Doll Dreaming 02

02. The Dress Is Dreaming

the dress is dreaming
it’s a girl
the girl is dreaming
she’s a gun
the gun is dreaming
it’s a wrecking ball

they all live
in the wrecking ball
hate people in houses
molehills foxholes boxes
and other temporary

the wrecking ball is
the only safe place to be
becomes more itself
with every gyre
makes everything empty
to make a place for itself

the gun is dreaming
it’s a gleaming span
of molten rivulets
a dress for a girl
who doesn’t know
silk from armor
can’t tell the difference
between a friend
and a doll
a man and a gun
or a house
and a wrecking ball

Doll Dreaming 01

01. The Doll Is Dreaming

the doll is dreaming
the girl is dead
the girl is dreaming
the doll’s alive

the doll wants a new dress
the dress wants real skin
the doll may skin the girl
but wearing skin is not the same
as being alive

the girl wants a new dress
the doll wants a new girl
the girl knows things
the doll doesn’t know
the doll thinks she knows
things no one can know

the doll wants things
no one can own

because the girl has
what the doll wants
the friends of the doll
surround the girl
with doll knives and doll nails
the girl’s friends
wear doll dresses
the dolls wear the faces
of the girl’s friends

the girl is dreaming
she is dead
the doll dreams
she’s alive

the girl dreams
her dress is in flames
the doll dreams
that she drowns

Things It Would Have Been Good to Know

how to pick a lock
how to hot-wire a car
how to charm a dragon
how to find a mate
the right one
how to ease pain
how to disrupt the transmissions
of evil empires
how to conjure
all manner of things
how to disappear
how to repair a roof
how to keep deer out of the garden
and gophers and aphids
how to dissipate the force of hurricanes,
earthquakes, tornadoes, landslides,
floods, and tsunamis
and heartbreak
how to fight
when to fight
how to undo harm
how to find home
how to steer a boat
how to be still
and patience
when to head for higher ground
how to see in the dark
how to steal
how to be sneaky
how to lie
how to breathe underwater
how to forgive
when to seek refuge
when to give up
how to find a way
how to get away
how to get past sorrow
how to hold on
when to hold on
when to leave
how to let go

Afterwards Is

oct 2013 trip 02 crop grain rsz

maybe a room with a window, blue, hazy
maybe night or almost morning,
outside that place where everything is
that’s not in here
maybe waking from a dream or almost
remembering something—that’s the feeling,
someone’s going, someone’s gone
or just feeling that cascade of wrong
that dying is
then the stillness
a train stopped at a station
where no one ever arrives
lost things and lost creatures,
lost to you, not that you’ve done it
not that you could have undone it
afterwards, everything just seems patched
and wrinkled, not much sense in
smoothing out or getting your pens in a line

Eddie Says

The first time I was nine years old, I guess,
and Rosie was just six. While our parents
slept it off again, we sat in the kitchen
where one of them had dumped a drawer
onto the table’s sticky oil cloth:
rusty jar lids, frayed lottery stubs,
several snag-toothed combs, rubber bands,
a pair of scissors, a key, a sheaf
of gnawed pencils, grimy Christmas ribbons,
old postcards, lighters, moldy spools of thread.
Whatever it meant was more than I could bear.
Funny, I forgot this till  you asked.

Rosie’s little hands paced the tabletop,
like cautious sentinels guarding the
incoherent landscape of our lives.
I thought of the untarnished moon.
I wanted to get her out of there.
I wanted her to get me out.
Something big and dark filled me up
until I disappeared.  Then
the astonished “O” of Rosie’s mouth,
her mirrored rage, dragged me back to earth.
I had cut off a lock of her hair, it seems.
We could not cry out.

I was not thinking of this later, many
years after we were separated, after
I was finally living alone when
I knew what I had to do to feel better
and bought the shears.  I thought I was
invisible, but I wouldn’t be here,
would I, if I really was.  I tell you, Continue reading

Mind-the-Blanks 1

. . . a story to play with–the story emerges from what the reader’s mind does with the blanks when the reader is reading. No rules–it’s playtime.

The Couple

Two people, time, places, words, police . . .

Even before they were seated at __________, they started __________. They __________ about __________, but they both knew that what they were really __________ about was __________.

As usual, __________ claimed that __________, was __________. Then __________ claimed that that claim was totally __________ because __________ had actually __________.

“Don’t start,” __________ said and added, as usual, “Why do you always __________.”

And __________, as usual, responded by pointing out that __________ was the one who always __________. (And __________ never could resist adding that __________ was also __________.)

As usual, they were getting __________, and people nearby were __________. But what did they care? As far as they were concerned, they were __________, and other people were just __________. They never thought of themselves separately or together as __________ which, of course, was part of the problem whenever they __________.

The year before __________ had been in __________ for __________. During that time, __________ had __________, and __________ had never forgiven __________ for __________. In fact, __________ thought that __________ could not be __________ enough for __________ and started __________ every time they __________.

“Don’t think you can go on __________,” __________ said almost daily.

And __________ usually responded by saying, “I wish I were still __________ so you would just __________ about this and let me __________.”

And then __________ usually, sometimes rather too __________, said, “__________   __________.”

And so they had reached a kind of __________ when __________ found out that __________ had __________. The thought of this was so __________ that __________ could not __________ and instead of __________ proceeded to __________ at every opportunity, and such opportunities abounded because __________ simply refused to __________.

At night, __________ often dreamed that __________ and awoke to discover that __________. Of course, __________ thought that __________ was responsible for __________. But what bothered __________ the most was __________ failure to __________ when the opportunity arose.

For months, early (too early) every morning, __________ sat in the __________ looking at __________ and thinking __________had really __________ things up this time.

And so it was that things got so __________ that __________ began to devise __________ plans to __________ with __________ even though, as any sensible person would know, __________ would never __________ and any attempt to __________ would only __________ the __________.

Later on (but probably not later enough), when __________ was being __________ by the police in a rather __________ manner, __________ would put on a __________ face and assert that __________ was in fact __________ and had been attempting to __________ the __________ when it __________. Of course, __________ didn’t believe that __________ had __________, but played along with __________ hoping for __________ that was never __________.

And never would be.

Sent Under

What’s been sent under crops up
in heavy rain—buried trash, lost things
reminders of our disaster
our passage into the interior
scarce provisions, melancholy
and the bad results thereof
the guides refused but we
in two canoes five hundred miles–
holy, magnetic, green.