Poetry Archives Bio
November 16, 2019
5:32 PM
coffin like an amator

when horus becomes hours
i fancy myself a locomotive
  five stomachs
  two hearts

while kurds hurl rocks
i sun you
             i rain you

in the afternoon
we refine our tastes
we forgive each other
  my backwash of warm soda
  your undulating peristalsis

                   you feed her
she likes that

      she'll whisper
      all the answers
in your teeth

                   i must admit
i do so love to spoil the rod
spare the child

November 8, 2019
1:20 PM
house of sin

when I was in high school
some classmates and I
built a gingerbread house

we didn't donate to enter
    the contest
at the lunchbreak
we burst into the classroom
    and took part

    the snap walls went up
the roof poking its
ey frame steeple
    here we placed
    caramel cornices
    licorice doorfames
    and chocolate eaves

as fast as we'd started
we finished
                 the contest won
    and I tasked
    with taking away our creation

as I sat in history
i pondered the windows
    and moving inside
the figures
                at the day's end
                it went into the trash

every decade or so
I close my eyes
    and look into the house we made
past the family photos
past the tapes and eight tracks
past the plastic marlin
past the pickled cabbage

    at first i wonder
which turns out
                       the incorrigible bachelor
                       which the family man
                       which the slacker
                       which the criminal
    which the rapist
                           the doctor
                           the murderer
                           the scoundrel

standing a head taller
than you
             in summer of nineteen
             eighty nine
    which face
    will continue to haunt
as you pass from photo to photo
wall to wall
    the defiant eyes
    you remember so well
                                    the disguise

my schoolmates and I
rarely talk anymore
    one of us becomes a teacher
    two turn to scientists
    another a dentist
and a lab technician

    in this
wood panelled room
it gets hard to remember
            who turns out how
            who becomes whom

October 13, 2019
1:42 PM
midwife crisis

fall is arrived

you tell me you're never heard
our house is strewn
with postindustrial artefacts
and animal fur

tonight  you wore the plain
black band watch
from your last longterm man
the thin ring he'd given you
emblazoned with BAD BITCH

behind you
blue koi jump against the stream
bounce off the water

at times like these
i remember what holden
has to say about pretending
to be a deafmute
with a deafmute girl
in a cabin all his own

(as far as i'm concerned
it's the best part
of that terrible waste of words

as far as you're concerned
i don't exist
in this discrete moment

on bad days
you rend unto me
an unanswerable catechism

    who taught you how to sweep
    who taught you how to drive
    who taught you how to live
    who taught you how to make the bed
    who taught you how to lie

on good days
when my mind isn't
polluted with fear

    we drink coffee
    we drive nowhere
    we buy produce
    we watch something  and get high
    (a ritual with effective victuals

when we lay us down to sleep
we note the marks of our past occupations
that lower our resale value
that cover our bodies
these dings and scratches
add only more character

              the world ends
            when something

October 10, 2019
4:59 PM
found poem X

To Lori Hamar

lay the succulent leaves
flat  on top of the dry
cacti mix
and place in bright
indirect light

in a few days
the cut edge
will callous over

lightly mist
the calloused cuttings
once a week

roots will soon emerge
as the leaf looks for water

October 9, 2019
8:56 PM

To Sophie Grace Shields

the moon is on my left
then on my right
then on my left again
dieu et mon droit

I ratchet up my spine
and think about your verse
austere  beautiful  desperate

each piece's sinewy limbs
the contradiction between
     a snap of an empty fridge
     a snap of a busy kitchen

i like to write poems for you
they don't start out like love poems
but it's all they can ever be
i want to remind you  you are

but you write near selfless poems
let out collective aches
remember the present correctly
they remind me i am

i don't understand much
and you never really explain
at most  i can bask in your awe
i can glimpse and glean

you use the same alephbet
but your ego's unframed
you would never blame on the drugs
confusing oblique and opaque

if you were a cop  i'd ask to see
your calibration certificate
if you were a cop  i'd ask whether you are aware
of the uncertainty of your device

i'd let you cross examine me for the full hour
trace a finger over my imperfections
the twisted swastikas inscribed
in the grout of the mind

i have written poetry for
twenty three years
for about three months

when i don't gently
edit your lines or pore
over your inexplicably
easy hand

               i dream
your sumatran blood python
in the bathtub  blood
on the church stairs  a shape
waiting for me in bed  in the dark

