Friday, November 30, 2012


The rain moved from rumor to roof, this gray tide of sky  arriving as the night. The trees all sway and the wind chimes sing. That life full of golden moments is here, without any resounding brass or fanfare. That life pieced together from books and movies, the lasting magic you won't let go shows up as well. All night you tried to sleep, weeping in your pillow. All night you tried to sleep, losing count of crimes and sheep.

I can't escape this dark escarpment, I can't contain these throws of dusk. The mask becomes a map of your evasions, the mask a looking glass you won't stop walking through. The stories you share with your tethered heart, a lightning strike or secret spark. All the brightness there and gone, at once illuminating and obscuring this bitter business. This tiresome telling that they call a soul. Every lapse another favor, every torment a tell. It might be hard to find heaven, but it doesn't take a tracker to stir up a little hell.

I wait out the day for the rain to get here, them I sit outside to watch it as it falls. Night arrives in festive grays and black shadows, the sort of shabby entrance I usually make. I sit and smoke, thinking the kinds of thoughts that you can skin your knees on. I sit and smoke, watching the rain wash it all. The streets grow slick and the gutters brazen. Wanted or not, this is the life I am living. Asked for or not, all my blessing count as curses. This moment, and others lived quite like it. This is the spell cast like dice in the dark. The consolation of words ringing hollow, every sin comes home to roost.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I know the words, though the moment's still uncertain. I read them again, though I only just let them go. The books on the shelf must know the feeling. Someone finds something, or someone finds nothing. Say the word and somebody will say it again. Recitation as if it is an answer. The repetition it takes to know you're lost. You miss the magic of these incantations, or you thieve the meaning from scraps and shards. You know how the words ring hollow. I can't even answer any questions of my own.

Spoken aloud, the poem escapes me. Spoken aloud, the spell is cast. Beggar's rags and gnawed on bones. Sounds that savor the flavor on your tongue. Sounds that ring out over rooftops and root through shabby rooms. Your breath entangled with cheap meaning, your heart savage, beating out each hope. The gleeful ignorance another unopened cupboard. The willful deception only favored in the flesh. Line by line, you look for reasons. I forget everything but the rhyme.

Gnats are resting on my sleeves. The sky is thick with threatening clouds. The rain slipped by for most of the day, a break here and there for some sunlight, a steady release until the storm relented. The sun falls in torn up sheets, the limbs of a tree, the front of a house. Traffic creeps past in ones and twos. The hour lingers in the air, cool air and chilled skin. A simple set of signifiers left on the line, word by word I waste away. The change is slow but unforgiving. The context shifts with your breathing. You mouth the meaning, then spit it out. Reading the problem as the plan, moving the reason every time you engage.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I don't mind about the time-- it's always midnight somewhere. I don't mind about the hour-- another is always about to start. You may as well say it and see what that gets you. You might as well play the hand you're dealt. Enough of these strained translations, the foggy mornings and the bitter blues. Mosquitoes are all I attract, a buzzing near the ear, a bite upon my ankle. A cup of coffee while the sun goes down. Time running down like everybody else. The magic drags as well as draws. The torch burns on and on.

It catches up, the moment held too long. Always the past  taking its best shots. Always the camera off the mark. That seeming feeling that you never forget or find again. That whole heart wonder beaten down to blood and bone, the ache of an absence of something so sure and sweet. The empty that allows only one lost hope to assure the vastness of the lapse. The weight of matter and the myth of sin both kiss your open mouth, stacked so precarious upon the past. Your breath says something as it leaves you, a line you just can't catch.

The dusk descends and you linger. A notion in a wallet, a wish wearing a frame. The hollow touch of a camera flash, something always missing the mark. This desolate intent to smolder, this certain resonance of calm and sorrow, this little torch left lit. My life pretends it is something other than chance and remnants. My life a sound after dark down an empty hall. The sun is gone and you still shine, another world, another era. This limit only you could exceed, this moment I could never quite grasp. This fire that cannot reach its shine.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


The world is shaped from the inside out, but still you shouldn't close your eyes too long. You pitch and spout, seething fervor into every flesh. You twist and shout, gravity always having its say. The sky is gray silk and sunken light. It hasn't always been so pretty, painted like a picture, lingering like a kiss. It hasn't always held your crown so close in sharp detail. The day alight the moment you open your eyes. The world awash in your life.

