I have heard
(mysteriously at night)
there are three worlds.

Like a well-constructed
house, the task becomes
sequentially moving
through them.

When I am unaware
of the purple flaming iris
in the other room

I am in flux

trapped between touch
and numbing, depthless

the way out is
the way in and never


Tear Your Garments

Sweet bitter
unmanageable Sappho,
gold ankleboned

you be my ally.

When you're born
in a family of men,
you inherit the veil.

You disappear
behind it;  you are
strangled by it.

It is the only thing
that lies between
your blood and

your father's


Unlike Heaven

We are two spaces;  asymmetrical
forces.  One a mark,
the other erased.

I am God's slave, you
are the abyss;

a stone tower
and its relentless



They Are OverFed

Heathens!  Simplicity
is the purest thing of
this world;

the simplest thing-

wordless, selfless


and I am only and content
to sleep, prey slagged (and stilled) 
by wolves relief :  (final) sacred duty:

Forward stalk the royal (crowns & kingdoms)
(red, orange, purple?) thieves who will remove
my glue sutured heart (screams in lieu of beat)
for what purpose-Men?  God with reasons made
for careless instruments their demons:  oceans,
distance, lightless caves, infestations, graves
and pretty siren singers.

Let them swim.


But what of (mine) conflicted dragons,
primeval victim-makers slash(ing) equal
bone and blood and teeth or dreamer?



Burning Horses

What was roughly, deeply
hewn and violent

made seamless.

Was it autumn? scent of
burning horses, leather,
shy leaf  fireworks, yellow
textured skies, cold

anemic like pond fish.

Pink, velour twilight?
thick and bleeding shades
of fresh cut salmon,

split open watermelon.

The narrow dirt road?
aluminum windmill,
six-fingered prophet
held together with

barbed wire and
dissolving duct tape.

Beneath its long, steel legs?
deep in miniature apples,
sage green, worm bruised
and bird tongued to

sweet rot.

Or with the field crows?
stiff robotic waddling,
bead-black coma stares

stabbing mud-stained
leftover snow.

Someone found the fear,
however, wherever

they were consumed
by fire-

somewhere, somehow.

Came Whiffling Through the Tulgey Wood

I lean towards
carnivorous shades
of red;

the vibrant,
rusting, oxidation of oval
cells;  spiraling down,
followed by

a long, uneventful wait.

I've practiced preservation
rehearsed my hunger,
refused to mate,

carefully count
the farmer's stolen hens
and rabbit nests

in bunches,

keep the orange fox

A Loosening

The heaviest, final,
awareness- the fear,

the turning out,
the closing in,

the fear,

a foreign, distant,
plastic world,

a loosening

Slippery as silicone,
the thrashing spirit
frees its muscled,

coiled tail,

glances backward
at its flaccid, rubber
skein, then

swims away.

The Peeled Eye

I recognize him
after many years - 

the endless grief,
clay-colored sands,
searing heat

death-trap mirages
of belly-dancing

with baskets
of half-eaten


Sunlight on the Mountains

If you are to become
or appear to become

you must be like
a mountain covered
in a thin layer of God


Is it possible you
could be as



Uncommonly Faithful

Not much here. 
Not prize or punishment,
just pieces of bone
stripped of feather,

grey, cold boulders
arranged in circles

and exquisite fear;

see how its smoky
colorless face turns
back to count

its victims.

Somewhere on
a bleached, naked

a primitive screech,
a flinging out and up,

far as it could reach
into nothingness

and flickering.

Unbearable Creature

All radiance, untrue;
unbearable beauty

What begins before
light, before flesh,
before virtue?

Empty spaces, opposing
walls, an ancient,
dangerous secret...

a bloodless eye
with fingers.

In the dark, he left
out food expecting
to attract a different

creature, one filled
with asteroids
and quiet stars

skin so shiny
he could see himself
looking back

even at night.


It Seems

it's natural to be
joyous.  Small
white mouths of flower

drink light.

Grief, a cloud
of dust

growing wider.

lives between



Sorrow Addict

To my cell mates,  I promise
where the circling birds rise
we will follow;

see their iridescent
shooting arc.

Of these glittering, broken places,
geography of bone & rot

where we came from

bestow them to
the sorrow addicts.

Uniquely qualified, departure;
in truth, the vacant life depends

on violence.

