Where It Is

Early on the dog seemed more like home—no animal ever had black spinning things behind a face, that relentless hum in every room of things that weren’t words that everyone’s mind was always shouting, things I never could unhear. Even now in every grinding place without an exit, I play here-there with things I’ve turned to empty objects in my mind. Down every hallway some dark engine rushed toward me or behind me, every house was a cabinet with a mirrored front. Always alone in days or evenings that didn’t begin and didn’t end until the mind just packed off to the side, but by then I’d already seen too much of everything.

After a while, you didn’t have to keep moving all the time, you were already unrecognizable in how you managed it, a border with a life on one side open to any vantage point, on the other side the one that always smelled of paint and turpentine. The one saving discovery: that you could show invisible things with a pencil or brush on paper, paper that you could go into like a house no one could see. Later on, every time I stretched a canvas, I was building a house behind it, a place I could breathe in behind the scrim of everything else.

There was just entirely too much seeing, seeing that would not stop, one Continue reading

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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

The latest late aftermath

The sun always sounding close in your ear

such small consolations as appear in error

or misaddressed to a you no longer a you

you can recollect.

Still, wonder is fresh and often abrupt

as terror—the poison of open places

your open heart.

The nagging of old injury wearing

like outrage considered from afar.

You cannot remember their names

staring at their scuffed shoes unexpected

such disdain, such casual cruelty.

There was not an hour without it

or the echo of the way it frayed and

stumped deciphering, how you were suddenly

not one of them, how they made you

a refugee no matter where you were.

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.

Last Mission

Of our last mission we recall
No details–where we were, what we did,
Our goal obscure, our resolve dissolved,
And all horizon disappeared.
Whatever we of late slogged through, we
Have arrived to find the republic
On the cusp of ruin, the emperor
Spewing lies and nonsense, his coiffure
Askew in the great wind of his
Ignorance, urged on by advisors
Eager to corrupt the state and to
Impair the common good for gain.