Refuse/d words built into infinite forms of bodies. This collection is unedited; done in one sitting; sometimes daily, frequently infrequent.

Monday, November 29, 2010

hidden under the roof

an owl face
two dark jewels
in a feather nest
is an archaic messenger
a watchman.

Friday, November 26, 2010

thank you

mother for birth
father for fear and forgiveness
sister for endurance
grandmothers for lost opportunity and beauty
grandfathers for absences and imagined men
friends for smiling and bailing out the same boat. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Driving back from Horserider's wall, New Mexico

Men that stay up in the mountains
for years,
a marathon of months,
go to dark places
and save up their words.
And Jim talks.

favorite horses
helicopters in Vietnam.
other ranchers,
how to take care of the grass.

He tells me about every woman he has loved
and about his high school reunion.
He had one wife
and gave his sons good names.

Jim has certain regrets.
He says that his type of life
is good if you can find a companion
who doesn't mind the rain and snow
no shopping.

Before I climb out of the trailer,
Jim tells me that I've got country in me
and what I need to do is find
a tall, cool drink of water and a piece
of land somewhere.  I said that
sounds nice, Jim.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I’ve spent most of my life
feeling like I wasn’t meant for this world
that everyone had staked a claim already
and I was too late, I didn’t register for the race.
I used to think that I was built for old horror,
that real devastation: war, hunger, murder, rape. 
But now I’m not so sure.  Maybe I’d be that
pale aristocrat vanished in the halls
of my own mausoleum.  Either way
I try and enjoy the ease of America
I like feeling anonymous, without the
dictation of tradition.  But then again
without a community, that anonymity
can feel like drowning.  So many births
today.  We are learning how to navigate
the new waters of the new neighborhood,
one with relationships made of interests.
The next generation will feel centered,
but for now, I feel unhooked, and my
hand reaches for the canyon sides
as I drift downwards.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Sad poems are fine,
they invite mood:
a purple rainshower,
fog in the street.

The real
worrisome words
are in the daytime,
hard sunshine.

The middle of the day
is a wide flat road
with no past,

can be dangerous
in full white light,
so my body fills the day
and I write by night.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

hurricane lamps

Small orb questions:
requests for comfort

the deep throat of rain
and true wind whipping

will drown a person standing
alone.  But with eyes we
are anchored here, holding
hope accountable.

turning a quartercentury

How did so many years go-
a thief on a motorbike
escaping on frosted mountain roads;
a trip into secrets with the zip
sounds of a buzz burned engine.
This vast country
swallows me respectfully.


Each year, her whiteness in the dark
splinters, captivates.

It will be forever
before the end.

Which witness of the universe
can watch long enough
to attest to the treason of light?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alchemical is your company

Every finger on your hand
Is worth fifty winters alone;
One wrinkled pear on a dead tree
Is converted into a religion of juice;
the stone-cold of buried potatoes
are the seeds of giants, the
fearsome monsters of imagination.

Terra Australis Incognita (The Unknown Southern Land)

Amateur science is a green magic. It moss-covers categories and filches meaning from the underground.  It is done without a degree, without recognition, without the partition of power into infinite reams of burnable paper.  A cheapening of common knowledge is caused by exactness, by the infinitely small and big increments of measurement.   Amateurs know the world is round but know also that it might be hollow; that people die but could become zombies; that mechanically kept time can be manipulated into time machines; and that ships can be built in bottles, despite the remarkable difference in size.  

