Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We Are Here

We Are Here

Are you there, Richard—
painting the appalled tints
of your drenched father’s blood,
unseen by anyone
until the master stroke falls?

            From Broadmoor, faintly:
            I am here.

Are you there, William—
singing your brother’s soul to heaven
three days straight
as angels in the frosty hawthorn
applaud your feat?

            The Devil’s Deny
            is His greatest Lie:    
            Yes, I am Here!

Are you there, Yayoi—
wise chooser of asylum,
elective permanent retreat
where the feverish swarming dots
surge undefiled in fiber?            

            From a rice paper plane:
            I am here
            I am here.

Are you there, Xu Wei,
Vincent, are you there—
airless marauders of pearl               
from shells of glutinous striving  
for ocean’s moment?                       

            From a bower of grapes
            and unlaced boots:
            Yes, we are here.             

Are you there, Judy—
daubing holy rape
upon tissues of nightgown  
by bedsides in the undark ward     
where your smashed face shines?

            In murmur tinier than a fly’s:
            I am...here.

Are you there—
my years and heroes,
avatars of shatter and rebar,     
shard reconveners,
my undead selves your peers?

            Firmly, through the collapsed
            masonry, rubble’s echo climbs:    
            We are here. We are here.

Friday, December 27, 2013



Today I must not go and cannot stay.
Strenuous transformation has not made solid
things or the joins between solid things. Not
rock, not rooted trees, not the river or the
trickle fusing dust motes on the windowpane.
Rather, part has moved steadily away
from part, showed centre scatter, flinger of 
hypothesized dot in which vacuums bloom.
Dispersal. It has made me old and kept
me from being born. Arthritic fetus,
I limp toward the pension of beginning.
Love and duty fill my hands, purpose
granting pause, while I myself slip through them
scenelessly. Gratitude for improved
resolution of a dismal picture
is strange gratitude—though all thanks are due.
Perceptions flutter, sway, down to the sun-chalked
sidewalk in kryptonite stutter: “Is it
a bird? A butterfly? No, just a leaf.”
The prickly pentagram commits no shadow,
events becoming smaller and more eerie
as we spiral toward what can’t and must be waiting.
Give me your hand. Your hand. Forget this next.
The cloud touches everything as it dissolves
in a sky absolving everything save windlessness.

Saturday, December 14, 2013



Tearing yourself loose
from a lifelong
pack of lies
—is hard enough.
But at least
you’ve got those
ice-gray eyes,
snapping, pink-foamed
jaws and that
high articulate howling
right behind you—
Each vivid reminder
of lethality helps
legs and lungs,
forcing them on
when you can’t.

It’s the other
side of savagery
that’s more troublesome.

When a whimpering
makes you turn
and in the
grovel of soft
gray fur you
discern nothing more
drastic than yips
and licks, upturned
bare bellies and
squirmy abashed grins,
just a muddle
of big dumb
puppies craving the
rubs you’ve withheld.

That’s when running
suddenly becomes much
more human, more
familiar—and, yes,

much more rough.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

“Let’s clear the air”

“Let’s clear the air”

Since my views on the matter
didn’t matter when they mattered,
when suffering was acute and might be spared—

Why would I rehearse them
with those absent till the hearse came?
A vacuum means there’s no air to be cleared.