Interlude

Ghost I love,

On nights like these
the lapping waters
rhythmically hush
the lapse between
our last embraces

fingers are tight to spine,
as if arms could circle
round tomorrow,
or choke the moment
from its passing

a mosaic of abstracted
light surrounds us
as I hold your silence
the way the city
holds its breath

waiting for the morning.

Animalis

Listen, the wild dogs are growling
in the cellar, while you tell me
to write of hope and beauty.

I haven’t tuned you out so much
as pressed my ear against the floor
to hear the snarling.

I’ve been unlearning
the negativity of darkness–
finding release in
gnashing canines

And that joyous howl
of wild abandonment—

I’ve danced with shadows
‘til blisters turned to paws
and drove the beast
by staring it in the eyes

Epilogue

The light did not go out
in your street side window–
slip straps slide off shoulders
where you have begun
biting poetry from skin.

That story goes on
ours is but an epilogue–
heavy enough in the humid air
to choke like non-fiction
as the characters shift.

Tonight,
you do not wonder where I am.

When the guard changes
the heart is vulnerable–
a loud languishing longing
finds its way from pursed lips
as a tome-like silence breaks.

I’ve learned tears take more
imagination than they used to—
cold callouses can form anywhere,
and I’ve pressed the ink against
one too many parchment.

I imagine you,
as so many lost myths,
rewriting yourself in her arms.

Polycrone

 

It is incredible to think
twelve years ago I turned
twenty, no less

How could one so young
feel so old?

Soon it will be thirteen
and it seems I should have
found you–
found myself, running
fingers through your hair
by now, searching for the gray.

I have been over many hills,
mountains even,
creeping like lichen over
the other side.
it looks much the same.

I can write a tragedy,
for what I cannot find;
looking for that sentence,
in a torn out page.

By twenty I knew too much,
it has taken twelve years more
to see, the blue sky does not
pale for personal sorrow.

At fourteen, if I remember,
I’m going to be afraid;
yesterday so remote then
it let go of today.

You will be your
unknown years past twenty
and it will be a better life,

Or it won’t.

Monotropa Uniflora

(Corpse plant)

Life does not supplant death-
Fecund. Sterile. Co-mingling.
humming lexicons
through the gift of tongues.

(Teeming with life)
even the lush forest has
dark pockets where
indian pipes play over detritus
in the damp tones of humus.

The sun rises only symbolically
on those who disregard semantics.
for others it is just a fixed point
in ever expanding darkness.

(Dirt is beneath her fingernails)
she digs between the roots of trees
the ghost plant shakes while she
impregnates the taproot
with her heart.

The harmony of the spheres
suggests an improbable union,
should we find the tuning fork
to vibrate catharsis.

(He wore two pieces of the moon)

The world did not stop turning.

Orographic Lift

Like the earth holds water

you watched me seep away

betting on a game of return

and these dry eyes withheld

tears from that ocean

and held in respiration

swollen lungs like a

bursting succulent.

No rain could wet

these recalcitrant eyes

red, cracked,

like scorched desert over seed.

Like the soil holds the germ

you anticipated my unfolding

believing in hidden virility

but the pulse of the soil is silent

frozen in vagrant anticipation

of moisture to urge the rooting

a thousand nights and more

you had faith in improbability

wise to the wizened earth

awaiting a cloudburst.

Somniloquist

Though some come with unblinking eyes
and mouths agape to swallow the world
not all who are born are born awake

Large manikin head and drooping lids
thick fingers that soothe themselves
against folds of soft fabric
drowse coated pupil in swirling film
like the image of clouds
above the earth from space
and that mouth
that mouth that flaps and flaps
like so many sheets to the wind.

Pulled from the womb
to meet the inquisition where
even the smallest quark is culpable
in the ungodly formation
of this summation

hunched form and knob-kneed
wide eyed to beauty and light
unable to steep in darkness
with all that coarseness against soft skin
and that tussock of hair
disregarded but dearly loved

and the hand that holds the world
is not gentle or awake to all
it shakes and rattles teeth
playing dice with bones.

Auspicium

Historia, Estoire, Histoire
is flighty fickle symbols.

Man opened his mouth,
Placed pen to parchment,
to divine significance.

With a flourish
the birds were set free
arcing with alacrity
towards auspicious heights

Every utterance was cursed
to be an approximation,
since we fell from that tower
to inauspicious isolation.

Do they take wing for joy,
or will they, for us, reveal
that our recorded gods
no longer mock
our melodious babble?

As we are turned away,
so we turn,
to that fleshy flower
that breathes, ad infinitum, in one breath
the unwilting tone of the terrestrial.

The Chickens will not eat this morning.
The songbirds do not sing.
Every wing is tucked.
In silence.

& denegare

told and retold
by the mouths of other
born archetypes
died martyrs
& reborn myths

with ashen mouths
singing hymns to
skeletons pulled
across the desert
in loose fists

dead carried like
scarlet thread between teeth
hair woven tapestries
& flags of tattered rags

some words are spoken
and do not speak
hold the listener
rooted to the heard
mesmerized by the mirage

the boneyard dances
beneath a humbled sky
& bows in salutation
to a blistering heat

waiting to be untold

Basalt

In chambers beneath the earth,
Pressured into a warmth
no longer fathomable,
whence veins
Pulsed with magmatic life
along ancestral lines–
the heart, perhaps, beat soft

before it was spent,
spewed to surface
to take form, to find rigidity,
to know the pain of stillness
to feel unrelenting winds.

From the darkness it came,
seeking salvation,
and found fissures of emptiness–
No ethereal mythos awaited,
only the piercing inky black
of a broken story
strewn across barren scapes

bearing desolation.
there is no firm ground,
only the shifting, the grinding
the groaning of tectonics–
mythos garbed like veritas

her waves bash against fire
to touchstone,
rains down pieces to the mosaic–
beneath the heave and swell
at the bottom of the holy well.