Cloth Hands

The idea was to remain
thoughtful. Plentiful light.
Watery blue handmade glass.
The influence of eyes. Fearless.
We completely underestimate
inner space, the sanctum
of a hand on cloth, momentarily

perfect as a child's.

At a time when others
are enclosed, we recover
from the cancer of rooms.
A round pink shell buried
in sand without an occupant.
A wild escape. The energy
of living without the possibility

of parole.

Intimacy, feeling good naked;
naturally ,the average person
says amen. Prayer is often
a sign of trauma. Keeps bruises
moistened while we sleep.
Our hands move over the bedcloth,
bitter and infected- instruments

of repair.

The spectacular design
of wrists, fingers and palms
mindessly drumming on the wood.
Scribble, scribble, scribble. The word
of moving- elegant, bleak, inspired
affords its reader a brief glimpse
of redemption. Passed from hand

to hand- the cloth is torn.


Anticipate Desire (work in progress)

The home reveals itself during the journey out.
Shed glass hovers lightly above the ground.
We head against the flow (an ancient path)
the flat ribbon of sea, patterns in the midst
of living- crossing over.

A black, tiny island is dismantled. Recycled
and reused, we imagine children- a simple
and clear choice of materials. We speak
of fortune, modern isolation and accidental meetings
in a sparsely furnished city.

Never reject the past- the internal
resources of green. Submit to space
as if it were a house... every second
reminded of precisely where you are.
City dweller, build a ship. Water child,
climb the hill. Architect, tear down
your dreams. Anticipate desire.


The Secret Skin of Life

The secret skin of life,
I cannot abide it; I am
not afraid of turning in-
side out of the mouth
pressed against the vast
hands of your fame- strangely,

begins again.

In the beginning, my death
was pre-ordained. We are
a nation of law. Somewhere
is found missing. Most wonderous,
the hills drop down mysteriously

and vanish.

Lead us not into temptation
for ours is the nature of darkness,
of vigilant nights and longing.
My blindness conjures visions.
The room is cold, the bones are cold.
I am not brave or borrowed-

I am a stranger to my body.

More clearly, I am on fire
in a boat broken from its mooring.
A blind journey of faith, of floating.
The sails are ash. The sea is black.
an albatross sings of womb, of son,
dips down the strings of wing

and burns.

I am watching you build
a house. The windows
are my face- small, transparent
and necessary. Every nail
a sacred vow pledged to wood.
With the force of your defiance...

you dig my grave.

I will not pray to live or die.
It is beneath me. Like veins.
When we were young, the clock
moved, grew hair and danced.
Now, hands worship while the mind
swings backwards on a face

that looks like mine.

Today, I am unfastened.
I will not leave you without knowing
about the hills, where they disappear.
The small windows of my face
watch you build a clock, an albatross
that flies above my shiftless sea

and falls like stone.


The Flyswatter (draft)

The man arrived, just
like he said he would
standing at the kitchen door-

a lost ship.

The flyswatter hangs
on the wall, just in case

I might use it
if he stays, flying

through my room-spaces

where insects spawn
loud noises, blurred visions

and memory of sting.

Skein Bucket

My father is a dark cloud.
So falls the rain on the roof
of a small house, how deftly

seeks the cracks... a bucket

of skein to carefully gather
the large body of his raging sea.


The merry-go-round is turning
fast and shiny as sunlight dancing
off the mirror, gilded pony's wicked
smiles foretell the future

in perpetual circles. No one is going
to finish this race, children
cling to wooden necks

like flies enrapt
in spider's web,


of life's defeat, its lack of purpose,
the treachery of motion...

when the go-round slows-

fiercely plead for more.


To Be Had (draft)

It was a child's summer
the first time he asked
to "have" me... an ice bucket
in his hands, as if he

were prepared
to douse the fire...

every nerve
of fifteen years


secretly adoring.

"Ten Hail Mary's,
five Our Father's

and all will be forgiven"
(the priest said )

who never knew
the pink hills,
the rising forest,

or how desperately easy
to become lost in them.

Quietly, (I asked him)
kneeling down...

"what is to be had
and when it is taken-

are we finished?"


I do not expect
to die in paradise...

the curtains
parted, the light
betrays us-

do you insist
on leaving

them open?

You are
the absence

of closure,

your signature

on the room
of a wall...



Early Summer (draft)

Early, in the breast of twilight
peeking, half-closed eyes

of summer,

I walked beside the still
slumbering body
of the silver lake...

ribbons of my skin
tattoos of tree shadows

painted by the wind, pale

flecked and glowing,

footsteps, always
traces in the mind's
muddied path, perhaps

a way in, or

a journey back-

a template of forgotten
faces, lost pennies,
broken toys.


Your Name

I spoke your name,
again, I spoke
your name...

smoke rises
from the stacks

of houses
in the city

into the eyes
of God, the lungs

of your nation,
the sound

of your name
exhaled into sky...


escaping me.


What you have

fashioned (round)


a kidney-shaped pool,

the small kind
of swimming hole

in which your straightline
is ever un-moving...

moving being artificial,
impossible, disarming.

In water,

weight bears
no resemblance

to commitment;

nor, does it sink.


Beneath a Bridge

Despair is a bridge
beneath whose hardened spine
a soul sighs heavily

as if to catch its breath...

there are not many
structures in life
that house eternity,

or keep it safe,
hide it completely
or absolutely

confine it.


Today, a body of rock
fell from the mountain

into the mouth of ocean, it fell

as if

belonging were an act

of severance.


A Silent Dog

I could tell things
were changing,
from the other side

of my window, I find

a silent dog
in the garden

bent down to seize
the grasses

as if eternally


Powerful, the way
the whirl of thought

rushing through
the animal of skin,

of smell, of small desires,

of significance-

stands still.

The day is changing, the dog-
no longer in the yard,

has disappeared...

the world, perhaps,

and I


where it lastly lingered.


It is not enough to answer me,
the word thin, the world wide
so wide your hips remember me
like fields of wheat unshaven...


Remains of Sky

You cannot offer me this quiet
night, bear the forgiveness
of our desperate, fiery language...

you will have to leave
what you carry
behind you-

like tethered stone,
it will weigh you down.

Air has no bones, nor
lingers in the flower;

moves with purpose,

returns to origon-

the last remains of sky.



I will not be coming home, again
darkness between the trees
parallel like existence...

what is left out
in the open

more defining
than walls.

Our mouth of caves
bruised and bleeding

dried blood, my blood

distinctly blackened,
reminiscently purple

as if dying were royal.


Peculiar Things

Of our predicament,
our cocooned bodies-


through skin

(chiffon curtains of sleep)

burns within


I am a witness
to peculiar things;

the weight of light
caught in smoke,

the brief, hidden
guilt of rain,

the roundness
of kiss in flesh...

the awe of white roses.

Of all these things,
the greatest-

the mystery of love

dancing naked

the tangled branch
of trees.


The Aging Cry (draft)

I remember you, years ago
heart of an old woman
in the gilded cage of child;

for such a long and winding path,
your journey here, a quick one

but not quietly assumed-

the loud cries
of an injured animal

bring me back to you.

I'll forgive myself for deciding
it is too late in the spring
to turn back now

how many winters
have we passed together?

how many nights
separating ourselves
from our sadness?

when did our fist
simultaneously release

the small white dove?



Once, in a blue mourning
I said- wings that root
into the ground remain


like love...

what words
could possibly


their sudden flight?