Outside mist, layered hills
shake their heads, dip their scratchy beards

in darkness,

hide the stranger, prisoner
and stolen, fractured pieces
of a ladder.



Someone else leaving with
what you've uncovered;

shadows of belonging
shrinking back into

wings you carved
falling from their frame
like spark,

fashioned a world
from timber's darkness

then darkness.

What I meant
to say is not what
you heard;

words unlocking
the locked prayer

a blessing for the


Whoever You Are

Other words for banished
are lifelong commitment.

Dear heart, how you
shoulder your burden

drumming faith
through hollow webs,

sweet juice
of roses, its thorns


Is there a part of you,
outside its sorrow,

that doubts
its gift?

Are you the mother
of our childhood or

the father of
infernal nights?

Compounding Fracture

There were years
of confusion.  A beast
raised by hand becoming
a horse, a lion or fire;

an animal of contradiction
conflicted by love, awe
and independence.

Hands that raised us
did not make us, would not
keep us, could not

destroy us.

Each pod falls independently
under the influences
of nature but

all of them scratch and claw
their way to surface.

So we run and carry others
on our backs, prey on those
who hunt us,  feed the burn

consuming us
from within.


In this place, heaven and hell
are the same thing.  Both offer

houses with winding stairs,
a kitchen with double sinks,
a porch made of windows

overlooking gardens.

A man can be a force,
a mechanism of decision,
let the cool air out,
the swarming flies in.

In a series of singular moments
he becomes a tool with
reversible ratchet, a carpenter;
build or destroy. Embrace
or abandon.  Forgive

or exact revenge.

There are not many beings
designed by God who journey
so far without traveling.


Desolation or Miracle?

Two kinds of nature,
such kindness and the shadowy
cycle of return.  The sky each evening,
the day's horror.  One for
the innocent, the other for
the guilty.

Playing with blindfolds
when the fire's spreading
courage or stupidity, sweetness
or bile. Without reluctance
repeated acts

of violence or miracle.

No one told them
the world would touch them
with the same hand they bite;
tear them from a place
they built, a contradiction.

Still, we were made
for this.  Outside or in,
the filled or empty vessel like
a cow's carcass floating
in a polluted river while

women scrub
their children's

Jane Hirshfield

If you praise her
she changes directions

towards humility.

Secretly, so small
but not empty

like a child's teacup
or a cactus splinter
her purpose


the fewest, rarest
words like

a tiny flame.


The Blind Man's Image

Born in a room of mirrors,
we are given a name,
an infinite image.

Some never see themselves
as reflection but merely
blocking light.

Darkness, the part of thought
that thrives in blindness
has no need for faith

or blessings

but any creature capable
of fear is surely worthy
of redemption.

It makes little difference
to the captive core inside
as it lives by extension.


A Door Once Opened (draft)

The soul stands still;  the world
moves through it.  The body
condemned to suffer
the blows.

I'm Eve.  You're Adam.
Eden closed up like a
summer house across
the dim lit bay.

Reminds us of a place
we could have lived
but never will.  It's gardens
more beautiful the further

In our fatigue, a strange
resignation, a finished race
where the road that seemed
to go on and on disappears.

Further on, grass and dirt
and stars mixed with blood

where you focus on one spot
trying to imagine, to understand
what happened there,

where a single drop of water
is youth.  Crossing the parched,
desert without shoes, our middle age.

A blanched, over-sized skull
of some horrible animal whose
large, broken  teeth guffaw in effigy
like some naive idiot, our deaths.

Did we really believe our lives
would be different, more purposeful
imitating someone else?

"When I'm happy, I'm not myself"
said Darkness to Light.

And Light couldn't stop giggling
ridiculously wanting nothing more
than a body the shape of an elegant,
evening dress.

"If you find you are what you
wanted to be, you'll never be
anything else" replied Darkness

stepping back into
its large, black door.


Creative Nerve

It's almost a planet;  we have
visited many.  Wide view, no borders,
voluminous air.  It's terrible to stay
the same in each improbable universe

when our own stars will burn us.

But this is important-  remembering
what you believe in, where you are

going.  Thought and how
it changes everything.

The Other Side of the Ending World

We were moving
in a direction some call
the edge, the forget,
the radiance.

I was right in
there until

geography became
resistance.  You fell

through a hugeness
where I could never


as myself.