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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thorn

Here, I’m walking through a garden. There,
beyond this rough-leaved rose hedge, you
cry. Lost child, I can hear you from the other
side of the horizon, the other side of night.
I call you lost even though you’re held, for
who can say the man who holds you is your
family? All I have to hear you with are these
eyes, that photograph. The dark red petals
at my feet have been blown down by a storm;
the blood running into your eyes fills mine
with tears. Who would gouge a small boy?
Who would be glad his blood fell, spotted the
street, scattered it with iron-scented petals?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Epistolary

The image is from a lovely article on the making of a new mosaic by Aidan Hart.

The alphabets we use are all broken, but you and I
don't need them whole. Tesserae from our respective
shard-hordes, rough against fingertips that fit them into
place, speak for us, to each other, in a mosaic of un-
voiced vowels: silent, layered, reflecting glints of light.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Field Geologist at the Solitario

Once long ago, hot fluid rock irrupted, blistered up
between and beneath dead oceans, then cooled
into a hidden lens that capped deeper fire. Wind
scoured it, rain wore it down, but it still grew until
it blew itself up then collapsed. A pluton. A laccolith.
A volcano. A caldera. These concentric baffles are the
places where the whole story is laid out, but I can’t
read it with any sure sense I know what happened
and when. Some days I feel like that: like I’ve been
taken apart, reshuffled, know there’s things missing
and I’m still trying to make it make sense. This self,
this Solitario; no quest, just a traveler’s field notes.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Loop: January 1, 2015

Laying the ground, let’s just say this isn’t really a loop:
the beginning and end meet, but the sky’s lighter, the
air drier on my skin, and the cormorant I saw with gulls
on a wet containment boom flew off as I looked its way.

So it’s different and yet not: walking, casting on the trail,
scuffling in cypress needle duff. Or walking sans shadow,
not-loop again, recursive. Years ago these half-buried stones
sat atop the trail’s edge and I played patter-steps, hopping
stone to stone along the row. Today or later, another loop;
I’m sure to jump from rock to rock some more, wobbling,
awkward as that cormorant when it stepped into the sky.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Embers

Photo by Jens Buurgaard Nielsen

This long match—the screen lit up in my dim
room. I tap on dry tinder (fingertips over keys)
until we glow and it catches, just enough to make
a tiny sun in my singed pocket, all good to go.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Abscission

Oxfordian Kissuth, "Autumn Leaves"

The trees are running with scissors, snipping off
their motley: leaves, spiraling down around ghost
maypoles, a centripetal dance. I kick them up and
back into the sharp wind. You may think it’s gusts
that make these dry palmate mudras fall, but they
grow to break—abscission in their cells, and mine.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Waking after sleeping late

Sean McMenemy, "Unmade Bed"

I toss, roll over, sit up, and find the gifts I’ve been given even
more inexplicable than what’s usual for me: the dog-whistle
of tinnitus, a dream in which I was generous with a stranger
and still afraid, a chaotic origami made of candy wrappers.

My ears are full of distant crickets chirring as I think about
that dream, its almost-familiar highways ending in run-down
neighborhoods. It’s as if Kurt Schwitters was Mr. Sandman,
snipping bits from every place I’ve ever been and pasting them

together catawampus across my forehead as I slept so they’d
infuse my dreaming soul. There’s a rustle at the edge of the bed.
The wrapper from a hard candy I sucked on overnight has become
wedged under my hip, crumpling nothing like a folded crane.