Thursday, July 29, 2010

People Watching.

The volcanic young woman
massages smoke through two pursed lips
her nose
her hair a false red
and her young eyes
a french and riveting blue.

If she were to battle her lover
sitting beside her,
she would win. He touches her small-of-back:

shares her dark papered cigarette
as they bicker amongst friends
under geranium flower boxes,
the pink ocean sunset glows off the brick
and I finish off my cigarette at the table.

Holyrood Park.

When the earth and straw cling to my cardigan
I know it is you
all the people before us trying to pull me back
to the earth,
forcing my eyes up
my toes to touch the ground
and sink into the ancient body
to find the core of what has been hidden forever,
waiting for me,
my lover till I return to you.

Mr. St. Giles, I Like You.

Today I visited St. Giles Cathedral, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sadly I missed a concert there last night, but got to hear the organist in his loft this afternoon after trekking the city. Lit a candle for friends and sat awhile. I've been to at least five cathedrals on this trip so far, but this one felt cozy and lived in, a lot like Mary Mag's in Oxford, my main church for the five weeks I was there. Most Anglican churches are not only called "High Church" but tend to feel loftier than is tangible for the little people. This coming from a cathedral-going Episcopalian. Good day so far, and I still have yet to hike Holyrood and get pub grub tonight. I depart early in the morning for the Lake District.


The light hits
patches in each place,
a cerulean blue
or a piercing red
or, if the reformers got to you,
the life was sucked from your eyes
leaving nary a saint to look at me
with watery eyes,
to tell me to eat my vegetables
to clean my room,
no great beings to fix me to my seat.
The ones remaining don't miss a beat.
My hearts skips a beat.

Mary was not only Caucasian
but had an exceptionally high forehead
save when she appeared to Titian,
his glowing Middle Eastern muse.
He was still convinced she was a blonde.
Female pattern baldness
immaculate conception
and Caucasianitis
ran in the holy family, I'm afraid.

And how does Joseph her lover react
seeing her and himself,
only two teenage lovers enshrined with a naked baby
in circlets of gold against Victorian wallpaper—
does he cry out in his sleep

anything is possible, but oh God how?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



So here it is.
This is what I feared
longed for
dreaded might not happen
to me
what i dreaded regretting
no plunge into blackety black
blackness with little stars scattered
throughout the forest pitch tar stick.
Myself wanders,
plays chess with one color,
I undress myself
my bottom lip only touches its upstairs neighbor.


If we are both so sane
(the doctors told me otherwise)
why does the room shake so,
why do my hands quake so intensely
with tremors of faults in the earth,
quake like women three times
four times my age?
On a roll downhill we are
in time, in mind.
We lost sanity a long time ago.


I have always been afraid of those I call
Does that make us something
better? Perhaps in this flying freedom
I take you lover with me
like Whitman scolded me to,
yelling from the stony grave.
So complete me a woman who treads the ground,
so whole a man and poet you be,
tethered loosely to this soft dark earth.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the space between the yellow lines of the road
distract us from looking at the homeless
girl on the flagstone, by the bench
drawing with wet chalk

we don't want to make eye contact, no,
that would be frightful
that would be addressing what is
that would be crystal.

when she was a bitty baby
her mother rocked her in the cradle
and sang smooth songs into her ears.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Had a Dream.

I have been having a really, really bomb time with all my pals over here. Lately I've been dreaming crazy dreams, getting great feedback from my profs over here, and missing my posse. I miss you all. Thus, the poems, trying to figure my shit out, and reminiscing.

Last night I dreamt that my father came to me
He said to me with sullen face:
I don’t know you anymore,
we don’t know each other.
He walked,
walked far away and I didn’t know why or who I was.
He was not my father.
I had no man.
This is what I had been dreading all along
hovering mist in the distance of what I had always known.
I was alone, totally and utterly.
I wrote him a letter.
He forgot.
I had no man and no man had me
I was not to be had.

Dueling men fight over abdomen,
intestine, womb, swollen belly,
my gut reaction to what they said, who they were
in relation to my self.
How selfish that is.
I drink wine to cure my liver,
to pickle the wind that blows over my face
and keep it in a jar
far away so I don’t feel its bitterness too concentrated.

We make love from afar.
I breathe the sea, the salt desert
and though I wait for it to happen,
I know it has happened, already, to me
the mingling of salt water on wound, on hurt
and the beauty you possess before the burst
of veins and pulverized nerves,
of your bringing me upward,
scars ruptured again and again with each heave.
Rupture the steadiness I crave, and
once the stability comes, break all trend,
and tread all paths that seem to lead us
to panting baby streams where baby deer drink
me up till I'm dry.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Defining the Day.

I'm doing well, my last week here in Oxford. I wrote this trying to figure out how I'm doing, so forgiveness if this may seem exploratory. Actually, no apologies. This is what was to be said. I wish formatting weren't such a bitch. Know there are intended indents. Oh well. Love to friends and family.


Today was a grandfather sea turtle
an entire ocean
a whale
and some odd number of waves
let loose from my hand into the air
that breathed more freely because of it.

