Le paradis n'est pas artificiel …

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).

*

posted June 26, 2014

Scent of tomato
leaves, lightening shoulders of
whiskey, you've been home.

*

posted June 13, 2014

I mishear at night:
an AC as logging truck,
a siren as me.

*

posted June 6, 2014

Listen as though to
a song you know with words to
believe and to love.

*

posted May 15, 2014

Thrum the feathers of
my mind, who alone I trust
with my flight fast pulse.

Very Hunger

posted May 15, 2014

the room already

moist with soup

just begun sweating

celery and shallot


These still good?

she asks shoving

cut up mushrooms

under his nose


an earthy wetness

floods the sweeter

idea he'd breathed

deep for expecting


food to answer

his very hunger

he shudders and

can't   say   no


Written at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, a 10m poem from the prompt, "Two people in a kitchen thinking they want different things."

*

posted May 11, 2014

Sow right, then let well
the earth a while. Joy strikes a
beat before a smile.

*

posted May 4, 2014

Dusk starlings drop in
cherry black cloudfuls, cedar
draws wet earth and sky.

*

posted April 26, 2014

I know why night birds
sing, mapping the expanse of
their wings, though still black.