Friday, February 26, 2010

In Response.

I often don't know what I'm going to write about when I start. The pen will generally fight with my mouth or head. In fact, I shout at the pen. Not literally. Proverbially. Jesus said proverbs that made absolutely no sense to anyone except to Jesus. The point? Was there one? God better not have told stories to Him/Herself. This would make me furious. Or just slightly peeved.

I become easily frustrated with myself and others lately. And the more I write, the more I realize this really is a journal entry. You should appreciate the frankness and candor with which I speak. In fact, I keep writing EYE EYE EYEYEYEYE statements all over the hellish world, discussing myself and what EYE think and what EYE feel, not EWE.

How are you? Are you eating an orange? The library is quiet, and my friend is far away. She is doing alright, as am I. What if we were both WONderful? It would be fairyland and sprinkles on the cupcakes of the world. Hopefully there would be chocolate cake. There is juice in the dirt that I want to drink, and I've taken to the habit of tasting the bark on trees, and feeling the texture of twigs beneath my thumb and forefinger. Rub rub rubbing the rubles of the trees the gems that not everyone sees but only a select few. Grandmother oak and maple perhaps knight three of us each year in approval.

I worry that no one else does anything, thinks anything like this. Then how will the two of us get together and climb trees and make love and babies forty years down the road? How will we storm Washington and pirate Her Majesty's navy? Your aura is purple and where are all my friends... When I tell people I love them I mean it, but I'm so damn uncomfortable, because I'm worried it's not reciprocal like the red flower that hugs the hood of my car.

This might be nonsense.

Good Posture in Times of War.

Trying so hard,
He prints the letters
on stationary
with fake green grass and tulips
printed on the top.
The way he holds the pen
with that awkward posture
akin to the curvature of his back
bent over since he got back
from the war.
Since I can remember when.

Framed in the light
of the window,
lamp desk and typewriter
on the right of the room-
The red painted room,
two shades of optimism lighter
than the blood of young men
oblivious of consequence.

They ignite engines
and jaywalk all the crosswalks.
Ride to war.
Nothing will happen
but come back a hero
having fought against somebody,
against yourself,

Everything tastes like potatoes and rice.
Nothing is clean anymore.
Everything smells like metal and rotting dirt.
My lips are dry and I grease them with axle
like they did on the Oregon Trail
and died from hemlock and perhaps incest
to find the Promised Land.
But I'm alive
I think.
I send you letters
but tear up each one
deliberately, working hard
and slowly run out of ink.

Anticipate the day
when we can be together again
whetted clay, squelching and
turning on the wheel, on the tree swing
touched by a whispering translucent rain.
Your graceful body off the train,
my weakened muddy frame uproots itself
to you-
You to whom I sing-
becoming strong.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


nothing distinct came
to a place of nowhere
outlines in questions
written in eight point font.

you were to give a human being
the right
the right to fight or lay down
their right hand
for the things transcendent
for the life not yours
for the soul that might not exist
in rainbows and rocks,

would you do it?
Would you take down their two feet,
the toenails off
one by one
and make a necklace from the teeth?

You do not know where you are.
This is no longer our territory.
The sea swallowed up
the lighthouse
and our little yellow boat
so go, you must swim to shore.
I don't know how to swim.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


If I were a fly
I would make love
to steak on counter tops.
I would see through
millions of tiny hexagons
and in black and white,
to avoid swats
and bats of the hand.
My companions would lay their eggs
in garbage cans
or in flower beds
pinpricks of white in the
vast and ominous expanse

One solitary moon of myself
one oval ova
lies in a bird's nest
hidden among twigs
and leaves,
furrows of brown and green
in the tree tops.


The open field
unfolds like a letter
coming out of a cream
envelope stamped and sealed,
fibrous like hay bales
and warm sweet waving grasses.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I wish I knew who I just wrote about.

She's a solid trunk with roots that dig with shovel fingers. She finds the water deep down.

Weaving baskets from her hair, she anticipates rain with the wet fog, the surrounding crowd of gray mist that settles like smoke on the ground.

Should I make a fire, she wonders?

