less than nothing (20210415)

the noise buzzing
the eternal hum
that is both in
and not in
my ears

has no
resemblance to music
no beat and no accentuated
pitch

if i concentrate
closing my eyes
a sine wave resolves itself
against my eyelids
but this is the invisible illusion
of sound

what is heard is not even
the pressure of disturbed air

nursery rhyme (20210413)

i’m a little teapot
short and stout
ain’t got no handle
ain’t got no spout
when i get all steamed up
can’t even shout
gonna blow like a porcelain pottery bomb
the green tea and tea flood demands
pour me out, you sonofabitch,
and don’t forget to wash your hands

you can’t leave fingerprints
if you don’t have fingers

walt whitman and the legal composting of the dead (20210411)

out of the ground
i steal a bucket of soil
from a previously dug grave
now a healed over wound
in the loamy earth

my theft is to make
a small amount of clay
not even a handful
an artistic experiment

(this is science)
extraction
solution
excitation
suspension
filtration
refinement

(this is magic)
ritual
burial
inspiration
reformation
resurrection

my breath is the breath
of my ancestors
and yours
my hands dig and mix and form
this clay
this body of our ancestors
what whitman has assumed
i have assumed

diary (20210410)

last night was windy
not so windy that any trees
came down
not near our house anyway
and there wasn’t much
to move out of the road
a few sticks
a few small branches
pine cones

today the sea was dark
not wine dark
and while there are whales
near
it did not bring to mind
the whale-path or swan-road
instead the water looked
dirty from a distance
churning up whatever
blew into her all-accepting embrace

tonight the sky is dark
time for a new moon
(as if the old one
isn’t good enough
or worn out–look at the holes!)
and even the stars seem
buried in that darkness
rather than shining through it

now
not much to clear from my mind
a few creaking trees
a little foam
starlight

baking (20210409)

there should be a word
for the smell of bread
that you have never baked
but always meant to bake

there should be a way to say
with a single word, three or
four syllables at most
–this is something i have made
something that you can take in
and let it be a part of you
either a whole meal
or just the sideshow
but it is science and alchemy
and biology and earth mother
this
for you

it should exist as one word
the way the bread is bread
but the crust is hard
savagely so
and the inside chewy
and the scent of yeast
but it is bread
is bread and trying
to divide it into separate dictionary
entries is a sin

someone’s at the door (20210408)

deer scratches the front of his narrow face
with a dirty hoof– (do they
have hooves)–leaving a smear of mud
on the bridge on that long
long nose

–what you need, he says,
is a set of antlers
i’d lend you mine but i’m
using them right now

he shrugs, or tries to
his shoulder blades aren’t made
for fake apologies

i toss him an apple anyway
he catches it out of the air
the way my dog might
and bounces away like his legs
are made of pogo sticks

wolf has not let go of my wrist
and leers up at me
smile frothy with his saliva
my blood

–personally, he says
i would have waited
until he helped you out
before wasting that apple

but wolf would not have
exchanged my hand
for the apple
and deer has got his own thing
going on
and as wolf’s teeth sink deeper
i shrug, or try to
it seems my shoulder blades aren’t made
for fake apologies
either

around the clock (20210407)

while the rain falls
i wait for each drop
to ascend

i wait for the bark to grow
in the center of the trees
pith and heartwood tangling
like strand of hair
hiding the truth about growth
about the scab of time
about the lie of it

i wait for the clock
not to rewind
not to stand still
but to ring its alarm bell
to show that every
second of every minute
of every day happens
here and now

i wait and single drop
reverses course
singing as it rises