Monday, August 27, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
and went around telling stories you believed to be true
but you didn't take the time to understand what it was that he wanted
where his left foot was
and if you had looked down in time
you would have seen that he was already gone
and all you did
was change his ticket.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
why oh why bobby- is this your lot? so many mulatto mouths to feed that you have to wear blue and appear at the garden state expo center signing autographs and fudgecicles for 13 cents an hour? how will you ever get your saxophone duet ready in time for the debutante ball?
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The bedroom: For how long, those hands,
all those fingerprints running down my body, my face fixed
in a look of contentment, eyes closing.
Meanwhile, somewhere else, eyes wide – looking up at the trees,
branches sway like dancers’ hands, my waist, my hips
take in their silhouettes… and the foam whiskers my pint
leaves on my lips, to be licked off, slowly, dried
with an index finger… and my stomach, my thighs
under cool sheets, whispering into the moist breath of rain.
Friday, July 6, 2007
the cab driver worried for me living on this rock,
as if it might sink under the weight
of toothpick umbrellas and passionfruit,
and I would drown. Or maybe I'll get lucky
and float on a raft of orchids, their pretty mouths
a silent siren chorus. Can you picture my delicate
seaweed lingerie, my endless feast of oysters
to make a coin purse of black pearls?
Certainly the soundtrack will be familiar,
an endless shhhh, a gentle admonishment to wait.
At some point I'll look back -- have to --
and see tentacles of lava rising
to build a new castle for a mermaid to covet.
Then I'll remember I'm not a mermaid
and step into the water.
The stream, cold and anxious in its corridor,
hiccups, smoothes the black sand
into the ocean's open mouth. Stride right in.
Skate over the rocks, the wet-skinned moss,
green that stays under your fingernails
when the current bends your knees.
Eyes on the bleached-bone driftwood
on the green cliff rising.
Feet on the stones, on the stones, on the stones.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Wider – triceps aching chest tight – stretched my fingers
Could I take it all in
Living so long in the rain I get thirsty
Blue sky tastes of dried salt and sand, I don’t understand what the sun is getting at
Could I take it in I don’t want to take it in
I don’t want your space
I want mine, ribbons of water beating down on my shoulders and no one to see it
At night the rain with its own rhythm and the coquis’ two-step song
And my arms' reach no overlap between us
Is this finally another love poem
With every breath yes and no
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
this is an experiment using opening lines from some of Shakespeare's sonnets to make a new sonnet... click on each line to read the full text of one of his sonnets.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
So many sounds fall out of me
bottlecaps on linoleum
Feet silent on the floor, in the pause
Words as curtains over my lovely view
Nothing so eloquent as, say, a shy tear
skating down the cheek
Perhaps some stagnant water
in a glass beside the bed
In other words not the lingerie
but its magazine image,
laid neatly beside old underwear
lounging unselfconscious on a bathtub ledge
What if on a steep dirt path
interrupted by planks to prevent erosion
I looked at the contrast of green cliffs
and thought only of words
What if later I watched dimmed light
strike a wine glass
and still thought of words
The image of departure
and its sound, smug couple
crisp line between cover and page
Monday, April 30, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
A room for sitting and tracing the leaves that drop
along the wrought iron gate that leads
to the garden of sand where I found a little Mary
pendant, despite whose presence no tomato
feels at home. The sidewalk past the church
is even and white. The hulks
of summer buses and ice cream trucks
shudder, the sweaty footprints
of boys dart like eels or mirages.
Marveling, I follow you,
capturing the slow alphabet of your walk.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
the 100-watt bulb did you see
the fantastic lightning over the
lake the night that the mermaid
lost her toothbrush and the
ancient mariner found a rhyme
for orange (hint: it rhymes with purple)
'touche' said the seamstress, 'but don't
you think a simple pattern would
be easier on the small children?'
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The words of sweetness for millennia
surround your head, my treasure,
their substance crystallized
among clay jars and amulets,
hawks' heads, dark eyes.