The cock crows some encumbered number. Hinting at spells only fairy tales know. Those pinches of salt or avoided ladders. Evidence of direction given with every hesitation. The global position another given name. The clock slows down, the words all stagger. The moment slips from spokes to bones, from incidental wit to naked appetite. Traffic and animals make bells of bare air. Fog sticks to each raw syllable. Something missing from everything you say.

Just like that the magic happens. A thought unfolds and you are mingled with each map. Sense and invention, the rumble and the roar. The thankless tasks feel like forgiveness, the weary burden the press of the destined.  You covet the cough and sputter, the mutterings of breath and blood. Your tomorrows seem to come unbidden, like love comes along if the movies are right. This trembling rush becomes existence. The fierce and the fleeting, this deep sigh of the vast romance. These leaps and freedoms all spider and fly. The meat that is the meaning.

Monday, November 26, 2012


It takes time sometimes to get to the end. Tell it enough and it will turn into a story. Tell it enough and the tongue will measure out a tale. True love or second guess, saved day or made mess. We are generous with our follies, while we ration every grace. Life has no shape, it holds direction. Life is always about what gets us by. The whole wide world, straight up to the sky to claim, and every time you take a name. The big picture from the very first play, and all you see is the mirror.

The moon is up there, if anybody's asking. The moon is up there way ahead of the spectacle. Just a tangle of trees, a stretch of power lines. The rooftops lit for a whisper by sun and moon. The rooftops the heavy minded silence that soon ascends. The twilight two parts dark to one part quiet. The dogs all over stirring up a ruckus. Voices rising in twos and tens. A lonesome repetition, a sounding in the dusk. All the lights just waiting to turn up.

You never knew the wrong road, never learned a lesson when ten more would do. More than half the falls you took you still mistake for flying. It would take more than words and maps to find you. Every touch you make leaves a mark. Every day begins with this ending. Every night starts to stall right when it starts to get good. Never worried whether pole star or satellite. Being lost mostly about a change in intention. Being you mostly about agreeing to be gone.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

along for the ride

It is a little too late to watch the sunset, a bit too early to count the stars. I post up on the back porch, the twilight bleeding color away to shades of gray, the cement cold and unrelenting. A cup of coffee, a glass of water, the world as it turns taking me along for the ride. The words will wait I say out loud, as if there weren't enough to worry after. The words will wait I say, because it seems I am never ready. I miss the mark because it needs missing. The dark and the empty touching the edges and coloring outside the lines.

We may yearn, and we may reach, but we really only ever do closed sets. The scheme of things all remembered maps and bits of string, the wary witness and the weight of vision. Experience of this skin and bandwidth an unlucky  pin. The borders of our minds much more impassable in the breach of fiction, the brain telling its stories, swearing they're the gospel. Belief our only strength and our main undoing. The heart always some wild country, full of trees and secrets.

I wear my years like well-worn shadows, I while away each hour like a fool. I slow the moment with a swallow of coffee. I find my place at the steel rim of the cup. Outside the air carries some small commotions. A yapping dog, a clinking fence. The sky painted in dim stars and dark needles. The trees spread to touch an absent sun begin to breathe in reverse. The earth spins, dragging my whole world with its whim. The words course on, weathering through each root and vein. The words return me to my place, along the long and narrow. They take the meaning from me, and take me along as well. The world vast and empty, save for a breath or two.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


They say it is your nature, they say it is all in the cards. Your play built into bone and sinew, the tussle and take of the animal you are wed to this unseasonable warmth. The sad facts draped across this frame, indolence and ignorance signing a treaty of mutual defense and growing a sample for distribution. You close your eyes and feel the sunlight brush your skin. That touch sparked deep with-in this tumble of blood and breath, the story spoken and the cherished faith. That warmth the only divine favor you can confess.

