a feather the weight of the sun–20190718

i push into you
pass through you like
that episode of star trek

–which one?–

where a transporter accident
causes the crew to phase into
a parallel dimension
but still they manage to
keep their feet on the
floor of the ship

–which one?–

how do ghosts do it?
pass through walls
yet move on a slightly curved path
that ties them to the earth
like regret or obsession
is just another word for gravity

like destiny is another word for density

the stuffed birds in the taxidermist’s window
forever open their beaks
forever expand their throats in song
for never fly again

hare restoration—20190623

rabbits dot the grass
like dandelions
eating dandelions
scattering like dandelion fluff
after a good dream squashing kick
or a robust wish granting puff of air
when the dogs approach

though
one of the rabbits
reminds me of bigwig
or maybe woundwort
the way he stares at us
and doesn’t move

a wish that will
not be denied
nor whispered to the breeze

without mediation, wolf takes matters into his own hands–20191201

only his head
is big enough
to fit inside

–you have a problem, wolf says

he takes a long drag
the cigarette coal glows and dies
like a highway patrol car’s lights

–you think time only moves
in one direction

–you’re hung up on a metaphor
time is a river, you think
once you pass over a spot
it’s gone forever

i push my back against
the dry cave wall

wolf followed me here through the rain
worst storm in fifty years
now his coat is ragged and sopping
while i have a small fire
a bundle of sticks

i beat him to the cave
by all rights
i get dibs on shelter

he gets the storm

–it’s all good

he spits the butt into my tiny flames

–i’ll be back ten minutes ago

signs and portents of the new year, 2019 written on the last day of 2018

a dead man
appears to me in a dream
shuffling from side to side
grinning sheepishly
he apologizes
for dying
and leaving things
undone

a blue bag of dog shit tied
to the leash
swings in and out
of a cone of light
like a censer
during mass

beads of sap
from the latest tree trimming
glisten like globes of glass
on the sidewalk

a broken mirror
shaped like a child’s drawing
of a house
turned such that i
cannot see my reflection
only the silver sheen
of light

two owls in the night
one invisible, screeching
a second, caught in the beam
of my flashlight
frozen like a ghost projected
against the night sky
silent

postcardia (20181221)

take my heart

find it weightless

i have emptied it
day by day
scraping away
the inside lining
with bloody fingernails
pounding flat the walls
with bruised fists
burnishing the
paper-thin membrane
with my palms
until my bones
have shown through
the skin

weigh my heart on your scale
it is empty and without weight
your feather will drag
the balance down
to strike the floor
resounding like a gong

nothing in my heart

your hand may pass through it
as if through mist or
a rainbow’s shadow

o dog-headed god
watch as my heart rises
it will ascend
watch it ascend
let it ascend

restoration hardware (20181124)

let the lies
be truths
the ink blood
skin words
write yourself
write your grievances
on sheets
where the darkness
laid its head
and found
momentary peace

a single chord
works in all keys
your fingering’s right
but the string
still buzzes
frets are just headstones
hiding bones
let them find
momentary peace

i have momentarily
made peace
with weakness
cravenness  a close ally
shrugging my shoulders

 

forlorn (20181028)

crow
in the yard
digs through trash
among words
i’ve tossed out

it finds one with still
a little life
plucked from the ashes
of other
dead phrases

i feel the crow disturb it
through a pulsing umbilicus
that runs across a cracked driveway
and fragrant rosemary
with impossible blue blossoms

it runs under the door

straight into my gut

the word throbs in his beak
like a thumb-size mass of organs
wrapped in a greasy membrane

he will unseam this word
tear out the stitches
pierce it with his black beak
devour the marrow

it will become his

it will become his word
and on his black tongue
it will be his song
as he rises from the ground

i throw rocks at him
my loud visitor
to scare him away from
the bins
but he eyes me with contempt
and with my hard work
in his glistening maw
he takes to the air

i do not
pursue

his feathers are so black
so very like the night
and this

paper is so

so

white

conformation (20181011)

you rise out of water
majestic
gray
as if breaking not
only the clear surface
but also erupting from
the riverbed

but you have fallen
from some greater height
propelled by the very water
you petulantly divide
cling to the earth
refuse to let go
resist all forward movement

the water will tear you down
the river will carve you up

i race past you
on the surface
like a miniature cloud in a sky
weightless
casting my weightless shadow

water will take me
and i will go
i spin as i pass you
declaring my verdancy
even as i change

even as you refuse to
gripping the mud
with your fingers
curled into claws

but the water will tear you down
the river will carve you up
you will be moved