We have been here before, the tombs,
the streets, with bare feet, in linen,
in sandstone, in silk, in marble.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
That day a bird hit the picture window in front of my nose, and
cars stopped on the road and I imagined a reunion.
I never cook potatoes, but I miss the way they feel, pearly
red skins in dusty boxes, slimy when you wash them, so much power,
sprouting eyes without water or light.
Monday, April 2, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
puddle around the feet
secret uniform every woman
is born in, long silent
dark dark dark
not a tunnel, where the words go
and the eyes, where cold fingers & cold feet
into the dark velvet never quite
raise your hand tinged purple
close to black
raise your skirt & show off your scars
then you were almost warm the sting
if it has a temperature the cold is deep,
long, too long, soft fabric
around the feet
as open question as familiar
as in pause as in watch the words fall
soft, black, an evening in the city
as in breath
to swallow every thing never said
a graceful slouch the hot sharp silent
sophisticated smell of soft velvet rot
black sex long putrid evening
naked dress, stinking soft petal,
black pool, mute ugly elegant
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I love the streets of this town
on a sunny weekday at 10 am,
still air and startled expressions
of other people on the street,
all the energy bundled up
indoors in the air conditioning.
Or on a Sunday night, windows
shaded and dozing, rain drops
in for an hour, and the roosters
are in the yard again next morning.
That rusted-out Ford still for sale
around the corner waits
for its cinderblocks patient as
my tabby as I smoke before dinner.
Every day more small dogs
in the street, another person asleep
under the hardware store’s awning.
When it’s quiet every glance
fills a perfect frame, silver
gelatin prints of light flashes
off of rusting roofs, a distant
tree’s silhouette offset by the white
bandage on a dazed woman’s leg.
The curious among you, browsing the archives, may notice that my first poem (titled 'Postcard #1') has disappeared. This is because a revised version of it will be published in the journal Gulf Stream sometime in May of this year.
As a consequence of my newfound fame and fortune, I am slacking on the writing of new material. I plan to remedy that today. Hopefully.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
This is exactly what I say it is. The cerulean
splits the sky this morning like a wise
man’s hands. I don't know what he has in mind.
The door barricaded with a broom and a chair
against the knob but the blue still gets in. Where it hits
the ground a fern begins to grow, first the thin purple
curlicued stem, skeleton of a lawn ornament,
but as I watch it slowly unwinds, rising slow
an arabesque of lace. The fringe brushes my fingers
turns my knuckles raw but I still don’t know what to do.
I raise my hands but the light produces a crushed rope
of lava. My fingernails are a mess. Wind caress
an old man stroking his beard.
can you recall cerulean days on the farm
before nineteen was too many
where the western wall flapped in the breeze
and the college graduate couldn't get the job done?
do you remember the scream from the barn
and the sharp pupils
as we raced for the pitchfork
only to realize it was all a joke?
or the backyard vomit
and the energy of the billiard table
as we went to work on record covers
and pages of the koran?
what of the overheated affair
that left me hiding behind pillars
on 120th street
a year later?
it's been too long.
but i'm in coit tower now.
come up if you can
spare a minute.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
meanwhile, he sits in his drafty room working on the next masterpiece which will sit above a gas fireplace somewhere where the houses have no soul and the roads are wide with freshly painted yellow lines that get more attention from speed trap junkies than anything you can see from the line at the pizza stand.
Friday, March 16, 2007
The day is wet and it will rise
like tropical mold on a loaf of bread.
It is unnecessary and arrogant
and slow. It is damp and deaf
from the rain’s rhythmless drumbeat
on the night’s tin roofs. So I rope
the clouds in like a paniolo
and hoard them in rocky pasture,
silver wire strung as afterthought
around the perimeter,
and watch the ferns curl their fingers inward
finally chastised. As the clouds grow fat
I wring them out into a corner of porous
earth every three days or so. Otherwise
they graze as quietly as stoned sheep.