Then the rest all comes out, the reckoning of constellations built upon myths you do not know. Star after star named after forever, time after time the clockwork unwinds. The weight of the words you will not speak all lead and fire burning beneath your heart. The lilt of unfamiliar instruments tuned to some alien scale, music once so certain tatters the fabric of the song. The wheel turns and the road whistles and you travel all the places you marked on the map. The story goes, and you are still and silent. This is where you wound up, in god's plan or where you were placed by fate. Tell it until your face turns blue, this is where you are.

The sun burns low, the hour lingers. A cool breeze spills across your skin. Dogs bark, children shout, birds keep themselves busy between earth and sky. The world does its business while we play at make believe. The world doesn't need you, but it will miss you when you are gone. You make your case to the starlings on the  power lines. You make your case to the crows in the air. The words fall down on the muddy earth. The words lose purchase mingling only with the sun and sky. You speak the names they taught you, you work the spells and precautions they way they do in your tongue. The firmament only allows for so much change. You speak aloud, admit this sickness. It is heaven to endure this tired decline. It is heaven that longs to isolate.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

find you

So you say the story's over. So you say you up and quit.  You only mean it by the mouthful, those breathless moments there and gone. The crunch of arrival calls from  the gravel drive, moonlight and mosquito bites, dogs barking out the hours gone. The motion lights come to blind and buzz you. The engine cools as the electric hiss cicadas away. You know well enough any promise can be broken. You know it doesn't matter whether you wait to make your bed.

I clear my throat and sip my coffee. I counts the cracks and sing to the rain. Lost for hours to smoke and shadows, waiting for the dusk to come. Trading faith for anticipation of another waking. Trading answers for the wearisome world of ever-asking, unknown soldiers and unmarked graves. Breathing the air and minding the tide. A plane up high almost sounds like thunder, the romance of the rain on the wing. A car menaces the distance, the tools at hand only every will there is. The magic of tomorrow the only spell that cares.

Call me what you want to, I'm up most hours. There's usually an excuse to be found. A coincidence of weather and location. The clouds crowd in, so you might as well stay. I can't tell what will matter, or what will mean. Come along in your cloak of nightfall, come along trailing braids of rain. Unravel the shadow that tries to confound. Water spills down from the eaves, and I am watching every way in. Just because I never see you doesn't mean that you're not there. I find you on the curb when the storm falls down. Just because I am wide awake, doesn't mean this is not the dream.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


This is the root of history, the clinging breath of the senses. So close you can almost taste it, so very near to this beating heart. Forget the spell of distance. Forget the words that worked our world this way. This is where you step a little closer. This is where you reach the limit. All the words there to say and savor. Your desire at last in your native tongue.

Speak aloud and forgive the witness. Speak aloud and shake the reign of time. The willingness of each mirror to be a window, your eyes suddenly some other beast. The wish to find out who is the fairest, another revel of entangled whim and need. The slick repair into another brief departure, the flight that joins the heart and mind. Subjugate that greedy inquiry, the wonder giving way to the way. Hard as stone or soft as water. The confession remits only the need to shame.

It is always the moment of your arrival. Clad in light and draped in shadow. The mystery alone left to tend to its business. The mystery only the closing of doors. The work of words all saving and shedding. The weight of flesh against the winter. Winding roads and beating hearts. The scales turn, and teeth bare. The spell cast in rib and rhyme. It can only answer as you ask this question, want and wander and this vast penitence. Say the words and meet your maker. Earn your skin and speak your mind.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

ghost story

There is no reason to lock the doors. There is no cause to close the blinds. All eyes are shut in the end. The walls breathe deeply as the rain comes down. Every room left to its rattles and its songs. The water gossips against the windows, the drains tumble to their depths. Alone seems a letter that arrives already open. Alone seems like a sentence spoken too soon.

