Have you heard the long note
from the distant? Talent
should be like that-


Blind-ing, beautiful snake,
father-mask. I, too, am
careful of this world-


When he speaks there are
no stars, eclipsed cold house,
a budding cactus thriving

in the desert.

In the course of life, we hear
many lullabies. While there is
still a history of darkness,


our ears will not adjust
to light. In dreams, his tongue
becomes a field of posies




The trees have ears again, today
I am telling them about imagination.

The slender sprout at the foot
of his great oak mother listens

carefully as he should; he'll be
wider than a redwood cedar

before another crazy human
tries to have a conversation

with a twig. He asks me about
the definition of a dream, if

it's like the ghost of wind moving
through leaves without being caught

or shine of beetles poking through
soil when the moonlight reflects

off their jet black backs like
dark, wet jewels, then disappear.

These are tree dreams, I assure him.
Human dreams are more like sap

that drips down from a wound
in your bark or like winter when

you're hair falls out, you close
your eyes for awhile and remember

summer until summer
comes back. We talked

until the moon woke up;
the moon did not approve.


Midwest Observations

Innocence is a canning jar
filled with fireflies

that are released
in the morning.

If goats eat garlic weed
their milk is soured;

feed them sweet

When salt is applied,
skinned frog legs


A horse is like underwear.
It should be worn by

the same person.

The world is not flat;
neither is the Midwest


Never tease a bull
or a brother who is taller

than you are.

Respect nature, admire
its beauty, but never refuse

to eat it for dinner.

The Whooshing Sound (draft)

I try to conceive what
makes the whooshing sound

in metres of music, words as
they escape boundaries of book
to fly from page to mind,

the hush of flowers
opening, undamaged
every morning on the sill,

the spider's nail strumming
through her velvet threads,
the victim's breath she steals.

Everything has a pitch, even
nothing-ness. Capsules of shell,
the enormous rooms of night,

unseen tunnels of wind,
the dark, deep, wells of sea -

its vacant echoing.

As The World Turned

5:30 a.m., the traffic man said they found a body
on the shoulder of the 605. Car lights wound back up
through the canyon pass like an angry boa constrictor
whose skin was on fire.

The CEO of a toy manufacturer committed
suicide last night; his company painted toys
with toxic levels of lead. A pediatric neurologist
described ensuing loss of appetite, tremors, coma

while holding up figurines of mickey mouse and barbie.

I rolled over to watch the dog's chest rise and fall
at the end of the bed, his neck hair glowing in the t.v's shine
like an alien strobe from a friendly ufo that had settled on
a crude and violent planet. We found the remote

and turned the world off.

Moth at My Door

Knocks twice. The first,
to announce arrival,

the second, to listen
for an answer.

Passage involves
waiting in the shadows

until the light inside
comes looking;

you cannot
drag it out

with weeping
or the knowledge

of your years-

the sweetest child
has died in darkness

thinking how
to bend its ear.

And so we try

a language
like a question,

body like
a secret wing,

a fire built
by lovers

who rush
into the flame.


When You Wake Up

She liked colour. Maybe because she knew
colour was life and the absence of it could only be
the other. Like the word vacancy; if filled,
it disappears.

She often thought of miracles. As if
she could conjure one up simply by overcoming
a tragic moment with a deep sense of bliss. Later,
she realized, this act in itself, was the miracle.

Sometimes at night, she would hold out her hands
in the moonlight so her skin would glow like lantern paper
and little grey moths would crawl across her fingers
until the wind whisked them away.

No one knew her, really. She liked it that way.
Like a dream you can't recall when you wake up
or a feeling that makes you smile
but you don't remember why.

Untouched Shore

On a boat that is not a boat, we travel.
From the bow of its rattling bones,
the evening star, that great shining oak
in the land of sky, points to untouched shores.

Heavy webs of star, a mournful trap
of darker holes, hinges man's thoughts
to universe like tiny specks of fly.
It is the sea we hear when we are dying

or its winded breath, the physical divinity
of blueness, the stretching tendons
of fluttering wings whose feathers rise
like thunderheads in swirling weaves.

The gulls sweep down,
not from loneliness, but greed
to touch the thing that we desire most-
such fearsome beauty.

Things That Make you Go "Hmm"

"Yes" and I waited for the question.
I admit, it does not appear to matter now
what you need to know. There is not enough
time to conceal anything worth concealing.

Luckily, the grass is still soft and green
in the yard and if God had intelligent designs
for today, my barefeet on cool ground, the signals
the bright white color of magnolias send through

my heart cells are proof enough-

the suggestion, I mean, of answering
questions of meaning before they are
conveniently devised. Things that make you go:


Into Blur

Another shocking crime.
Similiar victims. Women.
Trampled. We break eggs;
nothing disappears.

It feels like nothing. Like a blur,
like a string of smoke unfurled.
Either way, we curl fetal,
guitar-shaped, guilt-filled.

There is flame, shadow, art,
wound, mouth, body, dark-


When my questions reach you,
indecipherable, simple,
is it soul that traces shape
or unearthed, long dead words

that perfectly disguise bruised
and upturned prayers- a remedy

for plunder, feast and fear?

When a man falls into a mountain,
soot-colored throat, blind disaster
rushing down, the distant rain
like winter fur wistful, sad, invisible

is brightness swallowed?


On every forehead, the label warned
"you were meant to be blossom or a halo
of circling doves... naked, except for joy".

Then wind separated sea; the spirit found
its famous groin and fell asleep, haunted.
They built churches. Columns, arches, spaces;

body of stone, glass whose heart trapped light
in the shape of swords pointed up towards oblivion.
In the belfast, doves circle round the vining blossoms.

Winner Of

What is powerful? History, you might say,
or emotions that wound it. Decide upon
the beauty of your poison; I have chosen mine.

Nightly, like a woven pearl, the grain is changed
to sheets of light, the truth is hidden there;
hunted for so long, we wonder what it means.

So many, many. Noble, striving, poisoned, pining,
burdened. Object: lesson. Reward: our waiting.
You've fought for illumination elegantly, now-
everything but the winner.