Gulf Spill

We were reading what we were reading
the gulf a muck a mucked up gulf
underwater every day the daily ooze
the outrage lapping washing flooding
it was all the news was was the everything
even you with your broken heart find a
mirror let me see my chest
you said I said
the scar’s not so bad, your heart and then
I couldn’t say don’t get old you said but
if you do don’t get sick
you said but if you
do hope you die
it was not funny funny
that was the way the television was all
the gulf and you were being manhandled
in your delirium you asked the nurse
to bring some tables in and chairs and
bacon and all kind of things to eat and
drink everybody’s coming you said yes
I said everybody is and everybody was
but just not then then you wondered who
those people were at the foot of the
bed that still wouldn’t go away when we
said they weren’t so the room was full
and the gulf was on tv the gulf breaking
put recovery out opened a possibility and
that was what we hoped recovering to go on
and it was raining like the devil a deluge
and everything clean then that metallic
smell that makes you think brisk that
makes you think clean open free even
with that lowering sky barred with bruise
standing at the window while you slept
there in the not too far black smoke like
a creature crawling up from earth to sky
somebody’s house on fire somebody’s life
burning up in the rain and then I thought
please let everybody live please don’t go.

Muse

where’s the muse these many days
that visitor of my soul with the voice
all its little flags and stones
its long corridors and hiding places
its electricity and galaxies, its days
in from the rain and its parades
the thrill of its knock out, the sad
of its sad, its bones and finery
its sackcloth and muddy sandals
the message it arrives with now
in a language I don’t understand

Bad for Good

By the time our opportunity arrived,
our good name had been made bad for good–
they rolled the spite and wordage out and
rolled in it too like dogs in muck. Oh yes
we dreamed of crowbars and poisoned soup,
slippery factory floors, electrical
mishaps. Meanwhile rain crackled like shifting
ice, thunder like some implosion of what
we felt in that suddenly flat landscape,
nothing in sight but weather. We hastened
to relocate our spoiled selves, jettisoned
our personal effects, and now we stand
stout in the rigging of our rebirth.