Net

hokusai boats tago bay fuji cropped

Places on the shore to go
flat out in the sun, the beach—
are those trees or people
traps or tents?
The gauntlet that a village is—
all talk and not knowing.
Beneath the sand—a net
for the unsuspecting.
There at the edge of the forest:
a place to go into to hide.

____________________________
Hokusai, Tago Bay http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections?ft=hokusai+tago+bay

Already

The airlock wouldn’t open or it wouldn’t
close. We were in it or we were not. We were
dead or alive when you lifted the lid. We
then foraged, we delayed, return so
desirable it was a weight we shunned.
Tinderbox, bracelet, armoire. So much
forgetting that afternoon, the swing, the small birds,
smoke from the trash barrel, my writing. Now where
do you go when you know I know, when
everything is already enough too much.

 

 

 

 

something like

something like
our former grace
our former spin our
former face
latterly a beggar’s bag
our sky a boat our
heart a rag
our politics our
droning head
granny in
the iron bed
all our little bombs
and toast
lost library
receding coast
things that just happen
things that don’t
things done despite
the things we won’t
our spouse
our spawn our
racked life
our desert lawn
things we lock down
things filled up
what we abandon
with our luck
our jail mail our
punishing debt
our shaking house
and our lost pets
our love, our lot
our let

Never Know

You never know how in the dark you are
Until the dark is in your eyes and in your bones
Until the only home you own’s the home you had
Until the good things that you love are bad.

You never know how far the dark is in
Till where you are is where you’ve always been
And where you’ve been is what you’ve never known
All the standard flaws and giving up.

You never really know how deep the cup
How tight the wire, how fit the glove
A gauge is just a thing for hanging on
Your measure when it’s here you’re gone.

You never really know how far you’ll go
Until there is a line that you won’t toe
Where you find the demon’s not your friend
You’ll never be the self you were again.

 

 

 

 

Clouds So Like

In the rubble of the future we long
for our past, desire comes over you like
a voice in the trees, our green disaster
away from the interior, our hope to find
along the estuary some device
to break the tight frame within which
earlier in those louche apartments where
we never were, all the stars we could see
and the sound of a million little wheels
and that mournful call outside, machine
or animal, we couldn’t tell, or so far
underwater, what fragile purchase sand
sound occluded, seeing and being seen,
the water sonorous and morphing like
something from another planet but then
clouds so like icebergs, the crew took affright.

 

 

 

 

 

In the House

As the entity in their house grows bolder,
the thing between them settles in—knocking
in the walls gets louder, appliances
begin to misbehave. He says it’s all
imagination
as plates fly past his head.
What d’you call that? she wonders. What? he says.
At night utensils bang round in their drawers,
the hallway closet creaks and moans, and sleepless
in the small hours of the morning, he finds
the kitchen table standing on the chairs.
She has given up on conversation
when he starts to catalog each crazy thing—
it’s all she says in your imagination,
the light’s the moon’s, that sound’s a distant train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This space, this

This space, this emptiness between
what you thought you knew and what you
cannot know–terror, a precipice,
but also comfort like a skin,
a small vast place to rest in,
not to knit up or bind, but untie,
unravel things spun out, to stand
on this spinning earth, a still thing
past threat passes, only now.

 

 

 

Tree, woods, cave, wheel

The jump tree to tree
or the rupture there where you
were, here where you are.

Backwater, deep woods–
something human crops up in
the sift, bronze or bone.

In the cave things feel
larger than they are, every
dark thing but exit.

This little wheel we
drive drives us while all the while
wonder awaits us.

 

 

 

Where the pen went

Where the pen went,
the mind had flown
where the mind flew
it paced the air, waiting
for a clear runway,
running out of fuel
above the spinning
earth atilt, askew,
a manuscript of crossings
and erasures to the west,
below, the glassy eyes
of lakes and rivulets
the mirrored sun
flashing up, flashing
into that mind that was
all engine roar and
perturbation, knocks
and sudden drops
and sudden altitude.

Paddycake

met terra cotta woman mirror crop 1 mod

paddycake paddycake
make us a man
make him run
fast as he can
send him to the city
send him to the town
give him a hand can
knock walls down
set him in a sliver
set him in a comb
send him to the country
send him out to roam
make him amuse us
make him fight our wars
give him a shadow
give him claws
adam cadmon
earth and sand
paddycake paddycake
make us a man
give him a word
no one can hear
give him a prayer
no one can say
send him to the airport
put him in the ground
make him tell us
where he’s found
send him with the spirits
send him with the waves
give him the keys
to every rock and cave
put him in a tumbler
put him in a boat
give him a beard
like a billy goat
give him all our kisses
give him all our clothes
let him know things
nobody knows
make him fearsome
make him wise
give him sticks and
stars for eyes
make him bad and
make him good
an army of banners
a tower of wood

________________________
image: Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/248689