The porch lets her sit for hours at rest on slightly damp pants that didn't make it through the first dry cycle in the machine. And it's too wet and cold for them to air dry. The red rocking of the chair squeaks approval at the quiet sound of ocean waves on the roof shingles. The moss cushions the drops of rain plummeting to earth. Green pincushions they are, welcoming them from the sky, rain babies sliding down the backs of bark brown slugs.

A rain barrel sits underneath the eaves as she gathers her jacket around her. The damp comes into her body without warning--it isn't that cold--as it does in the bone-chilling way of days completely saturated with all things golden gloomy. A small stream trickles down the wooden railings into the barrel, a newly made mountain spring from glacier melt. She wants to be in the forest behind her little cabin, but wonders if mudslides are a danger.

The rickety floor is slippery wet, covered with a carpet you can't find at a store. And besides, the nearest store is ten miles away down the gravel road.

She sighs, inhaling her first deep inhalation in a long time. The small leaves on the huckleberry bushes groan under the weight of gathering droplets, heaving precariously in front of her eyes. The round leaflets are delicate as mouse ears, beaten gently by the rain. They drink up the caught droplets with the morning, but until then, the mice hide in hollowed out rotting red logs and holes in the ground hidden underneath pine brush.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rewrite of "The Litle Match Girl"

There is a house that I know of--
The fence blew away in the windstorm last spring.
Frigid blue chipped paint
Howling of freezing rain.
It holds us inside with its nails,
Its walls made of newspaper.

Gray gusts, opaque and tired
Became a thin white woman whose water broke,
Tormented the battered porch, bruised
And knocked on the front door with windy daggers.

He held us tightly, little baskets of dead twigs
With glowing eyes of wise old men,
Tightly against his chest without muscle
Ribs and fingers with no bone.

I watched him cry for the first time.


Hesitant poised paws overtop
with pink pads
that just walked
through dew.
Wise, wise woman
looking through the front window
not knowing how to get through
the glass at the outside
inhibit caught and sit
inside in a rose-worn chair
and stringy silver elegant hair
pulled up and withered
looking for water
that is in puddles outside.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dog Star.

Dog star, you howl at the moon and not an evening too soon, for your master forgot to give you the cheese from the fridge promised you each Sunday night at nine oh clock. It is the night he plays poker in steamy bars in August. The night he smokes cigars and tips too much to high school burnouts for watered down drinks.

Make it summer again. Take the cirrus and shambles away to the time when little brother swang with me in the hammock at pink salmon dusk streaked with highlights of eighties eyeshadow blue. The sky sang.

Little Brother picked a clean, clear bowl of ruddy warm raspberries that mirrored the sky. The brown-green rows of berry bushes had multiplied with the years, growing like weeds, their tiny pricks giving him a gathering incentive. Calling out behind the whirs of the SunBird, I heard my name shouted. Come and sit with me, it called. Come outside.

Arms guarding from the flies and mosquites, we sat and listened to the end of the day. At first, no breeze, but with time, one spoke softly to us, bringing poems I had planted in the hollow oak tree.
Dying. Well, almost. The sound of the world would wake again in the morning as it had done the day before; now it was tired.

The patio voices dimmed. The older gentleman who lived behind us puttered on his porch. He pretended not to look over the dwarfed wooden fence and through the screen door. A poodle could jump over that fence. His eyes were bird-like and used, milky white like his hair and the milkman. He is all human, all man woman and child, putting on a hard worn cap and going inside to listen to the radio. Prairie Home Companion, probably. Everybody loves the gravelly sound of Garrison Keillor once they hear it. Although we have never met I am sure we would be greatest of friends. His grandmother and mine were best friends when dirt was invented at the beginning of time. I have a photo album of them playing in a wading pool, one summer just like this.

A rusting green truck grumbles in neutral outside waiting for a young girl in a summer sundress to meet her date in the driveway, as she brushes humidity out of her hair.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Other Side.

Your mind is void--
devoid of substance.
You have become
a bridge
crossing the icy crevasse
to fresh grass blades
that watch red ants
play with black dirt
on the other side.

We become dust
minute particles
catching sun
through window panes
glistening up through
rusting sink drains
overflowing with melting snow
and too much rain.