October 5, 2019
4:43 PM
ariadne on the sewing machine

the day the sun is out in full force
ariadne sits down at her sewing machine
at a long table

                     across from apollo
who sits at his typewriter
staring at a blank page

some days (when she's bored
ariadne takes a shift or two
from atropos
                   but not today

today she sews a twisted labyrinth
for the minds of men
its walls richly decorated
                                    rosemary and pansies
                                    fennel and columbine

sure enough
the stonemasons among her visitors
might ask

              1. are walls not built
                  but sewn
              2. must one use bricks and mortar
                  not thread

       but ariadne has her task
      (ради всего святого

she makes the passageways needle thin
uterine in their design

     she makes the twists and turns fast
     to ensure her guests' memories last

           she dances and waves
           and leaves a skein in the very middle

                then wends her way back to the entrance
               (funny how often the word's mispronounced

     ariadne pays minnie tower
     two hundred and fifty five dollars
     that she'll tuck away in her adidas sweatpants

with time
ariadne knows

minnie will soon forget her threaded brows
her afternoon cigarette breaks and complaints
about the kids

                    given sufficient time and wine
                    she'll become

                    the monster of this brilliant maze
                    that ariadne wants
                    and needs

raising her eyes from her work
ariadne watches apollo feed a new sheet
to his typing machine

next (when it's safe
she takes out her phone
and texts curlyhair'd theseus

October 2, 2019
9:45 AM

To Sophie Grace Shields

a window is a picture
many windows imply many pictures
but pictures don't multiply
like windows multiply

the house painted black
three houses down from your mother's house
has a large window
it is an ugly picture

pretending to be beautiful
inside the house painted black
hang frames without pictures
we shall pay them no mind

william carlos williams wrote about frames that are windows
or windows that are frames
eyeglasses that (though they themselves don't see
admit vision and light
focus attention and command thought

i have seen a beautiful window
for days and days i have seen it
but i did not see it at all
admitting vision and light
i was blind to it

but today i saw it
the most beautiful window
a window out of which to gaze
a window that frames
locomotion and still life alike

i've seen some good windows in my day
car windows (as a child
on whose moist flesh we inscribed our destinies
the blind loupes of the ferry that magnify and distort
or the windows of our house  beautiful and manifold

but this was a different window
a window of the body and a window of the soul
they say that eyes are the windows of the soul
are windows then the souls of eyes
and is the soul a glance thrown through a window

what does this window show

a street with a neat row of houses
one two three four trees
a black truck frozen in frame
a red fire hydrant (so much depends upon
one two three bicycle racks
and one two bicycles
a sidewalk  a pavement  a road
a grey car turning
the back of an OPEN sign
a thin tree glimpsing two women laughing

what does this window not show

the dirt under the red awning
the beer can there thrown and forgotten
small white string lights
the wooden panelling that frames the window
itself framed
my love for you
my schrödinger's lover
who can walk right into this scene
this very moment
or who cannot

every poem I write is dedicated to you
even if it bears no dedication
every window i pass holds an image of you
every frame frames you
and your disdain of constraint

we shall unfreeze now the window
the woman will put on
her bicycle helmet
the black truck will pass the lights
the grey car will turn

the four green trees will gently sway
to and fro with much mystery
I will collect my coffee
and hurry through a green glade
back to the house

you will send messages
about things i have managed
to annoy you with today
i will write you a love poem
thinking of frames and windows and pictures

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