Dead wood holds the hallways closed, dead eyes gaze from the pictures on the walls. Once was one, and now is nothing. Once was here, and now is gone. Boxes buried in the backs of closets. Shelves heavy with books left unread. A house holds down the gravity of the matter. A home lives only in the heart and mind. The mildewed tiles, the damage done by tooth and claw. Such an awful silence, so much worse for the sound as it speaks.

Something stirs within the darkness. A chill clings to the naked air. Floorboards creak down a dim-lit hallway. Footsteps echo in an empty room. Shed the flesh and wake forever, pace these rooms until no legs will help. Step by step all sense is abandoned, walking through this world alone. This dull fear the first glint of awareness, the story told only breath let go. This life spent looking in every wrong direction. This vacant shell empty even of ghosts.

Friday, November 16, 2012


The ceiling shifts as the hour passes, up in smoke, gone to seed. Rain pelts the rooftops, it hangs gauze on the distance, casts a hush through the trees. The sun took a personal day, the storm just eases on down. The world remembered is the world erased, these sins of soil washed clean. The rainfall draws down the atmosphere, every drop an intimacy. Every single breath might shake the sphere, every single word renews that measure of wrath. Rattle the shingles, drizzle the trees. I pass unnoticed into darkness.

The shadows fill the landscape, the shadows steep the sky. The world sways and billows at its seams. A hush of rain, a kiss of night, the dose of stagger and chill. Things move on, scuffing shoes and burning bridges. Things move on, with you or without. The future mistaken because you misunderstood the past. Your life story at long last all postscript. Blue mood madness and the steady shedding sky. The measure only in inches until it is too late. I miss it by a finger width, it may as well be miles. I miss it as it passes, it may as well have never been.

The puzzle isn't in the pieces, but the pacing. The mystery isn't in the being, but the asking. Gods and makers and the mistakes of the tongue. Clues and cyphers found by eyes meant to find the trail. Invisible hands and ghosts with the most, the imagination is made to run wild. We place our faith in figments because once there was someone behind a curtain. Now every cloud and bush is scoured for great and powerful Oz, or poor worm- feeding Polonius. Every move and shift some secret in the trees. Heaven emptied save for stars and plucked harp strings, I sit beneath a drowned twilight, feeling my years. My prayers unspoken, my sorrows my own.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


You waited until the moon was new. You spoke the words aloud. Prayer or oath, credo or promise it is too late to take it back. The lesson of the candle as it flickers. The lesson of the clock as it crawls. The straight line still has a path to follow. The geometry doesn't ever ask. Was this pause all you had wanted? Did you think you could escape your senses just because reason hit the road? You spoke the words, so now you are in it. Every inch of skin enchantment, every single breath a spell.

I waited out to find a star. Lost in the landscape, still in the dark. Houses shining all around, the stretch of fences, the school at night. I thought about you, feet shifting on e cement. I thought of you walking, shoes scuffing the earth. Placed upon this stirring world, the day speeding by, the night always climbing. The very thought of you, spun out of whim and the hour. The unholy notion, catching your gaze. This abrupt promise. This plaintive report.

This how I always see you, your skin lit from the light of the open doorway, your back the tension of commitment to the lines. Your eyes always asking those sane questions, these repetitions sinking through my flesh. The swiftness of tooth and eye, the fire your smile implies. The sweetness of direction, a straight line still lost in intent. Is there rain against the window? Is that a shadow I saw? The magic sudden and without meaning. The moment there, the moment gone. The wishing only makes it fly. The sentence only serves its ending.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

all flesh

Again I wake to sheer bewitchment, I sup on sacrifice. The days unravel from monotony to amusement, from shock to terror. Come morning I am papered with wrappers, nightfall I am plastered with shadows. Nothing gets much traction, out where things have ended. I begin and then it is over, I finish and then it all starts again. Is it any wonder I keep checking the clock and the sun? Is it any wonder that I lose my place so often? Time entangled with all this life. Pick the number and say the line. Hope gets sorted out on its own.

