Lines

cave painting horses BW light
a mark, a line, a here, a there
here and not there, there but not here
other lines–shaman’s lines–
for the unseen elsewhere
the neither here nor there
lines for things that move
through time and space–
food that must be chased and
other animals to do the chasing on
red lines for women and men and
our hands or visitors from other tribes
with impressive headgear
things we ran to or ran from
multiplied to put them inside time
lines for things remembered while we
waited for better weather
lines to call things to us, to worship
to cast spells, lines to hinge hopes on
to plan for crops or battles
lines we drew to plant a future in a past
dirt with gold in it or deep bruise blue
horses limned so precisely in motion
they’d break your heart to ride

image: http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/september-2011/article/prehistoric-cave-paintings-of-horses-were-spot-on-say-scientists

County Line

Like mist the county
rises, or maybe more like
the undulations
heat makes in time.

At a bend in
county line road,
in the shade of a mimosa:
policemen. One lounging
on an idling hood,
another tossing pebbles
at an innocent tire.

Anything come up out
that swamp they say
gonna pass through here.
The future is happening.
We got time.


Cut

bloodletting luttrell psalter crop strtch

between walk and fall
the little skin wants
a cut that can’t be crossed
a between wide enough
to breathe in even if
there’s not much living
on the other side
just more red edge
and less convincing
resurrections
hurt seeping back into
every place you cut
to let it out

_________________________
image: detail, Lutrell Psalter, British Library http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_42130_fse007r

Doll Dreaming 12

12. In the Doll’s House

the guy is bored
he’s slow
and alone
can’t move in that
shiny sharp
hardware
he wanted so much
and where’s
the damn doll

the doll has been busy
refurbishing the racks
reforging chains
sharpening anything
with an edge

and spooling out
extravagant wordage
about her busy
whereabouts
about how busy
her busy self is
where she’s busy
being busy now
where she’ll be
being busy next

the doll is not
into information
her creatures know
her notifications
are threats

she moved the girl
into a supply closet
a few days back
there the girl now
searches in the dark
through dirty rags
and dusty stuff
no longer
whatever it is

no key
but a dress
and a gun
things
without agency
she thinks
her only hope

the dress fits better
than the sack
but the gun
might as well be
a safety pin
and no
she doesn’t know
about the demon
yet

the demon is asleep
in the green room
dreaming the girl
isn’t there

the house dreams
it’s a peony
its walls frilling
in the air

…………………………………………..

Doll Dreaming 11

11. Door Dreams

the door is dreaming
it has no side
what goes in goes out
or rather there is
no way out
the doll’s confabulations
are the only real thing

trying to escape
one enters distances
where familiar things
limn one’s demise
a chair becomes a whole
country of torturers
a kitchen knife a
killer’s blade a sink
a place for drowning
a place to sleep
a smothering bed

many ways
to the same end
still the doll would
rather wrecks
invasions
conflagrations
quagmires
of distinct proportions
like texting mobs of
easily pissed off men
to make people
stay
where
she
puts
them
so inch by inch
they are nothing
and she is
everything

the demon is dreaming
not of capture
but of things set free
novel concept for
a sworn snare
he even weeps to know
what waits when the door
shakes from its hinges
a battered gate
an endless chain

to long for freedom
then to fear it
containment
being everything

…………………………………………..

…………………………………………..

Doll Dreaming 10

10. The Room Is Dreaming

the room is dreaming
outside itself
it cannot contain
or rescind
locked inside too long
there’s no more outside
no matter
how much room
the room has or
what room you’re in

the doll can make you
think the room is everything
can make it so tight
even the body has
no space left inside
can make it so large
that being dissipates
nothing in here
nothing out there

but something
always escapes
her needling
her hacks
turn on her
in her dreams

the doll demands
impossible recompense
from creatures who have
never done her harm
demands the last
rib bone and pin
she gets on
like a ratcheted clamp
to get her off
you have to
lose some skin

the doll is dreaming
she is looking out
but her mask is always
looking in
sizing her up
cutting her
down to size
no room large
or small enough
in the end

…………………………………………..

…………………………………………..

Doll Dreaming 09

09. Doll Parts

the doll’s favorite part
is when you think you’ll get away
she knows you won’t
you know you will
there’s nothing else
to know

the doll rules
the doll’s house
but the doll knows
only what she’s made
marble, rubble
dreamer, doll
the doll herself
a dangerous thing

you are dreaming
you are the girl
the girl is dreaming
dreaming, dreaming
the demon is away
a threaded needle
an unexpected blade

the doll is standing
out in the rain

who is standing
behind the doll

…………………………………………..

