets like hunting camouflage.
A man has a tattoo of a girl with pink and round breasts.
He seems the kind of man to turn off the music and
Listen to rumbling engines for a greater truth.

The ferry is laden. It looks as if it might sink.
A priest in a black frock moves to a lower deck,
Averts catastrophe. The diver in the oven mitts
Hangs from the ceiling, and the punk kids in the row in front,
They talk of nothing but witchcraft and power stones.

The people on this boat are all quite good and trusting folk.
The windows on each side, they act like magnifying glass.
Two women kiss and take a photo on the deck.
The whitehaired elders eat their breakfasts with much relish.
The rain gets old—oh, sure—but not the ocean, never.

It is a lovely day. The street is full of birdsong and
The air is filtered through with aromatic smoke. The rain
Taps gentle feet upon the slanted roof. The light,
It falls in place into the smallish room. I'm shrugging
Off my lust, assembling a menagerie of you.

The bedframe rises from the ground on stalky feet,
The spreadsheet notwithstanding, as the trader tells his friend,
"If you don't buy it now, you will have cold feet forever."
The classically schooled mortician taps his baton,
And we're off to the races (but do not hold your breath).

In Kilroy's serif'd eyes, all history's erasèd.
His mind is mush, it makes no sense—not any more than time,
Or chicken feet and cattle bones delivered to the house,
Or all the trees whom S&Ms in lights the woman
Whose profession is to bring in discount frankincense.

The Japanese seismograph does not move an iota.
It has no calibration to detect half-whispered talk
In the darkness, or the talk and footsteps from above,
Or how not to give a fuck (a lesson badly learned).

Oh, but it is, when on the day that a small sparrow burred
Into a speeding Ford and ricocheted off—puddle, dead—
I have a nightmare: I receive death threats at work from
A woman spurned by me—here is, again, an offering,
Torn to shreds (perhaps for food), only a foot re—

enter the archives »