There is a brace of sunlight upon the shards. There is a stirring in the atmosphere, a presence in the tense. Each branch keeps time, the music silent and unceasing. The sway and weave of the world as it turns. Each tree casts its shadow to mark its place in the sky. I still to listen, and only hear my my heart stagger. I slow to think on it, and only hear my thoughts caught on the wire. Broken chairs and dirty windows, nowhere to sit, nothing to see. The broken bough lies in the dirt and rocks, its sickness crystalized on severed stumps. Stretched out in the soft autumn sun, everything reaching for the sky.

Someone else has cast this shadow. Someone else has walked this path. The sun in its socket, the moon beneath the tide. The century ends in beats and reason. The calendar turns to its tables, the worm turns to its task. The dead clamber at the latches, they press the hasp and the hinges, popping screw and pin. Such stale portions, served without question. Such dull answers, pretending they were never lies. These horror stories we keep in the tide of feeling flesh. This dark comedy every time I open my eyes. Hope another placeholder, waiting for a play.

Monday, November 12, 2012

the bones and the dust

A breeze stirs the still leaves, chilling the air with an icy silence. A touch of the unsettled spilling down from heaven. That grasp of winter once the seasons seem to slip. The sky so bright, the day so clear, some remainder of insolence and salad days. The cold so close it whispers while the sun rollicks in the dust. The cold so close the skin trembles with its misgivings while the bones spike and seep. One more word, I am on my way. One more word, the season will remember.

The pine tree dangles sunlight from its needles, keeps the cold swaddled in its shade. The wind sweeps the roof, the wind rocks the cradle. We already know the bough will break, and baby will come down. We already know the spell we hazard, speaking out of turn. The sky surrenders to the work of crows and gulls, swept clean of any cloud, swept with wing and feather until the wind  is the only broom left. I wrote it down before there was much of anything that happened. I wrote it down because the only rule is the sticks and the stones out past where the words will matter.

The magic is cast, tender phrasing and ruthless melodies. The world holds its breath, as if there was something to it. The world holds its breath, waiting for the wheels to come off. The stunned blue in transit, the weight of wings as they push the sky away. The stopwatch speeches and the clockwork reasons cling to the walls and fences. The sun as it sinks, the stars as they rise. Nothing but usual suspects and casual sentiment. Nothing but back alleys and locked doors, missing the moment as it passes. All the words gathered with bare fingers. All the words shed in a single breath. The wind rises as the sun goes down. The season always speaks first to the bones and the dust.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

punch the clock

The crescent moon, the morning star, wherever you look it's a symbol. The weather should step in, some clouds at least, a little rain. Instead the night fades and the  cock crows, the words all trail as steam. Look at you on your lonely planet. Look at you with your lucky stars. It is out of bed and into the story. Time has its tread, the telling its reasons.

Scuff the dust as you go through the paces. Mind your manners as you makes your rounds. The clock points put this current failing. The lapse the pain of frost to the touch. Habit will carry well past the reach of reason. The routine binds these sticks and sign. You cast your wishes to the wind and wear the veil of ritual. The ease  of seeing how things work out the same. The load no lighter, whatever burdens shed.

The thing is, time does fly. Fun has nothing to say about it. Once the days were too long to be counted, when there never were tomorrows, and the angels had room to dance. The days stretched and the years reached, we carve all these notches and marks. Scoreboards and grudge keepers, we measure first to race the moment, then to try to apply the brakes. The count is always going on, always a little off. We speak aloud of little wisdoms, the work always the same. You stand there as if you were waiting for your turn. Read every sign that says something. Punch the clock and take the blame.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

points of articulation

After the day turns gray, after every wonder had been pried loose, after tongues twist and lights trick, what is left unsaid? The words all gather, perching in their places along each line. Slow wings stir, the air sifted for a single question. A charge to spark and follow, a grace to gather dust. The clock spins its pitiless circles, grinding minutes and spraying hours. I save my dark glasses for another day. You turn to shine and forgotten sayings, changing your stance amid this sweep of meanings. I reach towards your shadow, clutching empty air.

