Le paradis n'est pas artificiel …

*

posted September 10, 2014

Of mind to entwine
like the first time day after
day the long white page.

*

posted August 6, 2014

Cassette whirr, thunder
storm purr, my fleetest pulse, and
other borrowed songs.

*

posted August 3, 2014

Known by a friend here
as happy before I could
smile about it yet.

Still Life

posted July 22, 2014

How grotesquely we seduce

one another and are jealous

of one another; as though we

were all pieces of fruit taken

at various points of readiness

to leave the branch, whether

willing or windfall, composed

on a teeming platter for slow

selection, ripening under close

observation, only to sweeten

or decay depending on whom

we lean against: soft shoulder

or hard, in sunlight or shadow.



From my book manuscript, underway its final edit.

*

posted July 21, 2014

But here’s a circle
of hell that might get the old
soul dancing again.

*

posted July 21, 2014

Oh, for all of my
borrowed cats, lifted pub glass
and dark sea-tongued dreams...

Spirits

posted July 21, 2014

Through the broadest of panes
it's overexposed monotone
outside. I bare my teeth to the sun,
wind, irreducible terror:

its overexposed monotone
tremor. I drink to match,
wind irreducible terror
in my hands – for the spirits

tremor. I drink to match
with one last glass, spilt
in my hands for the spirits.
I smooth my face

with one last glass spilt.
I am alone and
I smooth my face
with palms of sadness.

I am alone, and
those who I disdain,
with palms of sadness
emptied out: dead things.

Those who I disdain
lay ruin. I am afraid to.
Emptied-out dead things
burn and salt the fields,

lay ruin. I am afraid to
live; things haunt me quietly,
burn and salt the fields
I wander, my dreams' singing; while

live things haunt me quietly
as our darkest deeds.
I wander my dreams singing, while
all hope has remained unseen.

As our darkest deeds
have been watched through keyholes,
all hope has remained unseen
through the broadest of panes.

Nyx

posted July 11, 2014

The fleet Roman goddess of shadow, sleep and death, and mother of the Moiræ sisters, who dole out human fate.


The mother of fate is only shadow.

Contrary to common belief, all shadow

belongs to nothing; she's a fluid single

being, like aspen. Doesn't yours sometimes

look soft and kind, and others, even

in the same conditions of light and place,

shifty and crow-like? She hops bodies

like branches. Today she nests with a shepherd,

his heavy hood soots her feathers black. Sunlight slants

down his back until his long, leaning spine spills her out

calligraphic over the velvet brown hills

shimmering with heat, the stirring sheep

and at the golden hour her stature gives

her pride, as if she were alive.


This poem will appear in the summer 2014 issue of Star*Line.

*

posted July 9, 2014

All hope and despair
in reach, touching velvet of
a green fallen peach.

*

posted July 8, 2014

Contrary as hot
pepper on a mute tongue, mint
growing in full sun.

Glory

posted July 2, 2014

the dark dry seed splits

unexpected wonderful

that sureness of bloom

we could be that bold

fearless of beauty’s failure


Years ago, this poem was told to me without any words, into my hands and eyes from the hands and eyes of the phenomenal Gloria Yamato, and it's just appeared in the latest issue of RIBBONS, the journal of the Tanka Society of America.


If you're interested in Japanese poetic forms, you may notice five not seven syllables in the penultimate line. RIBBONS' editor suggested a semantic revision that resulted in this new count, explaining,


"A total of 20-24 syllables, with no prescribed number of syllables for each line, is the length and pattern most people are writing English-language tanka these days," —so accepting the isochronic incomparability of English (stress-timed) and Japanese (mora-timed).