The woods eat war and forget it

The metal jackets of bullets
rust in the dark river
beyond the weaving grass.
Lightning bugs rise up
in their landscape gaping
with old graves overgrown.
Tractor guts rot and ripped
up soil becomes nutritious.
No echoes, no partition,
the local people still know
the same roads they did
as children, still the fruit trees
still stone and paving
still armistice in the evening.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4 hours of sleep in the war of 1812

In the berth level of a boat,
250 men would sleep
while the other 250
tangled themselves in rigging,
wrapped their toes around rope.
Those sleeping 250 were
Elbow to elbow,
Knee to knee
Teeth aching
Sickness seeping.
The hammocks swaying
Like sacks, a heaviness
Heaving in the full dark below decks.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

spare room

It is like an Easter egg hunt
finding all your empties:
each bottle haphazardly and half-heartedly
concealed on bookshelves
in closets, in blank grocery bags.
I swept out your room,
where your dog slept.
I mopped the old floor
care-worn scraped-up
and looked at the pictures
of other places hung up
placating this space is anxious.
When did you start
gripping secrets? When did
time start piling up on your heart
until a head start 
became a departure
what cure is instant (none)
and which plan is the One
that makes a resolution?
For now loss spills outward
your cardboard cutout
has replaced you.
And I’ll keep my headphones on
to keep my mind from moving back in. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The way kindness moves

I think the reason
I work the job I do
Is because of one woman
At the hospice place
Who brought me
A plate of rice and chicken
Even when I said
I wasn’t hungry.
It was so good
and I sat and ate 
with my mother lying there
and I felt like I
was eating hope.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

essay digressing

The sense we make of the world is produced by series' of personal allusions, to past ideas, people, and experience and also our ideas on the future, our expectations.  Little pictures, fragments, make the movement of our minds-the engine is scraps and pieces.  Everything contributes and filters, one literally cannot ignore experience.  It always stays and stains, and this is not frightening, it is our body collecting.

Monday, November 8, 2010

public voices

stereo living
the electronic equivalent of breath
of breathing systematically
using synapses and time capsules
I fill the forum of the real reluctantly;
My words generally resist the general word order
but the bigger picture forever guides them
patient prayers that walk blindly on the right path.
Word choice is the primary skill of public voice
the language of specific theatres
cinemas-cafes-circular spaces
where we look into the faces of listeners
who have heard everything already.
The public voice is static over dinner din
it whispers over billions
of fellow humans.
The myth of the public voice is that
the voice is singular, but
the vocabulary of revolutionaries
is weighted is worded is waiting
in the shuffling of the crowd.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Don't we always know the answers to questions?

Forming the interrogative
is turning a corner
slowly, and with a mirror extended.
I know, I already know!
The response is there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

how to love your family

sometimes the slow burn of constancy
cools and chars.  It chaffs facades and peels
like old paint. The neglected room grows
cavernous without bodies moving through.
APPRECIATION is a political word, a show,
while gratitude waits smiling by the roadside
for a ride.  information is currency
and monetary movement between people
corrupts the quiet willing patterns of peace.
I’d rather walk one more time around the pond
with company, than sit one more phone call
bouncing conversation from crowded satellite
to satellite.  

always the slow burn of constancy
is basic.  It is not meant to be a beacon
or travelers mark.  It is the center ember
from which sparks are lifted to dull the
absent cool of new places.   GRATITUDE
of time, every day a timed exercise.
Appreciation is left for the scripted holiday
cards that break so many hearts.  I’d rather
walk one more time around the pond
with company, than spend one more
afternoon imagining a magazine-d future.  

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


oysters with lemon juice slide down
a liquored throat, pulsing and pushing.
Valentines Day is a noisy crowd-
legs and arms and the holding mass of middle chest.
Everything moves a heavy red.
Talking about words
I understand every language
and you translate like freedom,
a sudden subway.


I would like the smallest stone house on the reservoir-my watery neighborhood a mirror of yellowing leaves. Leaving, left.  Inside, a floor, a cupboard to put things in.  Wooden figurines that I can place and that remain reminders of people to pray to. I'd have blankets and pillows and I'd be sheltered in the winter shifting night.  A worn out boat to lay in and see the sky, drifting on the silver zipper that divides the horizon line. Thin eternity, wet and translucent, turning.

Group home

The quickest chemical
     to a sick heart is
to listen to children breathe
     while they sleep
on the third floor
     of a finally quiet house.