The Couple

Two people, time, places, police . . .

Even before _________ and _________ were seated at _________, they started _________. The ________ focused on _________, but they both knew the real issue was _________. _________ claimed that _________, a claim that _________ considered to be totally _________ because _________ had actually _________. “Why do you always _________,” __________ said. And _________ replied by pointing out that _________ was the one who always _________. _________ could never resist adding that _________ was a _________.

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 punished enough for _________ and started _________ every time they _________. “Don’t think you can go on _________ me,” _________ said almost daily. “I wish I were still _________ so you would just _________ about this and let me _________.” “Fat chance,” _________ would always say.

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 _________, and was in fact haunted by _________ own failure to _________ when the chance arose.

Early, too early, in the morning, _________ sat in the _________ looking out at the vast _________ and thinking ________ had really _________ things up this time. And so it was that things got out of _________ so much that _________ began to devise _________ plans to ________ with _________ even though, as everybody knows, _________ would never be _________, and any attempt to _________ would only _________ the _________.

Later on, but 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 the _________ hoping for a _________ that was never _________. And never would be.


How do I know where you go when you do not
arrive? Where you are my dark cave or in that
pocket where you dream, can I make a freedom?
Can I escape detection the other side
of this wall I’ve secured for you? See how the
hostage sleeps, never to dream of letting go
this tether though the door’s unlocked all night.



The place where

The place where you sat in the sun is still
sunny. The yard still bristles with chimes
in strong wind. My bad eye still lives
in a world with two moons. Our room is still
a mess. And the malaise is still here. And
I still expect to see you in every
waking moment and every dream. And
everything’s exactly as you left it
but you’re gone.


The letdown you feel when you discover
the character was only dreaming or
only deranged or only dead, the whole
scintillating phantasmagoria
collapsed–arbors, ships, and telegraphs
your mind with its delicate hammer nails
recognition at last of someone once
vaguely known or a terror circumscribed,
scribbled instructions to unearth and then
unwind the spaceship idling in a secret
tunnel with its hooded eyes, and yes, yes,
sympathy for the monkey now you know
only paint held everything together.

Traveler, Dream

One hears the cipher in what the other says,
this impossibility, frail but bristling,
so unlike an afterthought, the gates already
down, always happening and always over,
the you that patrols fences and quibbles

over boundaries, the trouble we have
seeing others as ourselves in our poor
translation. We crawl out amazed things
look the same after all that work and the din
of endearments. But we’d persist despite

the sink holes we fly over in our dreams
as if we really know the things we dissect—
deserts, crows strutting the road or shuddering up
from empty trees, plank roads, mud. It did in fact
always end the same way—as if mortality

were not secure but could be contracted,
factories of replication churning
and then the way you have to concentrate
to see living getting done until there’s no
need to imagine one could have proceeded

otherwise. Love, then, so like the wind—known
only by its effects, clothes flapping on the line,
trees’ shivering sway, nature’s own light shifting
like a strobe, the heart like an animal loosed
from long captivity. Our gaze a mask, our

little armor for a stroll, a casual
but precise repast. Looking back, lies still look
true so sturdy was the moment of belief—
that little space in which things seem what they are,
the other not your fellow but your cage,

an abiding inside, the seamless folly
of your captured state, your dreams unlocking
every door, the time to settle far past.
Nonetheless, one walks out, one cannot regret
what arrives already done, the invisible

thing you loved, panic coming on like flashing
particles suspended in the medium
you’re made of, the past no longer a place
to visit, no one ever really there. When there’s
nothing left in you but thirst or hunger, someone

comes out to chase you away. So much for
knowing the disaster comes, or how deception
unravels the future too—but one still hopes,
there is no blame, no use bemoaning the
mundane mojo of wanting to live,
knowing that you’ll go on foot from here.


Dream On

living lights 2 pub dom rev

You dream you sleep inside a drum, all echo
and vibration, inside the dream you dream
of other rooms like countries you’ve not been to
where you arrive in dark mist or in sunshine with
dark mist inside it, where money’s the color
of bright jewels, where you realize you
brought the wrong shoes, where in a mirror in
the dream hotel you see not you but
a shadow self, the one who packed those shoes,
the one who–on the basis of imaginary
information–imagined you’d be dancing.



Doll Dreaming 03

03. The Girl Is Dreaming

the girl is dreaming
she’s a dress
the dress is dreaming
she’s a girl
the dream wants
what the dress wants

the doll wants everything

if the girl doesn’t know
what she wants
the doll gets everything

the doll looks too small
to be unfriendly
the girl is polite
so the girl goes in
when the doll says
in a girly double voice
come into this place
it’s really lots larger
than it looks
from outside

the girl is dreaming
she’s a little pussy cat
her dress dreams
she’s a dragon
but can’t find
the leather
to make it so

and no dress
can protect
a girl from a doll


If you don’t know me, I’m a river
of light, your spookily attractive
blind date, the man of all moments,
the mother of all mysteries,
the dog that won’t run on command,
the tardy dinner guest and yes
the thief with all your codes.

Imagine me in your dark corridor,
moving at my lonely cruising speed–
you don’t need me to tell you
something missing follows,
something else.

I am the something that loves
the part of you not merely you
so unlike the little midday god
that busy bee enforcing all the
small taboos, just waiting for you
to break a rule no one knows about
to fling the gates open to shut you out
somewhere where to our surprise
being is a blessing by default,
not the outlaw of the sensible world.

I whiz by so supernaturally fast
you’ll always look for me only where
I’ve recently been, the tiny loose nut
that’s screwed up the beam.
If you want a collision,
I want to escape.

By the time you arrive,
I’ve already paid the bill–
there I am riding away in the rain
in my celestial cab.