This isn't the only story, just the one I always tell. I kick up some dust, I stare at the stars. I leave nothing but mosquito bites and ashes. It isn't the path of sacrifice, just the depths of this tireless feeding. A meadow shrinks as the forest swells. When everything goes missing, you count your portion in pockets. You say I tell you nothing, though I have told you all I know. You say I'm a broken record, so I have to turn the tables. Scratch though I can’t find that itch. Sing though it isn't a tune I carry.

The lights go out, and we know nothing. Things recede as our eyes lose purchase, the crunch and bite of objects in the dark. We fall out from our promises, our bright and iron compromise. Smoke trailing into distant skies. Heaven held only by the cold and the dauntless swarms. Lost between this want and these words, nothing I say can move you. So I work the world around you, every axis and articulation, every spin and stretch towards your direction. Points and pieces, I crush and sway the puzzle. Always that extended grasp, the reason so very near.

Friday, November 9, 2012


When the only law is make a fire, burning down never makes it to the courts. Air and fuel eking out some rule, the cough and sputter yet another of the sacred rituals. The strike and spark always the tool picked to take the day. The supreme calm of flint awaiting spiteful steel. The blinding brilliance of that stroke of lucky flame, dancing along the edge of the irrevocable. You must either burn or go out.

Then it comes in fits and drizzles, the tide of eyes before the teeth of the storm, the breath and prayer of the insolent atmosphere. How bright the sky before the tense deluge. How surprised the glove when the gloves come off. Empty so long of anything to feel except fists. The rictus of the submerged structure all the draw and set of any equation. Empty of move or motive what words will do? The thirst you suffer has its roots in the restless heavens. The rain nothing answered, only another result.

So I tend a few small dim fires. So the winter is always in my fingers first, that frost sharp on the skin and rough on the bones. The sunrise, the sunset, a dense remark, a pile of plates. I stray from the tongue I have attended, each thought a reflex pretending at reflection. The angels all weighed with surface tension, the wings and inferences at a loss on this scale. All the wishes in steady sentences read as served. I stretch along this laden plain, only ever ready to spark. The night its chill, the fire its burn.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Breath by breath we scrub the sky, the wind in tiny fragments, the machine of too many pieces to count. We stroke the strings until it is music, we wear the season  until we see the bones. The way each object rolls slowly through your fingers. The way each instance slips through your hands. We are open to the atmosphere, draw and spill, scrimp and save. We are caught in the speed of the shutter, painted by this deluge of light. Pictures on the mantle, moths to the flame. We cut ahead  in the line, always holding a place open. We are incessant invitations, virus and bacter, angels and bad actors. We fill and empty, pinpoints upon the flow.

You stare at the dashboard as the engine idles. Head lights pooled upon the garage door, the driveway marked by warm tires and stray paper. You ask yourself these midnight questions catching your eye in the rearview mirror. Is this me? Is this it? Is this the map or the wake of days? You talk to all the ones that are never there. The voice of your heart the tinny euphemisms of storybooks and old movies. The story of your life a movie you make up as you go. The seedy theatrics as your flesh impels you. The embarrassed revelation of who you are as you shut off the engine and go inside.

It is the breathless edge of this brittle thinking. Check the book and bang the gavel. Repeat it until you call it law. Stray from your notes all you like. We spill and gather, following smoke and circling the drain. God closing doors and each exit being an entrance. We pass the word in whispers, hold it close and tight. We thread the world in our sacred habits, pull the cork and take a swallow. We grow upon our heaps and mendicant dreams. Seeds and fruit, work and fallow. We spin and reel, taking our joy from the next one over. The bountiful harvest, and each hunger it ensures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the wanderers

What seam is stitched with your ragged pattern? What sky will fall from this disrepair? The morning comes along, scrubbed and combed and pinned with those certain stars.  The coded moment when the myth meets your eye. Staring from that expanse of oblivion, what wouldn't make a light? Starting the whole thing from scratch, who knows what sparks you might shed?

