Monday, July 30, 2012

Route 231

He was once her worm-
hole to life below tulips
the cool moist mud
clarity of black-

her portal to fresh jams
tea-biscuits and summer
blankets spread on grass
next to a hill of ants

antennae brandished
to overtake what was left
of their green transparent light.
That's when she ran, floored it

rare in her yellow 1983 Porsche
top down toward Route 231-
thoughts of Indiana growing

ever smaller.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Needle in the breast-bone
draws an epiphany
- not of them had ever deserved her -

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Monarch butterflies descend on the field
like summer tourists
Their wings overwhelm the rustle
of an un-tilled crop as the rain begins.

In the field at dusk, a plough rusts -
a red-winged blackbird
perched on its handle, lost in song.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Extinct

Imagine I'm the last woman on earth,
the snowiest plover, the loneliest
deep-sea-swimming whale. It's not my fault, but
it might be. Should I keep changing until
I become something that has an other?
I've tried that. What else can I do for love?
Now not even the gray wolves listen to my
long litany of failures. They know I'm just
putting this self-sadness in my mouth—
a polar bear crunching seal bones between
her teeth—to get what little I can from it.
They still won't let me blame myself:
When I tell them my name isn't a song
to sing, they call it back to me again and again.

Keetjie Kuipers
Number 21

Toward An Impure Poetry

by Pablo Neruda

It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest. Wheels that have crossed long, dusty distances with their mineral and vegetable burdens, sacks from the coal bins, barrels, and baskets, handles and hafts for the carpenter's tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth, like a text for all troubled lyricists. The used surfaces of things, the wear that the hands give to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things---all lend a curious attactiveness to the reality of the world that should not be underprized.
In them one sees the confused impurity of the human condition, the massing of things, the use and disuse of substance, footprints and fingerprints, the abiding presence of the human engulfing all artifacts, inside and out.
Let that be the poetry we search for: worn with the hand's obligations, as by acids, steeped in sweat and in smoke, smelling of the lilies and urine, spattered diversely by the trades that we live by, inside the law or beyond it.
A poetry impure as the clothing we wear, or our bodies, soup-stained, soiled with our shameful behavior, our wrinkles and vigils and dreams, observations and prophecies, declarations of loathing and love, idylls and beasts, the shocks of encounter, political loyalties, denials and doubts, affirmations and taxes.
The holy canons of madrigal, the mandates of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing, the passion for justice, sexual desire, the sea sounding---willfully rejecting and accepting nothing: the deep penetraion of things in the transports of love, a consummate poetry soiled by the pigeon's claw, ice-marked and tooh-marked, bitten delicately with our sweatdrops and usage, perhaps. Till the instrument so restlessly played yields us the comfort of its surfaces, and the woods show the knottiest suavities shaped by the pride of the tool. Blossom and water and wheat kernel share one precious consistency: the sumptuous appeal of the tactile.
Let no one forget them. Melancholy, old mawkishness impure and unflawed, fruits of a fabulous species lost to the memory, cast away in a frenzy's abandonment---moonlight, the swan in the gathering darkness, all hackneyed endearments: surely that is the poet's concern, essential and absolute.
Those who shun the "bad taste" of things will fall flat on the ice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Winter Leaf

                                                        How does one kiss 
become a traumatic tattoo-
marcescent as a winter leaf?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friend, lost

She's rung the world's doorbell
knocked on trees in every hemisphere
climbed through earth's wormholes
sprung leaks in artesian wells

collapsed in cold deserts
after following dwindling tracks
hot from trying to conjure up mirages
his face in the spun sun.

She's joined humanity's marathons
to find  his number in a sea of digits
pinned to heaving chests, the air thick
with anonymous sweat.

When someone you love goes missing
the whole world feels unpopulated.

Friend, where have you gone?
Have you curled Into another?
Do the fires there burn brighter?
Are the easy chairs softer?

The clock reads 3:26 pm.  
It is Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


She struggled to remember why she chose
to walk the plank.
It was easier to recall the splashdown
as her body smacked the surface.

Everything blue, top to bottom
particularly his eyes fixed full of sea 

with the steady resolve of a sailor.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Starla and the Moon

Starla's bones resume the same position as yesterday
as she sinks into the outdoor lounge chair .
The wind on the other hand, has shifted east
more or less.

The sun plays between the trees reminds her 
of bubbles in their last glass of champagne, 
a perfect summer that rose and fell, 
disappearing into golden.

In a vast sky, the moon waxes gibbous