Doll Dreaming 08

08. The Demon Is Dreaming

the demon is dreaming
the roof’s off the house
he’s up in the sky looking down
the house is breathing
floors rise and fall
walls shudder doors fly shut
the audience gasps
it’s alive

the doll’s dolls are milling about
in ragged clusters
waiting for the faces
that will please the doll today
the guy is wrapped in barbed wire
lots of loud asking
if the wire can be electrified
or even just heated up in
some skin-searing way

the doll
smug malice
nailing her puppet
to a rickety balustrade
idly wondering
burn now or burn later
with the girl

busy busy been recruiting
friends of the girl to assist
in the girl’s undoing
just thinking about it makes
her hinges buzz and vibrate
she’s hungry for the girl’s face
when the girl knows
people she thought she knew
are not there to help
but to watch
and take turns

the girl’s been in the green room
the past three weeks years lifetimes
when she sleeps the demon
watches over her
what is he thinking

the doll thinks she’s trapped the demon
thinks he’s on ice for leisurely
amusement later on
but his big sleek self
is ranging all over the place
seeking even minor opportunities
to mess with the knock-knock
mind of the doll
the self-made queen
of this backwater fiefdom
where he’s been posted
for five centuries
apparently forgotten
when pieces of hell
were outsourced
to industrious amateurs
like the doll

the doll’s in a writhing dream
what a thrill
nobody is the boss of the doll

the demon is dreaming
the girl will be the only creature
ever in the universe
glad to see him

how shocking
he’s feeling
something he imagines
must be tenderness
may be love

…………………………………………..
09 Doll Parts

…………………………………………..
01 The Doll Is Dreaming …..02 The Dress Is Dreaming ….. 03 The Girl Is Dreaming ….. 04 The House Is Dreaming ….. 05 The Guy, Dreaming …..06 The Gun Is Dreaming ……07 Dolly Doll Doll Dreams…..

Doll Dreaming 07

07. Dolly Doll-Doll Dreams

the dolls are dreaming
ratcheting gears in
once human heads
now just click-click-click
a bicycle wheel and cards

the doll is making a long-range
plan for the mophead maidens
and men she’s made but
she frets at it till
it’s all just safety pins
and chewed up lace

the doll has a puppet
poked out its eyes
stuck her tongue in its brain
on high occasions she
props it up and
chatters from behind it
through a hole in its face
shows she’s the boss of it all

she’s a hammer
she’s a handy candlestick
she’s a heavy ashtray from
a Perry Mason set
copper piping a 2 x 4 a
rolling pin a baseball bat
rebar a cast iron pan
a bowling trophy statuette
so much bludgeoning to do
to keep her dolls in line

tomorrow it’s cutting
she’s a boning knife
a switchblade a
nail gun shark teeth
skewers broken
window glass

the dolls are dreaming
indigo scrim

the house is dreaming
endless rain

…………………………………………..

Doll Dreaming 06

06. The Gun Is Dreaming

the gun is dreaming
the girl will get it right
the doll is dreaming
she will get it wrong
the guy is betting
on the doll

the house wants
the girl to leave
the doll wants
the girl to stay
the guy wants whatever
he can get away with
the girl just wants
to get away

the guy’s too dumb
to make a deal so
the doll skips ahead
to the chains and pins
but this guy
likes everything

he wants to be like
the doll’s dolls with
their shiny orthodontics
just for flesh and the
sharp hooks she’s
given them for hands
to help her do her ripping

dolls that cannot grasp
cannot escape
but the guy
would never ever
want to run away

the doll is dreaming
the guy’s a doll
the girl is dreaming
the doll is dead
the guy is dreaming
the doll has his head

…………………………………………..
07 Dolly Doll Doll Dreams

…………………………………………..
01 The Doll Is Dreaming …..02 The Dress Is Dreaming ….. 03 The Girl Is Dreaming ….. 04 The House Is Dreaming ….. 05 The Guy, Dreaming …..

The Guy Doesn’t Remember

the guy doesn’t remember
committing the crime
beaning the old man
taking the car
seeing the device
idly turning it on
being on another planet
wanting to go home

the police don’t remember
catching the guy
one minute cruising
sketchy part of town
the next at the station
in a scuffle with aw-shit-
whathefuck-is-it?!
grab its head!

the old man doesn’t remember
many things
but he remembers
the guy as a boy
mowing yards in the neighborhood
freckles on his face
always looking up and grinning
when anyone passed by

captain centipede can’t remember
what he is–could be the guy
or the old man
a lawnmower a car a house
all he knows is every part of him
is beautiful and there’s
no one else like him
in the universe

Doll Dreaming 05

05. The Doll Guy, Dreaming

the guy is dreaming
he is the guy
all is as it should be
of course it is he is
the guy

the guy doesn’t requisition
what he wants
he just looks
till looking turns to grab

sometimes for fun
he ensnares
lesser individuals they
see the guy and think
something’s slightly off
his chumminess
his foxy smile
if they linger they discover
things are all wrong
in the world of the guy
and they are in it

the guy sees a dark house
with a girl inside
thinks the darkness
welcomes him
all things welcome him

the guy cannot imagine
the darkness of the house
is not for him
cannot imagine
the girl is not for him

the girl is dreaming
the gun’s in her hand
but it’s so heavy
it’s waving her around

the house is dreaming
the guy has arrived

the friends of the doll are dreaming
the door’s unlocked

the guy is dreaming
he’s his own man

the doll is dreaming
he is not

…………………………………………..
06 The Gun Is Dreaming

…………………………………………..
01 The Doll Is Dreaming 02 The Dress Is Dreaming 03 The Girl Is Dreaming 04 The House Is Dreaming