Venus lingers on the cusp of dawn. That blazing chariot about to reach the rise. The stick work trees hold heaven in its place, as the world stirs its particulars.  The shadows sink below the skin, the day another etiquette to remember, the night another puzzle to misplace. Direction cued by compass and by banging cans,  the streets set upon by garbage trucks. I clear my throat to speak my peace. Worlds just tumble away.

Come the morning sanctimony, come the bedtime prayers. This ritual of remote witness and fever swallowed, this evidence of salt and heat. Stretched sheets and tangled clothes, all the sins washed away however deep they were hidden. The crown of blue and birdsong, the cloak of drum and siren.  Stones in your shoes and crow on your tongue. The stars are stricken from the sky, no marks of their remittal or erasure. Just another wanderer trading fairy stories. Just another traveler worrying the path. These misshaped questions, these unleashed dreams.

Monday, November 5, 2012


The songs carry, the lights go out, the hour comes and lingers. I open my eyes and cast my shadows on the inside. Geese call out from up above, dogs bark from every other yard. Mosquitoes hang in the air, guided by the rebounding shine. Eyes glow so very slightly, hit by that contagious burn of vision. The stars are dim, but getting brighter. It sounds as though the geese are gone.

Sundown by every instrument, tiny wings and blood-tinged  kisses. The tone changes depending on the flesh. Wear every smoke, skin every song. Watch the night fall until  the stars follow. I cull each instinct from the air, your flicker and your feel. The atmosphere repurposed, to every fuel a fire. This dense reflection, this series of frequent shines. Speaking deeply to the skin of the mirror, as scary as any fairy story. The obvious endings of the well worn tale, the reckoning always in the telling.

Sight blurs and words slur, some other slipped up time. The hours never start or end on time. The sigh of traffic passing, lights sliding along each skin. Pause beside the porch, moths beating at the bulb. A chill arises just to remind the flesh. The touch of distance to sting the fingers. That rush of breath to pass as prayer. Something there amid this absence. Something that the picture will not tell.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the way things play

I say your name until you're steam, breath on the metal, dew on the bloom. The flowers haven't started their story, and already it is fall. That dream of clotted dawn, stray stars and dishwater clouds. That active transformation when the day changes worlds, the shimmer of wings and the itch of punctured veins. The trail of shoes that leads through the seasons. The crisp press of solid steps, the rustle of bone and leaf. I speak aloud to make my reason. I shed my empty into the cold still night.

It is a sentimental structure, fingers wag and wrists stiffen, that window the soul lets weep. Bible flowers and bee's comb, the old antenna listening for god as it bends beneath the weight of idle birds. Heaven bends beneath those same wings, the work of angels mostly pollination and damage control. These words stray, soaring high, heading home. The words roost along your bright song and sharp bones. To say that no-one knows you is not the same as to be unknown. To be born lonely is not the same as to be alone. I speak to your frequency, I tune the rest of the world away. By faith alone that last prescription. The rest of the mess just follows suit.

Can you find me when the skies say smooth sailing? Can you hear me once the bad weather breaks? The rain beading on the window, the trees scraping on the roof. Your flesh swift and bundled, your lungs full of scrapes and scratches. I feel the rough brick and the dull ache, the will of the fern, the resiliency of dust. The nail tacked into the plaster, the crooked picture never what it seems. The mystery revealed, and so the machine takes over. The gear-work winds down, your heart racing, chasing my pressing voice. You reach and stretch, some venture of limb and ligature. You stop and listen, I spill your secrets. You hear me speaking, the room a shock of silence. There are no accidents, just unfamiliar mistakes. There is no magic, just the strangeness of the way things play.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


We can do this by the book. You can wear your ring, you can ring your bell. That golden note held too dearly. That golden rule wrote too broad. Dismiss the mirror by the way it marks. Dismiss the spell by the weight of your failings. We can read the rules in the shameful remission of ourselves. We can read by the shine of these most recent shells. Never quite read the way it was written. Never a rule until the hammer comes down.