After several weeks, when the heliconia
has turned to kindling, I belly-flop
in the last of some tidepond’s brackish water
and watch the black crabs dance.
I bury my fingers in the gasping sand.
silver flashes more precious than gold leaf
hold tight your children in jewelery boutiques
too much empathy resulting in periodic shifts from one mass to another that stopped the second hand on Fermi's wristwatch. But even Leonetti couldn't help but laugh when he watched you argue that helium is lighter than fat-free yogurt with raisins and granola.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
What do you think of my wet hair dripping on the floor while I dance, in my towel, around my bedroom. Answer before my hair dries. Yes the towel is blue. Yes it smells faintly of mold, what do you expect when it rains every day. If we go out for dinner will you order a salad. Good. Unless I order a salad you really should not ever order a salad for dinner. What do you think about mochi. Are you a person who remembers what Saturday is the farmer’s market, the good one, with fresh tamales. Do you work out. Mind if I smoke. Did you ever watch someone start to cry and walk away very fast and cough so you couldn’t hear it. Were you why she was crying. Define investment. Define wind power. Can you build a wall in one conversation lasting ten minutes or less. Will you push me deeper while you stay up top with the water lilies. What’s a good wine for less than ten dollars. Do you remember my first question. Yes I will buy a new towel. Yes I’m hungry.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 9, 2007
Thursday, March 8, 2007
or the lion’s mane. Swirl
of sun on dawning gray. Delicacy
of scars a spiderweb across thighs.
Open the door don’t open
the door. Don’t pick up the phone.
Clouds spackle horizon. Island
in the middle of the kitchen bread
crumbs jam smear. His head against window
threatens to break. Orange jelly
in mouth’s creases don’t go up the stairs.
Hanger on white tile hanger
on white thigh. Hair knots back
knots sweat soft material. Windchime
drips rain twirls its long legs
around. His body curled into an S.
His voice I don’t see it anymore.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
turns on with over the counter amphetamines
shouting italian names and
too many ingredients
on their way to (early) million dollar funerals
80 in loans
and 40k per (+benefits)
looks like two years
that camry don't come cheap
and your girl asks you to
hold her purse while the bartender
mixes sloe gin for fast women
and you can't get out of your lease on that hi-rise studio
next lifetime don't major in communications
I’m dreaming warm
Styrofoam and ratty beige
shirt hours days without
speaking without touch
on a bed of gravel
losing fragrance tree’s
gnarled bark leaves
an itch memory
Somewhere my body lies flush
with light some bed
I can only half-remember
some face dimmer
before clear as coffee
deep earthy everyday hot
Never know when
fruit is ripe so the papayas
in the yard brown fall
to the ground avocados split
themselves any slight pressure
Bananas sick soft and legs
don’t quake arms reach in my
sleep hit the wall in the morning
bruised knuckles think of me
in bed sheets pulled
to chin body slack
as yesterday’s flowers
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
In the mornings walk to work the slouched banyan and the canal I saw a giant carp in there once. More often an orange flash or two it might be goldfish it might be Fanta. Always a few signs on the roads’ shoulders of what’s gone frogs flat and crisping. Several days and their bodies evaporate to shells rattle like bottles. Some days a cat mouth open eyes in focus somewhere behind me. Today a bird’s wing a mynah’s wing spread out showing off its white pause in all that black busy in its perfect indifference. The pause tries to tell me where the rest of the bird has gotten to watching its blood seep invisible into black. Yellow markings under the eyes the reddening beak too cheerful too absent maybe now it is under a coconut imitating moss. The wing doesn’t miss its bird it is a peacock it stretches itself out and is perfect in its arch its tattered meaty edge. And the pause is silent after all.
Monday, March 5, 2007
a sharp knife
which pares you into many
(soon to be) delicious
inside a white box
so much ketchup
god, do i love ketchup
it's the only reason i'm here to see you.
-Hal and Heather