“…Yesterday you told me about the way
forestry affects your mind:
hunting poison ivy, leaves of three
with greater poisons in hand,
your mind twists and grows
into moving shapes, tesselations
of trinities, hidden in the brush
like a Magic Eye painting.
The movement of growing things,
the taste of green gets under your skin…”
“…Yesterday you told me about the way
“I’ve got a golden envelope
in my back pocket
I’m careful not to crush it,
smooth its edges before I sit
every day I slip things in it for you:
the scent of grapes,
soft things that yawn
green beanstalk money
last night’s dreams
and while I sleep, the gifts awaken
into their own mischief, alive
with the multiplying alchemy of you—…”
“The secret of leaving things behind
branding the flanks of the world,
It’s not the buildings they burn,
It’s the songs we hum
while we work.
It’s all the things that don’t make book.
Rain gnaws the edges of my small-town street,
baring cobblestone teeth.
Forgotten dance steps litter the dirt
in layers under the grocery store,
and I’m thinking about legacies
and the thin halocline
between living and dying.
Where am I on this river? How much time
before the salt trickles in,
pulling me home to the ocean?…”
“Meet the real woman behind the voice of Siri.
My computer’s possessed!
Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.
You’re not a dish, you’re a man.
Can I show you some really disturbing math?
There’s never been a better time than now to focus.
Being a person is complicated.
Hey there, got a little misfit inside of you?
Do you want more clarity and empathy?
There are situations when you need a serious power supply…”
“…Tonight I’m connecting the stars on my own
in a house the color of midnight.
I was experimenting with electricity
and found a rip in the galaxy—
an open circuit, a breach in polarity
where the mysteries of trinities glow
Is it too much just to be happy?
I don’t need to invent the microwave
or write a symphony.
I just want the simple pleasures
I’m waiting, and waiting is a sentient life-form
you can feed snacks…”
“Oh, what did you hear, my blue-eyed son?
In your sleep, listen
to the hum of latent sunrise—
the crickets of dawn receding
as dreams trickle
down the celestial bolus
like fireflies into your open veins.
against the edges of blackout curtains.
The entire universe is trying to trespass
with all its available light,
and you’ve mistaken it for a burglar.
Mars is insistent: this isn’t a joke.
Will the sound of glass breaking awaken you?…”
(Ekphrastic homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat, with borrowed words)
do these accordion players keep playing
in the middle of the street
to incoming traffic?
Bellows spread open,
taped and stitched, dissected;
parting a red sea of love notes
over and over, purses bloated with life,
pockets of coins scattering
from a currency that wasn’t current,
change that didn’t register
until the impact finally hit.
Before the sun rises, I let his shadow hold me.
Dawn threatens the blackout curtains.
Another day waiting, another sun and moon
giving way to more empty rooms
in the dayless patchwork of quarantine.
I remember how he is when his words are flesh
and his voice isn’t saved up in a jar:
It’s Sunday, September:
after storms, a high-contrast day
so bright I can see the future
glowing like the variegated orbs of apples
in this barn, each in its wooden bowl
into tastes of permanence.
The cider press extracts elixirs
and ferments liquors while donuts fry,
pies bake, sauces simmer.
The hurricanes passed.
You were here with me,
like you’ve been through them all
under the waves as my towns submerged…
…Let the colored waters drip
between our open veins;
let the pinwheels spin
while the cargo slips out of sight
and the caboose transports the night
on its back and the full moon in you
races down the waterwheel
into the waiting pool of my lips
and all I can do is put another quarter in
and watch the world turn again…
(with random reflections on the pantoum form, flash poem writing, writing as therapy, and Bob Ross)
I’ve stuck my hand down the drain.
Reached around the spinning blades.
Pulled things out from the grime
the likes you’ve never seen.
I’ve reached around the spinning blades
and seen my face shining in them
like you’ve never seen
before. The bones. The eyes…
…He drew a line in black ink,
squiggling around shapes
of buildings, people, trees.
I followed it around the corner,
curious where it would lead.
I followed it all the way into the subway.
Sometimes I drew things back.
The city opened around me
like the glass teeth of a mosaic dragon
breathing smoke and the fires of sunsets
between buildings. their underground organs
pumping and hissing with hydraulic precision.
I was so young…