Beside Inside

Always there is that one beside you
no matter the gray evening with its
piercing stars or the silent road, an
invitation to abide or go,
it is what’s made for you that’s not you,
the thing past you in looking glasses,
unseen quests and all unspoken poems,
parent of the street’s cacophony
the mess of executed thought, one
with your inside face, mysterious
to you still as collapsing stars or
water bears or even the water
that washes you or fills your cup, as
promising as all forgotten things.

different mutant subunits

different mutant subunits
there’s just no percentage in it
the dead us texts us: look out
look out look out look out
the spectral tapping of the
underside strains the circuit
what bears down holds up
the miasma chattering
again reminds us of the
last shoreline its beautiful
washout, its very final sand

Funerary

Somewhere low the traveler in his hat
asks directions, higher up, death on her horse
with her wings and compass, paid mourners
on the upper level in their muu-muus
and brogues, smoke and chat on their break,
real mourners lounge off to the side, drinking,
telling jokes, ladies in the dressing room
with their mystical pets and cosmetics,
your effigy enthroned and looking like
some anyone not you–later on the other side
such weeping the wine can’t assuage now
the procession’s done, guests heading home,
treading on blossoms, their feet trailing ash.

Our Lava Flow

Our lava flow—red cheap
horror movie blood, intersection
pale gray sea, steam & all sorts of
roiling, steely foreground
outcropping & floating there above,
a sienna demon or angel, so
alike in their unexpected
appearance and erasure, so solid
mid-air, held there by the gimmicky
strings 
of the mind with its claptrap
room of 
miracles & ghostly
rigging & its 
stately passersby,
strings of code 
for hair & the rough
gloves of beasts hunted to
extinction, like us these 
hundred
years or so of truly last goodbye.

The Center Is Only

The center is only fabulous:
say (or even think) lover, ring
and the iron filings in your brain
flock to the groove that goes
on and on without you.

Try abutilon, prion, quark and
the packet handed round
that no one penetrates
becomes a dressy carapace
patrolling places you fled
long ago, carrying away
the things you tried to
protect from words.

And you did. In that
heart-shaped box
you left behind:
a fifty drachma coin, a tiny
gold and silver knife, a lock
of bright hair, a skeleton
key, a button made
of bone.

Close Enough

The nudibranch family two blocks away
answers a mighty summons from the past,
desire for love like a roof overhead, light like

light from stars long dead, like the afterlife
of your feelings now you know. There is
no god of creatures, only rocks and rain,

no thought of you in any mind, just static
and a random cat escaped from physics,
rolling in sunshine, close enough to joy.

Private Drive

Private drive with its dense camellias,
a doorway of golden light that’s always
just a ways on. Dusk, across wet grass to
memory’s dilapidated house,
its rummaging ghosts. And beyond, the
tethered ship, its scintillating rudder
and low rumble. The pilot sings. Suit up.
Distant sirens, somebody down, but you,
you’re off, the city plummets to nothing,
you’re deep inside a sky full of stars.

 

 

 

 

Salvage

the wild man, the recluse, the rustic
edgeling, hermit, housebound, hidebound
when magic is so somewhere not here
even when here is not a muddled blunder
like low clouds distant mountains
or the hole in the series where
the lock was, where I was, and all
the other places you never look
the heart a little animal
running and running on the flat when
the next thermonuclear hijack
makes everything an over thing
the loners’ club, how it happens
no place in our underfoot is not
towered down creatures before us
abandoned places, all their giving up
how we survive such vast undoing

 

we are running

we are running
our sky is the bottom
of a boat

approaching the wall
we pull out
our puny weaponry
disclose ourselves

bomb-light
startled trees

see our feet please
we’ll not show
what we see
just a simulacrum
of running
a simulacrum
of seeing
as if you’d fear
the village behind us
blossoming

hello
darling

we have a hacienda
in us invitations
cannot penetrate
a border spiked
our various heads
souvenirs
after images
of our afterlife
a sky-wide moat
as if someone
would

we had ankles once
jewelry, guns
berries
fetch was a word
with a water bucket
all we ever said
was O

we have
chemicals

cropped
and furrowed
into two
now we know
when you don’t
where you go

just look at
all this
room

the things
your hominids
have done
a ruse for hands
or thimbles
the deviant ladder
of our smile
your lesser loves
food one mustn’t eat
so it can’t
be gone

your machines have
memorized you

run

Thick

eisberg 3 mod ward

Thick is how not doing feels, but
paralysis is a tremor at a gate
that turns into a steep incline or cliff
or vast and empty waste. Whatever
it is, it’s the place before place, it’s
where you belong where belonging
has no meaning. It’s where nothing can be
got, where the illusion of having
runs out, where there’s no Virgil
to explain things you can’t see.
It’s the country of all corners though
where two meet there is no one,
there is no face to face. It’s where
the wall you had to lean against—
the one you slid inside to slide
along the edge– is gone.

Lull

sky lull crp 1 grn mod cmpr

How unhappy they were, all those men,
waiting for a stiff wind, maybe later
some marauding, meanwhile not bothering
to stay on the big guy’s good side,
having killed enough not to care too much
about dying.

Boats creeping along, no one resisting
hopes to simply wash ashore, their minds
drifting further out, each wondering
what he did to displease the gods—then
wondering who the someone else was who
displeased the gods.

Then there is of course the king,
carrying always about himself
the prison of their previous gratitude,
the punishment of brooding looks,
such danger in looking a bit too much
like a mere man.

It was in no one’s nature to be good
becalmed–old passions inspired fresh
affliction. Then they prayed to any god
who loved the things they knew: sand and stunted
shoreline trees, and war. All the rest is
speculation.