Home is the SailorStab the sky and try to swallow;
bloody snow half-fills the drain;
hiss the half-remembered lines,
try to hum the tunes that follow.
Back and forth and once again, we
waltz our drunkard's masquerades,
slip the kettle from the stove
and glare a clatter past the fen.
In time the lion's whimper fades,
a twisted claymore gnarls the ash;
peaten fleur-de-lis embark
to run the Devil's fast blockades.
And what is this: some captain, rash
and grey and drowned while sailing
far from port? Fallen, we are cold,
and huddle, waiting for the crash.
From a Riverbankplungefall hitsplash sputterbreath sinkthrust wetsuck groundpush
clawscrabble slipfall kicksplash pushbreath mudthrust
flipturn breathscrabble drumfall woodsplash
stretchrise shinturn shoescrabble
An Awareness of AccentAn awareness of accent pains me:
The flat ah and languid drawl
betraying my Southern birth,
a careless, thoughtless y'all
drawing eyes, the glances first
on my Yankee face; they see
a stranger, tall and lean, born
elsewhere, his smiling face worn
by Other than they.
Hello, are you there
helow, aryoo theyr
It's breaking through the shell
that's the hardest part, I said,
wiping blood and mucus from my brow.
you're not given an eggtooth, so you have to gnaw
your way to the outside.
The world is a big, loud place
with a small door, I said.
It's not like she was a virgin,
but still - have you ever gone through
Her origin was prosaic enough -
blood and foam,
the sower casting onto flooded ground,
stooping and digging,
A strong tree, as such things go.
And she grew knotted and twisted,
each gnarled finger a treasure beyond price,
a witness to gasps and laughter.
Under the incubator,
the smartass sucked for air and milk,
mumbling Homer and Ulysses between coughs
Smoke clouded the inside of my tent,
painting snakes on the ceiling
to twist past apples, through sewers,
to devour everything save broken air.
Because I read Dickens,
I know everything of orphans.
Because I was an orphan,
I know everything of Dic
SonnetIt's a fine enough morning, you son of a bitch,
for walking through parks clasped hand in fist.
It's warming - the heat of breath, debate, of kissing
Judas in towers, marching red and blue, of missing
nothing of consequence - tan vests, twin braids and ribbon
twirling in a Sargasso melange of Wrigley mornings, given
looks cool and warm from turquoise eyes - but you're not
going to listen, to cast your ears over my thoughts
as they spill oil and wafers and wine and water,
as they provide grist for rumors and gossips' fodder -
Yours is a kinder sting. You wander eye-led past
trees and cats, spawn truths that leave a wanton cast.
You look for an opening, trying to seize
my weaker moments - there are no secrets from dearest enemies.
DandelionShe said it was a secret,
cutting and snipping
and tailoring whispers skin-to-skin
past the boundaries of taste.
The price of fine lines trodden:
Lynn the long-leggety duck
primly grimly screws
over smiling counters of other peoples' money,
the griffin of three hours
passing through walls
naked spilling blood in the snow -
it is a far better thing I do -
a can you hear me now discrepancy
following thousands of milliseconds
of anxious fortitude.
in God the Father
almighty maker of whatever the hell
is going on,
susceptible to -
stop. That's blasphemy.
Joke - stop -
heads down all -
A sideways stare through smudged glass,
smiling half-five at sweet
everythings of consequence
A polo shirt, or something like enough to pass.
Blue jeans - the commoner's uniform.
He had a decent enough smile,
no missing teeth, no need for braces.
Not necessarily good looking
Thoroughly average, he was -
a regular Waldo hiding
in a world of photographic memories.
Always blending, except for the Cheshire grin.
He was always looking around corners -
wanting to see what was there before it saw him.
First a pair of eyes,
then a grin,
then shoulders -
until, finally, he was standing there.
made him interesting to the girls.
You see - when he was all there,
he didn't really exist.
He lathed his beard from sweetgum and poplar.
Torrents grew kudzu and poison ivy,
a pillow for the simple.
Pebbles whispered twilight through acorn windscreens.
In the gleaning fields,
he watched the prophet's mother fall and ri
GalleryIn the eastern wing, I gulp the colors,
smell the earthtones and the abstractions,
and feel myself slow, or others rush,
past impressionism, through modernism,
into a canvas dreamcatcher. I lean close;
the colors melt together, blood
and gold and turquoise becoming
the whisper of my breath on waterpaint,
and smile at the freshdrawn sunflower,
the masterpiece on the cupboard door.