ancient awakes (20160908)


you can hear it if you are quiet
but you have to shut your mouth
at least for a few minutes
at least
until it has time to
time to stir
to take in a breath
after centuries of sleep
beneath fathoms of ocean
deep enough to crush you
like an empty forty


its voice is like long acrylic nails
skipping down a blackboard
on the first day of school
it’s saying your name
a whisper if that’s possible
you keep talking so that
you don’t have to hear it
but you’ll sleep
and then you’ll


Poem 20160216

these are the ways we fall asleep–
next to each other
face to face
hand in hand
side by side
back to back
under a blanket
under the sky
under a tree
under the stars
under a curse
in a car after lunch
in a car during a drive in movie
in a bed
in a cot
during a conversation
during a tv show
behind the woman paying by check at target
behind the wheel of a car

this is the way we wake up–
sudden and alone

Poem 20151012

the sheets are too hot
and laying on top
too cold with the air on

and the cat where my legs
should be turns me like
a snake–two a.m.

for thirty minutes and an hour
the sheets go on and go off
and the cat barely moves

and finally i move my head
to the foot of the bed
and curl around the cat

as if in worship
which she appreciates
and feel sleep descend at last

Poem 20150827

there have been times
when i have watched you
while you sleep
watched the rise and fall
of your breath

you part your lips
when your eyes are closed
and your breath escapes
and i breathe in the same air
and exhale the same air
and you breathe me in
and we mingle

there have been times
when you have dreamed
that i have had
the same dream
and i cursed the alarm
when it sounded

Poem 20150614

this is the house of sleeping women
the house where women sleep
here, the women sleep in this house
except for when they wake
in the middle of the night
and they have to pee
or the cat makes it impossible to
get comfortable
or time is out of joint by five hours
and the morning is dark out the window
and the clocks are all liars
or the dog is licking
and his tags jangle
or every worry rides through their minds
like a chariot driven by achilles dragging hector

this house does not do a good job
tending to the sleeping
but what house does