elegy (20171129)

i pass through a cold spot
the paranormal experts
tell me this is a sign
some formerly corporeal being

is absorbing energy because
it wishes to communicate
or otherwise engage
with a world of mucus-leaking
sacks of wobbly flesh

who’s a good boy?

i don’t discourage the flickers
at the edge of my vision
the sound of jangled tags
the clacking of long toenails

happy to ride a bus
i’ll get off only when they make me
without a known destination

still

lately i gaze
out the window at a soft horizon
and feel the need for heaven

the third season (20171121)

red autumn eye
looks southward now

through heavy coat
hard to feel its gaze
but the eye lingers over me
like twilight spiderwebs in my hair
counting out my time
dawn by dawn

i set my feet upon the earth
send down roots
among sycamores
among eucalyptus
i can stand a cold morning or two
yet

i haven’t seen a paperboy
in years
/forgive the sexist terminology
i am aware of it and i’m working on it/

i haven’t heard the
satisfying smack
of atrocities landing in my driveway
or my neighbor’s driveway
my neighbors drive away
my neighbors driven away

i do not read the news
still, it reaches inside my chest
night time hands
separating organs from fatty membranes

autumn red eye
roll south
take these shuddering breaths with you
take these neighbors
who drive away
who don’t read the paper

roll south

host (20171116)

the millstone turns heavy
powered by blood
torrents of thick red
jam coagulating where it pools

and there’s no grist to grind
only chaff left
from the threshing floor

but grind it does
the wheel grinds
it is all it knows how to do
and so it turns and grinds

we bake our bread
with rough husk flour
we bake our poor loaves

black on the coals
of our ancestors’ bones

bitter is the crust
with no spot of fat
to grease the pitted stone
that is our only sustenance
and nothing to wash it

down but overflowing glasses of
gall bitter from our own hands

this is our bread
our communion

/pen/umbra (20171113)

no silhouette cut by diamonds
no sharp crisp edge of a shadow

you need a cloudless sky
and a summer sun for that

the fog bound star in the sky
gives me a fuzzy edge

vampires don’t cast
reflections in mirrors or shadows
because they lost their souls.

what of my caterpillar-soft double
writhing on the ground
attached at the feet
attached until i float
attached then not at all

what sound does a shadow make
the creaking of bones?
the grinding of teeth?
the paper on paper whisper
of a moth’s wings?

signs, portents, bells (20171109)

seems innocent enough
a holiday display
a single word
with a dozen tiny lights
the word
joy
as seen
from outside
shining in a window

but looking at it
from inside
with the lights turned off
it looks so much like
you
but broken
or stunted at least
if not shattered

this isn’t
a fundamental or cosmic truth
and i’m not reading
anything into the odd bit of
seasonal dyslexia
or the inside/outside holiday dichotomy

it just struck me
is all

the weather (20171108)

and now
the weather report

tonight will be cold
mostly cloudless

the earth will exhale
homeless who do not have
a sleeping bag
or a tent to crawl into
or a car empty of gas but with windows

they will slide
into chambers like bullets
that can’t can’t can’t can’t
penetrate flesh
or tolerance

lucky for them
this is the coast
where the ice age
doesn’t descend
in sheets of actual ice

lucky for them
the weather is mild
lucky for them
lucky
they are lucky

they are knives
seen through windows
turn turn turn up the radio
they cannot cut
if they are sheathed

their cardboard magic spells
their incantations
they will not not not alter this

they will go hungry
they will become hungry ghosts
they will be silent as a vacuum is silent