Tiger beetles, crickets, velvet ants, all
know the useful friction of part on part,
how rub of wing to leg, plectrum to file,
marks territories, summons mates. How
a lip rasped over finely tined ridges can
play sweet as a needle on vinyl. But
sometimes a lone body is insufficient.
So the sapsucker...Read more
Sometimes I dream of a slave ship docking at port & my grandmother has brought me here. She takes my hand
(in the dream I am very young) as we watch the children
disembark. The children are lithe & descend one after
another after another- squinting, lifting their hands to shield
their eyes from the burning light of this ...Read more
The sea calls to witness
or that which
is only a declaration
of the limited
and the countable.
And the sun some tourist
wades out each morning
for a few moments
and to forget and drown.
And then later the moon
fluted with gold,
fruit on the sand
marked with a rich grain,
spilled near the shrub-pines
to bleach on the boulders:
your stalk has caught root
among wet pebbles
and drift flung by the sea
and grated shells
and split conch-shells.
Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.
About this poem
Talk to you tonight,
I wrote this morning, knowing
it would only be the afternoon
where you are, will be,
whole neighborhood still
wrapped in a tule fog
that won't let up-so you reported
while I slept.
I almost wrote this afternoon
instead, taking your point
of view,...Read more
Our subjects were nice. We kept
our distance. We brewed detachment
in bottles. "We kept our distance"
is an anecdote. Her name
is Anecdote. She was born in the study.
Cages, bottles. Books all around.
She was our favorite / forbid us
to see her. She was the muse
for the ...Read more
What was it I was going to say?
Slipped away probably because
it needn't be said. At that edge
almost not knowing but second
guessing the gain, loss, or effect
of an otherwise hesitant remark.
Slant of light on a brass box. The way
a passing thought knots the heart.
There's nothing, ...Read more
"They tried to bury us. They didn't know we were seeds." -Mexican Proverb
I was born among the bodies. I was hurried
forward, and sealed a thin life for myself.
I have shortened my name, and walk with
a limp. I place pebbles in milk and offer
them to my children when there is nothing
else. We ...Read more
here among them the dead the others the aliens
I see you without coke bottle glasses a wavy comb over
your nose buried inside a notebook over-
flowing with strange sightings men and women
without a homeland a library to shelve histories
dreams the names of rare flowers fruits baby names
O mighty, powerful, dark-dispelling sun,
Now thou art risen, and thy day begun.
How shrink the shrouding mists before thy face,
As up thou spring'st to thy diurnal race!
How darkness chases darkness to the west,
As shades of light on light rise radiant from thy crest!
For thee, great source of strength, emblem...Read more
If my lover were a comet
Hung in air,
I would braid my leaping body
In his hair.
Yea, if they buried him ten leagues
Beneath the loam,
My fingers they would learn to dig
And I'd plunge home!
About this poem
"This Much and More" was published in "All-Story Cavalier Weekly" on ...Read more
Levinas asked if we have the right
To be the way I ask my sons
If they'd like to be trees
The way the word tree
Makes them a little animal
Dancing up and down
Like bears in movies
Bears I have to say
Pretend we are children
At a river one of them says
So we ...Read more
I needed, for months after he died, to remember our rooms-
some lit by the trivial, others ample
with an obscurity that comforted us: it hid our own darkness.
So for months, duteous, I remembered:
rooms where friends lingered, rooms with our beds,
with our books, rooms with curtains I sewed
from ...Read more
Amy, I was almost run down by a car
after buying my lunch today.
It was the postal police.
I was almost hit by the postal police.
This is not a joke.
There is a police force dedicated to the postal service
They race around in cars,
they chase down postal villains,
investigate postal crimes
Some did not want to alter the design
when the failure message
said massive problem with oxygen.
Some wanted to live full tilt with risk.
By then we were too weak for daily chores:
feeding chickens, hoeing yams,
calibrating pH this and N2 that . . .
felt like halfway summitting Everest.
In midsummer, in Los Angeles,
the night is fractured
with mountains, grilling ink
into the blue thaw. I trail
into pools and pastures,
and in the diner,
and skirt up booths,
the waitress, Dottie, is whipping
shells, mac and cheese,
waffles and ...Read more
Do strangers make you human
Science fiction visiting bodies as cold fact
What unknown numbers govern our genes or phones
A constant thrum from outer space
Snow makes a sound in sand
You are seen from far far above
Unheard and vanished
bodies dismember to dirt
Leisure, thou goddess of a bygone age,
When hours were long and days sufficed to hold
Wide-eyed delights and pleasures uncontrolled
By shortening moments, when no gaunt presage
Of undone duties, modern heritage,
Haunted our happy minds; must thou withhold
Thy presence from this over-busy world,
And ...Read more
whose ancient vista is the long view
turns its wide brightness now and here:
Below, we loll outdoors, sing & make fire.
We build no henge
but after our swim, linger
by the pond. Dapples flicker
pine trunks by the water.
Buzz & hum & wing & song combine.
Light builds a monument ...Read more