Then more things, though I forget the order. The names and markers and storefronts all change. Every stolen glance, every nested oath. Your word so much that you say too little. These claims you make that your will is not your own. Tension holds at every surface. The sun slings color through the dawn. Feet grow uncertain, learning which ground to stand. The steps seem so many, and the light will diminish in the depths. Your clothes piled off in a corner. Your gaze raw and vivid, your flesh set to smolder. The reflections tend to dim the reasons. More forest, fewer trees.

We were closer once before. The rainy nights and the opened door. Sitting talking on the floor, the clock was so thick and useless. We'd tell our stories straight to dawn, our dreams so bright and painted on. The crow flies stark, the sparrow sings. I talked of winter and of wings. You leaned against the doorway, waiting for the walk to wear off. The rain came down, and you waited without a word. I reach through years and seasons. I touch your warmth in your scattered words, those moments missed, and luck sent. Those chaste regrets and kindled wishes. The day falls down, you build a kind of fire. Not to heat these long cold passages, but to light the looking back. Broken up and written down. Scripture always stricture in the end.

Friday, November 2, 2012

past perfect

What of the dust once the mud has swallowed the earth? What of the dusk when the day has burned so bright and slow? The sound of sirens ring the streets, the wild yearning and the empty threat. The pleas of these fresh emergencies, open wounds and the tang of dying blood. Dried black on the pavement, the crimes called out from the contentious pooling, every swarm and mob bear the dense alarm. The dogs dig for treasure, the flies gather, thinking only of posterity. Injury only another name for opportunity. Illness another paving stone on that march of progress.

One day we open up and have become our elders, words sounding so strange and yet so much the same. Lessons spilled into the boil in our blood, the work only remembered for the burn. Muscle memory and the rough and tumble of those ancient curses. The poison always mingling on the sweet side, the bitter best left sifting through every breath. Always future tense and past perfect, the things that once were until they end, the things that will always come one day. The charm of your reflection always in the reversal of events. You never seem to see yourself until you are inside out. You never seem to know until even the wreck is in ruins.

What is left contends with appetites and inclinations, the drift of intuition and the leaning of the map. The world so drastic and unchecked, it only arrives full scale. We guess and bet, declare stout allegiance. We bleat and rut, always returning to earth before it is over. Sold again and again, purity and privation, or blood and indulgence. Written down in nesting cups, folded with-in some suspect skin, the story sneaks right by. I knew it until I had found out for sure, there was no longer certainty. The words spoken to forget, the dogs pause to sniff the air. You whisper but forget to listen. Then ambulances everywhere.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

out of sight

For days without end I washed the smoke from the bowl, the color of the sky trailing the color of the wind. The weather came and went like fortune's cat, quiet as a ghost, easy as the night. My hand crabbed along that aging paper, spider scrawl shuffling along the page. A spilled ritual of bone and toil, the stubborn ligaments and every twitch and tic. A promise so gracious and labored it seems it could only say something else. I whisper some dank periphery, some dash of secret toward this dearth of interest. The ragged graveyard of things unsaid, your skin touched by this gleeful breeze.

A long slow afternoon, and every one comes calling. Every stranger has stories to share, once they see see how much you're missing. Every shadow knows its ease comes spilling from the light. The sunlight left falls from the leaves in the trees. The day lingers off in a corner, the weight of heaven always felt in lash and absence. The unseen stars map out blind constellations. You stare out the window, blinded by the horizon. You close your eyes against this choice morsel. Warmed by the passage of sun down all these steps. Other stairs fall somewhere a little further out of sight.

Your name has changed the nature of my tongue, so burnt bitter, so chocolate dark. It weighs its absence along each spring and gear, the machine adrift in the breathing and the blood. There is no resolving these stains, these teeth marks and swallowed feathers. There is no ablution for this theft and hunger. Spoken soft, as if a secret. Spoken slowly, like it was a spell. The magic in the stitch that mends the wounding. The saying that portion I never see, your empire awake already.