as seen from above (20170521)

the lights begin like christmas
reds blues greens
but soon enough
become misty ghosts
floating in great oceans of black
that swallow the ground
lone fires dot the silent sea
and the horizon burns
while the voices
themselves waves
rolling in tar
drowning flames

incantations (20170519)

step to the rim
even the silence
at the edge
is quiet
pregnant enough to make
your ears hurt

until a bee buzzes past

the magic spell of
all the clocks being ground
into rust-colored dust
a bubble sucking in on itself
and suddenly you hear the wind

arizona (20170518)

the air leeches the moisture from my skin
and my eyes burn in this attempt
at paradise in the desert

rabbits emerge from bushes long enough
to catch a glimpse of us then retreat
a white cotton flash to their kin

i step on sidewalks not the rust red earth
water sprays from sprinklers
and i wonder about the green when i come
from a land of drought

the wind stings my eyes
a lone rabbit–maybe the smallest of them all
has no fear
and for her i am afraid

an impromptu visitation (20170517)

i hear a rustling
like dried leaves
caught in a hot wind
coming from the spare room

i surprise my father
in the act of changing clothes

though silent
he seems angry
mouth clenched closed
like a vise
eyes squinting in judgment

you know you’re dead, right?

next year
he will be one hundred years old
and has been haunting me
from house to house for almost
a quarter of that century

both he and the clothes
are transparent
and when i remind of
of his non-corporeal state
he loses the angry look

though burly in life
he shrugs his grave-thin shoulders
fades away
with the sound of a brittle page
of an old book being turned

scissors (20170516)

the invisible woman repeats numbers
like those soviet radio stations

my head fills with curvilinear
whorls of snail shells and fingerprints

the smell of cigarette smoke that is not
from a cigarette seeps into my garage

as i put clothes in the laundry basket–
–this night is coming to a close

and i am still knotted up like a boy
scout’s shoelaces

it will take a sharp pair of scissors
to release me

voices in flight (20170515)

consider the old saying
that every time a bell rings
an angel gets its wings

and think of all the times
you have heard a cash register chime
or the wall street stock exchange
or a fire alarm
or the low slow clangs of cowbells
as they are led to the slaughterhouse

what the hell are those angels making
their feathers out of
misery, greed, blood and fire?

i have always preferred birdsong
an earthly tune to be sure
unfettered yet surrounded by sky
even if it is all about territory
and sexual conquest
and where the best worms are

swept down (20170514)

everything must slope downward
water will roll down the
smallest of

the silent moon will fall forever
toward an earth fleeing it
for a much larger light
my words circle the
drain before