Today was a pile of sweet rotting leaves
bunches of number two pencils
of tape dispensers
hulls of sleeping bulbs.

Today I wrote something
that might have mattered,
said something must have mattered,
was someone who mattered. I was.

Do not measure too much, in coffee spoons
or by the downy brown hair on my forearm
that will eventually turn ash blond gray.

Today shocked like an electric socket, like Edison

no more dull slow burning glow.
the cleaning lady outpours old days down the stairs,
I watch her
head in hands
sitting on the top step.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Long Was the Night.

Last night was long. All yesterday was long. After riding the train for six hours that day, I had a lot of time to think. Here is what came of it.


Here travels the night

whispering some vague welcome out
through windows of lit windows
of homes with a chair for me

offered up for me.

There must be an old country song
playing soft on the piano in the back room
the tune mostly remembered
the words mostly gone,
train tracks drumming shiny clacking teeth
and the whir of the night
nothing but dark white noise.

I am drawn to lists

like moths to garish light,
middle aged men to cans of beer
little girls to their plastic pink lipstick
in the bowels of plastic clutch purses,
like cats to cream

and by the time my similes run dry

so my eyes run wet

with something deep at the burning core

red hot ash,

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Home Stretch.

To Andrew Marvell:

You question hell
and if you're going or not;
I bet you're Catholic

now I'm going to hell

but I'm not going to lie
because I don't do confession

I don't really know why you wonder so much
because we're all going to die
at some point. Maybe from cancer
or from a disease-ridden fly.
Plus, your poems are kind of, well...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yes, I am doing well, thank you. How are you?

I hear the electric drums and the patter
of rain on pavement turned a deep wet black.

The air has turned a new page in its book.

Monday, July 12, 2010

E. E. Cummings, Genesis, and the Brothers Grimm.

Getting ready to start my third paper, the second-to-last of this whole program. Wow. I'm writing on the significance of spinning in fairy tales, the phallic imagery, the work the women (some dumb, some clever) were forced to do. Sometimes there's a turn of wits. The sky over here is complex and cloudy, so I feel at home in the weather. I miss people. Chances are, I probably miss you who are reading this too...

Anyways. Here's to procrastination.


in the beginning it was fresh
pregnant and swollen out and up
the sky could breathe and fly on pinions
like the birds it carried on currents
the heartbeat was clean

the dirt was clean we were clean
all over, my toes had no calluses and there were
no thorns for miles
and no punctuation to complicate
nothing to complicate nothing

and nothing can come from nothing
without a word or name, without abracadabra or
or a small glimmer of light up in the expansiveness
that collapsed in on itself because it felt like it.

how can this be nothing

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To a Young Love.

I am doing well here in England, and beginning my third paper, starting to research. So naturally I procrastinated and wrote a poem instead, sitting in Blackwell's, reading Andersen fairy tales and Marvell's poems. This one's title is based off of a T. Roethke title "To a Young Wife". But overall bears little resemblance to.

That you are is
and wheat fields
a vast expanse of possibility,
uncertainty, the probability
of crashing is high

Sunday night the lights dim
in the cathedral;
the only sounds are of restless feet
shuffling, voices of the two high tenors
twist upward
and your dark breath
melting into my chest, onto my neck.

They tell me they don't wear seat belts
or helmets in the country
so there are a lot of damaged skulls,
and splints
on farmers, their sheep dogs, on farmers' wives
and their children.

Monday, July 5, 2010

After Reading Clare.

When I write I want
them to breath out
a sigh.

When I write I use no
exclamation marks but
try to let you mark on your own.

When I write I
never answer the question
why do this

to allow us to curl up
in the lines that form home.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

After Work.

The shack and a few trees
float in the blowing fog

I pull out your blouse,
warm my cold hands
on your breasts.
you laugh and shudder
peeling garlic by the
hot iron stove.
bring in the axe, the rake,
the wood

we'll lean on the wall
against each other
stew simmering on the fire
as it grows dark
drinking wine.

-Gary Snyder

Upon Everything, Sizeably Fragmented.

We drink coffee
We drink tea
I walk miles of pavement
but the miles have walked me hard.

I make coffee
I break bread
as I crack the spine of
writers who're dead, caress their fractures.

A hole in my dress pocket
I lose pence;
this time we have
is incense

sneaking through alleyways, under pork pie hat
dodging cigarette smoke and the soles of my shoes.
Line up details and facts in lists to remind ourselves
we can't lose.

Drinking black coffee
is liquid sin
with a light at the end of the tunnel.
I give in.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Distance on Pub Wine, Good Romance and Hope.

Take my pulse to see if I'm well
I'm well
there is gap here
there's beat of my street feet
but my pulse doesn't quicken quite like
around you

if I could stroke your fingers
take my pulse and tell me I'm well.
I'm well but the garden is not quite as green, a bit more
stagnant than I want
do I want

what do I want...
you here?
You here

Take my pulse to see if I'm well

and the ground supports me
but could you too
you do.
Your freckles are stars
infinitely distant
and infinite here.

Take my pulse to see if I am well.
Hand on my chest
feel the blood flow life
and I will do the same.